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Voleuse

Bess

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Inspired by the tragic, ill-fated love of Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester. This is our modernization of a 17th-century perfume blend favored by British aristocracy: rosemary, orange flower, grape spirit, five rose variants, lemon peel, and mint.

 

Eh!? I'm just getting a lime cologne from the imp. Really.

 

Ahh now I'm getting a bunch of stuff once on drydown on my skin. vague florals and a fluffy grape with a hint of "lime cologne". That's a big surprise! A royal high tea in a well-executed garden.

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Mostly sharp lemon and mint. Herbal but not in a pleasant way. I can detect just a touch of rose underneath, but this is not working on me.

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The notes in this looked promising, but then I was expecting the roses to take center stage. There are five of them, after all! Instead what I get is a sharp mint/rosemary blend which is not all that pleasant, plus a sharp fruitiness that could be lemon or "grape spirit" (not quite wine, I guess?) or both. All these notes actually manage to smother not just the rose, which I amp, but the orange blossom, which I also amp. I'm actually kind of impressed, but I will also be scrubbing this off.

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I have been dying to try this.

 

Wet: Where are the roses? This is Halls Mentho-Lyptus. No lie. I'm gonna try to soldier on.

 

Dry: Jesus. Halls Mentho-Lyptus and grape juice. This smells like taking a sick day from work.

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I was so excited for this, but am really not feeling it. When I smell it in the vial, the bite of rosemary is pretty strong, but on drydown I'm mostly getting the grape, which is cloyingly sweet on me, and a faint powdery floral. The herbs have died down to pretty much nothing. Damn it.

 

This one will probably go into the swap pile while I keep looking for my holy grail rosemary scent that won't go all weird on me.

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I ordered an imp of this one directly from the lab. I love rosemary, and really liked the idea of the recipe being taken directly from history!

 

First Sniff Impression: Rosemary and grape. I hope the grape settles down, because right now it's reminding me of my kindergartner's cough syrup.

Wet in Vial: The grape's pretty strong in this to start with, and it's kind of a "fake" grape smell, which I'm not a fan of. The rosemary's definitely there, but mixed with the grape it's giving me kind of an icky medicinal feeling.

 

Drying Down on Skin: Drying down the roses are a little more prominent, fortunately creeping over the grape and making it chill out a bit. I can maybe catch a hint of the citrus notes from the lemon peel. The mint is probably present cause I'm getting a weird side-reference to Lady Amalthea, which also has mint. But the grape's still there and kind of ruining it for me. And I think the rosemary's making it a bit astringent.

 

Dry on Skin: The grape did end up being more mellow, but there was still enough of a trace of it that made this not really one of my favorites.

 

Conclusion: Trying a historic recipe was interesting, but not much of a success for me. I couldn't move past the grape. Hopefully I can find another scent with rosemary that I like better.

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When it's wet I get a burst of mint and lemon so it's pretty nose-tingling. But once it's dry it's way more grapey. And it's like a very fresh grape as opposed to grape candy or the general artificial grape note. I'm pretty pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a ton of roses and for it to be overwhelmingly floral. It's only softly rosy and is a fruity grape for me. I'm not the biggest fan of roses, and this is rosy enough to not be a favorite, but I can see it working really well for someone who likes a touch of roses and fruit.

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I used to hate anything with rose in it, but the past year my tastes have changed and I am loving everything rose scented lately. So I was super excited to try Bess.

 

Out of the bottle and wet on the skin this is floral but with a sharpness, perhaps the rosemary.

 

On the dry down the roses really take over.

 

Final thoughts, this was pure rose for me and I absolutely LOVE it!

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Nice. Fresh, light and inoffensive (which is great, because in my study environment, people are super sensitive to perfume). Elegant, ladylike without being overly feminine. (I can see this working as a unisex scent.)

 

In the vial I get mostly rosemary, but once applied it tones down to a florally orange.

 

On the immediate drydown it reminds me of Lush’s Karma, only more subtle and without the patchouli. (This is a good thing. Patchouli and I are enemies.)

 

Later, the “five rose variants” appear but never really get rosey. Tempered by the rosemary and mint, they only make a “floral” impression and fail to do that dreaded old-lady thing roses sometimes do to me. (Phew!)

 

All-in all, a fresh, slightly citrussy, slightly herbal floral. Nice for Spring, though not as season-specific as some other blends.

 

Throw is not medium, enough for me to smell it, but without feeling like it reaches very far. or is the wear length very long (about three hours), but that's fine with me as well. It’s pleasantly elegant and elegantly pleasant while it lasts, and morphs interestingly.

 

Verdict: 3 out of 5. I will enjoy using up the imp but I doubt I'll get a bottle.

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All I smell is lemon candy? Maybe like eating lemon candy from your grandfather at church, and then getting grape juice for children's communion- which is a very specific scent memory, not really one I want to wear during my day to day.

I will not be returning to Bess, but floral and fruit fans might find something to like here.

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Everyone is talking about how complex this scent is, but all I get is 50% grape and 50% rose.  Dont get me wrong, i really like this, and i think it's pretty unique with the grape and all!

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In the vial, I could smell all of the notes save for the mint.

 

On my skin, the supporting players changed from time to time, but one thing in particular was the star: the grape spirit. So it smelled like grape spirit plus orange blossom and rosemary, and then grape spirit plus citrus peels and a touch of mint (this is a light variety of mint), and finally, grape spirit plus rose with hints of the rest of the notes (but mostly grape and rose).

 

I hate artificial grape anything, and the grape spirit here kind of makes me think of Dimetapp. :ugh: So Bess is not for me, but I am glad I was able to try it for testing the entire GC purposes!

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