Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Champagne wishes...

Memoire Liquide No. 900 Champagne et Mure

“Champagne's funny stuff. I'm used to whiskey. Whiskey is a slap on the back, and champagne's a heavy mist before my eyes.” - Jimmy Stewart, The Philadelphia Story

Picture a bar in an old hotel. Polished wood, high backed booths, gleaming chrome accents. Well-dressed men light the long cigaretted holders of beautiful women with waves of curls and shapely dresses that cover enough to leave the most attractive aspects to the imagine. Smartly dressed, sharp tongued, witty women who can hold their own with all kinds of men.

According to beautyhabit, Champagne et Mure is
A classic sparkling Kir Royale; refreshing, dry and subtly touched by sweet berry accords and a fresh lemon twist.
Champagne et Mure is a beautiful, fresh, fruity scent that is a perfect anecdote for the increasingly hot summer days. The top notes are super citrusy and sweet, and feels like a gentle, icy, cool wave washing over you. Because it is a parfum, a little goes a long way, and the staying power is fantastic. It lasts all day long on me.

While the mixture on this one doesn't change much over the dry down, that didn't seem to matter. I've worn it a couple of times now, and it is so lovely that I'm pleased it stays that way all day long. It sparkles like its namesake. It evokes images of beautifully draped dresses on fashionable women with their hair in curls. It's Katharine Hepburn in “The Philadelphia Story.” It's Rita Hayworth in “You Were Never Lovelier.” It’s classic style. It's sex appeal, without the nudity. A flirty glance. A wry smile. A well-placed zinger. A lovely scent for when you want to feel classy and chic.

Memoire Liquide No. 900 Champagne et Mure is available online through Beautyhabit and also at the Memoire Liquide Boutique in LA & NYC.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These...

Bois 1920 Come La Luna

For a change of pace from the floral bonanza I’ve been decided to try out Bois 1920’s Come La Luna. According to Luckyscent, the notes for Come La Luna are
Sicilian mandarin, Sicilian sweet orange, rose wood, pink pepper, coriander, Indonesian patchouli, cedar, amber, incense
On initial application, Come La Luna swirls around me in a hazy of incense, amber, and dry leather. The citrus and rose wood sweetens the scent up a bit, becoming stronger at about the five minutes in, and by the full dry down, patchouli and cedar come in as well. This is a lovely scent that screams Fall to me – chic cashmere sweaters, stylish wool coats, cozy sweaters. It also has a lovely masculinity to it, but in a way that also feels very much like a strong woman to me, like a woman who accentuates her own grace by adding elements of masculine fashion to her wardrobe. It’s the grace of Annie Lennox. It’s Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria. It’s elements of femininity that are made lovely and feminine by their juxtaposition against a finely made wool suit or tailored tux.

This, unfortunately, is not Fall. However, I currently live in Portland, Oregon, where there is still the random cloudy, cool, rainy day, even in summer. These are days that scream for something very different from the scents of hot sunny summer. On those days, I think Come La Luna is a daring and lovely scent for a cool day that makes you want to curl up with a soft sweater and a good book.

Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused...

- "Sweet Dreams," The Eurythmics

For other reviews...
~ Check out the Perfume Posse review here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Again, lapsed!

I have been remiss in my updately duties once again. Oh how I endeavor for some regularity and fail you utterly dear readers.

I have no excuse. I have been busy traveling for interviews and trying to study for the Bar but the truth is I have time to review but I simply lose it in the midst of laundry and dishes and playing with my kittens. I'll try to get you a review or two before the week's end.

In the interim, let me say that I am very close to some real employment, which in this economy is an accomplishment of no small worth. I am also enjoying some of the summer television offerings, to wit: The Closer, which stars Kyra Sedgwick, whom I have loved since her role in Singles; So You Think You Can Dance, which is chock-o-block full of great dancing and interesting choreography. Greek, which is on hiatus, but generally runs off season, and which I completely enjoy as a surprisingly decent view of college life (though the parties are way out of control); Burn Notice, one of the best shows on TV -- if you're not watching the epic adventures of burned spy Michael Weston, you're really missing out; and last,but not least, Gossip Girl, which I watch in summer reruns as it is a completely guilty pleasure, which has no meaning or content, but which I perversely love nonetheless.

I will likely have more comments on these shows in coming posts. Keep your eyes pealed for those. Until then, in the immortal words of Gossip Girl herself, Kristen Bell...

"You know you love me. XOXO."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Throw her a kiss and then pledge faithfully...

CB I Hate Perfume Tea Rose

This weekend the Rose Festival is wrapping up here in Portland, but the Rose Gardens will be in full bloom for another couple of weeks. In honor of what might be my last summer in Portland for a few years, I’m reviewing a few of my favorite roses.

As I’m oft to say, I love the CB I Hate Perfume series. Christopher Brosius is a genius of modern perfumery. I am working my way, slowly but surely, through as much of the line as I can get my grubby little sampling hands on. Today, I tried out CB’s Tea Rose.

Tea roses are a specific kind of rose first cultivated in the early 1800s. The Teas are repeat-flowering roses, named for their fragrance being reminiscent of Chinese black tea. CB describes his Tea Rose scent as follows:
I composed this classic scent with real Tea (Indian Black) and real Moroccan Rose Absolute (Rosa Damascena). What could be more simple or elegant?

