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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Experiscent Number 4: Searching for Summer

There are fragrances that sometimes just seem to cover a whole range of moods.......I adore scents that you can reach for when you want to smell clean, as well as when you want to smell elegant, or effortless, or's a rare scent that can encompass all these qualities.  I typically find scents geared towards summer wear to be a bit more versatile than their winter counterparts.

For our mystery scent number 4, i provided decants of a perfume that I love to wear in the summertime.  I picked it out during a sunny week in my hometown when I was feeling great nostalgia for summer dresses and sunshine.  Reactions from our panel as follows!

Nicole:  On my skin it opens bright and with a sense of an aquatic note, like wet moss on the sea coast. After about 30 minutes it settles and I get a white floral/musk close to the skin. Gardenia or another white floral that softens and dissipates rather quickly. Not a powerhouse scent, more like a series of soft comforting notes.

Alyssa:  Citrus with a capital C was my first impression! It started very sharp on me with two sprays yet turned into this gorgeous creamy scent fast. Towards the middle I picked up a wonderful spiciness that I quite enjoyed. I found it to be very light on me and had to press my nose down on my skin a few times to smell it but I did enjoy this one. I can see wearing it on a Saturday when running around doing my shopping trips to the mall or meeting someone for lunch.

Alfredo:  Fresh SHARP Lemon & Lime peels with just a touch of small Spring flower buds that have yet to bloom, resting on a bed of wet green palm leaves.  When it gets to the base it finally starts to softens to a smooth, almost bamboo-like finish with soft sillage and projection.  It brings to mind a Classic Aqua de Colonia that would be perfect for the whole family to refresh with in the hot summer months...pretty much a straightforward, what-you-smell-is-what-you-get EDT.

Igor:  Flashback, flashback, flashback. While living in Paris, my father would shave every morning. He would open the French windows (we lived on the top floor in Montmartre apartment house), start whistling something, lather up and then splash himself with this scent! To me it’s the smell of my Parisian mornings, with sun beaming into the apartment with beautiful Paris in the backdrop. I started with the description because the scent is so familiar. I understand that it is a very common citrus aromatic scent. I have a feeling that it could be 4711 Original Eau de Cologne by Maurer & Wirtz . Likely runner ups are : Eau de Rochas Homme (but from what I remember , it is slightly more bitter because of verbena and basil) and Oranges and Lemons Say The Bells of St. Clements because of the sweet and soapy neroli in it. The top notes include a bursting citrus cocktail of lemon, bergamot, and mandarin orange. In the mid notes I sense cedar hints, basil, smooth earthy oakmoss and vetiver. The base notes are masterfully blended in a somewhat sweet white musk and soapy tender neroli. It is clearly intended for gents, but I would absolutely love this scent on a lady for its bittersweet freshness. Longevity is not great (it might be an aftershave or EDT?), about an hour. The sillage is moderate. This would be an ideal aftershave for an office. Thumbs up. 

Rina:  Very green, citrusy, bright, sparkly aldehydes. Familiar. Chanel? Drydown is woody, but forestry woody. Green wood, not dried. Still sappy... Me likee!

Trona:  It’s early morning, my first day in paradise, Just finished my morning meal and am sitting comfortably in the fresh air out on the lanai. It is warm and gentle breezes balance the humid air. Sudden bursts of tart zephyr tickle my nostrils from the lemon groves out yonder. That citrus punch awakens my senses and then I get the bergamot, a zesty lime, likened to a tall glass of 7up, giving that lemon a twist. Awe…it is refreshing and bright, energizing, yet the atmosphere is so relaxing, I feel alive! And I relish in the moment when I notice the lovely orange mixing in with the lemon-lime, like a mandarin flavored mojito. That orange peel from breakfast teases my senses and it lingers as the day wains. A couple hours in, I decide to wash my breakfast dishes and pick up that soapy residue leftover on my hands mixed with the syrupy orange peel scent of earlier but only when I sniff closely. I feel rejuvenated, free spirited and ready to kick off my holiday. This fragrance is very linear on my skin, it changed from one citrus to another quickly, within about 15 minutes and then remained an orange scent and slightly soapy orange scent thereafter, it is very close to the skin, akin to peeling oranges and having leftover residue on one’s fingers. It is a good scent offering feelings of cheerfulness and freshness on a warm summer day. Sillage is low, longevity is moderate. Unisex fragrance. I get the bright, bold, lemon immediately that quickly changes to bergamot within a minute), tart, yet, sweet bursts make an appearance for about 2 hours, and it comes in short waves. About 15 minutes in, fresh peeled oranges, but sweet like mandarins make an appearance. It remains this way until about an hour in and then I get a slight (whisper) hint of soap in the mix. I mentally want something more and patiently wait for a blast of vanilla, or powder, but nothing else comes, I think it lacks that Ummph! But is a fresh simple scent to enjoy anyway!

