This is one of those fragrances I can't believe I've never reviewed. It's a staple around our house, but more as a pick-me-up refresher than as a fragrance choice. Notes include: hesperides, orange blossom, bergamot, neroli, lemon, lavender, rosemary, tonka bean, and cedarwood. Don't let the flowers fool you---it's all citrus and herbs, and very much a cologne splash---it tends to vanish very quickly. That said...it's hard to feel down or tired if you put some on, and we have a cheaply-purchased bottle that we keep in the fridge in summer---it's a great way to feel cool and fresh. (I know you shouldn't keep your perfume in the fridge, but it's cheap, replaceable, and hasn't gone bad yet!) Great for men, but nice on women, too.
Fragrances -I Profumi di Firenze - Vaniglia del Madagascar
kate8 9/9/2004 10:55:00 AM
I'll join tressab in the "wet blanket" club on this one. (I think this is my third "party-pooper" review in five days!) I am *not* a vanilla fan, so my reaction doesn't surprise me much, but I keep hoping I'll fall for a vanilla, and I thought Vaniglia del Madagascar might be the one. It seemed a little ordinary to me, with elements of fruity liquor hiding behind it. A few hours into my trial, I was getting play-doh. Mr. kate8 liked it much more, and would probably give it a 4 or 5. Lasting power was pretty normal on me---about 6-7 hours.
I've strayed from the major tuberose passion I had in my mid-20s, but Tuberose Indiana is a delight. Tuberose is a hard scent to have as an "everyday" fragrance, at least in my situation, but this one is one of the only ones that could qualify for the job. It's not too heady, strong, or in-your-face---it's honeysuckle-ish at points, in a nice way. There's even a tiny little "pollen" element to it, which is kind of cute (but not allergy-inducing---I'm very allergic to pollen). The drydown's sweet and pretty. This is the only Creed I've liked to date. (I still have hope for a couple of others!) If I were still a tuberose zealot, and I had more opportunities to wear "serious" florals, I'd probably think about pursuing a bottle, or at least a good-sized decant. At any rate, I can definitely understand why this tuberose would have some serious fans. Worth investigation, particularly if your only complaint with tuberose is that it is often too strong.
I'm on the fence with this one, only because it's a little far from my usual thing, but I suspect it could find some real fans here. I think it's been discontinued in the U.S., so it may not be so easy to sample, but it really was gorgeous for its type. Notes (taken from Rabanne's website) are: Head: bergamot and galbanum; Heart: ylang-ylang and peach; Base: White iris, rosewood. Lush, somewhat sweet (in a nice way), and fairly strong, but still fresh. Not to be confused with Ultraviolet Metal or any of those others... http://www.pacorabanne.com/anglais/acc-parfum.htm
Candles -Unlisted Brand - Red Flower - Italian Blood Orange
kate8 9/7/2004 8:57:00 PM
I've owned many Red Flower candles, and I've gotten to the point that if I find a deal on one, I buy any scent that's offered, even if I've never smelled it or wouldn't usually buy any candle in that scent. Fragrances I normally don't care for, like jasmine or lily, are divine and true and gorgeous as Red Flower candles. They burn cleanly, so long as you trim the wick regularly, their smell is incredibly true (my husband's obsessed with lilacs, ever since we had a bush outside our old apartment, and their North American Lilac is the closest thing we've ever found to the real thing), they throw widely, and they always seem to last forever. Italian Blood Orange and Himalayan Larch are the only two scents (as of this writing) that are not florals, and both are winners. The Blood Orange is a very tart-sweet, zingy citrus, and scented our whole (large) bedroom very well in our previous apartment.
Candles -Unlisted Brand - Red Flower - Himalayan Larch
kate8 9/7/2004 8:44:00 PM
It's been several months since I had this particular Red Flower candle, but it was wonderful. *All* that I've tried are wonderful, even scents like jasmine, which I normally don't like. It's gotten to the point where if I see a deal on these candles, I buy them, regardless of which scent they are, because I have yet to be let down. The Himalayan Larch stands out because it's practically the only fragrance except Italian Blood Orange that's not strictly a floral. It's fresh, clean and aromatic, a bit like a small, sweet forest has come into your room.
I was so excited about this fragrance, not only because I love Monyette, but because I *love* pear notes in fragrances. Unfortunately, the pears in Coquette are canned pears, and you can *smell* the metal. The gardenia is a harsh juxtaposition to the pear and other elements, not a complement. Very glad I tested before buying---I'll stick with Monyette, and hold my breath for another, better pear scent to make a debut.
Scene: The kate8 household. [kate8 lolls on the sofa, idly sniffing the hand where she has applied N'Aimez Que Moi. She has enjoyed the powdery rose, violet, and lilac in its first moments, and luxuriates in the lovely floral aroma, transported to a bygone era. A woody, grassy note (perhaps the furniture polish mentioned by at least two previous reviewers?) arises momentarily, but vanishes---that part always lasted longer on a strip than it has on her skin. Back to something lovely...and...strange...a pleased but puzzled looks crosses her face.] Enter Mr. kate8. He struts, flaunting the newly-spritzed Baïmé on his neck, and flops onto the sofa. He prepares to play a video game. kate8: Here, smell this. [He sniffs her extended hand, starts to lean back, but returns to sniff again, frowning.] kate8 [smiling]: Isn't that great? What is that? [Mr. kate8 ponders a moment, then arrives at an answer.] Mr. kate8: Chocolate scratch 'n' sniff stickers---you know, the chocolate scent for scratch 'n' sniff stickers in the early '80s. [Her jaw drops in disgust and amusement as her hand swiftly retracts.] Mr. kate8: Well, it does! [Her stare is a mixture of pity, laughter, and disdain. He grins as he rolls his eyes and shrugs, picking up the game controller. She nurses her hand like a wounded kitten as she lifts it to her nose for a comforting sniff...and freezes. Her eyes widen in horror as she realizes...he nailed it. From now on, she will never be able to smell this classic Caron fragrance without thinking of...!!!] kate8: You---you---... [We regret to state that the remainder of this scene is unsuited to polite readership.]
