Category Archives: Cologne

Tom Ford Goes Green, and It’s Gorgeous

With his new Vert line, Tom Ford is dipping his fine feet into the pool of green with a quartet of Private Blends that highlights all things herbal and verdant. (Yes, it’s a quartet, much to the puzzlement of the Saks Fifth Avenue sales associates, though only three are currently available stateside.) Out of those three, one spoke to me in the language of beauty and refinement that only a Tom Ford Private Blend can speak: Vert D’Encens. A green incense at a most opportune moment: as a bed of copper-colored pine needles grows beneath the trees, the dry days of summer burn into fall. This scent captures the moment and adds just enough sparkle to see it through to the magic of the holiday season.

Opening with a bright and brash splash of pine, and a smoky edge of incense, this is seriously deep into the forest, where a rising plume of smoke from a stained-glass church lends warmth and comfort to the herbaceous elements. It is a lovely and rich crux of where humanity and nature meet. Once the pine recedes a bit, the incense smolders like it’s some high holy week.

Bits of freshly-cut grass suddenly, pleasantly, and unexpectedly poke through the smoke, reminding of the green that marks its first name. After this magical moment the heliotrope begins to bloom. The sweetness of that, which sometimes veers too dangerously close to vanilla for my liking, is here an integral part of softening that pine resin and smoke. The beautiful battle among them wages deliciously for a good hour or two, before a sweet reconciliation that carries a few hours longer.

By the end of the day, a sweetly delicate musk ensues, as if one has been witness to a glorious autumnal bonfire, and a gentle, glowing bed of embers is all that remains. This is the antidote to any apprehensiveness regarding the arrival of fall. Let it embrace and warm you.

Continue reading ...

Tom Ford Goes Green

After his summer re-tread of all things Neroli, Tom Ford is back in my good graces with his trio of new Private Blends. While there are actually four fragrances in the new ‘Les Extraits Verts’ line (Vert d’Encens, Vert de Bois, Vert Bohème and Vert de Fleur), only three are currently available stateside. Here is the literature on the new line, followed my first impressions of the three at hand.

Vert d’Encens ~ “Sophisticated, aromatic and wild, Vert d’Encens is a whole new concept for an incense fragrance, inspired by the rugged Mediterranean coastlines of Corsica. Incense, so long the domain of austere, church-y scents or lavish Middle Eastern fantasias, is combined here with intense green notes and resinous tree sap for a bright, bracing and expressively textured burst of naturalistic character.” With pine resin, tree sap accord, fir balsam, incense, heliotrope and boxtree oil.

Vert de Bois ~ “Unique and provocative, Vert des Bois represents a new evolution for green scents- a refreshingly avant-garde combination of woods, aromatics and florals as distinct as it is versatile.” With spiked ouzo accord, poplar buds, olive tree leaves, lentisque resinoid, roasted tonka and patchouli.

Vert Bohème ~ “Fresh, green and entirely free spirited, Vert Bohème sparkles like an emerald on the finger of a dynamic young artist idling away a sunlit afternoon.” With galbanum, mandarin, magnolia, honeysuckle, violet leaf and gustavia superba.

Vert de Fleur ~ “Private Blend Vert de Fleur strikes an alluring note on the definitive theme of 70s glamour. Refined with a modern flourish of iris and hyacinth, Vert de Fleur is Tom Ford’s floral subversion of classic green and captures an exuberant scene where beautiful icons with inimitable personas uncover a new world of pleasure.” Additional notes include galbanum, neroli, bergamot, basil, jasmine, rose, orange blossom, vetiver, patchouli and oakmoss.

As mentioned, the Fleur is not yet available here, and it sounds little too floral for my liking anyway, so on with the three Verts that held the most promise. I’ll begin with my least-liked to most-loved, with samples provided by the lovely Ann at Neiman Marcus (the stingy associates at the Boston Saks Fifth Avenue only allowed me two of the three samples, in spite of all the bottles I’ve purchased there).

