I love plums. We have a plum tree in the backyard and this spring brought us the most amazing aroma of plum blossoms. Plus, the tree has been just beautiful when covered with blossoms. It’s been quite a view from my pink boudoir. I also love the aroma of the juicy fruit. Stone fruits really add to a fragrance. A plum has a richness that others do not, plus it lacks the “fuzziness” of peaches. It mixes well with florals and spices. Hey, it even mixes well with seaweed. I would love a fragrance that smells like plum furikake. I’ve compiled a brief “collage” of various plum heavy fragrances. Feel free to add.

Budget Plum Scents (under $50): TokyoMilk Parfum Sugar Plum Solid Perfume is a sweet plum as the name implies. It retails for $18. Bath and Body Works has 2 fruity plum floral EDTs: Cherry Blossom and Blushing  Cherry Blossom. Both retail for $26.50 for over 2 ounces. An “oriental” plum is Avon Imari Seduction EDT. This is a “purple” seductive fragrance with vanilla, plum, and orchids. The 1.7 oz. goes for $22.50. Crazylibellule & The Poppies 26 Juin ile d’Yeu Solid Cologne is a refreshing plum/fruity chypre. The crazystick goes for about $18. To me it smells like a plum tree full of ripe fruit on a hot summer day. I really do love that stick. Aroma M Geisha Pink Roll-On is a frivolous sweet, sugared plum fragrance oil in an adorable package. It retails for $40.

More Expensive Plum Scents: Juicy Couture Couture Couture EDP is a very sweet fruity-floral with plum. It’s a bit too sweet for my taste, but it does have candied plums. The bottle is beautiful. The 1.7 ounce goes for $65. Creed Aqua Florentine is a light-hearted fruity floral with dessert plums, flirty blossoms, and cedar. The smallest spray retails for $130. Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Quincridone Violet EDP (not pictured) is an energetic plum/fruity violet floral. The 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $65. If a plum based fragrance could be an edgy fashionista, it would be Editions de Parfums Le Parfum de Therese. This is a blend of stone fruits, citrus, cedar, and leather. Love it. The 1.7 ounce retails for $155. If you are looking for a dried plum AKA prune fragrance, more appropriate for fall/winter, give Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits EDP a try. It’s woodsy and powdery sweet. It retails for $200 for 1.7 ounces.

Almond is a scent that I really enjoy in fragrance. I like the foody smell of toasted almonds and even that low-brow almond used in cheap Italian soaps and lotions. I find that almond is a very comforting scent and very versatile. Here is a guide to almond fragrances in a variety of price points.

Budget Almond Scents (Under $50 or $50): Villainess Silk & Cyanide Perfume Oil (not pictured) is a crisp almond scent. It retails for $18. Laura Mercier Eau Gourmande Almond Coconut is a sweet almondy floral with almond and coconut with flirty touches of heliotrope and jasmine. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $50. Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie EDT is a marizapan like fragrance, very foody. The 2 oz. goes for $27. Provence Santé Almond EDT is a nice, innocent, and simple almond. It reminds me of nice Italian soap bars and wears nicely in the summer. It’s light wearing and the 3.4 oz bottle goes for under $30. I love it. Demeter PMU has Almond which is a lightly toasted almond fragrance. It’s nice and simple as well but doesn’t wear for very long. This cologne goes for $20 for 1 oz.

More Expensive Almond Scents: Aqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia/Sicilian Almond EDT is a fresh but woodsy almond. It is one of my “preferred” almonds because of the cedarwood and its freshness. The 2 oz. spray retails for $68. Burberry Brit EDP definitely has a sugary, toasted almond dry-down. It has citrus and fruit notes. It is a sweet fragrance. The 1.7 oz goes for $68. Sarah Horowitz Comes From Within Joy EDP is a very wintery/Christmas-y foody, comforting almond scent with rich nutmeg and vanilla. The 1.7 oz retails for $95. Serge Lutens Louve EDP is a “white” almond scent that pairs nicely with its feminine florals of rose and jasmine; powdery and soft. The 1.7 retails for $140. Stephanie de Saint-Aignana Amamde Honorable EDT is a soft, tender almond blend with citrusy blossoms like linden. It retails for $135 for 1.7 oz. Hanae Mori Butterfly EDP is a gourmand with berries, vanilla, and almond. The 1.7 oz retails for $90. Montale Amandes Orientales is a raw almond scent with vanilla, bitter but sweet. The 1.7 oz goes for $95.

