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Friday, August 19, 2011

Carrot Top!

 By Marla

I’ve been on a carrot kick lately, and it started with my introduction to the American Slow Food movement. My family is now organic, and we have found so many new reasons to love food, I could write many articles…but this one is about carrots. Carrot perfumes, to be exact. Being a redhead, I’ve always had a soft spot for the orange root, but I’ve now found not one, but two perfumes to wear that express my affection for all things carroty….

My first discovery was thanks to Grain de Musc, who wrote some beautiful essays on Olivia Giacobetti’s Honore’ des Pres latest trio, featuring tuberose, coconut, and carrot (you are perfumistas, and you know their names). She had some nice things to say about redheads in her article on I Love Les Carottes, and, since redheads get very little love in the real world (my youthful nickname was “Coppertop”, and some of the time, it was meant affectionately, I think…), I had to try the perfume. But I was a good and frugal creature, and I waited for my moment to pounce….

Then Space NK had a sale, and I snagged a bottle for an incredible $24.50!! Squee!!!! I was worried. Had it turned? Would it be cooked on the long, hot trip to Florida? Would it be my carrot Holy Grail? It arrived this week, and I’ve been spritzing it constantly and driving my family nuts looking for the source of all this carrot. It is The Ultimate Carrot. If you want to smell carrots for hours, this is it. Total love. But it’s so much more! I also love iris, and orange, and benzoin, as my readers know. And I really like patch when it’s combined with orange. This one’s got them all. I am sorely tempted to call Space NK and buy out the rest of their stock. It rates 4 out of 5 on Makeup Alley, so I have some competition for those remaining bottles. If only I were an evil hedge fund manager with money to burn.

But wait, seekers of the scent of carrot, there is another…. Bellyflowers Botanical Perfumes, an Indie natural studio, created Wild Chypre. Slow Nose Elise Pearlstine highlights the wild carrot flower, so it’s not the root, but wow, for those who love that pungent, refreshing floral, this perfume is truly addictive, and I believe, unique. I know I’ve never smelled anything like it before, and Elise says that it really took on a life of its own while she was composing it. Here is the composition:

Top Notes: Wild Orange, wild lavender, ylang ylang I, peppermint

Heart Notes: Jasmine sambac , Jasmine grandiflorum, organic silver fir, wild carrot

Base notes: Balsam of peru , Haitian vetiver , oakmoss , myrrh, fossilized amber oil

The notes blend into an unusual whole that evolves from a sharp opening, that evokes a real state of alertness, to a smooth, warm, yet wild heart, and soothing, sunbaked drydown. Fossilized amber oil is new on the market, and it is really made from amber, the gemstone. It is smoky and earthy and very grounding . It’s a gorgeous addition to the natural perfumer’s palette, and Wild Chypre is a perfect canvas for its nuances.

So now I have both a Carrot HG, and a Carrot Flower HG.

My question(s) of the day is (are):

Which savory scents (like veggies) do you love to smell in perfumes, and which savory scent do you want to smell in a perfume? And would you wear it to work, or on a date???

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Blogger shopdeparis said...

I love everything carroty. Nice post. I will definitely go for them.

12:09 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There aren't too many carrot perfumes out there, so I am very glad these are available, hope you like them.

6:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Alnysie said...

I'll have to ask for a sample of that one, one day! I usually love Olivia Giacobetti's scents.

And staying on the topic of that line, I'm very interested in smelling how she used cilantro (one of my favorite herbs) in Love Coco. I also love the smell of fresh coconut, so... Very optimistic about that one!

9:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I like the baked pumpkin in Like This. I'm also fond of peppery-green basil notes and bitter angelica.

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger flavourfanatic said...

I've been on a veggie binge this summer, smellwise. Demeters Celery is great to layer with about anything in order to green it up. And I love CBIHPs Memory of Kindness, warm soil and tomatoes. I'd really want a cucumber scent as well, and an avacado, how about that?

"I love les Carottes" is great as well, there is a lot more going on than you might first tihink. The way the orris butter and vanilla just seem to melt together with the carrot note in the end is astoundishing :)

11:11 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, cilantro, how I love thee! But I read an interesting article about how your genes affect your perception of cilantro, to some of us it smells heavenly, to others, like very nasty soap. In Love Coco, there's just a hint of cilantro that brightens and weirds out the coconut a little, making it a very compelling perfume, and not at all a coconut custard thing. I highly recommend it!

11:53 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Like This wonderful? I never thought I'd like a pumpkin perfume, but I used up a whole decant in a month!

11:53 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you like it, it is complex, isn't it? And Memory of Kindness is a gorgeous garden and a must for tomato lovers, I agree.

11:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Balutakat said...

I was interested to see the ingredient *wild* carrot - Queen Anne's lace, if that's what it is. To my nose, (I assume you mean the roots, not the flowers) they smell quite different, having a sharpness lacking from the modern carrot. Since I've been playing with single-note herbs lately, I'm really interested in what this might smell like in a composition. Thanks for offering it! ~Katherine

12:19 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's wild carrot flower, not root, but I believe the entire flower head was used, not just the blossoms. This yielded a very rich odor that reminds me of the entire plant, and also, carrot root! At first it kind of knocked me off my feet, but then I found myself craving it. I am pretty sure there is no other perfume out there with this opening note. Quite unique.

