Romance / Ralph Lauren

27 Sep

I remember the first time I encountered Romance; I was working at a coffee shop in downtown Harrisburg, I was in my early twenties…extremely impressionable and hopelessly romantic.  One summer day a woman walked in wearing this lovely fragrance. I was so captivated by her perfume that my immediate words were: “Whatever you’re wearing, it smells amazing!”

Completely baffled by the outburst, she actually laughed and told me it was Ralph Lauren’s most popular summer line. From that day forward I would always associate new love with its name.

Romance is the scent I associate with new beginnings: that feeling of blossoming infatuation and warm affections. It is young, bright and full of hopeful ambitions.

I do not find this fragrance to be sensual or even sexy; in fact I find it to be of happy spirits and puppy dog love. It’s a flower bomb, with top notes chamomile, freesia, and rose…the ginger and lemon makes it very fresh and suitable for the summer. Overall very romantic and joyful, for the lover at heart =P

Top Notes
Ginger/ Chamomile /Lemon/ Freesia/ Rose
Middle Notes
Lily/ Carnation/ Violet/ Lotus
Base Notes
Patchouli/ Oakmoss/ Musk

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

Cannibale / Serge Lutens

27 Sep

Memoirs of the human devourer.

There is something unsettling about this fragrance:  the combination of rotting fruit with vintage flowers. It is both gourmand and repulsive; it’s weird, intriguing, but overall not something I’d want to associate with for too long. There are hints of mild spice and incense with a large dollop of myrrh and night orchids.

First spray is generic Tom Ford-esque…something, and then it fades away into a dark cold attic smell. It’s not attractive, it’s just creepy.

This is a great scent for virtuous thieves and noble trespassers, or for those who want to appear like one haha. It’s a malicious scent, for the dark and brooding man.

Never again.


Fragrance Notes
Rose/ Lemon/ Cloves/ Patchouli/ Labdanum/ Amber/ Ambergris/ Frankincense/ Leather / Smoke/ Myrrh/ Tonka Beans

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

Fiori / Vince Camuto

27 Sep

I received this fragrance as a gift from my parents a few months ago. At first I was a little nervous; I’m not usually a fan of sugary gourmand scents, but luckily Fiori was more floral than candy.

Fiori (which means wild flower in Italian) came on instantly like a bouquet of iris and champagne.  Little research uncovered the top notes were actually pink grapefruit, nectarine and sparkling wine, with Iris at its heart.

Although I was surprisingly pleased by its orientation, ultimately I felt the scent was too “young” on me. Much like Marc Jacob’s “Daisy”, I felt the formulation was meant for teenage girls (with pink tulle skirts and crowns of flowers) fresh-faced and tanned from the summer sun.

Sillage was moderate, with moderate longevity of approximately 3 hours.

Top Notes
Nectarine/ Grapefruit/ Bellini

Middle Notes
Iris/ Freesia/ Jasmine

Base Notes

Sandalwood/ Cedar/ Musk/ Amber

Cool Water / Davidoff

27 Sep

Ever since its debut in 1996, Cool Water has been the bestselling aquatic for both men and women looking for a fresh melon, sea water, and ocean breeze fragrance.

I used to wear this all the time in college, but truthfully I started hating it after two weeks. It’s too synthetic for my taste. The instant bloom of melon and currant goes on strong…then fades into a combination of strange artificial fruitiness. This is as much aquifer as watermelon jolly ranchers actually taste watermelon.

I do agree with clean and fresh, but for me it is too sweet…the dry down is very unpleasant and overly soapy, like cheap bug spray.  Overall this is great for  those in love with fresh scents, but judging by the 10 year old bottle still sitting in my drawer…I probably won’t be using it again any time soon.

Top Notes
Pineapple/ Quince/ Black Currant/ Lily/ Melon/ Lemon/ Lotus /Calone

Middle Notes
Honey /Hawthorn/ Jasmine/ Water Lily/ Lily-of-the-Valley /Lotus /Rose

Base Notes
Blackberry/ Violet / sandalwood / Musk /Raspberry /Vanilla /Peach /Vetiver

Tresor Midnight Rose / Lancome

27 Sep

The bottle that launched my obsession with perfumes.

If my marriage was a fragrance it would be Tresor Midnight Rose by Lancome, a gorgeous blend of Raspberry, vanilla, and cedar woods.

It was love at first scent; Tresor is darkly seductive yet still manages to maintain its femininity and innocence. This is a passionate and secretive rose; strong and unbroken.

Imagine a secret garden with dark purple roses blossoming into the night; it is fresh…spicy…and intoxicating. Yet something beyond the trees stirs like a lingering beast. It’s bewitching.

The dry down is like a pile of dead flowers; the sillage is quite strong…and long lasting. This will forever be my signature scent, it reminds me so much of my husband: Mysterious, complex, lovely.

Top Notes
Rose, Raspberry

Middle Notes
Jasmine, Peony, Cassia, Pink Pepper

Base Notes
Musk, Cedar, Vanilla

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

Lovely / Sarah Jessica Parker

27 Sep

Meet the demure lady in a bottle. She’s graceful, modest, and subtly sensual. This was the first fragrance by Sarah Jessica Parker that I absolutely fell in love with. To me this is the innocuous woman with the world as her oyster; she is meek and delicate but still worldly in her own way.

Frankly I can imagine this as a great fragrance for the unassertive bride; it’s inoffensive and angelic…not something for bold and over-confident women (which is probably why I don’t wear it on my bitchiest days lol).

Upon application there is an instant bloom of lavender and something “pink” which turned out to be orchids and patchouli.  This is not a perfume for the adventurous! It is a safer option for those who want something light for summer and can be versatile enough for either the office or a casual date.

Sillage and longevity is quite low on me, it only lasts for 2 hours max. Overall, a true beauty!

Top Notes
Lavender/ Mandarin Orange/ Bergamot/ Martini

Middle Notes
Patchouli/ Orchid/ Pepper

Base Notes
Musk/ Cedar/ Amber/ Salt