Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Lili is a pretty, dainty “muguet” floral. It’s a girly, flirty fragrance that is fairly simple. It is described as “Delicate. Feminine. Elegant.” I definitely agree with this. It smells so delicate like lily of the valley. This fragrance almost smells “fragile” like the dainty, white bells of the lily of the valley. I am a fan of muguet fragrances. I love their floralness and the coolness that they have. The note makes for perfect spring fragrances and they are nice for summer too. It’s floral and fresh. But, when added with sweet citrus, linden, and mimosa you get something so light, carefree, and feminine.

Lili is like I said before, simple. However, it is different from other lily of the valley fragrances because the top notes are citrus. This is such a nice touch and this what makes this fragrance special. You get sweet lime peel. This is zesty but not abrasive. It’s still light. In fact, it smells more of sweet lime zest and citrus blossoms such as lime blossom. It is zesty but delicate. Linden blossoms are like a lime blossom, usually sweeter like honey. I am definitely picking them up in this fragrance. (I love linden blossoms, so refreshing, neighbor’s tree is in bloom; bees are everywhere). This fragrance is a beautiful interpretation of spring and lily of the valley. It’s special because of the tart sweetness of lime peel and linden blossoms. Linden and mimosa also add a “fluffy”, powdery element. ( I need to say that this isn’t a “powdery” fragrance. It’s a mimosa powdery fragrance, floral.) These notes make this scent seem so clean and fresh. It’s not your average lily of the valley perfume.

Notes listed include: lemon, lime peel, mimosa, French linden blossom, lily of the valley, and sandalwood.

The fragrance is close wearing and light. If it was a fabric it would have to be a transparent cotton gauze. It’s so airy and lightweight/sheer. I really do love this scent. It’s a very feminine citrus and a cool floral. I find it very special. Special enough to add to my collection which already contains “lily” scents. This one is much more carefree and fresher than those in my collection.

Give this is a try if you like lily of the valley scents, or if you like citrus-florals, or if you like Coty Muguet de Bois EDT, Annick Goutal Le Muguet EDT, Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc EDP, Bobbi Brown Almost Bare EDP, Strange Invisible Perfumes Urban Lily EDP, Hampton Sun Privet Bloom EDP, and/or Jessica McClintock EDP.

An 1 ounce EDP retails for $70. Other sizes and products are available at DSH’s website.

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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…

This is an all natural fragrance that is in Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH “Gaia Perfume Collection”. This is as the name applies, a spicy fragrance. I really do like spicy fragrances but I think I have “low-brow” spicy fragrance tastes. I seem to always use Old Spice as my spice fragrance point of reference. Well, Epices d’Hiver is spicy and citrusy like Old Spice but much more high-brow. At first it is a wonderful winter citrus explosion. You can smell bitter oranges, blood oranges, perfumey bergamot, and grapefruit. It is citrusy but nothing like the “citrus” you would grab in the middle of summer. This is definitely a “cold” citrus blend. I mean that it doesn’t smell like fresh citrus juices but more like citrus essential oils. I then smell lots and lots of star anise. This is a good thing because I love the smell of star anise. I know other spices are present but I pick up on the star anise the most. I get a hint of cloves and nutmeg. The spiciness of this fragrance reminds me a lot of Pae-lo or Chinese Five Spice. Or Sambuca mixed with a bay rum aftershave blend or Old Spice. The dry down is  soft, warm, and resiny. It reminds me of non-burning incense. It is “round”, mellow, and wears closely to the skin.

This is a nice scent for cooler weather. It is spicy without smelling “Christmasy”. It has been a great fragrance to wear during this past week when the temps have been about 19° F. It reminds me of a beautiful bay rum (I guess because of the davana mixed with citrus and spices) with a dash of Pae-lo. This is a spice fragrance that both sexes can wear. It is a great “classic” scent for the kind of male that spends his winter holiday eating clam chowder by a fire in a wool sweater that he got in Novia Scotia last year before he goes out yachting. I also see it for the kind of confident female that wears Old Spice, Hepburn-ish pant suits, and red lipstick. I see both wearers as an “adventurous” type.

