Annick Goutal Folavril (April’s Fool) is not a sexy or flirty fragrance. It doesn’t have an inkling of seduction in it. This isn’t a fragrance that I would see a man purchasing for Valentine’s day/anniversary. Just like slouchy cotton jersey dresses and shabby chic decor, this fragrance is a “made by woman for women” fragrance. It really is a beautiful, innocent, and comfortable fragrance. It smells nice without smelling “bat those lashes” flirty or vavavoom seductive. It’s fresh but still very feminine. I like to think of it as shabby chic decor, shabby beach cottage decor, or Brocade home. It’s just so girly without trying to be attractive to men. It seems to be a fragrance that women wear because they like it. It’s not overly floral which is what I think of as flirty fragrances. However, it is playful, but not in a coy, flirty way, but in a everyday fun way, like playing with your pup or in most people’s case, their kids. It’s a spring stroll through the park.

At first the fragrance is very different mix on me. It’s like a fusion of tropical mango scented lotion, you know that too perfect mango kind of note, and really soapy and spicy tomato leaf. The tomato leaf is a bit odd. I love the smell of tomato plants. They are crisp, bitter, and have a very specific aroma that you just know when you sniff it. This tomato leaf in Folavril is bitter, spicy, tart, and green just like a tomato leaf should be; however, it doesn’t smell of a garden. It’s just too pretty and too clean. It reminds me of a tomato leaf aroma used in fancy European soaps (I’ll get there soon). So imagine a fictional fruit that is juicy like a peach but it is green and unripe, growing on a fuzzy tomato like plant. (The greeness really is much more leafy than fuzzy, tomato vine). It’s sterile, no scent of dirt or humidity. The tarteness and the fruitiness and bitterness fades after a about 15 minutes of wear. The green, tart aldehydes of the soapy clean tomato leaf are still there. However, they are mixed with delicate ylang-ylang blossoms. It becomes slightly powdery and more of a crisp, tropical floral. It wears light and soft. Jasmine is listed as a fragrance note for this fragrance, but this jasmine is much, much softer than many jasmines used in perfumery. It’s more of a whisper of jasmine. It’s not a sultry or sexy jasmine. Usually this light but somehow refreshing floral blend is what wears on me the longest. Boronia adds a certain grounding greeness, a floraly evergreen. I feel the dry down is soapy and clean. Boronia really does have a beautiful aroma and I do think of it as clean. It goes back to a spicy green floral, but more evergreeny than the tomato leaf. The dry down on me is a soapy,  fresh floral.

This fragrance was launched in 1981. It was created to fragrance a skincare line created by Annick Goutal. Fragrance is a tricky business, based on perceptions and memories. I think that I think of this fragrance as soapy and clean because I was exposed to this fragrance in skincare that my grandmother used. I think of it as her nighttime routine. Many luxurious European soaps have a green, tomato or lettuce floral fragrance. So, I don’t know if someone else would smell this and think it was clean. That being said, I think that is why I think of this fragrance as nurturing. My grandmother is glamorous but to be around her without makeup and eyebrows, you have to be family.

This fragrance is very lovely for spring and summer. It’s light, airy, and playful. It’s green without being masculine. It’s fresh without being aquatic. Sometimes when I wear it, I get more of the fruit, other times I get more of the greens, and other times I get more of the sweet, tropical florals. These notes could be emphasized by your choice of body lotion and layering. The fragrance is an EDT and wears briefly on me, about 1.5 -2 hours. I really don’t know what to compare this fragrance to. I really do feel like it is an original and that everyone should try and see. My husband thinks this fragrance is nasty, but he is offended by all aldehydes. It is for someone that wants a different type of floral. Give it a try if you like green florals, Sisley Eau de Campagne EDT, Hilde Soliani Stecca EDP, Pucci Sole EDP, Crazylibellue & The Poppies Les Divines Alcôves Toi Mon Prince, Heeley Vervaine EDP, and Parfums de Nicolai Eau D’Ete Fraiche EDT.

