April 2010


Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Grasse is a sophisticated spicy, resiny rose blend with lots of chypre notes. It isn’t a green or “fresh” rose floral. It is a bit sweet but in a honey or crystallized rose petal way. This is what makes it different from the other rose scents in my fragrance library. I tend to purchase those fresh/green rose ones. This one is different. It is rich and luscious, dark and mysterious. It is a long-wearing fragrance because it is made from 100% botanical ingredients. You get your money’s worth with this purchase.

The top has a spicy crispness. I get lots of the carnation and orange blossom. This is a classic spicy floral mixture.  However, it has a bit of a dried vetiver that adds a woodsy freshness to the spicy florals. This is not an invigorating or overwhelming vetiver. It smells of dried vetiver and at times it has a mossiness, the kind that only classic perfumes seem to pull off. The heart is sweet and floraly. It has rosy florals mixed with musky, sweet beeswax. I love beeswax when used “right” and this is fitting in this blend. It keeps the florals grounded. The beeswax also helps the fragrance “stick”, meaning that it keeps it long-wearing. I get a butteriness. I assume this is the orris because it is a tad floral. The dry-down is animalic without being offensive or heavy. It’s woodsy and mysterious. And the moss comes back. However, this time it is more of a mossy incense.

I love how this fragrance uses natural botanical ingredients that mimic Old World animalic floral perfumes. DSH has vision and talent. This is a wonderfully modern take on Old World perfumery. This is a wearable resiny, animalic floral. It is packed with classic notes and it all works together. It has it all: spice, florals, sweetness, woods, and chypre notes. It’s a “dark” floral and that is why I like it. I also like it because every time I sniff it, I get something different. It’s complex and cerebral.

Notes include: bergamot, mimosa, neroli, carnation, centifolia rose, French beeswax, jasmine, orris, Brazilian vetiver, moss, and sandalwood.

Give this one a try if you are looking for a “darker” rose/floral or if you like scents like Les Parfums de Rosine Une Folie de Rose EDP, Tom Ford Private Blends Noir de Noir EDP, Lubin L de Lubin EDP, Byredo Parfums Rose Noir EDP, Guerlain Mitsouko EDP, and/or Shiseido “Classic” Zen Cologne.

The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $135. Other sizes are available.This blend is available at DSH’s website and Beautyhabit.com.

Fragrance & Food:

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange wasn’t what I expected it to be at all. I wanted rugged citrus rind/zest mixed with the sweet juices of a blood orange. I wanted something to pick me up in the dead of winter and to be refreshing in the middle of summer. Nope. Instead with this one, I got too much of  juicy berries. It isn’t a bad fragrance, it just wasn’t what I expected.

First things first, I’m not a huge fan of strawberry scents. I find them too synthetic and too young. I don’t mind sniffing strawberry scents on others but I can’t stand to smell it on myself. Tuscan Blood Orange is all about strawberries at the initial spritz, the name should not of been Tuscan Blood Orange. It should be something about strawberries. Strawberry fragrance lovers should know about this fragrance. It should be in the title. Instead Pacifica is giving berry lovers and detour and attracting citrus lovers whom most likely will be disappointed with this fragrance. At first spritz it is very strawberry-ish. Think of a limited edition Escada scent. It is that berry. In a short time, you get the zest of tangerines and oranges. This drowns the strawberry; however, since my sniffer is sensitive to strawberry, I still pick it up. The zesty orange peel hangs around. It starts to mellow out with another berry, raspberry. This takes a bit of the “edge” off of the citrus while keeping it bitter. Eventually the fuse together and create something that would make a delicious tropical cocktail. The berry begins to fade and you get a juicy citrus. This is beautiful, fruity, and refreshing. At this stage, I get blood orange juice and pineapple juice, making this one tropical frou-frou fragrance. Oh, but then there is the strawberry zombie! After I start enjoying the fragrance it then morphs back into the strawberry citrus blend that was the top. But, this time the citrus is less apparent.

The fragrance isn’t bad. It just isn’t me and it isn’t something that I see myself wearing frequently. I can name 10 other citrus scents on the market that I love more. This is a very fruity fragrance. I would of really liked this one if it had a floral to balance the berry or if the berries were left out altogether. I really love the heart of the fragrance but I can’t forgive the berries. It doesn’t help that they keep coming back from the dead. This is a “young” fragrance to me. That being said, it is a fun fragrance. I don’t hate it. Sometimes I do want a tropical cocktail-ish fragrance. The price is right with this one and it does wear longer than a Demeter PMU Cologne spray. I do think of it as more of a summer fragrance but I do fear that the berries will make it to icky and sticky for hot summer days.

