Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fragrance of the Moment

As NYC got hit with 3 feet of snow, I began craving fresh fruity fragrances again, and came across this fantastic 2010 launch for Women. The word "sport" usually turns me off to trying a perfume, since many sport scents are loaded with calone, a synthetic water note, but I swooned for this from first sniff; although there is calone listed in the notes as sea salt (unless by sea salt they meant ambergris, or some new note or accord), it registers to me as Floral rather than Marine, or aqueous (Davidoff Cool Water is an example of an aqueous scent I like). My first impression of it was "sexy red fruit", but what I was smelling was more mandarin orange than papaya or mango. Nevertheless, the sweet, crisp freshness of Green (white floral) freesia and honeysuckle notes, with a splash of musky, transparent sea spray, gives this composition both body (full floral heart) and overall lift to the impression of red fruit. During the development stage, I detect a subtle yet mouthwateringly delicious coconut water accord - not Coppertone suntan oil, but jugo de coco - an accord that melds perfectly with a subtle and pleasant skin musk.

This one is for the happy and light Floral and Fruity Floral lovers. Its freshness reminds me of other favorites in the Fruity Floral genre: Creed Spring Flower, Le Cherche Midi 14, Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Charms. Lovers of Donna Karan Be Delicious might find this scent attractive as well. At the dry down stage, it smells mostly like Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, an accord I've smelled over and over in launches of recent past, but without the overload of white musk found in the trendsetter of the past decade, I find Burberry Sport exhilarating, interesting and wearable. I've followed almost all of the Burberry launches since Burberry Society (1991) and loved many of them, but I think this newbie is my favorite.

There is a tiny bit of spice in here, but nothing overwhelming; for those who would prefer a spicier, woodsier and more ambery blend, Burberry The Beat might fit the bill (both Burberry Sport and The Beat were composed by perfumers Olivier Polge and Béatrice Piquet).

Notes on Sephora:
Burberry Sport (2010 Floral)
Mandarin, Sea Salt, Vetiver, Freesia, Honeysuckle, Solar Sand Notes

Friday, January 21, 2011

Top Searches and Popular Pages / Fragrance of the Moment

The most popular pages on Pink Manhattan in order of frequency of hits as of this morning on Friday, January 21, 2011 are as follows:

1. Bauhaus
3. My Chemical Romance
4. Pantone 2011
5. Ophiuchus
6. Kat Von D Sinner
7. Kenzo Flower
8. Chanel N5
9. Enneagram 4w5
10. Postmodernism

Countries in order of most visits:
Top 5: United States (40%), Germany (9.6%), United Kingdom, France, Canada

Willkommen und Hallo! :-)

States / Region in order of most visits:
Top 3: New York, California, New Jersey

Full list: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, India, Croatia, Singapore, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Turkey, Serbia, Philippines, Belgium, Ukraine, Argentina, Peru, Indonesia, Switzerland, Australia, Finland, Norway, Colombia, Ireland, Chile, Greece, Portugal, Venezuela, Slovenia, Lithuania, Japan, Pakistan, Estonia, Georgia, Denmark, Kuwait, Lebanon, Slovakia, South Africa, Taiwan, Malaysia, Sweden, Romania, Republic of Korea

Temperature outside in NYC is currently 27 degrees Fahrenheit / -3°C (feels like 19°F / -7°C with wind chill) - we have snow; my Fragrance of the Moment is Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum. Sending my BIG Love wherever you are in the world! xoxo Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

30 Seconds To Mars - The Kill

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

"King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Wikipedia

Related link: African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968)

"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals."

Martin Luther King, Jr. on War and Peace:
"We will never have peace in the world until men everywhere recognize that ends are not cut off from means, because the means represent the ideal in the making, and the end in process. Ultimately, you can't reach good ends through evil means, because the means represent the seed and the end represents the tree."

Martin Luther King, Jr on the Role of Religion in Society:
"A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man's social conditions....Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.