  • Vert Bohème is quite floral itself, and as such it turned a little too sweetly for my taste. It also had little to no staying power, a sin when attached to such a price point.
  • Vert de Bois is reminiscent of the defunct Italian Cypress, with a pervading jolt of patchouli that’s not at all offensive in that sweaty 60’s way. There’s an interesting mid-section in which it dries down to a powerful twin of Thierry Mugler’s popular Angel, before dissipating into something more subtle. The opening is a little too chemical for my taste, but the pine does its best to temper it, and in the end is successful.
  • Vert d’Encens is the Tom Ford Private Blend I’ve been waiting for since the luscious Plum Japonais. This incense-like dark prism of gorgeousness smolders with a smoky edge – echoes of the amazing Amber Absolute are in subtle effect – but it is softened with an unlikely violet thread of heliotrope, lending it further jewel tones and sparkle. As an early birthday present, I bought this one for myself. Sometimes something so beautiful demands such self-indulgence.
Continue reading ...

The Time Has Come To Buy Me Many Things

We don’t need the walrus to tell us that. It’s August, people. Come the 24th, I’ll be celebrating my birthday, which means that now is the time to order the gifts for timely delivery. My Amazon Wish List has just been updated, but for those of you more dear to me (and vice versa) here are a few items that would make my early 40’s fantastically fabulous.

High on the list is this elusive pair of soon-to-be-vintage Jeremy Scott Adidas sneakers. Long out of circulation, they are only available on eBay now, which makes these a long shot – but I’m not giving up. (Once upon a time I let a gorgeous Louis Vuitton overcoat go and have regretted it ever since.) The official name of these beauties is the ‘Adidas x Jeremy Scott Men JS Wings 3.0 Gold’, size 10 or 10.5.

On the cologne front – and there’s always a cologne front – I’m enraptured by the gorgeous and decadent chords of Kilian’s ‘Straight to Heaven’ – and in spite of its atrocious name, the fragrance is exquisite, and perfect for the transition from summer to fall.

I’m asking my parents for my first trip to Rehoboth, but if there’s anything left over from that big-ticket item perhaps it might be for a massage at the Mandarin (which is another big-ticket item, but as a wise woman once put it, ‘A lot of people don’t say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.’)

I’ve never been shy about wanting, so check out this bottle of glory for satiating the desire.

I usually have a longer list of bags and briefcases for birthday wishes and dreams, but after cleaning up the attic, I’ve realized I don’t need a new bag or briefcase anytime soon, or a robe for that matter. Still, I favor fragrance, and if you can’t be indulged on your birthday, when can you be indulged?

A word to the important people: as I’ll be traveling on my birthday, some foresight and planning will be involved. Tick tock, tick tock…

Continue reading ...

Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc

White hot.

Bright sun.

Summer sizzle.

Leave it to Tom Ford to sneak into the summer fragrance scene with a classic echo of coconut and suntan lotion in refined and elegant form. Soleil Blanc is his take on a white powder beach, and it’s absolutely radiant.

The latest offering from the decadent Private Blend line is a scorcher that subliminally smolders instead of burning intensely. While his Portofino collection keeps things cool and crisp with its citrus heart, Soleil Blanc is a sizzler of a different sort. Coconut imbues the proceedings, but there’s a slight sliver of smokiness to this as well, because summer ripens into such a thing at its apex and again at its end. The most fleeting wisp of musk grounds the proceedings, but it’s barely noticeable. Bergamot keeps everything tidy, and the tinge of amber lends it a warmth that mirrors the hot days.

So many of Ford’s Private Blend line can read dirty – in the best and most interesting way – but this is one of the cleaner scents. There’s still an edge to it, but this one can go on summer mornings or summer nights and be equally compelling at both ends of the light.

Longevity is a few hours, typical of many summer frags but slightly disappointing in a Private Blend that holds its price-point so high. Still, worth a reapplication and a spin along the shore if you need an extra jolt this season.

Continue reading ...

Spring/Summer Trio

This precious triumvirate, hailing from the Houses of Tom Ford, Hermés and Diana Vreeland, forms the perfect three-pronged attack on the question of what to wear, scent-wise, for the crux of spring and summer. Ford’s classic ‘Neroli Portofino’ is his decadent homage to all things neroli, while Hermes, under the watchful nose of Jean-Claude Ellena, offers one of their sweet garden fragrances – ‘Un Jardin Sur le Nil.’

That bright green bottle, which comes with an effervescent perfume to match, is Diana Vreeland’s ‘Vivaciously Bold.’ Her posthumous perfume line takes its various whimsical names from phrases the woman herself was known for, and this one fits the bill with a bright bergamot backbone.

Each of these carries a heart of citrus – not always the most-lasting of fragrance builders, but one that is perfect for the lighter touch required in the warmer months.

Continue reading ...

