Saturday, December 29, 2012

PINK MANHATTAN Top 20 Fragrances 2012: The Year End List of Perfume Favorites

Dear Pink Manhattanite,

First of all, I adore you! Thank you for another year of online exchanges of ideas. Thanks also for just being there as a reader. It took a year for this to dawn on me, but I forgot to do a Year End Top 10 Fragrances list last year! I don't know *how* that could've happened! In order to remedy this, I've decided to do a Top 20 for my 2012 Year End list. Hopefully, I'll have included some of your favorite perfumes that should have been on that 2011 countdown. I'm sorry if you looked forward to the tradition every year since my blog got rolling in 2006. As a disclaimer, I've never been very traditional...

So here we are, and here we go! My favorites, new launches and not, as discovered, rediscovered and worn by me throughout the year are (drum roll, please...):

1. Les Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Iris Poudré: PINK MANHATTAN 2012 Perfume of the Year. Launched in 2000, here's my favorite scent of 2012, a sophisticated spicy iris, one with a sensuous ambery-vanillic character supported by the famous bold woody signature base, a creation par excellence by perfumer Pierre Bourdon (Christian Dior Dolce Vita, Shiseido Féminité Du Bois (with Christopher Sheldrake), Davidoff Good Life and Cool Water). This is an Aldehydic Floral in the same family as CHANEL N°5 and Lanvin Arpège, but it smells like a modernized vintage a la Laura Biagiotti Venezia among others I'd describe as "sexy, spicy, perfumey-sweet powderies." It's pretty dry but warm, like a verrry high end Lady Stetson with less dry desert heat, and a little respite of cool, dewy green not so far away. For someone who has loved CHANEL N°19 and Dolce Vita, this is a perfect match. If there's a celebrity perfume equivalent, it's the second coming of the original Givenchy L'Interdit created for Audrey Hepburn, nothing less.

2. Creed Spring Flower: This gorgeous, amazing, fresh green appley Fruity Floral (fruits and flowers as equal partners) has made my Top 10 list many times before, and it's here to stay. Spring Flower is the most versatile scent I own, as it's always appropriate, no matter what season, time, place or occasion. This is the little black dress for every elegant fragrance wardrobe, and as it is written in The Bombshell Manual of Style, it goes to sporting events.

3. Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola: Ohhh, yes, now I remember what happened last year; I was on a "signature perfume" kick! Obviously it was a short-lived phase, but it was worth the experiment for me, just to find out yet another year later that my then-signature turned out to be my daughter's favorite perfume on me. I'm glad I kept it light so I didn't have to hear her say "Phew, mama, that's a strong smell." too often. This 2011 launch is a lovely aqueous floral with a fruity "fruitchouli" backdrop that doesn't overwhelm the fey notes with the ever-popular, charismatic patchouli element.

4. Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose: This is my current favorite perfume in the aqueous (modern) floral category. It is a bit fruity, and rosy for sure but also woody gourmand to me, only light and ethereal. I love it so much, and like Oh, Lola, it garners positive comments, especially if I take care not to overspray, so easy to do because it smells lighter at first, drying down to a pleasant but palpable depth reminiscent of the texture / density (not the scent) of oakmoss. This was a 2011 launch, and if I'd known about it sooner, it could have been crowned Best Perfume of 2011 on PINK MANHATTAN along with Oh, Lola - heck yeah!

5. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino: How I love this classic citric-sweet orange flower scent! How much of it I wore this summer...and how many times I spritzed 4711 hoping it would last as long as Neroli Portofino so I could save a fortune!

6. Paco Rabanne Metal: Vintage '80s (born in 1979) perfection is this iris and rose perfume, a clean Aldehydic Floral that's as innocent and youthful as its green and soapy sister Calandre was perceived as being, just a decade before Metal's (and Eau de Metal's) time. Powder is not the central motif, neither the iris nor rose, but the dewy freshness of the overall un-perfuminess (without soap) that I find so unique and memorable. Reminiscent of Laura Biagiotti Laura, it conveys a similar simplicity but with a touch more sophistication, with less discernable notes. Recently, I thought one of the Emilio Pucci Vivara Variazione smelled similar to it, so I must go seek it out again. The bottle design by Pierre Dinand is more my style, however.

7. Guerlain Vetiver: Such a cool, crisp green fragrance, in the most beautiful pale green color...I really love wearing this men's scent which I could describe as a woody-citric aromatic with a lime top note. I wish more fresh, unfussy and un-floral eaux could find their way onto women's fragrance counters soon.

8. Fifi Chachnil: This classic-style Oriental that smells sweet-spicy-everything-nice with a lively citrus opening, is surprisingly wearable because it's not too tenacious--and the bottle's so sexy. It has all the elements of the most romantic perfumes of yesteryear a la Shalimar loved by Rita Hayworth or Vol de Nuit, an Ava Gardner fave, but without a retro musky dry down that won't leave your skin and clothes for days, if not weeks, months, years. You get the dramatic Empress Eugénie aura for as long as you feel like committing to it...and that's it. It's a low maintenance diva.

9. Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido Chergui: I had the sample vial for some time, but didn't think I'd love it based on the first heavy whiff of it. Well, IT'S THE PERFUME OF THE PERFUME GODS. It's a unique scent, like a very rich and ambery sweet classic spicy parfum fourrure from the 1930s (or the '80s), only modernized with a touch of herbaceous post-Dior Addict gourmand, but without any aqueous quality, pink pepper, excessive patchouli, etc. This is an anti-Pop gourmand, which is ironically one of the more pop scents in the line, but please ignore my pretentious opining. Here's what's important: It's royal olfactive silk for your exalted skin.

10. Jean Patou Joy: An eternal treasure born in the year of the Great Depression, the marriage of Grasse jasmine and Bulgarian rose that makes up the heart of JOY is a storybook legend. Best worn in parfum, the eau de parfum and toilette versions are also something to experience. If diamonds had a scent, this would be it: scintillating, one-of-a-kind, a sublime scent memory to live on forever.

11. Guerlain Jicky: Best worn in parfum, the eau de parfum and toilette versions are true to the timeless androgynous beauty of this spunky lavender-based aromatic. Like traditional herbes de Provence, notes of rosemary and thyme give lively, fresh spikiness to the air around its wearer like brisk autumn air. A pillowy cloud of powdery vanilla makes intimacy with Jicky worthwhile. Wait for the's naughty and nice, a bit animalic like Musc Ravageur in a quieter form.

12. 4711: I like to give cheapies the chance to get on a Top 10 list. This is a truly iconic cologne, and masterfully reinterpreted as Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, which smells almost identical to it except where 4711 lacks in tenacity, Tom Ford makes up for it. 4711 wears on hot, sunkissed skin like cool and sweet lemon squash, but the olfactive pleasure lasts for less than half an hour. It's a good thing one can always respritz the stuff liberally.

13. Loris Azzaro Azzura: A derivative of Clinique Happy and born in the same year (1999), Azzura, which couldn't compete in Happy's limelight, smells great from first sniff: orangey, herbaceous, fresh and not too sweet but pleasantly floral, in that tropical-Mediterranean white floral way. It's an invigorating scent that can go all season long, and can be had for a fraction of the original price from discounters and wholesalers. The silver refillable bottle makes a handsome "perfume art" display.

14. Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido Fumerie Turque: I don't know if I've ever listed this as a Year End Top 10 favorite, but it surely belongs on my list every year. Probably my favorite Serge Lutens (although Chergui and Un Lys are currently the strongest contenders), the spicy ambery leather rose should spawn many post-Habanita and post-Tabac Blond copycats for eons, as difficult as it is to match the ultra niche high quality of Serge Lutens.

