Random Candy

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

  • whataworld says:

    I love Tom Selleck, lucky girl to have smelled his chest hair. Please enter me in the drawing.

  • Theresa says:

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  • BBliss says:

    Great random candy! Certainly some savvy beauty company would invest in the Gobin-Daudes…sounds like they need a little PR help…or maybe just a little more persistence…I think Seve is lovely, but have missed out on the same ones you have. Unique, but very wearable.

    No dragon, for me – thank you.

  • dinazad says:

    No need to send your address – I have it somewhere (proceeds to go a-searching in the e-mail archives)…

  • March says:

    VV — well, who am I to criticize? Me and my favorite butt-smells. But I have a very small bottle to look at, and that’s enough for me.

    Baiser must smell good on someone, because clearly it sells.

  • March says:

    Picasso — they seem to stay away more, at least where I live. Maybe they’ve been sued by unhappy customers. Now they’re always trying to hand me the card instead.

  • March says:

    Dinazad — well, if you’re dying to get rid of the bottle…:-” do you need my address?:d

    I had some original VV which I was happy to have tried, and equally happy to get rid of. Sorry it’s gone now, because I’d send it to you. It’s just vicious.

  • VeronicaV says:

    Oh please put me if for the Dragon EDP. I actually love the stuff and it smells wonderful on me…..And…ahem…..I prefer the EDP to the parfum. Sick, ain’t it?


  • zara says:

    oh, the escada’s…it seems more like a beverage than perfume, with the company spitting out more and more ‘flavours’ just to suit consumer moods. disappointing indeed

  • picassoraining says:

    If I’m not late to the party, I’d love to be in the drawing. 🙂

    I entertain meyself sometimes coming up with highly illegal things to do to the next SA that spritzes me with some Escada Hawaiian Punch concoction against my will – they seem to *love* to do that.

  • dinazad says:

    Don’t shatter my hopes, March :-(( – I desperately want to get GB out of the house! Curiously enough, Vent Vert and Ma Griffe are perfect on me. I just wish I could get my hands on a sample or more of the original VV, the green overkill (so I hear) 😉 It was actually Sève Exquise which I remember as being almost too green to take. GB on me is only green in the way the dirt on somebody who hasn’t washed since birth is green (sorry!). Give me Vent Vert anytime!
    So all Victoire G-D needs is money? OK – as soon as I win the euro-lottery our troubles will be over…. Keep your fingers crossed!

  • OOOOOOOO8-|8-|I’m so-o-o-o-o glad somebody admitted to liking something “cheap”—-very new to this whole experience—-ordering samples and trying things out—–I’m a massage therapist (not practicing, now) but very into scents and essential oils.

    Please enter me in dragon drawing as I’m educating my olfactory palate.:x—Kiss of Death–baiser du morte–has a nice ring to it!

  • March says:

    Haus — that woman, and I quote: “Frau Model Malgosia Bela” — come on, doesn’t that sound like Bela Lugosi? Concidence? I think not.(~~)

  • March says:

    Solander — yes, thanks very much, I actually forwarded your reply on to the person who requested the information. Appreciate it!

  • March says:

    Carole — I bribe my daughter constantly.

    However, regarding the integrity of the draw, she is beyond reproach.[-(

  • hausvonstone says:

    March, you can see Gollum Gal here:
    They besmirch much of my fair city.

  • Susan says:

    Okay- I’ll order a Rousse sample TODAY so I know what everyone is talking about-

    Please, please, please enter me in the Dragon drawing. I love all things dragon-
    they’re sooo hot!

  • Solander says:

    Oh, please enter me too in the drawing.
    And by the way, it was my blog you found, I answered in a reply to your King Kong post below, although I’m afraid I don’t have the requested information.

  • Donna says:

    Well, I see I have a lot of company in my love for Gobin-Daude. It will be quite a sensation when she is back in business. Then I will buy another bottle of Seve Exquise. I will also buy Nuit au Desert and Sous les Buis. What a fantastic perfumer she is…………Well, I’m off to shower and then will spray myself from head to toe with Seve Exquise…………(ducking):)>-

  • Donna says:

    I love the Dragaon. Please and thank you for adding me to your drawing.\:d/:)>-:d

  • Rebecca says:

    Since visiting Wales some years ago, I ESPECIALLY love dragons!
    I appreciate that you are not snobby in regards to less expensive fragrance. Variety is great!
    Please drop my name in the hat!

  • March says:

    Christine — that stuff is $12!!! That’s FREE, basically. Things under $20 do not count at all towards any budget (like chocolate eaten while standing.) I bet it’s even cheaper on eBay.

    If you like greenish scents, think about it.

