Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Elf


Journey Woman by Amouage

This is one lovely perfume! I've been sniffing for a perfect, rich osmanthus and this one definitely works. There is a rich, apricot-laden osmanthus heart with lots of spicy goodness. All the sweetness and honey and fruit does not become cloying, however. The tea and that hint of tobacco keeps it quirky and interesting, and dries out the composition to some extent. It changes while wearing, shifting from the warmer, richer facets to the drier, more pungent aspects, then back again. Longevity is very good, sillage is surprisingly minimal. It's entertaining and intelligent.
21st August, 2014

Mon Numéro 10 by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Incense, amber, metal, bug spray and blood. It quite overwhelmed my nose! Sadly, this one was a scrubber for me. Weird and distinctly unpleasant, like watching a Clive Barker movie. (apologies to any CB fans out there!)
10th August, 2014

Queen of Hearts by Queen Latifah

Bargain of the Year, 3.4 oz for $9.99! This reminds me very much of Madness by Chopard, but Queen of Hearts is a little rounder and smoother. It's mostly rich fruit notes with incense and patch. It's much more resinous than sweet, and sillage is minimal so I think it's quite office-friendly, which is unusual with incense/patch perfumes. It lasts about 4 hours, longer on clothing. It's the only celebuscent in my collection, and it's much more unusual and well-made than most on the drugstore shelves.
10th August, 2014
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Love by By Kilian

This is my Marshmallow Holy Grail. Not cheap and nasty marshmallows. Real ones, made in Italy for Pasqua in all kinds of lovely pastel colors, and rolled in sugar. Those marshmallows. It just is what it is, and if you love it, you'll crave it. If you're not into homemade marshmallows and pillow-topped mattresses and fluffy kittens, don't even bother. For such a softie, it's quite a polarizing perfume. Babies and toddlers go nutty over this one, in my experience, kind of like what happens with Hanae Mori's Butterfly.
28th April, 2012

Mohur by Neela Vermeire

I can't make up my mind on Mohur. I personally do not like it, I can't wear it. It's too powdery a rose and I loathe powdery roses. They remind me of baby wipes. Also, there are so many notes in here, it's like watching a kaleidoscope on super-fast spin! That being said, for those who like complex and powdery rose confections, this is a very unique and interesting perfume. Definitely a try-before-you-buy, but I know some people are going to go crazy for this one.
28th April, 2012

Aedes de Venustas (new) by Aedes de Venustas

Despite its reputation on several blogs, there's nothing violent about this. I give it a thumbs up because the world needs more rhubarb perfumes, and this is a very nice one. The only aspect I don't like is a celery note that wafts in and out, here and there. I can't stand celery, so that is annoying. Other than that, it's a charming, well-constructed green.
28th April, 2012

Mon Numéro 1 by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Mimosa meets Pear. They tap dance, Fred and Ginger-like, into a glorious sunset of white musk and vanilla. What's not to like?
28th April, 2012

Batucada by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This is summer fun in a bottle. I really enjoy it as a beachy citrus cologne. But it has some nice twists, including a little bit of a sweaty note, and saltwater, that make it interesting as well as fun. Lasts a few hours.
28th April, 2012

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

I felt pretty neutral about Vetiver Dance when I first tried a sample prior to its release. I adore all things vetiver, but Vetiver Dance was a little complicated for me wrap my head (and nose) around. Then, about a year later, I won a bottle on Andy's holiday giveaway. After wearing it daily for a week in serious southern heat, I can say it's now my favorite vetiver. The intense floral natural of Vetiver Dance makes it unique. It's sweeter than any other vetiver fragrance I can think of. Yet the pepper cuts through the sweetness and adds a quirky counterpoint. The vetiver itself is top-quality, warm, earthy, but without the "raw dirt" facets that can make a vetiver a little too masculine for me. This one is perfect, and I reach for my bottle often!
02nd August, 2010

Replique by Long Lost Perfume

This review is for the Long Lost Perfumes version of Replique. It's a very unique, leathery-mossy-green. It could easily be a contemporary niche scent from one of the quirkier houses. I absolutely love it, though I have a strong penchant for all perfumes green. I highly recommend this for fellow green-freaks!
02nd August, 2010

Casaque by Long Lost Perfume

I'm reviewing the Long Lost Perfume version. This is a lush, big and bold white floral. It's very retro, and a lot of fun in the summertime.
02nd August, 2010

Bakir by Long Lost Perfume

I wasn't too thrilled about this the first time I tried it, because I was still in my aldehydophobic phase. That phase has thankfully ended and I'm now enjoying many vintage perfumes. Bakir from Irma Shorell (Long Lost Perfumes) is one of my favorites. It's a spicy oriental with a lovely, warm drydown. Reminds me a lot of Noir Epices, actually. Simply gorgeous, especially for autumn evenings.
02nd August, 2010

Deneuve by Catherine Deneuve

I bought the Long Lost Perfume version (Irma Shorell), called Cannes. I really enjoy it. It's a green chypre, but rather light and delicate, actually, with a soft leather drydown. Very subtle and elegant.
02nd August, 2010
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Amaranthine by Penhaligon's

