Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kat Von D Sinner (2009 New Launch and Fragrance Review)

Are you a Kat Von D Saint or Sinner? These brand new scents by Los Angeles based tattoo artist Kat Von D are sort of a buzz right now, and I, too, wanted to know what kinds of scents would be assigned to names like Saint and Sinner. What kinds of notes say "innocence" or "naughty" to you? If you happen to order anything from Sephora, include the code VIBKVD and receive free samples of Kat Von D Saint and Sinner fragrances (twist cap glass vials like the Jo Malone sample vials, on a card). I don't know how long this offer will last, but in case you miss the deal by the time you find this article, these scents would be easy to test at a Sephora store, or you can get the sleek and convenient little roll-ons online. The sample card I received from Sephora came with the two glass vials which are unmarked except to say "Fragrance #A" or "Fragrance #B". They ask you to guess which is which, Saint or Sinner (the answers are on the card). Sephora has even set up a quiz on Facebook for those of you who want to see which scent character fits you best. Like the Benefit Crescent Row Collection, this fragrance debut by Kat Von D feels fun and exciting to be part of, like an interactive game of sorts.

Today, I'll start with a brief review of Sinner. Check out the buzz: Kat Von D Sinner (2009 New Launch and Fragrance Review)

Added 9/01/2009: Click here for my review of Kat Von D Saint!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beach Roses: Les Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose, Rose d'Ete

As Miles Davis' All Blues goes, "the sea, the sky, you and I"...

Here's today's entry at The Examiner: Beach Roses: Les Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose, Rose d'Ete

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cacharel Gloria

These sugared almonds, candied roses and peppery woods are all carried on a fluffy rain cloud (for the ozonic note), seemingly innocent until the Amaretto eventually rears its naughty, heady head. This note is cherry-like (in its intensity) yet orange-tinged, penetratingly boozy, lending this otherwise girlish composition a somewhat grown-up, perfumey edge. As with Anaïs Anaïs, Cacharel does the classic good-girl-bad-girl female dichotomy theme well..

Please visit my review at The Examiner: Cacharel Gloria - Candied roses and almonds, powdered sugar for a coquette

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fume for Thought: More perfume restrictions on raw ingredients starting Jan. 01, 2010

First, oakmoss, now jasmine. Why question the IFRA on their ruling over restrictions of raw materials used in perfumery? Brave New World, meet Alphaville. Read Asking Why Instead of Saying Because - by Caitlin Shortell, Legerdenez, posted on 8/16/09

(PS: I think it's about cutting costs more so than protecting fragrance users from the threat of allergic reactions from natural ingredients. It's funny how such a ruling makes synthetics suddenly seem much safer for us all. Why, we'd be doomed without technological breakthroughs!)

Related link: Naturals are no longer eco-friendly! The "natural" fragrances of the future -, Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A New York Midsummer Top 10

Blue skies smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies over me!

L'Heure Bleue with its orange blossom heart wrapped in melancholic hues of blues and purples, fits the wistful midsummer emotion I feel, of never wanting to say goodbye, a feeling that was so perfectly captured by this pre-WWI creation of then-peaceful 1912 Paris - taking in the astounding colors of twilight, never wanting this beautiful time to end.

Please visit the Examiner to view my Top 10 list: A New York Midsummer Top 10

Friday, August 14, 2009

Givenchy Organza Indécence

Organza Indécence (...) like gourmet s'mores with toasted marshmallows and hot chili pepper chocolates, or perhaps if you prefer imagery without it being literally foody, a seductress in black velvet and lace. This perfect olfactory blend of gustative and elegant is perfect for Fall, but also wearable all year long if you love this type of classic Oriental with a modern gourmand kick.

Please visit the Examiner for today's featured review: Featured Review: Givenchy Organza Indecence

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Guerlain Samsara Shine

I have the greatest respect for those flankers that manage to win hearts and stand the test of time (...) and even if shortlived on the market, those that capture the overall essence of the originals in creative ways. Such flankers would have to be composed by perfumers who know what they're doing, both as noses who can create unique scents, and as artists who approach their work with the more personal, larger scope of their collections in mind.

