Rub-a-Dub-Dub

 UPDATE on Ellie parfum — Wow! Sorry, guys, I’m having a moment here.  Everyone, I think, knows how I despise LotV in a perfume — mostly because it feels plasticky, but I don’t despise it in the garden, where I think it is gorgeous, especially surrounded by everything else. Ellie is a spring garden in the greenest sense of the word.  LotV has been rendered gorgeous and the way I think of it in the garden. I wish I had enough words to describe this, but it is vetiver green earthy. I know the vanilla is there, but it is not there in any amount that’s scary at all. And the coconut, as it is, is like the pulpy inside of the coconut, not that sickly sweet part of it, it just enhances the green and does not stick out anywhere at all.  Get the cyclamen mostly in the top, the jasmine is there, but it doesn’t feell like a jasmine fragrance, same with the rose. Fig leaves gives it more green. And the musk and sandalwood, they’re just playing backup to the  green beauty this is, which is a full, rich earthy green scent. This really is just in time for spring.  Worth the $180 for 1/2 ouch (spelling intentional)?  Yes, if you like earthy green scents, but I’ll keep hoping for an EDP with just a little better price point on it so I will feel unconstrained to spritz wildly. Yum!

I shamelessly hustled a sample of Human Existence from the Mugler coffret from the movie Perfume recently, and besides just wanting to smell it, my main purpose was to torture my family.

As soon as I get it, I scoot it under Harry’s nose, not telling him what it is, and his SpideySense picks up, “like soap at the bottom of the shower, with all the skin and dirt and everything.” One of the first times I rode on the El in Chicago, I was peacefully sitting in the front of the car, and it made the next stop… all the smart people got up and started moving backwards, including my “friend.” Thinking to myself, why do you suppose… a pretty disheveled homeless guy gets on the train and sits down in the seat behind me. Now, how rude were all those other people, is this homeless’ism in America, I can’t believe they didn’t want to sit next to the guy just because… ew, what the hell is that smell!??! It was old urine, cheap alcohol, dog crap on in the tread of your shoe, soap at the bottom of the shower and all the skin and dirt and everything.

When I opened up the Scent of Humanity, sniffing up close, I didn’t think it was so bad. I spilled a drop on my desk, and it was like the morning after one of Caligula’s parties came to life in my office. I’m not very brave… it isn’t going on my skin, but I am going to start sending it around… March and Leopoldo, you’re first. Have I mentioned how much I love reality scents? Not to wear, but just the sniffage is fun!

Then I was thinking, what possible review could I tack onto this? It’s too short and disgusting to go by itself. Oh, I know! Clive Christian No. 1 for Men, not because I want to hate it because it’s so blasted expensive, but because putting these two together in the same post satisfies my sense of the absurd. Notes of bergamot, lime, cardamon, Sicilian mandarin, nutmeg, thyme, cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, ambery woods, vanilla, lily of the valley (KOD – Kiss of Death), Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and heliotrope. I have more difficulty trashing really expensive perfumes just on the basis of price alone because I understand with many of those, they really are using the most expensive ingredients, and it usually shows and… well, I’ll buy ’em if I like them!

No. 1 suprised me. I was expecting a more typical men’s scent, with a heavy bergamot/lime top (see the notes!), and that was fairly crushed into nonexistence by the cardamon, nutmeg, thyme, cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, ambery wood, but, gratefully, not by the LotV. This goes on fairly spicy, not in an Ambre Narguile way, where it is caramelized, but in a more restrained lightly, but not weakly, spiced fashion. The drydown lasts forever and stays a little spicy, with a very little floral underpinning. It’s really pretty damn gorgeous, I’ve had my nose glued to the sweet spot where it lives all day. It’s exactly the sort of elegant, rich scent I would expect to get for $735 for 50 mls? Is it worth that? A year or six months ago, I would have said no, nothing is worth that, but with the beauty of eBay, you can get it for about half that amount.

Did you guys notice this little scent that is now at Bendel’s, Ellie? Yeah, it should be in my hands today. Made by Roudnitska with notes white flowers, vanilla and vetiver. How can they go wrong? Here’s why I’m withholding judgment on expensive perfumes, $180 for 1/2 oz. Ouch!

  • judith says:

    I want the Ellie. That is all.

  • Robin says:

    So glad to hear the Ellie is worth smelling, yay!

  • evilpeony says:

    i don’t like clive christian no. 1. it did not work its magic on me AT ALL. then again, i spritzed some soir de lune on my skin that day too and it smelled like chemical-garlicky on me. 😮 :-& hmmm… must be having one of those things called a bad perfume day.

    note to self: do not eat Cheetos lime and fiery hot before dousing self with perfume. :@):@)

  • Maria B. says:

    I’m so glad Ellie is a fresh, green spring bouquet. It sounds lovely.

