Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hermes - Eau des Merveilles

More like Eau de Robitussin. Quel dommage.

I've generally been unimpressed with Hermes' fragrances. Un Jardin sur le Nil, however, is quite nice. There was a great story about it in the New Yorker a while back (thanks to Hung for the link).

Hermes' website is quite cute. I think I want a Hermes coffee mug.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Demeter - Summer Vacation

I remember when I first heard of Demeter fragrances, and I thought they were the coolest things ever. (And if you think so too, you might want to keep an eye on CB I Hate Perfume. So far I'm not impressed, but maybe something interesting will come out of it.) I thought smelling like dirt was a great idea, so I bought a bottle, and people would ask, "Why do you want to smell like dirt?" And then they'd say, "That doesn't smell like dirt, it smells like flowers." Which, no, it smells like dirt. It's interesting how some things smell really good if you remove the scent from its context.

It's also interesting how scents easily remind you of certain things, which I believe is the intent behind Summer Vacation, which is exclusively available (and out of stock) at Sephora. I smell this stuff and feel sunburned right away. It reminds me of thick, white sunscreen with a ridiculously high SPF, and my mother rubbing it on my shoulders and face, and getting burned anyway. It really does smell like summer vacation.

And it really actually smells like orange flower and chemicals. (The chemically smell is what makes it summer vacationy, I'm guessing. If Demeter really wanted to capture the essence of summer, they'd add a chlorine note in there.) The orange flower note lasts quite a while, longer than the chemical smell, longer than most Demeter sprays. When I first tried it out, I was smelling it the next day.

I wonder, though: is Summer Vacation the same as Suntan? If so, I've been had. Limited edition indeed.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Coming Attractions

I apologize for not updating as frequently as you all would like.

I will have a review of a very special fragrance for you within the next two weeks.

Also coming soon: lots of Body Shop reviews, more Demeter, more Bond No. 9, and perhaps my personal fragrance wish list. After all, what's the use of having a blog if you can't use it to persuade others to buy you presents?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Hummer - Eau de Toilette

This review brought to you by Blind Date Theater.

Guy: Hey, Girl.

Girl: You must be Guy. Um, pleased to meet you.

Guy: I must say, you're looking great tonight. That's a beautiful dress.

Girl: Thanks...

Guy: It would look even better on the fl-

Girl: What's that smell?

Guy: Smell?

Girl: Something smells like Deep Woods Off! Like, the bug spray. (wrinkles her nose) Is it you?

Guy: No, I don't think...

Girl: It is you! Why are you wearing bug spray?

Guy: I'm not wearing bug spray! I'm wearing... Hummer.

Girl: Hummer? Like the ugly yellow SUV?

Guy: They're not ugly! They're awesome. Have you ever been in a stretch Hummer? Those things are awesome!

Girl: Maybe if I were ever going to an off-road VIP event. Why would you want to smell like a car?

Guy: It doesn't smell like a car...

Girl: Well, it really smells like bug spray. Seriously. Hummer? Who are you kidding? If you want to wear a perfume with a designer label, why don't you wear Gucci?

Guy: But Hummers are cool!

Girl: And if you want to smell like bug spray, why don't you just wear bug spray? It's cheaper and it repels insects.

Guy: Uhhh... did I tell you you're hot?

Girl: I'm sorry, I think I'm getting a touch of the flu. I'd better go home.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Bond No. 9 - West Broadway

Another Bond No. 9 fragrance. This one's unisexay!

The description at Saks says that West Broadway, the street, is "a hipper, cooler, downtown Madison Avenue, especially for the free-wheeling man or woman with eclectic taste." Whatever. I've never been to New York, although I'd like to go sometime soon. But, I have to say, I'm pretty over the arrogant trendiness of New York City. New York's all like, "We're the greatest, coolest, and most important city in the world. That's right, the world. When people say 'the city,' they mean us. We're the city. We're The City. We're going to copyright the word 'city' so no other city can be called a city. Because Oklahoma City? Carson City? Salt Lake City? Please. We are just way too out of their league. Who do they think they are, asking us to the dance? Gross." I'm over New York being all full of itself, though maybe it's just the rich Manhattanites who do it, but I don't know my boroughs or my New York geography, because guess what, New York? I don't care!! And by extension, I'm over this Bond No. 9 gimmick of smelling like various neighborhoods. Because if you were really going to be faithful to what a city smelled like, you'd smell like dumpster and pee.

Stupid New York.

Oh, and I was going to mention this up there: I don't really like the word "freewheeling," and yes, it is one word, no hyphen. I can't help thinking it means "driving recklessly in a flashy car with the top down."

