Perfume Reviews

Reviews by flathorn

Total Reviews: 265

Black Collection : Whiskey by Commodity

I bought a perfume sampler set for my fiancé's birthday. 'Aventus' was generic and somewhat wishy-washy, ho-hum on him (the sports-fragrance base came out); he rocked most of the ouds. A few were very nice, urbane and sophisticated. My fiancé isn't a Creed person apparently, as none of them smelled that wonderful on him. Most were foggy and indefinite.
But 'Whiskey'... wow! It was in a category of its own. It totally sizzled on him. This one is downright sexy! I really couldn't stop getting close to smell him when he wore it. Everything you want a guy to smell like - slightly tobacco-y, subtly boozy, with tinges of leather and herbal spice. Dry sensuality. He was laughing at my reaction, as I used words that aren't in my vocabulary, like 'Yow!'. 'Oh my god!' and 'Yowza!' . Pick me up off the floor.

It's unabashedly hot, not really an office fragrance. I have a super chypre-nose, so Whiskey must be hitting all the right buttons. Two thumbs up. and the rest of me.
02nd September, 2017 (last edited: 15th September, 2017)

Charogne by Etat Libre d'Orange

Decaying beauty. Somehow noble, somehow beautiful, unsettling.

I'm sure most who deal with bodies - morgues, coroners, doctors, etc - recognize the unsettling sweet aspect of decomposition. I once discovered a family friend who had died in his living room the prior day. I was unprepared for the sickly sweet chemical aroma that hung over the closed room. There was no rotting flesh smell - I suppose the process wasn't far enough along for that. It seems one of the first acts of the body was to create sugar gasses - at least that's what the room smelled like to me. I've never forgotten that smell. Charogne has this.

Charogne has beautifully rich intense, dense florals thickly overlaying ominous sweet and eventually hard-to-avoid indoles. With Charogne you cannot have the beauty without the sense of its dissolution swimming in the background. To me, it makes it's beauty more poignant and more grand. But wearing this fragrance you must live with this fact. It's not something one would always wish to wear, but when you do it gives it a depth that is hard to come by through a fragrance that is only about the beautiful.
13th June, 2015

Rose Flash by Tauerville

An unholy alliance of the two aroma-chemicals I have vilest reactions to. One is the type of synthetic rose that laid me low in Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose. The other is the more and more common red berry or fruit note. It is an aluminum rose reacting to an acid bath in a chemical factory. It's nose hair searing, and makes you lose your will to live, so chemical and deranged is its odor. The result is a fragrance made to wear in hell. Pretty much a nightmare you're glad to escape from.
13th June, 2015
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Crystal Aoud by Montale

Crystal Aoud runs astray of an aroma-chemical allergy I have, which makes a fragrance very dissonant, with a harsh burnt sugar note. It's usually in fragrances defined by red berries or dark fruits, which this one doesn't list. But the aroma-chemical is there, nonetheless. It takes the oud and amps up its medicinal qualities into the category of something I merely endured. Unwearable.
05th June, 2015

Ange ou Démon by Givenchy

I may be coming onto this fragrance too late in the game. I'm having problems finding the distinction in this from many an oriental gourmand. It's been done many times before. Or is it many times since?  And I wish I could glimpse the angel and it's shadow, the demon.  I envisioned a frosty cool, achingly beautiful lily/orchid, set high above a beastly, hot counterpoint of darkness below it. But it really isn't a fragrance like that at all. The angel, from the smell of it, is another homage to Angel... sigh. Sometimes fragrances can be so deriviative. But this is more bearable than Angel. It is hard to find the wickedly sensual in vanilla, orange and herb.
But what it is... If I take away my expectations, it is a midtone, modulated, richly vanillic cool floral gourmand. I'm not attracted to this style, so I'm having problems being fair to it. Except I really don't have to. All I know is that on my skin this doesn't shine or become sultry, become a delicious fragrance, all the things others say about it. I can't feel anything more than ambivalence. I will pass, and look for one that has a little more sensuality and floral and less vanilla and orange.
30th May, 2015

