Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Meriem

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Total Reviews: 14
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Loukhoum by Keiko Mecheri

Wearing this is like getting tackled by the color pink, or perhaps mugged by a sugar-frosted unicorn. And yet, this assault is surprisingly delightful.

This is the most purely powdery scent I've ever smelled; I can pick out something that definitely puts me in mind of dates, along with the hawthorn and roses. But really, those things are almost beside the point. Mostly, it's about powder. Loukhoum's commitment to powder is so complete, it's admirable.

If you don't like powdery perfumes, this is probably not the one for you, but it truly takes "powdery" to a different level. Powder here is not insipid or meek; it's interesting and assertive.

I was taken aback by the thorough nature of Loukhoum's pink sugary powder-bomb quality at first, and then I was thoroughly charmed by it.
08th November, 2017
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Rahät Loukoum by Serge Lutens

This is a decent gourmand, but for me, a bit underwhelming.

The primary problem with it where I am concerned is that it's a riff on marzipan to me, not lokum, which is confusing to the point of being a little offputting (I might be a bit too literalist, but if you're going to create a perfume named "Rahät Loukhoum," I feel that it really should do what it says on the tin. Or at least not smell so very much like something else entirely). It's almonds and cherries. Almonds and cherries are lovely. But they aren't roses, or pomegranates, or mastic, or pistachios, or any other note one might reasonably expect to get from something purporting to be based on Turkish delight. I don't even really get a sugar/powdery note from it as I would expect with lokum, but rather a honey and vanilla.

Laying aside the fact that it just isn't very lokum-like, and judging it on its own terms: it's pleasant, but it's not very intriguing. And since it is not in fact lokum to me, I am a bit underenthusiastic about it all around.
08th November, 2017
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Explosions d’Emotions : Haute Voltige by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Haute Voltige was a smidgen disappointing on first try: it was pretty, but didn't seem distinctive or interesting. I likened it to a high-quality shampoo scent in describing it. At the end of the day, though, it wore well, and I liked it well enough, although it seemed to be a "sample only" perfume. Then I wore it again. And I realized how pretty the opening was: an unfurling of flowers and pomegranate, touched with a sharp, woody, spicy note, and perhaps most importantly, pepper you can almost taste. It's a delicious and tart opening, a very auspicious beginning. Further on, it stays like that with only a bit of settling down, becoming a bit woodier and less sharp, but still a lush yet clean florally fruit (not a fruity floral to me, because the fruit is much more prominent), with a snappy pepper kick, which is just the right note.

My initial conclusion was wrong: Haute Voltige has turned out to be a full-bottle fragrance for me. It's not a surprising scent for the most part, except for that perfect, feisty pepper note. I still think it has a "shampoo fragrance" quality to it, but nothing's wrong with that. Haute Voltige surprised me, in a good way.
07th November, 2017 (last edited: 08th November, 2017)
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Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I feel bad about panning Dzing!, but this was an actual scrubber for me. Most of l'Artisan's scents seem to work well on me, and the concept and notes of Dzing! sound rather brilliant. But so help me, apparently castoreum on me takes over and leaves me redolent of manure. It smells like a suffusion of dung over flowers no less, which made it somehow even more unpleasant and just really unfortunate. It was foul. I suppose one could say I smelled like a meadow, just one that a herd of incontinent cattle happened to have grazed in. There were no other notes: just flowers and copious amounts of poo. Not good. Not good at all.

I hate rating this with a thumbs-down, because it's surely amazing on other people, and I wanted so much to love it. However, I am actually afraid to try it again, so I do not think I'll test it again just to see if it gets any better.
07th November, 2017 (last edited: 08th November, 2017)
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Explosions d’Emotions : Amour Nocturne by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Hot milk, caramel, and a smidgen of flowers. And a recently discharged capgun, a scent I immediately recognized even though I haven't smelled it since childhood.

Hot milk is way up there on my master list of Favorite Random Smells, so it does my heart such good to smell it in a perfume, especially when it's so flawlessly deployed. Amour Nocturne is exceedingly evocative, and beautiful in a way that is mostly comforting but just a little unsettling.
07th November, 2017
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La Chasse Aux Papillons by L'Artisan Parfumeur

La Chasse Aux Papillons is sheerly and frankly pretty with little nuance; it's a melody played on a flute with no rhythm behind it. But oh, it is very very pretty. Sweet white florals that are crisp and not cloying, with delicate edges of green and orange. Really, the scent is more reminiscent of a sweet big bar of some Mediterranean soap than a perfume. Personally, I like that effect. Not a lot of sillage, but those who notice it like it. One genuine surprise: I love l'Artisan's perfumes, but so many of them have weak longevity. I didn't imagine this dainty fey scent would be an exception. But when I've worn it, it's stayed with me through a workday. That makes me like it even better.
30th December, 2016
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Noora by Swiss Arabian Perfumery

