Perfume Reviews

Reviews by ScentFan

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Total Reviews: 44

Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

Not sure I can explain why I fell in love with and bought this in the middle of my Incense Sniff Fest, even before considering a purchase of those I thought I liked better -- like Normal Kamali's Incense and Matriarch's Blackbird. The first thing I smell is smoke then a little tobacco. On my skin it's initially light and fresh, almost citrus, then the frangrance carries me away. Had to have it. That's all I know.
23rd January, 2014

Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

To me, this is the incredibly beautiful definition of perfume. I own the vintage EdC, the vintage parfum and await the arrival of the vintage EdT so I can wear all three at once as its designer, Jean Desprez, intended -- never mind the inflated prices paid. Nor will I go into the many notes. They exist in other perfumes. BaV transcends its components. This is a powerhouse perfume for a self-confident person seeking luxury for the nose.

p.s. I bought Coty's Laimant and tested it against BaV. They're similar, but not the same. The jasmine & orange blossom are much stronger in BaV and it is more complex and rich.
10th January, 2014

Tuca Tuca by Gorilla Perfume

Love, love it. What am I smelling? No idea. Something woody, fresh, floral? On my skin it starts to smell a little oudhy, but it's so nice. Looking it up: Vanilla, sandalwood, vetivert, violet leaf and ylang ylang. All come through, leaving me smiling. A possible buy.
29th December, 2013
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The Smell of Freedom by Gorilla Perfume

What does freedom smell like? Pretty darned good. Like incense and...violets? Notes: Lemongrass, lemon myrtle, neroli, jasmine, ginger, fire tree, clove, black pepper, sandalwood, oudh and orris. The woods and the spice and the oudh mask the jasmine, but now I'm beginning to realize that when I think the florals are beautiful there's usually jasmine or jasmine and rose. I also detect the neroli. Looking orris up, it's the dried root of the iris plant, used to build violet notes and lends powderiness. So orris is what I picked up at first. What's fire tree oil smell like? Can't find a description. Overall, this is good, but not for me.
29th December, 2013

Orange Blossom by Gorilla Perfume

It's perhaps a bit more orange than I want to smell like, but it's very good. Notes: Orange blossom, neroli, rosewood, ylang ylang, sandalwood and beeswax. It develops and becomes beautiful. If I didn't already own a great neroli, I'd buy this.
29th December, 2013

Lust by Gorilla Perfume

With that name, it must be good. And it is. An alluring, musky affair that's also bright. Smells a whole lot better on my hand than on paper. I think I'm smelling musk for sure or ambergris, also florals. I'm guessing jasmine. Looking it up: Jasmine, ylang ylang, rose, vanilla and sandalwood. My favorite ingredients. No musk? Goes on buy list.
29th December, 2013

Karma by Gorilla Perfume [Lush]

To me this is a slightly candy/citrus scent. It's pleasant, but not compelling. What's in it? Orange, patchouli, pine, lavendin, lemongrass and elemi. What's elemi? A tree from the Philippines. The oil is pale yellow and historically an ingredient in incense. It has a spicy and sharp citrus aroma. So, instead of candy/citrus what I'm smelling is orange, patchouli and elemi. The pine is barely detectable, as are the lavendin and lemongrass. The result is a too spicy citrus for me.
29th December, 2013

Imogen Rose by Gorilla Perfume

Excited whenever I encounter a new rose. This one flies blissfully up my nostrils. Ingredients: Rose absolute, orris root, vetivert, tonka, and bergamot. I can smell each one, but they also blend beautifully. It's a bit sweeter than I like, doesn't begin to unseat my favorite rose, FM's Une Rose, but it's a quite nice rose.
29th December, 2013