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

gingercollage

Mmmm, ginger. It has a great flavor and a great fragrance. This rhizome is spicy, warming, but still fresh, earthy, and a bit “green”. It is a note that works well in warmer climates and it is a note that does well in cooler weather. Now that the nights are getting cooler, I am more attracted to the “warmth” that ginger gives. Right now I am craving “spicy” ginger/gingerbread-ish scents. I know that in the middle of summer I’ll love some of those “green” ginger scents.

Bargain Ginger Scents: For some reason I think when other people think of ginger scents they automatically think of Origins Ginger Essence Skin Scent. It is a very nice scent and one of my favorite ginger scents on the market. It is refreshing with citrus and warming with ginger. It’s therapeutic. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $37. The price is nice too. A  beach friendly ginger scent is Urban Rituelle Beachcomber Coconut & Ginger. The travel sized spray goes for $10. Apivita Spice Fragrance is what the name says, “spice” which is a blend of ginger, bergamot, caraway. The travel sized spray goes for $12. Demeter has three colognes worth mentioning: Gingerale (one of my favorite Demeter fragrances, smells like the real deal, fizzy and everything), Gingerbread (great winter comfort scent), Ginger Cookie (a sweeter version of gingerbread, also nice for winter), and Fresh Ginger (smells like the real thing). All of these come in a 1 oz for $20.

More Expensive Ginger Scents (over $50): Lush Ginger Perfume is a slightly fruity-floral ginger blend with classic florals and juniperberry. The 1.3 oz. spray goes for about $60. Yosh Ginger Ciao is an interesting ginger blend with black coconut, ylang-ylang, and neroli. It is like a tropical ginger scent, an island ginger. The perfume oil goes for $130. If you want a spicy ginger scent, try Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger Cologne. It’s warm, woody, and zesty. I like it for cooler weather. The 3.4 oz bottle retails for $100. A spicy, woodsy ginger blend is Van Cleef & Arpels Exclusive Cologne Noire EDP. It has cardomom (one of my weaknesses), bitter citrus, and woods. It retails for $185. It is more like gingerbread with hot tea and that is why I love this scent for winter: Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre. It’s a warming, comforting fragrance (that’s an understatement). The 1.7 oz bottle goes for $120. Cinq Modes Pluie d’Aromes Ritual de Kyoto, Japan is a ginger floral with ginger and rose. I do love a spicy rose scent. The 1.7 oz goes for $85. Montale Ginger Musk is a romantic ginger blend with berries and white musk. The 1.7 oz goes for $95. A nice summer ginger is Hilde Soliani Freschiiissimo. This is a fresh blend of lime, brown sugar, and ginger. Doesn’t that sound like it would make a great mixed drink? The 3.4 oz goes for $175. If you want a green, almost foresty, ginger try Vero Profumo Onda. It has vetiver, ginger, mace, and coriander. The perfume oil retails for $185. Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH (neither pictured) has two ginger based scents. Gingembre (my review here) is a spicy, wintery, warming gourmand. The 1 oz. EDP goes for $70. The other is more of a summery, citrus ginger, Indochine. This one is loaded with citrus, basil, and white flowers. The 1 oz EDP goes for $65.

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.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Gingembre is a perfect cool weather fragrance. I live in Washington, not just anywhere, around the Puguet Sound: Western Washington. We are known for our massive amounts of gloom and rain. For a closet goth and a mushroom hunter, this is paradise. I love the cooler, foggy,  seaside days. The rain is here just like clockwork starting on October 1st. It’s a bit chilly (50’s), cloudy, and rainy. If you’ve ever visited this area during the rainy season, then you know why we love our coffee. It is the only thing that warms you up and gives you energy during this season (even though many of us are into our tea). Today I am wearing Gingembre. It is my comforting travel mug of steaming dark roast and cashmere blended hoodie on this cool, rainy, classic PNW day.

Gingembre is spicy and comforting. If you love gingerbread or ginger snaps then you should love this. At first it feels and smells like the steam off of a masala coffee or chai. It’s spicy with nutmeg, allspice, anise, and clove. The ginger comes in, more of a dried powder, Indian market ginger. This scent then becomes my spice cabinet. You can smell the gourmand spices mixed with ginger powder. It has a bit of beeswax which adds so much to this fall/winter spice blend. It gets a little sweeter but not super sweet like a spice cake with cream cheese icing. This is more like a chai with a sugar or honey. If you pay close attention you can get a bit of a floral, like a honeyed, dried rose. It’s so beautiful. The great thing about the PNW is that this time of year you crave fall baked goods heavy with ginger and cloves, hot beverages, you smell the ground which is soaked, mossy, mushroomy. But, it isn’t “dying”. There are many evergreens and roses are late. We get roses up until November. It just delights me that this perfect fall/winter fragrance has rose. The dry down is delicious like a handsome man wearing a cologne heavy on patchouli and resins while sipping suavely on spiced rum in front of a blazing fireplace.

