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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Perfume Review: Apothia L, Velvet Rope, and If

Review by Tom

L is described as "perfectly aged Orris...with sweet touches of violet leaf.." "designed to be loved by the woman who wears it and by the person who shares her intimate space" Well, it you will have to be pretty intimate to be able to discern this one. On my Orris amplifying elbow within moments this disappeared into a very nice smell of fresh clean skin with a slight tinge of angelica. Since I would like to think that I always have fresh clean skin, I think it just disappeared.

Velvet Rope is described in the literature as "icy, dry vanilla martini spiked with absolute jasmine and a twist of grapefruit. Pure white musk heats up the background of this super-sexy scent" I'm willing to debate the "super-sexy" part as being hyperbole. Well, I'd be willing to debate if It would not be churlish- this may not be my idea of super-sexy, but it's flirty, fresh and quite wonderful, the sweet grapefruit peel is wonderfully drrrtied up by the musk, and the jasmine (just a hint) is nicely supplanted by the ginned-up vanilla. I'm really shocked by this one: on paper I should have hated it, but I actually really like it.

IF is written of as "hip, fashionable and elegant", "A dazzling bouquet of white flowers". They mention grapefruit and yuzu, but they could be just be fibbing. The white flowers (I smell tuberose, jasmine, lily and rose) are light enough not to scare the kiddies (or the ladies who want to act like kiddies) but heady enough to make me really like it: it's like a secret dab of Fracas worn to the office. The occasional whiff of it's femme fatale essense is a wonderful surprise.

These aren't meant for me, they are meant for Kate Beckinsale and the girls that want to be her. I have to write that I am very happy that these are out there, not being just another fruity-fizzy bit of frippery, but some seriously subversive stuff.

Shhhhh- don't tell the kiddies.

Apothia three scents are available at their website for $75.00 for 50 ML, and at Fred Segal. This makes me absurdly happy...

Image sources, and


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you try the edp of If or the parfum oil? I really like the clean edges of the If oil... something about it's lushness in oil form really gives it a refreshing feel. The edp is quite creamy, which is also enjoyable, but not quite as hypnotic as the oil.

Sure wish I wore the Velvet Rope well. My sis does, but on me it turns up as cigarette up the nose, which is decidedly unfabulous. Sadly. I'm surprisedby your description of it as "flirty, fresh," since I found it rather dirrty (two r's on purpose, all Xtina-style) in a way. There's little I find sexy about "white" musks, but that raw tobacco feel is kind of pervy in this frag. I don't like it myself, but I have to admit I rather admire it. It's got some gumption for a modern frag.

L just rather disappears on me, too. I tried it on my husband, despite his protests (which mainly arise due to my testing of Alain Delon's Samouri from forever ago, which is a fragrance he takes exceptional exception to, and he rarely utters outright hate to anything, only ambiguous dislike) and it disappeared on his skin, too. It's pleasant, but wan.

12:12 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Hey Katie-

I think it's the EDP: I can't think they'd send the oil for free. But even as an EDP I liked this one. Anything that brings the idea that sexy white florals aren't just for Norma Desmond is great with me.

I like that raw feel to Velvet Rope. Since I am coming form a place that wears MKK to the office and is almost thinking of Human Existance as being wearable, this is flirty and fresh. Well, really I liked the juxtaposition of the sweet peel and the light jasmine with the vanilla martini and the musky tobacco (thanks for putting a name to that one, I couldn't quite pick it out, it's the "tobacco" in Tabac Blond)

"I don't like it myself, but I have to admit I rather admire it. It's got some gumption for a modern frag."

I think the only thing I'd change about that phrase is putting "for" between it and myself. I am actually very happy that there are some people putting out these: what I would consider flirty and fresh, but with gumption...

12:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the IF best - the L just went away on me too. I loved the opening of Velvet Rope but it went all hinky on me at some point and it's not a good one for my chemistry. I do with I could justify a bottle of IF - I love the white flowers and it does hit just the right note of heady-but-not-overpowering that makes it wearable for everyday.

1:03 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Were I a customer for these I think IF would be the one I'd go for: as you write, it hits "just the right note of heady-but-not-overpowering"

But Velvet Rope would be on the list as veryclosesecond in line.

