Author Archives: Jessica

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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St. Clair Scents First Cut, Frost & Gardener’s Glove ~ fragrance reviews

I’m a city person: I feel total kinship with the poet Frank O’Hara when he says, “I can’t even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there’s a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life.”1 With the exception of occasional family visits to non-metropolitan areas, I generally prefer to limit my pastoral experiences to art and fragrances that evoke the great outdoors…

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Miu Miu L’Eau Rosee ~ fragrance review

Miu Miu L’Eau Rosée

Prada’s Miu Miu brand recently launched Miu Miu L’Eau Rosée, a flanker to 2015’s Miu Miu. Like its predecessor, this is a scent designed to express “the spirit of the Miu Miu girl,” packaged in the same “matelassé bottle” design (with new colors) and developed by the same perfumer, Daniela Andrier.

To begin: L’Eau Rosée is not a rose perfume. The name refers to the pink tint of the liquid inside that ridiculously chic bottle, just as L’Eau Bleue was literally blue…

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Aroma M Geisha Marron ~ fragrance review

chesnuts

Two weeks ago, I mused about chestnut perfumes. The topic must still be on my mind, because I just unearthed a vial of Aroma M Geisha Marron in a bag of samples on my desk and decided to give it another spin. Geisha Marron was originally released as an oil (in a roll-on bottle) in 2006, but Aroma M’s founder and perfumer, Maria McElroy, launched a new Eau de Parfum concentration in 2017.

Like its “sisters” in the Geisha collection, Marron is an interpretation of a color —in this case, brown…

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Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Chataignes du Bois & Tsukimi ~ fragrance reviews

chestnuts

Are you a fan of chestnuts? If so, was this an acquired taste for you? I’ve been a chestnut-lover for most of my life, only because roasted chestnuts figured prominently in two family traditions that took place during the holiday season. One: my grandmother and my mother and I would go together to see the Christmas windows of Manhattan’s department stores, and my grandmother would buy me a small paper bag of roasted chestnuts from a street vendor, to eat as we walked along. Two: my grandparents prepared roasted chestnuts as part of the dessert course on Thanksgiving and Christmas, roasting them in the oven after my grandfather had made a small X or cross on each one with the point of a knife (to prevent them from bursting).

These happy memories surrounding the chestnuts, not to mention the chewy, buttery enjoyment of the nuts themselves, would make me want to try any fragrance with a chestnut note. But why do so few perfumes try to capture this sensation…

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Lush Wash Cards in What Would Love Do?, I’m Home, Amelie Mae & Cardamom Coffee ~ body product review

I have to confess that I’m not really sure how to categorize this review. Once again, Lush — creator of powdered toothpaste and solid bath gel — has gotten very creative with its product formulations. Right now I’m mystified and charmed by its new “wash cards.” I happened across these clever little inventions when I was browsing the Lush website and noting the addition of several new perfumes. I was pondering my next opportunity to get to a Lush store to try them, and wondering whether my local Lush would even carry the full line, and then I noticed the wash cards and ordered a few.

So what are they? Each wash card is a flat rectangle, measuring about one inch by three inches, made from a mix of apple pulp and cellulose fibers…

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Molinard Les Amoureux de Peynet ~ fragrance review

Molinard Les Amoureux de Peynet

French perfume house Molinard recently launched Les Amoureux de Peynet, a fragrance inspired by French illustrator Raymond Peynet. That name didn’t mean anything to me at first, but once I did a quick search, I realized I’d seen those “lovers” before. Peynet first sketched the duo of the wispy-haired, bowler-hatted violinist-poet and his perky lady-love in 1942, but they appeared in his artwork and on countless trinkets throughout the 1950s and 1960s. (Just check eBay, and you’ll see what I mean.) The lovers often appeared together on a park bench — that is, when they weren’t canoodling in a gazebo, a rowboat, or some similarly whimsical venue…

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January Scent Project Vaporocindro ~ fragrance review

Sometimes the way to my nose is actually through my eyes: I was initially tempted to try Vaporocindro when I saw January Scent Project’s retro-styled illustrations by the line’s perfumer, John Biebel (who’s also a visual artist). They remind me a bit of Guerlain’s classic 1935 “Is She Your Type?” advertisements by Elise Darcy, with a surreal twist. I like the overall dreamy mood of the Vaporocindro image (shown above right), plus the sinuous lines of scent encircling the androgynous central face and the mysterious profile to the left.

January Scent Project’s visual materials also allude to the fragrances’ notes, and with this image we’re given a preview of this scent’s “wood, spice and flower” profile…

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