Tag Archives: Black Currant

Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto

12 May

Manifesto smells like CGI wood, sweet powder, and tangy dark berries. On the exhale, there is a sweet airy vanilla.

Manifesto is the older, more daring and devilish cousin of Viva la Juicy. It is definitely a contemporary composition. When I first tried it about four months ago, I could not STAND it, but now that I am more familiar with the vast array of generic vanillic offerings that make up this particular fragrance family, I don’t mind it at all. It’s projection and longevity are about average, not unlike Viva la Juicy.

There is a syrupy synthetic DNA code in there that cannot be ignored. However, if you decide to embrace Manifesto for what it is, it can be comforting, reassuring, and ::gulp:: … sexy.


All the pics From the Old Computer 3420

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

Kilian Flower of Immortality

23 Mar

Flower of Immortality opens with sugar-covered yellow & pink Haribo peach gummy candies in a cut crystal dish with zingy black currants and a powdery floral note. Mmhm… not bad at all. Thanks to the awesome Kilian reps at Saks for my sample.

As it develops on my skin, I can now see how it conveys that particularly mild sweet aroma characteristic of white peaches, in contrast to the potently flavorful scent of yellow peaches. The currant and powder go really well with the white peach, but before I know it, Flower of Immortality has reduced to a whisper on my skin.

It’s like the spirit of nectar has in passing, glanced at the top of my hand. Only 15 minutes after application, I am holding my nose to my skin in disbelief. Did I spray perfume here once? I swear it smells like peaches, but it must be my imagination. Or maybe… It was a ghost!!!

Perhaps there is an intentional inverse relationship between the Immortal in the name, and the life-span of this scent? 20 minutes in, I’m smelling basenotes as if the perfume had been applied three days ago and this is all that remains.

I want to put the paddles on this fragrance and shock it back to life. Alas, before I can reach for my cell phone charger, my flame thrower, or my sample vial for a refresher, ANYTHING that might in some way help… Flower of Immortality is already going… going…


Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses

19 Mar

Liaisons Dangereuses is like jumping up and down on the king-sized bed when you’re not supposed to.

It would be perfect for the girl who has everything, because it smells like a symbolic summation of everything she has.

It’s the irresistible beauty of youth, the freedom of wealth, and the gift of originality. The lovely and knowledgeable Kilian reps at Saks were so wonderful to let me try a sample. Thank you so much Kim and Will!

Liaisons Dangereuses opens with freshly sliced peaches, followed by delicate baby powder surrounding the crisp green leaves of one of the most gorgeous roses I have ever smelled in a fragrance! It literally made me see fireworks in my head.

As it warms up on my skin, all of the notes fuse into an intoxicating translucent Summer hue, with the black currants really coming into focus in the dry down.

It smells like the appearance of golden orange orchid petals, or the scented powder my mom gave me before I had ever worn a perfume, making me feel indescribably pretty and sophisticated.

It’s like a young girl proudly tromping and wobbling through the house wearing her older sister’s high heels.

I don’t care what the name is, or how much it costs.. I even forgot what I was supposed to be doing today.

Liaisons Dangereuses takes you firmly yet softly and wipes your slate clean. Just like that.

It doesn’t last very long, but nothing of this caliber ever seems to. Would you even want it to? How would anything ever get done? All I’m really saying is,

WOOOOO!…that’s good stuff.

Fendi Fan di Fendi

18 Mar

My first experience of Fan di Fendi was at the duty free shop at JFK airport.

I was wandering around in a hunger-induced daze, when a friendly SA suggested I try Fan di Fendi and sprayed some on a card for me before I could respond. As she held the bottle up for me to see, she smiled and said, “It’s Italian” as if that should mean something specific to me. Before rolling my eyes, I decided to allow her words to reverberate through me. Something about the way she said them made the floor drop out from under me.

It was almost embarrassing to try Fan di Fendi right there as she looked on because I was so moved. Not by what her words meant to me, but by what I sensed they meant to her. As I held the test strip up to my nose, those moments became frozen in time.

Fan di Fendi smelled powerful, but nondescript. Common, but very well-balanced, as if it contained a little bit of every contemporary high-end designer fragrance on the market, all in one fragrance, in equal complimentary proportions.

I carried the test strip around in my bag the entire time I was in Florida, and by the time I came back, Fan di Fendi was a Sun-faded memory.

About six months later, I tried Fan di Fendi again while at Sephora, and took a small sample home to spend some time with.

On application I got the same green citrus opening followed by non-specific CGI florals plus leather, powder, etc. This time the floor did not drop away as I sniffed, but I still found it quite pleasing.

