Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Starblind

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Total Reviews: 45

Private Collection - L'Ombre Fauve by Parfumerie Generale

This is a gorgeous combination of (as many have already noted) amber, patchouli, and musk. The furrily animalic portion of this which is evident in the scent's early stages smells incredibly sensual. To others it may smell like wet laundry left too long in the machine, to me it smells like all things warm and sharply mammalian. Unfortunately, I get less enthused about L'Ombre Fauve as time goes on and amber stands up and takes center stage. This is a matter of personal taste because I am an amber-phobe, but for those who are not and who love to smell like sexy, sweet, and slightly musty powder, you are in for a treat.
26th September, 2017

Onda Parfum Extrait by Vero Profumo

If Chanel's Cuir de Russie is the horse you rode in on, Onda is the musky undergrowth you had to stomp through beforehand and the tack room you end up in afterwards. Dirt, wild and dank vegetation, and redolent leather all combine to form one of the most unusual and daring scents I own. Onda is not only dark and loamy and vetiver-laden, but it is complex and strange, and includes notes I'm fairly sure I've never smelled before in perfume, e.g., mace. Most folks are going to find Onda a bit too 'ugly' or scary since it's even darker and more animalic than vintage Magie Noire. In fact, it does smell like something a druid might cook up in a clearing in the forest on All Hallow's Eve, or what I imagine the tannis root from Rosemary's Baby smelled like. And because I am a complete animal and pagan, I love it!
26th September, 2017

Crêpe de Chine by Long Lost Perfume

The original version in parfum concentration is heaven in a bottle. This is the silkiest of flowery green chypres with a decidedly vintage air. My bottle is ancient and to newer perfumistas, it probably smells that way too. I, however love its old-fashioned temperament. It is perhaps, the softest chypre I've ever smelled: green and creamy with an incredible base of patchouli and musk that goes on and on. It is the most round and dreamy and evenly balanced fragrance I own, but I can only wear it occasionally, since my own temperament is somewhat bent and spiky and with this on, I feel almost in disguise.
25th September, 2017
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Bracken Woman by Amouage

I have to quit trying scents that contain narcissus and expecting to love them. There is just something about this note that overpowers every other in each perfume I've tried. And since I do not love narcissus, I do not enjoy Bracken. I think many others will love it though, and I might possibly, too, if the chamomile and leather and smoke played more of a role here. The sweetness of the berry note is also bothersome. Amouage scents rarely smell like something a young twenty-something should wear, but this one does.
25th September, 2017

New Sibet by Slumberhouse

One of the stranger scents I've had the pleasure of wearing. In a way, it reminds me quite a bit of Cuir Cannage. There are definite connections between the two and their overall texture seem similar, although New Sibet is even more odd and striking in its fuzzy ashiness. It fairly buzzes with a leathery iris and slightly animalic spices. Everything hums and practically radiates off the skin. It is slightly metallic, but not in a way that annoys or is cold. Instead it is a scent that feels heated and dusty, as if a soldering iron had been taken to it. Fascinating!
25th September, 2017

The Party in Manhattan by The Party

If this one lasted longer, say more than an hour and a half, I would buy it in a heartbeat. This is Mitsouko + cumin and/or Jubilation with some of the frankincense dialed down. It is a gorgeous rendering of a classic fruity chypre and I adore its opening stages and its animalic underbelly. Unfortunately, it is one of the most fleeting scents I've ever had the pleasure of not being able to smell, and this makes me very sad because it is VERY lovely. It is so vintage-y and funky and ephemeral that I find it fascinating and frustrating in equal measure.
24th September, 2017

Sballo by Bruno Acampora

This is another gorgeous and dense fragrance from the Acampora line, and by dense, I means DENSE. The hay and tobacco here are rich and thick and massively resinous, and I would love to smell it on someone else standing a few feet away. This dark chypre smells wondrously vintage, like something a glamorous brunette from the '30s or '40s would wear, and I would love to wear it myself if it didn't wear me. It goes on forever and its woodsy oak moss is stunning. It's simply too redolent and potent for me to wear without being overly conscious of it every second. If you love vintage scents that smell like you're standing in the middle of a hay field while wearing a deeply warm chypre with massive projection and duration, this is your baby.
24th September, 2017

Black Gold by Ormonde Jayne

I was captivated when smelling the opening notes of this fragrance; it seemed sophisticated, unusual and obviously constructed with the very best materials. In fact, I was utterly fascinated by Black Gold's top notes which smell of exotic wood, oudy lacquer, nutmeg(?), and some type of fruit, combined with juniper and sage and sparkling hints of citrus. This beginning was so enticing that I shocked to discover that the dry down--while apparently filled with amber and genuine sandalwood--was decidedly less fascinating. In fact, if I'm honest, I'd say it was horrifying. There is something in this scent's latter progression that reminds me of the woody dryness of a CdG scent combined with a dreaded note so sharp and piercing and (I'm sorry!) synthetic smelling that I was forced to take a bath after 2 hours of wearing this. There is elegance and real artistry at Black Gold's onset, but the latter stage (which goes on forever) reminds me of certain strident and highly artificial 'masculine' scents from the '90s. I'd give this a thumbs up for the opening and a thumbs down for the dry down.
22nd September, 2017 (last edited: 23rd September, 2017)

Ferme tes Yeux by JAR

This is an animalic-lover's wet dream (or maybe just mine). Either way, this is the pinnacle of lush, opulent, gorgeous danger--a panther silently stalking through a dense and fuggy jungle of stargazer lilies, jasmine, and yang-ylang. The vegetation is overripe, decadent, and civet-laden thanks to the menagerie of musky mammals hidden in the foliage. Think Rousseau and Gauguin's jungle paintings brought to luxuriant, odiferous life. I adore this scent and will never own it since it is FAR beyond my (or any normal person's) price range. One of the most beautiful and sad realities of my perfumed life.
22nd September, 2017

Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Bianca by Guerlain

This is the first non-vintage Guerlain I've smelled and I must say that I am not impressed. The fact that this sample accompanied a decant of ancient and gorgeous L'Heure Bleue didn't help. Wearing the two Guerlains on opposite wrists was like having a threesome with Daniel Day-Lewis and Huey Lewis. The comparison was, indeed, odious. The AANB is highly citric and smells like neroli and petitgrain and about a hundred other similar fragrances touted as antidotes to the summer heat. If a ubiquitous and feminine citrus fragrance is what you're after, then is probably as good as any, and undoubtedly a bit better than most. After all, it is a Guerlain.
22nd September, 2017

Ma Bête by Eris Parfums

I love this strange little beauty! There is something about Ma Bete's vintage-y plushness that makes me want to wrap myself in it over and over like a warm and silky fur coat. The indolic jasmine combined with spicy woodiness make this scent deeply seductive and surprisingly chic, while its animalic essence adds a honeyed, slightly 'skanky' attitude that I adore. I swear I smell costus and civet in here--two notes that I love--and these combined create a naughty furriness that gives this fragrance its signature 'beastly' bearing.
19th September, 2017

Naja by Vero Profumo

I greatly admire this perfumer/house in the same way that I admire Bogue. Their scents are always vastly original and striking, if not always entirely wearable. I think Onda in its original extrait form was one of the true greats. I wouldn't rank Naja up there with Onda, in terms of unique and vivid oddness, but it is quite a bit more approachable, and for many wearers, this will be a plus. I love its opening: the deep punch of tobacco, but am slightly less enamored of its segue into melon and osmanthus. This is merely personal taste, and if you are a lover of these two notes, you will be a fan. For me, this scent is a bit too powdery-sweet and I miss the strength and depth of the animalics that can usually be found in her fragrances and that keep me sniffing all day in anticipation of yet another layer of the uncommon.

*Okay, that's what I get for writing a review after only sampling for a short bit. After two day's wear, I have done a pretty thorough (and slightly embarrassing) turn-around on Naja, and now genuinely love it from its tobacco-y beginning, straight down to its almost Tabac Blond-like ending. What on first sniff seemed powdery, now smells deeply and unctuously leathery and totally luscious (and surprisingly vintage-like) in its depth. After trying a larger amount and spreading it on more copiously, I am a complete convert. Full bottle, here I come!
18th September, 2017 (last edited: 19th September, 2017)

Kiehl's Original Musk by Kiehl's

Not my favorite musk by an stretch, but an excellent one for those whose ultimate musk scent includes flowers and a only pinch of something animalic in the base. This is a 'dirty' musk at its least offensive and could be worn by anyone, anywhere, and anytime. There is something here that smells a bit synthetic or sharp (that I think others might call 'clean'). This note bothers me no matter how many times I try to wear this, but I'm pretty sure this is a personal problem that won't disturb anyone other than me. I've heard that many famous folks wear this: Julianne Moore, for one, and each of them, in turn, describes this musk as attractive and enticing, and yes, clean.
18th September, 2017
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Jubilation 25 by Amouage

Jubilation 25 is like the mash-up of two of my favorite scents: Mitsouko and Diorella (both in vintage form). But, it contains a rather heft dollop of cumin that makes the whole thing sing in a slightly different, more animalic register than the other two. How this scent's genuine elegance is maintained while also referencing a rather sweaty human is a mystery, perhaps aided by leavening effect of frankincense and tarragon and lemon. This is my favorite Amouage, by far, thanks to its competing, but contrapuntal elements of lightness and dark, sophistication and sweat, chypre-likeness and orientalism. The extrait is my preferred poison. It is slightly deeper and more rich than the EDP, and it lasts a bit longer, too. Gorgeous stuff!
17th September, 2017

Nuit de Noël by Caron

Soft and silky and utterly sumptuous, this velvety chypre/oriental smells like sweetened nuts and tender moss and romantic incense. In other words, it smells deeply, gently vintage and completely unlike anything else. The pure parfum in the black 'flapper' bottles is the version to sniff. Here all the floral notes (primarily ylang-ylang and rose) blend so beautifully with the low-toned alto-notes of oak moss and anise that it's as if your skin itself is simply radiating a lovely and tender essence--one that marks you as warm, beautiful, grown up, and female. There is something in here that also hints at seductive, swirling smoke. This is a rare beauty, and along with Tabac Blond, one of Caron's absolute best.
16th September, 2017

Shem-el-Nessim by Grossmith

This is the fraternal twin to L'Heure Bleue. Evidently, the original Shem came first, along with L'Origan (if this matters). Regardless, they are all very closely related in form and style, and if you love one, you will probably be interested in taking her sisters for a waltz or two around the Edwardian ballroom, as well. The Grossmith is a slightly more airy and herbal take on L'Heure, and I find its additional geranium notes rather lovely. It is not as heavy and sweet as the Guerlain, substituting a sophisticated, almost stellar radiance for L'Heure's velvety marshmallow warmth. Roja Dove and Luca Turin both love Shem-el-Nessim (if you care), and I do, too, although I would wish for an increase in its projection and lasting power, especially at this particular price point.
15th September, 2017

Weil de Weil by Weil

Wow. I have to say that this is one of the more surprising scents I've ever smelled. This thing shifts incredibly! There is a very green moment right at the start and then suddenly the strangest animalic scent rears its little furry head. It's a very odd combination of old tobacco, a bit of genuine skin-sweat, and something akin to the leathery notes found in vintage Cabochard. For one mothball-y and gasoline-laden minute, I am appalled, but then this weeks' old ashtray softens and become something rather seductive and unusual. I am both intrigued and slightly puzzled, as other reviews hadn't quite mentioned this almost Onda-like aspect. Is this vetiver or coriander combined with the narcissus? I don't understand it, but I really kind of love it and think this is just my kind of thing! Odd, but very highly intriguing.
13th September, 2017 (last edited: 17th September, 2017)

Afghan Smoke by The Rising Phoenix Perfumery

Oh, man, the top notes send me straight to heaven. There is something green, but deep and rich (patchouli? tobacco?), softened by some florals that might be jasmine. This gorgeous headshop-y beginning is tempered a bit by something herbal which I think is a lemon-y lavender. This is just my kind of scent: low-toned and rich with something a tiny bit skanky bringing up the rear(!). I don’t smell much smoke, just something wondrously musty and funky which I now know is birch tar + sandalwood + vetiver. This reminds me of a basement apartment I lived in during the late ‘70s—it’s extremely evocative of deep musk and vintage fur coats. Very exotic and sensual and rich. I love this and want to get my hands on some, pronto!
13th September, 2017

L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

Everything has already been said about this amazing classic, but I'll chime in to say that this is the only stereotypically 'feminine' perfume that I love. I am an outlier when it comes to scent and gravitate more toward the musky, resinous, and animalic end of things rather than the floral or the sweet. And I definitely do not do 'clean and fresh.' L'Heure Blue, however, makes me nearly swoon with pleasure. I think it is the medicinal and balsamic aspects of this Guerlain that bring me such joy. I have never tried any of the modern versions of this scent, but the vintage extrait contains a depth and almost leathery texture that I adore. This combined with the indolic nature of some of the florals gives me that sort of 'vintage skank' that I crave and continue to endlessly seek out. Between the medicinal top and the musky base notes, this is one 'womanly' scent that I will always have in my collection.
11th September, 2017 (last edited: 22nd September, 2017)

Cuir de Russie Parfum by Chanel

Class in a bottle. The only fragrance I own that is equally sophisticated, elegant, and seductive. I have the vintage parfum and EDT, and the modern extrait. Each is a gorgeous and luxurious rendering of floral leather that captivates me in the same way that the redolent neck of a well-ridden horse does. Warm, living horsehide is my favorite scent in all the natural world, and Cuir de Russie comes a very close second. Perhaps, oddly, this perfume also speaks to me of decadent human intimacy. Someone in a review somewhere said that this is the scent you wear while seducing your next husband. I agree. There is something about the dissonance between the delicate iris and ylang ylang and the smokey leather base that more than hints at a dark sort of animalism.

I never want to be without it. (Especially the VINTAGE parfum which, after wearing it extensively, has definitely become my favorite version. Too bad it is SO hard to find!)
11th September, 2017 (last edited: 16th September, 2017)

Les Nombres d'Or : Cuir by Mona di Orio

I wish I were the exact type of female who could wear this scent with casualness and aplomb, and on some rare days I almost think I am! On other days, I think, 'Who am I kidding?' this stuff is brutal, and smells like I've been soldering in a run down machinist's shop on the smokey end of town. Either way, I find it a fascinating and risky take on the leather genre.
If I were a braver, more iconoclastic woman, or any kind of man, I'd wear the hell out of this.
11th September, 2017

Cuir Cannage by Christian Dior

I adore Chanel's Cuir de Russie in all its forms, past and present, and I am also a fan of Cuir Mauresque, so this Dior is, unsurprisingly, on my "to buy" list. I find it slightly more artificial smelling than the Lutens, but there is also a deeper, birch-like aspect that lingers on my clothing, which I adore. Unlike others, I find this scent distinctly unisex or androgynous in nature, regardless of the florals it contains, and a man wearing this fragrance would be devastating, while a woman would smell infinitely chic.
11th September, 2017

Ambra Aurea by Profumum

I am definitely not an amber person, but if I were, Ambra Aurea is the one amber I would wear. AA is a sappy and resinous amber with a deep incensey vibe. And from my brief acquaintance with ambergris, I think this Profumum contains the real deal. The scent lasts forever and garners compliments like no other fragrance I have ever worn. My only complaint is that (like most amber-focused fragrances) it wears a bit sweet and makes me feel slightly claustrophobic after several hours. But this is merely a personal problem that I have with all amber-oriented scents; those who love amber should genuinely revel in this rich beauty.
11th September, 2017

Dryad by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

If you are a fan of Bandit and Vol de Nuit, and would love to have a mash-up of the two, Dryad provides you the opportunity. I am an enormous admirer of the vintage Guerlain, but far less so of the Piguet, and it is the slightly Bandit-like sour/bitter/sharp aspect of Dryad which makes me less than a fan.

I also adore costus, and the scalpy, bedhead aspect it provides, but couldn't tease it out here at all--sadly, since I think a slightly warmer or deeper and more animalic base would make this fragrance all the more appealing and interesting.

I'm sure that I will be in the minority here in giving this scent only a neutral rating, since lovers of sharp green scents and mossy chypres will undoubtedly find this fragrance delightful. I would too, if it contained just a bit more softness or skin likeness, but that isn't really the goal of green perfumes, is it now? :-)
10th September, 2017

MEM by Bogue Profumo

Bogue seems to make scents that I genuinely admire, but don't want to actually wear. Maai was a bit too bombastic for me and O/E, too synthetic, (although I nearly bought a bottle of Aeon 001). MEM, unfortunately, also fits into to my "interesting, but unwearable" category. When I took my first sniff of this fragrance, I was in heaven; for approximately a minute and a half, MEM smelled very much like the heavenly scent of a horse's mane and/or hide. Unfortunately, this amazing olfactory sensation was gone in a flash, only to be replaced by an amazing array of unidentifiable notes, which were in turn, replaced by other unknown ones. This dizzying swirl finally died down to a sort of civetty, herbally, lavendar. Although I am usually a big fan of civet, here the note lent less of an animalic growl and more of a clean, fresh urine aspect to the progression.

