Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Zephyr1973

Total Reviews: 165

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
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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)

Narciso Rodriguez for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

This is VERY fruity/floral!

I had only smelled the oil prior to obtaining this (Iridescent) bottle as well as the white cube shaped bottle, so these were both very new to me.

The reviews are all over the place for many of the scents from this house, and I wonder if part has to do with not knowing which scent we are actually describing - even here, I am forced to say I own a bottle that I don't, as it is the closest one to the bottle that I DO own, since someone did not think it was different enough to offer it its own "line item". That is perhaps fine, but I just rated the NON-iridescent EDP - not the EDT or the Iridescent (which is what I have and INTEND to rate). I really do hope someone gets where I am going with this on the MANY levels I am taking it...MANY LEVELS.

Anyway, as far as scent goes, I liked it ok, but I believe this is way more of a fruity floral than I was lead to believe (a difficult genre for me when done by the best), or my nose is really off - plausible...but I would bet money that this house is designed to target the "under 40" ladies, so I feel very certain that I am not this house's demographic.
24th December, 2016

Tova Nights by Tova Borgnine Beverly Hills

This is a review for the vintage EDP

I am surprised that this scent doesn't get more "hype" but perhaps that's a good thing. I really seem to miss out on many of the fantastic "sleepers".

Like many vintages, the initial opening must be ignored (if you decide to spray it). I tried it both ways, and once I realized the cap can be unscrewed, I decanted some into a dauber bottle I had cleaned out a while ago. I prefer the dauber method, for certain - much gentler in the opening, plus, the marriage of the sandalwood, violet, iris, jasmine and lilac is more pronounced (at least to my nose) when applied by dauber.

I have read in several places that it is rumored that this was created from all natural materials - I do not know whether this is true, or based in any fact, but I could believe it based solely upon the quality.

As far as silage and longevity, it performs better as a spray, but as a dauber, it makes for a very beautiful skin scent. Now, as I am testing this in winter, I do wonder what warmer weather may do to "open up" some of the notes. I'll update once I learn.
23rd December, 2016

Musc for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

This review is for the Musc Oil:

This is what I love: years ago, there was a store called Garden Botanika (I believe that was the name), and they had the most amazing scent station where you could compose your own fragrance. I spent endless hours, many days playing with the oils and making bottles. I loved "Egyptian Musk" and several others, and it is no wonder that I should also enjoy this scent as well. It is very soft on my skin - a skinscent for certain. It is light, lovely and non-offensive. Easy to wear.

This is what I don't love: I may easily get bored with this because it is so "simple". I typically like a bit of teeth to my scents, but this is just really pretty.

Conclusion: I am very happy that I own about 3 ml of this in the oil. I enjoy it for both the memories as well as an evening/bedtime scent. I recommend it for anyone looking for something soft and gentle and highly wearable.
17th December, 2016

Taklamakan by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777

Goodness! And I mean that as both the exclamation as well as the word itself! Oh wow - get thy nose to this ASAP!

I cannot believe nobody has reviewed this here yet. I'm not sure if that means this is a sleeper, or if I'm the only one who likes it enough to write a review, but oh! how PRETTY!

I received this in a trade and chose it only after reading the review done by Kafkaesque, which is entirely perfectly written and I could only muddle the words. The only think I can add is this: I have had it on for nearly an hour, and typing has been an issue because I need both hands to type, and my left hand really NEEDS to be close to my nose - a lot. I mean, I need it sorta right up I'm gonna have to stop typing for now, and get back to this in a bit.

14th December, 2016

Soliflore Rose de Mai by Dame Perfumery

It is an odd thing that an EDT could be so powerful as well as long-lasting, but this bottle has quite the mojo!

I sampled this about four months ago and really enjoyed it. I was on the fence as to whether or not to indulge myself in a full bottle, even though the price is rather astounding for such great juice and such a large amount. But, it stayed in the back of my mind, and then it clicked: LAYERING!

I have found that sometimes I just want a bit of rose in a scent - perhaps more than it already has, perhaps it has none, or I have an oil I'd like to add some depth to - this is my answer!