Vivaciously Bold by Diana Vreeland

The late, great Diana Vreeland left a lasting legacy of fashion, boldness, and vivacious spirit, and that all lives on in her namesake fragrance collection. It’s also in good hands, as these fragrances are as rich and varied and bodacious as the fearless woman was herself. For the winter months and holiday time I use the sandalwood-centered ‘Absolutely Vital’ – which also employs Turkish rose and Egyptian jasmine for its richness. As I perused the fragrance counter at Neiman Marcus the other day, I noticed a bright new addition: a lime-green bottle called ‘Vivaciously Bold.’

The literature for this one called it “a luxurious vetiver with an audacious cocktail of citrus zests. A bouquet of pettigrain, orange flower, and jasmine creates the ultimate fantasy floral finished by a daring accord of sensual musk and the finest vetiver.” While I’ve never been the biggest fan of vetiver, here it works quite well. Traditionally a masculine scent, vetiver grounds the floral fantasy into something wearable, and Ms. Vreeland’s take on cologne is what reportedly inspired this one: “I think men’s scents are wonderful… They have such character and are so marvelously clean.”

This is very much a spring/summer fragrance, with its crisp citrus opening, and it manages to pull off a neat trick that most fragrances can’t: it disappears somewhere in the middle of its trajectory, falling off wherever you sprayed it for a brief time, before reappearing later on. I’ve never experienced that sort of magic before, and it’s something to keep in mind before you go too gun-crazy assuming the citrus won’t last.

At first I thought last year’s ‘Smashingly Brilliant’ would be my go-to summer fragrance, and on paper it looked like the more logical choice, with its bergamot and citrus oils tempered by wood and suede finishes, but for some reason that read as bracingly chemical on me. It’s a lesson I learned long ago: fragrance is less about what is on paper and more about what is on your skin – and it’s different for each individual.

As the lady herself was wont to ask: “Am I wrong?”

Continue reading ...

Daisy by Marc Jacobs

The sad truth is that the classic daisy carries no fragrance. Anyone who brings their nose to the bright blooms expecting some sort of cheerful scent to match their petal-framed faces will be sorely disappointed. Thankfully, we have Marc Jacobs to fill that fragrance-free void. His ‘Daisy’ scent was the accent these flowers so badly needed, and though I’m not the biggest fan of florals, Jacobs manages to keep the sickly-sweet components at bay.

Being that there is no true daisy scent, he goes for the essence of bright and fresh, wisely veering away from any single flower fragrance (rose, gardenia, tuberose) or cloying heaviness. Somehow it works, even if the lighter touch doesn’t lend it much staying power. More like a body spray than anything approaching a perfume, it’s a decent match-up for warmer weather, when potent scents tend to overwhelm.

Judging from its myriad offshoots, ‘Daisy’ must have been a hit for Mr. Jacobs. There are a number of variations on it currently out there, some supposedly even fresher than the oh-so-fresh original.

The trend for sister fragrances is not one of which I’m particularly enamored. Tom Ford has been doing that with all of his Neroli Portofino cousins, and as much as I love a twist on neroli, I’d rather he try something different. His Oud line is slightly more varied, but even that seems to have reached its limit. Still, I’d rather give his side-shoots a whirl over another Daisy.

Sometimes a single Daisy is more than enough.

The bottle comes adorned with classic Marc Jacobs flair – in this case a piece of daisy pop-art that doubles as a cover. It’s a lovely embodiment of a fun fragrance that finally gives the daisy a scent of its own.

Continue reading ...

The Scented Tea Route

An old-school Barneys classic, Route du Thé: Homme is a cologne based on a slightly spicy green tea platform with the very slightest tinge of musky undertow. It’s unobtrusive enough to wear in any season, though I’m partial to it in the late spring and summer, when heavier scents tend to overwhelm. For some reason it reminds me of New York, when the city empties out for summer weekends, and places once stocked with crowds of people ease up and become pleasantly inhabitable.

Hot sidewalks open up, loosening the tightness of their usual hold like the businessmen loosen their ties on the subway. A hint of citrus enlivens the languid proceedings when the murky humidity threatens to overcome with its stranglehold. This scent manages to cut through that sultry air, while maintaining its integrity for a surprisingly decent length of time. Summer is not so kind to most colognes, which makes this all the more refreshing.

Continue reading ...

