Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Bal a Versailles

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Love, Chloé Eau Intense by Chloé

I purchased a 1oz bottle in high summer and found it rather too powerful. Six months later, in cold and rainy weather Love Chloe Intense is in its element (s) It's rich and aristocratic, a bit highbrow and it doesn't know how to have fun; Love Chloe Intense takes itself very seriously, it's uptight and thorough, …..Man, is she Intense. Definitely a hard working lawyer type with winning on her mind. It's a very very good perfume, nicely crafted, I think the materials are the upper end of the commercial scale. That's my opinion. Longevity and silage are moderate to generous. For lovers of Narciso for Her, Prada Infusion D'Iris Absolu, L'Heure Bleu and even Chanel No 5 EDP. I can't wear this perfume early in the day and I certainly wouldn't refresh it in a confined space or a dining area, but if I was in an art gallery, looking at jewellery, at a sophisticated wine bar or better yet, in a convertible, Love Chloe Intense would be part of my projecting persona. Uptown (uptight) Girl.
16th July, 2015

Histoire d'Eau Amethyste by Mauboussin

Black grapes en masse at the fruiterers, black grapes with the bloom on them at a distance. Black grapes with the woody stem attached at the vineyard. It really is a transportation device to a vineyard.
Winery air, piquant creamy cheese, then some soft florals at the dry down. A lovely day time fragrance for those of us who look at raisins and wonder how much wine they could have produced.
So bite me!
10th June, 2015

L'Eau D'Issey by Issey Miyake

It's so long since I owned this I think it's time I revisited. Along with Tommy Girl these fragrances were simply the bees knees before we fell prey to Angel and her clones, but the compliments came fast and furious for L'eau D'Issey in its day. I'm sort of reminded of Apres La Mousson, melon cucumber ozonic notes, and for guys, the lovely Quasar (by Chris Sheldrake)
The beginning of the technological age arrived with L'eau D'Issey, Tommy Girl and Dune. What will we remember in another twenty five years?

12th May, 2015
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Eau de Cartier Concentrée by Cartier

Christine Nagel has, in my opinion, tried to create an 'eau' that isn't mind numbingly same-as. I can mention eau de jade, eau France, rochas, du sud, savage, orlane, ad infinitum, that all claim to be the South of France in a bottle. What have we here? Yuzu, and youzz will love it when you get used to it. Something akin to the Jean Claude Ellena grapefruit opening but more masculine, a little metallic, (Coriander?) then there's a distinct lemon, or is it quince? Have you ever let a platter of quince fruit, the entire piece of fruit, not cut in any way, sit in a warm room. It's scent is quite divine. It is rivalled by the Bhudda's Hand Citrus, a real head turner. There are nuances of unusual fruit in Eau de Cartier concentree and they aren't girly, paleo princess ones. It achieved its objective, I think, to be truly unisex with a very pleasant dry down. My dog walking companion thinks its wonderful but I probably wouldn't wear it to a ladies lunch
19th April, 2015

Heure Exquise by Annick Goutal

Composed by Henri Sorsana and Annick Goutal this has the superb Iris treatment that I love in Nuit Etoilee (EDP only) Other reviewers find facets of other classic fragrances, Chanel No 19, Chamade, and No 88.... facets, perhaps of a brilliant exquisite diamond that is rose cut. It is the rose that blurs the comparisons between its arch rival, Chanel No 19 and neutralises the austere bitch persona that some find in 19. Because H Ex is aldehydic I am reminded of Y Yves St Laurent also and those who mourn the loss of Y might find solace in Heure Exquise. An oldie and a goodie! EDP all the way
16th April, 2015

Histoire d'Eau by Mauboussin

Ms Rochambeau finds a hybrid of Mauboussin original and Cuir Amethyste. Perhaps that is what led to Histoire D'Eau Amethyste. It doesn't matter now as Topaze is discontinued and Cuir Amethyste has priced itself off the planet. ( I have two back up bottles of CA)
Histoire D'Eau Amethyste languishes at the discounters and Christine Nagel, who was Michel Almairac's protege (he of Cuir Amethyste) is now at Hermes. So Histoire is very much in play here, a story of water indeed. I love them all, except HDE Amethyste, which I don't know at all. It's all very Scicilian isn't it? Speak Softly love
07th April, 2015

Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

For some reason I haven't posted a review on this absolute mainstay of my collection.
Short and sweet. Eau du Sud, to me, is very similar to Eau Savage, which I have always loved on my husband. Unlike me he doesn't keep an arsenal of fragrances and so I don't step on his toes and wear one of 'his' signatures. I can wear Eau du Sud instead.
Other reviewers note a similarity to Cristalle in Eau du Sud. Cristalle delivers a more 'juicy fruit' honeysuckle intensity but I do understand the reference. Eau du Sud carries its own representation of summer in a bottle, there's a light tennis cake and a long glass of iced Pimms nearby. Eight hours after application Eau du Sud releases an aroma of those Fishermen's Lozenges, smoky and camphoreous, as if it were its dying breath.
Always quirky. I like that.
05th April, 2015

Chamade by Guerlain

This was not a purchase of mine so take my review with a grain of salt. I tested it from the counter several times for the review. The bottle said 'parfum'
Current offering had no longevity on my skin, 90 minutes max. The guerlainade was apparent, but I couldn't even put it in the same class as Grand Amour or Cristalle where you get much more bang for the buck. Just disappointing in general. Mitsouko is where the quality is these days, the Thierry Wasser 2013 tweak making it the cat's pyjamas.
31st March, 2015

Mauboussin by Mauboussin

Glenn Miller might turn in his grave. The sound of swing became firmly established in 1939 as war engulfed the world. Mauboussin Jewellers of Place Vendome in Paris were celebrating their 100 year anniversary and it stayed within the family until 2002. Two years before the sale Christine Nagel had been commissioned to create a perfume worthy of the Mauboussin reputation, which now carried a 160 year tradition and was as recognisable in France as Tiffanys is in New York. (Shame that Tiffanys bought the French Crown Jewels)

Today Christine Nagel sits with Jean Claude Ellena in the Hermes Bleachers, where her Eau de Cartier is simpatico with the transparent Ellena style.. Is she proud of Mauboussin? In a published interview Ms Nagel said she would have given her life's work, her eye teeth, her soul to the devil (you see, I forget exactly) to have created Feminite du Bois.....perhaps Mauboussin may have been her sincerest form of flattery, given that she would never have imitated it too openly. Plum, woods, patchouli, amber, and rose are all to be found in this delectable darling which morphs beautifully into French élan from its caramel beginning. I love it. It's the full orchestra, everything but the kitchen sink, but dang, it works, just like Glenn Miller's big band. I want a boned corset with a big taffeta lined dance skirt. I want to be in the mood to wear Mauboussin. If you have perfume eating skin, if you don't mind getting a glow on, letting music fill the air, in the shank of the night, when the doin' is right this is for you and you can tell 'em I'll be there.
28th March, 2015

L'Air de Rien by Miller Harris

What’s got your face in a knot? Nothing, you say, but everything has lost its shine when your lover cuts you somehow. Rolling in the deep, the scent of his skin, the beat of patchouli, the astringent slap of oak moss, he should know, he should know.

When nothing is something you have L’Air de Rien, yeah, not pretty, what the fluck is pretty when you feel like this. You shout, the accusations are wrung out of you…what….an explanation. Oh, bruised lips, thighs, rumpled sheets, sleep. There’s amber, vanilla, rolling in the hay, sweet sweat and forgiveness in an oversized t shirt.
29th January, 2015

Brit Rhythm for Her by Burberry

I liken this to Love Chloe, a bit of No 19 Poudre influence there too. It's a contemporary Iris fragrance marketed to young women and it's really very nice. You can layer it up or down for sheerness. I didn't get much lavender.
31st December, 2014

Le Jasmin by Annick Goutal

I bought Le Jasmin and Grand Amour in small bottles recently. Trying Le Jasmin first I was underwhelmed, perhaps this Jasmin was not for me with its banana skin (intact) undercurrent and the gingerbeer on top. I left it until it began to fade and sprayed a couple of Grand Amour puffs on top. They combine beautifully; it's the way I'm using them, but for the purposes of this review I will try to convey my feelings about Le Jasmin solo. Feels natural, like scented tea; I feel calm wearing it. It suits me, I know, and yet I want…more. It really does fade too quickly, others have said it. It's a little tropical, but more like early morning sub tropical. It's been discontinued once and then revived, so perhaps it will be again. It's one of the prettiest skin scents you will find and when some benchmark jasmines are sick-making this is entirely suitable for an early morning bus ride. A jasmine for those who are very sensitive to fumes is not a bad thing. There, it's a homeopathic jasmine, a Rescue Remedy.
17th November, 2014

