Estee Lauder Amber Ylang-Ylang

I will admit to being something of a snob.  a lot of a snob.  just ask anyone who knows me.  So, I was a bit sceptical when I heard about the new EL release Amber Ylang-Ylang as I wasn’t entirely impressed by Tuberose Gardenia (dodging tomatoes) or wowed by Sensuous.  Aside from the original Youth Dew, nothing has really called my name in the EL line.  Most of it is kind of predictable, and a few rather nice, but nothing spectacular. 

But I heard the perfumista buzz about the upcoming (now here) release of AY-Y and made my stop at Nordie’s this afternoon to give it a sniff.  Before I get to my reaction let me make an important note.

  I actually got a free sample!   That’s right fellow sniffistas, I was given, without asking, begging, pleading, or blackmailing, a carded spray sample in a glass vial– 2 ml!  Imagine that!!! A perfume company that GETS that people want to take a little home to wear around, test the developement without high pressure sales tactics based on the top notes!! Geniuses they are!  Estee Lauder gets a really big gold star in my book for courtesy here — particularily because the SA encouraged me to take it home and wear it and think about it, then come back later.  could have cried…

Right, so how does it smell? Good.  Really, really, Good.  Imagine Amber Narguile (JCE at Hermessence) without the sometimes perfect, sometimes cloying apple pie note.  Then add some incense and vanilla smoke.  Not quite gourmandy, but really very wonderful. 

This warm perfume begins with what smells to me of tobacco, light ylang and a little tiny bit of citrus.  Immediately, I feel as though I should be wearing a perfectly cut tweed suit -bracelet sleeves, very nipped waist and sexy pencil skirt- with something cashmere underneath. 

It’s intellectually sexy and definately invites someone to come closer, or possibly back to your country manor’s library.  I bet this will really take off outside in cooler temps and I can’t wait to try it there.  As the tobacco wears on, a little skin flash enters the composition, bringing out a little salty, humany sex.  Ylang-Ylang intensifies?

Further in I do get the warm spicy rose mingling with the tobbacco ylang sex goddess.  It’s feminine, warm and smart.  Finally, a bit of vanilla, which momentarily goes too sweet, as  vanilla scented pipe smoke can be, but it is quickly whipped into shape with incense smoke, almost dark, very resinous and bringing to mind the embers of a dying fire. 

Do I love this? resounding yes.  After my FREE sample runs out I will most definately be picking up a bottle, though I wonder if I am coughing up 300 for the parfum.  Just imagine this stuff intensified… wouldn’t that be glorious?  And the golden bottle, which is studded with agate and various stones is quite elegant, a perfect compliment to the elegant, warm and delicious juice.  Maybe they should have called this one Sensuous….

Estee Lauder’s copy “The richness of Amber and Ylang Ylang combined with the luxurious depth of Sandalwood and Vanilla.The second fragrance in Aerin Lauder’s Private Collection. Warm and inviting. Luminous and intimate.”  (no odd crap about molten woods here.  thank god. )

Thier offical notes :  Ylang Absolute, Italian Bergamot, Geranium Oil, Bulgarian Rose, Absolute
Cinnamon Ceylon, Incense, Vanilla Bean, Sandalwood, Amber

Weekly Poll Question — What would Daisy Buchanan of the Great Gatsby wear?  I’ve got a perfect dress and a hot date… suggestions?

Published in: on October 2, 2008 at 8:27 am  Comments (8)  

Vero Profumo KiKi

Ages ago I tried Vero Profumo’s Onda, looking for a Djedi pacifier.  Intially I decided it was pretty good, but wanted the real thing.  However lately, with all the rain, Onda kept calling my name and I wore it three days straight, flinching a bit at the super dry leather but wanting to roll in the midnotes and drydown.  It was the perfect foil to the stormy days. 

Today, the weather cleared and I found myself looking at the other two samples for Vero Profumo wondering “what if”?  A random grab gave me KiKi’ the perfume I thought I would love least out of the three creations.  Why would I feel that way unsniffed? Caramel.  Not just Caramel, but POWDERY CARAMEL.  Sounds kind of nauseating, doesn’t it?  The other notes include lavender, musk and exotic fruits.  I expected a stomach churning smell that would only be appropriate on a dessert tray after many glasses of wine.  Maybe a lavender creme brulee served with kiwi and a side of coffee.  This perfume just had to be destined for teenagers or grown women who describe perfume with  “yuuuuummmmm.”  Certainly not for afficiandos.

