Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Jeanne Arthes: Essential Rose Damascus
ellizam 5/1/2013 7:53:00 PM
Jeanne Arthes is widely available in France, often available on Evilbay, and not available in the U.S. in B&M stores. Sigh. Jeanne Arthes rocks. Gorgeous packaging, many slight variations on existing fragrances (a bit past smellalike but not quite copy), many original fragrances, and a wide selection. The worst thing I could say about Arthes fragrances is that they are sometimes a bit watered. Rose Essential is typical in many ways except when it's better than the standard Arthes. The packaging is GORGEOUS - a heavy glass bottle, lovely pink velvet appliques, lovely shape, pretty heavy metal top, silk tassel... The box even comes with samples of the other two fragrances in this release group (Patchouli Sumatra - GORGEOUS also! - and Jasmin du Nil - quite lovely). Rose Damascus opens as a jammy, slightly sweet rose. Then a soft, peppery/incense note in the base begins coming out and growing. For a good portion of the life of the frag, this is a rosey/ peppered incense with jammy overtones. It doesn't last forever, but it does last well. I'm not normally a pepper note lover, but here, with the smoky wood aspects, I do enjoy it. I also think all three of these make lovely gifts.
Chantecaille reminds me a little of Luten's Vitriol d'Oeillet. The Fragrantica notes are: peony, orange blossom and freesia; middle notes are green notes and tarragon; base notes are musk and vetiver. There are no notes in common, per se, with Vitriol (as described by same source). However, here's what they both have in common: a floral/white musk - almost lily-like, very clean and dry, yet powdery. Peppery note, but to deliciousness, not excess. Wood notes in the base. Dry green notes wrapping the whole. Wisteria has no vanilla (though Vitriol does - subtly, as part of the carnation). I suspect some of the hating on this fragrance happened because everyone was expecting yet another vanillic/sweet based Chantecaille. Come on people, let a perfumer breathe! The overall is dry, peppery, spiced floral - but a light, dry spiced floral, not a heady oriental. The opening has a delicate touch of lemon (I see orange blossom in the Fragrantica notes, but I'm getting lemon), OK - maybe some orange blossom as well, a clear peony, a subtle feel of LOTV (as has Vitriol) without it actually being LOTV. I think that's the musk. There's a beat of vetiver, which might be carrying the lemon with it. The waft of it is slightly peppery - maybe from the green the whole is wrapped in. As it dries down, the floral fades, lemon is close to gone, and the whole is a pretty, dry, pepper/green on snuggly musk with that woody/almost incense note in a lot of frags these days. I think it's beautiful, original, and so wearable that for the first time ever, because the bottle is nowhere I'm buying up sample lots. Sillage is modest - office friendly. It almost could be said to disappear, but wafts show up.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Ted Lapidous Silk Way
ellizam 3/11/2013 5:45:00 PM
**I had this review in as "The Silk Way" - same fragrance.** I picked this up on sale at my local Marshalls at a price so great I almost had to buy it. But if someone sent me a decant of this and told me it was a Parfumerie Generale, in the right mood I'd have at least been tempted to pay crazy money for it. The gestalt is a pretty citric opening (I parsed it as mandarine orange) over a beautifully rich cedar/sandalwood base and a mid of creamy, slightly smoky incense. Over all of it is a lovely, soft vanilla. As the fragrance dries down, the vanilla and incense foreground a little more, the citrus receeds, and what you end up with is a softly vanillic cedar with a dry incense wafting through it. It's really lovely. The bottle is quite pretty, and overall I found this a lovely fragrance in all but one respect, which for some might be a selling point: it's very soft. It lasts, but very softly and has really subtle, intimate sillage. The actual notes per Fragrantica are: citruses, red peach and apple; middle notes are ceylon cinnamon, atlas cedar, jasmine and peony; base notes are amber, bourbon vanilla, incense and white musk. From the notes, you might think a smellalike for Light Blue, but it's not. I didn't get the peach or apple. A little citric, probably "mandarine" since it's warmed, almost sweet, and subtle. I think some of the incense might parse into a very soft cinnamon note, and that it is so soft is an achievement. The wood is a beautiful, simultaneously salty and sweet sandalwood. The amber could be folded into the vanilla - it is a very soft, resinous vanilla and perhaps makes more sense as an amber. The incense is a smoky Avignon/CDG-y incense, not at all a nag champa. I'm not getting white musk per se, but there is a warm skin quality that might break into more intensity on some skins, nor am I getting any floral. EDIT: over time, I've become even more fond of this. It's beautiful -- soft, warm, rich.