Perfume Reviews

Reviews by hollyc

Total Reviews: 58

Opardu by Puredistance

Opardu is a sharp, rich floral very in line with Amouage Gold, but not so animalic. I find the tuberose very, very faint but instead get daffodil or is it marigolds? I'm not great with breaking out notes so forgive my vagueness. I don't even pick up much on the lilac, but having said all this it is, in a word, gorgeous! It's retro in a way that that Antonia and 1 are not, very elegant and a scent aimed at the mature market (as evidenced by the price). Longevity could be better for an extrait at this price, I get about 5 hours and projection is perfect, not going to smack anyone else in the face, but you're not left looking for it on your own skin either. I love it and would buy the 100 ml if I could afford it, but for now will settle for samples. Beautiful and worth every penny!
16th August, 2014

Opus I by Amouage

Ahhhhh Amouage . . . . . Opus I is indeed sweet, floral and fruity, but it is also resinous and deep. I can understand some not liking its sweetness, I don't usually go for sweet fragrances but this is another beast altogether. I notice a lot of the reviewers for this are men and I do find this decidedly feminine despite its unisex rating. When I first applied this my brain had one of those explosive moments of instantly transporting to years past and I assumed I was zeroing in on one of my mother's many lovely fragrances. But this morning it hit me, this is Must de Cartier from the early 80's, way back when it was fabulous before it was reformulated. I used to visit the nearest department store on my lunch hour and spritz it. I seem to remember it in the $80 range for 1.7 oz. of EdT. Pretty much Amouage pricing for back then. I couldn't afford it then and now it's gone. I bought the one ounce of extrait having heard it was close to the original, but found it strangely flat and uninspiring. But Opus I! It is now some 32 years later and I must pay dearly still for this stunning fragrance, but pay I will in case it disappears as did Must. I should mention too that the sillage is pretty much perfect and lasting power very, very good at about 8 hours on my scent eating skin. Much longer lasting than Must. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
13th July, 2014

Narcisse Blanc by Caron

I adore Caron. There isn't a Guerlain that I can wear happily but Caron is another matter altogether. Narcisse Blanc opens with a strong neroli laced floral tour de force and for a few minutes I wonder if I can wear it, but then the Caron magic happens and all the notes fall into place I am wrapped in an innocent yet still elegant floral lace that smells of quality and graciousness. Sillage is huge upon application but quiets down quickly to a polite level and hums along nicely for a good 6 hours on my skin. I own many Carons in EdT but think the house really shines in their extraits. I'm saddened to hear that Infini has been discontinued, in fact absolutely floored. I can only assume that perhaps they are unable to create some of their beauties to their standards with the IFRA regulations. Thankfully I have stockpiled 3 bottles of the parfum . . . .
22nd April, 2014
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Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

Perhaps my sample, although labeled Ormonde Jayne Woman, is actually something else. I have never experienced such a divergence from other reviews as I have with this scent. Upon opening the sample vials (edp and extrait) I smell . . . . . nothing. Absolutely nothing. On my skin it does bloom and increases in strength for hours and hours but never becomes a sillage bomb. However, I get no green, no musty mysterious bitterness, no challenging medicinal brew. I get sweet, then I get sweeter, and then I get sweetest. It is actually very much like Amouage Jubilation 25 for women but without any of the interesting skank. Boring and disappointing. I will give it full marks for the apparent quality of the ingredients. It does smell natural but not particularly expensive, altlhough it is. Maybe I should order the sample set from the website because I can't wrap my head around how something could be quite this different. Oh well, more money for my my wallet which will, in itself, be a unique experience!
26th November, 2012

Soir de Lune by Sisley

Lordy this is phenomenal. Upon first sprtiz, it is HEAVILY Rosy and is almost indistinguishable from Narciso Rodriguez, Agent Provocateur and other rose based offerings. But give it 15 minutes and it transports you to perfume heaven. There is heavy sweet peach, spice, oakmoss in abundance and honey and nutmeg too. After a time, none of the individual notes stand out but instead form a WARM, luxurious, feminine fragrance that is both sexual and classical at the same time. Sillage is perfect in the category of never lost but never overpowering either and lasting power is tremendous. I have Eau de Soir as well and have tried a sample of the body lotion which I usually avoid as they are seldom true to the fragrance but in Eau de Soir I think the lotion may be even better. I am therefore dying to try this beauty in lotion as well. This is what perfume used to be and seldom is anymore. Hope they never change it. Do try if you are an admirer of mature, intoxicating chypres, you'll be glad you did!
24th September, 2012

