Perfume Reviews

Reviews by glitteralex

Total Reviews: 64

Eau Folle by Guy Laroche

My review is for a vintage full mini bottle of the "Toilette Fraiche" with no discoloration, evaporation, or increase in viscosity. Despite that, I believe there to be a little bit of "vintage skank" at first, indicating a low level of damage.

This opens with a huge blast of blindingly sweet aldehydes atop lemon, bringing to mind vintage Climat edt. Very soon, though, the similarities end. Eau Folle immdiately launches into a dirty citrus with authentic animal notes. The "green" is in the form of Galbanum, to my nose. Not a fresh green, but an earthy, dark, mossy green. My best guess for the heart is a classical accord with Jasmine, LOV, & Rose. Base is Oakmoss, Civet, and maybe Patchouli. Overall impression is tart and dry, not oily, and definitely unisex.

This fragrance is intruiging and quite dated. The citrus/leather theme is one of my favorites- the notes cancel each other out in a way that both can be overdosed. See vintage versions of both sexes of Eau de Rochas, vintage Diorella, Eau Fraiche & Eau Sauvage, vintage Balmain Monsieur, Eau de Patou, Boss Spirit, and Eau de Fraicheur by Worth for comparisons. A difficult wear for anyone not a lover of vintage pragrances.
24th July, 2017

17/17 Irisss by Xerjoff

I am a huge fan of Orris. However, it often wears too cool or flat for me in a soliflore composition. Therefore, I rarely wear it alone, or have to find it in blended perfumes (Misia is a current favorite). In blends, I sniff endlessly in search of the Orris, never satisfied that I am getting enough.

Irisss is the exception. Orris is right there, the entire time. This is not so much a "perfume", but a performance, a perfect interpretation of Orris. While Oriss is by far the predominant note, and this perfume has the "feel" of a soliflore, it most certainly is not. Xerjoff has meticulously selected supporting notes, used in homeopathic quantities. In minute amounts, Jasmine and Rose add a palatable sweetness, Violet supports the powder, and Carrot Seed gives lift. Vetiver enhances the earthy quality of the Orris, and Musk adds a skin feel that Orris lacks on its own. I can't even detect the other stated notes. Doesn't matter, they are behind the scenes doing what they should- supporting the undeniable and perfect star of this show: Orris.

Yes, the price is absurd, but perfection doesn't come cheap
29th June, 2016

Gentleman by Max Factor

Wondering if this is the same as the "Gentlemen's Cologne" I have? It has forest green labels- a medallion on my splash and a square label on my spray. I think the bottles are for sure older than 1986- the spray even has the banned propellant that was phased out in the early 70s. I found an ad for the splash cologne in a Life Magazine ad for Christmas 1965.
03rd May, 2016
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Fantasque by Louis Féraud

This is a plush, green, woodsy, rose with a wet earth note. Timeless. I spoke with AVON just today and they provided me with these official notes, provided verbatim:

Top: Pear, Aldehydes, Citruses, Spices, Rosewood, & Green Tones

Heart: A Floral Bouquet of Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose, & Orris Root

Base: Patchouli, Moss, Cedar, Sandalwood, Musk, & Amber
28th January, 2016

Rêve by Van Cleef & Arpels

VC & A was late to the party with this one. This Floral Fruity with pear is reminiscent of Brit Eau de Toilette, released 9 years prior. This popularity of this genre persists, though, and so this scent maintains a place in today's market.

The opening is a sparkling, fruity, synthetic melange with Aldehydes, a heavy spray of Neroli, and an overdose of Pear (which almost always feels cheap to me in a is always synthetic, and feels immature. Not youthful, but immature). Peony, one of my favorite pink floral notes, is obscured given its placement in the heart, where Osmanthus and Lily (certainly of the Easter variety) smother it.

After about 15 minutes, the heart settles down and blends into the base, which does sport a nice Sandal. The Amber is generic. The sparkly pear persists throughout the entire composition, much to my chagrin giving a nuance of acridity. All in all, a decent perfume, but not one I would ever wear personally, based more on its misuse of note than of its genre.

