Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Penhaligon's Lily & Spice

Before I talk about Lily & Spice, I have to talk about the difference between 'Lily' and 'Lily Of The Valley'. It recently occurred to me that there is in fact a difference in the smell of the two. When I was buying Lily & Spice, they didn't have a tester in store and the lady at Penhaligon's counter gave me a tester of Lily Of The Valley to try instead. LOTV smelt nothing like my memory of Lily & Spice. The two were different fragrances. At that moment I had a mental flash of every lily and LOTV perfumes that I had ever smelt. I realised that lily is in fact different from LOTV. I am a bit slow to realise it. Better late than never, I guess. Read more about LOTV here and Lily here.

I am familiar with the smell of lilies (from smelling the flower directly). I have never smelt the LOTV flowers. It has got a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in the sub tropics and LOTV is mostly found in temperate climates. But I have experienced LOTV in a lot of perfumes. My reference perfume for LOTV is Guerlain's Muguet. LOTV in it smells green, fresh, a little soapy and very feminine. It is a fresh outdoor smell, like the smell of spring meadows and flowers, very English Countryside-y. Lily on the other hand, smells closer to the 'white floral' smell. It is delicate, creamy, vanilla-like white floral smell. Then there are different kinds of lilies like Tiger, Stargazer, Easter, Ginger and I don't know how different they are from each other. 

Lily & Spice is gorgeous! It begins with the creamy white floral note of lily. It is very soft and gentle. I'll cautiously use the word aquatic because it is neither 'wet' nor it is 'marine' like FM's Lys Mediterranee. It is light and cool but not transparent enough to miss the presence of the beautiful flower. There is greenness but not that soapy greenness of LOTV but a fresh and rounded greenness. The spice is not that distinct and ii is a part of the floral smell. The spice actually brings the lily to life. The lily is balmy and creamy but quite fresh and feminine. It stays true to the flower throughout on my skin leaving a light musky drydown of pure gorgeousness. 

It is very cold outside and no sign of spring yet but I am craving for this perfume everyday. I generally am drenched in heavy ambers and vanillas in the winter but the fact that I am attracted to Lily & Spice so much says a lot about my changing tastes. I am loving florals these days, lighter the better. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

BPAL Lupercalias Of The Past

Upon the release of BPAL's Lupercalia for 2013 (Limited Edition perfumes for Valentine's Day), I have been inspired to dig out all the past Lupercalia perfumes in my stash, reminiscing some old favourites and giving a second chance to one which I didn't like originally: Khajuraho (re released this year.)
Khajuraho 2011: This is a blissful, euphoric blend based on an ancient Indian love potion: honey, date palm, tuberose, davana blossom, amber, white sandalwood, vanilla bean, Damask rose, and champaca flower.

In one of my previous posts, I have told all about how Khajuraho didn't work for me. My main complaint was that the florals turned soapy on my skin. Today, the bottle is 2 years old. I have been testing if there is actually any change with ageing. I think this time I 'get' the perfume, if not love. It is indeed a nice floral. It smells sweet in the bottle and florals start coming out once it goes on my skin. There is a heady tuberose with some artemisia. What remains later is creamy with hints of date syrup/honey-like sweetness. The sweetness is tamed by the floral notes. As the perfume progresses, the dreaded soapiness come through loud and clear. Now I think that it is due to the rose and sandalwood. I have learnt to let this pass and wait for about 15 minutes when the soap is subdued. Once it passes the dry down is actually delightful green-floral-sweet with a pronounced artemesia note.
 It is much less soapy than before so I think ageing has done it some good. The dry down is much more wearable/bearable and something I can comfortably wear the whole day. In fact, I fell asleep on the couch yesterday (saturday afternoon nap!) with Khajoraho on my wrist and the wrist held pressed to the nose. I did sleep well! I have been wearing it all day today and I like what I smell. I will like it better when all the soapiness completely goes away for which I may have to wait for another 2 years.

Some decants sent to me by Dee. She gets me hooked on all those creamy chocolate scents!

