Von Euserdorff Classic Mimosa ~ fragrance review

Von Euserdorff Classic Mimosa

When it comes to perfumes and seasons, I’m never totally satisified. In the middle of summer, I long for cold weather to arrive so that I can wear my heavier, spicier fragrances. Then, as soon as winter hits the East Coast, I start craving light, airy scents and springtime florals. Luckily, a kind friend recently passed along a sample of Von Euserdorff Classic Mimosa, and it satisfied my need for an olfactory escape on a freezing day.

Classic Mimosa is a floral fragrance with top notes of bergamot, neroli and green leaves; heart notes of mimosa, violet, rose and a marine accord; and base notes of musk, orange blossom and vanilla. It’s a soft yet radiant interpretation of the mimosa flower that lasts well on my skin and lifts my mood…

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Maria Candida Gentile Hanbury ~ perfume review

Giardini Botanici Hanbury

When I first started out in perfume, it was possible to aspire to some level of “literacy”, as a consumer. That is, you could, if you spent a reasonable amount of time, energy (and money), acquaint yourself with the major brands — niche, mainstream and indie — and smell at least some portion of their products. It used to be fairly rare that a commenter (or contributor) at Now Smell This would mention a brand I’d never heard of, and I usually had at least a passing familiarity with any fragrance that came up for discussion.

These days, even determining which brands are “important” enough to bother with is a Herculean task. Commenters mention perfumes I’ve never heard of, much less smelled, every day (and I would not be at all surprised if many readers here smelled far more product than I do). When Jessica decided to review Gershwin by the Italian niche line Maria Candida Gentile, the brand was hardly even on my radar. I’ve now smelled two of their fragrances: Hanbury and Sideris…

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L’Occitane Passionate Jasmine, Subtle Violet and Fleur d’Or & Acacia shea hand creams ~ scented body product review

L'Occitane Passionate Jasmine, Subtle Violet and Fleur d'Or & Acacia shea hand creams

I am a little surprised to see we’ve never reviewed one of L’Occitane’s shea butter hand creams, but hey, most of you are probably familiar with the product — according to L’Occitane, they sell one every three seconds. It’s a thick hand cream in a metal tube, sometimes with colorful decorations, sometimes without. The formula is 20% shea butter,1 but it sinks in nicely and doesn’t leave hands greasy. And it works, or at least, I find that it works quickly when my hands are parched in the winter.2 The metal tubes seem to hold up pretty well, which is more than I can say for some metal tube hand creams, which split along the sides before you’ve finished the product.3

Happily for perfumistas, L’Occitane regularly introduces new limited edition fragrances — actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever tried the “regular”, non-scented version, but I often have one of the 30 ml travel tubes, in one scent or another, tucked in my purse…

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L’Occitane Fleur d’Or & Acacia and Ambre & Santal ~ fragrance reviews

L’Occitane Fleur d’Or & Acacia and Ambre & Santal

Earlier this year, L’Occitane launched a new line of perfumes — La Collection de Grasse; the collection started off with four fragrances and now has doubled in size.1 I’ve only had the chance to spend quality time with two of the perfumes: Fleur d’Or & Acacia and Ambre & Santal.

Fleur d’Or & Acacia

(lemon, bergamot, mimosa, acacia, white woods, musk)

Fleur d’Or & Acacia begins with, and maintains, an intense acacia-mimosa accord; and at first, this accord smells genuine (natural). The lemon note in Fleur d’Or & Acacia’s opening serves as a momentary “booster” for the florals. After Fleur d’Or & Acacia’s authentic-smelling acacia-mimosa notes vanish, and that happens quickly, they are replaced by acacia-mimosa ‘chemicals’ that soar into space, and up through my nasal passages…

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Caron Farnesiana ~ fragrance review

Caron Farnesiana advertCaron urn

Farnesiana was one of the first modern fragrances inspired by the mimosa flower, that notoriously difficult-to-replicate fluffy yellow bloom. According to Jean-Marie Martin-Hattemberg’s volume on Caron, Farnesiana was created by perfumer Michel Morsetti in 1947; its composition includes notes of mimosa, black currant, bergamot, jasmine, violet, lily of the valley, lilac, vanilla, sandalwood, opopanax, hay, and musk (although the Caron website currently only lists mimosa, sandalwood, and hay). The name “Farnesiana” refers to acacia farnesiana, the botanical name for a particular variety of mimosa; it is also, Caron suggests, evocative of Rome’s grand Farnese Palace.

That juxtaposition of a simple flower and a Renaissance palazzo seems appropriate to me, since I’ve always considered Farnesiana a sophisticated comfort scent, an unusual floral-gourmand (or “fleurmand,” as I like to call this perfume sub-genre). To my nose, Farnesiana begins with a powdery, pollen-like mimosa note and with accords of sun-warmed hay and grass. Oddly enough, this green-tinged phase reminds me of certain fragrances from Santa Maria Novella, like Ginestra (Broom) or Fieno (Hay), that evoke meadow-like landscapes. Farnesiana’s heart opens up to reveal the sweetly resinous opoponax…

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