Second Sunday Samples: All that Glitters is not Gold

Two samples that I’ve chosen for this SSS post were on my mind for the last couple of months. Originally I planned to write about them in December but then plans changed, and I moved these to January.

The reason I thought these two were suited for December is that both perfumes come with festive golden flakes in flacons, so Christmas or New Year celebrations naturally come to mind.

 

Atelier des Ors Iris Fauve

Three Sea Stars

I really looked forward to trying Atelier des Ors Iris Fauve after reading Lucas’s review: our perfume tastes are very similar, and he liked it enough to go for a bottle, a sample from which he graciously shared with me.

I was supposed to like this perfume: I like iris, I like vetiver, I like myrrh, and all other declared notes (bergamot, cinnamon, patchouli, cypriol, musk, labdanum and liatris) are among those that I do not mind in my perfumes. I wanted to like this perfume, and I kept trying it again and again after reading each next positive review (Portia liked it , Steve liked it, Gaia liked it, and even Kafka didn’t hate it).

I must be anosmic to some ingredients in Iris Fauve: while it is not unpleasant on my skin, I can barely smell anything. Some kind of iris is there in the opening but it’s not any of its facets that I usually enjoy in perfumes. Half an hour into the development I can smell cinnamon (as always, I’m amazed when I can actually recognize one of the notes). Woodiness I smell probably comes from vetiver – though it’s also less pronounced than in several vetiver perfumes that I like.

There are many perfumes that others like and I don’t, but usually with those I understand what others smell but just do not share the love. With Iris Fauve I just don’t see (smell) what one can love (or even dislike) in this perfume: it is kind of there but not really. For my nose it is quiet, inoffensive and not memorable. And it comes only in that stupid 100 ml bottle. Though maybe if one bathes in it, it is more pronounced?

 

Molvizar and Atelier des Ors Samples

 

Ramon Molvizar Musk Oriental Goldskin

Four Sea Stars

Ramon Molvizar Musk Oriental Goldskin was one of two contenders for my Barcelona trip perfume trophy. I liked it when I first smelled it, and I spent an hour sniffing it trying to decide if I wanted to get it.

As I keep repeating, I’m not good with discerning notes in perfumes. But I have good “perfume memory”: I recognize similarities in perfumes I’m trying and those that I smelled before. So sniffing Musk Oriental Goldskin, I immediately told myself that it reminded me of something I already knew. I wasn’t completely sure but because of those doubts in the end I went with another perfume from the same brand – Sol/Sun. But I brought back with me a sample of Musk Oriental Goldskin.

 

Ramon Molvizar Sol/Sun

 

At home I confirmed my initial impression: Musk Oriental Goldskin (2007) had a lot in common with Jo Malone’s limited edition from 2008 Lotus Blossom & Water Lily. As we know, notes lists do not mean much but still I couldn’t help noticing the intersection.

Lotus Blossom & Water Lily notes: mandarin, grapefruit, bergamot, honeysuckle, freesia, jasmine, water lily, lotus, sandalwood, amber, musk, guaiac wood and incense.

Musk Oriental Goldskin notes: bergamot, ginger, green notes, floral notes, jasmine, lotus, water lily and musk.

Musk Oriental Goldskin is a light floral oriental perfume – warm enough for winter wear but sheer enough not to be overwhelming in hot weather as well. Despite the completely unnecessary golden flakes, this perfume smells luxurious and elegant. It is not phenomenal, and nobody should run and test it, but if you come across it, give it a try: it might pleasantly surprise you.

When asking for that sample at the store, I hoped that I would be able to prove to myself that I didn’t need Musk Oriental Goldskin. Well, I do not need it (I don’t need any more perfumes in general) but since, unfortunately, my Lotus Blossom & Water Lily bottle turned (I bought it used so I don’t know how it was stored before coming to me), I’m thinking about getting a bottle of Musk Oriental Goldskin from Ramon Molvizar’s “pocket line” if I can figure out how not to pay the enormous delivery fee on a reasonably priced 30 ml bottle.

 

Rusty and Molvizar and Atelier des Ors Samples

 

Images: my own

Advertisements

WTD, Episode 3.1: Kohdo Wood Collection by Jo Malone

In 2008 Jo Malone introduced two perfumes in the limited edition Kohdo Wood Collection – Lotus Blossom & Water Lily and Dark Amber & Ginger Lily. Unlike many other Jo Malone’s scents these two aren’t mellow and neutral, they have some character: it’s hard to be indifferent and just keep it on once you applied one of them; you either like them and want to wear (which I do) or you do not like them.

Water LilyLotus Blossom & Water Lily – notes include aquatic accord, grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin, lotus blossom, freesia, honeysuckle, water lily, jasmine, incense, amber, sandalwood, bamboo, musk, agarwood and guaiac wood. I like wearing this cologne in summer, it seems appropriate for a well air-conditioned office on a hot summer day. It has a lot of flowers in it but the perfume doesn’t smell like a bouquet, it’s reminiscent more of the Conservatory of Flowers  where exotic plants are collected together in a limited space and their fragrances mingle creating a beautiful combination. I went through several samples first and then bought a bottle. Of course, now I’ll use it less often.

Dark Amber & Ginger Lily – notes include black cardamom, pink pepper, ginger, night-blooming jasmine, orchid, water lily, rose, black amber, white pepperwood, leather, patchouli, sandalwood and Kyara incense accord. I didn’t like it when I initially smelled it so I decided against trying it on skin. Too bad: by the time I’d changed my mind (my father happened to like and wear it) it was long sold out. I swapped for a small decant so I’m fine scent-wise but I wish I got that nice black bottle (the 30 ml one). I think Dark Amber & Ginger Lily is a truly unisex cologne.

Both colognes can still be occasionally found on eBay but they aren’t easily available. For two years after the creation Jo Malone re-introduced the collection in spring and it was rumored that it might happen again. I heard it from an SA at Saks in December of the last year. I waited for four months and then gave up and went eBay-ing.

For real reviews read Perfume Smellin’ Things and Now Smell This

 

Image: my own

See all episodes:
Weeklong Test Drives, Season 3: Jo Malone
WTD, Episode 3.2: Tea Fragrance Blends by Jo Malone
WTD, Episode 3.3: Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Lime Basil & Mandarin and Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone
WTD, Episode 3.4: In the Search for the Perfect Linden
WTD, Episode 3.5: Orange Blossom by Jo Malone