Christian Dior Poison Girl ~ fragrance review

Christian Dior Poison Girl

Who else but Camille Rowe could have embodied the alluring and nonchalant femininity of Poison Girl? At twenty-six years of age, and with one hundred and twenty-eight thousand and counting Instagram followers, the model represents a generation of uninhibited, fun-loving, optimistic young women.1

Ah, who else indeed? In case you were wondering how many Instagram followers you might need to front a major youth-oriented fragrance campaign circa 2016, now you know.1 And you know Christian Dior’s latest, Poison Girl, is geared young, because they’re talking up Rowe’s Instagram in the first place, plus she is writhing on a dance floor wearing hotpants and later, strutting around in not even so much as that, whereas Natalie Portman, who fronts the somewhat more “mature” Miss Dior (Ms. Portman is thirty-five), wears Dior couture and smells rose petals and whatnot, plus, she isn’t even on Instagram. (Then again, Charlize Theron, who fronts J’Adore and is now forty years of age, has 1.2 million followers.)

So anyway, Poison Girl is geared young, and not surprisingly, it smells like it…

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Prada Candy Kiss ~ fragrance review

Lexi Boling for Prada Candy Kiss

Before we review Prada Candy Kiss, let’s ruminate for a moment on wit in perfume. We often hear fragrance described as pretty, sexy, moving, dark, moody, and just plain gorgeous, but it isn’t often thought of as witty. Yet perfume can definitely pack wit. A witty fragrance says, “I’m over-the-top, and I know it. Go ahead, laugh with me, but you have to admit I’m fabulous.”1

To me, Tauerville Fruitchouli Flash is witty — the name alone lets you in on the joke. Rochas Tocade’s raving overdose of vanilla and rose is witty. So is Prada Candy. Everything from Prada Candy’s bottle to its marketing to its name lets you know it’s an indulgence without a lot of nutrition. Somehow, it gains merit by laughing at itself. It’s a fun perfume.

Then we come to Prada Candy Kiss. Can a joke go too far…

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis ~ fragrance review & very quick comfort scent poll

Bûche fumée praliné et noisettes de Philippe Conticini

Noir Exquis is the latest Bertrand Duchaufour production from L’Artisan Parfumeur. It’s another gourmand, and was “inspired by an unexpected rendez-vous in a French patisserie” — it promises all sorts of delicious things, from glazed chestnuts to coffee to maple syrup.

And the start is delicious: a bright citrus top note disappears almost as soon as it arrives, then it’s a lovely swirl of sugared chestnuts with hints of vanilla and roasted coffee bean, with mild fruity undertones. It’s rich and warming, and perfect for the October chill…

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Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme ~ fragrance review

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme brand image

Every once in a while it’s nice to throw restraint to the wind. This is why molten chocolate desserts, lipstick like red patent leather, and Douglas Sirk movies exist. To me, Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme, with its over-the-top nutty sweetness, fits this category.

Noir Pour Femme’s notes include mandarin, bitter orange, ginger, rose absolute, jasmine accord, orange blossom, Indian kulfi accord, Madagascar vanilla, amber, Australian sandalwood, and lentisque resinoid. (Indian kulfi is a rich, dairy-based frozen dessert; lentisque is an evergreen shrub; and a resinoid is the extract of a shrub.) Perfumer Sonia Constant developed it…

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Kerosene Unknown Pleasures ~ fragrance review

Side street, Manchester

The Michigan-based indie fragrance line Kerosene released Unknown Pleasures in 2013. I first read about this fragrance with mixed emotions. The notes sounded appealing — Earl Grey tea, lemon, bergamot, honeycomb, tonka bean, caramel, vanilla and waffle cone. On the other hand — could it really be an homage to an iconic album by British post-punk group Joy Division? Yes, apparently: Kerosene’s product description continues, “You’re walking down a cold street in Manchester, listening to Joy Division, sipping on a warm cup of London Fog…”

For two years I’ve postponed trying this fragrance, partly because Kerosene isn’t widely available, and partly because I’m always hesitant to try anything inspired by a favorite work of art. Unknown Pleasures was integral to my college years and twenties, playing on steady rotation in my various dorm rooms and apartments (all decorated with a large poster of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis). I love everything the band recorded…

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