Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Oriane

Total Reviews: 84

Romance by Ralph Lauren

Romance was a fragrance that I looked forward to testing because I love Ralph Lauren Safari and had reasonably high expectations for Romance, but Romance is definitely not another Safari. Where to begin?

I really do not enjoy giving any fragrance a thumbs down, but Romance is a very synthetic mishmash of notes that smell more like a very inexpensive floral-type air freshener than anything else, and it gave me a bit of headache. I would not want to smell this even in a public convenience much less on myself or anyone else in the room with me. I am thoroughly disappointed as well as sad that the legendary Ralph Lauren's name is on this product. I am glad I did not purchase it blindly and only had a sample of it which I will promptly pass on. This is one of the very few fragrances that I would not wear even if it were gifted me.

Fragrance: 1/10

Projection: 5/10

Sillage: 5/10

Longevity: 5/10 (Thank goodness!)
02nd September, 2018

Ciara Femme Fatale by Revlon

Basenotes lists Femme Fatale's notes as:

Top Notes: Pear
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Mandarin, Peach
Base Notes: Vanilla, Sandalwood

Another website lists the notes as:

Top Notes: Mandarin, Lily of the Valley, Peach, Cyclamen, Pear
Heart Notes: Jasmine, African Orange Flower, Rose, Nutmeg
Base Notes: Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

My nose is not well tutored enough to tease out all of the individual notes (where is J-P Guerlain whence you need him, eh? : ), but I believe I can detect pear, peach, rose, nutmeg, and vanilla in this rather captivating composition. Although not really the same as Dior Dolce Vita, FF has a similar warmth and near gourmand quality about it.

I also own the original Ciara which I adore. The fact that one can purchase such a gorgeous Oriental as Ciara for a song is amazing to me, and whilst I will always prefer the original over Femme Fatale, I am very happy to have Femme Fatale in my collection. FF's fruits and flowers come together beautifully and almost make it a gourmand but not quite. The base provides a warm sensuality to this fragrance. I feel it a shame that it was discontinued, but at least for now, it can be found reasonably easily still. If you love these notes, and if you love warm Orientals, give this fragrance a try. I think you will be glad you did. It performs quite admirably for a "cologne," too. It out performs many of my more expensive, contemporary EdT's.

Despite the name, I think the right man could wear this fragrance as easily as a woman, and whilst I do not generally relegate fragrances either to day or night, but this one is more of a night time fragrance, or at least a dusk-time fragrance. I think it would be more appropriate for romantic wear than office wear. FF is a gem at the current price point for a discontinued fragrance. I also would like to add that the packaging is enchanting. The one-size-fits all packaging of Chanel, Lutens, Malle, and, alas now Guerlain as well, have nothing on Charles Revson and FF in terms of presentation--lovely box and lovely bottle both.

Fragrance: 6.75/10
Projection: 6.5/10
Sillage: 6.5/10
Longevity: 6/10
30th August, 2018

Facets by Avon

My bottle of Facets is probably from the late 1980s to early 1990s. I am unsure how long this fragrance was in production, but I am glad to have it in my collection because it is beautiful.

Facets is a sweet floral that smells feminine, innocent yet sexy, warm, voluptuous, and very happy. At least it makes me feel happy anytime I apply it. I detect the violet immediately upon application, and soon the other notes follow including a gorgeous, heady tuberose that makes me swoon. The only note I cannot detect is the oak moss. It reminds me slightly of the much more expensive Bucheron Bucheron. I own both, and whilst I like the latter very much, I think I might like Facets a little more. I wish I had it in body creme and dusting powder, too. It is a fragrance in which to drown, but oh what a happy death it would be!

Facets is simply delicious. It is the kind of perfume that I cannot imagine anyone ever disliking. This sort of fragrance has an eternal appeal. Personally, I am quite taken with it, or could not you tell? :) There is something Guerlainesque about it, especially in the dry down which is very warm and transportive. The bottle, too, is lovely. Whilst exclusive houses such as Guerlain, Chanel, Lutens, Malle, and others are using the same bottle with a different label for every fragrance, Avon continues to produce some really appealing bottles now that it is long since past the "kiddie" bottles of the 1970s, and to be honest, the packaging does matter to me. I love a beautiful bottle.

This is a very feminine fragrance suitable to virtually any venue. I think it would be a sexy date night fragrance, although it could certainly be worn during the daytime, too. Projection and sillage are moderate. I wish longevity were better, but my bottle is quite old, so that may be the reason why I do not get particularly good longevity from it. In any case, Facets is definitely full bottle worthy for me. If you like these notes, I think you will love this fragrance. This is one of the discontinued fragrances that Avon should definitely bring back. Gorgeous!

Fragrance: 8/10
Projection: 6/10
Sillage: 6/10
Longevity: 5/10
15th August, 2018
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Chantilly by Dana

This review is for vintage Houbigant Chantilly.

Top Notes: Fruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Neroli.

Heart Notes: Spices, Carnation, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Orange Blossom, Rose.

Base Notes: Leather, Tonka Bean, Musk, Benzoin, Oak Moss, Vanilla, Sandalwood..

I recalled this fragrance from many, many years ago, but I could not recall how it smelt. I read a few reviews wherein the reviewers stated that is smelt like Shalimar, so I never purchased it as I own Shalimar. Finally, thanks to another perfume lover who advised me to get it, I did purchase it, and all I can say is I am sorry I waited so long to add it to my collection. It really is a lovely, lovey, feminine fragrance. It is warm and a bit powdery with strong citrus notes that are not sharp at all because they blend beautifully with the floral notes. As for the notion that it smells like Shalimar, well, I can only state that to my nose it may in the same olfactory category, i.e. Oriental, but it could never be mistaken for Shalimar. If I had not read that a few years ago, I would have purchased it much sooner than I did.

