In the Search for the Perfect Yuzu, Take II or Yuzu Obsession

Among other entertaining aspects of YouTube beauty channels that I started watching in the last couple of years, I find it especially amusing when I hear, “I’m obsessed with XXX!” (Where X is a lipstick, blush or mascara.) from creators who professionally review makeup. I always think that with the sheer number of items in each category that they cover at least 3-4 times per week, I can’t imagine when they manage to repeat wearing the same product enough time to qualify for such an exorbitant reaction.

After such an introduction, I want to confess: I’m obsessed with yuzu.

It started with a friend introducing me to Yuzu Hot & Cold Tea, which I loved, and my search for a perfume that would smell like that marmalade (I told the story here). Demeter’s Yuzu Marmalade was a disappointment. So, of course, I kept looking. And what’s interesting, after testing a handful of samples (Yuzu by Acqua Di Parma, Tacit by Aesop, Oyedo by Diptyque, Tokyo by Gallivant, Smeraldo by Sylvaine Delacourte, Yuzu Rouge by Parfums 06130, Kazehikaru by Di Ser, Peche au Yuzu by Kyse and Note de Yuzu by Heeley), I did find my perfect Yuzu scent – Yuzu by J-Scent and a “runner up” – Jo Malone Yuja.

So, I have the perfect perfume that I enjoy wearing and a perfect yuzu marmalade (I found an online store where I could buy it for a reasonable price). Wouldn’t you think I would stop there?

I didn’t. I kept testing perfumes with this note.

Yuzu Samples

Portia sent me a sample of Yuzu Fou by Parfum d’Empire, created in 2008 by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato. I like the opening mint. It’s unusual. Orange and verbena. Lemon. I’m not sure I recognize yuzu, but it still is appealing and not banal. I wouldn’t describe it as “crazy,” but unusual. Cedarwood is slightly bitter and grounding. For my nose, it has something cumin-like, though notes don’t list it. I think Yuzu Fou is more masculine than I like my perfumes.

Speaking of masculine perfumes, when I was looking for yuzu fragrances, I read more than once that Issey Miyake l’eau d’issey Pour Homme was a good representation of this note in perfumery. So, finally, I decided to buy a sample. No, no and no. Not only is it too masculine (and doesn’t smell like my beloved yuzu products), but it also has something quite unpleasant in the background, which I cannot pinpoint but would not want to smell either on myself or on my vSO. I think it’s whatever makes this perfume “aquatic.” I’ll leave this 1994 Jacques Cavallier’s “classic perfume” to others who might appreciate it better.

Yuzu Soda by Strangers Parfumerie, created by Prin Lomros in 2021, sounded promising as an idea and because of the long list of notes: aldehydes, yuzu, bitter orange, camphor, basil, cream soda, musk, petitgrain, Nashi pear, mint, rosemary, pineapple, seaweed, iris root and vetiver. It starts sweeter, then dries down citrusy and maybe a little minty. It is OK but not that memorable and is not particularly yuzu-centric. My tiny STC sample is all I need; I won’t be looking for more.

I had high hopes for Zoologist’s Macaque Yuzu Edition. It was created by Mackenzie Reilly, with notes: yuzu, juniper berries, mandarin, hinoki wood, myrrh, labdanum, olibanum, sandalwood and oakmoss. It is pleasant and quite unique, but it is more woody than citrusy and rather masculine than unisex.

The perfume I liked the most out of the bunch I tested in this round was Eau de Yuzu by Nicolai Parfumeur Createur (did you know that they’ve changed the name? I didn’t realize it until recently). It’s mouthwatering citrus (literally!) – crisp, refreshing and … high-pitched in the opening, slightly woody and with just a hint of sweetness that increases in the drydown. I like it even though I don’t smell yuzu, at least in the form I recognize (since I haven’t smelled real fruit yet). I don’t think I’d wear Eau de Yuzu, but it is enjoyable and worth sampling if you like this type of perfume in general.

I wouldn’t have called it an obsession had my interest stopped at perfumes. But I liked the scent of my yuzu marmalade so much that wherever I saw yuzu as an ingredient in anything, I would immediately want that product.

It was innocent at first – a shower gel and a hand cream. The shower gel was neither here nor there: I’m still using it, but I’m not enamored of it, and once I’m done, I won’t replace it. The hand cream was a disaster, though! Forget yuzu! It doesn’t matter if it does or doesn’t smell like it. I find the whole aroma completely repulsive. The first night I applied it, I had to get up and wash it out. I wouldn’t have even mentioned these products by name, but I must warn you if you decide to try them. Both hand cream and shower gel are from the brand ShiKai (unless I’m mistaken, both were at least mentioned, if not recommended by Robin from the NST).

