Reviews by dagmar

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    dagmar
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    Showing 1 to 16 of 16.
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    Arpège by Lanvin

    The aldehydes make this very reminiscent of Chanel No. 5, yet the dry-down is slightly fruitier, spicier, and complex. Overall, it is a lovely, classy, soft, dry floral wood that would be perfect for any nice occasion. I like No. 5 very much but it is a little too well-known, I'd like to smell a little different. This is the warmer alternative. And -- OH! -- the comment about the mini is absolutely true. My mini had a sickly smell I didn't like but it is not present in the EDP (I got the gorgeous black boule bottle), which is far crisper and dryer.

    12 July, 2009

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    Chaos by Ava Luxe

    This is a bone-dry spicy incensey scent that would be perfectly suitable for a man or woman who doesn't want any sweet amber drydown. Not sure yet whether it's better for winter or summer.

    19 June, 2009

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    Jean Nate by Revlon

    So I was at the drugstore on this 99 degree day and saw a gigantic bottle of this for $7 and thought what the hey. Of course, growing up in the '70's we had a bottle of this in our bathroom and I used to splash it on with reckless abandon, aping the commercials. The smell of it is so deeply engrained I don't think I can be objective about it, but to me it still smells nice. If this has been reformulated, like nearly everything has, it's possible it was once more powdery, but I really can't discern much difference in the product I bought today and that of 30 years ago. This has aloe vera and is nicely cool to splash on, and nicely moisturizing but not oily. The drydown is sort of generic soapy, totally inoffensive. Personally I prefer the smell of this to the more beautifully packaged European version, 4711.

    16 June, 2009

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    White Musk by Body Shop

    Like most "white" (or clean, soapy) musks, this oil starts off a bit strident, a bit obvious, but eventually softens as it melts into the skin. This is a good summer daytime alternative to the Kiehl's Musk, which has a richer, slightly funkier aspect more suitable for evening or cooler weather. This is less sweet and insipid than other white musks I've tried, like Alyssa Ashley or Jovan. Not terribly interesting, but inoffensive.

    13 June, 2009

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    Cabaret by Grès

    I was able to buy a huge bottle of this for very little, unsniffed, and I am pleased. It is extremely sheer and clean. I do not get any sweetness at all, just rose and wood. The drydown, to my nose, is quite paper-y. Perfect for work and other occasions that require something nice and subtle. Funny, but the name "Cabaret" would lead someone to expect something smoky and leather-y, no? But rather this reminds me of an expensive stationary shop. Also, it is very unisex. I'd like it to be called "Escritoire." But I really kind of like the fun, 1920's bottle.

    04 September, 2008

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    Private Collection by Estée Lauder

    This is like a richer, more floral version of Alliage, which I adore. I would say that you could wear Alliage during the day, PC at night. It shares the same lovely, wet-cut-grass scent as Alliage, but with a honeysuckle/jasmine note that makes it sultry, while remaining green. Nice.

    14 August, 2008

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    Alliage by Estée Lauder

    I really love this stuff. It's the perfect thing to wear in the summer heat, as it emits the loveliest cool green freshness, while still retaining plenty of that Estee Lauder elegance. My mother wore this in the 70's and it was far more bitter and strong, but the reformulation has a softer drydown, I think, which makes it easier to wear. Yeah, I'll admit it took me a while to get into this. I thought it was just way too green, too dry. But this is the olfactory equivalent of lying on a cool green grass lawn on a thin cotton quilt. You know how good the ground smells when you bury your nose in it? I wish more people would give this a chance. I live in a very hot climate and the popular sweet stuff everyone wears is just not appropriate and can get nauseating.

    25 July, 2008

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    Karma by Gorilla Perfume [Lush]

    I really really wanted to like this because I wanted a solid perfume to take on vacation. It's either my body chemistry or my nose but all I could smell was sweet orange. I kept thinking about those old Orange Julius drinks I used to get at the mall in the '70s (loved them, but don't want to smell like them.) I didn't get any complexity or much patchouli in the end. Just inordinate sweetness. However, others have said they find it unsweet. Weird.

    05 July, 2008 (Last Edited: 08 July, 2008)

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    Sensuous by Estée Lauder

    I absolutely love the drydown on this. Just the most gorgeous wood, and more beautiful to my nose than some far more expensive niche scents. My husband is very lukewarm on perfumes in general and he said he absolutely loves this, so I got a carded sample for "special occasions." The problem I have is the journey to the drydown. It is far too sweet to my nose, almost cloying. It's possible that the lily is affecting me (I can't stand the scent of lillies) negatively. The only way I could wear this is to spritz myself and then shower (I liked the scent best after a thorough scrubbing). It would almost be worth the waste. All in all, I think this is an excellent new perfume for a company with a long history of excellence, and I would love to see them try a "tea" based scent next.

