Hermes Un Jardin En Mediterranee

I’ll be the first to admit that I know nothing about the Mediterranean. I’ve never been, and won’t be for quite some time. Though from all that I’ve seen, heard, read and apparently, smelled, it is a lovely place. Hermes’ version of the Mediterranean, as they’ve declared, tries to capture the concept of the cool, watery, light aura.

Un Jardin En Mediterranee

Un Jardin En Mediterranee

In Bottle: Citrus, green and full with a light refreshing feel to it.

Applied:¬† Light citrus lots of juiciness in the opening and quite green and pleasant. I like how light handed, Un Jardin En Mediterranee starts off. It falls a little in the mid-stage, floating a floral my way very briefly before it settles into this thick cypress and cedar fragrance with a bit of green kick. This is a fragrance, I imagine wearing if I had an excess of flowing dresses and a beautiful garden behind my historical estate. As it is, wearing it while hunched over my work computer and contemplating its intricacies at a ridiculous hour makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Like this isn’t the fragrance for me. It smells pleasant enough. Light, green, citrus and cypress and the cedar isn’t too bothersome either. It just doesn’t seem like it meshes with me in general.

Extra: Developed by Jean Claude Ellena, Mediterranee is a part of a collection. Others in this collection include Un Jardin Sur Le Toit and Un Jardin Sur Le Nil.

Design: Lovely, simple Hermes design. I’m a sucker for the specific colors they chose to do this series in. Would look great lined up in a row.

Fragrance Family: Fresh Floral

Notes: Orange, lemon, bergamot, oleander, orange blossom, fig leaf, cypress, cedar, musk, juniper.

I got into gardening over the past year, having moved somewhere that experiences more months of non-winter than “two” and discovered how fascinating growing and tending to plantlife is. It’s a real shame that I apparently have a brown thumb and maybe that’s why Mediterranee makes me feel like a fraud :-D.

Reviewed in This Post: Un Jardin En Mediterranee, 2003, Eau de Parfum.


Ineke Sweet William

I was wowed into trying Sweet William from seeing its packaging. There are two things I can’t resist (okay, there’s actually¬† a lot of things I can resist, but these are the two I can think of right now) 1) perfume, 2) books. You slap those two things together and you might as well just take my money right now.

Sweet William

Sweet William

In Bottle: Sweet William opens with a sweet and spicy peach with a smooth application of clove.

Applied: The fragrance goes on so light and sweet and pretty that I feel like putting on a flowery dress and frolicking in some random fields. The peach is so uncandy-like (thank goodness!) that it almost verges on a spicy orange opening. Sweet William is girly with a dose of spice to make sure it’s not all silliness and has a little bit of sophistication as well. The mid-stage is a sweet carnation with a soft beautifully done sandalwood and vanilla waft. Its dry down marks no sharp notes, no stray and misused cedar or patchouli at all. It’s a lovely, soft, warm spicy woods. Just lovely!

Extra: Sweet William by Ineke is a part of a limited edition collection of scents called Floral Curiosities. The packaging is adorable, and I was delighted to find that the sampler collection comes in what appears to be a book.

Design: The bottle itself is fairly similar to other Ineke 75mls, packaged in a lovely box and looking very nice. I have to shamefully admit that I would rather get the travel spray just because it’s packaged in another adorable book box. I’m a little obsessed with this packaging, you see.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spicy Floral

Notes: Peach, cinnamon, clove, carnation, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, vanilla.

At the time of this writing, I haven’t yet tried the other fragrances that come with the sampler (I highly recommend giving this a try, especially if you’re looking for something outside of the standard department store fare for someone extra special), but I’m already delighted enough with Sweet William that I wonder what the others will be like. If nothing else, the beautifully done Sweet William has my vote.

Reviewed in This Post: Sweet William, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


Lucien Lelong Indiscret

Indescret is one of those rare finds that a lovely friend supplied me with on one of her many sojourns into antiques markets, estate sales, flea markets, and all other manner of excellent places I wish I lived close enough to her to enjoy too. I’ll always be grateful when she finds a fragrance treasure and sends me even the smallest samples though!

