April Showers bring Perfume Flowers, and here are my latest Candy mini-reviews. Or just pretend you read this and skip to the end for this week´s Candy Sample Giveaway.
Cumming à¢â‚¬” What a great gift this was on a cold, crappy day recently. It doesn´t smell weird to me, although I admit my definition of weird has loosened up a bit in the past few months. A à¢â‚¬Å“guyà¢â‚¬? scent with notes of bergamot, pine, pepper, whiskey, cigar, heather, rubber, mud (!), leather, peat fire (!!), and truffle, it´s about as butch as Alan Cumming is (which is to say, not very) and I think it´s a great woman´s scent as well. I´ll take their word on the rubber, but I can´t smell it à¢â‚¬” mostly it´s a smoky, earthy rich cigar-and-whiskey delight.
Q: What is the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?
A: à¢â‚¬Å“Well, it´s probably something dull like plug in my computer, but masturbation is never very far away. I think checking into hotels is so sexy. Of course when you stay in them for months they begin to pall a little, but initially, they give me the horn.à¢â‚¬? à¢â‚¬” Alan Cumming, Passport magazine
I love that guy.
Amarige Harvest LE à¢â‚¬” If Amarige is, as Scentzilla says, like being whomped with a frying pan of gardenia, Harvest is a really delightful twist on the original, moderating the heady gardenia, allowing the tuberose to bloom through, and adding an orange twist. As Scentzilla notes, if you don´t like Amarige, this isn´t going to change your mind. If you DO like Amarige, though, in my opinion this is different enough to warrant a sniff, and possibly a bottle.
Bond No. 9 Bleecker Street à¢â‚¬” This must be for à¢â‚¬Å“men,à¢â‚¬? using that term loosely à¢â‚¬¦. Nope, looked it up, unisex à¢â‚¬¦.this is a slightly sweeter version of a men´s cologne (from the 80s?) that I used to love and wear à¢â‚¬¦ square red cap, dark gray glass bottle à¢â‚¬¦ Liz Claiborne for à¢â‚¬Å“Menà¢â‚¬?!!! So — I like Bleecker Street, I just don´t find it very original. Violet leaf, cassis, thyme, jasmine, cedarwood, oakmoss, suede, patchouli, musk, amber, vanilla. A note about the Bond bottles, having spent some time sampling them in the store — they look cool but they fall over like dominoes. I guess that´s just a picayune detail.
Wickle Chestnut & Vetiver — Whoever put those two smells together deserves some sort of Genius Award. The warm, velvet-fur of the chestnut serves as a perfect foil for the cool, earthy greenness of vetiver. A winner.
Etro Relent à¢â‚¬” What the hell is wrong with me? I can´t smell it, I keep trying. Patty, you sent it to me. Can you smell it? I mean, I could just lie and type in something I cribbed off of Google à¢â‚¬¦ here, I´m going to make something up and then google it. So: Relent is a mysterious Oriental fragrance, with jasmine, musk, vetiver, and, uh à¢â‚¬¦ neroli (hey, orange is the new black!) Okay, googling à¢â‚¬¦. Talc, amber and frangipani?!?! Cripes, that sounds awful.
Comptoir Sud Pacifique Eau de Rose à¢â‚¬” this starts off as a frankly not-very-interesting rose soliflore on me, and since I´m not a huge rose lover, I didn´t swoon. (So far, none of the CSP stuff I´ve smelled has made me swoon.) However. After half an hour the rose fades and I´m left with a decent skin scent that is like standing in the middle of my herb garden on a hot day in July. Cool.
Molinard Tendre Friandise — This is making me re-think my whole gourmand aversion. A sweet, candied scent that reminds me of the almond-nougat goodness of marron candy, with a rich, honeyed drydown I find (dare I write this?) reminiscent of Serge Lutens.
Regina Harris Frankincense, Myrrh, Rose Maroc — Hippie oil. Don’t get me wrong, I love hippie oil, but c’mon, $125 for 15 ml of this?! Awhile back I ran my own recipe for making Malle’s Parfum de Therese. Here’s my recipe for this: go to your local crunchy co-op. Apply 3 drops of rose oil, 2 drops of frankincense, 2 drops myrrh. Et voila. (Yeah, I actually did this.) Spend the money you saved on crystal healing, tarot reading or a massage to align your chakras. PS If you want authentic hippie oil, you really need to add some patch.
The Unlabeled Vial I Found On Top of the Dryer à¢â‚¬” I wish I knew what this is. I think it might be the vial of Arpege Pour Homme I got from Nordstrom, but their vials are usually labeled with the store name, and somehow it smells too feminine. A nice unisex cologne along the lines of Dior´s Cologne Blanche, but a little greener. Maybe I´ll ship it around and see if anyone recognizes ità¢â‚¬¦
L´Aromarine Cola à¢â‚¬” The L´Aromarine bottles are gorgeous, but I´ve been underwhelmed by the few I´ve smelled at Anthropologie (Fleurs, Oceane, Violette). This one is wonderful: a cheerful, effervescent whiff of cola (more RC than Coke) with a twist of lime that moves it away from cola-syrup sweetness and squarely into Perfect Summer Fragrance territory. I´m probably going to have to (sigh) buy a bottle of this oneà¢â‚¬¦ if the Big Cheese sees too many more little packages rolling in here he´s going to stage an intervention.
Roger & Gallet Gentle Nature Gardener´s Lettuce Soap à¢â‚¬” Okay, this is not a fragrance. But it is a great summer soap à¢â‚¬” it smells exactly like lettuce and, believe it or not, that´s a fetching smell in a soap. It lathers and moisturizes beautifully, too. My only quibble is I wish the bar were a little smaller in my hand.
Micallef Gaiac à¢â‚¬” Patty, did this come from you? (Scratches head.) This is à¢â‚¬¦ this is incredible. A unisex wood/incense. A perfect example of something that is an à¢â‚¬Å“anti-perfumeà¢â‚¬? (like Musc Ravageur) that is gorgeous on the skin.
Today’s fragrance sample giveaway is: Out of Africa! Our Lucky Winner will receive samples of Tauer Perfumes’ wonderfully exotic duo: Le Maroc Pour Elle (rose, jasmine, spices, incense, musk) and L’Air Du Desert Marocain (amber, musk, incense), plus the smoky, spicy, resinous Idole de Lubin — a lovely composition done by Olivia Giacobetti. Leave a comment below if you want my samples and I’ll have Number One Daughter Pick a Lucky Number and announce on Friday.