Perfume Reviews

Reviews by cheryl

Total Reviews: 159

Sinan by Jean-Marc Sinan

bohemian rose

This obscure perfume is similar to the series of coriander/rose womanly 70s scents, but in my estimation is fuller and rounder. It's a dusky, musky, dry rich rose laced heavily with dry hay fields and coriander. It reminds me a bit of Fendi in its density and clarity. I think it's great. Yum. But it is on the opposite end of the current universe of youthful, simple, aromachemical,sugar fruitcholis. Does anyone want to smell this way nowadays? Hmm...I doubt it. But I think if you have an inner Stevie Nicks streak, it would be a good match.

Pros: classic structure
Cons: maybe dated"

20th September, 2013

L'Insolent by Charles Jourdan

snow queen 80s floral

I am testing a vintage sample. This scents reminds me of a few of the dignified strong beautiful floral scents of the era...I'm thinking Anne Klein and Alberta Ferretti (sp?). Maybe they all have the same base in their top notes.

This has a strong green cutting note (begamont and a greenish jasmine, I guess) acting as a corset to some more voluptuous hazy white flowers...jasmine, tuberose, lily and hyacinth I'd guess. I think it is well conceived, but I'm undecided whether I like that particular chord when played. I like some florals on ambers. I like some green perfumes. But, do I like green on florals on distant soft ambers? The green sharpness is a bit uncompromising. Interesting and powerful....not sure if it is likeable.

The image I'm left with is an eerily maybe beautiful cold crystalline snow queen.

Pros: strength of character
Cons: similar to other 80s florals"

20th September, 2013

Trayee by Neela Vermeire

suede and spice

This scent has a very interesting profile, and I recommend giving it a sniff if just for the interesting work it makes you do in calculating what you are smelling. I've decided after several sessions of sniffing that it is a spice/suede scent. There are two lines under the general bouquet of spice! and suede! that are highly intriguing. One is a dusty bubble gum wrapper dryness....that I recall from decades ago. I'm speaking of the gum that arrived with collector baseball wars cards..what have maybe it is a cardboard/woodsy dry sweetness. Two is the medicinal bitter oud bite. Is it oud? I would never offer this as an example of oud, but there is a "grab" of bandaid-y oud. These two subtle features are quite compelling for me. My complaint is this scent doesn't quite win me over. (Me me me. Yes this review is all about me!) I believe because all this complexity and harmony and chords of notes entwined stays at a single level of development..there is no transformation as you wear the perfume.

Pros: unique, chords of notes
Cons: linear"

11th September, 2013
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Alchimie by Rochas

coconut candy

I've had good luck with Rochas perfumes, so I thought I'd try this. I love orientals...what could go wrong? This seems to be a forerunner of the tidal wave of sugar-fruit-shampoo scents that we are still experiencing. This scent plays it's pleasant opening hand well...a slightly tart coconut juice on a bed of softness. Little moments of other fruits peek in from the cabana...(strawberry? cherry?) then there is a soft fresh wash, then a soft boozy wash...and you get an overall pleasant content vibe of fruity cocktails on a vacation beach. There are few shards of not-sweet skin scent in here. Then mostly sweet. More sweet. Very sweet.

I can't really get behind it because it never makes me reevaluate that 16-year old shampoo vibe. I guess it's good for this category?

Pros: friendly and warm
Cons: sweet"

11th September, 2013

Lumière Noire pour Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

romantic rose

I forgot I had a sample of this, but when I discovered this I was enraptured. It's a gorgeous uplifting rose...and I have been on a rose quest for years now. A smite of patchouli opens it and anchors it down..and then there is an overlay of fresh dewiness..of petals or warm clean skin. A very human rose.

I don't really know how this would play on a man's skin..but I'd certainly be interested in that figure. This evokes a poet type...waves and curls in his hair, billowy white get the idea.....the scent is somehow pure and complex. I'm very besotted with this one.

Pros: beautiful rose, light muskiness

25th August, 2013

Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

romantic poet

I forgot I had a sample of this, but when I discovered this I was enraptured. It's a gorgeous uplifting rose...and I have been on a rose quest for years now. A smite of patchouli opens it and anchors it down..and then there is an overlay of fresh dewiness..of petals or warm clean skin. A very human rose.

I don't really know how this would play on a man's skin..but I'd certainly be interested in that figure. This evokes a poet type...waves and curls in his hair, billowy white get the idea.....the scent is somehow pure and complex. I'm very besotted with this one.

