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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Maison Martin Margiela Replica Flower Market, Beach Walk & Funfair Evening ~ fragrance reviews

Replica Flower Market, Beach Walk & Funfair Evening, bottles

The Maison Martin Margiela Replica fragrance collection has been available in Europe for a while, but it just arrived in the United States this spring. I’ve made some strategic visits to Sephora to sniff and spritz (and to request samples!), and I’m ready to share my thoughts on three of them: Flower Market, Beach Walk and Funfair Evening, originally launched in mid-2012. All three fragrances were developed for Maison Martin Margiela by perfumers Jacques Cavallier and Marie Salamagne.

Flower Market

Flower Market “carries the scent of fresh cut flowers in the buckets and vases of a Parisian flower market in 2011,” and its composition includes notes of crushed leaves, freesia, sambac jasmine from India, Egyptian jasmine, tuberose, rose from Grasse, peach, cedarwood and oakmoss. I inhaled Flower Market hoping for the leaves and the roses to stand out…

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Bvlgari Aqva Amara ~ fragrance review

Bvlgari Aqva Amara

Bvlgari Parfums managing director Valeria Manini said Bvlgari’s new men’s fragrance, Aqva Amara,1 a flanker to 2005’s Aqva Pour Homme, was:

…part of a larger strategy to promote the best-selling Aqva and Omnia lines as high-end creations “developed for a larger audience…. We are working very hard to try to elevate what are considered the ‘entry’ product lines. There are two possible approaches here: either you treat the fragrance as a big commercial blockbuster, or you say, no, we want to treat this like a very precious object.”2

The trouble with this strategy, when it comes to the Aqva line at least, is that the perfumes don’t smell “high-end.” Original Aqva Pour Homme has its moments, but it smells more like a blockbuster wannabe than an expensive niche creation…

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