I love plums. We have a plum tree in the backyard and this spring brought us the most amazing aroma of plum blossoms. Plus, the tree has been just beautiful when covered with blossoms. It’s been quite a view from my pink boudoir. I also love the aroma of the juicy fruit. Stone fruits really add to a fragrance. A plum has a richness that others do not, plus it lacks the “fuzziness” of peaches. It mixes well with florals and spices. Hey, it even mixes well with seaweed. I would love a fragrance that smells like plum furikake. I’ve compiled a brief “collage” of various plum heavy fragrances. Feel free to add.

Budget Plum Scents (under $50): TokyoMilk Parfum Sugar Plum Solid Perfume is a sweet plum as the name implies. It retails for $18. Bath and Body Works has 2 fruity plum floral EDTs: Cherry Blossom and Blushing  Cherry Blossom. Both retail for $26.50 for over 2 ounces. An “oriental” plum is Avon Imari Seduction EDT. This is a “purple” seductive fragrance with vanilla, plum, and orchids. The 1.7 oz. goes for $22.50. Crazylibellule & The Poppies 26 Juin ile d’Yeu Solid Cologne is a refreshing plum/fruity chypre. The crazystick goes for about $18. To me it smells like a plum tree full of ripe fruit on a hot summer day. I really do love that stick. Aroma M Geisha Pink Roll-On is a frivolous sweet, sugared plum fragrance oil in an adorable package. It retails for $40.

More Expensive Plum Scents: Juicy Couture Couture Couture EDP is a very sweet fruity-floral with plum. It’s a bit too sweet for my taste, but it does have candied plums. The bottle is beautiful. The 1.7 ounce goes for $65. Creed Aqua Florentine is a light-hearted fruity floral with dessert plums, flirty blossoms, and cedar. The smallest spray retails for $130. Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Quincridone Violet EDP (not pictured) is an energetic plum/fruity violet floral. The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $65. If a plum based fragrance could be an edgy fashionista, it would be Editions de Parfums Le Parfum de Therese. This is a blend of stone fruits, citrus, cedar, and leather. Love it. The 1.7 ounce retails for $155. If you are looking for a dried plum AKA prune fragrance, more appropriate for fall/winter, give Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits EDP a try. It’s woodsy and powdery sweet. It retails for $200 for 1.7 ounces.

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Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

This is a fragrance that I thought I hated. As I’ve matured, I have found that I don’t dislike this one. This is my favorite Clinique fragrance and one of my favorite mass market, line specific, department store fragrances. Clinique’s slogan for this fragrance is “Intriguing, Non-Conformist Fragrance performs the role of a perfume, but goes far beyond”. Pretty bold coming from the “safest” cosmetic company that I can think of. This fragrance was created in 1975 by Bernard Chant, the man behind the classic chypre, Cabochard, and the 60’s floral, Estee. So, yes, Mr. Bernard Chant, was the creator of the many fragrances that Generation X-ers and beyond refer to as “old lady” smells. I find that I like “old lady” smells. I’m a vintage, old-fashioned gal. I prefer the scents that my grandmothers wore.

At first spritz, Clinique Aromatics Elixir is mossy and has a greenness from an old-fashioned rose. There is so much oakmoss. I need to add that I love a heavy dose of oakmoss in about any perfume. After the mossy rose settles, I get tons and tons of patchouli. So, if you despise headshop patchouli then stay away from Clinique Aromatics. It is an oily and rich patchouli with a hint of dried vetiver and dried lavender. This adds a coolness to the earthy patchouli and its bed of mossy roses. This really hits me as a Pacific Northwestern scent because of the moss, roses, and wet dirt. It’s like being at The International Rose Test Garden in Portland on a wet and dreary October afternoon. I love it. The dry down is still heavy with patchouli but it lacks that wetness and coolness. It becomes slightly powdery with soft amber and sandalwood notes. There is a 70’s musk present too. This soft, earthy and musky dry-down is reminiscent of many dry-downs of juices in the mid-60’s to mid-70’s. This means that if you wear this, then somebody may carbon date you back to the 1970’s. The dry-down reminds me of going through grandma’s containers of vintage face powders and perfume oil bottles that she saved for their containers. It’s powdery but has that richness of dark perfume oils. I must add that my grandmother did (and continues to) wear Clinique Aromatics Elixir as her casual, “around the house” fragrance. So, I do like this fragrance because it reminds me of laid-back days with grandma.

I am so happy that I gave this one another try. This is why I should never let go of perfume samples 🙂 I’m moody and it only makes sense that my tastes would be too. I realize that many young adults will not find this perfume attractive. I don’t wear perfume for others. I wear what I like. This elixir is very long-wearing. I would say that I find it on my pulse points 12-15 hours after applying. It just contains so many rich and adhering fragrance notes.

