More Comfort Scents

Today´s post evolved from my most recent fragrance acquisition, a swap on MUA that (small world) turned out to be with a Gail, a blog regular. Gail shares my fondness for comfort scents and included several interesting things in her package, which got me headed in a new direction.

Yves Rocher Neonatura Cocoon – okay, I see what appeals. I really do. But this is two or three tiny baby steps too far in the direction of Angel to delight me – I really bring the patch out. It is, to be sure, a much quieter, more streamlined composition of chocolate, vanilla and patch, and any of you who love that cocoa-patch dynamic should check it out.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (DSH) – the focus of the rest of today´s post. The DSH line is enormous. How enormous? The reviews of her scents on MUA go on for 21 pages at 15 fragrances per page. You do the math; it´s crazy, right? Going on her website is so overwhelming I never end up ordering anything. The company´s based in Boulder, and a lot (all?) of the scents come with ancillary bath/body products. Thus, many of the scents are of the attractive-but-not-earth-shatteringly-complex type you might like in a body lotion. I can´t speak to the breadth of DSH styles – she does dupes and vintage type scents, and various “inspired by” fragrances. I have also read that she knows her way around roses.

To my nose, something she does really well is a particular style of comfort scent. Pick some combo of: woods, incense, vanilla or clean musk, spices, rice steam, subtle florals … you get the picture. Her gourmand, woods and spice scents have a wearable seamlessness to them. They are not particularly sweet, and they are not “foody” – even her highly popular Café Noir, while smelling very much of coffee, isn´t something you´d want to drink. The equally wonderful Cimabue, a riff on L’Artisan’s Safran Troublant, is chock full of spices, but you wouldn’t mistake it for something to eat. Anyhoo, here are some comfort scents from her line, which I am enjoying right now as chilly, blustery weather will not loosen its freaking grip in my neck of the (still leafless) woods…

Blond Suede. Bergamot, spice notes, violet, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, hay absolute, orris, amber, castoreum, honey, leather, sandalwood. There is exactly one review of this on MUA, and I ask you – where the heck are the other 85?!? This stuff is great. From the website: “While most leather scents are deep and overtly’ animalic’, Blond Suede is wonderfully light and subtly textured.” Blond Suede is a reasonable facsimile of suede; there´s that light buttery leather-goods note, and the faint tinge of pepper to give you the texture. But the beauty of the scent from my perspective is the other note that sneaks in a few minutes later — a dead ringer for the divine maple-hay-curry goodness of immortelle. I have no idea whether DSH was aiming for immortelle, or maybe it´s a trick of some combination of the honey, hay and spice notes, but why quibble about perfection? Blond Suede is, essentially, gentle spices, suede and immortelle – soft, velvety and comforting.

St. Valentine. Bergamot, nutmeg, Parma violet, Bulgarian rose, centifolia rose, raspberry, tea rose, amber, Bourbon vanilla, dark chocolate, French vanilla. This smells like a softer, incense-free, easier-to-wear version of S-Perfume´s 100% Love. Mostly chocolate, vanilla, roses and a pinch of violet. Having overdosed awhile ago on 100% Love, this wasn´t pure love for me, but the husband, two friends, and the girls adored it.

Mahjoun. Bitter almond, cardamom, cherry blossom, lavender, lemon, sweet orange, Bulgarian rose, fig, hazelnut, honey, nutmeg, orange blossom, sugar date, amber, Atlas cedarwood, cinnamon bark, clove bud, frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh. Comfort scent par excellence. I´d compare it to Chergui (okay, okay, minus Serge´s special je ne sais quoi sauce), only the drydown´s deeper and missing the honeyed amber sweetness of Chergui that sometimes makes me feel a bit ill. Much less sweet and smoother than you might gather from that list of notes; darkly spicy but restrained about it. Layers beautifully with …

Sienna. Cinnamon leaf, curry leaf, pink peppercorn, basmati, cinnamon bark, honey, white oak, civet, labdanum, leather, peru balsam, tolu balsam. This gets dissed as “not enough” on the boards, and I´d say that´s part of its charm. It´s a subtle scent, I grant you. It´s the level of subtlety you reach for when you want your scent to be discreet; the cinnamon is not blasting up your nose, and the rest is a faintly spicy resinous scent. Sometimes that is precisely what I want. Layers beautifully with Blond Suede, giving it a subtly sweet cinnamon/spice kick.