Notes listed include: tomato leaves, mango, jasmine, and boronia flower.

The 3.4 ounce spray retails for $115. It can be purchased from Dillard’s and luckyscent.com.


Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance:

Ughh, talk about a fragrance that I never want to sniff again…I’m so sick of the Clinique Happy fragrance line. I try not to be. I try to have an open mind. I really do. But, I’m so sick of it. This is one of those fragrances that my generation went nuts over. They then introduced it to their moms,who then went insane over it. Before long, everybody and their sister and mother were wearing this stuff. I would say that this is a fragrance that women love. I didn’t like it then, after revisiting it and trying to keep an open mind, I don’t love it now. But to no surprise, would a closet goth like something named Happy Heart? Um, no.

It’s a citrus-floral. It’s too hissy and aquatic for my liking. It has citrus but it is the kind of citrus that made me think that I hated citrus. I think I avoided citrus for many years because all I could think of was the Clinique Happy fragrance line. At first spray it is hissy in a wet hay way. I would think I would like something like that but this is much too aquatic and soggy. I get a bit overwhelmed by something grapefruity and soggy grasses. There are so many humid florals. I would that this is trying to be a sultry water garden. After about 3-5 minutes, the strange bitterness of citrus mixed with something grassy begins to fade into a full-blown aquatic floral explosion. The floral notes are pretty if you don’t think about them too long. Unfortunately, I think about them too long and they start to hurt my nostrils. It smells overwhelming. I get hot, humid flowers. I don’t know much about water hyacinth, a note listed in this fragrance, but I do know that it is a plant that is super invasive. This is what the floral notes of this fragrance remind me of: an exotic but invasive species. A few of these plants are beautiful but when they won’t go away and start stealing the oxygen of everything around it…not a nice thing. The aquatic florals in this blend take over. They start to devour me and start to feel heavy. I do get a bit of bitter citrus but I can’t get past the weight of the heavy, humid florals. It seriously chokes me. I smell so much plumeria and “lotus” like notes in this that it starts to make me feel light and airy and not in a so-happy-in love way, more of an open-a-window kind of way. Sometimes when I sniff it (the rare occasion where I can think of something other than piercing florals), I smell fruity and cucumber-ish melon note. This makes this blend a little more “flirty” and once again very aquatic with watery fruits. The fruity notes make it “young” and “innocent”. The dry down is a bit more citrusy with clean warmth from light woods. Think pretty, juicy citrus with warm dried out driftwoods.

Notes in this floral as listed by Clinique include: water hyacinth, mandarin, cucumber, yellow primrose, and blond woods.

I find this as a very intense and overwhelming “hissy” fragrance. I know I can’t pull it off and it just doesn’t fit my angsty personality. I know that I am a freak. I can’t watch Friends or eat at chain restaurants. However, I can see why people like this and I do see why they think it is “fresh”. It is so aquatic and humid that it like taking a shower. I can also see why someone would feel “pretty” wearing this. It is very feminine and floral with juicy and sunshine drenched fruits. It is all “girl”, no masculine notes in it. I would say to give this one a try if you like Gwen Stefani LAMB, Juicy Couture EDP, Victoria’s Secret Body EDP, Lilly Pulitzer Squeeze EDP, Dior Addict 2 EDP, Issey Miyake EDT, Tocca Cleopatra EDP, and/or Ralph Lauren Ralph EDT. The 1.7 oz retails for $39.50 and the 3.4 oz. for $52.50. It does wear for a long time, so you are getting a great deal. I think everybody owns or has owned a bottle thanks to GWPs. I have given so many of these little bottles away.

Just like water hyacinth, pretty but choking every living thing in sight.


