Daily Fragrance: Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme. Rose Anonyme is the perfume that convinced me to really start paying attention to Atelier Cologne. Dishy perfumer Jerome Epinette took one of the most common note combinations of the last decade (rose and patchouli) and made a neon rose and hallucinogenic strawberry scent that smells anything but average.
Daily Beauty: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara. Oh, like you could resist a mascara named “Miss Manga”. The formula is way too clumpy for me personally (my usual mascara is CoverGirl Clump Crusher), but it’s ideal for the spiky anime lash look. Nouveau Cheap has an excellent review.
Daily Book: Sophie Dahl’s The Man With The Dancing Eyes. $7.50 at The Strand! Sophie Dahl is Roald Dahl’s granddaughter, and his influence is obvious in her charming, friendly writing. Dancing Eyes is a short, lovely story about the New York adventures of a young woman and her “loyal mongrel” Froggy. I like Sophie Dahl’s writing so much that I own both of her cookbooks despite not caring much for her recipes (very British, mostly vegetarian).
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I was supposed to love Cedrat Envirant. It was created by perfumer Ralf Schwieger (I love Ralf Schwieger!) as an homage to Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine (I love Orange Sanguine!), and the press release promises that “Cedrat Envirant is for lovers of lemon and gin notes” (I love gin! With an intensity that I suspect most people reserve for their firstborns!) And I do love Cedrat Envirant, for the first five minutes. Cedrat Envirant opens with gorgeously sparkling lime and juniper notes, like the best gin-and-tonic you’ve ever had. This delightful phase lasts for literally five minutes on both myself and my test subject, at which point Cedrat Envirant floats perilously close to Orange Sanguine itself. Cedrat Envirant spends the rest of its (brief, one hour) lifespan smelling like a lime-tinged Orange Sanguine, only less vibrant and weaker. It smells great, because Orange Sanguine smells great, but lacks the excitement of the opening notes. If that glorious gin accord had lasted for even half an hour, I would have happily picked up a bottle, but five minutes is just comical. For a less abbreviated gin fragrance, I would recommend TokyoMilk Gin & Rosewater, Lubin Gin Fizz, or Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling.
I never miss a new release from Atelier Cologne, and perfumes like Silver Iris are the reason why. With its listed notes of saffron, rum, and leather, Gold Leather was the one that I was expecting to love, and I do like it very much. Gold Leather is a warm, boozy leather, heavy on the rum and minimally sweetened with a plum note. Of these two fragrances, Gold Leather is probably less original than Silver Iris, but it does fill the spot for darker fragrances that Atelier Cologne was previously missing. Silver Iris pairs an earthy iris note with a sweet, sparkling effect that I recognize from Philosophy Falling In Love and L’Artisan Mure et Musc. I’ve never smelled anything with this combination before! The drydown is sweet and clean, for anyone concerned about the listed patchouli note.
Silver Iris and Gold Leather come in silver-plated and gold-plated bottles, respectively. I saw them in-person at the Elizabeth Street boutique, where angelic S.A. Rossiter generously made me three samples (look for a review of Sois le toit de Paris soon!) They’re very glamorous, in that more-is-more way, but I suspect that more than a few perfumistas would prefer a plainer bottle and a price cut.
Chanel Chance was my very first perfume, but the original Prada fragrance was the first perfume I ever really loved. That Prada is an absolute patchouli boooomb, as described by the following horrified MakeupAlley review: “It smells like a chain-smoker and an alcoholic, who hasn’t showered in days, eats spicy food every day, and decided to mask it with a perfume.” (All credit to poetic user “happygirl1”.) I mention this to prove my patchouli cred. I am a hardened patchouli veteran, and I was ready for whatever version of patchouli Mistral Patchouli had to offer me. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I realized that out of all of the possible patchouli fragrances that Atelier Cologne could have made, they went with a “where’s the patchouli?” patchouli.
Mistral Patchouli’s most prominent notes are grapefruit and “fraction of patchouli”. As far as I know, this is a novel combination, and in theory I like it very much. In execution, however, Mistral Patchouli is just too damn clean. The grapefruit note lacks the vibrance of past fruity Atelier Colognes, such as Orange Sanguine. The patchouli is much too sheer and is so far removed from the natural earthiness of patchouli that the relation is barely visible. Robin at Now Smell This correctly labels Mistral Patchouli as “a patchouli for patchouli haters” in her review, and mentions that this is now her favorite fragrance of the line. I have to say that it’s my least favorite. There’s nothing wrong with Mistral Patchouli. It smells very nice. But it just doesn’t have as much character as past Atelier Colognes like Orange Sanguine, Vanille Insensee, or Rose Anonyme. I think I’ll stick with my alcoholic/chain-smoker patchoulis.