Tea, Woods, Love

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

  • novice says:

    Question to anyone who feels like they can help me. I love Kenzo L’eaupar. I’ve been using it for years. Now I need a change, but my taste is very particular. I want something that is very similar to L’eaupar. I smell new perfumes whenever I’m at an airport, but my nose goes numb after the first couple of scents and I end up buying blindly. I bought Ralph by Ralph Lauren, which is nice, but it’s too simple. Help me! 🙂

  • Tigs/Erin says:

    Argh, that was supposed to go to March’s comment about why no Carons were on the Allure classics list.

  • Tigs / Erin says:

    You know I thought about this in the context of Apres L’Ondee – dear Lord, why no Apres L’Ondee?!? – and then I realized Tania was maybe only picking things easily found in the U.S. I mean, I know the Carons are around, but I actually have to go to a special store to find any of the non-urns and there are no Caron fountains in Canada anymore. Even in the States I don’t think Caron boutiques are all over the place, and I never see Carons in the department stores.

  • Arwen says:

    One of the few things I miss from BBW is the Juniper Breeze

  • minette says:

    seriously? you liked the kenzo indian holi? maybe i should go back to sephora and try again. i found it dull. but by then i’d smelled quite a few things so maybe that was an unfair assessment.

    i still don’t get pleasure out of the pleasures, luca or no.

    shalimar light is pretty okay. i love the real thing in all its glory, though, so it’s sorta like, why do i need this again? oh yeah, because i am a perfume ho.

    • March says:

      Kenzo Amour is totally a comfort scent to me, like slipping into my favorite soft sweater when I’m tired. It’s that kind of scent for me, no fireworks or anything. I wouldn’t even argue objectively that I think it’s that great a scent. But I find it extraordinarily comforting. I do think it would probably be best to smell it and Holi at the start of a sniffing expedition rather than at the end. :d

      • minette says:

        now, what makes you think i was at the END of my sniffing expedition? :d i went on to sniff another 30 or so before the night was over. :d/

  • Elle says:

    God, I can’t believe I haven’t tried the Kenzo Amour yet! I’ve been meaning to for centuries now – love the idea of rice steam and milk. I shall have to smell both Amour and Holi now. I also haven’t smelled Tommy Girl, Beyond Paradise or HOT, but those weren’t really on my list of things I *needed* to sample in the way that Amour was. Basically, I need to force myself to put on the brakes in the mall and slow down long enough to sniff all these things. It’s been centuries since I’ve actually sniffed anything in a store. Even if it costs me to order samples, I prefer to do that than take the time (precious, precious commodity) to go to a brick and mortar location. HOT sounds incredibly appealing and I’m tempted to order that 21 CN unsniffed – spiced, milky woods? Yum!!

    • March says:

      Well, I think you should resmell Amour only because we like a lot of the same sorts of scents. And I should point out that I smelled Amour the first time or two when I was in one of my skank phases, and it bored me to tears. I retried it one day at the start of my comfort scent search (although I didn’t even know enough to call it that, I just knew I wanted something easier) and I was entranced. Bought one of those silly things right on the spot. And I am pretty sure I’m going to go back and buy Holi, which I think is a LE.

      The 21 Costume National I’m not sure, because my sample was so small, but definite potential!

  • evilpeony says:

    Oh yes, EL Beyond Paradise is pretty- in a pink roses kind of way. but it’s just that… pretty. No oomph in the undercurrent… no skank to make a lasting impression.

    maybe that’s it, march. it’s not happening because it has no skank.

    btw… you sure about the tea in TG? i’ll take your word for it before my nose goes spelunking.

    • March says:

      Well, I’m not skank 24/7. I mean, look at me up there with my BBW Fig/Sugar confession, and the KenzoAmour, and my recent conversion to the Vanilla Cult. But EL BP doesn’t distinguish itself enough, at least for me, from others in its fragrance family. I suppose floral lovers would say the same about my incense love, though.

      Totally not kidding about the Tommy Girl. Put it on one arm and Bvlgari Green Tea on the other and tell me what you think. Assuming you don’t get the nasty bit I got at the start (although it smells good on the strip) I think it would be a decent summer scent.

