2014 summer fragrance picks

On July 18, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

It’s often not mentioned, as it doesn’t show up in photos, but I’m nearly always wearing some perfume or another. Or, one way or another, I smell like something in addition to smelling like myself. Something good.

Here are the fragrances I’ve been reaching for so far this summer.

IMG_7192

 Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine – Literally, ‘blood orange’. A gorgeous orange scent with the bitter and acidic elements elegantly balanced with a mix of bright florals. Nothing overly sweet, cloying, or synthetic about it. It smells…like sunshine. A wonderful, unusual summer citrus. Unisex.

Guerlain Vetiver – OK, so I’ve mentioned this numerous times, but this is a gold standard vetiver, and one that smells great on many people in many contexts, in every season…and especially in summer. Leans a bit masculine, but in a way that makes me appreciate it all the more on a woman.

Guerlain Homme – I got this…must be 6 years ago now? I haven’t stopped liking it one bit. Smells like a mojito that is wearing cologne. Awesome. Younger guys, I would especially like to smell this on you. [Older guys, you could be potentially devastating in the Guerlain Vetiver, give it a sniff.]

Clarins Eau Dynamisante – Lemony and herbal, very light and unassuming. I’ve reviewed this before. Perfect to spritz on post-shower, like a luxe, actually appealing body spray.

The Body Shop’s Love Etc. – Smells like grass and popcorn, what more do you want for summer? Master perfumer Dominique Ropion did the mixing, so the blend is surprising and sweet, on the girlish side in a playful, innocent way.

Bulgari Pour HommeGrapefruit of the gods. Many summer fragrance lists plug citrus but this most often means lemon. Lemon is, for me, the most difficult of the citruses, the one most often disappointing in a fragrance. The one most likely to smell like pez. Or Pledge. Enough of lemon. Give me grapefruit, orange, and lime. I don’t know that I can call this my favorite fragrance—it is too difficult, and too unnecessary to choose such a thing—but I can say that when I am wearing it, I love to be wearing it.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Body Oil Spray – Smells like the beach, in the best way. Or like the way you wish suntan lotion smelled. No longer available in this form, evidently, but the eau fraîche skinscent is close, and also lovely, as is the body cream.  [Not pictured because I forgot, bafflingly.]

I have a few samples from the extraordinary Italian brand Profumum that I am loving, too, and will have to tell you about them as well. I got a handful to try and they are nearly all stunning for summer.

 

rough day?

On March 12, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Some days are harder than others (I don’t know if you will have noticed, but some hours are just awful), and on those days I try to give myself something to anticipate and and enjoy.

Something like…

a face mask

IMG_2021

Maybe a clay mask or one of these Korean paper masks I’ve been enjoying lately. I go for hydrating, detoxing, or brightening ones. Really enjoyed this mask overview from Lisa Eldridge, which has several good recommendations.

take-out indulgence

Indian or Thai or maybe pizza. I rarely eat out or get take-out, so this feels like a personal luxury even when inexpensive. Alternatively, cooking something semi-elaborate that I really want, like Indian or Thai or pizza.

special pajamas

IMG_2035

This is a lovely slip from Myla London, the candle is Feu de Bois from Lafco, the perfume is Bulgari pour homme

You know, the special ones. Donned early. Possibly I also put on perfume or light a candle, and use the fancy moisturizer. [If I had a bathtub, a bath would be on this list. One day I will have a bathtub.]

a cookie

cooookiiieeee

cartoons

There are some excellent cartoons out there (umm, Archer…). Alternatively, really bad movies. Alternatively, Tomb Raider or Jurassic Park.

trying on lipstick

You know, put it on…consider it….make faces…take it off again…put another one on.

IMG_2089IMG_2057
IMG_2052
I wouldn’t usually have a camera. This is a questionable reenactment.

It’s soothing. It’s constructive. Everybody does this, right?

reading an old favorite

IMG_2025

There are a lot more.

There is always a pile of new books to be read and an endless list of the unread beyond that, many of which I truly hope to get to. It can feel indulgent, then, to return to old favorites, as I do time and again.

giving permission

That is, I give myself permission to get something I’ve wanted but, for whatever reason (it may not even be expensive), couldn’t quite justify getting. This is saved for those days when I feel I’ve faced my trials admirably (not uniformly the case), or when life seems especially unjust, especially rife with deprivation. This might be an object, a tool, a luxury food or beverage, anything. This strategy must not be abused (this strategy is occasionally abused).

smell this: Bulgari Black

On September 28, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

There is nothing quite like Bulgari Black. In the world of fragrances you can usually find derivatives or outright copies here and there but in the case of Black, there is nothing remotely close.

IMG_6137

It’s particularly known for looking like a hockey puck.IMG_6136

Composed by the brilliant Annick Menardo (Hugo Boss Bottled, Lolita Lempicka, Diesel Fuel for Life pour homme, Body Kouros, Dior’s Bois D’Argent and Hypnotic Poison), the notes have almost no evolution on the skin. It smells, from beginning to end, of sweet leather and hot pavement (burning rubber). The sweetness seems to rise out of the richness of leather, which is to me inherently sweet, or can tip over into sweetness very easily, deepened with amber, vanilla, and jasmine. This blends with a smoky tea note, and this tea thread somehow comes together to evoke the unmistakable smell of rubber. It sounds bizarre, and it is, but mostly because it smells so strange while also smelling so good.

I consider this truly unisex. I can see how the sweetness might be too sweet for any given man (but overcome this thought, men, and please try it, particularly if you are drawn to leather. I find it especially captivating for a man, precisely because of this slight sweetness), and the rubber might be too smoky for any given woman. This [like anything] is for anyone who loves it.

I suggest wearing it with a leather jacket.

smell this: Bulgari pour Homme

On September 15, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

 

IMG_6129

OK, so Vétiver Tonka is a top favorite, and Guerlain Vétiver never lets me down, and we haven’t even talked about Chanel Sycomore yet…but Bulgari pour Homme is my favorite, too.

Bulgari pour Homme smells like the grapefruit of the gods. This is a bright, ripe (sweet) citrus blended with a soft darjeeling-like tea note. The notes list bergamot and orange blossom, but I get grapefruit and more grapefruit. The base is noted as amber and musk, but to my nose neither of these elements translates directly. They serve instead to make sweet notes feel sweeter and to make the overall effect more sumptuous.

Bulgari pour Homme Extrême smells similar but with a bit more of the green, bitter aspect of the pith allowed to come through, and with better lasting power (the regular pour Homme is too weak for some but – as with Vétiver Tonka – if I like the scent enough, I’ll just spray more). Extrême could be seen as the more conventionally masculine of the two, and is the one I would recommend those who prefer a masculine style to smell first. I like to wear both at once, the sweetness of one balancing the bitterness of the other and vice versa.

These are some seriously voluptuous citruses, and you can completely ignore the ‘pour homme’ bit if you like. I recommend that course.

on the balcony

On April 16, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

One of the first truly nice days this year. Finally inspired to wear something not entirely unworthy of documentation.

IMG_3020-mod

Banana Republic tank, American Apparel bandeau (ruched front has a lumpy effect I realize from the photo…making a mental note), Free People jeans (thrifted), Black Rivet leather jacket, Spektre sunglasses (remember these?). On the lips: Revlon Kissable Balmstain in Lovesick.

Are you loving these sunglasses as much as I am?

IMG_3032-mod

Scent of the day: Bulgari Black. So perfect with a leather jacket. Smells like leather and hot tar – great on anyone, as far as my nose is concerned, especially in the summer.

Hope it’s nice where you are.

x

Pages:12»