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.

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Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Could a name be any more unfortunate than “Ralph”? Seriously. It sounds disgusting. Maybe the kids don’t say that anymore, but I still use it that way. Ralph is obviously marketed to a younger crowd. It has a simple bottle and tons of auxiliary products. I don’t find Ralph offensive (well, other than the name), I just find it dull and boring even for a fruity-floral. It has been around a long time, it has many spin-offs, and it is worth reviewing. Notes include: apple tree leaves, yellow freesia, Italian mandarin, Japanese loquat, osmanthus, magnolia, linden blossom flower, purple freesia, boronia, musk 2000, and white orris. At initial spritz Ralph is kind of hissy like freesia (which I find difficult to replicate) and generic fruits. It kind of smells like an Herbal Essence shampoo (not the old stuff, the new stuff). It continues to be super fruity. The fruits are difficult to determine, but they seem to be a bit sour apple and like a loquat lozenge with a kiss of pink grapefruit. It just seems like a canned jelly mixture of pectin and delicate synthetic blossoms. The florals eventually become stronger than the fruits and it becomes less like those jelly candies that one may find at an Asian market. The florals last and mix with generic musks, a fruity musk, not a “skin” musk or “sensual” musk. It’s a bit humid and aquatic and this helps to make it a bit more fresh but still floral. It’s a fragrance that one could use the following words to describe: flirty, young, girly, carefree, and well, generic.

I don’t find this fragrance exciting or interesting one bit, but it does define a genre: fruity-floral. This genre isn’t my favorite but it has been popular for sometime, especially with a certain age group. The fragrance isn’t horrible. I just don’t like it for myself.

I would say that you would like this or if you like this you may like Paris Hilton EDP,Gucci II EDP, Britney Spears Believe EDP, Harajuku Lovers Music EDT, Lily Pulitzer Wink EDP, JLo Love At First Glow EDP, Benefit B Spot EDT, Victoria’s Secret Pink EDP and/or Vera Wang Truly Pink EDP.

Prices range from $28 for 1 ounce to $62.50 for 3.4 ounces. It is available at most department stores, beauty.com, and sephora.com.

Ralph Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Ralph Lauren

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

So far, I haven’t met a Diptyque fragrance that I haven’t loved. I can say that Diptyque Philosykos is my all time favorite fig scent ever. Ever. I’m a fig fragrance nut. I “collect” them even if I love them or not. It is a nostalgia thing. It makes me think of my childhood spending summers in the Southeast and my big move to the Pacific Northwest as an adult.

Philosykos is a great blend. It is fairly simple but it completely conveys the fig tree and its surroundings. This fragrance was meant to contain all “parts” of the fig tree including sap, trunk, and leaves in growth. It does. This is a “fresh” fig fragrance because it smells like a living fig tree. This means that it doesn’t smell like a fig dessert or the fruit or the bark or dried leaves. It smells like a living fig tree, plain and simple. When you spritz the fragrance you get the feeling that you are standing beside a few fig trees in the late of summer with a warm Southern breeze.  Or maybe setting near the sea on a large driftlog, feeling the warmth of sea pebbles and sand below your summer sandals, and thinking of the fresh figs you’ve just picked on the your walk down to the shore. It’s that simple. You smell the greeness of the leaves, the woodiness of the smooth bark, and the fig sap which sometimes has an almost latex-like aroma. It also contains white cedar and this grounds this scent beautifully and makes it longer wearing. (It is much more noticeable in the dry-down and reminds me of sea smoothed driftwood.) Like I said, this scent is fairly simple and very realistic. I love it for all-year wear. It’s light, not heavy, wears for about 5 hours (good for an EDT), and it is a “memory” fragrance for me.This is a must for a fig fragrance lover since it seems to “define” the fig fragrance as a genre.

It retails for $88 for 1.7 oz. It is available at beautyhabit.com and barneys.com.

