Calvin Klein Eternity

Eternity is one of those classic smelling Calvin Klein fragrances with a ton of ingredients that kind of sends em off into ‘meh’ territory for some reason.

Eternity

Eternity

In Bottle: Spicy carnation with rose and lily notes there’s a hint of citrus up top with a bit of earthiness too.

Applied: Citrus opener that follows with a sharp green and clean note that fades away rather quickly to reveal very spicy carnation with a bit of sage and a lily and rose flowery midstage. This stuff smells like a spicy flower bouquet and if you let it keep aging on your skin, you’ll be treated to a woodsier interpretation near the end that falls into a warm spicy and earth fragrance that finishes itself off with a faded carnation note.

Extra: Eternity was composed by Sophia Grojsman who also did fragrance such as White Linen for Estee Lauder and Lancome’s Tresor.

Design: Eternity is bottled rather simply in a tasteful shape and with subdued design elements. It’s a rectangular glass bottle with a metal topper. Very nicely done, Calvin Klein. But then again, CK has always been pretty good about its bottle designs. Kudos.

Fragrance Family: Spicy Floral

Notes: Citrus, mandarin, green notes, freesia, sage, lily, carnation, violet, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, marigold, narcissus, heliotrope, sandalwood, musk, amber, patchouli.

I’m not wild about this fragrance for some reason. Maybe it’s because I used to smell this a lot when I was around this one woman who swore by her Eternity and wouldn’t wear anything else. It’s been almost a decade since I was around her but maybe that’s why I feel like Eternity just isn’t exciting to me. You smell a perfume for a certain amount of time and it just ceases to be amazing, I suppose.

Reviewed in This Post: Eternity, 2002, Eau de Parfum.


How Make Your Perfume Last Longer

One of the more common questions surrounding perfume use has to do with making the stuff last longer. In a given week, it’s inevitable that someone will want to know why their fragrance is disappearing halfway through the day, leaving them with a ghost of perfume or–in many cases–seemingly nothing at all.

The following are some tips you can try to prolong the wear time of your fragrance. Please keep in mind that you can try any number of things to keep a fragrance on your skin but some perfumes have a penchant for being less robust than others.

Moisturizing
Also called the ‘Big M’. Okay, okay, only I call it that. Moisturizing your skin is the very first recommendation for anyone looking to prolong their fragrance wear time. Not only is moisturizing a good practice to keep your skin healthy and happy, it also helps to keep your fragrance around a bit longer. As near as I can tell, well moisturized skin holds onto perfume better than dry skin. Therefore, you get more wear. It’s best to use an unscented lotion or body cream. You can even use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) as an unscented option. You want it to be unscented¬† so that the fragrance in the lotion or body cream does not mix and interfere with the progression of your perfume.

Layering
Layering your fragrance is another good way to help it last longer. Many perfumes come with bath and body sets that you can buy along with the fragrance. For instance, Chanel No.5 box sets can include a No.5 scented bar of soap, a bottle of Chanel No.5 perfume, and a bottle of No.5 scented lotion. These sets are good because they not only help prolong your fragrance, they also tend to be pretty decent deals where you can buy a shower gel and lotion along with a bottle of your perfume. Some fragrances even sell separate lotions and soaps (like in the case of Chanel No.5, Thierry Mugler Angel, and other widely popular fragrances). To layer your fragrance, just shower with the same scented soap or gel, apply the same scented lotion, and put your perfume on.

Keep Cool
Though not always a possible solution, keeping cool and keep your fragrance around a little bit longer. You burn off your fragrance much faster if you’re exercising or hanging out in a hot location. Perfume works through evaporation. Without getting into the scientific nitty-gritty, when your climate is hot, or if your body temperature is elevated then your fragrance will disappear faster. It’ll probably smell stronger at first, but its wear time will also be reduced. So try to keep cool and if you’re heading to the gym, maybe you should hold off on spraying your favorite fragrance until after your work out.

Wearing Perfume on Your Clothes
Spraying your fragrance on your clothing can keep it around for a very long time. But the things to keep in mind if you choose to wear it on your clothes is the fact that your fragrance won’t progress naturally. Perfumes were meant to be worn on the skin to mix with the individual user’s body chemistry. They were meant to evaporate with our body heat and change and evolve the longer we wear them. If you wear your fragrance on your clothes, you’re missing out on the complex experience and will likely get mostly top notes and whatever else happens to escape. Some perfumes also contain dyes and may stain light colored clothing. So long as you are aware that your perfume will smell different on your clothes than on you, and that you run the risk of staining your clothes, wearing a fragrance on your shirt or something will definitely prolong the life of your scent.

