Versace Eros Pour Femme ~ perfume review

Versace Eros Pour Femme, fragrance packaging

The short version: Don’t bother.1

The long version:

“The customer who wants something Versace,” she says, “wants what Versace stands for.” — Donatella Versace2

Anyone who participates in the damage polls here knows that Donatella Versace has a thing for perfume. Of course, she’s also a businesswoman. The modern Versace fragrance line emphasizes the “business” part more than the “thing for perfume” part, which might explain why so few perfumistas want something Versace. I did think Versense was pretty good, and I still have some fondness for The Dreamer, but the rest of the line is a generic blur to me. Is there a Versace fragrance you love? Do comment…

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Guerlain Vague Souvenir ~ fragrance review

Guerlain Vague Souvenir + peach blossoms

My love of fragrance did not begin by smelling the contents of fancy bottles. I learned to love perfume in the garden. If you’ve read my reviews for any length of time, you may have noticed I often use botanical illustrations to “decorate” my posts; that’s because any perfume that gives me a realistic representation of a beloved natural scent has captured my attention and has a chance at capturing my heart, too.

I grew up in the countryside, and big parts of my childhood were spent outdoors: in flower beds, vegetable gardens, orchards, woods. The bounty of those places found their way into the kitchen, where another facet of my scent education took place (all those fruits, vegetables, spices, vanilla, chocolate, liquor!) To list my favorite fragrance notes would be a laughable exercise; I’ve been smelling everything that crossed my path my entire life…the list would be extensive. Still, the scent of stone fruits would be high on my list…

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Diptyque Eau Plurielle ~ fragrance review

Diptyque Eau Plurielle

Diptyque Eau Plurielle is designed as an all-purpose fragrance. You can spray it on linen, spritz it as an air freshener, and use it as a personal perfume. Need a whiff of rose garden in your stuffy office? Spritz spritz, and your cubicle walls waft June morning at Butchart Gardens. The dog’s bed smells a little feral? Toss it in the washer, anoint with Eau Plurielle, and now Fido could march in the Rose Parade. (Even better, with Eau Plurielle you can be twinsies, scent-wise.) Diptyque complemented Eau Plurielle’s launch with the Rosafolia candle and scented wax oval.

Those of us who love perfume have been making it do double-duty for a long time. I spray Guerlain Eau Impériale on my mattress when I change the sheets. Occasionally I toss a handkerchief dampened with Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia in the dryer with my laundry, and perfume samples often find their way into my handwash…

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Anna Sui La Nuit de Boheme ~ fragrance review

Anna Sui La Nuit de Boheme advert

When Anna Sui launched La Vie De Bohème in 2013, I tried it as soon as I could, and then I promptly forgot all about it. I think it smelled a lot like 2010’s Forbidden Affair, but you could also have also shelved it with all the Secret Wish flankers. The thing is: yes, Anna Sui does design girlish frocks in sheer fabrics and pastel florals, the sartorial equivalent of airy, grapefruit-y scents in pink bottles. But the designer also offers a more sophisticated aesthetic in her clothing: beaded flapper dresses, cut-velvet tunics, tall boots, fringed scarves in vintage-inspired textiles, lots of black and purple and red.

I’m a longtime Anna Sui customer when it comes to items in the latter category (at least, when they’re on the sale rack!), so I was curious about La Nuit De Bohème Eau de Toilette. It’s meant to be a “more dramatic and elegant version” of La Vie, with notes of champagne citrus and blackberry; lotus flower, rose and oud; cedar, vanilla orchid, patchouli and amber. It was developed by perfumers Jérome Epinette and Michel Almairac, and it’s packaged in a very shiny golden iteration of the La Vie rose-and-butterfly bottle…

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5 perfumes: incense fragrances for winter

burning incense stick

In July, I picked 5 great incense fragrances for summer wear, and I followed that in October with 5 perfumes: incense fragrances for fall. Now that we’ve moved on from “a decent chill” to “polar vortex warning”, it’s time for the winter version. As always, do add your own picks in the comments!

Comme des Garçons Avignon ~ as I’ve said here before, Avignon is my gold standard for church incense. Developed by perfumer Mark Buxton, Avignon starts out foreboding but ends up meditative; it’s also wearable and makes a great layering agent. If you want something churchy but not quite that churchy, try Bois d’Encens from the Armani Privé line. For the budget version, try Demeter Holy Smoke

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