Calvin Klein Reveal ~ perfume review

Calvin Klein Reveal fragrance advert

Calvin Klein has a released a new pillar in its fragrance collection this fall: Reveal, a “solar oriental” for women. It was developed for Calvin Klein by perfumers Jean-Marc Chaillan and Bruno Jovanovic (both of whom have created other fragrances for the brand) and its composition includes notes of “raw salt signature,” pink pepper, black pepper, white pepper, orris, ambergris, solar accord, sandalwood, cashmeran and musk.

I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy Reveal when I found it at a department store fragrance counter. I had no specific response to the ad campaign and video starring model Doutzen Kroes and actor Charlie Hunnam, other than a hunch that real-life voyeurism isn’t as much fun as these two try to make it seem. I find Reveal’s bottle — a swollen, pillow-like square that separates into a clunky metallic triangular cap and a ridiculously heavy glass bottle — even more awkward to handle than Euphoria’s curvy lotus-inspired shape. I’m bored by the suggestion that Reveal “embodies the thrilling game of seduction between a man and a woman, the erotic possibility of a game between equals.”

Once I’d smelled Reveal and tested it on my skin, however, I liked it…

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Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt ~ fragrance review

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt

Wood Sage & Sea Salt, the latest release from Jo Malone, has just begun to appear in stores. It’s a fragrance inspired by the salt air, sea grasses and rocky cliffs of the English coast, developed by perfumer Christine Nagel; its official notes include ambrette seeds, sea salt, sage, grapefruit and red algae. In a recent interview about this fragrance, Nagel also mentioned buchu leaves, plum, dried fruits, driftwood and musk as compositional elements.

Jo Malone has been hit-or-miss for me over the past year or two; I liked Peony & Blush Suede, but I wasn’t crazy about Silk Blossom, and I found the London Rain trio too dull even to think much about, much less review. Still, Wood Sage & Sea Salt sounded appealing, so I gratefully took the sample that was offered to me at a Malone counter in a department store. It turns out to be one of the recent releases that I enjoy, and it feels just right for the final weeks of summer…

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A Lab on Fire Liquidnight ~ fragrance review

A Lab on Fire Liquidnight and Carlos Benaïm

I’m slowly but surely catching up with A Lab On Fire, a New York-based “niche” line that hasn’t always been easy to find, even in New York. Liquidnight, developed by perfumer Carlos Benaïm, was released in 2012. It was inspired by “the hidden depth of the night in New York City” and it includes notes of bergamot, lime, saffron, sage, lavender, hinoki wood, incense, vanilla and musk.

I wanted to try Liquidnight because I’m very fond of some other fragrances from this line…

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Imaginary Authors Falling into the Sea & Violet Disguise ~ fragrance reviews

Imaginary Authors Falling into the Sea

Over the past year I’ve enjoyed reading reviews of fragrances from Imaginary Authors (see Angela’s thoughts on Cape Heartache and Kevin’s on Bull’s Blood) and visiting the company website, but I didn’t have the chance to experience the fragrances myself until I saw the line at Twisted Lily in Brooklyn. A kind friend recently sent me a few samples, so now I’m ready to write a review of my own, focusing on two fragrances from the line: Falling into the Sea and Violet Disguise.

Falling into the Sea is inspired by the work of (imaginary) author Nica Galas, and includes notes of lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, lychee, tropical flowers and “warm sand” in a story of tragic summer love. I’m a person who typically avoids hot-and-sunny beaches, yet I have a long list of favorite beachy fragrances…

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Krigler Lieber Moment 214 ~ fragrance review

Krigler Lieber Moment 214

Nothing sells a perfume (at every price point, for nearly any demographic) like the promise of romance, right? The prestige brand Krigler, which emphasizes its five generations of luxury perfumery, recently released Lieber Moment 214, a “moment of love” designed to complement Lieber Gustav 14, “an early Krigler fragrance inspired by a love letter from WWI.”

I tried Lieber Gustav 14 a long time ago, and I liked it. It reminded me of Caron Pour Un Homme, since it’s a masculine lavender-vanilla-musk blend that can also worn by a woman with certain tastes. Lieber Moment 214 is described as “smoother and more powdery” than Lieber Gustav 14, and its composition includes notes of grapefruit, aldehydes, lavender, violet, rose, ylang ylang, white musk, vanilla and patchouli.

Although Lieber Moment, like Lieber Gustav, is “created to suit both men and women,” I find it intensely feminine and I can’t imagine it finding a male audience…

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