Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Four by Sonoma Scent Studio

I actually started a blog post about these four, but had to delete it because...well because I was totally taken by surprise.

I thought it would be a staid post, with links and notes and some words from me such as "very nice perfumes."

What a shock that I totally fell in love with ALL four of these stunners!

Incense Pure:  Perhaps I have found my incense.  I had been sampling some CdG's and Heeley's Cardinal and nothing was quite right.  Incense Pure is perfect; it's the scent of church without being hit over the head by the censor, yet it's more than that, as well.

Lieu de Reves:  Could violets and rose and heliotrope be more gorgeous?

Rose Musc: Beatiful soft rose with staying power and a little something else.

Sienna Musk: A spicy and woody musk with a little pinch of cypress to keep you on your toes.

Oh why oh why did I venture into Laurie Erickson's world - I'll never come out!

PS:  I received two of these samples from a fellow blogger - thank you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nearly a week of scents

I most definitely need to post more! we go!

Monday:  err, nothing. Well that's not exactly true.  I accidentally spilt a sample of Mugler Womanity on myself, and I was totally intrigued - there was something there that interested me as I wrote before.  Now to find my other sample and do another test.

Tuesday:  Lubin Inedite - I really really like this and am almost done with my sample. Do I like it enough to cough up the huge expense for a full bottle (if I could even FIND a full bottle - neither TPC nor Luckyscent carries it)?  Um, nope; unless I win the lottery but alas I do not play the lottery!

Wednesday:  Lidl Suddenly Madame Glamour - as Bonks said here, it does smell  like Coco Mlle but I didn't do a side-by-side blind test.  I like it, though it is a bit light and light usually ain't my thing. But I'm all about inexpensive and good perfume, so if you, dearest reader, have a chance to pick some up, please do so.

Thursday: Brandy by Brandy.  From their website " We think it is the suggestion of distant fields, rolling aromatic meadows, apple and peach top notes, and herbaceous heart notes that account for the appeal of this pleasing scent. Just one mist from the handsome eau de toilette spray bottle has the ability to erase stress and turmoil, and transport the most jaded urban dweller to verdant countryside for a reviving and cleansing visit"    I don't get any of this.  It fades quickly, is close to the skin and I mostly get the apple and peach notes. Had to use the entire sample, too.   I guess I am not of the horsey set. Has anyone tried and/or reviewed this?

Been busy with work, per usual, and also the upcoming holidays.  Hoping everyone is stress-less and having a fun perfumed season! (the photo is from a holiday past - we haven't even started holiday decorating!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rose of Kali, Eau des Quartre Voleurs and Winter Star

I grabbed three samples from my 'to test' pile - here they are, no rhyme or reason why they are being reviewed together!

Rose of Kali by Neil Morris.  I was gifted this sample from Rendolent of Spices (I believe - at one point, so many lovely fumies sent me samples that some of them got all merged together!).  I know absolutely nothing about Neil Morris, so I didn't know what to expect.  Rose of Kali is a gourmand (chocolate mostly) musty rose.  Notes of pear, rose, incense accord, myrtle wood, myrrh, labdanum, chocolate, benzoin.  If you like Fuzzy Blue Blanket or Charna's Rose Boheme, I believe you'll like this one if you also dig a bit of chocolate.

L'Occitane Eau des Quartre Voleurs.  There are a few fragrances that I really enjoy from L'O - most specifically, their Eau D'Iparie (I cannot find this on their website - is THIS discontinued too just like my discontinued love Neroli Rose?  ARGHH!)  Okay, calm down.  Ed4V It is supposedly for men (and yes, you guess it, it is ALSO discontinued!!!), but I find it absolutely refreshing  yet warm (if that makes any sense to anyone)!  Notes of juniper berries, clary sage, basil, cloves, cedar, bergamot and lemon.

I think I'm going to give up totally on L'Occitane - they get rid of all the good scents (much like The Body Shop and Bath and Body Works).  Bah humbug!

Michael Storer Winter Star.  Notes of carnation, lavender, bergamot, oakmoss, peru balm, benzoin, tolu balm, labdanum, musks, civettone musk, Helvetolide musk .  I hear this is a cult favorite.  I thought I sniffed some anise in there.  It lays close to my skin, and doesn't transport me.  Gifted to me by Olenska and check out her review of Winter Star  - she gives it four stars.

Hope all of you out there celebrating Thanksgiving have a wonderful holiday tomorrow!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanks and giving

Again, I am so thankful for the generosity of perfume bloggers and lovers out in the interwebs!  What a wonderful community we're a part of!

Does anyone know about the artist Katwise?  I'm enthralled with her work, and have tried many times to purchase one of her shorter sweater coats on but always miss out! waaaaaa!

Well I actually emailed her to ask her what her favorite scents are because in one of her FB posts she mentioned the scent of the sweaters she uses to create her coats after she has washed them. I hoped that I didn't sound like some creepy stalker!

She graciously replied and told me vanilla, amber and lavender, and then went on to tell a funny story about her being drenched in vanilla at college.

I asked her if it was okay if I could send her some samples to sniff.

So these are what I sent:

Parfumerie Generale L'Ombre Fauve - absolutely gorgeous (I believe I got my sample from Michael).  I haven't been this excited about a perfume in a long long time.  Will save my pennies for a good size decant and this stuff I need for myself.  Yes NEED!

LaVanila Vanilla Passion Fruit - not my thing, but since Kat likes vanilla, perhaps she'll enjoy it. I picked it up at Sephora a while back.

Ava Lux Creme Brulee - I'm not a gourmandy person, but this is very well done and yes, smells exactly what it is named!  Another gift from a fume blogger (B, perhaps!?) !

