Reviews by glitteralex

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    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


    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


    CH for Woman by Carolina Herrera

    I have little good to say about this scent. First, the components smell primarily synthetic. It is a lean scent, despite the supposed round notes of cinnamon, praline, woods, & leather. Second, it may be the choice of notes rather than the way they are combined, that dooms this perfume. A Citrus Floral Leather Gourmand? The citrus/pepper top reminds me of industrial cleaner, and the pomelo clashes horribly with the praline. The floral heart lies muddled and unnoticed. Once the top notes have blown off, the bearable drydown is mostly woodsy praline. I get no leather whatsoever. Despite all this olfactory action, CH lacks dynamism and manages to be boring as well as inferior. That's a blessing in this case.

    17th November, 2009


    Rumeur (new) by Lanvin

    The initial blast and first 10 minutes were so awful I didn't know if I could make it through. It smells like a generic "Floral Bouquet" air freshener from the dollar store. Finally, 20 minutes in, some rose arrives, still accompanied by the synthetic notes from the top. After an hour, piercing rose/white musk becomes tolerable, but if I want a plastic rose, I'll go for Madame by Lancetti.

    12th November, 2009


    Moments by Priscilla Presley

    Once in a while, there is a celeb fragrance that hits it right-Catherine Deneuve, Cher, SJP's Lovely. Moments is on that short list. Officially, I have seen it listed as a Floral Animalic Chypre, and it remains true to that category. The aldehydic sweet floral, herbal, powdery top notes supercede the heart and base only for a few moments, but the combination is intoxicating. The peach/bergamot pairing is reminiscent of Mitsouko by Guerlain (interestingly, they have some heart and base notes in common as well, but the overall compositions are very different). The floral heart is deep and complex, with strong notes of tuberose, rose, jasmine, and lily of the valley, and are anchored by the orris root. The entire composition rests on the outrageous base-it has every animalic fixative out there. The strong base makes this a long wearing scent even in the Edt, although I wear the pure parfum as well (I have lots of this to swap!). Interestingly, there is no spice in this scent. Thank goodness, since it's busy enough in there!

    My "panel" says it smells like "old ladies", and I can't disagree. This perfume has the grandeur of an old, classic scent. Frankly, Moments is a perfume created by and for women-it is not feminine enough to please men, or women who are interested in impressing them.

    The only thing holding this scent back from notoriety is the fact that it was launched as a mid-level perfume, and later sold in drugstores. Look past the marketing to the genius of its composition.

    17th October, 2009


    Insolence Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

    Sadly, this perfume reminds me of a rancid fruit salad in a diaper pail. On top of that, the ingredients smell cheap and synthetic. An embarassment for Guerlain.

    2 months later: I have given this another attempt. I think this is the worst use of violet-one of my favorite notes-I could imagine. Also, the plastic-iris drydown is loathsome. It has a very tenacious longevity and a shouting sillage. My daughter and her friend commented on "how disgusting' I smelled when wearing it....

    08th October, 2009


    Echo by Davidoff

    PLEASE USE THIS REVIEW. I inadvertently submitted the draft earlier this evening.

    This is a fragrance that I admire for one distinct reason: the notes seem suspended in a substrate of air. The spicy notes of chili, nutmeg, cedar, musk and sandalwood seem to float in the fictional airy-metallic-white suede. Echo is completely synthetic in nature, but, nonetheless, excellently executed. I do not categorize this as a traditional aquatic or a sporty scent, but something in its own genre. When male customers ask for something that is both light and spicy, I head them in this direction. There are numerous options for women in this category, but most men's "airy" scents are marine or herb based, not spicy. Think of having a spice-infused vodka martini. There is no warmth whatsoever in this fragrance.

    Personally, I find Echo too synthetic for me (or hubby). I prefer something with a more natural, resinous base that wears a bit closer to the skin- I don't like to smell a man's cologne before seeing him turn the corner. Here, the aldehydes are not obvious, but are integral to the nature of the scent by acting to lift the spices out and off the skin, and to create an effusive (if short lived-) sillage.

    02nd October, 2009


    Youth Dew by Estée Lauder

    I am disappointed to see the formulaic, reactive, and immature comments on this fragrance, along the lines of "old granny juice", "stinky and outdated", etc. While we may not find the style of a particular perfume particularly timely, according to fashion, shouldn't we, as perfume "experts", look beyond the style of the time to the craftsmanship, raw materials, and spirit of the scent? I am lucky enough to work in a perfume shop where I champion the personal choice of each customer-the scent that makes him or her feel splendid. Of course, not all of these scents are equally crafted, at least in my mind, but who is one to critique the taste of another in perfume? (ala Underglass' review)

    Youth Dew was EL's first perfume, introduced as a perfumed bath oil in 1953. During the war, perfumes were not commonly available, but bath oils were-so EL smartly created something familiar in form-if not in scent-to American women. She also told her audience of post WW2 customers that she had based this scent on a perfume her uncle had created for a Russian princess. This was quite a romantic image for a post-war suburban woman (of course, princesses did not exist in Communist Russia, making this fantasy politically acceptable as well). It was a smash success, and put the name Estee Lauder on American women's lips.

