Perfume Reviews

Reviews by snailhorn


Safran Troublant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This fragrance starts out with a big red rose note, which is soon joined by spicy-sweet saffron. The two aromas mix beautifully, and stay close enough to the skin not to invoke a headache. Over several hours, a smooth vanilla creeps into the mix, while the rose and then the saffron fade away.

A lighter, sweeter cousin of Le Labo's Rose 31, I like this scent because it says "feminine" and "exotic" without shouting either.
01st January, 2009

Mandarine / Mandarine Tout Simplement by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This fragrance opens with a burst of tangy citrus, followed by the true-to-life scent of orange peel and pulp during dry-down. The slightest hint of sweetness arrives just as the (already very light) fragrance begins to fade. Unfortunately, this sweetness is quite generic, and far from the juicy slice of manderine the scent seems to promise.

Like a real manderine sometimes does, this scent yields disappointment when peeled.

29th December, 2008

Piment Brûlant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

On my skin, the chile pepper note in this fragrance is dead on. Duchaufour couldn't have come any closer if he'd used actual Tabasco sauce! Unfortunately, when the chocolate note finally arrives, is a big disappointment. Besides being buried by the chile pepper, this note is the same generically sweet note that passes for chocolate, cookies, almonds etc. in so many gourmands, especially those by Theirry Mugler. Perhaps intentionally, these two notes do not blend, but rather seem to sit one on top of the other, almost in opposition.

A compelling olefactory experiment, but I think the chocolate note could have been done better.
29th December, 2008
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Navegar by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Slightly aquatic on application, this fragrance quickly becomes dry and peppery. It is a staid, serious scent- evoking black tea, an old suit, the office of some high offical. Thankfully it eventually lets down its guard, and a sweet menthol (anise?) eases its way in. At this point the fragrance smells wonderful, the scent of a barbershop where men are being shaved. Finally, a gentle, not-too-spicy incense changes places with the pepper, and quietly fades away.

A wonderful, mature scent which stays close to the skin.
29th December, 2008

Comme des Garçons White by Comme des Garçons

A saleswoman handed me a bottle of White when I told her I was looking for something reminiscent of clove cigarettes. After sampling it, this struck me as a fairly close approximation. The clove is definitely present, along with some scents I associate with India, (sandalwood and cumin perhaps?) However, the smoky, boozy aspect of a clove cig is not present in White. Also, the sweetness factor was totally different. A clove cigarette has a subtle sweetness, the kind you might find in a fruit curry. White is sweet in a more synthetic, soda-pop way, which seems exactly how CdG might be inclined to interpret a pomegranate.

I can’t fault this fragrance for not being a fancy cigarette (as that is not at all its intention,) and I respect CdG’s attempt to create an oriental that is light, modern, and cool. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that this fragrance smells just a bit cheap.
23rd August, 2008

Parfum Sacré by Caron

I shouldn't like Parfum Sacre, but I do. I like it very much. In fact, it may be one of the most beautiful scents I've yet encountered.

One of the things that has always hindered my appreciation of women's perfume is that so many carry a hint of that generic chemical "perfumy" stench that always hits you when you walk through the fragrance section of a department store. That smell is present in Sacre, but somehow Bethouart transforms it into the scent of opulent luxury.

My grandma's messy closet was full of dried, dusty roses. Yet what seemed stale in the closet evokes feminine royalty in the purfume. There is incense in Sacre as well, which typically recalls me of stuffy churches and cheesy dorm rooms. Yet the incense in Sacre seems to belong in a sunlit cathedral with impossibly high ceilings, a space so vast that the smoke merely curls, rises, and disappears.

Sacre is perfectly named. If I ever marry, I hope my bride wears this fragrance to the alter. If she doesn't, I may have to.
23rd August, 2008