Gekkou Hanami VdP by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz for DSH Perfumes 2017

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

Cherry blossoms are a common sight in Sydney during spring. They are planted along nature strips and road verges, for reasons I don’t know. There is also a Cherry Blossom Festival at Auburn Botanical Gardens which is hugely popular and a great ‘selfie’ opportunity for both old and young. I don’t know how this compares to the famous Cherry Blossom viewings in Japan, but I found Auburn very relaxing and fun.

My enjoyment of blossom season was enhanced by re-discovering their smell. Many spring florals, like cherry, intensify at night. You can stand under a cherry tree and find yourself surrounded by scent as it ‘falls’ down from the branches. I enjoyed the season so much that I started drafting an article on cherry and cherry blossom fragrances.

Flickr

But then: I was side-tracked from writing by a visit to Portia for tea one day – he’d just received a bunch of adorable little roller ball samples from DSH Perfumes. He picked one out for me to try, and guess what? It was a cherry blossom fragrance!! The one he chose was Gekkou Hanami. Don’t you love a bit of synchronicity??

Gekkou Hanami VdP by DSH Perfumes 2017

Gekkou Hanami VdP by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Gekkou Hanami (Sakura gazing in the Moonlight)

DSH Perfumes

DSH Perfumes give these featured accords:
Acacia Honey Absolute, Green Rose Leaves, Osmanthus, Rice absolute, Sake (accord), Sakura Blossom (accord), Ambrette Seed, Frankincense co2 Absolute, Hinoki, Virginia Cedar, Bulgarian Rose Otto, Osmanthus Absolute, Rosewater, Waterlily, Tunisian Neroli, Yuzu

Gekkou Hanami opens clean and slightly metallic with a burst of green cut flower stems supporting a delicate floral note. The cut flower effect slowly fades over 10 minutes to reveal the subdued lemony-style citrus of yuzu. Over time a combination of woody notes comes through, I get a cedar but there’s something in there which has a subtle dry grey smokiness.

Reapplying the fragrance a few times over the course of a day strengthens the notes in different ways – sometimes I get more florals, other times it takes on a sheer shimmering quality. I’m fascinated by the combined strength & gentleness of this fragrance. It is a breath of spring air that brings you to your senses, uplifting and grounding at the same time. I really enjoy it and wish that it had been in my life during the season just past. I’d love to try this as a spray and see how it opens up the fragrance. As it is, the little roller ball has lasted me ages – I’ve worn and re-worn this over a two week period and only used half of the sample.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Spring_Breeze_of_Yun_Shouping.jpgWikiMedia

Further reading: The Fragrant Journey and Redolent Mermaid
DSH Perfumes have Gekkou Hanami from $6 sample vials

Thank you Portia for the chance to try this beautiful gem!

Do you own or have you tried any DSH Perfumes?

Till next time,
Tina G

Concrete by Comme des Garcons 2017

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TinaG

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Hi APJ,

Any new Comme des Garcons fragrance is bound to cause a stir in the fragrance community, and Concrete is no exception. I was intrigued, as I enjoy industrial notes in fragrances and was excited to see what this may entail. Then I started hearing rumours that the fragrance was actually a sweet woody floral. Huh? How does that work? After reading some of the press releases, it is exactly how it was supposed to be.

Fragrantica

Candy Perfume Boy gives these featured accords:
Sandalwood, Rose Oxide & CDG Spice Signature

So, my preconceived ideas were quickly demolished when I sprayed Concrete on skin. First impressions were of a sweetness, a pink floral with green undertones. There’s a pepperiness to the sillage and I realise the green note is cardamom, one of my favourite aromatic spices. The pink floral has an initial wateriness to it and it reminds me of cactus flower. There is a distinct CdG signature hovering in the background of a quirky synthetic, which my mind associated with a pink dishwashing liquid. After about 10 minutes I get a plastic rose note, and pink lolly musk.

As an aside – you know you are Australian when you can easily differentiate between variations of pink musk. It is a common ingredient in many sweets – musk sticks, musk lifesavers, and Fruit Tingles which have slightly different citrus flavours and the prized “multi-coloured” tingle. So when I’m talking in this case about pink lolly musk, I’m referring to musk sticks. I’m sure these are available in other countries but they don’t seem to be globally ubiquitous.
https://pixabay.com/en/sugar-sticks-candy-sweet-tasty-2099736/PDI

The fragrance settles and loses the cardamom, to feature plastic rose and the musk. Then I lose the plastic over 2 hours for a residual musk-rose which stays for the remainder of the dry down. There is supposed to be sandalwood in here but I can’t find it, and I thought that the sillage was quite low until I met up with a friend for coffee. She immediately identified that I was wearing a CdG, and she could smell the sandalwood. I think that I just don’t have enough experience with sandalwood notes when they have been disintegrated from each other, whereas my friend has much more perfume-creating experience than I, and clicked on to the smell immediately.