    I find Youth Dew beautifully made, and the ingredients of the highest quality, even in the current formulation. Jan Moran provides these detailed fragrance notes in her "Fabulous Fragrances II":

    Top Notes: Orange, Bergamot, Peach, spices
    Heart notes; Clove, Cinnamon, Cassie, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Orchid, Jasmine
    Base Notes: Franckincense, Amber, Vanilla, Oakmoss, Clove, Musk, Patchouli, Vetiver, spices.

    Of course, the Civet and Musk are now synthetic, and the Oakmoss may be too, but still this perfume boasts a preponderance of high quality ingredients, many likely natural in origin, put together in a distinct and timeless manner. Today, I compared the current Pure Fragrance Spray with the current Perfumed Bath Oil. The Bath Oil seems to have changed the least over time, if my memory serves me. It has the linear quailty of an oil, and is dominated primarily by orange, cloves and patchouli. The other notes are there, but in the background...seems like only the strongest survive in the oleo-substrate. The Pure Fragrance Spray has more lift, and goes through the 3 stated stages well. the presence of clove in both the Top and heart Notes makes this the main player in this perfume. The floral heart is beautifully blended, but plays like a background quartet to the smooth tenor of the Clove. Sillage and longevity in the PFS are very good, but no comparison to the Oil, which, if applied on the skin, remains strong and identifiable all day (or rather, night, as YD really is a nighttime fragrance). The Vanilla so discreet in the Oil shows nicely in the Pure Fragrance Spray after about 20 minutes, giving a soft and full quality to the larger than life spices. Both the Oil and the Cologne are soapy in the last stages of the drydown where the vetiver shines through.

    01st October, 2009


    Alexandra by Alexandra de Markoff

    Fragrantica lists the notes as follows: Top notes are south african sage and italian iris; middle notes are french narcissus, jasmine and moroccan rose; base notes are singapore patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver. Fabulous Fragrances II by Jan Moran lists the Top Notes as Marigold and Iris, and includes Civet in the Base

    This is a perfume that goes straight to the heart-literally. It possesses none of the usual Top Notes that bring an airy, bright note to a perfume. It is a beautiful and boozy blend of deep florals and spice. I do imagine there is Marigold, as the perfume has a spicy note throughout that is very pervasive and tingly. I also suspect there may be neroli oil in there somewhere. The Rose is most certainly Damascean, as it is deep and warm. Jasmine provides a syrupy sweet quality, all of which is mounted atop a predominantly Patchouli and Sandalwood Base. The resinous Patchouli continues the hard-driving nature of this scent into the drydown, but it is tempered by the soft round incense of the Sandalwood. There also seems to be some Vanilla in the base, but the Vetiver is nowhere to be seen, likely overwhelmed by the other power-notes. I imagine without it, though, the drydown would seem almost too hippie for modern taste.

    A very grownup and wintery perfume. It wears very well and remains strong even in this cold, arid climate. Nicely done, with good balance and a compelling composition. Very daring to use the difficult marigold and the temperamental Narcissus in one perfume

    29th September, 2009


    Beloved by Prince Matchabelli

    Beloved is a word that has always had a dark side to me.... as in "Come this way, my Beloved", as one is led into a dungeon.

    Just like the word, Prince Matchabellli's "Beloved" of 1950 has an alter ego as well. It opens with bright, deep notes of orange oil and chamomile. These blend quickly and seamlessly into a jasmine-rose floral heart with undertones of sandal and smoke. These meld beautifully into the skin, but after a while Beloved does some shape-shifting into an undeniable animalistic note. The herbal notes meld with what must be some incredible and authentic animal-based fixatives, to leave the wearer certain she is in a horse barn. This naughty fragrance is certainly an ancestor of my all-time favorite dirty perfume, La Nuit by Paco Rabanne.

    b.n. This review is from a 60s or 70s Cologne Spray (pre- flourocarbon ban, as this bottle has them). discoloration is minimal, with just a few seconds of "vintage oxidation to contend with. i rate it an 8 for freshness.

    b.n. I have no idea what the official notes for this scent are; these are only my impressions.

    27th September, 2009


    Dilys by Laura Ashley

    I I have been waiting a very long time to try this scent. I have sold plenty of it, but never dared to open a bottle....Finally, I scored a Parfum and decided I had to try it..

    Dilys greets me with a balanced composition-there is green, spice, and floral all at once. Also a resinous note-maybe galbanum? The peach and coriander dance across the rosewood-it is truly beautiful. After a few minutes appears brilliant gardenia-a real gardenia, not one of the new (albeit good) synthesized "tuberose gardenias". Like a parfum should, it wears very close to the skin. The peach is identifiable but not overwhelming (Amarige). Sadly the first 5 minutes is the highlight of this perfume. Quickly, it gives way to a traditional soapy floral heart, rather cheap in nature, and of no particular interest. As for the base, it's very weak, nondescript, musk.

    b.n. On paper, the "gardenia" dominates throughout. Unfortunately, my arm is not paper.

    24th September, 2009

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