Hot Candy

I have leagues, fathoms, acres of samples upstairs, waiting patiently. But instead I’m going to comment on my Saturday Sniffage with Sariah:

The new Lanvin Rumeur. The first thing that caught my eye is the bottle. It’s unusual, but not silly or juvenile — there’s something about its squat shape and wavy glass that’s quite fetching (I think I read somewhere the bottles are handmade?). In terms of appeal the fragrance itself is a joyous white floral. I could see a younger customer embracing this, because it’s missing any sort of chypre or dark underpinning that might make the under-30 set run for cover. The SA at Saks told me it’s exclusive there, they were unpacking the boxes, it wasn’t even on the shelves yet. Notes: magnolia, seringa, white rose, sambac jasmine, patchouli, musk. It is a bit fruity-floral — there is a long stretch of what smells like peach in the middle — but the magnolia, musk and patch keep the juice faintly earthy/green rather than toothache-sweet. It may not be everyone’s taste, but it’s not insipid. It’s not really my style — I am entranced by only a handful of big florals — but it is one of the nicer offerings from a non-niche house in recent memory. Technically, this is a re-release, but I think the bottle and the fragrance are fairly different than the original, which I’ve not smelled. Sariah swore this reminds her of Lagerfeld Sun, Moon, Stars. At Saks and Saks online — where it is $85 for 3.3 oz.(!) of EDP(!), which by my standards is practically free; they have an even cheaper 1.7.

The new Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile EDP. Weeelllll….. I wanted to love it. I love Iris Nobile EDT in all its wonderful green sharp citrus opening and iris/orange blossom drydown, which lasts for maybe 30 minutes. The EDP is a significantly different fragrance — the sillage is decent, and the drydown is lovely. However, I seem to be missing all the anise/citrus/iris top and heart of the original — the EDP is all orange blossom on me. Should be called Arancia Nobile. It is not a replacement for Iris Nobile EDT, but judged on its own merits it is beautiful. At NM.

Indecision: Annick Goutal Sables and Duel. Duel is very pretty — mate tea, lemon and iris, but I don’t get the leather, and the lasting power seems minimal no matter how much I apply. Sables I am completely on the fence about. The spice/imortelle thing registers, variously, as a smell of such bizarre, powerful beauty that I am ready to buy the bottle right then — only if I wait ten minutes it smells like a bag o’ spice seasoning for some iffy curry-type dish I’m not sure is safe to eat. What do you think?

Change of Heart: Bvlgari The Rouge — The Blanc I own (and love — it’s more complex than it’s given credit for.) The Vert, both regular and mean, are nice enough but fail to move me, particularly after the advent of the other 75 green-tea scents. The Rouge I dismissed because I wanted more of the rooibos smell. However. I have re-sniffed this twice recently and am reconsidering, because what I get in there now is the smell of dirt, and it’s pretty fabulous — that rooty, earthy smell in rooibos and some other herbal teas. What is not to love about the smell of tea and dirt? Bvlgari Vile de Jasmin, on the other hand, is sharp and wretched and should be banned from public sale.

The Big News — I tried the Armani Amethyste straight out of their new tester bottle at Saks. Sariah pronounces it one of the worst fragrances she has ever smelled (she hates violet.) And … I can smell it!!! Oh happy, happy day!!! It smells like violet and leather. Not butch, smoky leather (e.g., Lonestar Memories or Russian Leather.) More a marine leather, or a suede. The violet is a little medicinal rather than sweet, although that may be a function of the leather. It is heaven. I love the way it hovers in the air around me. However. I talked to the SA for awhile and based on in-store customer feedback I think this one is potentially love-it-or-hate-it. Don’t be buying that $185 bottle unsniffed.

