Perfume Reviews

Reviews by KarmaLee

Total Reviews: 27

Amazone (new) by Hermès

I just encountered this, and fell so in lust. Like Hillaire, I love the mix of this fragrance--the way it comes on with a come hither weirdness and then just gets hotter on my skin. I get leather, and spice, and some green bite, and an animal skin raunch all blended together into a mix that intoxicates me.

It has a bit of good sillage, a bit of projection, and staying power on my skin. Later on, after a few hours, it seems to sink into my very skin and become part of me. But I can still smell it.

I love this so much I want to lick my arms when I wear it.
18th May, 2012

Eau de Shalimar by Guerlain

Got this today, and it is more like a distant member of the Shalimar family, with a more clear, nearly fizzy citrus opening and much less depth. This of course, makes sense, given its name. It is like a cool drink of Shalimar-flavored water with a huge twist of lime and lemon. I get very little of the middle, a bit of the typical Guerlain-ish notes, and just a whiff of a light dry down.

Overall, as a lover of Shalimar, I love this one too for what it is. The iris in the base is lost on me, but am giving it a good long wear tonight to try and find the middle of that iris in the ending.
06th May, 2012

Obsession by Calvin Klein

Obsession remains a scent that can transport me. It like other strong impression scents cannot ever be mistaken for something else. It shouts a bit.

But that is fine with me. I like the noise.

Obsession melts into my skin and becomes a rare, subtle things too. So it is a contradictory scent: it shouts, and yet is is complex enough to have subtle shades during the stages.

Those middle notes give it a green twist for me. The tagete adds a bit of a weird vibe that adds to the complexity that is Obsession. The opening, for me, does not change that much through the first drydown stages: I get florals along with that green coriander bite.

And then the amber in the drydown flows into my skin and stays, and stays. And this is not a bad thing. No matter that Obsession is "an 80's" dated scent. It is still lovely. But then, I am reviewing from my collection which contains some vintage bottles.

Just also tried a few sprays from a new, little bottle. It is still obsession, just not the big lovely thing I have on the other wrist. Oakmoss changes? No matter. I even like this version.

But the older versions? A classic, sexy sultry, tanned thing with a bit too much make-up that you still adore.
04th May, 2012
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XOXO Kundalini by XOXO

Bought for cheap and on whim because I study Kundalini yoga! The scent? A bit odd and better than I actually expected. The notes listed does not include patchouli, but I swear, it is in there, and I am sure cheap imitation sandalwood accord. There is a light warm, floral note to the scent.

It does not last long, very little sillage or projection, at least on me. But, it does make for a nice spritz on fabric and furniture, even a bit in my car when I cleaned it.

A great use? Sprayed on my white t-shirt as I go about doing some domestic goddess house/yard stuff. It works well as a scent for a day of space clearing.

I only wear natural scents when doing yoga, so I won't be wearning this one, but it does remind me a bit of incense and temple worship, at least for the short minutes it lasts.
14th April, 2012

Sophia by Coty

A little strident to my nose, and artificial flower in an 80's kind of way. I can 't seem to separate the notes clearly and instead get a generic floral hit and maybe a bit of harsh hairspray. Not horrible, but feels dated and harsh to my nose. It comes across as very "formal" in an odd way.
24th March, 2012

Alien Aqua Chic by Thierry Mugler

I just bought this and like the clean light whiff of traditional Alien lightened up a bit. I love the big nasty original, but this one, unlike most "lightened up" fragrances makes me smile. The lemon verbena lifts the opening up a bit and I get more ginger spice from the opening. It lasts like the original Alien on my skin and projects almost as well.

It dries down into that lovely amber I love. A good summer flanker for me.
22nd March, 2012

Lola by Marc Jacobs

A "white noise" floral that just smells synthetic, generic to my nose. Thankfully it also seemed to disappear quickly. I keep expecting more, more something, from modern florals and rarely find it. I got no drydown on this one at all. White floral detergent whiff and gone.
22nd March, 2012

Eau Dynamisante by Clarins

I keep a bottle of this at work in my desk. My office is often the scene of student visits and peer conferences. I find that a gentle spritz up into the air once or twice a day freshens my spirits, and the air!

