Fragrance review: Songes by Annick Goutal

ImageSonges is a beautiful white floral that is fit for a queen or a king for that matter. It is sumptuous , luxurious and full of tropical vigor.

ImageThe inspiration for Songes allegedly stems from Camille Goutal’s honeymoon in Tahiti/Hawaii and it truly showcases this facet perfectly.

ImageThe tiare flower and frangipani combine to give a banana-like and coconut aroma that is heavenly; Giving you the feel of being on a tropical island beach catching wifts of that magnificent scent in the warm breeze. The scent remains this way for about 1-2 hours

ImageAs the fragrance progresses, the tiare flower and frangipani is joined by sambac jasmine absolute that smells slightly indolic which gives it some bite. The French vanilla absolute adds some weight to the composition and lends some creaminess which in turn adds more volume to the narcotic, heady florals.

ImageThe sandalwood and amber in the base does a good job in grounding this fragrance so it doesn’t disappear or vanish into thin air like a thief in the night. The sandalwood in this fragrance has a weird pencil shavings smell that I have not smelled before. Usually sandalwood is creamy and dreamy, however, it works with this scent because the florals used are so rich and indulgent.

Songes is a scent that doesn’t scream, but purrs in ecstasy after you’ve had your way with her. Soft whispers in your ear and kisses you on neck come to mind.

Scent of pure seduction, one you would scent yourself with when seducing a lover in your darkened candlelit boudoir. Soft music playing in the background and dressed only with five sprays of  Songes and nothing else. 

While the edt concentration is more transparent, light, and airy, the edp in dense, richer and sweeter. Both of these concentrations are excellent, although my preference is for  the eau de toilette.

House:   Annick Goutal

Year of introduction: 2005

Perfumers: Camille Goutal/ Isabelle Doyen

Notes: Tiare flower, frangapini, sambac jasmine absolute, ylang-ylang absolute, olibanum, French vanilla absolute, sandalwood, amber.

Longevity: Good 6 hours

Projection: Average, closer to the skin

Rating: 4 stars

 

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Fragrance Review: Fleur du Male-Death By Orange Blossom Overdose

Fleur du MaleOne spritz of Fleur du Male can either send you sniffing your wrists insanely or reeling to the nearest sink to scrub it off in the most speed efficient manner. This was my experience, with this heavy hitter of a fragrance. The verdict on this one is quite divisive. Many people hate and love this scent, so there is no clear consensus. When I first smelled Fleur du Male at a mall perfume shop near me, it revolted me. It was so acrid and obnoxious and literally stung the insides of my nose. The screeching, loud orange blossom assaulted my nose with such a vengeance, and traumatized me so much that I avoided all things with the strange smelling note from then on. Fleur du Male had a resemblance of bathroom cleanser and light metallic vibe that rubbed me the wrong way. I gladly walked out of the store, without a bottle in hand.

Year introduced: 2007
Nose: Francois Kurkdjian
House: Jean Paul Gaultier
Category: Aromatic fougere

Fast forward 2 years. I decided to blind buy this (don’t ask me why) given my previous terrible experience with the scent, I decided to give it another chance. As I know tastes can change over the years and you can come to appreciate notes that you disliked. So it is worthwhile to revisit scents you once dismissed at face value.

Upon first application, you get a blast of orange blossom, and it is quite the dose. Quantities this large should be considered lethal. So it is not for the faint of heart, and may repulse some given how strong it is. Some may even feel that this smell isn’t for a male fragrance at all and consider Fleur du Male a female perfume. I get from they are coming from, but to get the full effect, you must wait for the drydown. The drydown is where this fragrance truly shines and lets the world know it full glory .

After it dries down, I detect some green herbal element that must be the petit grain, along with some coumarin, which has a coconut and haylike sweetness that is quite enjoyable. And it is this ‘under the radar sweetness’ is what transforms the loud orange blossom into honeyed indolic flowers that is delectable on the skin.

This scent has great longevity and projection, averaging about 14 hours on the skin. Women can rock this scent as well. If you are an orange blossom aficionado, Fleur du Male is definitely worth a try. I assure you, you won’t die from an overdose of orange blossom, sometimes it is just what we need.

