Friday, August 19, 2011

Lately I’ve been living for the weekend...

Perfume Challenge Week 30: Monday, 8/8/11, to Friday, 8/12/11

Thanks to Undina, I now have wonderful ammo cases to store my samples in. I initial bought *muffled sounds* hundred sample slots worth, and I managed to get my estimate pretty close. I also managed to get some of them organized by house immediately, which was great for being able to, you know, find things. Now I need about twice as many boxes so I can take all the scents I don't have enough of to merit a house section and break them up by notes. Because I'm completely neurotic, and as Rob Gordon so succinctly put it in High Fidelity, "Fetish properties are not unlike porn. I'd feel guilty taking their money, if I wasn't… well… kinda one of them."

I'll try to post some photos next week, but if you look at Undina's post you get the basic idea. I need more of those grey ones though...

Perfume has taught me so many things. One of them is that the word 'need' is entirely relative.

Monday: L'Artisan Navegar - Notes: Lime, Red pepper, Ginger, Rhum, Star anise, Black pepper, Cedarwood, Guaiac wood, Incense. 

Lime and pepper are all over this opening, and the woody base is very strong on me. It's like a super classy version pencil shavings (always my thought when it comes to cedar) but then it turns into a pretty lime flower.  I find this less about the fruit and more about the plant when it comes to the lime aspect which I don't often encounter. (It's usually all about the fruit flesh or the fruit peel, or even the fruit leaf...but never the flower.) This is exactly what I wanted Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin to be. Refined and elegant, yet youthful. Pret-tay nice. 4 of 5 nods.

Tuesday: Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli - A romantic ingenue; wraps elegant orange blossom flower around layers of clean herbal notes, warm musks and addictive brushstrokes of vanilla.” Additional notes include neroli, lemon, bergamot, petitgrain galbanum, moss, birch leaves and white amber.

WOOHOO! An extremely light dry citrus aspect makes Grand Neroli even more orange than your usual neroli. It is so pretty, and the first almost edible orange flower scent I've encountered. The vanilla aspects are much like those of Atelier Cologne Vanilla Incenseé as Grand Neroli has a similar dryness to it that gives the scent an open air quality I find unique and enjoyable about several of the Ateliers. It's a very crisp scent and not at all weighed down by the vanilla sweetness.  At a mere $55 for 30ml, a great bargain for neroli lovers everywhere; I'd chose it over a lot of other comparable scents. I like wearing my Jo Malone Orange Blossom in the warm weather, but this would make a great Fall neroli/orange blossom thanks to the dryness of the vanilla. 4.5 of 5 nods.

Wednesday: Comme des Garcons Series 2 Red: Carnation - Notes: red carnation, essence of red pepper, red rose, cloves, absolute Egyptian jasmine, absolute red pepper.

My first carnation. One critical review I saw called it "big red [chewing gum] in a bottle" but I think that really undersells this  Comme des Garcons. It is decidedly traditionally 'feminine,' which naturally makes me want to spray on the most dudely dude I can find just to see how I like it. Carnation is not overly peppery and the clove is smooth like the finest grained powder instead of sharp the way I find in so many clove heavy scents.
It does smell like carnations, which I would have thought I'd hate; my only instructions to my wedding florist was that I wanted funky arraignments and NO CARNATIONS. FN1. So when I tell you I find this carefully balanced scent that is equal parts rose and carnation frosted with clove delightful and compelling, no one is more surprised than me. I do question if I'd like it as much if they had used something other than rose, since roses are one of my addictions. That I suppose is a question for another day, a different carnation. Today, this carnation, for me? Wonderful. 4 of 5 nods.

Thursday: Penhaligon's English Fern - Notes: Geranium, Lavender, Clover, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Oakmoss.

My first Penhaligon's and it turns out to be one of the nicest fougeres I've ever encountered. The geranium is very strong in the opening, and the lavender makes a nice accent without being overwhelming. Apparently considered more of a masculine (I'm sure the complimentary scented shaving soap helps), I actually think this is lovely for a woman, particularly when the opening moves off and the sweetness of the clover and sandalwood come in. It's like a woman wearing an expensive men's dress shirt as a nightshirt. Sexy as hell due to, rather than in spite of, the 'traditional' gendered item juxtaposition. Some find it a difficult scent to tame, but I find it classic, sophisticated, and a wonderful scent for summer. Be careful, though. It's got strong legs, lasts forever, and has generous sillage. At $125 for 100ml, this bottle would last you approximately forever given the strength of the scent, so it's probably best for a bottle split. 4 of 5 nods.