25:43 by Gorilla Perfume

The father, Mark, created this for son Simon's bride to wear on her wedding day. It's a unique smell. Lots of lemongrass. There's lime. Some florals. The website says there's: tonka, lime, lemongrass, vanilla, ylang ylang and listsea. It's a sweet, light, citrusy fragrance, but it makes me think young girl, not wedding day. I'm sure the father knew her favorites, though. What's listsea: an oil extracted from the Chinese May Chang tree. It has a scent similar to lemongrass
29th December, 2013

Opardu by Puredistance

A truly nice and, as the advert claims, swanky feminine perfume. Definitely 5th Avenue. The florals are there, but no sensuality from musk or amber or sandalwood, so it's not for me.
23rd December, 2013

Black by Puredistance

This is labelled a masculine perfume and Puredistance says they're not going to reveal the ingredients, but my nose knows rose (or is it jasmine, or both?) and sandalwood when it smells them. A beautiful resin is there, too. And the sorts of notes that make me love L'Artisans. No musk, really, and it's kind of spicey, but this is my kind of perfume. A possible buy
22nd December, 2013

Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse

Okay, I give up. Fa-bu-LOUS! If I didn't know from the name that it contains pear and olive, I never would have guessed on first sniff. Slumberhouse wants us to think "the ocean between our toes, the sun in our lungs" and that's exactly what I do from the unlikely combination of: zdravets (geranium from Bulgaria and Cyuprus), aglaia (tree in the mahogany family), massoia bark (an Indonesian tree), olive, cognac and pear. Bravo!
22nd December, 2013

L'Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque

(Aromatic Spicy, F). Lovely top notes and I was going to say that next to Olène I like this one the best. But again there's that strong, spicey base that makes it hard to breathe. What's in it? "orange, grapefruit, saffron, cinnamon, rose, ginger, cedar, incense, musk"
22nd December, 2013
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L'Eau des Hespérides by Diptyque

(Aromatic) Typing with one finger so I can keep this to my nose. The scent is light fresh, almost mentholated, a bit antiseptic if pleasantly so. Ingredients: "bitter orange, mandarin, lemon, petitgrain, aromatic herbs, red thyme, rosemary, peppermint, everlasting flower, cedarwood, white musk" Other than the citrus, I think it's the rosemary and peppermint that stand out. Smelling this on my nurse or doctor would give me confidence in them. I like, but don't love it. I think it's the cedar.
22nd December, 2013

Vetyverio Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

(Floral, Woody Musk, F) Vetiver, I'm assuming. Ah, this green is very nice. The base is still quite dense, but the airy greenness flies above it. There's probably citrus. Looking it up: "notes of mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and bergamot, followed by the floral bouquet of ylang-ylang, rose and geranium and spices such as carrot seed, nutmeg and clove. The base is composed of dry cedar, vetiver and musk." Yes, I detect the flower now. With me, my nose is disabled by very strong elements like cedar and clove, unless in just the right amounts and with the perfect counterbalancing ingredients. (This says nothing about other people's noses, of course.)
22nd December, 2013

Philosykos Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Mmm, nice. Fruit and wood. Spice or an aldehyde underneath giving density? Not the least light. Looking it up. Fig tree leaves and fruit, coconut, wood, white cedar. The intent is a fig grove and the density is meant to be earthy, but the way it's achieved means I can't sniff very long. The initial notes are fabulous, though.
22nd December, 2013

L'Ombre dans L'Eau Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Actually, the first time I read the name I translated it to "an unwashed man," forgetting it's sans that means "without" and dans means "in." Also, hombre (spanish)=man and ombre (French=shadow). On to the sniffing. This is initially an intensely green scent, but soon comes the rose, surrounded by what feel like spicy elements. I get the leaves of bushes throughout, but not the fruit so much. Ah, it's black currant LEAVES, not the fruit itself? Makes sense. I wish they'd identify more of the notes so I can get a handle on the scent. If I just let my nose talk, it's saying: combination rose and pepper garden, keep sniffing and you'll sneeze.
22nd December, 2013

