There’s a fantastic article discussing natural perfumery, consumer concerns about perfume, and perfume ingredients disclosure over at Fragrantica. I recommend anyone who’s wondering what they’re putting on when they use perfume to head on over there and read. It’s very interesting stuff.
Bombshell is one of those runaway success stories of fragrance that has all the right components. Relatively affordable, accessible, and easy to love.
In Bottle: Fresh and clean with a little bit of fruity. Smells like fruity shampoo which is pretty much a goldmine when it comes to mass appeal.
Applied: I’m a little frustrated with the notes in this one because while Bombshell does smell generic, it hits that ‘just right’ sweet spot where something can smell generic but be great at the same time. This fragrance can easily go with me on whatever occasion because it just smells clean, fresh and a little bit fruity. It’s the just stepped out of the shower fragrance with it’s opening of fruity cleanness. I’m getting more than just passion fruit in this. There’s a bit of something citrus-like that I want to say is a sweet grapefruit note or a mandarin note and a bunch of other fruits that I can’t even begin to pick out. It’s nicely blended together, at least. If you let it get into the mid-stage the fruity opening turns into a soft, clean floral with a hint of vanilla. Let it dry down and you get less florals and more vanilla. It’s so straightforward and simple and uniform that it’s hard not to like this because it is what it is–your standard shampoo-smelling perfume, but the thing with Bombshell is that it does this shampoo smell so well.
Extra: Bombshell was the 2011 winner in the Consumer’s Choice category at the FiFi awards. I can see why this fragrance is so popular as it’s simply easy to love.
Design: Dressed in pink with a ribbon even. Bombshell has a pleasing enough shape though the look of her isn’t ultra luxurious, her design gets the job done. The stripes on the bottle can be a bit much but she’s a lovely bottle, very easy to hold, and equally easy to use.
Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral
Notes: Passion fruit, peony, vanilla orchid.
While I do like Bombshell a great deal, I don’t know if it was award worthy. This kind of fragrance is incredibly pedestrian but you can’t argue with the fact that it’s widespread appeal is the direct result of it being so generic.
Reviewed in This Post: Bombshell, 2011, Eau de Parfum.
How long has it been since I last smelled a classic Guerlain and marveled in that signature Guerlinade? Entirely too long, I think. I took a break from posting up Guerlain reviews because it’s clear I’m a fan girl from the amount of Guerlain vs. other fragrance houses. But we’re taking a bit of a respite today as summer winds its way down for autumn.
In Bottle: Ah glorious aldehydes mixed with a complex bouquet of florals and deepened with woods and resins and that unmistkable Guerlinade.
Applied: There’s something familiar and almost nostalgic when I smell Guerlinade in a fragrance after many months of hiatus. It’s like a comforting friend waiting for me with a cup of coffee after a rough day. Except in Chamade’s case, it’s a bouquet of aldehylic florals that stretch beyond the spectrum of complexity. You truly don’t smell anything like this these days. Not even the more daring of fragrance houses have quite this much depth to a fragrance. I can get the florals and the woods with the spicy and resins, but I can’t pick out specific notes. It’s just so beautifully blended together that I can only describe the opening as bright, slightly bitter, green and sophisticated. The midstage is a deep, resinous, complex floral aldehyde. The dry down is a warm, resin woodsy scent with this signature vanilla-like note. Just beautiful.
Extra: Classic Chamade, like many great perfumes, disappeared a little while ago. It was reintroduced in 1999 as Chamade Pour Homme as a limited edition then finally added to the line of Les Parisiennes. Looking at the notes list for the two, you can kind of see the new Chamade has been thinned out a bit. I haven’t smelled her yet though so I can’t pass judgement on whether or not the fragrance has actually been thinned out but I am worried for its history and its lush complexity.
Design: Classic Chamade was bottled in a beautiful flacon that reminds me half of a heart and half of a leaf. It’s a little reminiscent of an Escada bottle (or rather, the Escada bottles are reminiscent of this) except done far better with much nicer design elements and superior form. It’s a beautiful piece of glass and I have no complaints.
Fragrance Family: Classic Floral
Notes: Bergamot, Turkish rose, aldehydes, hyacinth, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac, cloves , blackcurrant buds, lily of the valley, galbanum, sandalwood, vetiver, musk, balsam, amber, benzoin, iris, tonka bean.
That was a nice respite. I especially found this pleasant after the disappointing adventure with Cher’s Uninhibited. Classic perfumes can be kept for many years and it’s a good thing too, or we wouldn’t be able to enjoy original Chamade.
Reviewed in This Post: Chamade, ~1980, Eau de Parfum.
