Perfume Reviews

Reviews by kess

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kess Show all reviews
United States

Amber Vanilla by Regina Harris

To me, this is more "Musk Vanilla" than Amber Vanilla. So don't expect a lot of amber, this is more about a sweet musk scent. Extremely concentrated and only the tiniest amount is needed to know you are wearing it. Dries down to more musk. Could probably be worn by both genders, even though it's classified as feminine in the directory.
27th July, 2009
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Iris by Santa Maria Novella

This is a very worthy entry into the 'iris' category -- it's earthy/rooty but not to the point that Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist takes it. Quite enjoyable, with discreet sillage but good staying power. It's linear but that's what I came to expect from iris/orris fragrances. I do not detect many other notes, iris/orris definitely dominates. Recommended for the iris lovers, along with Chanel La Pausa, Le Labo Iris or Heeley Iris de Nuit.

23rd July, 2009
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Une Folie de Roses by Les Parfums de Rosine

I'm surprised at the reviews since I've not found it strong or cloying -- but perhaps the difference is in the application. I applied lightly from a dab vial and I'm getting a lovely floral with an aldehydic top and a chypre-like base, not unlike some of the Chanels (perhaps Rue Cambon?). Very elegant and almost understated. The rose is present, but is wrapped in other "Chanel-like" notes, which is fine by me since I'm not a fan of straight up rose. The drydown is lovely and lingers a long time even after a light application.
22nd July, 2009
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kess Show all reviews
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Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

Way to heady for my current tastes. Longevity and sillage are amazing, so great for those who love this fragrance. Brings to mind Estee Lauder Private Collection. Not for the faint at heart!
15th July, 2009
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Castoreum by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Not sure if my sample have mellowed out, but I was expecting something more pungent and animalitic. Instead, upon the immediate application, I smell birch tar, and then something leathery-sweet-smoky. Surprisingly, I could see myself wearing it just by itself.
12th July, 2009
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Cologne à la Russe by Institut Tres Bien

This is a nice summery cologne, with an amber base that I find very pleasing. It's best for a hot and humid day outdoors; it's a bit subtle to shine in an air conditioned space. Thumbs up overall for its 'naturalness' and uplifting qualities.

08th July, 2009
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Rêverie au Jardin by Tauer

A very interesting lavender scent -- actually, a 'rendition' of lavender rather than true to life scent. Pillowy, smoky and dry -- makes me think of lavender fields under a hot sun.
07th July, 2009
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Royal Muska by Martine Micallef

To sum this up for me -- "musk soap." Nice when I bury my nose into my arm, but the overall sillage is quite soapy, hence the neutral rating. I'm just beginning to explore musks, so please take my opinion with a grain of salt. On another hand (literally), I also tried Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan today and I found it much more appealing.

06th July, 2009
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Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès

The opening is indeed wonderful, but very quickly the top citrus/rosy notes dissipate and I'm left with a metallic note that I also detect in TDC Bois d'Iris and Terre d'Hermes, which I don't enjoy. With the addition of musky vetiver, it's too 'cologny' for me at this stage. Probably better as a masculine. Giving it a neutral rating, since it's 'fresh' and 'natural' smelling -- and not in a sickly-synthetic way that a lot of department store fragrances are guilty of.

29th June, 2009
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Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain

I was not as impressed by SDV as I expected I would be. I was expecting something akin to Indult Tihota (smoky dry vanilla), but instead I'm getting an intense cherry note that reminded me of Guerlain's own La Petite Robe Noire. Vanilla only comes out after an hour or so, so I'm not sure what's going on.



11th June, 2009
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United States

Boisé Vanillé by Montale

I don't know what this is, but this fragrance literally set my teeth on edge. The sample I got in the mail leaked a tiny bit (into the small plastic baggie, which was open just a bit), and when I opened the package a powerful aroma emanated to fill the area around it. I double packed the sample in additional baggies, but left the mailer behind. Kept wondering where I getting the big whiffs of the scent from. Then realized that the package was still sitting there on the table. Whoah! Giving it a neutral rating as it does not look like I will be able to wear it in public. Not for the faint at heart. This is raw, powerful stuff. I was getting mostly cedar, very little vanilla.

08th June, 2009
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Roses et Chocolat by Ayala Moriel

As advertised: roses and chocolates, very nicely done (and this is from a rose 'non-lover.) Longevity is great. Thumbs up!
05th June, 2009
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Les Elixirs Charnels - Oriental Brûlant by Guerlain

An amazing woody-vanilla oriental; the notes say it all. Thumbs up!
03rd June, 2009
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Tabac Aurea by Sonoma Scent Studio

This is an excellent substitute to Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque, if you don't want to spend the big bucks and/or want to support US-based artisan parfumeries. Longevity is excellent.
01st June, 2009
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Ambre Antique by Ava Luxe

Notes per Ava Luxe web site: top note of citrus and a hint of berries, a heart of rose, ylang-ylang, orange flower and iris, and a base of sandalwood, vetiver, amber and vanilla.

