Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sali Oguri "Private Dreams" From Pink Manhattan CD #1 On Broadjam's Dance Chart!

New York City independent singer-songwriter Sali Oguri's smoky-sensual voice is burnin' up the indie Dance chart with #1 and #2 positions! Sali's hot groove, "Private Dreams" from her PINK MANHATTAN CD, is #1 on the Broadjam Electronic-Dance Top 10 chart today. Sali Oguri holds the #2 position on the Dance chart with Fred Kimmel "Cecil's Wedding"! Listen to and buy the album, Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan on CD Baby now!!


"Private Dreams" is also available for purchase on Broadjam.
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Click on the Broadjam logo to check the current standings! Support Sali and help her songs reach the Earth chart again so they can be heard by the music industry's VIP!! THANKS FOR YOUR LOVING SUPPORT!


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Sensual Fruits

I was walking around Manhattan the other day, heading home after another voice-over session, and caught a pair of lovely women (maybe from out-of-town) wafting in a sillage of pretty, peachy florals. I thought it was a breath of fresh air in the heat of summer. It reminded me of my Pink Manhattan and how much I adore fruity scents during the warm seasons, particularly if they're fresh and perfectly ripe, and slightly more fruit-dominated than they are floral or woodsy. Though each year is different for me, this year, my summer wardrobe consists of these luscious fruits, whether soothingly sparkling cool or defiantly sweet, and hopefully, they are like fresh air to those around me.

Parfums de Nicolai Balkis: I fell in love with Balkis during my last sampling round, and even if I get more rose than I want, it gives me all the strawberries I need this summer, with equal parts succulent sweetness and modest refinement. The level of sweetness is just right for me, as it's very close to how sweet my Pink Manhattan is, although I think my PM is slightly more vanillic than fruit-focused. Balkis is a straightforward strawberry rose vanilla, delicious and vibrant, not anything heavy and intricate like Sacrebleu (which is another love of mine with a berry note but for a darker, more formal mood).

Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Charms: This is a charmer. When I want the lightest spritz of a peachy floral, Incanto Charms is it: it's very pretty and light, even fresher than Petite Cherie but just as soft, not at all too sporty or like aftershave. Even the "clean" white musk in it doesn't turn me off for it stays well-hidden. I'm so glad I picked this, even if I can't stand the bottle (the blue bottle's OK--it's the hot pink plastic ribbon cap I like to leave off). I'll bet this is what those women were wearing, too. It's the kind of "clean" scent I like--not extreme laundry, just overall lightness and some vaguely recognizable, lively, perhaps pleasant more so than artsy and interesting, things to smell scattered around the atmosphere. It's great for the office and casual, go-shopping-in-the-city days.

Chanel Les Exclusifs Eau de Cologne: Lemons can be gorgeous and totally bombshell. This cologne is actually a bit floral to me, like a very sheer Le Labo Jasmin 17 or Marc Jacobs Blush crossed with 4711 (loads of lemons). It's turning into my staple scent to compete with La Chasse aux Papillons. Crisp, clean and non-musky, I couldn't pick a more appropriate scent for the office. I may need an actual bottle someday, but for now, the decants and I are doing marvelously well.

I'm happy I'm going to be testing Laurence Dumont Tarte aux Myrtilles soon! Thank goodness for a sweet perfpal who pointed me in the right direction. I only briefly sniffed it once and thought I liked it, but I can't remember whether it was more fruity or vanillic sweet. A blueberry tart scent with violets ought to be interesting. For summer nights, my fruits are more serious and more sultry: the deep, smouldering dark chocolate blackberry, Unreleased Mix a.k.a Persephone and the daring powdery-leather-tobacco-rose-raspberry classic, Molinard Habanita.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tarsha Performs At Key Club, Persephone June Sale, Rich Hippie Sale

Tonight--TARSHA performs
June, 25 2007 at Key Club
9039 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, 90069
Cost : $18

Sound of the Struggle Re-Union Show opening for Metal Skool. Sound of the Struggle returns to the Metal Skool stage bigger and better than ever. Don't miss this night of old-shool rock n' roll featuring the all-original line-up. Sheldon Tarsha (X-Adler's Appetite), Possom, J-Mack, and Jason DeCosta re-unite to play the songs that lit Hollywood on fire in 2005. The band will also perform the hit single Dirty from Sheldon Tarsha's new album 'Prophecies'. This show will sell out. Entry is on a first come, first serve basis. Doors open at 8:30. We'll see you there! Visit www.tarsharock.com for updates. (Image: www.stevenadler.net)