Longevity is 4-5 hours, and sillage can be overwhelming at first, so use caution.
27th October, 2015 (last edited: 28th October, 2015)

Chevignon 57 for Her by Chevignon

I gave this rather simple perfume 4 Stars because it is perfect for what it is: uncomplicated, pleasant, and easy to wear. It is by no means a masterpiece of perfumery, but for the same reason I still love to wear Jean Nate in the summer, I'll reach for this in the colder months.

This is a lovely Gourmand, delightful on an overcast autumn day...the sweet pipe tobacco quality is mesmerizing, not cloying at all. The Rose is dark and rich. The Passion Fruit is not individually distinguishable, except for the "fruity" quality it lends. The base is a nice little Amber/Vanilla/Coffee number with a trace of Sandal.

If you like "Fancy" by Jessica Simpson, but find it too sweet and young, Chevignon 57 might fit the bill. The concentration is mediocre, however, so you will need to re-apply throughout the day.
27th October, 2015

Monsieur Musk by Dana

We decided to do a flight sampling of Monsieur Musk while bottles of various concentrations by all three makers were at hand. It's a warm, rainy day here in Lake Tahoe so the notes will be more pronounced than in our usual aridity.

The King of Monsieur Musk is for certain the vintage version by Houbigant. Notes we smell are: Bergamot, Lemon, Lavender, Leather, Tobacco Leaf, Rosa Damascene, Coumarin, Musk, Galbanum, and Moss. A Musky Fougere (also fits the Chypre format), with incredible density, nice development, and big sillage. It sits on the skin with a spicy, green, velvet quality that is unparalleled. Highly recommended. (Samples were taken from all three bottles in the photo, and found to be very similar, despite one being called "AfterShave/Cologne" instead of simply "AfterShave")

The next MM we sampled was the vintage "Cologne" by Parfums Parquet* in the clear bottle. The straw color was much lighter than the Houbigant juice, and so was the formula. I would put concentration of oils at about half that of the Houbigant AfterShave. A lilting Lemon opening gives way to a Waxy, Rosy heart with Green Notes. The Spice, which gave the original formula sparkle, is very subdued. Any costly Resins have been eliminated. The Musk is likely synthetic, and takes a good half an hour to really develop. It is mild and pleasant, but juxtaposed to its predecessor, it's a mere phantom of the original.

This brings us to the readily available and reasonably priced cologne currently issued by the third manufacturer of this scent, Dana. Compared to the Cologne by Parfums Parquet, Dana has amped up the opening with more Bergamot. They revived the Lavender from the Houbigant original, and replenished some of the Spice- albeit a jagged, shallow, and generic one. My guess is that it's some sort of "spice blend" put out by fragrance base manufacturers. Missing here, that's present in both previous versions, is a supple base (Leather and Moss in the Houbigant and Wax in the Parfums Parquet). Without adding the cost of a good fixative to the formula, it could benefit from a little Vanillin to warm things up. It's a sharp and empty, but on the skin of a man, it could come alive.

b.n. Fragrance Notes are not official, only our impressions.

*Although Basenotes has Parfums Parquet listed as the original maker, to the best of my knowledge it is a subsidiary or descendent of the House of Houbigant. I believe it owned and manufactured the MM formula before it came to Dana.
17th October, 2015 (last edited: 19th October, 2015)

Germaine by Germaine Monteil

I don't think anything I say could improve on msveronica9's review- her take on the notes is amazing, and her comparisons to similar frags is dead-on. I would like to add that I also get some type of watery flower, like Cyclamen or Lotus, in the heart, and some type of true animal, likely Musk, in the base. A very elegant and beautiful scent from a period when fragrances like this were all the rage.
11th August, 2015

Replique by Long Lost Perfume

Replique is one of those scents where the quality and character of the scent is closely tied to the vintage. Today, I am lucky enough to be wearing (what I believe to be an early 80s) splash EDT by Parfums Raphael, with little discoloration and oxidation. The bottle is hourglass shaped and the box has an abstracted French flag.

