Sampling New Releases. Part 1.
Samples are taking over the house. They multiply what seems like overnight. The List of Samples To Be Seriously Tested and Reviewed is so long, it could easily be stretched from here to Champs-Elysées. (There is also a longer List Of Samples To Be Obtained, Seriously Tested and Reviewed, but that's a subject for a whole different post.) To help the “queue” move along, I decided, in the course of the next two days, to review several scents at once. Today is Part 1.
Bond No 9 Fire Island. Described as the smell of “freshly bathed skin, doused with a coating of premium Euro-sunscreen then warmed up by a midday siesta on the beach”, on me this is a fresh tuberose scent with lots and lots of clean musk, a tiny hint of orange blossom and even tinier one of cardamom. It is lovely, elegantly understated, easy to wear, but it is not “me”. To be “me” it would have had to have much more cardamom, sweeter tuberose and a different, not so clean, kind of musk. I must applaud the creators for not using the ubiquitous coconut note to evoke the beachy smell and feel and for not going over the top and making the scent too obviously "summery". As a result, this could be an everyday and every-season kind of scent, for men and women alike.
Ebba By Sand. Very pretty, very fruity, very edible, and, despite the fact that it is not called Miss Anything, very Ebba. Fun little scent, bright, sweet with gardenia, piquant with ginger, freshened up by lime. By Sand is an exotic Thai dessert of some sort, it is simple and lovely but the kind of thing that I crave very seldom, so I don’t need a bottle.
Badgley Mischka Fragrance. For no good reason whatsoever, apart from the fact that I love their designs, I was really interested in this new release. I am so glad now I did not give in to this irrational lemming and buy a bottle unsniffed. Because it could not be farther from what I like and find wearable. This scent should be called When Fruits and Berries Attack. I don’t know which fruits and berries exactly, there are lots of them and they are all jumping up at me at once so I cannot even think straight…I know for sure that there is the same kind of strawberry that grew on the pink, Barbie-esque fields of Miss Dior Cherie. As for other notes, jasmine did not stand much chance against The Evil Fruits; all I can smell underneath the pink mishmash is some amber and musk. I am sure it smells incredibly lovely on other people, but on me it was a scrubber.
Kenzo Amour. Even bigger disappointment than Badgley Mischka. Although I hated its fruity guts, The Mischka at least had some character and sparkle. Amour is yawn-inducingly dull. Pretty, I’ll give it that, very pretty. But so dull…Not only that, but it is remarkably similar to Lancôme’s a little less boring Hypnôse, especially in the beginning. Lots of sweet flowers (frangipane and cherry blossom), lots of vanilla, some wood with a fun name (thanaka!) , none of the promised rice steam and quite a lot of heliotrope-almond in the drydown …Quiet, fluffy and understated, I suppose Amour would be rather comforting and comfortable on a person with a better skin chemistry than mine. As far as I am concerned, those incredible bottles are wasted on this bland juice.
Jill Stuart Vanilla Lust. I must be going soft in my old age, because I quite liked this simple, smooth vanilla with a subtly fruity (peachy) undertone. There is not much to say about it, it is very linear, very straightforward, quite delectable. I might even be tempted to buy a bottle, because I imagine that Vanilla Lust would be great for bed time and for general lazing around the house. But the thing is, I know very well, that this is the kind of scent that starts boring me to tears within weeks of purchase.
To sum up, of these five, Fire Island most definitely stands out as the best-composed and the most interesting. Vanilla Lust, simple as it is, is another favorite simply because of its unselfconscious deliciousness.
Where to find these scents: Fire Island at Bondno9.com, Saks and wherever Bond No 9 scents are sold, $110.00-$178.00; By Sand at Luckyscent.com, $42.00-$45.00; Badgley Mischka at Neiman Marcus, $65.00-$225.00; Kenzo Amour at Nordstrom, $48.00-$85.00; Vanilla Lust at Nordstrom, $62.00-$145.00.
Tomorrow, Reminiscence Jammin, Esteban Sensuelle Russie, Lalique Perles de Lalique and Givenchy Ange ou Demon.