Finally: Guerlain Insolence. I hate almost everything about it — the absurd name for a tame scent, the stupid wobbly bottle, the pink juice, the wack ad campaign with Hilary Swank, the whole “entry-level Guerlain” vibe. My attitude is, if you’re not old enough to worship the goddess of Guerlain, then back the hell away from my altar. The only part I now have to admit (publicly and grudgingly) is: I don’t hate the fragrance. I don’t smell the fruit after the first 90 seconds, and I don’t get their “spiral accord,” but this one’s a sleeper. It’s the sort of frag you put on, say meh, forget about, and someone half an hour later says, wow, what is that lovely thing you’re wearing? What won me over is the drydown — it is unabashedly Guerlain, that powder/anise/violet that falls halfway between Apres L’Ondee and Meteorites, and given those reference points, how can I say it smells anything other than beautiful? It will not change your life. The Earth will not move. But I can see reaching for this any day I need a comfort scent.

Okay, the Sex in a Bottle giveaway from last week … I had more than 30 requests to be entered (wow, that sounds dirty), which in a way is nice, and in another way makes me feel really, really bad, because I only have a small amount of some of this stuff — even my new musk absolute bottle is just 15 ml. I think I can come up with three sets, which are going to … Tigs, Violetnoir, and Leopoldo, although if I run out of something I’ll throw in … some CdG Palisander, which is a great woods/incense, you’ll like it! Or not. Email me with your address at Contact Us. The rest of you, my apologies — samples of the CB Musk should be available fairly soon for $4, more or less, on the CB I Hate Perfume website.

  • March says:

    BBliss — Then maybe Amethyste will work for you, to me there’s quite a bit of leather.:x

  • BBliss says:

    Yes, I was afraid you’d say that about the Amethyste – I should have clarified…Just like jasmine, I like my violets WELL-MIXED with other things (spices, woods, other flowers, etc.) not really as a stand-alone.
    Great post and comments though, and I will print it out so I’ll remember what to go sniff – just for the experience!

  • March says:

    Tigs — the Songes was awful on me — very harsh. Not a typical AG reaction, not sure what the problem was there.:-?

  • March says:

    Judith — I’m a little frightened by its tenacity. It is REALLY strong on me, and lasts forever. I think the Eau Noire maybe works a little better on me.

  • Tigs says:

    So far, Sables is one of my favourite AGs. (Sadly, some of the Goutals are hard for me to get here, so I have never smelled Duel, Vetiver and Songes – although the latter is winging its way to me *waves to Marina*). I have no fear of cumin and curry leaves, however. Looking forward to comparing Sables to Eau Noire (*waves to Marina again*).

  • Judith says:

    P.S. The weird note in Sables is immortelle, which smells like maple syrup there. It is also in Eau Noire, although it comes out more cumin-y there (to me anyway). My husband calls Sables “Eau d’Aunt Jemima.” I’m on the fence about it myself.

  • March says:

    Tigs — you’re welcome. If you stop back by — what do you think of Sables?

  • March says:

    Judith — hahahahahaha! It’s hard to resist, isn’t it?:-” I will be very curious to see where it fits in their line in terms of success.

  • March says:

    BBliss — if you are not lovin’ the violets, somehow I am pretty sure Amethyste is not going to be a winner for you.b-(

    Oh, but I love that Carnal Flower.

  • March says:

    Veronica — you will radiate, shimmy and gel!

  • Tigs says:

    Wahooo! Thanks very much, March. I was excited to begin with, and with the addition of Palisander I’m over the moon. Enjoyed this post too, by the way, as I have been looking into Sables recently and always nice to see a reassessment (The Rouge).

  • Judith says:

    Just came back from sniffing at Saks myself. Rumeur, as Chaya and Elle have noted, has absolutely nothing to do with the original scent. I thought it was pretty, but not of great interest to me. Cuir Amethyste, I fell for like a ton of bricks. Soft, lovely purple suede. I tried not to buy it b/c I really can’t afford it–left Saks, went to my workout–and came running back afterwards. *Swoon*

  • BBliss says:

    March -love the floral picks! Carnal Flower is the biggest flower I ever wear too, but not often!