Buy TARSHA "Prophecies" CD and receive a free Sali Oguri Unreleased Mix a.k.a. Persephone perfume sample ($6, www.wujproductions.com). Also, email persephone@salioguri.com with the code DIRTYPERSEPHONE and receive a free limited edition TARSHA "Dirty" Single CD with any Sali Oguri Persephone perfume purchase over $50. Unreleased Mix a.k.a. Persephone Perfume is a Forbidden skin scent: a sinful blend of dark chocolate, blackberry, pomegranate, Mysore sandalwood and royal purple flowers. Sheldon Tarsha says "I love the new fragrance...very alluring and passionate". Offer good only in the USA, eligible only for purchases until June 30, 2007. Visit www.salioguri.com for updates.

Rich Hippie has a new fragrance out called Flower Child described as follows: The vibe is seriously bohemian but with a sexy edge. Albanian Orris Root, Bulgarian Rose, Turkish Rose, Madagascan Rose Geranium and Croatian Lavender Flower combine to create the perfect light, airy and sweet floral fragrance for women with a soft edge and an affinity with the flower power era. I like the combination of notes myself, and may take them up on the 20% off sale today, June 25th through July 1st by entering code FLOWERCHILD (upper case) in the discount code box, good for all fragrances they carry. www.rich-hippie.com

Have a rockin' Monday! -Peace and Love-

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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Today

Fragrance of the Moment: Would it be too much of me to say I'm quite taken with my own Persephone perfume? Well, I am, because I was in the mood for a dazzling Fruity Oriental with a chocolate-blackberry-amber-sandalwood thing happening, and this is the only one like that. Frapin 1270 and Sacrebleu are gorgeous, Lolita Lempicka and Hot Couture are mischievous and sexy, but even they don't fit the bill Persephone fills for me. When I picked out the notes for it, as a play on its so-called sinful character, I had in mind Fred Kimmel's favorite dessert called Gâteaux Charlène (but only the kind he used to get at the original downtown Balducci's), an irresistibly dark chocolate torte with French buttercream and berries. That was my olfactive inspiration for it, although my perfume doesn't exactly smell like that (I wouldn't call this a cakey type of gourmand), but as it turns out, he really likes this perfume a lot, which is good since I wear it around him often!


I'm usually a milk chocolate person (and really prefer vanilla to chocolate) but it seems I'm having a love affair with dark chocolate right now. I recently discovered a cookie that I really like, too, called Geneva by Pepperidge Farms. I'm trying to sustain this bag of cookies in the cupboard for as long as possible, but it's a temptation I shouldn't be around. I can forgo Milano cookies and eclairs, brownies and even German chocolate cake, but those Genevas are pure evil, and I feel no shame at all in blaming it for my own weakness.

Just wanted to report that "Private Dreams" is back and currently #3 on Broadjam's Electronic - Dance Top 10 chart. Fred Kimmel's "Into You" is still rockin' the Prog Rock chart. Also, don't forget the limited time promo offer for a free Persephone sample that's going on until June 30th: Sali Oguri and ex-Adler's Appetite (Guns 'N Roses drummer extraordinaire Steven Adler) singer Sheldon Tarsha have teamed up for the world's first Rock-'n-Sniff PR event. Buy a Tarsha "Prophecies CD and get a Persephone sample for free! If you buy a CD at the show, that purchase gets you a free Persephone sample, too! Visit www.tarsharock.com to hear the hot tracks all performed, written, mixed and produced by independent recording artist Sheldon Tarsha. The "Dirty" (yet sensationally scented with Persephone perfume) rock singer will be performing live on Monday, June 25th at the legendary Key Club, Hollywood's premier nightspot and state-of-the-art live music venue in Los Angeles, CA. I hope the band will perform "Dirty", "Cynical Christ, "Generation H (2012) (that's Generation H for harmony)" and my personal favorite ballad and songwriting award-winner, "You Are Everything". "Ten Stars Away" is a good ballad, too, and it sounds very much like a classic GnR-Bon Jovi song to me. Advance tickets are available at Ticketmaster.

It's a beautiful day for WUJ Productions--hope you're having a great day. Happy Summer!

Monday, June 18, 2007

KenzoAmour: The Coffret



I love such simplicity in style--I think this bottle is lovely, even more so in actuality than seeing it in a photo. The bottom half that holds the perfume is real glass.

