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chezpajama / posted on 17 September 2014 Les Filles des Iles, Sugar Chic
Les Filles des Iles, or Island Girls, is a fairly obscure French perfume house. Obscure in the US. I can’t comment on their popularity in Europe.
The whole concept is beachy / fun and seems to be inspired by what a European might think a typical California girl is like. So I find it odd that this line has almost no US exposure.
Sugar Chic is reminiscent of both D&G’s Pour Femme (new) and Paco Rabanne’s Ultrared. Fluffy strawberry marshmallows on an amber & sandalwood base. Oriental vanilla for girls who think Hypnotic Poison smells “old lady”.
A pleasant, completely tolerable amount of sweetness. However, I don’t see this as worth hunting down if you live outside France. It’s not an ultra gourmand dreamboat and either of the above mentioned, or also Naomi Campbell’s self-titled perfume would be a sufficient, more accessible substitute.
Notes: strawberry margarita, mandarin, raspberry, candyfloss, litchi, orange blossom, lemon, violet, jasmine, rose, patchouli, white musk, vanilla, sandalwood, amber

Les Filles des Iles, Sugar Chic

Les Filles des Iles, or Island Girls, is a fairly obscure French perfume house. Obscure in the US. I can’t comment on their popularity in Europe.

The whole concept is beachy / fun and seems to be inspired by what a European might think a typical California girl is like. So I find it odd that this line has almost no US exposure.

Sugar Chic is reminiscent of both D&G’s Pour Femme (new) and Paco Rabanne’s Ultrared. Fluffy strawberry marshmallows on an amber & sandalwood base. Oriental vanilla for girls who think Hypnotic Poison smells “old lady”.

A pleasant, completely tolerable amount of sweetness. However, I don’t see this as worth hunting down if you live outside France. It’s not an ultra gourmand dreamboat and either of the above mentioned, or also Naomi Campbell’s self-titled perfume would be a sufficient, more accessible substitute.

Notes: strawberry margarita, mandarin, raspberry, candyfloss, litchi, orange blossom, lemon, violet, jasmine, rose, patchouli, white musk, vanilla, sandalwood, amber


TAGS: les filles des iles gourmand sweet sugar perfume french niche summer

chezpajama / posted on 17 September 2014 Acqua di Parma, Iris Nobile
As much as I love how Italians do neroli / citrus and woody notes (please exclude D&G’s Light Blue from this as it smells like pissy rabbit cage), I am coming to the conclusion that I don’t really love their irises.
Italians do iris nicely, but it’s clean, soapy iris. I want cold, carroty, misty, earthy iris. I already have Infusion d’Iris. I don’t need another iris soap scent. 
This I say after I’ve just purchased a bottle of the not inexpensive Odori Iris. I did get a greal deal though. Shame.
The notes list of Iris Nobile reads like a “greatest hits” for me. Unfortunately, expectations don’t meet up to reality. That’s an old story in the world of perfume.
Iris Nobile opens quite citrusy and sharp. Typically Italian in that sense. Which would be fine if this wasn’t an iris perfume. 
Final impression is of a melange of white florals + iris soap. I never get any of the star anise which is really disappointing.
It smells dewy and fresh and spring-like and nice, but I love iris and it’s easy for iris scents to let me down. I actually prefer the crisp, cold sharpness of Infusion d’Iris. I find this one too “typical”.
Notes: bergamot, tangerine, iris petals, star anise, crystalline sweetness accord, orange blossom, ylang ylang, cumin, peach, iris, patchouli, oakmoss, amber, vanilla
 

Acqua di Parma, Iris Nobile

As much as I love how Italians do neroli / citrus and woody notes (please exclude D&G’s Light Blue from this as it smells like pissy rabbit cage), I am coming to the conclusion that I don’t really love their irises.

Italians do iris nicely, but it’s clean, soapy iris. I want cold, carroty, misty, earthy iris. I already have Infusion d’Iris. I don’t need another iris soap scent. 

This I say after I’ve just purchased a bottle of the not inexpensive Odori Iris. I did get a greal deal though. Shame.

