Reviews by BlackCat

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    BlackCat
    United States United States

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    Zephir de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine

    A very pretty rose soliflore. This rose strikes me as a dark pink one--not too girly, but not particularly deep. I got very little anise or basil (neither is a favorite note of mine), just enough to give some lift. Zephir is slightly softer and less green than SL's Sa Majesté La Rose, and it has better lasting power on me. Worth a try!

    07 March, 2011

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    White Jasmine & Mint by Jo Malone

    From the below reviews, I guess this is a love-it-or-hate-it frag! It works very well on me. I get some aromatic mint and green in the top notes after a brief alcohol blast, then lots of slightly-creamy jasmine, drying down to a pleasant woody musk. The mint and jasmine do indeed complement each other on my skin, though the mint note is gone in about 15 minutes for those who are not fans. Longevity is decent, especially for a Jo Mallone, but sillage is light. It's my go-to when I need a lighter fragrance.

    07 March, 2011

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    Une Folie de Roses by Les Parfums de Rosine

    What a pretty, spicy, rose chypre! I agree, it's definitely more chypre than floral. I could see how, if this one goes wrong, it goes really wrong, because it's definitely not a shrinking violet. NB: I dabbed, rather than spraying, which probably reduced the aldehydes, as well as the potency.

    14 October, 2009

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    Waikiki Pikake by Pacifica

    I had a tough time deciding whether to go thumbs up or sideways on this review. It starts out quite nice and is very reminiscent of Kai--gardenia and jasmine, but without Kai's stemmy notes (and without Kai's relatively high price). The fragrance is relatively long-lasting and has good projection. However, I didn't love the drydown--it had a note that, while not exactly aquatic, smelled just a bit too "slightly cheap candle." While it deserves a thumbs-up for the price, in the scheme of things, it's a neutral. White flower lovers who want to give their wallets a rest should definitely give it a try, though.

    12 August, 2009

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    Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    I guess this is a love-it-or-hate-it fragrance, probably based on differing skin chemistries. On my skin, it's a "love it." it starts out with a beautiful, dark red rose. (I get just the slightest hint of rubbery chemical, but it's gone in a minute or two, thank goodness.) As the rose note evolves, I also smell the rosebush's dirt and roots, and just a hint of skank. In the drydown, the rose note grows fainter, but then the wine dregs come out. Delicious and definitely FBW.

    12 August, 2009

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    Tabac Aurea by Sonoma Scent Studio

    This starts a little sharp and earthy, then blossoms into a beautiful unsmoked pipe tobacco accord, supported by cedar, sandalwood, a hint of leather, and a modicum of amber. It's drier and has less cherry to my nose than other fragrances with tobacco notes, which makes it more authentic to my nose. Pipe tobacco fans, definitely try this one.
    (Perfumer's notes: sandalwood, cedar, tobacco, vetiver, labdanum absolute, leather, amber, patchouli, clove, tonka bean, vanilla, and musk.)

    29 May, 2009

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    Harajuku Lovers - Lil' Angel by Gwen Stefani

    Definitely not for a perfumista, but not bad for a perfumista's 10-year-old niece. It's fruit candy all the way (Jolly Rogers and lollipops) but pleasant, well-constructed, and inoffensive enough for a mainstream fruity floral.

    21st May, 2009

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    Twilight - The Lovely Collection by Sarah Jessica Parker

    As a fan of the original Lovely and of jasmine, I thought I'd keep an open mind on this. Sadly, Twilight is one of the more dull fragrances I've tried in a while. It was hard to sort out any notes in the top and middle, although I do get some amber and sandalwood in the base. Simple, somewhat linear, simple, and ultimately a snoozefest. On the other hand, I suppose it could have been worse.

    17 April, 2009

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    Dark Rose by Czech & Speake

    Yes, this is reminiscent of Montale's rose aouds but is still distinct in my mind for its balance and subtlety. It's softer than Black Aoud but zingier than some of the softer Montales. Lovers of dark-ish woody roses (male and female) should give this one a whirl.

    15 April, 2009

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    Épice Orientale by Kristen Michèle Parfumeur

    This is a lovely, smooth, well-blended oriental, especially good as a "gateway" for those slowly getting used to the genre. It has a dense yet layered feel, and the spices float above the subdued floral heart and abstract base.

    21st February, 2009

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    Marc Jacobs Splash Gardenia by Marc Jacobs

    The gardenia note is nice (albeit a bit thin) and surprisingly long-lasting, but it was accompanied by a prominent melon note. I'm not a fan of melon notes (hence the neutral thumb), but if you're O.K. with it, you might enjoy this as an easy-wearing floral.