Love's Philosophy
Vanilla, saffron, and cream.
Simple and delightful! From the decant it smells like cream. It is sweet, buttery and delicious! Initially when I apply it on my skin, I get a very strong note of sassafras, the root beer/muscle rub smell. I expected saffron but it turned out to be sassafras. It did take me by surprise, not that I don't like sassafras but I think the combination of that with cream is a bit weird. It takes sometime for the sassafras to disappear and when it does, the creamy vanilla is just awesome. It is sweet, beautiful and really really yummy! It stays on the skin like forever! I know it is not an easy perfume to find being limited edition. The closest thing I have to this is Boo. Boo has the same creaminess as Love's Philosophy. Whereas Boo is a bit heavier and foodier, Love's Philosophy is somewhat lighter and more feminine. Love both!

The Sugared She-Goat Chocolatier (2010)
Milk Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea Ganache Truffle
From the decant it smells like green lemon (like lime, perhaps) and somewhat like leaves of the gum tree (eucalyptus, but not as strong as the oil). It kind of reminds me of house cleaning products, so sorry to say this! The chocolate is very light and hardly smellable. Not feeling the love in this one.

White Chocolate, Strawberry and White Pepper Truffle
I like this a lot. It smells like white chocolate and white pepper from the decant. The strawberry comes out on the skin very nicely. It is not fruity but more like a confectionery kind of Strawberry. All the notes work really well. It smells like a light chocolate which is mildly spiced with pepper and candied strawberries. Very nice.

Full bottles from past Lupercalia I currently have
Khajuraho 2011
Red Lantern 2011: read review
Smut 2012: read review
Womb Furie 2010 and 2012: read review

I have also had some full bottles of Lupercalia scents in the past that I have given away/sold:
White Chocolate and Sugared Violets: read review
(NSFW images)
Harikata: read review
Man With Phallus Head: read review
A sample of Dark Chocolate Green Lime which I didn't particularly like. I couldn't decide if I liked the bottle of The Perfumed Garden or not, so I passed it on to Jade.

This time, I am not getting anything from BPAL's Lupercalia update as there is nothing in particular I want. If there was Womb Fury or Smut, I would have been keen to order back up bottles but they are not listed this year. 

Speaking of Womb Furie, the vintage ad on my 2012 bottle is quite funny and very appropriate for some self love this season full of couples and lovers! Here is the link to the vintage ad. Yes, yes, have to agree, that machine looks like it cures everything and more ;) 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Twyla Perfumes: Haul & Reviews

Another rave post about Twyla perfumes! I think Twyla deserves all the praise because she makes such wonderful perfumes. Here is my first ever Twyla Perfumes order.

Firstly, my shopping experience has been beyond satisfactory. I ordered from Twyla's Etsy Store and not from the website because I don't have PayPal right now. Twyla was lovely enough to accommodate me. I used 20% off offer from Dee's Blog. Twyla added a dram of Spirit Of Christmas Past generously to my order. I am thrilled by this because that is the most amazing perfume I have ever smelt! The shipping was very quick. I got my order in 10 days from US to UK which is super quick! Everything was well packed and included a handwritten note from Twyla, very sweet!

Do check out Twyla's Facebook page and her blog for new releases and offers. There are new creams, single notes, hair perfume and a new face oil! I can't wait to place my next order!
Let's talk about the lovely perfumes now. One very excited reviewer here!

Milk Flower
A creamy floral, fresh and sweet yet complex.  As a kid, i was so in love with the scent of lilacs - I wanted to pick them, put them in a bowl and eat them with fresh, cold whipped cream and sugar. This scent is about as close to that as I can get.  Lilac, carnation absolute, tuberose absolute and white rose drenched in vanilla, amber and cream with the faintest breath of fresh mint absolute.

I liked the description so much that went straight for a full bottle. No regrets here. It is amazing and I love it. This is so gorgeous that I can want to wear it everyday of my remaining scented life. In the bottle, I get sweet cream. It is not at all sugary sweet but sweet like cream itself. It is light, fluffy whipped cream. The flowers are really pretty and do get the gentle lilacs and some indistinct but very beautiful flowers. There is mint from the start but it kind of blends in and gives the perfume a cool effect.

