Saturday, May 13, 2006

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK: Givenchy, Greenergy (2000)

Notes: Tarragon, lemon, and vetiver are commonly listed, but I'm not sure that they're correct.

1.7 oz edt spray: Retail price $42; $13.90

The Bottom Line: My favorite green fragrance, not too herbal, not too sweet, not too citrusy: Perfection. I love the sweet grassy notes tempered with the light, soft woods and musk. Not as leafy as Sisley Eau de Campagne and with much better lasting power, nor as citrusy as Bvlgari Green Tea with a warmer drydown, Greenergy is a fresh, clean scent that makes me feel great whenever I wear it.
Decants available, email me!

ASK MARLEN: A stack of boxes


Do you throw away your perfume boxes? I've just started this addiction and trust most of your reviews. I'm hooked.


Dear N,

Ya know, I don't keep the boxes in general, unless I think I might give the scent away as a gift or in a swap. So I'd say that 75% of my scents don't have boxes. Yes, keeping the fragrance in the box can protect it from heat and light which can both lead to the breakdown and early "spoiling" of your fragrance, but it's also a pain in the ass to take a scent out of its box every time I want to spray it or decant it. It's probably a good idea to keep fragances in boxes, but I'm far too lazy.

Hope this helps!

"To keep or not to keep" boxes...that is today's question.

Holy, Mother! Part IV: Cartier Must pour Femme (1981)

#2) Not sure how Mom stumbled onto this one, but it became her signature scent for a while. She loved the powdery vanilla finish and bright floral topnotes. More than likely, I had bought it for myself, she commented on how great it was, and once again, I gave her my bottle.

MUSTde Cartier pour Femme

Notes: Galbanum, Mandarin, Neroli, Rose, Jasmine, Daffodil, Amber, Vetiver, Patchouli, Vanilla, and Tonka bean.

Pros: A beautiful green oriental with an almost grassy tone to the topnotes, and sweet amber-vanilla basenotes.

Cons: None

Reminds me of: In the style of Safari (green oriental) and L'Instant (ambery oriental).

Where can I buy it? $35.95 for a 50 ml edt spray at

The Bottom Line: The current rendition of Must is truly a must-try for those who love vanilla and amber orientals. Having always dismissed it, a sales associate at Neimans sneaked a bottle over to the counter where I was sniffing and it was love at first encounter. Long before the men's counterpart launched, I myself wore Must and still do - the pure perfume is magnificent. On Mom's skin, the green topnotes are subdued and the powdery basenotes take centerstage. Definitely one of the classics of the last 25 years.

Rating (out of 10): 9

Is there a scent that both you and Mom enjoy wearing?

Friday, May 12, 2006

REVIEW: Kiehls, Original Musk

Notes: Bergamot Nectar, Orange Blossom, Rose, Lily, Ylang-Ylang, Neroli, Tonka Nut, White Patchouli and, Musk.

Pros: Doesn't smell like Aqua Net hairspray; a warm powdery musk with a floral heart and somewhat animalic basenotes.

Cons: May smell slightly medicinal to some.

Reminds me of: Novaya Zarya Arome Musc; The Body Shop Musk oil; Keiko Mecheri Musc

Development: The scent doesn't really develop as much as it relaxes.

Longevity: Not bad: Lasted a few hours and then left a soft second-skin aroma.

Sillage: I'm still not sure about this one. It seemed quieter than I had expected, but with a musk scent, that might be a good thing.

Where can I buy it? $27.90 for a 3.4 oz edt spray at

Bottleworthy? Try this one before you buy - the basenotes may be a little too harsh for some tastes. If you're a musk freak, like I am, go for it!

The Bottom Line: I've long been wanting a bottle of Kiehls Musk, having been a fan of the musk oil since my days working at Nieman Marcus. Though not my favorite musk, this is an easy-to-wear, everyday scent that won't break the bank. It's not so sweet so as to be cloying, and has an animalic tinge in the basenotes which I personally like, but might be unpleasant to some. Overall, warm, comforting, and soothing, Kiehls is light enough for me to wear a spray or two during the warmer summer months...and I think I will.

Rating (out of 10): 7

What's your favorite musk scent?

Decants available, email me!

