Sunday, October 24, 2010

A little grin, a little groan, oh baby...

Etat Libre d'Orange Antihéros

So it's one week until All Hallow's Eve.  Is everyone else as excited as I am?  I doubt it.  I have a good costume this year, which I promise to post you pix of next week, and I am going to a party this year, so I actually have somewhere to where it other than the 24-hour pie house I always seem to end up at on Halloween.  It's weird, but true  Every freaking year.

But we're here to talk about perfume...

Etat Libre d'Orange describes Antihéros as follows:
Take me as I am » seems to say this fake Mr Everybody. An anti-hero never lies about who he is, hence the seeming simplicity of this hedonistic and sun-drenched creation, entirely centered on lavender flower. This hero of everyday life fights very ordinary battles at work, when driving, at home without every taking anything too seriously. His innate modesty is extremely appealing and he knows it. He cultivates his imperfections with wit and with natural unconventional elegance. With his tousled hair and look, this somewhat unexpected superman catches the eye and still cannot believe it – that’s why we adore him.

Composition: lavender, musk, wood...
The lavender and wood combines for a clean smell, so the initial impression is a light, almost lemon or lime wood scent, after a few minutes, though, it arms up as it sweetens and deepens.  The lavender is really dominate at this point, and reminds me of the lavender cupcakes my friend Jill made for my friend Tiff's birthday.  The wood feels less like a base thank a kind of side note afterthought  The musk is almost no where to be found, leaving the combination with a sort of tea like feeling over all.

The words "innate modesty" are, I think, a fitting way to describe it.  It feels like a masculine to me in a Chuck Bass sort of way, but it also makes for a nicely cozy winter scent.  Personally, I prefer L'Artisan's Tea for Two, but if that's to spicy for you and you'd like a scent that is a little more toward the floral tea side, you might really like this one.

You can buy Antihéros in 50ml and 100ml bottles, as well as get samples, from LuckyScent or direct from the perfumer.

"If I could just turn back the clock and hear you hum along again
I'd give up all this tea I bought hoping you'd stop by.
At least a case of Orange Spice. 
Now tea is something I don't like.
I like coffee. I like it dark.
It's not for wimps.
You're not a wimp, but you're a Buddist.
That's like..voodoo.
Tea tastes like doodoo.
But for you I'd buy tea
just to have you hum along."
- "Just to Have You Hum Along," Betty Elders

Want more?  try....
~ a review from Fragantica
~ a review from A Minx by Any Other Name
~ a review from Aromascope
~ a review from One Thousand Scents
~ a review from Antihéros

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And the winner is...

The Astoria column, at night.

So my dear readers, here are the results of the anniversary draw!

I know you're all itching to find out who won.  thus we turn to Randomizer, who gives us the following results:

There were 9 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

Screenshot or it didn't happen!
  1. Oh, True Apothecary
  2. Bellatrix
  3. PearlSugar
  4. Elisa Gabbert
  5. Ines
  6. amberleigh
  7. Fresh Local and Best
  8. JoanElaine
  9. Kathy
Timestamp: 2010-10-19 04:13:57 UTC

Congrats to Oh, True Apothecary, our grand prize winner (with an awesome name, I might add -- thy drugs are quick)! You get a mixed cd, candy, two samples (my random choice) and a $15 gift certificate to either Luckyscent or The Perfumed Court, your choice.

Second prize winners are BellatrixPearlSugarElisa Gabbert, and Ines, who will get a mixed cd, candy and three samples  (my random choice) each.  

Thanks everyone for entering, and keep reading because there will likely be more fun drawings soon.

Winners, please email me at with your addresses so I can get your prizes in the mail by the end of the week.

Until tomorrow, dear ones.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Do our gay ballet on ice, bluebirds on our shoulders...

Etat Libre d'Orange Don't Get Me Wrong Baby, I Don't Swallow

I'm back from my anniversary trip. We had a lovely weekend that went by, in my opinion, far too quickly. Since the 5th anniversary is "wood" and David, very sweetly, always buys me something along the anniversary theme, he bought me a very nice wooden box, a wooden book mark, two wooden magnets, and even a card made of wood from my favorite stationery store in town, oblations papers.

 Not just any wooden box, though. He got it for me specifically to hold perfume! That's right, perfumistas. It is exactly the right height to hold all of my decants, which were falling out of the sides of the wire basket I had them in previously. See the picture (to your right)?  They fit so perfectly!  And the box also fits great inside my cabinet. So now my unboxed scents are in the basket and the decants are in the box, and he even offered to buy me more boxes for my 1 and 1.5 ml want samples if it would help me store them properly.

I swear to you, if I weren't already in love, that would have won me over right there.

But enough gushing. Let's get back to perfume reviews, shall we?

