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· Three ways to stay warm this season.
· Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent
· Beauty Notes: Perfume recap
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 6
· Diptyque Tam Dao
· Beauty Notes: In Search of Wisteria in the Bay Area
· Diptyque Jardin Clos
· Diptyque Eau de Lierre
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 5
· Beauty Notes: Diptyque
· Diptyque Do Son
· Update on Annick Goutal and Diptyque
· Updates on Diptyque
· Diptyque reviews on the way...
· September 12, 2007 1:29 AM by Dain
· September 12, 2007 4:03 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· August 19, 2007 1:49 PM by Dain
· August 20, 2007 2:11 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· July 26, 2007 8:09 PM by Forever Redeemed
· July 26, 2007 11:13 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· July 22, 2007 1:32 AM by Dain
· July 22, 2007 2:47 AM by Colleen Shirazi
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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'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 Basenotes.net, 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 luckyscent.com
Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, September 28, 2007 2:25 AM (Eastern)
I'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.
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):
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 considered...is 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.
Diptyque...is 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.
As 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:
images courtesy parfumsraffy.com, aedes.com, parfums-montale.com, Wikimedia Commons
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 me...lol) 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.
Diptyque Tam Dao
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, August 18, 2007 1:10 PM (Eastern)
This is nice. From the Diptyque site: Rosewood, cypress and ambergris, in the heart note the sandalwood from Goa
I'm getting mostly sandalwood from this, although it does start out with a small burst of cypress. When I first put it on, the cypress note was a bit distracting. What I was expecting was next to pure sandalwood; soft, dry sandalwood...but Tam Dao actually does become that, once the small cypress note softens.
I gave it the "Does it last on a really hot day?" test yesterday. The weather has been super hot lately (dry heat), so I've been trying out various perfumes in it. Tam Dao did fairly well...not as good as Eau de Lierre (which clung on valiantly through miles and hours of next to scorching heat), but I could still smell it faintly and pleasantly on myself after I-880 in Friday rush hour traffic, in the previously mentioned, un-air-conditioned car. (Here you are talking about several hours of heat.) And the following day, a ghost of sandalwood remained on my clothes.
Out of the houses I've tried lately...Etro, Annick Goutal and Diptyque...I can admit I like Diptyque the best. Not all of the Diptyque samples...Philosykos ended up smelling Youth Dew-y on me (a pity, as its opening smell of fresh figs, fig leaves and fig tree itself is quite authentic); Olène, as much as I liked it initially, now falls behind Do Son and Jardin Clos; Ofrésia, which smelled bitter on me, although of course I will try it again. But Tam Dao, Eau de Lierre, Do Son and Jardin Clos are still on my possible bottle-worthy list.
My sole gripe with the Diptyques is the lasting power. Overall they seem a bit better than the Annick Goutal eau de toilettes, perhaps not quite as good as the Annick Goutal eau de parfums; overall not as good as Etro. Of the group, as mentioned, Eau de Lierre wins the staying power prize.
And, they could have a bit more sillage too. Jardin Clos has the best sillage of the group.
That's why I layer perfumes though; I always have at least one long-lasting perfume on. Lasting power is more important to me than sillage. I like to be able to smell the perfume myself, and be smell-able if the other person is fairly close, but I don't every day have to wear a strong perfume.
Overall...if you like sandalwood, you'll like Tam Dao. Imo it's better than Etro Sandalo. Sandalo struck me as too sharp-smelling. Tam Dao is smoother, softer, mellower. It is truly unisex; doesn't smell "perfume sweet." Rather it has a beautiful naturally sweetish smell of sandalwood.
image courtesy aedes.com
Beauty Notes: In Search of Wisteria in the Bay Area
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 16, 2007 8:18 PM (Eastern)
This was a complete and total bust. The image above is from Wikimedia Commons.
There's one place around here I know has wisteria (the nurseries don't generally carry it, maybe they have it, maybe they don't)...it's in front of a vacant lot. I went there today, since it was en route to the local Target.
Editor's note: those Go! designer collections aren't bad, although you do have to avoid anything with a ginormous logo on it. I got a few of the Proenza Schouler tanks and short-sleeved tops last time around; they're nice and soft, look better than regular old tanks and short-sleeved tops, and seem to be wearing well after several washes. What they have now is Libertine; I got the puffed-sleeve top (it's way cuter on than it looks online, it's fitted and the neck is scoopy) and some of the lace-inset Indonesian tanks.
I even brought my camera, hoping to take a picture of the wisteria. I realized, in reviewing Diptyque Olène, it's been years since I smelled an actual wisteria flower. It's probably been more than twenty years. I have a fairly strong memory of the scent, but why not smell the real thing?
