Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Goldaline

Total Reviews: 51

Absolu by Rochas

This fragrance is, to me, in the same genre as Shalimar and other vanilla-based fragrances.

It is full bodied, sweet, and dries down to a palatable powdery scent.

It is best worn for evening and in the winter months.

It's a pity it is not more widely available as it is reasonably priced and rather nice.
30th October, 2010

Double Fraîcheur pour Lui by Molinard

I just bought a 100 ml bottle of this for £7.99. There was no tester so I bought it "unseen" as it were. I'm not sure if it's the man's version of Double Fraicheur or the women's.The one I bought is in a green box and bottle and it smells of citrus and mint, so based on Laurent's review, it's the man's. I had thought that the fragrance was unisex, but as Basenotes distinguishes between a man's and women's version I've probably purchased the man's version. No matter. I like it anyway. Now for my review:

The opening note is quite sharp and lemony, but then it very rapidly transforms into the smell of newly mown grass, and finally, it dries down to a subtle muted mint smell.

It's a pleasant, uplifting fragrance, but as Laurent points out, it's too short lived.I can imagine it being super to use on a hot and humid day (but we don't get too many of those in the North of England) and it could also be used as a base body fragrance (an all-over spritz) and layered under a sweeter concoction.

17th October, 2010

Fleur de Figuier by Molinard

I happened upon this fragrance by chance last week when browsing through the English equivalent of a nickel and dime store. Being a lover of fig fragrances, I bought the only bottle in the shop. There was no tester but I took a chance because of the Molinard reputation for fine fragrances. I also took a chance because the bottle was ridiculously cheap at £7.99 for 100 mls.

Well, when I got home and tore off the security tag (which they'd left on by mistake) and the cellophane wrapper, and sprayed the jus on my wrist, I was transported to heaven. This is a divine fig fragrance. It's pure green fig, nothing more, nothing less. In my view, it even surpasses - just - the wonderful Dyptique Phylosikos and charming Jo Malone Fig & Cassis..

All you fig scent lovers out there - make this your holy grail - to find and try Molinard's Fleur de Figuier. It's a masterpiece.
17th October, 2010
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Fracas by Robert Piguet

Fracas is difficult to find in the UK. I bought my 50 ml bottle of spray EDP in London's Harvey Nichols in 2002 and I've been nursing it ever since. (I only use it occasionally and always sparingly for the reasons noted in other posts.) I understand it's now available in Liberty's, Selfridges, and the two other Harvey Nichols stores in Leeds and Manchester respectively.

Fracas is quite simply the best Tuberose fragrance on the market. Others have tried to copy it - Caroline Herrerra; Versaci Blonde; Carnal Flower; Caron's Tuberose; and Jean-Paul Gaultier's Fragile to name a few - but none have managed to capture the rich, fragrant, captivating, beauty of Fracas. It's in a class of its own.

22nd September, 2010

Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka

I bought this fragrance for my husband and he loves it. So do I. It is a well-balanced gourmand that is far more interesting and distinctive than Mugler's 'A Men'.The anise and licorice notes make it unique among men's fragrances and these contrast well with the warmth and sensual sweetness of the vanilla note. It has a good but subtle sillage and it comes in an exquisitely unusual bottle.

While the women's LL gives me a bad headache (because it is too sweet and cloying), I can smell and enjoy the men's LL all day long.....

20th August, 2010

Rouge Hermès by Hermès

This is the only Hermes fragrance I like apart from Caleche EDP. I'd love to know who the perfumer is. Its launch is here dated as the year 2000 but I have been wearing this scent since 1986, and my sister-in-law, who introduced me to it, purchased her bottle in 1984. 2000 might be the date of a re-launch. Certainly, the post-2000 bottle is different and the juice seems to be ever so slightly reformulated. The name has also slightly changed, from 'Hermes Rouge' to 'Rouge Hermes'.

