Reviews

Reviews by FullCircle

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Rasa by Ava Luxe

The skankiest, roughest perfume I own...the X-treme version that is...and I love it! It comes on very strong in the musks, with a hint of dry rose, add some ambergris and civet, and you get a very earthy, in-your-face 'basic instinct' scent. Definitely animalic and skanky, but not putrid or nasty. An intersting artifact too, is that the rose seems to carry the musks, insead of the other way around. Drydown is fantastically mellow and sweetish, and it'll stay on your skin for days. I use only a drop on my skin...don't want anyone to keel over dead around me...but I love wearing it. I would never don this at work or a crowded public place...in fact, this is a very personal scent I keep to myself. Now, I spend a good part of every day with horses, so I may have a different view of 'animalic' than others, but I love the smell of barns and feed and horses. While Rasa doesn't smell exactly like any of those things, I believe appreciating them widens the basis for other, rawer scents. So if you're intrigued by a hot, arid, torrid, and musky scent, to try Ava's Rasa X-treme.
26th December, 2007

Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has a Gun

A wonderful, not-anything-else-like-it rose. Went on my wish list the first time I tried it. It's a happy, yet spicy rose without too much vanilla...just right. A close-to-the-skin scent that's of average weight...perfect for the Holidays that are coming up, yet I can see this worn on a summer evening for an outside dinner. Lovely!
17th December, 2007

Mitsouko by Guerlain

Mitsouko is new to my decant collection, and while I find it completely alluring and addictive after the first hour or so, I'm getting a strange opening that worries me in contemplating a full bottle. I get nuts...overwhelming nuts for a good hour. It does subside of course, but I find it rather disturbing. (No identifiable peach or citrus on my skin either.) The dry-down is magical...soft, sweet, faintly woody, and almost honeyed...but the nuts are hard to live through. I can't pinpoint what's causing the offending impression, and I'm hoping to try a decant from a different source to see if it's just my particular sample (which I'm crossing my fingers it is!) The closest cousin to Mitsouko in my closet seems to be Jo Malone's Nectarine and Honey, although worlds less sophisticated and interesting, but sans the nutty opening. I've been afraid of Mitsouko for so long, it's good to know it won't devour me, and is in fact an eloquent and warm hug on the skin. What an endearing scent!
09th December, 2007
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M2 Black March by CB I Hate Perfume

What an incredible perfume! Like those before me, I consider this scent a work of art. How can you start out so earthy and end so ethereal and bloom-y? My initial impression was one of cold, wet, pond scum...then quickly onto dark, rich, and soaked earth, and finally a bloom of spring flowers. Amazing journey! CB I Hate Perfume calls this scent a Metamorphosis scent. Yep, it'll take you for a ride all right. I was so struck by how closely this resembled water and earth, that I almost felt cheated when it turned bloom sweet and the dirt disappeared. It happened quickly too...within 10 minutes. Other than the novelty of this changeling scent, the drydown is very nice if not a skosh generic. I do think this is FBW, but I'm not sure I wouldn't waste it all playing show-n-tell on all my friends.
01st December, 2007

Rose Muskissime by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

What a scrumptious concoction! Rose shares billing with tropical fruit notes, and the combination is a very well rounded, fleshy and robust scent. Pour both of those over smooth musc, and the union is irresistible. Had to swipe some of Montale's Roses Musk on one wrist and Rose Muskissime on the other. I thought they'd be closer, but until drydown, they're quite different. The Montale is brighter, sweeter, and rosier than the MPG, while the MPG is lower-key, fruitier, and more well-rounded. Choosing between the two would of course depend upon mood, but for a cool weather scent, Muskissime gets my vote.
28th November, 2007

Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

What a fragrance! A heady, sumptuous white floral full of tuberose...and what's that interesting coconut note(?!). Imagine wearing this to Carnival in Rio, or Fat Tuesday in steamy New Orleans...just what's needed to let your inhibitions fly. I would never label Carnal Flower 'skanky', just sensuous and voluptuous. Nor can I imagine this a unisex fragrance...it's so very floral and sweet. Definitely on my Wish List.
27th November, 2007

Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Rose scents are high on my list of lovely things. I don't much care how my roses come across, I appreciate and take them at face value. I'm also finding the house of Malle to offer a host of genius perfumes...modern, twisty, a tad dark, yet completely compelling. Mix Rose with Malle and what do you get? 'Une Rose'! Dark-ish, earthy but not musky, with a hint of chewy red wine, and at the same time controlled... lacking overt sweetness and effusiveness. No moist, sunny garden here, but a cool, dry, autumnal fare. Truly tantalizing in its presentation. I too love the idea of this scent as an impressionistic portrait of a vibrant deep red rose...the last of fall. 'Une Rose' has my heart, and Malle will have my wallet.
27th November, 2007

