Friday, April 30, 2010

SOTD: Parfumerie Generale Papyrus de Ciane

I love Parfumerie Generale and I love green fragrances. So I've been very excited about Parfumerie Generale Papyrus de Ciane. My decant arrived today (woohoo!) and I promptly put some on.

And it's not at all what I expected. Which, now that I think about it, shouldn't be, well, unexpected. Parfumerie Generale is always different; that's why I love it.

But I'm going to have to put my expectations aside and re-experience a full wearing before I commit to anything like a review. So I'm just going to say that I'm very much enjoying the barely-grainy drydown, and return another day (tomorrow, maybe?) with a longer opinion.

Review Roundup: 1000 Fragrances and Perfume Nerd and Now Smell This and The Scented Salamander and Fragrantica and Grain de Musc and CaFleureBon and SignatureScent and Olfactorialist and The Fragrant Foodie (scroll down) and Perfume Patter and PereDePierre.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

SOTD: Chanel Cuir de Russie

I'm a geek. A pudgy geek with little fashion sense, a four-month-old haircut, and absolutely no knowledge of makeup.

Very few things can make me feel glamorous. This fragrance is one of them. I'm planning to keep it around.

Review Roundup: Is here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SOTD: Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, and puzzlement

I read about this on Muse in Wooden Shoes, and for some reason walked away with the idea that it was hard to get. Trying a tester at Neiman Marcus and finding that they didn't actually have a bottle for sale cemented the impression, plus I loved it. So when I saw it on BeautyEncounter, I promptly ordered some. It arrived today. Now I suspect that it's not all that hard to get, but, hey, I've got it.

But today I'm highly disconcerted to find that I'm not enjoying it. Today, it's all aggressive powder. But I recall that I was dubious about Jasmin 17 the other day, and I wonder if I'm oversensitive to powder right now.

So I'm going to review it properly another day.

Review Roundup: Muse in Wooden Shoes and Aromascope and I Smell Therefore I Am and 1000 Fragrances and Perfume Shrine and Basenotes and MakeupAlley and Fragrantica and EauMG and Bois de Jasmin and then there's a lot of sheet music clogging up my Google searching.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SOTE: Art of Shaving Sandalwood

Today was fragrance-free again.

Tonight, there will be sandalwood and napping.

Review Roundup: Is here.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, April 26, 2010

SOTD: Le Labo Jasmin 17

After all my enthusing over A La Nuit, I thought I'd give one of my previous favorite jasmine fragrances a try. So, today I used up the last sprays of my sample of Le Labo Jasmin 17.

Both fragrances are undebatably jasmine-focused, but they're very different. A La Nuit is a deep pool of silk and honey; Jasmin 17 is powder and lace. Jasmin 17 is brighter and fresher and more frilly-flowery than A La Nuit, and in my days of lower jasmine tolerance, I preferred that.

But now I think I prefer drowning to frills. This scent is lovely for a few minutes, but I grow tired of it. Too much lace, too much powder, and I think too much neroli - I've never liked neroli for more than a few minutes.

Which leads me to the notes - according to Legerdenez, they're Jasmine, litsea cubeba, neroli, palma rose, bigarade, amber, musk, sandalwood, and vanilla.  A lovely sounding collection, and I once enjoyed the result very much, but now it's been bumped out of my list of favorites. For a full-strength dose of jasmine, I prefer A La Nuit; for a casual jeans-and-sneakers summery-day jasmine, I'll take Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint.

Review Roundup: Perfume-Smellin' Things and Perfume-Smellin' Things again and Aromascope and Legerdenez and Fragrantica and Basenotes.

Image: By Sie Bot. Wikimedia Commons. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

SOTD: Lancome Sikkim (Quick sniff)

I've mentioned the Lancome La Collection, purchased so that I could smell Climat. I also loved Mille et Une Roses. Today was my first sniff of Sikkim.

I can't make up my mind.

