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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Perfume Review: Parfumerie Generale Psychotrope

Psychotrope is a perfume created by Parfumerie Generale exclusively for a store in Moscow, called Aromateka. It is described as a leather-jasmine scent and has notes of cyclamen, violet, “dark jasmine”, lilac wood, black leather and musk... The inspiration for a fragrance came from a vision of a flower with leather petals, dark, strange, intoxicating. Although I do not perceive Psychotrope as dark, I think that the image is very fitting. If a leather flower existed in some odd and elegant parallel universe, that’s how it would smell. The color of that flower would be silver (think the color of Chloe’s silver Paddington bag)…

The beginning of Psychotrope is green, or rather floral-green (unopened white flowers and grass on a cold spring morning, dew glistening on the leaves) and fairly aquatic. Those familiar with Creed Cuir de Russie and S-Perfume S-ex would recognize the salty-watery smell that I loosely called “aquatic” and that, in Psychotrope, heralds the arrival of the leather. Just like there are no flowers with leather petals, there is no transparent leather, but in the strange world of Psychotrope anything is possible, and so I will say that the leather note in this fragrance smells transparent. Shimmering, silvery-grey transparent leather perfumed with the honeyed aroma of virginal-white jasmine. The scent grows somewhat sweeter and darker as it progresses, the flowers become more apparent and the leather acquires a cold kind of smokiness. The salty-watery accord that was distinct in the beginning becomes fainter, but it is still there, still enhancing the illusion of transparency and freshness. I am sure you know by now that I am NOT a fan of marine scents, but here the note is actually enjoyable, not to mention functional. Apart from creating the effect of translucency, it also provides a twist, an unexpected little something that I always love in perfumes.

Often, in Pierre Guillaume’s creations, this twist is achieved by adding a surprisingly gourmand undertone to the composition. Psychotrope is one of the few Parfumerie Generale scents that completely lack even a slightest hint of gourmand. It is an elegant perfume, edgy (just the right amount of "edgy", not too much) and aloof, enigmatic in a cold rather than sultry sort of way. I think of it as “Grace Kelly for the 2000s”, dressed in Comme des Garcons rather than Dior garments. I liked Psychotrope very much and would love to own a bottle.

If I understand correctly, Psychotrope will be available starting in February, in Aromateka in Moscow.

Москва, Галерея ZAR, Рублевское шоссе, д. 42, стр. 1
тел.: +7 (495) 509-7287

Moscow, Gallery ZAR, Rublyovskoe Avenue, 42/1

I am not sure whether it is possible to buy this scent directly from Parfumerie Generale. If you find out more, please share the info!

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Leather Scents Directory

No review today. Instead, allow me to introduce to you my project of several months, the Directory of Leather Scents. (If you haven't realized that I love leather perfumes and am a nerd, now you know) Divided alphabetically (by the brand name) into three groups, this is the list of scents that (according to the official description, perfume guides and/or my humble nose) contain leather note, some more prominently than others. It is a work in progress, new scents are going to be added as they are released or as I find out about them. The directory can also be easily called My To-Try List and My Wish List, since I'd love to eventually sample all of the leather scents ever created and to own most of them.

Leather Scents Directory - A to H
Leather Scents Directory - I to Q
Leather Scents Directory - R to Z

(The links can also be found on the right sidebar of the blog)

Now, what note should I tackle next? I was thinking Anjelica or Narcissus...

Please tune in tomorrow for the review of my most recent leather scent discovery, Psychotrope by Parfumerie Generale


Jean Patou Website

It might not be news to anyone else, but I just discovered that after what seems like years of being under construction, the Jean Patou website is now active. Although a little hard to navigate, it looks lovely. Reading about my beloved 1000, I learned that, when it was first launched, bottles of 1000 were delivered in Rolls Royces to the most elegant women in Paris *sigh*... I hoped that the site would have more information on perfumes from Ma Collection (Adieu Sagesse, Colony, etc.), but they are only mentioned - rather briefly- in the historic overview. The site address is

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sonoma Scent Studio

Article by Kelley

Sonoma Scent Studio is an artisan perfumery based in Healdsburg , California , located among the many vineyards of Sonoma. The owner and in-house perfumer is Laurie Erickson. I have written to her several times and I found her a lovely person. You will find body creams and perfume oils available along with their eau de parfums. According to the website, they don’t add water or isopropyl myristate or propylene glycol to their perfumes—they are simply oils in alcohol. I remember that she used to use a special kind of alcohol somehow associated with grapes but I noticed that the website has been changed and now it’s perfumer’s SD alcohol only.

I found this company in a strange way. It all started with a blind internet date. Yes, this is going to be a smutty little story. OK, I met someone on the internet by email and started corresponding. You see, I live in Mexico , in a very small town and so dating is almost out of the question, so, a guy’s got to do what a guy’s got to do! It turns out that this person is a perfume freak (a huge attraction for me!), let’s refer to this person from here on out as PF for perfume freak. I mail ordered about 8 bottles of different perfumes based on PF’s glowing recommendations. After several months of writing steamy emails and talking on Skype (the free internet phone service), we found out we were fragrance opposites and that this couldn’t possibly work out. In fact, I would say that PF’s recommendations were ghastly and some were very expensive! “Fragrance opposites” is a term I made up and I am sure there has to be something better out there for what I am trying to describe. It is when someone hates what you wear and you can’t stand what they like. My point is, why even try to date someone that has such bad taste in fragrance? I called the whole thing off! Well, there were a few other things we had problems with but I will save that for another time.

What does this story have to do with Sonoma Scent Studio, you ask? Well, PF loves their products and recommended them to me. When I went to the website, it was down (I think it was due to illness?). My order of samples didn’t come in until this past December, which was almost a year after I was led to the website by PF. The delay wasn’t Laurie’s fault; I had to wait for the website to go active again. I will keep these reviews very brief.

Sandal Oud: The listed notes are sandalwood, oud, musk, cedar, with a drop of mandarin. I find this to be extremely oily on my hand. I smell the oud and that’s about it. This isn’t a medicinal oud often found in the oud series by Montale. I am guessing that this is a young oud or maybe a synthetic oud. Overall impression, nice but linear and also stays fairly close to the skin. Would I buy it? Maybe.

Sanctuary: Sandalwood, frankincense, amber, orris, musk, and vanilla. The sandalwood here smells like the blond sandalwood. This one is also weak and linear. There is a dill pickle smell to this that is very strange. A definite no.

