Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Lorenzo Villoresi for Gucci 2013

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

Another place I had fun on our USA holiday was the Gucci outlet store in Desert Hills. They had the Diamond Editions of Gucci Guilty, along with some really fab travel sprays of Gucci by Gucci Sport and Guuci Made to Measure. These travel sprays felt light but robust and had a rubberised coating for a firm grip. Great for the gym, but unfortunately not refillable.

The perfume which caught my eye of course was on the top shelf out of reach so I had two assistants helping me with a ladder to get it down. This was “Forever Now” – Gucci Museo, released in 2013 as a tribute to the Gucci Museum in Florence. The museum itself seems to be temporarily closed so don’t get too excited if you’re in the area. I tried some on skin as I walked away from what could have been an expensive US$200 impulse buy.

Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Gucci 2013

Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Lorenzo Villoresi

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, mandarin, lavender, black pepper, orange blossom
Heart: Leather, florals, Florentine iris, Morroccan and Bulgarian rose, jasmine from Grasse, ylang-ylang, nutmeg
Base: Vetiver, patchouli, precious woods, amber, musk

Out in the foothills of the desert with a dry and dusty warm wind, Gucci Museo opened with a smooth black pepper and a clean leather, having touches of amber behind it. It didn’t strike me as overly masculine, it was soft and well balanced. A subtle ylang ylang came through on my sun-struck skin over the next half hour, and honestly that is about as far as I got with it as we got swept up with making the most of our shopping time. So, sorry, that’s it for my review but I liked what I got out of it in the first hour and it would have been a purchase I’d have been happy with – if my funds stretched that far at that time…..

Further reading: Sorcery of Scent
Feeling Sexy Australia has $229/100ml with FREE Australian Delivery

Which is your favourite Gucci scent?
TinaG

(Ed: TinaG photos unless otherwise noted. Thanks XXX)

Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

During my trip to Southern California in April 2017, we had an opportunity to check out two Premium Outlet Centres, one in Camarillo on the way to Santa Barbara, and Desert Hills which is just outside of Palm Springs. If you’re ever heading to one of these massive shopping areas, my top tips are:

* Take water, snacks and lunch. Yes there’s food there but you’ll need actual sustenance to get through the shopping day.
* Time evaporates there. If you think you’ll be 2 hours, basically just double it. We had multiple text messages between us saying “1/2 hour more? 1 hour more?”.
* Do you research before-hand of what is top of your hit list, and roughly the RRP. Then grab a centre map and plan your shop visits. This will save you heaps of time and possibly money. Don’t forget that tax is variable and added on at the register.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017

Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres

Of course I went straight to the fragrance stores. As these are outlets / seconds, the content of the shops varied from place to place. I found the shops such as Perfumania and the Fragrance Outlet very similar to Chemist Warehouse back in Aus. The prices weren’t what I would call a bargain – for example I found Bvlgari Black at $34US, before tax and conversion this is not cheaper than what I can pick it up for at home. One shop (I think Perfumania in Desert Hills) had a whole section dedicated to Paris Hilton fragrances, and a similar display for Britney Spears.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017 a

I did get to try Ivanka Trump’s fragrance which was OK, actually. It was a fruity floral, of course, but it had a coolness about it which I think was brought on by a decent apple accord, keeping the sweetness in check. After I picked this up the sales assistant kept coming over with some horrendous options for me to “try as you might like this”. After the third sniff to be ‘polite’ I had to say no – just – No, you need to stop doing that please! My nose was full of pink gunk smells by that stage and I had to literally run out, much to the SA’s surprise.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017 b

After trying the dedicated fragrance stores I looked at branded stores for fragrances & interest. Barneys and Etro were clothes-only. Aww. I came across a Porche Design store in Desert Hills, which I’d never heard of before. WOW!!!! They’ve got some great gear, the mens shoes were amazing and the handbags sleek and functional. I had a lot of fun chatting with the sales assistant who was beyond helpful, was a great experience and I’m glad I dropped in.

My visit to SoCal did have fragrant leanings but would you believe all I brought home with me were three small samples from Lucky Scent in LA. I think that’s a first. I did get some jeans, jacket, shoes and an iron. But that’s another story.

