Perfume Reviews

Reviews by bookbadger

Total Reviews: 18

Cardinal by Heeley

I agree Cardinal is just more wearable than CdG's Avignon and also that it makes a more faithful reproduction of the incense I used to know in the Catholic church of my childhood (long live smells and bells!). I read somewhere that Giorgio Armani's Prive Bois d'Encens had the same intention (and that it may even have been a favorite of Senor Armani ). But Cardinal has the edge, no question.
20th December, 2009

L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

After trying a number of the Frederick Malle creations (Un Lys, En Passant, Une Rose, Dans Tes Bras, and Iris Poudre) this is the one I bought. I get white flower (which one?!), vanilla, musk, and something curiously sharp and indolic at the same time. Masterful and mysterious. I am certain I smelled this on someone else once on the elevator and found it supremely appealing especially for its lightness an unobtrusiveness--yet it smells like no other scent, it is unique. That all said, it is not at least not yet one of my favorites. Apparently we are still courting.
20th December, 2009

Black by Bulgari

Yum! I have to agree with Monsieur Turin's assessment on this one--5 Stars! So it's not exactly floral or oriental or woodsy or fruity or "aquatic" whatever that refers to, and thus does not fall into any of the popular categories flooding the market. But it is smoky-spicy-powdery and would seem to accomplish same without benefit of any of the botanical resins/incense notes (but, I could be wrong). Birch tar, I think, is a note in Black, as are (?) traces of lavender, amber, and sandalwood. Whatever is in this it is a sheer delight.
20th December, 2009
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Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens

The perfume blogosphere led me to thinking this one would change my life. When I finally got hold of a bottle (not sure if prior to the LS re-launch this was still available in the U.S.) have to say I was a tad disappointed (could it be the batch?) because it smells overwhelmingly of cedar...with only enough vanilla, linelool or jasmine tucked in to add dimension. On my skin at any rate the drydown is discouragingly limp. Alas.
20th December, 2009

The One by Dolce & Gabbana

Soon I will have to purchase this one, regardless. Yes, it sits on a whopping lot of vanilla, and I am not one for food or fruit aromas on my person--however: whatever combination it is of muguet, amber, and musk that are woven into the vanilla bomb change it into something with enchanting appeal and sophistication. It's not that the scents are not discernible, it's that they are so well matched (I think it might be the muguet-amber that keeps pulling me to it--curious and seductive pairing) and properly blended. Very little staying power, but that shortcoming is offset by the complete absence of offensive notes. A charming fougere floral with fruit. I'll have another.
08th March, 2009

Acqua di Parma Profumo by Acqua di Parma

Marvelous chypre. Profumo does for chypre what Joy did for florals. An amazing super accord of flowers, resin, wood, and aromatic herbs. Predictably a bit overwhelming on first application but the drydown is that of a classic chypre, very sophisticated and intriguing yet perfectly behaved. Take it to the opera.
08th March, 2009

YSL pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

Completely shaken and bruised by the blunt instrument reviews, I hesitate to add. Yes it's been a long time since I wore this and maybe it does have to do with skin chemistry (doesn't all perfume?). I will say I was surprised to see just 3 notes but just reading them brought back the scent of YSL--clean, citrus-vetiver accord, cut with thyme. I would wear this in the daytime at the height of summer when I didn't want to smell like a fruit basket or a bunch of sweet flowers or soap. Or woods. Or a spice box. And that leaves just about what's in the bottle--an inoccuous aromatic citrus, finely blended.
08th March, 2009

Ô de Lancôme by Lancôme

I LOVE that Alitalia stocked its trans-Atlantic flights with this way back when. I read somewhere else that O de Lancome has been a perenniel bestseller in Parisian apothecaries for like years--which I have to hope is true, feeling the way I do about Paris and French style. Yes, this is a daytime scent suitable for anywhere at all. It is one of the very few scents, other than soap, that I feel I can get away with at the office. The citrus is subtle yet present, the aromatics distinguish it, and the vetiver-like drydown is dignified. I have worn this off and on for decades and while I may give it a rest now and then I always come back to it and it never disappoints me. I'd have to say this might be my longest running fragrance that I continue to wear and enjoy.
08th March, 2009 (last edited: 20th December, 2009)

