Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sample Drawing for the SMELL Reader

To enhance the quality of your reading experience, we at I Smell Therefore I Am are offering a sample drawing for some of our reviewed fragrances. We enjoy your comments and the conversatioins we've had with you over the last year and recognize that not everything we've reviewed is something you're necessarily familiar with or own. The winner can pick four fragrances from the following, all of which we've discussed in the past several months:

The drawing will take place next Wednesday, July 22nd. Happy browsing. To be considered, pick one of the above posts and contribute to the conversation by adding a comment here on the perfume or topic in question.


kathleen said...

Re: Mona di Orio

This is a wonderful Carnation, once the bizarre opening calms down. I've tried 3 of her scents, I think Chamarre is probably the only one that doesn't open in a scary way. I love this dark, sweet, & woody, scent. Nuit de Noire, who would imagine such a lovely drydown from such a stinking opening. It's nice to see Les Senteurs, in London still carries her frags. I think a bottle of Chamarre will be on my autumnal list.

Anonymous said...

Looking over the list, I was surprised at how many of these scents I have purchased (blind, mind you) after reading the posts on this site!!! And for the most part, the writing is spot on. I just wore La Mome last week (love the drydown) and Yvresse has become a favorite "comfort scent" for me.

I'd love to try the Mona di Orio, Byredo Pulp, and M7 Fresh.

Thanks for the opportunity -


Nina Z. said...

Re: Byredo Pulp

Hi, I'm coming out of the woodwork to say that I've been reading your blog recently (and like it so much I've actually been working my way through your previous posts!).

Regarding Byredo Pulp: all I can say is that I recently sniffed some at Barney's in SF and keep thinking about it. I loved it right away but didn't get to try it on my skin (as I was covered with other stuff). So, yeah, now I NEED to get a sample of it.

Nancy said...

Yummy yummy yummy yummy. These are four scents I would love to own and inhale: Mona di Orio, Carnation; Santa Maria Novella, Nostalgia; Histories de Parfum, Blanc Violette; and le Labo's Patchouli 24.
I am so thankful and often intrigued by your reviews when I peruse the perfume counters and buy. Thanks for the opportunity to be a winner!

judith said...

I love your review of La Perla. I purchased Etat Libre D'Orange's Rossi de Palma so I'm looking to sample the La Perla.

I have a small decant of Eclix which I adore. It's a shame it can't be found in the states :-(

Gator Grad said...

Since I'm relatively new to the niche side of the hobby, I actually haven't smelled a single one of the perfumes on the list--- but I have recently fallen in love with YSL In Love Again, and have therefore been researching all of the other YSL. Yvresse has been tempting me since I read you original post about it (I love sparkly frags like Un Jardin Sur le Nil), so this one *sounds* like it will be a perfect fit for me.

Mona di Orio is a fantastic line, but carnations are inherently troublesome on me (I'm not yet ready for dirty scents, I'm afraid), but how could she possibly do it wrong? Her others are among my favorites so far.

Balmain also intrigues me-- freesia is normally a hit for me, and I love the idea of a spicy (pink peppered) freesia with a base of musk.

Please do enter me in the draw!

Brian said...

Hi Kathleen, I like the carnation too. Not to worry, Gator Grad, the carnation here is more abstract. It does have traces of the flower but it mostly springs from the connotations and meanings of the word in the French language:

[From obsolete French, flesh-colored, from Old French (from Old Italian carnagione, skin, complexion, from carne, flesh) or from Late Latin carnātiō, carnātiōn-, flesh, both from Latin carō, carn-.]

Does that help? I didn't find it to smell like carnations at all when I first tried it. Since then I see little traces there.

Marko: oh, the pressure. At least we have a good record with you so far. M7 Fresh is nice. Very Herbs de Provence.

Hi Nina. Thanks for reading--in the woodwork or out. I tried Pulp at Barneys for the first time and liked it but passed. I came back to it months later and instantly thought, "passed??" Couldn't figure out what I'd been thinking.

Thanks, Nancy. Glad you read.

So Judith, what do you think of Rossy? I sprayed some on the other night to revisit it. Funny how many differences you notice...gradually. I still class these in the same camp but see some interesting distinctions.

krnszn said...

Wow! What a generous offer! Thanks, Brian and Abigail. I've had an ongoing battle trying to find Insolence EDP, and posted several comments on the two I-EDP posts about the difficulty in finding this fragrance here in the U.S. I am happy to say, though, that I am now the owner of a 3.4oz bottle of the EDP - purchased through Amazon at Scented Monkey. True, the box came unwrapped and a bit banged up, but the scent smells authentic, and the bottle is full, so I'm satisfied. Next on my wish list? L'Heure Bleue. :-)

Abigail said...


