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