Perfume Reviews

Reviews by helg

Total Reviews: 16

Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

The last one of the Malles I tried and a peculiar one at that.
Being a person that believes a rose could NOT smell sweet by any other name ( how to put it delicately? I am not a fan..), I find rose fragrances as a whole a losing hand of poker. There is simply no way to play my cards right At the moment when I think I am on the verge of a floss , I realize the last card handed destroys the plan ..So the quest goes on and on , with a perverted pleasure in tormenting myself to endure yet another rose. So far the most accurate and lovely one I have found is Creed Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare. But it is a crystalline true rose with a clean aspect. This one is nothing like it.

It is more in the vein of Voleur des Roses (with the unexpected combo of rose with patchouli) or Agent provocateur (combining rose with saffron and moss) and very wearable for those who like those but can’t quite wear them. Dirty , strange , unusual , demanding a self-confident woman to wear it successfully , however.
There is truffle underneath which perfumers tell us is a new substitute for animalic ingredients that have become unattainable to them. Now , truffle is hunted down by pigs , the only creature who shares pheromones with humans. Meaning that pigs dig out truffles like maniacs because they remind them of sex and therefore truffles might trigger a similar pheromonic effect on humans as well. Or so the story goes.

To give credence to the argument or else to dispel it I have conducted a little experiment with Une Rose . It surely is perceivable a long distance away. (hub smelled a smidgeon of it on my hand several rooms away and commented on me putting on “quite a bit” and accurately pinpointed it as rose – now , you might say he has a sensitive nose and I have no disagreement on that point ). The same thing happened more than once. So , yes , it is perceivable in small quantitites. A little will do you.
As to the attraction issue , I have not witnessed any related increase in amourous disposition , but that is not indicative of the perfume’s inability to rouse such feelings. I would have to abstain from closeness for a while to test that properly and I haven’t. *wink* But it sure didn’t hurt. But only after it had dried down was it pleasurable for my man. It is a little too strong at first. The fact that there is only a truffle accord , not actual truffle may play a role in not affecting said disposition per se (figures..) Experimentation with pigs seems a little far-fetched for me , but kudos to the brave souls who would go on and do just that. Personally I’d wait with bated breath for that.

Notes: Geranium Essence, Blue Camomile Essence, Wine Dregs Essence, Turkish Rose Absolute DM (Mane) Truffle accord: Patchouli Accord, Vetiver, Castoreum Absolute
06th October, 2005

Vétiver Extraordinaire by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

One of the best vetivers out there , even if it doesn't feature the eponymous note dominantly ,alongside Vetiver Oriental by Serge Lutens and Vetiver Tonka Hermessences( which is very sweet and completely different ).
Needless to say too much here. Just TRY it , even if you think that vetiver is a musty smell that can't possibly be good on a woman. It can and here is proof of it. A different one! Bravo
06th October, 2005

Cologne Bigarade by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

This is actually about the Concentree version which is different than the Cologne Bigarade:

Top note of sharp and bitter citrus of an agreesive variety gives way to a Declaration-like drydown with a bit of cumin ( personally I am not afraid...)that lasts well and mellows a lot.
If it was a little less sharp at the beginning I'd wear it all the time for casual occassions. Plus the Declaration is more readily available
06th October, 2005
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Angéliques Sous La Pluie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I quite love this and have to say it without shame. Light , breezy , perfect for chilling put in the summer. Rained-upon stems and leaves , coriander smells , gin on the rocks , a little incense perhaps in the background? That's the general impression. Lovely!
Eau de Cartier doesn't last all that much , neither does this ( not loud anyway)Maybe I should opt for the Eau de Cartier Concentree. Or wait for the ASLP concentree version of Malle. Will return.....It's haunting.
06th October, 2005

En Passant by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I was so sure I'd like this one.....Lilacs with dew. That's what I expected.
Fade out.... then fade in to the reality of it : a doughy note that in collaboration with the cucumber manage to deduct the sweetness of lilacs and their lush character.
Modern and very innovative , no doubt , but not in a Van der Rohe style. Nothing with the power of Bauhaus or making such a statement. Prettier and more conventional than that in a way. And here lies the problem. Because lilacs , elusive flowers as they are in perfumery, are already beautiful and feminine and capturing that aspect to the perfume would result in a Art Nouveau style. No need to go for the aesthetically minimalist when the material base is not so inclined.
06th October, 2005

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

One of the best musc-perfumes , around in my humble opinion , though there is no musc listed. Maurice Roucel knows his job , that's for sure.
Very potent , although it ultimately becomes a skin-scent , so sparing use of it will serve you well. Just a drop is enough. Other than that it is curiously spicy , animalic , very soft in a sweetish way that reminds me of tonka and very warm with a background of amber. Cuddly for winter nights and would surely elicit compliments if worn by the right individual. Prim and austere or girly-bubbly types need not apply
06th October, 2005

