Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Beatstock 2008 pics - Backstage

From left to right: drummer Fabio Recine, September, guitarist Fred Kimmel

Photos of Beatstock 2008 featuring September, Judy Torres, TKA, George Lamond, Angelo Venuto and more can be seen at

Friday, August 29, 2008

Beatstock 2008 Pics!

Fred Kimmel at Jones Beach Theater, Beatstock 2008!

What makes a show of this caliber is not just the artists and musicians involved but the crew. As soon as we walked in backstage for soundcheck, the wonderful crew let us feel at home, and were quick to point out the most important part of it all is the positive vibe we bring. It's the same wherever I've been in the music world where success is of utmost importance. It was an honor and a learning experience for me to have been at Beatstock 2008 to hear Fred Kimmel play guitar for George Lamond, Judy Torres and many other freestyle greats, and I'm grateful to Fred for my backstage pass! I apologize for the quality of the photos I took but even being at the front of the stage, I didn't have enough zoom on my digital camera. You can see more pics of Beatstock 2008 featuring artists Judy Torres, George Lamond, September, Freedom Williams of C&C Music Factory and more at and also on Fred's profile at Broadjam.

George Lamond projecting his phenomenal voice

From left to right: George Lamond, Fred Kimmel on guitar

Legendary Queen of Freestyle, Judy Torres (Fred Kimmel at far right)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fred Kimmel Will Play @ KTU Beatstock 2008!

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Click on the banner to visit Beatstock on My Space

Fred Kimmel will be playing guitar for Freestyle artists Judy Torres and George Lamond at KTU Beatstock 2008 at Jones Beach Theater this Saturday, Aug. 23. Doors open at 5:00PM, show starts at 6:00PM. Our good friend, drummer Fabio Recine (who played in Nuova Era, the Italian band I used to sing with) is also in the band lineup, and I know they're gonna cook. I'll be there taking pics of the band. For tix, go to See you at the show!!!!

Visit Fred Kimmel at Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Hermès Un Jardin Après la Mousson

Hermès Un Jardin Après la Mousson has been compared to Frederic Malle L'Eau d'Hiver, another creation by Jean-Claude Ellena, but surprisingly, I can wear Un Jardin Après la Mousson and not the other. The difference to me is that Un Jardin Après la Mousson is sweeter and less spicy overall. The first impression I got was that salty wintergreen (salicylate) I associate with many of his creations, but also a cool, yet sweet and juicy watermelon note. Members of my family (like my parents and their parents) have always eaten watermelon sprinkled with salt, which I didn't really understand; like margaritas, I prefer my watermelons unsalted, thank you very much. But I love this perfume. I can smell in it the ginger scent, but it kept the Fruity Floral-Marine character all the way through. In fact, the scent really doesn't change through wear and lasts forever, which is good but also a bit annoying (I like to change scents, or have one change a bit over time). But that's salicylate for you: a long, smooth, consistent ride. I was surprised that I immediately took to this new scent by Hermès--even more amazing because I generally don't like this line of fragrances, as luxurious as it may be. Unlike many others in the line, this new scent isn't too stuffy or powdery (not that I'm against all powders). It's light and clean, sophisticated but easy-going, something I thought I'd never smell: an elegant watermelon perfume. It's aqueous but I would never compare this to Tommy Girl, for instance, because it doesn't smell all that sporty to me. It smells like its name: floral, like a garden, only with enough watermelon slices for everyone.

The sillage is huge and carries across a room, yet it never overwhelms because it's so light and transparent. I know this scent is supposed to let us imagine a garden after the Indian summer monsoon (it's the third creation in the Jardin series following Sur le Nil and Méditeranée), but to me, it's salty and oceanic, the smell of beach air. Even with a hint of carrots in the scent, I can tolerate it--it's sweet like carrot juice. I love it, Fred loves it (and it is a shared fragrance between men and women), and so I think this mutual favorite new perfume of 2008 is going to be our next investment, just in time for the end of summer. I hope I don't tire of it too quickly, though. I generally don't do well over the longterm with overly salicylic fragrances. (Edited to add) I just bought it - it's my new favorite. Thank you, JCE!

