Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wearing nail polish remover, by choice?

Given my limited time and my copious amount of samples, I am starting to end up with a back log of review notes. Thus I am going to start doing some short reviews, but I'll reserve the better, interesting, or more difficult fragrances for longer multiple wear exploration. Also, I'll be honest, when I hate it, I don't want to write about it a length.

So now, for the...well...unfortunate results. Today I'm reviewing Lanvin's Rumeur, and its flanker, Rumeur 2 Rose. Here's what Lanvin has to say for themselves:
Lanvin Rumeur EDP: A refined fragrance that is irresistibly attractive, sexy and elegant. Mysterious and enigmatic, Rumeur is a contemporary classic floral housed in a bottle inspired by the traditional Arpege flacon. Top notes: Magnolia; Middle notes: Seringa, white rose, sambac jasmine; Base notes: Patchouli, musk.

Lanvin Rumeur 2 Rose EDP: A sexy, refined fragrance that is irresistibly attractive, feminine and elegant. Mysterious and enigmatic, Rumeur 2 rose is a contemporary classic floral housed in a bottle inspired by the traditional Arpege falcon. Notes of Magnolia, Seringa, White Rose, Sambac Jasmine.
Lanvin Rumeur EDP - Yick! Nail polish remover fighting with a fruity bubble gum smell. Less candy, more cleaner.

Lanvin Rumeur 2 Rose EDP - Smells like cherry koolaid and fruity bubble gum. I love roses and there is NOTHING rose about it. Like someone was trying to make perfume and accidentally dumped some cleaner in it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hiatus endeth!

Sorry for the break, dear readers. I am now finished with my 2L finals and will resume my fragrance love documentation.

Generally, I tend to love heavy, dark, rich, strong fragrances, but now that things are getting warm (like 96 degrees with no air conditioning warm), sporting these fragrances seems so...stuffy. So I am now engaging in a search for lovely light summer scents. Whilst I and my credit cards embark on that create experiment, I offer up my "So Far 2008" list, the list of fragrances I've acquired thus far this year:

First Quarter
  1. Annick Goutal Songes (x2 - great deal!)
  2. CK Euphoria (Yick! What a mistake that was!)
  3. Gap So Pink! (I have no excuses for my fondness)
  4. L'Artisan Dzing!
  5. Lorenzo Villoresi Alamut
  6. Origins Ginger With a Twist
Second Quarter
  1. CB I Hate Perfume Smokey Tabacco Accord
  2. Chanel No. 5 EDT
  3. DK Black Cashmere
  4. Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance
  5. Origins Ginger with a Twist (2nd bottle b/c now discontinued)
  6. Red Flower organic Guaiac
This is not counting decants, samples, etc. Just full bottled purchases... Wow. More engaged than certainly I would have ever expected given that I accidented my way into this via wanting to buy myself a gift of perfume for my 30th birthday (just this past Spring). And, of course, I still have a long list of more scents I love/want!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Review: Solange Cosmic

Solange Azagury-Partridge has launched her second fragrance, Cosmic. Here's a description from Cosmetics International:
Like the jeweler's first fragrance, Cosmic was developed with the help of perfumer Lyn Harris of Miller Harris. The modern chypre combines a sweet candy accord with top notes of bergamot, aldehydes and galbanum, a heart of rose, jasmine absolute and iris absolute, and a dry-down of patchouli, vetiver, labdanum absolute, opoponax, myrrh and vanilla.
Oh my god! Hello, scrubber. This is one of the worst things I've smelled in a while. It's like baby powder that's gone sour and the dry down shifts further from sweet and more toward sour. I'm sure the artificial grape-flavored cotton candy smell is for someone, but in the immortal words of Bob Dylan, it ain't me, babe. 
Now I'm off to the bathroom to get to scrubbin'.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Do you like American music?

I was talking to some people about perfume and blogging recently. I've had a private personal journal for seven years, and this is one of the few times I've found the need to split one of my interests off into a separate journal.

One reason is that perfume is a new hobby for me, and one I really enjoy. I love trying new perfumes and I love writing about them, but most of my regular readers would be bored to tears by it. For me, though, thinking about and writing about perfume is like having a permanent writing prompt. Perfume is hard to put words to; learning the vocabulary required to describe smell is like learning a foreign language. I like the challenge and that the world of perfume presents, literally, more possible prompts that I have money or time for. And given that right now, law school continues to suck all the creativity out of my daily life, having something bto write to/against is really hope inspiring.

The other reason I split off from my regular journal is that I intend this blog to be an open writing experiment, one that I invite public readership of. The other projects I have going are narrowly focused on their respective topics and my private journal has evolved over time to be something that just is not for public consumption. But writing, my writing,is something I want read, at least some of the time. I've been at it for so long, and I spent so much of my angsty teenage life keeping all of it private, but like a teenager, yearning to have it read. So now I have this medium and a create-your-own-forum, things that were not available when I was young, and I want it to be read.

