Penhaligon’s: Amaranthine, Limes, Gardenia

Gardenia thunbergia

The first time I entered a Penhaligon’s store several years ago, it confirmed the vague suspicions in my head – upscale Caswell-Massey-type old fashioned scents, with names like Elisabethan Rose and Victorian Posy.  It wasn’t love at first sniff.  Some of their fragrances are strongly aromatic/fougere, which wasn’t my thing, and about Bluebell the less said the better.   Who shopped there?  Perhaps they’re a good travel souvenir for Aunt Joan, only when I visited the exchange rate was one measly pound for two American dollars, so Aunt Joan, if she existed, would have gotten a box of tea from Fortnum’s instead.  Eventually I was gifted with Malabah, which I like, and I haven’t crossed paths with the rest of the line since.

And then came Amaranthine.  Notes from their website: green tea, freesia, banana leaf, coriander, cardamom, rose, carnation, clove, orange blossom, ylang ylang, Egyptian jasmine, musk, vanilla, sandalwood, condensed milk, tonka bean.

Immediately and humorously nicknamed Amaranthigh by perfumistas, Amaranthine was a shot across the bow in terms of our expectations from staid Penhaligon’s.  Bertrand Duchaufour’s bizarre, refulgent twist on a boudoir scent would have been about the last thing I expected from the house, and I wasn’t alone there.  From its peculiar, discordant wet/green top notes right through the sweaty, heady florals and on to a drydown someone on Basenotes described (not lovingly) as burnt milk, Amaranthine is a head-scratcher.  The Penhaligon’s website says “Amaranthine is a corrupted floral oriental for those private moments when everything is anticipation,” and certainly the cumin-like presence throughout (which signifies sweat for many of us) indicates something corrupt and perhaps private is going on.   The word amaranthine indicates both eternal, unfading beauty and (as related to the flower) a deep purple-red, and at least on me, Amaranthine is close to eternal – I get a good 24 to 36 hours of fun, and I wouldn’t want to overspray.  I am not BD’s number-one fangirl but I found this both extraordinary and (once you know that offputting wet-tin-fork top is going to fade) quite beautiful.

Playing with it more, particularly in our recent spate of 90-degree days, I’ve also decided Duchaufour’s having us on a bit.  Once Amaranthine’s finished with the lap dance, it flops down next to me on the couch, shifts the wool afghan over a bit, wraps its arms around me, and settles in for a nap.  Yes, it’s true.  Amaranthine is in fact a comfort scent in the drydown, full of lightly spiced, milky-woody deliciousness in spite of those sweet, dirty whispers in my ear.

There are several new reissues from the house, including Extract of Limes and Gardenia, both from their back catalog (1963 and 1976 respectively) and now part of their Anthology Collection.  I’m still a little unclear on how much Duchaufour’s hand is in which scents in the Anthology – Orange Blossom appears to be the only Anthology scent on the site that’s characterized as reformulated (“transformed”), and directly attributed to him.  (Orange Blossom I tried once in Paris and am ashamed to say I can’t remember anything about it other than it smelled like orange blossom.)

Extract of Limes is described on their site as “shattered sherbet and blossom honey. A classic citrus, penetrating and pure, with straight up West Indian lime, lemon oil and neroli. High, clear and instantly uplifting.”  Notes are lime oil, lemon oil, petitgrain oil and neroli.

I wanted to love this.  I did.  I really did.  I love limes, and lime fragrances, and I’m still kicking myself for not buying Floris Summer Limes when it was stocked locally a year or three ago for all of 30 seconds, because I had no idea it would then disappear from the face of the earth.  Extract of Limes isn’t lacking the effort – it’s a bright, effervescent scent, trying to please, and if it smells a bit too sweet on me at first (like a green sourball hard candy rather than the fruit), the sweetness fades and then it’s nicely tart, which any self-respecting lime scent should be.  However, and I’m wondering whether this is just me and maybe allergy issues, I can’t escape from the faint, offputting waft of something sickly-sweet like mildew, which pops up periodically in this scent on my skin. If there’s a short list of things I don’t want to smell like, mildew’s on it.  Along with skunk.  And Angel.  Anyway, then it’s back to the lime-y love.  I have no idea what that’s about.  Has anyone else tried this?  Lasting power is decent for a citrus.

