Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Zephyr1973

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Total Reviews: 170

Rose 31 by Le Labo

This is my first introduction to Le Labo, and I am pleased, thus far!
I am reviewing the Rose 31 Oil.

If I had known this was out there, I might have stopped scrambling to find that perfectly fall, but wearable all-season rose. You see, there is something decidedly perfect in this that says "I'm more than a pretty flower". This is why the Tudors and Yorks chose this flower as their symbol - it has a power beyond just a pretty flower. There are thorns, and they can be sharp. There is a dark side to the rose, and a bloody history surrounding it. And it is a demanding plant. God knows, those who cultivate them are crazy! Wonderful people, though, but they must treat these plants as though they were sentient beings if they will them to survive and bloom!

Rose 31 as an oil lays close to one's skin and lasts nearly 16 hours on my skin. A delight to layer, or wear alone. It deserves a place in everyone who says they love rose's wardrobe. Truly.
10th August, 2015

Calling All Angels by April Aromatics

I just received this in the mail, and although I've been sweating like a whore in church today, I decided to test it.

It is decidedly a fall/winter scent, as it is rich, luxurious, and enveloping. I feel as though I should be wearing a favorite cashmere sweater, sitting by a fire, with a hot Toddy in hand or mulled wine.

The Labdanum is powerful and delicious - and I know the scent well, as I have a 1/2 oz of the stuff (all brown and sticky) from Eden Botanicals and it is yummy! The frankincense is prettier than I had expected...lighter. The richness of the honey, amber, and opopanax is spiced with the incense in such a way that they never overwhelm. They simply dance with each other, and each comes forth to the front from time to time without causing much of a scene.

While I'm not quite sure which "precious woods" the accord imbibes, I feel as though I should now don a winter coat and scarf, and travel with my beloved on a moonlit walk through piney woods.

This bottle was purchased blindly, and I am so very happy I took the chance. Fall cannot arrive soon enough!
31st July, 2015

Fleur de Portofino by Tom Ford

As I am writing this review, I am also testing this juice for the first time: Yes, this was a complete blind buy based solely on the notes, and my enjoyment of this collection.

Here are my impressions thus far:
I initially feel taken back to a distinct memory of many summer nights spent with friends (and the occasional arm candy) at Durham, NC's Duke Gardens. I grew up about 15 minutes from this amazing botanical delight, and while not a Duke fan, I greatly appreciate the beauty and splendor of such a space.

While the note nor accord is mentioned, my initial response was "this smells sorta like Wisteria on a hot summer's night with a slight breeze". This is a rare accomplishment, and no matter if anyone else smells it, I do, and I am grateful!

The citrus seems to play a fleetingly sheer role in the structure, but somehow find its way to wind around the senses. It's nice, and pleasing.

Now, a word on the honey...wow! This is quite remarkable! I rarely smell a honey accord that reaches this level of true honey perfection! And what I LOVE, is it is not screaming SUGAR! I sense the raw, thick, but not overly sweet composition of honey still on the comb. The honey is like a fine organza laying over a beautiful silk - it plays across in a shimmery and watery way.

Right now, it has been 2 hours since application. It is a light scent, and fits within this series seamlessly. I expect this to behave as a skin-scent on myself and perhaps others.

Light and peaceful are two words that spring to mind easily. I do like this quite a bit.

Adding the thoughts on longevity: WOW! It's 12+ hours later, and while it is most definitely a skin-scent, it remains!
29th July, 2015
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Cedre Atlas by Atelier Cologne

I gave this 3 stars. I cannot bemoan a fragrance for doing what it says, so anything less than 3 stars seems unkind.

This is not a cedar that will bring any surprises to your nose; it is fairly boring and a non-candidate for purchase, at least for me.

Silage is decent for an office scent, but I highly doubt many will enjoy the cedar, at least not in this structure.

I keep trying to like this house, but thus far, my experiences have been lacking in joy.
28th July, 2015

Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

As an avid equestrienne, I had VERY high hopes for this fragrance. I imagined it would transport me to the tack rooms of my youth and more recent years. Instead, it left a retched stench on my hand that made me wish I could take a second shower.

Usually, I can deal with a scent I dislike, but this one turns my stomach. I am neurotic about high quality leather. The saddles I have purchased over the years could have been a VERY nice down payment on a very nice home. I have owned Italian leather boots, custom made for my foot and legs. I have owned Italian saddles. I have owned French saddles. What I am trying to impress upon the reader is this: I know leather and I know it WELL. This scent is NOT leather. I do not know what it is, but it is not properly tanned, high-quality, desirable leather.

This, it will not make the shelf.
24th July, 2015

Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens

As another reviewer stated, this is a cold and stony scent - which in itself is not that bad, but I don't connect with it. And it is not because it is cold and stony - I actually am ok with that - I can be that at times, and reach for an aloof scent on occasion, when I am feeling my most introverted self. But this scent is just...dare I say it...boring!

I tried...oh how I tried to like it! I wanted to so bad - the notes were all right, the tone was right...why could this not work for me? It seemed the be everything I wanted for this genre, but it just sat on top of my skin...it never danced. It never gave me a performance. I waited. And waited. I wanted to feel the angular insanity others felt. I wanted to feel...ANYTHING! I nearly felt insane with waiting for something - anything to happen! the anticipatory anxiety nearly required a script!

I won't give this a negative/thumbs down because the notes ARE there...they just are not working for me...clearly they work for others, though. My bottle is sailing on the bay of e...
04th July, 2015

Red Musk Oud by Body Shop

I had hopes for this. Granted not high ones, as this is the Body Shop. But I gave it a try, and at first, it was nice - top notes were powerful and edgy. Oud-like scent. Not barnyard, but westernized and nice. But then a nasty synthetic blast reached my nose and my migraine kicked in with a powerful start. ARGH!

I don't know or cannot recall the musk note(s), as my migraine pushed everything out from that point on. I returned the bottle as soon as I was well-showered and the migraine had passed.

It may be that they used all natural stuff, but as there are grades of naturals, perhaps it was low-grade stuff? I don't know. This was my last straw with Body Shop scents. Too many let downs to keep trying.
03rd July, 2015

Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I truly adore this scent. I only wish it would stick around on me longer than a few hours.

I was surprised that a scent with such a dramatic name would smell so...gentle. I'm not disappointed, though! I had hesitated making this purchase - I only bought the 10 ml bottle. I was concerned it would be overwhelming - but it really is a lovely natural tuberose.

I'm planning to experiment with spraying this on a piece of clothing. Perhaps it will last longer?

Overall, a wonderful composition, with a bit less longevity than I
would prefer.

Update: I decided to dive in and purchase a full bottle of this heady scent. I searched until I found a bottle of an older formulation, and I hope this solves my longevity issues. If not, I suppose I can always swap...

2nd Update - I wore this today, and got 6 hours of good wear before I showered. I'm considering this a keeper! I'm wondering if weather has anything to do with the longevity...anyway, love it, keeping it!

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3rd Update - This is one of my very favorites - on my second bottle - this time it's a 100 ml.
24th June, 2015 (last edited: 26th March, 2017)

Black No. 1 / Blackbird by House of Matriarch

I'm not going to be able to add much to the positive reviews already posted, but I have to register my love for this scent!

It is rare that a perfume makes me a bit crazy; I like a lot of scents, and I enjoy wearing several. However, THIS scent is simply a drug for me (no funny stuff). I find myself just lifting the bottle to my nose several time a day.

There are only a few other scents that have caused me to want to get home quickly just so I can smell them - the most recent being Penhaligon's Ostara. The two scents have little in common, but they effect me similarly. I am weak at the knees, and I will at some point, break my own rule of never spending more than $200 on a bottle. I will have to - I am compelled to desire this scent from now until my dying days.

***********************************
9/23/16 - someone just wrote to tell me they enjoyed my review of this, so I had to come back and see what I had written - clearly, not enough!

Since writing this review (wow, it is skimpy!), I have purchased well over 200 ml of this dark divine masterpiece. I mostly collected decants from our BN splitters, some coming from across the globe, some directly from House of Matriarch itself. I even purchased one of the newer bottles of Black No. 1. I just love this stuff. It feels like a fall evening, looking down over a campfire surrounded with huge conifers, with a rocky edge overlooking the sea. You can smell the fire and the sea all at once, along with some leather that perhaps the people around the fire are wearing. They might be enjoying some cannabis. It's a peaceful fall scent. It carries with it cozy, warm and happy memories. There is nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. All is well.
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7/17/17 - Purchased a vintage bottle to split with my dear friend ClaireV - yes, people, it is THAT good - still! Thanks, Naylor!
19th June, 2015 (last edited: 17th July, 2017)

Oud Velvet Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I'm thinking I have Stockholm Syndrome...

I am testing this scent today, and the initial blast made me nauseous. I didn't have time to take another shower, so I ran out the door and went to work.

All the way to work, I was nervous - what would people say? Would they think I rolled in dirt and stank?

As I was working with my first client, I kept getting these "pretty" wafts of something...was it me? Was it my client? Then, the client left, and I sat there...just letting the scent envelop me. I cannot quite explain what is going on. I will get momentary slaps of something vulgar and rather rough, and then a few minutes later, I'm hit with something inexplicably pretty. What is happening!?

I have worn this for 4 hours, and it is still going strong. I still feel confused - do I stay or do I go? Do I shower, or do I wait for the next "part"? Yes. I have Stockholm Syndrome with this scent. I doubt I will wear it often, but I don't believe I can part with it either.

18th June, 2015

Eau de Charlotte by Annick Goutal

I've had a small bottle of this for a while and finally tested it today. I do not know if my bottle had "turned" or if it was simply not to my liking, but I had to wash it off after thirty minutes. It was sickly sweet, and it made me unhappy.

I did not get any green notes, only gourmand. Just not good gourmand. It really takes something amazing to be a likable gourmand for me, though. I was expecting a lot more green based on comments.
01st June, 2015

Jasmin Rouge by Tom Ford

Oh how I wanted to fall in love with this one! With a name like "Jasmin Rouge" I imagined a naughty side to the lovely white flower I adore. However, on me, it was meek, kind, and just sort of sat there.

Today, was a very humid day; a rather perfect day for experiencing a scent such as this, but still, it only rested on my skin, and never really did much for me. I could smell the Jasmine note, but it was nothing even close to what I experience when I wear Serge Lutens' A la nuit. I searched for the Labdanum, something I absolutely adore, and never found it. Perhaps the Clary Sage ate it?

Sigh. I am going to give my sample another go at a later date, and I will update once I do. For now, this will not make my purchase list.
31st May, 2015

Whiskey Tobacco by Demeter Fragrance Library

GROSS! I was hoping for a more whiskey and tobacco impression...not like a just bathed in the real deal and walked in a smokey bar!

Seriously, this is my very first experience with Demeter - I won't let this one color my perception, but I will be more cautious...to the Bay of e this one goes!

Off to the shower to scrub this one off...wow. This is just awful.
10th May, 2015
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No. 19 Poudré by Chanel

I came into my first experience with 19 Poudre expecting to be unimpressed. I was terribly wrong.

No. 19 stands alone - let's get that much straight! I love it, I adore it, and it will always be a scent not quite like another.

With that said, I adore this newer and less edgy scent. It is a compliment to its beginnings, rather than a distraction or an intrusion. Poudre stands alone, and deservedly so. Soft, buttery iris, powdery florals, perhaps white musk. A very pretty green scent that would make a nice addition to any wardrobe.
06th May, 2015

Cèdre by Serge Lutens

A little too much of everything.

I just tried this for the first time, and I'm not as excited about it as I was when I read its description on the SL website. It was so promising, and while I do not hate it, I also do not love it either.

I'm not getting "hamster cage" as one member put it, but it's really powerful - and I'm not afraid of powerful, but I suppose it depends on the scent - and this is REALLY powerful, at least on me!

I smell rose, maybe some spices, but I'm so over-powered with the blow-back from the sweetish-fruity-smackdown and cedar, I can't think straight! I can taste it in the back of my throat. Still, not as over-whelming as Arabie!

I think on the right person, with the right body chemistry, this probably works quite well.
04th May, 2015

Rose Anonyme by Atelier Cologne

I purchased this about a month ago, but as I had other scents on my "to try" list, I just now got around to putting this on late last night.

The opening was a bit over-whelming and I was concerned that it may be migraine-inducing. I did not catch the oud some have smelled, which saddens me, as I was very much looking forward to it. The rose is definitely different than many other scents - it is powerful, and bright! Green. Synthetic. Not bad, but not in the direction I seek.

It has been at least 12 hours since I sprayed it, and the dry-down is subtle and nicer than I had expected from the sharp opening, though I had hoped and expected more patchouli. I think this scent has a place among those who enjoy a bit more Andy Warhol in their perfume vs. Rosa Bonheur.

16th March, 2015

9 Oud by Trish McEvoy

This is stunning. I just tried this today at Nordstrom. Apparently, there are not too many boxes in the US, but there are some that can be ordered - at least as of the time of this review.

This is a pure perfume oil - it has serious staying power. It has a depth that rivals no other. I cannot wrap my mind around the beauty of this scent. It is sensuous and classy at the same time. I hope this comes up as a split, as I could never afford the $225 for 0.5 oz price-tag!
12th February, 2015

Rock the Ages : Tudor Rose & Amber by Jo Malone

I was able to simply smell this lovely brew yesterday, and I must say, March 1 cannot arrive soon enough!

I did not spray any on me, as I was only there to purchase the Velvet Rose and Oud, and needed to focus on all the various combos and samples, BUT, I was clearly distracted as the sales attendant laughed and said "if I don't see you before then, I know I'll see you March first!".

Oh, how true that is. The amber is glowing. If I think hard enough, I believe I can smell it. I am shocked that the clove was not too much (it seems to often repel me in many scents), and it was just enough. Like I have said before, I am no expert. I have not the vocabulary, nor the years of olfactory practice to make an eloquent monologue on the properties of a scent, but WOW! This was really nice!

March 1, 2015.

I have to sadly edit this: I tried this again this past week, and I don't know if the first bottles they put out as teasers were made with better juice, or if I were just in a different space regarding scent, but the bottle I sampled this week was just off. It was piercing. I don't know another word for it. I picked up a strange rubbery scent later (about maybe 45 minutes) that I had not noticed before. I did smell what I believe may be cloves this time (which may be the "piercing" I was speaking of). I don't know - I think I either got a bad batch the second time, or an excellent batch the first time. Color me confused.
17th January, 2015 (last edited: 04th May, 2015)

Black Rose Oud by Trish McEvoy

I do not have any fancy reviews to give, but I will say a couple of things:

1. This fragrance is divine and I will eventually buy a bottle or split and;

2. This is the fragrance that all the people from the UAE purchase (about 7-10 bottles at a time), when they come to visit Baltimore because they insist that this is the real thing (oud) and I would imagine they know oud. We have many members of the royal family visit Baltimore due mainly to Hopkins, and they visit often. This fragrance is rarely in stock at my local Nordstrom's. Today, there were only two left.

I love the rose and oud combination, and enjoy many variations, but this one is quite special - I am not eloquent and educated enough yet to speak the language that could adequately describe the story of this scent, but I feel as though I have met a tall, dark handsome man in a candle-lit cafe somewhere in Southern Spain, and we are planning a luxurious trip to exotic places I've never experienced before.
16th January, 2015 (last edited: 18th January, 2015)

Atlas Mountain Rose / Rose des Montagnes de l'Atlas by Body Shop

I just picked this up yesterday (1/15/15), so it is not d/c'd.

It smells nice. I was told it replaced the old Moroccan Rose (which I loved!).

I really like it. I expect to enjoy wearing it and layering it, as I purchased the oil. I'll update once I get to know it better.
16th January, 2015