Monkey Monday: Miss T's Choice

First of all: Happy BC Day!
While all of you are back to work, we British Columbians are getting an extra day of summer fun at the beach, kayaking away or visiting Powell Street festival (Miss T and I are yet to make up our minds, but the options are wide open!).

Last week, my daughter came out of her room all smiles and was warning me: "Don't eat perfume!". I noticed an unusual yet familiar scent around her, but I ignored it as I was too busy making breakfast etc.

As I stepped into her room for a moment, there was no denying the fragrance: Oh my - the entire room reeked of perfume! I looked at the funny looking bottled it came from, laughed and asked her to let me smell her perfume; a request upon which she stretched out her wrists in front of my nose, just like a pro... She certainly is my daughter (not that I ever had any doubts...). The perfume is well-made, yet humorous, abstract fruity floral (I can't really pinpoint any particular notes in it, they are all pretty much "made up" but in a good way). It's modern, yet not nearly as disgusting, boring, edible and lame as what most young girls are "supposed" to wear these days. Lastly, it's older than Miss T, but not that old: it was released in the 90's.

It was a happy day for her, that perfume must have put her in a particularly good mood! And the next day, her camp councilor brought a makeup kit for a "style contest" activity, plus her own perfume for Miss T to smell: a fairly recent (though not shiny-new) sweet-woody-musky scent by a rather conservative mainstream North American luxury clothing line. Needless to say, Tamya won the "Best Style" award that week!

So - for today, you get 2 chances to win our weekly prize, if you guess either or both perfumes correctly: what my daughter picked to wear to summer camp; and what her camp leader was wearing.

The prize: a mini of Tamya, and a mini spray of Fresh Index Pomegranate Anise.

Sugar by Fresh

How to Interview a Cupcake!, originally uploaded by cupcakequeen.

While the name suggests sweetness, the flavour of this perfume is more tart than sugary. First we sip Lemon Drop martini garnished with lemon zest; Of course there is the sugar-rimmed goblet, to sweeten the sour lemonade. And underneath it all lies the sugar that have sunk to the bottom of the drink, which first appears in the form of a buttery lemon cupcakes with campy bright colour icing and an occasional bite of candied lemon peel. Caramel notes do not appear until later on, fluffy and fuzzy like cotton candy cushioned with the milky warmth of musk. As you can see, the sweetness here is not overly done and is balanced with plenty of lemony components.

The main component here are lemony citrus notes, primarily the familiar lemon peel, but also the intensely sweet, green, floral and lemony litsea cubeba – a berry from the May Chang tree, which is a middle note (rather than a top note like most citrus oils are). There is some floralcy at the heart, which is there more to create balance than impose a floral bouquet.

Of all the Fresh line, Sugar Eau de Parfum is by far my favourite*. Citrus fragrances are not my type generally speaking. I much prefer the complexity of other fragrance families. However, when I first smelled Sugar I was in awe as to how similar it was to my own (and personal favourite) citrus fragrance, Fetish. The two are different, of course, but share the combination of sweet and tart, fleeting freshness based in a solid sensual gourmand which incorporates vanilla and florals (jasmine, vanilla and fir absolute in Fetish), and both have the thread of the litsea cubeba note, lemony, tart, green, sweet and floral all at once.

Sugar is original for presenting a sweet theme in a sour environment, or rather – creating a citrus fragrance that is not “clean” or “soapy” or just “fresh” – but rather, a delicious, mouthwatering, sensual lemon scent.

Sugar can be found at Beauty Mark in Vancouver (where they sell the separately the leftover 30ml bottles from the Christmas gift packages for $35 CAD), and online via La Te Da Beauty Bar, which lists the notes for this fragrance as follows:

Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Brazillian Sweet Orange
Heart notes: Petitgrain, Heliotrope, White Lily
Base notes: Vanilla, Caramel, Musk, Marjoram

- I can’t smell any orange or petitgrain or marjoram in here (definitely not as a base note), but I thought I’d share this pyramid with you for your amusement. To me, Sugar is comprised mostly of lemon, litsea cubeba, vanilla, caramel and musk.

There may be a tad of herbal note there (perhaps there is some marjoram, but I sense none of the petitgrain green-astringent qualities there) but it couldn’t possibly be at the base, I just don’t smell it there (and it isn’t a base note usually). I can’t detect specifically a white lily note either, though there is a certain floralcy at the heart as I mentioned earlier, just enough to make it a perfume rather than a cleaning product. As for the heliotrope – if it’s there at all, it is very subtle, and surely contributes to the fluffy feeling of the base. The lemony notes must mute down the heliotrope tremendously, or else it must be present in very small quantities.

* The majority of the line I find to smell overtly synthetic, in a way that disturbs my pleasure from the unusual pairing of delicious aromas and fruits (the synthetics in this line often make me sneeze; in Sugar I found this effect to a far lesser degree, and no sneezing occurred; the other “Sugar” variants – i.e. Sugar Blossom, Lemon Sugar – have more of the fuzzy synthetics which prevent me to enjoy them completely).

**Image of Sugar EDP bottles is from Beauty Mark's website.
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