The carded sample has many translations of the description of the scent. In Japanese, it's described (loosely translated) as follows: "passionate ginger and sweet gingerlily flowers, smooth coolness of spices (清涼感 - so I'm right about the wintergreen, yes?) and fresh vetiver (the word "fresh" here is みずみずしい "mizumizushii", a word closer to "dewy", often used to describe beauty, especially to describe youthful skin brimming with moisture). A fragrance that lets you imagine the passion of the blowing breeze, then the calmness following after." It sounds like a bipolar scent, but I'm OK with that.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jessica Simpson Fancy

Fancy is the name of the new 2008 launch by Parlux for Jessica Simpson. I like the scent - it's a hypersweet vanillic Fruity Floral, and strong, so a little bit will go a long way. It's very rich, like Guerlain My Insolence which smells like Cacharel Gloria, and the richness of it sometimes makes me feel queasy, but I still like the blend. Chanel Allure also comes to mind when it comes to a rich, creamy-fruity-floral-woody smell, but Fancy is way sweeter. Would I buy a bottle? Probably not, because my sample vial should last me forever considering how strong it is, but I think it's the best in the Jessica Simpson line so far, and another one of my favorite launches this year. I didn't like her other scents before (Juicy, Creamy, etc.) - not the scents themselves nor the "edible" concept which I find unappetizing (and on a practical note, I didn't think any of the ones I tried actually tasted good, anyway). But I can respect that people like that kinda stuff. I haven't checked the notes in Fancy yet but I'm getting "sugared strawberries and whipped cream", a vibe one might expect from a fragrance for the bubbly pop singer with the All-American girl-next-door persona. The name "Fancy" sounds very "Southern belle", also predictably true to the concept. However, because I still have in mind the edible perfume launches of the past, I can't help but think of Fancy Feast when I see this perfume. Hurray for sexy kittenish glam, but you know I'll always prefer my own Pink Manhattan Purrfume when it comes to an ace Fruity Floral-Vanillic perfume (please pardon my shameless plug but I am conveniently rationalizing that this is a fragrance genre practically begging for interjection).


Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers

Harajuku Lovers by Coty for Gwen Stefani is a new set of five fragrances. Although I'm not planning to buy any of them for myself, I thought I'd briefly review them here in case you're being lured by the totally kawaii doll atomizers. In case you wonder how I feel about these Japanese doll bottles, as bizarre as I find the Western fascination with Japanese dolls, I can also understand it as a unique cultural phenomenon. Feel free to read the link I've posted at the bottom of this post for an intriguing study of the phenomenon.

Here are my very quick thoughts on each:

Love: A fruity floral with emphasis on a new type of floral I'm not sure I like. It's a fizzy floral that ends chalky-musky, and I think I've smelled it in Viva la Juicy (although I like the Juicy way better). It's slightly medicinal-smelling to me; maybe I don't dig the type of citrus in this. It is light, and it reminds me of another scent I don't dig, Fresh Lemon Sugar.

Lil' Angel: A very "red fruit" type of tropical sweet fruity scent, very Escada-like with a pronounced pineapple note. I sense the rose-amber turns a bit musty on dry down on me, but it's a nice scent for lovers of sweet fruits with not much florals in the mix.

G: My fave of the bunch, this smells just like a tropical Life Saver candy! I used to love the opaque white and yellow ones. Imagine a lighter version of Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Banane and you're on the right track. OK, I would consider buying this one for myself--it's yummy, creamy and cononutty sweet. (On a side note, I'm a HUGE fan of Life Savers. Every candy for children should have a hole in the middle - intended original concept or not, it can save lives.)

Music: Smells like a lighter version of 212 Sexy. Actually, it's a vanillic-musky-ozonic scent similar to the first scent I smelled by Bebe if anyone remembers it.

Baby: Smells like baby powder musk.

I got my carded fragrance sample kits on eBay but decanters online are selling hand-decanted versions as well.

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Visit The "Jap Doll" --Ningyô on the Western Toyshelf 1850-1940,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Creed Jasmal

Welcome to the Garden of Eden with this exquisite jasmine from the House of Creed! Jasmal is a light jasmine, as fresh as jasmine tea and yet a bit indolic and musky as a good jasmine is supposed to be. If you love Jean Patou Joy, here is half of the best part of the composition. It leans towards green but it's not at all sharp and astringent, wafting across soft and pure. Jasmal was notoriously created for the lovely Natalie Wood in 1959. Elegantly sweet when worn alone, it sweetens up any Creed fragrance I layer with it (although I wear it solo most often), and my favorite combination is with their absolutely gorgeous rose scent in Creed's Private Collection line, Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare (1890), a very lively and fresh rose with a robust heart and a musky dry down (not to be confused with their other rose scent, Fleurs De Bulgarie (1980), a much heavier, muskier rose). Jasmal is a cheerful smile with a golden touch of Italian daffodil.

