I have leagues, fathoms, acres of samples upstairs, waiting patiently. But instead I’m going to comment on my Saturday Sniffage with Sariah:
The new Lanvin Rumeur. The first thing that caught my eye is the bottle. It’s unusual, but not silly or juvenile — there’s something about its squat shape and wavy glass that’s quite fetching (I think I read somewhere the bottles are handmade?). In terms of appeal the fragrance itself is a joyous white floral. I could see a younger customer embracing this, because it’s missing any sort of chypre or dark underpinning that might make the under-30 set run for cover. The SA at Saks told me it’s exclusive there, they were unpacking the boxes, it wasn’t even on the shelves yet. Notes: magnolia, seringa, white rose, sambac jasmine, patchouli, musk. It is a bit fruity-floral — there is a long stretch of what smells like peach in the middle — but the magnolia, musk and patch keep the juice faintly earthy/green rather than toothache-sweet. It may not be everyone’s taste, but it’s not insipid. It’s not really my style — I am entranced by only a handful of big florals — but it is one of the nicer offerings from a non-niche house in recent memory. Technically, this is a re-release, but I think the bottle and the fragrance are fairly different than the original, which I’ve not smelled. Sariah swore this reminds her of Lagerfeld Sun, Moon, Stars. At Saks and Saks online — where it is $85 for 3.3 oz.(!) of EDP(!), which by my standards is practically free; they have an even cheaper 1.7.
The new Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile EDP. Weeelllll….. I wanted to love it. I love Iris Nobile EDT in all its wonderful green sharp citrus opening and iris/orange blossom drydown, which lasts for maybe 30 minutes. The EDP is a significantly different fragrance — the sillage is decent, and the drydown is lovely. However, I seem to be missing all the anise/citrus/iris top and heart of the original — the EDP is all orange blossom on me. Should be called Arancia Nobile. It is not a replacement for Iris Nobile EDT, but judged on its own merits it is beautiful. At NM.
Indecision: Annick Goutal Sables and Duel. Duel is very pretty — mate tea, lemon and iris, but I don’t get the leather, and the lasting power seems minimal no matter how much I apply. Sables I am completely on the fence about. The spice/imortelle thing registers, variously, as a smell of such bizarre, powerful beauty that I am ready to buy the bottle right then — only if I wait ten minutes it smells like a bag o’ spice seasoning for some iffy curry-type dish I’m not sure is safe to eat. What do you think?
Change of Heart: Bvlgari The Rouge — The Blanc I own (and love — it’s more complex than it’s given credit for.) The Vert, both regular and mean, are nice enough but fail to move me, particularly after the advent of the other 75 green-tea scents. The Rouge I dismissed because I wanted more of the rooibos smell. However. I have re-sniffed this twice recently and am reconsidering, because what I get in there now is the smell of dirt, and it’s pretty fabulous — that rooty, earthy smell in rooibos and some other herbal teas. What is not to love about the smell of tea and dirt? Bvlgari Vile de Jasmin, on the other hand, is sharp and wretched and should be banned from public sale.
The Big News — I tried the Armani Amethyste straight out of their new tester bottle at Saks. Sariah pronounces it one of the worst fragrances she has ever smelled (she hates violet.) And … I can smell it!!! Oh happy, happy day!!! It smells like violet and leather. Not butch, smoky leather (e.g., Lonestar Memories or Russian Leather.) More a marine leather, or a suede. The violet is a little medicinal rather than sweet, although that may be a function of the leather. It is heaven. I love the way it hovers in the air around me. However. I talked to the SA for awhile and based on in-store customer feedback I think this one is potentially love-it-or-hate-it. Don’t be buying that $185 bottle unsniffed.
Finally: Guerlain Insolence. I hate almost everything about it — the absurd name for a tame scent, the stupid wobbly bottle, the pink juice, the wack ad campaign with Hilary Swank, the whole “entry-level Guerlain” vibe. My attitude is, if you’re not old enough to worship the goddess of Guerlain, then back the hell away from my altar. The only part I now have to admit (publicly and grudgingly) is: I don’t hate the fragrance. I don’t smell the fruit after the first 90 seconds, and I don’t get their “spiral accord,” but this one’s a sleeper. It’s the sort of frag you put on, say meh, forget about, and someone half an hour later says, wow, what is that lovely thing you’re wearing? What won me over is the drydown — it is unabashedly Guerlain, that powder/anise/violet that falls halfway between Apres L’Ondee and Meteorites, and given those reference points, how can I say it smells anything other than beautiful? It will not change your life. The Earth will not move. But I can see reaching for this any day I need a comfort scent.
Okay, the Sex in a Bottle giveaway from last week … I had more than 30 requests to be entered (wow, that sounds dirty), which in a way is nice, and in another way makes me feel really, really bad, because I only have a small amount of some of this stuff — even my new musk absolute bottle is just 15 ml. I think I can come up with three sets, which are going to … Tigs, Violetnoir, and Leopoldo, although if I run out of something I’ll throw in … some CdG Palisander, which is a great woods/incense, you’ll like it! Or not. Email me with your address at Contact Us. The rest of you, my apologies — samples of the CB Musk should be available fairly soon for $4, more or less, on the CB I Hate Perfume website.