Olympic Orchids Mardi Gras ~ fragrance review

The Carnival King

Every year in late winter New Orleans puts on a grand party like no other. It’s a rainbow-hued, glittering, skanky, riotous celebration of everything there is to celebrate, flowing in and out like a shiny snake amidst the flower-strewn, humidity-drenched, decaying streets of the French Quarter. Mardi Gras may present a polite, rich veneer of real orange blossom and vanilla, like a southern belle delicately munching on a beignet dusted with powdered sugar, but behind the pretty, festive costume are dark undercurrents of voodoo and hoodoo, midnight rituals and outrageous secrets that can only be unleashed under the protective camouflage of the innocent-looking mask.

Olympic Orchids’ description of Mardi Gras1 is pretty apt; this perfume throws open the curtain on a sullied orange blossom — half dressed, distressed and a bit sweaty…

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Hiram Green Dilettante ~ fragrance review

Mapp & Lucia

The definitions1 of “dilettante” are interesting and a bit confusing / conflicting:

1. a person who takes up an art, activity, or subject merely for amusement, especially in a desultory or superficial way — if you have the chance, do watch the hilarious TV series Mapp & Lucia for examples of Dabblers-Dilettantes Supreme.

2. a lover of an art or science, especially of a fine art.

I’m guessing Hiram Green’s dilettante combines amusement with love for the creation of fragrances?

Hiram Green’s new perfume, Dilettante, debuted recently and it’s a heady mix of fruit, flowers and spice…

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Diptyque Eau des Sens ~ fragrance review

Diptyque Eau des Sens brand image

Diptyque’s new Eau des Sens is meant to be a spicy orange blossom, and promises “the scent of the orange tree in its entirety, from the white petals of the orange blossom to the dark green leaves to the juicy, bitter Seville orange hanging off the branches” — I presume half of you are ready to sign up, and the other half have already moved on to the next article. That’s as it should be, because Eau des Sens is pretty much what it says it is, no more, no less.

Be warned, first of all, that Eau de Sens is sheer-ish, as is (mostly) the Diptyque style as of late. In the video I posted yesterday, perfumer Olivier Pescheux said that the best way to discover Eau de Sens is to “spray it generously”, and I’ll concur…

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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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