Roget & Gallet Eau de Gingembre - well it is becoming holiday season, and I thought that I should spread the wealth as Olenska had gifted me a nice size bottle of it!

Parfumerie Generale Felanilla - I don't quite get it but it is intriguing.  I probably should have kept some of that sample to re-sniff at a later time.

Le Labo Labdanum 18 - dearest Bonks gave me a large sample of this when we met last spring,so I spritzed some in a little sample for Kat.  I ADORE it, plus it reminds me of Bonks everytime I wear it and that makes me smile.

My beloved Miller Harris L'Air de Rien  - you know it's funny - I think of myself as a incense and rose person, but LdR is all about amber and vanilla - whaddya know?

I made her a string of pennants to 'cover up' the samples in the mail!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Balenciaga Paris, Lolita Lempicka and Demeter Snow

I bought my sample of Balenciaga Paris awhile ago - and when I first attempted to try it, it did nothing for me.  But I really really REALLY like Charlotte Gainsbourg, so try again I do.

(photo from

I like the violet.  But that's about it. Cannot detect any pepper. Here's a very nice review by Robin at NST.  I know that this review is for a perfume that's been around for over a year, and I kinda wish I had tried it against L'Essence - here's Bios de Jasmin's take on the two.

Now with Lolita Lempicka, I sniffed it quickly and posted about it here.  It's too sweet for me, and contrary to what Robin says here, I don't see any similarity to Mugler Angel (which by the way I love but will probably never own a full bottle since I see it as the Opium of this generation, and I was of the original Opium generation and one who still loves it!)

On a more positive note, I needed to stop in to Rite Aid today, and they had the Demeter winter fragrances out - Snow, Christmas Tree and, oh shoot, I don't remember the third one.  Anyway Snow is to die for!  It's reminds me a bit of CB I Hate Perfume Winter 1972, but a heck of a lot cheaper.  Do try it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

am a little tired...(not truly a perfume post, so you can ignore this if you want!)

...of perfume these days, as you might have noticed given that I haven't posted in like forever!

With everything going on within and without, it's difficult for me to focus on perfume sampling.  And wearing.  I believe in the last three weeks, I have only worn perfume twice.

Oh have a lot to sample, thanks mostly to so many of you wonderful fumie pals out there.  I did bring a couple of samples with me today to (re)sniff : Lolita Lempicka, PG Felanilla and Balenciaga Paris.

But with depression and recession and political mean-ness and fighting, negativeness toward OWS and foreclosures and unemployment, and so much affecting people I know, and my son being gone, I'm just tired and sad and have been hiding in my little house, knitting, watching silly movies, working in the yard, and making pennants.  How can I talk about perfume - an expensive art - when so many people are needing the staples of life?  Sometimes I think too much.  Sometimes I'm hyper-sensitive.  

This is kinda where I have been lately.... (I love her blog)

I am happy that it's Halloween/Samhain.  The wheel is turning, and my mood is lifting. The Moth has been wonderfully warm and helpful. Thank the universe!  And thanks for sticking by me, my dear readers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

the scents of my Minnesota trip

I was in a hotel for nearly six days in Minnesota - mortgage counseling training for work.  I flew on 9/11/11  - how patriotic of me.  Actually it was quite interesting - everyone, from airport staff to the regular joe taking a flight, was so cheerful!

First off, don't you hate the smell of your clothes after you have been traveling?  There is a sickly sweet smell that pervades traveling - where does that come from?  Or do I just smell sickly sweet?  It usually has something to do with airplanes or hotels, because I don't notice it that much when I travel by car. (EDIT) I think I have figured it out - it has to do with luggage and not taking the clothes out to 'air' once I'm in the hotel.)'s a quick list of the fumes I wore - AG Encens Flamboyant, AP Eau Emotionnelle, R&G Eau de Gingembre, Lalique Flora Bella and Le Labo Labdanum 18.

I  gave away my sample of Vivienne Westwood Boudoir to my cousin P on Sunday night when I met with her (as she admired it), and her two sisters for dinner.  Also, my cousin M was wearing scent, and she told me what it was and I think it was Lancome's Magie or Magie Noire- I initially thought it was the 'new' version of Opium. 

At the conference, sitting at my table was a beautiful young woman D.  She wore patchouli every single day and by the end of the week, dear lord dare I say, I was really quite annoyed with patch...and usually I love it but enough is enough!! She said that she wears patch to learn better, and frankincense to calm down.  I'm not going NEAR patchouli for a long long time (which is sad, because I have a sample set of the PLAP perfumes that I haven't dived into yet - perhaps in the new year)

At the Mall of America (how embarrassing that was - so over the top - so American!) - but if you're in the Twin Cities area, of course you have to stop in there!  I did have some fun - stopped into Desigual- and oohed and ahhhed over the magnificent clothes!!  The clerk was an adorable young woman and we chatted for nearly a half hour.  Then to H&M - another shop that if I was 30 lbs lighter and 30 years younger I would be all over.  Then to Betsey Johnson where I picked up a pair of socks and again was delighted by the clerk. 

(too bad my camera photo is so bad - Desigual's clothes are so cool!)

Oh yes, I also stopped into The Body Shop. I haven't been in one of those stores in years, and so lamented they only had TWO of the perfumed oils in stock (which were lame and I don't ever remember which two they were). Woody Sandalwood was/is to die for, and their only similar offering was Sandalwood & Ginger body spray, which is VERY pale in comparison, but I still bought some, along with Satsuma body butter, and some Hemp body butter and hand cream for the Moth for his birthday. (Checking their webpage, it looks as though WS is still available - now to find a store nearby that stocks it!)

