Saturday, January 31, 2009

I've been lying here for like a million years in my bed...

I am totally overworked this semester, but one of the things I think about while I'm lying in bed planning my day is what I need to wear (largely work/no work dependent), including what sort of scent I'd like to wear. This means I have an itching to expand my sample collection, particularly with the changing weather/seasons/fashions. To that end, I have another review for you, dear reader.

L'Artsan Parfumeur's Dzongkha is described as:
A bewildering fragrance, an invitation to spirituality and an inside journey. Its enveloping trail is unexpected, simultaneously intimate and present. This fragrance speaks to both women and men and tells a unique story on each skin: that of Dzongkha, the language of Bhutan. In the top note of Dzongkha, the freshness of peonies and the pink flavor of lychees vibrate with cardamom. The heart of the fragrance is accompanied by chai notes (spicy tea with milk) that soften the strength of wood where vetiver stands out in the fumes of incense. This intensity is accentuated by cypriol (Indian papyrus) and leather notes. Iris with its powdery bottom note symbolizes both the stony aspect and the softness of the fragrance.
The main Dzongkha notes are listed as "Lichee, Cardamom, Peony, Iris, Tea Leaves, Incense." On me it reads as a strongly iris based scent. I do like the way that the incense and tea notes peak through, after the initial application. I smell the peony pretty clearly, too, which adds a little bit of a sweet, flowery aspect I don't normally get in irises. As previously mentioned, I am a *huge* iris fan, so of course I am completely sold on Dzongkha. I fully intend to buy this as well as my long sought after Iris Pallida, also from L'Artisan, which is going to be my law school graduation gift to myself. L'Artisan is sold all over the place, locally and via the internet. To find the closest location to purcahse L'Artisan near you, check L'Artisan's store locator on their official site.

Don't trust my newb nose? Check out other Dzongkha reviews at Now Smell This, Perfume-Smellin' Things, and Perfume Posse.

Listening to: "Whatever It Takes," by The Faders.

Image courtesy of LuckyScent.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Scent and Memory

Nava’s piece about the chaos in her personal life and its impact on her sniffer has gotten me thinking about the impact that our emotional state has on our sense of smell. Nava talks at length about how her emotional state is impacted by her shifted world view, which has expressed itself, among other ways, by changing her tolerance for certain fragrances. It got me to thinking about how our feelings and experiences are constantly causing us to reevaluate not just the present moment, but also the past. We look at what has gone before differently as we encounter new experiences. Hindsight, as it were. The past not only project forward, informing the now, but the now is constantly shifting our view of the past, like sand dunes in the wind, revealing new things to us, burying others. I wonder what, in time, I will think of the scents I wear now. I hope they will bring back fond memories, though I am sure that some of them, like certain songs, will remind me of sad moments or finished relationships. I wonder if Prada Infusion d'Iris will, like Catherine Wheel’s “I Want to Touch You,” make me nostalgic, or sad like Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” or make me blush even years after the blushable events, like Morphine’s “Buena.”

I always thought the way you talked was neat.
And I dreamed that when you speak, you speak to me.
But you're always out of reach
and I can't control my speech.
And I'm scared that when we meet, I'll want to touch you...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Case of Mistaken Identity

I jumped in the elevator at work the other evening and another woman got on behind me. Immediately the small space filled with a large, flowery scent. I looked over at her and said, “You smell great! What are you wearing? Is it Gap So Pink!?” She replied, “No, Este Lauder Beautiful, but one of the side ones.” Apparently one of the Beautiful flankers (probably Beautiful Love based on its combination of big white flower notes and “mango mist,” whatever that is) to me smells *exactly* like Gap So Pink! Which in my mind is not a bad thing – I like Gap So Pink! – but with Pink costing, in its day, ~$26 for 100ml, and Beautiful Love coming in at $63.50 for 100ml, it is hard to imagine paying so much for a scent largely marketed to teens. So if you like Beautiful Love, perhaps now is the time to poke around on the net to find a heap bottle of Gap So Pink! While Gap no longer makes it, you can still find it around if you check.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New year, new fragrances.

I know it's been a while since I posted. I'm making up for it by offering you three very different fragrance reviews at once.

Tauer Perfumes L'Air du desert marocain

The first new fragrance I sampled of '09: Andy Tauer's L'Air du desert marocain.

