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  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° 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 🙂  It is available on DSH’s website.

Juliette Has A Gun Citizen Queen is everything at once and still not very exciting. It is made to feel very retro and 50’s and have a high concentration of fragrance, 20%, I think. It is a strong and long wearing fragrance. It wears all day. Seriously like 24 hours.  It does smell “old-fashioned” but more of an old fashioned interpretation of what modern perfumery has to offer.The bottom line with this fragrance is that it is trying way too hard. Think airbrushed park bench portrait of a real estate agent during this housing crisis. It is just trying too hard to be classy and expensive and “convincing”. When I wear this I feel like I am trying to be somebody I am not. I do consider myself to be a very glamorous person but this just smells like it is trying sooo hard. It smells like a mix of a wonderful luxury house, like Chanel, but not one of their breathtaking classics. This is more of one of their modern interpretations, think Allure, Coco Mademoiselle, or that God awful Allure Sensuelle. It is a take of a classic. At times this fragrance comes across as a bit drugstore-ish and Vanilla Fields like. This fragrance claims to have 160 notes that are “rare”, etc. They are using the same ad campaign that a perfume house would of used on bored 50’s housewives. I’m supposed to believe this is expensive (which it is) because it is exotic and complex and world rocking. It is supposed to be an “extreme” composition. It is a bit chypre and oriental and floral. It is everything and sometimes everything just comes out as generic. Throwing everything together doesn’t make you glamorous, it can make you very tacky. This is the bleached blonde with dark roots, rouged to hell and back, matching lips and fingertips, cleavage falling out but not in a Marilyn Monroe way more in a middle aged Cache clothing store way. This is a bad thing, this is a bad thing if you are not this lady. Yes, this lady is an Amazon in her own right but it just isn’t me. So when I smell this on me I’m always scared it’s my mother standing behind me waiting to bitch to me about something. This fragrance is trying so hard to be sexy but since it resembles a newer Chanel like an Allure it just smells like all of my friend’s mothers and my own mother.

This fragrance at first is very iris and amber with a little bit of rose. But, not an incense amber, more of a vanilla amber. The iris helps green it up a bit but it fades rather quickly on me and leave me with a rich and sweeter than I want it to be fragrance. It is heavy, I guess this is supposed to translate into seductive but I find that most men will find this a bit too heavy and abrasive. I’m sure there are gentlemen out there that like this, but do you really want to attract them anyways? 🙂 I can not find the leather notes. Or at least it doesn’t wear very heavily on my skin. I was hoping that this would be leathery too, oh well. This fragrance is described as “chypre” and “animalic”, that is a stretch. Pretty much the opening notes are the most interesting and then it slowly dries down to a sweet, resiny, ambery base with a little bit of floral. It is really annoying because I keep waiting for something interesting to happen and it never does. I expect for it to be interesting at it’s $105 and $135 price tag.

Anyways, it isn’t a disgusting fragrance. It is just not what I expected. It is playing off of a cute name and an OK bottle. It is selling to the gals that long for retro glamor and dream of being a pin-up or burlesque dancer. But, a gal that longs for retro glamor knows how to reach for a classic Dior, Chanel, or Caron. We don’t need this new crap that really comes across as a “poser”. This fragrance would be nice for those that like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Allure, and Allure Sensuelle if they wanted something new. This is also good for those that like Donna Karan Cashmere Mist and they want something sweeter or the old Liz Claiborne Realities if they want a more expensive and a more niche replacement. I just know when a fragrance isn’t me and this one is it. It isn’t me at all. I hate to say this is something that my mom would wear because I wear a lot of old fragrances for someone my age that my mother would never think of touching. But, this is something my mom would wear. I really think the company should of marketed this to over the top ladies in their 40’s because they have the money to buy this anyways.

The scent retails for $105 for the 1.7 oz. and $138 for the 3.4 oz. It is available at beautyhabit.com and b-glowing.com.

My husband bought me L’Aromarine Mousse de Chêne aka Oakmoss fragrance oil not to long ago. I really didn’t know what to expect because oakmoss is a popular note that I thought I never smelled in isolation before but knew it in dry downs. I have been very pleased by this fragrance and I love it.

I have reviewed L’Aromarine Jasmin in a previous post. L’Aromarine fragrances are very potent fragrance oils that have a nice price tag. Oakmoss is not as potent as Jasmin but it is still a very long wearing oil. The picture above is that of the EDT spray. I have the fragrance oil and use it as is and love it. I am sure the EDT is wonderful too.

When I first applied Oakmoss I was surprised by its complexity. All I could think of were the old forest floors found here in the Pacific Northwest. I love it because it was reminding me of this new stage in my life, I’ve very recently moved and this was the smell that I would use to define this area. It is earthy, woody, crisp, and somehow very fresh. It is very chypre and rustic. This fragrance oil wears for hours. I mean all day without reapplying. I get complements on it all the time. When I first saw the bottle and read the name I thought it was going to go to my husband’s collection. I feared it would be too masculine but it isn’t. It really works with my chemistry. It is unlike anything that I own and that is saying alot because I have alot.

Anyways, this fragrance made me curious. Why did I associate this with the PacNW so much? Well, I looked it up and it is because, duh, oakmoss is the lichen that really takes a like’n to this area. It is all over the forest floors being crunched under your footsteps. You can’t walk two feet in a PacNW forest without stepping all over it and releasing its woodsy aroma. So yesterday I went to a local park and collected many different specimens of oakmoss which I found near a lot of different conifers. I smelled them and they were all dead on this L’Aromarine Oakmoss. They weren’t as strong as L’Aromarine, I don’t know if anything is as strong as L’Aromarine, but L’Aromarine Oakmoss is the forest floor times ten. It’s amazing. Oakmoss that takes a liking to pine has a special turpentine aromatic quality. It does smell different and is used in many men’s fragrances. L’Aromarine Oakmoss is not the oakmoss from pine. I do not pick up this turpentine aroma. I assume that since the L’Aromarine buys some of their fragrance oils from Grasse that this Oakmoss comes from that region since Grasse is a big producer of commercial oakmoss used in perfumery.

So, L’Aromarine is an intoxicating and very pleasant, high-quality parfum oil. I am so happy that my husband chose this fragrance for me. This is one fungi that I can’t live without.

You can purchase this fragrance from beautyhabit.com or smallflower.com or just google it online. Prices vary but it is always a great deal.

This is it. Im sure many of you have seen it. Just look for the fungus that looks like antlers.

This is it. I'm sure many of you have seen it. Just look for the fungus that looks like antlers.