Weekly Cheap Secret:

Oh, Old Spice. I know it is low-brow but I really do enjoy its scent. Every fall/winter, I purchase a bottle of Classic Old Spice Body Wash. (Let me emphasize Classic here, those other varieties can go to hell. I thought Axe already had that market covered). This is an inexpensive聽 fix for my need for spicy scents when the temperature drops. I like spicy scents but I usually don’t want to smell like them all day or I only crave them for a short time. That’s why I would rather use the body wash than the cologne. The fragrance is mix of bitter citrus and every spice in your cupboard: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon. It’s the “classic” and I think everyone is familiar with it. Old Spice is aware of the kitschiness of this scent with such slogans as “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist” and “It will still be around, even after a nuclear fallout”. I do find this comical because it is a classic fragrance that has been a part of American pop culture for some time. However,聽 some of their ad campaigns border on being chauvinistic. It’s all about the “swag” and attracting bodacious babes. I wish that they would realize that there are many, many females out there (some even bodacious) using their product. Sorry guys, but spice is a pretty unisex thing in the fragrance world. Spice for men is cheap; however, spice for women is expensive in the fragrance world.

The shower gel doesn’t smell as nice as the cologne. It does have a strange “chemicalness” to it that fades after a few seconds.. The gel lathers nicely and a little goes a long way. It’s a bright blue gel. I’m not wild about this because it makes the lather a pale gray, giving me a temporary zombie-like/corpse complexion. I guess their male target group doesn’t mind this? The fragrance lightly lingers and doesn’t interfere with any of my other fragrances that I choose to use. It isn’t very moisturizing. It appears that dudes aren’t interested in that.

An 18 fl. oz. bottle retails for under $5. This is a great deal for this shower gel. My husband and I have both been using a bottle for months now. I must add that I do love the smell of Old Spice on him and he even likes it on me.

Korres Juniper & Rum Shower Gel smells amazing. It is one of my favorite Korres scents ever. I know that it is marketed for their male audience but I adore it. It is such a sexy woodsy scent. It smells like a mix of dry woods and a sophisticated bay rum. It is “classic cool” in shower gel form. It is like putting a 50’s swooner in a bottle. It’s a blend of dried out woods. It isn’t evergreeny or fresh juniper. It’s just dry woods with a hint of tropical rum. It almost gives an illusion of a piece of wood that has a lacquer finish.

My husband loves this stuff and always says that he wishes he could get a cologne in this fragrance. I wish he could. I love the smell of this stuff. It lingers on his skin after the shower. This is unlike most Korres shower gels. Since I love this scent so, I like to use it to. It mixes so well with “modern” woods women’s fragrances such as Estee Lauder Sensuous, Tom Ford White Patchouli, or TokyoMilk Parfum Dead Sexy.

The shower gel lathers OK without a loofah and doesn’t dry out the skin. I’m mainly in love with it because of the dry woodsy scent that goes with some of my favorite fragrances.

It retails for $13 and is available on beauty.com.

This is an all natural fragrance that is in Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH “Gaia Perfume Collection”. This is as the name applies, a spicy fragrance. I really do like spicy fragrances but I think I have “low-brow” spicy fragrance tastes. I seem to always use Old Spice as my spice fragrance point of reference. Well, Epices d’Hiver is spicy and citrusy like Old Spice but much more high-brow. At first it is a wonderful winter citrus explosion. You can smell bitter oranges, blood oranges, perfumey bergamot, and grapefruit. It is citrusy but nothing like the “citrus” you would grab in the middle of summer. This is definitely a “cold” citrus blend. I mean that it doesn’t smell like fresh citrus juices but more like citrus essential oils. I then smell lots and lots of star anise. This is a good thing because I love the smell of star anise. I know other spices are present but I pick up on the star anise the most. I get a hint of cloves and nutmeg. The spiciness of this fragrance reminds me a lot of Pae-lo or Chinese Five Spice. Or Sambuca mixed with a bay rum aftershave blend or Old Spice. The dry down is聽 soft, warm, and resiny. It reminds me of non-burning incense. It is “round”, mellow, and wears closely to the skin.

This is a nice scent for cooler weather. It is spicy without smelling “Christmasy”. It has been a great fragrance to wear during this past week when the temps have been about 19掳 F. It reminds me of a beautiful bay rum (I guess because of the davana mixed with citrus and spices) with a dash of Pae-lo. This is a spice fragrance that both sexes can wear. It is a great “classic” scent for the kind of male that spends his winter holiday eating clam chowder by a fire in a wool sweater that he got in Novia Scotia last year before he goes out yachting. I also see it for the kind of confident female that wears Old Spice, Hepburn-ish pant suits, and red lipstick. I see both wearers as an “adventurous” type.