L’Artisan Parfumeur describes Thé Pour Un Été or Summer Tea as  “An invitation to a far-away land, a moment of tranquility in an exotic oasis, the fragrance is as refreshing as a glass of iced green tea infused with jasmine and mint. Delicate and versatile, this is a scent for all seasons, a tender reminder of the happy days of summer.” It is an Olivia Giacobetti creation. Thé Pour Un Été isn’t what I expect for it to be. I don’t think the description is very fitting or even the name, for the most part. It is a pretty scent that wears very sweet and almost powdery on me. It wears very closely and intimately. It’s soft and romantic. I do not dislike the scent, I just find it not what I expected. In fact, I thought my sample was mislabeled!

At first it smells very creamy with a hint of jasmine tea. It’s floral but rich. It seriously hits me as a jasmine green tea latte hot, not served chilled, with a slight dash of lemon. My nose does not pick up the crisp or coolness of bergamot or the crispness of mint. I get a creamy blend of dried jasmine petals, freshly brewed green tea, steamed milk, and the faintest suggestion of lemon. When I wear this fragrance I don’t fell it screams “summer”, when I wear it in the dead of summer on those 90+ days, it doesn’t feel refreshing. (But, what does when it gets that unbearable). It just hits me as sweet. This scent hits me more as comforting, romantic, cuddly. This is something that I would rather wear in early spring. I drink lots of iced teas in summer from Persian mint to black tea with rose. This fragrance doesn’t remind me of those elixirs that I make for myself to beat the humid heat. This scent is more like the tea lattes that I get at my favorite tea bars, when it isn’t cool enough for coffee but not warm enough for an iced beverage. So, I guess it is accurate to say that it is a “reminder of the happy days of summer”. It’s how you may remember summer, it’s comforting like those first few warm days of late spring and thaws your cool body out from the wet, brisk days of the cooler seasons. We call this “sun breaks” in Washington. It feels so good to feel the sun again after months of the same old weather. It’s like this fragrance, it isn’t “summer” it won’t refresh you, it just comforts you and it is like you feel the warmth of those rays on your skin. It’s a fragrance that warms and doesn’t cool (like a mint, rosemary, or citrus scent). The dry down is about the same, with a bit more of the green tea and less of the jasmine, still sweet and almost like it has a hint of white chocolate.

Like I said, the fragrance wears very closely and is light. It wears for about 2 hours tops on my pulse points. Notes listed by the perfume house include: lemon, bergamot, mint, jasmine, and green tea. The 3.4 oz spray goes for $135 and the 1.7 oz for $95. It is available at beautyhabit.com and L’Artisan website.

Green tea latte

Green tea latte

jeannatecollection

One of my favorite things about summer (other than lots of time off and the mild climate of the Pacific Northwest) is that I get to use my entire bath line of Jean Naté. Busting out the Jean Naté means that summer is here. It’s fresh, clean, citrusy and not fussy, making it a perfect summer must have.

Jean Naté or Jean Nate as my grandmother would say (like blue “jeans” and “nate” rhymes with “late”) was launched in 1935 under Charles of the Ritz, now Revlon. This is a best selling bath line. It was a hit then and continues to be so. Every generation of women in my family has used this stuff. It’s timeless despite the lame 70’s ad campaigns that my mother was exposed to. The scent is one of my favorite scents ever. And to my benefit this product is inexpensive, available at drugstores all over the country, and has the cutest vintage packaging (got to love that font).

The trademark is “clean never felt so fresh”, OK, not very brilliant but I promise that the products are. Overall the fragrance is a super fresh blend of citrus, bergamot, and lavender. But, each item has its own “special” quality and scent that it plays up. It’s like if you use the body wash you have the top note, the lotion you have the middle note, and with the splash you have the base. They all work together wonderfully.The scent is light and refreshing and really reminds me of very, very expensive European EDT/colognes.

