Tag Archives: Thierry Mugler Womanity

Dear Aunty Sam: Your Perfume Problems Part Five: Womanity & Travalo sprays

painting by John William Waterhouse
painting by John William Waterhouse

Well I never realised that I’d be answering perfume problems for s fifth time, but here I am. I guess I’ve opened a can of worms. Still, as a perfume blogger, it’s clearly my job to end olfactory suffering. Call me white rosethe Florence Nightingale of fragrance foibles. By the way, did you know that Florence Nightingale wore Floris White Rose? Florence Fact.

I’m going to answer two problems today.  Do join in if you have anything to add. I bow to your greater knowledge, my dear chums.

My first letter was from Dawn, who has kindly allowed me to quote from her email

Dear Aunty Sam,

I am in horrible mourning because I found out that Mugler absolutely stopped making Womanity. I tried wearing Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt but I hated it. Is there any way you can give me some fragrances to try that are as quirky as Womanity and that might actually dry down as wonderfully as Womanity did?

Dear Dawn,

Thank you so much for writing to me. First of all, for full disclosure, Womanity is very much not for me. However, there is no right or womanitywrong in perfume and if you need something, then I I want to get it for you. The two biggest notes in Womanity are caviar and fig. My suggestion is that you find a fragrance with caviar notes and layer a decent fig over the top. However, you told me that caviar scents are hard to find, and you’re right. It’s a pretty niche sort of note. If you wanted vanilla or jasmine I could write a list as long as my arm.

Looking at trusty Fragrantica, I can see that Diesel Bad For Men has a caviar note that smells “like a trickle of sweat down a man’s chiselled body”.  You could try layering this with Library of Fragrance Fig or L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figueur, which  has some of the woodiness of Womanity.

Now I’m not sure if this will work, so you may have to mix and layer until you find something you can live with. I do sympathise with you though. I am bereft at the loss of Gucci Envy ten years ago.

My other question was from the lovely Rachael, who asked a question that I once had myself until I figured it out.

travalo close up

Dear Aunty Sam

I’ve been wondering how to decant stuff for ages to make it more amenable to carrying around. I have a tendency to buy ‘bargain’ 50 or 100ml bottles and then don’t want to lug it everywhere with me, particularly in hot weather, when you need extra top-ups, but carry less stuff!

Rachael

Dear Rachael,

if you don’t mind my using unladylike language, a Travalo travel spray has  a sort of  cat’s bum on its bottom. You take your 100ml bottle, remove the nozzle and stick it up the bottom of your Travalo, and then you pump away until its full.   No spill, no waste.  Hope this helps. Once you get stuck in, you’ll find half full Travalos all over the house!

 

 

How About You?

Do you have any advice of your own to add to these dilemmas?  Do you have any problems you’d like me to look into?  (perfume only please, ahem.)   Do let me know.  I always love to hear from you.

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“Don’t Wave That Around!” Etat Libre D’Orange Secretions Magnifiques

secretions

 Long Version

I had heard controversial snippets about ELDO Secretions Magnifiques and had been dying to try it. Obligingly, my Guardian Angel of Perfume popped up with the very thing, as if cosmic ordering really works.  (Hi Lisa!)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhat followed was unpleasant.  Not the company of course, nor the nice china or the Cadbury Chocolate Fingers. (Do you know, it’s impossible to write about Secretions Magnifiques without sounding laden with double entendres, but I shall try).

I proceeded with caution, and not having any blotting paper,  I had to use a tissue (there I go again).  Eschewing skin, I dabbed Secretions Magnifiques on the tissue and had a sniff.  Hmm.  Not bad.  Citrussy even.  And then it began to um… what’s the opposite of “grow on me?” Repel.  Yes, it repelled me.  I sniffed again, and I kid you not, Lisa said I actually whimpered.  She remained unfazed.  If you know her in real life, this will not surprise you.  In all things fragrance, she is one tough bird.  She smelled Womanity and didn’t even flinch (“Hmm. Figgy”).

We left Secretions Magnifiques for a few moments and waded pleasantly though endless interesting samples before giving it another go.  If this was a film, it would end with a scene which involves me shouting “Don’t wave it around!”, close up on my horrified face, then freeze frame and cue credits.