What about you – do you hit up the fragrance stores hard when you travel, or is it more of a reconnaissance like my US trip?

Till next time,
Tina G xx

Fat Electrician by Antoine Maisondieu for Etat Libre d’Orange 2009

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

Fat Electrician has been such a fun fragrance to try! A friend kindly gave me a sample which was used up oh-too quickly, and to be honest the name of it always reminds me of Portia and Jin – I keep thinking back to Portia’s article a few years ago which made me laugh. Love those guys. So, I’d heard good things about it but hadn’t expected that WOW factor to hit immediately and it was fabulous!

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Myrrh, Chestnut cream, Olive leaf, Opoponax, Vanilla, Vetiver

Fat Electrician opens dry and woody with a blast of sweetness at the same time, just so weird. I really wasn’t expecting a ‘vetiver’ fragrance to have a gourmand aspect to it but a sticky vanilla definitely shines through. It is horizontally layered and airy, the dryness of the vetiver is all in the sillage but close to my skin the vanilla softly oozes.

After a while the vanilla is joined by a creaminess that I guess is the marron or chestnut, which pushes the vetiver out of the way for prominence. A metallic green note starts to sparkle on my skin. It’s oily and slightly mentholated. I really like the way that this fragrance shifts. It manages to be comforting and quirky at the same time – exactly my kind of thing.

And this is only just in the first half hour. Something funny happens then, in that the metallic note went into blood territory like the smell of mince meat. Metallic and meaty but only in undertones with the vetiver going a bit more feral and funky. It might sound off-putting but it joins the scent bubble as an enhancement not an outlier.

PDI

Did you notice that there are some ambers in the notes? Well they come out around the 3 hour mark bringing with them a dry but cool incense. Myrrh is a favourite of mine, no so much opoponax but they are both in trace but distinct amounts. Even after 6 hours, Fat Electrician has slightly split personality spots on my skin. One place smells woody, another sticky & sweet. It is this variation that keeps me interested.

The three main notes in Fat Electrician are: vetiver, vanilla, myrrh. Interesting features, the oily green + bloody metallics, the way the vetiver goes from dry to dirty, and the juxtaposition between the chewy gourmand notes and bone dry ambers. It’s got a great longevity of 8+ hours but most of the interesting stuff happens in the first hour.

PDI

Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies and EauMG
LuckyScent has $90/50ml and Samples

What a great perfume!

Have you tried Fat Electrician before? What do you think?

Till next time,

Tina G

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Frank Voelkl for Le Labo: City Exclusives 2008

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

I’m off travelling again soon! Yay for holidays!

Last year I reviewed Le Labo – City Exclusives Poivre 23 London just before I visited that majestic city. Just in case, you know, I fell in love and needed a bottle. These things can happen! So I thought I’d give the City Exclusives, Musc 25 Los Angeles a run through before my trip in April. Which, I’ve got to say, I’m really really looking forward to.

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Le Labo: City Exclusives 2008

Musc 25 Los Angeles by Frank Voelkl

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Aldehydes, patchouli, musk, vetiver, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, rose and ambergris

The weirdest thing happened on first sniff. I instantly thought of Kingston, Ontario, Canada where my family spent a year. I don’t know what it was that triggered the reminder. Musc 25 opens with a heavy white musk, so maybe there was something environmental? A washing powder? House hold detergents? No idea. At any rate it was a one off, but interesting.

So, yes. Bam! White musk and quite a light, green-grey ozonic aldehyde which turns soapy in around 10 minutes. The white musk, to me, is cold and austere, a light grey colour. It’s one of my least favourite scents, I must admit. So soapy aldehydes and white musk aren’t really doing it for me however there are hints of concrete, plants and roses layered nearly imperceptably behind this, which makes me think it does needs a bit more skin time.

WikiMedia

At around 2 hours I’m still sniffing my arm closely trying to get more than white musk out of this as it’s swamping it for me. There’s a hint of funky animalic saltiness. I notice ambergris listed in the notes but it’s missing the waxiness that I associate with that smell. I’m seeing in my mind’s eye perhaps a reflection of my Airbnb searches – up above the city of Los Angeles, a residential area on the Hollywood Hills. Once formal gardens have been left to go wild so there’s a bit of shrubbery and strangely some pink azaleas. Huh. That is a weirdly specific image……

At about 4 hours as a skin scent the florals die back but the pinkness increases as I start to pick up another softer musk which has the effect of drawing your attention inwards rather than looking out over the horizon of the city. As I know I’m anosmic to a lot of musks it makes me wonder if there’s more in there I can’t smell.

