The Decant Index scent sampler review | Frédéric Malle En Passant, Maître Parfumeur Cuir Fétiche, Ineke Field Notes from Paris

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Detox Index perfume sample review

Getting into perfumes is hard. I mean, I’ve been doing it for the past five years, and even still think it’s hard. And scent sampling makes it easier, but generic sampling sets just aren’t an option if you want something a little more unique than a mass-market perfume.

That’s where The Decant Index comes in.

Perfume sample review - The Decant Index

The service

I was contacted by Shana at The Decant Index (@decantindex) to try the service, and… on my god. It was amazing. Shana personally matches people to perfumes based on what they like and what they’re looking for, and there’s none of that generic “if you like woody florientals, you’ll like…” stuff.

Shana looks at feelings, places, and past perfume loves, and despite the fact that I only gave her a quick paragraph of information to go off of, her picks for me were spot on. I literally could not believe how much I liked all three of these — I have NEVER had anyone match me to perfumes this well. 

Maitre Parfumeur Gantier Cuir Fetiche review

The scents

Maître Parfumeur Et Gantier Cuir Fétiche ($117 USD/100 ml)

↳ The Decant Index 3 ml sample: $17.50 USD. Notes listed: mandarin, bergamot, lemon / leather accord, ylang-ylang, rose / musk, ambergris, patchouli, cedar wood, sandalwood.

Cuir Fétiche was the first of this trio that I sprayed, and oh my god is it ever gorgeous. It’s one of the sexiest scents I’ve ever smelled, but sexy in a sort of… literary way, you know? It’s all high collars and first editions without a whiff of “date night perfume” in sight.

I get a lot of bergamot and leather from this one, with a bit of patchouli and lots of sandalwood and ylang-ylang in the delicious, creamy drydown. For a mass market perfume comparison, this one reminds me very much of the Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum — but if Chanel (under Jacques Polge, not Olivier) had created it.

Maitre Parfumeur Gantier Cuir Fetiche perfume review

Cuir Fétiche was formulated to reference the history of the perfume industry in Grasse, which originated to cover up the scent of the tanning process in fine leathers. (Thank you, Lucky Scent, for this little history lesson!) Until the French Revolution, the master perfumers in Grasse were the glove-makers, hence the brand’s name.

If you only sample one of the scents in this post, let it be this one. Cuir Fétiche is absolutely exquisite, and bookishly edgy in a way that would be heart-stopping on both a man or a woman. I hear that the brand’s Santal Noble and Ambre Precieux are also a dream.

Ineke Field Notes from Paris review

Ineke Field Notes from Paris ($95 USD/75 ml)

↳ The Decant Index 3 ml sample: $9.50 USD. Notes listed: coriander seed, orange flower, bergamot / tobacco flower and leaf, patchouli, cedar / tonka bean, leather, beeswax, vanilla

Field Notes from Paris is one of the most interesting scents I have ever encountered, and I couldn’t be happier that I got to experience it. It is immediately delicious, strange, and manly, and transforms completely over the course of 2-3 hours.

Ineke Field Notes from Paris review perfume

This Ineke creation opens with a wall of coriander seed, which I didn’t think I would like but was, for some reason, completely enraptured by. The initial shock fades, but the coriander note remains distinct and astringent for hours. (It smells, to me, almost like tasting a little bit of tea tree and lavender oil simultaneously.)

Field Notes from Paris is bizarre and unisex in a quizzically appealing way, with fresh, interwoven notes of orange flower, tobacco, bergamot, and cedar. It’s not something that I would buy a full bottle of, but if you love perfume, I think you need to sniff this one — it’s very, very engaging and definitely an experience worth having.

Frederic Malle En Passante review

Frederic Malle En Passant ($165 USD/50 ml)

↳ The Decant Index 3 ml sample: $18.50 USD. Notes listed: white lilac, cucumber, wheat, orange tree leaves.

My last scent from the Decant Index was Frédéric Malle’s En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti, a fresh, springy perfume full of fruity lilac and fresh cut flowers. I just have to share my notes on this one with you, because nothing says it better: “Fruity, flowers — but littles ones. Like little lilacs or something. Fresh. Green.”

I don’t know why it’s important to note that this one smells like little flowers, but you know what? It is. And it does.

If $165 USD sounds like way too much to pay for a fragrance, though (because erk!), you can try En Passant in a 10ml refill for $46 USD (Barney’s) or get the 3ml sample from the Decant Index for $18.50. I also love Musc Ravageur from Frédéric Malle (it’s the sexiest scent I have ever smelled in my life).

Frederic Malle En Passant review perfume

AERIN Waterlily Sun EdP review, photos | Or, how to bottle happiness

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Aerin perfume review - Waterlily Sun

The product: AERIN Waterlily Sun Eau de Parfum Spray

I first met Waterlily Sun on a hectic day in Toronto with Liz/Reductionista. (For that matter, that’s when I first met Liz, too. And yes, for the record, her hair is just as amazing in person.) We were at the Eaton Centre Sephora to sniff the Serge Lutens line, and upon finding out that almost all of their Lutens had to be sent back to the distributor due to water damage, we were wandering around…

And I came upon the AERIN range in person for the first time ever.

