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Me and Carnal Flower - Part One:

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I have a great idea! Instead of blurbing about a newly acquired fragrance in Word and then trying to transfer 3 months worth of observations into a blog, I'll do it all as blogs! Bit by bit! That way I won't have the odious task of censoring my blogs or trying to figure out where to splice them. My Jungle L'Elephant and L'Heure Bleue 'reviews' are two blogs long - each - so I am yet to post them. I hate editing - I need an editor!! D:

Anyway, onto Carnal Flower from Frederic Malle.

Background: I've been looking for a scent to replace Beautiful by Estee Lauder - a semi-signature scent for 20 years, it is now passe to my nose and my preferred formulation looooong gone anyway. This was the only fragrance that my husband always commented on and I've been looking for another big floral for that feminine touch - or something. Beautiful was pretty big on everything once. Lovely and green with a smattering of fruit and wood and oh so many flowers. Tonnes and tonnes of pretty bouquets. Some said the tuberose was overpowering but I like tuberose. Searching, searching. My skin absorbs Alien so that contender kinda fizzled though I will own a bottle of it one day I'm sure. The 2007 formulation of No.22 by Chanel is big and beautiful but not quite it - a little too white and a little too much incense and vanilla (not that this is a bad thing!) to be a Beautiful replacement. With all that in mind, and that fact that the nose behind it also created Alien and L'Elephant, Carnal Flower seemed like a great idea!

I have not forayed into the niche market properly as yet, one reason being that I'm not keen on falling for something that is too expensive or too hard to find. I live in a proverbial fragrance desert and I'm not willing to spend too much on this hobby due to a mortgage and children. I've discovered that while something like L by Lolita Lempicka is as common as muck in most of your necks of the woods, here it's non-existant. We have no Lolita Lempicka anywhere. It's going to cost me $10 just to try it (sample) when most of you guys can buy it for $12 for a full bottle ... (looking for a vanilla to layer with too). OK! Enough bitching about my perfume-shabby little city. My point was, it's difficult for me to test even designer let alone niche. So even sample-wise, everything I might buy is blind and after a bad run at TPC where all were poo-poo I've decided to lay off the niche until I can be 90% sure I'm going to like it ... arrrgh! I could go on and on about that subject too but .... ONTO CARNAL FLOWER!!

So of course, as is usual for me, I decide that one of the more expensive niche fragrances might be the one I'm looking for. *rolls eyes at self* I bought a carded sample which took 15 days to get here - I bounced up and down in my desk chair for that whole 15 days or at least it seemed that way. I kept telling myself that if I got too excited that it would disappoint me and that subdude me a tad. And can you believe it? It got here about a week ago and I haven't tried it yet!

First off, admiring the shiny card with it's blurb and the picture of (the nose) Dominique Ropion on it is a pleasure in itself. Even Chanel sample cards are not as high quality.
I'm not sure if it's the weather (it's very warm here) but the card, when opened exuded an aroma that made my chair bouncies resurface! That is, I could smell the perfume from opening the card. JOY OF JOYS! it smelled a lot like the drydown of Tuberose Gardenia by Estee Lauder. And there's another contender for ya ... I love the drydown of that. Not so much the opening hour or so but lets talk about TB another time ...
I decided that since I've not been too well AND it's period time, that I would wait till I felt a bit better before trying on my skin. This was an easy decision to make since I could smell it very well by doing two things. Wafting the card under my nose like a fan and sticking the sprayer nossle up my nose. MMMMM! No boogers left behind so don't worry.

No, this is not my booger collection ... no really ... it's not!

Let it be noted that I no longer look up note pyramids for a few reasons so if I make a terrible faux pas ("WTF there's no XXXX in XXXX!!!") it's just my amateur nose speaking. Forgiveness please.

