Friday, July 31, 2009

Les Garçonnes Collection by Crazylibellule and the Poppies : Perfume Reviews

When was the last time you had fun with perfume? No, I mean real fun, the kind that makes you giggle, the kind that brings a flush of color to your face due to pure giddiness and glee. We perfume lovers tend to take perfume seriously; we consider it art. Smelling a fabulous new elixir will bring enormous excitement, snapping up that last discontinued bottle will make our heart quiver, following a wonderful presentation will mesmerize us, and spraying our favorite will always make us sigh with pleasure. But when really was the last time we had fun with perfume? Thoughts like these flooded my mind as I opened my box containing the latest Crazylibellule and the Poppies collection, for finally, after I don’t even know how many years, I truly felt again what it’s like to have fun with perfume! The so-called Crazysticks opened up a whole new world in perfume for me. Holding the tiny, ultra-cute boxes in my hands instantly made me feel like a little girl again, when shiny pebbles were as good as diamonds, ballerina shoes were magic, sparkly hair-clips were tiaras and little fripperies made my kiddy heart beat faster with excitement. Yes, my skin flushed with the gorgeous pink blush of joy, yes I giggled, yes I took all my little boxes to bed with me so that I could play! I had fun! And I thought to myself: I’ve got to share this feeling, this profound joy of actually having fun with perfume! I’ve got to buy Crazysticks for all my girlfriends, give them some girly joy as well, help them remember what it was like back when every little tiny thing of beauty was magic. Cause these are magic! And then the practical, adult side of me awakened, and it liked what it saw as well: All those occasions, when you want to treat each of the girls in your group of friends with something small and beautiful that won’t break the bank - these will be perfect! Down with little pink underwear and tiny lipglosses! Next time I’m gifting my friends with something different: Crazysticks. And every time they need to bring a smile to their face, they can just open their purse to find an ultra-light, uber-cute, beautiful little object to scent their skin with, the gorgeous perfume brightening their day.

But enough gushing from me, let’s do some reviewing. The newest Crazystick collection is titled Les Garçonnes (The Boys), a beautiful series that celebrates, pays homage and is directly inspired by women of the past that dared break the societal boundaries of their time. These were women that travelled, created, painted, smoked in public, cropped their hair, believed in themselves and lived life to the fullest.

Hommage à Gabrielle: “Mademoiselle, how I have longed to dedicate this perfume stick to you. O to dare such freedom, to glimpse you in the heavens of the Ritz. I will freely accept your word, and dream of you wearing it.” Hommage à Gabrielle is a gorgeous and very daring blend of peony and leather with light accents of tobacco and vanilla on a bed of woods and light incense. Deep and sensual, it further grabs the interest by presenting a strange feminine fresh note that cuts through the composition taking one by surprise. Smoky and mysterious, this is perfect for the sophisticate with a dark edge.

Pompon Gardénia: “She wears a most peculiar dress, covered with pompoms. Something quite insolent, and resolutely daring. Her singularity electrifies the bar, our glasses stand forgotten. So elusive! And we sit, captivated, by this vision. She leaves, unsullied, floating, down the grand staircase... the Bugatti takes her away leaving just her perfume, which tortures us already.” A bouquet of white blossoms (lily of the valley, jasmine, light yet creamy gardenia) forms the core of Pompon Gardénia, with a subtle tobacco notes caressing the petals. The composition is very smoothly rounded with sweet heliotrope and amber. Unfortunately (for me at least), I find the combination of fresh lime and aqueous watermelon too dissonant and distracting. I do not generally like aquatic notes in perfume (with very few exceptions) and as expected, they bother me here as well. I have to say however that this girly blend will serve those that do not mind aquatic notes well in the heat of summer: it smells very refreshing and clean.

Joséphine Jonquille: “Sounds falling in a frenzy, and her barely clad skin as it shimmies. Life, as an ode to joy, against all odds. Jonquil-Jasmine, Hot perfume, perfect skin. Fascinating and impetuous.” This is absolutely wonderful, possibly my favorite in the Garçonnes collection! While it features notes of jasmine-jonquil and tiare, my nose does not really pick them up, except as a vague feminine, silky touch that caresses the otherwise relatively masculine composition. I smell sensual spices and deep woody notes (light, clean patchouli, touch of vetiver, sandalwood) simply delightfully combined with gourmand notes of ginger (cookie-like) and pure dark chocolate. This is blissful!

