30 Days of Scent, Day 24: Dolce and Gabbana Rose The One

If you’ve been reading this whole series, you know how much I like a rose note in my scents. Dolce and Gabbana’s Rose The One ($68-86, Ulta) is no exception. I like the entire The One line, but this one is my favorite of the three.

After the very fleeting opening of grapefruit, blackcurrant, and mandarin, the rose-lychee heart with some peony and lily feels like being enveloped by a soft pink cloud. The lychee note is a prominent one in the original The One and in The One Desire, but I like it best in combination with the rose. The addition of peony and lily keep it light and not too fruity, while a hint of lily-of-the-valley hangs out in the background. At the base, it’s vanilla and amber (much like the other The One fragrances) with musk, sandalwood, and ambrette seed.

I like to wear an extra spray of this one, just because the projection of it is pretty soft. With that, it lasts a good 6 hours or so. This is a very feminine, romantic scent that just makes me feel pretty when I wear it. I give it 8.5/10, and would rate it higher if the projection were a little better. If you’re going to get it, though, get it soon, because the rumor I’m hearing is that it’s being discontinued.

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30 Days of Scent, Day 23: Dior Addict Eau Delice

When I try a fragrance with a prominent cherry note, I think I know what to expect. Particularly after testing Delices de Cartier, I really thought I knew how Dior Addict Eau Delice ($43-90, Sephora) was going to smell. This one really surprised me, though.

Cherry notes in perfume tend to go red-candy syrupy, like in Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire, which kind of had a cough-drop vibe to it. However, the cherry note in the opening of Addict Eau Delice is balanced by an equally prominent cranberry note and a little bit of bergamot and mandarin, giving it an unexpected tartness that I really like. The heart is made up of almond and two different jasmines, plus ylang-ylang and a hint of rose. The base is mostly musk and vanilla, but supposedly there’s some cedar in there, too.

Despite liking the original Addict and considering Addict To Life one of my favorites, I probably wouldn’t have tried this one if I hadn’t gotten a mini as part of a swap. This is a lot fresher and lighter than the original Addict, but there are definitely parallels there, with the fruity note in the opening (in the original, it’s blackberry), the jasmine and maybe-some-rose in the heart, and the vanilla in the base. It’s easier to wrap my head around this as an Addict flanker than it was with Addict to Life,  though I enjoy wearing both.

One area in which this doesn’t perform at the level of the original Addict is in staying power. The original will last all day on me; this one, while not disappointing on me, is pretty average. I get about 5 hours out of it. The good thing, though, is that even with it being a splash mini, and having a hard time controlling how much comes out, the projection on this one is respectable without being a bomb. I’m going to give this one 8/10 and will probably buy a full bottle once the mini is finished.

30 Days of Scent, Day 22: Yardley Royal English Daisy

It always amuses me how many fragrances have the word “daisy” in the title, because wild shasta daisies don’t have a scent at all, and flower-shop daisies are in the chrysanthemum family and smell…well, less than pleasant. In most cases, including Yardley Royal English Daisy ($19, Amazon) that’s a light, fruity-green floral.

I’m not really a fan of this one. For some reason I’ve ended up with quite a few scents that have an apple top note, and apple isn’t a note I really enjoy. While there are Yardley scents I enjoy, this one is not among them. The green notes and apple in the opening smell slightly like children’s shampoo (not baby shampoo, but the cartoon-character shampoo with the green apple scent that my friend’s son used to use). In the heart, the rose, a note I love, is overpowered by the hyacinth, which I don’t particularly like. The sandalwood/white musk base is nondescript and could belong to any one of a dozen scents I’ve worn.

The performance isn’t anything to write home about, either. It’s a skin scent after an hour and gone completely after three. I’m sure this fragrance could have been done well. It wasn’t. I give it a 5/10, and that’s being generous.

30 Days of Scent, Day 21: Calvin Klein Euphoria Eau de Toilette

Here’s yet another that’s very different in the EDT vs the EDP. Calvin Klein Euphoria EDT has been discontinued, as best I can tell, and the only way to find it in stores is to catch it at TJMaxx or Marshall’s, where it’s pretty much always available.

This one opens up with bergamot, peach, and green notes, though all I get out of that is a slight burst of sparkling, syrupy peach, before it goes straight into the mostly-orchid heart with some lotus, a little bit of champaca, and supposedly some honeysuckle that I’ve never picked up in it. The drydown is “OH, HEY, LOOK, THERE’S SANDALWOOD! oh, and some amber.” And they say there’s a Bailey’s accord in there somewhere, but it doesn’t stand out on me.