Having tried these, here is the list of ones I really want to try next: Chai Tea, Gingembre, Prana, Au Lait, Ceylon, Tamarind/Paprika, Lumiere, Poivre, Indochine, and Piment/Chocolate. Note the mellow, gourmand theme there. If you´ve tried any of those or any of the other DSH line and would like to comment, or add to my list, please do so.

On another subject: We (and you) do a fair amount of grumbling on this blog about how we wish fragrance came in smaller sizes. I was in Sephora recently when I noticed the limited edition set of Kenzo Amour bottles (below), which – come on! – are the cutest things – I think 3″ – 4″ tall? (Guessing.)  When looking for a photo on their website, I see they now have a two sections (airplane-friendly and petite) devoted to smaller sized bottles or bottle sets.

Granted, this is generally mass-market stuff — what is Sephora if not mass market? But I´d love a little bottle of the Omnia Crystalline, those Kenzos, and some others. I think this is a great marketing strategy by Sephora; on average their consumers are younger and less well-heeled than those at, say, Nordstrom, and they´re probably more likely to buy a $35 fragrance than a $70 one. Or they´ll do what I´d do – spend the $70 and get two fragrances. I also like the small bottles because they´re easy to throw in a purse or a travel bag. My (perhaps completely meritless) hope is other retailers notice the small bottles sell and try to work something similar out with their own inventory.

chai tea image: everythingcoffee-tea.com; Kenzo Amour, Sephora.com

  • Elle says:

    Late, but had to chime in and say how much I love the scents in the Rouges series of her Beaux Arts line (which I think, in general, has a number of extremely lovely scents). She really does do roses beautifully and you’re right – has a way w/ gourmands. Au Lait is *so* not what I would have ever thought I’d like, but…I love it. Uber comforting. Layers well w/ Chai Tea. Also find Mahjoun, Piment et Chocolat, Marzipan and Cimabue to be extremely well done comfort scents. Have actually finished a bottle of PeC and had to repurchase – extraordinarily rare for me. Wore Tamarind/Paprika a great deal during December – seemed like an excellent holiday scent. She also does well w/ floral bouquets – Essenza dell’Ibisco, Giardini Segreti and Gelsomino are all lovely. I know you don’t love cedar, but, if you did, Hinoki is beyond brilliant and layers wonderfully w/ a variety of scents. Can’t believe I haven’t tried Blond Suede. Am off to place a sample order. I wish to God she’d get a good marketing person who would convince her to edit her line. Or just sell the Essence line somewhere separately – there are just TOO many and the quality is not comparable to her Beaux Arts scents. I think she’s a superb perfumer w/ tremendous potential, but puts out too many sketches/drafts side by side w/ her masterpieces. Confusing and diminishes the appreciation of the masterpieces.

    • March says:

      Yay, Scent Twin checking in? I wondered about marzipan, I love it as a food — not too sweet in the perfume? And do you get the Play-Doh thing, which is what I get from almond and some heliotrope (like L’Artisan Jour de Fete)? Don’t care for that either.

      I too agree she could use some judicious editing. Or if not, some different organizing. I find it frustrating to pick through everything.

      I’m looking forward to trying a bunch more things. By the way, I just tried her La Fete Nouvelle, which I’m wondering is her takeoff on Lour de Fete? But it’s delicious — kind of bread, hay, vanilla and some faint sweetness that is NOT Play-doh, it’s really nice and I can see it transitioning into spring — less winter/spices than the others.

      • Elle says:

        In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I only wear Marzipan layered w/ sandalwood scents or w/ her Hinoki. 🙂 It’s a bit too sweet for me otherwise, but, still a great comfort scent. Marzipan is one of the very few sweets I enjoy eating and is one of my only great food memories from childhood, so that predisposes me to liking it in a scent. Yep, Fete Nouvelle is her interpretation of the Jour de Fete theme.

        • March says:

          Yes! Did you eat a marzipan :@) ? I am the only person I know who actually *eats* marzipan, rather than viewing it as some sort of novelty. Layered with Hinoki sounds lovely.

          DSH Fete is way nicer on me than L’ARtisan, which is horrid.

