Reviews by gimmegreen

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    gimmegreen
    Netherlands Netherlands

    Showing 241 to 270 of 366.
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    Baghari by Robert Piguet

    Were I to attend a sci fi convention this is the perfume I’d wear. It’s cold, pale green milk from the Planet Zearxh.
    It holds such opposite notes together in such exquisite balance, it’s a perfumery gyroscope. It never seems familiar, surprising each time I spray it on. The aldehydes go ssss, before the gas takes effect. Lemon cool and sharp, violet leaf bitter and greasy, abstract ‘fresh’ greens, geraniol’s liveliness, and clouds and clouds of powder. There’s sweetness lurking here too, but of an almost metallic variety. It’s one of those fragrances where the discussion of notes inevitably seems to throw off balance the actual experience of wearing the thing. It’s about as linear as they come, but I wouldn’t want it any other way – there’s enough complexity here, it seems churlish to demand evolution. For a ‘cold’ fragrance, it positively sings in the wintertime – go figure.
    Some days I wake up and think, this is going to be a Baghari day – and then I just know it would be foolish to consider anything else.

    13 July, 2012

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    Une Rose Vermeille by Tauer

    This perfume was an education. Its main players are an intensely jammy rose and raspberry combo – rich, sweet and thick. This I found hard to appreciate, conditioned as I had been by exposure to so many lightweight fruity florals. Why wasn’t this cheerful and bubbly? How could a berry note be treated in such a dense, stately manner?
    But I wore it. And wore it. And wore it. (Well, one spray is usually enough to last an entire day.) And I realized that my prejudices came from elsewhere; they were of no help in appreciating this fragrance I was slowly falling in love with. That raspberry was marvellous, both soda pop and the real fruit, bolstered by the tang of lemon and a hint of lavender. The jamminess was just of itself, and something that I actually sank into rather than a cloying mess (people who dislike intense sweetness may beg to differ). Here was a work of art in bright kitschy colours, juicy as a gumdrop and serious as the Mona Lisa. But it’s her hint of a smile that has kept so many so fascinated for so long...

    12 July, 2012

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    Ta'If by Ormonde Jayne

    Linda Pilkington has a way with pepper that is just right. She uses pink pepper frequently and it is always a gentle sprinkling, completely integral to the composition. No unfortunate associations of the spice rack. Here it provides effervescence to the zingy saffron opening, behind which a soft rose sweetened by the slightest touch of dates emerges. The dates note is a stroke of genius, holding the composition as it were, through to its fading moments. This one was love at first sniff for me, but it is discreet – you know what to expect when the sales assistant says, ‘You wear the perfume, the perfume doesn’t wear you.’ So, not the huge floodlit floral that Turin claims it is. I can see it being a party time scent as the OJ website announces – especially if it’s one of those kiss-kiss soirees and you want to make a quiet impact rather than be sillage queen. And would definitely work if one were in the mood for lurrrve. But for me it is a comfort scent, a bit of calming bliss that I can wear anytime I like and feel instantly centred.
    Also one of the few, that upon returning to it after a long break strikes me as both familiar and new. To say nothing of slightly hypnotic.

    12 July, 2012

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    Rosissimo by Les Parfums de Rosine

    An unexpected delight – gorgeous citric notes with a herbaceous zing that buzz like mayflies around a pure sweet rose. It feels completely natural and unforced. Good tenacity for something this fresh, and depth and evolution, too. Ends in a sweeter zone as it must but the fir and vetiver in the base maintain strength and direction. Tremendous confidence to this one; can’t for the life of me see why it’s targeted at men alone.

    12 July, 2012

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    Replay for Her! by Replay

    Typical sweet blended fruit scent with a plummy-rose heart that actually demonstrates a bit of character. Soft powder round the edges. Generic as heck, but also calm, comforting and cheap. A big hit with teens when it came out – they could have done much, much worse.