This is a long-wearing scent because that wears closely to the skin most of the time because of the expensive essential oils used in the blend. I really do like this scent and I don’t mean it any harm by comparing it to Old Spice. That is just my low-brow reference for spicy blends. For a “spice” blend this one is beautiful and complex. It reminds me of anything from warming Sambuca cocktails to “faraway”, “exotic” spice blends. I really do like this fragrance and I find it very easy to wear for a spicy fragrance. I wear it and it doesn’t wear me. My husband also likes this one. He says it smells of Compari and Sambuca. He says that this is the most sophisticated bay rum in the world. I would say that this means a lot coming from a guy that wears bay rum in the winter and has a very limited scent vocabulary. Notes include: bergamot, bitter orange, citrus oils, coriander seeds, davana, pink peppercorn, star anise, cinnamon bark, clove bud, jasmine, Moroccan rose, nutmeg, spice notes, ambrette seeds, labdanum, Siam benzoin, tolu balsam, tonka bean, Arabian myrhh, and vanilla absolute. A few sizes are available. The 5 ml bottle in an antique inspired bottle goes for $90. I recommend this fragrance for the person that loves spice fragrances, The Different Company Un Parfum d’Ailleurs & Fleurs, Annick Goutal Madragore EDT, L’Artisan Parfumeur Fou d’Absinthe EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Navegar EDT, Byredo Parfums Fantastic Man, Etro Anice, Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique EDP, and/or Old Spice 🙂  It is available on DSH’s website.

It’s that time of year again. Mandarins, satsumas, whatever you like to call them, are at market to be purchased by the boxful. Citrus is a nice treat during these cool winter months. I’ve compiled a “collage” of zesty mandarin fragrances with a variety of price points and formulas.

Budget Mandarin Scents (Under $50): Trish McVoy Mandarin & Ginger Lily EDT is a citrus floral blend that is light-wearing. It retails for $48 for .5 oz (not alot of product for the dough). Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Garçonnes Tamara Charleston is a very interesting humid, green, mandarin blend. This solid Crazystick retails for $18 and is well worth it. My review of it is here. Lush Olive Branch Solid Perfume is a simple and refreshing unisex blend of olive oil and mandarins. I love the solid formula. tIt retails for about $8. Lancome Ô de Lancome EDT is a classic, cool feeling mandarin, floral, and rosemary scent. The 1.7 oz. bottle goes for $38.50.  Voluspa Victoria Collection Pink Fatale is an incredible flirty fruity-floral with citrus and lilies. The .5 oz. roll-on goes for $24. Oh, and I almost forgot the mandarin classic: The Body Shop Satsuma Perfume Oil. It’s all about mandarin and the .5 oil goes for $16. (not pictured)

More Expensive Mandarin Scents: Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne is a zesty, herbaceous citrus blend that is unisex. It’s a great summer scent. The 3.4 oz bottle goes for $100. It’s a limited edition fragrance but it is still available: L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarine Tout Simplement. It is what the name implies. It is a sparkling mandarin citrus blend. It is light wearing and the 8.4 oz. spray goes for $135. If you are looking for a creamier mandarin fragrance, the kind that can transition into cooler weather even though it is refreshing, try Antica Farmacista Vanilla Bourbon and Mandarin Perfume. The 1.6 oz. bottle goes for $58. Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Madarine Basilic EDT is a naturally sweet citrus blend with clementine, mandarin, and blood orange. The 1.7 oz bottle goes for $57. Here’s my review. Manuel Canovas Route Mandarine EDP is a mandarin and orange blossom mix, a citrus floral. It retails for $79 for 3.4 oz. Fresh Bergamot Citrus is a light blend of bergamot, citrus, and foresty base notes. The 3.4 oz. retails for $75. Creed Millesime Imperial is a unisex blend of crisp citrus, salt, musk, and woods. It is truly lovely and goes for $250 for 4 oz. (I just ordered one and I’m waiting anxiously for its arrival). Molinard 1849 Vervaine de Molinard is a green, crisp, fresh mandarin. Plus, the bottle is a must have. The 3.3 oz goes for $185.