As of this writing, I own Chantilly in EdT, PdT, and parfum formulations. I particularly like the PdT and parfum. I also have the dusting powder which pairs beautifully with the fragrance. Chantilly smells classic. To some young noses, I suppose it might smell dated, but I love and look forward to wearing it as much as any other fragrance I own. I think it works better as an Autumn and Winter scent, but it could certainly be worn all year round. If I try hard, I can tease out most of the notes except for the leather note. With Shalimar, I have no trouble detecting the leather note.

Chantilly is soft, feminine, warm, spicy, florally, and just plain scrummy. I cannot see how anyone could be offended by this elegant fragrance, so I feel it would be appropriate to virtually any venue. I am sure some men could carry it off as well.

My review is based on vintage Houbigant EdT, EdP, and dusting powder. I think the vintage packaging is lovely, too. It is no wonder to me that Chantilly has been around since 1941. It is a classic and well worth adding to one's wardrobe, especially for the price point which is quite modest compared to many of my other fragrances. Performance is average, but my bottles are pretty old, too, so that may have something to do with it. I have not tried the most recent formulation, so please try before you purchase as many feel the Dana formulation leaves a lot to be desired.

There is something very comforting about this fragrance. Perhaps I have unconscious associations of it, but whatever may be the reason(s), this is one fragrance I am very pleased to have in my collection. If you already own Shalimar, adding Chantilly to your collection will not be a redundancy. I wish I had known this a long time ago.

Fragrance: 8.5/10

Projection: 6/10

Silage: 6/10

Longevity: 6/10
03rd July, 2018

Chance Eau Fraîche by Chanel

Any time I order from Chanel, they always send me a couple of samples with my order. This was one of the samples I received. It has been sitting in my parfum cupboard with a ton of other samples for at least two years now. I want to try to use up a lot of my samples, so today after my bath, I chose Chance eau Fraiche as it seemed a good choice for this extremely hot weather.

I agree with many other reviewers that it is a nice fragrance. It is fresh and refreshing indeed, and it is a very good choice for hot, sticky weather such as we have at the moment. However, I do not think it is worth Chancel prices, and if I wanted to purchase a fresh, citrus type fragrance, I would opt for the dreamy Fleurs de Cedrat from Guerlain, but this is my own personal taste. I am sure others would opt for the Chanel.

I rated this fragrance two stars and Neutral, but if I had been able to do, I would have rated it two and half stars. Whilst it smells nice enough, I do not find it special in any way, and as I said before, I think it is overpriced for what it is. I cannot imagine this fragrance could possibly offend anyone, so it could be worn virtually anywhere day or night. I also think it is quite unisex. As always, if possible, try before you buy.

Fragrance: 4/10
Silage: 5/10
Projection: 5/10
Longevity: 5/10
30th June, 2018

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens

Some time ago I was gifted a bottle of Iris Silver Mist by a dear friend. I have had it in my parfum cupboard for months untouched. Tonight I was rummaging around trying to decide what to wear whence I accidentally tipped over the bottle, and it fell onto some clean towels I store in the cupboard. I thought, thank heavens it did not break! Then I thought, perhaps now is the time to finally try it, so I generously spritzed both arms and my decolletage. As many other reviewers have opined, it smelt like fresh carrots, so I was not surprised by this, but I admit I was not especially favourably impressed, either.

Curiously enough, my dog smelt it from the other room and immediately came to sniff me. He rarely leaves his comfy bed at this time of night unless he thinks there is food about, so he, too, must have thought it smelt foodie in a vegetal way.

I love iris, but this iris is not the iris fragrance in my collection I would reach for first, or second, or even third. It is an interesting fragrance, 'tis true, but I do not find it especially appealing. I am not sure what all I detected in the dry down, but I did not detect almost all of the listed notes.

This is a fragrance worth testing for reference, but I would not recommend purchasing it blindly. I suppose it is unisex, but I cannot imagine a venue where it would be particularly appropriate or appreciated. Perhaps it would be nice to wear whilst working in one's garden?? Overall I find it vegetal without a hint of sweetness. Yes, in the dry down there is iris...a rooty, vegetal iris, but there is little else, at least to my nose.

This fragrance is a solid 4/10 across the board for me. I am glad to have experienced it, but it is not a fragrance I would have purchased for myself.
My sincere apologies to those who love it. Please try before you buy.

Fragrance: 4/10

Projection: 4/10

Sillage: 4/10

Longevity: 4/10
29th June, 2018

La Fleur by Bath and Body Works

La Fleur is one of those clean, fresh, green, realistic floral fragrances that draws one in as effortlessly as does a freshly bloomed flower beckons one to push one's nose into its bloom and inhale deeply. Every time I smell it, I feel as though I have just walked into a florist's shop and am surrounded by cold, silver floral urn brimming over with freshly picked tulips, waterlilies, and freesias.

La Fleur is a very pleasant pick me up in hot weather. It is nice to wear either during the day or at night after one's bath. It is not a ground breaking scent by any means, but it perfectly achieves what it sets out to achieve, and that is all it needs to do in my opinion. La Fleur makes me think of soft, cotton, flowery sundresses, straw hats, white strappy sandals, and light, cool refreshments served in a well tended, shady garden. This is a quite nice addition to your collection for a very reasonable price.

