Carnation for Summer Guerlain Metallica

It’s August in Houston. People are melting on the pavement.  It’s hotter than hell and I find myself desperately wishing for fall and fall weather, and most of all fall perfumes.  I’m so very tired of greens and citruses and the lighter things you must wear to keep from smothering those around you.  I am looking longingly at Bois des Iles and my deep incenses, alas they just don’t seem right.  But I may have found a compromise.

Guerlain Metallica/Metalys contains vanilla, ylang ylang, rose, carnation, iris, tonka bean and amber.  It’s sweet, creamy, spicy and yet light as well.  Where Caron’s Poivre is a hot, steaming bath in Chai tea, Metallica (version I hold) is a delicate iced chai latte, light on the cream.  As the light vanilla spiked with carnation spice moves in ending the opening act, a slightly feral ylang ylang and rose become subtly present. 

The florals are a mere suggestion, just enough to keep Metallica from being a complete gourmand experience.  The tiny touch of musk in the ylang-ylang also keeps the perfume from being another pleasant-too nice work and rose adds a dry powdery touch, evoking a cooling feeling from the perfume.   A welcome effect in the summer heat. I envision cotton sundressed edged with a little lace, porch swings and pillows. 

Incidentally, does anyone else find Chanel’s ylang-ylang one of the best mass market ylangs out there?  Thier use haunts me with it’s exquisite presence whereas Guerlains use *in this composition* merely renders a nice compliment to the gourmand vanillas and ambers.  As the the ylang and rose quietly recede into the background and carnation becomes more muted, the amber comes forward, warming the perfume like the last rays of the setting sun, golden, glorious and full of the last few moments of the day.  Meanwhile the iris and vanilla (the tonka) are the slight cool of the summer evening setting in over my shoulders.  The traces of amber continue to hold heat, like sidewalks retain the heat of the day for a few hours in the night.  The next day, a faint whiff of amber and vanilla are all that is left of the warm summer evening.

While it is not completely satisfying –I want my FALL — it does help get through the day and is easily appreciable.  But, like i said, I still want my sweaters and sweater scents.  and a sweater girl figure too.  What do you guys where in the ennui between seasons?  Suggestions?

photocredit :

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 7:48 pm  Comments (3)  

Apres L’Ondee a belated but inspired Candy Jar Friday

chloetub.jpgThis morning (began blog friday) I checked the usual blogs and read the lovely post on Apres L’Ondee by Pattyover at perfume posse.  Immediately I thought “hmmm I think I have a sample around here somewhere.  I need to dig that out!” In an amazing feat, I managed to find it in about 3 minutes and promptly applied the parfum to my skin.  Unbeknownst to Patty at the posse, I’ve decided to do a semi partner post on this one as I tend to get something a bit different with Guerlains. 

In the beginning, notes of very light bergamot are released with neroli.  It’s soft, kind of sweet and it’s a sunny blue skied day with the cool breeze working it’s way around me.  So far, as Patty mentions it does say spring, and I definitely agree. However my pretty spring day vignette is interrupted as the perfume takes me to what it really reminds me of, clean, sleepy baby which as any mama knows is one of life’s most joyous smells.  The opening isn’t soapy like a dry bar soap, but more like the foamy, fluffy sud bubbles in the tub and the hint left on the skin post baby bath.  The mental picture is something like this:

It’s a busy day with the little one, and yet you are somehow organized enough to have the house properly cleaned and dinner in the crock-pot, so you spend the day with the baby.  You go to the park, maybe to a cafe and get caught in a beautiful spring downpour, soaking you both is cool electrically charged rain.  You hurry home and pop yourselves into a sudsy tub.  You scrub the baby as she squeals with glee reminding you moments like these do not last forever.  Fortunately today you’re cognisant of the fleeting and you store the picture in your memory along with the smell cue of the baby soap.  Bath time is over you lift your little monkey out of the tub and dry her off, powder her bottom and play with her feet. You put her in her jammies and sit in your favorite chair by the window to nurse her.  As the baby eats she looks up at you with big eyes as if to say “you are the greatest.” She drifts off to sleep as you watch the clouds roll by the window.  

