30 October 2016


I'm nearing completion of the Comme de Garçons incense series with a recent purchase of Zagorsk.  Only Jaisalmer to go .

Also read nothing but niceness surrounding Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Chinchilla. So I ordered a 30 ml bottle of it.  Honey whatever chypre.  Hmmm, I hate the expression, but maybe a little too old lady.  Smells like one of my grandmothers. I dunno.

20 October 2016

Red Aoud

Years ago, when I was trying everything I could, I ordered a bunch of Montale samples, incuding Black Aoud and Red Aoud.  At the time I felt Red Aoud to be to perfumey and gave the sample to my mother. I've grown rather weary of Montale, as they all seem to smell alike, but last week I saw Red Aoud on sale, so I grabbed it.  You know? I actually like it.

I also got a bottle of Lanvin Avante Garde, of which I had read good things online. It's ok.  Does not thrill me.  Yet another woody amber.  It was very cheap, though, so no worries.

13 October 2016

Myrrhe Impériale

I got a bottle of Armani Privé Myrrhe Impériale, 100 ml (my first in the line).  I guess I'm on a myrrh kick lately.  It's very nice.  I guess they don't use those wooden boxes any more.

I also, on a whim, got LM Parfums Hard Leather (100 ml), as it was on sale for, like, $200 off.  Anyway, a mistake. People speak about how animalic or fecal it all is.  I was looking forward to something challenging.   All I get is, er, shoe polish. I guess I should give it more time.

09 October 2016

Encres Noires

When I first started getting interested in perfumes, Lalique Encre Noire was being very much hyped on Basenotes.  As it was fairly cheap to buy at the time in the edt, I blind bought it ( I think it was my first blind buy).  I really loved it  and was very happy and, for the most part, I still am.  It remains my favorite vetiver fragrance.

At the time if its release, Lalique also issued a limited edition edp in a crystal bottle.  The price was very expensive (around $750, I believe) so not many people have bought or even tried it.  A few years back, Neiman Marcus had it on sale for around $350, so I made a point of buying it. The bottle is indeed very beautiful (for excellent photos of the bottle and its presentation, see Nathan Branch's spread on Flickr).

The perfume itself is a beautiful, much smoother version of the edt, but recognizably the same scent.  Both scents were created by Nathalie Lorson.

Lalique issued an Encre Noire pour Elle, which abandoned the inky vetiver of the original for something floral. I didn't find it interesting. The nose this time was Christine Nagel.

A few years back, Lalique put out an Encre Noire Sport, again credited to Lorson. I have yet to try it, as I tend to avoid sport flankers. It has, however, gotten good reviews.

When I first heard that Lalique was to finally issue an extreme version of the scent, I assumed it would be the same edp issued ten years ago. Encre Noire à l'Extrême (again Lorson), though, is not the same. It wears much lighter than the original and is, dare I say it, a cleaner, soapier version.  Not nearly as extreme as the original edt, with less sillage and longevity.

Given the choice, I would probably wear the 2006 edp.  However, since a new bottle will never be available to me again, I tend not to wear it.  Hence I'll stick with the original edt.

05 October 2016

1001 Ouds

I forgot to mention another purchase. I got Annick Goutal 1001 Ouds. I haven't tried any of the other in the Les Absolus d'Annick Goutal -- Ambre Sauvage, Vanille Charnelle and Rose Oud --  they're kinda pricey. The presentation is very nice, I might add.

1001 Ouds reminds me of Encens Flamboyant, although a bit sweeter. Smokey like EF. I like it. Not particularly oudy, from my limited knowledge.

29 September 2016

Some Other Stuff I Failed to Mention

Barneys had their bag event, so I got two things.

First, and I've been circling about it since the spring, Vilhelm Parfumerie The Oud Affair. Not a whole lot of oudh, if you ask me, but the honey is nice.  Similar to Montale Honey Aoud, I guess. Incredibly fugly bottle.

I had originally ordered a bell jar of Serge Lutens Rahat Loukum but then I saw it online in the black vaporizer bottle, so got that instead.  I think I prefer Louve, which is similar.

I ended up exchanging the bell jar of Rahat Loukum for one of La Myrrhe.

I think I am up to date. I ordered a bottle of Annick Goutal Mandragore in eau de parfum concentration, but it hasn't even been shipped yet! EDIT:   I called Beauty Encounter and they said the payment hadn't gone through with Amazon -- it's been almost a month! -- so I cancelled it.