The notes list of Iris Nobile reads like a “greatest hits” for me. Unfortunately, expectations don’t meet up to reality. That’s an old story in the world of perfume.

Iris Nobile opens quite citrusy and sharp. Typically Italian in that sense. Which would be fine if this wasn’t an iris perfume. 

Final impression is of a melange of white florals + iris soap. I never get any of the star anise which is really disappointing.

It smells dewy and fresh and spring-like and nice, but I love iris and it’s easy for iris scents to let me down. I actually prefer the crisp, cold sharpness of Infusion d’Iris. I find this one too “typical”.

Notes: bergamot, tangerine, iris petals, star anise, crystalline sweetness accord, orange blossom, ylang ylang, cumin, peach, iris, patchouli, oakmoss, amber, vanilla

 


TAGS: acqua di parma iris niche italian summer floral perfume

chezpajama / posted on 17 September 2014 Van Cleef & Arpels, California Rêverie
Picked up a sample of this in my continued quest for beeswax. I personally do not smell much beeswax and I’m thinking I may just have to turn to Kim Kardashian’s Pure Honey. I have tried her gardenia scents and they’re nice. Very nice, in fact. 
I enjoy California Rêverie, but that’s no surprise. I love creamy white florals and neroli. I personally smell more jasmine than frangipani. A very nice jasmine of the Lush Lust variety, but much tamer. 
It’s a very pretty scent. However, I can’t help but feel every aspect of it is represented in another scent I own. I see similarities to Lust & Al Rehab’s Full (jasmine sambac), Pacifica’s Tahitian Gardenia (white florals + citrus), Yves Rocher’s Monoi (sweet white florals), Smell Bent’s St Tropez Dispenser (jasmine sambac + neroli) and so on.
So I don’t know if this is worth blowing my monthly perfume budget on. If someone bought it for me, I’d probably be thrilled though. It’s very much “my type” of perfume.
I’d like to advise everyone to not buy this perfume at Lucky Scent as it’s a full $60 more than what Neiman Marcus is currently charging and just f-ing ridiculous.
Notes: mandarin orange, neroli, jasmine sambac, frangipani, beeswax, vanilla

Van Cleef & Arpels, California Rêverie

Picked up a sample of this in my continued quest for beeswax. I personally do not smell much beeswax and I’m thinking I may just have to turn to Kim Kardashian’s Pure Honey. I have tried her gardenia scents and they’re nice. Very nice, in fact. 

I enjoy California Rêverie, but that’s no surprise. I love creamy white florals and neroli. I personally smell more jasmine than frangipani. A very nice jasmine of the Lush Lust variety, but much tamer. 

It’s a very pretty scent. However, I can’t help but feel every aspect of it is represented in another scent I own. I see similarities to Lust & Al Rehab’s Full (jasmine sambac), Pacifica’s Tahitian Gardenia (white florals + citrus), Yves Rocher’s Monoi (sweet white florals), Smell Bent’s St Tropez Dispenser (jasmine sambac + neroli) and so on.

So I don’t know if this is worth blowing my monthly perfume budget on. If someone bought it for me, I’d probably be thrilled though. It’s very much “my type” of perfume.

I’d like to advise everyone to not buy this perfume at Lucky Scent as it’s a full $60 more than what Neiman Marcus is currently charging and just f-ing ridiculous.

Notes: mandarin orange, neroli, jasmine sambac, frangipani, beeswax, vanilla


TAGS: van cleef & arpels frangipani jasmine jasmine sambac white florals neroli summer perfume

chezpajama / posted on 16 September 2014

Ripe, Dirty Gardenia

This is one of the Etsy oils I’d been eyeing for a while before finally taking the plunge. I was a pretty avid Etsy buyer maybe 6-7 years ago but I briefly became disenchanted. Not with perfume, just with Etsy in general.

The blurb for Dirty Gardenia is as follows:

Dirty gardenia: rich, floral blossoming gardenia and an undertone of freshly dug earth (this is a very strong scent for those that truly love a gardenia perfume scent)

I do, in fact, love a gardenia perfume. One of my favorite notes.

