Euphoria / Calvin Klein

28 Sep

Euphoria is one of Calvin Klein’s bestselling perfumes, and the reasons are in the notes: pomegranate, black orchid, and violet combine to create an intensely confident and beautiful fragrance that is indeed “euphoric”.

Euphoria manages to do for me what “La Vie Est Belle” by Lancome could not: give me a sense of happiness and intimacy on days where I may not be feeling quite so wonderful and self-assured. It’s also perfect for a few spritzes before bed, you get a sense of floating into sleep instead of just “falling” into it…I believe this is due to the orchid and woodsy notes…which is very soothing.

I agree with others that there is a slight masculine feeling to this perfume (perhaps why I felt so comforted by it?), but it isn’t obvious in any way. First impressions are of heavy pomegranate, followed by orchids but then it dries down to reveal the mahogany underneath…with more violets and the orchids more apparent. I sort of wished there would be more of the brown scent but that might have pushed it too far into the masculine side, overall I feel this is a much better alternative to La Vie Est Belle (they are indeed similar) if you find that fragrance just doesn’t suit you.

Sillage and longevity on me are both moderate.

Top Notes
Middle Notes
Lotus/ Orchid
Base Notes
Violet/ Amber/ Musk/ Mahogany

Bleu De Chanel / Chanel

27 Sep

Bleu is like a Chanel jacket, it will never go out of style.

I bought this on whim for my husband as a wedding gift, back then I had no idea how popular it was going to become. Now it is the standard date fragrance, almost every man I meet at some fancy party will be wearing this aftershave. However that doesn’t mean it isn’t an incredibly manly and seductive scent ;).
Bleu is not the rugged male, nor is he the white t-shirt and jeans guy; he is the dark and mysterious type…always impeccably dressed, exquisitely charming, and effortlessly sexy. He’s the one with all the right words, with none of the correct intentions. He seduces with his smile, and wounds with his lies…he’s unapologetic and overly confident. He’s the James Bond, the Bruce Wayne of fragrances.

Bleu is not meant for the day time: top notes are labdanum, sandalwood and ginger…creating a very intoxicating cloud of spicy nutmeg that fades out into cedar and lemon…with a lingering hint of smoke and pepper. I think the illusion of mystery is due to the vetiver and smoke…it creates feelings of soulfulness …like a jazz bar with blue light and cigars. In spite of this, Bleu is not a gaudy fragrance, it is elegant and fancy above all else and meant for nights of champagne and gold statues.

Overall another brilliant concoction from Chanel, this is a must have for every suave and effortlessly confident man out there.

Fragrance Notes

Labdanum/ Nutmeg/ Ginger/ Sandalwood/ Patchouli/ Mint/ Jasmine/ Grapefruit/ Lemon/ Vetiver/ Incense/ Cedar/ Pink Pepper

Mitsouko / Guerlain

27 Sep

“And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” -Nietzsche

One word that sums up this fragrance: Misery.

I’ve gotten so many recommendations to try out Mitsouko: the tragic love story between the wife of Japanese Admiral Togo, and a British officer. The story takes place in 1905, during the war between Russia and Japan. Both men went to war, and Mitsouko, hiding her feelings with dignity, waits for the outcome of the battle to discover which of the two men will come back to her and be her companion.

Crafted in 1919 by Jacques Guerlain (the same creator of my favorite oriental Shalimar), this perfume is symbolic of the beginning of the end. It’s a mysterious fragrance, that carries with it a secretive love affair…it truly is its origin in a bottle!

If ever there was loneliness in a perfume I believe this would be a close call, Mitsouko is deeply enigmatic and private. There is nothing hopeful or happy here…just melancholy and sadness.

My first experience with Mitsouko is much like my experience with Shalimar, sprays on super strong and reeking of heavy oakmoss and jasmine…I was horrified. I immediately wanted to take a shower…it smelled a little like urine? Anyway, my good friend tells me it dries down into something different…and she was right. As the heavy top notes give away, you are exposed to its heart…which is much softer and more feminine (though still heavy in a figurative way).  Like I said…this scent reeks of tragedy, I highly doubt I would wear this again unless maybe I am in Paris on a cloudy day and feeling especially lonely lol.

But there is a reason why Mitsouko has outlasted the test of time; I suppose every woman needs to experience this complex fragrance at least once in her life. Who would have thought that one man could so perfectly encapsulate the essence of misery in a bottle?

