Thursday, February 25, 2010

at Kohl's, celebrity fragrance sniffs

So on the way home from work today, I stopped into Kohl's on my way to Home Depot (I am looking for a good paint color for my office at work).   Kohl's had a few fragrances, so I was able to sniff SJP's Lovely and Twilight - I liked them both but preferred Twilight from what I could waft from one of those paper thingys.  I didn't fall in love with either, but I did enjoy them.

I also sniffed Britney Spears Believe, which was also not horrendous, and a bunch of other stuff that was too ghastly to remember (something in the prettiest bottle but I had a 'gak' reaction to it - oh yeah, it was Jennifer Lopez' Live Lux - which is the bottle in the photo).  Avril Lavigne's Black Star - reminded me of one of Kat Von D's scents (which I sniffed a few months ago at Sephora) ...none of which are very memorable.

I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed, though,  by how many fragrances, especially new ones, are out there.

(photo from

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Etro "Raving" and some other things to talk about

Just wanted to say that I'm being run ragged (is that even proper English?) by my new job, and I have also been elected Chair to a city commission.  My sketch book blog has been terribly ignored, as well as this one.

But I have been wearing scent daily.  In fact, I wore L'air du desert marocain last week, and three people came up to me at work to ask what I was wearing.  Then yesterday, I had on Prada Tendre (which I bought a few years ago, and do like though not sure if I'd buy it again given all the new fragrances I'm learning about through this journey), and more nice comments!  Today I had on Chanel's Coco, and when I came home from work, dragging butt, the Moth said "you smell so nice!" when he gave me my hug.  Yeah, I do! 

I also did a little test from a sample I received when I won the bid on Miller Harris' Coeur de Fleur (which btw I do like - I seem to like everything Miller Harris as I also seem to like everything Tauer, and all the Guerlains I have tried so far.).  I silly-ly bid on the Miller Harris, sniff unseen, thinking I wouldn't win the bid but of course, I did (why do I do this?  well I was bored that day!)

Anyway, the seller put in two Etro samples.  I did a test of Raving, which smells to me like a less-than Jungle L'Elephant.

Sorry this isn't a long descriptive post and I didn't post a photo!   I just wanted to keep up on some of my SOTDs.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another quick sniff post

This is Charlemagne, the youngest of our four cats.  He sits on the dining room table a lot - and I mean A LOT.  The dining room table is where my little laptop is, so he is often here when I post to this blog, so I thought you all would like to meet him!

So quick sniffs, tests that I have done over the last week or so:

Serge Lutens Bois de Violette - love the deepness and how the violets pop in and out but fades quickly on me.

L'Artisan Patchouli Patch - adorable and slightly musty (which I like).

L'Artisan Fou d'Absinthe - this has been tested by me a number of time - I immediately like it - earthy, anisey (another scent I love), lovely...but why does it fade so quickly?  It does come back but a bit, but then fades again.  If this had longer staying power on me, it would be a must-have.

Serge Lutens Douce Amere - I think I have posted that I liked this one, in response to another blogger's post.  But I'm not sure anymore.  It's much too sweet/vanilla-y and that sweetness hangs on too much for me.  Caramel candy?

L'Artisan Mure et Musc Extreme - now I understand 'indolic' (I think) - at a point this smells literally like butt.  I need to try this one out again, and also need to test the regular version because other than the crap smell, it's has a lot of loveliness in it.

L'Artisan Timbuktu - Immediately made me smile!  Happiness of flowers and spice and earthy-goodness.

Samples that recently arrived to my home include a bunch of Miller Harris, and ToykoMilk.  Hope I get to some of them this weekend.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chasing Butterflies and Watermelon Pickles

I first sniffed La Chasse aux Papillons at FF's initial sniff-fest.  My entire being lit up, and I said "I have been here before!"

That is the thing I love about this scent journey - being transported to places I may have been or want/wanted to be.

This poem, which was my favorite when I was a young pre-teen, loosely captures my feelings about this scent.  To me, LCaP is not a childish scent, but a most beautiful nostalgic one.