    12 July, 2012

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    Opus III by Amouage

    A door to an old bookshop with teak cases creaked open on first spray: such a sense of stillness and books that have been sitting unthumbed for too long. Then a cloud of vapours, slightly boozy, sweet turps, nail polish. Where are they going with this thing, I wondered. But when the heart hove into view, I could understand these strange transitioning notes. At heart this is mainly about violet, iris and ylang; a somewhat torpid combination that insists on lolling rather than making the moves and doing that sensuous thang. The spice is light, a faint prickle in the throat. The sandalwood silken.
    With repeat wears, I have come to love this creation’s discretion, a haze of comfort that won’t smother anyone. It also seems to love me back, drawing compliments from the most unusual quarters.

    12 July, 2012

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    Missoni (new) by Missoni

    Ah the voice of experience that knows where all the naughty, pleasurable things in life are to be found and, more importantly, how to indulge in them without being needy and driven.
    In perfumes, the usual ways of being ‘of the world’ are to push the dirt through animalics or indoles, load the thing with spice, create a philharmonic complexity. But all those approaches can often come across as weary and wrinkled, trying too hard. Missoni offers another way, chic and bright with pink erotic depth.
    The grounding depth chord here is cocoa; dark, dry, dusty, with a hint of hazelnut, but not of the kiddie chocolate bar variety. Over this dance sprightly, juicy, but not sweet orange notes; an aquatic wash that makes the whole composition waver like the finest chiffon; light, clean woods. I had told myself I would never stoop to wearing something with a chocolate note – Missoni offered irresistible temptation, going, ‘this isn’t chocolate, this is aphrodisiac’. It also offers the renewed pleasure with each wearing of rediscovering something that shouldn’t work, but does, gloriously, mischievously.

    12 July, 2012

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    D&G La Lune 18 by Dolce & Gabbana

    After a liberal dousing, I got the distinct impression that the homeopathic principle of attempting to achieve potency through dilution must be the idea behind this fragrance. I doubt it works in homeopathy, and it certainly isn’t working here.
    About 15 minutes into this non-event an enervated whine arose from my skin. This is what it said: ‘I’m pale, I’m pink, I’m trying to be nice by just fading into a wash of girly sweetness. I have no contour, but to call me seamless would be a compliment. I’m now going to hang around here palely and sweetly at the periphery of your being in my shapeless shift dress, hoping you’ll like me.’
    Flat, synthetic, overblended rubbish aimed at pleasing newbies who enjoy fabric conditioner.

    12 July, 2012

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    Jasmin de Nuit by Different Company

    Opens with fizzy jasmine backed by cake spice, zesty with a twist. Sadly soon settles to a flat pop sweetness with the spice clumping to the bottom of the glass.
    The promotional guff evokes the magical scent of nighttime jasmine wafting across the earth odours released by a garden in darkness – if this even hinted at that rather than coming across as the remnants of a sweety-mad kid’s birthday party it would hit the spot.

    12 July, 2012

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    Gujarat by Olympic Orchids

    Curioser and curioser. Discard fears of curry – the spices in this one are muted and polished to a golden sheen. The overall impression is warm and woody with a ripe mango fruity note peeking though. It shouldn’t, but somehow this works and touches the spots other perfumes don’t even care to reach. The drydown is a touch disappointing – too much turpentine and the air of long closed rooms in a hot, dry climate.

    12 July, 2012

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    Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Curiously for a perfume that was supposedly revolutionary, the first impression is of something from a bygone age – a mysterious and dusty flask in a dark antique shop, which when opened releases a rich odour from a time of mysterious rites and different mores. The impression is largely, I suppose, created by the absence of signifiers of ‘modernity’ – aquatic notes, metallics, exotic flowers or fruit, solar accords or salt, look-at-me chemicals...
    On the other hand, this is so firmly a spicy oriental that it has immediate familiarity – it teeters on the edge of a gourmand cliff but pulls away. With its backbone of sweet wood (mainly cedar, but without the nostril clearing sharpness) and unguent spices (notes of cinnamon, clove, cumin – all things I’d normally not care for), this has a radiance which earns it a place in the hall of greats. The intense sweetness is held in check as just one element of a magical potion. And magic it is – for instead of being heavy and dreary, it glides on like a tailor-made garment of the finest material.

