Friday, June 15, 2012

Fragrance Friday

Friday, June 8
Morning: My last class of the term! A 9 o'clock discussion class, ugh. I was exhausted and didn't want to bother taking a shower (as is often the case on Fridays, since I only have [HAD! whoaaaa] the one class in the morning and like[d] to come home and nap after), so I just sprayed SL Féminité du Bois (Oriental Woody: cedar, musk, vanilla, rose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, peach) down my sweatshirt and called it good. Warm, woody, cozy, which was perfect for the yucky grey weather we're still having.

Afternoon: Took a 4+ hour nap, then showered and made myself pretty, and sprayed vintage Guerlain Vol de Nuit (Woody: bergamot, galbanum, petit grain, jasmine, daffodil, spices, woods, iris, vanilla, amber) edt on my arm and down my shirt. It's a lovely classical oriental, woodier and dryer than Shalimar, but with the same Guerlinade base. Very galbanum-heavy opening, which I dislike, but that wears away pretty quickly and turns into an elegant green-tinged oriental with a rich oakmoss base. Sillage isn't amazing, but I also didn't spray on very much. I would definitely consider getting a larger decant of this. Also decided to burn Pacifica Mexican Cocoa again, because the weather was just begging for something gourmand, and trying to make sense of serial verb constructions necessitated as much olfactory assistance as possible.

Night: Decided to try spraying Parfums de Nicolaï Number One (Floral: jasmine, neroli, tuberose, rose, iris, black currant) before bed, only to discover that oh my god you guys I hate it so much. It smelled floral, yes, but also horrifically, stomach-turningly rotten. It actually made me want to gag, and it was only thanks to the protective barrier of my sheets that I was able to not have to get up and wash it off. Also, I sprayed Balenciaga Paris L'Essence (Floral Green: vetiver, patchouli, violet, violet leaf, green notes, sandalwood, cedar) on my arm so that I would have something pleasant (albeit boring) to smell.

Saturday, June 9
Afternoon: I woke up at 2, whoops, to a partly-sunny though cool day. Transfered Fracas (Floral: bergamot, mandarin, lilac, tuberose, jasmine, white narcissus, gardenia, lily of the valley, white iris, orange blossom, violet, sandalwood, vetiver, musk), dabbing the emptied vial down my shirt and on my arm, because that shit is strong. For fans of tuberose, Fracas is a must-have (and have I mentioned how affordable it is?! Gotta love it), though it's definitely not cubicle-appropriate, unless your officemates love tuberose, too. Fortunately, I worked in my office at home, so bring on the big-sillage, full-of-attitude, diva-riffic perfumes!

Night: Fracas still wafting up pleasantly (which definitely helped prevent me from killing myself when coding the experimental data, only to find that one subject completely fucked up everything ON PURPOSE, aaagh), so I decided to try Patou Joy edp (Floral: tuberose, rose, ylang-ylang, aldehydes, pear, green notes, jasmine, spices, iris root, musk, sandalwood, civet) on my arm, hoping that the tuberose remnants would make it more approachable for me. Not the case, still found it entirely too floral-powdery-aldehydey. I guess I just don't like big classic florals? Unless they're tuberose, natch.

