Perfume Reviews

Reviews by vintage*red

Total Reviews: 154

Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens

This fragrance packs a wallop! It begins more tobacco smoke than tobacco and morphs into the richest brandied rose that I have ever experienced. It conjures up a scene of a gentleman smoking a pipe filled with a sweet cherry tobacco and drinking from a snifter of the finest cognac. Next to him is a kerosene lamp set on a table with a bouquet of red roses. I cannot wear this fragrance but I LOVE it on my husband. Wow!
18th March, 2013

Gris Clair by Serge Lutens

The first spray startled me. Instead of the soft scent of lavender from my garden, Gris Clair opens cold stone myrrhe with a menthol-medicinal lavender in the background. My first thought was "interesting, but not for me". Hours later, I started to notice a lovely sweet powdery herbal wood. I was in love and remain in love with this wonderful take on lavender and incense. A truly unique fragrance, even for a Lutens scent.
18th March, 2013

Vanille by Molinard

This is vanilla, plain & simple. It is not too sweet and it is not too strong. It is not a floral vanilla nor is it a boozy vanilla. It smells more like vanilla extract than artificial vanilla flavoring. It is perfect vanilla and nothing else. I like to wear this on days when I need a warm hug. I can wear this when I have a headache or any other malady, because it is comforting and uncomplicated. The sillage and longevity are remarkable as is the price. Molinard seems to be the best at producing value at a great price. For a knockout punch vanilla, try Habanita, also by Molinard.
27th December, 2012 (last edited: 17th March, 2013)
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Givenchy III by Givenchy

I was able to find a bottle of the original Givenchy III parfum, which I wore when it was launched and I was young! It has the elegance of the old Chanels, the quality of the old Guerlains and the quiet splendor of the old Diors. It doesn't have the youthful exuberance of the original Y (which I also wear & love) but it does share the same green brightness. It is all there...bergamot, oakmoss and patchouli, but it is so beautifully crafted that I cannot quite separate those beautiful notes! There is no substitution for oakmoss right now, but I am hoping for the day when some genius chemist comes up with something that will bring back chypres to their former greatness. I have not tried the reformulation, so I treasure the old and will have hopes for the new.
27th December, 2012

Santal Blanc by Serge Lutens

Santal Blanc is the masculine Un Bois Vanille. It is a lovely vanilla sandalwood with balsamic notes in place of the fruity notes of Un Bois Vanille, which is one of my very favorite vanilla fragrances. Sillage and longevity are excellent for both. Santal Blanc is both soft & warm and bold & bracing all at the same time! It is no longer available in this country, which is a shame.
27th December, 2012

Piment Brûlant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

L'Artisan fragrances are hard to forget or hard to wear or both. For me, 10yrs after it's launch, Piment Brulant falls into the category of hard to forget. I tried a sample years ago but never made a purchase. This year I asked and was granted a big bottle as a Christmas gift. I could never quite get the thought of wearing a Mexican mole sauce out of my mind. This fragrance is gourmand but not in a sweet," foody" sense. It starts as sweet red bell pepper and quickly turns to chocolate and finally to vanilla. I love when all of these scents reach an apex of delight! My only regret is that it has slight sillage and staying power. I will try this again in summer to see if I have better luck!
27th December, 2012

Coco Noir by Chanel

My first reaction was "Chanel, in the form of Angel". My second reaction was "Chanel, in the form of Lolita Lempicka". There is no anise note stated in the description, but I can smell it. Thus the noir? Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad fragrance, but I have smelled it all before. And the elegance of Coco is lost in a gooey, fruity patchouli that is infused with licorice. Chanel was kind enough to send me a sample beautifully wrapped in Chanel splendor, but I think that I will stick to Coco which was once considered a "Big 80's" bowl you over oriental. I got the streamlined elegance of Coco right from the beginning but this new Coco Noir just makes me appreciate the old Coco even more! A reluctant "thumbs up".
28th August, 2012

Vitriol d'Oeillet by Serge Lutens

Unlike any other Lutens, this fragrance is very "chypre-like" so it captured my heart immediately. It speaks with a clear but not loud voice. The slightly spicy accord comes from the scent of old-fashioned clove carnations, which are more peppery to my nose than they are spicy clove. It is a "clear" scent, especially for Lutens, but it is in no way "sheer". Although there is a floral element, I would not classify this as a floral. And, I would not call it angry, either. Instead, it unfolds with a brightness and a playful elegance like many classic Chanels. Longevity and sillage are moderate and I can imagine this on a man or a woman. Unusual and compelling, it is a winner!
28th August, 2012

Violette In Love by Nicolaï

This one is a lovely but shy violet/iris accord that is sweetened by raspberry and saved by a good dose of pepper and a pinch of musk. There are similarities to Insolence, but Insolence packs a punch that keeps things interesting. There are no green notes as in Aimez-Moi or vanilla notes as in the new L'Heure Bleue, either. This Violette is fairly sheer and dry yet it never approaches the painful beauty of the sheerest violet, Apres L'Ondee. For violet lovers, only...
27th August, 2012