I'm a Florida girl, and have great love for jasmine, ylang ylang, and tooth-achingly sweet milk desserts (tres leches, anyone??). And of course, if you live in South Florida, you gotta love the sweat. And amaranthine is full of all these things, so it's just love, pure and simple.
22nd May, 2010

Ambre 114 by Histoires de Parfums

This is everything I wanted Prada's Eau d'Ambree to be. It's a light, not overly sweet, charming, quirky amber. Definitely unisex, the herbal notes and geranium add a piquancy to the traditional amber. Really a lovely find!
26th November, 2009

Rose Perfume by Irma Shorell

A strongly aldehydic, old-fashioned rose, made with quality ingredients. Not my style, but fun.
20th November, 2009

Escale à Portofino by Christian Dior

This smells exactly like the lemon cologne used on buses in Asia Minor that helps the passengers smell nice and feel refreshed in the morning. It's lovely on those buses, but to pay $100 for it just because Dior slapped its label on it is a travesty. For shame, Dior!
13th August, 2009

Maderas de Oriente by Madini

This gorgeous fragrance reminds me very much of Caron's impossible to find Coup de Fouet and Poivre, though it is not at all a copy. Rich, clovey, woody bliss. I love it!
04th May, 2009

Safi by Nyakio Kamoche

Well, on the down side, fruity florals have been done to death over the past decade. I really didn't think I could bear to smell another, but Safi turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The pineapple and white florals are dominant. If there's muhuhu or vetiver, it's barely there (muhuhu oil smells like a clean sweaty horse, it's very distinctive and strong). The flowery pineapple lasts for several hours, drying down to a light musky bamboo. Very wearable and not too sweet.
20th November, 2008

Covet Pure Bloom Sarah Jessica Parker by Sarah Jessica Parker

Ack! What on earth does this synthetic floral attack have to do with Covet? Avoid! Beware!
16th November, 2008

Union Square / Andy Warhol Union Square by Bond No. 9

A light, fresh, green floral. You can have one of these for a lot less money! Very decent, refreshing on a hot day, but overpriced and redundant. A disappointment after the stellar Silver Factory.
16th November, 2008

Davidoff Adventure by Davidoff

Any scent with Obiwan as it's main model, well, I can't be negative about that! Actually, this rather generic department store scent has enough spice to be very pleasant. Not bad!
16th November, 2008

Lalique White by Lalique

This is a spicy and unisex delight, reminiscent of traditional bay rum colognes, but with a modern twist. Very decent longevity for a cologne. Wish it came in an EdP concentration, though. Swear there's some bay and juniper in there....
01st November, 2008

Amethyst by Lalique

Rosy blackcurrants and blackberry on a light musky base. Very true blackcurrant and excellent longevity. Beautiful bottle too.
01st November, 2008

Claire de Nilang by Lalique

A strong green floral, very pretty but not for the meek of heart!
01st November, 2008

Kenzo Amour Indian Holi by Kenzo

Amour has too much vanilla for my taste, so I was very happy to try Holi- the vanilla is reduced by about half, and pepper, rose, and peony replace it. It's a brighter, spicier, and lighter Amour. My only complaint is that either it fades very quickly, or I quickly become anosmic to the musks (about 30 minutes). Still recommended. Drop dead gorgeous bottle and packaging.
23rd October, 2008

Ma Dame by Jean Paul Gaultier

This perfume will work on your sad days like nothing else, but probably only if you're GenX or younger. Its references crack me up-- Now N'Laters, Necco Wafers, those weird candy valentine hearts, hot pink vinyl raincoats with matching umbrellas, ah, my youth in a bottle! I don't get down about life very often, but if I do, this is the perfume I reach for. Ma Dame is simply incompatible with a pensive outlook, depression, or gloom. Be goofy and wear it!
19th October, 2008 (last edited: 22nd May, 2010)

Kenzo Winter Flowers by Kenzo

This is a lovely addition to the Flower family. There's a hint of a rose-type flower (the hellibore?), and, though it is not listed as a note, I detect some of the kyara incense that's so prominent in Flower Oriental. In fact, this seems like a cross between the original Flower and Oriental, so if the sichuan pepper was too much for you, but you want more of a spicy kick than the original gives, this would be a good option. Much more interesting and long-lasting than Summer Flower, which I didn't care for. The bottle is strikingly gorgeous.
20th September, 2008

L'Eau de Kasaneka by Menard

A spicy floral with Japanese rose and basil. Very Japanese, elegant and quiet. I love it. Longevity about 3-5 hours.
07th September, 2008

Eau de Star by Thierry Mugler

I love and admire Angel and Rose Angel but can wear them only seldom because they wear ME. Y'all know exactly what I mean. But Eau de Star is a cool and gentle variation of the Angel riff and I find it eminently wearable. I like it better than Innocent, which developed a harsh, synthetic note on my skin. I get compliments on Eau de Star but I don't overwhelm anyone with it, which is often the case with Angel. The only negative is that, being light, it doesn't last nearly as long as Angel, about 3-4 hours (versus 300). But in summer, that's not a big problem. Overall I'm really pleased to find a member of the Angel family I can happily wear to work! Also, melon/cucumber haters, be not afraid, (I'm one of you)- the note, is it Calone? is not heavy, but effervescent and sparkly.
27th July, 2008