Finally, there’s Gardenia, “a translucent watercolour in soft washes of tuberose, jasmine, gardenia, ylang-ylang, spice and vanilla. A radiant magnolia-tinted portrait of one of nature´s most sensual blooms…” (from their website.)  Notes are violet, rhubarb, bergamot, hyacinth, magnolia, green leaves, gardenia, rose, ylang, orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, clove, cinnamon, lily of the valley, benzoin, sandalwood, musk, vanilla.

Gardenia is as multifaceted as that list of notes suggests, although it’s perhaps not so translucent as to make it breezy and delicate.  It´s got the full-on swagger of white flowers from the first spritz, and spends maybe a minute a bit on the soapy side.  Then the note that signifies gardenia, which smells a bit cheesy to some and mushroomy to others, makes its welcome appearance, so the scent isn’t too clean.  Magnolia is shaping up to be the new pink pepper of perfumery, and I’m not sure there’s a perfect magnolia fragrance, but this feels wet without being aquatic, and woody without being too obvious about it.  And it’s more naturalistic than the spiced gardenia of, say, Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia.

I put on the Van Cleef & Arpels Gardenia Petale on the other arm for comparison.  Both scents contain a breath of other white flowers, including gardenia’s near-constant companion, the rubbery tuberose, along with jasmine and ylang, and certainly VCA more closely approximates the impression of gardenia, the way it would smell if you stuck your nose in the flower.  I take nothing away from the Penhaligon’s by saying it’s more diffuse.  While it’s less ripe than the VCA, it doesn’t smell like Glade, either, and the musky gardenia drydown, slightly smoky and tinged with vanilla, is rich without being too sweet.

Gardenia, like tuberose, is traditionally a love-it-or-hate-it among perfume fans; personally I’m fascinated by how many folks like one but not the other, considering how often they’re mated in perfumery.  For some people, a single gardenia fragrance is one too many.  Others can’t get enough.  I can’t say, smelling this, that it is so similar to anything else I have that I could cross it off my list.  It doesn’t pack the wallop that VCA has, although it’s still pretty heady.  If I could only have one, I’d take the Van Cleef.  But I’d cheerfully take both.

I imagine I’d appreciate the Penhaligon’s store more these days.  I was still very much on my new/strange bender, and had no time for things like Blenheim Bouquet.  If you have a favorite Penhaligon’s, or you’ve tried any of these newish Anthology ones, please say so in comments.

Sample sources: Amaranthine and Extract of Limes, courtesy of LuckyScent; Gardenia, private source.

drawing of Gardenia thunbergia from Curtis Botanical Magazine

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  • HemlockSillage says:

    :(( I must be anosmic to something! I don’t get sweaty, or skanky at all from Amarinthine. I ran home after work to retry it after all the comments here, and I still don’t get it. I must be *really* blowing others away with my skank if I don’t notice this.

    I’m very afraid.

    Amarinthine is lovely. I tried it first in Hawaii, and thought, what a great tropical themed perfume!

    I get an herbaceous note up top (banana leaf?) along with a salty note, then a weird but fascinating mix of tiare and some fruit I can’t put a finger on, then the cuddly dry down. It never hit me as overtly sexual. I’d actually ordered a second sample to try, in consideration of a FB purchase. I was thinking of buying a perfume to remind me of my trip, and I’d tried and loved Montale’s Intense Tiare, Les Nez Manoumalia and this one.

    I still may purchase Amarinthine, but I’m a bit unnerved by the Amarinthigh moniker. BTW, I do get the skank in MKK, Rien, Bal a Versailles, Party in Manhattan, but hmmm. . . What aromachemical am I missing, I wonder? Any ideas?

  • monkeytoe says:

    I can never disassociate Penhaligon’s from an article in Esquire (or some such) that suggested to embark on a career in high-class gigolo-ing to use Penhaligon’s toiletries. But, I do love Duchaufour (and his fraternal nasal twin Buxton), so I need to give amaranthine a sniff.

    • March says:

      Heh. Old-fashioned, high-class gigolos. The common ones are probably all wearing some dreck by D&G or Azzaro. And if you love Duchaufour and Buxton, I think Amaranthine would very much be worth pursuing a sample of.

  • dleep says:

    There is something about Amaranthine that grabbed me at first sniff. I bought in in December and cannot wait to try it in the heat. It does last forever on my skin and my clothes. I think it is beautiful and find it somewhat addicting. This is the first Penhaligon’s scent that I have ever tried and I was surprised to find something so different from a company that I had viewed as very conservative and old fashioned in their scents.

