Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vero Kern Onda extrait: An oddball balm

On a whim I sprayed some Onda on this morning from a sample I've had sitting around for a while. Totally wasn't thinking about how very wrong it could be on a humid spring day here. But it's not. I absolutely love it. Want it. Need more of it. I could get very hooked on this stuff, and I know there are others of you out there in the perfublogosphere. It seems bitter at first, but warms into a thing of somber beauty. It's just what I needed as a balm right now, 'cause I'm feeling a bit banged up: my knee is keeping me off my bike, and I sliced my fingers this weekend pretty good, so I'm all bandaged up and sore.

There's an extraordinary quality to Onda. It's quite magical. Here's how it feels to me: You've just rolled around on the moors under an early evening sky, casting spells with the loamiest, peatiest, most fertile, most gorgeous dirt you can imagine. Upon contact with your skin, this dirt instantly vaporizes into the warm glow of single-malt scotch. It's like the glow you get drinking scotch, only all over your skin. That gets you all hot and bothered, what with the glow and the loamy dirt and all, so you call your boyfriend over to your peaty moor, and after getting it on, you curl up together in his leather jacket, which is warm from his body.

Fantasy bubble squashed when you once again realize: "Gosh, it's pretty seriously expensive!" I'm gonna get a sample of the EDP to try that out, too, then decide which one I can't live without.

Onda by Vero Kern has notes that include: vetiver, ginger, mace, coriander. It is available on Vero Kern's own website and on LuckyScent. Anyone want to do a split of this stuff?

P.S. I also just realized that the far drydown of Onda transmogrifies into nearly a twin of Habanita's strange, insistent vetiver-powder accord, which for some reason just endears it to me even more.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mary Chess Tuberose Roman Bath Oil

Mary Chess Roman Bath Oil in Tuberose is the flower in all it's gas-huffing, man-eating, waxy, sultry glory. This was the infamous Lana Turner's signature fragrance, and I absolutely believe the stories that she ordered it by the case and had a baby cow if anyone in her vicinity wore it besides her. Look at her over there--she's about to pull some of your hair out if that's Mary Chess Tuberose she's smelling on you.

Luckily for me, Lana isn't around to snatch the bottle I found at an antique mall recently. I didn't know anything about it, and bought it on the reputation of Mary Chess perfumes having an extremely high percentage of natural oils. And yup, this is uncut, unadulterated tuberose, probably darkened in character (not oxidized, though--the oil is still a viscous buttery yellow) and intensified by age. It's almost unbelievably high-octane, even for this jaded smellophile. Unlike Serge Lutens's Tubéreuse Criminelle, whose gasoline-fume opening eventually settles into pretty, sniff this tuberose and you'll understand what a lady with a shady past would truly wear. Feverish, unsweetened, even a little bit bad-tempered. I highly recommend it if you can find it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Van Cleef and Arpels Gardénia Pétale - Summer is almost here!

I don't know why I picked this picture except that I thought it was funny and illustrated the manic mindset of everyone here in Austin; we're all trying to enjoy every moment of this lovely spring weather before it turns hellishly hot. The perfume I've been sampling also teeters between fresh spring and sweaty summer, it seems. Part of my swap haul that I received from the lovely Sherri during that Perfume Posse swap a while back included an unanticipated decant of Van Cleef and Arpels Gardénia Pétale. I never would have tried it otherwise, and I'm so thankful I was gifted with it! I want to twirl around in a big circle skirt when I wear this. It's a self-confident gardenia that's alternately leafy, buttery, pretty, and mushroomy raspy. It dries down to a lovely jasmine with a tinge of coconut milk on me.

Has anyone else noticed that raspy quality in the GP? There is a similar velvety/raspy textured nap in another well-behaved floral I'm really familiar with: the new formulation of Le De Givenchy. I really love that dewy jasmine fragrance, and even have a backup bottle. Both GP and LDG are both perfectly ladylike florals, but they have character and laugh lines that I admire.

In fact, GP is so pretty that you may think I'm nuts, but there is a distinct possibility that the thing I like most about this perfume is its trace of Les Nez's Manoumalia man-eating, sweaty, shroomy tropical florals in all their richly pollinated glory. Whereas Manoumalia goes all out, of course, GP just has a little shading of that. Since I can't afford both, the awful question becomes: which do I get? Ladylike, or balls-to-the-wall floral? I'm thinking that maybe I need a full bottle of the more reasonably priced Manoumalia, but another decant of GP when I go through the one I've got. What do y'all think? Which would you go for?