The biggest difference between this and the EDP is that the opening in the EDP is a rich pomegranate note that I kind of miss here. So far, though, there hasn’t been a version of Euphoria that I’ve disliked, including its various flankers. (Even though I was kind of disappointed in Endless Euphoria, because it smells more like Down Town than like a flanker of Euphoria.) The longevity here is actually a good bit longer than I’d typically expect from an EDT, at about 6 hours, and the projection is pretty steady, rather than the really loud opening of Euphoria Blossom, which is otherwise a gorgeous scent, and I wish I had a bottle of it again. I’m going to come out and say, I’m a fan of the Euphoria line, which may sway my objectivity here. I’d give it a solid 7.5/10.

30 Days of Scent, Day 20: Britney Spears Fantasy The Naughty Remix

Y’all know I’m not one for celebrity fragrances. Most of them are marketed to people a lot younger than I am, which means they’re going to be less complex and more candy/fruity than I like. But ever since Guerlain’s limited edition Iris Ganache was discontinued, I’ve been looking for another rich iris/white chocolate scent. I was surprised to get a similar vibe from Britney Spears Fantasy The Naughty Remix ($37.50, Kohl’s). It’s still a little sweeter than IG, and doesn’t have the spicy depth, but it’s the closest thing out there, particularly when layered with Yves Rocher’s discontinued (but still readily available on Ebay) Iris Noir.

The notes in this are iris/orris root, white chocolate, orchid, jasmine, musk, woody notes, and a “cupcake accord.” On me, the iris and white chocolate dominate, but I get a little bit of the orchid. The rest…meh? It floats around in the background, but it’s pretty mild. It’s definitely a cheaper version than Iris Ganache, and if IG were still readily available (aside from the $900 bottles at The Perfumed Court–you’d have to be smoking crack!!) I wouldn’t look twice at The Naughty Remix. But nothing else quite triggers that iris-gourmand button for me. I tried Bijan Nude, but that was awful.

On me, it’s got a pretty average longevity, around 5 hours or so. More if I’m at work, because it gets cold in the mall. I wish it had the spicy-woody thing going that Iris Ganache had, but I think I’d really like this if I had nothing to compare it to. I’d rate it a 6.5/10.

Men’s Department Wardrobe 101: Suiting Up

The day job is at a men’s clothing store, and I’ve been seeing a lot of guys come in who don’t know what size suit they wear. With a good-quality suit being such a vital part of a complete wardrobe, that’s not good, y’all. So I’m going to talk a little bit about how to get a good suit.

OK, first of all, you’re not going to be able to measure yourself for a suit. Unless you’ve got more arms than Shiva, you can’t hold the position in which you need to be measured while holding a tape. (And if you do, a suit won’t fit you anyway.) So let’s just take it as given that if you’re the one holding the tape, you’re not the one being fitted. That said, let’s talk about how suits are fitted.

Generally speaking, it’s best to measure for a shirt and a jacket at the same time. Waist-wise, dress pants are going to run the same as any other pants, but bear in mind that inseam lengths vary slightly from one brand to another, even though pretty much all men’s clothing brands claim to be sized by actual measurement. For example, my employer’s suit and dress pants run slightly longer than their casual and work-to-weekend pants. So your usual size is a starting point, but don’t be surprised if you have to tweak it slightly.

First thing you need is your neck measurement. So you know that friend I said you’d need to hold the measuring tape? Have them measure around the base of your neck, where the collar is going to hit, and leave just enough slack for a collar you can breathe in. That’s your neck size. Once you’ve got that measurement, have them hold the start of the tape at your spine, right at that ridge where your neck joins your back (that’s your T1 vertebra, but that part’s not important–what’s important is that it’s the midpoint of the line across your torso) and hold your arm straight as they measure down to maybe half an inch or so past your wrist joint, so that you’ll have just a teeny bit of shirt cuff coming out of your jacket sleeve. Your neck measurement and your arm span measurement (being a chubby girl, I measure out at 17″ and 32-33″ in the shoulder/arm measurement, depending on how much cuff I want) are the two numbers on a dress shirt size.

