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…

Read the rest of this article »

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy

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…

Read the rest of this article »

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…

Read the rest of this article »

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…

Read the rest of this article »

Maison Francis Kurkdjian APOM Pour Femme & Amyris Femme ~ fragrance reviews

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Amyris Femme

Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a “niche” fragrance house that has really grown on me since its debut in 2009. Its fragrances all feel like they were thoughtfully composed with high-quality ingredients, the releases are carefully paced, and the house’s style is focused and consistent. I’ve tried Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s various feminine offerings one by one, and lately I’ve been enjoying the new release Amyris Femme, although it probably hasn’t superseded APOM (“A Piece of Me”) Pour Femme as my personal choice from the line.

According to the Maison Francis Kurkdjian website, APOM Pour Femme is a floral-oriental with notes of orange flower, ylang ylang and cedar wood, “a bit of oneself to leave with others.” I’ve realized that I really do enjoy orange blossom fragrances, as long as they’re not too soapy or too sharp, and APOM has been one of my favorite orange blossom scents since I first tested it. Its floral heart is sunny and sweet — this fragrance was reportedly inspired by a journey to Lebanon, and it does have a Mediterranean feel…

Read the rest of this article »