Today I am trying two perfumes from the CB I Hate Perfume line. The fragrances are perfume absolutes in an oil base, and like most oil-based formulas, they stay relatively close to the skin. They are very long lasting, and evolve slowly.
Mr. Hulot's Holiday: This fragrance was inspired by the movie of the same name (which I have never seen, but which is now waiting patiently in my Netflix queue). It is described as "the salty breath of the breeze off the sea, driftwood, rocks covered with seaweed and the smell of old leather suitcases".
Mr. Hulot's Holiday starts very bright, with the tangy-salty smell of sea air and water. It mellows and deepens over the next hour, adding woody undertones, and later still, a very subtle hint of leather — I'm not sure I would have noticed it if I wasn't looking for that old leather suitcase.
I am not usually fond of marine fragrances, other than Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Aqua Motu, which I wear for nostalgic reasons. But this is very nicely done, cheerful and summer-y, and completely without the expansive ozonic-marine note that announces ocean in many fragrances, and that I always associate with air freshener.
Russian Caravan Tea: Described as "Smoked black Indian tea, bergamot and the hint of shelves full of old books." Like Mr. Hulot's Holiday, this starts very bright. There is lots of citrus, and just a hint of black tea. Over the next few hours, the tea notes intensify and take on the dry, slightly smoky aroma that comes from a freshly opened tin of loose tea leaves.
This will be a full-bottle purchase for me, once my wallet recovers from my latest buying spree. I love tea scents, but sometimes they are too realistic (Comme des Garcons leaves series: Tea), sometimes too short-lived (Comptoir Sud Pacifique Ecume de Te), and sometimes there just isn't as much tea as I would like (Elizabeth W Sweet Tea). This is a nice balance between dark and bright notes, and enough of the bergamot remains into the dry down to bring to mind a nice cup of Earl Grey.
For buying information, see the listing for CB I Hate Perfume under Perfume Houses.
Tomorrow: CB OUTSIDE (a natural bug repellent) and orange blossom scents from Jo Malone, Bourbon French, and Fragonard.