Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Blue Zinnia

Total Reviews: 52

White Musk by Body Shop

I love this stuff; it just plain smells good. It's as unfussy and comfortable as a great old pair of jeans, but not at all out of place at work or on a casual date. Guys seem to love it, and even perfume-hating bosses generally don't bitch about it. Don't overdo it, though; one spritz is enough.
19th January, 2018

La Rose Jacqueminot by Coty

It's been a long time, but I remember really liking this. It's named for, and intended to evoke, a real rose: the incomparable "General Jacqueminot", a light-red Hybrid Perpetual from 1853. It's a tribute, not a copy, but it's surprisingly successful in reminding you of the original. There's a lush but "dry", pleasantly dusty/peppery quality here, like the ancient Gallica roses included in "General Jack's" breeding, but also great warmth.
19th January, 2018

Vince Camuto Femme by Vince Camuto

What an utter snoozefest. Get some originality, folks.
14th November, 2014
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Endless Euphoria by Calvin Klein

This doesn't make me euphoric at all, let alone endlessly. It's a nice powdery floral, but not exceptional or original. I'd have to say I think it's not worth the steep pricetag.
14th November, 2014

Ariane by Avon

I'm fairly fond of this one. As noted, it's a soft, powdery floral with good persistence. What I love about it, though, is the peach note, which hangs in for a good while. This is a really good choice for summer wear if you don't want to wear a stereotypical summer flanker. It'll go with jeans or a dress equally well.

Rating panel not working, but I'll give this 3 stars overall and 4 for longevity.
24th February, 2014 (last edited: 13th March, 2015)

Emprise by Avon

On me, the metallic note stuck around. And stuck around. And stuck around. Ugh.
24th February, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana by Dolce & Gabbana

This is rich, ladylike but not tame, and not a bit grannyesque in the stodgy, stuffy sense. There's a deep freshness about it I really love. And it has a looooooong, really interesting drydown. Highly recommended for women as opposed to girls.
24th February, 2014

Moonwind by Avon

"Coldish, blueish, windy." Thanks, Notmenoeb, that's a near-perfect description. If I still had some, I'd wear it at Full Moon in cool weather and, yes, perhaps also for a dressy evening out.
25th October, 2012

Jet Femme by Avon

A pleasant if unexceptional citrusy floral, with a trace of woodiness.
25th October, 2012

Goddess by Avon

Avon's worst fragrance ever, bar none. Animalic notes are useful and important in perfumery, but, yeesh. . . this stuff is as rankly animalic as a skunk's behind, and just about as nice to be near. The floral, woody and other notes simply haven't a chance. Unfortunately, the stuff is also quite tenacious. :)
25th October, 2012

Country Breeze by Avon

The olfactory equivalent of the most comfortable really pretty garment you owned in the '70s, without any trace of the overworked "clean cotton" or "fresh breeze" laundry and air-freshener note of today. A really soft, easy (but not stupid), lovely green floral. I don't find it at all masculine, and seem to recall that Avon sold very little of it to guys.
24th October, 2012

Rare Pearls by Avon

Amazing how some of you younger folks who don't like a particular fragrance immediately want to palm it off on us "older gal[s]" (geeze.) What are we, your local Bad Taste Landfill? :-) Anyway. . . .I too have a love/hate relationship with this one. At first acquaintance, I found it really lovely. After I wore it for a few weeks, it started to strike me as having an almost skanky sweaty/indolic overtone. Some days that backs off and I still love this frag. Some days it doesn't, and I find it too heavy and too sweatily animalic to wear. I have no clue what makes the difference: Weather? Some subtle hormonal change? Biochemical shifts due to what I've eaten that day? Who knows.
03rd January, 2012

