Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Ebenas

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Total Reviews: 52

Don't Get Me Wrong Baby, I Don't Swallow by Etat Libre d'Orange

Well, flowers! jasmine! lily of the valley! nice orange flower tinge, not over sweet or rather floral rather than cloying sweet, just a bunch of polleny summery exhuberance!

It's really jasminey to me but sweet and clean rather than sultry. The LOTV is also there in force. The 'concept' seems to be some laboured notion that it's a wedding 'put a ring on it if you want to hit it' tale - sometimes I wonder if whoever is behind this nonsense at ELDO (the copywriting, not the perfumes which are often really good) realises that much of their stuff is quite male chauvinist - or is it all too post-modern for criticism?

Anyway, the scent sings of summer, and there's almost a (suntan) lotion thing going on there as well as the bouquet. It's very sniffable, and I'm interested to see how this turns out.

Just went off and read a few reviews and the blurb - I really do not get the comparisons to Diorissimo, unless things in Dior land have changed dramatically since I last got a bottle of Diorissimo. DGMWB is very floral and doesn't have the lovely greenness of Diorissimo at all.

A few hours later and it's a close to the skin fizzy floral with a vanilla/choc/coffee sweetness in the background.
20th July, 2017

Je Suis Un Homme by Etat Libre d'Orange

Je Suis un Homme is a bigarade type cologne with lots of clove on opening. I know very little about classic men's perfumes and can't comment on what it resembles. However, the clove makes the first stage more interesting and deeper than a simple citrus burst.

After a few minutes it's nice and spicy but still cooling - it doesn't go cloying like some of the more fougère types.

Later, it gets a bit spicier with some cinnamon or ginger added to the clove, and a bit of the fougère woodiness that can sometimes go headachey on me but ok so far.
20th July, 2017

Antihéros by Etat Libre d'Orange

Antihéros starts out with a sweetish lavender and a hint of nail varnish remover which thankfully dissipates quickly. The lavender deepens quickly. I like lavender as a smell but never associate it with perfume. I was thinking Antihéros was a bit pale, and took a sniff of some lavender bubble bath that's hanging around the bathroom. The ELDO is much stronger and clearer. Maybe my mind's smellograph for lavender is of the plant itself, dried sprigs of lavender, or lavender oil. In any case, I guess Antihéros is actually plenty strong for a perfume/cologne, as it develops. In fact, it is very simple and quite soapy. In view of the company's self-promotion as iconoclasts, I keep waiting for something crazy to happen, but so far it's linear lavender..
20th July, 2017
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Cristalle Eau de Toilette by Chanel

This was and is one of my favourites. I love the almost harsh opening blast, and the citrus, and the oakmoss (maybe nowadays sense memory is playing a part in my enjoyment!). I've loved this for a long long time - it is diamond bright and sharp and clear. There is no gummy sweet musk messing up the drydown so it's a brief pleasure. But the first hour is such a joy that I happily respray. In fact, I dream of facial wipes scented with this - it's almost a scented hanky or smelling salts experience rather than a skin scent. I adore the almost repulsively sharp green icy (and probably very prosaic alcohol) rush which wakes me up and makes me aware that there is elegance in the world. Cristalle, to me. is not a natural object but rather a perfect manmade thing, in the way a cut diamond is a manmade creation of the uncut mineral.
20th July, 2017

Resina by Oliver & Co.

Resina is a lovely mix of (duh!) resins, and is woody and spicy, but it really scores for me because it has a buoyancy lifting it out of more fougère territory. This seems to be thanks to the anis running through it and also to a spicy lift early in its development. This gives the same type of lift as clove but doesn't smell like clove - it must be the mace mentioned in the usual Oliver & Co massive list of notes. I can't remember what mace smells like but remember it as one of the 'Christmas' type spices.