Looking over my fragrance wardrobe, I realized I have a few common themes: gourmands, orange (fruit/blossoms/petitgrain/neroli), and mukhallats. Many of the latter I can't actually list here, because "little rollerball with indecipherably smeary label that I bought at the market in Boudouaou for the equivalent of 2 dollars, which smells like oranges and violets crushed in musk" is surprisingly not in the database. However, Noora is, even if no one's yet reviewed it. And Noora hits all three of my themes: gourmand, orange, mukhallat. Thus, I need to review it. First, its appearance: syrupy golden oil in a fabulous bottle with a glass wand. That promises a lot in terms of what kind of juice you're going to get, and Noora delivers on that promise. The opening is a heavy embrace of fruity floral, with oud. I don't see oud listed in its notes, but good grief, that's a very oud note right there. Thankfully, it recedes. What comes out is a lovely warm saffron, with candied oranges. I have seen references to it being orange *blossom*, but respectfully, that's fruit. There are flowers behind the candied orange, but no one floral note stands out. The primary scent of Noora is saffron over candied oranges. Eventually it fades to orange on vanilla musk. Apart from the initial heavy opening, it's really very straightforward. Unsurprisingly, a little goes a long way: Noora lasts a long time, and has better than average sillage. This should not scare anyone off: yes, it's not a delicate or subtle scent, but it's pretty. And while I used the word gourmand, it's not as foody as one might expect from the notes or my descriptors. I should also mention that of all the perfumes I've worn over the past 10 years, Noora has garnered more compliments and questions than anything else. Other people really like it (although a friend said that it "smelled like Gummi Bears." But she was the only person to say that. And nothing is wrong with Gummi Bears, really.) Additionally, Noora is very inexpensive and comes in a marvelous bottle.
23rd April, 2016 (last edited: 28th April, 2016)
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Safran Troublant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I love this scent. It's a custardy rice pudding made with jasmine rice, rosewater, and a generous helping of saffron, creamy and redolent of sweet spices. It is a fine confection, with just enough suggestion of sensuality to give it an edge.

Alas, it is as ephemeral and fleeting as the scent in the kitchen after one has made dessert. It just doesn't last near long enough. Full disclosure, though: "long enough" when something smells this lovely would be "lasts for days on end." But still, it disappears in a matter of a couple of hours. Safran Troublant is a heartbreaker of a scent.
23rd April, 2016
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Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo

Egad, this is possibly the least subtle, most in-your-face fragrance I have smelled in a while; it's on the level of that 1980s Giorgio scent in terms of nuance. Nothing is inherently wrong with strong; it's all in how the notes are blended. Unfortunately, in this case, it smells like someone took the patchouli-and-spun-sugar base of Angel, threw overripe fruit on it, and then sprinkled this concoction with a smidgen of metal filings. I do like the base, but not the rest. And somehow, the patchouli and (alleged) toffee give it a suspiciously unwashed and skanky quality, which could be interesting in another blend, but fails to work with those bright fruitylicious notes. I can see how this could appeal in its brassy sweetness, and the base is nice, but as a composition, this perfume is harsh and unrelenting, and just...too much.
23rd April, 2016
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Prada Candy Florale by Prada

This is a funny little scent for me, and I suspect my experience with it is not how it smells on other people. There's a base note ingredient -- based on experience, I believe it to be vetiver; it's definitely not benzoin -- that goes weird on me: it amps up on my skin and smells not unlike 3-in-One Oil. The effect is that I smell as if whatever scent I'm wearing has an element of industrial sewing machine. Depending on what other notes come into play, this can either be highly unfortunate or intriguing. The reason I mention it is that Prada Candy Florale has this note in it. Not in great quantity, but whatever it is (vetiver, or maybe there's another culprit), it comes into play strongly and turns what is probably a sweet, dainty, possibly-insipid pink fragrance on more-normal people into something entirely different and memorable. Before the industrial note hits, this scent is sweet and floral and a bit citrusy (the limoncello?) After it hits, it smells a bit menacing. For whatever reason, that works, possibly because it smells like something a cartoon villainess would wear. My one real disappointment here (apart from it not smelling the way it was probably intended to smell) is that I get little to no benzoin, which I really like in a scent. But no, it has to go all cool and evil on me.
23rd April, 2016
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L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

