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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Top 10 Summer Fragrances 2015

Japanese Garden, Portland

Instead of returning to my weary perfume cabinet for a rundown of summer favorites (I already hear longtime readers thinking, Is she going to bring up that blasted bottle of Jean Naté in her refrigerator again? Yawn), this year I got smart. I asked André Gooren from Portland’s fabled The Perfume House to share ten of his summer favorites.

André was up to the challenge. During a Saturday morning, between helping a bearded Australian opera singer (Caron Nocturnes, two bottles), a charming older woman (4711), a Romanian couple (Robert Piguet Jeunesse), and a booming-voiced regular (Pino Sylvestre and Comme des Garçons Avignon), he laid out ten sophisticated and sometimes quirky choices…

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Estee Lauder Estee ~ fragrance review

Estée Lauder Estée

In the documentary Iris, the stylish 93-year-old Iris Apfel says something close to, “I don’t like pretty. I have no use for pretty. I know people don’t agree with me, but there you have it.” The camera lingers uncomfortably long on her. She finally turns away. There’s nothing pretty about Iris Apfel, but her marvelous excess is riveting. I bet she would love Estée Lauder Estée.

Bernard Chant created Estée, Estée Lauder’s second fragrance after Youth Dew. Estée launched in 1968. Its notes include jasmine, rose, muguet, coriander, ylang ylang, orris, sandalwood and moss. Those notes sound mild and “pretty,” but wearing Estée is like biting into a fresh kumquat. For a second or two you think you’ve made a dire mistake…

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Inside the Perfume Cabinet: Angela

Angie's perfume collection

Maybe it’s my interest in perfume, or maybe it’s plain old nosiness, but in movies and interior design magazine spreads, I look first for the perfume. I love to see how other people live with their bottles of fragrance. For that reason, I thought it would be fun to write an occasional series of posts showing real life perfume collections. I’ll kick it off with mine.

The cabinet: I store my perfume in a simple wooden cabinet against an interior wall in my home office. I’d bought a massive old French armoire for my perfume collection, but I couldn’t fit it through the office door…

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