Guerlain Samsara Shine, a Green Floral with a woody-ambery (dry and sweet) Oriental base, is a newer take on the famous Samsara, which, to my delight, resembles the original in compositional structure and overall feel, yet they're clearly different arrangements. These compositions are based on totally different notes, yet elicit the same nostalgic response from me, impressing me as a piece of olfactive art...

Please visit today's article at The Examiner: Featured Review: Guerlain Samsara Shine

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Perfume and Music 101: Notes and Pitch

Perfume and Music 101: Notes and Pitch - by Sali Oguri

To simplify understanding the connection between music and perfume, we need to begin with pitch. When a musical sound (note) is high like a note played on a violin, we call it high-pitched. Soprano singers sing in this range. In perfume, the same concept applies: mint and lemon are high-pitched smells (also called notes). When we hear a high note, we might imagine sparkling water or birds singing. When we smell high-pitched notes, we might have similar visions. Enter, bass and baritone: When a pitch is low enough to be played on a bass, it's low-pitched. When we hear or smell something low-pitched, we might imagine a dark forest or a warm log cabin with a fireplace. Patchouli, musk and amber are low-pitched. Between high and low, we find violas and cellos in the alto and tenor range - these would correlate to middle or heart notes in perfume, such as jasmine and rose (called the heart of perfumery with good reason). We may not all have synesthesia, but we make associations in our minds between things we come across in our everyday lives and the sensations we perceive.

In perfume, we often speak of top, middle (heart) and base notes. These correlate to the pitch of notes being used within a three-tier composition (and to simplify that, it means the high / top notes are smelled first and evaporate fastest, followed by the heart notes which give the scent character, and the base notes last the longest on skin and make a lasting impression). Often, we like a perfume from first sniff, but then we don't like the dry down (dry downs are base notes that stay on skin long after the top and heart notes have evaporated). To love a perfume throughout its evolution, we probably need to like all of the notes in a perfume through its various stages. All perfume notes eventually fade, just as musical notes don't linger on forever (with the exception of synthesized notes - but we won't delve into that area just yet), but you can see how the longevity of a note somehow correlates to our perception of it being high or low. It is the same with, say notes on a piano: the high notes don't sustain as long as the low notes.

When we say a perfume smells light or heavy, we often mean the perfumes smell high or low-pitched, but sometimes, we're talking about a whole other thing: volume, or strength. That is, how strong the concentration of scent is determines how we perceive the scent. A light perfume can mean one that's citrusy and light, or one that's of a diluted and sheer concentration (like eau de toilettes or colognes). Likewise, heavy might mean stronger and more concentrated (parfum, eau de parfum) as opposed to decribing a low-pitched scent. Still there is a connection to be made here as well: a low-pitched note indeed lasts longer, and therefore could be perceived as stronger than higher-pitched ones. This is why we can sometimes apply more lemon perfume and get away with it, in a way we can't with a boldly wooded one.

As with all walks of life, the more we understand, the more pleasure we can derive from a particular art or discipline.


This article is featured at The Examiner as part of the ongoing Info 101 project: Perfume and Music 101: Notes and Pitch - by Sali Oguri

Perfume and Jewellery: Fragrance 101 by Cleveland Fragrance Examiner Beth Schreibman Gehring

Don't miss this pearl of wisdom! This is a very informative article regarding perfume use and the proper care of precious jewels. Fragrance and the care of your fine jewelry by Cleveland Fragrance Examiner Beth Schreibman Gehring on May 9, 2009

(Image: Australian South Sea Pearl FZCO - History of Pearls,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Perfume Flanker 101 - Trends and Buzzwords

Calvin Klein Eternity Moment, Britney Spears Curious In Control, Dior Addict Shine, Curve Chill, Curve Connect, Cat Deluxe with Kisses, Vol de Nuit Evasion. If these perfume names sound discombobulated to you, you're not alone. Flankers (spin offs) have been around for many years, even in the drugstore market with scent series like Revlon Charlie Gold, Silver, Sunshine, Pink, Red, White and Blue (FYI - the original 1973 Green Floral Chypre is now referred to as Charlie Blue). Hundreds of flankers are launched every season...

