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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Annick Goutal Petite Chérie is an adorable and carefree fragrance. It is very obvious that this is a fragrance for younger folks with its fun and sassy notes. And I find it no surprise that Annick Goutal created this fragrance for her daughter, Camille. It is a pretty fragrance and I find it an amazing “starter” fragrance. It’s a cute, joyous fragrance perfect for young girls because it isn’t “sensuous” and is far from “seductive”. However, its fresh and carefree notes appeal to women of all ages. It’s a light-wearing fragrance that wears closely. It’s fruity fresh crispness wears wonderfully in spring and summer. It’s a nice fragrance for fragrance “beginners” of all ages. It’s such a pleasant fragrance. I really do not see anyone finding this fragrance offensive. It isn’t the most exciting fragrance on the market but it is very pleasant, very fresh. It seems to mold to the wearer and just seem so natural.

Mary Cassatt's "L'Été"

At first, all I pick up on is the pear. I love this. The pear has a juicy sweetness that isn’t sticky or nonintoxicating sweet. It just smells fresh and juicy. I love pear used in fragrance, if it is not Jolly Rancher-ish. Pear has a floral quality to it anyways. The top is fruity without smelling synthetic. It has the freshness of a fruit stand. It smells like ripe pears, fuzzy peach, and tart slices of apple. It has a floralness to it. But, it is more of that natural floralness of fruits or fruit blossoms. The dry-down is soft, delicate. It’s a very faint powdery vanilla with dried grass, so it doesn’t come across as too foody.

Notes listed include pear, peach, rose, cut grass, and vanilla.

This fragrance is very light-wearing. It is an EDT. It really seems to be a fragrance that I will want to wear on days that the temps exceed 70. This fragrance doesn’t really project itself so I do see it suitable for work/school environments.

Give this one a try if you like “light” fragrances or are looking for a fragrance for young girls or teen girls, Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH d’ Anjou EDP, Kiehl’s Essential Oil Roller-Ball in Pear, Yosh u4eahh! EDP, Bvlgari Omnia Green Jade EDT, Rosie Jane Leila Lou Perfume, Fresh Sake EDP, Crazylilbellule & The Poppies 26 Juin Île d’Yeu or Les Garçonnes Tamara Charleston, Creed Spring Flowers EDP, and/or Calypso St. Barth Lily EDP.

The smaller EDT retails for $80 and the larger for $115. It is available at Apothica, luckyscent.com and beauty.com. * Currently, You can get it at a discount at fragrancenet.com.

Petite Cherie Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz by Annick Goutal

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

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.

I really like Annick Goutal Heure Exquise EDT. It’s old-fashioned, feminine, and mysterious without being cloying and heavy. I must add that I love iris/orris scents. They are fresh and green. Often iris based scents are masculine (a reminder of antique after shaves), not Heure Exquise. It’s a seductive fragrance with class. The iris in Heure Exquise is not as green and medicinal as some iris heavy scents. It is more powdery and feminine. It really is what Annick Goutal was going for, an “exquisite hour”. It is dusk hovering over a well manicured garden with classic blossoms of iris and rose. It’s a “darker” iris, an iris for evening.

At first the fragrance is green in a classic iris way. It’s fresh but in a dry, earthy way. It becomes sweet yet green, thanks to the Turkish rose. The fragrance smells of an old-fashioned and symmetrical Victorian garden. It’s proper but soft and grounded. It’s beautiful. (I’ve already let it out that I love iris scents). This iris heavy scent is made feminine by sweet roses. The rose gives this earthy floral fragrance a bit of honey sweetness. The fragrance smells powdery. Since this is an EDT, it does change rapidly. The mid is beautiful. You still get an old-fashioned iris that is powdery but it is almost like  incense. The Mysore sandalwood makes a presence, mingling with the dry florals. It is so soft but not delicate. It is really like the sun is setting over this proper garden. It has a bit of mystery, a bit of haze. The dry down is rich and incensey. I get lots of Mysore sandalwood, one of my favorite notes ever. It is made feminine by a light touch of vanilla. The dry down is sweet but not in a gourmand way. It is sweet like resin.

I really like the fragrance, but I like old-timey scents. This one is old-fashioned but since it is a light-wearing EDT, it is very wearable. It isn’t heavy. The top is refreshing like going on stroll through a flower garden. The sun begins to set and this fragrance becomes very mysterious. Shadows change the scenery. Even though you’ve seen it all before, it becomes new with the darkness, mysterious, but still harmless. This is an understated sexy scent. I think it is trying to be sexy but it manages to do so tastefully.

For an Annick Goutal EDT, I find that it wears longer than most. It wears for about 4-5 hours on me during “average” temps.

Notes listed include Floretine iris, Turkish rose, Mysore sandalwood, and vanilla.

Give this fragrance a try if you like fresh, powdery scents, Editions de Parfums Iris Poudre EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Drôle de Rose , Jean Paul Gaultier Classique EDT, YSL Paris EDT, Victoria’s Secret So In Love EDP, and/or Lubin Nuit de Longchamp EDP.

The 3.4 fl.oz. retails for $115. It is available at luckyscent.com. * Currently it is available at fragrancenet.com at a discount price!