Eau du Soir by Sisley

This is perhaps my total comfort, wear forever fragrance. A classic chypre that starts out quite citrus but mellows to a beautiful floral, very slightly spicy and mossy animalic base. I can't pick out each note but will give, instead, an overal impression. This is rich without being sickening, lasting but not cloying, has perfect sillage, is very warm and feminine and elegant. This is a mature scent and the body lotion is completely true to the fragrance. I usually avoid lotions because they are usually a disappointment compared to the fragrance, in this instance, I may actually prefer it. Just gorgeous. Can't say enough about this one. AND it smells natural and expensive. Lovers of classic chypres of a certain age must at least try this, I defy them not to fall in love.
02nd September, 2012

Rubj Eau de Parfum by Vero Profumo

Wow, wow, wow. Ripe fruit, very ripe . . . tropical, passionfruit I believe and hot unwashed body parts after carnal encounter. Truly original, striking, beautiful and erotic. Very long lasting, big sillage. You want to be careful when and where you wear this, but you definitely want to wear it! You've been warned . . . . .
22nd August, 2012

M/Mink by Byredo

When did ugly become the new daring?

Someone spilled honey on the floor and the janitor sprinkled Dustbane on it to clean it up.

22nd August, 2012

Bal d'Afrique by Byredo

I have to review this even though I'm not good at picking out notes. A lovely SA sent it unbidden with a sample of M/Mink that I had asked for. Bal D'Afrique seemed nice enough at first and then over about an hour became totally intoxicating. Don't usually like cedar and was surprised to find it in this, but here is what I get from it. First spritz is warm, candied lemon custard, then coconut, then tropical florals, then beautiful muskiness. The whole is much greater than its parts. There is also a faint hint of saltiness about it too. Overall, a beautiful composition that changes from hour to hour. Restrained sillage, in fact I feared it might pull a disappearing act at first, but it actually gained strength over time. I totally love this and will be buying the 100 ml ASAP even at the high price, this beauty is really worth it. Better I think on fabric than skin.
11th August, 2012

Diorling by Christian Dior

Hello Luvah!!! First spritz and yeah, it's old school in a big way with a large barnyard accord. I love this facet of old perfume making. I find the juxtaposition of opposing notes makes everything just a bit "more". Then there's a weird yeasty/floral period, then leather, or rather an interpretation of leather which is also what I find Bandit to be. In my mind, so far, the only fragrances that truly approximate leather for me have been Chanel Cuir de Russie and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Black Leather Jacket. Next some lovely florals and indoles, then barnyard, then it starts all over again. And the next day when I put on my housecoat, it was mmmmmm, which one did I put on yesterday and yeah, it was Diorling, still there, still beautiful, still intriguing. Just for info, my husband flipped for this and I have given total nasal fatigue with my "smell this and smell that". I didn't even have to ask, he volunteered, "what is that, wow, THAT I really like" While many may pine for Diorling in its vintage form (as I've stated before that's a road I won't set one toe on), the new version (2012) is very old school, doesn't smell like anything else and I would rebuy. Let's all at least give Dior credit for not abandoning all their old greats. 10 thumbs up. In fact, worth hoarding . . . .
04th August, 2012 (last edited: 09th August, 2012)

Montaigne by Caron

Exhuberant. Quite loud. Opens with rich fruits and then switches over to florals, I get a lot of tuberose over a vanilla base. This is the EdP. The parfum on the other hand plays out the same way, but is more luscious and quiet. I adore Caron and must eat crow having villified the house and Richard Fraysse since I loathed Parfum Sacre and was totally baffled how Tabac Blond could be interpreted as a leather. But Infini? Sweet mother of God how lovely! Montaigne? Pure cheerfulness. I love that Caron still offers so many of their scents in extrait, that alone, is very vintage. I think they beat Guerlain hands down. I don't see me reaching for Montaigne too too often, but I'm glad I have it. Infini is my go to Holy Grail . . . so far. I am now on a mission to try them all.
15th March, 2012