I think a few folks who are naturally inclined to love anything new and avant-garde in perfumery, will find MEM intriguing. It is definitely kaleidoscopic and unusual and will keep you sniffing at your wrists in sheer wonderment.
10th September, 2017

Ottoman Empire by Areej le Doré

Ottoman Empire is the warmest scent I own. And by warm, I do not mean simply spicy or heated. OE combines delicate roses with the most cozy and plush of ouds, oak moss, and myrrh, and it is this mixture that provides the scent with its utterly smooth and almost comforting profile. It is a deeply contented scent and one that calms and reassures and provides an almost dreamlike state in its wearer. In a very odd way, it reminds me of the deep plushness of vintage L'Heure Bleue. These two smell nothing alike, don't get me wrong, but the state they induce in me is quite similar. Each of these gorgeous fragrances makes me feel as though the world is a wonderful place and that peaceful contemplation is the human's most natural condition. Many scents smell delicious and wonderful to me, but the ones that induce revery and emotional bliss are few and far between. Ottoman Empire is one of these rarities.
04th September, 2017

Siberian Musk by Areej le Doré

It is no news to anyone that I am in love with Siberian Musk. And at the risk of sounding overly romantic and hyperbolic, I’ll go ahead and say that this is the perfume I have been searching for forever. Perhaps no one else will feel quite the same way I do since its scent profile contains and combines my personal favorite categories of scent: a deep, smokey, forested green, a sophisticated and vintage-smelling chypre, and an absolutely luscious and furrily-textured animalic musk. The fact that all three of these scent “groups” mesh into a gorgeous coherent whole is due solely to the talents of Russian Adam (who also created another of my favorites, Ottoman Empire). If you've smelled Maai, Diaghilev, and L'Ombre Fauve, and you can imagine them deftly combined and softly, plushly rounded and musked, then you can begin to get a picture of the glories of this scent.

To say that I am enamored of and ensorcelled by Siberian Musk would be an understatement. Its dry down on my clothing is a wonder of the softest, most tantalizing musky fur: a plush sable with remnants of the marten’s wild animal nature still lingering seductively. And linger it does, with a projection to match. I find SB not only very natural smelling, like the deepest of forests with animals hidden in its depths, but also very sexual in a distinctly human way. There is an almost salted, heated, skin-like aspect that has nothing to do with cumin or the usual suspects. I am guessing again that this is the deer musk that provides this deeply alluring aspect. Whatever it is, and however Adam achieves this, I am simply thrilled to have the chance to wear it and live happily under its spell!
02nd September, 2017

Magie Noire by Lancôme

I was too young to wear this when it first came out, so my first experience with Magie Noire came last month with an Ebay sample that was annoyingly unmarked. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I became infatuated with my sample and had to have a full bottle. After some rather costly experimentation, I discovered that the version I fell in love with is the vintage Huile. For me, this is the concentration/version that is genuinely magical. The top notes produce the exact smell of a green, unshelled walnut when you run your fingernail across its skin. It then becomes a deeper, spicier, more mysterious scent involving patchouli, oak moss and civet. Beautiful and quite unlike anything else!

I'm not quite as much a fan of the vintage parfum. For me, it is missing that amazing green top that makes me want to sink my teeth into something. It's a bit too bottom-heavy for me, although I appreciate its deep and strange exoticism.
06th September, 2016

L'Air de Rien by Miller Harris

As someone who loves strange, unusual, unisex scents, this is right up my funky alley. This fragrance is nearly impossible to describe or categorize which is another reason I find it fascinating. It is, indeed, somewhat skanky and dirty-skin-smelling, although it is also musty/dusty and herb-ish, as well. I never get tired of smelling it, nor can I truly capture its scent in my mind's eye. I tend to become familiarized with most scents quite easily and can "re-smell" them mentally, but not this one--it is new to me every time I put it on. It definitely smells bohemian, incensey, skin-like, and like the perfect mash up between something both human and environmental. A beautiful intellectual sensualist, who is equally at home in the back shelves of a library or the messy bed of her French-speaking lover.

In case you can't tell, I adore it.

*One caveat: it has been reformulated :-( Find an older bottle on Ebay, or risk missing some of the original oak mossy goodness that this strange creation has to offer.
25th June, 2016

Yerbamate by Lorenzo Villoresi

Love, love, love the green and biting opening.

Hate, hate, hate the sweet and powdery dry down.

The clash between these two polar extremes makes this fragrance somehow cloying. If only the opening went on forever...
22nd June, 2016