Retro Monday: Elegant Ella

It isn’t often that a new fragrance makes me say “Ahhh.”
And I’m not the only one either, I suspect. As diehard perfume lovers, we just have so many
choices, and so many of those we DO get around to sniffing are more
apt to leave us with “Meh.” But something I’ve tried lately (although it’s been
around since 2016) perked my nose right up. And that something was
Ella by Arquiste.

Its chypre-ish vibe was soft and a bit sultry, and it had a lovely
throwback appeal, as in this beauty wouldn’t have been out of place in
the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s or ’80s.

Something about it reminded me of the old Paloma Picasso scent (remember that one in the tall black bottle with the golden juice showcased inside?), but the
Ella was softer, more rounded, and somewhat less fierce than the PP, at least to my nose.

Just wearing Arquiste’s Ella made me feel grown-up, sexy and downright classy, even
in my jeans, tunic top and running shoes. I had tried a dab sample of it and loved it,
then a small spray decant, and loving that as well. And that’s pretty sweet, seeing as how
fragrance can smell slightly different depending on the application; too often I’ve loved something in a dab sample and then got a spray decant resulting in not quite as much love.

Notes (per Fragrantica): angelica, carrot seeds, turkish rose, jasmine, cardamom, honey, ambergris, patchouli, civet, vetiver and smoke. I didn’t get the smoke, but I’m sure somehow it contributed nicely to the whole.

So what perfumes have you sniffed recently that gave you a double-take, or
that really struck a chord with you?

P.S. Thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers last week. Each of you is such a blessing to me!

  • jenbat says:

    I’m dying to try Ella! The perfume that made me do a double take recently is Chanel Coco Noir, I can’t stop thinking about it – patchouli, whee!

  • March says:

    Ooooh, this sounds lovely! After my rant today it’s nice to read about something new to try.

  • HeidiC says:

    Glad things sound like they’re going better for you this week!

    I tried Ella recently when a friend and I snuck away from a conference in DC to go sniffing at Arielle Shoshana. It was kind of retro, but not as big as I was thinking it would be? I’m not sure what I expected. But I love Nanban and talked my friend’s husband into trying it, and he bought a bottle! I bought Neela Vermeire’s Ashoka — that green, spicy, suede-y fig is just gorgeous. I’ve also been kind of digging my sample of Zoologist’s Bat.

    • Ann says:

      Yes, thanks so much, dear! Never knew how nice it would feel to return to “normal.” I agree; if you were expecting big, Ella does not deliver. But it did the trick for me as a solid, pretty, non-polarizing chypre. Lucky you to have visited AS, AND gotten NV Ashoka! I know you smell amazing in it!

  • Musette says:

    Haven’t tried it but your reference to Paloma P reminded me of when I first tried Paloma P (or tried in the last few decades). Based on the packaging I would’ve bet serious simoleans that it was a heavy incense bomb, a la Opium. I would’ve lost!

    Funny how looks can influence, innit?


    • Ann says:

      Amen, sweetie! But PP was kind of a bombshell anyway, just in a different vein. As I mentioned to someone above, I never could spray it — a little dab or two did me just fine! Hope you are feeling better now.

  • rosarita313 says:

    This is already on my sample list, thanks for the review!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear! You seem to like some retro-ish scents, so think you’ll like it. Hope you are doing well!

  • MMKinPA says:

    I tried Ella and enjoyed it, but found it a bit too much for my everyday life teaching music to preschoolers. I thought it would be great for evening though. Definitely kind of a throwback.

    • Ann says:

      I could definitely see that wouldn’t be so great for the classroom, but a little dab or spritz for a night out could, indeed, be just the ticket.

  • LaDona says:

    I’m waiting for a bottle of Akkad right now. Not too old, and not too new, but what a WOWZER of a fragrance. Ella sounds lovely!

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Ann-
    I loved Paloma Picasso on other folks. Delicious. It became rank awful on me. Ella sounds inviting. Happy Monday to all.

    • Ann says:

      Sarah, I hear you! It wasn’t so hot on me sprayed, but a little dab from a sample vial was nice. Ella is definitely less polarizing, I think.

  • fragroom says:

    Sounds yummy. Loving the Zadig & Voltaire This Is Him!. Beautiful incense vibe. R