Tuesday, January 17, 2012

INeKe's {delux} Sample Collection vol. 4: A Review

*Currently Listening: "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston (day of = TOTAL guilty pleasure music)
*Current Fragrance: Tocca's "Stella"

Wish I could have come up with a wittier title, but I got nothin.'

SQUIRREL! I'm listening to a playlist of everything I purchased over the holidays....which contains A LOT of my guilty pleasure music. This just came on - and when I looked up the video to post, found out that it had been re-released last year. I have very strong memories of hearing this song in my childhood, and then again going to to clubs such as (and I cringe as I type this) Cactus Canyon in my late teens and early '20's...line dancing and drinking way too many White Russians. Yet, I can't deny - there is just something I love about this song...

But I digress, and back to perfume! "D.F.", as I have mentioned really is a "Dear Friend", you know why? (Well, many reasons...but, I'm going with one in particular today...) Our friendship is in that place where we can say to one another "hey, for XYZ special occasion what I really want  <insert whatever your wanting at the moment within reason>." This Christmas I asked D.F. for INeKe's {delux} Sample Collection vol. 4 after reading about it on Scents of Self's "Holiday Perfume Gift Guide For Your Id". If you're curious about Ineke's background, please feel free to read up on her here. With seven scents to review, I'm trying my best to not let this post turn into an epic. Here we go...

The presentation and packaging is just adorable! I really couldn't get pictures to do it justice. I love how the beautiful script alphabet alludes to the alphabetic arrangement/theme of the set. (I'll show the inside of the set at the end of the review, as they are now arranged in order of my own personal preference.) The set contains seven fragrances; each in it's on little box, decorated in what I'd call the visual "feel" of the fragrance - both color scheme and artwork wise. But, the facet of the package that just takes it to a place of wonderful thoughtfulness (esp. for the price point) is that the actual perfume inside each little box is wrapped in a hand made looking, color coordinated tissue paper. Every time you go to put on a different scent in the set, it's like unwrapping a present. A-DOR-A-BLE!

Now, for the main course; the perfume! (Before I go into specifics about each scent, a few thoughts on the over-riding style of the entire set.) I find them to be refined and sheer. Not loud at all, even the scents with the headiest of notes, and with a not a terribly far reaching silage. If you like your perfume to wear very close to you; or would like to explore some stronger notes - esp in E, F, & G - with out wearing a "strong fragrance" these would be great to give a whirl.

A - After My Own Heart
"The scent of fresh lilacs floating on the early evening breeze"
Top: Bergamot, Raspberry, Green Foliage
Middle: Lilac
Base: Sandalwood, Heliotrop, Musk

To me this screams, "very realistic lilac soliflore!" - but in a really nice way. It was pretty much the same way from beginning to end. Lilac, lilac, lilac - lovely lilac, though. This one hung out on my skin for quite some time. I found it to be very comforting. I ended up wearing this at my parents house on New Years Eve. I wasn't feeling well, celebrated in, and wanted something light, not overpowering, and comforting. This fit the bill.

B - Balmy Days & Sundays
"Lying face up to the sky, dappled light flickering through the place green of overhead branches."
Notes -
Top: Freesia, Leafy Greens, Grass
Middle: Honeysuckle, Rose, Mimosa
Base: Chypre Accent, Musk

Light freesia, but mostly a rosey-honeysuckle with a FAINT green dry down. Something about the chypre accent went plastic-y on me. To be honest, ON ME, my least favorite of the set. I really wanted to love this one too... I'll save it for the spring and see if it's more evocative in the weather it's actually looking to evoke. (Is that like "The Secret" model for fragrance wearing?)

C - Chemical Bonding
"Sparkling citrus + powdery soft = a flirtatious alchemy."
Top: Citrus Blend, Tea
Middle: Dewy Peony
Base: Vetiver, Amber, Powdery Musk

The citrus and tea pop on top in a great balanced  and sparkling fashion. The peony is there, but ever so slightly. The vetiver and powdery musk are subtle and fit the overall feel of the fragrance in a way that I wasn't expecting, but positively surprised me. Sadly this one stayed on my skin the least of all of them. Bummer. :-( My skin also DRINKS IN citrus, for what it's worth.

