Reviews by JackTwist

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    JackTwist
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    Krazy Krizia by Krizia

    KRAZY – Krizia – 1991 – Amber fruity vanilla.

    Bergamot, Mandarin, Rosewood, Peach, Cassis, Lemon
    Jasmine, Muguet, Rose, Orris
    Patchouli, Cedar, Vanilla, Benzoin, Tonka, Ambrein, Musk

    An attempt to create a Shalimar/Emeraude oriental using a lighter touch than either of those two classics. This is pleasant, but not distinguished. There was no need to go down this well worn path and nothing innovative in its re-conception for the nineties.

    Nice bottle design.


    15 July, 2014

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    Alyssa Ashley Musk by Alyssa Ashley

    According to Barbara Herman this was originally a Houbigant joint release with Ashley.
    She found it "floral, bright, baby powder," the scent of "freshly washed hair.

    It is that, more floral than musk, very light - almost a non-scent. Reminds me of the light scents in the Elizabeth Arden line. The Musk for Men is more redolent of the amber/vanilla quality of real musk. Still it's an extremely low concentration of musk oil compared to a Lutens Muscs de Kublai Khan, which is pure musk oil and quite strong.

    If you are a fan of musk, go for the Lutens and pass this one by.

    15 July, 2014

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    Vivara (original) by Emilio Pucci

    Superb floral/herbal chypre - very old school style, as purplebird7 notes. Reminds me very much of Scherrer - the initial scent.

    This is the type of chypre I go head over heels for. Reminiscent of Cabochard, Shocking, Ecusson, Crepe de Chine, Quadrille, Tailspin, Aphrodisia, Surrender - the list goes on and on and this is a welcome addition to it.

    Barbara Herman found it to be a herby, green chypre with a rose heart and a lemony mossy animalic base. The ingredients are few but of the highest quality:

    Top notes: Galbanum, Lemon, Bergamot
    Middle notes: Cypress, Rose de Mai, Bulgarian Rose
    Base notes: Mysore Sandalwood, Labdanum, Costus

    Avoid the vile reformulation, which Turin rightly describes as melon woody, a melon/acquatic metal/amber "cold" scent. Two stars rightly given.

    The vintage is a real treasure

    14 July, 2014

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    Idole de Lubin (original) by Lubin

    This is a rarity for the early sixties - a light and simple mixture of jasmine and muguet with a touch of anise - or something that smells like it - to tie it down.

    Its simplicity is its greatest asset - a light summery concoction that is quite feminine, but not at all "in your face" about it.

    Since it is discontinued and the new version is nothing like the old, try to find this at Perfumed Court and Ebay.

    It reminds me of Audrey Hepburn.

    13 July, 2014

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    Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

    On me this is a rather heavy oriental, dark and serious. Not exactly unpleasant, but not outstanding in any way.

    Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli
    Middle notes: Rose de Mai, Muguet, Lilac, Orris, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang
    Base notes: Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Benzoin, Melilot (Clover), Tolu Balsam

    Barbara Herman finds it has a powdery sweetness, reminiscent of beeswax. This effect does not occur to my nose on my skin.

    It's not at all bad, it's just not that outstanding.

    11th July, 2014

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    Zen (new) by Shiseido

    Nasty generic woody thing, so unlike the original they should make it a crime to repeat names for new formulations.

    The bottle is distinctive enough to be able to tell it from the original.

    Avoid this.

    11th July, 2014

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    Nuits Indiennes by Jean-Louis Scherrer

    This is an amber vanilla based oriental, similar to Shalimar and Emeraude.

    Odd that Scherrer should try to resurrect a copy of those greats in 1993, so against the times, and I'm not surprised that it failed.

    Barbara Herman describes this as a floral and amber scent supported by a civet dominated woody base - a powdery, sweet gourmand.

    For me, it never gets beyond the amber vanilla stage, so is rather simplistic. As a copy of a category of greats, it's not bad. It's just not good enough to hold its own or strike new ground.

    Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Peach
    Middle: Jasmine, Muguet, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Lilac, Heliotrope
    Base: Sandalwood, Cedar, Vanilla, Benzoin, Ambrein, Musk, Tonka, Civet

    10th July, 2014

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    Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden

    Innocuous enough, pleasant green floral from Arden.