Hence this blog. When I first saw Memory & Desire, I thought maybe I would merge my love of modern American poetry and perfume. But when I smell perfume, I hear music in my head. Pop music. Rock music. Indie music. Country music. All kinds of music, but still, music. So that's the crux of my blogging I think. Music and perfume.

Okay, back to my law school finals.

I like American music.
Don't you like American music, baby?

Three Sisters

So in all my weird hidden girliness, I have a weakness for rose scents. Such a weakness that in the short period I’ve been acquiring perfume samples, I ended up with several rose scents. So today I decided to try three of them — Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance, Juliette Has a Gun Miss Charming, the new Chloé EDP — to see which one was worth the $80+ plunge.

The Darkening of the Light
Lady Vengeance is part of a five perfume Shakespeare-inspired series roll out. Here’s the ad copy:
The perfume with a rich and sophisticated trail. The expression of undeniable femininity, confidence and divinely sensual. The fragrance of a lady for whom the art of seduction bares no secret. You can smell... you can dream...but it's all in her hands. The very elegant but thorny Bulgarian Rose marries patchouli and vanilla to draw this fine elegance, both contemporary and inevitable.
I love Lady Vengeance. It’s rose, true, but also more. It starts sweet, but quickly descends into a sour little undernote. I smell it hit the middle notes and it turns vaguely funeral, invoking a kind of iron bitterness, smelling the metallic way biting your tongue bloody tastes. After that shock of blood passes it settle into a sweet and spicy end. As roses go, this is a dark little number, and when I smell it, I hear Concrete Blonde in my head.

Smile Like You Mean It
Miss Charming is described as follows:
The perfume of a virgin witch, docile and provocative, elegant and sensual. One instant, holding up the pressures of the world and the next, crying hot tears over the death of Enzo, her bowl fish! A joyful interpretation of the Moroccan Rose, musk and airs of wild fruits. A fragrance that makes up ingenuousness and lucidity.
On me it reads as rose and honey, but turns powdery and more tangy sweet on the dry down, the same sweetness you smell in fresh orange juice. Compared to Lady Vengeance, it is lighter and sweeter. Miss Charming is what I think of as more classically rose.

You can read an additional review of both Miss Charming and Lady Vengeance from Robin at Now Smell This! here.

Love Me, Love Me, Say that You Love Me
 I decided to give Chloé EDP a chance despite the scorching review Chandler Burr gave it. As a little girl, I really enjoyed the cheap drugstore Chloé, and so I figured giving the tiny sampler a go could not hurt anyone. Here's the copy shtick:
A new fragrance that encapsulates Chloe's youthful and contemporary appeal launched this month. Robertet perfumers Michel Almairac and Amandine Marie combined hints of peony and lychee with the embellishment of springtime freesia. The distinctive character of a rich rose is accompanied by magnolia and lily of the valley, along with subtle warm amber and cedar.
It was actually one of the first roses I tried, and smelling it now, next to the others only a couple of months later, is an interesting experience. Next to the Juliettes (or as I like to think of them, Rose-Red and Snow-White respectively), it has a hollow smell to it. Reviews have described it as synthetic, and maybe that is what it is, but to me it has a clean smell like you find in lemon based organic cleansers. Not sweet, but not soapy either. Instead, tall and angular, like one of the mod dresses they used to dress Twiggy in. Also, while Chloé lasted the longest of the three at a good six hours, what you smell up front is what you get. This is a one note song.

Final Verdict
As much as I enjoyed Miss Charming for being exactly that, charming, and as interesting as I find Chloé interesting in its comparative 60’s model stickfigure style, I decided to card down for Lady Vengeance. I’m not tall and skinny like Chloé, and I’m just not nice enough to be Miss Charming. I never was. But dark, angry and stubborn, misunderstood but really wanting to be good? Lady Vengeance, we were made for each other.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

We are alive, so we've gotta live life to the fullest...

You were on my mind
at least nine tenths of yesterday;
it seemed as if perhaps I'd gone insane.
What is it about you
that has commandeered my brain?
Maybe it's your awesome songs
or maybe it's the way
when I look at your face
I can tell that you're not going to be stopping soon
or even slowing down...

I have a weakness for inconvenient love stories.

You know, the kind where two people meet and fall in love, but one of them is leaving for war or dying or has just lost their job and is going to bury a parent. I don’t know why.

