MIU MIU for kitty-catting around

It wasn’t hard to pick the next sample. Red and turquoise look so good together:

MIUMIUInside

There’s something I really like about this scent. Something familiar and a little retro. Like a pleasant hint of vintage avon-solid perfume.  But where would I wear this?

Luckily, in my recent research, I’ve found that some fragrance videos are more instructive, like this one:

You know how sometimes you’re shopping with friends and someone will come out of the dressing room with some blouse on and y’all will be like, “oh that’s cute, that would be good for like walking around”?  Yeah we all need a story for something. We need to visualize ourselves using beautiful things even if it is just for walking around. MIU MIU perfume would be good for playing “kitty” and rolling around on an area rug.

I consider MIU MIU the high-fash brand of the high fashion people that consider themselves quirky so I feel hip and validated that I like this fragrance.

Sephora writes this about MIU MIU:

With Miu Miu, nothing is ever exactly what it seems because the codes of real and artificial, fantasy and reality, classic and modern, are always twisted and reworked. There is a coy, mischievous quality to everything in the brand; it flirts with, and upsets, expectations

MIU MIU FragranceL

Fragrance Family: Fresh

Scent Type: Fresh Florals

Key Notes: Lily of the Valley, Akigalawood, Sandalwood

Miu Miu Eau de Parfum starts with an elegant, sensual floral—lily of the valley—composed of real jasmine, real rose absolute, and synthetic green notes. The soft, fresh, ingénue scent is set against a deep earth-toned background: the wood and pepper of akigalawood, an extract of patchouli. The akigalawood adds a rich, brooding mystery to the subtle sparkle of the floral. The surprising combination feels natural and timeless—flower and earth—but the effect created by the multifaceted process is utterly contemporary.  

Jasmine! Lily of the Valley! I knew it.

Here’s where I confess my love of lily of the valley scented dusting powder.  I’ve been meaning to do a couple posts on things I think don’t stink. Things I really like smelling and here’s my chance to introduce the spin-off:  DUSTING POWDER.

If you aren’t into dusting powders that’s ok. They aren’t for everyone. You may not have things or body parts that need dusting. Or maybe you live in the desert.

I’ve long been a fan of Lush’s Silky Underwear, but my budget brand is currently Taylor of London:

LilyValleyDustingPowder

You have to be secure to wear Lily of the Valley.  Wearing dusting powder is twisting a re-working an age-old retirement home favorite.

Finding ways to make your mark in the world. One timeless fragrance at a time.

Eighth Sample Breakdown

Terms and other things learned:

Akigalawood: Akigalawood is a perfume note which was fractionated from patchouli oil and is used by Givaudan. Its odor is described as woody, spicy and floral.

Lily of the Valley: green floral with a clean and bright profile, sweetish jasmine-like without the indolic nuance of the latter when used with other florals

Things to work on: 

  1. Area rug rolling
  2. Wearing more red and turquoise together
  3. Flirting with and upsetting expectations  – just like Miu Miu

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:

I took a couple tests this week to do copyrighting and ghost writing and confirmed that I need to brush up on my grammar skills and that I might not make a good dating site profile ghostwriter.

The evening ended with a really great lightening storm.  Was it the fragrance? One doesn’t know. 

Websites discovered:

Parfumo

Replica: Smells like somewhere I used to know

The sample card for Replica: Flower Market says: Reproduction of familiar scents and moments of varying locations and periods.

ReplicaFRONT

I’m already interested. I stared this blog to not only use up my fragrance samples, but to examine topics like scent memory and scent inspiration (and of course the use of ad-speak and advertising to define femininity) maybe even scent therapy. Anything to keep the ol’ nose and brain busy during these wacky times.

The front of card looks more like a report. It has a photo of a flower market and info in typewriter font. It’s saying, “should you choose to accept this mission….”

Originally: Flower Market

Provenance and Period: Paris, 2011

Fragrance Description: Crisp petal freshness

Style Description: Female Fragrance

So THIS is what females smell like.   