Notes on

Creed Jasmal (1959)

Indian jasmine, Bulgarian rose, Italian daffodil, Florentine iris.

(Image: Photo by William Claxton, Natalie Wood, New York City, 1961)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Roe v. Wade 2008

When Peter denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed, it was clear to me that the teaching here is that people are human, and when we're scared out of our wits, we sometimes make decisions based on such fear. It was also to my understanding that God not only forsees such unfortunate but real human errors but forgives us of human errors we don't have control of. The kind of fear a woman faces when she becomes pregnant is equal to that of facing the cross, a crucifixion of her own where she would taste the fork in the road between life and death. Any man should be grateful to the woman who had him for walking through fire to let him be here. Dare he say to his mother that it was her job to have him. It is a gift to be here, not an entitlement. That woman's fear is the one fear a man can never know because he's not equipped to experience it, and therefore shouldn't have any say about it. That said, is there an excuse for lack of empathy about this? The last faith debate between the candidates has me reeling. There's not much I can comment about the one who's talking like the American taliban with his anti-woman views and desire to force women to give birth, but Obama - e tu? The mental health of a woman isn't a health issue? So, postpartum depression is also just in our pretty little heads, and we should just get over it? How much better is he than Michael Savage who thinks Autism is the cause of bad parenting and bratty kids for saying this? Where is choice where there is talk of force? Think, please - mental health does affect how a woman will physically give birth, how much or less she will suffer, and how she will be affected mentally long after she gives birth if she survives it. It's easy to judge when you're not a woman but it's really not your place to judge one any more than it is anyone's to judge Peter who the Lord forgave. I understand the arguments against pro-choice where the fear of eugenics and growing lack of empathy for human life is concerned, but attempting to force women to labor and give birth against her will is already lack of empathy in its finest hour.

Can Christians Be Pro-Choice? Yes. by The Rev. Chuck Currie, Views from a United Church of Christ Minister, Monday, November 15, 2004

AC360° Q&A — If McCain wins, Roe v. Wade will be overturned, July 31, 2008,

Redefining abortion - Federal officials considering a rule allowing health care workers to refuse to provide contraceptives, Aug. 10, 2008, Houston Chronicle

Roe v. Wade: The divided states of America by Susan Page, updated 4/17/2006, USA Today

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Krasnaya Moskva (Red Moscow)

I had heard about this Soviet era Russian perfume known to be the only perfume Russian women were allowed to wear (true or not, that's the legend), and wondered so much about it that I bought one on eBay from a Russian seller. It was an antiquated bottle with a faded label and a worn out box, but the scent inside had apparently survived the 1970s. As I opened the screw top bottle, I imagined myself being told to stick to this one perfume and none else if I am to perfume myself at all. As it is, I'm far from a perfume monogamist, and can't fathom a life in which I would have to dedicate myself to a single bodily smell, and one that everybody else would be emanating, too.

From the bit of reading I've done on this scent, Red Moscow was a completely synthetic perfume to bolster the brave new achievements of modern science. Born in 1913, it launched in the same year as Igor Stravinsky's “The Rite of Spring", famous for its scandalous premiere on May 29, 1913, at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The gist of the conceptual angle was that there was no need for costly French perfumes with their natural essential oils when synthetics smelled equally delightful and can be sold so economically that everyone can afford it (incidentally, in the US, a bottle of Red Moscow could currently be bought online for about $15). Could people tell the difference? As I hold this bottle that came to me across the seas, here are my thoughts on the actual scent...

