Friday, June 29, 2012

The Hot and Cold of Citrus Eaux: Tangerine (Mandarin), Citron (Yuzu)

Eaux de Cologne often consist of citrus notes focused on bergamot, lemon and/or lime (sometimes grapefruit (pamplelune)), with additional notes of herbs such as lavender, geranium and basil, flowers such as orange blossom or spices like cinnamon and clove to build architecturally balanced olfactive compositions that are seemingly one-dimensional soliflores (single note fragrances). Even if most of these smell the same to you ("like lemons," many would say), the citric bunch is in fact varied enough to keep finicky noses interested. In this post, I'd like to put the spotlight on tangerine orange (mandarin) and citron (yuzu) fragrances. Citrus fragrances can be enjoyed in the summer and winter for different reasons. They can cool you down in the heat, and warm you up in the cold. Keep in mind, though, that true citrus essential oils are phototoxic in the sun, and are best worn after the beach or pool, for a late afternoon visit to the gallery, for instance.

Miller Harris Tangerine Vert is a tart citrus aroma that I believe is comparable to Hermès Eau d'Orange Verte (1979). In Japan, these green tangerines are called aomikan (links to, a fruit associated with the beginning of autumn. On my skin, Miller Harris Tangerine Vert turns into a semi-sweet bergamot-like scent with a green bite as well as a soft powdery dry down, similar to Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien. Simple yet sophisticated and a most versatile blend, it can be worn for casual or professional wear.

Miller Harris Citron Citron is famous for being a favorite of Kylie Minogue; this is a less sweet, sharper and more lemon or bergamot-like scent than Tangerine Vert. There is no actual citron note listed in its composition; the listed notes are Jamaican lime, Sicilian lemon and Spanish orange with mint, basil and other herbs/spices. It's chilly enough for an ice queen or a dancer after a long routine. For an actual citron (yuzu) note, you might want to seek out Rich Hippie Utopia (certified organic), Eau de Cartier (for Men and Women, but don't expect citrus; it's a unique blend of watery fruits and violet leaves), Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat or Parfums 06130 Yuzu Rouge which is actually more of a rose blend, but an effervescent one. Popular mainstream fragrances include Versace Bright Crystal and Burberry Brit Sheer.

Citron, cherished for its invigorating property, is traditionally added to bathwater on the Winter Solstice in Japan (links to Japazine).

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic is one of those simple pleasures within the collection of modestly elegant, solifloric scents. For some reason, it's marketed to Women, but of course it's a perfect shared fragrance, a typical eau de cologne. It's a sweet tangerine with a subtle herbaceous touch. It's very natural-smelling compared to, say, their kiwi scent which is also lovely, don't get me wrong, but it has a more obvious sporty aqueous quality that a seasoned nose or sensitive schnoz can detect (to clarify, lest someone gets personally offended by what I say about their favorite scents, the use of technologically advanced notes doesn't necessarily take away from quality; Frédéric Malle Lys Méditerranée is quite an aqueous floral for a niche perfume, and a wow scent nonetheless).

So that's the hot and cold of it; may these scents help keep you chill and get cuddly, too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some post French FIFI thoughts & other musings

Is there any fragrance you've been wanting to try these days? I'd like to smell Atelier Cologne, especially Orange Sanguine which just won the French FIFI, and Grand Néroli. Speaking of the FIFI, Elie Saab Le Parfum won in Women's. My quick review: a plush, powdery fruity patchouli, it's the Flowerbomb of nouveau Chypres. I also need to try the Men's winner, JPG Kokorico.

This one seems to be a hard-to-find fragrance (and not one of the night's winners), but I'm also interested in this Giorgio Armani Armani Code flanker called Armani Code Luna. I've read someplace that it's vanillic, like Dior Hypnotic Poison which I still enjoy when I have a very sweet tooth. By other accounts, it sounds more gossamer than the original Armani Code, a rich yet angular woody-orange blossom-jasmine Floral Oriental. Pictured is the stunning Megan Fox in both Armani Code & Luna ads.

