The Dark Side Of Citrus (Perfume Thoughts: Eau de Citron Noir, Hermes)

375x500.49231I haven’t really followed all of Christine Nagel’s work for Hermes, but Twily has become a minor staple of late, as it is one of the bottles I brought with me when I moved.  Eau de Citron Noir intrigued me because it sounds like a summer scent I would like – a citrus with a little bit of heft. And at first spritz, I liked what I smelled – mostly lime (the black lime) which smelled like a dry citrus. This is no fleeting light citrus, I thought, and perfect because most days I want something heavy. There were hints of mandarin there just to round up the citrus, and I even smell, faint as it is, the promised black tea note.

But it all disappeared and we get this drydown that is all woods and and aquatic. And you know what? It smells like that synthetic dry down that Jo Malone sometimes has, and now I wonder if this is just Nagel repeating herself. It’s not bad – I bet it gets compliments – but it is screechy and fake and I absolutely detest it.

So here I have a conundrum – how do I really feel about this? I love the top notes but hate the drydown. It’s a wedding of extremes. What will finally win out?

Fortified Fortitude (Perfume Thoughts: Fortitude, Robert Graham)

9811504_fpxPlease cry for (with?) me because I am still living off my perfume samples (don’t know when the end will be for that ) but at least I am making some nice discoveries. For example, I didn’t even know that luxury shirt brand Robert Graham had a perfume line. But for sure there is, evidenced by one of my untouched samples from my pile. I didn’t have high hopes for this – I was expecting a run-of-the-mill department store type man’s scent that’s forgettable.

But I was wrong – Robert Graham’s Fortitude is damn well good. It’s a tobacco scent, soaked in boozy bourbon with just hints of vanilla to make it sweet. It’s perfectly blended and has good sillage and longevity. And the materials used seem natural and not chemical smelling. It’s pretty awesome, if you ask me. And I checked the price point on this thing, and it is fair and affordable. And it is ‘obscure’ enough that it will feel personalized – I bet a lot of people won’t know what it is. I am trying to think of something negative about it and can’t come up with any. I am even really contemplating of getting one right now. I mean, it even has a goat cap (though some may think it’s devilish) that would mirror the Penhaligon’s Portrait Edition collection. What’s to lose?

Sweaty Tobacco (Perfume Thoughts: Light My Fire, By Kilian)

375x500.25992I love tobacco-based scents, and for me the best of that bunch is Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille.  But I am always game for something new, somethign different, and going through my samples (still living off them right now) I have been wearing By Kilian’s Light My Fire the past two days.

Well, there’s tobacco alright, and it is the nice ‘clean’ kind. There is patchouli as well but it never takes center stage, only providing edge. On the first blast, there is also a dirty surprise, with cumin mixing in, giving it a slight animalistic flavour. I don’t know if I liked that or not, but it certainly kept me awake and interested. (I am thinking that is a good thing)  It all goes down to a nice spicy ending, and it’s not thoroughly unpleasant.  But, it is very strong and I want to say only appropriate for winter. On this cold Spring day, it felt unnecessarily ‘sweaty.’

Do I like it? Yes, but probably not full bottle worthy.

Wondering Wandering (Perfume Thoughts: Nomade, Chloe)

375x500.48434Well, the good news about Chloe’s new perfume Nomade is that it is not your usual fruity floral. I read that Nomade is supposed to be a dirtier version of the Chloe signature scent, which by the way, I discovered that is a favorite of a lot of people – I know I have smelled it at one point but don’t remember it much so it must not have made a distinct impression on me.

Nomade is a modern chypre, so it starts out citrusy with a oaky woody finish. and that is exactly what it is, with a small hint of plum on top. It is definitely not sweet, focusing more on the tartness of the plum. It’s nice and wearable, and does smell just a tad more different than your usual Sephoa bottle (I did spray from Sephora, by the by)  The perfume is not a home run for me – the drydown is synthetic and generic – but this would make a good office scent, and I bet I will get compliments wearing it.

