Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mystery Perfume Month

  I have decided that I will perk up my least favorite month of the year with a daily perfume challenge.
This picture shows my little box o' testers that I am going to pick from each morning with my eyes closed.  I will dab some on, have a smell, get an initial reaction then at the end of the day note my emotional and psychological reaction over the hours, then surprise myself by looking at the vial and seeing which scent it was.  Fun and games, yes.  But also a test of my possible prejudice.  And in the process a sharpening of my organoleptic evaluation skills !
  There are 32 test vials in that box and 28 days in February so it will also be interesting to see which 4 fate has decided to leave untouched.

Feb 1

Well, unfortunately my first perfume was one I do not care for.  On first whiff from the vial I recognized it as one I don't like and was sure it was Creed.  But I tried to analyze impartially.  It seemed to me to have a soapy, floral department store smell that put me off.  Then I dabbed it on my wrists and got the impression of a masculine sweet/stale smell.  It was confusing and not really pleasant.  5 mins later it calmned down and was less stale and confusing.  After 15 mins it seemed musty and all floral impressions had disappeared.  It continued disappearing over the next half hour but caused me to sneeze!  After a couple of hours it was so much more agreeable, much softer with the stale edge gone.
It turns out to be:
Creed: Imperial Millesime
Funny because I thought that I like this scent but maybe I had liked it on someone else.  It's a men's cologne and maybe the stale moldy edge comes off completely differently on a man.  I still think the musty moldy quality is something to avoid on either sex!

Feb 2

  This I liked right away from the bottle.  It was uplifting and orangey and a little sweet.  Then on my skin the first sniff was spicy, spicy, bergamot and tea (earl grey like).  A few minutes later it became rich and buttery.  After 15 mins to a half hour it settled in to a mysterious, gentle, romantic slightly juicy scent that made me feel nostalgic.  An hour later I thought it very feminine!
It turned out to be Hermes: Terre D'Hermes EDP for men !
I was convinced of it's femininity and softness.  Well, maybe it's the depth of the EDP which is why most fragrances for men are made as EDT.  I read some reviews by men on Fragrantica and they were very, very enthusiastic about this scent.  I would have to say it is a unisex fragrance for me.

Feb 3

  Happy Lunar New Year!!!
The fragrance I tried today was very pleasant.  Not complicated, not much change from first whiff of the vial to an hour later on my skin.  I liked it right away because it was quiet and comfortable with a pretty and traditional femininity.  It's very wearable, of course, but maybe a little too practical.
I was very surprised to find that this was a Dali fragrance:
Savadore Dali: Dali PDT
I had it in my head that Dali fragrances were more complicated, more modern.  This was very subtle, quiet, silky and traditional!  An everyday perfume for a feminine woman.

Feb 4

Straight from the vial this had a sweet, vanilla scent.  Once I applied it to my wrist there was a delicious orange vanilla spice fragrance.  After 10 minutes the scent seemed better blended with the vanilla spice making way for some floral notes.  After 20 minutes it seemed well settled and some amber seemed to lay at the bottom.  An hour later I felt it was a very feminine beauty.  Classic and pretty.
It turned out to be Lolita Lempicka: Eau de Minuit
This is a fragrance that I like very much but I really didn't start to recognize it till around 20 mins after applying to my skin.  * I feel I should mention that my nose has been stuffy all week.  It's making it very hard to identify elements that might normally pop out.  It's interesting though to have to inhale with all my might!

Feb 5

  At first whiff I recognized this one.  Very incensey, very exotic.  At first application it smelled almost entirely  of frankincense. Very earhty.  Then as time went by I thought I  thought  it smelled  like myrrh and amber.  After an hour it was pretty, powdery still very incensey with maybe sandalwood.  Earthy ,romantic, mysterious but to me very appealing.
It was one of my favorite parfumeurs.  Etro: Messe de Minuit
This is exotic and daring and very much an evening scent.  And absolutely gorgeous!

Feb 6

  This initially smelled very masculine.  Clean and beachy at first.  Applied to the skin I then was reminded of cantaloupe and cucumber.  Clean and summer fresh.  After half an hour on the skin it seemed quite feminine.  It faded too soon for me though.  Two hours or so later it was very faintly lingering without much character left.
Well, it turns out I have a lot of men's fragrance samples in my collection. This was another Creed.
Creed: Green Irish Tweed
 It is a very lovely men's fragrance and it's probably just as well that it fades.