This one is a keeper for me. I thought my favorite ginger scent was Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre, but  right now I love this one more. Five O’Clock is more of the aroma of a moist, baking gingerbread cookie ready to come out of the oven. This one is more of a crispy gingersnap and a cup of comforting chai. This being said, I think this is a nice unisex scent. It’s sexy on either a man or a woman.

I would say that you would like this if you are looking for a fall/winter ginger scent (not a tropical or fresh ginger), something  like Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre , Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger Cologne, Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté, L’Artisan Parfumeur Navegar, Armani Prive Ambre Soie, Perfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique, Mark Buxton Sounds & Visions, and/or Bois 1920 Sushi Imperiale.

This fragrance is made from 94.5% botanical ingriedients. It’s long-wearing, very realistic and natural. The 1 oz. spray goes for $70 and other sizes are available. It is available on the fragrance house’s website.

As I went to the local MAC store with the intent to purchase everything in the Style Black collection for my goth self, I was more smitten by the Fall/Winter 09 Trends collection. I’ll be sure to share all of that soon. I came across this limited edition Asphalt Flower fragrance roll-on. I loved both of the limited edition honey fragrances this past summer and to my surprise, I am now in love with another MAC fragrance. They have really been stepping up their game with these limited edition, low price point fragrances.

If you are a violet lover, then give this one a try. I absolutely adore violet fragrances. I live off of Choward’s Violet Mints. I love “green” morning dew violet scents but I really, really love those “candied” ones because I am such a fan of candied violets. Asphalt Flower reminds me of a glammed up interpretation of the bottom of my huge Hobo International messenger bag. The top notes remind me of the runaway Choward’s Violet Mints that hang around in their gang in the bottom of my purse abyss. They get crushed up weekly into a fine, sugary dust and get all over my wallet. It’s leather and candied violets. Asphalt Flower’s top notes are a sugary sweet violet with rainy, tsunami drenched tropical flowers like soft and humid ylang-ylang and powdery heliotrope. This is grounded by old-fashioned iris. I love this phase it wears this way for about an hour. It reminds me of being in an Industrial Revolution era green house, in the midst of lovely white and purple flowers drenched in mist, outside the coal clouds swarm in winter rain. It’s so pretty, powdery, feminine, and old-fashioned. It’s sweet with a bit of gloomy, rainy humidity mixed with oil. It’s very gothic with an Edwardian flair. The complete dry-down is very moody and extremely sexy with Tom Ford White Patchouli type of patchouli, that synthetic “clean” patchouli that works so well with these modern blends, smoky olbanum, and lots and lots of that MAC vanilla that is used in their other blends. I’m usually not a fan of vanilla but it really works in this mix. It adds a certain sexiness. It’s not a candy or vanilla bean vanilla but more of a dirty, musky, leathery vanilla. MAC describes this fragrance as “a deep, dark erotic fragrance that takes place in our Trend F/W ’09 Collection as the aromatic complement to this alt-fashion look.” It is a very “alt-fashion” fragrance. The entire collection strikes me as my personal fashion color collection dream come true. It is dark, rich and sooo Edwardian, turn of the century goth, that look that unfortunately Tim Burton brought mainstream. This fragrance is so dark, gloomy, intoxicating with a hint of the old-fashioned. It seriously reminds me of the Industrial Revolution. It’s romantic with violet and iris but a bit animalic and sooty. It’s that time because it is urban, industrial with artistic Romanticism, upper class stuffiness, lower class rawness mixed with a  desire for the occult. I find it very “me” and exactly what I wanted for the fall/winter rainy season in Seattle. This is great because the roll-on retails for $20. The bummer is that it is a limited edition. And if I want to replace it I am going to have to get something like Tom Ford Private Blends Black Violet. I will be picking up another one of these roll-ons. Also, this fragrance is very long-wearing. It lasts at the same intensity on my skin for 8+ hours. There may only be .2 fl.oz. in this roll-on but this container will last much longer than MAC’s spray on fragrances.