Fragrance: 6/10

Projection: 5/10

Longevity: 5/10

Sillage: 5.5/10
13th June, 2018

Noir Epices by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I have fallen in love with a couple of Malle Fragrances, much to my wallet's chagrin, but Noir Epices is not one of them. I mainly detect nothing but very fresh, tart orange peel or rind just as if I had begun to peel a fresh orange. This citrus note dominates the entire composition for me from top to bottom. I like orange, but I prefer it a bit sweeter than this, and I prefer it not be the dominant note throughout. This is too much tart orange rind for me. Perhaps if the spice notes were warmer and more pronounced, I would like this fragrance more, but they are barely there at all.

There is not much more I can say about this fragrance. Projection, sillage, and longevity are average. It is as unisex as is orange juice. This might be a good fragrance to wear to the club for brunch and perhaps a bit of tennis later in the afternoon, but one could achieve much the same result simply by stuffing some fresh orange rind into one's cleavage.

Fragrance: 3.5/10

Sillage: 5/10

Projection: 5/10

Longevity: 4.5/10
25th May, 2018

Extraordinary by Avon

Top Notes: Grapefruit, Raspberry, Mandarine, Pepper.

Heart Notes: Dark Chocolate, Ginger, Lotus, Magnolia, Orchid.

Base Notes: Musk, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla.

The first thing that attracted me to Extraordinary was the notes which looked very good, and of course the bottle is quite lovely, so naturally, I purchased it. I have owned it for months now, but I have worn it only infrequently due to the number of fragrances in my collection.

Extraordinary is a spicy fragrance. I cannot discern all of the notes, but the dark chocolate, black pepper, and ginger persist throughout the wearing for me. A hint of mandarine appears in the top notes but does not last for very long. I think I also detect a bit of patchouli in the dry down, but to my nose, Extraordinary is all about the chocolate, the pepper, and the ginger. Normally, neither black pepper nor ginger are amongst my most beloved notes, but they work well enough here.

Extraordinary wears much closer to the skin and much softer than I thought it would do. I get 4+ hours from it if I use 8-10 sprays spread across my arms, decollatage, and thighs. I suppose I use it more like a body spray than an eau de parfum. Overall, I like it, but I probably would not repurchase it once I use up the bottle I have now.

Extraordinary is pretty unisex in my opinion. It is soft enough to be worn to one's office, but it would probably be best reserved for casual wear. I would not call it "sexy," but it is a nice chocolate scent for those who love chocolate. I would label it a spicy Oriental rather than a gourmand because although the chocolate note is unmistakeable, it does not smell "edible" as do so many Bath and Body Works gourmand fragrances, for instance. It is a good buy for the price point if you like these notes, and the bottle is so gosh darn cute.

Fragrance: 5.5/10

Projection: 5/10

Sillage: 5/10

Longevity: 5/10
09th April, 2018

Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense by Chanel

Well, I finally stopped by Macy's today and tested CMI. As many reviewers have said, it is very close to CM EdP. The biggest difference is that the citrus has been toned down in the Intense formulation, and that makes it a bit smoother. At least that is the main difference as far as I am concerned. I cannot tease out notes of amber, tonka, vanilla, or even rose, but I could identify it blindfolded as CM. Personally, I like it more than CM EdP simply because the citrus is so much less stringent.

Re performance, projection and sillage are very good. Longevity seems to be quite good, too. For the price point, it is a good fragrance with better than average performance. In fact, it out performs my recently purchased Frederic Malle fragrances by a mile. (Make of that what you will.)

However, if I wanted to recommend a Chanel fragrance to someone, excluding the exclusives, I would recommend both Coco EdT and Coco EdP over any version of Mademoiselle. Mademoiselle is certainly a nice fragrance, but there are so many nicer fragrances from which to choose. It is worth testing in any case.

Fragrance: 7/10

Projection: 8/10

Sillage: 8/10

Longevity: 8/10
25th March, 2018

Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Beautiful but Enormously Overpriced Take on the Legendary Fracas.

Notes: Tuberose, Eucalyptus, Coconut, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Melon, Ylang-Ylang, White Musk, Bergamot.

I was gifted a sample of Carnal Flower recently, and I liked it so much that I purchased a full bottle from a very reputable retailer. I do not know how old was the sample gifted me, but I now suspect that it must have been a few years old because the perfume in the full bottle does not seem to be as rich and complex as is the sample, and to my surprise given its price point, its performance is moderate at best. With an amazing six spritzes, projection and sillage were only mild to good for the first hour, and then it very quickly turned into a skin scent. Longevity was also mild to good at roughly four hours. After having read so many reviews that claimed only 1-2 spritzes provided massive projection and sillage for an entire day and half the night or more, I am very disappointed in Carnal Flower's performance.

Carnal Flower is a very beautiful perfume, but having worn Fracas many times, I did not find Carnal Flower to be at all unique or even very different from Fracas, and given its mediocre performance, I could not recommend it over Fracas. Perhaps Carnal Flower's lack lustre performance is due to reformulation? Perhaps the fragrance in the original formulation only required 1-2 spritzes to last all day and half the night as some reviewers have stated, but this is not true of the fragrance in my brand new bottle. After 3-4 hours, Carnal Flower is only barely perceptible on my skin, and it smells so similar to Fracas that I find it redundant to have it my collection.

If you love and own Fracas, you can probably live without Carnal Flower. It is undoubtedly a beautiful tuberose-centric fragrance, but I do not feel it is worth its price point even if you do not already own Fracas. You can buy roughly three 100ml bottles of Fracas for what it costs to purchase one 50ml bottle of Carnal Flower. In my opinion, Carnal Flower is simply not worth the inflated price. Fracas is just as gorgeous and performs equally as well if not better.