I also wear it on my skin, but more like a pick me up than a true fragrance. I think it loves my Shalimar and #5. When I am wearing these, and hit my arms with a light spritz of Eau Dynamisante, they seem to wake up and sparkle a bit.
22nd March, 2012

Here's My Heart by Avon


I just bought a very vintage little jade green/blue bottle of this with a lovely bakelite cap in the lotion/sachet.

It opens like a big boned cross between Chanel 5 and My Sin. This vintage, Avon or not, has some good old ingredients in there. I felt like I let out a well-dressed-wearing-killer-red-lipstick genie when I opened this small bottle. Dang. She means business and just proves that you can't always determine the magic inside a bottle by the name on the outside.
20th March, 2012

Amarige by Givenchy

I usually do not like white florals, my "white noise" florals, but this one has a bit more heart and soul than most. A bit of jazz saxophone in that white noise I do believe. I do get a bit of toned-down Fracas, a tiny hit of Joy, and then a sweet tobacco/honey tone.

This one gets better the longer it sits on my skin. The male in my life said it makes him want to take me out to dinner naked....
20th March, 2012

Glamourous by Ralph Lauren

A white floral that does not evoke glamour to me, but a sedate garden at noon. It fades quickly and leaves no mystery to explore as the stars come out. It is on opening what it is until it slips away quickly.
20th March, 2012

Boucheron by Boucheron

It opens with a hint of floral (neroli?) and a touch of green bitter, then falls into a creamy oakmoss, sandalwood, teensy bit of civit loveliness. I just bought a small bottle of the EdP, and may be in love, and will be looking for more of the 1988 vintage juice.

It moves through its notes, not in a linear from here to there way, but in a nice circle of effect. The neroli gives way to the green and that carries the flower and herb right into the spice/sweet benzoin bones of the composition.

It projects well, and the drydown is lasting but not overpowerful.
20th March, 2012

Orchidee by Yves Rocher

I just bought a small bottle, and for a nearly soliflora, orchid, it smells fresh and lovely, and predictable. It evaporates away on me fast, leaving the faintest trace of sweet flower.

This one might lend itself well to layering over something heavier to lighten up a heavy, warm scent for better into spring. I may try that!
20th March, 2012
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Champs-Elysées by Guerlain

I have not encountered a good smell of the vintage, but this small bottle I have is, um, nice. It falls into my "white noise" category: white florals that just blend into the background and leave no real impression on me. I expected more from this Guerlain.

It plays nice, though. I can see it being good for office or close-quarters (long train rides) if you are afraid of being offensive. Me? I care little for that and will wear Opium and sniff my own arm outrageously.

20th March, 2012

Kapsule Woody by Lagerfeld

I like this almost delicate woodsy scent. I get visions of traipsing through a wet pine forest just as dusk. There seems to be a bit of an earthy flower underfoot getting crushed and releasing a whiff of green and fresh into the air. And there is a bit of spice bush in there as well. It all mixes into a pleasent, refreshing woods scent.

This one plays well with others. I like a spritz mixed with, gasp, the new formulation of Poison--gives the new sweet bomb version a bit of lacking depth of character.

And on my sheets at night before bed? *loverly* as my friend used to say!
20th March, 2012

Hawaiian White Ginger by Avon

I just got this today at an antique store, and it is such a find. First, the bottle: a little rotund pig, with a jadeite-green bakelite lid, AND a little cloth flower. Very vintage bottle and the scent is gentle, and a bit tropical, with a bit of an herb bite. I cannot believe how good some of the vintage Avons seem to be to my nose. And this little pig is adorable.
18th March, 2012

Mon Peche / My Sin by Long Lost Perfume

I got a lovely vintage bottle today in an antique story--and it made me close my eyes and sigh. It is deep and complex. The opening lasts a long time on my skin, and the heart notes rise up and stay and stay. I will see how it lives on my skin overnight.

Why, oh, why do the gorgeous ones get lost to time?

I can smell all of the accords listed. This is not linear, but more like a spiral of scent.
18th March, 2012

Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I go thumbs up based on my large sample of Timbuktu. I love the opening so much. Dark, mysterious spice and incense. Then, wham, it goes soap. Quick dry down to a creamy, soapy, warm amorphous blend.