In Nordstroms (or was it Bloomingdales?), another sweet young SA was attempting to seduce me with Bond No. 9.  No thank you - I told her - I get promotional samples of their new products quite frequently.  But I did find a large array of Chanel, and was able to re-sniff No. 22.  Oh I was in lust!! Must. Get. Some. Soon.

All in all, it was a nice visit.  I did have fun in between work and studying, and being able to reconnect with cousins I haven't seen in 15-25+ years was fantastic! Plus one of my brothers (who owns a Honey Baked Ham franchise yet lives in Ohio) and our sister D's eldest son (who now works for my brother) were there! A mini-family reunion!!

Now back to the grind.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Emotional beauties: Rose Boheme (Providence Perfume) ,Y (Parfum Phyto) and Jardin du Poete (EdI)

As some of you may be aware, I have been quite emotional as of late, so I'm posting about three lovely fragrances that are helping me navigate this confusing time in my life.  

 Here is a photo of the flags/swags/buntings/pennants I have been making which cheer me immeasurably!

Providence Perfume Co.'s Rose Boheme makes me want to cry.  In a good way.  It is everything I love in a perfume - rose, some dirtiness, and melancholy . What makes me love a perfume is if hits me straight in the heart.  Charna sent the arrow, and  targeted me sublimely.  

I have always had a difficult time crying, btw.  In my twisted way, I confuse sadness with anger, so usually I want to scream or punch things when I'm sad.  Which is NOT a good thing nor something I suggest. So crying over the beauty of perfume is a very positive experience for me! 

Parfum Phyto's Y is an amazing creation. Yuko describes it as a " classic, spicy, floral, oriental " but I get a lot of green, too.  It is extremely original and I want more of it to wear on chilly/cold days to keep me warm and safe, and yet remind me of springtime.    

Eau d'Italie Jardin Du Poete.  This one also bring tears.  It is so incredibly gorgeous -  citrus balanced with woods and herbs.  It reminds me a bit of my beloved L'Ombre Dans L'eau but a greener/brighter/dare I say happier version of it.  I wish my sample didn't leak as I really want to experience this another few times. 

I also wish that this came in a 50ml version.

Looking forward to my work trip to Minnesota. I'm flying tomorrow and will be back next weekend.   I'll be bringing some scents to sample for further reviews.  Expect something on September 18th, my fragrant friends.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy things: Quelques Fleurs L'Original (Houbigant) and Roger & Gallet Eau de Gingembre

The sample I have of Quelque Fleurs L'Original  is from Olfactoria's Travels (I think!).  I didn't sample it for awhile, mostly because I thought 'oh another silly floral.'    I should have pulled this one out earlier in the summer!

My Perfumed Life has a great review and here is a link to Basenotes.

This sweet creature delights me.  It has been compared to my lovely La Chasse aux Papillons, and although I can see the resemblance, I can also see having both! Of course, I'm shocking myself here.

The notes to QFLO I found at Fragrantica. - a VERY long list, btw.

Another fragrance that keeps me smiling is Eau de Gingembre.   Olenska remembered that I was on the hunt for a ginger perfume awhile back, and recently sent me a full bottle of it!!  It is refreshing and snazzy and all around wonderful. It has been categorized as a 'cologne water' which means the staying power isn't long and it's a light scent, but happily for me I have a lot to drench myself in!   Notes are difficult to find - but I saw a few listings, so I'll put them together: ginger, bergamot, citrus, musk.    And people like it on me, well, one person -  I was at the store the other day and the guy behind me in line said "You smell great!"  ;)

(Thanks to my fellow bloggers for sharing with me so generously!)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our Roses and some perfume ones (Lady Vengeance, Rose Splendide, Une Rose Vermeille, Twill Rose)

(Rose the cat)

You all know how much I adore rose perfume.  And it seems I must like the name Rose, as we actually have TWO pets named Rose.  One is a 13 year old cat, who was named along with her brother Jack, by my son since he loved the movie "The Titanic" when it came out.

(Rose in front! She's the top hen in the flock)

The second Rose is our Speckled Sussex hen, who was named along with her fellow flock-mates - Hyacinth, Violet, Daisy and Bucket - after the characters in "Keeping up Appearances."  She is SO not like the character, Rose- she instead should have been named Hyacinth!

Roses of all kind make me happy.  This has been a VERY difficult month, so I pulled out some samples, some from my stash and others newly gifted (thank you perfume friends!!!), and here is what I think:

Juliet Has a Gun Lady Vengeance.  It reminds me of the original Agent Provocateur but a little more candy-ish and without the gumption.  You'd think with a name like Lady Vengeance, I'd perceive more OOMPH.  Don't get me wrong, it's nice and given the notes (bulgarian rose, patchouli and vanilla) you'd think I'd be all over this.  But not full bottle worthy at this point in my sniffing life.

Annick Goutal Rose Splendideoh yes it is!  I don't get a lot of pear, but instead I get an earthy yet light rose - just beautiful and uplifting and makes me smile.  Notes of rose, pear, magnolia, musk and vanilla.  I want a full bottle of this and I want it now!

Andy Tauer Une Rose Vermeille. Now this little beauty is a little complicated.  Lemon, bergamot, lavender, rose, raspberry, violet, vanilla, sandalwood, tonka bean and ambergris.  There is a sweetness that is tamed by the base notes, and this is so impeccably mixed to my nose, I smell no wrong. One word to describe this fragrance - luscious.    I can see myself doused in this gem, wearing deep red velvet tunics, watching a jousting match.  Absolutely spectacular and yes, another full bottle want.

Les Parfums de Rosine Twill Rose.  This starts off quite harsh to my nose; although the dry down is very pleasant, and I like the dirty-ness of it.  But it doesn't grab me. I feel like it's acting snobby towards me!  There are other de Rosines that aren't as stand-offish.

