Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2009 FiFi Award Winner: Bois de Jasmin Blog!

PINK MANHATTAN would like to send special, heartfelt congratulations to Victoria of Bois de Jasmin blog for her FiFi Award win!!

Please visit Bois de Jasmin to read her unforgettable award-winning article: Scents of Cities : Kiev

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meet the Animals of Castlehom

If you're into Myers-Briggs (MBTI) / Jungian function Theory personality typing as I am, you MUST visit The Castlehom Chronicles by Richard Laratt ( (the linked page is tagged as ESFP). It is absolute brilliance!

Excerpt from the page: "...there is Raymond Lothario Dumbo Rat, Harvard Whiz Rat, BrunoBrunhilda, death dealing rat snake, and all the other animals that form a jungian dreamscape, a spectrum of personalities from ESTJ (007) to INTP (einstein)."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Is it Love? Finding the Perfect Signature Scent

It's springtime in NYC, and love must be in the air. Have you ever fallen in love with a perfume so hard, it was the only thing you ever wanted to wear for an extended period of time? Being a signature scentist has not occured to me in quite a few years, but lately, I've only been interested in wearing one fragrance...

Read on: NY Fragrance Examiner: Is it Love? Finding the Perfect Signature Scent

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guerlain Météorites

It may be quaint but there's no perfume composition sweeter and more traditionally girly-feminine than the rose-violet combination, a marriage as historical and sacred as that of red and blue, the colors of the city of Paris incorporated into the French flag itself...

Please visit my article here: NY Fragrance Examiner: Guerlain Meteorites: The maquillage scent of a woman


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Escada Sentiment

Sentiment - like a Celine Dion ballad, it seems to belong on the dance floor of a catered, emotion-filled affair. It's something old and something new - and in a purplish hue, it's something red and blue! I envision it on a bridesmaid or prom queen in shades of pink and purple, or any shiny and colorful gown...

Read more: NY Fragrance Examiner: Escada Sentiment: Sweet emotion of red and blue

Saturday, May 16, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Drugstore Beauties: Top 10 Countdown

Please visit the last article of my Drugstore Beauties series, part of The Examiner's New York's Great Recession project! NY Fragrance Examiner: Drugstore Beauties: Top 10 Countdown

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Givenchy Very Irrésistible

Visit The Examiner to read today's featured review: NY Fragrance Examiner: Givenchy Very Irresistible - Roses that Rock

The month of May was made for this fresh, romantic, all-out pretty scent, Givenchy Very Irrésistible (2003). I once recall passing it by when I realized patchouli was the principal base note, a note I often find overwhelmingly heavy, but I needn't have worried; this is a beautiful, light-hearted and well-composed rose-patchouli blend with emphasis on clear but robust florals and a hint of sweet anise. As Liv Tyler is seen in the ad wearing a Western hat, the rose, the central motif of Very Irrésistible, is conversely indicative of the Spanish influence on the Western parts of the United States, in sync with the passionate symbolism of the rose in French and other Latin cultures worldwide. A rose is still a rose, and it reminds me of how the songwriting capital of America is Nashville, Tennessee, home of Country music and the heartland where many songs in all genres must pass through first to get across the nation's airwaves. The rose is the heartland of perfumery, and a good rose perfume must strike an emotional chord within us. This youthful bouquet is classified in the Spicy Floral family but it also crosses over to the Floral Oriental realm with sensual woody-vanillic tones. The dry down is quite heady and floral with a brightly blooming rose-white floral (peony) heart. I LOVE this fragrance and I'm wearing it everywhere these days.