This is an amber/oriental scent, with a slight animalitic edge, which dissipates pretty soon. It's mostly amber to my nose, with a sweet and voluptuous bend. This scent should be a no-brainer for any amber/oriental lover, and you cannot go wrong with Ava Luxe pricing.
31st May, 2009
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Ambre D'Or by Ava Luxe

This is a semi-sweet, smoky amber. Straightforward, but that's what I like about it. Recommended for amber lovers and for those who like their amber straight up. (This review is for perfume oil: I somehow got a sample of the oil from Ava Luxe, although the web site does not list oil as an option).
30th May, 2009
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Greyland by Montale

Woody, balsamic, peppery and smoky! This is a great scent, quite unisex. It does not create the same enveloping 'aura' like Montale's aoud scents do, but it fine nonetheless.
30th May, 2009
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United States

Ellie Nuit by Ellie D

This is a wonderful scent -- mostly a green floral to me, but very soft and tempered with other notes. It opens quite green, with crushed leaves, but then settles into the floral heart, with a feminine base. It's quite lady-like (in a positive way) and exudes class, elegance and sophistication. It reminded me of Parfums de Nicolai Odalisque -- the scents are not alike, but share the same lovely and sophisticated attitude.

I've enjoyed wearing my sample very much, but will not be buying because of the silly price. But it's definitely worth sampling -- just for the experience.
25th May, 2009
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United States

Eau Suave by Parfum d'Empire

Eau Suave is indeed lovely, and not a ’straight up’ rose (which works for me since I’m not a rose person). Many of the PdE scents have an enveloping quality to me — like wearing a nice cashmere shawl, and Eau Suave is no exception. I also get a lot of saffron, which probably adds to the ’suave’ effect.
25th May, 2009
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Myrrhe & Merveilles by Keiko Mecheri

I really like myrrh, but this is awful because of the soap. I typically don't like soapy notes, but can tolerate them if nicely done. But no, this is not the luxe soap you get in most fragrances. Elf (below) was spot on about the Soviet soap -- this is an extremely true (although I assume accidental) rendition of the nasty brown "Khozyaystennoye" soap that I had plenty of exposure too during my childhood. I can detect nice myrrhe lurking in the background but the soap makes it a scrubber for me.

For me, this is "Myrrhe and Mauvais Souvenirs."


15th April, 2009
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Osmanthus Interdite by Parfum d'Empire

Comparing Osmanthus by Ormonde Jayne and Osmanthus Interdite by Parfum d'Empire.

Impressions: OJ goes on very crisp, citrucy and candied at the same time, while PdE is soft, almost suede-like with earthy undertones (somehow it makes me think that this is how osmanthus pollen may smell like -- soft and dusky). OJ comes across as a light fragrance, almost a cologne, with osmanthus. Not being a fan of 'refreshing cologne' type of perfume, I have to say I prefer Parfum d'Empire's version.

After about 30 minutes OJ has calmed down and is not as "in your face" as earlier. It's now pleasantly sweet and fresh. PdE is still going strong with the leather undertones; I'm not detecting much progression.

Overall, I perceive PdE as more "substantial" and it's still my favorite of the two.
14th April, 2009
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Hiroko Koshino by Hiroko Koshino

This is mostly a light incense to my nose. Very "Japanese" -- or at least to me, a Westerner, who never been to Japan :-)

Although it's classified as a feminine, it's quite unisex.
14th April, 2009 (last edited: 31st May, 2009)
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United States

Encens Tranquille by Sonoma Scent Studio

Very smoky incense -- not for the faint at heart! Layers well with my sweeter scents.
16th March, 2009
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Préparation Parfumée by Andrée Putman

Watery and transparent -- too much so for my liking. Opens nice and green, but settles into a "light musky base", which I do not like.
16th March, 2009
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Hibiscus by Acca Kappa

Notes listed are: Hibiscus, Bergamot, Magnolia, Amber and Heliotrope
This is a quite pleasant floral -- perfect for when you don't want something "dark" or "complicated." It feels like an Eau de Cologne -- with sharp alcohol in the opening, but quickly settles down to reveal hibiscus and citrus notes.
28th February, 2009
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United States

Scent by Costume National

Scent is neither here nor there for me. After sniffing Costume National 21, and being totally smitten, I wanted to try their first fragrance. After mellow/spicy 21, this was a letdown: semi-floral, semi-aquatic, with some citrus thrown in. I think it would make a nice, light men's cologne. If, like I was, you are interested in Scent after trying 21, don’t bother. Otherwise, it's a perfectly nice fragrance, just nothing special about it.

24th February, 2009
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United States

Shanti Shanti by Miller et Bertaux

This is a bright and true to life rose. This scent is probably more for rose lovers, and I get the predominant rose and not much else. It lasts a long time and a little goes along way.
18th February, 2009 (last edited: 25th April, 2009)
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United States

Fairy Dust by Paris Hilton

Fairy Dust is generically sweet fruity/floral "celebrity" fragrance. Not much too it -- it did not stand out to me at all. What is "Processo accord" exactly? Makes me think of cheap bubbly wine, and the perfume feels equally cheap. The Fairy Dust name is "cute" but it's about all to recommend this scent by. Totally forgettable.
14th February, 2009
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Un Jardin Après La Mousson by Hermès

Melon melon melon! It so profoundly smells of cantaloupe that I cannot imagine myself wearing it. It may be nice in shampoo or shower gel (sort of tropical and sweet), but not in a perfume, and from a house like Hermes. The fruity cantaloupe scents also screams "cheap" to me.
14th February, 2009
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Calèche by Hermès

I tried this recently -- I could not get past the "soap" stage (must be the aldehydes). When not overpowered by the soap "accord", I sense rather nice florals (violets?), but I can only get whiffs of those, and then back to the soap. Overall, it smells like a very luxe, very expensive soap, but not a perfume I'd wear. Definitely try before you buy.
14th February, 2009