Thursday, May 18, 2006

MULTIMEDIA: Teenage boys learn the power of aromatherapy

from YouTube

Don't forget the contest! Free Different Company Mini's

Just a reminder...

Don't forget our Different Company giveaway!

Dream up your own fragrance to win a set of three 2ml minis.

Click the pic to read more about it!

REVIEW: Terre d'Hermes (2006)

Notes: Cedar, Grapefruit, Orange, Gunflint, Silex, Pepper, Baies Roses, Geranium Leaves, Patchouli, Vetiver, Benzoin.

Pros: Light, fresh earthy aroma. Classy bottle.

Cons: A little too heavy on the dry notes.

Reminds me of: Cartier Declaration (Birch wood, Bergamot, Bitter orange, Juniperwood, Artemisia, Cardamom, Cold spices, Oak, Cedar wood, Vetiver)

Development: The entire aroma relaxes and softens after application. From there, I can detect the citrus fruit and pepper, and a heavy vetiver note. There is a transparency about the composition aided by the citrus and geranium notes.

Longevity & Sillage: Quiet and close to the skin within an hour of application.

Where can I buy it? $43.99 for a 50ml edt spray at

Bottleworthy? Wait a few months until the price drops - this could make a great Xmas gift for Dad!

The Bottom Line: It leaves me a little cold, though there are times when the almost peanut buttery benzoin melds with the vetiver to create a unique earthy accord. But it fades rather quickly, revealing shimmering grapefruit and orange notes. Others have compared this to to the two Jardin fragrances by Hermes, concluding that they all share a similar transparency and simplicity and I'd agree. This scent reminds me of the dryness in Boucheron pour Homme and Krizia Time Uomo. I kept wanting slightly sweet and aromatic notes to open up from the background of the composition and relax it, but to no avail. Though it was an interesting experience, Hermes' Terre is not one I'd quickly return to.

Rating (out of 10): 6

What's your favorite of the men's Hermes scents?

ASK MARLEN: Terre de Jasmine


I was hoping to hear your thoughts on the newest offering from Hermes.

Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Havent tried it?

I myself am not wowed by it but the mixture of vetiver and citrus was enough to convince me to adopt a bottle for the summer while in Dallas 3 days ago (as I personally have never smelled such a thing). So I guess what I am asking is, what is your bottom line on this frag?

Also, if you have time, would you mind recommending some jasmine fragrances that you find outstanding to me? Im looking for something that has an apparent jasmine note that doesn't become a light floral mess.

Thank you.
-JHi J,

Perhaps you've noted my silence about this fragrance? Yes, it's true, I'm not a fan. While I can find things to like about it (there IS an elegance about the product, from box, to bottle, to composition) overall, this is a scent with overwhelming cedar and vetiver from start to finish, and that turns me off. The dryness is what most gets me and immediately calls to mind such stinkers as Cartier Declaration, Kenzo Jungle for Men, and Eau d'Hermes. It's not that these fragrances are bad, really, just about as far from "my thing" as it gets.

Ok, you asked about jasmine fragrances and a few came to mind. My first thought was Hanae Mori for Men Eau Fraiche, as it focuses more on the floral aspects than the gourmand ones. My next thought was Montale's Jasmin Full, one of my new personal favorites, and finally, there's Gendarme, my favorite. I love the jasmine and citrus top notes set against the light musk and leather notes. I can actually smell the jasmine in this one!

Hope this helps, and feel free to keep those questions coming!

Gendarme 20 and Carriere decants available, email me!

Pick a Montale

I'd like to review 4 Montale scents and have access to samples of all of them,

so you tell me...

Which ones should I review?

click the pic for more info and a complete list of scents

See my Review of Sandalsilver (Skin)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

MUST-READS: Jean-Charles Brosseau The Brun Review at Now Smell This

click the pic above to read the review

Decants available, email me!

IMAGES: The Scent of Public S...

Time To Play... good you'll want to do it right there.

Bruno Banani
, 2002

p.s. - and look at the shape of the bottle - oy!

REVIEW: Joop! Nightflight (1992)

Notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Coriander, Apple, Pineapple, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lily of the Valley, Dry Amber, Sandalwood, Cumin.

Pros: The pineapple note really sparkles against the warmer woods and amber. An unusual fragrance that still smells as wonderful as it did when it first launched nearly 15 years ago.

Cons: A complex composition, this might be a little too much for those with simpler tastes.

