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Friday, June 30, 2006

From Russia With Love. Perfume Reviews and a Prize Draw

Today, Aromascope, Perfume Posse, Scentzilla and Perfume Smellin’ Things are having a Russian day. No special reason, we simply were able to sample some of the perfumes made by a Russian perfume house, Novaya Zarya, and decided to review them. OK, this is how it really happened... I got so homesick that anything Russian became more appealing than it has ever been when I actually lived there. So I got some Russian fragrances and, to humor me, the girls agreed to test them too.

Before I begin my short reviews, I must admit that they by no means represent the whole collection or even a significant part of it. Novaya Zarya is quite prolific. Moreover, those familiar with the history of Russian/Soviet perfumery, would notice glaring omissions. Such classics as Krasnaya Moskva (Red Moscow) and such modern classis as Or Des Scythes are not reviewed here. I got what I could get and I am hoping to obtain more scents in the future. To make it a little more interesting, I thought I’d do a small prize draw. If one of the scents below seems interesting to you, indicate in some way that you want to be entered in the draw, and if you are the winner, I will send you a decant of the scent of your choice. The only scent that I won’t be able to share is, sadly, Patchouli Magique, since I don’t have a bottle of it (yet).

Since this week was The Iris Week, I will start with Iris from the Melody of Flowers collection. This is a delightful, fresh, “no-brainer” iris. Very simple, very summery. It has a surprising citrusy undertone (perhaps grapefruit) and a little bracing earthiness (perhaps vetiver). It feels like a feminine relation of Terre d’Hermes and is very enjoyable in hot weather. The price, $10.00 for 1,7oz. (I hear that there is also a scent called White Iris and I would love to get my greedy hands on it too.)

Green Vetiver is another easy-going, pleasurable fragrance. It starts with a sweet citrusy accord, so sweet, it actually makes me think of lemon candies. There is a fresher, somewhat watery undertone that reminds me of cucumbers. Lemon and cucumber candy? Sounds worse than it actually smells. As the scent progresses, it gets fresher, drier and appropriately earthy. Still, as far as I am concerned, this is not so much about vetiver as it is about citruses, especially lemon. Very wearable and refreshing in summer, but not one of my favorite vetivers. The price, $12.00 for 3.4oz.

Arome Musque. The notes of this fragrance sounded so appealing to me, when I read the description (I cannot find it now, but believe me, it made it sound like the next Musc Ravageur), I had to have Arome Musque. In reality, although it still smells lovely, it is not nearly as sumptuous, warm and “dirty” as I imagined it would be. It starts with a bright, citrusy-floral accord and develops into a sweet, almost-gourmand musk. Not too sweet though and not too musky, everything here is in moderation. This is a beginner’s musk or, to borrow Guerlain’s mission for Insolence, this is the scent to attract women who like musk, “but don’t feel ready for it yet, which translates into a younger target.” The price, $12.00 for 1,7oz.

Ambre Dore. With notes of violet, rose, patchouli, coriander, amber and oakmoss, this is an interesting floral ambery scent much enlivened by the piquancy of coriander. The violet is quite apparent and goes really nicely with amber and patchouli. Ambre Dore is dark, pleasantly powdery and not in the least heavy or overwhelming. The price, $12.00 for 1,7oz.

Patchouli Magique. By far the most interesting of the Novaya Zarya creations that I have tried. After the burst of citrus in the beginning, the fragrance grows steadily darker. The patchouli here is complemented, on the one hand, by an unexpected chocolate-like accord and, on the other, by a wonderful incense note. The “chocolate” wears off fairly quickly and we are left with patchouli-incense blend that has richness and depth and is sure to please those who, like me, favor “dark and strange” fragrances with a smoky, spicy undertone. The price, $14.00 for 1,7oz

Russian Forest. An old, old favorite of many a Soviet man. (The story goes that some of them used it internally as well as externally.) This is a light, easy-to-wear eau de cologne that, without smelling like any particular tree that I know, does manage to convey a smell and an image of, well, a forest. The drydown has a certain ambery-powderiness and I can understand why Patty once, in a blind test, compared it to a Guerlain scent, namely Mitsouko. This poor (wo)man’s "Guerlain" costs whopping $3.00 for 3oz.

Muguet or Lily of the Valley. Fresh, subtly sweet lily of the valley accentuated by a delicate citrus accord. I do not think that it is very true to the flower it is meant to represent, but it is pleasant, refreshing and incredibly cheap. Again, $3.00 for 3oz.

And last but not least, Carnation. I loved this eau de cologne. It had the bright, rich spiciness quite on par with some high end carnation scents. Simple but full of character, it made me think of a line from Balmont, “Carnations softly beat their kettledrums”. At $3.00 for 3oz, this is truly a winner and a great find.

All of these fragrances can be bought online. Patchouli Magique is available at and will be delivered (quite promptly) from Russia. The rest is sold on, an American-based store, from which I ordered once and loved the customer service.

*The images are from and

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mr. Colombina Writes His Own Blog

Mr. Colombina made another entry in his blog, Deliver Rants. It is as funny as his musings on perfume, if not funnier. He will be happy to hear from you. Oh, and he promises that he will keep writing for Perfume-Smellin' Things. Look for a new post by Mr. Colombina in the next couple of weeks.

Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist

Iris Silver Mist is breathtakingly gorgeous. But this magnificent beauty is not flawless, not unapproachably perfect, like a stunning marble statue; it has a "flaw" that makes it all the more appealing and fascinating (think Cindy Crawford’s birthmark, think Christy Turlington’s long nose…). The delightful imperfection I am talking about is the way Iris Silver Mist’s rooty accord smells in the beginning of the scent. It smells a little “off”, a little bizarre, almost, but not quite, unpleasant. If you have some of this fragrance, put it on, concentrate…50-60 seconds into the development, there it is, that strange and alluring accord…This accord reminds me of something I encountered in childhood. My grandparents' dacha (country house) had raspberry bushes, and I loved nothing more than to stalk “the raspberry corner”, eating the berries right from the bush….Another creature favored the raspberries too; I am not sure what its Latin or English name is, but my grandparents called it “Stinker Bug” (жучок-вонючка). A raspberry visited by that little green monster had a peculiar smell, somewhat repulsive and strangely appealing at the same time. It had a raw, earthy, vegetal smell and that is how the iris root paired with vetiver, cedar and a hint of incense in the beginning of Iris Silver Mist smells to my nose.

Without that strange, borderline-disagreeable accord, I imagine that the fragrance would still have been lovely; but it wouldn’t have been as enthralling, as enchanting, as unusual and, dare I say it, as superior to other iris scents (it was Luca Turin who called Iris Silver mist “a total success, the only current iris worthy of the name”.). It also wouldn’t have been as “Lutens”. Created by Maurice Roucel, Iris Silver Mist fits perfectly into Serge Lutes collection of perfumes, where the most attractive and interesting ones all smell a little “off”, a little like something seen in a weird and wonderful dream… After the somewhat dry, earthy top notes subside, the scent softens significantly; at moments, there is even vaguely fruity sweetness there, which, subtle as it is, goes a long way to make the fragrance feel silky-smooth, tender like a caress of some otherworldly, ethereal creature. The rooty, woody undertone that is present throughout the scent’s development is also very appealing, it is subtle but apparent and has a certain delicate piquancy (cloves) about it that I find so very attractive.