Givenchy Very Irrésistible Sensual is the eau de parfum (EDP) version, which is the same scent but a slightly stronger, more bottom-heavy composition. I notice more patchouli in it, but again, it doesn't overwhelm me. The lighter hot pink bottle is the original eau de toilette (EDT) while the darker, more purple version is the eau de parfum. Another version called Very Irresistible Sensual Velvet is still available at select online stores; this is a limited edition EDP with a purple rose accessory that comes wrapped around the bottle (shown above). It's a gorgeous presentation but I have yet to see it in person. Scentwise, I love this version, too - I don't know which I prefer and would rather not have to choose.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day is May 10, 2009

In celebration and rememberance

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Faces of Chanel N°5

Catherine Deneuve in a Chanel No.5 ad

The new Chanel No.5 commercial with Audrey Tautou starring in it (you can watch it on You Tube here) has its good points: set in breathtaking locations, it's slow-moving and visually beautiful albeit slightly creepy due to the stalkerish stranger theme, crescendoing with a Billie Holiday song in the background and all coming to some kind of happy ending. However, the cute and delicate star (whose films I have yet to see) doesn't have a single thing to say except a breathlessly whispered "Chanel No.5" at the end, and she remains in my eyes this quiet, passive little girl-woman, the type I grew up being told nice Japanese girls ought to behave. Clearly, the director is the star of this show, and there must be people who appreciate her unassuming girl-next-door style and ability to not get in the way. But she is charming in her own doe-eyed Lolita-esque way and can now enjoy the ranks of beautiful Chanel No.5 women: Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Nicole Kidman and Estella Warren.

Audrey Tautou

Givenchy L'Interdit

L'Interdit, launched in 1957 by Givenchy, is most notorious for being Audrey Hepburn's signature fragrance. Sources say it was actually created for her, and it was made available to the masses only after she had worn it for awhile (and maybe wanted some variety, to free herself from being a signature scentist? We haven't been informed of that part yet. Incidentally, sources say she also had worn Pierre Balmain Ivoire and Creed Spring Flower). First, before I review L'Interdit, I need to clarify that this review is for the original 1957 version. The new L'Interdit, the one that sits on the counters at department stores today, smells nothing like the real L'Interdit. The original scent which I'd tested for the first time at a Manhattan Sephora back when they used to carry lots of cool, rare stuff, was a spicy, powdery Aldehydic Floral, not this nondescript Fruity Floral on a detergentesque white musk base that the legendary perfume name and Audrey Hepburn's images now represent.

The original L'Interdit was an Aldehydic Floral in the style of Chanel N°5 (1921). If you're familiar with N°5, the world-famous iconic perfume, you know it's a powdery scent, but not powdery like baby powder but a bit sharp like the inside of a makeup bag - that maquillage scent associated with well-groomed ladies. The difference between N°5 and L'Interdit is that L'Interdit is a spicier scent, as if cinnamon and clove got in the mix and made it hot enough to warrant the use of the color red for its packaging. One might imagine blending Chanel N°5 and a classic carnation soliflore (carnation can smell spicy like cinnamon) like Malmaison by Floris of London (a scent associated with Oscar Wilde's choice of buttonhole flower), and you would come close. Better yet, you might also tone down the whole composition in the way Guerlain Liu (1929) had quieted down the structure of Chanel N°5 for Rose Kennedy because N°5 and its overdose of aldehydes were too much for her.

L'Interdit, meaning "forbidden" (because the legend goes Ms. Hepburn told Hubert de Givenchy it was forbidden to share her special perfume with the world), brings to mind a different time, when perfumes like L'Air du Temps, Heaven Sent and Je Reviens were popular. As a matter of fact, L'Interdit smells very similar to these as well, since all of them are spicy (to connote invigorating youth, perhaps, like Youth Dew?), densely powdery perfumes with innocence as the selling point. Sugar and spice and everything nice...innocent but sophisticated (and forbidden! What a way to signal the misogynistic good / bad female dichotomy while hinting at the age of consent), the gamine beauty's signature only lives on as a rare collector's item, and I dearly wish Givenchy would simply bring it back in the same way we would not throw away a Beethoven Sonata just because it doesn't fit into today's aesthetics. Rearrange it to your heart's desire but don't just replace it. Perfumes, besides being works of art born of someone's vision and creativity, are stories of people's lives, and we want to know who our mothers and grandmothers and all the women we love throughout Herstory were before us.