    I am just going to have to take myself off to smell this Amethyste – or at least attempt to smell it! I do have a confession – I don’t much care for violets *on me* – even the infamous Serge BdV. Well, most of his stuff just turns ugly on me anyway. So maybe suede and violet will be a better combo. I’ll at least try to judge the M/F reaction!

  • Veronica says:

    Insolence ancillary products available:

    Radiant Body Cream and Shimmering Body Milk. So I can radiate and shimmy.

    If Insolence shower gel is anything like the L’Instant Pour Homme shower gel – I will be gelling (sp?), too.

  • March says:

    P — NOOO!!!! Ooooo, I am sooo excited for you!\:d/

    It’s probably the violets, that’s what Sariah hated with a passion. I figure if your husband loves it, that’s what matters.@};-

  • March says:

    Great — hey, anything that keeps Guerlain in business so it can keep making (or reissuing) the classics is okay with me.

    Yeah, Lancome has re-released several recently, but they are arguably reasonably close to the originals. (Someone correct me if you disagree.) The Rumeur, according to the SA I talked to, was a very different scent last time around, much darker.

  • March says:

    R — I’ll be interested to hear your reactions. I’m not sure any of them is “you,” though… my money is on the Nobile, because you share my fondness for orange.

  • Patty says:

    I did break down and get that darn Cuir Amethyst, I couldn’t NOT get it if the spray gets me where I need to get on the smell because I adore the violet part of it.

    My son sniffed it and just about died, he *hated* it, thought it was like sour dishrage (what the hell?@?!). My husband loved it. And I can’t figure out what note is causing that wide reaction. Could be the violet, Harry doesn’t seem to adore violets like he should.

  • I can’t wonder if guerlain is being quite clever with Insolence. If it is unashamedly a Guerlain it’s a good way of starting getting people interested in the classics, which would not necessarily be the case with most of their releases since Samsara.

    As for Rumeur – don’t quite a few houses reuse names? I believe Lancome has.

  • Robin says:

    M, sounds like we are in largely the same boat re: Insolence. Going to make another trip to try to snag the Iris Nobile, and now I’ll have to add a trip to Saks for the Rumeur…

  • March says:

    BBliss — off the top of my head, Carnal Flower and Divine by Divine are pretty much it for me. Although I’m tempted to include L’Heure Bleue in there because it is a very heady floral on me, although the Guerlain base is more complex. Mostly big florals make me want to run away from my own skin.

    The IN — very pretty, but not iris to me. The Sables IS a must-try — it is odd and very, very strong, and I can’t ever decide whether it’s wonderful or awful. I love those.

    I am considering buying some Amethyste…

  • March says:

    Ina — yes and yes. What IS that weird smell in Sables?:-? Do you like it? Dislike it? I’ll probably end up buying it just b/c the darn thing won’t leave me alone, but it is very, very tenacious on me…

  • March says:

    Chaya — pls see my note above to Elle — they should have just picked a new name for Rumeur.

    The Sables! Stuck around for 2 days, same as you, would NOT wash off. I need to try it on as an actual frag (not one of 6 on my person) to see if it is unwearable in full force… its tenacity is a little alarming! But, wow, what a smell!!! The Duel — if it were just STRONGER. But what’s the pt if it’s gone in half an hour?

    Insolence is very much not you, and it’s not really me, either. But at least it’s recognisably Guerlain! And The Ambre Russe — that, my pumpkin, is Very Much You! You will be glorying in its skank, I can picture it.

  • March says:

    Elle — I probably should have addressed that more … my understanding is the original Rumeur was much darker and closer to Lanvins like My Sin and Scandal (I would give something major to smell Scandal). I got sidetracked by the fact that the new Rumeur is, thank God, not another insipid, wretched fruity-floral of such aching sweetness even my 12-year-old turns up her nose — as she has done to a number of new releases, most recently Vera Wang Princess — and if it’s too sweet for a 12-year-old, who’s wearing it?!?