1:13 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Velvet Rope is one of those things ... I have a little tester and I spray it on people. It's just averagely okay on me, and I think that's true for many. But some people bring out that perfect Nightclub -- it smells *amazing* on them, a virtual reality scent that I think Apothia must have intended.

L -- meh. If I also liked very much, one of my White Flower exceptions, but even the oil concentration barely lasts 20 minutes on me; odd. That's not generally a problem I have.

7:44 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Thanks for reviewing these, Tom-
It's good to hear your opinions, always !

Wish I liked these- I just can't.
I'm not afraid- but they don't move me...
They are different, I'll give them that...

7:55 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Like Chaya, I wanted to like these, but they just didn't work for me. L disappeared on my skin as it did on yours and apparently my CB Musk and MKK loving skin just laughed at any possible dirtiness in Velvet Rope and banished it - on me it was just clean and crisp and I'm afraid I don't do well w/ clean and crisp. I don't think I've tried IF. I'm grapefruit and yuzu phobic, so I think those notes put me off of seeking it out. The white flower lover in me is now quite intrigued.

8:12 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I thought I liked VR, but when I sprayed it liberally, instead of dabbing, it went all anise-y on me. The other two leave me stone-cold. Kate Beckinsale is welcome to them :-D

8:23 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is UP with Kate Beckinsale's hair in that pic?? I almost didn't recognize her. Oh, right, this post isn't really about her. Ahem.

I'm almost sad I didn't send for those free samples when I could. But actually, I'm rather unexcited about fragrance in general these days (I know. It makes me very sad), and none of the ones you describe (despite your wonderful way with words) have me lemming them.

8:34 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I'm with L, C, and M here. I really wanted to like these. I didn't hate them. But they did nothing for me. I much prefer YV's L'homme de coeur to L.

8:57 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't comment on any of the scents since I've not tried them (though of course I *want* to now!); but I agree with newproducts: WHAT is up with Kate's hair? And has she had something injected into her lower lip? There was no need, Kate, dear. And what's with the floppy boobs? And the incipient double chin?

OK, so I'm having a bad face day myself; and I'm sure some will think my comments rude or unsisterly (I wonder if she's pregnant?); but really...

And, just for the record, I am NOT thin myself; nor am I one of those women who think everyone should look like a stick. But Kate - get some proper support, would you, love?

10:01 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have I smelled these? No

Am I bothered? No

Do I like Tom's reviews? Yes.

Lilyofbp must be right - l'Homme de Coeur is iris perfection...

10:21 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Seems to be a consensus that L is the magical disappearing fragrance..

11:04 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


They didn't rock my world and I can't see me purchasing, but I have to give them A+ for being different, and having some "gumption"

11:06 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I frankly don't expect anyone who religiously reads this blog to be the audience for them. Not to sound terribly snobby, but we're just not their customers.

11:09 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:10 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I am giving them major props for being different: Team White flowers! Team Skank!

11:12 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


If you don't like grapefuit, you will really not like IF. You might like the other one as day wear. The white flowers are not at all that shiv-in-the-ribs note that Fracas has (and that I love)

11:15 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Once again, people like us are going to go for the "real stuff". We're single malt, neat. These are sloe gin fizzes. Nothing wrong with either, but don't serve one to someone expecting the other.

11:17 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


That is a bad picture. I have no sense of shadenfreude at all that someone as lovely as Kate can have a train wreck of an outfit, hair like a uncombed standard poodle and pose that is very unflattering.

None at all.

11:23 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Do you need to? No.

Am I glad you like the reviews? Yes.

I like yours too!

11:24 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

The notes in the Velvet Rope should have just sent me over the moon, just the opposite of you, but it just was just ahhright on me. Too much American idol

11:44 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


"American Idol"


4:40 PM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

OHhh, Tom-
Single malt ?
Do mine ears deceive me?
You shall be mine...

7:46 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Chaya, pumpkin, I already am :-}

1:02 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

of the 3, L is my favorite. but as you guys have pointed out, it has a longevity issue. i thought it was only my skin that was eating it up, or my nose receptors were super-saturated so i could not smell anything anymore after a few minutes.... that this is not happening to me uniquely is a relief. :-)

velvet rope is a scrumptuous scent, but it does not suit my personality, im afraid. now that i think about it, katie... it is a little dirrty. hehehhe.

IF struck me as a heady white floral at a time when i was only learning to appreciate white flowers.... it's a bit too heady for me.

3:19 PM EST  

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