Three for Tuesday

Released by Christian Dior in 1995, and created by Pierre Bourdon, Dolce Vita has notes of rose, magnolia, muguet, apricot, peach, cinnamon, sandalwood, vanilla, and heliotrope.  There is something about the interplay of the fruity notes on the open that makes this start off feeling a little, well… smutty.  Like there are massive amounts of cumin in there, though it’s not listed as a note.  Attention, K-mart Fragrance Makers, this is what fruity floral should smell like.  Not sweet, but you can pick out the fruit easily.  The cinnamon lends spice, and the floral notes, vanilla and sandalwood smooth it out into a warm, woodsy scent, never taking it into foody at all.  Smooth, interesting and grown-up, Dolce Vita could be worn by  men or women. 

Guerlain Cuir Beluga has notes of mandarine, aldehydes, immortelle, leather, heliotrope, amber, and vanilla.  Don’t look for leather here, you’ll be very disappointed.  You will find a creamy, lovely, cooly interesting scent.  Without the immortelle, I think this scent would tend to bland, but the immortelle gives it enough play so the chocolatey creaminess becomes addictive, but never warmed up.   It is the creamy white flower that blooms in the shade, releasing its perfume only for itself, never caring whether it is beautiful to others.

Strange Invisible Perfumes Vine has notes of  osmanthus, lavender, grapefruit and black currant.  Its inspiration was the Greek Myth of Persephone whose appetite for pomegranate seeds kept her in Hades for half of the year.   It’s an almost sweet green open, which lasts for just a few mintues before the grapefruit and lavender show up to give it a tart almost minty floral feel, all the while Satan is running around beneath it laughing.  Not listed, there’s a deep, dark animalic character that permeates this entire concoction.  If you think Vine is about green… think again. It is the vine that wraps around your leg in the night and pulls you down to the forest floor, caressing you as it overpowers you – but do you want to fight it?  This is one of my favorite SIPs, but it’s not easy to wear or appreciate, and I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner.  Save it for when you’re feeling more confident and want a walk on the wild side.

On a personal note, my youngest son has picked his college, yeah!!!  Now we start the rest of the long grind doing all those collegy things, and in a few short months I’ll be an empty nester.  That fills me with a melancholy that this part of my life is almost over and a new part is about to begin.  Once we take our family trip to Europe this summer, I’ll need suggestions for what in the world do I do with a big old house empty of kids?

  • violetnoir says:

    How exciting for your young man and your family. Well done, Mom! 😡

    Well, I can give you 1/2 an input, P, because my nest is only 1/2 empty, and I have seven more years to go before it is fully empty. (What were we thinking when we planned our family?…I’m getting too old for fifth grade!!) Anywho, when the nest is wholly empty, I think we’ll run around nekkid and do the bugaloo. How does that sound? 😉

    Hugs and love!

    • Patty says:

      I can’t imagine! There’s a part of me so darn relieved to have what is such a hard job almost over — that constant tending, watering, feeding. But the other part of me really loved it.

      I think that’s an excellent plan. xoxoxo

  • Malena says:

    thank you for clarifying – so no “real mint” thank goodness #:-s
    i can see what you mean with the minty feel of lavender. i never thought of it thta way, but yes, it makes sense 🙂

    – you could get a little pig to make the zoo complete – i just adore these teensy pigs *squeek* :@) (yeah, i can imagine i might be in the minority :”> ), but perhaps they are more apropriate for living in the garden 😡

  • March says:

    I’m moving in. Don’t make any further plans for the room. Beyond cleaning it first. 😉 Hmmmm, wonder what’s in there?

    Dolce Vita is such a great scent. I was just sniffing it the other day, thinking it’s underappreciated. That’s an interesting bit of info about its relationship to FdeB.

    • Patty says:

      Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I will clean it up before you get here and move all the science experiments/project out, the ones that I don’t have to have fumigated.

      DV was one of Dior’s good ’90s scents. The FdB connection didn’t surprise me once you hear it, you think… well, yeah! 🙂

      • March says:

        Although … I’m with you. To/on me it seemed *more* fruity, not less, right? Right? And now with this additional cumin-bomb info …. hmmmmm. Nobody likes cumin more than I do. I may have to do another one of those leg-soakers. :d Just so I can really feel the love.

        Maybe this time I’ll shave first, or do you think that interferes with the aroma?

  • Sylvia Scarlett says:

    (sorry for the repeat comment, just found this)

    According to Luca Turin, Dolce Vita actually started life as one of Pierre Bourdon’s samples for Feminite du Bois!

    (BTW am I the only one just dying fo his book to come out?)