This is a long-wearing scent because that wears closely to the skin most of the time because of the expensive essential oils used in the blend. I really do like this scent and I don’t mean it any harm by comparing it to Old Spice. That is just my low-brow reference for spicy blends. For a “spice” blend this one is beautiful and complex. It reminds me of anything from warming Sambuca cocktails to “faraway”, “exotic” spice blends. I really do like this fragrance and I find it very easy to wear for a spicy fragrance. I wear it and it doesn’t wear me. My husband also likes this one. He says it smells of Compari and Sambuca. He says that this is the most sophisticated bay rum in the world. I would say that this means a lot coming from a guy that wears bay rum in the winter and has a very limited scent vocabulary. Notes include: bergamot, bitter orange, citrus oils, coriander seeds, davana, pink peppercorn, star anise, cinnamon bark, clove bud, jasmine, Moroccan rose, nutmeg, spice notes, ambrette seeds, labdanum, Siam benzoin, tolu balsam, tonka bean, Arabian myrhh, and vanilla absolute. A few sizes are available. The 5 ml bottle in an antique inspired bottle goes for $90. I recommend this fragrance for the person that loves spice fragrances, The Different Company Un Parfum d’Ailleurs & Fleurs, Annick Goutal Madragore EDT, L’Artisan Parfumeur Fou d’Absinthe EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Navegar EDT, Byredo Parfums Fantastic Man, Etro Anice, Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique EDP, and/or Old Spice 馃檪聽 It is available on DSH’s website.

This isn’t a fragrance that I would wear to work, because I don’t want anybody thinking I’ve been smoking a pipe in my little “speech studio”.聽 But, I do love this fragrance. I love the sweetness of whiskey tobacco. This cologne smells like the real deal. Demeter’s website describes it as tobacco smoke and whiskey. I don’t pick up on any smokiness. This to me smells just like if you opened a jar of whiskey “flavored” pipe tobacco at a cigar shop. This is sweet, warm, and best described as masculine. It is very dried tobacco-ish, you know it if you’ve smelled it before, and a bit vanilla, well, more buttery burnt coconut-vanilla cream, like whiskey aged in oak. It’s a beautiful thing really. It’s nostalgic and reminds me of all of my grandfather’s old man friends with burnt white moustaches that sat around in leather chairs in the sitting room smoking flavored pipe tobacco and complaining about everything. Well, sometimes they talked about ultralight airplanes.

Like all Demeter Cologne Pick-Me-Up fragrances, this one isn’t long-lasting. It mainly exists for its novelty. I do enjoy it but I don’t want to smell like whisky/whiskey tobacco all day. I love that fragrance but it needs to be in a “blend” for me to want to wear it for many hours (It’s screaming for dried apricots and roses). This cologne blend wears for about 30-45 minutes on me during cooler weather. For me, this is a cool weather fragrance because of its sweetness. I do love to use it as a linen and room spray. This creates a hip cigar lounge atmosphere everywhere.

I do consider this a unisex fragrance. The 1 ounce cologne spray goes for $20. And other sizes are available on www.demeterfragrance.com. I would say to give this one a try if you love the smell of pipe tobacco, Santa Maria Novella Tobacco Tuscano Cologne, Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP, Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque EDP, Micheal Kors for Men EDT, and/or Odori Tobacco.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Mahjoun is a decadent gourmand that is a must have for the honey lover. I love the scent of honey. It’s sweet but raw. This makes it difficult to wear. If you are one of the lucky and confident few out there that could wear a heavy honey based scent then this is a must for you. The fragrance’s website describes Mahjoun as “exotic, sensuous, and delicious“. Oh, it is. And it is based on the Moroccan delicacy (an ancient cannabis confection). I have never traveled to Morocco. Mainly because I love the “exotic” vision that I have of it in my mind and I don’t want to be let down. I want it to always be that “faraway” place. I love to picture the textures and smells of Morocco. I imagine bold spices, dried fruits and flowers, and precious resins. This is what I imagine and this is what Mahjoun delivers. It makes my mouth water. It is much sweeter than what I would imagine the streets of Morocco being like. This is much more dessert and gourmand and intoxicating, as the name implies. I usually can’t (or won’t) wear “sweet” fragrance but I see myself wearing this one frequently. It is sweet but it has so many other things keeping it interesting and “raw” while remaining beautiful. It is so sweet like honey as soon as you put it on. It’s sweet but very musky and sexual. At first spritz, it is a all about the sweetness of raw honey with a heavy dose of bitter almonds and zesty citrus juices. You can pick up a bit of lavender. This makes this is a crisp but sweet scent. Lavender honey is one of my favorite treats, especially in a black tea with a squeeze of lemon. The crispness fades fairly quickly and you are left with the “heart” of this fragrance. The heart is much like a sweet, sweet confection. It is heavy on the honey. It’s rich and golden, syrupy. It is mixed with dried fruits. I pick up on the dried dates and the dried pipe tobacco like aroma of dried figs. It is far from smoky, it just smells like a mix of honey and dried fruit flavored pipe tobacco. It has a dusting of sweet spices like nutmeg. It isn’t really “spicy”. The spices just add to the richness of the honey and sticky dried fruits. They are very understated. The “heart” has a bit of toasty nuttiness. Hazelnut in fact. My favorite. This makes this scent almost masculine/unisex and a must have for the lover of L’Artisan Parfumeur Mechant Loup EDT (my review here). I imagine it as a very intoxicating scent on both males and females. It’s really for anyone who has dreamed of being swept away by Rudolph Valentino as The Sheik. (This fragrance really does embody that Silent Film obsession with “exotic” and “sensual” and “forbidden” Bedouin culture).