Hey, remember when Cher came out with that perfume? It was the late 80s, the oriental fragrance era was just starting to peter out and out came Uninhibited–clearly uninhibited by the timeline of its release because not only did it break away from the oriental fragrance fad of the time, it was also a sparkling floral aldehyde.
In Bottle: I think the sampler I got may have come from a bottle that’s gone off. I get strong floral aldehydes but there’s this faint and unpleasant whiff of alcohol lingering around too. You know that sweet, cloying, sickening smell of rot and alcohol? I’m getting that.
Applied: Floral aldehydes nice and big and that unfortunate smell of off-perfume is also pretty big too. I’m not going to blame the fragrance for this as I’m pretty darn sure the age of the sample is probably what’s doing it. Anyway, the aldehydes are still sparkling and the florals with a dominant jasmine and rose scent are still going strong. As the fragrance ages, there’s a bit of rose, jasmine and woodsiness heading through the aldehydes though this fragrance remains mostly soapy and powdery. It dries down with a pleasant dry woodsiness with a distinct cedar note that’s been calmed down with age. I probably would have really liked this fragrance if it hadn’t been for that bizarre off-perfume smell. But again, this was a pretty old sample and I don’t think the quality of a sample from a fragrance this old could ever be guaranteed and I did gamble a little bit on an obscure celebrity fragrance being kept up like a vintage Guerlain Mitsouko would be. From what I did smell, I could tell I rather liked it. It has a classical air about it thanks to those aldehydes and there were several layers of complexity that still shone through in the fragrance despite its age.
Extra: I’m really sad having read the notes list for this because most of the fragrance was an amalgamation of scents and all I got were jasmine, rose, aldehydes and cedar.
Design: There’s almost something Art Deco about this bottle that makes me really like it. It’s got clean lines with a little bit of whimsy. If you were to take a gander at it, you wouldn’t have guessed it was a celebrity perfume until someone told you. The bottle just seems so classy like it’s from a much earlier time than it actually is.
Fragrance Family: Floral
Notes: Heliotrope, aldehydes, ylang-ylang, geranium, rose, jasmine, tobacco, cedar, musk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver.
Uninhibited has been discontinued for quite some time, though tracking down this stuff isn’t too hard. There’s a lot of secondhand sellers but I would advise caution when you go to buy this stuff as my sample had gone off. I’m unsure as to when exactly Uninhibited was discontinued so watch out for that also if you plan to track down your own bottle.
Reviewed in This Post: Uninhibited, ~1989, Eau de Parfum.
It’s interesting how popular it is to smell like laundry. Though the phenomenon can’t be a surprise to many people. Laundry, soap, and shampoo scents are some of the most brilliant compositions in terms of mass market appeal. There are a lot of people who can say they don’t like the smell of perfume. But a significantly fewer amount of people who would say they hate the smell of soap or clean clothes.
So it’s not surprising to me that many people want to smell like clean clothes or clean laundry. The following fragrances are scents that hit it on the head when it comes to that fresh out of the dryer smell.
Bath and Body Works Cotton Blossom
Cotton Blossom’s best feature is it’s clean, sharp soapy composition that reminds me of dryer sheets. It’s also pretty strong for a body mist and the beauty if it all is that it’s cheap too. You can pick up a huge bottle (more than 200ml) for $12 or less and Bath and Body Works is always having sales. That’s not to mention that one wouldn’t have to drive very far to find a Bath and Body Works store. And if you happen to live in a small town, there’s always the well-stocked website. Cheap, smells like laundry, accessible, and pretty decent projection to boot. I can’t really ask for more. Review>>
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Wensleydale
Wensleydale is a double threat. If you want to smell like soap, it’s got you covered. If you want to smell like laundry, it’s still got you covered. The cotton note used in this makes it the perfect fragrance for laundry smell seekers. The soapy smell in this makes it great for those wanting to smell like they just stepped out of the shower. Wenlseydale can be purchased on the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab website under Neil Gaiman > Good Omens for $26 per 5ml of fragrance oil. Don’t worry, those 5ml will last you a very long time.
Boadicea the Victorious Pure
If you were looking for more niche and more prestige in your laundry smell quest, Boadicea the Victorious’ Pure is a clean, laundry-esque fragrance that hits it just right between crisp citrus, and clean clothing. It’ll cost you a pretty penny though as this stuff will run you $175 for 50ml. You can hook yourself up with some BtV Pure at Lucky Scent. Review>>
Philosophy Pure Grace
Philosophy’s interpretation of Pure Grace is a clean, crispy little floral with a very soapy interpretation. If you wanted clean and laundry then this is your stuff. It’s a bit pricier than a Bath and Body Works body mist but it isn’t going to break the bank like a niche laundry fragrance either. You can nab yourself a 60ml bottle for $40 at Sephora.