MUST-READS: Gucci Envy Review at Now Smell This

click the pic to read the review

MULTIMEDIA: A Ba-a-a-a-a-a-ad Idea for a Scent

Click the pic above to watch the short film.

The perfect gift for Mother's Day,


the fragrance

Holy, Mother! Part III: Gucci Rush for Women (1999)

#3) I was surprised when Mom started wearing this, as it isn't her general style of scent. I think I had given her this on a whim as a gift and she loved it so much, she went through a bottle in a matter of weeks. She especially loved the vanilla and fruity-floral notes in the composition.

Gucci Rush for Women

Notes: Gardenia, Freesia, Jasmine, Damascene rose, Coriander, Vanilla, Patchouli, and Vetiver.

Pros: Unusual fresh floral with an almost fruity tang and a sweet oriental drydown.

Cons: I'd love something slightly more complex. But that's not really a con, now is it?

Reminds me of: Joop! All About Eve; Cacharel Amor Amor.

Where can I buy it? $21.89 for a 50ml tester edt spray at

The Bottom Line: I could swear there is apple in there...smells like a fresh ripe apple with some vanilla ice cream sitting on a table next to a vase of sweet freesia. But it isn't really all that sweet. Not really as sweet as Amor Amor. I like this one; I like the character and final result on the skin. It's unusual and not too "in-your-face", but it's also lacking something. I feel like I am watching a play and all I see so far are the glorious sets and there's none of the spectacle yet. I'd like a little spectacle. And on a sidenote, Rush 2 (black currant and lily) , and Rush Summer (tangerine) are just as easy to love.

Rating (out of 10): 7

Which of your favorite scents has the "swear it's there" mystery note?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mother's Day Fundraising

Just a small reminder that this Sunday, May 14th, a mass-blog fundraising campaign will take place. For each comment left on this blog between May 10th and May 15th, a $1 donation will be made to Orphan Foundation of America.

Please help us by leaving comments on the Scenteur7 blog or by agreeing to match Scenteur7's donation.

The current list of participating bloggers:

NEW RELEASE: Cacharel, Amor pour Homme

click pic to view more information


new from Cacharel

Scenteur7's other Cacharel Reviews:
Cacharel Nemo for Men
Cacharel Amor Amor

Holy, Mother! Part II: Cacharel, Anaïs Anaïs (1978)

#4) This fragrance was a favorite of my mom's when I was a young teenager. I remember being surprised that she chose this new perfume because it was a light, fresh floral and Mom had always loved sweet orientals.

Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel

Notes: Madonna Lily, Hyacinth, Muguet, Black Currant, Citrus, Jasmine, Rose, Orange Blossom, Iris, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver, Cedar, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Musk, Russian Leather.

Pros: Sophisticated floral with a dewy freshness and warm musky base.

Cons: Having been around for nearly 30 years, this might be a very familiar scent to some.

Reminds me of: Hard to compare, but in the same ball park are Estee Lauder Pleasures, J del Pozo Esencia de Duende, and Van Cleef and Arpels First.

Where can I buy it? $25.90 for a 50 ml edt tester spray; $35.90 for a 100ml edt tester spray at

The Bottom Line: A unique composition when compared to the plethora of aldehyde and chypre fragrance launches of the late 70's. I always loved the fresh topnotes - like sticking your head into a florist's refrigerator; soft petals - and thought this a very feminine fragrance. Recently, fellow male fragrance afficianados have been singing its praises as well, commenting on the warm basenotes, specifically the leather. After trying it at duty free recently, I concluded that it just didn't work for me...the hyacinth and lily are a little too "lovely" for me, but mainly I suppose because this is truly the scent of Mom.

Rating (out of 10): 8

Has your mom ever worn a scent that surprised you?

ASK MARLEN: The Birley Lalique

Hi Marlen,

Just wondering if you had any thoughts on Mark Birley? I recalled sampling it a couple of years ago in the UK but can't recollect my notion of it! Am curious again…! Finally, I really loved the decant you sent me of Eau de Lalique…..could you please recommend where you got it from? I see it on Ebay every now and then so am wondering if that’s the go or you may know of any online vendor…

As always, thanks in advance…..
SHi S,

You know, I tried Mark Birley a few years ago when it was all the rage...I remember it distinctly: I was sitting at the back of a small touring van in Shanghai with my friend Susie. We had spent the day sightseeing and I needed a little scented pick-me-up, so I reached into my backpack and pulled out my sample spray of Mark Birley. I was feeling very positive about trying it out because I had heard so many positive things about it. Well...was I ever surprised. Let's just say that Mark and I didn't get along. He was sharp-edged with an overbearing personality and a complete lack of depth. I couldn't wait to wash it off.

