Still Orange Flowers (Perfume Thoughts, APOM Pour Homme, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris)

375x500.6806I was interested in trying Francis Kurkdjian’s APOM Pour Homme because from what I have been reading, it is very similar to Kurkdjian’s Fleur de Male, which I think is his masterpiece. I love orange flower as a note, so it has to be a win-win situation whether it is or not. And when I spritzed this, that very familiar orange flower note welcomes – it really is his signature note, isn’t it?

The blast is pretty strong, and it is mixed with some woods (I am being told it is cedar) and then, on my skin, it just stays that way. On this warm day, it really does not turn powdery. On me, it is quite linear. I mean, it’s beautiful. but it really does not do anything else. Perhaps it is the heat and humidity that is making it act this way. Yes, I do like it, but with Maison Francis Kurkdjian price points, is it asking too much for it to do more?

Oh My Love Is Red Red Red (Perfume Thoughts: Graine de Joie, Eau D’Italie)

375x500.24702I believe in the feng shui of wearing red on Mondays, and that extends to my scent – I always wear something from a red bottle and/or red juice. So I am always on the lookout for red-centric scents. I saw a sample of Eau d’Italie’s Graine de Joie from my stash and loved it instantly, and then I realized that it had a red bottle, so I was doubly excited. Plus, it smalls so ‘red.’ I get berries and pomegranate, and this is a nice juicy pomegranate with just the right amount of bitterness to not make it smell too sweet. The top has some fizz, akin to boozy champagne, and really, this perfume just makes me smile, and puts me in a great mood. I would imagine wearing this first thing Monday morning and it would immediately put me in a good mood. So, yeah, this goes directly on top of my want list. (And yes, I am writing this on the first day of the month so I am excited)

The Russian Collusion (Perfume Thoughts: Aleksandr, Arquiste)

375x500.14376I remember when the Arquiste line first came out, I was still living in New York then, and it was heavily hyped at Aedes, where I used to go all the time. I know I bought one, ‘Flor y Canto,’  and loved it. I have had a lot of samples over the years, and have been too ‘scared’ to try them for fear I will want them right away. So as I rummage through my bin, I am chancing upon some of the scents from the line.

Today I am wearing ‘Aleksandr,’ and this was one is based/inspired by the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. I know that they probably have an explanation somewhere on how the two are related. To me, though, the big note here is violet, the dry almost gin-like kind. It skews quite masculine for me, but that may also be because I associate violet with more masculine scents. There is a leather note here that gives it a little heaviness and neroli to balance that. This is a well-balanced perfume, and is very timid. I don’t get a lot of projection (And I put a lot on) but every now and then I sniff it when I move my hands. All in all, a nice scent but probably not full-bottle worthy for me because of its price. I can probably get something similar for a lot less.

Cold Comfort (Perfume Thoughts: Berlin, Gallivant)

375x500.47285I think I have now decided that I really love the Gallivant line – they make light and interesting perfumes, and I just agree with their artistic direction, and the world traveler in me is just shipping on the idea. I’ve written about most of them, and today I am wearing Berlin, and I think this is one of my favorites.

Berlin opens with a citrus blend – and it’s soft and whispery (but not weak) I get some oranges, but of the sweeter variety (clementine, maybe) There is a hint of grapefruit and lemon, but not bitter at all. Then the heart of the perfume is some tea and some spices, but these spices never overwhelm, they just sweetly pinch you.  Thsi perfume is light – it does’t scream, it doesn’t shout, but it still stays with you – I am impressed by its projection, even as it shows its softness. On a summer day, this will be cold and comforting.

Freshness (Perfume Thoughts: Terre D’Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche, Hermes)

375x500.24060Warmer days are coming, and citrus scents will be back in front. I am now wearing Terre de Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche, the flanker to Terre de Hermes. Signed by Jean Claude Ellena (one of his last for Hermes) this was released about four years ago but I did not pay much attention to it, though I should have because Terre d’HErmes is one of my favorite citrus fragrances of all time. But, to my untrained nose, there isn’t much difference here. I know this is supposed to be a lighter, more ‘watery’ version of the original, but why would you want that? I wear my perfume strong and citrus fragrances are normally weaker anyway. A nose once tweeted that you should never search for a citrus fragrance that lasts hours and hours, because really they do not exist. But I won’t take anything away from Terre d’Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche – this has a nice aromatic orange leaf note that is beautiful, and combined with other citrus notes (grapefruit, mandarin) is the perfect coolant on a hot day. I don’t know if I will want to own a full bottle – regular Terre d’Hermes works just fine, thank you – but if someone gave me a bottle I would be happy.

The Smell Of Summer (Perfume Thoughts: Virgin Island Water, Creed)

375x500.899It’s Summer finally, and feels like it. Here where I live in Los Angeles, it’s very pleasant, and since I am near the beach (only three miles away) I don’t have it as bad.  I’ve been known to love those dark and heavy orientals but I also am a big fan of ‘summer themed’ fragrances.’  If  something smells like the beach or suntan lotion, I am usually drawn to it, like Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess or Bond no 9 Fire Island, just to cite two examples. Since I don’t think I will be having a summer trip this year (just started a new job) I am just going to try recreating it via my scents.

Thank God I found a nice generous sample of Creed’s ‘Virgin Island Water’ in my stash. Yes, I know I am not the biggest fan of Creed in general, but if there was one scent from their line I would love to own, it’s Virgin Island Water. Because, really, it’s like going to the beach. I can sum up the perfume in two words: coconut rum. It’s a nice coconut note with a boozy rum note. That’s all there is to it. Of course there’s more to it – lime, hibiscus, jasmine. But it’s well blended and the coconut and rum dominate it evenly.

And as I wear it now here at my desk job in a high rise building in the city, I can close my eyes and feel like I am at the beach with a drink in my hand, and somehow someway it is good enough.

In Sandals (Perfume Thoughts: Original Santal, Creed)

375x500.473Hidden among my samples: Creed’s ‘Original Santal’  This was released in 2005 and can you believe I never tried it? I have this wary feeling about Creed fragrances – for me, more often than not, they are too expensive for what they are, and also, if you like any of them, you can probably find something similar out there.

I have always loved sandalwood. I remember when I was a kid I used to use the Chinese sandalwood soaps and I felt more mature and sophisticated in my young age. And Original Santal covers sandalwood fairly well. This is a clean, refined, upscale version of sandalwood, and it is mixed with a lot of things – I detect a ginger and orange note, and some lavender (which gives it a masculine touch) I also get some tonka bean, and some cinnamon. It’s pretty well-rounded and of course blended well. (I see it was signed by both Oliver and Erwin Creed)

But I also can’t help but be bored by it. It’s no different by your run-of-the-mill department store fragrance. It’s solid but staid, and has no projection. I know I would never buy it at that price and if I had wanted it, I hear that Individuel by Mont Blanc is a pretty good alternative. I’ll use my sample but I won’t look back.