The fragrance isn’t very long wearing. But, I think wears nicely for the price. It wears much longer than a body spray and cologne. I smell traces of it about 3 hours after spraying. It wears about the same as more expensive EDTs at department stores. The bottle is small and you could “refresh” throughout the day. Plus, it has natural ingredients.

Notes listed include: strawberry, raspberry, mandarin, and Italian sweet orange.

Give this a try if you like very fruity fragrances, tropical drink like fragrances, LE Escada fragrances, Urban Rituelle Sweet Treats Pomegranete EDP, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Mora Bella EDP, Fresh Strawberry Flowers EDP, Marc Jacobs Daisy In The Air EDT, Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild EDT, and/or Demeter PMU Cologne Sex on the Beach.

The 1.2 oz spray retails for $22. It is available at Sephora and Pacifica’s website.

Also, since this is a delicious fragrance and it makes me think of food, here is a Strawberry Compote with Blood Orange Juice. I would add raspberries to give it the full Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange touch.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

I like the freshness of Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea EDT/cologne. It is fresh and zesty. It is a “pretty” fragrance since it does smell feminine. Many green tea scents could be unisex but not this one by Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is a light wearing fragrance, comparable to a body spray. Elizabeth Arden as a woman and a company has always been very competitive. This fragrance was launched in 1999 to compete with such popular mall fragrance/body product shops as Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop. Hence, the light wearing fragrance to be worn all over the body with a lower price point than other department store fragrances.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is not as “green tea” as other green tea fragrances on the market. This means it is less “dirty”, “earthy”, or “pondy” than actual green tea. This fragrance is a play on aromatherapy (just read the adjectives associated with the fragrance notes), but it is much more “commercial” than the aromatherapy I think of. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is not a per se green tea fragrance but an interpretation of a spa-like experience. It embodies the healthiness of sipping on green tea and pampering oneself. So, if you are looking for a “real” green tea fragrance, this is not it. If you are looking for a refreshing, light fragrance than this will do. I mainly get beautiful, feminine citrus from this fragrance. I get a heavy dose of bergamot. This is good for me since I love bergamot. The bergamot is complemented by other generic citrus accords with a wee bit of fruity rhubarb.It reminds me of a delicious summer sorbet. It has floral bergamot, jammy rhubarb, and orange zest. This is very refreshing. The fragrance has a certain coolness. It is ever so slightly minty. I really do think of it as a rhubarb and citrus sorbet with a garnish of mint. The zesty notes fade but you still are left with citrusy bergamot and tart rhubarb. That mainstream green tea is faintly there as well, just like that garnish of mint. The green tea adds a green sweetness to the heart. The dry-down is a bit softer than the heart. It smells muskier but in a clean musky, citrus way. The dry-down manages to be musky, green, and fresh.

The bottle isn’t exciting. It is very, very plain and it does remind me more of a drugstore fragrance bottle. At least it is glass and not in a plastic spray bottle making it more desirable than a B&BW spray.

It is not a long-lasting fragrance and it doesn’t claim to be. It wears slightly longer than a body spray. I guess it is meant to be “sipped” throughout the day just like a few cups of green tea. I do find it very refreshing. I like it for spring and summer.

Give this a try if you like pretty bergamot fragrances, Mélange Green Tea Solid Perfume, L’Occitane Thé Vert EDT or ThéBergamote EDT, Tocca Bianca EDP, Heeley Menthe Fraîche EDP, CK One EDT, Fresh Hesperides EDP, Creative Universe Te Cologne, and/or Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic EDT.

Notes listed include: caraway, fruity rhubarb, lemon, orange zest, bergamot, cool minty peppermint, green tea, sweet jasmine, spicy carnation, fresh fennel, crisp celery spice, oakmoss, musk, and amber.

The 1.7 oz cologne spray retails for $27 and the larger 3.3 oz. for $37. It is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters and Elizabeth Arden’s website. * Currently it is available at fragrancenet.com.

