Saturday, January 28, 2006

REVIEW: Eleuria by Strange Invisible Perfumes

Note: Formerly named Con Brio

Notes: Frankincense, Musk Rose, Iris, African jasmine, and Vanilla

Pros: Lives up to the company name, immediately strange with a smoldering frankincense note. Completely unique, and moody. Though a floral, there is nothing remotely pretty about it, read: this is not the scent of a spring garden. Definitely erotic. A scent that might be used for seduction.

Cons: Not for the faint of heart with an opening effect quite similar to a highway rest stop, toilet cake and all. Using all natural perfume oils, this one takes some time to unfold and relax. In one word, raw.

Bottleworthy? I can barely afford the sample let alone purchase a bottle. As this is something I would only wear on rare occasions, I'll pass.

Where can I buy it? $185 for 1/4 oz. Barneys, New York; $15 + s&h for a sample vial from; Website:

The Bottom Line: Perfect for frankincense lovers, and don't let those floral notes fool you! A rich, almost smoky fragrance that is truly odd. Yes it has an animalic edge, but at the same time, I feel strangely drawn to it...that said, I can also find reasons to dislike it. One of the most unusual scents I've ever tried.

(out of 10): 6.5

Is there a scent that you have a love/hate relationship with?


In "Inside the Pyramid" we'll explore single notes used in perfumery.

Today's entry is dedicated to Marchlion and will explore Yuzu.

Yuzu, a citrus fruit indigenous to East Asia and whose rind and juice are often used in cooking and perfumery, has an aroma similar to a grapefruit, with a lemon-like tang.

Though the fruit itself is often full of seeds, and therefore not commonly eaten as a grapefruit might be, the juice and zest are used in everything from salad dressings to marinades, and more recently, in baked goods.

As a fragrance note, yuzu is often employed as a topnote adding a sparkling crispness to a composition, and is commonly used to frgarance baths in Japan, especially in winter.

Some of my favorite fragrances with Yuzu:
  • Rykiel pour Homme
  • Alain Delon Samourai 47
  • Agatha Brown Conquest
  • 06130 Yuzu Rouge
  • L'Eau par Kenzo pour Homme
  • L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme
  • Jaipur Saphir pour Femme
  • Dior Remember Me
  • Archipleago Botanicals Yuzu Body Mist
Additionally, Archipelago Botanicals has an extensive yuzu-themed bath and body line.

Learn more about Yuzu:

Have you ever tasted yuzu? What's your favorite yuzu scent?

Friday, January 27, 2006

REVIEW: Idole de Lubin

Notes: Rum absolute, saffron, bitter orange peel, black cumin, Doum palm, smoked ebony, sugar cane, leather, red sandalwood.

Pros: Interesting bottle by Serge Mansau. Effervescent, sweet topnotes, like cola, set against a similar woody base.

Cons: Not entirely original composition, reminds me of CDG Sequoia (or is it Palisander), though a bit more boozey. Also slightly reminiscent of DK Chaos (that's right, you heard me, I said Chaos...well, I didn't say it, but I wrote it)

Bottleworthy? If you're a bottle collector, yes. Personally, I'll pass.

Where can I buy it? 75ml edt $85

The Bottom Line: With nods to D'Orsay's Le Dandy, an interesting release from the long silent house of Lubin. Better than average composition with moderate longevity. The overall effect on my skin is a bit Dr. Pepper-ish. Perfect if woody and sweet are your thing.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Can you think of any other scents with an African theme?




Well, it was a VERY difficult decision, with so many wonderful comments, sometimes funny, sometimes full of insight and wisdom, but it was GOODERIN's insight into communication and her thoughtful sharing of experiences with her family that most resonated for me on a personal level.

Gooderin - Please drop me an email: scenteur7 at, and please include your mailing address! A new bottle of a very special BVLGARI fragrance will soon be on its way!

Thanks to everyone who participated! Please, keep on reading and posting!


REVIEW: Jalaine Patchouli

Notes: Tunisian patchouli, amber, three types of musk, vanilla

Pros: A patchouli for patchouli-haters. Rich, musky, and sweet with an incredible Indian sandalwood-like note echoing throughout.

Cons: The price. I nearly had a coronary when I realized how much I'd have to fork out. And honestly, I'd like a bit more raunchiness.

Bottleworthy? For the price, no way. I think I can go to the flea market and buy my own oils so I can make my own Jalaine Patchouli. BUT, take a look at that bottle!

Where can I buy it? 6ml perfume oil $150; 5ml refil perfume oil $90

The Bottom line: A beautiful perfume oil for someone looking for a delicious vanilla, musk and amber scent with a hint of patchouli. The price is quite high, so this would make a luxurious gift for....well, for me! But I couldn't see paying the money for this. I'm really just encouraged to try and emulate it.

Rating (out of 10): Packaging 8, Scent 7, Price 3 = 6

I'm encouraged to mix my own oils and make my own scent. Any advice?