The application opens with the a blast of vintage aldehydes, but once upon warm skin, it develops quickly. Replique is a heavy, classic chypre, weighted more with Lemon than Bergamot. In this way it reminds me of Adolfo II. The heart is primarily Lily and Jasmine, almost certainly an absolue. The heart is vegetal and waxy. Spices are perfectly balanced, because without them, the heart would be unbearably sweet, however they do not make a stand of their own. This is like an incredibly rich, honeyed dessert with spices and lemon rinds. Delectable! The base is primarily mossy and resinous, and for sure has authentic musk.

Sillage is big, and longevity insane (20 hours and going strong, what with all the fixatives in the base). Initial drydown retains a good dose of all the ingredients in the top and heart, for a couple of hours. Long term drydown is Powder over Ambergris. Really intense stuff! The green, soapy character reminds me a bit of Aromatics Elixir.
13th May, 2015

Étoile du Sud by Fragonard

Today, I had the rare opportunity to sample this beautiful scent in the vintage parfum (15ml, gold aluminum canister). There was a small amount of evaporation, and the color a dark rose, however this may be normal. The perfume was in top notch condition. It is an effusive floral of the highest caliber. Exquisitely feminine, with Hyacinth, Lilac, Lily of the Valley and Ylang-Ylang as the dominant notes. The Jasmine is balanced and not indolic in the least. Etoile du Sud is fairly linear (as some parfums are) but rises off the skin in a cloud that evokes not just the scent of the flower, but also of the leaves, twigs, and moist soil out of which the plant grows. The Ylang-Ylang is dominant and serves as the fixative, but still allows the florals to take the spotlight. I would also guess there is Oakmoss in small amounts.

Highly recommended if you can find it.
05th February, 2015

Face à Face Femme by Façonnable

Face a Face by Faconnable is lovely scent for spring and summer days. The coriander gives a sharp effect that quickly fades into a vegetal white rose. What might have been a flimsy fragrance steps up with a soft base of cedar and spicy marigold, accentuated by a tasteful dose of patchouli. This scent is offered in an EDT concentration but is actually more of a "veil". Recommended for those who want a fresh, polite scent that does not shout.
31st August, 2014

Epris by Max Factor

Review is for the pure perfume, from a previously unopened vintage bottle. Dark color indicates oxidation although there is no evaporation.

A sweet and boozy entrance, with lots of Benzoin, Carnation, & Jasmine, blends seamlessly into a mincemeat pie of spices-Cinnamon, Nutmeg, powdered Ginger- enveloped in Damascan rose, all anchored by what I am sure is natural Beeswax and Patchouli. The collision of notes calms nicely within about 15 minutes, when Oakmoss serves as the canvas for muted versions of the previously screaming notes. A beautiful perfume for the holidays.

Despite the designation as a Chypre, I do not get any citric notes in the top; perhaps they are degraded in my bottle.

The longevity and concentration are insane; a mere drop lasts close to a day. At $10 for a mini of perfume, this is not to be missed!
18th August, 2012

Presence by Houbigant

Presence opens with a strong and sharp burst of aldehydes atop citrus, which last but a few moments before a powdery blast of neroli and jasmine come forth. Quick on their heels is a piquant woody spiced soap with helitrope and wax. Strength in the Eau de Toilette is outrageous, propelled into huge sillage by the undying aldehydes. Although created by Parfums Parquet, a subsidiary of Houbigant, this perfume feels distinctly American in brashness. I have worn this for a week now, and cannot seem to find a fondness for it, despite the ingredients being of very good quality, in high concentration, and decently put together.
16th December, 2011
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Narcissus by Yardley

