Thursday, January 07, 2010

Another perfume article...

I hate this page here. It's some article from Real Simple about winter fragrances. And it's the same old tripe. Since the "amber" scents are the ones I'm mostly familiar with, I'll comment on that page.

The author says:

Amber, a resin with a rich, powdery scent, is the base note of these fragrances. Each has a hint of sweetness.
I suppose it's debatable whether amber refers to the fossilized tree sap, but I think today it refers to a blend of fragrant resins that tends to be rich, thick and sweet. I wouldn't expect an amber-type fragrance to be powdery. And I would expect any amber fragrance to have a helluva lot more than a "hint of sweetness."

Don't know the Byredo one, and I don't really know the Gap one well either, but I can say from my experience of every Gap scent is that none are appropriate for "a night out." Unless said night includes going to the mall, hanging out, hanging out at the mall and doing a little hanging out. At the mall. If that's your idea of a night out, however, then you're probably not ready for perfume. Unless, that is, if you're hanging out at the perfume counters smelling everything, comparing, learning. But that would make you a perfume geek, and you would have already realized that no Gap scent would work for an occasion of any gravity.

Fresh Tobacco Caramel Eau de Parfum, $75

Sweet notes of caramel, honey, and rich tobacco flowers make this eau de parfum girlie and gutsy. It was created for men and women. You can splash it on or lightly spray it.
The author didn't smell the fragrance. I did, and I'll tell you this: it does not smell of honey, caramel or tobacco. I'm not sure what tobacco flowers smell like, but I know what tobacco leaf and proper tobacco scents smell like; and it's not this. And to me, that's just disgusting. What could be easier to create than tobacco caramel? Just throw in some tobacco absolute or a tobacco base and some lactones, and you have zillions of versions of the idea. Am I wrong? How does everyone mess up these kinds of perfumes? I mean, caramel lactone, anyone?? It's such a strong chemical--it would HAVE to be economical to use, and it produces a perfectly acceptable maple/caramel effect.

C.O. Bigelow Chemists Perfume Oil in Amber, $15

Bohemian but fresh, this is one of the best versions of amber around. Just a dab of the potent oil will do. Or add a few drops to your body lotion for an allover scent.
I think I remember this being acceptable but uninspiring. Or maybe it was more of a "sporty" amber--can't quite recall. Clearly it was unmemorable. If you want a good hippie amber, just go to Whole Foods or any such store, spend a few bucks and get anything with the word amber in it. I prefer "amber paste"--I forget who makes it, but what's the difference with these things? Don't blow $15 on the C.O. Bigelow brand; get a cheap one with a fake-Indian sounding name. Especially if it touts how the ingredients are "all natural," because typically those oils have probably nothing natural in them. Because really, how can you make "Egyptian White Musk" or "Lily of the Valley" naturally? Puh-leez.

Estée Lauder Sensuous Eau de Parfum, from $29.50

Subtle woodsy notes give it a sultry undertone, while orchids and magnolia make it feminine. A light spritz works well for day; layer on a few more for night.

I like Sensuous, so I can agree a bit with this, even though the "orchids and magnolia" phrase makes me involuntarily roll my eyes. And I wouldn't call the woody (no, not "woodsy." Woodsy refers to the smell of a forest or wooded area; woody refers to the smell of wood. That's my pet peeve, and even if I'm wrong, I stand by it. Dammit!) notes subtle. They're very much evident throughout the fragrance. I like the scent and have worn a tester of it, but I'm not sure that I would ever buy it. It just kinda feels to me like a low-calorie version of Youth Dew or Shalimar.

Antyganoo, that's me rant. Blerp!

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