  • carole says:

    Will you kindly consider me for the draw? Is your daughter old enough to be bribed?


  • March says:

    Funster — it’s funny that you said that. Actually, a lot of the time (since I get samples) I have only the vaguest idea what something costs, or no idea at all. If I had to guess, I’d say I don’t see direct correlation between the price and whether it’s going to enchant me. I like some really cheap stuff, too…

  • March says:

    Vi — too late, hon — I had only a squidge, sprayed it on one friend here (she also got lavender), then the last 9 drops off to someone else who got red-hots but isn’t whipping out her Visa.

  • March says:

    Tommasina — nope, Reglisse (which I also really like) doesn’t count, either!

    The G-Ds … wonder if we’d talk about them as much if we could get more?/:)

  • March says:

    Teri — I’m generally the person with the opposite problem — things last and last and WILL NOT GO AWAY no matter how much I wish they would.

  • March says:

    Tom — Monsieur? Really? Will have to look it up.:-?

  • Christine says:

    March – Nothing’s wrong with the GB. It’s just I do not need any new lemmings. I’m trying to be soooo o:-)

    What I need is gainful employment that will work around my 9 year old. Where’s all these internet jobs I see advertized on TV? $-) Someone must be just making them up.

    Many blessings on your head if you win the BdD, just please stay downwind of moi. Nothing personal, BdD & I do not get along. 🙁

  • March says:

    Robin — I did hear from them. They just need some cash infusion and they’d be happy to start right up again …. if I were queen…:-w

  • March says:

    Maria — okay, they don’t smell alike, but I see your point, actually — to me they share a spicy density, and they both have a lot of sillage (interesting idea about wet).

  • March says:

    Jill — smarty! To me it smells hay-ish.

  • March says:

    Gaia — not sure about the Hadrien, just reporting what I smelled … the SAs couldn’t tell me a thing. As usual.

    Those Escada notes were so stupid I couldn’t help myself.

  • March says:

    Marina — oh, I am grateful for my skank. MKK. Yatagan. I put Mona Noire on and wanted to laugh; that there is some serious stink, I love it.

    Won’t mention any CB Musk.:-“

  • March says:

    Eliza — no, really, that’s all in there :d

  • March says:

    Sybil — several people have now compared Rousse to Idole, so maybe that’s one you can skip. I would have liked Idole a lot stronger, but what do I want from O Giacobetti? Strong is not her thang.

  • March says:

    Judith — but what about Biche dans Absinthe (too lazy to look up correct spelling) does it really smell like burritos or tacos? (can’t remember, something like that)

  • March says:

    Julia — ;))

    Christine — no draw? I know how you feel. Hey, what’s wrong with the GB?=:)

  • March says:

    P — don’t fall in love with it now!!! Besides, you have a couple of other things to console you.:x

  • March says:

    Elle — giving you a big ol’ internet hug, my fragrant twin — that Beene is (so far as I can tell) the Beene to which you refer, and now I feel slightly less wrong.>:d< G-D is looking for a patron, I got an email from them in response to a query. All they need is LOTS AND LOTS of MONEY and we'll be back in the good stuff.

  • March says:

    Chaya — your skin is very dry!?!?!?


    I love Escher. Been looking for an excuse to work one in here.

  • March says:

    Sariah — I love the smell of weed, as I have heard it described to me and read about it :-”

    I had high hopes for Cannabis Santal, but it’s just plain old santal to me.

  • March says:

    Ronny — Buis and Absinthe are my two remaining unsniffed, although Robin at Now Smell This killed off my Absinthe lemming by saying it smelled like tacos or something dreadful, perfume-wise.

  • March says:

    Dinazad — yeah, I know, neener neener neener /:)

    well, it worked, but you don’t have to send me the rest of your bottle, because I bet I can order a full one online for less than the postage;)

    can’t believe it smells that bad on you?!? Do you like Vent Vert or Ma Griffe? That super-green is a difficult note for me.

  • March says:

    Leopoldo — as greedy and clueless as I am about the GDs, at least I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror and say, I took a pass on that $19 clearance bottle … if I could have bought it then, I’d have sniffed it and thought, eeeew!b-(

  • March says:

    Haus — the Beene is a much meener, greener theeng /:) — not really like Unicorn. More annoying, like Ma Griffe or Vent Vert. Only not galbanum.

    I haven’t even seen the ads for Style — will have to notice. The SAs at Saks are looking a little gollum-esque to me though…

  • March says:

    OKAY — 😮 — ALL YOU, UH, OTHERWISE NORMAL PEOPLE WHO WANTED IN ON THE DRAWING — you are IN!! Not gonna write it 25 times in the comments.

    What you’re going to do with 100ml of Baiser I don’t EVEN want to think about. That jus should be illegal in anything over 10ml.

