Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Luxe to me is a rich, oriental gourmand fragrance (even though it is described as a woody chypre). It’s a natural fragrance so it is long-wearing and rich. It is “de luxe”. One of the many reasons that I love Parfums des Beaux Arts fragrances (other than many are so artfully crafted and long-lasting) is their inspirations. The inspirations range from art movements to colors to historical periods. DSH describes the fragrance as so “On the Riviera, I was overwhelmed by the charm and grace of my surroundings. The Perfume in the air was magnificent. Inspired by the Art Deco movement of the 1920´s and ´30´s, Parfum de Luxe is rich, pure and confident.” I agree. I also love Art Deco after restoring our 1936 home. I wore this fragrance out this fall and winter when I craved all things deco and 30’s. This fragrance went so nicely with my page boy haircut, cloches, bakelite brooches, and menswear tweed trousers. It went with my fashion cravings so nicely. This fragrance was dead-on what I wanted. There couldn’t of been a better match for me at the time.

This fragrance contains many, many notes. They all play off of each other nicely. However, when worn on my skin, I pick up sweetness. I get rich, raw honey. It’s sexiness verges on vulgarity. I love it. Yeah, at the initial wear I get a bit of the balsamy, purifying sage. But, that is blended with rich old-fashioned roses. (DSH uses the finest rose absolutes that I’ve ever sniffed). These roses are hard for me to identify because they are soaked in sticky, raw honey. They smell gourmand, candied, sticky, and sweet. Throughout the wear the honey really sticks on me (no pun intended). I do get buttery, creamy orris mixed with the honey. Sometimes when I wear this, I get the rich white florals but they have been baked into a buttery, honey cake. I must add that the orris and honey combo is lovely. It inspires me to add orris root to my next honey cake. (Perhaps toasted orris root?) I think it would be quite amazing. Anyways, back to this fragrance. The base still has sweetness. The honey doesn’t vanish but it does get quieted down by rich, resins and unisex mosses. This is the stage where I would definitely call Parfum de Luxe a chypre. It’s woodsy and mossy but still sweet with amber, tobacco, and vanilla. I want to call it a gourmand chypre if there is such a thing. Regardless if there is or isn’t such a thing, I know I like it. It’s delicious, rich, sensual.

Like I said, this fragrance wears very sweet on me. It’s all honey, candied/edible flowers, and rich, gummy resins. I find it very sexy and it is one that I love to wear in the fall/winter. Its richness warms me up on cool, damp, classic Western Washington days.

Notes listed include: bergamot, clary sage, neroli, petitgrain, violet, Bulgarian rose absoulute, Centifolia rose absolute, Chinese geranium, honey, orris, tuberosa, ylang-ylang, amber, benzoin, brown oakmoss, labdanum, patchouli, sandalwood, tobacco absolute, and vanilla.

Like I said before, this is a natural oil blend. It is long-lasting and it smells expensive. I think this would be a nice replacement for Tom Ford Private Blend’s retired Moss Breches EDP. Also give this one a try if you like honey fragrances, natural fragrances, or scents like TokyoMilk Honey & The Moon EDP or Honeycomb Solid, Guerlain Tonka Imperiale EDP, Kilian Back to Black EDP, Serge Lutens Chêne EDP, Tom Ford Private Blends Arabian Wood EDP, and/or Sisley Soir de Lune EDP.

Many sizes are available. The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $135. A pure parfum is also available. (I bet it is amazing). All sizes are available on the house’s website.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Grasse is a sophisticated spicy, resiny rose blend with lots of chypre notes. It isn’t a green or “fresh” rose floral. It is a bit sweet but in a honey or crystallized rose petal way. This is what makes it different from the other rose scents in my fragrance library. I tend to purchase those fresh/green rose ones. This one is different. It is rich and luscious, dark and mysterious. It is a long-wearing fragrance because it is made from 100% botanical ingredients. You get your money’s worth with this purchase.

The top has a spicy crispness. I get lots of the carnation and orange blossom. This is a classic spicy floral mixture.  However, it has a bit of a dried vetiver that adds a woodsy freshness to the spicy florals. This is not an invigorating or overwhelming vetiver. It smells of dried vetiver and at times it has a mossiness, the kind that only classic perfumes seem to pull off. The heart is sweet and floraly. It has rosy florals mixed with musky, sweet beeswax. I love beeswax when used “right” and this is fitting in this blend. It keeps the florals grounded. The beeswax also helps the fragrance “stick”, meaning that it keeps it long-wearing. I get a butteriness. I assume this is the orris because it is a tad floral. The dry-down is animalic without being offensive or heavy. It’s woodsy and mysterious. And the moss comes back. However, this time it is more of a mossy incense.