Once I got there, I could find only two, dilapidated blooms. Wisteria in the South, I'm sure of it, blossoms the entire summer. Bleh! And they both smelled terrible. I got a tiny bit of real wisteria (and haven't changed my assertion that Olène does not smell like wisteria) but not that dense, wondrous cloud of scent. Oh well.
I'm betting Berkeley has wisteria. Can you imagine, a Southerner looking for wisteria?
Diptyque Jardin Clos
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, August 12, 2007 3:07 PM (Eastern)
Diptyque Eau de Lierre
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, August 11, 2007 1:07 AM (Eastern)
I tried this again today, instead of retrying Etro Vicolo Fiori as I'd planned. I was going somewhere hot (known as "inland" around here); I knew it would be at least ten degrees hotter, tank-top weather, so the notion of Eau de Lierre, described on the Diptyque site as follows:
Ivy leaves, cyclamen, geranium, green pepper, ambergris, palisander wood, musks
...would be more refreshing in the heat.
I like Eau de Lierre. It's kind of a weird perfume. I have ivy in the back yard (it's a pest in fact, you have to cut it back and keep it off the trees); there were tons of English ivy in Virginia, enveloping the buildings, blanketing the ground...I've never really smelled ivy though. Eau de Lierre just smells green and fresh to me. It reminds me most of L'eau d'Issey, but without the breath of flowers...a green meadow, with ivy and no flowers. In that way it's more abstract than L'eau d'Issey, but if you like one, you might like the other.
So, getting back to the story, I dabbed this on pretty thick, expecting the "smells wonderful, fades too quickly" quality of other Diptyque perfumes I've tried, except Philosykos (it's been well pointed out that perfumes that don't agree with you last longest on you), and was pleasantly surprised that it lasted the entire trip, through driving on the freeway in Friday traffic, in a car without air conditioning, inland to the fantastic dry California heat. Many other scents would have burned off, plain and simple. Eau de Lierre continued smelling good for hours, and the sillage was not bad for at least the first several hours.
In fact I can still smell it a bit. I am getting the ivy (I'm sure ivy smells that way if you ever bother smelling it), a little green pepper. Cyclamen? does that even have a smell? I can buy that there might be a little geranium in it, but it's not strong. Musks...could be a little musky sweetness there. But it's the green ivy that dominates.
I'd like to say Eau de Lierre could be worn just as easily by a man, because it's not flowery, but I would rather smell this on a woman than on a man...to me it's not masculine enough, even if it's not a traditionally feminine scent.
image courtesy aedes.com
Beauty Notes: perfumes part 5
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 10, 2007 1:36 PM (Eastern)
(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
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)
Diptyque shop image courtesy www.diptyque.tm.fr
Beauty Notes: Diptyque
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, July 26, 2007 2:06 PM (Eastern)
google street view of the Diptyque shop on Maiden Lane
I'm slowly wending my way through my Diptyque samples. It's a different experience from, say, going to Nordstrom and spraying a few perfumes on your hands (trying to fit about three scents per hand). It's a much more leisurely process.
I compared Olène to Do Son the other day. They're quite similar to my nose; both intense, complex, brilliant florals.
For that matter, I compared them both to my remaining sample of Givenchy Ange ou Démon, since I finally got around to writing a review for it. Ange ou Démon, in comparison with these two exquisitely delicate florals, is a workhorse of a perfume: dab it on, it'll last until you shower it off, and cling to your clothing an extra day beyond that. If it's strength you're seeking however, may I recommend Givenchy Organza. It's all that and still yummy, without hitting you over the head.
It would be redundant imo to own both Do Son and Olène, unless you're one of those floral fanatics. For me, Do Son narrowly edged out Olène. There's just this extra shot of yum there, that makes this a bit more insanely addictive than Olène.
You are giving up some of the strength and lasting qualities of the older-style perfumes...which is why I layer btw. I layer a stronger, longer-lasting scent, with a more ephemeral one. It's not that I'm not happy with either, and I don't layer them one upon the other, rather I place the longer lasting scent lower down (back of knees sort of thing) and the lighter one higher up.
Here is what Do Son brought to mind...lol. Yup--it's that good.
"Falling in Love Again," Marlene Dietrich, from 1929's The Blue Angel
Diptyque Do Son
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 21, 2007 2:24 PM (Eastern)
Since I wouldn't know a tuberose if it fell into my soup, I did some brief google image searching to get a firmer concept of this lovely bloom.
