Monday, September 27, 2010

My List of Fall 2010 Top 10 Fragrances



While many people might be looking for an autumn cornucopia of woods, leaves and dried fruits to ring in the fall harvest mood, I went searching for a bottle of a discontinued fragrance, Gabriele Strehle Strenesse (2001). I once had a miniature I'd either misplaced or given away; I remember it as being a hypersweet almond-peach-vanilla composition, somewhere between Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison (1998) and Tanya Sarne Ghost (2001) in overall effect. I absolutely love the minimalist, urbane look of the bottle combined with the pale, milky, bluish white hue of the juice. I wish the new Strenesse 2010 which is to be launched in the US at Kmart this fall (according to this article at The Examiner) looked as sleek and modern; I think the new bottle design looks like Halle Berry's fragrance design, with the designer's signature embossed across the bottle. Aesthetically, I prefer the tall, cylindrical skyscraper shape, with simple fonts, beautifully streamlined in black and white - although I wouldn't mind an actually hand-signed bottle if it existed. I hope the new fragrance is something worth looking into. The description of the new Strenesse at Now Smell This, “a subtly seductive alternative to opulent, overpowering orientals”, sounds rather like admonishment of my taste in fragrance than an invitation to try something as exciting as the original Strenesse.

My current taste in perfume could be summarized as different interpretations of peaches and cream, although powder, sweet and floral, not too rosy but a candied mix of rose and violet, also fits into this floral gourmand spectrum. I played around with Bulgari pour Femme for awhile, and found its understated aldehydic softness pleasant but overall too rosy for me; the more violetty and slightly insolent Valentino Rock 'n Rose hits the spot for my current energy level, as well as the classic spicy Oriental violet-woods-vanilla, Guerlain Vol de Nuit (1933), a powdery rich classic in the tradition of Liu (1929). I'm tired of the white musk base I find in Miss Dior Cherie (edited: sorry, friends - I meant Miss Dior Cherie L'eau), Kenzo Amour and Eau Florale, so, as much as I adore them, I haven't worn them since the middle of the summer; I'm also tired of patchouli, so, as much as I still can't let go of Nina Ricci Nina, Givenchy Very Irrésistible and Bond No.9 Bryant Park, I know my days with these beauties are limited. I want a soft amber-woods-vanilla base, with smooth, rich, sweet floral notes, rounded out with peach tones and a healthy dose of spice. When I want something simple with which to clear the palate so-to-speak, I have my lemony light chypre eau de cologne of choice, Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien, always great to have on stand-by.

I also pulled out my Cacharel Gloria, which I find more appealing than Guerlain My Insolence to which I'd compared it once; My Insolence is much more patchouli-heavy, and cakey gourmand, whereas Gloria is fresher, spicy, not too different from Naomi Campbell Mystery, only with sweet orangey, amaretto notes. It is delish, perfect for the season. I like to layer it with L'Occitane Almond Blossom Dew for a marzipan effect.

In this peachy phase I'm in, I'm still wearing my own creation, the peach-gardenia-vanilla Pink Manhattan, but when I want something more nocturnal in atmosphere, I turn to my favorite fragrance of the moment, Boucheron Jaïpur Saphir, my dream of a spiced peaches and cream scent. I've written an in-depth post about my love for this beautiful perfume at this link. Upon sharing that, I wanted to continue the Pink Manhattan blog tradition of compiling my Top 10 fragrances list, so here goes:

My Top 10 List of Fall 2010

1. Boucheron Jaïpur Saphir
2. Valentino Rock 'n Rose
3. Guerlain Idylle
4. Gabriele Strehle Strenesse
5. Dolce & Gabbana The One
6. Guerlain Vol de Nuit
7. Cacharel Gloria
8. Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien
9. Pink Manhattan Purrfume
10. Givenchy Very Irrésistible

While I'm here, may I add one note of criticism about Sephora's Fragrance Finder? I wish they'd add "Fruity" to the list of descriptions to find a scent. I would search for Dolce & Gabbana The One under a fruit note like peach, never thinking it would be Floral or Oriental, even though a Floral Oriental is what it technically is. Jan Moran, whose system I love, might call it a Floral Ambery, like she classifies Boucheron Jaïpur Saphir and Christian Dior Poison. D & G The One isn't even as Oriental as those, but I wouldn't call it a Floral. It's a wonderful scent, by the way.