Yay! I'm so happy you got it.

Isn't the stuff just gorgeous? It's addictive. I love to spray in on my sheets and around the bedroom.

If only Guerlain realized what they had and named it something special like L'Heure Fleur Exceptionnel (!) and put it in a bee bottle or a different elegant bottle...((Sigh)) if only they'd listen to me.

Tania said...

Ooh, a draw? Count me in please, if non-US is allowed (if not, that's ok, I understand.)

Re: Byredo Pulp

I finally got to sniff this recently, and well, it's not for me. WaAAAYY too fruity. It smells quite delicious, and I can appreciate that. But I would be afraid that somebody would try and bite me - and not in a good way... ;-)

By the way, Abigail, I finally got my bottle of Y, which was held up in customs for ages. (And don't get me started on the bloody cheek of HM Customs charging not only the tax, but a whopping £8 'handling fee'! That's 2.5 times the tax! Bastages...)

Anyhoo, I see what you meant. It's quite lovely, and for a chypre, easily wearable in warmer weather. So thanks for putting me on to Y, I like it a lot!

MoLo said...

Guerlain Insolence EDP-Lovely, but too much to wear to the office.

Thanks for the drawing, I adore this blog :)

Anonymous said...

Re Byredo Pulp:

I LOVE this scent! It is fruity but lasts and is tangy rather than too sweet. The article in question is about Milano, however, and only mentions Pulp in passing! I used to go to Milano once or twice a year for work, and would always travel some elsewhere on my own afterward. I recall only being hit on by a young man once, while sitting in the courtyard at the Castello, by someone who must have been about 17 (I was maybe 30), so it does not strike me as surprising that Brian's fantasy didn't come true! "Interactions" with locals were far more common elsewhere. Milan is more urban and cosmopolitan feeling than other locales in Italy, with less "neighborhood" feel to it, though the corner bar still plays a role in daily life for many.

The city gives an impression of grayness, its tall, heavy facades of grandiose buildings abutting the streets. Green is there yet is mostly hidden, inside private, interior courtyards, from pedestrians' view. The piazza at the main cathedral, il Duomo, is so vast that it comes off as sterile, though, if one waits and watches, one can observe a great deal of la vita della città there, from locals eating gelato outside in what Americans would find to be far from ice cream weather to teens singing around a guitar player on the steps in front of the cathedral.

I was there once right before Christmas and was never so consistently cold day after day from dampness, my hotel's windows leaking the wet foggy air from outside and the poor heat in the old building.

As for smells, unfortunately, this was long before I was a perfumista wannabe! Milano's air bears the aromas of too much auto traffic! Yet the city is still a beautiful place, with many things to be discovered if one has the patience and the time. Its beauty and character are different from other locations in Italy, whose sites and charms are much more readily grasped by a tourist.

Please enter me in the draw!
Laura M

Anonymous said...

On the Byredo: I am a little afraid of this, even though it sounds fantastic, and this makes me sad. I think the recent glut of "fruity florals" has put me off of fruit-dominant scents. I need to figure this out, how to not cut an entire segment of the fragrance world out of consideration, because now that I consider it more fully that makes no sense.

Unknown said...

On L'Heure Bleue, this is one of my absolute favorites....my gateway into the greater perfume world if you will. It is so lovely and haunting. Putting it on never fails to change my state of mind to more reflective and calm. I very rarely comment, but I love this blog and look forward to every single post. Thank you for writing!

dk said...

L'heure bleu

Yes, after reading your post I ran out to smell it-so lovely and melancholy and calm. I may have to purchase. I'm not sure I can live without it.

Have you been to Colonial Drug in Cambridge, MA? I'm a smell novice, but they seem to have a nice selection of unusual stuff and are happy to let me come in and sniff.

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you so much for this opportunity! There are so many scents I have to try, and your posts have been opening so many doors for me!

As I posted on the L'Heure Bleue post, I had just gotten the Jean Rhys book (tracked it down in a lovely old hardcover edition), and so you have brought new levels to that book for me. I am waiting to get a sample of L'Heure Blue before I start reading it, just because of your post.

I am also intrigued by Guerlain's Insolence thanks to the post, because I too have been turned off by the marketing. But a creamier version of the EDT sounds irresistible.

Kenzo's Ca Sent Beau sounds too good to be true -- I have yet to find a citrus that works, so of course am extremely eager to try it. The description of balancing between fresh and feral is what sold me.

