Top 20 Bestselling Women’s Fragrances of 2011 in the US, part I of the mini-reviews

I went malling this week! Here’s the first installment of mini-reviews for the Top 20 Bestselling Women’s Fragrances in the US for 2011.  (Thanks again for the push, Ari.)  All images are from Fragrantica.

Chanel No. 5 – I have a long history of familiarity with No. 5, and reviewed the parfum here.  I have been wont to grab a spritz or two from the tester when I breeze through the mall (it’s not often, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). I tried the EdP last summer and was surprised that I did not like it much; there’s an odd plasticky sort of accord in the drydown that seems out of place and just plain wrong. In Perfumes: The Guide, Luca Turin says that the EdP composition contains Polysantol, described as “the oily and prodigiously durable sandalwood drydown of Samsara.” (I didn’t mind Samsara so much, but I do admit that it smelled cheap to me, which I declare to be unforgivable in a Guerlain.) My store doesn’t have a parfum tester, so I make do with the EdT, which is still lovely and instantly identifiable as No. 5. I begin to wonder whether so many people continue to buy it because it is a) Chanel, the epitome of “classy” to so many Americans, b) despite reformulation, still smells mostly like itself, thus c) recognizable. No. 5 still has its furious whirlwind of soapy-whooshy aldehydes, and its golden-glow floral heart of rose, jasmine and ylang. It’s still worth wearing.

Coco Mademoiselle – this, as regular readers might remember, is the other fragrance, besides Dune, that my younger sister has forever banned me from wearing because she’s claimed it as hers. What she hadn’t realized is that her Coco Mlle is safe from me: I don’t like it. I smell it on a lot of women our age (30s and 40s) in this area, and I don’t like it on them, and I sure don’t like it on me. It’s a patchouli bomb on me, with a sharp screechiness to the topnotes and a muddy indistinctness to the floral notes. I wore it every day for about two weeks in 2011, connecting with a character I was writing whose signature scent it was. (Would it surprise you to find that I took an intense dislike to the character and stalled out on writing her story?) Continue reading Top 20 Bestselling Women’s Fragrances of 2011 in the US, part I of the mini-reviews


Tuesday Roundup: Perfume mini-reviews, Jan. 23, 2012

Onorio and Ruben from charliellewellin at Flickr, some rights reserved
Onorio and Ruben from charliellewellin at Flickr, some rights reserved

Got several indie reviews for you: DSH and CocoaPink, plus a Montale. Not everything on the DSH website is going to suit everybody – but there’s certain to be something for everyone. I don’t do well with the heavy balsamics, but I hear that for those who love such things, Dawn’s are regarded as being absolutely wonderful. And all-naturals tend to up and flit off me after about half an hour, but her Rose Vert is gorgeous and sticks around for hours. I miss the duplicates of classic scents (they’re discontinued and mostly out of stock), but Dawn has begun to create several vintage-inspired scents that are getting a lot of love on the perfumista front: Pandora, Vert pour Madame, Mirabella.

I first heard of CocoaPink via Annemarie at Beauty on the Outside – she likes the Chergui dupe. The scent list is skewed (drastically) to the sweet side, and some of the names are really silly, but I liked a couple of the offerings. The company seems more focused on body products than straight-up perfume, and the fragrances are not all that terribly complex, but the body butter is really nice and rich, and it’s a bargain for strongly scented, emollient body butter if you like sweet stuff.

DSH Perfumes Fleurs d’Oranger – inspired to test more orange blossom scents after the success of the Serge Lutens fragrance and By Kilian Sweet Redemption, as well as the orange blossom part of Elie Saab, I ordered a sample of Dawn’s Fd’O from her Les Rouges line of Beaux Arts Parfums. It’s a pretty, orange-flavored orange blossom with wafts of neroli, veering soapy like most orange-blossom fragrances on me, but for a shorter period of time. It’s not soapy for long, and eventually pulls up a really pretty beeswax-vanilla base. Lasts quite well.   Very lovely, and if you liked Sweet Redemption, you might want to try this one.

Continue reading Tuesday Roundup: Perfume mini-reviews, Jan. 23, 2012


Tuesday Roundup: Fragrance mini-reviews, January 17, 2011

Onorio and Ruben

Sorry for the delay in posting – I had to give the orphan calf Sammy a bottle this morning, and then I had to go pick up a crucial resource for Bookworm’s science fair project (boy, is she gonna owe me!  I’m going to demand a clean room. And hugs).

Carolina Herrera – I ought to have liked this. You know me and my tuberose lust – I saved the sample for a year or so just so I could do a review for the Tuberose Series. And this is really gorgeous for the first ten minutes: a full-blown sunny oh-baby tuberose-jasmine combination, after which it goes soapy and sour for the next three hours. After three miserable test wearings, I have Officially Given Up on this one.

Bottega Veneta – I applaud the idea of a mainstream perfume, available in department stores, not smelling like candy or froot* or frooty candy or the doofiest, lowest-common-denominator mall juice. I applaud the idea of a pleasant, wearable leather scent for grown women. I further applaud the advertising campaign not showing naked women writhing in pseudo-sexual bliss, but focusing on a fully-dressed woman alone in a lovely landscape.

Continue reading Tuesday Roundup: Fragrance mini-reviews, January 17, 2011