Archive for August 6th, 2006

Blind Testing

Several of us perfume bloggers have undertaken a fun project of Blind Scent Reviewing. Namely, we each had to send 3 samples to two other bloggers and wait for their impressions to post on our own blog along with revealing what the scents are. My lucky recipients happened to be none other than Marina from Perfume-Smellin’ Things (who has already posted her own reveal here) and March from Perfume Posse. I sent them 3 main scents and 2 extras for extra credit (which I’m not sure how I’m gonna reward yet – if you have any ideas, please comment). The samples were labeled quite simply – BS 1, BS 2, BS 3, Extra BS, and Extra Extra BS. Shame on you for thinking what you just thought for it’s actually Blind Sniffable. So, here’s the scoop:

Blind Sniffable No 1

Marina says: This was a torture. It smelled incredibly familiar. At first I thought it was Parfum des Merveilles, there was something salty-powdery-warmly-animalic in BS1 that reminded me of the parfum version of Merveilles. After side by side comparison I realized it wasn’t it. Then I thought that, because I smelled some rose and some citrus (bergamot?) in the beginning of BS1, as well as because there was a certain spiciness there, it might possibly be Rosine’s Rose de Feu, which I tried and reviewed at some point, but don’t actually remember all that well. And finally it hit me what it reminds of…Yves Saint Laurent’s Nu! The similarity between the two on my skin is astonishing. After testing them side by side, I could tell that Nu has a much more pronounced incense note and is a more intense scent overall…still, the scents are so alike on my skin, that BS1 could conceivably be a different formulation of Nu, for example, its Eau de Toilette. For various reasons, however, I believe that is not the case. My guess would be that this is one of Montale scents I haven’t tried or one of the Mazzolari’s. Perhaps Alessandro, although my nose is unable to detect any almond here. Whatever it is, I like it very much, but will never need a bottle, since I already have my Nu.

March says: I really like this. It’s not floral on me – more a fall comfort scent. I am getting … amber, vanilla, incense, a hint of feet? Which makes me think there’s woods in there, probably cedar? The feet aren’t bad – just a bit. And the color is gorgeous – that’s not something I usually notice about fragrance, but it’s rich and golden. As the fragrance develops it gets … odder. I smell something peppery, and the feet are more pronounced, but still (how sick am I?) in a good way. There’s some other weird note in here … leather, maybe? This smells unisexy, a man could definitely wear it. It also smells peculiar in a niche way. The lasting power is excellent. Thumbs up.

Marina, I immensely enjoyed torturing you with this one. March, you got pretty close there with your feet comment. The big reveal: Montale Sandalsliver (former Skin).

Blind Sniffable No 2

March says: This is driving me nuts. I get two completely different reads on it. First time: something sweet-sharp in the opening that makes my teeth hurt, I am guessing some sort of fruit, like melon with a little stink. Ack. But at more or less the moment I’d type the words “scrubber,” I become aware that the sillage is attractive. So now I’m in this Catch-22 situation: floating in the air around me, it’s an appealing floral, but whenever I try to sneak my nose in there and smell it, it growls at me. This reminds me vaguely of that wretched Missoni, sans the chocolate. Second time: An animalic floral (jasmine?), and it’s quite nice, although I’d like it a little heavier. Third time: I think what’s happening is the top is registering sometimes to me as stinky fruit (bad) and next time as stinky jasmine (good.) Also I’m getting a note of something slightly medicinal in the opening. Hmmmm. Overall it’s a bit sweet for me, I wish that fecal note were more pronounced. (Wow, that was fun to type! I hope nobody’s reading this at breakfast!) This one’s a head-scratcher, but I’m giving it the qualified thumbs up.