Le Parfum de Thérèse by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Why am I not impressed? Why does the fact that it has behind it such an illustrious heritage ( the last unedited Roudnitska ) and romantic story (dedicated to his wife ) failed to convince me? Why have I not succumbed to the innvation of the scent ( a fruity-floral with a marine accord in the 50's)?
Simple : fruity and aquatic are not for me. Period. Nice frag but not for me.YMMV.
06th October, 2005

Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens

An alarming hospital top note makes one panic , long before the flowers appear. It is so akin to anti-bacterial disinfectant or mouthwash as to scare away most people. I am convinced not many stake it out for the drydown. But it’s their loss.
Because after that phase soft flowers emerge not with the piercingly sweet nature of most tuberose fragrances , nothing like Fracas( although I appreciate the blending ) or Blonde or Herrera , which is good in my book as I get suffocated by them. Also lily is evident? That probably accounts for the softness and butteriness , I guess. And there is warmness too. A sensual drydown that is most unexpected after the initial blast.

Like Marlen Dietrich’s name according to Jean Cocteau , but in reverse : it starts with a whip stroke , ends with a caress.
For sadomasochists and people appreciative of The Agony and the Ecstasy
20th September, 2005

Un Lys by Serge Lutens

I have died and gone to heaven -(sex included though !!!)
This is the last breath of an angel dying in paradise.
Contrary to common opinion (that only praises his orientals)Serge makes fabulous florals! Words fail me...
20th September, 2005

Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens

Not the smoky choking image its name suggests. Instead a very soft and mysterious honeyed tobacco with woods in the background that is actually very wearable.
Fitting a well-to-do house decked in fluffy rugs , leather bound books , crystal carafes and mahogany furniture in Sunday morning mood. Lazy and pensive , but full of the joys of restfulness. Very sexy too in a nonchalant , rich way.
Fits well in any weather and any occasion
20th September, 2005

Chergui by Serge Lutens

I was very lucky to try this exclusive and it impressed me deeply. It is an amalgam of honey , musk , leather , incense , tobacco leaf , hey sugar , amber , iris , rose and sandalwood.
All those notes are not instantly recognisable to me here. It opens with strong tobbaco and sandalwood with amber , that is very potent and might turn you off. Then it mellows into a suntan-lotion type of scent , like skin "baked" under the sun on a hot beach. No rose discernible for me whatsoever. Several minutes later it becomes honeyed and soft and barely there , whiffs of it caught when the body is heated up again.

A very very deep scent evocing a middle eastern scenery. Serge performs his magic again. :-)
20th September, 2005

Rahät Loukoum by Serge Lutens

A bitter almond opening that reminds me of Amaretto liquor. Later becomes soft and fluffy and a little powdery , but not of the talcum variety. More of the dusting sugar persuasion. Sweet , but not sickeningly so.
Having tasted many times the real sweet , Loukhoum, which is made of rosewater jelly and dusting sugar and is sometimes ( in one variety ) perfumed with almond essence , I have to say it is inspired by it , not copying or mimicking it.
Nice actually, but not on a par with his others?
20th September, 2005

Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

What a magnificent,classic,undying perfume.
Trully a masterpiece of spiciness and resinous-woody undertones with opoponax , incense and benzoin. Still with us after all these years.
It doesn't offer any favors , you don't have to just like it , you have to love it and if it loves you back ( skin chemistry going on ) it will be a best friend for ever , as it has been for me.
I only ever use the EDT ( the EDP is vile! I can't understand what they were thinking ) and the pure perfume , about which experts say it is even more velvety , and wear it mainly in cold , cold weather. I retire it in spring and find it makes me long for the first crisp days of autumn.
It's also super lasting leaving a trail on clothes until they are laundered , which I find sexy.

It's been a signature for years , since I have been a teenager actually , even in times when such perfumes were frowned upon - think ozonic obsessed late nineties - and a lot , and I mean A LOT of people ( men and women )have complimented me on it , said it is magnificent , light and ....flowery.(!!!) I guess it blooms on my skin :)
There are people who wrinkled up their noses after they learned what it was ( at times when it was very unpopular ), but they had ALREADY complimented me!

So you see , if it suits you , wear it and don't give a fig about what other people say. They wish they could wear it too!!
20th September, 2005
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Amarige by Givenchy

This is a perfume with a tragic story...Perhaps not tragic , ..but unpleasant , nonetheless.
I am really at a loss on how to begin deconstructing the good things others have said before me and for such a venerable house as Givenchy( No offence , ladies ) Bear with me for a while , I will try to make it clear.
It was for some time the scent of my MIL. Now this may make you say : " Oh , she's prejudiced , then , it was worn by someone she hates! ". And yet I don't hate her , yet I hate the perfume. My MIL is really inconsistent in choosing perfume , she has me confused. She seems to like sweet rich florals for herself but with confusing results : Giorgio , Amarige , Chloe , First on the one hand ( typhoons more likely....) and Tresor , Paris ,Dolce $ Gabanna red cap , Lolita lempicka ,Paul Smith women and J'adore on the other ( sweet still , but softer and rounder , although for the longest time she drenched herself in Tresor EDP to the point I couldn't get in the car with her comfortably and making me suspicious of Tresor ever since...not that I find it bad per se , I like its peach-rose accord ).
As to fragrance gifts to me , she is even more erratic : Sweet florals and florientals such as Allure , J'adore , Birmane , Intuition , Oscar de la Renta or even Chloe Narcisse - that one I hated - along with zingy , happy , youngish things such as Happy , Ralph , Oh!de Moschino , Envy or Gucci EDP II on the other hand.

