Friday Candy Jar Day Le Labo Vanille


I picked up the spray vial of Le Labo Vanille and sniffed. OMG  smokey incensy vanilla heaven.  just from smelling the vial, this has to be good.  already smells like what I thougt sdv would be.  bergamot, incense, gaiac wood, mandarin, vanilla, muscenone, pipol and hedioneh .

Openers, I get the bergamot and mandarin very subtly.  It definately does not open with shower fresh citrus in an attempt to fool you into thinking it’s a kiddie ‘fume.  Just what a room temperature orange peel might smell like dancing with some woods. Meanwhile vanilla dances around them and inbetween them, never cutting in, just joining the circle. 

side note:  I am not a big fan of vanillas.  I detest perfumes that make you smell edible or innocent or, like in SDV’s case, just damn boozy. I do not understand those who LUV blah blah blah vanilla sugar and plastic .  In Le Labo Vanille, the vanilla is a suggestion, as though some one dried a vanilla bean and orange peel, and put it in a fire built with a few aromatic woods.    It is warm, sensual and snuggly particularily when the amber comes out to play.

Further into the wear, I am realizing I don’t want to shower, even though I really need to wash my hair.  The ambery dirty bits are cuddling up to my smokey vanilla veil, I am completely transfixed.  I suddenly wish it were much, much colder outside, as I have a feeling it would really take off in cold air and silliage would wrap it’s self around me like a fur coat to keep me warm in the chilly night.  While the juice on skin doesn’t smell exactly like the fume emanating from the bottle, it does evolve and then smolder rather nicely. 

Now the bad part….it is 1. ungodly expensive.  I’d have to give up eating.  and 2. the BASTARDS (yes, I said it.  we’re all thinking it, so might as well) not only made it expensive, but exclusive to Paris.  So, although I have a friend who is hanging out in gay Paris, I cannot bring myself to ask him to procure me a bottle.  bastards.  Really now, if you come up with something pretty spectacular WHY do you make it so hard to obtain?  oh yippee, I am wearing something that costs more than a car payment and I can only get it on mars on the third moon’s thursday wearing a blue penguin suit, but hey y’all it’s an exclusive niche.  hurray for me.  Seriously, what’s that about?

So morally, I can’t really justify buying a bottle, and I shouldn’t buy a decant either out of principle.  Unless, of course, a Parsian falls in love with Aldehyde 44 by Le Labo, which BTW is only available in Dallas, Texas  and wants to swap me for some Vanille.  That I could live with.

picture :

Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 9:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Hermes Miracle Waters X’s 3


Around 2004 or so Hermes launched Eau de Merveilles and followed with two flankers, Parfum des Merveilles and Elixir des Merveilles, both flankers being variations on the orginal Miracle Waters.  Other than the fact EdM smells divine, I suppose it is miraculous water because it supposedly contains one of the last batches of real ambergris.  Ambergris is very expensive and hard to obtain as it is an intestinal secretion of sperm whales.  Sexy, no?  While soft it has a strong fecal smell, but as it hardens it becomes earthy, animalic and oceanic.  It’s been used and coveted for perfum, as well as incense (infact some think it helped keep away the black plague.  miraculous!) and jewlery.  Usuage tends to fall into a grey legal area so it is less easily obtained and used these days, not to mention, to use real ambergris, you have to wait around for a sperm whale to, um, deposit some near your shores for collection.  Needless to say, it is miraculous to get your hands on perfume made with the good stuff.

Notes for the orginal composition, Eau des Merveilles:  elemi, bitter orange, Italian lemon, Indonesian pepper, pink pepper, ambergris accord, oak, cedar, vetiver, balsam of Peru and tears of Siam

After the momentary burst of citrus, EdM launches into the pepper.   The pepper is the salt spray in the air at the beach, or a man’s stubble on your face while kissing.  You are watching the waves on an over cast day, a nubby blanket wrapped around you and your boyfriend, feeling very  From Here to Eternity. Through out the saltiness the ambergris accord weaves a musky oceanic skin smell between the peppery salt and the almost incensy woods.  You wouldn’t think something from the bowels of a whale would smell so incredibly good, though ambergris is listed as an aphrodisiac.  EdM is a very intimate perfume, should be worn at nape of neck and cleavage, those closeto you  you will smell and think it is your salty skin smell with some musk, not obvious perfume.  I love this for the beach, or when I want to think about the beach.  I adore the smell of the ocean and have trouble finding a perfume that has that salty sea air with out smelling like..saaaay Cool Water.  It actually reminds me of a grown up and classed up version of a  body wash Nivea had many years ago and discontinued.  I believe it was called Ocean or sea something or other and I lived to bath in it, it was so additive.  Eau de Merveilles is great for summer, esp. if you are tired of the same old light greens, florals and citruses though I get more citrus spark from EdM in the winter. 