However, I was pleasantly, estatically surprised.  Instead of sugar coma inducing dreck, I experienced a lacy, sniffable, warm lavender, remincecent of Guerlain’s Jicky. Though it follows the same lavender cut with something sweet to mask the dirty underneath, it is a warm blooded animal as opposed to Guerlain’s cooler creature.   

Kiki begins so oddly sweet, yet musky, yet lavender then sweet again.  I am drawn to the mysterious musky sex, but slightly repulsed by the almost sick sweet fruit mixed with the caramel.  Here and there the lavendar is mildy fecal, as is Jicky, but veers into more powder warmed by the sun.  KiKi brings to mind Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette — the powdered wigs, extravagant fashion, sex and desserts.  Remember the scene where she shops and eats cake?  Perfectly Kiki.   

Vero Profumo’s website describes Kiki as inspired by a burlesque, frivolous Paris.  Kiki is the smell of the boudoir of a 17th century successful courtesan.  Full of frills and intrigue, it transports the wearer to a place of decadence.  A place a someone responsible for all sorts of unsavory tasks day to day doesn’t often see.  For me, that place has been lingerie shopping at the uptown boutique with a starbucks and a short bread.  Not exactly the scene depicted in the picture chosen for the post, but as close as I get these days.  However, wearing Kiki makes it all the better.   Though it is sweetish and decadent, it can certainly be worn by a man. 

It’s quite possibly bottle worthy if I can justify the 105 Euros, which is unspeakable in USD.  Tommorrow I am determined to pull away the sample vial for Kiki and give Rubj a test.  If we were to go by note listings, it would be the favorite, though I seriously wonder if it can knock Kiki out of the neck and neck first place with Onda in my affections.  It is rare, not since DelRae infact, that I experience a line that I can appreciate all of thier offerings.  Vero Profumo is a talented artist, making each of her creations quite different for each other while maintaining quality of work.  More meditation on this thought in the upcoming Rubj post. 

Kiki notes: sex, candy and lavender.  ok fine.  powdery caramel, lavender, musk and exotic fruits.

photo credit:

Published in: on July 7, 2008 at 8:12 am  Comments (3)  


Lately I’ve had a case of the snark.  I’ve been mentally composing reviews that tear perfumes to shreds and it makes me feel all black and evil inside.  When such a mood strikes, the best course of action is to wear something you l-o-o-o-o-ve and get up the go to write about it. 

Amoureuse has had many loving mentions in my blog over the  almost year.  It’s one of those perfumes I reach for often, yet have been intimidated to write about how gloriously sultry, heady, feminine wonderful it is.  Seriously.  Delrae Roth should consider paying me (in perfume, of course!) to spokeswoman for the stuff. I’d sing it’s praises from the highest mountain top my 4 inch heels could climb.  It’s that amazing.

So what does it smell like for the few poor souls huddling on the cold outside of her warm embrace? It is said that Amoureuse’s inspiration drew from the box trees in San Francisco.  I’ve never smelled a box tree and couldn’t tell you if that is the spirit of the perfume.  What I smell instead is a sultry, glamourous, seductive Bollywood vision of India. The perfume unfolds something like a langourous dance of the seven veils….

Around Christmas, citrus fruit, especially tangerines and clementines are at thier peak in Texas.  They are absolutely ripe-juicy and begging to have the just soft enough skin peeled back to release the fruit.  When you dig in your nail to strip the peel off, you notice a fine spray of what seems to be almost a powder of citrus essence released into the air.  Your nostrils fill with the sweet scent of the fruit peppered with a slight bittery tinge of pith.   That is the tangerine opening of Amoureuse.   Cardamon and honey give the sweet tangerine a kick that leaves those in your wake staggering, wondering what exotic thing walked by at the fruit market.  Every so often a bit of moss contrasts the sweet spice, hinting at the dark secrets beneath the gorgeous stranger’s (that’s you, wearer) veil.   Soon, underneath the honey, flowers begin to bloom.  Warm Tuberose, skin like nearly rotting, jasmine and cool lily alternate between heady creaminess and the peppery spice of indolence.  It’s animalic-like a small pile of unwashed lacy under-things still clinging to the last bit of the night’s perfume as well as a more natural aroma. 