Must de Cartier by Cartier

This is one of the fragrances I used to spritz but couldn't afford back in the early 80's. Lord, I longed for this! 30 years later I can afford it, but read it's been turned to garbage. I took a chance anyway and ordered the extrait. It hasn't changed at all to my nose, maybe the EdT or EdP have, but this smells very, very much the same. Smells of oranges in opening, then I get a dose of civet, then the mellow vanillic, musky drydown which comes a tad too soon. This is very soft and understated and somehow 'cold' in nature. My tastes have changed somewhat, but I can see reaching for this when I want a comfort scent. Wears close with moderate lasting power. I can't see this offending anyone. Beautiful red leather case with sliding doors that open to reveal an architectural bottle of amber coloured extrait. Very well done.
20th January, 2012

First by Van Cleef & Arpels

This has been around for a long time and now I know why. This is a full bodied, glamorous fragrance for the big girls. I don't usually ascribe to scents for day or night, but this makes me think of a big night out. Opens with orange to my nose then moves on to a HUGE floral bouquet of jasmine, rose, iris?. Lots of civet. Animalic drydown that never loses the floral bouquet. Is it just me or is this almost identical to Amouage Dia woman, another JCE creation. This is just unbelievably good, but you have to enjoy this type of full blown, aldehyde laden, technicolor beauty. I do and am thankful I've tried it. If it's been reformulated, it doesn't smell like anything that's been stripped down and modernized. Just beautiful. I also don't usually worry about application and suggest people who don't like it get out of my way, but this one is old school. One spritz is all it takes, it radiates for miles and hours. Think I have to get another bottle to hoard. This is of the EdP.
20th January, 2012
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Velvet Gardenia by Tom Ford

I echo Sugaranda and Caltha's thoughts on this. If this is gardenia, it should be banned from perfumery. Yes I know all of this is, and should be, subjective, but this is vile. When I read that it had a mushroom note, which to me is earthy loamy and mellow with gardenia which to me is creamy, delicate and floral I thought "where do I get me some?" and promptly ordered a small(vile) vial from the sweet ladies at the Perfumed Court. When it arrived and I applied it, it has an intense incense that smells sharp and stale much like you would find in an old church that had wooden pews with old, old varnish. Acrid, stomach churning hideosity (yes I know it's not a word but so apt here). A sweetness that is much like my poor dog's ears when they get infected. Forgive the dreadful images here, but trust me when I say that they are mild compared with the fragrance itself. I have tried three Tom Ford fragrances and so far they have been jokes, especially for the price. I think he is a darling of the fashion industry and no one dares tell the emporer he's butt naked and his fragrances are none too pretty. Get Estee Lauder's Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia for a real beauty or Annick Goutal's Gardenia Passion for a truly buttery and gorgeous gardenia (yes I know it's built around tuberose, but many gardenia frags are. I also love, adore, and own (thanks to my beloved husband) the 6.8 oz Chanel Gardenia in the Exclusifs. When sprayed on clothes it develops over many hours and becomes more lovely by the minute, a real beauty. But run, don't walk, from this stomach churning monstrosity. A thousand thumbs down, down, down . . . .
31st December, 2011

Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia by Estée Lauder

This is so lovely. Very beautiful creamy gardenia and tuberose just as the name says. First sniff and I'm transported to my childhood thinking "this how all those ladies used to smell". Quite vintage in my mind. Not at all synthetic. Good sillage. I hate fragrances that I can't find an hour later, I mean really. . . But PCTG really delivers the goods. On me it is quite linear and beautiful all the way. A tiny hit of menthol at the get go then just beautiful creamy flower petals. Has no green, leaves or stems like Carnal Flower which I also love. Also too CF is very sweet, PCTG never treads that territory instead it is creamy, lush and refined. Drydown is equally beautiful and this lasts until the next day on skin. I feel compelled to note to all those horrified at the price that the bottle with the jewels on the cap is EXTRAIT and a full ounce at that. Chanel's Gardenia extrait is $175 for 5 mls. So all in all, not a bad price. The EdP is $85 for 1 oz and $145 for 2.5 ozs. Yes, it is not cheap, but by some niche standards it is very fairly priced. I have not yet tried the extrait. Pleeeeeeez EL, don't fiddle with the formula!
21st December, 2011

