A vintage bottle of the cologne strength of this scent reveals something akin to a very light take on the classic men's Bay Rhum formulas: my nose experiences bay, clove, lavender and cedar, all subdued to a light jasmine soliflore effect.
I am surprised to find it to be a woman's scent. Considering it was one of the company's most successful scents (it's original bottle is absolutely gorgeous and a collector's item!), it must have appealed in its day.
Perhaps the cleverness of taking a bay rhum base and lightening it considerably to see if it would appeal to women and finding it did put a feaher in the company's cap.
Nothing to go out of your way for, sort of an Emperor's New Clothes experience for me, expecting a fab vintage formula. Nice, though.
This is a light, fresh and green floral, perfect for spring mornings.
A very light take on lily is supported by a cloud of mint, settling on cedar (the pencil shavings note some reviewers speak of).
The amber never comes to the fore to my perception, even though Turin dubs it "lily amber" and gives it four stars.
This is very nice, though nothing spectacular or exceptional, hence the neutral vote, and so very inexpensive that it is certainly recommended for women and is equally at home in the office and for casual wear.
Samples are difficult to find online, but a trial spray at the counter should suffice to give a solid impression.
I adored the original Angel for just that, its total originality. It smells like the scent of a tiny shop (the one with the real bell that rings when you open the door) all decked out for Christmas with both natural spices and balsam notes plus potpourri.
The addition of rose and an upgrade of its patchouli base does nothing special to that idea. I do get the rose wafting above the original Angel formula, but it's not significant enough to warrant a separate name and release.
Neutral review is only because I don't believe much was added to the original formula to differentiate this by product. Both the original and the Rose smell pretty much identical to my nose.
So you can't go wrong with either, just don't expect anything significantly new or different with this version.
In 1972 the Perfumer's Workshop came out with its Tea Rose, a perfect rendition of this classic scent. It smells green, very green, although most tea roses I've encountered have been yellow. This has been the standard until now.
Yosh's take on the scent is, according to her own website, combined with the green notes of muguet. The effect is true, bright, refreshing and long-lasting. For me it is like emerging from the florist's walk-in cooler, with the notes of a tea rose bouquet suddenly hitting the warmer air outside.
There is no date given for the composition, but from hints online I would imagine it would be around 2004/5. Tania Sanchez gave it four stars as she did with the PW classic. She noted a bit of clove in the composition, which I do not.
All in all, if you love the scent of tea rose, you can not go wrong with either the PW original or the Yosh version.
To my nose this is primarily made up of base notes. I get the frankincense, patchouli, vetiver, cedarwood and the nutmeg notes.
The florals and the sweeter spices hide from my awareness. Perhaps they soften the bases, as this does not appear at all heavy to me, very light in fact.
The note tree is very evocative and seems quite balanced. I'd like to be inhaling how I would mix those individual items. What I am getting however is pretty much a linear wood and resin accord without complexity. So for the outrageous price, it's not worth the investment.
A shame to be spending so much money on pure ingredients without an end product to make it worth the expense.
Another superb chypre from the forgotten house of Ciro.
Rich, dark, sensual and exotic, this is what perfume was all about in its heyday.
The base of civet, castoreum, ambergris and sandalwood supports a melange of rose, jasmine and other florals (indecipherable now due to the age of my dram of vintage parfum).
Like Surrender and Acclaim before it, I am now wedded to this third Ciro masterpiece.
For my nose, this is more about iris than violet.
A peppery cool iris with violet weaving in and out like whisps of smoke, sometimes present, sometimes not.
It is certainly one of the best iris scents I have found and up until now, I was unaware of the similarity between iris and violet, two variations on a theme. My husband is reminded of walking in the produce section of a local food co-op, with the fresh organic green notes rising from the various vegetables and spices.
At times this reminds me of a light version of Lutens' Iris Silver Mist, as if Unicorn was the edc concentration of that classic.
Very very nice. Turin's four stars are well deserved.
A simple straightforward rose soliflore, made green by the addition of muget and rounded out with soft jasmine.
A four star "fresh floral" in the Turin classification.