Once you’ve got that, you’ll want to get your jacket measurement. First thing with that is to get a good measurement straight across the chest, right under the arms. You’ll hold out your arms to your sides so your tape-person can get the tape around you, then drop your arms to get a measurement with the posture in which you’ll typically wear it. Now, where I work, my manager told me that was all there was to measuring for the jacket, but to get a perfect fit, you’ll need a little more information than that. You’ll also need a measurement around the widest part of your shoulders, with your arms down, and your waist measurement. If your around-the-shoulders measurement is more than 7″ bigger than your chest, it’s probably a good idea to pull a suit jacket one size bigger than your chest measurement would indicate, and try both on. A perfect fit in the jacket is probably going to require tailoring; that’s where the waist measurement comes in. Also, if your suit comes all together rather than as separates, that measurement is going to give you an idea of what fits you. Typically, classic-fit suits are going to have a 6″ or so difference between chest measurement and waist size, while a slim fit is going to have a slightly bigger difference. Aside from the chest measurement, a suit jacket will also be marked as short, regular, or long; basically, if you’re shorter than 5’7″, you need a short, and if you’re taller than 5’11”, you need a long. Otherwise, you’re a regular. Your collar should fall very close to your shirt collar and come about halfway up the side of your suit collar.

The most important part to get right in the fit of a suit jacket is the shoulders. The seams should be in the right place, and you should be able to move comfortably, though not necessarily engage in any athletic feats, while wearing it. You shouldn’t get any kind of indentation where the shoulder seam came out past the edge of your arm and then your sleeve had to come in to compensate for that; the shoulder should hit *at* the edge of your shoulder, not over the line. Get your shoulders right, and the rest can be fixed. Minor alterations to a suit aren’t such a big deal when you take into consideration how long a good suit will last you, and you can’t alter the shoulder to fit after the fact, so fit the shoulders and then worry about the rest.

You want your suit to be made of cotton, linen, or wool, never polyester. Polyester doesn’t breathe, and you’ll be uncomfortable in it. It also wrinkles like the very devil, and you’ll never look polished in it. Linen will have a cool, slightly-crumpled-on-purpose look, great for hot climates. Cotton is another good and breathable fabric for hot climates. The most common and most versatile will be wool, which in lighter weights (“tropical” weights–if there’s a number associated with the weight of the wool, go for a high number, such as 100-120) will even be suitable for summer.

 Your suit jacket is constructed in three layers: the inside lining, the canvas (middle layer), and the outer fabric. The most important one of these for how your suit is going to hold up is the one you’re never going to see, because the canvas is what gives your suit its shape. In a cheap suit, the canvas is going to be fused to the outer fabric, and it’s going to give some shape and stiffness, but it’s not going to be perfect. Ideally, you want a jacket made with a full canvas, meaning that the canvas is a separate layer of fabric, floating free on the inside of the construction. That’s going to give the jacket a more precise shaping and make it hold up better.,

I’d strongly recommend that you get the best-constructed suit you can. It’s something you’re going to need and be able to use for years to come, so I’d really encourage you to treat it as an investment. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the most expensive one you can get, as long as it’s well-made. And unless you’re wearing something double-breasted (which is rare), only button the top button!

30 Days of Scent, Day 19: Vera Wang Lovestruck

I got a little “travel splash,” basically a big sample vial, of Vera Wang Lovestruck ($66.99, Perfumania) a while back. Having tried Princess and Be Jeweled, I wasn’t super excited about it; I preferred the more romantic, bridal-themed Vera Wang scents over the ones marketed to teens and young adults. As boring as I found Princess and Be Jeweled, though, this one surprised me.

It starts off with a generous dose of guava. It’s actually a pretty true guava note, and when I lived in St Croix, I ate a lot of guava. This smells more like the canned nectar than the fresh fruit or the packaged guava paste, in my opinion. There’s also a little bit of mandarin orange in the top notes, and a floral note that, while faint, carries down all the way to the base; that’s got to be the angelica (a flowering herb in the same family as Queen Anne’s lace).

In the heart, there’s a fairly prominent note of lotus, which adds (obvious note is obvious!) a slight aquatic tinge to the floral character. The notes also list more angelica, and a bit of tuberose, which I really don’t pick up.

The base is mostly musk, but a sheer white musk, not a heavy, animalic thing heavy on the actual muscone compounds. It also has some woody notes, but really just enough to anchor it in place.

I was pretty surprised with the lasting power of this one. I put it on at 9AM when I left the house, and it hit “skin scent” levels about 3pm and was still going when I left work at 5. I doubt I’ll pay full price for it, but I can see myself picking it up if I find it at Marshall’s or TJMaxx at some point in the near-ish future. I’d give it a 7/10.