what a bizarre perfume. there is something subtly wrong about this composition, though the notes sound as though this would smell delightful. but something is simmering in a well-used cast iron pot somewhere in the background of this fragrance, and i can taste it in the back of my throat like the shadow of red bell peppers on the palate. it also starts out with a sharply synthetic powder note, which is somewhat unpleasant. i can smell that this one has potential to be great, but it requires a far different chemistry than my own to unlock it.
this smell makes me so happy i can't even speak in full sentences about it. it's a wonderful 4-toned chord of mango, jasmine, orange blossom and lime which smooths over my skin. smells of late spring sunlight on a quiet island beach. delectable fruit salad under a tropical arbor. what those pictures of caribbean paradises actually smell like. i absolutely love this scent. i wear it to bed a lot. on me there is no drydown; the fragrance stays true from start to finish and i love the smell so much that i appreciate it quite a bit.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Vinci & Rakos 'Earth'
lupa 12/20/2005 10:58:00 PM
Vinci & Rakos Earth is not quite the sensual musk on me that they claim it is - it is light and soapy, clean-bodied and sporty. i can understand why others think it's powdery, but i found it much less so than SL's Clair de Musc and the note turns into straight Ivory on me, in a good way. there is no real drydown in the fragrance. it remains as it is during the hours i wear it, which is appealing in its own sort of way. the life of the fragrance is about 5 hours and has no sour notes. it seems a reliable sort of fragrance, one you don't rave and gush about but one you reach for when you're looking for something completely non-offensive, totally subtle, yet nice and wonderful to smell. i like it. i like having it. it's nothing extraordinary, but it's still a nice stable scent.
"Good In The Bottle, Bad On The Skin" perfume award today goes to Zenzero. it smells lovely and creamy in the bottle, but the moment it gets to my skin i've suddenly walked back into the days of experimenting with the babysitter's dusty Charlie bottle, left in the sun a bit too long. what in the world is it about their white ginger note? the base of the perfume, their Vaniglia del Madagascar, is unassuming and nice on me. nothing extraordinary, but absolutely nothing offensive about it. add the ginger and suddenly WHOMP i'm in bad 70s drugstoreland. it's a pity, since i love the smell of ginger and use the herb raw in my cooking quite a bit. this is now the third time i've tried it - each time i want to send it away from me i feel guilty, because the notes make it sound like such a terrific perfume. but my skin is picky, in more ways than one, and it is emphatically refusing this scent.
during Sniffapalooza on 12/10, Yosh Han distributed samples of a fragrance she had whipped up just for us. it is called Winter Rose, and it is actually the first of Yosh's scents that i enjoy on my skin. Winter Rose is a rich oil, and on first application throws rose petals in the air and revels in a sharp cardamom scent. but as it starts to sink into the skin, the rose becomes far more subtle, to the point where one has to inhale deeply to discern it from the rest of the scent. the sharp cardamom evens out into a gently chai-esque smell, redolent of saffron, vanilla and the lightest touch of cinnamon. as it continues to dry down, the small thread of fresh rose scent turns into a more detectable pleasant dried-rose potpourri smell - not the recent kinds of potpourri, but the true "let's throw a bunch of dried flowers in a jar and let them get to know each other" kind of smell. the cardamom and vanilla is still strong, but smoother with a touch of herbal scent behind it. the scent lasted for more than 4 hours on me - i don't know the exact time, because i had to go to bed, but the staying power is impressive!
curiouser and curiouser. all the reviews and comments about this fragrance indicated that it was leather and tobacco and vanilla and grown-up and sexy. so i was quivering with anticipation when i put this one on my wrist. i lifted my wrist to sniff, and... dusty violets and dried roses. you know that smell - the musty-sweet but not unpleasant smell of dried flower bouquets when they've been left out in the open air to gather dust? along with trace notes of tobacco and vanilla. i felt a bit like i was on the set of Great Expectations, setting up the props for Miss Havisham's room with a production manager who was a smoker but didn't have the unpleasant burnt smell of cigarettes - just an oddly sweet overlay that comes from a particular kind of smoker's chemistry. the vanilla and the tobacco grew stronger with the drydown, but i got no leather at all. that was the big disappointment here - i wanted leather and got dried roses and violets instead. this is only grown-up for me in the sense that it smells like a cynical florist. finally, 3 hours later, the rose and violet notes went away, but so did the tobacco, leaving me with something that smelled very much like the initial application of... Vol de Nuit. i'd rather wear the Guerlain, since i'm not much into smelling like dust and flowers. very interesting composition, but not for me.
