Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Luxe to me is a rich, oriental gourmand fragrance (even though it is described as a woody chypre). It’s a natural fragrance so it is long-wearing and rich. It is “de luxe”. One of the many reasons that I love Parfums des Beaux Arts fragrances (other than many are so artfully crafted and long-lasting) is their inspirations. The inspirations range from art movements to colors to historical periods. DSH describes the fragrance as so “On the Riviera, I was overwhelmed by the charm and grace of my surroundings. The Perfume in the air was magnificent. Inspired by the Art Deco movement of the 1920´s and ´30´s, Parfum de Luxe is rich, pure and confident.” I agree. I also love Art Deco after restoring our 1936 home. I wore this fragrance out this fall and winter when I craved all things deco and 30’s. This fragrance went so nicely with my page boy haircut, cloches, bakelite brooches, and menswear tweed trousers. It went with my fashion cravings so nicely. This fragrance was dead-on what I wanted. There couldn’t of been a better match for me at the time.

This fragrance contains many, many notes. They all play off of each other nicely. However, when worn on my skin, I pick up sweetness. I get rich, raw honey. It’s sexiness verges on vulgarity. I love it. Yeah, at the initial wear I get a bit of the balsamy, purifying sage. But, that is blended with rich old-fashioned roses. (DSH uses the finest rose absolutes that I’ve ever sniffed). These roses are hard for me to identify because they are soaked in sticky, raw honey. They smell gourmand, candied, sticky, and sweet. Throughout the wear the honey really sticks on me (no pun intended). I do get buttery, creamy orris mixed with the honey. Sometimes when I wear this, I get the rich white florals but they have been baked into a buttery, honey cake. I must add that the orris and honey combo is lovely. It inspires me to add orris root to my next honey cake. (Perhaps toasted orris root?) I think it would be quite amazing. Anyways, back to this fragrance. The base still has sweetness. The honey doesn’t vanish but it does get quieted down by rich, resins and unisex mosses. This is the stage where I would definitely call Parfum de Luxe a chypre. It’s woodsy and mossy but still sweet with amber, tobacco, and vanilla. I want to call it a gourmand chypre if there is such a thing. Regardless if there is or isn’t such a thing, I know I like it. It’s delicious, rich, sensual.

Like I said, this fragrance wears very sweet on me. It’s all honey, candied/edible flowers, and rich, gummy resins. I find it very sexy and it is one that I love to wear in the fall/winter. Its richness warms me up on cool, damp, classic Western Washington days.

Notes listed include: bergamot, clary sage, neroli, petitgrain, violet, Bulgarian rose absoulute, Centifolia rose absolute, Chinese geranium, honey, orris, tuberosa, ylang-ylang, amber, benzoin, brown oakmoss, labdanum, patchouli, sandalwood, tobacco absolute, and vanilla.

Like I said before, this is a natural oil blend. It is long-lasting and it smells expensive. I think this would be a nice replacement for Tom Ford Private Blend’s retired Moss Breches EDP. Also give this one a try if you like honey fragrances, natural fragrances, or scents like TokyoMilk Honey & The Moon EDP or Honeycomb Solid, Guerlain Tonka Imperiale EDP, Kilian Back to Black EDP, Serge Lutens Chêne EDP, Tom Ford Private Blends Arabian Wood EDP, and/or Sisley Soir de Lune EDP.

Many sizes are available. The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $135. A pure parfum is also available. (I bet it is amazing). All sizes are available on the house’s website.

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The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing a Popular Scent:

This scent created by Olivier Cresp back in 2003 is a woody floral based on jasmine growing in his grandmother’s garden in Grasse. The scent is made for the “free, real, and somewhat wild” woman. I think this is a pretty scent, especially if you like floral musk scents. However, I wouldn’t call this a “wild” scent at all. In fact, it’s pretty tame and “comforting”. It’s more grandmother’s garden than heady jasmine. It’s a very soft, feminine scent.