Sunday, June 10
Morning: Okay, technically afternoon, but it was before 1, so I'm counting it as morning. Glorious sunshine and relatively warm (high 60s), so I decided to try out some of my new summer perfumes. Transfered and dabbed my arm with Chanel No. 19 (Floral Green: green notes, bergamot, rose, iris, vetiver, oakmoss, leather), which has been described as a "boardroom bitch" (not in those exact terms) fragrance by various other people more informed than myself, so I wasn't expecting to like it but knew I needed to smell it. Galbanum-heavy green opening, followed by hefty doses of powder: basically the antithesis of what I like in perfume. It's very well crafted, though, and very ruthless, so while I don't anticipate I'll be wearing it too often, I am glad to have it. After an hour or so the powder and galbanum dies down some and I like it better, but it's still not "me". Will have to try sprayed. Also transfered Hermès Eau d'Hermès (Leather: cardamom, clover, bergamot, lavender, cinnamon, geranium, jasmine, vanilla, tonka bean, cedar, sandalwood, leather, birch), which I'd received instead of Eau des Merveilles, in a mix-up), and was quite amazed to discover that I like it rather a lot! I say "amazed" because I don't usually get along too well with leather scents, as I find they smell like pickles to me (yeah, go figure), and citrus can come off too masculine or stringent, but here, they combine in a really interesting, elegant way. Originally composed by Edmond Roudnitska, who also did Diorella, Diorissimo, Eau Sauvage, and Rochas Femme, among others, this is a refined, lady-like leather. Now I need to try all of Roudnitska's perfumes, especially the vintage versions...if only I were made of money, sigh. At least wearing pretty perfumes makes me smell like I am, ha!
An aside: I made my mother and grandmother (with whom I live; I have not yet subjected my grandfather to the following) smell both No. 19 and Eau d'Hermès; my mother liked both equally, saying Eau d'Hermès "smells like cowboy boots and which I mean casual" and No. 19 "smells fancier, more feminine", and my grandmother preferred No. 19, though she liked both. This seems relatively in line with my expectations, in that No. 19 smells, to me, "old fashioned", while Eau d'Hermès is more masculine and modern. We rarely get consensus on any scent, though, so the fact that we all like Eau d'Hermès is quite remarkable! (This is one of the bonuses of living with my family: I can stick my arms in their faces and tell them to smell, and they won't call the cops! Ah, the freedom to by creepy: priceless.)

Evening: Working hard on my syntax essay after an evening nap. Burned Pacifica French Lilac (Floral: lilac, shockingly) soy candle, because it smells like lilacs and happiness, and it's quite strong and managed to scent up most of the upstairs! Then, at about midnight, I was feeling tired so I sprayed on some Dior Eau Sauvage (my first full bottle purchase since becoming perfume-obsessed! Citrus Aromatic: lemon, basil, bergamot, cumin, lavender, fruit, jasmine, rose, carnation, iris root, coriander, patchouli, sandalwood, oakmoss, vetiver, musk, amber) for its bright citrus aromatic opening. Very energizing! Though I ended up giving up and just going to bed at 1:30, after having stopped writing anything productive at about 1:00. Still: Eau Sauvage made that additional hour possible! Wonderful scent, cannot recommend highly enough (and it seems very much the quintessential unisex scent––not girly or fruity, not butch or arid or aqueous, just really beautiful chypre citrus aromatic! Such beauty knows no gender).

Monday, June 11
Morning: Woke up to sunshine and promised warmth, so I decided to bother shaving my legs so I could wear a dress and slathered my legs with Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia (Floral: gardenia) body butter, which is almost done (should be in my empties post for June, score!). Then transfered Chanel Eau de Cologne (Citrus: petitgrain, herbs and spices, bergamot, green notes, neroli)  and dabbed the leftovers on my forearm; talk about subtle sillage! I'm going to have to try it sprayed (liberally) before passing judgment, since I wasn't actually able to smell all that much besides some indeterminate citrus. Sprayed Eau Sauvage down my dress because I figured happy warm sunny day! would go great with it. The day ended up not being nearly as warm as they'd predicted, but Eau Sauvage was lovely nonetheless, and lasted for hours.

Afternoon: After I got done going over data at the lab, I meandered over to the Duck Store to buy a new Pacifica soap and try some perfume. I'd wanted Persian Rose (Floral Fruity: rose, violet, myrrh, fruity notes) soap, but they were all out, so I ended up getting Tahitian Gardenia instead (I wanted something that was opaque, not just clear glycerin, since that's more moisturizing, and it was one of the only options). Also picked up a French Lilac votive candle, to see if it was as scented as the soy candle I have, and dabbed on California Star Jasmine solid perfume again. I am becoming more and more convinced that I need it in my life, though for the time being, I'm okay sneaking into the Duck Store to get my fix ;)

Later Afternoon: Got home and burned the votive candle; it wasn't quite as heavily scented as the soy candle, but still sufficient to perfume my office and the hallway outside. Seems that some of the perfumes just make more heavily scented candles than others! Though I reserve the right to try other soy candles to see if that holds true (I've got my eye on their 9-pack as an end of the school year celebratory gift to myself, since it won't count for my beauty budget, but we'll have to see how traumatized I feel at the end of the weekend as to whether I'm willing to spend $45 on it!).

