Perfume Reviews

Reviews by k.h.kew

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Pure Honey by Kim Kardashian

I was looking for a natural honey scent, and this one was going cheap. This is ok, not offensive but not the fresh beeswax I was hoping for. Pure Honey is more of a rough-hewn white floral with top notes of pure alcohol that dries down to a semi-sweet, slightly fermented honey note. The clunky glass bottle looks so cheaply made, it is shameful. Will perhaps layer this one under other scents.
19th August, 2014

Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

I had a sample of this in the 90s when it was with Shiseido in a dark purple/black bottle. I remember it smelling very strange to the point where I felt it had a texture and taste rather than smell - it reminded me of biting into soft jelly (gel), faintly sweet but not syrupy... Reminded me a bit of authentic Turkish delight. It was something I recoiled from upon sniffing.

Must try the new version....
17th August, 2014

Gold Woman by Amouage

Very much like Chanel Number 5, but denser. Not that interesting.
17th August, 2014
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Bandit by Robert Piguet

Take Miss Dior (Originale), add a dash of Kouros, a twist of lemon... and voila, you have Bandit (current version EDP), well just about.

BUT, as Bandit is the predecessor of these modern classics, all credit must be given to Bandit as the true masterpiece.

I eagerly smelt Bandit for the first time recently after reading many reviews... I was expecting something very strong, smoky, leathery, a touch abrasive and very polarising. I found none of these traits. instead, I found a very subtle fragrance that stays close to the skin. To start, there is a blast of lemon shadowed by the earthy muskiness / green cleanness blend reminiscent of Kouros before it dries down to something very very similar to the dry down of Miss Dior Originale (the thieves!), but a bit less musky and a bit less sweet. I get no leather, no animalic tones, no engine oil, no femme-fatale in kick ass boots.

Instead, Bandit is the skin of a woman with quiet confidence, chic sophistication, but strong independence and originality and a penchant for all things new and unexplored. This lady refuses to be type-cast, cannot be stereotyped, she is simultaneously classic, current and avant-guarde.

This fragrance is stellar and such a perfect blend of its components, that the components cease to exist, instead melding into one single note, that of the skin of the woman every woman want to be. Divine!
23rd July, 2014

The One Desire by Dolce & Gabbana

This is simply Estée Lauder's Beautiful in another bottle. In the 90s Estée Lauder was practically throwing mini bottles of Beautiful at you every time you even went near a counter - I had so many yet had never actually purchased a bottle. Back then I found Beautiful cloying and in your face - it smelled generically like 'perfume' - like everyone's mum, perfume counters all mixed together, and clothes shops, and body washes and shampoos etc etc but STRONG! And this D&G fragrance is an exact clone of that ( to be fair, maybe a slightly more rounded and complex clone, a little bit fruiter on the dry down, but still a clone!) This perfume smells like a woman who peaked in the 80s, hung on in the 90s but never evolved past that. This fragrance should have been in the realm of Christian Dior's Addict - warm, sultry, sophisticated vanilla, unique and ageless, but it never made it. 'Tis a shame.
26th April, 2014

Acqua di Giò by Giorgio Armani

Paradoxically this light fresh watery scent is just too strong and overpowering.
19th April, 2014

Le Chèvrefeuille by Annick Goutal

Perhaps my favourite fragrance of all time? (Top 3 anyway!) This scent is happiness, sunlight, femininity, warmth, freedom and a cool breeze all in one bottle. This scent is natural, fresh, slightly floral and slightly citrusy, and in no way synthetic. This scent is being outdoors on a beautiful summer morning. True to the trend of Annick Goutal fragrances, longevity is dismal. But with something so beautiful, does it really matter? Catch these golden butterflies as they flutter amongst plumes of flowering honeysuckle whenever you can.
19th April, 2014

Philosykos by Diptyque

Fig leaves and sap - very similar to L'Artisan's Premier Figuer. I absolutely love green scents, but I really don't understand this modern obsession with fig fragrances. Everyone raves about Philosykos and I do like it, it's pleasant, but it's popularity really does surprise me. It's just all about milky leaf sap to me. I rarely reach for this or Premier Figuer, they're just not scents I enjoy wearing.
19th April, 2014

Pulp by Byredo

Pure passionfruit! And surprisingly not sweet or syrupy sickly at all. Whilst greenish, there is none of that leafy or tree sap overtone that, in particular, a lot of fig based scents have. This one is all about the fruit - but fresh, ripe and slightly citrusy fruit. This is a very strong scent but at the same time, happy and sunny. Although passionfruit is not listed as a note, I actually think that all the individual ingredients - black current, apple, fig and peach flower when combined in the right proportions 'become' passionfruit. Very unique, but used lightly, this scent is wonderful and not overpowering. Wear this scent during the day, when you're in the mood to rejoice.
19th April, 2014

