Anna Sui Sui Dreams & Sui Dreams in Pink ~ fragrance review

Anna Sui, Sui Dreams in Pink

Sui Dreams, the second fragrance in the Anna Sui collection, was released in 2000. It’s a floral gourmand with top notes of bergamot, tangerine, nectarine and bitter orange; heart notes of peony, freesia, peach and rose; and base notes of vanilla, sandalwood, cedarwood and skin musks. It was developed for the brand by perfumer Philippe Romano.

According to the Anna Sui website, Sui Dreams “plays on a harmonious multiplicity that is warm and fresh, rich and transparent, sweet-scented and sparkling.” I’ll agree that it’s “warm,” “rich” and “sweet-scented”; some people may find it too sweet, but looking back, I admire Sui Dreams for arriving on the market long before the taste for caramel-musk-vanilla perfumes…

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Profumum Confetto, Battito d’Ali, Vanitas & Sorriso ~ perfume reviews

Profumum Confetto, Battito d'Ali

Victoria’s recent post on Bois de Jasmin about Pink Sugar and the simple pleasure of gourmand fragrances inspired me to sit down with a few samples from the Italian line Profumum. Profumum currently offers more than thirty perfumes, some of them composed around floral, wood, or spice notes, but I always think of this house as being particularly focused on gourmands. I haven’t tried all of them, but here are quick thoughts on four sweet-and-desserty fragrances from the collection.

I love the Profumum website‘s fanciful description for Confetto: “Both woman and child. Capricious and gentle like a curl in the wind, like candy floss, like a black silk petticoat raised by the swirl of the merry go round…” Confetto was released in 1996 and has notes of almond, anise, musk, amber, and vanilla. I think its name is a reference to the Italian candy confetti, sugar-coated almonds that are served to signify good wishes at weddings and other festive occasions. In Confetto, we get the almond, and we get the sugar; it’s all very mouth-watering and it qualifies as a “feminine” gourmand…

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Jo Malone Rose Water & Vanilla ~ fragrance review

Jo Malone Rose Water & Vanilla

I tried Jo Malone’s Rose Water & Vanilla when it was first released, but since I was under the impression that the “Cologne Intense Collection” (which included Rose Water & Vanilla) was a limited edition line, I didn’t bother to review it. Now that it seems to have become part of the permanent collection, I’ve revisited it and I’m still intrigued.

The Cologne Intense Collection is a group of “distinctive scents inspired by the rich, sensory experience of the Middle East,” and Rose Water & Vanilla is inspired by “delectable Turkish Delight”: “Rose Water and comforting vanilla are enriched with a succulent bite of rose loukoum. Tempting and addictive.” Elsewhere, Jo Malone describes this fragrance as “an elegant powdery scent that blends spicy sweet Orange Blossoms, the richness of Vanilla and an underlying smokiness from the agarwood.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one who looks back with fondness on the craze for loukhoum-inspired fragrances that swept through various perfume message boards in 2004…

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L’Occitane Collection de Grasse Vanille & Narcisse and The Vert & Bigarade ~ fragrance reviews

L'Occitane Vanille & NarcisseThé Vert & Bigarade

La Collection de Grasse is a new quartet of fragrances from L’Occitane, all of them developed by the house’s newly announced in-house perfumer Karine Dubreuil. On Tuesday I reviewed Jasmin & Bergamote and Magnolia & Mûre; today, Vanille & Narcisse and Thé Vert & Bigarade.

Vanille & Narcisse

blackcurrant, bergamot, narcissus, gardenia, vanilla and tonka bean

Vanille & Narcisse is the floriental of the collection, and was probably the one I had the least interest in before I smelled the set, but I’d say it’s the best (and the most unusual) of the four, and the only one I would be tempted to buy — if these weren’t so expensive (see the end of last Tuesday’s review for a discussion of the price). The opening is bright, the dry down is a spicy, medium-weight creamy floral that earns the “sensual, enveloping skin scent” of Dubreuil’s description. I would never have noticed the gardenia were it not listed in the notes…

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Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends collection ~ fragrance review

Kiehl's Aromatic Blends collection

Last month, Kiehl’s launched a new family of products called Aromatic Blends, “Pure Scents from Around the World.” I was initially uninterested in trying them, since I have bad memories of Molton Brown’s similarly travel-themed “Navigations Through Scent” line (harsh compositions, ugly bottles and prices even more ridiculous than their names). However, I do enjoy visiting the Kiehl’s counter once in a while, and once I’d sniffed the Aromatic Blends, I was ready to adjust my original reaction.

The four “blends” in this line are Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit, Orange Flower & Lychee, Fig Leaf & Sage and Vanilla & Cedarwood. I’m not really sure how “naturally derived” or “sustainably sourced” they are, but I do think their simple, landscape-inspired arrangements suit the overall Kiehl’s aesthetic. They’re nicely made (with one possible exception), they’re simply and attractively packaged, and they’re reasonably priced — in other words, they do what they set out to do. Here are a few quick thoughts on each fragrance, from lightest to richest.

Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit: Let’s get this one out of the way first…

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