Notes listed include: rose, jasmine, oakmoss, ylang ylang, vetiver, patchouli, musk, amber, and sandalwood.

You may like this if you like fougere scents or scents like Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP, Estee Lauder Youth Dew Cologne, Tom Ford Private Blend Moss Breches EDP, Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale EDP, Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge EDP, Heeley Parfums Cardinal EDP, Tauer Perfumes Incense Rose EDP, The Party In Manhattan EDP, and/or Montale Orient Extreme EDP. The 1.5 oz retails for $42.50 and the 3.4 oz for $52.50. It can be purchased at Clinique counters anywhere or Sephora. It’s also available at fragrancenet.com.
Get it for a deal at…

Aromatics Elixir Perfume for Women Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Clinique

Fragrance & Food:

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange wasn’t what I expected it to be at all. I wanted rugged citrus rind/zest mixed with the sweet juices of a blood orange. I wanted something to pick me up in the dead of winter and to be refreshing in the middle of summer. Nope. Instead with this one, I got too much of  juicy berries. It isn’t a bad fragrance, it just wasn’t what I expected.

First things first, I’m not a huge fan of strawberry scents. I find them too synthetic and too young. I don’t mind sniffing strawberry scents on others but I can’t stand to smell it on myself. Tuscan Blood Orange is all about strawberries at the initial spritz, the name should not of been Tuscan Blood Orange. It should be something about strawberries. Strawberry fragrance lovers should know about this fragrance. It should be in the title. Instead Pacifica is giving berry lovers and detour and attracting citrus lovers whom most likely will be disappointed with this fragrance. At first spritz it is very strawberry-ish. Think of a limited edition Escada scent. It is that berry. In a short time, you get the zest of tangerines and oranges. This drowns the strawberry; however, since my sniffer is sensitive to strawberry, I still pick it up. The zesty orange peel hangs around. It starts to mellow out with another berry, raspberry. This takes a bit of the “edge” off of the citrus while keeping it bitter. Eventually the fuse together and create something that would make a delicious tropical cocktail. The berry begins to fade and you get a juicy citrus. This is beautiful, fruity, and refreshing. At this stage, I get blood orange juice and pineapple juice, making this one tropical frou-frou fragrance. Oh, but then there is the strawberry zombie! After I start enjoying the fragrance it then morphs back into the strawberry citrus blend that was the top. But, this time the citrus is less apparent.

The fragrance isn’t bad. It just isn’t me and it isn’t something that I see myself wearing frequently. I can name 10 other citrus scents on the market that I love more. This is a very fruity fragrance. I would of really liked this one if it had a floral to balance the berry or if the berries were left out altogether. I really love the heart of the fragrance but I can’t forgive the berries. It doesn’t help that they keep coming back from the dead. This is a “young” fragrance to me. That being said, it is a fun fragrance. I don’t hate it. Sometimes I do want a tropical cocktail-ish fragrance. The price is right with this one and it does wear longer than a Demeter PMU Cologne spray. I do think of it as more of a summer fragrance but I do fear that the berries will make it to icky and sticky for hot summer days.

The fragrance isn’t very long wearing. But, I think wears nicely for the price. It wears much longer than a body spray and cologne. I smell traces of it about 3 hours after spraying. It wears about the same as more expensive EDTs at department stores. The bottle is small and you could “refresh” throughout the day. Plus, it has natural ingredients.

Notes listed include: strawberry, raspberry, mandarin, and Italian sweet orange.

Give this a try if you like very fruity fragrances, tropical drink like fragrances, LE Escada fragrances, Urban Rituelle Sweet Treats Pomegranete EDP, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Mora Bella EDP, Fresh Strawberry Flowers EDP, Marc Jacobs Daisy In The Air EDT, Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild EDT, and/or Demeter PMU Cologne Sex on the Beach.

The 1.2 oz spray retails for $22. It is available at Sephora and Pacifica’s website.

Also, since this is a delicious fragrance and it makes me think of food, here is a Strawberry Compote with Blood Orange Juice. I would add raspberries to give it the full Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange touch.

I wouldn’t say that “clean” or “fresh” scents are my favorite genre. I usually like chypres or things with aldehydes or rich florals. However, I really do appreciate a “fresh” scent. They are like the comfort or scents. They seem to “go” with everything and aren’t too offensive for work. And sometimes I just want to smell simple and uncomplicated. You know that, “I’m not wearing a fragrance” kind of fragrance. The Clean fragrance house is a brand for those that love fresh, in the modern sense of the word fragrances. Personally, I find bergamot, certain blossoms, and certain musks very fresh. Anyways, Clean Original isn’t what I expected. In fact, I find it quite odd that the fragrance house has been so successful because of this Original fragrance.