Almost indecently, Amoureuse sheds each perfumed veil down to near bare skin and a little sweetly perfumed sweat.  The sheer colored veils are strewn about the floor giving wisps of spice, green and florals.  The dancer (once again you!) shines with beads of sweat and promises of a private performance, somewhere sandalwood incense burns and heads swim dizzily with pleasure. 

Could the romantic interlude be a karmasutric, Sting-like Tantric affair?  Yes, somedays it is long and drawn out tantalizing you for hours with heady spice and skin.  Other Sunny days it’s making love in a field of flowers.  Madly bright, joyous and ripe with lots of laughter. 

Amouruese is seasonless, blooming in summer heat and warming in the winter’s chill.  I also hold the opinion it will become timeless as well.  In other reviews it has been said that if Patou’s Joy were composed today, we would have gotten Amoureuse.  I think I must agree.  Joy is a lovely jasmine-tuberose work, though composed with a powdery, soapy edge.  This approach is a bit dated these days, though once it was a true treasure–very expensive and worn with abandon and “joy” by those who chose it as thier own.  Amoureuse contains the same jasmine-tuberose idea, however the twist of spice, animalics and incense draw a more faceted woman. One who wishes to be and often can be exotic and darkly seductive in her form-fitting pencil skirts or sheer veils, however doesn’t hesitate to thrown on white shorts and a ginham top for an outdoor picnic and love fest.  She’s a bombshell with a multiple personalities. 

Delrae’s Amoureuse can be found at Luckyscent and a few other spots online, along with the coordinating body cream, which is divine as well.  I’ve also had an email from Delrae that reveals there will be three NEW RELEASES for the line later this fall.  The line’s body of work is extraordinary art and I am dying to get my hands on the new releases as soon as they come out as I am sure they will be wonderful too. 

notes: tangerine, cardamom, honey, cedar-moss, tuberose, jasmine, ginger lily and sandalwood

favorite quote found in research Amoureuse is “like Mae West with rabies” (baybe on make-up alley)  hit’s it right on the nail.

Published in: on June 2, 2008 at 8:31 pm  Comments (6)  

That ain’t “rien”! Miller Harris L’air de Rien

Miller Harris produced one of the most interesting bits of perfumery in awhile.  It’s tobacco and a little leather and a while lot of unwashed.  Rien means nothing in french.  I guess that is supposed to be a little joke for the following reasons

1.  the air of nothing — should smell like nothing.  The absence of smell?  the absence of a perfume and the presence of the enviromental smells?  LdR captures leather, tobacco and smoke, all enviormental smells to create an intellectual, warm ambience.

2.  To cut short a lengthy explanation, I will get to the point — Shakespeare often used the word nothing or nil as a name for a vagina.  If I had lots of time ans space and audience I would expand on the proof, but I don’t so just take my word here.  So the perfume would be the air of vagina, which the animalics certainly give the juice.  It’s very very naughty, yet it is still very cerbral.  Much like a sexy scientist or librarian. 

We start with the comforting smell of pipe smoke.  swirling around a leather chair in your father’s library and then, two seconds later a whiff of dirty underwear and powder.  The animalic in this smoky red flannel blanket is almost overwhelming.  It is the musk of very dirty underpants.  The kind worn while performing an intense workout, left on the body to dry and then worn out to dinner.  Very Bold stuff.  So bold that my tiny little decant needs a home away from it’s decant friends inside two plastic bags to tone down it’s siren’s call.  It’s really that pungent. 

While the opening is daring and danger with a slight bit of red flannel blanket thrown in to fool you with comfort, the rest of the composition is a wonder.  Green velvety oakmoss tinged with vanilla dances with a bit of amber to creat a sultry Oriental that is best worn when it is either cool outside or on a rainy afternoon in your library spent discussing Russian Literature naked.  Wear a sweater or loll about on a tiger skin.  This perfume is clothing enough.

