August 26, 2012

Unconditional Love, what's not to love?

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love, the sequel to Philosophy's Falling in Love

Black Currant
Cashmere Vanilla

It’s hard to discern (from either the company or the scent itself) what else is going on in Unconditional Love other than Black Currant  and ‘florals’, a touch of citrus (I suspect) and some vanilla to round it all off. It is a fruity, predictably sweet fragrance that fades away quickly but while it is in effect, the effect is indeed: unconditional love. For some reason, both this scent as well as Philosophy’s Falling in Love produces an afterglow of well-being. Sweet it may be, but it’s not cloying and it has this happy innocence to it that manages to turn heads. It is, much like Clinique’s Happy Heart, an equally instant mood booster. 

August 25, 2012

White Linen, Best Aldehydes Since Chanel #5

Estee Lauder
White Linen

Top Notes:
Aldehydes, Citrus notes, Peach

Middle Notes: Rose, Jasmine, Lilac, Orris, Muguet, Ylang-Ylang

Base Notes: Cedar, Honey, Amber, Civet, Sandal, Tonka Bean

Fresh as cotton, White Linen is a salute to aldehydes or better yet: an extravaganza of aldehydes – a perfected fragrance note ensemble, most famously demonstrated in Chanel #5.

White Linen is fresh as laundry out drying on a summer clothes line with a breeze going through the bras and panties – which is to say – it’s fresh, clean and feminine in an innocent way – which is why it’s a great fresh perfume for a work day in a traditional office (do they still exist?). That said, there is something unique about the aldehydes which are in full force, alongside a generous bouquet of spring flowers. First whiff is laundry, soap, ferns and other greens. Then it warms up like a ray of sunshine in a emerald green meadow.

I don’t often encounter this or would admit it (in a woman’s perfume) but White Linen could probably be worn by a guy with great success. That said, it is a disservice to suggest this is a masculine perfume – it’s just amazingly fresh and floral – and in its own class – especially these days, when sweet and fruity, or patchouli rule – along comes suds, lilacs, bud roses, and a spray of green.

Classique X
Jean Paul Gaultier
Same old bodice bottle, fresh new scent .......

Top Notes: Mandarin and Bergamot
Heart Notes: Peony, Orange Blossom
Base Notes: Vanilla and Iris

I am a great fan of Jean Paul Gaultier’s various incarnations of Classique . This particular version is a bit airier and edgier than the others (especially the Classic Jean Paul Gaultier which is all powder, apricots and vanilla) and this could be partly due to having something as ethereal as Iris in the bottom notes. Suffice to say, this is a somewhat fresh take on a sweet scent. It is great for summer or for younger bodice-wear-ers (so to speak – and I speak of the decanter/bottle). But if you are fond of collecting every version of JP, this is still one not to be missed.

Youth Dew, Classic, Elegant, Still Doing Its Strut

Youth Dew
Estee Lauder

Classic, Complex and Feminine – Youth Dew is still a potion to be reckoned with

Top Notes: Rose, Jonquil (daffodils), Lavender

Middle Notes: Jasmine, Muguet (Lily of the Valley), Spices

Base Notes: Moss, Vetiver (lemon/lime), Patchouli
(With hints of musk, carnation, amber and benzoin)

Created in 1953, and classified as Oriental Spicy, Youth Dew was the first perfume launch of Estee Lauder and as it comes round to its 60th anniversary year, it is still elegantly marching forward with die-hard fans and new devotees alike. Why? It is complex, regal and yet still approachable; it is the epitome of what people think of when you think: perfume.

What first wallops you is the rose, and then the Lily of the Valley, spice (carnation?) takes over. Youth Dew creates an aura around the wearer (even a bit of drama: let’s be honest – it makes an entrance) and truly is one of those perfumes that take on a different personality with everyone who wears it. Shalimar, bless its heart, smells like Shalimar on everyone (and it is a stunner –no mistake) but Youth Dew (and it is an unfortunate name, alas) has a bit of je ne sais quoi to it – You can’t quite tell if it is a perfume or which one it is or if it’s not just the scent of a woman, freshly showered with soap and herself. Now that’s cunning!

August 15, 2012

Rock Me Summer of Love 2010

Top Notes:
Bergamot Blue Water Hyssop
Heart Notes: Geranium, Fressia
Bottom Note: Musky Rose Accord, Sandalwood

You would expect something called Summer of Love to be light and airy or light and watery and you’d be right – although in this case, Summer of Love is definitely ethereal but in a watery way.

