The Different Company Une Nuit Magnetique ~ fragrance review

The Different Company Une Nuit Magnetique

If it weren’t for you — and the generous dram-sized sample Robin forwarded me — I wouldn’t have given The Different Company Une Nuit Magnétique more than a cursory sniff. Usually when I test a fragrance, I start with a drop on the flesh at the base of my thumb. Then, if I like it, I give it real estate up my forearm. My test drop of Une Nuit Magnétique was sharp and tooth-achingly sweet. Not promising. If I hadn’t been considering a review, I would have quit there. It was only when I poured some into an atomizer and wet down my arm that I began to see Une Nuit Magnétique for what it really is: a tender, shimmering, intensely feminine perfume…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

The Lanvin Murders by Angela M. Sanders ~ book announcement

The Lanvin Murders by Angela M. Sanders, book cover

I can guess what you’re thinking: Angela has finally lost it and has taken a hatchet after the executives at Lanvin who discontinued Scandal. Tempting, but not quite. Instead, I’ve written a mystery novel in which a couture Lanvin coat plays a central role. Here’s the back cover copy:

All Portland, Oregon, vintage clothing store owner Joanna Hayworth wants to do is turn her back on the modern world and retreat into a carefully curated life of satin cocktail gowns, icy martinis, and old movies.

But when Joanna finds a key in a 1930s Lanvin coat cast off by an ex-showgirl, everything changes…

Read the rest of this article »

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid ~ fragrance review

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid banner

The old saying has it that “everything old is new again.” Tom Ford Velvet Orchid, a salute to the grand oriental perfumes of the 1980s, seems to have taken that saying to heart. Lovers of Yves Saint Laurent Opium, Estée Lauder Cinnabar, Boucheron de Boucheron, and other room-permeating, spicy-woody-ambery fragrances will want to give it a try. Fans of Velvet Orchid’s older sibling, Black Orchid, will probably see no reason to switch.

Velvet Orchid’s notes include bergamot, mandarin, honey, vanilla, orange blossom, rose, jasmine, narcissus, magnolia, Cattleya leopoldii orchid, heliotrope, rum, suede, labdanum, sandalwood, and myrrh — not that any of these notes stand out distinctly. Even without the gorgeous deco bottle and “orchid” in its name, a single whiff ties Velvet Orchid to Black Orchid.

Although Velvet Orchid has the guts to take the ring with any of the big orientals, it’s billed as a floriental fragrance…

Read the rest of this article »

How to smell like a million bucks

stack of money

In last week’s comments on the Guerlain Parure review, the idea of smelling “like a million bucks” arose. It got me thinking. What does it mean to smell rich?

Of course, we all know that just because a fragrance costs a lot of money doesn’t mean it smells expensive. First, practically every fragrance outside the drugstore costs a packet, yet they convey messages ranging from “I found a fragrance that expresses who I am, and I love it” to “I don’t have a mind of my own and will buy whatever smells bearable at first whiff” to “I’m a fifty-cent hooker.” (Sadly, you can spend hundreds of dollars to smell like a fifty-cent hooker.) Conversely, some relatively inexpensive fragrances could successfully waft through the halls of the fanciest opera houses, in my opinion. Balenciaga Le Dix, Rochas Madame Rochas, and Faith Hill by Faith Hill all smell like class to me, yet all can be found online for a fraction of what you’d pay for a new fragrance in a department store…

Read the rest of this article »

Guerlain Parure ~ vintage fragrance review

Guerlain Parure advert

A “parure” is a set of jewelry, such as a necklace, earrings, and bracelet, or even a tiara and matching earrings. Guerlain Parure has the “complete” feeling and attention to detail of a fine jewelry parure, but it isn’t as flashy as rubies and diamonds. Instead, Parure comes off as constructed to lend an air of Ritz suite elegance without drawing attention to itself.

Jean-Paul Guerlain created Parure, and its notes include plum, bergamot, greens, fruits, hesperides, lily of the valley, rose, orris, plum, lilac, jasmine, jonquil, narcissus, oakmoss, spices, amber, leather and patchouli. Parure was released in 1975, but you know that Ritz suite I just mentioned? I see it in the early 1960s, with a woman crushing out her cigarette before reaching for wrist-length white gloves and a crisp-edged handbag that snaps shut with a click…

Read the rest of this article »