 Parfum des Merveilles notes: oak, patchouli, mosses, amber, balsam of Peru, tears of Siam, davana, cognac note, leaves and roots  dark and rich woody.  With EdM you are on the seashore, with toes in the water, looking out on to the waves, feeling the salt spray on your face and the sand beneath your feet.  With PdM, you are sea drenched, having been shipwrecked and swimming for miles .  Luckily you find a deserted island and lay out on wood from a cognac cask to dry. You are rescued by good looking stubbly pirate who builds a fire and offer something warm to drink..the cognac from the cask and tea. The patch is earthy, like smelling wet forest dirt or water logged driftwood in the composition.  Absolutely  lovely.

While the pirate and the richness and cognac are sexy in a fantastical sort of way, I prefer the Eau. I even found myself mysterious while wearing the Eau.  I smelled it on pillow after sleeping in it all night, and it was just so delctable I could roll in sheets scented with the stuff.  With both, a feeling of mystery.  Like mysteries of life kind of thing and sense of longing too. With both, just as if you swam in the ocean all day and can still feel the waves caress your body when you lay down to sleep at night, Parfum and Eau both linger on your skin, melding with you.  Both could be unisex.  On a woman, sexy giving her a mysterious aura, due to oceanic qualities. I imagine Venus must have smelled something like this after emerging from her oceanic birth.  Both are also for mysterious smelling as in she rubbed against a good smelling man.  On men, it’s warmish and woody, and once again oceanic with out using aquatic notes.  I could see myself stalking a man who smelled of either compostion. All I’d want to do is smell him.  Honest!

The final installment, the Elixir des Merveilles was created by Jean Claude Ellena, who gave it a more gourmand interpretation.

notes: chocolate-covered candied orange peel, caramel, vanilla biscuit (vanilla sugar, tonka bean), creamy milk, sandalwood, incense, resins, ambergris, Peru balsam and balsam of Siam, oak, patchouli and cedar. Basically EdM wrapped in foodiness. 

When I spray I get the oranges and the chocolate, some of the vanilla, and a little salt.  Here and there a little dirty musk peeks out, but unfortuantely I cannot wax poetic as it morphs into some sort of laundry detergent on me.  So, if I wanted to smell kind of clean, like, laundry done at eh beach left near the cookie jar, I might choose this formula.  However I don’t think it’s worth the money.

So, as you’ve guesssed, out of the three I love Eau des Merveilles, the orginal, so much that I shelled out for a gift set complete with bath wash and lotion, hoping that the layering will increase the already great lasting power and maybe improve the silliage aura just a bit.  After wearing this for the last three days I can’t seem to get enough of it’s aching beauty.

Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 3:00 am  Comments (5)  

I stink of Pickle Juice and Roses. aka POTL A.Maze


holy cripes. 

After Princess went to bed I was feeling a little fragrance frisky.  So, I busted out my sample of People of the Labrynths A.Maze, part of a gift from reader KIM (thanks! look for a thanks you note in the mail soon) and began to dab.  And then….(doom music here) I dropped the vial. all. over. me. 

Out of the vial arose an ill tempered genie, whispering that the tauntingly beautiful notes will be defiled by his green pickle presence.   The genie tells me of the beautiful rose, the spicy saffron that should temper the rose, as well as the woods and anamalics.  All the while the pickle mist fills the room and brings me to tears.  It is as though I am given a box of chocolates, promised they are deep dark chocolate covered confections, only to bite into the confection to discover a rotting pickle.

Needless to say, this did not work for me.  It seems the henna somehow overpowered all the goods promised, giving them a jagged, medicinal edge instead of the honeyed, spicy, musky promise.  I later tried just a single dab, and incurred the same pickle wrath, and such a shame, as it seemed to get some good reviews.  On the brightside, I won’t be spending $250 for 100ml of parfum.  On to the next great thing!

