A bit of a re-vamp

The question


Orange Blossom

Sharing my love of perfume — a passion based on scent — via the web is hard. How can I convey the fragrance of these lovelies?

As I look at these perfumes I wonder if I am providing any useful information to someone interested in finding a scent with orange blossom (or any note/ accord). Yes, these seven perfumes contain orange blossom but in varying strengths after dry down.

As I was taking and uploading photos, it was still nagging at me. The question, “How is this going to help?”

I filmed and uploaded a video (here). A video that was to be one of three to discuss 21 perfumes with a citrus blossom — orange, linden, neroli and mandarin — somewhere in its fragrance pyramid. In the back of mind, I was thinking, “This is a bit much.”

Some of these fragrances can be symphonic in composition. Chanel No 19 has 12 notes with neroli voted as the 11th most prominent note. 24, Faubourg? Fourteen notes with orange blossom at number 2 (much better).

The answer

For me, the answer lay in how I perceive notes in perfume. After dry down, I can usually distinguish the first three notes; after that a note supports the scent.

That is how I will now present scents for the next couple of months, focusing on a note and featuring a scent if said note is in the top 3 as rated on Fragrantica.


Getting focused

I have been organizing

Now that I know what and how, I have given time to getting it all organized. This has been a fun way to explore my fragrance wardrobe. I have a lot of great scents and focusing on a note or accord a month has let me delve deeper into them. I can now see where I have (or don’t have) gaps in my collection. Yes, in orange blossom. No, for rose. I bought samples, not with the goal to purchase more perfume but to analyze the scent.

Where am I going from here?

First, a re-do of November’s notes citrus blossoms. Nine days ago, I pruned out all the perfumes where the blossom is after top three — leaving 9 out of the 21 scents with which I started the month.

Second, I purchased candles with orange blossom for review. Many perfumistas love home scents a close second to personal fragrances. Quoting the lovely Arielle from Scents of Self:

But like many fragonerds, my perfume habit easily snowballed into a perfume-and-scented-candles habit.

Third, I am sampling perfumes for review instead of purchase. Oh, yes. I will still buy perfume if I am so inclined but I feel I can give a different and more helpful review if that is not my goal.

Getting over the flu

My Collection: Citrus Blossom

My Collection: Citrus Blossom

It has been a busy month for me.

First, there was the Grace Hopper Conference in Houston. I loved it. I learned some things both professionally and technically and made some great connections.

Second, big deadline at work coupled with ramping up on the next project.

Third, the flu. Oh, how it feels to be a perfumista and cannot smell anything. It’s as bad as the body aches and fever. Yesterday was sleeping, Motrin, and water.

I am feeling better today. Well enough to do a preview video for the month of November.

The decision was between Hermes and blossom fragrances. I decided on blossoms because the Hermes would not be varied enough. I like a little bit of everything.

What’s in my bag?

I’m traveling.

If I’m not ready to sleep when I get to my hotel room, I may do a “What’s in my Bag” video.

Until then, here is a peek. 

Yes, it is heavy


It is way too, late and I am too tired to make a video.

I bought this bag last year in May and have used it almost everyday except for occasionally carrying a shoulder bag. This bag is used for work, weekends and travel.

I’m on YouTube!

Here is my first video about my honey fragrances.

This is the video all YouTubers make for the sole purpose of looking at it years later to exclaim, “I can’t believe I did that!”

Here it is: My perfume collection: Honey

In the future I will probably

  • Develop a tag line.
  • Not film in my bathroom. It’s late at night, this is the best light in the house.
  • Not use my iPhone. The video camera is on the way.

More honey

My collection of honey fragrances

Now that the temperatures are below 80 degrees, I can now wear just about any fragrance I own. For the past month, I have been staring at my collection of honey fragrances, looking forward to the onset of cooler weather.

Since my last post about the honey note, I have been sampling and building my honey fragrances. Here is the final line-up (from l-to-r): M. Micallef Aoud Gourmet, Lubin Galaad, Montale Honey Aoud, Serge Lutens Chergui, Xerjoff Mamluk, Serge Lutens Five o’clock Gingembre, Chanel Les Exclusifs Beige and (in front) Prada Amber.

