Perfume Reviews

Reviews by AlthaeaSoaps

Total Reviews: 55

Nuits Indiennes by Jean-Louis Scherrer

This has civet? Huh. Well, I don't get any hint of that, which is probably a good thing. To me, this is a typical 90's version of a scent intended for older, monied women. A brisk, intense beginning of citruses and spices that fades quickly into a rich floral powder-amber. I agree that the lasting power on this isn't so much, and it does remind me of a lot of fragrances that have already been done - Raffinee, L'Heure Bleue, Byzance without the slightly harsh-narcotic white flower note, even Shalimar somewhat. There's not really anything that sets this apart that I can tell. I suppose that if you like the powdery-orientals but find them too strong and after a while they suffocate, this might be a nice alternative that fades before it becomes too much.
27th May, 2007

L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

Beautiful, just beautiful. Complex, strong, natural, undeniably sweet but never too much, lasting power is tops, sillage is definitely there but never aggressively so. This is a *masterpiece* of a fragrance, Mr. Tauer deserves all praises. The best praise yet? My husband, who hates "smelly things" because everything gives him an allergy fit...this is the only scent ever in his entire life that he *wants* to wear, and wear it *daily*, and he does it not as a nice thing for his wife but because *he wants to be surrounded by this beautiful scent*. There it is, how can I praise more than that? One thumb up isn't enough.
09th August, 2006

Centaure by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Very interesting scent, but is that an unfortunate variety of cedar in there that is putting me off? I agree on the citrus-lavender-mint-wood description, and also on the "refreshing" without being clean thing. The cedar seems dirty, the stink I normally associate with "mousy" or "urine-like". Fortunately that goes away fairly quickly, leaving an interestingly dry and refreshing lavender-orange-mint thing that's entirely pleasant in the sillage, even if I don't like it right there at skin level. It's something to experience, for sure.
13th June, 2006
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Cabochard by Grès

This really comes across as Bandit-like on me, only a little less sweet. It's hard to imagine something that can make Bandit seem sweet, but Cabochard does it. I think perhaps there's a little too much castoreum in it for me, I like the Bandit a bit better. Gorgeous leather, though. I'd like to smell this on my husband.
01st June, 2006

New Haarlem by Bond No. 9

To me? Smells like a person wearing something Green Irish Tweed-like - citrus, grassy - has just wafted by while carrying a fresh cappucino in one hand. Not bad, It feels like two separate, unrelated things going on simultaneously in near proximity, rather than smelling like a humming cord, bonded together. After a while the coffee note wears on me and starts making me feel unclean, like I've accidentally spilled on my shirt.
30th May, 2006

Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

ubuandibeme: I searched for Paris because, as I was trying to identify my mystery bottle of unlabeled Annick Goutal, I tested Paris and immediately felt they were highly similar. How amazing to come here and see your review! I'm 99% sure that my Mystery Goutal is Petite Cherie, now. That said, I agree with you about the similarities between the two. Bitter? I don't get anything bitter at all, but both scents, upon first spray, seem so intensely sweet-tart to me that I can barely focus elsewhere. I agree with czesc about the rose part - especially with Goutal on the other arm for comparison, Paris really does seem more jasmine than rose by far. The biggest difference, though, is on drydown. While Goutal's scent stays pretty much the same from beginning to end, and really wears out my nose, the Paris dried down to a lovely, slightly powdery fruity floral and all the sourness and syrup went away. In my opinion, Paris is far more wearable than Petite Cherie, and actually quite lovely if the intensity of the opening isn't too much.
29th May, 2006

Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Wow. This is one of the most stress-inducing smells I have sniffed in forever. I had my husband sniff too, and he got the burnt caramel note quite clearly, but not me. I can't find anything like it in there at all. To me, it opens with the odor of overheated brake pads. Then it "mellows" to the scent of my auto mechanic's shop, complete with the rubber tires in the lobby and the citrus GoJo hand cleaner by the sink in the bathroom. The burning brakes odor comes back here and here, just to keep my stomach in a knot. I'll wait a few weeks and sniff it again just to be sure, but so far... I can't fathom how this can smell good on a person.
19th May, 2006

Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

I adore this, although I must warn that it is heavy, heavy on the labdanum from beginning to end. I find it to be a tremendously good mixer, too - It gives spice and depth to things which are too light and/or floral, but if it's a composition heavy on patchouli or animalics it actually serves to lighten it up a bit...I think it has something to do with the saffron note, which allows it that quality. The saffron, by the way, is addictive. Silky, dry, hot, fine sand, you can almost feel the puff of it's powder raising the other notes up to your nose. Dries down to a very warm, sensual vanilla-woody skin scent. To me this is very aptly named - dark and rich, but utterly, utterly cashmere-soft.
30th April, 2006

Burberry London by Burberry

top notes: rose, clementine and honeysuckle.

Rose? Honeysuckle? I didn't sense them anywhere. However the clementine note was beautiful, although by the time the alcohol had dried it was virtually gone.

heart notes: tiare flower, jasmine and peony.

