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.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Cafe Noir is a moody, rich fragrance. I love it. I call it “beatnik in a bottle”. It’s smart and sophisticated and a bit counter-culture (if a perfume can be described as such). It reminds me of a classic French perfume created for the kind of gal that spends late nights/early mornings reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti by the fireplace, sipping on midnight black coffee.

DSH describes this spicy oriental luxury perfume as “a Paris night…Dark and sophisticated, it evokes late concerts in smoke filled rooms…sipping coffee and listening to jazz.” I love when I create an “impression” in my head when I wear a fragrance before I read about it and it actually “fits” what the creator was going for. I haven’t spent late nights in Josephine Baker-ish Parisian jazz clubs, but I have spent many insomniac moments at 4 o’clock in the morning reading “A Coney Island of the Mind” turning each page with fingers decorated with deep merlot nails. This scent reminds me of “beat” poetry.

My first impression of this fragrance creates a bit of confusion in my mind. I know that I like it but I find it very odd. It hits as if it is a spicy, mossy, dirty, chypre. It smells a bit wild and untamed and actually hot. It reminds me of all of those classic Guerlains like Mitsouko but Cafe Noir is much dirtier and grittier and with a kick of spice. It reminds me of moss and Atomic Fire Balls. You just know like beat poetry, that this is a fragrance with so much to say. Once my mind finally gets that this is a dirty, spicy chypre, I get an unexpected “shot” of bitter coffee beans. To add to even more complexity, I get lovely “classic” perfumey. I get rich, thick Parisian florals of rose and jasmine. But, it isn’t classic because of the bitter coffee. The dry down is moody and fairly simple. It has smoky incense like copal rich sweetness with grounding notes of vanilla, labdanum, and balsam. It is like being in a room where incense was once burning. It is slightly smoky but mostly you get the sweetness of the smoke floating through the air. I can not imagine my perfume collection without Cafe Noir in it. This one is very special.

This blend contains 99% botanical ingredients. Notes listed include: bergamot, black pepper, cinnamon bark, pimento berry, benzoin, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, labdanum, coffee absolute, tolu balsam, and vanilla. I would say to give this fragrance a try if you are looking for an interesting and moody fragrance or if you like Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe Cologne, Penhaligon’s Endymion Cologne, Mark Buxton Nameless EDP, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau de Iles, L’Artisan Parfumeur Eau du Navigateur EDT, and/or Hilde Soliani Bell’Antonio EDP. I must say that the biggest difference between those listed and Parfums des Beaux Arts Cafe Noir is that Cafe Noir is rich and long-lasting and natural. This is no cologne. An 1 ounce parfum spray goes for $135. It is available on the fragrance house’s website. More sizes are available.

I can’t wear cherry fragrances because my husband says that I smell like a urinal cake if I do. Since I spend no time in a men’s restroom, I can’t contest. I just have to take his word for it. Fortunately, you don’t just have to smell like a cherry jolly rancher when it comes to cherry. There are many cherry blends and cherry blossom fragrances on the market. I’ve made a list of cherry fruit and cherry blossom fragrances in many price points.

Bargain Cherry Scents (under $40): The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom EDT is a green, fresh floral bouquet. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $25. Avon Fire Me Up EDT is a fruity blend of black cherry, citrus, and pomegranate. The 1.7 oz retails for $16. Melissa Flagg Sadie’s Perfume Roll-On is a romantic blend of cherry and plum blossoms floating on white tea. I think this is my favorite cherry blossom scent. The roll-on goes for $28. Bath and Body Works has a few cherry blossom scents but I’d say their most popular is Cherry Blossom EDT. It is a blend of juicy fruits and delicate flowers with cherry blossom. The 2.5 oz goes for $26.50. Demeter PMU in Cherry Blossom is a light-wearing cherry blossom scent. The 1 oz cologne goes for $20.

More Expensive Cherry Scents: L’Occitane Cherry Blossom EDT is a light, springy floral fragrance. It’s light, airy, and soft. The 3.4 oz retails for about $46. Cartier Délices de Cartier is a sweet, gourmand like fragrance. The top not is Morello cherry. It is then followed by jasmine, vanilla, and tonka bean. The 1.6 oz EDP goes for $100. Annick Goutal Quel Amour EDT is a bubbley, fruity, rose floral with Morello cherry. The 3.4 oz goes for $115. Ed Hardy Love & Luck is a sweet fruity fragrance with cherry blossom, sake, plum, and blood orange. The 1.7 oz goes for $55. Victoria’s Secret Sexy Little Things Ooh La La EDP is a fruity floral with citrus, cherry blossom, and sweet vanilla. I think the 3.4 oz goes for $49. Hilde Soliani Doolciiisssimo is an interesting guilty pleasure of mine. It is a blend of cherry tobacco, which I have always thought smelled great, with vanilla and patchouli. The 3.4 EDP goes for $175.