Cashmere : Sandalwood, cinnamon, musk, amber, and vanilla. This is nice but the cinnamon used in this smells artificial. This almost smells like a candle. Yes, this definitely should be a candle. No for Cashmere .

Bois Vanilla: Cedar, sandalwood, incense, and vanilla. I smell vanilla but that’s about it. This one would also make a nice candle fragrance. This one is extremely light. I don’t think so.

Amber Bois: Cedar, rose, musk, turmeric, saffron, and amber. This is very rosy. I can tell that I have a theme starting. This reminds me of the Virgin Mary candles they sell at the market that are scented with rose. I don’t smell spices but there is a sweet amber accord lurking just under the rose (very artificial to my nose). This is so sweet that it could give me a headache.

Fireside: Sandalwood and cedar combined with exotic woods and resins. This is supposed to smell smoky like a fireplace. Fumerie Turque is smoky. Lonestar Memories is smoky. This is just bland. I get sandalwood for sure but I don’t get any of the resins they promised. This is also very linear and stays very close to the skin. This is another definite no.

Incense: Frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, cedar, amber, musk, and vanilla. This opens with a strange fruity smell, like pineapple. Of course frankincense has a slight fruity-ness to it but this is odd. It isn’t an offensive fruit accord but it seems a little sweet. Luckily this fades and I smell sandalwood and myrrh. This isn’t very original but it’s one of their best offerings.

Chai Latte: Warm chai spices, creamy vanilla, and a light tea note. This smells exactly like a butter-cream candle. There are no spices and definitely no tea notes…anywhere. Where all of the others are extremely light, this is strong. This has killer sillage (literally). This is so artificial and so unexpectedly awful; it should come with a warning!

Amber et Encens: Amber, vanilla, incense, and spice. It opens with a nice incense accord but quickly fades to almost nothing. I smell a little amber and incense. Sorry.

Oud: Lovely at first. This is a medicinal oud but not as strong as some. It is a single note fragrance that might be used for layering. Would I buy this? I don’t think so. I would prefer a much more expensive bottle of masterfully blended Montale’s Royal Oud, thank you. This faded on me very quickly to a band-aid smell. Definitely a NO!

I was very excited about trying these scents because they sounded so promising. Except for the nuclear Chai Latte, I found these fragrances very linear and weak and some of them smell very artificial. These aren’t complicated scents by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, I would say that they are single accords. I love fragrances that are like having complete conversations. I want to start with one thing and then change topics several more times and go from happy to sad and back to happy again. I want layers like an onion. I really don’t want to jump in and read the last line of the book. I guess when most of the ingredients you use are traditionally used as base notes, they will stay very, very close to the skin. I found I would have to touch my arm with my nose to get even a whiff of these fragrances. Of the lot, the only two that I found interesting (this will come as a huge surprise) were Sandal Oud and the plain Oud. They don’t last long on me at all, a couple of hours at most. This was a fun experiment but I didn’t find anything here that I have to have. There are many more scents listed on the website than what I reviewed here at Prices range from $2 for the 1/32 oz. sample to $25 for the 1 ounce epd spray in the studio line. It’s $35 for 1 ounce of perfume in the boutique line.

Photo of the SSS perfume is from their website. The nuclear explosion is courtesy of and the grapes are from

Winners of the Juozas Draw

There was such an unexpectedly big interest in the draw, that I decided that it should have two winners instead of one. Little Miss Colombina randomly picked one name and Mr Colombina picked the other. Dear Alica and Style Spy, please email me your addresses using the Contact Me button on the left.

Thank you everyone for playing! Fingers crossed, Juozas will be sold in the US some time in the not too distant future.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

On a To-Try List: Angela Flanders Perfumes

Angela Flanders is an English fragrance line that seems to be fairly unknown in the US. It consists of fifteen signature scents:

Caspian - "Citrus top notes combine with subtle oak moss notes, to give a classic chypre, cool and sophisticated."

Coramandel - "A subtle cedarwood base, with a gently spiced floral heart, and citrus top notes."

Earl Gray - "Dry and sophisticated, tea like notes of rosewood and bergamot, create a blend evocative ancient China."

Hesperides - "Summers golden fruits combine to create a cool fresh fragrance with a hint of vetivert."

Josephine - "A soft powdery violet lies on a mossy cedarwood base."

Manderine Mint - "Green mandarin blended with fresh mint and other herbs to produce a fresh and uplifting perfume."

Maroccan Rose

Melissa - "A complex warm citrus fragrance, a honeyed lemon, with balsamic undertones and hints of vanilla." (The only I tried; I liked it very much)

Millefleurs - "A floral bouquet, rose, violet, and iris, combine with the freshness of lavender and bergamot."

Ottoman - "A rich oriental, roses and violets with depths of sandalwood, rosewood and patchouli."

Parchment - "A rich vanilla base lends a warmth to the citrus top notes and spicy heart of this perfume."

Seville - "Sweet orange, bergamot and lemon with a heart of cinnamon and other spices."

White Flowers - "All the fragrant white flowers on a dewy base, lily of the valley, jasmine, rose and lilac."

White Roses - "Heart of rose with fresh mossy green undertones, timeless and yet modern."

Xanadu - "Evokes a magic forest, bois de rose and sandalwood, with a hint of rose and violet, bergamot and patchouli."

Eaux de Toilette cost 100ml £29.50, Eaux de Parfum 50ml £29.50. The shop is located in London, 96 Columbia Road, E2 7QB.

If you tried any of the scents, please share your impressions!

The information and the image are from

On (Improbable) To Try List: Rosine Arlequinade and Pierrot

Long-gone Rosine scents in amazing packaging, with names that appeal greatly to this Colombina:Arlequinade. 1924. Amber-floral-woody.

Pierrot. 1918. Hesperidic-Woody.

Images and information are from

If by any chance you have tried these scents or have some more information about them, please comment!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jatamansi - Organic body line from L'Artisan Parfumeur

Jatamansi, the new, oraganic, holistic body line from L'Artisan is now available to view and to buy at the French-speaking part of L'Artisan's online boutique. It includes Shower and Bath Milk, €55.00, Body Cream, €90.00, and Body Oil, €60.00. Or purchase the whole set for €205.00. The line does not seem to be available in the States yet, at least not online. It is said that an eau de toilette will be added to the Jatamansi collection later this year.

Jatamansi (Muskroot, Indian Spikenard,) is a plant that is famous in ayurveda for its ability "to promote awareness and calm the mind. It is a very useful herb for palpitation, tension, headaches, restlessness..." ...All this makes me think that L'Artisan's new body care line is a must-have for me.