You've probably heard me say this before but it smells to me compositionally like Jean Patou Normandie, a carnation-based spicy perfume, with rich ambery-woody tones underneath, and a full floral heart. I know it's synthetic and the scent is as linear as any modern perfume can be, but it's not a bad scent - it has a very classic vibe with a strong personality. Other carnation fragrances you might be familiar with include Old Spice, Yves Saint-Laurent Opium and Calvin Klein Obsession - carnation can smell like cinnamon. Are red hot spicy perfumes the color equivalent of their olfactory sensations? They don't call it Big Red gum for nothing, do they? But Red Moscow is more than just spicy, and also complex, full-bodied, rich-smelling, every bit like the All-American Giorgio with its over 600 ingredients (as can only be done through modern technology), except maybe not quite as happy and bright a scent, but a bit jagged and much warmer as one would want (? or expect) in a cold climate.

It's not quite a parfum fourrure, however. I suppose if Red Moscow were to be reorchestrated using some quality ingredients in the mix, it could smell even more like Jean Patou Normandie or Guerlain Vol de Nuit, but I'd say it comes pretty close to a cross between Normandie, Old Spice and Red by Giorgio Beverly Hills (a carnation-based Aldehydic Chypre-Oriental)- not bad for a mass market perfume to smell rather "prestige", but still a hard sell if you ask me, especially for a lifetime. I'm glad I got to try it, though. One thing is certain, that for me, the more I study perfumes composed by Russian perfumers (edited to add: although Red Moscow is credited to "a well-known French perfumer" according to a Russian online shop), the more I understand that from My Sin to No.5, Russians have laid down a bedrock of modern perfumery.

Notes on
Red Moscow
Date of introduction: 1913
Type: flowery - chypre with woody notes
Occassion: everyday wear, evening wear

Top Note: bergamot, coriander, neroli flower
Middle Note: ylang - ylang, rose, jasmine
Base Note: orris, vanilla, tonka bean

I can not tell the story of Red Moscow as well as these illustrious perfume bloggers for whom this perfume had truly hit home can. Please visit their blogs and read:

Russian Perfumery and Red Moscow, Bois de Jasmin, June 23, 2005

Scented Thoughts: My National Parfum, The Scented Salamander, July 5, 2006

More suggested reading on The Scented Salamander:
Scented Thoughts: Patriotic (American) Perfumes to Wear on the 4th of July, Some Modest Suggestions, July 3, 2006


Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin

Congratulations - You've brought home the gold!

(Image: BBC)

Lacoste Dream of Pink

Here's what could be my favorite new launch of 2008 so far: Lacoste Dream of Pink. When I went to Sephora last night, the two I tried that I really liked were Ralph Wild and this one. I think both are berry-based (Now Smell This lists the following notes: sweet red berries, iced tea, lotus flower, rose, sandalwood and musk), but Dream of Pink seems just a bit less sweet when I test them side by side, and slightly drier, with a linen-like note, and maybe a bit sharper/spicier overall. The sillage is a very clean Fruity Floral that reminds me of a Salvatore Ferragamo fragrance in the Incanto series, but with even less obvious musk, which I appreciate. I like this much better than Lacoste Touch of Pink which launched earlier, a fragrance that had some promise but in the end smelled too laundry detergent-like to me. With more well-tempered ingredients, I think Lacoste has perfected the pretty-in-pink Fruity Floral that exudes the feeling of freedom and well-being suggested by their ad campaign. The print ad is a sporty image but the scent itself isn't very "sportif" to me; modern, yes, but rather dainty, yet confident, politely sweet with a dash of cool. The kiss of death to some is that this is the equivalent of a perfect 10 in a popular scent, that one might actually call "nice". Stay far away if you want something odd; this one's a hit on Z100, the theme of a homecoming queen. Dream of Pink is the meeting of Chanel Chance and Juicy Couture with the youthful energy of Roxy.


Ralph Wild

Ralph Wild by Ralph Lauren (2007) is probably my best find this summer. I hadn't tried it on skin till tonight because somehow I didn't like the smell on the scent strip at Sephora, but I'm so glad I did. It's fabulous! I can smell the berries but with them, also a very fresh fruits & flowers medley, a bit like the discontinued Limited Edition Escada Un Ete en Provence, but even airier. I was rocking Marc Jacobs Daisy for my berry fix but I think I'm getting Ralph Wild next.

I wish the summer never had to come to an end!!

