Saturday, July 23, 2005

Diptyque - L'Ombre Dans L'Eau

At the moment, Diptyque commands a range of twelve toilet waters, eight of which have their matching soaps, not to mention the toilet vinegar. -- Diptyque's website

I shouldn't laugh, but "not to mention the toilet vinegar" is the greatest sentence fragment of all time. (Is that a participle phrase? It's been ten years since I've had a grammar class.) It's one of those phrases that you can just tack on the end of any sentence to make it more funnier, kind of like how you add "in bed" to the end of your fortune cookie fortunes.

Diptyque's known for their schmancy candles. Not by me, though; I have yet to smell a Diptyque candle that really knocks my socks off.

L'Ombre Dans L'Eau eau de toilette, however, is awesome. It smells like, I don't know, pomegranate. Or fig. Or... well, the description says black currant and Bulgarian rose.

And it's lasted nine hours on me, and still going strong. No joke. Go Diptyque!

I kind of wonder if this could be a unisex fragrance. I'm all for guys smelling like something other than blue-tinted aftershave with a picture of a mountain on the bottle. When I was a kid, I used to wonder why perfume smelled like what girls liked (flowers and sweet things) and cologne smelled like what guys liked (mountains? Really Ripped Abs?) -- because wouldn't girls be attracted to smelling something that they liked? Wouldn't they want to date a boy who smelled like their favorite pretty flowers? I was a weird kid.

Sixty bucks gets you 50 ml (1.7 oz); it's available at Beautyhabit. Not to mention the toilet vinegar.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Escada - Rockin' Rio

Experience the sensual rhythm of the samba and the sultry warmth of the... yeah, shut up. Don't go to Escada's website because it's one of those obnoxious websites that's all, "I'm best viewed with XX resolution. Here, let me maximize the screen for you! No, trust me, you want the screen maximized. I'll just disable the resize button for you."

Escada just might be up for a Diversey Hates Your Web Design nomination, and maybe even win a golden statuette in the shape of Jay Manuel.

(Please tell me you didn't click the Jay Manuel link.)

Anyway, it just isn't summer without Escada whapping you across the nose with some limited-edition tropical scent. Rockin' Rio, despite the lame name and lamer box, is really pretty good. Like mango or peach, or something similarly orange and fuzzy.

A far sight better than Ibiza Hippie, which is nice, seriously, but it smells like a Strawberry Shortcake doll and is not worth the $50 or whatever they charged.

If you must have a limited-edition fruity fragrance, get something from the Victoria's Secret Garden collection. They cycle through fragrances faster than members of Menudo, and they all have names only slightly more cheesier than Escada's. And they all smell, as a Vicky's Secret sales associate charmingly put it, "like sweaty kids and Kool-Aid."

But everyone who wants Rockin' Rio probably won't be dissuaded by me. And they've probably already bought theirs, leaving you lucky fellows to buy it for cheap. Try Froogling it.

Ugh. I feel dirty in an especially fruity way. I wouldn't have reviewed this one if I hadn't received a free sample at Ulta.

Funny, You Don't Smell Cheap

Hello, everybody. I just finished the new Harry Potter, and I'm reading it again to make sure I didn't miss anything. By the way, the "error" on page 485? So not an error. Slughorn never gets Ron's name right. Duh.

That's not really a spoiler, by the way. Also, this is not a spoiler either: One of the new potions smells different to each individual: it smells like whatever their favorite scent is. Oh man, I want to be a wizard perfumer when I grow up. Why am I a Muggle?

By the way, years ago on All That I saw a Harry Potter parody skit which took place in Professor Chafe's Magical Lotions class, and Professor Chafe was always so cranky and mean because his thighs chafed, and he needed to invent a magical lotion to stop the chafing. I tried to find a transcript, but with no luck.

At any rate, with all this reading going on, it's kind of hard to find good things to smell. But here we go anyway:

If you love Prada eau de parfum, but find it too expensive, consider the refill, at $65 for 2.7 oz. Refills are always cheaper; it's just a matter of whether you prefer the nice packaging (or whether the refill is useable without it). Maybe you can find an empty bottle and split some Prada with your best friend. You'll have to work out custody of the cute Prada funnel for yourselves, though.