Black Orchid by Tom Ford

What is it about this fragrance? I came on this one too late, after half the world was wearing it. I never wanted to try it, it sounded so disagreeable and loud. So now that I have and discover it really smells nice on my skin, I don't know I can wear it because of its over-familiarity. Angel had that problem 20 years ago and I got tired of smelling it on everyone and everywhere. So I really hesitate to jump on the Black Orchid bandwagon.
But... this one should be totally not my style, and most fragrances like this smell awful on me, so  the miracle that this one wears beautifully makes me inclined to get it anyway.
The strangest combination of cucumber, silky flowers and dark chocolate.  Unusual, but undeniably silkenly sensuous.

It also wears like iron and lasts forever.
29th May, 2015

La Vierge de Fer by Serge Lutens

"Let there be light! And darkness no more. He who wishes does not have a black soul! “I will come as a thief …” said Christ; certainly in silence and probably, for him, wearing shoes. To deserve his title, the Thief must act under the wide-open eye of the absent owners. In this case, it is not that tenuous eye with which Cain stares without regret, but another, which in some way will make an accomplice of Abel. If the fetishes, idols and charms of the Museum of Man, in Paris, had not met the 20th century, everyone would have missed that incredible mockery of Eros which The Young Ladies of Avignon certainly is. “The Negros had understood that everything which surrounds us is our enemy”, the wizard Picasso said to his paintbrush. Who, if not one of them, decided on life, by death, would dare, to unclench the teeth of this sex of the world: fear. Since it is the fruit of our entrails, it must be elevated. For that, not fearing incest, we will embrace it. In this way, she will give birth to our most beautiful monsters. That is how, a little rusty by dint of doubts, my steps have rejoined La vierge de fer (the Iron Maiden); that lily amongst the thorns."

Stylized, conceptual. The official description made me smile as much as the verbiage of Womanity.

It opens cool, airy and gassy. Even with this air and radiance it is somber and metallic. Whatever thinned out fruit and floral are in La Vierge de Fer, it is floating in a film of steel spray. The first time I tried it, I thought it light. The second time I happened to be sampling an edc, Voyage de Hermes, on the other wrist. It immediatetely put La Vierge's cool metallic character into highlight.

I don't think this fragrance is a mistake. I like the attempt to put the fruity-floral theme into metal. But for me, it is always about how it makes me feel. La Vierge is a cool grey day at the end of autumn, with the cold, quiet pause before first snow hanging in the air. It reminds me of the time  a travelling carnival was in town, staying too late in the year. From far away I could smell snow cones and cotton candy coming across the field, mixed with the mineral cold soil around me. That artificial fruitiness mixed with the sober reality of brown frozen dirt gave me such a sense of the clash of two realities. La Vierge makes me feel that way. The somber wash over the fruits and floral is a mockery. You can smell them, but can't truly have their bright beauty. It is a disquieting feeling for me, so I don't think I can wear it, though I think it's interesting and subtle.

It is long-lasting and has a moderate sillage. 
26th May, 2015

Tabu by Dana

I tried the pure parfum and it turned this fragrance into a rich intoxicating, incensy, civet floral. Bold, yes. For evening only, yes. Slightly tawdry, yes. But in the right way, because this one has all the smolder you'd expect from this style, which means it can't be subtle. I tried less rich formulations and found them a little rough and cheap. But the parfum version... it becomes what it should be.
Older fragrances weren't skanky, they sizzled. In our day of sanitized hygiene, a fragrance that smells 'dirty' is daring. In the year Tabu was formulated, a fragrance that was overtly sexual was daring. I prefer this older style of naughtiness, this gaslight-tinged aroma of experience and availability. I think this one is the real deal, as it's able to send its intended message a century later, in an age of relaxed sexuality. Cheap... of course :) We all get its message.

