Update on the VI Peel: I’m much, much, much happier today!!! Most of the peeling is done or winding up, and my face has emerged out from under all this mess, and it looks amazing. There’s still some peeling, just a little redness, but the skin is so fresh and glowing as it starts peeping through. It was completely worth it. Pictures will be up next week, just want to make sure the rest of the redness and peeling is done. I assume everyone’s heal time is different. I tend to heal pretty quickly. I don’t smoke, I exercise, I’m in great health, my skin turns over pretty fast, and it took a week before I was willing to go out in public without a veil or dark glasses and a hat on. So plan on that, if you do this. If your heal time is less, great! I get to go back to yoga tomorrow, yeah!!!!
Well, that is if my back cooperates. Somehow I pulled a stupid, hard to get to muscle right between my spine and my shoulder blade. Ow. Sometimes it feels fine, then I move in a certain way or overuse my mouse hand, which seems to irritate it unbelievably. I finally gave in today and quit trying to do stuff, put on Ben-Gay, heat, etc., and it seems to be better. I had no idea such a small area that I can’t even reach could hurt so much. When it was spasming, it hurts to breathe, to bend, to stretch. Okay, I’ll stop whining.
Shall we start with the commercial? Sure. Jo Malone’s newest release, Vanilla & Anise, was one I had smelled in London as a preview, liked it well enough, but I never can remember enough detail to write about things if I don’t do it as I put it on and keep sniffing and writing about it through the drydown. So now I have enough to try and think about. Notes of bergamot, neroli, wild fennel flower, star anise, oleander, tuberose, frangipani, purple vanilla orchid, clove, white amber, vetiver, vanilla bourbon absolute and tonka bean make this up. It’s only mildly vanilla, not the heavy sugary variety, more the vanilla pod variety. On the initial spray, I got some melony aquaticky thing that blew off in a few minutes. I really didn’t want to have to report this to y’all because I knew that would be a deal-breaker (looking at you, March!). Is that the orchid that causes that? I’ve noted that burst of aquatics in most of the perfumes that list vanilla orchid in the notes. The anise note is there, but also not loud or busy. It has a nice floral base, and it’s not really emphasizing any one note over another, which makes it well-blended, but not quirky or unusual. Pretty definitely, and I’d happily wear this – it’s great for the office or any event where you don’t want your perfume to announce you, but you want to smell good to yourself and those near you. As a Jo Malone scent, it fits their brand, which is light, easy to wear fragrances that tend to not offend anyone or hang around too long so you get tired of it, but are very likable. Jo Malone fragrances are that one girl in high school that everyone liked. She wasn’t too popular, and the boys weren’t panting after her, but you liked hanging out with her because she was uncomplicated, not moody or difficult and shared her makeup. She never overstayed her welcome.
When I first smelled Aftelier Cepes & Tuberose a couple of years ago, I about lost it. I thought it was horrible, who would wear something that smelled of dirt, mushrooms and tuberose? I re-tried my sample this week. Okay, I get it. I’m not sure I want to smell like this, especially on the open, but I really like smelling it. Who am I kidding? I do want to smell like this, I’m just not sure I want to be around other people when I smell like this because they may look at me funny. The blending of the carnality of tuberose with the mushrooms is perfect, which is amazing when you think that those two things should never go together. I don’t get the animalics that other people describe. Yeah, it’s earthy, but not raunchy. The longer it’s on, the more shrill aspects of the perfume are minimized, and it just flows into an incredibly lovely drydown, and, hey, I think I can wear this in public after an hour! C & T is that other girl you knew in high school. She wasn’t as easy to like, but she was a lot more interesting.
These two perfumes are at opposite ends of the today’s perfume market. The Jo Malone will likely be a big best-seller for them. Aftelier’s Cepes & Tuberose probably sells a small fraction of the units Jo Malone sells. I’d almost guess they don’t sell in a year what JM sells in a day. The commercial and the noncommercial. It’s often tough writing these reviews because I know the commercial perfumes aren’t always that interesting to smell, and they’re often not very interesting to write about, but lots of people want to try them and find out what they are like. Many people will ultimately buy it and probably love it and wear it happily. If I put my full snark on for the commercial, mainstream perfumes, I’d wind up saying very little nice at all about most of the releases. It’s not that I don’t like them or think they are poorly done, I just understand the market they’re going for, and the perfumes they produce can’t be shocking, interesting perfumes that we’d like to see more of because those perfumes do not have broad appeal and sell a lot less. So they wind up a little blander, more likable, less interesting, and they make a ton of money. Do I slam them because they’re commercial? I don’t because I think most of them, knowing the market they are going for, are well done for that market. I can’t say they are bad because they are good for what they were designed to do. I tend to use catch-all phrases for most of these more commercial perfumes, like they aren’t groundbreaking or they didn’t take a risk, which is my clue that it’s nice, it’s commercial, you won’t hate it, but the hard-core perfumista probably won’t find anything new in the scent.
It is a conundrum. One that I turn over in my head a lot. Most of you probably notice that I tend not to write negative reviews anymore. I almost wrote about Marc Jacobs new Lola – the only thing I liked about it was the bottle, but only because that flower thing is ridiculously over the top risky – but I didn’t because they didn’t make that perfume for me or most of you. There was a time when I was being much harder on those perfumes, but then I found myself feeling really jaded about perfume,and I didn’t like that at all.. It still takes a lot for a perfume to just blow me away. A couple have recently, but they get fewer and farther between. Not because they aren’t still making good perfumes, but so many of them are like something else, and it’s really hard to smell something that is really new and really great. I can’t/won’t gush about a commercial perfume unless it is really great, but I do try to find what is nice in it, what works, if it is well made, even if a little dull or been done before.
For those of you that have been huffing scent for a long time, how do you deal with making sure you don’t become jaded? Is it just recognizing that you’ve been around the perfume block a lot of times, and it’s not the perfume’s fault you’ve hit that before – more than a few times? For those of you that are new to perfume, I make some assumptions about you – that it is all new, that you have a lot of things to try, and you aren’t really caring that much about how unique/weird/freaky it is, you want to find some stuff that you think smells great, right?
For me, the new Jo Malone smells great, but it is most definitely not unique/weird/freaky. Cepes & Tuberose actually doesn’t smell that freaky or weird to me anymore, just really gorgeous. Yeah, it’s like that now.