Reviews by Leontion

    Leontion's avatar
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

    Showing 1 to 24 of 24.

    Amaranthine by Penhaligon's

    A sweaty, tropical floral. I discern a slightly salty, lily There is a persistent green note, like unripened banana. The lily and green banana note remind me slightly of Donna Karan Gold (which I like a great deal). The base is milky, rice pudding-like and sweet - this is the aspect that causes me to I dislike the fragrance. I find the combination of creamy, childish foody notes and corrupt florals to be quite repellent, I'm afraid. If there were something rougher and more assertive about it (such as the rubbery opening and vetiver rasp in Mahora) I might find more to like here but the fact that it is rendered with typical Penhaligon's delicacy makes me like it even less.

    21st February, 2015


    Iris Prima by Penhaligon's

    Utterly lovely. An ultra sheer watercolour of a fragrance. The bergamot and pepper in the opening departs fairly swiftly to make way for a beautiful powdery iris-dominated floral accord. The middle notes are fairly feminine and evoke face powder and flowers around a heart of softest suede (the Bottega Veneta comparison is apt). The base is more masculine – a restrained resin note and a just a whisper of vanilla to lend a very slight sweetness to the composition.

    This is beautifully done. A featherweight veil of fragrance. It is quite unisex – not in a genderless sense but in the sense that the feminine and masculine components come together to complement one another in a seamless way (much as in the ballet).

    Fans of Infusion d’Iris and Bottega Veneta should certainly test this. For me, this is far and away the better fragrance. I find both Infusion d’Iris and Bottega Veneta to be fairly linear. Iris Prima has a more distinct development to the fragrance.

    05th February, 2015


    Cuir by Lancôme

    Very pretty. I find this quite different to Cuir de Russie, save that both Cuir de Lancome and Cuir de Russie explore the more polished and refined aspects of leather. Cuir de Lancome is sweeter, fruitier and less floral than Cuir de Russie. There is nothing animalic about Cuir de Lancome - no barnyard, meaty or strongly birch tarred qualities. It is a supple, sweetly powdered leather. Like a ladies leather glove. It reminds me a little of Creed's English Leather - in both cases the bergamot and mandarin lends a faintly bubblegum fruitiness to the opening. It stays quite close to the skin. The dry down is lovely - powdery in a balsamic and resinous manner. Very wearable but unlikely to rock your world if butch leathers are your thing.

    20th January, 2015


    Mayotte / Mahora by Guerlain

    Mahora is a curious creature: a tropical almost-chypre. It does not, to my knowledge, contain oakmoss however, like the oakmoss-free 31 Rue Cambon, it has a chypre feel due to the rasping vetiver/sandalwood base on top of which heady white flowers bloom.

    I agree that the opening is a little startling but Mahora rapidly settles into a balanced composition. The heady white florals are tempered by the earthy, slightly dirty base. The sandalwood and vanilla evokes that sweet, slightly musky, salty smell of hot sand.

    If Mahora evokes a tropical island, it is one with an untamed, dense and dark jungle at its heart. No insect free beaches, sun oil or pina coladas to be found here.

    19th February, 2013


    Wrappings by Clinique

    The olfactory equivalent of being slapped in the face with a snowy branch: chilly aldehydes and a juicy herbaceous green accord. I don't find Wrappings to be overwhelmingly piney, but the green accord very definitely evokes a dark, wintery forest rather than grassy green meadows. I would describe this as an aldehylic fougere: think White Linen meets Penhaligon's English Fern. It is bracing and very definitely unisex but due to the aldehydes is not as masculine as a traditional fougere.

    11th February, 2013


    Jersey by Chanel

    Sweetly vanillic lavender with soapy musks and woods. The rough edges of the lavender have been knocked off and the result is floral - almost approaching violet - rather than particularly herbal. It does feel out of step with the other Exclusifs - lacking the complexity of the rest of the line - save that Jersey (as with the majority of the Exclusifs) is sheer like painting in watercolour.

    I liked it sufficiently to buy a bottle and find that I reach for it on days when I do not want to be conspicuously scented - it does have presence and is surprisingly tenacious - however, the overall effect is clean and calming.

    21st January, 2013 (Last Edited: 19th February, 2013)


    Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal

    Isabel Doyen also created Let Me Play the Lion, another woody incense which is a favourite of mine. Tested side by side, Let Me Play the Lion and Encens Flamboyant are similar, however where LMPTL is sheer and bone dry, Encens Flamboyant is darker, more opaque and the woods evoke the damp darkness of a pine forest floor.

    It is resinous, spicy and smokey. I find some incense fragrances to be rather austere and chilly, e.g. CdG Avignon, Passage d'Enfer, Messe de Minuit, whereas the piney, balsamic elements of Encens Flamboyant are warm and enveloping, if not precisely cozy.