It's longevity as a parfum is good. I think this is the formulation which is best, and probably the only one I would buy.
21st May, 2015

Bottega Veneta Eau Légère by Bottega Veneta

I really like the opening - it's crisp and elegant. An unusual, dryish lime peel like note with pink pepper provides an airy sharp definition to full florals. A leather accord starts emerging in the midnote which is very sensual. It grows into a sueded leather floral on me, soft and engaging. Average longevity and projection.
17th May, 2015
17th May, 2015

Baiser Volé by Cartier

I tried this because I was hoping it was a lily I could like, but in spite of it's promising green notes and citrus, it was still strongly and unquestionably lily. Which is a note I just don't love. It always smells artificial in an airy, aquatic, sharp manner. It brings such a boatload of synthetic elements to a fragrance, that any supporting notes are rendered weak, ineffective... and artificial smelling.
I can tell this one has a nicely moderated personae, an easy wearability, so I hoped I might be able to accept it's somewhat hairsprayish personality, but I can't. Much too artificial on me.
17th May, 2015

Speakeasy by EastWest Bottlers

Sexy, feminine and sultry. Has a nice gin note, with some powder to dress it up and some spice to make it sassy. The sillage lays pretty close, which is good, as this one has the potential to be a sillage bomb otherwise. Nice.
17th May, 2015

Filles des Iles Golden Floral / Floral Solaire by Filles des Iles

Beautiful opening. I can really smell the soft ocean air with languid pretty notes floating around. The soft fruit of the topnotes are not citrusy, more tropical, but not a caricature, as in Trepidarium. The florals are soft, pretty and abundant, but not overbearing. They're languid, like the fruits here. There is kind of a voluptuous, buttery feel.
It was nice while it lasted, but this soft summer fragrance fades appreciably, usually in 2-3 hours. It's not exactly ephemeral, but can't be relied on to last through a party. It is one of those you apply for a luncheon, and when the meal is done so is the fragrance. It doesn't have a cologne air about it and seems much fuller, so it was surprising it faded the way it did. If it had lasted longer it would have been thumbs up.
11th May, 2015
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Olympic Rainforest by Olympic Orchids

In the beginning there's a whole forest of notes - soil, decaying leaves, conifer needle, wood, sap and a distinct medicinal eucalyptic hyssop note. The camphor smell gives it a radiant quality without citruses. This fragrance represents a deep forest - dense, moist, dark woodsy, except for the camphorous note, which has an airy medicinal feel. I do smell a hyssop note, which in an essential oil is a sort of tonic smell - grounding, earthy, medicinal, not as clean as eucalyptus or camphor. The opening has authenticity and strength to it, but the medicinal note is a little offputting, not something I care to smell like.
This camphor quality lays down in the midnote and becomes eucalyptus and pine instead of camphor and humus. It settles into a more linear note and stays that way for much of the fragrance. And becomes fairly light. It is more simplistic at this point, but easier to wear and more enjoyable.
It slowly and steadily becomes warmer and sweeter, a slightly sappy amber, kind of pleasant and easy-going, but tepid and pale. The middle and drydown are my favorite, especially the drydown, but don't make me want to go out and buy a bottle. Kind of non-distinct and non-memorable. This one had the sense of starting out very strong, and devolving into a more limited palette whose simplicity didn't engage me. And the part that is most distinct, the camphorous opening, I cared for the least.
09th May, 2015 (last edited: 10th May, 2015)

Sakura by Olympic Orchids

Sakura isn't really a floral, not even a traditional springtime floral with a green, moist feel. But it is about springtime. It starts with a cool, early springtime moistness, a slightly musty wet hay note. This is the early spring of cooler climates, where the warming earth has more fragrance and presence than any greenery. It's a very distinct smell, recognizable to anyone who's grown up around it. A mineral earth note wafts through it. There isn't floral here, or citrus.
As it develops it slowly warms up, dries off and the mineral note slowly dissipates. The hay becomes warmer and drier and a very light cherry blossom starts wafting through. It becomes more an early spring day in the sunshine at this point. But it's predominantly a coumarin-type hay fragrance, with its casual diffuse outdoor quality. I'm not a fan of that note really, which has turned many mainstream fragrances into something I wasn't interested in wearing. And it is the case here. But for those who love hay notes, this is worth trying, because at the end it smells like a hay field. Naturalistic, but not my style.
09th May, 2015 (last edited: 10th May, 2015)