She looks great, of course, but I like her hair the best when it's long and parted in the front, not so perfectly coiffed...sweet dreams!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dream of the Red Chamber (Mansions)

Image: from Cultural China

"Dream of the Red Chamber (simplified Chinese: 红楼梦; traditional Chinese: 紅樓夢; pinyin: Hóng Lóu Mèng; Wade–Giles: Hung Lou Meng), composed by Cao Xueqin, is one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. It was written in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Chinese literature and is generally acknowledged to be the pinnacle of Chinese fiction. "Redology" is the field of study devoted exclusively to this work.[1]

(...) "The title has also been translated as Red Chamber Dream and A Dream of Red Mansions." Dream of the Red Chamber - Wikipedia

"Dream of the Red Chamber (Chinese: 红楼梦; pinyin: Hónglóu Mèng), released in 1987, was a television series produced by CCTV adapted from the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. It gained enormous popularity with its superb music, cast, and plot adaptation. It was first filmed in Beijing in Mandarin. Then it was translated into Cantonese, Shanghainese, and other languages and aired in the rest of China. It is 36 episodes long.

(...) "Many famous scenes from the novel are adapted in incredible accuracy in the serial. Such scenes include Daiyu Weeps Over Falling Blossoms, The Theory of Gold and Jade, and The Profligate Secretly Takes Second Sister Yu as a Concubine. On the other hand, much of the mystical elements in the novel was not filmed due to the social-political environment of the times." Dream of the Red Chamber (1987 TV series)

WATCH the 1987 drama series Dream of the Red Chamber with English subtitles on You Tube.

Original Jia Baoyu in 1987's production of "Dream of the Red Mansion"
Image from House of the Flying Water-Sleeves

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fiona Apple

She's a living goddess, now and forever. I'm slow coming to her music, but her new material is exquisite. Listen to "Regret" and read my review of the track at the all new PINK MANHATTAN Music Blog.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Early Summer Story of Eau: Top 10

Allow me to begin with my most worn Top 5 fragrances this month so far (with emphasis on the first 2, to which my heart truly belongs). My new number 1 just replaced my "signature" (that is, a master perfume to which I am devoted) which is now number 2. But Marc Jacobs Oh Lola is a spoiled brat and a sore loser, such a bad sport! So I've given them equal standing to avoid problems later. I still don't own actual bottles of all of my favorites, but I'm testing and patiently plotting away, as perfume lovers do (*innocent Care Bear smile, the equivalent of the virginal lily-of-the-valley soapy white-gloved Diorissimo sillage*, inside perfume joke, wink).

1. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
1. Marc Jacobs Oh Lola
3. Caron Narcisse Blanc
4. Un Lys
5. L'Eau de Chloé

From my recent experiment with having a signature scent that I had to protect the name of in order to reap the promised rewards of having this titillating oh là là beauty secret, I've learned that being mysterious is overrated. I'm just such a blabbermouth, telling anyone who'll listen just what I think about each scent they ask about and more. Oy, I'm a failure of a "chic Frenchwoman" but it was fun trying.

Image: from

Between Oh Lola's familiar outline of Victoria's Secret Riviera Sun, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino's ironic resurrection of 4711 and all of my faithful perfumes-in-waiting, I love them all; I just can't be purist or monastic (monist?) enough for lack of discipline - for shame. Do I still revel in the quietly meditative, spirit-cleansing smoky incense married to that loud yellow attention whore that is Narcisse Blanc? Guilty as charged.

There's the spicy sweetness of the majestic lily flower with creamy vanillic petals that is Un Lys, beautiful enough for Catherine Deneuve, an actual Marianne symbol next to whom I'm not worthy enough to utter the holy name of the perfumer, and the just-stepped-out-of-the-shower musky dark-petaled rose, steamy, spa-fresh with a hint of naughty and telling Chypre undertone, L'Eau de Chloé. So many perfumes, so little time...