KenzoAmour (2006) Notes on Sephora.com:
Frangipani Blossoms from Bali or Borobudur, Cherry Blossoms from Japan, Tanakha Wood, Incense, Thai Rice Steam, Vanilla of La Réunion, White Tea from China.


I'm so glad I got the coffret: here's a pic of the stunning gift set @ Sephora. The box has colorful cloth accents.

The last time I wore this scent, I thought it smelled a bit skin cream-like, but now, it seems a bit clean musky on dry down, just enough that it lifts the sweetness. I love it, and I'll be wearing this one often!



L'Artisan Parfumeur D'Humeur A Rien

L'Artisan Parfumeur D'Humeur A Rien (Spiritual Mood--rien means "empty", so the name is a play on the emptying of the mind or "no-thing") is one of 5 fragrances in the lovely Sautes D'Humeur (Moodswings) coffret. I'm absolutely in love with this set and particularly with this fragrance, even though I think it's a weird one. First of all, it doesn't smell pretty or nice but rather like a place I know, like an old Japanese house in the countryside. It has a certain mustiness that goes with the smell of wood, burning incense on the Buddhist altar and perhaps there's some katorisenkou (mosquito repellant incense) in the air. I'm sure I'm anticipating one hot summer with this scent, for I'm now in the mood to wear a yukata and walk the festival streets eating corn-on-the-cob, and maybe I'll stop and try to win a goldfish by scooping it out of the water with a delicate paper sieve. Mind you, my vision of this scent isn't as exotic as it sounds--I'm thinking about my grandparents' summer house in the country where once the sun sets, there are no lights to be found. The old Japanese graduation song (set to Auld Lang Zyne) about doing your homework by the light of the fireflies was no joke!

PS: Congratulations to all you graduates out there!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sali Oguri "Private Dreams" From Pink Manhattan CD On Broadjam's New York Top 10


New York City recording artist Sali Oguri's hypersensual melodic charmer, "Private Dreams", is back on the New York regional Top 10 indie chart this week. Listen to and buy the album, Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan on CD Baby now! "Private Dreams" is also available for purchase on Broadjam.
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Click on the Broadjam logo to check the current standings!


Sisley Eau de Campagne

Eau de Campagne was created in 1974 by Sisley, a Benetton division known for eccentric images in their ad campaigns (Etat Libre d'Orange is far more tasteful in comparison). Although I don't care to have their images on my blog, their Parfums division uses nicer images, and the fragrances are worth mentioning because they're very well made. For the most part, Parfums Sisley seems to specialize in Chypre (mossy woods); I think their fragrances smell serious and refined. Eau de Campagne is one of those fragrances, an extraordinarily fresh, green scent. It was created by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, a perfumer known to prefer salty and bitter over sweet (check out the memorable interview on Victoria's Bois de Jasmin blog), whose preference is evident in other creations such as Frédéric Malle L'eau d'Hiver or Hermès Un jardin sur le Nil (I think he also likes spicy, as I've smelled in The Different Company Bois d'Iris).

At first sniff, Eau de Campagne is a bed of freshly mown grass with effervescent citrus notes to stir the senses awake. It's the kind of scent I would imagine a man or woman wearing to work, a game of golf or an elegant Sunday brunch. I was reminded of Guerlain Vetiver at first, but Eau de Campagne is more aqueous (slightly sporty) and boldly wooded on dry down whereas Vetiver seems earthier, softer, maybe weedier to some, though I personally find it easier to wear (and it's a great fragrance, a classic). It also reminds me of Bulgari Green Tea (and I have seen them both Green Tea and Eau de Campagne listed as Chypre). If you find well-known offerings such as Polo, Brut, Grey Flannel or Aramis a bit "much" now, Eau de Campagne might be a fabulous new alternative. Eau de Campagne comes in eau de toilette and a handsome bath and body line.

Sisley Eau de Campagne (1974): a unique fragrance blending notes of tomato leaves, green grass and delicate notes.

Happy Father's Day!

