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Monday, April 30, 2007

Perfume Review: Amouage Reflection For Men and Reflection For Women

I have been very vocal in expressing my disapproval of the choice for the new James Bond. (Mr Colombina will tell just how vocal.) It was my strong belief that Bond has to be dark-haired and, although being quite macho, has to posses a suave sort of elegance and refinement. Daniel Craig is blond and looks like a) East End thug or b) a New Russian with a little bit of a murky past...which, come to think of it, are more or less the same thing. At first I refused to watch the new Bond movie, then decided I will give it a go, just so that I could make lots of very snarky comments during and after the seance. Mr Colombina will again tell you that apart form the initial hrmph at the very first sighting of Craig, no cutting remarks were forthcoming. I hate to be proved wrong and I hate to admit to my mistakes, but...I was wrong about Craig, and the movie turned out to be much, much better than the last...oh, 6-7 Bond films. A 007 movie will never be credible, an element of absolute impossibility of stunts and events has to be present, else it will not be a Bond movie anymore, but the last couple of films took the series from the land of impossible to the surreal landscape of utter nonsense. Casino Royale somehow managed to be almost believable, and I think that it is largely due to Daniel Craig's acting and - yes!- the way he looks. He brought a certain matter-of-factness, down-to-earthiness and an endearing human quality to the character. He is the Bond Next Door...He does still looks too me like a New Russian with criminal past, he is rough around the edges, but this ruggedness miraculously works in his favor in the role and does not prevent him from looking swoon-worthy in a tuxedo.

So why am I rambling on about Bond? Well, I smelled the new Amouage, Reflection for Men not long after watching Casino Royale, and I strongly recommend that the Bond people consider making it the "official" Bond scent. In the next movie Bond should be asked by his girl what cologne he is wearing, and the answer should be, Amouage, Reflection Amouage.

Created by Lucas Sieuzac, the scent has notes of red pepper berries, rosemary, bitter orange leaves, orris, jasmine, neroli, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver. Many masculine fragrances are built on a potentially very attractive contrast of cold and warm, fresh and spicy, but not all can pull it off. Reflection works that contrast and works it well. The beginning edges on being aquatic, but never actually oversteps the mark; it is cool and bracing, like a dive into azure-blue sea. The spiciness is apparent from the start, and, as always, the creators are not telling us the whole truth, because there is much more to that spicy accord than just red pepper berries. I most definitely smell cardamom and even a little bit of saffron. The piquancy here is not dry and sharp but rather soft, warm and "golden"...sun rays playing on the surface of the ocean...Neroli is quite strong in the heart of the fragrance, contributing to the sun-drenched, summery feel. The woods, combined with the spices, are quite stunning, resinous, enveloping, sensual. The fragrance is virile and unexpectedly soft at the same image of a macho man with abs of steel and a tender, loving heart. Because of that softness and smoothness it is not actually unwearable for a woman. I fully intend to force Mr Colombina to wear it (he fancies himself a bit of a Bond anyway, what man doesn't?), but I will wear it myself, with much pleasure.

Reflection for Women, created by none other than the wonderful Maurice Roucel, would be quite appropriate for a Bond girl. Those are always pictured emerging from the sea or frolicking in the water, and this fresh green-fruity-floral with a very strong aquatic vibe will therefore be just perfect. With notes of water violet, purple freesia, tropical green leaves, Roucel's beloved magnolia, jasmine, amber, cedarwood and sandalwood, the perfume smells young and fresh. The beginning is cold and slightly salty, very marine indeed. It has an attractive greenness that compliments the aquatic quality while at the same time taking the metallic edge off it. The heart is floral-fruity, with trademark Roucel magnolia aplenty. The fresh accord runs through the composition, bringing the cold feeling even to the ambery-woody base. Those who like this sort of cool, dewy floral-fruity scents, will most probably adore Reflection for Women. It is most decidedly not my kind of scent. Of the two, I much prefer the men's version, of which I would love to own a bottle.

Both Reflection fragrances are available at, $175.00 for 50ml of men's and $190.0 for 50ml of women's.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Isn't Eucris by Geo F Trumper the official fragrance of James Bond ? A fine fragrance it is too, with a kickass bottle.

12:24 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the first time I saw Daniel Craig I too thought he looked Russian. I'm glad to get my impression confirmed by an expert. :-)

I wonder if Tom is all right? He said he was coming to the Scent Bar event with Andy Tauer on Friday at 5 p.m., and he did not come. I was looking forward to meeting him. I DID get to meet Andy. What a wonderful person he is in addition to being a wonderful perfumer! We had lots of time to chat.

1:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Colombina, may I hug you ?
I still haven't seen Casino Royal, I refused from the very same purposes like you and I had the exactly same opinion about Craig - the new Russian with the rather dark past (possibly one has to have the origin in the former Eastern block to come to this comparison ?! - but he indeed has a Russian face...). And I'm definitely not for aquatic scents (that's probably not the only reason why I couldn't be a Bond girl...).
You know, I felt sooo in love with Fissore's Cashmere (THANK YOU !) - but unfortunately summer's approaching. So what to do ? Go and sniff L'Artisans Jatamansi ? What do you think ?

2:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Bond film is best in the first half hour - all that overwhelmingly fast running and jumping was delightfully cartoon-like. I have mixed feelings about Craig in the role, though his protein shake torso is damn impressive (if not exactly my thing).

As for the Amouages, more on the list I guess.

3:42 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Aquatic ?

"Runs and locks self in the closet, trembling "....

7:09 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, I still haven't seen CR, so I guess I should rent it--diehard Sean Connery fan here, but I trust you. The Reflection for men sounds nice, but I'm trying to restrain myself. I did try my sample of Bois Rouge on Mr. Lily, though, and he commandeered the rest of it. Smells MUCH better on him than on me (really sorta meh on me--yummy on him!)

7:33 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I adore Daniel Craig as Bond precisely because he does look like a New Russian. :-) I like rough around the edges (despite the fact that DH is the most honest, transparent man in the universe). I don't absolutely need an oligarch - just someone w/ enough money to lavish fragrant gifts on me. And I think it would be terribly rude to ask about the source of that money.
I'd never even have bothered to sample these two scents, given the name and aquatic ad campaign, but the masculine one definitely sounds like something I could happily wear and I shall think kind things about the women's scent, even if I can't bring myself to spritz it on my skin, just because Maurice created it.

7:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Is it? I had no idea. Fascinating. I believe I only tried one scent form that line. I should try to find more.

8:54 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aha! I wonder what is it about him that makes him look...ok, I'll be generous here...slavic? Interesting.

I believe Tom did go to meet Andy, I have his report waiting to be published on Thursday :-) I am sorry you two didn't get to meet.

8:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Lady Jane
So Russian he is then :-)
I think Fissore Cashmere should be fine in summer, no? It has a certain clean feel to it. We are talking about Women's one, right? And Jatamansi should be just perfect as well, judging by the body oil that I tried.

8:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I like the beginning the least :-) All that running and chaos, and the worst thing was that they did not establish in any certain way WHY was he chasing that poor guy...or else they didn't establish it clear enough for my blond brain :-)

8:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*breaks down the closet door a la Bond*

That one is aquatic, but the men's isn't. The men's is definitely worth a try.

9:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I do recommend CR. It's not a marvel of cinematography, but compared to the last Bond films it is positively Oscar-worthy :-)
I am going to catch Mr. C and try Bois Rouge on him too. And Amouage.

9:01 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I thought people will say, you asre nuts, what Russian, but I see I am not the only one who thought about him that way. Funny! James Bondov. Ivan Bond...what IS the Russian equivalent of the name James?

Yes, the men's version is very much worth the try...and women's too, just because it is Roucel's :-)

9:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Hmm, am I completely confused in thinking that Melograno by SMN was the official Bond perfume? I completely agree with you that Mr. Bond should be dark and suave, can't believe the movie made you change your mind! I've been avoiding Casino just because of Daniel Craig :/

9:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I couldn't believe either that it changed my mind so drastically. :-)
I think Melograno was just implied as the scent that the girl (what's her name?) wore. I wonder whether Santa Maria Novella actually sponsored that and it was a product placement or whether it was just something they decided to put in her bag :-)

9:27 AM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

Oh I'm so glad you've come around to DC as JB! I too have always envisioned JB as dark haired but DC's ruggedness and sheer physical presence together with his considerable acting abilities make him my joint fav Bond. That shower scene.....quite devastating in its way. "big sigh". Anyway, the juice - the for him sounds gorgeous but like you marina the for her, though I'm sure lovely, is not for me.

9:47 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't believe I am saying this...he became my favorite Bond too. Ah, these words don't come easy :-)
I think I also liked the movie so much because of the scenery and the colors, all the sea shots and the sky and everything...

9:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I keep holding out hope for a Colin Firth James Bond. But Daniel Craig was a good pick to give us that every woman's Bond, they one you think might actually swoop you up because he's not impossibly good looking.

Having said all that, I'm really not a bond fan, but this new Amouage sounds pretty hot!

10:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Colin Firth is a bit of a sissy, no? Can't imagine him in a real fight. But he IS tres good looking :-) I stopped being a Bond fan several years ago, but now I might go back to enjoying the series again.

10:35 AM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

BTW Marina, if that's the standard of looks of men from former Eastern block countries I'd better get me over there and pronto! And yes, the photography was stunning.

10:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither of these sound like they're for me, but I'm laughing at how much you disliked Craig before you actually saw him in the movie. I'm not a big Bond fan, so I don't know if I'll ever get around to watching this Bond, but from the pics, he seems to have filled the role quite well.