Wearing Perfume in Your Hair
A bit similar to the clothing approach. You may have more luck wearing your fragrance in your hair unless you plan to go out with your head uncovered into very strong sun, your hair should do a better job at keep your scent around than on your skin. Some people warn that the alcohol in perfumes can cause damage to your hair. But keep in mind that the amount of alcohol you dispense with a couple of sprays of perfume probably won’t harm you that much. Especially when we remember that most of us use heat to dry our hair and use styling products that are sometimes worse than a couple of squirts of perfume. But, in addition to not being a scientist or a doctor, I am also not a hairstylist.

Wear a Scent Locket
Scent lockets can be a good idea if you find you have skin allergies to some perfumes. What you can do is buy a scent locket (or even a regular locket) made from a neutral smelling metal (like silver). Next you can soak or spray a small piece of tissue, or cotton with your perfume and stick that in the locket and wear it. The heat from your skin contacting the locket should help the fragrance progress somewhat. Keep in mind that you are once again not wearing the perfume directly on your skin so your fragrance may smell different than it normally would.

Consider Your Nose
I’ve mentioned before the problematic issue with regards to our noses and sense of smell and how it can get used to an aroma over time. If you have a favorite perfume that you wear everyday that you notice smells less and less strong, it may not be the perfume–it might just be your nose. Before you freshen up or worry about your fragrance¬† fading on your skin, ask a friend if they can still smell your perfume on you.

Consider the Composition of Your Fragrance
While perfume concentrations cannot always tell you how long a fragrance will last on your skin (remember, many perfume houses change or tweak the formula between their Eau de Toilette versions and Eau de Parfum versions), you can usually depend on a higher quality fragrance made with certain ingredients to last longer than others. Citrus-based fragrances like Bath and Body Works’ White Citrus, for instance, don’t last very long. On the other hand, a powerhouse oriental like Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium will last like a champ. Take a look at the notes pyramid for a classic fragrance. Notice how the citrus notes are usually on top? These notes tend to evaporate and disappear first. And often you’ll have things that will stick around for a lot longer at the bottom like woods, musks, incense and resins.

Hopefully those tips will help you keep your fragrances around for a bit longer. While no one technique can guarantee an entire day of wear for delicate scents like Balenciaga Paris, you might be able to squeeze out a bit more wear time. And if nothing else works, carry a travel spray or sampler vial of your fragrance and freshen up throughout the day. I know, it’s kind of a pain, but some fragrances just don’t want to stick.


BnBW Paris Amour

Another new-ish release from Bath and Body Works, Paris Amour is supposed to be a sophisticated, romantic fruity floral scent. I already have my doubts.

Paris Amour

Paris Amour

In Bottle: Very fruity, the strawberry is really present along with this peach and apple combination. Everything is also very sweet.

Applied: Strawberry all up in my face. There’s the apple blossom kind of waffling about with the peach note as the big fruity opening starts drying off in the mid-stage where the floral notes start to come up. We got a little bit of something green but there is a lot of frangipani to my nose and an equal amount of cleaned up lotus mixed with a tiny hint of cleaned up jasmine. The dry down is not too much more interesting as the floral midstage gives way to a vanilla sandalwood scent that’s been bathed in white musk.

Extra: Paris Amour, like pretty much all other Bath and Body Works fragrances comes in a variety of different products. You can get a lotion, body mist, body cream, shower gel. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a candle version of this scent.

Design: Designed in much the same way as other Bath and Body Works fragrances. Essentially, you’ve got a square bottle with some cute pastel colors and the Eiffel Tower. Nothing too exciting though the design of this particular fragrance is a little unbalanced with the tower standing out a little too much in my opinion.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Mandarin, strawberry, cassis, freesia, apple blossom, peach, jasmine, lotus, frangipani, tulip, musk, sandalwood, amber, vanilla, coconut.

Paris Amour is pretty generic for what it is. I don’t know, Bath and Body Works seems to have one hit fragrance and that was Japanese Cherry Blossom. Everything else is kind of like this, “It smells all right” kind of affair with no real sense of the dramatic or the unique. As for whether or not Paris Amour is the sophisticated and romantic scent it was toted as being–eh, not really. This makes me think, “fun”, “girly”, “happy”. Romance and sophistication don’t come into the picture.

Reviewed in This Post: Paris Amour, 2011, Eau de Toilette.


Chanel Cristalle

Chanel Cristalle is the green, grassy, floral prettiness that came out in 1993. Juicy Couture’s recent release, Peace, Love and Juicy Couture was reminiscent of this beautiful chypre.