Nobody can quite top Demeter Fragrance Library when it comes to making literal interpretations of fragrances. Laundromat is exactly what you would think it is. The smell of clean laundry, plain and simple. The only downside is the lack of longevity for this fragrance. But hey, you can get a pretty hefty amount of perfume for a variety of reasonable prices on their website.
Clean Warm Cotton
The very fact that the company’s name is ‘Clean’ should tell you that these people know their laundry scents. Warm Cotton is a nice interpretation that will remind many people of their clean clothes and detergents. At $69 for 63ml of laundry smell, Warm Cotton will run you a bit more than Philsophy’s Pure Grace. But if you want to see how much this smells like your laundry you can get some of this stuff at Sephora.
And there you have it, a few laundry-esque recommendations. If you look at the lowest common denominator in the above recommendations you’ll note that most of those fragrances have some sort of relationship with the cotton note. So if none of these float your laundry boat, try looking for other fragrances that boast the clean cotton smell. If you have any further recommendations for laundry-esque scents, feel free to leave a comment. I love smelling like laundry too.
Sometimes reading up on the history of a perfume is about as complicated as finding it. Organza Indecence had an earlier launch sometime in the late 1990s. I presume somewhere in and around that time it was also discontinued. It has been brought back since 2007 with a reportedly weaker sillage and it is the brought back version that I have.
In Bottle: Spicy with a clear cinnamon note and a nice mildly woody, floral in the background layered over a warm, sensual amber.
Applied: Spicy, a little bit sweet with a soft floral background that takes Indecence toward the feminine a little bit. I get some of the patchouli but it isn’t distracting because I swear there’s some florals here that are taming that dreaded patchouli and making it work with the spicy cinnamon. As the fragrance ages, it acquires a slight sweet and woody quality and that amber amps up giving this a warm sensual feel that takes it a bit closer to its sister, Organza. In Organza, I got a stronger amber note, with Organza Indecence I get a lighter, tamer amber with a spicy kick at the start and a flowery patchouli. The amber gets stronger and warmer as the fragrance wears on until it’s gone and all you’re left is that golden amber echo.
Extra: One of the more exciting parts about researching Organza Indecence is finding out that the collection it belongs to, Les Parfums Mythiques, also has a redistributed version of L’Interdit, one of those perfumes that I’d go gaga for. Funny enough you can find a few bottles kicking around discounters, on eBay, and even Givenchy’s Amazon.com branch has a couple of these fragrances in stock and the prices aren’t too bad either.
Design: Organza Indecence’s design is a delightful change from Organza as the fragrance plays up the feminine figure motif adding a lovely flowing coat to the bottle. Putting these two side-by-side would be awesome but unless you have the original release bottle, the Les Parfums Mythiques version is a decidedly simpler affair with a rectangle-ish thing that doesn’t inspire as much whimsical artistry. Still, both designs are pleasant.
Fragrance Family: Spicy Oriental
Notes: Patchouli, plum, cinnamon, amber, musk.
The two Organzas are distinct and of these two, I think I prefer Indecence’s spicier interpretation. There’s something to be said about the tamer amber in this and the sweetness mingling with the spicy cinnamon opening. It’s a little more approachable to my nose, though both of these fragrances have very lovely amberous hearts.
My thanks go out to Dovile for reminding me to get a review of Givenchy Organza Indecence out there. 😀
Reviewed in This Post: Organza Indecence, 2009, Eau de Parfum.
Lolita Lempicka fragrances have a way of drawing me in with their bottle design and Si Lolita is no different. It got me with the bottle design but I can’t say I care too much for the fragrance itself.
In Bottle: Spicy florals. Rather interesting for a mainstream release and I rather like the spiciness.
Applied: The pink pepper used in this is rather strong and infuses the fragrance with a spicy quality throughout the rest of the scent. There’s a hint of clove and I want to say cinnamon but not entirely sure. There’s definitely more to the spiciness than just pink pepper though. The fragrance moves into its midstage smelling like spicy sweet floral fragrances with a jolt of creaminess. Rather fascinating but I haven’t decided if I like it yet or not. As the midstage continues, I start to notice something a bit unpleasant bubble up from the depths. It might be the patchouli, I thought at first but patchouli doesn’t do what I was smelling. So I went out and looked this one up and surprisingly enough Sephora, of all places, gives me my answer. There’s wallflower in this, making the fragrance smell like a spicy sweet herb in the midstage. I don’t like it in this context. The dry down is marked with that spicy sweet herb scent but mingled with a warm amber and tonka quality. The warming at the end actually makes the sweet herb smell even worse for me, unfortunately.