Now, as for the scent profile - it's a soliflore, but please be warned! This is a challenging rose that goes on somewhat pungent at first - if you have used organic Bulgarian rosewater for your face, you will understand! But after about twenty minutes, it truly reveals itself to be THE rose many of us search for. I experimented layering with various scents, from vintage to current to oils. It was exactly what I wanted - and when I just want a rose, this will be that bottle I reach for.
06th November, 2016

Vent Vert (original) by Pierre Balmain

FINALLY I own a 15 ml of this gorgeous ORIGINAL scent! I have (up until now) been forced to only use the tiny 4 ml bottles sold on ebay or etsy. I feel so grown up now LOL!

The green scent is both sharp and sweet at the same time - not overly sweet, but enough to take the edge off and remind you that this bottle is all about SPRING! Odd, that I located this in Fall, right? Wrong. It rather feels like Spring these days! No matter, this scent is simply stunning. The rose is prominent as it is in No. 19 (vintage versions), but not a candied rose - a real, walking in the garden - "there's a rosebush" rose. Dewy, sensual, classy. The Galbanum is perfectly balanced with the Jasmine, Rose and Violet, which in turn, goes extremely well with the base of Oakmoss (I believe this is the real deal!) and Sandalwood (is this Mysore!!?). Certainly there are other notes (perhaps Orris?) but the ones I mentioned really stand out.

This vintage star in certainly not for everyone, nor should it be. We would be a boring lot if we all enjoyed the same things, now wouldn't we? If you have always enjoyed the idea of No. 19, but perhaps found it to be a bit more sharp than you'd prefer, Vent Vert may be what you have been searching for. Maybe.
03rd November, 2016

Lavender Palm by Tom Ford

An unexpected scent...

I really had no idea what to think about this scent from the mixed reviews. I've been offered bottles in swaps, but never really felt brave enough to just "go for it". However, a friend I have done many trades with had it, and I figured it was time to test those particular waters.

I have been testing this today, and whereas I previously had assumed this would be either going into my swap or sales pile, I am convinced I will be keeping this particular brew! I am not a fan of "barbershop" scents for myself. I admire other women who can pull it off, but I just can't. But I do love lavender, and have not had any luck with lavender in a scent that doesn't lean dramatically masculine as well as screams "I just had a shave and a haircut!" - but then this strange and unusual combination of elements comes together and all of a sudden, here is a lavender perfectly suited for women!

It can be described as a salty (I know, weird, right?), and yet creamy lavender - yea, I know...doesn't make sense. Here is something to add to the nonsensical description - I am reminded of the beach on a cool day. I know, you think I'm losing my mind. And whereas everyone talks about this being "California" I think about the mid-Atlantic beaches I have loved all of my life. This is (dare I say it?) the aquatic I have been searching for! How can this be??? I do not comprehend how these notes that I can truly pick out, combine to bring me a clear vision of a mid-Atlantic beach on a cool day! How seriously bizarre and wonderful!
16th October, 2016

Black by Puredistance

I received a sample of this about a year ago, really enjoyed it, and thought "well, that was lovely, but can't afford it".

Thankfully, I was in a place recently where I could trade another high-end fragrance for it, and as I type this, I am wearing this very beautiful, but hard-to-describe scent.

My impression is of a darkened room, lined with old books, treasures, and other antiquities, and a worn velvet sofa where I sit curled reading a novel, while my beloved sips rum and smokes a pipe. There is a small incense burner, and the unknown substance is smoking gently, wafting seeking residence inside the pages of the old books and the leather that binds them. Roses placed in a tarnished silver vase sit in a corner on top of an old sandalwood box. I wear a touch of amber on my wrists and my husband is wearing a musky oud.

This impression lasts and lasts...I cannot say what others might smell, or what is actually in this tall black bottle, but I really love what my nose and brain receive!
15th October, 2016

Essence No. 2 : Gardenia by Elie Saab

Luca Turin was not wrong!

I'll type more later - just going to enjoy this one now!
04th October, 2016
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Midnight Poison by Christian Dior

Goodness! I had no idea I would enjoy this little gem so much!

I found a mini for sale on ebay and it came in the mail today. Upon application, it was extremely LOUD and yelled HELLO! I AM ON YOUR WRIST! I thought "well damn, here is money down the drain". But I waited (thank goodness! price/ml was not low!), and it paid me back in spades in the dry-down - oh boy - this will have my pretty...the bottle is gorgeous as well!

