Ys Uzac Satin Doll ~ fragrance review

Ys Uzac Satin Doll

A “spicy iris modern chypre” that “exquisitely mirrors Duke Ellington’s unforgettable masterpiece”? I adore iris, chypres, and Duke Ellington. Sign me up! At least, this is what I thought when I read the launch announcement about Ys Uzac Satin Doll in July. Satin Doll’s PR copy included another teaser, saying that the iris was “embraced by a bitter and dry tuberose.” I adore tuberose, too, but often it doesn’t sit right on me. Maybe a bitter and dry tuberose would be just the ticket. The rest of Satin Doll’s notes are entrancing, too. Besides iris and tuberose, they include pink pepper, elemi, pepper, rose, jasmine, myrrh, incense, patchouli, opoponax, and benzoin. Really, doesn’t this perfume sound perfect?

Sadly for me, although Satin Doll is nice, it doesn’t communicate the beauty, swing, and freakiness of Ellington’s song

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Giorgio Armani Si ~ perfume review & quick poll

Cate Blanchett for Giorgio Armani Sì

Sì is the latest from Giorgio Armani. It’s Armani’s first pillar fragrance for women since 2010′s Acqua di Gioia, and it’s meant to be a ‘sophisticated’ chypre1 — note that Sì is fronted by actress Cate Blanchett instead of the the sort of conventionally young and sexy model that they used for Gioia.2 All of which might indicate a somewhat older and more sophisticated target market than the usual for Armani’s mainstream output, yes? Which would be fine with me; Armani is not generally my favorite perfume house, and even the more exclusive Armani Privé fragrances don’t always live up to their price tags.

So the first sniff of Sì was a bit of a surprise, of the fruity variety…

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Christian Dior Miss Dior Eau Fraiche ~ fragrance review

Christian Dior Miss Dior Eau Fraiche advert with

I love both Christian Dior Eau Fraîche (1955) and Miss Dior Original (1947). I rightly suspected the new Christian Dior Miss Dior Eau Fraîche wouldn’t be like either of these.

Vintage Eau Fraîche teems with oakmoss and tart citrus. I took a decant with me on a 900-mile, one-day road trip a few years back, and spritzes of it — along with a thermos of coffee and several books on CD — kept me alert while summer-crisped stretches of the high desert flew by. As for Miss Dior Original, the jolie-laide leathery green chypre fascinates me enough that I laid down a lifetime supply of the vintage a long time ago.

Naturally, Miss Dior Eau Fraîche couldn’t live up to either of those fragrances. Lately my relationship with Dior has felt like a bad marriage. Remembering the early days of the romance — Diorella, vintage Diorling, my beloved Miss Dior, vintage Dioressence — I keep going back hoping to feel the same happiness. But the reformulations have consistently let me down. As I made the sample of Miss Dior Eau Fraîche from the department store’s tester bottle, I girded myself against more heartache. I needn’t have worried. Sure, it’s not Eau Fraîche or Miss Dior, but I really like it…

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Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cheri Par Camille ~ fragrance review

Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Chéri Par Camille

One of the long-running best-sellers in the Annick Goutal line is Petite Chérie (1998), a girlish fruity-floral that Annick Goutal dedicated to her daughter Camille. Camille has now reciprocated by devoting a fragrance to her mother’s memory: it is a spicy floral chypre titled Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille and its composition includes Indonesian patchouli, iris, violet, plum, and heliotropin.

Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille is partially inspired by a vintage solid perfume from Annick Goutal’s fragrance collection (originally a gift from the author Colette!); working with the perfumer Isabelle Doyen, Camille Goutal was also “drawn back to her childhood memories of Hollywood’s wartime movies. Tempting satin. Delicate lace. Actresses and their gloved hands and ruby lips. And a memory of her mother dressing for an evening out…” For me, Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille succeeds in this evocation. It’s old-fashioned, in a full-bodied, self-possessed way, and it really is most appropriate for evening wear (although I normally avoid that kind of fragrance-wearing instruction).

When I sniff Mon Parfum Chéri from the sample vial, I notice plenty of patchouli…

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Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo ~ perfume review

Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo

As I’ve mentioned here numerous times, I know little enough about fashion, and that includes shoes. Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo, I take it, are the big names, information which probably filtered into my general consciousness via Sex and the City even though I only saw the show a handful of times. A quick check on Google reveals that neither of them have the famous red soles, though — that’s apparently Christian Louboutin. There, now we’ve exhausted nearly everything I know about shoes.

So Jimmy Choo, as I understand it, does not own any portion of the company that bears his name, although he still designs some of the footwear. It’s owned by a private equity company, and Tamara Mellon (who “starred” in the ad campaign for the perfume) runs it; she is presumably responsible for the run-of-the-mill modern fruity chypre (i.e., floriental) that now bears the Jimmy Choo name…

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