(Images: www.amande.cz, www.couleurparfum.com)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sali Corresponds With Fragrance Expert Marian Bendeth of Sixth Scents


Marian Bendeth is something of a stylish perfume guru in cyberspace. The first time I spoke to her online was on a perfume forum where she was talking about some of her favorite perfumes. She had a strong, sparkling presence on board and a knack for depicting scents with words that get straight to the heart and seduce the senses. With her overflowing creativity and a magical sixth sense for knowing what we desire, she'd painted such glorious, almost holographic imagery of each scent she loved, and had everyone on the forum so intrigued, oohing and ahhing, sitting at the edge of our seats waiting for the names of these scents so we could all go out and make them ours...but then, probably due to the scarcity of some of these perfumes, she'd decided to stay mysterious and left us completely hanging! Well, I had to know what they were, and so I pressured her just a little bit to share just a name or two...and to my surprise and delight, she did! That's when I knew she was a kind person who really had come to the forum to share her love of perfume (and not just to tease us, LOL). I hope I didn't deplete her stash of Deneuve on account of my perfume addiction!

We'd bonded over Deneuve; since then, I have sought advice from Marian whenever I could, and she has been so generous with her time. It's not every day I have the opportunity to speak with a true fragrance expert, and knowing her has been a blessing and an inspiration to me as a budding indie perfumer. She's brilliant, vivacious, passionate and a genuinely warm and encouraging person with lots of stories to share, and they're all fascinating. I could listen to her talk about Audrey Hepburn's love of Ivoire, or her meetings with Michael Edwards, Jean-Claude Ellena or a charming rep from Kenzo at a French award ceremony (where she just won an award for one of her articles--good going, Marian!) all day. Marian has lived the fragrant path all her life, and because perfumery relies so much on words to describe each scent, and because she has such a way with words, I think it's fair to say she's shaped trends along the way.

She's been very helpful to me with the launch of my Pink Manhattan PURRFUME which she'd described as follows: "Sali has really nailed Carrie Bradshaw at the waterfront avec frilly frock. Her adorable new Pink Manhattan has captured the girlish yet sophisticated twist on fun and frivolaty!". Who else could have painted an entire episode of SATC with merely two sentences? She gets the gist like a perfume poet whose visions are like snapshots of the decisive moment in photography, an instant memory or dream captured by one brief moment in time immortalized by scent. That moment when we take in a perfume can't ever be redone again--it's zen, perfect in that moment, and the pictures she paints have a sense of immediacy and breath life. I'm happy that her article, Sentimental France on Basenotes has won her well-deserved recognition.

Now, what she does as a Fragrance Expert is a bit mysterious; among many services Sixth Scents offers, there's a service called Fragrance Profiling. Hmm. I haven't had the pleasure of getting one of her perfume personality readings yet, but I know she's dead on when it comes to assessing someone's taste in fragrance. She once described my taste as being "warm", and if someone as warm as she is sees me this way, I feel very honored...but is such a reading something to be taken to heart? I don't know, but I know that one day, I'm going to have to get a complete assessment of my perfume personality and psychological makeup from her. If anyone has had this done, please feel free to share! I think her system is at least more intriguing than Myers-Briggs. Can you know someone--or yourself--through scent? Contact SixthSen@aol.com or visit the website at www.web.mac.com/sixthscents for more info.

(Images: Marian Bendeth at Chanel, 31 rue Cambon, Paris, Marian Bendeth closeup, Sixth Scents)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Swoon (Fumerie Turque Revisited 2)

There are many reasons why people fall in love with fragrance, whether it's to create an air of mystery, class, intelligence, sex appeal, glamour, competence and professionalism, or to ponder the art form, to be inspired by it or to entertain ourselves by analyzing what we think we smell, and sometimes it's simply how a certain fragrance or a combination of notes lets us feel. For me, the swoon factor, brought upon by the perfect level of sweetness balanced by an accompaniment of supporting notes, is what it's about. The accompaniment should be as controlled as with music, in that it should never override the lead vocalist or instrumentalist who is in charge of the all-important melody. The main voice is the sweetness--the melody is the heart note. The other parts should also be interesting and not merely predictable chords that flow behind it and give it all away without a sense of mystery, but with a sense of openness like power chords in rock music, or music by J.S.Bach, like melodic parts in and of themselves which create a pattern of excitement and intensity, a structure built on intelligent melodic, as well as rhythmic, counterpoint. The arrangement never has to give it all away because I like to figure it out--yet it has to have enough happening and not be too simple and predictable. A perfume that has the power to make me swoon should only be one as perfect as Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque. It's not just in the mind--my reaction is physical, too.

