Monday, April 30, 2007

Creed Spring Flower

When we last visited...well, me, I was having quite the conundrum. What would I sample for my post La Chasse post? There I was, poised over the edge of the box (you remember my Indiana Jones metaphor, surely), peering down into the dark abyss.

Okay, not dark. But still, I was peering.

Really, these things are so simple. It's spring, the weather is gorgeous, and there before me is a hot pink bottle with the name "Spring Flower." The universe always points us where we need to go, so I went.

Creed Spring Flower was created in 1951, apparently as a signature scent for the lovely and timeless fashion icon Audrey Hepburn. The notes are melon, peach, apple, jasmine, rose, musk, and ambergris. Of course, I love Audrey Hepburn, and interestingly, this seemingly uncomplicated floral has depths one might not expect, much like the woman herself. To be honest, I don't care too much for the opening. Maybe I'm as weary of fruity florals as the next person given the current trends--not that any of those trendy releases are on par with Spring Flower. The top notes here are a sweet, delicate burst of fruit, newly ripe and freshly juiced. Literally, it smells more like something I would enjoy drinking than wearing. Some may find it refreshing, but it's a bit much for me. The fruit lasts a good long while, too, so it takes time to get around to the good stuff.

I put this on around 3:00 Saturday afternoon for the first time, and by 6:00 I was ready to be done with it. I felt a bit like a high-end fruit cocktail. I considered the Audrey angle, and decided although it had been created for her, she surely couldn't have worn it much. It goes directly against her clean, elegant style. (Probably she wore it every day, but what do I know?) It's a pretty fragrance, light and sweet, in my opinion (at the time, especially) lovely for a young woman.

The magic happened later in the evening, around 8:00 or 9:00 o'clock. We were sitting on the couch watching a movie when the smell of jasmine caught my attention. I don't think I have ever been so entranced by that particular note, but the blend here made it nearly impossible to keep my wrist away from my nose. I couldn't stop sniffing. Even Bob couldn't get enough of the scent. Every time I raised my wrist, he'd ask for a sniff too. It smelled exactly, exactly like the night-blooming jasmine here in Georgia, only a bit more musky and at the same time more delicate. Now that's a fragrance I could picture Audrey Hepburn wearing, delicate and mysterious, lovely.

Just why oh why can't the whole development of this one be as lovely as the end? While the musk and ambergris tone the fruit down a bit in the middle, it's still very fruity. I noticed little rose--maybe I should stop here and say, I was so taken by the drydown that I've worn this for three days straight--and really, the jasmine seems to appear after the fragrance has worn away altogether. Or perhaps I just somehow manage to block my senses until it arrives. The fruit has grown less bothersome to me as I've worn this, but I don't think for me that it's bottle-worthy, or even decant-worthy. But if you're looking for a genuinely beautifully done fruity floral, you should try this one.

*photo from

Saturday, April 28, 2007

How do you choose?

While I was on hiatus, I didn't do much sampling. In fact, I stuck for the most part with a mere handful of perfumes, several of which would make veteran perfume lovers shudder: Clinique Happy Heart, SJP Lovely, Prescriptives Calyx, and Stella. Deciding what to wear seemed tiring, so unless an urge for a particular perfume struck me, I stuck with these. I wore my beloved Iris Poudre twice, and one day I wore Mandarine Mandarin (the more I wear that one, the more I love it). I wore Anne Pliska one blustery cold day just a couple of weeks ago.

More than once I pulled out the box o'samples and peered into it like Indiana Jones looking down into a dank, dark temple full of snakes. I'd comb through the little plastic bags and tiny glass vials, hoping something might spark my interest, but nothing did. I don't think I took a vial out of a baggie (wow, that sounds illegal) or popped the cap off one thing. I'd just stick the box back on the shelf and reach for the Happy Heart. It's one of the few full bottles I have that's not in its original box, so clearly sheer laziness played a large part in determining what I wore.