That might sound boring, but really, I wear Timbuktu and know I look quite odd walking around with my wrist pressed against my nose.

I cannot stop smelling it.

It might fade to soap, and quickly on my skin, but it is an exotic soap, smelling like you bought a gorgeous handcrafted bar from a street vendor whose grandmother made it using all natural ingredients found nowhere else in the world but her secret mountain garden. She might have also slipped in just a bit of holy incense from an old temple.

The sillage and projection are moderate for me, but lovely while they last.
17th March, 2012 (last edited: 29th March, 2012)

8e Jour by Yves Rocher

I have this now in tiny miniature, and the scent moves something deep in my bones. I have no idea about sillage and projection, but will test it out more this week.

The Honey came to me right up front, with a bit of floral, but not to my nose overtly iris or jasmine. I actually got spice, and then saw the cinnamon listed. That explains it.

I need to wear this when I am not sifting through my collection spraying every other finger with something else that I had forgotten I owned.

Warm. Comforting like hot tea with honey and cinnamon without being overtly gourmand.
17th March, 2012

Fleur de Corail / Coral Flower by Lolita Lempicka

The bottle's cuteness lifts my spirits. It is not a "white noise" floral, but instead a sweetly warm floral grounded by a just-right amber quality. It sits close to my skin and almost smells like my hands after I cut wildflowers.

The sillage seems fair, and the drydown seems subtle but long-lasting. It might be a spring day scent when I don't want something overpowering.

17th March, 2012

Blu Notte by Bulgari

I get just a hint of vodka with a generic hit of floral. Maybe a bit of vanilla chocolate in the drydown. A very subtle fragrance that might work for riding on a train in close quarters, or at work when you have to sit around a conference table and want something low and quiet.

I prefer loud and sassy it seems, but there is a gentle beauty here.
17th March, 2012

Wrappings by Clinique

I stumbled on this yesterday at an outlet store that carries Estee Lauder and Clinique exclusively.

I wandered back to the Aromatics Elixir, which I love and there was this odd little green box: a gift set of Wrappings with perfume and body cream. I spritzed the tester and almost fell over.

Herbal, lovely, a bit odd. I get the different accords here and find it almost like standing outside near an herb garden, beside a rolling green river, with cool air from the mountain blowing in. It is all in there.

This to me is not a simple scent, but complex and divine. I am a bit worried about the drydown, but will see how that works out when I give it a real try later this week.
17th March, 2012

Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Another of those scents that confounds me. I love it; I hate it. And then wear it anyway.

I have no idea why, but to me this is pure retro. I am reminded of the early 70's and my hippie chica Aunt who wore wild coral lipstick and nailpolish. And this smells like her, her ambiance. I get nothing white floral or traditional.

I get nail polish and hair spray and horse sweat and a worn out vanilla seeping from the pages of a library book, probably a secreted copy of Lolita I should not be reading, while sitting across from my aunt doing her nails. I hear The Beatles in the background. We are going to have a casserole for supper then a jam session with her crazy friends.

All of this from a perfume that is not retro, or vintage. Odd. But it takes me, holds me, and I reach for it often. I just never seem to get any drydown on this one. It goes from top notes to gone. Maybe I will spray more!
13th March, 2012

Midnight Poison by Christian Dior

I have a small midnight blue bottle of Midnight Poison, that I had never opened. Then, Poison caught me a few weeks ago, for the first time. I fell in love and have been having a Poison affair since.

Last week, I placed the Midnight Poison beside my bed and used it as a sleeping potion of sorts. And opening the bottle made me gasp. I love this scent. I still only use it at night, but almost every night now, I fall into dreams with the lush scent of warm roses and patchouli rising from my wrists and pillow.

This seems a bit thin at first, but then deepens. It is more complex than it first seems. It may be mostly roses and herb, but it does it with some other notes layered in, that I cannot recognize. The whole composition is more than the sum of its parts. It blends with an alchemical reaction that ZINGS on me. Then, it calms down and comforts me with one of the most beautiful scents I have ever experienced.

