Perfume Reviews

Reviews by LaNose

Total Reviews: 18
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No. 88 by Czech & Speake

For us baby boomers think: Cashmere Bouquet bath soap circa 1950s. This is a perfect replica and... nothing to sneeze at.

Like stepping out of the shower on a summer day: super fresh with great longevity and character.
27th April, 2013
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Bois des Îles Parfum by Chanel

I wish I could rave about this fragrance; it's so storied and revered. But my decant, fresh I believe, was a big disappointment. Although warm, powdery and with more than a hint of spice, over a span of three days, with frequent reapplications, I could not free myself of the impression that this is the progenitor of "CoCo" with less than six degrees of separation. I don't like CoCo and never did.
08th October, 2012
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Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Voleur de Roses: What a remarkable piece of perfumery. Unlike others, I don't detect any crashing thunder and lightening. Rather, I discern the harmony of a rose garden hours after the rain, when the sun is high in the noon-day sky and all of the essence of the roses have melded with soil, dampness, fruit and bark, perhaps sycamore tree, in the warmth of the moment...before everything becomes parched once again.

This rose is the rose I used to smell in rose gardens; this rose is at once boozy and bright; this rose is joined with plum and patchouli (favorites of mine) to create something close to an archtypal rose or as Diana Vreeland might say, the way roses ought to smell!

This is not an everyday scent for me. Special occassions, special moods and above all, when you want to impress that special person; it's very intoxicating. I think I've found my holy grail of Rose.
24th September, 2012
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Bois du Portugal by Creed

I would give this two thumbs up if I could. I bought a decant off Ebay this week and as I usually do, I gave a quick spritz on my left hand. Although I'm not a big amber lover, this baby captured me immediately. Beautifully balanced with just enough amber counterposed with wood, vetiver, sandlewood and leather to make this unique. In the quality of its ingredients, the depth of its aura and its profoundly sumptuous scent, BdP reminds me a lot of Jicky although they are not the same; but they are related.

I paid a ridiculously modest price for my decant, but I can understand why someone would plunk down lots 'o bucks for a bottle of this.

BTW: 24 hours later, I could still discern most of the BdP basenotes on my left hand; even after washing. This is a stunner! This is a 10/10.

A day later: How could I miss the lavender and the bergemont. Of course. And that's what Jicky and BdP share. BdP goes the sandlewood and amber route; Jicky goes the civet and tonka route. Bdp is the best darn thing since Jicky.
04th September, 2012 (last edited: 05th September, 2012)
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Terracotta Voile d'Eté by Guerlain

I purchased Terrracotta Voiie d'Ete recently more for its handsome retro bottle; I had no idea what it smelled like. I've grown to like it very much. It's very sweet but not sickenly so. In fact, I find it reminiscent of L'Heure Bleue which I find
overwhelmingly sweet especially when it veers into full-on-vanilla. TVd'E doesn't go down that road, but veers just in time into the foral spiciness of carnation.

It's not a high decibal fragrance, but sits gently on the skin: on cold, rainy days, it shimmers carnations and sunshine.

Although not one of the top tieir Guerlian creations, you'll be hard-put to find a more exquisite sweet carnation. If you prefer the dryer, clovey carnation this will not be for you. But, if you like, for example, Caron's Bellodgia, Terracotta Voile d'Ete just migh be your thing.

27th March, 2012 (last edited: 30th March, 2012)
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cK one by Calvin Klein

I regret to upset the other noses who adore this scent, but I must tell you I consider CK One the beginning of the end of late 20th century scent. In 1994 it ushered in a tidal wave of same-same-same smelling scents, male and female.

OMG and we haven't recovered yet, but as my mother used to say: "All good things come to an end".
21st March, 2012
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Chant D'Arômes by Guerlain

Wow! What a sleeper this is! I love the Guerlain pre-2000 offerings; each is singular and well conceived. Although I haven't sampled all of "the 194", I've had some acqaintance with many of the pre-WW II fragrances and virtually all of the post-war offerings --- except Chant d'Aromes.

This one got away from me because, frankly, I've never seen it at a retail counter. Last week, I acquired a decant of the (now very rare) parfum extrait. Unlike the traditonal high decibel Guerlain offerings, this one whispers and -- man -- this is more than sweet nothings.

I can see why CdA never took off: It is SO subtle that you can almost miss it. This is not a choice for winter/fall. But in the warmth of the spring sun, this one is singular, remarkably rich, complex and soft at the same time. This fragrance story reminds me of Amie's creation -- Jicky -- and how it first floated like a lead ballon; unfortunately CdA never recovered like Jiky did. But like Jicky, CdA whispers the most intimate messages. I believe Chant d'Aromes is a hidden classic.

