Sea Candy (Perfume Thoughts, Riva Solari, Bvlgari Allegra Collection)

Bvlgari’s Allegra’ collection is a series of scents expressing ‘Italian emotions,’ and I had a chance to sample ons of them, ‘Riva Solari,’ and the fragrance is meant to evoke a boat ride on the Mediterranean. I have always liked the Bvlgari house, and always thought their perfumes have a distinct and unique character.

This isn’t bad, if a bit slight and colorless. It is a powdery citrus, and is pleasant, but in my opinion lacks a distinct character. It also has a slightly salty feel (probably the sea reference)but kinda faintly sweet the same time. I think faint is the big takeaway here – there is very little projection from it, thought the fragrance lasted a long time (I did use the whole sample though)

All in all, it’s on the unremarkable side. I do like the candy bottle though.

Dewy Barbershop (Perfume Thoughts: Lavande Romaine, Perris)

I don’t write about Perris that much. I don’t even think I have anything from their house. But for some reason, I was looking through my samples and found I have one from them, of Lavande Romaine. I think it is from one of my Scent Bar visits. The scent is by Jean Claude Ellena, and it is a classic Ellena – watery, transparent, very original. It basically centers on two notes: lavender and black currant. When I first spritzed it, my first reaction was: ‘this smells juicy.’ I love the sweet and tart combination of the black currant note (L’ombre dans l’eau is one of my all time favorites) and the mix here is quite original. This smells like a dewy barbershop. It’s interesting. But.. this is just so fleeting on my skin. It did not even last an hour on me – a lot of Ellena’s creations do that on my skin. I find I have to douse myself with it to capture its full intensity.

Not My Way (Perfume Thoughts: My Way, Giorgio Armani)

Out of Sinatra’s musical canon, ‘My Way’ is my least favorite, and that is part of the reason I really was looking forward to sampling Giorgio Armani’s ‘My Way.’ The song is just too saccharine and weepy. So of course the perfume that takes its name is a sweet syrupy mess. Wow, at first blast, this is just synthetic sweet. I am looking at the notes and it is saying that the main note is tuberose, but on my skin, it’s just a sweet berry. It’s sweet candy – I have seen it described as smelling like gummy bears – and it smells, well, the only word I could think of is cheap. Armani is such an elegant (almost conservative) house so I was actually surprised how screechy this smells, akin to a drug store brand. This smells generic and mediocre and really, I don’t want to know the person who wants to wear this. So yes, this is a big flat NO for me.

Fresh Frankincense (Perfume Thoughts: Paris-Edimbourg, Chanel)

I really do like Chanel’s Les Eaux collection, which is a set of olfactory experience from Coco Chanel’s life travels. I think they are perfect if you want ‘lighter’ scents, and when I am in the mood for. something like that (though not always) it is a great luxurious way to mist yourself. I recently got a sample of Paris-Edimbourg and on a perfect summer day it’s a fresh scent that’s interesting and not run of the mill.

Paris-Edimbourg is the route Chanel used to take when she was with the Duke of Westminster and is a rugged castle in Scotland. The scent translates to some fresh resinous notes – icy juniper and cypress. It smells of wet green forest. And there is a whole underlying tone of frankincense. I always associate incense with dark and warm notes but here the effect when mixed with the greens is…clean. It feels like a fresh shower and is perfect after such. It’s herbaceous but clean and powdery. It is a very unique take on the ‘fresh’ scent, something I normally get bored with.

It’s light, though. I think I have ot probably refresh it a couple of times a day if I want to wear it like I wear my scents. But… I like.

Shoulder Pad Scent (Perfume Thoughts: Bon Monsieur, Rogue)

It’s Memorial Day weekend and I am in Las Vegas visiting family. It’s hot in here right now, like triple digit hot, and usually I would just do regular colognes, but I figured I would wear something that is a little bit of a coolant, so I brought with me my sample of Bon Monsieur, by Rogue Perfumery.

It’s a blast of cold air on repeat, with its lavender and mint notes. There are some florals here too – ylang ylang and carnation – but the star here is the lavender note. It’s not your usual watered down lavender. This one is raw and rooty and it feels different somehow.

A lot of writeups about Rogue mention how its nose, Manuel Cross, does fragrance that are reminiscent of vintage ones. This one has big shoulder pads in them – it’s very 80s powerhouse mens scent, but there’s something about this that also feels modern and not too synthetic-smelling.

I like this a lot. I don ‘t know if it is something I would buy, but I can enjoy it while I am wearing it now.

