Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sampling Day

Hermes Kelly Caleche: When this sample arrived, I really thought I was smelling the salty beach rose of dreams. Although it's a very nice scent, after wearing it once, I've decided against it. It's a sharp, flowery scent, a lot like the Red Flower wild cherry blossom scrub, with an underlying green, aldehydic skin cream-type of smoothness about it. I like it better as room fragrance than on myself. I get sea spray, don't get leather in it at all, but it's a bold fragrance for seemingly such a light fresh one, the kind that clings onto the surface of skin and doesn't change or leave for hours and hours. It might be right for you if you're looking for a fresh floral with some depth and strength.

Ginestet Botrytis: Wow, this is heavy; I'm getting Pink Sugar with honey. It's a little too hypersweet for me, and whatever smells like Pink Sugar in it (patchouli? Anise?) is overwhelming me. It develops a very low-pitched, strongly wooded undertone with syrupy sweetness and spice, a combination I try to avoid. It's not terrible but it intimidates me a little.

Juozas Statkevicius: It starts off similar to my newly beloved L'Artisan Parfumeur L'Humeur A Rien, an incense blend with pronounced frankincense and myrrh notes, maybe a touch of cedar and pine, but with Statkevicius, the dry down phase is a soft, rich muted suede with sweet notes mixed in, a very different type of incense blend. It reminds me of Serge Lutens Daim Blond at this stage but much softer. I prefer L'Humeur de Rien over just about every incense fragrance I've tried so far, including Cuir Ottoman (also sweet suede), Costes (linear smoke), Passage d'Enfer (white musky) and the IUNX line (ranging from linear smoke to the peach skin floralcy of No.9 White Water), but I'll be testing more in the coming weeks so we shall see if another one will eventually steal my heart.

Cinq Mondes Eau Egyptienne: This smells just like one of my favorite hair products called Frederic Fekkai Apple Cider Clearing Rinse. It's a florid, soft scent with a little bit of spice, reminding me of Rochas Lumiere and even more so of Creed Royal Water. I like it but I don't want to smell like this all-over, and the scent is quite strong for a body spray. I was expecting more incense notes but they are mere accents in the blend.

Andree Putman Preparation Parfumee: I get fig leaves, pepper and aqueous iris floral. It smells like fresh plant sap. It reminds me of Angeliques Sous La Pluie, which reminds me of Britney Spears Curious: wet floral musk.

Molinard 1849 Gardenia: I have never smelled the original Gardenia so I couldn't tell you whether the new 1849 one is a reformulation, but my guess is that they're all the same, pretty much. The new Habanita parfum smells like the old Habanita parfum, and my Iles d'Or which I got in the older (very pretty) indigo blue glass bottle for around $10 smells like the new Iles d'Or. Anyway, Gardenia is a nice one, but it packs a punch so please don't spray a whole spritz from this new atomizer. I can't even imagine how strong the pure Habanita parfum would be spritzed liberally out of those things. I'm a highly disciplined parfum dabber--I don't understand parfum spritzing. This Gardenia is EDP but punchy, yet with a soft texture, a lot like the ever-popular Child perfume oil. They both have that soft, banana-like texture about them, but Gardenia has subtle spices and a deeper, more classic tone. I think my sample vial will last me awhile. It's not tuberose-y like the Jo Malone one--this is a smooth gardenia that smells like jasmine has been blended in. If you like Molinard de Molinard (now "M" de Molinard), you might like this as well.

Jill Stewart Vanilla Lust: It starts out a yummy, sweet, fluffy vanilla but I'm getting a very pale Pink Sugar in the background. I just can't do these types anymore. (Edited to add) This smells like a sheer version of Hypnotic Poison. Better than I thought, and I smell frangipani in it. (Edited again) It's so boozy-sweet, it's like pure vanillin. I almost like it enough to replace a Comptoir Sud Pacifique scent with, but the sweetness gets muted fairly quickly and turns a little rubbery. I probably could stick with Tiare and be happy, but I'm also a bit smitten. In the end, it's a caramelly aqueous floral.

Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose: This is such a pretty rose, and it has a hint of sea spray, not enough to make it smell very salty and beachy but it lifts the rose and makes it fresh. The notes list amber but it doesn't smell ambery sweet to me at all. If anything, the amber reminds me of the cool, modern type in Stella. It's still too much rose for my current mood, but it's among my favorite roses.

Parfums de Nicolai Balkis: Oh, boy, I won't need to hunt down that obscure bottle of Molinard Fraise after all. I get plenty of juicy strawberries in Balkis, and it doesn't smell like Victoria's Secret Strawberries and Champagne or Miss Dior Cherie--it's richer, more true to life. I wish it stayed predominantly strawberry, but it becomes a rose-berry, similar to Clarins Par Amour Toujours but heavier (just what I had hoped for this past winter). I'm seriously wanting Balkis, but I'll wait till I'm in the mood for rose again.

L'Artisan Parfumeur Ambre Extreme: This is my fragrance of the moment and what a divine amber, mixed with vanilla and spices. The creator of Kelly Caleche can make sweet blends for my gourmand sensibility after all. It's headshoppy and pungent, my wild companion to Fumerie Turque.

Bois 1920 Sushi Imperiale: No can do! It's dense, heavy, syrupy yet leaning towards being unsweet, a very low-pitched woody spicy scent like Mitsouko, Kisu or Youth Dew Amber Nude. I wonder if it's one particular note that turns me off or the combination of superheavy with high-pitched marine notes I can't tolerate.

Heir: Smells like the above, on a bed of clean white musk! This sample has been quarantined in a separate plastic bag.

I haven't tried the replacement samples they sent because they didn't have Parfums de Nicolai New York. That's all for today...I hope everyone's having a good weekend.