    It does have a plastic under scent that can give it a "cheap" feeling. I am most reminded of Arden's other paean to the fields, Blue Grass, which it resembles.

    Nothing at all special, and therefore highly affordable.

    Top notes: Lemon, Rosewood, Neroli, Mandarin
    Middle notes: Cyclamen, Muguet, Rose, Jasmine, Orris
    Base notes: Cedar, Musk, Amber, Moss

    Nothing to go out of your way for.

    10th July, 2014

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    Eden by Cacharel

    This is not subtle!

    It is so many things to so many reviewers, but the one thing it is not is subtle.

    Old-fashioned strong and long-lasting (the Lutens type of strength), this is for me a sweet, cold, minty green, fruity floral. That's its problem, it tries to be too many things at once.

    It is original. I will give it that. Barbara Herman thought it a "big gourmand oriental." She noted a sour plastic herbal note that for her predominated. I do not find this note, lucky for me.

    I put this in the scent type usually referred derogatorily as "old lady," over-powering, sweet, floral onslaught - "you can smell her from the lobby when she's still in her taxi at the curb."

    Herman's note file is different from Basenotes:

    Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Peach, Tarragon, Neroli
    Middle: Tuberose, Jasmine, Muguet, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Orris
    Base: Cedar, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Musk, Moss, Vanilla, Tonka, Amber

    Turin called it "wet cashmere" and gave it 4 stars, typing it as "sweet green."

    The thing I like most about it is the minty green coldness of it. It's refreshing on a hot day, but a little bit goes a long way, as you can well imagine.

    I can't give it a thumbs up, because it is just too overdone for my tastes, but it is certainly well done for its type of sweet over the top floral melange.

    10th July, 2014

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    Parfum d'Été by Kenzo

    Described as a green fruity floral by Barbara Herman, this is indeed that, beginning with a "candied green violet" and calming down after its initial blast to an acceptable, though hardly memorable, light summery scent. The cedar base is a bit too intrusive.

    This is not a bad scent, it simply doesn't impress or develop. What you get is what you get. There is a slight plastic quality to it, which must be the synthetic peach or hyacinth or both. Not off-putting, but decidedly there.

    I wish I could have liked it better, but alas!

    Top notes: Peach, Hyacinth, Rosewood, Violet
    Middle notes: Muguet, Cyclamen, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Orris
    Base notes: Sandalwood, Musk Cedar, Amber

    09 July, 2014

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    Byblos (original) by Byblos

    A "happy, green, fruity floral," as Barbara Herman notes.

    The balance of succulent fruits with creamy flowers is what is most impressive in this scent. The base is a happy combination of vetiver, musk and orris, which grounds it, but still allows it to fly rapturously.

    Quite an original - and wonder of wonders, subtle. There is nothing loud or vulgar in this gem.

    Top notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Cassis, Peach, Marigold, Raspberry
    Middle notes: Mimosa, Muguet, Rose, Orchid, Heliotrope, Lily, Violet
    Base notes: Orris, Musk, Vetiver

    Beware of the re-issue. Buy only the original in the distinctive squat blue bottle with the rose sculptured top. Proliferates on Ebay, thankfully.

    08 July, 2014

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    Ô de Lancôme by Lancôme

    Citrus chypres are rather common in the world of scent, stretching from the 1920s (R&G's LE JADE) through the 1990s (Gres' HOMME DE GRES).

    O DE LANCOME is one of these with a light citrus burst that calms down to an oak moss, vetiver and labdanum chypre.

    They are all perfectly likable and very much like each other. One of the simplest formulas in the perfume world, but done well, the best type of summer scent imaginable.

    This one is as competent as the others. Thumbs up on its own merits, as it would be unfair to take it down a notch because of its lack of originality.

    Turin gives it three stars and names it a "fresh citrus," while Herman praises its "tart, green, herbal dry down."

    08 July, 2014

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    Timberline by Dana

    Hideous men's fougere - the cheapest smelling trash ever created. Sharp and repellent. I spent less than $10 for my small bottle, based on Barbara Herman's review. This is one she get completely wrong.