Cristalle

Cristalle

In Bottle: Cristalle opens remarkably like Peace, Love and Juicy (or should PL&J be said to open like Cristalle?) It’s green with a little bit of earthiness and a whole lot of nice.

Applied: Green and clean, the bergamot might help on that front a little but there’s definitely a bit of grassiness in there too. PL&J is remarkably similar to Cristalle in the opening but as Cristalle starts to age, I get a bit more personality and more depth, though the two fragrances are a bit alike. The floral notes in the midstage are beautifully blended together with a dense and sensual woodsy note. As the fragrance keeps aging toward the dry down there’s a bit of a dry hay-like fragrance that mingles with this warm green quality. There’s a bit of the florals still present in the dry down but the vetiver and warm woods from the midstage is definitely what I smell the most.

Extra: Cristalle, the Eau de Toilette (reviewed in this post) was composed by Henri Robert in 1974. Robert was also responsible for Chanel Pour Monsieur and Chanel No. 19. The Cristalle Eau de Parfum was composed by Jacques Polge at a later date. Jacques Polge being the nose behind Chanel Beige, Chanel Egoiste, and many more.

Design: Cristalle Eau de Toilette has changed its look over the years and Chanel doesn’t help matters by having different versions bottled in different ways. The Cristalle I saw was similar in appearance to No. 19 with the same relative shape but with a black cap. Regardless, it was all very classy and timeless as per usual for Chanel.

Fragrance Family: Chypre

Notes: Bergamot, lemon, hyacinth, rosewood, oak moss, vetiver.

Cristalle is one of those Chanel fragrances that make me think of the fragrance house’s illustrious past. When I think “Chanel Perfume”, Cristalle’s a part of that collection.

Reviewed in This Post: Cristalle, 1998, Eau de Toilette.


Chanel No. 19

One look at Chanel No. 19’s notes list and you just know this stuff is worth a sniff. Aside from its very impressive ingredients, No. 19 is a classic with more than a few interesting factoids.

No. 19

No. 19

In Bottle: Very green and slightly bitter. I get a lot of the jasmine and orris.

Applied: Lots of green in the opening with a slight bitterness to it. I get a bit of bergamot in the opening but as No. 19 ages, the green gradually gives way to a powdery green floral where ylang-ylang, jasmine and orris are the stars of the show. Lily of the valley comes and goes in this as well and if you keep giving No. 19 time, the fragrance digs itself into a really pleasant sandalwood and dry cedar scent with the fading powdery florals. I am smelling a bit of leather in the dry down but it’s no where near as strong as I thought it would be as the scent fades with a perfumed sandalwood and cedar note. Overall, No. 19 has that expensive smell to it. If you want something sophisticated to wear, this is a good choice.

Extra: It’s said that No. 19 is named for Coco Chanel’s birthday which fell on August 19. No. 19 was composed by Henri Robert who also created Cristalle and Pour Monsieur.

Design: No. 19’s shape is reminiscent of Chanel No. 5 Eau Premier though it’s a distinctly different design. Still, like with most Chanel bottles, No. 19 has an understated elegance that works really well for the fragrance. There are no frills or cheap thrills with the design of this bottle. It just has a nice and timeless form that’s easy to use..

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Bergamot, galbanum, hyacinth, neroli, orris, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily of the valley, rose, narcissus, leather, sandalwood, oak moss, musk, vetiver, cedar.

A lot of people interested in buying their first Chanel perfume are probably tempted to one of three fragrances from the house. Coco Mademoiselle, Chance, or No. 5. All good choices but they’re all distinctly different fragrances and for those who think Coco Mademoiselle is too young, Chance to generic, and No. 5 too classical then try No. 19 and see if you can get a long with it.

Reviewed in This Post: No. 19, 2005, Eau de Parfum.


Houbigant Fougere Royale 2010

Usually when a fragrance company says they’ve taken one of their classics and ‘modernized’ it, big red alarms go off in my head. I’ve never had the pleasure of sampling the original Fougere Royale from 1882 and the oldest vintage I’ve even seen was on an eBay auction of questionable quality. So I went into this 2010 reformulation with as little knowledge of the original perfume as possible–being ignorant of the original fragrance, I’m going to have to say Fougere Royale 2010 is pretty darn good.

Fougere Royale 2010

Fougere Royale 2010

In Bottle: The lavender note is rather strong in this, dominating for the moment over the green herbal quality of the fragrance. There’s a spiciness in the background that blends in beautifully with the rest of the fragrance making Fougere Royale smell¬† sophisticated.