Rose and Patchouli done VERY well. Just let the screaming citrus do its thing like a temperamental two year old, and you'll be fine - really!
30th September, 2016

Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

I had tried and really liked the current formulation, but did not need that much juice, so I hesitated purchasing. About a week ago, I found one of the older 30 ml bottles that were made in the Louis the XVI style bottle (mine was sealed and in a zebra box, so likely from the 80's, though possibly later).

I really LOVE the scent now! It seems brighter (if that could be possible) and the lavender is less heavy (at least that is my impression). Longevity is still an "issue" but as it was never meant to last, I don't really consider it a factor. Projection is minimal, making it a rather personal or intimate scent, perfect to enjoy for the sake of its pleasure, or for the sultriest of summer days.
28th September, 2016

Wardasina by Sospiro

Had I not come here and read ClaireV's review, I would seriously have wondered if the friend who had sent me his sample had somehow switched the labels by accident. However, reading Claire's review, I am relieved to know that not only do we agree, but this is the correct scent I am now wearing as well as reviewing.

I was so looking forward to trying this, as I love rose and I love tobacco - how could this go wrong? Well, as Claire so aptly said, it sucks the air right out of the room! Right away, I was reminded of Dior's Oud Ispahan (not a positive thing for me). This comparison unfortunately never really let up throughout the wearing. Even as I toiled moving heavy furniture, and working up a sweat, this scent was drier than a desert without it's yearly rain. Some scents make me want to keep sniffing my wrist throughout the day and evening; this is not one of those.
07th September, 2016

Peel by Madhat Scents

I just got this - just now - its on my wrist and I LOVE it!

I don't know how Ryan does it, but he really managed to take a citrus and make me want to wear it...all year round! I am enjoying this so much more than I expected, and now I cannot wait to try some others from this house! This is one of my very favorite blind buys!

I'll write more in depth later, but I really wanted folks to know about this before they missed the chance to buy some!
04th August, 2016

Gold Woman by Amouage

Just got a small bottle of the vintage stuff in a trade and I am OVERKLEMPT!

Good LAWD!

So, at the beginning of my more recent perfume journey "reboot" starting around 2014, I received a sample of Gold from a kind person. I loved it, but was not in position to buy it. I was also still trying to adjust my nose, figure out what I liked, and having lurked for about a year or so here, I was eager to begin participating in the discussions. So Gold was placed on the back-burner, and on went my tour of scents.

Just this past week, a friend from the other side of the country whom I have done a lot of blind trades with over the past year or so, sent me a group of pictures from which to choose my next trade - I always enjoy these "shopping" trips with him! He and I both share the same passion for looking up notes and reviews, and taking the plunge - it really is quite fun, and it has been a great way to explore things I might never have had the chance!

Anyway, this little bottle was so obscure, but it was distinctive in the cut - not your basic rectangle - I was getting very excited - what could this be?? He revealed its identity: Amouage Women's Gold - the "older version" HOLY COW ON A POGO STICK! LOL!

Ladies (and gentlemen who seriously care), this is THE bomb of bombshell fragrances - this is the trumpet that announces your entry to the party, it is your escort with the James Bond is you, in your best gown, heals, and mink stole with diamond earrings. This is ALL woman - volume turned up and spotlight on. Oh, and did I forget to mention, you are wearing Chanel Red lipstick and nail polish? Yea - its THAT good.
02nd August, 2016

Cologne du Parfumeur by Guerlain

Just lovely!

I am planning to experiment with layering under a multitude of scents, as I've been told the effect is rather amazing.

On its own, though, it is quite refreshing and a "happy" scent, if you will. As Orange Blossom is a favorite of mine, this is easily a favorite. FBW.
22nd July, 2016

Oud Stars : Fars by Xerjoff

I really like this...REALLY like this.

Not on me (yet!), but on my beloved husband. It really works on him, and therefore, it works for me...really works for me.

This stays in the wardrobe.

I love the cade, the jasmine and geranium, and was very excited to be able to pick out the Haitian Vetiver! I love the pure stuff, and know it well! The type of oud used is new to me, and I like it. This is the first Xerjoff I've tried that I really liked. The mixture of resinous with floral is really nice, and somehow works on my husband.
21st July, 2016

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum by Guerlain

I unabashedly love this.

