Let’s Have Some Candy

ristra.jpgFirst of all, to anyone who has generously sent me samples à¢â‚¬” thank you, many times over. My life has settled down a bit, and I am now hitting the candy hard. All the miserable weather recently forced me inside where I can spend endless hours annoying the Big Cheese by applying fragrances and sniffing myselfà¢â‚¬¦

Second, to everyone who tried (and tried and tried) to leave comments on my Guilty Pleasures post last week, they appeared magically a day or two later, with no notification in my email inbox, hence the slow response. Again, my apologies. I have no idea what that was about. The winner of the Ysatis Iris was à¢â‚¬¦ Pam! Email me your address under Comments and I´ll get it in the mail. Anyway, on to the candy samples:

Andy Tauer Lonestar Memories à¢â‚¬” From their website: à¢â‚¬Å“A scent created on memories of a wide land, open pastures, earthy leather, warm smoke, being there, I am free and true.à¢â‚¬? Dude, aren´t you à¢â‚¬¦ Swiss? Or German? How did you work your magic with this one? Because what I smell is the inside of a vintage leather and pawn shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I was a joyful resident for a decade. Here are my notes: old cowboy boots, used saddles, mud, old wood, footprints, dust, sawdust, hint of silver from concha belts and other metals, slight musty-old-building smell, ancient spices, and à¢â‚¬” my favorite à¢â‚¬” a waft of red chile courtesy of the ristras hanging from the corbels by the door, just after a July rain. (The woman in that fabulous painting above is making ristras using fresh red chiles.) This is not another leather. This is a journey, and you should think about taking it.

JAR Golconda — It´s a pure, creamy, glorious carnation on a rich, wine-y base. It should have been perfect, given how much I love carnation. Let me be clear: it smelled GREAT à¢â‚¬” but there is something weirdly malevolent about it — like holding Snow White´s poisoned apple in your hand. It gave me a serious case of the willies, the reverse of that rush of happiness I get when I stumble across something new and wonderful. I´ve never smelled another JAR, am dying to do so now, wonder if there´s a common base?

Dior Diorling (vintage) à¢â‚¬” Something I can simultaneously admire greatly and find generally unwearable. A musky floral on a weird, green, medicinal, leathery base, along the lines of Diorella, without the toothpaste. (Later) It´s still not quite me, too green, but fans of classic Dior would be rolling around on the floor moaning in ecstasy at this point in the drydown.

V´Tae Sensuality EDP (lavender, mandarin, lemon, ylang ylang, sandalwood, ginger, vanilla, freesia, rose and other essential oils) à¢â‚¬” I don´t love this one at the opening as much as their Green Grass and Sunshine but it´s winning me over in the drydown. Interesting because it goes from à¢â‚¬Å“coolà¢â‚¬? (lavender/citrus) to à¢â‚¬Å“warmà¢â‚¬? (spices) over the course of an hour.

Caron Tabac Blond à¢â‚¬” Maybe this will be my Caron. WTF à¢â‚¬” the first 30 seconds are powdery?!?!? Followed by three minutes of à¢â‚¬¦ something murky and evil (enter the Famous Caron Base, wearing a dark robe and carrying a scythe). #1 Daughter says: à¢â‚¬Å“Eeewwww. Smells like the boys´ locker room.à¢â‚¬? Then: beginning of a leather smell. (Half an hour later) Verdict: it smells like SL Daim Blond to me, only mustier and more interesting, the Caron base having been mostly buried.

Old Spice aftershave à¢â‚¬” Somebody commented that it smelled surprisingly good. (No, don´t start writing in with suggestions that I spritz myself with Febreze or Windex; I´m not falling for it.) Anyway, I´m biased on this one, because my father has been wearing it since the first time my tiny fist could reach the counter to buy it for him. And it does smell rather nice à¢â‚¬” spicy, powdery, and much less masculine than a lot of the other things I wear. But I just can´t go around smelling like my dad.