L'Air du Desert Marocain is a bit of a disappointment, while being really quite lovely. On the one hand: it is indisputably an elegant, subtle composition, a deft work of olfactory art. On the other: for me at least, the individual notes never quite merge into a cohesive whole; it's almost too protean over the long haul to be wearable or truly interesting. On application, the notes are a clanging masculine shout full of spices, nothing special or distinct, but somehow promising. This initial blast settles quickly, and it becomes a (thankfully) mellower blend of spices and woods against a sweet resinous amber, with just a dash of a subtle and pleasant floral note. True to its name, the scent is somehow very dry. It smells to me like something a djinn would wear -- so also true to its name. But the scent continues to change, with different notes coming to the forefront and receding, rather than blending into something harmonious. At one point, I swear it smells like carpentry, all raw wood, metal, and oil. Yes: on me, it takes a turn as l'Air du Woodshop. Not only does it not seem to blend into a coherent composition, it doesn't blend at all with me. I'm not wearing it; it's hovering over and around me. Wearing l'Air du Desert Marocain is like going on a date with a wonderfully attractive, charming, witty person who really isn't interested in me. It is too polite to not be charming and witty, but is not really engaged in the conversation. L'Air du Desert Marocain is brilliant, beautifully composed, and interesting, but I have no chemistry with it. As a quibble, I have a lot of scent memories attached to North Africa, and the notes of this honestly don't connect with me and make me think "North Africa." Of course, that may be a highly personal evocation, but that failure to connect emotionally with my memories and expectations might be part of why it leaves me a bit less than enthusiastic. On someone else, I might truly appreciate this.
22nd April, 2016 (last edited: 23rd April, 2016)
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Wicked Wahine by Royal Hawaiian Perfumes

This was a pure-curiosity buy on my part. Reading reviews of Wicked Wahine, it was so obviously a retro cult favorite that I had to try it. And "retro" it is, which possibly explains the reviews (else-Web) where buyers are disappointed. Modern expectations of something that's obviously "beachy exotic" include certain elements and notes that just aren't present here. There is no tropical fruit, no coconut, no plumeria, no sand accord. Nary a hint of modern suntan oil and flipflops here. This scent is a time capsule of what was strong, feminine, sexy, and exotic when this was created in the 60s: lots of white flowers -- jasmine and orange blossom -- with musk and a bit of sandalwood. The opening is aldehydic and strong, and very old-school. I'm glad I'm not the only person reminded of Joy, because it's very similar to Joy at first smell. I expect this was intentional: Joy would have been one of the fine-fragrance classic standards when this was created, so it's not surprising that it might emulate Joy somewhat. Once Wahine calms down a bit, though, a spicy carnation scent emerges, and it's fantastic. The carnation adds a kind of sassy dimension to the indolic blossoms. As forthright as this is, and heavy as this could be, it wears remarkably well, not becoming cloying. It is no doubt old-fashioned. The teenager I live with described it as "kind of old-ladyish." That's probably a valid assessment, but it's an old lady with a lot of charm, not insipid or boring. Excellent retro scent, a bit kitschy, but isn't that exactly what you'd hope it would be?
22nd April, 2016
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Traversée du Bosphore by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Traversée du Bosphore is a clever perfume: a scent that's rather complex that smells deceptively simple. It begins with juicy fruit and warm suede, with a dash of iris and a delicate pale-greenish note that must be the promised tulip. Soon, however, it smells like candy. Sugary, syrupy, straightforward but not overwhelming...but still, candy. Those delicate, complex notes are still there if one holds one's wrist up and snuffles like a hound, but somehow the whole mix has become a bowlful of pomegranate-infused lokum. Not just something that evokes lokum, but something that smells virtually identical to the way a bite of lokum tastes, all fruit, flowers, jelly-gum texture, and powdered sugar. I'm particularly fond of lokum, and I've tried a number of scents that are meant to have a note or interpretation of Turkish Delight -- and they do, and they've all been lovely so far -- but this is the sole "Turkish Delight note" perfume I've tried that actually smells like lokum, not an interpretation of its elements. I find myself craving this scent when I'm not wearing it. It's undoubtedly not everyone's cup of tea, but it's quietly strange, pretty, and comforting to me, which are apt descriptors of every l'Artisan scent I've tried.
22nd April, 2016
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Zagara by Borsari

I have hoarded a bottle of this for years. It's a shame this is no longer in production, because it is the one perfume I have ever found (yet) that near-duplicates the scent of a freshly-opened bottle of orange-blossom water, which is one of the most sublime and perfect scents, as far as I'm concerned. And as others have noted, its lasting power is greater than most orange-blossom solifleurs.
27th March, 2016 (last edited: 22nd April, 2016)