Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather & Acqua di Parma Colonia Leather ~ fragrance reviews

Buffalo bag

Last year I bought a new bag made of American buffalo hide to replace my ancient black calfskin bag that has traveled around the globe with me for ages (and is now retired and ‘resting’ in a cabinet). The moment I held the new bag I felt guilty, for buffaloes are one of my favorite animals. I get excited, and am emotionally moved, to be in the presence of these “beasts” that have always symbolized, for me, the part of the U.S. I love most, the West. Since getting my new bag, I’ve been in two car accidents (only my car was injured) and lost two jobs. Am I cursed? Are the buffalo spirits I’ve always admired pissed off, feeling betrayed — egged on by cows (“He never worries much about US!”) Anyway, I’ve not used the new bag at all; it sits pristine in my closet, encased in a soft wool sweater.

I like leather fragrances as I like amber and tobacco perfumes: I need only ONE specimen of each in my perfume collection.1 Likewise, I need only one leather bag (I like simplicity); testing these two leather perfumes has led me back to my bison bag, whose aroma is still present…

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Estee Lauder Modern Muse ~ perfume review

Estée Lauder Modern Muse, advert

I was surprised to learn that the newly released Modern Muse was Estée Lauder’s “most comprehensive women’s scent statement since the 2003 launch of Beyond Paradise” — I would have thought 2008’s Sensuous was a pretty comprehensive scent statement?1 Regardless, it is true that the house does not release pillar fragrances at any great rate, and a new one is always welcome. Here’s the brand’s description of the Modern Muse woman:

A Modern Muse is strong and confident, enhanced by her own intrinsic femininity and individual style. She is the heroine of her own life, always following her own instinct. She is an independent spirit who possesses a natural magnetism that draws people in, inspires them with her smile, and speaks to them without saying a word. She is memorable, a force of creative energy, a true inspiration to others.2

The fragrance is also supposed to have an innovative “dual-impression” structure featuring a Sparkling Jasmine Accord and a Sleek Woods Accord,3 but as so often happens, the innovation was pretty much lost on me…

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Lancome Miracle and Estee Lauder Intuition ~ fragrance review

La Reine Victoria rose

My garden is crazy with roses these days. They splash pink and mauve near the street and waft fruity, peppery fragrance to my neighbors’ porches. I’m greedy with them, and four vases of Madame Isaac Pereire, La Reine Victoria, and Jude the Obscure in varying stages of decrepitude crowd the dining room table (I love their perfume best just as they start to shrivel), and another few vases are crammed on the mantle.

But other than on the stem, the scent of roses doesn’t move me. Sure, I love the occasional spritz of Guerlain Nahéma when I’m feeling over the top, and a dose of Parfum d’Empire Eau Suave is marvelously fresh on a warm day, but otherwise rose can feel institutional and even dowdy. But now, when my garden is flush with roses, it seems right to revisit two often overlooked rose-centered fragrances: Lancôme Miracle and Estée Lauder Intuition…

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