Friday is Candy Jar Day – -Le Temps D’Une Fete Parfume Nicolai

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Good day folks!  Every Friday I will draw something from my candy jar for a quickie review.  If it’s heart stoppingly awesome I’ll give it a more in depth review at a later time too.  Today’s sample is Parfum Nicolai’s Le Temps D’Une Fete — a time for celebration. 

Luckyscent says

Green florals seem to be disappearing species; we have been waiting for a long time for a new release that would pay homage to this sublimely elegant genre. Thanks to the classically refined Parfums de Nicolaï line, we now have the green floral scent we so greatly desired. Le Temps D’Une Fête, the latest offering by Patricia de Nicolaï, celebrates the eternal spring, marrying the delicate aroma of spring flowers with the aromatic greenness of leaves and grass. The glorious, deep verdancy of the top notes of galbanum, mastic and hyacinth is a nod to the great classic scents of the golden age of perfumery. The heart is an ode to narcissus, the seemingly innocent little flower whose fragile petals hide a dark, almost animalic side. The base notes make us giddy with delight with their earthy-mossy, again sublimely classic quality. Le Temps D’Une Fête is a Perfume with capital P, a delight for those of us who are longing for the graceful and harmonious scents of the days past.
 

Personally, I am not one fond of green scents.  For some reason I associate them with either sporty types or the uber elegant, too refined and lady like to be sexy type of woman.  However, I am begining to see some of thier appeal.  This perfume is a stunner and at first I couldn’t understand why. The perfume begins with warm sun beating down on the green leaves of some floral tree, releasing the green-ness of the leaves and warming up the florals.  There is pleasnat beauty for quite awhile until….the green skank queen Narcissus slinks out of her hiding place, annoucing her presence with some really indolent animalic skank.  Glorious! 

 Luckyscent makes a reference to the “golden age” or perfumery and here is where that description is apt.  Long ago, there were the polite greens, like Chanel 19, Cristalle etc that were sparkling beautiful greens that spoke of elegance, chic black dresses and Audrey Hepburn.  These beauties were just simply divine, but did not take risks.  They did not need to as they were so lovely and chic.  But there were also the other greens that I am reveling in thier discovery–the green monsters.  Balmain’s vintage Vent Vert, Piguet’s orginal Bandit.  Shocking greens that spoke of something darker, dirtier and greener…like a midnight F^%$ in the green field.  None of the polite debutante-ness at all, pure damp green dark mud glory. 

What is the celebration about?   Return to good perfume compostion with a stunning green?  springtime? spring fever?  I don’t know and really don’t care.  It’s just a fantastic work because Le Temps D’Une Fete straddles the line between the two green worlds with the elegant opening later overtaken by the surprise skank.  My nose is singing in the symphany and I’m loving this addition to the line.  Though I didn’t realize exactly why I love it.

For the most part, until the mysterious skank monster rears it’s shocking head, the perfume reminds me alot of  Del Rae’s Amoureuse, minus the tangerine and spice.  Amoureuse is one of my great loves for it’s spicy, heady green and floral then musk perfection, though once in awhile I find it a bit difficult to take.  Le Temps D’Une Fete, however solves the problem by streamlining the green and florals semi-no-nonsense excluding the heady spice and then, just before you think ho hum and drift into sleey boredom, BAM SKANK. Just like Justin brings sexyback, Nicolai brings perfumeperfection back.   silliage is quite good, long lasting without overpowering.  genius I think and definately worth a bottle, which I will be procuring and putting into the decant list so you all can share. 

Notes : galbanum, mastic, opoponax, narcissus, hyacinth, daffodil, styrax, oakmoss, sandalwood

Interesting notes about the notes –I believe Bandit and Vent Vert, two of the mean green queens, use galbanum and lots of it to acheive thier shocking green-ness. 

photocredit www.janestarrweils.com/limitededitions/index.htm

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Published in: on December 29, 2007 at 2:32 am  Comments (3)  

Chanel no. 5 or the big mama review

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As I mentioned in the Coco Mademoiselle review, many years ago I was searching for MY perfume.  Of course, I started with the iconic Chanel no. 5 and quickly rejected it.  It was just too old, and too much for a young girl to tangle with.  Maybe, as a fledgling, I was put off by the “sparkling” aldehydes.  A young girl unaccustomed to perfume complexity would easily dismiss these as soapy, powdery fluff fit only for grandmas as opposed to champagne bubbles annoucing a celebration of florals and womanhood.  But that was then and this is now. 

