Perfume Reviews

Reviews by lizzie_j


Madeline by Ava Luxe

Madeline smells great in the bottle, but on my skin turns plasticky and cold. The notes are intriguing, and except for the licorice are some of my favorites. So maybe it's the licorice that does the scent in for me? I don't know. I get a medicinal clove note on opening application, then plastic. Weird, because I suspect that on others, it's marvelous.
22nd March, 2009

Eau de St Barth by Ligne St Barth

A terrific refreshing eau de cologne. The opening salvo of sweet-tart lemon us irresistable, and I detect some heliotrope and bergamot as well. A fresh, breezy quality persists throughout deveolopment and I may have found my latest summer love!
05th March, 2009

Avalon Juniper by Pacifica

Very fresh, only mildly coniferous, and with a prominent non-bitter grapefruit note, this is fast becoming an inexpensive favorite of mine. The juniper makes it wintery, and it's definitely not a 'warm' fragrance, but it is light and zesty and could easily be worn in summer months. The lasting power is only modest (3-4 hours) but for the price, about $20 per 1.2 oz, it's a great deal.
02nd March, 2009
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Immortelle by L'Atelier Bohème

I don't smell much Immortelle in this. Where's the bacon and maple syrup? A little bit comes out (more bacon than syrup) as the fragrance progresses; still, with a name like Immortelle, I'd expect a starring role for this note. If you get past the expectation of lots of immortelle it's a lovely fragrance with a creamy and warm texture. It starts off with bergamot, then a hint of wood (even a little incense?) and finally some amber to round it off. I'm sure there are more notes (including the eponymous immortelle) and the fragrance is more complex than I'm indicating in my review. Very nice indeed.
28th February, 2009

Harajuku Lovers - G by Gwen Stefani

Ack! A true scrubber. A very off-putting fake coconut note sitting in a bed of fake caramel. The whole thing smells like slightly burned plastic. Quite repellant on my skin.
21st February, 2009

Bouton de Rose by Le Prince Jardinier

One of my favorite rose scents. I'm very picky about rose, eschewing fragrances I find too much like rosewater, too sharp, too hot and spicy, too dark, too sour, etc... This is a medium hued rose with a heart that includes other florals and PAPYRUS, and a base with incense. It's got a softly sueded character that I love, and never goes the route of astringency that I've sniffed and disliked in other rose scents. Beautiful from top to bottom. My only complaint is that the lasting power could be better. About 4 hours. But the price is good for a niche scent, so that partly makes up for the longevity.
21st February, 2009

Woodhue by Fragrances of France

My first signature scent. Bought for me when I was a teen, by my mother (who has excellent taste in fragrance IMHO), I loved it. I had the powder too. A sweet, woody scent, that always seemed so...optimistic! The reformulation is not like the original, so I recently bought a vintage bottle on eBay, which I will covet. It smells marvelous, and is perfect for this time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere..Fall, Winter). Sandalwood sweetened with orange, this fragrance lasts and lasts. Moderate sillage, too. Get the original!
21st February, 2009

Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior

This is just great. Definitely not just for men, Eau Noire is a beautiful big spicy cologne, with a very comfortable feel to it, like your oldest well-worn cashmere sweater. I don't get too much lavender, and the wood notes are perfect--providing just enough support for the powdered spices. This is much richer than most of the colognes I've smelled and two spritzes from my sample atomizer were all I needed. Very nice indeed and certainly FBW.
19th February, 2009

Todd Oldham by Todd Oldham

Someone mentioned this on my boozy scent inquiry thread and indeed it is a strong dose of liqueur. A cherry peachy brandy or possibly sugared cherries preserved in brandy star in the opening which is quite heavy and, as mentioned, suitable for cool weather only. The composition quickly becomes much more grownup, as an animalic note quickly sneaks in, and progressively becomes quite prominent. Add a hint of smoke and a ribbon of vegetal to balance the sweetness, and you have a beautiful Fall/Winter fragrance.
16th February, 2009

Fetish by Ayala Moriel

After a bracing citrus opening, fresh and tart, the composition of Fetish warms and sweetens. It never becomes tooth-achey, but simply softens the tart edges of the orange (most prominent) and other citrus fruits. In the background are the fir and vanilla, which which are beautifully paired. Neither ever becomes dominant. A beautiful citrus gourmand, very wearable, and beautifully crafted. My only criticisms are the longevity (as gloomy_liv has mentioned), and the name...the fragrance simply does NOT live up to its name. This is not a naughty spank on the buttocks, but rather a fond embrace around the shoulders! Still, WELL worth trying.
12th February, 2009

Rêve en Cuir by Indult

Now this is a leather I can wrap my head and heart around, though I totally understand how someone who loves Knize 10 would find it lacking! It's a gourmand, it's a leather, it's (almost) a skinscent! Reve en Cuir starts out smelling like new leather shoe laces that have been dipped in simple syrup. Somewhat transparent, it has no bitterness or tar at all. Soft as all get out in the opening, it proceeds to become more focused over the next hour or two. As it dries it becomes a little powdery and at the same time slightly caramelized. Vanilla is there, but definitely as background support. And all the while I detect a soft, buttery, young leather. After the first 2 hours the fragrance stays quite linear on my skin, and close, with very little sillage. As one who can't seem to get enough gourmands in my wardrobe, this is a beautiful fragrance that's a tiny bit out of my comfort zone, but still infinitely lovable. Hail Hail Francis K! Another must-have fragrance!
05th February, 2009