Marina says: Dry, not too sweet roses, that was my impression. I thought it was quite nice, understated and elegant, but rather pale and dull. I must say that most rose scents, if they are not woody, dark and brooding, bore me to tears. Ina likes rose scents more than I do, I think, so I apologize if I have been not respectful enough to one of her favorite rose scents. As to my guess of what this is…this could be anything. It could be one of Stella’s many versions or it could be an overpriced “niche” fragrance.

March, sorry the fecal note wasn’t pronounced enough. Marina, I’m not offended. The big reveal: The Pink Room UK!

Blind Sniffable No 3

Marina says: I liked this a lot, although it was very, very fleeting on my skin. The very first note made me think of anise, then in literally less than a second that pleasant gourmandness was gone and the scent moved on to becoming extremely pleasant woody-floral something with almost-leathery undertone…I can’t tell you exactly why, but something about it tells me it is either something vintage/classic or some very nice, non-macho “masculine” scent, or both. Despite the fact BS3 lasts all of 15 minutes on my skin, I need a bottle of this.

March says: Let’s call this one Anosmia. No, seriously. Finally I dumped on half that big vial, and it’s evanescent to the point of being very hard for me to smell. Other than the burst of alcohol at the opening, it smells vintage with a hint of powder and something green-ish, like basil, and that’s … all I can say. (Retest several days later) – what is wrong with me? Okay, it’s not super-strong, but it’s there. I get aldehydes and greens, grassy and sharp — it smells vintage, but in a light concentration – it’s still too light for me, frankly, but strikes me as something I might really like in an EDP or parfum. There’s a faint sour, mildewy note that I actually like.

Marina, you’ve already tried a scent you talked about wanting to try last week (and today on your blog!). March, right on! The big reveal: Balenciaga Prelude.

Extra Blind Sniffable

March says: Weird. Niche? Can’t imagine something mainstream smelling like this. Marine leather? Butch. I’m guessing a masculine. If this had a color it would look like sea glass. This is precisely the borderline-subversive smell that the Big Cheese hates. It’s got that salty note like in Ecume, and maybe some herbs. This is kinda fabulous, but I would wear it in winter, it’s too much right now. And I wouldn’t wear it around the Big Cheese (sigh). Excellent lasting power.

Marina says: Another incredibly familiar scent and I know I will be kicking myself when Ina reveals what this is. This is a lovely slightly-fruity floral fragrance with some vanilla that makes it rather smooth and a little sweet. This reminded me a little of Sira des Indes and of Lalique Le Parfum and even of Plus Que Jamais (another one of Ina’s favorites).

March, mainstream it is. Marina, I will not forgive you for the Plus Que Jamais comparison. The big reveal: Roberto Cavalli Oro.

Extra Extra Blind Sniffable

Marina says: An oil. Citrusy-green oil with some vanilla. A Jalaine (Citrus Dream?)? A Yosh? There is some “boozyness” in EEBS that reminds me of Rich Hippie’s scent with their always-boozy vanilla and I quite like this.

March says: an oil? Wow, that’s really interesting … I like oils, I have the right skin for it. There’s something Musc Ravegeur-ish about it, I feel like I need to go outside and let this open up on my skin more. It’s very sensual-smelling, some musk and spices, but also just a little aldehydic ping, which seems completely wrong in terms of an impression, but it smells great. There’s also a top (which I get when I first take the cap off the vial, and in small bursts on my skin) of a fruity sweetness, which is also usually not a favorite but is working quite nicely here … this is like MR with Cartier Delices parfum (the best parts – that luxuriant sweet-tartness) layered on top. I am very curious to find out what this is, because I want more!

Marina, you aimed too high. March, curious you should be. The big reveal: Millefiori Ilang.

Ladies, you’ve done an awesome job! I hereby officially pronounce you graduates of my BS school (even though neither of you really guessed anything but that doesn’t really matter). You will receive your prizes shortly. For the readers: if you’d like to try the first 3 BSs, please say so in your comment, and I’ll do a drawing. Yippee! This was fun!

Image source: www.corbis.com

31 comments August 6th, 2006


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