Firstly I will say the packaging from Ripe is very “legitimate”. The perfume itself is sealed in a little plastic tube like a new lipstick and you get a cute little canvas bag printed with the Ripe logo (a pomegranate). Very tasteful and it makes you feel like you’ve spent a lot more than $14.

The scent itself is a green-ish gardenia with an underlying note of mossy peat. It is earthy, but not intensely so. 

For me, it is not quite as “creamy” as I like my gardenias. However, I will say it smells like a good quality scent and is rather unique. I actually think I know someone who would really love this scent and may keep it aside for a future gift.


TAGS: ripe ripe shop etsy indie gardenia earthy dirt perfume perfume oil white floral

chezpajama / posted on 16 September 2014 Sixteen92, Swarm
I’ve been looking for a scent featuring beeswax and decided to try my luck on Etsy. 
Swarm opens with a lot of lavender. Bitter and aromatic at first. Then softer and more licorice-like with floral tones.
It is categorized feminine, but the assertive presence of lavender gives Swarm a very unisex bent, in my opinion.
The bottle itself is just a screw top with no dabber. I personally do not mind this, but I know some people get the heebie-jeebies about their own skin cells. Still, it’s only 5 ml so your skin cells probably won’t have enough time to give your perfume some kind of disease that you’ll then transfer back to your already diseased self or whatever.
The vanilla comes off woody and the amber has a very slight nuance of chocolate to my nose.
I do start to smell the beeswax in the drydown and it gives a very mild impression of wildflower honey. Not very sweet at all despite the vanilla & amber.
I like it. Don’t know if I love it. Cost per ml isn’t a great bargain, but I think $13 is inexpensive enough to give this brand a whirl. 
Notes: beeswax absolute, amber, vanilla absolute, orchid blossoms, Spanish lavender

Sixteen92, Swarm

I’ve been looking for a scent featuring beeswax and decided to try my luck on Etsy. 

Swarm opens with a lot of lavender. Bitter and aromatic at first. Then softer and more licorice-like with floral tones.

It is categorized feminine, but the assertive presence of lavender gives Swarm a very unisex bent, in my opinion.

The bottle itself is just a screw top with no dabber. I personally do not mind this, but I know some people get the heebie-jeebies about their own skin cells. Still, it’s only 5 ml so your skin cells probably won’t have enough time to give your perfume some kind of disease that you’ll then transfer back to your already diseased self or whatever.

The vanilla comes off woody and the amber has a very slight nuance of chocolate to my nose.

I do start to smell the beeswax in the drydown and it gives a very mild impression of wildflower honey. Not very sweet at all despite the vanilla & amber.

I like it. Don’t know if I love it. Cost per ml isn’t a great bargain, but I think $13 is inexpensive enough to give this brand a whirl. 

Notes: beeswax absolute, amber, vanilla absolute, orchid blossoms, Spanish lavender


TAGS: indie etsy perfume oil beeswax vanilla amber orchid lavender unisex aromatic

chezpajama / posted on 16 September 2014

Queen Bee Apothecary, Vanilla Cream Soda (Dry Oil)

Here begins my adventures with Etsy fragrances. First off, we have Queen Bee Apothecary’s Vanilla Cream Soda. Described as follows:

VANILLA CREAM SODA (compares to Lush’s American Cream) - Super sweet vanilla with hints of earthiness from violet, lavender & rose with woodsy notes in the base. Creamy, rich and sweet.

Firstly, I will say I don’t find it “super sweet”. So I think this one might be a letdown for a lot of gourmand lovers. Secondly, I do not find it that comparable to American Cream. 

Simultaneously creamy & chalky vanilla. Reminiscent of play-doh with nuances of plastic. I do smell the lavender, but aside from that and vanilla, I’d be hard pressed to identify any notes.

It smells like the base of a 90’s style vanilla. 

The dry oil itself feels nice on skin. As dry oil does. I have not tried it in my hair as of yet. 

The scent itself is so mild that at first I thought I might be anosmic. There is zero projection. I cannot even smell myself without putting nose to skin. However, one cannot complain about sillage on a $6 scent. So I’m not denigrating this scent. Just stating fact.