    • March says:

      As we’ve tossed around up there in comments, Amaranthine is quite distinctive. I agreed with Joe, I think it was, that I don’t have anything else that really smells like it. Nothing that I can say, well, it smells sort of like X, which is its own achievement. And now that I’ve realized how great it is in the heat, I might need a decant.

  • karin says:

    With all the love for Duchaufour, I ordered a bunch of BD scent samples from Luckyscent (including Amaranthine), determined to find one that I could love. Frustrating, but if a scent has cumin in it, it’s all I can smell! I WISH I could smell the green tea, banana leaf, freesia, etc., in Amaranthine. It all sounds so wonderful and intoxicating! Nope. Can’t smell it at all. Just cumin. And I SO wanted to like this one. Throw it into the same pile as CDG 2, Timbuktu, Fleurs d’Oranger, Maharanih, and all the other cumin-tinged scents. I don’t hate them, just disappointed by them, cause that cumin dominates and ruins it for me.

    I do have a bottle of Havana Vanille, though. (No cumin!) Sometimes fragrances are one-note for me, and I don’t really get it. HV is vanilla extract. No tobacco, no leather. Is it a matter of training? Being able to detect those subtle nuances? Or is my nose handicapped??? Ha. Some fragrances are “one-note” and linear to me, while others explode in all sorts of different directions. Curious how we all seem to detect different things in different scents. Makes me jealous sometimes when I can’t smell what others smell…and happy when I actually CAN smell what others smell.

    Blah, blah, blah. 😉

    • March says:

      Having smelled enough perfumes in groups on other people, I really do think that people bring out different aspects on their skin. And there are clearly cumin-magnifiers. (I think I am a rose-magnifier. And a marine-note magnifier.) So yes, cumin would ruin those scents for you. And there will be times when you can smell some glorious note that others can’t. I think it all evens out in the end.

  • mals86 says:

    Liked Amaranthine in December, and put it away “for warmer weather” but have yet to get it back out, being consumed with green florals lately. Must remedy that soonest.

    Love Violetta’s violets-and-greens. Hate Bluebell – after five minutes of hyacinth, it turned into a chemical spill. Elixir smells like potpourri to me. Lily & Spice was pleasant but unexciting (and I usually like lily).

    Night-Scented Stock I found dull, dull, dull, and nothing like as heady/fresh as the real thing. Disappointing.

    • March says:

      Well thank God someone else joined me on Bluebell. I was beginning to wonder if my recollection was that far off. Chemical spill seems about right. I was thinking Glade. Or shampoo, and not one I’d buy, either.

      So sorry to hear about Stock! The notes sound nice.

      What’s your favorite lily? I thought DK Gold was amazing but pretty much unwearable for me personally. Too too big.

      • Mals86 says:

        Yes, Bluebell was hideous on me.

        I do like Gold very much – and it’s not all that big, even in the edp. It’s even nicer on my teenage daughter – it’s all satiny petals, no spice, no pollen. Lys Mediteranee is lovely, too.

        • Joe says:

          Oh yeahh…. DK Gold & Lys Med are the tops.

        • carter says:

          Ya’ll can shut up now about Bluebell. The BATH OIL, people, the BATH OIL. I am telling you, you don’t know what you’re missing. Besides, word has it it’s being discontinued. Happy now, March?

          • March says:

            Yeah, sure, you probably have a jug of the perfume under your sink, right next to your 500 bottles of Apres…

          • carter says:

            The Apres have their own room, right next to the jewelry vault and the wine cellar.

  • Shelley says:

    Sometimes, there is a big tear in the Force. And Big Time Yammered Abouts get through without investigation. Amaranthine is one. On radar…but has never hit land…

    Okay, so building off your Amaranthigh experience, what *I’d* like to hear coming around the bend is a scent that piques my intellectual interest, has a sense of humor, tickles things animalic, shows beauty, is tantric, and then cuddles. How many stages of development is that? Can it be done? Do I ask too much of one perfume??

    • March says:

      Mmm, well, Amaranthigh comes close (not detecting much humor) although as you hate sweaty, it’s a no-go. :d

      • Shelley says:

        I get confused. I like salty, which to me is sweaty. I can take a little hide (as in animal or people skin). But I know that people generally mean something else when they say “sweaty,” for example, cumin. For me, when people say “cumin” it generally translates to sweat that’s had time to alter in a crevice or even longer under a not-so-breathable fabric, i.e. B.O. Or, in the case of Kingdom, panties. But not in the case of Aziyade, in which it smells like…cumin.