    • Patty says:

      I had heard that. While I see a nodding acquantance between the two and can see the relationship, the finished product is pretty different from each other, but has the same feel.

      I’m atwitter waiting for that book too. 🙂

    • Debbie says:

      That sounds like a fantastic book! I wish it were out already.

    • Joan says:

      Thanks Sylvia for that link. I put his new guide on pre-order at Amazon. It is due out on April 10th and I am also twittering with expectation!

    • Kim says:

      oooh – that book looks great! Will have to try Dolce Vita since I love FdB and Un Bois Vanille, both enough to buy a bottle, and love how they are variations on a theme.

  • Sylvia Scarlett says:

    I recently fell in love with Feminite du Bois (smelled it a week ago, bought it three days later) and having read of its similarity with Dolce Vita, I sampled Dolce Vita too. I can definitely feel the common ground, but Dolce Vita feels sweeter to me, FdB woodier. My grandmother wore Dolce Vita for many years.

    • Patty says:

      I think that’s a good dividing line between the two, though DV isn’t that sweet on me or that woody, it’s a pretty great blend of all the things I loved about FdB without some of the stuff I didn’t like so much. 🙂

  • Malena says:

    vine smells minty? – oh no :(( i so hate mint!
    can´t say anything about dolce vita as i have never smelled it (but lots of cumin sounds good!) but love the cuir beluga. not as much as angélique noire, but enough to own a bottle 🙂

    i don´t have any kids, but if i had a big empty house i´d have more pets. oh, that would be a dream come true – a house full of pets – just let me know if you want to move into a smaller one :d

    • Debbie says:

      Wait, don’t panic. We need to find out if it smells obviously of mint, a scent I don’t like either. However, I was talking to NM last night about one of his fragrances, Midnight Star. This is a beautiful scent that was like sparkling champagne on my skin, complete with the crystal and being held up to the light. Imagine my surprise when I found out it had not only mint, but linden blossom (ick). He said it wasn’t a question of the individual notes, but the way it is combined with the other notes. All the sparkle was due to the aldehydes, another thing I thought I hated. Well, there you go.

      So, Patty, we need to know: can you smell the mint in this? Or is it blended beyond individual recognition?

      • Malena says:

        oh no, debbie, now you caused another lemming – midnight star is one of the few NM scents i haven´t a sample of, yet.
        but your description makes me want to test it really badly – mint & linden blossom are notes i´m really NOT fond of, but aldehydes work for me – most of the time that is – & sparkling is something i feel i need at the moment: something joyful & happy 🙂

    • Patty says:

      No, no, not THAT kind of minty, just that minty feel I connect to lavender. Does that make sense? It doesn’t last long, trust me. 🙂

      We have a bazillion pets!! Three cats, a dog that takes up the space of three, it’s a veritable zoo around here to begin with

      • erin k. says:

        i get that minty feel with lavender, too, and oddly, the first time i really noticed it was Le Maroc Pour Elle. all i could smell was minty lavender and some strange, thick to the point of being chewy, flower. i wondered if i had the wrong sample, cause it was nothing like any of the reviews i read. no rose or anything, it was pretty much just lavender all the way through, and i don’t like lavender.

        so, of course, i tried it again. :d still thick, minty lavender. makes me wonder if he’s using some sort of natural flower materials that i’ve never smelled before, and so i just don’t know what i’m smelling.

        8-x

  • Joan says:

    I read a story that on the front lawn of a 7 bedroom 5 bath Tudor in N.J. where there were 3 graduating high school seniors (triplets)- there were two signs… “Congratulations Brad, Blane and Brittany” and “For Sale”! Don’t worry, they always come back.

    • Patty says:

      Well, our house isn’t that big!! 🙂 I’m pretty sure I can find lots of ways to use it, it just will be less people. I grew up in a big family, so having just two people in a house seems… well, weird!

  • Debbie says:

    What with your description of SIP Vine and Perfumequeen’s imagery of the movie Evil Dead, I’ll put this on my to-sample list….

    Okay, have I got the deal for you. Maybe you don’t want any of us moving in permanently (or until you kick us out). Maybe you could have a rotating internship! :d We could come and spend a couple weeks helping you decant! How about that idea?

    If you say no to that, the idea of pets really is a great one.

    • Patty says:

      It really is dark. Given your fondness for the darker Neil Morris things, I think you would like Vine.

      I’m game for that!!! I NEED the help!!!! Will feed you, too. It may be takeout, but food nonethless. We have a food delivery service on speed dial. 🙂

      • Malena says:

        i´d like to join as well 🙂
        to tell you the truth, i hate decanting 8-| but i´ve never been to the U.S. so taht would be a good oportunity:
        first i´ll go to NY, then to portland (-> private reserve)& finally i´ll come to help decant – do you have some indian food delivery service nearby :d ?

