Ipso Olfacto

fragrant musings


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Bargain Fragrances: Tea Rose ($10!)

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This is for all you rose lovers out there. Tea Rose by Perfumers Workshop is a classic “cheapie but goodie.” Long lasting, potent, and incredibly naturalistic – if you want that smell of a bouquet of fresh, pink roses, then Tea Rose is your scent.

Now, a “tea rose” is actually just a type of rose. I say this because a good number of people end up buying/testing this fragrance because they think it’s some sort of rosey, tea scent. Its not. 

Nope, Tea Rose is straight up rosey roses and basically nothing else. Perhaps a hint of powder, a pinch of woods. It actually has a bit of a turkish delight feel (rose flavored, of course.) But this isn’t a jammy, gourmand rose or a powdery, vintage one. It’s green and fresh – like the smell of a bouquet, fresh from the florists freezer. 

Does Tea Rose go through any crazy stages of development? No. Is it an artistic, avant-garde marvel? Nah. It’s wonderful in its simplicity, monster longevity, and incredible value. As the Brits would say, “it does what it says on the tin.” Sometimes, simple pleasures can be the most satisfying.


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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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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.