This strange and stunning fragrance can be found only at Les Salons du Palais Royal in Paris, where 75ml of Iris Silver Mist retails for €100.00.

Tomorrow - From Russia With Love

Tomorrow (Friday, June 30th), Aromascope, Perfume Posse, Scentzilla and Perfume-Smellin’ Things are undertaking a fun little project called From Russia With Love. Join us as we talk about Russian perfumes that we recently sampled! And if you own or remember any Russian scents, we would love to hear about them, on your blog or on ours!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Perfume Review: Guerlain Insolence

I interrupt The Iris Week to review Guerlain’s new fragrance, Insolence. Many thanks to the very generous Victoria O. for sharing with me her sample!

I would like to preface this post by saying that I love the House of Guerlain and worship Maurice Roucel. That disclaimer aside, I could sum up my impression of Insolence with one interjection- Huh? That utterance of confusion can be interpreted as “I can’t believe this is Roucel’s creation. I can’t believe this is a finished product. And I can’t believe they are actually marketing it in the way they are marketing it.”

According to the official description, the fragrance “does not conform to the traditional olfactive pyramid” having instead a “spiral” composition. It “offers a modern, edgier interpretation of Guerlain values”, aiming “to attract women who like Guerlain, but don’t feel ready for it yet, which translates into a younger target”. (From What all this comes down to is that Insolence, this supposedly audacious, “modern”, “edgy” scent with notes of “red fruits”, violet, iris, orange blossom, rose and tonka bean is meant to achieve what all the pink limited editions with “love” in their titles perhaps failed to do, namely catch the attention of the young, hip audience.

My feeling is that the attention of that youthful customer so dear to Guerlain’s heart will be lost somewhere after the top notes (or whatever that stage is called in a “spiral” blend). Insolence starts with the promised “red fruits”; I could not tell exactly what fruits these are (perhaps raspberry, red currants, red apple), but the accord does succeed in evoking an image of a generic Red Fruit. It does not have an irritating sparkling, saccharine undertone of so many fruity fragrances and is in fact quite appealing (especially to a hypothetical “younger target”)…And then the violet enters the scene…The pairing of red fruits/berries and violets seemed strange to me when I first heard about the fragrance. I do concede, however, that such a blend might indeed have an “edgy’, funky quality. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Insolence. Instead of smelling “young” and “daring”, violets and fruits smell just wrong together. The violet note of Insolence is in fact rather unattractive. It lacks the delicate loveliness the note so often has and its usually pleasant powderiness feels “dusty” here. This pale, rather boring note seems out of place in a perfume called Insolence. The best part of the scent is the drydown (or the very end of the “spiral”), with its very pleasant tonka bean note. It is smooth, creamy, almost a little smoky and smells like a weaker version of Patricia Nicolai’s Vanille Tonka.

I did not dislike Insolence. I believe that it is actually impossible to dislike this very neutral, inoffensive fragrance. I am however surprised that this hyped-up, celebrity-fronted, supposedly daring scent smells so dull, so innocuous. Unlike many of my favorite Roucel’s creations, so well blended, so full of character and life, Insolence seems to lack some sort of a finishing touch, some crucial ingredient perhaps mistakenly left behind by the perfumer’s apprentice…In one word, it lacks soul. According to Guerlain (via, with Insolence, the company hopes to ”reach the level of popularity of L’Instant in Europe and have a much bigger track in the US”. Moreover, in Guerlain’s opinion, Insolence could be bigger than L’Instant…Painful as it is for me not to agree with such an optimistic prognosis for a Guerlain/Roucel creation, I must regretfully say that I do not anticipate this unexciting scent being a big success. I will be very happy to be proved wrong.

Please read Victoria O’s much more positive review of Insolence here!

It is said that Insolence will be available at Saks in the very near future. According to, the price range is €41.50-€90.00.

Tomorrow, a review of one of Roucel’s most stunning perfumes, Iris Silver Mist.

*The image is from

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Perfume Review: Two Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Iris Scents - Iris Bleu Gris and Fleur d'Iris

After looking unsuccessfully for information on Iris Bleu Gris in the women’s section of Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s website, I was getting ready to grumble about yet another inexplicable discontinuation of a beautiful fragrance…By chance, I looked in the men’s part of the site, and there it was, tucked in a subdivision of the men’s collection attractively called Les Caprices du Dandy. The accompanying description informed me that with Iris Bleu Gris Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier “translates iris into a fragrance for men”. Although I have loved and worn Iris Bleu Gris for a long time without realizing that it was not intended as a woman’s perfume, I must admit that it is not actually all that “feminine”. In fact, it is not feminine at all or not feminine in a more traditional, voluptuous and heady or sweet and flirty kind of way. Compared to another "iris for men”, soft and neutral Dior Homme, Iris Bleu Gris does indeed feel more masculine. This is a very dry, austerely elegant scent; iris here, accompanied by oakmoss and grapefruit, is raw, earthy and agreeably sharp. The fragrance does not relent and soften much, apart from the brief moment during the middle stage where a surprisingly fruity, apple-like note sneaks in. It does disappear very quickly, however, and the scent becomes darker and richer, cultivating in a powdery, warm drydown of violet and amber. In the same way that Caron’s Violette Precieuse showed an unexpectedly forceful, no-frills side of violets, traditionally seen as frail and delicate, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s creation paints a normally airy, ethereal iris with bold, severe strokes. Iris Bleu Gris to me is one of the most chic renditions of iris.

The other Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier iris scent, Fleur d’Iris, is more conventionally pretty. The perfume focuses on the floral aspect of iris (as opposed to its rooty, earthy quality) and reinforces the “luxurious femininity” of the note with the addition of other flowers, namely jasmine, violet and rose. The latter is especially apparent throughout the scent’s development, at some points actually overwhelming the iris. Towards the middle stage, violets also become evident, adding a slightly candied, powdery aspect to the composition. The scent never becomes too sweet or heady; there is a certain dry freshness to it that I attribute to vetiver…still, this is a sumptuous bouquet that perhaps would best suit the taste of the fans of floral perfumes. Those who, like me, are not that comfortable with the lavish floral blends and like iris scents precisely because they often have a non-floral, rooty-earthy side, might not find Fleur d’Iris to be particularly appealing. While I consider it to be a very attractive fragrance, I do not reach for it often.

Both Iris Bleu Gris and Fleur d’Iris are available at, $105.00 for 3oz and 3.3oz respectively.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Perfume Review: L'Artisan Orchidee Blanche

I am commencing The Iris Week with the review of my most favorite iris scent and one of my overall favorites, Orchidée Blanche by L’Artisan. A fragrance called White Orchid is an iris scent? Strangely, it is. I am not an expert in orchids, and for all I know there does exist a white variety that smells like iris and honey. The mystery of the name aside, Orchidée Blanche is an iris perfume that gives an elegant, very attractive tribute to all aspects of the note. Iris here demonstrates its airy floral side and its earthy rootiness, but what I especially like about the scent is the fact that it also shows the warm, sweet side of iris, something that does not seem to be often emphasized in perfumery (I can, however, think of an even warmer and sweeter iris scent, Parfumerie Generale’s Iris Taizo, an exotic, honeyed and balsamic rendition of iris).