The main selling point of this fragrance is the aesthetics of the packaging – the funky bottle made out of concrete is a winner, and the familiar shape will slot neatly into any CdG collection. I’d recommend leaving expectations behind when testing the fragrance – as, really, you should with any CdG. I’d also be curious when this becomes more widely available to see what people think of the paired-back sandalwood note. Currently (August) Concrete is available at Selfridges in London, and Dover Street Market in New York City and London, but I understand it will be distributed more broadly during September 2017.

PDI

Further reading: Candy Perfume Boy and Persolaise

Do you have a favourite CdG scent?

Till next time,
Tina G

Summer Scentsations: Heat Busters

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TinaG

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Hi gang!

Last year I struggled to find fragrances which I could wear on a daily basis, which cut through the ridiculous heat of summer. I gravitated towards modern watery aquatics and fruits. My mainstays were Hermès – Un Jardin Apres La Mousson, and L’Artisan Parfumeur – Mandarine, and the occasional blast of Serge Lutens – Borneo 1834 for sultry evenings.

I was discussing summer fragrances with friends recently – Here’s a list of a few that we talked about for our wish lists:

Summer Scentsations: Heat Busters

Fragrantica

Heeley – Sel Marin

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, green notes
Heart: Salt, sea water, sea grass, moss
Base: Musk, cedar, leather.

I’ve been craving more of this fragrance – I had a quick sniff last year when I was in the UK. There was something intimately sexy about it – underlying clean funkiness, like a salty sun-kissed person’s chest at the end of a very active day. A far cry from your regular ‘marine’ fragrance.

Fragrantica

Estée Lauder – Bronze Goddess

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, ginger, mandarin
Heart: Indian samba jasmine, coconut, jasmine
Base: vanilla, cashmere wood, musk, amber.

I know that this is a general favourite for summer, but both my friend and I weren’t all that familiar with it. We will get together and split a bottle when the next round hits the shelves. I think this would definitely cover off the tropical beach coconut vibe for a summer’s day.

FrFragrantica

CB I Hate Perfume – At The Beach 1966

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Coppertone, North Atlantic, wet sand, seashell, driftwood, boardwalk.

This transports me back to the days of kicking around the beach as a kid. I remember using Coppertone, usually SPF 2 of 4….. I don’t know how we didn’t get absolutely toasted. This perfume smells like a day at the beach. Totally. It’s brilliant.

Fragrantica

BeauFort London – Fathom V

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Juniper berries, tangerine, black currant, green notes, soil tincture
Heart: Thyme, lily, jasmine, ylang ylang, ginger, cumin, black pepper, mimosa
Base: Patchouli, vetiver, oak moss, salt, incense, atlas cedar, amber

My friend Kerri recently purchased the BeauFort London – Come Hell or High Water discovery set, which in itself is magnificent. It is a leather roll with generous 7.5ml travel sprays of each of their fragrances. I had been lusting after this for a while so I was both dead jealous and super excited to have a look at them. The green hit in the opening of Fathom V is a mix of bright freshly cut flowers and deeper greens, which we likened to walking into a cool florist shop. I need to spend more time with all of this range, they are both amazing fragrances and an intriguing aesthetic.

Fragrantica

Le Labo – Lys 41

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Jasmine, tuberose, lily, woody notes, vanilla, musk

Lys 41 is a beautiful cool white floral. The lily is subtly sweet and there’s nothing I find overpowering. There’s a time in the morning just before the sun rises where a blue-grey haze lights up the frosted panelling of my bedroom door. I’ve been finding myself spritzing Lys 41 at this time as part of a gentle fragrant wake up, and then re-spritzing throughout the day while the sun moves through its daily arc casting different shadows and colours through the house. I really enjoy it and I will definitely be bringing this routine over into the summer months.

You can get samples of most of the at Surrender To Chance

So how about you, APJ? What have your worn this summer, or are planning to?

Till next time,
Tina G

Guilty Pleasures – a Sydney sniffy meet up!

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

Perfume people are the best! It’s great to be able to chat online & catch up in real life to swap fragrance stories and smell different things. Group catch ups are fun afternoons, and we tend to go a bit crazy….there’s always some awesome frags on the table.

Simon and Kerri from FaceBook Aussie Fragrance Network lead the charge organising a sniffy on Sunday 11 June, with a general theme of ‘Guilty Pleasures’. Heh. I think that’s an umbrella statement that we all fall under at some point in time. We met at Hotel Sweeny in Sydney, a pub which has missed the renovation revolution having street-rescued sofas and worn sticky carpet, but with some interesting beers on tap – I did try Illawarra Brewing Company: Smashing Rumpkin which had a funky pumpkin note. Odd but tasty.

