July 2011: 17 posts

Your Most Refreshing Perfume

Strawberry
What is your most refreshing perfume? What fragrance makes you feel cool and uplifted?

As this summer has been alternating between rainy and infernally hot, I nevertheless have been relying more on my effervescent and refreshing fragrances. They brightened up the dull, grey days and made the hot and humid ones feel much more bearable.  So, here they are, my most refreshing perfumes, the ones that evoke a delicious sensation of ice cubes melting on skin: Prada Infusion de Vétiver, Hermès Eau de Gentiane Blanche, and Frédéric MalleAngéliques Sous la Pluie.

Photo: Frozen Strawberry by Carl Smith via flickr, some rights reserved.

Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade and Bigarade Concentree : Perfume Review

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Orangeblossom

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

Frédéric Malle Cologne Bigarade traces the life cycle of an orange in reverse—at first, it reveals the aromatic brightness of ripe bitter orange, then it transforms into a pearly white orange blossom before finally melting into a whisper of green leaves and twigs. It is a streamlined composition, with a fresh, resinous character of citrus rinds and young green leaves. While it occasionally strikes me as overly simple, there is no denying that on a hot summer day it is as refreshing as a glass of lemonade.

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Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille : Perfume Review

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Sdv

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

When Guerlain launched a limited edition fragrance called Spiritueuse Double Vanille in 2007, it promised a rich, luscious vanilla liqueur, the ultimate vanilla fragrance. When it became a part of the permanent collection, I finally sampled it and found the perfume discordant. It has a pleasant fruity note reminiscent of Häagen-Dazs Rum Raisin ice cream and a rich balsamic base, but it all comes together to suggest vanilla in the loud and screechy manner of a candle rather than a fine fragrance.

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Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile : New Fragrance

GelsominoAdP

This fall Acqua di Parma will introduce a new fragrance, Gelsomino Nobile. “Centered around an exclusive and highly unique species of Jasmine grown only in the Calabria region of Italy, this new Floral Green-Musk style of eau de parfum creates the sensation of walking through lush Italian gardens, in bloom with Jasmine, while the breeze brings in the soft, salty air from the Mediterranean.”

Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile will be available from Neiman Marcus in August and in other stores from September 1, 2011. It will be sold as the Eau de Parfum and body cream. (via press release)

Scented Garden : Geranium and Spiced Arancello Recipe

Geranium cropped

By Elise Pearlstine

Sometimes the leaves, not the flowers, tell the story of an aromatic plant. I fell in love with the fragrant leaves of the scented geranium from my first sniff. From the rich, lemony smell of the citronella type to the green, floral, minty smell of a peppermint one, it is a wonder to rub your fingers over the rough, intricately shaped leaves to test the scent. There are many varieties–spicy ones, minty ones, as well as a beautiful pine-scented type with hints of rose and nutmeg. There are several hundred species in the wild. I once had a lovely chocolate mint variety that I worked very hard to keep alive in southern Florida but it did not make it through the hot summer months. It had a lovely, deep minty smell (the chocolate was mostly in my imagination) but it was a striking plant with purple streaked leaves. I gave up on scented geraniums for a number of years but recently bought six small plants – rose geraniums and attar of roses geraniums. Within a few weeks, the rose geraniums seemed to realize they were in Florida and quickly withered and died. The attar of roses plants, however, have stayed with me. I recently moved them into my office to get photos and just the act of moving them and putting them in a smaller room served to bring out the scent. They filled the room with a heady scent of rich rose with a lovely touch of green herbs.

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