L'Eau de L'Eau by Diptyque

Well, nice. This lighter version has a clean, very slightly detergent but pleasant smell. If there are florals they aren't rose or jasmine, perhaps something like hyacinth, though I'm not 100% sure what that smells like. Sounds close, though. Looking it up. Okay, wrong. The spices threw me. Top: green mandarine, grapefruit, lemon, petitgrain, clove, cinnamon, ginger, pink peppercorns. Mid: geranium (wonder if that smells anything like hyacinth), lavender, orange blossom. Base: Benzoin, tonka, patchouli. Somehow these ingredients combine to create an olfactory impression of water! That's what the name means. It's an okay scent, but not for me.
22nd December, 2013

Psychédélique / Psychedelic by Jovoy

(Woody). I have a feeling I'm going to adore this one. Head: fresh hesperidium (looking it up...a segmented, juicy berry).Heart: floral rose, geranium, ambered, woody (patchouli, cistus, gum cistus). Base: vanilla, musk. Uh-oh, cistus again. Sniff. No problem. This is a walk in the most fragrant woods imaginable.
22nd December, 2013

Rouge Assassin by Jovoy

(Floral) Iris, rose, vanilla. "Rouge Assassin pays tribute to those fearless, unstoppable women who upended the established order and broke all the rules" in the Second Empire (Napoleon Bonaparte's time). I expected to adore this, but I just admire it. Like Jovoy's others, it's an elegant and sophisticated perfume, more a skin scent perhaps than a modern sillage monster.
22nd December, 2013

L'Arbre de la Connaissance by Jovoy

(Woody) Fig, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Fig Tree. What Diptyque attempted in Philosykos, Henin achieved -- the best smelling fig tree ever. It's a fragrant, light and sophisticated scent.
22nd December, 2013

Les Jeux sont Faits by Jovoy

(Leathery) Cumin, Patchouli, Tobacco. He tells us to expect the olfactory equivalent of the '63 film, Monsieur Gangster. To paraphrase: street walkers, smoky gambling dens, a supercharged boxing match. Sniff. Though it's not for me, it's certainly an elegant and accomplished combo of those ingredients.
22nd December, 2013

Gardez-Moi by Jovoy

(Floral) Head: Cyclamen, Gardenia, Vanilla. I doubt seriously if, given these three things, most perfumers could come up with this! Wow, there are just no words. Okay, let me try. You died and went to heaven. The wreath of gardenias they put on your casket magically appeared there, too, transformed into the kind of flowers angels use to make wings. A reasonable person might think I'm exaggerating and maybe I am, but now I'm scared to smell the rest for fear of having no money at all left in 2013.
22nd December, 2013

L'Enfant Terrible by Jovoy

(Oriental) Head: herbaceous, very spicy nutmeg, coriander, cumin; Heart: orange tree, date fruit. Base: musk, sandalwood, cedar wood. Okay, I'm not a big lover of spice and especially cedar so maybe I won't like this. Sniff. Yes, it's not my thing. I can live without this, but he has my total respect for the complex beauty of this perfume. If you're into these ingredients, you can't go wrong, IMO, with a buy.
22nd December, 2013

Ambre Premier by Jovoy

Head: fresh and spicy. Heart: Floral rose. Base: Patchouli, amber, vanilla. We're told to expect cotton candy on first sniff. Uh-oh. Sniff. All right, my nose is happy! It's not a matter of whether I love this lovely thing, just how much. In its delicate, brilliant aroma, I can almost smell Hénin's years in Viet Nam. Was it the pre--or-post-War years, was he there for IndoChine or Ho Chi Minh's Viet Nam? Did he sleep in colonial hotels -- the Majestic, the Continental -- visit rice paddies, the Mekong Delta, the 99 peaks of the Hồng Lĩnh mountains and absorb the aromatic bounty, did he sail on junks through Halong Bay? I planned a then cancelled a trip to Viet NAM when Tokyo's nuclear plants went caput, but I'd already studied the country and fallen in love, read its national epic poem, The Tale of Kiều (anybody who did would have known not to bother invading these resilient people). Must read more about Hénin. For now, I won't be surprised to adore every single one of his perfumes, recreations or otherwise.
22nd December, 2013