Recently, I read an article by Serguey Borisov on Fragrantica about the olfactory white phenomenon in fragrance, which supposedly occurs when all scents weigh in against each other simultaneously with equal potency (or something like that) such that it is impossible to detect anything specific in the olfactory digital snow. During the same week, I also happened to read another article  from the Huffington Post about two artists who collaborated on the creation of one fragrance by literally mixing together every fragrance that had been released in the year 2012. Their art experiment also seemed to be a white noise fragrance attempt of sorts.

Smelling Fan di Fendi for the second time reminded me of those white scent articles. Fan di Fendi is all the colors in equal proportions, and they are not pastels.

This fragrance also conjures memories of walking around a city on a very bright Sunny day. It is not tropical destination Sun, so much as stark urban Sun. Bright light beating down onto the expensive leather handbag of a typically sexy woman, as she leans against a Sun-drenched wall outside of her office building to take a smoke break.

The notion of Sunlight makes sense because light from the Sun emits all the colors at once in equal proportions, so to us it appears white, or invisible.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to slap on a label that reads: I Am Urban Chic. On the right person, this could work as an every day fragrance, for a date, for the office, or even for a more formal occasion. It projects, so be careful, and longevity is definitely not an issue.

Because Fan di Fendi is my white noise fragrance of the moment, I find it to be relatively unmemorable and at the same time it has found a special place in my heart. Perhaps under the right conditions, its white light is momentarily refracted to form a rainbow.

Perhaps it’s the way the SA smiled when she said, “It’s Italian.”

Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection: Red Currant & Cream

10 Mar

Red Currant & Cream opens with some sort of juice… Juice… JUICE… RED CURRANT!

Red Currant & Cream is the perfect example of currant in a fragrance. Red or black, it is unmistakably CURRANT. I did not notice the prominence of the currant on paper, or in the store. It was not until I brought Red Currant & Cream home and tried it on, that currant sprang at my face like a pop-up book.

Once it calms down on my skin, I begin to be able to detect elements of the other berry notes, but the bitter, almost boozy red currant continues to make its presence felt, loud and clear.

I used a ton of red and black currants when I worked in a kitchen making frozen sorbet and other desserts. I became acquainted with it as an ingredient then.. However, the first time I recognized currants as a note in perfumery, was when I tried Enchanted Forest by Vagabond Prince, which is an homage to the entire forest but especially to the black currant. As soon as Red Currant & Cream resonated in my mind, I was brought right back not to the kitchen, but to my first experience of Enchanted Forest.

It seems to me that red currant and black currant smell very similar if not identical to one another in perfumery, but VERY DIFFERENT from other berry notes.

Whereas strawberry and raspberry can often be used interchangably (especially because they are so often synthetic-smelling in fragrance), a very bold currant note could not be substituted for anything else. There is an outstanding bitterness along with the sweetness. I would describe most berries as sweet and sour, compared to the currant, which is sweet and BITTER, sometimes so much so that it goes the direction of woody/ fermented and starts to turn into berry wine.

Don’t let that discourage you from trying Red Currant & Cream. If you aren’t sure if you know what the Red Currant note is, Jo Malone provides you with the perfect example of an almost isolated currant in this fragrance.

The other berries fall to the way-side here, and the musk in the dry down develops a nice cushion for the currant to float on until it dissipates, but is nowhere near CREAM to me. I don’t really mind that though. The projection is good and a little goes a long way, so I am careful not to over-spray with this one. I would not want to be announcing, CURRANTS! GET YOUR CURRANTS HERE! to an entire movie theater. Longevity is average for JM, meaning unless you douse yourself or spray your clothing, it won’t stick around all day.

Another successfully simple and articulate scent from Jo Malone. I imagine this layering very well with something more rich, creamy and gourmand.

Anna Sui Forbidden Affair

9 Mar

When I was a little kid, I would take a roll of LifeSavers hard candies, and put one of each flavor into my mouth all at once (or as many as I could fit).

One of my favorite types of LifeSavers was the Wild Berries version, which included: blackberry, black raspberry, wild cherry, red raspberry, and strawberry flavors in each roll.

When I smelled Forbidden Affair by Anna Sui, immediately I was putting all the berry flavors into my mouth at once again! It was the exact same combination of translucent purples, sweet, sour, candy, and berry. Really quite wonderful in a carefree, whimsical way.

I suppose that type of behavior would be a Forbidden Affair of sorts… with candy.

Tasha Pilot-Slow

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