The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Victoria’s Secret claims this is America’s #1 fragrance. I don’t know if this is true (I think they are including the entire Angels family) or not but I can imagine that it is really popular. I’m sure its sales are huge. Not because it is the most amazing fragrance in the world but because it is carried by Victoria’s Secret and if I like it or not, their stuff is really popular. It’s available at every mall in America. Dream Angels Heavenly is a very soft powdery oriental fragrance. It isn’t offensive and it smells very “ladylike”.

I hate to admit this but I don’t hate Heavenly. I like it in the way that I like Philosophy Amazing Grace, another very popular fragrance. Sometimes I just like a soft “powdery” musky fragrance. This is one of those. It smells feminine with a slight hint of cardamom, one of my olfactory weaknesses, and florals. There have been times when my backyard reminded me of this scent because we have freesia and peonies. This scent claims to have these two notes and I believe it. I can identify them in this blend. But, mainly what really stands out, the cardamom and florals are there but not the show stealers, is the “clean” white musk smell and the slight warm sweetness of vanilla. This comes across as a powdery fresh scent, I guess because of the huge amounts of white musk. This isn’t a mind-blowing fragrance in my opinion and there are other things like it, but I must say it that it isn’t bad. In fact, sometimes I want to smell like this. I will probably give in a buy a small bottle… It smells soft and feminine and it reminds me of wearing a silky-smooth cami with a cashmere soft cardigan. So it’s like cardamom clean musk at first, then spring garden and clean musk, then like clean musk + vanilla. This is how it wears on me. It’s simple enough, light, and fit for a lady. This is not “skanky”, overwhelming, or “young” like most of the company’s other scents. Good for them.

I find that this EDP wears very faintly, intimately, and close to the skin. It never seems overwhelming (unlike other VS scents). It lasts for a few hours. I can barely notice that I am wearing it after 2 hours. But, maybe I get used to it since it is a “generic” scent. Or maybe it doesn’t wear very long. I mean seriously, if this claims to be one of the U.S.’s #1 scents, shouldn’t I be smelling it on more people? And it is available in a 4.2 ounce bottle, they are expecting for us to be spraying this stuff throughout the day or bathing in it. The 4.2 ounce goes for $59, 2.5 ounce $49, and 1 ounce $39. Key to success? Get your product in every mall in the country and have a low price point. It works.

I would say you may like this if you like Philosphy Amazing Grace, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, The Body Shop White Musk, GAP Velvet Bloom, Harajuku Lovers Baby, Nasomatto China White, Coty White Musk, maybe even Annick Goutal Vanilla Exquise.


Dream Angels Heavenly Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 4.2 Oz by Victoria’s Secret

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

This fragrance is what the name implies. It is a rich, warm, and seductive scent. The packaging is perfect and contains a skull and crossbones, suggesting the poisonous side of the product. (Who doesn’t love the antiquarian styled packaging?) Initially I wasn’t attracted to the product despite its cool packaging. To be honest, I found the name dull and boring. “Sexy” is an overused and bastardized word. I mean if it is being used by some slimy designer on HGTV to describe a ceiling fan, then it is dead. Yep, dead is “sexy”.

However, I am so pleased that I was talked into and had a chance to try this fragrance. Dead Sexy is warm and comforting without being overly sweet. It is perfect for these chilly and drizzly and moody western Washington days. This fragrance is the epitome of the “modern woods” fragrance genre. In the beginning this fragrance is a high quality vanilla liquor and a dry, rare woods blend. It is almost oud-ish but less abrasive. It has a bit of a smokiness which is what I think makes this so sexy. It reminds me of being in an Old World “bordello” filled with the abstract incense smoke and fine wooden furniture and the softest linens, surrounded by ebony panels. It’s luxe and goth in An Interview With A Vampire way. Once it starts to dry down, it is more of a “woods” scent. The vanilla is there but it isn’t as “liquory”.  The vanilla is smoky and incensey. It just smells of a melange of  rich and slightly sweet “modern” woods. These woods aren’t dirty. They are round and robust and very feminine. There is the faintest aroma of delicate white petals. It smells more like your in this “bordello” and you pick up a whiff of little white flowers in a vase next to a candelabra filled with burning candles. The florals are there but almost ghostly, you catch their cold “feeling” every now and then amongst the warm woods. In fact, this blend is a great balance of “warm” and “cool” like a rich mahogany bed with crisp, smooth sheets. It has a mix of exotic and precious woods, smoky vanilla, rich amber-like resins, and a dash of flirty petals. It’s a beautiful thing, really. This scent reminds me of vampy Theda Bara. This is a must have fragrance for all the real-life vamps and working goths out there.

