At the opening, it immediately reminded me of Youth Dew. However it tames quickly into a dark vanilla-ish, woody amber. It's OK and not without interest. However, at this price-point, I was expecting outstanding. ($44 for 1/4 ounce of oil)
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Paul Smith London for Women
awesomeness2 10/25/2011 10:28:00 PM
NOTE: The fragrance pictured here in the pink cube is Paul Smith WOMAN, a citrus woody fragrance. Paul Smith LONDON is in cranberry red bottle in a tubed box. Paul Smith LONDON is such an under-rated and under-appreciated fragrance. It is definitely a powder bomb, so powder-phobs be aware. But for me, for someone who loves powdery fragrances, but not bright soapy aldehydes, this is just right. LONDON opens with citrus, then morphs into a green powdery vanilla heart. The base is ambery and woody, although the powder and vanilla last & last on me. Most definitely LONDON is not a fragrance for everyone. But for me, it's the fragrance that turned me into a perfume junky. And that's because it hits all my buttons - slighty sweet, slightly dark, a tad green, huge powdery, lots of vanilla, not too floral, quite unusual. I recently tried this on side by side with a By Kilian and decided that with a few tweaks London could be good enough to be in that range -- both in terms of quality and in terms of uniqueness. Deserves to be better known. Best on Fall nights and Winter days ... it's just that kind of fragrance.
Wow, what a shape-shifter of a fragrance. I'm definitely liking this one ... and I don't consider myself a lover of florals or of Patou. Sublime opens strong & very green to me, a phase that I truly enjoy. As it dries, I pick up incense, aldehydes, florals. The base is there and comes in & out during the wear -- vanilla, amber and sandalwood. As it dries, Sublime seems creamy & dreamy, classy but not stuffy. The ylang-ylang, orris and carnation are noticeable but don't dominate. Kind of ends on a whimper of its former self -- about 4 hours out it's a soft base. I think Sublime is best characterized as a floriental. At the opening, it seems like it's a formal occasion fragrance. But Sublime tames quickly and easily could be an everyday fragrance. I've heard this is reformulated but I'm not sure what vintage that I have. I purchased a part bottle, EdP in 30ml, and given excellent condition without a box, I suspect it's relatively young. If you watch for it, it's possible to pick up a part bottle on ebay for well under $20. Sublime reminds me a lot of my beloved Van Cleef by VCA. If truth be told, I prefer Van Cleef to Sublime, hence the 4-lippie rating rather than 5. Even so, I have a feeling that Sublime is going to become one of my favorite fragrances because it is so easy to wear. I am now on the hunt for a vintage formulation.
Eau des Merveilles is a boring, sweet woody ... such a dreadful little thing. There's plenty of fragrances on this market which have charted this territory at a third of the price.
Cruel Intentions reminds me something ... can't put my finger on it. I get a bit of Encre Noir (Femme) with the rose & vetiver, but it's the styrax, I think ... or maybe oud. Puzzles me and causes me to take even more deep breathes of this fine fragrance. I love this. Very well-balanced fragrance with just a hint of florals. I've had some difficulty wearing the sweet or boozy Kilian fragrances. However, I find Cruel Intentions unusual and right up my alley. Unisex for sure, maybe just on the femme side, if that. I've sampled most everything in the sampler pack, and for me Cruel Intentions & Back to Black are full bottle worthy. Highly recommend giving this one a try.
It took a few wearings, but I finally "get" AG AMBRE FÉTICHE (Amber Fetish). This is a dirty amber, with incense, leather & a bit of vanilla. As the strongest fragrance in the Les Orientales line, AF has about the same presence on my skin as AP Strip, which is to say ... ALOT. Definitely unisex, maybe even leaning toward masculine, but it's rare for me find a wearable mass market masculine, so this is a win for me. When you're in need of a skank fest, look her up.
I've tried to love Il Bacio several times, but I can't. The combination of white florals & freesia just doesn't work -- it seems cheap and unrefined to me. It's a full-bodied fragrance, so I can understand why many people like this one. But for me, Il Bacio is the epitome of what's the worst thing in a mass market fragrance -- cheap & sweet white florals.
This is fun to have if you can find a sufficiently old bottle. Don't waste your time & money on the new version, which is in larger, clear glass bottles. Instead, look for a small frosted bottled at estate sales, including the parfum mini, a 10ml EdP, and the 30ml EdP -- all in frosted bottles. I've managed to pick up a gift sets, still in box with a department store price tag from the early 1990s, for about $7. I loved it as soon as I tried it and got rid of my modern bottle immediately. As far as I can tell, the frosted bottles are vintage. But to be sure, look for boxed gift sets in black flock with clear covers -- they're the real deal from the past. Vintage Black Pearls is a powdery, floral amber that wears like a floriental on me. I don't see amber listed as a note, but that's what it smells like to me. It's not bright but not dark either. Many people report vanilla & sandalwood in the base. I can't pick out individual notes & accords -- it's just very well blended in vintage. Vintage Black Pearls is unique. It's the only ET fragrance that I wear, and I've tried most of the ET range. I'm happy to have it in my collection.