Whatever, this fragrance in both its former and current incarnation is simply wonderful. It lacks all manner of sweetness and fruitiness. Instead, it is dry and leathery with a hint of rose and ambergris. It is a fragrance for the officianado, which is probably why it is not sold in main stream department stores (in England, at least), but only in those stores considered to be exclusive (like Harrods, Selfridges, and Liberty of London). I'm looking forward to my next bottle, and I'd like to see an entire range of body products launched. This scent is pure class!!
11th July, 2010

Balenciaga Paris by Balenciaga

A beautiful bottle and a beautiful advertising campaign with Serge Gainsborough and Jane Birkin's beautiful daughter, but alas the fragrance is not beautiful. It is not ugly either, just rather disappointing: after a really lovely violet top note, the fragrance fades rapidly to an insipid and vaguely sweet dry-down.
09th July, 2010

A Scent by Issey Miyake

After the distinctiveness and originality of L'Eau, 'A Scent' is a huge, huge disappointment. Although its top note is very good - a lively green/citrus which is reminiscent of Christelle - it soon fades to a cloying and (for me, at least) headache-inducing galbanum /cedar base note which reminds me of nothing in particular. This is a fragrance which lacks character and in any event has no lasting power. It fades to nothing in no time at all.

The brand new 'eau de parfum florale' version (same bottle; different coloured logo) is a little better but not much. Like the original, it has a good top note - spicy and floral and modern - but, also like the original, it dries down very quickly to a weak, nondescript and short-lived base note that can only be described as 'pleasant, but nothing special'.

These are not bad fragrances, just nothing to write home about.
08th July, 2010

Sheherazade by Jean Desprez

I wore this one in the mid to late 80's. I first bought it in Harrods in 1983 just after it was launched, and then re-bought it in Coral Gables, Florida (at a perfume shop on Miracle Mile) in 1989. I loved it. It was both chypre and powdery, making it very, very distinctive and terribly elegant. The bottle was exquisite, too.

So I have to ask: "Why, oh why, was Sheherazade discontinued?"

Please bring it back!!
05th July, 2010

Parisienne by Yves Saint Laurent

Parisienne is a big disappointment. It is created by the same female perfumer who created the great and iconic Paris, and it has some of the same notes (Rose and Violet), and yet it does not even come close to its older and revered sister.

Parisienne's top notes of violet and rose are wonderful, but they quickly give way to (what can only be described as) a watered down but somewhat sharp plastic / acetone smell (which must be the "vinyl accord"!). The intention was obviously to create a MODERN fragrance, but it just doesn't work. YSL needs to get back to the drawing board.

The best thing about Parisienne is its beautiful bottle, its beautiful lavender colour, and the Kate Moss marketing campaign.

Unfortunately, knowing how much I had loved Paris in the 80's, my mother bought me the comfret (with shower gel and body lotion) for Christmas, and it sits unused in my cupboard......
17th March, 2010

Insolence Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

I think the bottle is awful. It reminds me of a flying saucer. It prevented me from testing the fragrance within. But when I came across Insolence EDP in a limited edition classic silver Guerlain bottle in the New Year's sales, I willingly sprayed it on my arm. Half an hour later, I was hooked. I went back and purchased the last available bottle.

Violet and iris are two of my favourite notes and they are balanced beautifully in this fragrance. They, together with the raspberry note, produce a sweetness which is not cloying or sickly but which is sensual and sublime.

In fact, this is a remarkable and sophisticated fragrance with a distinctive sillage. I get compliments whenever I wear it. I also feel wonderful whenever I wear it. There is nothing else like it on the market - not even close. Another Maurice Roucel masterpiece and more than worthy of the name of Guerlain.
10th March, 2010

Agent Provocateur by Agent Provocateur

AP seems to be in the same family as Sisley's Eau de Soir and Paloma Picasso and even Rive Gauche but it packs more of a punch.

I like this fragrance enough to have purchased a bottle. I think the vetiver, saffron, and coriander, amber and musk are the notes that appeal to me so much.

But this is not a mature or sophisticated fragrance. It's playful and youthful and a little edgy. I agree with those who describe it as "dirty". If it had a colour, it would be black.

10th March, 2010

Diorella by Christian Dior

I love Diorella! It is a summer fragrance with a difference: its citrus top notes are warmed by the vanilla in the base; and the presence of oakmoss, vetiver and patchouli give it a wonderful chypre twist. It's a truly remarkable fragrance and I wish it were available in an EDP version. BTW, I used to wear the discontinued Dior Eau Fraiche, and I agree that Diorella is very similar.

