I think the name of this scent, while cute, is mis-leading. On me, it is the intersection of a nutty rice gourmand, sort of in the Lann-Ael category but less sweet, and a great lady with a giant powder puff scent, like Tient de Neige. It has less of an old school powdery feel than Tient de Neige. In other words, if you want a perfume that is like a cloud of powder, but is less sweet than the usual, and has sort of an organic, nutty feel, Poopoo Pidoo is for you. The notes in PooPoo Pidoo include rice powder, orange blossom, citrus, amber, woods, and musk. It wears very, very close to the skin, and I would wear this to important business meetings without concern. Poopoo Pidoo is by the esteemed nose Dominique Ropion. I've read a number of comments that Poopoo Pidoo is a sketch, and not of the same quality of Ropion's masterpiece, Portrait of a Lady. Sometimes I want to look at a fully realized painting like Leonardo's Madonna of the Rocks. Sometimes it is more fulfilling to see a pencil sketch by Van Gogh. I am glad to have both.
I like the way that Lutens reversed Guerlain's romanticized view of the oriental, and made it more realistic. The Lutens Oriental seems like something you'd hop down to the souq and pick up. Despite this appreciation for the realism of the Lutens Oriental, my favorite from the Lutens range is Jeux de Peau, one of the most thoroughly French fumes in the Lutens range. Dab on Jeux de Peau and you step into Mr. Luten's childhood bakery, complete with wooden floors and shelves scenting it. When I initially saw that milk was one of the top notes in this fragrance I resisted it. More often than not, milk in a fragrance smells like something sour and wretched. In Luten's hands, the milk blends beautifully with the apricot of the osmanthus and the maple of the immortalle. Rounding all of this out is sandalwood, licorice, and spices. This is a truly a French gourmand. It evokes the realism of a French bread shop in the same way that the original 2009 Guerlain Le Petite Robe Noir humorously evokes rows of perfect little fruit tartlettes. Jeux de Peau is on the opposite end of the gourmand spectrum from L'Heure Bleue or PdN's Maharanih. They or more abstract. Yes, you may get a bit of Italian candy in LHB or an Italian cookie in Maharanih, but you do not get the experience of a realistic environment. I love them all, and am glad to have both abstract and realistic choices.
The first time I tested Coco, the Chanel counter at Macy's was a simple, uncluttered oasis of refinement. Scents for women included No. 5, No. 19, Cristalle and Coco. That was about it. Coco was always the odd duck of the group, an elegent oriental amid the aldehydic softness of the rest of the Chanel range. To put it another way, I tend to like my Orientals skanky. I believe JP Guerlain once said that all of his scents had the touch of his mistress's orifaces. I always held Coco's, for lack of a better word, hygiene, against it. I still do. The opening, with its coriander fruit, rose and jasmine progresses beautifully into the heart, with its spicy clove. If Coco was a race car, it would shift gears without the slightest bump, from its spicy rose top to its spicy rose heart. There is a place in my fragrance wardrobe for Coco. If I am going to the kind of event attended by women who studied ballet since age 2, and went to a seven sister's college, Coco gives me some self confidence. When I sniff it on myself, I can kind of talk myself into believing that I am poised and refined. Unfortunately, I also feel kind of boring in Coco.
Lipstick -NARS - Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero
babsvs 9/23/2012 1:36:00 AM
I wanted to write this review for all of the women who have the same problem with pink lipsticks that I do. I have very fair, warm skin but highly pigmented plum lips. I love the way that pastel pink lips look on me, but with my deep lip color it is hard to find a product that actually looks pastel pink on me. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero is perfect for creating a pastel pink lip on me. I get full coverage on my lips without applying large amounts of the product. I have never tried a matte lip pencil that wasn't drying, but this is not at all. With a bit of balm beneath it, it is very comfortable. There is no unpleasant smell or taste. The color does look a little bit "Barbie-ish" on the pencil, but when applied is a subtle, neutral pink. It is easy to create a casual pastel pink look by combining this with Nars Deep Throat Blush and Nars Baby Girl Eye Shadow. Chanel Glossimer Lip Gloss in Constellation adds a little sparkle. Wetting the eye shadow and applying it as an eye liner as well adds some definition.
Sometimes in both life and perfume you are happily chugging along on a train, not looking to make a change, and something just too wild and crazy not to be noticed comes along. And so it was with Rumba. I was finding the transparent Duchaufour/Buxton style perfect for the hot, humid New England summer. Incense, dry woods and the occasional green note were working well for me. Along came wild, sensual Balenciaga Rumba, which amazingly, was co-composed by JC Elena before he went on to his more minimal style. Rumba starts with sweet fruit notes, most notably plum. Fans of the sadly missed fruity chypres like Femme, Mitsouko and Colony will recognize this great style in Rumba. As it enters its heart, the fruit notes fade and a bouquet of flowers, notably spicy carnation and white flowers including gardenia and tuberose take over. Make no mistake though, this is not a polite white floral scent. The florals are mingled with leather and incense. patchouli and musk. The plum is still around for the dry down, which also includes oakmoss, amber, sandalwood and cedar. You have probably already guessed that Rumba is not for the timid. It's big and it's sensual, but so balanced and beautifully executed, that it is easier to wear than one might think. Launched in 1989, I have heard it described as a precursor to the Lutens dried fruit accord. I can see that, but, very subjectively, I think of it more as a late 50's/early sixties retro scent. A Jean Seaberg type with a trendy pixie cut walks by in rolled up jeans, a black cashmere turtleneck and black boots. As the sillage of her Rumba drifts by you realize that you just might really enjoy wearing that scent.