I love how this fragrance uses natural botanical ingredients that mimic Old World animalic floral perfumes. DSH has vision and talent. This is a wonderfully modern take on Old World perfumery. This is a wearable resiny, animalic floral. It is packed with classic notes and it all works together. It has it all: spice, florals, sweetness, woods, and chypre notes. It’s a “dark” floral and that is why I like it. I also like it because every time I sniff it, I get something different. It’s complex and cerebral.

Notes include: bergamot, mimosa, neroli, carnation, centifolia rose, French beeswax, jasmine, orris, Brazilian vetiver, moss, and sandalwood.

Give this one a try if you are looking for a “darker” rose/floral or if you like scents like Les Parfums de Rosine Une Folie de Rose EDP, Tom Ford Private Blends Noir de Noir EDP, Lubin L de Lubin EDP, Byredo Parfums Rose Noir EDP, Guerlain Mitsouko EDP, and/or Shiseido “Classic” Zen Cologne.

The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $135. Other sizes are available.This blend is available at DSH’s website and Beautyhabit.com.

I was so happy to find out that this scent existed. Nowruz is hands down my favorite holiday ever. Who doesn’t love a celebration that includes good food, fresh flowers, the outdoors, clean homes, and new clothes? Who doesn’t love a holiday that celebrates the rebirth of nature? Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH is a nice gourmand but I really don’t think it does actual Nowruz any justice. If I was to do a Nourouz fragrance (and I haven’t) it would be a green and fresh fragrance, a spring fragrance, with new green buds, hyacinth, and dew drops. It would have a top note of rosewater and a dry down that was warm and resiny to symbolize fire.  It would remind one of crisp spring picnics and exchanging laughter with one’s loved ones. But, I didn’t create this fragrance. Nowruz is the time to celebrate getting out of that winter funk. Parfums des Beaux Arts Nourouz is all about the feasting and food end of Nourouz, but not the picnicking/outdoorsy part of Nourouz. Because it has such desserty spices, it reminds me too much of a winter fragrance. (It was released in the fall of 2009). It’s heaviness and sweetness misses the entire “being” of Nowruz in my opinion. It just focuses on desserts and yumminess. Sweets are a part of Nowruz…Anyways, I should get over the whole name, Nourouz, and my personal expectations of what that word means and move on to this indulgent gourmand fragrance.

This fragrance opens up as very foody. It does smell of a spicy, sweet tamarind and pomegranate syrup. It reminds me too much of a sticky, jammy dessert. I feel on me, that the tamarind totally overthrows any floral notes. I get a bit of the rose but it once again, is very foody with the mix of tamarind. This smells like a dessert on me. It smells much more interesting than other dessert fragrances on the market. I just think that tamarind doesn’t wear nicely on me. The middle, about 45+ minutes of wear, is very sweet and smoky. I really love this smoky dry-down. The dry-down makes it a perfect fall/winter fragrance. It’s sweet, resiny, and smoky. It’s indulgent. The dry down is very nice. I pick on the tannins. It’s a bit fruity and really reminds me of the top note of black pomegranate. It’s like the fragrance went full-circle. (Which is very impressive for the entire re-birth thing of Nourouz, see I do like this fragrance). It’s a bit bitter and very sensual. I do love that I can pick up on the tannins and this note should be used more in perfumery. They are subtle and they really “round” out this fragrance. Overall this is a jam like fruity dessert gourmand fragrance. It is the perfect “fruit” fragrance for fall/winter. When I say that it is fruity and gourmand, I am not saying that this is a juvenile fragrance. It is very “grown-up” and mature. And I say that it is a sweet, fruity, gourmand but I really think it could be a unisex fragrance. It’s fruity but more in a dried fruits and wine way. The smoky tobacco notes make it very masculine. Because it is a natural/botanical oil base blend, it wears for a long time. It’s rich and robust. I really do like the scent once I get over my preconceived notions. I think I would of been more accepting of this EDP if it had another name or “inspiration”. I’m just silly like that…and this holiday is very important to me. I do really like this fragrance as a comforting and interesting winter/fall “fruity” fragrance. I really do like this fragrance, really. I find it very interesting. I just don’t like it for a spring celebration. I love it for the cooler months.

Notes listed include: black pomegranate, paprika, tamarind, Bulgarian rose, orris, osmanthus, oppoponox, red wine notes, tobacco absolute, and vanilla absolute.

The 1 ounce EDP retails for $135. Other sizes are available of this rich, botanical, natural blend. This is a limited edition fragrance that is available on Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s site.

