Notes from the Editors of The Lipstick Page Forums: A Dedication to the Art of Beauty and Fashion.

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On This Page
· The Weekend Blogger: Bit o' honey
· Beauty Notes: Perfume Bay to become Beauty Encounter
· Three ways to stay warm this season.
· Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent, part 2
· Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent
· Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel review
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 8
· Beauty Notes: Perfume recap
· Beauty Notes: Annick Goutal Passion vs. Heure Exquise
· Annick Goutal Passion
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 6
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 5
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 4
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 3
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 2
· Beauty Notes: perfumes
· Update on Annick Goutal and Diptyque
· Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion
· Annick Goutal Neroli
· Annick Goutal Heure Exquise
· Update on Annick Goutal
· Update on Annick Goutal
· Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien
· Updates on Annick Goutal samples
· Day 2 of Annick Goutal Neroli and Songes
· Premature reviews for Annick Goutal Songes and Neroli
· samples arrive...
· seven samples for $15 rides again
· Closing in...

· September 12, 2007 1:29 AM by Blogger Dain
· September 12, 2007 4:03 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· August 19, 2007 1:49 PM by Blogger Dain
· August 20, 2007 2:11 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 8, 2007 11:02 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 6, 2007 11:05 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 6, 2007 11:57 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 4, 2007 12:59 AM by Blogger Dain
· July 4, 2007 1:08 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 4, 2007 9:08 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 29, 2007 3:12 PM by Blogger Dain
· June 29, 2007 9:44 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 30, 2007 2:38 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 18, 2007 4:59 PM by Blogger Dain
· June 18, 2007 6:05 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog

The Weekend Blogger: Bit o' honey
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 18, 2008 11:45 PM (Eastern)

An Earnest Sewn Co.'s invitation to A NEW HIVE

...An art installation inspired by the worldwide en masse disappearance of honeybees
by Derrick R. Cruz of Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons

Proceeds from A NEW HIVE support the establishment of beehives in public gardens, educational programs focusing on the importance of bees and the art of beekeeping, as well as research for the development of sustainable beekeeping practices.

I've often commended the labor of bees (but then I ponder the engineering of spiders). What you see is the honey, and it's simple, and you eat it. But how many bees travelled how many miles to gather nectar from hundreds of flowers, to alchemize said nectar into what you see. I prefer honey to sugar, myself.

What I've been up to...
  • Face. The Zia pressed powder of a few posts back...meh. And I seldom say "meh." If it's not the worst powder I ever tried--and it's not--still I miss my MAC Blot pressed. What's in that stuff, that can't be replicated anywhere else? I've decided to repurchase Blot after all. Not sure what to do with the Zia...I don't like returning used cosmetics even to stores which accept them...but until I update my review...meh.

  • Clothes. Made it out to the City last weekend, to visit both Golden Gate Park and Stonestown Galleria. The park has a certain amount of sentimental value; once, I lived within walking distance of it, and I've seen much of it. It's still good, though they recently decimated the children's playground, replacing funky old swings, merry-go-rounds and see-saws with sterile New Age-y constructions. I don't know what they were thinking, beyond fewer lawsuits, and fewer things for older children to play with, but it's hardly worth going to the playground any more.

    Stow Lake still rocks.

    Stonestown was surprisingly lovely. I got a couple of items--a sky blue hoodie, and an aquamarine blue skirt.

  • Perfume. Still using up samples. I retried Annick Goutal's Les Nuits d'Hadrien EDT, after reading Dain's review of the EDP (I doubt they smell different, particularly, but the Annick Goutal EDT's don't last well).

    I can smell more clearly these days. In Les Nuits... there lies the same exquisite lemon-and-cypress heart of Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien, only prettied up with frills of more traditional perfumery. I haven't smelled Eau d'Hadrien in ages, but there was something geometrical about it, the way they managed to trap sunlight and evoke whitewashed houses, narrow streets, lemon groves, and pretty dark-haired girls, in a scent perfume mavens don't seem to particularly care for lol

    It's a good thing I don't do decants. I think I'd end up with a hundred, easily.

Not much else to add; I may go to a bead show this weekend, although I'm not sure.

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Beauty Notes: Perfume Bay to become Beauty Encounter
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, February 11, 2008 7:40 PM (Eastern)

Not the newest of news, no doubt, but Perfume Bay, the online perfume discounter, lost the suit Ebay filed against them. As of March 1, 2008, Perfume Bay will become Beauty Encounter, at

Perfume Bay is familiar to me as one of the few places carrying Annick Goutal's eau de parfums. Rather crucial, since the widely-available Goutal eau de toilettes have terrible staying power. I got my Passion EDP from Perfume Bay, and have off and on eyed their solid Sublime. (There are a lot of odds and ends on the site; reminds me of Woolworths in a good way.)

Oh well, I'd hate to see an independent etailer take a nose dive over something like this, so do update your bookmarks on March 1.

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Three ways to stay warm this season.
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, December 22, 2007 5:21 PM (Eastern)

It's been a bit of a challenge keeping warm sans the endless will-sucking, mind-sapping, seven-month season we called Summer back home in the South. In the San Francisco Bay Area, unless you have the good sense to journey inland, it is perennially cold. So, here are a few tricks.

1. Evoke the tropical:

montale intense tiare

Montale's Intense Tiaré sailed to the top of my wishlist this year, when I was wearing my winter coat and jumping up and down. Though there are other tropical coconut perfumes I've yet to try, I've yet to be tempted to try them.

Creed makes Virgin Island Water. Creed. Hm. I sampled two of their fragrances, Fleurissimo and Jasmin Impératrice Eugénie, and was a bit underwhelmed. As much as people rag on Montale for their prices, Creed is the spendier of the two. Plus, I can admit I find Creed's seemingly endless celebrity endorsement annoying. Ava Gardner I can dig, and someday I'd like to try her Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare, that would really be hot. The others though, eh...