Happy Heart Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 1.7 Oz by Clinique

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

This is one of my all time favorite florals. It is bold and old-fashioned but strangely very wearable. It is everything that I love. I love heavy, almost bitter florals such as jasmine and tuberose.It has notes of sweet honeysuckle and tart orange blossom. It is a white floral bomb and it has a tendency to wear you which I have no problem with. This is a fragrance that demands attention. It is a “woman” fragrance. It smells so feminine but not “flirty”. This scent isn’t frivolous. This is for a woman that knows what she wants. She knows she is attractive and sexual and she isn’t being coy about it for one minute. And she isn’t being trashy about. She isn’t a bimbo putting Revlon Fire & Ice lipstick stained cigarette butts out into her bourbon, she is elegant and refined even if she is sipping on brown liquor.

The top notes are citrusy but only in a floral citrus way such as an elegant orange blossom way. This is not that “fruity” type of citrus. This is more of a scented viognier kind of citrus. In fact, this fragrance reminds me very much of a viognier with its white florals and hints of honeysuckle and citrus blossoms. I’ve always wanted to have a bar with all of the drinks inspired by fragrances, but that is another story. You start to smell gardenia like notes, shortly a jasmine and tuberose bomb goes off. It has that ripe bitterness. It is beautiful. There is a short blast of sweet honeysuckle. Minutes later it goes back to the jasmine and tuberose. It stays this way for a long time but it becomes grounded by faint hints of warm woods. It isn’t too woody, it remains floral throughout the entire wear. It’s an elegant thing really.

My husband goes nuts for this one. There is nothing subtle with this fragrance. My husband’s sense of smell is not as sharp as mine and I find he doesn’t take very well to “hints”, he needs a fragrance to be all up in his space. He isn’t the only male that loves it. I’ll wear it out and I can tell that it turns heads.  Occasionally a gentlemen that doesn’t understand unspoken social rules may ask me about it. That’s fine with me. I’ve had a few South American ladies actually ask me if I was wearing Carolina Herrera, we’d talk shortly in the grocery line about the love of the fragrance and how it isn’t subtle. They’d share stories about how their hubby purchased them the pure parfum in the late 80’s and how badly they wish they could get their hands on that again. I can only imagine how glamorous and amazing the pure parfum must be.

The bottle is simple, not one of my favorites. The only thing nice I have to say is that I love Carolina’s font. I just find the bottle dull for such a glam fragrance. The box is polka-dot, one of Carolina’s favorite prints. Carolina should know a feminine fragrance, she is a queen of dresses. I would say that you would love this if you loved jasmine and tuberose based fragrances such as Piguet Fracas , Patou Joy, Micheal Kors, Marc Jacobs, Jo Malone Honeysuckle & Jasmine, Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia, Tocca Cleopatra, Chantecaille Le Jasmin,  Guerlain Jardin de Bagatelle, and/or Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Orange. The 1.7 ounce EDP retails for $66 and the 3.4 ounce for $90. I know that when I run out, I will repurchase. *Currently available at fragrancenet.com.


Carolina Herrera Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 1.7 Oz by Carolina Herrera

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com


I love gardenia, even the hissy and overbearing kind. I like it even when it becomes a bit “sour” and sickening and spicy. This being said, I know why some people dislike the smell of gardenia. It is heavy and “old-fashioned” like roses and many other overused florals. Marc Jacobs EDP is the gardenia fragrance that gardenia lovers will love and so will those that find gardenia a bit too heavy. It is both old and new.