Despite Diorella's greatness, like Calchic, I personally prefer Cristalle EDP, which is in the same family of fragrances but has an additional, indefinable, certain something....
09th July, 2009
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Paloma Picasso / Mon Parfum by Paloma Picasso

This fragrance is a MUST for all patchouli lovers!
10th June, 2009

Silences by Jacomo

I absolutely love this fragrance. It is a subdued and refined chypre with a green and citrus note in a splendid and smooth black bottle. I haven't been able to find it in the UK for many years now - alas!

Silences is a quality fragrance - highly recommended.
26th May, 2009

Parure by Guerlain

I love Parure. It has always reminded me of a more refined, smoother, and softer version of Paloma Picasso. I particularly like the plum and oakmoss combination, which is so unique in a fragrance. All in all, a really elegant scent for the discerning perfume lover.
25th May, 2009

1000 by Jean Patou

1000 is a an exceptional scent in terms of quality and smell. It has been part of my fragrance wardrobe since 1986.

The "1000" refers to the 1000 flowers of which this scent is comprised. I don't agree with Vibert's description of sweet and fruity, because to me, this scent is anything but: it is dry and and floral with a hint of green. I really like the violet and the osmanthus, the latter being a very rare ingredient in fragrances. But this is such a unique fragrance, it defies description.

1000 is a fragrance for the officianado. I doubt that it has popular appeal. There's nothing else like it on the market. May it live forever!!
21st May, 2009

Matthew Williamson - The Collection: Jasmine Sambac by Matthew Williamson

This is pure jasmine. Very low key. Somewhat hippy-ish.

It's great if you like jasmine, but it has poor sillage and poor staying power.

Great bottle!

I'm giving it a neutral rating because although I like jasmine I am disappointed by the fragrance's lack of sillage and longevity.
20th May, 2009

Via Lanvin by Lanvin

I used to love Via Lanvin. It was my first ever fragrance. I was mortified when they discontinued it. I saw some in a small shop in Mexico in December 1986 but I didn't buy it for fear that it had gone off.

I'd like to know why this great fragrance was discontinued? From what I can remember it was the perfect blend of floral, spice, and vanilla. The bottle was fantastic, too!
20th May, 2009

Castelbajac by Jean-Charles Castelbajac

I like this scent because of the almond and some other constituent which smells to me like aniseed. The only problem is that the dry down is a little too sweet. Fantastic bottle!
20th May, 2009

Mitsouko by Guerlain

Mitsouko has to be my all-time favourite fragrance. I reach for it whenever I need to feel special. It makes me feel confident and classy. I love its depth and mystery and warmth.

Mitsouko doesn't suit everyone though, so test it on your skin before you buy, and wait at least one hour before you decide whether to purchase: like all the quality classics of the House of Guerlain, it takes at least that long to fully develop.
19th May, 2009

First by Van Cleef & Arpels

This is an elegant, sophisticated, and very French fragrance. I first came across it in 1982 on a visit to Paris, when I was given a sample in a shop. I wore it for the few days I was there, and bought a bottle on my return to England. Since then I have been through a couple more bottles, with several years intermission between the two.

First never fails to delight - it's a wonderful fragrance, as one would expect from a master perfumer like Jean-Claude Ellena.
15th May, 2009

Ce Soir Ou Jamais by Annick Goutal

I find this scent disappointing. It lacks character and body. It also fades quickly and the jasmine is barely noticeable. It's probably perfect for those who like a simple rose scent.
15th May, 2009

Gardénia Passion by Annick Goutal

Gardenia Passion smells more like a tuberose fragrance to me, and while I like tuberose based fragrances alot, this one gives me a bad headache. I also find that it doesn't last on the skin that long.

I bought a 100 ml bottle at Selfridges on Oxford St. (London) in the summer of 2006, but after using it three times, I took it back and told the sales assitant that it gave me a horrible headache every time I sprayed it on my skin. Fortunately, she allowed me to exchange it for another AG fragrance (and I chose the men's Hadrian for my husband).

