Fendi by Fendi (for women) ~ fragrance review

Fendi The Kiss

Imagine this: It’s the late-1980s, and Sirio leads you to your table for lunch at Le Cirque. As you dangle your quilted Chanel 2.55 off your chair and consider whether you’ll have the Dover sole or the carpaccio, a cascade of laughter draws your attention to the table next to you. The frizzy-headed woman with Bordeaux-purple gloss lipstick and an armload of bangles is Opium. Next to her sits Giorgio, a blond real estate agent with frosted pink talons for fingernails. Coco, swathed in fur and velvet and jewel tones despite the July heat outside, looks a little embarrassed by their loud conversation. (Boucheron had to be at a committee meeting for a Met gala and couldn’t make it. Neither could Cinnabar — she’s summering at her house in Bali.)

Then the room’s chatter and clink of silverware stops. A curvaceous, full-lipped woman of a certain age glides toward the empty chair at the table. She’s ignored the trend for shoulder pads and somehow combines Sophia Loren’s earth-mother sensuality with Silvana Mangano’s elegance. Still, her silkiness packs no less potency than the assertive styles of the other women at the table. This is Fendi by Fendi…

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Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius ~ fragrance review

Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius brand image

French niche line Jul et Mad recently released its fourth fragrance, a “green chypre/citrus amber” scent called Aqua Sextius. It was developed for Jul et Mad by perfumer Cécile Zarokian, and it includes top notes of bergamot, lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit and green notes; heart notes of eucalyptus, mint, marine notes, mimosa, white flowers and fig; and base notes of labdanum, ambergris, cedarwood, guaiac wood, oakmoss and musk.

“Aquae Sextiae” was the ancient name of the French city Aix-en-Provence, founded by the Roman consul Sextius and famed for its thermal springs. Jul et Mad’s Aqua Sextius is designed to evoke a summer evening in this “City of a Thousand Fountains,” complete with cool breezes, sun-warmed stone and garden greenery as well as distant forests and the Provençal countryside. The official description reads in part, “Only the crisp sound of ice cubes in the glasses and the burst of joyous laughter mark the soft melody of the running water that slowly fills the sculpted basin, coupled with the murmuring of the [plane tree leaves] all around us…”

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Crabtree & Evelyn Indian Sandalwood Cologne ~ fragrance review

Ah, the wonderful, long-ago days of fragrance, when perfumers used real Mysore sandalwood (santalum album); now, I only get to smell it in my vintage perfumes — where delicious, irreplaceable Indian sandalwood appears like a ghost, a reminder of a loved one long departed. I probably won’t live to see the return of Mysore sandalwood, if it ever returns — the best sandalwood oil comes from trees fifty years or older. The Indian government’s effort to save surviving, old-growth sandalwood trees is in disarray (with trees, even almost-worthless ‘teenage trees,’ being chopped down all the time on government and private property by thieves who trade in sandalwood oil).

Crabtree & Evelyn says the sandalwood in their Indian Sandalwood Cologne1 (formerly named Sandalwood, and presumably tweaked) is from sustainably harvested sandalwood trees…

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Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream ~ perfume review & quick poll

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream advert

Daisy Dream is the latest from Marc Jacobs. If you pay attention to perfume at all, you probably already know it’s a flanker to 2007′s Daisy, a fragrance that’s been fantastically successful1 and already spawned a number of spin offs. The success is deserved, in my opinion. Daisy is not the best perfume made in the last 10 years, mind you, not even close, but it’s about as pleasant and wearable as they come. Despite its obvious orientation towards the youth market, Daisy has a kind of easygoing cheerfulness that transcends age categories, and the packaging is genius. Even an old perfumista curmudgeon like me finds Daisy likable.

I admit I have not paid all that much attention to the flankers. I did review Daisy Eau So Fresh, but I skipped the next two paired sets of flankers: Daisy Sunshine and Daisy Eau So Fresh Sunshine, Daisy Delight and Daisy Eau So Fresh Delight (do comment if you tried any of them). Daisy Dream caught my attention mostly because of the addition of coconut water in the notes…

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Etat Libre d’Orange Dangerous Complicity ~ fragrance review

Dior Lanvin Balmain

Poor Etat Libre d’Orange Dangerous Complicity has had a bit of a bum rap. It was launched at the same time as the fabulous The Afternoon of a Faun, which probably stole a bit of its thunder. Plus, Dangerous Complicity’s PR pap didn’t do it much of a favor by leaning heavily on unisex sensuality, inscrutable references to the Garden of Eden, a billing as a skin scent. As a result, the fragrance seems to have sunk into a hole.

To me, Dangerous Complicity is none of that. Instead, it’s an ultra-girly, elegant fragrance that broadcasts champagne, silk charmeuse and wrist corsages. But, when it wears down, it throws off all its retro associations for a comforting — or boring, depending on where you’re coming from — dry down of amber, cashmeran and wood…

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