Candy Samples

April Showers bring Perfume Flowers, and here are my latest Candy mini-reviews. Or just pretend you read this and skip to the end for this week´s Candy Sample Giveaway.


Cumming à¢â‚¬” What a great gift this was on a cold, crappy day recently. It doesn´t smell weird to me, although I admit my definition of weird has loosened up a bit in the past few months. A à¢â‚¬Å“guyà¢â‚¬? scent with notes of bergamot, pine, pepper, whiskey, cigar, heather, rubber, mud (!), leather, peat fire (!!), and truffle, it´s about as butch as Alan Cumming is (which is to say, not very) and I think it´s a great woman´s scent as well. I´ll take their word on the rubber, but I can´t smell it à¢â‚¬” mostly it´s a smoky, earthy rich cigar-and-whiskey delight.

Q: What is the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?
A: à¢â‚¬Å“Well, it´s probably something dull like plug in my computer, but masturbation is never very far away. I think checking into hotels is so sexy. Of course when you stay in them for months they begin to pall a little, but initially, they give me the horn.à¢â‚¬? à¢â‚¬” Alan Cumming, Passport magazine

I love that guy.

Amarige Harvest LE à¢â‚¬” If Amarige is, as Scentzilla says, like being whomped with a frying pan of gardenia, Harvest is a really delightful twist on the original, moderating the heady gardenia, allowing the tuberose to bloom through, and adding an orange twist. As Scentzilla notes, if you don´t like Amarige, this isn´t going to change your mind. If you DO like Amarige, though, in my opinion this is different enough to warrant a sniff, and possibly a bottle.

Bond No. 9 Bleecker Street à¢â‚¬” This must be for à¢â‚¬Å“men,à¢â‚¬? using that term loosely à¢â‚¬¦. Nope, looked it up, unisex à¢â‚¬¦.this is a slightly sweeter version of a men´s cologne (from the 80s?) that I used to love and wear à¢â‚¬¦ square red cap, dark gray glass bottle à¢â‚¬¦ Liz Claiborne for à¢â‚¬Å“Menà¢â‚¬?!!! So — I like Bleecker Street, I just don´t find it very original. Violet leaf, cassis, thyme, jasmine, cedarwood, oakmoss, suede, patchouli, musk, amber, vanilla. A note about the Bond bottles, having spent some time sampling them in the store — they look cool but they fall over like dominoes. I guess that´s just a picayune detail.

Wickle Chestnut & Vetiver — Whoever put those two smells together deserves some sort of Genius Award. The warm, velvet-fur of the chestnut serves as a perfect foil for the cool, earthy greenness of vetiver. A winner.

Etro Relent à¢â‚¬” What the hell is wrong with me? I can´t smell it, I keep trying. Patty, you sent it to me. Can you smell it? I mean, I could just lie and type in something I cribbed off of Google à¢â‚¬¦ here, I´m going to make something up and then google it. So: Relent is a mysterious Oriental fragrance, with jasmine, musk, vetiver, and, uh à¢â‚¬¦ neroli (hey, orange is the new black!) Okay, googling à¢â‚¬¦. Talc, amber and frangipani?!?! Cripes, that sounds awful.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Eau de Rose à¢â‚¬” this starts off as a frankly not-very-interesting rose soliflore on me, and since I´m not a huge rose lover, I didn´t swoon. (So far, none of the CSP stuff I´ve smelled has made me swoon.) However. After half an hour the rose fades and I´m left with a decent skin scent that is like standing in the middle of my herb garden on a hot day in July. Cool.

Molinard Tendre Friandise — This is making me re-think my whole gourmand aversion. A sweet, candied scent that reminds me of the almond-nougat goodness of marron candy, with a rich, honeyed drydown I find (dare I write this?) reminiscent of Serge Lutens.

Regina Harris Frankincense, Myrrh, Rose Maroc — Hippie oil. Don’t get me wrong, I love hippie oil, but c’mon, $125 for 15 ml of this?! Awhile back I ran my own recipe for making Malle’s Parfum de Therese. Here’s my recipe for this: go to your local crunchy co-op. Apply 3 drops of rose oil, 2 drops of frankincense, 2 drops myrrh. Et voila. (Yeah, I actually did this.) Spend the money you saved on crystal healing, tarot reading or a massage to align your chakras. PS If you want authentic hippie oil, you really need to add some patch.

