Friday, May 12, 2006

Unchain my heart…

Today's sample: Attrape-Coeur
Yesterday, when I got home from work, my eBay package had arrived! And oh, what a package. The wonderful Peppermint Patty had packaged everything so prettily…all my decants and samples were wrapped in pink tulle and then slipped inside a small, purple velvet bag. She even sent me a sweet surprise, a sample of Terre d’Hermes. At first I thought maybe I would give this one to my husband—after all, it is supposed to be a man’s fragrance—but after sniffing, well…ahem. It’s not masculine enough. No. It’s a little soft. Yep, that’s it. Soft. Mmm hmm. Probably, I should just keep it and wear it myself.

At least that’s what I thought last night. But this morning while I was getting ready for work, he came into the bathroom and asked if I had ordered any samples for him, and I said no. (Technically, you know, that is the truth. I did not order the Terre.) And then he said he would like it if I would, because he was out of the few samples he did have. Aw! Twinge.

You see, back when this all started (a whole six or seven weeks ago), I decided to head over to the mall and check out some fragrances at Sephora. This was literally the day after I looked at my first perfume blogs. As I explained in an earlier post, most of my experience did not expand beyond the fragrance counter at an average department store like Macy’s. And even though I had been into Sephora many times (to buy my Frederic Fekkai), I generally ignored their walls of fragrance. It was only last year that I bought my first bottle of perfume there, Nanette Lepore. The walls in that store are lined with sales people. I get self-conscious sniffing everything in front of them…but really, my neuroses about sales people in general (and makeup counter SAs specifically) are fodder for another time.

Back on track: Sephora. I read that they would pour samples for you, so I decided to go over to the mall and see what I could score. I had no plan, nothing specific to sniff (except the new Nanette Lepore, which I didn’t like). After spending a little time with an annoying SA (When I told her I wore Clinique Simply, she said “Nobody wears that fragrance!” and not in a happy surprised way, but in a “Wow, you must be some kind of freak!” way. See what I mean?), I walked out with two samples of Hanae Mori, and a hand-poured sample of Michael Kors Island (she insisted on this one).

I took them home and tried to look them up in the blogs, and that’s when I knew I was still picking up the really general stuff, so I got on the Internet and ordered the sample pack from Ormonde Jayne, which, of course, includes a sample of Ormonde Man. When I told the husband—oh, what the heck, let’s just call him “Bob,” because that’s his name—when I told Bob that I had ordered samples and there would be something for him…well, he got very happy.

The following weekend I went back to Sephora, again with Bob in tow, but this time with a goal. I wanted to sniff L’Heure Bleue. But they didn’t have it! No! Not at my Sephora! This time I had a very helpful SA, and he poured me a sample of Colours of Love. He also gave me samples of Prada (I’m sorry, but no) and Burberry London. Again, pretty general, but better than my first experience.

I think we’re about to leave when I hear, “What would you recommend for me?” Bob. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he wasn’t going home without some samples of his own. So the SA took us down the men’s aisle, and Bob started to sniff.

Really, the man likes fragrance. If we walk by a men’s counter, he’s got to smell something. If we go to Ulta, he’s a testing fool. He walked out of Sephora with a sample of Unforgivable (I know…but it actually does smell nice on him, once it’s worn off a bit) and Hanae Mori Man. He’s been alternating his three samples with his old standby, Acqua di Gio. Until now, because he's run out of all three.

I thought this was my new hobby, but now that I think about it, I guess we are on this fragrance road together. Better start reading the men’s reviews!

But the Terre is still mine, and with that, we come full circle. Today, thanks to Patty, I am wearing the lovely Guerlain Attrape-Coeur. I could not do a fragrance like this justice if I tried. If you want to read a review,
Bois de Jasmin has all you need to know. The violet! The smoky violet! It gets deeper and more beautiful the longer I have it on. Of all the fragrance reviews I’ve read, the ones with violet have, to me, been the most intriguing. And I did not know that violet is frequently used in men’s cologne. The only other violet I have tried is Verte Violette, which is nothing, nothing like Attrape-Coeur. I understand that violet is a major note in two other fragrances I have samples for but haven’t tried yet: FM Lipstick Rose and Ormonde Woman. We’ll see if it’s violet or just Attrape-Couer that I love!