Acqua di Parma Colonia Club ~ fragrance review

Three men at the races

How many times have I mounted my high horse and lectured a friend (my ‘fury’ barely concealed) when such friend would utter these words after smelling a fragrance: “Old. Lady. Perfume.” Nostrils flaring, eyebrows on top of my head, lips pursed…I would commence my lecture: “I hate that phrase! There’s nothing OLD about this perfume…it just has ingredients you don’t know or like or…UNDERSTAND…ingredients that remind you of the past. Aldehydes! Oak moss! Real musk!” (I could go on…and I won’t even broach the subject of ageism!)

Imagine how awful I felt after smelling Acqua di Parma Colonia Club;1 the first words out of my mouth were: “This is an old man perfume!” …

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Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot ~ fragrance review

Tom Ford Private Blend Venetian Bergamot1 was just released. (Does anyone know the connection between Venice and bergamot? Me neither.) A nice, but distracted — there was a Seattle Seahawks’ player standing next to me — sales assistant at my local Nordstrom made me a huge sample of Venetian Bergamot, and he let me know it was selling, selling, selling (sotto voce) “…as all Tom’s things do.”

Venetian Bergamot starts with dark bergamot seasoned with pepper, ginger and indistinct, cheap-smelling, “flowers”; the ginger is of the preserved, not fresh, variety. Venetian Bergamot then presents a so-so bergamot-ginger-light floral combo for about an hour on my skin. Then: things turn unexpectedly nasty…

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Heatwave Favorites: Olfactive Studio Panorama & Fiele Fragrances Myrrha ~ fragrance reviews

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong and I have similar reactions to soaring temperatures: stunned looks and handkerchiefs. In the Pacific Northwest this year, we’ve been experiencing the long hot summer. To reference another movie title, most days I think: “Hurry Sundown!” During the almost-constant heatwaves since June, I’ve discovered I love to wear strong fragrances in the heat: woody/resinous, smoky compositions (is that a forest fire?…or my perfume?) Wearing warm assertive perfumes in summer is like drinking hot tea on a sunny, 90-degree balcony; I imagined misery but, instead, enjoy wallowing in the heat, merging with it instead of fighting it (till a moment comes when I run into the air-conditioned house).

Two fragrances I’ve enjoyed wearing in hot weather are Olfactive Studio Panorama and Fiele Fragrances Myrrha; both accent the heat in a good way…

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Terry de Gunzburg Rose Infernale & Rouge Nocturne ~ fragrance reviews


Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I’m about to trespass. Excuse me as I creep into the rose (perfume) garden where NST’s Jessica resides. Though I know she’ll greet me kindly if she spies me…I feel guilty! (I’ve certainly not sampled the same number of rose perfumes she has!) Today, I’m reviewing my first perfumes from Terry de Gunzburg: Rose Infernale and Rouge Nocturne; both rose-centered perfumes were developed by perfumer Michel Almairac and they were released last year…

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Cire Trudon Merida Arquiste candle ~ home fragrance review

guava branch and Charlotte of Belgium

Ah, inspiration! Cire Trudon, in collaboration with Arquiste, created the Mérida* candle to memorialize “…a balmy night described by Empress Carlota of Mexico on her visit to the city of Mérida, Yucatán, in 1865.” Empress Carlota (also known as Charlotte of Belgium) arrived in Mexico as an invader (though we must cast more blame in the direction of her hubby, Archduke Maximilian of Austria/Emperor Maximilian I, and Napoleon III — the instigator of the French invasion of Mexico in 1861 and the one with the daft idea to install Europeans, Carlota and Max, on the “throne” of Mexico. More history later; first, the Mérida candle.

Mérida is an homage to guava. Once a year, I make a large batch of guava jelly for a friend’s birthday present…

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