Life’s most important and most joyous moments are fleeting, unlike the opening of Apres L’Ondeewich lasts a bit longer than most top sections and makes me a little misty eyed.  Someday when my baby is grown up a whiff of Apres L’Ondee’stop notes will bring back the memories of how simple and wonderful life was with a new baby.  Definitely life affirming and very beautiful. 

What about the rest of the composition?   At some point, the foamy baby-soap suds fade into a soft silvery powder.  It’s luxuriant.  Then comes a cool vanilla woods with hints of baby peeking  in and out of the drydown.  I am sure the violet-iris is in there, they are supposed to be the powder note.  However, my nose is inexperienced with picking out the aforementioned notes, so I can’t specifically detect them or compare them to other formulae.  Elegant, refined and slightly mysterious, Apres L’Ondee turns from a post rain afternoon into a clear skied dusk. 

My skin seems to eat the less “rrreoow” Guerlains, thus I used up about a quarter of a ml to get enough silliage and lasting power to finish up this post.  My sample of the parfum is gone, and it’s pricey to replace.  Will I replace it?  I am not sure.  Typically I don’t often wear classy, elegant perfumes, I prefer things that say I am a walking sex-bomb waiting to detonate, which Apres L’Ondee certainly does not say.  However, should I be away from my princess for a length of time I’d want Apres L’Ondee with me as an olfactory snapshot of my baby.  Perhaps a day will come when I will NEED that perfume, but currently I am not sure.  I suppose I will have to wait and see if the perfume lemmings push me over the cliff on this one. 

On the other-hand, as the perfume powers that be LOVE to discontinue anything remotely decent, it may be prudent to buy a bottle for future use before it gets to be insanely expensive.  This is kind of like stock speculation, no? 

notes: bergamot, neroli, aniseed, hawthorn, violet, heliotrope, iris and musk

PS I believe I used Mustella or an Aveno lavender soap on the Princess during the time period referenced. 

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 8:58 pm  Comments (1)  

Djedi, wearing o’ the green

Love is not always kittens and butterflies and boxes from Tiffany’s.  Sometimes love can be the most tortuous agony you could ever know. It will bring you to your knees, pour salt on your willing wounds as it scars you for life and then brings you back for more.  It doesn’t smell of chocolate and sweet roses, it is the smell of mourning and decay, the smell of Guerlain’s Djedi. 


The quick mechanics before the prose:

At first dab, you wait half a second before WHOA Djedi nails you in the nose with an array of olfactory projectiles.  Traces of cinnamon, the driest, darkest-velvet indolent rose ever and some smouldering, mouldering skank.  The skank, while more eloquent than say, CB I hate perfume’s musk reinvention, is shocking. This is the level of shock I expected from Bandit.  However, Bandit was a pansy in comparison to this bad mother.   As for the leather, it is a dry leather, yet it is the driest leather soaked in horse sweat and left near the fire.  For the first time in a long while, a perfume has stopped me dead in my tracks.  Nose glued to my wrist I get hints of everything from florals, to metal to syrupy cinnamon to the animalics smothering me, but in a good smothering way.  Throughout the piece, oak moss pops her head out of the animalic rose bog, reminding you who is boss.  Then suddenly, Djedi is gone, leaving a trace of vetiver to haunt you as you sniff frantically to find more. 

