Dita Von Teese Rouge and Erotique ~ fragrance review

Dita Von Teese Rouge and Erotique

Like drag queens, burlesque performers fascinate me. They’re courageous enough to flout convention and adopt a persona that isn’t accepted at P.T.A. meetings, and they do it all in front of an audience. Although they might perform simply for their own satisfaction, there’s a reason the house is full. Some us wish we had the guts to be ourselves in such an outrageous way.

Dita Von Teese is counting on it. Besides her first perfume, Dita Von Teese, she’s released three other fragrances playing on angles of her burlesque persona: Fleurteese, which I haven’t smelled; and Rouge and Erotique, which I review here. You may not want to put on a corset and dance in a giant martini glass, the fragrances seem to say, but give us a try for a taste of that feeling…

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Bogue Profumo Maai ~ fragrance review

Bogue Maai brand image 1

It’s hard not to anthropomorphize perfume sometimes. In my cinema of perfume, Bogue Profumo Maai is the blue blood, pants-wearing contessa who bursts into the drawing room after a day in the stables — having parsed her time between the horses and the groom — and fires her gaze over the room. She tells one guest to sit up straighter. To another guest, she sneers, “You again.” Then she leans into a vase of tuberose and orange blossoms, and her expression transforms from harridan to angel.

Antonio Gardoni, the founder of Bogue, created Maai, and it was released in 2014…

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Inside the Perfume Cabinet: Ann S.

Ann S Chanel collection

Ann S., a librarian in Eastern Pennsylvania, divides her love of perfume into three phases. The first was when she was a girl. “The tops of women’s dressers were these mysterious, adult places” holding sparkling jewelry, cut glass, and, of course, perfume bottles. On her mother’s dresser sat a bottle of Jean Patou Eau de Joy. In this phase of Ann’s perfume life, the two fragrances that stood out were Chantilly, which her mother gave her, and Coty Muguet des Bois, a gift from her aunt. (Ann admits she wasn’t wild about Muguet des Bois. She remembers playing “kidnapper” with her sister, and they doused a washcloth with Muguet des Bois and pretended it was chloroform.)

Phase two of Ann’s involvement in perfume began in high school. Ann is six foot one, so wandering the mall with friends shopping for clothes that never fit wasn’t much fun. It didn’t take long for her to realize that accessories, cosmetics, and perfume don’t depend on size. The first bottle of perfume she bought was The Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose. Later she bought Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle talcum powder and wore it to her prom…

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Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia ~ fragrance review


While shopping for an air mattress so I could sleep in the cool basement — it’s been a scorcher of a week so far — I wheeled my cart past the organic foods section and saw a rack of Pacifica roll-on perfumes on sale, including Tahitian Gardenia. In summer, I sometimes crave gardenia. At the same time, although I love big white flowers on other people, gardenia wears like a costume on me. It’s as if I’m wearing a fabulous hat that I love for about an hour — after which I wrench the blasted thing off my head so I can feel like myself again…

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Aftelier Bergamoss ~ fragrance review

Aftelier Bergamoss

With all the restrictions on fragrance materials and perfume house budgets, a lot of us fear for classic chypres. Aftelier Bergamoss is proof that the chypre as François Coty conceived of it lives on.

Mandy Aftel created Bergamoss with top notes including bergamot and wild sweet orange; heart notes of peach, citronellol and nutmeg absolute; and a base of oakmoss, flouve absolute, coumarin and antique civet. For me, Bergamoss tags all the bases of a beautifully made chypre and slides in for a home run with its seamless construction.

Because there’s little I like more than abusing a metaphor, let’s examine Bergamoss’s progress as it scores. Prepare your Cracker Jacks…

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