To me, this is what dominates the fragrance. And of this part, the Jasmine is the most dominant of the dominant. Reminds me very much of the teased-up, breathy florals of the 80's...all three flowers so equally overwhelming that it's hard to separate them from the general, muddied fog of "FLOWERS RIGHT HERE!". It is right on the verge of being headache-inducing for me, and I kept catching whiffs of this aspect that reminded me strongly of the floral heart of the famous yellow Giorgio signature perfume.

dry down notes: sandalwood, veil of musk and patchouli.

Again, never found them. The floral heart comes on within minutes and stays for many, many hours - at the end of the day it was still quite strong, but I never got a hint of any sort of wood, musk or earthiness from patchouli. All day long, impressions of Giorgio played hide-and-seek with moments of Estee Lauder's original Beautiful, back and forth. Overblended, overwhelming flower overload, for me.
28th April, 2006

Angel by Thierry Mugler

Has everyone gone mad? How can this be a hit? I don't understand. First, have you ever smelled the hair of a little boy, about nine or ten years old, after he's been running and playing and sweating all day? I mean a little boy past the "baby sweet" smelling stage, and before he gets to the age where he starts caring about hygiene. Okay, take that smell and add some blue vanilla sno-cone syrup. That's the first impression of Angel. Sweaty, dirty and syrupy. It rapidly loses the greasy kids hair note (thankfully) and becomes an oily, buttery sugary thing...makes me feel like I need to wash my hands, because they should be sticky. And then it dries down to a sugar cookie dipped in milk. Overall, makes me feel like I need a bath really bad. All this, from a lover of both chocolate and patchouli. I'm mystified by the attraction.
06th April, 2006

Bandit by Robert Piguet

Instant love. Love the green, fresh beginning with hints of salty leather. Love the middle of intense, dark salty leather with a bit of tangy sweat. Love the ending of soft, whispering woods and salty leather and skin. It's wonderful to layer with sweet, innocent, bright things on top. Gives them an arch to their brows, so to speak.
06th April, 2006

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

Just as with the patchouli blend in Aromatics, I get a sum-total of "urine" when I smell this one. Very frustrating...I *know* that I love patchouli, but not like this.
02nd April, 2006

Maja by Myrurgia

Lovely, green, herbal and powdery at once. Right up until the kerosene odor comes in. I almost was really liking this one. :(
25th March, 2006
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Orient Extreme by Montale

I really expected to love this one, since Orientals are my thing as a rule, but no. This smelled, I kid you not, like the *unfinished base* of an Oriental perfume that I make for myself on a regular basis. It smells like there's stuff missing. Like, heart and top notes. Really, it smells like someone dropped the labdanum bottle into the perfume vat and decided to use it anyway. I like labdanum, but yeesh. There was not a drop of sweetness to this, it was all dry resin and wood. So dry that it almost had a musty, mousy odor about it. It was so unpleasant that I was considering doctoring up my arms and neck with a few drops of rose oil when I realized that it had dissipated, halfway through the day. I'm finding myself surprised that one of the florals is turning out to be my favorite Montale so far, because everything else I have tried makes me choose between beauty and longevity.
23rd March, 2006

L'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci

I can't really wear this, too many elderly women I know wear it and it just makes me feel like a grandma. However, the interesting thing about the powder in this is the salty aspect. Many powders are sugar-sweet or floral-sweet, but the powder here is not sweet at all. It's almost...mineral. The florals maintain their own character separate from the powder, rather than playing second-fiddle to it. It's almost like two separate melodies playing at once, complimentary and cooperative but independent. I'm holding onto my bottle for a decade or so...perhaps I will have grown into it by then, or perhaps my mindset will have changed enough to allow me to feel good in it. It's certainly a beautiful fragrance, despite the cultural insinuations.
19th March, 2006

Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi

I just want to add that I applied this in the morning and now, at 10:47 at night, it's still hugely strong. I feel like I've been punished all day with this horrible stuff.
19th March, 2006 (last edited: 20th March, 2006)

Vanilla Fields by Coty

Eh, rather bland and inoffensive. Sugar-sweet and very mild, no staying power, minimum sillage, but then with something so weak in personality, you wouldn't want it chasing you across the room and standing on your chest, anyway. A nice, quiet scent to wear when you're not wanting to call attention to yourself, perhaps, or when you want to avoid anything controversial about your person.
19th March, 2006

Wood & Spices by Montale

The drydown on this is gorgeous, just gorgeous. Unfortunately, you have to go through a long phase where this happens to smell just like Carpet Fresh before you get there. :\
18th March, 2006

Aoud Lime by Montale

I could just swamp myself in this fragrance...the oudh is very strong here, and i just want to drink it,almost. the smell reminds me of the scent of dried, crushed pine needles, and of the sharp odor that all the world has after you have fried your nose with bleach. but no, it's gorgeous! these are just the closest approximations to help explain what that sharp-yet-ethereal woodiness is like. the big drawback? unfortunately, it reminds me way too much of the odor of Deep Woods Off! bug repellant. I know it's probably something to do with the cedar-like nature of the woodiness, combined with the lime. it's actually an incredibly beautiful scent, but with the unfortunate association i have with bug repellant, i couldn't wear it daily without being uncomfortable.
16th March, 2006

