I found No. 9 to be the most commercial and least interesting of the three Jacomo Art Collection scents, but it's still darn good.
Bright citrus and juicy mango are dominant upon first spritz, but don't be fooled into thinking this is just another fruity floral. It's really a lovely, spicy oriental that quickly becomes a more complex fragrance than the top notes would suggest. I get a brief phase where the praline is noticeable. After that, it behaves like a typical Jacomo scent, evolving to a gorgeous base that lingers for hours. The base notes on this one smell a lot like Bvlgari's Jasmin Noir, which is quite a contrast to the sunny fruits that opened thsi scent. Very nice fragrance overall and definitely unisex.
No. 8 turned out to be my favorite of the Art Collection series. It smells exactly like a spicy masala tea I drank in India (which is the drink we call "chai" in the U.S.)
I get none of the fruits or flowers. The tea, spices (ooh! lots of cardamom!) and plenty of milk and honey present an olfactory delight. I find some similarity between No. 8, L'Artisan's Tea for Two and Fendi Theorema. It is a gourmand, but not overpoweringly sweet. No. 8 gets a little more dry and woody as it goes, and lasts all day long. Nice one for the cooler weather.
I love many of the Jacomo women's scents. This house offers scents of remarkable quality for a reasonable price. I wanted to find one for my husband to try, and I purchased Paradox for Men Green after reading all the positive reviews here on Basenotes.
It was love at first sniff for both of us. Paradox for Men Green has a lot in common with the original formulation of Christian Dior Fahrenheit, which both of us loved and wore in the early 1990's when we first started dating. Paradox for Men Green also smells like a beloved but discontinued women's scent I wore around that same time: Ultima II Sheer Scent.
Paradox Green is dry, citrusy, woody, with a hint of hot spice. Definitely masculine, but if you're a woman who enjoys non-sweet scents, there's no reason you can't wear this one, too. It is great for hot weather or days when you want to smell clean and fresh.
I agree with previous comments that the sillage is not great and it will require a few extra sprays to get a noticeable projection. Longevity is average for an EDT concentration (about 4-5 hours). This affordable little treasure is definitely worth a try!
I'm sampling several Jacomo women's scents this week. Jacomo for Her may be the best of the bunch. It's a beautiful rose chypre available for a great price.
Jacomo for Her opens with cedar and crisp, clean flowers. I get pronounced cedar and rose notes throughout the fragrance, which evolves through the flowers to a typical chypre base. It's dry, woody and not really sweet. Whispers of Cabaret by Parfums Gres and a less-honeyed Ungaro Diva are drawing me in. It also has more than a few things in common with Guerlain's Idylle (but lasts longer than this one) as well as a cheapie gem from Avon called Urban Flowers New York.
Very different from the other Jacomo scents I have tried. I agree with the previous reviewer who calls it quietly sexy and quite sophisticated. This affordable gem is worth a try if you enjoy chypre floral scents. I see no reason why men couldn't wear it, too.
I haven't found many reviews of the older Jacomo women's scents, so I bought some samples and will share my thoughts.
Right out of the gate, Paradox Green reminded me of Roberto Cavalli's Serpentine. I think Paradox Green was actually in production first. Paradox Green is a little greener, and Serpentine a little sweeter, but there was a point about two hours in where they smelled almost identical. I tested them simultaneously on two different places on my arm and couldn't believe the similarity. Researching both scents online reveals they have a few notes in common.
Paradox Green is not my favorite Jacomo scent by any means, but it's still pleasant and easy to wear. It is an EDT and thus has moderate sillage at best, and it lasts four to five hours on my skin.
Given a choice, I would only need one of the two scents in my wardrobe and I would probably buy Serpentine instead of Paradox Green, but if affordability or availability makes Paradox Green a better choice for you, I think you'll still be pleased. Jacomo scents in general offer good quality for the money.
I haven't found many reviews of the older Jacomo women's scents, so I bought a few samples and will share my thoughts.
Paradox (blue) is an EDT and behaves like one. It lasts about four hours, maximum, though it has good sillage throughout.
The fragrance opens with a burst of juicy melon, very similar to Angel or New West. I went through an Angel phase several years ago, and I'm no longer a fan of the over-to-top melon aroma. Fortunately, the melon dissipates after 15 minutes or so.
I own four full bottles of Jacomo fragrances and have sampled another four, including this one. I've come to realize that Jacomo fragrances are all about the dry-down, and Paradox is no exception. What follows those fruity melon notes is something completely different and much more wearable. Paradox evolves to a soft spicy floral and holds this pattern for the next four hours. I detect some similarities in the drydown of Paradox, Aura and Anthracite. Anthracite was discontinued awhile ago, but it seems the company was enamored of it dry-down and used it for a couple later perfumes, with a few tweaks each time.
All in all, it's a very strong "like" but not love. Those loud melon top notes are probably the deal-breaker for me.
Finding no reviews at all for Jacomo's Chicane, I sought a sample or bottle for purchase. This one is long gone, so samples are not available and full bottles are rare (and priced accordingly). I managed to score a micro-mini for testing purposes.
There is not a lot of info available on this scent, even on Jacomo's website. The Perfume Intelligence website describes it thus: "A floral aldehyde edt with fruity top notes, heart notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang and carnation on base notes of vetiver, sandalwood, Tonka bean and musk."
I feel confident that my tiny bottle has shifted a bit with age and doesn't represent the perfume I would have experienced with a new bottle still in production. Nonetheless, it's a pleasant salty floral, fairly typical for its time. There's a touch of the "hairspray" note I find in some aldehyde scents. (Maybe that's the smell of aldehydes that have gone off with age?) The scent is very dry and green, with no detectible fruits in the top but a hint of sweetness in the base. The opening reminds me of Ma Griffe. The floral heart veers off towards Detchema. The dry-down is clean and slightly grassy.
Sillage and longevity are minimal, which I expected from this EDT of unknown age.
Nice, but probably not worth the search and cost unless you loved it from before. There are plenty of scents still in production that give a similar effect, and Jacomo has better offerings than this one.
I haven't found many reviews for the older Jacomo women's scents, so I bought some samples and will share my thoughts.
Aura opens with a sour, spoiled fruit opening on me. Grapefruit scents and I don't seem to get along well, and there is something else combined with it here (I'm guessing litchi) that smells unpleasant on me. However, the best thing about all the Jacomo scents I have tried is the dry-down, and Aura has a gorgeous heart and base if you can wait for it.
Both Aura for Paradox (the blue one for women) have some notes in common with an earlier, discontinued Jacomo scent called Anthracite. it appears the perfumers took the best of Anthracite and built a couple different variations on its theme. The sour fruits burn off in 15 minutes, and Aura's spicy floral heart and warm base emerge. The scent stays close to the skin but lasts a good eight hours or so. Overall, a good scent and a possible replacement if you loved the discontinued Anthracite, which is costly and hard to find nowadays.
I really like Silences Purple. It has nothing in common with the original Silences (which I also own and love) except for the name and the bottle shape.
I would describe the scent as a floriental. It starts out a bit sharp and medicinal, but settles in minutes to a vanilla floral that dries down over time to a sweet smoke and wood. It took me a few wearings to fully appreciate it, but now I find it amazingly complex and beautiful. The scent has great sillage and lasts 12+ hours on my skin.
A lot of people compare this to Dior Addict. I had not smelled Addict when I purchased Silences Purple unsniffed, but I have since had a chance to compare the two. There are some similiarties, but I think Silences Purple is a better-constructed fragrance, in addition to being more affordable. Jacomo is such an underrated perfume house, and this perfume must be one of the best-kept secrets of the fragrance world. Big bottles of the EDP are available for $15 to $20 at several etailers.
Hmm. Very interesting. The first 90 minutes smell like somone with chronic halitosis who has tried to cover it up by chewing a piece of Double Bubble chewing gum. Candy sweet and slightly minty, which doesn't quite cover up the odor of gingivitis and tooth decay. I really didn't care for this phase, but Charogne eventually dries down to a more wearable floral musk, with a pronounced jasmine note on my skin. Very soft and subtle after that initial blast of stink.
I give it a neutral mostly for being so unique and layered. This is not one I would purchase and wear, but I enjoyed testing it.
Sweet Honesty is my favorite comfort/bedtime scent. Fans of Barbara Bui and Prada Infusion D'Iris may want to give this one a try.
Don't let the affordability fool you. There's a reason this one has been in the Avon stable for so many years. Sweet Honesty is almost like a shower in a bottle. It manages to smells clean, freshy and slightly sexy, without smelling like soap or detergent. It has a touch of "baby powder" scent but is more grown-up and complex, with lemon and fresh flowers on a base of vanilla and musk.
I will take this one over "Clean" any old day. Perfect for any age and any occasion when you just want to smell GOOD.
I was lucky enough to score a refill bottle of Armani Privé Bois d'Encens at a discount store. No lovely wooden box with the little stone on top, but even the refill bottle has simple, elegant packaging that looks nice on a dresser top. I would certainly not have paid the ridiculous retail price for a bottle in the wooden container. The perfume is good, but it's not that good!
For such a simple composition,Bois d'Encens really has a lot going on. I espeically love the dry wood overtone. It comes on very peppery, like the fresh-ground stuff from the pepper mill, but those notes fade quickly to a warm, dry, sawdust and incense aroma. Definitely unisex, but I admit that I like the scent of this on my husband's skin better than I like it on mine. I get no sweetness at all from this one when either of us wears it.