After reading much about the iconic-ness and genius of the Beaux creation, I had to try it again, if only to see if I could at least appreciate it knowing what I know about the perfume world now.  However, in addition to trying the latest bottle of number five, I also HAD to try a vintage bottle, both parfum strength.  My discoveries surprised me. 

First, I was surprised that on application the perfumes immediately brought to mind the cheap, er um, classic aftershave my father wears, Old English Leather.  This must be attributed to the neroli- ylang-ylang-citrus notes after the aldehydes.  Chanel’s ylang-ylang tends to haunt me and, as in Cuir de Russie, and it gives a leathery feel to the perfume.  That combined with the Neroli, a note I find in many men’s formulas, gives an unexpected masculine feel to the fragrance.  Completely unexpected.   One would not suspect to find this edge to a classic, top selling woman’s perfume. 

Further into the perfume, it becomes “spicy” and “smoky” as the King says, and I have to agree. The spice element in the perfume deepens the nature of the fragrance, turning sparkling champagne into a deep red wine, much in the way we girls go from the insecure experimentalism of girlhood to the experienced, confidence of womanhood.  Drydown continues in the animalic (nusky, no poopy) and trace of subtle spice then light woods.  The composition is quite fantastic as the various notes emerge in small clusters of citrus to florals to animal to woods and then back through the cycle. 

  The woman who wears this is sure of herself, dressing in tailored, structured pieces made of soft, tactile fabrics.  Her hair is smoothly pulled up, but easily taken down.  She is not overtly sexy, but more sensuous with lots of curves.

    Iconic as it maybe, it has been tinkered with as Polge (reigning nose at Chanel) has admitted.  Where the vintage is a deep, throaty laugh, the modern is more of a girlish titter, with more powder and sweeter floral-fruit notes.  It is still essentailly the same formula.  De-Luxe how Luxury Lost it’s Luster mentions Chanel uses the same growers in Grasse for the florals as before in effort to maintain quality.  However the animalic have been toned down and summerized to suit the modern nose, unaccustomed to the deeper complexities of perfume. 

We could also argue the reformulation of the perfume matches the reformulation of the modern woman.  Once, we were more Marilyn like.  We expected to be curvy and reveled in our sensual power.  Everyday we donned a dress or suit to go about our business and every day we did hair and dabbed perfume.  Perfume was a luxury as well as a personal signature.  Today, in contrast, most of us throw on some jeans and a pony tail to go out to dinner.  We are kept little girls longer by our culture and most men seem to prefer a more girlish companion.  We are expected to wax everything but the top of our heads as well as diet ourselves into a prepubescent state. 

In the movie Loverboy with pre Grey’s Anatomy Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey’s character describes his first romantic encounter being with “a WOMAN a real Chanel, number 5!”  What more needs to be said about the perfume that signifies womanliness, lady-like classical and timeless sensuality?  How many more adjectives can I throw in there?

Ten years after dipping a toe into the toilet waters, I’ve emerged as a full fledged perfumista, as well as a grown up woman.  The kind that aspires to fix her hair and put on some lipstick, and hopefully found something other than jeans to wear…and never passes up chocolate.   For occasions when I want to be a lady, this is a bottle I pull out to annoint myself in celebration.  Truly a rite of passage, a benchmark I have finally acheived. 

notes: aldehydes, bergamot, rosewood, neroli, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, amber, civet, sandalwood, vetrvier

Published in: on December 28, 2007 at 7:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Merry Christmas

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WordPress ate and mangled a previous post, so …

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas.  No matter how, if and what you celebrate about the holiday, please accept my well wishing for you and yours on this holiday. 

I’ve been lazy in posting as I’ve had so many holiday projects I’ve been working on, but I promise a post on Chanel number five before the 28th.  My goal for the new year is to post twice a week (at least) and to update my decant list.  I’ve aquired lots of new vintage or hard to find goodies I’m excited about and hope you will be to.  Also in the works is a perfume group participation experiment which will begin in Feb.  look for a post on the details in the next week or two.  I think it’s an interesting idea and lots of fun. 

Happy things for today:

 I can still smell Parfum Sacre Extrait on my wrist from last night.   The lingering drydown is delicious–very much like the lingering memory of a romantic encounter.

The Princess had her first real Christmas today.  She woke up and saw the presents and went nuts!  Her little face lit up as she explored the mass of boxes and shiny wrappings, and eagerly brought us the various packages to help unwrap.  Point of Pride: I made her a sock monkey for christmas.  I’m terrible about starting handmade projects and discarding them after minimal effort.  However, I finished this one and it became a respectible looking stuffed toy.  Princess unwrapped it, looked over it with a big smile, immediately grabbed it and hugged it.  Of course, she dropped it shortly after and went on to demolish the mini tree…but the two seconds of appreciation were all I needed. 