REPLICAinside

My spritz thoughts: I do wish I smelled like this all the time. Sometimes I get people thinking I’m someone else. Just last night I was out with my boyfriend and someone called me Kathy. I told her no. She said, well do you have a twin sister?  And I said not that I know of.  I get that a lot. It’s the price you pay to be a brunette with bangs. Anyway – if I smelled like this people might think that they have had a pack of carnations shoved in their face, or maybe that they fell into a field of poppies, and it just wouldn’t matter if my name was Kathy.

This scent may remind some people of a 2011 Paris flower market, but I’m sent back to the mid 90s and one of the first legit (as in not Designer Imposters) bottle of perfume I bought: Givenchy Jardin d’Interdit.    Apparently I’ve always liked florals.

I was working for Shiseido at Famous-Barr and living in a Motel 6 room with my at-the-time boyfriend. It’s not as destitute as it sounds, he had a construction job remodeling Motel 6’s, but it was still two youngin’s living in a motel working for near minimum wage. Working at a make-up counter by day and sleeping in a motel by night was just the kind of Gemini-midheaven game I liked going on.  I bought the perfume with my Famous Bar employee discount.  I remember smelling it and thinking how great it would be to have access to a floral bouquet at anytime.

We shared a car which was ok because he worked um – on site.  The car was a late 80s Cutlass, I’d guess 87 if I had to. It was a pretty hot car; shiny black and in pristine condition (I come from the land of car people and his dad worked at GM). If it were a scent it would smell like a bear rug, spiked lemonade, WD40, Marlboro Reds, and frankly – a well-used hotel room ifyaknowwhatI’msaying. One day I was a little close to a semi truck at a light and it started to roll back. There was a line of cars behind me and I was pretty much helpless watching this giant trailer roll back on the hood and crush the hood ornament. A guy in a car next to me saw the whole thing and chased after the driver who didn’t even know what he’d just done. I drove back to the motel with a caravan of the truck driver and the witness to tell my boyfriend about the whole thing.  He was pretty pissed despite the awesome parade/caravan I’d assembled. 

You could say this perfume reminds me of Motel 6’s and Cutlass Supremes (before they adopted those horrible round-body styles). It reminds me of having a super fancy frosted pink bottle of perfume that I stored on the same counter as an electric hotplate next to a pile of construction tools and cup o’noodles.

So, yeah, I liked this one.

I thought it’d be interesting to check the perfume notes and see if the two fragrances have any similarities.

Givenchy Jardin d’Interdit

Notes: Pear, Kiwi, Cranberries, Peach Blossom, Rose, Red Berries, Rose Hip, Heliotrope, Orchid, Sandalwood

Replica Flower Market

Notes: Crushed Leaves, Freesia, Sambac Jasmine, Jasmine Infusion, Tuberose Infusion, Rose from Grasse, Peach, Cedarwood, Oak Moss.

You can see that there are not many similarities in the scent although, peach and roses should count for a lot.  I’m not too discouraged in my smelling abilities, scent memory works in mysterious ways. Maybe it was just the sweet floral that scent me back. Ha – get it? Scent. Sent. 

I figured that the original Jardin d’Interdit blend might be a tad dated and some of the ingredients might possibly obsolete. Once again, the internet told me I was right.  

Check this out about synthetic heliotrope:

“Currently heliotropin is under reduced ratio of use in perfumery, according to IFRA regulations, because safrols in food have been proven to be carcinogenic and hepatotoxic. Therefore concerns about the inhaled and skin-absorbed quantity from scented products have resulted in a preventory measure, rationing heliotropin to much lower ratios than before. This may be why your favourite fragrance with heliotrope might start smelling less deep and almondy in the coming months.”

Carcinogenic and hepatotoxic. Well, sometimes a scent can take us back to a flower market or a motel and sometimes a scent can remind us that we are lucky to be alive.

Seventh Sample Breakdown

Terms learned:

Olfactory memory:  the recollection of odors. Studies have found various characteristics of common memories of odor memory including persistence and high resistance to interference.

Heliotrope: almond-smelling, vanilla-like note with very hazy, flou contours, recreated via heliotropin

Orchid: usually a synthetic note in perfumes giving a powdery veneer to floral bouquets, sweetish and clean

Things to work on: 

  1. Getting better at identifying differences in florals
  2. Remembering that if I can live at a Motel 6, I will probably be ok

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:

In addition to sending me on a trip down memory lane, I almost crushed a writing test for a job as a dating profile ghost writer.