I will most likely use this as an after shower moisturizer. It does not quite count as a perfume. 


TAGS: vanilla etsy indie dry oil queen bee apothecary

chezpajama / posted on 14 September 2014 Robert Piguet, Fracas
Touted as “the ultimate”. I find it difficult to imagine one who proclaims themselves a lover of white florals disliking Fracas. 
Tuberose. Strong, but not loud. Matched with a lactonic peach skin note. The base is green and woody. I personally get strong notes of coriander. 
Less sweet than it’s modern counterpart Truth or Dare. However, I personally find owning both would be redundant unless you have a small, tuberose-centric wardrobe. 
Not much else to say about this one. It’s a fairly simple scent. For tuberose lovers only, of course.

Robert Piguet, Fracas

Touted as “the ultimate”. I find it difficult to imagine one who proclaims themselves a lover of white florals disliking Fracas. 

Tuberose. Strong, but not loud. Matched with a lactonic peach skin note. The base is green and woody. I personally get strong notes of coriander. 

Less sweet than it’s modern counterpart Truth or Dare. However, I personally find owning both would be redundant unless you have a small, tuberose-centric wardrobe. 

Not much else to say about this one. It’s a fairly simple scent. For tuberose lovers only, of course.


TAGS: robert piguet tuberose jasmine orange blossom gardenia peach coriander niche french white floral perfume

chezpajama / posted on 12 September 2014 West Third Brand, Road Trip
When I first sprayed Road Trip my boyfriend made a fierce stank face and pronounced it “strongly bad”. I thought that was cute.
The opening of Road Trip is largely moist patchouli & medicinal star anise. It smells sweet in a sort of fermented way.
Give it some time and the vetiver comes out. Smoky and green. I found a similar vetiver in my brief testing of Ode to You so I’m thinking the creators of this scent are fond of this type of vetiver. Good news to me as it’s the kind I like. 
Even though I don’t love the opening, it’s nice to find patchouli that I know. Dank, earthy and moist. I find it difficult to place the patchouli in a lot of neo-chypres and fruitchoulis. Whereas other people are like OMG GAG PATCHOULI, I’m left scratching my head. I’m also grateful this isn’t a sickeningly sweet patchouli like I found in Jeanne Arthes Patchouli Sumatra or Jacomo’s Art Collection #02.
But anyway, once the vetiver comes in I find a strong resemblance to Kokorico. That raw earth smell that I love so much and others think smells like manure. With a tinge of gasoline. Maybe that’s what inspired the name Road Trip.
Ahhh. I have been mourning Kokorico ever since I busted a large decant of it. So I am happy about this resemblance. Granted, I could have just bought Kokorico, but there’s something so enticing about the thrill of a blind buy and newness. 
Notes: white musk, patchouli, star anise, iris, osmanthus, sandalwood, vetiver, cedar

West Third Brand, Road Trip

When I first sprayed Road Trip my boyfriend made a fierce stank face and pronounced it “strongly bad”. I thought that was cute.

The opening of Road Trip is largely moist patchouli & medicinal star anise. It smells sweet in a sort of fermented way.

Give it some time and the vetiver comes out. Smoky and green. I found a similar vetiver in my brief testing of Ode to You so I’m thinking the creators of this scent are fond of this type of vetiver. Good news to me as it’s the kind I like. 

Even though I don’t love the opening, it’s nice to find patchouli that I know. Dank, earthy and moist. I find it difficult to place the patchouli in a lot of neo-chypres and fruitchoulis. Whereas other people are like OMG GAG PATCHOULI, I’m left scratching my head. I’m also grateful this isn’t a sickeningly sweet patchouli like I found in Jeanne Arthes Patchouli Sumatra or Jacomo’s Art Collection #02.

But anyway, once the vetiver comes in I find a strong resemblance to Kokorico. That raw earth smell that I love so much and others think smells like manure. With a tinge of gasoline. Maybe that’s what inspired the name Road Trip.