This is a rich and comforting fragrance that reminds me of Santa’s cookies and winter baking. It is a sweet, gourmand fragrance but I still like it. It is a blend of nutmeg, almond, orange blossom, vanilla, tonka bean, and musk. At first it is a spicy floral. You can smell the light, playful aroma of orange blossom mixed with spicy nutmeg. The orange blossom is a flirt and doesn’t hang around very long but you can tell it’s there even when it is “gone”. You soon smell the rich nuttiness of almond. I love the scent of almond. Nothing beats a nice Italian almond fragranced soap. I can smell the almond and rich, sweet creamy vanilla with a touch of “cocoa”. The almond gets sweeter, like it has been toasted in brown sugar. It smells like a delicious dessert (great vanilla almond cake recipe here) and it makes me want a strong cup of black coffee.It is a sweet fragrance. This is not an understatement. It is sugar and spice. It is the kind of scent that is too heavy/sweet for year round wear but it is perfect for cooler weather and winter, especially Christmas time. Sometimes fragrances like this are just what you need when the frost settles in.  The dry down is a comforting blend of tonka bean, musk, and vanilla.

This scent reminds me of sitting in a charming and cozy café, reading a used paperback book, holding it with cold hands as it rains outside. You order a hot latte  or a macchiato to warm yourself up. You’re wearing your favorite scarf and kind of the enjoy the cold because it is one of the first really “cold” days of the season. You look out the window to glare at the drizzle, look back down to continue reading. You hear your name, look up and to your surprise, it’s an old friend. It’s just going to be a good day.

This is a long wearing fragrance and wears for many hours. I would say that you would like this scent if you like gourmand, sweet scents that are heavy on vanilla or toasted almond, scents like Malzzolari Alessandro, Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie, Crazylibellule & The Poppies Poule de Luxe Vanilla Macarons, LaVanila Vanilla Spice, and/or Burberry Brit EDP. The 1.7 oz. EDP retails for $95. It is available at beautyhabit.com and sarahhorowitz.com.

When I purchased this fragrance oil I was thinking of fall. I thought that an apple scent would be very nice for October. I was expecting something that would remind me of leaves crunching under my Frye boots in the orchards of Washington. This is not a fall fragrance. L’Aromarine Pomme is more like a Jolly Rancher mixed with Johnson’s No More Tears Shampoo. Perfume labs and flavor labs are often married. This smells like what fake apple tastes like. You know the apple used in sour candies and pops. If you like that sort of thing such as Demeter Sour Apple or DKNY Be Delicious then you should like this very long-wearing fragrance oil. At first it is very “fruity” then it becomes very intense and tangy. It smells just like a Jolly Rancher or Jone’s Soda Sour Apple. After an hour + of wear, it becomes softer and more like an apple used in a kid’s shampoo. It’s like a lab trying to recreate a Golden Delicious instead of a Granny Smith. It isn’t a bad fragrance but if you don’t like the thought of smelling like apple flavoring then do not give this a try. But, if you are looking for a fun, young, fruity scent then give this a try. I really smell this and think it would be appropriate for a tween or teen. My teenage sisters would love this. My adult, apple-loving Washington state “where we know what apple orchard the apple came from in one bite” self doesn’t. I am planning on mixing mine with a white floral, maybe a honeysuckle or a jasmine to make it a bit more ladylike. I really do not see this mixing well with spice like I had initially planned. This is more of a warm weather fragrance. It retails for $9.50 and is available at beautyhabit.com.

I didn’t know that I loved the scent of grapefruit so much until I bought this product. I used to shy away from grapefruit in scents because it was A. too sweet and sugary or B. cat piss. I didn’t hate grapefruit, I just stayed away from it because cat piss is hard to pull off. L’Aromarine Pamplemousse is a “rugged” citrus blend. It is bitter, fresh, but is still sweet like a grapefruit. This oil is just enough of the peel and the fruit. It is a tad kitty pee-pee-ish but enough to make it interesting and not fake. Grapefruit kind of smells like that in “real” life. It doesn’t smell sugary unless you add the sugar. I would also say that this is a grapefruit, not a pink grapefruit or any of those other sweeter varieties. This is “rugged” citrus.

Since this is a fragrance oil, it is very long-wearing. This is a scent that I see myself wearing year round. It is crisp and tart for summer, clean and natural for fall, etc. I also would imagine that it would mix very well with bergamot oils, oakmoss oils, lemon oils, floral oils like honeysuckle or jasmine. This is a very versatile fragrance and by adding any of these, you’ve created something “new”. The scent is unisex; however, my husband finds it too “girly” for his taste. He doesn’t do citrus at all. I really like it and cant wait to play with it by mixing up something of my own in a vodka base. It retails for $9.50 and is available on beautyhabit.com.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Oh, the ever so popular L’Eau D’Issey! This fragrance has a cult following and I smell it on people all the time when I am out and about. It’s good that I don’t find it offensive! It’s a very popular aquatic floral and I remember for a few years there all of my girlfriends wore it. So it has taken me so many years to revisit this scent because I was so tired of it. I brought out a sample of it a few days ago. It’s a pretty scent. I’m not a fan of “aquatic” scents but I can handle this one (on other people) and as far as that genre goes, this is one of the best.

