Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Luxe to me is a rich, oriental gourmand fragrance (even though it is described as a woody chypre). It’s a natural fragrance so it is long-wearing and rich. It is “de luxe”. One of the many reasons that I love Parfums des Beaux Arts fragrances (other than many are so artfully crafted and long-lasting) is their inspirations. The inspirations range from art movements to colors to historical periods. DSH describes the fragrance as so “On the Riviera, I was overwhelmed by the charm and grace of my surroundings. The Perfume in the air was magnificent. Inspired by the Art Deco movement of the 1920´s and ´30´s, Parfum de Luxe is rich, pure and confident.” I agree. I also love Art Deco after restoring our 1936 home. I wore this fragrance out this fall and winter when I craved all things deco and 30’s. This fragrance went so nicely with my page boy haircut, cloches, bakelite brooches, and menswear tweed trousers. It went with my fashion cravings so nicely. This fragrance was dead-on what I wanted. There couldn’t of been a better match for me at the time.

This fragrance contains many, many notes. They all play off of each other nicely. However, when worn on my skin, I pick up sweetness. I get rich, raw honey. It’s sexiness verges on vulgarity. I love it. Yeah, at the initial wear I get a bit of the balsamy, purifying sage. But, that is blended with rich old-fashioned roses. (DSH uses the finest rose absolutes that I’ve ever sniffed). These roses are hard for me to identify because they are soaked in sticky, raw honey. They smell gourmand, candied, sticky, and sweet. Throughout the wear the honey really sticks on me (no pun intended). I do get buttery, creamy orris mixed with the honey. Sometimes when I wear this, I get the rich white florals but they have been baked into a buttery, honey cake. I must add that the orris and honey combo is lovely. It inspires me to add orris root to my next honey cake. (Perhaps toasted orris root?) I think it would be quite amazing. Anyways, back to this fragrance. The base still has sweetness. The honey doesn’t vanish but it does get quieted down by rich, resins and unisex mosses. This is the stage where I would definitely call Parfum de Luxe a chypre. It’s woodsy and mossy but still sweet with amber, tobacco, and vanilla. I want to call it a gourmand chypre if there is such a thing. Regardless if there is or isn’t such a thing, I know I like it. It’s delicious, rich, sensual.

Like I said, this fragrance wears very sweet on me. It’s all honey, candied/edible flowers, and rich, gummy resins. I find it very sexy and it is one that I love to wear in the fall/winter. Its richness warms me up on cool, damp, classic Western Washington days.

Notes listed include: bergamot, clary sage, neroli, petitgrain, violet, Bulgarian rose absoulute, Centifolia rose absolute, Chinese geranium, honey, orris, tuberosa, ylang-ylang, amber, benzoin, brown oakmoss, labdanum, patchouli, sandalwood, tobacco absolute, and vanilla.

Like I said before, this is a natural oil blend. It is long-lasting and it smells expensive. I think this would be a nice replacement for Tom Ford Private Blend’s retired Moss Breches EDP. Also give this one a try if you like honey fragrances, natural fragrances, or scents like TokyoMilk Honey & The Moon EDP or Honeycomb Solid, Guerlain Tonka Imperiale EDP, Kilian Back to Black EDP, Serge Lutens Chêne EDP, Tom Ford Private Blends Arabian Wood EDP, and/or Sisley Soir de Lune EDP.

Many sizes are available. The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $135. A pure parfum is also available. (I bet it is amazing). All sizes are available on the house’s website.

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Sometimes I run into a fragrance and wonder “why haven’t I had you in my life sooner”? This is one of those scents. Sometimes I smell something and it is so me. Despite my extensive fragrance collection, I see this (10 Corso Como)  is the kind of scent that I will keep going back to and using again and again and again. I flirt with many, many types of fragrances, but at heart my fragrance personality is “woods”. Especially, dry warm woods.