Nuit Etoilée by Annick Goutal


I associate the mint with penny royal, crushed underfoot on a walk, releasing its fragrance momentarily. I was unprepared for the creamy Jaffa likeness to Elixir des Merveilles, or following on by association to Terre D'Hermes (JCE describes Eau de Merveilles as the sister scent to TDH)

Now push those comments aside. The amber and Iris heart of Nuit Etoilee is what remains. If this is what camping under the stars is then I can only suggest that it's 'glamping' and the lackeys doing all the work don't smell at all like this! It's not overpowering even as an EDP. It lasts 4 hours with good sillage in the EDP but I want more of it, so I do keep it going all day. It's beautiful.....and different, and soft but refined. I don't find as much smoke in this as exists in Eau du Sud, which I am also fond of. A winner for sure.
24th October, 2014
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Un Jardin Sur Le Toit by Hermès

I come from a family of gardeners on my Mother's side, my Grandfather was a plantsman, a career gardener who learned his craft on a large estate in Ireland.
Garden smells are my stock in trade- Baptista, the beautiful Lippia, Geranium mac; these probably found their way to Jardin sur le toit and influenced the perfume quartet that is the Jardin series. I recently purchased Eau Narcisse Bleu but it does not stir me in the way that La Mousson and Le Toit do. I am a gardener, not a will-o'-the wisp; what I find irresistible, some actually think has a 'compost' smell. (Big grin) I was reminded yesterday that air temperature and humidity play an enormous part in how we perceive perfume; I found a perfume that had not won any significant brownie points to be a whole lot better in warmer weather. (It was Annick Goutal's Le Muguet) Last year the soft suede of Kelly Caleche in EDT was all I wanted in a Vegas heatwave, it was gorgeous. JSLT may be the best spring perfume in Vermont and the worst in Florida, stunning in Hobart and ratshit in Brisbane. Unlike Eau Narcisse this Hermes offers a busy palette, and perhaps was the forerunner to Jour d'Hermes, where Jean Claude Ellena gave us a veritable bouquet and said 'Choose your own Adventure'
21st October, 2014

Eau de Narcisse Bleu by Hermès

Ellena translates as ‘The Greek’ in English. Should Jean Claude aspire to being King of Hellena, by virtue of a Mediterranean ancestor, I would be a loyal subject.

Greek Mythology fascinated my Father, a man whose further education was shattered by WWII during the bombing of London. He became an armchair academic instead and we listened to radio stories before the advent of television, the childrens’ bathed bodies in pyjamas, sitting on the hard bare-boarded floor that was barely covered by an old hessian rug. We ate toast and tomato, or crumpets and jam for supper, as tales of Pegasus, Cyclops, and Narcissus, cadenced by melliflous British voices, shapeshifted in our imaginations.

Eau Narcisse Bleu,well, the clues are in the name.

Narcissus, a young man blessed with unsurpassable beauty spurned male and female alike. He and his Mother, Liriope, gave their names to naturalising bulbs of great charm, the trumpet flowers of daffodils and earlicheer and the Grape Hyacinth.

Using today’s parlance Narcissus was stalked by Echo, a single white female, who, under the spell of an angry Hera, could only repeat his uneasy call of ‘Who is There? She was therefore incapable of captivating Narcissus with scintillating conversation. She faded away, (anorexic probably) from unrequited love and only her echo remained in the glades of their sylvan abode.

Narcissus came upon a glistening pond where the water reflected not only the azure sky but the plumage of birds on the wing and overhanging trees. He stooped at the waters edge and saw his one true love, a creature so perfect he fell in love, truly, madly deeply, with himself. Unable to tear himself away Narcissus pined away until his soul left his body. The search party found only a nodding daffodil growing at the edge of the pool.

The perfume is a homage to Ovid's story in my opinion. The elements of sylvan glade, water, blue sky and the slight scent of Narcissus are present. Voila.

