The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Elizabeth Arden explains this fragrance as a “radiant woody floral and a modern expression of sparkling radiance“. I would definitely say that this fits into that category of “modern woody floral”. It is woody but not in a super masculine way. At first it comes on as a bit fruity with hints of citrus and stone fruits such as plum. This lasts a very short time on me. It then smells of spicy wood, like a mix of sandalwood and dry cedar. But, it floral in an “aquatic” fragrance sense of the word. It is floral with the hissy notes of “orchid” and “wisteria”. But, it is all blended together so if it is very difficult to go “oh, there is the wisteria and here is the sandalwood”. It is all blended together and this wears on me for a long time. At times I’ll sniff and smell the woods and then again I’ll sniff and pick up a certain floral sharpness that makes this smell almost soapy fresh. Eventually, all I smell is warm sun-baked woods with generic “clean” musk. It isn’t a horrible fragrance it just doesn’t have a lasting impression on me. I find it boring for a “Mediterranean” fragrance but find it interesting for a “sea” scent if this makes sense. I think this fragrance could of really benefited from a fig hint and herbs, but then again, I can find that elsewhere because that already exists. But for a “sea” scent,  I can appreciate that this scent is clean and fresh without being “aquatic” and overly hissy.  Overall the fragrance is a very clean “wood” scent that can be worn all year round. It’s “easy” to wear and it is a nice fragrance if you can’t stand the thought of wearing something sweet, foody, or overly floral. ( I have to love it for that).

I do find the bottle pretty for a mainstream fragrance. It has smooth cerulean blue glass. The glass feels heavy and it feels expensive. The cap is a hammered silver-ish something. To be honest, I can’t remember if it was metal or plastic. So, if it is plastic, then it did a good job of tricking me. It really looks like a pretty piece of resort wear jewelry and I have to give Elizabeth Arden props for this one.

I would say that you may like this if you like Michael Kors Island, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Avon U by Ungaro, Versace Versense, Demeter Laundromat, Pucci Vivara, and/or Dolce and Gabbana Sicily or Feminine.

The 1.7 ounce retails for $47.50 and the 3.3 ounce retails for $57.50. And there are extras like a shimmery body powder (very cool), body cream, and body lotion. A good time to pick this up is when Elizabeth Arden offers one of their GWP specials.

I don’t hate Michael Kors Island, if there is one thing that I have learned; it is that I have gotten kinder with age. I may of hated this a few years ago, throwing mean words out at it. But I mean really, this is no worse than any other mainstream fragrance made to sell, sell, sell. It’s just generic, not awful.

It isn’t offensive. I think that I don’t like it because I am not a fan of “aquatic” fragrances in general. For an “aquatic” and “airy” fragrance, this isn’t too bad . It opens with a bit of “fruit”. I can’t tell what fruit, just an accord trying to be juicy and fresh and a little sweet. (For the record, the company says that it is kiwi; I imagine that is a hard scent to replicate). It is floral and I do pick up on something honeysuckle-ish, but strangely the honeysuckle isn’t as sweet as honeysuckle should be. It is much more hissy and quite heady and piercing.  I dries down to a  floral , very modern rose with  sand and warmth, super humid. There is a certain heaviness on a “white” or a “dry” wood. It isn’t a dirty wood note but a super clean wood. I believe Michael Kors is calling it “driftwood” and I can see that, an aquatic wood that is drying out in the sand. This fragrance is a bit hard to explain since everything is very lab made. It can’t be picked apart. It is all or nothing.  It is a certain generic juicy fruit, a blend of “classic” florals with lots of warmth from wood. But, the entire time it is still really aquatic with heaviness on the “sea breeze”. For most of the wear on me, it smells of wood and water. It wears for a good half of the day. The company claims that this is a blend of such things as “Chinese kiwi, hydroponic honeysuckle, parrot tulip (which doesn’t have an odor), champaca flowers, Bulgarian rose, white bark accord, driftwood, and rice fields accord”.Hmm, rice fields, very interesting. There is also, “Kauai waterfalls and oxygenated water”.  So obviously this is a mood fragrance, a fantasy fragrance with lots of made up things to create atmosphere since many of the things listed really don’t present an aroma or at least a pleasant aroma. I have to give it credit. It is a fantasy fragrance, not very original, but it is trying to create an escape, trying to make us think of exotic places. Far from Michael Kors homeland island: Long Island. So this fragrance may not be as nice as an exotic island vacation, but it sure is trying with all of those lab created accords. I would of loved to be the chemist working on the “hydroponic honeysuckle” or “Kauai waterfalls” team.