Orchidée Blanche is one of those harmonious, perfectly balanced compositions that unite seemingly incompatible characteristics. The scent is dry and sweet, almost-harsh and velvety; it is simultaneously refined, chic, comfortable and easy-going. The near-harshness I mentioned pertains to the very beginning of the scent, where the earthiness of iris is accentuated by a very dry wood-and-honey accord. This dry leitmotif would run parallel with the warm, sweet theme throughout the scent’s development, making sure that although from the middle notes forward the honey and iris accord of Orchidée Blanche acquires a much softer, truly “honeyed” quality, the earthy-rooty-woody undercurrent is forever present, emphasizing the multifaceted, complex character of iris.

Orchidée Blanche is a fascinating, masterfully designed composition, and it saddens me to think that L’Artisan is discontinuing it. To produce fleeting, rather simplistic limited summer editions like Mandarine Tout Simplement and to stop making such beautiful modern classics like Orchidée Blanche…I realize that the more hyped up one-summer wonders sell better, but surely there can be found a place in L'Artisan's collection for what is one of their most charming creations.

Orchidee Blanche seems to be still available at, $110.00 for 100ml. Get it while you can.

New Look

I decided to put my beautiful Erte template to rest till fall as it strikes me as so very autumnal (yes, I am a dork). Please meet PST's new "Orchid template".

Saturday, June 24, 2006

And the Winner is ...

...It's All About Iris! (with 14 votes) It was closely followed by It's All About Dior (10 votes). It's All About Unjustly Overlooked MPG was not that far behind (8 votes...not so overlooked after all). Monday to Thursday next week It's All About Iris on Perfume Smellin' Things, starting on Monday with Orchidee Blanche by L'Artisan.
And the winner of our little prize draw is...Tmp00! Dear T., please email me your address and your choice of a decant (or samples!) !
Thank you very much for voting, everybody, it was a lot of fun!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Perfume Review: Rich Hippie Purple Haze

The lovely people at Rich Hippie must put some “illegal substances” in their creations, because their scents have the strangest effect on me…they fill me with inexplicable, irrational feeling of well-being. Now, to quote Douglas Adams, my capacity for happiness you could fit into a matchbox, without taking the matches out first, so whatever Rich Hippie is using must be pretty darn strong to change my not-so-sunny, Eeyore-ish disposition. I am not talking here about the complexity and the intricacy of their blends; these are rather simple scents after all. But they have a certain sumptuous, boozy joyfulness about them and they never fail to put a silly, big, contented grin on my face.

Another thing I like about Rich Hippie fragrances is that, (perhaps deceptively) simple that they are, they also manage to be a little strange, a little off, a little not quite right, in the most pleasant way possible. Take Purple Haze. It starts on my skin with a smell of over-ripe apples and roses, the smell of fruits and flowers so ripe, they are already beginning to be marked by decay…the smell just one step away from rotten. Can this possibly be pleasant, you might ask, and the answer is, yes, somehow it is very enjoyable. Rich Hippie only lists Bulgarian, Moroccan and Turkish rose and Brazilian “citrus” as the notes of Purple Haze, but there is more to it than they are letting on (and I am not just talking about that “substance”). Right after the overripe floral fruitiness of the top notes subsides, the scent becomes fresher, drier even. It has earthiness that makes me think of vetiver, a cool, mint-like accord, quite a bit of lemon and perhaps a hint of pears. At this point of its development Purple Haze smells like a sophisticated lollipop. A lollipop for adults only, because it has a little extra somethin’ added to it to raise the spirits. The drydown features what I came to think of as Rich Hippie’s trademark vanilla, a velvety, curiously boozy and yet quite subtle vanilla, which I enjoy a lot. Incongruously but not unpleasantly, this fluffy vanillic drydown sports an herbal note not unlike dill…

This strange and strangely enjoyable fragrance can be found at, $85.00 for 1/2oz, $185 for 2oz.

The image is from

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cast your vote and win a prize!

I am swamped with stuff, so no post tomorrow. I will review something on Friday, probably something by Rich Hippie...As for the next week, how about you decide what I should write about? Here are the choices:

1. It's All About Vetiver (Again) - 4 reviews of vetiver scents (MPG Parfum d'Habit, Parfums de Nicolai Vetiver, etc)
2. It's All About Unjustly Overlooked Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier - 4 reviews of MPG scents (Fleur d'Iris, Soir d'Orient, etc.)
3. It's All About Dior (Diorling & Diorama, Dioressence, Diorissimo, Miss Dior)
4. It's All About Iris - 4 reviews of iris fragrances (L'Artisan Orchidee Blanche, Le Labo Iris, Lutens Iris Silver Mist, etc.)
5. Something else (what would you like to see reviewed?)?

The Friday of the next week is already booked for a fun little project, but please help me decide on the other 4 days! For helping me to plan the posts fo the next week, one of you can win a prize. To be included in the draw, just vote for one of the above options and let me know that you DO want to be included. The winner will have a choice (it's all about the choices today) of 4 decants from my collection. You can choose a decant of Parfumerie Generale Aomassai or Parfumerie Generale Iris Taizo or Yves Saint Laurent "Y" (vintage EDT) or S-Perfume 100% Love More. Alternatively, you might opt for receiving instead the samples of all the above fragrances. Please don't hesitate to sign up for the draw if you do not reside in the US. I can ship anywhere.

Cast your vote now! I will stop accepting the votes on Saturday morning when I will announce the winner (the name will be randomly drawn by my little daughter).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Perfume Review: Diptyque Eau de Lierre

The smell of ivy is dear to the hearts of the founders of Diptyque. It reminds Yves Coueslant of his house in Normandy, with its view of the sea and the lavish garden with ivy creeping over a wall neat the pond. For Christiane Gautrot, the scent is full of memories of the countryside around Paris and of her family house, La Ferté-Alais, “with its old walls overgrown with ivy running around the garden all the way down to the small canal”. (From Several years ago, Diptyque produced ivy scented candle, and the new Diptyque Eau de Toilette, Eau de Lierre is also centered around ivy.

For a scent based on a note so special for the creators of Diptyque, Eau de Lierre is disappointingly rather ordinary. Sure, it is a pleasantly sharp, slightly bitter green fragrance, but it is rather “weak”, oomph-less and “pale”. Its greenness is just generalized greenness of non-specific trees and leaves. It does not evoke a luxurious, shadowy garden with ivy creeping over the walls nor does it make me think of sunlit, brightly green countryside of a happy childhood. The fragrance doesn’t have enough forcefulness, enough “soul” to evoke anything in particular. It starts with an unexciting verdant note that may be or may not be ivy leaves; despite the fact that the list of notes promises pepper and geranium, the spiciness of one and the bright sharpness of the other are lacking to my nose. After staying agreeably “green” on my skin and not changing much for the better or for the worse, Eau de Lierre dissipates into an even more boring and borderline-aquatic drydown. The Diptyque line of fragrances boast some wonderfully unique, truly interesting scents like Virgilio, L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, Tam Dao, Philosykos, to name a few; unfortunately Eau de Lierre is not nearly as remarkable.

