Crazy Poppies and Jules, Part Deux

To those of you who believe in the Bunny: Happy Post-Easter! Are you still coming down off that sugar high? One too many marshmallow peeps? I thought we´d ease into something gentle and light-hearted today while we get ourselves settled down: the Crazy Libellule and the Poppies Shanghaijava collection, available at and

I know, I know. Everybody´s moved on to their Divine Alcoves scents and those new vanilla ones, neither collection containing much that interests me. But I can´t help but notice that, as I ponder the merits of some vintage parfum or other rare find, nibbling my nose candy, working on two or three separate ideas for Posse posts at the same time, stalking the mailman, opening packages and popping vials, the Shanghaijavas sitting on my bedside table continue to get regular use by the many females in my house, including me. They´re all cute, small, solid stick perfumes and great for travel, leaving in the purse, etc. Here they are, briefly, for any of you who haven´t stumbled across these yet and are aching for something in the $16 price range, in order of my personal preference (favorite first):

Musc & Patchouli (bergamot, musk, patchouli) Haha, tricked you! Okay, the Encens is a veeeery close second. But this thing…. It´s a comfort scent, the patch is very mild. It manages to be very, very pleasing to me as a background scent, on days when I want something gentle, without being the least bit boring, and that is an exceedingly hard target to hit so far as I am concerned.

Encens Mystic (clove, cedar, incense, myrrh, benzoin, musk, patchouli, vanilla) This one has been blogged about extensively by others, and I´m not sure I can add anything original. It´s somewhere between, say, Comme de Garcons Zagorsk and Kyoto to me, only a bit sweeter. Yeah, the fact that I´m using two CdGs as a reference point for a $16 twist-up solid amuses me, too. It has less sillage, but it´s still surprisingly wafty once it warms up on my skin.

Blue Orchidee (bergamot, mandarin, orange, jasmine, rose, ylang, sandalwood, vanilla, musk) Is this breaking some amazing new ground? No, except in the sense that I can´t believe they can make a $16 fragrance smell this good. No, there´s no blue orchid in it. I´m a little embarrassed about how much I like this one. I´m telling myself it´s the jasmine.

Lilas Spiritual (clove, lilac, lily of the valley, vanilla) Doesn´t that sound scary? I have no idea why it works, but it does. I get a fairly natural-smelling lilac rather than a Glade vibe, with a pinch of spice.

Litchi Blossom (litchi, geranium, rose, mint) A straightforward, sweet-tart fruit fragrance I´d probably like more if lychee weren´t in half the mass-market fragrances available right now. Like the Demeter Lychee, there´s something in there that doesn´t thrill me, and I´m not sure what it is (like cherry cough syrup?). Sorry I can´t be more specific.

Ananas Imperial (orange, lemon, citron and grapefruit, pineapple, blackcurrant, peach; and base notes of jasmine, cedar, musk) This one is fine. It smells mostly of pineapple to me, and is a little sweeter than I´d like, but it´s still nice. The girls love it.

Ginger & Coconut (citronella, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, curry, coconut milk, cedar, amber, sandalwood, vanilla) This is the only one of these I didn´t like. It doesn´t smell bad; it smells like a bowl of Trader Joe´s Indian Curry, something I like to eat but not to wear.

Jules update: with some fear in my heart I ordered a bottle of the phenomenal, hard-to-find Jules off the 1stperfume website, which has (for reasons that are a mystery to me) a great deal on a specific bottle of the fragrance – 3.4 oz. marked down from $250 to $78. I was thrilled when it showed up a week later. I was less thrilled when I first smelled it – it´s gorgeous, but it´s much more leathery than Lee´s sample. Ordinarily that would be a good thing, but I wanted what I´d already fallen in love with. Half an hour into the drydown – whammo! – there it is, the scent I was longing for! Lee – I´m not sure which of these is closer to the original, yours or mine (you commented that you thought maybe the top notes on yours were going off a bit), but the drydown´s just as wonderful. Note for bottle hags: if you care, the bottle I received does NOT look like the bottle in the photo – it looks like the 1.7 oz. bottle they have listed for $139.