15. Chloé Eau de Parfum by Chloé: It's a musky, fresh sweetish floral, not my usual style, but it's really grown on me, and I can see why it's popular, on its way to becoming a new classic. The synth bouquet of mixed flowers smells so pretty in the air, creating a sillage as flowery as the inside of a futuristic flower shop where the flowers live forever and emit the same linear scent forever and ever, too.

16. Chloé L'Eau de Chloé Eau de Toilette: Like a blood red rose that blooms at the spa, it smells like clean towels and someone's idea of goth. It's a great newbie along the lines of the "clean" scents that will likely lead fragrance trends in 2013 (what with CLEAN perfume maker developing 1D's fragrance next year)--but don't let "clean" turn you off just yet; this actually smells posh, also a bit deep, like a proper perfume.

17. Ralph Lauren Big Pony #2: This is one of my favorite 2012 launches. The whole collection of 4 is pretty awesome, very easy to like if you're new to fragrance. #2 in the pink bottle is a cranberry-based fruity floral; it's quite sweet and candyish, but not anywhere within the range of Ralph (circa 2000--remember how penetratingly berry-sweet that was?).

18. Lady Gaga Fame: Celeb scent of the year award goes to Gaga with this way-better-than-sophomoric-debut-perfume. It smells fantastic, like a bodacious berry-based candied fruity floral, a mall scent with an overall feel that's more classic Floral than either expected or suggested by the monstrosity that is the FAME bottle. It's one of the strongest launches of the year, and my pick for best celeb scent, but its olfactory strength actually pales in comparison to Lancôme's brick house of a 2012 launch, up next on the countdown.

19. Lancôme La Vie Est Belle: PINK MANHATTAN blog's Launch of the Year 2012 Award goes to this spectacular new perfume by Lancôme. Yes, it's a Thierry Mugler Angel descendant, and it smells a lot like many others in this family, but no other Woody Oriental (gourmand patchouli) has come close to its velvety iris butter texture. Did I mention it's strong? The eau de parfum is strong enough to wear as parfum; I can only use a few drops at a time, lest people want to go sit next to someone else in public transit. Tenacity? It lasts all day like a good perfume should. I will most certainly review it soon.

20. Lorenzo Villoresi Teint de Neige: This musky, sweet, densely powdery scent is so far from my usual type, but I ended up falling in love with it anyway. You just never know. It just so happens we have snow in New York as I compile this list, and the mood wouldn't be complete without this rosy-almond-maquillage-confectionary-comfort-skin-scent niche classic (though put in simpler terms, it's sort of like a high end Love's Baby Soft), my white-hot December 2012 love affair, most likely the perfume I'll be sporting this New Year's Eve.

Honorable mentions (with a nod to Countess Jan Moran whose books, Fabulous Fragrances I and II, had started this and many other perfume-related trends): Demeter Blueberry Muffin, Gabriele Strehle Strenesse, Hermès 24, Faubourg, Serge Lutens Gris Clair, and many others I enjoyed wearing and sampling this year. Deepest thanks to my perfumista friends around the globe who kindly offered to help me sample some new beauties this year. I admit I haven't done a whole lot of sampling, but next year, I look forward to Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin, and trying some nichey-poo incense scent or two.

Hall of Fame: Clinique Happy (1999)

Best Home Fragrance: I'm not the biggest interior scent user, being more focused on perfume, but I'm a fan of Bath and Body Works Cotton candles...and I'm still looking for that ultimate "clean cotton / linen" perfume, so stay tuned for my adventures in 2013! Thank you again for keeping me company throughout the year. Have a safe and happy weekend leading up to the ringing in of the New Year.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chloé Eau de Parfum

Chloé Eau de Parfum by Chloé was launched in 2008. This house has changed their signature perfume so many times, it can make a perfumista dizzy. The original Karl Lagerfeld creation was a passionate, intense, fabulous, addictive tuberose; sometime in the 1990s I remember Chloé Innocence which was ok--clean and subtle but a bit synthetic and unmemorable, although the bottle was artsy, modern and interesting, the translucent white color aesthetic sort of Gabriele Strehle-like--and then this Chloé, the newest signature swathed in my favorite shade of peachy, elegant blush pink (or is it "ballet pink"?), seems to meet the two generations in the middle. From first whiff, I thought it was synthetic and a bit glue-like, not unlike the J. Lo fragrances that are "China Rain" musk-based and popular, but the pure, girly floralcy sans fruit has won me over like an old-fashioned bluebell bouquet. Daughter likes it, says to her it smells sweet, so I might opt for the L'eau de Chloé Eau de Toilette in the pale green bottle launched earlier this year. But it should be noted this Chloe in pink leaves the prettiest sillage.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful holiday season from PINK MANHATTAN.

Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace) from the Tempus Choral Society from their "Ovations" CD

Uploaded by George Ridout on You Tube: "Grant Us Peace is at its root a religious Bach melody composed for the mass.

"Today it touches all hearts with a sense of tranquility and peace that calms the cares of people of all religious traditions and those with no religion. Its sense of wonder is universal.

"The Tempus Choral Society is an award-winning eclectic choir that takes these 3 things seriously: singing with passion, creating joyful inspired hearts, and helping the poor and homeless."

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. King James 2000 Bible (©2003)

Acts 1:7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times
or dates the Father has set by his own authority. New International Version (©1984)

Image: Soviet Mayan Playing Cards -

Does anyone else find it interesting that the 3 days of darkness that some people believe will follow the "Mayan apocalypse" (which happens to fall on the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year) parallels the story of the resurrection of Jesus (and Lazarus, and Jonah in the belly of the beast) after 3 days? (Edited to add: Not to mention 3 days after Dec. 21 is...Christmas.) Is it at all possible that the sun-worshipping ancients saw something like what people in Shanghai saw the other week (link to Business Insider: The Chinese Are Freaking Out About The End Of The World by Adam Taylor | Dec. 11, 2012), and thought, "Holy cripes, it's the trinity of the Sun - like the triple goddesses of the Moon, aren't these the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?"

Image: Nuremberg chronicles - Sun Dogs (CCIIIv) - See Sun dog - Wikipedia

It's fine if people want to gain something spiritual from symbolism, be it "pagan" or "religious," but I don't think the Bible, or any bible, is meant to be dissected for codes to be found as to when our physical world will end. Rather, I believe anyone with respect for spiritual living will find in the words only spiritual elements that uplift us all in love and light.

You've heard this before: "Live every day like your last, for tomorrow is not promised to us." That doesn't mean live without preparing for the future; it simply means be grateful for each day the sun rises. :-)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose

It's late in the game to fall in love with yet another scent, but you know what they say: better late than never, right? This is going on my Christmas list. The notes listed are raspberry, rose, vanilla and musk, but I smell pink grapefruit right off the bat, and although it's been years since I wore anything grapefruity like Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll, I like it. It has fruity elements but Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose (2011) is sophisticated, plush and subtly gourmand sweet, actually more of a candy floss-fruitchouli than a Floral, albeit quieter than Lancôme's other recent offering, La Vie est Belle which I'd compare to Elie Saab. Trésor Midnight Rose might be closer to, say, Penhaligon's Amaranthine, but even more ethereal. My tween girl and I can share our love for Trésor Midnight Rose; her other favorites don't do much for me: Viva la Juicy, Viva la Fleur, Someday, but you get the idea--Trésor Midnight Rose is complex enough to be a proper perfume, yet gentle enough for young people and non-regular perfume wearers.

I'm sorry I was never a huge fan of Lancôme's superstar, the original Trésor (1990) now considered a vintage classic, but Lancôme has won me over with this sleeper hit of a home run.