Given that I adore rose in perfume, I'm not getting TOO overwhelmed by the many samples of rose I have in my stash.  Sometimes I think I should get rid of every perfume I have without rose, but then I realise how ridiculous that would be!

Personally I'm happy the summer is winding down.  I cannot wait until the cooler, less humid weather, so I can re-test some samples that fell horribly flat, and then pull out the heavy incenses!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

the reunion

The first apartment building I moved to (from my parent's home) was the Plaza on Prospect Avenue in Cleveland.  I was 20 years old, and wanted to move to downtown Cleveland (I grew up in a suburban ring neighborhood) as I had just spent two weeks in Paris.

(I'm on the left and there is a version of this photo elsewhere on this blog I think.  This is actually from 1981, but I haven't scanned any of my photos of myself from 1980 yet)

I was then working at Cleveland State University, at the Office of Campus Planning, as a secretary, and one of the architects there suggested that I move into the building where he was living.

And that is how I met the wonderful world of the Plaza-ites.

So this past weekend the big Plaza Reunion happened.  It was mind-blowing!  The majority of the people who showed up were those who lived there from the mid-70s to the mid-80s.  This building is semi-famous as being on the cover of Pere Ubu's "Dub Housing" album as a few members of that band lived there (and actually one band member co-owned the apartment).  I re-connected with folks I remember from that time but had lost touch with, and met people who lived there before I did.  Oh, and all this was made possible through Facebook - how I love FB for this reason. I have been to a couple reunions organized through FB - one for my high school, grade school, and this one.

Cleveland proper was in a slump from the 60s-early 90s, so when I lived at that building, there were very few people living downtown, and the street was known for prostitution. But in my youthful enthusiasm, I enjoyed being an 'urban explorer" as did everyone else in that group.

For the reunion, I wore Miller Harris L'Air de Rien on Friday, and Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie on Saturday for the potluck.  My friend K used to, back in that day, ask me if he could sniff my scarf (I still wear scarves a lot) because of the mixture of the different perfumes I wore at that time.   Too bad I wasn't wearing a scarf for the reunion - but it was way too hot out!

So many thoughts and memories are still flowing from last weekend.  Maybe one of these days I'll return to normal.

But for today, I'll still float on cloud nine while wearing Guerlain Apres L'Ondee which is so gorgeous and ephemeral, I feel angelic!

For further reading,  click here.

Actually one of the local reporters was there, and there will be an article about this three-day event tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back from Rhode Island

August 9, 2011 by Taraegon
August 9, 2011, a photo by Taraegon on Flickr.

I'll be posting about perfume soon - but here's a photo after the thunderstorm last night - the sky was yellow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Off to Providence soon

My one and only, my 23 year old son J, is moving to Providence this week, so we're all in a tumble and getting things sorted and I have been MIA from this blog and will be for another week or so.

Yes, this is going to be difficult - it was only me and J until 7 years ago when I married the MotH!  But I'm so excited that he has such an excellent job opportunity in Rhode Island - so proud of him and happy to see him off on this new portion of his young life.

Here he is at age five with his first computer (he's a computer programmer now!)

See you all when I get back early next week!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I usually do not like to talk about perfumes that I don't get - mostly because so many people DO love them and usually I enjoy reading positive reviews much more so than negative ones.   Take for instance Diptyque's Eau Duelle.  It's totally dull to me, but others (perhaps better sniffers) really enjoy it.

So feel free to ignore this post! Maybe it's the heat that is making me cranky, but for whatever reason, these scents just do not work for me:

I dunno - Agent Provocateur's L'Agent is just meh on me.  Other folks really like it.  I like it okay, but it's not stunning on me or to my nose.

Heeley Hippie Rose -not enough hippy!  I mean what kind of hippy would smell like this?  It is a nice rose but nothing stands out in it.  Here's a positive review of it.

LorenzoVilloresi Sandolo.  After reading Scent of the Day's review, I had to sniff it.  It begins very brash and off-putting (the lavender?), and calms down to...little.  Sigh.  Maybe I'll hold onto this sample until the Autumn and see what happens then.

Smell Bent Horny Little Devil.  Is it just me, or is this really menthol grease? Read Michael's review as he gets something altogether different.

Maybe I should just take a sniffing break, wait for the heat and my mood to break, and come back at another time!

(photo from

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How Atelier Orange Sanguine saved the day!

So I just fell backwards over a pile of bricks in my backyard and into a garden bed, displacing a container of thyme. And to add insult to injury, it's 100 degrees here today.  Heat on top of scrapes.  The Moth came to my rescue, and after cleaning myself up, I said "I bet watching me fall was pretty funny" (and we both started laughing)

So to make myself feel even better, I'm dousing myself with my sample of Atelier's Orange Sanguine.

I'm happy now!!  The juice is marvelous.  Wearing it instantly cheered me up.  (Edit:  here's the notes from :Blood orange, bitter orange, jasmine, geranium from South Africa, amber woods, tonka beans, sandalwood)

Like Birgit says here - do get some!  But don't fall over any bricks on the way!

(photo of my arm scrapes by me)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Guest post by my friend "Jicky"

Jicky is the nom de plume of a dear perfume sniffing pal, also known on this blog as FF.  It was she who helped me expand into the greater perfume universe, and it was at her lovely home that I encountered The Different Company, L'Artisan and Serge Lutens for the first time.



I received my first perfume gifts when I was 16. One was from my mother: it was a Christian Dior Dioressence talcum powder/perfume set; the other from my best friend Martine: Paco Rabanne’s Calandre.

Let’s start with Dioressense.  I can still remember the packaging—the most beautiful shade of blue, combined with white and gold. I loved everything about it—unfortunately they reformulated the perfume, so  it has now landed in the dustbin of history. I used to sprinkle my pillowcase with it, and have sweet dreams about the French teacher I was in love with (never fall for your first love—that’s a lesson to remember). The perfume had a lovely milky floral smell.