Aerin Waterlily Sun

The packaging: All of the AERIN perfumes look, like their namesake, like old money and flawlessly curated good taste. They come in thick, carefully cut glass bottles topped with gem-like stones (each in a soft, unique shade) and touched with gold accents, and are packaged in boxed with designs by Lee Jofa, a textiles/home decor company that has produced fabrics and carpets for everyone from Oscar de la Renta to Lilly Pulitzer.

Waterlily Sun looks exquisite in front of all of my La Collection de Grasse perfumes, but I can only imagine how perfect two or three of these would look together on a hammered-metal gold tray…

Aerin Waterlily Sun perfume review photos

Aerin jade Waterlily Sun review photos

The scent: I fell immediately in love with both Waterlily Sun and Lilac Path ($110 USD/$125 CAD by Richard Herpin, which smells just like passing by a lush lilac bush in a garden), but Waterlily Sun was the one that I had to go back for.

For a lack of a better descriptor, Waterlily Sun ($110 USD/$125 CAD by Annie Buzantian, Master Perfumer) smells like sunshine. It’s crisp and very light, and doesn’t smell like any one thing or flower or perfume in particular — its scent is, honestly, encapsulated perfectly in its name and packaging.

The story - Waterlily Sun is inspired by Aerin Lauder’s trip to Monet’s garden in Giverny, France as a young girl. It “inspires serenity and calmness with a floral watery scent that leads the senses to a warm and peaceful place. Like sunlight reflecting on water.”

Listed notes - Sicilian Bergamot and Lush Dewy Greens / Waterlily and Jasmine Sambac / Musk

Aerin Waterlily Sun review Eau de Parfum

The bergamot in this makes Waterlily Sun’s opening very lemony, like the perfect cold lemonade on a hot summer day in the garden. It’s balanced out very nicely with some crisp green notes (I usually find “green” to be too mulch-y, but I love it here) and a base of musky florals.

Like all light, citrusy fragrances, Waterlily Sun fades long before dinner, but I love it nonetheless. It’s reminiscent of something like Fresh Citron de Vigne ($88 USD/CAD), but with its bergamot opening and jasmine sambac heart, it smells far, far less generic.

Aerin Waterlily Sun EdP review

The verdict?

Waterlily Sun smells the way a bright summer day makes you feel; it smells like nothing in particular other than happiness. It has just the right amount of sillage and tenacity for warm weather, and it’s the kind of scent that makes you spritz, sniff, and sigh.

As far as light, citrusy scents go, Waterlily Sun is in a class of its own. It manages to be transparent and pleasant without ever becoming boring (even after months), and it smells, somehow, both effortless and complex at once.

Give this one a sniff — you won’t regret it. And hey, while you’re there, check out Lilac Path, too.

Availability: $110 USD/$125 CAD for 1.7 oz at select Nordstrom, Sephora, and Holt Renfrew locations.

Keep reading for more photos! »

Leila Lou by Rosie Jane perfume roll-on review | Spring pears & summer loves

Friday, May 8, 2015

by rosie jane natural organic review

The product: by Rosie Jane Leila Lou perfume oil roll on

May has been, eight days in, a crazy month for me. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster of ups and downs and crying jags, but as it settles into itself, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to have been able to experience as much as I have this year and have still come out whole and happy on the other side.

While my fixation of the day right now is actually Osmia Organics Juniper Fire (it smells literally mind-blowingly sexy on my boyfriend*), it’s Leila Lou that’s gotten me through the month.

by rosie jane Leila Lou perfume oil review

Leila Lou opens with crisp pear on a sun-drenched bed of white flowers, and it sweeps over you like a calming wave of optimism. Blended from essential oils, the roll on is the main feature of the Leila Lou line, and it’s perfect for travelling with you through the day — it looks just as chic on a marble countertop as it does in a hand-cut leather purse.

That said, though, you’re not necessarily going to need this one to travel with you — I applied it around 2 PM to wear-test for time and could still smell it on my skin by 12 AM, ten hours later.

Notes: pear, jasmine, fresh cut grass

by Rosie Jane perfume review Leila Lou

Photographed here is the roll-on perfume oil, but by Rosie Jane also do an eau de parfum, body lotion, shower gel/bubble bath, and soy candle in the Leila Lou fragrance.

And honestly? I’d recommend this one in an ancillary rather than an eau de parfum — there’s just something about the way that the jasmine plays with the pear notes that would make it so divine as a candle or body lotion.

Leila Lou roll on perfume review

The verdict?

For an easy, beachy spring scent that’ll transition nicely into the summer, consider adding Leila Lou into your perfume arsenal. It’s pretty, affordable, and potent, and a total must-have for pear lovers.

(Of which I absolutely am one. When it comes to fragrances and body products, pear is probably my #1 weakness — but it’s almost impossible to find unless you get into silicone-y body products.)