    04 July, 2008

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    Lotus Bleu by Roger & Gallet

    I bought this blind at a funny drugstore simply because of the beautiful art deco bottle, the great name (of a Tintin comic!) and the ridiculously low price (for something so nice-looking). My bottle of Antonia's Flowers was running low and I wanted something to wear all summer. Turns out this was a perfect choice, and now, even after "Perfumes: The Guide" turned my nascent interest into a full-blown obsession and I've started a collection, this still stands out as a great every-day scent. (such a pity they didn't review it!) It's perfect for hot weather because it has a fresh, cologne-like quality. It is not sweet or fruity and yet it is not dry, either. Rather it is beautifully balanced and definitely has a watery aspect without being at all "marine." There are soft herb-like and even tea-like qualities and the drydown has a soft woodiness. However, the whole is much more than the sum of the parts, and the whole is delicious. I hope more people will seek this out as an alternative to the more obvious.

    04 July, 2008

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    Antonia's Flowers by Antonia's Flowers

    I suppose this fragrance can rub people the wrong way but if you love it, you love it -- and I do. It is my all-time favorite floral and for me it is the blast of licorice/anise at the top that "excites" me. So fresh, not at all sweet and very distinctive. I believe it was meant to smell like the inside of a florest's shop, that fern-y fresh spicy something and it does, along with a sort of lemony lavender/violet softness. My only gripe is that on me it has very little staying power.

    04 July, 2008

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    Tea for Two by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I really really wanted to love this, as I, like the heroine of a Barbara Pym novel, believe that no problem life cannot be solved with hot milky drinks. Namely, tea! I favor the Yorkshire Gold with a good splash of whole milk, but I also love chai, green tea with honey, Laspsang Suchon, Oolong, you name it -- I love tea. And I would love to have a good tea scent be my "signature." Tommy Girl is more fruit and flower than tea to me but still very good. As I said I thought this would be better, but I just didn't care for it much. It is quite strong and pipe tobacco/smoky in the beginning, and after a while it turns into a soapy smell, like the little strong-smelling soaps you find in good hotel rooms. Something like that and quite harsh to my nose. However, I may try it again and let it dry down more to see. Hopefully, more perfumers will try to get tea right. Serge Lutens 5 O'Clock Au Gingembre is sort of tea with gingerbread-ish and nicer than this, I think. Still, not negative, just neutral now.

    04 July, 2008

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    Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden

    This was my mother's favorite as a teen. She says she used to finish detassling corn in the Iowa fields, take a shower and spritz herself and nothing smelled as wonderful. I'm not sure how truly wonderful it is but it IS a nice 50's midwestern farm girl kind of fragrance. Actually, the jasmine is quite overpowering in the beginning and a little strong, but the drydown is nice and soft. There is definitely something like sweet grass about it and that is not at all bad, but personally I prefer the sweet grassiness of Dior's Dune. Still, it's nice to have a bottle of history around.

    04 July, 2008

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    Dune by Christian Dior

    This is my current favorite perfume. To me it smells just like dried sweet grass, warmed by the sun. Every time I smell it, my mind confabulates a memory of jumping into a huge pile of soft, fragrant hay and rolling around ecstatically. To my nose it has no edges, no jolts, just a pure blast of hot hay that gradually fades to nothing.

    04 July, 2008

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    Dioressence by Christian Dior

    I have a vintage mini of this that I just discovered in a drawer. I haven't tried the reformulation but I can say that this smells really beautiful. Very well-constructed, deep and rich and not as terribly "perfumey" as some of the vintage scents can be. There is something very peppery in it to my nose in the middle, and as it dries there is something almost buttery. Still something, I suppose the geranium, keeps in from being full-blown powdery and adds a little edge, a bit of interesting sharpness. It is not sweet at all, and might be a nice masculine. I'd put this in the same general category as Chanel No. 5 and Youth Dew, but not as prim. Very sophisticated and almost exciting. So glad I opened that drawer!

    04 July, 2008

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    Ma Griffe by Carven

    I bought a bottle blind of this and am so disappointed that it disagreed with me. I tried so hard to like it, even tried it on my husband but -- just no. There is just a strong something -- or some memory of someone -- that is making it impossible for me to love, or even tolerate. So sad because the name, the history, the style, the bottle, even the font, is so great. Boo hoo.

    04 July, 2008

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