Mûre et Musc Extrême by L'Artisan Parfumeur

After poking around to find notes, I found this from OsMoz:
Cassis buds, Mulberry, Musc

and from LuckyScent:
Blackberry, Musc, Citrus

This almost had me when I first tried it...loved the Berry mixed with musc...very soft and enticing. But over time, it read more and more manly, especially when the berry disappeared and the musc took over. Even up front I would have labeled this unisex, but it became too much very quickly. I was embarrassed to be caught wearing it (even though I just went to the barn to ride my smelly horse.) On a man though, I think I'd find this irresistible.


25th November, 2007

A Maze by People of the Labyrinths

Upon introduction to the skin, A.Maze is an icy-cold and ultra-bright, sharply hesperidic and herbal, alchohol-infused blast. Being a lover of rose, I didn't even register rose for a few minutes...to find it is a feat. Once recognized, it's a peppery, almost aldyahidic rose. The next 10 minutes are anxiety-ridden, waiting for the rocky start to take a dive and run ruin on the skin...but thank goodness, the fear is not realized. The fragrance begins to soften, and continues to do so until musk and woods are uncovered. The rose starts warming and becomes sweeter, the early sharpness recedes, and Amaze becomes compelling and very much likable. Likable with a twist throughout. I would not call this a 'dark' rose...maybe a 'cold' rose being warmed by the rising sun. It's certainly never a simple rose, never static, always changing...and wearing it is much like chasing after it through a maze. Aptly named. This is an incredibly complex and modern scent...what a ride if you're paying attention.
24th November, 2007

Omnia by Bulgari

A most wearable oriental if you don't like orientals. It's spice over wood which is sensitive nose-friendly and unoffensive, lacking the usual smack of vanilla and amber. This is a compelling chai tea fragrance that dries down to rich sandalwood...I personally don't catch the chocolate note on my skin. I would catagorize Omnia as typical Bulgari... rich yet controlled, sophisticated, refined, and very wearable.
12th November, 2007

Fleur Oriental by Miller Harris

I don't generally like orientals, but in the spirit of experimentation, I tried yet another (there are so many!) I remarkably liked Fleur Oriental...it's not as bossy and noxious as most orientals...quite subservient to the wearer, and the amber and vanilla stay in check. I also like the spicy carnation...it's much milder than some of the spices in many orientals. The rose and jasmine also temper the loudness of the base. This is genuinely a friendly oriental (friendliental?...oh that's bad...) that doesn't turn me off, but instead, creates interest from the spices and florals, and treads lightly on the skin. I agree that it lasts exceedingly well given how tame it is. Of all the orientals I've tried, there are two I would consider buying...Fleur Oriental and becker.eshaya's Golden Amber. Both very nice and of similar ilk. Fleur Oriental is a gracious fall/winter fragrance.
11th November, 2007

Jardin Clos by Diptyque

Oh heady floral! I too can't even imagine anyone classifying this as unisex...it's girly girl all the way, unless you just appreciate the smell of an early springtime blooming garden and want to sniff from the bottle...even then you'd never know what glories are inside until you get it on your skin. Wow, I haven't encountered a full floral like this in a long time, and I miss it! Diptyque makes no excuses for the green and flower in this scent...they just pile it on heavy, and don't hide one blossom underneath camaflauging spice. Yes, heavy lilac, heavy hyacinth, then cedar, and oakmoss. Scrumptious, heady, out-of-doors goodness. Springtime Wonderment!
11th November, 2007

Shiloh by Hors Là Monde

Is this both aldehydic and a chypre? Love that aldehyde burst in the beginning, and I usually do not. This scent took me from the start, the very first time I tried it, and it's got me craving more. It's truly lovely! It's refined and mysterious...not brazen or harsh, a bit skin-like on me, sensual, subtley woody, and only the slightest bit sweet from the rose note. If you like close-to-the-skin scents with a little more character and a lot less scream, do try this. This may have just become my most favorite fragrance...
09th November, 2007
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Rose Essentielle by Bulgari

Well, yes, there's rose in here, but it's more of a 'bouquet' of flowers, including Violet and Jasmine. But Roses are present throughout, in a not-to-rich broth sitting on top of smooth Sandalwood and Patchouli. Even before I was exposed to fine fragrance, I loved everything Bulgari...and still do. Bulgari produces refined, quiet perfumes you never have to worry about being inappropriate. This is just a nice scent without being painful in any way.