5 Other Great Mandarin Products: Mistral Black Tea Mandarin Soap is a great scent for cooler weather. A bar goes for under $8. Ahava Body Sorbet in Madarin & Cedarwood is a refreshing and very moisturizing blend. The cedarwood really adds a special something. I love it for cooler weather. It is very foresty. A tub goes for $26. Lush The Big Tease Styling Gel is a hair gel with an orange blossom, mandarin, and lemon scent. It smells heavenly. It goes for under $17. Diptyque Oyedo Candle is a refreshing blend of grapefruit and mandarin. The candle retails for $60. A rich and lush mandarin fragrance for the home is Alora Ambiance Tre Reed Diffuser which goes for $58.

So far I have not met a Diptyque fragrance that I dislike. They are one of my favorite fragrance houses. The fragrances are simple and beautiful and so easy to wear. L’Eau de Tarocco is a beautiful fruity/citrusy but spicy fragrance. It can be worn all year round but I find it to be the perfect winter/cool weather citrus scent.

L’Eau de Tarocco is spicy but nothing like a pomander. It doesn’t smell like Christmas. It’s spicy but not heavy on cloves, nutmeg, etc. It is mainly lush citrus and a hint of spice such as ginger and cinnamon. Citrus scents are perfect for summer because they are light and refreshing but I do think of them for winter since this when they are in season. Having citrus in the dead of winter is such a treat. It opens up as a citrus juice explosion. It has all of the juiciness of sweet tarocco orange (sweeter than a regular ole blood orange), oranges, and a drop of tangy grapefruit. It’s the actual juice of an orange, not sweetened like orange juice.. This is an EDT so this explosion is just an explosion. It fades fairly quickly. I am then left with a bit of “tang” from the memory of citrus juices, a tad bit of spice like ginger and cinnamon. The spice isn’t overwhelming or Noel-ish. It adds some warmth and highlights the certain something of the florals present. This cinnamon/ginger plays so nicely against the orange blossom and softness of other dewy petals. The dry down is light and warm. You can smell the amazing cedar that is used in Diptyque fragrances. The white musk grounds the woods, keeping it “skin like” in quality. It is pretty, clean, and fresh at the dry down. This is a light wearing fragrance, refreshing and energizing. L’Eau de Tarocco contains notes of sweet Italian tarocco orange (yum), Florida orange, grapefruit, saffron, ginger extract, cinnamon, curcuma extract, Bulgarian rose, orange blossom, cedar wood, Somali frankincense, and white musk.