(Images: Parfum de Pub,

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Revlon Jean Naté

In the October 1987 market crash, Jean Naté was bought by Revlon from a New York-based company called Charles of the Ritz. The fragrance was created by coiffeur Charles Jundt who took over the Manhattan beauty salon of the New York City Ritz (later the Ritz-Carlton) hotel. Born in 1935, Jean Nate itself is a fragrance launched during the Great Depression, but due to its pleasant, thoroughly likable scent, it remains highly successful to this day. When I was a kid, I couldn't go to a friend's house without seeing a bottle of Revlon Jean Naté After Bath Splash in their bathroom. Even now, there are few American bathroom cabinets that didn't have one of these drugstore treasures nestled somewhere. I figured it was a lemony scent based on the yellow color of the perfume and the description of it being cool and refreshing, but it's actually quite recent that I actually made the plunge and got myself some Jean Naté to splash on, to see what the fuss was about...

Continue reading this article, part of the on-going New York's Great Recession project at The Examiner: NY Fragrance Examiner: Drugstore Beauties: Revlon Jean Nate - Splash on the Ritz!

Revlon Flair

Continue reading my Drugstore Beauties series - Featured Review: Revlon Flair (2006)

NY Fragrance Examiner: Drugstore Beauties: Revlon Flair, Chypre for a new generation

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

NY Fragrance Examiner: Mother's Day Gift Ideas: Pretty in Pink for every style

Featured: Donna Karan Be Delicious Fresh Blossom, Fifi Chachnil, the new refillable Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Read: NY Fragrance Examiner: Mother's Day Gift Ideas: Pretty in Pink for every style

Sunday, May 03, 2009

May 2009 Top 10 Fragrances

Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan Purrfume 2005 (1/8 fl. oz., discontinued)

My top favorites list for May is mostly all modern, firmly in the Gourmand realm with the occasional Fougère mixed in.

1. Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan Purrfume
2. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
3. L'Instant de Guerlain
4. Christian Dior Addict
5. Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison
6. Vera Wang Rock Princess
7. Serge Lutens Gris Clair
8. Jil Sander Style
9. Nina by Nina Ricci
10. Yardley English Lavender

Sanctuary - Utada Hikaru

This one's with the singer appearing in the video

Michael Brecker: Syzygy, Stella by Starlight, Oleo, Suspone

"Syzygy" (excerpt): Blue Note, Tokyo, Japan - 2nd February [2004]

Gotta love You Tube and all these treasures I keep finding.

"Oleo" 1983 (excerpt): 'Jazz at the Gateway' Edinburgh This solo is transcribed at

"Oleo" 1984: From the Spring 1984 Jazz Lecture Series at North Texas State University.

"Stella by Starlight" 1984: This is from the morning session. The rhythm section is made up of students in the jazz program.

"Suspone": Free Jazz Festival '88 - Brazil - Rio - Mike Stern, Jeff Andrews, Joey Calderazzo, Dennis Chambers

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The INxJ and the Jungian Function Preferences

I retook the Cognitive Development Survey (I use Group ID "facebook" which works) and came up with these results (they are different from the last set of results but the overall reading remains pretty much the same, that I appear as an INxJ):

In order of preferred function: Ni > Fi = Te > Se = Ne > Fe > Si > Ti

So I finally got it. It's my Te (extraverted Thinking) and Fi (introverted Feeling) that are even, making it hard to type me between T / F. As you'll see later, this ambiguity is consistent with other test results I've gotten.

Your Possible Type Code
According to the traditional sorting method of finding the most-used functional pairs, your type might be:

Possible result: INTJ

We are also trying a new sorting method to try to indicate best-fit type. This method is experimental and may not match your type.

Possible result: INFJ

Your Developmental Curve
This model attempts to graph a 'developmental curve'. Theoretically, people should choose simpler, less sophisticated aspects of the cognitive processes more often than they choose complex, more sophisticated aspects. The simpler aspects of each process are necessary to perform the more sophisticated aspects! However, because the phrases are in development, this measure has questionable validity.

Your self-assessment curve = -1.6

-- A curve less than 0 indicates you checked simpler phrases more often than sophisticated ones. This is expected, although a particularly low number (more than -10) might happen if the phrases were particularly unclear to you, or if you under-estimated your abilities.

-- A curve greater than 0 indicates you checked sophisticed phrases more often than simpler ones. This would be counter to a developmental model and might happen if many phrases are badly written or if you have over-estimated your capabilities.