Sadly, Fleur du Male has been discontinued, but can be found at numerous online retailers such as Fragrancenet and Beautyencounter for a great price.Fleur du Male comes in two concentrations eau de toilette and eau de cologne.
Fleur du Male eau de toilette

Projection:3-4 hours
Longevity: 12-18 hours
Pros: excellent longevity,
Cons: very strong floral top notes

Fragrance obtained from: My own collection

Note:I was not compensated in any form for this review. My views and opinions are my own.

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Perfume Review – Chanel Les Exclusifs Sycomore: Mighty Vetiver

I was never a fan of vetiver until I smelled this wonderful composition from Chanel. The vetiver in Sycomore is rendered so lovely and the grapefruit aspects are beautiful. Usually vetiver is very rootsy and wet. Sycomore is dark and smoky yet at the same time light and sparkly.

Kafkaesque

Close your eyes and imagine you are in the heart of a forest at Yosemite National Park.

Cypress trees and evergreens intermingle and stretch far before you. The dark, dry earth is sprinkled with pine needles, and a wild boar is rooting at the tall grasses at the base of a tree, his endeavors lifting the smell of the earthy, chocolate-y roots into the air. Icicles hang from the branches where, nestled deep within, are purple juniper berries. In the heart of the forest, campfires burn thick logs of pine and cypress, and there is a smell of peppery smoke intermingling with the burning woods. Someone is cooking caramel, and burning it. You huddle deeper into your coat as the hint of frost brings a chill, but you can’t help but take a deeper breath of the vetiver surrounding you.

SycomoreGreen and brown, smoky and earthy, with a heart of cypress and…

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Spice 31? Cedar 31? No, Le Labo Rose 31.

I wish I was able to like this fragrance, unfortunately, I just can’t do it. Rosé 31 is one of those fragrances I just don’t get. I’m so happy some people get it because I’m still searching for the rosé in the midst of all the spices, woods and musky elements. I’m an optimist and I haven’t given up hope just yet. I will figure this fragrance out before hell freezes over. Believe that.

Dear Scent Diary,

Dear Scent Diary,

When I was in New York last summer, I happened to stumble into the Le Labo boutique in Nolita, unplanned. What. Stop looking at me that way. Fine, I stalked the place and made a deliberate trip. Sheesh. Anyway, I hadn’t had a chance to sample any of their fragrances beforehand, but I’d heard/read/watched quite a bit about Rose 31 and was eager to try it.

le_labo

The store has an a beautiful ‘modern apothecary’ aesthetic which appealed to me right away. All the scents are lined up on tables to your left as you walk in, and divided up between ‘femme’, ‘unisex’ and ‘homme’. Rose 31 resides on the ‘unisex’ table, if I remember correctly. As a ‘femme’ who most of the time prefers ‘unisex’ and has been known on occasion to sport an ‘homme’ or two, I was appropriately intrigued.

46801On first spritz, I was slightly…

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Fragrance Review: Caron Pour Un Homme – Short Lived Lavender

Caron Pour Un Homme french advertisement

Caron Pour Un Homme french advertisement


If you are searching for a fragrance that showcases lavender and vanilla in it’s most glorious form, look no further, Caron Pour Un Homme is the one you’re looking for. Introduced in 1934, by Caron Paris, it is a beautiful blend of the most natural smelling lavender and vanilla in the world of fragrance today. But don’t let the name fool you, it isn’t exclusively a men’s fragrance. Women can wear this one as well.

Classified as an aromatic fragrance,Caron Pour Un Homme was composed by perfumer Ernest Daltroff. The Caron Paris website lists the notes as: Lavender absolute, Vanilla, and Musk.

Caron Pour Un Homme is a soliflore, essentially a two note love affair with lots of vanilla and lavender.

Upon first application, you get a blast of sharp, astringent lavender. It is so abrasive and sharp, it pierces your senses, but soon it mellows out and what follows is a smooth and semi-sweet vanilla that stays for the rest of the day or for however long it lasts on your skin.

Caron Pour Un Homme is very delicate and easy to wear. It is uplifting, soothing and very relaxing. Whenever I wear this scent, I am surrounded in a soft veil of fragrance that stays pretty close to the skin.

Although longevity is average with CPH, lasting about 3-4 hours, the scent is not. It is simply, classic elegance perfected. Fresh lavender combined with warm vanilla is perfect any time of year. This scent is light, refreshing, and never gets cloying.

People say this scent smells like “play-doh”, and I do get that aspect briefly, immediately afterwards, for a minute or two, but only if over applied. However, that facet of the fragrance quickly disappears once it dries down. I also get the “play-doh” essense longer if I spray my clothes rather than applying directly to my skin. So my recommendation is to not spray your clothes.