Comptoir Sud Pacifique makes Aloha Tiaré. The one consistent thing I've read about Comptoir Sud Pacifique over the years is their scents don't last. I rejected the (stunning) Diptyque Do Son over the same issue. I don't buy weak perfumes; they insult the intelligence. Moreover, per, this particular scent was reformulated from its old monoï self into a more generic gardenia/tuberose scent...which was further described as being not as good as Annick Goutal's Songes, which I rejected as being too sweet and simple.

Oh, I'm sure there are other monoï scents, or other tropical interpretations, but what I love about Montale is their...odd engineering. It's not a plethora of notes, not even conventional notes, half the time what you're smelling doesn't even smell like perfume, only like insane goodness. Intense Tiaré, you can almost warm your hands against.

2. Tropical cute overload:

Bob Marley Waiting In Vain

If you can't actually jump into that warm sea, at least you can hear its rhythms inside the music.

3. Comedy on this subject:

I dithered some whether to embed this video here. I've played it several times, and have found it does make you feel warmer, yet there is a certain amount of bad language in it that some people might object to. Oh whatever, it's a video with an arrow on it; click if you want to.

Lewis Black on Broadway (cold)

image courtesy

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Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent, part 2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, December 14, 2007 4:55 PM (Eastern)

potential signature scents

(see Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent)

I haven't smelled Sublime in ages, hence the small representation. I own the perfumes listed in red text, have the ones printed in purple on my some-day wish list (although I'm not planning to buy Sublime unsniffed).

Intense Tiaré, I've been wearing the most lately. It's amazingly warming and soothing. If anything will take you down to Kokomo, this is it...

...yet the coconut here is silky and subtle, woven into the fresh tiare flower (which even has a minute bitterness to it, like an actual bloom). It's floated to the top of my wishlist in fact. I feel I can live without Jasmin Full or Sublime, but Intense Tiaré plays like a Bob Marley song.

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Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, September 28, 2007 2:25 AM (Eastern)

perfumesI'm anxiously anticipating my Montale samples.

Was tempted to go ahead and request the other Montales I wanted to try, since different places carry different Montales (there are a whole bunch of them). But that would be a bit silly. Who knows, by the time I get this batch, there might be a new Montale out. So, what's the rush?

I began this perfume quest a bit over a year ago, starting with some Annick Goutal samples (Eau d'Hadrien, Mandragore and Ce Soir Ou Jamais) and some Etro (Lemon Sorbet, Sandalo, Messe de Minuit, Royal Pavillon, Shaal Nur, Heliotrope, Vicolo Fiori, Gomma).

In some ways I feel further away from having a signature scent, than I did a year ago. Not really though. I don't feel it has to be a linear path; my life has seldom been linear anyway. I've learned to start at one point and just keep on going.

I've drained some of my samples...Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien, Ce Soir Ou Jamais, Heure Exquise (there's one more go of Passion left). Also Diptyque Do Son, Montale Jasmin Full.

I anticipate using up more...Montale Aoud Roses Petals and Crystal Flowers, the other Diptyques (except Philosykos, which smelled terrible on me, and possibly Ofrésia, which smelled bitter at first sniff), the other Annick Goutals, maybe...I didn't like Songes (too simple and sweet, though admirably strong and long-lasting), Gardénia Passion (also too simple and sweet).

As far as Etro...most of the scents were love or hate. I anticipate using up Heliotrope (I have a full bottle of this as well), Shaal Nur, Vicolo Fiori, Royal Pavillon...that might be it.

As far as Creed, eh...I like Montale better. The two Creed scents I tried, Fleurissimo and Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie, were both singular, more traditional perfumes, but neither were "me."

Fracas, you've got to like. It's not "me" either though.

If the perfume fairy appeared right now and granted me however many perfumes I so desired...while we're dreaming, these perfumes keep perfectly and never turn...I could easily go for several of the ones I've tried. That's the appeal of "splits" and decants, the idea of being able to own relatively many fragrances, without otherwise living in penury, or, far worse, having your perfumes go bad.

I'm not there yet though; still attached to the idea of two or three bottles.

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Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, September 27, 2007 2:38 PM (Eastern)

annick goutal eau du cielFrom the Annick Goutal site:

Aerial, Fresh, Soft, Tender, Natural

A melody of tender scents: Brazilian rosewood, violet, Florentin iris and lime blossom. A subtle interpretation of innocence, a gentle fragrance as delicate as the shiver of an angel's wing...

Unlike the usual hyperbolic perfume description, this describes Eau du Ciel to a T. It is a superbly delicate, youthful scent, perhaps the opposite of sophistication.

That would appear a rarity these days, given mainstream perfumes seem to be pressed from the same fruity-floral mold (I suspect they're produced in the same factory), and niche scents targeted towards an older audience.

I'm not sure I can pick apart these notes; they're blended perfectly, like other Annick Goutal scents (Heure Exquise, Passion, Nuits d'Hadrien, Ce Soir Ou Jamais, Eau d'Hadrien, of the ones I've tried). I want to say Eau du Ciel smells like hay. Having spent the majority of my childhood summers at an organic farm, I have fond memories of the scent of hay (even though it is poky in reality). Soft, sweetish hay, with a little freshly mown grass, and just something pleasant, summery, lazy, like that part of my grandparents' garden where they had planted tall flowers (when you're young and short, tall flowers tower majestically) and my sister, cousins and I played hide and seek.

It smells more sunshiny than dusky, more warm than cool. I'm not exactly sure what rosewood smells like, but there is something predominantly woody here. I'm getting only a soft edge of violets...this is not a strongly violetty scent...with more iris, like a bearded iris in the sun. A faint edge of something citrusy, which could be the lime blossom blended with iris (irises smell a tiny bit citrusy to me).

All in all, a terrific scent for a young woman. I'm thinking later teens or early twenties. Actually I kind of like it myself. There's something calming about it.

image courtesy

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Beauty Notes: perfumes part 8
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, September 21, 2007 3:45 AM (Eastern)

Elvis Costello - Peace Love And Understanding (2004)

There are several music videos I've had in draft mode, probably since part 7 of my perfume odyssey. There's this, the original video The Police did for "Roxanne," and Power Station's "Some Like It Hot."