(Image: The Glamorous Bee, Now Smell This)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy

Michael Edwards (on Sephora's website) describes Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy as a Woody Oriental. I'd say that's accurate because it reminds me of others in the very (maybe most) popular genre such as Aquolina Pink Sugar, Givenchy Hot Couture, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and Lolita Lempicka. This is a sweet fragrance, very low-pitched and intense, centered around cotton candy and a woody-vanillic base, topped off with a dash of spice and freshened up with some icy citrus notes. It doesn't smell like the original 212 to me, but there is that somewhat musky-woody characteristic that gives it an oomph of a sillage that I find in both. Although it's not listed, I also seem to smell ambrette musk in it - the type of musk I smell in Etat Libre d'Orange Divin'enfant, but perhaps it's just an illusion because I find the two perfumes very similar as well. I like this fragrance a lot, and hope to wear it more often than I do. So far, I'm working on finishing up my sample spray vial, but I'm eyeing that sleek lil' roll-on for $16.

According to Basenotes, 212 Sexy was created in 2004.

There is a 212 Sexy Man (2006)...I wonder if that's a sweet fragrance like this, too.

Notes on
Tangerine, Bergamot, Rose Pepper, Floral Petals, Gardenia, Cotton Candy, Sandalwood, 212 Musk, Vanilla


Carolina Herrera

This bombshell tuberose-jasmine blend was created in 1988 by Carolina Herrera whose favorite perfume is Robert Piguet Fracas. If you've smelled Fracas, you would understand the similarity in these fragrances because both are very heady, passionate tropical white florals based on tuberose. To compare the two, Fracas is slightly more candied (similar to Versace Blonde or Jo Malone Tuberose) but creamy rich with a hint of peach, whereas Carolina Herrera is greener, a bit more floral and transparent (like Creed Fleurissimo, Oscar de La Renta Volupté, Grès Cabotine or Valentino) and, to my surprise when I first smelled it, way, way muskier with pronounced (and very animalic) jasmine. This is a perfume that's beautiful yet borderline stinky. Although I think it's an awesome fragrance, I'll admit it feels a bit sweaty to me due to the indoles, and so strongly floral, it's a bit "much" even for me sometimes, but on occasion, I get in the mood for it and so I keep a mini on hand. As far as its 1980s strength is concerned, I think it can rival Giorgio (another tuberose-based blend leaning towards Green). Carolina Herrera is known to be a beloved perfume of Angelina Jolie. Not for the faint of heart, it definitely makes a statement.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lagniappe Oaks Jazzelle

Argh - half the summer's gone already, and I can't believe how fast! After a day at the pool and an indulgent dinner, there's nothing quite like a rich, chocolaty dessert scent like Lagniappe Oaks Jazzelle. Lagniappe Oaks hails from the famous French Quarter in New Orleans, Lousiana, and this scent, Jazzelle, is a Belgian chocolate blend with cinnamon, rose hips and orange blossom. It is one of the scents in the Jazz Ensemble line, an homage to New Orleans, the home of Jazz. The other scents in the line are Jazmine (spicy jasmine), Jazebelle (white ginger & Butterfly Lily) and Jazz Royale (Oakmoss, Cedar, Sandalwood, South Louisiana's own Vetiver), and they all sound scrumptious but I haven't tested them yet.

Now, I gotta say, New Yorkers love chocolate, and Jazzelle is the ultimate single note chocolate I've ever smelled as a perfume. I might compare it to other chocolates out there such as Chocolovers or New York's Serendipity 3 restaurant's Serendipitous (orange-chocolate with marshmallows to my nose), Comptoir Sud Pacifique Amour de Cacao (Cocoa Puffs - light and fluffy), DSH Piment et Chocolat (spicy, pungent chocolate, kinda like Mexican chicken Mole), Montale Chocolate Greedy (like DSH Piment et Chocolat light, maybe a bit sweeter and more chocolaty), and even my own creation, Persephone New York (blackberry-dark chocolate-amber, Mysore sandalwood and royal purple flowers), but Jazzelle is uniquely focused on rich and dark chocolate, like biting into a dusted truffle and letting it slowly melt in your mouth. I don't detect much else but chocolate but when that's all I'm in the mood for, Jazzelle more than hits the spot.

The dry down is surprisingly sensual, almost rosy-pungent (maybe this is where the rose hip notes come through along with orange blossom) with the alluring skin scent effect of creamy vanilla. It's sinful, decadent, and best of all, it satisfies with zero calories!

