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.

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The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy EDP is a floral oriental blend that tries very hard to be seductive. I think of it as a floral oriental for those that did not live through the 80’s to experience the heavy floral oriental genre. It is more of a “now” floriental. It’s a bit more fresh and floraly.

At first spritz, I kind of like this fragrance. I pick up a spicy mandarin. It’s refreshing and zesty. This energizing top note quickly fades. I do not smell the citrus after 5 minutes of wear. I then get something that I am not wild about. It is a powdery floral blend that is sweet and has a generic “vanilla musk” vibe. I take it that the powderiness comes from the “mimosa” listed but it doesn’t smell like the mimosa I love found in Guerlain Champs-Elysées or L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi EDT. It isn’t a light and fluffy mimosa. It’s a strong floral with a forced powderiness. The powder does go away or perhaps I can ignore it more. It then has a coolness and it almost reminds me of a rosey magnolia. I guess this is the camellia note. I haven’t had the chance to experience a “real” fragrant camellia. All of the ones that I have encountered were more about color and hardiness than aroma. Hydrangea is also listed as a fragrant note. My hydrangeas smell awful! Anyways, back to this fragrance. This strong, cool floral stage lasts and lasts. Imagine the green notes from a rose intensified. There is a faint vanilla like sweetness but still very floral. It is definitely more like a vanilla orchid than a vanilla bean. I do pick up lots of rose. It reminds me of a fragrance interpretation of somewhere floral and Southern, like the Garden District in New Orleans. The dry-down , is slightly woodsy. It manages to be a “clean” woodsy dry down. It is soft. If you like white musk then you should like this base. It’s woodsy but is is still very floral to its core. I know that this fragrance claims to be “sexy” but I’m just not getting it. I see it more of a nice, prim, and proper floral blend. I guess if your usual stand-by is something fruity like Ralph Lauren Ralph EDT or DKNY Be Delicious EDP, than this could be interpreted as a “sexy” and “seductive” fragrance.

Notes listed include: capucine, pepper, cactus flower, clementine, camellia, hydrangea, mimosa, vanilla orchid, musk, soft woods, blackberry, and white amber.

This isn’t a bad fragrance, it just isn’t something that I would see myself wearing very frequently. A teeny tiny bottle is more than enough for me. I love florals but I find that I am more of a fan of white floral blends. This is more of a cool and watery floral with a sweet dry-down. I’m just not a fan of humid florals. They don’t wear nicely on me but I can appreciate them from a distance. I would say to give this one a try if you like Bath and Body Works Enchanted Orchid EDT, Love & Toast Pomme Poivre EDP, Harajuku Lovers Love EDT, Estee Lauder Dazzling Silver EDP, Antica Farmacista Magnolia, Orchid, and Mimosa EDP, Tokyomilk Parfum Gin & Rosewater EDP, and/or Voluspa Victoria Collection Vanity EDP.

Three sizes are available and the largest, 3.4 oz., retails for $59. It is available at Victoria’s Secret.


Very Sexy Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Victoria’s Secret

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Yves Rocher Yria is a floral oriental blend. It isn’t the most exciting that I have ever sniffed in this genre but it isn’t the worst either. It’s a very basic oriental floral, pretty true to the genre. It’s resiny with lush petals and a base of sandalwood. It’s a pretty scent and the price is right. Most oriental blends may be too overwhelming and overpowering for “day” wear. I think of Yria as a lighter oriental that could work at anytime. You can’t say that for most of the blends in this family and that is coming from me and I love strong fragrances. And this is coming from me, so maybe it is too heavy for the average person… hmm…Yria hits me as a pretty floral blend at first. For a very short moment, you get bergamot/orange blossom like citrus. These then melts into a rose and jasmine fragrance. I pick up  much more of the rose than I do the jasmine. In fact, I like to apply a jasmine solid perfume under this to really emphasize the jasmine. It’s floral but in a classic floriental way. It has lots of “warmth” grounding it. For a long time it wears on me as a rose/amber blend with the slightest warmth of amber. After some time, the sandalwood shows up and keeps the blend grounded. It’s a warm floral fragrance with classic powdery softness. The dry-down is a rich, warm, close wearing sandalwood. It does wear nicely on me and the lasting power is about 4+ hours. Because of the rich oriental notes, I do think of this EDP as being more appropriate for fall and winter wear. Worn during these times, it doesn’t appear to be so “heavy”. I could see this one as really “heavy” if worn in the middle of summer, like most floral oriental blends.