Slipping Into Something Naked

Not everything that Madonna does impresses or even interests me. Witness her children’s books (I read the first one and left it at that.) Witness her H&M clothing line (whatever “it” is completely eluded me.) Most surprisingly, for me, witness her first foray into fragrance, ‘Truth or Dare’, the perfume named after her far-more-fascinating 1991 documentary. That’s not to say I didn’t check it out and even buy a bottle for my Mom, but it was a fragrance very much designed for a woman. Boldly floral, with piercing notes of tuberose and gardenia, it was a sweet and voluptuous creation, but not something I could ever stretch into a scent I’d wear outside of novelty nights in.

A few years after its 2012 introduction, I found another bottle at a severe markdown and gave it another go, but by this time its flanker frag ‘Truth or Dare: Naked’ was also on the scene, and there were whispers that it was more masculine in scent, and could be worn by the more daring guys unafraid to bend the rules a little. In fact, the way it read on paper sounded like it might just be something I might love. Not just because it was Madonna.

Reported to be a floral/woody fragrance, with a warm and creamy underside, ‘Truth or Dare: Naked’ felt like a very different entity from its predecessor, and in the best way. With top notes of honeysuckle, peach blossom and neroli, it sounds sickly sweet to start, and the midsection of vanilla orchid, cocoa flower and lily of the valley does nothing to detract from the sweetness. What intrigued me was the base of it all: Texas cedar wood, benzoin from Laos, oud accord and Australian sandalwood. If the latter could outlast and subdue the former – which good base notes always manage to do – this could quite possibly be something exquisite.

Based on that, I did what I’d only done once before: I ordered the scent unsniffed. It was the same dare I took with Viktor & Rolf’s Spicebomb. It turned out to be a fitting move – as ‘Naked’ is surprisingly reminiscent of that scent – the female-friendly version of ‘Spicebomb’ perhaps. It’s got a spicy element that counteracts the floral vanilla slant that I tend to abhor, transforming it into something fruity, with lifesaving bands of woodiness to keep it grounded. Those base notes do indeed keep it down to earth, even if it wasn’t quite enough to challenge anything like the darker Private Blends of Tom Ford. Still, for its cheaper-than-cheap price point (I could get at least fifteen bottles of ‘Naked’ for just one bottle of a Ford Private Blend) this is a prize find, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to come around to something by Madonna.

Continue reading ...

Tom Ford, Summer Brewing

“In most other areas of the luxury market, instant gratification has also become part of the luxury experience. In fact, the ultimate luxury now is to not have to wait at all. It is a romantic notion to think that people want to wait for things and anticipate them, but I’m afraid that no one really wants to wait for anything anymore.” ~ Tom Ford

It’s never too early to be thinking about summer. Sometimes, it’s the best way of getting through the winter. As such, when a few new Tom Ford fragrances were recently announced, I was giddy with daydreams of summer mornings, lazy afternoon swims, and sultry, languid evenings. The most promising is a new Private Blend ‘Soleil Blanc’ – which I had a quick whiff of a few weeks ago, but didn’t delve too deep as it reeked of summer and coconut oil and I didn’t want to spoil it with a winter memory. Scent is powerful that way – and is often said to be the strongest memory-trigger. ‘Soleil Blanc’ is the aptly named white sun of summer, and though I’ve never been very keen on coconut, this one may make it into my beach vacation repertoire. (Clearly a beach excursion is required this year.) It is said to dry down with an underlying amber glow, which brings it into closer proximity with ‘Costa Azzurra.’

The other new ones are in the Portofino line, something that’s on the verge of being overdone. It’s definitely his most accessible of the Private Blend offerings, but the Private Blend line has, for me, remained special because they are so often dark and complex, and not the usual light-hearted citrus-fare of so many colognes. Don’t get me wrong – ‘Mandarino Di Amalfi’ is exquisite, and come June I will be bathing in it daily. But for a Private Blend I prefer things a bit more off the sand-beaten path.

At any rate, it’s fun to fantasize about the sunny season, and these next few weeks are when we all get a little antsy for a shift out of winter gear. I can’t think of anyone better to lead the way than Tom Ford.

Continue reading ...

Perfume 11 by BLK DNM

The doldrums of any winter, even a mild one, can only be broken up by certain jolts. A vacation, a good book, an amazing song, or a new fragrance. I’ve tried them all, but it’s the fragrance option that has always turned the winter around for me. On a recent trip to New York, I ambled about the gift shop at the Standard High Line and waited for my friend Chris to finish his look-see. At the time, I wasn’t scouting for a new cologne, but that’s always when you find a good one. I pulled the small square bottle of black from its shelf and opened the top. It was peppery and fresh, clean and light. A smoky underside fit into the border between fall and winter, and it was so instantly likable that I spritzed some on. (I’m a last-resort spritzer, in the event that I end up hating a scent, or if I might want to try one on later in the day. Entire vacation days can be ruined by a haphazard cologne try-out.)