Speaking of the next great thing, I will begin my “Wearing O’ the Green” series March first.  All perfumes green will be highlighted in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the coming of Spring.  So, if you have a particular favorite, leave a suggestion in the comments and I will try to give it some coverage provided that I have it in the collection or can easily obtain a sample.  Look forward to Delrae Debut, Miss Dior, Chanel 19 and Cristalle, as well as some other great classics like the original Vent Vert and Bandit.

notes:Henna, Saffron, Taif Rose, Orange Blossom, Wardia Rose, Agarwood, Sandalwood, Musk, Civet.

art from

Published in: on February 26, 2008 at 10:44 am  Comments (9)  

Belated Valentine’s Day

What did you wear for Valentines day?  It was just me and the princess on Thursday. So, we got all dressed up– her in an adorable pink sweater outfit with matching hat, me in a white blouse, black and white skirt with belt and an updo with pearls and heels.  I slathered DelRae’s Amoreuese body cream and then spritzed the perfume for a knockout layering effect.  The white flowers, the warm honey with snips of spice and light citrus seemed so womanly and sexy and perfect for the gorgeous day we had.  Sun shining, blue skies, just perfect for outdoor shopping and lunch at a little french place. Princess makes a great date.

Sooner or later I will give Amoreuse a proper review, however it is hard to find words for one of my favorites.  Not to mention, the body cream is just splendid. Moist and perfectly scented I can wear it alone and still get the full perfume effect or I can layer it with the perfume to really knock people out (with gorgeousness, not scent overkill).  Certainly hope Delrae follows up with more gems such as this. 

Published in: on February 17, 2008 at 9:40 am  Comments (1)  

Watch this one, it’s a Tolu-lou


Some time ago, caught up in lemming hype, I ordered a set of Ormonde Jayne samples.  After being disappointed with Woman (black hemlock sounds way more intriguing than it actually was) and one that smelled like BBW Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin (gack.  expensive smell alikes!), I shelved them, deciding to try them at a later time.   As I  packed for a two week trip I decided then was that later time.

As I packed up my toiletries, including some perfume, my eye ran acrosss a black velvet envelope-bag and I remembered . . . Ormonde Jayne!  What lovely presentation for samples….nice generous SPRAY vials in a beautiful velvet bag.  So many lovely reviews and raves and the perfume-artist now offers scented body glitter, reportedly not stripper style but subtle golden flecks calling out to me to adorn my ample cleavage.  I must give this another go.  A random draw chooses Tolu, a warm resinous oriental.


Top- Juniper berry, orange blossoms, clary sage
Heart – Orchid, rose, muguet
Base – Tolu, Tonka bean, golden frankincense, amber

At first spray, sharp herbals mingle with delicate citrus.  Something odd and almost weirdly clean nudges at my brain to recall some scent experience from long ago.  Something decidely not warm or overtly sexy, maybe some tobacco and leather chairs, musty books, but  I decide to wait for the top notes to disperse and reveal the tantalizingly named candies underneath.  I can detail out the clary sage, which definately seems to soothe my mental state of pre-trip frenzy.

Herbs give way to a spicy floral lust.  An odd sentence, I realize, but I can’t seem to word it otherwise.  Does anyone admit to seeing “The Ladies Man” with Tim Meadows?  There’s a line, “you’ll know it’s love you will feel it deep down…in your pants”   No joke, and at the risk of being obscene, something in this perfume gives me a slight panty tingle.  I blush to admit it, but in the interest of my blog-honesty I must report I feel oddly turned on.  One would think so many of the other perfume greats would have such an effect, but instead and odd little perfume with unusual notes seems to have an effect. 

 My aroma aura smells incredible, though skin to nose contact sniff is overwhelming and almost sickening. No idea what an orchid smells like, but the flowers drift in and out of a dance pattern with the ambery-incense woods.  Delightful, sensuous and warm.

Drydown and morning after left me with a warm, golden feeling of amber and woods with vanilla on both my skin and sweater.  This is a perfume best suited to cooler weather and/or romantic encounters.  It’s disarming, yet comforting at the same time, sort of the way I thought Coco would be, though more exotic.    I think men would love this on a woman. Tolu is a real winner from Ormonde Jayne and encourage me to check out the rest of the line. I am definately pondering purchasing a full bottle and the aforementioned body glitter which contains actual flecks of gold and scent.  how great would that be for the art of seduction? 

Thanks to all who have given me kind words following my grandfather’s death and my leave of absence.  Thank you to all who kept reading. 

art credit:

this work captures the warm golden sensuality of Tolu.

Published in: on February 17, 2008 at 9:17 am  Leave a Comment