Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Peony and White Lilac ~ fragrance reviews

Watercolor SL

Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz recently launched two new floral fragrances, Peony and White Lilac. I have to confess that I don’t always stay abreast of this line’s new releases and projects, only because Hurwitz is quite prolific and the line is still primarily online-only, so I was happy when these two samples came my way. In case you were wondering: no, I will never tire of feminine floral perfumes!

Peony is an evocation of an entire day in the life of this springtime flower, from a dewy bud at dawn to a duskier blossom at nightfall…

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Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius ~ fragrance review

Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius brand image

French niche line Jul et Mad recently released its fourth fragrance, a “green chypre/citrus amber” scent called Aqua Sextius. It was developed for Jul et Mad by perfumer Cécile Zarokian, and it includes top notes of bergamot, lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit and green notes; heart notes of eucalyptus, mint, marine notes, mimosa, white flowers and fig; and base notes of labdanum, ambergris, cedarwood, guaiac wood, oakmoss and musk.

“Aquae Sextiae” was the ancient name of the French city Aix-en-Provence, founded by the Roman consul Sextius and famed for its thermal springs. Jul et Mad’s Aqua Sextius is designed to evoke a summer evening in this “City of a Thousand Fountains,” complete with cool breezes, sun-warmed stone and garden greenery as well as distant forests and the Provençal countryside. The official description reads in part, “Only the crisp sound of ice cubes in the glasses and the burst of joyous laughter mark the soft melody of the running water that slowly fills the sculpted basin, coupled with the murmuring of the [plane tree leaves] all around us…”

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Blackbird Triton ~ fragrance review

Neptune and Triton via NASA

I wrote about the Seattle-based business Blackbird last winter, when I posted a review of their incense cones (which are still favorites of mine). At the time, none of their personal fragrances really captured my fancy; the names were memorable and provocative (Tinderbox, Pipe Bomb), but the actual scents just didn’t fit my personal taste. But you just never know: Triton is the latest release from Blackbird, and I’ve been happily wearing my sample for the past few days.

Triton includes notes of violet leaf, iris root, cedar, aldehyde, incense, mimosa, carrot seed, dry amber, vetiver, styrax and black pepper. It was “named after the moon of Neptune that was in turn named after the son of Poseidon,” and “its scent carries the nose to the icy surface of its namesake moon. . . . It’s about finding and relishing the beauty of a frozen landscape.” It’s a tricky fragrance to classify: I’d call it a unisex mineral-earthy-woody scent…

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Top 10 Summer Fragrances 2014

tall roses

For some reason, I’m easily irritated by the question, “What are your plans for the summer?” As my husband keeps reminding me, it’s just a harmless conversation-opener, but somehow it never fails to set my teeth on edge — more so than ever this year, when my “plans” involve nothing more than unemployment and job-hunting. Maybe we’ll do some day-trips, but it’s hard for me to feel as though I’m on holiday when I don’t know what comes next.

In that cheerful spirit (with apologies to Robin, who assigned this post to me without knowing my current frame of mind!), here is a list of ten fragrances I plan to wear regularly this summer, as I try to enjoy myself. I won’t be shopping for perfume much over the coming months, so I’m relying on my current collection and stash of samples to raise my spirits.

I’ve worn Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau every summer for the past decade…

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Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning & Promenade in the Gardens ~ fragrance reviews

Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning & Promenade in the Gardens, brand visuals

Last month I reviewed three fragrances from the Maison Martin Margiela Replica fragrance collection: Flower Market, Beach Walk and Funfair Evening. This week I tested two more, Lazy Sunday Morning and Promenade in the Gardens.

Lazy Sunday Morning, developed by perfumer Louise Turner, is meant to suggest “silky skin, crumpled linen sheets and the reassuring scent of fresh laundry” in “Florence, 2003.” Its notes include aldehydes, pear accord, lily of the valley accord; iris accord, rose absolue [sic], orange flower accord; white musk accord, Indonesian patchouli oil and ambrette seeds absolute. Leaving aside the question of why Florence was chosen as the “location” for this perfume, how does Lazy Sunday Morning function as a “fresh and clean” fragrance?

Not very well, I don’t think…

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