Saturday, April 15, 2006

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK: Armand Basi Homme

Notes: Cardamon, Lavandine, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Lilac, Lily of the valley, Tonka bean, Cistus, Cedar, Gayac, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk.

100ml EDT spray: Retail price $58; $23.99 (tester, no cap)

Why should I buy it? One of the most impressive and surprising fragrances that I've discovered in the last few years, Basi is highlighted by cinnamon, lavender and sandalwood. Sure, there's a whole list of other great notes as well, but these three are what really standout to my nose. Imagine fragrances like Guerlain's Mouchoir de Monsieur, or Etro's Etra, and now imagine something more complete and fuller-bodied with greater longevity and complexity and for $23.99, you've got a whopping 4.2 oz bottle of Armand Basi Homme...Slightly sweet, slightly spicy, slightly woodsy, and completely intoxicating.

IMAGES: Ah, to Hell with it!

The fragrance advertised in this 2003 marketing poster is oddly named: Scent from Hell

And if that alone isn't enough to serve up snorts and giggles, the designer has a tongue-twister of a name: Bruno Banani

Put it all together and what have you got?

Bruno Banani's Scent from Hell (for the devil in you?)

WISHLIST: Carlos Santana for Men

Many of you will recall my review of this fragrance earlier this year at NowSmellThis, but I still don't own it, and I still want it, and so it has earned a spot on my wishlist, very near the top. I'm eyeing a 100ml tester at for the low price of $31.95

Notes: bergamot, mandarin, lavender springs, cinnamon bark, apple, maja accord, sandalwood, cypress wood, cedar wood, patchouli, musk, leather, benzoin vanilla, amber and tonka bean.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

FOR THE HOME: Airwick, Jasmine and Kiwi Aerosol Spray

What is it? An air freshener and deodorizer.

Notes: Jasmine and kiwi

Pros: Amazing tangy aroma, quickly fills a room, eliminates odors.

Cons: Smells like peaches and nectarines to me...where's the jasmine? Wish the scent lingered a little longer.

Where can I buy it? At your local market or online: an 8 oz spray is $1.30 at

The Bottom Line: If you gotta have a spray deodorizer in your bathroom, why not use one that smells as amazing as you do? I was lucky enough to come across this in a friend's house and kept spraying it just to smell the great stuff inside...eventually it was snatched out of my hands and hidden from me...but I'm ok with that. I don't exactly smell the jasmine, but the tangy kiwi comes across loud and clear. For a mere $2 at the supermarket, keep an eye out for this stuff but be sure to spray it away from your face.

Rating (out of 10): 6

What's your favorite air freshener?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

REVIEW: Michael Kors, Island

Notes: Kauai Waterfalls, Oxygenated Water, Chinese Kiwi, Hydroponic Honeysuckle, Parrot Tulip, Champaca Flowers, Ginger Lilies, Bulgarian Rose, Stephanotis, White Bark Accord, Galapagos Driftwood.

Pros: Fresh, breezey, subtle floral undertones, sweet, woody drydown; great bottle.

Cons: Not entirely an original ozonic floral...the list of comparisons is endless.

Reminds me of: A less berry-tinged version of Cool Water Woman, perhaps slightly sweeter and more powdery; Body Shop Oceanus.

Development: Doesn't really develop much, but becomes slightly woodsy as it dries.

Longevity: Not bad, not great. The topnotes of lily and champaca fade after a couple of hours leaving a sweet barely-there powdery marine note.

Sillage: Very minimal.

Where can I buy it? $59.99 for a 3.4 oz EDP spray at

Bottleworthy? At nearly $60 for a 100ml, it's not gonna break the bank, but let's face's a marine floral named Island...As pretty as it smells I'd prefer to wear Ferre's new cologne, Bergamotto Marine, or spend the money and go for Malle's Lys Mediteranee.

The Bottom Line: A very mediocre scent from a designer that I expected better from. Michael was a creamy floral incense; Michael for Men a plum-tinged leather; Kors a rich red Port...Island just doesn't keep up. As mentioned above, there are better alternatives, especially considering Island's pricepoint. This is one island that I'll admire from afar and not visit myself. A beautiful composition, but ultimately uninspired on my skin.

Rating (out of 10): 5

What designer scents of recent release didn't quite bowl you over?

RANT: Scenteur7 featured in Cosmetic World

Congratulations to the following websites featured in the April 10th Cosmetic World feature, Scent's New View: Navigating the blog world:
  • Basenotes
  • Scenteur7
  • Peppermint Patty's Perfume Posse
  • Scentzilla
  • Sniffapalooza
  • Now Smell This
  • Victoria's Own
  • Bois de Jasmin
  • Beauty News NYC

The feature in the printed trade journal followed photos from the 2006 Fifi awards and listed the websites in a short article that introduced them as follows:

Marketers strive to continually connect with consumers. But here's what happens when consumers continually connect with each other...

BATH & BODY: Yves Rocher, Blue Cedar Invigorating Shampoo Shower Gel

What is it? A 2-in-1 shower gel and hair shampoo with a light aroma of "energizing blue cedar extract" .

Why should I buy it? Smells incredible - very gentle and fresh, perfect when layered with the EDT; a light gel texture that lathers well.

Where can I buy it? $5 for 8.4 ozs at

The Bottom Line: An inexpensive, great-smelling hair and body shampoo that makes a perfect compliment to woody fragrances, accenting the cedar notes. Ideal for cedar lovers and for those of us who like the smell of wood but don't want to smell like a pencil. A little goes a long way and the bottle has an easy to dispense spout.

Rating (out of 10): 6

Do you have a favorite wood-themed body wash?