08 September 2016


I've actually got a lot of things on order.  Barneys had their fall bag event, so got some things at that time which haven't been delivered yet. They did have Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle in the export bottles for sale online, so I ordered one of those directly off the web site.  Observant readers will notice that I already have this in a bell jar.

After dancing around it for years, I also got a bottle of Parfum d'Empire Wazamba.  It definitely works better in cooler weather (and it's been really hot here lately).  I'm looking forward to wearing it later in the year.

I'm not sure I like their new bottles.

01 September 2016

I haven't written here since June.  I've got a few things since then.

L'Artisan Parfumeur Onde Sensuelle
Guerlain Mitsouko edp
Oscar pour Lui
Amouage Interlude
Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain
Serge Lutens Baptême du Feu
L'Artisan Parfumeur Dzing! (backup bottle)
Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia 

Kind of too much to discuss at once, although Nostalgia no longer seems to have that gasoline topnote, and instead smells like a typical woody amber. Disappointing. 

I've ordered some other things, but they have yet to arrive. I'll write about them as they come. 

27 June 2016

Eau des Merveilles

I got a small (1 oz.) bottle of Hermès Eau des Merveilles.  I like Ralf Schwieger pretty much, and was curious.  I have good results usually with Hermès.

I dont know why, but I was expecting this to be sweet.  Not even.  It's rather nice, dry: citrus and the sea. Interestingly, Bruno Fazzolari's horror movie homage, Room 237, smells nearly identical, although the listed notes are very different.  Hmmmmm.....  (EDIT:  I asked my building manager if she thought they smelled the same.  She preferred Room 237 and said it was more feminine and sweeter. Eau des Merveilles smelled masculine to her. )

I also got a bottle of Claude Montana, Montana Black Edition, which was very cheap, and smells it.

I also got a rather large (150 ml) bottle of Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu, which is not nearly as nice as the Thé Rouge, which has been discontinued.

24 June 2016

A House Divided

On Now Smell This today, the community scent of the day project is A House Divided, or to wear two scents by the same house.

I chose Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore on one wrist.  On the other, I'm wearing Santal Blanc, a recent purchase.

I was in Barneys a couple weeks ago and just happened to try this on and was surprised how much I liked it.  I ended up ordering it directly from the Serge Lutens web site.

Comparing the two, I think I prefer Santal de Mysore.  It smells more like true sandalwood.  I'll have to wear Santal Blanc alone to get an unbiased opinion.  Compared with Santal de Mysore, Santal Blanc smells more of sandalwood with white musk.

I suppose I could have worn Santal Majuscule..... but I don't think it smells of sandalwood at all.

20 June 2016

Powdery Honey

My experience with Francis Kurkdjian has not been a good one.  My first foray into this whole perfumista thing was when I heard rumors that  Davidoff's Zino -- which I had worn monogamously for 20 years  -- was being discontinued, in 2009. I started researching replacements.  I came across Davidoff's Silver Shadow, which sounded like a reasonable facsimile. Boy, was I wrong.  Instead, Silver Shadow proved a dud.  The biggest problem for me is/was that it is extremely powdery.  Disappointed, I researched further, discovered this whole goddamned world, and here I am today, with a collection of well over 250 bottles.

Every since the Silver Shadow fiasco, I have not trusted Francis Kurkdjian one single bit. Nearly every scent created by him that I've tried has also contained this annoying powderiness.  Granted, I have not tried everything he has done. It's just not me, I guess.

In 2010, a year after Maison Francis Kurkdjian was established, he came out with Absolue pour le Soir. I recall being impressed by its skank, in contrast to others I had tried in the line. I had a sample sitting around for years, but never thought about getting a full bottle.

If you've been following me this year, you see that I have been on a honey hunt, and, well, Absolue pour le Soir has a strong honey note, hence its skank. I heard rumors of the perfume's demise, and thought I should probably get a bottle, which I did.

As you'd expect, this is very sweet.  I don't get the skank I recall from when it first came out. It also is every bit as powdery as every other Kurkdjian I have ever tried. My original sample, which is "vintage", as the boys on Basenotes like to say, smells the same, so there are not any reformulation issues that I know of. I do like it, but am again put off by its powderiness. Truth be told, I was aware of its powderiness prior to purchase. I probably should be wearing this in colder weather anyway. It's probably the only Francis Kurkdjian I'll ever shell out for.

28 May 2016


Following Luca Turin's glowing review, I ordered a bottle of Auphorie's Miyako (30 ml).

It is very nice.  I need to wear it more to form a lucid opinion, but, in general, it's good.

