Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inner Grace by Philosophy : Perfume Review

Philosophy, Christina Carlino’s retail range of cosmetics has managed to become successful in the cut-throat, oversaturated world of cosmetics, in part due to its appeal as a brand that does not impress the same -often unhealthy- expectations many other brands do on women. With simple, yet clever packaging that never fails to bring to mind associations with purity and simplicity, and short yet meaningful quotes printed on each and every bottle, jar and box that remind us of the power of hope, belief, perseverance and everything that’s good about life in general before every use, Philosophy has been embraced by countless women the world over, sometimes just because merely looking at these little messages brings a smile on their face.

Along with cosmetics, Philosophy also has a range of fragrances. It is hard to rate Philosophy fragrances, because they seem to belong to this genre of personal scents that are almost non-scents, if that makes any sense. Their most defining attribute would probably be inoffensive, with clean and simple following close behind. Yes, this type of fragrances are indeed very much in fashion nowadays, owing their popularity in part to the overly sanitized approach to everything our western culture has embraced. However one may feel about this, there is no denying their widespread appeal. Personally, I have to say that I do not begrudge their popularity. True, there are times I find myself wondering why a woman would actually wish to smell like a baby’s powdered bottom… However, I do see the utility and merit of many such clean, inoffensive fragrances. There is certainly a time and a place for everything, and there are indeed times when a subtle, understated, clean fragrance is called for (The gym, a visit to the doctor, or a job interview for example). Too, there are certain professions that specifically call for such fragrances. For perfume lovers, such a perfume is a much more preferable option than no perfume at all. And it is not just necessity that can make this type of scent popular among fragrance lovers. Yes, we love a complex development and fragrances that make a statement. However, most of us also have a number of comfort scents that we keep returning to in those times when we don’t need too much distraction. Scents that are not asking too much of our attention, scents that feel like a warm cuddle, scents that just feel good and simple and pleasant. I don’t like all of Philosophy’s fragrances, but they are all indeed such uncomplicated scents: A linear development that will not tax a tired mind further, a sense of comfort that will feel like an embrace and a clean, understated aroma that will feel more like your own personal scent or that of soap than an actual perfume.

Inner Grace is probably my favorite of Philosophy’s scents, because unlike the rest of the brand’s fragrances, this one actually feels rather sexy. It is basically a musk fragrance, and as such it feels very warm and personal. Specifically, Inner Grace showcases the marvelous, sexy beauty of Egyptian Musk, one of my absolutely favorite smells. Lovers of Narcisso Rodriguez for Her and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely are sure to love this one as well, since all three make Egyptian Musk the main focus of the fragrance. Unlike Narcisso Rodriguez for Her or Lovely however, Inner Grace sanitizes the musky scent somewhat, presenting it as far less animalic. This is not necessarily a good thing for me, because I do love my musks to be as animalic as possible; However what is very attractive about this particular rendition of Egyptian Musk, is that it feels absolutely personal, as if it is exuding from your own skin. Compared to Lovely, which I cannot really wear because it feels rather chemical to my nose and always ends up bothering me throughout the day, Inner Grace feels natural and soft. Inner Grace compliments the scent of Egyptian Musk with fresh, sappy greens and hints of resinous amber, adding both fresh and warm elements to the comforting appeal of its heart of musk. The end result is sexy, personal and quite addictive, perfuming the skin with a scent that has definite nuzzle potential. Yum.

Images: and Flickr, originally uploaded by Steve Jurvetson


The Daily Connoisseur said...

You've really got this one... Philosophy (I think) the first of their flagship stores in Santa Monica this week and I went in and tried Amazing Grace again. I keep sampling this fragrance because I like it but feel like I shouldn't because it is so inoffensive and not very much of a statement. But I think I might just get it for those days that you mentioned...

I'll also try inner grace as I am a huge Narciso fan and also wear Lovely from time to time. x

Anonymous said...

I love amazing grace but I cant stand pure grace! This one I havent tried yet.


Divina said...

Daily, since you like Narcisso and Lovely, I am sure you're going to like this one!

Divina said...

Christine, I am like you.. I too like Amazing Grace (second best for me after Inner Grace in the Philosophy fragrance lineup, and oh so useful for those occasions when a subtle perfume has to be used) but I don't like Pure Grace! At first I thought it was really nice, to have the smell of clean laundry bottled... I could see why someone might want to spray this on their clothes, it smelled really, like very clean clothes! But soon I started experiencing it as incredibly chemical... I don't know why, but it nauseated me. Strange, for such a clean smelling perfume.