The sillage is good. My husband was looking around the room to see if I was burning incense before he figured out the source of this lovely aroma, ha ha! Alas, the persistance is just so-so, as some have already noted. It is barely detectible after two hours, and a faint lingering trace of frankincense was all that remained four hours after application.
I admit, Absynthe was not what I expected. I assumed it would have more of the anisic scent of true absinthe. I can't really detect the anise notes in this one at all, but it's still a great fragrance! The sweet florals dominate the opening, but an hour or so after application, a delicious spice and green wood aroma develops. The fragrance gradually dries down to a very dry woody scent with just a hint of spice.
The longevity is excellent. I dabbed some on to go out for the evening, and I could still smell the last traces of it when I awakened the next morning. This will be a beautiful scent for Spring and Summer, and that gorgeous bottle will be a great addition to anyone's collection. Nicely done, Avon!
Shrinking violets, run away! Ava Luxe Midnight Violet is no fragrance for the timid.
According to her website, the notes for this scent are Violet, Blue Iris, Orris , Earth , Black hemlock, Galbanum, Pink pepper, Cinnamon, Cedar, Sandalwood, Incense, Wood balsam, Moss, Civet and Cashmere musk.
The name of this fragrance is very descriptive. This is a very dark, complex fragrance, and the violet is certainly there, but it takes a little while to reveal itself on the skin. My husband noticed the pink pepper, and the fragrance also has strong orris/iris notes, but I wouldn't classify it as a floral. There is no sweetness at all, and I was initially put off by the strong earthy/animalic notes in this fragrance. Looks like the base notes contain some civet, which people seem to love or hate. On my third wearing, I couldn't stop sniffing my wrist. Interesting, beautiful and sexy. Smells like an old-fashioned classic, along the same lines as Bal a Versailles or Mitsouko
Midnight Violet is definitely unisex, and it's not going to be everybody's taste, so purchase a sample first. I have sampled it and look forward to purchasing a full bottle!
Does it smell like Tom Ford Black Orchid? Yes, a little.
Does it smell like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle? Yes, a little.
Does it smell like Viktor and Rolf's Flowerbomb? Yes, a little.
Black Amethyst seems to be "inspired" by several popular and high-selling fragrances, but it also smells unique. It's not a blatant knock-off of any of the above scents. Looking at other recent Bath and Body Works fragrances, I think they're trying to tap into the same vein of some popular fragrances (and what perfume house doesn't do this when someone else launches a scent that grab's the public's imagination?) Kudos to them for branching out into more sophisticated perfumery. They did a great job with this scent.
This is also the first Bath and Body Works fragrance that I have purchased (well, actually, it was a gift, but same diff. I didn't care to own one before this one.) If you had written them off previously for their simple fruity scents, you'll be pleasantly surprised by Black Amethyst. It's complex, sexy and smells much more expensive than it is. The longevity is so-so on me, but the overall effect is so pleasant, and the scent is so affordable, that I give it Four Stars and a Thumbs Up!
The notes looked wonderful on paper, but on my skin? Yuck! What a stinker! I smelled like stinky feet sititng next to a cheap clove candle from a discount store. Jungle L'Elephant was too much spice and way too synthetic-smelling to be pleasant on me. I found someone who loves it and can wear it well, and I passed my bottle on to her. This is definitely one to try a sample of before purchasing. I suspect it just may not work with some people's chemistry. It certainly did not work with mine.
I was surprised to discover I like this one. I'm going through a torrid love affair with all things anise and black licorice at the moment, and this fits the bill. A beautiful sweet anisic opening gives way to a floral-incense dry-down on my skin. Average persistance. Good sillage. I would best describe it was With Love Hillary Duff's opening stacked on Cabaret de Gres's dry-down.
Worth a try if you like any of the notes. Don't dismiss it simply because of its association with Posh Spice. I tried Beckham Instinct for Her and found it cheap-smelling, but Beckham Signature for Her is several notches above that one, both in quality of fragrance and also in price.
Becker Eshaya's Be smells just like Clinique's Happy, but at twice the price. Same citrusy-floral scent. Nice, but nothing special. For the money, I'd buy Happy instead.
It comes on a bit soft, but boy, does it last long! I could still detect the last faint remants almost 24 hours later.
Biba is a nice example of a woodsy spice. The fragrance it most recalls for me is the late, great Chaos.
Pronounced cedar and spice elements, and not at all sweet on my skin. The fragrance needs a little time to warm and develop on the skin. Overall, very pretty, possibly unisex. I think it's not quite right for me, but it makes me curious enough to try some other fragrances from this line.
A much better "clean" sent than the Clean fragrance line. Not to mention far more affordable. A large bottle of the Nenuco cologne can be had for about 1/3 the price of a small bottle of Clean or Clean Baby. Worth seeking out for fans of the soapy and citrusy. You won't be disappointed, I promise!
