Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I hope you have a groovy one. Don't forget this Saturday is the R Bar gig: Fred Kimmel 7PM, Sali Oguri 8PM. 218 Bowery, NYC, 18 and over with ID, $10 admission.

(Photo by Annalee Van Kleeck, copyright 2007)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wifely Duties (a forward)

This is a delightful forward from Lois, a perfume friend who sends me the best stuff.

Man: "I've been thinking...I'm the MAN of this house, so starting tomorrow I want you to have a hot, delicious meal ready for me the second I walk thru that door...Afterwards, while watching ESPN and relaxing in my chair, you'll bring me my slippers and then run my bath...And when I'm done with my bath, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?"

Woman: "The funeral director."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sali Oguri Show @ R Bar, 8PM Sat. Nov.3, 2007

Sali Oguri: Female-fronted Rocktronica
November 3, 2007 at R BAR -- 18 and over club
218 Bowery, New York, New York 10012
Cost : $10
Telephone 212-334-0484

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nina by Nina Ricci (new)

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I know I'm falling madly in love with many perfumes a mile a minute now, but I think I've found another holy grail in the new Nina by Nina Ricci (by "new", I mean it's different from the original Nina, a classic from the '80s). This is a delicate apple blend with underlying sweet Gourmand elements, making it a fresh and airy candied apple-type of aroma. At first application, it goes on very candy-sweet, like a fruity Escada scent or literally like fruit punch. It quickly mellows into the most delightfully clean fruity floral accord with a pale cotton candy-ish toffee-patchouli base (actually, I don't get any patchouli from it at all, even though it's listed). As it dries down, it takes on a somewhat ozonic-musky vibe. Right now, I'm also getting a good deal of lilac or lily-like floralcy in the latter stages, a departure from its sugary beginnings.

(Edited to add) After a few hours, I find it a bit musky in a "clean" accord type of way, but it's not overwhelmingly so. To clarify, it has a candylike clean accord like Miss Dior Cherie but cleaner, not so Chypre, and to me, better balanced. I thought it would be too musky for me but I'm so glad I got it and I'll enjoy it this Fall. In fact, Nina has become my holy grail fresh Fruity Floral this year, and I may upgrade to a bigger bottle. I love this perfume so much, it's become my signature everyday scent, which is really something considering I've gone through hundreds of others to finally discover this one. It gets load of compliments from everyone everywhere I go.

(Image Source: www.prodejparfemu.cz)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sali Will Write For Perfume Critic: Perfume Pix by Rocker Chix

Marlen Harrison's Perfume Critic blog presents a new feature starting this Fall called "Perfume Pix by Rocker Chix". Sali Oguri will be the first Guest Contributor. Please stay tuned!

Click on the Perfume Critic banner to visit the international on-line magazine dedicated to olfaction & scent.

On 10/24/07, Sali writes: "Both music and perfume are architectural forms in space built with notes (pitch, or high and low) and time (in music, time is measured and we have rhythm--in perfume, there's the evaporation rate)..."
Click HERE to link directly to Sali's article.

Bond No.9 Saks Fifth Avenue For Her

As I'd expected, this is my favorite fragrance by Bond No.9 so far. I liked Chelsea Flowers (which is similar to Fresh Pink Jasmine to me, a light, aqueous rose) and Chinatown (a beautiful spicy-woody tuberose, like a higher-end Victoria's Secret Secret 33) but this new launch is right up my alley being a sensuous, bombshelly white floral cornucopia with beachy aspects. It's got a big personality and smells both classic and urbane to me. It's definitely a tuberose (gardenia) fragrance that leans towards being sweet but it's Floral (to the max), not too Gourmand even with a vanillic base. At first, it reminded me very strongly of Fracas (I believe I smell the jasmine in them both, and is there peach? It's a bit fruity-creamy) mixed with Carnal Flower because of the coconut note. It dries down very much like Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia and Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia, a somewhat punchy and heady, aqueous (as opposed to powdery) and slightly candylike (like Versace Blonde or Jo Malone Tuberose) gardenia. I find it a bit too strong close up but I think the sillage it leaves is beautiful. I have quite a few samples to play with for awhile, but I might end up loving this scent enough to invest in one day.

(Image: www.allwomenstalk.com)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Azzura By Azzaro

I remember when Azzura launched because it was shortly after Clinique Happy had come out. Azzura was lightly floral and orangey like Happy, but also a bit musky warm, bright but laid back, with a subtle earthiness about it (maybe I was being influenced by the ad). Anyway, I'd bought a mini and never finished it, but every now and then, after wearing heavy scents for many days at a time, I still crave a clean, transparent scent like this one, to clean the palette so-to-speak. I love Azzura for almost all of the same reasons why I once loved Happy: it's an optimistic and energizing scent but also relaxing because it's just a simple, spa-clean aroma. I hadn't been in the mood for anything orangey in a while, but I find myself resonating to it lately.

