Forever Fifteen Perfume Reviews Part 1

My novel, Forever Fifteen, is the inspiration for an entire perfume line designed by Violette Market. The fifteen scents are based on characters and scenes from my book. If you love Forever Fifteen, I think you’ll find these perfumes quite intriguing. Violette Market designs evocative, unique perfumes only using the purest ingredients possible. Lori truly has a magical touch for blending fragrances. I feel honored to have had the first sniff . . . and check out the awesome fan art below!!!

Michelle Vorsack — starts out very light, ethereal, and a little creamy floral, develops quickly into the smell of new clothes and shoe leather in a department store tinged with Jovan skin musk, then the smell cools off, takes on an oceanic quality with the leather still present. The dry-down transports me like a vivid waking dream back in time to JC Penney, shopping with my mom sometime in 1986. Where it would be appropriate: a trip to the mall, of course, at work, or at lunch with a girlfriend.

Martin Chen — Starts sweet and lively like a carbonated soft drink, fizzy Coca-Cola and maple syrup, then develops into the heat of spicy wood and a warm dash of something chocolatey and dark. The sweet fizzy-ness is still there after 10 minutes but it is lurking in the background. Reminds me of an old discontinued Body Shop perfume oil called Samarkand, which was lavender and sandalwood, lemon, patcholi, ylang ylang, bergamot, and petit grain. Like Samarkand, it is very manly, exotic, and sexually charged but in a clean, almost reserved way, this is probably the lavender mixing with the wood. Dry-down is creamy, with a lingering spicyness. Where it is appropriate: I wore Samarkand almost every day in my last year of college, so it is the fragrance of an attractive but socially pathetic/profoundly depressed music theory nerd. It would also be exactly right on a sexy college boyfriend.

Horror Night at the Movies — The first note is (you guessed it) buttery popcorn, but almost instantly there is an element of hothouse tropical white flowers and musk. The flowers turn creamy after a couple of minutes and on me, the scent becomes a very traditional old-fashioned perfume, a powdery, light scent that you would find lingering in Grandma’s collection of perfume bottles. A few hours later, the popcorn scent lurking in the white flowers reminds me of popcorn Scratch & Sniff stickers from the 1980’s. Yes, you could wear this to the movies, but not with a date. This would be better for a night at the movies with a group of friends.

Rhea — starts out fresh and green, like freshly mowed grass, or a day at the Flower Show at Navy Pier. About five minutes later, a deep, flowery incense asserts itself. The incense is bold and heady, with the soapiness of spring flowers blooming in profusion.

The Manor – A delicious, creepy, dark incense with a hint of florals and clove. The smoky floral intensifies and becomes heady but never sharp. Both soapy and sultry, melancholy yet assertive. The Manor would be appropriate on either a man or a woman; it’s very gender-neutral, but it is more of an evening fragrance than day.

Alaffia Shea Butter Cream

Recently I’ve become a little paranoid about slathering chemicals and potential xenoestrogens on my body–I’m already a vegetarian of the type who endeavors to prepare mostly organic food, whole grains, buying in bulk, etc.

The problem with my favorite Bath & Body Works sorts of fragrances is that they are fairly chemical-heavy. I was just looking at a body lotion I have from their Signature Collection and the ingredients are on the “probably causes cancer/endocrine dysfunction” list. Bummer.

Then I read this disturbing quote:

According to the Environmental Working Group, most personal care products (such as lotion) contain at least one chemical linked to cancer and less than 1 percent of products have had all their combined ingredients assessed for safety.

Therefore I have resolved to switch to essential plant oil fragrances only for my body & house and no more petroleum-based lotions or oils.

My new favorite cream is this one from the Alaffia shop:

It’s got a nice silky texture, the scent is unassuming and gentle, and it’s made with fairly traded shea butter, the sales of which help people develop sustainable economies in West Africa.