Sorry just read the tiny font..this IS FEMME

Pros: beautiful rose, light muskiness

25th August, 2013

Donna Karan Essence: Wenge by Donna Karan

This is a basic uncomplicated pleasant scent. It is not a grand perfume. I found myself spraying whenever passing it at the store, so finally ordered a sample.

Ok. Strength is discreet and minimal. I get a base of vanilla skin musk pudding. Then there are twin voices of cinnamon-cedar and incense harmonizing with one another. It all sounds foodie...but it's more woodsy. A happy uplifting woodsy skin scent.
23rd April, 2013

Saso by Shiseido

Because I am the first to review it here...I'm providing the notes (quoted off the internet):

Head: aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, green notes, fruity notes hyacinth
Heart: jasmine, lily of the valley, orris root, rose, violet ylang-ylang
Base: sandalwood, vetiver, benzoin, civet, amber, musk, tonka and vanilla

I have a fondness for Shiseido, which I'm not sure I can explain. So, I aspire to sample their house. This one reminds me of Napa valley in California. It's supposedly capturing olive blossoms. That may be so! It's one of those scents that reminds me of a high end florists shop. It's green, softly focused and features a nutty yellow pollen note..which I experience in vintage "Miss Dior". Perhaps a lily of valley proxy? I'm not an expert on how that family of perfumes smells, or should smell.

So this is beautiful. It's well crafted. BUT. It is calibrated to set a certain mood or experience which is highly specific. And that is not sensual decoration of skin. It's more this place, this plant, this time of year. A GREEN/YELLOW day time perfume that has no artifice. Not sure what my emotional response is. But I award it a high rating because it is well done.

19th April, 2013

Paris by Coty

I have a sample of vintage "parfum" . I get mostly powdered violets on my skin. I know...I see that violets is not on the list of notes. I can construe this a lilacs then: Sweet 'purple' floral. It's constrained/delivered in a classic structure. Aldehydes deliver a this-is-perfume! message and the basenotes underwrite the flowers with soft skin muskiness. After the violets/lilacs fade out, there is a bit of anonymous rose-carnation to it.
Overall very discreet, very traditional, very lady like. You might get out your white gloves. NO ADVENTURE!
19th April, 2013

Nuit de Chine by Les Parfums de Rosine

I cannot stifle my curiosity about the older vintage fragrances.
However, they are a roll of dice.
Is this the inspiration of all the clean and laundry detergent scents out there?
It smells exactly like laundry detergent. Harsh. Soapy. bleachy-skin.

18th April, 2013

Ylang by Martine Micallef

I came for the Ylang ylang.
What I got was a sweet cotton candy cupcake vanilla pink sugar pina colada.
18th April, 2013

Bakir by Long Lost Perfume

I have the Monteil version that predates this. I purchased blind out of curiosity as I enjoyed Ava Luxe's Bakir very much. This is rich and complex. For a brief few moments a hologram of hyacinth and nicotine hover in the air. Then a classier, and more classic rose-carnation-amber roll out. There are nice big waves a floral spiciness. It's fine, it's nice. It's not exactly my thing as I often require that perfume kick me in the butt with some depth or wildness. I may prefer the Ava version if my memory serves. Still nothing wrong with this..quality seems to be there. A 3.5/5 from me?

11th April, 2013

Tabu by Dana

I'll keep it short as others have written so much of interest here. My bottle is a vintage cologne (handsome bottle) much like the image presented here. It is old and it is a cologne, so I am making some allowances that there are elements that are missing in its structure. What I get: Sex on Rootbeer. Or maybe nutmeggy sex. Or maybe excitable extroverted rum times. There's a booziness and nitromusk all sending a vibe of easy ripe warmth. This is no means an intellectual perfume, but I have found myself putting a lot of thought into it. How does it speak to the name, the context, the concept? It seems to just grab your skin spread out and send its message. In a heated booziness.
I am reserving judgement because I think my cologne is not quite the old time real deal. I just don't know how close it is.
11th April, 2013
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Zen (original / black) by Shiseido

I am describing the older black bottle original classic. I LOVE this. This is a mysterious thorn ridden, bewitching lacquered rose. It is somehow imperious and heated.It is somehow bringing up associations of holiday seasonal magic. It exists in a timeless thrilling world.
08th April, 2013

