About Me

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

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Jul 292014
 
 July 29, 2014  Posted by on July 29, 2014 24 Responses »
paradgata_unter_den_linden

When I first stumbled upon the Posse….oh, honeys….I thought I knew soooo much.  Ha!!…and I didn’t know a THING!  I knew a lot of perfumes but not a lot about those perfumes.  Notes?  Fuggedaboutit.  But constant exposure to Patty & March and all of you expanded my horizons – and continues to do so.  There are so many notes I’ve learned of, both in perfume and in the natural world – linden is one of them.

paradgata_unter_den_linden

Linden came about via my friend Howard, aka LindenloverSnugglebunny.  We’ve been friends for over 30 yrs and I’ve always admired his enthusiasm for the sensual aspects of Life.  He’s always had a ‘thing’ for linden and used to go on and on about the smell of linden trees in bloom…blahblahblah…because I had NO idea what he was talking about (I knew One Smell-good tree:  Russian Olive.  He, a former forester, knew A Whole Lot More).  So…blahblahblah…until I actually smelled a linden tree in blossom.  Wow.  A combination of oily lime rind, sunshine and cake batter, linden is one of the essences of Spring.  According to Lindenlover there, it’s a tough scent to translate into perfume.  I wonder what he’ll make of April Aromatics’s  Unter den Linden?  For my part, I think it’s perfection.   Unter den Linden is an homage to the famous Berlin boulevard with which it shares its name – I can imagine that walking along that boulevard, when the trees are in full bloom, is a heady experience, indeed.  The gorgeous Tanja Bochnig,  perfumer/owner at cult House April Aromatics, has perfectly captured the idea of that boulevard (as well as so many of the gorgeous boulevards laid out in Belle Epoque Europe) – when I sniff Unter den Linden, I am transported back to the 19th Century, a fabulous time for arts and culture and civilized behavior – in my fantasy transportation, it all looks like the MGM film version of ‘Gigi’ (yes, I know that’s Paris but in this fantasy every major European city in the 1900s looks like an MGM set)…… gorgeously-clad women in barouches, men in morning coats or lounge suits (and the fabulous boater!  Oh, why don’t men wear boaters anymore? )…..pleached lime trees above pristine pea-gravel walkways, the whole surrounded by Belle Epoque buildings…this scent, while at the opposite end of the spectrum, scentwise, from Une Fleur de Cassie , Les Heures Brillante & Amouage Beloved, has a very important thing in common with those perfumes:  it is a decidedly urban scent.  Paris, Berlin, New York.  Not the countryside.  You all know I have a ‘thing’ about certain perfumes, requiring myself to be done completely the hell up in order to do them justice.  They don’t have to be particularly complex perfumes – there’s just a certain ‘something’ about certain ones  that require my unruly hair be ‘did’ and me being in something crisp and sophisticated.  Dropping a dress size would help, too – but let’s not get carried away here.  Unlike the perfumes I just mentioned, though, which I consider to be completely urban, Unter den Linden shares some of the style of  Patou’s Vacances, in that you can do the Cannes thing, with the crisp white slacks and an elegant flat – as you can see I am loving the juxtaposition of crisp fabric and soft perfume (and Cannes, like Monte Carlo, feels urban, all those boats notwithstanding.  The whole ‘sleepy fishing village’ is LONG gone).   I see myself in a crisp shirtwaist dress or pencil skirt with a polished cotton blouse, meeting the beautiful Tanja at an outdoor cafe in Berlin, exchanging air-kisses so as not to muss our flawless makeup (oh, shut up!  Like I’m the only one to ever have this fantasy!)…we’re both awash in Unter den Linden and every other patron at the cafe is quietly marveling at our fabulosity.  In reality, I would be mistaken for Tanja’s aged nanny and my hips would be hurting from walking on the pea gravel in mah Manolos…but we’re ignoring reality right now, okay?  Back to the fantasy!

I really like this perfume!  It’s bright, soft (with a hint of bergamot bitterness to ground it and save it from being ‘twee’) -  a throwback to a feeling of sunnier, simpler times, when women wore gloves and hats and the world didn’t intrude quite so immediately into everyday life.  Whether or not those days ever really existed is irrelevant: it is a lovely vision and this is a perfect perfume to fit that vision.

 

 

Until recently it was rather taxing to get April Aromatics in the US – now Luckyscent has made the cult House easier to explore.  Thanks, Franco!   If you are unfamiliar with the line, I suggest you try them all – Luckyscent carries an elegant sample set. containing 9 of her gorgeous scents (including Unter den Linden) $130 for 2.5ml per.  apraromsamples

Notes for Unter den Linden:  Linden blossom, honey, mimosa, bergamot, magnolia.

