Earlier this week I went to Sephora looking for Cartier's Baiser Volé. I received a sample in one of the It Kits that Sephora did as a GWP over the holidays, and I love it. Unfortunately, it hasn't been available anywhere that I've looked, but as I was in a perfume-buying mood I came home with Tocca's Bianca.
I love Tocca's branding and packaging. The bottles look so classic and I'm a sucker for the Italian names. Even though Florence and Graciella were tough contenders, Bianca smelled the best in-store. The listed notes are bergamot, lavender, mandarin, lemon orpur, rose petals, jasmine, green tea, musk, and sugar. I get the citrus and lavender more than anything.
This summer I went through samples of Guerlain's Mandarin Basilic and Herba Fresca. I liked both (Herba Fresca more so) but each one was missing something. I find that, on me, Bianca smells like a perfect mix of both the bright citrus and fresh green herbal. I'm really happy with it and can't wait to break it out during the summer.
While checking out, I asked the cashier about the mini-set of three roller balls, also from Tocca, that was available during the holiday season. They had one box left, which she had remembered seeing and went and got from the back room for me (seriously, stellar customer service from Heather at the Rideau Sephora). It was a little banged up, but I bought it anyway. It includes Florence, Stella, and Cleopatra. Bottle size is pictured above.
Notes of each, per Sephora:
Florence - bergamot, grapefruit, pear, apple, gardenia, violet, jasmine, tuberose, iris, blonde wood, and white musk. I get "fruity floral," but I'm pretty lousy at picking out individual notes.
Stella - bitter orange, blood orange, watery accord, freesia, white diamond orchids, spicy lily, sheer musk, sandalwood. I had a solid perfume version of this that I bought in Beauty Reductionista's blog sale over the summer and I wasn't a huge fan of it as a solid, but I like it better in roller form. It's very spicy on me, which is not a scent I usually like, but it's nice on cold days.
Cleopatra - grapefruit, greens, cassis, jasmine, peach, tuberose, patchouli, amber, and musk. Also spicier than I usually like, but it's a very warm and comforting scent.
Prior to buying these, I had been working through an impressive stash of samples of both big-name and indie perfumes. I'll get to those once I go through more of them. Normally, though, I rotate between the following. Please note that all descriptions come from the Sephora website as I am, as previously mentioned, useless at picking out notes on my own.
Dior J'adore (left) was my first-ever "grown-up" perfume. I received it as a birthday present from my three close guy friends in my senior year of high school. It came beautifully packaged along with a piece of soap on a rope shaped like a penis and a pornographic magazine; both befitting, I think, the overall gift theme of class and grace. I tend to keep it (the perfume, not the soap or the magazine) for special occasions, but in the eight years since I've had it I've managed to make a sizeable dent in the bottle. I associate the smell (ylang-ylang, rose, and jasmine) with getting dressed up. Of all the perfumes I have it's the one that I find the most recognizable, and I noticed the other day that a coworker wears it.
I don't find Marc Jacobs' Lola particularly exciting or revolutionary, but that's a good thing. It's a good everyday perfume, especially in colder weather. After the Dior it was the first "real" perfume I ever owned. It opens with pink peppercorn, grapefruit, and pear; mid-notes are floral with rose, peony, and geranium; dry-down is vanilla, tonka bean, and musk. The dry-down doesn't show up on me quite as much, and to my nose (and on my skin), it's mostly floral with a little bit of sweetness. I'm not technically supposed to wear perfume at work, but I've gotten compliments on this from co-workers.
YSL La Parisienne was something I received in a Glymm box. I love the bottle! It is tiny and adorable. According to the YSL US Beauty website, notes are violet, rose and blackberry, with sandalwood, musk, and peony as endnotes. I get violet and blackberry, plus lots and lots of powder. I find it ultra-feminine on me, but subtle enough for work.
Benefit's So Hooked on Carmella is a mini version of one of their Crescent Row fragrances. I didn't see the small ones sold individually this year; I bought this at Ulta in the States last year. It's described as a "floral vanilla," with lemon, grapefruit, rhubarb, cyclamen, peony, tiare flower, vanilla, sandalwood, and amber. This smells like straight-up pie on me: sweet, sharply fruity, and warm. It's way too much for summertime but I really like it for the kind of winter days that involve thick sweaters and baked goods.
I have liked every single Caudalie product I have ever tried and Fleur des Vignes is no exception. It's bright, with notes of grapefruit, grape flowers, aqueous sap (???), hawthorn flowers, pink peppers, white rose, watermelon, mandarin, and cedar. It's amazing, and fresh, and delightful, and I can't wait to smell it during the spring and summer.
Last but certainly not least is Cartier Baiser Volé, which might be the only perfume sample that I actively look for in my sample bag, rather than grabbing and going. Per Nordstrom's page, it's a pure lily fragrance. I also get a little bit of softness, powdery-ness (is that a word? powder?) and spice. It's mature but not matronly and I wish I could find it, because I would love to buy a bottle.
Not pictured, but not forgotten: Ralph Lauren Big Pony #1 (the blue bottle). Notes of grapefruit and blue lotus. I find it very, very aquatic and really summery. I wore this a lot this summer because it was the only perfume I brought with me when we were house-sitting for a month. It was incredibly hot that month and the perfume smells like eating watermelon for dinner because it's too hot to cook. I really like it but smelling it in the winter is a bit incongruous so I think I'll keep it as a hot weather fragrance.
What have you been wearing lately? What do you love in a fragrance? What makes you run in the opposite direction?