Another Scent Bender

scent bender.jpgIt must be time for a Scent Bender. Sariah, who lives in the area and comments on the blog, met me at the Tysons Galleria for some sniffage on Thursday night. (WARNING: ADULT CONTENT. OBSCENE AMOUNTS OF FRAGRANCE CONSUMPTION.)

Saks has been greatly improved by consigning all the fragrances to one corner of the store (probably with hidden cameras to keep you from stealing.) This worked out wonderfully, since they basically left us alone à¢â‚¬” or maybe we just looked a little crazy. Anyway, I did my duty to Patty by testing all three strengths of Cartier´s Baiser du Dragon (is that friendship or what?) I am able to report that the EDT is a pale shadow of the EDP à¢â‚¬” sharper, greener, and much, much lighter. The parfum is stunning à¢â‚¬” on me there is a pronounced animalic note that I adore, and the woody aspect is also stronger. The EDP, which is the only one I´d smelled before, is the true Dragon´s Breath à¢â‚¬” I find it both fascinating and essentially unwearable. So I´m sending her some. Let´s see what she thinks. Sariah and I agreed that the Cartier Delices parfum is really an excellent tart cherry, not too fruity, and we´d wear it if someone gave it to us. But we wouldn´t buy it. Also, in other Breaking Duh News, I noticed that they carried Annick Goutal in both EDT and EDP. All you fellow Petite Cherie fans (all 11 of you): the EDP is considerably stronger than my EDT but smells the same to me, which isn´t always the case. So if you´re looking for something beyond 20 minutes of lasting power, maybe it´s for you. Sariah was visibly repulsed by the Missoni, winning points from me. Also, I really need to buy some Hermes Equipage for this fall.

At NM we had to fight off the SAs a bit more vigorously, but it was late and they were tired, plus we smelled really weird. I am happy to report that Angel for Men is not half bad à¢â‚¬” the original femme makes me retch, but there´s enough à¢â‚¬¦ something (patchouli? tonka?) in the Homme that it replaces the cloying aspect of Angel with something kinda sexy. We were also thrilled to sample Truly, which we were assured is a NM exclusive and veeeeery special because it contains no alcohol. And I think Sariah would agree with me that it was truly the worst thing we smelled that evening à¢â‚¬” a mildly repulsive, green, mushy thing, hint of mildew, lime peel, distant skunk. All you Beach Fragrance lovers à¢â‚¬” stop off at the Nars makeup counter nearest you and smell the Monoi oil à¢â‚¬” it is gorgeous, a rich, buttery floral. From the Sephora website: à¢â‚¬Å“Native to the South Pacific and France, Monoi de Tahiti oil is the result of macerating the native tiare flower (Tahitian gardenia) in refined coconut extract for at least ten days, slowly infusing the oil with nutrients as well as a delicate, natural fragrance. Each bottle of Nars Monoi Body Glow II retains an original tiare flower to capture the essence of this unique process.à¢â‚¬? C’mon, how great does that sound? We also stopped off for a sniff of the Donna Karan Wenge, which gets better every time I smell it, and her Jasmine, which I like because it’s just a little skanky… Finally, we dabbled in the giant Dior colognes — the Eau Noire is such a great smell, and we decided (this was weird) that there is a definite resemblance to the middle part of the SL Chypre Rouge drydown. You heard it here first.