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Jacomo Art Collection # 09
ellizam 2/25/2013 6:32:00 PM
Mary66's beautiful review has given a wonderful glimpse of her experience with this fragrance, and of how it smells. I, too, get more of a cedar vibe than sandalwood - just the lightest skank/BO touch that's in cedar, but even on my skank/BO amplifying skin this stays well within subtle and not bothersome. I am also getting more orange than lemon - I can pull out a touch of lemon if I try, but it takes trying. The spiciness has a sweet/savory feel, the savory coming from the cumin-like touch in cedar. I am getting a vague sense of cinnamon, but more of sweet spice including pepper. My overall is that this could be mistaken for a fruity floral. But only insofar as a Monet painting of a pond and a velvet painting of a kitten are both paintings of impressions. There is a lightly floral feel to this on my skin - jasmine? Overlaying it is a slightly tart, slightly citric fruit combo of mango and perhaps red currant or raspberry. The mango is quite nice, and this from someone who doesn't generally like mango in fragrances. On top are the spices - bit of cumin, cinnamon, pepper. Again, if I really parse I can find a touch of vanillic, but only in so far as the fruit is sweetened. The gestalt is fruit and spice tea in a wooden panelled room. This really is an artwork - the fragrance is beautifully composed, as are the other two (although #02 isn't quite wearable on my skin). This does tread some of the same ground as #08, but 08 is spicy chai tea, dry in feel, and the fruit is stewed and an undertone. 09 is fresh, pulpy fruit, a tisane, with spice - juicy. Both are quite lovely and the packaging is gorgeous.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - David Yurman Exotic Essence
ellizam 2/19/2013 8:39:00 PM
David Yurman's Exotic Essence is an interesting wood and vanilla fragrance with peach mediating. The notes (per Fragrantica, in order of prominence) are: Woodsy notes, vanilla, sandalwood, peach, musk, amber, patchouli, rose, casablanca lily, mandarin orange. The wood is classic sandalwood, plus just a brush of that slightly peppery "woody notes"/cashmere wood. But only the lightest brush - sandalwood with just an extra rasp. The vanilla is separate from the amber - and the drydown just approaches, comes right up to, but doesn't quite reach, that cumin-y spice note. So it's spicy in feel, but not B.O. or cumin quite. The peach is background - you don't get to "fruity/woody" so much as there's another dimension to the sweetness, a sort of aromatic and pulpiness that translates to peach. It isn't Tresor, although they share six notes (vanilla, amber, sandalwood, peach, rose, musk) - Tresor is syrupy. Burberry Body has all the notes, but Burberry classic for women is closer. The longterm drydown loosens some of the sweetness and opens out the musk a little more. It has good sillage, medium lasting power on my skin. The bottle is lovely - heavy glass, silver clasp-shaped cap.
Caleche has the classic structure - floral, light sweep of citrus on top, classic sandalwood/oakmoss base, and aldehydes twanging up an down the structure. The vibe is is powdery, with dry and clean floral, more oakmoss than woody but palpably both, and an overall clean feel. The florals include neroli, but Caleche has more rose/iris -- 24F has much the same vibe, but with a big orangeflower/neroli charge and huge patch-y woody base. Caleche's sillage is astonishingly light. I frankly don't understand why they ever made an eau delicate, because it is one inherently. A perfect office/evening out fragrance in that it is subtle, elegant, and clean, but also surprisingly delicious to snuggle into bed in. The packaging is, of course, exquisite. I'm very impressed by it.
