Ipso Olfacto

fragrant musings


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Estate Sale Find: Vintage Miniatures!

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My nosy self has always enjoyed estate sales- it’s one of the few socially accepted ways to enter a strangers house and root through their stuff. Bonus- you may end up finding some treasures, especially vintage gems, on the cheap! Recently, I found an adorable, unopened box, or “coffret,” of miniature vintage perfume treasures from *~Paris~*!

I was so excited to open the box- it was still wrapped loosely in its original cellophane-

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I could already detect that familiar, powdery smell of vintage perfume…

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Unfortunately, the nature of the bottles meant that they weren’t sealed very well, and most of them had either evaporated completely, or had very little (likely turned) juice inside. But for 2 bucks, I can’t say I care too much. They’re an interesting piece of history- they look to be from the 60s.

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Perfumes have always been a natural souvenir, especially for tourists to a glamorous locale like Paris who want to bring a little French Girl Chic ™ home with them. The little insert had some funny ad copy:

“Here are 10 perfumes that promise to be the new fashion of the Paris season. Be careful how you use them; never, never more than a day. You’ll know when you’re it [sic] on your own special scent when you get that flattering reaction that says: “You’re different, but I can’t say exactly what it is that makes you different.’ That, my friends, is true glamour. !” [all grammatical errors and emphasis theirs, lol]

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It’s funny, I’ve never even heard of any of these fragrances, other than maybe “Shocking” by Shiaperelli and of course, “Tabu” by Dana- am I noticing a pattern here? These were the NEW fashion at some point, I guess. I especially like the Lucien Lelong “Indiscrete.” How positively scandalous.


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Gap Close- The Bargain Summer Skinscent

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Unfortunately, my fragrance tastes don’t really align with the typical weather here in the desert. My absolute favorite scents are heavy, sweet, smokey, earthy, and rich. That’s all well and good, but when it’s triple digits outside and the sweat is rolling, those aren’t exactly the smells that you want mixing and mingling with your hot and heavy bad self. I’m not a huge “shower fresh” kind of gal, but sometimes ya just need to do shower fresh, for survival’s sake. A shower-fresh scent that I love? Gap Close. The kicker? It costs less than a movie ticket.

Like any fresh fragrance, Close opens with a citrusy, slightly aquatic zing. However, that goes away rather quickly to reveal a creamy, lotion-like scent. It honestly smells like freshly-lotioned skin after a shower- real skin- slightly salty, a bit creamy, and musky. This comes thanks to a lovely salt water note, along with some almond and fluffy, non-sweet vanilla. The whole package is tied together with soft, non-cloying white musk. It’s a very well blended scent, so these notes don’t take turns taking center stage, but all merge together in this lovely scent of healthy, clean skin. It’s so well balanced in that it’s fresh but not sporty, clean but not detergent-like.

As the name suggests, Close stays close to the skin- which is what you want on the hottest days where even a relatively light scent can become cloying. It lasts almost all day on clothes, but disappears from my skin in 3-4 hours. But at less than $10 for a 50 ml bottle (at my local TJ Maxx,) you can reapply with no guilt. So many sporty-fresh-aquatic scents just smell so.. robotic. Like, nobody naturally smells like calone. That’s why I’m so thrilled to have found my perfect summer skinscent- something to make me smell clean and fresh, but still human.


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My Top 6 Summer Gourmands!

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The phrase “Summer Gourmand” may seem like an oxymoron- but this ride or die gourmie has been able to find plenty of satisfyingly yummy gourmands to get me through the summer heat. The secret is gourmand notes that are sweet without being sticky, paired with fresh, light notes like mint, fresh fruit, or green/medicinal accords. Below are 6 of my favorite yummy summer picks (clockwise from bottom left):

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First up are the EDT and EDP from Salvatore Ferragamo’s Signorina line. These are what I call delightfully generic. Yeah, they’re kind of just typical fruitchouli gourmands, but they’re so adorably girly, and actually quite distinct. And that bottle? Total vanity table eye-candy. The EDP is a lovely creamy strawberry-flan type of smell, along with some well-behaved patchouli and a hint of what smells like a tea note (maybe the peony and pink pepper?) The EDT is a crisp, milky rice pudding with a hint of tartness thanks to litchi fruit, along with a fresh watery rose accord.  Ciao Bella!

