Do you have a favorite form for your solid perfumes? I love the zero waste possibilities for pots and jars. The durability and protection a study compact provides for the scent is nice, too. But when I’m in a hurry, which is my reality many mornings before work, I really like the easy, hands-free application afforded by a stick, such as those offered by French house Sabé Masson.
Sabé Masson bills itself as “the house of soft perfume,” and while they don’t work exclusively in solids, they offer a great selection of them. They also offer the same scents in liquid form for some choices, which works well for layering or lets you spritz in the morning and touch up later in the day with a stick that fits easily in your purse or pocket. Their collection covers a lot of fragrance categories and likely has something for every taste.
Striptease Flowers is the first scent I’ve tried from this collection, and it was a blind buy for me, but not an uninformed buy. There were some helpful reviews on various fragrance websites that steered me towards this one as opposed to my other choice, Copacabana. (Artist was actually my first choice from this line, but was unavailable at the time I was purchasing. Hope to give that one a sniff sometime in the future.)
I’m not nuts about the too-sexy fragrance name (not sure how I’d feel telling a co-worker the scent she asked me about is called “Striptease Flowers?”), nor the brand’s ad copy that accompanies it: “All women are flowers, undressed by the imagination. And yet, their mystery is better preserved than ever.” Eek! I am not a damn flower and nobody better be undressing me by their imagination! So yeah, that’s a little cringe-worthy, but I have learned over the years to tune out ridiculous marketing words and images and focus on the scent. And in this case, the scent of Striptease Flowers is a lovely one.
Sabé Masson Striptease Flowers Fragrance Review
Size: 0.17 oz./5 g perfume.
Packaging: Decorative cardboard box; the scent stick is housed in a beautifully printed paperboard tube with a plastic inner cylinder and small plastic inner cap to protect the surface of the perfume.
Base: candelilla wax, carnauba wax, vegetable oils and shea butter.
Vegan-friendly: yes. (It appears not all products from this brand are vegan–the brand’s website has a specific category for the ones that are, and this one is on that list.)
Color and texture: the stick is a soft ivory color and it melts instantly with a glide across skin. It moisturizes and briefly leaves a slight shimmer.
Natural perfume or mixed media: mixed media (a mix of synthetic fragrance materials and natural fragrance components).
Fragrance description and notes: described accurately by the brand as a “gourmand floral woody,” with notes of mandarin, bergamot, orange blossom, neroli, heliotrope, patchouli, amber, caramel and vanilla.
Longevity: very good, with the last base notes still detectable at eight hours.
Sillage: arm’s length or a little less. That’s not a bad thing for this particular scent. The fragrance includes some potent sweet notes that might actually be a little obnoxious in liquid format. The moderate sillage lets me slip this date-night-type fragrance into my daytime rotation, too. It’s largely a skin scent past the four hour mark.
The experience: looking at the notes, I was half-expecting something along the lines of Thierry Mugler’s Angel, and I was delighted by a completely different experience on my first application. Striptease Flowers goes on with a bit of an oily, waxy aroma, due to the solid’s base, but it dissipates in a few minutes and reveals pleasant sweet citrus notes as the opening. The heart emerges about 30 minutes later, beautifully floral-woody and with just a hint of juicy fruits remaining.
The heart notes are definitely my favorite phase of this fragrance and they last several hours. The floral elements combine into more of a bouquet, and no single floral note really stands out–no heliotrope Play-doh nor twiggy neroli. Similarly, I don’t smell praline or caramel as individual notes when wearing this fragrance, but there’s a gentle sweet cream poured over the flowers. The last hour or two is dominated by patchouli and vanilla (think pods, not cake frosting).
The dominant theme is “floral,” with a slight gourmand edge, skewing traditionally feminine. Striptease Flowers is a crowd-pleaser and not avant-garde by any stretch of the imagination, but it could work for daytime or evening wear, maybe with a more generous application. For daytime, a swipe on the back of each wrist and a swipe down neck and chest were enough.
Where to buy: Ebay has a fair number of Sabé Massons for sale. Amazon has a few. The best selection in the US is at Smallflower Apothecary via the web or if you’re in Chicago. (As a reminder, this blog is not sponsored and all links are ’cause I love.) If you’re in Europe, you can purchase individual perfumes and also a Discovery Set of all the solids from the brand’s website. (Color me jealous! )
Olfactory macaroon image from the Sabé Masson website. All other photographs by me.