I am not terribly familiar with Yardley fragrances, but this scent presents as the soliflore it claims to be. The opening has the waxy round scent true to the narcissus flower....I don't get any of the orange mentioned by castorpollux in the review above, but my bottle has been hanging around for quite some time so possibly these notes are damaged. I don't find the sweetness of the hyacinth either, but, then again, Yardley says about its floral fragrances: " Each featured one or two key linear notes that remain constant throughout the scent, softened with subtle top, heart and base notes. The result is harmonious and exquisite." Possibly the supporting notes to the Narcissus are used very sparingly and are not intended to be noticed? The base is quite dry and definitely unisex. Sorry if this review is also dry, but I can't say anything about this scent moved me. Longevity is decent. "Narcissus" is not on the current Yardley website, so I assume it has been discontinued.
08th December, 2011

Skinny Dip by Leeming

Skinny Dip is a fresh cologne style scent with dry citrus, a light sweet fruit, and an animalic musk base. Really very lovely and well done! Compare to Jovan's "Woman" and "Eau Fresh" and Morabito's "Classique". My partial bottle from the 70s is in exemplary condition, likely due to being sealed from oxidation with a CFC propellant.
09th November, 2011

Route du Thé by Barneys New York

This is a a Bergamot bomb! Spice and warmth, with a sweet honey note about 10 minutes in. Honestly, I can't detect any LOV in there. The Amber base is delightful, but still heavy on the Bergamot. Route du The evokes Earl Grey tea with honey and lemon-very delightful, modern classic, & unisex. Niche before niche existed.
12th October, 2011

Vintage Naturals 2009 Mimosa by Demeter Fragrance Library

I was almost knocked out of my chair upon sampling this. I had just tried Demeter Naturals Lilac- a sweet mess not resembling Lilac in the least, and their Naturals Lavender, which is a crude and sharp lavender you would find in a linen spray.

Naturals Mimosa screams *high quality mimosa absolute*, with its sweet, sunny, radiant, waxy charm. The longevity is excellent, and the projection very good. Strength is comparable to a Parfum. Nearly a soliflore, Demeter Natural Mimosa is buoyed by spice, which I presumed to be cinnamon and/or pepper, but which is, surprisingly- Geranium. I don't find any of the fresh cat-pee notes of the stated Basil. The very full, round base complements the Mimosa Absolute by reinforcing the full, waxy character and giving it longevity. Simply delightful, and an excellent example of natural perfumery.

Compare to:

*Hiris by Hermes, another near-soliflore with high quality ingredients. I actually prefer the Demeter Mimosa, as it manages to be everything Hiris is, but without the synthetics, and much less grim. Mimosa is a sunny day with a warm breeze, and Hiris is a cold cloudy day in early December.

*Pur Desir de Mimosa by Yves Rocher, which employs a decent absolute, but in such a watered down state that I can hardly smell it at times.
23rd August, 2011

Muguet des Bois by Coty

Somehow a small parfum spray, likely 1980s, appeared on my desk. No cap, dark color, a certain victim of oxidation. I expected the worst...but, despite this, it manages to be absolutely delightful! The alcohol takes a minute or so to blow off, and there is certainly a "boozy" quality thanks to the oxidation, but I still enjoy this deep rosy lily on a velvet background of green woods. I give this bottle in particular a 3 or 4/10, and I am still managing to enjoy it, so now I'm on the hunt for other vintages in better condition.
15th August, 2011

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

This review is for the edt from a vial on card.

Mandragore possesses so few ingredients that it almost presents as a linear perfume. Fresh Bergamot dominates the entrance, if only for a short while. Within a minute, the fragrance settles into what it remains for about 4 hours; a sharp, simple, spicy melange of Bergamot, Black Pepper, Mint, Ginger, and (barely noticeable) Star Anise. The Bergamot and Mint are lovely, and manage to stand up well to the potentially overpowering Pepper. This is one of the more exemplary uses of Bergamot I have encountered. It is used throughout the composition to create balance, rather than existing solely in the top notes. The Star Anise is lost in the mix; I can't discern it. However, with so few ingredients, it must have some subtle effect. The Ginger is almost edible, and supports the Pepper in its role. The drydown is woodsy, similar to Sandal or Cedar, but more subtle, as it cannot compete with the Spice and ubiquitous Bergamot. I have never had the opportunity to smell the Mandrake Root, or Mandragore, so cannot comment on its presence or lack thereof. Due to its potent hallucinogenic effects, I can only imagine that it is used in minute amounts as a marketing cocktails containing Absinthe.

