Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Zephyr1973

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Total Reviews: 161

L'Art et la Matière : Rose Barbare by Guerlain

Not sure why I have never written a review for this, my favorite rose.

It's interesting to read the reviews, from the good, bad and the ugly, but I do think that is to be expected from any Guerlain (particularly the newer) as well as any attempt to create a scent around the rose.

Historically, we can all reach back and compare any rose fragrance to another and claim how much better the other was and how sad it is to see the perfume world deteriorate and blah blah blah. I'm not saying there is not any validity in these discussions nor will I claim that I myself can be exempt from these either. What I am saying, is let's set that particular discussion aside and allow ourselves the freedom to simply explore a fragrance for its own merits.

The materials themselves are high quality. I would perhaps not have known the difference in the quality or even kind of roses used had I not already been exploring a variety of rose absolutes, concretes, and their varieties. In fact, it was this very thing that caused me to sample this scent - I was sitting at my "lab table" and smelling the absolute I had been able to make from the Turkish rose concrete I had received from England. It had taken some time, and lots of reading, and wondering "can this possibly be right??", and as I bottled that tiny bit and inhaled the glorious scent, I decided to look up current fragrances that used Turkish Rose Absolute. For whatever reason, it was not as easy as it should have been, but eventually, Rose Barbare showed up.

I ordered an official Guerlain sample from an eBay seller that I knew well, and it came within two days. I wore it daily for a few days, contacted the seller (who does shopping trips to Paris), and put in my order for a 125 ml of a colored Bee of Rose Barbare.

To understand how much I enjoy this scent, you have to understand that I rarely ever purchase any bottle over 50 ml, and if I can buy a 15-30 ml, that is my preference. My commitment to 125 ml was significant in that I had not only found a scent I loved, but I had finally found a ROSE I loved. The supporting notes are simply lovely: honey, patchouli, and a dash of Aldehydes with fenugreek and peach.

In essence, this is a Rose Chypre, and it is well-balanced and for me, gives the perfect amount of sillage (you won't clear a room, but I do think you'll be remembered) and the longevity for me has been outstanding - there have been days I have gotten at least 12 hours.
20th October, 2018

Mohur by Neela Vermeire

ClaireV pretty much nailed it in her review, so I'm not going to reinvent this sublime wheel.

I recently was given a sample of this and got to know this beauty all over again, and I realized I did need this in my wardrobe. It is so beautiful and different from really, anything I own - even other creations by the NV house.
01st August, 2018

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I have the reformulated version, and I swear, if the rumors are true, I would have set the world on FIRE had I sprayed the original! This is some serious "beast-mode" (to pull from the forums and FB groups) stuff, and I'm just a girl (giving props to Gwen), and NO! I cannot pull this off!

Holy MOLY! What in the name of Batman's left toenail is happening here?! This is like everything "the guys" say they want: massive sillage, longevity and sexuality...

I am amazed that Victoria's Secret hasn't found a way to carry this in their little shops. Here! Have a thong and some MR, and you're all set for your after dinner plans!

WOW! Just...WOW!

I'm going to give it a thumbs UP - but ONLY because it really commits to its legendary status. I didn't know...I just...didn't...know.
31st July, 2018
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Jasmin T by Bruno Acampora

OH Glory BE!

This is stunning! I cannot hide my love for jasmine - I am heart and soul a jasmine lover. It is both beautiful and extremely sensual. Some can be assaultive on the senses, while others work me in a way I will shell out ridiculous sums of money. This is the latter.

I never would have considered cloves to be a great match for the beloved jasmine - it seemed wrong to pair such a powerful and possible harsh spice with such a jewel of a flower, but somehow, it works. There is a sense of beauty as well as sensuality in this vial of oil. Even the Ylang Ylang is balanced well, which in my opinion, is quite something. Not every perfumer does this little yellow flower the greatest honor; some have a heavy hand and that is truly unfortunate.