Diorama by Christian Dior

Beautiful, just beautiful. Sharply floral opening of very indolic jasmine/tuberose overlaying ripe, ripe (not overripe) peaches. Cumin peaks shyly out from time to time. This is rich, bright but not sharp, intense but not heavy and not, I would think for anyone under 30, although I dislike age boundaries, it just seems appropriate in this instance. This is for the new version and I should mention that I got it during early summer and was rather underwhelmed and put it away. Today, late November, it's beauty is radiant and I believe is best left for cooler weather. I have tried Le Parfum de Therese and found it toothachingly sweet without any of the subtle and naughty nuances of Diorama. To each their own. A big thank you to Dior for trying to bring back some of their classics in spite of the (ridiculous) ingredient restrictions that are making it so difficult. Please try this if you can.
29th November, 2011 (last edited: 09th August, 2012)

Gardénia Parfum by Chanel

I love this. I have not been fortunate enough to smell an actual gardenia, but upon smelling this, that would have been my first guess. It smells totally natural and is, to me, a soliflore. The progression is very linear and I get good sillage and the lasting power is quite good on fabric at about 4 hours. I really, really like this one a lot and other than Cuir de Russie, is the only other Exclusif I want to get, having tried them all except Jersey. It's truly unique, delicate, gorgeous and has a curious vintage feel. Somewhat reminds me of Amouage Reflection woman, but if these two fragrance were gloves, Reflection would be the boxing glove of a heavy weight champion and Gardenia a lovely long silk elbow length glove with pearl buttons at the wrist to allow the perfect fit. Truly beautiful.
29th October, 2011

K de Krizia by Krizia

Ahhh, 1981 must have been a fabulous year for fragrance! I remember walking through the The Bay on my lunch hour, newly arrived in Calgary with student loans, a car loan, a moving loan and completely unable to buy my beloved K de Krizia or my absolute favorite Must de Cartier, so broke and so in love with these beauties that I had to settle for spraying them on as I passed wistfully by the fragrance counter. Both had lovely, rich, mellow animalic drydowns (in my memory). Now that I can afford them, I can't find K de Krizia and apparently Must has been butchered, but I may still spring for the pure parfum as I've read it's still most representative of the original. If you can find K de Krizia and you love a lovely chypre with a hint of the animal, do try it.
02nd July, 2011

L'Air de Nina Ricci by Nina Ricci

Very surprised by this. Now I have only tried it from a scent strip from a magazine, but find it irresistable. The florals are soft and creamy, and smell natural. I get no chemical in this demure beauty at all. It has lovely sillage, I smell it constantly but I don't think it would be in anyone else's face unless overapplied. The drydown keeps the floral bouquet soft and sexy and segues into what I perceive as musk, but I see from the notes above, it is Palisander and Patchouli. For those who dislike patchouli, I personally didn't smell it at all. I usually dislike delicate florals/musk as I often detect an unpleasant chemical twang, but not with this. A delightful discovery and I think I will add it to my bulging collection. I can't see this not appealing to every age group, but it might be more of a favorite for the younger crowd. Very nice indeed.
01st July, 2011

Ubar Woman by Amouage

In answer to "Off Scenter" (great name, great reviews by the way) How often would I have occasion to wear Ubar? Hmmmm, only every day! I don't fall into the category of less is more, for me, more is MORE! And Ubar delivers. First sniff and I almost get teary eyed with nostalgia, it smells so much like a fragrance my mom wore. This is rich, rich, rich. Richer even than Gold in my opinion because it has a heavy, complex, almost gloomy heft and yet is simply magnificent. No holds were barred in this one and while Gold is akin to sweet, flowery angelic voices, Ubar is a gregorian chant to me. So far I haven't hit on a single note in this review, sorry, with this one I just can't break it down, I'll leave it to others. This is rich, complex, organic (as in I can detect nothing synthetic), aromatic, waxy, strong/soft and extremely long lasting. As in just reaching final drydown the next day. This is how fragrance used to be made. Thank God a few fine houses are still bringing us such magnificent creations. A thousand thumbs up!
26th April, 2011