As for Eau de Lalique, that was another surprise: I was browsing Saks in New York City, trying to stay hidden from the pesky sales associates when I noticed an odd-looking rectangular bottle I had never seen before. Closer inspection revealed that it was Eau de Lalique, and a couple of shpritzes revealed that it kicked ass! I was immediately hooked and to this day am still totally smitten with this surprisingly fresh, light yet full-bodied aroma with notes of Mandarin, Cardamom, Citron, Bergamot, Dill, Freesia, Hibiscus, Cinnamon, Amyris Wood, Sandalwood, Benzoin, White Musk, and Guaiac wood. It's like a classic eau de cologne but with a pleasant twist. I believe you can find the large 6.60z edt spray for about $30 on Ebay, and it should be pretty reliable.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Thrill of It All has a new look and new post!

click the pic to visit the journal

A new look...

In more ways than one.

Holy, Mother! Part I: Angel for Men (A*Men) (1996)

Well, only 5 more days until we honor the spirit of spending, I mean, the spirit of Mom. Just picture the women around the country who will be simultaneously spraying bottles of perfume bought for them by their adoring families. And then think of how many of those will sit unused, month after month, year after year, just waiting, longing to be sprayed, collecting dust. Ah well...such is the price paid for trying to guess something so personal as another person's taste in fragrance.

Anyhow, in the spirit of Mother's Day, I'll recap my 5 favorite fragrances worn by the one, the only, the mother of yours truly, Mom.

#5) This is a scent that Mom loved in the late 90's. Though the female counterpart was quickly becoming a retail phenomenon, the men's scent was just gaining speed.

Angel for Men

Notes: Bergamot, Lavender, Coriander, Peppermint, Patchouli, Atlas Cedar, Coffee, Styrax, Tonka, Musk.

Pros: Startlingly original and amusing with an amazing array of notes; the standouts here are the patchouli and the coffee, softened and accented by a sweet powdery musk. Nowhere to be found are marine, ozonic, citrus or floral notes - this is all woods, spices and musk.

Cons: Definitely not run-of-the-mill, this is a love it or hate it scent with few opinions between. The patchouli may be too much for some.

Reminds me of: Hard to compare, but in the same category, perhaps Rochas Man, Yohji Homme, L'Artisan L'Eau du Navigateur, MPG Eau des Iles, Dior Homme.

Where can I buy it? $32.75 for a 50ml edt spray tester at

The Bottom Line: One of the most unusual men's fragrances of the last 10 years, I believe I gave up my first bottle to Mom because she commented every time I wore it just how great it smelled. Let's not even get into the psychology of sharing a scent with Mom, but, hey, she liked it, I worked in fragrance, let's keep it simple. Anyhow, partial to powdery orientals, Mom smelled great and it was amazing how the aroma changed with her skin. Nowadays, her husband wears it and again, I gave up the bottle. Though I don't often reach for it anymore, hence the 2nd giving, I think of it fondly.

Rating (out of 10): 9

Has your mom ever worn a men's scent?

BATH & BODY: Neutrogena Body Mist Sunblock

What is it? Sunblock in a spray; 45 SPF; waterproof, sweatproof.

Why should I buy it? Smells amazing, non-greasy, easy to spray on, and cools the skin on contact.

Where can I buy it? $8.49 for 5oz spray at

What does it smell like? With an aroma akin to cucumber-melon (think Kenzo for Men, or New West for Women) with a little CSP Aqua Motu for good measure, this is definitely not your typical sunscreen. The scent remains subtle and will easily work with a number of your favorite summer scents.

The Bottom Line: Easy to use, great-smelling, effective protection, not greasy...what more could I ask for? Yes, the price is a little high - it's a spray, and I suspect I lose a little into the wind each time I spray - but I would definitely buy this again.