12:28 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the smell of cucumber and jasmine herbal moisturizer by Hempz.

12:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hemp seed oil is wonderful stuff! I hadn't heard of Hempz before, they are salon-only? Must keep an eye out.

1:22 PM EDT  
Anonymous Maureen said...

I think I would like the savory pumkin of Like This. I like carrots, don't think I've ever had a carrot perfume. Would be really cool to try it though.

2:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Wild Chypre...that list of notes really does sound unique! Mint and carrots go great together in soup, but combining them in a perfume sounds even more ingenious.

Regarding your question, I'm not sure what savory veggie I'd like to smell in a perfume, but herbs immediately come to mind. I'd love to smell a tarragon-heavy perfume -- and I adore cilantro, too.

2:14 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another vote for cilantro! And yeah, why aren't there more tarragon perfumes? Eau de Lalique, by JC Ellena, has a dill top note which is really nice. Quite a trick to pull that one off without bringing salmon to mind! ;-)

4:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another vote for pumpkin and Like This! It should have the been the Harry Potter signature perfume, don't you think? ;-)

4:21 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried all 3 of the Honoré des Prés scents early this year. I ended up with a bottle of Vamp, which I totally adore but really like the 2 others as well. I love les Carottes was my 2nd favourite. Lots of rooty irises have a carotty smell anyway. In Hiris it is very pronounced. I also remember someone comparing the smell of Iris Silver Mist to turnips ( in a good way).

Diptyque used to have some odd savoury fragrances. Virgilio, L'Autre and apparently Eau Lente. I never smelled that last one, but the first two are very compelling in an odd way. Virgilio smells salty, and like Herbes de Provence. L'Autre is odd, and wonderful, and smells of spices that I don't know the name of.

4:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and red hair is the best hair colour in the world.

4:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Elise Pearlstine said...

Thanks for such a great post Marla. I fell in love with the wild carrot EO the first time I smelled it and the wild lavender and wild sweet orange just go so well together with it. And, yes, the peppermint does add just a nice little something.

6:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If it's red it can't be wrong."
--my ginger friend, Carol (and me)

6:01 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting, because I can't pick out the mint per se, but it bridges the other notes, if that makes sense. A really fine use of mint!

6:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

Basil is probably my favorite savory/herbal note in perfume, with the original formula of Quartz by Molyneux being my gold standard. I also recently fell for Like This, and I love that pumpkin note.

One "savory" floral note I would like to see is nasturtium - they smell delicious but strange, and they are not really sweet. A nasturtium soliflore - by Olivia Giacobetti, of course! - would make me very happy.

6:14 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another fan of Like This! And I like the idea of nasturtiums, I've eaten quite a few, but I can't think of a nasturtium perfume, and OG would be the perfect creator for one.

6:55 PM EDT  
Blogger janelc said...

Hi Marla:
I am now inspired to blend with my newly arrived Carrot seed EO. Thank you for such a fun and inspiring article.

11:58 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait to smell what you dream up with carrot seed!

6:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 3 Diptyque scents you mentioned are all in my "favorites of the line" category, particularly Eau Lente, went through a decant of that one. And Autre does have a mix of herbs and spice that's very unusual.

6:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a russet-redhead, I can so relate to this post. I'm just intrigued about the HdP and really want to try the wild carrot flower.

Someone mentioned Diptyche's L'Autre- I just adore this dry spicy fragrance. I smell lot of dry cumin. I know many are repulsed by cumin, but this one is just pure spice market to me. It's nice to think about as an alternative to all those fruity/floraly/sweet things out there.

2:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is real spice market, but I don't care for a ton of cumin, and this one keeps it in balance.

5:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lisa D said...

A big squee from me, too, as I was in on the very same Space NK sale! I am now happily moving through the universe trailing a fragrant orange cloud.

5:29 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa D,
Congrats! I think that's been by far the best perfume sale of the year for me....

8:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous Joan said...

Givenchy's Organza Indecence smells a little like carrots.

7:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, you are the 3rd person who has told me that? And I've never had a chance to smell it, darn!

8:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin T said...

Marla, I jumped on the SpaceNK sale for Carrottes, too! It's lovely. And so is your hair.

I really liked the sadly defunct S-Perfumes Sloth, which was a beautiful orange blossom scent with (as Marina pointed out) a distinct zucchini note. And other than all the more common and wonderful herbal/savory notes mentioned here - thyme, basil, cilantro - I really love bay, for the shot of bitterness it gives to otherwise sweet perfumes: Arabie, Carthusia Aria di Capri and Corallium, etc.

10:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin T said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Erin,
Thank you! And Slothful Zucchini perfume, that's great! Should not have been discontinued, sounds very unique. And we're in agreement on the bay, I loooove bay.

4:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Olivia Giacobetti has been mentioned, I must throw in here how much I love Hiris and its bitter, carroty Iris root nuances.

7:53 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiris is gorgeous, I have a mini, it's nearly impossible to find now, but it's my favorite iris. The carrot is there as a backdrop, whereas, in the HdP, the iris serves as a backdrop to the carrot. Pretty cool inversion....

3:37 PM EDT  

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