I’m just the sort of person which, when I find a new interest, it’s from here to eternity… more recently, this is just what’s happened with my rekindled interest in perfumery, and specifically niche and indie perfumery.
The thing is, as much as I adore perfumes, I don’t often buy them for myself, with a notable exception: whenever I travel, I have to bring back a bottle. If it’s from a house that isn’t so well known, or easy to find where I live, so much the better. I prefer my perfumes to be a bit more unusual and stand-out, when I can get them, and I love having scents that bring me back to a special event or memory, which is why I chose the one reviewed next.
Patio de los Perfumes’ “Sultana” eau de toilette
So I found Sultana in an artisan shop called El Patio de los Perfumes, during a too-brief visit to Granada. However, I’m always going to have this associated to a too-brief visit to Amsterdam, when I began wearing it. In any case, the place I got it from is on the way to the Alhambra, so as soon as I spotted it, I made a beeline for the displays. This perfume line, by the way, though made and marketed in Spain, is actually the creation of French perfumers Christian Pamies and Valérie Sabini,
I don’t have much experience with this type of perfumery, so I supposed that, being from an indie maker with a natural/organic concept, my Sultana wouldn’t be as strong as the typical fare from big designer houses, but that isn’t the case: on spritzing, it feels close to the skin and not “in your face”, but one or two sprays are enough for people around me, standing not too close, to say: “oh, that smells good”. So it’s best to be prudent with this one, and avoid overspraying.
In that sense Sultana’s rather easy to wear, even in the height of August, when I first tried it: even though it’s clearly a balsamic-oriental type of fragrance, it doesn’t feel smothery or excessive. However, I also think this could be a polarizing scent. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who tends to prefer more likable scents with mass-appeal.
According to the maker, this eau de toilette opens with orange, grapefruit and a touch of incense, the heart notes are floral, and goes to a base of patchouli and labdanum. In my experience, the citrus and floral notes are barely there, and almost from the start patchouli and the balsamic element of the EDT are the stars of the show, with a touch of smoke that I like a lot. *** (Edited on July 04, 2020: over time, the smoky resinous element of this perfume becomes more noticeable than before. This is something that I like very much, but it does make the scent a bit more masculine than feminine in my opinion, so I thought I’d note this.)
I myself am Team Patchouli, which I adore and works a charm with my skin chemistry, but in my experience, out-and-out patchouli is one of those scents that people either love or hate with no middle ground (even though this is certainly not one of those holdover-hippie market stall patchoulis; I can well understand the hate for those). Anyway, if you’re like me, you might like Patio de los Perfumes’ “Sultana” for autumn and cooler days, but in any case, be forewarned.
This also has a fair longevity for an EDT, I can still feel traces of the scent about four hours or so after spritzing. It is also very linear, and the scent remains pretty much the same almost from when I spray it until it fades away.
Would I repurchase “Sultana” from Patio de los Perfumes? Hm… I wouldn’t mind going back to this scent in the future, even though it’s rare for me to return to perfumes I’ve used before (when I do, it’s always out of nostalgia), but in truth, it’s more likely I’d try other scents from this brand first; I’m especially curious about their attars and solid perfumes. This one in particular gets 4.5 points from me.
5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden eau de parfum
5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden has actually been parked on my dresser since about two Christmases ago, patiently waiting its turn. And it’s not because I don’t like it, but because I usually try to finish most bottles before moving on to the next.
But anyway, my first impression of this is that 5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden is a very close cousin of another Nineties’ fav of mine, Pleasures by Estée Lauder. At first I liked it, but did not love it (between this and Pleasures, I like Pleasures a bit better), but it still won me over little by little in a few weeks’ time. This fragrance was created by Ann Gottlieb, a detail I find interesting since, according to Fragrantica, she is also the nose behind several AXE scents (argh). The more you know…
To me this is very much a “wear to the office” kind of perfume, or for meeting the in-laws, or for anything that merits perfume and making an impression, but without seeming that you’re trying. It is a pretty, floral/clean and classy scent, the kind you can wear when you don’t know what to wear… in this respect, it couldn’t be more different than the first, which I feel may not suit many wearers.
Also, this EDP’s longevity can’t be beat: in my experience, 5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden will hold on fast since I leave my home, till I leave the office in the afternoon; projection’s very good too. In fact, you should be careful when spraying, just a couple of spritzes will do nicely. More, and you risk becoming the stereotypical “perfume cloud lady”, asphyxiating everything in her path.
While we’re at it, I’ve heard it said that 5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden is a bit too “lady of a certain age”, but I don’t think so (and anyway, what’s wrong with having lived to a certain age, sheesh… ). This perfume conjures in my mind an urban woman wearing pristine jeans, crisp white shirt and good posture, the kind that doesn’t necessarily turns every head in her path, only the discerning ones.
As for myself, I feel 5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden lacks a little something to fully click with me… I don’t know what exactly, but even so, I’m glad I got a big 125ml bottle; I don’t see myself using this as my go-to perfume for weeks and months, as I usually do, but I’m glad to have this in my collection as a nice foolproof choice.
Would I repurchase 5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden again? Probably not, but even so, I still think this is a solid classic that doesn’t feel dated, nor at odds in a modern wardrobe. I also think it’s earned its place in many perfume drawers, and more so when considering the value for the price, which IMO kicks the butts of a good many frags with much higher price tags. I give it 4 points.
1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me, or even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the container and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I don’t think I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.