The prose

What does this perfume bring up for me?  Loss.  Grief.  Mourning.  Some perfumes, such as  Encens et Lavande are meant for mourning those who have passed into the next world.  You wear white, light white candles and know they are in a better, happier place.  Djedi in contrast is the one you wear to wallow in your gothic misery ala Catharine and Heathcliff.  You can smell the dark moors, the castle ruins.  You can smell the cruel joke fate plays making two people destined to love each other however not destined to be together. Other imagery, particularily in the smouldering animalics, is the Story of O and Roissy.  This lesser known novel tells the tale of a woman so in love with her lover she submits entirely to him.  The story is complex, evoking a range of emotions from humiliation to understanding to despair. Other images include monks, monastaries, dark woods and sinister plots. Djedi smells like a gotic romance reads and completely overtakes you.  For me personally it reminds me of a period in my life gone quite awry romantically. Complete with twists and turns, betrayals and deceptions, dark secrets and good intentions, it started innocently enough with real love and left much damage in it’s wake. When I apply Djedi it awakens that part of me that chose to forget and haunts me to the vetvier whisper of a drydown.  Deeply romantic as it is deeply agonizing I catch myself yearning to bring out my tiny sample vial and sniff once in a great while.      

Consider these lyrics to the video “I Miss You” by Blink 182. 

I miss you
I miss you
Hello there
The angel from my nightmare
The shadow in the background of the morgue
The unsuspecting victim
Of darkness in the valley
We can live like Jack and Sally if we want
Where you can always find me
And we’ll have Halloween on Christmas
And in the night we’ll wish this never ends
We’ll wish this never ends
I miss you
I miss you
I miss you
I miss you
Where are you
And I’m so sorry
I cannot sleep
I cannot dream tonight
I need somebody and always
This sick strange darkness
Comes creeping on
So haunting every time
And as I stared I counted
The webs from all the spiders
Catching things and eating their insides
Like indecision to call you
And hear your voice of treason
Will you come home and stop this pain tonight
Stop this pain tonightDon’t waste your time on me
Your already the voice inside my head
[I miss you I miss you]
Don’t waste your time on me
Your already the voice inside my head
[I miss you I miss you]

Don’t waste your time on me
Your already the voice inside my head
[I miss you I miss you]
Don’t waste your time on me
Your already the voice inside my head
[I miss you I miss you]
Don’t waste your time on me
Your already the voice inside my head
[I miss you I miss you]
Don’t waste your time on me
Your already the voice inside my head
[I miss you I miss you]
I miss you
I miss you

I miss you
I miss you

I miss you
I miss you



Yes, it is semi pop, but it embodies Djedi in it’s dramatic dark imagery, mournful strings and and moments of tender bells. It tears at your heart.

And the practical

I personally ordered this samp on a lemming and at first hated it on intial sniff. Too dry, to stanky, too much.  I dismissed it for awhile. I spent many months sniffing other things, training my nose if you will and came back to it able to appreciate it and see the story in the smell if you will.  It’s very hard to come by, Ebay has a bottle currently going for over $900 and the auction still goes on.  Its isn’t something most people would wear regularly, more like bring out to disturb the dead, much like Heathcliff disturbed Cathrine’s grave to bring her out of her peace to haunt him – just to be near her again.  So don’t go nuts looking for it. 

notes rose, musk leather, civet vetvier, oakmoss patchouli

Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 10:17 am  Comments (5)  

Wearing o’ The Green Quiz

Watch the following music video, consider the lyrics and imagery, musical accents etc and guess which green perfume it goes with.  I will give the answer later Saturday when I finish the post.  enjoy the sneak peek!

Correct answers will be awarded a prize.

OK, I am kind of dragging my heels a bit here.  It’s kind of a personal post, which means much more difficult to write.  Thanks for your patience and keep guessing.  There is a pretty good clue on the post.

Published in: on March 13, 2008 at 8:29 pm  Comments (2)  

Late for the Party, or How I Met Sous le Vent by Guerlain by Carol


****attention readers!  For your reading pleasure, a submission by fellow reader and fellow perfumista, Carol.  She will be posting periodically, so leave a comment or three and give her a warm welcome to the castle.

Have you ever seen that commercial with the cats all cavorting around, six of them in the litter box, one with a lampshade on her head ?