Extra: Si Lolita had a beautiful ad campaign with vivid colors and a gorgeous presentation in terms of packaging and commercial. There was a bit of unnecessary sexiness and a hint of overdone but the overall campaign was very nice and pretty. You can see for yourself with this video (entirely in French).
Design: I love the bottle and the packaging. The colors are bright and cute and go well together. The bottle has a nice feel and weight to it. The design is adorable–a four-leafed clover with an adorable scarf attached at the neck.
Fragrance Family: Spicy Floral
Notes: Bergamot, pink pepper, mandarin, sweet pea, heliotrope, wallflower, elemi gum, patchouli, tonka bean, amber.
Si Lolita started out beautifully enough, it had a great opening and a great start to its midstage. I really wish that wallflower hadn’t come into the mix and messed things up for me. But keep in mind that I might hate the sweet scent in this but someone else might enjoy it. So try this one out to see if you like it at all. It’s a well done fragrance even if it didn’t work well for me.
Reviewed in This Post: Si Lolita, 2011, Eau de Parfum.
My thanks go to LS for requesting Le Baiser du Dragon. I headed out and tracked down a bottle to sample and it’s one heck of a unique, deep, oriental. I will admit I haven’t considered Cartier fragrances much and I’m not exactly sure why. Le Baiser du Dragon is nice oriental.
In Bottle: Sweet almond and amaretto mixed with a sharp green and spicy floral quality with a creamy foody scent to it.
Applied: Opens with a spicy green kick then delves into a sweet almond and amaretto fragrance that hits a bit of a gourmand vibe. The sweet scent mixes into a floral bouquet during the midstage. I get gardenia and jasmine and a green note like leaves. I get a bit of woods in the middle as well with mix of woodsy notes coming up and taking with it a smoky quality that mingles with the rest of the fragrance. The woodsy notes I can definitely pick up on the cedar with a perfumed woody note that’s got to be sandalwood. Le Baiser du Dragon is really proving itself to be a highly complex, very pleasant fragrance. As it starts to dry down, the fragrance takes on a bit of a rose scent as well as a smokey creamy sweetness as the fragrance fades off with a nice and deep resinous woodsy fragrance Basically, there’s a mix of spicy and smokey creamy florals and woods. It’s very deep and very nice.
Extra: Le Baiser du Dragon comes in three concentrations, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum, and a straight Parfum version. The fragrance was composed by Alberto Morillas who also composed Marc Jacobs Daisy and Givenchy Pi.
Design: The bottle design is reminiscent of Cartier’s oriental inspired designs, particularly their Chinese inspired jewelry. It’s pretty evident by just looking at the top of the cap and the overlay on the glass. The bottle itself is nice and easy to hold with these cute pseudo-handles on the sides of the bottle’s glass. Overall, it’s a bit of a retro design but it’s easy to use and functional.
Fragrance Family: Oriental
Notes: Gardenia, bitter almond, amaretto, neroli, orris, jasmine, rose, musk, cedar, sandalwood, amber, dark chocolate, benzoin, caramel, patchouli, vetiver.
I really do love the complexity in this fragrance, there’s so much to smell and analyze and it’s one of the oriental genre’s better fragrances.
Reviewed in This Post: Le Baiser du Dragon, 2010, Eau de Parfum.
Jennifer Aniston’s perfume has been received with what I think is an odd sort of popularity in the fragrance world. Why am I perplexed? Well, it’s not that the stuff doesn’t smell good. It’s not even because I think it’s generic. It’s just that I had no idea Jennifer Aniston was still a very popular celebrity. Granted, the last time I watched a movie, a television show, or paid any attention to celebrities was about ten years ago.
In Bottle: Clean and soft floral with a kick of citrus at the top and a bunch of white musk.
Applied: Citrus opens up Lolavie and quickly makes way for the scrubbed clean florals. The scent is very light and refreshing. I can definitely see this being worn in the spring when the flowers have just started to come up. There’s no–or very little–sweetness to this thankfully as the predominant floral note seems to be lily according to my nose. There’s very little in the way of interesting progression as its dry down, I’ve noted, smells like sandalwood and white musk. All in all lolavie doesn’t leave a huge impression on me. It’s clean, it’s light, it’s fresh and it’s definitely a floral. Outside of those very basic facts there just isn’t a lot to comment on. Her longevity stinks due to how light she is but if you’ve been searching for a light, easy, floral perfume then Lolavie is a very good choice.