Yet, for whatever reason or maybe no reason at all, I've cut back on the number of fragrances in my rotation, sticking to one fragrance for relatively long stretches of time before the spell is broken again. When that happens, I hear "shut up and take my money" and feel honored to submit once more. I also like the following scents, although I've seldom had the chance to wear them, and some I just dream about.

6. Hypnotic Poison
7. Demeter Blueberry Muffin
8. Reb l'Fleur
9. Clinique Happy
10. La Chasse aux Papillons

Image: Mauboussin Histoire d'Eau perfume, an animalic spicy floral

These haven't gotten rotation lately but I still haven't let go of: Spring Flower, Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie, Chamade, Chanel No.19, Chanel No.22, my occasional guilty pleasures Poison and Chloe (original) minis and small decant sprays of Cartier L'Heure Treizieme XIII, Carnal Flower and Musc Ravageur. Many of these were gifts, and I cherish them so.

Before I go, have you sampled anything interesting lately? I once read that men love spicy florals, and the fragrance pictured above (Mauboussin Histoire d'Eau) should fit that bill. Never sweet enough to be a gourmand which, as you know, is deemed cliché like the fruity floral, this skanky-elegant number smells special and unique, like a pungent and warm, spicy rose potpourri stew, not so much fruity as at the cusp of being overripe, like a postmodern aqueous Rochas Femme. It's totally not my style, but it could be yours.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Creed Verveine Narcisse

"Narcissus or Narkissos (Greek: Νάρκισσος), possibly derived from ναρκη (narke) meaning "sleep, numbness," in Greek mythology was a hunter from the territory of Thespiae in Boeotia who was renowned for his beauty. He was exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him." Narcissus (mythology)

Creed Verveine Narcisse was a limited edition fragrance by Creed. My source for the image,, says it's in production, so either it's back (I haven't checked Creed's website), or it was still available to a select clientele; I had not seen it at any of the Creed counters but it's been a long while since I've visited one. Anyway, a sweet perfumista once sent me a sample of this scent, along with some other favorites of hers: Perry Ellis (original for Women) and Caron Montaigne. I'd say these are all characterized by full floral hearts and a smattering of gentle spices (Montaigne is the spiciest among them), with a well-rounded overall quality resting on a balance beam of softly wooded vanilla or amber.

Verveine Narcisse is firstly green; it's a green and bodacious White Floral similar to Perry Ellis but with a hesperidic character. Although the narcissus flower is a bright and sweet floral note (jonquil is another name for it), it smells to me more like a floral citrus than a citric floral, but such a symmetrical composition could swing to either side at any moment. Verveine is the fruit note that not-so-firmly plants it in the hesperides family. Compared to the somewhat sharp tone of many eaux de cologne, Verveine Narcisse is more punchy than sharp, at once bold and consistently smooth, like a cabochon gemstone as opposed to brilliant cut.

Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat

Since I've been chatting away about hesperides (eau de cologne) this week, I probably should explain that, as with tea / coffee appreciation or wine tasting, unless your nose is relatively mature in terms of having developed a certain sensitivity in picking up the subtle nuances, most eau de colognes, or eaux (plural), will smell like lemons and nothing more. However, if you're a citrus lover and start to get particular about your preferences in this area, skies' the limit, as there are tons of these to choose from, ranging from the newer breed to the timeless classics commissioned by royals. I have my favorites in the hesperides (citrus) family; most are semi-sweet lemony scents with a good deal of neroli in the mix. Often, I like the ones with delicate floral hearts. Some people will prefer the more aromatic or spicy ones with emphases on lavendar, bergamot, lime and additional tobacco-leather blends of woods and herbs. Many of these have traditionally been marketed as Men's fragrances, although hesperides, like all other types of fragrances, have no gender and can be enjoyed by everyone.