Top: Ottoman Rose, Prelude Rose
Mid: Blackberry, Violet, Jasmine
Base:Sandalwood, Patchouli
08th November, 2007

No. 5 by Chanel

Have tried the Elixer Sensual Oil recently, and it's a no-go for me. I've never been swayed much by history and hype, so I take #5 only on its merits.
Compared to other florals out there, it just doesn't measure up for me. I find it dated and odd. My mother wore #5 and I didn't like it on her...on me it's even worse (and I'm of the proper 'age' to wear it.) I know some fragrances grow on people, but given my history with it and a recent trial, I don't have much hope of that happening. I will try it again, no doubt, but for now, there are other fish to fry.
08th November, 2007

Bellodgia by Caron

Unfortunately, Belladgia was not good for me, nor does it smell like my memory of spicey carnations. At first contact it's not a sweet scent at all, although some of the sweeter notes do make an appearance in time. It also doesn't develop much after about 10 minutes...settles very quickly. To its benefit, I never would have guessed it was created in 1927...it does seem rather timeless, and I never felt it was dated. I find it an interesting scent...just not one I could ever wear. Even though I'm very careful applying heavy perfumes, this still caused sneezing and headache. I envy people who seem to be able to wear these types of scents!

Notes:
Carnation, Jasmine, Rose, Lilly of the Valley, Violet, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk
08th November, 2007

Rosa Flamenca by Les Parfums de Rosine

Notes: Orange Blossom, Bergamot, Petitgrain, Jasmine, Rose, Fig Leaf, Sandalwood, Benzoin, White Musk

As other reviewers have mentioned, this is indeed a warm, lovely rose. It's definitely not the typical sweetness and delicacy of an English summer tea rose. First impression is a bit spicey and active...the oranges and jasmine give it some body. Soon enough though, the sandalwood and musky notes take hold and set up the warm background for the rose to slowly smolder...in Andalusia, in the baking sun, on a midsummer afternoon. Lovely!
05th November, 2007

Golden Amber by Becker.eshaya

I hate amber! I hate amber! I hate...oooh, this is nice! Very smooth...

I truly generally don't like ambers, and they don't like me, so I tried this with great trepidation. I kept waiting for the headache and nausea that never came, and I think I could maybe, possibly, hold my breath...wear Golden Amber. The first dab got straight to the point...no citrus for me at all, and only the slightest hint of jasmine which hastily retreated. When I really paid attention next (3 hours later), this was as smooth as caramel (with no vanilla), but really that's too base...maybe more like creme brulee. It's smooth with a touch of sandalwood and musk. Might I rate this as acceptable? Maybe even likable...or for that matter, superb, delectable, and enticing? I'll be back at this one again very soon...it has intrigued me.

Notes:
Top: Mandarin, Bergamot
Mid: Lychee, Jasmine
Base: Golden Amber, Sandalwood, Cashmere wood, Musk
04th November, 2007

Touch by Tocca

It's fall, and I'm sampling decants of many new scents. One was Tocca's Touch EDP. I wouldn't personally use Touch in the fall/winter, but I can see it easily being worn in spring/summer. It's a lovely jasmine floral that's not too bright...tempered with some interesting companion notes of gardenia, balsam, and pomegranite, and then sandalwood in the base to ground it. Yumm... Of course, I personally love jasmine, and this is a smooth, velvety one...more sophisticated than most, but happy still. It's also been my experience that jasmine disappears in fragrances early on, never to be heard from again...not so with Touch...the jasmine is ever present, and always on top if a quick sniff is needed. The name, Touch, implies more of a skin scent, earthy and sensual. With the sandalwood base I definitely get more of a sensual nature than the average jasmine (not that heady jasmine isn't enough on its own!). A fine, fine fragrance, that I will be seeing more of in the future...FBW!
Notes:
Top: Pomegranite, Tiare, Egyptian Balsam
Mid: Jasmine, Gardenia
Base: Sandalwood
03rd November, 2007

Index Pink Jasmine by Fresh

I've owned Pink Jasmine for a while...haven't used it lately though. I gave it an air-spritz today to remind me, and I still adore it! I'm not young (understatement), and this is a young fragrance...sweet, happy, innocent, and did I say sweet? But I like it anyhow. There is no heavy base in this fragrance at all, and I like that...a great summer, at-the-beach kind of scent. I pick up tons of jasmine, even though it has many companion notes, and the jasmine stays present for me throughout. I figure if I'm going to have a sweet girl-scent in my wardrobe, it should be jasmine. The Fresh version takes me back to my youth with absolutely no sophistication...I need that occasionally. I feel light, gay, and playful...I'm glad I own it!
03rd November, 2007