I’d say to give this one a try if you are fan of candied violets, the closest I can compare it to include: Tom Ford Private Blends Black Violet, Tokyo Milk Parfum Le Petit or Dead Sexy, Nanette Lepore Nanette, Guerlain Insolence, Penghalion’s Ellenisia, Serge Lutens Bois de Violette, Borsari Violetta di Parma, and/or Armani Pierre de Lune.

whitemuskcollageOh, white musk…one of my favorite modern marvels! This synthetic aromachemical brings me much happiness. It’s clean, sexy, smooth, and laid-back. I’ve tried to compile a few “heavy on the white musk” ranging from the drugstore favorite Jovan White Musk to the soft blend of Serge Lutens Clair de Musc.

Budget White Musk Scents (Under $50): I judge all “white musk” scents on Jovan White Musk Cologne. It seems to be the epitome of what a white musk should be. The 3.3 oz bottle goes for $23. It’s one of my favorite cheap things. The Body Shop White Musk EDP is a floral white musk scent. The 1 oz. retails for $24. An EDT spray is also available and it’s cheaper but not as long wearing. Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Heavenly EDP is a warm, creamy white musk blend. The smallest spray goes for $39. Harajuku Lovers Baby EDT is a powdery white musk blend. It’s delicate, the name suits it, and the bottle is adorable. The 1 oz. goes for $45. It’s not my favorite white musk scent but it is cheap: Body Fantasies Fresh White Musk Body Spray. It retails for under $7 and is a white musk and floral blend. It doesn’t make a bad linen spray. I love the crispness and cleanness of Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Divine Alcôves Presque Nue. It’s mainly white musk with a dash of romantic ylang-ylang. It’s clean and feminine. The solid perfume retails for $16 and actually wears for a long time. I’m almost out of mine and plan on picking up another.

More Expensive White Musk Scents: Annick Goutal Musc Nomade EDP is a sensual white musk blend with woods and resins. It’s a bad-gal white musk. The 3.4 oz. bottle goes for $175. Clean Original Musk EDP is a light-wearing white musk blend that wears more like an EDT. The 2.14 oz. bottle retails for $76. Philospophy Amazing Grace EDT is a hot-selling soft musk blend and I’m sure you know somebody that wears it. The largest bottle, 4 oz. retails for $60.  Montale White Musk EDP is a soft and tender blend of white musk and delicate petals. The 1.7 oz. retails for $95. Surge Lutens Clair de Musc EDP is a soft orris like musk. It is unlike other SL’s because it isn’t animalic but it has musk. And I still love it! It’s a great white musk splurge. The 1.7 oz. retails for $120. Anamor All That Matters EDP is a romantic, high quality “white musk” blend. It retails for $155 for 1 oz. Stephanie de Saint-Aignan Blanc d’Hiver EDT is an icy, light blend of juicy pear, white musk, and powdery florals. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $135. It’s light and innocent.

orangeblossom

I can’t get enough of orange blossom/neroli scents this summer. It is very difficult to find “guides” online, so I’ve created a brief  collage/guide to fragrances which are heavy on this light, bitter floral. There are many scents on the market with these notes. I’m focusing on those that are heavy on orange blossom, like a splash of a refreshing Lebanese floral water in an iced beverage. I am looking for those “delicate” scents. From what I understand orange blossom and neroli are the same thing it just depends on how the oil is distilled (steam vs. water). However, neroli is supposed to be from a bitter orange blossom while most orange blossoms are not “labeled”.

Budget Orange Blossom Scents: Yves Rocher Pur Desir Orange Blossom/Fleur d’Oranger EDT is light and beautiful. It really competes with the more expensive stuff. It is $22 for 2 oz, body products are available as well. It’s a bit crude but still very orange blossom, a bit medicinal. I like it in a strange way. It is a nice drugstore find and the price is awesome: Sanborns Orange Blossom Cologne. It retails for about $4 for over 6 oz. of product. Tokyomilk Lotus Sake Petit Parfum Solid is a fruity/citrus orange blossom fragrance. It retails for $18. This would be a very light fragrance but very refreshing pick-me-up if transferred to a spray bottle: Caswell-Massey Orange Flower Water. It goes for $16 for 6 oz. It’s a pretty orange blossom with the help of jasmine, The Body Shop Neroli Jasmin. It retails for $17 for 1 oz. Parfums des Beaux Arts Eau de Fleur d’Oranger du Roi (review) is a lovely and simple soliflore orange blossom scent. The EDP spray retails for $27 for .25 oz.