Back to Black, aphrodisiac by By Kilian

cherry pipe tobacco + vanilla + honey. ON SKIN. What's not to love? This is a very direct and very linear perfume that delivers fully, without faltering, petering out, falling into harsh chemical edges or turning cheap and cloying. It's so plush and pleasant, non perfume types will notice it and declare they like the scent. It's good natured, warm, has a vavoom factor...a Mae west kind of affair.
07th April, 2013

Les Déserts d'Orient - Encens Mythique d'Orient by Guerlain

I applaud the general intention and direction of this perfume. It wants to make a complex statement in an interesting realm with the basis of "quality" ingredients.
However, I feel the perfume falls short a bit and becomes an intellectually interesting experience, but maybe less so sensuality-wise.
It opens with a floral scratchiness that reminds me of lacquered wood/hairspray/shampoo. The floral dimension is a makeup powderiness kind that you might smell in a woman's purse circa 1975. Then there is a scratchy thin moss with a thread of almond and castoreum in it. It's a thread of something...your nose wants to pursue this, but it never deepens or speaks in a true voice.
I think the problem may be this perfume achieves a "style" , strikes a pose, sets a mood, but has not much else to say. Perhaps because the ingredients lack heart and may be synthetic versions of truer things?
It's definitely in my brain classification of "make-up" perfume. It sits pretty on the skin. I'd give it 3.5/5 as well. I wish it were slightly more captivating and compelling.
07th April, 2013

Eau Argentine by Iunx

This is nice, and I like this sort of thing, but I am giving this a neutral. Yes, for this one I go from "It's great! I should get some more!" to "I can live without this, save my wallet for another day..." thinking.
It's restrained, natural and elegant...and in my mind it's with a few rain on dusty streets scents. Tea and rice straw do not a power house make...they make a nice slightly edible haiku. If this were dirt cheap, I'd buy bottles and spray liberally. My neutral rating comes from the suspicion that more is more.

29th July, 2012

White Rose by Shiseido

I too am on a perfect Rose quest. My experience is much like the previous reviewer. This is a rose-soliflor...there are no other notes to distract you from the heavy "rose trance" experience. It opens on my skin in a sharp manner (but still natural) and smells life like to an intense tea rose. Then it rounds out and softens and grows warmer. Then it seems to vanish from the stage. My quibbles here are....maybe 100% natural rose oils are easier and less expensive to work with. And too long on the opening, not enough on the middle (far more sensual to my mind) and to vanish so quietly???? Hmm. I plan on using my few precious drops under other scents.
29th July, 2012

Filigree by Thymes

I bought this as it was fairly inexpensive and reminded of a long lost favourite from Aveda. To my mind it had some hidden element that was mysteriously woodsy. The website hints that these are the notes: amber, juniper berry, cedarwood, neroli, spearmint, lavender, ginger and clove. I must save that none of these is evident or distinct. Maybe if forced I would say a light wash of lavender over a generic amber?
This perfume is a light, pretty plasticy (not necessarily negative) amber that whispers and offers shy glances. Clean and pretty.

29th July, 2012

Intimate by Revlon

I have an old sample obviously. The first spray is waxy crayon-aldehydes and old school floral symphonics. Very quickly it dries down into a honey pollen mimosa sweet skin. Not in the modern style (no cotton candy high notes), mostly lingering honey. It's pretty simple, hence my neutral rating. I prefer dark and complex structures.
29th July, 2012

Pluie de Soleil / Burst of Summer by Phaedon

I blind sampled this and it is not as vapid/undetectable/invisible as others in the line I have so far sampled. On my skin it's strawberries, cream and sugar. So, this is quite cheerful and trivial. I like it it in the same way I like other girly sugar fests and it reminds me strongly of a BB and Beyond hand soap. Would I step outside with this on my skin as my perfume choice? No, never. It's fine for housecoat-at-home time though. It lasts about 20 minutes ? Which is about right.
25th July, 2012

Bois Blonds by Atelier Cologne

I'm undecided on whether I can give this a full on positive or a lesser neutral. I believe it performs exactly in accordance to its vision. It opens with a soft orange skin muskiness. It kind of just persistently hovers there. If the composition includes incense and vetiver they are extremely muted and neutered versions. I feel it marries the skin well and is optimistically businesslike. I do wish it was more singular, more twisted, more...?
21st July, 2012

Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne

The high rating is because I think this is very successful at its mission. This is a naturalistic soft fresh orange. There are no edges, there is no structure, and there is no development. It lasts and projects a bit.....which for an orange note is truly miraculous. The mood or pitch of this is pleasantly-professional daytime. A cologne that lasts. Isn't that miraculous?
17th July, 2012

Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I think my main problem with this it is trying way too hard. It seems to want to be the epitome of a ladies underpants musk, it forgot to get fully dressed first. (Hmm..sort of like some of our current celebrities....)
It opens strong strong high pitched civety powder. There may be a tiny amount of honey or cinnamon here too. I may be crazy but I think the inspiration here was "Bal a Versaille". This plays one or two notes from that retro classic, not the full orchestral ride. after a few minutes it softens a little...but hums along on civety powder. I can't think where I could wear this. Maybe layered with something like sandalwood or jasmine?
17th July, 2012

Azurée by Estée Lauder

I am sampling the vintage edition. Ok, this is hardcore.
There are basically two components, dry bitter herbal + hardcore leather. Think biker jacket, not lady's purse. It is in the mold of a whole era of hard hitting femme fatale/old broad/take no prisoners perfume. If memory serves this is like Morabito's Or Black. This scent lingers beautifully on the skin, but be warned it is uncompromising.
11th July, 2012

La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens

This is elegant and rich, though quite linear on my skin. I smell root beer, fruitcake and crayons. Somehow this festive list of components doesn't quite equate to joyous. The perfume remains quite serious in its demeanor. I guess this is my quibble with this interesting scent. I want it to "go" somewhere...emotionally, transformatively, down memory's path, but it doesn't. This seems to be a November perfume. Late autumnal.
11th July, 2012

Les Heures de Parfum - XIII La Treizième Heure by Cartier

I love this stuff. It makes me weak in the knees. Everything I want in a perfume: deep, complex, dark, primal. I guess it is smoked tea and leather. Unlike others I don't conjure up amber, patchouli or vanilla. But maybe there is a roundedness provided by the vanilla(?) Sigh. My lottery winnings, once that happens, will be going towards this.
11th July, 2012

Krazy Krizia by Krizia

I am with the reviewer that has no image or name, below...sadly. I want to enjoy any oriental..and anything complex and vanillish. I am sampling a mini of uncertain vintage. I suspect this kind of special effect perfume is a kind of time bridge from proper perfume composed in a classical style from the older era and modern one note special effect styled offerings. So this is a one note special effect embedded upon a complex "oriental" composition. The special effect demands all your attention but it's grounded and persistent in perfumeness as opposed to say laundry muskness or shampoo cleanness.
The special effect here is a uni-dimensional summer carnival apple-cinnamon pie. I rarely enjoy cinnamon in a scent and can't say the apple is winning me over either. I can't really appreciate any of the warm woodsy base others have described because this top note effect is so strident.
30th June, 2012

Insensé by Givenchy

I got my hands on a miniature bottle and if there is a reformulated version, or just the original stuff out there..I cannot say which I have. This was mostly for curiousity/freak value. A floral for men!!!! Looking at the notes listed how I wish there was a detectable magnolia. That'd be some fun.

What I am smelling is a fairly well done 80's scent. It smells a lot like Anne Klein on my skin. By 80's I mean some heft in it (not necessarily sillage), but more than a single note on laundry musk. There is something else I find in many scents from the era that unifies them...likely some of the "bases" available via the aroma companies. I'm still curious WHY this was a controversial scent. It smells basically manly with no perversions or florishs or "C'mon that's too far" moments. It seems it may have a hyacinth and lavender component to it. I guess it departed from the menstream by not relying on brown woods (?) in the base. It's very green through and through. But in a 80's way: not a special effects GREEN!
29th June, 2012

Le Dandy by D'Orsay

I am sampling a vintage version in a small curvy bottle. Arrggguuhhh. So beautiful! I am partial to this kind of thing, perfumes that are rich, deep, spicy and made with a high portion of authentic ingredients. So this has none of the headache inducing shrill chemical effect of releases of the last 10 years. It doesn't smell like an impression of shampoo, ozone, fruit and whatever. This smells like a understated cherry tobacco (but dark, not sweet) and liquor cabinet. There is a thin dangerous surface of something else as well. Ginger-aldehydes? The impression is intoxicating rather than sombre.
Guys....not sure if many of you would want this. I'm a girl and I love it on me. It would hold me utterly enthralled on your skin though. But as I've mentioned, I like that kind of thing.
27th June, 2012