Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ornette Coleman - Broadway Blues

Uploaded by Rogerjazzfan on You Tube
3rd track from Coleman's "New York Is Now" album. Recorded at A&R Studios, New York, New York on April 29 & May 7, 1968. Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone, trumpet); Dewey Redman (tenor saxophone); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Justin Bieber Someday

If you're a parent of a tween, or happen to be an enormous Justin Bieber fan, you already know what his bestselling fragrance for Women, Justin Bieber Someday, smells like, because you already got carried away with wearing too much of the scent that surely gets us closer to his luminous, otherworldly being. Although it's mainly a musky Fresh Floral reminiscent of Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio for Women, Carolina Herrera 212, Shiseido Relaxing Fragrance or Victoria Beckham Intimately, simply put like the mishmash-flowery, perfumey-fresh, nature-oriented scent of dryer sheets, it has delicious hints of the same coconut water note as found in Rihanna Reb'l Fleur. Someday is a softer fragrance, easier to wear whereas with Reb'l Fleur, one needs to be especially judicious about the amount of base-heavy intensity it projects. Comparatively, Someday is like an angelic cloud of Heaven Sent musk. I'm a fan of the roll-on size available at Sephora.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Pink Manhattan

It's the little things you do that help keep us alive. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cartier Baiser Vole

As evenly spaced as a mandala are these scent molecules that dance in unison around my nose as I sample this latest launch by Cartier - so evenly rationed, in fact, I'm at once reminded of Caron Alpona, even though they are completely different types of scents. Cartier Baiser Vole smells pretty much the same from beginning to end, artificially consistent without any evolution or change, like a piece of elevator music destined to fade out at the end with no real ending, a style of musical recording that has become fashionable, even if fading out while playing at full volume and at the height of groove is not something musicians do in reality, without the all-controlling master fader at work. Baiser Vole is like this - insensitive to all but its own existence, a sensorium concentrated only on the literal and tangible, the scent of oshibori (hot, steamed individual hand towels passed around at the table before a Japanese meal) and ginger. I imagine the scent is that of pink ginger, an upscale femininity in its subtle spiciness, resulting in a plush yet dry, cottony musk, a new type of Spicy Floral sans any sweetness at all. It's extremely well composed, of course, but it's for the lover of gourmand of a more controlled, disciplined aesthetic than myself.

Katy Perry Purr

Katy Perry Purr reminds me of this lady who once bought a sample of my Pink Manhattan PURRFUME (2005) and said it was perfect except it was too fruity and not floral enough for her. I feel about Katy Perry's purrfume just the inverse. I don't know why, but Katy Perry's perfume reminds me of nothing specific but everything generic at once. It's a relatively pleasant, rather inoffensive fragrance, but it seems to be something other than what I want in a scent: it's actually a Floral, but a semi-Oriental one, with a creamy, semi-sweet (vanillic) musky base, with fruits vaguely redolent of osmanthus. The implied apricot note is there but soapy, without adding enough apricotty goodness to call it that dreaded, much maligned olfactory family, the popular, energetic and sprightly Fruity Floral. It is crisp and fresh, but creamy enough that it seems more opaque than translucent; this type of milky-sweet texture is for me best not coupled with detergent notes, although I've been pushed to the limit in a good way with scents like Castelbajac and Le Feu d'Issey.

Bottom line, it reminds me of a sweeter, fruitier Cashmere Bouquet soap. It's not gourmand enough for me, not even as gourmand as Creed Spring Flower or Bond No.9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her, so it's naturally going to gain fans among lovers of slightly subdued (for me) florientals a la Bond No.9 Chinatown and its mini-me which actually preceded it, Victoria's Secret Secret 33 - all nice scents, btw, even those that are discontinued and which might only pop up on eBay for the most vigilant of secondary market watchers.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Taylor Swift Wonderstruck