Short Version

Secretions Magnifiques smells like the bedroom of a teenage boy after his parents have been away for the weekend. The sample we tried remains, rather aptly, on a tissue.

 

 

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Avon Little Pink Dress: Affordable Daytime Chic

lpd   I haven’t always had good things to say about Avon fragrance but in the last six months I have increasingly found more to like.  I do believe Avon is turning a corner. For one thing, they listened to their customers enough to bring Timeless back.  Secondly, they launched Avon Premier Luxe, which is excellent quality and costs around  £10. And thirdly, their prices remain very competitive.  Now maybe if I can persuade them to bring Odyssey back I would be a very happy blogger indeed.  (hey Avon, I know its in your USA brochures– please let us Brits have it too!)

odyssey

 

The Little Dress range of perfumes has been strong right from the start.  Little Black Dress is one of my favourites, and I even carry a purse spray of Little Red Dress around in my bag.  I haven’t tried Little Gold Dress or Little White Dress so I can’t speak for them.  However, I recently tried Little Pink Dress and I was impressed.

On a warm day, the lightness of Little Pink Dress was most welcome.  It opens with citrus: the only fruit I can’t get enough of in a scent.  Then the Peony comes in.  Peony is in my view, the prettiest, and dare I say it, the girliest of floral notes.  It is an almost guaranteed crowd pleaser for fans of floral scents, and I am very much in the crowd.

The base is supposedly patchouli, but I found it remained Peony-ish, with pleasant little floral wafts emanating from my skin as I moved around during the day. Little Pink Dress has often been compared to Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue and I can see why.  Both are light and airy  and open with citrussy notes. Longevity was neither great nor terrible, but since this was recently on sale for as little as £7, then I’m not complaining.

The only mystery about Little Pink Dress is why on earth they thought adding caviar was a good plan?  But don’t panic, it’s imperceptible.  Phew!  I didn’t want another Thierry Mugler Womanity situation on my hands.  Womanity still remains the only perfume, out of hundreds, that made me physically gag and retch.  Caviar in perfume?  Not a good plan.

I would say to Avon: don’t try and do what others are doing, just keep doing what you do best. What Avon does best is affordable, pleasant fragrances.  They don’t smash up the room, nor are they insipid, but they strike a good balance between the two and make the thrill of a new bottle of perfume an accessible treat.  There are still a lot of them that smell similar to one another however, but they seem to be steady sellers so I guess it’s just me.

Avon Little Pink Dress is a delightful and pretty daytime scent and would be ideal for work wear.  Innocent and inoffensive, it makes me want to wear a tea dress and paint my toes pearly pink.

mooseyscountrygarden.com
mooseyscountrygarden.com

Estee Lauder White Linen: A High Street Classic

 nd.542

It’s taken me a while to get round to Estee Lauder White Linen. The reason why is that I have, in the past, found it a bit too metallic and silvery, akin to getting foil in your back teeth *shudder*.  Unfortunately Chanel No 22 had the same effect on me (and many perfumistas would  beg to differ on that beauty).

However, with perfume my motto is never say never ( except with Theirry Mugler Womanity, which is a permanent estrangement) and thus I have been trying White Linen for a couple of days now. White Linen opens with  a fog bomb of aldehydes, which normally I like, but still this is somehow too metallic for me, like chrome or rusty silver. After an hour, things look up and the flowers all seem to turn from bud to bloom, and many of my favourites too.: Hyacinth, Lilac, Lily of the Valley and Violets.

In a garden , these would be like paradise for me and in a perfume the effect is similar.  The aldehydes lose their metallic edge but still give these flower buds a punchy frame for their blooms.

The base note is very long lasting and equally as delicious as the middle phase. There’s Amber, Benzoin,  Vetiver and Oakmoss.  However, this isn’t quite as pungent and spicy as you might imagine. The flowers never went away you see, so all these wondrously strong base notes are made feminine, whilst still retaining a  warm zing of heat.

The base note lasts around thirteen hours, making this fabulous value at around 40GBP.  I have often smlled this on older ladies, but rather than label it old lady, as many have, I credit the more experienced perfume user with excellent taste. Despite White Linen being American, I have always thought there is something quintessentially English and proper about White Linen.  I’ll bet you a tenner Camilla has a bottle. And I bet Charles doesn’t mind. He loves flowers too.

Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse: A Cluedo Mystery Beckons

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 Miller Harris is a high quality brand, and I have yet to be disappointed by any of their scents. Whether I like them all or not, I cannot claim that they are anything other than beautifully put together and of the highest quality. Naturally with a wide range, there will be some I don’t like alongside the many I do.

 We can put Noix de Tubereuse into the category of “The Jury’s Still Out”.

 I’ve been wearing it for two days now and I’m still not certain about it. Its Tuberose for sure, that much is immediately clear, but there was a question mark over this that I couldn’t quite get past.

 The first time I tried it, I thought of biscuits. The second time I thought of Hay or the Nuts (noix) of the title. The more I thought about it the more I thought there  was a kind of savoury note in this (dramatic flashbacks to the savoury note in hideous Womanity *scream face*). There are no nut notes listed in this, but I was sure I could detect the scent or taste of them.

 There are several notes in Noix de Tubereuse that could be guilty. One of them is Clover. Could Clover be the culprit? Another is Mimosa, a straw like yellow flower scent. Was that the meanie killing my White Flower buzz?

 Then there is Orris root. Not a million miles from the  rooty smell of Iris, maybe it was the Orris root?

 Starting to feel like Poirot in a parlour full of suspects, I never did get enough evidence to get to the bottom of what is stopping me enjoying Noix de Tubereuse. It could be a solo culprit, or it could have several accomplices.

 If I’m completely honest and ignoring the list of notes, I will say hand on heart, that this smells like Tuberose and Nuts. It really does. And I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

 I’m not in love with it, but I would ask for it’s phone number at a later date. Who knows. I might even give it a call.

 

 

Thierry Mugler Womanity: Run Don’t Walk (to wash it off)

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Thierry Mugler Angel is here to stay. I don’t like the chocolate overdose it leaves on my skin, but many people do and there are too many of them for me to argue with. Alien is wonderfully strange, but manageable in small doses.

And then there is Womanity. This is so vile I was almost gagging at the thought of giving it a second chance for the sake of this review. This is no exaggeration. Womanity is the first perfume that actually makes me physically nauseous.

The concept behind Womanity was indeed unique, but unique doesn’t mean it’s going to work. In 2010, Mugler invited women to contribute to the finished product by writing their views and wishes on the Womanity website. The idea was that womankind itself helped to create Womanity. I can’t decide if this is insulting or not, seeing as the finished product is so very rank (at least to me).

It has not escaped my notice that despite being launched in 2010, Womanity has not hit any of the top ten best seller lists anywhere in the world. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since many excellent  perfumes stay small and exclusive, almost deliberately eschewing the limelight. Mugler, however, not so much. He’s a game changer and trailblazer. Exclusive he is not.  But then if you choose to put Caviar in scent, you are either attention seeking or trying to show us new ways in which to perceive fragrance.  The jury’s out.

So what does it smell like? Here’s what it’s supposed to smell like: Fig, Caviar, Fig Tree and Fig Leaf.

Here’s what it actually smells like: very old, crumbly Bakewell Tart that has been in a dusty, airless biscuit tin so long that the butter in the crust has gone rancid and the almonds have gone sickly sweet and rank.  With a hint of fish.

I was lost for words. I was agog with astonishment that this sells to anyone at all. I am  aware that all perfumes smell differently to everyone and no reaction, positive or negative, is bad or wrong, but Oh My Days…this is putrid.

Incidentally, my sample is an authentic Eau de Parfum and was obtained from the great Escentual. It’s not the supplier who is at fault here, it’s the panel that said “Mmm, yes, that’s it, let’s use this one.”

 Womanity was made by Nose Alexis Dadier and the fragrance and flavour company Mane.  Mugler was keen to include a savoury note. I can see how he might think that might work. He has changed the face of the perfume industry before. Angel was, and is, a shameless gourmand that has released thousands of wannabes in her wake.  Alien has a uniquely strange bottle and is loud, shouty Amber and Woods. But Womanity? Old biscuits and a hint of fish.  It’s not often a perfume turns my stomach.

Congratulations, by the way, to Halston Catalyst. You are now the second worst perfume I have ever smelt. Womanity has knocked you off your pedestal.  And had me running to the sink.

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