Devilscent #3 : The Inevitable by Olympic Orchids

The description for Devilscent#3 said it represents the destruction of the relationship started in Devi#1 and Devi#2, the point when the lovers part forever. There's a mélange of very deep notes in the opening, which is in some ways a signature of this house. Many of their fragrances have a big note-filled opening, a real cornucopeia that is always enjoyable to smell. I expected all the deep, dark, dry, brooding, notes, but it also has cinnamon leaf radiating off it, which was unexpected.
The odd juxtaposition of that cinnamon leaf with all the dark notes create a sort of sinister gingerbread, one that's been baked too long and is just about starting to burn. A very dense ashy gingerbread. So there's a hot burning quality, of ash, to this fragrance, sort of like the burning down of all the sweet rich notes of the relationship into deep, dark ash with vague notes of what used to be. This one was the Devi I thought I'd like least, but is my favorite. Devi#1 had an incredible midnote, but I like #3 throughout. For being so somber and dark, the cinnamon seems to provide intensity and energy, so it's not cold or aloof. Even the end of the relationship burns with a somber passion.
It also has a quality of resignation and contemplation in the drydown, the frankincense and myrrh, which enrichens the experience, sort of like Job sitting on the ashes, contemplating his loss. The description said it may give you strange dreams, but I haven't tested that...
I like all this fragrance has to say, but mostly I like the fragrance itself.
09th May, 2015

Javanica by Olympic Orchids

Opens rich, fruity spicy citrus and slowly becomes fruity, spicy floral. It's hard to pinpoint what the floral might be - it's not a typical floral, and said to be the fragrance of the orchid Phalaenopsis  javanica. But it's lightly spicy and sweet, with the rosewood giving it a slight woodiness. Unfortunately on me, the fruity aspect becomes a little sugary, sort of that kool-aid type note; not too bad, but enough to keep it fake-fruity on my skin.  My skin can turn certain sweet notes in fragrances to sugar that it doesn't on other's skin, like the sweet notes in Tabac Blond and L'Air De Rien, so that may be going on here too. But it keeps this one from developing fullness on me. Not bad, but a step too sugary.
09th May, 2015

Enchanted Forest by The Vagabond Prince

The name says it all - the opening is pure enchantment. I wanted it to last forever. The beautiful musky aroma of authentic wild blackcurrant, distinct and piquant, conifer notes, cool air and fragrant moist forest floor humus really took my breath away. Beautiful evocation. I've picked blackcurrants in the woods, and this speaks of all that's wonderful about it, that musky fruit aroma on your hands as you pick. I felt a true sense of place. But beyond that, the berry here really is outstanding. It has such character it stays in your memory. At this point I didn't want this fragrance to go anywhere but where it was. I could have stayed in this forest forever.

I was almost afraid how this fragrance might develop. Was it going to follow this vision I fell in love with, or fall into triteness? How do you follow an opening like this? The fragrance slowly leads you away from the deep forest down a path that steadily brightens, like the archetypal one of fairy tales, toward a sunny glade. The moist notes started to dry off, the deepness became warmer. An ambery benzoin started suffusing the blackcurrant musk with the smell of conifer resin heating in the sun, mingling with wild rose in the sunshine. I was surprised by this new note, how very sensual blackcurrant, rose, resin and vegetable musk was. It was really beautiful. It was so different from the typical musk you smell in a fragrance, really quite unique, such an authentic sensuality, as if it came straight from the blackcurrant. At this point, the fragrance was starting to feel inspired. And again, I didn't want to leave this spot. I wanted it to go on forever.