To wear it successfully you will need garments without any laundry detergent scent residue left in them and unperfumed soap and body lotion for your toilette. It is quite fleeting and is easily drowned out. Edmond Roudnitska, at his doorway in Grasse, shouted at a very young Jean Claude Ellena to 'go home and not come back' until his (trademark) white shirt carried no smell of soap. Roudnitska set Ellena the discipline of an unperfumed life; to this day Ellena eschews fragrance on his person.

Not being such a sensitive nose, I prefer my other JCE fragrances, Kelly Caleche, Apres La Mousson, Claire des Merveilles etc and my husband and son are devoted to Terre D'Hermes.
16th October, 2014

Narciso Rodriguez for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

I was prompted to write a review of 'For Her' after smelling 'For Women' (white bottle) a few days ago.
This is the one (FH) with good sillage and elusive musks, the EDP is peachier with definite stickability.
The EDT is the equivalent of a Toyota Corolla, ubiquitous, rust free, user friendly with good economy. It lacks imagination but statistics show it benefits from repeat purchasers, and you can soup it up with the 'In colour' or 'Musc Intense' add-ons that men love, like a leather bound steering wheel or Recaro seats. That men love this is not in question, my husband loves the sillage hours after I have put it on.
Let's face it, it's a must have, it's your favourite pair of jeans or possibly your favourite pair of knickers; you, but better, with Narciso at the leather bound steering wheel, cruising the Napa valley, tasting astringent wines that mellow with age, For Her in a Toyota Corolla.
14th October, 2014

Quel Amour! by Annick Goutal

A soft whisper of rose is listed on the packaging blurb but it's much more than that, this is a variation on Ce Soir Ou Jamais, a less jammy version. I own both.
Quel Amour opens with a fizzy sherbet lolly, which I hate. At this point I may as well be wearing any generic fruity floral.
Thank goodness that dissipates quite quickly and the lovely tendrils of scent linger on. There's enough tartness to keep it interesting, a touch of incense as the dry down commences and average projection. The dry down is actually lovely and is rather ageless. I can see it equally on a younger or more mature (ahem, that's me) woman. It lingers on scarves in something of a Hermes style; I think that means a lot, it's sylish, there you have it. Conversely, this fragrance would be lovely, emanating off your skin on a warm summers day; you're wearing jeans and a tee and picking fruit and everything is kissable and edible. Oh, to be in love.
23rd September, 2014

Lalique Le Parfum by Lalique

I have grown the evergreen pepper tree, 'Schinus molle', in my garden and have occasionally broken a glossy serrated leaf for the fragrance that released. It is exactly this smell that I detect for a short time in Le Parfum in concert with the Bay, 'Laurus nobilis'
I enjoy this phase. The undertow, the heart of the perfume, is Shalimarish and is, in my opinion, the reason that Luca Turin despised Le Parfum. He dismissed Or des Indes in the same way, saying
"MPG does Shalimar, buy Shalimar" Well, he could have just chanted "Copy cat, dirty rat, we can't have the Hoi Polloi imitating the sister of Guerlain's 'Mitsouko' when I just declared it the most world's most beautiful perfume" Oh, whatever, it's just a bit of fun.
I purchased my 100 ml bottle for around $40 USD, postage paid; I am well pleased with Le Parfum, it's really very nice without being groundbreaking. For those whose Mother, Mother in law, may have staked their claim to Shalimar, this is one you can call your own. Peppered Shalimar? What else? Le Parfum-I thought it had a touch of Euphoria to it but perhaps that's because I know Dominique Ropion was involved with E and composed Le Parfum. The bottle is easy on the eye, it can sit alongside my bottle of Ivoire as a sort of Flamenco version. My cheap thrill, my tasselly Flamenco peppered Shalimar, now all I need is a fine glass of Syrah.
09th September, 2014 (last edited: 13th September, 2014)

Truth or Dare Naked by Madonna

I didn't buy Truth or Dare original as Fracas and Songes meet my penchant for the tropics or anything sultry. I could have bought Original or Naked ifor the same giveaway price and I went with Naked. I should have stuck with the Origianal. Naked is very similar to Halle Berry's namesake perfume, a celebrity frag all the way. This has little to redeem it, has been discontinued, so no need to bag it further. But wait, little doesn't mean 'nuttin' It has got a nice amber dry down and that base does linger a bit.
04th September, 2014