WikiMedia

Further reading: Perfume Smelling Things and Perfume Posse
Le Labo in Venice (1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA) or a couple of other spots in LA
Surrender To Chance has samples from $6/0,5ml

I’ve worn Los Angeles Musc 25 a few times now and I’m a bit conflicted. It’s really not my kind of thing but it’s still been interesting to wear, if that makes sense? It is really the heavy white musk which is my issue but otherwise the mix of concrete, ozone, saltiness, shrubbery, roses, and the softer musk in the dry down leaves me intrigued. Will I buy a bottle? Perhaps not but I’d like to wear the fragrance in the town it was created for to see whether there is an enhanced sense of place.

Do you have any memories of a place having a particular smell?

Till next time,
Tina G

Scent Samples: Love & Loss

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TinaG

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Hi APJ,

My fragrance collection had a bit of a rough ride last year. I packed up my house & put everything in storage in May while I travelled overseas for 7 weeks, and then it stayed in storage while I found another place to live. It wasn’t until September 2016 when I got access to everything again. The full bottles and decants were fine, but there was substantial loss from my samples. This varied from leakage & evaporation, to label text disappearing.

Scent Samples: Love & Loss

Moral number one of this is: samples are intended to be used. They aren’t there for you to build a mini-Osmothèque style fragrance library, the vials aren’t that robust at the best of times. Use them, make notes, talk about them, and if you fall in love… buy the bottle.

So, I’ve sorted my samples, laid them out, & thrown out the empties. The ones which have leaked but still have juice left in the vial have been put aside for testing. So today I grabbed two as I walked out the door to give them a run through. These are Fueguia 1833 – Don Giovanni, and Castillos.

And – do you know what? I looked up Fueguia 1833’s current catalogue, and these two aren’t listed. Some time back I purchased full sample sets of Destinos and Special Projects, of which Castillos and Don Giovanni and were included as at March 2016. Now in March 2017, a year later, they’re no longer available – which leads us to moral number two: things change. What was available 6 months or 12 months ago, may be discontinued and therefore so much more difficult to access. And if you fall in love, you’re screwed.

So what do I do with these two samples? Do I treasure them,put them in tightly packed glass vials or on the shelf? I think we need to go back to moral number one: samples are intended to be used.

Here’s what I think of both:

Fragrantica

Castillos – Destinos collection

Notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Mate.
This is weird. The mate isn’t dried powdered green tea, it’s fresh and floral and slightly rotten, with the tuberose and jasmine rounding out the overall indole. It is old flowers in a jungle – damp, wet and lush but with that meaty heaviness which you can find in tropical plants. Would I wear it again? Maybe. It’s dried down to have a woody background note and what I think is a touch of ylang ylang.

Fragrantica

Don Giovanni – Special Projects collection.

Notes: Tuberose, Civet, Jasmine
Interesting that I’ve picked up another fragrance with tuberose and jasmine in it today, and once again they are pretty sexy and indolic. The civet seems to me to be refined, its funky but without being feral and I think there’s a lemon note in there smoothing things over. Think: a woman who’s been with her lover all day, but has freshened up and got dressed to go out to a movie premier. She’s looking elegant but still has a slinkiness & smell of dangerous liaisons about her. Rawwwwrrrrr.

Have you ever mourned the loss of any fragrances from your collection?

Have a wonderful week!

Tina G xx

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012

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TinaG

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Hi APJ, hope your week is travelling well so far.

It is a sultry rainy day in Sydney, and I’ve just turned the house upside down looking for my 1.5ml sample of ‘lightscape’ so I could wear it for the second time. I have a house full of bottles, decants and samples so 1) it was difficult to find and 2) it shows how determined I was. Standing with hands on hips, surveying the chaos, I glanced over to my side table – there it sat, almost looking at me with a faux-innocent “….What? I was here all along.” expression.

Right.

