Coty Emeraude- A Review

Top:  Bergamot, Lemon, Orange

Heart:  Ylang, Jasmine, Rosewood, Rose

Base:  Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood, Myrrh, Benzoin, Opoponax, Patchouli
I will not use this review as a vehicle in which to make the obvious comparison between vintage Emeraude and her wealthy French aunt Shalimar… No, I won’t! Instead, let me sing of Emeraude’s unique quality and worth.

She rises with a sweet sigh of citruses sugared with opoponax, and, with a wash of soft lemon and rosewater still on her skin, puffs on a silken powder of vanilla and sandalwood. This aura remains through her day, as she speaks quietly of ylang and jasmine, from her heart. She gives of herself as long and as much as you will allow, but she never imposes. Even after she has become weary enough to retire to her boudoir, she continues to enchant as she dreams in clouds of sweet resin, powder and floral vanilla. Goodnight, dear lady.

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Lolita Lempicka Elle L’aime- A Review

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Top:  Lime, Neroli, Bergamot

Heart:  Ylang, Coconut, Jasmine

Base:  Sandalwood, Vanilla, Myrrh

 

Today is the first anniversary of my lumpectomy, and therefore a proud and joyful milestone.  My thoughtful and ever-resourceful husband presented me with this stunner to celebrate.

I am typically fond of perfumes and aromas that recall summer in a beachy way… the scents of sand, coconut, white flowers, warm skin and suntan oil all grant me the feeling of being at the beach, without the heat, sun and crowds that put me off the actual task of being there.  I had an idea that Elle L’aime would be an experience of that sort, and was even more excited by the notion of lime added to the mix, even though I rarely like sour citruses on my skin. I just knew that Lolita Lempicka would be the designers to make a lime fragrance work for me.

The very top of Elle L’aime, when the droplets are just landing on the skin, instantly announces itself as a creation of Lempicka… it has that thin, high-pitched, almost saccharine sweetness that only LL could turn into a good thing. It is the hallmark of their original perfume and most of its flankers- there, composed of violets and licorice, and in Elle L’aime, of bergamot and ylang… I presume. This almost blindingly bright top is perfumery genius. At the very second I think I can’t take any more of it, it becomes addicting. My nose is attached to the crook of my arm as I huff away like a juvenile delinquent with a can of spray paint.

The next phase brings the facet of the perfume that I can see being a crowd-pleaser. This is when the coconut and creamy white flowers really begin to sing. The coconut is photographic- all of the texture, pulp and nuttiness of the real thing. The way that this is rendered in the presence of sweet ylang and vanilla, without turning into coconut cream pie, is exceptional. I get waves of sweet white floral tropical cream and dry, woody coconut, completely independent of one another, but simultaneously… somehow. It is riveting!

Blowing in a crisp, cool breeze above all of this magic is a gentle air of lime, which lifts the sweetness to even loftier heights and keeps it there for hours- right into the drydown.

This fragrance is a daydream on a cloud, which comes to rest finally on a bed of earthy resin. Beneath all of the sweetness and light and fairy tale whimsy there is a hint of dirty realism, as with most Lempicka perfumes. This is going to be my most-used summer perfume, I just know it. It has everything I want in a beachy fragrance, plus that added LL flair that makes it utterly unique.

“Elle L’aime”, from what I read, means “She is in love”. Why, yes, Lolita Lempicka, I am. I am in love with the wonderful husband who so generously saw to it that I got my grubby mitts on this perfume (and matching lotion!), and I am in love with Elle L’aime.

 

Happy New Year! New and Upcoming Fragrances to Try…

I hope this very first morning of 2016 finds all two of my viewers well. Heh.

2015 was a big year for me and my family– Our son started high school (gulp), our little girl started kindergarten (gulp, again)… and WE, the family and I, received my breast cancer diagnosis and fought the beast together. I can’t say yet that we have “won”, but we have definitely shown the thing who’s boss.

Clearly, this house has been a busy one lately, but I have managed to keep somewhat abreast (heh) of what is new and on the horizon in the fragrance world. There is a bevvy of pretties out there to be sampled! So many more exist than what I will mention here- these are, of course, the ones that called to me loudest. I’ll get to them gradually, and, in most cases, through vial-on-card format. I’m not a brazillionaire.

So, then, let’s have a list, shall we? In order of desirability:

1.)  Clean- Amber Saffron

2.) Giorgio Armani- Code Satin

3.) Geurlain-   a) Ne m’Oubliez Pas   b) Habit Rouge Dress Code   c) Carmen Le Bolshoi    (because who can pick one Guerlain when three are launched?)