This is a very nice rose, gentle and subdued, without complexity. The combination of three rose oils allows it to smell slightly differently from time to time as one or two take center stage simultaneously.
Excellent sillage and longetivity. Nicely done.
A totally unique scent in my experience, unlike anything I have experienced up to now. Although I get no "flora," I do find it "bella."
My nose experiences a lovely mix of anise and caraway, wafting over the soft notes of vanilla, amber, musk and mimosa.
I don't get the "milky metallic" vibe the Turins experience, nor do I get the individual florals. I do agree with the four stars they give it.
A very nice summer unisex scent that is both light and distinguished. It has character and personality. A rarity in 2005, continuing to the present day of perfumery.
I was looking forward to this "tuberose floral," based on Turin's four star review. What a disappointment.
It begins quite promisingly with a light jasmine/tuberose wafting through the air, but soon morphs down to a chemical, synthetic melon/woody note, typical of the "acquatic" genre, and just stays there. Occasionally, if you stand north by north west in the right wind pattern, you just might catch a whiff of that floral melange, but don't get your hopes up.
Ultimately, this is like a million other empty acquatics out there, no better, no worse, but even though it's not awful, it's neither very good.
Three stars - Turin's "adequate" at most.
A very light top of orange and vanilla. It dries down quickly to a generic peppery woody reedy "acquatic" like a million other acquatic scents out there. My sample was direct from Dior, so this must be the real thing.
Rather a cheat in that the notes that are given out as descriptive disappear quickly to be replaced by commonplace ones.
Don't know how Turin could have given it four stars, but he did. I would give it but one. Not awful, but not good at all.
Shame on the House of Dior!
A refreshing citrus herbal fougere, reminiscent of Aramis, lighter on me than expected from the reviews.
Very green herbal/citrus melange over a wood base that smells more like cypress and cedar than the sandalwood mentioned in the note tree.
Turin's four stars and "citrus rose" are on the mark. As it dries down, the rose, ylang ylang and currant notes emerge with the citrus fading to the background.
Bracing and refreshing, but not outstanding in any way. Just a "nice" alternative to the men's powerhouse scents of the 1980s-1990s.
An initial blast of orangey sweetness, reminiscent of sun tan lotion, and then an immediate switch to a woody, reedy, artemesia note that dominates into the dry down.
I cannot detect any of the luscious notes in the profile on this page. Too bad, if I did this might have been interesting.
Luca Turin, though giving it four stars, and dubbing it a "pale floral," amusingly refers to Le Labo's penchant for mis-naming its scents. He can find no neroli in this composition and refers us to Le Labo's Fleur d'Oranger 27, which does contain the note.
As a reedy acquatic (it does contain cal one), this is acceptable. Hardly, however to be sought out among the hundreds of others out there that are far more affordable.
About a year ago I sampled over a dozen recommended iris scents, as I was unfamiliar with the note when centered in a fragrance composition. I came away from that exploration with two winners: Fath's Iris Gris and Serge Lutens' Iris Silver Mist.
Le Labo's Iris 39 begins for me with a burst of violet, followed by a warm leathery iris, but these top notes disappear almost immediately. What I am left with is a sharp, pungent, very green and very earthy, raw patchouli vibe that becomes quite linear in the dry down.
Ultimately, this is too cold, too metallic, too bitter an iris to suit my tastes, thus my neutral review.
I advise you to read the reveiw on this page by Primavera 1000. I too was surprised to find divergent impressions among the reviews here, as if the USA samples were different from the European. I believe this is the case.
My sample came directly from Etat Libre in Paris. The amusing card that accompanied this stated Imperial Testosterone as its by-title. It is the only one of the five Etats I have sampled thus far that I have really liked and would wear. Its closeness to Guerlain's classic Derby has been stated in other reviews here and I would agree.
The spicy clove and cinammon take over after the citrus opening (bergamot, lemon and orange) fade. The woods (I detect cedar) blend beautifully with the patchouli, which make up the dry down after the spices fade. It is very masculine, sexy and sophisticated. A surprise from this eclectic house with its weird compositions and outrageous names. More shock value than quality.
So far the only Etat I would recommend wholeheartedly. Turin gave it four stars and named it a "woody citrus."