In one spray, (literally and figuratively speaking) you get a sense of sun, sand, lapping lake water (versus sea, surf and beach water), among the florals going on here. Like Fairy Dance/Secret Wish, this fragrance is more of a daytime, early evening scent. It doesn’t linger and can be reapplied. It’s not a signature scent nor a sophisticated one but it’s dewy and light and a great one to return to from summer to summer.

Rock Me! 2012 by Anna Sui

Top Notes:
Williams Pear, Green Orange, Peach Skin

Heart Notes:

Honeysuckle, Jasmine Nat, Waterlily


Cedarwood, Amber, Vanilla

Strum a fragrance? Why not? It’s exactly what the guitar-shaped flacon inspires you to do.

Rock Me is not shrinking violet – this is a black-bodice sort of perfume (as the packaging suggests). It’s fruity and floral but has some watery, airy notes, and is anchored by woods, amber and the warmth of homey vanilla. It is an energetic affair – uplifting, fresh  and un-shy.

Fairy Dance Trips Light Fantastically

Fairy Dance by Secret Wish 2012

Top Notes: Tangerine, Mango, Pink Pepper
Heart Note: fresh Rose, Peony, Bamboo
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Vanilla

Fairy Dance has fruity things, somewhat tropically fruity things, dancing around, atop a base of light sandalwood, the green/lime notes of Vetiver and bound in the warmth of Vanilla. Somehow there is a tinge of melon going on (although there isn’t any melon to be found). It is a light, sweet and perfect summer, daytime fragrance for those 16 to 60. It’s one of those “I feel pretty’ fragrances.

July 30, 2012

What is it about simple things that so capture us? I'm not really sure since it's a complex world out there. But offers a few scents (Grace, Unconditonal Love and Falling in Love among them) that each and all radiate pure joy and well-being, along with a perfect dose of femininity that suits anyone, any age (unless you are a punk rocker or Goth girl and then my guess is this might not be your scent choice). Such are the nature of these scents that proves that simple can be totally alluring ....if for no particular reason that they just smell sweet and innocent.

The main notes of this sumptuous, happy fragrance aptly called Falling In Love are musk, vanilla, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and blackberry. It is a bit sweet and a bit fruity but stops short of being cloying. Instead, this is one of those scents that has strangers stopping to ask you what you're wearing. It is actually a very romantic scent.

Falling In Love can make you feel 16 again but mostly, it brings a sense of lightness and dreamy potential to any day with one fresh spray. Not surprisingly, just seeing the words Falling in Love on the plain glass bottle - is one more feel-good effect of this new favourite perfume of mine.

July 29, 2012

Scent Mate (c) from www.GoldCanyon.Com

or the Scent Pod Warmer, also from

Sometimes you need a little scented breeze to pick you up. Candles make you uneasy (I put a timer on when I light candles so I remember to blow them out) so these two products from are just the thing and the best in their category.

The Scent Mate
is a wee plastic dome that contains soaked cotton pads, infused with your favourite scent, be it a fragrance oil or essential oil you love. It is so compact, it is perfect for home, home office or your car. It is virtually noise-free and 2 AA batteries ensure it wafts scent all the time unless you just click the button off. It's easy to use and unobtrusive - and you can change the scent as you change your mood. You also can use scents you prefer versus similar units that are largely chemical-scents that also simply run out (and the refills are expensive)

The Scent Pod Warmer is a decorative ceramic, also from is another brilliant design. Firstly, it's pretty as a picture, it's small and it has this amazingly thoughtful timer on it so you can click on an hour, 4 or 8 hours and be assured it will turn itself off. No worries. You just pop a Gold Canyon (or your favourite) wax tart, wax melt or even a few drops of fragrance oil (atop the melting wax). Similar products don't have the automatic timer and this, aside from great styling, makes all the difference!