Gendarme by Gendarme

A massive disappointment. In addition to soap there is peppermint in this. Yeah yeah sure sure there are the floral bits, jasmine, whatever. And yes, I will concede that it smells "clean...fresh" but so does toothpaste, and I don't put that on. OK maybe it's skin chemistry again. To be conciliatory, it is blended nicely, and hasn't any genuinely offensive tendrils. I just won't wear it. Not because it smells bad, but because it doesn't do for me any of the options what I want a fragrance to do...those would be brighten my mood, make me feel attractive, or remind me of something or someone I love. For the rest there is the shower and a nice soap or shower gel.
08th March, 2009

Eau Fraîche by Caron

An aromatic citrus with wood that sparkles without being overly sharp. A perfect daytime and 3-season fragrance.
08th March, 2009

Angélique Encens by Creed

In the midst of a long-term review of incense fragrances and must re-review Creed's Angelique. Looking for that perfect blend of Frankincense and Myrhh that I knew from high mass. Of course one may not want to walk about smelling like the inside of a church but still. To be continued. ( I did try this one but maybe there is a hazard to trying only incense fragrances one after the other. Some SAY they have both frankincense and myrhh when really they just have a lot of amber.)
08th March, 2009

Eau du Soir by Sisley

When I first tried this it was "Eureka! I have found it at last" (it meaning a signature scent for evening that I can go to no matter what; a grail, a fragrance I can call my own...) and then the breakup began. Probably with the patchouli or related accord; there is a harshness in desperate need of ylang-ylang and jasmine, or perhaps musk or even a trace of vanilla. Regrets..
08th March, 2009

Melograno by Santa Maria Novella

I tried wearing the cologne, probably because it reminded me of My Sin (in the top 10, despite its demise ) but that's where it ended. I tried and tried to like it but we just couldn't make it work. Confess I have not smelled a real pomegranate so I can't speak to that. I am a chypre person though, which is probably what attracted me to it. That and the recommnedation of a shopkeeper in Boston who regularly travels to Florence to replenish her SMN stock. I think I'd like the soap or hand creme. Or to put in drawers. On second thought, no drawers.
08th March, 2009
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Tuberose by Jo Malone

Agreed..the JM version is the only tuberose to rate since Fracas. I haven't compared them head to head but will happily wear either. Very underrated scent. Maybe because it is heady and cheerful, uplifting all at once. It's as if the scent of the garden has followed you out. Wonderful.
08th March, 2009

Mitsouko by Guerlain

Oh dear. Luca Turin notwithstanding, I just cannot wear this, much as I respect it. it is just too much peach or else the vanilla-peach accord is too much for my skin. Alas, I like the idea of Mitsouko more than the thing itself.
08th March, 2009

Coco by Chanel

Admittedly I only wear the lotion--but for almost 20 years--Coco to me is a near perfect example of the oriental floral, with its classic jasmine-rose heart atop gorgeous resins.
08th March, 2009

No. 22 Parfum by Chanel

The jury is still out on the reformulation. Except that I bought a vat of this not only that, but I bought it in the Chanel shop of all places. Not enough incense! Too much aldehyde! Proves that yes Virginia you CAN have too much of a good thing. I could just weep. Plan is to decompensate with Bois des Isles. But it's going to be a long engagement this time.
08th March, 2009

Mon Peche / My Sin by Long Lost Perfume

Based on comments, I hesitate to shell out at all to try the dupe version by Shorell. I discovered the original when Le De got discontinued (it is now back with a facelift, and while they stopped short of ruining it, it isn't the same). I wore it almost exculsively at night, often with a black merino wool sweater. "buttery soft and well tanned, like that of a woman's dress glove that has picked up the scent of her skin" is quite apt.
18th May, 2008