La Fille de Berlin opens with a lush cascade of velvety soft rose petals. The smell is heady, voluptuous and warm. As it settles the effect reminds me of watching a time lapse video of roses sitting in a vase without water to sustain them. As time rolls on, the lushness disappears, both rose and perfume dry out, the texture becomes less soft and just a touch more brittle.
The dry down of La Fille de Berlin on my skin is still very rosey, but there is a hint of salt, a bit of citrus and cedar and the warmth of an indistinct spice. Hours later, what remains is a citrusy rose and a soft, clean smelling musk. I can see where people are coming from when they say it reminds them of shampoo or soap, although it doesn't quite enter that territory for me.
I think this could have been love for me if the top notes had been able to sustain themselves and retain that lush, sensual aspect that many of us find so appealing in rose scents. As it is, it's not a must have for my specific preferences.
The first very few minutes of Seville a l'aube are my favorite. Dabbing it from my sample vial, I get a giant, dusky orange blossom and something oriental. This is how I had imagined it would be and I was very excited.
However, the rest of the wear time is filled with a large dose of lavender, tobacco, astringently green petit grain and something that doesn't actually smell like beeswax but rather alludes to the texture of it. The orange blossom tries to fight its way through, but isn't able to compete with the green-herbal-woody facets.
To my surprise, I never got much benzoin or honey as has been reported here. Contrary to reviews below, I didn't find this very sweet at all. The drydown is a hazy, dusky indistinct floral and herbal with smooth woody undertones. Occasionally this haze is broken up by a brief waft of something that is probably the olibanum note, its smells faintly like an evergreen resin--piney and sharp.
Overall, I would say this is a very nice fragrance, but on my skin this reads more like a feminine leaning fougere composition than an oriental floral. Blind buying is strongly discouraged simply because my experience with this was so different from what I had anticipated.
I once attended a concert with assigned seating and sat behind a woman who was decked out head to toe in clothes from American Apparel and carrying a Matt and Nat vegan bag. She was wearing a liberal amount of Chloe Eau de Parfum and happily, as my husband and I sat behind her we were enveloped in her beguiling cloud of rose, peony, litchi and and freesia. I knew what it was, but complimented her on the way out just to be sure.
This Chloe has been around for awhile and it has be worn by everyone and their mother, but that doesn't make it any less noteworthy. I always find it pleasurable to encounter it in public and love how the litchi sweetens the rose while the peony and freesia freshen and lighten the scent. Chloe has just the right amount of sillage to draw others in but not overwhelm you.
The only thing that I don't particularly like about this is that the bottle top tarnishes over time. Otherwise, this is just about perfect for a designer release.
Shiseido's Energizing Fragrance is one of those perfumes that no one realizes you're wearing. Instead of telling you they like your perfume, a person is more likely to tell you that you simply smell nice. Clean, warm and rather uncomplicated peppery floral musk, Energizing Frangrance strikes the nose as a minimal and transparent; the aesthetics seem to fit with the brand in a really coherent way. Somehow this seems like the perfect post workout fragrance.
Paco Rabanne's Ultraviolet is a fruity, plasticized, sweet violet fragrance with an undertones of aspartame, blunt woods and the nose tickling warmth of pepper. The overall character is sweet, powdery and woody, but it feels dischordant as a whole composition and therefore never exhibits the main virtue this type of fragrance: comfort.
Instead of feeling like cashmere, it feels like a soft wool sweater that never stops being just a tad bit itchy. Its a pass for me.
Bond's Nuits de Noho (NdN) is certainly a child of Angel but by no means is it a dupe. NdN is much lighter, less sweet, and the patchouli note is much cleaner, greener and more camphorous than Angel. They smell slightly similar and are certainly related but you would never mistake one for the other.
On my skin NdN has a pronounced sharp green, almost eucalyptus-like note that projects strongly off my skin and consequentially the sillage smells quite different than the area I've sprayed it on. I suspect that this is what is billed as the pineapple leaf note.
