Saturday, December 5, 2009

Smells and junk

So after going a bit crazy buying loads of fragrance samples online, I haven't been able to test all that many of them properly until now. First there was the stupid heatwave - perfume always goes weird and distorted on me when it's really hot. Then I was sick for a week and couldn't smell a damn thing. It's only in the last couple of days I've been able to get a whiff of anything I've put on my wrist.

I have been curious to try some Jo Malone fragrances for a while now, because the ones I had heard about had scents I love - vanilla, nutmeg (I often stand in my kitchen sniffing whole nutmeg from the jar on my shelf), black vetyver (okay, I don't know what that is, but doesn't it sound mysterious and slinky?). I have to say I'm glad I bought samples from The Perfumed Court before shelling out for a full bottle. They have absolutely no staying power. Within an hour, they were gone. As for the fragrances themselves, they're quite nice, but nothing POW!. I tried Vanilla and Anise (doesn't smell like vanilla, very faint trace of anise, just your bog-standard nice-but-not-startling perfume, really), Nutmeg and Ginger (both scents quite faint and only detectable for about ten minutes), and Black Vetyver Cafe (meh).

I also bought some Miller Harris perfumes. I've already talked about Vetiver Bourbon, which turned out to be a men's fragrance (how on earth did I miss that?). From the half-dozen or so I received, I have so far had a proper run at the following:

L'Air de Rien: This is a very earthy, musky scent. And I mean musky in its true sweaty-people-having-just-done-the-sexuals-in-a-hot-room sense, not that froofy Body Shop White Musk. It's kind of dirty, to be honest. I still don't really know whether I like it or not, but I certainly find it interesting. It's not for the faint-hearted, that's for sure. If you turn up to work wearing this, people will stare suspiciously at you as though you've just rocked in from the night before, stilettoes in hand and all panda-eyes. Best used when you want to give the impression that you put out without bothering about dinner.

Noix de Tubéreuse: This is so, so pretty. There's not really much more I can say about it. It smells exactly like you'd expect it to by the name - floral and green. I really like it, and I'd probably buy a full bottle of it if I could afford to lash out $170AUD+ on a fragrance at the moment. It's got great staying power, too.

A few weeks ago I received about a dozen or so samples from Wiggle Perfume, and had a little bit of a squeal about Little 5, as well as eventually getting around to mentioning some others. Since then I've dabbled with a few more, and I'm surprised by how many I like. I bought that many samples because I expected to like maybe two or three. There are probably about two thirds I'd happily buy in bigger sizes.

Mostly Magnolia: I don't have a huge interest in ever going to America - mostly because I don't have a huge interest in travel - but if I ever did go there, the first place I'd want to go is Savannah, Georgia, thanks to reading Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil years ago. I have this (possibly completely wrong) image of beautiful old houses, green gardens overflowing with flowers and vines, people sitting on their verandahs drinking mint juleps, and a scent in the air of magnolia. If I had a garden, I'd have a magnolia tree - I just love that smell so much, and it is most heavenly after the rain. That's what this fragrance makes me think of. It's lush and gorgeous, and perfect for the Summer. 

Theda: I tried this because although I don't like old-timey silent movies, I love old-timey silent movie actresses. They always look so shifty and dirty, in a good way. I wore this a few weeks ago and really liked it, though I couldn't put my finger on any particular note. It was just a really nice fragrance that I kept sniffing through the day. I have since worn it a second time, and I like it even more, though I still can't detect any particular notes. It could be the cold I am still not quite over, or it could just be that I know about as much about perfume as I know about wine - not much at all, but I knows what I likes. And I likes this a lot. It's on my list of future full-size purchases.

Maggie: When I Googled for reviews of Wiggle Perfumes before I bought my first lot of samples, this was the one that was mentioned favourably most often. And it's also the one that got the most oohs and aahs and "Oooh, that's lovely!"s when I wore it to work. It seems to be a universally-liked fragrance. It's mostly floral (a gentle rose), but with a distinct note of lemon and a lighter, harder-to-catch note of sugar. I would not have thought lemon and roses would be particularly good together, but it works beautifully.

Zooey: I tried this one out last night. The first thing Noodle Arms said was, "Smells like pencil shavings", and then tried to get me to bite into a Jelly Belly Beanboozled Bean to prove her point (I'm not falling for that one - I know she's trying to slip that vomit-flavoured one in there!). My first impression was one of those car air freshener things. We then looked it up and found it has notes of chypre and pine, so we were both right. At first, I didn't think I liked this at all, but as it wore down, it became more interesting. It's not really me - I'm not that big on the woody family, but it's a pleasant fragrance, and could probably be worn by either men or women.

Having been so pleased with my first lot of samples from Wiggle, I ordered 9 more, and three 5ml sizes of the first few I liked - Mostly Magnolia, Little 5, and Du Bois. They took just over a week to get to me, which I had not expected at all, given that I ordered the week of Thanksgiving. So not only does this lady make some really lovely perfumes, her customer service is just superb. Thumbs up!

Phew. That went on longer than I had intended, and I only touched on a few of the ones I wanted to talk about, so I guess there will be another post along these lines in the next few days. I have four weeks off (woo hoo!), so plenty of time to do some testing and playing and reviewing and writing. I just got a warm 88 palette from Coastal Scents this week also, so I'll be talking about that when I've had a proper crack at it.

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