Cartier Baiser Vole Lys Rose ~ fragrance review

Cartier Baiser Volé Lys Rose

One of the pleasures of summer is enjoying a glass of rosé wine in the backyard with a friend. Rosé varies, for sure, but in general it’s a crowd pleaser and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a touch fruitier than many white wines and makes friends with whatever summer food you’re eating, from grilled salmon to tomato salads. And, hey, it’s pink. I can’t help but think perfumer Mathilde Laurent was sipping a chilled Provençal rosé when she created the Cartier Baiser Volé flanker, Baiser Volé Lys Rose. It’s that kind of fragrance: easy, versatile, fun, and perhaps, ultimately, forgettable.

Cartier’s press release describes Baiser Volé Lys Rose (I’ll just call it “Lys Rose” from here on out) as a fragrance in which “the crystallized petals of a blooming pink lily are combined with subtle touches of raspberry to enhance the powdery and delicate note of Baiser Volé.” (To be clear, the fragrance isn’t about roses. In this case, “rose” is French for “pink” and Lys Rose is “pink lily.”)…

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Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum, cropped

At what point does a flanker stray so far from its parent that it ceases to earn the family name? Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum edges awfully close to that line. Yes, it still broadcasts its familiar vanilla, amber, and lemon, but Shalimar Souffle flouts its mother’s mystery and marches straight into “Hi folks, see you down at the mall — the fancy one with the Neiman Marcus” territory.

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum was developed by Guerlain’s house perfumer, Thierry Wasser. Its notes include bergamot, lemon, mandarin orange, jasmine sambac, “l’absolu de l’eau de fleurs d’oranger” (a material Guerlain notes it’s using for the first time), white musk (“an avalanche” of it, the French press release reads), and a combination of Indian and Tahitian vanillas.

I don’t want you to think I’m such a traditionalist that I oppose any Shalimar flanker…

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August in Paris

fashion images, Palais Galliera

Next week I’ll have a review of Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum for you, but I’m not ready to review anything today. Although I’m spending a few weeks in perfume’s heartland, Paris, I’m still getting my feet on the ground.

When I told people I’d be in Paris in August, I got a lot of “no one’s there in August except tourists,” and “isn’t everything shut down then?” Sour grapes, my friends. The truth is that Paris is wonderful in August. Sure, every street corner holds a few people unfolding maps, and a glance down the Champ de Mars shows dozens of tourists lined up for the camera pretending to pick up the Eiffel Tower while the diesel engines of rows of tour buses rumble in the background. But the mood is relaxed. People are here to enjoy themselves…

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Perfume: on smelling your age

Yves Saint Laurent Paris advert

Are certain perfumes better for people of certain ages? Short answer: no. Aside from toddlers smelling like they’ve emerged from a bordello (and I believe Pampers has avoided this faux pas so far), no.

That said, some fragrances definitely ring the bell of a particular time in life, and it pays to be aware of the vibe your fragrance puts out. Since trends have buffeted perfume just as they have hairstyles and hemlines, women who hit their stride during a certain era might still cling to a scent that was fashionable then, even if they’re otherwise up to date on style.

For instance, aquatic fragrances were all the rage in the early 1990s. Women who still wear Issey Miyake Eau d’Issey smell squarely middle-aged to me. A waft of Yves Saint Laurent Paris is a tip-off, too, that its wearer came of age in the late 1980s, early 1990s…

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Tim McGraw Silver ~ fragrance review

McGraw Silver cologne for men

Yesterday we reviewed Faith Hill True, and now it’s time to move on to her husband and Tim McGraw Silver. I liked McGraw by TimMcGraw and thought Silver was worth a try.

Silver is our only masculine offering of the week. What makes a particular fragrance “masculine” to you? For the most part, I ignore the distinction between feminine and masculine fragrances — except in the case of a fougère.1 Something about their in-your-face quality, how they’re so often over-applied, the short leap between many and Drakkar Noir moves a fougère far, far from a woman’s dressing room. Silver is an aromatic fougère…

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