Senteurs d’Orient Orange Blossom Hammam Soap on a Rope ~ scented body product review

Senteurs d'Orient Hammam Soap on a Rope

This must be the first time we’ve reviewed a soap-on-a-rope here at Now Smell This. I’ve always thought of soap-on-a-rope (basically just a bar of soap with a nylon hang-cord attached) as the sort of 1970s-era item that was (is?) only purchased as a slightly depressing, last-resort Father’s Day gift or a holiday present for a male grade-school teacher. Affordable and practical, but sort of silly. You know.

Senteurs d’Orients’ Hammam Soap on a Rope is an altogether different sort of object, and you would never confuse it with a last-minute purchase from the drugstore or the Avon catalogue. These soaps are hand-crafted by local artisans in Lebanon. They’re circular and oversized, hand-molded with elegant, filigree-like patterns of leaves and floral motifs. They’re packaged in decorative, hand-folded boxes, and (most importantly) their scents were developed by the “master perfumers of Grasse…”

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Chloe Love Story ~ fragrance review

Chloé Love Story adverts

Sitting at my laptop to review Chloé Love Story, a dilemma immediately arises: I can write a full-blown pan, including my snarky telling of the “love story” that must have inspired the fragrance.1 Or, I can try to make something practical of the review. (I realize that a third option exists — just don’t review Love Story — but Chloé is a major brand, and this is a major release, and I feel a responsibility to weigh in.)

I’m choosing the “practical” option. I’ll quickly run through Love Story’s basics, then we can examine how the heck this thing ever made it to market.

Love Story was developed by perfumer Anne Flipo. Its notes include neroli, orange blossom, stephanotis and cedar. In brief, it smells like orange blossom-scented laundry detergent…

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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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Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Neroli Blanc collection ~ fragrance review

Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger Neroli Blanc

I’ve only recently learned about Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger, although the company has been around since 1998. Its founders, Virginie and Antoine Roux, take inspiration from their family’s Grasse background and longtime associations with the region’s perfume industry. As you can guess from their name, Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger incorporates the floral note of the orange blossom1 into many of its products. The three fragrances in its Neroli Blanc collection are all very pleasing, and they showcase this note in three different ways.

Neroli Blanc Eau de Cologne is a “refreshing” take on orange blossom, and it’s the most gender-neutral of the three compositions…

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Coqui Coqui Tabaco, Orange Blossom, Rosas Frescas, Rosas Secas & Coco-Coco ~ fragrance reviews

Part of the Coqui Coqui Spa & Residence Resorts of the Yucatán (with hotels in Mérida, Tulum, Valladolid, Cobá), the Coqui Coqui Perfumería produces perfumes, massage and bath oils, bath salts, hand soap, shampoo/conditioner, body cream, linen spray, diffuser oils, candles…and mosquito repellant! The Coqui Coqui line of fragrances was inspired by the horticultural work of the Franciscan monks who came to Mexico following the Spanish conquest. These monks, guided by Mayan experts, used the fragrant plants of southern Mexico to create medicines and scented products for domestic use and export to Spain.

Coqui Coqui’s Eaux de Cologne and Eaux de Parfum are “simple;” the fragrances are streamlined (without being boring), and I imagine they would hit the spot in hot and steamy climates (like in Yucatán, where they are used to fragrance Coqui Coqui hotels). Today, I’m reviewing my favorite fragrances in the extensive perfume line-up…

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