    • Debbie says:

      The Beaux Arts *are* completely separate from the Essences. The only real problem, as I see it, is that the essences contain both the masterpieces along with sketches and single notes. Beyond that, the whole thing is easily solved by taking one section at a time: look at just the Beaux Arts. Look at just the gourmands in the Essences, etc., and accept the fact that you won’t be sampling everything at once. Once I did that, it became very simple.

      You know y’all have added *five* to my must-sample list, and I just placed a huge order. :-w 🙂

      • March says:

        He heh heh, glad to be of service.

        And you’re right — I’m always telling people, just jump right in! So who am I to be overwhelmed? But it is nice to focus on one type of scent, as you point out. I also like to sample them that way because I like to compare them to each other.

  • Louise says:

    er, two.>:/

  • Patty says:

    Agree on DSH — she does some types of scents really great, though I’m just not a fan of Cimabue and those, but love the pepper ones she does. But there are a whole raft of scents she does that are just… well, boring. 🙂

    • March says:

      Hon, goes without saying. I mean, if she’s got … (pause for calculator break, 21 x 15 = somebignumber) then x amount have got to be a snooze, right? :)>-

      But some of those spicy, woody, creamy ones, yum. I think you should check out some of her roses, everyone on MUA raves about the rose ones.

  • Deirdre says:

    Having just been exposed to the world of decanting, I feel like my perfume universe just grew by leaps and bounds! As soon as my first batch arrives, my friends and I are holding a little smelling party. So here’s my question…at an appropriately appointed dinner, one cleanses the palate between courses. Is there something similar to do between different scents? I always heard after 3 different smells, your nose couldn’t tell the difference. Our perfume party is going to focus on Chanel’s Les Exclusifs. thanks!

    • Debbie says:

      Yes. The only chic perfume store that this town has ever had…wait, I’m starting to vent. Use coffee beans in mesh-net fabric, tied with a little ribbon on the top. If you smell these between scents, you will be amazed. I learned it at the above store.

      • Deirdre says:

        Debbie, thanks so much! And your vents are always welcome. Our little scent club is going to work our way through the Perfume 101 and 201 suggestions. We’re so glad you guys are here!

        thanks again!

    • March says:

      What a great idea! I do think nose fatigue sets in … I mean, after awhile I can’t smell anything. And if I really want nuance I sniff something fresh, first thing in the morning. But sniff away! Coffee beans are good. I’m trying to think … I might work from lighter to heavier. Have you researched/test driven them? Like, I might leave Coromandel and 31RC for later, and do 28 Earlier, then maybe Bel Respiro, and isn’t there a cologne one? Missing some in my head 🙂

  • Dusan says:

    That Mahjoung (?) sounds delish Рgotta work me some decant. My comfie scent lately has been H̩ritage Рplush woods, spices and vanilla, yum!

    • March says:

      Heritage — you know, I have smelled that on a man several times now, and it is phenomenal. But on me, wah! I kill off all the sweet vanilla, it’s too masculine on me. I mean, not ridiculous, but I wish it smelled more like it does on other, more normal people. 😉

  • Robin says:

    I liked Mahjoun, and now I want to try Sienna. And Cafe Noir I had not even heard of, is it great?

    But gosh, I can hardly stand to go to the DSH website — I just go into overload.

    • Debbie says:

      Yes, Cafe Noir is that great, assuming that you love coffee fragrances. It is dark coffee at the beginning (not the intense espresso in NM’s Cafe) and then goes into a sweetened coffee. No milk or cream in this one.

    • March says:

      I’m trying to compare it mentally with Ava Luxe’s (which I think is identically named?) I think the Ava Luxe is a more straightforward coffee. To my nose (but I no longer have the sample) the DSH was a little more complex — darker, a touch of woods, maybe some benzoin? A little more idealized. But really, really nice.