Fleur de Rocaille by Caron

Lovely floral bouquet of

Lilly of the Valley, Rose, Jasmine, Iris, Ylang Ylang, Lilac, Mimosa, Gardenia, Violet, Cedar, Sandlewood, and Amber

Very, very sophisticated...you know, the 50's girl with the purse, high-heels, body-hugging dress, and red lipstick...and that was for daytime. Don't know that I'd call this exactly gentle...it's got quite a throw, and until about 3-hours in, it's pretty loud on me. In fact, too much so...I will never be able to wear it since my nose needs quiet scents. It's a fragrance that can be worn any season though, and the combination of florals is breathtaking. I'm thankful I got to try this, but will not purchase for myself.
02nd November, 2007

White Jasmine & Mint by Jo Malone

Notes from The Scented Salamander:
"White Jasmine & Mint Cologne is a fresh floral featuring the exclusive Jo Malone mint accord of wild mint and peppermint leaf at the head and a heart accord of Jo Malone heirloom jasmine, sourced from local jasmine farms in the South of France.

Other top notes include camomile, coriander, cardamom, bergamot, mace and cassis. The heart holds ylang ylang, orange flower, rose de mai absolut and muguet, drying down to a base of cedar, Jo Malone musk, mate absolut, vetiver, prune and guaiac."


I love and respect Jo Malone...although I don't think this is her fragrance...didn't she leave before the development of this scent? Anywho...I adore it wholeheartedly! I wondered originally why they released this in fall...what a mistake I thought! NOT! This is spicy and musky upon dry-down. Perfect for fall/winter, and probably just as perfect for spring/summer.

As all Jo Malone scents, this is a gentle and non-obtrusive perfume, allowing the wearer a secret to share with only those she chooses to let close to her skin (also "he"...this is indeed a unisex scent). Not brash, not overpowering...but quiet and enticing. I hate orientals, but can finally get the spice/musk without the vanilla/amber scream. What a relief!
Upon first spray, the jasmine is soft, and not sickeningly sweet. It's bouyed by the chamomile/mint and spices which temper the top...nothing screams in this formula. And I'm a fool for jasmine...this is truly lovely. (Has anybody been to Las Vegas and walked through the Bellagio's innumerable jasmine bushes? Oh, god...the scent is divine. Jo Malone is not like this though...just my mind wandering.) Anyhow, the top (not too quickly) attenuates to a smoldering musky, spicy jasmine. This is when I made the connection to a Mojito. It smelled very similar to a beguilingly dryish Mojito on my skin. Very compelling. Drydown 6 hours later is just as interesting as the first spray. Musky, spicy tea-ish. A real fall/winter scent, and I'm dancing with joy because I have a choice now other than the nasty orientals. Can't say I'd wear this at night though...I see it as a daytime fragrance, which is just fine for me.

Sillage is very, very low...no surprise there, although this particular scent lasts for a long, long time close to the skin...at least 8 hours. Can't wait to purchase while fall is still in the air. Donations?
01st November, 2007

Black Orchid by Tom Ford

Here are the notes I collected from various sources on the internet for the Perfume: Notice the Dark Chocolate in the base...only found at two sources.

Top: Black Truffle, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Black Currant, Mandarine, Jasmine, Black Gardenia
Mid: Lotus Wood, Black Orchid, other fruits and florals
Base: Dark Chocolate (from FragranceX, also listed as Noir Gourmand at Saks), Patchouli, Incense, Vetiver, Vanilla Tears, Balsam, Sandlewood

When I first sniffed out of the bottle during a recent shopping trip, I was entranced, and couldn't wait to spritz this on. Sorrowfully for me, that's as enticing as the scent got. I got my hands on a decant, and eagerly tried it for the first time last night. It was with great anticipation and relief that my first impression was indeed marvelous...the scent was so very...all over the place. What was I smelling? It has only to get better! It was a HOT scent, a touch exotic, with definite blasts of vanilla and oriental spice, and what I'm imagining as "orchid".