Image sources,,

Friday, January 26, 2007

Juozas Statkevicius Eau de Parfum, Philadelphia Cheesesteak Syndrome, and a Prize Draw

I first heard about POTL when I lived in the UK. I suffered terribly from a burning desire to try that miraculous potion, that wonder of wonders, the scent that has been Makeupalley’s No 1 for what seems like an eternity. The way it was described, the official list of notes (the wood! the incense! the vanilla!), everything promised that it would be my Holy Grail. It sounded so hip, so stylish, so niche…Why am I talking about POTL, you might ask. It is because Juozas Statkevicius Eau de Parfum smells EXACTLY like what in my feverish, niche-scents-starved mind of a couple of years ago I imagined POTL to be.

Let me do a little side note here and say that I have never been able to figure out why I dislike POTL so much. There are no notes there that I hate, the blend is smooth, everything seems so right…and yet is so wrong. Sometimes I think that perhaps a big part of the reason for my hate for POTL lies in the Great Expectations I had for it. I call it the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Syndrome. Mr. Colombina is a Philly boy, born and bred, and, whilst living in the UK, he was longing for the foods he loved back home. The dish he missed the most was Philly Cheesesteak. The way he described it…he made me feel it was a slice of heaven. A Holy Grail of foods, if you will. Next day after we moved to the States, I got to try this Steak of Paradise...It was oily diced beef mixed with lots of sticky, runny stuff that they call cheese, in a roll- a heavy, cholesterol-leaden thing with no flavor…You see, Mr. C. hyped it up so much, it could not possibly live up to my expectations. And the same probably happened with POTL.

Coming back to Juozas…Created for Juozas Statkevičius (Josef Statkus), a Lithuanian fashion designer, by Fabrice Pellegrin (the perfumer I know as The One Who Made The Only Good Scent in NelliRody Scent Factory), Juozas has notes of jasmine, patchouli, coriander, incense, amber, cashmere wood, vanilla, benzoin and musk. This is a perfect example of a scent that manages to be very hip and unusual without being bizarre and unwearable. This is a niche scent done absolutely right; in a dictionary under the entry for Niche Fragrances, should be the picture of Juozas’ elegant bottle. It is soft and striking, deep and enveloping…I think it is perfection. If I had to describe it in one word, I would call it an incense scent, but that really wouldn’t do Juozas the justice it deserves. Other notes, most prominently woods, amber and vanilla, add complexity and depth to the blend. They take incense by the hand and lead it from the old, musty church into the sophisticated world of chic modernity. They, especially the sweet amber and vanilla, also make Juozas exceptionally soft, a soulful, enveloping comfort fragrance. Still, incense IS the star note in the composition, and the hefty amount of incense is, for me, what prevents the vanilla and the amber from doing “the POTL thing” on my skin and becoming cloyingly sweet. Because I myself often find such comparisons helpful in figuring out what a scent would be like, I would say that if you like incense genre in general and fragrances like Miyako, Messe de Minuit (imagine it velvety-soft and sweetened by vanilla...hard to do, I know) and -OK!OK!- Luctor et Emergo in particular, you would most probably love Juozas.

I would like to use this opportunity and urge our lovely stores like Luckyscent to find a way to bring Juozas to us. I have no doubt whatsoever that it has every potential of becoming a bestseller (even outselling the POTL maybe, much to my childish delight). Right now, Juozas Statkevicius is sold in its native Lithuania and in Germany, in Berlin and (maybe) Munich, 70.00 for 50ml.

If you would like to be entered in the draw for a sample of Juozas, please say so in your comment. One name will be chosen at random and the winner will be announced on Monday morning.

The images are from and

The draw is now closed

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Perfume Review: Rousse by Serge Lutens

Review by Tom

In response to a really unattractive public whinge over at Perfume Posse, kind Patty sent me her sample of Lutens newest (rather than just writing "man up and deal with it, Pansy" which is most likely what I deserved). I have of course read some of the other reviews, but I will add in my impressions.

Well, people have been pretty love it or deeply disappointed with it.

I guess you can color me deeply indifferent to it.

Unlike practically on everyone else, Rousse on me goes on too light: it actually makes L'Antimatière seem like, well, a Serge Lutens scent. Trying to get in close to smell it in the crook of my arm, I can barely discern it, move away from it and I get the barky cinnamon woodiness. I also get the same sort of listless imortelle that I get from Chypre Rouge. There's a coolness that reminds me a bit of Gris Clair, but so muted as to be almost non-existed (this must be March's "Gris Clair light"). The drydown is very nice, a rounded vanillaed amber. I don't think it's like Idole that much. I actually wish it was, since I find Idole far more interesting. Actually, I much prefer Chypre Rouge to this, and it makes me gnash my teeth that Mandarine Mandarin is sitting in a bell jar in Paris mocking me and this one will soon be at Barneys doing the same.

In the Auto world in the late 50's through to the early 70's, there was something called the yearly new model. Unlike today where the difference between the 2007 Belchfire SUX and the 2006 before it might be a new paint color or making power ear-muffs standard, the car companies would trot out almost completely new sheet metal each year in the attempt to seduce you into a new car purchase by making your 1966 Impala look so last year next to the shiny new 1967 in the neighbors driveway. This was apparently a very expensive and designer-frustrating experience, since it meant that designers were putting the finishing touches on the 68's, firming up the 69's, working on the clay models for the 70's and sketching out what might become the 71's all at the same time- and all had to look different. I somehow wonder if Mssrs. Lutens and Sheldrake, in locking in the idea that there will be (at least) two new scents every year aren't giving themselves the same problem: how many variations on a theme can there be?

Of course, it could be that there just wasn't enough in the sample for me to retrain my nose to the point where I "get" it, and I will simply need to douse myself in it when it appears. It could also just be that they have veered from what I personally like, and this is just another great big unattractive public whinge on my part.


Rousse will be available at the usual suspects soon.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More on Les Exclusifs de Chanel

My heart rejoices when I see an interesting article on perfume in a glossy magazine. This month Allure features an article by Judy Bachrach on Les Exclusifs de Chanel. According to the author, the new scents are "based on a complicated trajectory of the founder's difficult and flamboyant life. They are also the scents she cherished, outdoors and at home- the smells of iris and spice, of crushed roses and leaves. certainly, they are not suitable for everyone".

