24 Faubourg Review and Trip Down Perfume Memory Lane

Once upon a time when I was an girl in the bigger city of Chicago, I had a field day at the now extinct Marshall Fields.  Oh what a store that was . . . it had that upscale feel of the big boys; Saks’, Neim’s and Nordie’s and yet more of the personalization of a smaller department store.  No wonder it was sold out to Macy’s. *sigh*   Anyhow, the perfume SA’s we always so very friendly on the Mag mile, one of whom gave me a big, whopping 10 ml sample of 24 Faubourg.   24F is an Hermes confection named for it’s Parisian store’s address.  Notes include Bergamot, Orange, Peach, Hyacinth, Tiare flower, Orange flower, Jasmine, Orris, Sandal, Patchouli, Amber, Vanilla.   However, I believe this list isn’t all inclusive as there are a few suprise notes in there, at least for me. 

That day I believe I was transformed.  I walked into the store to load up on some Philosophy goodies and replace my well loved and so ominpresent Madamoiselle.  Madamoiselle was my event perfume of choice worn only when not wearing a BBW horror of fruity, floral nausea.  After that was done, I was meandering and struck up a conversation with a lady at the Hermes counter who had also been wearing Madamoiselle.  We decided it was lovely, but everywhere, and I confided I knew nothing of perfume and longed for something a bit more–MORE, but didn’t know where to begin.  There began my love affair with Hermes…..

After rejecting a few bottles of other things, she said “this one is popular, but not in the mass markety every one is wearing it sense.  try it”  I did.  and oh heaven.  I remember walking out of the store and onto the Chicago streets.  As I walked back to my hotel I was swathed in the orange-sunset cashmere aura of the perfume, utter bliss.   This was a scent for someone who exemplified old world class and money.  It is refinement, yet approachable.  I could wear this in my ball gown or in my jeans — as long as i had good shoes and clean hair.  Seduction with this scent means wearing your best La Perla and smooth hair underneath your lady like Navy Blue Jackie O. dress.  Or possibly with your riding togs, only to discard them and leave your boots and pearls on.  People like to say this is a perfume only appropriate for a woman over 35.  I disagree, being younger than that and able to love, appreciate and carry it off.  It isn’t the woman, it’s the way in which she carries herself with this perfume.  I wear it when I put on my princess face and want to impress and empower while preserving my feminity.  One can wear it anywhere, as long, as I mentioned, you have clean hair, good shoes and proper deportment.  Paris Hilton need not apply. 

Today (a few years later)  I dug up a sample of the EDP and the Parfum and did a side by side comparsion to see which formula was the winner as I am nearly out and almost ready to purchase more.    I was surprised at the result.   Both begin with a lily of the valley note.  Lily of the Valley is not listed as a note.  Often this flower is one of my worst enemies, however here it is the opening of perfection. Then they both exude the orange/jasmine/amber sunset of scent.  Let me say something about the fruit… This isn’t BBW fruity sweetness of death.  This particular fruit sinks into your skin and emits an aura of golden, juicy vanillaness around you.  Picture yourself  silhouetted against a gorgeous sunset in an orange and peach orchard.  That is 24F.    The EDP ends this rich heiress-goddess sunset moment  with soft woodsy patchouli and amber, as though the sun went down on a soft summer or early autumn night.  The air cools and you wrap up in  your softest cashmere blanket and head to your favorite fireside.    The parfum, in contrast, smells….of laundry detergent. The heiress leaves the orchard and is demoted to scullery maid, without the benefit of seducing the lord of the manor.   Thank god I only bought a sample of the parfum because if I had paid the 135 and upwards for laundry detergent, I’d have been writing a looong letter to Hermes demanding a refund! 

  So, lesson for the day….never assume the higher concentration is the best.  In this case the EDP was the perfect blend of the fruit, the florals, and the woods.  Both sparkling, warming and richly sexy.  The parfum really does send you out to the cleaners and leaves you hung out to dry. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you the smell of money and happiness.

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 1:56 am  Comments (11)  

Gucci’s Coochie : a Review for Gucci Eau de Parfum

As I mentioned from my previous post, the other day I recieved a box of goodies from another perfumista.  Upon opening the box filled with a plethora of bottles, all I could think was “wow.  something in there is sure skanky!”  After doing a bottle sniff of each I determined it was the bottle of Gucci Eau de Parfum that was skanking up the group.  Not feeling brave, I tried two of the lighter offerings and put the skankster away for another day.  Which was today.

   After two days of sucessfully testing Chamade and unsucessfully testing fleurs de rocaille (too soft to smell!) I wanted something really juicy, and boy did I get it.  I sprayed this one with abandon and went outside awhile to really feel it’s effects.

 The notes are as follows in no particular order as they show up in no real order on me in the various testings :

Vanilla Absolute, Heliotrope, Citrus, Orris, Thyme, Orange Blossom, Cumin, Musk.
 At first there was a nice citrus-herbal bit, which I think must be the thyme and orange blossoms.  It sparkled on my skin just as the sunlight sparkled off of the pool’s water surface.  Then minutes later, it became sweet, just a hair shy of cloyingly sweet.  This near cloying floral-vanilla sweetness was interwoven with THE note that can make or break depending on its usage –  – cumin. 

