Bunch o’ limited edition collector bottles (& some other stuff) 2014, part 21

More limited edition collector fragrance bottles, with the usual disclaimers: in most of these cases, the juice is unchanged, just the bottle is “special” (or not, as the case may be), and some of these may not be available in the US. Today’s post includes collector items from Clive Christian, Hermès and Viktor & Rolf; plus a new travel size from CB I Hate Perfume.

Clive Christian No. 1 Passant Guardant

From Clive Christian, No. 1 in the Passant Guardant edition: “Clive took the house’s signature crystal bottle and draped it in fine, handcrafted, 24 carat gold lattice-work…”

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

Hermes Cuir d’Ange ~ fragrance review & quick poll

Hermès Sac à Dépêches

I said when I reviewed Épice Marine that a new fragrance in the upscale Hermessence range from French house Hermès always makes me happy, even when I don’t love the juice. Part of the reason is that they rarely bore me, and another factor is that the relatively easy availability of the 15 ml bottles means I can get some if I want it.1 So the news of the latest (and the 12th in the series), Cuir d’Ange, was welcome, although I find now that every new fragrance from Hermès brings with it a little twinge of anxiety: will it be the last from house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena? (Please, Mr. Ellena, don’t retire just yet.)

I tend to divide the Hermessences into three categories: the few I don’t care about at all (sorry, Paprika Brasil), the few that I need in 100 ml (Osmanthe Yunnan!), and the rest, which I generally need in 15 ml (Vanille Galante, for instance). Sometimes I’m wrong, of course; I think I’m now on my third 15 ml bottle of Vetiver Tonka and my second of Rose Ikebana, and I’m heading fast towards another bottle of Brin de Réglisse. Cuir d’Ange, for now, is going in the 15 ml category — I’d like to own some but I’m not at all sure I’d run through 100 ml…

Read the rest of this article »

5 perfumes: Great Moments in Top Notes

blood orange

As a Now Smell This reader, you likely view top notes differently from the average perfume consumer. A perfumista like you has learned to appreciate design in fragrance and to heap scorn on the scent that snares with a few fleeting bits of flash. You are shocked and dismayed when, mere moments after the sales assistant hands over a blotter, a time-crunched husband or brand-loyal shopaholic announces: “Wrap it up!” You would like to warn this impulsive stranger. You know this purchase can only end in heartache, a heartache wreathed in a pale floral laundry musk. You are a specialist, though, and you understand your message is complicated. Perhaps you should draw a fragrance pyramid on the back of this napkin you found in your pocket, or scribble down a quick glossary? Suddenly, you are assailed by the memory of that time a friend mentioned wearing Marc Jacob Daisy — “Is that a good perfume?” — and you forgot yourself somehow and ended up giving a short lecture on strawberry doll-head accords and the volatility of certain esters.1 (“I like the bottle,” your baffled friend replied.) Okay, so you’re probably not going to make much headway here.

The flip side of our suspicion of a great top note is… well, everyone likes a great top note. Many of us fragrance fans carry about atomizers or sample vials, so we can reapply and get that glorious hit of green/citrus/spice/fruit/skank again…

Read the rest of this article »

Bunch o’ limited edition collector bottles (& some other stuff) 2014, part 18

More limited edition collector fragrance bottles, with the usual disclaimers: in most of these cases, the juice is unchanged, just the bottle is “special” (or not, as the case may be), and some of these may not be available in the US. Today’s post includes special editions from Hermès, Nina Ricci and Dolce & Gabbana, plus new solid perfume compacts from Le Labo.

Hermès 24 Faubourg numéro 24

From Hermès, a collector edition of 24 Faubourg with a “numéro 24″ pattern recalling Hermès silk scarves. €125 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum at Sephora in France…

Read the rest of this article »

Bunch o’ limited edition collector bottles 2014, part 17

More limited edition collector fragrance bottles, with the usual disclaimers: in most of these cases, the juice is unchanged, just the bottle is “special” (or not, as the case may be), and some of these may not be available in the US. Today’s post includes special editions from Loewe, Hermès, Serge Lutens and Azzaro.

Loewe Más allá de la Realidad perfume bottles

From Loewe, the Más allá de la Realidad collection, with seven fragrances in bottles inspired by Surrealism and decorated by Spanish artist Carlos Buendía…

Read the rest of this article »