Websites discovered:

The Department Store Museum  

POP: not fearing social norms or losing sophistication

So I lapsed a few days. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t been using up perfume samples every which way but loose. I just haven’t been able to get it all down on wordpress because I’ve been held captive by life’s bullshit and also there was the weekend and shopping for discount paper products…  Anyway, on to my report!

I liked the last scent I tried so much that I didn’t want to be disappointed so I thought I’d go with someone I could rely on: Stella McCartney.  Or so I thought.

One of the few perfumes I have and wear that isn’t in a sample spritzer is Stella, the rosey fragrance in the purple bottle. Yeah, you can tell how well things are going by my excellent choice of descriptors.

This sample is of Stella McCartney POP.   I like the metallic hot pink thing going on with the packaging:

StellaPOP

When I first smell it I think Bath & Body Works, unwanted Christmas presents. But it seems to brighten up.

Inside the sample card – in ALL CAPS in two languages:

THE NEW FRAGRANCE BY

STELLA McCARTNEY.

BRIGHT TUBEROSE BALANCED

WITH SANDALWOOD NOTES.

BOLD.

AUTHENTIC.

IRREVERENT.

#POPNOW

I’ll spare you the reposting of the all the text in French, but I had to share the last three descriptors because they are such great words in any language: 

AUDACIEUX

AUTHENTIQUE

INNATENDU

IMG_9074

INNATENDU!!   Unfortunately, even after letting it set for a few minutes it’s not jiving with me.  The name doesn’t really fit the scent, this smells a little old. Like a gift shop full of seashells (or maybe I just went to one of those). It might be the sandalwood.

Because the last scent I tried was all indie and natural I’ve started to miss all the corporate perfume marketing jargon of the past samples. My Adjectivefication of Femininity project will never get traction at this rate. So was hoping to find something about the bouquet of femininity in POP.

I should have known better.

Notes on POP from Sephora:

Stella McCartney POP is a bold, authentic, and irreverent fragrance. It creates an authentic circle where women can inspire, create, and be themselves while not fearing social norms or losing sophistication. It is the perfect scent for empowered young women.

Notes: Tomato Leaves, Violet Leaves, And Green Mandarin, Violet, Tuberose, Plumeria, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Musks.

Style:  Bright. Contemporary. Positive.

One more time: It creates an authentic circle where women can inspire, create, and be themselves while not fearing social norms or losing sophistication. It is the perfect scent for empowered young women. 

Don’t F with us Sephora.  I can imagine an aunt coming in to the fancy makeup store for a nice gift for her niece and asking someone “Is there something that can make her smell empowered?” 

And the helpful beauty rep will say, “Of course, right this way. You want to know what #banbossy smells like?  We have something that stinks just enough that people won’t want to stand next to her and she can pretend that it’s because her thoughts and opinions are too powerful, or maybe that everyone is just jealous of her. The secret? You just mash tuberose with sandalwood.”

There’s something so suspect about the marketing of female empowerment. Reminds me of the latest episode of Call Your Girlfriend where they talk about SHE-EO’s.

From Stella’s Site:

POP is a bright, modern and irreverent scent combining the vibrant floralcy of tuberose with sandalwood.

POP reinterprets tuberose, chosen for its iconic bold scent, by emphasizing its brighter, crisper, more solar floralcy. This newfound vibrancy is balanced with sandalwood; the unexpected combination of the floral and woody notes results in an undeniably feminine scent that makes a statement.

NOTE: My spellchecker flagged the word floralcy but I’m going to start integrating it into daily life.

With all the insane political bs going on right now, there are so many things I have been wondering about. Like how bizzlllionares convinced millions of working people to vote themselves into an oligarchy and why so many people still watch college basketball in March, and now here is something I’ve been wondering for awhile: WHAT IS TUBEROSE? How can you reinterpret it?

I’m not the only one wondering such things. I found an article titled “Things That Smell Like Things: What Exactly Does Tuberose Smell Like, Anyway?