The dry-down is less smoky and resiny than I would of imagined/predicted but it is there. It is an oriental blend of “exotic” resins and precious woods. It remains honey-ish but more in a beeswax with honey way with lots of amber, myrhh, sandalwood, frankinsence. It smells of exotic incense. I have to say that this is my all time favorite honey based scent that I have tried throughout my many years of sniffing. It is less “pissy” than L’Occitane Honey & Lemon EDT. It is sweet without sweetness being its soul purpose of existence like Lush Honey I Washed The Kids Solid Perfume.

Notes include the following: bitter almond, cardamom seed, cherry blossom, lavender, lemon, sweet orange, Bulgarian rose, fig, hazelnut, honey, nutmeg, orange blossom, sugar date, amber, atlas cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, frankincense, sandalwood, and Arabian myrrh. Many sizes are available. It’s a rich fragrance that wears for many hours closely to the skin. An 1 ounce EDP spray goes for $65. It is available at the Parfums des Beaux Arts website. I would say to give this one a try if you are a fan of complex honey scents or L’Artisan Mechant Loup, L’Artisan Havana Vanille, Tokyomilk Honey & The Moon EDP, Serge Lutens Chene, Arabie, or聽Fumerie Turque, Napa Valley Cielo EDP (my review here), just to name a few in the honey oriental genre.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

If you are a fan of vanilla, then you should love Hypn么se (please do not confuse with Lanc么me’s original Hypn么se 1950, confusing, huh?). Hypn么se is an oriental fragrance heavy on 3 notes: passion flower, vetiver, and vanilla. That’s really all there is to it, maybe a dash of other “flowers”.聽 I am not a huge fan of vanilla but I don’t dislike vanilla either. I like vanilla when there is just a hint to round and balance things out. This is a “sexy” fragrance I suppose. I’ve had ladies tell me their man loves this one, my hubby could care less (he’s no vanilla lover either). It is a bit heavy. It’s a vanilla blend, slightly sweet, with romantic a touch of florals with crisp almost masculine edge of vetiver. ( I would say the vetiver is what makes this one bearable). It’s not very me (needs more “wood” or more vetiver), but I could see others really liking this one. Also, I think it could wear nicely on a man, especially if you are a guy that likes Fresh Cannabis Santal or Boucheron Ja茂pur, just a thought. It is a long wearing fragrance and mainly wears of that “spiral” of vanilla, passion flower, and vetiver. If you get this on a scarf of something, it will smell like Hypn么se until you wash it. So you are getting your money’s worth 馃檪聽 For a Lanc么me scent it isn’t too bad (shame for a company that started as a fragrance house), but for a scent in this price range it isn’t the greatest. This is my opinion, like I’ve said, I am not a vanilla lover.

I would say that you would like this if you are a fan of vanilla based oriental fragrances, Guerlain L’Instant or Insolence, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Burberry Brit EDP, Dior Pure Poison, Juliette Has A Gun Lady Vengeance, Strange Invisible Perfumes Magazine Street and/or Fresh Cannabis Santal. Since this is a heavier scent, I would say that it would wear the best during cooler months/seasons. The bottle is based on the original. It is sturdy glass, spiral, “evocative of a woman’s silhouette, with facets that shimmer in the light”. It has violet colored juice. It’s a pretty bottle, it feels expensive because it is hefty.