Emma Watson for Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose campaign

(Edited to add) Lancôme Trésor Midnight Rose was composed by perfumer Anne Flipo, who also composed my favorite ethereal white floral beauty, L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons (1999).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

NASA warns Mayan apocalypse stories pose threat to frightened children and suicidal teenagers

"While some are throwing fantastical Doomsday countdown parties, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is issuing grave warnings that 2012 Mayan apocalypse rumors pose a real-life threat to frightened children and depressive teenagers.

"David Morrison, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, said on Wednesday that he receives a large number of emails and letters from worried citizens, most often from young people. (...) "He made that announcement during an online video 'hangout' event hosted by NASA on Google+, calling the propagation of rumors on the Internet to frighten children ‘evil.’

"‘While this is a joke to some people and a mystery to others, there is a core of people who are truly concerned,’ Morrison said.

"NASA, a United States government agency, recently set up an information page on its website explaining why the world is not going to end on December 21, 2012.

"The apocalypse rumors and fears are based on misinterpretations of the Mayan calendar, as reported." Read more: 2012 Mayan apocalypse rumors pose a threat to frightened children and suicidal teenagers, says NASA - by Damian Ghigliotty 29 November 2012


Related links:

Laurell Eden - We're All Still Here (Funny music video about Dec. 21st, 2012) - December 11, 2012

Last-minute surge in demand for Mayan apocalypse advent calendars - December 01, 2012

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Laurell Eden - We're All Still Here (Funny music video about Dec. 21st, 2012)

We're All Still Here (Funny music video about Dec. 21st, 2012)

Performed by Laurell Eden, uploaded on December 11, 2012:
"A funny dance song about how we all survive December 21st, 2012. So much fun! Check it out."

Singer-songwriter Laurell Eden on why she made this video:
"I created this video to help us laugh a little at our collective fears about December 21st, 2012. The song is a joyous post-Dec. 21st anthem of celebration, Its major theme is in the chorus, "We're all still here, alive. There's a party and it's worldwide. So, throw your hands up high cause we made it here alright". By the middle of the video, we've already made it safely to December 22nd. When people see or imagine a positive outcome in advance, it helps them to chill out and expect to be okay. And laughter is such good medicine."

Read what Laurell believes about 2012 on You Tube

(PS: See if you recognize the reporter at the top of this video... ;-D)

Last updated: 6:27 PM

Friday, December 07, 2012

Caron Or et Noir

I finally understand how Caron Parfum Sacré (1990) is the modernized version of Or et Noir (1949). Neither are the works of perfumer and Caron founder Ernest Daltroff but of Jean-Pierre Béthouart and Michel Morsetti, respectively. The perfumes are from different time periods, the predecessor a classic urn fragrance and the other a more accessible, (comparatively) widely distributed fragrance, yet these powdery, deep, spicy roses are not only distinctively Caron but plush, elegant roses so devoid of youthful (some say gimmicky) top note effervescence, they border on being somber. While nothing about them sparkles like precious gemstones, they smell of the rich, knowing tones of old gold, vibrant brassiness replaced by sabi, the aesthetic reward of age. It was inevitable that I would eventually come to appreciate great perfumes that I knew were great but found lackluster a decade ago. They say we lose our sense of smell over time, but perchance we only tune in to different frequencies at various points of our lives, finding different pitches and tones attractive and harmonious with our own being, physical, mental or spiritual.

In my perfume collection are bright, shiny things, vividly composed to lighten up our senses like a Xmas tree. I have favorite roses I could describe this way, yet Or et Noir is the scent I find most beautiful right now. The scent is not so spicy to me anymore, nor is the darkness of its velvety petals any less dewy than the vanillic rose buds of Caron Rose. The earthy woods smell balanced and stable, the rose so intense, pure, like a magnificent rose garden in full bloom in the dead of winter, dark and thorny giant blossoms like gothic stones from a distance. These roses smell resinous and robust but not especially ambery warm.

I often use the term "perfumey" to describe intricate scents, but I believe the additional violet notes in Parfum Sacre make it perfumier than Or et Noir, a bit astringent like Van Cleef & Arpels First, Balenciaga Le Dix or Amouage Dia, sharper with greener edges although a bit more rounded and sloped compared to the padded shoulders of the past. Or et Noir doesn't have a theme like "sacred perfume" into which the obvious motif ties the frankincense base, rife with religious connotation. Or et Noir is simply "gold and black," and if you didn't imagine how those colors and shades tied into alchemy and old magic itself, you might wonder what an incensey and somewhat prickly rose soliflore with patchouli and mossy green Chypre undertone has to do with its abstract name at all. Actually, I'm still wondering why the golden sunburst image in the Or et Noir ad resembles the monstrance (ostensorium) held by Catholic priests, but maybe it's best to leave Caron to their explanation of the meaning of their one very mysterious perfume.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Last-minute surge in demand for Mayan apocalypse advent calendars

Apocalypse Advent Calendar by Posta, Computer Arts

News Thump - UK Spoof News and Satire 30 November 2012 by Waylandsmithy: Last-minute surge in demand for Mayan apocalypse advent calendars - Britain’s high streets are experiencing a huge surge in last-minute shoppers, desperate to get their hands on a Mayan apocalypse advent calendar.

I hadn't really understood what the Advent calendar was till recently, but it's basically a calendar that counts down the days till Christmas Eve. You know how for Hanukkah you get a small gift for each of the 8 days until the last day when you get the big present? Read more about the Advent calendar on Wikipedia

Visit this site for a list of Online Advent Calendars - Monkeys and Mountains


Related link: Laurell Eden - We're All Still Here (Funny music video about Dec. 21st, 2012) - December 11, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bath & Body Works: White Barn Cotton (2012) vs Slatkin & Co. Fresh Cotton Candles

So, I've searched fruitlessly for the ideal cotton/linen scent for the past couple of months since my September 17 post. I'll post the remainder of my CLEAN reviews and other reviews soon, but I'll tell you in advance that not one of the cotton / linen fragrances I tried smelled quite like the Slatkin & Co. Fresh Cotton candle. My wish is that Slatkin would bottle their Fresh Cotton scent as a perfume as they've done with their other home fragrances before.

By the way, the last time I visited Bath & Body Works, I was told their Fresh Cotton candle had been renamed COTTON, but upon doing a little research this afternoon, I saw that their new 2012 Cotton candle offering is by White Barn. I wouldn't have noticed had I not come across a detailed image of the product (as posted above). Did they stop carrying the Slatkin? Did the SA just tell me that because they were out of the Slatkin? This city can drive you mad. Which smells better, you ask? To me, these candles smell almost identical if not completely the same, but I couldn't tell you definitively because I didn't buy the White Barn Cotton candle that day. I'm a fan of Slatkin but I guess I don't care which company does it--how hard would be for White Barn to turn their Cotton concentrated room spray into perfume, or heck, body spray?

Anyway, my search will continue, even though I sort of doubt I'd actually wear this sort of lemon-vanilla-Tide scent once I find it in perfume form. As with other detergentesque scents I've liked such as Castelbajac or CLEAN Fresh Laundry, I'll most likely wear it for awhile but not finish it. However, I believe it would be a popular perfume, since people seem to really love this type of scent--even Glade has a candle like it called Clean Linen. Who knows? Maybe CLEAN will come out with another flanker to get on the cotton/linen bandwagon called CLEAN Cotton. Maybe I'll slap my name on a cotton perfume one day. Haw...


I rarely watch reviews because it's time consuming, but here is a You Tube Bath and Body Works Slatkin Candle Review - Candle of the Week: Cotton (NEW White Barn) 2012. Happy Home Scenting!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Love of Iris & Vetiver, and the November Top 10

I could just present the Pink Manhattan blog Top 10 Fragrances of 2012 early this year; then again, my hierarchy of favorites could change between now and the end of December, and I want my list to reflect the "fragrance footprint" of my entire year. I can tell you that my perfume sampling has slowed down, between learning which perfumes I keep coming back to each year, and already knowing what a vast number of perfumes smell like, enough to not be so curious anymore. Although there are many more scents in the world to learn, I feel like a seasoned perfumista.

