Tuesday Roundup Reviews on Friday (plus some random stuff)

Okay, so it’s Friday and I haven’t posted anything of substance this week. I have been horribly busy: the prom dress is done, save for some hand-sewing (look for pictures next week), and we’re having another international visitor this weekend so I’m cleaning the house. Eisenhower Fellowships is sending us a French financial guy named Pascal, and he’s a big Thomas Jefferson fan, so The CEO will be taking him around the University of Virginia and Monticello on Saturday. Don’t know what we’ll do on Sunday – I have a community chorus concert presenting Haydn’s “The Creation” Sunday afternoon and Monday evening, and I have a solo recitative (it’s the one that leads into The Heavens Are Telling, if you’re familiar), and The CEO has apparently given me his sniffles, so pray I don’t get any sicker between now and Sunday.

I’d love to write a review of The Hunger Games, both the book series and the movie (oooh, that Josh Hutcherson, such a cutie) but it will have to wait until I have time.

Taz spent his Christmas money on a new Nerf gun the other day – an N-Strike Longshot – and then Gaze spent his on a fully-automatic one called the N-Strike Stampede, which takes six D cells… I foresee that their cousin Curiosity may be in for an ambush the next time he visits. (Check out the Nerf website pictures here – these guys take their toy guns very, very seriously!

On to the mini-reviews:

Bond #9 Fire Island – this is the scent that was meant to smell of the classic French suntan lotion Ambre Solaire, and it does smell appropriately beachy. Jasmine, tuberose, that “solar musk,” and perhaps a bit of coconut. It doesn’t smell particularly perfumey, and I can see a certain type of customer really falling hard for this concoction. Really, what this reminds me of is Jennifer Aniston’s (in)famously not-perfumey perfume, except with a better grade of raw materials, and if you remember, I thought that was overpriced, so you better bet I think the Bond #9 is completely ridiculous on the price scale. I might like it better if I were more of a beach person, but I’m just not.

By Kilian Asian Tales collection: The other day, I received a lovely package from France with somebody else’s name above my address, and it seems that those lovely people at By Kilian have sent out preview samples of the latest releases (yay!) but somebody screwed up the mailing list (boo). Anyway, I was glad to see this nice little sample presentation explaining the idea behind each of these new scents.

By Kilian Bamboo Harmony – the description of this scent is “the olfactive impression of a subtle sip of white tea taken in the heart of a bamboo… a moment of spirituality.” I’m a little nonplussed at the idea of tea being spiritual, but hey, I’m not Japanese. One look at the notes list (bergamot, bigarade, neroli, white tea leaf, mimosa, spices, maté essence, fig leaf and oakmoss) and I knew that this one would just not suit me. I don’t really care for these pale green atmospheric unisex woody things, and I tend to hate fig leaf anyway. As far as these pale green atmospheric unisex woody things go, Bamboo Harmony isn’t bad. It smells nice. But like Hermes Jardin sur le Nil and Maison Martin Margiela Untitled, it bores me silly, and I suspect that I just don’t have the patience to smell Zen-like.

By Kilian Water Calligraphy – the packaging states, “Water Calligraphy is an olfactive impression of an aquatic flower sitting next to a pond of water lilies… a moment of delicacy.” I expected this one would be slightly more to my liking given its more floral character (grapefruit zest, reseda blossom, water lily, jasmine sambac, magnolia, cardamom, vetiver). I do like it. It smells nice. It is aquatic, but not in that heavily Calone-y way that we all seem to be sick of (and, really, what does that mean, an aquatic blossom next to water lilies?? water lilies are aquatic blossoms). But I also feel that I’ve smelled this, or something like it, many times before. Again, the raw materials smell somewhat natural, so it’s like the high-end version of something else.

Members of a Facebook perfume group were commenting the other day about these two that they are quite pleasant and also quite derivative. One person said they were “Kilian does Hermessences,” and someone else said they were “Kilian does Aqua Allegorias,” and my personal feeling is that they’re “Kilian does Jo Malones.” These are both very light, very spare and delicate, which is in keeping with the Asian Tales sensibility. But I find them uncompelling, and I’d like a little more character in my fragrances.

Photos from Fragrantica, except photo of the adorable Josh as Peeta Mellark from Yahoo Movies.

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15 thoughts on “Tuesday Roundup Reviews on Friday (plus some random stuff)”

  1. I can relate to the not-posting: The Wild Things are off for the week, and trying to find a quiet time to write a post… not happening. You’d think that after all these years I’d learn, but I still make giant mental lists of things I’m going to accomplish despite the fact they’re home. And starting to fight with each other.

    Taz and Gaze are boys after my own heart; not only are Nerf guns awesome, but the fact they hung on to Christmas money until April is impressive. I finally spent my money from my grandparents this week as well, a pre-reformulation bottle of Al’O.

    Glad to hear the Bonds and By Kilians aren’t breeding any lemmings.

    1. Oh, I know… our school district only had Good Friday and Easter Monday off, and it was still nuts around here. You can’t get anything done with the kids underfoot.

      And as I type this response, Taz and Gaze are home from school and setting up tests, Mythbusters style, for firing speed and accuracy for the Stampede, the way they did yesterday for the Longshot. They crack me up.

