Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d’Or ~ fragrance review

Aedes de Venustas Palissandre d'Or

In May, West Village niche perfume boutique Aedes de Venustas will launch Palissandre d’Or,1 a new unisex fragrance developed by perfumer Alberto Morillas.

For rosewood lovers like myself, it’s good to know Palissandre d’Or does not aim for any realistic representation of rosewood, and there’s no rosewood in the formula; banish that idea from your mind or you may create disappointment for yourself before giving the perfume a chance. Palissandre d’Or aims to create an “imaginary wood…”

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

Calvin Klein Reveal Men ~ fragrance review

Calvin Klein Reveal Men

Do you have friends who believe themselves to be Great Cooks (simply because they’ve watched every dull/repetitive show on the Food Network for 10 years?) When you get an invitation for breakfast, lunch or dinner from these folks, your stomach cramps. You imagine their latest inventions (atrocities): Scrapple Swirl Chocolate Ice Cream, Dirty Corn (on the cob) slathered with a molasses and sardine oil glaze, Summer Lasagna, complete with pineapple, carrots and shredded toasted coconut nestled between Greek yogurt-smeared noodles. Oh, and sriracha sauce on everything!

As I’ve written before, I get the same sour stomach when I read note lists from Calvin Klein men’s colognes…

Read the rest of this article »

Six Soaps for Spring & Summer ~ scented body product reviews

Saponificio Artigianale Fiorentino Mughetto Toscano and Nesti Dante Villages & Monasteries Soap

The last six months have found me getting more pleasure from home fragrance and bath products than from new perfume releases — I’ve spent LOTS of time washing off disappointing colognes, so I thought I’d report on some of the great soaps I’ve used to cleanse myself of dull or horrible liquid fragrances. All the soaps I’m reviewing are strongly scented, produce plenty of lather, and they don’t turn to mush with use or disappear too quickly. A Google search will give you lots of purchasing options for these soaps. (Please share your own soap “loves” or recent soap discoveries in the comments section; I’m always in the market for great-smelling soaps!)

Svensk Dröm (Swedish Dream) Sea Aster Soap

Sea Aster Soap from Swedish Dream contains, yep, sea aster extract (aster tripolium), sea grass and heather (calluna vulgaris). These “wild” ingredients give the soap an outdoorsy, sporty, seaside vibe (without resorting to Calone or other ozonic perfume notes). If you appreciate fresh/clean and bracing aromas, Sea Aster Soap delivers…

Read the rest of this article »

Clinique Aromatics in White ~ fragrance review

Clinique Aromatics in White

My samples of Clinique Aromatics in White1 were ordered from an eBay seller in Italy. As the weeks passed and I received no samples, I began to joke about ordering from an Italian. I pictured a beautiful young woman who had gotten her samples free from the Clinique counter at la Rinascente in Rome. She forgot all about my order till one night at cocktails (with her gorgeous boyfriend) she reached in her huge purse and found the samples: “Dio! L’Americano! Profumo! Clinique!” I imagined she looked up my address on her iPhone, made an envelope on the spot from a stiff paper napkin and tape, then wrote my address on it using her Gucci eye liner. On their way home, she had her beau stop his Vespa at what she thought was a mail box (the box was red, anyway) and tossed in my perfume. Only when she got home did she think: “Merda! Ho dimenticato il francobollo!!!!!” (that’s “S**t! I forgot the postage stamp!”)

Italians, please forgive my one-word sentences and clichés! (If I could switch countries with you tonight, I would!) Plus: the joke was on me. Though the parcel took six weeks to arrive, it, and the perfume inside, were delivered in pristine condition…

Read the rest of this article »

Byredo Mojave Ghost ~ fragrance review

Byredo Mojave Ghost

The nectar-less ghost flower (mohavea confertiflora) that grows in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts has ingenious strategies for attracting pollinators: it mimics the appearance of another desert flower with lots of nectar, and the ghost flower’s center markings are shaped like a female bee (Xeralictus) — here come the male bees to do their work!

It’s a difficult assignment for a perfumer to mimic the scent of a wild, desert flower. The desert flowers I’ve smelled possess a “certain something” I’ve never encountered in perfumes; they have “clear,” fresh and clean aromas, with floral and fruity aspects that are hard to describe, let alone duplicate. I imagine a successful desert flower scent would smell fantastic, but wouldn’t last too long on skin. Byredo Mojave Ghost1 attempts to mimic the scent of an exotic flower’s perfume and to attract pollinators (buyers) but it’s only partly successful…

Read the rest of this article »