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.

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Tonight or never…I absolutely love Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais EDP. It’s a scent for the rose lover. It covers all aspects of a rose: the greenness, the fruitiness, the gourmand qualities, the floralness, and the romantic imagery of a rose. Annick Goutal considered this one of her prize fragrances and it took her 15 years to complete (launched in 1999). It’s her top-secret formula and it is supposed to make one’s head spin. I love this fragrance, but I must say that I love rose scents. This Turkish rose based perfume is unlike any other in my collection. It is complex but somehow very simple. It changes throughout the wear, this is what I guess makes one’s head spin (in a good way). It changes with me as the seasons change. Sometimes it is more of a fruity-rose floral. Other times it is more on a “classic” rose with a rich buttery, ambery dry-down on me. But, all in all, it’s a simple rose. Sure, it claims to have at least a hundred other notes, but I get a beautiful, romantic dewy rose garden most of the time. A very mature, ripe flower garden. All of the flowers are in full bloom.

At first the fragrance is well, astringent, a crisp green rose. I think this what some people refer to as “bug” spray. I don’t see that and I kind of like this “crisp” rose. It then mellows out a bit thanks to violets, not quite candied, but fresh and green dew covered violets.  It also has a very faint floral spiciness. Perhaps carnation? It’s a sweet,fresh, floral that is heavy on the roses. These other notes are there but with time it becomes a classic Turkish rose somehow sweet, green, and floral. The Turkish roses almost seem candied after some wear. I get pear, so I think. I get a fresh fruit note, perhaps a mix of pear, apple, and quince. It’s pretty, fresh, and light. It sets on the rich roses. I usually don’t like fruitiness but it works so well with this rose heavy floral. It’s a nice surprise. The scent does go back to rose, slightly powdery but much less so than others I’ve sniffed in the past. This is more of a “fresh” rose. The dry-down is still rosy but with a hint of hibiscus seed/ambrette seed. This adds a warmth, almost like amber, but not as resiny, more buttery. This keeps the rose grounded.

Notes include: Turkish rose, ambrette seed, and a blend of 140 secret essences. I have been impressed with the wear of the EDP; I have not tried the EDT. The EDP wears for about 6+ hours.

Give this one a try if you a rose lover or if you like Parfums des Rosine Un Folie de Rose EDP, Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Rose Vert EDP, Editions des Parfums Une Rose EDP, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Rose Muskissime EDP, Bvlgari Rose Essentielle EDP, Parfums de Nicolai Balkis EDP, and/or Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau EDT.

The 1.7 oz. EDP retails for $99. It’s available at luckyscent.com.

I love, love, love Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Vanille EDP. I’m a fan of the aroma of sweet, dried tobacco and pipe tobacco scents. I’m always hunting for them. After trying Tobacco Vanille, I really do not know if I should continue my search. All these years and this is what I’ve been looking for. I’m finished searching.

It is described as such “A modern take on an old world men’s club. A smooth oriental, Tobacco Vanille opens immediately with opulent essences of tobacco leaf and aromatic spice notes. The heart unfolds with creamy tonka bean, tobacco flower, vanilla and cocoa, and finishes with a dry fruit accord, enriched with sweet wood sap.” At first this fragrance smells like sniffing grandpa’s pipe tobacco. It is sweet and dry with the perfect amount of spice. It is as simple as that: spicy, sweet dried pipe tobacco. It wears on me like this for some time. I love this stage. It is so delicious throughout the wear. The spice eventually “tames” and you get more vanilla, dried cocoa, dried figs, and very faint smoky florals.  The dry down is delicious. It is sweet and sappy. It smells like a fictional vanilla tree sap. Think an amber but much more gourmand and smooth (yes, smoother than amber). The dry-down is comforting. It reminds me of being at my grandparent’s house as a kid. Grandmother is an excellent cook. It brings back memories of her baking lush Armenian honeyed sweets. Grandpa and his friend join the kitchen. You can smell the sweet pipe tobacco smoke on their clothes from hours before. That tobacco spice is there, so faintly, like the smoke hanging on to soft fabrics. The dry down is creamy and warm like fresh baked desserts.