Moisturizing Body Wash: This is my favorite body wash of all time. It is so fresh. It leaves my body clean all day. It’s my girl version of Irish Spring, making it a summer must have, especially here in Washington with no a/c. This body wash is “sparkling” and almost effervescent and bubbly in fragrance. This reminds me of a “top” note used in fragrance. It is heavy on the lemon and bergamot. I love it. It seriously leaves a faint scent on my skin all day. It lathers nicely and is everything I want in a shower gel.Unfortunately this is a very hard product to find. When I find it I pick up a few bottles because it is my favorite shower gel of all time. It goes for $6-$10.

Hydrating Body Lotion: The texture of this lotion is lightweight and perfect for summer. It isn’t greasy or sticky. It is very fragrant but less effervescent than the shower gel. This has the lemon and bergamot but with more lavender making this is a very refreshing and soothing product at the same time. Plus, you can pick up a fresh, dewy floral such a geranium. It is lovely.This goes for about $6 and you can sometimes find a very large bottle for $10.

After Bath Splash: I would say this is the most popular product in the line. This hit it big in the 70’s and 80’s when “light” fragrances were all the rage. People were simplifying their routines. The After Bath Splash is now available in 3 sizes in a convenient spray bottle. I love the old school splash with the big black spherical top, but since I pretty much bathe myself in this stuff the spray bottle is much more functional. The scent is so refreshing and much more herbaceous than the other products. It is lemon rind, bergamot, and English lavender. It is simple and refreshing and has a slight almost patchouli dry down. This reminds me of a classic Guerlain EDT such as Mitsouko, refreshing herbaceous Provincial inspired colognes like Potter & Moore Lavender & Italian Lemon, Hierbas de Ibiza Agua de Colonia Fresca, Satellite Paris L’Ombre, and even Lubin L’Eau Neuve. I love this stuff. It’s what I want in the summer. It is light wearing, I mean it is a body splash with a high alcohol content. Sometimes in the summer this is all I want. But, if I want more I will layer it under the fragrances that I have mentioned above. Hint-Put it in the fridge for an extra refreshing, cooling spritz. The prices for this range from $6 to $10 depending on size.

Silkening Body Powder: I love a dusting powder because I am an old-fashioned kind of gal. The powder comes in a cute yellow container with a nice puff. I only wear body powder in the summer so I happy it is available in this scent. This is a floral herbaceous blend that smells like the after bath splash in powder form.It’s soft and easily mixes with other fragrances you may layer over it. It retails for $10. I love to use this after one of my very late evening summer strolls. Or to freshen up in the summer midday if I don’t have time to shower before going back out.

A cologne spray is available but I have not tried it but I hope to soon. Since this product is a classic you can find good deals on it. For example, limited edition jumbo sizes for summer where you get 30 fl. oz. of bath splash for $10. Many say that the formula has been tampered with in 2007 and that it isn’t close to the original. I’m sure the formula has been changed but I think it is all a matter of opinion. My family members declare that what they buy today is what they remember it being like. I’ve been using it pre-2007 and post-2007 and find it the same. But, with classic products it is a touchy game. Old customers tastes could of changed but they would never admit it. But, I’m not going there. I just bought a new batch of every item I mentioned for this summer and love them all. There is an old commercial on youtube here that further emphasizes the “exhilarating” aspect of the product. It’s funny but warning, video quality isn’t so hot.

Carolina Herrera 212 (pronounced like 2-1-2, area code for NYC) is one of those “modern urban” fragrances, something along the lines of like CK One or CK Be. It’s a musky floral that isn’t overly feminine. I can smell “flowers” but they aren’t that strong or really identifiable, it something that resembles a lily. When I sniff this fragrance I pick up the “clean” notes of bergamot and lots and lots of musk. There is a faint hint of sandalwood, but a very modern sandalwood that isn’t so “perfumey”, nothing like a Serge Lutens play on sandalwood. This is just a clean fragrance but not soapy. Honestly, I could see it working for a guy and I really think it could of done better if it was advertised as a unisex fragrance like a CK One.This isn’t frou-frou and the floral is just a hint, very clean. That being said, it isn’t overly masculine, I just see it as a very gender neutral fragrance. No sweetness at all, which is good. This isn’t my favorite scent because it is well, boring in my opinion. But, I could see somebody really liking this, especially somebody that is “sensitive” too scent. This isn’t so complex and it is pretty mild.

