Aftelier Amber – So, okay, this is perfumery amber, all rich and sweet and syrupy. What else is there to say about it? It’s so average that I’ve tested it three times, thinking, “There must be something I’m missing here.” Nope.
Aftelier Lumiere – lemon plus Pine-Sol. Hideous. I am not a big fan of whatever variety of frankincense could be described as “sour” or “lemony,” however expensive it may be, so of course I hate this. Possibly if you like L’Artisan’s Passage d’Enfer, you may get on with this kind of thing.
Jo Malone Peony and Moss – A note, first: now that the Jo Malone line is run by Estee Lauder, JM can use the “white moss” material used in EL Private Collection Jasmine & White Moss, which is apparently IFRA-compliant. I have trouble with the Lauder base, but so far have not noticed issues with Jo Malone fragrances, and I don’t know if that’s because the JM samples I’ve been testing predate the Lauder takeover, or whether Lauder has not messed with the JM formulae. This is a new fragrance (limited edition), so I’m thinking that Lauder isn’t using its regular base in the Jo Malones.
On to the fragrance: I like perfumery peony. It doesn’t smell much like real peony, which might be my favorite fragrant flower of all time (Sarah Bernhardt, please), but it’s nice. At times it can veer a little synthetic, a little high-pitched… but here, there’s enough mossy material to keep it out of perky-cheerleader range. Perfect for attending a summer tea party in a floral dress, and since I believe in tea parties and floral dresses, this sort of thing is just up my alley. If “summer tea party” made you snort, Peony and Moss will too. I’m not sure I need a bottle, since my summer-tea-party-fragrance niche is pretty full already, but I really like it. (Now, to go schedule a summer tea party of my own…)
Creed Spring Flower – This is a nice simple fruity-floral, just pretty and not much else. I can tell that there are some natural florals in here (rose, jasmine), and if I’d run across this five years or so ago, I might have fallen hard for it. These days, having become conversant with greater things, it provokes only a yawn. It’s competent but unexciting, and if I’m going to shell out for a bottle this expensive, it had better excite me.
Floris Madonna of the Almonds – essentially, this is a cologne-structure thing, all citrus and spice underlaid with a pretty, almond-sandalwood base. I like the almonds very, very much, but the cologne part bores me. I’d wear this in the summer if I had a bottle, but my summer needs are pretty much covered (see Peony & Moss, above) so I don’t think I’ll be getting any.