Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre ~ fragrance review

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Roman Widow, detail

I’m still exploring the Italian niche line Maria Candida Gentile, so you can imagine my delight and curiosity when I realized that the collection includes a rose-centered fragrance. Cinabre, one of the “Classic” scents in the line…

…creates the fragrance of a magic rose with a breakthrough formula. It blends the essences of the Moroccan Splendens roses, absolute of May roses and pure vanilla to recreate, by magic, the scent of the Ayrshire rose Splendens, an ancient rose well known for having exquisite and extremely rare notes of myrrh.

It was also inspired by an inscription on the Porta Alchemica in Rome and by the Dracaena tree, also known as “the dragon’s tree,” which produces a red sap (“dragon’s blood”).

All this scene-setting aside, Cinabre is an oriental rose that unfolds like a crimson satin fan…

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Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum brand visual

Last month, Guerlain launched Terracotta Le Parfum, a limited edition fragrance celebrating the 30th anniversary of the brand’s Terracotta bronzing cosmetic products. Terracotta Le Parfum was developed by Guerlain perfumer Thierry Wasser and has a composition of bergamot, coconut, tiaré flower, orange blossom, jasmine, ylang ylang, vanilla and musk. It’s described as a “sun-soaked invitation to explore faraway lands,” complete with a sun-embossed label on its circular bottle.

In case you were wondering (as I was), this fragrance is unrelated to Terracotta Voile d’Eté (1999), other than the fact that both were inspired by the Terracotta beauty collection and both were (are) limited editions. Voile d’Eté was a spicy-soft blend of clove-y carnation and ylang ylang; it was lovely, and I wish I could remember where I put the splash bottle that I used to own. Terracotta Le Parfum, on the other hand, is a summery “solar floral,” and although it’s not my usual style, I’ve fallen hard for it…

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Maison Martin Margiela Replica Flower Market, Beach Walk & Funfair Evening ~ fragrance reviews

Replica Flower Market, Beach Walk & Funfair Evening, bottles

The Maison Martin Margiela Replica fragrance collection has been available in Europe for a while, but it just arrived in the United States this spring. I’ve made some strategic visits to Sephora to sniff and spritz (and to request samples!), and I’m ready to share my thoughts on three of them: Flower Market, Beach Walk and Funfair Evening, originally launched in mid-2012. All three fragrances were developed for Maison Martin Margiela by perfumers Jacques Cavallier and Marie Salamagne.

Flower Market

Flower Market “carries the scent of fresh cut flowers in the buckets and vases of a Parisian flower market in 2011,” and its composition includes notes of crushed leaves, freesia, sambac jasmine from India, Egyptian jasmine, tuberose, rose from Grasse, peach, cedarwood and oakmoss. I inhaled Flower Market hoping for the leaves and the roses to stand out…

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Jo Malone Silk Blossom ~ fragrance review

silk blossom 1

I grew up in house in the New Jersey suburbs, where we were fortunate to have a partially wooded backyard that was perfect for all kinds of make-believe games. I was also very fond of one of the trees that stood on our front lawn: we called it a “mimosa,” although now I know that it would have more properly been described as Albizia julibrissin, or a “silk tree.” I liked the tree’s split trunk (which offered just enough space to perch a foot or two above the ground), its slender seed pods, its ferny leaves, but most of all, its flowers. They were as soft as tiny feather dusters, slightly sticky with pollen dust at their deep-pink, fringed ends, and scented with a magically sweet smell.

Jo Malone has just released a fragrance called Silk Blossom, and its promotional photographs feature a background of the flowers that I remember from my childhood…

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Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Sensation ~ scented body product review

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel Sensation

Rituals is a Dutch bath-and-body company founded in 2000, but since it only began selling its products in the United States about six months ago — first at Barneys, then in a Rituals storefront in New York’s SoHo neighborhood — I didn’t have the chance to try them until this winter. The Rituals product line is extensive, so I started with one of its best-selling products: Foaming Shower Gel Sensation, a new twist on an everyday shower item, available in six scents.

Whereas most shower-friendly body cleansers are thick liquids sold in bottles with flip-tops or pump dispensers, Rituals’ shower gel is packaged in a metal canister like a shaving product. It acts like a shaving product, too, turning from a stream of translucent gel into a fluffy, foamy lather when it hits a damp washcloth or a mesh puff. (I prefer the latter for all my shower needs.) I’m not sure what the benefit of this foaming technology is; maybe it’s just a gimmick? As a body product, this gel-foam is effective and seems gentle on the skin, but I wouldn’t be recommending it if I didn’t enjoy the fragrances, too…

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