In my life, there are some scents I will always have around, either because of the memories attached to them or because they have become my wardrobe staples, some perfumes I won't touch for long periods of time but I know (or hope) I'll return to one day, and many that will never go beyond unfinished sample vials I've stashed in my collection. My goal is to refine my own taste to a discernable pattern, in hopes of understanding why I'm drawn to the scents I like, even if this is a futile plan and more of an exercise to keep my beloved hobby going. It's also fun to see if my taste evolves or changes over time, or if it's fairly cut and dry, predestined if you will, aside from some things I've developed an acquired taste for. As with many things in life, only time will tell, but as time goes by, I'm ever more grateful for these fragrances I've discovered which, like beloved pieces of music, keep me entertained and rewarded time after precious time.

Early fall seemed like the perfect time to transition from sweet gourmands and fresh berries or citrus to warmer, muskier scents. Now that it feels like the midst of foliage is upon us, as the mornings get colder and the nights longer, I'm falling deeper in love with Aldehydic Florals, especially woody and vanillic ones. I've decided my favorite Frederic Malle perfume (and perhaps all-time favorite) is Iris Poudre, and I have no idea when I'll return to my love of Une Fleur de Cassie. Likewise, I've deserted my white florals--gardenias and tuberoses--and returned to my childhood dream of "the perfect perfume", the radiant jasmine-rose classic, Jean Patou Joy (parfum). But even more often than I wear Joy, I turn to Guerlain's great aromatics, Jicky and Vetiver. I enjoy their freshness with a counterpoint of deep base notes.

I'm not against new fragrances that spawn on the shelves of Sephora each season; I've got my candied modern scents for when the mood hits: Lady Gaga Fame, Ralph Lauren Big Pony No.2. However, my current taste leans towards the classics and one modern classic Iris Poudre in the style of Chanel No.5. I wore No.5 more often than No.19 this month, even though No.5 had been on the back burner for so long. Interestingly, the creation of Iris Poudre was supposedly inspired by No.19, yet it reminds me so much more of No.5, the warmer, woodier sister to the vintage Aldehydic green, hyacinth-flowery, younger and fresher No.19. The white floral No.22 has not been on the radar; it seems too shrill for a powdery scent--like Liu--and I used to think it was the other way around, that No.5 was the shrill one. But what note really makes these classics what they are? Florentine iris. So I could say I've found my favorite white floral which happens to be the iris flower and smells more or less Green. Vetiver also plays an integral part of the scents I currently enjoy.

Although I have little use for white floral bouquets, I find Hermes 24, Faubourg refreshingly Old World perfumey. The new bottles of Miss Dior and Balmain Ivoire available on the counters today are as soulless as anything devoid of the depth and richness of true perfume essences as aftershavey colognes found in drugstores--surely Coty Emeraude was once beautiful enough to perhaps inspire Guerlain Shalimar--but 24, Faubourg still smells like a woman who unshakenly knows she can be beautiful throughout her life, for beauty is truly more than skin deep--it is the essence of one's soul, found in the gracefulness of her ways. I'm afraid to try the newly reformulated Vetiver, but I'll try to be hopeful.

Here is my Top 10 for November 2012:
1. Frederic Malle Iris Poudre
2. Guerlain Vetiver (1961)
3. Guerlain Jicky
4. Jean Patou Joy parfum
5. Lady Gaga Fame
6. Ralph Lauren Big Pony No.2
7. Creed Spring Flower
8. Chanel No.5
9. Loris Azzaro Azzura
10. Hermes 24, Faubourg

Last edited: 2:39 a.m.

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson

"A Brush for the Lead" - New York 'Flyers' in the Snow
Lithograph by Currier and Ives, 1867
In the song, the lyrics compare a sleigh ride to a "picture print by Currier and Ives". (Wikimedia Commons)

From Wikipedia: "Although "Sleigh Ride" is often associated with Christmas, and often appears on Christmas compilation albums, the song's lyrics never specifically mention any holiday or religion (apart from certain recordings, such as those by the Carpenters, Walter Schumann and Air Supply, that substitute "Christmas party" for "birthday party" in the song's bridge). In fact, the mention of "pumpkin pie" in the last verse might suggest an association with Thanksgiving rather than Christmas.

"According to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers [ASCAP] review of Christmas music, "Sleigh Ride" consistently ranks in the top 10 list of most performed songs written by ASCAP members during the Christmas season worldwide.[1]

"ASCAP named "Sleigh Ride" the most popular piece of Christmas music in the USA for the consecutive years, 2010 and 2011, based on performance data tracked by airplay monitoring service, Mediaguide, from over 2,500 radio stations nationwide. The most performed artist version of "Sleigh Ride" was the original instrumental version as recorded by Leroy Anderson.[2] [3]

"According to author, Steve Metcalf, in his book, Leroy Anderson: A Bio-Bibliography [Praeger 2004], "'Sleigh Ride' ... has been performed and recorded by a wider array of musical artists than any other piece in the history of Western music."" Read more about Sleigh Ride - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donate $10 to Wikipedia today: Wikimedia Foundation

"Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson and His Orchestras

"Sleigh Ride" performed by Johnny Mathis

The History of Glass Ornaments

The History of Glass Ornaments - Glass Christmas Ornaments: Timeless and Elegant - Christmas Days

Monday, November 12, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent Opium

Western Orientalism is flattering, offensive and funny to someone like me, a Japanese immigrant raised in New York. The flattering part is that even when Asian culture is taken as a vague and mixed up whole (Asian sushi, anyone?), as if people in the various countries in Asia identify with being Asian any more than Americans identify with being North American, that at least in the beauty business, it is meant to appropriate the parts westerners find attractive. The offensive part is when the appropriation is of something they don't really understand because the understanding never came through actual contact with anyone from that part of the world in an intimate, sincere and positive way. It's also unflattering to have real cultures that belong to specific countries reduced to images to only enhance western beauty and to degrade the very cultures being ripped off (It's also painful to see no one from the culture being used as paid models, like westerners playing the role of Japanese, Chinese, etc., which can make us feel quite ostracized, foreign in our own home).

Then there's the Oriental sensuality factor, of course, the stereotype that reduces Asian people (women in particular) to being "fetishes" (objects), as if true love with someone from that part of the world is impossible. The funny part is that I love perfumes like Guerlain Mitsouko, Yves Saint Laurent Opium, Holzman & Stephanie Misuki, Crown Matsukita. Even if the orientalized fonts and bad artistic rendering of styles make me chuckle, I believe orientalism in beauty is less often an offensive act and mostly about mutual appreciation, sharing a love of universal beauty--gentility, charm and grace. As long as salespeople aren't pushing these products onto me, as if I should use them because I'm you-know-what, I'm OK with western orientalism and other kinds of role play which is all in harmless fun.

Opium is a famous perfume launched in 1977 by Yves Saint Laurent. The bottle according to Michael Edwards, author of Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances, was inspired by a snuff box. The red lacquered look of the parfum bottle complete with a gold-tone tassel with a black fringe looks very antique, indeed. The fragrance inside is of a dark orange hue, and the first thing one notices when smelling it for the first time is how spicy it is. The principal note that smells like cinnamon and clove is carnation, the same flower that gives Old Spice its iconic spicy character. Whereas Old Spice is "emasculated" with traditionally Fougère fragrance notes of lavender and leather, Opium is softened with an aldehydic powdery texture, quite reminiscent of Chanel N°5 and perhaps even more so of the now-discontinued vintage Givenchy L'Interdit with its spicy carnation notes in an Aldehydic Floral setting.

