Friday, March 03, 2006

REVIEW: Cacharel Amor Amor

Notes: mandarin, black currant, melati blossom, lily of the valley, white musk, grey amber.

Pros: Juicy currant and mandarin anchored by warm light musks.

Cons: Might be a bit too sweet for some.

Development: Very well blended, opening with a strong currant note, and maintaining it through to the end.

Longevity: If applied liberally, a good 8 hrs.

Sillage: Pretty good. The amber really amplifies the sweeter aspects of the scent.

Reminds me of: Escada Tropical Punch, OP Juice

Where can I buy it? $34.95 for 100ml tester at

Bottleworthy? If you like sweeter, fruity scents, this might be exactly what you need!

The Bottom Line: First came Anais Anais, then came Lou Lou, now comes Amor Amor....This house sure has a thing for repeated names!

Ok, I'll admit it. I wear and enjoy this scent. I don't care who knows it. It reminds me of being a kid and drinking Hawaiin Punch on a hot Florida summer afternoon, sitting by the pool. Is there anything wrong with that?

Rating (out of 10): 7

What scent do you keep around specifically because it reminds you of your childhood?

FOR THE HOME: We Live Like This, Vanilla incense

What is it? Vanilla incense sticks (short), 20 per box.

What does it smell like? Vanilla pods, slightly woodsy...

Pros: Low smoke, not too foody smelling, scent lingers.

Cons: Price, short sticks

Where can I buy it? $15 for 20 sticks at

The Bottom Line: Great-smelling, low-smoke incense from UK company We Live Like This. Reminiscent of Auroshika Vanilla incense, the scent is slightly perfumey, with a little more going on than just a simple vanilla note. Chosen as the signature scent by the Soho Grand Hotel in NYC, this is a high-profile incense with a high-profile price tag.

Rating (out of 10): 6 (it's that darn price tag)

What's your favorite vanilla incense?

TRIVIA: Designer and Chemist

The designer (label) of this famous fragrance shares a name with a famous Nobel-prize winning American chemist whose work, like the fragrance, will surely live on forever.

Name the Fragrance and it's designer label.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

ASK MARLEN: Making perfume from lavender oil?

Hi Marlen,

I'm now studying chemical engineering at universty in Turkey. And this year, I will finish school. But before finishing I must produce a perfume in the laboratory from lavender oil. I took the oil from lavender flower, but I don't know how to make perfume...

I don't need any fancy formula but can you offer me some tips about how I can make this perfume?

Thank you very much!

Dear ez,

This is a tough one for me as I've never explored the actual chemistry of perfume creation. We do have some readers who do this for a living and other readers who have tried this at home, so I'm going to ask them to respond. Please check the comments below and feel free to ask additional questions!

Hope this helps!



Donna Karan Women, 1992
.25 oz Parfum
Bottle designed by Stephen Weiss

2 Views of
Donna Karan Women, 1992
Eau de Parfum
Bottle designed by Stephen Weiss

Poster for Donna Karan Women, 1992

REVIEW: Antilope by Weil

Notes: Sage, grasse neroli, bergamot, chamomile, lily of the valley, jasmine, patchouli, iris, ambergris, and vetiver.

Pros: Wow...I love this. A light green chypre that will work perfectly for warmer weather.

Cons: The opening has a slightly soapy tone. Longevity could be a bit better.

Development: I can detect the sage and chamomile as the scent opens, wonderful! The middle notes are slightly brighter, with jasmine and lily of the valley accents. The scent dries to a light vetiver and iris combo, with merely the slightest green hint of patchouli, and the faint musky warmth of ambergris.

Longevity: I'm testing the EDP (thanks, Katie!) and the scent starts off 2 hours later it is quite faint, though still there. This light drydown does linger on my skin for quite some time, though I'd like a but more projection.

Sillage: Moderate, and then within about 2 hours, the scent remains very quiet.

Reminds me of: Ivoire de Balmain, though much subtler and fresher.

Where can I buy it? $35.90 for a 100ml EDP spray at

Bottleworthy? Absolutely...I'm not sure as to how similar this EDP is to the original EDC, but I've ordered the EDC and will update you as soon as I try it!

The Bottom Line: Created in 1928 by Weil, the company has now re-bottled and re-packaged their major players and released them as Eau de Parfums. Here's what gets me - chamomile and sage! WooHoo! This is one heck of a unique composition, not to mention a great price. Easy-to-wear for both men and women, this should give the standard summer citrus and marine fragrances a real run for their money. Best of all, this is a little-known gem that the rest of the world WON'T be wearing!