D - Derring-Do
"Spring Rain, Fresh and Fearless. The first glimmers of light."
Top: Fresh Citrus Blend, Rain Notes
Middle: Magnolia, Fougere Accents
Base: Guaiacwood, Cedarwood, Musk

This was the fragrance that started off 2012 for me. I literally work up on 1/1/12, rolled over, got this out of the box that was resting on my night stand, and spritzed it on; all before even sitting up. Given its' descriptive sentence - it just seamed like the right way to start the year. I got the top notes, and what I can discern out of the bottom notes. My nose doesn't really know what guaiacwood smells like on its own. On me, my nose misses the magnolia all together. I'd like to smell this one on a man actually. Poor Al is already wading his way through the ten samples I gave him to find a day time scent, though. I don't want to throw anything else in the mix right now.

**Sidebar: Al's scent deciding mission (with three left to go), for the moment it's between Diptyque's "Eau Duelle" & L'Artisan Parfumer's "Poivre Piquant". He said the most adorable thing about the Poivre this morning after wearing it for about ten minutes, "Would you be insulted if I told you it reminded me of Bojangles seasoning, a little...but in a good way.?!" No, dear - not at all! :-)

E - Evening Edged In Gold
"Basking in moonshadows trumpets of angels greet the night."
Top: Gold Osmanthus, Plum
Middle: Angel's Trumpet, Saffron, Cinnamon
Base: Midnight Candy, Leather, Woods

If this was just a TAD less sweet, it would be LOVE! The top notes faded gradually on me. The saffron and cinnamon (I'm a sucker for both), wore very nicely. What I wish was there was less of the midnight candy (such a wonderful nickname for Night Blooming Phlox) and more of the leather. To me, the midnight candy note smells like raw sugar that is colored the darkest hue of navy blue...well, I guess its not raw anymore, but you get my point.  If you're looking for something sweet, dark yet sheer - you'd probably really love this. Like I said, just a TAD too sweet for me!

F - Field Notes From Paris
"Sweet-scented Paris afternoons, life measured out in coffee spoons."
Top: Coriander Seed, Orange Flower, Bergamot
Middle: Tabacco Flower & Leaf, Patchouli, Cedar
Base: Tonka Bean, Leather, Beeswax, Vanilla

I know my ecstatic musings are going to give it away, so I'll go ahead and say it, this one was my favorite of the lot. It took me to the non-fashion-y part of Paris. (The Paris I have conjured in my mind, mind you - since I've never been there.) There drink excellent coffee, indulge in great yet not "prissy" food, gain some old knowledge from old books, befriend a dapper old man smoking a pipe..... Sorry, I just took a vacation in my mind for a little while, I'm back.....
So - this as the one out of the sampler where I could clearly make out each of the notes listed. The coriander seed gave it a nice spicy pop, and I think was a big part to the successful balance. It's just lovely! And in the sheer hand of Ineke's perfumery style - it stays on the side of lovely. Thinking of this formula in other perfumers' hands, it might not work in the "lovely" way - more "loud & heady". I'm actually going to wear this out today as I go on an andouille sausage and gumbo file finding expedition. I feel that it would be one of those good "sweater & scarf scents" that EauMG talked about a few days ago. I'm pretty sure a full bottle of this may be in my future. I can also see it as a great night time scent in the stickier summer months.

G - Gilded Lily
"Gilding the lily, with sparkling fruits, and cypriot woods."
Top: Pineapple, Rhubarb, Grapefruit
Middle: Goldband Lily of Japan
Base: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Labdanum

I swear my nose read this one SDRAWKCAB! I got a LOT of patchouli! More than for my taste. This made me sad...I was looking forward to the "ping-ier" fruits mixing with the patchouli. It got a bit syrupy and medicinal on me; but in all honesty, I think I want to give this one some more quiet contemplation, and I may amend my thoughts.

All in all I thought this was a really great sampler set! The sheer refinement rang true throughout the entire set, and for the price point of $25, it is a great way to try several vastly different scents, that are all cast under...what I'm going to call the "Ineke style gauze veil". 

It is available for purchase both on the Ineke site, as well as at Anthropologie. The Ineke website also has a store locator feature divided by both country and state.

My personal order of preference: F, A, E, C, G, D & B

*Currently Listening: "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey

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