Ylang Meringue: Terracotta Le Parfum

Terracotta Le Parfum , the bergamot meringue stage.

Terracotta Le Parfum at the bergamot meringue stage.

I was saying goodbye to my local Saks, or to be more accurate I was saying goodbye to the Guerlain counter, when what should I run into but this year’s Guerlain limited edition: Terracotta Le Parfum.

It’s just a bit confusing because I thought that Terracotta was last year’s LE. Silly me, no.  Terracotta had proven too much of a hit to be left to languish and so here it is again smelling like a composite of a number of perfumes that Guerlain has had on the roster in recent years, and you might  be excused for thinking that the famous Guerlinade was actually a meringue-ade, but who cares?  Terracotta is such a confection, it seems mean spirited to quibble. Continue reading

Gardenia 911

How many gardenias fall into the cold cream vat?

How many gardenias fall into the cold cream vat?

Gardenias are said to be the perfumer’s best bet at capturing the US feminine market.  We in the Sates love our gardenias, and if you can just concoct us a good one, we’re your customers forever.

There’s some truth to the rumor. All sorts of niche perfume companies have tried to crack open the American feminine market with gardenias, but only Annick Goutal succeeded with Gardenia Passion*, and such venerable houses as Guerlain have struck out with non-gardenia gardenias such as Cruel Gardenia.  C’est la Vie. Continue reading

Bubbles in the Soap Dish: Cruel Gardenia, Caline, Fleur de Rocailles

Cold Cream Camay

Cold Cream Camay

Most of us are very clean.   I’ve never met anyone interested in perfume who was not something of a clean freak.  Maybe we don’t take three baths a day a la Tom Ford but we are very fussy about hygiene.  So why do most of us just not like soap in our perfume?

Possibly the note seems old fashioned to us now.  Back at the turn of the century though J Lo did have that hit of hers Glow.  The whole idea there was freshness and something similar happened with Narciso Rodriguez’ Essence. I thought that the scents were nice enough and had the advantage of wearability in public places.  However, both were modern soaps, and understated. Continue reading

The Gardenia That Wasn’t

Yesterday, upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
I wish, I wish, he’d go away.

Gardenia scents do not have to involve gardenias at all.  This startling truth was brought home to me when I wore the new Creed Fleurs de Gardenia the other day.

I knew that I had sniffed something rather like this some time in the not long distant past, and after a little while it came to me: Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia was along the same lines.  I had spent an afternoon with Cruel in the turbulent wake of a Guerlain Trunk Show, and the perfume had duked it out with Mayotte on my forearm for title as Most Pungent White Floral 2012,  or World Domination, whichever came first. Continue reading