Eau de Calandre. Everything about the perfume was cool, from the sleek modernist packaging to the simple stopper. And oh, it smelled so late 60s-70s: fantastic. Just loved that decade. It’s a really unusual perfume, slightly sweet, metallic, minty and spicy. Reminds me of all the 70s icons, Grace Jones, Jerry Hall, Bianca Jagger, and of course, moi, when I wear Calandre

Some other memorable perfumes: My mom’s gold-colored Estee Lauder Private Collection perfume set. She bought it in Italy and it came with this lovely powder box that had a giant pouf for dusting. The powder was a classic.  It gave you a golden sparkly tone and smelled divine. And alas, they no longer make the powder which I liked even more than the perfume. My mom used to lock it up in her drawer along with her stache of forbidden books, such as Erica Young’s Fear of Flying, and Roth’s novels. Of course, we all raided her closet, read the novels, and helped ourselves generously to her powder. As for the perfume, I remember it as a typical Lauder floral oriental, very well crafted. Not sure this perfume has aged well. Still it brings back nice memories.

I also remember Karl Lagerfeld’s pastel orange colored body cream that came packaged together with his eponymous perfume—it was the perfect shade of baroque orange, and it smelled so strong you could literally kill everyone a mile away. I once made the mistake of wearing it to a seminar. I noticed some classmates looking strangely at me, others less so. I will never make such a faux pas again, but I still have vicarious pleasure thinking about how special it made me feel, even if some of my puritan minded classmates had murder fantasies. They no longer make this perfume. And yes, I believe it’s because I wore it to seminar.
My last reminiscence: Jean-Louis Scherrer’s Nuits Indiennes. So lovely, but the bottle—tacky. It looked like it had walked straight out of a Las Vegas casino—emerald green with gold sparkles, and an oriental minaret tower that graced the box. It was a spur of the moment gift for my mom which she loved. I remember it as lovely floral oriental, with nice silage. Compared to the candy confections they make today, this perfume was brilliant.  I am not sure why this one was discontinued. The packaging perhaps?
My most memorable perfume experience. I happened to be in Paris two summers ago and this impeccibly chic woman in front of me was wearing the most incredible perfume. I just remember walking rapidly behind her. All I wanted was to be enveloped by her lovely silage. I had to walk very fast because she was in a hurry, or perhaps she was in a hurry because she thought I was stalking her. I like to think of it as Perfume X, worn by this mysterious stranger. If there is a perfume god(ess), please help me relive this experience, and discover out the identity of this perfume.

If I had to list my all time favorite perfumes, they are (not in order of preference).

Chanel's Les Exclusifs: 31 Rue Cambon (I’d like to be embalmed in this one—fantastic)
Chinatown (a coup de genie) (Bond no. 9)
Verte Violette by L'Artisan Parfumeur
Aimez Moi by Caron
Le Labo Iris
Serge Lutens La Myrrhe
Gucci's Rush

I really like Miller Harris’s L’Air de Rien and TDC Bois D’Iris on my friend Carol aka Bloody Frida (even if LAdR smells hideous on me)

My list can go on, but for today I will limit myself to these 7.

As for the worse perfumess ever smelled:

Etat Libre D'Orange's Secretions Magnifiques--the sinister smell of toxic chemicals, a cholera clinic on a hot day, or just pick anything that will make you gag.

Even though its many people's favorite, I have issues with Lauder's White Linen--I hope I don't insult anyone, but I remember it as a sexless perfume, very Hillary Clinton/Madeline Albright-esque, i.e. worn by the woman in power pant suit and sneakers, the one who cracked the whip if you mispelled a word.   

PS:  On the fourth of July, Jicky was in attendance at dinner and since you know that sniffing perfume has to happen when two perfume-loving people are together, I pulled out a box of samples and had everyone (except my Mother who refused) sniff Secretions Magnifique!  Per usual, most of the women hated it, and most of the men thought it was nice.

Hope you enjoyed Jicky's first guest post!!  I sure did posting (and reading) it!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

what I'm digging these days

I am so fortunate to have such wonderful fumie pals who sent me so many delectable samples!!  Thank you all so much- you know who you are!!!

I'm totally into Hermes Un Jardin sur le Toit  - wow!  I think this is my favorite of the series!!  Cannot get enough!

And I've mentioned Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionnelle, which still confuses me why I like it so much, but I sure do.

Another goodie from my mail box - YSL Belle D'Opium, which is, excuse my pun, truly dope! (and you all know I adore Opium!)

Ooh and the cumin-goodness of Parfum d'Empire Aziyade.  I feel a little naughty spraying this one on, esp when I'm all sweaty...heheheee...I am bad!

And this one - Lalique Flora Bella - OMG - now this is a perfect summer scent!

And last but not at all least, Mary Greenwell Plum.  I'm enthralled with this - have been wanting a sample for ages.  I am getting a little girly, aren't I?

Thanks fumie friends!! Lots more to sniff and talk about...stayed tuned!

(another pennant string/garland I made)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Peace Love and Patchouli, and other things I'm enjoying

Hello everyone!! I'm so enamored with all the Patchouli/PLAP posts, and still enjoying the Midsummer Night's Dream perfumes, that I have completely forgotten to post anything!!!

But I have been sewing (I'm currently on a pennant-string frenzy).  The photo is deceiving as the top of the pennant is actually six inches wide.  I have made four eight-foot strings already, and have two more 'orders' and a few other ideas.  Oooh this is fun!