The day that I wore this, I wore Geir by Geir Ness (see my review by clicking HERE), and I'm happy to say that for one of the first times, my sunscreen didn't clash with my fragrance.

Additional Information:
Broad spectrum UVA/UVB. Instantly cools as it protects. Refreshes with every application. Non-greasy, waterproof. No. 1 Dermatologist recommended suncare. Sunblock so refreshing, you'll look forward to applying. Cools and revives skin on contact. One touch continuous spray works at any angle. Non-comedogenic (won't clog pores). Lightweight formula absorbs quickly - no need to rub. Waterproof, sweatproof, resists running into eyes. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and Neutrogena, working together to help prevent skin cancer, support the use of sunscreen. Made in USA of domestic and foreign components.

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3.0%), Homosalate (15.0%), Octisalate (5.0%), Octocrylene (2.35%), Oxybenzone (6.0%). Inactive Ingredients: SD-Alcohol 40-2 (58%), Isobutane, Diethylhexyl 2,6-Napthalate, Trisoloxane, Dimethicone, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Menthyl PCA, Lauryl PCA, Propylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Fragrance.
Rating (out of 10): 8

Which sunsceen (that you enjoy) do you find to have the most unusual scent?

Scenteur7 makes Top Ten list

Congrats to the following perfume sites that have been listed along with Scenteur7 by as the best resources on the net for information about fragrance:

Top Ten Sources publishes:
...a daily "Top 10" site of the best newsfeeds on the Internet. Each day, our team of editors picks a topic. Then, we find the ten best sources on the Net on that topic that offer newsfeeds- whether they're blogs, mainstream media, or anybody else publishing great stuff online. We subscribe to their RSS feeds and present them to you in a fresh, new site using our aggregator technology. Top 10's staff is comprised primarily of editors, researchers, and very friendly technologists. The Top 10 editorial team employs an iterative methodology with a constant core -- combining technical metrics with nuanced editorial judgment -- to draw together and contextualize the freshest, most relevant content on the web. Editors and researchers have developed subject matter expertise and track closely the communities on the web that are established, and constantly re-established, around ideas and topics.

RANT: And the award goes to...

A few of my fellow fragrance bloggers have decided that today we'll all try to review our top 5 Genius scents (groundbreaking scents that we love); and top 5 Evil genius scents (groundbreaking scents that we can't stand). So, without further ado...

5 Genius fragrances
(in random order)
  1. Calvin Klein Eternity - CK Eternity for Men changed the way we look at men's fragrances, introducing light, fresh marine notes into a market that had been saturated with orientals and spicier wood/leather compositions.
  2. Helmut Lang Cologne - a brilliant composition focusing on musk and floral aromas that took some time to get used to, but has completely won me over...Sadly, not a noteworthy success commercially, but definitely a success creatively.
  3. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Motu - perhaps better than any other scent at creating the aura of summer - fresh cut grass, ocean waves, warm sands.
  4. Calvin Klein Obsession - started the men's amber-oriental craze. There have been many imitators and few true competitors.
  5. Geir by Geir Ness - a true stand alone creation, nothing compares to Geir's crisp green aroma resting on Alpine woods and herbs. See my review by clicking HERE.
  • Runners-up: L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme, Kenzo pour Homme, Knize Ten
5 Evil Genius Fragrances (in random order)
  1. Escada Casual Friday - though definitely not my favorite fragrance in the world, Casual Friday was one of the first mass-market attempts at a men's scent with coffee beans in the basenotes. Now it seems we can't get enough coffee. I wonder if Starbucks had anything to do with this.
  2. Cool Water - following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Eternity, this one just couldn't hold a candle to many of those scents it inspired. Partly responsible for a good decade of completely uninteresting and derivative marine scents. Now we have about 6 variations to choose from that all smell pretty much the same.
  3. Fahrenheit - I loved it 15 years ago, but who knew it was gonna stick around this long, and so successfully? Now, it's just the smell of too many memories.
  4. Kenzo Air - amazing that a fragrance that smells like nothing could be so popular. I still don't know what it smells like.
  5. CK One - could anything have been less interesting and yet more successful? See my review with Robin of NowSmellThis by clicking HERE.
  • Runners-up: Gaultier Le Male; Cacharel pour Homme; Aramis
Ok - your turn!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK: Bandit (1944)

Notes: Orange, Tuberose, Jasmine, Rose, Leather, Wood

1 oz pure Parfum: Retail price $160; $39.95

The Bottom Line: It's time to get more pure parfum into your collection, and this Robert Piguet classic is a great place to start at around $40 for a full ounce of pure parfum. Known for its ferocious basenotes of leather and warm woods, Bandit also has a lightly floral (somewhat powdery) overture before plunging into chypre wickedness. Save this one for those special summer nights and hey, go easy on the application - a little goes a long way. Perfect for those who like their scents with a little whip snap.