More Expensive Orange Blossom Scents: 88 Orange Scent Blossom EDP is a clean, spring like floral with orange blossom and lilac. The 2 oz. spray retails for $55. Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne is crisp and light. The large bottle (3.4 oz) goes for $100. Diptyque L’Eau de Neroli is a tart, citrusy orange blossom. The cologne retails for $98 for 3.4 oz. Annick Goutal Neroli EDT is a beautiful, elegant orange blossom/neroli scent. The 2.4 oz. bottles goes for $115. To my surprise I found out that I really like Prada Fleur D’Oranger EDP. At first it wears hissy but the dry down is great and worth it despite the unusual top notes. The 3.4 oz. spray retails for $100. I’ll never forget the 1st time I sniffed Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger. Did it start my obsession? The 1.7 oz. retails for $120. Le Labo Fleur d’Oranger is a fresh and citrusy orange blossom scent and I can’t get enough of it. It is $200 for 3.4 oz. Laura Mercier Neroli is EDP is a fresh, floral orange blossom. It is $75 for 1.7 oz. Cinq Mondes Pluie D’Aromes Ritual d’Atlas is a fresh blend of citrus and orange blossom. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for $85.

I was reading that neroli/orange blossom is used to relieve tension and anxiety in aromatherapy. No wonder I am loving this stuff, it has been a stressful summer. However, we did close on the house and we’ve started repairs. I spend all my day removing wallpaper, cleaning, and pulling faux fur off of doors. What fun! (See the home blog if you want more.)

This fragrance claims to be “An ode to everlasting beauty under cover of night’s rich plumage”. Um, OK. If that wasn’t a good enough description then maybe this will help you more:

A phoenix, the mythical bird of legend burns at the height of its splendour before emerging triumphant, reborn from the ashes in a choreography of flame, conjuring the shapes of yesterday in a dance of ashes. The swirls of oriental grey enrich the twilight with depth and intensity while windswept memories hint at the beauty of transformation

Oh, now I get it! As with any Serge Lutens fragrance, we have a wonderful marketing campaign that strives for weirdness and exoticism. This fragrance has many “haters”, read Kevin’s review on Now Smell This blog. Ouch, but a very entertaining read and why I got my hands on a sample vial to begin with. I find this fragrance odd but not horrible. Actually, I find it quite intriguing. The dry down isn’t as odd as initial spritz, actually it is very “pretty” and very “Serge”, think a woodsy-amber scent (heavy on dry cedar) but with a hint of dental office anesthesia. That can be pretty, right? Well, I like it.

The top notes are what are so strange if I had to blame it on one thing. It is “citrusy” but more like a Listerine or a citrusy mouthwash, kind of a medicinal odor mixed with lemon zest. That is odd. Smelling like you just gargled is weird. It is heavy on cinnamon, almost makes me sneeze, it has a Christmas potpourri fragrance. Not quite, your spice cabinet cinnamon or a foody cinnamon. The cedar is what takes over on me. It smells like a cedar hope chest in a stale, mildewy basement or attic. Hell, the odor of the Pacific Northwest: mildew and evergreens! After the medicinal cedar begins to wear down, you pick up half-rounded bits of resiny amber. This adds some beauty to this strange scent. But, I am a fan of amber, that’s why I like Serge Lutens fragrances. The cedar still is there. So think cedar with amber with a strange medicinal vibe. Seriously, it reminds me of having my teeth cleaned by a nice hygienist that wears a resinous fragrance. It smells “clean” and “uncomfortable”, alot like having your teeth cleaned. Yep, it feels good, getting all the gunk out but it hurts and there is always the sound of drilling going on in the background even if your experience is pleasant. That is how I would describe Serge Noir, not like a mythical Phoenix bathing in ashes or whatever. I think going to a dentist’s office in early summer. Why early summer? Because the fragrance is “cool” in a synthetic way but still “warm”, it smells like there is a hint of mildew there like from the initial blast of an air conditioner that hasn’t been used in some time. And you feel like you are on goofy gas trying to break this fragrance apart.

I know this fragrance isn’t for everyone. It is weird and there is that little fact that a bottle goes for $140. So, before you buy you better try. Strangely, I have recieved compliments on this fragrance. But, where I am at you get complimented on the strangest things…