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.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH The Color Orange is a fragrance based on the color orange used in Rothko’s no.12. Appropriately it is heavy on citrus. Oranges are orange. At first spritz it is a juicy but rugged citrus. It smells like fresh, hand squeezed oranges. It’s a mix of the juice and the peel. It’s a bounty of mid-winter ripe citrus: juicy blood oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit. These are listed as the top notes and you can really smell them. Citrus crops are one of the few things that I enjoy about winter. Who doesn’t love the feel of a blood orange awakening the senses in the dead of winter? I can smell the lushness of blood oranges, the tartness of little mandarins, and the rugged sweetness of grapefruit. It is like an olfactory vitamin C bomb. It’s bold and refreshing, tart and only sweet in the way that a pink grapefruit or blood orange can be. Surprisingly, The Color Orange becomes “lighter” and flirtier. It has a whimsy blend of neroli/orange blossom. It’s still “citrus” but with a breeze of neroli/orange blossom. It becomes much more feminine, smooth, and less rugged. It’s just flirty, coy. It blends smooth like the oil paints used in a Rothko painting, seamless but with definition. I love the base. This flirty, coy citrus-floral turns in to a moody, Medieval animalic citrus pomander. The dry-down is spicy and rich with wintery myrrh, ambrette seed, and sensual musks. This isn’t a Christmas time craft project type pomander, heavy on cinnamon, stuffing an orange peel with cloves. This is how I imagine a Middle Ages pomander, animalic heavy on ambergris, rich resins, and orange rinds, all carried from distant, warm lands. Something to outweigh the less than perfect wintery weather of the land where you reside. This is a reminder of warmth, sunshine, and bountiful groves. Not the rain, cold, frost, snow, grayness of December.

I really like this fragrance for winter. It is refreshing, warm, and very much like the citrus in season. I would say that you would like this if you like “rugged” citrus, something “orange”, winter citrus blends, Diptyque L’eau de Tarocco, Keiko Mecheri Sanguine, Red Flower Organic Ambrette, Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange, and/or Fresh Bergamot Citrus. Oh, or Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper body cream. The fragrance wears for about 4 hours.

A few sizes of this EDP are available. A 1 oz spray goes for $65. It can be purchased at DSH Perfumes website.

Rothkos no.12

Rothko's no.12

orangeblossom

I can’t get enough of orange blossom/neroli scents this summer. It is very difficult to find “guides” online, so I’ve created a brief  collage/guide to fragrances which are heavy on this light, bitter floral. There are many scents on the market with these notes. I’m focusing on those that are heavy on orange blossom, like a splash of a refreshing Lebanese floral water in an iced beverage. I am looking for those “delicate” scents. From what I understand orange blossom and neroli are the same thing it just depends on how the oil is distilled (steam vs. water). However, neroli is supposed to be from a bitter orange blossom while most orange blossoms are not “labeled”.

Budget Orange Blossom Scents: Yves Rocher Pur Desir Orange Blossom/Fleur d’Oranger EDT is light and beautiful. It really competes with the more expensive stuff. It is $22 for 2 oz, body products are available as well. It’s a bit crude but still very orange blossom, a bit medicinal. I like it in a strange way. It is a nice drugstore find and the price is awesome: Sanborns Orange Blossom Cologne. It retails for about $4 for over 6 oz. of product. Tokyomilk Lotus Sake Petit Parfum Solid is a fruity/citrus orange blossom fragrance. It retails for $18. This would be a very light fragrance but very refreshing pick-me-up if transferred to a spray bottle: Caswell-Massey Orange Flower Water. It goes for $16 for 6 oz. It’s a pretty orange blossom with the help of jasmine, The Body Shop Neroli Jasmin. It retails for $17 for 1 oz. Parfums des Beaux Arts Eau de Fleur d’Oranger du Roi (review) is a lovely and simple soliflore orange blossom scent. The EDP spray retails for $27 for .25 oz.

