Thursday, April 28, 2011

A few perfumes I've loved this spring

Parfums DelRae Debut
Having first met Amoureuse, I didn’t think I was a fan of DelRae’s florals. Then I met Debut and realized Amoureuse and I weren’t meant to be friends but Debut and I are BFF’s.

Debut is an early spring scent. Debut begins all sharp and citrus (lime, bergamot) but then unfolds into an obvious note of lily of the valley (and hyacinth which isn’t listed in the notes) with a wet white floral/clean musk dry down. I find Debut to be delicate and a little green. Debut can be a heady scent with similarities to Diorissimo, Penhaligon’s Bluebell and il Profumo Blanche Jacinthe. I can’t wear Diorissimo or Bluebell but I love Blanche Jacinthe mostly for its fresh, delicate wetness. The fragrance Debut most reminds me of is Fracas. Debut doesn’t smell like Fracas, there’s no tuberose in sight and Debut is far less indolic, however, both fragrances are classic heady white florals, which somehow share a classy instead of brassy style.

Etro Dianthus
I meant to write a full review on Dianthus alone but never got the words together. I’m still a little shaky on what exactly this fragrance does for me. In summary, I have been wearing Dianthus a lot the past 6 weeks, so it’s fair to say I love it. The problem is that it smells so different at various times throughout the day that I’ve become stumped on how to describe it. If I tell you it’s both cool and warm, wouldn’t that just confuse you? If I tell you it’s powdery and spicy but not powdery in the traditional sense wouldn’t that also just serve to confuse? If I tell you it’s both subtle yet tenacious wouldn’t it begin to seem like this fragrance is a vortex of opposites? Well, maybe that’s just the point. Etro Dianthus is a bunch of seemingly opposite attributes all rolled up into one scent. This is precisely how the season of spring feels to me. Spring can be warm and cool, wet and dry, light and dark, dull, dreary and suddenly bright and blooming. Dianthus contains all these opposite attributes and keeps me interested all throughout the day. When I first smelled Dianthus, I didn’t realize it was based on carnation (dianthus being the Latin name for carnation). It took me a few wearings and a bit of poking around online to quite suddenly smell the carnation note. Once I did it loomed so obvious, but I initially didn’t find it to be a heavily carnation laden scent.

Etro Dianthus reminds me of the character played by Polly Walker in the film Enchanted April.

Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage
Un Matin d’Orage has become one of my favorite fragrances. It conjures a feeling, an emotion, and a dark spring thunderstorm. It smells like the lifting of a bad mood, to reveal peaceful contentment which had been stuck beneath a dreary bad day. I’m buying this for myself in the butterfly bottle. I must have it. And I don’t even like gardenia, not usually, but UMdO makes me love this floral note.

Guerlain Chamade
I’m always sportin’ Chamade at some point in the spring. I finally rewarded myself with the pure parfum and it is To-Die-For. The deep green galbanum note is more potent in parfum, I’d go so far as to say the parfum version of Chamade is more fierce than expected. Usually parfum concentrations wear closer to the skin and are smoother, but Chamade in parfum seems aggressive to me. I adore it.

Bond No. 9 Broadway Nite
I’ve been obsessed with this ever since wearing Sonoma Scent Studio To Dream a few weeks ago. To Dream reminded me of Broadway Nite and FM Lipstick Rose in its basic rose-violet personality.

I scanned the reviews of Broadway Nite and came away feeling insulted. Many reviewers say it’s far too overpowering; it’s loud, aldehydic and just plain awful. On me, it’s one of the most complimented fragrances I have ever worn. As far as the potency issue goes; I mean, really, you can’t just apply two spritzes of a powerful perfume and find it just right? I suppose you must love the scent first and then you would adjust the application to make it work for you. If you immediately hate the scent, the fact that it’s potent is only going to make you hate it more when it lingers on you for 6+ hours appearing to become stronger and stronger. I have, of course, experienced that "please-get-this-stuff-off-me" episodes a few times; once I tried Guerlain Insolence (in edt not edp) and initially thought I liked it until a few hours later when I would have paid $250 to be able to shower it off. This has also happened with Vivienne Westwood Boudoir; I was nauseous wearing that one. But me and Broadway Nite are tight... if my plane crash-landed onto an undiscovered island (and I lived to tell of it), I’d be happy to have a bottle of Broadway Nite with me until the rescue crews arrived. I have no issues with its potency; two sprays are perfect, delightfully perfect.

Maurice Roucel created Broadway Nite which seems fitting because I enjoy many of his other creations; such as Bond No. 9 New Haarlem, Gucci Envy, Le Labo Jasmin 17, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, Hermes 24 Faubourg and Guerlain Insolence (edp only). Aside from Gucci Envy, most of these fragrances ain’t no shrinking violets; suffice it to say I enjoy Roucel’s style in general and amongst all his creations, Broadway Nite is my favorite.