Reminds me of: Chopard Heaven; DKNY Be Delicious for Men; J del Pozo Quasar

Development: After initial application, the pineapple and apple notes take center stage before quieting down to reveal a floral-tinged woods and amber heart.

Longevity: A winner, folks...lasts forever.

Sillage: Again, excellent, if not a little strong.

Where can I buy it? $26.99 for a 4.2 oz edt spray tester at

Bottleworthy? Absolutely, for both men and women.

The Bottom Line: Though the name always reminds me of that cheezy 80's late night music video program on USA networks, this is really one of my favorite scents from the 90's - a complete departure from the original men's Joop! in the burgundy bottle. Nowadays, it seems that Nightflight may surpass Joop! in terms of popularity and wearability due to its versatility and understated elegance. I could have sworn that there was also an almond note in Nighflight, and I can almost smell the sweet nutty tones in the base of the fragrance, but alas, its not listed in the pyramid. Overall, a must-try for fragrance lovers and for anyone looking for something a little unusual.

Rating (out of 10): 8
Decants available, email me!
Have you ever tried Nightflight?

$78 - Thank You!

Scenteur7 has raised $78 for the Orphan Foundation of America.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments and contributions
during this special Mother's Day charitable event...

Learn more about Benevolent Blogging by clicking the pic above!

BATH & BODY: Etro Sandalo Hair and Body Shampoo

What is it: A moderately-scented hair and body shampoo.

Why should I buy it? The perfect companion to any of your other Etro scents, and hey, it'll add a little character to bath time. The sandalwood oil is light and sweet, leaving a faint trail of scent on your skin after showering.

Where can I buy it? $24.99 at

The Bottom Line: Nicely scented, but a little pricey. There really is nothing special or unusual about this stuff as far as sandalwood shower gels go. At the discounted price, it might be worth a little luxury. Actually, compared to three other sandalwood shower gels I've tried, this one was the best.

Rating (out of 10): 6

What's your favorite sandalwood-scented bath product?

Monday, May 15, 2006

MUST-READS: The Erotic History of Advertising

click the pic to read the article

BARGAIN OF THE WEEK: Salvatore Ferragamo pour Femme Parfum (1998)

Notes: Anise, Blackcurrant Absolute, Neroli, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Pepper, Musk, Raspberry, Sweet Almonds.

1/2 oz Perfume: Retail $115; Parfum $38.95

The Bottom Line: The notes certainly make it look sweeter than it actually is and you'd expect a leather-based scent from Ferragamo's first fragrant outing, but instead, we have a soft powdery floral. This is more of a sheer scent than your typical creamy floral bouquet, and brings to mind white linen sheets. This is one that could easily fit into the Clean family of scents with hints of raspberry and pepper woven into the composition. Youthful, light, and at that price, another great way to fit pure perfume into your wardrobe.

REVIEW: YSL Opium Fleur Imperiale (2006)

Notes: Mandarin Orange, Neroli, Apricot, Jasmine, Osmanthus and Vanilla.

Pros: Orange blossom, jasmine, and vanilla...what's not to like?

Cons: Bland enough so that everyone will like it.

Reminds me of: Opium Fleur de Shanghai

Development: None.

Longevity: Not bad - though a softer scent, this stuff stuck around until the next morning.

Sillage: Nice, but subtle...

Where can I buy it? $47.99 at

Bottleworthy? A scent for die-hard Opium fans who have just finished their current bottle of Opium.

The Bottom Line: A beautiful floriental, gone are the smokey resins of the Opium I once knew. Well, there's a trace, under the very subtle and slightly sweet floral notes. A quiet Opium, a fresher Opium, a softer Opium. I know some of you have heard this before, but my step-mother Shelley loves the original Opium. I bought her a summer version of Opium which she claims to have left at her mother's house; I bought her the Shanghai version which she hasn't touched. When asked why she didn't care for these as much, she replied, "I prefer my Opium in full-hooker strength." When asked her opinion on Imperiale, she offered "that's nice" and carried on with her day.

Rating (out of 10): 6
Decants available, email me!

Has anyone tried the Men's Opium summer edition? Anyone wanna trade me a sample?

NEW RELEASE: Azzaro, Bright Visit (2006)

click the pic to view more information


Bright Visit for Men

Two facets: a ‘Bright’ one that releases fresh, green, aqueous waves of scent (black currant, Mediterranean herbs, starfruit, reeds), the other evokes ‘Visit’ and its woody-spicy-amber trail. The fresh alliance of the two creates a sense of freedom and lightness. Acetyver is a tangier version of vetiver essence, ‘with a slightly bitter freshness’.