I am sorry to say it, but I find Carnal Flower to be little more than a Fracas clone. Madonna's Truth or Dare is also a take on Fracas, but Truth or Dare is dissimilar enough to Fracas to be quite distinguishable in its own right, and it costs significantly less than Fracas which costs significantly less than Carnal Flower, so for those on a strict budget, I suggest purchasing Truth or Dare. If you can afford Fracas, forget Truth or Dare and purchase Fracas instead as it is of a higher quality and is a more beautiful fragrance. Either way, Truth or Dare or Fracas, there is no need to pay almost $300 for a 50ml bottle of Carnal Flower unless you want it for the brand name prestige.

Fragrance: 8.75/10

Projection: 6/10 (first hour only)

Sillage: 6/10 (first hour only)

Longevity: 5/10

Presentation: 5/10
26th January, 2018

Lys Carmin by Van Cleef & Arpels

I am not strictly speaking a great lover of straight up floral fragrances, but I am drawn to the white floral notes in a few outstanding fragrances, e.g. Guerlain Mahora and 24 Faubourg. Over the course of my perfume journey, I have come to know and to love some white floral notes such as gardenia and tuberose, and over the course of this last year, I began an exploration of another white floral note--lily. I purchased several outstanding fragrances with a prominent lily note: Guerlain Lys Soleia; Donna Karan Gold; Cartier Baiser Volé; Cartier Baiser Volé Essence; and, Serge Lutens Un Lys. With my appetite for lily throughly whetted, I next sought out and purchased Lys Carmin.

Lys Carmin is unlike any of my other fragrances that contain a prominent lily note. Lys Soleia and Gold are both warm lily fragrances that incorporate several other floral notes whilst Baiser Volé Essence is made lightly warm and soothing by vanilla. Both Basier Volé and Un Lys on the other hand are very fresh, green lily-centric fragrances, studies of one flower only--true solifores. Lys Carmin, however, is neither especially warm nor green. Instead, as others have noted, it is a spicy lily fragrance ever so slightly sweetened by ylang-ylang and vanilla.

I find LC quite airy and light. On my skin it wears as a hazy, gauzy lily mist that seems to float around my body rather than project off of my body. It brings to mind the Spanish ironwork lace balconies of the French Quarter, long white silk gowns, wide brimmed hats dripping in white flowers, and gently scented white handkerchiefs discreetly tucked between soft bossoms that glisten ever so slightly with perspiration borne of Summer heat and humidity.

I find LC to be an undeniably feminine, lily-centric fragrance. It is fairly linear but nevertheless quite lovely. Projection and sillage are both soft. Longevity is average. It would be appropriate in virtually any venue any time of year except perhaps during the coldest months where its lovely fragrance may be eclipsed by frigid temperatures and icy winds. In short, it is a quite beautiful white floral fragrance, and I am very pleased to have added LC to my collection.

Fragrance: 9/10

Projection: 5/10

Sillage: 5/10

Longevity: 6/10
03rd January, 2018

L'Art et la Matière : Angelique Noire by Guerlain

Angelique Noire is such a lovely and unique fragrance. It is rich, dark, sumptuous, lush, and thus very aptly named. I love the angelica note in this. The legendary Guerlain vanilla takes AN right up to the border of "gourmand," but keeps it from crossing over, yet there is something "delicious" about AN as if it is almost but not quite like a decadent dessert. I find AN rather feminine, but I think the right man could easily wear this as well. It is a lovely fragrance for Autumn and Winter. It would wear well on very crisp Spring days as well. It might feel slightly heavy in hot humid weather, but if you are in a temperature controlled environment all day, I see no reason why it would not be wearable during the Summer months.

On me AN wears pretty close to my skin. Projection and sillage are rather minimal, but longevity is very good, especially on clothing. I must say, as well, that the presentation for all of these Guerlain exclusives is outstanding---far nicer presentation than CHANEL exclusifs. Guerlain is elegance.

This fragrance whispers, "come hither...." and draws in those around you. Wear AN whence you want to be relentlessly nibbled. ; )
02nd December, 2017
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Elusive by Avon

Top Notes: Incense, Galbanum.

Heart Notes: Cloves, Coriander.

Base Notes: Civet, Oriss Root, Musk, Oak Moss.

This review is for a vintage EdC which I purchased blindly. My bottle is pre-barcode and quite possibly a 1970s vintage. For an EdC, Elusive is really powerful. It is supposed to be an Oriental. I find it to be more of a Floriental.

I found the notes listed above on-line, so I am not sure how accurate they are, but I definitely detect some of these notes. I cannot tease out any particular spices or floral notes, but I do detect floral notes and a lot of incense. The incense is quite prominent on my skin. I really enjoy incense perfumes, so I am quite pleased with Elusive's incense note. I do not detect anything akin to vanilla or amber or other such warmer notes in Elusive. Elusive is more of a cool fragrance than a warm one.

Elusive smells "perfume-y" in the old style way. I doubt anyone would mistake it for a contemporary Floriental. It is a fragrance for a mature woman or man. It is somewhat dry, somewhat green and florally in the deep dry down, and not at all sweet. It may possibly have some oak moss in its base.

Elusive is another one of those old but surprising Avon EdC's that can be had for a song. If you like incense and florals, I encourage you to give it a try.

I feels unisex and is probably more appropriate for evening wear and cooler weather. Projection is excellent for an EdC. Sillage is moderate to moderate plus. Longevity is average for an EdC.

I like it well enough, but I probably will not reach for it as often as some of my other Avons such as Rare Rubies which is warmer, richer, and more to my overall taste. Still, I am glad to have had the chance to try Elusive.

I am rating Elusive in comparison with my other older Avons such as Occur, Timeless, and Charisma, all of which I find myself more drawn.

Fragrance: 3.5/10

Projection: 7/10

Sillage: 6/10

Longevity: 5/10
24th November, 2017 (last edited: 25th November, 2017)

Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens

Notes: Turkish Rose, Musk, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Beeswax, Amber, Apricot.