Le Muguet by Annick Goutal

Boiled cabbage to begin with. George Michaels sings "You gotta have faith, the faith, the faith" in my ear. Oh no, Vegetal, stultifying, in the way that Jean Claude Ellena was dumped on for Apres La Mousson; this is considerably more intense, I'm a fan of APLM, I don't mind it a bit brackish, I can wait for the dry down, but seven minutes goes by and I still don't feel it, and then it clears. Isabelle Doyene does this with more than one AG. Yes, theres Convallaria majalis, the lily of the valley, a rhizomatous perennial that will not grow in my Zone 9 garden, although I grew it successfully at 45 degrees South (we're talking Southern Hemisphere now) I couldn't find the rose the first time I wore it, shock maybe; it appeared the following wearing along with a powdery fixative smell that I associate with a cornstarch talcum worn by very elderly people. There's Narcissus at play here, I think. At the dry down it's lovely and it becomes ultra fresh, which is amazing considering the beginning but will you buy it? Fleur de Cristal by Lalique is a beautiful alternative, albeit a little synthetic, and nothing has knocked Diorrissimo off its perch. Is AG's LOTV sweet, as some have commented? I don't find Le Muguet at all sweet, better on skin than on clothes, so maybe don't spray garments.
Spring approaches here. I find Cristalle EDP to be my perfect spring fragrance and this won't make me change
27th August, 2014

Courtesan by Worth

I ponder at this fragrance, ponder some more and realise I am pondering its raison d’etre. Prompted by Victoria Frolova’s reaction to ‘Pineapple Compound’ in her perfumery training I question why it had to open with pineapple. I’ve been wearing Annick Goutal’s Musc Nomade in recent times, it being the epitome of sheer gauzy musk and so the transition to wearing Courtesan was not out on a limb; they are both ephemeral and arcane. At first I thought there was no fragrance at all; applied on freshly showered skin it simply disappeared like a wraith. I’m still not sure if the bottle I got (online discounter) was past its best.

The next morning, still warm from sleep I sprayed it on some bare skin and went downstairs to make tea and toast. It transmogrified into a pineapple fruit salad and the dry down asserted itself, soft floral, a little like Eau Claire des Merveilles. (EDCM is far superior IMO) Now, this was a little more like it, the Isoamyl acetate (Juicy Fruit) was tamed and there were soft skin scents. These wispy tendrils that emanate from a woman’s thigh were called ‘Cuisse de Nymph’ ...sigh, petal soft, and the French named a rose such to titillate. The Victorian English couldn’t cope and called the rose ‘Maiden’s Blush’

There are better roses, better accords, better musks and better pineapple. I don’t know why they bothered. I don’t know Courtesan’s ‘reason to be’ I would be grateful for other contributors input as to how this perfume should smell. It will nag at me, is my blind buy ‘off’?

The perfume was named for Cora Pearl, a Courtesan, associated with the Worth family and its ‘Haute Couture’ The gorgeous creature looked like Viven Leigh if the pictures are anythng to go by.

There is an experiment for Courtesan that I will leave you with. If, whilst wearing the perfume, you enjoyed a little lovemaking, might it bloom into a sex siren’s scent?.

I won’t tell and I don’t expect you to either. Cora Pearl’s life was not a family show, but
it could be its ‘reason to be’
02nd August, 2014

Fancy Nights by Jessica Simpson

It all started with the Big Bang:
Bang for your buck, yes, this is so cheap you fear the contents. But that's not all, this is the 'Big Bang' fragrance. According to the theme song 'fourteen billion years ago expansion started' And now I know why, clearly Jessica Simpson employed Steve DeMarcado to create Fancy Nights. It's huge, like Giorgio Beverley Hills it starts expanding and enveloping, comets start flying, the air is dense and it's hard to breathe. With a hundred dollars between them the only Patchouli that equals its intensity, in my experience, is in Mon Parfum Cheri EDP. Well, that dries down to uber elegance, this continues to split the atom and burn your nostril hair. I thought the Patchouli was strong in Purplelips Sensual (Dali) It's like Alien on steroids. Riding instructions: Spray the small of your back. If you still like it fifteen minutes later try it somewhere away from your collarbone. Wait five hundred million years for its half-life before you leave the house! The shrivelled old lady who follows your sillage down the street will be me, it's gorgeous from a distance.
30th July, 2014