From Lagniappe Oakes' website (
Jazzelle Lagniappe Oaks (Provocative & Passionate)
Notes: Orange blossom and rose hips, dusted with cinnamon and then drenched in Belgium chocolate

(Image: Sarah Vaughn (artist unknown)

Sung by Alfred Sung

The signature perfume by designer Alfred Sung is a gorgeous white floral on the Green olfactive spectrum. It's elegant, sophisticated, clean and modern, with a sultry wooded base that never overwhelms the delicate composition but enhances its luxurious effect with a touch of warm, musky mystery. I've loved Sung from first sniff since its launch in 1986, and although I don't wear it anymore, it was once a signature of mine, a beloved scent now adored by my mom. I've read some reviews of it being a heady floral, and I think it could be considered one if you're not a fan of white florals, but for those of us who love heady white florals, Sung comes across as a breezy and crisp green scent. If you like Floris Seringa or their Gardenia, Parfums d'Orsay Tilleul, Eau de Givenchy, Jean Patou Vacances, Carolina Herrera 212, Shiseido Relaxing Fragrance or Clarins Elysium, you might also like Sung. Since my mom who has loved Guerlain Mitsouko also loves it, I think there is prominent vetiver as well as some spicy elements in Sung, although I don't particularly think of it as being spicy, but just a bit on the crisp, sharp side. It's what gives it the leafy, natural freshness that uplifts and gives off a vivacious, confident aura. Although it's a light floral composition with lily-of-the-valley being at the forefront, it carries some wooded weight and packs jasmine & tuberose-hearted sillage. As with most perfumes, one or two spritzes will do the job.

A wildly popular scent, Sung is often found in malls and drugstores, with eau de toilettes available from a miniature size up to a huge 3.4 oz., but Sung is a prestige fragrance, also available at select shops in pure parfum form. Sung is a timeless, understated classic from the "more is more" 1980s, and while everything '80s is reborn again (as are skinny jeans which I never gave up on - YAY!!), Sung can effortlessly fit right back into the scene alongside Poison, Tresor, Calyx and all the rest.


Parfums D'Orsay Tilleul

Tilleul by Parfums d'Orsay is to me the essence of a country summer redolent of linden blossoms in the air, the sun on the fields, beeswax and hay plus a hint of watermelon in the distance (although it's hard to detect marine notes in this floral fragrance). It reminds me very much of some other Green Floral favorites of mine such as Sung by Alfred Sung, Jean Patou Vacances, Floris Seringa, and also of Cartier Panthère Eau Legere and Frederic Malle En Passant. Born in 1955, Tilleul is a floral scent, a white floral-green floral combination with a touch of fruit that is very clean and pretty, lovely to dab or spritz on after a shower. If the thought of perfuming in the summer heat isn't appealing to you, Tilleul is also available as a luxury soap in an array of sizes to choose from.

Notes on Basenotes:
Parfums d'Orsay Tilleul (1955)
Top notes: Lemon Tree Leaf, Angelica, Watermelon
Middle Notes: Lime Blossom, Cyclamen
Base Notes: Beeswax, Acacia Wood.


Floris Seringa

Floris Seringa (1992) is the most popular fragrance in the line and one of my favorite Green Florals of all time. It's just so fresh and elegant at once, reminding me of Eau de Givenchy except for me, it's easier to wear. Seringa refers to syringa or lilac, a white floral in the green olfactory spectrum which gives it a sharp edge, and Floris' version is very light and citrusy fresh, a beautiful fragrance. It's floral but not too flowery which I like - a fresh-out-of-the-shower clean scent for floral lovers if that makes sense. I might also compare it to D'Orsay Tilleul, Sung by Alfred Sung, Jean Patou Vacances, and to a lesser degree, Cartier Panthère Eau Legere (the green one). In a Floris catalog some time ago, I'd read that Seringa was geared towards the sophisticated, assertive woman, which brought to mind how many successful women have been known to sport green scents: Coco Mademoiselle with her Chanel No.19, Estée Lauder with her Private Collection, Barbara Walters Carven Ma Griffe, Diane Sawyer Henry Dunay Sabi. Like a crisp white shirt, Floris Seringa feels breezy to wear and appropriate from professional office settings to a casual picnic in the park.