Extra: Lolavie was Jennifer Aniston’s first fragrance release and I think she’s been trying to table a deal to make another one. Before this fragrance was even released there was a bunch of media buzz about how Aniston didn’t want a normal celebrity perfume and that she wanted something daring and new and different. I will hand it to her that Lolavie is different from the sugar piles of other celebuscents. But it’s not daring or new and hardly different if you compare it to mainstream offerings. It’s a good attempt though and Aniston manages to avoid the Britney Spears segment of celebuscents and is so far cruising along with Sarah Jessica Parker.
Design: The one bone I have to pick with Lolavie is its packaging. The bottle is incredibly unwieldy. I have no idea why they designed the thing to be so big and–well, it’s just big and clunky. It’s a lovely shape. It’s an interesting twist on the standard classic perfume bottle look. But why does the thing have to be so enormous? The size of the bottle makes it difficult to hold and spray and is just unnecessary. Another thing that makes me cringe about the packaging is the typeface they chose. Reminds me a little too much of Times New Roman. Times being the typeface people associate with textbooks, technical manuals, and book reports they were forced to write in school. None of these things paints a particularly fascinating image of the scent within. Other than that, it’s a lovely simple design.
Fragrance Family: Floral
Notes: Citrus, rose, jasmine, violet, lily, musk, amber, sandalwood.
I modified the description of the notes list a little because I thought calling a blended citrus accord a “citrus grove accord” was pretty ridiculous wordage. Unless I’m to believe they crammed the citrus, the trees, the dirt, and farm tools into that accord I think calling it just a plain old ‘citrus accord’ is the way to go. What is it with these celebrity releases that they have to come up with the most bizarre ways to describe their notes? Do consumers really buy a perfume because they think they’re getting the smell of an entire citrus grove? No wonder perfume is so misunderstood and confusing. There’s so little consistency in the marketing.
Reviewed in This Post: Lolavie, 2011, Eau de Parfum.
I tend to gloss over Gucci Rush every time I get near it and I can only attribute this phenomenon to one thing–that ugly packaging. I see that big, red, square thing sitting on the shelf and wonder to myself what it is I’m looking at. When I gravitate closer, I realize it’s Gucci Rush once again, blasting red into my retinas and generally turning me off.
In Bottle: Smells fake and isn’t afraid to admit it. Rush smells like my childhood days spent sitting in a corner reenacting fairy tales with plastic dolls that wore cheap, fruity perfumes.
Applied: I didn’t think that plastic, synthetic smell was on purpose. Evidently it was! Very brave of Gucci, but at the same time I question their sanity to be this forward about the synthetic quality of their scent. Still, I can appreciate a fragrance that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. It smells like plastic on application, mixed with over-the-top fruity notes. I notice the peach most of all, it’s a bit nauseating to be honest and the plastic stays on me for the rest of the fragrance’s lifetime–which is not necessarily a good thing. The scent has some florals in there to help balance it out but Rush is like a discordant piece of music written by a madman. The midstage is an equally hilarious blend of white florals that smell like they rolled around in a pan of powder. As the fragrance dries down I get a hint of spicy plastic on florals and a powdery sort of vanilla base mixed with an earthy patchouli note that’s been warmed and dried by a bit of vetiver. The vetiver gives this a bit of a golden feel at the very end of the fragrance, I rather like that last little bit.
Extra: I tried looking around the internet to see what other people would lump Gucci Rush into in terms of fragrance family. I think the consensus was that this stuff was a modern chypre. I can see how it would be considered that with the use of the earthy patchouli, but if I had my way I wouldn’t so much call this a modern chypre than a synthetic chypre. That plastic note is still wigging me out months after I tried this stuff.
Design: Gucci Rush turned out to be a more interesting fragrance experience than I thought it would be. The packaging makes a bit more sense to me now but that doesn’t change the fact that the packaging has been a major turn off for me for many years. I understand what Gucci may have been going for there, but when it comes down to it, Gucci Rush’s aesthetic just looks cheap, lazy, and bad. As much as I appreciate its connection to the scent itself, I can’t get over the basic hideousness of the thing.
Fragrance Family: Modern Chypre
Notes: Freesia, gardenia, peach, coriander, Damask rose, jasmine, vanilla, vetiver, patchouli.
I kind of like this. It’s fascinating in that macabre way. You know when you’re flipping channels when you happen upon one of those live operations where they film the gory bits of surgery for some sort of educational purpose? And you’re thinking to yourself, “Ouch. This poor person. This is terrible. I shouldn’t be watching this. I haven’t got the stomach for it”, and yet thirty minutes later you’re not only still watching it but you’re on the verge of entertained. That’s Gucci Rush.
Reviewed in This Post: Rush, 2009, Eau de Toilette.