Thursday, October 24, 2013

White Florals, Powder & Musk

Recently, I've started to get back into perfume in a major way. I don't know what triggered it ... maybe I'm a bit over makeup and it's only natural that I return to my first love. In my I Love Perfume Tag, I mentioned that my favourite scents were fruity florals. Since then, my stance has definitely evolved. I'm way into white flowers now. Gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom, honeysuckle, frangipani, the whole shebang. I think my obsession with Kai perfume oil was the start. I've even pulled out the ol' Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez that I rushed out to buy when it first hit the bookshops. One night, I found myself reminiscing fondly about the fragrant white flowers that I smelled as a kid visiting Shanghai and Beijing. The ones arranged in bracelets and sold by old ladies on the street (after some stab-in-the-dark Googling, I think it's called Michelia × alba or white champaca?). I had this sudden longing to smell them again, though I doubt there exists a readily available perfume that authentically replicates their scent. Despite that, I've been uniformly thrilled with my three latest fragrance acquisitions.



Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

Top notes: neroli, lilac, rosewood
Heart notes: gardenia, tuberose, orange flower, jasmine, white lily
Base notes: carnation, vanilla bourbon

Luca Turin describes this perfume as one of the few fragrances that actually achieves a real gardenia smell. In his words, the "tuberose note in PCTG is very quiet, while the rest of the fragrance is an utterly lovely gardenia accord on a refined, radiant white-flowers background." I've read other reviews online that express an opposite opinion that this is mainly a tuberose perfume. As much as I try to educate myself on the difference between tuberose and gardenia, the reality is they're probably not that hugely far apart, at least to a casual consumer like me. PCTG retails for a ludicrous $150 for the 30ml eau de parfum bottle in Australia, but I purchased mine from StrawberryNET for $90. It's definitely the most I've forked out for a perfume of that size in recent memory, but worth it. The opening is somewhat sharp and slightly bitter, but give it a bit more time and it's the middle notes that really shine. They're beautifully creamy (no dilution or wateriness here), sweet but not overly so and not at all artificial-smelling. If you like gardenia, you need this. It's a very ladylike, classic fragrance that would be perfect for a spring wedding. Lasts a decent amount of time on the skin as well.


Chloé Love, Chloé

Top notes: orange blossom, pink pepper
Heart notes: hyacinth, iris, lilac, wisteria, heliotrope
Base notes: musk, talc, rice powder

I remember when this first came out in 2010. It wasn't like anything I was used to smelling at the department store. I wasn't quite sure if it was my type of fragrance, but the more I sprayed it, the more it grew on me. There are a few perfumes that I've liked for a long time (and eagerly reach for whenever I encounter a tester), but haven't taken the plunge to purchase. I'm so glad I finally bit the bullet with Love, Chloé because I've ended up surprisingly loving this. At first, it announces itself as a distinctly powdery, almost soapy fragrance (a little bit like the original Chloé from 1975), but it takes on a more complex quality the more it melds with the skin's chemistry. There's just something about it that I can't put my finger on. I find it comforting and mellow, not typically sweet, floral or fruity, but slightly woody on a musky, powdery cloud, very clean smelling without being sharp or green, womanly, soft and sensual. The bottle is also pretty close to perfection.


Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne

Top notes: cedrat, green notes, clementine leaf
Heart notes: orange blossom, water lily
Base notes: orange blossom, lilac

I've been eyeing a Jo Malone fragrance for ages, but I wasn't prepared to spend $90 for a 30ml bottle here. I finally allowed myself to splurge in their boutique in the Marais, Paris, where it's €45.00 or about $65. It was truly a battle to pick out just one, but in the end I opted for Orange Blossom because it was one of the first Jo Malone fragrances I heard about from Allison of amarixe in her April 2012 Beauty Favourites video. This perfume is quietly glorious. It's bright, fresh, fruity, zesty, sweet, uplifting and a little soapy in the best way. Spraying it on a thin cardboard strip at the shop (with a few other fragrances competing for your attention) simply won't do it justice. It needs to be spritzed onto skin and worn in isolation for the whole day to be properly appreciated. I don't think I have anything in my collection that tops this as the ultimate springtime scent. The tall, rectangular bottle is also particularly handbag-friendly.

24 comments:

  1. I love the sound of the EL Tuberose Gardenia. The Jo Malone is so ritzy! I can't believe how many bottles some people own- craaazyy. Sure they're pretty to look at and smell heavenly but to actually collect them is a teeny bit mad. Chloe is so pretty in the sophisticated Burberry way but their perfumes are much nicer than Burberry's imo. Such gorgeous bottles, especially the Love, Chloe!