Emily:  It has the kind of juicy citrus opening that I expect from an Atelier Cologne fragrance. I think it's a more exotic citrus than your garden-variety lemon or bergamot. After a few minutes it reveals a note of almost buttery floral that makes me want to double down on the Atelier guess with "Sud Magnolia" specifically; I smelled it a month or so ago but unfortunately I don't have any around now and my scent memory is by no means photographic (osmographic?). Part of me wants to dig out all my AC samples and go through them looking for a match to the fruit note if not the whole perfume, but that might be considered cheating, and is also a lot of work. Anyway, if I'm right I'm totally going out and buying a lotto ticket.

Erica (and her dad!!!!!!):  My thoughts: Lemony Lemon McLemon time. Seriously, straight up lemons with lemon zest on top. As it dries down it seems more like lemongrass, like there is a quietly herbal component. Later when the citrus vanishes without a trace, it morphs completely and reminds me vaguely of the aquatic-floral genre. The first time I sniffed the vial I thought of vetiver, but with a skin application it doesn't come to mind.  Both my dad and I feel the same about this one - it is alright, but not special. He basically said, "Eh, it's ok."

(First trial) I’m getting beeswax and/or honey, orange blossom, and lemony soap. In fact, this one smells just like hotel soap to me. It’s really similar to Seville a l’Aube, but lemonier. 

(Second trial) This is opening with a lemony blast, followed quickly by white flowers. It’s reminding me today of old-timey cleaning fluid like you would use with a string mop. Or dish soap--Palmolive Lemon! Yes, that’s it! It’s lemon dish soap! Ha. Today it's not striking me as having the moderate depth and richness that it did the first time—it’s less honey-waxy and more about the lemon-floral notes. I will laugh if this turns out to be expensive, because it really smells like any pleasant cleaning product at Target. ...As the heart opens, the orange blossom is coming out strongly. This is definitely Seville a l'Aube Light—Now With Fresh Lemon! It’s light, and I got short longevity with this one both times, somewhere between two and three hours—perhaps as to be expected with a citrus-heavy fragrance?

UPSHOT: I’d wear this to play tennis in, or right after I got done showering after playing tennis. (I probably do wear it right after I hand-wash some wine glasses…ha ha.) I wouldn’t turn down a free bottle, but would not pay more than $10 for it myself—though plenty pleasant, it just smells too generic.

Jen:  Holy Lemons, Batman! This opening was basically a lemon still attached to a branch. Sour juice, bitter pith, sweet essential oil, and green leafyness are all here in spades. As it dries down a bit it starts to seem less lemony and more...grapefruity? Whatever it is, it is most definitely citrus, just slightly softer. Then something else comes through; maybe some woods. Definitely some greenery. It fades away to nothing within a few hours. Damn this desert air! I keep feeling like there is more to these latest samples, but they escape me, even after moisturizing before spraying.

My thoughts:
 Scent number 4 is Escale a Portofino by Dior.  I've enjoyed this fragrance from the first time I bought it as a blind buy.  It opens with a very bright, fruity orange note.  I say fruity orange because it's not just citrus.....there's a vague candied feel to it that pops and dissipates in the first half hour or so.   It's not childish or vulgar, just wonderfully sweetened, like orange slices sprinked with sugar and quickly broiled to melt it into a glaze.  There is petitgrain, adding a strong bite and light hint of bitterness.  

The heart of this scent is blossom petals and a hint of sweetness (almond is listed in the notes) keep this from being a fleeting, splashy cologne and adds a bit of a twist to an otherwise traditional composition.  These notes add tenacity to the me, they add a bit of elegance and make this a scent that works for both a casual encounter to a summer dinner date.  The base notes include juniper berry and cypress for a hint of herb, galbanum for a touch of bitter greenery, and musk.  

In the summer I spray this on summer scarves or on my dresses, but I've had good longevity on my skin as well.  This is not a scent that does well when exposed to light......I smelled one that had been sitting out and it was awful compared to my boxed, in the dark bottle.  The top notes that make it so playful had all but disappeared and what was left had turned flat and dull.  I've had mine stored well for two years and it smells just as delightful as the first time I sprayed it.  I'm really looking forward to wearing it this summer fact, I'm going out for a fancy dinner tonight with my friends.  I think I'll be wafting some Portofino tonight! 


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