4.) Jennifer Aniston- Near Dusk

5.) Mauboussin-  Promise Me

6.) Shay & Blue- Framboise Noire

7.) Tom Ford- Noir Pour Femme

8.) Kenzo- Jeu d’Amour L’Elixir

9.) Salvatore Ferragamo- Signorina Misteriosa

10.) Demeter- Orchid Collection (all five of them, of course)

11.) Christian Lacroix for Avon- Bijou

12.) Balmain for H&M- H&M

13.) Estee Lauder- Modern Muse Eau De Rouge

14.) Aftelier- Vanilla Smoke

15.) Aerin- Mediterranean Honeysuckle

There they are! The plan is to get my mitts on a vial-on-card each week, and review from there. There won’t be pretty pics, as I won’t have big fancy bottles for the husband to photograph… perhaps just goofy captures of my face reacting to them?

 

Until then, happy days to you, and may your resolutions be the kind that are fun and easy to keep.

 

Beyonce Heat- A Review

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Top:  Vanilla Orchid, Magnolia, Neroli, Peach

Heart:  Honeysuckle, Almond, Cream Musk

Base:  Sequoia Wood, Tonka , Amber

I think this one gets dismissed too quickly. Yes, it goes on loud, juicy and syrupy, like a “typical celeb fragrance”, so many probably declare it a scrubber instantly, without giving it a chance.
Yes, the first 2-5 minutes are all tart, saccharine peach. But, endure… for what is to come can be well worth it!
The middle, to me, retains the juicy peach, but softens it. A creamy, powdery orchid helps with the softening, and I can just feel the warm white flower in the honeysuckle. I suppose the tonka and almond serve to keep the experience still very gourmand, at this point… but that impression will soon exit.
The long, dramatic drydown will play on my skin for 8-plus hours if I let it… and I will! The amber/ musk combo reads as the absolute perfect animalic yet “clean skin” musk… and I am a fool for a good musk. This is not something I was expecting from this perfume. This perfect musk is not only warm, creamy and skin-like… but fizzy, somehow! Oh, it is addicting. This amazing, unique musk will still be on my skin, loud and proud, the next morning.
I expected spicy syrup from something called “Heat” made by Beyonce… what I got is something peachy, creamy, warm, musky and… fizzy? It is certainly mysterious. I love it!

Lolita Lempicka Lolita Lempicka- A Review

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Top:  Anise, Licorice, Violet

Heart:  Green Ivy, Almond, Iris

Base:  Vanilla, Heliotrope, Tonka

Lolita Lempicka was my first trip into the upside-down, whimsical otherworld of Lempicka perfumes. I remember my first huff of that brash, yet pretty violet cloud… Lolita also happened to be my introduction to perfumes that star violet notes, and it has been a tumultuous romance ever since. I love the sweetness… as if the petals grow from the stem coated in crystalline sugar. I can’t decide what the other dominant facet of a strong violet note is– Is it green? I think so, if the leaf is included, it can even lean toward the aquatic. It’s just… dizzying, that unapologetic violet note. I love it for its oddity as much as its beauty. Back to the review.

Rapidly after spritzing Lolita Lempicka, yet another odd sweetness joins the violets, but his one is a bit deeper… it is the unexpected presence of anise and licorice. They are very much alike, these two notes, with the distinction for me being the slight spiciness of the anise compared to the earthy sweetness of the licorice. At this point in the perfume, all of the top and heart notes sing. The cacophony is at once sweet, warm, cold, green… perhaps even a bit sour, like sour cherries. It is one fascinating nose-punch. I get the fairytale direction the Lempickas took for this one, I do, but for me it feels more like the creepy elements of some classics… a witch’s cottage in a haunted forest, rather than a princess’ gleaming palace. I appreciate that about it. There are scads of perfumes that achieve that perfect fairy princess feeling. This one is needed to save us all from drowning in the sea of frilly, pink, happily-ever-afters.

The neverending drydown is a warm, fluffy thing of glory, full of realistic vanilla, creamy tonka and soft, powdery heliotrope. Delicious!

This one is intense, so one spritz distributed from a wrist to the other and then the neck will do quite well. Loilita will stay with you, too… for hours or until you shower her away, which, to me, is a good thing.

Lolita Lempicka may be a fairy tale, but its heroine is a master of sarcasm, and wears too much black eyeliner.

 

Dior Addict- A Review

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Top:  Mandarin Leaf, Mulberry Flowers

Heart: Night Blooming Cereus, Rose, Orange Flower

Base:  Bourbon Vanilla, Sandalwood, Tonka

The “top” of Addict feels like the “base” of other perfumes. It first touches my skin with a dense fog of sandalwood and vanilla that is not at all sweet- it is dark. I don’t sense any of the fruity-floral facets Dior claims make up part of this composition. No mandarin leaves, mulberry flowers, roses, orange blossoms… nothing at all that could exist in the broad, clear light of day.

No, Addict lurks in the night, swirls snugly around me like a scarf made of silk and shadow. I delight in the rare night-blooming cereus, photographically convincing in Addict. It is deeply creamy but cold, with just enough indole to give a somewhat sinister impression… I can feel the stark white of the petals against the blackest night sky.