Who doesn’t love cumin in thier food?  It’s the spice that trancends many cultures and makes everything from hummus to posole gastronomic heaven.  Just smelling it in it’s spice jar makes me hungry and thinking of my favorite foods.  However, putting it in a perfume composition can be perfection or murder.  Case in point; the new Femme by Rochas.  Cumin weaves itself between the juiciness of the plum to make a perfume that smells delectable without being foody.  In contrast, Musc de Khoubli Khan uses the same spice to make some, not all, smell like a NYC cabbie.  NOT my favorite thing to smell.  Both perfumes are promoted to be sultry and sexual. 

  In Gucci Eau de Parfum, the effect is something like mild body odor and vanilla.  As disgusting as it sounds, it’s actually fabulously intriguing.  It brings to mind a european woman in the traditional american sterotype: the woman rumored to not bathe as frequently and let her underarm hair grow.  However, she is sexy as hell, and can probably cook a great creme brulee.  Imagine Brigette Bardot or Sophia Loren in the kitchen.  Bare feet, well done hair, winged eye liner and a peasant blouse stirring the vanilla scented brulee batter while sweating a tad in the non air condtioned heat.  Before I get blasted by mean comments, I think this is the great and strange thing about sex appeal.  Napolean would direct his mistress Joesephine to not bathe before his return to her.  Those pheremones in the unwashedness would have some sort of olfactory association with unwashed body skank and kept him coming back for more.  Men these days are still like that, though it isn’t polite to admit. 

Older perfumes capitalized on this bit o’ skank honey factor while new scent manufactering want us to smell fruity and mundane.  (think Bath and Body works and the array of celeb-fumes)  Gucci EDP is a 2002 release and takes a slight risk with the cumin, though balances it safely with the sweets.

In the end of the wearing, I am left with a trace of vanilla-cumin musk and lots of incense.  Bottle worthy?  Not sure.  I am intrigued by the day and a half of wearing, and quite fond of it.  But, I do think it plays it a bit safe for me and wish the cumin-vanilla phase was more forward and longer lasting.  Who knows, maybe it will change on a differnt wearing.  Until then it will be a lovely flirtation with this modern bombshell. 

Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 1:32 am  Comments (8)  

Chamade me want some; or a review of Chamade by Guerlain


It is a lovely 99 degrees where I live and although I LOVE to smother others with my fragrance (or at least announce my approach twenty paces ahead of myself) I do sometimes crave a lighter, more summery scent.  So, when I opened a box from another perfumista I swap with, I subconciously sniffed for summer. Out of the heap of goodies, Chamade called to me and whispered “pick me for I am loveliness.”

 Chamade was created by Jean Paul Guerlain in 1969, named after the novel “La Chamade.”  Chamade en fracaise also means something like drum-beating and was meant to mimmick a heart pounding in love.  I don’t get that experience with the EDT, but maybe with the parfum?  To me, it’s more of the progression of a sunny, lazy day into the evening. 

I sprayed the EDT onto my wrists and throat.  At first, it made me cough a bit.  I forget that EDT contains more alcohol and can be a bit avant at first.  Something like strong hairspray.  I wonder if my intial impression from sniffing the bottle had gone wrong. Within minutes I get a breeze of  light florals, a masculine jasmin being most prevelant for me.  This, I think is an effect of the Galbanum, which is found in the Green Monsters Bandit and Vent Vert.   This green, almost manly soapy session dissapates after a little while and the second phase kicks in.

  I felt all clean and freshly showered for a little while there.  The sun is shining and I step onto the back porch and sit down to enjoy the feminine flowers breezing on my clean skin.  I should be wearing a light yellow and pink floral night gown with lace egding. Hyacinth,ylang-ylang and my roses….and it’s heavenly, until it disappers.   I can’t find the perfume anymore, it’s melded with my skin with only a trace of spice.  Seriously a TRACE as I am frantically inhaling some skin to find it.  Actually, it smells like skin but better.  After some time, I notice it is back. 

Instead of on the back garden porch with the florals, it’s the end of the summer day.  It’s late afternoon and the flowers have started to wilt a bit.  It’s the kind of scent they get as they start to die in thier crystal vase, dark green-brown and indolently spicy.  This vase sits next to a bottle of the familiar Guerlainade of vanilla, tonka and amber.  It sounds a little sad, but it’s seems to be the best part.  Although it’s made with the Guerlainade components, I personally think it smells a bit more from the house of Caron in this stage, with a dash of balsamic syrup.  Not gourmandy, it’s a subtle, continuing and  irresistable spicy end to a beautiful, sunny day.

 Usually, I don’t do EDT as I prefer to experience a perfume in parfum, as it was meant to be experienced.  However I am discovering a few perfumes are often better, or at least more wearable in certain situations in thier EDT form – – Jicky and Eau de Mervielles being my top two EDT’s.  Will Chamade become another?  I cannot say for sure, as I am am still compulsed to suss out a sample of the parfum for comparison.  So, stay tuned for a review of the parfum sometime soon

Notes are hyacinth, Turkish rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac, blackcurrant buds, lily of the valley, galbanum, sandalwood, vetiver, musk, amber, iris, and Tonka bean.

Published in: on August 26, 2007 at 1:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Hello Fine Folks

     Welcome to the begining of something grand, my perfume blog.  Sure there are many, many others out there.  Some maybe better than mine.  But there is only one me and one opinion like mine.  So shut up and start singing my praises.

    What you can expect here is a post on whatever bit of something smelly I am wearing.  What I think of it, what it reminds me of, and sometimes even a little educational material on it too.  What not to expect is coherent thought, correct spelling and good grammar.  SO with those little warnings out of the way, please do pour yourself some beverage of some sort and start reading me.  Lord knows I don’t type for my health!

Published in: on August 25, 2007 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment