Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Zephyr1973

Total Reviews: 170

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
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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

Maharanih Intense by Nicolaï

This is wonderful!

I am hyper-aware of the building-blocks of the scent, as I smell my wrist, testing this beauty.

The orange is as clear if I had just sliced open the fruit itself and splashed my wrist with its citric juice. For me, this lasted a good 5-10 minutes. Just this - it was lovely.

Next came a bouquet of pink carnations. So pretty and spicy! It played so well with the orange, and it was a combination that I would not have thought would work. Rose pushed its way in, and turned up the volume to a more sensual character. Really liking this!

OH! Now I am getting the cinnamon! This is delightful! The rose and cinnamon have moved into a more dominant role, while the orange and carnation have taken more of a supporting role. Oh this is most certainly FBW!

And now (about 30-45 minutes in) we are hitting a luxurious dry-down, complete with sandalwood, patchouly and very mild civet.

This is a gem only unearthed by the gift of friendship. My Camel brings me many gifts.

16th May, 2016

Wood & Absinth by Mark Buxton

Not good. Just really awful. The entire thing is botched from the beginning. It is as if someone really hated the idea of making yet another scent, yet continued to pursue.

I'm bored and yet need to scrub my hand. The others I have tried in this line were well-done. There is always one to break the spell.
14th May, 2016

Monk by Michael Storer

Having been given this as a sample by a fellow basenoter, I thought I'd finally try this one out. Reading the notes and the reviews here, surely it would at least smell nice, right?

Oh so very wrong. I don't know if this little vial is mis-labled, if it went horribly bad, or if it is simply a terrible creation, but all I want to do at this moment is take a saw and cut off my left hand - no amount of Ajax could possibly work - soap is not even an option.

Where is this stench - and I DO mean STENCH coming from? I know what raw ambergris smells like - as in the whale vomit - I know what it is supposed to do to a scent when it is well-blended. IF there is a high-quality true ambergris in this scent, it has been poorly mastered.

As for the other notes...where are they? I have yet to smell a single one. I have had this sample for about 6 months - stored in a cool (well, maybe even cold) dark place. There is no possible way for this to have gone bad - right?
14th May, 2016

Incense Flash by Tauerville

This is simple and nice. No, it is not going to "dazzle your senses" but it isn't meant to - this line is called "Flash" for a reason.

It's probably obvious that the pyramid is shallow on this one - ok...but since when has that kept anyone from spending a car payment on a bottle? Is it made from the most spendy materials? No! Does it smell like an elixir from heaven? Not really.

Here is what it IS: A believable incense. There are many types of incense, and this smells true to an incense that is familiar to me. I like it. Therefore I'm offering it a "positive". I enjoy fragrances that are complex as well as simple. This is a well-priced, easy to wear incense.

Great Job, Mr. Tauer!
14th May, 2016

Cassis, Rose & Sandalwood by Dame Perfumery

I'm not sure quite what I was expecting when I tested this; it definitely was not to be blown away! Jeffrey Dame is certainly not someone to ignore or to NOT expect great things from, however it takes quite a bit for me to get excited by a new take on a rose - but this did it for me.

In the interest of full-disclosure, I was suffering from a severe migraine when I applied this scent to my right hand for testing - I was uncertain as to whether or not I would want to smell it or not, but rose has the ability to sometimes soothe, so I thought: "why not?".

I was so entranced by the entire scent - though I will admit that my nose did not detect the sandalwood, it may have been so well-blended that I was simply unaware. I just know that I awoke this morning with the gentle vestiges of the scent still lingering and the knowledge that this would soon join my collection as a full bottle.
07th May, 2016

Oud Bleu Intense by Fragrance Du Bois

The opening is intensely masculine and far too fruity-citrus, but once past this phase, the drydown is absolutely incredible and definitely worth waiting for. I am so thankful I went in on this split blindly!

While I do get a "sense" of oud, it definitely is not the barnyard I've experienced with some I've sampled. For me, the base is mostly a creamy amber/sandalwood. I have no idea if this is a true grey amber or if the sandalwood is a true mysore, but whatever it is, it works for me, and lasts about 8-10 hours.
03rd May, 2016

Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne

Ok, so like most have already mentioned, just ignore the name they gave this frag and enjoy it for what it IS, and don't hate it for what it's not.

It's just a tightly spun, high quality low-key spicy floriental. And I REALLY love it. I have a 10 ml spray, and once that is gone, I imagine I'll be seeking out a bottle.

update: I just purchased an early, if not first formulation of this juice, and the orris/iris is much more prominent. I am so enjoying this!
11th April, 2016 (last edited: 05th August, 2018)

Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé by Hermès

This gets a neutral from me, as it seems to be of reasonable quality but without distinction, and truthfully, too much fruit for my taste.

I was reminded of a specific desert had at Christmas, but cannot recall the name. The desert is well-loved and tasty, but I would not enjoy wearing and smelling it for many hours.

Glad I finally had opportunity to get my sniffer on this "classic," though!
09th April, 2016
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Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford

I really like this one. It's a lightweight floral amber with a coconut layer that is unmistakable "summer and beach".

I am undecided as to whether I will invest in a full bottle, but definitely this is larger decant-worthy.

Most assuredly feminine. I cannot see a man getting away with this one.
09th April, 2016

Cicatrices by LM Parfums

This was awful. A true scrubber.

It may have been the licorice, but if so, it lasted a good 12 hours! I never got a sense of ANY of the other notes, all of which I adore, so this really ought to have been a perfect scent for me, after the top notes faded (I really dislike licorice to smell as well as eat).

I truly felt nauseous until I was able to cover this (finally!) at the end of the day. It is TENACIOUS, I'll give it that!
09th April, 2016

B9 by Bond No. 9

My initial encounter with this scent was a Saks catalogue in the mail. I smelled something fantastic and immediately flipped through the pages until I found where the glorious fragrance was emitting.

I was shocked! Never in a million years would I have guessed that scent was from Bond No 9! It just did not occur to me that Bond would create THAT scent - I have not sampled the entire line, but enough, that this just seemed more, elegant (?) than many I have tried.

I never thought I would own a Bond, but now (thanks to a great trade with an awesome basenoter!) I gladly own this one!

I'll add more when I'm not falling asleep :)
08th April, 2016

Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I have to agree with ClaireV and drseid - this is just not good. I have much respect for MFK, and as a general rule, enjoy his creations, but this is not one for the shelf.

The opening is a blast (and I mean that with all that word contains) of saffron and some rotting fruit. Yes, rotting. It is likely a brown banana. There are fruit flies and I sense decayed sweetness. This is beyond banana bread - this is for the trash bin.

The opening also contains something far below, which I keep trying to figure out, but it's a pitchy note that I cannot identify. It doesn't work here.

The structure falls apart for me and seems to just move amoeba-like for the remainder of the experience, which is really strange for an MFK. It went sorta flat - and I never did find the ambergris nor the jasmine, two notes I adore. I keep smelling something extremely fruity and so sweet, it turns my stomach.

I am now off to scrub my wrists. Yes, it is that bad - at least for me.

21st March, 2016

La Religieuse by Serge Lutens

This scent was on paper all I've ever wanted and more.

It failed in every single way possible, from start to finish, and I have no idea as to how something with such stated notes could fail so awfully. The jasmine is shrill, then plastic (yes, and I have no clue as to how this occurs), and if there contains any incense, I never found it - seriously - where was it? I've seen mention of Iso E Super - I have no idea exactly how to pick that particular chemical structure out yet, but perhaps that is what is causing my head to spin (in a very unpleasant manner).

WHAT civet? Musk? I have no clue where those two come into play. I love civet, but I don't detect it here at all. If there is musk, it is so white, it's too pale to pick up.

Plastic, Plastic, Plastic. It's just ugly and I had very high hopes. VERY.
20th March, 2016

Decadence by Marc Jacobs

I love green/blue/teal glass. I mean, if this were just a green/blue/teal glass bottle with a nice black cap, I might search ebay for a partial or empty just to display. But, it's a horrible purse, and the scent is common, so I feel bored with the entire thing.

Plumb is not a note that is easily managed. It likely was over-applied in this mixture, and if they had backed off, it may have given the other notes space to develop. The jasmine used was a bit too tame for use with fruit, so that was disappointing. I really hope MJ goes back to the more 2001 type stuff. That was a good place...could be a good springboard for something really spectacular.
17th March, 2016

Elixir Lumière Noire pour Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

This begins with a beautiful rose opening. Not a candied, not a dry, not a dark and not an ultra green. What it IS is a rose garden after a rain. The rain has elicited the release of scent molecules and it just smells as you would hope and expect roses on bushes to smell.

As it moves forward, the scent takes on a bit of a kick, with a spice that calls forth the imagery of spring - narcissus or often called daffodil. It is all at once heady and spicy, with a touch of a honeyed wax. While this moment is quite nice, it does not last very long. It soon gives way to a softer cumin, but nothing heavy. My nose took in much more of the honeyed wax from the narcissus than any of the other middle notes.

Finally, the dry-down emerges softly but surely with a high-end patchouli that delights the nose and engages in perfect rhythm with the rose. Over-all, it is a simple recipe done extremely well. If you enjoy rose and patchouli, this is a must-have in your wardrobe.
05th March, 2016

Monsieur. by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I'll be the first to give this one a "thumbs up".

I received my portion of a split yesterday and had my husband try it today. I really like it thus far. I chose not to read any reviews/notes on this scent prior to testing it, so I had no expectations regarding either notes or the concept of a POAL "for men" (isn't it already perfectly perfect for men?). I went in completely blind, and this is how I experienced it:

Initial impression: I got fresh basil, husband smelled pine (he says he smells pine in lots of the stuff I ask him to try - to be fair, he is learning).

Next impression: something like rum, maybe rum, not sure, is that rum? Husband says "yes! that is rum!" - I trust his nose on this - he is a high-end rum connoisseur.

Final Impression: woody patchouli - not terribly refined, not hippie - just really nice, and I find it sexy. Husband just says "something woody...maybe Oriental" - he's getting closer!

Overall, I like this. Is it the best scent of 2016? I doubt it. But I view it far more favorable than those before me - and I often seek each of their "advice" on scents, so I do think highly of their opinions and evaluations. I just happen to differ on this particular scent.
26th February, 2016

Sarrasins by Serge Lutens

I really do love this scent. I perhaps love jasmine more than any other flower, and for that reason, I am very harsh with my thoughts on any fragrance that attempts to capture that gorgeous scent in any way that does it wrongly. Jasmine should be explored, and has many facets, but some noses manage to twist it into something overly sweet and without character; this is not the case with Sarrasins.

I get a brief hint of camphor by way of introduction, alongside a gentle intake of jasmine and something citrus, which I assume is the bergamot. It conjures up a feeling of walking in a garden on a late Spring day, just cool enough to need a light jacket. Because it is not terribly warm, the heat has not done its work to open up all of the floral molecules and other surrounding environmental scents. Everything is measured in soft, gentle tones.

Later, I imagine walking into a barn, where horses nicker and the warm smell of well-cared for high-end tack is brought out by grooms to prepare horses for an evening hack by owners just getting off work. The scent of leather and something slightly animalic is present, but feels restrained, as though it is still in the background of the jasmine.

This is easily becoming a favorite. It is so easy to wear, and so pretty. Most certainly full bottle worthy.
24th February, 2016 (last edited: 25th February, 2016)

Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens

Complete blind purchase, and I am utterly in love.

Simply perfection for animalic scents without the ugly stuff you have to get past to enjoy the excellent stuff.

This will now be a mainstay in my collection. Lord help my bank account.
24th February, 2016

Olène by Diptyque

If you love Jasmine, and are looking for a JASMINE scent, you've found it! Yes, it is linear, but sometimes, that is what you are searching for!

I have many jasmine scents, and I love them all. Some have many complex notes along with them, and they are brilliantly done. Every now and then, though, I just want to smell the jasmine, so that is the void Olene fills.

Get the square bottle if you can find it.
09th February, 2016

Foxglove by Joya FvsS: Parfums

Bright, green, fresh, yet deep with a floral gossamer ribbon running throughout. Really special, and beautiful parfum oil. I own the rollerball version of this, and am giving serious consideration for the larger sculptured piece. This is the attar of the East Coast.
09th February, 2016

Lyric Woman by Amouage

If I was not such a lazy individual as well as forgetful, I may have written off this scent as too old fashioned for me. The opening is a distinct reminder of 1980's home decor using potpourri as a bombastic icon of glamour and hopeless home scent experimentation. I know this because I was raised in the South by a proper Southern woman. I'm pretty sure one of our cats regularly attempted to eat some of that gloriously weird composition and yacked it up all over the carpet. But I digress.

So, the opening was not attractive at all. Cinnamon and overdone red roses with a candied feel...too syrupy and too much. This was going nowhere fast, and I was so disappointed! I had gone from making a space on my beloved antique silver serving platter for the bottle, to swiftly placing it back into the box from which it came, and stowing it safely within the confines of my dark, cool closeted shelves. You know the ones...those boxes can get sorta piled high, can't they?

I gingerly kept my left hand away from my nose throughout the rest of the day and evening. It was not until around 10:30 pm that I chose to give my nose another chance at this scent I had wanted for so long...and to my surprise, I had a most gorgeous scent on my left hand! It is all at once a sandalwood, with deep and resinous tones, lifted with Vetiver and vanilla, as well as arcs of dark rose flowing in and out. There is more here, but I cannot explain what I am smelling - perhaps incense in the base? faint, but something reminds me of some of our Holy Eucharist services.

I'm going to give this a proper wearing later this week, as I want to understand this scent fully before deciding whether I can get past the opening. If it lasts more than an hour, that will be tough. Hopefully, it will be less! The dry down really is quite nice!

This is a keeper! I have no idea why I was so unimpressed with the opening upon the first wearing, but I really enjoyed it the second wearing. Truly a beautiful scent!

Welcome back to the wardrobe, old friend. I shall never be without you again. We were parted so I could pay for some CEU's to renew my professional license, but now that I have you back, I'll never let you go.
02nd February, 2016 (last edited: 11th November, 2016)

Les Nombres d'Or : Tubéreuse by Mona di Orio

This is one of the most beautiful takes on the Tuberose I have ever tried. That is quite a feat, as I have tried just about all of them, the good, the bad, and the quite ugly.

This is the answer to Fracas if you have ever worn it and felt self-conscious in a crowd or wondered if a man might approach you and ask "how much?" Not that Fracas is bad, but she is far more daring and "come hither", which does make a woman think twice about if she is NOT looking for male attention. Of course, this beautiful concoction might lead to male attention anyway, as it is suggestive of a quieter sensuality that might suggest a longer term interest...or the old saying "it's the quiet ones you have to look out for".

I definitely get the pepper in the opening, which for some may be bothersome, but I find it a nice balancing feature that illuminates the scent and doesn't last for me as a "pepper", but smooths out and lays gently in the background. The tuberose is bright, green and herbaceous, but somehow still sensual. How did Mona do it? It is a juxtaposition of scents that somehow work. Truly artistic!

As the scent wears on, the creamier facets of the flower start to come forward, and the reward is a gorgeous aspect of Tuberose that embraces the beauty while keeping the notorious skank at bay. There is something else happening here...but I cannot quite speak to it...yet. But I like it. A lot!

02nd February, 2016

Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens

If I were blind testing this fragrance, I would simply love it for what I smell, not for what its name suggests it ought to be. In other words, while I'm doubtful this has anything whatsoever to do with Mysore Sandalwood, I really enjoy this deep, resinous, honeyed, delicious and sensuous juice!

The opening was really nothing to write home about. In fact, I was so unimpressed, I vaguely wondered if I had been issued a vial mislabeled. But, approximately one episode of Family Guy in, I started smelling something akin to roasted marshmallows...and then I sniffed my wrist, and there it was! It started developing into a warm vanilla, with a sweetness to it that really was quite similar to roasted marshmallows. And then the honey came in...and I love honey. I love the animalic quality along with the resinous quality. There is something woody here, but it is not sorta floats in and out. This is more creamy and languid.

I think if this were called any other name, it would receive much more praise.
28th January, 2016

Rousse by Serge Lutens

I think I can taste the cinnamon sticks we made as kids by dipping toothpicks into our mother's unprotected cinnamon oil from the spice cabinet. They were all the rage when I was 7, and if you were lucky, you could sell 5 for a NICKEL!

Seriously, I taste it when I smell this...not a bad thing I suppose, but sorta odd I guess. It gives the impression of opening up a tupperware container of older cinnamon candies, vanilla toffees, and something stale, but not offensive...just stale.

I don't foresee myself purchasing a FB of this scent, as it doesn't really do anything for me, but it was an interesting trip down memory lane!
28th January, 2016

Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

This is delightfully first. Thank goodness for time!

The first time I smelled this, I traded my decant immediately. I was sadly unaware of the beauty tucked inside, and my untrained nose was not counting on such an offensive opening. This is not a scent for newbies...or those who are easily swayed by opening notes.

The turn for me came about 15 minutes in...and it was just delightful! The animalic opening that is really just gross, turns into something rather sensual and I cannot stop trying to sniff my wrist to figure out what it is I'm smelling. It's all at once sweet, salty, and possibly floral, but not overly so.

The next 30 minutes are resinous. Ambery deep, and lightly honeyed for an animalic sexy tone that is just...goodness!

The remainder of the wearing is just lovely. It is so sensual, and warm, and it might just be what I will need to replace my beloved extrait of the discontinued Madame X by Ava Luxe. No, it is not a clone, but it does seem to be in the same family, and it definitely has a similar feel and memory.
24th January, 2016