Parfums MDCI sent me a christmas greeting.  I bought some Enlevement au Serail a few months ago, which I adore.  (review later) unfortunately it arrived broken.  However M. Marchal took care of the situation perfectly,  He definately knows how to run a business – – impeccable customer service. 

Well, I am off to the perfume cache to apply some Nuit de Noel.  it’s the perfect choice with for today  The royal family is off to grandma’s house to open more presents and have some family fun (drunken phase 10 anyone?) Enjoy the holiday and share what joy you have with someone else, even in the form of an unexpected smile.  Smell good while doing it too.

perfume choice of the day : Caron Nuit de Noel for me and Eau d’ Italie Sienne L’hiver for him

Published in: on December 25, 2007 at 9:25 pm  Comments (2)  

Nuit de Noel ~ A Caron Christmas

I’ve been thinking very hard about this post.  Caron’s Nuit de Noel is not just another perfume for me, it means so much more.   It truly changed my life.  Let me tell you a bit more about me.

After the birth of the Princess, I was miserable.  I had some extra weight hanging on to me, loose skin, stretchmarks like a tiger, not to mention being very tired and very frazzled with trying to fit into motherhood.  Things were bleak.  Nothing fit and I wanted to cry. Alot.  One day, sick of feeling like a trainwreck, I pulled out my copy of Lauren Stover’s Bombshell Manual of Style determined to start feeling better about me.  Afterall, I had a little girl to raise and I wasn’t going to teach her self hatred and body shame.  While weight takes time, as do other things, one thing you can easily change is your perfume.  The hunt began.

There were many suggestions for Bombshell perfumes in the book, most hard to find, some unheard of and others dismissed, like Chanel no. 5  for being too old and stuffy.  (look for a post on no.  5 in the near future) However, Nuit de Noel intrigued me.  Stover says, “Imagine seeing Paris on a snowy, wintery night from the top of the Eiffel Tower while sipping champagne.  Created in 1922, this warming, heartful scent pays homage to the roaring twenties with an effect so uplifting it’s dizzying.”  It sounded like a prescription for a new chapter in life.  A more glamourous, happy chapter, one that I could happily leave as legacy to a little girl.

 Exhaustive internet searching fueled the fire.  I encountered other’s descriptions that ranged from “powdery old lady” to “chestnuts roasting, mulled spices, brandied fruit” and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I also encountered references to it in books, such as Auntie Mame.  “Auntie Mame is a froth of whipped cream and champagne and daydreams and Nuit de Noel perfume.  She’s not mortal at all”

 Fortunately for me, I also discovered www.theperfumedcourt.com at that time and nabbed a sample.  I’ve been wearing it for months and have bought a bottle or two of my own. One important thing I noticed about this perfume is how it’s notes are smoothly blended together.  It is difficult to discern the ceaderwood from the rose, the rose from the ylang-ylang.  I’ve had to wear it for months before I could even begin to pick out the individual notes from the snow-globe swirl of smell.  Instead, each whiff reveals a different association.  Fur Coats.  Potted rouge.  a slightly indolent flower bouquet on a night stand.  A collection of perfume bottles and silky under-things.  Heels.  Nights out.  Rosy Cheeks and yes, firesides on snowy nights.  It is dark and beautiful.  Never naughty, always nice.  Definately to be worn on evenings out or special evenings in, but never with jeans.

Story-wise, I see a beautiful woman getting ready for an elegant evening party.  Her glossy hair is carefully put up.  She applies the final lipstick and checks herself in the boudouir mirror.  She finishes a glass of champagne, rises and goes to the door.  Her gentleman companion helps her into a luxurious fur coat and opens the door to a starry night with a blanket of snow on the ground.  Champagne, laughter, intrigue fill the evening.  On the walk home, it begins to snow again.  The beautiful couple laugh and catch snowflakes on thier tounges.  The kiss at the door and go inside to the fireside, which is crackling away.  They find warm cognac and a slice of fruitcake to enjoy on the fur rug by the fire.

I would dab this perfume out of the art deco black crystal bottle on my pulse points in the morning, a ritual that felt more decadent with the pretty bottle/gorgeous smell combination.   Smelling so luxe and refined encouraged me to fix my hair and put on respectable clothing for the day.  I would venture out of the house and feel human, feminine again.  Eventually, the baby weight came off and I regained more of my old self back.  I like to think it was a perfume intervention, as I needed a little Christmas.

