Tag Archives: orange blossom

Providence Perfume Co. Divine Noir

12 May

Divine Noir is sweet, woody, earthy, balsamic, warm, tangy, and aromatic. It smells like a complex artisan root beer with a spritz of bergamot and a shot of patchouli-infused wheat grass mixed into it. It is such a beautiful offering of naturally sweet and aromatic earthiness, I feel like eating it would make me stronger and more beautiful.

It is spicy, smooth, rich and deep, but its vibrant botanical quality lends the ingredients a translucency, which prevents it from ever becoming too much. In the dead of summer I could see it being a little too heavy, but on the right person, Divine Noir is so balanced and unique that it could easily be dressed up or down. The juice is dark (obviously) so be careful when applying because if you spray directly to a small area, it can temporarily stain skin the color of sunless tanner, until your next shower. Don’t let this deter you. Just spray over a larger area so the color isn’t concentrated like a splotch, and always apply before you dress, and you’ll be fine.

Divine Noir is an invisible door you can open into a private exotic environment. It’s like chocolate and wine-colored velvet curtains draped behind antique paned-glass windows. It’s a fragrance for feeling centered and confident while at the same time welcoming and alluring.  That said, it’s definitely not a perfume  for everyone, and probably not for most, which could be a good or bad thing depending on what you are looking for.

The bergamot and patchouli are prevalent in the opening, as well as the sarsaparilla and well, countless other things! Ahhh! It’s blowing my mind!

It honestly took me a while to find my footing in Divine Noir (as it is VERY strong and bold with good sillage and excellent longevity), but once I did, I could not stop sniffing the part of my arm I had sprayed. The most gorgeous vanilla emerges in the dry down; what a stunning finish to an incredible journey.

the difference

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.


Ineke Field Notes from Paris

7 Mar

Small empty antique bottles line the window sill in a large shower, enclosed by heavy transparent blocks. An impressive interior space in clear and frosted glass.

My sample of Field Notes From Paris from Ineke  opens with a burst of honeyed, un-smoked tobacco, earthy balsamic sweetness, and fizzy sour masculine face tonic. It is powdery, soapy, bittersweet, and very well blended.

Other tiny bottles filled with lotion, earthy warm and astringent colognes and French milled soaps are arranged on a long, clean bathroom counter.

Field Notes from Paris is a behind-the-scenes portrait of a graceful and refined older gentleman, from the perspective of a visitor.

He is out entertaining friends and as his house guest, you find yourself wandering around the intimate, tobacco-laced contours of his apartment. Particularly interesting to you, are his lavish bedroom and bathroom.

From his expensive collection of toiletries, to the colors and contents of his night stand, dresser, and the heavy purple and gold curtains blocking out the light in his bedroom, you see clearly, the side of him that he sees when he is alone.

He trusts you completely in his home, and as you wander around, You feel a little like crying, though you aren’t sure why. Maybe some day looking back it will make sense.

L Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons

27 Feb

La Chasse aux Papillons is a virgin bride in a bottle.

It’s Summer (of course) and I can almost see the yellow pollen floating in the air. Beyond the linden and orange blossoms, there is some other element in this composition that makes the whole thing seem a little faded-out, like one of those small, antique photographs. It’s like a half-imagined memory.

It’s definitely not stale but it’s also not exceptionally fresh in the way Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom is fresh. Maybe it’s too romantic to be fresh? Still not exactly sure what the deal is.

This fragrance is not too light, but it is definitely locket-sized. If something can smell romantic and innocent at the same time, this is definitely it.

The SA at the L’Artisan counter at Henri Bendel told me that La Chasse aux Papillons is a very popular fragrance among brides-to be. I can see why.

It’s a fragrance for real life Disney Princesses, but without all of the marshmallows, spun sugar, and CGI florals that one might normally associate with the word Disney. If you want to convey a celebratory life-loving personality, but still come off as lady-like and without the CGI fireworks overhead, this is your juice.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom

21 Feb

The Platonic form of an Orange Blossom. There is nothing standing in the way of this bright, clean, single flower orange blossom, except for bees and nostalgia. If you avoid those two things, Joe Malone’s Orange Blossom is unique and uncompromising art: a lie in a fragrance which reveals the truth in a flower. Longevity and sillage are both moderate.

The beauty of JM’s Orange Blossom is in its clarity and simplicity. It is extremely easy to wear, like going to a quaint, bright, and lovely Southern restaurant for brunch.

Lancome La Vie Est Belle

21 Feb

Warning: Graphic Review! Please do not read if you are easily grossed out by bodily functions. This is a respectful and sincere review.

I am not fundamentally against sweet, mass-marketed fragrances. I am a huge fan of Sugar Lychee by Fresh, and though I’m not sure I would ever want to wear it, I am delighted by the crimson raspberry Jello scent of Escada’s Cherry In The Air. That said, I still think that if you’re gonna do a synthetic gourmand-floral fragrance, you should be mindful of any bitter chemical “aftertaste” that could send the whole composition down the tubes.

Even though I could smell it from across the room before I opened the bottle, I had high hopes for this one. For clarity’s sake, I do not get sidetracked by bottles or titles when writing fragrance reviews and do my best to concentrate only on the juice itself, but in this instance, the bottle and the name were both begging the question: Is this in fact, what makes life beautiful? If not THE thing, then at least one of the things?

La Vie Est Belle by Lancome has a very sweet, ambiguously fruity and floral composition. The sillage is out of this world, and the longevity is excellent. After application and giving it a few minutes to settle, I sniffed deeply into it, trying to penetrate the layers of fluffy pink sugar sweetness and slightly green, slightly powdery and somewhat medicinal CGI florals.

What I found underneath these fluffy layers was a disturbingly bitter flat-line of chemical aftertaste. It was like an even streak of ugly yellow road paint severing this fragrance right through the center of its fluffy pink heart.
…Then I had to drop a #2.

I had to use the bathroom NOT BECAUSE of the fragrance! It was mere coincidence, and I only even mention it because I feel it is relevant to this review. This blog is about good and bad scents, really, ALL the scents, and my seemingly ill-timed trip to the bathroom turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I was super unhappy about having to scrub my hands with dish detergent after using the bathroom and starting this review over, but while I was sitting there, lamenting this inevitability, La Vie Est Belle still projecting it’s chemical radiance in the direction of my face, something occurred to me.

This fragrance smells nothing at all like life. This is gonna sound ridiculous, but my own refuse smelled “fresh” compared to Lancome’s chemical monstrosity co-mingling in the air. Next to the smell of fresh #2, La Vie Est Belle, is the most inorganic, lifeless, and unpalatable concoction of elements imaginable. Try it and see for yourself.

It’s almost as if it were solely invented by a computer, for computers. It’s as if someone made it with utter lack of regard for our natural chemistry, and instead invented a fragrance for something that didn’t, doesn’t, and never will smell like anything living. While I was sampling, I was actually slightly nervous about my cat getting near it.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not particularly enamored with the smell of poop, but AT LEAST it smells like what it’s supposed to. What began as an inconvenient natural urge ended up serving as a reminder to me that life (and the beauty it’s made of) do not include the realm of La Vie Est Belle. I never would have imagined I would have been forced to make this comparison, but now I am very grateful I did.

Tasha Pilot-Slow

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