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Towards the end of June, Nordstrom came out with x2 more Sample Packs. One, was a mix of Makeup and Skincare (dis), which wasn’t particularly exciting. The other, was this Fragrance Sample Pack, which was very enticing!
For starters, it came with a sample of Mugler Angel Eau Croisière which I was dying to sniff! The pack also included several flankers of well-loved gourmands, Prada Candy and CH Good Girl and V&R Flowerbomb and YSL Black Opium and YSL Mon Paris! I was pretty excited about the samples from Atelier Cologne and Diptyque and Replica and my beloved Kilian as well! Also, most of these were new-new!
In hindsight though, I totally should’ve skipped the Fragrance Sample Pack (June) because it was mostly either floral-y florals (yuck) or overly sharp and citrus-y scents (namely Peach, ugh).
Acqua di Parma Colonia Eau de Cologne (0.05 oz.) (created in 1916)
Top Notes: Lemon, Sweet Orange, Calabrian Bergamot
Heart Notes: Lavender, Bulgarian Rose, Verbena, Rosemary
Base Notes: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Patchouli
Ouch! Individually, I actually liked most of these notes. Together, they hurt my nose!
Colonia smelled too citrus-y, too floral-y, too lotion-y, too spicy and just too old-fashioned. It kinda’ reminded me of that horrible Estee Lauder Youth Dew (sampled here), so… hard pass.
I suppose, back in the day, when regular bathing wasn’t a thing yet, people probably couldn’t smell anything over their own stench. Maybe that’s why they enjoyed “Beast-Mode” Fragrances (with all the flowers, and all the spices, and all the… everything in them) like Colonia and Youth Dew. However, in this day and age – as someone who bathes regularly – I just found Colonia offensive.
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue (0.03 oz.) (launched in 2010)
Soft sea breezes and sunshine in a bottle. The scent of freshly cut oranges that accompanies you like a sophisticated shadow. Just let its seductive power surround you…
– Blood Orange from Italy
– Jasmine from Egypt
– Sandalwood from Indonesia
Juicy! Orange Sanguine was not only the truest, but also, the nicest fragrance version of freshly squeezed Orange Juice! Unlike most of the other Orange-y scents that I’ve sniffed (dis), Orange Sanguine was neither tart nor citrus-y. In fact, it was actually pretty sweet (like genuine Orange Juice)!
After some time, I could smell something spicy. I’d say Vetiver (except it wasn’t listed) or Geranium (except I’m not sure what that’s supposed to smell like), but whatever it was, it was distinctly masculine (kinda’ like Tobacco actually) and I didn’t like it.
Somewhere along the way, the overall scent changed from sweet (Orange Juice) to tart and zesty (Orange Peel) with a powder-y quality to it, sadly. At that point, Orange Sanguine sorta’ reminded me of Zara Bitter Orange (dis), only less obnoxious.
Also, I still hated the postcard-packaging of Fragrance Samples from Atelier Cologne.
Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum Légère (0.05 oz.) (launched in 2018)
Top Notes: Tangerine
Heart Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine Sambac
Base Notes: Tonka Bean, Dulce de Leche Accord, Sandalwood
Yummy! At first, it was all citrus-y. Then, pleasantly floral, as the Ylang Ylang helped make the Jasmine Sambac easier to… accept. After some time, it turned into an absolutely delightful caramel scent!
It smelled as lovely in the air, as it did on my person! However, I’m not one for florals, of which this had many. If Good Girl Légère smelled this good, I’m definitely gonna’ have to go give the original Good Girl a sniff!
Diptyque Eau de Minthé Eau de Parfum (0.06 oz.) (launched in 2019)
Top Notes: Mint
Heart Notes: Geranium
Base Notes: Patchouli
Wit woo! This smelled like “hot guy“! In fact, it kinda’ reminded me of Dior Sauvage, which is what a handful of my guy-friends (hot guy-friends) sport on the regular. As such, I feel like this one is strictly for guys (hot guys).
I was expecting something obnoxiously minty, but was surprised to find that the Mint was actually well-blended, along with everything else. Eau de Minthé was not a particularly unique scent, but I found it quite
pleasant sexy, nonetheless!
Hermes Un Jardin sur la Lagune Eau de Toilette (0.06 oz.) (launched in 2019)
Top Notes: Floral Notes (Magnolia, Madonna Lily)
Heart Notes: Sea Notes (Sea Breeze, Samphire)
Base Notes: Wood Notes
Interesting! I actually chose Une Jardin sur la Lagune as my “freebie sample” in my previous order with Nordstrom (dis). At first, all I got were those delightful Sea Notes (kinda’ salty and kinda’ reminded you of sweat…but nicer). Then, I got that
baby diaper baby powder scent of the Madonna Lily coupled with the Magnolia. After about an hour or so, it turned masculine and medicinal, on my skin.
