Perfume Reviews

Reviews by soirdelune

Total Reviews: 41

Nocturnes by Caron

Aldehydic, floral fizz. A bright, inoffensive scent for the working day. Distinctly recall my mother's '80s version being higher octane, but no great tragedy. This is a pleasant and harmless scent that can quite lift the spirits.
03rd July, 2012
03rd July, 2012

Enslaved by Roja Dove

Agreed. A better Habanita. Which makes it good.
23rd June, 2012
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Irisia by Creed

Am (inexplicably?) down on Creeds, and this is remarkable for being one of just a few of theirs that I like and would wear. It's a pleasant, leathery iris on me, not dissimilar to Lauder's Azuree. "Nice."
30th July, 2011

Dolly Girl Lil' Starlett by Anna Sui

Fruit, fruit, fruit and more fruit. Not recommended for the over-tens. Yurk.
01st August, 2010

Gucci Eau de Parfum by Gucci

Acquired very cheaply as (I believe) it is being discontinued ... A serendipitous purchase: full, sensual, elegant, and slightly dirty. When worn in winter the vanilla hangs heavier than I would care for, thought it generates many compliments from others. In summer, this smells fabulously leathery, which I love. The cumin smells raunchy. I enjoy this note very much.

My Significant Other 'complains' that this smells 'very Nineties' -- though why this should be considered problematic, I cannot fathom.
08th July, 2010

Vivara (original) by Emilio Pucci

This is a lovely perfume! A herby, slightly powdery and slightly sweet (honied?) green chypre. Blooms deliciously on the skin! I have a little vintage mini and am now madly in search of an FB. Very pretty indeed! New iteration bears no resemblance, whatsoever!
17th June, 2010 (last edited: 03rd July, 2012)

Kelly Calèche Eau de Toilette by Hermès

I did a double-take the first time I sniffed this scent; I seem to recall this was because I found it unaccountably 'plasticky'. Yet, like so many others here, I went back to it again and again and am now a firm and respectful fan.

Kelly Caleche is a superbly lightly-handled, translucent rose-y leather. It veils the skin very cleverly and pleasantly and lasts a surprisingly long time. It is cool (the orris note?), elegant and has an understated poise. I first appreciated its qualities when I wore it very happily to a job interview. Besides more formal and socially restrained occasions, Kelly Caleche is also good for weekend wear and especially for humid weather.

06th June, 2010 (last edited: 03rd July, 2012)

Divine by Divine

Nice enough but, in a word, YSATIS. Fine quality, handsome, but owes too much to its Givenchy predecessor to be truly remarkable.
05th June, 2010

L'Eau des Hespérides by Diptyque

Citrus, bitter herbs, and plankton. Urgh.
02nd June, 2010

Douro Eau de Portugal / Lords by Penhaligon's

There's a lot to love in this, but I'm afraid it just doesn't do it for me. Douro is, in fact, a rather 'heavy', robust cologne; it's so much more than just its lively hesperidic topnotes. I find the 'shaving cream' middle pretty difficult to pull off, though the fresh lavender and basil notes are undoubtedly lovely ...

I'm reluctant to admit that this is a masculine that I seem unable to wear. It's a truly refreshing scented experience on a hot, humid day, but the drydown, in particular, smells fusty on my skin. Over to you, gentlemen ...
21st April, 2010

Vers le Jour by Worth

This is for the 2000 re-orchestration. Picked this up, out of curiosity, for a mere 99p off Ebay, and very much looked forward to giving it a try. What can I say? Ugly, cheap, little candlestick bottle in tawdry packaging. Tragic to think that this was originally housed in Lalique bottles that now fetch top dollar at auction.

Scent is tolerable and ineffably 'modern': hesperidic top notes, a sweet floral (maybe honeysuckle?) middle, and a soft musk base, redeemed by a fleeting waft of curled pencil sharpenings (sort-of-cedar). Decent sillage -- while it lasts. All in all, it's very light and bright; somewhat like an attenuated version of O Oui de Lancome. I'm still longing to smell the old 1920s stuff.