Guilty Pleasures – a Sydney sniffy meet up!

We met at the rooftop bar & spread out our stashes. We did a LOT of sniffing!! I asked Scott to bring along a range of Rive Gauche by YSL for me to run through, as I’d heard so much but never really sniffed, and I knew Scott was a fan. He brought along (L to R in the photo) vintage EDP, vintage EDT, current EDT 2006 and vintage parfum 1980s. Fab.

Some of the “Guilty Pleasures” people brought along were:

Amouage Gold Man: you spray this and it takes over the room.
Cool Water by Davidoff: the vintage stuff is still incredible. Done to death by uncles, dads and other male relatives but still fantastic.
Giorgio Beverly Hills: an overpowering 80s tuberose bomb that lays claim to 5 metres around itself at all times.
Pure Honey by Kim Kardashian: Undeniably pleasant though, and very affordable.
Dark Ride by Xyrena: a super weirdy that polarises people through its green, medicinal, water-park dankness.
Baraonda by Nasomatto: when you know you shouldn’t spend a silly amount of money on a tiny bottle, but you do it anyway because it smells like the best dark chocolate and roasted nuts and boozey goodness.
Scent by Theo Fennell: a spectacularly lush floral with a skanky underside, like a beautiful, rich, classy lady wrapped in furs who just doesn’t shower often enough.
Glamazon by RuPaul and Diva by Ungaro I suppose because I expected them to be awful – the price point and the tacky bottles – but they are both amazing and rich and tenacious – thus they became guilty pleasures
Gaiac 10, Sacred Wood, MDCI sets – all generous gifts from online friends that he had never actually met.
Pino Silvestre: this is an old favourite of many people, and cheap as chips.

What’s my guilty pleasure when it comes to perfume? Oh, so many…. But I think my top hit would be that I seem to be starting a collection of vintage Guerlain – Vol de Nuit, Mitsouko, and Apres L’Ondee. Oops. I love them though.

What’s your fragrant guilty pleasure?

Till next time
Tina G xx

Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

A friend asked me for advice – she’d been finding her favourite fragrance was not smelling the same in her skin. She was looking for something new. Did I know anything that was similar which she could try?

So firstly we chatted about her signature scent. My friend has been using Dolce & Gabbana – Rose the One, which obviously is rose-centric but balanced out with lychee and peony. Instead of asking what she liked, we started with what she didn’t – this being any fragrance that was overly floral or sweet. But there’s only one way to find out – go shopping!

Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!

So off we went on a perfume safari. We went to Myer / Mecca in Sydney city. Myer is open till 8:00pm which was perfect for dropping in after work. This excercise was also helping her to learn how to test & what to watch out for. When we got there I directed her to the Bottega Venetta and Narciso Rodrigues displays where I grabbed a handful of mouilettes. If I’m bulk testing, I’ll put a spray or two on paper & pop the end under the display bottle to let it dry a bit & keep track of what’s what. My nose lasts much longer (ie doesn’t get blown out / insensitive) if I’m sniffing dry paper, not wet.

Narciso Poudree Narciso Rodriguez FragranticaFragrantica

So then we sniffed everything in those two ranges over about 15 minutes – chatting & learning about first impressions as we went. We chose Narciso Pourdée Eau de Parfum to try on skin, and found immediately that my friends skin amps fragrances in a sour direction. Good to know.

She was super quick to learn about top notes, dry down, what she liked and within 1/2 an hour we split up & she worked her way around Myer, the Libertine section, and Mecca with some wonderful sales assistants. I felt a bit proud when I over-heard her saying ‘my skin amps sour’ to the nods of an SA. Yay!

Gypsy Water Byredo FragranticaFragrantica

We had loads of fun in our adventure. I unfortunately fell in love with Gypsy Water by Byredo while she was off gallavanting…. maybe I should have kept my hands behind my back.

Other fragrances she tried on skin were Lady Vengence by Juliette has a Gun, Arcana Rosa by L’Artisan Perfumer – Natura Fabularis collection, Lys 41 by Le Labo, and Gris Clair… by Serge Lutens. Both the JHAG and Le Labo were fantastic and the SAs generously gave her small vials to give a proper run through at home.

Lady Vengeance Juliette Has A Gun FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Lavender
Heart: Bulgarian rose, Moroccan rose, Patchouli, Hedione, ISO-E-Super
Base: Ambroxan, Vanilla, White musk

The next Monday she came back to me to say she loved Lady Vengence so much she went back & picked up a bottle of it. It’s a rose & patchouli scent and the quirky JHAG branding suits her so well. A win!

Have you ever had a friend find a new fragrance love through your recommendations?

Till next time,
Tina G xx

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