Notes on
Top notes: bergamot, green, violet leaf
Heart notes: carnation, jasmine, lily, rose, seringa, ylang ylang
Base notes: frankincense, musk, oakmoss, patchouli, tonka bean, vanilla


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Antonia's Flowers Floret

Antonia's Flowers Floret (1995) was made famous by its association with rapper Eve who was said to never leave home without a bottle of Floret stashed in her bag. I was lucky enough to have tested Floret a few years before that bit of perfume celeb news, back when Antonia's Flowers offered free samples of their luxurious niche line. Based in The Hamptons in New York's Long Island (just outside New York City), Floret hails from a florist shop. Redolent of sweet peas and ripe, peachy apricots, it's a beautiful combination of fruits and florals, fresh and sweet, with a hint of green vivacity, for summertime and any time of year.

I also recommend for you to try Tiempe Passate by Antonia's Flowers, made famous by Jennifer Lopez who is said to adore the blend of salty Montauk rose and ambery woods.


Annick Goutal Petite Chérie

Annick Goutal Petite Chérie (1998) is a reference peach in my mind, the one that set the standard before other peachy-peary scents to follow such as Gwen Stefani LAMB, Dolce & Gabbana The One, Coquette Tropique and my own creation, Pink Manhattan Purrfume. This type of peachy white floral scent was only preceded by Antonia's Flowers Floret, an apricot-sweet pea blend created 3 years before Petite Chérie, in 1995. There aren't a great many peach perfumes out there that are both truly peachy like biting into a fresh peach and composed with other notes to make them unique. Petite Chérie is among my favorite perfumes - so soft and innocent, yet delicately fresh and vibrant with a slightly green addition of tomato leaf (which is a signature note found in many Annick Goutal fragrances), and I feel just about anyone can pull it off because it smells so lovely. If you like Gwen Stefani LAMB or Dolce & Gabbana The One, you might fall in love with Petite Cherie, a peachy scent in a similar vein but one that's celebrated in the perfume community for its understated, masterfully crafted appeal. If I may be so bold as to compare it briefly with my Pink Manhattan, PM is the more gourmand-sweet and richly vanillic, heady white floral while Petite Chérie is a bit more peary, candied, musky-transparent and soapy-clean with a leafy bite.


Slatkin & Co. Persian Lime Blossom and Mimosa

Somewhere, Annick Goutal Petite Chérie's (1998) soft, creamy peary-peachiness overlapping a semi-powdery white musk base, meets the crisp, green floralcy of L'Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi (notoriously a favorite of Queen Noor of Jordan). That meeting point is the olfactive sensation of Slatkin & Co. Lime Blossom and Mimosa. Another scent it reminds me of is Floret by Antonia's Flowers (1995), a favorite of rap artist Eve), also worth trying. It's one part a fresh Green Floral and another part a milky, youthful Fruity scent. It has a candy-like sweetness and yet it's not too sugary, and in the air its sillage emits a distinctively floral aroma like blooming linden or seringa - green (slightly assertive) and as crisp as a white shirt. The word "pretty" comes to mind as overused as it may be; when it fits, it fits, and here, prettiness is showcased with urbane, streamlined class and casual chic. It's a deft balancing of soft and sharp, and perfect if you don't want anything too perfumey - this is a simple perfume along the lines of Floris, Caswell-Massey or Penhaligon's, meant to give a clean feeling rather than a raunchy, seductive one. Of course, clean can certainly come across as seductive depending on your taste. After all, there was a time during the Middle Ages when the Catholic Church forbade bathing because cleanliness of the body was deemed too sensual (Read A Short History of Bathing before 1601: Washing, Baths, and Hygeine in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, with sidelights on other customs).


Sunday, August 10, 2008

RIP Isaac Hayes


He had a beautiful voice, and wrote several hits including "Soul Man" and "Hold On, I'm Comin'". Soul legend Isaac Hayes will be most sorely missed. Click on the pic and listen to the You Tube clip of Isaac Hayes singing "The Look of Love" by Burt Bacharach live in 1973.

(Image Source:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Pink Manhattan Purrfume Reviewed On Perfume Critic!

Click on the banner to read the latest Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan Purrfume review by Livia Scarcella for Perfume Critic, the international on-line magazine dedicated to olfaction & scent.