According to LuckyScent,
L'Air du Desert Marocain is the scent of desire, inspired by the fragrant world of the Maghreb desert, powerful, sensual and pure. It's a dry, resinous cedar scent, rounded out with rock rose and jasmine, and hints of typical Moroccan spices such as coriander, cumin and petitgrain. A unisex scent, the cedar and vetiver base notes hover over a fine amber background.

L'Air du desert marocain notes: Coriander, Petitgrain (Bitter orange), Lemon, Bergamot, Jasmin, Cistus, Bourbon, Geranium, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Vanille, Patchouli and Ambergris
When I first put it on out of a tiny one mil sampler with a wand, my initial thought was "Wow! I will never be brave enough to wear a full spray of this." Even after wearing it, I can't believe I started 2009 off with L'Air du desert marocain. The reason it shocked me was because I told a fellow perfumista that I could not even imagine purchasing L'Air du desert marocain because it was just so BIG. On me the spice notes initially overwhelm the cedar and vetiver notes, but on dry down the base notes come forward equally powerfully. L'Air du desert marocain is this audacious fragrance that enters a room about five full minutes before you do. It doesn't just hint that you might be worth looking it, it rolls in with the wearer under a full tilt spotlight, chorus line kicking back-up, belting out "Look at meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

I have a hard time imaging buying a full bottle of L'Air du desert marocain because I don’t think I’d be in the mood to wear it often enough, though I might be willing to buy a decant or go in on a bottle split. But what a compliment to Taurer perfumes that they have made something that is clearly and unavoidably beautiful and almost overwhelming in its artfulness. Truly one of the loveliest fragrances I’ve smelled, even if it isn’t for me. Andy Tauer described it this way, “Imagine finding peace in a room, lying on the bed, exhausted from the heat of the day, with the window open, letting the cool air in which still is very dry and filled with the scents from the near desert and overlayed with the spicy scents of the streets below.” That must be one helluva street, Andy.

For additional L'Air du desert marocain reviews, see Scentzilla,
The Non-Blonde, and The Scented Life.

Cumming the Fragrance

According to the fragrance site,
CUMMING is different on everyone, for like every great fragrance, it changes on your skin over time. The longer you wear it and the more you sweat, Cumming gets deeper and sexier.

Base notes of leather, peat fire, highland mud, burnt rubber and white truffle ground the scent with rugged sensuality, while the core notes of cigar, heather, Douglas fir and rubber contribute to its sharpness. The fragrance is completed with spicy top notes of bergamot, black pepper, Scotch pine and whiskey.
I picked up Cumming in the “boozy scents” sampler over at The Perfumed Court. The TPC ladies noted “whiskey” next to Cumming, and I’ll give them alcohol-y, but not whiskey. I’m a whiskey drinker by choice, and really drink very little besides the hard alcohol (hey, I know what I like!), but even the beer I like tends to be aged in whiskey barrels, that’s how much I love whiskey. And I just don’t smell whiskey here, though there is something alcohol-y about it. I definitely smell the leather, fir, and tobacco notes on me, but with something biting enough that makes it something you imagine it smoothly burning on the way down. Truly lovely and totally worth a purchase.

For more reviews of Cumming the Fragrance, see Perfume Smellin' Things and Now Smell This!.

Michele Bergman Black Gardenia parfum oil
Like floating in and out of a dream. The blossom may be snow-blind white, but there is something deeply mysterious in the soul of gardenia and this silken oil blend captures it. Initially intense, Black Gardenia softens and becomes exquisitely fresh as it warms on your skin. The beguiling heady sweetness of the beloved flower is rendered with a haunting delicacy and touched with the barest whisper of dark intentions. Like the lilt of the sirens song or the fragile glow of a will o’ the wisp, this fragrance reminds us that something extremely beautiful can also be extremely dangerous. Mesmerizing.
The initial impression that Michele Bergman Black Gardenia parfum oil’s makes the mishmash fruit smell of candy necklaces and braclets. On me it just reads as sort of sickeningly sweet, less flowers and more thick sweet ooze, like the cross between a candy store and a Yankee Candle store, if Yankee Candle only made sweet floral and food scents. On the dry down the floral notes strengthen and the candy begins to recede, but it remains a mishmashy one note song, like strongly smelling cotton candy. While Luckyscent lists “Halle Berry, Rosanna and Patricia Arquette, Shiva Rose, Stevie Nicks, Rebecca Romaijn, Janice Dickenson” as “in the know” on this one, and they can keep it, because it clearly wasn’t meant for me.

For additional thoughts on Black Gardenia , see the Luckyscent customer comments.

Photos from Luckyscent and the Cumming fragrance site.