Ultimately, Elvis Costello won out. This is a Nick Lowe song, and Costello kind of ruined it, but in a good way. He de-countrified can almost grasp how Lowe would have done it, all cowboy boots, grits 'n' ham gravy. Oh wait, here it is:

Nick Lowe What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love & Understandin'

Costello is the superior singer, the Whitney Houston to Lowe's Dolly Parton, but I like both versions. looks sheepish

I am a bit closer to finding my perfume nirvana than I was a year ago.

I have discovered my grail house. It is Montale. I "got" Montale, the way you "get" your favorite brand of chocolate the first time you taste it. It just feels right in your mouth; it's what your eyes seek in the shop, no matter how many other kinds of chocolate fill the shelves.

Still, which Montale? There's a dizzying array of scents. I've tried reading reviews, to narrow down even a list of samples. But the reviews of the three Montale scents I've tried (Aoud Roses Petals, Crystal Flowers and Jasmin Full) don't match how they smell. Perfume-Smellin' Things Perfume Blog did justice to Aoud Roses Petals and Jasmin Full (couldn't find a review of Crystal Flowers there), and there is always Basenotes.

I suspect I'm doomed to try them all, slowly.

Along the way, I do have favorites from the other houses I've tried, most notably Annick Goutal's Passion (okay I have a small bunch of favorites). I've also considered buying other forms of perfume (usually something like shower gel works out well, and lotion doesn't). I've never felt you need have everything "match"; scents are components, just as they are themselves made of components; there's no reason you can't use them exactly where and how you please.

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Beauty Notes: Perfume recap
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, September 11, 2007 2:14 PM (Eastern)

It all started with an Etro sample...about a year ago.

I still haven't bought a bottle of perfume. Still contemplating. I had considered buying Annick Goutal's Passion, a beautiful dusky tuberose, almost a "skin scent," then I started getting into Montale. And I still haven't decided.

At first I was sure one scent would jump out of the sea of samples, screaming, "Buy me in full size!" but that's a bit silly and old-fashioned. That happens only if you buy perfume from a department store. Because most of the scents there have to have an immediate effect, otherwise you wouldn't buy them.

With the samples, you get something like Etro or Montale, something that takes an inordinate amount of time to either grow on you (Etro) or develop in the first place (Montale). It's rather the opposite of everything else in modern living--it's actually become a slower process.

Anyhow, here is my current virtual perfume stash (the only real one is Heliotrope):

virtual perfume stash

This doesn't include all the fragrances I like, by any means. It's just the narrowest interpretation of what I might begin to consider buying.

I found the Etro scents overall masculine. Even Vicolo Fiori, which in my department-store days I would have almost purely floral, smells like a good quality soap from an obscure shop, yet still has a masculine edge. Hard to describe, but you know it immediately when you smell it.

I found Annick Goutal overall feminine. Even Eau d'Hadrien, which is unisex, smelled distinctly feminine to me in its spare, almost mathematical construction. Néroli got bumped off the list for its lack of staying power. a weird house. None of the scents lasted well on me, save Eau de Lierre. I put Do Son up for its sheer luscious authentic reconstruction of a garden, complete with sunshine and running water.

Fracas is something I'm pondering as a layering scent. It's lovely as is, don't get me wrong, but I think it's more versatile than that.

Montale is the obvious choice for me. Of the houses I've tried, it's easily the closest to what I'm looking for.

Nope, I haven't tried the bazillion other houses out there. I suppose I could. I'm not persuaded it's necessary.

I suppose it's more of a philosophy. When I find something I like, I tend to stick with it. I realize it's something of an anachronism now, since we have that many more choices, but I've always been like that. I don't feel I need to continuously "upgrade" or be off in search of the newest and latest, except as a sort of experimental phase.

shania twainAs much as I don't actually espouse retail therapy as a way of life, I do think women around the world should have their bit of fun, at least before settling down. :) It doesn't have to be a wallet-draining experience; it can be a creative one.

If I really wanted to sit down and make another collage, it would be of the following:
  1. Nancy Kwan's "I Enjoy Being a Girl" scene in Flower Drum Song
  2. Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
  3. A Streetcar Named Desire: "Aw, let the girls have their music."
  4. Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"

images courtesy,,, Wikimedia Commons

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2 comment(s)  
September 12, 2007 1:29 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Hm, I'm not one for samples. The whole process drives me nuts for some reason. The faceless wee things, and I've been burned by samples before. Something I really loved turns out to be real disappointing full size.

As such, I tend to buy bottles, even without trying, which may not be smart, but I'd rather not go through the fuss. Just purchsed Parfumerie Generale Bois Blond, with a few samples. But I also have my eye on: Shiseido Bois de Feminite, Chanel No. 19 parfum, and Guerlain Apres L'Ondee.

September 12, 2007 4:03 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said... thing I've found with samples is that you have to apply a lot of the stuff, to replicate spraying it on from a regular bottle. Those little plastic wands are next to useless.

It's easy to see a point where you could spend more money on samples than you would on an actual bottle of perfume. I've been judicious about what I've decided to try as a result.

Or you could simply end up in a sort of samples hell, never buying a bottle of anything in favor of buying more samples.

Those Montale samples though, amazing...nothing the way they've been described on the Net. There is a distinct Middle Eastern flavor to them, it's instantly recognizable. The interpretation of roses is nothing like other rose scents, you don't get that sort of...blandness, or generic rose quality.

Now I'm wondering about the reviews of other Montale scents I've read. A lot of people missed the saffron in Aoud Roses Petals altogether. It's literally like smushing up saffron threads and mixing them with water, it's very strong, almost as strong as the roses themselves (and stronger than the oud imo).

From this point actually, I feel inclined to try only Montale.

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Beauty Notes: Annick Goutal Passion vs. Heure Exquise
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 22, 2007 2:17 AM (Eastern)

Trying to decide which of the two is more "bottle-worthy." I've decided to pass on Eau d'Hadrien as my first perfume bottle purchase, it's been years.

