Tag Archives: musk

Cedre Parfums 06130

22 May

Cedre is a wood and flower ghost fragrance.  It reminds me of a Shirley Jackson novel. It is amazing to me how many forms a Cedre fragrance can have. This one surprised me with its ethereal character.

A very light, pretty, powdery cedar with a faint barbershop quality from the violet. Despite its barbershop leanings, Cedre could be worn with ease by a man or a woman, because it is soft and slightly sweet.

It is very light, and well-blended so that the voilet, musk and cedar all weigh in about equally. Its projection is low and it does not last very long, but it would be appropriate for any occasion as a result. Maybe not for a loud party. Then again, who knows?

Cedre is the whispering voice of a beautiful female ghost who wanders the halls of an old bed & breakfast outside of town. She retreats to the lace of the curtains on the windows, but comes out to breathe her delicate sweet perfume right before you round the corner to discover no one is there.

Dolce & Gabbana D&G Anthology: L’Imperatrice 3

22 May

This fragrance smells like a cross between a Strawberry Kiwi Snapple beverage, and a watermelon Jolly Rancher hard candy. However, it does not possess the kind of sweetness that makes me want to drink it instead of wear it. I also find it to be less cloying than some of the summer Escada scents, so for anyone who enjoys those but feels they are a little “much”, this has a similar tropical fruit candy feel and is a great alternative. It also reminds me of a better executed of the new Ana Sui collection. You know, that one with the peacock cap, etc.

#3 has an ample dose of ozonic “freshness” and though the dry down is less than perfect on my clothes especially with a very slight bitterness, I do find it to be a very uplifting scent overall. It’s like an ideal summery body spray disguised by a classy, heavy glass bottle.

My boyfriend said I smelled great when I doused myself with this, (and you really can, because the longevity is only body spray length, though the sillage is considerable). If you have body spray you already love (I don’t), then this may be a waste of your time. Otherwise, a light, juicy candy scent for smelling shampoo girly-clean. MMMhmm.

Update:
The dry down smells like someone spilled a strawberry kiwi wine cooler all over my clothes. It is not attractive and it lingers for more than a day. I had to return my bottle. This calls to mind the wise words of natural perfumer and founder of Providence Perfume Co., Charna Ethier who strongly believes in building perfumes “from the base, up.”

Without a quality foundation, even light fragrances with alluring top notes can morph into an unsavory synthetic mess.

Sorry, L’Imperatrice 3.  So close, yet so far.

M. Micallef Royal Vintage

13 May

When testing fragrances with my boyfriend I often refer to them as things that help me contextualize them for both of us, and when I tested M. Micallef’s Royal Vintage, I kept referring to it as, that Aventus one. They are definitely not the same scent, but similar enough that my familiarity with Aventus makes me automatically associate the two fragrances.

For those who are not familiar with either, they are both warm, spicy, woody fragrances rounded out by some acidic fruits with a kind of smoky pineapple quality. However, They are not so similar that one can replace the other, and I feel that each is deserving of individual consideration, even if they are close cousins. To make a designer/female analogy, if that would be helpful to anyone, they are about as similar as Kenzo Amour and Dior Hypnotic Poison are to one another.

If ever leather could be refreshing, this fragrance is a perfect example. Bergamot peel, spicy woodsy notes and smoky sweet fruitiness all revolve around a clean light leather.

This would be a great summer evening vacation scent. It is soothing and romantic, with a very casual facet.

This fragrance is incredibly well rounded and balanced. It smells tropical, masculine, and expensive. Projection and longevity are excellent so apply carefully. It actually has the lasting power of indelible ink, on me it stayed THROUGH a shower, so make sure you’re definitely in the mood to wear it! If you enjoy spicy, warm, complex masculine citrus frags and aren’t adverse to a nicely blended leather, give this one a shot.

If I woke up next to a man who smelled from Royal Vintage, I would be like, “AAAAAA!! WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY BOYFRIEND!?”
But then I would take a deep breath of his Aventus, er, I mean Royal Vintage, sigh, and think to myself,

“Mhm. Everything’s gonna be alright.”

the fur coat

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

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

Tuberose Challenge: Bond No 9’s I Love New York Earth Day vs. Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower

11 Apr

I did a side by side comparison of I Love New York Earth Day and Carnal Flower, since both are powerful green tuberose fragrances. I Love New York Earth Day is more homogeneous, exceedingly smooth, and the green aspect here is sweeter and translucent, though the fragrance overall is declarative and a great projector.

Pronounced as it is, Earth day has zero sharp edges and rough spots. It’s not even grounded next to Carnal Flower. It’s more like a luminous tuberose liquid, or something that hovers in the air.I find it to be an extremely wearable floral with great longevity, but after a time, something subtly generic/synthetic-smelling emerges in the base, which makes me lean in favor of Carnal Flower’s superior ingredients and crisp, articulated profile. Synthetic hues have no place in this particular green soliflore. Over time, the smooth elixir quality of Earth Day continues to sublimate into an ephemeral and relatively unremarkable state, while Carnal Flower retains its dimension and unwavering decisiveness.

Carnal flower is standing firmly planted on the ground: High heels, ballgown, and hand held way out in front of her to “yield”. Carnal Flower is majestic as #&%@! She’s compositionally layered and dynamic, multi-faceted, sweet, green, vibrant, sparkling, rich, and you can not sneak past her. She’s right in the middle of the cross-walk, with textural green elements containing an almost mentholated tinge. She warns you that you better wear her before she wears you; a challenge you gladly accept. She is daring you to dodge her, to get around her, but you know you’ll never succeed. Better just to surrender. Alright, Carnal Flower. Game over.. you win.

 

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.

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