I was so happy to find out that this scent existed. Nowruz is hands down my favorite holiday ever. Who doesn’t love a celebration that includes good food, fresh flowers, the outdoors, clean homes, and new clothes? Who doesn’t love a holiday that celebrates the rebirth of nature? Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH is a nice gourmand but I really don’t think it does actual Nowruz any justice. If I was to do a Nourouz fragrance (and I haven’t) it would be a green and fresh fragrance, a spring fragrance, with new green buds, hyacinth, and dew drops. It would have a top note of rosewater and a dry down that was warm and resiny to symbolize fire.  It would remind one of crisp spring picnics and exchanging laughter with one’s loved ones. But, I didn’t create this fragrance. Nowruz is the time to celebrate getting out of that winter funk. Parfums des Beaux Arts Nourouz is all about the feasting and food end of Nourouz, but not the picnicking/outdoorsy part of Nourouz. Because it has such desserty spices, it reminds me too much of a winter fragrance. (It was released in the fall of 2009). It’s heaviness and sweetness misses the entire “being” of Nowruz in my opinion. It just focuses on desserts and yumminess. Sweets are a part of Nowruz…Anyways, I should get over the whole name, Nourouz, and my personal expectations of what that word means and move on to this indulgent gourmand fragrance.

This fragrance opens up as very foody. It does smell of a spicy, sweet tamarind and pomegranate syrup. It reminds me too much of a sticky, jammy dessert. I feel on me, that the tamarind totally overthrows any floral notes. I get a bit of the rose but it once again, is very foody with the mix of tamarind. This smells like a dessert on me. It smells much more interesting than other dessert fragrances on the market. I just think that tamarind doesn’t wear nicely on me. The middle, about 45+ minutes of wear, is very sweet and smoky. I really love this smoky dry-down. The dry-down makes it a perfect fall/winter fragrance. It’s sweet, resiny, and smoky. It’s indulgent. The dry down is very nice. I pick on the tannins. It’s a bit fruity and really reminds me of the top note of black pomegranate. It’s like the fragrance went full-circle. (Which is very impressive for the entire re-birth thing of Nourouz, see I do like this fragrance). It’s a bit bitter and very sensual. I do love that I can pick up on the tannins and this note should be used more in perfumery. They are subtle and they really “round” out this fragrance. Overall this is a jam like fruity dessert gourmand fragrance. It is the perfect “fruit” fragrance for fall/winter. When I say that it is fruity and gourmand, I am not saying that this is a juvenile fragrance. It is very “grown-up” and mature. And I say that it is a sweet, fruity, gourmand but I really think it could be a unisex fragrance. It’s fruity but more in a dried fruits and wine way. The smoky tobacco notes make it very masculine. Because it is a natural/botanical oil base blend, it wears for a long time. It’s rich and robust. I really do like the scent once I get over my preconceived notions. I think I would of been more accepting of this EDP if it had another name or “inspiration”. I’m just silly like that…and this holiday is very important to me. I do really like this fragrance as a comforting and interesting winter/fall “fruity” fragrance. I really do like this fragrance, really. I find it very interesting. I just don’t like it for a spring celebration. I love it for the cooler months.

Notes listed include: black pomegranate, paprika, tamarind, Bulgarian rose, orris, osmanthus, oppoponox, red wine notes, tobacco absolute, and vanilla absolute.

The 1 ounce EDP retails for $135. Other sizes are available of this rich, botanical, natural blend. This is a limited edition fragrance that is available on Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s site.

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Weekly Cheap Secret:

Oh, Old Spice. I know it is low-brow but I really do enjoy its scent. Every fall/winter, I purchase a bottle of Classic Old Spice Body Wash. (Let me emphasize Classic here, those other varieties can go to hell. I thought Axe already had that market covered). This is an inexpensive  fix for my need for spicy scents when the temperature drops. I like spicy scents but I usually don’t want to smell like them all day or I only crave them for a short time. That’s why I would rather use the body wash than the cologne. The fragrance is mix of bitter citrus and every spice in your cupboard: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon. It’s the “classic” and I think everyone is familiar with it. Old Spice is aware of the kitschiness of this scent with such slogans as “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist” and “It will still be around, even after a nuclear fallout”. I do find this comical because it is a classic fragrance that has been a part of American pop culture for some time. However,  some of their ad campaigns border on being chauvinistic. It’s all about the “swag” and attracting bodacious babes. I wish that they would realize that there are many, many females out there (some even bodacious) using their product. Sorry guys, but spice is a pretty unisex thing in the fragrance world. Spice for men is cheap; however, spice for women is expensive in the fragrance world.

