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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sampling New Releases. Part 2.

Day two of speed-reviewing….

Esteban Sensuelle Russie. The first thing that strikes one about Sensuelle Russie is that it is a dead ringer for Ambre Narguile. Pale, diluted, not nearly as intense, robust and thus not nearly as interesting but still Ambre Narguile. Ambre Narguile Lite or Diet. The similarity is as obvious as that of, say, Wish to Angel or Bois et Fruits to Feminite du Bois, although far it be from me to imply that Sensuelle Russie is as beautiful as Bois et Fruits…To make your own Sensuelle Russie, take 1/3 of Ambre Narguile, 2/3 of water and mix in some cardamom. I suppose it was only to be expected that Ambre Narguile wannabe scents will start getting launched, in fact I am surprised it has not happened sooner, considering the striking originality, beauty and popularity of Narguile. Still, it makes me sad somehow. On a more positive note, Sensuelle Russie will certainly be a cheaper substitute for the very expensive Hermes scent when and if it is finally launched in the States.

Reminiscence Jammin. When you borrow from one source, it’s plagiarism, when you borrow from several, it is research, they say... Whereas Sensuelle Russie was heavily “inspired” by one particular scent, Jammin seemingly pays homage to several. It starts with an Angelesque bang, with an accord that makes me think of sugared patchouli or patchouli sugar (a la vanilla sugar) sprinkled with grapefruit and blackcurrant juice. Slowly, almost imperceptibly the scent begins to transform, the cardamom note creeps in, with tonka bean and woods tiptoeing right behind it, and before you know, instead of Angel it is Chinatown you are suddenly smelling. From the middle stage forward Jammin has the same lacquered Chinese box smell as the Bond No 9 creation, although Jammin is woodier, drier, and has a very noticeable pine note. It is actually quite interesting. I don’t know whether I would want to buy it, if it ever becomes available in the States, but it is a bright, slightly bizarre little scent that is certainly worth a sniff.

Givenchy Ange ou Demon. Jammin was sugared patchouli, Ange ou Demon is candied oak. Sounds a little odd but not altogether unpleasant, right? It could have been quite lovely were it not for the presence of a lily note of gigantic proportions. Lilies and I are not usually friendly, and given the fact that there was also lots and lots of sweet, powdery ylang ylang and a huge dollop of vanilla…well, I did not enjoy Ange ou Demon at all.

Perles de Lalique. As it is always the case with Lalique, the bottle is simply stunning. As it is always the case with Lalique, the scent is beautiful and, for the lack of better word, expensive-smelling. As is it often the case with Lalique, the scent is not strikingly unique, but rather plays it safe. Still, it is a beauty, and the lovers of rose notes in perfume should take notice of this one. It starts with a gorgeous, lively, lush rose, which has some darkness and yet some sparkle too. It reminded me of Une Folie de Rose and La Rose de Rosine as well as of Lancôme’s Mille et Une Rose, all at the same time. What I would have loved, is for Perles to have a more intense woody note, an even stronger chypre vibe. I also would have preferred if it did not have quite as much patchouli in the drydown, which, on my skin, was practically patchouli only, with maybe just a hint of vetiver somewhere in the background. But that’s just me and my issues. I strongly believe that many people will love the beautiful Perles de Lalique.

Sensuelle Russie and Jammin are not available in the US yet and seem to be impossible to order from abroad. Ange ou Demon is available at Nordstrom, Perles de Lalique at

Tomorrow, please tune in for the first day of our two-day CB I Hate Perfume special. Tom will be talking about At The Beach 1966, Winter 1972 and Memory of Kindness, and on Friday I will post about Black March, Burning Leaves and Tea/Rose.


Blogger katiedid said...

Everytime I read the name Jammin I keep thinking of the Bob Marley song, but not as sung by Bob Marley, but in the voice of Chief Wiggam from a particular episode of The Simpsons. Sigh. I think that alone might just ruin it for me.

The Esteban perfumes haven't really gotten much love, looks like you aren't so enamored yourself? Maybe on Friday I'll talk about the Teck and Tonka candle, which IS divine.... eh, we'll see... Have you tried any of the other Esteban perfumes yet?

Ange ou Demon is such a GREAT name. Too bad they squandered it on such a mediocre juice. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. But then, it appears I am Givenchy's bitch, even after all the disappointments of so many of their newer releases. Sad, isn't it?