Availability: $29 USD+ at by Rosie Jane, B.Glowing, and Beauty.com.

Keep reading! »

L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT review, photos | A gorgeous spring veil of iris

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Mother's Day review

The product: L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette

I was supposed to write about L’Occitane Roses et Reines for Mother’s Day this year. I was supposed to. That was the plan, and if I may say so myself, it was a good plan.

But then I was introduced to the newest member of La Collection de Grasse family, and all of my plans went out the window.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Collection de Grasse review

The story: This season, L’Occitane has brought irises back onto the fields of Grasse, using sustainable farming methods to grow this Tuscan flower in the heart of perfume country. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc pairs two different variations of irises to create a wonderfully light veil of spring freshness, bottled into lovely gold and blue-violet packaging.

“White iris from the Mediterranean contrast its evanescent sweetness with the intensity of the blue Iris pallida from Grasse.”   -L’Occitane

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc

The scent: I know I’ve said that L’Occitane Fleur d’Or & Acacia is my favourite from the line, but… I mean, this is gorgeous. It’s light and clean and really, really easy to wear, and it’s hard to overdo.

The brand says that this scent is “EVOCATIVE OF A halo of iridescent powder on a cheek flushed by the chill of morning,” and I have to say: they’re not that far off. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc isn’t really floral at all, and it feels very iridescent indeed; it opens with a crisp, sweet freshness and fades into something tart and woody that wears very close to the skin.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc review

My only complaint is that, as a really fresh-smelling Eau de Toilette, this one does fade quite quickly. But for something this fleetingly effervescent, I’m willing to make the trade.

TOP NOTES: Blackcurrant and citrus (orange blossom)

HEART NOTES: Iris, ylang-ylang, and peach

BASE NOTES: Iris, cedar, and white musk

L'Occitane Iris Bleu et Iris Blanc shower gel

Also new this season: Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc ancillaries (Body Milk, Shower Gel, and Perfumed Soap), which start at $8 CAD.

Additionally, look for new La Collection de Grasse hand creams; Jasmin & Bergamot, Néroli & Orchidée, and Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc will all be available for $12 CAD in lovely plastic packaging. (This is the L’Occitane formula with silicones, I’m afraid, but the new Roses et Reines hand cream is silicone-free, for those interested!)

L'Occitane La Collection de Grasse hand cream

The verdict?

Whether you’re looking for the perfect spring scent, you’re on the hunt for a happy, delicate fragrance to wear to the office, or you’re picking up a few treats for your mom this Mother’s Day, Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is one that you need to check out.

It’s very easy to wear and definitely not a “sexy” or edgy scent, but I think it’ll turn heads with its sheer, fruity-but-classy simplicity. You need this.

Availability: $75 CAD at L’Occitane boutiques and online beginning this May.

Keep reading! »

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral Solid Perfume review, photos

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral Solid Perfume review

The product: True Nature Botanicals Solid Perfume in Noble Floral

Over the past year, I’ve done my best to share some natural, niche, and just overall unexpected fragrances with you guys on theNotice. Today, that journey (can you really call it a journey?) continues, with an all-natural solid perfume from True Nature Botanicals, who split off from Marie Veronique Organics late last summer.

True Nature Botanicals Solid Perfume review - compact

The scent: Noble Floral lists main notes of rose, jasmine, and tuberose, but what struck me about it is that it doesn’t smell like your run of the mill floral perfume. It’s absolutely gorgeous; creamy and enveloping with a pepperiness that’s rare in florals.

Noble Floral wears very close to the skin, however, and it doesn’t last for long — I’d say only around 3-4 hours before it really starts to fade. If you have a lot of chemical sensitivities and you’ve struggled to find an all-natural perfume that doesn’t just smell like astringent leaves, however, then definitely try the (free) scent sampler that True Nature Botanicals offers. This one was my favourite from the bunch, but honestly, I really liked all three. 

True Nature Botanicals scent sampler - solid perfume review

True Nature Botanicals scent sampler

The formula: True Nature’s perfumes are all crafted from 100% natural ingredients (which are notorious for sitting close to the skin and fading quickly), and are presented in solid form, not spray.

The perfume discs are about the same size as an eyeshadow (3.5 cm in diameter), and are offered in both refill and compact versions. The compact is very small, but it’s solid metal, so it’s actually extremely heavy — which feels wonderfully luxe, but isn’t something I’d want to throw into my handbag!

Finally, these solid perfumes warn that they will stiffen up in cooler temperatures, but mine has stayed consistently soft through both the winter and spring (and trust me, our house is cold in the winter). Expect something with whipped-butter consistency instead of fridge-butter consistency, I guess?

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral review

The verdict?

The True Nature Solid Perfumes are definitely a luxury, but you could do far worse from an all-natural perfume. If you’re looking for something that wears close to the skin but is absolutely gorgeously blended (these would be perfect for an office environment), then give these a look!

(They’d also make a great Mother’s Day gift, if you’re thinking that far ahead.)

Availability: $95 USD at True Nature Botanicals (refills are $75 USD).

Keep reading! »

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