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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Experiscent 2: Mediterranean Journey

The second scent in our Experiscent series differed greatly from our first selection. This scent is a relatively recent release that got a lot of buzz in the beginning but seems to have been largely forgotten as far as discussion goes.  Meant to be (and successful in) unisex, it embraces a note that usually isn't showcased in perfumery:  clary sage.  Clary sage is a pungent herb commonly found in Mediterranean regions.  I've used it before in soapmaking, there's a beautiful airy clarity to it that blends wonderfully with citrus and florals.  Here, it is blending with fig, refreshing mastic, energizing pine, and oak.  Reactions and responses from our lovely reviewers below!

Cyndi:  This scent starts out with a blast of freshness, like a spring rain shower in the mountains.  I get crispness and citrus, that seems to be smooth and refined.  But after about 20 minutes, a synthetic mint-tea note rears its head and makes the whole scent veer off into sharp and screechy territory. This would be a good scent for someone who means business, like the revered Chanel 19, except this sample is more synthetic and not as sparkling smelling.

Alyssa:  This one scared me a little smelling it from the sprayer and how acrid it was. Boy, was I in for a treat and a surprise! First spray I instantly said MMM! out loud. It was so light, airy and refreshing. I kept thinking this would make a beautiful scent in the summer on a hot and humid day. It actually kept making me think of a Mojito! For the opening I instantly got mint and it stayed this way for a while. A gorgeous sweet flower introduced itself next and I was thinking either white flowers or yellow flowers - honey suckle or ylang ylang. The mint was still here with me. For the dry down, I know it was some sort of citrus and maybe because I had Mojito on my mind, I smelled lime. The mint was also present here as well. I did not get a ton of notes from this fragrance but I certainly enjoyed this one a lot!

Jen:  Fig, fig, figgy fig fig!! Mystery Scent #2 is much more my speed. The opening on my skin was a combination of light citrus, a soft, green, milky fig and an airy, dewy floral. Between the beautiful February in Florida weather and the perfume, I wanted nothing more than to take a rest on a sun dappled bench in a park. The major downside was the lasting power; I felt like I had to refresh about an hour and a half after spraying. And then I had to refresh *again* after another 2 hours or so...but I was happy to do so! This one is by far my favorite of the three.

Nicole:  One spray and this selection is off and running! The opening is Very sharp and bright on my skin. I get notes of wet greenery and a white floral bouquet (gardenia...Lily of the valley...) There is an underlying musk that reminds me of damp sheets in the sun while somehow bringing to mind an early spring right before the rain. After 30 minutes it softens, the bright greenery fades while the floral and musk remain. The floral develops further, so you can smell the flower growing, budding and then blooming. 

Trona:  It was a warm summer day in mid-August, the day was long and lazy. I had gone on to stay at the family farm for a week to relax and get my thoughts together. I longed for my childhood adventures on the farm playing carelessly in the pond and chasing butterflies in the field. I was a young woman when I left, a broken hearted young woman. I hadn’t returned since, that was some years ago. I sat under an old Oak tree out yonder enjoying a good book and taking in the smell of my surroundings. Warm, sweet and smoldering hay caught my attention, I sensed a hint of smoke from the pasture fires burning old wood and dried bushels. Swift breezes picked up the honeysuckle and wildflower that mixed in nicely. The mixture was reminiscent of my youth, and comforting, yet it brought back memories of my first love. While enjoying the peace and listening to the many sounds on a farm, I closed my eyes and re-experienced the combined smells again, as the day carried on, those smells blended and became softer, powdery to my nose, and suddenly I caught it, the fresh cut tobacco, it was making a statement and I opened my eyes. There he was is his glory, my first true love, but somehow, different. He had matured nicely and was standing there, fresh cut tobacco in his left pocket, the mix of the other smells and this musky, sexy cowboy chemistry all in one. He looked the part, Dark mysterious eyes, 3-day old stubble lined his pronounced jawline and thick waves of chocolate hair took a slightly wild but attractive stance on his head. Closer…I thought, I wanted to smell him closely, his scent was close to the skin and I leaned forward to steep in, it lasted for a very short while and then I opened my eyes….It was just a dream, the cowboy fragrance was gone as it dissipated with the dream. I picked up my book, put my tongue back in my mouth, and went on inside. My take on this, worn on a rainy day in the PNW, masculine, green, and I really got a lot of warm hay, it developed quickly and turned soft and powdery, quite pleasant, but still very green with hints of woods. Again, It developed again and the fresh cut tobacco became the theme, it was sexy, and warm, reminded me of a hot summer day relaxing. It is close to the skin and longevity was only about three hours on me.