Claude Monet's Iris

Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

This is a fragrance that I thought I hated. As I’ve matured, I have found that I don’t dislike this one. This is my favorite Clinique fragrance and one of my favorite mass market, line specific, department store fragrances. Clinique’s slogan for this fragrance is “Intriguing, Non-Conformist Fragrance performs the role of a perfume, but goes far beyond”. Pretty bold coming from the “safest” cosmetic company that I can think of. This fragrance was created in 1975 by Bernard Chant, the man behind the classic chypre, Cabochard, and the 60’s floral, Estee. So, yes, Mr. Bernard Chant, was the creator of the many fragrances that Generation X-ers and beyond refer to as “old lady” smells. I find that I like “old lady” smells. I’m a vintage, old-fashioned gal. I prefer the scents that my grandmothers wore.

At first spritz, Clinique Aromatics Elixir is mossy and has a greenness from an old-fashioned rose. There is so much oakmoss. I need to add that I love a heavy dose of oakmoss in about any perfume. After the mossy rose settles, I get tons and tons of patchouli. So, if you despise headshop patchouli then stay away from Clinique Aromatics. It is an oily and rich patchouli with a hint of dried vetiver and dried lavender. This adds a coolness to the earthy patchouli and its bed of mossy roses. This really hits me as a Pacific Northwestern scent because of the moss, roses, and wet dirt. It’s like being at The International Rose Test Garden in Portland on a wet and dreary October afternoon. I love it. The dry down is still heavy with patchouli but it lacks that wetness and coolness. It becomes slightly powdery with soft amber and sandalwood notes. There is a 70’s musk present too. This soft, earthy and musky dry-down is reminiscent of many dry-downs of juices in the mid-60’s to mid-70’s. This means that if you wear this, then somebody may carbon date you back to the 1970’s. The dry-down reminds me of going through grandma’s containers of vintage face powders and perfume oil bottles that she saved for their containers. It’s powdery but has that richness of dark perfume oils. I must add that my grandmother did (and continues to) wear Clinique Aromatics Elixir as her casual, “around the house” fragrance. So, I do like this fragrance because it reminds me of laid-back days with grandma.

I am so happy that I gave this one another try. This is why I should never let go of perfume samples 🙂 I’m moody and it only makes sense that my tastes would be too. I realize that many young adults will not find this perfume attractive. I don’t wear perfume for others. I wear what I like. This elixir is very long-wearing. I would say that I find it on my pulse points 12-15 hours after applying. It just contains so many rich and adhering fragrance notes.

Notes listed include: rose, jasmine, oakmoss, ylang ylang, vetiver, patchouli, musk, amber, and sandalwood.

You may like this if you like fougere scents or scents like Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP, Estee Lauder Youth Dew Cologne, Tom Ford Private Blend Moss Breches EDP, Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale EDP, Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge EDP, Heeley Parfums Cardinal EDP, Tauer Perfumes Incense Rose EDP, The Party In Manhattan EDP, and/or Montale Orient Extreme EDP. The 1.5 oz retails for $42.50 and the 3.4 oz for $52.50. It can be purchased at Clinique counters anywhere or Sephora. It’s also available at fragrancenet.com.
Get it for a deal at…

Aromatics Elixir Perfume for Women Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Clinique

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Parfum de Grasse is a sophisticated spicy, resiny rose blend with lots of chypre notes. It isn’t a green or “fresh” rose floral. It is a bit sweet but in a honey or crystallized rose petal way. This is what makes it different from the other rose scents in my fragrance library. I tend to purchase those fresh/green rose ones. This one is different. It is rich and luscious, dark and mysterious. It is a long-wearing fragrance because it is made from 100% botanical ingredients. You get your money’s worth with this purchase.

The top has a spicy crispness. I get lots of the carnation and orange blossom. This is a classic spicy floral mixture.  However, it has a bit of a dried vetiver that adds a woodsy freshness to the spicy florals. This is not an invigorating or overwhelming vetiver. It smells of dried vetiver and at times it has a mossiness, the kind that only classic perfumes seem to pull off. The heart is sweet and floraly. It has rosy florals mixed with musky, sweet beeswax. I love beeswax when used “right” and this is fitting in this blend. It keeps the florals grounded. The beeswax also helps the fragrance “stick”, meaning that it keeps it long-wearing. I get a butteriness. I assume this is the orris because it is a tad floral. The dry-down is animalic without being offensive or heavy. It’s woodsy and mysterious. And the moss comes back. However, this time it is more of a mossy incense.

I love how this fragrance uses natural botanical ingredients that mimic Old World animalic floral perfumes. DSH has vision and talent. This is a wonderfully modern take on Old World perfumery. This is a wearable resiny, animalic floral. It is packed with classic notes and it all works together. It has it all: spice, florals, sweetness, woods, and chypre notes. It’s a “dark” floral and that is why I like it. I also like it because every time I sniff it, I get something different. It’s complex and cerebral.

Notes include: bergamot, mimosa, neroli, carnation, centifolia rose, French beeswax, jasmine, orris, Brazilian vetiver, moss, and sandalwood.

Give this one a try if you are looking for a “darker” rose/floral or if you like scents like Les Parfums de Rosine Une Folie de Rose EDP, Tom Ford Private Blends Noir de Noir EDP, Lubin L de Lubin EDP, Byredo Parfums Rose Noir EDP, Guerlain Mitsouko EDP, and/or Shiseido “Classic” Zen Cologne.

The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $135. Other sizes are available.This blend is available at DSH’s website and Beautyhabit.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.