Well, as interesting and confusing as the first spritz was, the rest was oh, so disappointing. After about 15-20 minutes, the thrill was gone. What developed was a common oriental (although marvelously smooth) with a hint of B.O. Now, knowing that Chocolate was a note, I recognized this as chocolate...and not something that won me over...just out of place. The whole of the scent got very heady, and bordered on bothersome.
After an hour, the chocolate was still present, but the scent had died down to roar, a simple spicey oriental. The next day even the chocolate was gone, with remnants of the everyday spice.
I will try this again, but don't have much hope. I rather detest orientals, wishing that this one would have change my perception. It didn't. I wouldn't shell out cash for this, and would pass if it was handed to me. What a disappointment!
01st November, 2007

Narciso Rodriguez for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

After compulsively buying this wonderful Musc oil, and rationalizing "everything is expensive" now-a-days, and then having a wee guilt attack after...especially realizing I probably wasn't going to eat well this next week at the loss of $150...I must say I'd buy "Her" again in a heartbeat. I have been trolling for new fragrances these last few weeks, and been mostly disappointed in the lion's share of scents I could find locally. I asked myself what I used to like and wear when I was a young girl...would I still like those same things? Ahh, I remember...musks! Back in the 70s and 80s, when musk reigned supreme, natural was "in", and we were all in touch with the earth. The memories were happy and compelling. Then I found NR "Her Musc" and have been bowled over, taken prisoner, and scent-washed beyond redemption. A very quiet, rich, floral musc that merges with your own oils to create a warm exuberance on the skin. No sickeningly sweet anything here. Earthy, sexy, natural (much more sophisticated than those I used to wear!), and simply hedonistic. I couldn't ask for more...I'm still a musc girl in every way. The staying power of "Her" is unending...it's there until you wash it off...always quiet, always softly wafting nearly unconsciously through the brain. I also plan on buying the EDT or EDP at some point...they're beautiful as well...but I'm in no hurry...I've captured the weightier soul of the fragrance in this oil, and can wait for the lighter side until it beckons. I relish this find, and love wearing this nearly perfect fragrance.

Notes:
Honey Flower, Solar Musk, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Amberlyn, Vanilla, Tactile Musk, Tactile Woods, Vetiver.
01st November, 2007

Trish by Trish McEvoy

Notes: Almond Flower, Blue Lotus, Tonka Bean, White Amber, Cashmere Musk, Indian Sandlewood
There're a myriad of these smooth, luscious skin scents out there now...YES! I didn't think I would like this upon sampling for the first time this morning...first impression is a little off...maybe the Lotus...didn't work with the rest of the formula, but the top goes away very quickly which seems to be par for these fragrances. What's left is a honey-smooth (although no honey in this mixture) drydown with a soft amber(thank god for soft ambers), musc, and the cleanest, sexiest sandlewood. Pure golden light for the skin and brain which puts you in a soft mood for the day and evening. Sillage is light to non-existant...perfect for me!
Would I buy this...probably not...way too expensive for me, although if I happened upon some, I wouldn't turn my nose up at it. I get a similar mood from my Jo Malone Nectarine and Honey, and a Muskier, and even more exquisite return from Narciso Rodriquez "For Her" Musc oil, whose fruity notes linger throughout.
I've been seriously investigating Muscs this fall season...for the first time in 30(?) years. Why did I wait so long? They are so earthy, sensual, and "me" in a whisper of a scent.
31st October, 2007

Saks Fifth Avenue for Her by Bond No. 9

Lordy...I dislike this fragrance! Much too floral, and I love floral...at least in the summertime. It was a wash off fragrance for me, and even then, I couldn't get it all off. Sillage is off the charts. I hate to be obvious when I wear perfume, and hate it when others subject me to, and leave me gagging, with their personal choices. I can say this was top-heavy...all floral, no middle or base (the vanilla never came through for me as long as I could stand it on my wrists.) Sickeningly sweet and unbalanced. Not for me!
Notes: Jasmine, Tuberose, Gardenia, Vetiver, Vanilla
29th October, 2007

Nectarine Blossom & Honey by Jo Malone

Nectarine Blossom & Honey is a perfect scent for me. Why? No VANILLA! Thank god for a fragrance made today with no Vanilla. It's sweet upon first blush, but not sharp or overpowering. Just gentle and perfect Peach/Nectarine fruit. I've heard the Glade analogy way too many times, and am left wondering if those folks are partaking of the same scent I am. The payoff upon drydown (which takes only a half-hour or so) is as this luscious fruit is joined by the warm honey note. This leaves a simple, but innocently seductive aura enveloping your whole body. It's natural, earthy and sexy all at the same time. A great daytime fragrance to wear on the weekend with your blond cashmere sweater and jeans. You just can't rush with this on...it's made for slow days and leisurely afternoons in front of the fireplace, reading a book or kissing your lover.
29th October, 2007