I always find stuff when I am broke or well, buying my first house. How badly I want this little box of Tom Ford fragrances! It contains 12 private blend fragrances that Tom Ford describes as, ” My own scent laboratory; it’s where I have the ability to create very special, original fragrances that are unconstrained by the conventions of mainstream scent-making. Private Blend is designed with the true fragrance connoisseur in mind.” Haha. “This line isn’t about pleasing the mainstream to make tons of money but by marketing a few million fragrances as “original” so that I can sell them to fragrance whores for $180 to $450 a pop and since big department stores carry them as well I’ll get the people that like “mainstream” fragrance because I am a “mainstream” man!” Brilliant really, Mr. Ford. Anyways, I still want it. It wasn’t that I was or wasn’t blown away by any of the Private Blends when I played with them in store, it was just that I didn’t want to pay a minimum of $180 for something that I just liked or didn’t have the time to experience. I am a fragrance flirt so I want to have as many fragrances as possible. This kit contains 12 .05 fl.oz EDPs (I think that’s the size, I had to zoom in on the product and the number got blurry): Noir de Noir, Amber Absolute, Black Violet, Velvet Gardenia, Tobacco Vanilla, Oud Wood, Moss Breches, Bois Rouge, Purple Patchouli, Tuscan Leather, Neroli Portofino, and Japan Noir. Many of these are pretty nice blends since I have a thing for leather and mossy scents. And a few of them I really did want to spend more time with. They come in a little brown, almost cigar box. I love the entire vibe of this. It is very turn of the century Belle Epoque apothecary. (That is what Tom Ford’s Private Blend has done best, the whole antique apothecary vibe. Even thought the $180 range bottles are boring and all the same to save money, I like the apothecary look.) It’s a wardrobe of fragrance and something very fun to sniff when cuddled up in the chair by the window on a rainy, dreary day. I would so rather spend a few evenings doing this than anything else. And if I fall madly in love with one of the blends, then I will make the smallest available bottle my very own. I wish more companies would offer these kind of coffrets. It seems that everybody “niche” or not launches like a million fragrances at once, all in the same bottle, and it’s much too difficult to keep them separate. We addicts can’t afford to purchase them all and we forget about half of them because there are at least 30 launches a month and our lists keep expanding. Sometimes we simply forget. This coffret goes for $180 and is available at neimanmarcus.com.

What I really wish it was in.

What I really wish it was in.

Juliette Has A Gun Citizen Queen is everything at once and still not very exciting. It is made to feel very retro and 50’s and have a high concentration of fragrance, 20%, I think. It is a strong and long wearing fragrance. It wears all day. Seriously like 24 hours.¬† It does smell “old-fashioned” but more of an old fashioned interpretation of what modern perfumery has to offer.The bottom line with this fragrance is that it is trying way too hard. Think airbrushed park bench portrait of a real estate agent during this housing crisis. It is just trying too hard to be classy and expensive and “convincing”. When I wear this I feel like I am trying to be somebody I am not. I do consider myself to be a very glamorous person but this just smells like it is trying sooo hard. It smells like a mix of a wonderful luxury house, like Chanel, but not one of their breathtaking classics. This is more of one of their modern interpretations, think Allure, Coco Mademoiselle, or that God awful Allure Sensuelle. It is a take of a classic. At times this fragrance comes across as a bit drugstore-ish and Vanilla Fields like. This fragrance claims to have 160 notes that are “rare”, etc. They are using the same ad campaign that a perfume house would of used on bored 50’s housewives. I’m supposed to believe this is expensive (which it is) because it is exotic and complex and world rocking. It is supposed to be an “extreme” composition. It is a bit chypre and oriental and floral. It is everything and sometimes everything just comes out as generic. Throwing everything together doesn’t make you glamorous, it can make you very tacky. This is the bleached blonde with dark roots, rouged to hell and back, matching lips and fingertips, cleavage falling out but not in a Marilyn Monroe way more in a middle aged Cache clothing store way. This is a bad thing, this is a bad thing if you are not this lady. Yes, this lady is an Amazon in her own right but it just isn’t me. So when I smell this on me I’m always scared it’s my mother standing behind me waiting to bitch to me about something. This fragrance is trying so hard to be sexy but since it resembles a newer Chanel like an Allure it just smells like all of my friend’s mothers and my own mother.

