I've probably said it before, but I'll say it again: perfume is not one of my strong ones. Sure, I love testing different fragrances and wearing them even more so, but my knowledge of the fine art of perfume-sniffing (not to mention -making) is limited to the very basics, such as "Hmm, that's nice..." or "Yuck, I wouldn't be caught dead wearing this!!!".
I also know that the subject of different smells and scents and what appeals to whom is a very subjective one, with plenty of chances for misunderstanding or even offending the other person. Thus, I'd like to ask you to only read the following post at your own risk, lest you should 1.) find that I've slashed your favorite perfume and have the sudden urge to come after me with an axe and/or 2.) faint from the many different headache-inducing scents this post shall be loaded with. Have Advil at hand just for good measure. ;-)
All of the above means that the following content should not be taken seriously: I'm mostly just having fun here. :-)
So on Wednesday I visited Ázsia Center for the first time (a kind of mall full of Asian shops in Budapest) and dragged my mother with me who's been pining after this perfume ever since she smelled it once in a perfumery (into which I also had to drag her, by the way). My main (and admittedly only) goal was to pick up some samples of perfumes I've been dying to own for ages. I just cannot be bothered to buy the full-size versions, you see:
- They're too expensive for a poor English-teacher like me.
- An entire lifetime wouldn't be enough for me to use them up.
- I'm usually fed up with any scent after finishing a 1.2 or 2 ml sample size, so why on Earth should I buy a whole of 50 or 100 mls?
- I like small samples much more as I can carry them around in my bag.
Also, my best friend has some requests of her own, so I brought her some things too.
I was (and still am) quite curious about some famous scents though, so I headed to a particular shop (C+C Perfumery) I heard had a great selection of samples. I was not disappointed and I'm already planning to go back and get some more.
- Hermes -
Un Jardin Après La Mousson
(Image © http://uk.hermes.com)
My greatest find and my favorite of the lot. :-)
Un Jardin Sur Le Nil
(Image © http.usa.hermes.com)
Another scent that can be worn by men and women alike, but I can't really imagine this on a woman to be quite honest. It's such a sharp scent, and my first thought when I smelled this was that this must be what mummies' armpits smell like. (A preposterous image, I know, but I couldn't help it.) Mum likes it though... I just hope she won't be using it very often.
Yummy! Now that's more like it!
I used to have a sample size of this, but alas, I used it all up. Now how could that have happened?
Perhaps it was the fact that I have a softer-than-soft spot for rosy scents of any kind, and when they're infused with a hint of spice to boot (i.e.: star anise in this case), I can't help but stick to them until the bottle is empty.
Perhaps it lacks fruity elements and is instead enriched with patchouli, but I don't think I mind. I can do just fine without the sometimes overly feminine nature of sweet fruits, while I've been acquiring a taste for patchouli lately and really don't mind its presence in perfumes anymore.
I'm wearing this one right now for testing purposes. It's been on me for approximately 6 hours but it hasn't changed that much along the way. It has kept it's characteristic aldehydic notes, only it's acquired a slightly sweet, powdery trait along the way.
Many winters ago I tested this in a perfumery and immediately thought "What all the fuss about? It smells like bug-repellent..."
Then a few years later a very kind saleswoman in her own cosmetics store made me try it once again and practically forbade me to sniff at my wrist for half an hour. I heeded her warning and after the 30 minutes were up I simply fell in love with aforementioned wrists and couldn't stop sniffing all day. That was in the summer of 2007.
Now this winter I have it again and I really have some mixed feelings about it. While it doesn't remind me of bug-repellent anymore, it also doesn't do anything for me right now, except remind me of the bathroom in my godmothers' summer cottage. She used to keep a few perfume bottles there and while I don't remember them anymore I'm quite certain she owned a bottle of this classic scent.
Who knows? Maybe I'll fall in love with this again in the summer...
I need to quote Sephora here:
"Radiant, sensual, sophisticated, J'adore is a fragrance that celebrates the renaissance of extreme femininity and the power of spontaneous emotion with a brilliant bouquet of orchids, the velvet touch of Damascus plum, and the mellowness of amaranth wood."
Extremely feminine? Definitely, and so the first time I smelled this years ago I immediately knew it wasn't a fragrance for me: too feminine, too in-your-face, too fruity in an overwhelming sort of way. I washed Chanel 5 off about 30 minutes ago and put this on, and while it is definitely a very nice scent, I cannot imagine myself wearing this anytime soon. Since the moment I put it on I've been feeling a sort of dry, scratchy feeling in my throat, a sure sign of my whole olfactory system not liking this perfume.
(My Mum who loved it, however, so she got a 5 ml mini bottle.)
I can definitely understand why women and men alike are captured by this fragrance though: it radiates happiness in a sophisticated sort of way and embraces you like a purple cloud of plummyness. I also like that it doesn't turn sharp on me, but remains a fruity, plummy, rich kind of scent. Oh, and the bottle. Gotta love that bottle. :-)
(Why, oh why must I detest fruity scents??? Every research points to the fact that men like these kind of scents the best, and here I am, unwilling to hold out the carrot to them. Wait. Forget it. That's a vegetable... Peaches then! Yeah. Peaches...)
Allow me to be trite for a moment: "My precioussssssssssssss..."