This fragrance is a sexy (not my favorite adjective but fitting for this scent) scent that isn’t overwhelming like most “modern woods”. I wear it during the day. It is soft but very rich and bewitching. It wears closely to the skin for a few hours. I say about 4-5 hours of wear. It contains notes of deep vanilla, exotic wood, white orchid, and ebony. I would say to give this one a try if you like dry woodsy scents, Tom Ford Oud Wood,  Tom Ford White Patchouli, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, Nanette Lepore Nanette, Prada EDP, Calvin Klein Euphoria, and/or Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté.

The 1 ounce spray retails for $28 (a steal) and can be purchased at b-glowing.com.

L’Aromarine Opopanaux is a very rich scent in a very rich medium. It is a long wearing perfume oil. It can be diluted into alcohol for a lighter scent or mixed into other things such as epsom salt as a bath salt. It wears all day, but after the first few hours very closely to the skin. It is a rich, resin scent. It is both powdery in an amber way or myrrh and almost citrusy at times, like a mix of lemongrass and lavender. So what I guess I am trying to say that it is almost pine-y and coniferous while being boldly sweet and ambery. So, yep, a resin or a balsam: opopanox. This is a scent that I like but rarely wear except for in the winter months when I wear amber and frankincense based fragrances. You can pull off heavier scents then.

I would guess that you would like this fragrance if you like warm and rich amber, opopanox, myrrh, and frankinsense based fragrances, smoky incense scents, headshop fragrance oils, “oriental” scents,  Demeter Incense, Annik Goutal Encens Flampoyant EDP, Serge Lutens Chergui or Ambre Sultan (Serge loves to put opopanox in stuff), Regina Harris Amber Vanilla, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist (if you watered the L’Aromarine down), and/or Guerlain Shalimar. This scent is nice alone or mixed. You can mix it with vanilla oil for a sweeter take or with a rose oil for an elegant oriental perfume blend. I would say that it could very easily be unisex and very nice on a man if mixed with a woodsy oil like cedar or patchouli. It retails for under $10 and can be purchased on beautyhabit.com.

Sometimes its a great thing that you didn’t buy it. That is the case with this product. I’m not a huge Donna Karan Cashmere Mist fan but I do respect it as a warm, perfect for cooler weather scent. It is a nice cuddly dry wood scent. There aren’t too many like this in the mainstream market. It is warm and inviting. Anyways, I received a sample of this body creme. I expected it to be luxurious, über moisturizing, rich and very fragrant. It was none of the above. The scent wasn’t horrible. I liked it. It wasn’t the same as the EDP but it did smell of warm dry cedarwood coated in amber and musk. It was warm and very woody. However, the scent did not linger for more than 30 minutes, maybe an hour. I expect for a $55 cream to stay around for dinner. The cream layered nicely with other woodsy scents and I found that it wears nicely with a few Serge Lutens and even that inexpensive Crazylilbellue and the Poppies Encens Mystic. It isn’t very moisturizing either. It melted quickly into my skin and my skin felt very “thirsty”. Granted I am having a wicked case of the ashiness and it is like 19 degrees outside, but hey isn’t that the best time to test a body cream? My skin lapped this stuff up. I like it but I wouldn’t pay this price for it, maybe like $10. That is my limit for a cream that doesn’t moisturize and really doesn’t add a lot of fragrance.


Cashmere Mist Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Donna Karan

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Donna Karan has released a fragranced body powder in the Cashmere Mist fragrance. The powder comes in a large pressed powder compact with a kabuki brush. The powder is fragrant and contains bits of warm shimmer. I’m very excited about this product. I am not a Cashmere Mist fan. It isn’t that I dislike the fragrance, I just don’t feel it is very “me”. It is pretty good for such a popular fragrance. It wears closely to the skin and smells so warm. I love to smell it in the winter and fall. It is warm and cozy just like a cashmere sweater. I think I can wear it in the powder form. Plus, I love body powder and I am a sucker for shimmer.

It retails for $48 and can be purchased on nordstrom.com.

This is my favorite Donna Karan cashmere sweater ever.

This is my favorite Donna Karan cashmere sweater ever.