More Expensive Orange Blossom Scents: 88 Orange Scent Blossom EDP is a clean, spring like floral with orange blossom and lilac. The 2 oz. spray retails for $55. Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne is crisp and light. The large bottle (3.4 oz) goes for $100. Diptyque L’Eau de Neroli is a tart, citrusy orange blossom. The cologne retails for $98 for 3.4 oz. Annick Goutal Neroli EDT is a beautiful, elegant orange blossom/neroli scent. The 2.4 oz. bottles goes for $115. To my surprise I found out that I really like Prada Fleur D’Oranger EDP. At first it wears hissy but the dry down is great and worth it despite the unusual top notes. The 3.4 oz. spray retails for $100. I’ll never forget the 1st time I sniffed Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger. Did it start my obsession? The 1.7 oz. retails for $120. Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger is a fresh and citrusy orange blossom scent and I can’t get enough of it. It is $200 for 3.4 oz. Laura Mercier Neroli is EDP is a fresh, floral orange blossom. It is $75 for 1.7 oz. Cinq Mondes Pluie D’Aromes Ritual d’Atlas is a fresh blend of citrus and orange blossom. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for $85.

I was reading that neroli/orange blossom is used to relieve tension and anxiety in aromatherapy. No wonder I am loving this stuff, it has been a stressful summer. However, we did close on the house and we’ve started repairs. I spend all my day removing wallpaper, cleaning, and pulling faux fur off of doors. What fun! (See the home blog if you want more.)

This summer I have been craving anything orange blossom. This mainly includes my orange blossom fragrant floral waters mixed in iced tea or orange blossom sorbets. I have always loved orange blossom in gastronomy but for some reason have kind of ignored it when it comes to fragrance. I go in fragrance spurts and this summer I have been craving orange blossom. It is such a bitter but delicate floral. I was happy to see that Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH has Fleurs d’Oranger du Roi. Evidently Louis XV was a mega fan of orange blossom for its “grace and lightness”. Well, I’m a mega fan too for the same reasons. Fleurs d’Oranger du Roi is one of those “true to the game” orange blossom scents. Don’t expect a complex blend with other star florals, spices, or woods. This is all about the beauty of the orange blossom. At first it is absolutely perfect and exactly what I have been craving. It smells bitter and citrusy with just a hint of floral. It smells identical to the orange blossom waters that I use in the kitchen (and I’ve been known to dump a bottle or two in the bath). It is more bitter like citrus rind than floral. It becomes more “blossomy” and less bitter after about 10-15 minutes of wear. It then becomes “pure” orange blossom. It is a soft and delicate neroli scent. It is lovely, delicate, and light. This is perfect for summer. Unfortunately, this fragrance only wore on my skin for about an hour in the summer heat. That isn’t hot lasting power for an EDP; however, I have not found an orange blossom fragrance that lasts longer than this. Some accords just do not last no matter what. These accords are mainly the “bubbly” and “light” scents such as citrus blossoms. FYI: From what I understand neroli oil and orange blossom oil are the “same” thing, meaning they come from the same source. The name is different depending on how it was extracted.

Overall, this is what I expected. I wouldn’t call it an “artful” or “creative” blend but it is so nice. It mainly resembles the Lebanese orange blossom floral waters that I use in the kitchen. However, this EDP lasts much longer than if I spritzed my skin with my waters. (I’ve tried and they last like 5 minutes). I realize that is hard to convince orange blossom to hang around until dessert. But, I also realize that orange blossom is a beautiful soliflore and it doesn’t need to be messed with to be “artful” or “creative”. It’s nice as is. This is exactly what I’ve been craving for summer and I’m happy with this fragrance.

This retails for $27 for .25 ounce EDP spray and can be purchased at beautyhabit.com. That is a tempting price point. Bonus, this line has 100% botanical fragrance and is hand-blended, hand-poured, and hand-bottled.

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.