The amberiness gradually became stronger, like the sun rising toward high noon in the forest glade, slowly burning off moistness, topnotes and delicacy. Soon, the sensual rose, blackcurrant and resiny musk dissipated under a preponderance of surprisingly non-complex vanillic amber. There were subtle undertones of the blackcurrant and rose, staining it with a sweet memory, but not enough to give it presence or complexity. The final end seemed mostly amber, a crime against the blackcurrant which was the raison d'etre of this fragrance. And beyond that, it wasn't even an amber with character, but a weak one. The switch in this fragrance was huge. And puzzling.

I have to say I'm not an amber fan - it has to show me a lot of complexity before I'm beguiled. But I also thought if any fragrance would have done so, this one would. It's originality and enchantment to this point sort of demanded it and makes the dry down disappointing. Amber fans may like it, but not the rest of the fragrance, while berry lovers may like the beginning but not the end. It seems set up to not be able to fully please. I still like it, with reservations. The opening and middle are the only parts I love. It seemed to fade away into an echo of what was the meaningful and most beautiful part of the perfume. The bar was set pretty high for me, and the ending was weak by comparison. It's good, but it could have been stellar.
06th May, 2015 (last edited: 10th May, 2015)

Blue Agava and Cacao by Jo Malone

What a surprise. Warm, powdery, and sensual. It's smooth and creamy, with dry cocoa, vanilla and spice. The berry and citrus notes are negligible. It's powdered and slightly perfumy, very different from other Jo Malones I've tried. It isn't a skin scent as it has normal projection and a delicious sillage, kind of sexy. Fairly long lasting, at least 6 hours.
06th May, 2015 (last edited: 09th May, 2015)

Burberry London by Burberry

I think ClassicFan's review sums it up for me, though his was meant for London for Men. But I feel the same way about London for Women - not bad at all for a department store fragrance. It's vaguely synthetic and airy in the way many department store fragrances are, especially the opening. But it doesn't tip over into hairspray and the fragrance suits this style. Light, everyday, every place, pleasant, inoffensive. The floral notes are airy and pretty, but not girly. There is a casual elegance to it actually, that seems to span several age groups. As it dries off, the fragrance concentrates more, reveals its bones, exactly as did Brit. That one revealed sugary fruit, which made me like it less. This one reveals pretty florals, which makes me like it more.
It has a pleasant floral soap in its drydown, and gets warmer as it ages, more sweetly floral. In about 4 hours it starts dissipating, and the floral seems to just suddenly go away, though the soap lingers, clean and pleasant. Much better than most white musks achieve at the end. I like the drydown better than the opening. London may be the Burberry fragrance I like best. It's an inoffensive, pleasant, daytime floral that really isn't trite, and works.
04th May, 2015 (last edited: 16th December, 2015)

Weekend for Women by Burberry

This is like London for the weekend. More casual, breezy, perhaps a little more fun, though Burberrys never really have that feel about them. I wouldn't call any of them vivacious or sparkling. I like the low key peach-apricot fruit in this much better than the more boring fruit in Brit. Less in your face, less young girl, more sophisticated. A fruit better made for more situations than Brit. It gets a lot paler, a lot faster than London, but the accord is somewhat pleasant - non-sugary peach and apricot, with a little casual sunshine from Marigold. I like it much better than Burberry Touch, which for a skin scent was much too harsh.
Styled similar to London, it has light hairspray in the opening, a borderline department store feel, is amiable, agreeable with skin and probably everyone around you. As London, an inoffensive people pleaser. Doesn't stand out and doesn't offend. I guess that is a type of success, as there are many situations that call for a quality like this. But when the nice peach-apricot dries off a bit Weekend becomes more generic, lacks personality, anything that sets it apart. It becomes somewhat of a beige-colored fragrance. As with London it develops a soapiness in the dry down and Marigold is the predominant note. The dry down lingers on as a skin scent for most the day and I kept getting whiffs of soapiness that was pleasant, but I prefer London as it has more of a personality, and becomes better as it ages.
It felt like Weekend and London were sister fragrances, one floral, one more casual fruity. Their construction was the same, and they both fill the same niche. You can practically feel the designer intent, that perhaps it was more a marketing decision than anything to do with inspiration. Entirely acceptable, safe anywhere.
04th May, 2015 (last edited: 05th May, 2015)