A standout eau de cologne in my book is a little known fragrance called Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat, an effervescent lemon fragrance with very subtle, delicate florals. The overall effect is a milder type of lemon scent than most; like sweet lemon drops or lemonade, it reminds me of an organic indie fragrance called Rich Hippie Devotion (French Lemon, Moroccan Verveine and Italian Clementine). The Guerlain creation is not organic (and it's not a prerequisite for me to enjoy a scent), nor is it as sweet, but it's similar enough, lasts longer on me than the organic number and comes in an exquisite bee bottle. This is the kind of scent I consider to be perfect for work, and it's a refreshing way to start another sweltering series of days and nights in New York City.

According to Wikipedia, cedrat (Citrus medica) is described as follows: "The citron is a fragrant citrus fruit, botanically classified as Citrus medica by both the Swingle and Tanaka systems. The designation medica given it by Linnaeus is apparently derived from its ancient name "Median or Persian apple"[1] that was reported by Theophrastus,[2] who believed it to be native to Persia or the land of the Medes; there is no relation to medicinal uses of the fruit. Theophrastus notes its smooth sharp thorns, like those of a pear, the very fragrant but inedible 'apple', which keeps moths from clothes, and the fact that "it bears its 'apples' at all season; for when some have been gathered, the flower of others is on the tree and it is ripening others.... This tree, as has been said, grows in Persia and Media." Citron was the first of the citrus fruits to appear in the Mediterranean Basin." Citron

Edited to add: The cedrat flower note in Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat could do with either the hesperidic citron fruit itself, or, in an unexpected twist, "citron" could mean the flower otherwise known as Narcissus 'Citron' (Citron Daffodil).

Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat (1920). Notes: cedrat flower, lemon, verbena and bergamot

Eau de Guerlain

Had you done your homework and read about this beloved fragrance among the serious cologne and perfume loving community, declaring it a legendary citrus eau? To give you a hint, see the ad I posted below (not the bee bottle posted above); the 1974 creation was packaged (the black and white boxes were in the same style) in a similar fashion to Parure (1975), Guerlain's most austere Women's fragrance to date (a leather Chypre with fruity notes). Eau de Guerlain is Parure's brother, almost like the spicier but higher-pitched and more brash cologne version of it: lemony at first, then turning ultra spicy (carnation is a key note, as found in Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps, Floris Malmaison and the original Givenchy L'Interdit) and dense, aromatic in a tobacco-leather way. If you're a fan of the mossy heavyweights such as Clinique Aromatics Elixir or Nicolai Eau de New York, it's probably more your speed. For me, it's one of those spicy scents I wish had a little more sweetness to it - and by sweet, I don't mean just base-heavy and ambery warm, but with some honey, sugar, vanilla or nectar to balance it out. It smells like a more decadent Caswell-Massey Number Six; if this is a wee bit much for a summer splash, try that.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Philosophy Love Sweet Love

It's the kind of fresh, simple, sweet (but well-tempered, not hypersweet) Fruity Floral you might associate with beauty products for your face - moisturizing creams and such - but with a bit more authentic perfumey oomph - and yet, not quite out of the fruity body spray ballpark for those of you who aren't into the traditional parfum. Mango is one of its key notes, although it could easily pass for passion fruit. I'm glad Philosophy has moved away from the hyper-musky "clean" laundry scents of their past, like their bestseller, Amazing Grace (nothing personal; just an individual taste thing) and gotten in step with the arguably more "mainstream" or "generic" fruity scent...but if lots of people enjoy it, why not run with it? It's an energetic power juice for the young and young at heart - try it! Similar fragrances include Escada Sexy Graffiti, Rimmel London Glam, Kirra (Pink) Fragrance for Girls.


There are 3 different colors in this fragrance series by Kirra; this review is for the one in the pink bottle. It's a fabulous scent for Girls - by PacSun, an American brand best known for surf and skate-inspired wear. If you like the fresh, citrusy passion fruit note in Philosophy Love Sweet Love, imagine that with a creamy, soft vanillic base. It actually reminds me of my once upon a time limited edition indie perfume by the same name as this enchanted little blogspot where you're always welcome. ;-)

Related article: New York's Young Musicians: A Look Inside Their Fragrance Wardrobe - December 19, 2011 PINK MANHATTAN