Miss Dior Originale (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

In my opinion, Miss Dior is the all time classic of the Classics! The ethereal embodiment of what it is to be feminine. The opening just starts to be reminiscent of a fragrance of yesteryear... (you know the ones that are often described as 'old lady scents' but really it's more to do with the fact that they were so popular for so long that common household deodorants and soaps such as Lux and Palmolive ripped them off.... ) Anyway, at first spray it just starts to smell old lady, sorry, 'vintage' before it immediately mellows into a soft floral which is as reviewers have so aptly described, 'rounded' and 'harmonious'. This scent is truly timeless in that it could quite happily sit along side this year's fragrances and pass as a modern sophisticate where (honestly) many of it's sisters cannot. Distinctly however I detect no sharpness in this scent, neither citrusy, fruity or watery, as is the current trend. Miss Dior is sophisticated, slightly floral sweet (think 'pretty') but at the same time very earthy and mellow. The dry down is unmistakable and perhaps the most divine smell ever... Sexy, sensual and so totally addictive, I cannot help sniffing my arm when I wear this and the dry down will linger well into the next day. This scent truly makes a woman feel feminine and beautiful and unlike many "Classics" which although I love, deep down I know have dated or at the very least have reserved themselves for more mature discerning pallets, Miss Dior never will.... she is a chameleon, a temptress.... she is beautiful, vulnerable, mysterious and alluring.
20th June, 2006 (last edited: 17th August, 2014)

Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

Ahhhh, Annick always of the sumptuous citrus. Being from the South (way way south) I was immediately drawn to this concoction whose name in my mind brought thoughts of balmy nights spent drifting through pacific isles. However this is merely a personal perspective and it is perhaps more likely that Ms Goutal had the French Riviera or another such European-centric South in mind when developing this fragrance. Who knows? So perhaps because I was expecting something akin to the “scentification” of Tongan drums (Tonga just happens to be Maori for “south”) and palm trees in a bottle I was a little thrown off course upon my first spray. Upon opening I was hit with a very strong memory of my father coupled with the idea that the bottle must have been packaged by a heavy smoker. After a bit of deliberation I realised that Eau d'Sud reminds me somewhat of Aramis 900, a scent my father wore in the 80's (is it the verbena?), and that indeed the scent itself has a soft smoky opening note which soon dissipates. All said, I like Eau d’Sud. I am a diehard citrus lover and therefore am that way inclined. The best citrus ever? Well, no. Definitely better lasting than Eau d’Hadrien though (Thank God!) and more somber and serious. This is perhaps that elusive creature, the ‘sensual citrus’ – not sweet, flirty or provocative but warmer and earthier than the norm. As a woman, I don’t find any gender issues with this one. It’s happy to cross the divide.
02nd June, 2006

Joop! Homme by Joop!

I love this fragrance! Very very very sexy. Not like all the other mens fragrances on the market which are either spicy and dry, watery & insipid (a la most CKs) or just way too Brut-esque. This one is slighltly sweet but very very earthy. The man who wears this is confident, sensual and rather mysterious. Instant sex appeal. I'm immediately drawn to any man who wears this. Could I rave anymore????
28th May, 2006

Le Baiser du Dragon by Cartier

I bought a mini of this 'Kiss of the Dragon', untested, due to all the hype I had heard about it - and the name was just so damn intriguing! On first try, I actually visualised being in an old vintage clothing shop in the Camden markets in London. Such a strong visual memory has never actually happened before with a scent I've never tried. On further reflection however, I realised that it was due to the mix of this fragrance's 'old worldliness' and that perhaps too strong undercurrent of pachouli, typical of market type settings. This one takes a while to make your mind up on though. This scent is definitely reminscent of a long gone era, but it's bolder than the normal 'old ladies scents' (I state that with affection) Think of 1940's screen sirens like Greta Garbo or Marlene Deitrich. If this scent was around in the 1940's I imagine it would have been thought of as rather daring and risque. All in all however, it's just not for me.
12th May, 2006
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Wish by Chopard

True, this one's very similar to Angel, but I find it more subtle,less course than its predecessor. By the reviews, Wish seems to be a fragrance that people either love or hate. Wish is not in my top favourites list (perhaps because it doesn't have enough of either the citrusy freshness, or ambery warmth I go for), however, I would still wear this on occasion and definitely give it the thumbs up. I find it sophisticated and complex. It's bold enough to make you stand out in the crowd, but subtle enough to be intriguing. Not too sweet, but not that spicy either, Wish is a pleasant find.
12th May, 2006

Eau Dynamisante by Clarins

This fragrance is the quintessential fresh scent. This one not only smells great but it does truly make you feel great. Superb for everyday. As a lover of citrus fragrances, this and L'eau d'Hadrien are my all time favourites.
11th May, 2006