We did some damage at Art With Flowers, which is the ultimate destination of any trip to Tysons. Art With Flowers carries the niche product locally, and Bill and Neela are so obliging, to the point that not only will they play with us for hours, they´ll lend skin so we can smell even more things. I´d brought along my little vial of Chypre Rouge for Bill and Neela to try, and they thought it was very interesting, as did Sariah, although after she sniffed the vial she declined to put any onà¢â‚¬¦ but we played with the Rosines. She does not share my love for Ecume à¢â‚¬” the salty rose, it is not working for her, although she was charmed by their Zeste de Rose. I revisited their Rose d’Homme, which smells very Guerlain-ish to me and thus is FBW in the fall à¢â‚¬” it´s a bit much in this heat. I found two Miller Harris fragrances to love (the Miller Harris line has, up to this point, pretty much left me cold): Feuilles de Tabac, a men´s tobacco scent that is quite unisexy, although it has a faint, unfortunate soapy note on me; and the Fleur Oriental, which is just my thing, and probably your thing too if you like musky florientals — another purchase for the fall. I re-tried, for the umpteenth time, Apothia Velvet Rope, hoping it would not smell like the usual crap on me à¢â‚¬” and it didn´t! It smelled à¢â‚¬¦ well, very nice. But not great, like it does on Bill. Oh, well. Then we got busy and played with L´Artisan. Sariah tried my beloved Passage d´Enfer, and our new friendship was on shaky ground when she pronounced it à¢â‚¬¦ liver-ish (it did smell a bit odd on her, I admit.) But she redeemed herself entirely by trying and purchasing my adored Tea for Two, which she was just wild for. So obviously she has great taste. I revisited Piment Brulant and Poivre Piquant, which are really interesting, and actually quite wearable, although I am having trouble visualizing myself wearing them. (Bill says their best sellers are Mure et Musc and Eau d’Ambre.) I also (sssshhhhh à¢â‚¬” don´t tell!) bought Patty one of their last two bottles of Fleur de Carotte, which is just adorably packaged with this weird carrot top, and also comes with a little empty atomizer to decant into, which I promptly swiped and filled for myself, but I bet she´ll forgive me. It´s a big, honking bottle, so I won´t be surprised if it shows up in her eBay decants on Fragrant Fripperies. We pretty much skipped the SLs, which we just couldn´t face in the heat, although Sariah was fascinated/horrified by Miel de Bois and kept her paper strip just so she could keep giving herself the shivers. We dabbled a bit in the Carthusia (Sariah liked Mediterraneo) and the Santa Maria Novella. They stock the Citta di Kyoto, which I love for cooler weather, and is a pretty radical departure from most of the rest of their line. We left with our purchases and two gift bags stuffed with samples. So I´d say it was a complete success. By the way, they’re happy to ship. Tell them March from that ol’ Posse blog sent you and ask them to throw in some extra samples — their phone number is 703-903-6837. They’re open until 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

Okay, let me explain the image at the top: I googled “scent bender” under images just to see what would pop up. And there it is. I have no idea what it is, or why it is, but how could I resist?


  • Katie says:

    Heh, I’d forgotten all about Gunne Sax! Wow, that’s a flashback. No, I was usually dressed up like a costume party all through high school. I’d take the nifty and cheap things I found at thriftstores and markets, take them apart and resew/reform them to my own goofy liking. Honestly, that’s how I got through high school: by pretending every day was Carnival, and socializing my way through the school day :d

  • March says:

    BBliss — it’s nice to know someone else feels my MH pain. The Velvet Rope doesn’t love me, but I think If is very pretty. Re Gunne Sax — I wish I still had those dresses, I hear they’re selling for a fortune secondhand to jaded high-school girls. I just look at those pics and smile. If you can’t dress like a goofball in your teens and 20s, when are you going to do it?

  • March says:

    Mimi — I don’t remember the original, but Nars is certainly worth sniffing. I have dry skin, so I could wear it as a fragrance. And it would last forever. But I’m tempted by Ina’s use as a bath oil, which I think would be heavenly.

  • BBliss says:

    Great bender! Miller Harris’ *do* sound great, but are definitely unbalanced on me, too…headache-inducing which is rare. Doesn’t stop me from wanting to try the Coeur d’Ete – anyone have thoughts on this?

    Apothia, well I don’t get them either. I was ashamed to admit my own level of uncool-ness.

    LOL re “Gunne Sax Hooker” – I looked up to those girls and couldn’t wait to be one. Thank goodness that phase passed swiftly and there aren’t too many photos hanging around8-|

  • What a pleasurable read, love your sense of humor!

    Your mentioning the Nars version of Monoï Tahiti brought back memories of …Monoï Tahiti. It’s also sold with a tiare flower in it and was very popular, perhaps still is. I used to wear it as a skin perfume.

  • March says:

    K — Somehow I get the strong feeling we’d have been sitting together at the same lunch table in high school. Hint — NOT the cheerleaders. Sort of the cool uncool kids. I was sporting a look I like to think of as Gunne Sax Hooker. Wonder if Gunne Sax resonates with you at all…

  • Katie says:

    Hee hee hee. Dude Angel. I like that ;)Must let go of the rope, yes – some of us are not allowed beyond the Velvet Rope, and we must accept the fact that we will never make it into that exclusive club. We just gotta move on… heh. It’s okay – I’ll hang with you at our informal club of uncoolness anytime:x

  • March says:

    Katie — I need to give Dude Angel a try again when it’s not so hot. I saw on your blog it’s even worse where you are … yeah, I’m having trouble Letting Go of the Rope. But you’re right. Regarding Truly — I just went to the NM site and they’re selling the extrait for $800!

    As you would say, *snerk.* It says something about peach, which I didn’t get at all. All I got was grief.