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I wish I'd known about this glorious new review of Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan Purrfume by the lovely perfumista and fellow singer Livia Scarcella for Perfume Critic earlier. It was actually published on July 23, 2008, but I'm just now finding it. I'm so thrilled it received a 9 out of 10! I feel very honored to have my perfume written about by a favorite perfume reviewer of mine whose sweet, sexy and (often) feminine taste in fragrances I adore and agree with, and whom I'd dearly love to meet and jam with one day - here in the Big Apple or Down Under, I'd be up for some mighty good-spirited, healthy competition, too! ;-)

On a side note, please go ahead and laugh because Terms of Endearment which she mentioned happens to be a favorite chick film of mine. I'm actually quite the "girly girl" woman at heart!

Livia Scarcella is an aspiring musician, who has gained a Diploma of Ministry, focusing on Worship & Creative Arts, from Hillsong International Leadership College. Livia is currently working as a Sales Assistant in Sydney, Australia. Livia’s favourite aromas include apple and vanilla. She may be contacted at [Livia at perfumecritic dot com].

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur

This is definitely nicer than the original Black Orchid which I didn't like at all (and the ad campaign for it, I liked even less). I also like it better than Jovan Black Orchid for those of you who have smelled the drugstore scent from way back, but the type of scent is very similar to that: an intense tropical floral. It packs the same punch as tuberose but it leans more towards green, giving it a slightly sharper, stronger edge. It's a gorgeous, lush fragrance, like an in-your-face flower in majestic dark purple hues. On the skin, the vibe is very beachy to me, like suntan oil, although I received a comment today that I smelled like barbeque. There must be a musky, woody and animalic base note in here somewhere, probably borrowing from the original Black Orchid.

(Image: Now Smell This blog)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

How To Not Have Enemies - Joke (forward)

This is another great forward from a friend:

How To Not Have Enemies

Toward the end of Sunday service, the Minister asked,
'How many of you have forgiven your enemies?'
80% held up their hands.
The Minister then asked ‘How many of you are willing to forgive your enemies?’
All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.
'Mrs. Neely?'; 'Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?'
I don't have any.' She replied, smiling sweetly.
'Mrs. Neely, that is very unusual. How old are you?'
'Ninety-eight.' she replied.
'Oh, Mrs. Neely, would you please come down in front & tell us all how
a person can live ninety-eight years & not have an enemy in the world?'
The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle,
faced the congregation, and said:

'I outlived the bitches.'

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Guerlain Liu

Named for the Chinese character, Liù, in Puccini's famous opera, Turandot (listen to the touching aria, "Nessun Dorma", and you might catch the vibe of this fragrance...after bawling your eyes out), Guerlain Liu is a great Guerlain classic, one of the most beautiful, albeit quiet and often overlooked, compositions ever made. Liu was created in 1929 by Jacques Guerlain. It is said Liu was created for Mamie Eisenhower (sorry, correction: Rose Kennedy - I just checked the celeb user list in Jan Moran's book, Fabulous Fragrances II, in which Ethel Kennedy and Diana Ross are also mentioned as Liu wearers) who loved Chanel No.5 but could not wear it. Liu is an Aldehydic Floral that follows in No.5's powdery, not very flowery but more bergamot-jasmine-woodsy-ambery, abstract leathery tradition - in fact, right now, Liu parfum which I'm wearing reminds me very much of Weil Zibeline (1928), only lighter and more streamlined, delicate, less-is-more chic. Liu is among Guerlain's most ethereal and elegant creations, as delicate perhaps as Après l'Ondée but more full-bodied. Both are subtle blends with powdery iris and sheer heliotropic-vanillic bases, and the Guerlinade comes through beautifully in honeyed fashion. The eau de toilette version of Liu is less full-bodied, and smells to me much more sharply aldehydic, making it resemble No.5 even more so than the parfum which, again, resembles Zibeline the more I study its flapper-era composition. Sandalwood peeks through upon dry down, ever so slightly giving it a musky (yet neither dirty nor animalic), absolutely ladylike ending. The implied gourmand element is ever so subtly sweet on skin, making it a sublimely attractive perfume.

I'd heard some time ago Liu had been reissued after being discontinued, but I don't believe the exquisite parfum is being produced.

Notes: Guerlain Liu (1929)
Top notes: Bergamot, neroli
Heart Notes: Jasmine, May rose, iris
Base Notes: Amber, vanilla, woods