Why? Because I chose to ignore the name and the iconic shape of the bottle. To me, this is a completely new scent, one that has nothing to do with the original, and it is truly beautiful. In fact, it strangely pairs well with L'heur Bleu (I happen to be sampling both, one on each wrist).

The opening is just as lovely as the dry down, but I would recommend it for the dry down - it is rather amazing, at least on my skin. The jasmine comes thru soft as a whisper, and the rose lays gently in the background. This is about as opposite of my more intense bottles, such as Ropion's masterpiece Carnal Flower as you can get, while still alluding to sensuality.

The vanilla is light and the musk is feminine. The colors chosen for this bottle definitely fit the overall tone of the scent - feminine, ethereal, and sensual.
19th July, 2016

Santal Royal by Guerlain

Quite lovely!

I'm not sure what I was expecting. I suppose not much, knowing this would not, and could not contain any Mysore Sandalwood. But Wasser did something rather nice with this, and it works, at least for me.

The opening is bright, and the perfect balance of jasmine and neroli. It never gets heavy, but it's enough for indolic lovers to get a nice sniff or two before giving way to the gorgeous rose (and wow...this really is NICE) and Cinnamon! And it is DELIGHTFUL! Oh this combo is just dazzling! I can't wait for my husband to smell this on me!

The dry-down, is a long, languid, resinous wrap in beauty and sensuality. Definitely FBW, and most certainly worthy of a colored Bee Bottle!
15th July, 2016

Iranzol by Bruno Acampora

So, this was interesting. I'm still trying to explain to my brain what I felt in my soul. It was confusing. I talked with a fellow basenote member about this as well, and we both had a similar reaction - this scent is sorta eerie! I think there is something about the myrrh note that (at least for me) played with my mind to the point that I had lots of dark, creepy imagery running through my mind.

You need to understand this: I enjoy looking at decrepit buildings, half-sunken ships, derelict and abandoned factories - so spooky/creepy is typically not something I shy from, but instead have a strange push-pull fascination with - but this fragrance is the sort of creepy that makes you feel something is wrong - just off. Other-worldly. In some ways, that makes this scent incredibly fascinating and certainly it is a work of art, however, it's not wearable. That was truly hard to type - after all, this IS a perfume! But I really tried, and while I realize my nose and weird brain have likely combined to come up with some strange and bizarre pairing that won't be an issue for others, still, I felt compelled to report my experience.

Definitely going to explore others in this house!
09th July, 2016

Iris Nazarena by Aedes de Venustas

I am testing this again today - I really hope my nose was off yesterday. Will update at end of the day.
Sadly, this was still not working for me. Time to trade or sell.

I always hate being the one to go against the flow...

Wait, no that's not quite true. But in this case, I do feel awkward. Why? Because I believe my nose must be broken. You see, everyone else smells something that I do not. I smell something extremely sweet, with barely a hint of iris, except in the opening. No leather, no incense, no spice...I seriously just rechecked the bottle to make certain I had the correct bottle!

I DO smell the Rose de Mai - which incidentally is rather lovely, but I was thinking this would be a collaborative note, rather than the dominant.

It is no doubt a very pretty scent. But for a lover of the cool breath of iris, this leaves my heart wanting more.
03rd July, 2016 (last edited: 05th July, 2016)

Suédois by Euphorium Brooklyn

I have owned this incredible brew for a while now, and I just now realized I have not yet reviewed it.

This past winter (and this is most assuredly a late fall and full on winter scent), I wore this many times, and received compliments from men and women known and unknown to me. I received the first one in Starbucks waiting in line with about 20 other people. Someone asked "what is that phenomenal smell??" - well, all of us thought it had to be coffee - I mean, we were in a coffee shop for goodness sake! But the guy kept saying it smelled like a really great pair of shoes and something sexy - then he said "it's YOU!" - I know I turned 8 shades of red. He of course asked what it was. Explaining the name of such a relatively unknown perfumery, especially one with a funky name was really fun (in the morning, sans coffee), but somehow I managed to explain the name and how he could order it.