 

Jul 282014
 
 July 28, 2014  Posted by on July 28, 2014 45 Responses »
Serge Lutens L'Orpheline

Serge Lutens L'Orpheline

Serge Lutens L’Orpheline released in Europe this month (July 2014).  It will be available around September 1 in the United States.  I wasn’t really sure from the early promotional material whether it was a perfume, poetry, an art installation?  It’s the usual hard to understand Serge avoidance of notes.  So let’s look –

“Fragile but whole. Its name hints at a break but before the fissures show, its first two syllable conjure Orpheus, a poet who could charm even stones.”


That clears it all up, right?  I did find notes listed at Perfume Shrine – aldehydes, woods, fougere, coumarin, clouds of ambergris, patchouli, incense and Cashmeran.

What Serge Lutens L’Orpheline does beautifully is takes the tension between things, the place where it joins (yeah, I’m trying to take my inspiration from the poetical snippet) and lets it exist. The two things that sit with each other in L’Orpheline are fougere notes and incense.  There’s a bright green lushness that opens L’Orpheline, and then it quickly is surrounded by melancholy incense, woods and ambergris – mostly woody incense, though I get quirky and interesting ambergris as well.  As it dries down, there is some merging of the notes, but their fragile truce where one does not overwhelm the other is pretty heartbreaking.  I’m not much of a fougere girl, but this fragrance is an amazingly beautiful thing, holding that fragility and earthy charm perfectly.

The concept of this being like an orphan intrigues me.  Does it feel a little bit like this is something that isn’t sure what it is, but has the imprint of parents it never met and encapsulates all of the charm without understanding exactly why or how it came to be?  You know, I don’t know, but I love the imagery the name evokes.  With or without all the poetry of the name, it is full of mystery and imagination and depth.  Wearing Serge Lutens L’Orpheline keeps me entranced and thrilled.

In my perfume ennui, I have found something to keep me really happy.  Sooooooooooo let me ask.  When one of these Lutens creations comes out with not notes listing, some obscure description, do you just cringe or really get into it?  I’ll do a random drawing for four samples of Serge Lutens L’Orpheline from commenters today.

 

Jul 272014
 
 July 27, 2014  Posted by on July 27, 2014 25 Responses »
kate spade

kate spadeWe talked about scent substitutes a while back and I wish I had thought to include this one. A lovely friend of mine at work has a growing interest in perfume; she enjoys Fracas and Kai, among others, but feels the loss of her much-loved original Kate Spade, launched in 2003. According to Fragrantica, its notes are jasmine, gardenia, tuberose, honeysuckle, lily-of-the-valley and coconut.

It’s long been discontinued and bottles of it go for a king’s ransom on eBay. And until one of us wins the lottery, that’s not an option, alas. She did like Kate Spade’s Live Colorfully and Twirl (I think), but the original is still her top scent.

So I told her I would appeal to all you knowledgeable fragrance fiends out there for help. Have any of you who loved the original Kate Spade found something that might be a decent substitute? A scent that might help scratch the fragrant itch when she’s craving Ms. Spade’s debut perfume?

One perfume pal of mine suggested Estee Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia, so I’ll dig up my sample of that for her to try. I only vaguely recall the original Kate Spade (and even the samples on eBay are pricey), but am thinking it was a bit softer and more subtle than the Tuberose Gardenia. But maybe the EL body lotion or cream might do the trick.

Anyway, I hope someone has some suggestions. Thanks!

Jul 252014
 
 July 25, 2014  Posted by on July 25, 2014 4 Responses »
vicks

vicksSorry to be a bore, but my cold lingered long enough that I couldn’t have enough time to actually smell anything in depth enough to actually write something coherent about it. So next week I’ll be back with a review.

In the mean time, can I just sing the praises of Vicks® VapoRub®? I love the stuff, from it’s cooling properties (great when you have a fever in 90 degree heat) to the fumes that keep the sinuses from getting blocked. That and the green tea with mint I got at Amazon kept the worst of it all at (somewhat) bay.

I’ll post next week; if you want to post your own cold remedies please feel free to do so in the comments.

Image credit: Internets

Idylle Eau Sublime by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

Idylle Eau Sublime by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

Hi there Perfume Posse, Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies with my favourite fragrance house of them all. For some reason I have long felt that Guerlain is my house, that they are creating their fragrant fantasies just for me. Whether it’s my greatest love Shalimar, all the Aqua Allegorias (nearly The rest, please…

Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi and Costa Azzurra

Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi and Costa Azzurra

So let’s talk about some new summer scents. I’m hoping playing  with Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi and Costa Azzurra breaks a little of my summer perfume dropsies. Let’s start with Tom Ford Costa Azzurra.  Notes of oak, driftwood, lavender, vanilla, seaweed, agarwood, ambrette seed, celery seed, cardamom, armoise, juniper berry, myrtle, The rest, please…