Clinique Happy

Happy was my signature for a good while, until my darling told me he wasn't too keen on the scent. That was back in 1999. Now, many years later, I've decided I really love this scent and so I will wear it whenever I have a moment to myself. I don't care if half the world's population wears it; I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking it smells good. I think it's a very well-blended, distinctive scent that manages to be delicate yet sensual thanks to the white florals (I believe plumeria is the Hawaiian wedding flower), and also fresh without being too sharp and astringent as many citruses can be. It's a great perfume and it will go down in history as being such. Darling may not love it but I get raves when I wear it out. We can't control that, now, can we?

Top Notes: Ruby Red Grapefruit, Bergamot, West Indian Mandarin Tree Blossom, High Altitude Laurel

Heart Notes: Boysenberry Bush Flower, Morning Dew Orchid, Melati Blossom

Base Notes: Hawaiian Wedding Flower, White Crinium Lily, Chinese Golden Magnolia, Spring Mimosa Blossoms

(Image: www.scent-sation.co.uk)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dolce & Gabbana The One

What can I say about Dolce & Gabbana The One except I would crown it "mall scent of the decade"? I'm not kidding--I think it's a sexier, more distinctive fragrance than many top sellers such as Juicy Couture and Light Blue. Then again, you'd have to be into full-on florals with a voluptuous level of richness and a good deal of peach. This is the stuff I wish I had discovered before the launch of Pink Manhattan or I might not have bothered making a peach-vanilla-floral scent. It's *almost* that good ;-). The only difference between this and my concoction of dreams is that The One smells to me like it has a fair amount of rose in it (but maybe it's lily I smell), making it just slightly more flowery and for lack of a better word, perfumey to my nose. It also has a plum note which to me makes it smell slightly retro but in a good way--a dressy, glam way.

The One is a fabulous Fruity Floral with a white floral (jasmine) heart, some sweet Gourmand-Oriental elements (mainly vanilla), and a creamy richness without a lot of overwhelming musk. If I could take the most scrumptious parts of Isabey Gardenia and combine some Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Charms and Lacoste Inspiration to it, I might come close. If Sicily was too heavy for you, The One is about as heavy. The peach note is a bit powdery, not really juicy and fresh but a bit like the peach I find in Etat Libre d'Orange Encens et Bubblegum. There's some fresh fruits in there, too, and oranginess making it sort of an easier-to-wear Chanel Allure, though another one that comes to mind is Adrienne Vittadini. Peaches-and-cream with a touch of mandarin orange and a traditional floral heart is how I'd describe it overall, and I think I may want a bottle before the year's out. Although my heart still belongs to Carnal Flower, The One might allow me to forget Isabey Gardenia for awhile.

Dolce & Gabbana The One (2006)

Top notes: mandarin, peach, bergamot, lychee
Heart notes: jasmine, muguet, madonna lily
Base notes: vanilla, amber, musk, vetiver, plum

Friday, October 19, 2007


My love of tuberose translates into my love of gardenia because very often, gardenia is recreated with tuberose. One of my tried-and-true favorites in the gardenia family is the cult classic of celebrity fame, an indie creation called Monyette perfume oil. I must admit I was inspired and influenced by this passionate potion when I first decided to create my own gardenia-based peach-vanilla perfume named Pink Manhattan (the same name as my CD). How would I describe Monyette? It's a sweet, creamy gardenia (tuberose) with some lily-like green top notes on a unique base of nag champa for a soft and incensey dry down. The overall effect is like a beach scent in the South Pacific, an Asiatic type of vibe more than a Caribbean one. Still, the beach is the beach and Monyette is my mind vacation when the skies are grey and the rain keeps pouring.

The body lotion is also very nice if you prefer the scent in a slightly less concentrated formula.

(Image: Monyette Paris pure perfume oil, www.your-cosmetics.com)

Santa Maria Novella Tuberosa

These days, I wonder which I could love more: the tuberose or the jasmine flower. I can't choose, but I happen to love tuberose, and Santa Maria Novella's soliflore cologne is probably my favorite tuberose alongside Frederic Malle Carnal Flower. I've been wearing Santa Maria Novella Tuberosa for quite a few years now, since 2002 or so, and it always smells delicious enough in the bottle just to sniff for aromatherapeutic benefits. I also love to smell this on my skin but in small amounts or it could become overwhelmingly strong. This tuberose is lush, creamy, buttery and heady, a bit green and waxy, like a living flower scent. It is no wallflower and demands attention, but it's also less punchy-sharp and candyish than many other tuberoses. Being soft and warm, it's to me almost like an animalic jasmine scent. I can imagine tuberose is hard to wear for many people, as it is one of the heaviest florals you'll ever come across, but for me, it's the stuff reserved for queens and goddesses--strong and demanding, sweet and intoxicating. Every now and then, I tell myself I'm all that and waft with confidence like an in-your-face diva ought to.

