Random visits, revisits and surprises.
Kenzo Amour Indian Holi – Rice Steam, Cherry Blossom, Incense, Rose, Red Berries, Frangipani Blossom, Peony, White Musk, Sandalwood, Vanilla Infusion. Those of you who think Kenzo Amour is total dullsville and find my love for it baffling can skip down to the next review. Nobody loves a creamy, woody comfort scent more than I do. So when I saw the bottle of Indian Holi (a flanker) in Sephora I gave it a whirl, expecting to like Indian Holi much less than the original, given that it´s been tweaked with rose and pepper. I have to say: I like it. A lot. So much so that it may in fact wind up part of my current bottle-buying binge. On top of the rice-steam-milk-woods of Kenzo Amour it´s got a mildly spiced floral accord that I wouldn´t identify as rose unless I´d read the notes – it´s more like champaca. I also get a lot of bright incense. Five hours later, it´s still grabbing my attention. I don’t like Holi better than the original, but I might like it as much, and that’s saying something; the original is one of my winter staples. I also think I’ll find Holi even more appealing in warmer weather.
Tommy Girl – I had to go resniff this after Tania Sanchez said in Allure (I believe as part of the excerpt of their book) that Tommy Girl´s built around a tea accord made from sampling the air at Mariage Freres. No, not pulling your leg. And given that information, how can I not retry it? Notes are: Apple tree, Blackcurrant, Camellia flower, Mandarin, Mint, Honeysuckle, Lily, Rose, Magnolia, Sandalwood, Cedar. You´ll note you don´t find the word “tea” there, and if I´m remembering right (Diva´s run off with the Allure) they dug around trying to figure out how to make the Mariage Freres tea smell work in a quintessential American perfume, so they hired a botanist who said most of the smells could be equated with florals found in our country. Anyway, if you look for it, the tea is definitely there. The citrus/mint opening smells great on paper but like hell on my skin. Get past that, though, and there´s your tea, and it does bear a resemblance to Bvlgari The Verte (which I believe Jean-Claude Ellena based on his version of the same tea shop smell), only Tommy Girl is more floral and soapier. It´s also more fleeting. Luca Turin loves this thing. I’ll take the Bvlgari.
Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise – and Luca Turin loves this thing too, so I sniffed it for, like, the 23rd time, Looking For The Light. I have no explanation. His love for this thing is one of those eternal questions.
Ralph Lauren HOT – Hey, all those gals on MUA are right – this is a dead ringer for BBW Brown Sugar and Fig (at 2.5x the price.) And Brown Sugar and Fig lasts longer. And yes, I know that because I own it. In the body cream and the spray. So shoot me, it smells great. But not as great as…
21 Costume National – LuckyScent told me they´re probably getting this in April. Here´s my review: squeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! I only had nine drops to sample, so maybe I´m a dope and I´ll change my tune. But it was delicious. Here are the notes: bergamot, spices, clary sage, orange blossom, olibanum, woods, oud, patchouli, milk, amber, and some other stuff I can´t jam through my French translator. I get the citrus, herbs and oud up front, and it´s got that raspy, zingy feel to it – woody, but a little rough. When it quiets down, though, it´s – yep, you guessed it – a mildly spiced, milky woods scent. More interesting than Kenzo Amour, I grant you, but not so interesting that you wish some part of it would vamoose already. I’m predicting this will be love, I can’t wait to get a bigger sample.
Guerlain Shalimar Light – and can we pause for a second while I gloat that Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, in their article called something like 10 Perfume Classics, picked five Guerlains? Proving that my slavish devotion to the house of Guerlain is not unwarranted? Even if they´re trying to kill off my desire with some of their recent releases? Anyway, it has always amused/embarrassed me that Shalimar, the iconic Guerlain that I´d guess more people could name than any other from the house, the one you can find everywhere from CVS to Macy´s to JC Penney to the Bergdorf boutique, is one I find completely unwearable. I understand the brilliance of it – I have smelled the extrait and basked in its glory on other people. I love Shalimar; it’s just the smell I can’t stand, and shame on me. Shalimar Light´s notes are: lemon, bergamot, jasmine, iris, orange, vanilla, amber. The original Shalimar is bergamot, mandarin, cedar, lemon, patchouli, jasmine, rose, orris, vanilla, benzoin, peru balsam, leather. As you can see, the composition´s been moved firmly toward the lighter end of things (the first version of this was I believe called Eau Legere, and with minor tweaking became Light). While I didn´t rush online and buy a bottle, I did leave my decant out for further wearing, because to me this is a lot more wearable – the Shalimar for folks who hate Shalimar. I can definitely see the connection between the two, but the part that kills me in original Shalimar – the contrast between that vanilla-coke sweetness and the dark, balsamy leather – is replaced by a frothy dose of citrus, so really you´re looking at a citrus-vanilla. The orris and jasmine lend just the right touch of spicy sweetness. I´d love to hear from anyone who has tried both, particularly fans of the original. Is this good, or is it blasphemy? The day they make Mitsouko Eau Legere Lychee Cocktail is the day I hang up my spurs.
PS I’m retrieving Enigma from her cousins’ house on the Eastern Shore, and plan to be back around lunchtime Thursday.
Kenzo Amour Indian Holi: nordstrom.com