On Saturday, I had a lovely day sniffing with a group of perfumistas in DC. March has already covered the proceedings on Perfume Posse, so I'm just going to highlight a few things I hadn't smelled before.
The star of the day (pardon the pun) for me was the limited edition Thierry Mugler Angel La Part des Anges. I am most emphatically not an Angel fan, but this was incredibly compelling — I walked around with the test strip glued to my nose for some time. I wanted to drink it as much as I wanted to smell it, fittingly enough given that it was developed with the Rémy Martin cognac house. I can't do anything like a proper review as I didn't try it on skin (and of course could not get a sample) but I should think this is a must-smell for Angel fans, or even Angel almost-fans. It is sweet and fruity over beautifully deep, mellow wood, and vaguely reminiscent of some of the fruity woods scents by Serge Lutens.
The Bloomingdales in Chevy Chase where I tried it had only two bottles left, so I don't know how long Angel La Part des Anges will be available (there are supposed to be 4742 bottles total), but if you get the chance to try it, do. If you're an Angel fan and already tried it, do comment, I'd love to hear what you thought. I know we're all getting jaded (to say the least) by the cost of these haute perfumery projects, but I thought $220 seemed relatively reasonable for 10 ml of Parfum. And something I didn't know, or missed in the press releases for this one — la part des anges "is a wine making term for the portion (share) of a wine's volume that is lost to evaporation during aging in oak barrels, typically French or American oak, or after distillation". (via localwineevents)
Like March, I was intrigued by Jil Sander's Stylessence. I got a sample of that one and will give it a proper trial later. Frederic Malle's Outrageous got a quick airing last night. I did not hate it so much as some reviewers have, but nor did I love it. It is just a pleasant stylised orange blossom over woody musk, very clean and fresh, very wearable. If I had smelled it blind, I never would have pegged it as a Frederic Malle fragrance, much less a Sophia Grojsman fragrance. It doesn't seem likely to attract your hard-core Frederic Malle fans, but I don't suppose that was the point. March is right on target with the bottle: it is ugly.
The only thing that tempted me to part with my money was a lovely Annick Goutal coffret at Saks. I can't find it online, unfortunately, but it includes little square bottles of Mandragore, Eau d'Hadrien and Les Nuits d'Hadrien. It was $150, and since all I really wanted was the Mandragore, I let it go.
Many thanks to Nancy (of The Perfumed Court) and Louise, who organized the day. If you smelled anything great over the weekend, do comment!