  • Masha says:

    Dolce Vita and FdB do smell similar, but the cumin is very intense in DV and so if that note turns way ugly on you, go for FdB, which is cumin-free.
    I love the idea of a sniff’n-tearoom! You could be like Mme. de Pompadour, only with perfumes instead of literature!

    • Patty says:

      Okay, this idea has some merit. 🙂

      So there is cumin in DV? I mean, I smelled it, but it’s not listed. Yes, it’s much more fierce in that way that FdB, which I find just too fruity wood to wear often, though I admire it.

      • March says:

        Okay … so I was mixed up, you guys are saying DV is LESS fruit than FdB, and a big cumin bomb.

        Definitely doing the unshaved leg test drive then.

        I’ll call you from the holding cell, ‘kay? 8-|

  • Kelly says:

    Fear not, my dear! I’ll just send you a couple of mine! 😀

  • donanicola says:

    It’s been a long time since I sniffed Dolce Vita (what a fab name!) but you have inspired me to do so again the next time I get the chance. Not mad keen on heliotrope but it doesn’t always spell The End for me and I rather like what P. Bourdon does. And speaking of heliotrope not putting the knockers on – I like Cuir Beluga when I can smell it. Its another I need to re-test but first time it was very faint which was a shame. Love the sound of that Vine especially if lavender isn’t prominent? As for the empty nest, I like Divalano’s idea but whatever you do the best of luck to you and yours in the adjustment process.

    • Patty says:

      Lavender is not prominent in Vine. It lasts for a little while early on, but not strong, and then it blends into that earthy blend and just seems to belong completely.

      I think all of the Matieres have an ethereal quality about them, and I get a better sense of them breezing through a room with them on than just sniffing at my wrist. It’s weird, it’s their sillage for me that makes them. sniffing them up close doesn’t do it as much.

  • Billy D says:

    Where is your son going? God willing, I’ll finally be graduating in May, I can’t wait to be done! That being said, freshman year was the most fun I had here.

    • Lee says:

      I still owe you some writing don’t I b? Am I too late?:o

      • Billy D says:

        NOT AT ALL! I’d do anything to get some of your writing in this project!! And I do mean anything:”> Ugh, is it wrong that I go there so easily?

    • Patty says:

      He decided on CU at Colorado Springs. There was a lot he liked about Boulder – mostly the lots and lots of pretty girls – but decided that since he comes from a small private school, the smaller campus of Colorado Springs will fit him. Plus one of his band members lives down there, so they can practive more often, and someone he works with goes there too, so he’ll know at least one person. I think it’s a really good fit for him, though I think he would have done well at either campus.

  • Elle says:

    Love Dolce Vita, especially the parfum version and, after getting over my initial bitterness over the false promise in the name, have come to adore Cuir Beluga. But Vine is my favorite of these three. *Adore* it and was shocked to be reminded it had grapefruit and lavender in it – two red flag notes for me. Very rarely do I truly love scents w/ them in it, but Alexandra does something magical w/ them and transmutes them into dark wonders. I get mostly *very* dark, rich fruity notes from this scent. The main thing I get is an extremely clear sense of the color of burgundy wine. Put some on earlier when I first read your review and am now in total purr mode.
    An empty room? More space for perfumes!

    • Patty says:

      Vine is a wonder. I truly was not expecting to like it with the notes it had, but the way they are blended makes it much more than a sum of its parts. The open wa sa little gobin-daudey, so it surprised me when it headed off in the direction it did. Just beautifull done. BTW, I did get some of the Lady Day and the Heroine (?) coming, so I’m excited to try those two too. I really did NOT need a whole other line to love.

      • erin k. says:

        Vine sounds incredible. i haven’t tried any of the SIPs yet, but i got a sample of Black Rosette yesterday, and i’m going to try it soon – can’t wait!

        so Lady Day is still available? i had read that it was discontinued, or renamed, or something. guess not – which is great, because it sounded wonderful to me, too. can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it.

        8-x

        • Patty says:

          It shows up as Untitled on their website, but if you e-mail them, you can definitely get it.

        • erin k. says:

          holy sh1t! i just put on Black Rosette – spearmint and turpentine and tea leaves picked by slave demons and boiled over hellfire!!! what is wrong with me that i like this?!??!?

          must.try.more.SIPs.