Also, we recently re-homed Patsy and Eddy, who by the way are actually Pat and Ed.  A wonderful family took them home today - the children LOVE them and the father sent us this picture of them in front of their half-acre pond!  I'm so happy for them all - human and duck alike!  Now P and A can make as much muddy messes as they like.  Merry bug hunting, my dears!

I have four days off for the 4th of July weekend!!   I have a list of things to do like laundry, weeding, sampling perfumes (and blogging about them), sewing and R E L A X I N G.

For those of you in the US - hope you have a terrific holiday!  And everyone else, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Midsummer Night's Dream scent event - Dreams by Yuko Fukami

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Shakespeare actually has quite a few dream quotes.  I always enjoyed this one, from The Tempest, and while The Tempest is a tragedy and A Midsummer's Night Dream is a comedy, I enjoy the dream images in both plays.

I am one of the fortunate folks in this world who can lucid dream!  I love dreaming.  I love sleeping.  I love the Summer Solstice/Midsummer.  So you can just imagine the excitement when I received Yuko Fukami (Parfum Phyto)'s Dreams perfume.

Now I'm quoting Yuko as she describes her creation -  "As ephemeral as a dream.  It sparkles, it's sweet...and the memory lingers on the skin..Flowers in the meadow against the crushed grass, hay, and woods of the forest floor."

This lovely elixir contains the following:
Top notes - coriander, virginian cedarwood
Heart notes - tuberose, violet leaf, cassie
Base notes - hay, flouve, ambrette seeds, ambergris

At first blush, the cedarwood is prominent, cushioned by the coriander.  The tuberose then springs out, but not too much, along with the violet.  I am transported to a marshy green space, covered with trees, my bare feet are squishing happily on the ground of dirt and moss, woodland flowers, and leaves that dropped the autumn before.

I find a dry place, and lie down looking skyward - the trees are a canopy, the breeze from the far away meadows reaches me.

Sleep comes peacefully and gloriously! And oh what dreams for this beloved Summer Solstice!

("Titania Sleeping" by Arthur Rackham)

And please check out the following links of reviews of the various and wonderful scents in A Midsummer's Night Dream scent event, and special thanks again to Amanda Feeley for hosting this wonderful project!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Midsummer's Night Dream perfume event - Eva Luna by Providence Perfume Co.

Thanks to Amanda Feeley for this amazing scent event!!  I am totally honored and excited to be one of the fortunate 'sniffers'.

The other day, I sat down to watch the 1968 movie version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  Being swept into that vision of the play, I was enamored by the colors and scents (yes, I could just imagine the scents!) of that production.  What an amazing cast!!!!  And to see Titania portrayed by Judi Dench with such sweetness, strength and darling.

I received Charna Ethier (Providence Perfume Co.)'s Eva Luna. This fragrance is absolutely spot on for this occasion.  I am again transported to that lush and vibrant forest, full of love and tears and laughter and passion.

This perfume is sexy and strong  and innocent all at the same time.  Just like Dench's portrayal of Titania.

Eva Luna consists of russian carrot, mimosa, fresh mint, rosewood, tuberose, frangipani, jasmine grandiflorum, french violet leaf, orris, oman frankincense and ambrette.  I love the carrot opening, and the frangipani comes on strongly but don't worry, it's just Titania being a wee bit naughty!

Please excuse me while I douse myself in Eva Luna and run out naked (figuratively) under the moonlight!

Monday, June 13, 2011

If anyone is interested...

My other blog, about life, art, home stuff, and other personal thoughts, is on LiveJournal.
You can find me there here

It is "friends only" but just drop me a line so I can add you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Current loves - Pacifica Tibetan Mountain Temple, AP Eau Emotionnelle and fumie friends

Marie sent me two large samples of Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionelle. EE was launched in 2006, six years after the original. I absolutely adore the original AP.  The original has a big bold rose in it, and EE doesn't.  EE is more sublime and white-flowery, but it still has that punch (albeit much more subtle) as AP original (probably the pepper - I'm wild about pepper in perfume).  I am thoroughly enjoying the samples - thanks so much Marie!!

Reviews from Divina here and Robin at NST here.

(in my upstairs bathroom)

Pacifica Tibetan Mountain Temple is a perfume I bought totally unsniffed.  It is some glorious stuff!  Someone had replied to another blogger about their favorite incense perfume and mentioned this, so I bought it.  I am sooo happy I did.  The GINGER is to die for!!  Remember here when I was looking for a ginger scent?  Well this isn't only a great incense, it is also a wonderful ginger.  AND it's wonderfully inexpensive!  Huzzah!

Notes of vetiver, patchouli, ginger and orange.

I also bought top favorites original Agent Provocateur and Miller Harris L'Air de Rien unsniffed  - have you found true love by chance?

EDIT:  the fumie friend love goes out to everyone in the blog/interwebs/tweet world who make my day in many ways!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A few scents I have tried recently and thank you!

Serge Lutens La Myrrhe - Another sample from Olenka.   This sly devil - I thought it was gone from my skin, but oh no no no - it came back in little teasing wafts!  Here's a review by Mals.

Isabella Rossellini Daring:  And speaking of Mals, the other day, she talked about finding perfume on the cheap and she mentioned  Now I am a huge fan of that site, so I scooped up this inexpensive treasure. Coriander, jasmine, peony, apple, honey, musk, sandalwood, myrrh.  I just wish it had more punch - it's not as daring as I would like it to be, yet I'll be wearing this a lot this summer.

Also got Brosseau's Fleurs d'Ombre Rose since I love the original so much!  I cannot find when this was launched, but it is a fruity floral.  Not that bad, not that great, but it will be okay for summertime.  I did find the notes on the Brosseau website:  Bergamot, grapefruit, tangerine, orange, rose, jasmine, peach, freesia, vetiver, amber, musk, etc etc (there is  LOT of notes in this baby!).  I think my niece would like this - I'll send her a large sample.