    Also: note of pang of guilt that I don’t have 20 bottles to give away, but I don’t. (These draws sometimes make me feel a little bad.) I’ll announce next week. One of my kids picks the name, so if you don’t win — it’s HER fault.

  • Feel no shame, my child. Absolutely nothing wrong with liking what you like…and not particularly caring for something 7 or 8 times the price. Actually a very good thing. The perfume saints are smiling at you.

    And please enter me in your drawing for the Dragon.

  • violetnoir says:

    March, you are a scream! :-j I love your bit about the Escadas, and I agree: Enough already, people!

    And the G-D’s…girl, don’t even talk about it. I am barely holding on to my remaining little bit of Sous les Buis. I had an opportunity in ’05 to buy another bottle from Tak’s closeout for $19., but proscrastinated and lost out. What a dope I was. :((

    And hey: If you don’t like that Rousse sample, please send me your remains. I am dying to try it! 😡


  • dleep says:

    Your comments on Escada just cracked me up!! I would love to be included in the drawing.


  • Tommasina says:

    I did the Wrong Thing and sniffed the Gobin-Daudes of which I was SO luckily sent samples (but note that I did not put them on my skin) – and of course I loved them; and of course I’m never going to open them again. Uff.

    With you on the Escadas; also with you on Caron base (ducking and preparing to run). The only ONE I’ve found that works on my skin is Reglisse – which, of course, is not the Real Thang. But there are so many of them that I haven’t yet tried…

    That Dragon is one big HG for me. I won’t pretend I’m asking for a friend – not that I suspect Lee and Haus of telling porkies, you understand – so please, please do enter me for the drawing. Thanks so much!

  • Teri says:

    Hadrian absolu sounds like just the ticket. Hadrian is such a nice fresh summer scent, but I have to carry a tanker truck of the juice around with me if I want the scent to last all day.

    Frankly, I’d be happy if ALL fragrances came in concentrated form. I have my own office and am surrounded by males who have never once complained about olfactory overload.

    I’d love to grapple with the dragon, so please enter me in your drawing. I ain’t skeered of no dragons! :-“

  • tmp00 says:

    Personally I call Dragon “Baiser du Mort”, so I don’t need to be included. I’d love stronger Hadrien, but can settle. Have you tried Eau de Monsieur? I find it to be somewhat Sables Lite.

    I agree with you on Rousse. :((

  • Robin says:

    Seve Exquise is unreal. I am hoarding my bottle, and praying that GD reappears with those 2 new scents we were told about just before the line went *poof*.

  • Maria B. says:

    One of the best and worst things about perfume is the very personal way it hits us. I’ve tried Ormonde Woman twice and each time had a strong visceral dislike of the thing. The last time I realized that it called up for me the experience of commuting to and from work with a self-obsessed friend with whom I had a big falling out. She always wore Ysatis. You may say, But Ysatis is nothing like Ormonde Woman. Sure, in the rational world. Something in the sort-of-drydown (OW stays quite “wet”) psychologically evokes exactly my experience of Ysatis on my former friend.

    Wild, huh? So, March, if you don’t get what others get, think of what you get that others don’t, like Gris Clair in Rousse and thong bikini in the Escada.

    Please enter me in the drawing for Baiser du Dragon, even though the name makes me think of kissing good-morning a man who had garlic-infused hummus the night before.

  • Kathy says:

    I discovered the Gobin Daube fragrances too late as well. I try not to think about them, and I have a sample of Sous le Buis that I haven’t even tried for fear of loving it.

    Style sounds interesting to me since I’m not afraid of sweet 🙂

    I’d love to be entered in the drawing – thanks!

  • rachael says:

    So sorry about Rousse, and love your description of the latest; they really are too much. I tried Dragon once and hated it, then tried it again and loved it, so I would be thrilled to win a bottle. Thanks March.

  • jill says:

    Gobin Daude Seve Exquise, ooooh liatrix! my favorite note! I kid, I have no idea what liatrix smells like, but the whole sounds wonderful.

    Please enter me in the drawing, thx!

  • I’m still laughing at the Escada notes. That’s exactly as I se these scents, complete with the insides of a really tacky car that has something fuzzy hanging from the rear view mirror.

    I’ve looked at the Hadrien Absolu, and wasn’t sure that it’s a real absolu and not just the regular EdP repackaged for men. In any case, I want an absolu version for every Goutal.

    My own bottle of Dragon is drawing to an end (it’s the 1 oz), so I wouldn’t object to getting a new one.