Aquamarine by Revlon

Ohhhh, how I used to love this stuff when I was 16 and 17! It was my spring and summer scent then, clean and light but not at all like anything else a non-rich Midwestern girl in 1967 was likely to have run across. I suspect now I'd class it as an aquatic/marine floral, but I didn't have a perfume vocabulary then; I just thought it smelled like. . . . . distance. A rainy breeze off someplace wonderful. They stopped making it the very next year, sad to say, and I haven't seen any since.
15th December, 2011
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Sophistique by Mark

This lovely scent, still available from the Avon/Mark website last time I looked but sadly missing from both catalogs now, is an example of a frag that truly lives up to its blurb, which speaks of it as being like snuggling into a cashmere shawl, elegant but utterly comfortable. The neroli and amber notes take the lead, but the surprising though muted, almost popcorn-like scent of basmati rice gives mellow depth, and the mandarin, though it does pretty much disappear in the long lovely drydown, adds sparkle to some hints of ginger early on. (Not gingerwood, whatever that is--what's here is bright and floral like fresh ginger and mellow like good-quality dried.) All in all, a very classy and utterly wearable scent which is also not expensive. Why on Mama Earth are they dropping it?? Letter time, fellow fans. By the way, a man could wear this, I think.
04th December, 2011

Vent Vert (original) by Pierre Balmain

Leonard Bernstein once said about Beethoven's music that it had "shocking rightness", and I can't think of a better description of Vent Vert. Real VV (peace be to Calice Becker, but there is only one) is a stunningly accomplished, gorgeous composition that blows in from Someplace Else and just knocks you on your ass, a world-class beauty with a wild green outsider soul. It is my favorite perfume of all time.
01st December, 2011 (last edited: 14th November, 2014)

Vent Vert (new) by Pierre Balmain

Balmain should have named this something else; whatever its merits on its own terms, and it does have them, this is not and never will be the incomparable Vent Vert. If the Mona Lisa were gone, you wouldn't paint even a very good picture of that subject in that general style, in modern acrylics, and then call the result the Mona Lisa. The most you could call it would be "Mona Lisa II".
01st December, 2011

Golden Autumn by Long Lost Perfume

I haven't smelled this in almost 50 years, and can still remember it. It managed to be warm without any fuzziness: sun-warm, not sweater-warm, if that makes any sense. Golden, transparent and just sweet enough. I'd definitely wear it today.
28th November, 2011

Jean Nate by Revlon

I wore this so much in the '70s as a young social worker that I eventually burned out on it, but of course that isn't a diss of the fragrance itself; quite the opposite. It was simultaneously bright (the mixed citrus peels) and soft (the florals and what I take to be an uncredited note of nutmeg.) And for a splash, it lasted pretty well. BTW, when I would get down to the last quarter or so of a bottle of the splash, I'd top it up to about half with a 2:1 alcohol/water mix and drop in three or four crumpled bay leaves (I used the kind sold for cooking--the West Coast homegrown type are botanically different, and less sweet/floral) and let that sit for a couple weeks. Gives you a whole new, very nice splash. This might be a way to salvage a bottle of the disappointing new stuff, I dunno.
19th November, 2011

Poison by Christian Dior

Gawds, I love this stuff! Yes, it's strong; use less, already. ::rolling eyes:: But that fabulous grapey/heliotrope-y top note--f*ck, it's not a note, it's a whole damn cantata!--over those mysterious intricate understories, just delights me. I miss Caswell-Massey's much simpler and gentler Heliotrope cologne for exactly that unapologetic grenade-in-the-jam opener. (What a great description! Thanks, whoever. :)) For one thing, and here I'm speaking as an aromatherapist, it's wonderfully energizing for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder. For another, it has a loooooooong drydown that keeps seducing and/or intriguing you in different ways for about as long as you can pay attention. Eccentric, gorgeously constructed, gorgeous-smelling, and absolutely not for everybody--but then, you don't want to smell like everybody, do you?
13th November, 2011

