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.

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Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Ralph Lauren describes this scent as being “a provocative accessory of modern glamour”.  The inspiration includes those amazing sirens of Old Hollywood including Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall. This fragrance was created by Olivier Gillotin (nose behind such amazing scents as 10 Corso Como and Tom Ford Private Blends Tobacco Vanille and less than amazing Ed Hardy and Mariah Carey scents) and launched in 2008. This spicy oriental caught my attention for the Old Hollywood references and glamorous Laetitia Casta ads. I wish I could say that it was what I wanted it to be. It isn’t Old Hollywood glamorous to me. If you want Old Hollywood glamour stick with a classic Guerlain or something Piguet Fracas. Ralph Lauren Notorious isn’t bad, it just isn’t Notorious.

Notorious opens up as a sweet floral, not a candy sweet fragrance bust just a sweet, to me, “modern” floral. It reminds me of other department store and Victoria’s Secret fragrances. It is slightly spicy with generic pink peppercorn but this spice isn’t that overwhelming. It plays nicely with the spiciness of carnation. The sweetness comes from black currant, so it is fruity. This scent is chocolaty but not like a Comptoir Sud Pacifique or other crazy for Coco Puffs scents. This one seriously smells like a chocolatey peony. What is this? Well, it is chocolate cosmsos, a beautiful and breath-taking cosmos that smells like if a Strawberry Shortcake doll was in your flower garden. I’m still looking for a lipstick shade that resembles chocolate cosmos. Anyways, back to the fragrance. It is slightly vanilla/chocolatey, it is much more floral. It really does stay in the peony and carnation mode for some time but with a little more “vanilla orchid”, a certain sweetness like that. This floral stays strong for some time. I must say that Notorious is a long-lasting fragrance. The dry down never shakes it floralness but it does “chill out” with some woods. The woods aren’t overly “oriental” woods. They are soft, warm, and have orris root powdery sweetness. Despite the sweetness, the orris/iris makes it very fresh and crisp. I didn’t know “oriental woods” could have a fresh dry-down. And somehow manage to have choco-vanilla sweetness? It’s strange, but I do like the dry-down. It is an interesting perception of “freshness”.

This scent does smell a bit grown-up in comparison to other Ralph Lauren fragrances. It doesn’t smell like it was launched for middle school students. I don’t find it overly grown-up either. I really do feel like the market was the 35-50-ish crowd that doesn’t wear “classic” fragrances. This is a nice change from other mainstream perfume releases.

Notes listed include: chocolate cosmos, black currant, pink peppercorn, bergamot, white frost peony, carnation, patchouli, musk, vanilla, and iris.

It isn’t that I don’t like this one. I just find it boring and I have many more fragrances in my fragrance wardrobe that make me feel like a sultry film noir screen siren. As far as a Ralph Lauren fragrance, this would be one of my pics since I hate Blue and Ralph. Like I said, it isn’t notorious. It’s just something that I forget about. I would say to give this one a try if you like Missoni EDP, Vera Wang Princess EDT, Bath and Body Works Vanilla Noir EDT, Calvin Klein Secret Obsession EDP, Mélange Perfumes EDP in #13, Sarah Jessica Parker Covet EDP, Van Cleef & Arpels Lys Carmen EDP, Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Hot EDP, and/or Bvlgari Blv Notte EDP.

Prices for this EDP range from $65 to $75 depending on size. It is available at beauty.com. *It is also available at fragrancenet.com.



Notorious Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 2.5 Oz by Ralph Lauren

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Dolce & Gabbana “Classic” EDT, the one in the red, is one of my favorite department store fragrances. I am not the kind of person that can go to Macy’s and find many fragrances that I like. However, this is one that many department stores carry and I love. It is warming, intoxicating, and it smells very “expensive”. This oriental fragrance wears very resiny and soft on me. It has a blast of citrus and refined flowers, but it smells woodsy and powdery. In my mind, it is what a fancy Italian women’s perfume should smell like.