This is almost a gourmand, like gingerbread without the sugar. Mandragore gives the impression of being created predominantly of natural materials, but very carefully, and with some synthetic boosters. I see this on both men and women, but would prefer it on a man. This fragrance lacks roundness- without the addition of a voluptuous base like Tonka, Vanilla, or Amber, it requires the oilier skin of a man to have depth. I find it sits atop my skin, but never melds into it, even on a warm day.

Compare to current Idole by Lubin, which is both creamier and boozier, and has more character.
29th July, 2011

Cabriole by Elizabeth Arden

I was lucky enough to stumble upon a vintage new miniature bottle of Cabriole Cologne, with absolutely no evaporation, discoloration, or deterioration. Such a rare treat to find the top notes intact in a bottle easily 30 years old.

This is a beautiful Aldehydic Floral Chypre in the style of Snob by le Galion. Aldehydes over Bergamot lead into fresh floral notes of Jasmine and Rose, and Beeswax. The heart has a floral Spice note, likely Carnation, and an Elmer's Glue funk that I believe is a true animal base peeking through. The base is sturdy but soft spoken: Roses, Violets, Powder, and Wood. Perfect for spring or summer.

If you like Casaque, No. 5, Snob, Arpege, Y, Joy, or other classic aldehydic florals you will enjoy this on a day you want something light, but still substantial. Cabriole is a polite contrast to the domineering green chypres that dominated the 70s.
29th July, 2011

Version Originale by Jean-Marc Sinan

Having been a fan of the original JMS for Women for many years, I decided this was worth a sampling. I just received a vintage bottle of this courtesy of eBay, an edt tester with natural spray.

Aside from some deteriorated topnotes and a huge whiff of alcohol, due to the bottle's age, this has to be one of the more exemplary men's scents I have tried. It is quite 80s, a rich floral chypre with a masculine twist. The first thing that I noticed was an overripe lemon, then Ylang-Ylang, and lots of it. Luckily, the potential black banana tendency of Y-Y is balanced out very quickly by a classic rose/jasmine heart, accented by spicy carnation. It immediately brought to mind the iconic l'Arte de Gucci, which I enjoy in the edp. This is all wrapped in an incense/resin (maybe the Benjamin I love in Caron's Pour un Femme?) and plopped atop a warm patchouli base. There is also a an animalic salty note which makes this a very sexy scent as well. The drydown is a warm, dry sandalwood. Sillage is outrageous and longevity excellent. The quality of the ingredients is superb, and many are natural, is my guess. The transition from 70s patchouli to this is not so far...

The thing I appreciate most about V.O. is the unabashed use of florals in a masculine. Although V.O. is not particularly mossy, the patchouli allows it *technically* to be classified as a Chypre...although in my mind, it is more of a masculine Floriental. Easily worn by either sex, this is a beautiful scent.

Compare to l'Arte de Gucci, by Gucci Pour un Femme by Caron, Jean Patou 1000, and Boss Spirit by Hugo Boss. Notes per FragranceX are:

".... a mixture of lemon, pepper, lavender, jasmine, rose, carnation, lily of the valley, cedar, tonka, musk, and sandal."

V.O. is discontinued but has not been counterfeited, and can easily be found on eBay and other auction sites. Given the age, though, the potential for a damaged notes must be weighed against the cost of approximately $2/ml.
08th May, 2011

Magnetism by Escada

I was loathe to try this on account of the bottle's semblance to Very Irresistible, which does not work for me, and the fact that all of Escada's recent offerings have been for people many decades younger than I. Then, today, a stylish middle aged woman came into the shop today and asked for it...and I was tempted. So, before leaving, I gave myself a generous dousing and headed out...what a pleasant surprise! Fruity-Floral-Woody, all in potent doses, and delicious! I noticed mostly Currant and other berries, with a fresh note, followed by a synthetic but nice Rose. The drydown came only after an hour, and was cheap incense and powder, which I am still enjoying many hours later. Very potent with incredible sillage that provoked a few inquiries.