        So, I’m still in training. And I think highly susceptible to the effect of whatever the other ingredients are. And definitely all tossed about on the cumin front.


        • March says:

          How funny our perceptions are. I don’t like salty, in general, which to me is “marine.” Ugh. And I like cumin-as-sweat, but oddly, not cumin-as-the-spice. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like whichever Serge it is that smells like curry … Santal de Mysore?

        • carter says:

          OK. TMI with the crevices and all.

  • k-scott says:

    I’ve been wearing Amaranthine on and off since December, and you are so right about the spicy condensed milk drydown making it a comfort scent- I found that it wears just as well in winter weather as it does in spring (well, more like summer here in Florida now). I am really eager to try Orange Blossom too, I’ve heard good reviews. Though I’m a gardenia lover, I’m with you on the VCA Gardenia Petale. How could anything top it! It’s damn near perfect in my book. Though I guess that shouldn’t stop me from at least giving the Penhaligon’s a chance… 😕

    • Shelley says:

      Well, might not have been what you intended, but that’s a one-two punch for earworm for me today. (Everybody join hands and sing “Give Pen’s a chance…” Oy.)

    • March says:

      I would say … if you like gardenia and are willing to sniff the Penhaligons on its own terms, it’s worth it as a pretty, rich gardenia-tinged fragrance. I do think, though, that the VCA holds the #1 spot, the same way that Carnal Flower is my #1 tuberose.

  • Musette says:

    I am going to try VC&A gardenia again today – it’s been awhile. Jo’s Vintage G makes me sneeze. Hard. So no joy there.

    And it’s a shame because I do love a spicy gardenia.

    Lime? Never could get around to lime. You know I love a lemon, though.

    And right now Cumin is NOT my friend! [-( I’m really pissed (heh) about that Ald 44 throwing all that cumin all over the place….

    xo >-)

    • Joe says:

      Uh oh! 😮 Alde-whore meets Cumin Vice Squad?

      Now that is the kind of description that makes me interested in the Le Labo. Go figure.

    • March says:

      Now, how can you love a lemon and not a lime?! :-w Limes are love! Lemon-limey love!

      And I’m still baffled about your cumin takedown of the Le Labo, as I said, have not heard a soul mention cumin. I certainly don’t recall any cumin.

      • Musette says:

        I know! It’s either a) Menopause b) a bad formulation. I’mo see Mistress Shel in the not too distant future (I hope) – will have her smell it. I’m also going to take it to Le Labo (they can get over themselves with the decant /:) and see how it smells to them.

        What I loved about Ald44 was its near-perfection as an aldehyde! Don’t get me wrong on the cumin – in the right perfume it’s a thing of beauty (I love it in the current Femme)

        But this ain’t it!


        xo >-)

        • Musette says:

          I’m okay with limes but they sometimes get just too sweet. The right lemon has that zesty thingamajig that I love so much. The wrong lemon can :-&

          xoxo >-)

        • March says:

          I have now read five or six reviews of the scent and NOBODY mentions cumin. All I can think of is something in the musks in the base? I think you should let Shelley both smell it and try some on, does she like aldehydes? She can sniff it on you too … you could try to determine if it’s a skin thing or a perception thing.

  • Nava says:

    Wow, that sounds like a real doozy,especially coming from Penhaligons. Has the Queen revoked her seal of patronage, or whatever it’s called, like when Mohammed al Fayed put in that creepy Diana/Dodi memorial in Harrods?

    There used to be a Penhaligons “nook” in Saks’ flagship and I remember going there, sniffing and hating everything; except for Quercus – which I believe was their answer to CK One at the time.

    There is a Penhaligons store in Caesars Palace in Vegas of all places, so maybe they’re not so staid after all.

    • March says:

      I loved that memorial! I was so fascinated by that. And all the people taking photos … it was like an interactive art display for me. People are strange. Including me. 🙂

      And yes, Quercus apparently strikes a number of folks as high end CK One.

  • DinaC says:

    Like you and Joe, above, I want to sniff Penhaligon’s Night-scented Stock. I love the scent of the real flower and am curious to see how the scent compares.

    When I smell lime notes they remind me of my grandfather’s Lime Foamy shave cream. 8-| Haven’t gotten past that memory and association yet.