I think Opium is one of the most elegant-smelling spicy perfumes for Women that was ever made. Although I'm not the biggest connoisseur of Spicy Oriental perfumes in general (other Spicy Orientals include Guerlain Vol de Nuit, Caron Parfum Sacre, Krizia Teatro alla Scala), I can see myself digging out my mini every now and then to cure my fetish for something sizzling red hot and daringly different from my usual sweet girl-next-door type scents.

The big question is, does Opium smell oriental enough to actually remind me of something of the Orient? Come to think of it, I think it reminds me of my mother's vintage custom silk kimonos that were kept in a cedar drawer. Either that or it reminds me of the little sachets my grandmothers in Japan gave me, the ones with intricate designs like boats, woven in hues of red and gold, with little bells and tassels on them, that are meant to be tucked into the kimono for their scent. I never thought those sachets smelled especially pleasant although they were subtly aromatic; I was never sure whether they were meant to attract boys or repel insects, or both.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Creed Angélique Encens

I first smelled Creed Angélique Encens (1933) back in the early 2000s, thanks to an online perfumista who sent me a generous decant to try. I loved this rich, spicy, sweet and powdery fragrance that is part of Creed's private collection, a classic Oriental ambery vanilla in the vein of Shalimar (1925) featuring the most devastatingly beautiful ambergris. Imagine a scent like Shalimar, Must de Cartier and Fifi Chachnil combined, a spicy aroma reminiscent even of Old Spice but with the refined yet deep, densely powdery, delicate texture of Guerlain Liu (1929). Also comparable to Jean Patou Chaldée, Angélique Encens is a classic 1930s style fragrance bringing to mind the carefree, sun-and-cocktail-drenched decadence of the lifestyle of the rich during the Great Depression.

It is a scent so hauntingly rich it brings to mind not the somber incense smoke of churches and temples prayerfully honoring the dead, but lively images of ancient Egyptians with melting incense cones on their heads, dripping over their Hathor-like helmet hair cascading onto brown-olive hot exposed shoulders, glistening of suntan oil. It is the scent of delicious gourmand excesses, a main course of balsam and herbs, and a dessert table brimming with cakes, creams and spirits. It is sugar, spice and everything nice for the girl or guy or androgyne a la Marlene Dietrich (for whom Creed supposedly created the perfume) who's got it all. Most of all, Angélique Encens is an embodiment of the popular style of perfume of the day for the leisurely to commission, and the working masses to emulate from afar. Stylewise, it's roughly the Thierry Mugler Angel of its day, but this angelic incense is ever an ode to the luminous ghost of Gatsby.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Demeter Laundromat

There are a handful of drugstores in New York City that carries this funky line of scents by Demeter based in Long Island, the suburbs of NY. Demeter colognes usually smell like literally whatever the name suggests, but this one doesn't really smell like Tide, cotton, linen or any of the scents commonly associated with detergentesque smells. Instead, it smells to me like faux jasmine, the kind you might find in a (good) drugstore perfume like Diane Von Furstenberg Tatiana. I would summarise Demeter Laundromat as a fragrance most similar to jasmine-scented soap, like one of the Dial soaps that comes in green packaging. It's a clean but strong, soapy white floral that isn't musky (and not at all indolic, like real jasmine essential oil), and borders on tuberose it's so heady and creamy, though green and punchy. Go easy with this, because at least while the scent lasts (which isn't long), it's a scent that carries, even for a cheapie (but good quality) cologne.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Ophiuchus - The 13th Sign of the Zodiac

Mythology: Arabic Ophiuchus - Greek Aesculapius - Egyptian Akhenaton by Jim A. Cornwell - From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Five

"Akhenaton or Akhenaten also Ikhnaton originally Amenhotep IV as King during the 18th Dynasty of Egypt (1,375?/50-1,358?/1334 B.C.) who rejected the old gods and initiated a new form of sun worship of Aton. He abandoned the state religion of Amon and removed it from all monuments. Akhenaton (he who is beneficial to Aton) a name chosen by himself Amenhotep IV believed that Re was the god of the whole world and the only god, beginnings of monotheism. He demanded that all subjects worship only the sun god under the name Aton. Of course this did not go over very well with a society that was use to a pantheon of gods.

(...) 2"Twenty-one being a number sacred to the Sun since the time of the Pharaoh Akhenaton who introduced into Egypt about the year 1,415 B.C. the monotheistic cult of the sun's disc. Epicharmus, as an Asclepiad (Asclepius was a Greek god of medicine and son of Apollo), was descended from the Sun." Read on at

From Wikipedia: Akhenaten and Judeo-Christian monotheism
"The idea of Akhenaten as the pioneer of a monotheistic religion that later became Judaism has been considered by various scholars.[42][43][44][45][46][47] One of the first to mention this was Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, in his book Moses and Monotheism.[48] Freud argued that Moses had been an Atenist priest forced to leave Egypt with his followers after Akhenaten's death. Freud argued that Akhenaten was striving to promote monotheism, something that the biblical Moses was able to achieve.[42] Following his book, the concept entered popular consciousness and serious research." Akhenaten on Wikipedia

"The snake rolled up around a walking stick, constitutes the symbol of the medicine at the present time; possibly, the association of the periodic detachment of the skin of the snake, with the renovation of the life." Stellar Astrology, Scorpius and Ophiuchus,

"It is also known as Serpentarius (...) It is known to have been in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period (mid-1st millennium BC), which, in turn, derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the ecliptic. The construction of the zodiac is described in Ptolemy’s Almagest (2nd century AD)." New Sign Ophiuchus; New Zodiac Dates -

"Ophiuchus is the only constellation in the sky which is patterned after a real person in human history, tracing back through time and space for its roots to an Ancient Egyptian mortal-made-god named Imhotep, whose life and times in or about the 27th Century B.C. were honored by both the Egyptians and Greeks some 2500 years after his death as not only a great man, but as a god who owed his great powers to the knowledge of medicine which he possessed, and who brought the art of healing to mankind." Ophiuchus Constellation Background -

"The attributes of Imhotep can also be found in the Biblical Hebrew Joseph, son of Jacob. Imhotep is credited with many accomplishments including the knowledge and use of medicine. It’s said that Imhotep brought the art of healing to mankind. The symbol of a serpent was used to represent Imhotep." The Staff of Asclepius - Alchemy Forums

Image: Rod of Asclepius, 2012: The Serpent-holder and the Maya - Seeing Symbols

Asclepius on Wikipedia
"Birth: He was the son of Apollo and Coronis. His mother was killed for being unfaithful to Apollo and was laid out on a funeral pyre to be consumed, but the unborn child was rescued from her womb. Or, alternatively, his mother died in labour and was laid out on the pyre to be consumed, but his father rescued the child, cutting him from her womb. From this he received the name Asklepios "to cut open".[5] Apollo carried the baby to the centaur Chiron who raised Asclepius and instructed him in the art of medicine.[6]

"Death: Zeus killed Asclepius with a thunderbolt because he raised Hippolytus from the dead and accepted gold for it.[15] Other stories say that Asclepius was killed because after bringing people back from the dead (...) After Asclepius' death, Zeus placed Asclepius among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus ("the Serpent Holder").[19] Asclepius on Wikipedia

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived”. - Numbers 21:4-9

Image: Tarot 21. The World

Related links: Sidereal astrology and Ophiuchus (astrology) on Wikipedia

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Lady Gaga: "Illuminati"? Read analyses of Lady Gaga FAME perfume

Image: Belladonna aka deadly nightshade
Read about Atropa belladonna - Wikipedia

Lady GAGA - Occult secret conspiration - October 4, 2012 1000 Fragrances

Lady Gaga’s Fragrance “Fame” and its Occult Meaning - October 3, 2012 Vigilant Citizen