I am going to venture to guess that the cloves used for this lovely concoction are possibly vintage or even antique as they are much more rounded and not at all sharp like the stuff you would find in your spice cabinet.

For those of you on your hunt for THE jasmine, this is one not to miss - you have to test it at the least. It might become your Holy Grail!
08th July, 2018

Caramella d'Amore by Il Profumo

This is sooooo interesting!

I just received this in a swap, and I asked for it blindly. I got it from a swapper over on Fragrantica, and reading the reviews there, it sounds as though this is not so wonderful. However, I was still willing to bet this may be worth giving a shot. I'm glad I did.

If you have ever tried and enjoyed MiN New York's Magic Circus, you know there is something really neat about it - it's almost perfect for those of us that are not generally as giddy when it comes to full-on gourmands. When I looked at the notes for Caramella d'Amore, it reminded me of a more subdued Magic Circus.

The scent is light, a veil of pistachio, violet (I honestly do not know the difference between white and regular violet), caramel and popcorn. It is really clever and unexpected from this house - at least in my experience.

I do wonder how my husband will experience this on me; I love Magic Circus on him.

Update: I really appreciate the soft veil of sillage, and while the longevity leaves a bit to be desired, it is a bit of a plus in that it allows for an easy change over for a late afternoon scent if one would choose to use three scents in a day, as this is most certainly a day scent - at least in this hot weather!
26th June, 2018

Essences Insensées 2015 (Jasmine) by Diptyque

Very pretty and satisfies my need for a creamy, lovely realistic jasmine. I am surprised there are not more reviews for this. It's a "must-try" for jasmine lovers.

The indoles are not in-your-face, but take a back-seat, though are more present than, say, A la Nuit.
17th April, 2018

Yvresse / Champagne by Yves Saint Laurent

A very good friend just gifted me a vintage bottle of Champagne Parfum, and it is delightful.

I have not ever gotten my nose on any other formulas of this scent, so I cannot compare it to any others. This stays close to the skin, and is thankfully not loud nor brash.

I find it to be a clear melodic scent, with both depth and clear tone that cannot help but make me smile.

I'll write more later.
03rd February, 2018

Lady Day by Maria Candida Gentile

This is a true gardenia.

Growing up in the South, the scent of Gardenias permeated our backyard - it is my mother's favorite flower, so dad made sure she always had plenty planted near the backdoor and patio.

Gardenias seemed to grow everywhere, and I took it for granted that those sultry blooms could grow here in Maryland, but alas, they could not handle the winters here.

This is definitely one to spend time with before making a decision. I nearly said "no way!", but allowed it to take its time, and once it settled, the childhood memories were so present, I could not deny the quality and care that went into the making of this captivating scent.
06th December, 2017

Vanisia by Creed

For all the times I have said I am frustrated with Creed - especially their feminine line - Vanisia redeems the line.

I have a bottle of the older Vanisia, so I have no idea how it compares to the newer juice, but my hope is that they do not vary by much. This is such a nice representation of the Oriental genre.

I get a very clear amber-y feel from this, though it's not the kind you get from scents such as Amber Absolute or Ambre 114. This is more "rose dusted" amber and it may even be actual ambergris. There is a roundness to this in the dry down that makes me think with it being a vintage bottle, it may have real Mysore as well as real ambergris - the subtlety is so fine that if this was done with aroma-chemicals, it was done with a rather masterful hand!

I am giving it 4 stars for now, but it could move to 5...I need to wear it more and in more climates to see how it works. So far, though, it is different enough from Lyric and Duetto to keep in my collection.
22nd November, 2017

Cardinal by Heeley

The Incense for us Catholic Lights - i.e. Episcopalians and Anglicans - it's got a "happy" feel to it - we jokingly laugh with our HRC friends that we're just like Catholics - all the fun with half the guilt - and this Incense is a lighter take on heftier predecessors of the same genre, such as Unum Lavs. It is simply gorgeous and I am so glad to finally have it in my husband's wardrobe (though, I might sneak some sprays for myself!).
20th November, 2017

Eau des Missions by Le Couvent des Minimes

This is the Vanilla to spray when you want to smell like a regal baked cake - not a childish one.

