Monday, May 21, 2007


Apothia is a company that sells scent, candles, makeup, hair products, etc., but they also have their own line of fragrances. I read on another blog about their "Sniffapalooza" sample promotion for the month of November, so I signed up, and yesterday, I received three small spray samples of the three perfumes in their line, If, Velvet Rope, and L.

The great thing about Apothia scents is that they come in various quantities. In addition to the usual 50 ml (1.7 oz) size, they have a 15 ml size and a .33 oz roll on oil version for If and Velvet Rope. The line isn't cheap, but if you don't want to invest $75 for a full-sized bottle, there are options.

Notes: citrus, white flowers, musk

I couldn't find the exact notes for If anywhere on the Web, but those bare essentials seem to be accurate enough. A huge, heady, white floral (far too floral for my tastes) with a hint of citrus, drys down (after several hours, mind you) to a subtle skin musk. I love the drydown, but can seriously live without the floral bit, as it is extremely jasmine-y. Jasmine lovers will love If, IMHO.

Velvet Rope
Notes: juniper berry, grapefruit zest, green rose, jasmine absolute, cypress leaves, vanilla absolute, white musk and patchouli

Their marketing states that Velvet Rope is, "inspired by an icy, dry, vanilla martini spiked with absolute jasmine and a twist of grapefruit." And that's pretty much what it smells like. The opening notes are definitely vanilla with a brief hint of gin and a sparkle of grapefruit. Thankfully, I can't smell the jasmine nor the patchouli, and the drydown is rather like everyone's favorite citrus and vanilla combo, the creamsicle. It's quite yummy, and I'm contemplating a purchase.

Notes: angelica, juniper, cardamom, violet leaf, Florentine orris butter, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, crystal amber

L has the same sort of violet and iris notes that Guerlain Insolence has, bringing to my mind the powdery residue left by aerosol deodorant from the 70s. There's also a nice citrusy-ness, despite not actually containing citrus, and a nice bit of sandalwood. I'm afraid I don't notice the cardamom at all, which is a shame because it's a nice idea.

When I don't hold my arm to my face, I like L a lot, just smelling it sort of wafting in the background. Up close though, that funky 70s memory just ruins it for me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bulgari Omnia Amethyste

Notes: pink grapefruit, green sap, iris, Bulgarian rosebud, heliotrope, woods

I realized the other day that I must have a thing for Bulgari scents.  I own all three of the Thé frags, plus Black andRose Essentielle.  And I love Omnia Crystalline (so far I only have a mini of this).  I was curious about Omnia Amethyste and was able to procure a sample of it to try.  I didn't put enough on the first time, so it didn't register as anything of interest.  A few weeks later, I was a bit more heavy handed in the application.  Mmmm!  Ok, I like this one now too.

Amethyste has a soapy quality at first, that combination of floral notes and white musk that smells fresh and clean.  What?  No musk notes?  Well, it's musky to me and on me.  There's a bit of greenness, but no discernible grapefruit along with the musky essence that's not really there.  In the drydown, the dry iris note comes forth, with a lot of the rosy quality of Rose Essentielle in the background.  It's a scent that stays close to the skin, and I found that its pleasing aroma lasted through the day.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bulgari Rose Essentielle

Notes: rose, blackberry, violet leaves, living mimosa, jasmin sambac, patchouli, and gaiacwood

When I sniffed a strip of paper spritzed with Rose Essentielle at the snooty perfume counter at my local Nordstrom, I only just liked it.  It's a version of Bulgari Pour Femme, with more rose and some additional notes, and I thought it was nice, but not rosey enough.  When I saw a 50ml tester bottle of it offered online for $19, however, I thought "what the hell" and bought it.  I was already buying a tester of Au Thé Blanc, and figured if I really hated the Rose, I could always trade it for something else on MUA.

Oddly enough, I like it.  It smells far nicer on my skin - and more rosey - than on paper.   The violet makes it slightly powdery, but not overwhelmingly so, and the blackberry note is tart and dry, rather than sweet.  The patchouli and gaiac aren't really noticeable as such, but they do lend a bit of woodsy support to the scent.

Rose Essentielle is one I might classify as a "grown-up" perfume, and one I might not typically wear because that kind of fragrance usually goes all old-lady on me.  Fortunately, Bulgari perfumes tend to work extremely well with my body chemistry, and this Rose is no exception.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Burberry Summer

Notes: mandarin, bergamot, grapefruit, green apple, water lily, freesia, rose, white musk, vanilla, green oakmoss, and precious woods

A limited edition fragrance for 2007, Burberry Summer is only available in April and May.  Unfortunate for those who can't snatch up a bottle, because it's actually very nice.  A lighter version of the original Burberry fragrance, Summer is a lovely grapefruit and citrus scent with a touch of crisp green apple and sheer florals with a barely perceptible aquatic quality, wrapped in a delicate white musk.  I know I'm suppose to have a no-buy this month, but I may not be able to resist this one (naughty me).

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Orange You Glad?

I had a craving for an orange-scented fragrance to wear in the summer. Pure orange, like orange oil, pungently citrus, bright and fresh, not orange blossom or neroli. I got a couple of suggestions from the fine folks at the Make Up Alley boards, and was able to get my hands on two right away.

Marc Jacobs Orange
Notes: bergamot, mandarin, neroli, tamarind, water mint, freesia, white rose, moss, tonka bean, amber, musk, blonde woods

In the opening of Marc Jacobs Orange, one can detect citrus, a bit of mint, floral notes. Then there's a greenish mossy note, a bit of tangy tamarind (a note that deserves a fragrance of its own), and finally some very light woodsy notes. There's too much going on in this scent for my taste. It's citrusy, but doesn't scream "orange!" and overall, it seems to have a somewhat masculine quality. Unisex at the very least.

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri
Notes: Sicilian orange and mandarin, bergamot, grapefruit, and lemon, petitgrain, mate leaves, cardamom, musk, caramel

More bergamot than orange at the beginning, with quite a bit of lemon. The orange-y notes are more noticeable after a few minutes. I don't get any of the cardamom, and the musk and caramel only serve to sweeten up the drydown a little bit. This one is very orange overall, and a strong contender for my favorite.

I also have a sample of Bond No. 9 Little Italy in my possession.
Notes: clementine, grapefruit, mandarin, tangerine, jasmine, sheer musk

Tangy citrus fruits, noticeable grapefruit and tangerine, all the way into the drydown. The jasmine is barely there, and serves merely as a support for the usually fleeting citrus essences. The musk lends a softness to the drydown. Dissapointingly, the strength and lasting power of Little Italydoesn't seem to be as great as that of other Bond scents, perhaps because of the preponderance of citrus.  Pretty darn orangey though, and another close contender for my favorite.

And just the other day, I got a sample of L'Artisan Parfumeur Mandarin Tout Simplement
Notes: green mandarin, ginger, yellow mandarin, frangipani, red mandarin, and white cedar

Citrus and cedar, bright and refreshing at first sniff, and not at all sweet. A couple of minutes in, I can detect the slight dry spiciness of ginger. The drydown is mostly cedar with the barest essence of citrus oils. Subtle, lovely, but not exactly what I'm looking for.

Which should I choose?  Do you have another orange-based scent that you can recommend to me?


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