I think the connection that was made between Lady Gaga FAME and Christian Dior Poison is spot on, as 1000 Fragrances points out, for the reasons he cites and plus because they are both, after all, dangerously dark fruity concoctions in purple (black) hues. Speaking of which, when I created my Unreleased Mix aka Persephone perfume, I had a version of it that was almost pitch black, but actually a dark purple (I still have this in my possession, and I will post a pic of it one of these days). The only reason the color of my product ranged from black to pale amber is because one of the oils I was using occasionally arrived from the factory in a different color, something I had no control over, especially because I had no intention of adding more color to it to modify it. So my perfume, too, was black and yet it "magically turned colorless" upon wear. I will also admit there were some references to occult symbolism like cliche references to "secrets" and "forbidden fruit", even as far as my "royal purple flowers" went, although I assure you there was no belladonna or any poisonous flower in my blend (it's hyacinth and magnolia in mine, with blackberry as my fruity note). Of course there isn't any belladonna in Lady Gaga FAME, either, even if the blurb says the perfume is based on the belladonna aka deadly nightshade. I also highly doubt Gaga wears belladonna oil, considering how the poison is readily absorbed by skin! The point here is, it is impossible for anyone who's smelled Christian Dior Poison to not feel the influence of the famous scent; the iconic Poison of the '80s is to today's perfume what Madonna is to today's pop artists.

Belladonna - Teufelskunst

But the connection that is being made between Lady Gaga and Hitler is something else. It's one thing to connect Gaga's imagery in marketing to alchemy and the occult in general, but to say because Hitler was into the occult, she and Hitler must be connected, is saying she is guilty of something sinister merely by association. Nevertheless, it's an interesting topic of conversation, the merging of art and propaganda, particularly in film and photography. Is Gaga the new futuristic Boccioni's Materia to Madonna's Material Girl, or Leni Riefenstahl? Check out the links above and see if you see what the writers see in her perfume promo video, and in her work in general; do you think she is a more subversive artist than the pop mainstream culture reveals?

Last updated at 10:25 PM

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Marathon is canceled following storm damage

From Yahoo! News: "For now, they are sticking to their policy of no refunds for runners, but they will guarantee entry to next year's marathon or the half-marathon in March. However, Wittenberg said the group would review the refund policy." Read the article: Marathon is canceled following storm damage By Jennifer Peltz and Rachel Cohen | Associated Press

Let me just add that this animosity New Yorkers have towards the international marathon runners is appalling and uncalled for. It reminds me of the time I was doing a stand-up for a TV show and some guy in front of a downtown bar threw a lit cigarette at my leg (missed by an inch) because he hated the media. It is something akin to anti-immigration hate, this loathing of out-of-towners that some New Yorkers, many of whom are well-to-do, feel entitled to.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween from NYC

My Fragrance of the Moment - actually, the scent I've been wearing to get me through these past few days is Lady Gaga Fame Perfume from the Haus Laboratories in Paris. I love my Ralph Lauren Big Pony #2 which is another 2012 launch that I think is kind of similar to Fame, but I think Fame has a punchy musk a la Cacharel Noa that makes an intense perfume that feels especially good to wear under stress.

Click here for my Halloween song dedication to you, with love from PINK MANHATTAN Music Blog.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


CLEAN Rain is the new 2012 launch by Dlish. Featuring fresh fruity floral notes of melon, daisy and daffodil, it is an aquatic Marine Floral with tartness most suited to, but not confined to, younger taste. It smells slightly green with additional notes of violet leaves and water lily, softly lifted with effervescent top notes of mint. I enjoy this bright and pretty, smooth and characteristically fruity-musky aquatic scent that reminds me of Body Shop Dewberry and a much less musk-centric version of Rimmel London Glam. Although this is fruitier, it seems not far from the lines of Daisy, and makes me nostalgic for Sunflowers, too.

CLEAN Rain smells unique for a "rain" type scent in that it isn't musk-centric but more of a complete composition featuring a full-bodied floral heart of well-tempered freshness, clean without soaps and detergents, without skimping on sweetness that imbues fragrance with joy. Rife with sunshine as ever a yellow bouquet can deliver, this Rain doesn't mimic the wet, musty odor of actual rain nor surrounding heady ozonic atmosphere of petrichor, but only the beauty that occurs in our natural world after the rain.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

CLEAN Ultimate

It's been said, perhaps sniggeringly, that being imitated is the greatest compliment. Jazz pianist Bill Evans was probably more accurate in saying (and I paraphrase) being imitated is insulting, which is why there are laws against plagiarism. Nevertheless, in the world of fragrance, perfumes are sometimes blatantly copied, not only in the sense of one company putting out the same fragrance in different packaging or under different names, like one of the newer Dior Addict flankers smelling like Poison, or Chanel Coco Noir smelling like a headspace copy of the original Coco, but different companies using the same fragrance oils and putting them out as different perfumes. In some cases, it's inevitable, since there are only handfuls of fragance companies; oils from the UK might smell distictly like the region or company from which their oils hailed, for instance. But sometimes, a fragrance note becomes so popular, everybody feels the need to put out the same thing, much like a hit song with a distinctive hook or sound is forever copied, sampled and made iconic, institutionalized.

CLEAN Ultimate is basically a soapy white musk in the vein of Gendarme. No one is talking about Gendarme, the ultimate soapy fragrance these days, but at the time of its popularity, Gendarme of the Gendarme line was the CLEAN of its day. I can't wear white musks that are this soapy, because as opposed to being anosmic to this type of musk, I find it piercingly strong and sharp, but I can see the appeal it holds for people who are searching for a perfume that smells like soap--Ivory soap, pure soap. If either CLEAN Ultimate or Gendarme didn't smell so musky to me, I'd say they smell as clean as Ivory, too.

Etro Vicolo Fiori

Vicolo Fiori by Etro - also available as deodorant spray

I could be the only one in the perfumed blogosphere who thinks of this as a Green Floral, but in my mind, the powdery-musky-fruity bluebell-water lily composition can resemble in a quick whiff the crisp greenery of Calandre. In fact the other day, I found an unlabeled sample vial of this scent, and struggled to remember which perfume I had decanted to put in my purse, until it dawned on me it was simultaneously too powdery and aqueously clean to be either Calandre or Ivoire. With its almost aldehydic powdery consistency, I almost pegged it vintage Nina; thank goodness my scent memory prevailed, leading me to a Vicolo Fiori match.

Etro Vicolo Fiori is actually a complex perfume for something so seemingly fey and simplistic. When the salesperson at a favorite boutique suggested it to another customer, supposedly a bride-to-be, and bypassed showing it to me, I'd felt momentarily miffed. In retrospect, I realized I usually preferred crisper, more straightforwardly sweet, less powdery and musky "rain" type fragrances anyway. As beautiful as I thought it was (enough to eventually buy), I didn't wear it as often as I wore Spring Flower, the perfume I'd gone to the store for in the first place.

As Spring Flower became my glamorous everyday go-to perfume, Vicolo Fiori became the quieter, less charismatic sister floral that got delegated to functioning as a "mood scent." The complexity of tangerines with green florals, a rose-jasmine traditional floral heart, ambery woods and vanilla, all with a hint of violet, sharpened by sporty aquatic top notes rounded out with a sweet white peach, sometimes smelled cloying, and overwhelmed me. When I realized the resemblance it had to Laura by Laura Biagiotti, a dainty and quietly powdery aquatic rose and vanilla floral, I lost interest and set it aside for years.