It is available in 3 sizes from 1 ounce to 2.5 ounces with prices ranging from $45 to $72.50. Do pick it up with a GWP, I love those things. * Currently it is available at fragrancenet.com.

Seriously, if you want to pick up hippie guys wear this. This stuff is a hippie magnet. That being said unless you dig guys with braids that wear bandanas in their hair and wear Birkenstocks, don’t wear this to any outdoor festivals , food Co-ops, or “ethnic” import home furnishing stores. Well, I guess if you don’t want to attract hippies, then don’t go to those places anyways 馃檪

To my surprise, this scent is marketed to men. I didn’t know that. I smelled it and thought “woody gourmand”, something in the Angel category. I kind of liked it for the winter, because unlike Angel, it isn’t as sweet. When I realized that it was marketed for men, I was bit shocked. There is nothing in this scent that smells like it is for men and there is nothing in that says it is not for ladies. It should of been marketed as a unisex scent. But, then again maybe Fresh is trying to pull some kind of shock value trick where women that wear this feel scandalous and edgy for wearing a men’s scent. That could easily be it since I feel they are trying to be scandalous with the name alone. Anyways, the scent isn’t very unusual. If you are the type that wears oils from the headshop then this is nothing new. It is woodsy and long-wearing. It smells pretty heavily of patchouli and sandalwood. However, it doesn’t have that much of a “dirty”, “earthy” vibe because it is calmed down/dolled up with sweet synthetic musk, chocolate, and vanilla. This is what makes “normal” ladies like this. You know the ladies that wouldn’t touch patchouli oil with a 10 foot pole? Don’t take me wrong. This is sweet but this is not Angel or any other popular gourmand. This isn’t a Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy mix. This mearly smells like if you wore Angel body butter or lotion with patchouli oil on your pulse points. It is a friendly headshop fragrance. It is an expensive headshop fragrance for $75 for 3.4 ounces. There is also the faintest and weakest hint of rose. Overall, the scent smells of a sweet sandalwood and woodsy but not gritty patchouli blend. It is pretty, but not very interesting. It wears for hours and very closely to the skin.

Before I knew it was marketed for dudes, I asked my husband, a die hard patchouli addict to wear this, he said he wouldn’t and he also he declared that it was “shit that some middle age Pier 1 ‘hippie’ yoga mom would wear” and that he was keeping to his “roots”. I didn’t think so harshly of the scent. I spritzed it on and then went to Whole Foods where every 40 something guy in a spandex road biking leotard carrying gluten-free rolls commented on my “intoxicating” aroma. I then went home, creeped out, scrubbed my pulse points and never wore this stuff again. You should wear underpants with your leotards. I now use it as a room freshener.

Avon has launched two new fragrances for him and her. The ad campaign is super lame. The fragrance is Jet and the tag line is “Let our new fragrances whisk you away to your own private escape without ever leaving home.” Yep, we’re in a recession. We now have to be so frugal with money that we have to purchase cheap, Avon fragrances and pretend we are doing something cool like flying? Personally, I hate flying. It is such a pain but that doesn’t keep me from leaving home. My imagination isn’t really that great at teleporting. I can close my eyes but I’m still stuck where I started. Anyways. Avon has launched Jet Femme and Jet Homme, classy with that French addition, huh? The ad campaign is a bit depressing and really is a sign of the times. Find luxury in cheaper things and just use your imagination to replace that vacation this year. Not even a vacation, just flying in general. It used to be that perfume had to give us a glimpse into exotic fantasies, like sultry nights in Morocco or the sparkling seas of Fiji. Now it is the exotic luxury of flying. The ad campaign has a lovely 35+ married couple kissing in front of an airliner. How romantic! I can’t tell if they are boarding it together or happy that they are going on separate planes. Or maybe one of them is the pilot and they are happy to have a job during the recession? Plus, who is flying exotic to? The 90+ crowd? Those young people and their jet planes…The bottles are so boring. They are little squares with a boring design. Both his and her bottles match. How is that for economical? Jet Femme EDT is a “shimmering blend of fresh grapefruit and tropical blooms over a sensual breeze of amber and exotic teak wood.” Here you go honey. No tropical vacation this year. Just a bottle of Jet. The fragrance isn’t repulsive but it sure isn’t interesting either. It is pretty boring and just smells like a generic citrus and woody floral cocktail. The price isn’t bad at $22.50 when not on sale for 1.7 oz. So, if you want to smell generic for less than department store brands then reach for this. Like, I’ve said, it isn’t horrible and is no worse than anything that Macy’s sells, it’s just not interesting. Plus, it doesn’t hang around too long. That could be viewed as a plus or a minus.