Today’s giveaway: samples of Jules! Leave a comment below saying if you want to be included in the drawing.


  • leese jordan says:

    does anybody know if they make spray perfume? the solids don’t last long at all! crazy libellule and the poppies solid fragrance musc?

  • whataworld says:

    Ah Jules, I’ll get you, my pretty… some day. Can I have some too?

  • dinazad says:

    If it ain’t too late, I humbly beg to be included in the draw…

  • ahtx says:

    Sigh. Those crazy bells will get me eventually. Wish I could smell them first even though they are so affordable…

    Still thinking over and enjoying the posts from last week.

    Please put me in the draw!


  • Kelly says:

    :d Jules me, baby!

  • March says:

    Bandit!!! Now that’s a great fragrance for my tolerance trajectory. At first I thought it was tooooooooooooo much. Then I thought it was a lot. Then I thought it was just right.;)

  • Twibbet says:

    Please put me in the drawing! I’m jumping onto the leather bandwagon this spring – wearing Daim Blond today, and a little bottle of Bandit just arrived for me this morning, I’m very excited. 😡

  • patchamour says:

    Please add me to the drawing. The Jules sounds wonderful. Thanks, Patch

  • Dawn Shelton says:

    I just ordered “In Your Arms” Hope I like it.

    • March says:

      Dawn — write in and let me know! I haven’t smelled it yet. I think it’s gotten quite favorable reviews.

  • Miranda says:

    Hi March,
    IF you were going to take one along for the
    day and evening, after spraying some of the
    beloved Mitsouko EDP, would it be Encens
    Mystic? Your advice is always right on!

    • March says:

      Honestly? I think Mitsouko would eat any of these things. In my experiments, Mitsouko tends to eat almost anything. But if I had to choose …. I’d probably try the Musc Patchouli. I’ve layered Mitsouko (accidentally) before with incense and didn’t like it much.

  • tmp00 says:

    I’d love to be in on the draw, thanks! :d

  • CH says:

    Oooo, a sample of Jules would be wonderful.

    And speaking of scents that smell like Indian food, I’m getting a little tired of the overwhelming cumin notes found in many scents. A little goes a LONG way!

    • March says:

      A little cumin is okay… I really like it in Femme. I will say I support it in opposition to so many of the girly, fruity scents out there today.:)>-

  • Robin says:

    I need to try Lilas Spiritual again — I liked it, but it was entirely eclipsed by the Encens.

    Congrats on your Jules! Great scent.

    • March says:

      Robin, I wore the Jules for five days straight! Which is as close to perfume monogamy as I get. 😉 I wish I could find a set of notes listed that seem to match up to what I’m smelling.

  • Maria B. says:

    March, I love Encens Mystic. To me it’s closer to CdG Avignon (fragrant waves to you Lee) than to the other two you mentioned. It’s the only Crazylib I’ve tried so far. I got it from, which also carries the full line.

    Please include me in the drawing for Jules. A girl can’t have too much leather.

    Now on to my fragrance excitement: On Saturday I received my sample of Andy Tauer’s new fragrance, Reverie au Jardin. Oh, my goodness! It was instant love. I can’t even write coherently about it. There’s that amazing green top note, then the incensy body, and the warm, mysterious, enduring base, which even on me lasts and lasts. It’s a treatment of lavender such as you’ve never encountered before. For Easter we went to walk an outdoor labyrinth in a beautiful valley, and the fragrance of Reverie swirled all around me in the strong breeze. It was wonderful.

    • pitbull friend says:

      Maria, I think that’s the third time you’ve mentioned walking around and having a particular fragrance waft at you. It’s a lovely thought. I wonder whether you could do a guest column on this, something like “wafty perfumes for long walks?” –Ellen

      • Teri says:

        OOh! OOh! (hopping up and down excitedly). That is SUCH a great idea. Someone should definitely write an article about wafty, high-sillage fragrances. I admit it, I’m a sillage sl*t. I love nothing better than twirling around and sniffing my perfume ‘aura’, or walking back into a room I’d recently left and smelling that I’d been there. I’m a considerate co-worker and leave the high sillage ‘fumes for home use, but I’d just adore getting more ideas on some ‘wafters’. Please do write about this, one of you talented people!