Myrrhe Ardente by Annick Goutal

I spent most of my childhood wondering what root beer or sarsparilla would taste like. Without it being a reference base I can appreciate the beauty of Myrrhe Ardente for what it is. Hickory stick for one. English toffee is another. Fifty five years ago My Father awaited his Xmas parcels from London. We got British smarties (essentially M&Ms) and he got a burnt toffee from post war Britian. Then there's Kauri gum, or beach amber which has this delicate resin smell. I collect beach amber on my walks and Myrrhe Ardente is like wearing a whiff of it. The gum is, after all, the resin from giant trees burnt down 2,500 years ago, Agathis Australis.

It's gorgeous, unisex, wondrous and addictive, as someone else pointed out.

Discontinued, so I will probably buy a small back up
25th July, 2014

Cristalle Eau de Parfum by Chanel

The first review by Calchic is what I echo. I own Cristalle EDT, EL's Jasmine White Moss, Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal and others whose names don't spring to mind. My husband owns Eau Savage and wears it often. Along with Chanel 19 EDP, Cristalle is my favourite Chanel. If that means I am an 'austere bitch' or 'heartless' then buy me the badge. I feel the warmth of the sun, the green green grass of home and the explosion of scented spring bulbs in Cristalle. It's my happy place, the spring lambs are eating daisies and I curl a knowing smile; by autumn the lamb will be delicious.
16th July, 2014

Eau Claire des Merveilles by Hermès

As happens so often I didn't warm to it at first. It warmed on me. If you are reading this you probably know of the original Eau des Merveilles, which I venture to suggest, was a commercial success. Sweet almond biscuits on a plaid beach blanket, calamine lotion, marram grass and slightly pithy orange segments. The nod to the parent perfume is there but there's a touch of 24 Fauborg in Eau Claire and it's Abercrombie and Fitch meets Fifth Avenue. You do have to be lavish with application to be rewarded with the floral beauty of Claire, which is a bit naughty considering the price tag, but the cleavage fumes are worth it. Claire will never cheapen your perfumed persona

Do you ever have days when, having bought a full bottle of something that you wished and waited for, that instead, inexplicably, you turn to one with quiet charm? Mama said 'be careful what you wish for'
25th June, 2014

Amor Amor by Cacharel

We of the never never, are Cacharel followers, I have friends who love and wear Anais Anais, my husband has been through several bottles of Amor Amor pour homme/ Tentation and I enjoy Noa for its gentle appeal when others seem 'too much' A personage no less than Christopher Sheldrake commented favourably on Amor Amor in a Basenotes piece with Grant Osbourne. Well that got my heart beating. CS could recommend arsenic and I'd be Madame Bovary. Amor Amor Absolu was my choice in favour of the original 'classic' (which by the way is Bois de Jasmin's favourite fruity floral) because I'm old, jaded and cynical, but I love pineapple with the enthusiasm of a child. When my husband wears 'Quasar' it appears like a cartoon thought balloon, above the head or to the side, entirely independent of the rest of the composition. Genius. People, you have two choices (disregard the flankers) Classic or Absolue. My choice was with Absolue because I am older but when Victoria Frolova and Chris Sheldrake are on the same page with the Classic, if I was young, I'd be buying it, Lady Cacharel has a nice ring to it.
25th May, 2014

Infusion d'Iris Eau de Parfum Absolue by Prada

Rock solid performer from Prada, better than the original Infusion to my mind. There's something Chanelesque about the way it wafts and wends its way around you and the mistake would be to think you could wear it every day, where I fear you would become a little anosmic. I qualify that by saying that the longevity is not as durable as the original and as others have noted the carrot goes before the stick, the iris (carroty orris butter) fades quickly to the golden benzoin afterglow. It's quite a romantic little number though and the acid test is whether or not you reach for it when pushed for time. I confess that I do and I that I have a back up.
I have bath salts in the original Infusion D'Iris and a new bath, one of those Victoria and Albert ones that I have waited to be a grand old age to own, after a lifetime of acrylic monstrosities I might add. Add Iris in all its forms to create the most luxurious bathing experience followed by Man style pyjamas, a dressing gown with a braid revere and softly scented breath on skin, Iris Absolu
19th May, 2014 (last edited: 19th September, 2014)

