It's fun to review the occasional cheapie, and when I heard people comparing Bijan Nude for women with Guerlains' Iris Ganache, I could not help but become super curious.
WOMEN - I can see why people have mentioned Iris Ganache when sniffing Bijan Nude, and it's because both of these perfumes have a BIG OLE VIOLET note that is not listed in them that, for some odd reason, doesn't show up in any pyramids I have seen anywhere online. In fact the violet is so huge in Iris Ganache that I looked at Guerlain's website, as I was certain they'd mention it, but they also did not speak of it. Bizarre because there is far more violet in both of these perfumes than iris. But is this a dupe for Iris Ganache? Hell to the No.
Bijan Nude smells more like Balenciaga, with its tender violets and earthy base. It also smells like Nicolas de Barry's Sissi. Again, violet, violet, violet.
I don't smell any white chocolate in this perfume and smell nothing gourmand about it. I don't even detect vanilla or tonka.
Taking away any and all expectations of the perfume before having sniffed it, for $10 it's quite pleasant. It does have that "nude" sweet, clean flowers, and musky quality about it that typically adds up to a "nude" perfume. Not cloying but soft sillage. I could think of a lot worse for $10.
MEN - I sprayed this on not realizing it was for men, but that being said, for a men's cheapie ($10) it smells pretty darn good on me. It began with intense citrus, and it dried down into a fascinating mossy musk. Definitely musk. I'm surprised there is no mention of oakmoss, so I guess I will say that the woody note smells musty, like if your grandpa built a tree house for you, and you enter it after not having been in it for several years. It smells like damp, rotting wood. So ya, on me this is an oakmossy musk. I get no trace of florals whatsoever, but maybe that's just my woman's chemistry. Longevity is great and sillage is nice and average, which is what I like. I rather like this! I might keep it instead of give it to my brother or a male friend.
The verdict is that both of these are pretty decent cheapies, and both are representative of "nude" perfumes. Personally, I find the men's version to be more in line with my personal taste, but give 'em a try when you have $20 to blow and let me know what you think.
Lipstick Rose evolves so quickly on my skin. It begins as violet pastilles mixed with rosewater that almost immediately becomes a soapy, powdery rose reminiscent of Penhaligons Elisabethan Rose before settling down five minutes later into the scent of a Lancôme lipstick mixed with a touch of vanilla. On some days I smell the vanilla more than on others because it's barely perceptible to begin with. My skin tends to draw out vanilla notes, but vanilla is never a strong note when I wear Lipstick Rose. It has been many years since I wore Lancôme, but in the 90's they had a rose imprinted into the lipstick, and they smelled like rose too, which I liked so much back then. Feminine, chic, and fun!
I went to Nordstrom and sniffed a Lancôme lipstick, and sure enough, it matched the scent of Lipstick Rose almost perfectly. It was rosy, just a little waxy due to the lipstick itself, and then it had a tangy note in it just like the perfume that keeps the scent from smelling too stuffy and old-fashioned. But I was amazed that I was right on the money.
The thing is: I love Lipstick Rose, but it only smells like Lancôme lipstick. It is not my "go-to" for the powdery cosmetics and lipstick scent that I love. My own personal favorites are the newest version of YSL's Rive Gauche, Chanel's new Misia, and Maria Candida Gentile's Burlesque, the latter of which is underrated and overshadowed by Sideris.
I love to wear Lipstick Rose while simultaneously wearing my new Lancôme lipstick. Then I absolutely wreak of the whole Lancôme makeup scent, and, frankly, I think it's awesome!
In case inquiring minds need to know, I bought Lancôme's L'Absolue Rouge in Champagne, which I would describe as a medium berry-pink with a pearly sheen that looks like a leftover shade from the 70's until you apply it. Then it's very flattering. So the lipstick seems vintage-glam, kind of like the scent of Lipstick Rose! SO MUCH FUN! My skin tone is one of the most difficult ones out there--a medium olive with cool undertones, which has perplexed makeup artists my entire life, but Champagne looks beautiful and effortless on me. The formula is very moisturizing too.
Come to think of it, matching lipstick and perfume is something I like to do on occasion. I also like wearing my Chanel lipsticks on days that I wear a Chanel perfume. I'd love to hear from other ladies out there as to whether you do the same thing and what your favorite combos are.
Are you ready for summer? That doesn't mean do you have a swimsuit, or did you buy sunscreen? To a perfume worshiper, it means do you know what perfume(s) you are wearing this summer? If not, I've got a ticket to the Mediterranean coast for ya! It's Seplasia by Bruno Acampora.
This perfume blows my mind in the best way possible, and what a surprise! It is more of an abstract scent, meaning that I can't necessarily decipher specific notes, other than perhaps tuberose stands out the most in the very beginning. I don't even like tuberose, but this is by no means a tuberose soliflore; far from it. All the notes combine to create something I never imagined possible in perfumery. However I have vivid memories of spending a summer in Nice, on the Côte d'Azure, and noticing a white film on my skin an hour after coming out of the ocean. For the first few minutes, Seplasia smells über salty, like a margarita with salt, but it settles into a scent that smells exactly like the briny skin of a person who is covered in coconut tanning oil who went for a swim in the sea and is baking and sweating under the sun; like that fine, salty crust that sits on your skin and tangles your hair, and a warm breeze carries the scent of tropical white flowers. It's breathtakingly gorgeous.
It's interesting that the sillage is not huge, but it comes and goes. While normally I would hate to have sillage like that, it fits this perfume and the mood it invokes of lazy seaside days along the Mediterranean. Just like you would only get whiffs here and there of your skin, not smell it at full throttle all day long. So this is a skin scent in the best possible sense. Spray it on and forgetaboutit! Just let Seplasia work its magic by surreptitiously teasing your nostrils throughout the day.