Applied: Opens with a clear greenness to it layered over a lavender note that’s helping a spicy floral note along that might be the carnation. As the fragrance heads into its midstage the lavender sticks around but also blends in with a strong herbal note that I presume is the clary sage. There’s a lot of complexity in this fragrance but I can pick out a few key notes here and there. Most notable is the lavender, then the sage and a spicy note in the midstage where I get the cinnamon notes. The final dry down is marked with a creamier personality as the tonka and amber notes come up to blend with the herbal and spicy notes. The lavender is still faintly recognizable in the dry down as well.

Extra: Fougere Royale has had a tumultuous past, much like the fragrance house that originally released it. After its release in 1882 it has gone under numerous reformulations. Like with all modern fragrances, any oak moss note is likely to be synthetic or a substitute. The original Fougere Royale was composed by Paul Parquet and was considered one of the first modern fragrances thanks to its use of synthetic coumarin. The 2010 version of Fougere Royale was composed by Rodrigo Floures-Roux (Clinique Happy, John Varvatos Artisan and Artisan Black).

Design: Fougere Royale 2010 is designed to appeal to a more masculine audience with a square-ish bottle featuring cut patterns in the glass. The bottle reminds me a bit of classical fragrances but also remains a little bit of modern appeal. It’s a pretty good design that does the fragrance and its history justice, in my opinion.

Fragrance Family: Aromatic

Notes: Bergamot, chamomile, lavender, herbs, carnation, geranium, cinnamon, rose, patchouli, oak moss, amber, tonka bean, clary sage.

I do believe Fougere Royale 2010 did the best that it could with a notes list from the 1800s that would have been expensive and near impossible to replicate now. I don’t doubt that 2010’s version and the fragrance from 1882 would smell drastically different but the 2010 version is a great fragrance nonetheless.

Reviewed in This Post: Fougere Royale, 2010, Eau de Parfum.


Juliette Has A Gun Miss Charming

Miss Charming by Juliette Has A Gun is a lighthearted fruity rose whose priced like a niche fragrance, but smells like a mainstream perfume.

Miss Charming

Miss Charming

In Bottle: Smells like fruity roses. Most notable in the opening is a sweet and slightly sour berry scent followed by a bit of a weak rose note.

Applied: Sweet berries with a hint of tartness layered over a rose note that gets a bit dusty as you continue to wear the fragrance. Miss Charming is very youthful, though she relies a little too much on the fruitiness to get her by. I can’t help but think I’ve smelled this before in a lot of mainstream perfumes. Anyway, Miss Charming continues along a fairly linear track of sweet and rosey and reaches its midstage with a sort of powdered rose scent that reminds me a bit of Lady Vengeance, only Lady Vengeance did the motif a lot better in my opinion. The dry down is a rose and clean musk. Miss Charming lacks the soapiness that I found very pleasant in Lady Vengeance too. Nothing unusual or interesting to be had in the dry down, unfortunately.

Extra: Miss Charming’s angle was to be bright and happy and bubbling. I felt it could have been done a lot better, particularly since the fragrance echoes so many mainstream fragrances while boasting a niche fragrance’s price. Miss Charming was composed by Francis Kurkdjian.

Design: Miss Charming is designed in much the same way as Lady Vengeance. The only major difference to the bottle is the color where Lady Vengeance was black, Miss Charming is white. You can also get Miss Charming in a cool perfume vial encased in a metal bullet-like roll-on. It’s very neat looking.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Litchi, berries, Moroccan rose, musk.

So if someone were to ask me whether I prefer Miss Charming or Lady Vengeance, I’d definitely have to go with Lady Vengeance. It was young, easy to wear, and had a bit more of a personality than Miss Charming. This particular fragrance just didn’t work for me.

Reviewed in This Post: Miss Charming, 2010, Eau de Parfum.


Kenzo Amour

Kenzo Amour was probably designed around romance, passion and love. The shape of the bottle is certainly interesting as is the bottle design but the fragrance itself, as usual, has little to do with its ad.

Amour

Amour

In Bottle: Like with all perfumes that use frangipani, I end up smelling that the most. It’s sweet little flowery self dominating the majority of this scent but there’s a bit of other stuff going on here too like this slightly powdery floral scent and an equally dominating vanilla note.

Applied: Initial flare up of frangipani with a warm, creamy center. The fragrance gets a bit more floral as you keep wearing it as I presume either the heliotrope or the cherry blossom in this is trying to peak through. I get a slight powderiness in the fragrance, maybe it’s the rice? Not entirely sure what that is but it’s not strong and easily ignorable if you’re not looking for it. As Amour ages, the vanilla note gets stronger and comes up, bathing the whole fragrance in this creamy, milky, flowery concoction. Very nicely done actually. Amour is a rather comforting scent, not sure if I would associate it with passion but comfort is definitely there. The dry down is marked with a clean and still creamy vanilla scent.