Feb 7

I smelled citrus, spice and grass when sprayed on paper.  Then applied to my skin there was a strong alcohol scent that disappeared and was replaced lemon verbana, orange and rain.  After 5 or 10  minutes it became very much grapefruit with some warm vanilla.  As it settled down the clean refreshing smell of rain, rose, geranium, grapefruit.
Hermes: Pamplemousse Rose

Feb 8

Immediately on skin this was interesting, flirty, sexy and rich.  After 10 mins or so it became a very happy powdery floral with vanilla and citrus.  Soft and feminine. 
20 mins in it became a subtle honeysuckle type of floral. 45 minutes later I had a very feminine, well rounded vanilla, amber, floral that settled itself on a pillow of dreamy calm.  I definitely want to wear this often!
It was L.T.Piver: Esperys
Very, very pleasingly soft and feminine.

Feb 9

A sweet, powdery, creamy floral.  Warm and exotic.  I think there may be Japanese flowers involved.  It settled in beautifully and left a sophisticated, thought provoking, enchanting aroma.  I like it it very much and could imagine wearing it often.
It turns out to be: Flower by Kenzo
This is new to me and I am happy to discover a new favorite friend!

Feb 10

At first this one had a nostalgic, childhood memory kind of association but I couldn't place it.  It continued to confuse me with what I thought smelled like carnation and spice.  After an hour or more I still felt it was a stranger.  This scent was not drawing me in; it was really sort of pushing me away.  The scent is pleasant enough, it just seemed not to cozy up to me but rather to play hide and seek and win.  I just never found it.
Well, another Creed concoction : Creed: Tubereuse Indiana
I think the tuberose might  be the prankster that was not so fun to play with.  Possibly too synthetic or maybe not getting along with the spicy notes that it seems to wrestle with.  At any rate I am not so familiar with tuberose so I now have a mission : to explore other perfumes which spotlight tuberose.

Feb 11
   At first whiff from the vial this was sweet, a bit fruity and something very fresh like mint.  On the skin it was very crisp, a little lemon and some licorice, I thought.  A few minutes later when it settled, it became a pretty, light hearted bouquet of floral and fresh fruit or the sea shore.  Fresh and outdoor kind of floral.  Not at all overpowering, in fact it is almost a little too quiet.  I like it but it's not for me due to the iris or violet that sings through and gives the sweet dated finish.
This was another Creed: Fleurissimo.  This was created in the 70s and is actually softer than many other Creed florals but still not for me.  It turns out there were quite a few Creed samples in my little box and so far I am not really the fan that I thought I was.  The blindfolded test is freeing me of prejudices I didn't know I had.

Feb 12

This is a fresh modern scent that initially gave me the impression of the department store perfume department.  On my skin it still had a too typical smell.  An hour later it still had no personality.  Just a light and airy floral of some sort but not at all enticing or exciting. 
It's Bond #9: Chelsea Flowers.  To be honest I can't say that Chelsea brings to mind fields of fragrant flowers... other "fragrances" maybe.     
This bottle is actually 'Madison Square Park'.  It's kind of adorable...

Feb 13

 The first smell of this from the vial was clever and charming.  Immediately on the skin it smelled musty and acrid.  Rather masculine, but within minutes became elegant, rich and sophisticated.  It remained romantic and uplifting with that "classic french perfume" mystique.  It's a lovely deep and velvety scent that begs for the right evening out to do it justice.
This is another L.T. Piver: Floryme
Classic, charming and romantic!

Feb 14

Happy Valentines Day!!
Before reaching into the mystery box of samples, I said a quick prayer to St Valentine that I might pick a romantic scent and not a men's cologne!  My prayer was answered.  At first whiff I was delighted to find notes of amber and vanilla with a bit of spice.  Straight from the vial I felt it was like an upscale version of "Ambush" which still holds a place in my heart...  It is rich and exotic, enticing and sexy.  I would certainly call this a Valentines Day perfume.  It's got a fresh perky flirtiness that makes it a daytime coquette as well as making that great evening entrance. I must see what it is!
Parfum de Nicolai: Sacrebleu Extrait
Not at all a common perfume.  A special perfume for a special night.

Feb 15

Right away this was sweet and cotton candy-like.  On my skin it was mostly amber and vanilla.  Sweet and soft but not at all complicated (or interesting).  As time passed it never altered from the sweet amber vanilla soapy fragrance that it started out.  I love amber and vanilla of course but this is too sweet and flat.  After a while I wanted to wash it off.
Well, surprise but no surprise - Bath and Body Works: Sensual Amber.
Not to suggest that BBW or Victoria's Secret for that matter, can't produce something wearable.  There are some delights hiding in these collections.  It's just that amber needs to blend with other notes to make it interesting and playful, or even exotic and romantic.  It needs intrigue.  Like vanilla, it's often wasted in these concoctions where there is no spice or zest.
Feb 16

The minute I got near this I felt happy.  It smelled like grass and flowers  and sunshine and citrus blossoms.  Once on the skin it became a more complex spicy scent like bergamot, rose and black pepper.  Fancy and intriguing.  It made me think of travelling and  after dinner drinks and dessert.          It's L.T. Piver: Un Parfum D'Aventure
I guess that explains the travelling, drinks and dessert !                                                                                 
Feb 17

At first I smell only jasmine.  A nice soft jasmine, not too sweet.  On my skin I still smell mostly jasmine with a fruity peachy, cucumber fresh ambiance.     I normally don't like jasmine but this is sunshiney and meadow fresh.  Still not something I would normally wear but pretty.
Well, I am surprised.  It's Diptyque: Do Son.  This was recommended to me as a tuberose I should test.  I thought it was a jasmine specific scent.  I think I dislike tuberose less than jasmine but dislike it in the same way.      

