Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Fleuriste ~ fragrance review

green carnation circles

Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz recently announced the launch of Fleuriste,* a carnation-centered “modern floral with just a few nods to the classical style.” Regular readers at Now Smell This very likely know that I have a special fondness for rose fragrances, but I love other florals, too — violet, iris, and yes, carnation. Therefore I was naturally interested in Fleuriste, which includes notes of rose leaves, carnation, neroli, jasmine, rose and ambergris.

Fleuriste begins with a breath of chilled air and crisp greenery, as though you had just opened the door of the refrigerated display case in a florist’s shop. There’s a hint of moisture that lasts for a while, as though the flowers were misted with cool water…

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Nina Ricci L’Extase ~ fragrance review

Nina Ricci L'Extase, brand images

Nina Ricci’s perfume distribution in the US is spotty. You can find the old classic L’Air du Temps at Nordstrom or Macy’s, and Macy’s also has the youth-oriented Nina. That’s about it. Bloomingdales, Saks and Neiman Marcus don’t have anything (although Neiman Marcus has some lovely items from the fashion line at the moment), nor does Sephora. I never saw Ricci Ricci or Mademoiselle Ricci here at all, although admittedly I did not look all that hard.

I was curious about L’Extase, the latest, which is geared older than Nina but younger than L’Air du Temps. +1: it’s a musky floriental from perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. -1: the advertising, with Laetitia Casta, is the usual drearily predictable writhing we’ve already seen a million times over…

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Estee Lauder Estee ~ fragrance review

Estée Lauder Estée

In the documentary Iris, the stylish 93-year-old Iris Apfel says something close to, “I don’t like pretty. I have no use for pretty. I know people don’t agree with me, but there you have it.” The camera lingers uncomfortably long on her. She finally turns away. There’s nothing pretty about Iris Apfel, but her marvelous excess is riveting. I bet she would love Estée Lauder Estée.

Bernard Chant created Estée, Estée Lauder’s second fragrance after Youth Dew. Estée launched in 1968. Its notes include jasmine, rose, muguet, coriander, ylang ylang, orris, sandalwood and moss. Those notes sound mild and “pretty,” but wearing Estée is like biting into a fresh kumquat. For a second or two you think you’ve made a dire mistake…

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The Different Company I Miss Violet ~ fragrance review

The Different Company I Miss Violet

I Miss Violet is the latest from French niche line The Different Company, working with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (shown above left). It’s a unisex floral / vegetal leather, and the brand’s description is reasonably close to reality:

Discover a vegetal leather accord at the heart and the base of the sillage. Bertrand Duchaufour creates the fragrance like a sculptor and brings out green notes with the freshness of basil and tangerine right behind a vibrant and sparkling champagne note…

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Gabriella Chieffo Acquasala & Camaheu ~ fragrance reviews

Gabriella Chieffo Acquasala & Camaheu, brand images

I’ve been trying another new niche perfume line this week — Gabriella Chieffo, a collection that comes to us from Lecce, Italy (way down in the “heel” of the “boot”). Chieffo herself is “a mother and environmental engineer” who “makes her debut as a fragrance designer with the intent to recapture the colors and materials of her beloved land.” She also appears to be interested in weaving tales of feminine emotional experience into the fragrances. So far, I’ve tried two of them: Acquasala and Camaheu…

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