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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Experiscent Number 8: sweet explosions

Scent number eight is a fragrance that I bought on impulse and while I enjoy it, it's not a favorite of mine.  I wanted to have it reviewed blind for its interesting's light, yet rich.  It's a mid range scent in terms of price.  It was not created by a niche house, yet it's not completely mainstream either.  I found it to be a fragrance that could garner fans on either side of the perfume preference spectrum:  woods, florals, citrus and gourmand notes all mingled in this one, and the responses I got were similarly mixed.  Blind reviews were:

Igor:  Explosion at the Willy Wonka Factory, a tsunami of sweetness, sugar, sugar, more sugar, flowers, vanilla , and musk. I love sweet fragrances so this scent, naturally, for me is great. The top note is a dune of sugar and then some, but it quickly goes away, within 10 minutes, leaving behind a very lovely steady flow of vanilla, berries and musk. The base notes have, if I’m not mistaken, patchouli and caramel and some dark buckwheat honey. In the drydown the cloying sweetness transforms into earthy bitter-sweetness that is not overbearing, but very grounded. The longevity is great, lasts hours on me and the sillage is lovey, just enough for others to notice you without being too much. I have a suspicion that this juice can be a member of the Thierry Mugler family; maybe a new Angel flanker? Perhaps? Anyway, a nice visual that I get is the Parisian bistro drowned in a cozy winter evening. A gas heater sends it soft warmth to the couple on the covered terrace. They are sitting on the old wooden chairs that have been recently lacquered. They are speaking softly, while enjoying foamy cappuccinos with caramels and almond cookies. The smell gets mixed and a new concoction of cold Parisian pebble street, coffee, sweets, warm sweaters and scents of freshly baked bread. A sweet and happy “Yes” for this scent. 

Emily:   Impressionistically, I would say that this is a watercolor of a perfume. It feels soft and muted to me. It begins as a candied floral to my nose, somewhat powdery with a tiny bit of mint (or perhaps a minty patchouli). The bouquet strikes me as light purple—and that’s not impressionistic: I mean I think it’s based on purple flowers, guessing heliotrope. I’m going to call it a fruity floral overall, but what I find most interesting is that the stone-fruit note is at its strongest 4 or 5 hours into the perfume’s development. That's something I don't see very often.

First wearing: This one is a sweet almond fruity-floral…it reminds me a little of Decou Vert from last month regarding the sweetness part. But it is warmer and more generic, less fresh and floral than Decou Vert. Pleasant, but not particularly interesting or memorable to my way of experiencing it. One thing I do like about it is its “waftiness”—you smell it all around you when you are in motion.

Second wearing, a week later: I am getting fruit to open. I can’t say for sure which fruits. Maybe berries, or plum? Anyway, fruits. There is a little green freshness to it, like eating fruit salad outside with a cool breeze blowing. …Now I’m getting some of that odd buttered corn note I remember from January's Guerlaine Elixir. I believe that was supposed to represent marshmallow? …This one has super longevity. It’s gone on the whole day.  …Next morning: I can still detect it!

Erica:  What a bright, ebullient perfume! I haven't smelled Clinique Happy for about a million years but this is what it should have smelled like. Joyful freesia and a sunbeam of bergamot, with a friendly white musk, soft as goose down. Fresh and innocent, carefree and jubilant. Just darling! Not my style for personal scent choice, it feels a little too young and fresh for me, but I do appreciate its happiness.

Jen:  Sweet, fruity floral with something creamy underneath. Definitely berries, possibly some litchi? I initially wanted to peg it as a specific Lancome fragrance, but when I grabbed my sample to compare they were not nearly as similar as I had thought! Noses and brains are so funny sometimes. It still smells like Lancome or another mainstream perfumer to me, though. 

Such a fun spring scent! The opening reminds me of sun sweetened orange peels. The bright opening note is perfect for spring, so fanciful and happy. As it settles, a white musk comes in the forefront and the sweet falls to the back, subtle but still there. Then a floral note appears slowly; mixing sweetly with the citrus and musk. It dances along a familiar memory but twirls away before you can grasp it. The dry down is wonderful, not too bold and yet not too shy.