  • Marina says:

    I want Duel Absolu and Sables Ultra-Light (non-menthol) too! And no orgasms for me and Rousse. Thank god, I have MKK, har har har :d

  • Eliza J says:

    I am so cracking up right now! Crystal meth, spray -on-tan, Tom Sellecks chest hair? Hilarious.

    I love “The Dragon” and would love to be included in the drawing. Thank you!:)

  • sybil says:

    I am too terrified to even try the Escadas. If Rousse smells like Indole de Lubin on me, I shouldn’t bother w/ that one, either. I need to expand my sniffing, but my try/success ratio is probably about 40 to 1. I need to smell more! So, sign me up for the drawing, please.

  • Judith says:

    To make you feel better: I do not love Rousse (yet, anyway). I didn’t get the apple pie, either. I got red-hots in the opening (OK, but not very complex) and then a very soft cinnamon-inflected Idole-like wood that I could barely smell. I will try again when it comes to Barney’s and I can douse my perfume-eating skin, but I doubt it will be FBW for me.

    To make you feel worse: ALL of the Gobin Daudes are/were terrific, IMHO, although my favorites are the ones I know you have tried, Nuit au Desert and Seve Exquise. Sooooo sad. .

  • Christine says:

    Let’s get this out of the way first, do not, repeat Do Not put me in the drawing for the dragon. Thank you very much!
    Now if you were having a drawing for the print, that would be a different matter all together!
    I share your pain regarding the GD’s! The world just wasn’t ready for her unique fragrance sense.
    Sables “light” would be wonderful & thanks for the heads up about the AG.
    No comment on the GB.

  • Julia says:

    ROFL at the Escada notes:d Can the make those Escada bottles any more tasteless? My eyes hurt by looking at them. I wouldn’t risk my nose by sniffing any of them *I’m such a snob*:”>

    Please include me in the drawing. That’s a dragon I’d like to kiss!


  • Patty says:

    Sorry about the Seve, sweetie. But my pain is now your pain. The weird thing about that one is that I never really wore it, and definitely won’t now that I’ve got all of about 3 mls in my possession.

    I quit smelling those Escada things, not becuase I don’t like Tom Selleck’s Chest Hair — I do! — but smelling one was smelling them all.

  • Elle says:

    The loss of the G-Ds makes me weep. Just yesterday on MUA I was saying we need modern day perfume Medicis or a random Borghese to be VG-D’s patron.
    I can’t see where you improvised on the notes for the Escada. They all sound quite accurate.
    Haven’t smelled that Geoffrey Beene, but the first one they ever put out (just called Geoffrey Beene I believe) was truly lovely.

  • chayaruchama says:

    You finally posted my picture?
    [LOVE that Escher !]
    I’m with you on the Goutals.
    Don’t even talk to me about Gobin-Daude, I’m such a nature lover,I don’t need to know…
    I’d go for the Dragon, if you’d let me…

    Keep warm, and stay well !

  • sariah says:

    I think the Escada Sunset Heat smells a little bit more like weed than chrystal meth in the drydown, but maybe that’s just my chemistry.

  • Jo says:

    Please sign me up for the drawing.

  • Ronny says:

    It is very sad that the Gauban Daudes were pulled. Some strangely beautiful and beautifully rendered scents (I was partial to Sous le Buis, which on me smelled of seaweed — conjuring the sea in the most wonderful way).

    Oh, and please enter me into the draw.


  • dinazad says:

    Ha! My dastardly plan has succeeded (rubs hands, grinning evilly)! >:) I’ve found somebody I can foist Geoffrey Beene on! I knew sending out samples of the stuff whenever I got the chance would work in the end! I wholeheartedly hate that juice (and I normally love green scents, and verrrrry skanky scents), there something in there which is absolutely vile on my skin (most Estee Lauder fragrances have it as well) – I haven’t quite made out what it is as yet.
    I completely agree about Duel Absolu! (not Sables light, though). Annick Goutal, where are you? We need you here!!!>:)

  • Alica says:

    Wow, wish very much to be included in drawing. Thanks!

  • Leopoldo says:

    I also have a buddy lined up for the Dragon. Draw me! Seve Exquise – do we just love it because there are only 1000mls still extant in the universe? It’s possessed of that ineffable beauty only some scents have. And I passed up on a radically reduced bottle in 2005. FOOL!

  • hausvonstone says:

    nice post! please don’t get me excited about the rare Gobin Daude business, please! The Beene (maybe it was just the homonym) reminded me of Cait’s review of Unicorn thingy from Les Nez (a green bean walks into a bar) – any similarities? Also, I keep lingering in department stores trying to get a sample of Style, though I hate the ad campaign. The model looks slightly Gollum-eque to me.
    Please enter me in the drawing – if permitted, this is a charity post for a stateside friend who loves the Dragon but doesn’t have regular internet access.