I also wanted to add a big THANK YOU to all my followers - I truly appreciate you all!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hot weather, cool scents

This post is about those lovely, inexpensive treasures known as cologne waters.

Cologne waters have been defined as "a mildly perfumed toilet water" and "a perfumed liquid made of essential oils and alcohol". 

In this post I'll be talking about four that I own -

4711 by Muelens (sample from Olenska):  Back in the early '80s, I bought a bottle of this at the downtown Cleveland Woolworths.  I had to get it because I knew it was 'old' and although I was a young punk, I adored old things (I was researching the Jersey Lily, Buster Keaton, Louise Brooks, etc etc at that time).  I wasn't quite sold, but wore it anyway because I believed is was cool.    Most recently, with the sample I received from Olenska, I have come to really love this stuff.  According to basenotes, these are the notes:
  • Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Orange, Petitgrain, Neroli
  • Middle Notes: Rosemary, Rose
  • Base Notes: Musk, Woody notes

I have yet to purchase my own bottle of this, but it is quite inexpensive.

  • Murray and Lanman's Florida Water:  The lovely Olenska sent me a 10ml sample of this a few months ago, and I fell in love (see this post).  I have since bought a small bottle for myself, finding it at a local CVS for about $3.00 or $4.00 for 221 ml.

Sanborn's Orange Blossom: First off, trying googling this - nearly every link has the word "sexy" in it.  Here is what is written about it on 

"The bottle, which is about eight inches tall, is a heavy glass container. A product from Mexico. Three ingredients - alcohol, fragrance, and Pentadecalactone, which is a chemical produced by the armpit of the male human, and, apparently, gives off a sex scent that women find irresistible. This fact may come as a surprise to any man who has tried to make conversation with a woman when he has visible pit stains, but apparently the science of the male armpit pheromone is established enough, at least in grooming circles, that many colognes use a chemically simulated pentadecalactone in their product. And how does Sanborns Orange Blossom Cologne smell? Well, not like armpit, thank goodness. But not like orange blossoms either. Mostly, it smells like musk. There are some orange undertones, but mostly it just smells like one expects the stomach of a stag might, especially if that deer had rolled around in old orange peels. And then gotten drunk on rubbing alcohol. It's a woodsy, powdery smell with a very strong hint of alcohol."

I actually think it smells like the beach!  But I have to say, this is my favorite of the four I have.  Maybe because I DO like the smell of fresh armpit? ;)  The bottle cost me around $6.00 for 202 ml.

Heno de Pravia (by Parfums Gal):  I have had a difficult time attempting to find notes for this Spanish beauty but finally found some on  Cut grass, lavender, geranium and sandalwood. 750 ml for about $5.00 or so.

So go forth and splash ( guilt-free). They won't break the bank, and they're the perfect scents for hot spring/summer days!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Raphael "Replique"

Awhile back, when Bonkers came to visit, she wrote up this wonderful post about our adventures.  In it, she mentions a friend in town who used to wear Replique whom I'll call A.  I had never heard of this fragrance, and while we were sitting with A in her museum-like house, I was texting the Moth who googled it and got me started on the search.

I HAD to get some of this perfume!  I needed to know what it was that held her fascination, especially given that she's really not into fragrance too much anymore.  I headed over to Ebay, and found two versions, somewhat inexpensively.

(oh dang, in my attempt to have an arty photo, the label for the parfum is unreadable...gah!)

As you can see, the taller one is the EDT and the smaller one is Parfum.  I'm assuming too that the EDT is a newer version than the Parfum.

Vintage Replique parfum is TO DIE FOR.  Seriously, it's that good.  Actually the newer EDT isn't so bad, though the top notes smell more mediciney;  the dry down with the two versions is very similar.

Please read this review from the Perfume Posse - March sums this fragrance up perfectly, esp when she says "It’s stunning. The first thing that crossed my mind was: Bal a Versailles meets Tabu. Okay, granted, for some folks that must sound appalling, like King Kong mating with Godzilla. But for the rest of us, lovers of deep, dark animalic orientals, really — it’s the bomb."

Please PLEASE try this one!  I am not a big fan of vintage perfume basically because I figure I'd go crazy with obsession trying to hunt something down, but I will admit I will be on the look out for Replique for the rest of my scent life!  Yep, I'm a sucker!

BTW, I DID give a sample of the newer version to the woman in town who inspired my search.  Unfortunately I gave her a sample of the newer version and she knew right away it wasn't the same vintage as what she remembered.  Ooops!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Semi-mindless dribble: Madison Square Park, Boudoir, Sacre Coeur

Sorry the lame nature of this post - it's just that I have so much to do these days, and I wanted to note these for my future self.  Or my self self.  Oh I am so confused !

Bond No. 9 Madison Square Park.  The BEST reason to purchase a full bottle of any Bond No. 9 is that they send you very generous free samples of their new releases!  Madison Square Park is a pretty fruity floral, yet it does have this really cool green-ness at first blush (oh I like grass in my scent).  I quite agree with Scentsate says about it here , and also Bois de Jasmin (though I must admit I like this better than Cartier de Lune basically because MSP's dry-down is more intriguing)

Vivienne Westwood Boudoir.  Hehee, I like this.  Not sure enough to purchase a full bottle, but it's fun and a little bit dirty. And you know how I like those dirty pretty things.

Ego Factor Sacre Coeur.  Why did I order this sample?  It is a nice enough fragrance, a trifle bit too masculine for me (gosh I HATE when I say that, but what I mean is it smells too 'cologne-y'.)  But it did kinda remind me slightly of PdN Le Temps d'un Fete.