  • Tigs / Erin says:

    I have been lemming samples of Cimabue and Tamarind/Paprika for some time and I’ve been wanting to try that blasted Piment et Chocolat or whatever since Robin first reviewed it on NST many, many moons ago. The latter seems like what Piment Brulant should have been (even though I like PB a lot for what it is. Who doesn’t want to smell like a red bell pepper?) But then Patty said the P & C really was a chocolate fragrance, which has been confirmed by a number of other people, and the Tamarind didn’t sound Tamarindy enough, more like a spicy orange pomander and so I keep adding and removing the DSH from my wishlist at the Perfumed Court. Clearly, one of these days I need to bite the bullet and order these dern things…

    • March says:

      I think I’m just gonna throw some money at it and see what sticks. It’s hard to know on some of them (or scents in general, really). Often I read a review and the part that’s a “complaint” is the part I like! Or, someone else gets all the rose and I get all the chocolate, etc. I feel like the best unsniffed guides are people who seem to like mostly the same fragrances in a type/family, but even that fails. Gail and I share these comfort scents, but it turns out she hates Kenzo Amour and Flower Oriental, both of which I love. This is why I hate buying bottles unsniffed!

  • Divalano says:

    We’re all about the chilly gray here in NYC today, I’m with you on the comfort scents. But, it won’t be DSH. I got about 7 or 8 in a swap & even though they were chock full of notes that should have worked for me, they all hit me wrong, made me sneeze &/or scrub. I think that line is just not for me.

    Smaller bottles … yes. Yes, yes, yes. Please, yes. Nice little 15 ml bottles or even smaller. Even at premium prices, prices that come out to more per ml than if I got the grande 100 ml size. Please. Small, cute, easy to travel with, use up-able, pretty little bottles. Thanx.

    • March says:

      I love those little bottles. I wish more manufacturers would wise up. But my guess is they’d argue they’re too expensive to produce, and maybe they’re right. I swapped Gail for one of those little Mure et Musc bottles (three in a set), I wish they made all L’Artisans like that.

      Sounds like the DSH line ain’t your thing. I have tried a line or three where I thought, nope, this is not going to work out.

  • Gail S says:

    :”>

    • Gail S says:

      Huh? Don’t know what the heck happened there – was supposed to be a blushing emoticon for Rosarita up there!

      • March says:

        I think our emoticons have lost their minds. Maybe the fumes are getting to them?

        One tip: if your emoticon is adjacent to punctuation, that can mess things up. I try if I remember to put a space on both sides of an emoticon, but even that’s not foolproof.

        • Musette says:

          I thing they’re just cranky today – I was trying to use the little cheery one (the one to the right of the crying one) but Grinner decided he was Da Man….and barged his big, toothy self right on in there.

          Oh, well. Can’t fight the Emoticons

          :d/

  • sweetlife says:

    Hey, look at that — a review of Cimabue right there in the comments along with your other delicious dishes on DSH, March. And I am a (dark) rose lover, so that Inner Sanctum sounds pretty good, too. The name makes me want to giggle, though…

    Thanks so much for the round up, it makes it seem possible…and I do love a small, affordable bottle. Right on.

  • Debbie says:

    I forgot to mention that some of them come with the option of a fixative. I ordered one with that in hopes that it will last longer on the skin. The extra couple of bucks would be worth it. Just a thought if that’s an issue…

    • rosarita says:

      The Inner Sanctum bottle I have is the one w/a fixative and one spray lasts 10+ hours. And I love the smaller bottle oprion, too.

      Dang, that carnation sounds wonderful! This post has me making up another sample order. 🙂

      • rosarita says:

        *sigh* option, of course…

      • Debbie says:

        I am so glad to hear that the fixative solves the problem! Great!
        On the Oeillets Rouges, if you look on MUA, you’ll see a 4.8 rating (out of 5) with a 75 percent rebuy. I don’t know why my review isn’t there….will have to correct that. It is gorgeous. If you love carnation scents, you will love this. I’d love to hear what you come up with on your order, unless it’s so long the typing would give you carpal tunnel. She has a way of doing that to us. 😉

  • Debbie says:

    I agree that she has some the absolute best comfort scents. I just wish they lasted longer on me. I have to respray every two hours. Somewhere, I read that she said it was deliberate….that the experience of putting on a fragrance is something wonderful in itself. I wonder if she might have thought we should enjoy the topnotes more often than once every six hours. 🙂

    I own Cimabue and Oeillets Rouges. The former is so complex; it is a happy, celebratory scent to me. Oeillets Rouges has carnation nailed, and it is pretty darned wonderful layered with Cimabue also. I have just put in a massive order: Scandal-type, Mahjoun, and Old School Musk. The Scandal-type is so wonderfully civety. I know you would love it. Mahjoun is so deep, I could drown in it. I love the fig note!! BTW, I am also a Chergui lover. Old School Musk has some incredible fresh green notes. I am lemming after Tamarind Paprika. I really did not expect to like this, but it was one of those glorious swap surprises. I have a bunch of samples coming too…can’t remember which.