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Mmmm, ginger. It has a great flavor and a great fragrance. This rhizome is spicy, warming, but still fresh, earthy, and a bit “green”. It is a note that works well in warmer climates and it is a note that does well in cooler weather. Now that the nights are getting cooler, I am more attracted to the “warmth” that ginger gives. Right now I am craving “spicy” ginger/gingerbread-ish scents. I know that in the middle of summer I’ll love some of those “green” ginger scents.

Bargain Ginger Scents: For some reason I think when other people think of ginger scents they automatically think of Origins Ginger Essence Skin Scent. It is a very nice scent and one of my favorite ginger scents on the market. It is refreshing with citrus and warming with ginger. It’s therapeutic. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $37. The price is nice too. A  beach friendly ginger scent is Urban Rituelle Beachcomber Coconut & Ginger. The travel sized spray goes for $10. Apivita Spice Fragrance is what the name says, “spice” which is a blend of ginger, bergamot, caraway. The travel sized spray goes for $12. Demeter has three colognes worth mentioning: Gingerale (one of my favorite Demeter fragrances, smells like the real deal, fizzy and everything), Gingerbread (great winter comfort scent), Ginger Cookie (a sweeter version of gingerbread, also nice for winter), and Fresh Ginger (smells like the real thing). All of these come in a 1 oz for $20.

More Expensive Ginger Scents (over $50): Lush Ginger Perfume is a slightly fruity-floral ginger blend with classic florals and juniperberry. The 1.3 oz. spray goes for about $60. Yosh Ginger Ciao is an interesting ginger blend with black coconut, ylang-ylang, and neroli. It is like a tropical ginger scent, an island ginger. The perfume oil goes for $130. If you want a spicy ginger scent, try Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger Cologne. It’s warm, woody, and zesty. I like it for cooler weather. The 3.4 oz bottle retails for $100. A spicy, woodsy ginger blend is Van Cleef & Arpels Exclusive Cologne Noire EDP. It has cardomom (one of my weaknesses), bitter citrus, and woods. It retails for $185. It is more like gingerbread with hot tea and that is why I love this scent for winter: Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre. It’s a warming, comforting fragrance (that’s an understatement). The 1.7 oz bottle goes for $120. Cinq Modes Pluie d’Aromes Ritual de Kyoto, Japan is a ginger floral with ginger and rose. I do love a spicy rose scent. The 1.7 oz goes for $85. Montale Ginger Musk is a romantic ginger blend with berries and white musk. The 1.7 oz goes for $95. A nice summer ginger is Hilde Soliani Freschiiissimo. This is a fresh blend of lime, brown sugar, and ginger. Doesn’t that sound like it would make a great mixed drink? The 3.4 oz goes for $175. If you want a green, almost foresty, ginger try Vero Profumo Onda. It has vetiver, ginger, mace, and coriander. The perfume oil retails for $185. Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH (neither pictured) has two ginger based scents. Gingembre (my review here) is a spicy, wintery, warming gourmand. The 1 oz. EDP goes for $70. The other is more of a summery, citrus ginger, Indochine. This one is loaded with citrus, basil, and white flowers. The 1 oz EDP goes for $65.

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I love strawberries but unfortunately I can’t eat them. I have an icky allergic reaction to them. I enjoy their scent when I can and will stand over and breathe them in at the market. Unfortunately fragrance technology hasn’t exactly mastered the scent of most fruits. Strawberry is one of those. It seems to smell synthetic (it is) and it smells a bit like a Jolly Rancher would taste (this makes sense because fragrance accord companies are also in the taste accord business). Since, I can’t eat them, I’ll settle for fake strawberry scents. Many on the market are much too sweet or “young” for me, but I’ve included many of the products that I know of that are “heavy” on strawberry accord (good or not in my opinion).

Budget Scents (Under $50): The Body Shop has a “pure” strawberry fragrance that is pretty long wearing and super “fruity”, Strawberry Perfume Oil for $16. It’s sweet but not terrible. Another long wearing juicy, juvenile fruity, strawberry scent is L’Aromarine Fraise Perfume Extract, retails for $9.50. Victoria’s Secret has Strawberries & Champagne EDT for $9.50. This is just like the name implies: strawberry fruit submerged in cheap sparkling wine with a bit of cassis. Strangely I like it. Please don’t judge me 🙂 Carol’s Daughter Ecstasy is a sweet tropical treat with strawberries, fruit, vanilla, and Egyptian musk (one of my weaknesses). It goes for $27 and I like this blend. Think of a more incense like strawberry fragrance. Demeter has Strawberry Ice Cream for $20. Demeter’s is too sweet for me but some people are wild about it and that is why I mention it. CB I Hate Perfume has  a Strawberry Accord oil that goes for $25. It’s “fresh” strawberry as far as strawberry scents go. I just wish it was longer wearing.