Yuzu Beauty Products

I was much more successful with the next yuzu-centric beauty product I bought – Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask from Saturday Skin. I love-love-love it! I mean, since my skin isn’t dry, I can’t say if it works or not, but I enjoy the subtle scent of this mask. And it has a slightly unusual texture: it feels as if it contains some citrus pulp or pieces of the rind. Most likely, it doesn’t. I read that it freaked out some people. But I enjoy using this Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask, and I’m on the second jar of it. The link is to the official site, but it is available at different retailers (run the search in your country). If you’re in the US, Amazon currently has a good Subscribe & Save price for it, and if you’re a member of Costco, the price is fantastic (but it’s sold in a set of 2). Even Rusty seems to like it.

 

 

I liked the Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask so much that I immediately jumped once the brand released Yuzu Vitamin C Bright Eye Cream (not shown in the photos because I bought it later). I don’t know what I expected. In retrospect, I realize that an eye cream cannot possibly smell yuzu or any citrus, for that matter. And it doesn’t. It doesn’t have any scent, which is probably a good thing nowadays. But I was disappointed. And its texture is denser than I like it to be in my eye creams. So, while I will go through the jar I bought, I will not be repurchasing it.

After that came the food items. Miracle Mile Yuzu Bitters – good in cocktails though not the most prominent yuzu note when used as directed. Ikinokura Yuzu Shio Salt – rather a novelty, but I like to use it when I cook salmon. Mariage Frères Yuzu Temple Tea – a lovely tea, but I’m not a huge fan of green teas.

Yuzu bitters, salt and tea

The most recent yuzu product I tried was Mighty Leaf Tea & Company Organic Chamomile Yuzu tea. I’m not sure whether I would be able to tell it apart from my regular Chamomile Citrus tea from the same brand, but it looks like I won’t have to think about it since the Yuzu one seems to be an experiment that didn’t pan out, and I don’t see it offered any longer.

Yuzu Tea

All-in-all, I don’t think that I’m done with yuzu. I still haven’t tried yuzu essential oil, vinegar or powder. And I might still find some body products that I like.

Do you have any interesting yuzu products to recommend?

Rusty and Yuzu Products

Images: my own

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Cheap Shit Portia Loved 2021

Cheap Shit Portia Loved 2021

Hey Crew. This year I used a few new bargain basement things from the fragrance arena. There were some heavily discounted or generally bargain basement shower gels, perfumes and soaps. There’s something incredibly satisfying for me when I find a super good deal, or a product that performs far past its price category. Hopefully this list will give you some inspiration too. We all love to feel and smell luxurious for less (as well as for shitloads more).

Most of my “Cheap Shit” frags are coming from FragranceNet. No, I’m not affiliated but the prices are excellent and they send to the world.

Cheap Shit Portia Loved 2021

Perfumes

Cabochard EdT by Parfums Gres

Recently revamped and getting loads of wear here lately. This modern take on the leather chypre is so wearable and the new bottle is definitely dresser worthy.

Diamonds & Emeralds by Elizabeth Taylor

How did it take me so long to find this crazy fruity big white floral with a little skank hiding in the background. It’s so wearable and fun.

Issey Miyake pour homme Intense

I know many of you don’t like the aquatic fragrances but I love a salty aquatic so much. Here it has a slightly amber base but what I really love is that shimmering citrus heavy salty water.

Lalique EdT for her

I wore thois beauty for a whole week this year as a test. Though I thought I’d never want to see it again it has become a mainstay in the collection. A very classy spiced fruity floral with vanilla down the back.

Stash Unspoken by Sarah Jessica Parker

I thought this beauty had been DCd but lately it has started popping up again in our chain chemist stores for very little money. zingy fruity up top and some lovely warm tonka and woods later. It isn’t groundbreaking or eye rollingly gorgeous but it does smell good and is definitely in the cheap shit pile.

Wish by Chopard

One of my besties Scotty gave me my bottle of Wish and I thought it was going to be hate at first sniff. NOPE! Unbelievably more-ish. Sweet, honeyed caramel drizzled lavishly over some fruit and vanilla heavy amber. The bottle makes it even more fun.