  • Kristy Victoria says:

    Oh my goodness, I love Beyond Paradise so much. No matter what’s going on it fills me with a squishy goodness that few other things do. I also love Alien, so apparently have something in common with Elizabeth’s Mother.

    I also really like Odeur 73 by CdG which smells like robot cloaking odor.

    I am absolutely dying to try Djedi. Dying. May sell a kidney.

    • March says:

      Djedi is pretty darn amazing. I have a wee sample around I take out and sniff every now and again.

      And Beyond Paradise is certainly pretty enough. It’s not that I don’t think it’s pretty. My nose is just not finely tuned enough for me to distinguish it from a lot of other pretty florals! :”>

  • Robin says:

    Sometimes I think the “greatness” thing is in response to technical and/or construction considerations (if that makes sense) that don’t interest me in the least. I mean, something can be a marvel of perfume construction and still smell generic to the rest of us. But just guessing, I don’t know what the criteria were for his evaluation of BP.

    • March says:

      It totally makes sense. In fact that’s the only explanation that has ever made sense to me! I figure (since I believe he can pick out the chemical components) he’s in fits of rapture over some element of the design or style or construction or what have you, whereas I go, I dunno … smells kinda fruity-floral. :”>

  • Elizabeth says:

    Confession time: Tommy Girl was my first real perfume. I smelled it at Macy’s when it first came out (I was 13 at the time) and loved it. My mother bought it for me that Christmas. I still have the bottle! I don’t wear it anymore, but a coworker of mine does and it smells like pretty, crisp blossoms on her.

    I also do not get the “greatness” of Beyond Paradise. To me, it smells like a plastic diorama of Hawaii found in a travel agent’s window. My mother loves it though, and I bought her a gift set last Christmas. I’m happy to smell her in anything other than her usual powerful doses of Alien!

    And I share your slavish Guerlain devotion! Apres L’Ondee and L’Heure Bleue are my favorites. They complete me. I like to smell Shalimar on a test strip, but on my skin it develops a heavy musky note that I can’t stomach very well. I think I may have tried the Lite version a few years ago, but I don’t clearly remember what it was like.

    • March says:

      Laughing about your mom. I’d like to smell it on my mom too. We had a tutor once who wore a giant spritz of Animale and you could smell it for days.

      I keep meaning to try Tommy Girl on one of my daughters, I think they’d really like it, and I would like to smell it on someone else.

    • March says:

      PS Amen on Apres and LHB! Apres was one of the first bottles I jumped through total hoops to get, at that time it wasn’t available in the U.S.

  • Patty says:

    Okay, you are just flippin killing me with the 21 CN, and why can’t I get it NOW?!?!?

    • March says:

      I know, I know!!! I looked all over — eBay, online, etc. I finally emailed the folks at Lucky and asked, and they told me they’d be getting it.

  • Louise says:

    March-thanks for reviewing some “accessible” scents-while I do love the hunt (just got some vintage Parure…oh my!), it’s nice to believe I might actually like something I can find at the mall.

    I love the Kenzo original, and will try the Holi…but will it stick around for a minute or two, do you think?

    The CN certainly “allures”-must try. But that Shalimar “light”-anything light just guarantees rapid disappearance, I believe-though Sheer Obsession actually works for me. But I think I’ll hold tight to my skanky vintage Shalimar extract. Mmmm.

    I hope Enigma had a magnificent time!

    • March says:

      Hey, it’s fun for me to review accessible scents too! For one thing, if I tried it at the mall, I probably tried it five times and completely soaked myself, as opposed to dabbing from some wee vial. And I LIKE mainstream stuff, it doesn’t all have to be Coty Chypre, ya know? IIRC you share my Brown Sugar/Fig love too!

      The Amour Holi lasted longer than the regular on me (I think it’s the oud) but would not guess you’d get great mileage from it. Pop over to the one at Montgomery and soak yourself!

  • Sarah says:

    I really enjoy the BBW Brown Sugar and Fig as a body wash, or nighttime body lotion. Their herbal fragrances aren’t too bad, especially if you’re only looking for them to be used as lotion/shower gel…other than that, well, what did you really expect from a company like BBW? Their florals and fruits give me headaches though.

