Bitter and sweet: more budget masterpieces

In a recent post we shared our favourite masterpieces for perfumistas on a budget. Since then, I’ve been lucky twice with two purchases.

In that discussion, Suzanne suggested Grey Flannel, and damn me if I did not take her advice and buy some. Grey Flannel is a masculine chypre, featuring citrus notes, rose, violet leaf, galbanum and geranium. I don’t know if or how the manufacturers have worked around restrictions on oakmoss, but as far as I can see online reviewers are not finding fault with it. And some people are well-placed to comment, as it Grey Flannel is popular and is the sort of fragrance people wear for years.

Grey Flannel is very green and austere, but on me it mellows as it develops and I found it surprisingly nourishing on a cold night earlier last week when I had to go out. For 30 mls I paid less (online) than the price of a sandwich and a cup of a coffee. The 30 ml bottle does not come with one of those adorable little flannel bags. I’ll get one next time – there is bound to be a next time.

My other bargain comes from Jacomo, the people who brought you Silences. They seem to have been all but silent about the release of their Art Collection last year, although Gaia, the Non-Blonde, thinks they may be a ‘sleeper hit’. There are three fragrances, #02, #08 and #09. (No, the numbers are not contiguous, silly you for asking.) I found them high up on a shelf at a discounter at my local mall. Twenty-five bucks each, 100 ml bottles.

#09 was way too fruity and sweet for me. #02 was interesting: vanilla, and something dark. I might have bought that, but one sniff of #08, and it was coming home with me, no question. I did something I have never done before: I bought it on the spot, without waiting for the drydown and without having done any research on it at all.

#08 is a chai tea scent. Spicy, milky and honeyed. Sillage and longevity are moderate. Ginger is quite prominent at the start, for me. The only other tea scent I know is L’Artisan’s Tea for Two, but to me that is much smokier. I should be fine with smoke – I love other tough notes and accords, like the bitter green in Grey Flannel – but I am unmoved by Tea for Two. In Jacomo’s #08, the smoke lifts and I am in bliss. It is extraordinarily comforting, perfect for pottering around the house on a winter’s evening, reading a book, patting the cat, curling up in bed.

I think I was just lucky with the price I paid for my #08. Elsewhere I have seen it going for much more, and it is 54 euros on the Jacomo website at the moment. Maybe the retailer I got it from bought too much, by mistake, and is trying to shift it.

Two new fragrances, very different, and combined they come to less than $40. Hurrah!

19 thoughts on “Bitter and sweet: more budget masterpieces

  1. This is the same Jacomo? You know, I had been wondering, but assumed that it was a new company! I saw the line at indie scents, so it has been confusing (obviously I’m easily confused!).

    Gray Flannel is a fabulous perfume, especially for the price! I picked up a full bottle at a Goodwill for under $3, and haven’t regretted a penny 🙂 Although, I rarely wear it on skin—I like to use it as a linen spray, or a room spray, because the sillage is nuclear!

    Now I’m intrigued to try this Jacomo collection—Chai tea sounds especially appealing!


    1. Yup, same company. It’s easy to be confused when there are so many perfumes on the market.

      Must try Grey Flannel as a linen spray. That would be great!

      My son spotted the #08 bottle on my dressing table last night and picked it up immediately. He thought the ‘#08’ part ‘sexy’, and liked the scent too, smelled like a cafe, he declared.

  2. Hot Dog! Congrats on Jacomo AC 08, I’ve been wanting to try it despite reviews I’ve read that were not that positive. From what you say about it, I’m pretty sure I’d love it. I’m discovering that you’re one of my scent sisters- the same scents often work for both of us. I’ve got enough evil scent twins, it’s about time I had a non-evil one!

  3. Thanks Carrie. Yay! How cool to have a scent-sister! (I really liked your review of the Oscar de la Renta flanker, and made a very large mental note to check it out as soon as it comes my way.)

    About the Jacomo AC #08, I should add that it is an easy-wearing fragrance that you can spritz as merrily as you like. The down-side of that is over-use, so that you get tired of it. But I will probably only wear it in cooler weather, so will have a break from it. I can actually see the level going down in the bottle much faster than the ‘real’ masterpies I own, like Mitsouko and Miss Dior, and so on.

  4. The Jacomo sounds very appealing,(it is very cheap on Cheap Smells at the moment, for European readers.) I am tempted.
    Great you found two such great deals you love! 🙂

    1. Hmmm… I may have to have you pick me up a bottle! It’s NOT cheap here in the US (it’s $69), strangely… Maybe you could host your first bottle split!? 😉

        1. On Cheap Smells 50ml are 21€, 100ml 35€, shipping costs to EU are very reasonable (from 2€). I am not affiliated, just enchanted with that site. 🙂

      1. I can get a bottle for you, if you want, just let me know. I am not ready for hosting a split, I would have to get supplies (bottles) from the US at high shipping costs, etc. I am somehow not up for that at the moment. Sorry.

        1. Oh, no pressure! I’m just teasing you a little 🙂 I’m not supposed to buy anything unsniffed anymore anyway… and I’ve been doing pretty well!

    2. I’ve been a bit naughty, tempting everyone with the freakily cheap price that I stumbled upon for #08. Sorry everyone!

  5. AnneMarie,

    Get out of town!!! You just made my day! 🙂 I don’t think anyone has every bought a bottle of something before based on moi’s recommendation (and that’s probably a good thing, in most cases). So I’m absolutely thrilled, and then more than absolutely thrilled to hear that you like it. (Especially since I don’t think it’s an easy fragrance…it’s definitely an assertive scent.)

    I’ve tried all of those Jacomo scents and reviewed two of them and will probably end up reviewing the one you bought (eventually), because I think it’s downright wonderful too — a little more milky than Tea for Two (though I love both). Really, even if someone doesn’t get the bargain that you did, it’s still a bargain (at $69 bottle in the US) compared to most things perfumistas are buying these days.

    Great purchases. Like it or not, you are now my new BFF! 🙂

    1. Ha! yes indeed – sounds perfect. Love that expression ‘Get out of Town’ – sounds quintessentially American. I never hear it here. Perhaps I should start using some old fashioned Australian experssions, like ‘Crikey!’.

      I knew Grey Flannel from when a male friend used to wear it years ago. I had forgotten about it and would never have thought of it had you not mentioned it. When I told that friend just recently that I had bought some he told me that his father had loved it too. His father died earlier this year, so now I wear it in his memory; he was a fine man. GF is very masculine but somehow that doesn’t bother me.

      About #08, yes, $69, if that’s 100 mls, is still pretty good. Normally I baulk at 100 mls, but this is a fragrance to wear often, share with your friends, your kids, whatever. A social fragrance.


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