It's 2 weeks till the gig and I'm rehearsing a new song, an emotional ballad-type rock tune I might unveil.

(Image: www.historicalperfumes.chez-alice.fr)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Usher She

Usher (Firmenich) has launched a couple of fragrances this year, one of which is for her. I've only briefly tested it in passing while browsing Macy's with a friend, but I think I like this a lot. Yes, it's a mainstream celebrity perfume that isn't completely unique, but as far as the ever-popular Fruity Florals go, it's not too plain and ordinary. I think it smells good enough to want to try again--the mark of a successful scent. I remember it smelling sweet, sensual, fresh with some warmth, substantial (with a bit of complexity or density) yet soft, with some incensey-powdery Oriental elements in the base. I'm deliriously happy to have not smelled patchouli or overwhelming white musk in it. It probably will have wide appeal among those who like the Fruity Floral genre.

The initial spritz quickly settled down to a nice texture: semi-powdery but dry, still sweet but not more than when it started, not too cloyingly heavy (for me, anyway) and not overly sporty fresh or detergentlike. Some online reviews have said it smelled musty and musky but I thought it smelled more clean (but not insipid) than like a dirty musk. Then again, it might be significantly more floral than some people had anticipated it to be. I'd say it smelled a bit on the romantic side, which often translates to being old-fashioned. There's nothing wrong with that, though, if you want your perfume to exude a little class and not smell like a simple fruity body spray. I'll have to test it again so I'll report back after my sample arrives.

(Edited to add) Well, I've had the chance to sample it again at Macy's and yes, it's very musky! I didn't notice it before, but tonight after I spritzed my hand more liberally with the tester, the musk kept getting stronger as the night wore on. It reminds me of being at an oil shop--I'd say it's a little bit headshoppy. (Edited to add again) My sample vial is here. The musk now reminds me of Etat Libre d'Orange Divin'enfant. Is it ambrette I smell? I can see how the musk can be too much because it's a deep, pervasive note and it carries. I still think it's one of the nicer new launches, so do give it a try.

Usher (2007)

...has top notes of red currant, pink freesia and apple blossom; a heart of frangipani, apricot nectar, blooming jasmine and passion rose, and a drydown of amber wood, sensual musk, cashmere wood, vanilla orchid and incense.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Listen To Sali On Blue Radio

Listen to Sali Oguri every day on Blue Radio!

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Click on the logo to listen to DJ Blue's NYC Lounge.

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(Image: www.kent.edu)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Isabey Gardenia

Isabey Gardenia was created in 1924. It smells like an Aldehydic Floral to me, with its characteristic creamy-powdery quality, topped by slightly soapy-peachy notes. It was born just a few years after Chanel No.5 (1921), the first Aldehydic Floral which became the epitome of a style all others would emulate. Soon after No.5 came Caron Nuit de Noel (1922), Lanvin Arpege (1927) and this reissued classic by Isabey (Panouge). At first, I didn't like it because it instantly reminded me of Balenciaga Le Dix, Van Cleef & Arpels First and other violetty Aldehydic Florals, but today as I'm testing a generous sample sent to me by a friend, I'm getting a much more contemporary feel from it, very much in my mind like Jill Stuart Vanilla Lust crossed with Bill Blass Nude. All in all, I've grown to love the soft, easy-to-approach, comforting caramelly sweetness of this white floral blend.

To me, Gardenia doesn't smell so much like gardenia as it does frangipani or tiare (Tahitian gardenia) mixed with rose, vanilla and woody violets or perhaps apricots, though it is more floral than straight Gourmand. It boldly traces the outline of an austere classical scent like Madame Rochas or White Linen without fully going there (I do get some moss). I wonder if I layered Guerlain Metallica with Comptoir Sud Pacifique Tiare or my latest passion, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, whether that might capture the essence of Isabey Gardenia. Maybe I'd need to cross it with a touch of Donna Karan Cashmere Mist or Chanel Allure to be exact. The original mouth-blown pearl bottle with handmade box must have been something to behold.

(Image: Isabey Gardenia bottle, circa 1920s, www.ragoarts.com)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Chamade Parfum!

I can't believe I was able to swap with an online friend for a Guerlain Chamade parfum made in France, brand new in box! It feels like a celebration here tonight as I finally got this bottle open with a lot of help. I first cut the gold cord; then, since the glass stopper wouldn't budge, I warmed it in my hand, hoping the sweat in my hands wouldn't rub off the letterings on the beautiful stopper. I was most afraid of snapping the stopper because the shape is so delicate, like a pointed leaf, but here it is--opened and blooming with glorious aroma. I feel blessed, indeed! The sillage is magnificent--a drop goes a long way. The scent in a nutshell is to me the most sublime green, honeyed incense.

