Saturday, August 02, 2008

Perfume Week in Review: July 27 - August 2

This week I decided to stick to a plan. Some weeks, even if I pull everything out on Sunday that I think I want to try during the week, I'll go crazy by Tuesday and start wearing things willy-nilly, leaving my carefully chosen samples neglected. Which makes me wonder: How many of you out there are planners when it comes to sampling, and how many of you just pick and choose at random?

Sunday: Les Parfums de Rosine, Rose d'Ete de Rosine Eau Fraiche. Vida included a rather generous sample of this in the bag of goodies she gave me. A lover of rose, I let out a little squeal when I saw it. The notes in this are: at the top, citrus, tangerine, and pear; in the heart, lime tree flower, lotus, rose essence, and rose absolue; and in the base, musk and ambrette seed. The fruit here is refreshing, the rose light and lively. I know I've been resisting lighter florals, but this was just the thing to cure me. I think of this as a poolside fragrance, which means as I wear it I picture myself on a chaise next to some wonderfully appointed resort or hotel pool, resting under the shade of an umbrella with a book and a refreshing cocktail, without a care in the world. It lasts nicely for an eau fraiche, but it's not so heavy one couldn't spritz several times throughout the day.

Monday: Le Labo, Rose 31. I've got three words: Holy. Grail. Rose. Strangely (at least to me), Le Labo markets this as "an assertively virile fragrance for men." I found nothing about it to be particularly masculine, to tell the truth, nor do I find it "unisex," which usually means some mix of citrus, woods, and/or vetiver. I find this instead to be something that should transcend marketing hype. I find it odd that a company who claims that perfume should defy description falls into this trap, but so be it. All that really matters is what's in the bottle, and this one is a stunner, with Centifolia rose, cumin, olbanum, cedar, amber, Gaiac wood, and cistus ("highlighted by a distinctly physical animal note," no less). The woods and the rose blend seamlessly, and the scent is quite dry, but it is also lovely, and I think quite feminine in its own way, a bit woodland nymph dressed to the nines.

Tuesday: L'Artisan, Bois Farine. I almost can't talk about this one. I'm not sure what happened. First, I have my favorite perfume house. Second, I have Jean Claude Ellena, who's batting about ten million as a perfumer as far as I am concerned (you can probably tell from this that it's a bad idea to mix sports metaphors and perfume, but I do what I have to do). Third, I have iris and woods and a host of other lovely notes. All of this should add up to WINNER, right? I don't know if it was my lotion, something I ate, the heat, or a combination of all three, but here's what I smelled: peanut butter and sawdust. That combination was not as pleasant as it might sound. If that doesn't prove the subjectivity of the nose, nothing will. It was so awful that on my drive to work I had to roll down the window and let some fresh (smoggy) air into the car. I work less than a mile from my home people! When I got to work I scrubbed, and after that it was a bit fact, enough better to even seem pleasant. I will try it again. I refuse to believe that I would not love this one.

Wednesday: L'Artisan, Dzing! Wednesday was my birthday, so I went with Dzing! because it makes me feel comfortable and happy, the way everyone should feel on her birthday!

Thursday: Le Labo, Jasmin 17. Mmmmm. Jasmine, musk, sandalwood, and vanilla. This is quiet, slightly powdery, caught-a-whiff-of-it-on-a-walk-this-evening jasmine. I tread very lightly with white floral samples, so I'm not sure if it was my under-application or the gentle tone of this perfume, but it seemed not to last, leaving only a faint, soapy trace behind. While it lasted, I found it quite pretty, but no match for Rose 31 for my affections.

Friday: Le Labo, Ambrette 9. Seeing a trend here? I have all these Le Labo samples, and I've heard such wonderful things about these fragrances. The best thing about Le Labo is their Discovery Set (probably all of you already knew about it, but what the heck), where you can choose three different 5ml scents for $52. We all know 5ml decants don't even always come so cheap when you break it down, and I think it's great they let you pick and choose, instead of having to buy three of the same (can you hear me, Frederic Malle?). Anyhow, I digress. Ambrette 9 is marketed for babies, and as ludicrous as I find this, I very much like this sort of scent, and I do like this one in particular. It's rather golden, honeyed, and soft, staying clean and close to the skin. It has a brightness to it that keeps it from feeling soapy, though, as a lot of lighter scents like this one can. I also like that it really almost smells like nothing--meaning, it doesn't smell like citrus, or like tea, or like a soliflore. Ambrette 9 is one of those scents where people make the delightful mistake of thinking this is just how you smell. And by the way, it's not babyish--not in the least--so you don't have to feel creepy about wearing it, as you might with, say, Clean Baby Girl.

Saturday: Repeat! I am going to wear the PdR Eau Fraiche again today. It's supposed to be hot, but maybe the haze will stay out of the air, and they sky will be a bright clear blue like it was yesterday, and this fresh bloom will keep the cheer going. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a lovely week!

*images from Le Labo, LuckyScent, and First in Fragrance