I still loathe the name as much as I did Vera Wang Lovestruck, and the ads look like a Japanese wedding from the 1980s when Seiko Matsuda (Japan's Madonna) was all the rage, but here's the verdict on the scent: It smells like diet Britney Spears Fantasy, complete with magical unicorny references, Hilary Duff With Love-era fruity patchouliness and with the same ozonic, dry linen (or cotton)-type of musk as found in Avril Lavigne Black Star and Justin Bieber Someday (the review is coming soon!). There's a subtle Coco Piña note in here similar to the note in Rihanna Reb l'Fleur, too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Despite the controversial ad campaign that was banned in UK, this new scent is a debut run of sylkolide. I don't know what it smells like isolated, but overall, this fragrance is a very pleasant Fruity Floral with emphasis on raspberry and sweet pea-like florals. It reminds me of Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea for its aqueous floralcy as well as Ed Hardy for its strawberry candy drop-like passion fruit note, and Clarins Par Amour Toujours, especially the combination of raspberry musk and a light transparent rose. I liked the opening the best, when you get the full strawberry drop effect, before the aqueous florals take over. The dry down is surprisingly simple, for me almost not a perfume but in fact a body spray scent, similar to Victoria's Secret Riviera Sun, a clean and crisp sunny white floral with green and fruity elements, over a musky base of Helmut Lang (2000)-reminiscent skin musk as quoted in the original 2001 Marc Jacobs Perfume by Coty.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Uploaded by ilyaballet on You Tube

Barishnikov Don Quixote ABT variation

Uploaded by smog2k on You Tube

Pas De Deux from Don Quixote by Lyudmila Semenyaka and Mikhail Baryshnikov (1968)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir

Do you remember what I said about Heeley Iris de Nuit? Me, neither, except it was something along the lines of it smelling like a white tea fragrance on a musk base. I hereby stick to that description, and need to add that it has a slightly (for lack of a better term) glue-like aspect to the musk, maybe in a soapy, China Rain way like the J.Lo Glow series do, and a little bit smoky-powdery like Eau de Cartier, too. I sort of expected this to smell similar, but no, this is something else. Whereas Heeley seems wet with watercolor paint, this one smells clean and dry.

Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir, a scent that came into my life via the most gorgeous Discovery Set filled with generous, glass-vial sample sprays that I've ever seen (available at and also at Harrods), is a different type of orris (iris / violet root / woody) compared to the irises I know such as Iris de Nuit, or any of the other irises I've sampled and analyzed here in detail. They're all different, as with any other note or ingredient, and Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir is a uniquely modern spicy iris, stark and peppery fresh, comparable to IUNX perfumes and reminiscent of L'Artisan Parfumeur Les Epices de la Passion (Spice Trio). The texture in the atmosphere when worn seems light enough not to cloy, despite being a heavy, wooded composition in terms of notes. In a way, the Ormonde Jayne perfumes by Linda Pilkington all seem to share the same quality, that of being sheer and weightless fragrances, including some of the scents that are more traditionally structured.

I love how Orris Noir has a cologne-like feel, bitter and citric like bergamot but not so literally lemony, just an added bracing tone to the rest, which I can only describe as a seriously sugarless wad of smoky, spicy incense gum. It's not quite Big Red but it's no joke, spicy, all right...and yet, it stays cool. I also understand now, that this whole black iris trend started with Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir (Black Iris) (2006 Floral Oriental), described as follows: "The Iris flower is named after the Greek Goddess of the rainbow, the messenger of the Gods and the Black Iris of Amman is the Royal symbol of the Kings of Jordan. Thriving in a landscape of ample sun, it is a rich, purple black flower of smouldering beauty". Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir precedes Odin 04 Petrana, the likewise shared-gender black iris but redolent of coarse iris and mimosas on a bed of peachy, daringly maquillage-powdered and boldly glam'd-up rose. Instead, there are no roses here to speak of - only a graceful touch of Sambac jasmine absolute.

Pictured above is the bath oil, which I'm contemplating for myself the way women might have done once with Estée Lauder Youth Dew. From "In 1953 Lauder introduced her first fragrance, Youth Dew, a bath oil with a sweet fragrance that doubled as a perfume. "We created a mini revolution. Instead of using their French perfumes by the drop behind each ear, women were using Youth Dew by the bottle in their bath water."" Visit the web site for more options, including the smart & giftworthy Ormonde Jayne Discovery Set.

The notes according to Basenotes:
Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir (2006)

Top Notes
Davana, Pink pepper, Coriander seed, Bergamot

Middle Notes
Iris, Sambac absolute, Pimento, Bay

Base Notes
Incense, Myrrh, Patchouli, Cedar, Gaiac

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vera Wang Princess

After all the times I put Vera Wang Princess on my Top 10 lists since its venerable launch in 2006, Vera Wang Princess deserves its own review! The thing is, it's one of those great-smelling perfumes I don't have much to say about, except it's pretty much the only fruitchouli I think I need. It's just modern (Gourmand) enough for me to enjoy, just sweet enough that it isn't overly sweet and cloying (although I have to be in the mood for Gourmand to wear it). It's basically a Floral perfume with some gourmand (pink icing or whatever) sugary elements and candyish fruity elements (like a light watermelon note, not so sour it's Jolly Rancher), with the all-important (to the industry, apparently, for the last 20 years) patchouli base being present but very subtle, almost overpowered completely by the yummy, dreamy vanilla base note which also helps camouflage the slightly musky but not at all animalic, in fact made dewy enough to seem vegetal, coconut oil-like note in Ralph Lauren Hot and Benefit Hooked on Carmella embedded somewhere in the seemingly innocuous blend.