Indiscret

Indiscret

In Bottle: Heady and bitter, highly floral and possessing of that classic perfume scent that’s always hard to describe and can only be smelled and experienced to understand.

Applied: Indiscret is very strong upon application. It fills my nose, floods into my sinus cavity and clears things out as it hits my brain screaming of a bitter green and sharp orange. It settles down after about an hour but don’t think Indiscret gets any more mellow, it’s a powerhouse, keeps going and evolving and growing stronger the longer you wear it. The woodsiness comes up a bit more, along with some faded floral notes, the most I get is a very rounded jasmine that adds a very nice touch to smooth out the scent. The whole thing smells classic and I wish I had the eloquence to describe that classic, vintage fragrance smell adequately because it’s a beautiful thing and all budding perfumistas or fragrance fan needs to smell and experience it at least once. Indiscret, or at least the version I have, seems to have taken on a musty lower note as it ages hours later. It has a bit of spiciness with that woodsy scent but at the same time, there’s something a bit funky about the dry down that puts me off a little, but doesn’t turn me away. Judging from the other reviewer reactions, I have a feeling my particular juice may have gone off a little, which is a shame since people seem to describe the final stage of Indiscret as a smooth, creamy woodsy spicy affair.

Extra: Indiscret was released in the mid-1930s to Lucien Lelong, a very fancy brand back in the day. Indiscret was discontinued at some point, but is still somewhat available via eBay and select vintage fragrance sellers.

Design: The bottles I see have lovely, classic sweeping feminine curves and a beautiful looking flacon. If I could get my hands on it, I totally would. There are other designs as well, ranging from simpler rectangular flacons to mini sizes to more modernized bottles with shiny metallic-looking caps.

Fragrance Family: Floral Woodsy

Notes: Mandarin, bergamot, jasmine, tuberose, orange flower, rose, ylang ylang, geranium, iris, galbanum, woods.

Like most fragrances my friend picks up from antique stores, I can’t fully classify the year of the bottle and can only guess. My only recommendation for this one is to look for it, the more vintage and pure the better the experience. It’s a beautiful, full-bodied, very long-lasting vintage beauty!

Reviewed in This Post: Indiscret, ~1940, Eau de Parfum.


Katy Perry Killer Queen

So work is starting to pick up and I might have a little bit of cash to drop on some niche and vintage goodies. And I say this with all the love I can muster for dime a dozen, easily accessible department store celebuscents that tide me over when I don’t have a decant of a rare fume on hand. Unfortunately for me, most celebuscents have lost their luster since I’ve smelled so many of them and most have the unfortunate habit of being really, really, really generic.

Killer Queen

Killer Queen

In Bottle: Sugar and berries. Almost smells like a collection of liquified jelly berries. You know, these things: Haribo Gummy Candies. Don’t get me wrong, I love those gummy berries. I just expected more out of a fragrance that’s going to call itself Killer Queen.

Applied: Smells like sweet berries, rolled in vast amounts of sugar. Killer Queen is so sweet, I’m going to assume the killer part of it is from a sugar overdose. From what I’m smelling, there’s very little else other than the berry smell. I don’t get any jasmine, I can’t smell any patchouli or anything more sophisticated than really sweet berries. The midstage does get a little flowery. But it’s that sugary-sweet frangipani flower. The dry down is barely any different from the midstage. The sugar is still very prominent, the entire fragrance is quite one-dimensional and I mean, I guess I shouldn’t expect much from a celebuscent at this rate. But I will say I was pretty disappointed that they chose to name it something pretty awesome and then did something really lame with it.

Extra: Killer Queen was the title of a song by Queen, written by Freddie Mercury and released in 1974. The fragrance, Killer Queen by Katy Perry was released earlier in 2013. I’m going to have to throw it out there that someone else ought to take the name and make a more appropriate fragrance with it. I imagine something more powerful and unique. Maybe a number with leather, roses, a touch of sleazy civet, frankincense, tonka and amber. What about you?