For me it just seems like love, if it is meant to last, with all its difficulties and strains and stresses, should be hard. It’s not supposed to be easy. Yes, you look across a room or a bar or a plane or, hell, a mall food court, and you see someone and your heart literally hiccups in your chest. But there should be something difficult about making it work in the beginning, something out of the control of the two people involved that isn’t just about personal insecurity or drama, but about real life choices, that makes it all more real. Because if it is real, if it is meant to move you and change you and turn not just your head (which a lot of people can do) but also turn your heart (which very few will), it should require turning your life around. Making choices is something that will be required for loving someone over a lifetime because there will be moments when one or both of you are struggling or scheming or dreaming and the other has to learn to be the proverbial wind in the sails.

So, yes. I like stories where people get pregnant and then fall in love. Where you fail at work and your dad dies and all you want to do is commit suicide by exercise bike, but instead choose a girl in a red hat. Where you think you’re going crazy because a voice is talking to you telling you that you are fated to die while the girl you love screams at you for auditing her, but somehow your life is saved by wheat flour and a wristwatch.

There were times apart;
there were times together.
I was pledged to her
for worse or better.
When it mattered most I let her down.
That's the way it goes. It'll all work out.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Seth Cohen, Hot Jewish Man of Sarcasm

So, since this blog is for all my (sometimes embarrassing) feminine things, I will take this opportunity to make a confession: I love the first season of The O.C. Yep. I do. This is clearly the worst of all the bad teen dramatic comedies I have watched for an entire season (not counting the random episodes One Tree Hill or Jack & Bobby).

The worst. The most melodramatic. The most over the top convoluted plot lines. Worse than the Dawson’s Creek's would-be teens played by 20-somethings spouting dialogue written by 30-somethings. Worse than Felicity, an entire series premised on a girl following a guy who does not know she is alive across the country to college and then getting a not-even-a-break-up haircut so bad it became a cultural icon. Yeah, the first season of the O.C., it’s worse than that. And while I had the good sense to stop at the end of the first season, while I and the plot were still ahead, I still really enjoy it to an embarrassing degree. To me it’s the television equivalent of caramel corn. It’s light, fluffy, so sweet it is almost sickening, and 20 minute after I’m finished I’m hungry again because I completely forgot I consumed it.

So whilst I fry my brain trying to cram a semester worth of very complicated legal rules in there, I try to balance it out with the most captivating, least substantive mental food I can find. It’s my opinion of a balanced psycho-diet. Dee-licious.

Now back to Ryan’s arms, Sandy’s sexy jewbrow, and my personal favorite, Seth’s dorky quippy self-loathing.

Friday, May 2, 2008

For the record:

It isn't as though I love everything I smell. It's just that I don't have a lot of time right now, so I keep posting the stuff I actually like.

More slammage--later.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Review: Costume National 21

21 Costume National is described in this way:
Created in honor of the 21st anniversary of Costume National, 21 pays homage to the luxurious simplicity that can be found in the hypermodern and timeless creations of this Italian fashion house. 21, an alluring blend of understatement and sensuality, captures 21 favorite scents of the designer Ennio Capasa. The intriguing list of notes features milk and orange blossom, saffron and cumin, royal jelly and oud, moss and vanilla. Creamy, dreamy, enveloping, 21 is an olfactory vision in white. The tender floral top notes dissolve into the soft spiciness of the heart, where saffron mixes with patchouli, oud and olibanum in an accord of astounding depth and opulence. The sweet darkness of the base notes of tonka bean, vanilla and musk is the very epitome of comfort. At once astonishingly sensual and beautifully tranquil, 21 is destined to become a new cult favorite.
21 notes: bergamot, milk, orange blossoms, saffron, cumin, pepper, cashmere wood, royal jelly, moss, clary sage, patchouli, olibanum, amber, sandalwood, oudh wood, cedar, vetiver, labdanum, tonka bean, vanilla and musk
There is no world in which I can actually smell 21 different things in this. I doubt there will ever be a time I can actually smell 21 different things at once, period. That said, I have been wearing 21 all day long and for the life of me, I still can't figure it out. Immediately out of the vial it's medicinal, like camphor, but shifts into a tabacco/vanilla/cinnamon (probably the amber and sandalwood), and then settles into a sweet woody scent that occasionally kicks me in the nose. There's a bite there -- I don't know what it is, but it's sharp to the point of inciting a tangy feeling, similar to when you inhale chlorinated water. Or maybe when you accidentally inhale pepper?

Whatever it is, I enjoy it. A lot of the warm scents I tend toward might start off sharp, but wear down to something sweet, powdery, feathery. This, whatever it is, stings me all the way through, and that dirty musky note is...well, hot. It's just hot. Sexy enough that I might even sport it during the summer heat with the right little black dress.

For additional rumination on 21, check out Robin's review over at Now Smell This!.