It was such a pleasant surprise to rediscover the scent of Vicolo Fiori again in the form of an unmarked vial. It gave me the opportunity to analyze it without bias, and appreciate the lush greenery I couldn't smell over the other muskier notes before. It is my new go-to fragrance for this fall, an intricate weave of notes ranging from porcelain cold to snuggly warm, like a fragile piece of vintage lace, easy to dismiss as "dowdy" until you learn to appreciate it by finely tuning into its intricate nature, never expecting it to assert itself to you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bruno Mars - Grenade

Doo-Wops & Hooligans [2010]

CLEAN Cotton T-Shirt

Why this is listed under Women's perfume, I have no idea. CLEAN Cotton T-Shirt is one I think could easily have been called CLEAN Men (without having smelled the actual fragrance called CLEAN Men) because as detergentesque as it is, it seems to lean towards traditional aromatic Fougère, or at least like calone, a note found in so many Men's colognes, especially of the past, most specifically of the "Sports" (sportif) scent type. It is listed on some sites as "Fresh", which generally means aquatic, but I'm thinking aquatic fougere. Maybe the company was trying to break a stereotype with this scent, which is more than fine by me, but if anything, I really don't think scents that mimic laundry detergent or fabric softener need to have any gender specification to begin with. However, if I'm to describe this scent in terms of common gender scent markers of the recent past, then fougere as a fragrance family that includes Brut, Drakkar and Kouros is as stereotypically "masculine" as it gets; then again, the androgynous CK One is also a fougere, and Cotton T-Shirt comes pretty close to that scent. A-ha--maybe CLEAN Cotton T-Shirt is supposed to smell like your boyfriend's T-shirt. Oy vey.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Child perfume

At the height of the indie perfume oil craze which perfumistas of the past decade will recall, Apothia Child perfume oil came in different packaging: a 10ml roll-on wrapped in blue vinyl with a circular cut-out, making the yellow perfume oil look like the moon against the night sky. I don't even know if that was the original look when Child perfume first launched, but it was really cute. The newer, simpler packaging doesn't take away from the nice scent that hasn't changed through the years. Child perfume oil, which is now available as an alcohol-based spray, has a legion of celebrity fans to legitimize its cult perfume status.

The fragrance is a simple blend of pikake (jasmine) and skin musk--an easy blend to copy as many shops have done over the years, and yet Child continues to sell, to a loyal fan base that won't settle for anything less than the authentic Child. I sense that this composition is probably white musk based, but it doesn't bother me as much as white musk tends to in other blends. To very loosely describe the overall scent, Child is a soft tropical Floral, on the verge of fruity, like Hawaiian plumeria but almost like banana or melon in its mild and sweet, round and smooth texture. Like many perfume oils, it lasts a very long time on skin, and dries down to a subtle, close-to-the-skin musky scent that is floral-sweet but also green, slightly soapy-clean.

Unfussy (maybe even sporty) but romantic at heart, I picture a Hollywood starlet in workout gear, maybe a sweatshirt and boy shorts or yoga pants, at a dresser putting on a dab of night-blooming jasmine before bedtime, as she'd always done as a little girl, copying mama with her fancy parfum. I think it's about as fabulous a tropical scent as you will find in a neat little roll-on bottle, compact and ready-to-go for today's women with an active lifestyle.

Friday, October 19, 2012

World Order - Permanent Revolution

World Order "Permanent Revolution"

Locations: Japan - Korea

Forever-changing, permanent revolution
Continue walking, permanent revolution
Towards one world

Words by Genki Sudo
Music by Genki Sudo / SPACE WALKER



SNL skit skewers complaints about the iPhone 5

SNL skit skewers complaints about the iPhone 5 - "Saturday Night Live" has some fun bringing the tech press and Chinese factory workers together to chat about Apple's smartphone. By CNET News staff | October 13, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CLEAN Outdoor Shower Fresh

To get an idea of what CLEAN Outdoor Shower Fresh smells like, please read my review of CLEAN Shower Fresh. They are similar, except Outdoor Shower Fresh is greener and grassier. I prefer it to Shower Fresh, because I think whatever additional notes are in it to make it green also freshen it up more, making it less flowery and skin cream-like. Some reviewers have smelled apple in this, which I think synchronizes with my picking up a grass note; Donna Karan DKNY Be Delicious is an example of a Green apple fragrance that reminds me of grass perfumes such as GAP or Marc Jacobs Grass. Apple and grass notes are both on the Green part of the olfactory spectrum, as are listed notes in this composition, lily of the valley and violet (leaves) (I suspect so is water lily, which is also aqueous like the apple note, bringing to mind green, fresh and fruity, aqueous scents Escada Lily Chic and yes, even Frédéric Malle Lys Méditerranée). Still, there is that lingering pikake-like jasmine note that gives it a tropical, almost banana-like softness, taking the edge off the astringent qualities of ourdoorsy green notes, providing good balance and a pleasant fragrance overall.


Check this blog out--it explores some functions I haven't seen being discussed before: [P]i, [J]e, [J]i, [S]e. INFJ vs INTJ - October 13, 2012 | Psyphics

Image: Cognitive Functions Poster - Psyphics

Oh, and this is fun:

◦You receive a call from a telemarketer who tells you that you are the lucky winner of a free travel package. You have told them you are not interested but the caller insists, which gives you a hunch that it may be a scam. (Ni) You are not busy but want to end the call.

◦Do you hang up on the person? Do you ask the caller about the business model and try to discern the “catch” behind the offer? Do you research the company online or ask for legal verification of its legitimacy? Do you confront the caller about his/her tactics and ask how they got your number? (Te)
◦Do you gently state your concern to the caller? Do you check if his/her voice and speaking style “feel” sincere. Do you create an excuse for why you can’t talk at the moment? Do you empathize with the caller because he/she is just another person trying to earn a living? (Fe)

(Based on this mini questionaire, I'm most definitely an INTJ - ha!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CLEAN Shower Fresh


I have such a thing for colored glass, maybe because I have memories of visiting the Corning factory as a child, or playing with beautiful glass marbles, jacks and beads. This clear turquoise bottle is eye candy to me. Shower Fresh is one of the CLEAN perfume variations that I'd say isn't for me, but definitely for someone who likes musky white florals with a Green twist. I found Shower Fresh a bit more Floral than I wanted from a clean scent, but nevertheless it's not your traditional flowery Floral, and fits in with the Clean family just fine. I smell a punchy little tuberose or pikake (the jasmine note in Child perfume oil, a Christina Applegate fave) note in it, with a greenness I associate with linden (lime blossom), although the official notes are jasmine, lily of the valley (a green floral note), citrus and musks, essentially a bouquet of notes within a "rain" type of musky floral composition, but with emphasis on being characterically Floral.

CLEAN Warm Cotton

Here's another variation of CLEAN by Dlish that I like. It's a pleasant scent, albeit a commercial fragrance more often associated with household products than traditional perfume. Warm Cotton is evocative of dryer sheets or fabric softener, in that it features a faux floral note more aptly described as "soapy", or perhaps "creamy soapy floral", but it also conveys a breezy yet dry, ozonic quality associated with cotton / linen scents. For comparison, it has a similar linen-like quality to Fresh Laundry but with a sweeter, richer floral note as found in other CLEAN flankers, Shower Fresh and Outdoor Shower Fresh. Warm Cotton is somewhere between these 3 on the olfactory scale, which I can summarize as a soft linen + white floral, leaning towards Green. The soft pear note makes Warm Cotton distinctive.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

CLEAN Fresh Laundry

CLEAN Fresh Laundry is one of many variations of CLEAN, the fragrance by Dlish. I like it because it seems less astringent compared to the original CLEAN. Although it is in essence a commercial type of fragrance usually found in household products, Fresh Laundry wears fairly well on my skin in a fresh, ozonic linen-like way. It's subtle and unsweet for a Floral, even with a traditional rose-jasmine heart. It's less detergentesque and more like a cotton-linen scent to me, overall. It's also less Green on the olfactory spectrum than CLEAN, which could explain why it seems less sharp, even if it's just as high-pitched a scent. Among the series I've tested so far, this is my favorite, the one I find most wearable and would wear again. The bottle made to look like the sky in a powder blue cloudy hue is adorable.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

CLEAN by Dlish

Here's the first of the CLEAN series--I plan to review a handful of scents within this line, so stay tuned! This is the original CLEAN fragrance, although IIRC the real original launched as a perfume oil, followed by the sprayable form. Many people refer to this as the anti-perfume, even though it has a perfuminess of its own, a sort of postmodern clean that is really so extreme it's almost a parody of clean, much the same way French manicures are supposed to look natural, featuring the optical illusion of white nail tips actually being painted on to give nails a "clean" look.