    She finds it a woody, amber fougere with anise and herbal/citrus top, soft balsamic base with honey and heliotrope, spiced with carnation and cinnamon.

    Yes, they are probably all there, but the overall result is just vile.

    Top: Bergamot, Lavender, Lemon, Anise, Basil, Rosemary
    Middle: Geranium, Carnation, Cinnamon, Fern, Heliotrope, Cedarwood, Pine
    Base: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Oak Moss, Tonka, Vanilla, Honey, Musk

    Stay away.

    07 July, 2014

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    Occur! by Avon

    Avon's answer to Lauder's Youth Dew and Houbigant's Chantilly, with its emphasis on the amber/vanilla oriental combo.

    This is a very good oriental chypre, so good that I'm surprised it comes from Avon, whose scents I usually do not like. Avon products have always smelled cheap and synthetic to me, but I must admit that this is quite nice indeed.

    In addition to the notes listed above, it contains Rose, Gardenia, Styrax and Coconut.

    As Barbara Herman states, this is "spicy, exotic and outré."

    Buy vintage only online. It's inexpensive and of fine quality.

    01st July, 2014 (Last Edited: 04 July, 2014)

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    Jil Sander No. 4 by Jil Sander

    This contains everything but the kitchen sink - there are even some notes that are not listed above - Mace, Pimento, Orris, Neroli and Carnation among them.

    To my nose this is an extremely heavy, extremely floral, very old fashioned melange that truly bring to mind the negative connotation of "old lady" perfume.

    There is nothing subtle about this one - it hangs in the air cloyingly. It can kill at forty paces on a warm day.

    Barbara Herman calls it a fruity floral. It is that, but overwhelmingly so.

    Even I could have come up with something like this if I'd just thrown together all the heavy florals in the laboratory. Not even cleverly or uniquely combined. Just a recreation of a very old and thankfully out of date formula.

    Unpleasant.

    01st July, 2014

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    L'Arte di Gucci by Gucci

    A great rose chypre.

    Barbara Herman finds it black, inky, animalic, and the dry down to be of a rosy leather.

    It ranks up there with the very best rose chypres, including Lalique's Perles, Brousseau's Coriandre, and Guerlain's Nahema.

    Top notes Bergamot, Coriander
    Middle notes: Rose, Jasmine, Geranium, Tuberose, Orris, Muguet
    Bast notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Leather, Amber, Musk, Oakmoss

    It is for me the only Gucci scent that can be called great - dark, romantic, mysterious, long-lasting. For the mature woman on a winter night - opera, pearls, seduction.

    YES!

    If you love rose chypres, look no further for what may be the greatest of them all.

    30th June, 2014

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    Rush by Gucci

    Yuck!

    Turin was right in naming this as a "laconic chypre" but again ridiculously wrong in giving it 5 stars - I give it 2 at the most.

    Artemesia, woody, menthol blah scent - for me.

    Barbara Herman liked it for its peachy, milky, syrupy florals with warmth and spice from coriander and patchouli.

    It is all these things: milky, peachy, woody, slightly spicy, slightly floral - but all adding up to a blah nothing of a scent.

    Common place and indeed common.

    30th June, 2014

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    Envy by Gucci

    This is a nice sweet green floral that to my nose combines an apple note with a muguet note, though oddly apple is not listed as an ingredient.

    Barbara Herman finds this a tart green rose with a powdery anise dry down. My nose does not relate to any of those impressions. On me it is a pleasant green fruity floral, no better or worse than any of the dozens of other perfumes I have experienced in that category. It is definitely a young smell - I can see it working perfectly on a young, vibrant woman in her twenties.

    Herman also comes up with lots more notes than on this Basenotes page: galbanum, coriander, anise, celery, violet leaf, rose, cumin.

    Turin describes it simply as a "green floral" but gives it 5 stars. A bit overboard in my estimation.

    Ultimately, a nice fruity floral, tart and joyful - the scent arising from an apple or pear one has just crunched into.

    30th June, 2014

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    Wrappings by Clinique

    Certainly a most unusual scent, indeed. Hard to categorize it.