Clean Original’s top notes are very citrusy. But, not in that Mediterranean eau de cologne way. It is very “synthetic” like those Valentine’s day Sweet Hearts/Conversation Hearts. It reminds me of sugary, lemony pastilles made by Choward’s. This is the litsea cubeba AKA May Chang. This note isn’t awful, it is just a little abrasive to my sniffer even though my taste buds love Choward’s lemon pastilles. This note is like a fusion of a sweet candied violet and lemon oil used in flavoring. Like I said, it isn’t bad. For some reason it burns my nose. I think it is because it is so citrusy when mixed with notes like orange, grapefruit, and lime. At times I think that this smells like a dish washing detergent. It reminds me of the smell of some serious cleaning. Other times, I find it less antibacterial soap. It all depends on my mood.  I really like citrus fragrances but I find this one is a bit too clean in a household cleaning product kind of way for me. The citrus hangs around and mixes with the rose geranium. Once again, I think this smells like a household cleaning product because I use Mrs. Meyer’s Rose Geranium scented products! I realize that this is my perspective. I get Choward’s Lemon pastilles and Mrs. Meyer’s Rose Geranium dish washing soap. After about 30 minutes of wear, I start to notice the white musk. This white musk is more of a “cotton” musk or a clean linen type of fragrance. It smells like warm, clean laundry. Since I love the aroma of clean laundry, I really like the dry-down of this EDP. It still has a touch of lemon, but it is much milder. The lemon added to the white musk smells like clean laundry hanging out to dry on a sunny day. This I like.

This fragrance doesn’t wear very long on me. I don’t notice it after about 1.5 hours of wear. I am actually very surprised to see it labeled as an EDP and not an EDT. I really do not see what all of the fuss is about with this fragrance. It’s clean, zesty, and energetic. I don’t like it on myself. If this scent was in a household cleaning product or home fragrance, I would go nuts for it. This is a fragrance that I’d rather have my home and laundry smell like than my skin. So, my verdict is that Clean Original is just too darn “clean”. It’s clean in a clean house way, not in a clean skin/soapy way. It wears on top of my skin, I never feel like it becomes “apart” of me. I love the dry-down but I feel it is a bit low-brow and I can get the same effect with a much cheaper fragrance. I realize that the entire concept of the fragrance is a fragrance that smells “clean” and not like a perfume. I get that. I just think there are better ones out there that fit my personality. I like snuggling linen type fragrances. This one reminds me of all of the cleaning products that I use in my home. Of course I love their aroma, but it isn’t very comforting. This scent reminds me of chores. Not good.

Notes listed include: litsea cubeba, orange, sweet lime, pink grapefruit, passion lily, rose geranium, and white musk.

The scent isn’t bad. It is zesty and fresh. It just reminds me of cleaning. Give this fragrance a try if you like really lemony citrus fragrances, Fresh Sugar Lemon EDP, Tocca Bianca EDP, Malin + Goetz Lime Tonic EDT, L’Occitane Citrus Verbena Summer EDT, Satellite Paris 40 a lombre EDP, and/or Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom EDT Spray.

A 2.14 ounce perfume spray retails for $76 and is available at Sephora and beauty.com.

Almond is a scent that I really enjoy in fragrance. I like the foody smell of toasted almonds and even that low-brow almond used in cheap Italian soaps and lotions. I find that almond is a very comforting scent and very versatile. Here is a guide to almond fragrances in a variety of price points.

Budget Almond Scents (Under $50 or $50): Villainess Silk & Cyanide Perfume Oil (not pictured) is a crisp almond scent. It retails for $18. Laura Mercier Eau Gourmande Almond Coconut is a sweet almondy floral with almond and coconut with flirty touches of heliotrope and jasmine. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $50. Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie EDT is a marizapan like fragrance, very foody. The 2 oz. goes for $27. Provence Santé Almond EDT is a nice, innocent, and simple almond. It reminds me of nice Italian soap bars and wears nicely in the summer. It’s light wearing and the 3.4 oz bottle goes for under $30. I love it. Demeter PMU has Almond which is a lightly toasted almond fragrance. It’s nice and simple as well but doesn’t wear for very long. This cologne goes for $20 for 1 oz.

More Expensive Almond Scents: Aqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia/Sicilian Almond EDT is a fresh but woodsy almond. It is one of my “preferred” almonds because of the cedarwood and its freshness. The 2 oz. spray retails for $68. Burberry Brit EDP definitely has a sugary, toasted almond dry-down. It has citrus and fruit notes. It is a sweet fragrance. The 1.7 oz goes for $68. Sarah Horowitz Comes From Within Joy EDP is a very wintery/Christmas-y foody, comforting almond scent with rich nutmeg and vanilla. The 1.7 oz retails for $95. Serge Lutens Louve EDP is a “white” almond scent that pairs nicely with its feminine florals of rose and jasmine; powdery and soft. The 1.7 retails for $140. Stephanie de Saint-Aignana Amamde Honorable EDT is a soft, tender almond blend with citrusy blossoms like linden. It retails for $135 for 1.7 oz. Hanae Mori Butterfly EDP is a gourmand with berries, vanilla, and almond. The 1.7 oz retails for $90. Montale Amandes Orientales is a raw almond scent with vanilla, bitter but sweet. The 1.7 oz goes for $95.

