Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio

Been a while since I’ve done an Annick Goutal fragrance. I actually really miss the often soft, feminine fragrances available in this line.

Ninfeo Mio

Ninfeo Mio

In Bottle: Citrus and herbal. A very fresh interpretation and very green and leafy smelling. Quite nice and really natural. Doesn’t smell like a perfume, but rather like the concept of a dewy citrus leaf.

Applied: Initial flare of tart citrus the orange and lemon in particular are noticeable. They give the opening a bit of a bite–in a good way. After the opening the fragrance takes on a pleasant fresh herb and green leafy scent with a nice woodsy undercurrent. As the scent ages, the greenness dominates and the woods come up a bit more. To me, this is a very refreshing scent. Almost like droplets of water pooling in a forest after a light shower. It’s quite agreeable and very beautiful.

Extra: Ninfeo Mio was released in 201o, was inspired by the gardens in Rome, and is still widely available.

Design: Bottle like most other Annick Goutal fragrances in a ribbed bottle and tied with a ribbon. Annick Goutal bottles are easily reusable in that you can unscrew the sprayer and refill the bottle. The design is nice and elegant, a little vintage and quite lovely.

Fragrance Family: Aromatic Woodsy

Notes: Citron, lemon, petitgrain, bitter orange, galbanum, lavender, lentisque, fig, wood, musk.

This is one of the herbal fragrances that I really like. I’m not a big fan of herbal scents usually but Ninfeo Mio is a lovely scent.

Reviewed in This Post: Ninfeo Mio, 2011, Eau de Parfum.


Comme des Garcons Odeur 71

I had left this one in my stack of samples for too long. Now it’s time to crack her open and get a face full of Odeur 71.

Odeur 71

Odeur 71

In Bottle: Herbal with a distinctly burnt quality to it. I’m thinking the incense with the woods mixed with herbs and spices.

Applied: Odeur 71 is heavy and heady as it starts off with a burnt wood and spice mixed with herbal notes that carries the fragrance up to your nose and makes you wonder if you left something in the oven. It’s a disarming scent, bizarre, a bit repulsive, but at the same time attractive in an indescribable way. It smells of woods more and more as I wear it but the burnt smell also follows it along. The herbs get a bit stronger too, making the fragrance just a bit greener as I keep wearing this, as the fragrance ends with a synthetic burnt plastic-like aroma at the end of it all.

Extra: Comme des Garcons reportedly calls this the “anti-fragrance” said to be inspired by dust on a lightbulb, metal, and lettuce juice. All wonderfully pleasant things to think about but I’m not sure Odeur 71 really delivers that special olfactory experience so much as it delivers a burning synthetics sort of fragrance.

Design: Bottled in a rectangular flacon. The design is less whimsical in my opinion but it is functional and contains just enough quirk to firmly label it as a Comme des Garcons. Nice to look at, but there’s more interesting stuff out there if you were looking at this purely from a bottle 2011design standpoint.

Fragrance Family: Smoky Woods

Notes: Incense, wood, moss, willow, elm, bay leaves, bamboo, hyacinth.

Not the kind of thing I see myself wearing every day as I don’t quite enjoy the mix of herbs and burnt plastic. Still, it’s got great projection and longevity. So if you’re into that kind of thing, hey.

Reviewed in This Post: Odeur 71,  2010, Eau de Toilette.


Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge

Still on the look out for a good Jasmine that exceeds Thierry Mugler’s Alien. I still think that one’s a fabulous jasmine, though it is a bit of a one note fragrance. So in search of a bit more complexity, I looked up Tom Ford’s Jasmin Rouge.

Jasmin Rouge

Jasmin Rouge

In Bottle: Strong jasmine with a bit of buttery leather and a shade of very nice spice and wood.

Applied: Jasmin Rouge is a very strong fragrance. Its initial spray is marked with a powerful but beautiful jasmine note that overtakes the space around you. This is the kind of fragrance that announces its presence so be careful when you go to test it or use it for the first time. As the scent ages, I get a bit more of the spices in this fragrance, the peppery kick being most noticeable to me as the leather amps up with its buttery, soft texture that takes the jasmine and leather dominance all the way to the end where I get a few wafts of woodsiness and spices but it is mostly jasmine and leather I’m getting from this. I almost want to describe Jasmin Rouge as a jasmine and fluffy leather fragrance. It smells like it should be floating in the sky, projecting its glory all over everything within a 100ft radius.

Extra: Jasmin Rouge was released along with two other fragrances to the Tom Ford Signature Collection in 2011. So this baby is still new and if you wanted a hand at a leather jasmine then this might just be your stuff.