Was it an interesting scent? Yes, deffo’ worth a sniff. Would I ever purchase it? Probably not. I could see myself getting annoyed by the Magnolia and Madonna Lily in the long-run and avoiding the fragrance all-together. Heck, I’m already annoyed and want this thing off of me, yesterday.
Jimmy Choo Floral Eau de Toilette (0.06 oz.) (launched in 2019)
Top Notes: Nectarine
Heart Notes: Magnolia
Base Notes: Musk
Yuck! For the first few seconds, it was all citrus-y. Then, quickly turned into a full on blast of Magnolia, ugh! It smelled very… “old lady”.
I’m well aware that some floral fragrances could be quite pleasant, but Jimmy Choo Floral EDT was not one of them (at least, not to me).
Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad Eau de Parfum (0.05 oz.) (launched in 2012)
Top Notes: Jasmine, Osmanthus, May Rose
Heart Notes: Indian Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Narcissus
Base Notes: Amber, Cedar
Not bad, but also, not my thing. Good Girl Gone Bad kinda’ reminded me of sweetened rice pudding a.k.a. Mahalabia which is a traditional Arabic Dessert. I quite liked it, but then, I kept getting whiffs of Peach (ugh) which strangely enough, wasn’t even listed in the notes. Either way, hard pass.
Maison Margiela Replica Under the Lemon Trees Eau de Toilette (0.04 oz.) (launched in 2018)
Top Notes: Kalamansi Flavor Accord, Petitgrain Essence, Cardamom Essence
Heart Notes: Coriander Essence, Mate Absolute, Green Tea Extract
Base Notes: Cedarwood Essence, Citrus Absolute, Musks
Love! Initially, it smelled like Lemons! Not fake/synthetic Lemon. Not overly sweet Lemon. Not overly citrus-y Lemon. It smelled like genuine Lemons.
Then, it turned into an even more delightful fresh Green Tea… with Lemon.
Finally, it turned into that pleasant musky, lightly woodsy scent… with Lemon.
All that, plus a healthy dose of my favorite Spices (Cardamom ♥) So. Much. Yes.
Goes without saying, but I’m definitely going to purchase this baby, at some point!
Marc Jacobs Daisy Love Eau de Toilette (0.04 oz.) (launched in 2018)
Top Notes: Crystallized Cloudberries
Heart Notes: Daisy Tree Petals
Base Notes: Cashmere Musks, Driftwood
Whole lotta nothin’! On my skin, nothing. In the air, nothing. On paper, nothing. On a tissue… Hallelujah, we finally got something! Granted it was a very, very, very faint hint of a breath of a whisper of gourmand, but still, it was better than nothing.
Come to think of it, Marc Jacobs Daisy Love kinda’ reminds me of Armani Si (and all its many flankers), in the sense that I can barely smell any of them. Apparently, nose-blindness is very common and many people experience it with all kinds of different fragrances. Oh well.
Mugler Angel Eau Croisière Eau de Toilette (0.04 oz.) (launched in 2019)
Citrus Cocktail Facet: Mango/Blackcurrant sorbet
Voluptuous Facet: Patchouli/Praline
Me gusta! No sweetness. No florals. Just straight up Mango!
I was this close to purchasing it from Nordstrom (either back in March or April), based on the gorgeous packaging alone (very Miami Nights 1984) ! Sadly, it went out of stock almost immediately and because it was a Limited Edition, I haven’t seen it since.
I very well may have to go hunt it down, during the next Perfume & Makeup Exhibition (Oct-Nov), because I need it in my life!
Prada Candy Night Eau de Parfum (0.05 oz.) (launched in 2019)
Top Notes: Neroli, Iris, Bitter Orange
Heart Notes: Tonka Bean, Vanilla
Base Notes: Chocolate, Patchouli
Disgusting! I was expecting something sweet, but this smelled… salty.
First it smelled strongly medicinal, not unlike Mugler Aura (dis). Seconds later, it turned into Orange-Flavored Chocolate, but less like Chocolate and more like Chocolate-Adjacent. Whatever it was, it was vile! Finally, it turned salty (not in a pleasant way). Such a shockingly horrible scent!