The company lists the following notes: bergamot, coriander, jasmine, sambac, rose, amber, tonka bean, and sandalwood. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for about $39. This is a fair price for this fragrance and Yves Rocher often runs amazing sales. I would say to give this one a try if you like Halston Women, Borghese Il Bacio, Guerlain Samsara EDT, Estee Lauder Tuscany Per Donna, Avon Candid, Lancome Attraction, Prada L’Eau Ambrée, and/or Must de Cartier.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Dolce & Gabbana “Classic” EDT, the one in the red, is one of my favorite department store fragrances. I am not the kind of person that can go to Macy’s and find many fragrances that I like. However, this is one that many department stores carry and I love. It is warming, intoxicating, and it smells very “expensive”. This oriental fragrance wears very resiny and soft on me. It has a blast of citrus and refined flowers, but it smells woodsy and powdery. In my mind, it is what a fancy Italian women’s perfume should smell like.

At first I can pick up on the citrus but it is a perfumey citrus oil. I get rich neroli/orange blossom mixed with “classic” florals such as carnation and jasmine. The first few minutes are very neroli heavy. I know this fragrance hasn’t been around as long as other fragrances, but it really has a classic Italian perfume vibe. This is like a “going out on the town” fragrance, a seduction fragrance. It is very Anita Ekberg to me and makes me think of her in dream woman status in La Dolce Vita. The citrusy florals mix in to a powdery perfume blend. There is that spice from carnation mixed citrus blossoms. It becomes resiny, feminine, powdery, and sexy. It manages to be all of this while still smelling clean and fresh. I guess I have an old-school image of  the “clean” fragrance, less aquatic and soapy and much more powdery. The dry-down is a pretty blend of carnation, powdery amber, and soft vanilla. This is a fragrance that I like to wear in the fall because I like its warmth but I also like how it has a certain crispness thanks to the citrus and clove-like carnation. Somehow I can manage to wear this one in late summer, a little bit goes a long way.

Notes listed include tangerine, orange flower, red carnation, and vanilla. For an EDT, this fragrance wears for many hours on me, longer than many things labeled “EDP”.

I recommend this fragrance for those that like a warm oriental fragrance, YSL Opium EDT, Miller Harris Fluer Oriental EDT, Guerlain Les Parisiennes Derby EDP, Guerlain Sous Le Vent EDP, Estee Lauder Spellbound EDP, Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Grasse EDP, Saffron James Punono EDP, Cartier Baiser du Dragon EDP, Serge Lutens Datura Noir EDP, Crazylilbellue & The Poppies Shanghaijava Collection Encens Mystic Solid Perfume and/or Avon Timeless Cologne. It comes in a few sizes and retails for about $64-$80.



Dolce & Gabbana Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 1.7 Oz by Dolce & Gabbana

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

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.

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 Fumerie Turque, Napa Valley Cielo EDP (my review here), just to name a few in the honey oriental genre.

Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

I really like the “classic” Burberry EDP that was launched in 1995. This is a great casual fragrance that is warm and a bit “dry”, making it perfect for fall/winter and winter/spring(much like a Burberry scarf). I know that this fragrance contains lots of fruits and vanilla, but on me it wears very dried floral and dried woods and dried fruits. I think of it as my Chanel Cristalle EDP for fall. It smells warm and comforting. I think I love it so much because it smells like an updated classic. It is almost a fruity-floral aldehyde. At first it is stone fruity. It reminds me of the kind of “green” peach found in Chanel Cristalle EDP. It’s an aldehyde peach. A crisp, fall-like green apple appears. It adds crispness to the perfumery peach. There is a tartness from currants. The first “blast” is fruity but not childish. It is very reminiscent of a Chanel or an Annick Goutal type of fruit, a classic French fruit blend. The fruits hang around for about 15 minutes on me. I love this stage but like a bountiful harvest, it doesn’t last. The fruits fade, a bit of the aldehyde peach remains. It is mixed with a faint and almost “dry” jasmine. It is as if the jasmine dried out on a slab of sandalwood. So, I get a woodsy peach that is still fresh and juicy with sweet jasmine. It is very feminine and flirty. This stage lasts for sometime. The dry-down is beautiful and transitions from things living to things dried. I get a mix of rich dried woods, a hint of vanilla (not foody sweet, sweet in a perfume way), and dried fruits such as dehydrated peaches, currants, apples, and dates. It’s cozy and easy to wear. I love to wear this fragrance as my “day” fragrance in fall and spring. This is the classic and timeless Burberry trench of fragrances. It wears on me throughout the work day. And it wears very faintly. Most of the wear is the dried woods stage and this last for 4+ hours on me.

Notes include: black currant, green apple, peach, jasmine, sandalwood, cedar, and vanilla. I would say that you would like this one if you like  Crazylibellue & The Poppies 26 June ile d’Yue, Annick Goutal Quel Amour, Chanel Cristalle EDP, Guerlain Mitsouko EDP, Calvin Klein Escape, White Shoulders, Lancome Tresor, Cereus Pour Femme #12, and/or Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu!. The 1.7 ounce goes for $57 and the 3.3 ounce for $74. It is available at sephora.com.* Currently available at fragrancenet.com.


Burberry Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.3 Oz by Burberry

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com