First up for review this week is Etat Libre d'Orange's Don't Get Me Wrong Baby, I Don't Swallow.
It all starts with a hand on the nape of a neck. The hand of a man familiar with the practice of attracting young women, accustomed to crumpling their sleek hair and to getting the better of their well-behaved manners. This is the story of a man in a car at night, of a manly hand that draws a perfectly fresh face towards him - expressed at the start by a bouquet of white flowers: lily of the valley, jasmine and orange blossom –, and who anticipates the chocolaty taste and tenderness of a mouth. It is also the story of a woman who at first resists and finally goes down on him. The art of the “American kiss” unfurls on accords of ambre solaire, almond, sugar cane and marsh mallow. The man will discover everything there is to know about her: the warm roughness of her tongue, the rousing sensation of her back and forth. All there is to know and no more than that! The appetizer ends in a whisper: “Don’t get me wrong baby, I don’t swallow”.

Notes: jasmine, aldehydes, lily of the valley, orange blossom, solar amberey accord, patchouli, cacao, musk, and guimauve.
Don't Swallow, as I internally think of it, is so sweet and innocent it's hard for me to reconcile the naughty name with what's going on under my nose. I get the cacao and amber a bit right up front, which combine with the jasmine and lily of the valley to create a sort of bubblegummy sweetness. It's strangely delicate, though, and pretty soon just devolves into a light floral. It's a strange juxtaposition against the name, which I would expect to have a harder, edgier scent that was defiantly sexual. But maybe its just the shock value that makes me read it wrong. Maybe I'm supposed to encounter it as the gentle tease it reads as, like what one imagines occuring after they cut away from passionate bedroom embraces in films from the 1950s. It's a nice enough scent, which gets a bit musky and warm on its way through the dry down, but it reminds me of L'Artisan Mûre et Musc because I just find it too nice to wear.

I'm never gonna be a white lace dress with wrist-length gloves and a lavender satin ribbon around my waist. At my wedding I wore a dress with red bordering the bottom and corseting down my back and ending in a long blood red trailing bow. I wore nail polish called "I'm Not Really A Waitress" and bright red lipstick. Plus, I got married in the attic of a historic power station house on an old poor farm that has been converted to a pub and hotel with a bar two floors below me. I'm not really a sweetly demure, eye lash fluttering, bubblegum pink type. In musical theatre terms, I am not and have never been Sandy; I'm Rizzo, right down to the bad reputation.

That said, if you like the idea of flirting in too tight sweaters and pencil skirts while wearing thigh highs with seams up the back like a character from Mad Men, you might just love this scent. I can think of at least one friend I'd spray it on before we went out to bar hop, me in ballet flats, chucky jewelry, and heavy eye make up and her in tea length dresses and pearls. If that sounds like you, or at least someone you like to be on the weekends, check this one out.

You can get samples of Don't Get Me Wrong Baby, I Don't Swallow from direct from the perfumer.

"Stay out super late tonight
picking apples, making pies.
Put a little something in our lemonade and take it with us.
We're half awake in a fake empire."
- "Fake Empire," The National

Want more? Try...
~ a review from Perfume-Smellin' Things
~ a review from The Scented Salamder
~ a review of the line from Bois de Jasmin

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Dear reader:

I've been remiss.  I've been a cad.  I've toyed with your readerly affections by coming and going like the changing breeze.  I have no excuse.  I'm busy.  Life has been calling. When it does, I tend to pick up the phone.

But I'm here to make it up to you, reader.  Not only with pretty words and promises, but in the way all suitors try to woe wronged objects of affection -- with gifts, of course!

Here's another sign in a litany that I am a bad blogger.  I never remember my bloggy anniversary.  I think it's in a few months, but I always seem to miss it somehow.  But my real anniversary, that is something I always remember.  And that, my dear friends, is tomorrow.

Yes, as of tomorrow David and I have been married 5 years.  It seems like a long time on paper, but in my memory it has been far too short.  It sounds sappy, dear reader, but the thing I've learned most in the last five years is that, while love is neither easy nor a fairy tale, it's still one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  If I could go on holding this man's hand and waking up next to him in the morning for the next twenty five years more, I'd consider myself blessed and lucky. 

So in celebration of my wedding anniversary, I'm doing a giveaway.  That's right Sally!  In fact, there will be FIVE winners. For winners 2-5, there will be perfume samples, there will be mixed CDs, there will be candy. For the grand prize winner, all of the previous will apply *AND* there will be a $15 gift certificate to either The Perfumed Court or Luckyscent, winner's choice.

So let's everyone celebrate the fact that life, though sometimes difficult, is also beautiful and that those people who find love in their lives, in any form, are truly lucky indeed.

To enter: post your anniversary perfume suggestions.  We're going out of town two nights and three days to the wintery Oregon coast. What would you take along? Alternately, if nothing strikes you as anniversary appropriate, I will also take recommendations for romantic scents or beach scents. 