As for the scent itself, it is a warm, heady mix of tuberose and gardenia, with what I can only describe as "buttery" undertones. It's a nice fragrance, and I wish I could wear it; but because of its bad effect on me, I have to give it a neutral rating.

15th May, 2009

Miss Dior Originale (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

I had a bottle of this scent as a student, but that was many moons ago. After reading the reviews on basenotes, I decided to try Miss Dior again. So I sprayed some on a freshly showered arm using a tester in a department store early this morning. My initial impression was that this scent has lost something in its reformulation. For the first half hour all I could smell on my arm was a battle for dominance between the different notes, resulting in a non-descript smell. I was hugely disappointed. But then after about an hour, that old familiar Miss Dior scent came through. It seems softer than I remember, and with more creaminess, but there's something about it that says "come back for more". I still prefer the original formulation, and the original bottle, but I can see myself purchasing this one. It really is a unique chypre with a certain class and nostalgia. No wonder it has stood the test of time.
12th May, 2009

Dioressence by Christian Dior

I can't believe that there are only 7 reviews for this classic and sophisticated scent....

I have always loved Dioressence. It is, to my mind, the best green fragrance on the market and the best Dior. I think it is the oakmoss, patchouli and cinamon that work so well together to give a fabulous and unique fougere/chypre drydown that just lasts and lasts. It's suitable for all seasons and all occasions, and I'm just hankering after a new bottle.....
10th May, 2009

Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

Bal a Versailles has been a favourite of mine since 1977, when I moved to it from Opium. I wore it for a few years until it became almost impossible to get in the UK. Now it is only available - and only infrequently - at limited outlets like Harrod's 'Urban Retreat'. My current bottle was purchased in Boston, USA.

According to an article in British Vogue, B a V was reformulated around 2002. This must be why my current bottle smells slightly different from my earlier ones. It smells more musky and animalic. I prefer the original, which was truly delicious, but the reformulation is also very good.

Bal a Versailles is a magnificent, complex, and intriguing scent, which comes in a beautiful bottle. It's also a reputed favourite of Queen Elizabeth II. Like Jackie Onassis, she has excellent taste.
09th May, 2009

Matthew Williamson - The Collection: Lotus by Matthew Williamson

Matthew Williamson is an exciting and innovative British clothes designer, favoured by actresses like Sienna Miller. His clothes are vibrant and colourful. Lotus is one of four fragrances - the other three being Warm Sand, Jasmine Sambac, and Incense - which make up his signature scent, called Matthew Williamson, launched in 2005. Each of these four scents can be worn alone, or in combination with one or more of the others.

While I do not particularly like the Matthew Williamson signature scent, I do love the Lotus scent. Like his clothes, it is vibrant and exciting. It reminds me a lot of Marc Jacobs, which is strange because Marc Jacobs is gardenia based, and Lotus is lotus based. But other people have asked me if I am wearing Marc Jacobs when I wear Lotus, so the similarity must hold for other people, too.

The bottle is also delightful.
18th April, 2009

Cristalle Eau de Parfum by Chanel

I love Cristalle EDP. It is warm and mellow and peachy/green in its dry-down. It has a certain "je ne sais quoi" ( - with apologies to all French speakers for any incorrect spelling - ) about it, too, which screams "classy, French, chic". It's this unknown quality that keeps me coming back for more. I have been through several bottles.

In the debate between the EDP and the EDT, I much prefer the EDP. Although the EDT is nice, it lacks the sunny warmth and ripe peachy-ness of the EDP. I also prefer Cristalle - both the EDT and the EDP - to Diorella which, although often favourably compared to Cristalle, smells quite sour on my skin.

To smell absolutely divine, I layer the EDP over the body lotion. Pure bliss!

Cristalle EDP is, in my view, the best Chanel by far......

By-the-way, I'd love to know where the name "Cristalle" came from. Can anyone tell me?
22nd March, 2009 (last edited: 13th June, 2009)

No. 19 by Chanel

I love No 19 on other people. It smells green and sophisticated and distinctive. But on me - and I have tried it several times - it smells like paint stripper, and that true for both the EDT and the EDP.

But apart from my not being able to wear it personally, I would say that it is a remarkable perfume, in a class of its own.
22nd March, 2009