Rose de Nuit is a musty, dusty, musky, dry, powdery, and rather dark rose. It is not a fresh living rose but more of a rose that has dried out in its vase. I mainly detect rose, of course, as well as musk and beeswax. The jasmine, amber, sandalwood, and apricot notes are lost on me. In fact, I cannot detect anything even remotely fruity in RdD which is too bad because I like apricot.

I detect a lot of roses in Jean Patou's Joy, but the roses in Joy are greener, fresher, more alive. If I place Joy on one end of the spectrum, I would place RdN at the opposite end of the spectrum. Mind you, my experience of rose-centric perfumes is limited, though. I recently purchased Lutens Fille en Berlin and will be interested to see how it compares to RdN. I also hope to eventually compare Guerlain Rose Barbare to RdN, too. I suspect the latter two will suit me better than RdN.

RdN is a well crafted rose perfume, but I have awarded it a generous 7 out of of 10 because I cannot imagine where I would wear this fragrance other than at home alone, and even then, I cannot imagine I would wear it often at home alone. It does not lend itself either to festive occasions, to religious services, to date nights, or to the office. Somehow I imagine King Tut's Tomb may have smelt like RdN whence Howard Carter first walked into the chamber. : )

I would not wish it to be a very fresh, just picked from the garden type of rose, but I probably would enjoy it much more if it were a bit more sweet and not so dusty and dry. I would like it to be more lush and voluptuous.

I do not generally assign fragrances to any particular age group, but I cannot imagine a young woman wearing RdN. To my mind, this is a fragrance for someone who is at least in her/his 40s or older.

Fragrance: 7/10

Projection: 5.5/10

Sillage: 5.5/10

Longevity: 7/10
31st October, 2017

Zen (original / black) by Shiseido

Top Notes: Orange Blossom, Galbanum, Hyacinth, Bergamot.

Heart Notes: Mimosa, Carnation, Violet, Orris Root, Jasmine, Rose, Narcissus.

Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, Oak Moss, Cedar.

This review is for the vintage eau de cologne.

As this is an eau de cologne, I could have been knocked over with a feather upon application because it smells more like a powerhouse vintage eau de parfum and a very "perfumey" one at that. On my skin, Zen opened with strong notes of oak moss, galbanum, cedar, and hyacinth---so very green and woody. These notes persist into the dry down on me. I am able to detect a fairly strong narcissus, a bit of violet, and a bit of orris root, but I am unable to detect orange blossom, mimosa, carnation, amber, or musk. Oak moss is by far the most dominant note in this fragrance, followed by galbanum, cedar, and then hyacinth.

Zen is an overwhelmingly green and woody fragrance in my opinion. It epitomises "old school," strong, perfumey fragrances. It preceeds the wearer by at least five feet. It does not smell at all modern, sweet, and certainly has no gourmand traces whatsoever.

Zen was first launched in 1964, but it easily could be from an even earlier era. I do not hate it, but it certainly is not a love. Just a few dabs on the back of one arm gave me a headache--the same sort of headache that came to me so often in the 1970s and 1980s. I plan to test it a few more times before I reach a final conclusion, but for now, I find it to be very strong, and very perfumey in a very old fashioned way. The floral notes are not at all sweet, and the woody notes are extremely dry. I am not sure this is a fragrance I would wear very often. I do not find it to be either office friendly or enclosed spaces friendly at all. I think it would be safest worn out of doors in cool to cold weather conditions. If trapped on an elevator with someone who was wearing it, I think I would pass out. I quite like the bottle, though.

Zen is most definitely a try before you buy type of fragrance. If you like very green, woody, dry, rather heavy, non-sweet, sharpish, old school, perfumey fragrances, then Zen would right up your street. This is not a mesmerisingly feminine Guerlain or Chanel type floral. It has the "in your face" strength of vintage Bal á Versailles, and like Bal á Versailles, I fear it is not right for me personally. I have awarded it a neutral rating because it has excellent performance and because it has held up extremely well--my bottle is pre-barcode--and it appears to have few if any synthetic notes.

Fragrance: 5/10

Projection: 7/10

Sillage: 8/10

Longevity: 9/10
27th October, 2017

Donna Karan Woman by Donna Karan

I agree with thatsmr2usir. Donna Karan Woman is a completely misnamed unisex fragrance that possibly leans toward the masculine. It all depends on how one views vetiver because Woman is definitely a vetiver-centric fragrance just like Chanel Sycomore although Sycomore has a smoky note that Woman does not.

Woman purportedly also has notes of sandalwood, orange flower, and other floral notes, but I mainly detect a very fresh, green, airy vetiver. Occasionally, I am able to detect a fresh citrus note reminiscent of freshly squeezed orange juice, but it is somewhat muted. I do not detect either sandalwood or other floral notes. Woman is classified as a floral woody musk, but I would describe it as a "woody citrus" if there is such a category.

Anyone who is interested in vetiver as a note should definitely try Woman. Woman has moderate projection, sillage, and longevity. It is appropriate in virtually any venue, too. An added bonus is the unusual bottle which looks like a piece of modern sculpture one might find at MoMA. Unusual bottles seem to be a Donna Karan trademark, and Woman is no exception.

I have awarded Woman a thumbs up because it is a quality fragrance, but vetiver is not one of my favourite soloist notes. I much prefer vetiver as part of the chorus instead of as the star. I find Woman much more wearable than Sycomore, though. Whereas Woman is a fresh, green, airy, and slightly citrusy fragrance that I could imagine wearing almost anywhere at any time, Sycomore is more of an "experience." I cannot imagine wearing Sycomore anywhere I would normally go. Moreover, whereas I find Woman to be unisex, I find Sycomore to be much more masculine. Let your nose be your guide and decide for yourself.
25th October, 2017

Eau Duelle Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Eau Duelle is the first fragrance I have smelt from this house. On my skin it opens with a very fresh and aromatic juniper, accompanied by spicy pink pepper. This is followed by the tea note and what must be saffron. Then, strong notes of vanilla and elemi follow.