I bought this one on a trip to NYCs last year. It wasn't my favorite scent at the shop I visited, and wasn't even my favorite Serge Lutens offering, but it was in stock and available in a bottle size that I could take in my carry-on bag, so I bought it. That being said, it is an unusual and lovely woody gourmand and I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't like it.
Cinnamon, yes, but vastly different from YSL Cinnabar, the only other cinnamon fragrance I had ever sniffed. This is a very good winter scent, though I did dab it on a few times during the warmer months, too. Goes on very cinnamon and candy-like, but the dry-down is a gorgeous, lovely woody scent that lasts for hours. I can spray it on in the morning, work all day, sleep all night and still smell those lingering woody notes the next morning. Excellent sillage and persistance. Definitely not for everyone but worth a sniff if you enjoy foody scents.
I love this on my husband, and I sometimes wear it to remind myself of him. I would consider it unisex. It is definitely not for everyone. People who already enjoy gourmand scents will probably love it, but fans of "traditional" masculine scents will probably hate it.
I can't get enough of anise/licorice notes right now and I'm a sucker for tonka bean, too, so this one fits the bill. Mmmmmm. Very sexy and very unusual. I like it better than the Pink Sugar for ladies. The candy notes are much less pronounced in this one.
This scent has great persistance and incredible sillage. Just one squirt is enough and may even be too much if you work in close contact with people.
Pleasant. Sweet. Fruity. Happy. Benign. Inoffensive. Feminine. Simple. Linear. Fleeting.
Nice, but nothing special.
I've tried several in this line and none of them for me. All are ridiculously overpriced for what they offer. I generally find the "clean, freshly-showered" category of scents uninteresting and these were no exception.
Clean smells like bar soap in a bottle. Plain and simple. It doesn't stink, but why pay $70 to smell like soap, when I can shower with a nice $7 bar of soap, enjoy the experience more, and still get the same effect? Not to mention the soap's scent will probably last longer on my skin than this fleeting scent.
A lovely, inexpensive vanilla scent. Proof that you can find some worthwhile scents at the drug store. It's marketed as a men's scent but would also be lovely on women. Woodsy, balsamic, not-too-sweet vanilla that most people will find pleasant. I like the simple packaging, too, as it conjures some old classics like Caswell-Massey and Crabtree and Evelyn.
Beautiful and I loved it from first sniff. Not sure why I've never broken down and purchased a bottle for myself. Someday I will.
One of the reasons I like it is that it reminds of an earlier, under-rated gourmand from the early 1990's that has all but disappeared in the wake of Mugler's Angel: TODD OLDHAM. I had a friend who wore Todd Oldham, and I am instantly transported back to 1995 whenever I smell Prada on anyone.
Strong vanilla, amber and patchouli notes. Nice change of pace from all the fruity florals out there.
This was the first perfume from Gres that I tried. It smelled very rose-y and I found it kind of off-putting as sniffed from the bottle, but this is one that definitely must be tried on the body for the full effect. The incense and peony notes really blossom on my skin and nicely balance the rose. Very beautiful and feminine perfume and very well-crafted, considering the affordability. I even like the red and gold bottle.
Ahh, so lovely! I arrived at this one after falling in love with another Gres perfume (Cabaret). Found a bottle of Cabotine at a store for less than $15 and bought it unsniffed, having faith in the perfume house and some of the reviews I read here on Basements. I'm pleased to report I was was not disappointed at all.
The opening is a bit strong and sweet, a little too much fruity-floral for me, but in five minutes, it drifts away and the beautiful heart and base notes become apparent. The dry-down reminds me a bit of classic LouLou. This will be a nice scent for the office.
A decent drugstore offering. As others have commented, there is very little vanilla to be detected in this fragrance. The overall effect is a powdery floral amber. Nice, but if you're a fan of the sweet, loud vanilla notes in the Comptoir Sud Pacifique line, for example, you won't find what you're looking for in Vanilla Fields. On the other hand, if you like Downy Lavender Vanilla fabric softener, this scent is probably right up your alley. If I could no longer afford designer, niche and artisanal perfumes, I would probably buy this one. Nice, but nothing special.
Nothing says summer quite like a good citrus. This was my daytime/office scent for Summer 2008, and the small bottle I purchased is almost used up, ready to make space for something heavier and more suitable for autumn and winter.
A beautiful, clean, lemony-green scent. More sophisticated than Love's Lemon Fresh, but essentially a linear lemon. Not at all sweet or candy-like. Wish it had better staying power on me. On the other hand, I could dowse myself in it head-to-toe knowing it wasn't going to offend anybody. It was a perfect summer scent that I will likely revisit when the weather turns warm next year.