    As a kid, there was a time when we lived in Texas and had a gardenia bush right near our front door. Those flowers smelled so good. Lush and a bit lemon-y. Real magnolia flowers smell a bit like that, too. But those big white flower scents overwhelm me, for the most part. Haven’t found one that I want to buy yet.

    • March says:

      There are any number of people who love gardenia the plant who do not have any interest in gardenia the fragrance. So you are hardly alone there. I feel sort of the same way about lily, no idea why.

      Someone else on here says Stock isn’t that fab. 🙁

  • donanicola says:

    I used to like Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley candles in Spring and once I bought a little tester kit of the male scents. This was when my south african ex was living with me and when one of his big Bok mates was over to visit. The sight of two big macho men debating which Penhaligon scent they were going to wear was totally worth the price I paid for the kit. I can’t remember which was the favourite now. Anyway, then I was annoyed because Penhaligons replaced L’Artisan Parfumeur at the Royal Exchange and that didn’t seem fair but then Amaranthine was released and all, as far as I am concerned, is forgiven. Love the sexy weirdness of Amaranthine and then its cuddly drydown. The Orange Blossom is lovely too – not nearly so soapy as other OBs with a skin element. Must try the Gardenia.

    • March says:

      Lots and lots of Amaranthine lovers on here today, and I will definitely make a point of re-testing the OB. The notes sound gorgeous and very much my sort of thing. I’m afraid that particular day it was buried shortly thereafter in the Diors… :”>

  • Melissa says:

    I love both gardenia and tuberose! Something switched on in my brain a few years ago and I was a goner.

    And I guess I’m officially a BD fangirl too. I enjoyed Al Oudh, admired Havana Vanille, was hooked at Amaranthine and loved my one sniff of Nuit de Tubereuse. I think I’ve read he had a hand in the re-release/re-formulation of Gardenia, which, as you know, I also love.

    I’ll probably buy a bottle of Orange Blossom when it gets to the US. It’s one of my favorite notes and from what I’ve seen on the blogs, it does appear to have BD’s signature.

    • March says:

      I need to retry Al Oudh. It may in fact be just the right amount of oud for me, which is not too much. /:) And I do remember your saying that about the Gardenia. I browsed the website, and they make clear his association with OB and Amaranthine, but the copy for Gardenia doesn’t mention him, so I left it out for the time being… I love OB too, and someone in comments says No Soap, which makes me happy.

      • Joe says:

        Wowza. I need to retry Al-Oudh I guess too, but to me it was straight-up BO. :(|) And I am (a) not cuminphobic, (b) not oudphobic, (c) not Duchaufourphobic.

        • March says:

          I only tried it once, and that was at the duty-free after I’d had some heavy sampling in their booze store. (insert whistling guy here.) So maybe I’d try it again and hate it. It smelled pretty mild to me…

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Well, as a British person who has known Penhaligon for a very long time my opinion has always been that it belongs in the “what shall we buy as a souvenir from Olde England?” category, a safe, dull, toilet water-type option. I am not at all fond. Amaranthine is certainly a departure but I still don’t like it, but then I’m not a fan of Duchaufour’s work either. Sorry!

    • March says:

      Hey, always nice to get an impression from a local. Estee Lauder’s new stuff mostly leaves me cold, in spite of the efforts of certain perfume critics to extol its virtues and show us the Way… 😉

      BD’s scents in general I find too murky for my tastes, as I’ve said on here before. This, though, didn’t have any of that rooty, earthy signature going on. It’s still odd, though, for sure.

    • Melissa says:

      I didn’t like any of the Penhaligon scents until Amaranthine came along and surprised me. As for Duchaufour, I was indifferent to his older more resinous creations. Nice, but not really me. These new florals are something else indeed.

  • Jared says:

    I am yet another who has not tried Amaranthine (great word, though). Still, I am a huge fan of corrupted flowers, loving both gardenia and tuberose. Bring it. But I wonder how Amaranthine compares to another hugely-beloved corrupted beauty, Une Fleur de Cassie? For the life of me, I get nothing stinky, just ravishing beauty. Anyway, I physically wrote a Amaranthine on a list, so it needs to happen. That, and Manoumalia.

    • Jared says:

      I should rephrase: yes, I know UFC is stinky, but that’s precisely why I love it. I am one of “those”.