Overall impressions:

Positives: Very economical fragrance to own and is widely available. Freshest smelling lavender. Unisex.

Negatives: Projection, Longevity, and Sillage is average to mediocre. This fragrance projects well for about 30 minutes to an hour then becomes an elusive skin scent. While testing this fragrance, it only lasted about 3 hours, if that, on my skin. I wish it lasted a bit longer, which is kind of disappointing. With that being said, I still stand by my statement when I say this is one of the best smelling lavender scents around.

Rating: 3 stars/ 5 stars

Caron Pour Un Homme is available at various online retailers in various sizes ranging from 1.7 fl. oz to 28 fl oz. 4.2 fl oz testers can be had for less than $28 USD.

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Black Aoud by Montale: Toxic, Headache Inducing Oud

Black Aoud by Montale

Black Aoud by Montale

I had high hopes for this disaster of a fragrance, after seeing numerous vlogs and blogs praising this juice in the black aluminum can to the hilt. So with reckless abandon, I threw caution to the wind, ventured online and obtained a sample of Black Aoud from LuckyScent.
Basenotes lists the notes as Cambodian aoud,
oudwoods

oudwoods

Patchouli leaves, Mandarin, Musk, Rose petals

Out of the bottle, Black Aoud is so fresh and aromatic. The rose just blooms before your nose and is ever so fragrant. I don’t think I have ever smelled a rose that comes across so strongly. I smelled the rose before I even opened the vial. With such a fantastic opening, things were looking pretty good. Once the vial was opened, it literally filled up the entire office. Very nice! I dabbed some on my wrists and I was off to the races. I was wowed and amazed at the projection which is nothing short of amazing. Black Aoud projects very far and wide, a couple feet in fact; Massive projection and sillage are definitely on the menu in regards to this fragrance, so it will not disappoint.
Red Rose

Red Rose

However, after about 1-2 hours, Black Aoud starts going downhill with the mysterious oud note creeping in sinisterly, its fumes engulfing me like cloud of poisonous gas meant to kill formidable enemies on the battlefield. The stench was utterly unbearable, almost to the point of nausea. I was overcome with a strong dark, very unpleasant medicine-like odor which smells of camphor. To those who are unfamiliar with what that is think Vicks Vapor Rub, other cold medicines or ointment infused bandages.

After smelling this camphorous medicinal note for a while, it gave me a massive headache and I have not worn it since. The oud in this is much too strong for me, and when added to the overly fragrant rose, it is sickening.

People who are thinking of obtaining a full bottle of Black Aoud, please do yourself a favor and sample before you buy. This is not a blind buy. Black Aoud has excellent projection and longevity, but it fails in the likeable department. Doing a nose to wrist smell test, the oud was still there 12 hours later. Not a good thing. The oud note in this fragrance is way too potent to enjoy which classifies this scent as unwearable as far I’m concerned.

Projection/Sillage: Excellent 3-5 hours
Longevity: Excellent, 12+ hours
Rating: ½ star/ 5 stars

Black Aoud is available in 50 and 100ml at various online retailers such as LuckyScent and is priced at $110 and $160 respectively.

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It is truly sad to see the end of an era where perfume making was an art and not mass produced bottles of garbage. Celebriscents are the thing nowadays and perfumes companies are in it to make money, by any means necessary. Good or bad, the scents that many of the A-listers endorse,aren’t even worn by the stars. This is just another pay check that the star collects in addition to their other salaries. Every time, I see, hear or smell a Celebrity Scent, I want to gag. This article is a very interesting look into that high pressure environment.

ScentBound

Flowers-Swamp

If you believe that celebrity fragrances are squeezed out by fairies from the petals of flowers and you are under 12, you are forgiven.  If you believe this and you are past puberty, you need help.  Even though few would be as naive as to believe that fairies are involved in creating a fragrance, even fewer are familiar with the process of making one.  Fragrance companies have done a great job enshrouding in mystery the creative and technical process of creating their masterpieces and duds.  After all, the business of selling perfume is really the business of selling the dream of something we want to experience, whether it is sensuality, coolness or comfort.

I couldn’t allow myself to believe in the story about fairies and magic.

As I was curious about the process of making a fragrance, from its inception to its release on the market, I couldn’t allow myself…

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