The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

I like the freshness of Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea EDT/cologne. It is fresh and zesty. It is a “pretty” fragrance since it does smell feminine. Many green tea scents could be unisex but not this one by Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is a light wearing fragrance, comparable to a body spray. Elizabeth Arden as a woman and a company has always been very competitive. This fragrance was launched in 1999 to compete with such popular mall fragrance/body product shops as Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop. Hence, the light wearing fragrance to be worn all over the body with a lower price point than other department store fragrances.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is not as “green tea” as other green tea fragrances on the market. This means it is less “dirty”, “earthy”, or “pondy” than actual green tea. This fragrance is a play on aromatherapy (just read the adjectives associated with the fragrance notes), but it is much more “commercial” than the aromatherapy I think of. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is not a per se green tea fragrance but an interpretation of a spa-like experience. It embodies the healthiness of sipping on green tea and pampering oneself. So, if you are looking for a “real” green tea fragrance, this is not it. If you are looking for a refreshing, light fragrance than this will do. I mainly get beautiful, feminine citrus from this fragrance. I get a heavy dose of bergamot. This is good for me since I love bergamot. The bergamot is complemented by other generic citrus accords with a wee bit of fruity rhubarb.It reminds me of a delicious summer sorbet. It has floral bergamot, jammy rhubarb, and orange zest. This is very refreshing. The fragrance has a certain coolness. It is ever so slightly minty. I really do think of it as a rhubarb and citrus sorbet with a garnish of mint. The zesty notes fade but you still are left with citrusy bergamot and tart rhubarb. That mainstream green tea is faintly there as well, just like that garnish of mint. The green tea adds a green sweetness to the heart. The dry-down is a bit softer than the heart. It smells muskier but in a clean musky, citrus way. The dry-down manages to be musky, green, and fresh.

The bottle isn’t exciting. It is very, very plain and it does remind me more of a drugstore fragrance bottle. At least it is glass and not in a plastic spray bottle making it more desirable than a B&BW spray.

It is not a long-lasting fragrance and it doesn’t claim to be. It wears slightly longer than a body spray. I guess it is meant to be “sipped” throughout the day just like a few cups of green tea. I do find it very refreshing. I like it for spring and summer.

Give this a try if you like pretty bergamot fragrances, Mélange Green Tea Solid Perfume, L’Occitane Thé Vert EDT or ThéBergamote EDT, Tocca Bianca EDP, Heeley Menthe Fraîche EDP, CK One EDT, Fresh Hesperides EDP, Creative Universe Te Cologne, and/or Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic EDT.

Notes listed include: caraway, fruity rhubarb, lemon, orange zest, bergamot, cool minty peppermint, green tea, sweet jasmine, spicy carnation, fresh fennel, crisp celery spice, oakmoss, musk, and amber.

The 1.7 oz cologne spray retails for $27 and the larger 3.3 oz. for $37. It is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters and Elizabeth Arden’s website. * Currently it is available at fragrancenet.com.

Experience the fragrance in one more. Make a rhubarb sorbet (recipe here). Don’t forget the mint garnish! Perhaps you could put a scoop in a small cup of cool green tea…

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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.

It’s that time of year again. Mandarins, satsumas, whatever you like to call them, are at market to be purchased by the boxful. Citrus is a nice treat during these cool winter months. I’ve compiled a “collage” of zesty mandarin fragrances with a variety of price points and formulas.