    17 December, 2008

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    Ginger Ciao 2.27 by Yosh

    I get creamy coconut, ginger, and a hint of basil on the top notes. Coconut and ginger are usually off notes on me, but for some reason (perhaps because they're naturals?) they work. They are exotic without being cloying or smelling like cheap suntan lotion. The florals are in the background but then slowly peek out. I'm not sure it's worth the money for a full bottle, but I think it is worth trying to see whether you like it and whether it works on your skin.

    14 December, 2008

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    Lyric Rain by Strange Invisible Perfumes

    It starts out with a bit of a medicinal-ish blast, which seems to be common to the house. It settles down quickly into jasmine, joined by blue lotus, with just a tiny hint of pink pepper. The florals continue into the base, joined by lavender and a hint of patchouli. It's very wearable, and yet it has a slightly dark and atmospheric sense, almost as though it's haunted. Light sillage but decent longevity, especially for a natural. A lovely and somewhat unusual fragrance.

    14 October, 2008

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    Moon Garden by Strange Invisible Perfumes

    This is a rather mutable fragrance, which I've found to be true of the other Strange Invisible Perfumes I've tried. The top notes came across as a rather dark floral, and I thought, "hmmmm, interesting." Then the petrol note Tovah talks about made its way in, at about medium-strength, so while not pleasant, it wasn't like being bathed in gasoline. Not being a fan of the petrol note, at that point, I figured that it wasn't wearable on me, so I stopped sniffing. Much later, I sniffed the drydown, which was lovely and smelled like that night garden after all. Worth a try, and I agree that this has the potential for being gorgeous on the right person.

    12 October, 2008

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    Narcotic by Strange Invisible Perfumes

    What can I say, my skin and nose seemed to like this one. This was the most "mainstream" of the SIPs that I've tried. I don't mean that in a negative way, because I found it the most wearable on me. It was somewhat reminiscent of Carnal Flower--the tuberose definitely predominates, after a bit of a greenish opening. However, the frag had a slightly darker, less "pretty" undertone, which I can't quite identify. It also avoided the "wallpaper paste" or "wet cardboard" note I sometimes get from tuberose frags. Lasting power was good for a natural, and the vanilla stayed in a supporting role, which is where I generally prefer it.

    12 October, 2008

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    Kai by Kai

    I first tried the Kai EdP and while I admired it and its sillage, it was a bit "death by gardenia" for me. While I love the white flower notes it contains (gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, and lily), it came across as a bit too cloying on me-YMMD. I prefer the oil. While it doesn't have the sillage of the EdP, it comes across as softer, and I get a little more wood and depth in the base.

    12 October, 2008

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    Sweet Lime and Cedar by Jo Malone

    Jo Malone says that this fragrance was inspired by Thai food. I can see where they're coming from--it's the sweet lime and tamarind, with just a hint of coconut. Not to worry, though, you won't end up smelling just like a Thai dish such as Tom Kha Gai (although it is delicious to eat). The sweet lime is really a delicious note--I was pleasantly surprised because I'm not a fan of JM's Lime Mandarin and Basil or Lime Blossom notes. Nice balance between the sweet lime and cedar, with the cedar predominating on the drydown. Sillage and longevity both seem reasonably good, which is not always the case with Jo Malones. This really does seem to be wearable by both genders. Worth a try!

    29 September, 2008

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    Mazzolari Carolina by Mazzolari

    A lovely take on tuberose. Not radical, to be sure, but a nice, full, pure, not cloying treatment of this beautiful flower. It's buttery, although less so than Fracas (in fact, it's quieter than Fracas, although it still has impressive sillage). It reminds me a bit of By Kilian's Beyond Love, but Carolina stays rounder on the drydown on me. I think that's due to a judicious use of jasmine. At first, I thought I didn't need another tuberose fragrance after Fracas, but this may be a worthy addition for tuberose lovers.

    10th September, 2008

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    Moroccan Mint Tea by Ava Luxe

    This is a review of the extrait. A nice, refreshing, relatively straightforward fragrance. It opens with a lemon note but fairly quickly changes to mint, tea, and a hint of sugar. The mint smells to me like a cross of spearmint and peppermint, which is good because I associate spearmint with gum. While the mint is the strongest scent, it is well-balanced by the tea.

    20th August, 2008

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    Jasmin Full by Montale

    While this was pleasant enough, I was surprised to find it meek and quiet on me, almost bland. I got little headiness and no indoles. And unlike the other Montales I've tried, it had little sillage or longevity. A bit disappointing on me, but I'll bet it's lovely on others.

    03 August, 2008

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