Sunday, April 10, 2011

Because the old black rum's got a hold on me...

Perfume Challenge Week 14: Monday, 3/4/11, to Friday, 4/8/11

Next weekend is the annual Hood River Blossom Fest.  I'm heading to Seattle for a friend's birthday for the weekend, so a friend and I drove out to look at the Hood River 'Fruit Loop.'   It's not quite in bloom yet, unfortunately, but it was a nice drive through the Gorge nonetheless.

Monday: L'Artisan The Pour Un Ete - notes: Jasmine Tea, Green Tea, hints of lemon and peppermint A bright burst of lemon immediately shifts to a peppermint with a jasmine edge. Compared to Jo Malone Fresh Mint Leaf, which is slightly sweeter, this mint is more mint bordering a garden of jasmine than mint candy. Would make a nice masculine. Nice but not for me. 3 of 5 nods.

Tuesday: Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin - Reminiscent of the scent of limes carried on a Caribbean sea breeze, Lime Basil & Mandarin has become a modern classic for men and women. Fresh limes and zesty mandarins are undercut by peppery basil and aromatic white thyme in this alluring signature blend.

 Lime and basil is not a winning combination in my world. It's dry, it's bitter, it's not, well not good. It's like sour dry pencil shavings, and not in a good way. 1 of 5 nods.

Wednesday: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb - notes: Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, Ballerina Freesia, Patchouli I'm already on record as *hating* Flowerbomb's entire advertising campaign. However, I had a sample, and decided to see if the scent was as bad as its advertising.

I really liked the opening, which was a combination of licorice and cotton candy. It was a dark, sweetly sexy scent. Unfortunately (or fortunately) this last all of ten minutes. Then it turned sour on me. *jen says she got "crème brûlée sitting next to a vase of flowers" and I wish I could say the same. Instead, I get a smell like cotton candy that's flavored to resemble canaloupe balls covered in white mold. That strong sour notes backs off eventually, but still lurks in the bottom, making it a loud, overly sweet unpleasant experience. I think I see some of the caramel that is supposed to be the scent's inspiration, but it smells curdled -- not burned, but actually spoiled somehow. Honestly, I'm relieved I don't like it; now I can sleep soundly knowing I never have to help the ad firm responsible for its marketing make any money. 1.5 of 5 nods.

Thursday: Olympic Orchids Bay Rum - Olympic Orchids does this amazing thing where some of the samples you receive are not part of the line. Because of that, I can't tell you what notes are in Bay Rum, or even if you'll ever be able to purchase it. I hope you will, because I really enjoyed it. Bay Rum is a deep, dark, musky scent, with elements of: warm rubber, damp basement, vanilla bean, powered cocoa, and a little clove. It's what I imagine you'd smell bouncing across the back roads of a Caribbean island in an open Jeep on an extremely hot day. It positively smolders on the skin, and would make a nice masculine or feminine. 3 of 5 nods.

Friday: Téo Cabanel Alahine - notes: Bergamot, ylang-ylang, jasmine, Moroccan rose, iris, cistus, patchouli, benjoin, vanilla, sandalwood, musk So here we go again, with a a spicy rose that reminds me of Tauer Perfumes Une rose chyprée. This is a lighter scent, textured and structural instead of luch and supple. If Une rose chyprée is brick and skin, then Alahine is the steel under the bricks, the bones beneath the skin. It's not cloves and oranges, it's musk and incense, but in a staid sort of way. There's something else there, too, something a little like chewing tobacco... I like Alahine, but I don't psychotically love it like everyone else seems to. Maybe if I hadn't met Une rose chyprée first. I recommend trying both to decide which one is right for you. 3 of 5 nods.

Winner of the Week: Téo Cabanel Alahine, L'Artisan The Pour Un Ete and Olympic Orchids Bay Rum are all fine selections, though for me Bay Rum is the winner for sheer originality.

"So I drank all of my money and I slept out in the rain.
Every day is different but the nights they're all the same.
You never see the sun on the old black rum
but I know I'm gonna do it again!"
 - "The Old Black Rum," Great Big Sea

Photos: Dana Joe and The Kitchn


star said...

I know this has nothing to do with your entry. But I want a tuberose scent that actually smells like tuberoses.

I just bought a bouquet and it is making my kitchen smell extra wonderful. The perfumes just don't quite catch it though..le sigh.

Diana said...

Star have you tried any of these four: DSH Perfumes Tubéreus, Robert Piguet Fracas, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle?

Fracas is my fav, but you might find a tuberose to love among these.

I have to tell you, I am so thrilled you have gotten so much out of this blog and so into perfume. It's really nice to know my affection has spread the love.

museinwoodenshoes said...

Innnnteresting. I do see the relationship between URC and Alahine, rich rosy ambery things they are. I admire and enjoy URC but do not love it - and I'm pretty sure I met URC before Alahine! Perhaps the density of URC works against it - it sometimes just sort of Sits. There. on my skin, doin' nuthin'.

Alahine, though I didn't like its opening the first five times I tried it, kept pulling up happy mental images for me. (Now, of course, I rather welcome that aromatic start because I love the rest of it so much.)

The bay rum thing sounds so attractive!

star said...

I have Fracas, which I like a lot. I put some on last night and compared it to the bouquet and you know, they smell nothing alike. Huh.

I had a small sample of White Potion from Ayala Moriel, which is long gone and full bottle is VERY expensive, sadly.

I'll have to see if I can find the others.

Oh, you know me. How can you love something so much and not make me curious?

Diana said...

I sat Alahine aside thrice before reviewing it, thinking I'd eventually see whatever one else does. At some point, though, you have to call a spade a spade. Glad it moves everyone else, and it was nice, but I just never got much further than nice with it. Whereas URC sets my heart a pitter-patter.

The Bay Rum thing *is* great! I hope Ellen adds it to the line.

Diana said...

Star, okay, I'm about to get all perfumista on you. I apologize in advance.

Do you have the pure parfum of Fracas? Or th EdP? The pure parfum is much closer to the real flowers imo (and what I have). I have a very tiny bottle, but it was totally worth it. Maybe I can decant and send you a ml of it...

star said...

I have the roll on from Sephora.

Maybe I should send you a bouquet of tuberoses! Hehehehehe.

More importantly have you started the Patrick Rothfuss book I sent you.

Diana said...

No, but I have a good reason that I will tell you about elsewhere...