Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dear Yves Rocher

Dear Yves Rocher,

I just tried a few of your deodorants last week. The good news: I LOVE how they smell! It's so refreshing to find a deodorant that doesn't smell like all the rest. I especially like The Brown One, which is oriental and reminds me of that Liz Claiborne fragrance for men. Spark, was it called? I like the pink one too and the almond one, which should probably be renamed coconut.

And now the bad news: they don't work. Oh, they smell great when you put them on, but then a few hours later, after the sweat comes, there's no sweet smell left. Only sweaty-ass rankness. Check out Soft n Dri---that stuff works after a 12 hour shift at McDonalds! Or Right Guard, which doesn't smell as good but certainly works.

That is all.


Monday, September 09, 2013

Snerfling (...I really hope that's not the word for some strange fetish or something. It just came to me, like sniffing +flerping)

So I was at the only place in sthlm I know of where you can sniff the Frederic Malle line the other day, and I think I have a new scent for my wish list: Dries van Noten, which until yesterday when I looked it up online would have been referred to as "that Dutch-sounding name." (I think it's actually a Flemish name, which means.... what exactly? Does anyone actually speak Flemish? Or Dutch for that matter?) My first impression of it was that it smelled like steamed milk and toasted almonds. And I guess that will never change, because that's what everyone says about first impressions: Looking for a second job is a full-time first impression.  When I got home I peeped at basenotes and elsewhere about the frag and it seems that the whole gourmand thing is no accident--you know, Belgian waffles and I forgot the rest after mentioning Belgian waffles.... But it also apparently has a sandalwood accord, which I'm not sure if I picked up, because I kept thinking there was a balsamic woody thing going on there but that it might have been the scotch pine essential oil that I put on my hand some hours before (that gluey woody pine note, without any of the sharp greens, possibly because of low quality). And it's supposed to have real Mysore sandalwood in it. Is that possible? I thought it was supposed to be NO HOW NO WAY NO MYSORE SANDALWOOD since the unpleasantness (the overharvesting). Do I have it wrong? Well, sandalwood or not, I really quite like the Dries, so after trying it a zillion more times I might end up buying it when I'm drunk and feeling like a splurge. Except that nothing is ever open here when you're drunk, unless you get all bombed from 11-2 and not on Sundays.  So maybe not then.  We'll see, because it might smell completely different the next time I make an experience of it.

The other scent I smelled there was also from Frederic Malle, because they don't carry Serge Lutens at this store and have never heard of the line (of course not--why would someone who works at a perfume store know anything about perfume?), was Une Fleur de Cassie. Now, I've never smelled cassie absolute before or, to my knowledge, cassie flower. But I do know that it's not the same things as cassis or cassia. Something leads me to think that it's in the same olfactive range as mimosa and hawthorn (another one I've not smelled. to my knowledge)--a pale, almondy, anisic, greenish, powdery smell. Mind you, I only say anisic because every 'anisic' odorant I've come across is described as useful for mimosa and hawthorn scents. Also that these odorants don't usually smell like what I would think of as anisic--anisaldehyde is kind of hay-like and anisyl acetate smells pink.  Yep, pink. And Une Fleur de Cassie smells white. White and powdery. And floral, but not exactly like I expected. I really didn't get almond or vanilla or hay or anise or coumarin or cherry or any of that, or if I did they were subliminal, if that's the right word. I really just got a powdery pale floral. One that smelled 'classy.' Like if you added a lot of orris, you'd have a Chanel perfume. And if you added orris and ate one of those saffron buns, you'd have the whole Chanel boutique (because saffron has a leather nuance. Make sure you tell that to the next person you meet who is eating a saffron baked good). And while I appreciated the smell of Une Fleur, and I guess you could say I in-the-right-mood-quite-liked-it, I'm not sure I would ever wear it. I'm not sure when something like it would be appropriate. Maybe it makes more sense if I say that I could totally see myself wearing it with an ivory suit. But then when would I ever have the opportunity to wear an ivory suit?! Also, it seems much better suited for a woman my Mom's age (I'm not sure my Mom would like it--I think she likes her frags more hot blooded). And since I'll never be a woman my Mom's age or any age, then either it's perfectly wrong for me or perfectly appropriate-because-I-don't-have-to-be-older-to-wear-it. Does that make sense? It felt like it made sense to me the other day. Hmmmmm.....