I hope everyone is having a great Valentine’s Day. I am, nothing glamorous. I have a 4 day weekend and I’m catching up with getting things done around the house. The weather is perfect here in Seattle, OK, it’s mid-50’s and sunny, maybe not perfect. But, it is giving me spring fever. Hubby is out doing yard work, getting things ready for my moon garden. Isn’t that a great Valentine’s present? I’m still waiting for a Guerlain vintage…post doesn’t run today, so I doubt I’ll be getting that.

I’ve spent a portion of the day fretting over what fragrance I should wear. What is a “Valentine’s” fragrance? I think rose based fragrance are a bit cliché but they are what I crave when I get spring fever. And I do love rose. It’s very “committed”. I don’t want something too sexy, too smoky, or trying too hard. I like sexy fragrances but on Valentine’s, hmm, too expected. I figured I should wear what my husband likes. This is difficult being that I really think he can’t tell what he likes and he is spoiled by the fact that I wear fragrance 24/7. He likes woodsy scents like Prada EDP or Tom Ford White Patchouli EDP or heavy gardenia florals like Kai. He pretty much says that he likes everything being that he isn’t interested in fragrance. I finally reached for Piguet Fracas perfume. It seems like an appropriate Valentine’s fragrance with so many florals and a woodsy base. So, what is your “Valentine’s” perfume?

I love the scent of honeysuckle. It’s such a nostalgic scent for me. What I have realized after I moved across the country, is that honeysuckle isn’t the same. It appears to vary from region to region. In our back yard here in the PNW, we have these orange honeysuckle blossoms. The blossoms smell jasmine-ish and sweet, but they are far less sweeter and honey-ish than the white ones that I grew up with in the South. I’ve tried to keep an open mind to the different honeysuckle based fragrances that I try. I try to keep in mind that there is more than one honeysuckle and many fragrance houses use the term loosely. Here is a list of honeysuckle based fragrances in a variety of price points. Every spring I get a honeysuckle “bug”. I’m sure I will this year too. Please share any that you like so that I can give them a try. One of my favorites was the now discontinued Cynthia Rowley EDP (not the Avon one). It was heavy on honeysuckle and many other flirty florals.

Bargain Honeysuckle Scents: Yves Rocher has Fraîcheur Vegetale Honeysuckle/Chevrefeuille Cologne, it is light-wearing but very pretty and refreshing. It retails for $20 (watch the website for mega-sales and BOGO). Melissa Flagg Clementine (my review) is one of my favorite scents with its blend of orange blossom and honeysuckle. It retails for $32. Now a solid is available. I haven’t tried it yet. Bath & Body Works Wild Honeysuckle EDT is much more floral than sweet and retails for $26.50. A single note honeysuckle is Demeter Honeysuckle which retails for $20. It is pretty and I only wish it would last longer! Mary Kay has an EDT, Sparkling Honeysuckle, that is sunny and fresh. It retails for $25.

More Expensive Honeysuckle Scents: A classic honeysuckle soliflore is Calypso Chevrefeuille EDT that retails for $55. An intoxicating honeysuckle scent is Jo Malone Honeysuckle & Jasmine Cologne. Jasmine and honeysuckle were meant to be together in a blend. The largest bottle retails for $100. A fresh and flirty honeysuckle oh, and a classic is Annick Goutal Le Chevrefeuille EDT. The largest size gos for $115. Creed Chevrefeuille is rugged and “pastoral” kind of honeysuckle, much more green than the others listed. I like it and it retails for about $150. It really does stand apart from the others listed.

Plus 5 More Nice Honeysuckle Blends: Miller Harris Fleur de Matin is a green, fresh scent with honeysuckle. I think of it as a nice summer honeysuckle. Cielo Napa Valley (my review) is a blend that is heavier on fig and honey but the addition of honeysuckle type notes are very nice. It’s a sweet fragrance that I love for fall.  Harajuku Lovers Music EDT is a sweeter honeysuckle scent with adorable packaging. I love the crisp “green” with honeysuckle in Annick Goutal Eau de Camille. It is so easy to wear and very flirty. Victoria’s Secret Dream Angel’s Wish EDP is a very fruity floral with a kiss of honeysuckle. It isn’t my favorite in the list, but I feel I should list it.