M. Micallef Aoud Gourmet Oriental
Main notes: cashmere wood, marzipan, honey
I said I would make this mine and I meant it.

Lubin Galaad Oriental Woody
Main notes: oud, cardamom, myrrh, and honey.

I purchased this for the cardamom. The honey is discernible but not prominent. It gives Galaad a hint of sweetness. Think of a touch of honey in a drink.

Montale Honey Aoud Oriental Vanilla
Main notes: honey, cinnamon, oud

This is the honey oud for which I have been searching. Many other honey/ oud combination fragrances also include rose. Not that I mind rose in of itself. Many times rose and oud overpowers any other note and I already have a fragrance in my collection that covers oud and rose.

Serge Lutens Chergui Oriental Spicy
Main notes: honey, tobacco, amber

Honey and tobacco. Mmm…

Xerjoff Oud Stars Mamluk Oriental Woody
Main notes: honey, caramel, oud

Mamluk is neither safe for work nor hot and humid summer days.

Of all my fragrances, Mamluk has the truest to nature honey scent. The honey accord is similar to Maison Francis Kukidjan Absolue pour Le Soir.

Serge Lutens Five o’clock Gingembre Oriental Spicy
Main notes: ginger, tea, cinnamon

After a couple of wears, I can say the fragrance is all about ginger and tea. I am not complaining because I like ginger and tea. The ginger tea is served with a cinnamon stick and lightly sweetened with honey.

Chanel Les Exclusifs Beige EDT Floral
Main notes: frangipani, honey, freesia

Beige is one of the few honey scents I can wear anytime of year in any setting. Beige is also (non-pejoratively) my prettiest scent.

Prada Amber Oriental Woody
Main notes: patchouli, amber, benzoin

This is the first fragrance I wore when the temperature finally fell to 79 degrees. For a work environment this one steps up to the line but does not cross it.

Divin Enfant (2006) Etat Libre d’Orange

Good at being bad

House: Etat Libre d’Orange
Fragrance: Divin Enfant (EDP)
Nose: Antoine Lie
Most Prominent Notes: Marshmallow, African Orange Blossom, Tobacco

In college, a couple of my friends said my halo sat on horns. Divin Enfant is that sentiment in a bottle.

The slightly sweet and powdery marshmallow with the citrus tang of African orange blossom is the halo. Tobacco (smoking), leather (naughty), and musk (what have you been doing) hint at some badness under the innocence. It is not overt but one is not all she appears to be.

The marshmallow note is like one handmade at a fine confectionery. It is well blended with the African orange blossom which skews slightly towards cologne. The splashy cologne scent is more prominent on the blotter than skin.

Mr. Lie did a great job. It has to be difficult making a fragrance containing a marshmallow accord that does not come across as immature.

Disclaimer: Sample included with purchase at arielle shoshana

This was supposed to be Safran Troublant


Etat Libre d’Orange

I went to the arielle shoshana grand opening expecting to leave with a bottle of L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant. This started last night while watching the Perfume Nerd’s review of this fragrance. Her review prompted me to see which of my fragrances contain the saffron note. The answer: many of them. I wanted to compare my fragrances with the reference saffron.

I walked into the boutique. First thing that caught my eye is the fragrances have been rearranged by category (i.e. sweet, spicy, etc.). Brilliant for someone who is interested in exploring fragrance families; which is usually how I sample perfume. Second thing that impressed me was all the people who came out to wish Arielle well. Third, how much fun this boutique is going to be. I never pose for photos but I couldn’t escape Arielle’s infectious exuberance when she held up her camera and requested I pose with my purchase for a “smellfie”.

Back to my story. How did a bottle of Safran Troublant morph into Bijou Romantique? Simple, I smell like the most delicious orange blossom marshmallow. Everyone who sniffed my arm — standard perfumista greeting and interaction — liked the Safran Troublant but preferred the Bijoux Romantique.

I will be back for Safran because I have more to say about it. For now, I will be enjoying the delicious fun of Bijou Romantique.