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    1. Try it next time you find yourself at an Estee Lauder counter or David Jones! It's just a really solid gardenia fragrance and something that I think every gardenia lover would seek out and try at least once :) I know what you mean about Jo Malone, but I think part of the appeal is how collectible the bottles are, especially as the individual scents are usually so specific and designed to be layered. I don't really love many Burberry perfumes but I do have a small sample of Brit Sheer which is okay but nothing amazing. Very similar to DKNY Fresh Blossom and Versace Bright Crystal in my opinion. Agreed on the Love, Chloe bottle - so very pretty :D

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  2. I'm not the biggest perfume person in the world but I have to say I do love going into Fenwicks and having a good smell :) the Jo Malone shop always smells incredible :) love the chole bottle, haven't tried any from there before but it sounds lovely :)

    Katie xx | Katies World

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  3. Ohh the Jo Malone scent sounds so beautiful! I love the packaging, so sleek and chic <3

    Jennie | sailorjennie.com

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  4. You make that Jo Malone perfume sound absolutely delicious... I'll definitely have to give that a sniff the first chance I get. Have you smelt Stella McCartney's L.I.L.Y.? It is, hands down, one of the most beautiful perfumes I've ever had the pleasure of wearing and smelling. I think it would be up your alley if it agrees with your chemistry :)

    ♥Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

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    1. I haven't tried the Stella but I'll keep it in mind next time I'm at a department store! I have tried to spritz the original Stella on myself many times but it never seemed particularly memorable to me - but I know plenty who love it :)

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  5. I just got a sample of the Kai Perfume Oil. I'm now scared to use it in case I like it and want to buy the full size!! Eek :) Lovely post babe.

    MISSY IN THE MIRROR

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  6. I'm not a huge perfume person. Specially because my grandmother is "allergic" (she isn't, she just likes to bother anyone who decides to wear it). I've been personally wanting to get some Marc Jacobs perfumes and some Benefit Perfumes (their packaging is soooo cute!)
    I will look into the ones you just recommended :3
    Please take care, have a nice day!*

    beauty-with-love.blogspot.com

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  7. I like Chloe Love! It is on my wish list :-)
    Jo Malone is beautiful, isn't it??? I am addicted to their perfumes.. I love the packaging with the box and the bottle and the whole concept is just great.. My favorite so far from Jo malone is vanilla and anise, the red roses also smells gorgeous!

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    1. Ooohh, vanilla and anise. I don't think I've come across that one - at least I don't remember doing so. I have smelled red roses and it's so pretty. I just wish they weren't so expensive in Australia!

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  8. These perfumes don't agree with me but I'm glad you're enjoying them! Your photos are so beautiful. :OOO

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    1. Boo! I'm always interested in hearing your thoughts on perfumes since you're one of the few beauty bloggers that I read that regularly write about it, and in depth. And fanks you :)

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    2. Well, I don't tend to get on very well with Estee Lauder perfumes (although the Private Collection blends need a more thorough investigation!) and white florals aren't my fave. The Chloe perfumes also hate me and give me headaches even though I find them very pretty. And I generally like Jo Malone but am really sick of orange blossoms right now. I'm still lemming the Earl Grey & Cucumber bottle though!

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  9. I'm not much of a perfume person so I only have two; both of which are by Marc Jacobs and I absolutely love them. I think by far you are the best at describing scents because these sound absolutely amazing even though I have no idea what they are hahaha. I'll keep these in mind the next time I'm shopping :)

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  10. i fell in love with the Love by Chloe so unexpectedly. it is retro but not outdated. i also love white florals. lucky you if Kai works for you. i love it on others, but it turns too green on me. i wear Child instead. it all depends how much you wear it when it comes to white floral and powdery musk.

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    1. I've never heard of Child! I just Googled it and it's definitely intriguing me right now - I don't think there'd be a stockist anywhere near me though :( I love Kai, I find it so invigorating, an instant pick-me-up, and while it does have those distinctive green notes, I find it generally quite sweet and bright and later, mellow. Also, I really want to comment on your blog but I don't have a Google+ account (and I don't know how to figure it out) so I can't!

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    2. ah, no worries :)
      i find google pushy and annoying sometimes. didn't know it only allows comments with G+.
      i think you can change your blogger profile just by switching the setting on bloggers, but maybe it is the matter of principle. (do you hear this, google? -_-+)

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  11. I haven't tried any of these! I'm so scared going into the Jo Malone counter in Dublin, I haven't a clue where to start! But I did love any of the Jo Malone fragrances I've tried. Gotta check these out, I love Estee Lauder scents, their new one Modern Muse is so beautiful!

    Emma x

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  12. I so want to try some Jo Malone fragance asap.. all your perfumes look delicious :) x

    http://holaflo.blogspot.com.ar/

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  13. I love the packaging for the Jo Malone but I think I'm slightly more attracted to your review of Love Chloe. Thanks for the review!

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  14. Private Collection sounds like heaven. I love Gardenia.

    I've always been curious about the always-hyped Jo Malone. WHY SO EXXY :(((

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    1. Tell me about it - down with overpriced Australia! D:

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  15. They all sound so lovely!! I bet they smell delicious. I love the sound of Jo Malone xx

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  16. I love the Tuberose and Gardenia so very much but it's so expensive 😭 Do you have any similar perfumes you could recommend, please?

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