Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Tom Ford Oud Wood
Tom Ford Oud Wood

Tom Ford Oud Wood ($180.00 for 1.7 oz.) is described as, “[a]n exotic rosewood and cardamom, blended with exuberant Chinese pepper, envelop the wearer in warmth … the center … a smokey blend of rare oud wood, sandalwood and vetiver … scents of tonka bean, vanilla and amber are revealed.”

When Oud Wood first explodes, it’s a spicy, smoky aroma with a heady mix of rosewood and cardamom. It’s a deep and dark with a certain sharpness. It’s a bit like incense burning in the background with the strength of the rosewood coming through with a certain peppered woodiness.

Oud Wood does not remain spicy, though, as it is enveloped by the scent of an ambered sandalwood peeking through with an underlying touch of vetiver. There’s still a lingering of smoke, but it’s musky, sultry, and delectably woody. It smells luxe–rich and earthy–and reminds me a little of what sexiness might embody if it were a scent (to me).

Finally, Oud Wood dries down and becomes a seductive mix of amber and vanilla with a lingering hint woodiness. The vanilla doesn’t bring in any sweetness–it is just a bit of warmth cloaking the amber and sandalwood.

I like scents that are musky and woody and maybe a little on the masculine side. Oud Wood is exactly a scent that I would gravitate towards. I’m particularly pleased that when I dab it on my wrists, I can smell it twelve hours later. It’s certainly subtler by hour twelve than it was at hour six, but it’s noticeably there. Even when I wake up, there’s a faint bit of Oud Wood still kissing my wrists (that makes it twenty-fours!). Again, it gradually fades, but I’d say it gave me great wear for ten hours or so. However, wear time may be affected by body chemistry.  The only thing I can warn you about is the price tag, which is steep.

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Sunday, June 13th, 2010

KenzoAMOUR

Travel-Friendly Beauty: Kenzo Amour

Kenzo Amour Ryoko ($29.00 for 0.7 oz.) is a travel-friendly fragrance. L’eau Par Kenzo Pour Femme and Flower by Kenzo are also available in the new, travel-friendly packaging. For men, L’Eau Par Kenzo Pour Homme and Kenzo Homme are also available. Each scent is housed in a plastic box, and then in a plastic, curved oval-ish “rock.” They actually look a bit like a computer mice to me, actually. They fit well in the palm of the hand, and the plastic packaging means less chance for breakage as compared to the glass bottles of many perfumes.

RYOKO means travel in Japanese and Kenzo takes fragrance into uncharted territory with this airline-friendly, pocket sized nomad spray. The slow and sensuous journey of a couple through Asia, punctuated by encounters, bursts of laughter and smiles, soft sensations, pictures and perfumes brimming with life. A bird accompanies them, symbolizing the flare of love and the freedom of traveling.

KenzoAmour begins with a sweetened floral burst before it dries down to a soft vanilla and musk, with a hint of woodiness. It’s exactly the kind of scent that I’m personally into it. I love musky, woody scents coupled with the sweetness of vanilla (but not sugary vanilla). Amour is never cloying or sticky-sweet–this is sweetness without being overwhelming–it’s not the kind of sugary sweetness you smell when you walk into a bakery (or Coldstone, ha!).

Notes: Frangipani Blossoms from Bali or Borobudur, Cherry Blossoms from Japan, Tanakha Wood, Incense, Thai Rice Steam, Vanilla of La Réunion, White Tea from China

I don’t think this scent is particularly revolutionary or over-the-top–it’s soft and sweet and very feminine. It wears well without degenerating as the day wears on. It’s a scent that’s easy to wear and appropriate for day time as well as night time.  I really loved that I could detect the musky sweetness as well as I could at eight in the morning as I could at eight in the evening.

P.S. — When are we gonna get scratch ‘n sniff computers?

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION:  If you love vanilla-based scents (not food-y vanilla, though!) with a little woodiness/muskiness, you should give Amour a whiff next time you’re near a counter.  The scent is available in all the traditional variations, in addition to the travel-friendly Ryoko style.

AVAILABILITY: Kenzo

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Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Estee Lauder’s Pure White Linen Pink Coral ($72.00 for 3.4 oz.) is the newest addition to the White Linen perfume franchise. Pure White Linen emerged originally, and then a derivation thereof in Pure White Linen Light Breeze. In June, Pure White Linen Pink Coral joined the family.

Composition

  • Top Notes: Apple Blossom, Clear Aldehydes, Waterfruits, Pink Peppercorns, Chinese Berry Mist
  • Middle Notes: Jasmine, Pink Peony, Camellia Flower, Cherry Blossom, Sweet Pea, Honeysuckle
  • Base Notes: Vanilla, Heliotrope, Sandalwood

I had never taken a sniff of the original White Linen scent, because I come from a family that’s terribly irritated (nose-wise) from fragrances. Growing up, perfume was completely off-limits, and there’s no real way to sneak wearing perfume when you have a bunch of sensitive noses around the house! (Trust me, I tried a few times… spraying outside, but they’d know when I came home with the scent still lingering.)

Perfume was always this unattainable product category that I was like, “I can’t wait until I move out of the house so I can wear perfume everyday!” Turns out, unfortunately for me, that a lot of perfumes tickle my nose in rather…unpleasant way, so I actually wear very light scents when I do wear them, and I’d say only a few times a week at that.

Estee Lauder describes this scent as a soft floral, “The tender fragrance to live in all year long. It sweeps over the senses, gentle as the ocean at dawn in waves of sea-kissed Apple Blossoms, Waterfruits, Sweet Peas and Camellias blushed with Honeysuckle and Sandalwood. You’ll love how you feel in Pure White Linen Pink Coral.”

The scent of Pure White Linen Pink Coral is that of a lightweight, softly sweetened floral. It feels young, not quite as sophisticated as the other scents in the franchise, and it just has that feel like they were going for a younger demographic. It opens with the crispness of green apples and lightness of berries. As it wears, the sweetness of honeysuckle and jasmine start to appear, and gives you a more obvious floral scent. Finally, the dry down is a very tried-and-true combination of vanilla and sandalwood.

I feel like this isn’t a unique scent, but it’s a very wearable scent. It’s light, tame, and all-occasion appropriate. It’s probably more suitable to a subtle summer scent than perhaps fall, but I know others, like me, prefer lighter scents year-round, too. I think if you are, generally, a fan of Estee Lauder scents, you may find this scent too much like a redux and merely milking the White Linen chain than an original creation by the perfume giant. I like it, but it doesn’t grab me enough at the open nor at the end, so it’s not something I’ll personally be wearing often.

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: For a soft, flirty sweetened floral, Estee Lauder may have your poison!

Availability: EsteeLauder.com