Calvin Klein Eternity Aqua for Men

I like this; I know many of my readers aren't excited by the idea of a Calvin Klein fragrance, let alone an Eternity for Men flanker, but I find Eternity Aqua very pleasant: aromatic, woody and traditionally masculine with non-traditional elements that smell to me a little fruity, a little gourmand, all with a basic, clean and polite ozonic-woody character. Don't compare this to the original Eternity for Men if you used to wear that. As much as I appreciated it back in the day, this isn't such a musky, heavy number. It reminds me of Guerlain Homme, but this is more streamlined, similar in its diaphanous feel to Zirh Ikon. It could also be thought of as a less fruity and woody Juicy Couture Dirty English. It's not too sweet but not another insipid scent classified under "aqueous", "marine" (ozonic) or "sport". Well-balanced between cool and bold, Eternity Aqua feels like a classic in the making - for your white top and jeans days, and also for your well-suited power meetings.

Try it if you've worn Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio but feel ready for a less piercingly cool, more updated everyday scent, one with a slightly androgynous, approachable charm (say, compared to the more obviously austere and fougère Chanel Bleu), yet won't ever be mistaken for a fruit punch-scented body spray. It might be woody enough for Chypre lovers, too (say, if you've worn a gentlemanly classic like Chanel pour Monsieur).

The fragrance was created by Coty Prestige who's put out numerous smart, wearable fragrances for Women and Men in the last couple of years. The bottle designer is Pierre Dinand (this particular design reminds me of Ralph Lauren Blue for Women).

Here are the details according to

Calvin Klein Eternity Aqua (2010 Woody Aquatic)
Top Notes: Citruses, Lotus, Cucumber, Green Notes
Middle Notes: Lavender, Plum, Pepper, Cedar
Base Notes: Musk, Guaiac Wood, Patchouli, Sandalwood

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Helen of Troy

The Trojan War - Myth and Reality Combined

Helen of Troy - Wikipedia

The Trojan War
The Myth Man's Myth of the Month - December

A Woman of Sparta

A Woman Of Sparta
By Kallistos Alexandros, January 16 , 2005

The freedom of spartan women came at a terrible price.

