To those of you who believe in the Bunny: Happy Post-Easter! Are you still coming down off that sugar high? One too many marshmallow peeps? I thought we´d ease into something gentle and light-hearted today while we get ourselves settled down: the Crazy Libellule and the Poppies Shanghaijava collection, available at b-glowing.com and lacremebeauty.com.
I know, I know. Everybody´s moved on to their Divine Alcoves scents and those new vanilla ones, neither collection containing much that interests me. But I can´t help but notice that, as I ponder the merits of some vintage parfum or other rare find, nibbling my nose candy, working on two or three separate ideas for Posse posts at the same time, stalking the mailman, opening packages and popping vials, the Shanghaijavas sitting on my bedside table continue to get regular use by the many females in my house, including me. They´re all cute, small, solid stick perfumes and great for travel, leaving in the purse, etc. Here they are, briefly, for any of you who haven´t stumbled across these yet and are aching for something in the $16 price range, in order of my personal preference (favorite first):
Musc & Patchouli (bergamot, musk, patchouli) Haha, tricked you! Okay, the Encens is a veeeery close second. But this thing…. It´s a comfort scent, the patch is very mild. It manages to be very, very pleasing to me as a background scent, on days when I want something gentle, without being the least bit boring, and that is an exceedingly hard target to hit so far as I am concerned.
Encens Mystic (clove, cedar, incense, myrrh, benzoin, musk, patchouli, vanilla) This one has been blogged about extensively by others, and I´m not sure I can add anything original. It´s somewhere between, say, Comme de Garcons Zagorsk and Kyoto to me, only a bit sweeter. Yeah, the fact that I´m using two CdGs as a reference point for a $16 twist-up solid amuses me, too. It has less sillage, but it´s still surprisingly wafty once it warms up on my skin.
Blue Orchidee (bergamot, mandarin, orange, jasmine, rose, ylang, sandalwood, vanilla, musk) Is this breaking some amazing new ground? No, except in the sense that I can´t believe they can make a $16 fragrance smell this good. No, there´s no blue orchid in it. I´m a little embarrassed about how much I like this one. I´m telling myself it´s the jasmine.
Lilas Spiritual (clove, lilac, lily of the valley, vanilla) Doesn´t that sound scary? I have no idea why it works, but it does. I get a fairly natural-smelling lilac rather than a Glade vibe, with a pinch of spice.
Litchi Blossom (litchi, geranium, rose, mint) A straightforward, sweet-tart fruit fragrance I´d probably like more if lychee weren´t in half the mass-market fragrances available right now. Like the Demeter Lychee, there´s something in there that doesn´t thrill me, and I´m not sure what it is (like cherry cough syrup?). Sorry I can´t be more specific.
Ananas Imperial (orange, lemon, citron and grapefruit, pineapple, blackcurrant, peach; and base notes of jasmine, cedar, musk) This one is fine. It smells mostly of pineapple to me, and is a little sweeter than I´d like, but it´s still nice. The girls love it.
Ginger & Coconut (citronella, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, curry, coconut milk, cedar, amber, sandalwood, vanilla) This is the only one of these I didn´t like. It doesn´t smell bad; it smells like a bowl of Trader Joe´s Indian Curry, something I like to eat but not to wear.
Jules update: with some fear in my heart I ordered a bottle of the phenomenal, hard-to-find Jules off the 1stperfume website, which has (for reasons that are a mystery to me) a great deal on a specific bottle of the fragrance – 3.4 oz. marked down from $250 to $78. I was thrilled when it showed up a week later. I was less thrilled when I first smelled it – it´s gorgeous, but it´s much more leathery than Lee´s sample. Ordinarily that would be a good thing, but I wanted what I´d already fallen in love with. Half an hour into the drydown – whammo! – there it is, the scent I was longing for! Lee – I´m not sure which of these is closer to the original, yours or mine (you commented that you thought maybe the top notes on yours were going off a bit), but the drydown´s just as wonderful. Note for bottle hags: if you care, the bottle I received does NOT look like the bottle in the photo – it looks like the 1.7 oz. bottle they have listed for $139.
Today’s giveaway: samples of Jules! Leave a comment below saying if you want to be included in the drawing.