Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - the Different company Osmanthus
therese108 10/26/2009 8:45:00 AM
In Perfumes: The Guide, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez rarely give Jean-Claude Ellena's scents more than 4 stars, and, based on Osmanthus, I heartily agree with them. Ellena founded The Different Company so he could use the most prized ingredients in perfumery without some profit-conscious CEO setting limits on his art, but I ask, what's the point of using such precious ingredients if you have to strain to smell them? 20 kilos of Chinese osmanthus supposedly go into a single bottle of this juice, but it's hard to believe the hype when the scent disappears on my skin after an hour. Perhaps the yield from 20K is a thimbleful of oil, and this is what makes this particular ingredient so expensive. Osmanthus is a thin, watery floral with a hint of green - as pale as all the other colors in Ellena's palette. I can sense the beauty he's aiming for - too bad he can't anchor it with a more solid base to make it less fleeting. Guess Ellena himself wasn't satisfied with this creation because he revisited the same theme in Hermes's Osmanthe Yunnan, a much better fragrance, IMO. As Turin and Sanchez say, there is such a thing as being too minimal. If you like light, unobtrusive and very expensive fragrances, Ellena's definitely your man.
I had heard this was a heliotrope scent so I couldn't wait to try it. On a Saturday morning, the Frederic Malle boutique on Paris's rue Grenelle was empty and the female SA was lackluster, to say the least. She first sprayed Dans Tes Bras for me on a card; I was sufficiently intrigued to try it on skin. DTB starts off fresh and citrusy, with the bergamot top note very clear, touched by powdery heliotrope. I had just about decided to buy it when it did a total about-face, suddenly descending into dark earthiness and becoming an all-out patchouli scent! I could also smell the violet and spices like clove and frankincense. At that point, DTB reminded me more of previous Malles like Noir Epices. Composed by Maurice Roucel, DTB is no doubt a skillful, classically composed addition to the FM line, but I decided it was definitely not for me. I walked out instead with a bottle of Iris Poudre. Dan Tes Bras's notes include bergamot, cloves, violet, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, frankincense, cashmeran, heliotrope and white musk.
Sampled this brand-new addition to the Exclusive bell-jar line in the Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido. The young, femme SA was very helpful. There's a row of pre-dipped blotters for all the scents that you can sniff, and if you do decide to test one on skin, she spreads it on your wrist with a blotter and advises you to take a walk in the park outside for 20 minutes while the fragrance develops before making a final decision. Well, with El Attarine I couldn't get past the blotter. Meant to evoke golden topaz and the sun, El Attarine smells the opposite to me, like a humid night of wild sex with a person who possibly hasn't bathed in weeks. Yes, fans of Muscs Koublai Khan will get a definite sense of deja vu from El Attarine. Along with the animal musks I smelled a lot of oud, commonly worn and favored by Arab women but a dense olfactory experience for everyone else. When I commented that El Attarine was "tres animalique," the SA seemed highly amused. I couldn't tell whether she agreed with me or thought I was a total nutter. Anyway, on paper this is most certainly a fall/winter scent that I recommend MKK fans try. I'd love to see a review by someone brave enough to actually wear the fragrance on their skin. El Attarine's notes include honey, cumin, red saffron, poppy seeds, jasmine, woods and immortelle.
Fragrances -Thierry Mugler - Miroir des Envies - Mirror of Desires
therese108 6/24/2008 10:43:00 AM
Another futuristic gourmandise from Mugler, but this time I'm not exactly licking my lips. Since jasmine is at the heart of Envies, it is ostensibly a floral, but resolutely doesn't smell like one. Combined with notes of toast and (probably a head-space note) of sun-warmed skin, Mugler was going for a "toasted brioche" accord, but ended up with hazelnut instead. Luckily it's not a Dunkin Donuts hazelnut, more a classy Perugina Baci one. Nice and offbeat, just not my style. This Mirror of Erised was created by perfumers Christine Nagel and Louise Turner of Givaudan.