Beachwear (Perfume Thoughts: Irene Neuwirth for Barney’s New York)

s-l225If there’s a subgenre of perfumes I really dig, it’s the ‘beachy’ scents.  Have something packaged like that, and have it smell like Coppertone, and I am in it. I have been going through all my samples lately (my perfumes are still in storage, with no ETA of when I can get them) and chanced upon Irene Neuwirth for Barneys, from a couple of years back. Neuwirth is a jewelry designer from Los Angeles (so appropo) and her collection, I read, veer to more ocean and beach influence.

Makes sense. The perfume is a straight up beachy floral scent, and I of course love it. Ralf Schwieger is the nose, and the top notes are neroli, ‘water notes,’ and ‘sand.’ I kind of laugh at that, because the base is pure Coppertone, and they are trying to make it sound much snazzier. The floral notes that follow include orange blossom, jasmine, and rose, and they are my three favorite floral notes. So of course these intermingling just makes me so happy. But you know what makes me sad? I am too late to this perfume party that the fragrance has been discontinued. It’s not impossible to get it, but this fact surely makes the perfume infinitely more attractive to me (‘You always want the ones you can’t have’) The hunting starts.

Eau de Outrage (Perfume Thoughts: Outrageous, Frederic Malle)

o.45935Whenever people hear that I love perfume (and collect) more often than not, they always ask me ‘Do you have Frederic Malle?’ The snarky reply would be ‘Of course, any perfumista has,’ but of course I am much nicer than that (most of the time) Truth is, I love Malle perfumes, and for me collecting all of them would be more ‘aspirational’ than anything else because of their price. But sure, I own a couple of bottles and honestly, use them sparingly. I would love to own all of them and use them everyday, but of course, the likelihood of that happening is tiny.

The other side to that equation is that the perfume snob that I am, I now kind of look at the brand with some wary. It has become so popular, every knows about them, people consider it the Hermes bag of perfumes, and frankly, a lot of people wear them. So now I kind of put my nose up on them. But in my heart of hearts, I love them because in the end, they are good perfumes, done well with fantastic ingredients. I mean, you see where your money is going when you purchase a bottle.

Which brings me to Outrageous. This is a collaboration between Malle and Sophia Grojsman, who Malle considered as some kind of idol. And why not? She created Opium and Paris for YSL. This was originally a Barney’s Co Op exclusive from way back, and I always thought of it as ‘diffusion Malle’ because it was priced more accessibly. I have had numerous samples of this, but never really immersed myself into it. Recently, it has now been added to Malle’s regular roster, and I got another sample recently, and tried it.

It’s a beauty. A nice tropical cocktail of a perfume perfect for the higher temperature days to come. It has breezy notes of tangerine and green apple, and bergamot makes it zing. It has cinammon that rounds it up, and is finished off with white musk that is not generic smelling. It is full-bodied but feels light, and it stayed with me for hours, which is unusual for a citrusy scent, proving the worthiness of its price point. It seems a tad dated, like this was something from the nineties or early aughts – but that could be me projecting – I don’t know why, but it feels like an Annick Goutal to me for some reason. Nowadays, this is not terribly niche-y in unique wise. But all in all, I would be happy to add this to my collection, as it were. Just don’t ask me if I have it.


Green And It’s Gone (Perfume Thoughts, Vetiver Geranium, Creed)

_13318625When Creed launched their Acqua Original Collection in 2014, I thought it was a good idea. I thought it would be kind of in line with what Guerlain did with Aqua Allegoria, only with Creed’s signature woods and florals. I got the Jasmine one and do enjoy it from time to time, but everything else in the line underwhelmed me. So I have been rummaging through my samples lately and found that I have a vile of Vetiver Geranium, so I thought to give it a second chance.

So true to the idea, we get a real fresh, watery vetiver at first spritz. It’s nice and clean, and boring, if you ask me. There are some woodsy notes (light patchouli) to round it all up, and yes, it’s okay, but nothing to write home about. Then it just disappears. I spray more, and get the same blast of greenery, and after a couple of minutes it’s gone again. I have not even turned the corner upon leaving my apartment and already it’s gone. Is it just me, or is this really weak? I read that this has the feel of a cologne but the tenacity of a perfume, but some colognes last longer on my skin.  So yeah, to say I am underwhelmed is an understatement. There is nothing for me to smell, and there is no way in hell I would pay Creed prices for something that’s…nothing.