Ahhh. I have been mourning Kokorico ever since I busted a large decant of it. So I am happy about this resemblance. Granted, I could have just bought Kokorico, but there’s something so enticing about the thrill of a blind buy and newness

Notes: white musk, patchouli, star anise, iris, osmanthus, sandalwood, vetiver, cedar


TAGS: west third brand niche patchouli vetiver star anise dank earthy unisex perfume

chezpajama / posted on 12 September 2014 Juliette Has A Gun, Vengeance Extreme
I am usually not prone to such dramatic descriptions as “cat pee” but shit, the first spray of this is ammonia. Ammonia mixed with acetone. Highly unpleasant. 
That only lasts about 15 seconds, but it haunts me. 
The “extreme” is accurate, I guess. It’s definitely a stronger version of Lady Vengeance. The rose note is nicer and I feel like I pick up more leathery qualities from the labdanum. For my liking, I think there’s too much bergamot. When I smell a leathery rose, I want it to just be dark, earthy, leathery, smooth and rich. The bergamot brings too much brightness into the picture and sours the whole experience.
Notes: lavender, Bulgarian rose, patchouli, vanilla

Juliette Has A Gun, Vengeance Extreme

I am usually not prone to such dramatic descriptions as “cat pee” but shit, the first spray of this is ammonia. Ammonia mixed with acetone. Highly unpleasant. 

That only lasts about 15 seconds, but it haunts me. 

The “extreme” is accurate, I guess. It’s definitely a stronger version of Lady Vengeance. The rose note is nicer and I feel like I pick up more leathery qualities from the labdanum. For my liking, I think there’s too much bergamot. When I smell a leathery rose, I want it to just be dark, earthy, leathery, smooth and rich. The bergamot brings too much brightness into the picture and sours the whole experience.

Notes: lavender, Bulgarian rose, patchouli, vanilla


TAGS: juliette has a gun rose lavender patchouli niche italian romano ricci vanilla perfume

chezpajama / posted on 11 September 2014 Yves Rocher, Retropical
What a lovely summer bargain! I bought this on sale from Yves Rocher’s US Website a few months ago. I think it cost me about $15? I also got a free bathrobe, which pleased me very much.
The notes list is quite vague, but I feel like I smell orange blossom in here. That bubblegum sort of orange blossom. Brightened up with slightly sour and bitter citrus notes. Bergamot? The base is indeed “warm & woody” as Retropical’s marketing blurb and note list implies. Perhaps enhanced by the “sand” note. 
It’s a nicely balance fragrance. Not too floral, not too fruity. Not too sweet nor too citric. It’s warm and yes, somewhat reminiscent of suntan lotion. 
I don’t know if I’d call it either retro or tropical, but the name is cute. It feels more poolside than blue lagoon. 
It’s described as a “solar” scent and that’s apt. “Solar” notes are meant to impart a warm, luminous quality. In my opinion, both orange blossom & neroli are “solar” and my nose tells me this fragrance features both. 
Notes: fruity notes, aquatic notes, floral, warm woodty notes

Yves Rocher, Retropical

What a lovely summer bargain! I bought this on sale from Yves Rocher’s US Website a few months ago. I think it cost me about $15? I also got a free bathrobe, which pleased me very much.

The notes list is quite vague, but I feel like I smell orange blossom in here. That bubblegum sort of orange blossom. Brightened up with slightly sour and bitter citrus notes. Bergamot? The base is indeed “warm & woody” as Retropical’s marketing blurb and note list implies. Perhaps enhanced by the “sand” note. 

It’s a nicely balance fragrance. Not too floral, not too fruity. Not too sweet nor too citric. It’s warm and yes, somewhat reminiscent of suntan lotion. 

I don’t know if I’d call it either retro or tropical, but the name is cute. It feels more poolside than blue lagoon. 

It’s described as a “solar” scent and that’s apt. “Solar” notes are meant to impart a warm, luminous quality. In my opinion, both orange blossom & neroli are “solar” and my nose tells me this fragrance features both. 

Notes: fruity notes, aquatic notes, floral, warm woodty notes


TAGS: yves rocher summer citrus floral fruity suntan lotion french sand solar perfume

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