Aimez-Moi by Caron

I have sampled scents from the Caron line, but I never made a purchase until Aimez-Moi. The price is so reasonable that I made my purchase "unsniffed". What a pleasant surprise! This lovely lady opens bright & green. Violet leaf & bergamot give way to a light caraway/anise aroma. Next comes cardamon & white flowers (probably my least favorite part of the progression). Lastly, I smell heliotrope joined by a very light dose of amber & vanilla. The green opening notes still shine through the vanilla and keeps the whole affair from becoming too powdery. The fragrance unfolds over a long period of time and the longevity is admirable. Somehow this perfume is "old fashioned" without being "old lady". I didn't think that perfumers still did (or could do) this sort of thing. I am truly impressed!
08th December, 2011

Cuir de Russie Parfum by Chanel

Maybe it's me, maybe it's the new regs, but I am so dissappointed in this fragrance. Yes, it is well balanced like any respectable Chanel, but my problem is that this scent is too well behaved. It starts as a soft floral leather and ends...period. It is not long lasting on my skin and it never "blooms". It is not evil nor is it unusual nor is it beautiful. It's pretty while it lasts, which is not enough for me to buy another bottle. On my third try, I just sprayed over it with Cuir de Lancome. Sorry, Folks.
06th October, 2011

Bois des Îles Parfum by Chanel

After a floral aldehyde opening, this fragrance settles down and becomes soft & creamy without becoming powdery. I always am astonished by the quality of Chanel sandalwood, and it is at it's best here. I also detect just the slightest bit of incense during the drydown. This scent is sweet but not sickening. Unfortunately, on my skin, Bois des Iles does not last. But it is lovely and would be perfect in just about any social situation. I definately see this as a unisex fragrance.
23rd March, 2011

Yendi by Roberto Capucci

Love at first sniff! This is the softest, warmest green fragrance that I can imagine. The florals seem fresh, buoyed by a touch of citrus & peach. The florals seem new, blended with honey & amber. The sandalwood is beautiful, more beautiful than that of the current Chanels. This perfume qualifies as a chypre, with it's bergamot beginning and it's oakmoss finish, but it is as soft as old flannel. It wears close to the skin and it is perfect for any season or any occasion. Thank you once again, Basenoters. I would never have tried this one without your comments. It is a beauty and it is very special.
05th January, 2011
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Molinard de Molinard by Molinard

Fresh, peachy citrus top notes are joined by greens, spring flowers, incense & vetiver. This is a light, happy fragrance which wears close to the skin in the drydown. I like it in spite of the fact that the fragrance unfolds too quickly and that some of the notes are lost in the drydown. I imagine that this has suffered during reformulation. I will try to get my hands on some vintage juice, because this perfume is worth knowing better. The longevity isn't bad provided you layer with the lotion. And the price makes this a bargain!
04th January, 2011

Fig-Tea by Nicolaï

Too sweet. Too watery. Too tame & typical. Not enough tea; no fig that I can detect. Might be better as a masculine.
31st December, 2010

No. 19 by Chanel

There are more versions of this fragrance than I care to contemplate. The original was a shockingly green floral & brittle leather. I could not envision wearing it at the time. It was heartless and cruel. The reissue that I sampled from The Perfumed Court, my least favorite version, is a green No 5. The limited edition edp from the Chanel website is a very soft (maybe too soft) green floral suede that wears close to the skin. It is beautiful and approachable and the easiest to wear. It captures the idea of the original without really smelling like the original, much like the new Bois des Iles compared with the old Bois des Iles. The limited edition edt is brighter & greener than the edp but still very friendly. All versions of the pure parfums echo their counterparts but are deeper and richer. Nevertheless, all are worth sampling. Overall, I give this fragrance (these fragrances) 4 stars.
27th December, 2010

Y by Yves Saint Laurent

Y pure parfum is soft & lovely. Y edt is bright & lovely. But Y edp is the star. It starts with a peachy bergamot (similar to Mitsouko) followed by a floral heart. The final notes give more than a passing nod to leather but never approach an unfriendly, hard leather. It is a classic non patchouli chypre and I can understand why it has a loyal following. Y is not outstanding in any way, but it is a wonderful example of a now defunct class of perfumes.
26th December, 2010

Envy by Gucci

What a beautiful floral! It is green and translucent. It emphasizes white florals but is balanced by iris. It reminds me of Ivoire but it does not turn soapy or powdery or sour. Envy somehow walks the fine line between old fashioned and modern. She manages to walk that line with unusual grace & charm. The pure parfum is soft & beautiful. The edt is bright & cheerful. My only regret is the modest longevity for the edt. The edp is STRONG with incredible longevity. Gucci no longer carries Envy on their website, so get it while you can.
23rd December, 2010 (last edited: 24th December, 2010)