I have heard others say that Addict is a perfume of seduction, to them. To me, Addict is for quiet solitude and reflection. It is beautiful, no doubt, but it is not a toy.

I can’t help but imagine that the name, Addict, was inspired at once by the environs of the poetic addict- the dark hollows of the night, and by the need to revisit this otherworld again and again.

Mariah Carey M- A Review

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Top:  Marshmallow,  Fresh Sea Notes

Heart:  Tiare flower, Gardenia.

Base:  Amber, Patchouli, Incense.

Oh, my. I think I’m in love. Jeez, this one is… (sniffing and typing) waaaarm. Sweet, but not fruity or juicy or otherwise ‘wet’… no, it’s… fluffy! I smell marshmallow, and with the incense there is this smoky, powdery-sweet cloud of fluff. The tiare, gardenia and salty sea notes respectfully allow the marshmallow & incense to steal the show, but peek out from behind just enough to add a bit of tropical beachiness, which I always love… just a *hint*, though… like the fluffy incense cloud of a marshmallow dream on a salty- tropical-fresh mermaid’s pillow on a warm, cozy bed of amber. Just when you think you’ve stumbled upon yet-another-gourmand, albeit a good one, there it is, this salty-fresh mermaid, the one L de Lolita tried to net… and, no offense, as I LOVE L de Lolita, but, dare I say it? M did it better. Gasp!

Gucci Guilty Black- A Review

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Top: Berries, Pink Pepper, Raspberry

Heart: Peach, Violet, Lilac

Base: Amber, Patchouli

I love this one, but it makes me angry. Gucci Guilty Black comes on strong, seduces with red berries and molten purple liquid sex, then puts on all of its demure lilac clothing and leaves me abruptly. Pretty little bitch. Expensive, too. I’ll never commit to the full bottle. For that kind of cash, I’d expect it to put out.

Coty Wild Musk- A Review

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Top, Heart and Base: Musk, Musk, Muskity-Musk. Claims to contain Vanilla, Jasmine and Rose…

I am wearing this as I type, in the context in which I adore it most… in my jammies, after a nice hot shower, after a long day at work… having found supreme comfort.
This is the MUSK I think of when I long for MUSK…which is most of the time.  A good musk, to me, is as beautiful for what it is not, as it is beautiful for what it is. (How do you like that sentence structure?)
Perhaps I’ll spare you my usual abstract long-windedness and just list the aspects of musk that I enjoy, and do not enjoy.
Here goes.

PERFECT MUSK:
-Warm
-Round
-Skin-like

NOT-SO-PERFECT MUSK:
-Powdery
-Fresh
-Soapy

I’ve been loving Coty Wild Musk since probably 1987, and for all of the haves and have-nots listed above.
I do not detect jasmine (hallelujah) nor rose… I love rose, but wouldn’t want it in this scent… to me, this is not a place for flowers. This is a place for closeness, for loving contact.
The musk itself is a heavenly warm embrace of velvety skin… is the softest whisper of pleasantly dry sandalwood, which serves to give almost a fireside vibe… but not like smoke, or Christmas… just warm, cozy, intimate, beautiful skin.

I love to mist, let it get to the drydown, and then mist again. Mmmmmmmmmmmm… double drydown

This is good, good stuff, friends. $100 worth of good, good stuff for $11.

If you do not own it, and you love musks, for the love of [insert name of spiritual entity here] buy it!!!

Jessica Simpson Fancy Nights- A Review

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Top:  Bergamot, Patchouli

Heart: Papyrus, Rose, Jasmine

Base: Amber, Oakmoss, Sandalwood

On my skin (and clothes, and hair), this is absolutely fascinating, and gorgeous. I think the bergamot is there most readily, at first, and I welcome it, as I do in any fragrance that nods at a hot cup of tea. Certainly, there is a good bit of spice to go with that tea, but instead of being the usual cinnamon/clove gourmand spice, it is dry, peppery, earthy patchouli spice. The warmth is that of clean (but not soapy) skin inside a fuzzy sweater. There is vanilla, but just enough to provide warmth… I get very little sweetness, which I find refreshing. I imagine the papyrus note is responsible for the “old books” feeling, which I love. Tea, old books, warm skin in a fuzzy sweater, and… what’s this? Is it…? Yes… it is. Dusty dried flowers. How in the wide world does this combination read as “sexy” at all? So many old, dusty things, and yet, an old dusty woman is not brought to mind. This woman is sexy without trying. She is a natural, all brains and bod under that sweater! I do wear this one to bed, in both contexts. Fancy Nights is to be taken seriously. It is a $10 dead-ringer for Prada Amber, and shares a  spicy, vintage vibe with the likes of Opium, Shalimar, Poison, Obsession, Must De Cartier, Coco, and so on… see what I mean? I felt almost guilty about paying only $10 for this… but not enough to stop me from going back to T.J. Maxx and buying the other bottle I know is there.