It is an EDT and it wears for a few hours. It is a soft fragrance so it never comes on strong, even in the beginning. It wears closely. I think the bottle for the 212 is what is tops. Each end may be used, it is pretty cool, pretty industrial.

I would say to give this is a try if you are a gal that isn’t too wild about florals or sweet fragrances but still want something “modern” and “young”, if you like “clean” musk fragrances,if you like CK One, CK Be, CK Eternity, Philosophy Pure Grace, Issey Miyake, Bvlgari Blu or Black, Sarah Horowitz Peace Comes From Within Mind, Crazylibellule and the Poppies Les Divines Alcoves in Presque Neut, and maybe even D & G Light Blue.

The 1 ounce goes for $46, the 2 ounce for $63, the 3.4 ounce for $83. Sephora offers a .34 ounce roll-on for $18, this is a great way to give it a try.


212 Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Carolina Herrera

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

This is one of the many tea based fragrances out there. Not many of them actually smell like “tea”, just tea inspired. However, Bvlgari Red Tea is much more bolder than its tea siblings: Green and White. It is fresh but manages to be spicy. Think an OK orange pekoe black tea with a little too much pink pepper (at least by first impression). I like this better than Bvlgari’s other tea fragrances because it actually hangs around. It lasts about 2 hours on me even in warmer weather. Really that isn’t too bad for an EDT that is made to be “light” and “fresh”. At initial spritz, it is a bit too citrusy for my tastes. It smells very “generic” with its blend of citrus, bergamot, and pink pepper. It is very difficult to find a newer fragrance without those three fragrance notes. (Plus, I’m just so sick of pink pepper used as a top note for everything.) It is spicy and citrusy without being brash, it manages to be a bit too kind. Luckily, you start to smell the robust fragrance of tea leaves. That mixed quite nicely with the hint of the citrusy top notes. There is a slight fruitiness of fig fruit, almost grilled fig “meat”. Once again, another “figgy” fragrance that I am drawn to. The fig helps to balance the scent out without making it too cup o’tea. The dry down is soft, still very orange pekoe-ish but with a slight “warmth” to it to make it stick around. It is slightly “nutty” and burnt. I really love this fragrance the more that it has been around. It dries to a slightly sweet tea fragrance but don’t think too foody! This isn’t “foody” or sickly sweet. It is sweet like a dried black tea leaf not oatmeal rasin cookie or even a chai. This fragrance is fairly simple, it really is just tea with a few other things. It is fresh so don’t think you are getting the odor that a box of dried loose black tea has to offer. It is very bergamot-ish for the most part but not like an Earl Grey. It is more robust than a green or white tea and less “tart”. But, it is still “tea”.  I really like to wear this in the summer. It is fresh, light, “sharp” and not overwhelmingly citrus rind but bergamot (which blends naturally with tea). It’s a unisex fragrance but I don’t know any men that wear it. For Bvlgari’s tea line, I do find this one the most “femme” because of the pink pepper and the other top notes. I am sure the dry down is fine for a man.

I would say that you would like this if you like tea fragrances, bergamot fragrances, TokyoMilk Parfum Ex Libris, other Bvlgari fragrances such as Omnia, Calvin Klein CK, Fresh Fig Apricot or Bergamot Citrus, and/or Clean Shower Fresh. The bottle is super simple and looks like the other tea fragrance bottles. The top is reddish and plastic. The 1.33 ounce retails for $57 and the  3.4 ounce bottle retails for $82. It is available at fragrancenet.com.


Bvlgari Eau Parfumee Au The Rouge Perfume for Women Eau De Cologne Spray 3.4 Oz by Bvlgari

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com