Design: The bottle screams Tom Ford design. Some fragrance houses just have a look and feel to their bottle designs that makes their products very recognizable. Chanel has it, Hermes has it, and Tom Ford definitely has it. Jasmin Rouge’s bottle is a pleasing shape and weight in an appropriate red color. It has a very nice sprayer that distributes a great even spray.

Fragrance Family: Oriental Floral

Notes: Bergamot, mandarin, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, white pepper, sambac jasmine, broom, neroli, ylang-ylang, clary sage, vanilla, labdanum, leather, wood, amber.

I’m pretty picky when it comes to how jasmine is treated in a fragrance. I know practically every modern women’s perfume has jasmine present in one form or another which only makes me pickier about its usage in a less mainstream interpretation. Thing is, I like Jasmin Rouge just fine. I just don’t know if I love it enough to replace Alien.

Reviewed in This Post: Jasmin Rouge, 2011, Eau de Parfum.


Ajne Fleur Blanche

Gardenia is hard to get right and if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know I’ve been on the search for a really competent gardenia scent. My search is over!

In Bottle: Lush, white, creamy and sweet gardenia! This is actually gardenia and not tuberose trying on a mask. I am elated that I’ve finally found this.

Applied: A just mildly sweet, green floral gardenia scent. Has a slightly wilted quality to it, something I found just a bit strange but Fleur Blanche is quick to evolve into a heady, full-bodied giant white gardenia flower with a milky, woody backdrop. It’s smooth woods and soft creaminess, with just a bit of honeyed sweetness. This fragrance is not too sweet or silly or stilted or trying to pass off tuberose as gardenia. I can’t imagine a gardenia fragrance I’ve tried yet to surpass Fleur Blanche. It is simply a beautifully done soliflore and cannot recommend it enough if you want a glorious gardenia scent.

Extra: Ajne is an independent fragrance house headed by perfumer, Jane Hendler. They focus on 100% natural fragrances and avoid the usage of synthetics in their scents.

Design: Ajne‘s bottle design is beautiful. It reminds me of ornate temple designs in India and on expensive silk cloths. The filigree bottles are fantastic, they look luxurious, are easy to hold and use, and that’s not to mention the juice inside. I usually aim for the philosophy that simpler is better. But ornate, when done well, is absolutely precious.

Fragrance Family: Soliflore

Notes: Fruits, florals, woods.

Sorry about the notes but there wasn’t a whole lot to work with. Regardless, this fragrance is beautiful and well worth the effort to get. It is expensive, but keep in mind that these are 100% naturals we’re working with here which are expensive in and of themselves. Fleur Blanche has fantastic longevity, a great level of projection, and a beautifully complex character.

Reviewed in This Post: Fleur Blanche, 2009, Oil.


Hugo Boss Boss Femme

Boss Femme is like the amalgamation of fresh floral women’s scents. It’s like Love Etc. in that it pretty much smells like a category of scents without too much to discern it from the rest. But in a way, that could also be where its success lies. Boss Femme

In Bottle: Floral with a hint of fruit. I’m smelling a bit of rose but there’s a stronger jasmine note in this that’s vying for attention. This smells flowery, clean and feminine. Very generic but entirely enjoyable.

Applied: Goes on with a light citrus and slightly tart opening as it spreads into the mid-stage with that pleasant, breezy rose and jasmine combination. There’s a faint hint of sweetness in this too to make it more feminine¬† than it already is. I like this, it’s nice. It’s not great. It’s not groundbreaking. It’s just plain old nice. As Boss Femme heads into the dry down, you get a little bit of smoothness wandering in as it mixes with the lemon and for a brief moment, I thought I smelled plastic but the dry down is a predominantly sharp lemon, layered with a bit of smoothness and soft wood. Boss Femme is just good, clean, nice, and no nonsense. Kind of like soap–except better.

Extra: I think I’ve said it before, that Hugo Boss seems to be really good at keeping their fragrances on the lowdown and less offensive side of things. And it works out okay for them. It’d be quite the day when this house puts out something so awesome it eclipses the sun. But for now we have nice things like Boss Femme and Deep Red.

Design: Boss femme is an interesting little glass bottle that’s slanted at the top part with a cap that slants down to cover that portion up. It’s an interesting little design decision that makes my need for everything to be straight twitch just a little bit. The name of the fragrance is written in cursive font on the glass. The bottle I used had “femme” running along the dip of the curve and the house name etched into the metal sprayer. The bottle is easy to hold though, has a good weightiness to it and the color of the juice is just adorable.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Tangerine, blackcurrant, freesia, jasmine, fleur de lys, Bulgarian rose, apricot, lemon, wood.

