Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Rosa Excelsa ~ fragrance review

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Rosa Excelsa

Dolce & Gabbana has just launched Dolce Rosa Excelsa, a new floral fragrance for women. Dolce Rosa Excelsa is the second flanker to 2014’s Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana, following 2015’s Dolce Floral Drops. This time around, the bottle is blush pink with a deep red cap. The rose-inspired fragrance includes top notes of neroli leaves, papaya flower, white water lily and white daffodil; heart notes of Turkish rose and African Dog rose; and base notes of musk, cashmeran and sandalwood.

This happens again and again, and I never learn. Some upscale fashion brand releases a new rose fragrance, and I get my hopes up, despite the accumulated experience of the past decade, and then I try it and I’m disappointed…

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La Parfumerie Moderne Annees Folles ~ fragrance review

Hôtel Belles-Rives

This week I tried Années Folles, the fourth fragrance from niche line La Parfumerie Moderne. Années Folles includes notes of lavender, thyme, nutmeg, geranium, tonka bean, benzoin and patchouli, and according to La Parfumerie Moderne, it “swings like a mysterious aromatic melody on a warm pulsating amber rythm [sic]. The powdry [sic] and woody insouciance wake of a festive atmosphere calls the tune until dawn from the open windows of this proud hotel overlooking the Mediterranean.”

Awkward phrasing and misspellings aside (why, oh why, can’t perfume brands ever hire decent translators or proofreaders?), this description lured me in. There’s the name, for one thing: “années folles,” or “crazy years,” is a common French appellation for the 1920s. I love lavender and ambery-powdery scents. And as for hotels on the Mediterranean, I looked at the photo on the La Parfumerie Moderne website for a minute and then did a quick and lucky search to identify it: it’s the Hôtel Belles-Rives, in Juan-le-Pins on the French Riviera. The author F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed at the Hôtel Belles-Rives, another tie-in to the Roaring Twenties. So how could I resist…

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz La Belle Saison ~ fragrance review


Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has just launched La Belle Saison (“The Beautiful Season”), an all-botanical fragrance designed to evoke “late Spring in full bloom.” More specifically, it’s an ode to lilac. Are we experiencing a lilac mini-trend? Vilhelm Parfumerie and Amouage are also offering lilac perfumes for Spring 2016. I haven’t tried those, but I’ve been spending a few April days with La Belle Saison.

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Olfactive Studio Still Life in Rio ~ fragrance review

Olfactive Studio Still Life in Rio brand image

Still Life in Rio,the ninth release from French niche line Olfactive Studio, is a tribute to sunrise in Rio de Janeiro, “the city of wonder, enveloping and magical.” It was developed for Olfactive Studio by perfumer Dora Baghriche (Arnaud) and its composition includes top notes of yuzu, ginger, mint, lemon and mandarin; heart notes of Jamaican hot peppers, pink pepper, black pepper and coconut water; and base notes of rum, Brazilian copaiba and leather.

I just reread my review of Olfactive Studio’s original Still Life (also developed by Bachriche), and I can see how this fragrance was designed to play off that earlier release…

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Atelier Cologne Bergamote Soleil ~ fragrance review

Atelier Cologne Bergamote Soleil

Atelier Cologne recently launched Bergamote Soleil, the latest addition to its Cologne Absolue collection. Bergamote Soleil’s composition includes top notes of bergamot, bigarade and ambrette; heart notes of jasmine, lavender and cardamom; and base notes of vetiver, oak moss and white amber. And like every Atelier Cologne fragrance, this one comes with a story:

They drove all night long taking turns… The minivan was the same one they had when they first met. He spotted it instantly, driving along the line of bergamot trees leading up to the villa…

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