After a bit of internet research, it turns out that mace comes from this weird outer coating on nutmeg, and is lighter and sweeter - this is exactly the feeling I get in Resina - something light lifting the balsamy resins. I haven't seen mace as a note often - maybe due to possible confusion with Mace spray (which the internet tells me is unrelated to the spice - Mace is the brand name). So, as happens with that toothpaste quality to Méchant Loup, Resina is a rich spicy scent which can also be worn in warm weather. It also scores in that it doesn't become overpowering or headachey at all.
20th July, 2017

Séville à l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Séville à l'Aube is sweet orange and incense with a nice tarry edge along with some honey. I like it but can sometimes find it a little cloying. It doesn't really make me think of Seville or even Spain, but it is one of the few perfumes that I think only works at night, and outside on a summer's night if possible. In this warm night-scented floral incense vibe, it has a midnight in an exotic garden feeling, but for me it isn't muscular enough to evoke Spain. But then again, there is a certain honeyed orangey tobacco tinged feeling to the drydown that may indeed be Seville.
20th July, 2017

LouLou by Cacharel

LouLou is a lot of fun - very sweet, with loads of oriental spice and something fruity, and tonnes of vanilla. It has a sense of something like a berry flavoured spicy sweet - maybe some sort of nougat or even tea.

It's not really me but I'm happy for it to be me for a day or two! There's nothing not to love about it - and this is wearing it on a very hot and sweaty day - it has a lightness and joie de vivre that stops it being overpowering even in these conditions!
20th July, 2017

L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

I have never regarded L'Air du Desert Marocain as a winter scent, despite its spicy resinous nature. There is something fresh and airy about it. In fact, it does the vast internal space trick better than Timbuktu in my opinion. Yes, it's a spicy (almost foodie), incensy, rosy, woody powerhouse, but it's definitely not a warm winter smell for me. This may be because I've spent some time East of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and the smell is associated with warm sunny weather and clear night skies in my head.

This brings to mind the smell of cedar and cloves and cooking and roses, even if they're not all in there. Oddly enough, when I used to go to Morocco quite a bit, I never thought of actually wearing any of these spicy oriental smells - my weapon of choice while there was always something sharp and fresh and not so feminine - Cristalle for example. I guess I still feel the notes in L'Air du Desert Marocain as an atmosphere or surrounding rather than a perfume, but it's a cloud I'm often blissed out to be walking around in.

Sometimes, I find spicy incense scents have a damp or dank rough edge to them, which may also contribute to my feeling that they are not winter scents. This isn't really present here in L'Air du Desert Marocain, which is beautifully dry, but the coolness is - there's a lovely vetiver streak running through it without a hint of cloying sweetness. That's actually the trick of L'Air du Desert Marocain for me - it's not at all cloying.

And the best part is - it's available in 15ml bottles as part of Andy Tauer's Explorer set of 3 15ml sizes.
20th July, 2017

Jean Marie Farina by Roger & Gallet

Hot hot day - cologne cologne cologne!

This is great to reapply throughout the day to get a bit of freshness, it's a classic cologne which is quite herbal (rosemary) on top of the bergamot citrus opening. It's not overly sweet and has a nice 'catch' or bite from the herbs.
20th July, 2017

Il Libro Degli Agrumi : Verde d'Arancia by Monotheme

Oranges, oranges, oranges.

Wishing I'd put this in the fridge before I put it on. Anyway, it's definitely not going to last long so I'll put it in there now for later refreshment. It's a gorgeous day here and I wanted something uncomplicated and summery, so I got this out. The only note info I've seen is orange peel, but there's more in there - maybe a hint of vetiver and something woody? It really is orangey - both zesty and sweet and has a lovely juicy depth almost like those very very orangey ice lollies from my youth.

It's simple and undemanding and perfect for a slopping around sunny Sunday!
20th July, 2017

L'Ete en Douce / Extrait de Songes by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I've always liked linden blossom in perfumes, and this is a nice summery light floral with grassy notes and a little citrus hint from a dollop of orange blossom, except for an odd impression I get from it and from L'Eau de l'Artisan.

It seems like a chemical sweet smell that reminds me of rubbers (erasers) we had as children. There were two types - the standard almost grainy ones, and these snazzier coloured ones which were almost like a very stiff gel and had this smell which was sweet but somehow plasticky - I spent a lot of time smelling these and being tempted to eat them - they weren't the fruit ones that were supposed to smell like fruit, they just had this odd sweet smell. I've also gotten the same whiff from a deodorant I had at one stage. It's as if the various component notes produce this overall effect alongside the perfume. It does smell like a linden blossom or even like lilac but somewhat hyperreal. I read a review of this once that mentioned the smell of biro ink and it was dead on. Also ClaireV's review mentions gripe water, which has that wierd sweet smell too. So I'm not able to escape this effect and actually appreciate the perfume.
20th July, 2017

Delicious Closet Queen by Etat Libre d'Orange

This opens very sweet with a wave of raspberry violet and a little leather, but has something of a watered down feeling -- like a toy perfume for kids. But it quickly gets spicier. It has good staying power, and remains interesting - the sweet leathery spicy thing is nothing earth shattering but the odd candy note keeps it somehow in tension between a fruity floral and something almost Christmassy. I like it very much but for sporadic wearings.

Of course, it's discontinued.
20th July, 2017

Cavalli by Roberto Cavalli

I was given a gift set of this years ago - looked at bottle (which is so over the top in tackiness by any standards that it may in fact be some sort of ironic too cool for school joke) and shivered. I might never have opened it but curiosity got the better of me. After a couple of wears, I found myself going back to it again and again, drained the bottle and invested in another.

Lesson learned - don't look askance at pink snakeskin printed bottles with plastic snake coiled around the spray end! I've never quite decided if the snake is to keep the little round sprayer in place and then taken off to use the perfume, or if its head should be pressed down to spray.

It's very peppery and quite sweet and fruity floral on opening, with red apple mentioned in the notes, although I get a sort of sweet raspberry very light leather hit off it for some reason. It's more amber and spicy later.

It's very uplifting with all the pepper, and quite light at the same time. I wouldn't say it's a masterpiece, but it's very loveable in its way, and I like it!
19th July, 2017 (last edited: 20th July, 2017)
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Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan Parfumeur

It's a bit odd - sometimes it seems like a floral with some incense , others it's all incense and woods, and others it's like a little sister to Dzongkha - with that incense/wood mixed with a creamy almost meaty smell.

I never particularly like the opening notes, but when it settles I get wafts during the day of something intriguing and complex, which makes me pause.
19th July, 2017

Pierre Hermé : Pamplemousse Rhubarbe by L'Occitane

I got this in a L'Occitane shop a couple of years ago to stop myself buying Aedes de Venustas, as I already had a grapefruit I liked (Pamplelune). I was flirting with the rhubarb thing around then. This was designed in collaboration with a pastry chef I think, and it reminds me of a rhubarb and lemon tart my dad makes from a French recipe. So it's a bit foodie! It's not overly sharp on opening, and manages to evoke sweet grapefruit of all things!

It's a bit sweet for me, but it does the job on a warm day, and it's definitely fruity - but in a patisserie way rather than fruity floral. I quite like, but don't love, it.
19th July, 2017

Fat Electrician by Etat Libre d'Orange

This one is a love of mine, but I think of it more as a cool weather scent despite the vetiver. The sweet gourmandish chestnut paste note makes it quite cuddly, which forms a lovely push-pull with the almost sweaty vetiver. It's great today on a cloudy but warm day. I bought this in preference to Sycomore a couple of years ago and don't regret it. It's a bit more chunky and edgy and has a grounding effect on me.

Late evening and still loving Fat Electrician - it's a vetiver vanilla now that wafts up from time to time - very pleasant and the slight sourness of the vetiver keeps it interesting to the end.
19th July, 2017

Eau des Lagons by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

I bought this while on the hunt for something summery. I must have been in severe beach and seaside withdrawal at the time. It opens with lime and something sweet - almost coconutty but bearable - which is high praise for me given my aversion to coconut scents. It's got something floral and woody as well, and paints a smell picture of being on the water rather than on the beach - it has a saltiness too which adds to the marine vibe. The fruity sweetness also gives a tropical vibe but it's not over the top. All in all I quite like it, and it's great for seaside fantasies on miserable November days.
19th July, 2017

Vetiverus by Oliver & Co.

I love vetiver and this is great, if not a total vetiver monster. It is rich but not over sweet, with a lovely spicy resiny tone which it shares with Resina from the same company. There is citrus in the beginning but it is again rich but not sweet - bitter orange with cloves. The vetiver is always there, and weaving in and out, and there is also a dry woodiness.

