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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This scent is supposed to be based on Egyptian musk. It may have been but I think I will continue to wear my no label Egyptian musk oils instead of this. It isn’t that I dislike this scent, there are just others that I like more. When I wear this fragrance, I feel like I am wearing someone’s signature scent, but not mine. I just don’t feel “comfortable” in this one. I have to admit that the first few times I wore this, I didn’t like it. After about the fifth wear, it started to grow on me.

First I must say, that this fragrance reminds me so much of Victoria’s Secret’s discontinued fragrance, Basic Instinct. If you are looking for a replacement for Basic Instinct, then buy this Narciso Rodriguez EDT. Based on the notes listed, I would think that I would like this fragrance. I usually like woodsy musk scents. I love animalic scents. I love heavy scents. I usually like Francis Kurkdjian’s creations (co-nose for this scent). For some reason this fragrance is not for me. At first it is a musky floral. I hate to say this but the musk comes across not so fabulous with “hissy” or astringent florals like orange blossom and osmanthus. Like most EDTs, this fades or settles. I’m then left with a “round” and robust musk-floral. It is sweet. I pick up a little bit of vanilla. This is needed to balance the fragrance. The top is still very musky and pretty.  The muskiness fades (a little bit) and the florals start to take center stage. I like this. The florals are so delicate and romantic. I do like orange blossom because it is such a flirty yet “grown-up” note. For a short while, this fragrance is playful. At this stage it hits me as a sexy night time “resort” type fragrance. The orange blossom and osmanthus add a lightness to a musky fragrance. The musk at this time is more “skin” musk; hence, it’s easy to wear in comparison to animalic, skanky musks. At this stage I do see where this could be based on Egyptian musk.  This stage lasts too little on me. I wish it wore throughout like this. It could be my summer Egyptian musk. The fragrance then becomes sweeter than before with amber and vanilla. I usually like amber and vanilla but for some reason I don’t like the sweetness in this fragrance. It makes this lightweight, “lingerie” type fragrance feel too heavy. It also makes it feel like it is trying too hard (the fragrance equivalent of rhinestoned thong underwear).  It feels too sweet and powdery but not in a good sweet and powdery way. It seems like walking through a cloud of vanilla talc. I taste it. For some reason the vanilla wears very heavily on my skin. It isn’t creamy or gourmand. It just smells like a waxy vanilla candle (on me but smells creamy on a blotter).The dry-down is very “dry”. It’s dried generic woods, dried vetiver, and musk. I like the dry-down. It’s unlike other popular “modern woods” thanks to the heavy hand of musk again. This fragrance has musk throughout the wear. Each of the musks are autonomous  and react differently to the different phases of the fragrance. I think I should give this fragrance a try in the fall or winter. I may wear it more then. Or maybe I should try the EDP since it has other notes listed that may round this fragrance out. I feel like this EDT is missing something but I just don’t know what. Fruit? Jammy roses? I think I may play around layering it with other fragrances.

OK, so this is a sexy musk scent that has chypre qualities. I do like those nouveau-chypres. It is not masculine despite the musk and woods. It is a very feminine fragrance. I don’t know why I don’t like wearing this one. I guess because it feels like it is lacking a certain something. I like certain aspects of this fragrance. I don’t hate the other aspects. I could have loved it but I don’t. Maybe it’s that I’m not craving this in June or it isn’t “skanky” or bold enough for me? I love to sniff it on a blotter but it doesn’t have as much “umph” when worn on my skin (one more reason to try the EDP). I don’t know what the problem is. For some reason it makes me feel bad that I don’t love this one.

I recently stumbled across a “skanky” discussion on Now Smell This. A reader commented and recommended this as a  starter skanky fragrance. I totally agree. This is a musk scent that is light enough to have a wide range of followers. Those that like musk could like this and those that usually steer clear of musks because they associate them with heavy animalic oils could like this too. Is it possible that this is a daytime skanky fragrance? Perhaps. It’s a feminine fragrance with sweetness and florals. There is nothing outrageous or offensive in this musk based scent.