Eau de Lierre is available at Aedes, $60.00 for 1.7oz

* The image is from

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Favorite Summer Scents. Part 2

Continuing the Favorite Summer Perfumes Hit Parade, today's is the second and final installment. Spicy, leathery, musky, incensy, gourmand, this is the real stuff!

Favorite summer spicy perfume

As Nigella Lawson once said, some like it hot, I like it very hot. It’s not surprising then that I could not limit myself to just three entries in this category.

Safran Troublant by L’Artisan. The creamy, spicy blend of saffron, vanilla, sandalwood and rose is to me incredibly appealing in any season. It sounds richer and heavier than it really is, in fact this composition is as light and as exquisite as the finest of silks.

Nuit Noire by Mona di Orio. I could have listed this scent together with my favorite summer florals, but to me Nuit Noire is spicy first and floral only second. The dirrrrty orange blossom in the top notes is incredibly attractive and so is the creamy tuberose, but what makes this scent so alluring to me is all the spices, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon…A striking, darkly sensual perfume.

New York by Parfums de Nicolai. Elegance with a spicy twist and a wild, earthy undercurrent, this is New York by Nicolai. Vetiver, thyme and citruses are spiced up by the red-hot pimento accord; as the scent develops the spiciness is not lost, in fact it is further enriched by the dark, velvety clove note. And if that is not enough to convince you that this is indeed one spicy number, how about some black pepper in the drydown? Hot, hot, hot and hot and I love it.

Idole de Lubin. Nocturnal, resinous, smoky, bewitching and surprisingly very wearable in summer, Idole is perfect on its every stage, from the pleasantly medicinal, sweet and spicy blend of rum and saffron of the top notes, to the strangely sweet, almost fruity, smoky and spicy wood accord of the middle notes, to the fantastic leathery and resinous drydown.

Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi. It comforted me in winter and it keeps pleasing and soothing me in summer. This is a strange and strangely beautiful scent, warm and chilly at the same time. The cool, creamy mint note is as apparent as the warmly piquant pepper, and I find this contrast of hot and cold to be tremendously appealing.

Favorite summer leather perfume

Derby by Guerlain. A refined, almost austere blend, a perfect balance of elegant understatement and forcefulness. The leather here is first brightened by citrus, then spiced by pepper and softened by a gentle floral accord before finally settling into a beautiful green-earthy drydown of oakmoss, vetiver and patchouli. Très chic!

Lonestar Memories by Andy Tauer. A new addition on my list of favorites, this a perfect smoky leather scent. The birch tar accord is to die for as is the sumptuous, earthy accord of myrrh, sandalwood, vetiver and tonka. Sophisticated and a little wild, this is a scent of adventure.

Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionnelle. Another new addition. Meant by the creators to be a softer version of the original (and not loved by me) Agent Provocateur, Eau Emotionnelle is piquant, spicy and, although the official list of notes does not seem to include leather, leathery on me. The smell of a black leather rose, tangy, dry and a little wicked.

Duel by Annick Goutal. Husky and soft, the leather here is sweetened by rose and refreshed by Maté leaves. It is not the strongest of the leathers, but it is delightful nevertheless. Smooth, understated, very subtly smoky, Duel is simply beautiful.

Favorite summer gourmand perfume

Flowerbomb Extreme by Viktor & Rolf. The scent of candied flowers, bergamot, tea, balsam, amber and patchouli, this version is in my opinion better blended, smoother, more interesting and in general superior to the regular Flowerbomb. Yes, it is a little reminiscent of the Great and Terrible Angel, but then what scent on the market isn’t? As far as Angel-smell-alikes go, Flowerbomb Extreme is to me one of the best if not the best. Rich, sumptuous, incredibly delicious and unexpectedly wearable in summer. Don’t try to look for it in the stores though. It was a limited edition is now gone. For good. Oh woe is me!

Psychedelic by Rich Hippie. Imagine Diptyque’s Eau d’Elide with its interesting “dirty” undercurrent being sweetened and softened by vanilla and spiced up by a sweetly piquant ginger note and you have Psychedelic. This gourmand composition, which makes me think of some wonderful, exotic sweet-and-spicy dessert, has a surprising almost-animalic little something, what Diptyque called “a trace of faun”.

L by Lolita Lempicka. I adore this scent. It is delicious, fresh and wonderfully musky. The citrus accord of bergamot and orange is sweetly spiced by cinnamon. The flowers are soft, vaguely tropical and have that candied quality that I always find irresistible. As the scent progresses, vanilla becomes more apparent as does the beautiful, rich musk, which reminds me of Musc Ravageur (and no wonder, the two scents share the same perfumer, Maurice Roucel).

Favorite summer musk perfume

Apart from L by Lolita Lempicka, which is one of my musky scents of choice for summer, this category also includes two “usual suspects”:

Muscs Koublai Khan by Serge Lutens. Ugly-beautiful, dirty and shockingly wearable in any weather. Alluring and repulsive at the same time, it is a scent of bloodthirsty, unwashed Mongolian horse riders and the most exquisite flowers. Primal and sophisticated at the same, Musc Koublai Khan is the sexiest scent I know.

Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle. The more complex and more luxuriant relative of L de Lempicka, Musc Ravageur is warm, spicy, sensual…I have raved about it so many times, I am lost for words. Suffice it to say that this is one of my absolute favorites, be it winter or summer.

Favorite summer incense perfume

Messe de Minuit by Etro used to intimidate me, but those days are gone. Perhaps my skin chemistry has changed, perhaps my nose has grown to appreciate the finer aspects of this scent, but nowadays Messe de Minuit is not all about the dark, somber incense, it is also about the unexpectedly bright citrus accord in the beginning, which, like a ray of sun through a stained glass of a murky chapel, illuminates the shadowy corners of this scent making it –who’d have a-thunk it!- very enjoyable in summer.

Labdanum by Donna Karan. Logic says that this scent should have been filed up under my favorite amber scents, but Karan’s Labdanum is really not about amber on my skin. This is a subtle, almost transparent and so very serene smell of incense softened by an even more ethereal floral accord. Comforting and soothing and great on hot days.

Bois d’Argent by Christian Dior. Dry leather and somber incense are softened here by vanilla, iris and honey. The result is a gentle, velvety fragrance, smooth and light enough to wear often and with much pleasure in summer.

*The images are by Jason Brooks, from

Tomorrow, Diptyque Eau de Lierre.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My Favorite Summer Scents. Part 1.

Ina from Aromascope had a wonderful idea of compiling a list of summer favorites categorized into “types” or “fragrance families”. All this week, please look for similar posts on several other blogs. Here is my Summer Perfume Hit Parade, Part 1:

Favorite summer floral perfume

Songes by Annick Goutal. This beautifully romantic, elegantly tropical, sumptuous blend of ylang ylang, frangipane, vanilla and woods, is an epitome of languid summer days and sultry nights, of most delightful dolce far niente

Shalini by Shalini. The tuberose that broke my heart with its atypically ethereal beauty and its cost. Shalini is a fragile, airy rendition of a bouquet of white flowers picked in the heat of summer. The scent evokes gossamer fabric fluttering in a summer wind… it is a scent of a land of endless summer where the sun is always shining and the sky is always blue.