Sometimes, it feels like all time has stopped and I realize I'm swooning with so much pleasure, it seems like the impossible dream. Maybe I'm a perfume masochist and the pleasure is only because it's mixed with the pain of missed opportunity. Of course, I feel like a real dope right now because I knew this would happen; now that Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque is gone from the States, I want it. I want it so badly. I don't even care that we've had our ups and downs, and that it wasn't love at first sniff or even mere attraction at first (I thought it was unbelievably medicinal-smelling when I first got a decant from a very generous and wonderful perfumista friend). A love story doesn't have to be a fairytale and I want what's real. Is it the increasingly warm weather that makes me crave this warm, ambery honey powder spiced with cinnamon and clove again? Is it the perfectly balanced mix of sweet and spicy, the cleanliness-meets-funk, the antiseptic rosy hookah smoke that has me reeling for more which I cannot have? I feel as if it's the olfactory equal to my energy if this makes sense...it's as if we are two of the same sound waves muting eachother, thus calming me down.

I've decided that one day, my first Serge Lutens bell jar purchase shall be Fumerie Turque...that's if I could ever get my sorry self out to Paris to buy it. I could've just gotten it from Aedes or someplace right around the corner this past fall, but no--I thought it was over, that I'll never love it or another one like it again. I also figured it was just another spicy Oriental that could be replaced. I recently found life in the sweet and charmingly honeylike Kenzo Amour, and it's a great scent but Fumerie Turque just smells like it's lived more and has more interesting, poignant things to say (which basically means Fumerie Turque is the heavier and spicier of the two favorites). Oh, how I weep (Thank God for decant sellers like Fishbone96 who make these sudden cravings manageable--OK, I'm not exactly crying here). It's awesome how Fumerie Turque makes me breathe a little slower, deeper, and seriously centers me. It must be why I chose it while getting ready for my CBGB's gig last summer, to help handle my stress level. You know? Music has surely been my saving grace but in many ways, so has fragrance. I'll never again think aromatherapy has no real merit--it does, and it's important to me.

Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido (2003)
Notes: currants, white honey, candied Turkish rose, Egyptian jasmine, smoked leather, beeswax, Balkan tobacco, Peru balsam, patchouli, tonka bean, styrax, juniper, vanilla.

(Image: Osmoz.com, www.salons-shiseido.com)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

État Libre d’Orange Encens et Bubblegum

État Libre d’Orange (Free State of Orange) is a new indie niche line of fragrances that (obviously) goes for shock value, not only with images and names of perfumes (Sécrétions Magnifique, anyone?) but with compositions that boldly include notes that conjure blood, sweat, sperm and saliva (why blood must fit into the rapturous blend of olfactory coitus is beyond my 21st century nose, and no, I haven't tested this). I went to Henri Bendel back in March or so, looking for something totally different and came home with a bottle of Jasmin et Cigarette which was highly recommended by the salesperson who seemed genuinely excited by this new line. I thought I was pleased at the time, but later decided the combination of an ashtray with mangoes was a bit rough to tolerate; nevertheless, if you like tobacco blends, it might be an interesting one to try.

He'd also recommended Encens et Bubblegum which I'm re-sampling today. I remember being pressed for time and smelling it from the atomizer, thinking it smelled like candy-powdery car freshener "Peach" scent. After wearing it for a day (and this one overstays its welcome--that might be good news for people who want scents that last, first and foremost), I've decided I like it enough to consider a decant from Fragrant Fripperies. It's somewhat linear (it doesn't change or develop with time on my skin), and I never got incense from it, but if powdery peach that doesn't smell like baby powder is what this incense is, so be it. At least there's no blood accord. In retrospect, I probably should have bought this one instead, but honestly, neither fragrance would rank in my personal Top 5 favorites anytime soon. Maybe it's their imagery--something doesn't sit well with me. However, they are creative and offbeat blends, using trendy notes such as leather and cocoa, all worth trying if you want something strange and relatively affordable (by today's niche standards, anyway).

État Libre d’Orange Encens et Bubblegum (2006): notes of peach, raspberry, vanilla, lily of the valley, orange blossom, musk, incense. www.etatlibredorange.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

More Rich Hippie: Rock Star, Maharishi

Rich Hippie describes Rock Star as: (a) Racy, dangerous, sensual tropical floral with extracts of rare Indonesian flowers, Madagascan Vanilla Bean and Cove Bud. I've been testing this from time to time whenever I get in the mood for something a little spicy and floral. I don't get any vanilla in this; if you want gourmand, it's best to look elsewhere. I do get spice but not Opium, Obsession or Old Spice spiciness. Honestly, even though the note isn't mentioned, what I mostly get is lemongrass, from the very beginning when I first apply it. It's a pleasant aroma that reminds me of Thai food, maybe with a touch of coconut somewhere (or I'm just tuning into the tropical aspect of this scent). Many other Rich Hippie fragrances have that citrusy, sharp lemongrass note, which is why they smell similar to me.

