Enfleurage Sanctuary, Roses & Amber ~ fragrance reviews

Enfleurage house blends

Was it really six years ago that I wrote a shopping report about Enfleurage, New York’s most specialized purveyor of natural aromatics? Yes, apparently. The boutique has since moved to a new address (237 West 13 Street, in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood) but its staggering selection of essential oils and natural incenses remains unchanged. I still sniff individual oils during each of my visits, but I’m also very fond of Enfleurage’s “house blends.” They’re available as concentrated oils and as “roll-ons to go,” diluted in a base of organic jojoba oil for ready-to-wear use.

My favorite house blend is Sanctuary, a blend of ylang ylang, chamomile, patchouli, clary sage and black pepper…

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Senteurs d’Orient Orange Blossom Hammam Soap on a Rope ~ scented body product review

Senteurs d'Orient Hammam Soap on a Rope

This must be the first time we’ve reviewed a soap-on-a-rope here at Now Smell This. I’ve always thought of soap-on-a-rope (basically just a bar of soap with a nylon hang-cord attached) as the sort of 1970s-era item that was (is?) only purchased as a slightly depressing, last-resort Father’s Day gift or a holiday present for a male grade-school teacher. Affordable and practical, but sort of silly. You know.

Senteurs d’Orients’ Hammam Soap on a Rope is an altogether different sort of object, and you would never confuse it with a last-minute purchase from the drugstore or the Avon catalogue. These soaps are hand-crafted by local artisans in Lebanon. They’re circular and oversized, hand-molded with elegant, filigree-like patterns of leaves and floral motifs. They’re packaged in decorative, hand-folded boxes, and (most importantly) their scents were developed by the “master perfumers of Grasse…”

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Byredo Rose of No Man’s Land ~ fragrance review

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land, Freja Beha Erichsen

I’ve seen some beautiful flowers
Grow in life’s garden fair,
I’ve spent some wonderful hours,
Lost in their fragrance rare;
But I have found another,
Wondrous beyond compare… 1

Rose of No Man’s Land is the newest fragrance from niche line Byredo. It’s a tribute to the nurses who cared for wounded soldiers on the front lines of World War I, saving lives in the danger zone of the “no man’s land” — the space between opposing armies. A World War I-era song praising these nurses gives Byredo’s fragrance its title and inspiration: “Mid the War’s great curse,/Stands the Red Cross Nurse/She’s the rose of ‘No Man’s Land!”2

Rose of No Man’s Land is basically a contemporary rose soliflore, and I think it’s a lovely one…

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Lush Don’t Rain on My Parade Shower Gel ~ scented body product review

Lush Don't Rain on My Parade Shower Gel

If you sing in the shower, and you like violet scents, you’re the perfect customer for Lush’s new Don’t Rain on My Parade Shower Gel. Its name is the title of a song from the classic musical Funny Girl, written by Bob Merrill (lyrics) and Jule Styne (music). Barbra Streisand sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in the original Broadway production and movie version of Funny Girl, and numerous other artists have covered this song over the past half-century. It’s a defiant hymn to self-confidence:

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter / Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter / Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade / Don’t tell me not to fly, I’ve simply got to / If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you / Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade?

I do have a shower-humming habit and a love for the Great American Songbook, not to mention an especial fondness for violets, so I couldn’t wait to sniff and try Don’t Rain on My Parade…

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Marc Jacobs Decadence ~ fragrance review

Adriana Lima for Marc Jacobs Decadence

I felt like the next story to tell was one of this indulgence of pleasure and luxury, because that’s what decadence is. And I had to tell that in a way that was irreverent, which is very much part of who I am and how we tell stories, which is with an offhanded, irreverent sense of glamour, rather than first-degree glamour — something a bit more unconventional.1

So says Marc Jacobs, who has released a new feminine fragrance called Decadence for fall. Decadence was developed by perfumer Annie Buzantian and is a “sensual, luxurious, woody fragrance” with top notes of plum, iris flower and saffron; heart notes of Bulgarian rose, jasmine sambac and orris; and a base of vetiver, papyrus woods and liquid amber.

When I spritzed Decadence on a blotter at my local Macy’s and took a deep whiff, I gasped and recoiled (to the amusement of the security guard keeping an eye on things). It opens with something sharp and harsh that I can only describe as “knitting needle up the nostril.” It is some kind of aldehyde? I do not know…

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