Kings thoughts: “smells like red velvet.  kind of dirty too”

LdR is a modern perfume done in a classical style.  Sooner or later it’s tobacco-musk-oriental base will seduce me into a full bottle. In the spirit of the perfume guide, if there were only two words to describe L’air de Rien, they would be skanky librarian.

Published in: on May 6, 2008 at 5:04 am  Comments (5)  


   I mis-spoke in my teaser-trailer.  Tabu has been touched on in a few reviews and mentioned on a few boards.  However, after spending a few days wearing it, I think it has been overlooked in our frenzy to try the uber branded and much more expensive offerings.  Had it not been for the mention in The Bombshell Manual of Style  I might never have ordered up a sample and given it a serious audition.  Expecting some cheap “Designer Imposter”-esque trashiness I was pleasantly surprised at what genie emerged from the bottle.  

On paper it sounds like a good basic chypre.  However on bare skin it is anything but basic.   Spicy, almost medicinal rose warms up to voluptuous decadence as it mingles with a slightly candied orange.  Jasmine seduces the bloom off the rose as rakishly as a cad seduces a young girl out of her panties.   Spices give the compostion an velvety texture, like the velvet on a well placed leopard chaise in a boudoir.  I am enveloped in a cloud of smelling good yet very, very wicked.  In the middle, the flowers meld together to create and idea of smoke and petals…something like cinders glowing dark red on a fire.  Definately too much to wear out in the heat, unless you are brazen as am I,  but one spray would definately warm me up on a cold day and would go perfectly fireside with heat warming up naked canoodling skin.  The amber in the drydown is honeyed milk mixed with glorious musk.  Sandalwood takes on a woodsy vanilla that is just skin but better, though on the baby it becomes darjeeling tea.  Very sexual, intoxicating perfume, I’ve hardly put it down since I’ve tried it.

From The Bombshell Manual of Style we are told “This is not a scent for the faint-hearted Bombshell.  Potent and spicy with a “narcotic” floral heart, this scent is the velvety, sizzling starter for many a Bombshell and is most fitting for those with an uninhibited nature.  Tabu comes on as strong and sexy as Dorthy Dandridge playing the free-spirited Carmen Jones, Gine Lollobrigida in Trapeze, Ava Gardner in the Barefoot Contessa.  Remarkably versatile, it goes with wine colored velvet, black velvet and all manner of peasant garb.” 

From “The first fragrance of the house was Tabu, created by Jean Carles 1932. Jean Carles was well known for his wonderful creations made of unusual materials. Before creating Tabu, he was instructed to make a fragrance for a whore (‘un parfum de puta’). Thus, Tabu was created, sensual and shocking.” 

Both descriptions seem mostly apt.  It does take daring to wear something as potent as this number can be, particularily in the heat of summer (though a dreamon a sultry summer night) Though Whorish?  Well, the worst of it is the faint trace of bubble gum that I get when the potion takes a quick breather.  However those faint traces of gum popping ill-manneredness quickly fade to reveal more of the wild nature of the perfume.  If it is for a whore, it seems to fit more of a courtesan or a Heinlien-ian happy whore.  His instructions for happiness in bed go something to the effect of “leave all inhibitions at the door and do your whorish best.”  Perhaps, had the spec for the perfume been written today “Whore” would have been replaced with “agressive” “confident” “experienced” or maybe even “mature” sexy woman who takes pleasure when and where she wants it.  Afterall, whore has such a sad, pitable connotation as the word brings to mind Fantine in Les Miserables as opposed to Madame de Pompadour or any other example you could supply.   

The seamless draping of the composition’s scent around me remind me of a Caron as it is dark, with a trail of cream.  Spicy, full bodied and mature. Actually, I see a direct correlation to Parfum Sacre and possibly Or et Noir. If I couldn’t afford those wonders, Tabu would definately suffice and I wouldn’t feel gyped in the least– more like a genius to have discovered a secret stunner all my own and very affordable.  This sleeper is very inexpensive (I hate to say cheap!) and I am sure if it were more expensive it would get much more attention from we perfumistas.  The taboo in Tabu?  Paying so little for something pretty extraordinary.  Find the parfum strength and snicker when people ask you what obscene thing you are wearing.