Touch for Women by Burberry

A sheer fragrance made 'fresh' by a foundation of hairspray. It seems very formulaic, unmemorable, not really Touch-able, because of the somewhat radiant synthetics that belong in, at most, an upscale department store. It starts with a sheer generic wash of vague fruits, citrus; a so-called floral freshness that one must train one's nose at many a department store counter to consider fresh, but in reality is a synthetic radiant harshness. It quickly fades to a vaguer, lighter smell, a skin scent, which is said to be sheer notes of cedar, oakmoss and tonka, but comes across more like a low grade white musk, which always has harsh aspects on my skin in spite of the divine sound of it.
I suppose every perfume house has to have a transparent fresh fragrance and this is theirs. It just seems so generic, so calculated to fill a slot with no reason for existence other than that. If this had been the first of this type I had smelled instead of the fortieth, I might not have dismissed it so readily. But even then I would have thought to myself "A little too hairsprayish. Not much personality, but would fit in anywhere, so it's very safe". I have to say the ingredient list looks wonderful, but is the best part of the fragrance.
Many have commented on its fruitiness - I think when I start picking up hairspray notes like I did on Touch, it effectively obliterates fruity notes, and many other top notes. I've noticed that on other hairsprayish fragrances I've tried.
04th May, 2015

Arpège by Lanvin

This fragrance had to have been reformulated. It doesn't smell the same as I remember years ago. This review is for the contemporary one.

As with many of these reformulations (of the older classics), it has its feet stuck in two different worlds and doesn't live in either of them well. It opens with soapy aldehydes, slightly sweet, that tend to date it, yet behind it is a certain thinness of notes. And with this reformulation, a giant green swamp-like note emerged, a vegetal soup pot of three-day old greens soaking in warm water. I was trying to place what note was producing this, but it very likely was a combination with the soapy aldehydes. But it left this a murky mess, fit only for frogs. After 45 minutes the swamp notes dissipated, so I could finally smell the fragrance as it was intended. Except I hope not.
This fragrance has no real distinction of notes. While the swamp note went away, I was still in a murky pond. A sickly sweetness, that had smelled funky with the greens, is still present, and I can tell it is the vanilla, left to soak in soapy aldehydes and peachy musk too long. It doesn't really smell like vanilla anymore, only milky sweetness. A little nauseating really. I actually pick up a fair amount of green in this fragrance, which would have been nice if it had been crisper, but swimming in the slight sweetness made it unappetizing.
The dry down was the best part, a light base of attractive basenote roughness combined with mild vanillic soapiness, but it had little depth, one of those newer drydowns that just sort of fade away with a resigned acceptance of its fate. It went out with a pleasant soapy whimper.
How did this fragrance go so wrong on me? I tried it several times to make sure of the reaction, and it was the same. Beyond a truly unappealing sweet vegetal swamp, it doesn't seem to hang together. It's stripped of the elements that made it work at its inception. When the gene stripping by IFRA was done, so was this fragrance. Best to give it a respectful funeral and let it retain its dignity.
02nd May, 2015 (last edited: 03rd May, 2015)

Olympic Amber by Olympic Orchids

"A rich amber scent full of natural labdanum ornamented with vanilla, benzoin, incense, resins, patchouli, and woods. A true oriental fragrance."

What a difference materials make. Ambers made from authentic materials have always smelled fantastic to me, fragrant, resiny and rich.  And most perfume ambers feel like unintelligent blockheads - little conversation, little personality and boring.
Olympic Amber is made from authentic materials and it shows - rich, deep, aromatic, resiny, complex. I can smell the the tree, the sap, some mineral sweetness which comes from the organic process in the tree sap.
An excellent, well-blended amber. I consider this an amber for those who are left bored, like me, by perfume ambers. Almost exactly as you want it to be. A pleasure on the skin. Very long-lasting. An unqualified winner.
01st May, 2015