Fragrances -Thierry Mugler - Miroir des Vanités - Mirror of Vanities
therese108 6/24/2008 10:27:00 AM
I hesitate to review this after Luca Turin's seminal critique in Perfumes: The Guide, but since I've been reviewing the rest of the Mirror collection, here goes. Mirror of Vanities is described as an effervescent woody fragrance, and that's pretty accurate, no question. But it has another facet, a "mirror image," if you want to get cheeky about it -- that of a groundbreaking gourmand. Before you think Angel, MoV is about as far from Angel as you can get. Where Angel is dark, this is light. Where Angel is cavity-forming in its sugariness, the sweetness of MoV is cut by the bitterness of cinchona bark and vetiver. While Angel is candied fruit dipped in chocolate and honey, Vanities is a fizzy drink -- red like cinnamon and sweet like a splash of grenadine. Turin compares it to Campari soda, and I'm afraid I can't think of a better description than that. MoV was created by Alexis Dadier of Mane, who was also the perfumer behind the Mirror collection's modern tuberose A Travers le Miroir (Through the Looking Glass). My No. 1 favorite from the Mirror line.
Fragrances -Thierry Mugler - Dis-Moi, Miroir - Mirror Image
therese108 6/24/2008 9:59:00 AM
Created by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin of Mane, Dis-moi is a creamy floral that seems to pay tribute to a woman at the three most important stages of her life: the first note to announce itself is lily, a flower most often worn by young women. Next, orange blossom rears its head, a bloom common in bridal bouquets. Last are milky notes, which Mugler has linked to mothers. Though the scent doesn't smell terribly original, the overall effect is just plain lovely. While Dis-moi is feminine to the core, it's one of the five Mirror fragrances most beloved by men. DMM was apparently the top-selling fragrance for a whole month at Sephora Champs-Elysees. Personally, it's my No. 2 favorite in the Mirror collection.
Fragrances -Thierry Mugler - Miroir des Secrets - Mirror of Secrets
therese108 6/22/2008 10:30:00 AM
This, to me, is the least successful of the five Mirror fragrances. According to the marketing literature for Mirror of Secrets, "for the very first time in perfumery, a natural aldehyde combines its radiant, vibrant accents with a bittersweet accord of patchouli and musk." The opening accord this fusion produces is neither radiant or vibrant--more like an overripe, rotting fruit (mango, perhaps?). Compared to the other Mirror scents, this just seems clumsy. Though the innovation with the natural aldehyde is the most Mugler thing about it, the notes never seem to gel into a cohesive or wearable whole. Created by Domitille Bertier of IFF, Secrets is, not surprisingly, my least favorite of the five Mirror scents.
Fragrances -Thierry Mugler - A Travers Le Miroir - Through the Looking Glass
therese108 6/22/2008 9:31:00 AM
Through the Looking Glass, one of the five fragrances in Mugler's "Miroir, Miroir!" (Mirror, Mirror) collection, blends very feminine ingredients with very masculine ones, i.e., a very femme, lovely heart of tuberose is given a bright, exhilarating freshness by a top note of wintergreen, which you traditionally find in toothpaste or gum. Absinthe and a woody accord provide an earthy, muscular depth. What you get is an aromatic floral, a truly unisex composition that transcends the usual masculine/feminine categories of perfumery. This is probably my No. 3 favorite out of the five, executed by young perfumer Alexis Dadier of one of the smaller Grasse houses, Mane.