Le Maroc Pour Elle by Andy Tauer. The passionate blend of exquisitely indolic jasmine and sensual rose…a scent to wear while falling in love with a dark, brooding stranger in an exotic location…a perfume of old black and white movies about beautiful but doomed love…a fragrance of a garden at twilight…somewhere in Casablanca…

Favorite summer citrus perfume

Eau d’Hadrien by Annick Goutal. My most favorite citrus scent. Period. This is the clearest, most transparent lemon fragrance I have ever encountered; that clear transparency is what I consider to be the most attractive quality in a citrus scent. It goes without saying that Eau d'Hadrien is wonderful on a hot summer day.

Ananas Fizz by L’Artisan. According to the little Miss Colombina, Ananas Fizz smells “like oranges”, and her little nose is absolutely right. This uplifting, "thirst-quenching" fragrance to me too smells of (bitter) oranges and other citruses more so than pineapples. The sweetness of the fruits is balanced by the woody notes and all in all Ananas Fizz is incredibly enjoyable in summer.

Le Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes. Created to evoke a scent of green mango (and it does indeed have a lovely unripe mango note), to me this scent is mostly about grapefruit and a little bit of orange. Bright and subtle at the same time, Le Jardin Sur Le Nil is one of the most delightful scents to wear in summer. Watch out for the pleasant twist in the end, for the frankincense note in the drydown.

Favorite summer amber perfume

Attrape-Coeur by Guerlain. I must preface this by saying that I am unable to wear straight amber scents in summer. Scents with the dominant amber notes overwhelm me in warm weather. In Attrape-Coeur, on the other hand, the note is woven into a complex composition and compliments beautifully and is complimented by iris, rose, violet, vanilla and sandalwood. One of my year-round favorites.

Fifi by Fifi Chachnil. It should have been “too much” in hot weather but, miraculously, it isn’t. The coriander note that I adore in Fifi goes a long way to “sharpen” the blend and to keep in check the richness and sweetness of amber and rose. And as for the husky tobacco note…oh mamma!

Bois de Paradis by Parfums Delrae. Again, not an amber scent per se, but the note is certainly here and is gorgeous and harmoniously interlaced with rich woods, delicious blackberry and fig, darkly sensual rose and sweet spices. Exquisite!

Favorite summer green perfume

Yuzu Ab Irato by Parfumerie Generale. Yuzu Ab Irato could have easily been filed among my favorite summer citrus scents, however, to me, citrus is only one of the facets of this scent. Apart from the tangy greenness of yuzu, the perfume also boasts the chilly verdancy of mint spiced with a little pepper as well as an herbal-green blend of thyme and hyssop. Citrus-green, minty-green and herbaceous-green, Yuzu Ab Irato is a summery delight for a fan of green scents.

Terre d’Hermes by Hermes. Earthy-green rather than brightly-leafy green, but green nevertheless, Terre d’Hermes was one of my favorite new releases this year. Its blend of grapefruit, vetiver, pepper, cedar and patchouli is redolent of moist soil, grass and grey stones polished to perfect smoothness by a relentless sea. I have found myself reaching for the bottle of Terre d’Hermes a lot during the hot weather.

Climat by Lancome. Always appropriate, always impeccable and always wearable, Climat is a “light-green” blend of lily of the valley brightened by bergamot and sweetened by rose. A subtly powdery violet note adds to the scent that indefinable something that makes the fragrance feel classic. Subtle and full of personality, fresh and soft, this is my green summer scent of choice when I want to feel elegant and feminine.

Continue reading Part 2 of my Summer Favorites.

*The images are by Jason Brooks, from

New Post at Made by Blog

Clement's Message to Marina has been posted on Made by Blog.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

*The images are from Images de Parfum

Friday, June 16, 2006

Next Week - Favorite Summer Scents

Coming next week - Favorite Summer Scents posts on Aromascope, Legerdenez, Perfume Critic, Perfume Posse, Scentzilla, The Scented Salamander, Victoria’s Own, and Perfume Smellin' Things. Tune in on Monday for the first installment of my summer favorites.
Image source: via

New Post at Made By Blog

For those following the development on Made by Blog, the first mod (trial, version) of my future scent has arrived! You can read my reaction /message to Clement Gavarry here. Next week, please tune in to Made by Blog for Clement's response to my ramblings.

Perfume Review: Andy Tauer Lonestar Memories

Lonestar Memories, the third perfume by the amazingly talented Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer, was inspired by “memories of a wide land, open pastures, earthy leather, warm smoke”. The scent is an invitation to voyage, perhaps to the Texas of Andy’s memories, perhaps to some other place of your dreams …It is guaranteed to give you the most acute feeling of wanderlust, a longing for far, far away lands and a hunger for adventure. This is the scent of conquistador’s glove, of the first settler’s saddle, of a well-worn but still elegant leather steamer trunk of a seasoned traveler.

I love leather scents and am quite fussy when it comes to that note. My taste runs more towards Cuir de Russie type of leather rather than Peau d’Espagne; I adore the robust smokiness of birch tar typical of the former. It seems, however, that the right kind of smokiness is not that easy to find. Some leather scent are not smoky enough (or shall I say, too wimpy) for my taste, some, although wonderfully unique (think Kolnisch Juchten), are too smoky/meaty/bizarre to be easily wearable. In Lonestar Memories, Andy Tauer manages to achieve the perfect smoky effect. The birch tar note is full-bodied and rich, but, spiced up by geranium and sage and softened by jasmine, its smokiness is kept in check…there is a hint of something barbarian and wild here, but there is also elegance and sophistication. Apart from the beautifully executed smoky aspect, another very attractive part of the scent is the warm, luxurious and earthy base accord of myrrh, tonka, vetiver and sandalwood. The accord has unexpected spicy-incensy sweetness that, paired with the smoky leather, is incredibly attractive.

Lonestar Memories makes me want to escape the mundane confines of my everyday world, it makes me want to travel I do not know where in search of I do not know what…it also makes me want to quote Baudelaire, so brace yourself:

Tell me, does your heart sometimes fly away, Agatha,
Far from the black ocean of the filthy city,
Toward another ocean where splendor glitters,
Blue, clear, profound, as is virginity?
Tell me, does your heart sometimes fly away, Agatha?

The sea, the boundless sea, consoles us for our toil!
What demon endowed the sea, that raucous singer,
Whose accompanist is the roaring wind,
With the sublime function of cradle-rocker?
The sea, the boundless sea, consoles us for our toil!

Take me away, carriage! Carry me off, frigate!
Far, far away! Here the mud is made with our tears!
— Is it true that sometimes the sad heart of Agatha
Says: Far from crimes, from remorse, from sorrow,
Take me away, carriage, carry me off, frigate?

How far away you are, O perfumed Paradise,
Where under clear blue sky there's only love and joy,
Where all that one loves is worthy of love,
Where the heart is drowned in sheer enjoyment!
How far away you are, O perfumed Paradise! (...)
(Grieving and Wandering, Charles Baudelaire)

Lonestar Memories is available at, $65.00 for 50ml of Eau de Toilette.