According to Perfume Posse, the notes are aldehydes, ylang ylang, bergamot, galbanum, gardenia, thujone, carnation, jasmine, narcissus, orris, rose, amber, castoreum, leather, moss, patchouli and vetiver. Whew.

I loved the top notes - aldehydes and galbanum and a mix of florals. This phase was old-fashioned, yes, but the kind of old-fashioned that qualifies as a compliment. Stylish. Vintage suit. Utterly assured. The stylish aunt, the one that you aspire to be when you get older, and then you realize that you could wear her scent right now. This is the closest that I've come to appreciating the value of aldehydes, rather than just tolerating them for the sake of other notes.

But in a few minutes it shifted and became the bad kind of old fashioned - headache inducing powdery aldehydes. A powdery aldehyde carrying a beautiful note can be a glorious thing; one carrying nothing is just olfactory noise. Sikkim dropped the galbanum and flowers on the floor at this point, and became noise.

I lost track of it at that point. Three or four hours later, I remembered to sniff again, and found that it had quietly improved. The powder is soft and pillowy now, and it's accompanied by something sweet and smooth - the narcissus? The gardenia? That's all dusted with a veil of moss, enough to keep it from being girly-pretty.

So, a lovely beginning, a headache-inducing middle, a quite nice end. I still can't decide.

Review Roundup: Now Smell This and Perfume Posse and Fragrantica and Yesterday's Perfume.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

SOTD: None, and Last Saturday, and The Mall

Himself and I have a custom known as Last Saturday.

The idea is that discretionary purchases - DVDs and movie posters and murder mysteries and soap dishes and big-screen televisions and scrunchies and, yes, perfume - must occur on the last Saturday of the month. If a proposed purchase isn't basic groceries or an otherwise immediate need (like, say, the rainy season just started and we've discovered that all appropriate shoes have become worn and leaky), it waits for Last Saturday.

There are two reasons. First, the requirement to put off these purchases for a few days or weeks increases the likelihood that we'll decide that we don't actually need whatever it is. Second, when a month's worth of discretionary purchases are all piled up in one day, purchasing them all looks like financial suicide, so we're likely to do some cutting.

Today is Last Saturday.


Actually, no, so far it's been a very small Last Saturday. I say "so far" because there's one hour left, and the whole wide Internet is out there. But I was surprised that even though we stopped by the mall, on Last Saturday, very little self-control was required. I think that this is a sad, sad commentary on the state of department store fragrances. Actually, on the whole mall - they don't even have a bookstore any longer! - but I'm talking fragrances right now.

I ended up coming home with only two small perfume-related purchases:

A mini roll-on of the new L'Occitane Paeonia Eau de Toilette. The Nice Salesperson offered me a test strip of this, and I liked the grapefruit in the top notes, so I bought the mini with unseemly haste rather than wait until the next Last Saturday.

Fragrantica says that the notes for this one are bergamot, grapefruit zest, peony, rose petals, sandalwood, and musk. I mostly get the bergamot and grapefruit, which is just fine with me, though I'd be happy if the sandalwood came forward. It's a friendly little perfume, low projection, not too sweet, not too aggressively "fresh". I'm pleased that I bought it, though I think a mini is just about the right portion for me.

Speaking of minis, I very much like L'Occitane's choice to offer mini sprays or roll-ons or tins of many of their scents - that decision is responsible for almost every L'Occitane purchase that I've made.

The second purchase was a mini roll-on of Kiehl's Pear scented essence oil. Yum. When I first sniffed this I thought that it was a little cartoonish, but as time goes on it smells increasingly like a real, slightly overripe, pear. It's a note more than a perfume, but it's a very nice note.

And that's all. I did do my usual check on Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia, and it was gone. My thrashing around about this has been endless; I've wondered if I'd be relieved or dismayed if this disappeared before I bought a bottle. Turns out that I'm relieved. Whew.