Flora said...

Lovely list of Spring favorites! I would not have thought of Etro Dianthus in this category, but it's a wonderful fragrance.

Re; Maurice Roucel, are you a fan of Tocade? I love it, and I love it even more since I located a mini of the long-gone Parfum. It is pure heaven!

Anonymous said...

Insolence edp was one of those OMG GEDDIT OFF ME NOW things that I cannot BELIEVE anybody likes. (There. I said it.) And I'd have liked Broadway Nite a lot better if half a spritz hadn't nearly asphyxiated me. It wasn't the notes, it wasn't the smell... it was the shriekingness of it.

Aside from Tocade (waves to Donna) I'm not much of a Roucel fan. And even Tocade is a little much for me - it's another half-spritzer.

I think I'll go play with my greenies for awhile.

But Chamade is amazing. And

Abigail said...

Hi Flora,
Actually I seem to be the only person who doesn't like Tocade. It's too much vanilla for me. Any perfume where the vanilla is most prominent usually isn't my thing, and unfortunately Tocade is no exception. Unless, perhaps, I don't like it because I've never sniffed vintage?

Hi Muse,
Sorry you hate Insolence. I hate it in edt and the "My Insolence" variation but I love the eau de parfum.

And Broadway Nite is so far from shrieky on me...although I can think of a lot of frags I'd call shrieky (White Linen and Chanel 22, both of which I still love). Do you find almost anything aldehydic shrieky? Broadway Nite mellows out to something downright peaceful and girly-pretty on me.

ScentScelf said...


(Isn't it silly when we celebrate mutual loves? As if that is...I don't know...something to get all footballer about and start thumping the chairs in a stadium for?)

Nonetheless, stomp! stomp! in appreciation for Matin d'Orage and Chamade. Love 'em both. Actually, it's a visceral passion with Chamade, a bit more intellectual with Matin d'Orage. But in the case of both, the other comes into play as well--which is probably why they are both FBW in my book. (Someday, I'll actually get the FB of Md'O. But I had to squirrel away LOTS of Chamade first. ;) )

Because of the shared love, I'm going to try Debut again, which seemed to large for me before. Might have been the hyacinth you unveiled, a note which almost never plays nicely with me.

Abigail said...


Debut starts off a little heady, but trust me, it doesn't stay Too Large. Since it's personality is a proper white floral it looms large at the start but it doesn't stay that way on me. And I totally smell hyacinth (which is NOT in the list of notes) so perhaps that *is* why you weren't enthused the time you tried it.

I ordered UMdO in a butterfly bottle after writing this :) Now that I'm thinking of it...where's the tracking should be here by now!

It's so true. As much as I like to wear different perfumes, I do feel pleased when others share in the joy over my favorite scents. It's like... I don't want people to wear the same perfumes around me, but I want to know other perfumistas love *some* of the same things I do.

Chamade is just incredible.

Anonymous said...

Whoa... it actually published part of my comment. I gave up trying to post stuff. Can't even remember what I was going to say about Chamade, but I wore it today. Lovely stuff - and it doesn't seem to have had the life reformulated out of it, either.

Anyway, I am a Confirmed AldeHo. (La Myrrhe, anyone? No. 5? Stephen Jones?) I don't think it's the aldehydes in BN bothering me, it's the LOUD. Ditto with Insolence. Seriously. I experienced it as being physically, overpoweringly, frighteningly loud... from one half-spritz onto a blotter. Like standing in a parking garage, looking for your car, and you're lost and you can't find it, and every single car alarm is shrieking at you.

But who knows, I might like it on you.

Anonymous said...

Although I admit to not liking White Linen (something... sour... about it that makes me want to call it Mildewed Wet Laundry, and that's on TOP of the dreaded Lauder base) or No. 22 (wearing it feels like having sugar crystals crunching in my teeth, a weird textural thing). Neither dislike is an aldehyde problem.

Le Labo 44? Arpege? Vega? (Gosh, Vega's gorgeous.) Champagne de Bois, Iris Poudre, Mariella Burani, Citizen Queen, Haute Couture, original Ines de la Fressange? I'll take 'em all, thanks. And you can bump up the aldehyde content in To Dream for me while you're at it, dear Laurie...

Angela Cox said...

I love Broadway Nite so like you I was a bit shocked that it seems to be unpopular. It's my favourite Bond . As for Boudoir that is a scrubber indeed. My little sister wears it and insists it is "lovely" . This Spring I have been wearing Chanel no 22 more than anything else .