How do I choose the fragrances I review? For every scent I stick in this blog, I probably sample 10 or 15 others. All this, as you have surely noticed by now, is subjective. Some things are fabulous yet fail to move me (I´m having this issue with a few Nina Riccis.) Or I feel like I´m trying a fragrance in the wrong season, like The Different Company garden series, which I´m giving up on until warmer weather. Sometimes the problem appears to be skin chemistry. I´ll sniff something two or three times, and unless it´s prompting a response, I file it away for a revisit. Some fragrances, like much of the Caron line, I don´t blog about because subjectively they´re just not a good fit for me – although the wall´s collapsing on my no-Caron belief system…
Caron Royal Bain de Caron and Eaux Fraiche – I really like both of these, but they don´t count, do they? No Caron base? Parfum Sacre EDP has potential, but the rest of the testers were EDT and they … they frighten me. I guess I have to go visit either NYC or Patty so I can re-sniff all the Carons in parfum. P — I know where you live, babe! Leave the lights on!
Annick Goutal Hadrian Absolu – just mentioning this for all you Hadrian nuts who complain about its lasting power, Saks has this, and to my nose it smells just like amped-up Hadrian. That´s dandy, but what I really want is Duel Absolu, or Sables Ultra-Light (non-menthol). Or both.
Escada Sunset Heat – quick – how many of the summer LEs can you name off the top of your head!?! No cheating! It´s like naming the seven dwarfs, only more depressing. Notes are: Papaya, Lemon, Mango Sherbet, Pineapple Mousse, Icy Watermelon, Peach, Lotus Flower, Hibiscus, Sandalwood, Amber Crystals, Spray-On Tan, Crystal Meth, Thong Bikinis, Tom Selleck’s Chest Hair, and Vulgar Jewelry. Kill me now. Can no one stop these things from reproducing? (No, those aren’t quite the right notes… can you guess where I improvised?)
Serge Lutens Rousse – everyone else loves this. On me it was a wan dupe of Gris Clair. Yes, I know – that makes no sense at all, when everyone else is getting Cinnamon Orgasm with Apple Pie for Later in Bed. No, I don´t want to talk about it. I´m still sulking.
Geoffrey Beene Perfume for Women – here, let me clip directly from Perfumeland: “A warm, rich, and sensual fragrance that combines irsis, Italian bergamot, water snowflake and Ylang-ylang, musk as its base notes.” I don´t know about you, but I´m having trouble reconciling “warm” with “water snowflake” and the irsis is frankly a little sharp. And this stuff is so cheap online they´re practically paying you to wear it. So, commenter dinazad, who sent me this sample — I´m blaming you, because the degree to which I like this thing is bothering me. Its aggressive, broad-shouldered greenness is oddly refreshing, given the current mass market fruity-floral trends. Are you toying with me, dinazad?
Okay, so now I realize I´m doing a post in which I dismiss the new Lutens and rave about the $11.99 Beene. Maybe I fell and hit my head? I feel shame. Oh, well … on to
Gobin Daude Seve Exquise – orris, poplar bud, liatrix, vetiver. One of those I hadn´t smelled, and wasn´t missing because Exquisite Sap didn´t really sound like “me.” You thought I was troubled by Beene? Weeping into my hankie now, because this is exquisite. I thought it would be weirder, but it´s not. It´s not ominous like JAR Bolt of Lightning, less earthy than CB Black March, and the orris lends a faint spice note I adore. Patty, you broke my heart with this one.
Aquolina Pink Sugar — my tweener daughter said it “smells like rotten sugar.” Out of the mouths of babes.
Jil Sander Style — They were just setting up the display at Saks with the testers when I was there, didn´t have the bottles for sale yet. The notes according to the friendly SA are: freesia, cardamom, pink pepper, magnolia, iris, jasmine, amber and musk. This is a comfort scent somewhat along the line of Sensations, but sweeter. I´ll argue that this smells better than most of the new fruity-florals; it´s certainly less cloying, and this is the perfect time of year for the release of a cheerful, sweet fragrance. The base is also funky enough to be interesting — there´s a note of milky overripeness that´s appealing — but I wish the first half an hour were less sweet.
Today´s free giveaway: Curse of the Dragon! Through no fault of my own, I have yet again wound up with a 3.3 bottle of Cartier Baiser du Dragon EDP (seriously, is there some weird crack in the time-space continuum that these things keep slipping through? Why can´t Guerlain fall through the crack instead?), no box, slightly less than full – an amount I consider a supply for several lifetimes. If you´d like the bottle, please say so in the comments below and one of the girls will Pick a Winner.
dragon image, M.C. Escher woodcut, 1925: fantasyarts.net