ED is nice. It is pleasant enough. I do not dislike it, but it is not a stunning fragrance. It reminds me a little bit of Habanita EdP, although I find Habanita more appealing than ED. At moments it seems to approach gourmand status but not quite. It has a certain degree of sweetness, but the sweetness is tempered by the spiciness.

Eau Duelle is unisex and office friendly, welcome in almost any venue. I do not see it as a date night fragrance, though. I can imagine anyone from 20 somethings to 60 somethings wearing it. I think it would wear well year round, but it may be more comforting on crisp Autumn days and nights as the tea, vanilla, and elemi notes lend a snuggly dimension to it.

Overall, ED is pleasant but not especially memorable in my opinion. Of all the listed notes, I like the juniper most for its realism.

Fragrance: 5/10

Projection: 5/10

Sillage: 5/10

Longevity: 6/10
23rd October, 2017

Bois de Violette by Serge Lutens

I love woody fragrances, and I love several Lutens fragrances, including Cuir Mauresque, Chergui, and Fille en Aiguilles, so I am sad to say that I am very disappointed in BdV.

Unlike many other reviewers, I detect neither candied violets, powder, candied plum, peach, orange blossom, rose, cardamum, cinnamon, clove, musk, vanilla, nor honey, in this fragrance. I love so many of these notes, but they simply are not present to my nose. I smell a light but sharp cedar and a very light green note which maybe the violet leaf, but not much else. Performance is very poor, too. It is nearly a skin scent from initial application and thus reminds me more of a cologne than an EdP. The fragrance totally disappears on my skin in under two hours.

Either my nose is not developed enough to tease more notes out of BdV or my bottle is compromised or BdV is greatly overrated indeed. However, I wish to give the benefit of the doubt to the fragrance and to so many other reviewers who disagree with this assessment, so I have awarded BdV a neutral rating. If I have the opportunity to retest this fragrance from another bottle and my opinion changes, I will happily update this review. In the meantime, if you seek a pleasant cedar dominant fragrance, I recommend Cedré.

Fragrance: 4/10

Projection: 2/10

Sillage: 2/10

Longevity: 2/10
22nd October, 2017

Place Vendôme by Boucheron

Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Orange Blossom, Rose, Tangerine.

Heart Notes: Jasmine, Honey, Peony, Praline.

Base Notes: Benzoin, Cedar.

I love these notes, especially the orange blossom, honey, praline, benzoin, and cedar. This is a beautiful fragrance that is slightly gourmand and extremely feminine throughout its evolution from top notes to base notes. The only complaint I have concerns performance. It performs more like a body spray than an eau de parfum. It is light and almost ethereal but delicious. I use at least six sprays anytime I wear it. It has mild projection and sillage, and longevity is poor. I get approximately three hours wear out of it, but I adore it for those three hours. If these notes appeal to you, then I highly recommend it. Just do not expect great performance.

I do not think anyone would be offended by in an office setting, but it is a romantic type of fragrance, so one may wish to reserve it for after work. Given its lightness, I think it will work best in Spring and Summer. I think very cold weather would probably mute these notes, but I look forward to testing it in the cold weather this Winter. This is definitely a winner for Bucheron. If only it had greater projection, sillage, and longevity especially.

Fragrance: 7.5/10
Projection: 5/10
Sillage: 5/10
Longevity: 5/10
29th July, 2017

Sensuous Noir by Estée Lauder

A Qualified Thumbs Up

I have been familiar with Estee Lauder classic fragrances for decades now, but I am unfamiliar with the newer ones such as Sensuous, Sensuous Nude, Sensuous Noir, etc. As Sensuous Noir has been discontinued, I decided to purchase a bottle of it as I love Orientals, and I love deep, dark, sensual fragrances. The following observations are based on a single wearing of SN.

My first thought was "this is very light for a fragrance called 'Sensuous Noir.'" I expected something of an Oriental bomb along the lines of Chanel Coco EdP. My second thought turned to the notes. I do detect a lovely pine note, but SN is in no way a copy of Lutens Fille en Aiguilles. They both share a pine note, but the resemblance begins and ends there. I also detect a good bit of patchouli, but is is well mannered, so if you fear patchouli in general, you need not fear the patchouli in SN. Aside from the pine and patchouli notes, I also detect a very mild mannered oud and a smidgen each of both amber and benzoin mainly in the deeper dry down . I cannot distinctly pick out any of the other notes.

Overall SN is a nice fragrance. It is both gentle and warm, but it is not particularly sweet. It could be worn both day and night. Projection and sillage are moderate at best, so I believe it could be worn in an office environment without offending anyone. Longevity is also moderate at best. It wears close to the skin on me, and it was detectable for three to four hours.

All in all, SN is a pleasant fragrance, but there is absolutely nothing about it that makes it special in my opinion, and I am disappointed in this fact as Estee Lauder produced one of my most favourite fragrances, Private Collection, as well as another much admired fragrance, Cinnabar. SN does not even begin to compete with these two classic Estee Lauder fragrances, but for anyone who likes SN's notes and who prefers a light fragrance that is unlikely to offend bystanders, then SN could be for her/him as SN is quite unisex. If I smelt SN on a gentleman, I would not think he was wearing a woman's perfume. It is pleasant albeit not particularly memorable.