More Expensive Scents: Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight is much too sweet for my tastes, but many people like gourmand “confection” scents. This is a blend of fruits like strawberry, sweets like caramel, florals, and woods. The 3.4 ounce EDP retails for $72. I’m sure it is a limited edition, Escada Ocean Lounge EDT, but it is a super fruity floral that is really heavy on gummy-ish strawberry. The 3.3 ounce goes for $70. Escada’s aren’t my first choice when I’m shopping but I have to admit that they are fun. I love the bottle of Ed Hardy Woman (but not the scent). This is a fruity-floral heavy on strawberry accord. The largest size goes for $75. I am guilty of actually liking Dior Miss Dior Chérie EDP. It’s sweet with strawberry and caramel but it manages to be “green” with strawberry leaves and sexy with patchouli. The 3.4 ounce goes for $92. All I can remember of Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild EDT is that it smelled like strawberry Kool-Aid. The largest goes for $62.50. This is strange and one of those “isn’t it ironic that I exist niche scents, Hilde Soliani Fraaagola Saalaaata EDP. It is a blend of strawberry and saline and it retails for $175. Montale Mukhallat is a nutty, sweet, gourmand strawberry EDP that retails for $95. It’s a bit more sexy than the rest.

Lip & Body Products: Smith’s Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm is a nice treat at $7. If you want a super sweet candy-like strawberry experience try Philosophy’s Strawberry Milkshake Shower Gel or Dylan’s Candy Bar Strawberry Licorice bath line. Avon has a tropical fruity strawberry body line: Natural Strawberry & Guava. It is a juicy, tropical line but I think it is a limited edition.

Others worth noting: Hanae Mori Butterfly, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Hollister Crystal Cove Body Mist, Etat Libre d’Orange Delicious Closet Queen EDP, Calypso St. Barth Lily EDP, Aquolina Pink Sugar EDT



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

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

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I am not a huge mega fan of fruity scents but I do like them. I  have a few favorites. Sometimes in summer I want to smell like a pineapple or a piña colada. It’s fun and makes me feel like I am on vacation. There are many pineapple inspired scents on the market ranging in price and even formulas from oils, solids, to sprays. If I had to pick my top 2 that you can still buy it’s Crazylibellule & The Poppies Shanghaïjava Ananas Imperial and L’Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz. Here are some more:

Budget Pineapple Scents: Crazylibellue & The Poppies Shanghaïjava Ananas Imperial is a nice fruity blend that is heavy on the pineapple. It retails for about $16 and the cute little Crazystick goes everywhere you go. Lucy B. Australian Jasmine Perfume Roll-On is heavy on jasmine but the pineapple ads a nice tropical touch making this a a nice fruity-floral fragrance. Plus, it is a deal at $24 and the spray is $48. I actually prefer the roller ball. Harajuku Lovers Lil’Angel is one of those tropical fruit and citrus florals. It’s pretty sweet but it does have pineapple. The smallest bottle goes for $25. Have I mentioned that I love this lines bottles? Demeter Fragrances Pineapple is a “pure” pineapple, sweet and juicy. The 1 oz. goes for $20. The line also has a pretty decent Piña Colada for the same price. My all time favorite pineapple scent was one by Yves Rocher. It was dirt cheap, long-wearing, and well, perfect. It isn’t available anymore and I’ve had to replace it with the Ananas Imperial solid.

More Expensive Pineapple Scents: If you are looking for a sweet, tropical, and creamy pineapple fragrance, give Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Pineapple a try. It is a blend of pineapple, vanilla, and coconut milk. It goes for about $53 and smells good enough to eat. Sometimes in the summer I just crave L’Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz. It is fruity, sweet, citrus pineapple blend. It’s a very playful scent. The 3.4 oz bottle goes for $135. Safi Parfum Oil is a long wearing tropical fruit and floral blend with pineapple, freesia, and lilies. I know it isn’t for everyone, lychee and pineapple can smell a bit “pissy” but I really like this one, .28 oz. of oil goes for $60 and the 1.7 EDP spray for $78. Momoberry Perfume Oil is a nice tropical floral and yes, Hello Kitty is on the bottle. It is a blend of pineapple, jasmine, and coconut. It was created by the genius that came up with Monyette Paris, it’s a great tropical scent. It goes for $45 for .33 oz. I seriously think I could drink Hilde Soliani Sipario. It’s a true piña colado fragrance of rum, coconut, and pineapple. It goes for $175 and I can buy a few piña coladas for that.

Other Great Pineapple Products: 100% Pure Juicy Pineapple bath product line is just what the name implies: juicy. Jacqua Piña Colada Hand Creme isn’t as good as the real thing but you can get away using this at work. It retails for $8. mark Juice Gems Lip Gloss comes in Juicy Pineapple. It is a lovely 24K gold shimmer with a great flavor. It’s a deal at $6. Alba Botanica Enzyme Pineapple skincare line smells nice and is great for skin feeling “dull” or “ashy”. Prices in the line are under $15. My friends with fine, oily hair, total opposite of me, rave about Lush I Love Juicy Shampoo. It’s fruity with pineapple. I wish I could use it.

Recipe for this (pic below) pineapple shake from Sunset, a nice summer treat.