Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Ralph Lauren describes this scent as being “a provocative accessory of modern glamour”.  The inspiration includes those amazing sirens of Old Hollywood including Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall. This fragrance was created by Olivier Gillotin (nose behind such amazing scents as 10 Corso Como and Tom Ford Private Blends Tobacco Vanille and less than amazing Ed Hardy and Mariah Carey scents) and launched in 2008. This spicy oriental caught my attention for the Old Hollywood references and glamorous Laetitia Casta ads. I wish I could say that it was what I wanted it to be. It isn’t Old Hollywood glamorous to me. If you want Old Hollywood glamour stick with a classic Guerlain or something Piguet Fracas. Ralph Lauren Notorious isn’t bad, it just isn’t Notorious.

Notorious opens up as a sweet floral, not a candy sweet fragrance bust just a sweet, to me, “modern” floral. It reminds me of other department store and Victoria’s Secret fragrances. It is slightly spicy with generic pink peppercorn but this spice isn’t that overwhelming. It plays nicely with the spiciness of carnation. The sweetness comes from black currant, so it is fruity. This scent is chocolaty but not like a Comptoir Sud Pacifique or other crazy for Coco Puffs scents. This one seriously smells like a chocolatey peony. What is this? Well, it is chocolate cosmsos, a beautiful and breath-taking cosmos that smells like if a Strawberry Shortcake doll was in your flower garden. I’m still looking for a lipstick shade that resembles chocolate cosmos. Anyways, back to the fragrance. It is slightly vanilla/chocolatey, it is much more floral. It really does stay in the peony and carnation mode for some time but with a little more “vanilla orchid”, a certain sweetness like that. This floral stays strong for some time. I must say that Notorious is a long-lasting fragrance. The dry down never shakes it floralness but it does “chill out” with some woods. The woods aren’t overly “oriental” woods. They are soft, warm, and have orris root powdery sweetness. Despite the sweetness, the orris/iris makes it very fresh and crisp. I didn’t know “oriental woods” could have a fresh dry-down. And somehow manage to have choco-vanilla sweetness? It’s strange, but I do like the dry-down. It is an interesting perception of “freshness”.

This scent does smell a bit grown-up in comparison to other Ralph Lauren fragrances. It doesn’t smell like it was launched for middle school students. I don’t find it overly grown-up either. I really do feel like the market was the 35-50-ish crowd that doesn’t wear “classic” fragrances. This is a nice change from other mainstream perfume releases.

Notes listed include: chocolate cosmos, black currant, pink peppercorn, bergamot, white frost peony, carnation, patchouli, musk, vanilla, and iris.

It isn’t that I don’t like this one. I just find it boring and I have many more fragrances in my fragrance wardrobe that make me feel like a sultry film noir screen siren. As far as a Ralph Lauren fragrance, this would be one of my pics since I hate Blue and Ralph. Like I said, it isn’t notorious. It’s just something that I forget about. I would say to give this one a try if you like Missoni EDP, Vera Wang Princess EDT, Bath and Body Works Vanilla Noir EDT, Calvin Klein Secret Obsession EDP, Mélange Perfumes EDP in #13, Sarah Jessica Parker Covet EDP, Van Cleef & Arpels Lys Carmen EDP, Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Hot EDP, and/or Bvlgari Blv Notte EDP.

Prices for this EDP range from $65 to $75 depending on size. It is available at beauty.com. *It is also available at fragrancenet.com.



Notorious Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 2.5 Oz by Ralph Lauren

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com


Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance:

Ughh, talk about a fragrance that I never want to sniff again…I’m so sick of the Clinique Happy fragrance line. I try not to be. I try to have an open mind. I really do. But, I’m so sick of it. This is one of those fragrances that my generation went nuts over. They then introduced it to their moms,who then went insane over it. Before long, everybody and their sister and mother were wearing this stuff. I would say that this is a fragrance that women love. I didn’t like it then, after revisiting it and trying to keep an open mind, I don’t love it now. But to no surprise, would a closet goth like something named Happy Heart? Um, no.

It’s a citrus-floral. It’s too hissy and aquatic for my liking. It has citrus but it is the kind of citrus that made me think that I hated citrus. I think I avoided citrus for many years because all I could think of was the Clinique Happy fragrance line. At first spray it is hissy in a wet hay way. I would think I would like something like that but this is much too aquatic and soggy. I get a bit overwhelmed by something grapefruity and soggy grasses. There are so many humid florals. I would that this is trying to be a sultry water garden. After about 3-5 minutes, the strange bitterness of citrus mixed with something grassy begins to fade into a full-blown aquatic floral explosion. The floral notes are pretty if you don’t think about them too long. Unfortunately, I think about them too long and they start to hurt my nostrils. It smells overwhelming. I get hot, humid flowers. I don’t know much about water hyacinth, a note listed in this fragrance, but I do know that it is a plant that is super invasive. This is what the floral notes of this fragrance remind me of: an exotic but invasive species. A few of these plants are beautiful but when they won’t go away and start stealing the oxygen of everything around it…not a nice thing. The aquatic florals in this blend take over. They start to devour me and start to feel heavy. I do get a bit of bitter citrus but I can’t get past the weight of the heavy, humid florals. It seriously chokes me. I smell so much plumeria and “lotus” like notes in this that it starts to make me feel light and airy and not in a so-happy-in love way, more of an open-a-window kind of way. Sometimes when I sniff it (the rare occasion where I can think of something other than piercing florals), I smell fruity and cucumber-ish melon note. This makes this blend a little more “flirty” and once again very aquatic with watery fruits. The fruity notes make it “young” and “innocent”. The dry down is a bit more citrusy with clean warmth from light woods. Think pretty, juicy citrus with warm dried out driftwoods.