Oyédo by Diptyque

Though initially there is a blast of tart citrus, Oyedo soon sits on my skin in a hazey fog of sweet orange candy. The hard kind that you suck on or break with your teeth. This candy stage lasts for quite some time--it's 7 hours since I applied Oyedo and the sweet orange is still there, though now it's softened and dried with a thin bit of balsa wood, and some green and woody fragrant herbs. The whole composition is very light, but not lightweight if that makes any sense. The fragrance has some oomph, it's compelling, and calls to me to keep sniffing, to see where it will go nextI I'm definitely enjoying the journey.
05th February, 2009

Izmir by Neil Morris Fragrances

Well, as my mother always says, "That's what makes horse racing!" Unlike Jemimagold I LOVE New Haarlem, and I love Izmir also. They both have an outstanding coffee note that is not too heavy handed--a well crafted latte rather than a triple espresso. Izmir is spicy, mildly sweet but not cloying or tooth achey, and it has enough citrus to give it a jazzy edge. The orange and geranium keep the other notes in line, and prevent the personality of Izmir from becoming TOO mushy or edible as it progresses, and the coffee stays true for hours.
If you are looking for an interesting and beautifully crafted coffee fragrance I would highly recommend sampling Izmir :).
27th January, 2009
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Volo AZ 686 by Profumum

A weirdly wonderful fragrance. Not for me, but its got charm to spare. The notes are coconut, vanilla and gardenia but the opening suggests camphor and aromatic rings! It's a very loud opening salvo, almost too loud, but just wait a little while and a beautiful, warm, slightly woody and dry gardenia emerges. I've never smelled anything like it--a must try for anyone who loves them some niche!
24th January, 2009

Patchouli Arawak by Ligne St Barth

A sweet take on the earthiness of patchouli. Over time the sweetness becomes less pronounced, and a metallic note of clean dirt emerges. Then the fragrance stays fairly linear. It has moderate longevity (4-6 hours) and sillage. Not my favorite patchouli based scent (and definitely not my favorite from this line), but if you love patchouli it's worth trying. :)
24th January, 2009

L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

Oh my gosh, this fragrance brings back such great memories. Memories of spring camping in the high desert of Joshua Tree National Monument. The scent of the campfires, the scrub and brush, even the smooth jumbo rocks the area is famous for. L'Air du Desert Marocain really evokes a 'scentscape' for me and I love it! I may not want to wear it often, but I definitely need to have it around for the sniffing.
24th January, 2009

Eau de Lierre by Diptyque

Beautiful deep green Ivy. Ivy ivy ivy. Eau de Lierre is very nice if a realistic ivy note is what you crave, otherwise it may not be your cup of tea!
24th January, 2009

Délices de Cartier by Cartier

I loved this in the store, and the bottle just added to my delight. Once home it went unused because I made the mistake of reading Luca and Tania's review, where they refer to the Delices EdT as 'vile fruity.' As a newbie to the world of fragrance, I decided I must be wrong, and couldn't possibly like this 'fruity vile' (as they called the perfume). I took one sniff and was subsequently and irrationally biased against my purchase! Okay, now back to the fragrance which I decided to re-try, and I DO like it. Yes it's sweet--I like sweet! Yes it's a bit heavy handed, but the excess is great for this time of year. And there is a hint of booze (kirsch others have mentioned) which I'm quite partial to. After the initial blast of candied FRUIT the subsequent development is quite nice. Warmly sweet, slightly vanillic, a hint of liqueur, and VERY pretty I've re-found the love. Now WHY did I sell my bottle?! :)
24th January, 2009

Bigarade Concentrée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

An animalic citrus! I get loads of gorgeous bitter orange and bergamot, and then Bigarade Concentree becomes very ripe and sexy in a 'sweaty man' sort of way. That must be the cumin. Very interesting. Unlike other reviewers, I find this quite masculine and cannot imagine wearing it myself, even though there are many masculine fragrances I DO love and wear. This must remain on my 'smells great on others' list, and I have purchased this for several male friends. MOST attractive on them!
24th January, 2009

Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone

This is delightful. A warm and spicy red fruit scent, opening with a terrific waft of clove and citrus. It reminds me of those homemade orange pomander balls studded with cloves, the ones that you place in your closet to make it smell good. After the opening of clove and spice, the fruit emerges, including a fermented, wine-y note that hovers over a base that's woody, sharp and dry. Very nice, very grown-up, NOIR most definitely! Love this.
24th January, 2009