Amouage Gold (Rock Rose, Lily of the Valley, Silver Frankincense, Myrrh, Orris, Jasmine, Ambergris, Civet, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Musk, Patchouli, and Oakmoss) à¢â‚¬” I Am An Idiot. I blew this entire line off recently in my Chicago post, saying they were unmemorable, and someone (Flora?) gently suggested that if I couldn´t remember Gold, there was, perhaps, something wrong with my nose and/or my entire head, and maybe I should re-think my position. So Patty sent me the Gold and the Dia. The Dia is lovely, but I am still deciding whether it´s interesting enough to rave about. The Gold, though à¢â‚¬¦ I´m having trouble believing I´d forget this one à¢â‚¬” maybe I didn´t smell it? I went back and read some old reviews on other blogs. It has very much a à¢â‚¬Å“classicà¢â‚¬? fragrance feel, and I would classify it as a chypre floral, with an overall effect that reminds me of Guerlains like Parure or Chant d´Aromes. At first application it is insanely heady and intense along the lines of the Patou heavy hitters, and that limited space in my wardrobe is already taken by Mitsouko and Jicky parfums. However. Once you get past the initial minutes of being thrashed by the Big Bouquet (I can see where those à¢â‚¬Å“old lady perfumeà¢â‚¬? comments come from on the fragrance boards) the drydown is à¢â‚¬¦ immense. I get a lot of the famous silver frankincense of Oman, which I guess is more present for most people in the preferred Men´s Gold. I also get that glorious, fizzy, champagne-like petillance, along with à¢â‚¬” really à¢â‚¬” the finest skank money can buy. This is Jean-Harlow-level bombshell glamour.

Oh, look, there´s another Caron in the candy box à¢â‚¬” Reglisse. The anise one, right? Colombina and Legerdenez swear it´s Caronade-free, but my pre-application prediction: total scrubber. (applying) Hahahahahaha — the Disciples of Caron must have hated this one with a passion, because I am twitching in pleasure like my dog in the middle of a rabbit-chasing dream. Hellooooooooooo à¢â‚¬” Caron base, are you home? Definitely not. Instead there is: a big splash of lemon/orange, anise, and what smells to me like verbena, drying down into something woodier and more substantial, but still definitely a summer fragrance, with the anise melding together with the citrus in a way that is mouthwatering without being foody. Note to everyone who reads à¢â‚¬Å“aniseà¢â‚¬? and wants to heave: it does not smell like a box of licorice, and I don´t even like licorice. P, have you smelled this? On my Summer Nirvan-a-meter, it´s a 9. (hour later) Damn. How can a Caron smell that good? I could wear this all summer.

Montale Jasmin Full à¢â‚¬” Patty´s review prompted an entire discussion of indoles, skank, and whether or not this one is indolic (skanky). Patty says it´s all a perfumed heaven of fresh, snowy, virgin-white starflowers for her. I say à¢â‚¬¦ lock up your daughters. I can´t believe all the dogs in the neighborhood aren´t trying to knock my door down right now. No, no, no, that is not a complaint in any way. It´s perfect.

image: “Starting a New Ristra,” kirkrichards.com

  • Lissa says:

    I used to wear old spice deoderant. It sent the boys flocking! Am anxiously awaiting my caron and guerlain decants….

  • March says:

    Katie — I would love your feedback on Golconda.

    Andy — No, I will look up Tad Williams. Thank you for creating something so beautiful.

    Cait — I sooo love the Reglisse it’s embarrassing.:”>

  • cait says:

    Dear March,
    OK, please sign me up for at least one of each of the candies. NOW. :d

  • andy says:

    Dear March
    Thank you so much. Now that’s interesting…a virtual reality scent. This I have to think over. Do you happen to know the otherland stories by Tad Williams? There was a time in my life when I had lots of spare time and I read all otherlands! I completely immersed myself in this world.