Soap & Body Wash

Can Can by Paris Hilton

Yes, shoot me now. I ordered my bottle of Can Can to add to a teens birthday present but the label on the bottle was askew and pulled off a bit. So I kept it and started using it daily to get it out of my sight. Sure, it’s not the most gorgeous scent on earth and no one will mistake its for a luxury item but it cleans my body and makes sensation bubbles in the bath. Sweet fruity floral nothings.

Florentino Soap Lilly Of The Valley

Another gift from Scott, this came in a three pack but two of the bars are currently in use in the house. If you like Muguet and are after a set that looks like it cost malt bank yet goes for well under $10 then this is the pack for you. I love this soap so much that I was looking to get myself more and could not believe the price. Even the packaging seems expensive.

LUSH Rose Jam

Yes, EVERY year I add this to the list. It’s not SUPER cheap but it’s affordable and comes in multiple sizes. I’ve never smelled such an intoxicating jammy rose in a shower gel/bubble bath. Every time I swoon. So perfect, iit lathers beautifully and leaves my skim softly fragrant for hours. A perfect underlay for any rose scent.

Mysore Sandal, Jasmine and Rose Bath Soaps

OK, full disclosure. I adore the original Sandal Soap. This year for the first time I saw this set and bought a few to gift. EVERTY person that has received them is astounded by their beauty. Even some real dyed in the wool perfumistas. Next time I’m in the Indian Grocery I’m going to order 20 packs. Not super Cooper cheap but for the incredible feedback I’m getting it’s bargain for buck.

Reem Acra Shower Gel

You probably know the fragrance is DCd. So I’m buying these beautiful white floral shower gel & lotion in 75ml for well under $5 each. A perfect little extra for any gift pack and they are the best for travelling. The scent is magic in the bathroom but unless you lotion yourself the shower gel is only the faintest after leaving the bathroom. 20 minutes later it’s gone. Ready for whatever perfume you choose for the day.

Winnie The Pooh Shower Gel

HONEY! A shower gel with honey. Yes, I know it’s designed for kids but it’s bloody fabulous. I bought a truckload of these for nearly nothing and they are going like hotcakes to friends. HONEY! They come in the shape of a honey pot and are so bloody cute. Sure, the kids will love them but YOU will too. Promise.

 

Not a complete list but there are some bargains beauties from the cheap shit piles that I’ve worn, used and bubbled away in in 2021. Do you have some good ones to add to the list?
Portia xx

 

A Magical Greenery Tour

Hello friends!

I have had a very exciting week: after my post, in which I talked about how green and I don’t always get along in perfume, Portia sent me 11 numbered samples of some of his favourite greens. I tested two a day and journaled my immediate feelings and impressions. When I began, I had no intention of trying to guess what they were, but the allure of numbered mystery vials was too much for my brain. Often an immediate association came to mind, whether fragrance or house. Some might find this useful, and though none of my speculations were correct, I think you could take them as “in the style of” recommendations.

And now, to the perfumes!

 

Green Samples

 

Green No. 1

A lovely melon note under fresh green spiciness. Ma Griffe? Something of that era. Very gentle, reminds me of humid spring day. And I love humidity.

Peau d’Ailleurs by Starck (2016, Annick Menardo). I had never heard of this house, but I’m looking forward to wearing my sample again, as apparently it features geosmin heavily. Perhaps that was the humidity?

Green No. 2

While it begins light and crisp, the drydown is potent and long-lasting. Quite stiff and proper though sweet. Too high pitched for me, but a crowd pleaser, I suspect. O de Lancome-esque.

Sampaquita by Ormonde Jayne (2004, Geza Schoen). Oh my! I have tried to like this so many times due to its name and being on sale rather often. I’ve always found Ormonde Jayne to be too proper for me, I like them, but I feel I cannot love them. And no, I don’t just like the wild ones, but my proper quota has been fulfilled by quite a few classics. I’d recommend Ormonde Jayne as a house to others, but it seems we are not to be.

Green No. 3

Sweet like a green apple. Fruity, galbanum on a pillow of musk. It reminds me of Fidji, or rather my image of Fidji, which I haven’t smelled in 15 years. Very charming and young, the youth of another era before the invention of fruitchoulis.

A Scent by Issey Miyake (2009, Daphne Bugey). I remember trying this when it came out as the bottle was so appealingly minimalist. I liked it, but having little interest in greens or fresh at that point (I was deep into gothic orientals) a quick spray was as far as we went. Now I’m thinking this is a fun one to keep an eye out for, if it is still around.