Notes in this floral as listed by Clinique include: water hyacinth, mandarin, cucumber, yellow primrose, and blond woods.

I find this as a very intense and overwhelming “hissy” fragrance. I know I can’t pull it off and it just doesn’t fit my angsty personality. I know that I am a freak. I can’t watch Friends or eat at chain restaurants. However, I can see why people like this and I do see why they think it is “fresh”. It is so aquatic and humid that it like taking a shower. I can also see why someone would feel “pretty” wearing this. It is very feminine and floral with juicy and sunshine drenched fruits. It is all “girl”, no masculine notes in it. I would say to give this one a try if you like Gwen Stefani LAMB, Juicy Couture EDP, Victoria’s Secret Body EDP, Lilly Pulitzer Squeeze EDP, Dior Addict 2 EDP, Issey Miyake EDT, Tocca Cleopatra EDP, and/or Ralph Lauren Ralph EDT. The 1.7 oz retails for $39.50 and the 3.4 oz. for $52.50. It does wear for a long time, so you are getting a great deal. I think everybody owns or has owned a bottle thanks to GWPs. I have given so many of these little bottles away.

Just like water hyacinth, pretty but choking every living thing in sight.


Happy Heart Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 1.7 Oz by Clinique

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

strawberrycollage

I love strawberries but unfortunately I can’t eat them. I have an icky allergic reaction to them. I enjoy their scent when I can and will stand over and breathe them in at the market. Unfortunately fragrance technology hasn’t exactly mastered the scent of most fruits. Strawberry is one of those. It seems to smell synthetic (it is) and it smells a bit like a Jolly Rancher would taste (this makes sense because fragrance accord companies are also in the taste accord business). Since, I can’t eat them, I’ll settle for fake strawberry scents. Many on the market are much too sweet or “young” for me, but I’ve included many of the products that I know of that are “heavy” on strawberry accord (good or not in my opinion).

Budget Scents (Under $50): The Body Shop has a “pure” strawberry fragrance that is pretty long wearing and super “fruity”, Strawberry Perfume Oil for $16. It’s sweet but not terrible. Another long wearing juicy, juvenile fruity, strawberry scent is L’Aromarine Fraise Perfume Extract, retails for $9.50. Victoria’s Secret has Strawberries & Champagne EDT for $9.50. This is just like the name implies: strawberry fruit submerged in cheap sparkling wine with a bit of cassis. Strangely I like it. Please don’t judge me 🙂 Carol’s Daughter Ecstasy is a sweet tropical treat with strawberries, fruit, vanilla, and Egyptian musk (one of my weaknesses). It goes for $27 and I like this blend. Think of a more incense like strawberry fragrance. Demeter has Strawberry Ice Cream for $20. Demeter’s is too sweet for me but some people are wild about it and that is why I mention it. CB I Hate Perfume has  a Strawberry Accord oil that goes for $25. It’s “fresh” strawberry as far as strawberry scents go. I just wish it was longer wearing.

More Expensive Scents: Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight is much too sweet for my tastes, but many people like gourmand “confection” scents. This is a blend of fruits like strawberry, sweets like caramel, florals, and woods. The 3.4 ounce EDP retails for $72. I’m sure it is a limited edition, Escada Ocean Lounge EDT, but it is a super fruity floral that is really heavy on gummy-ish strawberry. The 3.3 ounce goes for $70. Escada’s aren’t my first choice when I’m shopping but I have to admit that they are fun. I love the bottle of Ed Hardy Woman (but not the scent). This is a fruity-floral heavy on strawberry accord. The largest size goes for $75. I am guilty of actually liking Dior Miss Dior Chérie EDP. It’s sweet with strawberry and caramel but it manages to be “green” with strawberry leaves and sexy with patchouli. The 3.4 ounce goes for $92. All I can remember of Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild EDT is that it smelled like strawberry Kool-Aid. The largest goes for $62.50. This is strange and one of those “isn’t it ironic that I exist niche scents, Hilde Soliani Fraaagola Saalaaata EDP. It is a blend of strawberry and saline and it retails for $175. Montale Mukhallat is a nutty, sweet, gourmand strawberry EDP that retails for $95. It’s a bit more sexy than the rest.

Lip & Body Products: Smith’s Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm is a nice treat at $7. If you want a super sweet candy-like strawberry experience try Philosophy’s Strawberry Milkshake Shower Gel or Dylan’s Candy Bar Strawberry Licorice bath line. Avon has a tropical fruity strawberry body line: Natural Strawberry & Guava. It is a juicy, tropical line but I think it is a limited edition.

Others worth noting: Hanae Mori Butterfly, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Hollister Crystal Cove Body Mist, Etat Libre d’Orange Delicious Closet Queen EDP, Calypso St. Barth Lily EDP, Aquolina Pink Sugar EDT



Ralph Wild Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Ralph Lauren

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com