Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Zephyr1973

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Total Reviews: 171

Sandal Amber by Parfums Vintage

So, I have watched this house grow on the FB sites and never really considered purchasing as I was not huge into Aventus (it initially came out to satisfy the growing frustration with batches). But, as I was nearing the end of my precious stash of Amber Absolute, I went in search of possible replacements until I win the lottery.

I am a huge fan of amber and my love to TF AA has been voracious and unwavering - until now. THIS is seriously amazing stuff - and one reason is that it is surprising in its three VERY distinctive phases:

Phase I - this is so beautiful upon opening - and initially smells just like AA - and then it totally moves into what I can only describe as...

Phase II - VINTAGE MKK!!! If you have never smelled vintage Muscs Koublai Khan, you would not recognize this piece, however, if you know that scent, you will recognize it (I hope I'm not the only one!). This phase lasted for me approximately 45 minutes. I also had some scent-memories of MPG's Ambre Dore (which I also love), and then...

Phase III - this is seriously amazing - I have vintage AA on my right wrist and this on my left - and they are so similar, it's kinda weird! Now, I only used one spray of each, and what I can say about that is, AA still has the most intensity/sillage of the two - however, I plan to try they both with more sprays. I'll report those "findings" once I can.

So, all in all, this will be a definite wish-list item! I'm seriously impressed!
10th May, 2019 (last edited: 14th May, 2019)

Jasmins Marzipane by Lancôme

I got this in the 15 ml on eBay using my ebay bucks; I sprayed it on just my left wrist, and I'm not as excited as I think I should be.

I was seeking out a "creamy jasmine" and for some reason this kept popping up. I'm not sure I'm getting the "creamy" part. It actually has a "dry" aspect to it that I will attribute to the almond.

I had high hopes for this, simply based on the fact that Dominique Ropion was the nose behind it. I'll keep testing; for now, though, this is a "neutral" for me.
08th April, 2019

Koh-i-Noor by Areej le Doré

This is seriously intense - and has incredible longevity!

It's a very rich natural musk/floral composition that has so many "stages" it's more similar to an Opera than anything I can properly compare it to.

There is an incredible REAL tuberose - the kind that has that weird scent that you would only recognize if you have smelled it in its truest form - this is not camphorus, but rather dense - and is reminiscent of the composition in Mandy Aftel's Cepes and Tuberose - which I did not connect until reading Kafkeasque's review in which she mentioned the scent that real tuberose absolute has, and compared it to mushrooms.

But that is just ONE aspect of this very intense work - there are undulations of deer musk, Mysore, and Jasmine - and somehow these work so harmoniously, you don't quite notice the shift - oh, and the LEMON! I almost forgot - this is really noticeable! It's so neat, how it lifts the scent - like an Aria sung by a clear soprano.

I'm sure I can do a better review later - but I wanted to write something on this while I was wearing it - it is so complex!
19th March, 2019
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Tabac Vert by Rogue Perfumery

Alright...

Tabac Vert and Vintage Tabarome

Upon application (TV on L, VT on R), these two smell quite a bit alike.

This is the first time I have ever smelled VT (THANK YOU!!!!) and knowing I could be headed for heartbreak (completely unaffordable), I was grateful for what could be a cheaper alternative...

But as they both developed, differences emerged - where-as the TV was in my mind Spring Green, VT was more Golden. Now, I get that my description is somewhat unusual, but I often think in color and texture. Plus, I'm not sure I can actually ADD to everyone's impressions - they are all so spot-on...but I digress.

TV was really the winner until the dry-down - and VT won. I mean, it REALLY smelled amazing - and I was not really in the "mood" for a warm, amber scent, but it was truly elegant. Don't get me wrong - the TV was still lovely, but it smelled to me more "dry". It was not bad, but I needed some moisture in the dry-down, and VT gave it.

Over-all, if you love VT, and cannot afford the crazy eBay pricing, TV is an excellent substitute. I would possibly consider TV FBW based on quality, scent and price. I would definitely buy a decant.
28th February, 2019

Hedonist Rose by Viktoria Minya

Just tried this - seriously good - surprisingly so! Soft green-ish rose...I've avoided it until now - I had no idea it would make me (and husband) smile so much!

Reminds me of a garden I visited a few years ago - it was warm, and the roses were in bloom - it had rained earlier that morning, and maybe it was the combination of the moisture and sun, but the roses seemed to REALLY open up! I like how the white wine accord gives the rose a brightness without something overly sweet. Truly, a pretty scent.
30th January, 2019

Flowerbomb Jasmine Twist by Viktor & Rolf

It's a simple jasmine scent - nothing great, nothing horrible. I think it's unlikely that any real absolute was used, as it is clear, unlike real jasmine which is either a green or red/orange/yellow tint. I know AC's are often a replacement for the real thing, but even some AC's are superior to others. This one gave me a migraine. Yes, I'm sure it was this - I gave it another go, same thing happened.

The lengths a gal will go for her love of jasmine. Le sigh.
21st January, 2019

Quelques Violettes by Houbigant

This is a lovely violet that leans towards a sweet, sugar-coated and edible violet treat. It makes me crave those little candies that are soooo expensive to buy now!

While I prefer to wear a more woody/wet/green violet, this is the best SWEET violet I have ever smelled. It will satisfy both violet and gourmand lovers alike!
01st January, 2019

Do Son Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

THIS Do Son (the EDP) nearly had me running and screaming from Do Son (both the EDP and EDT). Thankfully, someone offered me a sample of the EDT, and my relationship with Do Son was salvaged - they really are two different scents - at least to my nose.

The EDP is a juggernaut of a tuberose and is nearly assaultive in its march up my nostrils. The other notes are normally wonderful - particularly jasmine - yet none seem to play quite well together - more like an assigned group project in middle school.

If the EDP doesn't thrill you, try the EDT - and believe it or not it lasts - I can still get some whiffs of the spray I placed on my left wrist last night. For an EDT, that speaks volumes!
08th December, 2018

Do Son Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

If you cannot stand the EDP, you have found the "right" Do Son. Never have two fragrances in different concentrations had such polarizing effects upon me. I am simply shocked.

The EDT (this version I am reviewing) is so beautiful and wearable, yet slightly challenging as a great piece of art might be. There is true beauty here, and it should be praised. The seeming simplicity is a triumph of sorts that supports the star, tuberose, in a way that doesn't shout, but elicits joy held close with love.

If you love Tuberose, and so far, you are unable or unwilling to pay for FM's Carnal Flower, this quite possibly might fit your craving. No, it is NOT the same, but it has the same quality, and the same attention to detail I keep hoping other Tuberose-centric scents would strive to obtain.
08th December, 2018

Voile de Violette by Sonoma Scent Studio

Edwardian Violet

This is beautiful in a way that is layered with a romantic sort of sadness. I think of a woman riding her horse through a forest, thinking about choices she has made, should have made and must make. I think of both the gloom of the forest and the various places of relief where sunlit area is almost mythically identified with golden light and greens so bright it looks impossible.

This is not a violet for everyone, which is definitely shown in the reviews. I think that adds to the appeal. You will never smell this on a large crowd, nobody is going to recognize it, it is true ART. I think it is elegantly done, and achieves what I was craving from a new violet scent - an experience of the entire flower and its location, and memory of an era that valued it.
30th November, 2018

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

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