Jardins d’Ecrivains Marlowe ~ fragrance review

Jardins d'Ecrivains Marlowe and skull

Jardins D’Écrivains Marlowe perfume was named for playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe. I know little about Mr. Marlowe, his life or work, but “his” perfume smells like a memorial: it’s antique, faded.

When I first read Marlowe’s listed ingredients, “opulent” osmanthus, “poisonous” tuberose, “tragic” dried flowers, myrrh, elemi, oak moss, labdanum, “tonkin” musk and leather, I expected a rich, syrupy brew, dense and enveloping. Not so! Marlowe smells like a waxy wooden armoire (stuffed with winter-weight wool, velvet and silk clothing, old leather boots and belts) that’s been opened after a hot summer…

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Parfums de Nicolai Ambre Cashmere Intense ~ fragrance review

As the curtain rises on the charming Ambre-Cashmere family, everyone is talking simultaneously on stage — there are grunts, witty asides, chuckles, humming…and whispers delivered with a hissssss; no one is willing to ease up or shut up. We meet happy Lady Mandarin, handsome/smooth-talking General Pepper, the self-effacing Misses Violet and Iris, and bitter Mrs. Lemon, the cook (hissssss!) who brings in a tray full of tiny cups filled with hot cocoa. Chilly Cousin Clove attempts to stifle the conversation as Mr. Tonka Bean steps in to try and add sweetness and reason to the proceedings; but neither Clove nor Tonka Bean are a match for loud-mouthed / hard-drinking “Patch” who loves nothing more than creating a scene. Cashmeran (aka “CC”) — as the other cast members’ voices falter — gets the final, reassuring (and long-winded) speech. The End.

Parfums de Nicolaï Ambre Cashmere Intense’s1 initial cacophony is not unpleasant…it’s attention grabbing…

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Maria Candida Gentile Elephant & Roses ~ fragrance review

elephants and rose

I “met” my first elephant in a zoo when I was little and a life-long fascination with elephants was ignited. My elephant-love led me from Babar children’s stories and elephant picture books, to studies on elephant physiology and behavior, and the symbolism of elephants in art and religion, especially in Buddhism and Hinduism. My house is full of Ganesha statues and amulets, and I always go to Seattle’s Asian Art Museum when a tiny statue of Kangiten is on (rare) view — two elephants stand face to face and tenderly embrace. I love the Indian paintings of Airavata, the white elephant god and mount of Indra, who emerged from the churning of the milk ocean, an event that made the nectar of immortality available for the Hindu gods to drink. (You may know him as Erawan; in Thailand, you’ll see him depicted with three, or more, heads.)

I used to perk up with excitement when I’d see a photograph of elephants in a magazine or newspaper or hear their trumpeting on TV. Now? I approach such images and sounds warily…

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Perfume for Children & Fragonard Jasmin

illustration modified from Afternoon Tea: Rhymes for Children. by J. G. Sowerby

Friends often ask me what perfumes are appropriate for…CHILDREN! Call me old fashioned, but I don’t want to smell a child wearing Kouros (the shock…like seeing a six-year-old boy sporting a handle-bar moustache) or Chanel No. 5 (as surreal an experience as any episode of Toddlers & Tiaras). Colognes for children should be light, simple, unobtrusive, but still have some lasting power (otherwise the child is likely to reapply constantly). Oh, and children’s colognes should be inexpensive (I bet they’ll leave their perfume in the car on a hot day or lose it).

I started keeping a perfume notebook a few years ago, and I just added Fragonard Jasmin1 to my list of fragrances appropriate for young, female perfume lovers…

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Penhaligon’s Halfeti & Levantium ~ fragrance reviews

Penhaligon's Halfeti

Penhaligon’s Trade Routes Collection was inspired by “the luxurious and decadent commodities which were traded through London’s historic docks at the turn of the 19th Century.” What comes to mind after reading that teaser? Delicious, fumy liqueurs and spirits, spices and foodstuffs, sandalwood, patchouli, leathers, fabrics and the fabulous plant “discoveries” brought back to England by botanist-explorers. But who knew the ships’ hulls had kegs and kegs full of…Iso E Super?!

Halfeti1 was named after the rare black roses that grow near the Turkish village of Halfeti…

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