This scent is truly inspired by gardenia. It is a burst of gardenia at the initial spritz. It is a huge white floral bouquet that is hissy without screaming. It is a good, floral hiss. It is truly a “gardenia interpretation”. It is fresh and a bit wet but warmed by a polite and proper musk. It smells “dewy” and fresh. It almost smells warm like monoi, as if it was warmed by fresh coconut milk. This adds a somewhat sweet component. It smells wild and lily like or honeysuckle-ish but tamed by grandma’s gardenia bush. It smells “cared for” and polished. It smells very elegant without smelling too “old” like a nice classic Caron. This isn’t going to make your man think of grandma’s perfume. This is a really new “feeling” interpretation. It is flirty has a nice tropical feel, like Hawaiian white ginger and coconut without smelling like a tanning lotion. It is the lightest gardenia scent that I have ever smelled. It is “fresh” and wet and perfect for spring. It wears for many hours and it does leave a presence. I walk by my husband and his eyes light up. It’s a very romantic but classy scent. I have to say that maybe I wouldn’t be such a gardenia fan if I didn’t marry a man that white florals really “work” on. I can spritz this stuff on and get him to do anything. This scent is really nice to wear when I want something like lets say another bottle for my perfume addiction or even just some extra help around the house.

The EDP spray comes in three sizes: 1 ounce for $50, 1.7 ounce for $70, and the 3.4 ounce for $90. Sephora also has a .34 ounce rollerball for $25. It comes in a solid perfume that goes for $55. There is a body creme which retails for $80 and a body lotion which retails for $50. I haven’t used any of these. But, I love my 1.7 ounce bottle. The bottles are simple glass without a top. It has a nice leather looking bow wrapped around it. Just like the fragrance it is simple, pretty single note, but elegant. It’s what is inside the bottle that is so beautiful.

I recommend this fragrance for those that like white florals, those that like Michael Kors (this is a nice warmer weather version), Juicy Couture (the original), Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion, those that want a lighter version of Carolina Herrera, or for ladies that need to trick their men into doing things.

This is nothing to be scared of. This is probably one of the sexiest men’s fragrances on the market. I love it so much I could use it as a room spray. L’Artisan Parumeur Méchant Loup translates as the “Big Bad Wolf” or “Naughty Wolf”  and it is a charming and seductive fragrance for me. I know it works on me. It is complex but not confusing. It is intriguing. It is warm and inviting. It is rich and spicy and woodsy and very masculine. It smells like a “strong” man both physically and mentally. It is the whole package. It contains, rich pepper, star anise, licorice, sandalwood, honey, hazelnut, myrrh, tonka bean and cedar. This fragrance is a jewel because it is so woodsy and very foresty but has this warm and sweet hazelnut accord. And what lady dislikes hazelnut? This hazelnut is warm, roasted and a bit burnt to keep in “manly”. I wouldn’t call it gourmand because of the heavy use of woods like cedar. However, the cedar smells like it has been dipped in honey and left in the sun. The dry down is amazing and has a pretty good lasting quality. The dry down is a bit honeyed with that hint of hazelnut and rich tonka bean. It is heavenly and I can’t stop sniffing it.

This fragrance is masculine but isn’t made exclusively for men. But, what fragrance is? You can wear whatever fragrance you want to. I haven’t actually worn this on my skin yet. I’d love to though, later, in cooler weather. I’d like to see how it wears on a woman. But, I just love it as a men’s fragrance because it is so interesting.

It is available in 50 ml for $95 and 100 ml for $135.

As I have mentioned before I have a strange liking for this fragrance. It’s nice. I like to smell it. It’s generic and still love it.  I was at a seminar and like 30 of the women were wearing Amazing Grace and it didn’t bother me. I purchased the body butter and I’m not disappointed. The texture is thick and glides on easily. It nourishes with shea, mango and cocoa butter. It is loaded with Philosophy’s Amazing Grace fragrance. It’s great for cooler months, you know when your skin starts to morph into that of a Bearded Dragon when you just look at hot water. It does help the EDT stay on longer too. I still haven’t found another fragrance that mixes well with this body butter except for an Egyptian Musk oil that I bought at a flea market. Now Egyptian Musk, I’m saving that for another day. You could just wear this moisturizer alone if you like just a little of fragrance. I find most people like this fragrance or at least aren’t bothered by it. What’s the secret? The body butter retails for $28 for 5 ounces which isn’t really a deal, but we’re adults and we know that.