    • Musette says:

      I use Henri Bendel’s Orange Blossom and Mimosa sugar scrubs and body creams – I think they’re at BBW simply because they are all owned by Limited (is that correct? I know Bendel’s is, not sure about BBW). There is little or now difference between HB Oblossom and Jo Malone’s…except the HB costs about $50 less (or about $70 less when you get it on sale for $6.99 like I did – squeee!). Both of them are pretty benign.

      How-evah! They have a jasmine/tuberose (I think that’s the combo) that can run Fracas right out of the room. And once it’s on…baby, it’s ON!:o

      • Arwen says:

        My favorite fig for the shower was L’Occitane. why did it get discontinued?! Arghhhh.

        I used to like EL White Linen in the early 80’s when I was very young. Now, not so much.
        I have never tried Tommy Girl (I never cared for TH)
        I just put some Shalimar, yet it starts smelling like tar, waiting for the drydown. I will have to try the Kenzo, since it has incense, but I do not remember liking the original Amour.

        the 21 CN sounds lovely. Need a sample.

    • March says:

      I have trouble even going in the store in winter, when they’re burning their scented candles in Harvest Pumpkin or whatever. It’s not so bad now. Most of their stuff is okay, sort of, or worse (I was in there with one of the girls getting baskets as presents.) Their fruity stuff is STRONG. 😮

  • sariah says:

    Wow, you’ve mentioned several of my favorites. I absolutely love Shalimar Light, and love the regular only slightly less. The less agressive top notes of Light make it easier to wear (the start of the original smells kind of tar-like to me), but they are more similar in the dry down, so it keeps the perfumista side of me happy to say that they stayed true to the original. Have been wearing Tommy Girl on and off for 8 years – it has a great sillage but not too heavy. Need to go try the Kenzo – liked but not loved the original, the thing about it is I really want the bottle! Lots of people on MUA write that they don’t care about the bottle, just the juice – I’m that way sometimes, but a great bottle can definitely get me to buy something I would have been on the fence about otherwise.

    • Kim says:

      interesting to hear that you get that tar note – with Shalimar in parfum strength I get a strong, gasoline-like top note, not as strong as tar but I can see how you might get that. I wonder what it is – maybe the bergamot? But I hang in there because after an hour or so, it is Shalimar is soooooo wonderful. I don’t get that note nearly as much with the edp so I mostly wear the edp or layer it with the parfum to tone down the opening. Longing to try the light now!

      • sariah says:

        Definitely try the light, if you love Shalimar except the first hour. The light takes out the tar/gasoline, and adds creamy lemon.

    • March says:

      That’s very interesting … tar … gasoline … and yes, I guess I get that too but not in a good way. /:) So that’s probably why I lean toward the Light.

      And you are all over the map, Tommy Girl too!

      That’s funny about the bottle. I bought Amour *in spite of* the bottle, because I liked the juice so much. The bottle’s grown on me though. And if you go look, check out the minis! They’re so cute — a set of 3 for $38 at Sephora, they are the length of my finger.

  • violetnoir says:

    I’m glad you re-visited the TG, March. I still love it! In fact, I am wearing it today! 😡 It’s actually a great weekend fragrance, wonderful for just kicking back around the house, but I could not resist. And, yes…I think I do like it a bit better than the Bulgari…and, yes…it lasts all day long on me.

    But I agree about the EL BP. It’s not happening for me, either. To my nose, it smells like some sort of tropical suntan product, and some of those old school ones, like Sea and Ski (remember Sea and Ski–I loved it!), smelled way better.

    Shall we re-visit Calyx?? 😉


    • violetnoir says:

      Oh, and regarding Shalimar: The EdT and EdP versions smell like lemon-scented baby wipes on me. YUCK! I tried the original light version that came out several years ago, and got the same effect. DOUBLE YUCK!!

      But the parfum…Oh, that parfum. It is magnificent! Simply magnificent. I was shocked by how purely beautiful it is, March. And, on me, no less, lol!

    • March says:

      I think I’d have been way more excited about TG if I hadn’t had the disconnect between the top notes on the paper and on my skin. I did something nasty to the top (Which is probably why I never paid much attention to the rest of it. But I’ll concede LT’s on the money about it being a really great scent, and it’s definitely one of those no-brainer go-to scents that you can throw on that will never annoy you, assuming you don’t get my evil top note.