Evening: Finished writing the bulk of my essay, and Jicky (Oriental Woody: lemon, bergamot, mandarin, rosemary, jasmine, basil, orris root, tonka bean, benzoin, amber, sandalwood, leather, spices, rosewood, vanilla) was the perfect accompaniment. Decided I love it enough to up its rating on my spreadsheet from a 4 to a 5. Really a lovely, comforting scent with good sillage and interesting herbiness. Also burned French Lilac soy candle in an attempt to use it up so I feel less guilty about the 6 votive candles I currently have partly-burnt lying around. Only a few hours left! Made the whole upstairs smell like lilac, yum.

Tuesday, June 12
Morning: Overcast and unfortunately warm (ok, high 60s, but with the humidity it felt warmer!). Spritzed Bois des Iles (Oriental Woody: aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, peach, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, woody iris, ylang-ylang, vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin, musk) twice down my shirt, since its sillage is not particularly great. This time, I got the spicy gingerbread accord right away, and the sandalwood took a little longer to become evident. Really a lovely scent, especially for those of us who like gourmand fragrances but don't like overly sweet scents. Started raining as I left the lab and proceeded to pour on my way home. I hate warm wet days. Pretty sure there's no "perfect perfume" for weather like this; too warm for woody oriental scents, too cool for citrus or green, too wet for rich florals (for my own taste, not objectively!). Maybe a really dry wood scent would work, except that I don't really like those. Bois des Iles ended up working out pretty well, though, and it lasted several hours (6+) on me, not that perfumes tend to do a disappearing act on my skin, but still, not bad for an edt.

Evening: Stopped raining, whee. Had a study session for syntax and decided to try L'Artisan Timbuktu (Woody Chypre: pink pepper, mango, cardamom, incense, papyrus, myrrh, vetiver, benzoin, patchouli)  over the remnants of Bois des Iles, since I wanted something not sweet. My little atomizer only spritzed out a little, which ended up being pretty ideal, since even with the BdI base it was still overly dry and woody for me, so I topped it off with another spritz of BdI and waltzed off to campus. Lasted me past midnight, when I got home from the lab, and the periodic whiffs I got of woody gingerbread made the data collating I had to do less miserable!

Wednesday, June 13
Morning: Woke up in the actual morning today (7:30, uuuuugh) because I had a presentation to prepare for and then give. Cloudy and blechy outside, so I opted to wear Chanel 31 Rue Cambon (Woody Chypre: bergamot, patchouli), hoping I would fall in love with it like everyone else has. Still no. It's lovely, it's just not HG OMG BEST THING EVER (that title still belongs to Mitsouko). I get a great big anise top note, and then a bunch of woods and stuff that I can't even pretend to try and dissect. Sprayed Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman (Chypre: cardamom, coriander, grass oil, black hemlock, violet, jasmine, vetiver, cedar wood, amber, sandalwood) on my forearm to compare; they're not actually that similar, though I can't for the life of me tell you how, exactly, they differ (my nose is not nearly that trained). Both are chypres, though, which helps explain why they feel similar to me, and I still think they both smell like sun-dappled cool mossy forests. That have been carefully groomed, with flowers and nice grass. (Not a wild forest, I mean. A friendly one. With walking paths, and nice benches, and maybe a water fountain.) I think they're both just a tad too sweet for me, or just...something. I'll get back to you on that.

