Mainstream Monday – Sniffing (Some) Popular Perfumes
Last year H&M launched a TON of perfumes. I was extremely skeptical. Who launches this many perfumes at once?! I also remember them having perfumes before and in their true fast-fashion fashion, they were also discontinued quicker than a yellow light turning red. Everything about H&M’s new perfume collection felt so rushed, so fast and well, cheap. Plus, they probably wouldn’t even be available in the U.S. anyway.
I was wrong. A friend I met through perfume convinced me to give them a try…and not just to try them but pick up a few bottles for her. Her endorsement encouraged me to embrace the very busy and tourist-filled H&M by my job during a lunch break. Long-story short, I left with bottles of all of these:
Makassar Patchouli (Perfume Oil)
Notes listed include citrus, violet leaf, lavender, violet, jasmine, woods, patchouli, amber and vanilla. PERFUMER – Olivier Pescheux
As the name says, this is a patchouli fragrance. Makassar Patchouli opens as an earthy patchouli smoothed by a combo of vanilla/lavender. The patchouli is camphoric but it’s also soft like cashmere. The perfume oil is rather linear. It wears as this vanilla/patchouli that reminds me a lot of one my favorite perfumes from back in the day: Prada Amber. After wearing this many times, I FINALLY realized it reminds me of Chanel Coromandel, especially in the dry-down.
Makassar Patchouli is truly a perfume for patchouli-lovers. Give it a try if you like perfumes Prada Intense/”Classic” Amber, Chanel Coromandel or many of the patchouli-heavy Reminiscence perfumes.
Comoro Ylang (Perfume Oil)
Notes listed include mandarin orange, pink pepper, ginger, ylang-ylang, freesia, white florals, benzoin, tonka beans and musk. PERFUMER – Olivier Pescheux
I’m just going to say that Comoro Ylang drives me crazy because it reminds me of something else, something “expensive” but I can not place it. I keep wearing it thinking it’ll come to me…many wears later and nothing!
The opening of this one is almost like fresh ginger and an orange creamsicle. There’s a little bit of pepper but it’s not spicy but more floral (like freesia). Underneath is a bouquet of white and yellow tropical florals. It’s a note that isn’t listed but it reminds me of frangipani/plumeria. Comoro Ylang smells like a lei. It eventually fades into a creamy tropical floral that reminds me of manoi and yes, it reminds me of ylang-ylang. It’s like tropical florals and vanilla.
All I know is that I like it despite it reminding me something of my past that I just can’t place right now. Oh, well.
Notes listed include bitter orange, neroli, tuberose, tiare flower and vanilla. PERFUMER – Olivier Pescheux
I’m going to admit that this was the sleeper out of the set I bought. Looking back, I wish I had bought a larger bottle (and I most likely will buy one). This is a delightfully over-the-top, borderline trashy orange blossom. It opens with green leaves and orange pulp. But, it doesn’t stay in the “orangerie” territory for long. It becomes a heady orange blossom and tuberose. It’s somewhere between Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee, honeysuckle vines and blooming orange blossoms. The dry-down is a sweeter, tropical white floral with a rum-like vanilla. I just feel like when I’m wearing this I’m living my Boca Raton fantasy of bikinis and psychedelic print kaftans.
Give this one a try if you like “tropical white florals” or perfumes like Guerlain Acqua Allegoria Nerolia Bianca, Pierre Guillaume PG17 Tubereuse Couture, Le Galion Tubereuse, Annick Goutal Neroli and/or Diptyque Olene. Basically, Ranconteuse smells like a niche white floral but it retails for under $20. Buy it while you still can.
Notes listed include yuzu. PERFUMERS – Olivier Pescheux and Nisrine Bouazzaoui Grillie
Now this one was my immediate favorite and I predict that I’ll end up buying a backup of this one.
Yuzu opens with greens and the juiciest yuzu. It’s effervescent; it’s juicy. It makes me smile. This perfume has so much energy. As it wears, it’s yuzu and possibly even some black tea and maybe even something like rhubarb. Being a citrus, it just sort of goes from the heart of yuzu and white musk and fades into nothingness. It’s linear and fades rather quickly but I am not mad. It’s cheap so I don’t mind.
Real talk, this smells like it could be a Hermes Jardin. In fact, I attended a party with some perfume lovers that make me look like a novice. I sprayed this without telling them what it was and they all thought it was one of the Hermes Colognes (the rhubarb one) until I told them it wasn’t. Give it a try if you like Hermes’ fresh scents, Bvlgari tea scents or maybe even stuff like Elizabeth Arden Green Tea perfumes. Pro tip – wear alone or layer with basically anything.
Notes listed include lipstick. PERFUMERS – Olivier Pescheux and Nisrine Bouazzaoui Grillie
I’m such a sucker for lipstick and cosmetic-y perfumes. I didn’t even bother sniffing this one and just bought it out of curiosity because it was cheap. There are a lot of cosmetic-y perfumes on the market and oddly enough, most are niche and cost a lot. It makes little sense to me as to why smelling like a functional fragrance should cost so much.
Anyway, Lipstick opens with cherry Chapstick. It’s a synthetic cherry and a little bit of wax. There’s also aldehydes which are like a nod to hairspray. As the scent wears, it gets muskier like that of vintage face powder. Eventually, a cosmetic-y rose and violet appears that reminds me of a “lighter” version of Malle Lipstick Rose. Lipstick dries down to musky powder, iris and a vanilla body cream. It’s funny because Malle Lipstick Rose reminds me of grown women from an era before my own. Even though they share similarities, Lipstick smells like my own adolescence or at least how my adolescent self thought of the ritual of becoming a grown, glamorous woman should smell like.
I recommend Lipstick to anyone that likes cosmetic-y perfumes like Malle Lipstick Rose or Chanel Misia or even fruity perfumes like MAC Candy Yum-Yum or Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire.
The H&M location I went to didn’t have the entire line. There were some duds that I sniffed (some berry one made me gag), but there were also some gems. I truly love everything that I bought. They exceeded my expectations. The bad news is that the store has never restocked the perfumes. I have heard from other people that the perfumes never showed up at their local stores. As I suspected, H&M did treat these like fast fashion and I worry that they will be discontinued soon to make more room for ugly Gucci tracksuit knock-offs and t-shirts printed with nonsensical English words. They’re still online but I notice that not all of them are. Ugh, I hate fast-fashion with a passion.
Excluding the perfume oils, all the other stuff I bought was under $8 a bottle! The perfume oils were under $13. They also have body sprays, larger/smaller bottles and perfumes in different formats. For example, Makassar Patchouli and Comoro Ylang are also available in an alcohol-based EDP (my location didn’t have them so I don’t know if they’re like the oils or not). Available at H&M.
If you have tried any of these and think I should pick up some additional ones, please let me know. The next time they have a good coupon, I’ll be buying backups and maybe add a few more 🙂
*All bottles purchased by me. Product pic from the brand.