And I tried a spray of Guerlain Jicky parfum. I can never resist an unexpected pure parfum tester, and I wanted to try the civet classic. Sadly, I don't like this any better than the Shalimar parfum that I tried a while ago - though this time Himself didn't threaten to evict me from the car. There's a common element in both - Guerlinade? - that I don't like at all.

So that's Last Saturday. So far.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, April 23, 2010

SOTD: Serge Lutens A La Nuit

Lovely. Just lovely. The sensation of drowning in jasmine is still there, but this fragrance makes that a good thing.

Review Roundup: Is here.

Image: By Roger McLassus. Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

SOTD: Chanel Cristalle, and the Eighty Percent Perfume

I occasionally think of a concept that I call the "eighty percent perfume". The idea is that while I can't imagine settling on just one fragrance, I can fairly easily imagine wearing the same one for, say, four days out of five.

This wouldn't necessarily be my very favorite perfume. When I try to find words to explain why, the phrase "heartbreakingly beautiful", seen now and then in reviews, comes to mind. The most beautiful things are often painful to spend too much time with. That's why No. 19 parfum, for example, is not an eighty percent scent for me - it's too lovely to wear every day.

But an eighty percent candidate should be lovely enough to wear day after day, changeable enough to stay interesting hour after hour, and not too jarring or challenging even on stressed or grumpy days.

I was going to make a list of perfumes that could be my eighty percent, but then I realized that I can only come up with two candidates: Chanel Cristalle, and Chanel Cuir de Russie. Both are perfect.  But I couldn't possibly decide between them, so maybe I'd have to make them both forty percent perfumes.

So, what's your eighty percent candidate?

Review Roundup: Is here.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SOTD: None. Again.

Again, I wore no scent.

Again, I drank too much milk.

Again, I didn't read a book.

Again, I didn't wanna get up and start working this morning.

Again, I wanted to just take a nap after work.


Image: By Broc. Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SOTD: Serge Lutens A La Nuit

I used to be iffy about jasmine fragrances. The clean ones were too shrill and the dirty ones were too dirty and too shrill. I was OK with jasmine as a note - my beloved No. 19 has some, and naturally so does Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint - but not as a focus. The first few times I tried A La Nuit (pre-blog), I was horrified. I was drowning. I suspect that I scrubbed.

The first time I tried it post-blog, I was surprised to find that I liked it, and that it didn't knock me flat. Today, I tried it again, and I like it even more. I don't perceive it as dirty. Or shrill. Or even all that extreme. Perfume deities help me, I find it pretty.

Is it pretty, or is my jasmine tolerance rising to an alarming level? Either way, I love this stuff today.

Review Roundup: Is here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

SOTW: Nothing, and Scent Compromise

Scent Of The Weekend, that is.

Himself is not a big fan of perfume. On weekdays, when we're apart, I can happily douse myself in the morning, and the aftermath will have faded enough to be largely unnoticeable in the evening.

On Saturdays, we generally spend all day together. So I've decided on a tentative policy of wearing little or no scent on Saturdays. Except for bath bubbles. In theory, I should make the same policy on Sunday, but, well, two scentless days? I figure he wins on Saturday and I win on Sunday, see?

But today, I'll be sitting in close quarters with strangers again, so I don't win. Scentless again.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow, there will be perfume. Maybe a giant cloud of Un Lys. Sadly, there will also be work. Given that Saturday is the best day of the week, I may need to rethink this thing. Friday evening is the best evening of the week, so maybe Fragrant Friday followed by Scentless Saturday?

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, April 16, 2010

SOTD: Parfumerie Generale Cuir d'Iris

The leather craving continues, and today Cuir d'Iris seemed just about right. It still has that weird tanning-potions thing that appeals to the part of my nose that craves freakish and chemical and bug-killing scents.

Then, as it wore off, I sprayed on Cristalle. You'd think that there would be a war, but, nope, it worked really well.

Review Roundup for Cuir d'Iris is here.

Image: By Van Gogh. Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SOTD: Serge Lutens Daim Blond, and lightweight musings on leather

OK, so I decided that I was going to wear a perfume today. Absolutely. Positively. Going to.