Nuit de Noel is my obvious choice for Christmas day and any day I want a little glamorous lift.  It could be worn year round, however, like it’s sister perfume, Parfum Sacre, it stuns in cold weather.  Unlike Parfum Sacre, it is not cashmere, but fur.  Dark and warm, sparkling and glowing.  I can’t think of a better perfume choice for a holiday.

Question for discussion:  If Nuit de Noel were divorced from its name, would you still have holiday-esque associations? (Think of Shakespear’s rose meditation)  Or do you think the name is essential to set the tone for the perfume?

Cedarwood, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Orris, Mousse de Saxe accord (Oakmoss, Licorice, Myrrh, Cedar moss), Vetiver, Sandalwood, Castoreum  and 10 minutes after posting I think I got some candycane.  funny!

Published in: on December 11, 2007 at 9:40 am  Comments (9)  

Parfum Sacre by Caron

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I had one craptacular morning.  The Princess, who wants to be just like Mama, was following me about as I got on with some house chores.  As I was cleaning the cat-box she screamed and began to cry hysterically.  So, I grabbed her with forearms and took her to the bathroom to wash hands and try to calm her.  I see some blood and realize it coming from her right EYE.  Literally bleeding out of her eyeball.  After 20 minutes of wrangling a screaming, squirming baby, I got her to calm down and stop bleeding to find a cut on the outercorner of her eye.  A call to the doctor later and we are speeding off to the office to get checked out.  They torture the poor thing with some dye in the eye to find that there is not cut to the eyeball, just one heck of a nasty scratch on the skin.  Luckily.  So a co-pay and antibacterial cream, later two tired girls go home, thankful there is not nearly the crisis there could have been (cat crap+ open wound = FREAKED OUT MAMA)

Princess found her comfort in a long nursing session and a very long, deep nap on her favorite faux fur throw blanket.  Mama found comfort in some warm tea with a tiny shot of Brandy (they wouldn’t give me valium) and some prescription perfume comfort — Caron’s Parfum Sacre Extrait

There is much difficulty in putting the genius, the master artisanship of this perfume into words, and I can only hope I do it half the justice it deserves.

I admit, when I was first gifted with the EDP in a swap. I sprayed, sniffed and dismissed as another silly lemming.  I just wouldn’t be caught up in the hype, this was much too incensy and peppery to really wear.  All those blogging know it alls were full of it! But I was horribly, horribly wrong.

Like a sleep walker, I’d go to the perfume cache and wake up, finding I had applied this mysterious number, thinking “what the hell am I doing?  it’s hype!  it’s silly!  I don’t really like it? ! ”  Or did I?  I blame my pride.   I hate to jump on bandwagons, having listened too many times to the 80’s anti-drug slogan “be an orginal, just say NO.”  I just couldn’t have fallen in love completely unawares, could I?

I could.  My puppy love began with the sharper EDP, which gives more pepper and more silliage spread.  The EDP was like falling for someone’s great hair and teeth.   But the TRUE  love came about with the heavenly extrait, for which I scoured ebay in four languages.    This love is akin to finding your crush’s  book collection matched yours…perfectly.

With the spray comes the peppery-citrus opening.  You can feel the room grow cooler and are transported outdoors, on a walk as the sky becomes overcast with a snizzle of snow.  The change in weather hurries you to your destination, inside doors of the little church sanctuary.  As you sit down on the plush, red velvet seat you relax and admire the beautiful red roses on  the altar and the smell of incense in the air and the soft glow of the votives. You admire the stained glass windows, and the statue of Mary in all her sacred feminine glory.  Deep in thought you pull your soft, thick cashmere wrap closer, rubbing it absently on your cheek.   The sound of footsteps breaks your reverie.  A dark, handsome man enters the sanctuary.  Warming as he approaches, you smile as he pauses to take a rose off the altar.  He seats next to you, so close you can smell his slightly musky skin.  Whispering commences, and whispers become low giggles. The two of you rise, don large sun glasses and trot outside into the cold.  He places his hand on the small of your back as you hurry to his flat.  He *worships your sacred feminine.*  Luxuriating in his embrace and the glow of the fire can only last a minute, you must hurry home before you are missed.

You dress, deeply kiss goodbye and venture back out into the increasing snowy cold.  However, inspite of the worsening conditions, the cold damp isn’t as biting as it was before.  You are wrapped warmly within your cashmere wrap and the lingering touch of your lover.  Each gust of wind wafts the scent of incense and musk left in your wrap as you hustle back to a more mundane place, with a mysterious smile and the glow of a clandestine affair.

Parfum Sacre does cause my imagination to run away with me.  It’s almost ridiculous how I fall under the spell of this mysterious and alluring perfume, so much that I am willing to blow two months worth of diaper funds on the extrait.  I simply had to have it.  It’s comforting like the embrace of a lover, not the embrace of sweatpants. Parfum Sacre is alluring.  The word sexy definately does not seem right….too tawdry, and too overused a word.  It beckons to you to unravel it’s mysteries and find enlightment, solace and comfort in it’s smoky, glowing aura.  Simply breathtaking, it must be experienced with reverence and reveled in.

Parfum Sacre is wearable year round, however I find it particularily delicious in cooler weather, as it is a cashmere perfume.   It’s even better the day after when you find hints in your hair or in your clothes.  It can be melancholy, it can be inspirational.  It is always intellectual and introspective.  Ageless and timeless, as long as you can be intellectual and introspective, you can wear and appreciate the gorgeousness.

notes:  lemon, pepper, mace, cardamom, orange blossom, rose, jasmine, rosewood,vanilla, myrrh, civet, cedarwood

photo credit: http://nicholastrofimuk.com/photogenesis/gallery/pictures/ronis_loverbastille.jpg

Published in: on December 9, 2007 at 10:52 am  Comments (6)  

Chanel’s Exclusif Collection

This one will be short and sweet.  After reading lots of reviews about the collection, I was itching to try them. 

Coromandel

This was an instore spray favorite.  Warm, spicy, inviting, one could absolutely picture a cool, black laquered frame contrasted with thin red paper in the panes.  The papers glow with the light of a warm fire behind them and there is the smell of spices and a little incense.  Upon spray, it’s immediately warm with an undertone of vanilla, then dries out to a medicinal, dark mustiness. Next, Coromandel cycles back to the warm vanilla-amber base.  Somedays it felt exotique, sensual and winter perfect.  Otherdays it reminded me of Calvin Klein’s Obsession.  Particularily the year they offered Obsession with four roll-ons that isolated and aspect of the perfume.  I just can’t shell out 175 dollars for a smell-a-like, esp. one that doesn’t always last very long on me.  Pity.

notes:amber vanilla patchouli, frankencense and I swear there’s some cinnamon-y clove-y stuff in there too.

Bel Respiro

This one is green and sunny.  Like laying in a filed of soft warm grass while watching the clouds roll by.  It’s quite nice, in a tailored ladylike sort of way and great for spring or summer.  I personally wouldn’t reach for it often, but it could be a change of pace once in awhile.  Must retry in the warm weather.  I think it might be 80 degrees here next week.  I am hoping the warmer weather and lack of mild nasal condition will bring the promised florals and leather out. 

notes: leaves, rosemary, thyme, rose lilac, hyacinth,green tea, grasses, myhrr, leather.

No. 18

Spicy, then smells like Avon’s skin so soft.  My father would proclaim “smells like bug spray.”  Then after awhile it disappeared on me.  dammit.  Where are all the lucsious notes mentioned by Bois de Jasmin???

notes: ambrette seed, rose, iris.

28 La Pausa

Let me first say, I’m not big into iris.  I know so many of you love love love it, but I’ve never gotten it.  I hope for some personal growth, but it didn’t come here.  So I shall assume that unless you already heed the siren iris call, this is not the place to start.  All I can really say about La Pausa is that it was a woody man-floral and very not for me. 

notes: iris, rose… not sure

31 Rue Cambon

after reading that this was an experimental chypre I could hardly wait to try it.  I love me a good chypre!  This one was reminiscent of Femme‘s plummy goodness, though a great deal watered down.  If I didn’t worship Femme, I’d probably love this, but alas, it has been done before!  I do give Polge, the perfumer, credit for finding away to make a chypre with out that “evil” oakmoss that is suffocating the masses with it’s evilness.  (yes, that would be sarcasm, long live oakmoss!) It takes some creativity to find a way around the problem of not being able to use a particular ingredient.  So, shall I compare this to say….2% milk, and Femme being cream?  A parfum would be a great idea here.

notes: bergamot, black pepper, patchouli, cistus labdanum and iris.

Finally, I did find a little love in…

Eau de Cologne

I was very pleasantly surprised to find myself loving this one, as it seemed I would like it least.  This is a very refreshing, lemony citrus open with pleasant light florals throughout.  It’s perfect for Houston summer and I could see this in heavy rotation with my beloved summer scent, Jicky.  175 for the 6.8 oz…well… maybe I can convince the king it’s sharable…

notes: citrus, bergamot, neroli

Verdict:  A nice try.  Maybe I’ll feel differently about some of them in warmer weather, but truly do not forsee a purchase of any of these in the near future.

Published in: on December 5, 2007 at 3:56 am  Comments (2)