I still have the ends of Armani Code and GF Ferré Lei, which I've been reluctant to use up since I have no new bottle to move on to. I can try samples, and samples have been good to fact I highly recommend samples. Gone are the days that I went to Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus or Macy's, and sprayed perfumes on my hand, and tried to deduce what it would be like to smell these perfumes day after day. Now I can actually smell them day after day. Ultimately it's put me more, rather than less, in the mood to buy; there's no risk.

But there's little point in using only samples. I'm glad for my bottle of Etro Heliotrope. Spraying beats dabbing, what can I say... I seldom wear Heliotrope by itself; it's pleasant (dry, almost not sweet, almond and vanilla, with a smidgen of ethereal flowers) but for me it's a layering scent, rather the equivalent of a camisole or tank top.

So far, I'm leaning more towards Passion. Heure Exquise still smells very good on me, in all its powdery grandeur, but Passion is closer to a "melds with your skin scent" experience. If only Annick Goutal made a twin-pack. ;)

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Annick Goutal Passion
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, August 20, 2007 10:12 PM (Eastern)

annick goutal passion(Not to be confused with Gardénia Passion.)

When I first tried this on, I hated it. It went to the "why bother trying it again?" pile o' vials, at least momentarily. Of course I tried it again (the beauty of the perfume sample vial!). Now it's one of three--along with Heure Exquise and Eau d'Hadrien--Annick Goutal perfumes I'm considering buying a bottle of.

As to why I hated it at first sniff, the only thing I can think of is that I was trying it on at the same time as something else, and the combination confused me.

From the Annick Goutal site:

Main page:
Passion - sensual, fascinating, alluring, sweet floral, cyprused;
tuberose - jasmine - vanille-oakmoss

Product page:
Alluring, Sensual, Fascinating

Passion is the fragrance of passionate love. Tuberose and jasmine from Grasse blend with vanilla to create the warm and heady scent of a sensual and captivating woman.

Even if it's only briefly mentioned, it's the oakmoss that makes Passion. The product page description makes it sound almost horribly sweet and candy-like, and indeed Passion was not one of my first choices ( happened to be out of Le Jasmin).

My previous experience with oakmoss was in Ava Luxe's Ingenue perfume, which itself was a replica of the long-discontinued Deneuve perfume (which I've never smelled and don't even remember).

Deneuve was classified as a chypre. As funky as the word "chypre" appears to be, it's a terrific perfume category. Not fruity, not really sweet, not floral, not spicy, not gourmand...just muted, dusky, soft, mellow, almost a "skin" scent. It is not a category for young girls, I don't think, nor for the slew of new "celebrity" perfumes. To me it has an "old," elegant feel to it, and the oakmoss in Passion is well balanced by the tuberose/jasmine/vanilla sweetness (a tad more floral than vanilla).

I tried Passion out again yesterday and today; it's still in the "bottle worthy" running. Even as an eau de toilette, the staying power is decent (6-7 hours). Sillage: you can smell it if you're close to the person (about the same as my good old Givenchy Organza edp).

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Beauty Notes: perfumes part 6
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, August 19, 2007 1:18 PM (Eastern)

(see part 5)

I'm now thinking in terms of buying an actual bottle of perfume. I feel, as long I'm using samples, I'm getting...soft. It's easy to like something in its (relatively inexpensive) sample form. The moment of truth arrives when you buy the bottle.

So, over the next few days, I'll retry the few perfumes I'm thinking of buying. Etro Shaal Nur would have been one of them, but it strikes me as more of a cold-weather, soothing scent; something I don't really need right now.

It's more a tie among Annick Goutal Passion, Heure Exquise and Eau d'Hadrien (all eau de parfum). I'm not considering Diptyque yet. I like it but it's too new to me, where I've been wearing the Etro's and Annick Goutal's over the past year.

I used up my sample of Eau d'Hadrien long ago... Wouldn't it be nice to find a gift set of Eau d'Hadrien, Heure Exquise and Passion edp's? (Of course I have this recurring dream that I open my front door and people throw money at Actually it's not that easy even to find Annick Goutal eau de parfums. A lot of places I checked last night carried only the eau de toilette form, and Annick Goutal edt's tend to be light.

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2 comment(s)  
August 19, 2007 1:49 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I'm thinking of getting a new perfume too. But I've only just started.

August 20, 2007 2:11 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I wore AG Passion all day today...mmmmm.

It's the oakmoss. Even on the AG site, they barely mention oakmoss, but that's what makes Passion good.

I didn't request Passion as a first choice actually, rather as a back-up in case my first choices were out of stock. Based on the AG individual product page for Passion, I thought it would be too sweet--tuberose, jasmine and vanilla.

It's the oakmoss that grounds this. It reminds me a tiny bit of the Ava Luxe "Ingenue" I sampled (a replica of Catherine Deneuve's perfume). That was described as a chypre. I recognize that same note in Passion.

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Beauty Notes: perfumes part 5
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 10, 2007 1:36 PM (Eastern)

diptyque shop(see part 4)

A definite "nay" to Annick Goutal Songes. I tried it again a few days ago. This is the eau de parfum form; it has the strength, no doubt about it. A few good dabs were good to go all day.

Still, in its genre--tropical white floral--their Passion scent is subtler and more complex (Songes kind of hits you over the head, and is potentially headache-y toward the end of the day).

Recap thus far:


Yay: Shaal Nur, Heliotrope (already own this)
Nay: Lemon Sorbet, Gomma
?: Royal Pavillon (on me this is less a perfume, more a hothouse replica :D)
Retry: Messe de Minuit (I never got past the "head shop phase" here, but that's hardly fair), Vicolo Fiori, Sandalo

Annick Goutal

Yay: Eau d'Hadrien EDP, Heure Exquise, Passion
Nay: Les Nuits d'Hadrien (EDT form, too faint), Songes, Gardénia Passion, Rose Absolue, Mandragore, Ce Soir Ou Jamais (pretty, but too young for me)
?: Néroli (smells terrific, doesn't last on)
Retry: Eau du Ciel


Yay: Do Son
Nay: Philosykos, Olène (lovely but too similar to Do Son)
Retry: Eau de Lierre, Jardin Clos, Tam Dao--I liked these at first sniff; Ofrésia (this smelled bitter on me)

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Beauty Notes: perfumes part 4
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, August 05, 2007 2:46 PM (Eastern)

(see part 3)

You know, a part of me is wondering if I'm turning into a perfume sample junkie. It's so buy samples, then you have a lot of samples, so it's not as if you don't have any perfume to wear. On perfume sites, they talk about a scent being "bottle worthy."

