Tag Archives: gourmand

Aquolina Pink Sugar

2 Apr

Here’s the progression of Pink Sugar on my skin:
black licorice—->pink spun sugar—->vanilla caramel

Pink Sugar opens with the strong sweet scent of chewy black licorice candy and little else. After about 20 minutes, the black licorice diminishes significantly and is replaced by fluffy vanilla spun sugar and a sweet milk note, which by a long shot- could translate to pralines, creme brulee or caramel and nougat. Take your pick.

Pink sugar is a unique gourmand because of the heavy and prominent licorice top notes, and even if you aren’t a huge licorice fan, just wait patiently until the top notes have dissipated. The dry down is softer and milkier, without ever becoming obnoxious or cloying. Apply responsibly!

If applied with discrimination (one spray), it does not project a lot, so it’s appropriate for any situation where you’d want to smell like a candy ball. It’s longevity is considerable. I like it because it ends in sweet milk, as opposed to the dusty shapeless musk so common in contemporary gourmand scents. Absolutely worth experiencing…
for the experience.

Update:
This lasts close to forever on skin. It’s like an olfactory temporary tattoo. Be ready for the commitment.

Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection: Bitter Orange & Chocolate

17 Mar

Bitter Orange & Chocolate is BEYOND GOURMAND.

It opens with amazingly true to life candied orange peels dipped in rich dark chocolate. I can almost see and taste them.

Out of all the offerings from Jo Malone’s Sugar & Spice collection, Bitter Orange & Chocolate is BY FAR the most true to its name, and the most original. I say it is beyond gourmand, not because it is ridiculously sweet (it’s not), but because it is more like an olfactory mirage than a fragrance.

It doesn’t project very far, but that’s fine since I don’t want to share this coveted chocolate with the entire room. They can get their own! BO&C lasts a long time for a JM, with a sweet milk note emerging in the dry down.

It is really difficult to do an authentic chocolate and candied orange peel scent in perfumery, but JM succeeds. This is one of a kind.

It is such a succinct and literal interpretation of candied orange and dark chocolate, I am not even sure when I would wear this. Probably whenever I felt like it. 10/10.

Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection: Ginger Biscuit

17 Mar

Discount Snickerdoodles and Vanilla-Spice tea…

Ginger Biscuit opens with a distinct sweet milk note, like the milk remaining in the bowl after the sugar-coated cereal is gone.

There’s a dusting of spices through its development: cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, but it really is just a light dusting. A vanilla snickerdoodle cookie brimming with artificial ingredients and a visible sprinkling of spices on top. I am also reminded of artificial vanilla-spice tea bags, though there’s no actual black tea note here.

Ginger Biscuit does not smell like true to life cookies, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, like a few other of Jo Malone’s weaker offerings, e.g. French Lime Blossom, Vintage Gardenia, and the rest of the Sugar & Spice collection (with the exception of Bitter Orange & Chocolate), Ginger Biscuit suffers from a surreal transparency – the overall composition just seems to miss the mark.

GB projects pretty poorly so you can wear it wherever, whenever. I can’t imagine it offending anyone. It reminds me of Bond No 9′ I Love New York For All, sans the black pepper, leather, and monster projection.

Ginger Biscuit lasts a good long while, and if you dig artificially flavored mildly spiced cookies, this could be your (go-to fragrance for a) cup of tea.

Personally, I would go for JM’s Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, or L’Occitane’s Eau des Baux if I were in the mood for a soothing spiced vanilla.

On the other hand, I could see Ginger Biscuit layering beautifully with the majority of the fruit-centered JM offerings, (I’ll bet the English Pear and Freesia layers with this amazingly) so if you love all things JM, this one is worth a sniff.

Bond No 9 I Love New York for All

10 Mar

I ❤ New York for All by Bond No 9 is smooth black leather gloves, cupping a generous handful of artificially flavored cocoa cereal with a dusting of instant coffee powder and black pepper. I wonder what the corn syrup content of this stuff is… or maybe they use Stevia.

There are slightly flowery and milky elements as well in the opening, though the above description pretty much sums it up for me.

When I smelled it on a test strip, my first thought was, “cinnamon toast!” because of the peppery aspect of the cocoa/coffee note, and the butteryness of the entire composition.

Now that I am experiencing its development on my skin, I can see that it is just as much a vanilla oriental as it is a gourmand. I do not want to eat this leather-gloved hand overflowing with unconventionally dressed chocolate cereal. I don’t entirely mind it either. It is very well blended but retains good note separation, and the vanilla/coffee milk becomes more prominent as it dries down.

The subtle floral in it keeps it fresh, and the milkiness keeps it from being too loud. The projection and longevity are very good. This would probably cling to clothing forever if applied directly to it.

I still feel like there is some cinnamon in there…

I’ll get over it.

Serge Lutens Cedre

23 Feb

An artisan crafted birch beer, a bake shop, and beams of Sunlight penetrating a dark forest.

Cedre is a rich amber fragrance opening with cinnamon and labdanum. It contains that signature Lutens rich amber “hum”, though the intensely resinous cedar ( like the entire living tree, or  a stack of freshly chopped firewood) in the composition gives it clarity, preventing it from turning into a syrupy mess. It’s more like a wood-burning stove baking up fresh cinnamon buns.

Cedre has an effervescent quality like an artisan-crafted all-natural birch beer, and the labdanum makes the sweetness smooth, warm, and wearable. It is a basket of sweet and spicy offerings from the forest floor to the canopy. It is the sweetness found naturally in forest air, distilled.

The longer I wear it, the more I notice new and beautiful details. The tuberose is more of a stage hand than a lead role, virtually invisible, just there to keep everything together and running smoothly.

Cedre projects moderately, and its longevity is average. This fragrance takes some time to warm up to, but it sparkles on the skin. This may be my favorite gourmand to date.


This is an interesting alternative to the greener, less sweet and resinous cedars, which reside on the drier woody side of the material. Serge Lutens Cedre is cedar that has been warmed and honeyed by the Summer Sun soaking into it all day, with a bee hive suspended from its branches, and the aroma of other spicy plants and earthy elements floating in the forest air.

It is nature magically transformed into an all-natural confection, sweet and spicy as candy, but without a trace of kawaii.

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