Afternoon: After a wildly unsatisfying nap (an aside: I took a constructed languages class my last term at Swat, and we got to make up our own languages. Mine was an exercise in phonology gone wild, with so much vowel and consonant harmony. It was beautiful. I also had no less than 10 different words for naps [closer to 20, I think], including things like "long but unsatisfying", "stress nap", "post-dinner nap", and "evening nap that turns into just going to bed super early". Naps are very important to me, is what I'm saying.) I awoke to sunshine and relative warmth, because the PNW in spring/early summer is just schizo. 31RC had faded quite a bit, so I sprayed Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute  (Floral Fruity: lime, linden blossom, magnolia, frangipani, jasmine, tuberose, plum, orchid, cedar, musk, amber, vanilla) on top for a fruity floral jazziness. Quite strong and long-lasting, though a little sweet and not quite as skanky as my beloved tuberose. Pretty and tropical, and I can see myself wearing this a lot in the summer (or at least I could, if I had a larger sample).

Night: Tried Guerlain Nahéma (Oriental Floral: rose, peach, bergamot, green notes, aldehydes, hyacinth, rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac, lily of the valley, vanilla, passion flower, Peru balsam, vetiver, sandalwood) again; still found it to be entirely too rose for me. I think I'd like it better if it smelled like an actual rose, though there's no guarantee, but it does not, and I just do not enjoy "rose" scented things.

Thursday, June 14
Morning: Bright, sunny, and warm. Thank you, summer, for finally arriving (probably temporarily, but shhh, let me pretend). Decided to transfer Parfums de Nicolaï Le Temps d'une Fête (Floral Green: osmanthus, narcissus, hyacinth, oakmoss, styrax), which is a very nice floral. Great sillage and longevity, but I don't love it––too floral. I like it better as it wears, though, and the mossy base comes out. It really reminds me of something, though I can't for the life of me tell you what. Then sprayed Cristalle (Chypre Floral: lemon, bergamot, rosewood, hyacinth, oakmoss, vetiver) down my shirt, but my vial decided it really didn't want to work so only a little came out, and I couldn't smell it, so I topped it with Eau de Cologne. Should have done 2 or 3 sprays of that, though, because its sillage and strength is sub-par. Maybe I've just been spoiled by Eau Sauvage, a citrus with presence. 

Afternoon: Finished studying for the syntax final, so I went to the Duck Store to play around with the Pacifica products. Considered dabbing on the Mexican Cocoa solid perfume, but it was too almondy for my taste, so ended up opting for French Lilac and California Star Jasmine. The former is a lovely lilac, and the latter a lovely green jasmine. I do want to buy CSJ, but a) I don't need it right now, and b) the Duck Store didn't have one in stock, so I was saved from potential impulse buys. Post-syntax exam (which went okay, I think?), came home and took a nap, and when I woke up I could still smell Le Temps d'une Fête, which is impressive for an edt floral!

Night: Could still smell LTdF, amazingly. Decided to try The Different Company Osmanthus (Floral: orange, mandarin orange, green notes, osmanthus, bergamot, rose, musk) again to see if it would show its pretty side, but unfortunately, it went the way it's gone 3 out of 4 of the other times I've worn it: soapy. Seriously, smells like Dove soap, with a bit of floralcy. I don't dislike it, per se, I just don't think it's great as a perfume.

Friday, June 15
Morning: Woke up at the crack of dawn (ok, 7:30, but it felt like the crack of dawn) to turn in my syntax paper, due at 9:00, and go to Rennie's for breakfast pitchers (of beer) to celebrate. Opted for Eau Sauvage, for its energizing properties, always a good thing early in the morning, and because it seemed like it would pair well with morning beer. Also transfered Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien (Citrus Aromatic: lemon, cypress, grapefruit), which initially smells like lemon dish soap, then after a few minutes smells like lemon rind; after a couple hours, it smells mostly like cypress, and a couple more after that smells like nothing at all. Too straightforward for me; I far prefer Eau Sauvage.

Afternoon: Warm and beautiful after my nap. Could still smell Eau Sauvage, but I sprayed Hermès Eau d'Hermès on my arm. Perfect sunny day casual fragrance! Especially for those of us who get to spend our afternoons working in the lab writing our final paper of the year with our co-author, who does not seem like the type to enjoy big floral fragrances (tuberose would have been my first choice, but those perfumes are not shy!). Kind of dry and austere, great for paper-writing.

What have you been wearing this week? Any perfumes here catch your eye?
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