I wanted Cuir de Russie. I craved Cuir de Russie. I couldn't find my Cuir de Russie sample. So my first choice was out. But I still wanted leather.

Cuir de Lancome didn't seem quite right when I sniffed the cap, though I can't quite say why. Too spicy for spring?

Cuir d'Iris seemed, in memory, too aggressive and dry.

Cuir Venenum, also in memory, had too much curing chemical and too little animal.

Bandit would have been great. My craving translated effortlessly into a craving for Bandit. Which, as it turns out, I'm out of. The sprayer's right there. Empty.

First lesson of the day: I like an awful lot of leather perfumes.

So I ended up with Daim Blond. Soft pale suede and fruit.

Second lesson of the day: A Cuir de Russie craving cannot be satisfied with Daim Blond. They are not colleagues. When my nose wants Cuir de Russie, Daim Blond - usually a fragrance that makes me close my eyes and do that blissful drinking it in thing - is no better than Perfectly Nice. It was all fruit today, hardly any leather.

Third lesson of the day: It's time to buy a large decant of Cuir de Russie.

And now I'm headed for more rose-scented bubbles. Hey, does anybody make leather-scented bubble bath?

SOTD: Nothing. Again. Oh, dear.

Photo of a pink rose.

Again, I wear no perfume. What's the deal?

I am headed for rose-scented bath bubbles, though. Does that count?

Image: Mine

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SOTD: Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Ah, yes. I had a mild to moderate liking for this before. Now, in the spring, I like its medicinal, camphorous feel even better. It's another data point for my previously-discussed spring pattern. Very nice.

Image: By Wing-Chi Poon. Wikimedia Commons.

Self Link: Marwencol

The film festival is over. And one of the last films that I saw, Marwencol, was one of the most amazing. It doesn't have a single thing to do with perfume, but I'm going to link to my own post anyway.

Image: By Mattia Luigi Nappi. Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

SOTD: Popcorn?

No scent yesterday, no scent today. Just continued movieness.

Image: By Seghene. Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, April 9, 2010

SOTD: Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange (Solid.)

I wondered if I still love this.

I do. Nice, gentle, sweet but not too sweet orange.

The film festival continues, so I'm going to leave it at that.

Review Roundup: Is here.

Image: By Dasha. Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SOTD: None

So why is it that on a day off, getting up at an hour that would be perfectly normal on a workday feels like a tremendous sleep-stealing sacrifice?

I don't know, but today we got up early enough to eat breakfast before the first film (at noon!), and I felt too sleepy to choose a scent.

So I am unscented. But the festival is fabulous.

Image: By Thomas M. Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SOTD: k. hall designs Cypress & Cassis Solid Perfume

I'll be spending much of the next few days at the Ashland Independent Film Festival (woohoo!), in full movie theaters where people will be forced to sit near me. Therefore, I'll be spending those few days wearing low projection, easy-to-control perfume solids. I thought I'd get a head start tonight with k. hall designs Cypress & Cassis.

k. hall designs appears to focus more on home products than on perfume - they sell candles, and reed diffusers, and shower gels, and room sprays. And, disconcertingly, soap dishes and stationery. I bought my quarter-ounce solid perfume at a shop that tends more toward bed and table linens than perfume; I like to encourage local perfume availability wherever I find it.

I like it. I love blackberry and currant and cassis, so it gets points there. And it's not oversweet popsicle fruit - there's a nice grounding note, sharp but not sour, that I assume is the cypress. It's totally inoffensive, but not uninteresting. Just about perfect for close movie seats.

Review Roundup: Not a single review to be found, so far.

Image: By BeAr. Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SOTD: Hermessence Vetiver Tonka

There are back of the neck scents, wrist scents, and neckline scents. Vetiver Tonka, I have discovered today, is not a neckline scent. That sharp grassy note needs a few more inches to develop before it reaches the nose.

And, well, that's about all today.