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle...
During that summer
When unicorns were still possible;
When the purpose of knees
Was to be skinned;
When shiny horse chestnuts
    (Hollowed out
    Fitted with straws
    Crammed with tobacco
    Stolen from butts
    In family ashtrays)
Were puffed in green lizard silence
While straddling thick branches
Far above and away
From the softening effects
Of civilization;
During that summer--
Which may never have been at all;
But which has become more real
Than the one that was--
Watermelons ruled.
Thick imperial slices
Melting frigidly on sun-parched tongues
Dribbling from chins;
Leaving the best part,
The black bullet seeds,
To be spit out in rapid fire
Against the wall
Against the wind
Against each other;
And when the ammunition was spent,
There was always another bite:
It was a summer of limitless bites,
Of hungers quickly felt
And quickly forgotten
With the next careless gorging.
The bites are fewer now.
Each one is savored lingeringly,
Swallowed reluctantly.
But in a jar put up by Felicity,
The summer which maybe never was
Has been captured and preserved.
And when we unscrew the lid
And slice off a piece
And let it linger on our tongue:
Unicorns become possible again.
John Tobias

The Extreme version is more peppery, but other than that and after a few tests, I prefer the original from top to bottom.  LT/TS mention aldehydes in the original - perhaps there are,  but they definitely don't bother me in this fragrance.

Notes:  bergamot, pink pepper, linden blossom, lemontree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose (from L'Artisan's website).  Perfumer is Anne Flipo.

Which also brings up a thought - have any of you wished you could go back and meet yourself at different ages?  I sure have - I recently had a wonderful dream that I was able to observe myself (we were both on a bus) when I was 21.  And yeah, I know all the Star Trek/Dr. Who scary theories about how the two yous together would rip a hole in the space-time continuum, but other than that...!

*photo of me between the ages of 8-10- I realize it's not summer and I'm not eating watermelon pickle, but it's the closest one I could find that would fit here.  BTW, I had to wear saddle shoes at school, so I also rocked them out of school - it was my fashion statement!*

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And the rose winner is....Luten's Sa Majeste la Rose

I sampled many many rose fragrances over the past coupla of weeks, on a search for the perfect rose we go!

When I first received Frederick Malle's "Une Rose" and Serge Luten's "Sa Majeste la Rose", I immediately did a sniff/compare.  I ran up to the Moth and asked him, at various stages of the drydown, which he preferred.  At mid-range, there was a tie.  But we both preferred Luten!!

( "Une Rose" is, dare I say, too complicated.  It's beautiful, but not for me for this purpose as there is not enough rose throughout.)

This Queen Rose is ROSE through and through, from top to bottom, and with enough underneath to keep it from being boring.   It is the rose I want to wear to commemorate my Great Gramma.

Now others I sniffed on my quest for my perfect rose scent:

Le Labo- Rose 31  - clean but distant
L'Artisan - Voleur de Roses - too much patchouli (I cannot believe I just said that!) and not enough rose
Parfumerie Generale - Brulure de Rose - too much brulee, where's my spoon?
Stella McCartney - Rose Absolute - umm, where are the roses? oh, wait, there it i...oh darn I missed it
Frederick Malle - Lipstick Rose -  my mom would dress up to the nines to go to church and this scent reminds me of the smell of my mom's kiss on Sundays (she was a smoker), and there's also something that reminds me of the taste of those candy wax lips.
The Different Company - Rose Poivree - okay, this won't work for my solitary rose fragrance but WOWZA, I want it...earthy goodness.  Oh and I see J-C Ellena made it.
The Different Company - Oriental Lounge - they said it has a lot of rose in it, but not rosey enough, but it's a lovely thing.
Diptyque - L'Ombre Dans L'Eau- Although not the rose for me, it begins very beautifully but alas it fades really really quickly on me.
Creed - Fleur de The Rose Bulgare - if I was a millionaire, I would be buying this up straight away.  I LOVE this one - again, not as a single rose fragrance but just because I adore it.
Fresh - Cannabis Rose - a cool hippy rosey scent, perfect for going to a street fair.
Tauer - Incense Rose - oh incense, oh rose - be mine!!  
Tauer - Un Rose Chypre - I believe I am a chypre freak, and although I love the first two stages of this, by the end it's all base notes and no rose.  Sigh!  I so wanted to love this one for this purpose.  I'll be trying this again and again, just to make sure I'm not being hormonal about it.

(one last thing - I wish there was an endless amount of labels one can use with blogger...)

(photo from google search; samples from luckyscent, Sephora store, and theperfumedcourt)

The Yin and Yang of things

First, I would like to comment on Muses in Wooden Shoes thought-provoking post "Critic vs. Reviewer (you can read it here.  My blog details the journey I'm on,  attempting to decipher my feelings about scent, and the reasons I personally dislike or enjoy or love or lust after a certain fragrance. I guess if push came to shove, I would fall on the reviewer side of things, but then again, most of my posts are more impressionistic than anything and probably not very helpful for my readers!

Which brings me to art.  (Some background on me re: art - I have always been drawn to art (no pun intended), though when I started college, I intended to work towards a social services degree.  Instead, I felt that I needed to heal myself a bit, to understand my angst and confusion, so I turned to art, and received my B.A. in Studio Art (pottery and printmaking, mostly).) 