    About the ugly scents: I think maybe some perfumers may be going through a phase of putting together weird scents just to show they can do it. They’re half a century behind. In the second half of the twentieth century, writers went Joyce-crazy and started writing in a disjointed stream-of-consciousness manner just because “that’s how life really is.” Insistence on total authenticity is an adolescent symptom. Fortunately, writing has gotten out of that plotless jungle. Unfortunately, visual artists are still stuck there. I hope this will be a short phase for perfumers. So far, they’re having the last laugh: they’re getting us to pay for the stuff.

    Thanks for the fun reviews, Patty!

    • pitbull friend says:

      Maria, another fabulous epigram! I would like to quote you frequently on “Insistence on total authenticity is an adolescent symptom.” I am so glad you are (have been?) a writing teacher — what a contribution you make to the world!

      Lee, you also brought up one of my fave quotes ever (“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”) To think of the horrors Wilde suffered for being himself…

      I want to live in an inauthentic world full of Eau Suave (today’s scent, anyway) and Oscar Wilde & Maria B. quotes!
      –Ellen

      • Maria B. says:

        Ellen, you sweetie! I’m glad you’re keeping track only of my bons mots and not my more infelicitous sentences. 😡 Tomorrow I’m going to start sending a completed novel out to agents, so I need all the encouragement I can get. I hate this process. b-(

        BTW, Ellen, we’ve discovered our sweet geriatric doggie Norbu is mostly deaf. How confusing the world must be to him!

  • tmp00 says:

    Ha! You didn’t put it on!

    But good lord, you spilled it? Didn’t it eat through the desk?

    Clive Christian was one that at a recent “beauty event” at NM I had to practically hurdle a rack of ties to get away from. I guess the SA could see a sucker a mile off. I was there with my boss (introducing her to the place- can you imagine) and she asked my why I wouldn’t try the stuff. Then I told her the price… :((

    • Patty says:

      I’m a big chicken, I know! I *thought* about putting it on, but I had Pilates class later, and I wasn’t sure I could get it all scrubbed off.

      Ah, but you would smell heavenly in No. 1! It really is just gorgeous. It’s good that at least something that damn expensive smells great. Otherwise, I’d have a good time trashing it as crap.

      • tmp00 says:

        Oh dear, I had to come home to see the pix, which for some reason will not show up on my work PC. I think I have to go and bleach my whole existence now. @-)

  • Louise says:

    Great Picture, Patty! And my BF says I don’t read enough on the political blogs-but you just perfectly captured an image of the Walter Reed post-discharge “hotel”! And I imagine the scent is exactly right-maybe you should share this with congress for its hearings?

    Seriously-I wonder now about this bend toward scary scents (semen and dirt and mold?). I hope we’re just experiencing a creative burst, a sort of stretching of bounbaries that will lead to even more luscious PRETTY! fragrances.

    Thanks for a great review.

    • Patty says:

      Ew! I’ve fallen so out of touch with politics for about a year or so now, it’s exhausting keeping up, but I usually pay attention during election years, mostly because I have no clue who I even like in this field of what is looking to be thousands on both sides! Treating our vets badly really annoys me, and I’m glad heads have started rolling, and I hope a lot more roll.

      Scary scents do push the envelope, and I wish I knew a perfumer to ask if they are more difficult or less difficult? I think some ugliness in perfumes is a good thing, mostly because it gets us away from that fruity floral mishmash that just vexes me so. If the public finds difficult scents to eventually turn beautiful or revamp their idea of beauty, then we should see more of them.

      But mostly, like a kid, I love to be oogied out by a gross smell. 🙂

  • violetnoir says:

    Got to hear the verdict on the ellie d, babe. Let us know…

    Hugs!

  • Marina says:

    I thought Human Existence and Paris 1738 were the skankiest skanks of all. Until I had a misfortune and misjudgment to smell the hideousness that is Secretions Magnifique. The other two now seem to be heavenly aromas, in comparison.

    • Patty says:

      You know, Secretions had a repulsion factor that HE does not have, you are right. While it’s rank, it didn’t make me go hide myself to get away from it.

  • Nina says:

    Sniff. Is it just me that doesn’t see the pictures since you changed to your new layout? I don’t even get those little placeholder things…just a blank.

    You know, I drive past a Clive Christian shop quite frequently, and I look at all those kitchen cupboards thinking…why? What’s the logical leap from kitchen drawers to perfume? It is the same guy, right?

    • Patty says:

      I’m sorry, Nina! It may be a security setting on your browser. My husband can see them fine at home, but he can’t see them on his work computer.

      Wait, Clive keeps the perfumes in kitchen cupboards? Believe it or not, that makes me like it even more! Because you mix things up, I’m guessing. I’d love to have all kitchen cupboards in my office where I keep all the perfumes. What I have now is darn close to that. 🙂

  • Gaia says:

    After the first time I smelled the JARs, I understood how and why some fragrances cost this much. Occasionally, I’m willing to fork over for something magnificent. More often than not, my problem is with medium-range priced perfumes that are awfully mediocre but for one reason or another get over-hyped.

