Aquaflore

A pretty, light floral? This is it. Aquaflore (Carolina Herrera 1997) is slightly fruity (citrus, peach and melon) airy and unassuming. Actually though, it’s very “clean” and in the drydown it smells like a rainy day… But it’s a “clean and rainy” done by Carolina Herrera of course, and it’s a (late) 90’s fragrance so it has the inherent joyful optimism of that time (i.e. the same feeling given by some of the Aqua Allegoria fragrances, Jean Patou Sublime, Lancôme Trésor or Estée Lauder Pleasures). I like it a lot and it works well with my chemistry. I want a bigger bottle!

Top notes: mandarin, peach, violet, and melon. Middle notes: lily of the valley, jasmine, cyclamen, and rose. Base notes: sandalwood, musk, amber and iris.

Eau du Soir

Perfectly named, this fragrance is very reminiscent of a cool evening and I think that Eau du Soir (Sisley 1990) is gender less. It reminds me a lot of CK One in that way. Actually, Eau du Soir almost seems like the concept of CK One in a more sophisticated, ethereal and elegant form and it is originally from that era, although it predates the Calvin Klein creation. Anyway, lots of juniper here, dewy, chilled florals, and aromatic, woody oakmoss. It’s a classic.

Top notes: mandarin orange, grapefruit, spruce and carnation. Middle notes: seringo, jasmine, rose and lily-of-the-valley. Base notes: musk, amber and patchouli.

Diamonds and Sapphires

This is a typical Elizabeth Taylor fragrance (Elizabeth Taylor 1993), in my opinion, in that it almost overwhelms you but doesn’t quite and then you’re left smelling something ambery, vanillic and a little smoky in a very 1980’s/90’s style. The green heliotrope and musky melon add more depth, density and interest. And rhubarb adds even more intrigue. Of course, as a vintage parfum this lasted a long time on the skin. And, of course, it mellows more over time. Of all the Elizabeth Taylor fragrances I think this is one of my favorites as it has many memories attached to it and I love the sharp, melon infused edges.

Rosa Magnifica

This is an exceptionally potent and spicy rose at the start (Guerlain 1999). Or at least it is on my skin. It’s actually reminiscent of Nahema…and that worried me for the first half an hour. I think something about the combination of this particular violet and hyacinth with the rose reads as punchy, syrupy and medicinal on me. It really is reminiscent of Nahema. But then iris shines through… And iris and I are always great friends. It turns then into an old-fashioned lipstick, sublime and earthy rose. It even has a sort of woody, musky animalic charm eventually. …So I thank the iris for making peace with all the notes and letting me enjoy this really pretty Guerlain rose…

Notes: hyacinth, rose, iris and violet.

Noses: Jean-Paul Guerlain and Mathilde Laurent

Classique

Spicy pear, opulent plum, and sweet iris mixed with ginger are at the start of Classique (Jean Paul Gaultier 1993). Of course, bergamot plays a hefty role too… And you can’t forget to mention the eventually dominant orange blossom. Nor can you neglect the important notes of vanilla and star anise. At any rate, it’s a sharp, sweet but strong, classic 1990’s fragrance. Very 1990’s… And in the best sense.

Top notes: rose, pear, star anise, bergamot, orange blossom and mandarin orange. Middle notes: ylang ylang, tuberose, orchid, plum, ginger, and iris. Base notes: sandalwood, cinnamon, vanilla, musk and amber.

Nose: Jacques Cavallier

Ferentina

I’ve had this somewhat rare Caesar’s World Ferentina (Caesar’s World For Women 1994) for over a year. My husband bought it at an estate sale last spring. And, while I smelled the bottle and sort of liked the fragrance I was blinded by the house. Caesar’s World of Las Vegas, NV doesn’t exactly evoke a feeling of tastefulness and I wasn’t in the mood to bother doing more research… However I’ve recently given it another chance and it’s actually quite enjoyable. Ferentina, after whom the fragrance was named, was a mythical spirit of nature and water to the Romans and this fragrance is fairly aptly named. Cassis is bold and so are the other super-sized 1990’s florals (especially rose) but given the equally strong sandalwood, musk and amber at the base it becomes fairly balanced and the overall effect is a pretty opulence. If I were to compare it to another fragrance I’d pick Cabotine de Grès in a heartbeat… Actually, imagine Cabotine with bright lights and glitter and you have Ferentina.

Top notes: marigold, orange blossom and cassis. Middle notes: cinnamon, rose, jasmine, and ylang ylang. Base notes: sandalwood, musk and amber.

Fragile

I have seen this fragrance (Jean Paul Gaultier 1999) a few times over the years on Instagram. It’s often celebrated for its unique bottle and the voluptuous tuberose. Well, it is one of the most imaginative bottles I’ve ever encountered… and the tuberose is indeed fabulous. Actually though, it reminds me of my childhood and adolescence. Even if it debuted in 1999 it still is such a 90’s scent. And, as such, it embodies all the clarity, optimism, opulence and warmth of the era. I fondly remember the tone of that decade well… It was a much more cheerful time indeed. The orange blossom, jasmine, iris, rose and carnation mix happily together with the rich, gummy base notes and it has much the same lithe, ethereal and light effect as some vintage Trésor. It also reminds me a bit of Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs. 🤔☺️ Anyway, it’s lovely.

Top notes: Bulgarian rose, Tunisian orange blossom, bergamot, ginger, star anise, coriander, and Italian tangerine. Middle notes: rose, ylang ylang, Indian ginger, jasmine, iris, tuberose and carnation. Base notes: cedar, vanilla, musk, cinnamon and amber.

Nose: Francis Kurkdjian

Lalique

When Sophia Grojsman created the fragrance that would be presented in this Marie-Claude Lalique bottle (Lalique 1992) she invented a somewhat cool and detached beauty with an enormous amount of decadent, sweet, tart and very juicy allure. The blackberry waltzes with the citrus, orange blossom and rose. And the rich oakmoss chills the vanilla-tinged, sandalwood-spicy musk. Lalique is sensual but a little reserved.

Top notes: Chinese gardenia, Sicilian mandarin orange, accords of black currant and blackberry. Middle Notes: Peony, Tunisian orange blossom, magnolia, Bulgarian rose and ylang-ylang. Base notes: Indian sandalwood, vanilla, amber, Yugoslavian oakmoss , cedar and Tibetan musk.

Nose: Sophia Grojsman

Sun Moon Stars 


Sultry and somber Sun Moon Stars (Karl Largerfeld 1984) begins with a boozy pineapple and freesia. Meanwhile, a pungent jasmine, supple carnation, and a lily-of-the-valley wearing stilettos meet lotus. And sure, fruity, peach kissed sandalwood and vanilla add warmth and sugar but again, this fragrance is as ultimately blue and otherworldly as the bottle. Perhaps it’s the way the vanilla and pineapple come crashing into each other accompanied by a symphony of perfect notes moment by moment from start to finish. Whatever it is it’s certainly one of the most evocative scents in my collection.
Nose: Sophia Grojsman 

Tendre Poison 


Supple, citrus laced freesia haunts rose, tuberose and an orange blossom reminiscent of a perfectly sweet apple in Tendre Poison (Dior 1994). The asafoetida is melancholy and demure as it mixes gracefully with heliotrope, vanilla and rosewood. But always that apple-like sugary, loveliness returns. This is a definite beauty. 

Top notes: bergamot, mandarin orange, asafoetida, and Brazilian rosewood. Middle notes: orange blossom, rose, freesia, tuberose, and honey.  Base notes: heliotrope, vanilla, musk and sandalwood.  

Nose: Edouard Flechier