  2. My By Kilian samples came on Monday with a different name on the package. My husband was telling me not to open it as if someone was watching and would haul me off to jail. I told him I knew what it was and felt entitled since it was my birthday. He was laughing because I was soooo excited. Have tried the Bamboo Harmony and lost my enthusiasm as it was headachesville for me. My skin seems to really hate fig!

    I had been lemming Back to Black for months. Didn’t ask for it for Christmas and am glad I didn’t ask for it for my birthday, because all of a sudden last week it was all cat pee on me. Don’t know if it’s my wacko menopause hormones or what.
    On a positive note I got a smart phone for my birthday and am finally 4G!

    My daughter and son and his two buddies went through a Nerf gun phase two years ago which was a lot of fun except for the styrofoam bullets being all over the basement and grass. Shame about the 6 D cells.

    1. I’m glad you got your Kilian samples! It is exciting to get that little package with the French postmark, isn’t it? I do not like fig leaf, though I usually do okay with the fruit, if it’s fruit only. Ehh. There’s other things to love.

      I don’t think I liked Back to Black much, and I can’t remember why. Shame to have liked it for a long time and then discovered that you don’t, but good that you found out before buying. Kilians are SO spendy.

      I don’t mind the Nerf guns; my rule is that I’ll tell the kids once – ONCE – to pick up the bullets, and if they haven’t done it in ten minutes, I confiscate them. HA. I’ve threatened to throw them away, too, but haven’t had to do that.

  3. I don’t have the patience for pale green atmospheric woody things either. Give me something with some heft! If I’m paying a lot of money I expect character, sillage and tenacity. Usually. Summer colognes are an exception.

    I did take a risk blind by a bottle of Aqua Allegoria Flora Nymphea (that’t the orange blossom and honey one) that Birgit (Olfactoria) didn’t need, and was pleasantly surprised. It has much more presence than I expected. I was expecting a flighty little thing that I could share with my daughter. She doesn’t like it, but I do. Tenacity is not brilliant, but it is lovely to mooch around in on a summer evening before bed.

    1. I agree – I like stuff that smells like Proper Perfume. Especially for that kind of cashola!

      Flora Nymphea is nice. I bought a little set of AA minis while on vacation last year, and parcelled them out to family members. My mother, who likes “clean and soapy,” was really pleased with FN, and it does stick around more than I’d thought it would.

  4. I think I’d probably like Fire Island, but I’m rolling my eyes at the price.

    I have liked the Kilians more than I thought – I would have never tried them without the free samples he’s sending – and I really wonder how I’ll find the Asian tales. They haven’t showed up at my stoop yet. Honestly, Kilian prices for barely there scents?? uhm.

    On the nerf guns tip, my fiance has a younger brother who’s now 8. The first time he brought me home for Thanksgiving (this would have been 2010), the first that happened to me up.on entering his dad’s home was being zapped with a Nerf dart. yeah. LOL

    1. Oh, I should have said about those By Kilians: for little wispy things, they certainly LAST for hours. They just don’t radiate.

      Yeah, 8-year-olds don’t really have a good sense of who’s fair game and who’s not. My boys have the rule that they Do Not Shoot anyone who doesn’t have a Nerf gun themselves, and that keeps the mayhem manageable.

  5. Bamboo Harmony sounds right up my alley, however the Killians are priced outside what I’m willing to pay, so I’ll stick with my Bvlgari teas.

    Hunger Games – I haven’t been able to bring myself to read the series even though many people whose opinions I respect have raved about them. I just can’t get past the idea of children killing children. Yes, I know that’s not the point of these stories, but it just makes me shudder. Still, I’d like to read your review.

    1. Oh, yes – stick with the Bvlgaris. I kinda sorta liked The’ Rouge, but the other two bored me, so you see they’re just not my thing.

      I do think it is an excellent series, though I keep having questions, mostly of the I-need-more-details-sort, and not getting them answered. But I will say that much like the Harry Potter series, I got to the last book and realized that it is a much more simple story than it seemed at the beginning, when the reader is caught up in the created-world. That’s an element I just love about fantasy novels, I admit – if the book can take me to another world and then teach me something about human nature, it’s a success. I think I really must write some reviews.

  6. Now as you know, I *do* care for “these pale green atmospheric unisex woody things”, but loved your description of them, and understand how anyone might not, haha!

    I had not heard of these watery offerings, but “spare, delicate, Asian sensibility stuff” should have my name on it really, Oolong Infini-style?

    : – )

    1. I know quite a few people are fond of those pale green thingies! As these go, they’re very nice, they’re just not my style. “Spare and delicate” might suit you quite well.

  7. Just got these in today and I’m wearing the green woody atmospheric thing. My first impression is not so good. And I do see this as Kilian does Jo Malone (which sounds bad now that I think of it, they’re both real people too…)With the green woody atmospheric thing, I’m getting a hodge podge of the Bvlgari Thé Scents – white, green, rouge. If I want to smell like abstract-unisex-atmospheric-Zen inducing-tea scents, I’ll just stick with the big ‘ole bottle of Thé Rouge I have (which seems more interesting at this stage).

    1. I thought they were perfectly nice and not very exciting. Which is exactly what I thought about the Bvlgari The’ scents, as well. Just not my thing.

      (OOH, snap – I never thought of that particular phrase re: Kilian and Jo being um, rude, but it sure is… Sorry!)

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