Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - Passage d-Enfer
lemonlye 5/17/2013 2:54:00 PM
Leave it to Olivia Giacobetti to create a frankincense fragrance that's light and airy, so unlike the heavy incenses you commonly find. I get the cool dank stone of an ancient building; fresh water with a mineral touch, like water from the garden hose; a hint of flowers; and a spicy, cedary, lightweight frankincense that dries down with a salty, hay-like feel, similar to one of the distinctive notes in Dzing! (another of Giacobetti's creations). It doesn't carry far and is never strong, and if anything I wish it was a tad stronger and lasted a little longer. But at the same time, I love its gentle and meditative nature, and a heavy fragrance might intrude too much. It's not hellish at all, but is certainly suitable for contemplations on spirituality or the Underworld. This fragrance is fast becoming a big favorite of mine.
As with other Jean-Claude Ellena scents so far, this grows on me with each wearing. This one has the good aspects of fruit notes--fresh, juicy, tasty, summery--without the bad ones (cloying, over-ripe). And a definite thumbs-up for the spicy wood/frankincense base. I'm considering getting more.
Notes listed by perfumer: Himalayan & Moroccan cedars, black Indian Tea, incense. What I get: I adore cedar, so trying this one was a no-brainer. But it's a different cedar than the usual shaved-wood smell that most fragrances capture. This is a fresh, living variety of cedar, outdoorsy and earthy. I detect no incense, but the tea brings a slightly citrusy, lavender-like accord to the mix, making it especially clean. Apparently the perfumer originally designed this scent as a wardrobe spray, to keep clothes fresh, and indeed it would be great as that--"clean" and "fresh" are two of the words that repeatedly come to mind with it. But a clean, fresh forest, not a clean, fresh sheet of fabric softener. I keep coming back to it--can see it being a staple in my collection!
This scent is pure comfy hotness. At first sniff I thought, "Eh, it's all right, but kind of like any other popular men's fragrance." But as I wore it, I found myself sniffing my own arm and increasingly thinking, "This smells way sexy." Hermes fragrances, in my experience, can sneak up on you that way, and bloom into their true greatness in a gradual fashion. Rocabar is fresh in a piney and orangey way, and masculine enough that I feel a bit like I'm cross-dressing when I (as a woman) wear it. But that's hot too, so, come to me, Rocabar. Snuggle up and stay a while.
(This perfume is also called Ambre if you go with the French spelling on the box). Though it claims to be all about the cistus (rockrose/labdanum) plant, it isn't the same blend as L'Occitane's Labdanum. Labdanum is EDP and a bit more woody and resinous; Amber is EDT and more what you'd expect of an amber. Quite easy to wear and pretty--soft and spicy and sweet but not cloying or powdery (I don't find it powdery, at least, which is a point in its favor). Doesn't go any strange places; stays warmly appealing the whole day. It's the kind of scent likely to make people say, "Mmm, you smell like cookies!"
As befits its very green-dyed juice, this scent is as green as cedar can be and still be called cedar. It's like the whole living tree, boughs and all, with some of the surrounding green forest too, rather than the dry wood chips or pencil shavings you may expect from a cedar. It reminds me almost of Philosykos, another full-tree perfume, though that one is the full fig tree experience while this is the full cedar tree. In any case, I love cedar whether dry or green, and this is a lovely perfume. Easy to wear for either men or women, and fresh while still being woody and sexy.
I love the rockrose/cistus shrub's scent, which is called labdanum in the perfume world, and I had to buy this after smelling a friend's bottle of it. It doesn't actually resemble the shrub too closely, but it has the right feel for it: resinous, warm, dry, and sweet, all in an attractive balance. As with the other L'Occitane scents I've smelled so far, it's very approachable and wearable, not too crazy, but it's pretty enough that people have complimented me while I'm wearing it. A keeper.
Fragrances -Estee Lauder - Tom Ford Tuscan Leather
lemonlye 10/26/2012 2:14:00 PM
Doesn't take much of this one to make an impression. It's one of those where the tiny sample vial may in fact be all you need for a fair span of time. A few traces from the applicator wand have left me with hours of dark leatheriness--and it's good actually, though I can't imagine applying it heavily. It's leather and smoke, so thick and anti-sweet it's almost got a rubber note at times. It's great for the serious leather fan, and likely to be considered masculine rather than feminine.
Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - L-eau de l-Artisan
lemonlye 7/8/2012 11:58:00 AM
It took me a while to realize I loved this one, because it's so gentle and unassuming, it didn't bowl me over right away. But the love for it snuck up on me with more wearings as I discovered what a beautiful piece of work it is. For one thing, it features a lemon that doesn't disappear within minutes or turn candy-ish, but stays fresh and real, which is unusual on me. In fact, perhaps it's more of a lemon verbena, because a living herb garden is indeed one of the main impressions I get overall--basil and mint are in there too, both light and perfectly balanced. And there's a hint of sea-salt breeze in the background. It's kind of like the nicest, prettiest, natural-herb soap you've ever used. It doesn't change much from start to finish, but on me it has surprisingly good staying power without ever being overpowering. Perfect for summer, and probably quite uplifting in winter too.
Fragrances -Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Perfumes - Santal Noble
lemonlye 6/24/2012 10:00:00 PM
I like it; I just don't love it. It smells good on my clothes, not quite as great on my skin. The wood is a bit too sharp, and the sweet side a bit too sweet. Still, it sits nicely on the line between masculine and feminine, and should be tried if you're a sandalwood fiend.
Drat. This sounded completely like something I would love, but on me it carried the dreaded over-sweet baby-powder note. Bugged me enough that I washed it off. Won't dissuade me from trying more Serge Lutens, though, as I've liked some of his other scents just fine!
I would have loved an incense-and-cardamom vanilla, but alas, this is almost entirely straight-up bourbon vanilla on me, from start to finish. Too sweet, too heavy. Not sure what happened here. But worth a shot if you adore vanilla! I like mine mixed down a bit more than this.
Notes listed by perfumer: cardamom, aging paperbacks, dark vanilla, dry wood, sweet musk. What I get: cardamom, baby! Yes, I suppose the gentle smell of old paperbacks and woods, and the sweetness of vanilla and some kind of musk, are back there too. But cardamom on its own is a rich and complex scent, and it dominates this fragrance, and owns it in a mouth-watering way. Very lovely, cozy, and wearable. It began as a limited edition but gets reissued from time to time, so keep looking for it!
Wish I got woods, incense, or even patchouli. Instead what dominates for me is burning paper. A bit TOO fiery. I much prefer Burning Leaves (also by CB I Hate Perfume) for a purely-smoke accord.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Eau d'Italie - Bois d'Ombrie
lemonlye 12/8/2011 4:30:00 PM
This was a "love at first sniff" scent for me, and several months later I still swoon over it. I'd call it super-old-fashioned-masculine in a sense, in that I could see Rex Harrison or some other strong-yet-refined English guy from the mid-20th-century wearing it. Leather, tobacco, and cognac are the notes I mostly get (though I might've guessed brandy, being not as familiar with cognac), with a good base of wood--smells like a cabinet in which our gentleman would keep his liquor and pipe tobacco. I hadn't noticed the iris that others mention, but now that it's pointed out, I see how it's under there, softening the whole effect just a tad. And though I'm a slip of a 21st-century American woman, I love wearing it. Mmmm.