I Have Been Here Before (Perfume Thoughts: Explorer, Mont Blanc)

o.85444On the cardboard thingie holding my sample of Mont Blanc’s ‘Explorer,’ there is a blurb describing the scent. The copy says: ” Mont blanc Explorer is an invitation to a fantastic journey, an irresistible call to adventure.’  Sounds good, right? Since we cannot travel right now, sounds like this is the next best thing, right? So I spritz and I wait for magic to happen.  Explorer has notes of Italian Bergamot and Haitian Veitver, and Patchouli from Sulawesi. then how come it smells like I went to a department store in the Valley? This is a freshie, and sure that’s fine, bit it doesn’t take me anywhere. There’s is nothing terribly wrong with this scent – it has nice longevity and sillage – but you kind of have to ask – what differentiates it? I read on Fragrantica that three – count em, three – noses collaborated on this scent. It smells so familiar and generic, and boring that they need not have bothered.

The Deep Blue Sea (Perfume Thoughts: Polo Deep Blue, Polo Ralph Lauren)

375x500.59650I don’t know what I was expecting when I tried a sample of Polo Deep Blue. Maybe I had high hopes because once upon a time, decades ago, I wore the original Polo green bottle almost everyday. But I can’t remember the last time a Polo fragrance impressed me – I think I like the coffee note in Polo Red but that’s about it. Polo Deep Blue is exactly what you think if would be – an aquatic aromatic fragrance. I see the top notes listed as mango ang grapefruit, and if they were there they must have been fleeting because what I get here is just the boring middle notes – generic woodsy citrusy notes that are everywhere in designers’ men fragrance. They are so basic and interchangeable, and this smells like any other mens fragrance out there. This has no unique personality whatsoever. I gotta say, though, it is strong – the sillage is enormous – I kind of felt bad for my Uber driver this morning.

Lingering In Provence (Perfume Thoughts: Bucoliques de Provence, L’Artisan Parfemeur)

375x500.37737For me, L’Artisan Parfemeur *was* niche, before niche exploded. When I first discovered it more than a decade ago, the idea of the brand seemed decadent and wild, and I devoured everything about it. I started collecting as much as I can – Dzing! will always have a place in my wardrobe  – and maybe I don’t pay as much attention to it now as I should I still have tons of their stuff (some in their old original bottles) but I find I never reach for them. Last year, when they had their annual sale, they were almost giving away Bucoliques de Provence. I grabbed it, without really knowing anything about it. I assumed it was a floral, based on the label on the bottle.

So when I finally got it and opened it, I spritzed. My first reaction? It was very old school L’Artisan. It is nice and soft, and very unique. It envelopes you. I read later that it is a tribute to Provence, so obviously this would have lavender. But it is not the barber shop lavender we know – this is quite sharp. It is enhanced by a dry paper-y iris, and the combination is exquisite. There is some suede to round it up, giving this light floral heft – this one does not go away quickly.

My verdict – I like it a lot. I wonder how it projects, though. I feel it’s a skin scent, so intimate and personal, but i bet it lingers. It’s also probably discontinued, so I should savor it.

The High Citrus (Perfume Thoughts: Elysium, Roja)

375x500.46296Roja Elysium, it cannot be denied, is a great scent. It’s an aromatic citrus, and the grapefruit heart is very appealing. And if you are one of those people who likes their scent fresh and ‘masculine’ smelling, then this one is definitely for you. The quality of the fragrance is stellar, and on my skin, it’s a nice skin scent, quiet but effective.

But it’s not for me, for a couple of different reasons. First, the price is astronomical. Second, I don’t see anything unique in here that warrants that price. I can think of ten other masculine-leaning fragrances at my local Macy’s that would not be dissimilar to this scent. And I am a practical Virgo, so if I were to bang the buck for anything, it better knock my socks off.

Pump Up The Jam (Perfume Thoughts: Rose Jam, Lush)

01647Anyone who knows me also knows that I love rose scents, so it should be a given that I would like Lush’s Rose Jam.  And I do. I remember as time when this used to be seasonal, that Lush only sells these during winter time. But I think that has changed now, and they sell it year round. I remember hoarding the shower gels, and using them sparingly, saving them for times when I would want to feel especially..lush. But to be honest, it’s been a while since I have had the shower gel (making mental note to buy some) until IK realized that I had a generous decant of the perfume in my stash. I don’t even remember how I got this – I remember someone gifting it to me. So on a nice day like today I figured why not wear it?

And it’s as beautiful as I remember it. The best thing about ‘Rose Jam’ is the sticky jammy rose. It’s nice and heavy, with hints of vanilla and lemon. And it is so yummy that you may feel like spreading it over toast.  From Lush’s website: “Every year, Lush buyers visit the Turkish farm where our roses are harvested and enjoy a massive feast, complete with the matriarch’s homemade rose jam”. I think that description is perfect!

The Promise of Spring Flowers (Perfume Thoughts: Elixir, Roja Dove)

990659425Ah, the house of Roja Dove. To me, it is the modern day equivalent of Creed. This house makes very nice perfumes, and they are very expensive. I don’t think I have ever written about a scent from this house before, because… I can’t even bother. At $300 (and higher) a bottle, I cannot justify the price. I have to love something so much for me to pay that price, and the one or two scents of theirs I have sniffed have not made me feel that way. But here we are. Neiman Marcus sent me a sample of their newest fragrance, ‘Elixir,’ and since we don’t go out anymore, I might as well sample the scent on a random Wednesday night.