31 rue Cambon Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Boozy is a good way to describe the fruits here, but they are round and smooth, not like a stale fruitcake, which some fruit laden scents turn on me. I should have known it would be love because this is full on chypre even tho it apparently lacks oakmoss. Heady, aldehyde laden opening with gorgeous fruits and florals. I'm getting a ton of iris and it's gooooooood! Fulsome and breadlike, honestly, my brain is spinning with how beautiful this is. I no longer have to kvetch and moan about how they don't make them like the old days, because apparently Chanel still does. Strong sillage and amazing lasting power. STUNNING!
07th April, 2011 (last edited: 28th April, 2011)

Sycomore Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Delicate, smokey, vetiver and demure florals. Really, can't pick out the individual notes on this one other than the vetiver, but it is glorious and has jumped to the top of my "must possess in largest size possible and as soon as possible" list. Very good sillage, delicately wafts for hours. Beautiful, refined, intriquing and deserving of its place as an exclusif. Highly, highly recommend.
07th April, 2011

Amazone (new) by Hermès

Just got my tiny dabbing sample of this. Had I known how astonishingly beautful this creation was, I would have stockpiled a ton of it in all its strengths. I weep at the thought of this in pure perfume and that it has been dumped by Hermes in that strength as has the EdP. I love mostly all of Mr. Elena's creations in their spare ethereal beauty, but hope they won't paint their entire fragrance collection with the 'minimalist' brush. Now on to Amazone. Opens extremely briefly with a dark green vegetal smack, then moves smoothly onto the most gorgeous, lush, but bright florals (don't ask me what they are, they are blended seemlessly to my nose). Yes it is sweet, but in the most elegant and rich way. This must still have a good hit of oakmoss, because it always makes whatever else is in a fragrance, rich, deep and mellow in my skin. Womanly, beautiful, utterly haunting. How they could deem this unworthy of EdP and Parfum and bring Kelly Caleche to us in all three strengths absolutely gob smacks me and I'm not even British! If they wanted something lighter, why didn't they leave this one alone and just continue to release the lite version. And by the way, I like Kelly Caleche, I just don't think the EdP compares to the EdT and don't think it is a composition worthy of Parfum, but I haven't tried that strength. Time to stock up on Amazone . . . . again!!!! A thousand thumbs WAAAAY up!
03rd April, 2011

Kelly Calèche Eau de Toilette by Hermès

Really love this. Opens very fresh, almost harsh - no problem. Leather is there from the getgo and actually becomes more prominent as time goes by, unlike CdR but it's silly to compare the two because they are very different ladies indeed. Some florals, can't pick out the individual notes, but the overall effect is classy, unaffected and elegant. I much prefer the EdT in this over the EdP which I can barely detect and has very little leather. As with all Hermes, performs best on cloth, has good sillage and I'm really looking forward to trying it in the warm weather, bet it really shines! May have to get a small decant of the parfum to try. Heart Hermes!
02nd April, 2011

Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

Wow, shocked at all the negativity on this one. I have noticed, quite a bit, that some fragrances miss the gender mark they are aimed at and I think this may have happened here. When I tried to get my dear and patient husband to wear this he wrinkled his nose "too perfumey" I know better than to argue further. This is a fabulous feminine. Granted it does open with a rather generic aftershave vibe, after about 45 minutes, it becomes a rich animalic skin scent that I am quickly falling in love with. I added a tiny dab of cumin oil and what I have now is very much like Eau d'Hermes kicked up a notch, altogether a wonderful thing indeed. Good sillage and great lasting power. As with all things Chanel, nothing cheap, metallic or synthetic here, just a lovely fragrance that may have been better marketed to the female fragrance market. I feel a purchase coming on.
25th March, 2011 (last edited: 28th March, 2011)

Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

Gorgeous, just gorgeous. For once I was smart and got a small decant from the lovely ladies at the Perfumed Court. It did not disappoint. I happen to be a cumin luvin' gal and this is the most refined but distinct rendering I have encountered (also love jubilation and femme). But this is altogether another animal as are most Hermes I have tried. Opens with a nostril searing lemon, then a lovely soft (SOFT) cinnamon which remains throughout. Then the cumin appears in all its glory, but the cinnamon overlays it and the two together create the most beautiful, come close and love me skin scent ever. Sadly staying power seems limited, but I have had much better luck with all the Hermes when I get the spray and use it on clothes, hope this one will perform similarly. Completely unique, utterly refined and heartbreakingly lovely. I'm awaiting two bottles because I fear Hermes has discontinued.UPDATE: received new bottle and am able to spray, much better sillage and longevity on clothes. A true masterpiece by a true genious, made before fragrances became a prelude to the giant Cinnabun you'd stuff in your face, making your way mindlessly through the local mall. I believe Roudnitska originally made this for women, which could explain all the male haters. I firmly believe that people should wear what they like regardless, but some fragrances render their true beauty more fully on one sex or the other. Ten thumbs WAAAAY UP!!!
23rd March, 2011 (last edited: 31st March, 2011)

Tabac Blond by Caron

Okay, I give up totally on Caron. Going through a leather phase and thought I couldn't go wrong with this. So I got a large decant of the extrait, apparently the way to go? WRONG! (wrong, wrong, wrong). Amber treacle and nothing more. Ghastly, made my blood sugar spike it was so sweet and bland. Cuir de Russie you own my leather loving soul. Caron should get rid of that Fraysse? moron or pack it in.
23rd March, 2011

Pheromone by Marilyn Miglin

I really feel that Pheromone doesn't get the credit it deserves. In this age of candy and cookie scents, it's a challenging fragrance for the mature woman. It starts out strongly green and somewhat herbaceous. I don't get a great deal of spice, more floral and animalic. Have not tried the EdT, but have the EdP and pure parfum. The EdP has huge sillage and takes a while to settle but once it does, it's quite simply beautiful and soft with good longevity. The pure parfum is much softer and more dense but strangely no longer lasting than the EdP. I think if this fragrance had the double C's on it, people would be tripping over themselves to fork out $200 +++ for an exclusive. I also think if someone were blindfolded and sniffed it, they would think they were smelling something fabulous, vintage and discontinued. I hope it never changes in any way or is discontinued. Marilyn deserves a lot of credit for continuing to make this great classic when so many others have been kicked to the curb. My preference is for the parfum.
27th February, 2011

Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermès

I must have strange chemistry because Hiris goes on me like water then after about 15 minutes starts to sing and I'm still smelling it hours later (and it is stunning). The same is true for me with Osmanthe Yunan. I put it on several hours ago and I keep catching this beautiful, natural peachy fruity smell that is just delightful. Not a sillage monster I'll grant you, but for me this is the best "peach" note I've tried and not at all short lived. Luca Turin says body chemistry does not affect the performance of a fragrance but I have to disagree. Definitely worth trying if you love the smell of peach and are looking for something delicate and restrained with no hint of the 'chemical'. Love, love, loving Hermes and think Kelly Caleche, in EdT form, one of the best leathers out there.
28th January, 2011

1000 by Jean Patou

God I love this! Won't try to break out the notes. Suffice it to say it's a massive chypre. Austere, grand, uncompromising and very womanly. Herbaceous and somewhat dry and bitter floral. Never boring, doesn't fade to some vanillic blandness (I'm sure that's not really a word!) The far drydown is animalic and civety. Very strong, but with civilized sillage, you won't knock people out, but you won't wonder if you remembered to put it on either. This is perfumery at its best and nothing else compares. Makes Chanel No. 5 look like a "wannabe". This review is for the EdP, which it looks like the morons at P&G have shelved as it's not listed on the Patou website and is getting very hard to find. I almost can't bear what has happened to the industry . . .
12th January, 2011