I need a full, big bottle now.
10th March, 2012

Parfum Sacré by Caron

Parfum Sacre's entrance in my life began with sample--that I love to sample. But I have never gone ahead and ordered the full bottle.

The opening hits hard with an almost industrial, artificial aldehyde overload backed up by a dry rose tone and rich incense lightened with a hint of balsam and a dash of citrus. After just a second, I find myself craving the scent, sniffing deeper, longer. I love the opening, that complexity of the man-made and the natural. It feels like a scent made by a sorceress in a steampunk lab. A very sophistacated sorceress with a keen nose and a sense of sacred ritual.


The next stage loses me. The heady opening dries down quick on me to something a bit, flat. The complexity of the opening becomes a bit of powdered incense and cheap hotel soap. If this fragrance kept more of that opening through the middle to the drydown, I would wrap myself in it often.

As it is, I opening it, spread a small amount down the side of my index finger and smell until the lovely opening dissipates. I then go through my day yearning for that scent again. I want to talk to the sorceress who made it and say, "Make the beginning last please." She keeps denying me the pleasure.
04th March, 2012

Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

This scent confuses me. After wearing it off and on for over a year now, I still cannot make up my mind. Sometimes I seem to crave the scent, but actually like it as a room spray better than I do on my own skin. To me I get the fresh green vegetal accord--green mangoes? I am not sure what a green mango actually smells like, but to me it is sharp, almost like the green sap and tannin smell of a willow branch broken off in early spring.

And that is where it stay on me. I do not get much development into heart notes, and no nice oriental dry-down. It stays sharp and green on me. Instantly recognizable. Does that mean I like it? I don't know. But I do appreciate it. I keep trying. Like now. I have it on the back of my left hand. I still just get a bitter whiff of fresh cut branch.

I am intrigued enough to keep trying.
03rd March, 2012

Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

A few years ago, I followed a well-kept, suited woman around during a conference just to catch a whiff of the air surrounding her.

Some exotic blend of a smell like a sun-warmed hillside in Greece?

She shared that she was wearing Aromatics Elixir.

Before dinner that night, I taxied to the mall and bought some of the body creme. I would put it on before bed when traveling during that hectic year. And then left the little bit left in the container somewhere south of Richmond, Virginia during a rushed hotel check-out.

And promptly forgot all about the beloved smell.

Then, I got infected with the scent obsession last year. Again. And it came back on me like a bad case of an antibiotic-resistant super bug. I collect. I plan stops during travel at promising little thrift stores run by odd little men who want to smell me. But that is a whole nother story....

This story is about my return to Aromatics Elixir. During the past months, I have bought, scrounged, traded to get my hands on some vintage juice. Shalimar and Chanel 5, old gnarly bottles, sit proudy in my dark little shelf alongside weird thrift store finds (Houbigant) to a pristine bottle of Caron Narcisse Noir for less than the price of a hamburger.

Last week at one of my local tj maxx haunts, I saw a gorgeous, still shrink-wrapped set of Aromatics Elixir (perfume, or parfum?, and body smoother) for discounted price of ten dollars. I grabbed it fast.

And fell in love.

This scent smells like sun-warmed herbs, with a few crushed underfoot releasing a bit of a sharp green goodness along with that slighly sweet smell of warm, dry hay. And somebody crushed just a small handful of white wild rose into the mix. And then the sun goes down and a fire is lit and the hay, and herbs, and roses go a bit smoky and rise like incense into the gloaming sky.

Aromatics Elixir works best on me as the lotion/body smoother. UNTIL, I tried getting a bit of almond oil, spritzing some of the perfume into a small bit of oil in my hand and smoothing it over my hands and arms. After reading the reviews here, I plan on experimenting with some high quality essential oils and maybe a bit of neroli to brighten it a bit for day wear.

Now I am on a hunt to find other fragrances that do this same full sensory, nearly narrative magic to me. Suggestions? I am female, but wear both male and female fragrances, and even mix them at times (one on each arm on really interesting days).

What else out there might do to me what this one does? I also love gourmands and niche, but this little Clinique charms me. Others to suggest?
29th February, 2012