I cannot understand how this delight flew under my radar for so long. In fact, I wonder if I assumed that the price-point was a predictor of quality. If that is the case, I am a foolish woman indeed.

If it were not for a dear friend who adores me as much as I adore her, I'd never have the funds NOW to afford this discontinued gem, as it is now sold for a terribly high price once people realized its value.

The scent is reminiscent of Mona di Orio's Vanille, but on the sweeter side. It sits proudly, bearing itself as much more than one might expect coming from such a sad sprayer. And I mean that - the sprayer made me feel sad - it's appearance is that of an old plastic hair-spray pump. It's ugly and while I KNOW these are essentially GOOD sprayers, it doesn't make for a good presentation. It certainly is awkward against the vintage-looking label. None-the-less, it is useful, and you only need a few pumps to get good coverage.

The use of Myrrh is what makes this less child-like and more regal - the combination keeps the vanilla from becoming too damn happy, and really, what woman in her late 30's and over wants that? Our beauty is discovered only in the trials and heartaches we bear and in the class in which we bear them. Too much sweetness grates against the nerves. The dose of Myrrh is an excellent addition for the true beauty here.

One final note: enjoy this as a layer underneath whatever you would like to add a vanilla note - it is truly a lovely experience for yourself and others around you.
22nd October, 2017

Oriental Lounge by The Different Company

This is what I wear when I would like to have a dimmer switch on my Tom Ford Amber Absolute.

Now, having said that, let me be clear that they are not the same scent - this is more feminine. I agree with other reviewers, which is what made me think this would be the amber I needed for "regular" wear. I would NOT have my husband wear this - it really does lean too feminine in my opinion, and I would not wish to smell this on a man.

I have no explanation looking at the notes listed as to why this should NOT work on a man, except it must be the way in which the notes/materials are blended. It's just light, and suggests womanly beauty...there is nothing here that even hints at masculine angles.

I'd like to wear this with a long green velvet gown.
19th October, 2017

Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

This is one of the best (if not THE best) incense fragrances I have owned, or tested. I adore it. It has the perfect balance of church incense and exotic spice and warmth. It is sensual without being an "in your face" sexbomb. It is so sad that it has been discontinued, and thus more and more difficult to obtain. This is worthy of back-up bottles.
29th July, 2017
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Al Hajjar Al'Aswad by Abdul Samad Al Qurashi

THIS is the rose I've been looking for to layer as well as wear alone. Goodness this is beautiful! So dark and full! It feels like a dark swirl of reds and pinks. Exquisite!
23rd July, 2017

Elixir des Merveilles by Hermès

I think I finally get this - and when I was offered a 30 ml in a swap, I decided to spring for it. It is by far the most bizarre of this entire "line" of scents (at what point does a flanker begin its own line?), and that is what made me come back - if this were labeled under Josh Lobb's Slumberhouse label, I believe it would have more approval - I mean, it is really weird...and wearable sometimes...but then it gets weird again. I like it like that.

Anyway, if you've always wished Josh would make an amber for the masses (he made "A", but that was not for the masses), and wondered what weird stuff you could do to amber, this is it...until Josh decides he wants to expand on "A" (hint hint).
23rd July, 2017

Crimes of Passion: Dirty Honey by 4160 Tuesdays

OH! BEE-Have!

This is just wonderful for any honey-bears out there! If you are a fan of the animalic honey/beeswax/honeycomb, this is your bag, baby!