Image: By Staffan Enborn. Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, April 5, 2010

SOTD: Hermes Voyage d'Hermes

Did I mention that the rumor that the Hermes boutiques are allowing mix-and-match of the Discovery set is true? They are. I went. I bought. And the nice lady threw in a sample of Voyage d'Hermes, and today I'm finally trying it.

And I was indecisive. And then I wasn't.

The beginning has a lot of lime, which I approve of. Well, approved of. For the first minute or two. It was a very nice lime backed by something green, peppery, bitter and salty-without-being-aquatic that I also approved of. Sort of like Terre d'Hermes viewed through green glasses.

But that went away, within minutes. The lime took on an aggressive character, or perhaps teamed up with an accompanying note, that I can't place. It's rather as if someone tried to duplicate the scent of the bitter white pith of citrus peel, but failed to do so in a convincingly realistic manner - it feels very synthetic. I detect just a trace of the same thing in Rose Ikebana, and it's the only thing that I don't like in that scent. It's much, much stronger here, and seems determined to grow to monstrous proportions.

Come to think of it, it also reminds me of the lime note late in the development of Jo Malone Sweet Lime & Cedar, the one that I theorized might be Kaffir lime leaves. The one that grows and grows and is the only thing that I don't like in that scent.

It occurs to me that it might just be a combination of vetiver and lime peel, and as I'm sniffing again to test that theory, it starts to change. The woody musk, or musky wood, that I couldn't imagine being in there, finally comes out. It reminds me all the more of Sweet Lime & Cedar - in fact, it feels very much like a Jo Malone, but an unsuccessful one. I wouldn't call it typically-Ellena transparent at this point - I visualize it as a rather solid chewy base, with a bit of fog rising from it, a sharp fog that's trying to make my eyes water.

I find that I just don't like it. I feel rather as if I'm drowning in limes. It does tie some perceptions together for me - it contains what I don't like in Eau d'Orange Verte, and the little bit I don't like in Rose Ikebana, and in Terre d'Hermes, and it highlights those notes and brings them forward. It is clearly an expression of Ellena, but an expression of the rare part of his palette that I don't like.

Review Roundup: Now Smell This and Perfume Posse and 1000 Fragrances and Fragrantica and The Scented Salamander and J'Aime le parfum and Persolaise and Grain de Musc and Perfume Shrine and Perfume Patter and Bois de Jasmin and ScentSate.

(I could've sworn that I saw at least one more review of this one recently. Is anyone able to give me a pointer?)

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

SOTD: Chocolate?

Well, actually I'm unperfumed again.

But well-chocolated; Himself was the Easter Bunny today, and there are chocolate rabbits and mint balls swarming all over the place.

Given that he's not a huge fan of perfume, and that we'd be spending all day together, I felt that the least I could do in return was go unscented.

Mmmm. Minty chocolate.

Image: By HardyPlants. Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

SOTD: Lorenzo Villoresi Musk

This one continues to puzzle me. The combination of soap, galbanum, and geranium is iffy for the first hour, leading me to fear that I may dislike it. Then it settles out, and I quite like it again.


And, see, that's all I can find to say. What is wrong with me? Has my perfume muse run away? Has it been bullied away by the barely waking fiction muse? Or is it just the ongoing spring perfume thing?

I offer pictorial soap bubbles. And amble off to the other blog to, perhaps, write about fiction writing.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, April 2, 2010

SOTD: None

Today, I'm likely to be sitting close to people, so I refrain from perfume.

I need a Cone Of Scent, so that I can appreciate my perfume privately in public places.

The picture? Completely off topic. It was the Wikimedia Commons Picture Of The Day today, and I thought it was beautiful.

Image: By Steve Jurvetson. Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

SOTD: Serge Lutens Un Lys. Again.

Deadlines loom. Documents are unwritten. Brain is full.

So, another very short post. Un Lys pretty. ChickenFreak frazzled. That is all.

Review Roundup: Is here.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.