  • March says:

    Robin — have I thanked you lately for directing me to Art With Flowers?^:)^

  • Katie says:

    Hee! Well I knew who Bender was, and started cracking up at your use of his picture. If you ever have a chance to catch any episodes of Futurama, I HIGHLY recommend it! (It’s via Matt Groening, of Simpsons fame, and the writing is top notch.)

    “am happy to report that Angel for Men is not half bad” But alas, this implies that you only thought it was half good, heh.

    This sounds like an immensely satisfying look and sniff! But March, I think you’re going to have to face up to the fact that you probably need to give up on Velvet Rope. It is not meant to be – I too have been forced to recognize this. That raw tobacco note just isn’t going to work on some of us, unfortunately.

    Delices in parfum is excellent, and I’m so glad you guys made sure to try it. I’m on the fence whether I will need a full on bottle of that or not yet, though I’m thinking not since I just don’t get in a fruity mood very often.

    So Truly sounds so awful from your description that I totally want to try it just to see for myself! I’m a glutton for punishment? It sounds so repellant that I’m curious now.

  • Robin says:

    Awesome shopping day! I love Fleur de Carotte; nice to know there are still bottles floating around somewhere.

  • Emotenote says:

    You mean there is another option besides the Azuree? I tried it after all the hype and practically passed out from the “Tropic” smell. It was wayyy too sun tan lotion on me. I’ll have to try the Nars oil. What a cute little Bender you have there, I’m thinking the bottle is Sandflower by Montale. (have you ever had your face smashed into rotting seaweed on the beach at noon?) I think in the last episode I saw of futerama, Bender is God.

    What a great way to spend the day!

  • March says:

    Chelsea, I haven’t smelled it, but I think that Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia would be perfect for him. I hear it’s burnt tires, gasoline and leather… for strange fecal notes he could layer it with PG Aomassai.

  • Chelsea says:

    Sounds like a lovely way to spend the day! The little guy is Bender from Futurama, made into what looks like a sachet. I don’t think he’d approve as he was a pretty raucus character, preferring burnt tires, menthol, gasoline, and strange fecal notes to florals.

  • March says:

    Solander — well, there you go. I knew there had to be some sort of explanation. The green bottle in its (his?) hand is clearly some sort of liquor (XXX) but what’s that vial in the other hand? Hmmmm … maybe it’s Miel de Bois…:-?

  • March says:

    Elle — that Nars oil was just delicious, I like it much better than Azuree, which does this nasty tropical-cooking-oil thing on me. The smell is both light and incredibly rich. And the Baiser in the parfum … wonder if I can badger Patty into a decant. I have this ginormous bottle of the EDP instead.:((

  • March says:

    Ina — I will definitely be back. Chicago is a great city, and I enjoyed (for once) being there not in the dead of winter. I couldn’t believe I liked that Angel. The Nars oil as bath oil sounds very appealing to me with my dry skin.

  • March says:

    Chaya — the MH fragrances sound excellent on paper, and they’re lovely to look at. But on my skin they smell … raw and unfinished, and a little harsh.

    Thanks for the compliments — I wish you’d been there too!@};-

  • March says:

    Sariah — thanks for playing with me! Check with Marina, I think she sells decants of Eau Noire on eBay. I didn’t even know she was a seller until I bought something and her name popped up on the Paypal receipt…

  • Solander says:

    It’s Bender, from a TV cartoon (can’t remember what it’s called).

  • Elle says:

    Sounds like it was a blast! *Must* try the NARS oil and Baiser du Dragon parfum. And Art With Flowers really is a perfumista dream store.

  • Ina says:

    Fun! Fun! Fun! Totally agree on the NARS oil. I used up a bottle as bath oil in no time. Oh, and Angel for Men is really good, totally agree. I might even get a bottle or a decant at some point. You must come to Chicago again! :d

  • chaya ruchama says:

    Hello,dear March-

    What a lovely thing, to admire Bender before my coffee…

    Wish I’d been there! I agree with you on the Miller Harris’-I find that, although most smell ok, they don’t evolve significantly enough to hold my interest, but i enjoy the 2 you mentioned.

    Love your frankness and enthusiasm-

    Have a great day…:d

  • sariah says:

    Oops – I meant Dior Eau Noir

  • sariah says:

    Hmmm – A drunk Tin Man Christmas tree ornament perhaps? Thanks for taking notes and posting, now I can remember what happened – so many perfumes in so little time.

    Tell Patty she needs to buy some of the
    Dior Homme so I can get a decant off her store, I don’t want to buy one of those HUGE bottles. Wonder if she’d like it better than the Chypre Rouge?