Hot Fruit & Rare Flowers

The modern blog knows no time constraints or limitations

                                                              – Imade Thatup

I’ve returned from a totally unearned blog-hiatus!  My last unposted fragrance notes were about Tom Ford’s Orchid Soleil:    

I like orchids, my friend gave me one as a gift a few weeks ago when I kind of hit the height of the current hard times.   When you are talking about hard times it’s important to remember a few things:

  1.  hard times don’t last
  2.  hard times happen always
  3.  hard times come and go
  4.  the hardness of times varies

I also think I liked this perfume. My first reaction was yum (and I kind of dislike that word), smells sensual (another word I try not to use unless I’m doing a character voice or something), and it’s like a deep woodsy floral but with a bit of lightness (must be the soliel part) warm with some fruit.

TomFordOrchidSolFRONT

Warm fruit! But not like a cobbler. Maybe more like a piece of pineapple left in the hot sun on a beach towel next to an orchid.

TomFordOrchINSIDE

So far in this sample journey I’ve liked the scents that either smell like good flowers (roses, honeysuckle, jasmine) or the scents that confuse me.  This is a little of both.

I’m not the only one:

Tom Ford’s New Orchid Soleil is Confusing the Hell Out of Me: I can’t decide how I feel about this metallic white floral.

But who am I kidding. I know how I feel. I like it!

Here’s the  description on Sephora:

Introducing the solar side of the elusive TOM FORD Orchid. A radiant and sensual force of nature, the new scent captures the seductive warmth and reflective bare skin of the TOM FORD woman.

In Soleil, the original Black Orchid accord becomes illuminated by an aura of deftly worked tuberose, marrying the creamy, molten floral sensuality of that iconic flower with crisp, floral, and spicy elements. The tuberose petal glows against this dramatic backdrop. A high concentration of salicylate compounds offer a spicy, metallic glint.

Notes:

Tuberose Petals, Black Orchid, Headspace, Spider Lily Accord, Vanilla, Chestnut, Cream Accord, Patchouli.

Style:

Radiant. Sensual. Warm.

 

Headspace: perfect for regrouping.

Ninth Sample Breakdown

Terms learned:  

Salicylate compounds – an ingredient that produces an opening or warming effect on a fragrance

Headspace – “Headspace technology: a method of “capturing” the odor of a substance using an apparatus resembling a bell-jar. This has allowed perfumers to mimic the notes of flowers, plants, and foods which do not lend themselves otherwise to extraction. The different fragrance & flavor companies have their own fragrance capture systems based on headspace technology, including ScentTrek (Givaudan), “Jungle Essence” (Mane), NaturePrint (Firmenich).”

Metallic notes – I dig it.

Things to work on:   Posting on this blog, finish the task of using all of my fragrance samples.

Magic, luck, or compliments this fragrance brought me:   Well, let’s put it this way. Soone after my last post, I spritzed this on and sprung back from hard times with vim and vigor and a new job. 

Websites discovered:  Perfume Shrine

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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