I am in love with Milk Flower. It is so delicate and so creamy. It is such a soothing smell. Yes, the projection is not all over the place but it is something you wear to please yourself rather than anyone else. I keep smelling my wrists and just enjoy my own fragrance. The lasting power is about 2 or 3 hours and needs to be reapplied frequently but I really don't mind doing that. The fragrance is worth it.

Golden amber, my own hand-blended, proprietary version of Egyptian Musk, vintage patchouli, pink lotus, carnation, Russian rose otto, bourbon vanilla, benzoin, immortelle and bitter almond.

Slammerkin smells very rich and luscious in the bottle. It actually smells like a fruit called Sapodilla. Gosh, that is one fruit you'll never forget the smell of. It is a lovely smell actually, very ripe and very boozy, some what like overripe pears. Think of a pear that is so ripe that all the sugars are fermenting into alcohol... that is what sapodilla smells like. This may make you think that it is a fruity perfume but far from it, it is a nice full bodied blend of some beautiful resins. That boozy smell is what I think may be bourbon vanilla and benzoin mixed together with a warm amber. The bourbon vanilla becomes more apparent on the skin with a barely there flash of bitter almonds. I don't get any florals in particular but it is a smooth and soft blend. The dry down is a gently laden with a nice pleasant patchouli and a sheer musk. Musk is not really clean or animalic or floral. It is a gentle skin musk that is warmed up with amber and bourbon vanilla.

Slammerkin is awesomeness. Twyla says it is an aromatherapy version of an aphrodisiac. I really don't know about that but to me Slammerkin is a big and gentle perfume that I can comfortably wear. I am impressed with the lasting power and the projection of this perfume. So glad I got a full bottle.

The Golden Lilies
Lily-of-the-Valley, tiare flower, apricot, tonka, davana, amber, sandalwood and fire tree. 
In the vial, I get apricots. Sweet apricot with mashed flowers. Very lovely smell! The apricot gives way to a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Artemisia/davana is nicely aromatic with a touch of green (like greenness of LOTV). In the drydown, I don't get any apricot but the flowers are beautiful. LOTV is still indistinct but graciously present. It smells like a warm floral on my skin, very delightful indeed. I will definitely go for a full size of this.

Bone Flower, another name for the lovely tuberose. Tropical flowers on a grave - mysterious, cool, ethereal and beautiful. The complex tuberose blended with the musky scent of loamy, tropical soil and unearthed bones. Tuberose Absolute, Balsam of Peru, Maile leaf (used in Hawai'ian funereal services), Styrax, Sandalwood Absolute.

I have no idea what is going on here but I seem to be anosmic to Bone Flower. I can't smell anything from the vial. On my skin also I get nothing. After about 2 or 3 minutes, I get a faint whiff of tuberose, which is also very fleeting and goes away in minutes. Initially I thought it could be because I was testing too many perfumes at that time. So I tested Bone Flower hours later and even the next day freshly showered skin (with a clean nose), still I got nothing. I adore tuberose and have never been anosmic to it. We used to have tuberose bulbs at home and the flowers smelt heavenly. Even in perfumes, I can quickly identify it and my skin loves tuberose too. I wonder what is causing me not to smell anything from Bone Flower. Could it the particular kind of musk? I really don't know. It has left me baffled.

Only Alice
Sandalwood, soft musk, cedarwood atlas, orange, pine scotch, vanilla and myrrh.
Only Alice begins with a woody musk, kind of smells like Indian incense sticks. The dry down is really good, has a little sweetness from vanilla and smells a bit pine-y. I still don't know if I like it or not. I think because it smells like incense sticks on my skin makes me feel a bit uncomfortable to wear it as a perfume. It is a nice perfume that I will be testing a lot before I conclude if I should get a full size or not.

White Chocolate Apricot
Apricot natural isolate, white chocolate, vanilla and coconut accord
This is from the Valentine's Day collection and I got as a free sample with my order. It is delicious! Twyla's white chocolate accord is to die for! It takes me a whole new level of olfactory pleasure! The white chocolate in this is beautiful. I get apricot but not as much as I get in The Golden Lilies. There is also mild coconut that gives a tropical feel. Very nice perfume. Love to wear it!