Tag Archives: sandalwood

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.

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

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

Parfum d`Empire Wazamba

12 Apr

If you desperately miss the forest, Wazamba is the perfect fragrance for you.

Wazamba opens with warm resinous dark green pine needles. I can see where the sap has hardened and turned opaque on the bark of the trunk, and where it still drips, fresh and potent.

As it warms up, the warm, dry and smoky authentic church incense and hints of fresh apple emerge to join along with the pine forming an absolutely gorgeous synergy. As it dries down, the almost peppery, woody incense takes the stage in all of its smoky sacred glory, along with occasional appearances of cypress. The final notes on me are a mild fruitiness and labdanum with the last traces of smoke..

Wazamba is welcoming, simmering and wearable. It projects decently but definitely is not a sillage monster. Will have to try again in summer.
I wouldn’t hesitate to wear Wazamba year round as it contains many of my favorite notes and is not too heavy. It has great longevity.

If you are the least bit reluctant to smell like a coniferous forest, you might consider this as an alternative means of scenting your home (as other reviewers have suggested), because it is so warm, natural, and inviting-smelling.

It’s also much less messy than moving all of your furniture into a cathedral and then covering the floor with pine needles.

airplanes

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy

12 Apr

Have you every seen someone on the street who looked nothing like you and found yourself facing the overwhelming desire to follow them home to see what their bedroom looked like? Okay, perhaps that comes off as a little voyeuristic or perverse, but it’s nothing more than human curiosity! This is the sensation delivered by Viva la Juicy.

 

The first time I encountered Viva la Juicy, I did not actually get to smell it. It was in fact, on the bedroom dresser of a complete stranger.

NO, I did not follow a stranger home and then sneak into her bedroom. My boyfriend and I were visiting his sister, and she let us stay in her roommate’s bedroom while she was away. I had never met the girl before, but I was taken aback by the unabashedly normal-girly character of my surroundings as I tried my best to “make myself at home.”

There were Hello Kitty decals all over her walls, pink curtains, pink cheetah print bedspread, an enormous fluffy white elongated teddy bear in place of a pillow, and on the dresser in front of the mirror, was Viva la Juicy. For some reason, I could not muster up the courage to ask my boyfriend’s sister if I could sample her roommate’s perfume. Every time I tried to ask, my tongue was tied. It was like being in a museum display dedicated to the contemporary, all-American twenty-something. It was right in front of me and yet I couldn’t interact with it.

When I returned home and bought a mini of Viva la Juicy at the pharmacy, I tried it out and it totally met my expectations. It was just like being back in our host’s roommate’s bedroom. Sweet, fruity in a pineapple body mist kind of way, thoroughly synthetic, generic, vanillic, CGI florals throughout, and in it’s own way, pure.

Viva la Juicy is the smell of the idea of present day America. It’s like an olfatory “melting pot”. Sure, everyone’s idea of America is different, but there is something so profoundly vacuous and romantically generic about Viva la Juicy, I have to admit it’s extremely compelling. It doesn’t smell specifically like caramel or fruit or flowers. It smells like a young girl with blonde highlights and Ugg boots over light grey leggings, who is concerned with the present, the evening to follow, her birthday, and not much else.

meimei painting

It’s like the adolescence… hell, like the LIFE I could never have (and don’t actually want to have) in my country. I refer to it as “The Jesus Camp Fragrance” when talking about it with my boyfriend. I call it that because it is an intense youthful expression of an ideal that I could never come within miles of attaining. It’s a lobotomy in a bottle. Who doesn’t occasionally wish for the relief of a temporary zombification? Is that not the present-day American way? I can dig it (if only in the form of a fragrance).

Like America itself, Viva la Juicy knows no season, nor occasion. It’s suitable to wear while doing anything your heart desires. I’m just happy that at last I finally get to follow the stranger..
home.

Tauer Perfumes Pentachord: Auburn

4 Apr

If this fragrance had only been named, Fruit-Scented Erasers, Christopher Brosius would have nothing on Andy Tauer.

When I was a kid, I had a collection of erasers that were colored and shaped like little fruits, and were supposed to smell like fruit, but they just smelled artificially sweet, and mildly bitter in an off sort of way, and still very much like normal erasers. This is the essence of Pentachord: Auburn.

Pentachord Auburn is cinnamon/tobacco/plastic chewing gum. It smells like the glow of a back-lit, matte-orange hue. It’s like being inside of the orange tunnel on the playground, re-appropriated from raw manufacturing materials, or climbing the wrong direction up the spiraling orange plastic slide at the end of the monkey bars.

It’s a combination of notes from childhood, combined to smell like something very grown up, if not altogether industrial. Cinnamon (sweeter than spicy),  loud synthetic-smelling amber, and very sweet tobacco with orange flower water and rubber. It projects moderately and has fantastic longevity, remaining pretty linear after the opening calms down.

There is nothing “natural” smelling about Auburn, though I don’t dislike this about it. I feel quite comfortable breathing it into my lungs, but only because it is being presented to me as a fragrance. If I were to encounter this scent in an industrial setting or permeating the air in a warehouse or storage facility, I’m pretty sure I’d be terrified.

I first tested this while exploring a glass blowing facility, and am basing this review on my second wearing, not that first one. However, the smokiness in the air of the glass studio combined amazingly with Auburn, making me think it might layer beautifully with a dry, smoky wood-centered fragrance.

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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