Good lord, I can't wait to hear what someone else thinks of At the Beach! Looking forward to it, Tom!

11:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I haven't tried other Estebans. If they honestly called Sensuelle Russie, Our Answer To Hermes, I might have liked it more :-) And also, what's so "Russie" about it? I didn't get that. *grumble grumble*

Laughing at "Givenchy bitch". Alright, I'll be Dior Ho. :-D *cosiders using that instead of colombina*

11:50 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Oh, good! More perfumes I don't need to buy! I have to admit that my first response to the Esteban was "yum," before I fully realized that this was a very familiar "yum." Perfume plagiarism, indeed! And I have already tried the CBs (except tea/rose), so I am safe for the week! Looking forward to those reviews, though.

--Choosing "Guerlain putain" before someone else does!

7:11 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that I read several reviwes on Sensuelle Russie I´m getting more & more curious about that scent, but I´ve never seen it around here in Germany.
Ambre narguilé is a bit "too much" too foody or something for me, so I´d like to test a lighter version. Does it smell cheap? I hate cheap smelling scents - yeah, I know, I´m a snob when it comes to perfume ;)
Yesterday I also tested Kenzo Amour, I was sooo curious about it, especially for the rice note - but...such a huge disapointment!!! It smells far too synthetic :(& moreover it reminds me very much of Escada Magnetism. I eman, it´s not so awful that I can´t stand to smell it, but I wouldn´t want to ear it, even if somebody gave it to me for free.
I´m so looking forward to your reviews on the CB scents, the descriptions on the website (& the reviews on Perfume Posse) sound very promising to me!

7:51 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Sad to see that something w/ that name turning out to be such a disappointment. I had such high hopes for this one. :-( Looks like Esteban has taken its cue on this one from KM.
I'm relieved to see that something connected w/ Bob is at least happily unusual. I will have to try it. Have never seen the Simpsons. Phew!
Looks like too much focus on the Ange side. Excellent only for my budget. And will have to try the Perles, but I'm fairly certain I won't have to fork over for it.
Well, Dior Ho, I look forward to yours and Tom's takes on the CBs. :-)

8:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah, very good, yours sounds the chic-est, Guerlain putain :-D

9:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It does smell cheap at all, and if you were looking for a lighter Ambre Narguile, then that might be exactly the thing!

9:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I wouldn't call that awful lily note angelic. To me it was Messir Woland himself, only not nearly as attractive as him :-D

9:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Privet! I agree with you on everything, especially Ange ou Demon. The idea was great, the overall theme interesting, yet the result was rather pale and watery. Perles was a disappointment, especially since I already have several rosy chypres I love (AP, Soir de Lune, Une Folie de Rose). I found Le Parfum to have much more character.

11:09 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jammin sounds like a must try. Agree on the others, except I haven't tested Perles yet.

1:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

So nice to see you!!
There was a brief moment in the begining of Perles where it was so similar to Une Folie, which I also love..but then it was gone. And Lalique Le Parfum I love so, so much and am forever grateful to Helene for introducing me to it :-)

1:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Jammin is fun, it smells just like its packaging look, you know? I hope they bring it here.

1:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I rather enjoyed Ange ou Demon for the lily note (but then again I enjoye lily notes) the problem I have is the damn thing is too soft. Bizarrely when I sampled this one a couple of times I got a slight civet note.

1:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Lets swap skin chemistries :-) Because on me it was anything but soft. It was LOUD. :-)

1:26 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Have to agree on Ange ou Demon, but haven't tried the others here. Looking forward to the CBIHP reviews!!

1:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love when we agree! :-)

1:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Trina said...

Boo for the stupid lily note! I love oak, and candied oak sounds perfect for me. *pouts* I have to try Demon anyway - maybe I won't get as much lily. A girl can dream, right?

9:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Here is hoping you get candies and oak, no lilies!

10:01 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Thanks for your nasal impressions,pretty one...

Ah,well- it is our duty to sniff all and sundry,regardless of the consequences.

[Sings to self,"Well it's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it" while bumping and grinding...]

10:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*smimmies to the tune*

10:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife came home from France with a bottle of Jammin, its great. And available in the US.

7:02 PM EST  

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