I came to a point in my life where I wanted a "renaissance". I wanted to exercise more, eat better, and most of all, spend my time on work I enjoyed more. I saw an image for the feeling I had in the Matt Damon movie We Bought a Zoo. At the end there is a long sequnce filled with natural beauty,human kindness and radiance. I wanted a scent for my new life. I tried a lot of samples, and for some reason decided to revisit LAP Timbuktu, a scent I'd always considered over-rated. It was a revelation. The opening is darkly mysterious and radiant at the same time. It feels like clear sunlight illuminating a forest. As Timbuktu progresses, the woods and incense become pronounced. While it is clearly a dry woods fragrance, it does not have that bone dry feeling. The radiance counterposes and even lifts the dry woods. As Timbuktu drys down, it becomes earthy, but still retains its light. There are some indigenous African flowers in Timbuktu, but there are none of the floral scents we think of in the West. To me, that enhances the scent, making it more mysterious but never off-putting. My highest recommendation.
The first 1-2 minutes of Jersey are reminiscent of lavendar soap, but that fades quickly and the scent becomes a very, very light fougere. It's quite lovely at this stage. The heart is very powdery, much like baby powder. Initially I was underwhelmed, but the gentle tenderness of the scent won me over. I tend to like powder scents, like Tient de Neige. Jersey is more of a lovely baby powder than a grown woman's powder stored in a glass jar and applied with a large puff. It does not however, smell anything like actual baby powder. It smells young and innocent. About 40 into its progression, it is still very powdery with some sweetness. It wears very, very close to the skin. It is less generic on me than the reviews would indicate, but is petite and does not make its presence known in a dynamic way. In four hours it was completely gone. Initially I thought that it was pleasant, but not FB worthy. Given my penchant for darkish orientals and woods, it is just, well, too tiny. It kept kind of speaking to me, and I decided it was decant worthy. It is perfect for attending the theatre, where you want to smell pleasing to yourself, but not disturb others. In a head to head match up between the two new fougeres, PdN L'Eau Chic and Jersey, I can't pick a winner. LEC has a strong voice and Jersey is a little cloud.
Portrait of a Lady is a complex and sometimes unexpected olafactory essay on rose, patchouli, berries, sandalwood and spices. Throughout its very distinct phases it remains dry and clear. The best analogy I can think of is that it is like a ruby. PoL starts out very large, so much so that the first time I sampled it I realized that it needs to be sprayed lightly. The top is dominated by the beautiful rose and fruits. Note lists of PoL indicate that Turkish rose is used. The rose is rich, deep, and sensual, and whether true or not, seems like it has never been near an aromachemical. To me, the real pay-off comes in about 60-90 minutes, and is a stunning rose dominated interplay that also features sandalwood, musk, and a stunning patchouli. Rather than this lovely drydown just fading away, PoL changes again after about 4 hours and becomes a rather charming rose skin scent. While the price of PoL is prohibitive, I love the small, 10 ML bottles of FM scents that make them more affordable. Highly recommended.
I have always loved the sepia toned odalisques from Guerlain, and generally have a harder time warming up to the powdery, lighter Chanel range. For me, the structure of Lea is a marriage of ideas from Guerlain and Chanel. It has a powdery lightness similar to Coromandel or Chanel 22, but at the same time the edible sumptuousness of some of Guerlain's vanillas. The drydown, in particular, brings on an urge to gnaw your hand. Sometimes it is difficult to gauge how strong a scent will be from a 1 ML sample. When I first sprayed on Lea from a FB, I was shocked at the strength. IMO, Lea is best worn when sprayed lightly. I was moved to write this review because I was reading something else, and I wondered where the great smell was coming from. I realized it was the Lea I was wearing.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Atelier Cologne - Orange Sanguine
babsvs 5/21/2011 11:56:00 PM
I was on an intensive search to find the perfect orange summer splash. I tried SL Fleur d' Oranger, Tauer Orange Star, the illusive LAP Fleur d' Oranger, MDCI Le Rivage Des Syrtes, Institute Tres Bien Italienne and the $2.15 Florida Water. The SL and Tauer were not me. The ITB was a little soapy. LRdS is lovely, but at that price nothing is getting splashed. The LAP Fleur d'Oranger seemed unobtainable in the US, although I think that may have been remedied. I have been splashing on the Florida water, and like it, but it is a tad too manly. And then I sampled Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine. It starts with the freshest, most realistic orange. It passes through a floral phase, still dancing in orange, and drys down still orange, but with the whisper of a woody oriental with tonka bean, amber, and sandalwood. The best news is that a 200 ML bottle is $145, and it lasts and lasts. At that price per ML, let the splashing commence!
