According to the Serge Lutens official website, when Sarrasins is “applied at night in a Moorish silence, it barely touches the skin…” Sarrasins made its mark when I applied one spray to my dry, ivory skin just below the wrist. The pale violet stain almost appears as a bruise, yet this is my secret to hold. This fragrance, however, is anything but a secret; a bombastic cloud of jasmine cut with grape jam fills the room. This white floral struts, tosses her hair, wears too much gold jewelry, and spends all day on her iphone. I was just about to dismiss Sarrasins as another hyper-feminine fruity-floral (albeit high quality), when suddenly, the initial romance receded to expose the underbelly of contemporary humanity: melting plastic, sweet animalic excess, and yes, feces. A monster. Sillage and tenacity: Good
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Jeanne Arthes Essential Patchouli Sumatra
gmstrack 2/2/2013 2:36:00 PM
Patchouli Sumatra by Jeanne Arthes is a smooth patchouli with a perfect balance of earthiness and sweetness. It never becomes cloying but still has enough amber-y character to keep it from sliding into hippy armpit territory. I actually prefer this over some niche patchouli fragrances (that will remain nameless) that tend to dry down into benzoin bombs or baby wipes. This is, by far, the best out of the three fragrances in the Arthes Essential collection. Decent sillage and tenacity, and best of all, $18 for 100 mLs.
Crystal Noir by Versace is classified as a floral oriental with gardenia as the main floral note and a typical list of spicy oriental notes to complete the composition. The gardenia pulls the fragrance in a soapy direction, while the “spicy” oriental part just adds a generic sweetness that really doesn’t bring that plush, warm feel I associate with woods and amber. Instead, CN turns into a typical mall fragrance, i.e., a mediocre sweet floral with detergent-y musk. The name and packaging evoke depth, maturity, and sensuality; however, the fragrance itself seems appropriate for the high school locker room.
Passion by Annick Goutal, a fragrance released in the early 1980s, is a loud blast of spicy floral when sniffed strait from the bottle. During the opening, the white floral is tamed by oakmoss and something green and spicy (tomato leaf according to the note listing). When applied to the skin, however, Passion morphs into something entirely different, with a touch of musty smokiness confounding the senses. Finally, a previous reviewer called it out: floral incense sticks! Passion is a white floral with a timeless Bohemian elegance. Another reviewer pointed out that the floral note treads the line between tropical and seasonal; I think that is, right on, man.
Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - La Chasse aux Papillons Extreme
gmstrack 2/2/2013 2:29:00 PM
La Chasse aux Papillons Extreme by L’Artisan Parfumeur opens with a face full of warm weeds. After one sniff, I braced myself for an allergy attack that (thankfully) never came. The sun drenched greens are peppery-hot and seem to share space with pencil shavings. Yep. Finally, the weeds calm down and the soapy floral starts taking over, but the weeds never really leave. Does La Chasse aux Papillons Extreme evoke a butterfly hunt in a warm flower-filled field? Yes: The fragrance has an innocent summertime feel and I’m enjoying it during the winter months. Also, longevity could be better, in spite of the fact that Extreme is part of the name. (I have this complaint with several LAP fragrances.)
Before writing this review, I mistook Fleur de Rocaille (1993) for FleurS de Rocaille (1933) by Caron. After some research, I realized that I’ve yet to sniff the 1933 fragrance and based on the note descriptions, the two fragrances differ quite a bit. Here are is my impression of Fleur de Rocaille: The opening is loaded with sweet floral and a touch of aldehydes. For flowers, I’m picking up lilac and maybe jasmine, but the effect is simultaneously muted and abrasive; this is a jagged, airbrushed bouquet found on greeting cards from the 1990s. The aldehydes are not very pronounced, but there is something nauseating lurking in the composition that reminds me of hairspray. Development on the skin is linear, so in this case, time isn’t a problem solver. In spite of my disappointment, I still want to try FleurS de Rocaille; hopefully, I will not mistake this one for hair product.
I finally tried Fracas, and although it isn’t the type of fragrance that I typically wear, it was everything I hoped it would be: intense and visceral. There are already several fantastic reviews describing Fracas, so I really do not have anything to add, except I can only imagine what it was like to sniff this in 1948. It must have been mind blowing, like hearing the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” for the first time in 1969, although Fracas doesn’t evoke same sense of self-loathing. Today, contemporary music uses new technology unavailable to Brian Eno during the 1960s and 70s. In perfumery, we have Carnal Flower, an excellent tuberose update; however, the 2005 iteration can only aspire to evoke the same magic (cultural relevance) created by the initial composition.
Joy by Jean Patou can be described as the quintessential vintage fragrance overflowing with rose, aldehydes, and civet. The civet is definitely loud and dirty, but it blends with the sweet, juicy aspect of the rose rendering it velvety and luscious. When I wear Joy, I conservatively apply it and keep a modern appearance. I’d love to meet someone who swims in this fragrance :)
Fragrances -Comme des Garcons - Incense Series Avignon
gmstrack 2/2/2013 2:23:00 PM
Avignon definitely lives up to the hype; I just can’t get enough of this fragrance! Several fantastic reviews have already described Avignon, so I really do not have much to add except that Avignon=man trap. Yes, that’s right; I’ve been wearing it every day for about a week now and I have received more compliments per (arbitrary) unit of time than with Hypnotic Poison and Angel. I’ve already given away two decants. This stuff is a drug!!!