Budget Mandarin Scents (Under $50): Trish McVoy Mandarin & Ginger Lily EDT is a citrus floral blend that is light-wearing. It retails for $48 for .5 oz (not alot of product for the dough). Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Garçonnes Tamara Charleston is a very interesting humid, green, mandarin blend. This solid Crazystick retails for $18 and is well worth it. My review of it is here. Lush Olive Branch Solid Perfume is a simple and refreshing unisex blend of olive oil and mandarins. I love the solid formula. tIt retails for about $8. Lancome Ô de Lancome EDT is a classic, cool feeling mandarin, floral, and rosemary scent. The 1.7 oz. bottle goes for $38.50.  Voluspa Victoria Collection Pink Fatale is an incredible flirty fruity-floral with citrus and lilies. The .5 oz. roll-on goes for $24. Oh, and I almost forgot the mandarin classic: The Body Shop Satsuma Perfume Oil. It’s all about mandarin and the .5 oil goes for $16. (not pictured)

More Expensive Mandarin Scents: Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne is a zesty, herbaceous citrus blend that is unisex. It’s a great summer scent. The 3.4 oz bottle goes for $100. It’s a limited edition fragrance but it is still available: L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarine Tout Simplement. It is what the name implies. It is a sparkling mandarin citrus blend. It is light wearing and the 8.4 oz. spray goes for $135. If you are looking for a creamier mandarin fragrance, the kind that can transition into cooler weather even though it is refreshing, try Antica Farmacista Vanilla Bourbon and Mandarin Perfume. The 1.6 oz. bottle goes for $58. Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Madarine Basilic EDT is a naturally sweet citrus blend with clementine, mandarin, and blood orange. The 1.7 oz bottle goes for $57. Here’s my review. Manuel Canovas Route Mandarine EDP is a mandarin and orange blossom mix, a citrus floral. It retails for $79 for 3.4 oz. Fresh Bergamot Citrus is a light blend of bergamot, citrus, and foresty base notes. The 3.4 oz. retails for $75. Creed Millesime Imperial is a unisex blend of crisp citrus, salt, musk, and woods. It is truly lovely and goes for $250 for 4 oz. (I just ordered one and I’m waiting anxiously for its arrival). Molinard 1849 Vervaine de Molinard is a green, crisp, fresh mandarin. Plus, the bottle is a must have. The 3.3 oz goes for $185.

5 Other Great Mandarin Products: Mistral Black Tea Mandarin Soap is a great scent for cooler weather. A bar goes for under $8. Ahava Body Sorbet in Madarin & Cedarwood is a refreshing and very moisturizing blend. The cedarwood really adds a special something. I love it for cooler weather. It is very foresty. A tub goes for $26. Lush The Big Tease Styling Gel is a hair gel with an orange blossom, mandarin, and lemon scent. It smells heavenly. It goes for under $17. Diptyque Oyedo Candle is a refreshing blend of grapefruit and mandarin. The candle retails for $60. A rich and lush mandarin fragrance for the home is Alora Ambiance Tre Reed Diffuser which goes for $58.

I like Korres products. I love their Jasmine showergel and their Fig is nice too. I thought that this Basil Lemon would be nice for summer, but I just don’t like it. It is strange and not “me”. It smells of soapy lemon, like that of a dish soap. Seriously, I would rather wash myself with a Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap because those smell less “dish soapy” than this shower gel. The fragrance is “green” too, like basil but not licoricey like Thai basil. It doesn’t smell very herbaceous either. It just smells like “green”. This really reminds me of a basil mojito. I don’t want to smell like a basil mojito with a dash of lemon Palmolive. It lathers OK, but seriously, there is nothing I like about this. I know somebody has to like it, that’s why it exists. I would love to say that the scent is refreshing but I just find it “off”. This retails for $13 for 8.45 ounces and it’s a unisex scent. You may like this if you like minty shower gels, lemon or lime scents, and you may like this if you like rosemary scents (maybe but rosemary gels typically smell a bit more like an herb garden than this does). Or if you are a fan of the basil mojito (recipe here and I recommend Meyer lemon instead of lime or maybe a Rangpur lime, because I’m on the West coast that’s why.) This shower gel can be purchased at DERMAdoctor.com.