      I’ve tried Shalimar parfum a couple times. I just … I just can’t go there. Intellectually, it’s beautiful. But … ack. :”>

  • Kim says:

    I loooove Shalimar, not quite as much as Mitsouko and Vol de Nuit, but it is right up there. I find Shalimar best in the edp strength – seems to tone it down a bit and let the vanilla sparkle somehow – not sure if that makes sense but that is what seems to happen on my skin. And the body lotion is sublime, a bit more citrus/bergamot in there. So maybe I will like the light version with more citrus.

    Great list of Guerlains – I need to go get that Allure. Personally, I would replace Habit Rouge (too masculine on my skin to wear everyday) and L’Heure Bleu (lovely but not great on my skin) with Parure and Djedi – but I do love a dry, dry perfume 😡 And yes, I wold wear Djedi out into the world!

    • March says:

      I’ll concede Habit Rouge for Djedi but insist on keeping LHB, even if it’s not everyone’s cuppa. /:)

      And I envy you your Shalimar! Maybe someday I’ll put it on and surprise myself. If you like the sparkle, I think you should definitely try Light.

      • Musette says:

        Listening/reading you all about Shalimar is making me want to revisit it. My mother wore it and I never could figure out if I liked it, just got used to it or what..her whole dressing table smelled of it….but when I spritzed it really didn’t work on me (could’ve been because I was in my early teens, which is way too young (MO) to be haulin’ around a powerhouse like Shalimar)…but I think now that I’m in my dotage it might be time to retry it. Heck, I’m on my way to try that Vero Kern that smells so much like Djedi – why not Shal?

        And March? I totally feel your pain on the BBW candleocity, from Oct-2 January. Unless there is some HB orange blossom stuff for $1.29 I stay out of there.

  • tmp00 says:

    Well, I’ve been waiting for a good “squeee” moment so I will definitely keep my eye out for the CN %%-

  • Wendy says:

    Jealous that you can get Kenzo Amour to do something other than Iso E Super. :(( May have to try the flanker just to see if it improves the experience.

    Also somewhat surprised that you like BBW Brown Sugar and Fig. I adore the stuff – because my skin eats the fruit in it and turns it into this lovely spicy vanilla thing. Especially in the creamy shower gel.

    I’ll admit to being afraid of Shalimar Light. The original works well on me and citrus tends to do sketchy things on my skin. So creating a scent that takes Shalimar and leans it towards the citrus side just doesn’t excite me. Of course, I now have to try it. Must…keep….open….mind.

    • March says:

      I think it was Robin at NST who said on her blog once she regretted ever having learned exactly what Iso E Super smells like, because now she can pick it out over and over again in fragrances.

      The Brown Sugar and Fig surprised me too! Although I’ve confessed my sin to several other perfumistas and they’re all, oh, yeah, I know, nice, huh? So maybe everyone reading this works the whole line, like that scary blue crap — something melon. Hell melon?

      If citrus doesn’t play nicely on you, I’d maybe steer clear of the Shalimar Light! :-\”

  • Tigs / Erin says:

    Here I go again, pointlessly defending Luca. (Perhaps he will come and chastize me for it again.) Beyond Paradise is brilliant. I own it. I don’t wear it. I sniff it every so often and think “Yes! The perfect floral! The most floral of florals!” Then I go off and put on something that smells like somebody lit my car on fire. Or maybe Tocade. That one I love without reservation.

    • March says:

      And the first thing I thought of reading this was, hmmmm, I wonder what it would smell like if I layered SMN Nostalgia (or John Galliano) and Tocade … 😮

  • Silvia says:

    :d I also keep doing the Luca Turin Beyond Paradise test, hoping for enlightment, but so far no luck. Same for Tocade.

    I hate Shalimar regular so much, that I never tried the light version. Will do tonight after work, throwing in some Amour (never tried at all but you make it sound very yummy).

    This is the new post-Easter me, starting from scratch, no preconceptions, every perfume as if it had just been created. Something like that.

    • March says:

      Tocade! Heh heh. I like it very much, but that’s one that gets people running screaming for the shower. I think I kill off some of the syrup. /:)

      The no preconceptions thing is totally worth it. Everyone on here probably has a story of some scent they’ve come around to that they thought they’d hate forever. I’m not consistently good at it, but it’s always worth trying, and good for you!

