Le Couvent des Minimes Silky Shower Cream & Refreshing Body Moisturizer ~ scented body product reviews

Le Couvent des Minimes Silky Shower Cream & Refreshing Body Moisturizer

I own far fewer bath and body products than you might expect, especially in relation to my surplus of perfumes and lipsticks. Just two weeks ago, in fact, I realized that I was down to one partially used bottle of shower gel (not counting my secret stash of LUSH Rose Jam, of course) and half a bottle of unscented body lotion. Spring is always a good time to try new body products, so I recently introduced two items from Le Couvent des Minimes into my morning regimen.

Le Couvent des Minimes is named for a historic convent in the French town of Mane, and its formulas and fragrances are supposedly inspired by the convent’s gardens of curative herbs and flowers…

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Atkinsons 1799 Love in Idleness ~ fragrance review

Atkinsons 1799 Love in Idleness, bottle detail

The British perfume house Atkinsons 1799 recently launched Love in Idleness, one of three new fragrances recreated from the company’s archives for its Legendary Collection. Love in Idleness is “a neo-Victorian love philter for those who believe in the magic of fragrance,” developed by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin. Its composition includes notes of raspberry and violet leaves; violet, orris and heliotrope; and tree moss and patchouli.

This fragrance’s name was one of the factors that lured me into trying it. So poetic, right? It’s another name for the wildflower viola tricolor. And it turns out to be a literary reference, too — in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, love-in-idleness serves as a love potion. As Oberon, king of the fairies, says in Act II, “The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid/Will make or man or woman madly dote/Upon the next live creature that it sees.” Love at first sight…

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Bond no. 9 Park Avenue South ~ fragrance review

Bond no. 9 Park Avenue South

Niche line Bond no. 9 recently launched Park Avenue South, the brand’s latest fragrance inspired by a New York City neighborhood. Park Avenue South is “an eau de parfum celebrating the city’s newest, most scintillating and most happening street…[and] the neighborhood’s fresh, flirtatious, insouciant spirit” with notes of green apple, peach, jasmine, musk and dry amber.

The promotional materials for Park Avenue South describe this particular bit of Manhattan as “New York’s latest happening turf, full of condos with pools, of-the-moment restaurants, chic hotels, and frenzied real estate panache.” That sounds like a part of town I’d avoid at all costs. I suppose Bond is latching onto this strip’s identity as an alternative to the old-money style of upper Park Avenue, which Bond commemorated back in 2003 with notes of delicate white florals…

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Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow ~ fragrance review

Charenton Macerations Asphalt Rainbow artwork

Just when I thought this season’s wave of rose-inspired perfumes had tapered off, one more has come my way, and it’s a very unusual example: Asphalt Rainbow, the second release from Brooklyn-based independent perfume brand Charenton Macerations. This fragrance was developed by perfumer Cecile Hua, and its notes include rose, spray paint (aerosols), galbanum, lily of the valley, lychee, ylang ylang, saffron, magnolia, leather, cistus, asphalt, “detritus,” patchouli, wood and amber.

Asphalt Rainbow is described as “an olfactive love letter to the street: a roughed up rose that’s been hyper-colored, torn apart and twisted on its head, then nailed to the wall for your sniffing pleasure.” It’s actually discussed at much greater length on the Charenton Macerations website, in various posts that occasionally read like an M.F.A. thesis; once you sift through the verbiage, you can take away the idea that Asphalt Rainbow is designed as a homage to graffiti and street art of all kinds, an olfactory tribute to an art form that’s vibrant and temporary and rebellious…

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Le Soft Perfume Parisian Rhapsody, Striptease Flowers & Rock ~ perfume reviews

Le Soft Perfume solid fragrances

Remember Crazylibellule and the Poppies? Six or seven years ago, I was obsessed with their solid perfume sticks and I owned a few: Après-Midi en Douce, Rose à Saïgon, Joséphine Jonquille, Amoureuse. . . I was very sorry when the brand apparently closed its doors circa 2010, and I was happy to learn last year that Crazylibellule’s founder, Isabelle Masson, had returned with a line called Sabé Masson Le Soft Perfume.

Le Soft Perfume’s twist-up perfume sticks are now available in the United States, and I’ve finally started testing them. I’m trying sample amounts of their solid scent in tiny plastic pots, but from what I can tell in photographs, the packaging for this new collection is as cute as ever…

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