Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Starblind

Total Reviews: 155

Joy by Jean Patou

After falling very hard for 1000, I knew I had to try Joy. And, now that I have, I find that I do appreciate this scent and its creation and history, but I have very minimal desire to actually wear it. It's simply TOO much for me in every way: too floral-laden, too rose-y, too heavy and "thick," and much too traditionally feminine.

I would love to smell this on a young, very butch tomboy because the dissonance would be wonderful--but on a 40-something female from Dallas with bleached blonde hair and lots of gold jewelry...well, it would seem simply stereotypical and uninteresting.

(Nothing against Dallas, y'all!)
09th August, 2019

Private Collection by Estée Lauder

Utterly green and utterly divine!

Whatever nymphs or goddesses or dryads live in the forest wear nothing but Private Collection in vintage parfum.

Lauder's ad campaigns did this scent a disservice. The last thing I think of in connection with this fragrance is wealthy WASPs hosting lavish patio parties or yawning with boredom in their box seats at Wimbledon.

This is a perfume for pagans with wildly tangled hair and witchery on their minds.
19th July, 2019 (last edited: 25th July, 2019)

Yendi by Roberto Capucci

A beautiful and almost-innocently green fragrance that simply invites neck-nuzzling. It opens fizzily and then progresses to a slightly fruited and balsamic green that conjures the best parts of CHANEL No. 22 and CHANEL No. 19, combined. If this is, indeed, a chypre, it is the softest and most lovely one I've ever encountered. Like dreamily-green and downy feathers floating on a languorous sandalwood breeze, I am utterly enchanted by this vintage scent!
17th July, 2019
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Givenchy III by Givenchy

I loved the reviewer who said this could/should be called "Black Moss." This is precisely what this scent smells like to me: something darkly and vividly green from the very most shaded part of the forest. I have never encountered such a deep and almost stark and angular chypre and one that showcases oak moss in such a beautifully classical way. I'm amazed that this was marketed to women, but would be so impressed by any female who would wear this with casualness and aplomb.

Givenchy lll in vintage extract would make an amazing and oh-so-striking signature scent for an independent and idiosyncratic woman. I'm picturing Charlotte Rampling, for some reason or another.
15th July, 2019

Inouï by Shiseido

This is THE green scent I've been searching for and the closest I've come to smelling Eve's garden: soft, gently fruited, slightly herbed and piney, and full of a midsummer's twilight moss.

I am aways thrilled whenever I find scents that hint at the natural world of dirt and wet stones and moss-filled forests populated by small, furry animals, and Inoui reminds me of all of these, but done up in a surprisingly sophisticated and delicate way.

Of course it's discontinued and costs a fortune. But what price can be placed on magic?

12th July, 2019 (last edited: 13th July, 2019)

Koh-i-Noor by Areej le Doré

My new favorite from Areej le Dore!

Take generous helpings of ylang ylang, tuberose, and gardenia and whip them all together in a blender with a bowl of the most delicious lemony, banana custard. Add in a tincture of deer musk, a slight bit of oud, and some real-smelling sandalwood, and--voila!--the most gorgeous, deeply satisfying scent I have smelled in ages.

If you enjoy the vintage nature of indolic florals and/or slight animalics in your fragrances (like I definitely do), Koh-i-Nor truly satisfies this itch. There is nothing overtly "stinky" here, although the florals seem almost like ones that could eat you if they wanted. The whole thing is richly dense and custardy, but not overwhelming. The sillage is strictly personal and doesn't send others scurrying for cover. It reminds me a bit of Inferno Russo, but I can definitely wear this one with more ease.

Also, in the dry down there is a note (or two) that smells both "cheesy" and slightly like beeswax. I have no true idea whether this is the gardenia or the oud, but regardless, it fills me with the most intense and warm sort of smelling-pleasure.

A brand new love--how wonderful!
07th June, 2019

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

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
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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

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