Azzaro Couture by Azzaro

A further advance on Chandler Burr's complimentary review on the new Couture would be redundant and a little arrogant, it really hits the mark. Yes, I often bemoan the dearth of elegant perfume releases in a plethora of saccharine concoctions. Saccharine is artificial sugar, a chemical aping of cane sugar just as the sweet monstrosities of the perfume world dull and dumb us down with the olfactory equivalent of high blood sugar. When I heard that Prada had produced 'Candy' there was a sharp intake of breath and a very long measured sigh. Small voices say 'Learn to accept the things you can't change and be grateful for small mercies,' then came Nicky Minage. Candy, all is forgiven.
I had never heard of Couture, not even the older version but the new one caught my eye at a ridiculous price on a daily special. Mentally I was rockin' Austin Powers as I spied the bottle. I really liked it, in the way I liked Thunderbirds (FAB) and the suspended polycarbonate white sound shell chair of the sixties. I found a few references, Chandler's being one of them and gave it a go. I'm so pleased I did. I can believe that this perfume contains five absolutes, which is to say, I want to believe it because I like it, If you took to 'Enjoy, Bill Blass (new) Fleur de Cristal, Flora Nymphaea, Champs Elysee, Y (YSL) Belle en Rykiel etc then that's the general direction but they're not as good. Obviously regulations have taken their toll on these and Couture has been built from the ground up. It's a happy spring scent. a feminine scent (sorry guys, I can't see it on a man) It's compote sweet, not jammy sweet.(compote only has enough sugar to keep for a few days) and there is a sort of guava or feijoa blossom tang. I've worn it faithfully for days, enjoying the fruit tea aspect of the dry down. That's a smash hit at my place.

The bottle has tiny crystals on the top, Austin Powers' fembots are grooving the scene. "Hey DaddyO, do I make you smell nice, baby? Oh Austin, behave....and retrieve my bottle of Couture from the fembots, I'm sure there's state secrets embedded in those little Swarovski crystals. Yes, I can see Liz Hurley as Vanessa wearing this, a top model with a comedic side, classy but fun.



28th April, 2014 (last edited: 03rd May, 2014)

Coco Noir by Chanel

Without owning a sample I would like to second everything Mimi Gardenia writes in her review and say that this is simply gorgeous on my daughter. Just because it may not (or it may) suit me doesn't detract from its obvious appeal. The longevity and sillage are right up there. I may buy a bottle before fragrance restrictions dumb down this Lois Lane of a perfume. "All roads lead to Rome" my Mother is fond of saying but perhaps all roads lead to Chanel. Impressive.
13th April, 2014

Private Collection Jasmine White Moss by Estée Lauder

My daughter's wedding loomed. 'What perfume will you wear" I asked. Her face turned inside out "It has to be something that nobody else is wearing, what do you have?" I had a little something that I thought might work, all thanks to a very sophisticated but supremely approachable SA at Nieman Marcus Alamoana Centre. Because it was her nuptial perfume of choice I handed my gorgeous sample to my daughter, who instantly fell in love with Tom Ford's Champaca Absolute. It met the criteria too. Aha! Not the subject of this review, you ask, what are you blithering on about? The bride is the star of the show, but what does the Mother of the Bride wear? What says 'I know enough about perfume to get this mix right' ? I racked my brains and decided that Cristalle could translate that mixture of joy and understated elegance, but hell, Cristalle wouldn't last past the first hour. Jasmin White Moss isn't a clone when compared wrist to wrist, but let's face it, the Queen is dead, Long live the Queen; Cristalle is barely supported by Chanel as all the marketing energy has gone into the Exclusifs and a certain Pitt stop. The wedding is next week. Thank you Aerin Lauder, thank you Estee, for this perfume's conception. I think there's a trace of 'Beautiful' in it, but perhaps I'm brainwashed. Whatever White Moss Mist is, I'm a believer and I love it. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
01st April, 2014