Olène by Diptyque

I fell instantly in love with this beauty over in the Jasmin Sniff-Fest thread and it's already on order. It smells like a solifore, the luxurious, narcotic Jasmine main note supported by something green, and some kind of musk. Specifically: top is narcissus and honeysuckle; mid is wisteria and jasmine; base is green notes and white flowers. They don't list it, but there's gotta be a musk in there. I'd bet my nose on it. The overall effect is at once sultry, clean and uplifting, as if while out walking on a summer's day you suddenly encounter the one you'll marry. The attachment is instant and effortless. That's Olène. Must compare her to another,mJasmine soliflore that I find myself returning to again and again, Demeter's Jasmine. Similarly hypnotic, Olène is a tad more floral and Demeter a tad more green. Both lure and hold the nose in rapture.
22nd December, 2013

Sova by Slumberhouse

A dark, sultry, intoxicating song. If you've ever made fruitcake or Christmas Pudding (I did from scratch one year), do you remember how month after month the fruits and nuts transformed as you kept sprinkling them with brandy? After a while, it was just one amazing, can't-be-bought, knockout smell? Well, Sova isn't exactly that, but it has the same effect. I don't see it on their website. Lucky scent says it has: sweet clover, beeswax, poplar, genet flower, golden grains, hops, hay, tobacco. Also tones of honey, pumpkin and milk. Somebody at this place has one magnificent nose.
22nd December, 2013

Ore by Slumberhouse

Wow, wow, wow! Okay, I'll just sell the house and bunk with relatives. I'm at a loss in the face of such beauty, as I'm finding here and in Jovoy. Not that they're different from other perfections ... the perfect flower, the perfect moment under the moon. Why did it take my whole life to wake up to the vast emotions and sensations offered by perfume, but as you can probably tell I fully intend to make up, at top speed, for my heretofore obliviousness. Ingredients? Oakwood, Cocoa, Mahogany, Guaiac, Dittany of Crete, Vanilla (fragrant and rare cousin of oregano), Whickey Lactone (found in oakwood used to make barrels for whiskey, wines, brandies) and Peru Resin. As I linger with Ore, its gourmand elements coalesce, but on first sniff I recognized only pleasure.
22nd December, 2013

Norne by Slumberhouse

Okay, okay, I've almost got it. What is that bright, kind of astringent top note. Hay? This is less the creation of man and more...oh, I don't know, I just can't think while I'm smelling this, but trust me it's mustily, fragrantly terrific. I'm guessing a lot of guys on here love Slumberhouse and maybe a lot of females, too. What's in it? Fog caked needle (of course!), Lichen, fern, moss, Hemlock, incense. Yes, yes, yes! One day I'll be able to name notes when I smell them. Meanwhile, I'll just have to settle for inarticulately gasping in delight.
22nd December, 2013

Jeke by Slumberhouse

Ohhh. Lovely leather, lovely wood, lovely oud?, or whatever they used to create the impression of newly turned earth after a rain, wet leather, autumn produce split open on the ground. This is a take-no-prisoners, musky masterpiece. Absolutely nothing disturbs my finicky nose. Applause, applause! It says, "Go to the lake. Look. See that hand reaching from the sky to the lakeshore in the rain, grabbing clay and making man." OR, think a Meerschaum pipe, a leather chair by a fire, and a very old Armagnac on a tray nearby. Not sure I'll wear this myself, maybe layer it with a floral, but I'm sure as heck slathering it on my guy. What's in it? Benzoin, patchouli, tobacco, Lapsang Souchong (looking it up...black tea from the Fujian province of China, has a famously smoky aroma), vanilla, clove. Just tremendous! [p.s. Venturing censure, I layered my Zahd sample over it and thought I'd died and gone to heaven!]
22nd December, 2013