A minty, peppery blast of lavender is followed by a soft, powdery dry down, supported by musk and cedar. Pretty much a soliflore, taking after Caron's classic Pour Un Homme, or more specifically, its parfum take on that formula, Impact.
One can get the same effect by spending a few dollars on lavender oil, so why shell out almost a hundred for a 50 ml. bottle of Antiheros?
The classy Caron scent, softened further by a perfect vanilla balance, is for me the only choice in this scent genre.
Antiheros is good, just not good enough to make it unique.
In 1978 Madeleine Mono created the first of two scents, which she named after herself. Ten years later Carolina Herrara created her first scent, which she named after herself. The unusual thing is that to my nose, both are alike. Both pay homage to Piguet's masterpiece, Fracas, with its mist of heady white florals and peach with tuberose at the center.
I quote below from my Basenotes review of Madeleine de Madeleine:
"This is an excellent tuberose dominated floral bouquet, that is fresh and joyful, also a little green and dry in the base.
Madeleine D is really just about tuberose, surrounded by not necessarily white florals and a nice solid base, as mentioned above. It is not cloying or over the top. The green note keeps the tuberose subdued and grounded."
I detect honeysuckle as one of the white florals accompanying the tuberose in the Herrara. It is a heady, fresh floral scent, old-fashioned in a good sense. Certainly if you are a tuberose fan, you can't go wrong with this one.
This is a pleasant, though in no way unusual or special, take on vanilla, amber and musk with the tuberose-like sweetness of frangipani and the further vanilla-like heliotrope notes floated in.
I do not get any of the rice/cherry blossom/marzipan reactions of other reviewers. Turin gave it four stars and dubbed it "inedible vanilla."
There is a light woody base that reminds me more of the reedy notes of artemesia that must be the Thanaka wood, the scent of which I am unfamiliar with.
If you love vanilla and amber, you can't go wrong with this one, but there are dozens of similar scents out there that, for my money, do it better, including Lady Stetson and Toujour Moi.
What a sumptuous oriental chypre this is.
I just secured a 1.25 dram of pure parfum on Etsy, still secured by the plastic stopper.
This is a rich mixture of sandalwood, ambergris, musk and vanilla, warming a rich chypre of rose, jasmine and iris notes. There is a light minty breeze that wafts over it all.
They don't make them like this any more. As deep and rich as a Christmas plum pudding. One of Ciro's greatest.
As with its predecessor, Eau de Rochas (for women) 23 years previously, this is an excellent eau de cologne.
Here the verbena is strong and long lasting, mixing with a pine resin note, which becomes more pronounced with the dry down, a gentle wood vetiver essence, which supports and enhances the citrus accord.
Turin gives it four stars, dubs it a "woody citrus," and mentions myrrh in the dry down, which explains the "lemony-resinous" aspect.
What I find odd and interesting is that Rochas dusted off its "sour lemon" masterwork from 1949, Moustache, to create its 1970 Eau de Rochas (femme), yet in 1993 chose a fresh lemon-wood combo for its Eau de Rochas Homme. One would have thought that the company noses would have chosen the fresh lemon take for the ladies and the recomposed sour lemon take for the men, rather than reversing the choices.
Still, one cannot quibble with any of these three citruses - they are all well balanced and excellent.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we are told. Rochas' startlingly original "sour" lemon scent for men, Moustache, from 1949, was the first to my knowledge, to introduce this unusual take on a citrus cologne. The note was referred to as a bit of animalic to anchor the citrus blend.
In 1966 Dior copied the formula with its Eau Sauvage, but balanced it differently, relegating the sour notes to the background.
In 1970 Rochas took its old formula for Moustache, and probably encouraged by the success of Dior's copy, polished it off, made it subtler, and re-introduced it as a feminine, Eau de Rochas.
All this is fascinating to me, and all three of these are hits in my book. Since Eau de Rochas was originally intended for women, the sour or dirty note is not as pronounced as it was in Moustache. Still i is to my nose a very light version of that great masculine.
The citrus blend of bergamot, lime, lemon, verbena, grapefruit and mandarin never fades, supported as it is by the patchouli and amber. A great summer scent in whichever of the three you decide to invest.