Seplasia is THE perfect summer beach scent. While this house's Musc seems to be the most popular, Seplasia is a grossly underrated masterpiece. It might be my favorite from the house due to its olfactory perfection.
I'm beginning to think that Bruno Acampora can do nothing wrong. Every single perfume I have sampled, whether an Eau de Bruno or a perfume oil, has been magnificent.
Musc Gold is absolutely to die for. If you love the original Musc and you happen to also love neroli, as I do, then you will have a perfume that seems kissed by Angels--it's heavenly!
A better-than-your-naked-skin musk with traces of gooey honey and bitter neroli combine to make a perfume that epitomizes sensuality. It's the smell of the sheets after a couple has slept in them, and their skin oils and perfumes from the previous night have intermingled and rubbed off on the fabric. Musc Gold is woody, spicy, sweet, and floral all rolled into one bottle.
Speaking of the bottle, it's a gorgeous, girly, rose-gold color with pink accents. I adore everything about Musc Gold!
At times I wish the top notes would last throughout the entire perfume, but I remembered that for that type of scent, the newest version of Rive Gauche, which is now stripped of any former chypre qualities, leaving only wax and powder behind, fits the bill perfectly.
Syrupy peach, slightly bubbly and fermented at first. I smell some patch and something a bit animalic, and then I smell a hint of the Taueraide, so little that it feels like a tease. I find this to be a simple, uncomplicated, straightforward fragrance. It doesn't project much, but it lasts a decent 7 hours before I feel the itch to re-apply. Nice but not a must-have for me.
I have a giant bag of samples to test, and I like to choose one without looking at the notes ahead of time so that I get honest impressions. For the first 30 minutes, it smells like a very sweet, creamy and powdery vanilla-heliotrope-almond fragrance. Now that I have peeked at the notes, Panache is nothing like I guessed! In the floral-woody-musk category, yes, but it was not easy for me to find any white florals or any honey. Kind of like how Nuits de Noho has very different notes from Angel, yet it smells so much like Angel.
I smelled a good dose of amber in the heart. Panache has very powdery top notes, but I wouldn't say it smells musky necessarily, and the powder dissipated significantly once the perfume settled on my skin. Also I noticed that the bergamot never lets up and remains pretty obvious the entire time it's on my skin.
On the whole, I think Panache is really beautiful! While it it's apparently not one of those heliotrope-almond perfumes, I'd recommend it to those who love that type of scent. I find it very sweet and feminine, rich and creamy.
It is rainy season in San Francisco. The April showers are bringing gorgeous flowers, some of which are very fragrant, such as jasmine, wisteria, and orange, lime, and lemon blossoms. Spring is my favorite season. I can't get enough green and flowers and (usually) some sunshine too. I had to run errands in Cole Valley, and I couldn't help but snap some photos. The plants were so vibrant, and the flowers were newly blossomed. The Victorian houses seemed more stunning than I had remembered.
I began to think about the best perfumes for rainy weather (big surprise, right?). There are few perfumes I truly enjoy in rainy weather, but the ones I enjoy most seem to have particular qualities. They are typically musky or contain "sharp" green florals. Definitely hyacinth. I would like to try carnation, as it smells like dusty cloves to my nose. I think musk is really perfect for spring weather because it smells like musty second-skin anyway, and it creates a fluffy soft aura all around you.
Also, I am not a fan of wearing lily-of-the-valley (muguet), but it would work well in rainy weather. Some lily-of-the-valley perfumes that jump out in my mind, in case you are intrigued, are By Kilian's Love and Tears and Oriza L. Legrand's Muguet Fleuri.
I was born and raised in San Francisco, and I never get tired of it! The other day was a special day as a fellow perfume worshiper came down from Portland to visit. It was a day of food and fumes like I'd never had! Why? Because I don't know a soul other than him who worships perfume quite as much as I do.
First stop: Tigerlily Perfumery in the Mission. Naturally we wanted to check out the perfume shop immediately.
Tigerlily is awesome! They feature local perfumers such as Cognoscenti and En Voyage. This was also my first encounter with San Francisco perfume house Mikmoi. From what I smelled, Mikmoi seems to make perfumes with crisp notes, clean edges, and expert blending. More sampling in the future is a must! I was very intrigued by Mikmoi's line of hair perfumes as well, although I didn't try them on this visit. Well--I have a reason to head back. I love the simple, smooth look of the bottles and the soft, muted colors.
I had been curious about Kerosene for a long time, and I was very pleased to see that Tigerlily carried several perfumes from the house. Unknown Pleasures was love at first sniff of the nozzle. I bought it on the spot. It was a creamy, gourmand, lemon that was simply irresistible. It was quite a contrast with Fields of Rubus (Rubus is the genus name for the raspberry plant. A little botanical wisdom for ya that makes it easy to remember the name), a raspberry fragrance loaded with patchouli. So it certainly smells like raspberry fields--dirt and raspberries! You can read my review of Unknown Pleasures and Fields of Rubus here.
After having a mini sniffapalooza at Tigerlily, it was definitely time for some tasty grub. We headed over to Pizzeria Delfina for a pie, and I can't resist their citrusy tri-colore salad. Next I grabbed a banana cream tart (to go) at the infamous Tartine. Last, we headed over to Dandelion Chocolate for a little something sweet. Michael had a super-rich brownie, and he was kind enough to treat me to Dandelion's chocolate flight. All of it was delicious!
San Francisco rocks! If you have never had the pleasure of visiting, make it your next destination, and be sure to make time for perfume and good eats. Hail, Perfume!