While this type of scent is not really to my taste, I must commend Escada on creating something which shamelessly screams "Smell Me", and has a well-balanced composition. I'll add this to Amarige, Poison, Giorgio, & Stella as a perfume that commands attention (loud). Wear carefully!

p.s. would be great as a stripper scent, second only to Dior Addict original.
27th April, 2011

Les Heures de Parfum - X L'Heure Folle by Cartier

This is the sacrificial lamb of the line. Given the enormous popularity of bubble gum themed perfumes, Cartier must have realized that without one this line would not have survived. And so, here it is- a nauseating blend of sticky fruits over a base that looks great on paper but can't stand up to the cloying tutti-frutti that dominates the top and heart. It has a slightly repulsive background note not unlike that in Guerlain's Insolence. At least the ingredients are not as cheap as the composition.
14th December, 2010

Les Heures de Parfum - XIII La Treizième Heure by Cartier

This is my favorite of the line thus far, a definitely unisex transparent leather. I always love citrus and leather, as in Hugo Boss' defunct Boss Spirit or Guerlain's Derby. While this is a far lighter and more modern composition, where the leather has a steely birch quality, and the citrus is fresh and tart, I still love the contrast of fresh and lively to dark and brooding. The vanilla makes XIII unisex, as it's just enough to keep the women in the game, but not to drive the men away. There is also some black tea in there, which surprised me because another in the series is a tea based scent. The patchouli is a minor player, and while it contributes to the base, this is in no way a patchouli scent.

My criticisms are that this is too light, especially for an EdP, and also that it is disproportionately costly for the concentration. Finally, it doesn't make me crazy the way I want my perfume to- it's simply too restrained given the exotic ingredients.
14th December, 2010

Orgia by Myrurgia

A testing for a 1960s (?) splash bottle of what is likely EDC reveals Bergamot entwined with sweet Jasmine and Rose, maybe with daffodil, atop a soapy base, possibly of Galbanum. Very nice and wearable even now, but definitely of archaic character for most people.
23rd April, 2010

Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange

To quote Robert Plant:

"squeeze my lemon 'til the juice runs down my leg"

(I know this quote loosely belonged to others prior to Plant's use, but SM really only applies to the way Plant sang [screamed] it.)

Seriously, though, before looking at any reviews or notes (I try to test blind whenever I have no previous knowledge of something that shows up in the mail), this struck me as seminal. Put more politely, it's a romp on a tropical beach. There is coconut in the top, with some dry green herbaceous/citrus notes, then a very metallic "salty" note. It mellows out after a while, leaving behind only the feeling of swallowed salt water. Reminds me of something Demeter would put out, only made with better ingredients and with some note tiering.

I rarely find a perfume I won't wear, but I have met my match. However, I give it a good rating for being interesting, and fairly well-done, if not to my taste (no pun...).

Update: All day this scent haunted me- despite a good scrubbing I kept smelling it everywhere, even in tangerine peels! Its felt presence made me uneasy-like maybe I forgot to take a shower.
30th January, 2010

Douceur de Vanille by Les Néréides

This has been compared to baby oil by more than one tester. I have to say, it is far more than that...Douceur de Vanille is a day at the beach- complete with baby oil for tanning, Desitin for baby bottoms and noses, melted chocolate almonds in a waxed paper bag, wild beach roses, salt air, warm squashed fruits, and sweating bottles of cream soda. Despite all this, DdV is not heavy or gourmand. This is not the powder of Flora Bella by Lalique or the candy of Montale's Chocolate Greedy, however, it may be the delicate and devastatingly beautiful sister of "L" by Lolita Lempicka. Instead, DdV is elusive, giving the wearer just a weaving glimpse of some uncertain seaside memory. I only wish it lasted a bit longer, but possibly that is part of its allure? Like others, I find something hauntungly familiar about this perfume. For me, perhaps it is the scent of past days at my grandparent's beach house. It is sure to hold a memory for you, as well....
26th January, 2010