10 Corso Como doesn’t possess a certain in your face “wow” factor. It isn’t a chameleon. It doesn’t contain a collection of strange  “isn’t it ironic notes”. It’s just really pretty and a must have for the woodsy fragrance lover. It’s for those that love the richness and warmth of sandalwood, musk, oud, frankincense but don’t want to smell like hippies or like they stumbled upon a Grateful Dead tribute band concert when they were just trying to have a romantic picnic in the park. Don’t get me wrong. I adore a “headshop” fragrance oil, but I don’t want that from a $115 perfume. I want it to have some class, some beauty, some refinement.

10 Corso Como is one of those fragrances that you love or you hate. If you love sandalwood or oud, then you will most likely this one. In fact, you won’t find this very strong at all. You may find it too “weak” and “pretty”. The wearer that doesn’t reach for a woodsy scent may find this one too strong, too animalic, too smoky. I find it woodsy in a feminine way. It smells almost of a wood carved jewelry box where one would store their dainty perfume oils and aromatic elixirs. I can barely pick up the rosy elements. I get more a fresh, balsmy wood at first. It is a little strange. It’s very woodsy and balmsy. It smells like a clean, tidy recreation of an evergreen forest. When I say “clean”, I mean there isn’t any grit, moss, dirt, moisture. It’s the foresty perfume equivalent of those unadulterated “aquatic” based perfumes. It’s pure but it is not a synthetic forest scent that would remind someone of Irish Spring soap or a men’s cologne. I pick up on smooth woods and vetiver. It is very resinous and slightly “green”, but green like a mustard green or chicory (this I think is porcini raised in their pine needle beds, this aroma takes me on a mushroom hunt. I am an amateur mycologist, this does smell mushroomy). That’s the weird part of the fragrance. The strange forest, pine/vetiver, mushroom-ness. This stage quickly passes, about 5-15 minutes. It then becomes a turpentine-ish woodsy fragrance. It still smells like lady-like sweet woods such as sandalwood but with a bit of evergreen/turpentine edge. It really reminds me of the sap from an evergreen, mainly pine. A buttery sweetness is present among the woods and slight turpentine-ness (most likely the reason that I love it). This woodsy blend wears for some time. So to sum it up at this stage: Buttery sandalwood sap next to a a dried out piece of smooth evergreen wood. It’s much prettier than it sounds. I don’t really get the “smokiness” of this fragrance. I get an incense like aroma but no smoke. Frankincense provides an incense sans the smoke aroma. It smells rich and exotic but I feel it is there but in moderation. This is definitely more of a balsamy wood scent than it is a resiny oriental scent. The frankincense and musk is more apparent as the evergreen/porcini a.k.a turpentine fades. It becomes a sensual mix of sandalwood, frankincense, and musk. It becomes very elegant and almost too pretty. This happens after about 45 minutes of wear. It smells like a classic dry woods perfume. But, there is something a bit “off”, a certain strangeness that doesn’t scream at you but makes you realize that this isn’t your regular sandalwood obsessed fragrance. I think it is the oud wood/agarwood, one of my favorite notes in fragrance ever. I didn’t realize that I loved oud as much as do until about 2 years ago. It is such a weird note. It can smell like pretty dry woods, oil, floral, and even like porcini. Of course I love this wood for the fungal factor alone. It’s mesmerizing. I think why I like this fragrance so much is because the prized oud wood is there. In the beginning, I think this is what is making the top notes so strange. That spicy mustard/chicory must be the porcini like aroma of oud wood, it then gets a sandalwood warmth and really rounds out the sweetness of the buttery sandalwood present in this mix. It adds a bit of an unusual character that makes this scent glamorous and in my opinion worth the price.

Some people complain that this fragrance doesn’t last long. Yesterday when I wore it, it wore for 16 hours. Today it wore for over 14. It is the kind of fragrance that lasts a long time but just very closely to the skin. That is typical of woods heavy fragrances. They are there, you may not notice it, but others will. Woods make a fragrance last.