      • March says:

        UFC is a bar that I, personally, have not quite managed to clear yet. 🙂 Although it’s been a year, probably, since I’ve smelled it. Who knows, maybe it would be love. And I (the woman who loves Miel de Bois) don’t judge other folks’ offbeat favorites. I find Amaranthine much easier to cope with, not being put off much by sweaty notes, and the rest of it’s quite milky and inviting.

        • That’s odd. For the life of me, I can’t perceive the least stinkiness in Une Fleur de Cassie… it’s got a bit of cumin but I don’t find it overwhelming.
          Jared, Amaranthine is an entirely different beast, which Bertrand Duchaufour defined to me as “cream of ylang”.

          • March says:

            D, I was unclear in my message — on me it’s a disturbing combination of both urinous and powdery, which (at that time) was wildly unappealing, and also quite strong. However, I am long overdue for a retry. I’ll probably love it. It’s happened more than once with things I first detested. (Rose seems to be an exception to that rule so far.)

          • Winifreida says:

            I loved it first try and still love it even more (UFdC), it was nearly my first purchase when I suddenly exploded into perfumholicism….I made the mistake of comparing Amaranthine against the Isabey Fleur Nocturne, but Am is still on the FB list…

          • Jared says:

            Well I do love ylang, so I expect to like this.

        • Robin R. says:

          UFC: worth taking another run at, M. Just start a little further back and get some speed happening. It’s SO worth it to try and clear that bar. On the other side, continuous, extended, near-orgasmic pleasure awaits. Seriously tantric stuff.

        • Joe says:

          Oh, how nice to find another Miel de Bois fan. We’re maligned, you know.8-x

          And Jared, I love UFdC also, but it’s not really similar to Amaranthine, other than being a complex floral.

          I was inspired to wear Amaranthine today (to the office! 😮 )… I feel a little naughty but it’s so nice. Really like nothing else I own. I believe the only other thing I’ve sampled that felt a bit naughty/funky like this is Molinard Nirmala, which is sort of a fruit salad, but not a sweet one, with some major funk going on. And I mean that, of course, in a good way. :d

          • March says:

            I’m beginning to reach the conclusion that I need at least a decent decant of Amaranthine, particularly now that I’ve discovered how nice it is in the summer heat. And you’re right, I have nothing else really *like* it, which is getting to be the exception rather than the rule.

            People who malign MdB simply don’t know what they’re missing. And of course you mean funk in a good way!

    • Masha says:

      Manoumalia is gorgeous, Jared, do seek it out!

    • carter says:

      Seconding the Manoumalia.

  • Well, as you know, Amaranthine and Orange Blossom are both up there in my spring top ten. And that Amaranthine drydown? Hey, what do you think happens after the action? You flop down and cuddle…
    I find it blends incredibly well with my skin (lactones love me). On hot days it’s the back of my neck I’ll spray to get the gorgeous green-milky wafts. I think at this stage I can safely say it’s one of those scents that’ll be a keeper.
    Orange blossom is less complex but a fascinating, three-tier exploration of the note.
    There’ll be another Duchaufour Penhaligon’s coming out next fall, a new take on the masculine fougère, so the house is definitely undergoing a creative revival. I wouldn’t discount classics like Blenheim Bouquet and Hammam Bouquet though: they’re heirloom of Victorian perfumery.

    • Lee says:

      Vewwy interested to know more about the forthcoming masculine…

      • March says:

        … how’s that “tennis” elbow doing? 8-| Better I hope.

        • Lee says:

          Yeah. Actually, was massively better after physio last Friday – the whole works – but I think I overdid the ‘gardening’ at the weekend, and now it’s back to minor irritant level. Still, can just about use it, though the middle finger exercises (I kid you not) are nigh on impossible.

    • March says:

      Excellent point, D, about the Amaranthine. There’s definitely time for a cuddle after. And I think lactones love me too. I was surprised how much I liked it in the heat, having tried it first last winter. I thought it would be too much, but it’s not. The humidity here really brings it out.

      I do wish I’d paid more attention to the OB, as I like those sorts of scents. We smelled it at Bon Marche, then on to the Diors or something. And I think I’d have more of an appreciation for their heirlooms now.

      • Suzy Q says:

        I had the same experience, March. Amaranthine became a different (and better) perfume when I wore it on our first hot day. This post made me want to wear it today–and it’s hot–but I’m working with on an all male committee today, none of whom I want to, uh, arouse.