I love it - I bought it completely blind. I had a craving for something I could wear when I just wanted that "all-bee" sorta feel. This is that scent. It's not raunchy - but it IS naughty!
29th June, 2017

Bois et Musc by Serge Lutens

The only version of this I have ever tried is the vintage, and it is lovely. This is a very soft wood and musk - nothing animalic, strange or difficult. It wears close to the skin, and on me, lasts several hours. You won't smell the same as others, but you won't (likely) offend others either. It's still unique, but it's also beautiful. For a Sheldrake, it is rather "normal".
29th June, 2017

Jeke by Slumberhouse

I have owned Jeke four (4!) times. I believe I have had the marbles and possibly another (older?) bottle as well as the current flask-type bottle. I've sold and/or traded these over time, and as I type this, a fifth (and possibly last) bottle is making its way via USPS to me.

This is an absolutely intoxicating scent; hay, tobacco, and resinous notes. I believe there is also clove, but it is so rich, it cannot be anything recent. I have smelled the recent stuff and the older stuff - older clove absolute is more subtle, deep and rich, whereas the newer is sharper, brighter and seems to overtake any perfume in which it is allowed into.

This is sensual, deep and not for everyone.

20th June, 2017

Milly-La-Forêt by Christian Dior

I am so happy I took a chance on this. Orange blossoms and jasmine flowers. Iris butter and musk. So Enchantingly beautiful and fine. I view this as a timeless classic. Perhaps the 20-somethings may not appreciate this, but those of us "mature ladies" (curtsey) will appreciate the gentle subtlety of this scent.
03rd June, 2017

Reckless pour Femme by Roja Dove

This is the sweetest scent that I can handle - and it is lovely! The name is really amusing as "reckless" would have you believe it is far more wild and well, reckless. Let me be clear: this is a candy shop for grown-ups. It is high-class sweets. The initial notes conjure up Saturday morning cartoons with a bowl of fruit-loops, however that imagery and scent is short-lived. What follows is a sweetish floral, yet somewhat fruity scent-journey that almost feels like a dream.

The dream begins with the open doors of a candy shop - it's initial blast is intense, which is over-bearing and almost offensive. You turn your head, but then...then you find a note, something you identify as maybe a peach. But is it a peach?

As you find yourself moving through the doors, you notice that the walls are not covered in silly imagery of candy and cartoonish critters, but rather a dark eggplant that speak to the luxurious offerings behind the glass counter, where adults in black uniforms stand waiting to speak softly to customers. Wall sconces gently illuminate the room and soft opera plays overhead. Your steps are softened on the hardwood floors by darkly colored Persian rugs.

The notecards in front of each silver platter piled high with sweet goodies suggest unusual pairings, and no prices. This is both good and very good. This is a most adult and divine indulgence. The dream moves on.

Sugared flowers grace platters and candied fruit perches on the sides of crystal glasses, awaiting whatever spirits the connoisseur desires. Limes dipped in dark chocolate, cinnamon dusting truffles, and the scent of jasmine tea fills the air and entices the eye.

The dream is filled with the desire and the imagination...the scent and the wish. There is a sensuality to this space and to this level of luxury. You choose your delicacies and return to your lover...this is only the beginning.
02nd June, 2017

Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

Oh wow!

This is the very first time I have smelled this cult fragrance and it is in its true vintage form - WOW! I can definitely see why so many seek it out - but I cannot pull it off. I know this was/is marketed to women, but there is NO REASON why a man should not own as EASILY wear this scent today!

I think this needs to be worn with Christian Louboutin heels, at least 3" high if you are a woman, which is why I cannot pull this off. Having screwed up my back, knees, and having broken a toe during multiple sporting pursuits as well as psychiatric holds, I am simply unable to rise above 1" heals - and that will not do for vintage Opium. Not at all.

Or I'd need a sex-change, and heels or not, I am ALL woman. No changes necessary or desired.

I still give it a positive review as it is everything it claims to be - it is me that cannot be WITH it.
06th May, 2017

Precious Woods by April Aromatics

I've been loving and wearing this gorgeous expression of woods for going on two years now, on and off, and I have yet to tire of it...yet I have forgotten to type a review. For shame.