Notes are rose, orange blossom, jasmine, vetiver, oakmoss, amber and musk civet sandal wood patchouli.

Oh, PS:  I am getting better at responding to comments!






Published in: on April 7, 2008 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Bombshell Perfume updated Monday afternoon


At the request of a reader, I am presenting a list of perfumes a bombshell would and would not wear as appears in The Bombshell Manual of Style by Lauren Stover.

Monday update appears in () and bold writing.  This is waaay easier than reposting!

Arpege by Lanvin

bombshell user: Jayne Mansfield

Chanel – – “all except Allure which she might buy for a niece but finds too girlish for herself”

no 22 bombshell: Catherine Denevue

no 5 bombshell: Marilyn Monroe

Diorissimo by Christian Dior (How did she miss Miss Dior?? It’s almost ladylike with a skank under current that gives new meaning to lady in the street, ho’  between the sheets!)

Femme by Rochas (I love this one though prefer the new formula with the extra kick of cumin.  see my post on it for further thoughts)

bombshells: Mae West and yours truly

Fracas by Piguet (What, no bandit in honor of Bettie Page?)

bombshells: Marilyn, Kim Basinger

Gardenia Passion by Annick Goutal

Jicky by Guerlain (cool, refreshing with just a nice bit of dirt in the composition to keep it from getting boring)

bombshell: Bridgette Bardot

Joy by Jean Patou

bombshells: Josephine Baker, Gloria Swanson, and Marilyn Monroe

L’Heure Bleue

bombshell: Patricia Arquette

Mitsouko by Guerlain

bombshell: Jean Harlow

My Sin by Lanvin (this one I wonder about.  Everytime I tested I got aldehydes and no magic.  maybe it’s me, but all I could smell was hotel soap.  How is that sexy?)

bombshell Jayne Mansfield

Norell by Revlon

bombshell: Faye Dunaway

Nude by Bill Blass

Shalimar by Guerlain

bombshells: Gina Lollabrigida and Rita Hayworth

Spring Flower by Creed

Tabu by Dana

Tabac Blond by Caron

Narcisse Noir by Caron

bombshell :Gloria Swanson

Naricsse Blanc by Caron

Nuit de Noel by Caron

bombshell: me and auntie mame

(the carons are fabulous.  though I would definately add Parfum Sacre to the list.)

Vent Vert by Balmain

bombshell: Bridgette Bardot

White Shoulders by Evyan

Youth Dew by Estee Lauder

bombshells: Dolores Del Rio, Gloria Swanson and Joan Crawford

Perfumes Bombshells NEVER wear

“Anything that smells like food: vanilla, single fruit notes like strawberry or apple.  Jolting, loud or overwhelming fragrances like Opium, Poison, and Giorgio.  Overtly green scents like Calyx, Laura Ashley — too innocent.  Obsession.  CK One.  Eternity.  Musk. Tea Rose.  Charlie.”  (I think she had a bad elevator and Poison experience.  and personally, I think vanilla done right is very very bombshell.  THink Le Labo or even Dior’s Hypnotic.  They are non food, all femme vanillas that do not remind me of food in the least.)

I have reviewed a few of these already and will place any further bombshell perfume reviews in the category marked bombshell in the future.  What would you add or remove from either list and why?  I’ll be adding my input on the choices and what I would remove or add Tuesday.  Until then, discuss!!

Other things I would add would include

Hermes Eau Des Merveilles for the near man-cologne sandy, stubbly venus rising out of the ocean wonder it is.  It’s kind of skin scent and reeks of sex and mystery.  worn at the beach or quiet intimate encounters, sprayed at the nape of the neck

Del Rae’s Amoureuse — big flowers, lots of indolic muskiness.  It’s very womanly, very sexy and completely a bombshell.  Worn anytime anywhere, esp in spring and summer with sundresses and shades

MDCI Enlevement au Serail — the love-child of Femme and Mitsouko.  seriously erotic stuff, goes best with black lacy things, maribou slippers, a scotch and “come over here dahhhhliinnng” purred in a deep throaty whisper

Desprez Bal a Versaille  it’s a warmer, sensual dark orange.  I’d say it is what I thought Narcisse Noir would be but wasn’t for me.  Bombshells would wear this in the rain or cloudy days to invite people a little bit close rto thier sun and warmth

Fredric Malle Musc Raveguer

photo from

Published in: on March 31, 2008 at 9:26 am  Comments (5)  

Miss Dior and Wearing O’ the Green


Happy St Patrick’s Day to all of you out there.  Hopefully you’ve had your corned beef and cabbage and green beer, or managed to avoid it like I did this year. 