This one was a safe choice. Perfume 11 by BLK DNM is unisex fragrance, named for its launch year of 2011, and it has some of my favorites in it, which is why I instantly loved it: black pepper, cardamom, musk, cedar, balsam fir, birch, amber and incense.

It begins in a soft way, and stays as such throughout its trajectory. Black pepper and incense are where it’s at, making this ideal for fall or winter. Despite its smokiness, it’s actually quite a clean fragrance, and that smoke will dissipate, leaving a woodiness that’s more than pleasant in these dimmer seasons.

Now for the super-secret, which the salesperson whispered almost apologetically to me in the cloistered confines of the shop: Perfume 11 by BLK DNM actually falls under the Levi company, which initially caused me to turn my nose up at the whole thing. “I can’t tell people I’m wearing Levi’s cologne!” I shrieked to my friend Chris. Yet another instance where I fell into the stupidity of labels and image over what is truly decent and enjoyable. At this point in our friendship, Chris wisely ignored the matter and moved on. I almost did the same, until a few weeks later, when I found myself pining and yearning for the elusive peppery scent and it was nowhere to be found online. Such exclusivity always lends things a bit more magic than they might inherently hold, but it also meant that no one else was likely to wear the scent in the environs of upstate New York. Chris was back at the Standard a few weeks later, so I asked him to procure a bottle, thus resolving the dilemma on a happy note.

Continue reading ...

The Season of Citrus, and Accompanying Fragrance

Presenting the amber mandarin glow of a recent Hermès fragrance acquisition: this is Eau de mandarine ambrée, a fitting number for the height of citrus season. It’s a deeper take on the mandarin orange, thanks to its amber aspect, and one that works better in the winter than the lighter and more fleeting orange scents that make-up much of my summer cologne arsenal. The fact remains, however, that a true citrus fragrance is not meant to last. Their very nature indicates a delicate, and quick to fade, timeline. Anything that goes beyond that carries a chemical taint that should only be found in cleaning products and urinals. Certainly nothing that belongs in the rarefied air of Hermès.

It took me a while to come around to this one. Initial try-outs left me unimpressed, precisely because I was expecting that pop of a freshly-peeled orange. This isn’t that kind of sun-kissed fizz. It burns slowly, it doesn’t explode. It smolders, never rages. It is a surprisingly potent charm against winter, one that I’d almost forgotten about, having relegated it to fall fragrance status a few months ago and not thinking to revisit until we received a crate of Florida oranges from Aunt Elaine. There’s just something about citrus in winter that makes one’s outlook a little brighter, whether you eat it, wear it, or peel it in your deliciously sticky hands.

Continue reading ...

V-Day Wishes For a French Lover

When the calendar year turns its last page and begins anew, I like to strip down and simplify things as much as possible. That means the sparkling over-the-top indulgences over the holidays are being replaced with something quieter, something with subtlety. Such as my favored fragrance. To that end, I’m making an early Valentine’s request (it’s just one month away…) for a bottle of the magnificently refined Bois d’Orage (50 ml is just the right amount). A more potent take on the exquisite Angeliques Sous la Pluie, this is the winter version of that gin-inspired summer tonic. Created by Pierre Bourdon for Frederic Malle, it exemplifies the elegance that Malle has made a hallmark (as in the equally-excellent ‘L’Eau d’Hiver’ as crafted by Jean-Claude Ellena).

“A serene manliness, both brutal through the overdose of single notes and subtle thanks to the sophistication of the raw materials, Bois d’Orage is the ultimate man’s scent. Pierre Bourdon has composed a perfume that is powerful, sensual and refined, aromatic and spicy. Its heart is built around angelica and its natural complements: cedar wood and vetiver. Shaped by an accord of Florentine iris, pimento and galbanum, it lies on a bed of patchouli, incense and musk. A perfume with an unusual vegetal animality.”

In Europe its christened name is “French Lover” – a rather cheesy moniker for a fragrance too refined for such cheap tricks. The powdery presence of angelica stays close to the heart, the way one keeps many things at this time of the year.

Continue reading ...

