May 2006: 32 posts

Annick Goutal Mandragore : Perfume Review



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

My initial reaction to Annick Goutal Mandragore was puzzlement over a strange disconnect between the name evoking dark, twisted roots and love potions and the ethereal fragrance more appropriate for elves than witches. Created by Isabelle Doyen in 2005, this composition is beautiful vignette of lightness, showcasing the ability of spices to be woven into a sheer and weightless composition. Mandragore has the same luminous, slightly nostalgic quality that pervades the paintings by Isaac Levitan, a Russian 19th century impressionist. If I close my eyes, I imagine walking through the lush forest groves he portrayed in his tender, wistful manner. …

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Sacred Oils for the King Tutankhamun Exhibit


Marilyn Miglin was commissioned by the Chicago Field Museum for their exhibit “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” to create the oils capturing the scents considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians. The collection includes Spikenard, Olibanum, Palm, Myrrh, Juniper, Fo-Ti-Tieng, and Lotus.

Estee Lauder Azuree (Tom Ford Collection) : Perfume Review



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

Estée Lauder Tom Ford Azurée is now available as Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess.

The vintage glamour seems to pervade the newest Tom Ford Collection for Estée Lauder, from the turquoise blue shades of the packaging to the smoky eye and pale lip color palette. Azurée was Estée Lauder’s fragrance created as a feminine answer to the virile leather chypre of Aramis. However, instead of treating leather in an assertive manner, Azurée was modulated by woods and rich floral notes. Its lilting name arose from combination of Estée Lauder’s name and Côte d’Azur. Pronounce Azurée slowly, and you can almost envision the blue sky falling into the glittering waters of the Mediterranean Sea. …

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Alexander McQueen Kingdom and Summer Limited Edition Discoveries


For the limited edition of Kingdom summer fragrance, Alexander McQueen drew on the theme of ancient Greece, which also appeared in his spring/summer 2006 fashion collection.  The flacon is graced by the images  of Aphrodite and Galatea. The perfume is the EDT formulation of the original sultry EDP, with notes of bergamot, mandarin, jasmine, ginger, pink pepper and myrrh. Although the summer versions rarely inspire me, Kingdom Summer seems quite interesting. I do confess to finding the original quite intriguing.

First_summerActually, I recently came across two summer limited editions that were quite lovely:  one was by Van Cleef & Arpels and another by Boucheron.  Based on the peony flower, First pour l’Eté from Van Cleef & Arpels retains the aldehydic floral heart of the original jasmine rich First, however the drydown is marked by the transparent fruitiness. However, my favorite summer edition turned to be Boucheron Eau Légère, an apricot sweetened floriental take on the opulence of the original. If the original takes me into a ballroom of the Winter Palace, Eau Légère offers a stroll through the gardens of Tsarskoe Selo, a beloved summer residence of Russian monarchy. In fact, I would be tempted to wear Boucheron Eau Légère all year round.

Photos and notes via Moodiereport.

Bond No 9 New Haarlem : Fragrance Review



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

I am a tea drinker, preferring to save coffee for mornings when the extra jolt of energy is absolutely essential, yet I cannot resist the dark aroma of roasted beans. It is the childhood memory of my father having what he called “a soldier’s breakfast”–coffee accompanied by a cigarette. Of crowded bars in Venice where the coffee aromas would marry the scent of white bread used for tramezzini, delicious triangular sandwiches. Of Istanbul coffee stalls where the curvy copper pots were slowly brought to boil in the hot sand. Of the rich cloud surrounding Starbucks I would pass downtown Chicago on my way to the office. …

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