Grab. Spray spray spray.

Bliss.

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, violet leaf, lemon
Heart: Iris, rose, violet, cyclamen, cedar
Base: Ambergris, tonka bean, cashmere wood, musk, ambrette (musk mallow)

I’m surrounded by the most wonderful green galbanum and that strange violet leaf note which is both floral and verdant at the same time. There’s a background buzz of lemon floating in and out and a touch of sweet dry wood. An ever so soft powdery iris starts wafting through at around 10 minutes. Fab.

I had a pre-conceived anthropocentric impression of lightscape, for no good reason; a city at night, all those white & yellow sparkling lights and flowing red through the veins of its streets. Maybe because of the NY connection. Wrong. This is the dappling of light through a sparse forest & the smell of crushed plants as you walk on through.

Geograph

That effect lasts about an hour and from then the sillage settles slowly by degrees. I’m not quite sure when it morphs to the next dry down stage, it seems to sneak up on me – maybe 3 hours? It’s pretty – an elegant pink musk mallow being the star of the show, supported by tonka bean, more musks, and ambergris giving it a lived in skin effect. It’s alluring, confident and comforting.

I’m enthralled with this fragrance. It’s the type of perfume which has the potential to be part of life’s tapestry as it weaves its own stories into yours. I can’t wait to buy a full bottle, maybe during my visit to Los Angeles later in the year.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and EauMG
Ulrich Lang has $120/100ml has
First In Fragrance has €95/100ml + Samples

A big thank you to Portia for the sample of lightscape, along with nightscape, aperture, and anvers. Thoroughly enjoyed giving these a run through.

Have you ever worn a fragrance and immediately thought – yes, you will be mine…. ??

Till next time,
Tina G xx

Unicorns! OMG Unicorns!

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

If you haven’t noticed, unicorns are so hot right now! I mean, they even have their own emoticon. Here’s a few colourful and fragrant ways to dive into all things unicorn.

Fragrantica

Les Nez – The Unicorn Spell

I have to cast my mind back to sniffing this when in a violet rabbit hole. Their website elaborates: .. feels like a search for the unicorn in a dark, damp forest. The unicorn’s presence can be felt, the steam of her breath hangs frozen in the air, the trails shimmer under the quiet mist of her magical spell, but we can’t find her yet …

LUSH USA

Lush Cosmetics – Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar

You can let yourself slip into a magical dreamland of unicorn and fairies with a Lush bubble bar, featuring notes of Lavender, ylang ylang and neroli. Shame, I don’t have a bath. Get it HERE

TinaG Photo

Golden Gaytime – Unicorn Breath

For those who don’t know what a Golden Gaytime is, it’s an iconic choc/toffee/vanilla/honeycomb ice cream. The Golden Gaytime pop-up bar in Topshop, Sydney, has a bar where you can order one with a special coating. I chose Unicorn Breath – edible sparkles, popping candy, vanilla crumbs, strawberry candy and musk sticks. You can also buy the coating in a can…..

Mecca

Two Faced – Unicorn Tears

It’s a holographic lipstick by Two Faced. Seriously Want. Apparently it sells in Mecca. I don’t care if it doesn’t suit me, it’s *holographic*!! All the rage with the cool kids.

Unicorn Macarons

These are just too adorable to leave off the list. It’s a recipe. I’d put money on my attempt to make them looking quite different….

The Unicorn Hotel

Sydney even has its own Unicorn Hotel!! No, not really. The Unicorn in Paddington has been revamped under the watchful eye of the crew from Mary’s in Newtown (who do legendary burgers). I used to catch the Bronte 378 bus along Oxford Street and marvel at this classic Aussie pub. It’s nothing pretty to look at but good to see the beige tiled & curves walls out the front, like all good Aussie pubs used to have. Mind you my old fave, The Robin Hood in Waverley still has them too. Watch David Bowie’s video ‘Let’s Dance’ for a taste of what I’m talking about.

And last but never last, coz there will always be something Unicorn coming out…

WISH

Unicorn vs Robot Dinosaur Leggings

….. it could happen. And you’d need to be prepared to run for your life with these sleek leggings. WISH has the goods.

Have you succumbed to any unicorny goodness?

Till next time!

Tina G