Fragrances -Thierry Mugler - Angel La Part des Anges
therese108 6/17/2008 9:02:00 AM
To celebrate 15 years of the world smelling Angelic, Thierry Mugler Parfums had another lightning bolt of inspiration. Since Angel is a fragrance that millions of women know and love, why not let them rediscover it in a different way? Why not age it as you would a fine wine or — more interestingly — a cognac, which by happy chance is also known as “the liquor of the angels”? The result is Angel La Part des Anges, a meeting between the two luxury worlds of haute perfumery and fine spirits. Thierry Mugler Parfums partnered with flavor and fragrance producer Quest International and cognac-makers Remy Martin in a bold experiment: to age a fragrance as you would the finest eaux de vie — in wooden casks. Alcohol is mostly aged in oak because of the flavor imparted, but Mugler chose to age Angel in cherry wood, which gives a really unusual sort of accent to the actual perfume. Since aging a perfume had never been tried before, Mugler olfactive director Pierre Aulas, a Quest perfumer and a female cellar master from Remy Martin had to test the fragrance week by week. Angel’s perfume extract came into contact with two elements normally incompatible with fragrance: air and time. The wood allowed the perfume to “breathe,” while the Cognac air and the passing of weeks gradually transformed it into a new incarnation. When you age cognac, part of the cognac itself disappears through the evaporation process, and that’s actually called ‘la part des anges,’ the ‘portion’ or ‘share of the angels,' which is where the whole concept came from. In the end, week 23 was the magic week, the time to bottle the new elixir. Angel had changed to a point where it was still really interesting to wear and maintained its character, but was imbued from the wood, according to a Mugler rep. La Part des Anges has new depths, while the cherry wood enhances every one of its facets. Angel’s mouthwatering blend of fruits has been glazed with sugar, the caramel has become a sumptuous amber; the delicious honey note prevails. It’s markedly different. The patchouli really comes out; the sparkling sort of fruitiness you can smell in Angel is not as vivid. It has softened down, muted a bit, become rounder. It still has a gourmand element, but because of the cherry wood and the patchouli, the woody notes are deeper and really brought to the fore, to the point where it almost smells masculine. It's also more linear. I tested Angel and Anges simultaneously on my wrists. After the initial blast of patch, Angel started morphing into its mouthwatering vanilla/cotton candy/fruits stage, while Anges did not budge at all from a dark, smoky, almost ashy wood. In the tradition of all Angel limited editions, the flacons were made in France by master glassmakers Brosse. Molded in Mugler’s trademark star shape, midnight-blue glass denotes the long nights Angel spent sleeping in its cask. Sparkling Swarovski crystals encrust the stopper, a reminder of starry constellations and bespoke jewelry. A glass star within the heart of the bottle captures the fragrance in an icy embrace. Even the circular case has meaning: it was inspired by the luxury presentation of the finest cognacs. Each bottle of La Part des Anges is numbered, engraved and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Sold in Europe at 180 euros, while the entire concept is a collector’s dream, it’s a luxury only few can afford.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Les Bains du Marais - Musc Blanc Eau de Soin
therese108 2/8/2008 10:57:00 AM
One of the most beautiful musks I've ever smelled. This is less a fragrance than a body spray, or "beauty tonic," as the French call it. It's a white musk lightly touched with rose and orchid extract, and blows all other rose musks away, like Philosophy's Amazing Grace. My only complaint is that since it's meant to be sprayed all over the body, the scent is very light and fleeting. I've found that you get more sillage and staying power by spraying it on your clothes. Truly, I could bathe in this stuff, and with LBduM's Musc Blanc bath oil, I probably will.
Aromatherapy is nothing new, but Grasse-based Arthes group takes it to new heights with Smiley, the world's first antidepressant perfume. I'm normally suspicious of high-concept anything, but who can resist testing a feel-good perfume? The packaging is an instant draw: sunny yellow and white pharmaceutical containers like medicine droppers and those squeeze bottles they use in hospitals. The EDT and EDP are in throat/nasal spray bottles with round bottoms that won't stand upright, until -- here's a tip from the company itself -- use the plastic clamp around the neck of the perfume as a stand. Voila! This oh-so-clever packaging was designed by Ora-ito, the young French Prince of Design who's worked with everyone from Nike to Guerlain to Kenzo. The formula is equally ingenious. Top notes of bergamot, orange and pimento berry are instant picker-uppers and energizers. Middle notes of cocoa, praline and curacao provide the joy ... theobromine and phenyethylamine from cacao have an endorphin effect similar to eating chocolate. God knows if it's better ingested or inhaled, but any perfumista worth her salt knows that fragrances do have a direct line to the brain. Why else would we love them so much? Bottom notes are patchouli, myrrh and musk for their sedative, peace-giving qualities, not to mention a sexy, earthy twist. Smiley's nose is Jean-Pierre Bethouart, creator of fragrances for Firmenich, which has done Dune pour Homme and For Ever and Ever for Dior, and Cerruti si Masculin. Not surprisingly, Smiley is unisex, though the brand manager tells me the EDT is most popular with the guys. So, is it really happiness in a bottle? The mixture of chocolate with citrus/fruit notes brings to mind other fragrances like Chocolovers or even Thierry Mugler's Angel, but Smiley is less gourmand, more uplifting. The balance is heavier on the top and base notes than the chocolate. The EDP has great lasting power, and the drydown is pleasant -- boozy, white musky, a tad perfumey. Don't go off your meds just yet. Though Smiley isn't meant to replace your Zoloft and Prozac, you will feel calm, at peace, more open and loving towards the world, as if you had sniffed some olfactory E.
