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

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

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…

Read the rest of this article »

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…

Read the rest of this article »

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…

Read the rest of this article »

Quick sniffs: Vince Camuto, Miller Harris La Fumee, BCBG Max Azria

In my usual attempt to clear out the docket before the end of the year, here are some quick reviews: Vince Camuto, Miller Harris La Fumée, BCBG Max Azria.

Vince Camuto

Vince Camuto by Vince Camuto

Vince Camuto’s eponymous debut fragrance was made by Parlux, the same folks who’ve brought you fragrances by Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson — but before any of you anti-celebrity-fragrance perfumistas turn your noses up (pardon the pun), they also did the lovely Natori fragrance. The Vince Camuto is a floral chypre, in the modern (yes, it’s really an oriental) style, with a fruity top and a lightly spicy, sweet floral heart over a subtle leather and clean patchouli dry down. It turns drier and almost-smoky near the end. It does not, as it turns out, rival Natori (it’s in Macy’s instead of Saks, and in this case, it all fits) but it’s nicely done. If you’re looking for a sweet-ish, middle-weight oriental for winter and don’t want to cough up the dough for Natori, it’s worth a shot…

Read the rest of this article »