The article provides brief descriptions of four scents:

Bel Respiro - "a 'green' scent, evokes the smell of new leather and cut grass after it rains"... it "smells of mown grass and crushed leaves, although there is also an undertone of hay beneath the green scents".

31 Rue Cambon - "a mixture of bergamot, patchouli, oak moss, and cistus labdanum"..."Brimming with bergamot, this is perhaps the most nostalgic of all the new fragrances, the kind of scent worn by old ladies when they were very young and unabashedly sensual".

Coromandel - "an oriental fragrance using a tree resin called benzoin, which has vanilla-like properties"...Like Chanel's apartment that inspired it, it is not "innocent", it is "weighted by frankincense" and "contains a hint of the heavier spices of the East".

28 La Pausa - "a powdery scent based on the oil from iris pallida (known as sweet iris), one of the most expensive products available to perfumers...

The article, Channeling Chanel, can be found in Allure, February 2007, pages 178-181. The image is from Allure.

I understand that a similar feature is in February W (and probably will appear in most glossies at some point).

Perfume Review: People of the Labyrinths A Maze

I realize that many of those who worship at the altar of Luctor et Emergo (and their name is a legion), probably hope that A Maze would be a continuation of the same theme, a sequel, a scent with perhaps a couple of notes added, slightly different, but really almost the same. I am afraid those people will be disappointed. The only thing that Luctor et Emergo and A Maze have in common is the POTL part of the name. I must also say that I found the official description to be rather misleading in that it promises a scent that “strikes a somewhat lighter note” (than the first POTL fragrance). A Maze is a deep, dense, black-rose scent with pronounced oud-like accord and woody undertone, it is sultry, brooding, it has gorgeous sillage and lasts a long time. Transparent skin scent it is not.

According to the list of notes, A Maze features henna. I remember the smell of henna from my childhood, when my grandma used it to color her hair. It had a peculiar and not entirely unpleasant aroma akin to dump and spicy hay. If I try very hard, I can sort of smell it in A Maze, but really, the note seems to be there to contribute to the dark and spicy “aoud effect” caused by agarwood and saffron. The top notes are oud-full to the extent that if you told me this was one of Montale’s gorgeous rose ouds, I wouldn’t have been surprised. The scent starts spicy and sharp and immediately evokes in my mind an image of an exotic pitch-black rose. A rose made of black leather, perhaps. A supernatural, dark flower that only blooms at midnight, under the light of a sinister moon. After a while, A Maze starts to soften a little and becomes sweeter. The middle notes are dry and candied at the same time, like a Goth dessert of some sort, black rose confiture, served on black plates, in the candle light. The drydown is gloriously woody, with the agarwood, which I smelled right from the start, and sandalwood joining forces and enriching and “deepening” the dark rose.

What I like about A Maze is the cohesiveness of the composition, the fact that rose is present at all stages of the scent's development, binding other elements together like a black, shimmering cord. I also love the unabashed sumptuousness of the blend. And most of all I love that it manages to be striking, unusual and very hip without straying into the territory of bizarre, borderline-unpleasant and unwearable. This is the kind of a rose scent that I adore, a vampy, femme fatale rose, nocturnal and sophisticated. A Maze is without a doubt full bottle worthy for me.

It is available at Luckyscent, which at the moment has a free shipping promotion for orders of A Maze. Use the code AMAZE at the checkout. A Maze costs $125.00 for 90ml of EDT and $165.00 for 90ml of EDP.

The images are from Luckyscent and

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Rousse

The latest export scent to join the Serge Lutens collection of fragrances, Rousse, was inspired by cinnamon and is said to be a perfume that “tells us about the essence of wood”. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) and Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum) are trees, the bark of which is used to produce the cinnamon spice and essential oil. Those who might be worried that, with cinnamon as the center of the composition, Rousse might be straying into a gourmand territory, should not be concerned. Rousse will not greet you with the comforting smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns. Nor would it make you feel as if you stuck your nose into a jar of cinnamon powder. As the official copy promises, this really is all about the (cinnamon) wood.

Putting on Rousse is akin to being transferred, Peter Pan style, inside a magical tree. The smell of the spicy, powdery bark, of the resinous wood is all around you, like a warm cocoon. The top accord features a sweet, vaguely fruity and candied note (what I take to be mandarins), cinnamon and woods. As the scent progresses, it loses practically all of its initial sweetness and acquires a slightly powdery, slightly “buttery” violet note, as well as a brighter, spicier floral smell of carnation, which complements the cinnamon very nicely. The drydown is dark and balsamic, with plenty of amber and some vanilla to soften and round the composition. This is a melancholy, contemplative scent, an adult’s day-dream of an enchanted world.

Like Leopoldo, I can't help but notice the resemblance between the new Lutens fragrance and Idole de Lubin. In fact, for me, the two are rather too similar. I smell Idole in the spicy candiedness of the top notes of Rousse and in the resinous drydown. Rousse is woodier, drier, much less “boozy” and has a slight powdery undertone (the powder of the grated bark), but the two are still very alike, on my skin. Because of that, I can’t help but feel that I’ve been there, done that, got a bottle. Although I like Rousse quite a bit, I doubt that I will want to own it.

Rousse will be officially released on February 15, 2007, and hopefully will become available in the US not too long after. It will retail for €75.00 for 50ml.

The first image is from, the second from

Monday, January 22, 2007

POTL A Maze. Free shipping promotion at Luckyscent

With orders of People of the Labyrinths A Maze only, enter code AMAZE at the checkout for a free shipping at Luckyscent. As a side note, I tried POTLAM today, it is gorgeous. Review coming on Wednesday. Tune in tomorrow for a review of Rousse.

Perfume Review: Escada Casual Friday

Review by Kelley

Casual Friday was released in 1999. I remember walking into Dillard’s department store in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and being attacked by the Escada representative who was there to give a class on the fragrance. Of course it only took her a few seconds before I agreed to let her test it on me, you see, she needed a guinea pig and I was the only person of the male persuasion in the store at 10:00 in the morning. By the time her talk was over and all of the other women had sniffed my arm, they asked me what I thought about the product. After I told them, the Escada rep offered me a job on the spot. While it was very flattering, I wasn’t interested in the job; the bottle of cologne was another story. I bought two large bottles.

I remember the ad concept for Casual Friday after spending that lovely morning in Dillard’s as being brilliant. Casual Friday is sort of a holiday in Corporate America; it is the one day of the work week when you are allowed to dress down at work—to wear what you want. It is also the one day of the work week that elicits the most excitement because the weekend is almost upon us. The Escada executives wanted a fragrance that joined the work week with the weekend. They released a fragrance that would relax you even while you were working. I think they succeeded.