Nutmeg & Ginger by Jo Malone

I love both ginger and nutmeg, but as others have mentioned this fragrance not have enough of the former. The wonderfuly spicy opening, that promises forthcoming delights, quickly disappoints and settles down to a rather tepid nutmeg 'solispice.' I wouldn't mind the nutmeg-only part, because I suspect it would layer beautifully with some of my simpler vanilla scents, but even this part doesn't last more than an hour on my skin, and then the entire fragrance disappears completely. Definitely not worth the price for my particular skin chemistry, but if yours holds on to fragrance and you like nutmeg, it's worth a try.
24th January, 2009

Vanilla Almond by Dragonfly Blue

I love gourmand scents, but when I wear this, I feel like a giant almond and coconut macaroon. Vanilla Almond is a rather uninspired vanilla-centric perfume oil without any depth or complexity. That would be okay if the scent was a nice linear nutty vanilla that I could use for layering, but it's got an artificial slightly 'off' note that gets on my nerves (something like a cheap coconut oil). I recommend as an alternative their Vanilla, which is a nice, inexpensive vanilla skin scent.
21st January, 2009

Lierre Rose by 06130 Zéro Six Cent-Trente

This is a lovely floral-rose scent. Transparent and lilting. Very pretty and feminine and yet...there is a persistent tea note and a bit of spice, both of which I LOVE, that actually make Lierre Rose quite unisex. The only problem with this fragrance is that it fades rather quickly on my skin. Because of the poor longevity I must go neutral on this one...
13th January, 2009

Vanille West Indies by Ligne St Barth

A rich, thick, sweet vanilla with a rounded marshmallowy structure. Yes, it's sweet, but not synthetic. The vanilla is true, and persists beautifully throughout the admittedly minimal development. It dries down to a slightly caramelized version of itself. Gorgeous alone and perfect for layering. It's one of my favorite vanillas because it's sweet AND natural, unlike, for instance, some of the CSP vanillas which often go a little chemical-y on me. If you love vanilla I highly recommend this.
13th January, 2009

Marrons Glacés by Laura Mercier

According to Laura Mercier, Marrons Glaces notes include: mirabelle & hazelnut leaves, cyclamine, jasmine, chesnut flower, heliotrope, vanilla and amber.
Goodness--this should be right up my alley! Candied chestnuts, hazelnut (love hazelnut!) and a base of amber and vanilla! What's not to love? Alas, this fragrance turns plasticky and synthetic and unpleasant on my skin very quickly. A little rancid, even, like a fatty note that has broken down to its component fatty acids in the bottle..even before application. I love the IDEA of this fragrance, but the formula just doesn't work on my skin.
13th January, 2009

Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

A perfume of contradictions! Is it transparent, or completely and mysteriously opaque? Is it familiar and comforting or strange and unique? Yes. and Yes.
It is transparent, a la Ellena, with a fresh herbal/piney layer, but look (sniff) closer and that surface clarity reveals the dark, enticing undercurrent of a sweet and mysterious floral oriental. Similarly, though I feel the fragrance is familiar, it is more the familiarity of a recurring dream, or a distant pleasant memory. Not comforting, but not unsettling either. It is both provocative and calming. A masterpiece of perfumery IMHO. Get thee a sample, and try it for yourself!
11th January, 2009

Manakara by Indult

If Manakara the fragrance was a single fruit, I imagine it would be thin skinned and a rich royal purple, with a fragrant vanilla custard pulp and tiny orange seeds. It would grow on an aromatic blonde-wooded tree or bush and have thick, dark green and waxy leaves that had only a hint of fragrance. And this plant would preferentially grown near rose bushes. This mythical vegetation persists in my imagination whenever I wear Manakara. It's sweet, wet, and luscious one minute, and soft, velvety and dry the next. A beautiful and unusual fragrance, with moderate longevity and sillage. Yes, it is quite spendy but to me it's worth the cost.
07th January, 2009

Film Noir by Ava Luxe

I was quite prepared to love this, but alas it's the first from this wonderful house that I dislike. Opening blast of plasticky licorice, then it morphs into cheap leather. I like leather but this feels too much like a hodge-podge of weirdness. Still, points for creativity, so I can't give it a full thumbs down. I'd rather encourage something weird than boring...and this is definitely not boring!
02nd January, 2009

Annayaké Pour Elle by Annayaké

A lively green floral! Like everything I have tried from this house, I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fragrance. Did this really come out in the era of too sweet fruity florals? It's simply delightful. Bergamot, a hint of cumin, green tea, watery notes, maybe a hint of pepper..lots of zest and personality. Though green florals are not my usual modus operendi, this is a keeper, and challenges me to try more from this line, as well as this olfactive group.
02nd January, 2009

October by Neil Morris Fragrances

A delightful gourmand! This is the scent of my mother's (now my) mincemeat pie, with its raisins, apples, citrus/citron and plethora of spices. I usually don't go for the apple note in fragrances, but this is beautiful - not synthetic or sickly sweet (like that gooey store bought apple pie). As it dries and progresses, the warm gourmand character persists, but the fragrance becomes less like mincemeat, and more like 'caramelized' booze (whatever THAT is!). Finally, the incense, patchouli and myrrh start to make an appearance, though they never become overpowering. This is the smell of winter holidays to me. It's just wonderful and has now gone onto my wishlist as FBW. (This would make a terrific home fragrance or candle, also.)
29th December, 2008