Guerlain My Insolence

Today, I tested Guerlain My Insolence from a peel-off sample and all I could think is, "They've finally sent Insolence off to electroshock therapy like they did in the 1940s and 1950s, so she could fit in with her peers, Very Irresistible, Miss Dior Cherie and all the rest of her parents' friends' children." It has no audacity left in it whatsoever and I have to wonder about the name, with the word "My" in that Dior-like dainty script font--all in that retro New Look way. The insolence of My Insolence is like the loudest voice one can muster being a barely audible yelp. It's well-mannered in a youthful, upscale mall scent way. On me it dries down caramelly-rich and flowery sweet, a bit fussy and thick, and not as au naturel a skin scent as the model in the ad might imply.

I really liked the opening notes. Whereas the original Insolence was a punchy violet, the tamed one is a soft, vanillic, fruity-floral blend (I'm getting rose), a sweet, pretty scent that somehow reminds me of my own Pink Manhattan (my version of pink and pop)...that is, until the patchouli shows up mingling with almond and it smells almost spot-on like Cacharel Gloria. I'll have to properly test this again from a bottle, but to me, it's so close to Gloria that my Gloria mini is gonna keep me happy when I feel like a soft and powdery, patchouli-based, vanillic-marzipan sweet fruity floral. Given the choice, I prefer Gloria.

It's worth a sniff so do give it a try. Just remember to give Gloria a spin on the ole pink cadillac, too.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Gig Date Approaching

I'm getting myself ready for my gig on Sat., Nov. 3 at R Bar on Bowery, NYC and getting through these unusually warm October days wearing Amoureuse and Carnal Flower. I love them both so much right now, and I know I'll eventually have to own more than samples and decants of both. Meanwhile, I'm incredibly grateful for what I've got. I've also been toying around with layering experiments which I generally don't get into but now and then, it's fun. I thought Hermes Rouge and Lavanila Pure Vanilla was a pretty inspired combination (kind of reminded me of Chamade) until I detected too much white musk in the Lavanila--not sure what to make of that since it shouldn't have any white musk in it, right? I tested them both separately and got the musky note from the Lavanila alone, so go figure. My wonderful online pals totally hooked me up (!!) and I've got more exquisite samples that take my breath away and whisk me off on journeys to the ends of the Earth while I shut out much of the real world trying to find peace of mind as the day approaches. I'm very grateful to everyone who's given of their precious time to care about me, all in their different ways.

Aside from that, I'm interested these days in finding out my Myers Briggs type (I often come up INTJ which I can relate to but I sometimes FEEL like ESFP). (Edited to add: I wrote more on the topic of Myers-Briggs here). I'm happily wearing Amoureuse tonight and it might take me all the way to the gig date. The Fred Kimmel Show is at 7pm and Sali Oguri Female-Fronted Rocktronica Show at 8pm--any radio promotions, website, blog or word-of-mouth promo through friends would be greatly appreciated. Why couldn't the world be smaller so we could all meet in NY? I hope to meet some new faces and look forward to seeing familiar ones!

(Image: R Bar interior, www.goingout101.com)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

When I first tried this fragrance back when it launched, I honestly thought it bordered on smelling foul. Both this and Bois de Paradis, another fragrance in the same line, smelled musty, syrupy and animalic to me. Maybe my nose or chemistry is changing but I've come to appreciate Amoureuse much more. In fact, today, I find it so lovely on my skin, I'm contemplating getting a bottle before the holidays. How would I describe this scent? Imagine a somewhat naughty scent, like underwear with a hint of rose potpourri, that latrine honey smell intertwined with linden blossoms (green and flowery, powdery) and spicy woods, not unlike Vivienne Westwood Boudoir but less aggressive, with fresh and tart (limey or like tangerines) layers, a nice balance like cool icing on spice cake (carrot cake?). The tuberose and indolic jasmine get sweeter over time and the whole experience gets a bit pungent, dusty and sticky smelling, like you've been frolicking in Pooh's garden. It smells like summer love, a nostalgic dream.

I think I'm dreading the coming of cold weather here in NY!

Parfums DelRae - Amoureuse (2002)
Notes on Beautyhabit.com:
A sublime and femininely romantic floral scent, inspired by the wonderfully seductive and fragrant Victorian Box trees that line so many streets in San Francisco. This is the classic duality of floral and green.

Notes: tangerine, cardamom, tuberose, jasmine, cedar moss and honey.

(There's no mention of pittosporum but that's what I smell.)

(Image: www.shopping-premiereavenue.com)