Many people are under the impression they hate rose perfume. Chances are good they've never had the chance to smell perfume made with REAL roses. I confess I sometimes play a rather sneaky trick on my clients who tell me they hate rose perfume. I dip a blotter into a bottle and say. OK tell me what you think of this flower. Wonderful! they say when they've sniffed. Really beautiful! What flower is it??

Rose. Pure Authentic Real Live Absolute Rose I tell them with a bit of a grin as I watch the look of astonishment bloom on their faces. Talk about a reality check. While synthetic floral scents have come a very long way indeed since the plastic versions of the 50's, there is still nothing that can quite match the deep resounding glorious smell of the real thing.
The amazing thing about this, like all the other CB creations, is how realistic a rose it is. On initial application, the sweetness of the rose is prominent, strong. After about fifteen minutes, I settles into a nice even balance between a strong tea note and the sweet fresh smell of a newly bloomed rose. The tea note is pretty strong on this after about an hour in, but the rose is still there, sweetening the scent and making it feel real and alive. The scent transports me back to days spent whiling away very hot days alternating between running through sprinkers barefoot while the roses bordering the yard bloomed full and fresh and splaying out, exhausted, waiting for the heat to pass by swinging gently on old wooden porch swings and drinking gallons of sweet cold tea. A wonderful scent for a summer in Rose City or anywhere warm and sweet.

It also reminds me a lovely song that led to me destroying at least one page of my own high school year book. (Note to the nostalgics out there, pressing a live rose into a book? The oil is going to eat through a few pages.) My grandparents, who played 45s of hits from the 1920s to 1960s endlessly for my childhood amusement, did not have the Bobby Vinton original, "Roses are Red (My Love)", but in that great 1950s pop tradition, they did have the "answer" song, "Long as the Rose is Red" by Florraine Darlin, which I catch myself singing whenever I smell this lovely scent.

Inside my high school book,
I placed the sweetest rose.
It's right next to your name,
and heaven knows
long as the rose is red
my skies are blue.
You'll be my one true love.
I'll go on loving you.

- Long as the Rose is Red," Florraine Darlin

Want more reviews?
~ See this review from Perfume Smellin' Things.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Slow like honey, heavy with mood...

Téo Cabanel Oha

Roses are one of my favorite scents. If there’s a rose scent around, I’m going to try it. As my nose has improved, one of the things I’ve noticed is how different roses can be presented, how the use of a Moroccan rose verses a Bulgarian rose changes the to me of a particular scent.

The rose I’m reviewing today is Téo Cabanel Oha. Perfume Posse’s March described Oha as “dark, spicy rose.” Luckyscent offers the follow description
Téo Cabanel Oha is a fresh sweep of bergamot in harmony with a delicate tea aroma. Voluptuous roses from Bulgaria & Morocco and jasmine from Egypt, create its heart of spicy notes enhanced with Guatemala Cardamom. Suddenly, Oha luxuriates in the captivating powdery notes of vanilla, iris, tonka bean and exotic woods lifted by a note of white musk. Transcending time and space this enigmatic perfume will appeal to the woman who likes her fragrance to reflect her own unique personality. Oha is considered to be a sexy, evening scent, but truly you can wear it anytime.

Notes: Bergamot, Tea accord, Bulgarian and Damascus rose, jasmine, cardamom, tonka bean, vanilla, white musk, Exotic woods
The first time I tried Oha, rose wasn’t the first thing to jump out at me. The first thing I thought was “Honey! Wait. Roses? And honey!” The initial application, on me, is very strongly honey like, which I think is the combo of rose and the tea note. After about fifteen minutes the rose takes center stage, deepened by that spicy note. After about an hour, I finally get to the woody/powdery bits and the honeyed rose seems to have disappeared. While it is still a lovely scent, this is one of those scents where I love the initial application so much that I keep reapplying it to have the experience over and over. It is a sensuous experience, conjuring in my mind the soft delicate petals, like velvet, caressed and, briefly, overcome, by a thick flow of affection and sweetness.

Based on what I read about Oha, this was not what I expected from the descriptions. After trying it a couple of times on its own, looking over the notes and other reviews, I decided to try Oha against three others with some similar notes: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz La Rose Fleurette, Parfumerie Generale Brulure de Rose, and Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance. About ten minutes after initial application is similar to Lady Vengeance in some ways, but without the dirty note you get from the heavy patchouli in Lady Vengeance. After half an hour, Oha morphs into something more similar to La Rose Fleurette. By the time an hour passes, Oha no longer resembles any of the three above, and is entirely its own experience. If you like roses, I highly recommend this one, because I do think it is unique and beautiful at each respective turn. To me, that's what makes it special. All the twists and turns in this one make it romantic and sexy, secretive and alluring.

My big secret,
gonna hover over your life,
gonna keep you reaching.
when I'm gone like yesterday,
when I'm high like heaven,
when I'm strong like music
'cause I'm slow like honey,
and heavy with mood.

- "Slow Like Honey," Fiona Apple

Want more? Try reviews of Oha from…
~ I Smell, Therefore I Am here.
~Perfume Posse here.
~ Perfume Critic here.