The clever use of Yuzu, with its orange mandarin sweetness, instead of the usual Eau opening of lemon and/or lime, gives this distinction as soon as it is applied. Turin's four star review highlights violet leaf, which I am not familiar with, nor is it singled out in the note tree above.
The dry down is a bit sharp and harsh for me, although done with a light touch. There is pepper here in addition to the cedar and patchouli. This keeps it from being a thumbs up. Had sandalwood been employed to match the musk, it would have been more to my liking.
Perfectly decent, light scent for general wear.
I was lucky enough to find a 1.25 dram of pure parfum of this scent, never opened, on Ebay.
It begins as a floral chypre, but dry down is a simple accord of vanilla and sandalwood.
Very nice, but hardly revolutionary.
A rich, sumptuous, old-fashioned (in the positive sense) oriental chypre that is so good it was bound to be discontinued - its life lasting a mere ten years (1999-2009).
This is part gourmand, but only in the sense that it smells so good one could eat one's arm.
Rose, jasmine, Iris and violet swirl above a perfect blending of olibanum, musk, vanilla, amber and sandalwood.
Turin rightly gave it four stars, dubbing it "amber violets."
One of Guerlain's best achievements and sorely missed.
I wish I could smell this, but it seems my nose has a blind spot with Passion.
I can detect a very light, mild camphor-minty opening, but then only the faintest whiff of a non-descript white floral melange.
I am a great fan of both tuberose (Caron's Tubereuse, Piguet's Fracas) and Jasmine (Luten's A La Nuit), so I do perceive white florals, and find them both heady and joyous.
I can hardly detect Passion at all. From the reviews on this page, it sounds right up my alley. Sadly, the alley is empty.
Fan di Fendi comes at me as two distinctly different scents, a fruity floral florating above a harsh, bitter oud note. The floral center stage is muguet, but it soon gets lost in the fruit basket that overwhelms it.
The pepper and patchouli do it in for me, too strong, too harsh.
This is not a bad scent, but not a good one by any means. Just average for its category.
This light, sweet and dry scent opened for me with a burst of citrus and pine. It quickly got to the heart of the matter, which was a rip-off of Angel. Certainly pleasant as any rip-off of that original masterwork would be, but derivative nonetheless.
Turin gave it four stars, and called it a rip-off of a different scent, Yohji Homme. I'll have to try that one and see if both of these smell of Angel to me.
Overall, a pleasant gourmand, but points off for lack of originality.
This is a very interesting take on the classic fougere genre. It is well balanced and quite light, compared to the heavier fougeres of the 1980s.
For me it begins with a combo of citrus and leather. It is both dry and fizzy with an increasing animalic background. The somewhat sharp and bitter dry down fights with the overlying sweetness, so ultimately it is not a winner in my book.
Points, however, for originality.
Turin gave it four stars and dubbed it a "fresh fougere."
This is a warm, rich, fruity floral amber scent that is quite subtle and wears close to the skin. It reminds me very much of Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue.
The banana/pear notes give it a gourmand sweetness and roundness, the frangipani, ylang ylang, and champaca florals are perfectly balanced to provide the richness, and the amber, musk, vanilla and sandalwood base provide the warmth.
Turin gave it four stars and dubbed it a "floral swirl."
Although it is quite good in its category, it is not outstanding in any way. I would certainly recommend it for fans of the Guerlain, but can't bring myself to rave over it. Just very well done.
A green, woody, peppery scent that is not all that bad. Not good, mind you, but not as bad as it could have been.
There is a sweetness in the dry down that balances the sharpness of the pepper accord.
Nothing new here. This type of scent has been copied hundreds of times since the Cool Water original. You can't beat the price - I found my 100 ml. bottle on Amazon for $9 - so if you are into this type of scent, it's certainly economical.
Turin was impressed by its quality, given the house it comes from, and gave it four stars, dubbing it a "woody citrus." I don't get the "citrus."
The odd amoeba-shaped bottle can be used either as a breast implant (which it resembles, really, it does) or a paperweight, making it the most versatile object in modern perfumery.