    For all of you who are overwhelmed by the DSH catalog, just jump in. Pick a category and order a few from it. Or use our impressions to help make a decision. They are pretty unique and wonderful, as long as you don’t mind respraying often. I also love the fact that we can get these in smaller sizes rather than the humongous 2-ouncers.

    • March says:

      Well, I do admit to enjoying the repeat of the top note with some fragrances, whereas with others it’s all about the drydown. Looking at you, Kenzo Tigre! IT’s perfect now, but that first half hour …. not so much. Yep, I Ride the Tiger to Trader Joe’s. Because I’m silly like that.

      Civet. Mmmmmmm. <):) Might have to add Scandal type to my order. And a question? Do you know? If I end up ordering the $25 purse spray in something I like, is that an EDP?

  • rosarita says:

    So many things to comment about, I’m stuttering already. First, the divine Gail, who nearly wiped out my wishlist w/a single swap package on MUA..:x Then, DSH, a slippery slope I finally gave in to over the winter. The big winner for me is Inner Sanctum, which you’d probably hate, M, but for other rose lovers is fabulous: deep, dark rose w/incense and woods, yum. Great tenacity and one of my most worn scents of the winter, I split a bottle with Roseinfo, another incredible MUAer who ended up giving me the whole bottle. (I feel very loved on MUA). Of the DSH samples I purchased, I also really liked Lumiere but it’s been so long since I tried it that I can’t remember what was great about it. To Maria, above, I sampled Hinoki but didn’t care for it, as it felt like a heavy-handed dupe attempt of CdG Kyoto. I’d like to do another sample order for some lighter, warm weather scents, the variety is amazing, and now I need to check out the sale! On the subject of smaller bottles, I also think the little Bulgaris from Sephora are adorable, and I’d like to put in a word for fragrance minis in general. I have quite a few. You get enough in a mini to really try out a scent, the bottles are very cute and they’re generally cheap; lots of times a mini is plenty, too. On the downside, they’re usually dabbers and not sprayers, so aren’t quite as purse friendly.

    • March says:

      Hey, you did cover a lot of territory! Hmmm, not sure I’d love a poor dupe of Kyoto. But I love the, well, woodiness of hinoki — that kind of woody/resiny smell it winds up with in candles, so I’ll probably toss it into my order.

      I buy a lot of minis for sampling, if they’re cheap and available. I’d rather have that than a tiny sample. But you’re right, often the chief flaw is they are dabbers, and I am a spraying type of gal. I end up dumping them on and hoping for the best! I DO think some of those newer ones at Sephora are sprays, others are rollerballs which I like in theory but never as much in practice.

      Inner Sanctum DID get a lot of raves. And since DSH plants a rose in a lot of her scents, even comfort scents, I might like it. A rose with incense and woods sounds lovely. @};-

  • Lee says:

    I can’t open that DSH door. I’m already swamped, dude.

    Though like, you, I’m a comfort scent lover. Just eaten a hot cross bun (toasted, buttered) and sipping a chai after getting home from the briefest of brief meetings. My holiday starts in just over an hour (half-day off…) Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • Anne says:

    Just to share email from DSH… mostly bath products and creams but also 10% off codes (to use on entire order so I think it would count for fragrance samples too).

    OUR FIRST ANNUAL SPRING CLEANING SALE Wow-ee! We’re ripe and ready to get a jump-start on Spring cleaning with our first annual Bath and Body sale! We’ve chosen TONS of customer favorite bath & body products (in your favorite scents and from almost all of our many collections) to put on sale at 10-60% off! And just to make it all the sweeter, you can use member codes MUA, POL and PAM to take an additional 10% off your entire order! This is your chance to treat yourself to some of the amazing DSH bath and body products you’ve been thinking about…and get them at a great savings. You can check out everything on SALE on the SPECIALS PAGE(s). The link to get you there is located at the top right hand corner of any page inside the site. The sale goes on until March 30, 2008, so don’t let April showers find you without your favorite DSH washes, lotions, liquid powders and cremes!