I retried my Diptyque Do Son eau de toilette yesterday, and it was intoxicating. That's the scent I want. I kept smelling it on myself throughout the day (it seems to be stronger than some of their other EDT's), and it recalled the first time I wore it, when I revisited Muir Woods (which I highly recommend btw), and wasn't sure the entire time how much of that fresh, sweet smell was something growing in the woods, and how much of it was me.
Why had I thought Do Son had a bitter edge? It really doesn't. There is a slight feel of hyacinth in there somewhere, but the overall sensation is of heavy, enchanting sweetness; yet it's fresh, not cloying.
Do Son mirrors Diptyque's Philosykos in a way, in being a singular scent, with a heavy emotional factor. Fig groves don't do it for me...sure, we had fig trees in the Virginia of my childhood, but not groves.
We did however exist in an almost tropical heat and humidity at times, and the flowers corresponded to that. Blooms in dry climates don't smell nearly as much. You could place a single gardenia in a bowl of water, and it would scent the entire room. There were numerous flowers--I never knew their names--that would waft a heavenly cloud of scent your way, should the wind blow. Sure, everyone griped about the heat and moisture, but people who grow in these climes, form an attachment to the intense perfumes of these flowers.
images courtesy www.easytogrowbulbs.com, www.google.com
Update on Annick Goutal and Diptyque
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 20, 2007 6:41 PM (Eastern)
I'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.
image courtesy www.diptyque.tm.fr
Updates on Diptyque
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 15, 2007 9:45 PM (Eastern)
I've been a bit busy as of late, so I've been trying out my Diptyque vials slowly.
Philosykos. I suspect this is one of those scents you love or hate. I'm a bit more in the latter category, although I could imagine this smelling quite good on someone else. On my skin, it started out promising, a bit airy and sweet...pure, fresh figs.
Later on though, the sweet edge seemed to dissipate, and the scent began to remind me of...Estee Lauder Youth Dew. I'm serious. It's not as heavy as Youth Dew; it's still sweeter and lighter, but there is that odd, Youth Dewiness about it.
Conversely, if you like Youth Dew, you might want to check this out. (Youth Dew and I never got along, but that shouldn't influence you.) Philosykos lasted quite well on me, I'd say the full eight hours, and the sillage was pretty good.
Do Son. This is closer to what I like; it's basically floral, with a slight bitter edge. For whatever reason, I got hyacinth out of this, although it's not listed as one of the notes:
Tuberose, Orange tree leaves, Berries, Iris
I found this elegant, although I'd like to try it out more before judging too much either way.
Olène. My favorite so far. As Dain pinpointed, perhaps the reason I like it so much, is that it smells similar to me to the floral notes in Givenchy Organza, a perfume I wore for some years (and still like, don't get me wrong).
Olène has that intense, bright, flowery goodness:
This water evokes a deep and mysterious twilight of white, slender and starry flowers...
It's more complex than Organza imo, more exotic, for not being an exotic scent. There's something about the intensity that's attractive to me.
I saw on several sites that Olène was a wisteria scent, but it doesn't evoke wisteria to me, particularly. I expected a deluge of wisteria...there was a fence around a friend of mine's house, back in Virginia, that was saturated with purple wisteria in the summer. The thick cloud of scent would hypnotize you from half a block away. That's what I was hoping for, but all of that said, Olène still rocks.
Lasting power...let's give it six hours. I tried it layered over some Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, and that worked well, both the meld of scents and the, erm, "stretching" aspect.
Ofrésia. Since this is listed on the Diptyque site as a freesia scent, and the name...well...
Peppery white freesia, on a woody note: the fresh scent of a dewy garden...
...I was surprised to find a slightly salty (which must be the "woody"), then slightly bitter edge to this. It's not your mama's freesia scent; in fact, it is genuinely unisex, seemingly neither feminine nor masculine. Perhaps a bit more of the latter.
Nor is it unpleasant. I will have to try it more to form a firmer opinion; this is just a first impression, that if you were picturing the exact scent you get from a freesia blossom, this isn't really it.
Eau de Lierre. Wearing this today. First impression: carrots. Fresh carrots. It then mellows out into something quite green and meadowy.
Ivy leaves, cyclamen, geranium, green pepper, ambergris, palisander wood, musks
All in all, I like it. The closest perfume it smells like to me is L'eau d'Issey, only more masculine...less of that breath of sweet floweriness, more green and fresh.
image courtesy www.diptyque.tm.fr
Diptyque reviews on the way...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 07, 2007 3:49 PM (Eastern)
I just got hold of a mess of vials of these. :)