There’s a love song in ‘Guys and Dolls’ that goes ‘I’ll know when my love comes along, I’ll know even then.” and I thought of that while I was sampling Gallivant’s Tel Aviv. You see, I just wrote about another Gallivant scent, Brooklyn, and even though I liked it, and it was very nice, I felt like I didn’t have an emotional connection to the scent. Talk about a night and day difference with Tel Aviv. Mere seconds after sniffing it, I knew that Tel Aviv would be a fragrance that would be part of my wardrobe. I knew, right there and then, that I had already fallen in love with this scent.and even though this bottle is not in my collection yet, I know at some point I will hold it in my hand and it will fit in squarely with all my other perfumes.
It was love at first sniff – the jasmine and ylang ylang together, with the blackberry buds and clementine to put a nice rounding citrus circle around it. and there’s musk in the dry down. It’s very 70s, as aptly described by the brand, evoking gold jewelry on tanned skin. It feels weathered, like you have been wearing it since yesterday, and still settling nicely on your skin. The base where musks join in just frames the whole perfume nicely, and the smell does feel like a painting fully formed. It feels like a summer day, and it would probably be gorgeous on a cold winter day as well. This will be mine.
When I first sniffed ‘Brooklyn’ by Gallivant months ago, it was in the middle of me testing different scents while I was at Scent Bar, so it got kind of lost in the shuffle. But as I read more about the brand, I found a lot of things to like about the whole concept, so I made a mental note to retry the scents when given a chance. I learned that the brand was founded by Nick Steward, who was a Creative Director for L’Artisan Parfemeurs, and I certainly like the idea of scent and travel together – whenever I go on vacation, I buy a perfume to remember the trip by. I decided I really should have Gallivant represented in my wardrobe. And I do look the fact that the line comes in price-point friendly 1 oz bottles.
Right now I am wearing ‘Brooklyn’ from the line, and this was highly recommended by the folks over at Lucky Scent. This is a citrus based scent, with a little more to it. It opens with a lemnoy-limey-accord and is very light and pleasant. I like the fact that it is light but it is not fleeting – it certainly stays with you. I hints of florals here – a rooty iris, a watery magnolia – and they add weight to the citrus ‘base’ going on here. And then the scent stays there. The drydown I get is that mix, and it is …. nice. It stays pretty close to the skin and doesn’t scream. It’s subtle but you can tell there’s intelligence behind how it was made. But I ask myself – is nice enough? At its price point, it certainly isn’t the biggest risk in the world, but I think I am getting to the point now that nice may not be enough to be included in my wardrobe. I think I have to have an emotional connection to the scent, and right now, I don’t really have that with Brooklyn.
Interestingly enough, I also got a sample for a friend who is a big fan of citrusy scents, and when he put it on he said, “I hate it,” and he says there is that note in there that he absolutely despises – I think it’s the iris.
So I don’t think this is going to be the Galivant for me yet.
I was watching a video interview with Anna Wintour recently where she was asked her favorite flower, and without skipping a beat, she said tuberose. Well, that’s one thing I have in common with Ms. Wintour, I told myself, although I don;t know if I could classify it as my favorite, it is certainly up there. I always say that in recent years, I have developed a real fondness in white florals – both in the rel sense, and in perfumes.
So, in theory I should like Atelier Cologne’s Cafe Tuberosa. First, I love most of this brand’s releases in varying degrees, from like (any of the Cedrats) to love (Pomelo Paradis) And the notes description certainly intrigued me: Coffee and tuberose. Sadly, though, I think this is the first time that an Atelier release totally did not work for me.
And I gave it two chances. The first time I tried this I was at Luckyscent, and it was a ho-ish day, and the perfume felt heavy and cloying. All I could smell was heavy coffee with something so sweet – vanilla extract. At that time, I blamed it on the temperature, thinking this is probably a scent suited for colder days.
So today, a 6o degree day, I tried it again, and I still felt the same way. The coffee was a bit on the heavy dark side, but something made it feel too heavy -the coffee I did not mind, but there comes a sweet concoction of vanilla, and cocoa that just sits there, and this is scent that felt like it weighed a ton. It sits there, and assaults you, and I made a ‘mistake’ of spraying generously that it stayed with me for hours and hours. It felt like torture. I have never really been a fan of overly sweet scents, and this is as sweet (and heavy) as it gets. This is really a big thumbs down for me, my first ever for Atelier Cologne.
When I first tried Byredo’s latest release, Velvet Haze, I fell in love with it. I knew that it was a 60s based patchouli scent, and I somehow internalized that, and from what I remembered, it gave a smooth classy patchouli vibe. I even mentally put it on my Christmas Wish List, and I even said well let me wait for Barney’s Christmas bag and I will buy it when that offer comes, which does around November.