Experience the fragrance in one more. Make a rhubarb sorbet (recipe here). Don’t forget the mint garnish! Perhaps you could put a scoop in a small cup of cool green tea…

Annick Goutal Folavril (April’s Fool) is not a sexy or flirty fragrance. It doesn’t have an inkling of seduction in it. This isn’t a fragrance that I would see a man purchasing for Valentine’s day/anniversary. Just like slouchy cotton jersey dresses and shabby chic decor, this fragrance is a “made by woman for women” fragrance. It really is a beautiful, innocent, and comfortable fragrance. It smells nice without smelling “bat those lashes” flirty or vavavoom seductive. It’s fresh but still very feminine. I like to think of it as shabby chic decor, shabby beach cottage decor, or Brocade home. It’s just so girly without trying to be attractive to men. It seems to be a fragrance that women wear because they like it. It’s not overly floral which is what I think of as flirty fragrances. However, it is playful, but not in a coy, flirty way, but in a everyday fun way, like playing with your pup or in most people’s case, their kids. It’s a spring stroll through the park.

At first the fragrance is very different mix on me. It’s like a fusion of tropical mango scented lotion, you know that too perfect mango kind of note, and really soapy and spicy tomato leaf. The tomato leaf is a bit odd. I love the smell of tomato plants. They are crisp, bitter, and have a very specific aroma that you just know when you sniff it. This tomato leaf in Folavril is bitter, spicy, tart, and green just like a tomato leaf should be; however, it doesn’t smell of a garden. It’s just too pretty and too clean. It reminds me of a tomato leaf aroma used in fancy European soaps (I’ll get there soon). So imagine a fictional fruit that is juicy like a peach but it is green and unripe, growing on a fuzzy tomato like plant. (The greeness really is much more leafy than fuzzy, tomato vine). It’s sterile, no scent of dirt or humidity. The tarteness and the fruitiness and bitterness fades after a about 15 minutes of wear. The green, tart aldehydes of the soapy clean tomato leaf are still there. However, they are mixed with delicate ylang-ylang blossoms. It becomes slightly powdery and more of a crisp, tropical floral. It wears light and soft. Jasmine is listed as a fragrance note for this fragrance, but this jasmine is much, much softer than many jasmines used in perfumery. It’s more of a whisper of jasmine. It’s not a sultry or sexy jasmine. Usually this light but somehow refreshing floral blend is what wears on me the longest. Boronia adds a certain grounding greeness, a floraly evergreen. I feel the dry down is soapy and clean. Boronia really does have a beautiful aroma and I do think of it as clean. It goes back to a spicy green floral, but more evergreeny than the tomato leaf. The dry down on me is a soapy,  fresh floral.

This fragrance was launched in 1981. It was created to fragrance a skincare line created by Annick Goutal. Fragrance is a tricky business, based on perceptions and memories. I think that I think of this fragrance as soapy and clean because I was exposed to this fragrance in skincare that my grandmother used. I think of it as her nighttime routine. Many luxurious European soaps have a green, tomato or lettuce floral fragrance. So, I don’t know if someone else would smell this and think it was clean. That being said, I think that is why I think of this fragrance as nurturing. My grandmother is glamorous but to be around her without makeup and eyebrows, you have to be family.

This fragrance is very lovely for spring and summer. It’s light, airy, and playful. It’s green without being masculine. It’s fresh without being aquatic. Sometimes when I wear it, I get more of the fruit, other times I get more of the greens, and other times I get more of the sweet, tropical florals. These notes could be emphasized by your choice of body lotion and layering. The fragrance is an EDT and wears briefly on me, about 1.5 -2 hours. I really don’t know what to compare this fragrance to. I really do feel like it is an original and that everyone should try and see. My husband thinks this fragrance is nasty, but he is offended by all aldehydes. It is for someone that wants a different type of floral. Give it a try if you like green florals, Sisley Eau de Campagne EDT, Hilde Soliani Stecca EDP, Pucci Sole EDP, Crazylibellue & The Poppies Les Divines Alcôves Toi Mon Prince, Heeley Vervaine EDP, and Parfums de Nicolai Eau D’Ete Fraiche EDT.

Notes listed include: tomato leaves, mango, jasmine, and boronia flower.

The 3.4 ounce spray retails for $115. It can be purchased from Dillard’s and luckyscent.com.

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