Here is a painting of one of my favourite artists:  William Adolphe Bouguereau.  This painting actually resides in the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is wonderful because CMA is free, and I can go in a see this beauty whenever I need to.  This painting is one of my fave paintings in the whole world.

("Mother and Children")

Now here is my other favourite artist:  Egon Schiele.   (In fact my son's middle name is Egon in honor of him. )

 As you can see, they are much different artists.  (and neither is an impressionist!)

I am starting to see, through my perfume journey, that I view, in general, perfumes like I view art.  I like the beautifully rendered, romantic and atmospherically lovely and yet at the same time I love the startling, shocking, raw and visceral.

And now, to finish my rose tests - I'm hoping to have them mostly completed by the end of this weekend. 

OH, one more thing!  The reason I chose my blogger name - because of Frida Kahlo's bloody paintings, like this one

("A Few Little Pricks")

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm here, kinda!

Work is really busy this week - more so than my first week/last week.  I get home and I eat dinner (lovingly prepared by The Man of the House (MOTH for short), and if I'm not too tired, I watch a TV show and knit for an hour, then up to bed by 9:30 or so.

Today is my son's 22nd birthday!! 

I will just quickly talk about what I am testing - roses!  I guess it's the season (I didn't even think about the connection with Valentine's Day - really I didn't!)

Here's a photo of my Great Gramma, my son and me in 1989 - my Gramma was 100 or so in this photo, and I believe she died later that year.  Great Gramma is the one who wore a rose scent and gave me my first 'perfume', and hence my trying to find a rose scent, in honor of her. (She left her native England when she was 25 and kept her accent - I am such an anglophile due to her!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

L'Occitane Eau D'Iparie

Back in November, I had a group of friends over , and when DC walked by me I had to know what she was wearing!       It was L'Occitane's Eau D'Iparie.

After about a week of this fragrance haunting my memories, I drove to the nearest L'Occitane shop and bought a mini bottle.

I adore this fragrance and wore it today (again!)  Here are the notes  (from L'Occitane's website):

Note: Red pepper, Rose
Middle Note: Patchouli, Ciste Labdanum
Base Note: Myrrh, Incense, Vanilla, Moss.

One thing I am finding out by doing this perfume journey is that although I knew that I love rose, patchouli, and vetiver,  I never realised that I'm insane about (oak)moss. 

On first spritz I can smell the pepper and rose, and after a while, the rose is still there, but then all the others, smoldering together, come lifting up, and oh, the moss! And although I have read some reviews that it doesn't last very long, it does pretty well on my skin.

This is a special one.  In fact, since L'Occitane discontinued one of my favorites (Neroli Rose) I think I may have to purchase a back up bottle of this one.

Yesterday, I wore Donna Karan's Gold. I don't remember where I got this sample from...perhaps from FF?  Anyway,  I think perhaps I'm not a floral person (though I do love rose).

Here's the notes, from

Acacia, Casablanca Lily, Gold Pollen, White Clove, Golden Balsams, Fluid Amber Patchoul, Jasmine Templar (btw, what's Jasmine Templar?)

I'm going to keep this sample for awhile, and re-test in the summer.  I really really want to enjoy florals, and there is something very lovely about this scent, so I'll try again when it's warmer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

my crack

Samples in the mail today!!!

TDC - Rose Poivre
TDC - Oriental Lounge (they say there is something rose-y about this one)
Tauer - Un Rose Chypre*
Creed:  Fleur de the Rose Bulgare*
Parfumerie Generale - Brulure de rose
Le Labo - Rose 31
L'Artisan - Voleur de Roses
Diptyque - L'ombre dans l'eau*

added to my other rose samples that I have already:
SL - Sa Majeste la Rose*
Malle - Lipstick Rose
Malle - Une Rose *
Stella McCartney - Rose Absolute
Fresh - Cannabis Rose*

Then I also received:

TDC - Des Charmes et Fueille*
and a few from TokyoMilk - LapsangSu Chong, French Kiss, Poe's Tobacco, Sparrow*, and Gin and Rosewater (which probably should be in my rose scents)

AND a 5ml decant of Tauer's L'air du desert marocain!!!

Oh, I wore Donna Karan's Gold today.  Review to probably happen this weekend.

* on quick sniff, the ones I like the best so far...still need to do real test

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

new job is putting a cramp in my blog!

I have a feeling I won't be around here much until the weekend - it's not that I'm not sniffing perfume (I have Jicky on today), but I'm soo busy with new job stuff and schedule and etc. that when I get home I'm utterly exhaustipated.

In the meantime, isn't this a pretty photo?  I took it of the flowers my colleagues gave me on Friday at my going away party!