Feb 18

The initial inhale from the vial was a deep, rich vanilla and rose.  Then on the skin it was like chocolate, caramel and sugar.  After it sat for a few hours it was very pretty vanilla and rose and a little chocolate.  I guess it would have been perfect for Valentines Day.
The name of this is: Vanilla Extasy by Montale
So I guess I called it right - A good valentine gift!  

Feb 19

So fresh!  It's like lemon sorbet with a hint of rose and licorice.  A few minutes  on the skin and citrus and anise with rose and maybe some woody notes.  Very intriguing and Mediterranean.  Uplifting and happy like springtime.  I like it and would certainly wear it for and instant mood lift.
It's Creed: Acqua Fiorentine    Delicate and sophisticated.

Feb 20
Right from the bottle I caught a strong incense/patchouli scent.  Once on the skin it was woody with a lemon-lime that reminded me of Cartier Must.  After a while on my skin it seemed thoughtful, spicy, powdery, woody, a bit masculine.  It suggested a cashmere sweater and fireplace.  A wintertime fragrance for my taste.
Etro: Shaal Nur.  I have tried this before, I think maybe in summertime and had a different experience.  More exotic and sensual as opposed to comfort and romantic.  Two sides of the same coin?

Feb 21
Mmmm  Rose, powder, lavendar.  Something familiar about it once it hit my skin.  A powdery, floral.  Girly and a bit soapy.  Maybe even a little like bubble gum - in a good way.  It settled in very soft and pretty.  Feminine and wearable.
This one remains a mystery.  The writing is worn off of the glass.  I can make out that it's Creed but the name of the scent is gone.  I guess I should go in to the store and test the counter people.  That might be fun!

Feb 22
The scent from the bottle is astringent and citrus.  Initially on skin it's sort of like pear, lime and powder.  Quite nice really, like sunshine and green grass.  I get hints of tangerine and vanilla.  It is pretty subtle, daytime, sunny clean.
Diptyque: Vetyverio     I guess I don't have enough experience with vetyver . Vetiver?  (spellcheck doesn't either).

Feb 23
Well, straight from the bottle I know this is Creed because it has that weird Creed undercurrent.  Or maybe it is an overtone.  Anyway, once on my skin it smelled like cold flowers ( flowers in the refrigerator?)  Anyway not too great.  A bit overpowering.  I am pretty sure I know what this is and I thought I liked it more than I am liking it now.
Yes, it's Creed: Spring Flowers.  Funny, 4 or 5 years ago I really liked this.  I used to wear it.  Now I don't think I could get through the day with this on.

Feb 24
Right from the vial a sweet, pretty, yummy waft of vanilla and spice.  On the skin it stayed beautifully rich and sexy.  A soft and lovely vanilla, amber, floral.  Just a bit exotic but very demure for all it's exquisite elegance.  Deliciously subtle, in fact.  It has the dreamy romantic quality of a classic French perfume.  so lady-like!
Rochas: Tocade  

Feb 25
Fresh grass, lime, spice and citrus.  Springtime and innocent.  Somehow this is youthful but not sweet.  It faded quickly on me however and due to a stuffy nose (again!) I lost track of it after a couple of hours.  Still something clean and fresh remained.
Issey Miyake: L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme.    I never suspected it to be a men's cologne.  That probably makes it a very nice men's cologne !  

Feb 26
This is obviously a men's cologne.  It's quite nice.  A classic men's scent - sandlewood and citrus.  Not too complicated or sophisticated.  An everyday understated scent.
The Art of Shaving: Sandalwood.  This would make a nice gift for a young man or a man who doesn't normally wear cologne.

Feb 27
Definitely a mens cologne.  Fancier than the one yesterday.   More complex, seemingly French.  A touch of sweetness.  Very pleasant really.  Could even be a sporty unisex cologne.
Santos de Cartier: Eau de Sport.  Well, I was right about the sporty.  It's very light for Cartier...

Feb 28
Cheerful, pretty, sophisticated.  Something nostalgic about it.  Maybe violet or pansy or some kind of old fashioned flower involved.  Sort of 'ladies who lunch' or hotel afternoon high tea.  Upper crusty.  Not too crusty but a bit.
Hermes: 24 Faubourg

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