Thursday, October 05, 2006


I know, I know...I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. I returned home to a new mess of samples, and I find myself completely overwhelmed. What should I try next? Should I have a theme? Should I pin names on a dart board and throw darts to pick? Alphabetize? Categorize?

I didn't even manage to get through what I brought with me on my trip. No, I distracted myself by sniffing new stuff I could sniff right here in this city. A waste! No, I take it back--snffing is never a waste, unless you have a cold or hay fever.

I think I mentioned I got a sample of Donna Karen's Gold. I won't even try to say anything about this, because the most eloquent thing has already been said by Ina at Aromascope: "If there was a champagne made of lilies, that’s how it’d smell." My only complaint probably has to do exclusively with my weak application--light to begin with, it seemed to fade rather quickly. But I think with many scents you can't really gauge lasting power by what you manage to get on your person out of a tiny glass vial. And also, I fear over-application. Anyway, the scent itself is just as Ina describes. I was hoping for more insight: in this month's Harper's Bazaar, they have in interview with Donna Karan. They hint at talking about her new fragrance, but they never do.

I also tried Hanae Mori's new scent, Magical Moon. According to Basenotes, the notes are "Osmanthus Flower, Rose, Sugar Cane, Cotton Flower, Coconut Milk, Vanilla, White Musk, White Sandalwood, Red Cedar, Incense, Litchi, Patchouli, Pineapple Pulp, Guava Nectar, Star Fruit, Orange Flowers and Pink Berries." So, the fruity floral we all know is popular. I prefer Butterfly, but I like this one too. I don't find it overly fruity, and the womanly osmanthus at the top makes it a bit more stately than other fruity florals on the market (or at least the few I have smelled). The sandalwood, patchouli, and incense also ground it somewhat. Still, it is too sweet for my taste. I like a bit of tanginess with my sweet and woods. It's a stately sweet, but there's nothing deep. I believe it needs a little of what the perfume experts out there call skank.

At Neiman's, a kind lady named Irene bid me to try Badgley Mischka. She only named few of the several notes: blackberry and peach at the top, jasmine and white peony in the heart, sandalwood, amber, and suede musk in the base--but that was enough for me. I thought this was amazingly pretty, yet really "everyday" wearable. I can't wax on about it much because I wore it and enjoyed it, but didn't have the presence of mind to analyze it. I seriously considered buying a bottle of this. I need to go over to Nordstrom and get a sample, because they wouldn't give me one at Neiman's.

One fruity-floral I tried and wasn't so crazy about was Guerlain Insolence. Very possibly this is the amateur nose talking, but I found it sort of meh. No doubt it's too subtle for me somehow. I didn't wear it, either, and maybe that makes a difference? Whatever the case, my battle with Guerlain continues. Mitsuoko and Shalimar have rounded up Jicky and L'Heure Bleu, and they've all decided to band against me. The only one who loved me was Vol de Nuit, so how could I help but love it back?

And as for the samples I just got: The perfume everyone's raving is completely mediocre, Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge, something from Santa Maria Novella (grr...which one is this?), Etro Royal Pavillion, Parfum d'Empire Eau Suave (Did I mention how much I love Ambre Russe? I didn't, did I?), Creed Love in White, Mona di Orio Lux (to round out the trilogy), and Lorenzo Villoresi Alamut.

But wait--that's not all. Everyone is talking about Weil. In general, when it comes to the perfume party, I'm the child at the top of the stairs, listening to the grown-ups, waiting for the day I'm down there among them. I go back to my room and practice. That's what this blog is. And so I had to order a tiny sample of Zibeline, the pure parfum, off eBay (thanks to Diane at Dragonfly Scent Me). But still--not everything! More tiny samples: Vintage Chypre de Coty! Oh yes! And--now I'm downstairs, hiding under the table, taking sips off people's drinks when no one is looking--Caron Narcisse Blanc (no Noir to be had for my budget). Patou 1000 Parfum. Guerlain Chant d'Aromes. I even got a few extras: Coty Les Muses, Gaultier 2...and a decant of Etro Heliotrope, which I wore today. It soothes me.

So add all this to my existing stash (you don't even know what's in there!), and you can see, I'm completely overwhelmed. Hence the rambling. But one day my senses (and scentses) will clear, and I'll be rational again, and then I'll talk about the few samples I dragged along and actually wore: FM Parfum de Therese and Fifi Chachnil. Unless, of course, I get distracted along the way. Stay tuned, friends!

*photos from Nordstrom, Basenotes, and Bergdorf Goodman