Author Archives: Jessica

Frederic Malle Outrageous ~ fragrance review, with a quick poll

I occasionally have a week when I just can’t keep up mentally with all the new fragrance releases, or I’m running short on time and haven’t ordered any samples or visited any stores lately. This was one of those weeks. However, I did share a much-needed coffee catch-up with an old friend, and she surprised me by handing me a little bag of Frédéric Malle samples that she said she longer needed (!). This serendipitous gift seemed like an opportunity for my next review topic, especially when I realized that a few fragrances in the range are still relative strangers to me.

Spritzing on some Outrageous, described as “a cocktail of clean sex appeal” with notes of bergamot, tangerine, green apple, cinnamon, musk and ambroxan, I realized that I’ve never really spent time with this scent before. It was developed for Malle’s Editions des Parfums by perfumer Sophia Grojsman and was originally released in 2007 as an exclusive to Barneys Co-Op, the younger, edgier spin-off of upscale department store Barneys New York. It was then called Outrageous! (with exclamation point, shown above left) and had special, snazzy blue-and-orange packaging…

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5 Roses for June ~ body products review

Although I’ve garnered something of a reputation as a rose-lover over the past decade, I don’t review rose fragrances exclusively — in fact, my last rose perfume review was Sana Jardin Tiger by Her Side (November 2017) and my last rose body product review was even further back (September 2017). Since June is the month of roses, it seems like an appropriate time to update this situation! Here are a few rose-fragranced body products that I’ve recently tried.

I need to thank one of you (thanks, Creosote!) for recommending Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Soothing Body Lotion to me. Its consistency is just right: almost thick enough to qualify as a cream, but lightweight enough to spread and absorb without any waiting time…

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Proenza Schouler Arizona ~ fragrance review

Proenza Schouler recently launched its debut fragrance, Arizona, a “radiant” scent that conjures “feelings of liberation to find a greater truth. . . a respect and love of nature, and a sense of unbridled freedom.” Arizona was developed by perfumers Loc Dong and Carlos Benaïm and includes notes of white cactus flower, orange flower, orris, jasmine, solar accord, musk and cashmeran.

Designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the duo behind Proenza Schouler, have said that Arizona was inspired by a trip to the deserts of the American Southwest and some much-needed time away from Wi-Fi…

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Shimotsuki ~ fragrance review

Indie perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz recently released the final “season” in her Haiku/Japan::Moonlight series, now comprised of Gekkou Hanami (Spring), Tsukiyo-en (Summer), Tsukimi (Autumn), and last but not least, Shimotsuki (Winter). Tsukimi was my favorite so far, but now I’m a bit smitten with Shimotsuki too…

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Kerosene Walk the Sea ~ fragrance review

The latest release from Michigan-based indie perfume house Kerosene is Walk the Sea, a fragrance “like high tide dried on skin, memories of the waves, sun and shore.” Like all Kerosene releases, it’s a unisex scent; its notes include sea salt, white florals, cedar, ambergris and musk.

This fragrance is titled Walk the Sea, not Walk the Beach, and I think there’s a certain distinction being made there. For me, the “beach” has a whole set of associations that the “sea” alone does not — summer, vacation, suntans, children with sand toys, nearby amusement parks. Walk the Sea doesn’t evoke any of this imagery or its accompanying smells and tastes. There’s no Coppertone, no piña colada, no cotton candy…

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Kerosene Walk the Sea ~ fragrance review

The latest release from Michigan-based indie perfume house Kerosene is Walk the Sea, a fragrance “like high tide dried on skin, memories of the waves, sun and shore.” Like all Kerosene releases, it’s a unisex scent; its notes include sea salt, white florals, cedar, ambergris and musk.

This fragrance is titled Walk the Sea, not Walk the Beach, and I think there’s a certain distinction being made there. For me, the “beach” has a whole set of associations that the “sea” alone does not — summer, vacation, suntans, children with sand toys, nearby amusement parks. Walk the Sea doesn’t evoke any of this imagery or its accompanying smells and tastes. There’s no Coppertone, no piña colada, no cotton candy…

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Stella McCartney Stella Peony ~ fragrance review

I’ve been a fan of Stella McCartney’s Stella since it was launched in 2003, so I’m not sure how I missed the Stella In Two fragrance duo that was released as a flanker set in 2006. (Was it really that long ago? Yes.) The peony half of Stella In Two was reformulated and relaunched as Stella Peony in late 2017, so I thought I should catch it this time around. I’ve loved peonies since I was a child and spent time examining the peony bushes in my grandparents’ backyard. Peony flowers have become something of a cliché in recent years (“basic,” as the kids say), but I’m still partial to the idea of a peony-inspired perfume.

Stella Peony was developed by perfumer Alberto Morillas and includes notes of mandarin, freesia, lotus flower, peony, geranium, amber and patchouli. (Jacques Cavallier was credited with the original In Two duo.) The card for my sample describes it as “a daring blend of peppery florals and amber gris.” To my surprise, that description is pretty accurate…

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Top 10 Spring Fragrances 2018

We have snow in the forecast as I’m writing this post, so it doesn’t feel like spring; yet here we are. Looking back at my lists of favorite spring fragrances from 2008 and 2013, I’ve decided to do something different this time. I’ll never stop loving Après l’Ondée or L’Eau d’Hiver, but I gave myself a new assignment for this round: I sampled lots of new releases and chose ten that I’d want to continue wearing in the coming months. I’ve been feeling for a long time that I just can’t keep up with the tide of new launches, but this is my deliberate small effort at feeling more current (even just for one season)!

Spring is the season when I enjoy white florals the most, and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Je Suis La Lune (I Am the Moon) is a jasmine fragrance that smells more like a creamy, slightly salty lily to me…

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Neela Vermeire Creations Niral ~ fragrance review

Niral is the newest fragrance from Neela Vermeire Créations,1 a Paris-based niche house offering “French contemporary classic perfumes with an Eastern heritage.” Each fragrance from this line tells a cross-cultural tale, and Niral is inspired by British silk expert and industrialist Sir Thomas Wardle and “his immense contribution to the promotion of Indian wild silk trade from Bengal and Kashmir to Europe,” particularly his innovations in dyeing tussar silk.

Niral was developed by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and it includes notes of iris, tea, pink pepper, rose, green wine lees,2 cabreuva, angelica seed, ambrette seed, cardamom, leather, magnolia, jasmine, sandalwood and cedar. Its name comes from a Hindu word meaning “unique, calm, serene,” and it does feel serene, in a very elegant way…

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Our Modern Lives Red, Alpha & Beta ~ fragrance reviews

If you’re a fan of indie perfumer Sarah McCartney, creator of 4160 Tuesdays, you may already know that she recently introduced a new collection called Our Modern Lives. The collection includes seven all-natural botanical perfumes named for colors and moods, plus two synthetic, hypoallergenic fragrances that can be worn alone or layered with the naturals. It’s an ingenious concept. With this collection, we’re able to choose or combine at will.

I’m slowly working my way through Our Modern Lives’ spectrum of natural fragrances; at the moment, Red (whose mood is “Gratitude” and theme is “Harvest”) is my favorite…

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