I’ve never sniffed an old world men’s club, so I don’t know about that comparison. I would think of a men’s club as boozier and more rugged. This is just comforting for me and nostalgic (is that the old world feel?). I have sniffed pipe tobacco and this is dead on. It is “tobacco” throughout in such a perfect way. This fragrance is incredibly long wearing. I would say 12+ hours. That’s 12+ hours of me unable to stop smelling myself. It’s worth the price in my opinion. Yes, it’s a unisex fragrance. I find that it smells wonderful on men and women. It’s sexy but in a very approachable way.

Give this one a try if you want a sweet pipe tobacco fragrance or if you like scents like Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Mahjoun EDP, Demeter Pipe Tobacco, Whiskey Tobacco or Humidor Cologne, Santa Maria Novella Tobacco Toscano Cologne, Costamor Tabacca EDP, Odori Tobacco EDP, Serge Lutens Chergui EDP, and/or Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP.

The 1.7 retails for $180 and the 8.4 for $450. There is a 3.4 oz in there too. It is available at Nordstrom.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSh Viridian is a fresh, green fragrance that is in the Chroma Colors collection. It is described as “Organic. Sultry. Enchanted”. I have to agree. It’s a sexy “green” fragrance and I must have it in my collection.

The top of Viridian is dry and green. It reminds me of dry, cut grass. I love hay/grassy scents so I am loving the top to this. It is slightly spicy and green. Yep, just like celery seed. Even though the scent reminds me of dried grass and spicy celery seed, it manages to feel cool and crisp, fresh and green. It is really difficult to describe. I just know that it is a green freshness that is dry. There is no aquatic character to this fragrance. However, it is crisp like a walk outdoors. It has the freshness of wildflowers. These notes are delicate and they add a coolness. The florals are spotty like wildflowers in the forest in late spring. The middle notes of the fragrance are a bit more foresty with the slightly earthy and damp freshness of vetiver and green oakmoss. This adds some mystery to this playful green fragrance. The middle has a bit more of a “woods” feel than a pastoral feel. However, this isn’t overly masculine. It still manages to be tart and green on top of the raw earth. It has a sweet herbaceous character. I get a bit of anise on a bed of green. This is the lovage note. This adds so much to the fragrance. I love it when used in perfumery. At this time I also pick up on a faint citrus. This fuses with the earthy, herbaceous greenness. The dry-down is an “earthier” version of the middle. It is green but it does have the earthiness of patchouli and myrrh. And yes, it is myrrh gum not woodsy myrrh. I love this dry-down because it keeps its greenness and “earth” connection. It’s just that isn’t an oily, earthy patchouli. It’s that it is fresh and earthy, like the ground after a spring rain. This scent goes from pasture to forest to earth.

I adore this fragrance. It is amazing and I can’t imagine my fragrance library without it. I think it is a genius combination of notes. It is a perfect “outdoors” fragrance. It isn’t too masculine. It is subtle and sexy. It reminds me of springtime here in Western Washington. It is an invigorating time of year and the mountainsides are covered in breathtaking palette of wildflowers. It is an earthy scent that isn’t dirty. I see myself wearing this one in the spring and summer. I do see it as a unisex scent. I think it would “take” to the wearer. On me, it is sexy in a very unexpected way. I feel it is a very “me” fragrance and I am comfortable wearing it.

Notes include: angelica, artemisia, bergamot, celery seed, aloe, chrysanthemum, galbanum, orris root, Australian sandalwood, Brazilian vetiver, green oakmoss, lovage, myrrh gum, patchouli and violet leaf.

Give this a try if you like “green” or “outdoorsy” scents, The Different Company Sel de Vetiver EDT, Comme de Garcones Luxe Patchouli EDP or Calamus EDT, Humiecki & Graef Skarb EDT, Odori Gli Odori EDT, Sinfonia de Note Saveur d’Artichaut EDP, and/or Montale Fougeres Marine EDP.

Many sizes are available. An 1 ounce EDP  retails for $110. It is available at Pafums des Beaux Arts 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.

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.