MEN'S GROOMING: Bvlgari, Aqua After Shave Emulsion

Notes: Orange-tree petitgrain, Mandarin Orange, Santoline, Posidonia, Sea Notes, Amber, Woods.

What is it? A scented after shave emulsion.

Why should I buy it? Lightweight, fast-drying, non-greasy; subtly scented, so works well as a compliment to other fragrances!

Where can I buy it? $27.99 for 100ml at

The Bottom Line: Another winning product from Bvlgari, this time in the Aqva aroma. The fragrance itself kind of bored me, nice but uninspired. But the after shave emulsion is the perfect answer to adding a little extra scent to the skin after a shave. The same texture as the previously reviewed Bvlgari pour Homme After Shave Emulsion, this light, milky skin soother works great on sunburnt skin as well. Trust me.

Rating (out of 10): 7 (5 for the aroma, 9 for the actual lotion)

Do you have a favorite "aqua" scented grooming product?

Monday, May 08, 2006

REVIEW: Hanae Mori, HM (Men) (1997)

Notes: Lemon, Lavender, Blackcurrant, Green notes, Iris, Jasmine, Muguet, Bulgarian Rose, Moss, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Cedarwood, Chocolate, and Amber.

Pros: One of the most unusual men's fragrances of the 90's; a one-of-a-kind gourmand oriental; wonderful jasmine notes really shine.

Cons: May be a bit too sweet for some.

Reminds me of: Absolutely unique.

Development: As the scent moves from shimmering fruit and floral notes to the warmer woods and gourmand notes, the sweetness subsides somewhat and the scent's amber hues warm the skin.

Longevity: Excellent, the edt lasts forever on me.

Sillage: Just right - not too loud, not too quiet...

Where can I buy it? $23.89 for a 100ml edt spray at

Bottleworthy? Absolutely, in fact, this is one that is definitely not limited to men!

The Bottom Line: An unusual fragrance that might just change the way you think about men's fragrance. Long before Dior offered us an Homme of iris and chocolate, Mori-san was already getting creative. One of my favorite highlights of the composition is the glorious use of jasmine. Though the fragrance is seemlessly blended, the jasmine is perhaps the one note that truly stands out to my nose...well, perhaps along with the blackcurrant. Overall, a scent for any ocasion, though perhaps better suited to cooler weather. The Eau Fraiche version is just as enticing, though the fruit and gourmand notes are slightly less sweet.

Rating (out of 10): 9
Decants available, email me!
Have you tried HM yet?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

TRIVIA: Nacho Grande

The next time I order something Nacho-ish, I might be asking for this colored variation on a famous men's scent. Here's a pic to give you a little help:

What scent am I referring to?

IMAGES: The Sophistication of Armani

Armani Pour Homme, 1987

IMAGES: Under-the-covers Agent

My step-mother, Shelley, le nouveau Agent Provocateur.

FOR THE HOME: Caldrea, Rose and Pink Peppercorn

What is it? A rose and pink peppercorn room and linen spray accented with coconut and sandalwood. Essential oils of rose, pepper, mandarin and clove.
Why should I buy it? Reminds me of Chantecaille's Wisteria fragrance oddly enough, but this is a wonderful soft and spicy rose aroma - more like fresh petals than grandma's perfume.

Where can I buy it? $15.50 for 4 oz non-aerosol spray at

The Bottom Line: I bought mine on sale at Nordstrom's for about $6, so keep those eyes peeled! I wish the aroma had greater longevity, but I love the aroma so much, I don't really mind. I also sprayed it on towels and linens.

Rating (out of 10): 7
Decants available, email me!
What's your favorite rose-scented product for the home?