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Patty White launched Perfume Posse in 2005, and we've been yapping on and on about perfume endlessly since.

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Sep 222014
 September 22, 2014  Posted by on September 22, 2014 15 Responses »
Serge Lutens L'Incendiaire

Serge Lutens L’Incendiaire is difficult for me to review.  Not because it isn’t great – it is! – and not exactly because of the price tag - pure parfum price tag is in line with Guerlain and Chanel pure parfum per ml prices.  Because I feel like such a fan girl, and I’m going to have some trouble nailing down why.

Serge Lutens L'Incendiaire

Let’s just dig in and try and figure out why later or maybe never.  Smoked incense in a pure parfum version. I get some oud’ish qualities, but that’s not listed as a note, but they never are very complete with notes.  Maybe myrrh’ish. It’s medicinal like either.  That’s as far as my technical analysis runs, because then I just stick my nose in and let it sit there having some slices of heaven. I’ve smelled a lot of smoked incense fragrances – some good, some great, some meh. Defining exactly what makes any better than the rest is subjective to me.  I know how happy it makes me smelling it, and then I put it in one of those three pots.  Serge Lutens L’Incendiaire makes me really happy.

At the exact moment when I think I can’t get happier?  Maybe it’s my imagination or something else leaking through – but I can’t imagine what, my skin doesn’t smell that way – but somewhere about an hour in after spraying, there is this little skank note.  It’s that same surprise that I get in Iris Mist, that little spice note that shows up about 30-50 minutes in. Different note, same delightful surprise.

But the beauty of this is, you don’t have to get that surprise note – if it’s a fluke – to love L’Incendiaire. Straight up smoked incense is gorgeous

You won’t love the price tag, $600 for 50 mls,  But it is pure parfum and priced about the same as Guerlain and Chanel pure parfums (little less, I think).  So while I can’t love the price tag, I can’t say it’s out of line for that concentration.  That makes it hurt not one bit less.

Okay, we will have a drawing for a teeny sample, and I’ll do two of them. Just drop a comment about anything to be entered – Favorite Serge, bottle of perfume you paid the most for and never regretted a dime of it, etc.

Winners from last weeks’ drawing for the Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea salt samples – solanace, tomate farcie and DaveSt.Paul.  Just click on the Drop Us a Note link at the top of the blog, remind me what you won and send me your address. I’ll send you back a quick “got it” e-mail so you know it isn’t floating in the junk e-mail sewers, and then I’ll get it sent out to you.

Sep 212014
 September 21, 2014  Posted by on September 21, 2014 33 Responses »
perfume posse - perfume reviews, perfume blog

etoileeIn travel agent lingo, the “shoulder” season refers to a period between peak and off-peak travel times. And with the not-quite fall, not-quite summer temps we’re having here, it seems apt in the fragrance world, too, as I’m dithering each day on what to wear. The breezy citruses are too light, but yet it’s still too warm and humid to pull out even moderately heavy hitters. So when I stumbled upon a little decant of Annick Goutal’s Nuit Etoilee late one warm afternoon and gave it a spray, my first reaction was “Ah!”

Its gently minty, slightly herbal- sweet citrus opening was refreshing without being too fresh, and it soothed and settled me, easing my restlessness, much as a cup of mint green tea might do.

When the Etoilee’s vegetal opening subsided, the pine and balsam fir moved in to ground the scent even further with a softly resinous, incense-y woodiness that was perfect as evening descended and the temps began to drop. As I sniffed it, it reminded me of something else, and finally, it came to me: another Annick Goutal – Encens Flamboyant. But not quite as intense as that, softer and more veil-like, but still as lovely.

As you might imagine, longevity is not huge on the Etoilee, but I forgive it that, and I’m happy to re-spritz as needed. (Note to self: I need to try the EDP in this, pronto.)

And, of course, who could forget — that divine blue bottle with its lovely green juice. Perhaps one of these days when the cash flow is bigger, it will be mine.

Nuit Etoilee came out in 2012, and although I wore it for awhile and enjoyed it then, as often happens, it somehow got lost in the shuffle and sadly overlooked. But no more!

Notes per Fragrantica: citron, sweet orange, peppermint, Siberian pine, fir resin, angelica seed, tonka and immortelle.

What are your favorite scents for those shoulder seasons, those in-between times when obvious scent choices elude you?

Sep 192014
 September 19, 2014  Posted by on September 19, 2014 14 Responses »

empty-handsOkay, it’s been a week. The temps in LA were pretty darned high (mid nineties at the beach and well over 100 inland) and there was even some high humidity from a hurricane in Baja. In short, it’s been nasty. So much so that I barely left my building- I was going to go over to ScentBar and the bank on Thursday, made it about 50 feet and decided that I could wait for the weekend. So I have absolutely nothing new for you except my continued appreciation for the wonder that is Air Conditioning.

Oh, it’s not like I didn’t wear some scents, but they’re ones that I have neutered on about so often before I’m sure your sick of hearing about them. Eau Sauvage, Eau de Sud, Eau shut up Tom..