    12 July, 2012

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    Divin'enfant by Etat Libre d'Orange

    A cloud of sweet – airy neroli muddled with the confectionary note of marshmallow. From this emerges the coffe-leather-tobacco thang which is supposed to be oh so bad baby. But the pervading sweetness gives it a flaccid, sickly aura. Like many Etat offerings, this too has radioactive longevity, the pump in its plastic heart refusing to give up the ghost. Like being stuck with someone who keeps repeating the one joke they know.

    12 July, 2012

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    Champaca by Ormonde Jayne

    Another creation of great subtlety from Linda Pilkington; no blaring floral here.
    This one suspends the creamy loveliness of the champak blossom on the comforting notes of the lightest of green teas, bamboo and dry basmati rice – a precious flower resting on gossamer layers. One drifts in and out of its spell, with the scent fading into the background and then coming up again in swells during the day. The lightness of touch made me think of it primarily as a warm weather perfume, but it shows its worth equally well in the enclosed spaces of winter.

    12 July, 2012

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    Badgley Mischka by Badgley Mischka

    Each time I wear this with a view to writing a review, I get caught up in its drama instead and think, ‘Why bother’. Badgley Mischka is unadulterated pleasure to my nose, which explains my reluctance, but also the blending of the fruity tones is so thorough that singling out an aspect or two risks misrepresentation. It is sinfully indulgent in the sweet register without the suffocation of some gourmands. Perhaps that is because it is actually so abstract that there is little suggestion of ingestible food. The fruit here is ripe to the point of being on the turn, a scent that is maddeningly alluring not just to the common housefly it seems but to my own nostrils as well. The sugars are about to turn to alcohol but the aura remains luscious not soaked in hooch. Others, who perhaps have difficulty with the notion of wearing an out-an-out fruity, have suggested floral depths and a chypric base. I beg to differ: Badgley Mischka does not lack in complexity but it is essentially of a fruity variety with an orchestra of sweet synthetics no doubt bolstering its vivacity. One of the best cheap thrills around.

    12 July, 2012

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    Calyx by Prescriptives

    Opens as a grassy fruity with a light, non-indolic jasmine peeking through – mucho tiptoe through the tulips so far. But as the grassiness fades, this increases in vagueness. Sure there's a bowlful of fruit in there but it's been blended to a smoothie, and then lightened by a chemical choir singing in Enya-tones of refreshing things. This one is rumoured to contain over 700 ingredients, which is entirely possible based on the olfactory experience. Where some shapeless perfumes increase their mysteriousness stakes by being elusive, this one fails to lift above 'nice'.

    29 June, 2012

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    Aqua Allegoria Ylang & Vanille by Guerlain

    Ylang ylang has such a meaty density, the surging vivacity of tropical white flowers tempered to something much calmer and slower, without much evidence of the 'dirty' indole but oh so of the flesh nonetheless. I grew to truly love it at the heart of the ravishing Aromatics Elixir and will often scent my room with its essential oil. Its aromatherapy uses include alleviating tension and hyperventilation, and I bet it does – warmth and languor seem like its natural setting. These are hefty molecules that are going nowhere fast, they vibrate with a soothing bass drone.
    Looking for a perfume that would showcase ylang without too many other notes, I came across this, and broke through my usual indifference to discontinued fragrances and blind bought it (it's still widely available on the Net at a pretty reasonable price).
    Well, it's simple and sophisticated – Guerlain magic. Strangely the opening impression is of lilies which soon morph most naturally into a refined yet utterly true ylang note. A slightly bitter, somewhat smoky and milky vanilla perfects the creation, giving it additional comfort and warmth without extraneous sweetness. I'm home.