The 2011 version of Guerlain's Muguet is sort of the Disney version of Lily of the Valley. I have a gorgeous illustration of The Little Mermaid from a 1950's book which I carefully removed and framed. The mermaid is stunning, and when I saw Disney's Ariel, no matter how good the movie was, I could not get past The Little Mermaid as Fin Leg Barbie. The 2011 Muguet was the same kind of jarring disappointment. The 2009 Muguet was a stunningly beautiful mixture of notes, and although I have never seen the accords listed, I smelled citrus. The 2011 version seems to be a linear green soliflore. There is no walk through May flowers, or side trip to the citrus grove. There is no drydown development. Delicate is not a word I would associate with the 2011 Muguet, so I felt like I was chained up in a photo realistic LOTV grove, or worse yet, a chemical duplication of a LOTV grove. Even with a little scrubbing, there was no escape for four hours. I know that reviews of 2011 Muguet have been pretty positive so I will be the dissenting opinion. If I want Muguet, I will spend a lot less and get Coty's Muguet de Bois or PdN Odalisque.
Fragrances -Parfums De Nicolai - Le Rivage des Syrtes
babsvs 4/30/2011 1:07:00 AM
Let's get the housekeeping done first - this scent is from Parfums MDCI, but that brand is not on the pulldown. It was created by Patricia de Nicolai for MDCI, so I figured using Parfums de Nicolai is good enough. Ms. DeNicolai really knows how to create scents that take you on a journey. I think of her as walking through great dioramas when she conceives her fragrances. With Le Rivage des Syrtes, you start out inside of a giant, fresh pineapple. You are enveloped in fresh pineapple sunshine. I have to admit to being an absolute fool for anything pineapple, and there are so few good pineapple fragrances. This is one of the best. My only complaint is that this part of the journey is too neat and grounded. I wanted to skip about, but the scent is a bit too prim. So you have to walk, but with a happy step. After the fruity start, the journey becomes about florals, notably orange blossom. I found Le Rivage des Syrtes in a search for a great orange blossom scent, and I think it is the OB champ. I was actually looking for an orange blossom that I could liberally splash on in summer. At this price there will be no splashing, none at all. As I said earlier, I am a fool for pineapple, which you still get during the OB phase, a combination I am unable to resist. Finally, after about three to four hours, the drydown. In LRdS, as in PdN Maharanih, there is a crisp Italian cookie kind of smell in the drydown. Aside from vanilla, I am not sure what Ms. De Nicolai is using to get this great smell, but I love it. LRdS is the kind of fragrance you fall in love with, resisting all the way because of the price.
L'Eau d'Hiver is a skin scent that starts with bergamont and then decends into white powderiness. Initially, I feared that it would be too floral for me, but the honey and musk balance the forals beautifully. I am crazy about the dry down, when L'Eau d'Hiver seems to become about skin.It is a beautifully executed abstract, a delicate white powdered sweetness that combines with the skin. L'Eau d'Hiver is said to be inspired by Apres l'Ondee. Both fragrances are the delicate and shy type. This makes L 'Eau d'Hiver a great fragrance for any situation where you do not want major sillage, and any situation where you want your skin to seem very special.
I haven't loved a fragrence this much since I first smelled l'Heure Bleue twenty years ago. Maharanih kept me waiting for a while until it transformed itself into the scent I so thoroughy fell for. It starts with fairly bitter orange, and makes you really wait for its heart. Instead of going more bitter or heavy, it goes softer, and more diaphanous. I smell rose, light orange, and something woody, all blended very beautifully. As it continues, its light, woody oriental character becomes clear. I see Maharanih as an abstract watercolor of rose, creamsicle orange, and golden beige on white paper. To my surprise, it lasted all night into the next morning. The final dry down smells like some kind of crisp cookie I remember from Italy, although to the best of my knowledge, there are no overt gourmond notes in it. This is a unique fragrance, and I plan to wear it in heavy rotation. My recommendation is that if you sample Maharanih and dislike the top, smell it again in an hour. You may be transported to a delightful place.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful - Breath of God
babsvs 1/23/2011 9:56:00 PM
This scent really surprised me, and unfortunately not in a good way. The top was faint and difficult to figure out. The previous reviewer mentioned melon, and I think that is it. This quickly gave way to a combination of smoke and soap. The soap was very strong. I like many soapy accords, but have never run into a mixture of smoke and soap that I appreciated. As time went by, the soapy smell did fade, but never completely. The entire scent was gone within about two hours. I wonder if when Lush took this fragrence over it was reformulated. I tried the liquid version from Lush. This was so different than the write-ups that I wonder if this was just an off bottle.