The success of this perfume is in the name just as much as the scent itself. I can think of no other perfume that smells as detergentesque as this, and I can't think of any other way to describe it, save for calling it "soapy, faux flowery and a bit citrusy". It is an artificial floral of sorts, but it can be pleasant in small doses. Too much and I find it gets in the way of food aromas. Paris Hilton has a fragrance with a similar detergentesque note in it, but I can't recall which one of her fragrances it was. Could it have been the one called Just Me? The name would suggest fitting into the "clean" concept ("oh, no, I don't wear perfume..."). I'll let you know the next time I find myself at Kmart, or a drugstore where mass market perfumes are protected under lock and key.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Study Shows Autistic Children Are Likely to Wander

Help save a life. Tell anti-autism people who think autistics are just misbehaving kids who are pretending, that Autism and its struggles are real.

"The behavior, called wandering or elopement, has led to numerous deaths in autistic children by drowning and in traffic accidents. Now a new study of more than 1,200 families with autistic children suggests wandering is alarmingly common. Nearly half of parents with an autistic child age 4 or older said their children had tried to leave a safe place at least once, the study reported. One in four said their children had disappeared long enough to cause concern. Many parents said their wandering children had narrowly escaped traffic accidents or had been in danger of drowning.

"Those at greatest risk of wandering off were autistic children with severe intellectual deficits and those who do not respond to their names. The research was published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

(...) "Advocates for families affected by autism say the findings underscore the need to raise public awareness and alter policy. While Amber alerts are used to mobilize the public when a child is believed to have been abducted, for instance, generally they are not used when a disabled child goes missing, said Alison Singer, president and a founder of the Autism Science Foundation, one of the organizations that supported the study.

"Emergency responders should receive special training on how to search for autistic children who are nonverbal and often scared by lights and sirens, she said. Emergency personnel also need to know to check streams or ponds, since many children with autism are drawn to bodies of water, as well as highways.

"One in 88 children in the United States received a diagnosis of autism, Asperger syndrome or a related disorder in 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While some of these children are socially awkward but high functioning, others have limited intellectual and cognitive abilities." Continue reading: Study Shows Children With Autism Tend to Stray - By RONI CARYN RABIN October 8, 2012 The New York Times

Thursday, October 04, 2012

What Actually Drives Music Consumption

What Actually Drives Music Consumption by Chasson Gracie,

I'm a cognitive music listener, in that being a musician propels me to listen to music in an unconventional way--for instance, listening for the quality of the musical arrangement, or the specific chords being played, first. Why are there so few women who listen to music as I do? It could be summed up with two main reasons: one, that few women in pop / rock music pursue playing an instrument with the goal of mastering it (which explains the sad stereotype about women in music being "girl singers" who are clueless about music, and women being exploited in the business because of it), and two, that the industry itself primarily markets female artists to women, and so the female audience feels funny about listening to "music that their older brother listens to." It's a shame since so much of good music is performed and recorded by male musicians.

I would even add a third reason, that women hardly see women in bands that play male-dominated (requiring high level proficiency to play) genres of music such as jazz. Even in the world of vocalization, you can see this type of gender segregation, not always of a conscious making by the industry. Just as there are fewer salseras because of the complexity of the musical genre and its polyrhythms, few women grow up to pursue musical prowess in lieu of more feeling-based expression being the primary focus of making music.

It could also explain why I have few women friends who share my musical tastes.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Singer-Songwriter Open Mic Nights at Sam Ash Music

Open Mic Nights! Every Wednesday

Singer-Songwriters: Come Out and Play and Get a $10 Gift Card!

Visit for details.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Circumcision, Anti-Semitism, And You (Part Deux)

Circumcision, Anti-Semitism, And You (Part Deux) By Juggalo Law, Above the Law - 01 Oct 2012

Related links:

Germany resumes ritual circumcisions after bitter dispute By Alexandra Hudson, Mon Oct 1, 2012 Reuters

Infection Risk Prompts New York City To Regulate Ritual Circumcision by Scott Hensley, September 13, 2012 NPR

Rabbi Moshe Tendler Wants Metzitzah B’peh Regulated in Rockland County - Rare View - September 19, 2012

Ny Daily News: Leave Metzitzah B’peh Alone - Five Towns Jewish Times - September 13, 2012

Obama and Romney should get a circumcision question at the debate. Really. By Virginia Heffernan, October 2, 2012 Yahoo! News

Obama and Romney should get a circumcision question at the debate. Really.

By Virginia Heffernan -- "(...) Is anti-circumcision a left-wing cause, for people who favor organic food and green politics and natural childbirth? Or is circumcision a religious and ethnic issue, one that divides Jews and Americans from the rest of the world, where circumcision is not customary but increasingly recommended? Is rejecting circumcision a position for nature freaks, hedonists, child advocates, Californians, Europhiles, non-conformists, climate-change-deniers who further deny that circumcision helps prevent the spread of AIDS?" Continue reading: Obama and Romney should get a circumcision question at the debate. Really. Yahoo! News, October 2, 2012

Beyoncé Heat Rush

Beyoncé is one of those celebrities who don't make me wish I were skinnier than I am. Sexy, confidently curvaceous, blessed with beauty, talent and a rich but pristine voice with a true singer's bell to her sound, she can make anyone melt (no one looked and sounded hotter in a perfume advertisement than Beyoncé in Beyonce Heat). Beyoncé is my idea of the ideal perfume model. Like J. Lo, Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor and Naomi Campbell, I think her charm alone will sell fragrances for years to come. Heat Rush is the flanker to Beyonce Heat which I reviewed before as being somewhat of a coconutty scent. I prefer the sequel to it, a happy and fresh citrus scent as sunset-on-the-water orangey as its packaging with a slightly Indian-type motif (or maybe some sort of "generic Oriental"...hmm). My first impression of it was that of Clinique Happy and Azzura, both fragrances I love. Beyonce Heat Rush starts with that type of energizing citric-floral opening, until it dries down to a very pale rendition of the tropical nuance of the original Heat, barely noticeable in its aqueous-sporty coconuttiness (the listed coconut note in Heat is "macaroon", as in coconut cookie, not a French macaron which consists of almond flour and honey).

Aside from the eau de parfum, there's an affordable Body Mist for under $10 out there that I'd grab in a heartbeat if it weren't so shimmery--not that there's anything wrong with glitter or shimmer, but I just feel I'm beyond the demographic for it. Nevertheless, if you're a shimmer queen, go for it. Most of all, if you like fresh Fruity Floral Orientals such as my other current favorite, Ralph Lauren Big Pony Pink #2, try this. Although I would like to see more fresh and clean, classic Florals or Fruity Florals assigned to black and African American celebrities (Mariah Carey Luscious Pink, for instance), this is a very pretty (as opposed to sensual and seductive) scent: more alpha-light in overall feel than her first launch, and floral within the feminine soprano range, worthy of a Cinderella. May it become a celeb scent classic!

Commercial for Beyoncé Heat, Beyoncé's first perfume