The Gorgeousness of New York Oud

One of my favorite Christmas gifts (given by both Andy and my parents) is my very first bottle of Bond No. 9 – New York Oud. Up until this year, I’d kept an agreeable distance from the fragrance behemoth, put off by the price tag as well as the garish bottle design. Yet as with certain parts of life, the very things we resist are those that become the most valuable to us later on. Perhaps it just took some time for me to appreciate the Bond house. A little floral oud aided in that as well.

I was browsing The Tannery in Cambridge last month – well, not so much browsing as waiting for Kira to work through her shoe complex – when I stumbled upon a few random bottles of Bond No. 9. Normally, I would veer away from those star-shaped vessels and questionably-emblazoned flasks of fragrance. To be honest, the sheer number and variety of their offerings had always been overwhelming.

However, I was on the lookout for a holiday fragrance – something that sparkled, something that had a little more of an edge, something that I wouldn’t wear every day of the year, but only for special occasions. Based on the price point alone, that would signify a Bond fragrance, the cost of which heads into the stratosphere of Tom Ford Private Blends.

I sniffed a few of the bottles at hand, dismissing them all until I found the New York Oud. A sucker for most things oud, I inhaled this take on the expensive olfactory elixir, and marveled instantly at how much I loved it, and how different it was, even from its close relative ‘Oud Fleur’. The latter was smokier and muskier than ‘New York Oud’ – even as both retained a sweet, rose-hued opening. Bond’s version was brighter and fruitier – just the sort of sparkle and pizzazz I was trying to capture for the holidays. I sprayed it on and fell a little more in love. If only I hadn’t done that, I might have escaped, listening to Kira’s admonishments (even as she looked longingly at a pair of $400 boots).

Instead, I was caught by the beauty around my wrists, enraptured and enchanted by the exquisite scent. It was boisterous and cheeky, yet elegant and jauntily refined. It didn’t read New York so much as a universal sophistication, which was much more appealing to me. As we walked through the sun-soaked afternoon, I felt a little more alive when surrounded by such gorgeousness.

I knew then that it was my next holiday fragrance.

Continue reading ...


A holiday fragrance requires a little extra oomph. It’s the one time of the year when we’re sanctioned to be glitzy and over-the-top. For this season, I’ve been at a loss as to what to wear in the weeks leading up to the parties and the celebrations. While I’ve had my eye on my first Bond No. 9 (New York Oud), BLK DNM Perfume 11, and the new Oliver Peoples collaboration by Byredo, none of those will arrive before Christmas Eve (assuming they’ll arrive at all). I almost forgot about a limited edition Frederic Malle fragrance that my parents gave me a few years ago for Christmas – ‘Outrageous!’ – created by Sophia Grojsman. At the time, I knew little to nothing about the vast array of scents that Malle had had a hand in creating over the years, I only knew that I loved the scent of Barneys whenever I walked into the second floor and browsed the wares in their Boston store. I figured that with the scant collection of bottles that they put out in the men’s section, it would be easy to find the overriding scent that signified Barneys. How foolish I was…

While trying to pinpoint that amalgamation of sweet scents and which one it might be, the salesperson wasn’t much help, telling me the scents were sold downstairs (they can be incredibly bitchy at the Boston Barneys) so I walked down the staircase and made my way to the counter, where the entire Byredo and Malle lines occupied extensive space with their crisp and clean bottles.

I asked if there was one scent that was what I smelled every time I came into Barneys – Barneys in a bottle if you would – but they were completely clueless. Instead, they sold me on the new limited edition by Frederic Malle – Outrageous! – and I gave it a spritz. After trying a few of the others, I was lost in a delicious haze that no cup of coffee beans could cure. Overwhelming olfactory overload.

When it arrived on Christmas that year, I wasn’t as enamored of the scent as I thought I’d be. An impulse choice based on lack of research and trial. A lesson learned. And a bottle that it would take me years to appreciate. Since then, my tastes in fragrance have evolved and grown, and the challenging sparkle of Outrageous! may have finally found its way back into my heart. It’s a candy-like thing, colorfully-kaleidoscopic, and sweeter than my usual woody preference. Yet there’s a clinically-antiseptic feel to it too, bordering on harsh. It has some sharp points – all shining stars do – and it has its flaws, but for those days when you need a jolt of something different, something that bursts like a sugar-plum fairy, Outrageous! – and all its punctuated exclamation – will do.

Continue reading ...