But, as I noted in my last post, this week I took down the box o'samples, and La Chasse waved its tiny arms (or wings, if you will) and cried out, "Over here! Remember me? We met last year! I think we could really hit it off, if you'd just take me out again!" And so I did. I pulled the little black plastic applicator out of the vial and took a whiff. Right away, I knew it would be trouble...and I knew it would be forever.

So now that my interest is rekindled, while I wait for my package from Aedes, I need to get sampling. When I walk past the sample vial of La Chasse sitting on the bathroom shelf, I do everything I can to ignore it. I turn my head away and sort of "la la la la I can't hear you" when I walk past it, because it yells at me. It demands that I put some on now. Even if I've already applied some, it thinks I need more. Even as I write this, I can hear it in the other room, knocking around and making a nuisance of itself. It's also in cahoots with La Chasse Extreme, which I stupidly took out and applied yesterday, and then left on the shelf right next to La Chasse EDT.

"But I have this whole box o'samples," I tell them. "These others need my attention just as much as you do!" But oh, when I face that box! I paw through the bags. The vials click lightly against one another. That sound used to be music to my ears. Now it's pure torture. Which one of you should I wear? Lord, the last thing I need is to open up another La Chasse! But then, I don't want a Chinatown on my hands, either. I mean that literally. It took weeks for the skin to grow back, I scrubbed so hard trying to get it off. (Incidentally, I've found something that removes perfume: waterproof sunscreen. Wipe some of that over your perfume and it's gone. I learned it the hard way--I had on perfume I liked--but it's a valuable lesson for another time.) Bah!

If only I'd developed a system. I mean, it's not like I didn't try. You remember the roses. If you were with me last summer, you remember the vetivers (which I never finished; I still have about ten vetiver samples waiting for me in there), you remember the vanillas. Several times, unbeknownst to you all, I categorized items by perfumer, and then scrambled them up again and categorized them by possible seasons. I tried to order them by dominant notes after one particularly bad day at work and completely overwhelmed myself. That was how I ended up with box o'samples. Everything I'd already tried I put in one box, and everything I had yet to try, I put in another. I got this nutty idea that I would just reach in every day and wear whatever fate set up for me to select. How exciting! Every day an adventure!

More like, every day, throwing back whatever I'd caught, like a disgruntled fisherman. Amouage Eau d'Amouage? That sounds like something you order from Avon! Laura Tonatto 24.8? That was discontinued! What if I really like it? Why did they send it to me anyway? Chypre de Coty? I'm not worthy! Not ready for this one yet! Frederic Malle Noir Epices? But it's spring! This would be better for fall!

On and on it goes. And what's coming along with my bottle of La Chasse? Seven new samples, that's what! I'll be in a home by the end of summer. I can almost guarantee it. I'll be the one in the corner, rocking back and forth, muttering to myself quietly: "I could wear a Bond. I haven't worn a Bond in a while. But which Bond? Eau de New York? New Haarlem? Eau de Noho? New York Fling?" The attendant will spray me lightly with Happy Heart to calm my nerves, and lead me back to my room.

*photo of the dreaded box o'samples, taken by yours truly

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Let's Pretend I Never Went Anywhere...

...but that I'm back from where I never went anyway. Probably all my loyal readers, both of them, are gone now. Sigh.

I can't say what took me away, but I can say what brought me back: L'Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons, in the EDT form: tuberose, linden blossom, jasmine, orange blossom. A supremely delicate white floral, this was one of my very first samples from last year. I was digging around in my box o'samples early this week, pulled this out, and thought "Oh! I remember when I got this! I must wear this!" Last year, it was just pretty. This year, it's the intricate lace of tiny, fragile blossoms in springtime. It's light and feminine, a non-headache-inducing white floral that's safe enough to wear to work and romantic enough to wear out on a date.

Crazy when I look over at my bookshelf full of perfume bottles to think that I picked up this habit just one year ago! And soon, Sweet Diva will turn one year old as could I not keep going? Good news for me, bad news for my bank account. My bottle of La Chasse should arrive any day now. And of course, my samples!

*photo from Aedes