      • Maria B. says:

        Ellen, you have an amazing memory! I do believe I’ve mentioned wafting before. Once with Andy Tauer Orris and another time with CdG Red Series: Sequoia. I wouldn’t have remembered if you hadn’t remembered. Of course as a longtime wearer of L’Heure Bleue, sillage perfection, I’m aware of the waft effect. 🙂

        I’d be happy to write a guest column some time when someone is on vacation. :”>

        BTW I forgot to mention that one reason why the beauty of Reverie au Jardin was so welcome was that on Saturday our only car broke down and we had to buy a new (used) one! Were my nerves still electric! The labyrinth and Reverie calmed me right down.

    • March says:

      I’m glad you’re enjoying those crazy things too! And I’m so sorry about your car. I don’t like the car shopping routine at all. I’m glad to hear about the Reverie as well! I know Patty is wild for it.

  • Marie-Helene says:

    Jules used to be one of my very favorite masculine scents, maybe my favorite even at one point. Love the name too: “Un Jules” is a boyfriend in French slang. But no one in my masculine entourage ever wore it. Last time I smelled it was at the Printemps in Deauville in December 2006. I was glad to see it resurrected. A quick test left me with a good impression. I could not swear it’s the same one as in the past. Would have to re-sniff it more at leisure.

    Parfum d’Hermès I remembered better. It was also in the drydown that I felt it smelled most similar to its old self.

    • March says:

      Hey, is that where the name Jules comes from?:-? I wondered. I had some odd supposition based on “Jules and Jim,” although maybe that’s how they chose that name too.

    • pitbull friend says:

      Marie-Helene: Thanks so much for coming here & telling us the French story behind things. I really appreciate it! — Ellen

  • Tigs says:

    I adore the Ginger & Coconut, although I have to admit I spend a lot of time just sniffing the stick and not actually wearing it. I am increasingly wondering if the Encens Mystic I smelled in France was dried out, because it smelled of *nothing*. I don’t remember the Blue Orchidee or Musc & Patch, but I had very little time to sniff properly since my husband and good friend were looking disapprovingly at me (I was supposed to be buying baby bum wipes and it had been declared by the DH to be a perfume-free evening.) I have some Dans tes Bras arriving today. Oh, I’d also like to enter for some Jules, since I had to run into Sephora and very quickly spray only a strip with it, since DH refused to wait for me by that point!

    • March says:

      Tigs — you’ve raised several important points, and I wish my brain were working better (long drive home today.) First off, you highlight the drag of sniffing with non-perfume friends and family. Even if they say okay/agree up front, they don’t REALLY understand what they’re committing to. I end up self-consciously rearranging things to avert their boredom. Now I pretty much just say: no. I will go alone, meet you 4 hrs. later, whatever it takes. I feel their pain. Watching people try on shoes makes me want to strangle myself (with a pair of bootlaces?) after 20 minutes.

      Who cares about bum wipes! Pah! You could have put something pretty-smelling on princess’ bottom… also, do you think those things dry out? I wonder? I bet they do after awhile.

      • March says:

        PS Ooops. Did the ginger one smell curry-ish to you?

        • Tigs says:

          Yes, March, it actually smells exactly like curry – I’m just okay with that. I used to get very annoyed about people always, always, always saying “I like Indian food, but I don’t like to SMELL like it…” but I’ve gotten over that, I think. It’ll be Angela S., a bunch of brown people and me, wafting around in a cumin cloud of the new Femme. (Absolutely no disrespect. I’m a wannabe brown person. And don’t you like the new Femme, too?) I have to admit that I love cognac, almond cookies and rapberries and yet I have no desire to smell like them.