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Hehehe, yes they are ALL gorgeous like that.
Signed, The Patriot. :-)

11:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Indeed, he filled the role, his tuxedo and his trunks quite well :-)

Oh by the way, I watched The Queen the other night and loved it!!

11:09 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I thought Casino Royale was a blast, although Daniel Craig is a little thugg-ish for the role. I thought whatsisname ... dang, can't remember, Croupier guy, would be perfect, but I hear he turned it down.

Clive Owen!

To me, Sean is always James Bond. And the Amouage for men sounds delicious.

11:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You lucky, lucky gal, going to the UK! Please eat lots of good food for me there. Yes, good food, that's what I said. :-)

Croupier? Clive Owen? I am sort of off him :-)

11:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I too thought I would hate the new Bond and then well he came out of the water and certain degree of reality and I have to admit i was quite taken by him. And thank you for the water picture. The men's scent sounds very sexy.

11:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yes, as soon as he emerged form the water, I changed my mind about Craig :-)

11:26 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

You know, everybody I know HATED the idea of him as the new Bond, and fell equally hard for him as soon as they saw the movie. I'll put that in my netflix queue so I can see for myself.

And I will run out and try Amouage as well!

12:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yes, you do that and then tell us whether a) you liked the new Bond as well and b)what you thought of the Amouages. :-)

Kudos to Craig I guess, to have proved us all wrong.

12:17 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

No, no -- I said I'm going to the U.K! The You Kay!!! No good food there!!! ;-)

Actually, I hear that's not true anymore. When I came back from Vienna raving about the fresh food, several people thought I was nuts. So I guess it's all changing, huh?

12:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, to me the whole point is that this Bond movie (which I thoroughly enjoyed) is a *prequel* -- it's The Birth of Bond -- so he's not really himself yet. He's still a bit thuggish, still the f**k-up who had to go into police work, not quite the suave spy yet. But you can see it in him -- how he might clean up quite nicely indeed.

I do agree about Sean Connery though. Roger Moore and whatsisname were all gloss no muscle-and-bristle

12:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That is absolutely not true. I don't know if it has ever been true, but it is not anymore. So much stuff I loved there I just can't find here. Hrmph. Mr. C promised me gourmand wonders in the States, but...alas :-(

12:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, is that what it is- a prequel. I had no idea, but it makes lots of sense now. Interesting, thank you!

12:59 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I just adored Casino Royale. They really did a lovely job of bringing Bond back to his roots, in fact, it was the first Bond movie that made me want to go read Ian Fleming. But still can't get over feeling that Craig just looks wrong for the part, although agree he played it perfectly. Looking forward to the next one!

1:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

We are in complete agreement! *notes date and time for posterity* :-D

1:32 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colombina, deeply inside I hoped you'll approve Cashmere for the summer (yes, we're talking about the Cashmere Woman here). Thank you !
And yes, let's stay politically correct: D.C. has a hm, slavic face... (if he only knew)

2:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a coincidence! I just watched the movie yesterday after putting it off for soo long. Action movies aren't really my thing but had to make it up to my husband for practically dragging him with me to meet Andy at the Scent Bar..:) (He enjoyed it though)

But, I really liked the movie..and considering that this was the first Bond book to be written, was not a bad Bond movie to start with. (though I doubt if I am ever going to watch any of the others inspite of Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan)

3:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh you went to see Andy! Wonderful.

See, I didn't know Casino Royale was the first book. Duh. So many things in the movie make more sense to me now :-)

3:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Lady Jane,
I think it should be just fine in summer, really. It has a certain clean feel to it. OK, craving it now :-)

3:41 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

What?!? Okay, somehow you've failed to love cheesesteaks, but what about pork rinds? Pixie Stix? Kentucky Fried Chicken? Oh, wait -- Corn Nuts! (ask Mr. C about corn nuts, definitely.) Or Rocky Mountain oysters....

4:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said... forgot head cheese :-)))))

4:23 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

No, I left head cheese OFF because I am pretty darn sure it comes from The Old Country. Some old country, anyway. Poland? Please tell me we didn't invent head cheese.

4:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Don't worry, apparently it's like everywhere:


4:43 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So in the movie what was the men's fragrance shown on the sailboat near the end?

Thank you!

8:10 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I believe it was Santa Maria Novella Melograno.

9:53 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My fave was Pierce Brosnan, just the right amount of British elitism and rugged athleticism. Like Roger Moore and Sean Connery had a secret love child. Yikes! In this day and age, anything is possible. But back to Reflection Woman. Loathe aquatics, but LOVE this. Just goes to show if you take a brilliant perfumer (xoxoxRoucel) and pair with a bar no expense firm great things will be achieved. 100 ml worthy as is Ciel (also loathe white florals) Damn that Amouage can just hoover the money out of my wallet!!!

7:54 AM EDT  

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