July 28, 2012

This is a refreshing, more citrusy spin on the classic Narciso Rodriquez fragrances and decidely cooler fare.It is a quiet but complex composition of citrus, flora, bergamot, spice, and a powder and musk accord. Of the florals, IIris seems to dominate. It is definitely airy and feminine but I detect jasmine or maybe it is that somewhat soapy (it's even reminiscent of Sicily, Estee Lauder) smell that makes me think, bath time jasmine. It is clean - versus innocent; tidy versus 'nicely put away'. It's sophisticated and almost pretty but a bit like a pretty girl with too big a nose! Somehow, one note (citrus? bergamot? or just the domiance of musc in an otherwise light perfume) leaps out and casts an acidic pall on things. That said, this is a unique and special perfume  -it's just not, for all the warmth and promise of musk, that warm or animalistic. It's more watery and ephemeral than that.
From the Clarins Group, Womanity by Thierry Mugler

If you were expecting something angelic here, say, like famed Thierry Mugler's Angel, think again. This is another dramatic scent but it's hardly sweet. Instead, it is riveting in a citrus, wood and salt fusion, a result of a fruity top note (Marans des Bois Strawberry), followed by White Fig (frankly a few incarnations of fig: fruity fig, fig leave and fig wood), and a basenote of caviar. No, no one gets the caviar touch but most reviews harp on this perfume as being salty, green and fresh.   For some reason, I also smell spice. But salty, fresh and green it is. It's definitely a daytime, upscale work perfume, take-the-meeting-by-storm assault but coy, sweet and demure it's not. That said, Womanity is quite well named. It's about strength.....with a pretty bow afterthought to tie it all up.

Top notes:raspberry, galbanum, neroli, marigold and bergamot
Middle notes: orange blossom, jasmine, rose and geranium
Base notes: sandalwood, tonka bean, musk, vanilla and cedar.

Note on fragrance notes: despite this detailed fragrance 'recipe' that is the official Oriens story, I still smell black currant, praline, white jasmine and patchouli - These additions aren't stated at the Van Cleef and Arpels site but I definitely inhaled those extra scent suspects in this perfume. It is also probably why for all its sweetness and vanilla innocence, it is way complex and just so incredibly appealing. By the way, if you like Beautiful (and who doesn't?) by Van Cleef and Arpels but worry this would be as equally over the top (or as sweet as Feerie), no worries. This is a perfume breed of a totally different echelon.

Oriens is the subtle mystery of the Orient and all bound up in a contemporary way. It is perhaps unfair to start by saying if you like Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely and Guerlain's Idylle, and last, Narsico Rodriquez for Her, you will similarly adore Oriens but it is as fair a start as any. What is similar about all these fragrances? Well, they are all light, airy, feminine and while categorized (for the most part) as Floral Oriental, they are hardly old school, in that regard. Oriens, as are the rest, a whiff of fresh air on the subject of Floral Orientals and it's as if feminism got into the mix (and the bottle) and while the Oriental nod is there, it's a whole new ballgame of this genre.

Now back to Oriens - It is more of a fruity, floral VANILLA perfume that wafts wealth, a kind sort of entitlement, and a woman who has arrived - whether she is 30 or 60. It makes a statement but it's so complex (for all its sweetness) that it is still understated. The musk and cedar at the base ensure it has a bit of animal charm intact, for all its elegance making this (given you like vanilla because that you will note it instantly) the total package.

April 14, 2012

Narcisco Rodiguez, Stunning Femininity....Bottled Up

Narciso Rodriguez for Her
 was created by Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdjian for the fashion designer of the same name, renowned for his graceful, gently elegant and feminine trademark styling. The Narciso Rodriguez line might cause some confusion because there are three concentrations of Narciso Rodriguez for Her: the EDT packaged in black bottle, the EDP packaged in pink and the parfum in a rectangular clear vial with a dropper but one doesn’t encounter that format too often.

Some perfume companies make the EDT a simply lighter version of their EDP but Narciso Rodriguez is indeed almost two different scents. The notes of both overlap but the arrangement is slightly different as is what dominates. That said, I like both the EDP and the EDT and consider them a place of honour in my go-to perfume wardrobe.
Both have an amber, slightly vanilla and more dominant chypre accord which is artfully fused to tones of wood, musk and citrus, all kissed with a floral – mostly a sweet orange blossom. This makes NR almost a hybrid – it is at once Oriental Floral and then a woody Chypre with warm, sweet tones of musk and some citrus for good measure. In the EDP there is also rose and peach, a tiny accent of pink roses, along with a touch of honey.

