Sunday, June 26, 2011

I want your leather-studded kiss in the sand.

Perfume Challenge Week 23: Monday, 6/20/11, to Friday, 6/24/11

Whew! It's been a busy week and quiet weekend for me since I'm headed out of town next weekend.  Where to, you ask?  Well I just got my very first passport and shiny passport card, so I am headed to Victoria, B.C. for part of the weekend.  I'm also dropping by my favorite vampire-ridden Washington town for Independence Day festivities.  I mean, who doesn't enjoy a good old-fashioned frog jump? So this weekend is about work and projects and chores for the most part. I finished Lauren Kate's Passion, the recently released third book in the Fallen series, which I enjoyed, although the ending was not what I expected.  I also watched two of the three episodes of BBC's Sherlock, which I am lov-ing.  Whatever Sherlock's damage may be, that man is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

I need to say two quick things about current events before I get to the reviews.  I am very happy that the fine state of New York has joined the ranks of those states to approve marriage equality for same-sex couples.  The arc of history truly does bend toward justice, and these days when it can sometimes be hard to remember that, a group of people will come through in a clutch and remind you of just how much we are capable of when learn to overcome our petty differences in favor of the things that unite us.

Simultaneously, I am very sad that Peter Falk has died.  He was an angel walking among men, but I'll always love him most as Columbo, a man who made beige trench coats cool and whose squinty-eyed demeanor was remarkably charming.  I hope he has found the peace now that eluded him so much in the last few years of his life.

In fact, here's a little musical interlude, in honor of our bumbling, beloved fallen member of the host.

When you're following an angel
Does it mean you have to throw your body off a building?
Somewhere they're meeting on a pinhead
Calling you an angel, calling you the nicest things
I heard they had a space program
When they sing you can't hear, there's no air
Sometimes I think I kind of like that and
Other times I think I'm already there.

Thank you Mr. Falk for reminding us that merely being human is sometimes worth the greatest of sacrifice.  Also, note to self, get tickets for that TMBG show this fall.  Okay, now we can move on to the perfume.

Monday: As part of The Midsummer Night's Dream event, I reviewed JoAnne Bassett Perfumes Night Queen.

Tuesday: Olympic Orchids Olympic Amber - This was originally formulated as a base for other perfumes, but it stands beautifully on its own. A rich amber scent full of natural labdanum ornamented with vanilla, benzoin, incense, resins, patchouli, and woods. A true oriental fragrance that will transport you on a jeweled magic carpet of olfactory delights. Let's say you wanted to like Guerlain Shalimar, but it was just too big and loud and floral, like your Aunt Earlene's taste in heavy curtains. This might make an excellent alternative. Where a person might find the former full of big loud floral prints loved by women with frizzy hair, here there is resin and dirt and decaying leaves and wet wood.

I, however, love Shalimar. As a descendant of the kind of women who love those curtains, who employ design firms like Sugarbakers Design to install them, I would love it for sentimental reasons even if it were all those garish things. That said, I personally find it fashionable and fun, and if there is big floral print, it's the kind you find on a tiny summer dress with a swishy full skirt and big Hepburn-style sunglasses. Haters gonna hate, but I don't care; Shalimar is still wonderful.

But I was here to talk about Olympic Amber. As a Shalimar lover, I love this, too. And I love it for the differences. This is a very naturally scented amber, an amber that derived from the earth and forest and sea, nestled in notes that make it feel like a jewel discovered there.


Holding Olympic Amber up against Shalimar and Beyond Kilian Love to my friend LillieMae, who has an affection for perfume that I would describe as in its infancy, but growing, she agreed that she could smell the strong vanilla/amber notes across the three. Her completely uninfluenced opinion was that she thought Shalimar was nice, wanted to eat Love, but the one she'd want to wear, actually wear as an expression of herself? Olympic Amber. I am inclined to agree; as strongly vanilla/ambers go, I'd like to wear this one, too. 3.5 of 5 nods.

Wednesday: Boadicea The Victorious Divine - Notes: Jasmine, mandarin, aldehydes, styrax, sandalwood. Primarily jasmine, the aldehydes are a wonderful blend here so this stays away from becoming a heavy floral and stays light and pretty. This is a wonderful floral scent for summer. It doesn't have the best staying power (about 4 hours) but that does mean it is excellent for summer weather. Also, you don't always want a floral to bloom so large that it feels like you're carry a virtual hedgerow in front of you. Sometimes, light floral is exactly what you want, particularly in a jasmine. 3.5 nods.

Thursday: As part of The Midsummer Night's Dream event, I reviewed The Scented Djinn Peaseblossom EdT.

Friday: Soivohle Cordovan Rose - Notes: leather, smoke, plum, rose. If I think of just one of the listed notes and close my eyes, I can find it here, right here, in the opening.

Unfortunately, the combination, if I'm not trying to pick out a particular note and just hit a whiff of the opening? Chewing tobacco. Yeah, that's right. Dip, snuff, chaw. Call it what you will -- my dad dipped, my brother used to dip, hell my great gramma and great aunt used to dip, that's how deep south my family roots go. Sadly, this makes the opener of what would otherwise be a hugely unique scent experience for me a complete bummer.


And that is terribly sad. Because, and once again I will drag my perfume machinations into this, when I made LillieMae smell it and then smell it again a half hour later, the middle and end of the drydown read as the smell of a wonderful old leatherbound book or a beautifully made leather couch with a vase of two dozen strongly scented roses on the end table next to it.

So basically it repulses me unfairly, when I would obviously otherwise love it. It would work beautifully on a man and makes an awesomely unconventionally attractive scent for a woman, the kind of woman who could pull off the outfit to the left, say with some matching boots. So, ignoring my weird associations with the opening, 4 or 5 nods for its uniqueness.

Winner of the Week: For me personally, Olympic Orchids Olympic Amber. That said, I think Divine and Cordovan Rose are every bit as good.

"You know that I want you
and you know that I need you.
I want it bad, your bad romance.
I want your love and
I want your revenge.
You and me could write a bad romance."

~ "Bad Romance," Lady GaGa

1 comment:

Undina said...

I liked Columbo very much and it's very sad when a part of your childhood or youth dies.