First thing – ALERT! ALERT! – get your preorder in for Andy Tauer Orris, shipping after November 15, $85 for 30ml (or buy a 1ml sample for $4). Notes are: Rose absolute from Bulgaria, cinnamon, pepper, grapefruit, orris, frankincense, agarwood (aoud), Mysore and Australian sandalwood, vetiver, ambergris. I believe Luckyscent has 200 LE bottles, and they’re expecting it to sell out. If you’re outside the U.S., order directly from Andy’s website. By the way, Luckyscent is unloading Le Prince Jardinier original (a weirdly fetching combo of citrus, wood and leather created by Isabelle Doyen) for $25 …
Okay, this post is too long. Oh, well. If you keep reading there’s a giveaway at the end.
The real disaster of the week was my much-anticipated Guerlain Voilette de Madame. I want to beat my head against the wall when I think about it. Not the disgusting, animalic “Madame´s dirty underthings” as I have read elsewhere. (I would have accepted that cheerfully.) Not fragrance nirvana – the sort of buzz that had nine bottles sold in nothing flat at the NYC Sniffa. Nope, what I got was: celery with a Guerlinade base. The good news is I guess I won´t have to fork over, what — $400? – for a bottle. That´s it, that´s my whole stupid review, I´m going to pretend Voilette doesn´t exist, that´s how depressing this is to me.
On the other hand, something had to go right, right? Like Le Labo Tubereuse 40, which everyone has reviewed extensively elsewhere, so my only addition is: actually, I do get tuberose in this, and a fair amount. I know tuberose isn´t even listed in the notes in spite of the name, but Judith (from whence many good things come) was told by … uh, those two cute Le Labo guys that tuberose is definitely in there. Anyway. It is lovely, which is high praise from me for a line that has, with a couple of exceptions, pretty much left me cold. The Big Cheese is out of town, which allows me to waft maximum sillage, so I had Tubereuse on the right, Carnal Flower on the left. I´d give them 50% similar DNA on me. Carnal Flower has that weird floral-shop chill I adore so very much – the perfect juxtaposition of weird and beautiful that makes the Malle line so brilliant. Tubereuse 40 had slightly less sillage, and the base vibe was in the citrus direction others have noted but on me was much less pronounced and occasionally registered as faint citronella – which isn´t the end of the world, but I wasn´t wild for it, either. My final verdict – very, very good, but Carnal Flower is better.
Polo Double Black. The original Polo Black is like dating a nice, clean, reliable, but ultimately boring guy. And so, in a fit of pique and immaturity, you end up sleeping with his ne´er-do-well brother during the weekend at their beach house. I never would have tried Double Black if Bois de Jasmin hadn´t waxed poetic about it. Notes are: spiced mango, nutmeg, espresso, vetiver. I get a little pepper, and it´s a perfect balance of sweetness, spice and warmth. I´m still having trouble believing this is RL – did somebody slip something into his monogrammed flask? Anyway, it´s a men´s fragrance, but it´s so smooth and not-gender-tagged that a woman could wear it easily. I smell it every time I get my hands on a bottle, and I cannot get enough.
Chanel No. 22 – Angela did this great review on NST talking about how the drydown is incense. It´s been so long since I took a crack at Chanel (other than Bois de Iles and Cuir de Russie, both of which should be on everybody´s must-try list) … where the hell was I? … oh, Chanel. Notes are: aldehydes (duh), jasmine, tuberose, ylang, rose, vetiver, vanilla, incense. I never could get through the big blast of aldehydes in the opening, so I sprayed on some EDT (which seems to be the only concentration readily available) and then steadfastly ignored it for half an hour. And guess what? It does smell like incense – a la Chanel, meaning an extremely refined (but not powdery) incense wearing a long string of pearls but sharing the stage with something just a little … dark. This would be an excellent addition to the wardrobe of any incense fan, and I think it would smell amazing on a man. While I was there I re-tried…
Chanel Coco in the EDP, which is light-years better than the EDT. They´ve been tinkering with the formula (aren´t they always?) and for the last couple of years I was sad to find it flat and bitter, rather than the sensual, spicy signature scent that manages to be alluring and a bit stand-offish. Notes are: mandarin, cascarilla, pimiento, coriander, orange flower, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, labdanum, ambrette seed, opopanax, benzoin, tonka, vanilla. The EDP seems to have been returned to its burnished glory. Unlike most of the mainstream Chanels it´s sexy as hell, and I don´t care if the other one is called Allure, Coco puts the ass back in classy. Dab this in your décolleté and put on your dark red lipstick, and watch all the bad boys come to mama.
Clinique Simply – has been discontinued according to SAs at Macy´s and Bloomie´s when I went looking for a re-test. So if you love it, consider stocking up.
Guerlain Vol de Nuit parfum – I have tried and failed to love this one, and I assumed the problem might be the EDT, which smells harsh and sour to me, as if the juice had gone off. I was stunned to stumble across a bottle of the parfum at our nicer Nordstrom. Vol de Nuit would be a textbook illustration of why the Guerlain EDTs should be outlawed – with the exception of Jicky, they´re like poor counterfeits of their own line. Anyway, Vol de Nuit in parfum is a dark, fairly butch (on me) combo of oakmoss, leather and amber, somewhat reminiscent of Jolie Madame, with a Guerlain base. While it hasn´t displaced my favorites in the line, anyone with a weakness for leather or a hatred of florals should give it a whirl. Layered with L´Heure Bleue EDP it´s heartbreaking.
Finally, we´re doing TWO things today. First, the giveaway: samples of Le Labo Ciste, Vetiver and Rose 31; if you want them, leave a comment that you want Le Labo. Second, the swap – I have an almost-full 5ml decant of Guerlain Apres L´Ondee PARFUM (not EDT), which I´d like to trade for something, and I´m too lazy to swap on MUA. My first choice: a bottle of Hermes Eau Des Merveilles (the original) you got bored with because it´s too light. (The Apres decant is $50 on eBay, BTW, and the parfum is no longer in production.) But I´d swap for something else, and if you read this blog regularly you know my tastes are pretty wide-ranging, so don´t be shy (e.g., I´d trade it for Hilary Duff´s new thang). If you´re longing to try the Apres parfum and you have a bottle (used/no box, I couldn´t care less) you´d like to offer for swap, put it in the comments below. Off the top of my head, other things I´d like bottles of: Insolence, Betsey Johnson, maybe one of the Toccas?… if I pick your offer, I´ll throw in a vial of the Apres EDT too, just for grins. UPDATE: I’ve arranged my swap for the Apres and it is no longer available; however, you can buy some (in smaller amounts, too) from Dragonfly Scent Me on eBay.