Cedarwood: 32 posts

Comme des Garcons Play Red, Green and Black : Fragrance Review

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I love when a perfume makes me smile. Sure, I love fragrances that challenge me and make me want to dress up for them, but on most days I want something that’s playful and easy to love. For this reason, sparkling orange blossoms are my perfume staples. The Comme des Garçons fragrance collection has plenty of playful perfumes, even if  some like Comme des Garçons Original and Odeur 71 straddle the line of unwearable for me. But the new trio of Red Play, Black Play and Green Play launched under Comme des Garçons’s casual Play label is squarely in the fun “t-shirt and jeans” perfume category.

Red Play

Does the combination of cherries and leather sound intriguing to you? It certainly caught my attention, and Red Play became my favorite out of the trio. The sweet orange and pepper is piquant and zesty, but the initial sparkle belies the complexity of Red Play. It’s like biting into a luscious red cherry and discovering that it’s actually made of red hots, the spicy cinnamon candies. The tartness–think rhubarb, red currants or green raspberries!–contrasted with the spice makes for an exciting fragrance. Playful is the best description for it. It makes me feel chic, like someone who knows instinctively how to accessorize a dress from H&M with a vintage belt or how to wear a fedora and not look ridiculous.

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Balenciaga Paris and L’Essence : Fragrance Review

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Balenciaga

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

The main thing I liked about Balenciaga Paris was that it smelled unlike anything else on the fragrance counter. The scent contained within its pretty faceted bottle seemed to have arrived from another era—green, pepper, with a distinctive mossy violet note that is as au courant today as satin gloves and fur stoles. It possessed none of the affected glamor of a period piece, being sleek, modern and refined. However, as I wore Balenciaga Paris and experienced it in various settings, I came to realize that its polished aura is its main downfall. It is so smooth and refined that it lacks a presence. Not every fragrance needs to make a statement, but it should have enough character to be remembered. Unfortunately, in the long run, this is not the case with Balenciaga Paris.

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu : Perfume Review

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Tim

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

The striking feature of L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu, a dry composition of woods, vetiver and incense, is its incredible radiance. The fragrance has a marvelous soaring quality, from the top notes of pepper and citrus to the earthy drydown of patchouli and musk. It is as if the dark, dense notes are interspersed with fresh, effervescent layers, resulting in a fragrance that combines the rich warmth of cognac with the shimmery brightness of champagne.

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Hermes Voyage d’Hermes : Fragrance Review

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Voyage dhermes

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

Voyage d’Hermès would have been a fantastic discovery if there did not already exist Terre d’Hermès, Cartier Déclaration, and Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert. After all, it is elegant, radiant, and streamlined in the best of Jean-Claude Ellena’s style. Yet, when I smell it now after having already experienced the same elements in the aforementioned fragrances, it seems so much like a repetition of the same theme that I cannot but feel let down. It takes me on a voyage that is perhaps too familiar to be exciting anymore.

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Marc Jacobs Bang : Fragrance Review

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Marc-jacobs-bang

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

Marc Jacobs Bang was without doubt one of my favorite fragrances from 2010.  Its elegant, polished structure belies a bold character, and in fact this juxtaposition makes Bang very appealing. It has a great opening accord that fits well with its name—the composition explodes into a vibrant, brilliant, peppery sparkle. Experiencing this piquant woody-spicy prelude is not unlike biting through the fiery, pleasantly burning pepper crust on steak au poivre, and the effect is just as mouthwatering.

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