I also got a bottle of Comme des Garçons/Artek Standard, 100 ml.

This will be very nice in the summer.

Naoki and I just got back from Puerto Rico.  It's finally hot in Chicago.

14 May 2016


Parfum1 has been having deals of 20% off lately.  I was thinking of getting Serge Lutens L'Incendiare, but unwilling to even shell out the $400 plus needed to do that.  I was interested in a recent Montale:  Honey Aoud. Trebor at Scent for Thought gave it a good review (he is kind of a Montale expert and pretty unforgiving about what he likes and does not like). Gaia at The Non-Blonde also reviewed it positively.  So I ordered it.

It's nice, if sweet.  Cinnamon, but not any oud from what I can tell. Also, the drydown is a bit powdery.  Still, there seems to be a recent trend for honey/oud scents (see also Floris Honey Oud and Vilhelm Parfumerie The Oud Affair -- this last I've tried and, again, while nice, not a lotta oud.  As if I would know the real thing.). Anyway, I like this, in my continued honey hunt.

Bruno Fazzolari teamed up with Antonio Gardoni of Bogue Profumo to issue a limited edition of an alleged perfumer game of The Exquisite Corpse called, appropriately enough, Cadavre Exquis. Only 99 bottles were issued worldwide. Well, I've got one of 'em.

Again, very sweet.  Well it's supposed to be a gourmand. It comes in a plastic ziplock bag of sorts, along with some candies-- including a Mary Jane! -- and a booklet. It's kind of how I imagined Prada Candy to smell (I have no idea).

These might be rough summer wearing.

22 April 2016


So anyway, I ordered, using miles, this Breville Tea Maker.

I was never notified that it had been shipped. So one morning, I'm asleep, and my doorbell rings, and it's a delivery service.  They brought the package up, which I needed to sign for.  The only other package I was expecting was a Swiffer I had ordered from Amazon.  So, I'm really pissed that they woke me up, incredulous that I'd have to sign for a Swiffer, throw the package on the floor in scorn and try going back to bed.

Fast forward to the next week.  I'm walking past the building manager's office for my condo. The manager says I have a package.  I wasn't expecting anything after the Swiffer, so I open the package, and it was the Swiffer.  I go back up into my apartment and open the package I had received the previous week, and, you guessed it, it's the tea maker. Seriously, I could have smashed it to smithereens.

So since then, I've been looking for loose tea in my area.  I know I could go to Teavana or David's Tea or Argo Tea, but there are none around here and I sleep during the day (when they'd be open).  Mariano's has tea bags, mostly.  There are a few loose teas in the Roundy's brand. I end up getting a bag of Earl Grey.  But, you know? I'm not really fond of Earl Grey, so it remains unopened.  I finally get around to going to a Jewel, and nope.  They don't have any loose teas.  I could have sworn you could get loose teas pretty easily at supermarkets around here.  Maybe it was at Dominick's, now discontinued.

So today I go to Whole Foods, which I figure, as they are such snobs about everything they sell, that they would be tea snobs and have loose tea on sale.  Not a single one! Well at least I could keep my record for not spending a single cent in the Whole Foods that replaced my nearby Dominick's.

So, I ended up ordering a bunch of teas from Amazon.com.  They should be delivered in a couple of days.  I'll finally be able to try this machine out.  I don't know how useful it will be for green teas, since  you just swish hot water around for a minute or so in a little pot with the leaves from my experience. I guess I could have gotten one of those pots that boil water at the proper temperature and it would have worked the same.  Zojirushi makes one that sells for only $50 less than this tea maker, so it's not really as outrageously priced as first appears.  I'm just not sure how useful it will be in the long run.  Although if I can make a whole pot of delicious green tea that would be a plus.

15 April 2016

More Comme des Garçons

I went to Barneys today. Was kind of interested in which Comme des Garçons they might have.  They used to have Sequoia and  Daphne, but not any longer.  Their supplies are always a bit spotty.  They don't carry everything in the lineup.  So it's not always any indication if anything is discontinued or not.

So I ended up getting two fragrances.  First, Odeur 71, 200 ml, which I had always intended on getting.

The bottle is just so dang big!

The second I got was Monocle Scent Three: Sugi, 50 ml.

I wasn't expecting the bottle to be an opaque yellow.

I had wanted to get Artek: Standard and, while they had a tester, had none in stock.

