Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Flourish Part II: Scent Reviews

Here's Part II of my Flourish review; click here for Part I.  Now, let's try to describe the smells!  I'll give you the official description (from Flourish's Etsy site), as well as my own thoughts, and S.'s, if applicable (I decided to give the poor kid a break and not make him smell every single one of these!).  I also separated these into hits and misses, which is entirely subjective, so don't let that influence you too much.
Full size - a 9 mL roll-on bottle.  This one is Grapefruit Ginger; all of the oils that Flourish offers come with their own unique, brightly colored label.  I really want to collect them all!

I will note, though, that even though these seem to be the common packaging method amongst perfumeries, I hate the 1 mL vials with the fitted wand caps.  They're hard to pry off without getting perfune oil all over your fingers...or maybe that's just me.  But I have to pry the thing off and then the wand part flings out and perfume oil goes everywhere...sigh.

Packaging issue aside (which isn't an issue specific to this company, anyway, as wand vials are widely used for perfume samples), one other thing I noticed, is that these don't seem to last as long on me as some other perfume oils I've tried in the past.  I'm not sure what the reason might be, but while I can wear other perfume oils and smell them well into the evening, most of these become unnoticeable in the early afternoon.  They are in rollerballs (the full sizes) so this makes them easy to carry around and re-apply, but I'm not sure if I really want to do that.  I'm also interested to know why they don't last as long on me as some other brands - perhaps it has something to do with roller ball application?  Also, these scents seem to be rather shy, and stick close to the skin; I think I do prefer slightly more throw with my fragrances, but I do really enjoy some of Flourish's unique scents, so I'm torn.
The perfume sample labels have the company name on one side, and the perfume name on the other.  They come in 1 mL wand vials.

Grapefruit Ginger 
Official: Tart and fresh and full of bright citrusy sparkle and zing, this scent combines juicy grapefruit and zesty lime with the spicy kick of ginger. Grapefruit is used in aromatherapy as an energizer and mood-lifter... and I can pretty much guarantee this fragrance will do just that.

My thoughts:

Clearly, since I bought a full version of this, I like!  It's more of a foodie smell, though I like the fizzy aspect.  Who knew you could capture that in a scent?  On my skin, it retains the fizziness, but I also get a little more of the spicy ginger.  This one is also S. approved ;)

Lemon Blossom
Official: Tart lemon and bergamot join lush tropical floral notes over a base of vanilla and musk. Wildly feminine, sunny and bright.

My thoughts:
This is another one that seems to morph from the vial to my skin.  In the vial, it's very bright, light, citrusy - sunny and youthful.  On my skin, though, I get the lighter, sweeter end of the citrus spectrum, tempered with subtle flowers, sugar and spice.  It's not cavity-inducing, though, and there's no juiciness here.  Think more of creamsicles - the happy marriage of orange and creamy, sweet vanilla - versus the acid brightness of lemon cupcakes or lemon drops.  It's yummy, though it has a subtle spice that I associate with more masculine scents; I wouldn't call this "wildly" feminine, but I do really, really like it.  And, happy coincidence - this one lasts on my skin!  Woohoo!

S.'s thoughts:
He did gave a shrug when I first applied it and held it to his nose, but after I let it dry down and fade a bit, he gave it a thumbs up and his stamp of approval.  He agrees that he wouldn't necessarily classify this as an ultra feminine scent, though he did still think it's not quite masculine either - too sweet.

This one is more conceptual. Which is not to say it doesn't smell like it's name. There is something unmistakably oceanic about it- a watery, ozonic quality and a touch of something salty and almost a little spicy, that brings to mind sand and driftwood and sea air. But I wouldn't say it smells exactly like the ocean. (Would you even want it to? Dead fish, seaweed, and all?) It's more like... a memory of the ocean. You know how familiar places become distorted through memory- certain aspects take prevalence while others fade away...Perhaps I'm getting a little too "out there". To put it simply- a non-floral, non-tropical ocean scent consisting of marine notes, cedar and myrtle, that softens and mellows on the skin and becomes ethereal and almost haunting. Definitely unisex, definitely unusual- and worth a try, if the idea intrigues you.

My thoughts:
I was actually nervous about this one, as I haven't liked other "ocean" type scents before, but this has become a fast favorite.  It reminds me a lot of verbena scents, though it's softer, subtler, and less citrusy than pureDKNY Verbena, which is actually kind of harsh in comparison.  It has a faint hint of spice, enough to keep it interesting.

S.'s thoughts:
It's interesting and reminds him of something else (he agrees that it smells like my Verbena perfume).  It was a pretty noncommittal response though. 

Official: This fizzy and fresh blend of citrus and ginger smells EXACTLY like a glass of gingerale (you can even smell the bubbles!) Fresh, bright and perfect for summer.

My thoughts:

I was worried this would smell too much like the Grapefruit Ginger, but it lacks that gingery spicy note. The soda scent is spot-on, and I enjoy it. 

S.'s thoughts:
It's interesting that I want to smell like soda.  That's all he said.

Black Tea and Mint
Official: Crisp, iced black tea, steeped with fresh mint leaves and sweetened with a little sugar. Refreshing, cooling, the perfect antidote to a hot summers day. But unlike a straight mint scent this isn't icy and bracing. On the skin the tea notes lend a subtle warmth and a hint of citrus comes out, adding depth and complexity. If you like the idea of a mint perfume but don't want to go around smelling like a candy cane or a cough drop- this is for you.