Sorry, couldn't help it... If Seinfeld were still being made, Elaine would be a perfume sample junkie, struggling to commit to a full sized

So, on my "bottle worthy" list thus far: EDP's from Annick Goutal--Eau d'Hadrien, Passion, Heure Exquise...Néroli is made only in EDT form. I'm on the fence about Néroli, anyway, wondering if there isn't a longer-lasting neroli scent around.

Not altogether sure about getting more Etro. Will have to retry some samples there, but Shaal Nur and Royal Pavillon were the standouts; not sure about Vicolo Fiori.

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Beauty Notes: perfumes part 3
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 02, 2007 2:50 PM (Eastern)

passion by annick goutal(see part 2)

It's funny, Annick Goutal's Passion now smells quite good on me. I'm not sure why I disliked it before. It could have been a case of "confused nose." When I sniffed it initially, something screamed "1970's!" and I put it aside. (If, say, pop music diversity reached its summit in the 70's, perfumery sure didn't.)

Passion is a tuberose and jasmine scent, a little's sweet, a bit simple, but good. It now goes on my short list, along with their Heure Exquise and Néroli.

I'd say some of the Annick Goutal scents lend themselves as well to layering as Etro's. Why layer? :) I think I'm the only one on LP who does it routinely, but I tend to think in terms of components all the time, how you can move the components around, what you can do with them.

Leaving Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel and Songes on my to-retry list.

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Beauty Notes: perfumes part 2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 01, 2007 1:37 PM (Eastern)

ylang=ylang(see part 1)

Group 3: my Annick Goutal samples: Les Nuits d'Hadrien, Passion, Gardénia Passion, Eau du Ciel, Rose Absolue, Néroli, Heure Exquise, Songes.

Les Nuits d'Hadrien was the EDT form and I don't recommend it; it's too diffuse. The EDP form I'd sprayed on my hand at Nordies struck me as rich and complex, truly the nocturnal complement to Eau d'Hadrien, but the EDT was lightly scented water on me.

Gardénia Passion and Rose Absolue...nay to these. They're good, even excellent soliflore scents, but I found I was not into either gardenias, nor roses, enough to consider a full sized bottle. (Even though Rose Absolue layered delectably with Heure Exquise.)

Eau du Ciel...I've tried this once. It struck me as a young scent, too young for me. I doubt that's a fair assessment so will be sure to try it again.

Passion....interestingly, my first impression of this was entirely negative. I'm trying it again right now; it's not bad. It's not "it" for me, as far as tuberose-based floral scents go (that would be Diptyque's Do Son), but I haven't ruled it out as a layering scent.

Songes was nice and strong, but rather lacking in complexity. It would make a good layering scent should you be into layering. I plan on revisiting Songes. It's basically a bouquet of tropical flowers (plumeria, ylang-ylang and jasmine) on a base of vanilla. Strong and sweet.

Heure Exquise and Néroli were my favorites of this group.

Heure Exquise was your basic powdery scent...its notes, from the Annick Goutal site: Turkish rose, iris, Mysore sandalwood. But blended together so well, you don't detect individual notes, only a thick sweet smudge o' yum, complex enough to not be common.

Néroli was a sort of green interpretation...I got a lot of green leaves out of it, with a layer of the orange blossoms. Delicious, but rather short-lived on me. Were it offered in a more concentrated form, I might consider it; as it is, I'm thinking of trying other neroli scents.

Conclusion: Heure Exquise and Néroli go on the short list, unless I can find a longer-lasting neroli scent as yummy as Néroli. Retry Passion, Eau du Ciel and Songes.

To come: group 4.

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Beauty Notes: perfumes
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, July 30, 2007 5:07 PM (Eastern)

Okay... I have narrowed things down a bit in my perfume search.

annick goutal eau d'hadrienGroup 1: my Nordies samples: Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien, Ce Soir ou Jamais and Mandragore.

Mandragore is out for me. It's not bad...a rather earthy tea scent...just not me.

Ce Soir ou Jamais is pleasant, a rose scent with enough other flowers and plants to make it "not just a rose scent."

Eau d'Hadrien is to die for. It's a spectacular, almost geometrical perfume; a perfect balance between lemon and herb, sweet and unsweet, light and dark...amazing.

Eau d'Hadrien goes on the short list.

etro royal pavillonGroup 2: my Etro samples: Lemon Sorbet, Gomma, Shaal Nur, Royal Pavillon, Heliotrope, Messe de Minuit, Sandalo and Vicolo Fiori.

I have a bottle of's ideal for layering. It's primarily almond and vanilla, and you're thinking, what's to layer with that...but it's not particularly sweet, rather it's dry and almost powdery. As a layer, it's a "your skin but better" scent.

Of the rest, several can be ruled out...Gomma (which had a rather dank edge on me, like the smell of an old concrete building), Sandalo (not bad, but sharper than Diptyque's Tam Dao, were I in the market for a sandalwood scent), Lemon Sorbet (again not bad, a bright sparkly lemon, yet pales compared to Eau d'Hadrien), Messe de Minuit (thanks, I lived through half the 60's and the entire 70's already).

So add to the short list:
* Shaal Nur, which manages to make patchouli soft.
* Royal Pavillon, which captures almost the exact smell of the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
* Vicolo Fiori has a slight sharpness, but then mellows out to smell like a bar of soap from an old, dusty, obscure shop.

To come: groups 3 & 4.

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Update on Annick Goutal and Diptyque
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 20, 2007 6:41 PM (Eastern)

diptyque tam daoI'm trying to be more organized about my recent Annick Goutal and Diptyque sample vials. (For that matter, I'll likely revisit my previous Etro ones as well.) I tend to be lazy. If I get an even slightly negative first impression of a scent, when I have so many others to play with, I tend to not try it again, and that's not truly fair.