WHAT'S GOING ON? Is she buying for someone else too and gets mixed up? Is she influenced by salespeople pushing the latest thing? ( my most valid guess ) Is it designer and snob appeal? Or is she just a heavy smoker ( 1,5 pack a day ) so her sense of smell has gone bananas and doesn't know? ( and yet she claims it's her only sense time hasn't affected LOL ). And guess which fragrance she compliments on me all the time ( she dosn't identify it and asks beforehand ) : OPIUM !!! A fragrance she despises and always says that back at the time it didn't sell well at the duty free! ( yeah , right.....Then why is it still sooooo available everywhere ? )

ANYWAY.....I love the woman nonetheless , but not because she once loved Amarige. What can I say? Perhaps someone gifted her with that....she had to test it once. was a typhoon and earthquake simultaneously hitting me when I first smelled it on her. A STRONG smell of flowers of the most aggressive variety ( think tuberose and gardenia ) mixed with a LOT of red fruits and plum and cassis ( a particulary sticky note , very prominent in Tiffany original )hits you on application. Granted , she did spritz 5 times under EACH armpit!!!!( I had the fortitude not to faint , I was present at the time.......) Nausea , gagging and general discomfort ensued....but I am too polite to insult her perfume! After all she is a lovely lady , even if she still insists that Giorgio was " something else " ( said in a dreamy , hazy way). I was so appalled that I became convinced it was her chemistry that made that scent so strong and foul.So bitter and squeeky sweet at the same time. So I had to spray myself at a store once , didn't I? What kind of fragrance cognoscenti wouldn't?

A WARNING LADIESDon't ever do that mistake as I did. This stuff is potent. This stuff is the Ivan and all the other typhoons in Florida combined. You know Fracas? That kind of thing , only not as dry in the base , not as masterfully blended.( although I don't wear it I appreciate it in small doses on others sometimes ). I collected my pieces off the floor and shakingly went to the nearest bathroom to collect myself.
Luckily my MIL has stopped wearing this and if she ever does again , I refuse to be present to smell the fumes. At last , she wears soft , discreet scents.

SIDENOTE!A few days ago , standing in the bank for a deposit I smelled this perfume again. It was unmistakable. Strong , floral and fruity ( I admit I have a problem with fruity ) and emanating from nearby....Not so obnoxious as I remembered , but still bad in a way. Overwhelming , if you know what I mean.
I turned my head to see : who wears this? what target group has this fragrance got? To my surprise it was a young woman , not much younger than me , blondish ( well , highlights on a natural light brown ) , groomed in a girly way ( no sh*t! what did you expect ? ) and very confident in her stance.
The mystery was solved. SO NOW I KNOW! Amarige gives you confidence! It won't make you feel nice , it won't please anyone in particular ( I doubt it is a man magnet , men seem to like discretion , even in the heaviest oriental ) but it will make sure you will get noticed. The rest is up to you.
If you are a nice person , like my MIL for example , people will still love you, even if they hate your perfume. That's not bad , just real life.
20th September, 2005

Grand Amour by Annick Goutal

A sexy actress in her boudoir after her performance. Pensive , smiling hazily to herself as she lifts her hair off her forehead and gazes at her image in the mirror. Her most enthousiastic fan has sent her armfulls of liles , bunches of honeysucle and posies of hyacinth to fill the room and her lacy clothes with an initially fresh and sweet fragrance , with a penetrating aroma that becomes deeper and slightly decaying as time passes.
The whole concoction is intoxicating somehow , yet it makes her think of him with nostalgia. She thinks she's falling in love... It's a Grand Amour. It has to be.
That's my impression of this rich floral with hyacinth , lily , honeysuckle , rose , amber , vanilla , balsam musk and myrrhe. Mature and rather heavy in the EDT , to be used sparingly , and only by white flower lovers and such. Extra feminine , both in scent and presentation. A little decadent , not as airy as the majority of the Goutals , more in the company of Gardenia Passion and Passion. Try it. You may like it. It is intriguing.
20th September, 2005

Gardénia Passion by Annick Goutal

This is not a Gardenia scent , I find. Rather a tuberose one with a smoky dry down. I mostly associate it with the Fracas tuberose category. Not fresh , for sure , a bit bitter in the drydown , can become cloying. Not a bad scent , but not what it says it is. Try it cause you might disagree.
20th September, 2005