This has also been compared to M. Micallef Mon Parfum. Again, there is a family resemblance but the Micallef is softer, muskier and creamier. Comparing Angel, the Micallef and NdN, I would say that NdN is the least sweet and least floral, but with the brightest composition as it has pronounced green, citric and medicinal facets laid over the familiar patchouli vanilla base. For this reason it also strikes me as the most conventionally unisex.
Overall its fine, but its not setting the world on fire. Sillage is modest, longevity is about 6 hours.
Wow. I thought Seven Veils was going to be a love at first sniff, but no. I think I must be anosmic to certain vanillas because I got no vanilla in this--at all. I did, however, get a huge blast of pink pepper, rough wood and a strangely cold and plasticy floral note. To my nose this all came together in a really synthetic smelling way, though happily there was not much sillage or longevity. Honestly, wearing Seven Veils was a strange experience.
Vol de Nuit Evasion is a powdery vanilla with peach and soft florals. No more, no less. Its well made and smells good. It is pretty and feminine and not the least bit challenging. BUT it smells like a lot of other vanillic powdery fruity scents.
Cheers to those who love Vol de Nuit Evasion, I'm happy you love it. I just wonder about the intense hyperbole surrounding this scent. Having just sampled it, I've got to say I thought it was nice but certainly not as special or deserving of the hype its gotten. Truth be told, I don't even find it interesting enough to keep the decant. If you can, please try before you buy and don't get sucked in by the hype.
When Noir de Noir first came out, I tested it and ran in the other direction. At that time my nose was not accustomed to smelling oud and was very sensitive to it.
BUT, years later while walking through SeaTac airport I smelled the most intoxicating trail of fragrance and followed it to its owner, an impeccably groomed Silicon Valley commuter in a dark blue suit and a just-shy-of-black burgundy tie. We chatted a little bit and he blew my mind when he admitted the lovely trail was Noir de Noir.
I tried it again and it has been love ever since.
On my skin, Noir de Noir is a beautiful dark, creamy and woody rose. There is an almost tactile richness to this scent, a velvety smooth sweetness at the base imparted by the vanilla. The patchouli, oud, saffron, truffle and moss are blended into a thick dark haze through which the red rose note shines and shimmers. Some might interpret the gestalt of Noir de Nore as gothic, but to me it is too finely calibrated to be written off with that one word. This rides the knife's edge between full saturation and too much. Stylistically it reminds me a lot of both POAL and Coromandel, though I would say that Noir de Noir smells like neither of them but somehow manages to ride the half way point between the two.
For those who say this fragrance skews to one end of the gender spectrum, I believe you. I believe you've smelled this either on yourself or someone else and thought it suited them perfectly. I've got news for you though: not everyone can rock this, but the lucky ones who can--they rock Noir de Noir hard regardless of gender.
Odori's Iris is beautiful and easy to love. While this was apparently marketed to men, this would be stunning on either gender.
The opening is a blast of cold, papery irones (iris) mixed with their less expensive cousin, ionones (violet), to produce a crisp and clean and almost aquatic purple floral accord. The ionones in this case read like violet leaf more than flower giving it a greenness that bolsters the coolness of the irones. There is a sweetness present from the first spray that is also more characteristic of violet fragrances than of iris.
As it dries down this gets less cold, less austere, less overtly floral. A warm musky vanillic (heliotropin+ a very soft ylang + amber combo) base accord rises to meld with the cool purple floral accord creating a very realistic reference to old fashioned lipsticks. I can't smell the star anise, but that's just fine with me.
Important Note for Iris/Orris Lovers: While there is orris in this, the prominent violet and heliotrope keep this from being a typical gray toned orris fragrance. As an avid fan of the funereal, gray toned orris fragrance genre, I admit that I was initially bummed by the violet since it is not listed and was therefore unexpected. However, to my mind this might be the nicest iris + violet combo I've every smelled. The dry down of this is incomparably ethereal.