Sorry but I just had to. :-P
My recent addiction to the invigorating scent of grapefruit has led me to reach for my sample of Bright Crystal, which seemed to be a lovely blend of citrusy notes, only to find that it actually has nothing to do with citrus, much less grapefruit. Oh well... To me it still smells like a slightly bitter, juicy ball of grapefruit bursting with freshness and energy.
In the summer I loved this for its cooling and refreshing properties, and now that it's cold and cloudy all day and night I admire it for its ability to transport me back/forward into summer and bring me the promise of warmer days.
My immediate reaction to this perfume was not that bad, although it did come across as strange and unusual. As it dried down it quickly developed a component I can only describe as something smelling like the pine-scented bubble-bath I used to have when I was about 4 or 5 years old. It's a fake pine smell and it's only half a surprise I should detect something like that in there, because even though pine doesn't appear among its notes, cedarwood and patchouli certainly do, and they must be the ones responsible for its woodiness. There's a hint of rose in there too, and while I have a hunch that ELLE won't be a favorite for me, I think it's a actually a very pretty and pleasant perfume, not to mention rather unique.
I'll be totally random here as I have no other way to describe this scent. When I close my eyes and just inhale it, it makes me think of:
- an ancient Ming vase
- an expensive hotel's foyer
- honey made of some exotic flower
- a movie star in her thirties
- a blend of slightly overheated sugar and musk
I guess if you take a look at the above list you'll conclude that 1.) I'm off my rockers and 2.) it's a rich, heavy, and sweet fragrance that brings lavish things to mind. (To my mind at least...) Now if you take a look at Sephora's assessment you'll see that I'm not very far from the truth, as it is a "golden" scent and a very fruity one at that.
It has plum in it just like J'adore, and indeed there's a certain likeness to Dior's creation in that it is a rich, deep kind of scent; you can almost cuddle up to it and feel as it pulls you into a welcoming embrace. You don't surrender though: there's something else in there that warns you not to. Something that lets everybody know that the wearer is a powerful person who should be treated with respect and approached with caution.
Weird. Kind of old lady-ish, but then again, perhaps not. Maybe it's just classic elegance and timelessness that comes through every time it hits my nose. It's nice (more than nice), but not me. It'll never be me. Or I'll never be it.
This one's going to my best friend, who adores it.
Miss Dior Cherie
Again, let's start with some associations:
- cotton candy
- cream-colored lace
- oh yeah, and cherries too... :-)
Love it, it's mine, all mine! Mwhahahahah!!! ^_^
My best friend is so lucky: she can wear fragrances like this and pull it off. It smells just right on her: the cinnamon, the woody notes and the musk all come through. On me, however, it's a very one dimensional scent that can be summed up in two words: sugar overdose. It reminds me of Aquolina's Pink Sugar and I wonder why I didn't end up swinging upside down on the chandelier with a big grin on my face singing some annoying never-ending song... Okay, perhaps because I'm not 5 anymore and I've never had hyperactive tendencies, though I wouldn't have been surprised to see this smell create them in me anyway.
The cinnamon was so alluring, but I'm afraid this perfume and I can never be... So, does anyone know of a wearable fragrance with cinnamon in it?
And finally, a perfume that seems to divide women and bring out strong emotions from us all. People either love it or hate it, there's no middle-of-the-road here.
According to Sephora, this was the fragrance that set oriental gourmands off, and while I generally tend to love everything in this category, upon first try this one had me exclaim "What the heck?!?! Burnt pine and rotting pineapples?!?!?!" and use quite a few expletives while running to the bathroom to wash the whole thing off.
Next day I decided not to do the exact same thing I dislike about others after all: I gave it another chance and sprayed it on again around noon. A few minutes went by (excruciatingly slowly) and most of the exclamation marks disappeared from above my head. Whew. After a good half an hour I began to smell something much more akin to chocolate, but the predominant note on my skin over the course of several hours turned out to be musk. It was quite pleasant actually, and by the time 6 PM rolled around it was a musky, soapy, warm and clean kind of smell with hints of sweetness here and there.
I think I can safely say that Angel is the weirdest perfume I've ever come across in my life, but I'm willing to experiment with it further, because there's something about it that doesn't allow me to just write it off as another 300 HUF that went down the drain. My ultimate goal is to make it smell the way its box does, just on my skin: a mix of cocoa, baby-powder and flowers.
A word of warning though to anybody who's planning to try it for the first time:
This is a very concentrated perfume and should be used very, I repeat very sparingly: I used half a drop and it was still overpowering in the beginning. Also, it might not be the best idea to just spray it on in a department store and then throw a hissyfit. Get a sample, take it home, be prepared to gag when you first put it on, but persevere and you'll find it's not as bad as it initially seemed to be. It's a fragrance that is unique in its own way and should be treated as such: it can either function as a perfectly legal biological weapon, or you can tame it and make it become your best friend. Your choice.
Stuff I'm planning to get next time:
- Burberry Brit
- Chanel Chance
- Thierry Mugler Alien
- Guerlain Insolence (just to be able to use it again: it invokes some very nice memories)
- Clinique Simply
- Armani City Glam
Whew! That was a lot of typing... :-)
I'll probably spark some controversy with my subjective little reviews above, so now I'd like to hear your opinion on these fragrances. If you've smelled, tried, or ever owned any of them, please do share your two cents with the rest of us.