Plain Jane (Perfume Thoughts: Vanilla Vibes, Juliette Has A Gun)

I find Juliette Has A Gun’s later releases to be good solid uncomplicated perfumes. There was a time when everything they released was centered around the rose note, but obviously they have evolved. Vanilla Vibes is exactly like that – a plain jane vanilla of a fragrance. It’s a nice vanilla bean note – not gourmand and nothing too syrupy. And while I associate vanilla with heavier fragrances, this one is summery, with hints of coconut, and a little bit of that suntan lotion note. It’s not my most favorite thing in the world, but unlike other vanilla-centric scents that give me a headache, this one was at least tolerable…and wearable.

Lush Lilac (Perfume Thoughts: A Drop d’issey, Issey Miyake)

I was randomly reading about Issey Miyake’s new fragrance, A drop d’issey and the article mentioned that the scent reminded them of Olivia Giacobetti’s En Passant, and that suddenly caught my attention. En Passant is easily one of my favorite perfumes of all time so I know I would like anything that is a shadow of it. Well, I love this, and I may have to break my no-buy pledge for a full bottle. This is a beautiful summer floral, featuring a watery lilac note. There aren’t a lot of lilac scents out there, and this one is particularly well-done, like a bright water color painting. I can see why people are comparing it to En Passant, and while both share a lilac accord, Giacobetti’s masterpiece is more artsy and contemplative. This scent is brighter, cheerier, and yes, a more commercial version of the same idea. There is nothing wrong with either, and each has a specific place in my wardrobe.  A drop d’issey is a summer coolant that will invigorate and refresh.

Grow A Pear (Perfume Thoughts: Pear Inc., Juliette Has A Gun)

Juliette Has A Gun’s Pier Inc. is exactly what you think it smells – like a pear. It’s just a pear note, and it’s an accurate reproduction of what the fruit smells like. There is not much nuance and imagination to it, but do we really need that all of the time?

Yes, we do. While this is an inoffensive fragrance, it’s also quite meh. There’s nothing wrong with it, but the house is a niche brand, and this smells almost cheap, like something from the drug store or Bath & Body Works. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but with the bottle’s price points, I want more.

With that said, I am sure this appeals to a certain kind of market, and I don’t even mind wearing it on a hot summer day.

A Mix of Mix (Perfume Thoughts” Mixed Emotions, Byredo)

Byredo’s scents may not always work, but you can be assured they will always be interesting. I wore their new release, Mixed Emotion, today, and the first word that came to my mind if I were to describe it? Odd.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing in my book. This is a scent that challenges, but at the same time gives a unique kind of pleasure for me. It’s a tea scent – Mate – and that note permeates the whole time you are wearing this. Combined with a very dry black currant, the mix is unusual, and at times it could be baffling, but I found myself sniffing my arm numerous times to get a whiff of it again and again.

This got me thinking that nowadays, a scent has to wow me for me to want a full bottle of it. Most times I like something upon sampling, but tell myself later on that I can live without it. This… makes me think, it makes me contemplate. It’s definitely unique, I will give it that, and for some reason I am particularly drawn tot his. But, in the end, would I want this in my wardrobe? I find I have so many scents that I am just wanting to finish. I think now I want perfumes that continually interest me, will keep me engaged even after a couple of wearings. I have mixed emotions about Mixed Emotions, and maybe that’s the point.

Yellow Rose (Perfume Thoughts: Born in Roma Yellow Dream, Valentino)

I bought something at Macy’s the other day and to my surprise, I found a sample vial of Valentino Born In Roma Yellow Dream in my bag. Mind you, I don’t think I have even smelled the original Valentino Born In Roma so have nothing to base this flanker on.

Based on the promotional material of this scent, the perfume only has three notes: lemon, rose, and white musk. And that’s a good sign for me – nothing extraneous, no bullcrap notes on paper. And for the most part, the scent delivers just that.

A big lemon blast opens upon spray. It’s a little on the synthetic side, but not the wort thing. Then a big bouquet of roses blooms, and it’s the fresh dewy kind. And that is basically it. the drydown is still a white-musk rose.

I honestly don’t mind it, but then again I have been on a rose kick lately.. It certainly feels ‘yellow’ with the citrus element in there. It’s an inoffensive, kinda boring scent, but it is also not as bad as it could have been. It skews more sporty, but with just the right touch of floral, and is perfect, say for running around grocery shopping on a Saturday morning. It’s a nice mid-weight summer scent.