"So many young women come to Spartan Studies in the belief that, in Sparta, a woman’s life was better than that of women in other parts of Hellas. It was different and offered different freedoms, but these freedoms came at a high price. Whether or not it was a better life is a matter of values. The women whom I encounter, who are admirers of Spartan culture, are usually young feminists. They are unmarried and none are mothers. Past a certain age, these young women disappear and are replaced by others. I have yet to meet a married woman raising children who thought a Spartan woman's lot to be better than that of any other woman living in Hellas. I suspect that a deep love and commitment to a husband might effect that, I’m certain that the first time she held her newborn son to her breast the price of these freedoms would become starkly obvious. The Spartan woman did not live with her husband until an age, which, in those times, was quite old. They had no shared life; he knew little of her daily life, her troubles, or her achievements. They did dot share the myriad ups and downs of each day. They could never come to that deep understanding of each other which is the truest part of love. They could not have known each other with that intimacy which only comes when two lives are so intertwined as to become one.
“A Spartan woman could come and go on the streets as she pleased without incurring any social opprobrium.” Legally, she had a husband. He came only in darkness and only when he wished. She had no say in the matter. He came for pleasure and in the hope of impregnating her with a son whom men would take from her when he had finished with her, the man would be gone by dawn. There were the muchtouted compensations. The Spartan woman could own property in her own name. This would be income. Her Helots would work the land and the profits would go to her. She could use these profits as she so chose, but only within socially acceptable limits. Sparta always tried to maintain a facade of social equality between Spartiates. This was, as in all socialist systems, a fiction, but it was a rigorously maintained fiction. Any display of luxury and wealth was a serious violation of social mores. A Spartan woman might appear naked at an athletic event, but she would never be seen on a colorfully embroidered peplos or in one of the golden snoods so popular in Korinthos. That would be shocking. Her wealth could not be seen. She would live in a house very like all other Spartiate houses. Her larder might be better stocked, but her husband and sons would not be there to share her meals. Whatever surplus wealth she enjoyed would be in the form of the iron spits The Spartans used for trade. She might sit alone and count her pile of iron spits; she had traded a great part of her life as a woman for them. A Spartan woman could come and go on the streets as she pleased without incurring any social opprobrium. This was a right dearly bought; she would give her sons for the privilege of wandering the streets alone. When the son she had born and nurtured reached the age at which we should be sending him to second grade, her little boy would begin his military life. She had no say in his life after this, no woman ever would. The men would take him from her and mold him as they saw fit. When they boasted of their sons, there would be no reason to mention the mother’s name. Still she could go off to the gymnasium and exercise. It was written into the laws; the purpose was also written. She was permitted to exercise in order to strengthen her body that she might bear strong Spartan children, boys to be taken from her like colts from a brood mare, and girls to be strengthened for the same fate as hers. The young women who so espouse the Spartan social system fail to notice that there never was a queen in Sparta, there was never a woman ephor, and no older woman of experience ever sat in The Gerousia. There were, to be certain, some freedoms not enjoyed by women elsewhere in Hellas, but upon inspection, it becomes evident that all of these freedoms, in some way, served the men who granted them. The women of Sparta were as brainwashed from birth as the men. Their words and their actions display the patriotic party line of a totalitarian society. It should be remembered that when the Spartan mother admonishes her son to, “come back with your shield or upon it”, she is speaking to a man she hardly knows. This is not the little boy whose boyhood wounds she kissed. This is not the teen-aged son who could read to perfection the slightest change of expression in her voice. He has changed and she has changed over the years of their forced separation. Their bond had been unnaturally altered. She speaks to him formally, as she would speak to any Spartiate. She has paid the price of her social freedom. She has paid a high price indeed and paid in the currency of love. Speak to me of Sparta, young woman, when you are newly wed to the man you love so much. Tell me how you admire the brave Spartans when you send your first son to second grade and he does not come home.
He never shall."


Related links: Sparta - Wikipedia

Gender in Ancient Sparta

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Garden of the Hesperides

"This represents the classical myth of the three daughters of Hesperus, who tended the dragon of Ladon and guarded the golden apples of Hera. However, Burne-Jones has reduced the number of daughters to two, apparently in the interests of symmetry. (...) This scene, popular in Roman times, has obvious parallels with biblical imagery of the Garden of Eden. It has been suggested that this subject was the source of the idea that the apple was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge; in the bible itself the fruit is never explicitly identified." Read more...Image source: from Victoria and Albert Museum: Sir Edward Burne-Jones, 'Garden of the Hesperides', panel, 1870-77. Museum no. Circ.525-1953 Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum

From Wikipedia: "The Garden of the Hesperides is Hera's orchard in the west, where either a single tree or a grove of immortality-giving golden apples grew. The apples were planted from the fruited branches that Gaia gave to her as a wedding gift when Hera accepted Zeus. The Hesperides were given the task of tending to the grove, but occasionally plucked from it themselves. Not trusting them, Hera also placed in the garden a never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon named Ladon as an additional safeguard. However, in the mythology surrounding the Judgement of Paris, the Goddess of Discord Eris managed to enter the garden, pluck a golden apple, inscribe it "To the most beautiful" (Ancient Greek: Kallistei) and roll it into the wedding party (which she had not been invited to), in effect causing the Trojan Wars.

"In later years it was thought that the "golden apples" might have actually been oranges, a fruit unknown to Europe and the Mediterranean before the Middle Ages. Under this assumption, the Greek botanical name chosen for all citrus species was Hesperidoeidē (Ἑσπεριδοειδῆ, "hesperidoids")." Hesperides

Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale

According to, Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale was created for the Empress Eugénie by perfumer and founder of the House of Guerlain, Pierre-François Guerlain in 1853. According to Wikipedia, the scent was a shared scent for both her and her husband, Napoleon III. Now, perfumistas always hear about Napoleon I's love of citrus (he wore ridiculous amounts of 4711) and his wife Empress Josephine's love of musk (with or without violets which she also notoriously loved). The story of her revenge during their divorce, by permeating their house with musk because Napoleon despised it so much, is a perfume legend. Jumping ahead a few years, in 1870, the House of Creed had also created a perfume in Empress Eugenie's honor - a warm, spicy-ambery musky fragrance, the type of scent Josephine might have enjoyed. Eugenie liked musk; did her husband? Could Eau de Cologne Impériale be the type of scent to be shared by two people with vastly different taste in scent?