Casmir by Chopard

I got a little bottle of Casmir in a gift set and I'd never tried it before. I was expecting something very syrupy and sickly from the reviews I read, but was pleasantly surprised after expecting the worst. This fragrance is warm and sensuous. Strong yes, but not overpowering. The main problem however is that after only a couple of minutes, all you can smell is vanilla. I can perhaps imagine wearing this scent cosying up in front of an open fire, but that's about all. Yes, it smells quite nice, but no, it's not something I would reach for often or even buy again.
11th May, 2006

Chance by Chanel

Bright, sparkling, womanly and cheeky is how I would describe this scent. The pinch of citrus and pink pepper in this seem to give it a fizz and energy. A touch of sweetness and also the earthiness of the musk give it balance. Charming, sophisticated and very wearable for either day or night. A favourite.
11th May, 2006

Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

I've just discovered Vivienne Westwood fragrances and I'm so glad that I did! Boudoir is a wonderful chameleon of a scent. On first spray you are hit with lovely feminine florals, reminiscent of Fleurs d'Orlane or Miss Dior, but much bolder. Soon after it dries down to something reminiscent of a softer, slightly spicier Red Door (which I hate) but Boudior (which I love) is much more complex and less syrupy. Boudior states "Siren" whereas soft Diory florals, whisper 'Virgin' and Red Door screams "Hooker"... if you can follow my analogy? This is a bold scent and it's name fits it much more than most fragrances. Alluring, soft, very feminine and very sexy.
10th May, 2006

Cool Water Woman by Davidoff

This scent opens very light and fresh and my first thoughts are always... ahhh, summer at the beach... before descending into the , "is that caramel, fruitcake or licourice I detect?" The dry down gets worse - think pure lollypop. However, I have to give this scent some credit, its original, tantalising and light. On the down side, these notes are much better eaten than worn on your skin. Sweet is just not me. I might reach for this one occasionally for something different, but only if I was going to spend the day at the beach or in the garden. Never wear this one on a date or if you're out to impress, it just won't work.
10th May, 2006

Libertine by Vivienne Westwood

Rarely do I come across a scent with little introduction and fall in love with it. But Libertine is an exception. This is a beautiful fragrance, soft, feminine, warm, mildly sweet and clean. It's a fragrance which is lovely for daytime, classy, subtle enough for the office. Yet it has such an alluring quality that it is extremely 'come hither'. This scent is addictive. My first whiff and I'm hooked. The only annoyance I have is that this scent smells exactly like another fragrance I know, yet I can't place it. Other than that, this perfume could position itself very well in signature fragrance stakes all the world over.
09th May, 2006 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Fleurs d'Orlane by Orlane

To me, this lovely floral fragrance is very reminiscent of older Dior scents such as Miss Dior. Soft and lingering, completely feminine and alluring. Fragrance for daytime.

Update: I now use my bottle of this as a deodorant in my bathroom (and I find it a bit cloying in that job). It's interesting looking over old reviews - somethings don't change, perhaps because of sheer obstinate and emotional attachment to a fragrance, but some things do.... I'll leave the thumbs up out of sentimentality, but it should really be a neutral.
29th April, 2006 (last edited: 19th August, 2014)

Emporio Armani She by Giorgio Armani

This fragrance is definitely in my all time top 5 scents - one I will buy over and over and over again. It's not really like anything I've smelt before. It's feminine yet has a sense of masculinity. Spicy yet softly floral. In absolutely no way 'sweet'. This fragrance reminds me of a woman wearing a sharp tailored business suit with soft lacy lingerie underneath. I always feel confident and sexy wearing this scent.
29th April, 2006

Red Door by Elizabeth Arden

No, no, no, no, no! You should not be able to smell someone coming from 10 blocks away!
29th April, 2006

Coco by Chanel

Coco is my all time favourite fragrance, my signature scent. It's sophisticated and feminine yet earthy and has a beautiful ambry base note which lingers with you for days. I tried to get enthusiastic about Coco Mademoiselle but I just couldn't in the same way -yes it's beautiful, a modern classic, but besides the fact that it wafts by you up and down nearly every city street, it just doesn't have the same depth, wamth or complexity of the original. Coco is timeless.
29th April, 2006

No. 5 by Chanel

I just don't get what all the hype about this perfume is? It's OK but not outstanding. What this fragrance has done though is become synonymous with class. When you think of this perfume, you think of classic sophistication. It never mattered what it smelled like, it has always been about what it represented. Brilliant marketing is all I can say.
29th April, 2006

Contradiction by Calvin Klein

I bought this in a rush at an airport and didn't get a chance to sample it beforehand. It just never agreed with me. I tried to like it but there was one note, which I couldn't quite put my finger on, but which was so discordant and rather repulsive. This is the most unpleasant smelling perfume I've ever owned.
28th April, 2006 (last edited: 17th August, 2014)