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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Perfume Review: SKY by Gendarme

Review by Tom

One of the (very generous, a 10 ml bottle really) samples given out at the LA Sniffa was the newest creation by Gendarme, called SKY which will be released this coming May. Since I had the sample...okay, after trying that Puddy Tat Secretions thing I am trying to avoid trying the rest. I promise I will. Really.

For those of you who have never heard the story of Gendarme, it's an interesting one: apparently the founder, Topper Schroeder was gifted with a large amount of a cologne that was hypo-allergenic, but was not going to be produced. He gifted various music business friends with it and it eventually made its way into Fred Segal, which is where I found it in 1991. It's a fresh, soapy citrus which I found perfect for a hot summer day. I think I even kept it in the icebox just for that purpose. Over the years I sort of forgot about it, as I became less fresh and soapy and more leathery and musky. (no comments from the peanut gallery, thanks)

There are no notes available for SKY, so I am going only by smell here, but like Victoria, I smell bergamot in the opening. I also get a slightly soapy rosemary. On me there is a definite stage of a very light but discernible sage in the middle, sort of like the dried sage leaves that one buys to "smudge" the room with (I like this stage immensely). I never get any of the dreaded aquatic, I just get this saginess and a final drydown of very light woods, like a super-lightened version of Chene.

This is a (and others have wrote the same thing) soft scent, and very unisex. It's not at all what I expected- it's soft, but it has dimension. It's unisex, but it's not insipid in that let's-mix-up-a-bunch-of-citrus-and-call-it-a-day way that some companies do. It also has an oddly sly sillage for such a light scent. I gave myself a pretty decent spritz of it and was getting little twinkles of it all day.

Would I buy it? Sure: it has a nice summery, beachy feel with a bit of that clean-sheets accord that's as close to ozone as I like to get. If I'd had this in my collection this past summer when Los Angeles was suffering under a wiltingly humid July I'd have happily doused myself in it. It was a nice sunny scent to wear on a drab, chilly and rainy Presidents day as well.

As I wrote, SKY is not out yet, so there is no information on pricing, but I am sure it will be available at better department stores and at the Gendarme website. I may just have to make room in the icebox for it...

Images source,


Blogger Victoria said...

I love this one more each time I wear it. I have already procured one more follower, it wasn't too hard, she has a penchant towards Gendarme anyway.

Did you know some lucky people got 30ml bottles? Wow.

10:46 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Wow!? 30ml? Who lucked out with those?

10:56 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Great review!
Will I like this? Or is too clean for the dirty little me?

11:11 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I think you'd like it, but not enought to buy.

11:25 PM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Am I the only one that can't stand the regular Gendarme and it's offspring? To me they all smell like a light synthetic musk mixed with citrus in different amounts but still all smell so similar that you wonder what they guy (Topper)is thinking!

12:17 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Great review Tom...feeling better yet?

12:18 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think that a lot of the allure of Gendarme is that people who can't wear cologne can wear this one. I liked it, but it went by the wayside as I got more into the skank. I've never smelled the various permutations of it, so I can't somment.

This one is in a similar vein, but more interesting

12:28 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Nope, not yet. Still dribbling and hacking. Such glamour.

12:29 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I hope you relied largely on memory to write your review. I hate to say this, but fragrances may make the dripping and hacking worse. OMG!!!! What did I just say? And on a perfume blog!! (It's true though. Take care.)

2:43 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, Colombina, I love your new image. It's so English. I imagine you in the library before a fire, away from the elegant party you can just barely hear. Soon there will be a murder.

2:45 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dribbling and hacking and dressed in musky leather? Or are you still in velour? Get well soon from peanut free me.

3:43 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Shivering at the soapy mention ... although, the aquatic threat level doesn't bother me. Go ahead, laugh.

Feel better soon!

7:16 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

call-it-a-day" - brilliant! :-)
I'm w/ March and Marina in thinking SKY may be a tad too clean and soapy for me. But the herbs have me intrigued and I will definitely have to try it.

7:31 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, it doesn't sound like something I would like, which is a good thing for me right now. Thanks for the review, Tom.

7:45 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

It's the very rare citrus that I can call my own. Moving away from this to sit near the Dirty Girls. . .