And of course I wrote the whole preceding paragraph without explaining that mimosa/cassie/hawthorn is a note I'm really feeling right now because I bought some room spray called Mimosa and felt like I suddenly 'got it' with the mimosa descriptor. I think the spray is by Durance, who for some probably-irrational reason I've been resistant to for some time. And who knows why I smelled it in the first place, but when I did, it seemed like I finally understood something about the mimosa descriptor. Because the spray is fresh, floral, powdery and has that anisaldehydic sweetness that tells you that it's mimosa. And it also has that fantastic soft-not-sharp green note on top that I think is what attracted me to that long lost gem from the Body Shop called Leap. I'll confess--I like it so much I've worn it as perfume. And if that's wrong then I don't want to be overserved. And we all know I like the overservage. So yeah, that's why I decided to pick up Une Fleur de Cassie the other day. That and the fact that I always smell Carnal Flower and Musc Ravageur, dreaming of the day that I'd be rich enough to waltz in and buy one for my daytime scent and one for the bathroom, and one for the ballroom where I get my waltzing lessons.

And well that's the beep for now. Snerflp!

Sunday, September 08, 2013


So I got some new materials the other day, in addition to the bazillions of ones that I got and never wrote about, so I thought I'd flerp a post up.

One at least is a "natural" ingredient (natural in quotes because the demarcation between natural and synthetic is so much fuzzier than it may seem initially): fir balsam absolute.  Wow--where has it been all my life?? It smells kinda like that Yankee Candle that was discontinued because it smelled too good, the Balsam Fir one. It has the very green conifer notes (nothing camphory, thankfully), and the balsamic-woody tone with the fruity tone that always comes up in descriptors for it. It's very, very thick and sticky, but it's worth getting it to dissolve in alcohol, because it's such a lovely, natural note.  And rather unlike the steam-distilled conifer notes I've smelled. It's fuller than the Himalayan fir oil and much more complex than scotch pine essential oil.  Very nice. I think I shall have to get more of it.

Two other materials I got are good examples of the blurriness between the idea of naturals and synthetics: One is Patchouli Coeur, which is a patchouli oil high in patchoulol. It's a very nice oil, not as harsh as the young, steam-distilled (?) patchouli oils you often come across in health food stores and what not. It's almost like a composition.  Recognizably patchouli, not too green, a bit of that 'round' note that patchouli can have that I've never been able to describe. I think it might be a fruity note, but I've always for some reason thought of it as having a cola nuance.  Unfortunately I don't get any of a cocoa feel from this oil, but nevertheless it's a great patchouli. I'd love to compare it with patchouli CO2 and patchouli absolute, which I don't have.  And patchoulyl acetate, which I'd quite like to smell, especially since I find interesting the olfactive differences between various alcohols and acetates (linalool and linalyl acetate, eugenol and eugenyl acetate, etc....)  The reason why I'm not sure whether this oil is a natural or not is that I'm not sure how they get the patchoulol content higher than typical oils.  I guess it's some kind of fractionation, but I'll stop any speculation there, since I don't understand those processes. The takeaway here is that if you like patchouli, you'll probably like the patchouli coeur.

And the other material is Labdasur. It's from labdanum (hence the name), and I think it's considered a synthetic. But I'm not sure if it's a fractionated version of labdanum or something extracted out of it (like alpha irone from orris?). The company that manufactures it also makes Cistasur (a synthetic) and eclat de ciste. I don't have either of those, but I do love my labdanums. The Labdasur is supposed to be leathery and animalic--I suppose the leathery part of labdanum.  To me it smells very ambery, and maybe leathery in the sense that Bel Ami is (or rather, was) leathery.  In that ambery way.  So it's a warm brown leather note like in Cuir de Russie, not a smoky leather note like cade or a black leather like Safraleine. I diluted some and put it on my skin, and it got a bit of a powdery thing going on too.  Very nice. I like this one a lot. I'd love to try the cistasur, which is supposed to be ambery and powdery, I think, and the eclat de ciste, which I think is a 'sparkling' cistus note.

I do have to reiterate that I love my labdanum. There's an absolute that I can actually buy in a store here in the Frozen North (there aren't many places to get essential oils/absolutes here), and it has a smell similar to a light oakmoss.  Speaking of which, I have some oakmoss coming, along with Timbersilk and Fixateur 505, which I'm pretty excited to meet. I just love the name, and it's supposed to smell a bit like Ambrarome, which I think is supposed to smell a bit like labdanum.  So the labdanum journey continues.

And that's my beep for today.