To Dream or not To Dream: Sleep Scents

 

Under normal circumstances (bar sickness and problems of cosmic proportions, such as a broken umbrella) I’m a sound sleeper. Even loudly meowing cat cannot disturb my peace in the morning. But to fall asleep I need 15-20 minutes of full darkness and silence. I’ve never dozed off while watching TV or reading a book. I have to cease all activities, turn off everything – and only then I can sleep. The smallest noise or light bothers me: ticking clocks on the wall, humming cleaning machines at the supermarket down the block or flickering lights of a wireless router kept me sleepless for hours.

Scents do not bother me. I wouldn’t probably spray myself lavishly with Shalimar before going to bed (ok, strike everything after the perfume name) but I always enjoy remains of the perfume I wore earlier coming from my skin or hair as I’m drifting off to sleep.

The second type of perfumes I enjoy wearing to bed: perfumes that I actually designate as sleep scents. Usually those are perfumes that I like as scents but do not often wear as perfumes. I’m not sure what exactly sets them apart from perfumes I wear in my everyday life but I do have that category in my perfume collection.

Sonoma Scent Studio To Dream

The first fragrance that I defined for myself as a sleep scent was To Dream by Sonoma Scent Studio – created in 2011 by Laurie Erickson, notes include violet, rose, heliotrope, cedar, amber, frankincense, oakwood absolute, vetiver, tonka, orris, vanilla, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss absolute, subtle suede, cocoa and aldehydes. I do not know if the name lead me into it or if it happened on its own but To Dream became one of my favorite sleep scents.

Like many others Sonoma Scent Studio’s perfumes, To Dream is too concentrated for me to use from the spray bottle so I usually decant it into a dab vial and apply a little before going to bed. If you follow the link above you’ll find many links to other bloggers’ reviews so I won’t even try to describe the scent. I just want to say that if you haven’t tried it yet you should. I really like the travel spray option: yes, it’s more expensive per ml but it’s a very chic atomizer and with 20-24% concentration those 5 ml will last you forever.

SSS Fig Tree Shea Cream

Recently Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) introduced the “new idea” from Parfums d’Orsayalcohol-free hydrating perfume. It reminded me of another amazing product from Sonoma Scent Studio – shea body creams. For the last year I’ve been using Fig Tree shea cream from time to time as my night hand lotion/sleep scent (though I love wearing Fig Tree perfume as my daytime perfume as well – see my In the Search for the Perfect Fig). Shea creams will be available soon on the site (they are seasonal items). Don’t miss them because they will be gone until the next holiday season.

 

Do you wear perfumes to bed?

 

 

Images: my own

New Year Resolutions: November

In November, which was wonderful in our area this year, I both wore and tested even less perfumes than the month before. I’m not sure but I think it happened because I wanted to spend more time with my favorite perfumes – wearing them and not just visiting briefly in between tests of more and more new samples. Also I was working on my short-list of perfumes-candidates for joining my collection this holiday season. I’m down to six and working on the final choice(s).

My short-list: Une Rose Vermeille by Tauer Perfumes, Cuir de Russie by Chanel, Vert Pour Madame by DSH, Ambre Fetiche by Annick Goutal, Arabian Wood by Tom Ford, Ginger Ciao by Yosh.

Also, I just realized that in the last couple of weeks almost every night I was using Sonoma Scent Studio‘s Fig Tree shea butter as my night hand cream and it automatically excludes wearing any other sleep scent (I wrote more about it in my recent post).

Quick November stats:

November statistics: number of wears per brand* Different perfumes worn/tested: 61 (-3) from 24 (-6) brands on 79 (-6) occasions;

* Favorite perfumes worn: 16 (+2) on 21 occasions (+2);

* Perfumes I tried for the first time: 16 (-9);

* Perfume house I wore/tested most often: Serge Lutens, Chanel and Tom Ford;

* Most popular notes (only from perfumes I chose to wear, not those that I tested for the first time): top – (not counting bergamot) rose, galbanum and mandarin; middle – (since rose and jasmine keep that position unchallenged I include the next notes in the list) ylang ylang and iris; base – vanilla, sandalwood, musk and patchouli.

* Total number of different notes in all perfumes I wore/tested this month:  176 (-49).

 

Is December (holiday season) different in any way when it comes to building your collection? Do you buy more as a gift to yourself? Do you buy less to slow down at least in the last month of the year?

Image: my own

In the Search for the Perfect Fig

I love figs. Everybody who lives in my house loves figs including my cat Rusty. When he was six months old once he stole a piece of fig with goat cheese on it and tried to run away. His mouth was hardly big enough to hold his loot, I don’t know why he didn’t just lick cheese off it, but he ran as fast as he could while holding on to that fig. In the end he dropped it but still managed to eat cheese.

Several weeks ago after reading one of the fig perfumes reviews, I realized that even though I love and eat figs in all possible ways – fresh fruits, fig gem, fig yogurt, fig balsamic vinegar or chocolate covered figs – I can’t imagine how figs smell. I know what is considered a fig scent in perfumery – personal and home ambiance fragrances, candles or soaps – but I couldn’t remember a scent of an actual fruit.

I tried to rectify the situation but a fig season was suddenly over, figs disappeared from the farmer’s market and those I found in a store didn’t smell.