Jeanne Voyage: “Travel the world, getting drunk on art. A passion for exception. Adorned with a stole indecent to the touch. The suave odor of unfastened chests crammed with wonders, the smell of somewhere else, a few flowers laid... a sumptuous Italian blue, and sketches torn from a travel diary...” This one is absolutely perfect to replicate the scent of baby soft, velvety, clean skin. It smells delightful: Sweet and musky, clean and soft, tenderly powdery. I smell a lovely warm, sweet musk with clean but subtle soapy accents infused with the gorgeously powdery scent of iris. Spicy nutmeg amps the comfort-feel of this warm fragrance. The tenderness of this perfume is perfectly underscored by the subtle touch of heliotrope. Yum.

Chère Louise: “In the silence of the studios, Louise turns. Impenetrable, mythical. I can imagine her voice. A pure, sophisticated, enigmatic caress, both mysterious and youthful.” Perfectly unisex, as it precariously balances on the verge of masculinity with its notes of sharp aoudh, vetiver and pepper while at the same time utilizing a curiously abstract and undoubtedly feminine floral cord with gentle rose at its core, Chère Louise is enigmatic and strange, in the manner of perfumes that get you obsessively sniffing your wrist all day long. The resinous character of storax and the bitter-sweet touch of saffron render this a beautiful, soft oriental.

Tamara Charleston: “Breathe in the air on the steps of the villa and feel your body quiver once more. Dizzy, a glass of gin on the rocks, drawing on a cigarette before her portrait. Listening to the garden, naked... and the Charleston electrifying the night” Tamara Charleston is this collection’s gem, together with Joséphine Jonquille. While the latter wins my heart due to its comforting, gourmand nature, Tamara Charleston comes very close by virtue of its thoughtful, unique composition. I’ve been enamored with notes of peach and apricot in perfume for years, but good ones are extremely hard to come by - most smelling rather synthetic, simple and juvenile. In Tamara Charleston the peach note is utterly youthful, fresh and natural, yet blissfully refrains from taking over the composition or overshadowing the other notes. In other words it’s perfect, lending a feeling of that youthful, first sexual awakening to the blend, while allowing the other notes to weave their magic around it. Sweet hay, with a dirty, erotic tinge, milky grass and a few precious droplets of mandarin nectar infused with a gentle floralcy are summoned around this glorious fruit note to create the image of an enchanted sunny clearing, where anything can happen.

Rose à Saïgon: “Her name was Rose, and she dreamed of other worlds, of the effervescence of the roaring twenties... The moist air of Indochina, a crackly melody on the gramophone, and the spellbinding odor of dreams on her skin.” A fruity composition that according to the official notes is meant to focus on the passion fruit, but what I predominately smell is raspberry. In fact this smells very much like Framboise eau de vie, sweet and tart at the same time. The passion fruit is there alright, but playing a secondary role, subtly infusing the raspberry with a hint of the exotic. This is very young, very girly, and much less complex than the rest of the fragrances in the collection.

The glide on the skin smoothly, leaving no residue. You know I love solids, both as a concept as well as for practical reasons (travel, carrying in the purse etc) and these pleasantly go a step further since you do not actually have to dip your fingers in them in order to perfume your skin (kind of annoying if you have long nails). The lasting power is great for me, but sillage is minimal. The scent has perfect intensity, but does not project - only those that come close enough for a hug will be able to detect your perfume.


Linda said...

Dearest Divina,
Oh, so so pretty - and I know just what you mean by "playing". Actually, I still do: put my fragrance in different orders, give them star ratings, match them to my moods... The packaging is gorgeous, and the descriptions are charming. I would like to collect them all, and I'm going to look on the web NOW!!
Please relax and enjoy your sunny holiday!

ScentScelf said...

It was fun to read about them! Thanks for bringing this collection to life for me. I've been intrigued by CL&P for a while, but have only managed to try the Lilas Spiritual...which I did enjoy, and shared with friends. :)

I had heard of the Chanel inspired offering from this group, but this is my first look at the whole collection. Sounds! You're right!! :)

And, speaking of have a marvelous vacation, D.

Suzanne said...

What fun! The names of these scents are very cute, too (I especially liked "Jeanne Voyage").

Hope your vacation is relaxing and wonderful, Divina!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

I love the packaging- they are so vintage- so art deco! I am having fun just looking at them. Thanks for bringing these to our attention! xo

Anonymous said...

You make Tamara Charleston sound so beautiful for spring. I'd love to have that in my bag!


Cheryl G. said...

Oh Divina, you minx. I ordered both, Tamara Charleston and Joséphine Jonquille today.
I took advantage of the deal at beautyhabit: get free shipping on any order with coupon code
BEAUTY911, good through 8/2.