This was given to me as a gift, and it was a brilliant choice. Escada is one of the balancer fragrances. It is spicy, clean musk, floral, and sweet all at the same time. At different stages in the drydown, different aspects dominate, but the whole works so brilliantly that even a confirmed coconut hater like me can love this. To start, it is so clean smelling that when I've had a long, grubby day, this is delicious after that lifesaver shower. If you need to have clean clean clean in your nose, Escada will fill the bill nicely with it's warmly clean musk and oakmoss. But it also has a lovely jasmine heart and the florals are warm and cheerful. The spice comes the carnation and ylang-ylang, primarily. The sweetness has more the feel of vanilla and heliotrope to me. If I look for the coconut (not that I ever would!) it can be parsed, but it doesn't take over (as coconut is so unfortunately wont to do). I should also address the other problematic note: tuberose. It is here, but again, the other notes manage to subdue it completely. There are occasional whiffs of 80's big shoulder tuberose, and it's the worst thing I can say about this fragrance. But the whiffs are rare and are pulled into the movement of the fragrance as a whole in a way that almost reconciles one to 80's tuberose. I find the sillage loud at first, but it settles into intimacy in about 10 minutes and lasts forever. The scent of this on bedsheets in the morning is beyond beautiful. There's nothing about this fragrance I don't like - even the tuberose whiffs manage to work here. An amazingly complex peice of perfumery.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Max Mara Kashmina Touch
ellizam 2/11/2013 2:47:00 AM
Pennypencil's review brings up some great points - Max Mara Kashmina Touch is Italian - the home of D&G Sicily, original, and Light Blue, and a country where perfumers value the powdery and citric for women. As such, MMKT fits in perfectly. Its cedar meets rich, yummy lemon on a bed of clean musk with a very delicate amber touch sweetening the whole. This can be a little pointed - I'd test before wearing to the office. But if it works on your skin it's quite warm and comforting. The overall vibe is citrus wood, sweetened, and a clean/soap kind of musky. Bottle pretty but irritatingly prone to falling over.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Auric Blends Desert Night
ellizam 2/2/2013 5:39:00 PM
I love Desert Nights. It's become one of my go-to fragrances, in part because I've been on a powder kick, but mostly because it's so soft, subtle, and hard to pin down. The notes, per Amazon (and presumably, Auric Blends) are: "sandalwood rose composition accented by muguet, jasmine and soft oriental nuances of musk, woods and amber." The notes, per me, are that there's certainly vanilla in here, but it has the muted, "brown" and fuzzy/smoky quality that amber gives to vanilla, so I'd not be surprised it entered in that context. There's a lovely powdery, dry sandalwood, and the clean skin quality I associate with clean musk (probably Egyptian). But while the opening is sweet, fuzzy/brown vanillic, powdery vanillic, clean skin, soft poof of sandalwood, running through everything -- kind of in the heart but also an aromatic note above -- is floral. Muguet, rose, general floralcy. This is a balancer fragrance. It's complicated vanillic (not foody, but vanillic)/wood/floral. All the elements balance out beautifully and it pulls off the mystery of being both sweet, and yet somehow desert dry at the same time -- perhaps the sandalwood played neatly against the vanilla/resin and floral sweetness? Very lovely, very affordable.
Fragrances -Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Perfumes - Eau des Iles
ellizam 1/21/2013 5:58:00 PM
I am giving Eau des Iles (EdI henceforth) a "5" because it's a great idea executed well. I'm not sure it's completely original - L'Artisan's L'eau de Navigateur (NOT Navegar - which is something completely different) appeared in 1979, EdI in 1988. And Geodesis made something called Coffee Wood that is also similar in a room spray/candle line. They all channel coffee (but very dry, not smoky), smoke, a male and slightly sweaty musk, cedar or vetiver that is kind of charred and also a bit sweaty. On me, anything sweaty or skank amplifies insanely, so to be fair, while I respect the heck out of this, I can't wear it... alone. But as a base layer with a floral over... delicious. Even by itself as the remnants in a sweater EdI is gorgeous. Just not all alone on my skin. But it's odd, original, and probably smells beautiful on a lot of people, though perhaps with something layered over it. Packaging is, as always, MPG's over-the-top jewel bottles.
Fragrances -Annick Goutal - Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille
ellizam 1/12/2013 1:55:00 AM
Annick Goutal Does Patch... beautifully, of course. This is, on the surface of the note descriptions, a very simple scent: pathchouli, iris, violet, heliotrope, plum. But as with so many Goutal perfumes, the tiny little list is not the half of it. To start, this perfume is about patchouli, primarily. But it's a dry, almost dusty, resinous patchouli. It's drier than Borneo, but the same resinous, high quality. Accompanying it is a touch of skank -- cumin-esque, and very very subtle. It weaves in some of the heart and in the initial drydown, but is never obtrusive or unpleasant. There's plum, but on my skin anyway, it was negligable. And then there's iris and violet. What a unique, but Goutalian idea -- patchouli with two of the most classic ingrediants - delicate powdery flowers. The powder and aromatic notes of violet perfectly compliment the dry, resinous quality of the patchouli, and the iris works nicely with the dry, woody qualities of it. And yet as MPC dries down the flowers bloom and give a clean floral counterpart to the delicate touch of skank. The sillage is soft, and the fragrance lasts for quite a long time. Unlike some reviewers I had no extreme blast of fruit - at best it is still subtle. Also, I didn't have monster sillage. This word close the skin with a light, almost buttery patchouli/floral waft coming up periodically. The packaging is, as with all Goutals, beautiful.
