Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just like the sun above I'll keep on shinning through...

Domenico Caraceni Ivy League

It hailed today. Not once. Three FREAKING times. This did not please me given that I braved some rather excruciating pain to go out and run to the library to return some seriously overdue books and (of course) get more. In case you're wondering, I am currently reading: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City, and (embarrassing honesty now) The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening.

I just finished rereading all nine of the Sookie Stackhouse novels in anticipation of the release of book ten, Dead in the Family next week and the release of True Blood: Season 2 in three weeks. I'm so starved for new vampire-related content that I finished the books too early, and now I'm giving The Vampire Diaries series a go. (I already watch the Vampire Diaries tv show and I own all four of the Twilight books -- are you really surprised?) Yep. That's me. The girl who never met a 'wamp- ire' story she didn't like. Or a ghost story.  Or a witch story. Or a small-town-murder-mystery story. Speaking of which, anyone anyone else catch the pilot for Happy Town? My favorite quote: "This is not a well man. A well man doesn't put a hole in another man's head."  Understatement of the year, sheriff.  Clearly, you never watched Twin Peaks.

Yes, I enjoy really any kind of creepy story....except straight-up, human brutality/horror of the Saw variety. Or zombies. I am deeply real-life terrified of a zombie apocalypse.  I blame World War Z. Anytime it comes up I just start yelling "WILDERNESS SKILLS!" over and over at David to demonstrate my deeply held fear that my lack of love for the outdoors will one day be the death of me, but only in an undead-end-of-the-world sort of way.

But I'm actually here to talk about perfume. No, really. I swear.

I've had this sample of Domenico Caraceni Ivy League I've been working on for about a year now. I have no excuse for failing to review it, especially since I like it. It's a summer scent, though, so now seems as good a time as any to tell you about it.

First-in-Fragrance describes Ivy League as follows,
In 1954 the Ivy Group Agreement was signed, which would ensure fair play in sport. The IVY LEAGUE became extremely important in the Colleges of the North Eastern U.S and even went on to develop its own style of fashion.

The perfume IVY LEAGUE by Domenico Caraceni expresses this time in a youthful, fresh and sporty fragrance.

Domenico Caraceni is famous throughout the world for his tailoring and unique style which characterized Italian fashion for many years. As court tailor to many Royal houses Domenico Caraceni, in his 1913 established tailor shop in Rome, dressed such illustrious personages as the kings of Greece and Italy and later the Prince of Wales Edward VIII, who was also known for his sense of style. Not only the nobility sought their way to the studio of the incomparable Caraceni, but also many famous stars of film and show business such as Tyrone Power, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant and Sophia Loren.

The uniqueness and sophistication of the clothes that emerged from Caracenis workshop was admired by all. Even today, at the Palazzo Bernasconi in Milan, "bespoke suits" are still created in Domenico Caraceni’s immutable style.

Top notes are amalfi lemon, bergamot, mandarin orange and chamomile; middle notes are geranium, jasmine and ylang-ylang; base notes are sandalwood, amber, vetiver and musk.
I think, given the name, it's supposed to be preppy. It's definitely got a clean cut feel to it, like those shiny preppy young folks you see in GAP holiday ads. Like GAP clothing, it's a genderless scent, well worn by a man or a woman. It does feel youthful, but in a sophisticated way that makes it more accessible than scents clearly aimed at younger buyers.

On immediate application, I get a big wallop of citrus and soap. It's simultaneously the smell of freshly squeezed orange juice and pretty flowers and....hand soap. Okay, yeah, I admit it. It's soapy. It's the jasmine. Lots of people think jasmine smells soapy. I don't; I think it smells like jasmine. But jasmine was all over where I grew up, like it is in tropical climbs, and the warm spring and summer night air was always filled with it. In my life, that scent has wafted over happy nights, many spent near the ocean, and I can't help but feel a sense of delight when I run into a scent with a really good jasmine note.Also, it seems rarer and rarer that I manage to find an orange scent that doesn't smell like the fake orange found in cleaners or candy, so I'm quite happy with this one.

Between the realistic orange and the well-made jasmine, that makes Ivy League a rare gem even in the ever crowded "clean" and "citrus" categories. Truthfully, I think if you can set aside any anti-soap urges you might feel, you might find you like it, too. It's a gentle, lovely balance. The sillage is low to moderate, and I still get faint wafts of it several hours later. I noticed that the warmer it is, the longer it tends to last.

Ivy League has become one of my favorite warm weather scents, and it is long past the time when I should break down and buy a bottle. Unfortunately, Luckyscent used to carry Ivy League, but it appears they don't anymore. I could only find it at First-in-Fragrance, where you can get 100ml for 79,00€, plus (in my case) international shipping and handling. If you know of a place I can get it here in the U.S., please let me know.

"I've been drinkin' now
just a little too much.
And I don't know how
I can get in touch with you.
Now there's only one thing for me to do --
that's to keep on tryin' to get home to you..."

- "Keep On Tryin'," Poco (You can listen to the song here)

Other than a brief but positive mention by Kevin from Now Smell this!, I couldn't find a review anywhere. And that's a shame.


Ines said...

True Blood season 2 in 3 weeks?! Yes, yes, yes!!!
And I love a good vampire story as well (I own Twilight books too). :)

Diana said...

Yes, Ines. THREE WEEKS!!! And it has been SO DIFFICULT to avoid the online spoilage as this season as rolled out. The good news is apparently HBO is going to be doing a 6-part mini-episode story run this summer to help tide fans over in anticipation of the 3rd season premiere. This means those of us without premium cable channels who have to wait for DVDs get a little bit of bonus material before we begin our annual wait.

You know, if we didn't live on other sides of the world, we would totally be IRL friends with the perfume and vampires and whatnot. :)

Ines said...

I agree Diana - we do seem to share a lot of interests and life point of views.
You know, I actually feel butterflies in my stomach anticipating the new season. And I'm doing a little happy dance as well. :)

Kris said...

Your right! I always feel like Gap is a place I can go and not get labelled when I walk out the door. It is for each gender and sometimes I find myself wondering around in the men's department for blazers. Gap promotional codeis the best way to get a great deal in your area.