Friday, 23 April 2010

Friday Bits and Bobs Edition 1

Today's post is a hodge podge of Friday musings. I paid a visit to my local Fenwick department store and randomly sprayed a few scent strips with whatever took my fancy or something I hadn't seen before. Therefore, any opinions I have on the following are merely first impressions and may not do the fragrances any justice, but hey ho.

First up, the new limited summer addition splashes by Marc Jacobs. I was astounded by the size of these - 300ml! By gosh, these make the Chanel Exclusives look positively diminutive by comparion... They are huge, but as the sales assistant admitted, they are good value for money, if you like bathing in a vat of juice. I only tried Biscotti and Pomegranate, not the Apple.

To be honest, I couldn't smell much of the Biscotti, just a vague, slightly fruity accord and then something slightly musky, while Pomegranate smelled like, well, pomegranate. It was the better of two, I thought; there is a sour/sweet note at the top which is quite nice, but fleeting and then an accord that turns quite citrusy and grapefruit-like. Initial impression - nice to wear on a hot summer's day, uncomplicated and so sheer and weak that I'm not surprised they are packaged in 300ml bottles. They aren't really my style, but I think they will prove popular and for the price (£45 a bottle, or 15 pence a millilitre) you can't really go wrong.

Next up, Equipage by Hermes. I've tried this one quite a few times. Sometimes it strikes me as quite old fashioned, but it is a classic men's fragrance, a spicy fougere/chypre really. The opening is strong and spicy, mixed with citrus and spice, then moves to a spicy cumin accord that reminds me a bit of Declaration by Cartier. It is sort of sweet/spicy/dirty, all at the same time. The drydown is mostly oakmoss and patchouli. I've seen this listed as a fougere, but to me (in my limited experience) it straddles the line of what I perceive as a fougere and a chypre. It has elements of both I think. It is quite complex, having elements of citrus, woods, spices, herbs and a sweet smokiness that keeps you guessing as to its mood as you go along.

Being in a Hermes state of mind, I spritzed on D'Orange Verte. This is a wonderful citrusy, orangey, slightly mossy cologne that is a summer staple. One drawback is that it lasts for less than an hour on my skin, so reapplication is necessary, but worth it, just for that initial blast of bitter and sweet orange. Since this one, they've released a concentrated version, but this is still the best, in my opinion.

Last one for the day was Amaranthine, by Penhaligons, the classic English perfumers. This was created by Bertrand Duchafour and represents a departure for him from his usual incenses and spices into a more floral realm. I've seen some very favourable reviews of this one, but I must be honest and say that it is not really my cup of tea. It is meant to smell like the inside of a woman's thigh. I'm no expert, but I have smelled the inside of a woman's thigh (incidentally, how far up the inside of said woman's thigh are you meant to smell?) and this doesn't really capture that scene for me. It smells of powder, violets and mimosa flowers to me, slightly creamy and almost vanillic in a way. There is something about it that reminds me of Un Fleur de Cassie by Frederic Malle, which did not appeal to me either. I'm not saying that this isn't a good fragrance; lots of people with better perfume pedigree than I have praised it, but it just doesn't speak to me.

Oh well, that's it for my first Friday bits and bobs edition. Happy smelling everyone.


  1. hehe love it. I think Amaranthine is a watery version (though with a sprig of some sort of floral - you mentioned violets and mimosa, I think I just can smell the violets) of L'Air de Rien which is one of my faves.

  2. Yeah, I'm not sure there is mimosa in here, but there is something about Amaranthine that reminds me slightly of Malle's Une Fleur de Cassie. We don't get L'air de Rien here in Tunbridge Wells anymore. Not sure if it is now more a Miller Harris boutique-only thing or what.



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