ASK MARLEN: A Total Headache


I am a member of the Basenotes community and I have a little favour to ask...I know that you have sampled TONS of fragrances so I was wondering if you would make a suggestion for which fragrance(s) is/are suitable for people that normally get headaches from perfumes. I really love perfumes but once I try them on - the headaches follow. I'd really like to hear/read your suggestions before making my next purchase.

PHi P,

This is a tough one as the common practice seems to be "if they give you headaches, then don't wear them," however, there are so many different ways to approach fragrances these days, that I'm sure we can find a solution.

First of all, here are three pages that offer info, research, and advice about what to do if you have sensitivities to perfumed products:
Next, try and keep some kind of record of your symptoms and what triggers them - perhaps you can identify specific products or scents that cause the most harm so as to avoid them in the future. Now, I'm not sure if it's specifically fragrance or all scented products that trigger your headaches. If it's the Eau de Toilette that causes problems, maybe a scented oil could be a replacement or perhaps just using the scented body products like lotion, soap or aftershave?

Another option is to look for scents that are made with all-natural/ organically grown ingredients so as to minimize your potential risk to additional potentially harmful chemicals. Here's a great site to get you started:

The final option, aside from individually testing your favorite fragrances to see how they work with your body, is to get creative and try to make your own scent. Sure, you could only spray your clothes or your hair with the scent, avoiding potential skin irritation, but with headaches, just the aroma alone migh be enough to make you ill.

A few of our readers practice natural perfumery and perhaps they can offer some guidance in this area. I hope you find a solution that allows you to enjoy aroma without the hassle of the headaches.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

IMAGES: Get mom high...

Cocaina en Flor by Parera
ca 1933

click the pics to visit the museum!


I'm not gonna even pretend I have any clue what the heck tagetes is. I came across this one while writing today's Mother's Day post about Obsession. If I had to guess, I'd say a seed of some kind...Let's Wikipedia tagetes and see what we can find...

Tagetes is apparently the name for a genus of daisy indigenous to Mexico and South America but is more commonly know as Marigold (African, French, Mexican) and has an aroma that is commonly used as a top note in perfumery. adds "With a wild, sweet, almost citrus-like aroma, Tagetes excels in repelling insects and treating wounds, infections, and respiratory conditions. Although Tagetes is not often acquired for its aroma, it is said that this oil is used extensively in French perfumes."

So, Tagetes is a Marigold, huh? Wow, I never knew!

Let's see...Some of my favorite fragrances with tagetes or marigold include:
  • Davidoff Relax
  • XS Black
  • Prescriptives Calyx
  • Joop! All About Eve
  • Dolce and Gabbana for Women
  • Cacharel Lou Lou
  • Aromantic by Decleor
  • Burberry for Men
What's your favorite scent with tagetes or marigold?

NEW RELEASE: Nickel, Eau Maximum (2006)

Click the pic to learn more

A cocktail of freshness and energy built around an unusual, coca-leaf note. Citrus, basil, red thyme, wood and musks add their vibrantly masculine notes. Created by Jean Pierre Bethouart, Firmenich.

Holy, Mother! Part V: Calvin Klein Obsession (1985)

#1) My favorite scent that Mom has worn in the last couple of decades is definitely a Calvin Klein oriental. Who knew it could smell so good? With rich velvety vanilla, creamy white petals, and sweet amber, this seemed to be a logical step after Shalimar and Must.

OBSESSION for Women by Calvin Klein

Notes: Mandarin, Bergamot, Vanillin, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Coriander, Tagette, Amber, Oakmoss.

Pros: Rich, sparkling, honeyed oriental.

Cons: May be a little too ambery and sweet for some.

Reminds me of: Patou Sublime; Must de Cartier

Where can I buy it? $35.89 for a 100ml edp tester spray at

The Bottom Line: Mom fell in love with this one in the late 90's, having admired it on other women. After Must came Obsession, and it's been nothing else since. Though I question the heaviness of a scent like Obsession being worn in 90F South Florida heat, Mom wears it and loves it and often complains that she can't smell it, "I wonder if this is a bad bottle...I can't smell it on me at all!" To which I have to reply, "You smell amazing, you always do."

Obsession - a groundbreaking ambery oriental with amazing longevity and sillage, though minimal development, interweaves white petals of jasmine and orange blossom with warm vanilla and sweet amber, and to me, this is the mother of all 80's power orientals, and my favorite of Mom's recent selections. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Rating (out of 10): 9

What is your favorite scent that Mom has worn through the years?