At first I can pick up on the citrus but it is a perfumey citrus oil. I get rich neroli/orange blossom mixed with “classic” florals such as carnation and jasmine. The first few minutes are very neroli heavy. I know this fragrance hasn’t been around as long as other fragrances, but it really has a classic Italian perfume vibe. This is like a “going out on the town” fragrance, a seduction fragrance. It is very Anita Ekberg to me and makes me think of her in dream woman status in La Dolce Vita. The citrusy florals mix in to a powdery perfume blend. There is that spice from carnation mixed citrus blossoms. It becomes resiny, feminine, powdery, and sexy. It manages to be all of this while still smelling clean and fresh. I guess I have an old-school image of  the “clean” fragrance, less aquatic and soapy and much more powdery. The dry-down is a pretty blend of carnation, powdery amber, and soft vanilla. This is a fragrance that I like to wear in the fall because I like its warmth but I also like how it has a certain crispness thanks to the citrus and clove-like carnation. Somehow I can manage to wear this one in late summer, a little bit goes a long way.

Notes listed include tangerine, orange flower, red carnation, and vanilla. For an EDT, this fragrance wears for many hours on me, longer than many things labeled “EDP”.

I recommend this fragrance for those that like a warm oriental fragrance, YSL Opium EDT, Miller Harris Fluer Oriental EDT, Guerlain Les Parisiennes Derby EDP, Guerlain Sous Le Vent EDP, Estee Lauder Spellbound EDP, Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Grasse EDP, Saffron James Punono EDP, Cartier Baiser du Dragon EDP, Serge Lutens Datura Noir EDP, Crazylilbellue & The Poppies Shanghaijava Collection Encens Mystic Solid Perfume and/or Avon Timeless Cologne. It comes in a few sizes and retails for about $64-$80.



Dolce & Gabbana Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 1.7 Oz by Dolce & Gabbana

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Oh, the ever so popular L’Eau D’Issey! This fragrance has a cult following and I smell it on people all the time when I am out and about. It’s good that I don’t find it offensive! It’s a very popular aquatic floral and I remember for a few years there all of my girlfriends wore it. So it has taken me so many years to revisit this scent because I was so tired of it. I brought out a sample of it a few days ago. It’s a pretty scent. I’m not a fan of “aquatic” scents but I can handle this one (on other people) and as far as that genre goes, this is one of the best.

Issey is very, very floral at initial spritz (and throughout wear). It’s filled with humid, aquatic flowers. They are dainty and seem to have the most fragile of petals. These notes are listed as lotus, freesia, cyclamen, rose water, fresh peonies, carnation, and white lilies. If you are afraid of florals then leave this scent alone. It is heavy on them. I would say the floral that stands out most to me is the freesia and cyclamen. I can “feel” the lotus. This floral bouquet seems to create an atmosphere of water garden flowers. You just feel the humidity from them and you can almost see the sweating paper-thin petals. It’s an exotic fragrance (if you don’t live in a hot, wet tropical climate) because it smells like “jungle” flowers to me because they are so fragrant and so wet. The company describes it as “when Flower meets Water”. It wears very floral for a very long time.  Other notes in this fragrance include: precious woods, osmanthus, tuberose, amberseed, and musk. After hours and hours, no kidding, I can pick up a faint trace of the musk and woods, but their companions are still strong florals.

I can’t wear this fragrance. It gives me a headache. It is an attack of aquatic florals that doesn’t ever cease. That being said, for an EDT this wears for a long time. I also think it wears nicely on other people and it doesn’t bother me on them. It is just too much to be on my body. If you love lingering complex floral scents then you’ve found your soul mate with this one. If you want a long-lasting floral than this is it too.

I would say that you would like this if you like aquatic/fresh florals Estee Lauder White Linen (and all of its spin-offs), Demeter Rain, CK Eternity, Davidoff Cool Water, Susanne Lang Lotus Blossom, Armani Acqua di Gio, Lollia Imagine, and/or Avon Haiku. The EDT comes in 3 major sizes: a small .8 oz $44, 1.6 oz $65, and a 3.4 oz $89. Sephora has a roller-ball available for $22 that is nice for giving it a try and travel. *Currently available at fragrancenet.com.


L’Eau D’Issey Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Oz by Issey Miyake

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com