This is one of my very favorite "woody" scents - it fulfills my need for cedar wood (the good kind), pine (sappy), sandalwood and a sensual patchouli. There is a deep warmth, yet the scent does not shout. It has a respectable amount of silage and longevity, and it's received several compliments and inquiries from complete strangers.

I love the packaging - except for the crystals. I'm not into "new age" stuff, and the crystals feels a bit over-the-top. But the bottle design and box are a nice break from the average rectangle.

09th April, 2017 (last edited: 10th April, 2017)

Join The Club : Ivory Route by Xerjoff

This was really a lovely surprise!

I had no idea what to expect as the notes are not listed here, and I decided to not search them out.

The opening is a dance of what I THINK is marjoram, mint, tea, and a few other things I readily cannot identify - but it makes for a decidedly aromatic scent.

I don't really detect any middle notes...it seems to go from "A" to "C".

I get a soft velvety amber, sandalwood, labdanum, and vanilla in the dry down. This is so easy to wear, very gentle on the mind and the nose. Most definitely unisex. FBW.
09th April, 2017

Casamorati 1888 Dama Bianca by Xerjoff

There is a LOT going on here.

I'm not sure what to say. It's not a bad scent, but I don't exactly enjoy it. The notes seem to scream for my attention, all at once. I feel as though I'm in a room with 20 three year olds all asking for a snack!

I can smell some iris and violet, but it is so tucked up under all the "noise" of the other notes, it doesn't shine, and it is why I give this a "neutral".

But, I'm not saying that it's a bad scent, don't try it, you won't enjoy it - I just could not get through the opening in any way that made sense to my nose or my brain.
09th April, 2017

Terre de L'Encens by Cloon Keen Atelier

An unexpected beauty.

I was admittedly confounded by the concept of the fragrance...how would it actually work? A cool incense? How? And would it fall apart?

I had passed up this hidden gem two, maybe three times in a trade with a friend. I was not familiar with the brand, and everything I read was a "yin and yang" of sorts. It certainly held a fascination, but did I really want it?

This time, I was ready for an unusual take on Frankincense. I love the stuff, and a recent purchase of some orris butter as well as some nice Frankincense had me wondering back to this little bottle.

Upon application, it smelled sorta average. I was racing out the door, and decided to try it, and thought "well, at least it's not bad". That was that, at least for about 30 minutes.

But then something really beautiful happened. I caught a hint of something that reminded me of walking on the beach in the fall or winter. At first, I didn't even think about the fragrance I had sprayed on, because honestly, it did not seem to have any relationship to the initial spray, plus I was moving some things around in my office, and I have several items that still have sea salt/mineralization on them for decor, so I assumed I had simply smelled those in movement.

When my first client came in, I reached over to grab my water, and my wrist went close to my nose - AHA! That is the winter beach scent! It's the fragrance I am testing! I was delighted...and excited to see how it would develop.

By the end of the last client, I learned that this would be a fairly linear, but incredibly realistic winter beach scent. I still do not comprehend how these notes combine to manifest that memory and imagery for me, but I like it. I love that for me, this is a skin scent after four hours. Sometimes I want more, sometimes less. This is PERFECT for those days I want a bit less.

I am very glad I did not pass up this gem, this time.
07th April, 2017

Chillum by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

I just received this from a fellow BN'er in a trade, and I am reveling in its absolute beauty. It was a complete blind trade, and I based my belief that it would work for me on the reviews of several people I trust as well as my own knowledge and understanding of Mysore sandalwood.

This is a sprayable version of my own tiny reserve of pure Mysore oil. Well, sorta. It is incredible that someone has managed to find supportive notes that allow the warm, almost "buttery" scent of the Mysore to shine without dampening it in any sort of way or creating an accord of something else. The ginger is not sharp, and the tobacco is not overly sweet. There is a bit of smoke that makes me wonder if I (as a woman) can pull this off, or if I will need to turn this juice over to my husband's collection.

