Friday, February 5, 2010

SOTD: Coty Sand & Sable (The drugstore experiment begins!)

Important safety tip: The word "cologne" on the bottle should not, under any circumstances, be taken to mean that you should spray Sand & Sable lavishly. If this is the cologne, I can imagine that one drop of a theoretical parfum version would drive all of the oxygen out of a room.

But that's not to say that I don't like it. I do - I like it very much. It's big, and friendly, and sweet. The word that comes to mind is "affable". The image that comes to mind is a big, fluffy, friendly, but perhaps not-too-bright cat.

The official notes are tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, rose, green notes, and peach. It doesn't have any of the aldehydic or shrill aspects that I expected from that list - instead, it's mellow and buttery, very comfortable. There's just enough sour to balance the ample sweetness, like doctoring your iced tea with far too much sugar and then getting the lemon just right - you know that it's all too much, practically syrup, but it tastes so good.

I can see why this is so well-loved, and why it brings up so many happy nostalgic memories for so many women. To them, it seems to be about teenage sunburned beach afternoons. I don't have that association, so I read it as, well, furry, rather than beachy. Mink stoles or feather boas or, again, that cat.

It's linear, or essentially linear.  It does shift a bit in the first twenty minutes or so as it dries, but that beginning doesn't feel like planned top notes so much as an inevitable phase that you have to wait to, to get to the "real" fragrance. Then it's all sweet, thick, flowery buttercream.

Review Roundup: Scentzilla! and Perfume Posse and Perfume-Smellin' Things (very brief mention) and Scentzilla! again and Now Smell This (brief mention) and Perfume Posse (brief mention) and Perfume-Smellin' Things (one line) and Fragrantica and Basenotes and MakeupAlley.

Photo: By Halved Sandwich. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Nice. This one seems worth trying.

  2. Great review!! "...getting the lemon just right." -- Nice!! Too bad it's for a scent I don't know... Again, I want to go to a drugstore perfume spritz party-- it seems like they don't have tester bottles out anymore. Maybe it's because people are more aware of being scent sensitive?

  3. Hey, Diana! Yep, it's startlingly good for the price, and I think I can call it good without even the "for the price" part.

    Thanks, LCN! Yeah, I haven't seen a tester in a drugstore for years. I don't know if it's about scent sensitivity, or availability of personnel, or theft (the perfume zone in this particular store was pretty well sheltered, though I'm sure that the security cameras had a view), or... well, that's all I've got.

    A drugstore perfume spritz party. I like it.

  4. Ok. I'm back. You're not going to believe this, but yesterday I was at Walgreens, and while I was looking for something else entirely, I saw they had a "50%" off shelf, and there, as big as fun, was a bottle of "Sand & Sable"! (Nothing else I recognized. Something called "Exclamat!on" anyone?)

    I had just typed not two hours before that I didn't know anything about this scent, but I opened the box and spritzed the cap.

    O. Mi. Gawd!!! I have NO idea where this scent sits in my history, but I know this scent in a big, big way. Something is tugging in my mind at my best friend Andrea's house when I was in middle school-- I wonder if either she or her mother wore it...

    Anyway-- tuberose + Coppertone lotion-- some kind of gardenia and coconut oil thing going on- yum! What a kick!! It died after only an hour on my skin, but it was just kizmet-- I never would have traveled back in time if it wasn't for your posting.


  5. That's so cool! I love the way scent dives into your mind and wakes up a memory. It's as if it's a separate filing code, or something.

  6. I'm one of those people with fond teenage memories of Sand & Sable. Actually I think I was a pre-teen (about 10-12 years old). It was my Mum's and in the bathroom vanity so I'd spray it whenever I wanted to feel 'oh so grown up.'
    I haven't smelled it in eons - I wonder if it would seem the same? Beachy is the adjective I'd use, because it seems like I was always wearing it during summer vacay from school. Thanks for reminding me of this - I don't think I would have remembered ever wearing it before your post.

  7. Funny, I just wore this again in writing a review (should post today - I was having 'puter trouble over the weekend). And I have a history with this one, too...

    Yep, pretty good for a drugstore fume.

  8. Abigail, I'm tentatively guessing that it would be much the same - it seems to be the scent, not just the name, that serves as a major nostalgia trigger. And in my experience scent memory is pretty picky about matches.

    Of course, all I can do is guess, because it's not in my scent memory at all. I begin to suspect that women in Missouri (where I spent many of my growing-up years) just didn't wear much perfume.

  9. Hey, Mals! Yep, I was really surprised at how good it was. And it almost seems to manufacture nostalgia - in spite of my lack of history with it, I've already gone all fond of it.

  10. ChickenFreak, I love your description, it's hilarious! I, too, remember using it as a teen (and into my 20s and early 30s, actually). Some demon entered my mind today and made me think of it and lo! I found your blog. The notes, as you listed above, are exactly the things I realize I seek in all fragrances - and I'd no idea of them existing in S&S! Hmmm...I think I need to go get me a bottle! :-)

  11. Howdy Pixilated! Welcome to the blog! I'm glad you found it. :)

    Yep, it's nice stuff. I need to wear it again soon.