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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Kaleidoscope & Wasabi Shiso ~ fragrance reviews

Farmers Market

For the past week, we’ve been coping with a heat wave in my part of the world. Most of my perfumes suddenly felt too smotheringly heavy and sweet, the olfactory equivalent of fluffy sweaters — I couldn’t stand to have them anywhere near my skin. There are a few tried-and-trusted exceptions that I turn to every August, of course: 4711, Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau, Clarins Eau des Jardins. This week I also sampled two recent releases from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, named Kaleidoscope and Wasabi Shiso. Both belong to the house’s Eau Fraiche/Eau de Cologne series.

Kaleidoscope is described as “a juicy and swirling, deliciously succulent ‘vegetable gourmand,’ citrus to floral, eau fraiche scent” with notes of neroli, green mandarin, lemon, pink grapefruit, orange flower, lettuce, citrus leaves, white flowers, rose de mai, sambac jasmine, grandiflorum jasmine, pink pepper, orris root, guaicwood, sandalwood and vetiver. The notes blend in ways that become more than the sum of their parts: the pepper and green notes combine to suggest tomato leaves, and the citrus notes are made earthy and complex by the surrounding woods…

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4160Tuesdays New York 1955 ~ fragrance review

Sunny Harnett

When I was deciding which fragrance samples to order from 4160Tuesdays, I knew that New York 1955 was one I couldn’t omit. After all, I grew up listening to my grandparents’ and parents’ tales of the New York City in the 1950s, and this fragrance is a tribute to that era. It belongs to 4160Tuesdays’ “Vintage Tuesdays” series, described as “new scents, made the traditional way with authentic materials.”

4160Tuesdays creator and perfumer Sarah McCartney writes, “One of my favorite vintage 1950s scents was Coty’s Chantilly, named after the French town famous for its whipped cream and intricate lace. [New York 1955 is] a soft strawberry and cream perfume, decorated with crystalized rose.” The list of notes for New York 1955 includes candy floss (or cotton candy, as we call it in the United States), raspberry, rose, violet, vanilla, ambergris and musk. I’ve never tried Chantilly, but I’m partial to nearly anything with violet and rose, and I have a weakness for sweet (yet sophisticated) perfumes…

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4160Tuesdays Sunshine and Pancakes & Centrepiece ~ fragrance reviews


If we live until we’re 80, we have 4160 Tuesdays. That’s all. Let’s not waste them.

I’ve waited too long to try some fragrances from 4160Tuesdays. That’s strange, because I’ve been a fan of Sarah McCartney since she was LUSH’s copywriter and head of brand publications (seriously, I still own some tattered circa-2003 issues of the “LUSH TIMES”) and I’m drawn to independent fragrance houses that combine humor with a poetic sensibility. One reason: 4160Tuesdays isn’t available in any brick-and-mortar shops in New York. Another: the brand’s explanation of its name makes me feel a bit nervous and sad (and mortal).

This summer, I’ve finally seized the day and ordered a few samples of 4160Tuesday scents. My first pick, just because of its name, was Sunshine and Pancakes

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Aroma Sanctum Mermaid & Beachscape ~ fragrance reviews

Aroma Sanctum Beachscape brand image

A few years ago, I reviewed a little bottle of perfume oil called Scarlett Letter that I’d bought at Aroma Sanctum in Salem, Massachusetts. I recently ordered more of this fragrance, since I still love it and it brings back happy memories. While I was at it, I also purchased sample vials of some other “House Blends,” including two beachy scents called Mermaid and Beachscape that sounded perfect for summer.

Mermaid is described as a “lively and fascinating ocean scent” with notes of tangerine, grapefruit, grass, hyacinth, tuberose, oakmoss, benzoin, patchouli and ambergris. It starts with a citrus accord that reminds me more of bergamot than tangerine or grapefruit, and there’s a soft, buttery tuberose note buried in its heart, but most of Mermaid is an airy-woody fragrance with a dry, breezy feeling…

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