Robert Piguet Gardenia ~ perfume review

Robert Piguet Gardenia

I have not been a huge fan of the modern Robert Piguet line. I haven’t tried even close to all of them, and perhaps I’ve skipped over the best, but those few I’ve tested (Douglas Hannant de Robert Piguet, Mademoiselle Piguet, Petit Fracas)1 have not bowled me over. For that matter, I’ll come clean and admit that much of the resurrected classic line (Baghari, Visa & Cravache, etc.) doesn’t really bowl me over either. I’m a Fracas girl, with a secondary respect and admiration for Bandit, and while I admire the care they’ve taken in keeping the Piguet brand alive and relevant, I’m pretty happy sticking with those two.

The newish Gardénia de Robert Piguet, though, is really pretty. I wasn’t quite bowled over, but I was impressed, and I’m sorry to have to give away the bottle I was sent for review (it’s already taken, sorry). Like most (all?) of the modern Piguet line, it was developed by perfumer Aurelien Guichard, and the composition walks a very fine line between what a hardcore perfumista might accept as a “gardenia” and what a modern consumer might be willing to wear to work…

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Serge Lutens L’Orpheline ~ fragrance review

Serge Lutens L'Orpheline

Do you ever think of certain scents as “warm” or “cool”? I do. Amber, leather, oakmoss, and wood smell warm to me, while herbs, citrus, green notes, and ozone smell cool. Florals can go either way, especially rose. Most perfumes seem to have an overall warm or cool flavor to them, too, or they start out cool then turn warm. Serge Lutens L’Orpheline bucks the trend by straddling both cool and warm notes at the same time. In the end, the fragrance feels like a worthy complement to a rainy autumn afternoon.

In true Serge fashion, the press material surrounding L’Orpheline’s release is more mystical than practical. (I imagine members of some future cult bowing to a huge black-and-white portrait of Serge Lutens while chanting bits from leather-bound perfume box inserts.) We do know that the fragrance was developed by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake and includes notes of incense, ashes and musk…

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House of Cherry Bomb Pink Haze ~ fragrance review

House of Cherry Bomb Pink Haze

Just a week ago, I was lamenting the never-ending wave of pink-colored, pink-smelling, pink-themed fragrances. This one, however, is a very different take on pink. Pink Haze is the newest release from House of Cherry Bomb, the collaboration between New York-based independent perfumers Alexis Karl (of Scent by Alexis) and Maria McElroy (of Aroma M), and this fragrance is designed to evoke “the scent of tree-lined Brooklyn streets, of stone buildings, both old and new, and of the hot metal of subway cars. It is the heady yet ephemeral scent of gardens blooming with lily of the valley, gardenia, lilac and honeysuckle on early summer nights…equal parts classic and new, as is this city we live in.” In addition to those four florals, it includes notes of stone, metal and beeswax absolute.

Like House of Cherry Bomb’s Cardamom Rose and Tobacco Cognac, Pink Haze cleverly paints an entire scene using relatively few elements…

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5 perfumes: incense fragrances for fall

incense sticks

In late July, I picked 5 great incense fragrances for summer wear. Now that we’ve got a decent chill in the air here on the East Coast, it’s time for the fall version. As always, do add your own picks in the comments!

L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu ~ A number of people mentioned Timbuktu in the comments to my summer incense post, and I know some people feel Timbuktu really blooms in the heat. Some other people (including me) find Timbuktu a bit much in hot and humid weather. Whatever season you prefer, it’s a distinctive fragrance that smells as much like dirt and old paper and spices (with a touch of sour mango) as it does like incense…

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Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather & Acqua di Parma Colonia Leather ~ fragrance reviews

Buffalo bag

Last year I bought a new bag made of American buffalo hide to replace my ancient black calfskin bag that has traveled around the globe with me for ages (and is now retired and ‘resting’ in a cabinet). The moment I held the new bag I felt guilty, for buffaloes are one of my favorite animals. I get excited, and am emotionally moved, to be in the presence of these “beasts” that have always symbolized, for me, the part of the U.S. I love most, the West. Since getting my new bag, I’ve been in two car accidents (only my car was injured) and lost two jobs. Am I cursed? Are the buffalo spirits I’ve always admired pissed off, feeling betrayed — egged on by cows (“He never worries much about US!”) Anyway, I’ve not used the new bag at all; it sits pristine in my closet, encased in a soft wool sweater.

I like leather fragrances as I like amber and tobacco perfumes: I need only ONE specimen of each in my perfume collection.1 Likewise, I need only one leather bag (I like simplicity); testing these two leather perfumes has led me back to my bison bag, whose aroma is still present…

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