          • pitbull friend says:

            Hey, Tigs: Touche! In fact, I’m not sure I want to smell like any food any more. I have a couple of wonderful coffee scents from Sonoma Scent Studio and honeysuckle hollow on Ebay and I never wear them any more. I’m sure that I do often smell like curry because I’ve been standing over a pan of it. Hmmm.. come to think of it, I wonder whether there are any dry-ish masala type perfumes? I think it’s the “spices plus oil” that doesn’t appeal to me lately… –Ellen

          • Tigs says:

            Hey, Ellen and March, hope I didn’t offend you. I just got bored of all the cumin-phobes on MUA – seeing scents I liked trashed for even the mildest spicing and every thing that smelled like icing sugar praised as “wearable” (a slightly shivery word for me.) But, it’s true, you sometimes don’t want to smell foody – and definitely not oily!

          • pitbull friend says:

            Hey, Tigs: Offense not taken. I keep wondering on whom I can unload my excess fruity florals. I think a total of one would be dandy — the rest is excess. Alas, I wound up with two bottles of one of the recent Guerlain fruity florals (L’Amour?) because it was cheap & it was Guerlain. Cheap? Guerlain? Ummm, be afraid… Wonder whether I can donate some when I donate the suits that don’t fit me anymore to one of the programs that helps people get interview clothes? They might like to smell inoffensively expensive??? — Ellen

          • March says:

            Not at all! I was trying to decide if the “curry” was some sort of nose glitch on my part. I think our tolerances for foody scents can vary pretty widely and illogically. I am, in general, not a fan of fragrances that smell sweet-foody like cookies, or chocolate. I don’t consider it a “snob” thing — I’ve actually spent some time puzzling over my reaction — I certainly don’t find the fragrances unattractive. But with a few exceptions, those sorts of foody smells simply don’t appeal to me. I think discussing difficult foody smells is different, and I can see your frustration if, say, cumin is widely dismissed as too armpitty (or whatever) while everyone’s raving over chocolate and vanilla. Clearly I make exceptions to my rule for individual food-like smells: citrus, lemongrass, various herbs. Just don’t ask me to smell like a creme brulee.

  • Jennifer says:

    Add me to the drawing. I admit I really should be drawn to trying the incense and musk scents from this collection, but the truth is what is really catching my eye the Pineapple scent. Which is to blame on Pre de Provence’s Ananas soap which should you get a hold of it may make you want to eat your own soap and send you into a bizarre craving for pineapple fragrance.

    • pitbull friend says:

      Hey, Jennifer! Thanks for the tip! I have a pineapple-crazed friend who would just love that soap. I do wear L’Artisan Ananas Fizz when he’s around, but am sure he’d rather have the soap scenting himself and his house. — Ellen

    • March says:

      Pineapple…. I should like it better than I do as a fragrance. I love eating them, though. Ananas Fizz was a disappointment to me b/c I don’t get the Fizz part … sort of canned pineapple!:”>

      • Jennifer says:

        Pre de Provence’s Ananas soap is nowhere near the word canned, it smells like a fresh incredibly juicy pineapple, the light use of floral and green notes keeps it from going into the canned catagory and makes it well quite frankly spectacular. I don’t usually enjoy fruity scents but this one is literally mouthwatering.

        • March says:

          I like the Pre de Provence linden a lot, so I shouldn’t be surprised to like this one. Thanks!

  • Lesha says:

    Please count me in! 🙂

  • James Dotson says:

    I’ve always wanted to try Jules. Just got through with my Christopher Brosius interview and have been wearing his old leather and russian leather accords which are very subtle, very nice.

    • March says:

      Oooh! Is it up yet? It’ll be on Sniffa, right? I need to go look. Sorry, I’m a little out of it today, we just drove back from Spring Break… playing catch-up and all I want to play is Perfume!:d

  • Christine says:

    I’m not sure why it is, but I still have not tried the Shanghaijavas and at $16 a pop there insn’t really a reason not to.

    Please include me in the drawing for the Jules. Mama wants some leathery goodness. (That sounds vaguely S&M pornish, doesn’t it?)

    • March says:

      That does sound a bit dirty! But that’s okay. 😉 The Jules, to me, is very smooth.