Recently, I acquired an adorable Lolita Lempicka mini. Having read many fantastic reviews, I was looking forward to the fragrance. It turns out that LL is quite enjoyable; however, I must admit I’d rather wear Angel. In fact, I’d rather wear several other girly foody fragrances, for example, L by Lolita Lempicka. In this case, it is best to overlook one’s personal taste and judge the fragrance objectively. Basically, it’s a delicious, spicy dessert, and after 16 years, LL still holds its own against all of the “very berry cupcake” designer fragrances.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum
gmstrack 2/2/2013 2:19:00 PM
Bottega Veneta by Bottega Veneta is classified as a Floral Chypre, but I would describe this as a Fruity Chypre. The luxurious bottle evokes feminine leather, mirroring the juice inside. First, I will address the issue of fruity vs. floral. According to the note listing, bergamot and pink pepper contribute to the fruity aspect, but as mentioned by other reviewers, plum seems to be a noteworthy note. So, here we have fruity leather, and possibly a modern take on Mitsouko. However, if Mitsouko (pre-reformulation) is an attic-confined trunk full of dusty leather-bound books, then BV is a freshly polished library full of leather-bound books. The library is spacious, maybe a window is open, but the trunk full of books holds other strange archaic treasures waiting to be discovered. Perhaps this distinction embodies the divide between the “vintage” fragrances and contemporary compositions. In 2013, we are stuffed to the gills with stuff and gadgets, yet our pastoral sentiments point toward a “fresh” and simple ideal as we attempt to process the daily deluge of information. At the end of the day, we are simply too tired and overwhelmed to rummage through the attic. Also, 100 years ago, it was a sign of progress, and perhaps status, to leave the house smelling like the latest chemistry. Now, we associate “chemical” odors with toxicity while body odor is synonymous with poverty and ignorance; time for your huge dose of aldehydes and civet! So we long for a simple time, free of pollution and full of pastoral landscapes and “organic” gardens.
About me: Dry/combination, acne prone skin; very pale (natural redhead). I have pinky skin with red patches and dark purple circles under my eyes, but the back of my hands and neck have a touch of golden tone. I have been using Lancome Effacernes in ivoire for a few weeks and IMO, this is one of the best concealers out there. This is a medium coverage concealer with a matte finish, which means that if you are looking for a reflective concealer, then this product might be a disappointment. Here are two things that make this concealer is an excellent product: 1) It's waterproof; it's not going anywhere and lasts all day. 2) Several shades are available. I'm still hunting for my ultimate concealer and that is because I'm having difficulty matching my skin tone. However, even though this concealer looks yellow on my skin, on my "good skin" days, I can apply this to my under-eye circles and red patches and wear nothing else except for moisturizer and mascara (and maybe a touch of powder if I'm heavy handed with the sunscreen). That is a huge plus in my book! As for the price, the amount in the tube is generous and I'm sure it will last for at least a year.
About me: Dry/combination, acne prone skin; very pale (natural redhead). I have pinky skin with red patches and dark purple circles under my eyes, but the back of my hands and neck have a touch of golden tone. Most foundation lines do not have a shade that is pale enough. Anyway, BB creams tend to have a limited color selection, so I've been struggling to find one that is pale enough and a good match for my skin tone (whatever that is). Please note: I've used this product every day for at least one month. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 performs (on me) like a high quality tinted moisturizer, not a BB cream. The fair color leans yellow and is a little too dark for my skin tone, while the texture is a little pasty, and tends to emphasize flaws. However, I can see how this BB cream photographs nicely; there is minimal flash back, yet the finish is a combination of velvet and dewy. Coverage is light-medium. Multitasking functionality is minimal; although this product doesn't aggravate my acne, it doesn't minimize it. Also, this does nothing for redness except provide some yellowish coverage that only lasts for a couple hours. Priming functionality is on par with moisturizer. Overall verdict: Even if Camera Ready BB Cream matched my skin tone, I would not consider this BB cream as a good value. It is priced around $40 for 1 oz/ 30 mL, which is on the expensive side for a tinted moisturizer.
About me: Dry/combination, acne prone skin; very pale (natural redhead). I have pinky skin with red patches and dark purple circles under my eyes, but the back of my hands and neck have a touch of golden tone. Most foundation lines do not have a shade that is pale enough. Anyway, BB creams tend to have a limited color selection, so I've been struggling to find one that is pale enough and doesn't leave me looking like a greasy Oompa Loompa. Clinique Age Defense is a true BB cream, not just a tinted moisturizer; it inhibits my acne, minimizes red patches and serves as a decent primer for my under-eye concealer. In my case, skin needs to be properly exfoliated and moisturized before application because the product will cling to dry patches. I think that this BB cream is probably best for oilier skin types because I do require the extra moisturizer. Best of all, the color (shade 01) is pale enough; it has pink/beige undertones and tends to lean a tad grey, but I prefer this over excessive yellowness. I also appreciate the decent SPF, although I always apply additional sunscreen for maximum protection (given that I conservatively apply BB cream)
Mascara -Maybelline - Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Waterproof
gmstrack 12/16/2012 1:42:00 PM
Yes!!!! I finally found my everyday mascara! I have short, strait, golden-blond eye lashes, and, for me, this product performs better than expensive brands. The small wand allows me to coat my blond eye lashes all the way to the root with minimal clumping. Being waterproof, the product doesn't smear and run; this is very important because I have allergies and tend to have runny eyes. Furthermore, this product is easy to find and inexpensive. I highly recommend this product if you have: 1) short eye lashes 2) thin eye lashes 3) blond eye lashes 4) allergies. Also, this would be great as a bottom eyelash product.