I like debra_b's concept of dried figs soaked in Eau d'Hadrien and Cool Water---that's a very good description for my experience with Un Jardin en Méditerranée. This may sound weird, but when I first smelled it, I was very surprised, because it didn't smell like an Hermès fragrance. I'm not sure I can explain that statement clearly, and I mean it in a neutral way (I don't get along with all Hermès fragrances, but there are a couple that I adore)...but there's an element to Calèche, Rouge, Hiris, Eau des Merveilles, 24 Faubourg, the Délicate versions, and all of the men's scents I've tried that...well, all of those scents are certainly different from one another, but they still have an underlying unity that makes me think of them as "Hermès scents," and UJeM breaks that unity! UJeM is much sprightlier and zingier (to use the technical terms!). The citrus is in the background for me, as well---it's fresh cedar and sweet fig, and cooling. It seemed to vanish in about five hours, but I've only used very tiny amounts so far---it may prove bottle-worthy, after a few more attempts.
Fragrances -Les Parfums de Rosine - Rose de Rosine
kate8 9/4/2004 7:36:00 PM
All of the Rosines are wonderful fragrances, and La Rose is no exception. I am a rose fanatic, but I have an extremely uneasy relationship with iris, violets, and jasmine, and I openly dislike marigold, so La Rose has had to surmount some strong fragrance prejudices to merit a "4" from me---it should not have to work so hard to impress a rose lover who usually enjoys these other flowers. It's lovely, it lasts at least eight hours, and the drydown is gorgeous. It will probably never crack the top two spots on my "favorite Rosnes" list (Un Zest and Ecume hold those positions), but I could tie it with Rosa Flamenca for spot #3---it's that good, violets, jasmine, and all.
Scrubs -Sephora - indulgences - coffee and cream morning body scrub
kate8 9/1/2004 4:45:00 PM
This scrub is nice, but overpriced, and not the best scrub I've ever tried. I like the coffee scent---Mr. kate8 doesn't think it's close enough to the real thing. We both like the scrubby coffee bean particles; they're gritty enough to exfoliate, but not sharp or irritating. The grainy particles are suspended in a viscous, almost gel-like cleanser; I like how it cushions the particles against my skin, and seems to clean without drying me out, but Mr. kate8 was, again, less receptive to it---I think he prefers a soapier-type of suspension, like philosophy's Heaven on Earth (one of my favorite scrub products). It's not a bad product, but at $18, I'm not convinced that it's better than several cheaper scrubs, or as good as a few that are comparably- or higher-priced. We wouldn't be sad if we got it as a gift, but we'll probably spend our money on other scrubs.
Nice, gentle shampoo with a heavenly coconut scent. I'm surprised at the reviews that say they had a problem with lather, because I was surprised at how *much* lather I got, compared to a lot of the other shampoos I use (Redken, L'Oreal, Neutrogena, Sebastian, and Alterna are common shampoo brands in our household). It cleaned my hair just fine without drying or stripping it.
Fragrances -Les Parfums de Rosine - Poussiere de Rose
kate8 8/30/2004 3:03:00 PM
Mr. kate8 tracks and evaluates beer the way some people pursue fine wine or cigars. (This really is a fragrance review...read on!) I happen to loathe some of his favorite types of beer---barleywines and scottish ales are two great examples. He has me taste every beer that he tries, so over the years, I have grown to distinguish between great and mediocre scottish ales, even if I would never buy any of them, and continue to dislike them as a class. "Loathing" is far too strong a word for how I feel about powdery roses, but in the grand scheme of rosiness, I rarely like them. If you *do* prefer your roses powdery, then you should definitely give Poussière de Rose a try. I love the opening notes---they are sweet, but I find them very fresh and lovely---but after a couple of minutes, it morphs into one of the most powdery roses I've ever smelled. I won't buy a bottle, but it is a very lovely example of a powdery rose fragrance.
I got the "armpit" that plenty of people mention, plus a little rubber, tar, and plain old stinkiness. It lasted quite a while, but it definitely wasn't for me. I gave it to another swapper, as a hard-to-find novelty among more well-intentioned samples (then again, who knows? some people love it!). Not the worst fragrance I've ever smelled, but definitely a yucky one.
Wow. Muguet des Bois is my best fragrance bargain in many months. I have big issues with lily of the valley; unless it's part of a blend (like Muguet de Rosine, for example), LOTV fragrances usually turn metallic and sharp or über-soapy on me within an hour of application. Muguet des Bois has a hint of soap, but it's perfectly-proportioned, and it's the most true, exquisite, lovely LOTV fragrance I could have imagined. It doesn't just start out nicely---it *stays* nice, all the way to its end. The drydown is even more gorgeous than the opening! I could smell it on my skin for at least seven hours, and it's a big winner with Mr. kate8, too. Exquisitely lovely, lasting, *and* drugstore-cheap...what more can you want?