Snowy Weather

We have a lot of snow today thanks to another storm that made its way through yesterday. There already was a nice layering but today it’s the sort of dense, fluffy white landscape I remember from my childhood. Those years actually did have more snow fall though in general (it’s recorded).

Growing up I heard stories about my maternal great grandmother’s cousin who saved people in the late 1800’s in a snowstorm in California on skis due to his innate sense of direction. (There’s actually a statue in California of him because of his wintry heroics) And I like to think I have a decent sense of direction in my genes (or learned) somehow, but it’s easy when there are landmarks you can recall. I can’t entirely imagine being in the middle of a totally blinding snowstorm and knowing exactly where I am. Maybe with global warming I’ll have many opportunities to try that someday. Who knows. (moment of gallows humor)

But truly, I love a real winter. And this morning over my Darjeeling (I bought it organic and in bulk) I made a choice to embrace the cold and…sample this:

…See, I accidentally bought it. And I had planned to just send it back. But Saks charges for returns and it’s not great to ship stuff if you don’t have to because it contributes to global warming and…I’m trying to find excuses to keep it. *laugh* I want to see what Jean-Claude Ellena did for Frederic Malle after growing fond of what Carlos Benaim created with Eau De Magnolia. Also there’s actually another bottle of Eau De Magnolia in this one. Ha!

Here are my quick first impressions:

Angeliques Sous La Pluie

As I smell Angeliques Sous La Pluie I’m happy I made the choice to keep this set. I like this set considerably more than the other one already. (Spoiler alert: they’re all slightly similar to Eau De Magnolia in my opinion.) This set gives me a better idea why people love this house so much.

Honestly, Angeliques Sous La Pluie is everything I had hoped to find with Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Féminin Pluriel. It’s cool but not remote. It’s melancholy but not depressing.

Brigarade Concentree

So good! Bigarade Concentree is fresh, elegant and inviting. Very 1950’s “poolside with martinis” to my nose. Lots of beautiful citrus.

Cologne Indelebile

What can I say? These colognes are my favorites from Malle. And Cologne Indelebile is great too. It’s also very evocative of the past like most of the others in this collection. It smells a bit like antique men’s aftershave. Maybe this is what my great grandmother’s cousin smelled like when he saved all those people. Ha! *rolling eyes* Actually, he probably smelled like sweat, leather and wool. Maybe old-fashioned pipe tobacco too? But you never know! Right?! Perhaps he always dressed for the day like a gentleman regardless. *smile*

L’Eau D’Hiver

As I started sampling L’Eau D’Hiver Bing Crosby came on the radio. Perfect! It’s such a lovely, herbal iris. And quite vintage smelling too. It reminds me a little of something that would have been created in the 1930’s for men. Except it’s not Ernest Daltroff or Henri Almeras of course but the ebullient, fresh and charming Jean-Claude Ellena. I like it!

Again, if I buy another big bottle from this house it’ll most likely be one of these. I can see the modern clean and yet beautifully complex sensibility of Frederic Malle with this set. Very much like delicious gourmet food. We’ll see…

Carlos Benaim

My Raybans came in the mail from Saks today too. It really was a great sale.

But anyway, I’m eating my last words. While I still don’t think I’ll buy another whole big bottle of Malle I have changed my mind. As the night went on my opinion developed a bit more. And now I’m more fascinated by both Frederic Malle and Carlos Benaim.

I really like Eau de Magnolia.

It reminds me of a few Hermès fragrances I love, some lemon scents that sadly fade too quickly and Acqua di Parma Colonia. Eau de Magnolia might find it’s way into my collection in a separate bottle… I mean, I kind of still doubt it, but I wouldn’t rule it out. *shrug*

But also, goodness. Carlos Benaim might be one of my favorite perfumers… I rarely single out perfumers (I probably should and I’ve known this for years) but I’ve realized tonight just how dear to me his work is.

I think for the heck of it here’s my list of all time favorite perfumers (Not necessarily in order):

Edmond Roudnitska

Ernest Beaux

Jacques Guerlain

Ernest Daltroff

Jacques Polges

Thierry Wasser

Carlos Benaim

Gerard Goupy

Jean Carles

Germaine Cellier

Jean Desprez

Jacques Fleury

Jean-Claude Ellena

Jo Malone

Olivier Polge

Jacqueline Couturier

Steve DeMercado

Loc Dong

Henri Almeras

Frederic Malle

I own the large size bottle of Lipstick Rose. I had the privilege of trying it over time while we lived in Seattle and I finally bought a whole bottle this year in the spring. I love the way it truly is reminiscent of vintage lipstick. I have fond memories from childhood of smelling my mother’s lipstick and it smelling almost exactly like that.

That being said, I have never investigated Frederic Malle all that much.

On Cyber Monday I decided to finally bite and buy the sampler of the feminine fragrances from Saks. I’m glad I did. I no longer wonder what I’m missing. Here are my quick initial thoughts (I may have more later):

Iris Poudre

Iris Poudre. This is by far the prettiest of all of them, in my opinion. And, it’s very “poudre” indeed.

