Ipso Olfacto

fragrant musings

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Stash by SJP- The Celebrity Niche Scent

stash sweater WEB

 The prevailing formula for virtually every celebrity fragrance release seems to be: make it cheap, make it sweet, make it boring. These fragrances are all too often just concocted as a quick cash grab, based entirely on the popularity of the “celeb” promoting it. They’re like a manufactured pop band created based on an aging record exec’s idea of what’s cool and “hip.”

Stash is a notable exception to this vicious celebrity-fragrance cycle. It’s dry, woody, totally unisex, even a tad masculine- with barely any sweetness. There is no caramel, no cupcake, not even any vanilla! Which means that Stash never had a ghost of a chance at being a huge seller. Which is such a shame, because it’s a wonderfully cozy, unique, and actually quite “on trend” scent. Who knew Sarah Jessica Parker would make the perfect unisex-woody-aromatic alternative for Brooklyn hipsters who are tired of paying big $$$ for Santal 33.

Stash starts off very dry, woody, and peppery, with just the tiniest twist of grapefruit, to add just a bit of zing. As it settles down, Stash actually smells remarkably like fresh coconut rind- dry, woody, nutty, and just a touch creamy. Stash also has an interesting warm/ cool quality. It’s heavy cedar, balsamic resins, and smoky incense certainly feel “warm,” but there’s also a bit of a “chilly,” aromatic quality to it that can be found in a lot of men’s fragrances. This is thanks to aromatic rosemary and masculine, cool vetiver. Stash‘s unisex woody-incense-aromatic-ness makes it feel a bit like something Comme Des Garcons would release.

Stash doesn’t go through any crazy development- it’s pretty linear. It just kind of melds into your skin, giving a gorgeously woodsy, slightly musky “worn in” feel. This vibe, combined with the fact that it’s completely unisex, actually makes Stash feel a bit sexy, in that effortless “perfectly tousled bedhead” kind of way.  I’ve been reaching for it a lot this winter, as it’s just that perfect sweater scent that feels appropriate for most any occasion. However, the dry, slightly cool quality of Stash could make it appropriate even for warm weather. Sillage is soft, and longevity is actually good- about 6 hours, but by then it is a skin scent. However, with Stash being so affordable (there are giftsets all over TJ Maxx and Marshalls right now,) I don’t mind indulging in a few vigorous applications (and re-applications!) In developing Stash, Sarah Jessica Parker (who is actually very active in developing her fragrances) said that she asked “how do you capture [the scent of] a sweater that has been worn by somebody that’s absorbed musk or patchouli?” I would say that with Stash, Parker has beautifully answered that question.

stash WEB


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New Fragrance Hype Train: Aura by Mugler

Looks like Christmas came early this year, as Mugler has announced a brand spanking new fragrance to add to their Angel, Alien, Womanity, and Innocent lineup. Even after such an amazing release like Angel Muse recently, I think even diehard Mugler fans were getting a bit of “flanker fatigue.” I mean, the flankers tend to be good to great, but c’mon. There are only so many flankers one girl can have, ya dig? That’s why I’m so pumped for a completely new release from one of my absolute favorite houses.

First of all, can we talk about that bottle? The emerald green is gorgeous, and it immediately reminded me of something out of a Zelda game:

The green is likely a nod to it being a green fragrance, as its notes (according to fragrantica) are:

Top: rhubarb leaf

middle: orange blossom

base: bourbon vanilla and “wolfwood”- whatever tf that’s supposed to be.

Rhubarb is a note that I feel has been subtly trending recently, as in Hermes Rhubarb Escalarte and the enduringly popular D&G Anthology L`Imperatrice 3. I’m so ready to have a rhubarb based scent in my collection- it’s such a unique way to add some tart, quasi-fruitiness without going the typical fruity route. And I’m sure the fact that it’s rhubarb leaf will make it more on the green side. It doesn’t look like this is a straight up gourmand, but I’m already seeing some Alien “sweet and juicy but not a gourmand” vibes from the fact that there is bourbon vanilla in the base. And “wolfwood?” I am a woody fragrance lover, so I’m intrigued to see how that manifests.

Apparently, a green aura (according to totally legit website “reiki-for-holistic-health.com“) represents:

“…growth and balance, and most of all, something that leads to change.”

Aura is definitely a big change for Mugler. Their last original release was 7 years ago with 2010’s Womanity, so I think we’re all ready to be sporting green auras this year!