        • March says:

          No, it doesn’t sound like quite the right scent for today! And I got together with my dad, so I wore Climat. 😡 Which was nice in the heat as well.

    • carter says:

      See, now, it’s the cuddling part that bothers me. I just want it to put its clothes back on and go home.

  • Joe says:

    24-36 hours of fun? That sounds kind of tantric. :”> Amaranthigh doesn’t give me that kind of action… but I still like it a lot. I can’t wait to have the chance to try it on a hot afternoon (“skyrockets in flight,” and all that…). I definitely find it a bit pornographic, not that that stops me from wearing a little to the office.

    I kinda like Bluebell, and Lily & Spice too. I just tried Elixir for the first time a couple days ago and it’s a mighty fine incense, I must say. I’ve gifted a friend with Douro shower gel (great packaging and great for a Luso-phile).

    I like the lime and plan to get a little decant from a friend. Lime can be so much fun, and I still have the dregs of an oooooold bottle of Crabtree Extract of West Indian & Sicilian Limes. I’m curious about the Night-Scented Stock, only because I’ve never smelled that flower.

    Not sure if I’ll rush to get my hands on any of the Gardenia, but I remember really liking Guerlain Cruel Gardenia (which someone will undoubtedly point out isn’t gardenia at all).

    • March says:

      And another Bluebell fan. Well, alrighty then. Lily and spice seemed like a giant Easter lily, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Hmmm. I should try the Elixir, clearly.

      There was something about the night-scented stock that sounded alluring (spice notes? Can’t remember.) The flower’s gorgeous. I suspect, however, that the fragrance might be too powdery for my tastes. That’s a likely direction for a stock scent.

    • Melissa says:

      Cruel Gardenia? Resisting, resisting, it’s…. not…. gardeee….

      Ok, I resisted. :-\”

      • Melissa says:

        Crap. That was supposed to be innocent whistling guy.

      • March says:

        Let’s all resist. Let’s not tell him it’s not gardenia.

        ………. oops.

        I know, whistling guy is AWOL and I would use him all the time.

        • carter says:

          He was my favorite. I miss him. He would have loved Bluebell bath oil, too, which is probably why you had him killed.

          • March says:

            Carter, I would never have had him killed! 😮 I probably deployed him more than any other emoticon (which says something about my commenting style.) Maybe he got sick of me and left…

          • carter says:

            He prolly hyperventilated himself.

    • Olfacta says:

      Oh good heavens. “Skyrockets in flight”?! Um, afternoon delight? I thought I was the only person in the world who was cursed with remembering that one. (Hold hands over ears. Whistle “The Girl from Ipanema.” Think happy thoughts.)

      I have some Amaranthine and I like it, but it’s one of those I’d think twice about before wearing to the supermarket.

      Gardenia though…ELPC’s Tuberose Gardenia is one of the few scents I’ve ever worn that gets compliments from everybody, from elderly ladies to the notoriously hard-to-please DH. Maybe because at least on me it smells more like gardenia than tuberose.

      • March says:

        And thanks for the earworm! I’ll be humming that all day… hm. Maybe I’m under-reading the skank in Amaranthigh. Or maybe I’m just really really skanky.

        That Estee is really nice, and I liked the other one, the one everyone hated. The amber one? 🙂

      • Joe says:

        ELPC Tuberose Gardenia is one of the few fragrances that has prompted me to ask someone in public what they were wearing; it smelled so good. On myself, more than one drop would induce a headache, I fear.

      • carter says:

        That just totally cracked me up. God, I hated that song. They were from DC, incidentally. March.

  • Masha says:

    Great review, March! I have a lime suggestion for you. I became hooked on the scent of limes when I lived in the Caribbean as a little girl, and I recently found a lime eo I love just as much as key lime- Citrus hystrix, or kaffir lime/petigrain combava, is just heavenly mixed all on its own with perfumer’s alcohol and spritzed on a hot, humid day. No off notes, just cool citrus paradise. And “Amaranthigh” is definitely the appropriate name, by the way, can’t wear that one out in public, as least not for the first hour. The lap dance analogy is hysterical!

  • carter says:

    I have no love for Penhaligon’s ‘fumes, but life would not be worth living without Bluebell bath oil. I need it. I really need it.

    Amaranthine I have never had the pleasure of testing, so I have nothing to contribute to the conversation other than to say that I would very much like to sample it the next time I’m at New London Pharmacy. It sounds very interesting indeed.