Fig on a treeOn my recent trip to Sonoma I found a fig tree that still had some fruits. I took a picture (see on the left), picked the fig, bit it, sniffed it and then ate completely. I couldn’t smell much. Either it was a wrong fig or maybe I’m anosmic to some component of this particular scent but I could vaguely smell some rather vegetal aroma – and that was it. I wouldn’t want to wear that scent realistically recreated as a perfume. Probably I’ll have to settle for eating figs without a smell and smelling their perfume version.

On the way home I stopped by Sonoma Scent Studio and bought a perfect example of such perfume version.

Fig Tree by Sonoma Scent Studio – created in 2011 by Laurie Erickson, notes include green fig, vanilla, cedar, patchouli, tonka and musk.  I loved the scent the first time I smelled it from a sample and knew I would get it for my collection. For real reviews read EauMG. But I want to recommend trying this perfume even to those who used to have problems with SSS’s base: in my opinion, Fig Tree is very different from other Sonoma Scent Studio’s perfumes. It’s sheer enough to be worn in warmer weather but, at the same time, has enough substance for the colder months. I got a very stylish 5 ml purse spray and it’ll do for now: Fig Tree has a fair tenacity on my skin (3-4 hours). For me Fig Tree is a perfect fig perfume.

I also bought a jar of Fig Tree Shea Body cream. It smells exactly the same as the perfume. I enjoy the texture of the cream but since I do not like to use scented body product too often (it’s too much of a commitment for me) I started using Fig Tree shea butter as my hand cream before I go to bed. I think Sonoma Scent Studio’s body products will make great gifts for somebody to whom you want to give a scented present but not sure about their perfume tastes.

Fig Tree perfume and cream by Sonoma Scent StudioOther perfumes with a prominent fig note:

Ninfeo Mio by Annick Goutal – created in 2009 by Isabelle Doyen, notes include citron, lemon, petitgrain, bitter orange, galbanum, lavender, lentisque, fig, lemon wood and musk. I read many positive reviews before I got to try Ninfeo Mio. I liked that matte green bottle and really hoped to like the perfume. I didn’t. I approached it several times: it smells very nice on a blotter. But Ninfeo Mio is one of those Annick Goutal’s perfumes that I just cannot stand on my skin. I was so upset by that fact that I even gave away my sample. Of course, now, when stores around do not carry it any more, I started having doubts: should I test it again? Will I like it more if I try it now? I will test it again one day (it is a beautiful bottle…)

Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels had similar but milder reaction but for Robin from NST Ninfeo Mio worked much better.

Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès – created in 2003 by Jean-Claude Ellena, notes include fig woods and leaves, orange blossom, bergamot and white oleander. If one good thing came out of my trying Ninfeo Mio resolutely, it was that I finally came around to liking Un Jardin en Mediterranee. It’s not the most straight-forward connection: I just happened to test these too in parallel. I thought they had something in common and while testing I discovered that this Ellena’s creation develops very nicely on my skin. I might even pick up a small bottle of Un Jardin en Mediterranee eventually.

This is Birgit’s review that inspired me to test Un Jardin en Mediterranee again.

Green FigWild Fig & Cassis by Jo Malone – created in 2002 by Jo Malone, notes include cassis, cherry, grass, hyacinth, cyclamen, jasmine, pine tree, patchouli, cedar, amber and musk. That was the second full bottle from Jo Malone line that I added to my collection. It was the first fig perfume I’d ever smelled so it might influence me but Wild Fig & Cassis is probably my most favorite fig fragrance as of now (followed by Fig Tree). I think it is underappreciated. It’s interesting and complex enough to stand in the same line with other more popular fig perfumes. Wild Fig & Cassis is a green and slightly bitter fragrance. I do not detect any sweetness but YMMV since I’m known for not smelling some sweet notes where others get an overdose.

Philosykos by Diptyque – created in 1996 by Olivia Giacobetti, notes include fig tree leaves, wood and white cedar. I know that this one is almost an iconic fig fragrance; Philosykos gets mentioned every time when fig in perfumes is discussed. I was inclined to like it long before I tried it. Then I bought a sample. It is a nice perfume. But it’s a little too… flat(?) for my taste. And a little sweeter than I’d like it to be. So while appreciating this perfume I don’t think I’ll even use up my sample.

For real (and positive) reviews read NST and Olfactoria’s Travels (Birgit also reviews here two other fig fragrances which I haven’t tried).

Winter FigWomanity and Womanity Taste of Fragrance (Le Goût du Parfum) by Thierry Mugler – created in 2010 and 2011 correspondently, notes include citrus notes, green notes, fig, caviar accord, animal notes, aquatic notes, woodsy notes, oriental notes and sunny notes (whatever it means) – for the original Womanity and some marketing variations on the same notes plus “fig chutney” for Womanity Le Goût du Parfum. I find this perfume (well, both of them since after testing them in parallel several times I do not see much difference between them in 15 minutes of wearing) very interesting and unusual. I read many negative reviews and I tried Womanity again and again in spite of them. It smells… interesting. I think Thierry Mugler again managed to create something different, maybe not as revolutionary as Angel but still original enough. But I do not want to wear it. I thought I wanted to buy a small bottle of either version of Womanity for my collection but then after reading Ari’s review and testing both perfumes again I realized I wouldn’t wear any of them.

What is your favorite fig perfume? If you reviewed any of these or other fig-centric perfumes feel free to give a link to you post.

Images: first two my own; last two by a friend of mine lyukum