Okay. I'm glad I got that off my back. West Broadway is a pretty great fragrance. The description says lime and greens, but I'm not sure about that. It starts off smelling like some kind of spice--I don't know what, but it's definitely reminiscent of an open jar in the spice rack--and then morphs into sort of a carnation smell. And I tell ya, there should be more carnation perfumes in the world. Specifically, one that I can actually afford.

West Broadway fades to a light, clean, nondescript sweet scent that I'd classify as more feminine that masculine. It's something of a disappointment after the initial ten minutes. It lasted a total of maybe four hours on me--not bad, not great.

I have yet to find something from Bond No. 9 that I'd consider worth the high price, but I've got plenty more samples to go through. Considering my finances right now, maybe it's best I continue to be unimpressed.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bond No. 9 - Chez Bond

"Chez Bond." Sexay.

This one goes out to all the guys. Chez Bond is a men's fragrance, but I'm wearing it today anyway. It could be unisex. Personally, I prefer the unisexy men's fragrances. I don't like a fragrance that screams, "I'm a man! Behold my really ripped abs! My masculinely scented body is irresistible to all hot chicks! Yeah, and only the hot ones."

Whatever, dude. You don't know discomfort until you're trapped on a city bus next to a guy doused in man cologne, and you've got a severe hangover.

Most guys' fragrances, particularly the manly-man ones that promise instant chickage, are of the "aquatic" group. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of aquatic/marine fragrances. I mean, water doesn't smell like anything. Where does the smell come from? Seaweed?

Aquatic scents are usually synthetic in origin, actually. The best way to identify them? A blue bottle is usually a red flag, so to speak. A fragrance name like "Mountain Rush" or "Action Rock Climbing" is another clue. If you smell it and think "Sporty!" "Crisp!" "Artificial!" "Xtreme!" or "Ugh!", you've got an aquatic fragrance.

Chez Bond, $105 at Saks, has a bit of aquaticishness, but it's more of a green fragrance that dries down all woody. It smells like a slightly more masculine version of Creed Millesime Imperial, or Imperial Millesime or whatever it is. I think it's the sandalwood that makes it more guy-ish.

Actually, Chez Bond smells like a lot of stuff, which is always a sign that you shouldn't pay $105 for it.

Yeah. Sorry I'm not more specific. Chez Bond is one of those many "pretty good, I guess" scents out there.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Badger Body Butter - Cocoa Vanilla

When I was about sixteen, Space Ghost Coast to Coast was my absolute favorite show. In particular, I liked the episode where Zorak's nephew, Raymond, paid a visit, and everyone was hungry.

Zorak: Hungry like Hungry Jack-hungry?
Space Ghost: No, hungry like a muscled-up G.I. Joe after a tough day in the chopper.

They order a pizza, and it doesn't arrive, so Space Ghost gets an idea:

Space Ghost: What say we enjoy the aroma of food with my smell ray. Stand back!
Zorak: Bacon!
Raymond: Ah! Horsey!

The reason I'm telling you this is because I bought a tube of Cocoa Vanilla Badger Body Butter because it smelled really good, like a chocolate cake. But now, I can't smell it without hearing Raymond's voice going "Horsey!" I can't describe what it is, but the smell reminds me of horsey.

Also, this stuff never ever absorbs into your skin.

But wait! There's more! I put this tube on my windowsill, next to the open window, and three days later tiny ants were crawling all around it. They weren't interested in any of the other crap on my windowsill, just the body butter.

It makes me think that maybe the Space Ghost writers did a little more research than they let on, and bugs really do like the smell of horsey.

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Brief Foray into Style: Louis Vuitton

This isn't fragrance-related, but it's noteworthy.

Louis Vuitton bags are kind of like the older boyfriend you had in high school: you used to think he was cute, classy, and extremely cool. Then you grew up a bit, got a bit more sense and taste, and when you think back about those days, you realize that guy was just plain tacky. I could probably rock one of the smaller, simpler Monogram Canvas bags, and the Epi leather collection is cute, but for the most part Vuitton accessories are the cheesy pickup lines of the handbag universe.

Behold, Louis Vuitton's latest atrocity.

Louis Vuitton, you're dead to me. You're more dead to me than your dead founder and eponym. And he died in 1892, mind you, and is probably doing several tours en l'air in his grave.

Philosophy - Amazing Grace

All right. Amazing Grace. It sounds kinda like Amazing Race, so I think I might start calling it that. Yeah, today I'm wearing Amazing Race. It smells like sweaty bandanas and tuk-tuks, with a delightful base of broken ox.

Okay, try this: Sometime when you're alone and people won't overhear you and think you're nuts, say "Amazing Grace" out loud, and then say "Amazing Race." I did this last night, because I think I say "a-maze-un grace," but "a-maze-eeng race." Do this and see if you pronounce "amazing" differently. Or better yet, tell one of your friends who doesn't read my blog to do it, because then they won't be conscious of the difference in pronunciation. Then, ask them why they aren't reading my blog.

