I had fun doing random candy samples the other day. Here are some more, in order of personal dislike (worst to best), which I selected mostly by rummaging in my handbag, just for fun, to see what would turn up …
Jimmy Choo – my most common perfume change-of-heart is when something I dislike begins to grow on me over time. Jimmy Choo has the interesting distinction of trending the opposite direction – each time I spray that bottle at Saks, I hate the fragrance a little more. I put all my paper blotters in my purse, but this one I handed back to the SA and asked her politely to discard. Is it the saccharine? The patchouli? The raspy woods? The faint note of rotting fruit? I am not sure.
Bond Madison Square Park – when niche perfume felt like a brave new world, and Bond only had eight or ten fragrances instead of the 90+ they have now (okay, okay, it just seems that way on the counter) they did some interesting scents, like Chinatown and New Haarlem. The Warhol Silver Factory’s pretty great too, and I have a soft spot for the linden one (Noho?) Madison Square Park is musky, fruital and extremely sweet. It’s supposed to have a darker, vetiver/woods drydown, but not on my skin.
Hermes Un Jardin sur le Toit – of the series, Jardin sur le Nil is the bottle I own. Méditerranée is too woody/herbal on me, but I have stopped more than one woman on the street to compliment her fragrance and been told that’s what it was. Mousson? The less said, the better. Sur le Toit is a limpid, vitamin-water-strength fruit-tree scent that makes one think of Hermessences like Vanille Galante, sans aquamelon. It is apparently selling quite well in D.C. As Robin said in her review on Now Smell This, “It’s young and spring-like and fresh, and very Jean-Claude Ellena, which will either please you or it won’t.”
Love, Chloe – insert screed here about how the original Chloe was so much better in its jasmine-tuberose-drenched 1970s heydey than the current 2008 version. Add general sneering about the new-ish flanker(s?). Thus, my expectations for Love, Chloe were, uh, minimal. What a pleasant surprise this scent is. I’d add this to my list for a graduation present to a high school or college girl who’s maybe brand-conscious, an alternate to Coach and Chanel; they have a sweet gift set. I wish it retained its initial iris/power structure, it’s very pretty then, but even after half an hour (and then all day long) it’s a soft powder/musk string-of-pearls-scent that manages to be polished and even work-friendly while retaining a little character, young without being insipid.
Maison Martin Margiela Untitled – Nobody’s showing this thing much love but me, right? It’s deceptive at first, sharp and green and nutty, like Cristalle sprayed on a wet hemp basket, one of those worn-by-smokers galbanum fragrances (see: original Lauder Azuree, Jasmine White Moss). Get past that, though, and the reward is the charming, quirky mix of cinnamon and wintergreen – it blows hot and cold at the same time, and would be a great alternative to a cologne in the summer heat. Quite unisexy. Smells much, much better on skin than on paper. Also, the minimalist, Le Labo-ish bottle made my eyes roll when I first saw a photo, but it’s nice in the hand and, next to the various foofy, bloblular, and/or beribboned bottles on the counter at Saks, clean and appealing.