Other fragrance sites confirm that tuberose is a really waxy and strong smelling flower. Stella McCartney thinks you can wearing it and not fear social norms.  I think not stinking like a dollar store candle is something to fear.

Sixth Sample Breakdown

Terms (or fun facts) learned:

Tuberose: it’s waxy, it’s strong, some people love it.

Floralcy:  from Now Smell This Floralcy is ad-copy-speak for “smells of flowers”, as in “a burst of floralcy“, and it is a useful term as many fragrances do, in fact, smell of flowers without smelling like any flower in particular.”      Ad-copy-speak!

Things to work on:  

  1. My attitude, obviously
  2. Being more AUDACIEUX, AUTHENTIQUE, and INNATENDU!
  3. Smelling empowered

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me: 

I wore this to a job interview. Technically it was a phone interview. It was not great, the woman was 20 minutes late and I don’t like to work for hectic people. Having the power of POP with me enabled me to pretty much take control of the situation without “losing sophistication.”

Websites discovered: Now Smell This

Life & Roses (de Chloe)

Roses smell so good people are always telling you to stop and smell them.  Therefore, The hope of wearing a perfume with roses in it is that a desirable someone will stop to smell you.

RosesChloeFront

I chose Roses de Chloe for my next sample because it was a Friday, roses are symbolic of Venus and Venus is making major astrological moves right now and Friday is Venus’s day .

You may know that the rose is of course an important symbol of love and that it’s the official state flower of New York, but did you know that “the rose has always been an important symbol with anti-authoritarian associations.” and it is one half of the symbol for the band Guns N Roses? Ok you probably knew that.

My point is roses are powerful.

And according to Chloe, delicate.

Inside the sample card in all caps: “THE DELICATE & GRACEFUL SCENT OF FRESH CUT ROSES.”  Trust me, it appears much more delicate in Chloe all-caps:

RosesChloeMiddle.jpg

First spray thoughts:  Prom corsages and baby’s breath, brand new toe-shoes, and $9,000 sundresses.    I like it even though it’s a bit powdery and I know they snuck musk in there somewhere (because I read it’s part of the signature Chloe fragrance). It’s rose-forward enough. 

From Chloe:

“A bouquet of fresh cut roses. The rose immediately exudes incredible freshness derived from the top note bergamot. It is gradually joined by a heart of damascena rose essence, modernized with a magnolia accord. The trail on the skin is of white musk and amber, signature of the Chloé house.”

Notes:

  • Top: bergamot, tea, osmanthus.
  • Middle: damascena rose, magnolia.
  • Base: white musk, amber.

Imagine my horror when I heard there was Bergamot in here. But again, I guess, like with Pernod, if you know how to mix it, it can be ok.

I found their fragrance launch video particularly gorgeous: 

It reminds me of an olympic opening ceremony but softer and dustier and gauzier. Makes me want to trade in my grey and black wardrobe for dusty rose, but we can’t all live in a Chloe world. I’m glad I got to for the two days this sample lasted. 

Fifth Sample Breakdown

Terms learned:

Magnolia:  I live in the south so I KNOW what magnolia is but I hadn’t caught it as a fragrance note yet.  From a fragrance site    “Magnolia is believed to be one of the most ancient flowering plants. Dinosaurs saw Magnolias blossoming. There were no bees back then but beetles, creatures three times older than the magnolia, extracted the magnolia’s protein-rich pollen, as they still do nowadays.”

Things to work on:  

  1. Toe shoes
  2. Appreciating Magnolias more

Your Hidden Alien

I picked this one out of my sample batch thinking of all of us outsiders and because I love the movie Alien.

sigourney-alien
Sigourney and her space cat (image from amc.com)

Not to mention, I was planning on seeing an arty documentary about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that evening, so it really came down to picking the one sample with the coolest and weirdest name. 

AlienFront

Thoughts after first spray: Crushed velvet. Bell sleeves. I’m in the woods next to Sansa Stark. It’s a heavier scent, maybe even mature.  I kind of like it and I wonder if aliens would like it which makes me wonder if I will ever have the opportunity to ask one, proving that a good scent can take you anywhere. 

