Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Ginepro di Sardegna ~ fragrance review, with an aside on Eaux de Cologne

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Ginepro di Sardegna

Yes, this will be a review of Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Ginepro di Sardegna (Juniper of Sardinia). But first, let’s talk about cologne.

What do you think of when you envision cologne? To me, a true Eau de Cologne is a revivifying splash of fragrance that wakes up you then fades away. I want a cologne to apply to my temples if I’m feeling faint, like in old novels, and to freshen me up when the world wears thick and dirty.

What I don’t want is a substitute for a perfume. To me, a cologne shouldn’t bill itself as a quick reviver, only to stick around for hours with a thick residue of citrus and resin. To me, that’s simply a mislabeled perfume. I don’t want to smell someone at the office who meant to have simply freshened up with a fragrance after his shower, but who trails the scent like a bad furniture polish for most of the day…

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L’Occitane Arlesienne ~ perfume review

L'Occitane Arlesienne

L’Occitane’s new Arlésienne is the brand’s first pillar fragrance for women in a good long while (they’ve been occupied with La Collection de Grasse and limited editions and whatnot). It reportedly celebrates the women of Arles in Provence, and draws inspiration from traditional Arlésienne dress and the Venus of Arles; it was introduced in conjunction with a Christian Lacroix exhibit, L’Arlésienne, at the Chapelle de la Charité.

The opening of the Eau de Toilette is fruity and tart (rhubarb, maybe?) and vivid — it’s a happy fragrance, and even happier on a paper blotter, where the top notes linger…

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Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Wood & Michael Kors for Men ~ fragrance reviews

Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Wood

Thierry Mugler launched A*Men Pure Wood1 last summer; it’s a limited edition that, according to my most-trusted Nordstrom perfume sales person, is selling fast. I was beginning to worry the A*Men “Pure” scents (among them A*Men Pure Energy, A*Men Pure Shot, A*Men Pure Havane, A*Men Pure Malt and A*Men Pure Coffee) were smelling too similar. A*Men Pure Wood stands apart from others in the “Pure” collection with its sweet/dense “oak” aroma, mingling with pungent cypress and woody vanilla and patchouli. Dare I say that my first impression of A*Men Pure Wood was: “Wow! It’s Chêne-sque!” …as in Serge Lutens; I want to try these perfumes side by side.

A*Men Pure Wood is a linear perfume, but it does not wear me out or bore me as the day progresses; in fact, I enjoy it more and more as time passes — it’s a comforting fragrance…

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Eight Years of Lemmings

Luctor et Emergo, The People of the Labyrinths

When I first dipped my toes into the world of internet perfume appreciation eight — or was it nine? — years ago, there were only a handful of perfume blogs. Of course, for me Now Smell This was tops, although I regularly cruised to Perfume Posse and Perfume Smellin’ Things.1 Perfumistas hung out at Makeup Alley for reviews and swapping.2 We were glued to Luca Turin’s blog. Way too often, we charged after the latest lemmings like they were stray tennis balls at the dog park.

Anyone remember what those perfumes were?

I remember a few. The People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo — aka POTL — was one…

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Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Violette Sacree & Rose Irisee ~ fragrance reviews

Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger Collection Les Inédits

The Neroli Blanc Collection from French niche perfumery Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger was one of my happy discoveries of early 2014: it’s a trio of well-made, reasonably priced interpretations of neroli and orange blossom, and my samples brightened a few long winter days for me. This fall, I’ve been exploring the company’s Collection Les Inédits, a range of more complex fragrances. My two favorites are Rose Irisée and Violette Sacrée, both developed by perfumer Jean Claude Gigadot and released in spring 2014.

With Rose Irisée and Violette Sacrée, Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger presents two classical perfumery themes reinterpreted with a modern sensibility — and you know I can never resist that kind of promise…

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