*The first image is from The second image is from

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Perfume Review: L'Artisan Fou d'Absinthe

Fou d’Absinthe is the newest release by L’Artisan Parfumeur, marketed as the "major masculine fragrance". Indeed I can imagine that this beautiful blend, both austere and soft, would be jaw-droppingly sexy on a man. Having said that, and modesty aside, the scent is just as gorgeous on my skin. Like a severely elegant suit that conceals the most delicate silk lingerie, the cool, razor-sharp olfactory “exterior” of Fou d’Absinthe hides unexpected softness.

Fou d’Absinthe starts with the intense verdancy of angelica. The spices (pepper and nutmeg seem to be especially apparent) add the most enjoyable “kick” to the blend and compliment beautifully the subtle “boozy-ness” of the composition. To me, the most delightful part of the scent is the patchouli and pine accord, which is balsamic, bitter, pungent, simultaneously earthy and pungently green. Neither anise nor blackberry is strong, but both are still present, adding to the fragrance a certain sparkle and a surprising, fruity gentleness. Fou d’Absinthe is an interesting, multifaceted composition that never stops subtly changing on my skin. Boozy and sober, bitter and soft, spicy and cold, I found each aspect of the scent to be attractive and enjoyable.

Fou d’Ansinthe is available at Aedes, $90.00 for 1.7oz, $125.00 for 3.4oz.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More Hrmph

No post tomorrow. I am battling The Evil Blogger Template. So far, It is winning. I will be back on Thursday with a review of L'Artisan Fou d'Absinthe. And on Friday, please tune in for a review of Andy Tauer's fabulous new scent, Lonestar Memories.

Perfume Review: Caron Eau de Reglisse

Eau de Reglisse is a Limited Edition fragrance released by Caron for summer 2006. According to Les Senteurs, it will only be available till August 2006. I am not a fan of anise and licorice, in perfume or in cooking, so it came to me as surprise that I liked Eau Reglisse. It is an easy-going, straightforward composition, not a Caron masterpiece by any stretch of imagination, but very delightful nevertheless.

The scent has been described as "a fantasy confection from the sweet-shop” and “tempting us to indulge in sweet sinful gluttony”, however, on my skin, it is thankfully not overly sweet and not obviously gourmand. Eau de Reglisse is a rather dry, fresh fragrance, in which the potentially overwhelming purple sweetness of licorice is brightened and kept in check by the citrus and spiced up by ginger and nutmeg. In the drydown, patchouli, vanilla and musk add some “substantionality” to the composition, weighing it down just enough so as not to let it become too summery-light. Easy to wear, joyful and comfortable, I thought Eau de Reglisse was quite adorable.

Eau de Reglisse is available at Les Senteurs, £38.00 for100ml of Eau de Toilette.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Perfume review: Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionnelle

Eau Emotionnelle is an Eau de Toilette version of Agent Provocateur’s signature fragrance that was formerly only available as an Eau de Parfum. According to Agent Provocateur, Eau de Parfum was “stripped down to its bare essentials” and on the base of those “bare essentials” was built “a flirtatious and sexy” Eau de Toilette. The scent has been “refreshed” with notes of cape snow bush (wild rosemary), Lie de Vin (?) and pink pepper; white tea and Japanese osmanthus were added to the middle notes and the base was softened making Eau Emotionnelle a fragrance that “Special Agents” can wear every day spraying it generously “in a fragrant veil all over the body”.

I have never been a big fan of the Eau de Parfum, it was harsh and a little sour on my skin. Eau Emotionnelle, on the other hand, is much more enjoyable and wearable for me; it is indeed softer, subtler and, despite the warning in the official description, not too fresh for my taste. Having said that, what attracts me to Eau Emotionnelle might be the factors that would turn off a lover of the original Agent Provocateur. Those who adored the intensity, the elegant sharpness of Eau de Parfum, might find the new version a little too delicate (only compared to the EDP, mind you!) and lacking some of its original oomph.

As far as I am concerned, however, Eau Emotionnelle has just the right amount of oomph and piquancy. It is freshER than the original, but it is not really a fresh, summery, sparkling scent. It is softER than Eau de Parfum, but there is nothing fluffy about this fragrance. It is an elegant, rather dry blend of floral (personally, I smell mostly rose here and maybe a little gardenia) and spicy (coriander, pepper) notes. If there existed a black rose species (and maybe they do) that is how they would smell, tangy and wonderfully leathery. This may sound strange, but right from the top notes Eau Emotionnelle smells to me like a perfume that has already spend some time on the skin, on the fabric…you know how sometimes you get a whiff of a scent you wore the day before on a garment you discarded, in this case perhaps on a silk blouse or on the softest leather bag? That elegant, subtle but lingering scent, that is how Eau Emotionnelle smells on my skin, and I adore it.

Eau Emotionnelle is available on, $65.00 for 50ml, $97.00 for 100ml. The shipping cost to USA is $12.00.

The image is from


It appears that at the moment only those using Internet Explorer are able to view this blog without any problems. In other browsers the page looks...shall we say, distorted. I apologize for the inconvinience and will try to fix it...somehow.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Perfume Review: Christian Dior Fahrenheit

Warning for those looking for an impartial examination and a thoughtful note-by-note analysis of Fahrenheit: this review will fail on both counts. I am incapable of being objective and coherent when it comes to this fragrance. Fahrenheit is without a doubt my most favorite “men’s” scent. I think it is stunning and so very sexy…Having said that, I can never be quite sure whether I think so highly of this scent on its own merit or because of the one who used to wear it and who was stunning and so very sexy. If he wore Axe, I probably would have thought it was the most exquisite fragrance in the world.

A couple of days ago I read on Now Smell This about a “warming tendency” in masculine fragrances. Fahrenheit to me is an example of a perfect (of course!) warm scent. It was created in 1988 by Jean-Louis Sieuzac, the author of Opium, and if anyone knows how to make a gorgeous warm scent, that is the perfumer who came up with Opium. Fahrenheit is quite a few degrees lower on a scale of warmth and is much less ornate and spicy, but the hand of the Master of Warmth is apparent. The scent to me is all about smoky leather, sweet amber and violet, which is not as much powdery as it is strangely and very delightfully “nutty”. The top accord of bergamot, lemon and lavender is brighter than the rest of the fragrance, but the brightness does not last long, almost immediately the three main players I mentioned become apparent and Fahrenheit acquires that robust, dark warmth that I find so very appealing. The further into the scent’s development, the darker it becomes, going through the beautiful stage of velvety sandalwood adorned with a subtle floral note, and finally culminating in the glorious drydown of leather enriched by amber, musk, and a hint of patchouli.

To me the smell of Fahrenheit is poignant; it is heavy with memories of what have been and regrets about what could have been; it gives me the blues. I cannot wear it often, it is too painful. Too painful to realize that I haven’t seen the-one-who-used-to-wear-it-so-well for ten years (today exactly) and that I am now six years older than he was ever destined to be. And yet, such is the power of perfume that, although my more or less atheistic brain tells me that I will never see him again, when I smell Fahrenheit, I swear, I can almost feel his presence

I wrote and discarded three versions of this review. This is the least sentimental one, believe me. Next week will be business as usual, no more soppiness. Please tune in on Monday for an (unemotional, but positive) review of the new Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionelle.