As for the value to price ratio, I feel SN is horribly over priced at $69 for a 50ml bottle. Even at half this price, I feel SN is still overpriced for my money. There are several chemist shop Oriental fragrances that I feel are far more impressive than is SN, e.g. Ciara, Chantilly, and Emeraude. I also have some Avon fragrances that I find far more impressive than SN, e.g. Rare Rubies, Timeless, Charisma, and Rare Gold to name a few. As for performance, once again my chemist shop, Avon, and even my B&BW fragrances perform every bit as well as SN for a much lower price point. If SN had been deeper, richer, and with better performance, I would hardily recommend it to Oriental lovers even as a blind purchase, but alas, such is not the case at least for myself personally.

Sadly for me, SN is a pleasant enough fragrance but also quite generic with it, and for those who insist upon comparing it to Lutens Fille en Aiguilles, I think the Lutens is more impressive, but it, too, has only moderate performance at best. I understand why Estee Lauder has discontinued SN. It is not particularly distinctive, and it has moderate performance at best, and my bottle is less than six months old, so I cannot blame age or poor storage conditions for its performance. In the end, SN is not a very competitive Oriental fragrances in a market saturated with many beautiful Orientals, and I do not imagine it has sold as well as many other Estee Lauder fragrances. I advise you try before you buy if at all possible.

Fragrance: 5/10
Projection: 4/10
Sillage: 4/10
Longevity: 4/10
13th July, 2017

Baiser Volé Essence de Parfum by Cartier

This is a very lovely lily and vanilla fragrance. I purchased Baiser Vole first, and whilst I liked it, I felt it belonged to a subclass of my collection that pretty much only included Dior Diorissimo. I like Diorissimo, but I do not reach for it very often. I liked Baiser Vole, but like Diorissimo, I felt I would not reach for it very often. Both Baiser Vole and Diorissimo are best worn in crisp, cool weather, preferably in Spring and possibly in Summer on cooler Summer days where the fragrance can remain fresh on one's skin without fighting against perspiration. Diorissimo, Baiser Vole, and Basier Vole Essence are all pretty linear, but they are throughly enjoyable nonetheless.

Unlike Baiser Vole, Baiser Vole Essence is warmed by a soft vanilla that rounds it out and makes it feel more relaxed like a soft, comfortable, snugly dressing gown. It does not smell so much like a lily freshly picked from the garden as does the original. Essence is a warm, cozy fragrance that feels a bit more inviting. I can imagine myself reaching for it pretty often all year round. It smells high quality, and the bottle is impressive, too. It feels substantial in my hand, and the cigarette lighter style is adorable. The Baiser Vole bottles have more style and personality than most contemporary perfume bottles. If you like lily and vanilla, then I think you would like Baiser Vole Essence. These two notes have been perfectly paired in Essence.

Fragrance: 7.75/10

Projection: 6.5/10

Sillage: 6.5/10

Longevity: 7.5/10
10th June, 2017 (last edited: 31st August, 2018)

Les Déserts d'Orient - Encens Mythique d'Orient by Guerlain

I finally tested the enigmatic Encens Mystique last evening. Never before in my life have I experienced a perfume like this. It was not really what I expected it would be. It was quite light and airy, and it wore very close to the skin with only faint projection and sillage but quite good longevity. I can still detect it on my skin this morning more than twelve hours later, albeit faintly. Ironically, I could detect neither incense nor rose in it, which I found quite disappointing, but subsequent wearings may bring those notes to the fore.

In the deep dry down it changed into something which I find quite difficult to describe. It became slightly salty---a note I had never before experienced---and animalic, no doubt due to the real ambergris M. Wasser used in it. As I lay in bed it wafted around me like some sort of mystical aura, and I sort of lost my sense of sound as I contemplated the perfume. It gave me the feeling of being underwater wherein one loses the sounds of life on the surface as the water fills one's ears. It made me think of whales and of the ocean. It actually conjured images in me of marine life in a vast ocean far from any land mass and any other human beings. It felt, for want of a better description, like a primordial essence of some sort which breathed a sort of melancholia around me. It invoked a certain species of loneliness that oddly enough was not at all painful or sad. In fact, it felt quite peaceful, quite meditative and serene.

Finally, as I began to drift off to sleep, the smell of the perfume suddenly caused me to remember a film I once saw only a snippet of many years ago, albeit a riveting snippet. It was a psychological horror film called "Open Ocean," and it was based upon a true story. I had not thought of this film in a long time.

I am utterly amazed by this perfume! I cannot recall any other fragrance which took me on such an emotional "journey." It was as if the perfume led my willing spirit outside of the confines of time and space. Encens Mythique is a haunting beautiful, ethereal gem that I always want to keep in my collection at any cost.

Fragrance: 10/10

Projection: 5/10

Sillage: 5/10

Longevity: 10/10[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
22nd May, 2017 (last edited: 05th July, 2018)

Forest Lily by Avon

Notes: Lily of the Valley, Lilac, Ylang-Ylang, Wisteria, Sandalwood, Clementine.

Firstly, I must say that this fragrance comes in one of the cutest bottles I have ever seen. It really has personality plus. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the fragrance which was launched in 1998.

The only note I detect in Forest Lily is a very green, slightly dewy lily of the valley. I love ylang-ylang and sandalwood, but I can detect neither one, not even in the deep dry down. I cannot detect any sweet clementine either. This is just a straight forward, linear lily of the valley on my skin.

As a lily of the valley solifore (to my nose) this is a perfectly acceptable fragrance, although I think Diorissimo is a much better lily of the valley fragrance. However, if you do not want to spend more on Diorissimo, Forest Lily will give you essentially the same vibe for a much lower price point.