Design: The bottle design isn’t that bad, though I’m noticing more bottles going for the “can’t stand it upright” design approach. Not sure how I feel about that particular choice yet, but the bottle itself is pretty attractive, if somewhat lacking in creativity.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Gourmand

Notes: Fruits, plum, bergamot, celosia, frangipani, jasmine, praline, cashmere, patchouli.

I will admit that I picked up Killer Queen and decided to give it a shot at the store because of its name. This, and I somehow managed to miss the large and very prominent poster of Katy Perry with the blasted thing on her scepter posted right above the bottle display. I’m not very observant apparently.

Reviewed in This Post: Killer Queen, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


Tom Ford Tobacco Oud

When Tom Ford dropped a tobacco oud fragrance, I dug it, having decided that I had enough of my clean, light fragrances and was going to go for something dark.

Tobacco Oud

Tobacco Oud

In Bottle: Resinous and spice with a woody opening with a heady alcohol waft that opens rather powerfully.

Applied: Like I said above, the initial application is very strong and heady. It smells of sweet resins, woods and spice. It makes me think of whiskey and while I’d like to get the tobacco oud, the strength of the other notes in the opening doesn’t quite allow for that. And as it turns out, tobacco oud is somewhat lacking in oud. It actually smells quite smooth, like a very good resin but is it a good oud? I can’t, personally, detect any of that. I get more spicy ambers than anything else and upon dry down I get the sandalwood and a very nice smokiness but still not all that much oud unless the amber I keep smelling is supposed to be a stand in for that. Tobacco Oud is actually not bad–actually, bad is probably not one of the words I’d use for this. I quite like it. I like the amber, I like the smoky incense, I even like the big, powerful opening. It’s got a nice, strong initial presence a good middle ground personality and a pretty delightful dry down with the smoky sandalwood with that touch of amber. But it wasn’t the dark, powerful scent that I was expecting and hoping for.

Extra: Tobacco Oud was released in 2013. Interestingly enough and maybe I was a little swayed by the notes list was that it lists whiskey as one of the ingredients. Fascinating addition, though I never cared much for whiskey myself. I’m more a rum kind of gal.

Design: Fairly similar design to many other Tom Ford fragrances out there. Nice shape, very classic. Easy to own and display if you’re into that kind of thing. Not too special or flashy or different from other Tom Fords. Good and reliable are probably two words I’d use for this design.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spice

Notes: Oud, tobacco, sandalwood, patchouli, spices, whiskey.

So now I know that Tobacco Oud is probably not the kick I wanted out of a fragrance. Any recommendations for some really dark and smoky ouds? I have a hankering for one.

Reviewed in This Post: Tobacco Oud, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


Oscar de la Renta Tropical Flower

I smelled this fragrance before I saw the bottle and while the fragrance left me lukewarm, the bottle really turned me off. Something about the colors, the shape and the way it felt just didn’t settle well with me. Just as well for lukewarm perfume.

Tropical Flower

Tropical Flower

In Bottle: Tropical, pleasant but not especially unique or interesting. I get a lot of fruits, sweet and cooling.

Applied: Tropical fruits upon application, smells like a dewy melon mixed in a tropical drink and meant to be enjoyed under an umbrella. There is a floral, rose note that wafts in during the mid stage with a liberal coating of sugar that runs over the opening. If this had been a bit less sweet, it might have done a little better because there’s something decent about the mid stage and its florals that are trying to class up Tropical Flower, but aren’t quite making it because of the sugar. The dry down is a dead end of white musk and the remnants of sugary fruits and frangipani.

Extra: Having been too busy this summer to make it to the beach, I tried to replace my beachless summer with a fragrance. Some day I’ll make it to the Bahamas, but for now, the Tropical Flower just isn’t a substitution.