Your Most-Used Processes
Based on your response, these are your top three cognitive processes in use:

Ni : Foreseeing implications and likely effects without external data; realizing 'what will be'; conceptualizing new ways of seeing things; envisioning transformations; getting an image of profound meaning or far-reaching symbols.

Fi : Evaluating; considering importance and worth; reviewing for incongruity; evaluating something based on the truths on which it is based; clarifying values to achieve accord; deciding if something is of significance and worth standing up for.

Te : Ordering, segmenting; organizing for efficiency; systematizing; applying logic; structuring; checking for consequences; monitoring for standards or specifications being met; setting boundaries, guidelines, and parameters; deciding if something is working or not.


Now, this is remarkable, that I scored dead even (literally 50% - 50%) between the T / F dichotomy and yet I was assessed to be an INTJ by the Kisa Personality Test:

Personality test results
Ta-dah, your personality type is INTJ!

Introverted (I) 79% Extraverted (E) 21%
Intuitive (N) 64% Sensing (S) 36%
Thinking (T) 50% Feeling (F) 50%
Judging (J) 64% Perceiving (P) 36%


On a related topic, I took another Enneagram test at and it's been verified I'm a Type 4 followed by Type 5, making me a 4w5.

You Scored as Type Four: The Individualist
You're a type four: THE INDIVIDUALIST. You're dramatic, self-absorbed and temperamental. You like intensity of feelings. You express yourself creatively and are sensitive. You want to find your significance in this world. You are a very deep person that longs for authenticity of feelings in relationships. Your emotional nature makes you particularly good at any creative endeavor. You are special and unique. You're the one who sets fashion. You are original.

Type Four: The Individualist 86%
Type Five: The Investigator 80%

Here's a crazy awesome directory, a site that lists tons of free online personality tests. Have fun!

Related link: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan

INFJ and the ISTJ Shadow - August 14, 2010 Pink Manhattan

Revlon Fire & Ice

"In the factory, we make cosmetics; in the store, we sell hope." -- Charles Revson

Revlon, a New York legacy of a cosmetics company, was founded in 1932 during the midst of the Great Depression. In 1952, an advertisement for a red lipstick shade named Fire and Ice became famous for asking, "Are You Made For 'Fire and Ice'?". Wikipedia has an entry with details as follows: "What is the American girl made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice? Not since the days of the Gibson Girl! There's a new American beauty. . . she's tease and temptress, siren and gamin, dynamic and demure...

Curiously enough, the matching fragrance called Fire & Ice, although it wasn't launched until almost half a decade later in 1994, bears an idealized "Italian" characteristic of a full-bodied and ornamental "hot" Aldehydic Floral Oriental with prominent notes of orange blossom, osmanthus and narcissus spilling over an ambery, woody and musky base. It reminds me very much of Liz Claiborne Realities which had launched in 1990 and become a mainstream hit. However, it also reminds me very much of Laura Biagiotti Venezia (1992) in which similar notes were used, such as a profusion of white flowers and osmanthus over an ambery-woody-musky base. The "hot" aldehydic element of Fire & Ice smells to me similar to that of Vicky Tiel Sirene, a Floral Oriental fragrance created in the same year as Fire & Ice, in 1994. I would describe it as a hot and commanding fragrance with lots of sillage. It's orange-toned and sweet, musky, voluptuous and the dry down stage, even with smoky incense notes, is surprisingly creamy and opaque like Venetian glass.

Read more about Fire & Ice, the 1950s "Fire and Ice" women and Revlon: NY Fragrance Examiner: Drugstore Beauties: Revlon Fire and Ice, 1950s American bombshell


I love these; they're fabulously useful quotes for the up-and-coming entrepreneur, superstar, you name it - sky's the limit! To life, love and success!


Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right. ~Henry Ford

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am not a has-been. I am a will be. ~Lauren Bacall

Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong. ~Peter T. Mcintyre

Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic. ~Jean Sibelius

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. ~Sonya Friedman

If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ~Vincent Van Gogh


Read more: Quotations about Confidence