Parfum d'Hermès by Hermès

The 1980s Chypre fragrances are by far my favorites. In the early part of that decade, perfume houses took the previously strict parameters of the Chypre family and blew them up. New- and always bold- designs were built upon the traditional Chypre chassis of bergamot, a classic floral meritage, and resinous or animalic moss. On the scene arrived such unlikely stars as the resinous, heavy fruit notes of Talisman by Balenciage, the outrageous ylang-ylang of banana in L'Arte de Gucci by Gucci and Pour un Femme by Caron, the brazen rose note in Rose Cardin by Pierre Cardin, peaty smoke as in original Versace for women, the spicy woody interpretation of original Fendi for women, the animal in Paloma Picasso (spicy) and La Nuit by Rabanne (straight up)...I could go on and on.

Parfum d'Hermes does not shout as loud as the exemplary scents above; it is a sleeper, the classy older sister who gets the good husband. She and sibling scent Ysatis (Givenchy, 1984, by Dominique Rompion) are modern executions of traditional chypre ingredients.

What I enjoy most about this perfume is the beguiling top- the aldehydes are paired not just with the usual bergamot, but also with the cloying sweetness of the hyacinth playing against the strong, green, spicy, woody Galbanum. It's like an entire composition in just 5 minutes. After this blazing entrance, Parfum d'Hermes calms down significantly and enters a classic floral heart with powdery jasmine atop a subtle velvet of iris. The rose is very quiet-it must be Damascan absolute, not a synthetic- and makes a discreet appearance only after 20 minutes. Both the character and the strength of the notes become quite modest, in contrast to the top. Half an hour in, one hardly notices the seamless transition into the warm, woody incense base, with a restrained vanilla note. While sillage lessens considerably, the longevity of this scent remains excellent, due most certainly to the fine ingredients.

My one criticism of this perfume: while I adore the top, it is out of balance with the much more restrained heart and base. Sort of like realizing you have been talking too loudly at a dinner, and trying to compensate by assuming a polite and softspoken demeanor. No matter how hard you try, no one will forget your first impression.
13th January, 2010

Urban Musk by Tom Ford

I am winging it here, without peeking at the notes or other reviews, so bear with me...Mint, dry horse poo, vanilla & spice. At first, all these notes compete-they do not synthesize until later on, at which point Urban Musk becomes fresh, pleasant, and comforting. In no way should this be compared to the horsey quality of animalic scents like La Nuit by Rabanne, where the animal scent is of warm skin and fur. This is definitely fecal, too much so for me, but luckily the indolic note fades after about 15 minutes, leaving only a soft, dry hay in its wake. The mint persists throughout but lessens in sweetness and takes on more of a Basil feel as some powdery florals show up in the heart. This fragrance should have some type of country-farm-in-the spring moniker instead of Urban Musk, which implies a sleek & metallic aroma. Sillage is discreet, longevity good. Easily unisex. While I am not sure if I would wear it, I give it thumbs up for originality and a well-constructed drydown.
05th January, 2010

Raffinée by Dana

This review is for the abominable reformulation of Raffinee by Parfums Aladdin of NY, the current distributor. It is the rectangular bottle with the square red plastic cap. To assure freshness for this review, I opened a new box of EdT from a recent shipment . I should note that I have not yet had the opportunity to try the original by Houbigant/Dana.

The top notes open with a very small amount of fresh citrus, and within 5 seconds marches in the most synthetic and awful Orange Blossom ever. At first, it reminds me of JPG's Fleur du le Male, which I sampled alongside it. Raffinee, however, has no aroma other than that of an old ashtray in a nasty diner. After an hour of this, and no development into a heart or base, I scrubbed it off. Not even sure if this can be considered a perfume.
30th November, 2009