          8-x

  • MattS says:

    Do you need a houseboy? I’m not really neat or tidy, but we could make mimosas and watch dvds of The Muppet Show and I could help you decant. After a while, you’d be ready for an empty nest.
    :d

    • Patty says:

      Lord, Yes, when can you move in? I desperately need someone to decant for me and just haven’t had the time to go find someone I can trust to hire that I won’t mind having around the house all day! I’m just struggling to keep up with that, with my other full-time job, the kids, writing for the blog. I’m just drowing in a time lack these days.

    • erin k. says:

      i’ll do ALL your decanting if i get to “help” MattS watch the muppet show and drink mimosas!

      8-x

  • Louise says:

    Like Gail, my mother wore Dolce Vita a lot (along with Fendi, Anais Anais, and long ago, White Shoulders). I haven’t smelled it recently, but even the bottle is filled with all types of memories. I think I may be ready to give a try.

    Cuir Beluga is lovely, and as you might guess, very light on me. I have yet to small the Vine. Sounds a little frightening.

    Big congratulations on your son’s decision. It’s a lot harder for kids to sort it all out these day-many more choices, much more competition. In my case, my son made the seperation easier by being miserable and odious the last few months. My greatest pleasure is in seeing him mature so much now, and his being so very happy and successful away from us. I use my “extra” time to focus more on me (gym, blogs, and of course sniffing) and especially friends. Still, it’s a big, bittersweet adjustment.

    As for the empty nest-

    • Louise says:

      ‘scuse the raggedy last line…I answered it right above :”>

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, my oldest son did me the favor of being just a horror before he left home the first time, so by the time he took off with his stuff, I was leaping for joy. Now he’s been back temporarily, about ready to take off again, and he’s so easy to have around again, I’ll miss him being her.

      The youngest has always been one of “those kids.” The ones that you just want to keep around forever because they are good and kind and fun and have very few displays of temper or parental pique.

  • Lee says:

    Love Maria’s and hauvonstone’s idea!

    Now, does Dolce vita smell like Feminite du Bois? I’ve heard it does.

    You twinkle my toes!
    😡

    • Patty says:

      I like that idea too!

      They are a little alike in feel, but I found FdB to be much fruitier than DV, though I’ve noted others feel the opposite. Perhhaps it’s just what gets played up on the skin?

    • erin k. says:

      i remember reading in a Chandler Burr review that Dolce Vita was one of Pierre Bourdon’s sketches for Feminite, which is why i’ve got Dolce on my list to try. i adore FdB. i think the similarity is supposed to be the woody-fruity structure using methyl ionone. (and yes, i’m a geek – i took notes on that when i read it!)

      FdB was one of the first perfumes i tried upon entering my perfume obsession, and it totally blew me away. cedar perfection!

      8-x

      • erin k. says:

        whoops! didn’t read all the way down to sylvia scarlett’s comment, and yeah, it’s luca turin. can’t find a good emoticon for “i messed up,” so i’m gonna use the cute alien. >-)

        8-x

  • Maria says:

    Congratulations to your son for having made this important decision. I hope he’ll be just the right distance from you.

    Naturally, the suggestion that popped into my mind immediately was “Get more dogs!” But then I started having selfish thoughts. What about starting, not a bed-and-breakfast, but a sniff-and-tea. Groups could pay to spend an afternoon or evening at your house sniffing fragrances and discussing perfume. They’d be shown into the sanctum sanctorum! Maybe Posse readers could get special rates?
    😉 Just dreaming.

    • Patty says:

      It is! It’s about an hour and a half, so far enough that he’ll be away, but not so far that he can’t get home easily.

      Hmmm, but that’s always available! Any time anyone is in Denver, let me know! I don’t want to get too wild on here throwing my home open to everyone that reads, but definitely any regular commenter is always welcome for a cup of tea, some sniffing and a bed!

  • hausvonstone says:

    Empty house? Start a perfume museum/research center/smell-o-rama!

  • Kim says:

    With Cuir Beluga, I actually get a fair amount of leather on my skin – very softly, but definitely there. Sylvaine Delacourte talks about it and other Guerlains – with English subtitles, click “Past and Future of Guerlain” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj6zJHDAyx4&feature=related
    (also liked the interview with Jean-Paul Guerlain).

    But my favourites from L’Art et la Matiere are Angelique Noire and Rose Barbare – they are just heaven on my skin. 😡
    I am fast becoming a Guerlain addict!

    An empty house? Hmmm … a whole room for perfume?

    • Patty says:

      You really get leather? It’s whisper soft on me, and I can’t even classify it as a leather scent. The whole matiere series just blows me away collectively. As they add each scent, I get more impressed with what they are doing.