Clarins Eau Dynamisante is the kind of fragrance that nobody would purchase if they just sniffed it on a blotter card. It is the kind of fragrance that needs to be worn to really “develop” and to figure out if it works for you. It’s a unisex fragrance, so no Red Velvet cupcakes or honeysuckle blossoms here. It is citrusy and herbaceous and really lives up to its invigorating name. It kind of shocks the senses with a burst of lemon zest. Yes, the fragrance smells good enough to dip a French loaf into and smells mainly of items found in the herb cabinet or garden: lemon zest, thyme, bits of rosemary, a teeny tad of lavender. However, it is grounded by patchouli. The patchouli doesn’t take over, it still smells very green and citrusy. It is a cologne or EDT, so the lasting power isn’t so great. It lasts less than an hour. However, the fragrance isn’t even marketed by Clarins as a fragrance. Instead it is marketed as a “well-being” product. This is appropriate since the wear is short termed. It is an invigorating burst, a pick-me up. So, it would need to be sprayed a few times throughout the day to clear the mind. One “burst” doesn’t keep us going throughout the day anyways. I mean I know we all have more than our morning cup of coffee. This fragrance is very fresh, very energizing. It is perfect for summer because it isn’t heavy or offensive. It wears lightly and smells of citrus and in season herbs. The scent really shines with body heat. The warmth of the fragrance is really seen with the warmth of the body. It will begin to smell a bit more of rosemary and patchouli. It is very neutral and natural. I love it. I always have it around in the summer. It isn’t the most beautiful fragrance I own or even the most interesting. It is just so fresh and easy to wear. It’s gladiator sandals and a jersey knit dress in the summer. It’s just that easy to wear. It retails for $46 for 3.4 ounces. I really wish it came in a smaller and portable bottle so that I could haul it in my tote in the summer to spray and to sanitize mass transit 🙂 . I have chilled the bottle in the fridge for a summer shocker. It lives up to its “dynamite” name. It is available at fragrancenet.com.

Here is another cheap gift I bought. The set comes with six popular Bliss items. I like it but I think the L’Occitane Verbena to Go gift set from Sephora which is the same price is a much better buy. This kit has six super small items. Each item is one ounce and comes in a pretty cheap-o but one step up from a Ziploc baggie that is just there in case these things leak. The bottles are super small, one ounce is pretty tiny, but they are great for sampling or for airline travel. It comes with 5 Lemon + Sage items: Soapy Sap, Supershine Shampoo, Conditioning Rinse, Soap Slab, and Body Butter. This scent is a bit lemon zest with a hint of herb. I like the scent of L’Occitane Verbena better, it smells more “authentic”. The scent of the bliss stuff isn’t bad, I just prefer the other. This kit also contains a one ounce bottle of the Fabulous Foaming Face Wash. This stuff is nice and it is nice to have a travel bottle around. It smells like fake passion fruit. It won’t make you gag or anything I just thought it was an odd choice. I like these kinds of kits because the price is right and you do get to play with a lot of new stuff. I just wouldn’t buy one of these for myself. Now if there was a Blood Orange + White Pepper one, I would definitely pick a few of those up.

I bought this for someone else and now I want to keep it. This limited edition kit retails for $25 and is only available from sephora.com I really thought that the products would be much smaller but they are pretty large for travel size products. Many of these sell for about $8 by themselves in the travel sizes at the L’Occitane store. First off, it is very fragrant and very much a fresh lemon verbena citrus. I could smell this stuff in the box it was shipped in that was stuffed with packaging stuff. The kit contains the following four 2.5 sized items: Verbena Shower Gel, Verbena Body Lotion, Verbena Shampoo, and the Verbena Conditioner. It also contains a 3.5 ounce of the Verbena Bar Soap. This is a great sampler for those that want to try these products and it is a great purchase if you already use these items. They are perfect for holiday travel. The scent is very fresh and a must if you like citrus. It is lemony but not in a furniture polish way. I like the fragrance but I find that my skin devors citrus scents and they last like five minutes on my skin.