Such a religion is the kind the Marxists like to see---an opiate of the people."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wintery Fragrant Musings: Loukoum

La Sultane de Saba Loukoum body lotion

I know, it's only a bath and body product and not a real perfume, but I dearly wish this amazing scent was still available in the US. The warm and mellow, slightly spicy but mostly hippy-earthy fragrance was my ultimate comfort scent. Unfortunately, the only carrier I know of no longer has it, and I haven't heard back from the company in France about whether they ship products to the US (and am no longer holding my breath). So, once again, I decided to play the mad scientist to see if I could come up with a layering blend that came reasonably close to this aromatic splendor. As I had jotted down in my review of La Sultane de Saba Loukoum back in 2009, the notes are: white almond milk, honey, rose oil, lemon, clove and cinnamon. The composition is based on a confection known as Turkish delight (lokum, or loukoum).

Why not try other loukoum scents, you say? I of course sought out all of the loukoum scents I could think of, revisiting Serge Lutens Rahät Loukoum and Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum, then went out on a limb with a sample of Montale Sweet Oriental Dream (a fragrance I never would have tried with a name like that, till I learned of the notes), but came up batting zero. They're all wonderful perfumes, but they seem focused on musk. I also retried Louve, a perfume I think of as Rahät Loukoum's younger sister, which started out a spicy, musky almond that went through a milky-soapy "Fresh Mukki" phase before turning into a potent rose on my skin.

I wanted something sweet and powdery but almost headshop-woody with sandalwood (the smoky, incensey kind), with or without a bit of patchouli (as long as it didn't go "Prada" on me), since the scented lotion in mind seemed to have some in the base, in an ayurvedic way. I also revisited honey scents: Brousseau Ombre Rose and Tokyo Milk Honey and the Moon; the former is as sophisticated as Aldehydic Florals are known to be (yes, I've read many perfume books that brought home this fact, which might also explain why Chanel No.5 is crowned the end-all of sophistication) but it was way too powdery and violetty for my mood, while the latter proved too intensely sweet (even for me, but that's a honey perfume for you).

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque should have fit the bill, but the peppery notes seemed too angular in my need for a pillowy soft comfort scent. Then, I came across Miriam Mirani Aqaba with all its seductive Oriental-Mediterranean aromas of a trip to the Red Sea - and voila - the cinnamon-honey-rose-amber-woods composition was getting closer to the scent I longed to replace. Finally, my faithful stand-by Molinard Vanille, with its bodacious vanilla atop a hint of patchouli, just about completed my formula du jour.

All that, mind you, was layered over Creed Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie. Not bad for a day at home anticipating the blizzard that left us with a whole 3 inches of loukoum-like powdery dusting.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Kelis - Acapella (Steve Noxx Club Mix)

Benefit So Hooked on Carmella

Image from - Check out this site where you can see images of the other two interiors from the newest trio inspired by the Royal Crescent, a row of Georgian townhouses in Bath, England.

Benefit Crescent Row - One more time! If you remember, I went gaga over the ingenious and adorable Crescent Row packaging when the first trio launched; now, there are three additional Crescent Row scents, and this one, So Hooked on Carmella, is my favorite (the other two are The Garden Of Good And Eva (green-fruity) and Lookin' To Rock Rita (coconutty-spicy)). Sephora describes Carmella with a poem:

So Hooked On Carmella
"When it comes to Carmella, don't ask and don't tell.
A light touch has admirers, under her spell.
Her sweet sensuality, no one would guess,
so exquisite, enticing…"an intimate caress."

Notes: Lemon, Grapefruit, Rhubarb, Cyclamen, Peony, Tiare Flower, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Amber

Sephora lists it as a Fresh Citrus, a classification with which I must tactfully disagree. I've seen this scent classified on other websites as a Floral Oriental, and that's my assessment. I smell something like fruity caramel taffy with powdery-dusty sandalwood and vanilla mingling with a coconutty accord similar to one I find in both Ralph Lauren Ralph Hot and Hilary Duff With Love. This was love at first sniff and I plan to wear this funky yet somewhat grown-up, tropical woody-incensey gourmand a lot this winter.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street

RIP Gerry Rafferty. "Baker Street" will always be one of my favorite songs and recordings.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Fragrance of the Moment