The main detectable notes of this fragrance remind me of browsing in a Barnes and Noble bookstore. I see myself wandering up and down the isles of books while filled with excitement. I am dressed in khaki pants and a sweater. The Starbucks coffee fills the air as I make my selection. I wander over to the coffee shop and sit down. I drink an espresso and nibble on a lemon square or a snicker doodle. Here, I am totally relaxed.

The fragrance opens with blend of vanilla and lemon and bergamot. It seems very fresh and light, but only for a short while. Soon, the smell of cotton and wool creep in and the scent changes dramatically. At this stage, I smell bolts of cotton and wet sweaters. All of the sudden the fragrance has gone from fresh to being a comfort scent. I feel snuggly and warm all over. It’s also in the middle stages that the coffee notes come to the fore. I have been told that coffee is a volatile essential oil and is a top note so I am sure that the coffee accord used here is some blend of scents that just reminds me of coffee.

From here on out, the scents takes a dark turn and becomes a Wintry blend of cotton, cedar and patchouli with a little of the vanilla still hanging around. When you read the list of notes, you will notice lots of spices and flowers but I detect none of them except maybe a little lavender at the opening.

Unfortunately this fragrance has been discontinued. It is at this point that I would like to share my feelings by quoting a line from a famous renaissance song (the translation is mine so blame me for all errors):

“All yee that pass by, look and see if there could be any sorrow like my sorrow” sung by the Virgin Mary as she watches her son die.

While my grief is different from losing a loved one, it is still huge! I am not sure what will happen to me when my last bottle ordered from Hong Kong is gone. This is/was a brilliant creation and was cancelled due to poor sales. Sillage is excellent and longevity way above average (24 hours?). My last bottle was $55 from I recently saw a listing on Ebay for $200 for the large bottle.

Notes include: Bergamot, Lavender, Tarragon, Coffee, Lemon, Licorice, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Coriander, Cloves, Lily of the Valley, Carnation, Cotton Flower, Jasmine, Cashmeran, Cedar, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Tonka and Patchouli.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

On a To Try List- Veejaga Hascish Femme and Hascish Homme

Intrigued by the name and the notes:

Hascish Femme by Veejaga (1983)

Top notes: Aldehydes, spice oils, orange, fruity note, bergamot
Middle notes: Carnation, rose, cinnamon bark, jasmine, ylang-ylang
Base notes: Benzoin, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, musk, moss, amber incense

Hascish Homme by Veejaga

Top notes: Bergamot, artemisia, green note, fruit note
Middle notes: Jasmin, carnation, patchouli, geranium, rose, vetiver, cedar
Base notes: Leather, moss, castoreum, labdanum, olibanum, musk

Information source, H&R Fragrance Guide: Feminine Notes ( 1984) and H&R Fragrance Guide: Feminine Notes, Maculine Notes (1991). Image source:

On a Wish List - Lancome Climat Candle

Browsing online at Nordsrom, I discovered that there exists a Climat candle. I can't help but assume that, like perfume itself, the candle should smell wonderful. Unfortunately it does not seem to be sold on its own, and only comes in a gift set with a 1.7oz of Eau de Parfum, $150.00. Not that I would ever say no to a bottle of Climat. If you have experience with the candle, please comment. Lovers of Mille & Une Roses might like to know that it also comes in a set with a mini candle.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Indult perfumes now available at French Sephora

According to Indult, the three perfumes, Isvaraya, Manakara and Tihota, are available at French Sephora as of yesterday, January 19. Only 999 bottles of each scent are going to be sold. Each bottle will contain a password that would allow the lucky owner the admission to an exclusive Indult online club. As far as I understand (and I might be mistaken), only those with thusly obtained Indult membership will be able to purchase further bottles and to purchase them online (the scents do not seem to be sold at Complicated, no?

Last time I spoke with the representative of Indult, he elusively said that they do not rule out the possibility of making their perfumes available in the States, but that nothing has been decided yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed, because I do love Isvaraya.

Indult perfumes retail for €160.00 for 50ml. Indult can be reached via phone, + 33 (0)8 92 70 70 70 , or email

You can find my reviews of the three scents here.

Le Maison Guerlain event at Bergdorf Goodman

In the beginning of February, Bergdorf Goodman will hold a week-long celebration of the the first anniversary of Le Maison Guerlain. To mark the event, three historic Guerlain fragrances will be available as numbered and limited editions: Le Mouchoir de Monsieur, Eau Hegemonienne and Habit Rouge. Champagne and chocolate will be offered throughout the week and "luxurious complimentary Guerlain gift" will be included with purchases. The schedule of events is as follows:

February 6th-10th, 11am-7pm (by appointment only)- meet Guerlain National makeup artists and Guerlain National Fragrance Specialist, Marie Line Patry.

February 8th, 5.30-6.30pm (reservation required)- Guerlain Master Makeup Class, Goodman's Cafe. Cocktails and hors d'ourves, space is limited with a $150 prepaid Gift Card redeemable in Guerlain product.

February 8th-10th, 10am-6pm (by appointment only) - Guerlain facials with National Facialist Nelly Colon. Features new Orchidee Imperiale Complete eye and lip care.

February 9th-10th, 12pm-6pm - Complimentary engraving with a fragrance purchase.

Too book your appointmetn and reserve your products, contact Guerlain boutique at BG, in particular Alena Negroutski, tel.: 212-872-2734.

