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