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scented sunday

Lots of awful stuff happening in the world and especially my country, and I don't know what I can do about any of it. So I decided this morning to stay off some social media and news sites, and hunker down at home. It is also Midsummer, so other than writing this post, I will attempt to do some work in the garden if it doesn't rain. And I'll probably nap. I have been sleeping a lot.  Mother Nature can be cruel, but not near as horrible as humans can be.

Dior Dune (1991):  I believe I bought this sample back in 2010. I never really did anything with it  - this was billed as a 'fresh oriental' and it didn't seem very oriental to me, plus it has aldehydes.

When I sampled it a month or so ago, I was quite impressed and I laughed at myself thinking "yep this is exactly what I couldn't and wouldn't pay attention to years ago."  I can now see why it gets rave reviews. Check out Perfume Shrine/Elena's review here.  Just because a perfume is popular doesn't mean it isn't a damn good and interesting one - yeah, I need to say that to myself often as it is very easy for me to dismiss mainstream anything.

Montale Attar and Black Aoud:  I cannot find release years for these two. Montale was founded in 2003. Both of these are solid rose powerhouses, Black Aoud being more dominant, Attar a bit more subtle and nuanced. *Thanks to Suzanne for the sample of Black Aoud and read her magnificent review here.

Domenico Caraceni Domenico Caraceni 1913 (2007):  A fragrance for men that can and should be worn by women. An interesting and finely layered take on the aftershave/barbershop cologne.  Notes of neroli, styrax, petitgrain, geranium, rose, bitter orange, tobacco, incense and cypress.  Here is a review by Michael and another from Nathan Branch. I'm not sure if this is even available in the US anymore.

It's also Father's Day in the US which is another reason I'm not my bright cheerful self - my father passed away in 1993 and he is missed every single day.

scented sunday


*I don't always remember who has sent me some of the samples that I am reviewing and I apologize. I can usually tell by the handwriting and/or labeling of the samples, but sometimes I have a difficult time remembering. I should have written all of this down but in my arrogance I thought I would be able to remember without taking notes.  I am upset about this because I am doing a huge disservice to those generous perfume-pals out there.

scented sunday: featuring sonoma scent studio

I have been slow with the sample test posts recently. But I'm still determined! This post is not at all detailed and not truly reviews of the scents, and I apologize for that. I have a lot to get done these days (today I am starting the process of testing underglazes on my pottery), but I hope that my perfume-interested readers will click on the other perfume bloggers' review links that I have highlighted.

These past weeks, I have tested three from Sonoma Scent Studio.  As I have written before, can Laurie Erickson do no wrong?   And as you know, I  love my bottle of Incense Pure and it is one of my top favorite incense perfumes of all time

The three perfumes I have been testing are Fig Tree, Winter Woods, and Wood Violet.

Fig Tree (2011) Notes of green fig, vanilla, cedar, patchouli, tonka, and musk.  This is hands down the best fig perfume I have tried.  From the SSS website I quote "I envisioned a perfume that would evoke the various aspects of a fig tree in summer, with green, fruity, creamy, and woodsy notes." Yes, exactly! It has a touch of weird (a good weird) in its gorgeousness, and I'm looking forward to trying this in the heat of summer. During the cold of this winter, it brings me much happiness.

Elena from Perfume Shrine wrote a fabulous review of this scent - check it out !

Winter Woods (2008):  Notes of gaiacwood, cedar, sandalwood, birch tar, cade, oakmoss absolute, castoreum, amber, labdanum absolute, vetiver, ambergris, and musk.  Warm and enveloping and crisp - a perfect scent for these sub-zero temperature recently. This makes me smile and remember what I like about winter!

Check out Dave/Aromi's review here.  And Ines' review here.

Wood Violet (2008):  Notes of violet, plum, cedar, cinnamon, clove, sandalwood, violet leaf, and musk. Seriously folks, this one is beautiful and brings another smile to my face.  I cannot wait until early spring because this will be perfect for that time of year. 

Wood Violet is reviewed in Undina's post "In Search of the Perfect Violet"

For anyone out there reading this and hasn't yet tried any of Sonoma Scent Studio's incredible perfumes, please try them!  You can purchase samples from her directly.  

