I like pine and incense, really I do, but I was expecting something a little more complex from a Serge Lutens creation. Fille en Aiguilles starts out as camphoric pine and smoky incense on my skin, and that's exactly how it smells at the end of the day. My home is surrounded by pine trees, so I can get a similar effect just by opening my front door. Where's my chutney? I had my heart set on fruit, or at least some sort of sweetness. However, my husband, who hates 99.9% of perfumes that I wave under his nose, sniffed this one and exclaimed, "Wow, this one actually smells good!" I think I'd like it better as a room spray, or possibly on a man. It's a little too realistic and ho-hum for my taste.
I sampled Gypsy Water recently and was just WILD about it. This might not sound like a ringing endorsement to anyone else, but upon first application it reminded me of the smell of My Little Pony toys from the 1980s, or more specifically, the powdery/sweet scratch-n-sniff stickers that came with them. A decant was necessary. A full bottle was considered, even at $195. And then, after wearing it for a few days straight, I realized something. I think I could get a similar result by spraying Lostmarc'h Din Dan or Fresh Lemon Sugar over my drugstore staple, Skin Musk Oil. I'll still be fair and give it five lippies because it smells great...caveat emptor. I would own a bottle today if it cost $100, but it's lacking the complexity to make it worth twice that to me, at least right now. Maybe I'll change my mind when my large decant runs out.
P.S. - I'm pretty convinced that the listed juniper and pine notes are entirely made up to make it sound more unisex. If Gypsy Water is unisex, it's leaning pretty hard toward the femme side of the line.
I get excited every time I see rice listed as a fragrance note, so Champaca was a must-try for me. Unfortunately, while I can smell the tiniest hint of basmati, it's almost completely overwhelmed by the crisp sharpness of the tea and bamboo notes. It seems solidly unisex along the lines of CK One. I would probably like it a lot more if it had some sweetness or creaminess in its base to balance things out.
Fragrances -Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Perfumes - Or des Indes
amykelley 12/17/2009 1:20:00 AM
I have two words for you: flea powder. Specifically, I think it was the scent of Hartz flea collars in the early 1980s. Either way, Or des Indes smells like doggie products from my childhood. I have the exact same reaction to L'Artisan Jour de Fete, but that fragrance eventually turns into almondy goodness. Or des Indes starts out flea powdery and stays flea powdery. Even if I don't want to smell like flea powder, at least it brings back happy memories of long-gone canine companions.
Like the other reviewers noted, this product doesn't exfoliate enough. I purchased it because it sounded less harsh than most scrubs and the exfoliants aren't made from plastic (which is very bad to put into our water supply). It works just fine as a moisturizing cleanser, but there are barely any scrubbers in it. I would happily repurchase this item if they added about 10 times the amount of scrubbers.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Tauer Perfumes - Une Rose Chyprée
amykelley 6/21/2009 3:37:00 PM
Chypres are my fragrance Kryptonite. They're almost always too heavy on me, too stuffy, too matronly...just too much. I've tried making friends with Mitsouko and other beloved chypre classics. In fact, I've tried, re-tried and tried again. We don't click. I wish we did, and I'm sure our rift is due to the lowbrow nature of my nose, but whatever. When a sample of Andy Tauer's new Une Rose Chyprée landed in my mailbox, I stared at it suspiciously for a few days before working up the courage to apply it.
Good lord, the man is a magician. How does he do it? It's a deep, spicy rose, and still obviously a chypre, but there's a smooth doughy vanillic base that keeps my oriental-loving nose glued to my arm. I don't get much of the citrus listed in its notes, and judging from reviews I've read on blogs, I think I'm in the minority on that. It's fabulous. The drydown is sublime. It's not exactly a mating of Le Maroc pour Elle and L'Air du Desert Marocain, but it's many of my favorite parts from the two blended together. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
Elle is all berries and patchouli on me. The berries I can live with, but that strong patchouli note is just too much.
I'm extremely pale with cool coloring and very pigmented lips. The first time I tried Medieval, I was a little disappointed because I could barely see it against my natural lip color. I finally realized its texture is so creamy and moisturizing that I don't need to wear any lip balm underneath it (which is how I had worn it the first time). Once the lip balm was out of the equation, the Medieval was much more visible. I love it! It's a wonderful color enhancement for those days when you're going for a subtle look. The texture is fantastic, too. My one minor complaint is that the color is a tiny bit warmer than my ideal shade, so I'd love to see the exact same product in a cooler rose/red.
Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - Safran Troublant
amykelley 11/26/2008 10:26:00 PM
Safran Troublant is like following up a delicious Indian meal with an equally delicious Indian dessert. This fragrance is mostly all about the dessert course, but it does open with what smells like a bit of cumin (even though it's not listed as a note) reminding you of the curry you just finished. The cumin dissipates and is replaced by gentle saffron, rose, not-too-sweet vanilla and sandalwood. It's edible but very translucent in that unique Olivia Giacobetti way. Gourmands tend to overwhelm me, so I love the fact that Safran Troublant is quite delicate, but I can see why it wouldn't be a hit with people who prefer their fragrances to pack more of a punch. Fans or anyone looking for something similar minus the cumin and saffron should check out Lisa Simon Monsoon Season, also by Olivia Giacobetti.
If I passed someone wearing Rain in a hallway, I'd probably think to myself, "She's using some nice soap. I should ask what it is." It's a very light combination of lily of the valley, musk and something green. It isn't a groundbreaking fragrance by any means, and I'd normally give it three lippies and dismiss it as bland, but it's been so inoffensive to my pregnancy-sensitive nose that I'm giving it a four out of sheer gratitude.
Concealers -L'Oreal - True Match Naturale Mineral Concealer
amykelley 10/1/2008 7:04:00 PM
I can't express how much I love this product. Since the beginning of my pregnancy four months ago, I've been experiencing the occasional moderate to severe hormonal breakout, especially around my mouth and chin area, and the liquid concealer I'd been using for years was no longer getting the job done. I saw a Bare Naturale Mineral Concealer display at my local pharmacy and thought, "I'm not sure how well a powder could possibly work to cover anything up, but I'm desperate so I'll try anything once!" Miracle of miracles, this stuff performs better on my skin than anything I've tried before. It covers the redness so completely that I imagine the little brush as an eraser that's eliminating all the embarassing spots. I wish I could travel back in time to the 1990s and take a few bottles to my adolescent self, because it would have changed my teenage life.
I think the reviewer below who compares Bois Blond to L'Air du Desert Marocain nailed it. Bois Blond focuses more on dry grasses and hay than dry woods, but they both have an austere unisex feel to them, and a similar barely sweet amber drydown that's just fantastic. I like Bois Blond a tiny bit more because the hay note reminds me of a childhood spent at horse stables, but they're both stunners, and I would tell anyone who enjoys one of these fragrances to sample the other.
Kirna's listed notes don't seem like they would combine into a fragrance that smells just like a New Age store, but that's exactly what I get out of it. It's sweet-but-not-too-sweet florals over a base that smells suspiciously like patchouli and incense on me. I think of it as my hippie La Chasse aux Papillions. This is the only floral I've been reaching for lately.
One warning - I received my bottle in a swap, and about half of the liquid leaked out in transit. I'm not sure if it was a rare defect or something that commonly happens with Kirna Zabete fragrances, but you might want to turn your bottle upside down and make sure it's not leaky before shipping it anywhere.
Fragrances -Christian Dior - Cologne Blanche Eau De Cologne Collection
amykelley 6/21/2008 2:01:00 PM
I love the concept of summery unisex colognes, but 4711, Chanel and many others I've tried all contain something (petitgrain?) that smells like a soggy corn tortilla. Cologne Blanche isn't like that. It's a bizarre overlay of scents, with rosemary and bergamot always detectable on the surface, and a light almondy vanilla underneath to give it warmth. Since I purchased mine a few weeks ago, I've rarely reached for anything else. It would be nice if it came in a smaller bottle (4.2 oz. for $125 is the smallest size offered), but I've gone through so much of it lately that the 16.9 oz. jug might not seem too unrealistic when I need to repurchase.
Havana is a jolt of sweetness, like accidentally inhaling a bit of airborne Kool-Aid powder as you're adding water to the pitcher. I can't put my finger on what makes it interesting, but it makes me sniff my arm, say, "Gah, I can't believe I'm wearing something this sweet and fruity!" in horror, and then slink back for another appreciative sniff a few seconds later. Wearing more than a dab might result in a migraine of epic proportions. I think of it as the Poison of the 1990s.
Top notes are melon, mandarin orange, peach and apple; middle notes are freesia, heliotrope, ylang-ylang and rose; base notes are honey, tonka bean, vanilla and cedar.