My first encounter with Talco Delicato was with a swap sample that had turned bad, so my initial impression was way off. I don't know which came first, Lorenzo Villoresi's Teint de Neige or TD, but they are almost identical: white musk mixed with vanilla and heliotrope -- scents that envelop you like sweet powder. TdN is sweeter, stronger, and sexier... I've had compliments from men clear across the room wearing it ... while TD is softer and more innocent, though the baby-powder comparisons are a tad exaggerated. If J&J talc really smelled like this, I would have covered myself in it daily a long time ago. If you love powder scents, if TdN is HG but some days you want to go lighter, subtler, more incognito (like I do), TD is the way to go.
Fragrances -Lancaster - Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker ] [DISCONTINUED]
therese108 12/28/2007 10:34:00 AM
Am not coveting this one. It's not horrible, but it suffers from a lack of originality, just like Lovely. While Lovely was a lighter, General Patronage version of Narciso Rodriguez for Her, Covet immediately took me to La Perla Eclix territory. It has a sweet gourmand bent thanks to the chocolate, which mixes rather unsettlingly with the green notes. The wet greens, geranium and vetiver combine to create a rather unexpected coriander accord. Other similar scents that come to mind are Fifi Chachnil (thanks to the coriander), and Creative Scentualizations' Perfect Kiss (due to the chocolate). My favorite part was the musky drydown, but that's not reason enough for me to score a full bottle, or even a decant, of Covet. Sorry, SJP. I'm still a fan, though.
Fragrances -Child Perfume - Child Perfume Limited Edition Spray
therese108 12/2/2007 6:40:00 AM
I found this too expensive to be FBW, so I ordered a decant of it instead from The Perfumed Court. Let me say that I'm glad I got a decant instead of the $165 bottle. To my nose, the EDP does not match the sparkling purity of the roll-on. There is a rather synthetic-smelling ambery note that I detect, which dampens the freshness of the pikake for me. The heavenly musk drydown that I get with the roll-on finally emerges after about 7 hours (staying power of this EDP is good, I'll give it that), but prior to that I find I'm missing my pure Child oil. Ironically enough, Child EDP smells like the many dupes of Child that are out there! Susan Owens was right: the perfume oil is far superior to the EDP, which means I'm definitely sticking to that $47 roll-on.
Shampoo -Frederic Fekkai - Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo
therese108 10/24/2007 8:50:00 AM
I was leery of buying this because my hair is colored, but my strands felt so weighed down by all my products for colored hair that I finally caved. I needed some deep cleansing! UPSIDE: My main fear, that it would strip my color, didn't happen. I didn't see any color washing down the drain along with it, anyway. The fragrance is heavenly, with a green-apple scent that smells natural, not fake. It also lathers up satisfyingly, with luxuriously creamy bubbles. DOWNSIDE: You'll have to follow it up with a conditioner, as my medium-length hair was a tangled mess after rinsing. I knew I'd never get a comb through it without conditioning. While airdrying, my hair felt unusually soft and limp, as if all the body and volume had been taken out. Once fully dry, my hair was not shiny. Though my strands felt cleaner and lighter, they looked lackluster and dull. Take note that I did not blowdry nor style my hair. I will continue using it once a week just to use up the bottle, but this shampoo fell way below expectations in terms of results, as did the Glossing Cream, for me. I don't know, but Fekkai doesn't seem compatible with my Asian hair. Will not repurchase.