Issey is very, very floral at initial spritz (and throughout wear). It’s filled with humid, aquatic flowers. They are dainty and seem to have the most fragile of petals. These notes are listed as lotus, freesia, cyclamen, rose water, fresh peonies, carnation, and white lilies. If you are afraid of florals then leave this scent alone. It is heavy on them. I would say the floral that stands out most to me is the freesia and cyclamen. I can “feel” the lotus. This floral bouquet seems to create an atmosphere of water garden flowers. You just feel the humidity from them and you can almost see the sweating paper-thin petals. It’s an exotic fragrance (if you don’t live in a hot, wet tropical climate) because it smells like “jungle” flowers to me because they are so fragrant and so wet. The company describes it as “when Flower meets Water”. It wears very floral for a very long time.  Other notes in this fragrance include: precious woods, osmanthus, tuberose, amberseed, and musk. After hours and hours, no kidding, I can pick up a faint trace of the musk and woods, but their companions are still strong florals.

I can’t wear this fragrance. It gives me a headache. It is an attack of aquatic florals that doesn’t ever cease. That being said, for an EDT this wears for a long time. I also think it wears nicely on other people and it doesn’t bother me on them. It is just too much to be on my body. If you love lingering complex floral scents then you’ve found your soul mate with this one. If you want a long-lasting floral than this is it too.

I would say that you would like this if you like aquatic/fresh florals Estee Lauder White Linen (and all of its spin-offs), Demeter Rain, CK Eternity, Davidoff Cool Water, Susanne Lang Lotus Blossom, Armani Acqua di Gio, Lollia Imagine, and/or Avon Haiku. The EDT comes in 3 major sizes: a small .8 oz $44, 1.6 oz $65, and a 3.4 oz $89. Sephora has a roller-ball available for $22 that is nice for giving it a try and travel. *Currently available at fragrancenet.com.


L’Eau D’Issey Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Oz by Issey Miyake

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

This is a fragrance that I would have never of chosen for myself by reading the description. I am so happy that I’ve tried it (thank you Beautyhabit for the thoughtful sample). I find it very interesting. It is unlike anything that I own. The blend is fantastic and the fragrance oil is very long wearing.

Saffron James is a pretty cool company, with Hawaiian inspired fragrances. They are tropical but not in that beachy coconut or sickly sweet cocktail way that so many other companies flirt with. They are truly inspired by nature. Plus, I dig vintage tiki culture. These fragrances have that tiki vibe.

The Saffron James website states: PŪNONO (pooh-no-no): Filled with sunshine, ever beautiful; flushed red, as the skin (to blush). 2. To make attractive with bright or red colors, to dress or appear gorgeous. 3. An olfactory homage to the Puakenikeni flower. 4. An intoxicating scent with notes of Ylang Ylang, Pikake, Carnation, Vanilla and Tunisian Opium.

This fragrance is a little strange and that is why I love it. It isn’t strange like bizarre but it is different than mainstream fragrances. It has made me realize that I do not hate ylang-ylang at all. It is just that I have never smelled it used in such a wonderful way. I’ve under appreciated this note for too long. Bring on the ylang-ylang. The fragrance is an “homage” to the puakenikeni flower. I really need to take a fragrance adventure to Hawaii; I can’t comment on the actual aroma of this flower since I’ve never been and these things just don’t grow well in our cooler climate. I can only imagine, for now.  However, I do smell the whimsy floral top notes of gentle ylang-ylang and feminine pikake. But, this fragrance is “spicy” all the way through. Yep, it is floral but these otherwise heavy florals are not stealing the show (uh-um carnation). They are only enhancing the depth and mystery of “Tunisian Opium” which is otherwise an incensey head-shop fragrance by itself (which I like sometimes but it isn’t very every gal).  This is a very resinous incense scent that is made feminine by exotic flowers. I usually don’t love vanilla. It makes scents too foody or “sticky”; however, the perfect amount of vanilla is used in this mix. It makes the opium so well rounded, blended, perfect. This is not a “winter” fragrance. It is warm and spicy but totally appropriate for warmer weather and climates. It is really nice all year long or to be used for those “special” occasions. I would say that you would like this if you like Carol’s Daughter fragrances, tropical scents, or modern “oriental” ‘fragrances.

It retails for $85 for 30 mL (1 ounce). A little goes a long way and it last for like 12 hours on my skin. It does last a long time but very, very closely to the skin, so intimate and soft but always there. The bottle is simple and a has a cute wooden top. The bottle really completes the entire “vibe” of the fragrance. This is a fragrance that I have been using sparingly since I only have a tiny sample vial. When it is gone, I know that I am going to have to add this to my collection. It is very “me” since I have two real fragrance personalities: expensive heavy, white floral or no label head-shop oils. This is the perfect olfactory compromise. Must have it.

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? 🙂 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.