Notes listed include: rose, geranium, vetiver, frankincense, musk, sandalwood, and Malay oud-wood. Prices range from $85 to the 1.7 to $115 for the $3.4. Bath products are available in this line as well, oh, and a solid perfume. Have I mentioned that I love the 30’s vintage feel of this bottle? Since I have been renovating our 30’s home, I have been all about that era’s design. This bottle is right on and based on a flea-market find antique perfume bottle. It is available at beautyhabit.com.

Les Garçonnes Tamara Charleston is inspired by Tamara de Lempicka and her amazing paintings. I am so delighted that the dazzling Tamara was the inspiration for this fragrance. The packaging of this one contains the dramatic (and one of my favorite) color combos of chartreuse and aubergine. When I first heard of this collection of Crazysticks, I was very intrigued by this one in particular. It sounded so interesting with notes of gardenia, sambac jasmine, green mandarin, peach, lisylang, freshly cut hay, amber, and absinthe. It is described as a “fresh and flowery cocktail, almost prohibited“. I am pleased with this solid perfume even though it isn’t exactly what I expected. I guess I expected for it to be kind of herbaceous like dried hay with a heavy anise or licorice note. I expected it to be more bitter. I guess I thought it would be heavy on “absinthe”. I would like my “in my mind version” since I love anything licorice, but I could see it turning many people off. Tamara Charleston is much prettier than I could ever imagine and much more interesting that I could ever imagine. It’s fruity, green, raw, floral, and a little bitter.

According to the company’s Olfactive Star, this scent is heaviest on green mandarin, absinthe, and lisylang. I know what the 1st two are, but lisylang, never even heard of it. Well, it is a Robertet creation and is described as an aquatic floral note. So I guess I won’t be getting this wonderful “flower” for my garden, haha. Tamara Charleston wears closely to the skin like other Crazylibellule & The Poppies solid fragrances. It is soft and intimate. When I first put this on my skin and took a whiff, it took me to a place. It really reminded me of something but I didn’t know what. Then it hit me. It reminds me of this abandoned house down the road that I pass on my evening strolls. It is a menacing, rotting craftsman with an unkept yard. This yard grows widly and bears fruits like figs, olive, peaches, apricots, and blackberries with no maintenance. The weeds are grown up and have taken over. Across the street a wild jasmine grows. I will stand there, checking the ripeness of the fruit because I am so bumrushing the fruit trees one day, a warm breeze will go by and it brings in a scent that reminds me of this fragrance. I guess because of the jasmine, unripe fruits, dried out weeds, and a warm sea breeze, it is like this little stick. So I was a bit stunned when I sniffed this. It is much prettier than that abandoned lot but it reminds me of it, I refer to that lot as my secret garden. Anyways, I bet you are ready for a fragrance review.

Tamara Charleston smells fresh and green. It smells almost ammonia-ish from the unripe or green mandarin. This gives a complex and very different citrus to this blend. Strangely this is my favorite note. It smells slightly floral. The blossom smell airy and light. It isn’t like I smell “jasmine” but more that I feel like I am catching the odor of a warm breeze being carried in from a flower garden. I just go “flowers” but I can’t identify them directly. It smells warm and sweet just like cut hay and amber resin. You also get a “warm” fuzziness from an almost perfectly ripe peach. It’s a sweet peach, maybe from a hint of sugar in the absinthe. The absinthe is there and it provides a bitter “green” note. It isn’t licoricey but smells more like if you were standing over a mixed herb garden that contains everything from fennel to juniper.

This scent is a winner. I really like it because I have absolutely nothing like it in my extensive collection. It is fresh, bitter, and green but still really pretty and wearable. I think it is a perfect scent for late summer and early fall. I also love the attention to detail by Crazylibellule & The Poppies. Their inspiration was a hedonistic visual artist. They’ve done nice things like use absinthe in this blend, something historically loved by bohemian artists. “L’Histoire” on the box brings to mind an encounter with one of Tamara’s models and/or lovers. I love solid perfumes and  I love that I carry this cute thing around with me. It is available at beautyhabit.com and b-glowing. com for under $20.

Young Lady with Gloves

Young Lady with Gloves