Today I sorted the AG's and Diptyque's into two categories, to whit:

Too awful on me to even bother trying again.

Diptyque Philosykos. This ended up smelling almost like Youth Dew on me; it just did not agree with my body chemistry.

Annick Goutal Passion. This didn't agree with me either. It wasn't as sweet as its description on the Annick Goutal site: "Tuberose and jasmine from Grasse blend with vanilla to create the warm and heady scent of a sensual and captivating woman." Tuberose, jasmine and vanilla sounded almost too sweet and heady to me, but this...I don't know. It's not bad, just not what I expected.

Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien EDT. If memory serves, the EDP smells yummy, but the EDT is too faint to bother with imo.

Everything else, except Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion and Rose Absolue.

Gardenia Passion and Rose Absolue both smell good, don't get me wrong, but they're both soliflore scents, and I don't see myself buying them. You'd have to be a complete gardenia or rose fan, respectively, and I'm not enough of a fan of either to buy.

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Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 08, 2007 10:27 PM (Eastern)

billie holidayThis is quite the soliflore, or single flower, scent. It's pure gardenia.

Hence, how you feel about this perfume will hinge directly on how you feel about gardenias. Are you crazy about gardenias? Do you dream about them? Do you envision yourself "...up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles..."? (Sorry, couldn't resist...yes, I read Lady Sings the Blues, and found it inspiring).

As lovely as this smells...unlike other gardenia scents I've tried, it smells natural rather than harsh, bitter or chemical...and its sweetness is also natural, rather than cloyingly the end of the day, I'm no Lady Day. To me, a pure gardenia scent is akin to a pure rose scent. I like them both, but don't generally buy them, because I'm not as emotionally attached to gardenias or roses as I am to other flowers (see Annick Goutal Neroli).

Gardenia Passion lasts respectably well, somewhere between the all-day-ness of their Heure Exquise and the aforementioned Neroli. It stays strong around six hours or so, then gently fades out to a teeny drop of gardenia. Gardenia Passion also layers well with Heure Exquise.

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July 8, 2007 11:02 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I used to listen to a lot of Billie Holiday in high school--she still beats them all

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Annick Goutal Neroli
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 10:17 PM (Eastern)

This is my second favorite of my Annick Goutal samples, perhaps as much from a sentimental attachment to orange blossoms, as from the composition itself.

Neroli is fresh, flowery, sweet (not sugary) orange blossoms, with a little acidic scent of orange fruit. If you don't like citrus scents, this may not be your cup of tea, unless you're also head over heels for orange blossoms. It is a natural, gentle, honeyed scent, with no synthetic or chemical undertones (undernotes?).

Not as strong nor quite as long-lasting as my Heure Exquise. If you're looking to spritz on in the morning and keep going until midnight, ah, you will need to reapply this, but probably just the once.

Neroli in fact layers well with Heure Exquise. My two favorite scents smell even better together.

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Annick Goutal Heure Exquise
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 9:59 PM (Eastern)

I've recently acquired some vials of Diptyque eau de toilettes, so I think it's time to sum up my Annick Goutal perfumes before journeying onward to Diptyque.

My favorite of my samples is Heure Exquise. Here is the description from the Annick Goutal site:

Powdery, delicate, sophisticated

A sophisticated trail of Turkish rose, a gentle powdery base of iris from Florence and Mysore sandalwood. This fragrance recreates the atmosphere of a rose garden that blossoms with the passing of each exquisite hour.

Pretty accurate, at the end of the day, although this fragrance is so well balanced and well blended, that my nose does not detect discrete notes. It's all just a wall of yum; a sweet, yet not overly so, complex, powdery scent, like taking a shower with the world's best-smelling soap and dabbing on a little perfume afterward.

Heure Exquise lasts relatively well (I'm thinking of investing in the eau de parfum form rather than this eau de toilette).

It also blends well with other perfumes, for women who like to layer their scents.

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Update on Annick Goutal
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 06, 2007 10:10 PM (Eastern)

So far...I have decided Heure Exquise is the best of the lot. Like Etro Heliotrope, it is one of those perfect "base compositions." (I should explain, I like layering perfumes these days.) It goes with just about anything, makes just about any fragrance better.

On its own, it's good, but a tiny bit bland imo.

I've tried it now with Neroli, Gardenia Passion and Rose Absolue. Of the three, Rose Absolue + Heure Exquise is heavenly. Gardenia Passion + Heure Exquise lasts longest...the meld of gardenia and powdery goodness lingers on. It is Neroli + Heure Exquise I like best though. Why? shrugs Isn't that the nature of perfume?

To be fair, I have some sentimentality about orange blossoms. I have an orange tree (this is California; you need one). The actual blossom has an intense, honeyed scent, akin to the heavily perfumed flowers of my youth (wisteria, gardenia, old roses).

I doubt I've been fair about California flowers, that they look great and don't smell. There is a period here when jasmine is ubiquitous, and honeysuckle, and lavender. Today I smelled all three blended together, in a park. That would make a nice perfume, eau de California: jasmine, honeysuckle and lavender, with a little orange and lemon blossom.

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July 6, 2007 11:05 PM, Blogger Dain said...

If you throw in the smell of the sea, and maybe some car exhaust, you've got it. : ) I kind of get what you mean about layering, though I never do it myself, because my nose is extremely sensitive and it confuses me. But it makes sense--people mix oils together all the time, why not use more complicated elements, if they're more or less monotone? It's hard to find perfumes that are complex top down. There's a lot that are just "top", usually citrus and florals, and there's quite a few that are just "base", often gourmand. I don't know how to explain the difference, but like today, I had on one wrist Fracas, the other, BVLGARI pour Femme. They're both white florals, so you'd think they'd be created equal, but while the BVLGARI is a sweet warmhearted little bouquet (your phrase, "wall of yum" came to my mind as I sniffed), Fracas is a composition, played out over time. The difference is enormous. You wouldn't ever want to use Fracas to layer, but the BVLGARI would be ideal for it.