Also, Shalimar is available for cheap at every TJ Maxx in the universe. It's worth the $14, really. Full review coming soon.

If you're looking for something really cheap, though, check out Herbal Essences' Citrus Lift, at drugstores and Volde-Mart ("The Store That Must Not Be Named"). Smells kinda like a fruity green-tea smoothie.

And there's The Healing Garden's new Organics Wild Honey line. The little tester bottle in the display smells a little like honey, but once you spray it, it really doesn't. But it's still a lovely fragrance that's not too heavy, sultry, loud, overpowering, or cheap-smelling. You know that the "72% Organic" means that the remaining 28% is made out of the hearts of the endangered Bowtied Duckfoot Adoracubby. Also, why is Jewel the spokesperson? Jewel is dumb.

On a whim, I picked up some Axe shower gel in Essence or some such scent. I'm assuming it will help me pick up chicks. Which brings me to...

Exciting Announcement! I'm looking for guys who will help research this so-called "Axe Effect." If you write well, are easily persuaded by cheap advertising, think Maxim is classy, enjoy picking up chicks, and want to become a wildly (or mildly) famous contributor to Diversey Stinks, email me for the chance to participate in an exciting, barely-scientific study! No, don't comment. Email. Email.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Lush - More Flying Fox products

I meant to tell y'all that the awesome nasal assault that is Flying Fox shower gel is now available in shampoo and solid perfume forms (as well as the sparkly bath bomb). I'm not quite sure why they have a separate shampoo, since Flying Fox shower gel can be used to wash your hair, but there you go. I own the "temple balm"--seriously, do not actually use it on your temples unless you want to lose your sense of smell, because that stuff is strong. A little dab'll do ya. I mean, if you want to get back at someone, you might rub the entire tin of temple balm into their hair while they're sleeping. But if you want to be (and smell) nice, just use a tiny tiny bit.

Lush usually has new products on their website first, and they show up in stores a few weeks later. Flying Fox balm should be in all Lush stores, but I haven't seen the shampoo anywhere but online.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I Don't Like Perfume Very Much Either

Christopher Brosius--formerly of Kiehl's, co-founder of Demeter and the guy behind the new and heavily-hyped CB I Hate Perfume line--is getting a lot of press as of late. (Thanks to my girl Lura for the link.) Now Smell This (a way more thorough and informative blog than mine, and recommended reading) has an interesting interview with him.

I don't think I like Brosius very much. I can't really put my finger on why. But anyone who had a hand in creating Cumming can't be all that bad.

For outre fragrances, I'm more drawn to Comme des Garcons. I'm not sure who the perfumer is, and I don't feel like searching, but I'm kinda in love with CdG's Rei Kawakubo.

I did just receive a whole ton of Demeter samples the other day. Should be interesting.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Chanel - No. 19

I've always had a thing for strange numbers and measurements, like the "Speed Limit 27 MPH" sign in my hometown, or 67-watt light bulbs. So I thought it would be cool to wear one of the non-No. 5 Chanel fragrances as my signature scent.

Alas, not 19, because it smells like bourbon and baby powder.

Which, by the way, is the absolute worst thing you can smell when it's 8 in the morning, you didn't sleep well the night before, and you haven't had breakfast.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Celebrity Dork Curse

dahli9 asks: Do you visit your fan sites?

jessica_alba_17: I have seen them a few times, and I'm really flattered! I can't believe anyone would spend any kind of time on me because I'm such a dork!! :-)

One more curse before I go on vacation: The Celebrity Dork Curse.

How it works is this: Whenever a good-looking celebrity claims to be "such a dork," or to have been one while growing up, something will happen to prove s/he actually is such a dork, and the public will witness it.

For example, Jessica Alba would be photographed picking her nose and eating it, or getting rejected by a Xena lookalike at a Star Trek convention.

Soi-disant dork Britney Spears has already been hit pretty hard by this curse.

All right, I'm outta here until next week!


Diversey Stinks will be on vacation until July 14. Happy Bastille Day!

Coming up: More Demeterpalooza.

Demeter - Wet Garden and Flower Show

It's pretty evident that I love perfume. I love scented everything, pantiliners excluded. I love the chapter in Fast Food Nation where the author visits International Flavors & Fragrances and learns about the flavoring industry. I think you're supposed to be grossed out that the flavors and scents of just about everything are created in a lab, but I find it fascinating. Maybe I should work there.

