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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

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Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

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Amouage Opus I

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Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame

Deneuve

Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Miscellany

Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

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Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector

Tightly

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu


ON PICKLED LIMES AND CREED ACQUA FIORENTINA . . .


Today is a beautiful, light-filled winter day, but the past three days were monotonously drab as, is often the case in mid-January in Pennsylvania, a dinghy blanket of gray clouds mantled the cold earth. “It is pickled-lime weather,” I muttered to myself as I rooted through my perfume samples pile, trying to find something that would reawaken my dulled senses. I did not want something ambery or smoky or cozy, much as I embrace those kinds of fragrances at the start of the season, when the refreshingly icy Canada air makes its first bold dips into our state and puts me into a romantic swoon that has me pronouncing “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather!” at every turn. That famous line, from Truman Capote’s wistful story A Christmas Memory, is preceded by the story’s opening sentences: “Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago”—which not only sets the nostalgic tone of the story, but lends it its ring of truth and immediate sense of connection.  Enthusiasms and romantic notions are easily and naturally borne on a coming-of-winter morning. It’s on a middle-of-winter morning that they languish.

On a particularly dreary middle-of-winter morning like the one we had yesterday, I take a cue from another literary classic—Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women—and, recalling one of my favorite chapters from this childhood book, I search for the perfume equivalent of  pickled limes*. Not that I’ve ever had a pickled lime, mind you, and not that I’m searching for a perfume that smells like limes (though come to think of it, I would dearly love to have a good lime fragrance in my collection). What I’m looking for is something that has any kind of bite to it—something that is unusual for me to wear (which eliminates my go-to floral and chypre scents) and thus has the potential to jolt me out of my doldrums.  My sample of Creed Acqua Fiorentina fits the bill; last summer, when the weather was unusually gray and rainy, I turned to it and was shocked out of a period of fragrance ennui by my very reaction to it. It smells childishly fruity in its first fifteen minutes of wear—the thing most serious perfumistas dread—which makes it shockingly perfect on days when being a serious perfumista seems like the dullest thing in the world.

Acqua Fiorentina has notes of greengage plum (often used in cuisine as a dessert plum), plum, rose, carnation, bergamot, Calabrian lemon, Virginia cedar and Indian sandalwood. According to the Creed website, it takes its inspiration from the orchards and gardens of 15th century Florence, Italy—and the company classifies it as a fruity floral. However, other than a gentle flourish of rose, the florals aren’t very conspicuous in this fragrance, and you can almost divide Acqua Fiorentina up into three stages. The first stage is a deliciously tart and juicy amalgam of fruit: at the very top, it smells like a pink grapefruit, soon giving way to a peach-plum-watermelon infusion that has a certain sparkle and giddiness to it.  There is a diaphanous quality to the fragrance, such that even if you think you hate fruity fragrances, I would urge you to give it a try: these fruits are cheeky and tart, but with a thin-skinned transparency that makes them easy to wear.  To experience the first stage of this fragrance in the dead of winter is rather delightful: like biting into what you think is going to be a grocery-store plum with no flavor and instead getting a taste of something that bites you back, that awakens your taste buds and reminds you of what fruit is, after you’d forgotten for so long.

In its second stage, the plum comes to the fore, dismissing former associations to other fruits, and the fragrance starts to smooth out. Cedarwood becomes evident, but only in the way that it seems to accentuate the plum, imparting a dryness that deepens the note and gives it a light touch of sherried sweetness. At this point, and at every stage of the fragrance’s wear, Acqua Fiorentina maintains a gossamer quality: this combination of plum and cedar has presence but is not at all weighty. It provides a long and gentle segue into the third stage of the fragrance—the far drydown in which sandalwood emerges and the fragrance becomes a silken remembrance of fruit more than anything else...not unlike the remainder of a creamy meringue on which a mélange of plums and other sherbet-like fruits once rested and have now left their colorful stain. ~

*Pickled limes were the favored treat of Amy, youngest of the March sisters in Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women. In Chapter 7, titled “Amy’s Valley of Humiliation,” she sadly confides to her older sister Meg that she owes pickled limes to a dozen of her schoolmates. “Are limes the fashion now?” her sister asks, to which Amy replies:

 Why, you see, the girls are always buying them, and unless you want to be thought mean, you must do it too. It's nothing but limes now, for everyone is sucking them in their desks in school-time, and trading them off for pencils, bead-rings, paper dolls, or something else at recess. If one girl likes another she gives her a lime; if she's mad with her she eats one before her face, and don't offer even a suck. They treat by turns; and I've had ever so many, but haven't returned them; and I ought, for they are debts of honour, you know.”

“How much will pay them off, and restore your credit?” asked Meg, taking out her purse.

“A quarter would more than do it, and leave a few cents over for a treat for you. Don't you like limes?”

“Not much; you may have my share. Here's the money. Make it last as long as you can, for it isn't very plenty, you know.”

“Oh, thank you! It must be so nice to have pocket-money! I'll have a grand feast, for I haven't tasted a lime this week. I felt delicate about taking any, as I couldn't return them, and I'm actually suffering for one.”

Next day Amy was rather late at school; but could not resist the temptation of displaying, with pardonable pride, a moist, brown-paper parcel, before she consigned it to the inmost recesses of her desk. During the next few minutes the rumour that Amy March had got twenty-four delicious limes (she ate one on the way), and was going to treat, circulated through her `set', and the attentions of her friends became quite overwhelming. Katy Brown invited her to her next party on the spot; Mary Kingsley insisted on lending her her watch till recess; and Jenny Snow, a satirical young lady, who had basely twitted Amy upon her limeless state, promptly buried the hatchet, and offered to furnish answers to certain appalling sums. But Amy had not forgotten Miss Snow's cutting remarks about `some persons whose noses were not too flat to smell other people's limes, and stuck-up people who were not too proud to ask for them'; and she instantly crushed that `Snow girl's' hopes by the withering telegram, “You needn't be so polite all of a sudden, for you won't get any.”


Creed Acqua Fiorentina eau de parfum can be purchased online from the Creed website, as well as from Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and LuckyScent.com: 30-ml for $130, or 75-ml for $230.  My sample was given to me from a fellow perfumista.

Bottle image is from the CreedBoutique.com.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 1/21/2010.


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