It's a Sniffathon! Part 2 - Ellie D, L'Artisan, Montale & More
|Part 2 of my gigantic Sniffathon.|
Ellie by Ellie D, “a perfume infused with nostalgia with youthful and modern sensibility.” Quite frankly, I mostly get very modern politically correct blandness rather than any sort of distinctive individuality that would make the scent an homage to the striking perfumes of the past…Don’t get me wrong, it is a lovely fragrance, a gentle green floral, with lily of the valley and jasmine being the most prominent notes, and with a pleasant woody and slightly sweet base of sandalwood, vanilla and coconut…wonderfully well blended (by Michel Roudnitska, no less), very elegant, very ladylike, a white gloves and a white hat kind of scent, and that certainly makes it a little bit of a standout among the fruity-gourmand tackiness of most new releases. But still, it is just too discreet, too shy, too understated, especially considering the hefty price of $180.00 for 1/2oz. When I am in the mood for a ladylike green floral, I will turn to scents with more oomph and personality, namely Roudnitska’s very own Debut or his father’s Diorissimo.
Bill Blass Eau de Parfum. First, why I like the new Bill Blass perfume. I like it for the things it is Not. It is not a fruity-floral. It is not pink, not cloyingly sweet, not gourmand. In our day and age it seems almost shocking that a company would dare to release a sophisticated, heady green floral, with such unfashionable notes as hyacinth and lily of the valley. Bill Blass is a vision of an opulent bouquet of white flowers and of a woman in a shimmering, body-skimming silk Blass dress carrying this bouquet. It is classy and it does not smell like it was made with Barbiesque teenagers in mind. And now why I don’t like Bill Blass Eau de Parfum … It smells rather harsh, so chemically-strong that I can actually taste, not just smell it. It lacks finesse and subtlety and it bothers me when I wear it for long stretches of time. Still, kudos to Bill Blass for their classic ambitions and quite successful attempts at olfactory sophistication. $65.00 for 1.3oz at Saks
Lovely Prism by Givenchy. By contrast with the refined Bill Blass, Givenchy’s new release is anything but refined. Fruity-floral scent by numbers, it smells of…oh, I don’t know … Sweet Red Fruits and Sparkly Pink Flowers. It is not horrible, not at all, but it is yawn-inducingly boring and probably too young even for 13 year-olds. Givenchy, they of L’Interdit, Le De, Givenchy III and even Amarige and Organza, should be ashamed of themselves for releasing such unbelievably generic, dull fragrances. $39.48 for 1.7oz at Perfume.com.
Oud Safran by Montale. I have never heard of this fragrance, I cannot find it on Montale’s unhelpful website, but I am sure that the wondrously prolific line has many scents we might have not even heard about (yet). The problem is that, to me, most of their ouds smell more or less alike. There are just too many of them; I am becoming unable to distinguish one Montale Oud from another. It is hard to believe that such exciting genre as oud might possibly be boring, but, to me, in Montale’s incessant rendition, it is beginning to feel dull and repetitive. And so Oud Safran…it smells of…well, oud, the dark, smoky, woody accord that always makes me think of extremely over-brewed, extremely black tea. The oud is strong and basically overwhelms everything else. If I try really hard, I can sort of intuit rather than smell saffron and something a little earthy, perhaps patch…but really, this is all about oud, oud, oud. I am bored. I will pass.
Jatamansi Huile pour le Corps by L’Artisan. This is Body Oil, and as such is probably not fully representative of what the Eau de Toilette will smell like, but what I can smell makes me hopeful and eager to try the Real Thing. The oil smells herbal, but not sharp or pungent, it is an understated and pleasantly “warm”, “rounded” scent. I do not know what jatamansi is supposed to smell like, what I smell is a cross between thyme, sage and perhaps even cardamom. Very wearable, very likeable, and in Eau de Toilette, probably absolutely perfect for summer. The oil blends into the skin quickly and does not leave a sticky residue, which is great. Still, I’d much rather wait for the Eau. L’Huile pour le Corps costs €60.00 for 250ml and is available at L’Artisan Parfumeur boutique online.
Le Bain Secrete Afrique by Esteban. This piquant little number starts with a mouthwatering citrus accord, slowly acquires soft, warm spiciness of ginger and eventually dries down to a slightly earthy, dry, woody base. Simple and tasteful, but perhaps a little too citrusy-sweet for me. I couldn’t find Le Bain Secrete Afrique at the online stores that carry Esteban line, so perhaps it isn’t available in the US just yet.
Cult of Helios by Voluspa. This fragrance is everything I used to love about heliotrope and everything that now makes me slightly nauseous. I am not sure I can do this scent justice, simply because I Can Not Stand Heliotrope In Big Doses, Arrgh! …but …trying to be objective here…for those who love the sweet, slightly almondy, doughy powderiness of heliotrope, enriched by vanilla, for those who prefer their florals to have a subtle gourmand quality and don’t mind a hefty dose of musk, Cult Of Helios might be a must-try. $24.00 for 15.5ml at Your-Cosmetics.com. Sorry, have to run and wash it off now, see you tomorrow for the final installment of The Sniffathon.