  • pitbull friend says:

    Hey, March:
    My dogs had a great Easter. Each got his/her own long walk with plenty of personal attention & sniffy time. I’m sure they would have liked eggs, too, but there’s only so far I can go in treating them like people…

    I hadn’t yet tried any Shanghaijavas. Thanks for writing about them. It’s esp. useful to hear about the ginger & coconut one because I love those two notes, but definitely don’t want to wear curry.

    I have Karan’s Black Cashmere on today for the first time, and am surprised to say it smells an awful lot like Comme des Garcons Red series Carnation on me. Carnation is not in the notes. Anyone else get that?

    I’d love to be in the drawing for Jules, thanks.

    • March says:

      I’m not sure whether I had a universal experience with the Ginger in terms of the curry. You might want to read a few reviews elsewhere.

      • March says:

        PS Carnation? Really? 😕 You’re getting something a lot sweeter than I am, then. Mine’s fairly abrasive… in a good way.;)

  • Marina says:

    The Crazywatchamacallits sound lovely. Except for Litchi Blossom.

    Had much time egg hunting yesterday, March? If I see one more egg, I won’t be responsible for my actions. Oy.

    • March says:

      Litchi you would totally hate.

      The Easter Bunny came and *then* we went to the church egg hunt, which was fairly extensive, in bitterly cold weather with a stiff breeze. I think all the candy was frozen. If they’d done it a day earlier, they’d have been collecting the eggs in 1 inch of snow. Ugh. I am READY FOR SUMMER already. Harrumph.

  • katia says:

    Congratulations, your blog is amazing !
    I saw solid perfumes are 5 g sticks… How long 5g lasts ?
    Thank you !

    • March says:

      Katia — I spend awhile staring around, trying to find something to compare them with, size-wise. I guess the stuff inside is the equivalent of a couple of tubes of lipstick? In terms of how long they last — I am assuming you mean, before they run out. Since I have so many things to choose from, theoretically they could last forever.;) But I will say that, even with regular “family” use, they’re not noticeably smaller. I wonder if, over time (months?) they would dry out any. They have the texture of a glue stick, sort of.

  • Elle says:

    I really am impressed w/ these scents. Never thought I’d like solid scents, but they’re brilliant for the price and they’re great for layering as well as on their own.

    • March says:

      Elle — I’m not a big solid scent fan either. There’s something quality about these, in addition to the fun factor, that makes them very enjoyable.

  • Judith says:

    Well, I do like your two favorite Poppies, and I haven’t gotten around to trying the rest. Having smelled Jules in the past, I was moved by your review to get a mini off Ebay (for practically nothing); I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival!! Happy day-after-Easter!

    • March says:

      J — I’ll be curious what you think. Elle’s getting something like carnation and amber.

  • Solander says:

    Oh, include me, pretty please! I must try it after all I’ve heard…

  • chayaruchama says:

    I loved the Encens, and haven’t sniffed the Orchidee- though Ina had assured me it was up my alley.
    Now I think I might need to, lol !

    Hope Easter was good for you-
    Please add my weary body to your list…
    Thanks !

  • Lavanya says:

    The Encens Mystic sounds like something I should definitely try..(and most probably buy)..also the Musc and Patchouli..

    I’d love to be in the drawing for Jules(It sounded verry interesting in your previous review)

    • March says:

      Lavanya — I was surprised at the quality of these (I think as everyone else was.) And the portability appeals as well.

  • Gina says:

    I do love the Encens Mystic, absolutely. But you’ve intrigued me with the Musc & Patchouli…enough to make me buy it, and at 16. bucks if I hate it, it’s not an issue. I don’t think I will, though. Please do include me in the drawing for the Jules…it sounds amazing and I’d love to try it.

    • March says:

      Gina — The Musc & Patch is one of those go-to scents that never seems wrong, and it’s nice for layering with other things.

      You’re in!

  • Lee says:

    My bottle is an original dark brown glass splash, so who knows….

    • March says:

      Lee, yours definitely smells sort of more ornate and spicy at the opening, but the drydown is the same. For all I know, the bottle *I* got has turned a bit — mine is brown and I can’t see the juice either.