Andrea Maack Coal, Jimmy Choo Flash, Strange Invisible Perfumes Likewise ~ quick fragrance reviews

Several quick reviews of recent(ish) fragrances: Andrea Maack Coal, Jimmy Choo Flash, Strange Invisible Perfumes Likewise.

Feel free to add your own quick reviews of recent releases in the comments!

Andrea Maack Coal

Andrea Maack Coal

Coal is Reykjavík-based artist Andrea Maack's sixth fragrance, and it was inspired by one of her drawings made with black coal:

It captures the feeling of creating this piece, the smudge on the fingertips, the coal falling down the white paper as the hand moves creating a pattern and the broken pieces at the bottom of the page.

If that sounds a little weird in a Comme des Garçons kind of way, then you've got exactly the right idea. Perfumer Richard Ibanez has done a lovely job of developing something that reasonably conjures up the idea of the dusty coal and the drawing paper, although it does smell more wet than dry (I kept thinking of thick calligraphy ink) in the early stages, and I found it perfectly wearable — it's not that weird. It's spicy and warm, and probably veers a bit towards the masculine, although I also found it wore close to the skin after the dry down, so it isn't likely to overwhelm in any case. Very much worth a try.

Andrea Maack Coal is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum.

If anyone has tried any of the other Andrea Maack fragrances, do comment!

Jimmy Choo Flash

 Jimmy Choo Flash advert

While I was thinking about what I might say about Jimmy Choo's recent Flash fragrance, they went and released another: Jimmy Choo Exotic. Perhaps it is enough of a review to say that after smelling the eponymous Jimmy Choo fragrance and now Flash, I might just give Exotic a skip?

Flash is described as an “ultra-modern white floral”, and that's just what it is: if you want your white florals to smell like they came from a lab, Flash ought to do the trick. It's not a bad scent, really, and I would be the first to admit that a perfume can smell entirely synthetic and still smell great. And, I did find it rather unusual — there's a persistent undertone of wintergreen toothpaste livening things up — but it's just so far from my own personal style that I find it hard to approach. The reviews at Nordstrom are overwhelmingly positive, so do give it a shot.

Jimmy Choo Flash was developed by perfumer Christine Nagel. The notes include pink pepper, tangerine, strawberry, tuberose, jasmine, lily, heliotrope and white woods. It is available in 60 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and in matching body products.

Strange Invisible Perfumes Likewise

Strange Invisible Perfumes, flacon

I like both of indie botanical brand Strange Invisible Perfumes' latest releases, Likewise and The Rose With The Broken Neck, but I was especially taken with Likewise. The brand describes it as a “shy, yet amorous reply to a declaration of love or devotion”, and I'll go for that, why not? It starts off bright and citrus-y/ginger-y (the notes: vanilla, rose, grapefruit, ambrette, black copal, jasmine, neroli, vetiver, ginger and cistus), but my favorite part is the early dry down, when it's (mostly) a simply gorgeous jasmine with shades of ginger lingering around the edges, sort of like a deeper, richer version of Annick Goutal's Le Jasmin. It stays gorgeous for a good long while, though, gradually getting warmer and sweeter, with a lovely black copal note and just a touch of vanilla. Like most natural perfumes, it stays relatively close to the skin and there's no point in expecting it to last all day, still, it would go on my buy list if I thought I could afford it — I don't know the price, but it's probably more than I want to spend given how much perfume I already own.

Strange Invisible Perfumes Likewise is a limited edition, and is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum. It is exclusive to the Strange Invisible Perfumes boutique in California and does not seem to be sold on their website.

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  1. Omega says:

    I would like to try Coal:).

    • Robin says:

      It’s a fun scent — I’d like to try more of her line.

  2. engelwurz says:

    I’ve been curious about Coal. I’ll probably get a sample from Luckyscent.

  3. I’ve tried a few of the Andrea Maacks, but it was so briefly and so long ago that I don’t know that I can say much about them. They struck me as artsy, a wee bit weird, but wearable… not really my style, though.

    So many of the Strange Invisible perfumes sound simply to die for… really up my alley, but I’m hesitant to sample if I know I can’t afford them.

    • Robin says:

      Good to know, thanks!

      I really like the SIP line, but yes, they’re spendy. I can see why, given that they’re doing a lot of their own distilling, but still — I don’t always have the money. Some of the EdPs aren’t really any worse than other niche lines though — the prices do vary.

  4. Marjorie Rose says:

    It would not occur to me that the reviews on Nordstroms website would be especially discerning. . . is that more evidence that I am a snob? Knowing that a scent was well-reviewed there wouldn’t generally inspire me to give it a sniff.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that Jimmy Choo Flash will probably go unsampled by me!

    • Robin says:

      In a way that’s true of all the major retail websites — they get mostly positive reviews, but also true that they are more positive for some than others, which must be a sign of something, right?

  5. maggiecat says:

    I found Flash to be much better than I thought it would be, given the horrid flashing lights surrounding the half-undressed woman on-site advertising. It’s a woody floral, which I tend to like. I don’t want to buy it, but I didn’t hate it. I do wish I could make it to the SIP boutique though!

    • Robin says:

      Glad to hear it. I think it really just isn’t my style.

  6. nozknoz says:

    I have a decant of one of the Andrea Maacks somewhere. It smelled like a scene from my childhood, taking a hot bath with lots of Ivory soap in a bathroom that also had a metal laundry tub. So I thought it was rather nice in terms of nostalgia but not what I want to waft, OTOH.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting. That doesn’t sound appealing to me as a personal scent either.

  7. Perfumista8 says:

    I’ve been wanting to try AM Smart for a while now. I see some sampling being done in the near future.

  8. I didn’t know exactly how to put my finger down upon it, but you hit the nail on the head, Robin, About Flash! There is something Wintergreen-y Gum/Mouthwash/Toothpaste/Tic-Tac about it and it is SYNTHETIC Smelling. Kinda like the Original Coach Fragrance was. Just a Blur of Synthetic Notes and not Badly done, or particularly Unpleasant, Just… Plasticky! Elie Saab has that Same Bright Buzzing Floral-ness that borders on Synthetic but it is so EXQUISITELY and More expensively done i might add… that in the mid and bottom notes it becomes much less Laboratory like! Jimmy Choo Flash Retains that Lab Like smell.

    Though Still it is quite Modern and very Different and not offensive so i would buy i bottle. I reacted quite positively to it as well! :-)

    • Robin says:

      It does have tuberose, and tuberose does have a wintergreen-ish component, but I’m guessing they amped it up or something?

  9. bookwyrmsmith says:

    So apparently I ought to try for the Naughty List this year so I get Coal (by Andrea Maack ) in my Christmas stocking?

  10. jonr951 says:

    SKIP Exotic Robin! Tried it today and it was just bad. Bad bad bad! Just as synthetic as Flash and the original. Ick! Too bad I LOVED the Exotic bottle! : (

    • Robin says:

      Good to know, thanks! By the time I make it to the mall again, it will probably be gone anyway :-)

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