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L’Occitane La Collection de Grasse: Vanille & Narcisse

11 May

Vanilla & Narcisse is a very unpredictable fragrance on my skin. Each time I wear it, it goes in one of two directions..

1. Soft, feminine, and lovely.

The first one is light, warm, powdery vanilla like a marshmallow (though less sweet), with an abstract floral element which possesses a tinge of what I would equate to wintergreen, though it’s really more like wintergreen gum or candy than the essential oil. It’s like a powdery vanilla-mint without any bite. Projection and lasting power are moderate.

2. Totally gross.

The second direction is sweet powdery vanilla changing to body odor. This is the smell of body odor on the back of my freshly washed hand, and when it goes this way, I want nothing more than to wash my hand again immediately.

Could my body chemistry be fluctuating THAT much? My first experience with this fragrance was so enjoyable, and I walked around wearing it in the warm late afternoon, planning to go back the following day and ask for a sample. However the next time I tested it, I thought “YUCK! It’s baby powder mixed with grown-up stink!”

Do not blind buy this or gift it to anyone based on the notes. You really must sample it several times to make a determination about it. Though this is true of many if not most fragrances, it holds especially true with ones like Vanilla & Narcisse.

All the pics From the Old Computer 3385

L’Occitane La Collection de Grasse: The Vert & Bigarade

11 May

The Vert & Bigarade is my favorite Green Tea centered fragrance to date. The tea is crisp and smooth, never bitter.

The bitter orange is not strong at all, and merely acts as a stage hand to round out the fullness of the refreshing green tea. I hardly notice it. This one is more of a single note fragrance than the original The Vert which has a very prominent lemon especially in the opening. I strongly prefer The Vert & Bigarade to the original. It is what The Vert should have been.

I don’t know how it compares to Elizabeth Arden’s green tea collection, but as far as tea fragrances go, I think I actually also prefer TV&B to L’Artisan’s The Pour un Ete, though it is lovely in its own right, and also features a green tea accented by citrus. The Pour un Ete starts off with a sweeter and more gentle lemon than the lemon tea combo in The Vert, and the dry down of The Pour un Ete is a more prominently jasmine-green tea.

The Vert & Bigarade stays pretty linear on my skin: Straight smooth and sparkling green tea all the way. I might drink it. It has very good longevity for a green tea fragrance. Applied in early evening, I can still smell it on my skin the following morning. It’s projection is average. The dry down is a rich matcha green tea. So beautiful! Well done, L’Occitane!

I love to layer this translucent light green scent with Pacifica’s Island Vanilla to make a matcha green tea ice cream fragrance. Wonderfully simple and well done. Great for casual daily wear as with most green tea fragrances (and L’Occitane fragrances for that matter). Do not say that green tea has been done to death before trying this one out.

All the pics From the Old Computer 1331

L’Occitane’s La Collection de Grasse Preview: Jasmin & Bergamote

27 Mar

I was able to take a sneak peek of Jasmin & Bergamote at  my local L’Occitane boutique and try it out. The collection of four new fragrances won’t be officially released until April 17th according to one of the lovely SAs. I was unable to obtain a sample of this so I will do a proper review of this when it is released, as I was only able to spray it on me in the store and then rush home. Also, click the L’Occitante tab on the right column of my blog, and scroll down to read reviews of two other offerings in the La Collection de Grasse collection:  Vanille & Narcisse, and The Vert & Bigarade. To start off, here are my first impressions of Jasmin & Bergamote.


Jasmin & Bergamote is a very green, mouth watering woody floral. I don’t get any of the indolic borderline acrid qualities that jasmine, true to LIFE jasmine can sometimes have. The jasmine note here is quite prominent, but the (not too sharp) bergamot and petitgrain keep it in shimmering green territory.

This composition is excellent, but it’s not addictive in the same way that their SOON TO BE DISCONTINUED Notre Flore Jasmine is. I’ll be mighty sad to see that one go.

This is how I wish Florabotanica by Balenciaga smelled.
Like Florabotanica, J&B is also a white floral greened way down by citrus and woods, yet it is not headache-inducing or remotely cloying. L’Occitane is masterful at keeping their fragrances wearable, even when applied liberally, without making them weak or watery (Pivone excepted). This would be good for a casual setting as well as for a more special occasion. The bergamot insures that it’s not too heavy for daytime wear. It projects moderately and lasts all day and evening on my skin.

L’Occitane’s (soon to be gone forever) Notre Flore Jasmine happens to be my favorite Jasmine soliflore on the market. It really sparkles and is allowed room to breathe and glow on my skin. It’s more translucent and delicate than the jasmine flower itself, as if the perfumer took the flower and stole all of its best qualities in order to showcase them.

The jasmine note in Jasmin & Bergamote on the other hand, is so well blended with its surrounding elements, that I feel it is closer to the jasmine in L’Occitane’s The Vert with Jasmine, than their Jasmine soliflore. Just substitute the green tea note with green citrus, and woods.

mermanPerfect for anyone who wants a sturdy green floral without complete citrus overload. It invokes a thorough yet  non-specific feeling of serenity and when gifting it to someone, I think it would be a very safe choice. Just wearing it today I have received a bunch of compliments, from my mother as well as from strangers.

Another solid refreshing composition from L’Occitane.

L`Occitane en Provence The Vert (Green Tea)

21 Feb

The lemon and orange starts the Vert rolling and the jasmine keeps it from veering off into the gutter, but it still manages to wobble during it’s trajectory and I am never sure whether it will end up being what I want or not. This happens EVERY time I use it.


I also tried The Vert with Jasmine from the same line, which smelled truly magical on my friend, but when I tried it on my own skin, it just didn’t sit right. It’s a fresh green tea, but I wish it would keep the jasmine, eliminate the citrus,and add something to compromise the acidity like a honeyed hay note or maybe even a trace of patchouli or vetiver.

Part of the beauty of green tea itself, is its earthy, and naturally verdant quality, which is at once smooth, matte, and refreshing (think matcha), but the presence of the lemon in L’Occitane’s The Vert hinders that natural pleasant quality instead of accentuating it. It’s almost as if they couldn’t figure this one out, and said, “When in doubt, add more citrus!”

That said, I continue to revisit this one occasionally to see if maybe just this once, it will become what I want it to be.

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