I don't like HM Butterfly, but I do love HM Magical Moon and HM Haute Couture. MM & HC are two very different fragrances of course, but I think both are under appreciated because they are SO unlike Butterfly ... which is a good thing. Magical Moon is a modern floriental. It's not dark or gothic. Rather, it's relatively clean & clear for this category, which makes it unusual, I think. Although MM is sweet, it's not candy like Butterfly. Rather, more like a dusting of fine sugar on a French pastry. I own MM in parfum and edp, but I prefer the parfum. Both are long-lasting, the EdP in the 6-8 hour range and the parfum in the 12-hour range. However, the parfum strikes me as being much better quality. Besides, the parfum is a sillage bomb! Two sprays can literally be too much. Magical Moon can be worn year around and makes a striking, unique office-friendly alternative. Excellent fragrance, excellent price ... gently used bottles can frequently be found for a steal on ebay.
AG Myrrhe Ardente (Burning Myrrh) is a sweet, smoky fragrance that is easy to wear and stays close to the skin. It wears linear on me and for about 5 hours. Myrrhe Ardente is unique, enjoyable & unisex. More smoky than myrrh, imo - that aspect reminds me of that campfire fragrance from Tauer (Lonestar?), although the AG is harsh compared to the Tauer. My EdP is marked 88% alcohol by volume, which really puts it in the EdT territory imo. Like all AG's that I've owned or tried, I don't think the price & longevity justify a full bottle purchase. I picked up Myrrhe Ardente (and the rest of the Les Orientales series) in 15ml bottles for about $10 each, plus shipping, on ebay. At that price, I say go ahead if this strikes your fancy. However, I wouldn't recommend a FB blind-buy without sampling.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Kate Walsh - Boyfriend
awesomeness2 10/17/2011 7:34:00 PM
I bought this blind, and I am so glad that I did. However, I think it's outrageously priced for a mass market fragrance. More on that later. I don't get flowers or fruits in this one. What I get is clean cotton, powder & vanilla with a bit of musk & woods. If you're thinking that you're getting sweet, candy vanilla ... think again. It's just an old timely vanilla. This is not a bright, up beat fragrance, but not a moody, dark, foreboding one either. I'm quite surprised at the "mature" and "old lady" comments that I've seen about this fragrance. However, what I would say is that if the typical celeb scent du jour is your preference (i.e., Britney and all her little sisters), stay far away from this one. Boyfriend is more in the style of SJP Lovely. In fact, if you like Lovely like I do, I bet you'd like Boyfriend too, assuming that you like powder & vanilla, which Boyfriend has plenty of. I also know plenty of women who just don't like floral fragrances, and I think Boyfriend would appeal to them as well. So, in spite of my adoration of this scent, what's the problem? (1) longevity, (2) sillage and (3) price. It doesn't seem to last long on me ... maybe 3-4 hours. It may be because it's quite linear and I get used to it, but still. Also, it's a skin scent that's close wearing. Actually, I'd prefer this to have a bit more presence. It doesn't have to be a sillage bomb but I expect to get noticed in a 18 inch radius of someone. Lastly, it's priced in the luxe market on a ml for ml basis. I have the 10ml rollerball from HSN ($20) and recently picked a few 5ml rollerballs on ebay ($5 ea). I'm waiting for the price to come down on the EdP spray, then I'll pick that up too. But at $35 for 1/2 oz (15ml), it's way over-priced imo. That would put a 3.3 ounce (100ml) bottle over the $200 mark. This is not a luxe perfume! At that price point, I could pick up a Bond or a By Killian or 2 Chanels or 3 Guerlains. But a Kate Walsh on HSN? Pluhz.
On the hunt for the perfect green scent, I recently picked up a number of samples from the house of DSH. Celadon was one of them. Celadon is green, smooth and soft. It seems to avoid what I don't like in many green fragrances -- the harshness of modern Chanel 19, the white florals of Gucci Envy, the oakmoss of vintage green chypres, the difficulty of wearing Alliage. Celadon isn't green like any of those, which immediately makes it a contender for my love. Celadon opens a bit herbaceous and then settles into a bit of powder (orris). A base doesn't present itself to me. In fact, this scent just seems to peter out on me ... two hours later, where is it? Unfortunately, I think that's the problem: Celadon has no presence on my skin. It's close wearing -- too close wearing for my style & taste. It's more of an intimate skin scent on me with limited longevity. I suppose if Celadon had throw & longevity, then it wouldn't be the fragrance that it is, which is a soft, green velvet scent that is easy to wear. Excellent nonetheless, for about 2 hours. More OMPH and longer-lasting, and maybe this would be the green scent that I am searching for.