AlienINSIDE

Written on the card in four languages: “Enhance yourself with Aline Eau de Parfum. The magic of an everlasting precious stone bottle, thanks to the Refill Bottle of your perfumer’s Source”

I love translations with mysterious capitalization. And there’s no mention of femininity or anything of the sort, just: enhance yourself.  I like this.  Of course it’s French! I really want the everlasting precious stone bottle and I wish the sample was made of precious stone but we can’t have it all no matter what Sheryl Sandberg and perfume marketers tell us.  

I’m only four samples in and already addicted to reading the glamorous wordcasserole descriptions of perfumes so I checked the web hoping to find more information. I found a very satisfying description on Thierry Mugler’s site:

“Feel extraordinary… Mysterious and fascinating, ALIEN perfume has the power to illuminate and reveal a radiant, feminine aura. ALIEN fragrance brings out the solar goddess in every women. The rich and bewitching ALIEN Essence Absolue is captured in an everlasting drop of gold that radiates a divine nectar. This new fragrance is a modern and decadent interpretation of ALIEN. Thierry Mugler ALIEN perfume at the ALIEN perfume Source, or with refill bottles and ALIEN eco-refills!”

WHOOAAAAA.  Yes I want to feel extraordinary mysterious AND fascinating. 

A radiant feminine aura. Solar goddess. Divine nectar. Refills.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better I click on the video titled “Celestial and Mythical Beings

 

The whole video is magical.  In only a few minutes it manages to give a full creative background on Mugler while convincing me to buy three more fragrances and move to France to join the underworld of alien insect fashion.  The background info says something about how “the star” has long inspired the designer but I don’t know which one they are referring to or if they mean “star” in the royal sense or if it is just lost in translation. I love stars. I could totally hang on a spaceship with this guy. (I don’t know much about him and now I’m so hoping this dude isn’t known for racism, sexism or brutality because I’m digging his galactic sense.) Apparently Theirry is a former dancer and a worldly imaginative dude. He scores his fashion shows with Edith Piaf, has other fragrances in bottles shaped like stars and totem poles, and his fashion shows include robots and insect women.  His goal? “Extravagant and immoderate creations for women that put nature and fantasy within one’s reach.”     

May we all strive for immoderation. #blessup

ALIEN
Fragrance Family: Floral
Scent Type: Warm Floral
Key Notes: Jasmine Sambac, Cashmeran Wood, Amber Gris
About:
Alien is a floral-woody-amber fragrance that borders the realms of spirituality and sensuality. It exudes a positive energy, charged with sensual and intriguing mystery.
Alien is a radiant fragrance, and its deep purple-hued glass bottle is designed to mimic an amethyst, a precious gem that symbolizes femininity and refinement. This sacred talisman can be layered with any Alien Body product.
What else you need to know:

“It is named Alien because inside every woman is something so unique, so special, it is Alien to everything around her.”

Fourth Sample Day Breakdown

Terms learned:

Jasmine Sambac (Arabian jasmine): A species of jasmine native to a small region in the eastern Himalayas in Bhutan and neighboring India and Pakistan. (wikipedia)

Cashmeran Wood:  The diffusive, musky-woody scent is reminiscent of concrete (especially the abstract woody scent that concrete gives when hit upon by rain, a cityscape in the rain), also lightly spicy, lightly powdery.  (part of description from Fragranctica – I like the mention of concrete, particularly light, powdery concrete)

Ambergris:  Used as a fixative to help scents last much longer and its perfume can be best described as marine, animal and sweet. (Found on GQ of all places) 

Things to work on:   

  1. Magnifying the goddess within.
  2. More contemplation of the star (or stars).
  3. Resistance of Russian radio waves and other negative forces.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me: 

I feel like this scent increased my magic, but  also feel like I still have powers that are alien to those around me.  Maybe I need a few days with this scent. Maybe I need to spray it in the face of people that don’t get me or won’t give me a job or funding for my films. It was a generally powerful experience wearing this though – I got to hang with my boyfriend, see an excellent (if not terrifying) documentary, and celebrate a friend’s landmark birthday. 

Websites discovered:   Frangrantica  and of course Thierry Mugler