Rock Star shares marked similarity with Maharishi, described as a complex floral with notes of Davana, Vetivert and spiritual flowers of India, except Maharishi starts out as more of a straight lemon (lemongrass is what I get, and again, this note is not listed)) that ends on a flowery note, whereas Rock Star has deeper, earthier tones. The floralcy I get in Rock Star is reminiscent to me of L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche or Caron Farnesiana EDT; all three of these fragrances end on a heady floral note, not a white floral in my mind but perhaps golden yellow or purple, intense and sweet. White tropical flowers such as tuberose are to me strong yet soft, honeylike, creamy and fleshy--to my nose, these flowers I smell in Rock Star seem to be of a sharper, more "flowery" variety. Rock Star ends on a musky, earthy-floral, vaguely rosy accord. Maharishi is like its lighter version.

After extensive testing, I personally love neither Rock Star nor Maharishi enough to buy, but if you're looking for an organic fragrance that captures an Eastern tropical vibe, they might be worth checking out. I'm waiting for their 25% off sale (or another 50% off sale (edited: it was a buy one get one free sale that they did some time ago)) to test any more of these babies. More reviews of the ones I'm sampling are coming up, so stay tuned.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cinéma Vérité Documentary CAMPAIGN「選挙」 by Kazuhiro Soda Releases June 9th In Tokyo



Director's Statement: "I don't think of CAMPAIGN (SENKYO) as a political piece, though politics is its subject matter. Rather, it is what I call "an observational film" in which the viewer is expected to perceive and interpret the complex, difficult-to-articulate reality of an election campaign run by the Liberal Democratic Party, the party that has held power in Japan for the last 50 years...CAMPAIGN asks viewers to observe and think about what they see on screen. In this sense, reality is not painted in black and white. Instead it is gray and complicated, the way we experience it every day. I hope that viewers will leave the theatre with unanswered questions, ones they will continue to think about for days, weeks, even years to come." -Kazuhiro Soda 想田和弘

監督作品「選挙」、6月から日本全国でロードーショー!!
Director Kazuhiro Soda's new feature documentary CAMPAIGN (SENKYO) will be released in theaters across Japan starting tomorrow, June 9th, 2007 at Image Forum in Tokyo. The film will be released in 17 cities across Japan including Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Kyoto. Screening at Sydney Film Festival (Oceanian Premiere) began today, June 8 and continues through June 24.

Support independent film! For details, please visit the website: (English) or (Japanese). Watch the trailer here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June 2007 Sali Oguri and TARSHA's Dirty Persephone Sale!



Rock Singer Sheldon Tarsha and New York's multi-talent artist Sali Oguri have teamed up to promote TARSHA's upcoming show on June 25, 2007 at Key Club in Los Angeles. During the month of June 2007, buy TARSHA "Prophecies" CD (www.tarsharock.com) and receive a free Sali Oguri Unreleased Mix a.k.a. Persephone perfume sample ($6, www.wujproductions.com). Also, email persephone@salioguri.com with the code DIRTYPERSEPHONE and receive a free limited edition TARSHA "Dirty" Single CD with any Sali Oguri Persephone perfume purchase over $50. Unreleased Mix a.k.a. Persephone Perfume is a Forbidden skin scent: a sinful blend of dark chocolate, blackberry, pomegranate, Mysore sandalwood and royal purple flowers. Sheldon Tarsha says "I love the new fragrance...very alluring and passionate". Support independent music! Offer good only in the USA, eligible only for TARSHA "Prophecies" CD purchases until June 30, 2007. Visit www.salioguri.com for updates.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Creed Spring Flower


I'm not much of a nature gal being a concrete jungle dweller, but I must admit to being all matchy-matchy with my perfume and the season for once. It wasn't planned that way, but when the weather turns warmer, I crave sweetness. Creed Spring Flower is aptly named to me, not because it smells like nature (it doesn't really--it's too modern to be truly seasonal) but because the level of sweetness is just right for this time of year (at least that's how I feel this year). I wrote about how much I enjoy layering it with other Creed fragrances before, as I was taught to do at the Creed counter, but I love Spring Flower best on its own, and believe it stands on its own as one upscale fruity floral.