...odd. i'd heard so much wonderful stuff about this fragrance that i just had to try it. i ignored the whispering in my head that stated "you know what happens to bergamot on your skin," and swapped for a fairly large decant of it. now you should know that i frequently refer to bergamot as "the burning," and indeed this did smell somewhat like a smoldering bonfire of cedar logs. but it wasn't really unpleasant, per se. the problem was that i also smelled strong notes of black pepper and jasmine in it, and the combination was very disconcerting. i've been able to live with it for hours at a time so it isn't something i'd scream and run from, but it's not something i'd spend money on either.
why oh why oh why do i do this to myself?? i should know by now that i should never ever sniff perfumes over a certain price, because it seems i am fated (more like doomed) to adore them. Pluq Que Jamais is no exception. i've tried this twice now and each time i could not stop sniffing my arm for a good 5 hours afterwards. most people who know and love Guerlains know that there's a definite powdery drydown in a good number of them. Roja Dove once referred to it as the 'mink coat' accord, and Plus Que Jamais has a tiny hint of it. however, to me this is more of a snuggly cashmere, worn by a loved relative giving the younger you a heartfelt hug. there is something so cozy and loving about this fragrance, while retaining both some nostalgia and some playfulness. the notes on the Guerlain 'cheatsheet' state that Calabrese/Calabrian bergamot, ylang-ylang, and neroli should combine over iris, jasmine, and vanilla. you can tell there's much more in this formula, and the normally chatty/clangy top notes seem more - to shamelessly steal Luca Turin's comment - symphonic in this composition. something about the iris and vanilla combination make the drydown ever-so-slightly incensey, which makes this a perfect fall/winter scent. why oh why do i do this to myself?? *hugs her poor wallet*
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Mat Chocolat by Masaki Matsushima
lupa 9/18/2005 4:11:00 PM
Mat Chocolat does smell utterly lovely in the bottle, and i was very excited to test this one out. the initial spray on my skin did smell like straight chocolate - a cup of hot cocoa from a diner, sans marshmallows but with a dollop of whipped cream. but very quickly - within 15 minutes - the citrus notes turned bitter on me, making the chocolate smell more marshy and rotted than pleasant and cozy. luckily a quick application of alcohol removed it, which didn't speak well for its lasting power, but i was very grateful that what was left of the scent just wandered through a more grapefruity accord. this was a definite disappointment.
Fragrances -Pilar & Lucy - Tiptoeing thru Chambers of the Moon
lupa 6/25/2005 3:33:00 PM
i finally got a chance to try this fragrance and i have to say i'm astonished. in my past experiences with Pilar and Lucy scents, i've been disappointed with the terrible synthetic-y smell that seem to plague them, despite loving the names of the fragrances. however, Tiptoeing Through the Chambers of the Moon is smashingly lovely, and i DO mean smashingly. as someone who adores incense scents, this definitely takes me to far-off places and gives me a sense of peace while simultaneously filling my nose and senses like a very insistent lover. to me, this smells like eating a delectable spiced custard dessert in an incensed meditation room in some far-off Tibetan temple, by candlelight, with the tiniest touch of the smell of tea. in the initial scent i get very little tuberose - the floral accord combined with the soapy note does, literally, smell like custard on me. if i rub my wrists together, i can catch a sniff of a lovely clean Ivory soap smell with a bit of spice and amber in there, but it doesn't occur on direct application. an hour later i still have a nose filled with incense, and only the tiniest bit of tuberose comes through. if you don't like incense, don't bother with this one - but if you do, try it immediately!
i'm with chattykathy on this one - it smells like the food cooked by my neighbor from Bangalore. the green pepper is too much and since i don't like the taste of bell peppers at all, the smell isn't pleasant. it's not bad my any means, but the impression of tabasco on pepper steak isn't something i enjoy.
i'm giving this 4 lipsticks but i'm still undecided on this scent. on my skin, i got no honey at all, no tobacco, no spices - no anything except a syrupy-rich smell of Viognier dessert wine before it is casked. in itself this is a success - this is what the makers were after. however, i'm not sure i want to smell like something i'm about to sip with my creme brulee or chocolate souffle.
Fragrances -Star Boutique - star-tini martini spray parfume
lupa 1/16/2005 2:36:00 PM
eh. that's all - just eh. not even close to the best of the line, but not the worst, either. you learn to use it sparingly because the caramel and cafe au lait get overwhelming, but it's just a standard dessert-y smelling thing with nothing to really make it stand out.
well now, THIS was a surprise. i wasn't expecting anything much given the notes, but that lemongrass note is quite delightful! a definitely worthy vanilla blend - i also enjoyed it when layered over Startini.
gag!! this is FAR too sweet and strong. bitterly cloying vanilla, smelling like someone left a bag of caramels in their plastic wraps and left them in a hot car on the longest day of summer.... in Florida.
i guess that's where the Miami comes into it? this isn't tropical at all. save for the Thaitini if you want something lovely from this company!