And last, but not least, La Mome. I have been bored by "cozy, warm, gentle and subtle" scents lately, and have not yet found anything with a violet that I have really liked, so it has me wondering -- could it be?


Gator Grad said...


So it's "carnation for beginners"? Bring it on then! ha ha

Since I'm relatively new to the niche frag stuff (where frags are more than pretty things with obvious top notes and straightforward dry downs), I've discovered that an *entry* scent to a note/house is both the best and worst thing... like Kelly Caleche for ex. I liked it. Until someone suggested multiple times that it's an easy-to-like leather, I didn't get the leather at all. But then, after more testing and reading the prompts, I discovered the leather in Kelly and now am seeking out other leather frags. Know what I mean? It's tough on the pocketbook, but lovely on the nose, to try a "beginner" scent that makes you love a note or a line.

dea said...

Hey there!
So glad you did this, I have wanted to make a couple of comments about several on this list- but didn't want to go back.

Versace Man- I am wearing this today and it is so feminine on me, that I was disoriented & forgot what I put on. In fact, it is a close resemblance to Bvlgari BLV (womens), for the top and middle. Then goes all dryer sheet in the dry down. I read on fragrantica that this was created for "charismatic and temperamental men" and has a "certain Latino vibe". what? blah hah hah ha.

Insolence edp- Yes. So much different than the edt. Why don't they listen to you, Abigail?!

Abigail- we seem to be evil scent twins. As in a lot of things that smell great on you that you love, smell terrible on me and make me grumpy. i.e. *all* chypres= sour and irritating on me.

yet, when you hate something, it is because it really sucks. and so the whole- "i'm opposite of that" - doesn't hold true, either.

do i qualify for the draw? if not, that's cool. but if so, i've never smelled any mona di orio or santa maria novella

ps. Nina Z. I smelled Pulp at the SF Barneys, too! and I live in Nebraska. Did Marco help you? The handsome peruvian, Serge Lutens make-up artist?

maitreyi1978 said...

Byredo pulp attracts me with its reputation for sillage. I must try it! Please include me in the draw.

Joe said...

I feel a bit guilty for not checking in here as often as some of my standby daily reading, but I really enjoy your blog. I just enjoy reading the opinions of other true perfume lovers anywhere, anytime. So thank you for providing yet another venue.

I still need to pick up a book by Jean Rhys, to whom Brian referred in his L'Heure Bleue piece. And you didn't list it here, but Mecheri Oliban has taken up residence in the back of my mind as something I need to smell; its reappearance on your summer list reactivated the lemming.

Again, thanks for your site.

Brian said...

Oh Tania. Sigh. Yes, it's fruity. But to me it's a massive departure from standard fruity fare, the way Delrae's Emotionnelle is. It has a woody backbone to it I really like. To be sure, it's over the top. I tend to favor that kind of overstatement. One thing going for it, for me, is the way it leans more heavily to salty than to sweet. It's pungent, yes. It's succulent. But like Emotionnelle it is saved from insipidity by that turn of the trend alone.

Thanks, Molo. We adore you for adoring us. IS Insolence too much to wear to the office? So THAT'S why my co-workers sneeze so elaborately.

Laura, thanks so much for the wonderful thoughts on Milan. I loved that city. I want to go back. I feel like my real life is over there ever since I got back, like I forgot to pack it. I suppose I was preoccupied with getting all my bottles through customs intact. I loved that Milan holds its secrets closely, requiring journeys and exploration to uncover them. Such a great place.

Amanda, thanks for coming out of the internet closet to comment. Any friend of L'Heure Bleue is a friend of mine. It's such a solitary, quiet fragrance. It takes me to nice places and puts me in a distinctly meditative frame of mind. Dk, you too. BFF.

Monika, which Rhys book did you get? You know I have to know the title!

Gator Grad, I feel your pain. You don't even know. This month I initiated a limit. One fragrance per month. So far, I've been good, though I did manage to entice someone into buying me a bottle by bartering.

Dea, I'm glad you feel the love for Versace Man. I think it's a sleeper.

And Joe, you hit us whenever you feel like it. We're here.

Anonymous said...

Brian --

Wide Sargasso Sea


OperaFan said...

Hi Brian & Abigail,
I'd love to be in the drawing.
Just responded to the L'Heure Bleu post - beautifully written. It's such a distinct scent. When I first acquired the PdT (more than 10yrs ago), it was my preferred evening fragrance. My husband and I attended the theatre recently and the woman sitting next to me was saturated with the scent. Well, a little does go a long way, doesn't it? It's a good thing I love it...