Of all the perfumes I've known, I've loved and worn Creed Spring Flower the longest (since around 2001). Spring Flower is simply gorgeous: a bright, fresh, luxurious feminine perfume that makes me feel like the woman in a Chagall painting, reclining on a heavenly cloud of pink petals (shown is not the painting I had in mind but it's part of the Song of Songs series. You can see thumbnails of them here). It's a lush, harmonious blend, not a single note jumps out and it gets raves when worn. It goes from a casual day to a formal affair being a sophisticated pretty-in-pink. I choose Spring Flower whenever I want to feel elegant, confident, feminine and upbeat. It may seem too modern for some people, being a sweet, fruity scent built on a white musk base; yet for others, it might seem too full-bodied, flowery and slightly old-fashioned. It may be a meeting point between two worlds, with an exhilirating and cool character topped off with bright, citrusy (bergamot?) accents.

According to Basenotes, it was created in the mid-eighties for Audrey Hepburn and launched to the public in 1996, three years after her death. I can see why it was designed for Audrey Hepburn; it leans towards being green, and it's fresh, a little sharp, sort of like Ivoire de Balmain (a beautiful perfume that I'll also write about sometime) which my good friend in the fragrance industry named Marian Bendeth had shared with me was a favorite of hers before Givenchy L'Interdit was created for her. If she had worn other Givenchy perfumes, maybe she also liked Eau de Givenchy, which to me resembles Spring Flower (and another lovely, fresh green floral called Floris Seringa). I'm of course only guessing here, but all this is to say Spring Flower has spunk as well as whimsical charm, as the refined gamine actress' effervescence came through the screen in such a natural, seemingly effortless way.

The notes on Parfumsraffy:
Creed Spring Flower (1996)
Notes: Peach, Melon, Apple, Jasmine, Rose, Musk and Ambergris.

Some sources list cedar as a note.

Visit my other Spring Flower post: Pretty womanly Pink: Creed Spring Flower

(Image: Marc Chagall, Song of Songs 2:7 Oil on paper, Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, Nice. Creed Spring Flower 2.5 fl. oz., www.ciao.co.uk)

Rich Hippie Spring

Rich Hippie Spring is a jasmine floral with some earthy-green softness. The notes on Rich Hippie's website are wild French Honey Bee Extract and organic Indian Jasmine. It's sweet, pure and absolutely beautiful. I'm not sure I'd wear this on a hot summer day in the country for fear of being followed by bees. For comparison, I'm reminded of Jean Patou Joy, D'Orsay Tilleul and Rochas Byzantine, although each of these is very different. A comparable sweetness might be that of Creed Spring Flower, a fresh, fruity jasmine-rose floral and a long-standing favorite of mine. That being said, falling in love with this scent wasn't without some drama along the way...

I first tested Spring back when Rich Hippie had paper labels that wrapped around each vial, before they had these new black labels that look like permanent inscriptions in the glass but actually are paint on the surface, causing it to come off when it comes in contact with the essential oils in the perfume. Sorry for the rant there, but I would like these vials to look like they did when I acquired them. Anyway, Spring smells the same now as it did then, but perception's a funny thing--it used to smell so pungently earthy, so softly green, it reminded me of the Central Park horse trail on a particularly balmy day in July. Maybe it was the type of jasmine in it that offended me in that indolic, slightly fecal way. Then again, maybe the honey note reminded me of the smell of urine (it is New York after all) which it is said to resemble, at least structurally. Maybe the damp, earthy base had a certain texture which added to this vivid picture of nature's splendor. I wrote a scathing review for it then, and never thought I would test it again, let alone proclaim to love it.

Jump ahead a couple of years: the horsey trail accord no longer bothers me; in fact, Spring smells different to me now, even though I know it's still the same stuff. All I smell is sweet flowers and the warm grass under the honeyed rays of sunshine. I don't know what it is about perception that can change so drastically, but I'm not complaining because it really is the closest thing to the smell of a happy spring day.