    29 June, 2012

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    Verveine / Lemon Verbena / Eau de Verveine / Verveine d'Eugène by Heeley

    This has a composure bordering on reserve; a perfectly tailored composition without distracting frills or flashes. The verbena note is struck clean and true, the bergamot – usually an opening fanfare – actually develops in the heart, and there's a soft sweet floral murmur (jasmine apparently, but it could as well have been roses, it's that discreet) keeping things human. The verbena lingers in the deep base, but now a cedar-musk-Iso E Super type backing becomes perceptible. Bracing without hitting you over the head, sleek, and easy to slip into.
    Goodness knows why, I'm reminded of Diptyque's L'Ombre dans l'Eau: maybe it's that wet sweet floral thingy behind a verdant green note that's in common to both.

    29 June, 2012

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    Tocade by Rochas

    Scented-eraser rose and vanilla sugar cloaked in an odd, ozonic, rubbed vinyl kind of smell (probably an iris note). What hidden part of the reptilian brain this tickles, I don't know, but it often seems just right for evenings at home or on days when other perfumes seem a bit shrieky. What it lacks in refinement, it makes up in comfort and approachability. According to J-C Ellena, the first perfume to use Magnolia leaf eo, whatever that smells like.

    29 June, 2012

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    Safran Troublant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Veritas and Proportion are the guiding deities behind this divine scent. Giacobetti propitiates Veritas by realizing the truest saffron note I have yet encountered in perfumery – this is the real thing, the kind of magical intoxicating fragrance that first made people pick crocus stamens in back-breaking labour. Unadulterated saffron is pretty difficult to source these days and thus many people's perception of this note can be a bit mixed up.
    Proportion (and no doubt craft) is what makes one baker turn out a minor miracle with flour, water, yeast and salt, and another a chewy lump. Here the merest dab of rose gives extra propulsion to the saffron at the start, and then the vanilla smoothes and gently warms the entire composition into creamy voluptuousness. To call this a gourmand is to somewhat miss the point; to my mind this has the erotic charge of being with someone with whom one is completely at ease and to whom surrender will bring only pleasure.
    Sadly, loses strength fast and needs reapplications.

    29 June, 2012

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    Rose de Feu by Les Parfums de Rosine

    Opens as a velvety, liquerish rose, pretty ecstatic. Settles into a rose-vanilla accord which is surprisingly not too sweet. Supremely comfortable.

    29 June, 2012

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    I by Puredistance

    Opens with a certain brandied sophistication, but is ultimately a lacklustre overblended sweetish floral upon a foundation of synthetics of room freshener quality. Looks like they blew the budget on the top notes, leaving nothing for the base. The pure parfum shtick of Puredistance is a bit of a con in this instance – longevity for this is pretty average and it shrinks to a skin scent within minutes.

    29 June, 2012

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    Osmanthus by Different Company

    Barely there perfumes can barely be reviewed. For what it's worth, an airy, soft fruit (think a dream of apricot) and spring blossom (ok, osmanthus flowers in autumn, but hey it smells like a start rather than an end) concoction which would be worth sitting up and paying attention to if only it had the amplitude.

    29 June, 2012

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    Oolang Infini by Atelier Cologne

    Not even a sniff of tea in this one – so much for truth in advertising. A punchy citrus top similar to scores of 'fresh' colognes, followed by a chemical heavy (cashmeran?), smooth and soapy drydown. Why?

    29 June, 2012

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    Ophelia by Heeley

    A green jasmine with an aquatic lightness at the top which deepens to accommodate airy tuberose (now there's a contradiction in terms) and hints of muguet. It's that subtle, simple thing that Heeley does well but which ultimately never has me reaching for my wallet. This is a white floral bouquet that may tempt those who can't stand them; it's stripped of indoles and trips shivering naked through the clouds, singing: 'I could live on air alone.' A cunningly charming creation.