    You WILL adore the Amethyste!

  • March says:

    Sariah – well, it’s true. They are a challenge. I guess I think of them as a taste worth acquiring– like oysters, or caviar.

    I’m gonna check back w/you in a year on the Prive Encens — I went from a strong No Thanks to buying it. Its cold beauty is addictive.

  • March says:

    Leopoldo — I’ll get it in the mail in the next few days. Congrats!

  • chayaruchama says:

    Yes, Ina- I do…

    The Rumeur bottle is glorious, but the overwhelming impression is very lily-of-the-valley; pretty, but I’ll pass…

  • BBliss says:

    Wow – what a sniff-fest! So, tell us, what are the handful of big florals you do go for?

    Thanks for IN EDP review – I was so looking forward to this, and now my expectations are brought back in line. I’ll have to give the bad news to my mother, as well! 🙁

    Sables sounds like a must-try and the The Rouge I will revisit for sure, but Insolence – well, I couldn’t get past the ads, the bottle and the fruit – why suffer? You are braver than me.

    Yeah – on your Big News, too – glad you are no longer missing out! And no apologies for a contest with 3 winners, you are more than generous! 🙂 Have a great day!

  • Ina says:

    So, do you get maple syrup from Sables and lipstick from Insolence? I do! :d Must get myself back to Saks to sniff Rumeur. Doesn’t sound too promising, though.

  • chayaruchama says:


    So, froggy went a-sniffin’, eh?

    RUMEUR- [in the words of my beloved “10 Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead”]-“Give it a name!”-yeah, it’s pretty, but so what? It’s not Rumeur-end of story.No leather, no filth, nothing!!! Feh, feh,feh…NEEDS A NEW NAME-

    Iris Nobile-nice [the kiss of death] but nothing to define as either particularly iris or noble, for me at least.
    It’s pretty [man,I sound ORNERY this am- please excuse…].

    Sables, Duel… now you’re talkin’.

    Watch out for Sables- it’s fascinating, and continues to develop long after you spray-
    I couldn’t get rid of it for 2 days, even with 2 showers [not that I really wanted to, it just altered my perception of other scents I wanted to wear].
    It grows on you,like mushrooms you wind up liking inadvertently.

    Duel is pretty, but it doesn’t last very long.
    The leather tends to be subtle, but it is great in the heat, and both are equally good on either sex…
    Yes, I’ve got them both [sigh].

    I agree on The Rouge- it’s quite different from the others, and very good in its own right, but I’m on a very short perfume leash at present, so I pretend I’m in a museum…

    Insolence- It’s pretty.It’s young.It’s not mysterious.It’s not dark, it’s not scintillating, it’s not me.

    Somebody, throw me a rope, will you?!

    At any rate, my next [and last,for awhile]awaited delivery is Ambre Russe- I want to be boozy,blowsy,decadent, and rolling in blini with caviar…anyone care to join? Be my guest…

  • Elle says:

    My heart sank when I saw the Rumeur bottle. I know it is probably a lovely scent and I may buy it, but…I *loved* the original, which was spicy, rich, intense, *interesting*. Why call something a rerelease when it is so completely different? This doesn’t sound like a child of the original or even a distant relative – sounds like it comes from a different country altogether. I am seriously looking forward to trying the Cuir Amethyste, though. I’m fairly positive I’ll adore it.

  • sariah says:

    Hey march – of all the stuff we sniffed on Sat, I’m most impressed by the Armani Prive Incense – really beautiful and dark – but still not me, and that Patou 1000. I will be getting a decant of the 1000, I am slowly getting into the chypres but they’re still a challenge. From my notes: Cuir Amethyst – one of the worst scents I have ever smelled. Violettes with leather = Sariah’s kryptonite

  • Leopoldo says:

    How mahvellous, dahlink to have won something. Address will be supplied forthwith. Ta very much.