      Not sure Shal Lite will make you a convert, but it’s better to me. :”>

      • Silvia says:

        This year I seem to be feeling the Spring of Change a lot more than usual and I intend to regularly venture out of my likes-dislikes comfort zone, not just in perfume but also in clothes, wine, books, art etc. Trying to see things with fresh eyes (or smell with fresh nostrils in our case).

        • March says:

          Well good for you! What are you revamping? A few years back I did Wardrobe, which was fun, decided I wanted to dress like a completely different person.

          • Dusan says:

            Having retested Beyond Paradise today, all in the name of science of course, I must say that it is truly lovely. Dunno, I guess because it smells… natural to me, ripe fruit and fresh flowers, and is very… um, scintillating (my word of the week)? I suck at adjectives today, but you get the gist. Hey, Luca says he likes ’em transparent and melancholy – sheer it is, elegant too, but melancholy? *scratches head*
            That said, I can see why Erin admires it but doesn’t give a lot of wear. Beyond Paradise to me is the perfume equivalent of Cate Blanchett — out-of-this-world beautiful and graceful but very much aloof. Erin, do tell if I got it wrong?
            I’m on board with Kristy Victoria below – I too *love* Alien.

          • Dusan says:

            Darn, my comment above should have gone below Erin’s.

          • March says:

            All RIGHT. I will try it again and think if it smells “natural.”

            And FWIW on my end the comments are going completely insane, I’m getting double and triple of the same comment in my inbox, not sure what the deal is.

  • Debbie says:

    The B&BW fig was too fruity for me (duh, I know). I just cannot wear anything where the predominant note is fruit, and theirs are particularly bad on me. However, check out their Chocolate Amber. It is much more sophisticated than you’d expect. The Warm Vanilla Sugar is nice too. There’s more going on in there than just vanilla. The body creme does work for dry skin.

    I am intrigued by the idea of milky woods. Surely, I’ve smelled something like this somewhere along the line…. This one sounds intriguing.

    I am so baffled by LT liking the Estee Lauder that I become slightly cynical. 😕 :-\”

    • March says:

      I’d avoided their chocolate amber because I thought it would be Too Much … they had another amber (maybe they still do) that could have killed me. But I’ll try it next time I’m malling, thanks.

      Every now and again we do posts on: what is our idea of comfort? The whole gourmand thing fits in here — vanilla scents, amber scents, chocolate scents. I really, really love milky scents, as gross as that sounds on some level, and milky woods.

      I think LT’s got an amazing nose, I’ve read Emperor of Scent and other stuff. He’s the best kind of snob, he doesn’t seem to care about provenance, he just wants it to smell *good.* He loves the Tommy Girl too. I liken it to his having such a refined palate compared to mine that he can smell nuance that simply escapes me, like if he were a great wine taster. And the fact that I can’t taste what he does is absolutely fine with me. 😉

      • Debbie says:

        That’s a good, possible explanation. But how on earth could it be one of the favorites? When there are such exquisite things out there?

        BBW’s other amber (Sensual Amber) has the rotting fruit accord in it when it hits my skin. :-& So it was bad for you too, eh? I wonder if they have noses that are desperate to produce more things like Chocolate Amber. However, the review committee (or whatever it would be called) insists, “No! No! More fruit! MORE FRUIT!” b-(
        Poor noses. Chocolate Amber crept in around the committee.

        • March says:

          Sensual Amber! That’s it! I made this simultaneous gagging, screaming sound. Which ain’t easy, I can tell you.

  • Suzanne says:

    If memory serves (or if it doesn’t, and I’m completely mistaken, let me know) you have never been a big fan of oud, right? So is the oud in the 21 Costume National a little more smooth than the Montale ouds? Just curious–I really like the Montale ouds, and your description of the 21CN makes it sound soooo good!

    • March says:

      Not a big fan of the oud, good memory! I keep trying to convince myself … I like incense, and woods, and other raspy notes, so you’d think I’d like oud better. It’s in a lot of things I like as a player, but not the star attraction. And yes, it’s definitely more low-key in Holi than the Montales, and I think it melds itself with the florals and incense that makes it less noticeable to me in a good way. But if you’re looking for a big, bold oud, this would probably disappoint. It’s really a variation on regular ol’ Amour, and people who don’t like that might not like this any better.