In the warmth of the sun, CdA sings arias of plum, honeysuckle and oakmoss. This is a diminutive chypre that has few equals, IMO. I'm glad we found each other; I regret she (the extrait) is no longer resident in the House of Guerlain. I don't imagine that the EDT comes anywhere near it.
29th April, 2011
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Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

On me, after the citris departs, it's strictly coriander. I like its green, warm and woody aura --- it's a fond reminder of Coriandre by Jean Couturier.

I think the lime, basil and orange herald the top notes and envelope the margins of the middle notes, but the basenotes are pure...coriander. Amazing that it's not list on the pyramid.
31st December, 2010
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Or et Noir by Caron

I recently received a decant of this luscious extract. I have to admit that it wasn't love at first whiff, but I've stuck with it over several weeks of testing. It's interesting about the Caron scents; it's rarely a first-whiff love affair for me. And I can never really figure out how one day, it's funk and weeks later the scent assumes a new identity. I've come to believe that most Caron scents require my olfactory bulbs to rearrange themselves; odd image, but it fits. Perhaps it's like acquring a taste for, and enjoyment of, good music, art and food. It takes time.

Or et Noir fits this process for me. I now find I love it in all this hot, humid weather I'm living through now. The scent is what I might charactize as a "creamy rose". No edges, no pushiness; rather, this scent is rounded, soft and almost diminutive, except that it's got great sillage and lasts all day on me. I can see why other viewers referred to its wine-like depth and smoothness; like a good Merlot.

Or et Noir is definitely from another time --- 60+ years to be exact. It's a sumptuous counter to our current facination with ozone, sea air, grapefruit, figs and chocolate. Or et Noir is a tone poem on the theme of "rose" that I've grown to love.
21st July, 2010
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Djedi by Guerlain

NOW, I know what everyone's been talking about: Djedi is unlike any other fragrance I've ever experienced, bar none. I won't rhapsodize on the elements of this fragrance; the folks below have done so eloquently.

What I will share are my associations to this fragrance: When I was a small child, I ventured away from a family picnic on a bright, crystal clear ,hot summer day. I was probably three years old at the time and before I was brought back to my family, I had ventured under a telephone pole with bright, sparkling-blue insulator caps and the steamy smell of creosote pervaded that spot; it was a joyful and yet melancholy moment for me and Djedi took me back there in an instant.

But, Djedi goes even further for me: Djedi is primal and limbic to the core; I can see why people have such intense reactions to this fragrance; I believe my reactions are less about my childhood memory and more about an olfactory archetype. I think this fragrance evokes the deepest fears, hopes and dreams of my childhood and...before that. That is why it is both strange and familiar to me; comforting and disturbing; joyful and morbid. Djedi is like the "Lucy" and "Ginko tree" of scent; it feels like the progenitor of later scents.

And if you want to trace a direct line offspring, follow this: Dejedi of 1927 bore Vetiver (J P Guelain) in 1961. After you have experienced Dejedi, Vetiver seems downright tame.
10th June, 2010 (last edited: 28th January, 2011)
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Le Parfum de Thérèse by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I can sum up this fragrance in two words: an enigma. I'm not sure I "get" this perfume. At once, it is many things and nothing (special); it has great complexity and subtlety, but an exceptional whole does not emerge from it's constituent parts; the elements are not transformed into something special.

I know I am tempting the wrathful fates when I say that for me, Le Parfum de Therese almost grabs me, but then I slip through her fingers. I want to love her; she's got great lineage and backstory, but after several tries, I'm at a loss in my ability to love her. At the best moments she reminds me of Guerlain's Paure, but without its depth or breadth. At other moments, I'm reminded of Chamade.

I know that this is Edmond Roudnitska's final masterpiece and, in part, that's why I want to love her but, for now, I'll have to live with the reality of just liking her; not so bad..
07th June, 2010
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Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

I returned to Eau Sauvage this spring and I like it even more than I remember liking as a youth. When I last wore it, in the 80's, I believe my olfactory bulbs were being tested by some of the more "robust" fragances of that time; I didn't fall out of love with Eau Sauvage, I just came to feel it wasn't giving me enough bang for my buck.

A couple of decades later, my (La) Nose seems to crave something less in your face (or is it nose?) and prefer a fragrance that's more laid back and uncomplicated; this frangrance does the trick for me...again.

While some of us are turned off by the so-called "Pledge" note at the beginning, that's never bothered me; it lasts a minute and what follows is sheer citrus magic.( I always know that any fragrance is unattractive in that initial "Big Bang" moment). Eau Suavage is the richest citrus I know because, like a faceted jewel, is has many sides: some herbacious; some rind; some spice, some roots. They meld and mingle throughout the course of the day and much to my suprise, lasts a good 18 hours on me.

I think it always did last, but with the advent of the 70's and 80's high decible fragrances, I lost touch with gentle dry downs.