Rating (out of 10): 7 (wished it lasted longer)

Know of any other scents that feature Chamomile?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

BATH & BODY: Perlier White Almond Soap

What is it: A bar soap (125 g) enriched with almond oil.

Why should I buy it? Great for dry skin, and smells great!

Where can I buy it? $7.50 for a 125g bar at try Ebay and check your local TJ Maxx and Marshall's.The Bottom Line: I like the soap and find it very gentle on the skin and hydrating, especially useful during the winter months. I would actually enjoy a stronger scent though and am curious about checking out the other products from this line.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Additional information:

From White Almonds have been cultivated for years, and are known for their richness and ability to nourish the skin. The Greeks and Romans extracted oil, milk, and flour from the almonds for its nourishing, moisturizing, and protective skincare qualities. Perlier’s White Almond recipes offer therapeutic benefits for both dry and delicate skin types. Sweet White Almond Milk and White Almond Oil are richly concentrated in natural emollients and nutrients, leaving the skin fresh, smooth, and supple. Almonds contain large amounts of magnesium, an essential enzyme that plays a part in the formation and maintenance of skin protein. And in addition to all its moisturizing properties, White Almond leaves a delicate sweet scent on the skin.

Ingredients: Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Coate, Water, Glycerin, Parfum (Frangrance), Prunus dulcis (Sweet Almond Oil, Sweet Almond Extract), Sodium Lactate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA , Tetrasodium Etidronate, o-Tolyl Biguanide , CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

ASK MARLEN: Cuppa Java


Do you know of any good coffeeish frags (outside of the pricey New Haarlem) that
you'd recommend?

PHey P,

Ok, you mentioned New Haarlem and in earlier correspondence Miracle as well. Though I gave new Haarlem glowing reviews at NST a few months ago, I've found that I rarely reach for it...wonder why that is.

As for Miracle for Men by Lancome, I don't find that coffee plays too much of a role in this at's more like someone is brewing a pot of coffee in the room next door and the scent merely trails in the background and combines with the candles and carpetfresh (not that Miracle resembles carpetfresh in any way)!

My current favorite coffee scent is Ava Luxe Cafe Noir, reviewed here. I had a sample and small decant and used up both of them. It may not project as much as I'd like, but it's incredibly warm, comforting, and rich.

Here's a list of others that I can recommend:
  • CSP Vanilla Cafe (Mokha)
  • L'Artisan L'Eau de Navigateur
  • MPG Eau des Iles
  • Angel for Men
  • Mat; Very Male
  • Yohji Homme (original)
  • Balenciaga, Cristobal pour Homme
  • CDG Series 7: Wood Coffee
  • Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe
  • Bond 9 So New York
Additionally, I find that Shiseido's Basara has a coffee note in the base, though it may actually be just a wood note that smells like coffee. I've heard great things about Sonoma Scent Studio's coffee inspired fragrances, but haven't tried them myself yet. Finally, I've heard that DSH Cafe Noir is also quite good.

Geeeesh! 3 Cafe Noirs...gonna have to have a sniff-down soon!

Hope this helps!

I know we've already done this, buycan you make any other rec's? Any off the beaten path coffee-inspired scents?

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Mark for his thoughtful contributions to Scenteur7, including his hilarious post about orienting the boys of his college to the art of smelling good while pondering the necessity of his Elle Decor subscription!

In a joint 1st runner up position are Cara-bellum and Anya for their beauteous takes on marijuana and white musk, respectively.

Mark has won a bottle of Modigliani for men, whil Cara and Anya can take their pick at any 10ml decant from my Basenotes wardrobe.

Congrats and thanks so much to everyone for making this a moving, exciting, and enriching experience for me.

Mark, Anya, Cara please email me at with your mailing addresses to claim your prizes!

With much love and gratitude,

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Marlen has just been named the new author of...

Hi everyone...just wanted to share my good news!

I've been awarded the paid position of author for, a blog and newsletter about teaching English as a foreign language.

Marlen and friends at a teaching conference

Come by and 'read' me some time!


Monday, February 27, 2006

REVIEW: L'Artisan Patchouli Patch

Notes:Patchouli, star anise, white musk and white cedar.

Pros: This was the first scent to actually turn me on to patchouli, rather than send me running. Subtle skin scent that lingers for hours.

Cons: Might be a bit too subtle for die-hard patchouli fans.

Development: Very little. I don't really detect anything but patchouli and white musk.

Longevity: It's surprising, just when I think I can't smell it anymore, there it is...subtly scenting my skin, wafting its way to my sniffer.

Sillage: Not sure about this roommate says he can smell it (and likes it, and I might add he hates patchouli), but it's definitely not as powerful as say, Premier Figuier, imho.