There was a woman who worked briefly for a doctor I used to go to who wore this scent. I remember her rather well–not so much for her perfume–but for how the smallest things could make her laugh.

Reviewed in This Post: Boss Femme, 2008, Eau de Parfum.


Amouage Lyric for Women

Amouage is a luxury niche fragrance house base based in Muscat. Most famous for their very expensive and very decadent Attars, Amouage is well known as one of the most artistic and luxurious fragrance houses in the world. Lyric for Women, released in 2008 is one of their newer fragrances. Lyric for Women

In Bottle: Big kick of spicy citrus upon first application. It immediately reminded me of a BPAL oil. I cannot put my finger quite on which one but I’m going to tentatively say it reminds me of a more complex Lear. At least, that’s what my mind flew to first.

Applied: Lyric for Women only vaguely resembles BPAL’s Lear for the first ten seconds. It starts to smooth out and become more floral, softer, definitely more feminine as the initial spice gives way to a lovely bouquet of jasmine, rose and angelica flowers. The rose is the star in the mid-stage, vibrant but not overbearing. It’s kept tame by a fantastic and very well-done incense note. It’s a beautifully blended fragrance with a clear and fascinating progression as Lyric for Women dries down into a complex medley of clean incense woods and smooth spicy vanilla.

Extra: Amouage is a world famous, luxury niche fragrance house with roots in the Sultanate of Oman. It’s most famous fragrances are the Attars, rich and decadent scents that can run you upwards of $400 for 12ml. Lyric for Women is not one of these Attars but it is beautiful just the same.

Design: I love the bottle. Deep red glass, has a fantastic feel to it. Has a good amount of weight, is easy to hold, and very pleasant to look at with the Amouage seal on the bottle’s glass and the fragrance’s name running along the circumference of the neck.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Bergamot, spicy cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, rose, angelica, jasmine, ylang-ylang, geranium, orris, oakmoss, musk, wood, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean, frankincense.

Now, while I love how Lyric for Women smells, I’m not so sure about the cost of the fragrance itself. Running at $300 for a 100ml bottle, if I were to drop some serious cash on an Amouage fragrance, it would be going into an Attar instead.

Reviewed in This Post: Lyric for Women, 2008, Eau de Parfum.


Guerlain Samsara

Samsara is a lovely Guerlain from 1989. I often think it’s one of the last of the old Guerlain style before the fragrance house underwent their “modernification” and subsequent sale to LVMH. There’s a familiar Guerlainess to Samsara that’s been very toned down for the mass marketed recent fragrances. Samsara

In Bottle: Clear, dense, and woodsy. I can smell a hint of Guerlainess (if it wasn’t before, it is now a word) in this that reminds me of Mitsouko. Strange how so many things Guerlain makes either reminds me of Mitsouko or L’Heure Bleue. They were doing something right, I guess.

Applied: Initial scent reminds me of–and don’t laugh–pickled kumquat. Yes, salty, tart, citrusy pickled kumquat. Strange connection but there you have it. It was made and cannot be taken back now. Anyway, after my awkward experience with the opener, which honestly lasts a couple of seconds, Samsara turns into a smooth, spicy, sandalwood fragrance with a clove underneath. Samsara continues on its woodsy clovey journey picking up faint notes of jasmine here and there and discarding them just as quickly. The iris does make a brief and masked appearance lending the fragrance a sharpness too. The final dry down is a powdery, dry vanilla woodsy fragrance with the clove lingering until everything else is gone.

Extra: The one really great thing about Samsara is its projection. Put some of this on and you will project like crazy. Not quite as far as Shalimar but a pretty respectable distance for sure.

Design: I know some people hate the way this bottle looks. I think it’s okay. Not my favorite, but certainly not my least favorite. It’s got a nice deep redness to it that really reflects well on what kind of fragrance it holds. I like the shape too, easy to hold and easy to spray. flimsy plastic cap though. I really wish Guerlain wouldn’t use those so often these days.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Oriental

Notes: Jasmine, ylang-ylang, jasmine, sandalwood, narcissus, tonka, iris, vanilla.

Apparently, once upon a time, Samsara used to include real Mysore Sandalwood. Sandalwood being a lovely smelling tree that’s been harvested so much that it’s now endangered. The sandalwood you encounter in perfumes? Most likely a synthetic from one of two very popular sandalwood synthetics.

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