Toners -Yves Rocher - 3 Detoxifying Teas Perfect Toning Lotion
ellizam 1/7/2013 2:21:00 AM
This is an awesome product, so good I stockpile it so I always have some. To start, I have been doing the same Erno Lazlo-based routine for about 30 years. I wash well with soap, rinse 30-100 times with HOT water, use acidic toner or astringent after, and then eye cream and lately, sunscreen. When I was younger, my skin was monster oily. After a few years of the EL routine, the oil went way down to the point that occasionally, then more frequently, my face would feel dry after washing. The beautiful thing about this product is that 3 Teas Toner is actually a gel, and is just ever so slightly moisturizing. Caveat: I don't use it as directed. I moisten a cotton pad with regular toner/astringent, put a dab of this on as well, then rub my entire face with the combination. I never have that tight, dry feeling when I use this. It has helped clarify and tighten my skin, shrink my huge pores, and never irritates it. I think it may even have diminished the red areas. I'm left with taut, smooth, very pretty skin. Before I started using this, my skin was good. 3 Teas has added just exactly the right amount of moisture, more tightness, and a clearer and more even color and tone. Love the stuff. I have come to trust Yves Rocher skincare products implicitly and this one is no exception.
I started using cleansing milk products after I read here that sunscreen doesn't fully come off with soap and after a while, blocks pores. My solution was to apply a cleansing milk/cream product, then soap, and follow with my usual Erno Lazlo-based routine. I generally get either whatever cleansing milk/cream is on sale at Yves Rocher or at TJ Maxx. I got this as a freebie, I think, or part of a set, and became a convert. Now I get it even when it isn't on sale. It is very gentle, leaves my skin feeling CLEAN, and is only slightly moisturizing, enough that if I use it (and remember, I use these combined with soap), after rinsing I don't have that cracky/dry feeling. But there's never greasiness and it never makes me break out. A very few times I've used as directed, that is, without soap. When I did, it was not at a time my skin was particularly dirty. The result was the same: no greasiness, delicately moisturized, clean feeling. This is a gorgeous product.
I wish half-lippies were available. This is 4 1/2 and may yet go to 5. First, I should start by saying that for years I loved lavender but in my thirties, the note suddenly turned to BO for me. It isn't a skin issue - I smell it as BO in bottles and sprays on kleenex. For years I avoided lavender in fragrances. I made a couple of exceptions - Covet and Patou's Cocktail - but the lavender was very much part of a larger agenda in both of those fragrances, and did not stick out as a single note. Gap Lavender Tea has given me back lavender. It also has two of my favorite notes, tea and a pretty, clean musk. LT is subtle. The fragrance goes on soft, the lavender is very gentle, and there is a really delicate vanilla/white amber note in the base that works to sweeten and soften everything even more. The white amber and musk soften LT, and the lavender and tea add definition and top and mid notes. The gestalt is a clean, soft, slightly herbal fragrance that is divine for the office, inoffensive, subtle, and gives the Your-Skin-But-Better cachet. You will smell beautiful, but no one will be quite sure why, or what it is they love so much about the way you smell. The bottle is lovely. When this first came out the price point was great. As it was discontinued, the price began to rise and LT has become, of course, hard to find. But if you do come across it, snap it up.
This is definitely an oddball scent. It opens with fruity (berry-ish/raisin-ish, though no review sites mention fruit) slightly carmelized coffee wash over wood/patchouli and a floral, slightly powdery heart. If pressed into specifying, mimosa and ylang-ylang with a touch of something high aromatic. Bergamot is mentioned on one note list). This sounds kind of mish-mashy. But there is an odd harmony to Popy Moreni. The harmony comes from, bizarrely, the coffee. See, we're used to smelling coffee as a backdrop all the time. PM has the feel of a woman's room -- maybe backstage, maybe the bathroom. She's putting on powder, there's a bit of lipstick. There's a wooden vanity maybe, or wood floor. And someone has a cup of coffee. It's a very beautiful, natural scent, an amalgam of everyday things. As it dries down you can see the artistry. Coffee intertwines with powder, at one point a touch of violet. Patchouli moves through the sillage, then wood, then patchouli again. The scent changes endlessly - the sillage is subtle but one of those that leave sudden and beautiful whiffs unexpectedly. It smells natural but somehow composed. There's often a spicy feel, from the ylang-ylang, but the most consistent scents are powder and a sort of sweet "brown-ness," the caramel touch in coca cola, the way sweetened coffee can smell like caramel. But this isn't sweet, or not in the overblown candy way of current gourmand scents. PM is subtle, elegant, beautifully composed, in a gorgeous and wierd bottle. I haven't tried the EDP yet, (just the EDT) and can't wait to see what happens. UPDATE: EDP arrived - the opening aromatic/fruity aspect is softer. The EDP launches straight into the heliotrope/coffee/patchouli/vanilla depths. But there is a ghost of aromatic floral/fruity that keeps the powder feeling lipsticky and light, rather than a dense vanillic. Soft, beautifully composed, better sillage and last.