Reminds me of: Hmmm, it almost has a nutty undertone, similar to the drydown of Bois Farine, yet these are very different fragrances...I can't really say this reminds me of anything!

Where can I buy it? $75 for a 50ml, $110 for a 100ml edt spray at

Bottleworthy: Yes, especially for fans of white musk and for those wanting a totally unique patchouli scent.

The Bottom Line: One of my favorite, and one of the lesser talked about L'Artisan scents, this scent exemplifies everything I've come to love about this fragrance house. Mellow and lightly sweet with a warm creamy musk base, this will not conjur images of head shops - I promise! Though sometimes criticized as not smelling enough like patchouli, it's the wondeful musk drydown that I find most appealing. Definitely give it a try!

Rating (out of 10): 9

I used to hate patchouli until I smelled PP. What fragrances changed your mind about a previously despised note?

WEBSITES & E-TAILERS: Sali Oguri, Pink Manhattan

Welcome to the wonderful world of Sali Oguri!

What is it: A blog about all things Sally and her love of music and fragrance.

Why should I check it out? Sali Oguri is a New York based independent singer-musician who has created Pink Manhattan, Sensorium of Song and Scent Part I & Part II. Part I is her CD of original songs titled Pink Manhattan (Petit-CD) and Part II is an original perfume creation, also called Pink Manhattan (PURRFUME).

Link please! She's just launched her first blog, PINK MANHATTAN. Sally's main website is

$40 for .15oz roll-on at

Pink Manhattan PURRFUME is a limited edition of 100 handmade pieces exclusive to Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan launch, 2005. No two pieces are the same; each 0.15 fl. oz. roll-on bottle is hand-decanted with Sali's original perfume and packaged in a hand-crafted pillow box that is numbered and signed. Notes of
fresh ripe peach, pink hibiscus, lush gardenia, French vanilla and sensual skin musk.

Read the interview with Sali at


Fendi Asja, 1992

FRAGRANCE NOTES - Bergamot, Peach, Apricot, Raspberry, Lily of the valley, Orris, Cinnamon, Honey, Vanilla, Benzoin, Styrax, Sandal.

IMAGES: Plassard, Matsi

Plassard Matsi

Beautiful poster, but can't find any info about the scent...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK: Guerlain, Shalimar $8.24

Notes: bergamot, lemon, patchouli, vanilla, sandalwood and musk

1.7 oz EDT spray: Retail price $55; Scentiments' price $8.24*

Why should I buy it? Why shouldn't you? This is perhaps one of the most famous fragrances in the world, a timeless oriental that never fails to enchant. Yes, the EDP is richer, and obviously the Parfum is incomparable, but for this price, if you really hated it, you could always use it to deodorize your curtains!

*Tester, as shown, without box or cap.

REVIEW: Valentino, Vendetta Pour Homme

Notes: Verbena, Neroli, Lavender, Clove, Bay Rum, Geranium, Jasmine, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Musk, Labdanum.

Pros: A shockingly good (and subtle) take on labdanum (rockrose).

Cons: Becoming hard to find (as it's been discontinued).

Development: The lavender, clove, rhum and labdanum are all seamlessly blended and make the strongest presence from the get-go. As the scent settles on the skin, the musk (and I sense some pepper) takes over.

Longevity: Ahhh, not sure of the age of my bottle, but this seems to last a good 6 hours with a very faint aroma lingering even thereafter.

Sillage: It's there, but won't announce your arrival before your entry.

Reminds me of: Shiseido Basara, but lighter; Imagine Etro Messe de Minuit, but with a well-rounded compostion; KM Oliban

Where can I buy it? $24.99 for a 50ml edt spray at

Bottleworthy? Absolutely. Ladies, take note, this is one you'll want for yourselves.

The Bottom Line: Valentino has always been one of my favorite couture designers, sumptuous, sophisticated, and never garish! This is one I remember dismissing in my teenage years as having been just too heavy for me. I couldn't have been more wrong. A stunning composition that has risen to the top shelf in my collection, Vendetta's soft herbal notes, paired with more traditional masculine notes (the clove and Bay Rhum are well blended and subtle) makes this one easy to wear. With topnotes set against labdanum and musk, the overall effect is reminiscent of an Eastern Bazaar, an ancient cathedral, or whatever imagery labdanum calls to mind for you. For the price, this is a scent not to be missed, especially if you really do love incense inspired scents.

Rating (out of 10): 9 (Valentino, bring this one back as a men's EDP, please!)

What's your favorite Valentino fragrance?