The shower gel doesn’t smell as nice as the cologne. It does have a strange “chemicalness” to it that fades after a few seconds.. The gel lathers nicely and a little goes a long way. It’s a bright blue gel. I’m not wild about this because it makes the lather a pale gray, giving me a temporary zombie-like/corpse complexion. I guess their male target group doesn’t mind this? The fragrance lightly lingers and doesn’t interfere with any of my other fragrances that I choose to use. It isn’t very moisturizing. It appears that dudes aren’t interested in that.

An 18 fl. oz. bottle retails for under $5. This is a great deal for this shower gel. My husband and I have both been using a bottle for months now. I must add that I do love the smell of Old Spice on him and he even likes it on me.

This is an all natural fragrance that is in Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH “Gaia Perfume Collection”. This is as the name applies, a spicy fragrance. I really do like spicy fragrances but I think I have “low-brow” spicy fragrance tastes. I seem to always use Old Spice as my spice fragrance point of reference. Well, Epices d’Hiver is spicy and citrusy like Old Spice but much more high-brow. At first it is a wonderful winter citrus explosion. You can smell bitter oranges, blood oranges, perfumey bergamot, and grapefruit. It is citrusy but nothing like the “citrus” you would grab in the middle of summer. This is definitely a “cold” citrus blend. I mean that it doesn’t smell like fresh citrus juices but more like citrus essential oils. I then smell lots and lots of star anise. This is a good thing because I love the smell of star anise. I know other spices are present but I pick up on the star anise the most. I get a hint of cloves and nutmeg. The spiciness of this fragrance reminds me a lot of Pae-lo or Chinese Five Spice. Or Sambuca mixed with a bay rum aftershave blend or Old Spice. The dry down is  soft, warm, and resiny. It reminds me of non-burning incense. It is “round”, mellow, and wears closely to the skin.

This is a nice scent for cooler weather. It is spicy without smelling “Christmasy”. It has been a great fragrance to wear during this past week when the temps have been about 19° F. It reminds me of a beautiful bay rum (I guess because of the davana mixed with citrus and spices) with a dash of Pae-lo. This is a spice fragrance that both sexes can wear. It is a great “classic” scent for the kind of male that spends his winter holiday eating clam chowder by a fire in a wool sweater that he got in Novia Scotia last year before he goes out yachting. I also see it for the kind of confident female that wears Old Spice, Hepburn-ish pant suits, and red lipstick. I see both wearers as an “adventurous” type.

This is a long-wearing scent because that wears closely to the skin most of the time because of the expensive essential oils used in the blend. I really do like this scent and I don’t mean it any harm by comparing it to Old Spice. That is just my low-brow reference for spicy blends. For a “spice” blend this one is beautiful and complex. It reminds me of anything from warming Sambuca cocktails to “faraway”, “exotic” spice blends. I really do like this fragrance and I find it very easy to wear for a spicy fragrance. I wear it and it doesn’t wear me. My husband also likes this one. He says it smells of Compari and Sambuca. He says that this is the most sophisticated bay rum in the world. I would say that this means a lot coming from a guy that wears bay rum in the winter and has a very limited scent vocabulary. Notes include: bergamot, bitter orange, citrus oils, coriander seeds, davana, pink peppercorn, star anise, cinnamon bark, clove bud, jasmine, Moroccan rose, nutmeg, spice notes, ambrette seeds, labdanum, Siam benzoin, tolu balsam, tonka bean, Arabian myrhh, and vanilla absolute. A few sizes are available. The 5 ml bottle in an antique inspired bottle goes for $90. I recommend this fragrance for the person that loves spice fragrances, The Different Company Un Parfum d’Ailleurs & Fleurs, Annick Goutal Madragore EDT, L’Artisan Parfumeur Fou d’Absinthe EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Navegar EDT, Byredo Parfums Fantastic Man, Etro Anice, Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique EDP, and/or Old Spice 🙂  It is available on DSH’s website.

This isn’t a fragrance that I would wear to work, because I don’t want anybody thinking I’ve been smoking a pipe in my little “speech studio”.  But, I do love this fragrance. I love the sweetness of whiskey tobacco. This cologne smells like the real deal. Demeter’s website describes it as tobacco smoke and whiskey. I don’t pick up on any smokiness. This to me smells just like if you opened a jar of whiskey “flavored” pipe tobacco at a cigar shop. This is sweet, warm, and best described as masculine. It is very dried tobacco-ish, you know it if you’ve smelled it before, and a bit vanilla, well, more buttery burnt coconut-vanilla cream, like whiskey aged in oak. It’s a beautiful thing really. It’s nostalgic and reminds me of all of my grandfather’s old man friends with burnt white moustaches that sat around in leather chairs in the sitting room smoking flavored pipe tobacco and complaining about everything. Well, sometimes they talked about ultralight airplanes.