At first the scent is a pretty floral white musk. It wears closely to the skin. It’s warm. It smells lightly of pepper, a gentle spice against the vanilla-ish florals/heliotrope. The scent really attaches itself to the skin. I guess this is the “lifescent”. I assume this is a type of “skin musk”. The white heliotrope is very pretty in this blend. It adds a sweetness and a soft, delicate powdery element to this warm, white musk scent. After 10-15 minutes, I don’t notice the pepper or spice in the fragrance. I really just get that heliotrope against white musk that I keep talking about. The musk is not animalic at all. In fact it seems “natural” like ambrette seed. After a little more time, the scent smells like ambrette, skin “musk” and sweet floral powder and very faint jasmine. It is such a soft scent that reminds me of a lightweight cashmere sweater. It’s the kind of scent that you would only notice with a close embrace. The light, warm musk floral begins to wear over a soft Mysore sandalwood base. I love Mysore sandalwood. It adds such a soft “roundness” to scents. It completes this scent. Lacoste Pour Femme has a warm woods base that is very feminine. It reminds me of the dry down of many soft, popular, modern floral-woods fragrances on the market.

For a scent based on jasmine, I can barely notice it. Usually jasmine in perfume takes over and steals the show. The jasmine in this is very, very mild. It’s a wallflower in the mix. The real show stealers are the heliotrope, white musk, and Mysore sandalwood.

I really like this scent. It’s warm and comforting. It isn’t the most exciting or “wild” scent on the market, I can safely say that. I really think Lacoste bombed that marketing campaign. They should of went an entirely different direction. It actually smells very comforting and somehow like the skin of a very young infant! I find this is a very nurturing scent that is nice for everyday wear and is appropriate for professional spaces. For an EDP, it doesn’t wear very long. It’s a soft scent to begin with so one doesn’t notice it too much. I really don’t notice this scent on my skin after 3 hours of wear. This doesn’t bother me. It is a “soft” scent and I like to wear it on the days when I feel a bit “anti-perfume”. Yes, even I have those days.

Notes listed include: Jamaican pepper, purple freesia, white heliotrope, Iranian jasmine, hibiscus flower, Bulgarian rose, Himalyan cedarwood, velvet skin “lifescent”, incense and Mysore sandalwood.

Give this scent a try if you like soft, warm white musk scents or fragrances like the discontinued Clinique Simply EDP, Gucci Pour Femme EDP, Editions de Parfums L’Eau d’Hiver Splash, Emporio Armani She EDP, Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Heavenly EDP, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist EDT, Philosophy Amazing Grace EDP, and/or the scent of Mysore Sandal Soap.

It is available at Lacoste’s fragrance website and drugstore.com. The larger bottle retails for about $50.


Lacoste Femme Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.0 Oz by Lacoste

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

I finally bought the solid! It’s a great price at $16. It is a really fragrant solid. It’s loaded with scent of one of my favorite care-free feminine fragrances: Clementine. Clementine is a SoCal blend of night-blooming jasmine, orange blossom, and honeysuckle. It’s heavenly and every time I wear it, I want to move to California. It’s so pretty and easy to wear. See my fragrance oil review for more.

The solid comes in a pretty generous sized container. It’s much bigger than those offered by Lush or L’Occitane. (Think the size of a Smith’s Rosebud Salve). The solid base isn’t very creamy but it is rich. It warms up and smooths on easily with the warmth of your fingertips. It has a shea and cocoa butter base. It’s very moisturizing. The fragrance oils do so well in this moisturizing base. Like most solids, you’ll have to apply this a few times a day if you want to be fragrant all day. The scent lasts on me 2-4 hours.

This solid is available at beautyhabit.com. I can’t decide if I like this or the oil better. I like that this solid is travel friendly but I love the oil because it is sooo long-wearing.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Lili is a pretty, dainty “muguet” floral. It’s a girly, flirty fragrance that is fairly simple. It is described as “Delicate. Feminine. Elegant.” I definitely agree with this. It smells so delicate like lily of the valley. This fragrance almost smells “fragile” like the dainty, white bells of the lily of the valley. I am a fan of muguet fragrances. I love their floralness and the coolness that they have. The note makes for perfect spring fragrances and they are nice for summer too. It’s floral and fresh. But, when added with sweet citrus, linden, and mimosa you get something so light, carefree, and feminine.