Notes include: honey flower, solar musk, orange blossom, osmanthus, amberlyn, vanilla, tactile musk, tactile woods, and vetiver. Yes, I did not make a mistake. It says “tactile”. No visual or auditory musks or woods in this fragrance. You can feel them.

Give this a try if you like Victoria’s Secret Basic Instinct EDP, Parfum d’Empire Osmanthus Interdite EDP, Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely EDP, Kat Von D Sinner EDP, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique EDT, and/or Avon U by Ungaro EDP. Also, give it a try if you are looking for “starter skank”.

The 1.6 EDT retails for $65 and the 3.3 for $89. Many other items are available in this line including a hair mist and deodorant spray. It can be purchased at Sephora. It is sometimes available on “discount” sites such fragrancenet.com. There is a difference between the EDT and the EDP. I’ve reviewed the EDT and look forward to trying the EDP.

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

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.

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

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

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy EDP is a floral oriental blend that tries very hard to be seductive. I think of it as a floral oriental for those that did not live through the 80’s to experience the heavy floral oriental genre. It is more of a “now” floriental. It’s a bit more fresh and floraly.

At first spritz, I kind of like this fragrance. I pick up a spicy mandarin. It’s refreshing and zesty. This energizing top note quickly fades. I do not smell the citrus after 5 minutes of wear. I then get something that I am not wild about. It is a powdery floral blend that is sweet and has a generic “vanilla musk” vibe. I take it that the powderiness comes from the “mimosa” listed but it doesn’t smell like the mimosa I love found in Guerlain Champs-Elysées or L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi EDT. It isn’t a light and fluffy mimosa. It’s a strong floral with a forced powderiness. The powder does go away or perhaps I can ignore it more. It then has a coolness and it almost reminds me of a rosey magnolia. I guess this is the camellia note. I haven’t had the chance to experience a “real” fragrant camellia. All of the ones that I have encountered were more about color and hardiness than aroma. Hydrangea is also listed as a fragrant note. My hydrangeas smell awful! Anyways, back to this fragrance. This strong, cool floral stage lasts and lasts. Imagine the green notes from a rose intensified. There is a faint vanilla like sweetness but still very floral. It is definitely more like a vanilla orchid than a vanilla bean. I do pick up lots of rose. It reminds me of a fragrance interpretation of somewhere floral and Southern, like the Garden District in New Orleans. The dry-down , is slightly woodsy. It manages to be a “clean” woodsy dry down. It is soft. If you like white musk then you should like this base. It’s woodsy but is is still very floral to its core. I know that this fragrance claims to be “sexy” but I’m just not getting it. I see it more of a nice, prim, and proper floral blend. I guess if your usual stand-by is something fruity like Ralph Lauren Ralph EDT or DKNY Be Delicious EDP, than this could be interpreted as a “sexy” and “seductive” fragrance.

Notes listed include: capucine, pepper, cactus flower, clementine, camellia, hydrangea, mimosa, vanilla orchid, musk, soft woods, blackberry, and white amber.

This isn’t a bad fragrance, it just isn’t something that I would see myself wearing very frequently. A teeny tiny bottle is more than enough for me. I love florals but I find that I am more of a fan of white floral blends. This is more of a cool and watery floral with a sweet dry-down. I’m just not a fan of humid florals. They don’t wear nicely on me but I can appreciate them from a distance. I would say to give this one a try if you like Bath and Body Works Enchanted Orchid EDT, Love & Toast Pomme Poivre EDP, Harajuku Lovers Love EDT, Estee Lauder Dazzling Silver EDP, Antica Farmacista Magnolia, Orchid, and Mimosa EDP, Tokyomilk Parfum Gin & Rosewater EDP, and/or Voluspa Victoria Collection Vanity EDP.

Three sizes are available and the largest, 3.4 oz., retails for $59. It is available at Victoria’s Secret.


Very Sexy Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Victoria’s Secret

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com