REVIEW: Dior Homme

Notes: sage, bergamot, lavender, Italian iris concrete, cocoa, amber, vetiver, patchouli, and possibly leather and cardamom.

Pros: Not a whiff of ozone, green tea, or melon here! Beautiful Iris note lingers throughout. Amazing bottle.

Cons: SWEET! Sweet! did I mention it's sweet? The scent falls apart as it opens, drifting into gourmand nothingness.

Bottleworthy? Well, yes, the bottle is. As for the scent? Well, it IS Dior, and it DOES have a nice cocoa and iris blend. Best to buy it at a discount.

Where can I buy it? 100ml edt spray $34.99

The Bottom line: Sweet men's gourmand in a stunning bottle by Tsutomu Kiyama. Opens with promise and then goes nowhere. I would have liked a richer or more complex development with more prominent leather and vetiver notes, instead the scent mimics Rochas Man and Hanae Mori for Men. When I wore it last night my roommate's reaction was a grimace and an "Eeeewww!"

For a full review, visit NowSmellThis.

Rating (out of 10): 6

What's your favorite scent where the bottle is more impressive than the juice?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


In 7th grade summer camp, I went to visit a trout farm near Ashville, North Carolina. Needless to say, it's hard to keep such a place smelling shower-fresh. But they tried.

I'm not sure which was worse - the smell of the fish food, pond scum, millions of trout, or the industrial cleaners used for cleaning and sanitation - but the sum of the smells was truly revolting and hard to forget. Thank goodness I'd never have to smell that again...

...until 9th grade Spanish class. Dear Mrs. S, probably in her late 30's/early 40's, was a very affable instructor. But I'll never forget when she leaned over my desk one day to check my homework and Holy Crap! Fish Farm! I'm not sure if she had just had a perm, was trying a strange new hairspray, or had smoked salmon for breakfast, but yikes!

My friend Jennifer, best friends with Mrs. S's daughter, later mentioned that Mrs. S wore Dune by Dior. Well, you can imagine how many years passed until I could actually summon the courage to test out Dune. When I finally did imagine my surprise when it turned out to be entirely NOT Fish Farm but an incredible airy scent of lily, lichen and amber.

I now believe that Dune was not the culprit behind the mystery scent of my 9th grade Spanish teacher, but every time I wear it or think of it, there's always an echo of the Fish Farm and Mrs. S and a shudder of fear.

Ever had a teacher nearly ruin a scent for you?

REVIEW: Balmya de Balmain

Notes: top notes of bergamot, passionfruit, and pink bays; middle notes are angelica seed, coffee flower, iris, and violet leaves; base notes are orchid, white sandalwood, vanilla, capuccino note and cashmere wood.

Pros: Excellent iris note that becomes more prominent as the scent develops, probably good for either gender and any climate.

Cons: The inital burst is a bit fruity, beware...the opening reminds me of Escada's Tropical Punch. Wish the bottle was a bit more "unisex".

Bottleworthy? Absolutely! This will be great in the warmer weather when I want something that is going to last on my skin!

Where can I buy it? 50ml EDT spray, $21.99

The bottom line: A sparkling and unusual (passionfruit) fruity oriental with some surprising wood and iris notes as the scent progresses. Though coffee tree flower and a capuccino note are employed, this is definitely NOT Balstarbucks. Not the typical fruity floral of the last 5 years, imagine a lighter, fruitier version of Cacharel's Gloria.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Can you name some other scents that use passionfruit as a note?

SCENTED MEMORY #1: Alyson and LouLou

Scented Memory #1 is dedicated to Alyson and Loulou.

Who is Alyson?

Aly is the woman who channeled Coco Chanel at age 14. Aly is the woman who wore hats from every era and turned heads wherever she went. Aly is the woman who wore a Victoria's Secret gold brocade and black velvet dressing gown to my high school graduation. Aly is the woman who deserved her own scent, my first creation. Aly is the woman with three moms and yet not one role model, excpet maybe Loulou. Yes, you guessed it - Cacharel's Loulou. And everytime I smell the bewitching oriental in the blue and burgundy bottle, I am reminded of the girl in the blue velvet men's shirt and floppy hat who with a huge smile when asked "What are you wearing?" replied, "Oh just something from Paris."

Alyson du la Monde - this is dedicated to you. Thank you for filling my teenage years with the scents of sirens past.

Is there a scented memory associated with one of your favorite friends?

photo of Louise Brooks, the original Lulu ca. 1929 from

REVIEW: Des Filles de la Vanille, Argenteé

Notes: Candied Orange, Vanilla, Light Musk

Pros: Delicious gourmand, easy to wear, whimsical.

Cons: A little too subtle and longevity could be better considering the price.

Bottleworthy? Ummm, I'll stick with Antica Farmacista Vaniglia & Mandarino Di Sicilia... a little bolder, creamier and longer-lasting.

Where can I buy it? 100ml edt spray, $75

The Bottom Line: Who likes creamsicles? I do...and I like Argentee.

Rating (out of 10): 6

What's your favorite Creamsicle scent?