Design: I really can’t say I like the design of Tropical Flower’s bottle. It looks very plastic, even though it isn’t. And maybe that’s what they were going for all along, it just doesn’t appeal to me.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Passionfruit, melon, raspberry, gardenia, jasmine, frangipani, white musk.

So that was Tropical Flower, a fairly underwhelming fragrance.

Reviewed in This Post: Tropical Flower, ~2008, Eau de Toilette.


Acqua di Parma Profumo

First released in the 1930s, Acqua di Parma Profumo for Women was re-released in 2000 after a reformulation. The chypre vintage shares very little to its re-released version aside from the name.

Profumo

Profumo

In Bottle: Mild, slight sharp citrus on the opening with a heady floral background.

Applied: Aside from a slight citrus bite at the beginning, this fragrance goes on thick with the florals. I’ve never tried the original, so I didn’t expect very much in the way of chypres. Still, this newer iteration is a pleasant enough composition. Heavy on the florals, almost smothering me in a jasmine and rose composition. The dry down is an earthier floral with a couple of dust bunnies flying around (it reminded me of how dust smells, is that weird? Am I weird? I must be). Profumo smells like it’s trying hard to be sophisticated and live up its original version, but the smothering floral angle didn’t capture my interest and at times it came on a bit too strong. A nice fragrance to test out to see how it works on you.

Extra: The original vintage’s chypre build has piqued my interest and maybe I was a little biased because, oh, I love those chypres. I had gotten this one before reading up on vintage vs. reformulation. Someday, I’ll find a reformulation that I like more than the original. It’s going to have to be something rather drastic.

Design: Fairly simple design, a little outdated to me with the banding on the bottle. Reminds me a bit of the 70s or 80s. Otherwise, nice bottle.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Citrus, rose, jasmine, iris, ylang-ylang, woods.

Profumo can be purchased at major stores online and offline. Sephora, for example, carries it for $228.00USD. With that price tag, I’d rather snatch up something else I like a bit more. Didn’t work out this time, but I’d definitely smell the vintage if I could get my hands on it.

Reviewed in This Post: Acqua di Parma Profumo, ~2000, Eau de Parfum.


Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy la Fleur

Maybe I’m not being fair. Or maybe I felt like I’ve been spoiling myself with niche and independent fragrances lately, but I went on a department store perfume bender and have a book full of notes that I have only just now gotten around to starting. There’s still more niche to come, but these mass market scents seem fun to me–some less fun than others.

Viva la Juicy la Fleur

Viva la Juicy la Fleur

In Bottle: A big pile of sugar and flowers. Smells a lot like the original, with a weird cloying burnt sugar smell that I didn’t get from the original.

Applied: So Viva la Juicy la Fleur is one of those less fun fragrances I mentioned above. In the past, I’ve been pleasantly surprised and amused by a lot of mass market offerings, but this one hits the ordinary right on the head. The original Viva La Juicy, I had to give props to. Despite myself, I actually liked it on occasion. Granted, I was younger then and had more opportunities to wear hot pink. I’m not sure the original would strike my fancy as much these days, because la Fleur isn’t doing anything for me. If you thought Viva la Juicy was just too strong and didn’t have enough of that burnt sugar smell, then la Fleur might be worth it. For me, the original was better, but these two smell very similar. Same sugary candy opening, same sweet florals, same hint of fruits throughout, and same achingly sweet persona. This is the smell teen girls in high schools and colleges might like and wear. It would only smell ridiculous on me now.

Extra: I still pull out the original Viva la Juicy now and then, take off the cap, spray and smell and then promptly go to wash it off. I really outgrew the fragrance and making it lighter didn’t make it any more grown up.

Design: Someone refreshed design. I had thought the original Viva la Juicy was absurdly girly, but apparently all they had to do to top it off was slap some graphical flowers on the bottle, use a cheaper bow, throw in a script typeface and here we are. Not ugly. The form actually still looks nice. It is just very, very girly.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Orange, berries, water lily, honeysuckle, gardenia, jasmine, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood.