As new fans discover Princess more and more for themselves, other fruitchouli staples such as Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Aquolina Pink Sugar and Thierry Mugler Angel, as well as newbie Cinderella perfumes like Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck (the review is coming - stay tuned) have a lot to live up to if they want to stay fresh-faced, too.

This perfume to me is like Clinique Happy - one I'll never want to be without. If you want more berries and patch, Vera Wang Rock Princess might be more your speed.

Drawing of Vera Wang Princess perfume
by DRAWCITY on Flickr

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My Fall 2011 Top 10 Challenge: Let the Perfume Duel Begin!

So, about that new Twilight perfume...yeah, I think I might have felt cautious about a spontaneous buy, because something about the scent description and the bottle presentation with the lilac feather reminded me of Gloria Vanderbilt...does anyone remember that? This is not some cheap shot deriding it for being a drugstore perfume. It was a good scent, but it simply wasn't my fave at the time, as I vaguely recall it smelling flowery but nondescript, soapy, powdery and "perfumey" as we say, although the swan theme was decidedly feminine, maybe to the point of being too girly for my personal taste, though that is hard to fathom with my love of most things pink. Perfume is like food: you're either going to like it or not, and anyone can like whatever they want. Your healthy eating choices reflect a dedication to invest in your life, but you're still not any loftier for liking peas. No one is pressuring you to adhere to state-approved taste, here! When it comes to fragrance, your taste is in no way a reflection of your character, personality, status or class, so feel free and have fun with it!

What else is huge perfume news? Madonna is launching a fragrance with Coty. I loved the comment I read somewhere, that the bottle looks like something that holds holy water. If anyone could verify it, that would be awesome. I have a Roman Catholic grandmother, but I don't remember that, the way I remember rosaries and those gold coin-shaped charms. You know, the Pope has a perfume at his Vatican website - why didn't he capitalize on the bottle when he trademarked his title? As for the scent, I imagine it'll be a new take on Versace Blonde, maybe borderline Anais Anais. My prayer is that it'll smell like Bond No.9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her. I think it'll smell more like a humble celeb fragrance along the lines of Kim Kardashian. I dreamed Madonna, a perfumista whose holy name is invoked in the same breath as Catherine Deneuve and Donatella Versace, would collab with Aftelier because it was written in an influential magazine once how she loved Aftelier Pink Lotus.

I'll also share my mini-review of Balenciaga L'Essence: It's a copy of Prada Infusion d'Iris which you know, darling Pink Manhattanite, is a "sheer" (by which I mean linear and thick, though watery / transparent) and insipidly musky yet powerful-smelling copy of Solange Stoned. L'Essence (by Coty Prestige, I imagine) bears no resemblance to Balenciaga Paris, save for a very subtle violet-musk-tinged reference to Chanel Beige, and seems to share more attributes with the sweet, heavy though sheer and transparent-musky Donna Karan Pure. They smell like they signed up to take part in this bizarre on-going experiment, to turn musk into gauze, and woods into sopranos.

Finally, there's all this fuss over Chanel Jersey! Of course I'd love some, along with Givenchy Dahlia Noir and oh, gosh, this new love, Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir, but I haven't bought anything new this season except for a gorgeous and relatively affordable American perfume I just discovered (no, it's not a new release, and yes, I'll reveal it soon), a replenishment supply of Clinique Happy (it's rude to whisper; why not chortle out loud?) and a handful of samples, none of which have kept my interest. But in the era of austerity, not only am I planning for myself a strict no-buy period, the time has come to put all of my current favorite perfumes (the ones in my current rotation) through the ultimate test: if I had to choose just one in each category, what would I pick? The most contentious duels came down to these pairings:

Round 1: Vera Wang Princess vs. Gucci Guilty (Fruitchouli)

Round 2: Cartier La Treizieme Heure XIII vs. Cartier L'Heure Mysterieuse XII (Oriental)

Round 3: Clinique Happy vs. Creed Spring Flower (Fruity Floral)

Round 4. Jean Patou Joy vs. Bond No.9 Saks Fifth Avenue for Her (Floral)

Round 5: Givenchy Very Irresistible Intense vs. By Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses (Chypre)

Round 6: Chanel Jersey vs. Givenchy Dahlia Noir (Newbies)

Round 7: Heeley Iris de Nuit vs. Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir (Spicy Oriental Woody)

Round 8: Chanel No.19 vs Ralph Lauren Lauren (Vintage)

Round 9: Creed Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie vs. Caron Narcisse Noir (Floral Oriental)

Round 10: There is no tenth round because the mystery American perfume currently holds this most coveted spot under Favorite New Acquisition.