All of that to say, this is POWERFUL stuff - it gets noticed. Whether or not people will like it or not, I suppose that is personal preference, but the silage is massive. It also has longevity to rival the beast of beasts. The first time I sprayed it, I had on a scarf/wrap. I will have to do some serious washing if I ever want it to smell like anything else. Basically, that is what I wear if I want to wear this scent, and not "waste" any juice. I keep that scarf (and others that hold amazing scents) in separate ziplock bags :)

The notes listing looks like an ADD madhouse hopped up on some serious cocaine...I have no idea how all of that works but it somehow manages to make me smell lovely. I used about 10 of the 30 ml this past fall/winter, so I hope I can get another couple of seasons out of this. I do believe my next bottle will be a 50, though.

02nd July, 2016

Iris Ganache by Guerlain

I received this rarity from a VERY generous friend in the form of a 5 ml decant. I spent a few days just sniffing it...trying to decide what I thought.

I was...underwhelmed. I sense I just uttered blasphemy in the world of fragrance, but I cannot be untrue to my nose.

I love the fragrance profile of Iris - the many facets of iris - cold, creamy, floral...but I could not detect any of that here. Instead, I smelled something like a really rich desert. I have nothing against desert (in fact, as I type this, the scent is convincing me to perhaps mix up some Ghirardelli brownie mix and eat it raw), but I draw the line at sweets with ambers and tonkas.

I have no doubt that for those chocolate scent lovers, this must TRULY be a heavenly scent, but I do wonder if they too experienced the mild silage and rather short-lived longevity as I did.

All in all, I am very grateful to have had opportunity to get my nose on this legend.
27th June, 2016 (last edited: 28th June, 2016)

Eau de Cologne by Chanel

Absolutely beautiful! The perfect Citrus!

I love this! I did not expect longevity (got 3 hours of stuff others could smell near me) and about 2 hours of a lovely skin-scent. Perfect summer scent, non-offensive, easy to wear, and probably the freshest scent I own, and that includes TF's Neroli Portofino (I get great longevity and projection with it).

If anyone has a pipe-dream that an EDC should have a fabled longevity or projection, I'd invite you to revisit the definition.

I believe to enjoy this to its fullest, one should carry a small decant with them and spray without fear of offending the masses frequently and for the sheer love of refreshment on hot summer days!
06th June, 2016

Melkmeisje by Baruti

Something tickles my nose, then my throat - sneezy!

It reminds me of the worst of spring in NC - allergies! ARGHHHH!!!

There is something that litteraly catches in the back of my throat - SPICY! HURTS! This hurts!!! I don't want my scents to be painful to my nose and throat! LOL!

I must go scrub this - it and I are so not getting along.
24th May, 2016

Café V by Olympic Orchids

WOW! This has got POWERHOUSE written all over it!

It is an intense leather - with a very masculine/herbal/rough sorta take. This is definitely the opposite of a feminine scent. I mean, this is MANLY!

Clearly, I will not be wearing this any more than this sample...still debating as to whether to purchase for husband to wear. I think I like's growing on me...truth is, not sure it will come off anytime soon! LOL! Better settle in and enjoy this thing...

I think I like it...rough, manly, sexy...clearly masculine.
17th May, 2016

Olympic Rainforest by Olympic Orchids

This is pure memory for me. I am walking in the woods near my home growing up, in Durham, NC. The minty note reminds me of picking mint leaves with friends to add to the tea we made by soaking tea bags in cold water in large glass jugs, the bags of tea suspended by the strings wrapped around a twig laid over the opening - thinking back, we perhaps might have considered cheesecloth to keep out flying pests, but we were 7 or 8 years old and we played in creeks and thought we were invincible.

The mint is joined with the smell of forest undergrowth, which in NC is dominated by yellow and white pine, and a multitude of other conifers and hardwoods. Virginia cedarwood ran everywhere and ferns were in bunches, as were daffodils and other colorful flowers that can survive the sparse sunlight available in a forest. Pine needles scented trails, and sap dripped on everything from both pine and gumball trees. Then, there was the fungi - and the moss! It was everywhere and so many varieties! Thankfully, we had been taught well enough that most was poisonous, or I am certain I'd have died from having attempted to eat some of it!

But, I digress - I am reviewing a scent, after all. This is not something you wear for compliments, or for others. In fact, you may not wear it at all - for me, this is a feeling - a story - a memory. It's certainly nice, and evocative of place and time. This is a good thing. It's more than a perfume - it's a scent.
17th May, 2016