Rina:  Green, juicy pear, softens to a powdery but not dry finish. Fresh and Spring-like but fleeting.

Igor:  Very mild herb bitterness hits the nose at first. I might be imagining, but to me it smells like a much toned down tomato leaf. Wood notes with very subtle hints of vanilla, not a desert one, but the herbal and earthy kind. On dry down the bitterness wears off, leaving behind a very tender and almost creamy cannabis accord. It is a very light fragrance, makes me think that it is an eau de toilette. It could easily be unisex. The longevity is moderate, stayed on for about an hour. Sillage is weak and the scent stays close to skin. This is a perfect morning summer bitter scent, light enough for an office or a very hot evening when you want a hint of herbal freshness. This fragrance paints a picture of a wealthy New England family reposing on Cape Cod in late August afternoon. He family is having early evening drinks, apropos Talbots clothing, white cotton pants and a blue linen blazer on him; white silk pants and a naval blue cotton shirt with a silk foulard on her. Both are sipping spritzers in the shade of a tree on at their summer home.
Alfredo:  This scent is Crisp and green I 'm getting Bergamot possibly something a little herbal..Rosemary's slightly bitter but in a Fresh way...This is a Classic Unisex scent in my book with a weekend attitude...Good for daytime get togethers and would work nicely In Spring weather!

Erica: I've tried this before, I just don't remember what it was! Almost minty at the opening, some coolness. Quiet greenery. Cucumber. Muguet? This would be fabulous on a sticky humid summer day, totally refreshing and not sharp at all. Making my brain hurt, I know what this is, what is it?!  There's a hint of fruit, like plum blossom or peach nectar, some kind of stone fruit but gently done. Not my typical style at all, dousing myself in this sample today was like letting someone else pick out my clothes from their wardrobe! Green and fresh and simple, with a blurry roundness to keep it from being zesty. I would guess this is an Eau de Toilette. I will say that this scent was too green and fresh for my personal tastes, but that I do appreciate the composition. 

Paula:  This is a tea fragrance with a yummy opening, it puts me in mind of Jardin en Mediterranee.  Citrus, green and fresh.  It's very close in style to the other Jardin series scents.  There's some patchouli here.....a bit acrid perhaps, and the whole composition, while essentially pleasing, is very close to bordering on harsh and astringent.  About 90 minutes in it has lost the edge and the patchouli is no longer noticeable.  It's also similar in style to Bvlgari au The Bleu, but that fragrance is softer. About 3 hours in, it still smells the same, only softer and weaker.  This scent is quite linear and doesn't have much development; it wears pretty much like it starts all the way to the end.  I do like it.
My review:
Scent number 2 was Caligna by L'Artisan.  Released in spring, 2013, it was meant to build on their Grasse range highlighting the history of French perfumery, in this case highlighting Mediterranean ingredients.  

Upon opening, I am definitely hit with a punch of clary sage and green fig.  The pairing is appropriate, the clary sage adds a breeze to the fig which is not overly syrupy but also not overly woodsy.  As Paula pointed out, the fig note in this scent reminds me of Jardins En Mediterranee from Hermes, but as Jardins en Mediterranee becomes richer and darker, Caligna continues to emphasize an refreshing outdoor greenness, almost as if you're drinking mint tea in that same garden.  The pine helps to extend the life of the clary sage and jasmine adds a summer element.  The jasmine also allows the fig to develop into a sweet, dense fruit, just a bite of it, eaten on a stone patio in a warm sunny breeze.  Caligna feels very languid and reminiscent of a hilly countryside, in a full bloom of greenery for spring.  Somewhere in the middle of the development, this scent becomes to harsh for my personal taste.......fig always acts like bells to me......their ringing can become overwhelming after awhile and it's all encompassing on my skin, so anyone with a mixed relationship with fig should try this before making any judgments.  This scents lasts about 5 hours on me and sweetens with time.  I could see this being a summer staple for many but for me it's just not one I reach for. 


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