Pepper: 18 posts

Tom Ford Jardin Noir Lys Fume : Perfume Review

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“Flowers can have a dark enchantment,” says Tom Ford of his new Jardin Noir series. “When you showcase their darker and less innocent aspects, flowers can become so thrilling and beautiful, they could almost ruin you. That was the sensation I was after.”* For a flower from a collection called Jardin Noir, Lys Fume upon first impression is not all that dark. For a perfume named “Fume”, which I take to mean “smoked lily” in French, the smoke is quite subtle.

But even if Tom Ford is after the “film noir” glamour goddesses in theory only, Lys Fume is an enjoyable fragrance. Real lilies smell intensely indolic–of ink and moth balls–and while perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Shyamala Maisondieu  tone down the animalic components, they didn’t shy away from exploring some surprising twists to create this blossom.

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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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Parfum d’Empire Azemour Les Orangers : Perfume Review

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When we were talking about cravings for salty perfumes last week, I began to compile a list of such fragrances.  On the face of it, a salty perfume seems like a strange idea, because salt doesn’t have a strong smell. At most I notice  the tangy iodine whiff from granulated table salt like Morton’s or the slightly marine sweetness whenever I open my jar of fleur de sel — thin, crunchy flakes gathered from the top of salt dunes.  But think of what you experience when a salt crystal melts on your tongue—a rush of sweetness that’s followed by a mild saline bitterness. That’s how I imagine salty scents.

A great illustration for this salty impression is Parfum d’Empire Azemour les Orangers. Created by perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, the founder of the Parfum d’Empire line, it’s an homage to his parents’ orange grove in Morocco.  When I first tried Azemour, I was instantly smitten with its green richness, effervescent citrus notes and moss and musk drydown.

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Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous la Pluie : Perfume Review

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Rain_drops_2

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

Angéliques Sous la Pluie is a sleeper of the Frédéric Malle collection. Next to the opulent blossoms of Carnal Flower, the delicious darkness of Vetiver Extraordinaire or the smoldering beauty of Noir Epices, its ethereal presence can be perceived as somewhat muted. However, spray it on your skin first thing in the morning and inhale… Effervescent, luminous, pleasantly dry, Angéliques Sous la Pluie is like a sip of champagne. Its simplicity and elegance are so masterfully expressed that it manages to achieve that elusive quality of subtle signature—of memorable presence and delicate aura. …

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Estee Lauder Pleasures : Perfume Review

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Pleasures

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

I enjoy re-reading books that struck me as memorable. As time passes and one gains more experience and knowledge, one’s perspective changes sufficiently to make new discoveries. Revisiting fragrance is not much different in that respect–the knowledge one gains in the interim makes one understand better the art and the pleasure of perfume. Estée Lauder Pleasures has been on my list to reevaluate for quite some time, largely because of its reputation as a modern classic. It was never a personal favorite–its clean and wholesome aesthetic runs counter to my love for things dark and mysterious. However, as I wear it, I cannot but admire its strong signature and its gorgeous layers of floral absolutes set against the crisp green notes. …

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