I would say that you would like this or if you like this you should try Parfums des Beaux Arts The Color Orange, Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange, Jo Malone Blue Agava & Cocoa, Fresh Bergamot Citrus, and/or Guerlian Exclusive Cologne de 68. I would also say that you would like this if  you like light, citrus scents or want something that is “friendly”, not heavy or over the top.  The cologne retails for $98 for the 100ml or $135 for the 200 ml and it is available at beautyhabit.com or barneys.com.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH The Color Orange is a fragrance based on the color orange used in Rothko’s no.12. Appropriately it is heavy on citrus. Oranges are orange. At first spritz it is a juicy but rugged citrus. It smells like fresh, hand squeezed oranges. It’s a mix of the juice and the peel. It’s a bounty of mid-winter ripe citrus: juicy blood oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit. These are listed as the top notes and you can really smell them. Citrus crops are one of the few things that I enjoy about winter. Who doesn’t love the feel of a blood orange awakening the senses in the dead of winter? I can smell the lushness of blood oranges, the tartness of little mandarins, and the rugged sweetness of grapefruit. It is like an olfactory vitamin C bomb. It’s bold and refreshing, tart and only sweet in the way that a pink grapefruit or blood orange can be. Surprisingly, The Color Orange becomes “lighter” and flirtier. It has a whimsy blend of neroli/orange blossom. It’s still “citrus” but with a breeze of neroli/orange blossom. It becomes much more feminine, smooth, and less rugged. It’s just flirty, coy. It blends smooth like the oil paints used in a Rothko painting, seamless but with definition. I love the base. This flirty, coy citrus-floral turns in to a moody, Medieval animalic citrus pomander. The dry-down is spicy and rich with wintery myrrh, ambrette seed, and sensual musks. This isn’t a Christmas time craft project type pomander, heavy on cinnamon, stuffing an orange peel with cloves. This is how I imagine a Middle Ages pomander, animalic heavy on ambergris, rich resins, and orange rinds, all carried from distant, warm lands. Something to outweigh the less than perfect wintery weather of the land where you reside. This is a reminder of warmth, sunshine, and bountiful groves. Not the rain, cold, frost, snow, grayness of December.

I really like this fragrance for winter. It is refreshing, warm, and very much like the citrus in season. I would say that you would like this if you like “rugged” citrus, something “orange”, winter citrus blends, Diptyque L’eau de Tarocco, Keiko Mecheri Sanguine, Red Flower Organic Ambrette, Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange, and/or Fresh Bergamot Citrus. Oh, or Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper body cream. The fragrance wears for about 4 hours.

A few sizes of this EDP are available. A 1 oz spray goes for $65. It can be purchased at DSH Perfumes website.

Rothkos no.12

Rothko's no.12

This summer I have been all about the citrus. I can’t get enough of citrus or citrus blossom scents. Perhaps it is the record breaking heatwave that swept through the Pacific Northwest or maybe it’s just time for me to go through this phase. I haven’t really gotten into citrus scents. I didn’t think they were “me” and I felt like my skin ate it up. I also thought they weren’t very artsy blends. I just didn’t have respect for them. Well, this summer I have been sampling every citrus scent that I can find. This week’s wear has been Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic EDT. If you know me, you know that there isn’t a Guerlain fragrance out there that I don’t love. This isn’t the most sophisticated Guerlain out there, but I do like it. It really hits the spot when the weather is 80+.

Mandarine-Basilic is a fresh citrus scent. It claims to have these notes: orange blossom, white peony, green tea, ivy, Roman chamomile, mandarin, basil, amber, and sandalwood.  It wears about the same on me all the way through. It is really difficult to sniff out these different notes. It smells of a refreshing beverage. The mandarin orange is what I notice the most. It’s a sweet citrus fragrance that reminds me of the juice from a clementine. It’s an easy to wear fragrance, not heavy on the herbaceous notes of basil. You smell a bit of the herb garden/vegetable garden. It just smells “green” and fresh but very pretty and not a bit rugged or masculine. This is a girly citrus. After a few hours of wear, the dry down is a faintly citrus and woody. It isn’t the most “wow” producing fragrance and it is a bit generic, but I do really like it. However, I am more of the Imperiale customer if I am looking for a refreshing summer fragrance. AA Mandarine-Basilic is just so pretty and more feminine than Imperiale and gentler and kinder than AA Pamplelune.

The scent wears for about 2-4 hours on me during pretty intense heat. It’s lovely throughout the wear and not a bit heavy. It’s a great summer scent, great for everyday or in a work environment. It’s citrusy, green, clean, and fresh. I would say to give this a try if you like mandarin citrus scents, Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne, Balm Balm Mandarin EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarin tout Simplement EDT, Marc Jacobs Lemon Splash Cologne, and/or Fresh Bergamot Citrus EDP. The 2.5 oz bottle goes for $57 and is available at Sephora.