    Green, herbaceous, woody, balsamic - yes. For me, it smells better on fabric than on my body. In fact, it is one of those scents that one can praise for itself, but one I would not praise as a body scent.

    In other words, using this as a room freshener or a scented candle would be the preferable mode of dispensation, not as a perfume.

    Still, I must give it a thumbs up as I review scent as scent. Worth a try. It certainly is strong and lasts a good while.

    One of only two Clinique offerings reviewed by Barbara Herman in her book.

    The only other Clinique scent I have experienced is their biggest hit, Happy, which was for me an over the top feminine floral, which was pleasant to experience but not to personally wear.

    29 June, 2014

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    Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert by Bulgari

    It's not bad; it's just not good.

    The very lightest of lemony scents, opening with an herbal and lemon blast, then settling down to a minimalist citrus/woody, disappearing quickly.

    There is more to this than listed above. Additional notes include: Coriander, Mandarin and Lemon in the top, Muguet in the middle, and Sandalwood, Amber, Musk and Cedar in the base.

    There are hundreds of light summery citrus splashes to be had in the perfume world. This has going for it a light green tea dry down that is differentiating, but still no reason to run out and buy, especially given its poor longetivity.

    27 June, 2014

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    Eau du Fier by Annick Goutal

    Oftentimes in the world of perfumery, I get the impression that consumers and reviewers are new parents, praising and making much of what junior has come up with in his scent laboratory, wanting to be supportive and loving, irregardless of the actual outcome.

    Such is the case with Eau du Fier. Just because someone was clever enough to come up with a blend of oils that resembles clove and intense Chinese Black tea, there is also the question of whether it is appropriate to market this scent as a cologne.

    Barbara Herman likens its intensity to the classic Peau d'Espagne. She is correct. That scent is too powerful to be accepted in today's world. It was created in a different century, one in which perfumes were used to mask otherwise untended body odors.

    Eau du Fier is right at home in that world. Very strong, very intense Lapsang tea, mixed with clove and a hint of mint. I get no orange and the green note of birch bark is barely perceptible.

    Turin describes it as a "leathery tea," resembling the interior of a new car. Well, in his world of leather seated Ferraris, perhaps. 4 Stars for originality.

    Considering its resemblance to Peau d'Espagne, I cannot credit originality, only cleverness in recreating a classic scent with chemical equivalents to the real ingredients.

    Either way it is as unpleasant now as it was in the late 19th century.

    27 June, 2014

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    Premier Figuier by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Darvant in his/her review on this page describes the stages of Premier Figuier perfectly. The dry pungent opening, the creamy coconut middle, the nutty milky dry down.

    Supposedly this deserved its name as being the first scent to primarily focus on fig notes. As such, it is an admirable original. Unique and totally likable.

    Turin gives it 4 stars - it deserves 5 - and thinks Miss Moneypenny's daughter might wear this well.

    A perfect scent for summer wear, especially towards cocktail time on the terrace above the beckoning ocean. Whenever I wear it, I think of Bermuda.

    The Lili Bermuda scent company could do well to initiate a fig scent of their own. Until then, this will do nicely.

    Highly recommended and respected for luscious originality.

    26 June, 2014

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    Laundromat by Demeter Fragrance Library

    I must admit I was dreading this, after reading Barbara Herman's description of it:Hot clothes coming out of the dryer - and its ingredients: Muguet, Mint, Starch, Balsamics.

    Actually, though this is not bad. It's a sweet rendition of air freshener, dryer sheets, old fashioned sun tan lotion. In fact, it resembles the last more than any of the others.

    I guess you would call this the epitome of the 90s decade's "clean" scents. Unfortunate name, though. I would have chosen something like "Au Soleil," which is closer to the sun tan lotion reality of the blend.

    Worth a try - not great, but at least decent. If only they would change that name.

    26 June, 2014

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    Crescendo by Lanvin

    Typical floral chypre of the 1940s - only this is from 1965, not 1960 as stated above.

    It is ambery and spicy and quite lovely. There is a slight menthol aspect to its background, which does not displease. I could see how it would have failed in the 1960s, being a throw back to when perfume was of high quality and complex.

    Notes include iris, carnation, hyacinth, tuberose, frankincense, amber and unidentified spices.