Top Notes

Citruses/ Jasmine/ Bergamot/ Rose

Middle Notes

Lilac/ Peach/ Ylang-Ylang

Base Notes

Spices/ Amber/ Cinnamon/ Oakmoss/ Vetiver

My Burberry Black / Burberry

27 Sep

I met a woman a few months ago on a train in Peru. She and I were up before the break of dawn, on a dreary and melancholic day…both sipping our teas while watching the storm build up outside our compartment windows.

She was plain but exquisitely well dressed for such an occasion:  a messy bun, trench coat and a pair of quilted sandals. However it wasn’t her fashion sense that was especially attractive, it was her perfume.

The scent was of rotting earth and wet foliage. There was something both sweet and hopeful yet weary and tragic at the same time.   It was the strangest thing, like a walk in the woods after a very heavy rainstorm.   I had to ask what it was she was wearing and she revealed that it was My Burberry Black.

The moment I got back to LA I had to rush out and get one myself.  It was the saddest love story ever, in a bottle!

I loved it; can there ever be a scent more reminiscent of Central Park after a thunder storm? This is the smell of a confident woman with a trench coat and a great desire to conquer the world….that is, once she’s gotten out of the rain =]

Top Notes

Middle Notes
Rose, Peach

Base Notes
Patchouli , Amber

Shalimar / Guerlain

27 Sep

Four centuries ago, in India, Emperor Shah Jahan fell hopelessly in love with Princess Mumtaz Mahal. He had the enchanting Gardens of Shalimar built for her and dedicated the Taj Mahal to her as well, one of the seven new wonders of the world. This incredible tale sparked the imagination of Jacques Guerlain, who created Shalimar, the first oriental fragrance in history, in 1925.

I remember my first encounter with this legendary perfume at Barney’s. I was with my husband at the time, saw this gorgeous bottle sitting so grandly on its crystal counter top, and knew there was no turning back.

My first impression was…omg this is a huge mistake. I smelled like a vintage coat that’s been saturated over the years with cigarette smoke and old incense. Top notes of orange, leather, and tobacco were so overwhelmingly sharp that it made me want to gag.

So I went home a little bummed out, thinking that I might have missed out on such an iconic scent. However something amazing happened in the car, Shalimar transformed itself into a beautiful vanilla-incense dry-down unlike anything I have ever smelled before.

The only image that comes to mind is sparkling blue sands under a layer of night with glimmering stars and crescent moon. It’s super intense, smoldering and exotic…the vanilla mixed with a rummy leather is sooo enchanting and mysterious. I felt like an Arabic princess in her marble palace; surrounded by bouquets of  incense and iris. It was a moment that I kept coming back to months later until I finally purchased a bottle of my own.

A Love story for the ages.

Top Notes
Citruses, Mandarin Orange, Cedar, Bergamot, Lemon
Middle Notes
iris, Patchouli, Jasmine, Vetiver, Rose
Base Notes
Leather, Sandalwood, Musk, Civet, Vanilla, Incense, Tonka Bean

N°5 / Chanel

27 Sep

What if there exists a perfume which encapsulates all of the world’s greatest love stories in to one tiny bottle?

What if there was a fragrance that manages to capture a moment in time so powerful and nostalgic that it evokes memories once forgotten?
That bottle exists and it is called Chanel No 5.

The feelings I get while wearing No5 can only be summoned up in one word: Elegance.  It is more than a fragrance…it is a stepping stone into adulthood…a stark line separating childish ambitions from strong independence.

Like most women who wear No5…their first memories of this perfume came from their mother…dressing up for an evening event…a formal occasion.   Daughters would look at their mothers in awe, a beautiful and gorgeous woman…strong, elegant, and graceful.  My mother would always lean down to tuck me into bed, and I would smell her perfume…it was always Chanel…it is a fragrance that I will remember forever.

Years later I would own every version, my favorite being Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, which is the classical formula that is lighter, fresher, softer, more delicate, and suitable for every-day use. There are nights where I would spritz this on my wrist and just lay there in bed…allowing the notes to carry me away into an amber world full of prince and princesses, kings and queens.  It is truly magnificent.

The original Chanel No5 goes on strong and smoky (like rich leather and amber) whereas Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere goes on strong and woodsy but immediately fades into a sheer sandalwood with top layers of ylang ylang. If Chanel N05 was the Victorian Age then Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere is definitely the roaring twenties. It is beautiful, elegant, and full of classiness. It reminds me of a young Marilyn Monroe, still innocent and full of wonder.

The dry down for me is mostly vanilla and  jasmine, with hints of sandalwood.

Top Notes
Neroli, Ylang-Ylang, Aldehydes

Middle Notes
Jasmine, Rose

Base Notes
Vetyver, Sandalwood, Vanilla