More at The Examiner as part of an ongoing project, Info 101: Perfume Flanker 101 - Trends and Buzzwords by NY Fragrance Examiner Sali Oguri

Friday, August 07, 2009

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique

This is a scent I grew to love, especially since I fell for Guerlain Les Secrets de Sophie, my unrequited orange blossom love, and I became interested in finding something similar but more easily accessible...

Please see my latest featured review at The Examiner: Jean Paul Gaultier Classique - Scent of a Diva

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fred Kimmel "Into You" in August 2009 Keyboard Magazine

Congratulations to Fred Kimmel for his song, "Into You", being featured in this month's Keyboard Magazine!!! With comparisons made to Nine Inch Nails, "Into You" is worthy of winning 2nd Place in the Keyboards that Rawk contest.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Boadicea the Victorious Delicate

Read today's featured review at The Examiner: Boadicea the Victorious Delicate: The Choice of First Lady Michelle Obama

Source: English and its Historical Development, Part 5: The great bronze statue of Boudicca was commissioned by Prince Albert (husband and consort of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1819-1861). It presents Boudicca in her war chariot (shown with scythes in the Persian fashion), together with her two daughters. The plinth (stone-block structure) upon which this statue rests is engraved with the words:

This statue by Thomas Thornycroft was presented to London by his son Sir John Isaac Thornycroft C.E. and placed here by the London County Council A.D. 1902.
Boadicea (Boudicca) Queen of the Iceni
Who died A.D. 61 after leading her people against the Roman invader.

Read more about Boadicea at

There's been a whole lot of buzz in perfumistaville regarding First Lady Michelle Obama's perfume choices, and of course, as a diehard fragrance lover, it's the one type of celeb gossip I'm interested in. Whether it's true or not that the famous people associated with these perfumes actually wear them (does the lovely French First Lady Carla Bruni really wear Versace Versus which she modelled for?), such little tidbits can enhance my own enjoyment of perfume, or at least get my curiosity piqued. Perfume appreciation, as with all things arts-related, is largely imaginative, after all. Mrs. Obama is reported to have been presented by the illustrious House of Creed with their newest launch called Acqua Fiorentina. She is notoriously a lover of another Creed named Love in White, which was previously presented to former First Lady Laura Bush. All of this follows the big perfumista news, that Mrs. Obama had bought not one, but three, fragrances by a new London-based line called Boadicea the Victorious. Her choices according to various sources are: Noble, Divine and Delicate - all perfume names that could easily reflect the ideal character of a First Lady. My review today will focus on Boadicea the Victorious Delicate (2008), so far my favorite of the intriguing British line.

Although her perfume taste might seem floral and sweet, Love in White isn't a very sweet scent. Comparatively, Boadicea the Victorious Delicate is even less sweet, a crisp, breezy and classic Green Floral with prominent galbanum on a styrax base. At first sniff, I was instantly reminded of the great classic Pierre Balmain Vent Vert, and also of Estée Lauder Private Collection. This is a light, high-pitched composition, thus giving the impression of being delicate, but it has a sharp, bold bite, redolent of green leaves and woodsiness, without a whole lot of frilly frou frou floralcy, just a delicate, humble bouquet of spring flowers centered around hyacinths and lilies. Chic and well-groomed, it smells like it would go well with any one of her many smart career looks. Although it's a fairly streamlined scent structure, lovers of classic Aldehydics with Green Chypre nuances along the lines of Chanel No.19, Hermes Calèche or Oh! de London might give it a try as well. I haven't smelled the rest of the perfumes she's associated with, but Delicate is an elegant, even pristine, choice for a focused and dedicated no-nonsense woman with a quiet, introvertedly sentimental side.

The Celtic Patterned Silver bottle looks pretty appealing and substantial, too. (Image: