Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Starblind

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Total Reviews: 149

31 rue Cambon Eau de Toilette by Chanel

I have sampled 31 Rue Cambon several times now, but I can never discover the delight that others seem to find here. I am one of the most rabid fans of Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles; they are simply two of the most beautiful things I've ever smelled, but, sadly, 31 Rue leaves me cold. I'm not sure if it is the strange/odd (almost cold) use of patchouli that I object to, or the overdose of indolic iris, but either way, I find this Chanel scent almost disturbing, and awkwardly sweet. I know that Luca loves scents that achieve pure "abstraction," but I tend to want to recognize at least some facet of what I am smelling, or to be able to connect a part of a fragrance with something with which I am familiar. Here, however, the combination of notes results in a scent that I would be forced to call merely "perfume-y." And, yes, I know that labelling a scent thusly is the first impulse of the novice-nosed.
11th February, 2019

Y by Yves Saint Laurent

There's something in Y that makes it different from the other classic green chypres I've tried (and perhaps I just haven't tried enough), because while it contains the same sharp, citric signifiers that immediately spell GREEN and CHYPRE, the honeysuckle and peach and civet give Y both a sweetness and depth that genuinely enchant. There is none of the expected stridence or prickliness here, instead there are tiny flickers of fruited honey and oak mossy depths that provide both nectarous AND animalic components that keep me smelling my wrists over and over.

Ah, yes, just what I need: another rare vintage to seek out and pine for!
09th February, 2019 (last edited: 10th February, 2019)

Signature Collection : Nuit Noire by Mona di Orio

My worst criticism of this scent is that it feels a bit "ancient" and clunky, as if the movement from one note to another is made by walking up a rickety staircase, rather than by taking the escalator. The civet is a bit front and center here and its dry down on clothing gets a tiny bit musty and somewhat fecal-smelling, but I definitely appreciate N.N's nod toward vintage animalic scents, and I find its use of orange blossom fairly enchanting. As wearing-time goes by, I recognize Mona's signature base which seems absent only in her Cuir, so if you're bothered by that set of notes, be forewarned. This definitely leans toward the feminine side of things, and if you're someone who longs for the floral animalics of a bygone age, give this one a try. Just understand that this smells nothing like any modern or contemporary scent, but seems more of an homage-of-sorts to a different era and to glamorous silver screen divas like Norma Desmond.
09th February, 2019
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Ombré Leather by Tom Ford

Wow. As someone who loves and wears a wide variety of leather fragrances, I have to say that I am gobsmacked by the stellar reviews this one is receiving. To me, this smells like a highly, stridently-synthetic and sharply-ambered version of Cuir Ottoman (on a REALLY bad day). Cold, bitterly pungent, plastic-y, and artificially harsh are some of the descriptors that come to mind when I spray this on. I find nothing redeeming in this fragrance and I'm sad to think this is how modern noses interpret the glorious and (normally) varied smell of "leather."
08th February, 2019

Gomma by Etro

The sage and artemisia in the top notes make me drink in this fragrance like fragrant desert air. I also love the refined and somewhat rubbery leather notes that make up Gomma's base. On days when my supply of Cuir de Russie is running dangerously low, this Etro fragrance fills in nicely. And yes, it is similar to Knize Ten, but I find it far more complex and sophisticated, plus the dry down is far more beautiful. My only complaint is its projection and longevity. I spray it on my clothes and this helps retain the scent some, but in an ideal perfume world, this one (and Cuir de Russie) would both last to infinity.

(This is the vintage version. I've heard less than stellar things about its reformulation.)
07th February, 2019 (last edited: 10th February, 2019)

Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange

This, for many reasons, takes top honors as my least favorite fragrance of all time. (I'm sure there are other possible contenders for this title, but I have yet to sample them.) Rien is everything I don't want to smell or smell of: synthetics that simply won't quit, sharp and (yet cloying) notes of cumin and civet, peppery incense that smells heavily industrial, and something that smacks of burning glue/plastic.

For a brief period of my life, I worked as a finish carpenter, specializing in installing carpet, tile, and laminate. Rien instantly takes me back to that dreadful year of wrangling buckets of toxic glue, underlayment, and rolls of rebond. The smell is so similar that it's uncanny.
05th February, 2019

Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire

As someone who loves leather scents, I had to try this, and try it I have--several times, in fact--but somehow I still can't quite make up my mind. I admire this fragrance for its rather determined and single-minded approach to leather. In fact, I don't think I've smelled any other scent that replicates bag and shoe leather this realistically; I'm just not entirely sure I want to smell like a Coach or Hermes store. But maybe I do! Maybe this scent if the classiest thing going, and I'm just too much of a plebeian to realize it. Or possibly, I have just been spoiled by my close relationship with CHANEL's version of leather to genuinely appreciate this unadorned, unanimalic iteration. Perhaps I just need to meet this fragrance at its own level. Hmmmm....
02nd February, 2019

Musc Tonkin by Parfum d'Empire

As an animalic-lover of the first order, how on earth did I not experience this when it first came out? Well, I guess I'll be making up for lost time now.

In my particular dream-world, this is what ambergris smells like: briny and saline, but underpinned by the most divine mammalian odor possible. Here we have sun-ripened skin, a tiny bit of body odor, some gorgeously indolic florals (tuberose? ylang ylang?), and a completely furry, 3-D musk. There's a bit of something almost urine-like and a tiny smidgen metallic-seeming in the top notes, but it is all combined in such a way that none of these individual notes stand out on their own, unless you are sniffing in a second-by-second frenzy (as I am currently doing now). Overall, this simply smells gorgeous and oceanically sensual, like a beautiful mermaid's underwear.

Edit: Now that I've worn this for a few days, I've come to notice (and strongly dislike) the calone-like dry down Musc Tonkin leaves on my clothes. It isn't as noticeable on skin, but after an hour or two, my shirts definitely give off the odor of artificial melon. :-(
02nd February, 2019

Hyde by Hiram Green

I would never wear or buy this, BUT, I still think it's a fantastic scent. It's deeply smokey with capitals D and S, and reminds me of the most intriguing parts of Fumerie Turque (back before it was reformulated). The only reason I wouldn't indulge in this myself is the same reason I never bought the Lutens: it feels a bit overwhelming and monolithic. For those of you who desire to smell like last night's campfire into which a few marshmallows have fallen, this is your baby. I like this far more than the Goodsir smoke scent or frankly, any other smokey scent I've tried. There's something genuinely attractive here, especially in its opening salvo. Would love to smell this on a sophisticated someone of either gender.
29th January, 2019

Dia Man by Amouage

Amouage Dia Man is pretty damn gorgeous and if I were one (a man, that is) I would wear the hell out of this. Dia Woman seems like a dumbed down/lessened version of Gold Woman (to me), but the male version of Dia has a personality all of its own. Elegant, powdery, floral, spicy, and yet extremely wearable on a daily basis, thanks to the airiness of its touch. There is something about the cardamom and ginger(?) here, that adds to its effortless breeziness, and yet, the base notes of leather and wood anchor it and hold the whole thing together. Really nice stuff!
27th January, 2019

Homage Attar by Amouage

I utterly expected to swoon over Amouage's Homage. Everything I'd ever read sang its praises to the heavens. Unfortunately, for me the dry down is far less interesting that its soft and beautifully rosy and rounded opening. I would describe this base as being surprisingly crystalline and almost, but not quite "soapy." For me, this lemon and saffron base becomes the focus of the whole thing, and it irritates instead of pleases. I find it slightly thin and somewhat sharp and screechy. (You may now feel free to throw large rocks in my direction.)
27th January, 2019

Rose TRO Attar by Amouage

This is a pure, unadulterated rose delight, made for those who genuinely love rose soliflores. There may be hints of other notes here, but nothing that interferes with the utter, beautiful, undiluted rosiness of this thing. This is soft, creamy, gorgeous stuff and if I loved rose I would be all over this. A true rose lover's dream. FOR ROSE FANATICS ONLY.
27th January, 2019

Tribute Attar by Amouage

The Red Box version is definitely a bit softer and a tiny bit rosier (especially in the dry down), while the Black Box version is definitely smokier and somewhat darker. I think it was sciencegirl who said the Red Box was a cigar to the Black Box' cigarette. I think this is a perfect analogy. They are both really amazing if you are into smokey, campfire scents. They also feel a bit monolithic to me, with not enough changes to keep me interested indefinitely, so neither is something I would invest in, ALTHOUGH, the longer I wear them and the softer they become, the more I find myself thinking, "Hmm, maybe..."

Now that a few hours have gone by, I (pure blasphemy, I know) actually enjoy the Black Box version a bit more than the Red Box. BB is a bit less sweet, and seems to emphasize the frankincense more. (By the end of the day, I'll probably have reversed my position, so take my impressions here with a large grain of sea salt!)
27th January, 2019
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Iris Homme by Parfum Satori

If you are a male and love bracingly clean and fresh scents, scents that you could clean your teeth with, scents that would make your dental hygienist proud, here is your fragrance! If this were a color, it would be a shiny, transparent silver. Or possibly a beautiful see-through white. Here, each note: lemon, violet, iris, and maybe a teensy bit of orange blossom, is squee-gee-ed into a beautiful, untarnished, nearly-transparent version of itself and then played all together like musical notes on a lilting, high pitched flute.
27th January, 2019

Iris Gris by Jacques Fath

This review is for Thierry Bellet’s recreation of Fath’s iconic scent and released through Legendary Fragrances.

Wow, having zero expectations for this made the experience all the more interesting. So surprisingly fruity! This reminds me quite a bit of Auphorie's Miyako with its intense sweet fruit, combined with iris. Since peaches and other stone fruits are not my favorite notes in perfumery, I really can't appreciate this to the extent that others might. It's intriguing to sniff, but not something I'd really be interested in wearing, primarily because it is sooo sweet that it almost verges on the gourmand. In fact, there is almost a doughy, bready note here, as well. As time goes on (and from a distance) this merely smells of peach, a very pretty peach, but peach, nonetheless. (I do like the way it mimics peach-skin, rather than the juice, though.)

Someone down thread mentioned "peachy Play-Doh." Yup, that pretty much sums it up in a rather succinct and accurate fashion.
27th January, 2019

Essence No. 6 : Vetiver by Elie Saab

A highly fresh and almost clean take on vetiver. The vetiver here is woody, dry, green (of course) and a tiny bit sweet. It is also moderately powdery and warmly aromatic. A scent that is stereotypically "masculine," but could be worn by a female who really loves green woodies. It's fairly traditional smelling and nothing out of the ordinary, and its strength and longevity leave a bit to be desired, but I can see many males happily wearing this in a work environment.
27th January, 2019

Essence No. 7 : Neroli by Elie Saab

Way too much dark orange blossom heaviness for me. I had expected something a bit lighter and sprightlier, but instead this smells bottom-heavy and much more dense and jungle-y than I had anticipated. Surprisingly feminine and frankly, somewhat cloying.
27th January, 2019

Nombre Noir by Shiseido

The one, the only, the infamous unobtainium! Luca's first love! Etc.!

To my admittedly-limited and utterly subjective nose this is Luten's Rose de Nuit mixed with Poison. And because I adore Rose de Nuit and deplore Poison, I have very mixed feelings about this perfume-unicorn. Which is wonderful, since I could never afford to buy it in the first place. YAY! One lemming down!

Also, it goes on forever with almost nuclear silage. In fact, it gets stronger and oddly more potent as you wear it.
27th January, 2019

Émeraude by Coty

Well, this takes me right back to high school and to Joanie Fulmer, the girl I sat next to in history class each day. And because I simply cannot bear orientals and especially sweet, powdery ones, I can only handle sniffing this from the bottle. Soooo heavy and sooo powdery and sooo thickly sweet. Whew! I can only appreciate this in the same way I appreciate Shalimar...i.e., theoretically.
27th January, 2019

No. 19 by Chanel

I had forgotten how surprisingly floral this is! Because I don't wear this with any regularity, and hadn't put my nose on it in a while, I'd been misremembering it and thinking this was more typically "green." In fact, however, instead of the bitter, mossy, galbanum-iciness I'd been expecting, I got quite a bit of iris and rose and yellow florals. Wow, who knew? This is gorgeous stuff and in the vintage parfum concentration it is surprisingly rich and tenderly floral. So much for Luca's (or was it Tania's) ice-queen epithet.
27th January, 2019

Epic Man by Amouage


A rather typically-masculine take on oud, incense, leather and wood. Very high quality incense, and worthy of Amouage's stellar reputation in all- things-frankincense, but still nothing that really intrigues or thrills me. Maybe I've simply smelled too few similar masculines of this type to be able to determine whether or not this is an excellent version of its particular genre, or merely a mediocre rendering.
27th January, 2019

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

I can definitely appreciate this one and its particular beauties without actually wanting to wear it, right? I definitely like it more than Shalimar (stone me now), simply because it isn't as overwhelming and claustrophobia-inducing, but it still contains way too much sweetness and powder for me. I am simply not into orientals, but if I were, Habit Rouge would be one I would definitely consider. I like how aromatic it is and the way it allows some space and light to permeate its rose-carnation-patchouli combo. There is also a beautiful hint of leather in the dry down that I admire.
27th January, 2019

Odeon / Petite Fleur Bleue by Godet

Godet's Petite Fleur Bleue seems like a deliberate (and rather inferior) nod to L'Heure Bleue, in much the same way that their Chypre references Mitsouko and their Cuir attempts to imitate CHANEL's. Here you find the usual suspects: heliotrope, yang-ylang, some jasmine, and a bit of incense, but somehow the combination falls far short of the mark. This all smells a bit cheap and surprisingly juvenile to me, as if L'Heure Bleue had been put through a Sephora/Victoria's Secret blender and come out smelling like something from Bath and Body Works.
27th January, 2019

Chypre (original) by Godet

Godet's Chypre reminds me very much of Rogue Perfumery's Chypre-Siam. Their only real difference is the somewhat dark, persistently animalic note at the base of Chypre-Siam. Both of these fragrances are reminiscent of Mitsouko, but minus any fruit. The Godet remains rather firmly mossy and dark green without any livening or leavening upper register notes. It's interesting if you like rather somber, olive green scents that smell definitively retro. I wonder if Coty's original chypre smelled anything like this.
27th January, 2019

Cuir de Russie (new) by Godet

Godet's leather fragrance is almost on the opposite end of the spectrum from CHANEL's. It is almost as if you mixed the CHANEL (minus the slight fecal nature of the vintage version) with vintage LE DIX. Violets and leather, oh my! Anyone interested in a throwback, retro, and somewhat feminine smelling leather, should seek this out. It's not my thing, but I have a feeling that many perfumistas would adore this particular combination. Deep, violet-y, iris-y florals sitting on top of a beautiful leather base.
27th January, 2019

Onda Voile d'Extrait by Vero Profumo

I am deeply in love with the vintage version of Onda extrait, but this concentration comes in a very close second. Here, the darkest and most "odd" seeming aspects of Vero Kern's magnum opus are brightened slightly and given lift, thanks to the ginger, coriander, and basil at the top. The composition, as a whole, still smells distinctly like Onda should, i.e., a deep, leathery, vetiver-laden swamp, but it is made somewhat more diffuse and bitterly airy by these new note additions (or emphasis). There is simply no other fragrance I've found that smells remotely like this. Unfortunately.
22nd January, 2019

Trussardi (original) by Trussardi

What an unusual and practically unknown treasure! If you find Bandit or Knowing much too harsh and unrelenting in their odd bitterness, go to Ebay and scoop up this vastly more interesting and refined facsimile. Dry woods, greenery, incensed-smoke, and leather vie for top billing here in a most hushed and sophisticated manner. Completely unisex and utterly classy--a vintage chypre worth seeking out and wearing with black and architecturally structured clothing.
08th December, 2018

Melograno by Santa Maria Novella

Since I don't love CHANEL No. 22, I really don't love this. Melograno is like an aldehyde-free, slightly sweeter version of the CHANEL, and therefore holds zero allure for me. If, however, you'd enjoy a less brittle and nose-tickling version of 22, here it is!

Maybe if I smelled this on a male, it would seem more enticing or interesting, but as a female scent, I find it sorely lacking in originality. It's slightly sweet, a bit fruity, highly powdered, and all done up in a squeaky clean fashion. There is a tiny bit of something underneath it all (opoponox?) that gives it a sort of cherry-ish muskiness, but I don't find this intriguing enough to save Melograno from mediocrity.
01st December, 2018

Rozy Parfum Extrait by Vero Profumo

I love the voile concentrations of both Rozy and Onda, but to my mind the very best version of these scents is the extrait. The voile reveals more delineations between notes, while the extrait smudges these lines and softens the edges so that a velvety texture results. In fact, there is something so lush and dense and decadently rich about both these fragrances in the pure parfum form that I half swoon each time I put them on. I'll also admit that (dumb as it may sound) I really enjoy dabbing these scents on directly from their jewel-like bottles, as if anointing myself with some kind of precious and ancient oil. Rozy, in this concentrated form, begins to bloom the moment it touches your skin, slowly opening up and radiating gently around you like a honeyed tuberose veil. The scent is so deep and rosily-plush it reminds me of some kind of exotic attar worn only by royalty or demi-gods. Simply gorgeous!
29th November, 2018

J'ai Osé by J'ai Osé

This is what I imagine the forests of Mirkwood must have smelled like. Deep, smokey oak moss and tangled, green undergrowth with a musky civet cat slinking by. The notes here are blended in such a way that I can barely comprehend what I'm smelling. At first I think 'deep green chypre' and then a moment later, I'm accosted by something that smells leathery and woody and slightly animalic. Something (patchouli? oakmoss?)smells deeply old and slightly dusty. It's almost akin to a more sinister or black magic version of vintage Mitsouko. I find this utterly intriguing and just slightly off-putting. A dark and exotic scent that I'm probably going to have to find more of.

If you like Onda extrait, you'll probably love this one, as well.
28th November, 2018