July 6, 2007 11:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

It did cross my mind to throw in an ocean note...I went to San Clemente once, it was...unreal. There is an unreality to Southern Cal, but it's blended with hard-nosed realism. You'll be driving on the freeway, 80 miles per hour...because you have to drive so, so much. You can't drive slowly. Then you'll exit and suddenly everyone is going 15 MPH. You have to be a good driver.

I never thought of myself as a "layerer" until I did the 7 samples thing for Etro. It's...modular? It reminds me of programming, where you think in terms of components. A few Etro scents stand well alone, like Shaal Nur and Royal Pavillon (of the ones I tried anyway), but the rest seem almost like parts of a scent.

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Update on Annick Goutal
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, July 04, 2007 12:11 AM (Eastern)

annick goutal neroli AND annick goutal heure exquise

Okay...we have a winner: Neroli, layered with Heure Exquise. (Speaking of my samples.)

This pair creates my coveted "wall of yum," or long-lasting veil of yummy scent. Heure Exquise on its own doesn't quite do it; it's a lovely, powdery scent, yet Neroli adds an acidic quality that keeps Heure... from becoming a bit too bland.

As I've mentioned before, it doesn't bother me to layer. I've used Etro Heliotrope as a "base" for many perfumes; it mellows and sweetens them.

Passion, and Les Nuits d'Hadrien EDT, have been knocked off my list. Passion just is not "me." It doesn't smell as sweet on my skin as I'd like (conversely, it might suit you if you're looking for something "not too sweet"). Les Nuits... eau de toilette was very light on me. Having sampled the eau de parfum, I can heartily recommend that, but imo the EDT should have been stronger.

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July 4, 2007 12:59 AM, Blogger Dain said...

What does Heure Exquise smell like?

July 4, 2007 1:08 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

It's basically...powdery. In a sense it's like many powdery scents I've smelled, only it is better in not being a completely generic powdery scent. I loathe generic powdery scents...sometimes a good one can stand alone, but still I prefer the combination.

July 4, 2007 9:08 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Ah, here is the description from the AG site:

A sophisticated trail of Turkish rose, a gentle powdery base of iris from Florence and Mysore sandalwood. This fragrance recreates the atmosphere of a rose garden that blossoms with the passing of each exquisite hour.

It doesn't smell distinctly of any one of these notes; it's quite well balanced and blended. Of the AG samples I got this time, I think I like this one, and Neroli, the best.

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Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, June 29, 2007 2:25 AM (Eastern)

I tried this out again today. On me, it's a bit gorgeous, but surprisingly faint, compared to the original Eau d'Hadrien.

Perhaps it's unfair to compare the two, but it was the spareness and lucidity of Eau d'Hadrien, the simple two notes of lemon and cypress, citrus and herb, that was pure unadulterated genius.

Les Nuits... has the citrus, but the other notes in it seem to mute rather than add. Oh I doubt I'm being fair. Some perfumes need a heavier application to stand out, for example, Etro Heliotrope. At first I deemed it a weak perfume, until I got a bottle of it and started spraying.

I'll try it out again tomorrow.

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June 29, 2007 3:12 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I haven't tried the original Eau d'Hadrien, but I know it's more popular. IMO, Les Nuits is a for nights (obviously), city dwellers, or people who aren't really into citrus. I'm surprised you find it weak, though--do you have the EDT, perhaps? The EDP is very strong for a citrus (which is why I liked it), though I gave it as a gift as I never wear citrus perfumes.

I've never really liked a rose, either, at least, not enough to buy one. Just enough to spritz at the store and wear it around.

June 29, 2007 9:44 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

It's definitely the EDT. But then I tried the EDT of Eau d'Hadrien and on me, or to me, (or both), it smelled much much stronger.

I can't smell certain perfumes on myself. I tried Chanel Allure, and even though other people describe it as heady, potent, et cetera, I could hardly smell a thing (whereas Coco Mademoiselle smelled wonderfully potent on me).

So it could just be one of those things. I fairly drenched myself in it this morning. But I can't really smell it.

June 30, 2007 2:38 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

You know something, I'll bet that's it. I tried Les Nuits... before, in a shop, and it wasn't weak.


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Updates on Annick Goutal samples
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, June 27, 2007 10:26 PM (Eastern)

annick goutal heure exquiseI've been slowly wending my way through my samples of Annick Goutal.

Thus far, oddly enough, since I don't think of myself as attracted to "powdery" scents, it is Heure Exquise which stands out. It has an eternal quality. Powdery fragrances can so easily smell, well, cheap, or generic, which is worse than cheap...Heure Exquise emerges because it has sufficient individuality.

Neroli is still in the running; I've worn it several times. Here it would depend on how you feel about citrus scents; it's almost as citrus as it is floral. Songes remains on my first-pass list as well.

I've briefly tried (or retried, rather) Gardenia Passion and Nuits d'Hadrien. Gardenia Passion is easily the best, most authentic gardenia perfume I've tried. You'd have to be nuts about gardenias however; it is what it says it is, just gardenia. Nuits...I'll need to try some more before commenting.

Rose Absolue...I've decided against, for purely personal reasons; I'm not a rose gal after all. That would explain why I've gravitated toward many a rose perfume over the years, from Evelyn by Crabtree & Evelyn, to Stella by Stella McCartney, to Rose Absolue itself--it's a rich, classical rose; deep red, many-petaled and velvet--rather than a light, modern, tinny rose--but never bought one.

Passion is what I'm wearing today. I can't decide whether I like it or not. It honestly smells like something I smelled in the 1970's, but I can't put my finger on it. It's not unpleasant. me.

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Day 2 of Annick Goutal Neroli and Songes
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, June 19, 2007 2:57 PM (Eastern)

Today I'm layering these two scents. By this I don't mean I apply one over the other, but rather I apply one higher up on my body and the other one lower down.

The rationale is that some perfumes have sillage, or scent you can smell from farther away, while others have less of this quality. I place the sillage-laden fragrance farther down--backs of knees, lower thighs--so the stronger scent wafts up, without becoming overwhelming. The quieter scent is placed higher up--décolletage, stomach, wrist, behind ears...whatever your preferences.