Very nice indeed!
19th July, 2017

Jungle L'Éléphant by Kenzo

Passing through airport today I liberally applied Jungle (Elephant - well it's the only Jungle now that Tigre has been discontinued - I've never tried that one). The spicy (but so unlike other spicy perfumes!) opening and middle kept me cheerful through the ever more tedious security checks and waiting around to board. On the 7 hour flight, I very much enjoyed its spicy (clove, cumin, caraway) and aniseed envelope insulating me from the world. I may have oversprayed a bit, but the woman beside me was having her own little affair with Jameson so I don't think I bothered anyone!

It's still going strong 12 hours later waiting for a connection, the spice is still there over some amber-patchouli when snifffed up close.

I really should get a bottle of this, but I think my fondness for it is magnified by our sporadic encounters in airport duty free shops... It's a fantastic brief encounter but I don't know about everyday wear.
19th July, 2017

Acqua Viva by Profumum

I love lemons, as a child I used to eat them, and I've always yearned for a fresh lemon perfume - in my teenage years (and 20's and 30's if truth be told) I fondly imagined that finding such a fragrance would make me leaner, tanned, and possessed of that French 'put together effortlessly' ease.

I think Acqua Viva is the closest I've ever found to my dream of real lemons, and it lasts better than other colognes. I love the fresh burst of lemon when I spray, and the other notes complement it nicely. It really feels like the zest as well as the pulp, that lovely back of the nose hit, and the flavour through the bitterness - AV is not very bitter but doesn't have the cloying sweetness I sometimes get from lemony colognes, for which I blame verbena!

I bought a bottle (at full price!) and thought I'd reached citrus Nirvana. And it is nice to spray on a summer day or even in winter for a bit of olfactory fantasy (olfantasy?). It is also somehow deeper than most citrussy scents, and has some heft - it feels oily when splashed.

However, it is more of a scent photo than a perfume, and, after investing in it, I amazed myself by not wearing it every day. I spent years looking for this zenith of citrus sharpness, and in the process have somehow come to appreciate other ingredients and more complex, richer perfumes.

But it is gorgeous to spray mid-afternoon for an instant pick me up!
19th July, 2017

L'Eau de L'Artisan by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This always foxes me - there is a smell of something which is oddly familiar but I just can't place. It starts out lemony and then there's a grassy herby feel with whatever this sweet note is - I'd like to work out what it is as it piques my curiosity. However, I'm not wild about it - it's too sweet - maybe it's coming from a hay accord - it does have a hay like tang but somehow out of context. There's a saltiness to it that I like too but that sweet and slightly headachy thing gets in the way.
19th July, 2017

Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne

Orris Noir is peppery with sweeter spices and a soft leather at first, with what I think is a cool iris coming in soon after. It's oriental and somewhat syrupy but kept light and bright by the pepper and spice. This is one of the perfumes that make me wish I could confidently name notes as well as pick them out. There are many lovely things in here, making for an interesting combination. There's some rose and a little fruit along with the pepper and spice, brightening up the oriental woody and myrrh base.
19th July, 2017

Gincense by Oliver & Co.

I still can't decide if I'm being primed by the name which I imagine represents the ginger and frankincense listed as notes, but what I get is GIN.. something very sharp and herby - just like gin, so I imagine it must be juniper berries. It's got a vaguely sharp fruity plasticky tone I find in a lot of Oliver fragrances, somewhat like a marine note but out of context. There's a sharp chemical and metallic feeling to this note that I don't find completely pleasant, which may be because I've never liked the smell of gin. Once it settles down, it sweetens and deepens a little and I continue to get refreshing gusts from wrists and hair. The sharpness diminishes but still remains with a pine tinge to it, and I don't really get the incense - but I do get a hint of ginger.
19th July, 2017

Meraviglia by Re Profumo

It's spicy, opening with lime and pepper and something resiny, and a lovely slightly sharp incense hits after a while. It's got great staying power, but I did spray quite a bit. The incense and spicy resin drydown makes it good, but there's a certain persistent fruity note I'm not too sure about at the start but have grown to like - I think it's the combination of the lime with the spices. It reminds me a little of L'Artisan's Mon Numéro Dix. Today was the beginning of a heatwave here (21 C but everything's relative and that's hot for us!) and I think Meraviglia would really shine on a cool spring day or in the depths of winter, although the mystery fruity accent makes it oddly refreshing.