However, I couldn't help but think, "If they can synthesize the flavor of grilled onions and olives and french fries, why can't they get a good banana flavor?" I kind of like banana candy, but it tastes like chemicals.

I feel the same way about some floral fragrances. There is no better scent than outdoor plants, flowers, and grasses in springtime, where you can't really tell where the fragrance is coming from.

Perfume, on the other hand, is like a flower kicking you in the nose.

I'm undecided about Demeter's Wet Garden. Sometimes it smells so real, but other times it's kind of the Pamela Anderson of flowers. It's complex, and light (yet strong), and green. It's a little overpowering, and not as earthy as I'd hoped, but it's still a good floral.

I really like Flower Show at first sniff. Surprisingly, it's not as complex as it sounds; it's mostly rose. For the first couple of minutes, it smells exactly like real roses in a rose garden. As it wears on, it deepens, and becomes a rose-perfume scent. I have wondered if maybe I just have a different (and wrong?) perception of what roses smell like. To me, they smell light and sweet, sometimes like conversation hearts, so most rose perfumes disappoint me.

I have found my ideal rose scent, though. It's The Healing Garden Green Tea line. Yeah, I don't get it either. Perhaps this is what they mean by tea roses? I'm really not sure.

I like to wear Wet Garden and Flower Show together. I'm not sure if they actually go together, but they are similar, and authentic enough to put me in a springy state of mind.

It'll be interesting to see what other Demeter florals smell like. I'm beginning to think that with Demeter, the more unperfumelike the scent is, the more true-to-life it is.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Demeter - Earthworm

Like Dirt, but better. I think a lot more people would recognize this as a "dirt" fragrance than the original Dirt. Lasting power isn't so great, but hey, that's Demeter for you.

I don't know what actual earthworms smell like. I remember from kid-school that they have five hearts, and I think if you want to cut a worm in half and have it survive, each side has to include some hearts. I didn't know they were hermaphrodites.

Ebay usually has tons of great Demeter stuff.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hermes - 24, Faubourg

So by now, everybody knows that Oprah was denied access to Hermes in Paris, either because she was black or because the store was already closed.

Oprah, I like you. I believe racism is as serious as a heart attack, honestly I do. But: Shut up, Oprah. The store was closed. I've been turned away from closed stores countless times. Many of those times, there wasn't even a store employee to turn me away! It was just dark and locked and I couldn't get anyone's attention. It must be because I'm 1/16th black.

Of course, maybe they turned her away because she was fat.

Trashy tabloids report that Oprah was all "Do you know who I am??" I don't know, Oprah, do they? Do Parisians actually know their American talk show hosts? I kinda hope not. In the Gazette, as quoted from the Sun-Times article above:

"Everyone has endured something like this. Fortunately few of us fly into 'don't you know who I am?' mode. This is Paris, Madame Winfrey, not Chicago. Even if they know who you are, they just don't care."

I instantly hate anyone who pulls the "Do You Know Who I Am" card. Yes, I'm looking in your direction, Mischa Barton. (I honestly wish I didn't know who Mischa Barton was.)

Therefore, I hereby cast the Do You Know Who I Am Curse upon everyone in the entire universe, effective now.

The effects of the DYKWIA Curse are simple: whenever a person says "Do you know who I am?!?" (sarcasm doesn't count), something will happen that will seriously undermine the speaker's fame, clout, reputation, finances, or social status. For example:

Spurned Celebrity: Do you know who I am?
Repo Man: Mish-ka Barton, we're here to repossess your house.
New York Post Reporter: (furiously scribbles on notepad)


Spurned Celebrity: Do you KNOW who I AM?!
Restaurant Bouncer: Sure do, May-sha. You're the skank from the OC who caught genital stinkpox from a three-toed sloth.
Mischa Barton's Gynecologist and Bronx Zoo Expert: (in unison) It's true!
Paris Hilton: (fron inside restaurant) Gross. (throws her vodka-and-hydrofluoric-acid on Mischa's vintage YSL jacket)
New York Post Reporters: (high-five and scribble furiously)

So y'all better watch out. That's a curse on you, a curse on you, and a curse on you.