    Barbara Herman gets a tinge of leather and tobacco, but I sadly do not.

    In any case it is quite beautiful and worth trying to find. It's only negative aspect is poor longevity. I sampled the pure parfum extract - it fades within an hour.

    25 June, 2014

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    Eau de Gucci by Gucci

    There seems to be a disconnect here. Barbara Herman reviews an Eau de Gucci from 1993, not from 1982. This is the one I am discussing here and it is decidedly different from what the above reviewers note.

    This is a green, fruity floral, similar to Lauren's delightful Safari of 1990. As Herman describes, "delicately sweet," and decidedly feminine.

    Top: Galbanum, Lemon, Hyacinth
    Middle: Jasmine, Muguet, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Orris, Tuberose
    Base: Cedar, Sandalwood Oak Moss, Musk, Amber

    There would seem to have been two "Eau de Gucci" but the second has not been recognized by Basenotes.

    Recommended for the young lady of between 18 and 26.

    25 June, 2014

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    Safari by Ralph Lauren

    What a happy scent!

    Barbara Herman nails it, describing it as a green floral with sweetness and fruit.

    It is very bright, best used in spring or early summer. It radiates joy with its perfectly balanced ingredients, none of which take center stage, all of which support each other in radiance.

    Most appropriate for a young lady in her late teens or early twenties.

    Odd name, but nonetheless a winner from Lauren. Very feminine, not at all unisex.

    24 June, 2014

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    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    I first encountered this scent in Claiborne's rip-off, entitled Realities. Would that it were so.

    Despite the absolute adamance from both Turin and Herman that this reeks of "Hot Rubber," I find no olfactory reference to that note at all.

    This is a dark, powdery, tea and tar-laden leather with cedar undertones, supported by a sweet amber. As such it is first and foremost a "leather."

    I suppose it does deserve Turin's five stars for originality. The artificial sense of chemicals being predominant never gave me the plastic vibe, just a tiresome dry down after all the whistles and bells.

    Turin again is carried away by putting this in a category with such classics as Bandid, Cabochard and Tabac Blond. No, No, a thousand times no.

    Clever and original, yes. Desirable, no, not for me - but for other tastes, yes, worthy!

    24 June, 2014

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    La Rose Jacqueminot by Coty

    A truly unique and wonderful rose creation.

    There is an amber, caramel, burnt sugar sweetness to the base that reminds me very much of Caswell Massey's discontinued Vetiver.

    The rose is quite fragrant without being at all heavy. The depth comes from the supporting materials.

    This was re-issued in 1983 in parfum, edt and edp and can still be found on Ebay, although the parfum and edp strengths are much rarer than the edt.

    Very worth a try and if you are a rose fan, one you simply must purchase.

    23 June, 2014

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    Trésor (new) by Lancôme

    This is everything Barbara Herman and Luca Turin claim it to be - powdery apricot rose with a musky vanilla dry down, worthy of Turin's 4 stars.

    The sandalwood, violet and iris combine to give it a dry green opening and structural support but the gourmand effect of the rose, heliotrope, orris and apricot is its delicious
    heart.

    A fruity floral scent that works due to its restraint and balance.

    23 June, 2014

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    L'Eau D'Issey by Issey Miyake

    Supposedly this is the one that inaugurated the whole melon acquatic scent craze that spawned hundreds of direct copies, all smelling like very little indeed.

    I am not a fan of this melony, woody, acquatic, although it is as well done here as in any of its imitators.

    Barbara Herman's list of ingredients differs somewhat from the list above:

    Melon, Orange Blossom, Lemon, Peach, Rosewood, Tagetes
    Cyclamen, Muguet, Rose, Jasmine, Orris, Carnation
    Cedar, Amber, Musk

    She describes it as starring Calone, the chemical that resembles the cucumber and melon note. She describes its green leafiness, with whiffs of seaweed and salt.

    Turin describes it as a melon floral and gives it three stars, noting its green floral bouquet, and green melon acquatic notes, warning however that it can resemble Windex
    in the dry down.

    I review it as neutral, since despite its originality at the time, it doesn't amount to much in my estimation.

    22 June, 2014

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