I have been unabashed in my adoration of Lady Stetson. Perhaps it's my stubbornness. You see, I had a heiress as a friend in graduate school. Money meant nothing to her. But as a working class kid of even more modest means as a young adult, it meant everything to me. Making ends meet until the end of the month was my biggest challenge. But that may or may not be the point. One Christmas my heiress friend asked her two gal pals (me & another gal, whose name escapes me) what fragrance she could bestow on them. "Chanel Number 5," my one friend squealed. "Lady Stetson," I said. "Just Lady Stetson." For I honestly knew not what to say. A working class kid being asked to name a gift, any gift, with the implication that money was no object. My beau had bought me Estee Lauder Beautiful, and I hated it, just hated it. Exclamation was my perfume of choice at the time, I think. And before that, Vanderbilt and Oleg Cassini and Enjoli and Charlie. My perfumes were restricted to Walgreens ... on sale. And so was my choice as restricted - Lady Stetson - as I think I had seen it advertised recently for the holidays. It seemed right up my alley. And a few days before Christmas, the heiress had us over, for treats and cocktails. And there waiting for us were two department store, ribbon-tied boxes, from Marshall Fields no less. My friend, squealed again, and opened her Chanel Number 5. The heiress handed me my package, perhaps with the biggest gift-giving smile I had ever seen. I wondered, had she possibly given me Chanel too? And as I opened it, there was exactly what I had wanted ... Lady Stetson, in all its mass market glory. She leaned over, and said, "I had them give me an extra box." You see, Lady Stetson was not at the department store. The heiress had to make a trip to Kmart. We have been friends ever since. Both me and the hieress and me and the Lady. No, the Lady is not Chanel 22. She was never meant to be. She captured the imagination of young American women, and I was one of them. But I think I will always remember the Lady for what she is to me ... something I rarely got as a working class kid growing up ... exactly what I wanted at Christmas.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Dawn Spencer Hurwitz/ essenseoil.com Chaos type
awesomeness2 10/15/2011 11:10:00 AM
I have a number of DSH fragrances, which are generally lovely & lush. Unfortunately, this one misses the mark - not by a little but by a lot. Anarchy (Chaos-type) is described as a modern oriental chypre with mild, spicy notes & soft incense tones. HARDLY. There is nothing oriental, spicy or incese-y about this dupe of Chaos. It's bright and clear ... more along the lines of Clinique Happy or RL Pure Turquoise. The juice is clear too, although it is depicted as a golden color online. I wonder ... was the wrong fragrance put in the Choas bottle (?). I can't find any other reasonable explanation for this huge miss.
I've tried most of the Boucheron femmes and haven't liked a single one. B is different, perhaps because it's easy-to-wear & accessible yet luxurious & high quality. B de Boucheron is a well-constructed, high quality scent that could be a signature for the right wearer. It's quite lovely, with a peachy-apricot top, a bit of sweetness & spice throughout, and a woody-patchy base. It's rich, lush & sweet, along the lines of the original Badgley Mischka but not quite as taffeta-gown formal as BM. It's also similar to John Varvatos for Women, and it's not quite as austere and difficult to wear as Lancome Tresor. I've seen this fragrance classified as a floral woody musk, but I think it's best classified as a woody. The apricot and osmanthus are spot-on for the current trend in fragrance. The florals (rose, orange blossom) & spices (pink pepper) are so well-blended that I struggle to pick them out individually, although I know they are there. However, the base (sweet woods & patch) and the apricot really define the scent. Initially I thought the cedar was just a tad too dominant for me, but now I have grown to love it. B de Boucheron is a 5* fragrance. I enjoy wearing it and am delighted to have it. I find it neither casual nor elegant. Instead, it simply is well-done & easy-to-wear. I know many perfumistas would find this scent to tread well-worn territory, perhaps consider it a bore. However, for me, B is something that I reach for over and over again. It is so much better than 95% of the stuff in the mass market, and it's available at an excellent price to boot. Nice projection, even from top to bottom, and lasts 6-8 hours on me. The quality of the ingredients seems to be top-shelf. B de Boucheron is a staple in my fragrance wardrobe. Currently, it's among my top 10 scents - that's saying a lot from someone who owns about 100 bottles and has sampled over 1000 scents! It's so me, but better. If you like peachy-apricot fragrances, this is a must-try. It reminds me of John Varvatos but not as sweet, Badgley Mischka but not as fruity, and Tresor but softer & rounder & deeper. I love those fragrances but I love B even more. B "won" on a side-by-side test with each. Notes: cedar, patchouli, osmanthus, apricot, spices, rose, orange blossom