Tag Archives: tuberose

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.

 

Kilian In the Garden of Good and Evil: Good Girl Gone Bad

22 Mar

Good Girl Gone Bad is like a slightly sweet, clean, opalescent powder.

The wonderful Kilian reps at Saks were so generous to give me some samples, one of which was Good Girl Gone Bad.

It is soft and gentle, but as the light hits it and it warms up, different subtle colors can be detected: pinks, greens, yellows, and blues, all pastel in nature like a real white opal. It projects about as much as an opal colored powder would, so it’s pretty much a skin scent for the duration of its moderate lifespan.

There is a vaguely fruity element to these ambiguous florals, which start off rose, and then transform into “floral blend”. Also, right from the opening are gentle woody and warm amber elements. The powdery soft peachiness of this fragrance makes me immediately think “Kilian”, though this is not my favorite from In The Garden Of Good And Evil collection, nor from his other recent offerings in the fruity floral genre.

As it dries down, the powdery soapy aspect increases until it literally feels like I have baby powder in my nose when I hold it up to my skin and breathe. The final notes contain tiny gold flecks of amber against a very faint blue glimmer of aquatic musk.

Good Girl Gone Bad is very well blended and the composition is good, but it is not memorable. It’s like a very beautiful and expensive opal ring that you go to visit at the store with the intent to buy each time, then talk yourself out of it, so that EVERY TIME you leave the store empty-handed.

You want the ring, because it’s just so pretty, and it fits you, and if you had all the money in the world, you wouldn’t give buying it a second thought.

But all things considered, it’s inexplicably just. not. good. enough. C’mon..you know it.

Fendi Fan di Fendi

18 Mar

My first experience of Fan di Fendi was at the duty free shop at JFK airport.

I was wandering around in a hunger-induced daze, when a friendly SA suggested I try Fan di Fendi and sprayed some on a card for me before I could respond. As she held the bottle up for me to see, she smiled and said, “It’s Italian” as if that should mean something specific to me. Before rolling my eyes, I decided to allow her words to reverberate through me. Something about the way she said them made the floor drop out from under me.

It was almost embarrassing to try Fan di Fendi right there as she looked on because I was so moved. Not by what her words meant to me, but by what I sensed they meant to her. As I held the test strip up to my nose, those moments became frozen in time.

Fan di Fendi smelled powerful, but nondescript. Common, but very well-balanced, as if it contained a little bit of every contemporary high-end designer fragrance on the market, all in one fragrance, in equal complimentary proportions.

I carried the test strip around in my bag the entire time I was in Florida, and by the time I came back, Fan di Fendi was a Sun-faded memory.

About six months later, I tried Fan di Fendi again while at Sephora, and took a small sample home to spend some time with.

On application I got the same green citrus opening followed by non-specific CGI florals plus leather, powder, etc. This time the floor did not drop away as I sniffed, but I still found it quite pleasing.

Recently, I read an article by Serguey Borisov on Fragrantica about the olfactory white phenomenon in fragrance, which supposedly occurs when all scents weigh in against each other simultaneously with equal potency (or something like that) such that it is impossible to detect anything specific in the olfactory digital snow. During the same week, I also happened to read another article  from the Huffington Post about two artists who collaborated on the creation of one fragrance by literally mixing together every fragrance that had been released in the year 2012. Their art experiment also seemed to be a white noise fragrance attempt of sorts.

Smelling Fan di Fendi for the second time reminded me of those white scent articles. Fan di Fendi is all the colors in equal proportions, and they are not pastels.

This fragrance also conjures memories of walking around a city on a very bright Sunny day. It is not tropical destination Sun, so much as stark urban Sun. Bright light beating down onto the expensive leather handbag of a typically sexy woman, as she leans against a Sun-drenched wall outside of her office building to take a smoke break.

The notion of Sunlight makes sense because light from the Sun emits all the colors at once in equal proportions, so to us it appears white, or invisible.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to slap on a label that reads: I Am Urban Chic. On the right person, this could work as an every day fragrance, for a date, for the office, or even for a more formal occasion. It projects, so be careful, and longevity is definitely not an issue.

Because Fan di Fendi is my white noise fragrance of the moment, I find it to be relatively unmemorable and at the same time it has found a special place in my heart. Perhaps under the right conditions, its white light is momentarily refracted to form a rainbow.

Perhaps it’s the way the SA smiled when she said, “It’s Italian.”

LURK AS01

12 Mar

AS01 by LURK is a spicy hot rose fragrance with a dry woody base.


AS 01 starts with a cold green natural smelling rose note, which heats up quickly on my skin with dry/hot spices. The spices are not throat-tingling; they are in excellent proportion to the rose. The tuberose here is barely there, just enough to give the cold rose a tiny bit of rounded sweetness. Light, fresh cedar grounds the composition, and prevents the acidity of the rose from giving me indigestion. Thank you Lurk, for the beautiful sample.

AS 01 is very well balanced with all the notes surrounding the cold rose, to heat it, sweeten it, and plant it on the ground. Projection and longevity are pretty poor as it is an all-natural fragrance, and it does have an essential oil mixture quality.


AS01 is a beautiful middle-aged woman in a bad mood, sitting alone at a cafe. The young waiter approaches her table to refill her water but when she looks up at him, he is so moved by her beauty, that he just stares at her motionless. This amuses her and for the first time that day, her fiery red painted lips form a slight smile.

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.

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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