Post by 12:01AM PST Monday, October 18, 2010 to enter.  Winners will be chosen at random and announced October 19, 2010.

 Until I return, dear reader, and with love from me to you, happy sniffing! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

I don't have forever, but I'll live like I do.

Prada Infusion de Tubereuse 

So let's talk tuberose.

I have 15 ml bottle of pure parfum Fracas, which I love and were often.  That said, with pure parfum Fracas, that tiny bottle is likely last me a lifetime of super strong buttery rubbery tuberosey scent.   In fact, it was Fracas that convinced me tuberose could be wonderful when so many previously encountered tuberose scents had left me cold.

So let's fast forward to me killing an hour in Nordstrom while waiting for some friends to meet me for happy hour.  Jo Malone's ridiculously expensive effort to take over the entire internet one banner ad at the time meant all three sales associates were swamped, so I steered clear of the counter completely.  

I wandered past the Hermes collection and after trying Hermes un Jardin sur le Nil (I read Chandler Burr's The Perfect Scent last year and wanted to sniff for myself) knowing that come Spring I'll head back for a bottle. But this is fall, damnit, and despite it being sunny and 80 degrees out yesterday (back down to a blissful rainy 60 today, thankyouverymuch) I wanted a scent for fall.  I wandered past the Annick Goutal sales woman who tried to press a collector's edition bottle unsniffed on me after I mentioned I owned several of the line, then headed over to the Prada shelf because I had not tried the vetiver or tuberose.  I love Infusion de Iris; I hate Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger.  So I was feeling pretty much like this one could go either direction.

Prada describes Infusion de Tubereuse as follows:

A playful tuberose mosaic inspired by an archive Prada print adorns the outer packaging, its charming naivety a reminder of the playfulness within. Instead of green, the leaves appear to have been dipped in a degrade mauve ink. Tuberose from India: Tuberose is a symbol for creation, intoxicating and penetrating. In Infusion de Tubereuse, the flowers are delicate and young, like morning buds not yet touched by the sun. Petitgrain Bigarade: Made from the leaves of the bitter orange tree, petitgrain bigarade is reminiscent of fresh green leaves after the rain. Blood Orange from Italy: Juicy citrus notes of blood orange from Italy are blended with precision to give a sparkling freshness to the tuberose. Dynamone: A rare and luxurious ingredient in perfumery, dynamone brings sensuality to Infusion de Tubereuse. Its woody notes bring the citrus and floral notes into harmony, enabling this fantasy infusion.
So let's talk about the Prada, particularly in comparison with Fracas.  Fracas is a demanding tubereuse.  Sure, it's beautiful.  But it is big.  It's bold.  It's in your face.  Fracas demands you take notice of it, that you live up to it.  Wearing Fracas takes commitment, because you will still smell it hours later, still strong and sultry, still wanting you to be good enough for it.

That's a lot to ask from a perfume wearer, particularly when days get short, the skies get darker, and the flu starts your back muscles aching.  In my opinion,  Infusion de Tubereuse is a really good starter tubereuse, particularly if you stick your nose deep into Fracas pure parfum and all you think is "sour grape koolaid."  The orange blossom in  Infusion de Tubereuse is evident to me, providing a dry crisp edge.  Where Fracas seems like this intense distillation of the beauty of nature,  Infusion de Tubereuse seems like a lighter, modern version of the same, as if someone painted a modern painting of the same field of flowers that you make Fracas from, and you could wear that painting.  

Lots of people have had not so great things to say about Infusion de Tubereuse (see below).  I really liked it through.  No, it's not perfect.  Infusion de Tubereuse does not last as long as Fracas.  Objectively, it isn't as beautiful as Fracas.  But  Infusion de Tubereuse is a nice starter scent in the tubereuse family, one that can be easily worn, doesn't expect too much, and provides a light accent to your already simple and chic cardigan and skirt set, like the addition of a pair of funky earrings or a vintage brooch.  You wear it, rather than it wearing you or the two of you fighting for attention.  And sometimes that's plenty enough to make you love a nice not overly demanding scent.

You can buy Infusion de Tubereuse in 1.7 OZ for $74.00, 3.4 Oz for $100.00 and 6.75 Oz for $135.00. I got the mine as part of the summer promotional set, which came with a 3.4oz bottle of the scented lotion, for $100.00.

"I don't have a reason, but I live like I do
The sky could crash into the ground, and we like the view
The flood runs through the canyons in New York City
I know when the hurricane comes, it's comin' for me..."
 - "Perfect in my Mind," Gold Motel

Want more? Try
~ a review from Robin at Now Smell This!
~ a review from Perfume Shrine
~ a review from I Smell, Therefore I Am
~ a review from Bois de Jasmin
~ a review from Pere de Pierre