Clinique Aromatics Elixir ~ fragrance review

Clinique Aromatics Elixir

I remember trying Clinique Aromatics Elixir1 in my early twenties (didn’t like it then) and forgetting it existed till I met someone 13 years later who wore it all the time. When I first met her, I said: “You’re wearing Aromatics Elixir, aren’t you?” How could I remember a perfume I had tried so long ago and never wore again? (I was proud of myself…what a memory! what a Nose!) But I can take only partial credit for this feat; Aromatics Elixir is distinctive, and one of the few perfumes with a strong oak moss note that I now enjoy.

Last week, when I reviewed Aramis (a fragrance that shares Aromatics Elixir’s perfumer, Bernard Chant), I admitted oak moss is not one of my favorite fragrance ingredients — an understatement. Oak moss is something I imagine as a brittle, sticky thread that takes over other ingredients as a virus overwhelms a host…

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Lush So White Shower Gel & Yog Nog Soap ~ scented body product reviews

Lush So White Shower Gel & Yog Nog Soap

Yes, I’m one of those people: I’m truly dismayed when Christmas decorations and holiday items start showing up in stores in mid-October. What’s the rush? One of the very few exceptions, in my book, is the annual holiday-season collection from Lush. I always look forward to buying a few bars of Snowcake soap, and this year I was desperate to grab a new bottle of Rose Jam Shower Gel. I also picked up two new items: So White Shower Gel and Yog Nog Soap. (I am weak.)

So White is the liquid counterpart to a bath bomb of the same name, which I never tried. It’s a pearly white shower gel “with fresh apple infusion and cheerful neroli oil to leave skin bright and beautifully perfumed.” I’m not normally a fan of apple perfumes or apple-scented products, but So White’s apple fragrance is so crisp and tart and weirdly realistic…

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Pinaud Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum & Providence Perfume Co Bay Rum ~ fragrance review

Pinaud Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum & Providence Perfume Co Bay Rum

Until a sample of Providence Perfume Co Bay Rum cologne showed up in my mailbox, I’d been vaguely curious about Bay Rum colognes, but not enough to track one down. I’d seen darling straw-thatched bottles of Bay Rum in hat stores by the cash register and the odd retro-looking bottle at a family-owned drugstore. But I couldn’t tell you what Bay Rum smelled like. Well, now I can. And I like it.

According to Wikipedia, Bay Rum cologne is a West Indies cologne, probably originating in Saint Thomas, made from rum, the leaves and berries of the West Indian bay tree (not the culinary bay you might be more familiar with), and spices such as clove and cinnamon. In short, it’s a warm, spicy scent that lovers of linear, spicy fragrances along the lines of L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two and Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté might want to investigate…

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Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2014

Cold Colours

We pick the dates for the seasonal top 10 posts far in advance, and sometimes that works out fine. This year, it feels odd to be writing about fall so early — we’ve had strange weather the past few months, so while it stopped feeling like a proper summer here sometime in late July, it still doesn’t feel anything like fall. Here are ten fragrances I might wear if it did feel like fall, or that you could wear if there’s already a chill in the air where you are. Do add your own fall favorites in the comments!

CB I Hate Perfume Burning Leaves: The perfect way to get into the mood for fall even if the weather won’t cooperate, and extra-nice if you live in a place (as I do) where all the leaves get composted (as they should be) instead of burned (I do miss the smell). The last time I wrote the Top 10 of Fall was back in 2008, and I included Burning Leaves on that post too. Some things never change…

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J. Crew + Arquiste No. 31 & No. 57 ~ fragrance reviews

J. Crew + Arquiste No. 31 & No. 57

I am not a J. Crew customer. Well, I used to be, back in the early 90s when the J. Crew catalogue still catered to college students and I was still wearing baggy sweaters and oversized men’s t-shirts, but nowadays I find most of the brand’s offerings too high-priced for my wallet and too trend-driven for my taste. It took perfume to get me through the door of a J. Crew boutique last week — specifically, J. Crew’s collaboration with the niche brand Arquiste.

For this project, Arquiste recruited perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier to “conjure up the Jan. 5, 1943, opening of ‘Exhibition by 31 Women,’ the first all-female modern art show in the U.S., curated by Peggy Guggenheim and displayed at her Art of This Century Gallery on East 57th Street in New York.” The two fragrances are No. 31, named for the number of artists in the show, and No. 57, named for the street where Art of This Century was located. Naturally, I couldn’t resist a back-story like that. To my relief, the fragrances turned out to be well-crafted, affordable, and very pleasing on my skin…

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