At first it reminded me of La Pausa by Chanel, which is my favorite iris. But, then gradually it revealed a golden hued opulence and an aromatic grandeur. This an iris with a loud voice. It’s big.

Eau De Magnolia

Despite Iris Poudre bring the prettiest, Eau de Magnolia was my favorite from this sampler collection.

It’s so woody. The vetiver (Is there vetiver? It smells like there’s vetiver?) is gorgeous and very aromatic indeed but it’s not a lonely note as it seems to have found its perfect counterpart in a slightly prim but still effervescent magnolia (or notes that imitate magnolia).

Musc Ravageur

But, somewhere in the smelling I realized that what they say about Frederic Malle is true. It’s a bold house. My goodness… But it’s also incredibly smooth. Every note is like rich silk.

Honestly though, even if I can say objectively that it’s a very distinct and luxurious house when I smelled Musc Ravageur I realized that there’s no way in the world I could wear anything other than Lipstick Rose on the regular. *laughing* I suspect that Lipstick Rose is an exception to the rule in this case and not the rule.

Musc Ravageur reminds me soo much of Revlon Ciara and vintage Jovan Musk. And…that’s…more of a compliment to Ciara and Jovan, in my opinion, which are both a bit more brazen and straightforward with the skankiness besides both being a lot less expensive.

No, I do not like Musc Ravageur. It’s not bad but it’s just not my taste. Although I own both Ciara and a little of this now too. *laughing*

Portrait Of A Lady


There’s sooo much hype in regard to Portrait Of A Lady. …And I can kind of see why. I mean, in the opening it’s genuinely intriguing and it is an exquisite fragrance overall.

But…it also smells very generically niche at this point (sorry, but I have to be honest about my opinion). And into the drydown it even manages to become more that way… Although, even so it’s still very beautiful.

That being said…that being said…I firmly believe that, ironically, this one would smell great on a man. Kind of sexy, actually.

Maybe he’d smell like he was wearing a fragrance in the same vein as Rochas Femme: An olfactory hint of something explicitly naughty. Like, where Femme is supposed to smell like a woman’s parts after intercourse (sorry that this post has become less than G but that actually was the original intent with Femme) …this reminds me of how a man might smell post-coital if he’d just had a romp with an individual wearing any number of traditional female scents. There’s some sort of subtextual “afterglow” if you will. Rumpled and disheveled clothes, aftershave mixed with sweet florals, lipstick smeared and body heat cooling. As a lady who wears feminine fragrances the thought of my husband smelling like this is very nice. *smile*

Carnal Flower

Well…I understand why it was named what it was named. Into the drydown it sadly fades considerably on my skin, but it is a lush floral indeed. Lots of gardenia appears for me…

Honestly, vintage Tuvaché Jungle Gardenia makes this fragrance look like a parent chaperoned grade-school picnic, but I get it. It’s a beautiful fragrance.

So…I likely won’t be buying larger bottles of any of these and I think I’m done buying anything else from Fredric Malle. Still, I respect this house immensely (and I mean that) and on the right person I’m positive these fragrances would be tremendous. Truly.

Colony (Repost)

For whatever reason I picture a 1930’s southern gentleman in a straw hat with patent leather shoes and rolled up khaki pants when I smell this. This fragrance is so unisex. The vetiver and leather are like a manly tonic that play perfectly against the carnation and iris. And then there’s pineapple. Really though, if I had to pick a note that shines I’d say instantly, without hesitation that it’s pineapple. Sweet, juicy, delightful, authentic and vintage pineapple! Lovely!

Top notes: pineapple and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: carnation, iris, oak, vetiver and opoponax. Base notes: leather and musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Normandie (Repost)

This beauty (Jean Patou 1935) opens with an exquisite orange blossom and neroli. They’re slightly green and very creamy, gentle and pleasant. But then, as it continues, all the warm, richly hued carnation, jasmine and musk emerge. Actually, it’s one of the most noticeable progressions I’ve encountered and it’s lovely. Also, Normandie has one of my favorite notes: styrax.

It would be easy to draw a comparison between this and Arpège, but intriguingly this feels much more dated and distinctly early Twentieth Century than Arpège in my opinion. But that is not necessarily a bad thing at all.

It reminds me of when I used to go on explorations at my grandmother’s in her weave loom room, or in rooms with forgotten closets. Sometimes you’d find very old things that seemed familiar none-the-less, like an iconic pillbox hat or a classic pair of white gloves. But then occasionally you’d unearth something that required an open mind and a historical decoder. And when you held those pieces of the past in your hand you felt an enormous connection to a time long ago. Normandie is that sort of talisman.

Top notes: neroli and ylang-ylang. Middle notes: orange blossom, rose, orris root, jasmine, vetiver, styrax and carnation. Base notes: moss, vanilla and musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras

Madame Rochas 1960 (Repost)

The aldehydes in vintage Madame Rochas remind me of those in vintage White Linen. They’re crisp, green, and a bit spicy. Very clean! (And they’re both floral aldehydes)

But, the orris root, vetiver, and oakmoss really stand out (to my nose) to a large degree in vintage Madame Rochas. The florals are tender and they do add a certain piquant, delicate beauty. And the aldehydes, again, are certainly present, but they do not dominant that spicy oakmoss. Not on my skin.