Hence I have Songes as my "lower" scent and Neroli as the "higher" one.

With all this preamble, I smell the orange blossoms in Neroli much more clearly today than yesterday. Now it smells quite distinct from Eau d'Hadrien. It's almost pure orange blossoms, with a shot of actual orange fruit, like a sliced orange on a plate next to a flowering orange tree.

Songes...I can hardly smell now that it's farther away from my nose. When I had a tiny drop of it on my wrist yesterday, I smelled it for hours. Of course this is all dabbling from a sample vial; spraying it on would produce more definitive results.

I had intended to try a different scent today altogether, but couldn't resist the combination of these two.

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Premature reviews for Annick Goutal Songes and Neroli
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, June 18, 2007 8:52 PM (Eastern)

I tried these out today, from my samples.

Songes was surprisingly strong, heady, good sillage...I suppose it was a bit less complex than I'd expected. (Mind you this is a first impression.) A single tiny dab smelled strong for hours.

The notes from the Annick Goutal site are as follows: Frangipani, Absolute of Ylang-Ylang, Absolute of Jasmine and Absolute of Vanilla. The description from the site came closer to what I was smelling (or perhaps a blend of both):

The top note is a glorious natural jasmine accord. It then moves through a series of scene changes, comes close to a woody-powdery core, and eventually settles into a rich, long-lasting wood-vanilla-white flowers drydown of great refinement.

I'd say the wood part faded after a while, the vanilla was in the background...what I was getting was very floral, tropical, tempered and grounded a bit by the other notes.

Conclusion: what I liked best were the strength and sillage. I like perfumes that require only a bit, and last for hours. I hate having perfumes fade quickly.

It could have been more complex, but then I already layer perfumes; doesn't bother me a bit. Thinking of this as a potential layering scent, or, ideal scent for extremely hot, humid weather, when lesser scents fade instantly. this reminds me quite a bit of their Eau d'Hadrien perfume, to the point I half-wondered if the folks had gotten my order confused. But it does smell different. Initially, you get a healthy dose of orange blossoms, indeed the scent of "young ladies fond of flowers."

After that it seemed to fade, and I wondered if this were one of those scents you had to slather on to get much scent payoff. changed again and started smelling almost exactly like the aforementioned Eau d'Hadrien.

Now...several hours's smelling good, closer to pure orange blossoms. For being a "soliflore" (single flower) scent, it seems to have taken quite a journey getting to this point.

It's way too early to draw a conclusion about either scent, but so far, I like them both.

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Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:13 PM (Eastern)

annick goutal perfume samples

Mmmmm. I haven't tried any yet. The package smells heavenly, like Harper Lee's description of "the ladies" in To Kill a Mockingbird (funny how cosmetically-inclined people remember stuff like that: the Tangee Natural lipstick, the Cutex Natural nail polish).

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June 18, 2007 4:59 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Yay! How fun! I've only really tried Nuit d'Hadrien, and it's yummy, though I'm not really into citrus. But considering that I am not, I think that speaks well for it.

June 18, 2007 6:05 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I'm trying out Songes "trying out" I mean I dabbed one teeny drop of it on my wrist. It's quite strong. I'm not sure if I like it yet. It could stand to be a tad more complex...I suppose it reminds me somehow of Organza, but stronger, sweeter, less complex. But those could be good things.

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Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, June 14, 2007 8:55 PM (Eastern)

I'm at the end of Armani Code--which is a terrific scent btw--but I'd like to replace it with something different. There are a few scents on my short list: Annick Goutal Ce Soir Ou Jamais and Eau d'Hadrien, Etro Royal Pavillon (Shaal Nur is a good one too but seems more of a winter scent), I say, it's a short list.

Enter Today I ordered their sample pack...and the samples are generous; you get vials with enough to thoroughly road test your follows (all Annick Goutal):

First choices:
Rose Absolue
Gardenia Passion
Heure Exquise
Le Jasmin
Les Nuits d'Hadrien
If out of stock, please substitute:
Eau de Ciel

(You can order samples of any of the fragrances on the site; these are just the ones I wanted to try.)

Of the group, I've smelled only Gardenia Passion and Les Nuits d'Hadrien. Both smell good in their individual way--Gardenia Passion's virtue is that it smells like a bona fide gardenia, without the chemical, even harsh undertone of other gardenia perfumes.

Les Nuits d'Hadrien...well...don't remember exactly, just that it was wonderfully complex.

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Closing in...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:59 PM (Eastern)

I've been having the odd thought of trying a new perfume or two. It's not an emergency...I have two-thirds of a bottle of Armani Code at the ready, plus the odds and ends of Givenchy Organza and GF Ferre Lei/Her. And I can borrow Alien by Thierry Mugler (which is funkiness defined) if need be.

Still and all, I'd like to try something new. I've been pondering both Etro and Annick Goutal. Unfortunately, neither of these is widely testable around here. The closest b & m distributor I could find is the Neiman Marcus in downtown San I drove by it today. Didn't have time to stop (read: park) and smell the perfumes, but I did drive by, if only to cement its position inside my mind (park on Mission, go up Fourth, etc.).

Image courtesy nomadig's San Francisco page

Which Etro, which Annick Goutal? Since it's such a shlep to actually smell the stuff, I've been looking on the Internet for clues. Both Royal Pavilion and Shaal Nur have gotten good reviews on our own Perfumery. These would be a place to start.

As far as Annick Goutal, that would appear to actually be the more obscure of the two brands. Dain on LP used to wear Petite Cherie. That's about it, that's about all I've heard about AG.

Perhaps some of the attraction (why these two particular brands?) is, in fact, the relative obscurity. I would like to...explore. A name like Annick Goutal has to be attractive, too...women make good perfumes. In fact I'm gravitating a bit more toward AG than Etro (not having smelled either). I always spend a lot of time "thinking about," rather than "buying." Well, I'm an American; if I bought everything that was in front of me, I'd be dead broke in five minutes.

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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