Womanity by Thierry Mugler

As a fragrance, I like Womanity and its subtle sea-marge, midtone quality; green flesh with a salty edge. The sea air is amorphous, opaque, and wafting. The fig is slightly fleshy, so it works well on my skin, blending with a certain human vibe. Since there's really no floral, no deep earthy notes, no polarizing or gender associations at all, it is androgynous. It still speaks of the body, but in the space where gender blends. The lack of distinctness can make one wonder where one is at a bit, fragrance-wise. The notes in this fragrance have a certain subliminal feel to them because of the way they come in and out of awareness. But Womanity has a very quiet, distinct beingness. It is what it is, and is where it is, and doesn't seem to change in any direction, or nod to anyone's need of it. A little zen in that way.
The figgy sea-salt is the distinct note on my skin and has even more of an alkaloid edge as it ages, which is an interesting association, but I'd rather stay out of the whole promotional around this fragrance. Yes, I see the irony, the subtle joke, the playfulness. It has a metaphor that can be taken very far, given that clever name, which I like. Caviar and salt alkaloid indeed... 
But in the end, I need to like and have connection with the fragrance itself. And I do. It's interesting, subtle, and kind of unique. I'm not in love or have to have it, but it's versatile, midtone and gender-free. So at the very least, it qualifies as a great office scent. It won't be in or out of favor. No one will say you smell lovely or manly. I don't give an enthusiastic thumbs-up, but the cleverness enhances it (the metaphor allows you to flesh the fragrance out more than may be entirely there, except the notes support it), and the fragrance itself works.
01st May, 2015

Love by Olympic Orchids

An easy-going, easy to love, soft-hearted, open, simple, nice smelling fragrance. Low quiet sillage. Starts with quiet floral, ends with light musk. Long lasting. Entirely natural smelling. One of those that would smell good on everyone in the 'tribe'. Pass the bottle around - share the love indeed.
Thumbs up, but with reservations because of an amorphous, kind of indistinct character to its likeable personality.
30th April, 2015 (last edited: 11th May, 2015)

Siam Proun by Olympic Orchids

"The scent of nostalgia for the sun-drenched terraced garden and the self-sufficient feeling that comes from growing fig trees, lemons, oranges, roses, and all of the herbs that one needs for cooking along with fresh flowers to go on the table. An amber base topped with a zingy mix of Mediterranean herbs and flowers, including orange blossom, lavender, rosemary, red thyme, bergamot mint, and yuzu."

I like the openings on a lot of Olympic Orchid fragrances. They tend to be full of wonderful natural smells. A real treat. Siam Proun started with an abundance of herbal notes and fresh goodness, and a note of delicate sweetness.
It isn't strictly a Provençal fragrance: all herbs, citrus, sun and a pride in the quality of the simple earthy pleasure of French countryside. Many of those fragrances could be paired with wine and cheese on the outdoor patio. Siam Proun is more about the nostalgic aspect. The sweet note here isn't really the sweetness of fruit or food. It is that sweet nostalgic note of memory, a la Guerlain. It suffuses the countryside of this fragrance, layering it's mist over herbs, citrus, flowers, earth and sun, a shimmer of emotion. It has a curious non-engagement with all the visceral notes here, like remote-viewing. I find this affecting, as I too have fragrance memories from childhood that are stained with a sweet nostalgia, much like this.
I think this note, this perspective, is what makes (or breaks) this fragrance. If it resonates on your skin as nostalgia this fragrance feels inspired. If the note becomes too sweet or foody, it won't happen, and you may be stuck with cherry. In truth, the note does teeter pretty close to the edge. If it had gone one step more sweet, I would have lost the sense of nostalgia and instead been plunged into the picture, with it's food and herbs and earth. But for me that's not really what this fragrance is about.
It is long lasting and as it aged, it did come closer to that edge, losing some of it dusty mistiness, which I adored, but it never became foody. The amber never became a big presence on my skin. It was only a warm background dust that came out at the end in a light mellow dry-down. I like this fragrance - it smells good, but it's also clever.
30th April, 2015 (last edited: 01st May, 2015)