Overall, I'd give this 2.5/5 stars.
09th April, 2010

Vent Vert (original) by Pierre Balmain

This review is for the vintage extrait. It is a warm, golden green. Sappy, rather than soapy, liquory rather than sharp. Blended and melded, to the extent that only the galbanum and rose really stand out on my skin. This is a perfect, freshly-crushed flower, complete with its waxy green leaves and stalks (vetiver). Incredibly lovely.
07th March, 2010
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L'Aimant by Coty

This review is for the vintage extrait, found for pennies on Ebay: what a joy! Extraordinarily pretty and -- as many have already observed -- a dead ringer for No. 5, but with a bit more "oomph". A full-bodied aldehydic floral, and very long lasting, too. Beautiful. The current drugstore iteration of the EdT is so unpleasant as to not warrant a review, in my opinion.
18th February, 2010

Que Sais-Je? (original) by Jean Patou

A beautiful, peachy chypre (at a guess). Think Rochas Femme, without the skank. Fruity and round. Gorgeous quality and longevity. An utterly adorable scent.
02nd February, 2010

Soir de Paris / Evening in Paris (new) by Bourjois

Too sweet, too horrible, too tragic. Loud and obnoxious. A sort of revolting, 'Tresor'-type fragrance. Overblown flowers and fruit. Yuk.
02nd February, 2010

Amour Amour by Jean Patou

Lovely, lovely stuff. A bright and impeccable floral -- think the sweetest violet and rose-- with a sultry base of jasmine that leaves a sexy smudge on the wrist. Impossibly precious. I shake my head when I smell it; it renders so many other (treasured and beloved) items in my wardrobe positively coarse by comparison. Just wish it lasted a little longer.
08th December, 2009

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

On this low-cloud, autumnal day, Vetiver Dance works a curious magic: grassy green, woody and exquisitely *creamy* (the tonka, I guess?). It is simultaneously soothing (in this brisk climate) and stark. Projects massively, wraps and lingers on the skin. For a vetiver scent, it's unique -- and good!
14th October, 2009

Jitterbug by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

I find Jitterbug a muddy, muddly mess. And its so-called 'vintage' properties translate, to my nose, as 'off'. Maybe it *is*off? A sort of caramelised topote and then a fudgy middle that offers no distinguishable notes or progression. Its only redeeming part is its pleasant drydown, which evokes whispers of -- dare I say it -- Tabac Blond. Otherwise, it's a thumbs down from me.
09th October, 2009

1000 by Jean Patou

So, so lovely. And now discontinued. A real tragedy.

For me, 1000 is one of the most glorious treatments of the violet note in all perfumery. Unlike the beautiful, but aldeydic, Le Dix, 1000 is both violetty and creamy. Perhaps this is the partnering with osmanthus. I wouldn't know.

1000 knows its own mind, and so does its wearer. It is by no means mainstream, but nor is it avant-garde. Rather, it is stately, accomplished, confident, and unabashedly assured of its own excellence. It is unapologetic in its quality, in a way that only Patou scents could ever be.

How very sad I am that this scent is now gone. I am fortunate enough to own a bottle of the extrait, and will treasure it always. Overlooked luxury and splendour.
08th October, 2009

Cuir Venenum 03 by Parfumerie Generale

Grotesque. Pleather and grape juice. A fruity leather? What were they thinking? Horrific.
04th October, 2009

Rumba by Ted Lapidus

Good lord this is strong! Incredibly so. This scent was wildly popular in the Middle East in the late 80s and early 90s, and to smell it again reminds me of there. There's no question that this is an original scent. I'd call it an 'incense chypre'. Can't believe it's an Ellena!
22nd September, 2009

Gardenia by Penhaligon's

This is a sweet curiosity. I have grown wary of gardenia fragrances lately: though I've never had the pleasure of smelling this tropical flower 'for real', I am conscious of constant assertions that no perfume ever reproduced its scent with veracity. So, I do not review this EdT in terms of its faithful replication of the gardenia flower's aroma.

What I experience with Penhaligon's interpretation is at first a limpid, watery 'gardenia' scent, boosted liberally with tuberose. Its topnotes are melony, cucumbery, fresh. Its middle is mainly a sprightly melange of magnolia and jasmine, fleshed-out and rendered more sensual with ylang-ylang. Projection is good; I am enjoying wearing this in small, steadily re-applied dabs, rather than braving a full-on spritz.
30th July, 2009

Extract of Limes by Penhaligon's

[B]Extract of Limes[/B] is just sensational. How did such a fabulous cologne get pulled in the first place? It's topnotes are so vivid, so green, so true, so ... lime-y! It's as though I just stuck my nose into a jar of Rose's Lime Marmalade, but without the sticky sweetness. This intial, bracing blast of citrus sticks around for a respectable while, yielding to a soft, musky, soapy, gently white floral base.