Lili is like I said before, simple. However, it is different from other lily of the valley fragrances because the top notes are citrus. This is such a nice touch and this what makes this fragrance special. You get sweet lime peel. This is zesty but not abrasive. It’s still light. In fact, it smells more of sweet lime zest and citrus blossoms such as lime blossom. It is zesty but delicate. Linden blossoms are like a lime blossom, usually sweeter like honey. I am definitely picking them up in this fragrance. (I love linden blossoms, so refreshing, neighbor’s tree is in bloom; bees are everywhere). This fragrance is a beautiful interpretation of spring and lily of the valley. It’s special because of the tart sweetness of lime peel and linden blossoms. Linden and mimosa also add a “fluffy”, powdery element. ( I need to say that this isn’t a “powdery” fragrance. It’s a mimosa powdery fragrance, floral.) These notes make this scent seem so clean and fresh. It’s not your average lily of the valley perfume.

Notes listed include: lemon, lime peel, mimosa, French linden blossom, lily of the valley, and sandalwood.

The fragrance is close wearing and light. If it was a fabric it would have to be a transparent cotton gauze. It’s so airy and lightweight/sheer. I really do love this scent. It’s a very feminine citrus and a cool floral. I find it very special. Special enough to add to my collection which already contains “lily” scents. This one is much more carefree and fresher than those in my collection.

Give this is a try if you like lily of the valley scents, or if you like citrus-florals, or if you like Coty Muguet de Bois EDT, Annick Goutal Le Muguet EDT, Van Cleef & Arpels Muguet Blanc EDP, Bobbi Brown Almost Bare EDP, Strange Invisible Perfumes Urban Lily EDP, Hampton Sun Privet Bloom EDP, and/or Jessica McClintock EDP.

An 1 ounce EDP retails for $70. Other sizes and products are available at DSH’s website.

Tonight or never…I absolutely love Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais EDP. It’s a scent for the rose lover. It covers all aspects of a rose: the greenness, the fruitiness, the gourmand qualities, the floralness, and the romantic imagery of a rose. Annick Goutal considered this one of her prize fragrances and it took her 15 years to complete (launched in 1999). It’s her top-secret formula and it is supposed to make one’s head spin. I love this fragrance, but I must say that I love rose scents. This Turkish rose based perfume is unlike any other in my collection. It is complex but somehow very simple. It changes throughout the wear, this is what I guess makes one’s head spin (in a good way). It changes with me as the seasons change. Sometimes it is more of a fruity-rose floral. Other times it is more on a “classic” rose with a rich buttery, ambery dry-down on me. But, all in all, it’s a simple rose. Sure, it claims to have at least a hundred other notes, but I get a beautiful, romantic dewy rose garden most of the time. A very mature, ripe flower garden. All of the flowers are in full bloom.

At first the fragrance is well, astringent, a crisp green rose. I think this what some people refer to as “bug” spray. I don’t see that and I kind of like this “crisp” rose. It then mellows out a bit thanks to violets, not quite candied, but fresh and green dew covered violets.  It also has a very faint floral spiciness. Perhaps carnation? It’s a sweet,fresh, floral that is heavy on the roses. These other notes are there but with time it becomes a classic Turkish rose somehow sweet, green, and floral. The Turkish roses almost seem candied after some wear. I get pear, so I think. I get a fresh fruit note, perhaps a mix of pear, apple, and quince. It’s pretty, fresh, and light. It sets on the rich roses. I usually don’t like fruitiness but it works so well with this rose heavy floral. It’s a nice surprise. The scent does go back to rose, slightly powdery but much less so than others I’ve sniffed in the past. This is more of a “fresh” rose. The dry-down is still rosy but with a hint of hibiscus seed/ambrette seed. This adds a warmth, almost like amber, but not as resiny, more buttery. This keeps the rose grounded.