But anyway, Oprah's not going to be buying anything from Hermes anytime soon. Which, despite the race card brouhaha, is wise, because their perfumes suck. 24, Faubourg is probably the address where Grand-mere Catlady lives, and dusts her cats with forty-year-old fragranced dusting powder.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Demeter - Croquembouche

I'm on a Demeter kick. If only Demeter had a sampling program, my life would be perfect. Oh, and a Garden Hose Pick-Me-Up spray. Why no garden hose? Where my hose at? 'Cause the distinctive smell of garden hose takes me straight back to childhood, playing in the sprinklers during the summer, watering the lawn (though badly) with my dad, and those rare occasions where I actually got to drink from the hose, which was the best of all. I'm not quite sure why tepid, hose-flavored water was such a treat, but it was. Ooh, ooh, and I remember when I discovered that it looked really cool when I swung the hose in circles, or from side to side, and the water came out all cool-looking. And I used to love identifying the duct-tape cracks in the hose and washing my toes with the tiny leaks of water. Not to mention all the water-themed games I played, and I'm not talking Slip'N'Slide (though that was kind of fun if you didn't put your slide over any rocks or tree roots). I used to turn the hose on at the top of the slope of my backyard, and create waterfalls and completely erode the yard. I'd turn my ditch into a river and float bits of grass down towards the driveway. I used to play Mudman and Mr. Clean on the swing set, with me playing both parts: Mudman would take over the slide by smearing mud all over it, but then Mr. Clean would save the day by hosing it off, much to Mudman's chagrin. And then: waterslide! In 1987, this was my best invention yet. My tailbone's still a little creaky from so many hard landings off of the Mr. Clean waterslide.

In short: Demeter, get cracking on the Garden Hose spray.

Anyway. This croquembouche thing. I've never eaten a croakingbush, but I have this wonderful fantasy of some sorta cream-puff with a crackly burnt-sugar shell.

The name "croquembouche" sounds like a French villain. Like:

COSETTE: Monsieur Croquembouche, s'il vous plait, please give that money back to the orphanage!
CROQUEMBOUCHE: Ah, but cherie, zees contract says it is now mine! I need ze money to buy a FryDaddy grand enough to deep-fry my favorite treat: puppies! Oh ho ho ho hoh!
COSETTE: Monsieur, non! Not les petits puppies! (sobs)

And then Jean Valjean, Asterix, and that candlestick from Beauty and the Beast show up and shove that evil Croquembouche into his own deep-fat fryer, whereupon it is discovered that he's not human, but actually a monster made of sugar and whipped cream, and the delicious croquembouche is created.

To be honest, there are a frillion Demeter fragrances that I'd buy before something like Croquembouche, but the gals at Makeup Alley (one of my favorite websites, by the way) gave it such glowing reviews that I figured, well, why not? I've noticed, by the way, that quite a few Makeup Alley members are nuts about sweet, bakery-like "foody" smells. I like them on occasion, but I've smelled enough vanilla-sugary fragrances. They're like the family films of the perfume world: when you're young enough, you like them all, and it doesn't really matter that they're all the same. Eventually you outgrow most of them, but you never abandon the really well-made ones.

Anyway, to the point: I was a little disappointed in this fragrance.


Yeah. No. No, I don't get it. It smells like cilantro. It's not that alcoholy scent that perfumes have when you first apply them. It's definitely something different, and it's definitely not croquembouchey. Furthermore, I hate cilantro. I've actively tried to like it, and I like it for the first bite, but after that, it's no good. It's the culinary equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. To me, it tastes like surgery, and I'm sorry, but that's the association I get. (Rumor has it that cilantro-hating is genetic.)

The cilantro scent lingers for about ten to twenty minutes, longer than any off-odor should reasonably stick around, and then it turns into a surprisingly pleasant, but generic, caramel-vanilla-foody smell.

A few hours after that, it fades into a chocolate-cakey scent, almost identical to Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion. Or maybe I was wearing Palmer's at the time. I'm not sure.

Anyway, buy some Palmer's, because it's my new favorite lotion. Don't buy any Croquembouche. I'd send it back, but I'm too lazy.