If push came to shove and I was forced to pick one of these three as my favorite, I would have to say Fig Tree.  Another thing I love about SSS is that she offers a variety of sizes.  For instance, for a 5 ml travel spay of Fig Tree, it is only $16.00.  I have a feeling that this will be my first purchase once I have completed reviewing all my samples!


scented sunday: featuring sonoma scent studio
"The Fig Tree" Spencer Gore 1912
I have also worn Agent Provocateur Strip, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant, Hermes Un Jardin apres la Mousson, and Coty L'Aimant recently.  (The Coty because I was filling up my travel spray after I read Vanessa's latest post on Bonkers about Perfume, and spilled it all over me!)

scented super bowl sunday

Two weeks ago, while reviewing De Charmes et Feuillers, I had recommended other The Different Company perfumes, and then realized that I never did a proper review of Oriental Lounge.

TDC Oriental Lounge (2009).  Gah, after doing some research about this fragrance, the perfume world seemed a bit chatty about this when it came out, a lot of discussion about the use of synthetics and IFRA (International Fragrance Association) regulations.  Here's my short and sweet take - it's a soft oriental for those not sure about orientals and who want to dip their toes into that genre.  For those of you who love loud orientals (i.e., Shalimar) you'll probably be disappointed.  I adore Shalimar, but I do like this one. See  I Smell Therefore I Am review to get a sense of the uproar.

I also tested Tauer Le Maroc pour Elle (2005) over a couple of days. This is stunning! Moroccan bitter orange and rose and jasmine and cedarwood, French lavender, mandarin, sandalwood and patchouli.  I am a huge fan of Andy Tauer, so I say go and try this immediately!  He mentioned recently on his blog about prices going up due to exchange rates - read it here.

Serge Lutens Nuit de Cellophane (2009). For a little wispy thing, this sure does have staying power. Notes from Luckyscent:  green note, fruity note, jasmine, osmanthus, carnation, lily, muscs, almond, wood, honey. Here's a review from  Elena at Perfume Shrine. 

I had a hankering for Lutens Sa Majeste la Rose, so I wore it often when I wasn't doing any sample testing. I also wore Malle Le Parfum de Therese (2000) a lot over these past two weeks, too. LPdT is a deep rich velvety dirty fruity rose - sublime!

scented super bowl sunday
I was able to split some from this bottle w/my pal F a few years ago,
and bonus that I received the actual bottle
Super Bowl Sunday today - I'll be rooting for the Seattle Seahawks over the New England Patriots. There is just something about New England/East Coast sports teams that get under my skin, and the Patriots in particular. Oh, and I'm wearing Guerlain Shalimar today.

scented sunday: flowers and herbs

This week went well - adjusting to my new work schedule of being in the non-profit office twice a week, and pottery classes on Wednesday.  I was at the Market on Saturday - it was a bit slow, but I was glad I was there because as I have mentioned before I really like chatting with the vendors and customers.
scented sunday: flowers and herbs
Cicely Mary Barker
Here's the Scented Sunday portion of my post:
Monday:  I have a lot of samples from Annick Goutal.  I love three of hers - Encens Flamboyant [incense], Petite Cherie (edp version - thanks to Undina for steering me to this version) [pear], and Mandragore [woody aromatic, inspired by mandrake root]. This is a fragrance house that I think gets overlooked recently - not sure why - perhaps just because there are so many new fragrances and lines coming out all the time.  Annick Goutal is quite affordable, too.  Take that, you over-priced perfume houses out there.

Annick Goutal Rose Absolue (1984).   A variety of roses and one of the most beautiful rose soliflores I have ever tried. It's enchanting!  Though there is a downside to this perfume - it doesn't last very long on my skin and while drying down, stays very close.  You may experience the dry down differently, so I do encourage those of you who like rose to try this one!

Tuesday: Annick Goutal Un Matin D'Orage (2009).  There is something in the top notes that put me off.  I haven't figured this one out yet.  I should have tested this over the course of a few days, but I didn't. In the meantime, take a look at Victoria's review at Bois de Jasmin.

Wednesday:  Too busy (my pottery classes started!) to do a serious sampling, so threw on Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Kashmirie (2007).  I cannot thank Vanessa from Bonkers about Perfume enough for my decant as this gets a lot of love from me - rose, saffron, myrrh, to name a few notes - a warm powdery rose with a hint of spice.

Thursday: The Different Company De Charmes et Feuillers (2006).  I have sampled many from this line over the years including Rose Poivree, Oriental Lounge,  Sel de Vetiver, Bois d'Iris (one of my favorite iris perfumes),and D'Ailleurs et Fleur,  all of which I recommend.