Like all Demeter Cologne Pick-Me-Up fragrances, this one isn’t long-lasting. It mainly exists for its novelty. I do enjoy it but I don’t want to smell like whisky/whiskey tobacco all day. I love that fragrance but it needs to be in a “blend” for me to want to wear it for many hours (It’s screaming for dried apricots and roses). This cologne blend wears for about 30-45 minutes on me during cooler weather. For me, this is a cool weather fragrance because of its sweetness. I do love to use it as a linen and room spray. This creates a hip cigar lounge atmosphere everywhere.

I do consider this a unisex fragrance. The 1 ounce cologne spray goes for $20. And other sizes are available on www.demeterfragrance.com. I would say to give this one a try if you love the smell of pipe tobacco, Santa Maria Novella Tobacco Tuscano Cologne, Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP, Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque EDP, Micheal Kors for Men EDT, and/or Odori Tobacco.

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.

Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Shower Gel is one of those comfort products to have around during cool weather. Like all of the other Korres Shower Gels, this one has a nice lather that doesn’t dry out the skin. It’s a very nice natural product. It doesn’t feel slimy or separate in the bottle like some natural products. A little bit of this gel goes a long way.

The scent is sweet. But, not like a gooey cinnamon roll. It reminds me more of eggnog with spicy woods. It’s more a milky vanilla base with a hint of cinnamon spice that boarders onto spicy woods. This is not a scent that I would like in the dog days of summer. It would be repulsive at this time. It is a great winter scent. It’s comforting, creamy, slightly spicy and woodsy. The scent doesn’t linger on the skin. I wouldn’t want to smell like eggnog all day anyways. It is just a “fun” product because it really scents the shower and makes it a bit of a holiday oasis but you don’t smell like that all day. It’s the perfect holiday scent of sugar and spice.

The shower gel retails for $13 for about 8 fl. oz. and is available at DERMAdoctor.

La Maison de la Vanille is a French “vanilla” perfume house that really channels French colonialism, trying to make that aspect of history glamorous. They have a few different blends of vanilla. And with a name like “La Maison de la Vanille”, it’s pretty obvious that they are members of the cult of vanilla.  I’m not a vanilla fan but I am not a vanilla hater. I think vanilla has a time and a place and sometimes I really crave it during cool, wet, gloomy weather. I live in the PNW, so there are 9 months out of the year that I can potentially crave vanilla based scents.

Vanille Noir de Mexique is described as a “mysterious, dark, and seductive” vanilla fragrance. I don’t know if it is all of these things but it is a nice vanilla scent. This fragrance knows how to do vanilla without doing “cupcake” or cheap. Vanilla is sniffed throughout the entire wear of this EDT. Vanilla is always present. I love the top note and first 15-20 minutes wear of this scent. It is a rich and raw vanilla with a heavy dose of bergamot. This makes for an interesting vanilla fragrance. I imagine vanilla as round and smooth and bergamot as a bit rough. These two notes together compliment each other without being too complicated. And it isn’t “orange cream”. It’s bitter and sweet, not desserty. The mid notes are a bit “powdery” vanilla, like an updated and less complicated and “modern” Guerlain Shalimar EDP. It is powdery in an old-fashioned rose and iris way with lots and lots of vanilla making it “new”. The dry-down is “sexy”. It is pretty much just a generic tonka bean, patchouli, woods that is heavy on vanilla. It reminds me of many dry-downs of many mainstream fragrance. From start to finish, this is a vanilla heavy scent. I love to picture myself wearing this and wearing a cashmere sweater dress, sipping rich, dark Mexican hot cocoa in front of our fireplace in the dead of a snowy winter. It’s a comforting vanilla that is interesting enough to purchase.

The company and the packaging remind me so much of Comptoir Sud Pacifique but I like La Maison de la Vanille much better. Their blends smell more expensive and less foody. Many people complain that this scent isn’t long-lasting. It is an EDT, duh. But, I find that it wears on me all day, at least 12 hours. I think vanilla based scents have a tendency to “stick” on me. Perhaps I am freak, don’t comment. Notes listed include: vanilla, rose, jasmine, iris, tonka bean, and bergamot. I would say that you would like this if you love rich vanilla scents, Guerlain Shalimar EDP, Solange Stoned,  Montale Chypre Vanille, Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Tonka, Profumum Dulcis in Fundo, Creative Scentualizations Perfect Vanilla, and fragrance by Comptoir Sud Pacifique  and LaVanila.  It retails for $60 for 1.7 oz and is available on luckyscent.com.