I sat on the couch after a shower with the TV on and languished in the sent. The first thing I smelled was coconut and tuberose. I was so happy with this as this is the part of Tuberose Gardenia I loved so much. Coconut does seem to be a common note to pair with tuberose *and* gardenia so I feel I haven't missed the mark here. I sat with this coconutty tuberosey delight for ages, waving the card about every now and then to get a dreamy wisp of it. Later, I decided that a wisp wasn't enough so drew in a HUGE sniff from really close up (ok not right in my nose) and was surprised by a sudden waft of green! OMG! This smells just like cut jonquil stems (!!!) - or any other watery type stem like daffodil or iris or gala/calla lily or ... etc. I've never actually had any tuberose in vases so I'm not speaking from experience but I presume tuberose stems smell the same. MAN it is SO realistic! I LOVE this! It's amazing! I asked my husband if he could smell the same thing and he could. But now I find myself looking for it and not finding it which happens a lot to me. I smelled ginger once in Bois des Iles - just once - and while I adore BdI I still wish I could smell that gingerbread note again. I feel the same of the cut stem note in CF but I haven't even tried it on my skin yet so I'm trying not to mourn it already!

After that lovely surprise a strong jasmine note came through which scared me. While I love natural jasmine blooms in small doses, and enjoy the heady jasmine in Alien, the note in general tends to dominate fragrances for me and I do NOT want this jasmine to kill the other notes. I figure Tuberose Gardenia would be an adequate substitute if CF doesn't work out ... and of course, again, I have not tried it on skin so I'm trying not to get too worked up about it yet! *huff*puff*

OOooo! I have the sample card open at my right as I type all of this and just got a waft of the cut green! Awesomeness! I think I smell jonquil/daffodil blooms as well but that could be a mixture of the tuberose and the green stem note conjuring that for me. Time will tell!

There is no formal end to this blog so I'll just sign off there. I know - abrupt. Sorry about that chief's!

Next blog: Skin test! Weeee!
Tags: green, tuberose
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  1. Sunnyfunny's Avatar
    I keep meaning to tell you, I tried Beautiful the other day. I actually have a nice, fat sample of it as a part of a gift with fragrance purchase from Estee Lauder. So it is the newest formulation. And it's actually quite lovely, so I can only imagine what the original smelled like. I love No. 22. Interestingly, the things you mentioned that make it 'too' for you are those that make it so spot-on gorgeous to me.

    I can't wait to hear how CF works on your skin. The only tuberose/gardenia fume I've tried that does not turn plasticky on me is Fracas, and I think it is the presence of musk and woods, and perhaps the actual lack of gardenia. I cannot do gardenia-- it's way too green, which is unfortunate because I loved gardenia lotions and creams when I was younger.

    I shall never look at wasabi peas the same AGAINNNN!!!
  2. Kal's Avatar
    No! No! Re: Chanel No. 22 - I love it! I love the white, the incense and vanilla and am half way through a huge bottle of the EdT AND I have some vintage parfum - it's an all time fave. I just meant that it's nothing like Beautiful so it doesn't work as a replacement for it. It hasn't got the same feel and I therefore put it in a different category. I presume that most people would think that they were similar without knowing either that well.

    Of course I know I cannot replace a lost perfume but I think it might be possible to garner the same feel from a different perfume. As an aside - I think Beautiful might have been somewhat based on Chamade but there's something in Chamade that puts me off. Admittedly I overapply because I effin love that opening and could suck that down my lungs all day. But as it dries down it gets - I dunno - bitter? I can't put my finger on it but I don't like it. Ahahahaha I'm ranting again! Lol - I should respond on your message page instead. xD

    Shame about Gardenia on you but I think I know the effect you're speaking of. I always associated that with 'fake', 'cheap' or synthetic frags so maybe it's a vintage vs current thing?
    Man I can't wait to try Fracas! Can you believe CF is more easilly accessible to me (through the inner-neyt) than any Robert Piquet? Stupid.

    *flicks wasabi peas at you*
  3. mocha1943's Avatar
    Carnal Flower is magnificent! I have a 10 ml decant that I am nursing along. The cost for a larger size is ,unfortunately, prohibitive for me.


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