DCeF [herbal aromatic] has notes of marjoram, peppermint, sage, jasmine sambac, grapefruit, clementine and patchouli.   Fragrantica calls is a 'fairy garden fragrance'.  It is exquisitely beautiful and delicate, and the notes tend to play peek-a-boo, flitting around and under and over - so it is truly a fairy garden fragrance.

Note:  I also read on Fragrantica that DCeF has been reformulated since I received my sample so I don't know how the new version compares to my sample.

Friday: I tested TDC De Charmes et Feuillers against Cartier L'Heure Vertueuse III  (notes: absinthe, rosemary, thyme, verbena, lavender). They both have that cool vintage Herbal Essence vibe, though DCeF is more demure, dries down warmer and cozier, and is about $100 less. The Cartier is brasher and more aromatic and lasts a lot longer.

scented sunday: sampling stash samples

Not quite a New Year's resolution, but I am going to try to do more Scented Sunday posts. Time to tackle the samples I currently have because there are a few new ones I want to try - I still read perfume blogs and the end of year lists had me interested in some new-ish releases.  But I must be disciplined and get through my huge stash of un-tested samples first!

I'll try to note the release date of the fragrances I'm testing.  Also, most of my samples are a few years old or older - not sure how well they'll all stand up as although I keep my perfume out of bright sunlight, I don't keep them temperature or humidity regulated.

scented sunday: sampling stash samples
Where most of my perfume sample collection is stored;
I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I HAVE reviewed/written about
more of them than I thought!
Monday:  I Profumi di Firenzi Mirra (released in 2006).  I was hesitant to even start sampling from my stash, but I was pleasantly surprised and pleased by Mirra.   A powdery, sweet but not cloying vanilla oriental.  I don't get a lot of myrrh from it, and I wish it lasted longer. But it was quite nice for this very cold January day.

Here's some reviews: Kevin at Now Smell This.  Marina at Perfume Smellin' Things.

Tuesday: Profumum Oxiana and Olibanum.  I have a love for Ninfea which is kind of shocking given that my 'normal' scent preference is for heavy orientals.  Ninfea is a flowery nostalgic pretty thing (see my short review here on my old perfume blog) .  There are a few of those flowery nostalgic fragrances that do tug at my heart strings, most notably the gorgeous La Chasse aux Papillons.

Oxiana (2009) is too generic men's shaving cream for me and starts off a bit harsh. I should be all over this one, with notes of patchouli, myrrh, opoponax and musk. I see on Lucky Scent that some people say this reminds them of my well-loved L'air de Rien - it sure doesn't smell anything like that to me!  Here's Trebor's review (Scent for Thought) which pretty much sums up what I think of it, too.

Olibanum (2006) : Incense, myrrh, orange blossom and sandalwood. There is a bit of blast of green? citrus? at first, but it settles down nicely to a warm roast-y incense with some nice undertones.  Another good one to add warmth to the day; it's not something I would buy because I already have a few incense perfumes I like better, but that added citrus zing is interesting. And the staying power is incredible - I could still detect it the next day.

Wednesday: Bois 1920 Classic 1920 (2005).  Some of the notes that I found listed are bergamot, lemon, vetiver, sandalwood, amber, and it is listed on Fragrantica as an Oriental Spicy.  Spicy?! Where? This didn't do anything for me.  A clean aftershave for the first hour or so, then it dries down to a bland oriental.  Meh.

Thursday:  Parfumerie Generale Cadjmere (2007).  Another time this week that I am wondering if my samples are just too old or abused.  After reading a bunch of reviews of this, and most being very positive, I'm a bit confused.  But now that I'm thinking about it, I probably did a quick sniff of this when I first got the sample, and didn't review it at the time because I wasn't all that impressed.  Birgit at Olfactoria Travels felt it full bottle worthy.

Friday:  Tokyo Milk Bittersweet (2011). I am a big fan of this house (esp. the Dark line). Though not of this perfume only because I don't like the chocolate in this scent (and in general I'm not fond of chocolate, honey or mint in perfume). Anyone out there looking into a line that is solid, sometimes weird, and quite affordable, do check out Tokyo Milk.

I enjoyed this - and hope that I can keep it up until all my un-talked-about samples get an airing.

brussels sprout kimchi

Sun asked me the other day how the kimchi turned out. Last night, we opened up a jar.