Approximately 30 minutes into wearing, I find this scent to be a curious thing; it is currently sprayed ion the back of my left hand, and as I turn my hand, I smell a sort of "scale" of smoke to Mysore - like a gradient scale. If I saw it in color, it would go from very pale yellow to a deep orange. It's rich and warm. I look forward to smelling this on my beloved.
02nd March, 2017 (last edited: 15th March, 2017)

Sacrebleu Intense by Nicolaï

My husband was enamored. He is just a man, not an enthusiast.

Unlike one reviewer, I do not get a strong impression of cinnamon.

This is (for me) a veil-like mix of white florals, soft woods and just enough frankincense and patchouli to give heft, and therefore solidify this into my regular rotation.

The vanilla falls in the category with Mona di Orio's Vanille, not becoming overly sweet, though it is more of an "edible" type than the scent I get from MdO's masterpiece. Even if you own Vanille, Sacrebleu Intense is well worth having a place in one's wardrobe.
09th February, 2017

Sea Foam by Art de Parfum

This is a very beautiful aquatic. I am reminded of gentle breezes on a beach in mid-May. It is not yet sweltering hot, and yet the sun is warming the sand and any exposed skin. The scent of the salt water drying on seashells along with sand drying as the tide goes out is a mix of both salty and somewhat pungent. Animal and plant life in the form of jellyfish, horseshoe crabs, seaweed, and fish in various stages of decay have been left behind by the retreating tide. They don't overwhelm the nose, but they exist, and intertwine with the other scents and define this space as a beach with a vast ocean breaking against its shores. Bergamot is the perfect framework for the opening, and it continued to waft in and out for me throughout the evening.

There is a glorious note of driftwood. I know this scent so well from growing up in North Carolina and collecting the bleached out wood from the beaches. Wood in all forms is a note I appreciate, but I really enjoy when a perfumer employs the scent of driftwood.

I adore sandalwood, and being that I own many scents with both real Mysore as well as other sandalwoods, PLUS some vintage pure Mysore Sandalwood, I can pick it out fairly well. I did not find it during this first wearing. It is possible that either my two-month cold has effected my sense of smell, it's too cold, or a combination of the two.

I am going to update when the weather gets warmer, and see if and how this lovely aquatic changes with some heat.
08th February, 2017

Chypre Mousse (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

It's all about that drydown. Damn, it's good!

The opening is a bit like a walk through someone great-aunt's house that is enormous and full of pleasures for the eyes, mouth, and nose, but overwhelms at the same time. The problem is, you have NO idea from which the source of the weird scent comes! You can't escape it...but then...

You find you are trying to breathe it in deeper...and deeper. It's really odd. I get something unpleasant, but then, towards the end of my inhalation, I find something alluring, almost magical. That's just the opening.

The middle notes are traffic-jam of sharp greens - but they are fairly short lived in their fullness and willingness to cut you if you give them any side-eye.

But DAMN! I've been wearing this since 8:30 am, and it's 6:45 pm, and this is the part I LOVE! It's perfectly elegant without announcing itself as such. It's the scent of beauty with edge and a rawness that allows for the wearer to feel real - not as though this is a scent trying to make them pretend at playing a role. It's truly FBW, but only if you have grown bored of "well-blended" and perfect. This is not that bottle. This is an edgier elegance. This is really cool.
31st January, 2017

Chamade by Guerlain

This is for the vintage extrait:

Such a lovely, fleeting experience.

A veil of jasmine, galbanum, hyacinth, and woods. I never got any vanilla, but perhaps my particular bottle was "off"?

The time was all too short for such a pretty scent.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now I have the vintage EDT - longer lasting and still exquisite!
28th January, 2017 (last edited: 13th May, 2018)