My thoughts:
This was another surprise favorite!  I'm not keen on mint in tea as a beverage, but I really ended up liking this one.  In the vial it's fairly minty; on my skin, it starts off minty but sweet, not like peppermint (which I dislike), but almost kind of like toothpaste - but in a good way! (LOL how it can be good, I have no idea, but it's pleasant).  Then the tea scent evolves, which I really enjoy, and that's what lingers, more so than the mint.  Really lovely and summery, for me.

S.'s thoughts:
He thought a mint perfume was a bit weird, though he didn't dislike it.  He's the one who commented that he thought I had gotten toothpaste on my wrist somehow (I didn't shove this one purposely under his nose; I was sitting next to him and he sniffed me out, haha).


Moroccan Fig
Official: Honeyed figs, the spicy green scent of their leaves, soft florals and a faint wisp of smokiness in the background. The overall effect is a little sweet, a little fresh, and a little bit mysterious. Picture a fig tree in the middle of an exotic courtyard garden. The fruit is hanging low on the branches, ripe, permeating the air with scent. Flowers bloom all around, and the warm breeze carries a faint scent of smoke and exotic spices from the nearby market. 

My thoughts:
It's more citrusy than I expected - that freshness in the description is present.  But I don't know what a fig smells like.  I've had them on pizza before and wasn't a huge fan, but I don't think I...smelled them.  I'm actually kind of on the fence about this one, but I feel like I want to like it more than I actually do, for whatever reason.  I don't think I'd order a full size, though I might try to wear it around some more to see what I think.

Official: Golden honey, candied fruits, sweet pipe tobacco, baking spices. Smooth, rich, and warm. 
Sweet but not too sweet. Autumn in a bottle.

My thoughts:
This was an instant dislike for me.  I'm not sure that it smells like honey so much as fruits and spices, but it gave me a headache anyway, and I've learned to stay away from scents like this.  I didn't try it on my skin.

Green Tea
Official: Lounging in the shade of the porch in the humid heat, the hum of lawnmowers in the distance merging with the whirring drone of cicadas in the big magnolia tree, moisture beading up on the ice cold glass of green tea with lemon on the table next to you.... ahhh, summer. Fresh cut grass, green tea leaves, heady magnolia blossoms and a squeeze of lemon.

My thoughts: 
It smells like grass.  There is a strong, sharp citrus scent which I find unpleasant, followed by the smell of grass - fresh and green, as if I were in a large meadow, all the blades of grass still wet with early morning dew.  A pretty mental image, but this one's not for me.

Vanilla Amber 
Official: Warm vanilla bean and rich amber, with notes of coconut, cardamom, and sandalwood. Soft, feminine, sweet and warm. 

My thoughts:
I'm not sure what exactly it is that I object to in this scent, but it doesn't work for me.  It's a bit too heady, or something.  I don't object to vanilla, usually - it's such a comforting smell - and there are amber scents that I have liked, so I'm not sure what the issue is here.  Pass for me.

Peach Tea 
Official: Not a sugary, cloying peach nectar- this fragrance is more reminiscent of the subtle sweet perfume emanating from the fuzzy skin of a just-picked peach on the verge of being perfectly ripe. With a slightly bitter wisp of chilled black tea in the background, and the soft redolence of nearby honeysuckle blooms. Very feminine, very summery.

My thoughts:

I think I just have to come to terms with it - I don't really like the smell of peaches.  I like to eat them, but that doesn't necessarily translate into a smell I'd want to have lingering on my skin all day.

Pineapple Lemongrass
Official: sweet, juicy pineapple with supporting notes of lemongrass, coriander, and just a touch of coconut.

My thoughts: 

Wow, holy pineapple, batman.  This is ultra sweet pineapple - not citrusy in the least - though not singularly pineapple.  It does have a bit of mellow coconut at the edges when I sniff the vial - definitely reminds me of those pineapple ice creams.  I was a bit afraid to put it on my skin, since it seems *so* sweet.  I also have to give this one a fair chance, but I don't really even want to smell it for that long, so I'm giving this one a pass.


These are mostly foodie-esque type smells, though not all of them are intrinsically gourmandy (Brooke, the owner of Flourish, has a background working with food, which definitely shows through).  They don't last as long as I'd like, and stick close to my skin without generating much of a fragrance aura, if you will, but $9 for a 9 mL rollerball is a great price, and the rollerballs are convenient enough to carry around in a purse.  I find these scents a little simpler than some other brands I've tried, and not lofty in goal - they don't aspire to be intricate, intoxicating smells or fancy schmancy concoctions.  They're pleasant and familiar, comforting.  That doesn't mean they're boring or one-note; they're still interesting fragrances, and I think there's something for everyone.  I also enjoyed trying a wide variety - it's helping me find out what I do and don't like, in terms of fragrance notes.  It's a fun journey!  (With no foreseeable end, but let's ignore that for now, shall we?)

Try it if: You like foodie scents and adore the convenience of rollerball applicators.
Skip it if: You hate reapplying fragrance and want yours to last all day after the initial application, and prefer florals or woodsy scents; there aren't a lot of those in Flourish's lineup.

Refer to my first Flourish post for pricing; I've also written a brief comparison post on common indie perfume pricing here.