Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Jacinthe de Sapphir & Deco Diamonds ~ fragrance reviews

Denver Art Museum, Brilliant exhibit banner

In late 2014 independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz released her Brilliant Collection, a quartet of fragrances inspired by an exhibition of Cartier jewelry at the Denver Art Museum. I’ve been sampling the four Brilliant scents this week, and while I could go on and on about this interesting analogy between jewels and perfumes, and the language we use to describe both, I’ll try to stay on topic by sharing my thoughts on my two favorites from the collection.

Jacinthe de Sapphir was created to evoke “a densely blue, gorgeous hyacinth in the ground” and was “inspired by the Queen of Romania Sapphire, one of the famed Cartier jewels.” It has a composition of violet leaf, galbanum, bergamot and hyacinth; rose de mai, narcissus and tuberose; and tolu balsam, Peru balsam, vetiver, styrax and civet. As promised by Hurwitz, this fragrance evolves from “dewy” to “luscious and earthy.” It opens with a stemmy-green burst of galbanum that only gradually fades into a bouquet of floral notes…

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Krigler Lieber Moment 214 ~ fragrance review

Krigler Lieber Moment 214

Nothing sells a perfume (at every price point, for nearly any demographic) like the promise of romance, right? The prestige brand Krigler, which emphasizes its five generations of luxury perfumery, recently released Lieber Moment 214, a “moment of love” designed to complement Lieber Gustav 14, “an early Krigler fragrance inspired by a love letter from WWI.”

I tried Lieber Gustav 14 a long time ago, and I liked it. It reminded me of Caron Pour Un Homme, since it’s a masculine lavender-vanilla-musk blend that can also worn by a woman with certain tastes. Lieber Moment 214 is described as “smoother and more powdery” than Lieber Gustav 14, and its composition includes notes of grapefruit, aldehydes, lavender, violet, rose, ylang ylang, white musk, vanilla and patchouli.

Although Lieber Moment, like Lieber Gustav, is “created to suit both men and women,” I find it intensely feminine and I can’t imagine it finding a male audience…

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Lanvin Arpege ~ vintage fragrance review

Lanvin Arpege bottle

Vintage Lanvin Arpège has broken my heart more than once. From its inception in 1927 to its major reformulation in 1993, Arpège was well loved, which means that plenty of bottles lurk in thrift stores and antiques malls. The problem is that unlike her sister, My Sin, Arpège doesn’t age well. At last, after bearing the grief of one small Extrait turned to sour Madeira, one evaporated Extrait purse spray, and two fusty Arpège Eau de Toilettes, I found a bottle of Eau de Toilette that opens my eyes to what made Arpège so beloved. I’m hooked.

In 1927 to celebrate her daughter’s thirtieth birthday, Jeanne Lanvin asked André Fraysse — Lanvin’s house chemist — to create Arpège…

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Amouage Gold Woman ~ fragrance review

Amouage Gold Woman

For more than a month now, a 1950s nude-pink organza coat has hung at a vintage clothing store downtown. It has a smocked top, gathered sleeves with French cuffs, and an open front designed to waft over full skirts. I imagine the coat resting lightly on the bare shoulders of a woman going to the opera on a summer night. Her rhinestone earrings glitter above the organza’s satiny finish, and the click of her heels on the theater’s marble floors punctuates the coat’s swish against her evening gown.

The coat is priced to move at less than $20. So why hasn’t anyone bought it? I think it’s simply too special for most people to imagine integrating into their lives. They remember their fat couch at home in front of the TV and the afternoon they just spent pushing a shopping cart through Costco or enduring eight hours in a bland cubicle, and they forego the coat for yoga pants. I wonder if Amouage Gold Woman faces the same obstacle? Even hardcore Amouage lovers tend to gloss over Gold in favor of some of Amouage’s warmer, spicier, more incensey fragrances.

This review is a cry for glamour and an entreaty to give Gold Woman a square sampling…

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Floral Aldehydes: Twenty More

Worth Je ReviensMaybe you’ve already tried the classic floral aldehydes reviewed this week and you’re ready to dig into this genre of perfume more deeply. If so, this article is for you.

Caron Fleurs de Rocailles is an innocent, gentle aldehydic floral loaded with clover, lily of the valley, and lilac. I think it would be a perfect first perfume for a girl, and it’s a good napping scent. If you plan on looking it up on Osmoz, beware: the description of Fleurs de Rocailles is mixed up with “Fleur” de Rocailles, a different fragrance altogether.

Worth Je Reviens is another classic of the genre that you just might find at your local TJ Maxx, although I wonder if its formula has suffered over the years (if you’ve compared the old and the new, please tell me what you think). Rochas Mystère is an aldehydic floral chypre that smells to me like soapy plums. Chanel No. 22 is a dream of white flowers and incense glowing with aldehydes. Because it’s just so plain beautiful, No. 22 might be a good one to try if you’re wary of aldehydes. Jean-Charles Brosseau Ombre Rose is another aldehydic floral that is popular.

For aldehydic time travel, Halston is a good way to go (cue the disco music, please). Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and Paco Rabanne Calandre remind me of the 1970s with their metallic edges. I know Hermes Calèche is timeless, but it reminds me of the 1970s, too…

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