The bottle is pretty but feels awkward in the hands. It is glass, a sheer turquoise to represent crystal clear water. The shape is just too chunky. The 1.7 ounce retails for $60 and the 3.4 ounce for $75. I would say that you would like this if you like Issey Miyake, Demeter Rain, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio, Bvlgari Omnia Green Jade, Calvin Klein Eternity, Giorgio Blue, Calypso Marine, Chaps for Women, Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise, Davidoff Cool Water, or if you like “aquatic” fragrance. There are many of these types of fragrances on the market. I can keep going: Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean, Jennifer Lopez Deseo, Carolina Herrera 212, OK, I’ll stop now.

The real deal.

The real deal.


Island Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Michael Kors

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

I love beach’n scents. And this is one beach’n scent. One of the reasons that  I love them is because I live in the Pacific Northwest. We really don’t have a rep for sunny, tropical beaches. We aren’t known for our lush tans or coconut based beverages. I didn’t realize than once I moved across the country to a place that had “beaches” that I would miss an Atlantic beach so much. After all of this rain, I really miss a Florida beach. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess is my reminder than warm, sunny places do exist. What I love about this fragrance is that it really epitomizes a warm beach. It isn’t a fruity cocktail and isn’t coconut scented tanning oil. It is light and breezy and warm. It smells like skin that is in the sun. It smells like ocean breezes and sand. It is really a fragrance that does a wonderful job conveying an environment and a time, not just smells. It is one of those “experience” fragrances. I have been a fan of it for years, even when it was known as Tom Ford’s Azuree Soleil. I look forward to it every late winter/early spring when it is relaunched. It comes out just in time, when I feel like I can’t stand another minute of wintery weather. The scent is light and fresh at first with hints of lush and tropical tiare flower. So it has that gardenia and coconut oil fragrance without being too drugstore tanning oil. It is made fresh with bergamot. After the gardenia florals dry down, it is very warm. It smells of hot sand with light breezes of salt water. It is perfect in the sense that it smells like skin drenched in product after an hour in the sun, you can smell the towel on the sand in the sun, you can smell virgin ocean breezes. It is such a “paradise” fragrance. It is one of my favorites. It isn’t something that I wear all the time but it is something that I look forward to and it does bring back nice beach memories and it is a vacation in a bottle.

Bronze Goddess does have a lame name and I’m not very wild about the new bottle. I was a fan of the colors and the name “Azuree Soleil” but I can’t complain about the product. So I can overlook the J.Lo type references and dated packaging. It comes in an “Eau Fraiche Skinscent” which is a fancy name for an EDT. It does wear on the skin for a few hours. The 3.4 ounce bottle retails for $52. There is a Body Oil Spray which I am in love with. It is enriched with the fragrance and wears forever. Plus, it makes my legs look perfect. The 3.4 ounce bottle which is identical to the skinscent bottle (cheap ass Estee Lauder) retails for $32 and wears for hours. There is a Luminous Body Lotion which I fall for every time it launches because it comes out at a time that I feel dull and drab and long for “luminous” skin. It retails for $32 for 6.7 ounces. It has a faint golden shimmer. I like it but I always get pissed that I didn’t purchase two bottles of the oil instead since it wears for a long time and is so moisturizing. It is a limited edition product which is a good move on Estee Lauder’s part because it always causes me to part with my money since “I can’t get it any other time”.

As I have said before I am a huge fan of Demeter. Where else can you get an interesting product for $5 for half an ounce of juice and a free gift with a $25 purchase. (Oh, the humongous minis are now $6. Rats.) I know the lasting quality of these fragrances aren’t so hot and have a short life span on the skin. So what!  First they are a cologne, second they are cheap and third they are fun. I have like 60 of these things.

Eau de Washington Water

Today I am going to review Salt Air. When I “took notes” on this fragrance, I was still living in Tennessee and not on the actual ocean water of the West coast. Actual salt air was a vague memory of Florida vacations and not an everyday part of my life. Now I smell the salt air when the windows are open. Here the salt air is dirty, gritty and sometimes abrasive. This is not like my vacation memories of lying in a bikini on super hot day, covered in coconut sunblock, lying on a Downy drenched beach town heated by the scorching sand grains. Anyways, Demeter Salt Air is very “aquatic” and “marine” like on first spritz. It is sheer and transparent and is like a ghost of a salty wind. It’s pure “salt”, not dirty ferry water salt. It’s virgin and clean salt air without the dirtiness of motor oil and animals. Demeter Salt Air is one of the freshest scents that I have ever smelled. It doesn’t remind me of beach vacations because it doesn’t smell like suntan lotion and it doesn’t smell like where I live because the scent is too clean. The salt air where I live is polluted with a “fishy industrial” smell. Demeter Salt Air is a lovely interpretation of clean, pure, salt air. It is crisp but warm. This is a great fragrance layered to add aquatic notes to some juices. My husband layers his with Bvlgari Aqva to make it smell a little more “fresh”. I layer it with Tahitian gardenia or coconut single note fragrances to get a tropical fragrance similar to Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess. I typically hate “aquatic” fragrances but this is not Irish Springy or anything like a teenage boy’s cologne. This is fresh.