(two of my dirty pretty things - Pekin ducklings Patsy and Eddy)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fuzzy Blue Blanket

About a year ago, I read THIS article by Monica Skye Miller about a perfume she had made for Nina Simone, and that her Fuzzy Blue Blanket is similar to that scent.

Of course I had to order a sample as I adore Nina Simone.  On her Perfume Pharmer blog Monica Skye Miller details the notes of this wonderful elixir as follows:  "top notes - Martha’s Vineyard Linden Blossoms, Blue Chamomile, White Roses: heart notes -Coffee Flowers, Musk Roses, Rhododendron; base notes-Antique Musk Tincture, Ambergris, Costa Rican Jungle Grown Biodynamic Vanilla, Iris Root, Violet Leaves."

To me, it is not a summer scent - it's perfect for this rainy spring we have been having for months.  The beautiful way the florals interact with the heavier scents of coffee, vanilla and musk have a magical way of keeping this from being too heavy.  On initial sniff, FBB made me think of " head-shop ", but on my skin,  the florals lift it up to being much much more.

Today, I brought a sample to my friend Shelle - in the course of transferring, I spilled most of my larger sample - now I must purchase a bottle!  In the meantime, my bedroom smells fantastic!

Has anyone else tried this?!

A review from BitterGrace Notes

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I love color! It makes me happy

I have so many perfume reviews to do - especially my win from Elena of the amazing sample box of Puredistance I, M and Antonia!!!  Thank you E!!

Plus Olenska sent me a surprise package of samples - SQUEEEE!

But work keeps me on my toes - I have a lot of stuff going on.  So it will be a while before a decent perfume post happens. Plus we had to put down my favorite cat on Monday.  My sweetest scaredy cat Oscar.  I'm quite heartbroken.

So to lighten my heart, I look for cheap colorful nail polish, and am totally enamored with Novella's blog and her book "Farm City".

Saturday, April 16, 2011

An open letter to the Editor of Women's Health Magazine

A little background: This letter was written by Tarleisio, author of Scent Less Sensibilities in reaction to Dee's post on Beauty On the Outside Why We Need Perfume Bloggers: Your Perfect Scent.

An open letter to the editor of Women's Health Magazine

An article in the Beauty section of the April edition of Women’s Health, entitled ‘Your Perfect Scent’ was brought to my attention by a friend and fellow blogger, and several statements in the article as well as the overall tone compelled me to write you.

The article attempts to categorize women in a range of ages – from their teens until ‘40+’ according to perfume category, arguing that throughout their lives, women prioritize their fragrance choices differently and gravitate towards the perfumes that reflect those priorities. It then proceeds to cite various perfumes currently available that might appeal, and this is where I feel compelled to protest – both at the underlying assumptions that teenagers want to impersonate walking cupcakes, that women in their thirties wear perfume to feel ‘sexy and secure’ and finally the statement that women in their forties wear perfume to feel ‘elegant’.

Women at any age read magazines such as yours for information and inspiration in their lifestyle choices, and few of them are entirely aware that for print media in a competitive digital age, advertising revenue takes pride of place over relevant content. As a consequence of perfume being formulated to target certain demographics and as a result of what you choose to advocate in your editorial pages, the perfumes sold in department stores and mall chain stores are all indistinguishable from one another. One sweet, fruity floral scent segues seamlessly into the next sweet, fruity floral, and only the name of the designer on the label is interchangeable. So women are shortchanged from both sides of that equation – by the major designer houses that are often the only luxury these women can afford, and by the very magazines they read for inspiration promoting only the brands they already advertise on their pages.

The problem is that neither your readers in general nor women in particular are thrilled about being defined in demographic terms, any more than teenaged girls can be lumped into cupcake fragrance categories, women in their thirties need to feel ‘sexy or ‘secure’ or ‘forty+’ women – a term I personally find more than slightly condescending - want to be considered elegant’ above all other reasons for wearing perfume.

What surprises me more than any other aspect of a very important issue in general, namely the stereotyping of women in the media, is that we live in an individualistic age. As women and as individuals, the opportunity to make individual choices that reflect our unique selves has never been greater, and this includes the very subject matter of your article – perfume. What is more, as social media change how we are informed and entertained and inspired to make those choices, creating and maintaining a dialogue with your readers is a valuable tool to retain the very readership that underlies your role in that media landscape, whether on a newsstand or on the Web.

There is a rich and invaluable resource available to any journalist interested in her subject matter – perfume blogs. We would quite happily have participated and in the process been thrilled to share what we know – that you are not doomed to ‘elegance’ simply for a diminished sense of smell – a claim I find quite unsubstantiated by scientific evidence in the article or in my personal experience, nor are you compelled to waft cupcake as a teenager, simply because there’s nothing else to choose from. There’s not too much else to choose from in the mainstream market because a tiny number of companies determine what scents land on department store shelves, and if one sweet, fruity floral scent becomes a success, it must therefore follow – so dictate the laws of the marketing briefs of these companies promoting this or that ‘exclusive designer’ – that only sweet, fruity, floral perfumes will do.

Women’s Health is a magazine that has a broad scope – to promote a healthy, happy and fulfilled lifestyle for its readership that goes beyond the usual stereotypical ‘women’s magazines’. Even so, when you attempted to inform your readers about a very personal choice, you fell victim to that precise stereotyping, and ignored a perfect opportunity to elevate your editorial content a bit above the stereotypical content of any other women’s magazine currently available.

Which is why we read you, after all.

Yours sincerely,

Bloody Frida

This letter has also been published on the following participating blogs:

Scentless Sensibilities

Olfactoria's Travels
Eyeliner on a Cat
Beauty on the Outside
Rendolent of Spices

All I am, a Redhead