Notes include: Turkish rose, ambrette seed, and a blend of 140 secret essences. I have been impressed with the wear of the EDP; I have not tried the EDT. The EDP wears for about 6+ hours.

Give this one a try if you a rose lover or if you like Parfums des Rosine Un Folie de Rose EDP, Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Rose Vert EDP, Editions des Parfums Une Rose EDP, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Rose Muskissime EDP, Bvlgari Rose Essentielle EDP, Parfums de Nicolai Balkis EDP, and/or Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau EDT.

The 1.7 oz. EDP retails for $99. It’s available at luckyscent.com.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Scent

Nanette Lepore EDP is a fruity-floral fragrance launched in 2004. I’m not trying to be harsh but I find it dull. It’s a bummer because the bottle is adorable just like Nanette Lepore’s vintage inspired clothing. It isn’t that I dislike the fragrance. It’s pleasant enough. I just think life is too short for me to wear a fragrance that I don’t absolutely love.

The fragrance is fruity and slightly tart at first. I do pick up on the cranberry juice. It’s fruity but not in that typical fruity candy way. This is more like a white peach cranberry Ocean Spray product with musky blackberry. I think what makes this fragrance unlike other fruity-florals launched at the time is that it seems so musky like mûre et musc. It’s like a humid day in August. You smell overripe blackberries waiting and rotting in the sun. That berry musk is always there. Eventually I can “over sniff” it and I do get something fresher and juicier. It’s slightly floral and citrusy on the musky berries. This fades rather quickly. On me, it is more fruity than floral. I can’t really “tell” what the florals are but I pick them up. They are humid florals, greenhouse florals. Throughout the wear I mainly pick up on three things: blackberry musk, litchi, and creamy sandalwood. I think what I don’t love about this fragrance is the sweetness. If it was blackberry musk and litchi, I think I would like it if it had a strong woodsy dry-down such as a red cedar dry-down. That would be very elegant. This blend the way that it is, is very creamy sweet with very ripe fruits. I don’t think the flowers really help the blend. I really can’t pick up on the violet ( I think a candied violet would work in this). I get generic “bouquet” flowers and I swear I can smell the floral preservative. The dry-down is sweet, sweet, sweet. It’s a creamy sandalwood that I often sniff out in Victoria’s Secret perfumes.

This fruity floral is a bit more “grown up” than other fruity florals because of the muskiness. It doesn’t smell like a body spray marketed to tweens. It smells “sexier” than most fruity florals because of the heavy dose of creamy sandalwood and musks. (In college we called these type of fragrances “club”perfumes- warm, sweet, musky, “young” but not too young). I don’t think this is a bad fragrance it just isn’t a “me” fragrance. If I had a full-size bottle, I wouldn’t see myself ever picking it up. ( I see myself wearing Cacharel Amor Amor even though the bottle is uglier if I wanted a popular, “sexy” fruity floral). As far as wear, I think it wears OK for an EDP. I notice it hours after wear.

Notes listed include: moonstone rose, white peach, cranberry juice, blackcurrant, orange jasmine, lime juice, violet, amber, and Indian sandalwood.

Give this one a try if you like scents like Gucci II EDP, Cacharel Amor Amor EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc EDP, Victoria’s Secret Supermodel EDP, Victoria’s Secret Parfum Intimes Velvet Amber EDP, Mistral Wild Blackberry EDP, Trish McEvoy #9 Blackberry & Musk EDP, Hanae Mori Eau de Collection #1 EDP, The Different Company Sublime Balkiss EDP, Givenchy Hot Couture EDT, Escada Magnetism EDP, and/or DKNY Delicious Night EDT. (See I told you that there are many fragrances like it out there!)

The 1 oz. spray retails for $38. There is also a travel roll-on for $18. This fragrance is available at Sephora. It is also available at fragrancenet.com.

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.