Comme des Garcons Blackpepper ~ fragrance review

black peppercorns

Coming off a heat wave, it’s hard to believe that Labor Day is this weekend. To me, Labor Day signals autumn, and autumn means sweaters, falling leaves and warmer fragrance. Comme des Garçons Blackpepper should come with “autumn” stamped on its label.

Perfumer Antoine Maisondieu developed Blackpepper. Its notes include Madagascan pepper, cedar wood, akigalawood (a spicy-woody material by Givaudan derived from patchouli), tonka bean and “musky accord.”

Say “black pepper” to me, and I think “biting, bracing, sneezy.” Fortunately, after its initial hit, Blackpepper is none of that…

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Valentino Donna ~ perfume review

Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey for Valentino Donna

If you adored Lancôme La Vie Est Belle1 or any of its various spawn (Giorgio Armani Sì, Nina Ricci L’Extase, Salvatore Ferragamo Emozione et. al.) and you were hoping for more candied iris powder, do try Valentino’s new-ish Donna, which I’d call the latest in the series except that I’m so far behind that Donna has been out for months and there are probably umpteen new fragrances in the same vein that I haven’t even smelled yet. Ah well.

Donna is the feminine counterpart to last year’s Valentino Uomo, and it maintains that scent’s emphasis on sugar, or to put it as Kevin did in his review, loads of sugar, at least in the opening…

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Van Cleef & Arpels Rose Velours ~ fragrance review

A rose is a rose

Apparently I’m hosting my own little Rose Parade for Spring 2015, since there have been so many new rose fragrance releases lately that I feel the need to try each and every one. The scorecard so far: I’m very fond of L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privée and Divine Spirituelle (reviewed by Angie), less captivated by Aerin Rose de Grasse and Maison Francis Kurkdjian A la Rose.

Flipping back to last year’s somewhat shorter list of rose releases, however, I just noticed one perfume that I meant to cover and almost forgot until now. It’s Van Cleef & Arpels Rose Velours, from the jewelry brand’s Collection Extraordinaire fragrance line…

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