Manuel Canovas is a French fabric house that makes gorgeous, frequently floral, fabrics.
Recently, they also started making perfume. Their perfume bottles and boxes are just as pretty as their fabric creations. Today I'm sampling Pink Riviera, which was purportedly inspired by Saint Tropez. It has notes of notes of bergamot, citron, grapefruit, mandarin, wild mint, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, white musk and amber. Chandler Burr calls Pink Riviera a "pink young thing in a shimmery summer dress," which I think is a wonderfully apt description. It makes me think of a confection without being sweet. The citrus opening is well done and overlaid with a soft floral musk. The staying power is surprisingly good for such a light-hearted scent. This is definitely a summer fragrance.
A full bottle costs $95 (ouch), but at least you get 100 ml for that cost. I really wish they offered smaller sizes, but perhaps this would be a good candidate for a split. You can purchase Manuel Canovas scents at http://www.beautyhabit.com.
Manuel Canovas L'Ile Bleu arrives in a beautiful robin's egg blue box blooming with magnolias. Its description, designed to evoke the waters off Capri, hit just the right note when it's the height of summer and you want to beat the heat. The notes sound delightfully refreshing, yet substantial: orange, bergamot, peach, lemon, apricot, rose, sage, patchouli, sandwood, muguet, musk, amber, and benzoin. And then I spritzed it on my arm and it was not Capri. It was not watery. It was neither refreshing nor substantial. It was…cheap aftershave. There is the barest hint of sweet citrus in the top notes but that dissipates within minutes. I am left with an awful, awful sandalwood and sage and soapy musk combination that goes sour.
This one is getting scrubbed off my arm.