As I've shared here before, I like both light, sharp citrus scents and the heavier, often sweeter (though not necessarily) musk scents. Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain is lovely but the type of citrus scent I can't love, because it's too dry and spicy for me. I suspect there's a bit of musk in the base notes as well (tonka appears on some lists of notes). At first, only the citrus is obvious, but upon wear, the musky, spicy aspect becomes overwhelming for me. So, I can see this as a citrus for someone like Empress Eugénie, who I now see as a spice lover. At the same time, the scent is light overall, still belonging in the citrus family. The musk might not be pronounced at all for some wearers. Even if Napoleon III was a strident fresh citrus lover like Napoleon I, it's definitely possible an empress and her musk-averse husband could have found one fragrance they can equally love and /or compromise on for the sake of marital harmony.

To compare, of the Guerlain colognes I'm familiar with, Eau de Guerlain is the spiciest (though it's also heavier, muskier and more wooded), and the sweetest (most like 4711 to me) is probably my favorite, Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat.

Related links:

The Scent of Empire - June 18, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Scent of Empire

"The French Revolution virtually brought the highly sophisticated French industries of fashion and perfume, which had grown and thrived under Louis XIV and his successors, to a halt. The new Directorate government marked a reawakening of the French love of luxury. Josephine introduced the young General Napoleon to bathing and perfumes..." Read the article: The Scent of Empire -

Based on an article like this, I could interpret my own taste and scent personality as either being eclectic, or one part cerebral and one part feeling, being able to use both hemispheres of my brain (but apparently neither while I wrote this post which I have edited on 6/19/12. To be sure, it was Napoleon III's wife Empress Eugenie that Creed's musky creation was based upon, not Napoleon Bonaparte's). I believe I like both types of scents - those of Napoleon's personal favorite and Josephine's more robust and flavorful one. I wonder if Napoleon's notorious hatred of musk really had to do with Josephine's taste in perfume, or something else / more / or nothing at all to do with associations we ascribe to the perceived tastes of others.

Related article at my other blog, PINK MANHATTAN MUSIC: Don't Be Fresh! posted on May 30, 2012

Related posts:

Helmut Lang - March 12, 2008

Guerlain Eau de Cologne Imperiale - June 19, 2012

And...I'm back!

I've posted a similar point of view on previous posts here, and I want to reiterate that if anyone has an issue regarding my blog, you could message me either thorugh my site or on the internet boards instead of resorting to childish trolling tactics like passive-aggressive doublespeak games, or worse, veiled threats, which I know could only get under my skin because I see what you're doing and it's not cool. I will no longer read those postings. I've removed most of what I thought were the crux of the problem that some of my more political readers might have had. I am not a political person but rather someone who tries to keep up with current events and randomly comment on whatever gets me to write. I blog because it keeps my creative juices flowing, so to speak, and my most faithful readers know I have always done it with morals and decency in mind. I'm not perfect nor do I expect others to be, but some of you could do better. If I commented unfavorably to something of yours, whether it was a creative work in media or a blog post like mine, I didn't do it to round up a gang of trolls to silence you, but to react to your opinions on whatever the topic was. If you're using a higher platform than mine to scare and intimidate me, that can be construed as cyber-bullying and I will deal with any continuation of these types of antics as such, through legal action.

Hopefully, I will have some peace, now that I pretty much know where the problems were coming from. Thank you for your patience and enjoy my ramblings as usual! Lots more to come, so please stick around for my bumpy New York ride!

Love xoxo,