In the survey last week, y’all wanted to hear about the new Monas since they were easier to get ahold of, so we’re going to cover those today, along with the new Diptyque, Eau Duelle. All of these are from Luckyscent, and you can get samples and full bottles there, so they are accessible, yeah!!! But for those of you that wanted to hear about the Dorins and the Made in Italy, we’ll get to those on Thursday.
This week is Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park. Usually I’ve just gone for a day of this, but this week I signed up for the whole week, intermixed with work – I’m not zen enough to do nothing but meditation and yoga for a week. There’s really very little better than to spend a week doing yoga and meditation in the Rocky Mountain National Park, surrounded by beautiful scenery, lovely people and working out your life one breath and downward dog at a time. My only complaint is the food. I’m not sure why they asked YMCA of the Rockies to do an all-vegetarian menu. It’s just not their normal thing, and it shows. Definitely should have a great vegetarian menu, but is it that offensive for me to be chomping down a fatburger in front of nonmeateaters? Maybe, I don’t know about these things. I love great vegetarian, but doing great vegetarian is not a YMCA chef skillset. I’m running away to the Stanley Hotel later in the week and snacking on some elk or buffalo or something equally red and full of blood.
When I brought up my sample of Diptyque’s new Eau Duelle, I hadn’t read much about it, but I vaguely remembered it was a vanilla. Official notes are Cardamom, Asian cyprus, elemi, juniper, saffron, calamus, black tea, black African olibanum, amber, Firnat Vanilla, Bourbon Vanilla, white musk. So the soft fall mountain rain was coming down outside my open window when I spritzed this on, and I had no idea what to expect. You can make fun of me, if you like, but I really haven’t smelled many Diptyques. Not sure why. I love the fig one, great fig, and… well, I know I’ve smelled a few more, but the line has never captured my attention through no fault of theirs. Eau Duelle is a great vanilla, which I just didn’t expect from them. Definitely vanilla, but not sweet at all, with an understated spice/tea punch that adds interest to what is a decidedly smokey vanilla. Not as smoke-dominated as some of the other smokey vanillas, like Guerlain’s Spiriteuese Double Vanille, but really well done. And absolutely perfect for where I am and the weather.
Let’s go to the Monas. I like Mona. I know Luca trashed all of her scents, but I’ve found most of them to be outside of the norms and interesting and never deserving of harsh criticism, whether you love them, hate them or just don’t care about them. People may not like her style of perfumery, but she is no crowd-follower, and I admire someone who does what she wants.
The Les Nombres have three variations, Cuir, Ambre and Musc. Needless to say, I am not expecting anything shy from her.
Ambre has notes of Cedarwood from Atlas, Ylang Ylang from Comores, Benzoin, Tolu, Absolu Vanilla Madagascar. This is a softer amber than I expected, tempered with the Ylang and vanilla. I keep sniffing it, not sure if I like it, don’t care or hate it. It’s almost a little soapy at points. Is that better than Rasputin’s underdrawers? I guess his freshly laundered underdrawers. That’s what I always think of when I sniff most amber-centric concoctions – not the freshly laundered part, the full-on, took them off before bed part. Okay, soapiness went away, but this thing just isn’t sticking. How can that happen with amber?
Musc has notes of Neroli, Angelica, Rose, Heliotrope, Absolu Tonka Bean, Precious Musks. Okay, we’re clearly not going down a conventional path. I don’t know about the musc in this, I don’t really care, I’m loving the angelica, tonka and heliotrope. Wow, what a great combo this is, and completely unexpected. I thought I’d be hit over the head with a subway musk at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning, but this is so far from that. The musk is the underpinning for the heliotrope and tonka, and it feels like Mona and Guerlain had a tryst after throwing back too much tequila on a rain-soaked night, and this is what was left in the morning. Lovely, ethereal, haunting with a wee bit of smut leftover.
Cuir now has me worried. Are we going to smother the leather in honey? Or cotton candy? Well, let’s go to the notes, which are Cardamom, Absinth, Leather, Cade, Resinoid Opoponax, Castoreum. Whew, this seems to be a great list of notes for leather, somewhat traditional. And, yes, it surely is. Rich, luxurious leather, slightly roughed up, like how your Kelly bag would smell after a night in a seedy bar. This is a leather to love for you leather lovers, you won’t be turning up your nose and going, “what the hell was she thinking?” when you sniff it. The spice and absinth get some minor play, which is enough of a differentiation from all the other great leathers out there to make this one worth seeking out.
Okay, big yes on the Cuir and the Musc, and I slipped into the hate pile on the Ambre. I tried it again, it went to soap and then slid down the drain into nothing. Huh? Two out of three, as Meatloaf says, ain’t bad.
And I have enough of all of these to give a sample set out to a commenter. So let’s think, if we wanted Guerlain to fall into bed with any other perfume line so they could create little love children of interest, who would you have them smoosh with?