    20th January, 2013


    Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi

    This is similar in effect, if not precisely in terms of the constituent notes, to Malle's Lipstick Rose: strongly evocative of vintage cosmetics. In the case of Teint de Neige, one experiences the dusty sensation of a cloud of face powder, scented with rose, heliotrope, almond and vanilla. It is not dissimilar to Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum, but far less sweet. It is incredibly potent stuff - I can smell it on my watch strap days after wearing it.

    The most tenacious aspect of Teint de Neige is the dusty effect and it is the fact that the fragrance evokes such a strong sensation - that it does not just evoke the scent of face powder but also the nose tickling feeling of inhaling a diffuse cloud of face powder - that is the most interesting aspect for me.

    18th January, 2013


    L'Air de Rien by Miller Harris

    Unwashed hair, hay, barnyard and polished wooden floor boards.

    This reminds me of those historical museum exhibits that try to bring history to life by recreating the smells of the past. Despite find this pretty stinky, there is something compelling about this and I found myself being drawn to the tester bottle each time I encounter it.

    Eventually I sprang for a bottle. I enjoy wearing it around the house but frankly cannot imagine ever wearing this out and about and there is something about the composition that is melancholic and, if I am not in the right mood for it, it can leave me feeling a little sad.

    16th January, 2013


    Epic Woman by Amouage

    I tend to enjoy the men's offerings from Amouage more than the fragrances for women and own and adore Amouage Gold for men and Jubilation XXV. Epic is the exception to that rule, possibly because it is less overwhelmingly floral than some of the other female fragrances.

    Epic is really all about the guaiac wood, incense, oud and vanilla. The initial slightly sour oud blast settles into a perfectly balanced creamy, edible blend that is exquisitely poised between sweet and savoury/sour.

    Lasts a good four to five hours on my skin.

    16th January, 2013


    31 rue Cambon by Chanel

    If this is the future of fragrance without oakmoss, I think that we need not fear the death of art in perfumery.

    I did not fall in love with this at first sniff on the counter - it required a couple of days of working through a sample. The dry down is divine - softly herbal, balsamic, slightly nutty. The entire composition is radiant and, although it is not a heavy hitter, it lasts well and has good sillage.

    Compliment from a colleague: "Mmmm, you smell very French today".

    Probably the single fragrance in my collection that I both admire and enjoy the most.

    Praise be to Chanel for the new 75ml bottles.

    16th January, 2013


    Yvresse / Champagne by Yves Saint Laurent

    Gorgeous peachy effervescent chypre that lasts all day on my skin. The opening blast of aldehydes and fruit perfectly encapsulates the fizz and thrill of a glass of champagne (or possibly more accurately a bellini in the opening) and the mossy dry down evokes the yeasty mousse of really good, dry champagne. Aptly named. Probably one of my fragrances that draws the most compliments.

    I find the La Collection reformulation to be a disappointment. Surprisingly, it still smells mossy (I had anticipated that oak moss restrictions would have tempered if not eradicated this element of the composition) but it lacks the richness of the fruity/floral opening of the original - I suspect that the bean counters at L'Oreal (who now own Yves Saint Laurent) have tweaked the formula in the interests of costs savings as much as IFRA/EU regulations.

    16th January, 2013


    Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain

    Pine, gingerbread, vanilla and a curiously metallic note that spoils the composition for me. Possibly it's the frankincense that is responsible for the metallic note, although I usually love incense based fragrances.

    It doesn't last terribly long on the skin. I prefer to use this as a room fragrance at Christmas time.

    16th January, 2013


    Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

    I own the current EdT and body lotion.

    I am sure that I tested vintage opium back in the late '80s but cannot particularly recall what it was like. I have no doubt that the original was splendid stuff, but I very much enjoy the current EdT.

    I get very dry spiced carnation and the scent of a very hot iron on damp cotton (I suspect aldehydes, although not listed in the official notes). I prefer the EdT to the EdP, in which the jasmine is more prominent. The orange note is more pronounced in the body lotion.

    For some reason, I find that the EdT smells much better if applied with a more diffuse application, rather than in a concentrated puddle. Opium really blooms in hotter weather, applied with a light hand. I find the current EdT to be a very clean fragrance and unlike many orientals, enjoy wearing Opium all year round.

    EDITED to add that my review is for the 2003 reformulation.

    13th January, 2013 (Last Edited: 16th January, 2013)


    Clair de Musc by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I am surprised that this doesn't get more love. Perhaps my bottle has 'ripened' with age but I get a very honeyed musk, perfectly poised between clean and ever so slightly naughty: sweet, sun warmed skin. It lasts and lasts on my skin. No individual note stands out and I perceive the whole as a perfectly blended golden musk. Lovely.

    12th January, 2013


    Rochas Femme (new) by Rochas

    I adore Femme. To my nose this is a peachy chypre. Yes there is a slightly skanky cumin note but it is not overstated in my view and makes Femme all the more interesting. The cumin note lends a distinctly intimate feel to Femme and I understand why the previous reviewer gets 'dirty underwear'.