Trona:  It’s June in London, birds are singing, the sun is shining and people are bustling about. A very large park along the outskirts of the city is home to a very beautiful old world English garden, upon entry, you are hit with a citrus blast that quickly settles down, The garden is overgrown and in full bloom, A sea of green covered in whites, pinks, and gorgeous blues create a meadow of lovely wildflowers nestled throughout the tall grass. Jasmine and lilies stand out and compliment the lime (Bergamot) mojitos one can imagine drinking here and on this day. The air is sweet, yet, dry and a bit sour from the citrus, as the hours tick by, the heavenly air is warmed by the sunshine and a sweet warm amber shows itself. It is slight and not to be overdone. By nightfall, all that is left of the garden is the shadow of its earlier glory. I also felt this one was familiar, it is nice and feminine but lacking a WOW!! Factor, I think it is elegant and appropriate for day wear and office wear. Sillage is about 3-4 hours, pretty close to the skin.

Alfredo:  A fresh citrus, creamy opening which quickly becomes warm & soft.  I'm picking up honeysuckle & orange lower with just a touch of patchouli & soft sandalwood.  Having gentle sillage and projection, this is the type of fragrance you can enjoy on these first days of spring sitting in the backyard while reading a good book and enjoying a refreshing glass of lemonade.  It's easy & relaxed.

Alyssa:  This one I had to try out a few times and I had the same reaction each time - I want it off unsure emoticon. It was such a mish mosh of notes on my skin and just smelled perfumey. I could not pick out a single note due them all wearing me at once.

My review and reveal:

Scent number 8 was Boucheron Place Vendome Elixir.  This was a flanker released in 2014, meant to be a cration bawsed on the departmentstore in Paris bathed in golden light in the evening.  The bottle itself is a beautiful quilted heavy gold tone, and the scent definitely reflects warmth and light. The notes listed for the scent are mandarin, pink pepper, pear, jasmine, rose, orange blossom, rosewood and vanilla. Curiously,  usually not listed are the two notes that overpower me every time:  honey and benzoin.  I like benzoin.....I like it a heck of a lot.  But when coupled with honey, it's all I smell.....a sweet, unctuous, thick scent that feels like I'm wearing a heavy fur in 95 degree humid weather.  These notes are not listed in Place Vendome Elixir but are sometimes listed for the original, and I still find them very strongly present here.  In this version, however, there is rosewood.  Is it real rosewood?  I'm have no idea.  Rosewood is a fairly expensive material and and has been over-harvested for decades.......there are many blends that have been created to simulate the scent, so the chances that it has a high percentage of true rosewood is seems low to me (or maybe it contains a very low ratio).  However, what I do enjoy about Place Vendome elixir is that it 'fits' into a mood for me.  The original, though pretty, left me scratching my head.......the honey/benzoin really seemed to steamroll the light elements of the scent and I couldn't imagine ever liberally spraying it and then walking around in a floaty daytime dress.  However, the Elixir flanker clearly fits into a dark, winter evening mold for me.  The honey and benzoin are still there but are curiously handled with a lighter touch.  The use of those notes do remind me quite a bit of La Vie Est Belle and Guerlain's Mon Exclusif so if you enjoy those this is worth a try.

Place Vendome Elixir opens with a definitive burst of pink pepper followed by a rose-hazed blast of flowers.  The jasmine is somewhat apparent but I don't get any large impression of orange blossom, which may be because of the pink pepper hovering over everything.  The presence of this scent is very apparent in the beginning....if you're going to wear this around scent-phobes you might want to give yourself about 20 minutes before going out with them.  The first phase is the most impacting and has the most strength.  There's a brief period about a half hour in where I get glimpses of the pear, nicely used to balance rather than becoming an overly terpenic wave of fruit.  It goes nicely with the rose-y undercurrent and the jasmine is more noticeable at this point.  Continuing to develop,  the scent starts to highlight a touch of wood......this would be the rosewood.  It's a pleasant underpinning, in my opinion it smells a bit like walking into an abandoned homestead that's been baking in the hot sun.  It's a touch sweet, a bit papery, and gives the impression of warmth and air. 

Oddly enough, the wood recedes for a while, allowing honeyed flowers to bloom continuously.  The pink pepper continues to pop and serve its influence over the whole life of the fragrance.  Overall, it's a fruity floral that has been given a dose of sophistication without going the route of fruit/patchouli.  However, it doesn't quite go the route of completely mainstream, there's enough to garner interest here from people looking for a scent that holds a bit more intrigue. This is a grown up scent, an adulterated version of candy.......eating a honeyed pear in a dimly-lit, plush velvet chair on a dark winter's night. It's not incredibly long lasting which is surprising.  I found the original to be more present, long-term, than this one. 

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