Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Handful of Florals

I've been trying to go through my perfume samples more aggressively, so expect a few more perfume reviews in the upcoming weeks. Here we have a some white florals.

I grew up in Hawaii, where gardenia and pikake abound. I thought perhaps not everyone has seen these flowers before, so here they are.

Pikake, in a lei.
Do they look like they smell?

And now, for the perfumes I've been playing with.

kai fragrance sample*

The kai fragrance is described as "a light and intoxicating blend of gardenia wrapped in white exotics." I confess, I don't really know what "white exotics" means, but we'll go with it. I really like the central gardenia scent - it smells like the flowers my mum grew in front of our house once. This is sweeter than it is green, but it is essentially gardenia, all the way through. Simple and sweet, like a flower, and lasts fairly long. I wouldn't mind having a full bottle of this one.

Jennifer Aniston mini fragrance

When my best friend came up for my wedding, we swapped some fragrances (or, uh, a lot), and this is one that I ended up with. Sephora has this quote from Jennifer Aniston: "I wanted this fragrance to be a personal library of scent memories. For example, my love of night blooming jasmine has lasted a lifetime. Growing up in California, I distinctly remember the scent of jasmine on summer evenings. I consider the scent of the ocean to be one of life's most uplifting sensual experiences. No aroma is quite so purifying, humbling and exhilarating. The combination of the salty air and tropical oils reminds me of long sunny days on the beach-pure happiness."

I have to say, it's one of those scents aims to be inoffensive, but I just can't get behind it. It seems watered down. I feel the elements, but to me, it's more like being at the beach on a cloudy, overcast day; the sky is gray and the scent of the ocean is muted and muddled, giving you just a vague sense of salt and sand and far off places. The jasmine scent is noticeable, but weak, and I really get more of an alcohol finish than I'd like. The scent is not crisp or clear or strong in any particular note. I do, however, like that the mini bottle looks just like the original, and is actually a functional spray!

Amazing Grace by Philosphy.

For some reason I thought all of the Philosophy scents were just clean, but obviously, that would be very dull so it's a good thing I'm not running that show. Amazing Grace is another white floral, surprise! Sephora says it's a "uniquely feminine blend of soft, floral blossoms accented by a hint of light musk." I think it is similar to Jennifer Aniston's fragrance in the sense that it's not particularly forward and no single note stands out. It's also a bit watery. However, it's slightly fresher, without the salt in JA. And based on the Philosophy line of products, I can also see how they might not want a super strong scent, if the intention is to layer with the other Amazing Grace products: soap, lotion.

She Belongs There solid perfume by Lulu Beauty

Solid perfumes are nice when you don't want to overwhelm or be overwhelmed by your scent choice. This is called a "evocative entanglement of plush gardenias, exotic pikaki and night-blooming jasmine, layered with notes of lush, smoky vanilla" (Lulu Beauty's Etsy page). I get a lot of the pikake and gardenia and jasmine (I don't know that I can tell the difference between all of those flowers so I won't try too hard) but not a whole lot of vanilla. Once applied to skin it can open up into a bit of the sour green note that some florals possess. I don't get any smoky vanilla. But white florals are so lovely on their own - and utterly feminine - that it doesn't really bother me. They evoke gardens, and shiny green leaves contrasting with the silky smoothness of clean white petals. Exotic and natural, all at once. 

This one, like many solids, doesn't last very long on my skin, though, and ultimately I really don't like touching my perfume - I really love solids that come in twist-ups, like Sweet Anthem's, so that I can apply without getting it on my fingers.

At one point, I thought I didn't like jasmine or white floral fragrances, but I was wrong, ha. Jasmine can be notoriously strong, so I think it just depends on how it's tempered in a blend. How do you feel about white florals? Have you tried any of these?

*PR sample from Wantable