It is beautiful – a bright floral. It has a rose heart and some fruits on top – peach and raspberry I think. Then a bunch of flowers join the party – I get some violets and lily of the valley among others. It doesn’t matter. It is expertly blended and this is one of those springy perfumes – it sings and soars. I can see people wearing this to Easter Services and brunch afterwards. Do I like it? Yes, very much so. Am I in love with it? Well, yes, but I do not love it enough to pay for its price. I mean, it’s a fruity floral – a gorgeous one, but for three hundred smackaroos I want my perfume to do a song and dance. So… no sale.

Tom Ford Knows My Address (Scent Thoughts: Beau du Jour, Tom Ford)

o.89178They say lavender is one of the most soothing ‘smells’ and during these times, it is what a lot of ‘sense’ people recommend we sniff to make us calm. With all that is happening in teh world today, I couldn’t help hut test its effectiveness and pulled out my sample of Tom Ford’s Beau de Jour. I remember coming home one night and opening the mail box to find that Tom Ford has sent me a sample of his new release. But of course, perfumistas know that this is not a new release at all – this has been in his Private Collection since 2012 and I remember sniffing it then and not caring for it – I am not the   biggest fans of lavender scents in general – the barbershop aesthetic doesn’t appeal that much to me. I feel it is much overused in men’s colognes, and the lavender perfumes that interest me are the ones that give the note a do-over. One small aside – I wonder what possessed Tom Ford to send me a sample? I mean, does he know the addresses of all perfume lovers and send them unsolicited samples?

The verdict – I still am not in love with this scent. I do have to say that it smells a little more elevated than all the other generic lavender scents out there, but only slightly so. This lavender is enhanced with mint, making it smell fougere-like. It is very aromatic, and it has great tenacious sillage and longevity, but overall I am still bored by it. I imagine it would work best if you are wearing a suit, and maybe for a woek related event it could suit me, but if I don’t ever smell it again, I would live.

Galbanised (Perfume Thoughts: Tokyo Bloom, The Different Company)

375xtoky500.14838It was cold and dreary this morning, and I wanted to wear a scent to match my mood. And since I couldn’t decide, I went to my stash of samples to just blindly wear anything. I saw a vial of The Different Company’s Tokyo Bloom and decided to go for that. I figured a nice floral would always be a pick me up. Well, as I spritzed, I realize that this bloom id not a floral in the ‘traditional’ sense. What I first got was galbanum, and it is one of my favorite notes. I love it in Mugler by Thierry Mugler (a nice cheap-ish version of it) and I like it even better in Maison Margiela Untitled – this was when Margiela did interesting perfumes instead of the Replica stuff. I like galbanum a lot because it is citrus with a bit of an edge, and the warm earthy tones make it feel alive. In Tokyo Bloom, we see taht intermingled with sweet basil leaves, and the dandelion flower. I think this is a nice spicy floral but also kind of sweet and tender. On a rainy day like today. it’s the perfect match. One thing I noticed, though: the sillage is faint. I keep on trying to sniff my wrist just tp get a whiff of it. Also, I see that this was launched in 2012 but I see it under the new releases. I wonder if this got re-issued and/or reformulated?

Pear, Safely (Perfume Thoughts: Angelys Pear, Nicolai Parfumeur)

Nicolai-Angelys-PearAngelys Pear, I suspect, was developed by Nicolai as a ‘follow up’ to Fig Tea, which I hear is their biggest seller. It gives the same vibe – a fruity floral that will appeal to a lot of people. A lot of designer fruity florals have the pear note, but you can tell that the quality of the pear in this creation is a lot better – you can sense the juiciness and vibrancy of it in this perfume. The citrusy opening is very fizzy, it has a champagne-like vibe. I like this a lot more than Fig tea, because for some reason the latter one gets so lost in my skin. Angelys Pear is not the most original thing in the world, but as far as fruity florals go, I like it a lot. I can see myself wearing it to the office, and on those days when I can’t decide what to wear, it will be a nice ‘safe’ choice.

Spray And Figedahboutit (Perfume thoughts: Fig Tea, Nicolai)

30ml-Twisted-Lily-500x500Someone at Luckyscent told me that Fig tea ia Parfum de Nicolai’s biggest seller.  It’s easy to see why. I don’t know why it took me so long to sample this (this came out in 2007) but I did, and I instantly love it. I have always loved tea scents, and the fig combo here makes it equally appealing – it’s a sweet, ripe fig here, and combined with the earthy mate tea, the effect is bright, and unique. It’s so interesting for me because one sniff and I get the tea, and seconds later I get something totally different. It’s the perfect office scent for me – unassuming and still perfumista approved. We had one of our clients accost me the other day and wanted me to write the name of the scent for her (I don’t know how I feel about that, honestly)  My only complaint – at times my nose gets used to it I feel like I am not smelling anything anymore. I don’t know if it’s poor longevity because it makes me want to spray again.