I’ve mentioned many a time my former distaste for green perfumes.  One Green chypre perfume that completely changed that attitude for me is Dior’s Miss Dior, vintage parfum.  This gem has received praise from many, including Luca Turin, as one of the most gloriously divine perfumes ever.  EVER.  And, as skeptical as I was after testing Diorissiomo (which is lovely, though I am not fond of LOTV) I must whole heartedly concur it is as ravishing as the lady I picture as it’s human embodiment, Maureen O’Hara.  Its perfectly lady like, but there is no mistaking it is a full bodied, warm blooded sensous being just waiting for the right moment to be unleashed. 

The first dab out of the beautiful crystal stopper (don’t make it like they used to) warms up some green herbally pleasantries.  Its “hello, how do you do, shall I play mother and pour you some tea? cook you dinner?” Very refined for a green without all the grassy leaves and clippings I have experienced in many other compositions.  After say 15 minutes or so, you begin to see glimpses of skin, a little clavical, a peek of leg and so forth as the gardenia and roses awaken under the blanket of green velvet. 

Then, the perfume really takes off.  Jasmine and other lush flowers release thier perfumes as it loosens it’s hair from the tight up do and takes off her shoes.  The flowers are in full womanly bloom and emit the slightest bit of indolic  skank, just enough to say that “yes, I look like the perfect lady, but I can show you things you’ve never dreamed of later as I am an experienced worldy woman. “

 Furthermore, once the patch and leather come out to play, those who were convinced greens could only be innocent and elegant or oddly shocking find they were sorely mistaken.  This stage leaves my wrist affixed to my nose in a state of dreamy rapture.  Fading in to the drydown you get the last bits of green with hints of musk lingering on your skin.

Miss Dior could be worn anywhere.  It’s daytime, yet you wouldn’t feel underdone wearing it at night. Infact, it would take anyone close enough to breathe in it’s essence by surprise.  You are not a naive ingenue, but a woman to be reckoned with, though they would much perfer to invite you over for a scotch instead.  I long to wear a deep green clingy tactile (velvet?  satin?)dress with this perfume, something that shows off the figure motherhood has given me and something that shimmers and begs to be touched.  All curves, none of the gamine, it’s fertility and throaty laughs instead of nervous fumbling and giggles.  Real manly men go for the woman who makes this perfume hers.  They appreciate the woman who is a bit softer in all the right places, can cook a fantastic meal and join him for a scotch and cigar occasionally too.  They also know she expects impeccable table manners and all her doors to be opened for her.  Little boys obsessed with the latest pop tartlet can move along, Miss Dior is too much for him to handle and would make him feel as inadequate as he really is anyways.   Don’t even think of going dutch either.

Well deserving it’s praise Miss Dior has heavy rotation in my perfume wardrobe these springy days. Lasting power is great, at least 6-8 hours and the silliage is just about perfect — I smell it around me though I don’t think it is perceptible as a perfume smell to others until they are very, very close.  And I notice people seem to be closer to me today than usual.  Smell stalkers 🙂 I was very fortunate to snag some practically pristine bottles of the vintage parfum on ebay and am always looking out for more to horde in my perfume cachet.  Though if you check the decant list you will find it for 13/ ml as I know it’s hard to find in as good a condition as I had the good fortune to find it and feel it’s my duty to share it with those who seek it.

Last words DIVINE, GORGEOUS perfection.  swoon…

notes: Sage, Gardenia, Galbanum, Rose, Neroli, Jasmine, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Cistus and Labdanum

Published in: on March 18, 2008 at 7:29 am  Comments (1)  

Cristalle Continues Wearing O’ the Green


Cristalle.  The name suggests something youthful, sparkling and bright. Something you get a bit of color out of filtered sun, something that is not heavy and certainly not cloying or sweet.  This Chanel perfume fits the imagery very very well. 