  • Katie says:

    March, I like Old Spice, too. I dunno, it smells good, what more does anyone want? It’s a little over-applied by the young teen set stealing from Dad’s cabinet, but still, it’s nice. Maybe that’s just nostalgia talking, though?

    I love your idea of Lonestar Memories as a virtual reality scent. Interesting.

    Man, have I ever got to get ahold of Golconda sooner or later. This is sounding just divine. I don’t necessarily mind malevolent /:) I’ve just heard nothing but generally good things about it now.

  • March says:

    Elle — P and I are planning a little sniffage in NY later this summer, I have the JARs on my list. I’m ready to fall in love with something ridiculous.

    M — Nope, another one on the list.

    Dinazad — okay, okay you guys!

  • dinazad says:

    Second that!

  • Marina says:

    March,
    Since boy Carons work better for you…have you tried Yatagan? That is one beautiful weirdo.

  • Elle says:

    Very much want your skin chemistry so Golconda would leave me w/ the same reaction and I wouldn’t have to weep, gnash my teeth and shake my fist at the heavens over its price. I’m also madly in love w/ Diamond Water and Bolt of Lightning from JAR. SOB! I look forward to trying Reglisse, but I’m afraid I have lemon magnifying skin like Judith’s and I’m somewhat concerned. I also LOVE the Caron base. 🙂

  • March says:

    V — I had no idea. Thanks for letting me know.

    Pam — I have a couple other little treats I’m tucking in there too. I will cc you the email I have about the Caron-ade.

    Huh. Hope for Montaigne after all.

  • Pam says:

    March, I had forgotten all about the Doulton. Thanks for remembering.

    Also, according to the info you have, is the Caron-ade the same as “Mousse de Saxe,” a blend of geranium, licorice, leather, iodine, and vanillin? Or maybe the Mousse de Saxe is the stuff only in Nuit de Noel? A Caroniac like meself likes to know these things.

    Nice post, BTW. As always! Also, if you like Amarige, you just might like the Montaigne. Purists won’t like me sayin’ this, but I find a similarity between the two.

  • Victoria says:

    I love the painting! It could be a Ukrainian motif too–chili pepper braids hanging out to dry.

  • March says:

    Victoria O — I am totally betting the Reglisse is a big love for you. Let me know about the JAR!

    Andy — Thank you for creating Lonestar Memories. It is, honestly, one of the greater pleasures in my life recently. I am a fan of virtual-reality fragrances in general, and you have just added a great, great scent to the lineup. FWIW I deleted a whole bunch of soppy stuff from my review about how much I wanted to give you a big, annoying, American-style hug and make you an excellent breakfast burrito…:)>-

  • March says:

    Pam — see, lots of people feel that way about Caron. And, all jests aside, Caron has some absolutely stunning scents. That base just doesn’t work for me. PS Got your address, I am sending you some Stanky Doulton too!

    Patch — no, no relationship between Old Spice and Tabac. Old Spice is a girly-man smell next to Tabac. I’ll get your email address off our dashboard and email this interesting thing someone sent me about the Caron-ade. It’s, like, iodine, oakmoss and vomit. Or something similar.;)

    Ina — overapplying Tabac would probably kill me, not the scent!

    Marina — well, my first GIRL Caron. My “first” was Third Man. L’Anarchiste was great too. Yep, that was your Diorling, thanks. It does the same waffle Diorella did — sometimes it’s gorgeous on me, and sometimes it’s just awful. I can’t take the pressure.

  • March says:

    Leopoldo — it DOES look like Penelope, doesn’t it?

    Dinazad — as far as I’m concerned, they can kick the rest of the Carons to the curb and keep this one! Yes to joining the regular lineup!

    Judith — I can see how the giant lemon would do you in. It’s the balance on me that makes it work.

    P — I SO owe you for allowing me to fix my mess-up on the gold. It is just lovely. My money says you hate the Reglisse — because, really,it’s not Caron. Still need to smell that Montaigne — but I’m [email protected]) I am glad you still let me [email protected]};-

  • Andy says:

    Hi Patty and March
    The Swiss guy lived for a while in Lonestar state, not really in the prairie, but I managed to get out from time to time.
    Thank you for your review.

