Tag Archives: guaiac wood

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

14 Apr

Musc Ravageur is an entire family of wild raccoons that have found their way into the vanilla pudding cups in my pantry. Yes, this has actually happened to me, so I know what it smells like.

Musc Ravageur lasts 12+ hours on my skin with just two sprays in cool weather, and the raccoon/pudding phase lasts for at least the first six, with 1 parts raccoon and two parts pudding.

At around the six hour-mark, the vanilla pudding cups (the kind that don’t require refrigeration)are replaced by amber so that the musk is now pairing with an element which amounts to something much more agreeable to my stomach than a sweet milk note.

I sighed with relief when the amber emerged in the second half of this long and arduous journey. At no point did I find it sexy, sensual, or empowering.

I did find it naughty, but in the furry-tailed, beady-eyed, turning my pantry into a gigantic sticky mess kind of naughty. Not the lacy thong in tangled sheets kind of naughty.

Fragrances can create that impression for me, but NOT Musc Ravageur. I kept telling myself that it wasn’t that bad, and that it would be over soon; not exactly my preferred mantra when trying out a new fragrance.

I think this would be great for any occasion where you are wanting desperately to smell from vanilla or something rich and sweet, but can NOT allow yourself to smell like straight vanilla because it is too “blah” or “girly” for you. Slap a wild animal right on top of that vanilla with MR and you are so good to go.

window painting

A Perfect Vanilla? Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille (Revisited): An Updated Review

29 Mar

I have come around to this fragrance. After sniffing my way through quite a few vanillas, including niche, designer, and drugstore (as well as a bunch of organic vanilla essential oils),

I have come back around to this one.

Here’s why: Un Bois vanilla is layered and complex, the vanilla is  unquestionably the focus, and yet it has the most beautiful, natural,  cool translucency and airiness that I have ever experienced in a vanilla. It isn’t weak, it is just so artfully constructed that it never evolves into all of the things which are so easy to dislike (or like?) about a vanilla.

BV is very well blended but has great note separation, and is paired with such high quality, complimentary notes of beeswax and various woods, it really is quite memorable, and is not a projection monster (thank God) but instead settles into a beautiful very natural woody sweetness that stays with me quite a while.

Un Bois Vanilla is much more complimentary to one’s own skin than those vanillas which are opaque, excessively rich, and viscous-smelling.

Also, it doesn’t break down into a musk, which is frequently an easy cop-out for  fragrances that otherwise have merit until their unfortunate final stage of development. So far this is my favorite vanilla on the market, and if I had the money I would definitely own a FB, despite the fact that I am not usually attracted to gourmands.

After revisiting Un Bois Vanille, I tracked down a more technical and beautifully written review on Fragrantica by commenter jtd (author of ScentHurdle.com), which reinforces my new found observations. Here are his conclusions about Un Bois Vanille. I could not have said it better, so I am including his review in its entirety. Enjoy!

“Vanilla is a key component to both the contemporary dessert/gourmand and the classic amber oriental. Vanilla is almost inescapable in perfumery, but it’s usually found in the familiar company of labdanum, balsams, resins, spices or ethylmaltol in the above genres. It takes effort to dissociate it from the foody, cuddly feel. Despite its brief plastic/cotton-candy camouflage topnote (wonderful!), un Bois Vanille does just this. After the foody misdirection, BV avoids the expected. The tease of edibility shows itself as a licorice note, not cotton candy. The licorice also keeps BV from going the amber/oriental route since the genre is almost by definition warm, round, thick. Licorice here comes off as anise-like not candy-like. It’s cool and focused and it brings out vanilla’s sharp, bitter side, making it more potent than plush.After the expansive opening the heartnotes are fairly quiet, with a dry, airy feel that I would think to associate with frankincense, not vanilla. By drydown BV is dusty but still taut, reinforcing the point that vanilla can be strong and direct without being lush. BV stays cool as it winds down and resists becoming a skin-scent, further bucking a vanilla stereotype.BV solves a problem for me. One of very few in perfume fan-dom, I don’t like Caron’s Pour un Homme. The lavender/vanilla combo has no synergy and reminds me of the feel of a stuffy head. In BV, the cool side of the licorice fuses with the vanilla in a way that I imagine Pour un Homme’s minty lavender and vanilla combo works for the rest of the world.”

*  *  *

Un Bois Vanille also solves a problem for me. I have been on a search for a wearable, vanilla-dominant fragrance, and it wasn’t until I became better acquainted with the spectrum of vanilla offerings out there (I realized there is much work to be done still) and came back around to this one, that I was finally able to see it for everything it contained, (or didn’t contain) in order to make it so welcoming and unique.

At last, I can finally rest with this one for a while before moving forward in the never ending quest for a transcendent, exceptionally well constructed vanilla fragrance. Much thanks to jtd, Fragrantica, and of course, to Serge Lutens.

Here is my original review of Un Bois Vanille, if you want to see an example of how much perception can change as our experiences continue to inform us.

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline

15 Mar

Omnia Crystalline smells like an anime princess.

She has soft green eyes containing a sense of tranquility, and translucent sparkly hair which flows down to her knees. Her dress matches her eyes and hair. she has a crystal in the center of her forehead for some reason, as does her horse,(her best friend and confidant).

She is delicate and ethereal. Her proportions are impossible, and she shimmers like an optical illusion; she’s definitely not of this world.

Omnia Crystalline smells like sweet synthetic pear with a very light fruity musk, some powdery notes, and translucent CGI florals. There is a discernable aquatic note as it develops on my skin, which compliments the sweetness of the pear.

Crystalline wears close to the skin, and lasts all day, however daintily. Great for casual wear, and also special moments like mother-daughter bonding, mental health days off from work, etc.

There isn’t much going on here, but for that reason, this fragrance is almost impossible to have strong negative feelings about, since it’s only an anime princess.

How could anyone hate an anime princess?

Ineke Hothouse Flower

3 Mar

In honor of the arrival of Spring, my boyfriend folded up a bright pink origami paper flower for me, and I sprayed it with my beautiful sample of Hothouse Flower from Ineke. I also applied some to my wrists.

This Gardenia is sparkly, green and creamy. The fig gives it a fruity, earthy bitter-sweetness. The gardenia is done very well. It is warm and sweet, but the bright green leaves and earthiness keep it from becoming too heavy or cloying.

As it develops on my skin, the green notes lose their sharpness but retain their freshness, the fig gives faint hints of raw earth with sweet creamy coconut, and the notes meld together with my body heat to produce a truly alluring, nectar -like aroma. I am looking around to make sure I am not about to be attacked by humming birds. Projection is moderate, and longevity is good.

Hothouse Flower smells like Spring erupting on all sides. It’s Spring on steroids. It is extremely uplifting and soothing. I could see this being very complimentary to the aroma of a morning cup of coffee. It’s like natural anti-depressants. If you like gardenia, but dislike those heavy, sneeze-inducing, overpowering florals, this variation on a true to life green gardenia should help you begin your day on the right foot.

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