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's All About Miss Dior - Perfume Review à Trois

I have the hardest time reviewing perfumes I love the most. I feel that there is no way I can do them justice or can even be able to express what I feel. I have been postponing writing about Miss Dior for a long time, but I finally felt I had to declare my undying love for her. Having been introduced in 1947, Miss Dior celebrates her 60th birthday this year. To go a little over the top for my Holiest of Grails and to make the review more special, I bribed and blackmailed Tom and Mr. Colombina into writing about it with me. And thus I present to you

Miss Dior - Review à Trois

Colombina (Call Me Miss Dior):

When Dior introduced his New Look, Harper’s Bazaar related that
Dior affects mild surprise at the furore that has greeted his designs, for he considered them, as befits an introductory collection, to be simple and conservative. But to the fashion world, his long billowing skirts, high small waists, and narrow shoulders, are both revolutionary and immensely chic. (Christian Dior by Diana de Marly, page 20)

Like his New Look designs, Dior’s perfumes combine almost-austere, conservative elegance with fantastic opulence and quite shamelessly animalic undertones. The contrast is very apparent in Miss Dior, the “introductory, first” perfume to come from Maison Dior. The innovative green accord of galbanum and sage is like a tight-fitting, severely-tailored, “simple and conservative” Dior jacket, from under which billows a lavishly-full corolla skirt of heady flowers. The green sharpness and the floral sweetness declare themselves right in the top notes, where galbanum battles gardenia for domination, with aldehydes adding an extra soupçon of chic to the elegant brew. The green leitmotif continues to run through the middle stage, where the headiness of jasmine, rose and neroli appear like a luxuriant bouquet tied with a silvery-green thread of Dior’s beloved lily of the valley. The carnation is quite prominent in the heart and, to me, its dark, floral spiciness serves like a bridge to the mossy, leathery, earthy drydown, where vetiver (green again!), leather (more apparent in the vintage Miss Dior), almost-sweet patchouli, amber and velvety sandalwood form what I came to think of as the trademark Dior base. It is rather dark and it is rather blatantly dirty (again, in the “old” Miss Dior more so than in the “new” one), and I adore it.

I must add that although vintage Miss Dior is, of course, superior to the new version, the Miss Dior that is sold nowadays should not be discarded as unwearable and unattractive. Yes, it has lost some of its darkness and intensity, but it is still, recognizably, Miss Dior. I wear the contemporary Eau de Toilette almost everyday, with much pleasure. I find the added sharpness in the top notes to be actually extremely appealing.

Miss Dior is perhaps more “me” than any other perfume I love. I relax into this scent like into a perfectly-fitted Dior dress. Like that dress, it is chic but extremely wearable and always appropriate. To use Jerry Maguire’s words, I love Miss Dior; it completes me.

Tom (Memories):

When Colombina suggested this three-way review, I thought "cool, I can get away with a couple of paragraphs: V A C A T I O N!"

Then she suggested we review Miss Dior, which I had not smelled in years. It was one of my mother's stand-by scents: an important evening party meant Joy, a "date" with my father meant Bandit or Antilope, the rest of the time it was Miss Dior. My mom was what once referred to as a "difficult" woman: by 13 she had reached nearly six feet when most men didn't get that high. She was the only daughter of the Irish immigrant gardener on one of the large houses in town, and before settling down into a nice safe life with my father (who decided upon first sight of her that she would be his wife); she had a stint in an all-girl band playing the Hawaiian Guitar and as a fashion model. She married up, into a family that while it did not arrive on the Mayflower, pretty much swam in after. However, if anyone was going to think they could shame her with a shanty-Irish background, think again: she didn't take crap from John Robert Powers; she wasn't going to from some Aryan from Darien either. I can still remember being partly mortified and yet terribly proud when she slung on her mink and went into my junior high school to give my geography teacher what-for. My mother had a dinner party the night before and didn't have time to make a cover for my text book. He took the book away and told me one of my parents would have to see him to get it back. It was a short interview that ended with my mother coming out of the building in about ten minutes with the aforementioned tome, a very red-faced teacher, and a school abuzz for days. Would this stand up to memory? Are y'all still awake?

I found a beensy sized bottle of the EdT version at a discounter on Broadway in downtown LA for $7 and hoped for the best. I head read that this had been reformulated, and that on top of being EdT. I wondered.

I needn't have. One whiff and I was back in the backseat of that Ninety-Eight: it opens with a sparking-bright whiff of green Aldehydes and that singular sage and gardenia opening. A lot of modern perfumes seem to come in acts: stage one, stage two and stage three. While there are definitely a top, middle and bottom to this fragrance, they are so
seamlessly done that the memory of the previous ones are never far off, the hover like the voices in a fugue. The opening is supplanted by jasmine and rose, in turn supplanted by oakmoss and labdanum. This being the EdT, I am feeling that there is something missing, I don't smell patchouli in the drydown much and I seem to remember a bit of civet in there. The EdT is light enough for a guy to get away with wearing.

Would I try? Nope. It's intrinsically tied to memories of my mother, and although I do resemble her (and I thank the genetic crapshoot I got her green eyes!) I don't really need to smell like her. I do know that this apple hasn't fallen far from that tree- were she alive she would without any compunction whatever poach my MKK.

Mr. Colombina (Conspiracy Theory):

(Perhaps to the surprise of Colombina) Even I, the Joe Numnutz of Perfume World, know that Miss Dior is a classic. A sort of Citizen Kane of smell. So when asked to comment on it, I thought I’d bring a different angle.

Colombina is more than qualified to tell you how this Chypre – Floral Animalic from Christian Dior blends notes of … what did she tell me it was … parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme?

So I will instead take you back to 1947, the year Miss Dior was launched. Harry Truman is in the White House. Joe Stalin is in the Kremlin.

Aviator, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the X-1. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first African-American to play in modern major league baseball.

Also in 1947:

India and Pakistan gain independence from Britain
Newfoundland and Labrador joins Canada
Invention of the transistor at Bell Labs
The Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered at Qumran
The Marshall Plan for reconstruction in Europe begins
Tennessee Williams' play, "A Streetcar Named Desire", opens on Broadway
Howdy Doody makes its TV debut
‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ is published
Britain's Princess Elizabeth marries Phillip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh
Jean Paul Sartre writes “Existentialism & Humanism”
And most importantly, Tupperware is invented! (by Earl Tupper)

Also in 1947… Dior introduces the “new look”, Dior pairs it with a new scent … Miss Dior. Meanwhile, also in 1947, a UFO crashed at Roswell, New Mexico. Coincidence? Oh sure, and I suppose you think it’s a coincidence that there are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.

That’s right perfume fans; I tell you that Miss Dior was the scent brought to us by well-smelling aliens! I could prove it if it were not for the fact I am convinced my internet activity is being monitored by the department of defense. Ever wonder why perfumes are sold in “department” stores?

Later in my review you will understand why … but for now, I just want you to take a REAL close look at this photo of Mr. “so-called” Christian Dior.

In all seriousness, wouldn’t “Area 51” sound like a great name for an out-of-this-world fragrance?

And again in all seriousness … I must say I like Miss Dior. It is extremely pleasant and pleasing.

It IS a classic scent in this one sense to me … It smells like it could be worn as attractively on a sweet old grandmother and provide her an air of class … yet at the same time … could be worn as a pheromonal/hormonal awakening elixir by some hot young babe (IE Colombina) to indicate the onset of a particularly sensual evening.

