Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale ~ fragrance review

Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale, brand image

Oeillet Bengale is the upcoming fragrance from West Village niche perfume boutique Aedes de Venustas. It’s their third, following 2013’s Iris Nazarena and 2012’s Aedes de Venustas Signature. If you’ve tried the first two, you probably already expected incense, and the name Bengale Oeillet, if you speak French (or even just perfume-French), probably led to you to expect carnation.

You’d be right on both counts. The press materials point out that the Bengale Oeillet is actually a rose (a variety of China rose, to be more specific), but that’s not relevant to our concerns. The Aedes Bengale Oeillet is a carnation-incense fragrance, something I never particularly thought to wish for — I’m still waiting, patiently, for my perfect jasmine + incense — but that turns out to be welcome…

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Serge Lutens Vitriol d’Oeillet ~ fragrance review

Serge Lutens Vitriol d'Oeillet

The perfume world is fickle. Though some perfume notes are perennial favorites — bergamot, sandalwood, and petitgrain come to mind — other ingredients become “problematic” over time. Once, Calone was all the rage…then, one day, perhaps due to overuse or a style shift in perfumery, Calone smelled dated. Not that long ago, rose-rich perfumes were considered passé. (Alongside antiquated rose were the scents of oak moss and carnation — suffering not only from associations with old times and ‘old folks,’ but difficult to work with, or re-create, due to IFRA restrictions.) Then, rose had a renaissance, a facelift, an attitude adjustment, and became “young” again, and is used in all manner of mainstream and niche perfumes, including men’s fragrances. Oak moss and carnation are still waiting for their rejuvenation treatments.

So, how do you “update” a dated aroma? How do you transform old-fashioned carnation, that much-maligned flower, associated with death, bad luck and bad taste, into something modern, edgy and desirable? One way would be to make carnation brazen: accent every facet of its scent, amplify its impact with newer, unusual perfume materials, make it bloom in a new way. Another tactic is familiar from the world of food…

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Old Spice & OS Signature ~ fragrance reviews

Old Spice logo

I’m a lucky person; I live with a man (“B”) who cannot be intimidated and who is hard to embarrass. I hope everyone reading this post has such a person in their lives — they come in handy! If I were living alone and developed a case of, say, jock itch (sorry if anyone finds this offensive but I need to make a strong point here), I would never in a million years go to the drugstore, even disguised in a wig, hat, faux moustache, scarf and sunglasses, and buy a remedy; I would order a treatment online and suffer till it arrived in the mail. Thankfully, if I ever do develop such a nasty malady, I have B and I’d say to him: “Would you mind buying me a box of Gobi Desert Jock Itch Powder?” B would go to the drugstore immediately. If he walked into that drugstore and saw that the only employee was an 18-year-old Adonis dressed in Prada from head to foot, B would smile and say to him: “Hi, where can I find the Gobi Desert Jock Itch Powder?”

Robin here at Now Smell This has been asking me to review Old Spice for over a year, and I’ve procrastinated because I was too embarrassed to buy a bottle of Old Spice; sad, but true…

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Aftelier Cepes & Tuberose, Strange Invisible Perfumes Tropical Vial, Scent Systems Oeillet ~ 3 great natural perfumes

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, when “bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind”. Some 14,000+ 20,000+ blogs are participating. This year’s theme is the environment, so I’m highlighting a few of my favorite natural fragrances, and in the post below this one, you’ll find Pia’s review of scented cleaning items from Earth Friendly Products.

If you’ve never explored natural perfumery, now is the perfect time. For one thing, you’ve more choice than ever before: there are literally dozens of natural perfume lines, and anyone who thinks natural fragrances aren’t as sophisticated as those made with synthetics might be surprised by the range of offerings. You do need to accept that all other things being equal, you’re going to pay more for an all-natural product — natural fragrance components aren’t cheap, and these lines tend to be produced on a small scale. And without the use of synthetic fixatives, natural perfumes don’t last quite as long as some of the powerhouse scents you’ll find from the mainstream brands…

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Roger & Gallet Carnation Perfumed Soap ~ scented body products

Roger & Gallet Carnation soap

Rereading Robin’s recent reviews of carnation fragrances, I was inspired finally to open the bar of Roger & Gallet Carnation soap that has been resting on my bathroom shelf for a while. Carnation is one of my favorite notes in perfumes, second only to rose, and I have just started to explore carnation-scented body products to accompany some of my fragrances.

The Roger & Gallet website is full of information about the company and its products, including a history of the company (which dates back to the Napoleonic era) and a lively feature on its perfumed soaps. In 1879, Roger & Gallet released a lavender-scented soap in an innovative round shape: until then, they claim, commercial soaps had only been produced in squares and rectangles. These circular luxuries became trademark products for Roger & Gallet, and the company still takes pride in the quality of its soap. According to the website, the soap’s vegetal base is manufactured by a “traditional cauldron method” and is “core-fragranced” with essential oils. Each finished soap looks like a gift, wrapped in pleated paper and sealed with a decorative paper ring bearing the company seal, which almost seems a shame to open…

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