The Unlabeled Vial I Found On Top of the Dryer à¢â‚¬” I wish I knew what this is. I think it might be the vial of Arpege Pour Homme I got from Nordstrom, but their vials are usually labeled with the store name, and somehow it smells too feminine. A nice unisex cologne along the lines of Dior´s Cologne Blanche, but a little greener. Maybe I´ll ship it around and see if anyone recognizes ità¢â‚¬¦

cola.jpgL´Aromarine Cola à¢â‚¬” The L´Aromarine bottles are gorgeous, but I´ve been underwhelmed by the few I´ve smelled at Anthropologie (Fleurs, Oceane, Violette). This one is wonderful: a cheerful, effervescent whiff of cola (more RC than Coke) with a twist of lime that moves it away from cola-syrup sweetness and squarely into Perfect Summer Fragrance territory. I´m probably going to have to (sigh) buy a bottle of this oneà¢â‚¬¦ if the Big Cheese sees too many more little packages rolling in here he´s going to stage an intervention.

Roger & Gallet Gentle Nature Gardener´s Lettuce Soap à¢â‚¬” Okay, this is not a fragrance. But it is a great summer soap à¢â‚¬” it smells exactly like lettuce and, believe it or not, that´s a fetching smell in a soap. It lathers and moisturizes beautifully, too. My only quibble is I wish the bar were a little smaller in my hand.

Micallef Gaiac à¢â‚¬” Patty, did this come from you? (Scratches head.) This is à¢â‚¬¦ this is incredible. A unisex wood/incense. A perfect example of something that is an à¢â‚¬Å“anti-perfumeà¢â‚¬? (like Musc Ravageur) that is gorgeous on the skin.


Today’s fragrance sample giveaway is: Out of Africa! Our Lucky Winner will receive samples of Tauer Perfumes’ wonderfully exotic duo: Le Maroc Pour Elle (rose, jasmine, spices, incense, musk) and L’Air Du Desert Marocain (amber, musk, incense), plus the smoky, spicy, resinous Idole de Lubin — a lovely composition done by Olivia Giacobetti. Leave a comment below if you want my samples and I’ll have Number One Daughter Pick a Lucky Number and announce on Friday.

  • I’ll play. Count me in.

  • Dusan says:

    In hindsight, it’s a good thing my phone was stolen 2 months ago (also an antique one), otherwise I wouldn’t have bought m’self this fancy TV-display one. Only I hope it doesn’t go HAL 9000 on me! My regards to the brilliant daughter #2 🙂

  • March says:

    V, wow, that number is a lot higher than I would have guessed.:o

  • March says:

    Whoops — Pam, thanks for dropping by! Dang, I wish I could post responses after each comment, I keep meaning to ask the blog designer about that. (For all I know we can and I just don’t know how.)

    The Mystery Vial, Part II: I was going to drop it in a package to Marina and … it’s gone again! =))

  • March says:

    Katie — dang, I forgot to thank you!:((

    It is *definitely* more RC; in fact, that was clearly written into the brief. RC smells nothing like Coke.

    The Gaiac — I wasn’t being coy; I can’t think of what to say, which is unusual. \:d/ Let’s try this: it has the sweetness of L’Artisan’s Tea for Two; the richness of SL Chergui; yet it seems more linear to me. I am guessing (maybe wrongly?) this is what gaic wood smells like (like calling the fragrance “incense”) so it’s a one-note deal. But that one note …. maybe a cross between Chergui (but less sweet) and Armani Encens? I give up, that still sounds stupid and it doesn’t capture it anyway.

  • March says:

    Dusan, and here I was thinking you were being EXCEEDINGLY clever by abandoning your post in the middle of the word “abandon”

    I have a fancy-pants cel phone now, having turned my 1998 model in a couple months ago after it died. (They said, wow!! – we’ve never seen one like this!) I hear this new one does all sorts of things but I use it to 1) make and 2) receive phone calls. #1 daughter thinks I am … an idiot.:)) She did program some numbers into speed dial and change the ring tone…

  • March says:

    Sybil — you are in for the drawing! The Cola is just a happy thing. BTW I hope you saw my apology to you yesterday on Patty’s post — we’re so used to joshing each other, I was worried I’d offended you inadvertently.@};-

  • Katie says:

    Heh, I too thought that the cola was more RC than Coke, too! I know others may disagree, but I think there is a total taste difference between the two, and if I’m drinking full-on-sugar cola, I always pick RC instead. (I dunno, just tastes better to me than Coke or Pepsi.)

    I love that quote from AC. I think he’s simply adorable. Love him to bits.

    The Gaiac sounds fantastic to me – thanks for the review. It’s short though, so it’s a little bit of a tease!

  • Dusan says:

    :d Come to think of it, it was kinda strange to think you’d give away something you liked so much DUH! Anyhows, I was trying to post the comment via cellphone but apparently it came out in pieces – THREE TIMES! So no, I wasn’t having a stroke in installments b-(
    P.S. Can’t wait for the review!!!

  • sybil says:

    Ok…please sign me up for the giveaway!! I tried the Cumming, and really liked it, but couldn’t find the rubber either, not that I missed it. And the Aromarine Cola is so much fun, my #2 daughter has persuaded me to order it. And the Micallef Gaiac sounds like something I want to track down…

  • March says:

    Dusan, PS — I haven’t tried the summer version, but nothing in Marina’s review (and the comments) made me think it’s as good as the regular.