Lauren Stover author of  The Bombshell Manual of Style says of Cristalle “exciting, electric green and alert, a Bombshell splashes on Cristalle when she doesn’t have time for coffee and simply smells her wrist when she needs a pick me up.  It elevates her spirits without making her jittery.”  Much like a cool breeze on a sunny spring day, this is a bit energizing, as the citrus is refreshing and the florals are quite lovely the drydown relaxing. 

With Cristalle EDT, you must use a heavy spray to get a longer lasting dose of the ‘fume. I feel my forehead relax as the juicy citrus and dry green herbs cut through the Houston heat and humidity, lasting a good 20 minutes or so until the top notes finally fly off my wrist and chest to release the heart of oak moss and florals. 

Let’s have a moment about oak moss, shall we?  First of all, many perfumes either do not include oak moss or reformulate the accord to simulate the oak moss smell in our beloved chypres.  This is a crying shame as it has rendered many modern perfumes paler shadows of their former glory.  Supposedly the stuff is an allergen that causes violent reactions in about maybe 5 people and a bunch of overdosed lab rats.  So, like many other materials; ambergris, civet, etc, oak moss is no longer PC to use.  How do I get down from the soap box?

     Anyhow, next we get some glorious greenness with oak moss, some lily and possibly honeysuckle/jonquil/rosewood.  I can detect jasmine and even the honeysuckle.  (I’ve seen a lot of variation on the note.  I took the listing at the bottom form  Whatever it is they use, my nose swings from rapture in the floral elegance to horror when it melds into a melon/hairspray note to mild annoyance when I get what I like to call “the Mrs. Meyers accord.”  Pleasant florals occur when sniffed closest to my skin, the other two occurrences seem to be in my wafting aura, so I ponder what people around me smell.  While the thought of smelling like hair-sprayed melon scares me, the Mrs. Meyers accord is a less worse fate.  I bought the lemon-verbena cleaning products at the store a few weeks ago because they smelled so spring-like and energetic.  I thought it would encourage me to clean and remind me a bit of my vacation in Greece where I soaked in the smell of verbena all over the place.  So, it’s not exactly a bad thing, unless you are familiar with Mrs Meyers and could confuse my perfume with the scent of cleaning.  yikes. 

Cristalle  is very wet and green smelling in places and would be very lovely in the rain.  Drydown is very, very nice and comforting in a green way.  Like the piles of mowed grass cooling from a hot day in the cool of the evening. This must be the tail ends of the oak moss and vetiver which makes it ALMOST masculine-ish, which is just the way I like to smell after a girl perfume.  Reminds me of nature’s duality and makes an otherwise ingénue scent more interesting and slightly sexy.  Very clean linen sheets on a summer day in Greece. 

I can see it as “elegant” for a young woman, in a garden party sort of way.  However I wouldn’t wear this for a night out.  The blue hour of twilight would be the very latest and only if I was kissing a first date on the porch-swing, hoping my parents don’t flicker the lights at us to come in.  There is an air of innocence, if fleeting.  I don’t see men really commenting on this one.  It’s the one your girlfriends tell you is sexy, just like they tell you “you look really hot with short, dark hair and glasses.  If I were a lesbian I’d be all about you.”  Cristalle is semi cerebral, the kind of perfume a woman would wear to please only herself, never mind what her lover thinks of it. 

Overall, this perfume is kind of clean and fresh, in a perfumista friendly way.  I’d like to think of it as a palate cleanser, the ginger on the side of your sushi.  Great for days I’d like to smell less dirty and less interesting. It makes an excellent segway drug into the world of perfume for a young woman.  If only I could escape the hairsprayed melon aspect, I would definitely reach for this more often than I do, which is still more often than before.  After wearing off and on for a few weeks, my thoughts have gone from GACK swamp mess! To bleh, hairspray to oooh, refreshing citrus and floral greens, which is a long way.

One last mention. At some point, Cristalle was flanked with an EDP verion.  The EDP is completely different from the EDT.


Notes: lemon, fresh herbs, oakmoss, bergamot, jonquil, jasmine, honeysuckle, rosewood, hyacinth and vetiver

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 3:47 am  Comments (3)  

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)  

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