If you like Lovely (Sarah Jessica Parker) or Guerlain’s Idylle, you will love Narciso Rodriguez’s EDP and EDT . Where it differs in a basic way from Lovely is it is a bit less earthy and scented of clean sweat and very much more complex. Where it differs from Idylle (which is a stunner) it is far more feminine. It is feminine in a clean but still mysterious way. If you wear it, you will cut a swathe through a room leaving an echo of quite womanliness. It’s a memorable scent and a signature scent if those who wear it but it’s knowing and poised –a less is more – totally nuanced perfume that is a true classic.

April 12, 2012

Feminine, Sweet and Sexy, Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique
Eau de Parfum, Eau De Toilette

If packaging either very much repels or attracts you, you will not be unmoved by the fabulous female torso-bottle that is the iconic Jean Paul Gaultier bottle, that in turn houses the similarly iconic JPG Classique. I confess, for many years, I was a put off by the JPG bottle; my slight feminist bent a bit put out by the overt sexuality of the bottle. But then, feminist judgment left, and femininity took over. One day, after having dismissed the bottle (and scent inside) for being frivilous, I made a bee-line for Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique. How could I have held off on this perfume for so long! What a treasure!  The nose behind this treasure, it must be said, is Jacques Cavallier

The famous glass torso housing this wondrous fragrance is available in two decants: Classique Eau Parfum and Classique Eau de Toilette although over the years (since the 1990’s), there’s been some 18 or so, variations on the theme but Classique is your best bet. Unless you know JPG you might not, having seen the perfume in its metallic packaging which looks very much like a can of salmon have a clue of what lies therein. But open it up and beyond the glass, buxom bottle is a world of dreamy femininity.

Purportedly created in memory of Jean Paul Gaulthier's chere Grand’Mere, Classique was mean to capture both raunch (inspired by said-grand mere’s pink corselet, discovered after she had departed to wherever mature femme fatales ultimately reside) and sweet vanilla comforts (inspired by the homier, nostalgic, and decidedly more maternal memories of grandmother).

Sweet, fruity, vanilla and musk are the main wafts and yet done, as only the French can do such combinations, with total sophistication. Classique is, if you pardon my audacity, as if you were indeed clutched to the bosom of a madonna/matron/showgirl –all at once. I would go as far as to say: motherly stripper but that’s too far in either direction. Suffice to say it’s sweet but not cloying, sexy but not tender – it’s a gentle sigh of a womanly woman who knows her strength lies in knowing who she is and what men like in that way French women seem born with. With Classique, you too, can aspire to this Eve-old wisdom.

The Fragrance Notes

What greets you Jean Paul Gaultier’s Classique are roses, tethered to orange blossom, musk, a tiny hint of ginger and star anise, the delicacy of orchid and a base note of amber and vanilla. This scent could be over the top or too sweet but it somehow offers a coquettish strut – rather than a heavy footed thud. It is a floral oriental in the best of ways. It comes on strong and settles in a powdery je-ne-sais quoi that is flirtatious, maturing to captivating. If you wanted a signature scent in the sea of signature scents, this is a good place to start

April 11, 2012

Younger Than Springtime .....White Lilac and Rhubarb from Jo Malone

Jo Malone announced a new collection of limited fragrances named London Blooms, coming out in March 2012. London Blooms collection was inspired by the art of botanical gardening and beautiful English lawns. The collection presents three fragrances signed by Christine Nagel: Peony & Moss, White Lilac & Rhubarb and Iris & Lady Moore. Their floral compositions are created with the aim to provoke feelings of happiness, romance and good mood.
White Lilac & Rhubarb is a feminine and romantic fragrance composed of notes of rhubarb, white lilac, rose and heliotrope. Bottles and packaging of the collection are decorated with floral illustration of vintage vibe. The fragrances are available as colognes in bottles of 100 ml.

Trust Jo Malone to 'get' an English garden primal perfume (primal in an elegant English way of course) and bottle it. The scent of this perfume is all at once floral and earthy - almost as if you spent the day digging out tulip bulbs and were bathed in spring sunlight with and fallen lilac blossoms all around you and a basket of fresh cut rhubarb nearby.

This is one of the most romantic of all Jo Malone scents although being Jo Malone, it is fresh and feminine versus sultry and sweet. A great day time perfume and in a wonderful nod to one of my favorite scents:lilac and a favorite taste: rhubarb. Airy, light, and eventually, captivating if you give it a chance.

Vanille Noire Eau de Parfum Yves Rocher This is a stunning treasure that is a third the cost you'd expect but it's part of t...