Summer: 83 posts

Perfumes that put me in a summer mood, all year round

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea : Perfume Review

44444

Andy discovers how refreshing and uplifting Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea can be.

Potent is the last word I’d associate with Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea, yet when I first tried it, it felt like a jolt of something refreshing and uplifting. It was very early in my fragrance journey, when I wanted to build a small fragrance wardrobe without spending too much. I can remember picking up a bottle of Green Tea for $10 during a sweltering May heat wave, ravenously ripping the packaging open in my overheated car, and spraying myself liberally. To this day, I still reach for Green Tea whenever I need some immediate relief from the heat, or for no reason at all, because it is both refreshingly simple and pleasantly sparkling.

green tea

Elizabeth Arden launched Green Tea in 1999, following dozens of other fragrances (like Tommy Girl and Ck One) in the trendsetting footsteps of Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert. But in comparison to Thé Vert’s nuanced, misty interpretation of green tea, Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea, composed by Francis Kurkdjian, smells somewhat one-dimensional. As a result, Green Tea can be considered neither revolutionary nor particularly outstanding in composition, but instead it seems to me a study in technical expertise, of making the most out of a formula that is composed of relatively few ingredients while still smelling complete.

Continue reading →

Parfums de Nicolai L’eau Mixte : Fragrance Review

44444

Not just another simple cologne. Elisa on Parfums de Nicolaï’s L’eau Mixte.

If there’s one perfume category I’ve heard people call “boring” the most, it’s citrus. Perhaps it’s because there is less variation among citrus scents than, say, orientals or florals—a rose perfume, a tuberose perfume, and an iris perfume smell nothing alike, but lemon, orange, and grapefruit have a fair amount of olfactory overlap. Or maybe it’s because citrus scents don’t—can’t—evolve much on skin because they don’t last long enough to evolve; they are fleeting, volatile molecules by nature, destined to be top notes.

Raphaelle-Peale-A-Dessert

I must admit I have some of the same reservations about citrus-centric perfumes. I’ve got a few in my collection, and on a hot day, a few spritzes of a crisp citrus chypre like Clarins Eau Dynamisante or Monsieur Balmain hits the spot. But I don’t reach for them often, and I almost always end up putting something else on later. So to make me sit up and take notice, a citrus scent has to be pretty unusual.

L’eau Mixte, Parfums de Nicolaï’s eau de cologne release for summer 2010, was the first citrus to take me by surprise in years. Primarily a grapefruit perfume, it manages to be both refreshing and rich, hitting so many pleasurable notes at once—sweet, tangy, green, herbal—that it feels like getting out of a car to breathe in a big lungful of cool mountain air. Most citrus scents have a bracing quality, but L’eau Mixte is exceptionally bracing.

Continue reading →

Bobbi Brown Beach and Other Sun Fantasy Scents : Perfume Review

33333

Patricia talks about an endless summer in a perfume bottle, from Bobbi Brown Beach to Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess.

In his novel Remembrances of Things Past, Marcel Proust used petite madeleines, little cakes shaped like scallop shells and dipped in tea as a literary device to bring his character instantly back in time. One sniff of Bobbi Brown’s Beach does the same thing to me. It transports me to a certain carefree summer many years ago, a summer of wearing madras shorts, skate boarding, kissing my first boyfriend, listening to the Beach Boys and Rolling Stones on the radio, and slathering on Coppertone, a popular American sun lotion.

patricia-summer

Beach isn’t an exact match for Coppertone, but sweet jasmine and orange blossom combine deliciously with salty and marine notes in a way that is strongly reminiscent of it. It maintains the same balance of notes throughout, and there is no real progression from the top notes to the dry down. Although Beach wears very close to the skin, it lasts from five to six hours on me.

Continue reading →

The Week of the Roses : Vacation Perfume

Today Patricia, our new contributing writer, talks about the dilemma of picking a perfume for vacation and why she decided to make her latest vacation a rose scented one. Patricia graduated from her mother’s perfume table to her very own bottle of Miss Dior as a young teen. This discovery started a lifelong love of perfume in general and green mossy fragrances in particular. After 30-plus years in the publishing industry, she works as an office manager in Boston, Massachusetts. Besides perfume, she loves long novels and spending time with her horse. Please give her a warm welcome!  

In Massachusetts we have a saying, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute,” so I wasn’t unduly concerned when the first few days of our summer vacation were cloudy and rainy. Still, the beachy fragrances such as Estée Lauder’s Bronze Goddess and Bobbi Brown’s Beach that I’d packed in my suitcase seemed to mock me, and even my favorite summer citruses didn’t satisfy me.

patricia-sea-beach

Fortunately my packing style has always been of the “everything but the kitchen sink” variety, so I had brought plenty of sample vials and small decants, including many roses, many of which I had not yet tried. But it turned out that variety was not what I wanted. What I craved were roses, and lots of them. Even after the sun came out on the third day, the roses and I were on a roll.  Rose perfumes turned out to be unexpectedly versatile: the heavier, darker blends suited the foggy and rainy days, while the crisp, bright ones were perfect companions for sunny beach outings. Here are six that I enjoyed on my vacation.

Continue reading →

Strawberry Orange Blossom Compote

Methyl anthranilate probably doesn’t sound all that delicious to you, and if you were never friends with chemistry, it might seem downright scary. I promise not to give an organic chemistry lecture here, but please bear with me for a moment. Methyl anthranilate is both fascinating and mouthwatering–this molecule occurs naturally in some of the most fragrant fruit and flowers, from Concord grapes to orange blossom, from mandarins to gardenias. And also in tiny wild strawberries, fraises des bois.

wild strawberriesstrawberry-compote2

Also known as woodland strawberries (Fragaria Vesca L.), they are only as big as your pinkie nail, but their flavor is so intense that a fistful of berries will perfume an entire room. They smell of caramel, orange flowers and muscat. When you taste them for the first time, you realize that this is what every strawberry flavor tries to imitate.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2014 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.