So I’ll write about drinking. Not capital “D” drinking, because in this weather I don’t think it’s the best idea. Although I will admit that several years ago my friend Johanna insisted that we have gin and tonics in our friend Sue’s backyard after a day of pruning an overgrown avocado tree on a warm day. I have to write that it was heaven: the icy tonic was so refreshing with the tart gin and the slice of lime that I completely rethought my previous dislike of gin. Back in the day I was known to indulge in the occasional frozen daiquiri or, after moving to Los Angeles, a margarita (I’m sure it’s no longer the case, but in the 80′s you didn’t get a decent margarita back east- we still used Rose’s Lime Juice- does that even still exist?)

Well, now that I’ve written that drinking hard liquor in the heat is a bad idea (as any website will tell you) then listing several delicious boozy treats that can take the edge off the most sultry day (until you wake up from it that is) I’ll get to the point.

Iced Tea.

I think on a hot day this may be my go-to. Oh, I drink water by the gallon, but I do that whether it’s hot or cold and always have. But when the heat is on I turn to tea. Earl Grey is delicious iced. Hibiscus is heavenly. Those funky Japanese teas in the mondo plastic bottles are excellent on ice. There’s even a store brand called Tejava that’s sold in the markets that I like. Personally I don’t care for sweet tea, but that’s just my preference- I am also not big on the Arnold Palmer thing of tea with lemonade. I like lemonade and I like tea. I also like salmon and chocolate ice cream, but don’t think I need to make a combo out of it.

So what are your favored summer coolers? Let us know in the comments.

Hmm, wonder how gin in tea would be? A little too “Grey Gardens?”

Image stolen from the unlost.com

Sep 182014
 September 18, 2014  Posted by on September 18, 2014 10 Responses »
Sanguine Keiko Mecheri Fragrantica

Hiya Perfume Posse,

Rarely do I go looking for a new citrus fragrance. There are three I really love here in my collection already: Escale a Portofino by DIOR, Estratto di Colonia by Pineider and Liberte by Cacharel. There are others but these three are my most reached for my a mile. Recently though Surrender To Chance was doing their Fabulous Friday and I grabbed a few 5ml decants of things I would usually not try because they were so reasonable priced and I thought why not, I do like the Keiko Mecheri aesthetic. So here is one that I quickly fell for….

Sanguine by Keiko Mecheri 2000

Sanguine Keiko Mecheri FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Musk, Amalfi lemon, blood orange, petitgrain, orange

Sanguine: 1. Adj. optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation.
                   2. N. a blood-red colour

What a great word, featuring both a positive, optimistic state of mind and the colour of blood red. Sanguine is exactly as it is named. Sweet, fresh and joyously citrus that is almost exactly a blood red orange. A literal impression that is even more wonderful because it lasts so well for me, keeping the fun citrus bounce right through its life, merely hitting pithy (the musks) as a later stage but never losing sight of its beautiful late summer fizz.

Sanguine Keiko Mecheri Blood_Orange DoctorTonyStarkWho DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

After the opening fireworks peter out a little Sanguine gets a lovely tart bite to it that may be the Amalfi lemon but is probably the petitgrain. Here is where my mouth waters, yes in real and factual reporting my mouth did water and suddenly all I wanted was some citrus in my day. Fortunately there was some bought in the bottle fresh squeezed orange juice which slaked my need. The scent is so real that I was smiling broadly like a fool as I grabbed the juice. I love this green tangy bite that evolves through the heart, it keeps me interested. Then the furry, pithy musks stroll in and while maintaining lovely citrus fruit and leaves brings Sanguine to a close, surprisingly long scent life though softer in the last couple of hours.

Sanguine Keiko Mecheri blood-orange-beet-and-fennel-salad BonAppetit(blood-orange-beet-and-fennel-salad) Photo Stolen Bon Appetit

Here is an excellent fragrance that I find quite intoxicating. Sanguine is not a universally loved fragrance, the few reviews I could find were only very mildly enthusiastic to outright mean. Not as in your face as FM Bigarade Concentree, nor as effortlessly pretty as Escale a Portofino by Dior but somewhere else. Here the story seems 100% citrus, fun, light and frivolous. I could easily imagine it as a go-to day spritz or a great after workout shower frag that would reflect the happy jump in my step from doing something good for myself compounded by the endorphins. Excellent work choice, fragrant but not perfumey. You will smell wonderful and fresh all day at work.

Sanguine Keiko Mecheri California Orange groves Don Graham FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Sweet Diva and Perfumes: The Guide
LuckyScent has $115/75ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

If you thought this was fun, come on over to Australian Perfume Junkies and join in the conversation over there too. We love visitors, say G’Day while you’re there.

Portia xx

Sunshine by Amouage

Sunshine by Amouage

We are having the scariest Autumn.  It’s freezing, with constant rain…and it’s not even October!  I haven’t seen sunshine in ages…and was in despair…until it showed up in my mailbox!  Remember how I was talking about gratitude and appreciation for …well, for nearly everything – and certainly everything to do The rest, please…

Mainstream Monday: Michael Kors, Reveal, Modern Muse Chic

Mainstream Monday: Michael Kors, Reveal, Modern Muse Chic

While visiting my mother-in-law over Labor Day weekend, I popped into the local mall (Macy’s and Dillard’s, etc.) and poked around. Not much piqued my interest, but I did try a couple of things. First, the new(ish) Michael Kors trio: The Sexy Amber was fairly predictable, but I like amber The rest, please…