May 20th, 2013

Fragrances

I seem to have been on a bit of a perfume kick lately. Normally I buy a ton of samples of Black Phoenix, as they're the ones that mostly sit well on my skin, and I ordered 18 imps last month and only four were made of win. All the others smelled like rotting leaves that had been stuff down the throat of a zombie half buried in foisty manure.

In other words, they smelled absolutely gross on me, especially Nosferatu, which is a shame as I was dying for that one to suit me. So basically I didn't have a fragrance for Collectormania 19 this weekend, and this led me to hunting the net frantically, looking for something that sounded nice. My signature scent used to be Versace Red Jeans and I love, love, loved it. It was the first thing I did when I woke up. Forget putting clothes on or brushing teeth etc.

Oh no.

I grabbed my bottle of Red Jeans and on it went!

Thing is, my tastes now are so very different from what they used to be when I was in my mid teens/early twenties. I used to adore the lighter, more airy fragrances. You know, the ones that mix cute and sweet with fun in the sun. Youthful and feminine are the right words, I think. The scents I used were always pretty and gave the image of a young woman chasing butterflies through a field full of daisies and daffodils.

My tastes are the exact opposite now that I'm approaching my mid-30's. I want some oriental notes with a bit of spice, and a little bit of green, and a bit of smoke. I love the perfumes that are a little heady, a little more mature, I think is what I'm trying to say. Instead of chasing butterflies through a beautiful lush field, I want to be in a jazz bar that's hidden down a little side street, far from the madding crowd, where you can just listen to some great music with a glass of scotch.

With that mind, off I went out into the big world known as the internet to do a spot of research. I always like to dive on in there when it comes to fragrances, which isn't the most sensible way to go about finding one that suits you, especially when they're as expensive as Guerlain, but no matter.

The only company bar Versace and Bpal that I've ever used is Guerlain, as their fragrances have always been made of win for me, and so that's the first place I went too. There were more than I remembered! It was like being dropped into a playground, a sweet shop, and an arcade all at once!

It took a couple of days to go through them all and get the list of the base notes, heart notes etc. The one that sounded lush is the one that would have suited me the least, which is just downright typical. Cherry notes really don't agree with me at all. They're okay when wet, but it's a totally different story on the dry down. They go extremely musky and almost powdery, and it's far too heavy for my skin. There were other red berries in it, too, plus black tea and Bulgarian rose, which made La Petite Robe Noire a massive no-no.

Another one I looked at was Samsara, and I've had personal experience with this. This is largely oriental, what with the jasmine, iris, tonka bean, and sandalwood. It's a very warm fragrance with a hint of spice, and something I would sell my soul for. The only problem with it is I associate Samsara with an old acquaintance of mine who used this like there was no tomorrow, and she used to absolutely wreak of it.

That's the only problem with perfumes. People always associate smells with people and places, and sometimes those experiences can wholly put off a person from trying a fragrance as it makes them cringe. Samsara does that for me, which meant this was also off the list.

Next up was Insolence. I used to use this when I ran out of Red Jeans! It's quite a pretty scent that turns into Parma Violets on me, which puts it in the category of cute and sweet, and that makes it yet another no LOL

I went through all of them one by one, jotting notes down in a Word document and comparing them online until I realised that, in order to get the sort of fragrance I wanted, I would have to step outside my comfort zone. This is something I hate doing as it brings about changes and I hate changes! They mess up the routines I've set for myself and then everything goes haywire and becomes chaotic!

I started to look at the more classic fragrances Guerlain offered, like Champs Elysee, Mitsouko, L' Heure Bleue, Shalimar, Jicky, Vol de Nuit, Chamade, and Nahema.

I'd already made one change and was not about to make another, so I went with the notes I knew suited me best, which left me with three choices. Champs Elysees, Mitsouko, and Shalimar.

Champs Elysees has notes of Mimosa Leaves, Rose Petals, Cassis Berry, Almond Blossom, and Hibiscus Seed. There seems to be other notes stashed away in there, too. A bit of cinnamon appears to be a bottom note, with some other florals, and a just the tiniest hint of blackcurrent. Those are followed up by melon and what reminds me of forest berries.

Champs Elysees has ingredients that suit me well. Hibiscus and almonds are sure fire winners for me, but the rest of the ingredients made me arch an eyebrow. It sounded so very, very floral, and overwhelmingly feminine. I put it on the Hell No list!

Until, that was, my pressing of the Add To Cart button on Amazon! I'll put a review of it up after a few more uses of it, as I can't quite explain what it is. Well, I could give a review, I suppose, but it would be a jumbled mass of words featuring hoards of debutantes dressed in tons of pink organza waltzing into the room, squealing and giggling their way through a discussion over which suitor has the most money and best connections.

I think I'll myself the headache of writing that and save you from having to read that! I plan on using Champs Elysees this Friday as I'm travelling to Milton Keynes for Collectormania 19. Since I'm not quite certain if it works with me or not, I'm going to use being on a coach to my advantage by exposing a bunch of strangers to this fragrance!

Mitsouko could not be more different, and since this is the one that arrived this morning, I'll just put a review up in half hour or so. For now, I'll just stick with a quick overview.

Anisic rose, oak, vetiver, peach, jasmine, spices, and that's all topped off with some sharp green moss. It sounded so complex, as the ingredients are so diverse, and sounds as though they should not complement each other. The flowers and the fruit, the wood and spices... Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Shalimar is a tried and tested classic. Some people say that Shalimar is the epitome of female. Not feminine, but female, and all of the sexyness that comes with being a female. The top note of Shalimar is bergamot, the middle notes (also known as the heart notes) are iris and opopanax, and the base note is vanilla. Other ingredients to be found are jasmine, lemon, rose, tonka bean, and incense.

It came across to me as being almost too complicated, as there is a lot going on in Shalimar. Floral, citrus, woodsy, and sweetness. All of that stored into a small glass bottle. I want to try this as much as I don't! The combination of incense and rose never ends well for me, but those two have never been mixed with so many other and varied ingredients like Shalimar.

I'd made my choice without even realising it and I bought Champs Elysees, with which I am exceedingly happy. It might be quite a feminine and 'pink' fragrance, but there's a sort of sharpness to it that adds a little something extra, and that is what makes Champs Elysees what it is.

I didn't intend on buying another fragrance until I came across a site that had a bottle of Mitsouko with 45% off, and more importantly, it was the proper EDP, which is eau de parfum. EDP is much, much better than EDT, eau de toilette. EDT often smells a lot more of chemicals than it does the ingredients.

So, when one comes across 60ml's of not only a classic Guerlain, but 60ml's of classic Guerlain EDP for £28, then one buys it as quick as one can!

I now have two gorgeous perfumes made entirely of win to choose from, and I want to hug myself because of it.