If you´ve been following our posts you know all about the drugstore losers Patty and I selected, and the general sorry state of affairs at the drugstore perfume counter.
Here are the bright spots:
1) The “winner” I picked to send to Patty: Coty´s Sand & Sable. Notes: gardenia, tuberose, rose, jasmine, musk. This one made me smile the moment I put it on. It took me a few minutes to remember why: tanning oil. Although it´s not listed in the notes above, this has a definite hint of the old Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil (remember those dark brown bottles?)
Sand & Sable is the smell of being 16 years old and driving home at the end of the day from the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland with a wicked sunburn, some friends in the car, a lot of sand, and the 8-track cranking Lynyrd Skynyrd while we all sing along. A survey of the MUA boards reveals that Sand & Sable has a 3.9 rating out of 5, based on 30 (!) reviews, and elicits comments along the lines of: “very beachy,” “takes me back to my high school years,” and “the perfect summer vacation scent.” Sand and Sable is Bobbi Brown Beach for about $30 less. I could think of worse things to say about a fragrance. It’s basically the same smell start to finish, and it has decent sillage and surprising lasting power. I hope Patty enjoys it. (But is that an ugly bottle or what? Yeesh.)
2) The “winner” I picked for myself: okay, technically, it would have been Sand & Sable for me too. But I decided I had to pick something else, and that something is… Wind Song Perfume by Prince Matchabelli. Go ahead and laugh, I don´t care. I picked it because of everything it wasn´t: another drecky musk, a nasty frootylicious floral, or whatever else it is they´re flogging. Here´s a crib from fragrancenet.com: “Launched By The Design House Of Prince Matchabelli In 1953, Wind Song Is Classified As A Refined, Flowery Fragrance. This Feminine Scent Possesses A Blend Of Florals With Fruity, Green Middle Notes Finishing With Hints Of Musk And Amber. It Is Recommended For Evening Wear.”
Wow, when they capitalize all the words like that it just screams classy out the ying-yang, huh? Anyway, it´s strong, it´s mean, it´s green, it´s a little skanky on the drydown, the sillage approximates the left hand of death on your shoulder, and I guess it´s so cheesy it doesn´t even appear on the MUA boards. Be the first person on your blog to own it. Which brings me to…
3) The “winner” Patty picked for me: Antonio Banderas Spirit for Women. I´m thinking about telling Patty she cheated, because I was at the hair salon leafing through Self (or possibly Shape) and they had an actual ad with Antonio and some hot young thing (NOT the current Mrs. Antonio, Melanie Griffith, who’s had so much done to her face she´s no longer recognizable, but I digress….) posing for this fragrance, with a genuine scent strip.
Not sure if something that appears in a magazine with a scent strip truly captures Eau de CVS. But I´m not complaining, because, you know what? It´s not half bad. It´s too sweet, but it´s got a little spice, and it got a whopping 4.5 rating on MUA. Here´s the description: “SPIRIT fragrances for men or women by Antonio Banderas were launched in 1996. This designer fragrance is a flowery blend of flowery aromas. SPIRIT by Antonio Banderas fragrances are recommended for evening wear.”
So I took them up on it and wore Spirit to a dinner party and elicited feedback, while keeping the perfume anonymous for its own (and my) protection. Comments included “sexy,” “romantic,” and “I´d wear that on a date.” Results averaged an 8 out of 10 score! It’s not very complicated development-wise (starts spicier and gets sweeter on the drydown) and has good lasting power. On MUA someone compared it to Dune. So I went and sniffed, and I don´t think they´re similar, but to me it´s a quite similar to …. Givenchy Amarige! Heh. Antonio, you sly devil.
Stay tuned for Patty’s post on her “winners.”