Angel by Thierry Mugler

I am late to the Angel party, and I think that I should have stayed home. My first reaction was "Lolita Lempicka minus anise". Actually, this is a strawberry sundae sprinkled with patchouli and topped with whipped cream. And this is the friendliest patchouli that I have ever known! I don't really like it, but I don't dislike it either. It is what I thought Miss Dior Cherie would smell like but didn't. For whipped cream, I prefer Un Bois Vanille. For a slightly gourman patchouli, I prefer Coromandel. I do like the strawberries, but I doubt that I will be in a strawberry mood very often. Having said all of this, you must give Angel a try just for the novelty of it all!
23rd December, 2010

Cristalle Eau de Toilette by Chanel

I was so excited when I found an older version of the edt in my "give away" drawer! My find drives home the fact that the newest version is simply a shadow of it's former self. The soaring top notes of vintage edt shriek. The bergamot is Earl Grey tea, not lemon. The rosewood, vetiver & oakmoss demand your attention. The old Cristalle edt was a bitch; the new edt is a fresh kid. Having said all of that, Cristalle is still a marvel in this age of pink gourmand. And she did not cop out by morphing into a soft, comfortable suede like so many new chypres.
17th December, 2010

Jean-Louis Scherrer by Jean-Louis Scherrer

This fragrance is Green_Green_Green, with leather lurking in the background. It is not for the faint (or young) of heart. It is complicated & sophistocated. The opening is a shocking dose of aldehydes & greens. Next comes a leathery rose, gardenia & tuberose accord followed by a green oakmoss, civet, vetivier & cedar drydown. Vanilla & musk also are listed in the bottom notes, but I cannot detect softness anywhere in this unrelenting fragrance. Visions of Joan Crawford with a whip flood my thoughts. I'm glad that I found a bottle on Ebay, because perfume like this no longer can be made. I am grateful for the opportunity to own Scherrer and will treasure my "little dose of pure poison".
27th October, 2010

Beige Eau de Toilette by Chanel

To my nose, Beige is a sheer lily of the valley fragrance, even though this flower is not listed in the notes. Beige is the Chanel version of Diorissimo. Lovely, but not outstanding. Longevity is moderate.
16th October, 2010

Sycomore Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Sycomore's cypress/juniper/vetiver accord is the first thing that I notice. This is followed by white flowers (with a nod to iris) and incense. I can smell styrax. The styrax, along with the white flowers, provides a touch of sweetness. The fragrance has that Chanel clarity and austerity. In many ways, it reminds me of "Passage D"Enfer" by L'Artisan. However, on this particular "highway to hell", Sycomore takes a limosine. Classy, lovely, unisex and definately Chanel.
16th October, 2010

Rochas Femme (new) by Rochas

Femme starts out tart, acidic lemon. Next comes a nondescript floral scent followed by leather. I can see that this has suffered through the new regs. If not for Serge Lutens and the Chanel Exclusifs, I would fear that we will all smell like cheap lemon leather! My favorite leather remains Cuir de Lancome, a beauty that was never popular and probably is now out of production. Sad.
16th October, 2010

Tabac Blond by Caron

I have never smelled the old Tabac Blond. I can only imagine how wonderful it was. However, this review is for the new version. Tabac Blond starts out spicey vanilla tobacco with a touch of vetiver. I thought, "Wow! A refined Habanita with a beautiful brightness & clarity." Unfortunately, this impression lasted only for a few moments until the scent trailed off into an overly sweet, slightly floral memory. 5 stars for the first minute, 0 stars for the nothing that followed.
16th October, 2010

Coromandel Eau de Toilette by Chanel

As soon as I received an email from Chanel stating that they were offering a few of their Exclusifs in 2.2 ou bottles, I ordered Coromandel. I don't own a patchouli fragrance and decided to try this one. After the first spray, I thought of Chanel No 5. That impression lasted only seconds. Next came a blast of strong, tart, spicey patchouli steeped in austere incense. Finally, the patchouli was joined by cocoa...not sweet chocolate, but rich cocoa beans. For me, this fragrance is all about sharp angles and not about soft curves. Unlike Coco, it has no heart. It wears like a masculine. Will I replace this bottle? No. Am I glad for the purchase? Yes.
15th October, 2010

Van Cleef by Van Cleef & Arpels

Nice aldehyde floral (orange blossom, rose & jasmine) with just enough gallbanum and bergamot in the top notes and cedarwood in the bottom notes to keep it interesting. In a fit of nostalgia, I bought Tiffany on line, thinking that I was buying Van Cleef. Sorry..I get my jewelers confused :) Memorable, if not inspiring, and one of my favorite green florals.
15th October, 2010

Zagara / Orange Blossom by Santa Maria Novella

Nice orange blossom while it lasts, which is not long.
15th October, 2010

Lily & Spice by Penhaligon's

I was certain that I would love this. I don't. The fragrance starts with a nice oriental lily note and ends with an unpleasant watery patchouli. Possibly a casualty of the the new regulations?
14th October, 2010

Chypre Rouge by Serge Lutens

This is the first Serge Lutens fragrance that I cannot appreciate and that I will NEVER wear. I get none of the notes listed. What I do smell is salty coriander, cumin & curry. Chili, anyone?
13th October, 2010