    :)>-

    • March says:

      Thanks very much! I read a bunch of MUA reviews looking at my options, and her body products received lots of compliments. I tend to be an unscented product gal myself (leaving more room for fragrance) :d but if I totally fall in love with one of these, I could see getting a lotion or body wash.

  • Louise says:

    Agree on Cocoon-and I love Borneo, various mixtures of patch and choco, even Angel on the right person. But Cocoon is toooo sweet.

    Thanks for the help addressing my DSH problem-I just don’t know where to start. I’ve tried a few, and none have worked, but mostly it’s the variety that daunts me….but that Blond Suede sounds like a winner, and Mahjoun, and Sienna, and The Afternoon, and, and, and…

    • March says:

      Well, it sounds like they last on Maria. They have a smaller size that I’m pretty sure is the EDP, a purse spray, for $25. Can’t beat that with a stick.

      And next time I see you you can try some of these and see if they’ll stick. 🙂

  • Gail S says:

    Oh gosh, now I feel sorta, kinda, almost famous :d

    I’m also a big fan of The Afternoon but don’t know if you’d like it or not. It’s a nice soft green that almost floats above you like a cloud on a warm early summer day (boy…shoulda entered that Prix Eau Faux contest with that one!) Now that you’ve got me thinking about DSH again, I also had to place a sample order that I’m really looking forward to. Particularly Hemlock, because who wouldn’t want to smell like hemlock, huh?

    Those Kenzo bottles are insanely cute, too bad I can’t stand what they hold :((

    • March says:

      Well, I was delighted, and thank you very much. It was a push to get me paying attention to the line, which (maybe it’s just me) seems beyond my ability to wade through. But focusing on a style gave me something to work with, i got on MUA and read a ton of reviews.

      Really?!?! Kenzo Amour? It is one of my ultimate woody comfort scents. And I like Flower Oriental a lot. Do they do something nasty on you? Knock me over with a feather.

      • Gail S says:

        It’s the wood. I have to be somewhat careful with woody notes and this is apparently one that has sharp teeth for me. Cherry blossom, rice, tea, etc? Forget about it – all wood. And not just a nice soft wood, nooooo, it feels like it’s about 300 degrees and I’m gonna spontaneously combust any second.

        • March says:

          Oh, I am so sorry! That woody note is one of my favorite types of smells. But I know what you are talking about. It’s frustrating to have that kind of note that seems to have more teeth on you than most people. :)>-

    • Musette says:

      That Green scent (The Afternoon) sounds like a sampler and I love your description! – I’m looking for a new green to replace Calyx, which is coming over a bit harsh. I also like the name, being particularly fond of summer afternoons.

  • Maria says:

    I’m with you on comfort scents. I was the happy winner of Patty’s DSH drawing, so I got to try some of the scents on your to-try list. I wore Tamarind/Paprika on New Year’s Day. On the spur of the moment we decided to extend a short trip into one that took us to Big Sur and a restaurant with a perfect view of a Pacific sunset. The fragrance was suitable for the festive occasion, but would have been fine at home too. Its fruitiness is a nice mellow one that blends well with the rest of the scent. It’s a limited edition, keep in mind.

    Piment/Chocolat is probably my favorite DSH. The hot spice of it contrasts beautifully with the chocolate. Lumiere is wonderful–comfort itself. I should put some on soon. Poivre is a nice carnation scent, but to me Poivre means Caron.

    Has anyone tried Hinoki? The notes call out my name.

    Have you tried Sonoma Scent Studio Opal? That’s a soft “skin” scent that I like to wear to bed. I only have a sample or I’d send you some.

    • March says:

      Hmmm, so those lasted on you? Then maybe they’d work on Louise, I was wondering about their lasting power. I’m going to spray her and see what happens. 🙂

      The Hinoki. Forgot about that one, I should definitely add it to the list. Have you tried the new CDG Monacle one yet? I need to get a samp of that too… I need to recheck my package, I know there were a couple Sonoma ones in there!