Oh. And. I'm not the type to get political, but you should all read Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace.

Anyway. Philosophy is one of the few cosmetics brands of the Things You Might Find In Sephora variety (and wouldn't "Things You Might Find In Sephora" be a great $25,000 Pyramid category? "Eyeliner! Perfume! Stila! Free samples! Salespeople with one black glove!" Do the salespeople do that anymore? They did when it first opened, as I recall.) ...where was I? One of the few cosmetics brands that I just don't get. Not "get" as in "purchase," although I don't do that either, but "get" as in "understand the appeal of." (Where does the "of" go in that phrase, if not at the end? Grammar has failed me. Well, it's a sentence fragment. By the way, how many times have I gotten sidetracked in the middle o... wait, my phone's ringing) I mean, okay, minimalist packaging and pictures of cute kids and type about "how you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain." I have just never been compelled to buy anything from Philosophy, and it's the rare beauty product indeed that can't somehow convince me to buy it.

I bought Amazing Grace, though. Mostly because they had a little bottle that was fairly inexpensive ($15, I think?), otherwise it would have been a no-go. So that's one point for Philosophy.

It's hard to describe. I think it's a floral. It doesn't quite read as a floral, but there's no category that fits better. It's very light and clean, and it doesn't have a musky or warm drydown like many florals do. You know what I smell in this? A little bit of Demeter's Dirt. Now, don't go panicking because I told you this smells like dirt; I love the Dirt fragrance. I bought a bottle years ago and went through it superfast, and everyone who smelled it said, "That doesn't smell like dirt. That smells like flowers." And I said, "No, it's definitely dirt; your perception of what dirt smells like is just all weird. You're prejudiced against dirt." And I loved it, but it would always fade after ten minutes.

So... I like Amazing Grace. It smells a little like Dirt, but it lasts longer, and people don't look at me funny when I tell them what I'm wearing. Unless I tell them it's "Amazing Race."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Henri Bendel - Room Perfume

You probably already know I'm a big fan of Bath and Body Works' Henri Bendel candles. Did y'all know they made room perfume in the same fragrances?

I don't think anyone knew, or if they knew, they didn't care. Because Bath and Body Works is discontinuing them, and you can buy them for $9 (down from $18) at the Big Ol' Semi-Annual Sale. They're good ones, too; I grabbed one bottle each in Orange Flower and Tuberose.

I'm sure I read somewhere that you can use room spray as personal fragrance; the only difference is in the alcohol content, and it's a small difference. I think. Well, I tried it out yesterday, and it works fine. Orange Flower will last quite a while on skin, and doesn't turn all weird-smelling like that stuff from the Gap, of which I am not a fan.

So, go ahead and use these on yourself. You have my permission. Just proceed with caution, because I will not be held responsible if you get allergic and die.

And just because you can use room perfume doesn't give you license to douse yourself in Glade. That's just tacky.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Diversey Thinks Out Loud

I'm thinking of ways I can organize this blog a little better. One of my friends suggested reviewing men's fragrances, which I'm willing to do, but not exactly well-equipped. I've considered having a fragrance wish list on my blog, too. Info about new releases would be good, too, but I'm not sure where I'm going to get that. Maybe I should read more beauty magazines.

It's sometimes hard to write about perfume, because most of the time there's really not much to write about, except, "This smells like... flowers. It's okay." Unless something smells truly amazing or truly dreadful, it can be hard to think of things to say.

Plus, I'm not a fragrance expert. I don't claim to be, and I don't exactly want to be. I want this blog to be accessible, and amusing even to readers who've never spritzed anything, so I'd rather write from a layperson's perspective. I don't want my reviews to be esoteric, or pretentious, or boring.

Of course, I'd like this blog to be an entertaining read, and to be different from all the other blogs out there, and to be interesting to people other than myself. The best way I can do this is through my writing style and sense of humor.

I'm open to suggestions, as always.

In other news, Bath and Body Works' semi-annual sale begins Monday, June 6th. I think Semi-Annual Sale is my favorite season.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Whatever Is on My Wrist

My left wrist smells marvelous, like orange blossoms. I didn't put anything on there today, so it has to be leftover from yesterday. So, most likely, it's a lingering note from Philosophy's Amazing Grace or Demeter's Summer Vacation.

My right wrist has a bit of Nanette Lepore on it, which I applied yesterday mid-morning.

Just so you know how long these fragrances stay on. And yes, I've showered and washed my hands several times during the course of the day.

Full reviews of all three coming soon.