    28 June, 2012

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    Narcisse Noir by Caron

    The sheer luxury of its opening makes this worth the entrance fee – the most unctuous narcissus lifted by an orange blossom breeze on a cushion of velvety, powdery sandalwood rising from the base. It makes me want to swan about in robes of bejewelled silk. The heart is more of a quality jasmine and there are quite a few of those about, but the ravishment is in the first glimpse and in the absolute luxury of the base which lingers the whole day long.

    28 June, 2012

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    Lyric Man by Amouage

    Evasive rather than elusive, Lyric Man seems to have been designed to confound my nose. Opening with a somewhat drunken rose and plenty of lime, which is a rather strange combination, this ebbs pretty quickly into next to nothingness, where it infuriates me because I know it's there, just playing at being coy. After a while it begins to return, on wheels of synthetic musks. Now there's dankness, some powder and discreet spice, yet it keeps defying definition. Ultimately, I give up; this is just too polite in its mystery and Lyric Woman is more forthcoming with her beauty.

    28 June, 2012

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    La Rose de Rosine by Les Parfums de Rosine

    A straight to the point chypric rose opening, probably the marigold being a bit strident, but countered by an intoxicating, winey, fermenting grape note. Settles into a pugnacious, ‘perfume’ rose (fortified rather than ‘fresh’ or ‘real’), with a powdery undertow. Stately and somewhat severe, it makes perfect sense that Rosine would see this grande dame as their flagbearer.

    28 June, 2012

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    Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Souk popcorn. Mellow and foody, with a topping of butter if one is being charitable, dry sweat if one is not – a certain saltiness rising above the glutenfest. A little while in, the milky sweetness began to rise but never got uncomfortable and then a few hours later it subsided again and I was left with a toned down version of the opening. If this were available in small bottles, I'd get it like a shot – it certainly intrigues even if it does not wow.

    28 June, 2012

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    Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka by Hermès

    What's in a name? Misdirection that's what. The combination of these notes sounds like a marriage made in a Fabergé (the jeweller, natch) workshop – exquisite, to be cherished eternally. Both are so infinitely complex with sweet, earthy, damp pleasures in their folds, that one imagines their cilia entwining in everlasting bliss.
    Except I had forgotten that J-C Ellena seems to prefer the dry salt-sweet woodsy aspect of vetiver, rather than the entire spectrum it presents. As for the tonka, I'm sure it's in there somewhere, but its fudgy richness has been slimmed down – what's the point?
    Fortunately this perfume doesn't typify the sado-minimalism of Ellena's late style, there's a good deal going on. Characteristically (for Ellena) piercing citruses, a slept-in tobacco note that will instantly dispel the effects of having showered, toasty nutty and sweet things, a bit of coffee here, a touch of chocolate there. It all hangs together rather beautifully, and that is eventually what counts. This is a creation that breathes with life, it has temperament, moods.
    The deep drydown is sweet, smooth vetiver with an almost aldehydic lift; perfumes rarely give that impression so late into the wearing.
    (Still looking for that marriage of vetiver with tonka that will boom out like a hall full of church organs. One can but dream…)

    28 June, 2012

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    Frankincense & Myrrh by Czech & Speake

    There is an unfussy style of singing often adopted by singers with plain voices that is referred to as 'artless'. It allows the audience to overlook their rather limited gift and concentrate on the song itself. Doesn't always work.
    C&S seem to adopt this approach to this pretty unadorned frankincense and myrrh (well, it *did* say that on the tin, I will concede) combo. There's citrus and herbs to keep it light and counter the warmth of the two main players, and there's cedar which gives a medicine chest vibe, but all in all this is too close to essential oil territory for me to take seriously as perfume. Others may enjoy its naturalness.

    28 June, 2012

    Showing 241 to 270 of 366.