WOWZA - delicious!  We'll be making lots of kimchi from now on.  I'm looking forward to finding more kimchi recipes with other vegetables to add to the mix, too.

brussels sprout kimchi
Big chucks but still delicious
The only change we would make to that recipe is to cut up the Brussels sprouts into smaller pieces.

brussels sprout kimchi
Sliced up the sprouts into a more manageable size
Fermenting can be a little scary at first.  I threw out a couple of my earlier ferments - ones I did with open vessels or without weights. It wasn't until I read about the airlock system that I figured I could do ferments without freaking out. People have fermented for eons in crocks and other containers, but there is something about mold that makes me nervous which is why the airlock system is the way I do ferments now.

If anyone out there is interested in getting started with fermentation, I recommend Sandor Katz' The Art of Fermentation.  And the Facebook groups Wild Fermentation and Fermenters Kitchen.

scented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post about

Yesterday, I took my son and daughter-in-law shopping. I put on some Malle Le Perfume de Therese which fit the mood in a weird way.  I have yet to do a decent review of this but here's a good one from Bois de Jasmin.

We ended up at a mall.  I hadn't been in a mall for a long long time, so it was fun stopping in all the stores and seeing all the merchandise.  The mall we went to is quite sad - a lot of empty shops and not many shoppers.  I was searching for some thick leggings, and found some on sale (I'll post about my cool leggings on another day). One of the shops I popped into was an Anthropologie store. I sniffed a few of the bottles of their scents - I didn't pay much attention to them and none stood out, but they didn't seem horrible.

But what I have been wanting to talk about is that when Robert was in Denmark, I had a perfumista-meet-up-by-proxy!  He had dinner with the most generous and lovely Marie!  She gave him something for me, so when he got home, I greedily opened the package.  It was a full bottle of Agent Provocateur Strip.  Marie had sent a bunch of decants of APs Eau Emotionelle and Strip awhile back, and she knows how much I love that line. Thank you again, Marie!  Click here to read my review of Strip when Marie first send me those goodies.

scented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post about
Quite a bad photo but it's late at night and the lighting is poor
This past summer, I didn't wear a lot of perfume.  But when I did think of perfume, I would often wear Pacifica Tibetan Mountain Temple.  By the end of the summer, my bottle was getting empty.  But guess what!?!  When  my friends Joan and Isabel were in town, Joan brought me a bottle of it!  She didn't know that I already had some and that I was savoring the last few drops.  She just figured I would like the scent.  How cool is that?   Joan was the first person I met that wore Opium (this was back in 1980), and because I loved it on her, I bought my first bottle.  Even if we wore it at the same time, we would talk about the fact that it smelled different on both of us.

And Isabel had brought me perfume, too.  She had stumbled across a bottle of Parfums Weil Zibeline and since she knew I liked perfume, asked me if I wanted it.  Of course I did!  Not only did she bring me the perfume, but also some Shalimar body lotion!  Now, I haven't researched Zibeline yet, nor have I given it a good test.  But I hope to soon.  In the meantime, click here for a review of it on Perfume Shrine.

I'm glad the weather is getting cooler - I'll be wearing scent a lot more often now.

scented sunday - the week that was and the weekend that is

Monday:  Miller Harris Coeur de Fleur

Tuesday: I didn't wear any scent on Tuesday, but a woman who came into the shop was wafting a very lovely fragrance.  I asked her and it was, to my surprise, Estee Lauder Pleasures.  I'm not a big fan of Lauder perfumes - I think the only one I really like is Youth Dew - but Pleasures smelled wonderful on her.

Wednesday: Bond No. 9 Chelsea Flowers

Thursday: Fresh Sugar Lemon

Friday: En Voyage Perfumes Go Ask Alice - a beautiful citrus-y patchouli from an talented independent perfumer.

Saturday:  I have been in a bit of a funk, so I tried to brighten my day by wearing one of my favorite perfumes, Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie (this perfume is based on one made for Queen Victoria.) Here's a link to Suzanne's take on this rose perfume.