How a single scent makes that transition is as classified as any Roswell information. But I would say its existence precedes essence (thank you Mr. Sartre).

And getting back to my Alien Conspiracy theory for a moment …I want NOW you to take a look at a recently declassified photo of the space alien captured at Roswell in 1947.

Any questions?

Keep it Real. Peace Out
Mr. Colombina

Image sources: (Sergei Eisenstein,Marlene Dietrich and Joseph Sternberg in 1930), (Dior Bar Suit),,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

People of the Labyrinths A Maze at Luckyscent

People of the Labyrinths A Maze (A*Maze or AMAZE or, as I like to call it, POTLAM) is now available at Luckyscent as well. Orders placed today will ship late January.

Perfume Review: S-ex and Lust by S-Perfume

Perfume Review by Tom

Of course Colombina has already reviewed these two, but at March's behest, I had to try. (And really, you ladies are way too quick on the draw for me, I'll always be about three steps behind you all; all I can hope for is to be fractionally as entertaining.)

S-ex. Unlike in Colombina's experience, S-ex's marine notes are immediately apparent on me: a salty, slightly iodine scent (I hesitate to call it a marine note) that does, when added in with the light leather notes and musk become a very nice skin scent. If there's anything S-exy about it, it's the salty-skin accord's slight resemblence to, how do I put this in a family blog? I think the nice people at S-Perfume refer to it as "Spirit of Life". Moviemakers in Van Nuys call it "the Money Shot". I'll just call it "Where can I order this?"

Lust. In her review Colombina wrote of this as reminding her of Borneo 1834: it does seem to be a close cousin. I get leather and cedar in the opening, as well as Borneo's bitter cocao. A cool camphor joins in the middle, as the cocao becomes more assertive: this is the most Borneo phase, but I only smell a ghost of patchouli. The patchouli becomes more pronounced at the musky drydown: and that musk! It's very light, which is a good thing: this is not an MKK or a CB Musk, this is Human Existence. Luckily it's just a touch: this is Lust, not Kink.

Lust is available for $27.00 for .5 ounces at their site, while S-ex is $67.00 for 2 ounces. I've read that they are also available at Fred Segal, which is dangerously close to me. I'm not quite lemming for these, but that's more out of a respect for my New Years resolution to get my Visa bill to look less like my phone number. Like most resolutions, it may fall before this is posted

At some point in the past few weeks, I sort of dared Colombina to send me the rest of her Human Existence. To my, er, Joy? Horror? She did. She dared me to layer it with stuff. Once I have a pot of water on the boil, some Comet, a wire brush and perhaps have renewed my passport, I will, and will post about it.

The image is from

Town & Country Magazine's 85 Best Scents

Nina J. Judar's feature in Town & Country offers the list of 85 Best Scents, compiled based on Town & Country’s “powers of discernment and the expert opinions of various tastemakers". The list is divided into five categories: classic (1919-1979), contemporary (1980-2005), current (2005 to today), rare, and men's scents that Town & Country loves on women. The first four categories are further divided into Potent, Medium Strength and Barely There. This is the division that I found rather odd, since what's potent on one, is barely there on another. For example, Amarige and Joy, which, on me, are potent beyond belief, are placed in Medium Strength, the fairly forceful Allure is Barely There, and the transparent Eau d'Hadrien is filed under Potent. Another question I have, looking at the Best Contemporary section, is, where is Angel?! Obsession made it there, and even Prada did, so why not Angel? The Current Best Scents probably could have been sub-titled We Love Our Advertisers List, witness the presence of Valentino V among the bestest of the best (also found on an ad with a scent strip, page 31). Having said that, with a short description following each scent and an impressive array of fragrances (from Escada Into The Blue to Cuir Beluga to Jarling), this is one of the most exciting pieces on perfume that I have read in a glossy magazine in a long time.

For those who may not have an access to the February copy of Town in Country, here is the list.


Potent: Baghari (Robert Piguet), Bal a Versailles (Jean Desprez), Chanel No 5, Femme (Rochas), Fracas (Robert Piguet), Mitsouko (Guerlain), Opium (Yves Saint Laurent), Shalimar (Guerlain), Youth Dew (Estee Lauder).
Medium Strength: Anais Anais (Cacharel), Arpege (Lanvin), First (Van Cleef & Arpels), Joy (Jean Patou), L’Air du Temps (Nina Ricci), Lauren (Ralph Lauren), L’Interdit (Givenchy), Oscar (de la Renta), Rive Gauche (Yves Saint Laurent).
Barely There: Caleche (Hermes), Diorissimo (Christian Dior).


Potent: Boucheron, L’Eau d’Hadrien (Annick Goutal), L’Eau d’Issay (Issay Miyake), Obsession (Calvin Klein), Prada.
Medium Strength: Amarige (Givenchy), Calyx (Prescriptives), Carolina Herrera, Cashmere Mist (Donna Karan), J’Adore (Christian Dior), Lime Basil & Mandarine (Jo Malone), Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Paris (Yves Saint Laurent), Pleasures (Estee Lauder), Romance (Ralph Laurent), Stella (McCartney), Tresor (Lancôme), Vera Wang.
Barely There: Allure (Chanel), Au The Vert (Bvlgari), For Her (Narciso Rodriguez), L’Instant de Guerlain, Pure Tiffany.


Potent: Black Orchid (Tom Ford), Soir de Lune (Sisley), Valentino V.
Medium Strength: Armani Code for Women, Badgley Mischka, Beyond Paradise Blue (Estee Lauder), Burberry London, Cuir Beluga (Guerlain), Delices de Cartier, Donna Karan Gold, F by Ferragamo, Hypnôse (Lancôme), Insolence (Guerlain), Into the Blue (Escada), Island (Michael Kors), Lovely (Sarah Jessica Parker), Par Amour (Clarins), Rumeur, Silver Rain (La Prairie).
Barely There: Dianthus (Etro), Rose Ikebana (Hermes).


Potent: Fleur Oriental (Miller Harris), Iris Poudre (Frederic Malle)
Medium Strength: Beach (Bobbi Brown), Colonia (Acqua di Parma), Douce Amere (Serge Lutens), Dreams of the Sea (Antonia’s Flowers), Jarling (JAR), Love in White (Creed), No 1 For Women (Clive Christian), Perfect Kiss (Sarah Horowitz), Vanille Abricot (Comptoir Sud Pacifique).
Barely There: Millesime Imperial (Creed), Mimosa Pour Moi (L’Artisan), Acqua di Colonia (Santa Maria Novella), The Scent of Peace (Bond No 9).