If you’re on the hunt for an Orange-Chocolate Fragrance, I’d say go for Mugler Angel Muse (dis), which was also released in the same year and was infinitely more superior! In fact, based on the medicinal notes and orange-choco-ness of it, I’m thinkin’ that’s where they were going with this thing (possible dupe), but clearly failed at it. I say failed, but then again, a lot of people actually like this thing so… I dunno. For me though, it’s a no.
Tiffany Eau de Parfum Intense (0.04 oz.) (launched in 2018)
Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Mandarin Leaf
Heart Notes: Iris
Base Notes: Benzoin, Amber
Initially, I had disliked Tiffany Intense (sampled earlier here), but in comparison with some of these… monstrosities, Tiffany Intense was actually much more palatable now! It smelled nice and fresh and clean and a smidge powder-y, ideal for hot summers in Kuwait!
Tom Ford Costa Azzurra Acqua Eau de Toilette (0.05 oz.) (launched in 2019)
Top Notes: Lemon, Juniper Berry, Myrtle Oil
Heart Notes: Cypress Oil, Pine Needles
Base Notes: Cistus Absolute Drip, Lentisque Resinoid, Oakwood Extract
Bad! Very, very bad! Medicinal (kinda’ like Tiger Balm/VapoRub/Vix), overly masculine and just all around awful!
Versace Bright Crystal Absolu Eau de Parfum (0.03 oz.) (launched in 2013)
Top Notes: Pomegranate, Yuzu, Iced Accord
Heart Notes: Peony, Magnolia, Lotus Flower
Base Notes: Acajou, Vegetable Amber, Musk
I’d sampled Bright Crystal EDT (dis) and found it fresh and uplifting and all around delightful!
As such, I was pretty excited to give this baby a sniff, but was a bit disappointed. To me, Bright Crystal Absolu EDP smelled sweeter, heavier and kinda’… generic.
Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Midnight Eau de Parfum (0.04 oz.) (launched in 2019)
Top Notes: Black Currant, Pomegranate
Heart Notes: Night-Blooming Jasmine, Peony
Base Notes: Vanilla, White Musk
Ever since it was first released in 2005, I’ve gone through many, many, many bottles of the original Flowerbomb (most recent purchase, here). Not once have I ever strayed towards any of it’s many flankers… until Flowerbomb Midnight. Purely based on the name alone, I was super excited to give this baby a sniff!
First, it was all floral-y and then it was all candy-sweet. Personally, I quite liked it! However, if I’m being honest, it didn’t seem all that unique. It actually kinda’ reminded me of a cross between Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Misteriosa (sampled here) and YSL Mon Paris (sampled here).
Flowerbomb Midnight wasn’t anything mind-blowing, but it was a cheerful fruity-floral, nonetheless!
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche Eau de Parfum (0.04 oz.) (released in 2016)
Top Notes: Rice, Bourbon Pepper, Anise
Heart Notes: Orange Blossom, Coffee, Peony, Coriander
Base Notes: Vanilla, Milk, Caramel, Sandalwood, White Musk
I’d sampled the original Black Opium in-store and also gifted it to someone in the past. I’d even received samples of it from Nordstrom (dis and more recently dis and just now, dis), and although lovely, absolutely refuse to purchase the original for myself.
That said, I had no qualms purchasing Black Opium Intense… as a blind buy… in the largest size available… which turned out to be a big fail (dis) lol Basically, it was a floral, and a weak one at that.
That’s why I was wasn’t really expecting much from Black Opium Nuit Blanche. Boy, was I wrong!
Coffee? Check. Vanilla? Check. Milk, Caramel and Sandalwood? Check, check and check! The whole thing smelled so yummy, from the onset and throughout! On my skin and in the air, I got a smooth, very creamy gourmand!
I had been avoiding Nuit Blanche in-store, this whole time, thinking the name was a reference to white flowers or something (I don’t do French… clearly). To think, I could’ve been reveling in all that deliciousness, this whole time!
All in all, Black Opium Nuit Blanche was absolutely lovely!
Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Floral Eau de Parfum (0.04 oz.) (launched in 2019)
Top Notes: Citrus, Peach
Heart Notes: Datura, White Rose, Peony, Jasmine Sambac, Orange Blossom, Magnolia
Base Notes: Patchouli, White Musk, Cashmere Wood
That’s why I was kinda’ curious about the latest flanker, Mon Paris Floral. Despite the fact that it had Floral (ugh) in the name, I was hoping it would be… nice.
Turns out, the florals in this thing were fine. It’s the Peach that I just couldn’t stomach!
It wasn’t even a soft peach like Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad, which I still found highly irritating. It was a full-on peachy peach (I have a gift with words, I know, I know). In any case, Mon Paris Floral was very… blech.