Devilscent #1 : Foreplay by Olympic Orchids

A gorgeous slightly creamy wood note that floats tantilizingly in the air, then disappears when you try to sniff it on your skin. When you sniff, you get oud, not the gentlest note to inhale deeply. I have a little bit of the same problem here as I did with Peace, that of the oud sort of laying over notes I really liked, but not quite letting me get to them. I know oud is hugely popular now, but sometimes it doesn't fully make sense or work in a fragrance. It is such a particular scent, because of its high piercing personality, not always sensitive to its fellow-notes. Especially ones that make you want to inhale fully, like several of the beautiful ones in this line, with gorgeous foundations. I have to say I don't entirely appreciate its presence here, feeling it's a little too much in the way. I keep stumbling over it.
The foundation is such a creamy mix of woods, fresh and rich, tolu, a black vanilla that doesn't smell like the parade of vanillas in mainstream fragrances, beeswax, arborvitae and other notes, that it is exquisite. I really want to bury my nose in the opening, but will content myself with the sillage.
This fragrance is so beautifully sultry, with very little use of florals, that I find myself trying to find the source of its sensual beauty. The sillage is really nice on this. After I got over my initial resentment at the oud and am letting the fragrance waft, it is so present that I've looked around several times to see if I'm burning Japanese or pine incense.
The smolder in this one is sensual without being animalic, though I notice many such notes in the pyramid. But they're wrapped around earthy, woody notes that blend them in beautifully without any one standing out or taking over - very well done blending.
And then, as it starts drying down, the beautiful accord starts burning off, but the oud stays, so it slowly becomes more strongly oud as it goes along. After several hours the oud is pronounced. After three most of the other notes are gone and you are left with oud and perhaps some animalics that are submerged in it. I wanted it to be the other way around :(
The main accord was really beautiful. It is perhaps not long-lasting, which I understand. But to me the solution would be to use a different note to extend it than oud. The ending was especially disappointing because the heart of this was so sensual. If this fragrance were reformulated without the oud, I wouldn't mind reapplying every three hours, the main accord is so nice. If this one works better on your skin, you are lucky indeed. The midnote is to die for.
30th April, 2015

Osafume by Olympic Orchids

"Inspired by a dainty miniature Japanese orchid,Dendrobium moniliforme. Anise and magnolia combine with heliotrope, vanilla, and white musk to make this light, airy fragrance."

An uncomplicated air makes this light floral seem natural and unstructured. That feeling is such an advantage to ones like this, gives them a cottage charm. Soft, pretty, somewhat quiet, somewhat voluptuous, it has a delicate quality, an en pleine painting of of a summer idylle. The anise is surprising - very lightly blended and just the right touch of Guerlain with a non-sweet heliotrope and vanilla here, but no more than a nod in that direction, as Osafume is fairly free of formula or imprint. Long lasting and just as nice on dry down as beginning. Lingers as a skin scent a long time.
30th April, 2015

Ballets Rouges by Olympic Orchids

Top: Red thyme, red mandarin, bergamot, aldehydes
Middle: Rose de mai absolute, fresh rose accord, ylang-ylang
Base: Oakmoss, musk, patchouli. labdanum

Ballets Rouges is a beautiful, natural, lush, rose fragrance. It's called rose chypre and there's a wonderful mossy rose accord in this fragrance that is reminiscent of Fleur de The Rose Bulgare, but richer, deeper...redder. It's authentic-smelling and gorgeous. Because I have sensitivities to many synthetic rose aroma-chemicals, it's a pleasure to wear one that uses natural fragrances without compromise of quality or any issues. It's designed for fullness of impact with a huge luxe rose bouquet, isn't stylized and has a rich grounding of oakmoss, musk, patchouli and labdanum. I've noticed how in some rose perfumes, a dark base will cause the rose to glow and the rose in Ballets Rouges has that vibrancy and glow. It's a smashing rose fragrance at a great price, considering the quality here. Anyone who was a fan of Creed's FdTRB might give this a try.
29th April, 2015 (last edited: 05th May, 2015)