Guerlain French Kiss ~ fragrance review

Guerlain French Kiss

Guerlain recently launched French Kiss, a new fragrance for women and the latest addition to its Elixirs Charnels collection. French Kiss’s release was timed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Guerlain’s KissKiss lipsticks, and it is described as a “glossy floral fragrance” with notes of raspberry, lychee, rose, violet, vanilla, heliotrope, iris and white musk.

I have quite a few favorites in Guerlain’s fragrance range (mainly the classic scents), and I’m also a fan of the brand’s cosmetics. I even own a KissKiss lipstick. And I typically love rose-and-violet perfumes. All in all, French Kiss sounded made for me. When I initially smelled it on a paper blotter, I was charmed by it. This week, however, I’ve been working my way through a sample vial and I’m feeling somewhat disenchanted…

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Bruno Fazzolari Lampblack ~ fragrance review

Lamp Black

Inspired by the smell of ink, Lampblack debuted at Gallery Paule Anglim, alongside a series of ink paintings. Lampblack is named for the pigment in India ink, formerly made from the soot of oil-burning lamps. My goal with this scent was to enhance the ink-like notes of nagarmotha in a way that would create a transparent, colorful darkness. — Bruno Fazzolari1

And yes, he succeeded. Bruno Fazzolari’s Lampblack is one of my favorite indie fragrances of the past couple years (it launched in 2013). It is possible, if you try, to smell all of its listed components — sweet orange, black pepper, bitter grapefruit, nagarmotha (cypriol), benzoin and vetiver — but it is likewise possible to close your eyes and smell ink and soot. If that sounds too weird to wear, it’s really not, in fact, it’s arguably easier on the nose than fragrances with similar inspirations, such as Comme des Garçons 2 and Andrea Maack Coal

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Bruno Fazzolari Au Dela Narcisse des Montagnes ~ fragrance review

When I read perfume descriptions these days my eyes (usually) begin to tire and a nap seems a better use of my time; rarely do descriptions of perfumes come close to what’s in the bottles. But the mention of certain notes shakes me awake and rouses my interest: notes like rosewood, hay, camphor, myrrh…and narcissus, perhaps my favorite scent of springtime.

Au Delà Narcisse des Montagnes (containing narcissus absolute)1 was created by indie perfumer (and artist) Bruno Fazzolari.2 The fragrance starts with a punch of furry and vibrant oak moss.

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Perfume to Weather the Holidays

Tis the Season

Oh, I know the holidays are about “joy” and “giving” and blah blah blah. At the risk of sounding like a real Scrooge, I dread this time of year. Sure, I love dinners with friends, fires, and long, dark evenings of conversation. But I loathe the obligation to appear to have a perfect life. Thoughtfully chosen gifts, gourmet dinners, flawless outfits, relentless cheer — all are expected to be delivered with a big smile, despite a crammed schedule, scowling crowds, and “The Little Drummer Boy” blaring nonstop from every storefront.

What I really want to do is stay home all December and watch old movies, but friends won’t let me. Besides starchy food and martinis, I find comfort in tiny moments, like decorating my Christmas tree this afternoon with an imaginative six-year-old who insisted on hanging a light switch he’d found in the basement. I depend on that, and on perfume.

Here are some of the fragrance categories I seek during the holidays…

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Providence Perfume Co Ivy Tower, Sweet Jasmine Brown & Violet Beauregarde ~ fragrance reviews

Providence Perfume Co Ivy Tower, Sweet Jasmine Brown & Violet Beauregarde

Last week I reviewed three new natural perfumes from Providence Perfume Co: Rose 802, Orange Blossom Honey and Summer Yuzu. This week I have some brief thoughts on the other three, all of which are similarly light-hearted and wearable. They also have fun sources of inspiration.

Ivy Tower might, I’m guessing, be a play-on-words evoking the academic “ivory towers” of Providence’s own Ivy League institution, Brown University. In any case, it’s billed as “a delicate green floral evocative of a rain soaked path through the ivy,” and that’s a perfect description…

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