Jet Homme EDT actually isn’t too bad. It is a “crafted blend of Italian bergamot and fresh fig infused with exotic Egyptian incense and musky white cedar.” So, Jet Femme is an island escape and Jet Homme is a Mediterranean get away. It isn’t too bad. Of course, I am a sucker for fig fragrances. This is like a cruder, simplified, and watered down Diptyque Philosykos. Which sounds like an insult but it isn’t for $19.50 for 2.5 ounces when not on sale. Philosykos goes for $88 for 1.7 ounces. You can actually smell fig and white cedar in this. And like most men’s fragrance it doesn’t hang around too long but the base notes stick.

So, if you are terrified of the economy and still want to smell decent and not offensive than these are great. Just close your eyes and pretend you are on a crowded jet plane, knees rubbing against a fat stranger’s, ears popping, tired but can’t sleep with that crying baby whaling in your left ear, have to go pee but don’t want to jump over the fat man. It’s what you’re missing during this recession. So forget transporting to exotic and sun kissed Tahiti, just dream of that flight. It’s Jet.

This is nothing to be scared of. This is probably one of the sexiest men’s fragrances on the market. I love it so much I could use it as a room spray. L’Artisan Parumeur M茅chant Loup translates as the “Big Bad Wolf” or “Naughty Wolf”聽 and it is a charming and seductive fragrance for me. I know it works on me. It is complex but not confusing. It is intriguing. It is warm and inviting. It is rich and spicy and woodsy and very masculine. It smells like a “strong” man both physically and mentally. It is the whole package. It contains, rich pepper, star anise, licorice, sandalwood, honey, hazelnut, myrrh, tonka bean and cedar. This fragrance is a jewel because it is so woodsy and very foresty but has this warm and sweet hazelnut accord. And what lady dislikes hazelnut? This hazelnut is warm, roasted and a bit burnt to keep in “manly”. I wouldn’t call it gourmand because of the heavy use of woods like cedar. However, the cedar smells like it has been dipped in honey and left in the sun. The dry down is amazing and has a pretty good lasting quality. The dry down is a bit honeyed with that hint of hazelnut and rich tonka bean. It is heavenly and I can’t stop sniffing it.

This fragrance is masculine but isn’t made exclusively for men. But, what fragrance is? You can wear whatever fragrance you want to. I haven’t actually worn this on my skin yet. I’d love to though, later, in cooler weather. I’d like to see how it wears on a woman. But, I just love it as a men’s fragrance because it is so interesting.

It is available in 50 ml for $95 and 100 ml for $135.

Carthusia i Profumi di Capri is a posh Italian perfume company that makes it juice in limited quantities in the same tradition that Carthusian monks used in the 1380’s. Each product uses nice ingredients and is “hand-wrapped”. It’s website is in Italian and translates poorly so this is about all I have.

Lately, my husband has been wearing the eau de parfum spray of Carthusia Uomo. It is “dedicated to a fascinating and refined man.” I guess that is him, even though he is a bit rough around the edges. It is described as a “fresh scent, made from citrus notes blended with wild rosewood in an irresistible woody-marine harmony. A light, timeless men’s fragrance.” It is very fresh and “aquatic” without being obnoxious or too “sporty” like most popular men’s fragrance. The initial spritz of this fragrance is citrusy and herbaceous. I smell citrus zest and rugged rosemary. This is fresh and sophisticated. What stands out the most to me is the rosewood, it is so smooth and woodsy and warm. Somehow this fragrance manages to remind me of rotting wooden ships floating on fresh sea water. It conjures up barnacles and a day at the dock. Granted it is fresher smelling than most docks, but it still has this sailing island quality to it. It is a nicely crafted fragrance that is fairly simple in theme but complex. My husband loves it and so do I. It smells wonderful on his skin, it smells “young” without going Axe-ish or Aqua di Gio. However, my husband complains about the lasting power of this fragrance. It is an EDP and in my opinion it does vanish fairly quickly considering the price and the ingredients. Of course we are both used to stronger fragrances and we both wear scents for ourselves and expect to smell it on us on all day. I guess like so many “marine” fragrances, it doesn’t hold well and is very light. At least my husband can’t over do it while wearing this and go all disco gigolo like he usually does. He is a fan of pure fragrance oils and Dior Fahrenheit.

Overall, this is a refreshing yet posh scent with light staying power. It is great for summer. It retails for $85 for the 50ml and $120 for the 100ml. You can purchase it at beautyhabit.com.