This fragrance at first is very iris and amber with a little bit of rose. But, not an incense amber, more of a vanilla amber. The iris helps green it up a bit but it fades rather quickly on me and leave me with a rich and sweeter than I want it to be fragrance. It is heavy, I guess this is supposed to translate into seductive but I find that most men will find this a bit too heavy and abrasive. I’m sure there are gentlemen out there that like this, but do you really want to attract them anyways? ūüôā I can not find the leather notes. Or at least it doesn’t wear very heavily on my skin. I was hoping that this would be leathery too, oh well. This fragrance is described as “chypre” and “animalic”, that is a stretch. Pretty much the opening notes are the most interesting and then it slowly dries down to a sweet, resiny, ambery base with a little bit of floral. It is really annoying because I keep waiting for something interesting to happen and it never does. I expect for it to be interesting at it’s $105 and $135 price tag.

Anyways, it isn’t a disgusting fragrance. It is just not what I expected. It is playing off of a cute name and an OK bottle. It is selling to the gals that long for retro glamor and dream of being a pin-up or burlesque dancer. But, a gal that longs for retro glamor knows how to reach for a classic Dior, Chanel, or Caron. We don’t need this new crap that really comes across as a “poser”. This fragrance would be nice for those that like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Allure, and Allure Sensuelle if they wanted something new. This is also good for those that like Donna Karan Cashmere Mist and they want something sweeter or the old Liz Claiborne Realities if they want a more expensive and a more niche replacement. I just know when a fragrance isn’t me and this one is it. It isn’t me at all. I hate to say this is something that my mom would wear because I wear a lot of old fragrances for someone my age that my mother would never think of touching. But, this is something my mom would wear. I really think the company should of marketed this to over the top ladies in their 40’s because they have the money to buy this anyways.

The scent retails for $105 for the 1.7 oz. and $138 for the 3.4 oz. It is available at beautyhabit.com and b-glowing.com.

Ok, I should get this out of the way. I love Demeter PMU Sprays. I’ve been purchasing from this company for over 12 years now. They’re fun. They’re cheap. they’re weird. I know that lasting power does not exist in Demeter’s dictionary. I know that you can get some real duds too. But, I don’t care. I keep buying and hoping for the best. I don’t want to smell like a paperback book all day anyways. So, I’m going to start reviewing some of these delicious (and not so delicious) accords.

Peach: I bought this one on a whim. I don’t even like to eat peaches. I have a thing about not eating food that is fuzzy. Anyways, at first the fragrance is fresh, soft and fruity. It smells like peach schnapps due to the alcohol content. It smells a wee bit artificial or saccharin. It doesn’t have that “fuzzy” smell, so you won’t smell a texture with this one. It doesn’t smell “succulent”, actually it smells weak. After drying down for a few seconds, it smells exactly like Clarins Water Comfort One-Step Cleansing Water for dry skin (it contains peach essential water.) It dries down to something almost unnoticeable. It’s a pretty odor but very, very faint and almost infantile. This cologne is not repulsive but I will not buy it again due to its lack of authenticity. Of course, this is coming from a Southern gal that does not like peaches. So should you trust me?

demeter peach

Stringbean: For me this fragrance was a bit of a disappointment because it was a bit too “pretty” and jazzed up. It is too much of an interpretation of a naturally pretty item. At first it smells floral and very green, almost “hissy”, almost smells like Pine-Sol laced with tuberose. It eventually dries down to a fresh citrus. Like Peach, it lacks texture and does not smell “fuzzy”. The website describes this as being the fragrance of what stringbeans leave on fingertips, so maybe that was why I was disappointed. I wanted the smell of stringbeans humidifying in hot summer air in a wicker basket hiding away in the shade: hot, dirty and green.

demeter stringbean

Leather: At first I disliked Leather, but it has grown on me. I wanted dirty, rugged leather and now I finally see this in this product. On first spritz, splash, whatever form you choose, it smells… new and… black. It doesn’t smell like a worn in brown leather bomber jacket, old boots, or a book. It smells crisp, masculine. For some reason it smells jock-ish to me. Probably because this note is so often found in popular men’s fragrance (Kenneth Cole Black, Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren Polo, etc.) It smells like leather car seats, but not in that “new car” kind of way. As it begins to dry down it becomes softer and warmer unlike the crisper and cooler initial spritz. It begins to resemble loose, perfectly worn leather gloves or a baseball mitt. It is a very unisex accord and has the ability to conjure many memories. If I mix mine with Dirt PMU then it reminds me of my dad’s work boots and putting those big things on as a child. Leather smells like my first biker jacket from my rebellious youth (ok, goth days) but turns into my favorite Via Spiga purse that I have lugged around for years.

demeter leather