12 April 2016

Comme des Garçons


Looks like Comme des Garçons may be cleaning house.  I was hoping to get a bottle of Series 1: Leaves Tea.  Fortunately, Amazon.com had one for sale through a third-party vendor and it arrived yesterday.  I quite like it.

But it looks as if the Leaves series is perhaps being phased out.  No one seems to carry the line any longer, including Dover Street Market.  Ditto the Red Series and Daphne. Mystifyingly, the Energy C series is still around.

On my wish lists have been Calamus, Harissa (which is still available through Lucky Scent, as is Carnation), Palisander, and perhaps Sequoia. I'm hoping it's just a temporary lack of availability, and that all will become available again. I have not heard a thing about any discontinuations.

29 March 2016

Au Delà ー Narcisse des Montagnes

On 22 March, I received an email from Bruno Fazzolari announcing the availability of 50 bottles of Au Delà ー Narcisse des Montagnes once more.  I immediately ordered one.  It arrived on 26 March, and languished in my building's office manager's office until yesterday, when I was finally able to retrieve it. As we speak, there are only four left for sale. Allegedly, this will be the last time Fazzolari will offer the perfume "in this formulation", whatever that means.

I had meant to get a bottle last time it was available (last fall), but dithered around so much until they were all gone.

Anyway, it's beautiful and I'm glad I got it.

22 March 2016

New Things

I'm a big fan of Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, so I thought I'd pick up a bottle of Rien Intense Incense (100 ml).  Having gotten the bottle, I agree that it is not significantly different from the original, except in the top notes.  The incense is indeed intensified, and there is less skank than would be desired.

They probably should have called it something else, considering they have been mixing some of their scents to make new ones recently. Still, I'm glad I own it.

I also got a bottle of Rochas Tocade (100 ml), which really may not be me. But it was only $20 or so. I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with Maurice Roucel's fragrances (although I could probably nap all day in that mustache he used to sport).  Off the top of my head, I'm not super happy with Rochas Man or Musc Ravageur, but love KenzoAir and KenzoAir Intense. Tocade seems nice, if sweet.  Not particulary feminine.  It's been around for years so probably has been reformulated.

The current version is an eau de toilette.  Somewhere I have a sample (purchased at Rei Rien - remember them? She had great inventory) of Tocade in either eau de parfum or parfum,  I wonder why they don't make those any more.  I recall it being quite beautiful.  I'll have to search for it later.

Continuing my honey hunt, I got Demeter Honey (30 ml) to go with the Beeswax.  Again, not expecting a lot, but it seems more honey than the Beeswax was.

20 March 2016

09 March 2016

Honey Hush

I stayed in Nagoya for the last three weeks of February.  While there, I ordered a bottle of Ginestet Botrytis (100 ml), despite my initial misgivings, in my quest for yet more honey. To be honest, I really haven't had time to test it very much, but it was not what I was expecting.  Certainly not oversweet, from what I can tell, but rather heavy (despite being an edt), and not particularly honey-like.  Again, I'll have to try it more later.  Not all that girly, though.

I also got a 3 ml bottle of Madini Oils Musk Gazelle,  Again, I've not had much time to spend with it.

Barneys is having their spring bag event. Patty was texting me as my flight taxied on the runway at O'Hare, and told me to pre-order so that I could get the man bag.  So I ordered a bell jar of Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle (75 ml). It really doesn't seem overly tuberosey, and I think I will be able to pull it off, especially dabbed.

Last month, Gaia at the Non Blonde wrote in a post that Miel de Bois had been reformulated, and that the new one didn't cut it.  Ever since, I have been on the lookout for an old bottle of it (it was originally released in 2005, and, I think, was changed to the exclusive line and reformulated in 2010).

While at Barneys last week, I was talking with the sales assistants, and one of them had an old export line bottle (50 ml). Turns out, she really hates it.  I already have a bell jar of it, and really love that version. She out of the blue said she would give her bottle to me! I offered to trade it for my Vaporisateur Tout Noir with 30 ml of Fourreau Noir, which I had received as a giveaway from the Serge Lutens site (the other 30 ml I gave to my sister Janet for Christmas.  I already have a bell jar of Fourreau Noir). So, yesterday, when the bag event had officially started and I could pick up my Tubéreuse Criminelle, we exchanged perfumes.  I am so happy about this you just don't know!

