Reviews by Nlb

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    Showing 1 to 7 of 7.

    La Haie Fleurie du Hameau by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Pretty, yes, but when smelling "La Haie Fleurie du Hameau" I can't get past the imagery of a Victorian funeral parlor. It's not the lily influence, necessarily--I often find lilies bring a sunny carnality to blends---there's just something so moth-ball preserved and waxy about "La Haie Fleurie du Hameau". It opens with a sterile, lilac-like sweetness; sugary, creamy and watery all at the same time. As it progresses into its heart, a tinny tuberose unfurls, offering a hint of fleshiness and warmth (thank goodness--"cool fleshiness" would've been the final nail in this coffin of a fragrance). Upon drydown, only a whisper of the florals float over a soapy softness, that which reminds me of the first breeze through a chiffon that had been tucked away in a chest for decades. To me, this smells of death...but in an odd, cheery "acceptance of mortality" sort of way, not reflective of decay or something more sinister but as a pensive and ghostly intepretation of life gone by. It's quiet, reflective and beaming; an auric interpretation of moving toward "the white light".

    13th October, 2008


    Rose de Siwa / FK2 by MDCI

    Rosy, rosy, rosy and ballerina pink, "Rose di Siwa" is the ultimate princess of rose scents; fussy-formal and "Queen of Hearts" Victorian rose garden. Tiny, delicate greenery encircles round, pink roses like painted lace; the rose is sweet, with a nectar feel taken on by the inclusion of pretty-pink lychee. Hawthorn cuts the syrupy-sweetness and adds a hint of powdery dryness. The rose evolves into a refined tea, with violet adding a hazy dash of melancholy to the mix. "Rose di Siwa" is totally for dreamy, hyper-feminine romantics. It's such a "Cinderella" of scent and so royally dignified--but in a cutesy, fairy-tale way. Very pretty.

    03rd October, 2008


    Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I'm thrown through a loop after testing "Fleurs d'Oranger"--- it pulls me away from referencing other Serge Lutens options. This is a very pretty scent; unfortunately, I smelled Glade's "Country Garden" vacuum powder first and a strong similarity between the two is undeniable. I like the potpourri scent of the floor powder...but I just can't imagine wearing it. I'm used to the off-kilter magic of Lutens scents like "Gris Clair","Douce Amere", "La Myrrhe", "Fleurs d'Citronnier" and "A la Nuit". I'm surprised "Fleurs d'Oranger" originated from the same house.

    02nd October, 2008


    Joy by Jean Patou

    There's a patient wisdom to "Joy", as if it's cozy, aldehylic rosiness is like a ray of sunshine through the gathering dust of a fallen empire. Its name would imply ecstatic bouyancy, but in fact, this scent feels more quietly optimistic and reflective than jump-around happy. It's clearer than the decadent orientals dripping off flappers of the 1920's and seems appropriate for evening wear and both a work and home environment---a clever understanding by the house of Patou, considering the financial conditions surrounding its time of release. "Joy" reads like a fresher, airier version of "Chanel No. 5"; where the latter evolves into a creamy-sweet girliness, "Joy" mimics a sun rising and warming dawn---sparkling, free, renewing. Upon first application, the aldehydes tune like an orchestra, then slowly---perhaps, even wih a dash of melancholy--welcome rising notes of slighty castille-soapy-creamy warmth, a hint of summer bouquet, then rose emerges. The rose note is sweet, velvety, without ever evolving into a blood-metallic aftertaste found elsewhere in similar notes. Slightly powdery, but with a shimmering crispness; it's cuddly, womanly but not flamboyantly so--referencing early morning relaxing, that following a shower. Finally, "Joy" dries down into a sheer, animalic softness that's neither too much nor too little carnality. Lovely, lovely and not in the least bit dated, "Joy" is the perfect andecdote to the blues; it tries to "cheer up" while respecting the significance of pain, tragedy and dissapointment. A thoughtfully arranged, sparkling gem.

    02nd October, 2008


    Connemara by Fragrances of Ireland

    Spicy, creamy green! Reminds me slightly of "Emeraude" with its spicy, green accords. There is a creamy powderiness that floats over "Connemara's" mossy base, giving off a refined, leather air. Wash with "Irish Spring" soap, put on Creed's "Tuberose Indiana" and you'll find a good (though, oddly cost-contrasting) impression of this fragrance. "Connemara" is stong, but pleasant to noses who love spicy green.

    01st October, 2008


    Stella by Stella McCartney

    It's a shame for me, really because this fragrance is actually very lovely; quiet and pensive, subtle and paper-like. However, once it hits my skin, "Stella" develops into the most acrid stuff imaginable. If only I could hold onto the loveliness of "Stella" before it comes into contact with my body chemistry! Test this one first--it may turn bitter on some!

    27th February, 2007


    Hanae Mori (new / Butterfly) by Hanae Mori

    At first spray, Hanae Mori "Butterfly" seemed pleasant but common enough. My jerk reaction: "Ah, another fruity gourmande scent". Although "HMB" was released amongst the cellophane freshness of '90s scents(reaching for chypre),the current market hasn't been lacking in those fragrances with "yummy" appeal.

    Given this, I was a bit quick to disregard it and sniff onto the next.Things would've gone as usual, except...

    "Hanae Mori" grew on me--hauntingly,in a sense. Without my realizing it,the smell developed like some luscious dessert baking on my skin. I would catch drifts of the creamiest, tartest confection I could ever conjure--it couldn't have seemed more provocative if it had a "drink me" sign floating above it, or had been sniffed out by truffle swine.

    Just before I could grow sick of it's honeyed-sweetness, flashes of wood and sunlight sparked in my head and I felt like I was walking out of a hayfield into a forest.Berries and bark swirled my cilia, until I reached a dusky dry place, that manifested as...dried leaves...or the pollenesque wings of a butterfly. Amazing, really.

    So that is what "Hanae Mori" is to me; flowerbuds in spring, the overipe sweetness and solar haze of summer, the spicy crispness of autumn, the luminous snowbank or holiday pie baking in the oven. It is a rare violin, an ancient nordic church on a hill of berries, the aura around a child amongst cherry blossoms or pop star posters in a plastic house. "Hanae Mori" is every story and will end up seeming all the more extraordinary because of it. It's sort of like becoming friends with a rare and unusual person--the kind you weren't sure you could trust at first, simply because she seemed too patient and gosh darn sweet.

    08th September, 2006

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