Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino is really, essentially, just an eau de cologne. It smells like your basic toilet water version that’s been done enough and well before. So what’s makes this Tom Ford creation special? Is it the abundance of neroli that creeps up on you after the drydown? Perhaps it is, but there’s something very bright, sprightly, citrusy thing here that is very joyful. There’s a yellow in the greens, and the repackaged blue Tom Ford signature bottle just exudes freshness, cleanliness, a splash of cool water in the summer heat. While I experience triple digit temperatures in the desert right now, I find myself always reaching for this. Somehow I feel like the sun is not as harsh, the heat not as blazing. I am and have always been a victim of marketing.
I sometimes forget that the Gucci house makes good performances (well, sometimes) and I also forgot you can get some great perfumes at the men’s department store counter. Put those two sentences together and I am delighted to write that Gucci’s newest men’s scent, Gucci Guilty Absolute is a complete knockout. It’s quirky and unique, and I think very accessible, though I have read that it has incited polarizing reactions.
It’s a very woods-centric fragrances – as it starts with very dry woods – a dark resinous forest with hints of a hospital ward tainted with a hot of whiskey. And then some vetiver comes in, but the dark moody kind – inky and dank. But it all comes together in a surprisingly light way. Here I am right now, with three digit temperatures, but it never feels overwhelming. It’s heady but not headache inducing. Alberto Morillo signed this fragrance with Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele and I bet this doesn’t stay long out there. It’s not mainstream enough and some people have even described it as something that smells like Band-Aid. But it has gotten almost unanimous raves from perfumistas everywhere, and I am scared that that would seal its doom. I haven’t kept track of every single release this year, but Gucci Guilty Absolute would be tough to beat as the year’s best men’s department store fragrance. This is the perfect scent to pick up at Duty Free, and I am traveling soon so it would be safe to assume a bottle would be mine soon. Very soon.
I know Hanae Mori scents have a lot of fans among perfumistas. The female HM is a favorite of one of my friends, and I have smelled it on her numerous times. I keep on telling myself that one of these days I will pick it up. Yesterday, while looking through my samples, I saw that I have a sample of HiM by Hanae Morie, so made a mental note to give it a proper full-day wearing.
It’s nice. Very nice, as a matter of fact. The notes – lavender, amber, black currant, vanilla – intermingle well together, and is mixed pretty well. This is one of those scents that have a different highlighted note with each sniff – at times it is very sweet, on other times you get the cashmere feel of amber. I wished I loved it, but I just don’t – it smells kind of similar to a lot of scents at the mens fragrance counter at Macy*s. It would be mice to own – heavy enough for winter, not too light for summer – and I am sure it can be found cheap at discount retailers, but I am not rushing. I may even forget.
I moved my fragrance collection around recently and my Serge Lutens collection got separated from her brothers and sisters. I don’t know why, but I don’t reach to use them more, when I love most of the collection. I was thinking of that last night and told myself that today I will be wearing something from Papa Serge.
It was already warm this morning and I tried to search for something not too spicy, and after a couple of sniffs, settled on Cedre. Honestly, I have not worn this in a long while, and I thought to myself, well woodsy won’t be too bad.
Cedre is still too spicy for a hot day. I smell, just like a lot of Lutens fragrances, stewed fruit. Apple, maybe? I researched the notes and this is what I get: tuberose, cloves, cinnamon, amber, musk, and cedar. So perhaps it is the amber I am getting. I wish I got more of the tuberose but here I am a couple of hours into wearing it and I only get the spices. It’s not unpleasant, but perhaps I should wait on a cold day to fully realize the fragrance. With the heat, I smell generic Lutens.
It looks like summer will be here very soon, and it makes me think of the beach. I love bodies of water, and I crave it more now that I live in the desert. I was at Sephora and here they had all the ‘beach’ scents front and centre, and they are prominently featuring ‘Beach Walk’ by Maison Martin Margeila. I remember sniffing this a while back, and perhaps I was unimpressed because I remember nothing about it besides the fact it is a beach scent.
It is, and a very ordinary one. You can tell that the it’s done well, it’s blended perfectly and the listed notes – bergamot, pink pepper, ylang ylang, coconut milk, musk, cedarwood, benzoin – sound interesting on paper. It’s supposedly inspired by ” a walk in Corsican beach in 1972,” and I ask why that year? What do I smell? I get basic suntan lotion with a kind of baby-powder accord. It smells good, and it lasts long, and I like it, but I ask: Is that all there is to this. Priced at $160, I wish it had something more. I can think of a number of beach scents at a fraction of that price, and some of them are a lot more interesting. Just the other day I was raving about ‘At The Beach’ from Bath & Body Works. I dare say that is even more interesting that this. Perhaps I should write about that.
London has been on my mind lately. I just bought my plane tickets for my yearly big vacation, and it looks like I will be passing by London again this year, in July. So today I wore Apuldre, by Molton Brown. This brand makes Black Pepper shower gel, and it is my favorite shower gel of all time. Years ago, I was in London and the brand was launching a line of fragrances, called ‘Navigations Through Scents,’ which is a series of perfumes that represent different parts of the world. One of them spoke to me instantly: Apuldre. And big surprise why it did – first of all, it is the one that represented London, and secondly, this is the scent that most resembled the black pepper shower gel (In fact, they layer marvelously together)
Apuldre is peppery vetiver. Meant to evoke the British countryside, the notes say juniper berrys, dried leaves, and gin and tonic, among other things. But all you need to know is that it is the smell of green leaves with pepper. I know that on paper it does not sound like the most appealing fragrance on earth, but I swear once you sniff it, you will be hooked. If you like pepper on your fragrances, you will be hooked at first sniff. It was a hot day at the desert today, and even though you would think this is the last fragrance to put on, I found its warmness a perfect antidote to indoor air conditioning. My only complaint is that the scent does not last, but overspray and you will be fine.
I remember buying this in London at the Molton Brown store near Oxford Street, and I am suddenly excited about what scent will represent my 2017 trip.
I am a jasmine-oholic. Whenever I chance upon a jasmine scent, i always at least sample it. A while back, I got The Body Shop’s Indian Night Jasmine Eau de Toilette when they had it on a clearance rack, and I quickly filed it, never used it, never even sniffed it. And yesterday, while looking through my bottles, saw it, and spritzed it for the day. According to their website blurb, this fragrance was “inspired by a moonlit night in a Mughal garden,” and how exotic does that sound, right? Since this is, in reality, a ‘cheapie,’ I wasn’t expecting much. But shouldn’t I? I mean, Diane Von Furstenberg’s ‘Tatiana’ is a wonderful drug store scent, although I really I have not sniffed the current reformulation of it.
But this one, though – it’s just bad. The initial burst is jasmine-ish, but more on the chemical cheap kind. It very quickly dissolves into the base – and what is it – a generic sandalwood base musk, not unlike a men’s departments store ‘sport’ cologne. I have seen a lot of people complain about the longevity of this, but let me tell you, it’s been hours and I still smell this generic base. You would never have thought this was a floral scent. So, essentially, FAIL!