Rochas – Tocade

She sits at her vanity table, powdering her nose.
The bed in her boudoir has been slept in, the scarlet satin sheets crumpled,
a suggestive hint of the previous night’s activities.
A little bit of rouge to accentuate her cheekbones
although she doesn’t really need it, flushed as she is.
Her lips are ruby red, pillowed and pouty;
she presses them together, plumps them
Face done, she starts on her nails, painting them a
deep crimson of passion and enticement
She’s ready.

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Guerlain – Insolence

I remember wearing Insolence (EDT) while driving in my car to pick up some friends to go for supper. Supper, for those unfamiliar with the strange ways of the regular Singaporean, refers to the rather full-sized meal that one eats AFTER already having had dinner (the evening one, I know the meaning of dinner varies from country to country), usually anywhere from 10pm – 2 or 3am. To put this in context, we usually have dinner at around 6-7pm, unlike some countries where dinner starts at 9 and finishes at midnight, which was my experience when I lived in a French friend’s lovely home for a vacation! The size of our supper meals sometimes matches up to the size of our dinner meals, and can be anything ranging from nasi lemak (an extremely lip-smacking rice dish cooked in coconut milk and topped with plenty of other ingredients) to a bowl of steaming mee pok (blanched noodles with minced pork, braised shiitake mushrooms and lots of sauce). In short, supper in Singapore is pure gluttony.

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Ann Gerard – Rose Cut

source: fragrantica.com

“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…
They don’t find it,” I answered.
And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”
Of course,” I answered.
And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince

There have been a spate of rose-dominated fragrance releases recently. These include Vero Profumo’s Rozy, which has been the talk of pretty much the entire blogosphere. I must confess that even at the point of writing this, I have yet to try it… so yes, I am a blogging deviant and you may stone me. But to make up for it, I’m working on a special review of Vero’s Mito Voile d’Extrait, which includes maenads and yes, ‘erotic’ poetry. Yes, yes, it’s been out for ages already, but what can I do – I do write rather slowly and only when inspiration strikes!

Anyway, I decided to review another rosy perfume instead – Ann Gerard’s Rose Cut. I was sent a sample of it sometime back by the lovely folk of Bloom Perfumery (thank you!). Since then, I’ve worn it on and off to determine how I truly feel about it. Now Fragrantica lists Rose Cut as a chypre floral, but I’m going to go out on a limb and state flatly that it ain’t a chypre at all. It’s neither a proper chypre nor a pseudo-chypre nor even vaguely chypre-ish. No. Rose Cut belongs, through and through, to the genus also known as the rose-chouli, to which other notable species include Juliette Has a Gun’s Citizen Queen (more fruity vulgar) and Frédéric Malle’s Portrait of a Lady (more incense, more heft, and less restraint). Does the world need another rose-chouli perfume? In short, my answer is emphatically: ‘Yes.’

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A Lab on Fire – Liquid Night

source: fragrantica.com

I’m not sure how I feel about Liquid Night by A Lab on Fire, a relatively new player on the niche perfume scene. On the one hand, the minty-fresh bergamot, lavender and clary sage opening brings to mind numerous other generic masculine fragrance clones, but on the other hand, there is something different about it, a certain minimalist aesthetic that sets it somewhat apart from its counterparts. It is as though the perfumer took the very same ingredients and ran them through a strainer and then a purifier, thus taking clean and spare to a completely different level. It’s the same, but different. You’re probably thinking that I’m a nut job at this point of time, and so do I, but I’m not sure how else to phrase what I’ve just said!

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Perfume Lovers London – A Vanilla Affair, with Neil Chapman

Thursday, 27 March 2014, happened to be the day of my very last lecture of my entire undergraduate life. And what better way to celebrate (or mourn) it than in the company of fellow Perfume Lovers? And I must warn you, there will be plenty of name-dropping in this post, seeing as there were many recognisable faces around as well as new friends made! As we squeezed into the cosy upstairs room of the New Cavendish Club, the pre-event chatter soon petered out and the proceedings of the evening commenced. This month, we had the pleasure of welcoming Neil Chapman, who writes over at The Black Narcissus, to present his selection of Vanilla Perfumes. I believe Tara of Olfactoria’s Travels will be writing about the very same event soon, so do keep a look out for it. In any case, I thought I would jot down my thoughts on the fragrances that were presented. I must apologise in advance for the lack of any pictures taken at the event itself; I had clean forgotten to do so due to the fascinating conversations I was having with my new-found perfume friends. Without further ado, here are the perfumes in the order that we smelt them:

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Perfume Review: Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet & Donna Karan Pure DKNY

So… I haven’t written a long review in quite some time, but that’s about to change with this post. And guess what we’ll be having two fragrances reviewed at the same time. Now, if I had my way, I wouldn’t be writing about either of them. But my housemate, Miss B, very excitably requested that I review her perfumes, as she wanted a second opinion about them. Now Miss B seldom wears perfume, and she’s the sort who likes it sheer, floral and mildly sweet. If anything, she’s the sort of person whom you would expect to be perfumed by Dior’s J’Adore. Miss B doesn’t buy any of her perfumes; the perfumes she owns so far have been gifts from friends and family – but perhaps one day that will change, and hopefully I get to play some part in her olfactory journey. Without further ado, I present today’s contenders…

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Nez à Nez – Bouche Baie, the Fruity Floral that Works

Today, I shall attempt to defend the very maligned Bouche Baie, by Nez à Nez. Averaging a score of 1.6 out of 5 on Makeupalley, reviewers have labelled it “fruity cough syrup for children” and even Pink Sugar during a nightmare. They also compare it with celebrity scents, exclaiming that they cannot and will not pay $150 for a niche scent that smells so trashy.

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Serge Lutens – Louve

We’ve all heard or read the story of Little Red Riding Hood sometime in our childhood. Girl wearing a red hood meets a big bad wolf in the woods, who eats up her grandmother so that he can dress up as her grandmother in order to eat the girl subsequently.

I’ve never liked Little Red Riding Hood as a character. She’s always struck me as a whiny, bratty girl who disobeys her mother and goes traipsing into the woods. What’s more, she wears a hood that’s BRIGHT RED in colour, completely oblivious to the attention she is bound to attract on top of the fact that she’s a young girl walking ALONE in the woods.

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