16 November 2015

Serge Splurgin'

In which I continue with the mess this year started.  Two more Serges. Yep.  Including one more bell jar.

I was able to find a 50 ml export bottle of Bois de Violette online for a reasonable price (although, had I gotten it a year ago or so I would have paid maybe $40 less).  Weirdly, it was through Amazon.com sold by Parfum1.  It was a lot more expensive on the Parfum1 site itself.  Which makes no sense.  And Parfum1, always the best in my book, were gracious enough to include some nice samples of things I have actually not tried.  I need to buy from them more.  Lately, though, they seem less a discounter than legitimate sales outlet, so things are not usually on sale like they used to be.  But if I need to get something like ELDO fragrances, I might as well buy from Parfum1. Also.... is Parfum1 connected to Twisted Lily?  I thought so, but then wasn't so sure. Included in my order was a Twisted Lily post card, so I'm assuming so.

The bell jar i got was, as usual, through Barneys and in order to get a lousy $25 Purple Card (which I still haven't gotten, btw):  Santal de Mysore. The good news is that it smells even better than the sample I had from The Perfumed Court. Which means if there have been recent reformulations it has been for the better. Reading reviews online, I am kind of confused my comments indicating it smells of curry, or that there is no sandalwood. Well, I don't now what  you whippersnappers think sandalwood smells like, but Santal de Mysore is the closest scent I have gotten recently to true sandalwood.  When I lived in Japan, they used to sell folding fans on train platforms in the summer which were scented with sandalwood (I wonder if they still do, considering Japan's disregard, usually, for international sanctions). That, plus true sandalwood fragrances used to be more readily available and I have had a few. Anyway, I know a thing or two, thank you. I wonder if it is indeed true that Serge Lutens used real sandalwood they had reserved before it was sanctioned. It's beautiful in any event and not at all syrupy, as I have also read.

Bois de Violette photo from liberty.uk.com
Santal de Mysore photo from Fragrantica. 

13 November 2015

Between Oranges

A few years back, Musette over at Perfume Posse wrote a review of Ramon Monegal Entre Naranjos, which she translated as "Among Oranges "or "Between Oranges".  I still haven't tried the Monegal, but Between Oranges kind of stuck in my head.

As you may have noted, recently, I have been getting orange fragrances, with Mandarine-Mandarin and Theorema forefront. Although citrusy colognes read summer to me, I guess oranges are indeed a winter fruit.  In Japan, mikans are one of the things I -- and probably everyone in Japan -- associate with New Year's celebrations.  Anyway, I've been craving oranges lately.  There are limits to where I will go -- looking at you, Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine, unless I want to relive the smell of my grandmother's kitchen and orange juice concentrate. I suppose I could layer it with Annick Goutal Sables for the aroma of a pancake breakfast.

I recently got a bottle of L'Artisan Parfumeur Mandarine, the reissue of Mandarine Tout Simplement. L'Artisan reissued it a few years back as a limited edition at $100 for 100 ml, but lately are charging their regular price for edt.  Beauty Habit still had it at the $100 price point, so I grabbed a bottle. It is in the newer bottle and cap, so I'm not quite sure why Beauty Habit does not charge $145, but I'll take it!

Mandarine is very light, and probably will work better in the summer.

Photo from Luckyscent. 

09 November 2015

No One Can Hear My Muffled Screams

I know I have been on a serious Serge Lutens kick lately and have been buying a lot of Serge fragrances as of late. Things have not always been this way, however.

When I first tried something from the house, in fact, I absolutely hated them. I consciously avoided the house for several years because of it.

The first three Serge Lutens scents I tried were Chergui, Daim Blond, and Ambre Sultan. I chose them because of reviews I read on Basenotes, basically, thinking they would be a good place to start. Most people seemed to love them.  Instead, I found all three unbearably sweet and cloying. "Treacly" was the word I used at the time, I think.

Ambre Sultan has the distinction of being the only perfume to make me physically ill.  Granted, I had been out with a friend the previous night drinking kamikazes so was generally very hung over when I tried it first. However, the scent still makes me queasy whenever I smell it.

Fortunately, I discovered some fragrances that I liked in the house.  I think Gris Clair... was the first Serge I bought. Then ChêneBornéo 1834 and Muscs Koublaï Khän came out in the export line. So I learned to love some things in the house and generally paid attention more than I had in the past.

Why have I gotten so many bottles this year, though, is the big question. By my own count, I have gotten ten Serge perfumes this year, most in the past few months.  Part of it is the availability of the bell jars in the US in recent years.  Part, too, is the availability of the export line at discounters more recently, at fairly reasonable prices.

I got two of my hated scents, Chergui and Daim Blond, recently, as they had been on sale at a discounter for each under $50.  Hell, Bvlgari's Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge is going for more than that.  100 ml of the Bvlgari used to be easily found for less than $30. It must be getting rarer.

The odd thing is, I don't find them as sweet as I remember them. Reformulation? Maybe. Maybe my tastes have changed. I still don't think either is the best of the house by a long shot. Chergui made #4 in Basenotes' recent list of the greatest modern perfumes, based on Basenotes data. I really don't get why it is so popular.  Unless, of course, that it smells of baked goods. Or maybe just the bandwagon. 

Ambre Sultan I still can't abide.  I recently received a mini of Ambre Sultan from Serge Lutens when I ordered something directly from the Serge web site. I didn't throw it away in scorn or give it away.  I think I'll hang onto it because -- who knows? -- I may end up liking it at some point down the line.