I´m thinking about getting a big roll of those Mr. Yuck stickers to carry around in my purse and stick on store testers as a warning, as a public service, sort of. What do you think? I´d start with…
Stella in Two. The genius here is that there are TWO parts. Part One is an amber solid perfume, in a case that must be made out of lead (what´s heavier than lead, anyway? Plutonium? Kryptonite?). Honestly, I thought it was magnetized and stuck to the counter – it´s almost funny how heavy it is. It smelled like … waxy amber. Part Two, a peony fragrance in a triangle-shaped bottle, seems to have trouble standing up on its own; more than once I have seen it beached there on its side, leaking fluid all over the counter in an oozing, baking mess under the klieg lights of the Saks fragrance corner. The bottle was all wet and sticky so I just sniffed the puddle instead. No thanks. (I´ve also sniffed this twice since. Ugh. I love peony; not sure what it is about this one I dislike so much.)
Gaultier2 – Reviews say “sweet” and “bubblegum.” Also “sweet.” Some also mention “powdery.” (Did I say “sweet” already?) So I went over there with my barf bag and some rubber gloves and had a go. What is wrong with everyone? I thought it was great. It´s unisex, and at least it´s not a marine scent, or some gourmand thing. It reminds me a little of the weirdness of Versace Dreamer, with less auto parts and more tootsie roll (I love the Dreamer!) It´s allegedly simple (amber, vanilla and musk) and it´s extremely linear, and so what? WYSIWYG. Rock on, Gaultier! Plus you can stick it to your fridge (assuming you don´t have a stupid Sub-Zero) because it´s MAGNETIZED. The oil smelled fabulous, the same general effect as the monoi stuff. Everything doesn´t have to be eating at Le Cirque, right? Sometimes I just want a really good burger.
That New Crap From Valentino – they´re spraying it on silk rose petals. I am guessing here: Praline Accord? Oh, my god … Mr. Yuck, hold me! Okay, Neiman Marcus says … bergamot, black currant, and crunch green. Middle notes of orange blossom, gardenia, muguet, and rose. Base notes of sandalwood, orris, musky notes, vanilla, and heliotrope. It´s called Rock n Rose. I´ve … I´ve been heliotroped! Call 911!
Ormond Jayne Orris Noir. Patty, I think I´d like it, but each time I put it on I go into a wild, sneezing fit. The other OJs don´t do that. Jeez. In fact the only other frag I can think of that makes me sneeze is Trouble. I´ll keep trying.
Hilary Duff Love Ya! I love Hil. She´s the only one of the Former Child Actresses My Girls Love who hasn´t starved herself down to 90 lbs. smoking and doing blow all night at Bungalow 8. Not naming any names… notes are mangosteen (fruit and blossom), spices, cocobolo wood, amber milk, musk. The fragrance is nicely done, not at all what I expected for a teen queen´s first foray. Gourmand – like chai, sort of, with musk and woods. It´s a bit sweet for my taste in the opening, but I must be 25 years over the target demographic, and I wouldn´t hesitate to give it as a fragrance gift that doesn´t scream Pole Dancer in Training. (Not naming any names.) Can I say the bottle is beautiful? No, really — lovely to hold, too. (Additional comment – huh. For one of those pretty, sort-of-forgettable frags, I´ve tried it several times now, and … and so help me, I might actually buy this. I need some more comfort scents. Ack! They´ll probably card me and refuse to sell…)
Marc Jacobs Fall Splash Tri- – uh, Duo – I finally tried the Violet, and Ina´s right – it´s nicely done. On me it´s a musky (rather than candied) violet, with a dust of cocoa and a little ginger, and for such a gentle comfort scent it´s surprisingly long-lasting; any violet fans should definitely give it a sniff. It also has what I´ve come to think of as the Insolence Effect – every time I wear it I get compliments from strangers – men and women – who are wild for it. The Ivy isn´t so bad – just a basic citrus/herbal cologne. But the mystery is … where´s the Amber? It´s gone from the shelves. In fact, the SAs at both Sephora and Nordstrom assured me confidently that this set was issued as a duo, and I´m mixing it up with the summer set (and what´s the point of arguing? None.) So riddle me this, batgirls: was the Amber that bad? Is it gone from your shelves too?
Donna Karan New York – the one in the weird, black mutant bottle that reminds me of Darth Vader or a robotic duck (see photo) – not DKNY, which I think is a lighter, summery scent. Notes of rose, lily, apricot, suede, amber, jasmine and patchouli. Anybody remember this? Somebody else weigh in here. It´s interesting. It doesn´t smell like anything else I own. The opening is very rough going, and I´m not loving the drydown either – it doesn´t really smell floral at all – more like spice. I am trying to figure out who this is targeted to … no, I´m not being a snot, I mean it. What do you think it smells like? It’s so … weird on me. Maybe I´m having a skin chemistry issue, I need to try it on someone else?
My question to you: it´s that time of year – all the fragrance gift sets of the season, a million of em! What looks good to you? Anything with a particularly great bonus or packaging you´ve seen?