Men's Scents Town & Country Loves on Women included: Eau Sauvage, Jean Maria Farina Eau de Cologne, No 88, Pour Un Homme de Caron, Vetiver (Guerlain).

The full text of the artcile can be found in the Febryary 2007 issue of Town & Country, pages 154-159. The magazine's website is

POTL No 2 Has Landed - People of the Labyrinths A Maze

Fans of People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo, get thee to Beautyhabit. The long-awaited second installment has arrived. People of the Labyrinths A Maze (POTLAM?) is now available to pre-order. According to Beautyhabit:
This new perfume strikes a somewhat lighter note. On top you find Henna and Saffron, a combination which gives your senses a surprising opening boost. In the bouquet you find the delicate Taif Rose from Saudi Arabia, Orange Blossom, Wardia Rose and many other natural components. Lastly, you experience precious woods, Agarwood from Cambodia, Sandalwood and Musk.

POTLAM is available in Eau de Parfum and Parfum form, $125.00 and $165.00 for 90ml.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Perfume Review: Agraria Balsam, Bitter Orange and Lemon Verbena

Agraria is a San Francisco based company, which specializes in ambiance products for the home and has a line of bath and body items and a cologne collection that consists of three scents, Balsam, Bitter Orange and Lemon Verbena.

Balsam is, to me, the smell of Baltic pine forests, which I remember from my childhood vacations in Latvia. Or to be more specific, it smells not so much of pine needles as of the tree bark. Put you nose right up to the pine tree trunk, inhale deeply, and the resinously woody, strangely cool aroma that you would get would be that of Agraria Balsam. Because of the evergreen and slightly smoky aspect of the fragrance, Balsam is also pleasantly evocative of winter holidays. For the lovers of woody scents with a pronounced resinous quality this scent is a must, and the price of $36.00 for 100ml can’t be beat. This is my favorite of Agraria scent and a staple in my fragrance wardrobe.

Bitter Orange is another winner in the line. It is an orange scent with a smoky rather than bitter undertone. The sweet, almost jam-like aroma of the citrus is contrasted with the dry spiciness of cloves. I am usually wary of cloves in perfume, I like them in supporting (see yesterdays review of Casablanca) rather than leading roles (except for Poivre, which I adore). When overdone, cloves tend to make me think of Christmas potpourri, which I love to use to scent my home, not my self. Luckily, the clove note in Bitter Orange is not aggressive and overwhelming. Although certainly quite apparent, it is there mainly to serve as a dark-red background for the bright-orange fruits. Like Balsam, the scent does have a festive sort of feel, but in a subtle way, it smells like a homemade orange pomander with with not too many cloves stuck into it. For an Instant Christmas effect try layering Bitter Orange with Balsam.

Lemon Verbena. For those who like verbena in perfume, this scent should be a delight. It is a lively, fresh, fairly sweet scent with a delicate green undertone. It is pretty and summery and impossible to dislike. Compared to the other two Agraria scent, it seems to me to be rather straightforward. It smells exactly like what its name suggests, no more and no less. I find it to be just a little too simple.

The three Agraria colognes are available at Fragrances & More, $36.00 for 100ml, which, as far as I can tell, is less than anywhere else; moreover, the shipping is free for all Agraria orders.

Images sources,, (Pine forest in Latvia by Laila Kule), (Orange with Cloves - Christmas pomander by Steve Sant) and

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Possessed by White Flowers. Perfume Review: Antica Farmacista Casablanca

Something strange and rather disturbing is happening to me. It appears that my floral-hating self has been possessed by a demon with deep affection for (white) flowers. I tried to exercise it by spraying myself with the least floral, the darkest and the woodiest of my scents; I burnt the incense and the most resinous candles I could find. I prayed to the Dark Gods- Lutens, Montale and Balahoutis. To no avail. Soon the day will come when I will put on Lys Méditerranée and will not be overwhelmed by the cold headiness of its hellish fumes. And strange signs will appear in the sky and the Four Horsemen will start roaming the earth.

But that day has yet to come. I became a big lover of jasmine, tuberose and lily of valley, but I am still not friendly with gardenia and especially with lily. There are only two lily scents that I can wear without being, at best, uncomfortable or, at worst, physically unwell. The first one is the incomparable Un Lys, and the second one, which I discovered very recently, thanks to a lovely fellow perfumista, is Antica Farmacista Casablanca. The scent of lilies can never be “warm”, their beauty, uniqueness, and, for me, unwearability, lies precisely in that cold, metallic aspect of theirs. Having said that, as far as lily perfumes go, Antica Farmacista’s rendition is probably the warmest and, dare I say it, the cuddliest of them all. The reason for that is the wonderful ylang-ylang note, which adds a warmer dimension to the scent of lilies and brings to the blend creamy, enveloping sweetness (I swear there is also quite a bit of vanilla). The addition of cloves was another brilliant idea on the part of the Antica Farmacista perfumers. It is not a prominent note; it is elusive, now you smell it, now you don’t. It appears in specks of shimmering, jewel-like red on the white velvet of lilies and ylang-ylang. Gorgeous and almost comforting in its sweet softness, Casablanca is one my most favorite new discoveries. I am starting to enjoy being a white-flower-lover. I think I am going to make myself comfortable and wait for the end of the earth right here, in this jardin des fleurs du mal.

Casablanca is available at Beautyhabit, $58.00 for 50ml.

The first photo is from

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Perfume from Rich Hippie - Foxy Lady

"Deep, dark, romantic, sexy, aphrodisiac with extracts of Sumatran Patchouli, Madagascan Vanilla Bean, Chinese Litsea Cubeba, Italian Clementine, Madagascan Ylang Ylang, Tunisian Neroli Blossoms and Blood Orange", Foxy Lady retails for $325.00 for 1/2oz (15ml).

If you like to try before you buy (and at that price, you better!), for a limited period of time, it is possible to purchase a single sample of Foxy Lady ($35.00), and when you buy a full priced bottle, the cost of the sample will be subtracted from your purchase. To do that, enter the code: FOXYLADY, when you buy the full size bottle later. Alternatively, you can immediately get 25% off any full size bottle with the code RICHHIPPIE. The promotion starts on Monday 15th January and will end on Monday 22nd January at Midnight (Pacific Standard Time). If you chose option one (to buy a sample and redeem it later) you must buy the full size by January 31st.