Sunday, March 27, 2011

California Girls

Malibu Beach, via Creative Commons
I've never been to L.A., but decided I would hate it.  I could never be a California Girl.  I'm almost translucently pale, I can't stand the sun, drive as little as humanly possible, and I'm not that big a fan of the beach.  But I do love the smell of the seaside, so this weekend I tested two different perfumes that were both created to represent the same California, beachy lifestyle.  Jennifer Aniston perfume and Royal Apothic City of Angels.

via Sephora
Jennifer Aniston Perfume, obviously Jennifer Aniston's foray into the overcrowded world of celebrity fragrance, is now carried by Sephora and finally made it to my local store.  From hearing about this perfume, I was expecting a really beach-y scent with maybe some hint of suntan oil, something tropical like monoi, and maybe a whiff of salt air, Malibu in a bottle, if you will. What I got was a vaguely familiar hit of white floral, with a jasmine overtone, and a drydown of the Egyptian musk you get in those exotic looking bottles at Whole Foods for six dollars.  Now, I love night-blooming jasmine more than most people, and I actually think that little cheap bottle of Egyptian musk smells really good, but really Jen?  I got none of the beach notes I was hoping for, especially not the promised "smell of wood fires from Jennifer's friend's houses on summer evenings", and I had a nagging supsicion the top notes smelled exactly like something I already owned.

When I got home, I dug up a bottle of Tatiana by Diane Von Furstenberg that I purchased a while ago on a whim off of a sale table at Perfumania for less than $10.  The box says it's a "fresh bouquet of jasmine, gardenia and honeysuckle." They sold me right there. I gave it a spray.  Yup.  There it was, that familiar white floral I smelled in the Jennifer Aniston. but lacking the bottom notes. Tatiana was created in 1975, so maybe Jennifer Aniston liked it when she was younger?  So, in my humble opinion, you could save yourself the money and just get a super-cheap bottle of Tatiana and a bottle of that musk from Whole Foods, layer them, and when someone ask what you're wearing, you can say, "oh, this is just a little something I threw together" and not have the embarrassing experience of having to say you're wearing Jennifer Aniston.

Sephora lists the notes for Jennifer Aniston Perfume as:
Citrus Grove Accord, Rose Water, Jasmine, Violet, Amazon Lily, Musk, Amber, Sandalwood.  A 1.7 oz bottle will set you back $55

via Anthropologie

Royal Apothic City of Angels is carried by Anthropologie, and describes it online as "a seaside breeze of eucalyptus and night-blooming jasmine"  To my nose, this was a much nicer riff on the California beachy jasmine theme.  At first sniff, it's a very natural smelling jasmine solifiore, but then the sharp greenness of the eucalyptus kicks in, tempering the sweet, floral jasmine. It's fairly straightforward, but nicely done.  City of Angels is a must-try for jasmine lovers. The scent is very feminine, but unexpected.

City of Angels is part of Royal Apothic's line of fragrance inspired by urban gardens.  Anthropologie also carries the company's line of room sprays and candles; they're all well done and worth a sniff.  It's a great find for perfume lovers, at $32.  The box is adorable, with the map of London, picture of the Queen, and the little floral bow, and that atomizer is a nice touch.

I'm still looking for my favorite "beachy" perfume, and for my jasmine fix I'll stick to L'Orientaliste Jasmin, which is a heady, true to life night-blooming jasmine with a slightly citrus kick.  It's always great to satisfy some perfume curiousity, though.

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