I have just acquired an 8 ml decant of Christian Dior's Cologne Blanche from dear Nancy at fishbone fragrances (hint: Nancy is going out of business, so now is the time to purchase from her.) Wearing it now, I'm reminded anew of why I wanted to acquire more than my tiny, long-gone sample. Cologne Blanche is a wonderful musky, milky almond fragrance, sweetened with a touch of vanilla, enlivened with a touch of herbal, peppery rosemary. It also has bergamot, but I don't detect much except on the very tippy top notes. It is soft and cuddly, very warm, but also very light-rather like cashmere, come to think of it. So why am I wearing it on a 95 degree summer day? Well, because it is simply delicious, that's why!
I highly recommend you get a decant of this fragrance if you plan to purchase it, unless you're going to spritz it on 10 times a day for the rest of your life. This is because it is sold in vats-I believe the smallest size available is 4.2 oz. 4.2 oz! That one costs $125. That makes the cost per ml actually quite low, which makes it a perfect candidate for splitting, meaning you can get a much more reasonable amount at a much more reasonable price that way. Or, if you want to be stubborn about it, go to www.eluxury.com and get yourself a vat.

Many of the ladies on perfume blogs and discussion boards have been raving about Dior's Escale a Portofino - they say it's the quintessential summer fragrance. I finally got around to testing it at Nordies today and I can see why it's earned that reputation. Escale a Portofino opens with a blast of lemon. It's intense but probably not going to yield obnoxious sillage. As the scent dries down, it verges dangerously towards Pledge territory but a bit of orange blossom pulls it back just in time. The drydown is my favorite part - it gets a tad sweeter and I smell a green woodsiness that must be the cypress accord. If it were this interesting throughout, I might be tempted to get myself some. As it is, though, I much prefer my other new citrus find Lostmarch l'eau de l'Hermine. You can test or buy Escale a Portofino at Nordstrom, among other places. It's reasonably priced at $65 for 2.5 oz bottle.

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