(For the 2008 Perfume Retrospective, please see yesterday's post)
I've been revisiting a few previously-sniffed scents at the usual NYC haunts. These are not full reviews as I haven't (yet?) bothered with samples and full wearing under different circumstances, unless noted. Just impressions.
Chanel Beige- (part of the Les Exclusifs range and only available from Saks flagship in the city). The first time I tried it, I commented that it just doesn't go with my hair. It was too floral, too Chanel, too Upper East Side. Totally not me. It's still isn't, but I sort of get it now. Apparently, Muffy Sloan-McPrep has been skipping some Junior League meetings because she's having steamy randezvous with her tennis instructor. And she's invested in some killer shoes.
Champaca Absolute (Tom Ford Private Blend)- I didn't expect to like this one. A biggish floral with some fruit in it (plum?) is not my normal thing. But like many of the other ones in the line, it melds with my skin and becomes smooth and musky (in a good way). It doesn't screech or does weird gestures, so while I probably don't need to have it (unlike Tobacco Vanille and Purple Patchouli), I would wear it happily if the stork drops it at my door (what? storks bring the oddest things to this house).
Fleur de Liane (L'Artisan Parfumeur)- I really shouldn't have bothered with this one, as it's everything I hate. A sheer green aquatic with more than a hint of melon. I don't always assign colors to scents, but this one is a poisonous, radioactive aqua. While Fleur de Liane is a Bertrand Duchaufour creation, I can practically hear Jean Claude Ellena cackling behind the scene.
Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum (created by L'Artisan)- Another Duchaufour, this time a pretty nice one. On my skin and to my nose it's cool, clean incense, very similar to Heeley Cardinal and CdG Avignon. I liked it better as a room spray or on my husband, though he was not impressed.
Amouage Lyric For Women- Yes, please.
Gorgeous, sexy, rosy, spicy, woodsy. Lasts forever. It's the very late drydown that I'm not yet sure about. It loses some of the mouthwatering quality for more wood. Still beautiful, though.
Carnation (Mona Di Orio)- I think I can live without it, after all. This one must be tested and re-tested on skin, as what you get on a scent strip would lead you to pull a Luca Turin and hate hate hate it. My skin loves it, most of the time. Occasionally it turns into something boring and bland like a low-grade musk. Other times it's lovely.
Dans tes Bras (Frederic Malle)- Either they tinkered with the formula since I first smelled the tester in June (long before it was released, so everything's possible), or my skin really does a number on this. The sprayed card I got in Paris retained its powdery scent for days, while on my skin (and practically everyone else's) things have mellowed down considerably and it's not that heavy on heliotrope, either. I've been known to kill violets, so maybe it was to be expected. In any case, Dans tes Bras is a pleasant skin scents, suffers from longevity issues and a mushroomy accord, and smells a lot better in the open air than indoors. Like, but don't love.
Oriental Brulant (Guerlain)- The only one out of the three Elixirs I like. The problem? My skin makes it very very sweet. Even Isaac, the cutest SA at Saks 5th Avenue had to comment on this. The drydown is so Shalimar-like (just without the interesting parts) when I wear it that it's more than a little redundant, especially at $250 per bottle.
White Patchouli (Tom Ford)- No can do. The rose-jasmine combo in the middle turns sour on my skin every time I try.
Sycomore (Chanel)- The one Exclusif that might just force me to break my resolve against family-sized bottles and actually buy one. It's a beautiful, smoky vetiver with an ethereal quality that keeps it from becoming too butch (not that it ever stopped me before. I can't keep away from the Blond's Vetiver Extraordinaire, Route de Vetiver or his Guerlain). Want.
Photo of Saks 5th Avenue: Voted Off The Island