This is an uncomplicated, unisex, great quality cologne, which would profit from refrigeration for an extra-uplifting experience.
29th July, 2009

Night Scented Stock by Penhaligon's

Night Scented Stock is both clever and beautiful. It's a mysterious, unusual floral, with great progression and depth. It starts (especially on the touche) as something light and translucent, then quickly evolves and 'blooms', opening up to become something deeper, bolder and more tenacious. I find the evolution of this scent to be one of its most enjoyable aspects.

As one who rarely favours florals (especially soliflores), I find this delightful, and very definitely feminine. On me, it is purply, somewhat peppery, with pronounced ylang ylang and violet notes, the creaminess of tonka and musk, and the very softest patchouli at its base. It's very fine. What's more, it has really good sillage and longevity.

NSS was first created in 1976, and it shares the pungency of some of the scents from that decade. What's refreshing is how 'new' and 'modern' it actually smells. Immediately prior to trying it, I'd been sampling yet another department store, fruity-floral confection, which was positively drippy and insipid by comparison. NSS really does have more edge and personality.
27th July, 2009 (last edited: 16th November, 2012)

parfums*PARFUMS Luxe: Champaca by Comme des Garçons

A serious, grand white floral. Handsome, with considerable gravity. It's jasmine-heavy on me, with the interesting juxtaposition of a soft, citrus backdrop rubbing against tart pepper. Evolves steadily and impressively, through a slowly softening floral spectrum. Has the slightest whiff of pencil shavings at its base. Smells costly. It *is* costly.
11th July, 2009

La Nuit by Paco Rabanne

La Nuit is truly first rate, and I am staggered as to why this was discontinued. I find Paco Rabanne's current offerings 'unremarkable' at best, but this juice is wonderful, and smells of quality, if in a very monied '80s way. It is generally categorised as a leather, but on me it is more of a syrupy, sumptuous chypre, with the honeyed woods and oakmoss especially prominent. It's certainly forthright, and could be unisex to my mind, and is an audacious, Dynasty-era reworking of something far more stately and classic. It's a fabulous, glamorous scent with tremendous staying power and evolution.
09th July, 2009

Miss Balmain by Pierre Balmain

This review is based on my vintage [B]Miss Balmain[/B] extrait, of which I wore a small drop today. This is a just-up-my-street kind of chypre, and so confidently and skilfully complex that it is a real joy trying to pick apart its notes. All hail the great Germaine Cellier!

Couldn't quite recall why I hardly ever wear this scent ... But then, just a half-hour later, I remembered -- IT HAD GONE! Escaped from my skin in moments like an elegant, but blase, woman, who dazzles briefly with her presence, then turns her back, leaving only a mocking, scented trace.

Such scented encounters can often be alluring, but this almost enraged me, and left me feeling slightly disdainful! Miss Balmain is all top, with a bit of middle, but has no bottom!
08th May, 2009

Baghari by Robert Piguet

Is there a single Piguet scent that I don't find utterly amazing? They're all so excitingly varied, and yet I'd wear each and every one, in a heartbeat. Baghari, for me, is a grandiose aldehyde, extravagantly flaunting that 'icing sugar' note so pronounced in this genre. At its heart is a riot of full-bodied flowers, at its base a haughty, resplendent musk. As with all Piguets, it cocks a ballsy snook at insipid 'feminines', introducing a characterful pungent accord (bitter almond?). Self-possessed, strong, but, resolutely, [I]never[/I] vulgar, Baghari is a curious, 'anti-feminine' feminine, that presents sweetness, light and flowers with citric acidity, powder and spice. As is so often lamented on these boards, they don't make 'em like this any more ...
30th January, 2009

Parure by Guerlain

I'm a bit nonplussed, really. This is a Guerlain? It just doesn't seem to pack a 'typical' Guerlain punch. It starts out promisingly, with a pungent spurt of citrus, but this falls flat within seconds, then recedes into floral gentility. It is the middle that registers most positively with me: an impeccably orchestrated rose, lilac and jasmine blend, though this again subsides rapidly, to a nigh-on indiscernible base. No [I]guerlinade[/I], as far as I can register. This scent is not without charm and is, naturally, high on taste, but it races towards the finish line, silent, unmoved and without deigning to break into a sweat -- like a beautiful woman who doesn't much like having sex.
16th January, 2009