This fragrance can be worn by both genders, day or night. I think Eau Sauvage puts on its most appealing graces during the warmer months.
01st May, 2010
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En Avion by Caron

What a fragrance find this is! I received a decant of this (along with several others from the Caron line) recently. On first application, my (la)nose twitched and I sensed something odd and yet strangly familiar on my skin. Minutes later, I sniffed again and I knew something elegant and rare was unfolding; 20 minutes later---I was in love.

My discovery? Jicky's olfactory sibling; not identical twins, but possibly fraternal. En Avion is deep and complex and discrete; there's something smoldering there (citrus, flowers and civet) and the combination is less a scent and more a state of mind; there's something primal and ancient here and yet, it's divinely classy and and modern ---- not modern grapfruit or ozone or sea air ---- but modern in the sense that it defies category. En Avion is not fashionable, but it is the very essence of style.

I recently purchased a 25ml extrait from the Caron fountain here in NYC: I'm En Avion Heaven! For those of you Jicky fans (It's my fave) --- I encourage you to welcome this fragrance into your wardrobe. This is a Daltroff sleeper of the first order; I don't know if it will ever replace Jicky in my heart, but it's good to know I now have two favorites!
02nd February, 2010
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Jicky by Guerlain

What can I say about this fragrance that already hasn't been said? Jicky is one of a kind and at the very top of my fragrance wardrobe pyramid since the 80s when I first discovered it.

I can't add very much to the legions who have gone before me except to say what it does for me: Jicky is less a fragrance and more a state of mind; it takes me to both the light and dark corners of memory and spirit---no other fragrance does it for me like Jicky does. Jicky is night and day; despair and joy; fond memories and sad ones. Jicky centers me, comforts me and grounds me. Jicky is as bittersweet as life and just as extraordinary.
26th November, 2009 (last edited: 02nd February, 2010)
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Normandie by Jean Patou

I recently purchased a 2.5 ml Normandie EDT online largely based on these (and several other) reviews. I'm happy to report that Normandie does not disappoint; in fact, it's a pure delight. My usual fall-winter fragrance is Jicky. This year, I've had a heck of a time finding the EDT in the configuration I prefer (3.4 or 1.7 spray or splash); it seems supplies are low. Jicky has been my colder-weather standby since the late 80s --- I adore it. This year I was confronted with having to give it up, at least for this season, and finding a suitable replacement.

I would not have chosen Normandie except for the consistantly high ratings it has received. Also, I have great respect for Patou frangrances. So....I'm glad I chose this fragrance: it's everything that VintageVouge and Paloma54 described and it lasts and lasts on me (24 hours and counting). I love old world fragrance and Normandie sings of old world restraint and class. The fusion of floral carnation, rose and jasmine warm and comfort without demanding attention. The basenotes of vanilla, oakmoss and amber embrace, cushion and then envelop the florals for a softly-lush finish. Restraint, richness and a nod to an era of elegance and style. Normandie is a very suitable choice for me this year; I'm glad we found each other.
22nd November, 2009 (last edited: 02nd February, 2010)
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She Wood by Dsquared2

Update on my last post: She Wood continues to surprise me. When the top notes clear in approx, a half-hour, the middle notes emerge in a glorious bouquet that lasts for hours and hours. The middle and basenotes are practically indistinguishable to me but I don't care...the middle and final chords of this symphony are elongated and lush!
08th August, 2009 (last edited: 18th August, 2009)
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Paloma Picasso / Mon Parfum by Paloma Picasso

Recently, I purchased a bottle of the edt for the coming fall months. I remember testing it a long time ago ---in the 1980s? --- and remembered how taken I was with its opening ---awash in dark flowers and patchouli.

When I opened my bottle and sampled it again yesterday, I swooned over its rich and welcoming opening and experienced a deja vu moment, but not from the 1980s. It reminded me of something very near and dear to me in my fragrance voila...Aprege!

I'm flabbergasted, and maybe it's only me, but the opening of Paloma is a sister to Arpege, one of my all time favorites. Paloma's drydown isn't as rich or faceted; it carries it's own, rather linear finish. It leaves her audience stage-left instead of ascending a grand staircase as does Arepge.

That said, Paloma is no attempted knock-off; it opens with a famillar accord and then finds it's own way in the world. I like it a lot.
30th July, 2009
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Arpège by Lanvin

After 40 years of appreciating scent and sticking my nose in more fragrance sticks than there are stars in the sky, more trips to fragrance counters than there are steps in the Statue of Liberty and more purchases than I care to admit to, I can say that Arpege is the unsung heroine of olfactory genius: timeless, soft, creamy, dark, deep, long-lasting and endlessly fresh and interesting; I never tire of it.

They don't make them this way anymore.
24th December, 2008