Friday: Parfums de Nicolai Week-end à Deauville - Notes: basil, peppermint, tarragon, calone, helional, jasmine, lily of the valley, cardamom, galbanum, apple, cedarwood, leather and white musk.
Week-end à Deauville is a lot of white flowers with healthy accents of peppermint and basil. I like the basil here, because it isn't overwhelming and fuses together with the peppermint for a fresh bright opening best fitting for Spring. Unfortunately, that part burns off too quickly on my skin, so all I get is white flowers and light musk. I do get some apple sweetening the middle of the drydown, but not enough to suit me.

Bois de Jasmin describes it as "salty-sweet", and I can see that. Week-end is pretty and floral, so if you like those things, try this. It's supposed to be a beach scent of sorts, but this isn't any beach I've ever known. For me, this scent suffers from the same problem I have with L'Artisan Mure et Musc. It's just so...nice. That doesn't make it boring, it just feels so young and...naive to me. It doesn't feel innocent necessarily, just the opposite of worldly.

When I young I had this old anthology of poetry that divided love into two categories: "Young Love," and "Love, Older Grown." This is decidedly the former. There is no passion here or bitterness, just sweetness and romanticism. It's about as scandalous and sultry as Rebecca Black's idea of fun on a "Friday" night. Like if an extra wore it to the filming of Weezer's "Buddy Holly" video, they wouldn't be in on the irony. All that said, it is very pretty, so pretty that I can imagine it scenting the air during the filming of the scene from West Side Story when Maria tells us how pretty she feels because she's in love with a "pretty wonderful boy." So if that's your wheel house, get yourself a sample.  Also, only lasts four hours on me, which I don't generally think of as long enough. 3 of 5 nods.

Winner of the Week: Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli edges out Penhaligon English Fern, but barely. Oh Wait! Comme des Garcons Series 2 Red: Carnation! Sigh. Okay, once again, I cannot choose.

Also, I want to give a special shout to my friend LillieMae, who is moving to Chicago this weekend for graduate school. Study hard, be all smart, and then come home.  I miss you already.

"Every Friday, just about midnight,
all my problems seem to disappear.
Everyone that I miss when I’m distant.
Everybody’s here.
Yeah, my friends cause they’re so beautiful
Yeah, my friends they are so beautiful
Yeah, my friends...
~ "Friends," Band of Skulls

FN1. Arrangements; not arraignments. Sometimes lawyer life is bleeds over into my blogging...


anotherperfumeblog said...

Two things: that quote from High Fidelity is perfect, and it is potentially telling that your typo on the word arrangements was to sub the word arraignments. Working too much? :)

Anonymous said...

Love your charming, professionally apt typo about asking your wedding florist for "funky arraignments". I'll definitely have to try the CdG Carnation as I like the smell of carnations and love roses.
The rest of this week's choices are going on the trial list too.


Diana said...

Lindaloo -- I was not adamant about many things related to my wedding, but I was like Mommy Dearest's Joan Crawford going postal on some wire hangers when it came to the idea of carnations being anywhere near my arraignments. I had some pretty hateful words for that workhorse of a little flower, so it serves me right I have to eat them now when it comes to purfume.

Diana said...

OMFG and I *keep* doing it... Yes, I am worknig too much, and being in insurance makes me *miss* my days clerking at the DA's office, so it's probably a freudian mistype of epic proportions.

samberg said...

So many personal favs in this one. I'm also not the biggest fan of clove and spice, and I've tried a few carnation scents that didn't work on me, but the CdG Carnation truly is a surprising delight.

While never getting my carny hate on as vehemently as you, for many years I overlooked this humble flower as too prosaic for my attention. The generic flower-shop smell of buds bred for showiness wins carnations few admirers.

Then one day my partner picked up a six-pack of starts for the garden and I smelled the small red and magenta-hued petals of REAL carnations for the first time. Wowzer.

Undina said...

It sounds like a very good week scent-wise: just one out of five with three nods and everything else is above it!
I'm not sure I've ever tried any perfume with the distinct carnation note so I'm curious to try this one. After reading your posting (and a comment) I realized that I didn't think much of carnations up until my wedding when some relatives presented me with a HUGE bouquet of white carnations with some greens. It was so beautiful and survived much longer than most of roses brought by other guests (it was a tradition in the country where I lived to bring a lot of flowers to people's weddings and it was quite a task to deal with those after the event). But since then white carnations have a special place in my heart.