And that incense I'm still getting is really gorgeous...
19th July, 2017

Tolu by Ormonde Jayne

Tolu is a beautiful resiny, balsamy oriental that just feels comfortable and is gorgeous in winter. The perfume has a strong herby opening (clary sage) with some florals that lifts it out of straight amber territory. The bath oil doesn't have as much herb and is more about the beautiful amber and spice (cinnamon) middle and base. For me, Tolu is about winter walks - the warming oriental part blends perfectly with the slightly bracing herbs to somehow evoke the feeling of being warm and comfortable outside walking in the park or in the woods in magical winter weather, rather than wrapped up indoors eating chocolates (which is also a fine pursuit!).
19th July, 2017

Diorissimo by Christian Dior

This was one of my mother's stand by scents, and I used to try it every so often. I remember not liking it at all - I guess it didn't fit my youthful notion of what perfume should be like - I thought it smelled like nettles or grass. It does have a beautiful green side which I started to love in my late teens. The lily of the valley is lovely, and the greenness keeps any cloying sweetness away. I love how it's so green but not obviously citrussy, although the notes do include bergamot. It really does have a fresh sunny morning in cool of the shady woods feeling, and sends me out the door feeling refreshed and ready for anything.
19th July, 2017

Je Reviens by Worth

This was my absolute favourite as a child in the '70s - I think the blue colour got me - the perfume came in a disk shaped bottle and the liquid was a lovely midnight blue. My mother used to let me use it, and one fine early '80s day, I took the bottle with me on a night out, wearing a white jacket. The bottle broke and the blue stain on that jacket smelled divine for years afterwards. Oddly, I can't find any references to blue liquid (as opposed to bottle ) Je Reviens, but my memory is of blue liquid..

I've always loved the overtone of something vaguely chemical in this and was interested to read that this is due to salicylates. It's floral but not sweet, has a spicy woody background, and still smells good (in the 'Couture' version). However it doesn't have the heft and body it had in my memories. If I didn't have the memory of what this was in my impressionable youth, I don't know how I'd feel about it.
19th July, 2017

Noa by Cacharel

I'm never sure if I really like this one. It is certainly pleasant, clear but not over simple. However, I, the lover of all things crisp and sparkling, find this a bit too sharp (aldehydes?) at the beginning. It never becomes a love for me, but I wear it sometimes because it has something about it. I think it may never be love because it just smells perfumey to me, definitely soapy, and has something of what I'd imagine a French laundry would smell like. In fact, there's something very French about it. It's incredible value for money too!
19th July, 2017

Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Dzongkha opens on me with a smell of something like MSG or soup or moreso a stock cube - there's something like celery and herbs, there's also something whiskey-like in the nose as a 'higher' note, and a strong Rien-like leather. By whiskey I mean that cool peaty smell of whiskey without any warming clove or honey. It also smells like furniture in some way, reminding me of old rooms. So, not your Auntie Violet's rosewater, I guess! I always remind myself at this stage of the Dzongkha game that it develops - so I'll report back as this happens.
Two hours later and it's the Dzongkha I remember, still somewhat savoury rather than spicy-sweet, but with a softer incense with a little floral on the edges. For me, this is a very grounded fragrance - it reminds me of the smell of corners of my grandparents' house - nothing in particular but the accumulated scents of life - that doesn't sound very appealing but it is a solid comfortable feeling, woody and vaguely human. I remember testing L'Air de Rien and getting something similar but not as smooth as Dzongkha.

Now (7hours) it's a lovely incense-leather that just feels good, calming, and solid.
10th July, 2017

Cassis en Feuille by Miller Harris

This is quite sweet and fruity for me, but I like it. It's very 'gardeny' for want of a better word. I love the opening - a fresh and somewhat tart fruity (I get blackcurrant probably because I'm primed by the name!) green cloud. It's a great, easy, pleasant, all's well with the world scent and lasts nicely throughout the day. I keep saying I don't like fruit - I think the reality is that I don't like a number of particular fruit notes. I have no real problem with blackcurrant (and there's supposed to be pear in here too), but something like Cassis en Feuille is as sweet on the fruit front I'll go. I think it's genuinely sweet in the sense that there is a hint of sweetness, rather than a total sugar bomb, or that slightly overripe peach thing that appears in so many perfumes, which I really don't like at all.
10th July, 2017