(Image: Claremont Riding Academy, NYC equitrekking.com)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Molinard Habanita

I think I've finally lived enough to appreciate Molinard Habanita. I'd always thought it was too baby powdery (and a bit retro-mossy, complex, oily-smelling) but I'm finally getting not only the spicy tobacco notes but the scrumptious vanilla and a sexy touch of raspberry--this is one delicious, exciting scent. The sweetness makes this an unusually pleasant, sensual leather fragrance. I'm a huge fan--this is my current holy grail leather and I will get it in parfum one day. The dry down is a bit naughty-musky due to a rosy heart combined with dry, smoky leather; the scent on my skin is suggestive, warm and smoky like incense, and a bit heavy and intimidating. I'll bet the jasmine will be too indolic for some. Habanita comes in a gorgeous jet black bottle in a classic Lalique carved nudes design, ranging from a mini EDT to the huge new 3.3 fl oz. parfum. I'd settle for EDT or a smaller parfum size if I could find it, since a little goes a long way with such a potent blend. It's still a perfumey perfume and a twisted one at that, but it's the best-smelling motor oil I've ever come across.

Jan Moran's notes:
Molinard Habanita (1921 Oriental - Ambery)
Top Notes: Bergamot, peach, orange blossom, raspberry
Heart Notes: Rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, orris, heliotrope, lilac
Base Notes: Amber, oakmoss, leather, vanilla, musk, cedarwood, benzoin

(Image: Miniatures de Parfum, www.didier.huard.free.fr)

Friday, June 01, 2007

KenzoAmour @ Sephora

Yay for Kenzo Amour--it won a FiFi this year. If you're thinking about getting some, Sephora is offering a coffret including a 1.7 fl oz. (the white one--my fave) and the body lotion for the same price as the 1.7. Enter the promo code "survival18" and receive a free Guerlain Tutti Kiwi mini! As you know by now, I'm a Sephora fan because they make it easy to browse hassle-free at the stores, test fragrances and get samples; plus, they take returns on fragrance purchases. I love this scent and find it easy-to-wear.

Sweet Sensations

I'm in a Gourmand phase as beach season kicks off. I can't believe it's June already! Here are some of my favorite sweet--I mean delectably hypersweet--choices for a fun, beachy, street fair-strolling, carnival-going, corn-on-the-cob and zeppole-eating kind of mood.

Hanae Mori (Butterfly): The official name of this perfume is Hanae Mori but the lovely butterfly symbol has become part of its name among perfumistas. It's one of Sephora's bestsellers with a somewhat cult status and seems to only gain in popularity. I can see why: it's a very pretty Gourmand blend. At first spritz, the sweet, soft blend of strawberry and musky pralines reminds me of Chanel Allure, Creed Love In White and Van Cleef & Arpels Birmane because somewhere, I detect a fruity (peachy) rose note, but the floralcy fades, giving reign to the dainty, caramelly cloud of pink dessert, one with a cherry blossom garnish in place of a marachino cherry.

Kenzo Amour: I find all of the Kenzo Flower series sharp and powdery, registering in my mind as spicy scents, but Amour is sweet enough to tolerate. My adorable mini (there are minis in all 3 colors--mine is white & sleek, like a nessie) should last me awhile. The dry down phase is a softer smell than its jagged beginning, a bit muted and smooth like a skin cream scent, similar to how Guerlain Metallica dries down with a subtle green, or violetty (peachy but unsweet), Aldehydic Floral vibe. It's a fab new skin scent that can manage being both classy and hip. The overall effect feels dry, woodsy-musky, creamy, spicy-powdery, and as light and airy as kasutera (gâteau de Castille), a classical Japanese cake which had originally come from Spain (Castille).

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Tiare: Created in 1984, Tiare was the first Comptoir Sud Pacifique fragrance and came in a blue glass atomizer bottle (pictured are the newer tin bottles). I know I keep raving about the original CSP vanillas but if you've ever compared the original juices with the new, then you know what I mean when I say that the best vanillas were all used in the discontinued ones before the reformulations. Since it's hard-to-find now, you might have to settle for Aloha Tiare, which is also good if not the ultimate. Tiare is a floral blend of Tahitian gardenia, scrumptious vanilla and a touch of coconut. As a reviewer on Basenotes noted, it might be hard for a man to pull off because it's very flowery and sweet. It's beachy and makes me think of vacations in Aruba where the clear azure water seamlessly meets the sky.

I'm also thinking about replenishing my supply of Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison and maybe getting L by Lolita Lempicka, Anna Sui, Givenchy Hot Couture. Aquolina Pink Sugar is still a good one if you're into that Thierry Mugler Angel patchouli theme. If you have more sweet recs, please share them! May your upcoming summer '07 bring carefree moments filled with laughter and love.



(Images: from Basenotes.net, LVMH.com, Sephora.com, couleurparfum.com)