Enfleurage Sanctuary, Roses & Amber ~ fragrance reviews

Enfleurage house blends

Was it really six years ago that I wrote a shopping report about Enfleurage, New York’s most specialized purveyor of natural aromatics? Yes, apparently. The boutique has since moved to a new address (237 West 13 Street, in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood) but its staggering selection of essential oils and natural incenses remains unchanged. I still sniff individual oils during each of my visits, but I’m also very fond of Enfleurage’s “house blends.” They’re available as concentrated oils and as “roll-ons to go,” diluted in a base of organic jojoba oil for ready-to-wear use.

My favorite house blend is Sanctuary, a blend of ylang ylang, chamomile, patchouli, clary sage and black pepper…

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Lush Don’t Rain on My Parade Shower Gel ~ scented body product review

Lush Don't Rain on My Parade Shower Gel

If you sing in the shower, and you like violet scents, you’re the perfect customer for Lush’s new Don’t Rain on My Parade Shower Gel. Its name is the title of a song from the classic musical Funny Girl, written by Bob Merrill (lyrics) and Jule Styne (music). Barbra Streisand sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in the original Broadway production and movie version of Funny Girl, and numerous other artists have covered this song over the past half-century. It’s a defiant hymn to self-confidence:

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter / Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter / Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade / Don’t tell me not to fly, I’ve simply got to / If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you / Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade?

I do have a shower-humming habit and a love for the Great American Songbook, not to mention an especial fondness for violets, so I couldn’t wait to sniff and try Don’t Rain on My Parade…

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Top 10 Fall Fragrances 2015

yellow leaf

It’s mid-September, and I’ve been flipping through various beauty-and-fashion magazines to keep up with things. I’ve been particularly struck by all the “New Season, New Scent” headlines. I know, I know — this is how the fragrance business stays in existence, yet this autumn I’m craving comfort and familiarity far more than novelty.

Looking back five years (!), I’d still wear most of my picks from my Top Ten Fall Fragrances of 2010, but I’ve also made a few “new” favorites since then. Here are my very personal picks for the months ahead.

I’m looking forward to an off-season seashore getaway soon, and I’ll be packing Diptyque Florabellio

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Dita Von Teese Rouge and Erotique ~ fragrance review

Dita Von Teese Rouge and Erotique

Like drag queens, burlesque performers fascinate me. They’re courageous enough to flout convention and adopt a persona that isn’t accepted at P.T.A. meetings, and they do it all in front of an audience. Although they might perform simply for their own satisfaction, there’s a reason the house is full. Some us wish we had the guts to be ourselves in such an outrageous way.

Dita Von Teese is counting on it. Besides her first perfume, Dita Von Teese, she’s released three other fragrances playing on angles of her burlesque persona: Fleurteese, which I haven’t smelled; and Rouge and Erotique, which I review here. You may not want to put on a corset and dance in a giant martini glass, the fragrances seem to say, but give us a try for a taste of that feeling…

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Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia ~ fragrance review


While shopping for an air mattress so I could sleep in the cool basement — it’s been a scorcher of a week so far — I wheeled my cart past the organic foods section and saw a rack of Pacifica roll-on perfumes on sale, including Tahitian Gardenia. In summer, I sometimes crave gardenia. At the same time, although I love big white flowers on other people, gardenia wears like a costume on me. It’s as if I’m wearing a fabulous hat that I love for about an hour — after which I wrench the blasted thing off my head so I can feel like myself again…

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