But tonight, I spritzed the generous sample that I got after my nightly shower. I usually wear new perfume then, as it is when I have a clear palette, and I can look at perfume more objectively. Tonight I get that ‘coconut water’ note clearer, and I kind of like it – it’s summery, and just a little nutty. And I did notice the patchouli note coming in, and it is nice and smooth, and I thought to myself: why bother?
This time around, I wasn’t too impressed by Velvet Haze – it came across as a skin scent, kind of weak, and much too ‘nothing.’ It did not scream perfume to me, and I like to wear my perfume – I like to smell it when I move, I like a little bit of sillage to leave behind. I have read reviews that liken Velvet Haze to Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, and I see the comparison, but Lovely performs better, and the trail that Lovely leaves is quite lovely. Velvet Haze just whimpers, till it fades to that generic musky blah of nothing.
Maybe I need to give myself a two-wearing rule when I sample new scents, as I think I would have been disappointed had I gotten it. And the good news I guess – this gets scratched from my Christmas list in favor of more of what I really want.
Addendum: Okay, so perhaps I was wrong about the drydown. i realize that it has a neon-like patchouli drydown and it is actually quite nice. Hmmm…
Still checking out my Derek Lam 10 Crosby Street samples. This time, I am testing 2 AM Kiss. In my mind, i am wondering if this is somewhat related to Sean John’s 3 AM cologne, with the tagline that says everything that’s good happens at 3 am. But for old folks like me, 2 am seems to indicate more the time we need to pee. Joking aside, of all the Derek Lam bottles, this is the one that’s colored ‘lipstick red,’ so of course it is one of the few ones that appealed to me – could a Monday scent be forthcoming here?
2 AM Kiss opens with caramel – not too sweet, there’s a bit of salt to keep on from not being too cloying. I smell a fruit note, too – a berry something, perhaps raspberry? Or am I just projecting the red juice with a red fruit? It’s not too bad, though a bit off putting, as a wave of amber sweeps in and sits on top of the salted caramel. And then it just sits there, and this does nothing else. It’s certainly not a cookie-cutter scent, but it is also weird. Does it want a sweet vibe (this is not the same caramel of Prada Candy) or is it an amber based perfume (the amber here is pretty generic)
I don’t get to contemplate on it much more, as it slowly disappears on my skin, and I am left with a generic amber base. I wish it projected some kind of personality for me, but it is not saying something specific – a loud sweet noise that is overwhelmed by the amber.
There’s so many new perfume lines that come out that one can never keep track anymore. Derek Lam’s 10 Crosby Street line spurt, for me, out of nowhere. I had never heard of it and then suddenly it was everywhere, at Nordstrom, even at Sephora. I take one look, and think to myself, well they have some cajunes to release ten fragrances all at once. Looking at bottles and the corresponding notes make me dizzy – can you imagine how a normal shopper can look at it and not feel overwhelmed? I remember a Nordstrom SA asking me which ones I wanted samples of, and I just randomly chose some, based on the names.
Right now I am sampling Rainy Day (the green juiced one) and again I spritzed judging on the name – it’s a nice lazy afternoon and I wanted something soothing, so I said, why not sample the one based on rain? Yes, this scent is really reminiscent of something green and aquatic – it only apparently has two notes – vetiver and neroli. The vetiver is of the smoothest and strained variety, and the neroli as well. The effect smells pure and watery, and yes it is very soothing. I like it, to be honest, although it did remind me of something – of something from Bath and Body Works. Derek Lam’s has better quality ingredients, but I did a simple Google of this, and guess what – a lot of people are saying it is very similar to BBW’s Dancing Waters, and guess what again? I have Dancing Waters on my shower gel roatation right now, so no wonder I liked this a lot. Just think – a 50 ml bottle of Derek lam costs $85, while the BBW version is less than ten. I think I will be satisfied with my cheap thrills there.
I am still on a Tom Ford kick, still on a ‘high,’ about it. So as to not lose the high, I opted to spray one of his newer releases. ‘Oud Minerale.’ I got a free 10 ML of this from my Tom Ford SA at Nordstrom, because she said it was a very interesting release and she was sure I would love it. That got me doubly excited about it.
Tom Ford does marine aquatic in Oud Minerale, and it is most unique in the most Tom Ford way. The first burst of spritz? It smelled like – the sea. Like the actual sea – the sea water, the seaweeds, the salty scent of it all . And it almost made me puke. It reminded me of a fishy smell, and maybe because I just had grilled fish for dinner? This actually churned my stomach a bit, and it stayed that way on my skin. Could it be that there is now, finally, a Tom Ford Private Collection release that I despise?
I gave it a little more time, and my disappointment did not dissipate. As a collector, I see its value – a scent that will probably polarize people and I really should include it on my wardrobe. But, in all honestly, I cannot see myself wearing this. The initial fishy smell gave way to a fishy smell with warm woords (the oud, synthetic smelling here) It’s akin to putting fish on velvet – nicer presentation but still fish. I am close to trying to scrub this off my skin.