7:55 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I find my tastes change completely once summer hits. Everything I loved in winter gets shoved into the closet and I grab all the light, foofy scents that don't appeal to me generally, but are perfect for summer.

This sounds pretty great for one of those Summer Slots. :) Get better!

8:05 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you very much! Calling it English is the best compliment you could possibly give (well, French would have worked too :-)). Especially since it makes you think of the old England of cozy murders!
Whom shall we bump off first? I am thinking the Squire, who left quite a lot to us in his will but who just would not give us any money while he is alive. The old bugger is refusing to buy us Chanel Excluisfs. He must go.

8:12 AM EST  
Blogger IrisLA said...

Waah! Sky was not included in my goody bag. Oh well, I'm not the Gendarme type anyway.

9:54 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't think of a murder - I thought you'd been necking back the Chanel cos you'd run out of gin, you lush...

11:46 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah! I KNEW someone would say that...because, frankly it looks like that to me too, hahaha :-) But I like that :-)

1:22 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colombina, we will not need to bump the squire off ourselves. Someone else at the soiree has a stronger but secret motive. Suspicion will fall on us, naturally, since we stand to gain so very, very much. But the handsome detective who is bewitched by our fragrance will put everything right in the end. If we play our cards right, we may show up again in the novel's several sequels.

2:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I love the way you think!! Now, Leopoldo and Tom can decide between themselves who is going to play that sinister someone with a mysterious motive and who will be a handsome detective...meanwhile, we'll get us some wine from the Squire's cellar (the old bugger would never share his good stuff while he was alive), get wasted and pass out in the red chairs in the library, as per Leopoldo's comment :-)

2:31 PM EST  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:59 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I actually reviewed this early last week. I haven't worn anything in a week. But thanks for the advice.

3:12 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


still velour and flannel. Sooo glamoureuse!

3:13 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Grabbazzi I have not tried.

3:15 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Scared of the soapy? (tee-hee)

3:18 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It is very clean, but the herbs make it a lot more interesting than the usual "clean" scents

3:20 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I know we are usually casa de skank over here too, but you might just like this one. It would be great on one of those humid days when you get out of the shower and feel the immediate need for another shower..

3:22 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think this one is interesting because it doesn't rely on citrus (well there is bergamot). It's the light sagey-woodiness that I like.

3:24 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I totally understand and reccommend this one in that vein

3:26 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It is a cure new avatar- very "Countess Marina in the Conservatory with a bottle of Chanel No. 22"


3:29 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


The store os right over on Nemo in West Hollywood (that odd little street that runs from SM Blvd to Doheny). March over there and demand!

3:31 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Drink? Chanel? Never!

3:36 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

can I be the sinister one?

Lee can most likely do a far better John Williams impression than I.

3:40 PM EST  
Blogger Victoria said...

Well me, by way of Linda and Rob who got it in their bag and passed it on. Hehehe!

IrisLA I will bring you a sample next week!

4:03 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...


Drink? Chanel? Never!
Unless absolutely desperate.

I guess you are stuck with being a handsome detective.

4:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can live with that role.

So, Lady Fotherstonehaugh-Ssmythe, where were you on the night in question?

And what, pray tell, Madame, is that bewitching aroma?

And who is that villainous cad with close set eyes sniffling away in his rumpled velour jumpsuit?

Madame, so many questions, and yet, though I fear it dreadfully impertinent of me, all I wish to do is drink in your beauty.

3:54 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

HAHAHAHA! Oh I LOVE the name. I wonder how one pronounces it...probably entirely different from how it's written :-) But this was my most favorite part:
"villainous cad with close set eyes sniffling away in his rumpled velour jumpsuit"
Name of the book- Murder in Juicy Couture

8:24 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Velour Jumpsuit!?!


How can you listen to that rumpled, button-faced flatfoot? That ancient mackintosh! That miasma of pipe tobacco! That perfectly impenitrable accent!

As soon as I am over this sad recurrence of the dreaded (but oddly dashing, totally non-communicable and extremely fleeting) Borneo Dribbles, I am taking us off to the Ritz. Your champagne bath awaits, and Mr C has set up your caviar baar and bell-jar display. I'll just be taking tennis lessons with Jorge.

11:38 PM EST  

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