Iris is a soft fragrance, it wears fairly close to the skin and smells chic, clean and sophisticated. This is a beautiful addition to any iris and violet lovers collection.
Isvaraya is one of my perfume true loves. The opening smells strongly of blueberries and plums to my nose, almost like a warm syrupy compote made of the two fruits. As it settles a literal smoke note emerges along with a woody patchouli and a voluptuous but restrained jasmine note. On dry down, I'm left with an almost narcotic-heady bouquet of beautiful plum soaked jasmine and woody-waxy patchouli buttressed by thin wisps of smoke and musk.
Isvaraya is a fruitchouli, but in my mind it might be the stripped down and streamlined pinnacle of its genre.
My bottle is from 2007 and the juice is very potent. It projects strongly for 7 hours and total longevity is about 12 hours.
On my skin Barbara Bui Le Parfum opens with the distinct impression of pencil shavings and dries down to a well blended musky amber, heliotrope and incense. While its linear, its also so well crafted that it feels much more expensive than it is. This is a scent that gives the impression of luminous, glowing, clean skin. It does not cling too close to the wearer, on the contrary, I find it has very good projection and have gotten lots of compliments.
Sillage: fantastic, but soft and not in your face.
Longevity: 8 hours on skin, a solid 10 in my hair.
Overall rating and feel: 10/10. This is a grown up clean musk with dash of incense and without any distracting white florals or fruits. Timeless in its simplicity, this is great fragrance for any occasion.
Review of current formulation EDT:
Y opens with a sharp blast of aldehydes and indistinct green notes. Within a 20 minutes the harshness of the opening faded to a powdery hyacinth and a note that is somewhat reminiscent peach skin. After several hours what remains is a vetiver, oakmoss and powdery aldehyde scent. Beautiful.
Sillage: Good, 4-7 feet
Longevity: Excellent, 14 hours on my skin!
Overall Rating and Feel: 9/10. Even reformulated, Y is a fantastic, understated and under-rated chypre. Well made if a touch "old-fashioned" feeling, probably from the prominent aldehyde notes. Highly wearable and suitable for many occasions, dressed up or dressed down, and appropriate for all ages.
Review of Vintage EDT:
What can I say about Ivoire that hasn't already been said? Its a stunning, soapy, demure green floral that is excellently blended. To say that this perfume has a refined character is an understatement.
The individual notes are hard to pick out with the exception of the aldehydes, oakmoss, chamomile and marigold which on my skin are the most pronounced. Interestingly the aldehydes and oakmoss are most pronounced at the beginning and the chamomile and marigold are most noticeable in the dry down. It doesn't follow the ascribed pyramidal structure as listed above.
While this is absolutely gorgeous, I would NEVER recommend this as a blind buy because of the potentially polarizing green/herbal notes.
Sillage: approximately 10 feet
Longevity: 12 hours on my skin
Overall Rating and Feel: 9/10. This is a VERY GREEN fragrance, in fact one of the greenest I've encountered. It feels very chic, refined and strangely natural given the presence of aldehydes. It would be perfect to wear to a formal luncheon or in the boardroom.
Review of Vintage EDT:
Upon first application, vintage NdSP, is dominated by clean orris root, powdery oakmoss and a hint of citrus. After an hour heart notes briefly appear in whispers of scent: rose and carnation are the only two I can decipher. Finally at about 1 1/2 hours after application this scent dries down to an fantastic warm cedar, surprisingly gentle leather, powdery oakmoss and musky scent.
My personal impressions of are of clean, chic refinement and elegance. I feel the richness of the patchouli underneath the more prominent notes, but I don't actually smell it.
Sillage: about 15 feet
Longevity: 10 hours on my skin
Overall Rating and Feel: 9/10. I wouldn't call this fragrance "green". Rather its character is clean, powdery, and woody refinement. Unbelievably well blended, it ALMOST wears the same from start to finish. Wearable by both sexes IMO. There is something very swoon worthy about the way this smells. This is the perfect scent to wear to an event where you want to stand out in a crowd in a good way.