  • March says:

    Dusan, you crack me up. I should have been clearer, I’m going to include my review of the PH in the candy samples — but no giveaway, the juice I’ll be keeping for myself!8-|

  • Dusan says:

    Good Lord! Anyway, do you think I’d like the L’ete version? Hugs

  • Dusan says:

    M, wow, am so glad you loved L’Instant! Whoever gets it next week is a lucky man/woman! I’m going through my 125ml bottle with wild aban

  • Victoria says:

    I am laughing at “orange is the new black.” Orange blossom as the main note is actually in about 15% of fragrances on the market. Yes, these are the kind of randoms things that float in my head…

  • Pam says:

    Stopping by to say hello and to say thanks for these reviews, March. The Cola sounds very interesting. I wore DSH’s Deneuve dupe the other day; it always reminds me of something akin to Co-Cola with a green twist.

    Hey, if you or Marina ever figger out The Mystery Vial, let us know. I’ve been wanting to try Arpege Pour Homme for meself and haven’t broken down yet. The “women’s” Arpege is one of my HGs.

    Take care, all!~o)

  • March says:

    Melissa — if you go to there is a hilariously weird video. The juice is actually quite wearable in that boyfriend-tee-shirt way. Yes, the name is a big part of the joke, which is why I thought the fragrance would be a joke. But it isn’t.

  • March says:

    R, you’re the one who turned me onto Cumming and made me watch that video until I wet myself laughing. I wish I knew more about the Micallef… P sent me the Rose Aoud, which is just not me. But the gaiac (which I am guessing is more or less the smell of the straight wood?) is wonderful. I can’t find it listed for sale anywhere, though.

  • March says:

    Stella — you’re in, baby.:)>-

  • March says:

    Marina — the gaiac is right up your alley. Their website is … well … kind of uninformative and it made me giggle. (Store in Dubai etc.) But P sells the Rose Aoud in her store, maybe she got the Gaiac sample with that bottle. I can’t compare the smell to anything, but it’s shivery good.

  • March says:

    Cait — you and I, we love those anti-perfumes. We also love those Auntie Perfumes (got my straw hat today.) Teeth on a chicken is just sooo wrong. Probably breeding them that way so they can eat the downer cows without having to grind them into meal first…

  • March says:

    Dusan — the Guerlain PH is AMAZING!:x I’m putting it in the Candy next week, thanks for the recommendation.^:)^

  • Melissa says:

    I have to agree about the Regina Harris line. I think the bottles are gorgeous, but that seems like an incredible price to pay for such a small amount of juice. Not only that, but if I’m going to shell out that kind of money, I want something REALLY unusual. CUMMING sounds interesting (rather “tongue-n-cheek”) as well as the chestnut & vetiver.


  • Robin says:

    Cracking up at the great quote from AC & the vial on your dryer! And must get my hands on that Micallef…

  • Stella says:

    Oh yes, please sign me up for the giveaway!

  • Marina says:

    OMG, Gaiac sounds wonderful!!

  • cait says:

    Good Morning,
    I am intrigued by Cumming and the Micallef. Anti-Perfume tickles my wickle today. I’m not putting myself in the running for these, just wanted to poke in and tell ya what I think today.
    :d P.S., upon entering that emoticon I remember: didja know they actually did find (or breed) a chicken with teeth? OK, maybe I can win non sequitur of the day:d

  • Dusan says:

    M, if the mystery vial juice smells like a smoother, chocolatey twist on the men’s Opium, then it must be the Arpege. Cinnamon anyone?

  • March says:

    P — no, no, no, I thought the Rose Maroc was GREAT! I mean, the incense drydown was delicious and quite long-lasting. I just think that’s a lot of dough for something that isn’t perfume rocket science, but what do I know? Maybe her essential oils cost a fortune… that fancy minaret bottle it comes in probably isn’t cheap, either. PS I will send you back the Micallefs, maybe they’ll breed in your sample box.:d

  • March says:

    Emily, I think I’m going to send it to Marina. It smells like her sort of thing, maybe she can identify it. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Patty says:

    Yeah, that Gaiac is cool, isn’t it? I intended to spend more time with that, but it got tossed in the bag to you too soon, but I liked it a lot. I like what Micallef did with the gaiacs and aouds. The Night Aoud wasn’t my favorite, and I wouldn’t buy a bottle, but I sure wouldn’t turn one down if someone gave it to me.

    You are dissed my Rose Maroc. 🙁 But you have given the recipe for recreating it, woo-hoo!!

  • Emily says:

    I giggled out loud at “The Unlabeled Vial I Found On Top of the Dryer”! I have a few of those around myself! 🙂

    Would love to be tossed in for the samples. Thanks!