February 2011: 36 posts

Estee Lauder Wild Elixir : Perfume Review

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Wildelixir1

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

One of the most popular feminine fragrance genres, modern green florals, has much to recommend itself for someone who is looking for a pretty and wearable fragrance. When the crisp, leafy notes are woven through the opulent floral accords, the compositions attain a vivid, bright quality. While classical floral bouquets are usually much more languorous and sensual, with rich honeyed and animalic facets, contemporary florals strive for a clean and luminous impression. Estée Lauder Wild Elixir is the latest addition to the available fresh green floral selection, a composition of honeysuckle, jasmine and gardenia notes painted in verdant hues.

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Cire Trudon Abd El Kader Candle : Home Fragrance Review

Cire

Few things tempt me more than the vibrant freshness of fresh mint mixed in with a sweet-salty lemonade, a drink called limon nana in Arabic or nimbu pani in Hindi. It is a very simple concoction of mint leaves crushed with lemon juice, sugar and a hint of salt to bring out the floral sweetness of the components. Yet nothing can be more rejuvenating on a hot summer day, especially when the heat of the sun makes the asphalt look almost molten. As we trudge through winter here in the northern hemisphere, a beverage of icy lemonade is hardly what I crave, but somehow its scent never fails to delight. Today my cure for the winter blues is Abd El Kader, a candle by Cire Trudon, that is inspired by the scent of Morocco–mint tea, tobacco, and spices.

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Fragrance Notes in Perfumes : What Attracts You

While the fragrance is much more than the sum of its parts, there are certain notes that attract me, whether used as accents or as a part of the dominant accord.  Iris, rose, jasmine, cardamom, violet leaf, sandalwood, and ambery notes are among my favorites. I also love the accents of fruity notes like black currant and rhubarb (as in Yves Saint Laurent In Love Again and Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose) and some apple scented aroma-materials can provide an interesting crunchy, juicy effect (Donna Karan Be Delicious).

cardamon

 

While there aren’t any materials or notes that I dislike on their own, overly strong lily of the valley and lilac accords bring up associations with air freshners and laundry detergents. I also find strong vanilla notes difficult, because when it comes to fragrance, my sweet tooth is rather tame.

What notes do you like in fragrances? Do you have notes that you avoid in fragrance?

Photograph of cardamom © Bois de Jasmin.

Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain : Fragrance Review

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Dipt34

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

For their 50th anniversary, Diptyque has launched a perfume capturing the scent of its first boutique located on 34 Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris. The idea behind the eponymous fragrance was to capture the main elements of the famous Diptyque: L’Ombre dans l’Eau, Philosykos, L’Eau, Do Son. Blending various disparate accords is often liable to produce a pastiche effect, and perhaps, this is exaclty what happened with 34 Boulevard Saint Germain, which while competent, does not have a strong character.  For a niche launch, it especially seems too safe and traditional: a soft-spoken fougère that would not be out of place on the masculine side of the fragrance bar at Macy’s.

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Etat Libre d’Orange Rossy de Palma : Perfume Review

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Rossy

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Not all celebrity scents are made equal, but then again, not all celebrities are either. I would be glad to back any Pedro Almodóvar’s actress, but Rossy de Palma, the striking and charismatic Spanish beauty, completely wins me over whether onscreen or with her perfume. Her eponymous Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance is as a perfect fit for her dramatic image as it is for me when I want my perfume to make a statement. For such a dark, smoldering rose as Rossy de Palma, making a statement is an easy task.

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