Winners and my Top 10 will be posted shortly!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Immortal Twilight perfume, Volturi "Bella" Reign Scented Body Mist @ Twilight Beauty

So, most of us have heard by now that Twilight Beauty has launched a new fragrance called Immortal Twilight, which is interesting news to those of us who followed the whole Twilight perfume by Hot Topic lawsuit debacle. The new launch according to is a patchouli-based Floral Oriental, a description that served to stop me in the nick of time before ordering the beautiful purple bottle for myself. If they sell out, it wasn't me! Instead, my curiosity drifted over to one of the Volturi Twilight Reign Scented Body Mist series, "Bella", a scent described as "warm, delicate vanilla" (see photo below). I hope they'll restock it soon! Which scent do you think Bella would have worn?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Chanel in Jersey / Shade Parade

Chanel Jersey perfume actually follows Tilar Mazzeo's book in which she revealed that Chanel No.5 was being produced in Hoboken, NJ during WWII, but yes, Chanel Jersey is peculiar, especially coupled with Maison Chanel's new ad campaign featuring disembodied females, pigeonhole camera perspectives and boring, static 4-chord doo wop.

However, my parents of the Silent Generation could probably relate to this ad better than I can, even being a mirror-Silent and all.

The video was uploaded by CHANEL on Sep 13, 2011 on You Tube.

"It's the Nail Cabaret! A special performance starring Le Vernis de Chanel."

Oh, it's all a joke, all right, on women, it seems. Between this ad and Allure being the new Bride magazine, how much more of a time warp do they want?

Related links:
Chanel in Jersey by Lauren Collins, The New Yorker - November 4, 2011

Chanel Les Exclusifs Jersey - PINK MANHATTAN October 16, 2011

Friday, November 04, 2011

Fragrance Rebel, New Home of Parfums de Coeur

If you grew up in the '80s when the home grown American Giorgio perfume was the rage, you came across Primo! at some point. Parfums de Coeur is a famous line of designer imposters that are easily accessible through the mass market (drugstore chains, etc.). While they aren't the real thing, select fragrances seem to be done fairly well, as is the case for Primo!, the Giorgio knockoff, which actually might smell better than Giorgio itself. There are Men's selections as well, such as Bring It (smells like Unforgivable) and New York Nights (Drakkar Noir). Then again, you could just get a Drakkar Noir mini, and wear tiny dots of it at a time like pure parfum, to make it last, of course, and also spare the world of some of its inherent power.

The Happy knockoff, Wanna Play? is also a decent knockoff, with more lily of the valley than the original. I would like to try their Goddess, a knockoff of Vera Wang Princess. If they could do a decent fruitchouli, no one will ever need to buy prestige (Luxe) again. Visit the new web site @ (this code may or may not work anymore: FALL25 for 25% off entire order) and be sure to check out their other selections such as Skin Musk (formerly Bonne Bell) made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker who declared her love for it on late night TV (which was soon turned into the idea for SJP Lovely by Coty), and the classics, Wind Song (1953) and Cachet (1970)(gotta smell these! That packaging is so Xanadu) by the famous midrange brand, Prince Matchabelli. Parfums de Coeur also has their own fragrances, such as Malibu Musk.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Apple Launches the World's Tiniest Recording Studio on Your iPhone For $5

Thank you, Steve Jobs.

"The world of mobile content creation just got a whole lot more functional. Seven months after releasing its music recording and sequencer program Garage Band as an iPad app, Apple has shrunk the app down even further to fit it on the iPhone and iPod Touch." Read more: Apple Launches the World's Tiniest Recording Studio on Your iPhone For $5 by John Paul Titlow / November 1, 2011 /

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Chick Corea & Makoto Ozone - Mozart Double Concerto

Pianists Chick Corea and Makoto Ozone incorporated jazz cadenzas into an otherwise traditional performance in Japan of the Mozart Double Concerto.

Chick Corea & Makoto Ozone - Mozart Double Concerto - Live in Japan - Uploaded by Martyprod2 on You Tube