  • Lee says:

    Love Shalimar Light (have a kewtiepie mini-bottle) and am lemming a sniff of the CN. I’ve not sniffed any of their scents – another gap in my knowledge base. It has more holes than cartoon cheese.

    • March says:

      I’ve never sniffed any of the others either, they sound pretty floral-amber, but what do I know? I think one is unisex. Maybe I’ll get some samples on LuckyScent if/when it comes in. My guess is it may show up in London first, I think the company’s French?

  • Six' says:

    You probably already said it elsewhere and I can’t find it but, please have mercy on a poor soul who doesn’t have access to Allure and do tell what those five Luca-approved Guerlains are, pretty please with cherry on top? 😉

    • March says:

      I’m blogging remotely. :d When I get home I’ll force Diva to give up her Allure and post the list here. If Violetnoir or one of the other Allure fairies stops by, they’re welcome to post it.

    • Gail S says:

      Got that issue right here handy! I’ll list ’em all
      Chanel No.5
      Guerlain Mitsouko
      Guerlain Habit Rouge
      Guerlain L’Heure Bleue
      YSL Opium
      Estee Lauder Pleasures
      Guerlain Shalimar
      Thierry Mugler Angel
      Guerlain Vol de Nuit
      Estee Lauder White Linen

      • March says:

        Okay, clearly the man has an Estee thing. And Angel — well, ugh, but I can totally see what a force of design brilliance it was.

        What do we make of the fact there’s not a single Caron? 😕

    • Musette says:

      I sent El O into town to pick up the Allure, just so I could be au courant:d

      Habit Rouge (yum)
      L’Heure Bleu (more yum)
      Vol de Nuit
      Shalimar (not quite so yum, at least not on me)

      btw – I’d never seen a photo of Luca Turin (I’m slow, forgive me)….Googled him – has anybody noticed a decided resemblance to Alan Alda? Just askin’:)

      • Tigs / Erin says:

        M, yeah the Alan Alda thing has been mentioned a few times. So there are people right there with you 🙂

        • Musette says:

          Funny how an ‘image’ one creates of someone bears NO resemblance to their actual visage – I’m pretty new to this so I’ve just been introduced to the whole Turin oeuvre…but I’d imagined him to be this dark, long-haired, dramatic, scarf-flinging artiste (do you remember the weird scientist in “What’s Up Doc”? – like that, only with a real CV and serious brainpower)….funny how that works:)

        • sweetlife says:

          Hey Erin/Tigs — are you the Erin T from NST? If so, could you e-mail me pretty please — aharad at gmail dot com — and Musette I owe you an email, too! (Sorry for the off topic, folks…)

          • Musette says:

            Hi! So glad you are still around! Email when you can. Sick as a horse here – can’t smell a thing except Vap-o-Rub…maybe a hot toddy might help…


          • March says:

            My husband SWEARS by one or two days of heavy drinking of hard liquor, something about the alcohol killing the germs. Seems to work for him! :)>- Hope you are better soon.

          • Musette says:

            I’m on it! Been eyein’ that Jack Daniels bottle all afternoon….waiting for the sun/yardarm thingy, don’tcha know….even in my sickened state I thought I should at least wait until then…#-o

            (that emote is supposed to be me, feverish) Or is it this one#:-s

            btw – got a sample of the new Rowley/Avon scent; this will be my Very First Avon Sniff – evah! But it will have to wait until I can smell – right now all I can smell is Vicks!

          • March says:

            Did you guys hook up? It’s the same Erin, I can email her.

          • Tigs / Erin says:

            Yes, thanks March, we managed to communicate.

  • I must be a total luddite. I love rice, and have been known to cook jasmine rice just to I can have the fragrance in the house. When I read Kenzo Holi had rice steam in it, I poured precious gas into the tank and took off to Sephora. I came, I spritzed, I sniffed. Maybe Kenzo’s rice had been left in the water in which stands a week-old peony. I sniffed, I cringed. I scrubbed. I was hoping for Veni, vedi, Visa.

    • March says:

      So… you’re saying you don’t like it?

