Two scents today.
First, Lee blogged on Serge Lutens´ new ginger scent, Five O´Clock au Gingembre, yesterday. It occurred to me that this would be a fine time to plug Roger & Gallet´s Gingembre.
I love ginger – ginger tea, gingersnaps, ginger beer. Is R&G Gingembre a replacement for Serge, which I haven´t smelled yet? Of course not. But while you wait to get your hands on the Serge, R&G is a great ginger – somewhere between the rooty bite of raw ginger and the effervescence of ginger beer. (Digression: and you haven´t really lived until you´ve drunk a shandy, IMHO. Ignore all the disgusting recipes online; what you want is 6 oz. of a good ginger beer, and 6 oz. of your favorite lager). The web says something about “oriental flowers and musk” in the Roger & Gallet. I get a burst of ginger, some light florals, maybe bergamot, and a nice clean musk at the finish. A great spring spritz.
Okay, today´s focus is on…
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess (and sorry for the lousy image, the best I can do, the lotion’s in the yellow bottle). A couple years ago, many of you flipped for the Tom Ford Estee Lauder Collection Azurees – the body oil and the Soleil Eau Fraiche, both of which have been discontinued as part of a limited licensing agreement with Tom Ford, if I have my facts straight. (And none of these bear any resemblance to the original 1969 Azuree, a leathery chypre as legendarily [email protected] as Private Collection and Youth Dew. It´s still in production and I´d no doubt have smelled it by now if they didn´t keep the bottles hidden behind the counters and deny its existence.)
TF/EL Azuree Soleil Eau Fraiche’s notes were gardenia, coconut, orange blossom, jasmine, magnolia, myrrh, bergamot, mandarin, amber, sandalwood, vetiver, and caramel. (In the interests of not driving myself crazy, I’m going to refer to that one as Azuree Soleil for the rest of this review.) Azuree Soleil sounds heavy, but it wasn´t – it was a light, beachy fragrance that smelled like what you´d imagine the world´s finest tanning oil might smell like, maybe with some damp hair and warm sand in the background. Lovely as it was, it wasn´t quite me. It was too … something. There was a note in there that put me off, and I wish I had a sample of it to remind me, as well as to better compare it to the new Bronze Goddess, a riff on the theme, so to speak. I look forward to comments from any of you who´ve done a direct comparison.
Having test-driven Bronze Goddess several times, I may have to pony up for a bottle. It comes in an Eau Fraiche, a body oil, and a Luminous Body Lotion. The Bloomies near me didn´t have the body oil (possibly my preferred concentration), but I was wowed by the shimmery body lotion, which generally isn´t my thing. The sheen is golden and subtle as these things go (no big glittery sparkles). I´m fair, and mostly past the glitter stage, if you catch my meaning, but I would love this on my collarbone, neck and arms in the summer. By the way, this is part of their Bronze Goddess makeup collection, which I believe has been around a season or two (correct me if I´m wrong). There´s also this hilariously ginormous mirrored compact, which I can´t decide if I like or hate – it weighs a ton, but looks kinda fab … wait, where were we?
The notes I have from the EL press blurb, stripped of breathy descriptors and other extraneous b.s., are: coconut milk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver, myrrh, mandarin, bergamot, lemon, orange, gardenia, jasmine, magnolia, orange blossom, lavender. Don´t let that list scare you; it’s as light as the original, and the notes are quite similar.
If I had to guess (and it is a guess, without Azuree Soleil in front of me) this is very close in smell, and if you liked that, you´ll probably like this. I prefer this one. It doesn´t do much in the way of development; again, it´s the world´s finest suntan oil, with that buttery, beachy note I love in Creed´s Virgin Island Water, although this is a much less tropical scent. The gardenia and jasmine are very muted and not indolic, and the coconut is not so pronounced as to give you that Hawaiian Tropic cheap tanning oil vibe. The whole herbal/citrus side of this is really subtle. Instead, I´m swept up in the emotion, which is, basically – let´s pull on the bathing suit and a kicky sundress, grab the new copy of Allure and a pack the cooler, and head to the beach. It´s not a Serge Lutens kind of genius, but it´s genius nonetheless.
What´s different with this one? Well, maybe nothing (again: please report in from the field!) But I´m reminded of a passage in Diane Ackerman´s A Natural History of the Senses where she interviews uber-nose Sophia Grojsman, and Grojsman talks about searching for a kind of seamlessness when developing a scent, and how if something sticks out incorrectly it´s problematic. Something always stuck out in Azuree Soleil that I didn´t like, a perfume-y note that made it too much for the beach – like all the bugs would be after you. Too much amber? Gardenia? Bronze Goddess, on the other hand, is perfect. Pardon me, I have to go shave my legs and dig up my bronzer – summer is, apparently, on the way.
FRAGRANCE CHALLENGE – SHOUT OUT TO PATTY: Looking at the notes for the original 1969 Estee Lauder Azuree (basil, jasmine, citrus, artemisia, vetiver, rose, patchouli, oakmoss, amber) I decided it sounded like just the ticket – for Patty. Hey, she wore Private Collection back in the day, and I am pretty sure she likes the original Youth Dude. So, I have made an unsniffed purchase, which is on its way to Patty from Estee Lauder (and they better have thrown some extra crap in there, P!) and I want Patty to do an honest, no-holds-barred review when she gets it.