Fahrenheit is available at, $24.89- $51.89.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Perfume Review: Chanel Egoiste

Égoïste is everything I like in a fragrance, and nothing I dislike. This beautiful grandchild of Bois des Iles is a magical, warm harmony of woods and spices. On me it is softer than soft, it envelopes me like most exquisite and most expensive dark-golden silk garment. On a man…oh on a man it is irresistible. If I were a poet, I would have written a passionate sonnet for Égoïste. But I am not, so I am writing this review.

The beginning of Égoïste has a candied (mandarin) and at the same time slightly medicinal (lavender) feel that I find delightfully quirky and enjoyable. The fragrance grows warmer and sweeter as it develops, never crossing the line into being cloying and overwhelming. The sandalwood and rose blend (a union made in olfactory heaven) in the heart of the fragrance is incredibly attractive. The dark warmth of wood and the sweetness of the rose are spiced up by saffron and coriander; in the drydown, the gentle vanilla note becomes apparent. It does not make Égoïste sweeter, but it does make it even softer. This is a discreetly exotic woody-oriental scent that makes one think about opulent fabrics and golden chalices filled with mysterious potions... "Discreetly", because this exoticism is in true Chanel style, i.e. masterfully understated, without excessive embellishments. I once said about D'Orsay Le Dandy that if it were a man, I would have undoubtedly fallen head over heals in love with him. Egoiste is another fragrance that makes me wish that it could be magically turned into a person, even though I know that this stunner would break my heart in thousand little pieces…

Egoiste is available at, $45.99-$67.89.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Perfume Review: Christian Dior Eau Noire

Eau Noire is a part of the collection of colognes (which also includes Bois d’Argent and Cologne Blanche) produced for Christian Dior by Hedi Slimane. Eau Noire is said to have been developed “to harmonize with the black tie world of Dior Homme” and made to suit the taste of Hedi Slimane himself. According to the designer, it allowed him to trade what he had been wearing “since the age of 11”. (from It was created by Francis Kurkdjian, the author of Guerlain Rose Barbare, Narciso Rodriguez For Her and Jean Paul Gaultier Gaultier2. I think that Eau Noire is perhaps the most interesting of the three colognes, and one of my favorite Kurkdjian’s creations.

According to Luca Turin, Eau Noire has the note of Helichrysum (Immortelle), “an odd, fenugreek-like smell halfway between curry and burnt sugar.” The note was famously used in Goutal’s Sables, however, while Sables enveloped the note within the folds of the dark, syrupy sweetness of vanilla, cinnamon and sandalwood, Eau Noire opts for the wonderful (and to me much more wearable), thick, vegetal verdancy. I am a little confused by the statement that Eau Noire was meant to go with “the black tie world of Dior”. Not that it would be out of place in such a world, but to me the scent is not so much about chic and elegance, as it is about comfort and serenity. The thyme and sage top notes are refreshing, the lavender is tranquil, the cedarwood is dry and soothing and all this Zen-like, green-woody harmony is softened by vanilla…Black tie parties? With Eau Noire on, the vanity and bustle of such time-pursuits could not be further from my relaxed and enlightened mind. It makes me want to sit in a remote quiet corner of the world, gazing at an endless sea and sagely quoting Tao Te Ching:

…Empty yourself of everything…

…There is no greater sin than desire, no greater curse than discontent, no greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself…

…The world is ruled by letting things go. It cannot be ruled by interfering…

Coming back to reality…I would especially recommend Eau Noire to the fans of Encens et Lavande by Serge Lutens; the scents share the enjoyable herbal smokiness and the relaxing, centering quality. Eau Noire is available at Neiman Marcus, $115.00 for 4.2oz.

The image is from

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Perfume Review: Guerlain Habit Rouge

I discovered Habit Rouge only recently, thanks to a recommendation from the wonderful tmp00. I mourn the years wasted without Habit Rouge in my life. This 1965 masterpiece is perfection, from its sweet citrusy beginning, to the warm spices and woods in its heart, to the wonderfully earthy, animalic drydown.

The subtle transformations Habit Rouge goes through fascinate me. It starts with a joyous, forceful accord of lemon, bergamot and orange; the citruses are pleasantly sweet and slightly spiced up with cinnamon. The latter serves as a bridge of sorts, between the top and the middle notes, smoothly connecting the bright candied-ness of citrus and the velvety darkness of sandalwood, carnation and patchouli. The earthiness of patchouli extends to the drydown, where it is joined by rather subtle leather softened by vanilla. There are several versions of notes for Habit Rouge, and none of them mentions vetiver or musk, and yet, as far as my nose is concerned, those too dominate the drydown outshining patchouli and leather. When I applied Habit Rouge for the very first time, the unexpected animalic quality of the drydown made me literally squeal in delight (yes, I am a dork). It was musky, rooty, gloriously dirrrty and it made me a slave to Habit Rouge forever.

Another great thing about Habit Rouge? Its price! 3.4oz retails on for $22.75, and the whopping 6.8oz bottle for only $32.95.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Perfume Review: Dior Homme

This week Perfume Smellin’ Things will be focusing on “men’s” fragrances. I put “men’s” in quotation marks, because, as I have declared many times before, I consider masculine-feminine distiction in perfumery unnecessary and quite random. And in that I have the very authoritative backing of one of the greatest perfumers, Pierre Bourdon, who, when once asked what is the difference between a women’s a men’s scent, replied, Pour Homme written on a bottle. There are of course scents that are so “hairy-chested” and virile that I am unable to wear them (and wouldn’t want to smell them on a male of the species either), but then again, some of the “women’s” scents are so over-the-top buxom, heady, in your face, I-am-a-Woman-hear-me-roar feminine that they are just as unwearable for me. In other words, apparently I don’t deal very successfully with the extremes in perfumery, be they “masculine” or “feminine”.

And that brings me to today’s scent, Dior Homme, a wonderful example of moderation and understated elegance. Centered around an iris note, this fragrance is painted in subdued hues of beige-pink and grey. After the brief brightness of the top notes, which illustrate very well the in-between-two-worlds quality of lavender pointed out by Edwin Morris, who said that it is “a link between herbal notes and a decided floralcy”, the iris begins to flourish. This is a beautifully pale accord that makes me think both of the cool petals and the subtle rooty-ness of this flower. So as not to let the iris become completely ethereal and airy, as it is often prone to do, the perfumer, Olivier Polge, gracefully but firmly grounds it with the notes of amber, patchouli and vetiver, delicately sprinkles it with cocoa powder and, in the late drydown, completes the stylish composition with a hint of smoky leather. Supremely elegant, discreet, unfussy, sophisticated and neutral in the most positive sense of the word, Dior Homme is easy and a pleasure for me to wear and a delight to smell on a man. I must add that I find the direction, in which Hedi Slimane leads the men’s fragrance division of Dior to be admirable. The three colognes (Eau Noire,
Cologne Blanche and Bois d’Argent) and Dior Homme walk the line between classic and contemporary, subtle and full of character with commendable ease and style and to me are more interesting and desirable than many of the “women’s” releases, both Dior’s and other companies’.