The word in perfume blogosphere is that Montale and Comptoir Sud Pacifique are connected through the in-house perfumer who has worked on fragrances for both companies, hence the similarity in their aluminum packaging (although Comptoir Sud Pacifique used to come in attractive turquoise glass bottles). I think of them as sister companies, one dedicated to the vanilla motif and the other dedicated to aoud (aka agarwood, agar, oodh or Oud in Arabic), "a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops,[1] trees (large evergreens native to southeast Asia) when they become infected with a type of mold" (Wikipedia). The scent of aoud is similar to that of essential oils of certain types of wood, but unique in that it is not smoky (like sandalwood), or sharp and dry (as characteristic of cedarwood), but rather resinous with sharp bitterness like that of citronella and qualities of incense (such as frankincense which simultaneously has a warm, deep and yet cooling element) with some underlying muskiness or boldness of traditional wood. Its aroma is soothing, aromatherapeutic and pleasant, and thus aoud is a prized ingredient in French-Arabian perfumery, its popularity predominantly in the Middle East.

In the recent past, aoud made its way onto our department store and mall shelves in fragrances by Jo Malone, By Kilian, Tom Ford (I suspect the incense note in White Patchouli is aoud; it smells a lot like Montale White Aoud to me) and even Comptoir Sud Pacifique. Although some Western noses may find the scent of aoud heavy and at times brash, as with all fragrance notes, there are different types, grades and compositions surrounding the note to enhance, embellish or mute it. I happen to like the scent of agarwood, and among my favorite presentations of this note is a Montale creation called Aoud Rose Petals (launch year 2000, also called Aoud Rose, or Rose Petals). Although I was once told I smelled like I was wearing a "woodsy men's deodorant", I have since revisited the scent and decided it is much more queenly and elegant than that; the accompanying rose note is pristine, clean and dewy, a rose note I could compare to that of Les Parfums de Rosine Un Zest de Rose or Diptyque L'Ombre dans L'Eau. This sweet, elegant rose is the perfect soulmate to the dark, deep aoud, creating a rich and regal, yet diaphanous blend.

If you're a fan of dark, woody, incensey roses such as Caron Or et Noir and Parfum Sacré, you may find Montale Aoud Rose Petals is actually a bit too bright and soft, but personally, that's what I like about it. It's the lightest and most wearable of the genre I have found thus far. Another scent that comes to mind for comparison is Miriam Mirani Aqaba, which shares with Aoud Rose Petals the sensuous combination of rose and incense notes, but with additional spices such as cinnamon to make it more extroverted and red hot (Aoud Rose Petals is a cooler, more luminous and sylphlike interpretation, the yin to the spicy yang). Montale Aoud Rose Petals, like most Montale fragrances, is a very strong (tenacious) scent, so a very tiny bit will travel far. Aoud Rose Petals would also be beautiful as a room fragrance, to subtly scent your silk curtains in heavenly fumes fit for the finickiest of kings and queens, sultans and sultanas.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!

Image: 2008 Happy New Year Oshogatsu Japan Exclusive Barbie Doll

President Barack Obama has made some good suggestions over the course of his presidency to promote human relations, but wishing all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders a Happy Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year) might not work in all cases; for instance, the Japanese celebrate New Years on January 1, 2 and 3 on the Gregorian calendar, marking shōgatsu the most important and elaborate holiday of the year (Chinese New Year is actually at a later date; in 2011, it will fall on February 3). However, many Japanese people follow, at least culturally if not in a spiritual or religious sense, the tradition of the Chinese zodiac; 2011 is the Year of the Hare (or Rabbit; specifically, the Metal Rabbit). What does that mean? I don't know, but for those who are interested, this website will explain all of the details of the origin of this archaic divination system. Happy New Year, everyone!

Gaea Schell Trio - September In The Rain

Uploaded by jazzdad10emg on You Tube | June 12, 2010

Gaea Schell Trio performing "September In The Rain" at The Blue Whale in Los Angeles, CA on June 10, 2010.

Gaea Schell - Piano/Vocals
James Alsanders - Drums
Mike Gurrola - Bass

Gaea Schell on Wikipedia