    Call me a pervert, but I rather enjoy a wiff of something in that direction and those who like the slightly funky side of L'air de Rien and Agent Provocateur may also enjoy Femme.

    The cumin note is prominent in the opening but is less so in the dry down. The dry down is woodsy, mossy chypre. I would draw comparisons with Yvresse (more obviously fuity/floral) and 31 Rue Cambon. I find Femme utterly comforting and enveloping.

    11th January, 2013 (Last Edited: 21st March, 2013)


    Breath of God by B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful

    Curious stuff. I imagine the potions classroom at Hogwarts to smell like this: bubble gum and blackened cauldrons.

    It’s a rather clumsy blend of fruity top notes (I get bergamot although not listed in the official notes) and a smoky vetiver and tar base. I understand that this is an amalgamation of two blends, Inhale (fruity) and Exhale (smoky), by the same brand and it remains to my nose a fragrance of two distinct parts.

    It smells like a student’s potions experiment. This isn’t accomplished perfumery in my view, it lacks the refinement of say Dzing! and Bvlgari Black (which I reference not so much as smell alikes to Breath of God, but as examples of great fragrances crafted around disconcerting smoke/rubber/tar notes), but it is enjoyably weird.

    I rate this neutral as I don't chose to wear it as a fragrance terribly often but I do find myself reaching for a whiff from the vial fairly regularly.

    11th January, 2013


    White Musk by Body Shop

    I enjoy White Musk as a sort of anti-perfume when I've been over indulging on the rich and extravagent. It reminds me very much of my teenage years and that's rather a nice association. It's not particularly sophisticated or clever but it makes me feel clean, pretty and girlish. It's a very light, soapy, aldehylic floral musk with a whisper of vanilla. My husband also adores it - I suspect it may remind him of teenage girls as well!

    05th December, 2009


    Néonatura - Cocoon by Yves Rocher

    Cheap and cheerful favourite from Yves Rocher. Dry and dusty cocoa (rather than chocolate) and earthy patchouli. Not a million miles from Lutens Borneo 1834; frankly I prefer Cocoon. A woody gourmand that leans towards the woody end of the spectrum and avoids the tooth-ache inducing sweetness of Angel and its like. Very cozy without being cloying.

    27th May, 2009


    Noir de Noir by Tom Ford

    Dark, spicy rose. Very smooth and almost edible but with a rich, earthy, mossy base. I find the longevity and sillage formidable - one of the rare scents that will go all day on the strength of a spritz or two in the morning. I first smelt this on a coworker - I have never known her to apply perfume at work but I can detect this on her all day and can actually tell where she has been in the building. I find that it lasts in the same way on my very dry and generally perfume defeating skin. Garners a great number of compliments. Very sexy but also very composed and well put together. The Black Aoud comparisons are accurate; however I find Black Aoud bitter, headache inducing and heavy handed. Noir de Noir in comparison is a much leaner and more graceful creature. Absolutely splendid stuff in my book and without a shadow of a doubt the best I have tried in the Tom Ford line.

    27th May, 2009


    Allure Sensuelle by Chanel

    I didn't quite get Allure Sensuelle at first, it is a study in contrasts - cool, clean, savory and yet warm, woody and sweet at the same time. The patchouli, vanilla and frankincense base is both cozy and very sexy, overlaid by a jammy melon or apricot note. Suprisingly, the effect is not cloying or sweet, nor gourmand in the manner of Angel. The parfum is more subtle and refined than the EdP and the incense notes are more intense in the parfum. I find Allure Sensuelle both earthy and ethereal and the parfum has become a holy grail for me.

    13th August, 2008


    Let Me Play The Lion by LesNez

    There are a few ambivalent reviews here, however this ranks as the closest I have come to finding anything that might be deemed to be a 'holy grail'. Bone dry, this smells to me of dust, hot coals, incense and seared wood. Whilst sheer, this is one of the few fragrances that lasts a full day on my skin - very tenacious, just as you think you've lost it, you catch the trail again.

    11th April, 2008


    The Unicorn Spell by LesNez

    I've become more and more interested in fragrances that do not smell conventionally "perfume-y", particularly if they manage to paint an olfactory picture. Wishing to avoid hyperbole, this opens with the sharp vegetal green tang of crushed leaves and softens to a wet rooty violet and perhaps a hint of chilly iris - a true to life floral, perfectly conjuring a midnight walk in a damp spring garden. A little unconventional, but really very pretty and wearable.

    11th April, 2008


    Fig & Cherry by Berkeley Square

    The best £10 I've spent on a frag in a long while. An initial blast of sweet fruit is tempered by a warm and slightly spicy cedar and musk dry down. It really is rather lovely and will probably be my Christmas scent this year. Doesn't last too long, but for the price you can't really grumble about that and Berkeley Square do a range of other bath and body products in the same scent for layering.

    23rd December, 2007

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