Dior Homme is available at Scentiments, $33.89-$45.89.

Tomorrow, Habit Rouge by Guerlain.

Here are the links to my (and, in one case, Mr Colombina’s) reviews of some other “men’s” fragrances:

Annick Goutal


Christian Dior Bois d'Argent

Christian Dior Cologne Blanche

Creed Cuir de Russie

Guerlain Derby

L’Instant and L'Instant D'Un Ete Pour Homme

Vetiver and Vetiver Frozen

Terre d'Hermes

Fresh Cannabis Santal

Le Labo
Vetiver 46

Les Parfums de Rosine
Rose d'Homme

Parfums d'Orsay Le Dandy

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

New at Les Senteurs: Caron Eau de Reglisse and more

Eau de Reglisse, Caron's limited edition release, which will be apparently only available untill August 2006, is now sold at Les Senteurs. The scent is described as "audacious and daring, yet classic and elegant. A fantasy confection from the sweet-shop: warm, sensuous, amusing - but still light, airy, summery and stylish: lemon verbena with notes of patchouli and nutmeg blended with a bold hint of liquorice." 100 ml of Eau de Reglisse Eau de Toilette retails for £38.00, samples are also available for £2.00 (no shipping and handling charge to USA).

Other new additions at Les Senteurs are Caron Yatagan, Impact and Le Troisieme Homme, Annick Goutal Songes, Serge Lutens Gris Clair and Knize Knize Sec.

New Perfume Releases – As Seen on Osmoz

Ultraviolet Colours of Summer by Paco Rabanne. “A mouthwatering sherbet nectar for summer”. Another summer limited edition, this “tropically inspired” version of Ultraviolet “revisits the fragrance’s fresh, zesty notes.” Top note: Grapefruit, Pink Pepper. Middle note: Coral Flower, Osmanthus. Base note: Vanilla, Sandalwood. Available as Eau de Toilette, in 2.7 fl. oz. bottles. Ultraviolet Man Colours of Summer, “a tempting collectible in tropical tones”, has the following notes: Frosty Accord, Green Pimento; Cedar, Pink Grapefruit; Crystal Moss, Ambergris. It comes as Eau de toilette, in 3.4 fl. oz. bottles.

Reflets d’Eau by Rochas. This limited edition fragrance is described as “a spirited and airy breath of optimism”. Reflets d’Eau is a “fresh and sensual eau to be worn wear ‘with mischief all summer long’”. Top notes: Mandarin Orange, Aldehydes, Lemon, Orange. Middle notes: Cyclamen, Rose, and Peony. Base notes: Amber, Sandalwood. “The bottle echoes the shape of L’Eau de Rochas, garbing it in fresh green hues.” It will be available as Eau de Toilette in 1.7 and 3.4 fl. oz. bottles. The men’s version of Reflets d’Eau, “a fresh, tangy shiver of happiness”, has notes of Mandarin Orange, Bergamot, Cardamom, Nutmeg; Woody Notes, Violet, Water Lily, Melon: Musk, Sandalwood, Amber. Eau de Toilette, 1.7 and 3.4 fl. oz.

Friday, June 02, 2006

From The Mouths of Husbands - Mr. Colombina Has a Thought

If you’re old enough to recall the comedian Red Buttons, you may recall his ‘schtick’ often included a segment (he did many times on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts) where he would recount famous people and how they “never got a dinner” (in their honor).

With this in mind, I decided to post a blog (unsolicited by Colombina) as to famous people who never had a perfume named after them. In these days of Britney Spears, Donald Trump, Beyonce, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez fragrances et al, it seems anybody can get a perfume named after them.

So here are my TOP TEN… perfumes that never were …but should have been!

10) Angelina: (From Yves St. Le Homewrecker)
Perfect for covering the smell of your pits (or Pitts in this case), this fragrance is sure to be a favorite of any dim-witted husband stealer. And haven’t you always longed to smell like tomb raider?

9) Eau Holy Knight: (From Franken Scents)
Combines the smells of holy water, incense and myrrh. Perfect to wear around the house or for that special Saturday night mass. Some claim it has special healing powers.

8) Total Retard: (From The Perfuminator)
Manly and rugged, this scent has muscle! The perfect man’s man smell to attract the woman you are groping. Interestingly enough, if you spill the cologne, it gathers itself up again into a single puddle.

7) Bad: (From Pretty Young Thing).
Jacko has a nose for fragrances. (He keeps it on his night table). This has been tested to be appealing to everyone from cub scouts to altar boys. You should be warned though that excessive use can result in severe skin discoloration.

6) Windows no. 95: (From The Gates of Smell)
Smell like a rich geek! You may find that you’re almost finished applying it, when for no discernable reason, you have to rebottle and start all over again, losing any scent you have already applied. But the creator assures us they are working out the bugs.

5) Jihad For Martyrs: (From La Maison du Terroriste)
Why spritz on a little when you can strap bottles of it around your chest? Combining the delights of C4, nitroglycerin and TNT, this potent aroma is perfect for the man on a mission! (Not available at airport duty free shops. Void where prohibited)

4) Old Spice: (From Old Blighty – Makers of “Girl Powder”)
Smell like you want. Like you really really want! This scent is a little bit SPORTY, a little bit SCARY and combines a BABY fresh delight with a touch of GINGER! As usual, Posh provides no noticeable contribution.

3) Depression: (From Tommy Cruisefinger)
Containing vitamins and anti-depressants, this is the perfect scent to wear immediately after childbirth. Side effects may include an uncontrollable fit, the urge to jump on sofas and the desire to join some whacked-out “religion”.

2) M. Night Shalimar: (From Sixth Scents)
“I smell (like) dead people!” This fragrance has the added benefit of being fatal to alien attackers if you get them wet with it. The scent goes on very pleasantly but watch for the twist after a while. Another plus … the bottle is guaranteed to be unbreakable!

1) F**CKING Lovely: (From Ozzy De La Renta)
This *&%^#$# scent smells like $&% that someone has been #$*&%^ing too long. It makes you want to @#*^ into a *$^%ing @#$#&$&%.


Here are a few others that were considered but did not make it into the top ten:
Adolf Hitler's "Blitzkrieg"
Gandalf's "Wizard Blanc"
Simon Cowell's "Idol"
Vladimir Putin's "Putin on the Ritz"
Forrest Gump's "Dopium"
George W. Bush's "W" (from the makers of Dopium)
OJ Simpson's "Eau J"
Winona Ryder's "Easy Ryder" (ask about the five-finger discount)
Prince Charles' "Polo"
The Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers"
Tony Blair's "Lap Dog"
Joseph Stalin's "Purge For Men"
Keanu Reeves' "Reeves Gauche"
Law & Order SVU's "Ching Ching"
(Created especially for Colombina)
The wonderful caricatures used here are from the following sites:
Tom Cruise is by Ed Wexler from
The Osbournes are from
The Spice Girls are from
Osama is from
BIll Gates is from
Simon Cowel is from
Putin is by Deano Minton from
Tony Blair is from
Bush and Stalin are from
Keanu Reeves is from Caricature Zone