Anna Sui Sui Dreams & Sui Dreams in Pink ~ fragrance review

Anna Sui, Sui Dreams in Pink

Sui Dreams, the second fragrance in the Anna Sui collection, was released in 2000. It’s a floral gourmand with top notes of bergamot, tangerine, nectarine and bitter orange; heart notes of peony, freesia, peach and rose; and base notes of vanilla, sandalwood, cedarwood and skin musks. It was developed for the brand by perfumer Philippe Romano.

According to the Anna Sui website, Sui Dreams “plays on a harmonious multiplicity that is warm and fresh, rich and transparent, sweet-scented and sparkling.” I’ll agree that it’s “warm,” “rich” and “sweet-scented”; some people may find it too sweet, but looking back, I admire Sui Dreams for arriving on the market long before the taste for caramel-musk-vanilla perfumes…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

Luckyscent Parfums Raffy

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum Couture ~ fragrance review

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum Couture

This month Guerlain released La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum Couture, a flanker to La Petite Robe Noire — the 2012 version, as Robin recently explained, not the 2009 or 2011 versions.1 This new interpretation reportedly combines “fresh floral notes” with “ultra-refined woody notes” in a composition of raspberry, bergamot, rose essence, rose absolute, patchouli, moss, vetiver and tonka bean. It was developed by Guerlain house perfumer Thierry Wasser.

As you may remember, I was not terribly fond of 2012′s La Petite Robe Noire. I do prefer this Eau de Parfum Couture version, because I find it softer and less aggressively youthful…

Read the rest of this article »

Valentino Uomo ~ fragrance review

Valentino Uomo advert

When I tried the new Valentino fragrance, Valentino Uomo,1 in Nordstrom, I thought: “Uh-oh…I can’t smell a thing…asnomic to an ingredient, I guess.” But when I got outside Nordstrom into the fresh air, I could smell Valentino Uomo. Quickly, I realized why I was unable to detect it at the men’s fragrance counter — Valentino Uomo smells like the inside of Nordstrom, with its combined aromas of the makeup/skincare section, new clothes and shoes, a zillion fragrances, and Ebar. What I’m reminded of when wearing Valentino Uomo is not “Italy” but “American Department Store.”

At first application, Valentino Uomo smells like lukewarm milk with a shot or two of citrus juice in it…

Read the rest of this article »

Reminiscence Tonka ~ fragrance review

tonka beans

Reminiscence is one of those smaller brands that I don’t think about as often as I should, but when I do think about it, I remember how much I like it. It’s primarily a Paris-based jewelry company dating back to the 1970s, with a line of cheerful bohemian-chic fragrances that fits its design aesthetic. Tonka is a recent release (2013), developed by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin. It belongs to Reminiscence’s “Les Classiques” fragrance collection (joining Vanille, Ambre, Patchouli and Musc), and it is an oriental gourmand with notes of bergamot, anise, clove, jasmine, honey, cistus, bitter almond, tonka bean, vanilla and musk.

I’d never heard of tonka until I started reading fragrance message boards in the early 2000s…

Read the rest of this article »

L’Artisan Parfumeur Amour Nocturne & Deliria ~ fragrance reviews


I admit it: sometimes I do feel an “explosion of emotions” when I pass a bakery display case. But I wouldn’t have thought a perfumer’s rendition of an emotional explosion would give off so much brioche and baba au rhum. To me, that’s just what L’Artisan Parfumeur Explosions d’Emotions Amour Nocturne and Déliria do. They smell like sophisticated pastries steeped in liqueur — and for Déliria, sitting in a crimped foil holder.

L’Artisan Parfumeur released three fragrances in its Explosions d’Emotions collection: Amour Nocturne, Déliria, and Skin to Skin (which Robin will review later this week). L’Artisan describes the collection as “Three concepts, translating the extraordinary emotional power of fragrance, created without compromise, with master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour.” They’re packaged in a larger, squat version of the perfume house’s classic columnar, heptagon1 bottle and cost an eye-popping $280 each.

So, what do we get for all that cash…

Read the rest of this article »