Sunday: Ditto

This weekend is the college's Commencement/Reunion Weekend. Parents and family members of graduating seniors and alums from certain classes are here, so the population of the town has exploded for a few days.  When I worked for the college (for ten years, in the development/fundraising department) this weekend was all work, and even though it could be a lot of fun, it was very exhausting. I'm a bit of an introvert and being 'on' all the time takes its toll.  Now, I just avoid everyone and stay at home.  Though if we do go into town (which btw is only a few blocks away), I would want to go to Illumination tonight - the town square is decorated with lanterns, and there is music playing and ice cream, and it is delightful.
scented sunday - the week that was and the weekend that is
Art by Keith McGuckin - our town has some "albino" squirrels - 
they're probably not truly albino, but a mutation of the gray squirrel, 
and it's always a joy to see them in the square

scented sunday - aldehydes - the wall of nose noise

scented sunday - aldehydes - the wall of nose noise
The Wall

I have talked about how I struggle with aldehydes in perfume over at my (archived) perfume blog, but for those of you who are new followers, this is what I can tell you about this 'note' in perfume:

1) Read this article by the inimitable Elena over at Perfume Shrine

2) If that is too much information, this is my take on it:  you know when you smell a perfume and you think "old lady perfume"?  For some people, that 'old lady perfume' smell can come from other notes, but for me, it's from aldehydes.

3) Perfumes that non-perfume addicts may know that have that aldehydic vibe going on - Chanel No. 5, YSL Rive Gauche, Estee Lauder's White Linen and Beautiful, to name just a few perfumes that I don't get along with.

Now there are all sorts of aldehydes and I do not know how they all are different or what they smell like specifically because I was and am a really crappy perfume blogger.  So I'm referring you again to 1) up above.

But there are some perfumes that have this blasted note in them that I do like - for instance, Serge Lutens La Myrrhe, Guerlain's Mitsouko and Apres L'Ondee, and Coty's L'Aimant (yes I have come around to enjoy this one very much) and Chypre.  I do still get 'old lady perfume' from these (except for La Myrrhe), but they are oh so very cool, and they don't make me flinch and shudder and get scared.

So maybe I just have this wall in my head. And maybe it is a specific type or types of aldehyde that drives me nuts.  I have been known to be extremely stubborn, and perhaps if I just relax and not think about it too much, I'll enjoy more scents. 

In the meantime, I'm going to drench myself in Coty Chypre.

scented sunday - cheap thrills, quick post

One of the reasons I quit having a blog dedicated to perfume is that I'm really tired of how the expense is going up and up and up. And because truthfully I'm more broke than I have been in about 30 20 years, I don't even want to try to sample some of the new super expensive juice out there because I don't want to fall hard for something I cannot have. I also don't want to talk about a bunch of  out-of-reach perfumes and perhaps influence a new perfume lover in a bad way- thinking that the only good perfumes out there are hundreds of dollars.

And because I'm a rebel at heart, I am trying to share the love of those perfumes that are good and inexpensive. What I also like is when perfumes come in smaller sizes. (Yes, one can get decants, but...)

I have done quick research into pricing, so please don't be mad at me if you find that your area sells these for more!  And I may have done the math wrong, so please let me know if you see an error.

I have been wearing the heck out of Fresh Sugar Lemon (click on the link and it brings up a post about cheap perfumes from 2012) this week - it's a good scent to wear when I'm at the garden center/nursery. Bergamot-y lemon-y freshness. 20 mls (one ounce)  for about $48.00.

My beloved Les Nereides Oppoponax - 100 ml (3+ ounces) for 100 bucks. (BTW, my bottle spells it Oppoponax, but I see on the new bottles it is spelled Opoponax)

Tokyo Milk Arsenic! Absinthe, vanilla salt, cardamom, woods, tonka.  A sweet yet weird and wonderful scent (2 ounces = about 60 mls) for $36.00.

Lastly, being inspired by Cheryl at Perfumed Letters, I'm going to wear some Mugler Womanity tonight. One ounce (20 ml) for $58.00. This is a little on the high end side of things, but it's nice that you can purchase this is the one ounce size.

Viva la cheap!

Gotta run - heading out now to Poker Night! And we don't play for money, just for fun.

scented sunday - cheap thrills, quick post
pretty chips!


scented sundayscented sunday: featuring sonoma scent studioscented super bowl sundayscented sunday: flowers and herbsscented sunday: sampling stash samplesbrussels sprout kimchiscented sunday: catching up on some perfume-y things i have been wanting to post aboutscented sunday - the week that was and the weekend that isscented sunday - aldehydes - the wall of nose noisescented sunday - cheap thrills, quick post

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