When the people come home, every cat disappears except the one with the lampshade on her head, who says ” Where’d everybody go ? “
 Well we all feel like that sometimes, but when the vial of Guerlain Sous le Vent arrived at my door, we were perfect strangers. I had not sniffed it , ordered it intentionally, nor had I ever even heard of it. What kind of Guerlain whore am I ? So my nose really perked up at the sight of a new Guerlain to sniff. ( not new, new. New to me. )
 Eagerly I eased open the vial and dabbed on the back of my hand, within easy sniff.
  My mouth watered ! It did ! This was juicy and fresh and…what is that ? Mandarin oranges ? Uh oh, I think this is veering into dry territory a la Goutal eau de Sud or something but no. Now some green joins in and herbs are lovely, they sing over that juicy opening. I can detect the lavender there, but barely. It sweetens the chorus but never too much, and the tarragon drives me crazy here along with a slight licorice from basil.
 Is this a fougere ?
 On my skin, this opening lasts a very long time .
Refreshing symphony of salad.
 Slowly the herbs meld with my skin and the woods peek through, under there where they have selflessly supported the composition, now they come to the fore, warming and soothing, with just a touch of patchouli to make it sexy. Oakmoss is evident from the start, preventing the herbs from being too light-hearted. I never really detect carnation ( we don’t get along ) but it lends a spicy salad effect. The iris plays with the woods only after an hour of juicy frolicking…
Do you want the good news or the bad news ?
It was discontinued years ago.
Then they re-released it in 2006.
As a limited edition.
I found out all these details that everybody else probably already knows ( where’d everybody go ? ).
I really adore this scent, and I own NOTHING LIKE IT.  I will not freak out because I have a decant from Fishbone and she says I can probably still buy this at Bergdorf’s. So if you are in  line ahead of me there, you had better get out of my way.
Thank you!
disclaimer: perfumequeen is not responsible for anything I say. We have not met yet.
In my world, I am known as the queen of caffeine, so when I saw a perfumequeen blog, well I KNEW we were sisters. QUEENS of anything, unite.
end of review.
Published in: on March 10, 2008 at 9:06 am  Comments (3)  

Spiritueuse Double Vanille


A recent tired spending spree at the (free advertising ladies!) gave me so many samples I don’t know what to do with them.  Thus I drew one at random and decided to wear it a few days in a row, then give my opinion.  The lucky vial was Guerlain’s Spirituese Double Vanille, or, in English, boozy double vanilla.  Sounds like a great shot, but how does it smell?

The opening spray definately lives up to it’s name. It’s VERY boozy, almost medincal, with a blast of super vanillac vanilla.  You know when you get those flavored floride rinse treatments at the dentist?  If they made one in vanilla, this is exactly how it would smell.  Practically a scrubber, and very, very strong. 

Despite some stomach lurching, I persisted with wearing to see where it would go.  I’d really hate to find a guerlain I didn’t like esp. because this one is hyped as “Spiritueuse Double Vanille is “a carnal and aphrodisiac scent to be used without moderation” “The perfume is described as a liquor made for the skin offering a carnal and aphrodisiac wake, with facets of woods, resins, and spices. The vanilla bean core is accompanied by notes of benzoin, pink pepper, cedar, Bulgarian Rose, Ylang Ylang, a dry and elegant heart of incense”   How could that be bad?  I want to smell like that!! 30 minutes later, I get a bit more vanilla-y rum (like bacardi , not captain morgans or meyers).  slightly spicy, but still very boozy.  At this point I worry that if I got pulled over, I’d get a breathalizer and lose.   But, Finally, in the end, we reach the dry down.  Here we find the familiar Guerlainade, plus an undertone of musky.  This tiny bit of skank livens up the vanilla overload and whispers the “take me drunk, I’m home” you’ve been waiting for.  Unfortunately, in this case, it comes from the very last bar patron, and he ain’t all that pretty.

Verdict:  It pains me, but this one is a give away.  Some people LOVE this one, but I just can’t get it after repeated tries.  This composition is intended for a dude, but I don’t think MY nose would like it, even on a dog.  It’s up for swaps!

Mr. Yuck courtesy of

Published in: on October 15, 2007 at 7:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

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