 

Greenery

 

Green No. 4

I feel this one is thoroughly modern and playing homage to vintage. There’s a definite touch of cumin in there under the mossy forest floor. I would like very much to wear this scent, it has many secret qualities that appeal to my imagination.

Eau de Gloire by Parfum d’Empire (2003, Marc-Antoine Corticchiato). And straight to the top of the want list this goes! I would like to carry Eau de Gloire in my purse, always at the ready to secretly bolster the day. This was one of two standout favourites during my magical greenery tour. I was so enthralled with it that I emailed Portia begging to know what it was, but he held out until I had sampled everything!

Green No. 5

Chanel No. 19?

Futur by Robert Piguet (1960, presumably reformulated since then; Aurelien Guichard). It was a little sweeter than No. 19, but if you’re a No 19 fan you might like to spend some time with this one to see if you also love it.

Green No. 6

A tart fuzzy green with a touch of heliotrope to begin with. I immediately thought “Zoologist”, though not one I’ve smelled. Strong black tea. Smoke. Absolutely charming and interesting, reminds me of a great reading experience. 6 is the stand-out for me, it’s just so drinkable and fine. It made me a little emotional, the play of tea and fruit and smoke.

Eau de Givenchy, vintage (1980, Daniel Moliere and Daniel Hoffman). This was my favourite of the whole collection. I absolutely loved it. Looking up reviews, there’s a lot of talk about “a perfect spring day” and no talk of tea and tartness. Perhaps trying things without reading about them first has a lot of merit. This one I tested for two days.

 

Greenery

 

Green No. 7

A vile and antiseptic concoction infiltrated by sweaty cumin. A sweetness develops. By the drydown, it’s quite rich and acceptable. Amouage?

#2 Spiritus/Land by Miller et Bertaux (2006). I had quite a visceral dislike for this, but by the drydown it had mellowed into a well thought out fragrance, but not something I enjoyed. I see it has teak in it, which may contribute to my antiseptic response. Amouage and I have a troubled relationship, but one factor that brought Amouage to mind with Spiritus/Land was the high quality of the ingredients.

Green No. 8

Oh my! I want to say Cristalle, or rather the fantasy of Cristalle that I had when I began my perfume journey. It’s luminous! It reminds me of a beautiful yellow wine. I’m wondering why I don’t have whatever this is in my collection!

Cœur de Vétiver Sacré by L’Artisan Parfumeur (2010, Karine Vinchon-Spehn). One of the few L’Artisans I have not tried and yet another reason to adore the early L’Artisans, full of quirky masterpieces. I will be tracking down this sadly discontinued wonder to join my L’Artisan beloveds. I am quite thrilled to have tried this beauty, since it has always been on my radar as a L’Artisan I had missed out on.

Green No. 9

Guerlain Vetiver?

Tzora by Anat Fritz (2012, Geza Schoen). Well, isn’t that interesting. I was very careful during our green tour to only test two a day and not confuse my nose. I wore nothing else. Being in lockdown helped, as there are no other scents in the air, and the mood and temperature plodded on at a steady sameness. I’ve tried Tzora before, and I own Guerlain Vetiver. I ended up testing both side by side. Other than Tzora being a little richer and missing that delicate nutmeg, they were so close I thought it was my imagination that they were even different scents.

Green No. 10

Minty. Camphor. Sugar. Heeley Esprit du Tiger? It’s lovely, I could bathe in it! It is sugared in the most delicate and lovely way.

Oriental Mint by Phaedon (2011, Pierre Guillaume). This features “resins”, which, I suspect, is where the tiger balm accord comes in. I think it’s better than the Esprit du Tiger, not as simple. A very fun scent! I could see this being a bottle I wore excessively for a summer.

Green No. 11

I have spent some hours thinking on what this reminds me of. Lovely lemon, very fresh and bright to begin with. It then magically develops into a delicious sherbet! It’s as if a gelato maker sniffed the orchard air and rushed to capture the wonderful citrus and springtime scent in a gelato. I think this is a Hermetica, it feels like Hermetica DNA.

Granville by Dior (2010, Francoise Demachy). Oh my, how fantastic this is. I hope you all are able to try Granville, especially if you love lemon. Vividly natural ingredients.

And so we end our magical greenery tour. Through the testing phase and the reveal, I’ve been inspired, besotted, perplexed and gobsmacked. It has been a very enjoyable journey during this time of no travel (one of perfume’s secret powers). Thank you, Portia, for your samples and your wonderful enthusiasm to share your loves.

 

Greenery

 

Images: samples (Narth), greenery (Undina)