100% Love {More}, by the niche perfume house, S-Perfume, appears to be no longer available (I purchased mine as a decant), but the fragrance that preceded it, 100% Love®, is available from LuckyScent.com, where a 50-ml bottle is $155. (The two versions are different in terms of their compositions, so it's important to note that my review is relevant only to the {More} version. )

Images: the artistic photo of the bleeding heart plant (top of page) is one that can be found various places on the Internet (I don't know whom to credit it to); the 100% Love {More} bottle image is from Fragrantica.com, where there is a fascinating article by Sergey Borisov about the now-defunct S-Perfume house and the original 100% Love perfume, which he likens to being a "beauty and the beast"-kind of scent.




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August 28, 2008:

100% LOVE {MORE}
A Sophia Grojsman scent I adore!

Suzanne's Perfume Journal

Back in early July, I wrote a post bashing the Sophia Grojsman scent, Sun Moon Stars, which she had created for parfums Karl Lagerfeld in the early ’90s, and which is now discontinued; I aired my disgust, too, with her wildly popular, Trésor, that has been a mainstay fragrance of the Lancôme company for eighteen years.  Though my strong opinion of these scents hasn’t changed—and while I find that a strongly opinionated piece of writing makes for interesting reading—I must admit that I felt somewhat miserable about the post after I wrote it.  It seemed more of a knee-jerk response rather than a well-reasoned criticism, and re-reading it now, I realize that what I’m ashamed of is the careless way I bandied about my thoughts regarding someone’s thoughtful and studied work.  In the future, I will stick to writing only about fragrances I admire, which is what I’d previously done.  So, with that in mind, and in penitential deference to the talents of Ms. Grojsman, today I decided to review a scent of hers that is so absolutely delightful, I smile like a schoolgirl every time I put it on.

In 2003, Sophia Grojsman developed a fragrance called 100% Love® for an olfactory art installation by the Japanese artist and sculptor Nobi Shioya, and three years later, she created a more intense version of the scent, 100% Love {More}.  Please note, I’ve not smelled the original 100% Love fragrance with its notes of berries, greens, raspberry vodka, rose absolue, black cacao, coconut and incense, but the {More} version smells like it shares most of these notes, with perhaps the exception of the greens and the incense (if they’re in there, I can’t detect them).  100% Love {More} is very much an olfactory bon-bon: a confectionery fragrance that, were it a truffle, would be made up of chocolate ganache infused with rosewater, with a filling of raspberry liqueur.  It also smells marshmallow-y to me, though it resembles not the sticky sweet center of the marshmallow so much as the marshmallow’s slightly powdery, corn-starchy crust.  It’s more of a stale marshmallow smell, which probably sounds awful, but which I always rather liked, in the same way I liked the stale marshmallow treats in Lucky Charms cereal when I was a kid.  Perhaps it’s the black cacao note that lends this slightly dry and dusty element to the scent; I’m not sure, but whatever it is, it’s an important component, one that keeps the fragrance far from the cloyingly-sweet category it could have easily fallen into without this element.  For me, the dark, dusty cacao note also carries with it the memory of horses: the smell of their dry fur on a wintry day; the barest, subtlest hint of horse, not anything more.  I wouldn’t want to give anyone the impression that this is an animalic scent—it really is just one of those odd rose and chocolate confections, like a weird truffle you might get from an innovative chocolatier.

And when I say this fragrance makes me smile like a schoolgirl, I’m being literal: I want to skip, skip, skip-to-my-lou when I wear this scent.  I want to send valentines to all the cute boys and hope that at least one of them sends a sweet one back to me, and I want to moon over the delicious possibilities of playground love with my bff’s in the cafeteria, to pass notes about the objects of our affection when we settle back into our desks after lunch.  This fragrance reminds me of love in its simplest, purest, most guileless expression: the training-wheels version of love, where we learn that our interactions with other people is what makes the world go round, and where we enjoy the thrill ride of attraction without ever really getting hurt.

When I was in the fourth grade, my girlfriends and I fell into a mad swoon over Mr. Housenecht, the ruggedly handsome new substitute teacher of the fifth-grade class.  We ogled Mr. Housenecht in the hallways, spied on him in the parking lot, and talked non-stop about him at recess for almost a year, fantasizing about the day when he would be ours.  Of course, by the time our fifth-grade year rolled around, Mr. Housenecht was gone, replaced by the more prim and scholarly-looking Mrs. Schall.  But if we were disappointed by this loss, it was only for a day or two.  Mrs. Schall won us over with her infectious love of learning and her motherly interest in us—and besides, there was a new boy in class.  Collectively, my girlfriends and I aimed our cupid’s arrows at him, without really vying for his individual attention.  In the training-wheels version of love, there is not much at stake: the ego has not grown big enough to be bruised, there is no collateral involved, and, thus, competition isn’t much of an issue.  Love at this stage is like the 100% Love {More} fragrance: something pink and chocolate-y and so utterly delightful that sharing it is far more irresistible than keeping it to yourself.