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Posts Tagged ‘fragrances of 2011’

Well, at least in part.

I’ve never done one of these posts, since it’s rare that I’ve even tried more than three or four released-this-year fragrances. But thanks to several shopping trips and a few decants, and some really lovely fumie friends, I’ve tried several of the year’s releases and can actually comment on the ones I’ve tested.  This is a new experience for me, as I’m typically behind the times.

It was a grab-bag sort of year.  I’ll divide the new fragrances I tried into categories, depending on my reaction to each one.

Well, Duh: new fragrances that I didn’t like, but then I didn’t expect to like:

Justin Bieber Someday; Jessica Simpson I Fancy You; Taylor Swift Wonderstruck – all three of these were simple, fruity, lowest-common-denominator kind of scents. I rather like Taylor herself, but I can’t imagine wearing any of these sugary fruitbombs on my actual skin.

Sonoma Scent Studio Fig Tree – what can I say? I don’t like fig scents. It was kind of Laurie to send me a sample to try, anyway, and this one is getting raves from lots of people. So it’s me.

Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude – anything with a “skin scent” descriptor is likely to disappear on me within an hour. This one’s no different: laundry musk and plastic.

L’Eau d’Issey Florale – the original is so reminiscent of industrial cleaner that I was sure that tossing some “light” florals like freesia and peony on top wouldn’t improve things much. I was right. 

Why Did I Bother?: new fragrances that I expected to like, but didn’t like:

Shalimar Parfum Initial – well, I didn’t hate it. But it doesn’t seem related to Shalimar in the least, and bored me silly. Not that I’m a huuuuge Shalimar fan, but still. Dull.

Chanel No. 19 Poudre – I like powder, and I love No. 19. I was hoping for the equivalent of No. 5 Eau Premiere, an updating that didn’t dumb down the original. Nope. 

Even Steven: new fragrances I thought I’d like, and did

Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar – a cold-cream-and-face-powder floral that is both dressy and comforting. 

Sonoma Scent Studio To Dream – I adore the oaky opening.  The rest of it is rose and violet and woods, very pretty.  A little fainter than I’d have liked it to be.

Disappointment: new fragrances that I expected to love, but merely liked, or found unimpressive:

Serge Lutens Vitriol d’Oeillet – I was hoping for those angry carnations to come through for me. It’s nice – a dry, spicy, woody thing that I find very enjoyable. Yet it could have been so much more that I was disappointed.

Cartier Baiser Vole – a green, romantic lily? Yes, please! On a card, it’s wonderfully refreshing. On my skin, it’s not green at all; rather, it’s flat and soapy. 

Elie Saab Le Parfum – the prettiest orange blossom I’ve ever smelled, in a glowing, sparkling tulle confection.  I wanted more aldehydes and less patchouli, though.

Illuminum White Gardenia Petals – Three words: boring, boring, boring. Sigh.

DSH Pandora – essence of green floral chypre sounded so lovely! And it is, right up to the Ghost of Youth Dew time. The rest of you, please enjoy it copiously. I admire Dawn’s work very much – including this fragrance – but this one is not for me.

Bottega Veneta – I give up. I can’t even review this thing. I almost like it a lot, but there’s a raspy, Tang-dust thing in there, and then there’s all that patchouli too.

Tom Ford Violet Blonde – raspberry-violet-cashmere musk? Sounds great, thanks. But it smells like SweeTarts to me. No, thanks.

Parfumerie Generale Praline de Santal – I can’t remember which blogger loved this thing and induced me to jump in on a tiny split portion, unsniffed. I like it. It’s nice. However, after the almost-nauseating immortelle bit (oddly, I still like the smell of immortelle, but it makes me feel a little queasy), it goes all linear to creamy woods. It doesn’t move me.

Surprise, surprise!: new fragrances I expected not to like, but wound up enjoying:

Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau – burnt-sugar palmier pastries. What fun! A wonderful blend of childlike and sophisticated, and never fails to make me want a bitter espresso to highlight its deep roasty sugary pastry thing. Won’t be buying it because it’s a) weird, and b) retailing at Serge prices. Oh, well.  And anyway, where would I wear it?

Prada Candy – I expected this to be too sweet, too linear, too meh. Instead, it’s warm and rich and comfortable and fun. I think I’d rather have Hanae Mori Butterfly, but still.

CkOne Shock for Him – I wound up buying a small bottle of this for my son, since I kept hearing that it might echo Chanel Egoiste, at a much lower price. It does smell cheapish, but that’s okay. That suits the wardrobe of a teenage boy, and I like smelling it on him.

True love: new fragrance that I thought I’d love, and I do:

Tableau de Parfums Miriam – there’s either too much to say about this one, or not enough. I adore it – its perfumey-ness, its wistfulness, its warm sandalwood. So gorgeous.

Candidates: new fragrances I wanted to test, but didn’t get to:

Atelier Vanille Insensee

Lubin Black Jade (despite all the hoo-ha about Marie Antoinette and whether this is actually a long-lost recipe for her perfume or not, the notes sound right up my alley)

Juliet Has a Gun Romantina

Amouage Honour Woman (Amouage does White Floral?? I have a sample coming my way now)

Possibilities: new fragrances that got some blogger love and that I might explore if the chance comes about:

Annick Goutal Le Mimosa

Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cheri par Camille

By Kilian Sweet Redemption

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Jasminora

Angel eau de toilette (I hate the original; merely curious about this one) 

I enjoyed the opportunity to try some new scents while they were brand new.  That was exciting. However, I don’t feel that I’ve got anything to say about the year’s releases as a group. As with most of the perfumes I’ve tested – new or old – it’s a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Your thoughts?

Image is from thegiftexperience.co.uk.

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