Image: Vendetta pour Femme


About the house: From (thanks, Justin!)

In 1910, Dante Trussardi, master glove-maker, set up his company in Bergamo, Italy, creating finely made gloves which were soon sold all over the world.

Nicola, Dante Trussardi's nephew was born in Bergamo in 1942. He studied at the Universita Cattolica in Milan, graduating with a degree in Economics and Business Science. He married Maria Luisa Gavazzeni. They had two sons and two daughters, Beatrice, Francesco, Gaia and Tommaso.

In 1970, Nicola Trussardi, took over the company after the sudden death of his father and brother. Taking full advantage of the company's experience with leather work, he decided to diversity the company's products. He bought a tannery and with the help of experts studied new procedures for treating and refining leather to make sophisticated products.

In 1973 Trussardi launched his label for bags, suitcases and small leather goods. He used as his logo, the greyhound dog, fast and delicate, which has always been tied to the history of painting. The immediate success of the first leather collection encouraged him to add more products to the line, such as belts, shoes, umbrellas and ties.

In 1976, the first Trussardi shop was opened in Milan selling leather jackets and other leather goods. Today the network of shops in Italy and abroad includes 183 boutiques.

In 1983, Trussardi presented the first womens ready-to-wear collection during the twice yearly Milano Ciolezioni shows. He chose as a setting, the romantic ambience of La Scala Opera House in Milan. He followed this a year later with his first Menswear collection shown at the Modern Art Pavilion in Milan.

The Trussardi look is classic, but innovative, with generous use of the finest fabrics.

In both 1985 and 1986 Trussardi was awarded the Iminagena Italia award.

In 1987 Trussardi designed the leasure garments for the Italian athletes taking part in the 1988 Olympic Games.

Throughout the 1980's, the menswear and womenswear collections were very successful, and the company was doing very well.

However, sadly, on April 3rd, 1999, Nicola Trussardi died. He crashed his car on the way home, went into a coma and did not recover. He was only 56 years of age. His daughter Beatrice and son Francesco carried on the house.

French designer Nicolas Ghesquiere took over the design helm for 2 collections in 1997, followed by Jeremy Scott, a Paris-based American, who joined in 1997 and designs Trussardi Jeans, Trussardi T-Store and Trussardi Sportswear.

The Nicola Trussaudi Foundation has been set up to host exhibitions and cultural events in keeping with Nicola's love of art and culture.

Fragrance Collection (links to
My Favorite: By far, Trussardi Skin. An intriguing unisex scent with notes of violet leaves, apple, pink pepper, citrus, lily-of-the-valley, rose, jasmine, rosewood, cedar, patchouli, moss.

The Bottom Line: Though I'm not a fan of the men's scents (generally heavy, with dark leather tones and anise), and am unfamiliar with most of the women's scents, I was a fan of Trussardi Action for Women in the late 80's and love Skin. The recent Jeans duo is interesting with the men's scent highlighted by a lychee note, and the women's smelling like barley. Though the men's version of Python was one more variation on marine/aquatic, the women's scents was quite striking with notes of Bergamot, Mandarin, Plum, Chocolate, Rose, Jasmine, Cardamom, Nutneg, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Vanilla. Though not my favorite house, Trussardi has some striking compositions and a line of luggage and ties that would make just about any dandy swoon!

Tell us about your favorite Trussardi!

EVENTS: Sniffapalooza, Spring 2006

What is it? A 2 day sniff-and-shop-a-thon!

From Sniffapalooza is a New York City event uniting perfume passionatas from around the world. What started as a small group of women getting together to shop and share their enthusiasm for fragrance has grown into a phenomenon that has attained national recognition in The Wall Street Journal and Women's Wear Daily Beauty Biz.

Sniffapalooza occurs several times a year and draws hundreds of kindred spirits, both men and women, and spans an age range of 16 to 75. Sniffapalooza is the brainchild of Karen Dubin, and now with the collaboration of Karen Adams, the event is reaching new proportions. Membership is by invitation, and is designed for the serious fragrance lover.

Where is it? N.Y.C., baby! Where else?

When is it? Saturday April 8th (Uptown stores) and Sunday, April 9th (downtown stores)

Why should I go? You, dear readers of Scenteur7, have a personal invitation from the group's coordinator, Ms. Karen Dubin. Sadly, I can't make it as I'll be passed out with jetlag and from sniffing the 467 fragrances awaiting me at my father's house in Boca Raton.

Contact info: (Please include "Sniffapalooza Scenteur7" in your subject title.)

More information
Thank you Karen for the wonderful invitation. I'll DEFINITELY be joining you in the fall!