Wind Song by Prince Matchabelli

I used to wear this in my late teens, as I liked it a lot and it was "ladylike", a Mom-word that, for good or ill, looms large in the psyches of women who grew up in Middle America in the '50s or '60s. Anyway, I wore it enough to burn out on it eventually. Hadn't worn it in 40 years when I recently saw some at Dollar General (!), in the sort of little metal spray can used for knockoffs of the "Our version of. . ." type. It was labeled as the real thing, though, so for $2 (!!!), I took a chance. And there it was. Diluted a lot, yes, and in tacky packaging, but to my amateur nose as soft and warm and quietly radiant as I remembered. This is a scent a woman of any age can wear almost anywhere, except in fishing grubbies. . . .or around perfumistas too "advanced" to admit it just plain smells good. :)
09th November, 2011

Violet Sec by Richard Hudnut

I'm oddly thrilled to find a mention of this, even though it's no longer made. This clear, fresh, real violet scent was the only fragrance my grandmother, a pastor's wife born in 1889, ever wore or realistically _could_ wear, except maybe rose or lavender water. To my great delight as a child, the juice was purple; even better, Gran would sometimes let me put a little on. I doubt any found now would have held up, but if I ever find any, I will certainly buy it and find out. Thanks for a great memory!
07th November, 2011

Today by Avon

This one deserves a fanfare, because it truly is Avon's best in 30 years, maybe longer. It's a big, lush, sweet white floral that's built so well it manages to be weightless and not a bit oversweetened. I'm really in love with it, and greatly annoyed that my tiny sample vial is running out (can't afford to buy frags for awhile, alas). Think I may hafta go around swiping the "rub wrist here" sanples from my friends' catalogs under cover of night, because THIS STUFF IS ADDICTIVE! :) :) :)
07th November, 2011

Sonnet by Avon

As I recall this, it was a soft, slightly powdery romantic floral, very pleasant though not exceptional, and very much of its midcentury time. If you want a general notion of the style, think Wind Song, but Wind Song was better and more timeless. Good longevity, IIRC.
06th November, 2011 (last edited: 20th November, 2011)

Zany by Avon

Well, it's unusual, all right: a syntheticky, ephemeral musky floral of the kind drugstores used to pitch to teenagers, but with _spearmint_ as its whole top story?? Not exactly awful, but definitely weird. :-)
06th November, 2011

Rare Gold by Avon

I agree that this is one of Avon's best fragrances in a long time. It's too complex for me to be much good at analyzing it, but I do detect sandalwood, neroli, and frankincense, plus tuberose or perhaps jasmine/hedione. I read it as dressy, and good for all seasons. It lasts well, too.
05th November, 2011

Pur Blanca by Avon

Light, pleasant and serenely uncomplicated, with a nice little waft of citrus above the floral simplicity. This would be a great gift for a girl 12 or over, especially one celebrating her first moontime or her first date.
05th November, 2011

Pink Suede by Avon

Horrible, horrible swill, a hot sugary/chemically mess combining the scents of bubblegum, hot Play-Doh and Thunderbird wine. Second worst frag in Avon history (Goddess is #1.) Eeeeyuck.
04th November, 2011

Peony Soft Musk by Avon

A forgotten little gem. I LOVE this stuff, which fortunately is nearly nothing like original Soft Musk. Somehow I got picked by the company to get a fullsized bottle as a free sample. On my skin, PSM blooms into a big, clean but soft floral full of peony but also violet, I think, and maybe the very lightest breaths of tuberose and peach? All of it over an understated musk. Wonderful, and it lasts and lasts.
04th November, 2011

Pavi Elle by Avon

I loved this one; it was rich, but had a lightness and sparkle that was very appealing. Eventually I burned out on it, but it was great while it lasted.
04th November, 2011

Foxfire by Avon

It's odd: Avon marketed this as an intensely sexy scent, a real eau de ho. Whereas what it really is is a lovely warm, perfectly ladylike rose-led floral you could wear to work with a nice linen suit and heels, or to the blockwatch meeting in jeans and a sweater. I miss it.
03rd November, 2011