    • Patty says:

      Exactly! I’m thinking of those Il profumo things — nice enough, but $180 for what they were? No way. JARs, definitely worth it. Most of the Amouages are definitely worth it. You can just smell the richness of the ingredients, they’re sumptuous, like 1500-thread count sheets.

  • Flor says:

    No.1 sounds good, but the price is still scary. I find the notes very interesting for what is supposed the be a “guy’s” perfume – rose, jasmine, lily of the valley (angel’s breath!!). Now I’m quite curious about it, thanks to you, and I never was the least bit before. I want to thank you for that /:)

    As far as Ellie goes, I read the notes on NST and quite honestly they sounded interesting, until I got to the vanilla and coconut part (Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil?). I’ll wait for your review, should be interesting.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, it kind of freaked me out when I looked at the notes, but while it has floral in it, it’s not too feminine in any way, and the traditional male topnotes just go poof, so it was great for me too. In some ways, I loved the men’s more than the women’s. It is a scary price. Luckily this is part of my business or I’d have a tough decision on buying it. 🙂 You’re welcome! My lemming is your lemming. How do I say that in Latin or Spanish? Mi lemming es su lemming.

      Yeah, I’m just in prickly feet waiting for Ellie to show up — should be a clear winner or not.

      • Flor says:

        I just read your update on Ellie and it sounds dangerously interesting. I love lily of the valley, and the earthy green description has me hooked! \:d/

        • Patty says:

          Definitely NOT Hawaiian tropic. the jasmine and coconut, in the drydown, do lend it a little more tropical feel, like a lush, green slighlty tropical garden.

          I’m in deep love on this one.

  • Elle says:

    The juxtapositioning of those two scents really is very satisfying. Actually, I do find that if you wait long enough w/ HE it’s not completely unwearable and does layer decently w/ CB Musk. It’s not my comfort scent of choice, but I’m not overly troubled by it once you let enough time pass.
    I can’t remember if I’ve tried No. 1 or not. But even at half the full price I start to bemoan the fact that I didn’t choose a more lucrative career path. Yes, sometimes it’s worth it to fork over that much (JARs, some Guerlains), but not often.
    Oh, and I’m *praying* that Ellie samples make it to FF. Please, please tell me they will. I came very close to ordering unsniffed myself the other day, but was a bit concerned about the vanilla, so put the brakes on.

    • March says:

      I followed the link to Now Smell This.

      $180 for 15ml?!?!? Is that right? Holy Cow. I mean, the *size* is great, but…$-)

    • Patty says:

      I know I definitely wimped out early on the HE, but my family is already concerned about the level or weirdness I have.

      No. 1 is really gorgeous, both men’s and women’s. The women’s is more floral in that rich way, but it’s more restrained than like Amouage Gold and 24, Faubourg, but in that vein.

      I’ll report it on the Ellie asap, I promise!!! And of course I’ll have them up as samples, too.

  • March says:

    P — I am so loving that picture. Honestly, how many other fragrance blogs feature an image like that before breakfast?

    I keep recollecting that the Mugler coffret was not actually designed to be *worn* — that is, the chemicals didn’t go through whatever testing is required for application to the skin. Of course, we all do things like wear room spray, and to the best of my knowledge nobody’s parts have atrophied and dropped off… Tom’s been my guinea pig, I think he’s actually been *layering* it with things like CB Musk.

    I am REALLY looking forward to smelling this!:-&

    • Patty says:

      Yeah!! We don’t have just beautiful photos!

      Well, designed to be worn or no, I’m not putting it on. Though I have heard a couple of them are very wearable. you’re going to have a blast on this one, but please, for the love of all that is holy, do NOT put it on in the office when TBC or the children are going to be around. I mean, it’s not the most horrible thing I’ve ever smelled at all, but I just can’t think there’s a world where any of our loved ones can understand our need to smell something like that. 😮

  • Lee says:

    Patty my darling

    I hope you don’t mind but I changed the timestamp of this post because there was NOTHING new here when I arrived. You had it set for after midday, your time. If I’ve done wrong, banish me, spurn me, beat me: I can take it.

    Love your juxtaposition of the squalor and the sparkle… there’s that famous Wilde quote – something like we’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. You’ve put us in both places at once (though it sounds like you’re about to send March and me to the bottom of the gutter, not that we’ve ever been there before).

    I’m glad you’ve got a sense of the absurd, or even just absurd sense.:x

    • March says:

      Hmmmm. I’m gonna go fix her typos. In fact we could change the *entire* post. We could talk about how much she loved this!

      We could offer to give away her Caron! To the first two posters!! What do you think, will she fall for it?

    • Patty says:

      Bless you, Lee, I just forgot when you do 12, that’s a bad thing. I have to do 00 to get 12 midnight time. Thank goodness for our over the pond early peeps.

      It’s a FUN gutter! I have a great time with these kind of scents, just sorting through them.