The 50 ml bottle (which the batch code on it dates to 2006) and bell jar juice definitely are different! I have only sprayed the export line version and only dabbed the bell jar version.  Therefore, a true comparison would have them applied in the same manner.  I'll do this at another date.  I had too much stuff on that I was trying yesterday.  I kinda sorta have a date tonight (some young'un who lives a few blocks south wants to meet me after he is done with work), so won't be doing the comparisons today.  (UPDATE:  young'un cancelled!) The sprayed MdB is still going strong on my arm 12 hours later and definitely is more acrid than the newer version.  I do think I love them both and glad I was able to get this!!!

The man bag from the bag event was really generous this time out.  Included was a 50 ml (?) bottle of Ulrich Lang Nightscape, which I still haven't tried. I was able to get samples of Frédéric Malle Monsieur. and The Night, which I guess I can order for $800 for 50 ml! We shall see!!

I did order a bottle of Demeter Beeswax, which still hasn't arrived. I'm not expecting a whole lot from it. But it was cheap.

UPDATE:  Beeswax arrived today (14 March), after a weird mixup with my mailing address.  Not great, but certainly better than that horrible Tokyomilk thing.

05 February 2016

Honey, Don't

I got a few more things, smaller.

First up, Tokyomilk Honey and the Moon, 30 ml.  Nope this is not good at all.  Smells like hairspray.  At least it was on sale and not expensive. Maybe I'll give it to Diana.

Beauty Habit had a bunch of things on sale.  They also had 14 ml. bottles of some Histoires de Parfums at reasonable prices, so I got three:  Ambre 114, Noir Patchouli, and Tubéreuse 3: Animale.

As Amber is a note I really can't stand, I will probably never wear Ambre 114.  I always thought it was one of the ambers I could stomach, but, maybe not. Anyway, 14 ml is a good size.

03 February 2016

Hi, Honey, I'm Home

I've been kind of obsessed lately with getting a new honey perfume, and have been doing a lot of research into it. I almost bought 4160 Tuesdays Dirty Honey, just because the name sounded like something I'd like, but backed down at the last minute.  Ditto with Ginestet Botrytis, which I was afraid would be too girly on me, as it sounded super sweet.

When I had ordered Soivohlé Oudh Lacquer a few weeks back, I got a sample of Amun Re:  The Tears of Ra, which, actually, fits the bill rather well.

It's not at Miel de Bois levels of love, but I do like it a lot (more than I do Oudh Lacquer).

Continuing on, I also (finally?) got a bottle of Yves Saint Laurent Kouros, of which endless hordes complain of smelling like urine because of the overdose of honey.  Well, it's not bad, but smells rather clean to me.  What's all the ruckus? Anyway, I don't get the honey.  It also doesn't seem very fougère-like to me. Clean and powdery.

Of course, I'll have to wear it all a bit more before coming up with a better impression. I'd have no compunction about wearing it to work, thank you, ma'am.

The third scent I got recently, which has absolutely no connection to honey, is Frapin Passion Boisée.  Patty at Barneys had given me a couple of Frapin samples last time I was there, and I liked this a lot.   In the past, Frapin has kind of left me cold, but I will say, this is very nice.

The above bottle is the one I got. I have noticed that there seem to be several versions with different lettering.  I hope this is okay.  I got it from Fragrancenet, at more than 50% discount. The bottle itself is very heavy.  You could probably kill someone with it.

Photo from Candyman.

20 January 2016

Elephants and Daffodils

Already into the new year and spending on perfume.

I was intrigued by the recent releases from Perfumes Berdoues.  I like tea-based fragrances, so blindly bought Assam of India, 100 ml.  It's ok, doesn't thrill me.  It may work better in warmer weather.  It is only a cologne after all.

The bottle is great however, plastered with elephants.

I also got a second elephant-themed perfume, Maria Candida Gentile Elephant and Roses, 30 ml. To be honest, I cannot smell a thing! This is my first perfume from Maria Candida Gentile.

These two were actually ordered at the end of last year.

Penhaligon's was having a sale, so I ordered a few.  Endymion was not on sale, but I bought a small bottle which was not so expensive (30 ml). I haven't been able to try it extensively yet.

Moving on with Romantic poets, I got Ostara, 100 ml. A host of golden daffodils!

Victoria at Bois de Jasmin gave this five stars, which is unusual for her.  I'm not quite feeling it.  I'm wearing it now, and it smells a bit sour on me. I really loved L'Artisan's Fleur de Narcisse, and I guess I was expecting it to smell like that.

Finally, I got Charenton Macerations Christopher Street, 30 ml. Love it.  I like also that it is wrapped in a piece of leather scented with the perfume! Not quite sure how it connects with Stonewall, even though founder Douglas Bender explains it on their site.