I´m still working on my fig testing for the next installment of Figmania! I am really disappointed not to be able to include the several (five?) Ava-Luxe fig scents, a couple of which were highly recommended. She´s taking a break (I pray not a permanent one) from perfumery, and is there anything like knowing you can´t have something to make you want it desperately? I wanted to try her Honey too, since I´ve been craving honey and people feel so strongly about it (love it/hate it).
Also, I got a little behind last week with the multiple posts; I think I´ve responded to everyone´s comments now, and thanks for your patience.
So, today´s post. What´s the deciding factor in whether I blog on a fragrance? Often it´s something that sticks out a little, something unexpected that grabs my attention. Here are two decidedly different takes on “sexy.”
Escada Collection – sweetlife sent me a sample (thanks!) to go in my honey post. I didn´t even know it existed; the most common set of notes I see listed is: mandarin, cola, jasmine, tuberose, sandalwood, tonka. I thought it was special enough to highlight it further. It smells sort of like honey. Or, like Vanilla Coke. Or a Coke float (made with vanilla ice cream.) It smells like tonka. Maybe a little soft woods and vanilla? With maybe some alcohol poured over the top? Or: cherry tobacco. Really, take your pick. What it doesn´t smell like is a big fat tuberose/jasmine bouquet. It´s creamy, gourmand rather than floral, but not really edible.
It´s in the vanilla/comfort scent category, and you people who are into vanilla/gourmand stuff seriously need to check it out. I´m fascinated by it. It´s a WYSIWYG scent – it´s one straight smell, and you either like it or you don´t. I´m not even that into this type of scent – I can really hate me some artificial vanillin-type-deal. But we´re not talking cake batter here; it´s actually sort of … weird, in a really friendly, cuddly way. I think it´s the cola-tonka combo, which suggests vanilla tobacco, spices and bootleg hootch all together, rather than a cupcake. The humorous part: I had a few dabs on the back of one hand, and during my errand running I had three different men tell me how delicious I smelled, one in a particularly friendly way. Which demonstrates: a) maybe this is stronger than I realized; b) the back of the hand is a great location for fragrance, since (unlike my neck) my hands tend to be more up in people´s faces; c) it is true that men think vanilla is sexy.
There are 104 reviews of Escada Collection on MakeupAlley (with high overall and re-buy ratings), so I guess maybe I am the last person to know about it. It´s the 1997/98 version and has apparently been discontinued; do the later versions in different LE bottles smell differently? (This is the one on the purple card). Someone chime in here and set me straight.
Versace Crystal Noir – notes I see most frequently are: gardenia, amber, orange blossom, peony, sandalwood, and musk, created for Donatella Versace, gardenia being allegedly her favorite flower. An SA who knows what I like chased me around with the tester; I’m glad she did, because I’m not sure when (or if) I’d have smelled it on my own. It´s essentially a truckload of amber with some peppered gardenia and a hint of woods. It´s strong, as you´d expect; I dab. If Escada Collection is subtly sexy, this is, uh, more direct — fragrance-wise, it´s saying, (in Italian) lay me down and take me right here, in front of the roaring fireplace!! Its lack of subtlety – the brazen, almost RuPaul obviousness of its proposition – is both humorous and part of its charm. So yes, I expected it to be “sexxxy.” I just didn´t expect it to be quite so wearable. It´s comforting, and I am not Your Queen of Amber. It´s as rich and satisfying as a glass of barolo after that liaison in front of the fireplace, and yet I´m perfectly capable of wearing it to Trader Joe´s, although I doubt that´s what Donatella had in mind.
image: RuPaul (reminding me a bit of Donatella), thebudgetfasionista.com