  • Victoria O says:

    ohhhhh I have a Caron Reglisse decant on the way, I’m so excited. Oh and I found two JAR samples on eBay (still some left) so I’ll be adding my 2 cents on Golconda soon!

  • Marina says:

    I mean Diorling, of course, grr.8-|

  • Marina says:

    Aha! A Caron for you to love! Is it the first one? I have no problem with Carons, but I do have big issues with anise, and this is one of very, very few scent with anise/licorice that I love.

    PS. Did I send you that Diroling or did someone else? Just curious.

  • Ina says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, March! I used to love Tabac Blond but one day I overapplied, and it killed the scent for me.

  • patchamour says:

    Oh, fun! Hope I can get out today to find the Jasmin Full and the Reglisse. Every time I play with Tabac Blond (Thank you, Patty:)), I have the sensation of a childhood memory and now I know what it is: fetching my dad’s mentholated Kool cigarettes as a toddler, so he could have one before getting out of bed in the morning (!). That’s the vetiver, I think. This is one of the most layered perfumes I’ve ever tried. The indolic note really lies physically under a layer of spices, for me. (March, did you sense any kinship between this perfume and the Old Spice?)
    Like all the Carons on me, this one fades but not quite as quickly and then it returns later. In the drydown I get patchouli, cedar, and iris(yum!), and then something very sweet and little girl pink birthday party comes up. I used to think this was jasmine, but now I don’t know.
    What is the caron-ade composed of?
    Anyway, I gotta have some of this luscious stuff.
    Thanks for the great post. Patch

  • Pam says:

    Yay! Can’t believe I won something. Thanks!!

    March, I’m glad you gave the Old Spice a chance. BTW, I also like Tabac Blond but only after the first hour or so. The opening is like the Jiffy Lube guy rubbing my face with a greasy, leather glove. After that, though, it’s va-va-voom. Me, I love the Caron base. :d

  • Patty says:

    Have not tried the Reglisse, and I really, really need to. Lord, you make the reviled Caron base sound like one of Dracula’s brides or a nightmare Medusa might have.

    Agree on the Lonestar Memories, it is just exactly what you describe it as, but I hadn’t placed it quite there yet.

    gold – I knew your sniffer had to either have missed it or been overloaded. I couldn’t imagine a universe where you would not have reacted to it in some way. I need to try the Men’s gold now if it has more of that silver frankincense.

    Jasmin Full — Har! I don’t think I described it quite that way! But I think my smelling of indolic does not conjure up the same “cat in heat” visions as you! :d

    Have I mentioned how much I love your candy posts? 🙂

  • Judith says:

    Wow! So many of my favorites–so many of which you don’t like:) ! I do really like Lonestar Memories–but I also love Golconda (interestingly don’t find this malevolent–although I do perceive some other JARs that way), Diorling, and Tabac Blond. Need desperately to smell that Jasmin Full.
    On the other hand, I wanted so much to love Eau de Reglisse (everyone seems to), but I have lemon-magnifying skin, and the lemon-drop accord at the beginning was just overpowering. Every now and then, I could catch of whiff of anise under that–but then it would be squashed by a giant lemon, permanently killing my lemmin’.

  • dinazad says:

    Hello everybody! Time for me to stop lurking on this site and pipe up in favour of Eau de Reglisse! Now me, I love the Carons. Most of them, anyway. And while Reglisse does not have the Caron base, it’s a gorgeous summer scent – on me, after disappearing for hours, it suddenly pops up in the evening, smelling of dark, bitter chocolate. Gorgeous! So March, if you’ll join me in a prayer to whichever saint may be in charge of Caron perfumes: let’s pray this limited edition will join the regular range of scents (as the SA in Paris told me it might, if it proves to be popular enough….)!

  • Leopoldo says:

    Did Peneope Cruz model for that painting?