      I think the steam note is easier to detect in the regular flavor, but given the fact that this was a scrubber, all the rice steam in the world isn’t going to fix that. /:)

      • I easily fall into snits when I begin to imagine the scent and then the reality doesn’t match my imagination. This is folly, I know. Rice is one of those scents I’d love to find really well done. Litchi is another. A really good, genuine, fresh litchi would be amazing. But like strawberry Jell-O, the fake has become the “real” one. But then again, I got my DSH samples today and am in sniffing bliss.

  • Gail S says:

    So you’re saying that Shalimar Light is the white zinfandel of perfumes? Can you believe that I’ve never actually worn it? I have the bottle obviously (received in swap as a super-generous extra) but have never sprayed it on me. And I’m a complete Shalimar lover! Too many bottles, not enough skin or time.

    I won’t be rushing out to try the Indian Holi since I don’t like its’ parent fragrance. I had a bottle of Tommy Girl and remember enjoying it occasionally. Hate Beyond Paradise. Will definitely try 21 Costume National. Oh, and I do like Ralph Lauren Hot for some reason but haven’t ever tried the B &BW Brown Sugar and Fig. I’ll have to get right on that 🙂

    • March says:

      Well, thanks for the Shalimar Light! I’m not sure it’s going to become my signature scent, but it’s nice to know there’s some variation I can stand.

      And since you and I overlap on the comfort scents somewhat (I guess not on KenzoAmour) you might like the 21CN. The BBW one I tried as part of Figmania, figuring WTH don’t be a snob. I thought it would be gaggingly sweet. Maybe it’s my sweet-eating skin, but it’s a nice, subtle skin scent and the body cream is decent — I have REALLY dry skin. It’s probably the only thing I’d wear from BBW, but I think it’s nicely done. Don’t be looking for a ton of fig, it’s just a creamy, soft scent.

  • sylvia says:

    great post! i was actually in nordie’s today and briefly picked up indian holi, but i didn’t smell closely. i was distracted by other things (namely concentree d’orange verte) and i had remembered robin being disappointed by it over at NST. but i will definitely head back soon and give it more attention now! also, i love that you revisited tommy girl, one of the staples of my high school perfume collection (which included roxy hula and ralph). now i need to smell it again…

    • March says:

      That Concentree is amazing, isn’t it? The regular is laughably fleeting on me, it’s a wonder anyone can wear it.

      The Tommy Girl was nice to revisit in the context of knowing a lot more about its interesting origins, which is one of the reasons I love reading about perfume.

      And the Holi I really didn’t expect to like, Robin and I both like those woody scents and I knew she was disappointed. But it lasted a long time on my arm and I thought it was great. If it had been any rosier, though, or sweeter, not so much. 8-|

  • Dusan says:

    Oh I want that 21 CN! Like, now!
    I’m a fan of the original Amour so it’s great news that this one is just as lovely; will head out for Sephora tomorrow after work…
    You know, a good friend of mine wears Shalimar like a second skin, on her it is neither too dark and balsamic nor vanilla-Hbomby, just perfect. On my skin Shalimar turns into spicy Blue Sugar 🙁 but I love it nevertheless.
    Must dig out the Tommy Girl sample I have lying around to see what all the fuss is about. I don’t remember being blown away by BP either, just that it was nice?

    • March says:

      Well, if you like Amour you should definitely try this one. And Shalimar clearly smells great on many, many people — it’s obviously a popular fragrance. I can imagine it melding with someone’s skin in an amazing way, just not on me. 🙂

      Counting the days until 21CN shows up on our shores.

      The Tommy Girl is nicer once I’m looking for the tea, but still. And the Beyond Paradise is one of those jokes I have with myself — LT has mentioned it in various venues as the be all, end all, and I can never figure out what he’s smelling with his refined shnoz that I’m not.

      • Debbie says:

        It’s been a long time, but I thought Beyond Paradise was really boring. *cough*kickbacks*cough*

        • March says:

          I keep trying to think my way through it — open mind, etc. It’s not the kind of floral I’d be inclined to like in the first place. But I do this whole mind-clearing thing, pretend it’s Niche House X, spray it on the paper and wait … and every time I think, so what? /:)

          • Debbie says:

            Okay, I’ve got it. They took him to a department store in a small city and said, “Choose!” He then had to choose something from what they had available. The point of the exercise was to pick the best fragrance available to women in this situation. (It assumes they do not have internet access.) Hmmm?

          • March says:

            Hey, read down further. Robin (NST) made a good argument for it.