      I already have a room full of perfume!!! I am thinking of remodeling the kitchen and redoing our master bath, which would require me taking the loft that’s in Harry’s room for the master bath expansion. 🙂

      • Kim says:

        actually, yeah, I definitely get leather! Not as much as something like Chenal’s Cuir Russie, closer to Hermes Caleche lightness – although totally different surroundings and so nice and soft.
        I agree, the whole matiere series is impressieve – even Iris Ganache, which is really, really awful on my skin, but I can see how others might like it.
        Definitely go for the remodel – I am soooo happy that I did, even despite the headaches and hassles. I love being in my kitchen now!

  • tmp00 says:

    Suggestions? We’ll all move in! :d

  • Gail S says:

    Well, I got more dogs :d And then the kid came back, with the dog she had acquired. Now I have the kid and lots of dogs too!

    Now, for perfume…Dolce Vita is my mom’s favorite perfume. Well, actually I’m not sure it’s her absolute favorite, but it’s my Dad’s so it’s the one she wears the most often. So I don’t wear it myself even though I love the way it smells. The Sandalwood Vanilla home fragrance oil at B&BW smells remarkably similar so when I’m feeling nostalgic, I light it up and the whole house smells like Mom! In my mind, Mom equates to a clean house, so it kind of lends that calm “my house is clean” smug feeling.

    • erin k. says:

      yep, get ready for the kids to come back, that’s what i did to my parents several years ago.

      if i had been into perfume then, just think how many bottles i could’ve bought while i wasn’t paying rent? hmm, maybe they’ll take me back again… >:)

      8-x

      • Patty says:

        Well, you could try it! My cousin in Paris laments that she worked forever to get out of her parents’ house and now all she wants to do is go back.:)

    • Patty says:

      I’m anticipating them coming back. I have one back right now for another month or so, and then he’s back out again. I’m more okay with them being back than I should be. 🙂

  • What to do with a big ol’ house devoid of kids? Rent out the rooms so they won’t come back. Then fly to Paris and lie in wait for Serge or Sheldrake and plant a big wet kiss on them! Write a book about it. You’ve got a life to live and no one to behave for! Celebrate.
    At last! I bought my first motorcycle at 50 and haven’t regretted a single day.

  • perfumequeen says:

    suggestions? buy more perfume? I’m at the very begining of my kid career and won’t even let myself contemplate the joys, I mean pains of an empty nest 😉

    Vine… I loved the description you gave. Did you ever see the movie “Evil Dead” the vine grabbing your leg and then having it’s way with you as it does in the movie is the image you give me here. Great!

    • erin k. says:

      ah, evil dead, a favorite movie of mine.
      just don’t chop off the hand that sprayed the perfume …

      8-x

    • Patty says:

      yeah, seen Evil Dead I think or is that ARmy of Darkness? One of them is a cult fave.

      Enjoy your little ones, the time goes faster than you think it will. As much as I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life, that should have a lot more travel in it, I’m going to miss them around here daily torturing me as only teenage boys can.

      • erin k. says:

        both are, but mostly “evil dead” – “army of darkness” was where he had the chainsaw on his arm and went into the past.
        8-x 8-x 8-x

        • Patty says:

          So from the same series? My husband made me watch them all, and of course he re-watches them with the same intensity as I watch Pride And Prejudice, so who am I to judge? They were pretty fun, though.

          • Tigs / Erin says:

            Evil Dead: the Musical! is pretty much the hottest ticket in Toronto right now. (Except, of course, for the sold-out “Backyardigans Live On Stage”, which I am attending with my Pablo-the-penguin-obsessed toddler this week.)

  • Divalano says:

    I’ve worn one Guerlain that makes me feel like me, SDV. Cuir Beluga just might be number two. I sniffed it on a lovely lady’s wrist at a perfume workshop recently & on her it was just as you describe. On the ever growing wishlist it goes …

    If I had a big old house empty of kids … I have no kids, if I had a big house it would be empty of them … I’d fill it with weekend guests as often as I could manage & spend the weekend going to farmer’s markets & ethnic food shops together, cooking for each other, maybe going hiking a little to work it off in the afternoon & watching old movies at night. There would be a requisite big table & comfy living room with places for sprawling. There would be cats & my beloved SO to share it with me.

    Also … a few chosen pieces of elegant, stylish furniture that beautiful, interesting looking women (& men sometimes) could inhabit for photo taking, right where the windows threw soft light on them. I would have an entire big house living breathing photo set.

    I’d fill it with food, friends, love & beauty 🙂 Congrats on your son’s college picking!

    • Patty says:

      Good ideas! I’m so homey, I need everything for comfort. It’s just going to feel weird. I’ve had a house full of boys for half of my life.