Even though I tend to “clean things up” on my skin, generally speaking, this is an exception. I think it’s the jasmine… Jasmine goes totally wild on my skin.

Indeed. While Madame Rochas is still polite, she is certainly a woman. And on my skin this fragrance is actually animalic. Indolic even. The jasmine and musk are not playing games…

Actually, I think I would have to be in just the right mood to wear this one. It’s truly that punchy, lusty and dirty… (Regardless of the aldehydes.) But it’s an absolutely necessary fragrance for my collection!

Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, lemon and neroli. Middle notes: jasmine, rose, tuberose, Lily-of-the-valley, orris root, ylang-ylang, violet and narcissus. Base notes: sandalwood, vetiver, musk, cedar, oakmoss and tonka beans. 

Nose: Guy Robert

Vacances (Repost)

Lilac! Green (galbanum), fresh, sublime and totally elegant lilac (Jean Patou 1936).

I am in love with this fragrance.

It’s a woody lilac too. It’s just fantastic. 😍 And it has a somewhat delicate and perfectly paired musk at the base. This is now near the top of my list for a larger bottle.

Top notes: hyacinth and hawthorn. Heart: lilac, mimosa, and galbanum. Base: musk.

Nose: Henri Almeras


Today I was perusing the internet and I ran across an add for Zales’ new Marilyn Monroe collection. As the name obviously suggests it’s a line of diamond pieces that are inspired by the iconic blonde beauty Marilyn Monroe.

They’re lovely!

Many of the rings are much more Art Deco than I’d have expected. The Art Deco style wasn’t really “of her time” (she was born in 1926). She’s very much a 1950’s star. But, weirdly the Art Deco gems seem incredibly appropriate for her tribute collection. I’d love to think she would have liked what they made and even worn a few of them? Right?

Anyway, unfortunately I can’t say I’ll be purchasing these pieces but goodness I hope others do. Truly. (And, no I wasn’t paid or given anything to write this. I just love the concept and love gemstones.) They’re soo pretty! Take a look.

Pinky Pink Pink

The other night my husband and I had a long talk by the fireplace after the kids went to sleep. It was lovely at moments and exhausting at others. Our talks often are that way. *smile*

But I walked away excited by the fact that my husband has decided to forgo making me the ring that’s a replica of my grandmother’s silver and blue glass ring from her adolescence and make me a pink ring instead. Flaming but very feminine pink is my color he thinks.


Gosh, I can’t stand that color in some ways but…I also love it. I love what it was before the late 1950’s. *rolling eyes* Schiaparelli’s Shocking Pink is my cup of tea, folks. That’s the color for me. The sort of pink Ginger Rogers would have worn on her lips and nails while skating with Fred Astair.

Pink sapphire is often that color. Not always though. Pink diamonds that color are lovely but rare. Spinel and Kunzite “work” color-wise but are too soft. Anyway, it’s up to him.

(Here’s a diamond and kunzite ring from Tiffany’s. Isn’t that a pretty pink? Too bad Kunzite has a hardness of only 6.5 to 7.)

So, platinum and pink with an emerald cut. My favorite cut.

The thought of wearing my grandmother’s ring redone was…nice…until I thought about it the other day and realized it’s kind of sad actually. I’d love to have that ring done as a piece of jewelry but not as my main ring.

Anyway, if you were wondering what happened to that ring there’s an update. Things have just taken a different turn.

…I also have no idea where this blog is going other than to discuss perfume, gemstones, recipes and fashion. Perhaps that’s enough. I feel like that isn’t though. I’ll be thinking about it.

But do be happy for me this time dearies. It’s never been a competition for me. Ever. Truly. Or just stop reading this blog. Or go poke your flipping eyes out if you genuinely wish me or my family any genuine harm. There are plenty of other fragrance blogs that don’t choose to discuss the other things I do. But I’m going to share the things in my life that I think are aesthetically pleasing… There’s nothing wrong with that and many of you do the same. I’ve always been happy for all of you. Try to do the same for me?

Que Sais-Je (Repost)

Actually at first I wasn’t sure I would like this fragrance (Jean Patou 1925) at all. It starts out a bit gruff and almost overly green…

But in the proceeding moments it’s sort of like Henri Almeras married the sparkling, Art Deco, edgy, powdery beauty of Chanel No. 5 to something akin to what would later be the sensual spice of Rochas Femme and the brazen animalism of Revlon Intimate. I cannot imagine wearing this in a large dose without genuinely turning heads (nowadays).

It’s hazelnut translates to cigarette smoke (similar to the smokiness of Soir de Paris) and while the fruity sweetness is rich and decadent, again, it’s a rambunctious scent. Beautiful, maybe even divine, but wild. Wild.

Notes: hazelnut, honey and peach.

Nose: Henri Almeras