Brut by Fabergé

My connotations of Brut are so badly tainted, I could never enjoy it again. I'm remembering a guy we traveled with, in a bus, from South Carolina to the border of Mexico one hot, hot summer. Instead of bathing, he just dabbed more Brut on the more offensive areas. The smell now reminds me of unbathed hippies far more than patchouli oil ever could.
14th March, 2006

Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

One of my all-time favorites, since I was 18 years old when I first discovered it in a St. Thomas duty-free. It's clean, crisp, and utterly addictive. I breathe more deeply when I have it on, just can't get enough of it. A little will do you, and will last all day. Actually, it will last on your winter coat until next spring, should you happen to forget dry-cleaning before storage. ;)
14th March, 2006

Trouble / An Invitation To Trouble by Revlon

I wish I could find the notes in this, because I really enjoy it! A very heady, almost narcotic floral with great staying power. It's the most intense level of floral that I can live with before the scales are tipped toward headache and nausea. This is a feminine, romantic fragrance, and darn it, I want to know what's in it!
14th March, 2006

Xi'a Xi'ang by Revlon

I recall enjoying this a lot when I was in my mid-teens - it was among my first full-bottle purchases - but eventually I got tired of it. I remember that there was something about the scent that reminded me of freshly sharpened pencils, in a good way. I recently came upon a sample and now I can enjoy that flood of memories that come from scent. I like it - a floral oriental, but not rich especially, rather unobtrusive. A floriental that you can wear during the day, that doesn't take over a room. And the packaging is gorgeous, even better than I remembered.
14th March, 2006

Aqua Allegoria Rosa Magnifica by Guerlain

At first, I was thinking "Where's the rose?" All I could smell was a burst of green. In about ten minutes the green settled down and virtually disappeared, leaving a pink or white tea rose, very young and sweet. This is what my six-year-old should wear when she wants to play dress-up; I think it's a little to young and spry for me. After a couple of hours it mellows into a silkier, more sophisticated rose fragrance but it's still definitely pink and white tea roses. Not rich enough to become a favorite of mine, but as with all the Aqua Allegorias, I enjoy the way that each "course" is served up, reveals itself and then moves gracefully aside for the next.
14th March, 2006

Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna by Fendi

One of my all-time favorite scents. It feels "just right" to me, in the Goldilocks sense. When I wear it, I feel well put together and confident and totally at home.
14th March, 2006

White Linen by Estée Lauder

The aldehydes come out slightly soapy on me, and I adore the citrus-peach in the top - so bright and sunny. Overall a very clean, optimistic fragrance and I wore it faithfully through two consecutive whole bottles, an extraordinary level of devotion for me. :) I started smelling it on a lot of old women, though, and since I was so young I distanced myself from anything that appealed to the old. Maybe I should give it another shot.
14th March, 2006

True Love by Elizabeth Arden

Hmm. Smells very tart and fruity to me, sweet-sour, tangy peach and raspberry. Something cool and water-like hiding beneath, and a not-too-warm, gently woody base. Overall a light scent, and yeah, young-ish. A good scent for a light mood.
14th March, 2006

Tatiana by Diane Von Furstenberg

A very light, simple white floral with negligible staying power and sillage. The reason why it intrigues me enough to give it shelf space is that every time I smell it, my nose expects to find coconut there - but never does. Why is this? No idea, but it's a neat enough trick for me to keep it there for an occasional sniff.
14th March, 2006

Powder Flowers by Montale

Okay, I take it back: upon further review, I really like this one. It grew on me. Sure, it's powder...but compared to so many other powder essences out there, this is really, really high quality. It lasts and lasts, and it has a skin-warmth to it, a sensuality and a sleekness that keep it mature and inviting, instead of just "scrubbed and powdered" like many. The more I smell it, the more I'm reminded of a higher-quality rendition of Pavi Elle, an old fragrance by Avon. Very similar, but kicked up a few notches. I thought that Aoud Damascus was my favorite Montale at first, but my mind is beginning to change.
13th March, 2006 (last edited: 19th March, 2006)

Aoud Damascus by Montale

I have a small bottle of pure Bulgarian rose oil, and a bottle of Aoud Damascus. Both of them are the epitome of what is beautiful about a rose, to me. There is such depth, from the first hint of crushed green leaves all the way to the lightly waxy, honeylike but clean ending. They just transport me. with the Aoud Damascus, the difference is that where the Bulgarian rose oil eventually fades away to nothing, the Montale scent just gives and gives. I can't keep my nose away from my wrist, and I cannot stop the reflexive utterings of "Mmmm!" every time my nose catches a whiff of it. This will undoubtedly be my first Montale full-bottle purchase. Or perhaps it should go on the birthday list...
13th March, 2006