Extra: Kenzo Amour was composed by Daphne Bugey (Rose 31 for Le Labo, A Scent for Issey Miyake) and Olivier Cresp (Dune for Dior, Angel for Thierry Mugler, Elle for Yves Saint Laurent).

Design: Amour comes in three colored bottles. Each of the colors represents a different amount. I believe the pink one is 30ml, the white is 50ml, and the orange is 100ml. The shape of the bottle reminds me a bit of Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan in that it has that swan-like shape. The bottle is easy to hold and manipulate despite is funky shape and the spray nozzle works just fine.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Heliotrope, frangipani, tea, cherry blossom, rice, musk, vanilla.

Amour is a well composed bit of fun. Very feminine and a good choice for most people (it leans a bit closer to the feminine side) of any age. It’s actually a great fragrance. But if you’re looking for passion, I’m not sure you’ll find it in this sweet milky flowery substance.

Reviewed in This Post: Amour, 2009, Eau de Parfum.


Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Fairy Wine

Fairy Wine from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a part of their Neil Gaiman, Stardust collection of fragrances that are supposed to invoke characters or concepts from the book, Stardust. I was originally intrigued by this fragrance because it purportedly actually smelled like wine. Fairy Wine

In Bottle: Fancy that, it smells like wine! Wine with a hint of sweetness and blackcurrant.

Applied: Now I’m about as unsophisticated as you can get when it comes to wine so I can’t identify what type of wine this is if there is a type to this. All I can say is that it has that deep, fruity scent of wine with a hint of honey, a little bit of green bitter dandelion, and a few tart blackcurrants added into the mix for good flavor. The notes blend together very nicely with the wine taking on a bit more sweetness as the fragrance ages on the skin. The final stretch of this fragrance has me smelling less wine and more currant.

Extra: Fairy Wine is a joint venture between Black Phoenix and Neil Gaiman for a charitable cause that goes to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Design: The bottle is, of course, the same as all other Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scents. The only difference is the label which features interpretive illustrations of Stardust characters and other elements. The artwork was done by the very talented Sarah Coleman.

Fragrance Family: Fruity

Notes: Wine, dandelion, honey, blackcurrant.

Well, I did go into this expecting wine and I got what I wanted after all. While I don’t know if I can wear this often it is quite a pleasant scent.

Reviewed in This Post: Fairy Wine, 2010, 5ml Bottle.


Annick Goutal Songes

Songes is one of Annick Goutal’s widely popular and beloved fragrances. Every time I visit a particular perfume store where I live, and spot the Songes factice there I think to myself, “I really have to smell that sometime”. Then inexplicably, I put it off. But I’ve wrangled myself, got my act together, and finally tried her out.

Songes

Songes

In Bottle: Sweet fragipani with an undercurrent of jasmine powdery ylang ylang and a vanilla base. A rather interesting mix and quite sweet to boot.

Applied: Very sweet opening consisting mostly of fragipani and tiare. Both of these flowers having an inherent sweetness attributed to them. They make Songes come off as a bit too girly and sweet but if you wait her out a little the sweetness gets tamer though it never really goes away. But you get a mild powdery note that comes out in the mid-stage along with a gorgeous jasmine mingled with a vanilla base. Wait a while longer and Songes evolves into its end stage with a soft powdered vanilla scent. There’s something very pretty about Songes’ midstage and base, I can probably do without its very sweet opening but the opening gives way to a much better fragrance so in this case, I can deal with the opening because it’s honestly not that bad, so long as I can get to the middle and base.

Extra: Songes was created in 2005 by Isabelle Doyen. Doyen was behind other fragrances such as Annick Goutal’s Mandragore, Un Matin d’Orage, and Le Mimosa.

Design: Songes, like many Annick Goutal fragrances come bottled in a variety of ways. The most popular you’d see is the feminine ribbed glass flacon with the paper identifier and the ribbon tied around the bottle’s neck. If you wanted to pay a bit more for a premium design, you can get the beautiful round flacon with the adorable crescent moon cap.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Frangipani, tiare flower, jasmine, ylang-ylang, vanilla.

If nothing else, Songes is a competent fragrance that would be good for someone who enjoys sweet vanilla florals. And if you happen to be a lover of perfume bottles, the full-on round flacon would make a beautiful piece.

Reviewed in This Post: Songes, 2009, Eau de Toilette.