Eau des Merveilles Bleue

hermes marvelousLots of wet citrus in the beginning, loud and bright and cheerful.
Orange–the fresh first pull of peel–slowly settles down to bergamot tea, poured over ice.

An hour later there’s some woods with a hit of salt, like driftwood in the sun. Patchouli comes in at the bottom, a bit of smoke over water on the skin, and lingers for the afternoon.

This one is young at heart, but she’s got grace.


Hermès used a snippet of this audio art in the ad–but the whole thing deserves a listen.

Armani Code

armani code edgyPolished leather and bergamot tea and suave manners at the start, sweet woods and spice and innuendo at the finish.

For the guy who is aggressively smart, rather than physically dominating.

(But why on earth does Ryan Reynolds’ ARMANI shirt fit him so badly in the advert?!)


I love the Deadpool movies–this is a great cover of Wade’s favorite song.

Voyage d’Hermès

voyage d'HermesA trip to India, for spices and Darjeeling and marigolds.

Opens with big bright lemon and brash cardamom–heaping handfuls still in their green pods.
There’s an interesting warm-and-cool, push-pull to the top notes that keeps it from settling down–and it stays that way, fresh from the citrus, yet powdery with the spice–for several hours at arms length.

Eventually green tea musk slides in, soothing it down and pulling the sillage in. Finishes with a breath of woody flowers on the skin.
A lovely scent for summer daytime wear.


Stromae is a Belgian musician who also manages to be both dry and refreshing (and  stylish–his design line, Mosaert, is gorgeous!) His first hit came out in 2010, the same time as the fragrance.

Lady Stetson

lady stetson edgySweet soapy sandalwood and senior English Lit class, prom carnations and packed bleacher musk.
I wore this at seventeen, with pleated stonewashed jeans and my grandfather’s Stetson Stratoliner à la Molly Ringwald.
Three decades later and it still holds up, an affordable and cheerful Chanel knock-off with riper peaches at the end.


This debuted in 1986, along with Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. and we all swooned over the album cover. Here’s a gorgeous version of my favorite Dwight Yoakam song.

Azzaro 9

azzaro 9A messy bouquet of flowers, the kind you’d hand pick as a child and bring home to your mum. Wildflowers crowd in with lilies, spills of wisteria, a stray carnation, a random rose from the neighbor’s yard, yet vague–no single bloom stands out as the star.
Awkwardly maternal, in a “Very nice, dear,” kind of way.


Another awkwardly maternal one that came out in 1984. I remember desperately wanting that silver and black dress.

Acqua di Rosa Thea

Aqua di Rosa Thea edgeVintage rose solifleur from an antique reference set.
(Perfumeintelligence suggests this one was first formulated in Parma, Italy, in 1880.)

So how do you define what a rose smells like? This one does a  pretty good job of it–

Opens with airy pastel buds, lemony with sugar in the tea, then ripens with earthy green leaves and bright fruity rosehip wine. The dry down is exactly that, dried petals–dusty, musky and spicy sweet with a hint of powdery cloves.

So top notes to bottom, a good illustration of rose that would hold its own against Perfume Workshop’s Tea Rose and Annick Goutal’s Rose Absolue–though it doesn’t quite have the luxe of Fort and Manle’s Harem Rose.


Everyone’s favorite pizza delivery tune, Funiculì, Funiculà, came out in Italy at the same time. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, so here’s some Sting.