Couldn’t remember the last time I had smelled a generic fruity floral like this. It was actually somewhat nostalgic. Long story short, though, don’t buy this if you have and like the original Viva La Juicy. Unless you just want something weaker and sweeter.

Reviewed in This Post: Viva la Juicy la Fleur, 2012, Eau de Toilette.


Biehl Parfumkunstwerke gs03

Another sampler from Jeffrey Dame at Hypoluxe. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting after gs02, though I was pleasantly surprised when I tried out gs03!

gs03

gs03

In Bottle: Nice, soft white florals with an layer of woods.

Applied: Slight citrus kick on spray but quick to dissipate as it’s replaced with a smooth white floral fragrance with an under layer of woods to back it up. The opening is fabulous. Very airy white florals, a slight spice to tie it together. It’s mid-stage is marked with a more prominent woodsy showing with those white florals layered on top. The dry down sees a smoother wood note, less florals and more soft warmth from a vetiver with a mild return of the citrus that disappeared in the top layer. This reminds me of laundry or very nice soap. And something in it also reminds me of something my mother used to wear. Nice, lovely and soft.

Extra: gs03 is a new launch from biehl parfumkunstwerke targeted both men and women. It was composed by by Geza Schoen, like gs02.

Design: A similar minimalist bottle design as gs02. Nothing flashy or outrageous. After having seen some of the latest celebuscent bottle designs, I appreciate simplicity like this a lot.

Fragrance Family: Floral Woodsy

Notes: Mandarin, orange blossom, neroli, pepper, juniper, rose, jasmine, iris, cedar, vetiver, castoreum, oakmoss, benzoin, tonka bean, musk.

Very nice, though a couple of times during the midstage I got a little worried about the cedar. That note doesn’t behave for me, but it did fine in gs03 as it was light and well done in this fragrance. Overall very nice and I prefer it over gs02 for its softness.

Reviewed in This Post: gs03, 2013, Eau de Parfum.


Biehl Parfumkunstwerke gs02

I will admit that I was initially drawn to gs02 and the other scents in the latest release from biehl parfumkunstwerke because I was getting tired of picking scents based on their names. The letter and number combo lent some anonymity to the fragrance and made it seem like whatever I’d get, I wouldn’t be influenced by the name chosen by the house. What could get more anonymous than a scent called gs02? So having had no prior knowledge of the scent, no idea what notes were in it and only a write-up by Jeffrey Dame of Hypoluxe and a sample card to go with, I dove in.

gs02

gs02

In Bottle: Sharp and cool, refreshing, especially after walking around outside. Clean, too with a light floral impression on top of a bed of herbs.

Applied: Cool application, somewhat sharp. I get a slight hint of woods, like a slightly smoky wood. gs02 evolves into a smooth light floral with a touch of spice and woods. The longer this wears, the more I get the impression of something darker, like a leather trying to peek around the corner of some trees. The drydown has a smoother woodsy interpretation with less spice, no florals and that elusive leather is no where to be seen. Everything is generally softer on the dry down though very much present. It’s clean overall, fresh on the open, woodsy and supple in the midstage and soft on the dry down.

Extra: This one is a full on niche from biehl parfumkunstwerke and composed by Geza Schoen, the nose behind Clive Christian’s 1872 and other fabulous scents like Eccentric 02 from Eccentric Molecules.

Design: Minimalist bottle design, which for a series of fragrances like this lends towards the luxury and concept rather than takes away from it. These bottles fall into the aesthetic category of, “line them up in a row and stare at them all day”.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy

Notes: Orange, wormwood, angelica, thyme, spices, leather, castoreum, amber, tonka bean, vanilla.

There’s something to be said for the clean, crisp, sharp impression of gs02, though some consider it polarizing. I’ve seen reactions where people said it smelled like body wash. And having used my husband’s body shower now and then, I can attest that the association is definitely there. But gs02 has an understated, underlying complexity that you just can’t get out of a bottle of Nivea.

Reviewed in This Post: gs02, 2013, Eau de Parfum.