  • I spent a wicked week one evening trailing my pirogue through the backwaters of the dense, dark, and divine waterways of DSH.
    Cimabue was different than I expected–I expected ancient walls, mist, incense, because of the name(Cimabue was the mentor of the first great Renaissance painter, Giotto). Not at all. It is rich, even, well-blended pure comfort scent of bitter orange, bergamot, nutmeg, beeswax, sandalwood, vanilla and a zillion other things that are wonderful. On the drydown, I get a wiff of something deeper, maybe ciste, but it is never, ever anything else than old world elegant.

    Gingembre has all the notes you’d expect to like–pepper, benzoin, landanum. My skin, however, picks up the part of jasmine I don’t get along with and stokes it up with ambrette. So on my skin (which is bizarre, I know) I get ginger root left in a cardboard box next to a dead jasmine corsage. Which is why I like Fire Opal, a orange/spice mix that blooms on me.

    And for Spring, or in an office that doesn’t love perfumes, I like Les Petites, with it’s camomile, linden and rose wash. I’m not a fan of rose, but a DSH rose is always touched with magic. And Linden can be tricky, but here is simply Spring in a waft of fresh blossoms on a tree.

    • March says:

      Hey, what a great comment to start my morning! Thank you! Cimabue is delicious. I think I need to get a spray bottle, I’ve only tried the oil, and I think the sillage would be wonderful.

      Sorry to hear about Gingembre. 🙁 And I think I should add Fire/Opal to my list and Les Petites. Her roses are wonderful, aren’t they? They pop up in lots of her scent. I actually like linden a lot, funky as it is. I went through a linden phase awhile back.

      • When I finished writing the post, I fell off the edge of the earth into DSH again, and ordered more samples–this time the cooler ones. It’s heating up here, so Cimabue is moving into the “overheated’ zone, I was browsing some lighter ones, and missed Afternoon. I LOVE green scents, and with a little spice or a bit of cream I can be had. I love Hinoki (mentioned below), but it vanishes on me, too.

        • March says:

          I keep adding stuff to my cart, it’s ridiculous. And yeah, I should really be thinking about some warmer-weather stuff too….

          by the way I realized I’d overlooked La Fete Nouvelle in my package. Wore it to bed last night. Hay, bread, vanilla, milk, some light floral? But doesn’t go all play-doh on me, so thinking NOT heliotrope or almond. Really nice, light, mild spice. Lovely.

          • Oh, I’m glad you liked La Fete Nouvelle. I ordered a sample of that one–along with about a gazillion others. The UPS truck will arrive looking like a Low Rider. Fete was to sooth my ruffled feelings over a bottle of L’Artisan’s Jour du Fete I ordered, a huge favorite of mine several years ago. They reformulated it into some vapid almond water. They should really have to tell you or change the label if they reformulate. I’m hoping I can find a scent that can stand up to the industrial-size heat we get here in the summer. I (blasphemy!) am about citrused out.

          • Musette says:

            QC –

            Have you tried Vent Vert? I would recommend Vacances but it’s stupid-hard to find, costs the earth when you do…and there’s often this round, lush Patou-y note that surfaces in extreme heat – it can become a little too lush and oily for me then…but the new Vent Vert (which can’t hold a candle to the original, alas) is pretty nice. Very green and crisp. Haven’t been on the board long enough to sort out everyone’s preferences so forgive me if I’m erring on the ‘green’ suggestion.

            My other possible new BFF for summer (maybe – we’ll see when it hits 90!) is L’Eau d’Hiver….

          • March says:

            I think we should do a Coming On Summer post, where people can list their favorite summer scents by olfactory group, if they have one, or just their random faves. I love reading what constitutes a summer scent for people. I remember discovering last summer that a lot of people wear really strong things, I think I did a post about it.

          • March says:

            Oh, so it was reformulated?! I’d have loved to try the original. I like that almond-blossom smell a lot, but (and I think this is a common problem) if it does the Play-Doh thing, not so much. Jour de Fete was like virtual Play-Doh.

            The Fete Nouvelle, though, was perfect.

            In the humid summer I alternate between light, civilized scents (The Bvlgari teas, for instance) and scents with a little more drama. I think the Ormonde Jayne base has something in it that smells lovely in summer. I wore Champaca a lot and it was *amazing.* @};-