On Friday we explored the complicated feelings some of us have for the oh-so-fickle House o’ Guerlain, which has started to resemble Hazel’s House o’ Pancakes in the terminal, cloying sweetness of some of its recent releases.
Today hopefully Patty will be waaaay too busy to drop by and discover that I continue to achieve a lack of Hermessence arousal that only a nuclear-strength dose of perfume Viagra might be able to overcome. As everyone knows, Jean-Claude Ellena is Patty’s homeslice, and I envy their cozy little perfume affair.
So let’s start by stipulating that I’m an idiot. If you’d like proof, my two favorite Hermanessences (as Musette so lovingly branded them once, and now I can’t make it go away) are Paprika Brasil and Poivre Thingy, which I am fairly certain are at the bottom of most Hermessence lovers’ lists.
As for the rest, I mostly loathe them, which is actually kind of funny when you consider that one of the general complaints about the line is their lightness and simplicity; what’s there to hate? On my hate list: everyone’s beloved Ambre Narguile, of course, and Brin de Reglisse, which is like eating a lavender sachet and washing it down with ouzo. Vetiver Tonka is unspeakable. I am amused to see I completely deleted from my memory bank the newish Vanille Galante which some of you will remember my reviewing briefly as “I strangle you with my aquatic tendrils,” a wet, salty floral with a hint of banana Wonka Runts candy. Rose Ikebana I can take or leave, so you might as well take it and enjoy it for yourself.
Today we have:
Osmanthe Yunnan, an oldie but goodie. I bought yet another sample to try to decipher why I don’t own it, since I like it enough to keep using up my samples. The answer: it’s lovely for ten minutes until the Yunnan tea departs completely, at which point I find the Osmanthe floral a little sweet. OY thereafter reminds me of Parfums de Nicolai’s wonderful Fig-Tea, only Fig-Tea works a lot better on my skin and has surprising lasting power (I think even Louise can wear it).
Eau de Gentiane Blanche – in which JCE raises his game by releasing a fragrance with so little aroma that it makes your average Issey Miyake feel like Bandit. White musk, gentian, incense, iris. Faint powdery smell that I have to capture by almost resting my nose on my skin and hoovering. Musk anosmia? I have no idea.
Eau de Pamplemousse Rose – orange, rhubofix (a Firmenich aromachemical with a “a zesty freshness and unique green rhubarb effect”), lemon, grapefruit and vetiver. Okay, I can’t hold JCE responsible for the unfortunate effect grapefruit scents sometimes have on me. I have read and forgotten the chemical associations involved in making grapefruit smell like a combination of urine and/or sulphur on skin, and certainly I am out of luck with this one. The collective effect is sour rose, old vasewater, and That Boxwood/Eggy Smell.
For a completely different take on these, here’s a link to Patty’s review.
As JCE is already clearly trying to kill me (you think I’m paranoid, but witness Hermes Mousson and the rebirth of the melon trend in perfumery) I suppose I’ll concede aesthetic defeat and console myself with the other 90-kajillion fragrances I own.
So. In an effort to reduce people flaming me: are there any houses that seem not to work very well for you? (Go ahead, rag Guerlain. I deserve it. Or tell me you finally tried my BFF Worth Courtesan and it’s the worst.perfume.ever and go suck on some of that, March!)
Also, Andy Tauer sent me samples, I’ll pick two of the first ten commenters who ask for it to receive samples of Rose Chypree. US only please, sorry, USPS has just raised postage and tightened restrictions, so lines are long and right now I don’t have the time or patience to submit to the paperwork required for mailing small, scary packages overseas. For stateside addresses I can just fling it in the corner mailbox and scuttle away rapidly.