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Next up is a recent love of mine: Replica: Tea Escape from Maison Martin Margiela. This is such a specific, highly unique fragrance. Ever had matcha (japanese green tea) flavored bubble tea, or green tea mochi ice cream? That’s basically what this smells like. It has that distinct green earthiness of matcha, combined with a lovely, milky sweet rice accord. A hint of mint in the opening adds some more palpable freshness.

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Now we’re gonna take a right into Mugler-ville, because when you want great gourmands, there’s not really a better house to turn to than Thierry Mugler. First up is Angel Eau Sucre- which is kind of Angel for people who hate Angel- in that it doesn’t really smell like it at all. But, that’s okay, because it’s wonderful in its own right. An incredibly accurate tart, sweet berry sorbet accord swirls with toasted meringue and light patchouli to create a sweet scent that feels like a refreshing, cold dessert.

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Our next stop in Mugler-ville is the somewhat controversial Womanity. I think some people not really knowing what to think of its “caviar” note is solely responsible for some of Womanity’s vocal bad reviews saying that it smells “like rotten fish,” because there’s absolutely nothing fishy about it (caviar doesn’t even smell/taste like fish, you plebes!) Womanity is simply a lovely, sweet, breezy beach scent. It has fruity notes of fig, as well as green and woody notes combined with, yes, a “caviar” accord, which just translates to the smell of fresh, salty sea air. It’s a bit weird, in true Mugler fashion, but still totally wearable.

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And last, we have Angel Eau de Toilette– the lighter, fresher version of Angel. For fans of the EDP, this one hits all the right beats while using milder, easier to wear notes. Fresh crisp berries, nutty praline, and clean, mentholated patchouli mingle together to create a much more well-behaved, and yes, summer appropriate, Angel.

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What about you? Let me know your favorite summer gourmands, or just general summer scents, in the comments!


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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!

 


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Review: Angel Eau De Toilette

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Probably everything that can ever be said about Angel EDP by Thierry Mugler has already been said at this point. Everything from “this smells like the pheromones of aphrodite herself- plus it cleared my skin and saved my marriage!” to “smells like nasty B.O. and rotten fruit, and also it killed my family. ” You will either love or loathe that distinctively asymmetrical star bottle and the sweet, fruity, earthy juice inside. I happen to love Angel in all its forms. Probably my favorite, though, is a version that I think people tend to forget about for no good reason given the fact that it’s infinitely easier to wear: Angel EDT.

Angel EDT is the ideal EDT version of a bold, rich EDP fragrance in my view- it still retains the key characteristics of the EDP while softening its rough edges (and Angel EDP sure has a lot of them!) In a world where the EDT version of an EDP is often a totally, confusingly different fragrance, Angel EDT is clearly, proudly related to Angel- she’s just a bit less unhinged.

That polarizing dirty, gritty patchouli found in the EDP is replaced here with a cleaner, more medicinal version that nudges the scent more to the masculine side. Those overripe, sweaty berries from the EDP are now more fresh and crisp. And that ridiculous cornucopia of random syrupy, sugary gourmand notes is replaced with a single, much more well tolerated one: praline. This adds just the right amount of sweet, slightly chocolatey gourmand yumminess without the heavy syrup. Like in the EDP, the EDT is dominated by patchouli, but that menthol, medicinal quality that it’s given is quite refreshing. One of my favorite things about Angel in general is that it’s a gourmand that doesn’t smell literally edible. It smells yummy in many ways, but has enough earth and human grime going on to prevent me from feeling like a walking cake. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a walking cake. You do you.

But yes, you can sweat in this and not smell completely disgusting. Even though Mugler has released a number of good “summer” flankers of Angel, I think that the EDT is kind of the “true” summer Angel- in that it provides maximum Angel DNA while still being summer appropriate. Angel EDP is kind of the last thing anyone would think of when looking for a summer perfume- so it’s surprising to have the EDT where it still feels like Angel EDP, just much easier to tango with. And given that it still has that trademark beastly longevity that we’ve all come to expect from Mugler, It feels great for this gourmand-lover to be able to have my dirty patchouli cake, and eat it too- even in summer.