Upon initial spray, Forest Lily has excellent projection and sillage. Within about an hour to an hour and a half, it begins to settle down, and projection is within arm's length. For a vintage Avon, longevity is quite good. I have been wearing it for more than three hours thus far, and it is still quite noticeable. At this rate, I estimate I easily will get between six and eight hours of longevity.

Forest Lily is an innocent smelling EdT that would be lovely for Spring and Summer. I think it would even shine in cold and rainy weather conditions. It is smells pure, clean, and unoffencive, but it is also rather boring. I imagine a quite young girl wearing it, but I see no reason why an older woman could not wear it as well. Applied with a light hand, it would be office friendly, too. I do not dislike it, but I would not repurchase it.

Fragrance: 4/10
Projection: 7/10
Sillage: 7/10
Longevity: 7/10
20th May, 2017

Pavi Elle by Avon

Top Notes: Aldehydes, Geranium, Palisander Rosewood.

Heart Notes: Rose, Iris, Lily of the Valley, Cedar, Sandalwood, Vetiver.

Base Notes: Vanilla, Musk, Tonka Bean, Heliotrope, Cinnamon.

This review is for a vintage EdC. (I am unsure whether or not Pavi Elle was ever made in EdT, EdP, or extrait, but I imagine it would have been positively glorious in extrait formulation.)

Over the last couple of years or so, I have been collecting vintage Avon fragrances based on notes and others's reviews. Happily, Pavi Elle was one of the first I acquired and was one of the most successful Avon blind buys I have made thus far along with Mesmerize, Undeniable, Facets, and Perle Noire.

Pavi Elle has so many of my favourite notes. It opens with sparkling aldehydes which are quickly followed by the heart notes and then the base notes---all of which I adore! I love iris, and the iris in Pavi Elle is as beautiful as in any other fragrance I own--it is fresh, green, clean, crisp, and not at all bready as iris can sometimes be in some fragrances. This beautiful iris is accompanied by dewy fresh, living rose and lily of the valley all surrounded by a border of woody, green vetiver and dry cedar. In the deep dry down thirty or so minutes after application, I detect softly sweet sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla, heliotrope, and a hint of musk that all together are almost gourmand in their deliciousness but never quite cross that line.

Rosewood is one of my favourite notes, but alas I am unable to tease it out of this composition. Cinnamon also eludes me here. Yet, I find Pavi Elle to be an extremely gratifying fragrance from Avon, and it can be had for a very modest price. If the listed notes appeal to you, I encourage you to try Pavi Elle. I do not think you will be disappointed. This is one of the nicest "newer" Avon fragrances I have tried so far. It is such a pity that it has been discontinued. I would love to find Pavi Elle in extrait formulation.

Pavi Elle's performance is average at best, but average is not really very disappointing given that my EdC may be twenty or more years old. Indeed, in this case "average at best" is quite good indeed.

Fragrance: 6.75/10
Sillage: 6/10
Projection: 5/10
Longevity: 5/10
16th May, 2017

Baghari by Robert Piguet

I have become very interested in the house of Piguet over the last year or so, and I have acquired several EdP's from the house's contemporary collection of Fracas, Alameda, and Calypso. I must say I have not been disappointed in any of them. The next two I would like to try that are readily available are Visa and Baghari. However, I have been interested to know how these contemporary formulations compare to the vintages, too, so whence I had the chance to purchase a decant of Baghari EdC circa very early 1960s, I took a leap of faith and ordered it. This review is for that vintage EdC.

Firstly, I wished to mention that I think M. Guichard, the perfumer behind the 2006 Baghari EdP formulation, is spot on in his recreation of Baghari according to the notes listed for it on Fragrantica (aldehydes, musk, rose, amber, vanilla, and jasmine) because the vintage EdC is very much like the listed notes for the 2006 EdP, so bravo M. Guichard!

My vintage EdC decant opened with delightfully bright and sparkling, albeit very fleeting, aldehydes that truly took me by surprise given the age of the EdC. Sadly, they settled down much too quickly. Then musk, rose, and jasmine entered arms entwined like the Three Graces. At this point the EdC quickly began to transition into a skin scent. I could not detect neither vanilla nor amber, though, and if there were any other notes present, I was unable to discern them. An hour into the wearing, my EdC could still be detected albeit very faintly. Initial projection and sillage were quite good. Longevity was very poor, but I have no doubt this is due at least in part to the age of this EdC.

Overall, this EdC smells "like an EdC" in that it has that characteristic smell of many EdC's I recall from the 1960s. This is likely due to the low concentration of perfume oils. Compared to an EdP or extrait, those EdC's of yesteryear smelt, and I hope my bluntness here will be forgiven, cheap. However, in my imagination, if the perfume oils's concentration could be amped up, this would be a lovely, feminine fragrance very typical "of its time." It would have accompanied women's fashions of the day the way white gloves accompanied a pretty hat.

If you run across the vintage EdC or any other concentration, it would be worth trying it if for no other reason than the development of your knowledge of perfume history. My guess is that the contemporary Baghari EdP is very nice indeed.
09th May, 2017

Angel Garden Of Stars - Lily Angel by Thierry Mugler

Top Notes: Fruity Notes, Hyacinth, Water Lily, Lily of the Valley.

Heart Notes: Nutmeg, Honey, Caraway.

Base Notes: Amber, Patchouli, Vanilla.

I have been on a quest for lily fragrances lately, so I purchased a mini of Angel Le Lys with the hope of discovering a lovely lily note in it. Sadly, and much to my dismay, I cannot detect lily in this fragrance. Perhaps my nose is not well trained enough to tease it out. To my nose, this smells very much like Angel EdT except it is a bit sharper. I still detect a lot of patchouli in Le Lys. The light florals are too entangled for me to discuss them intelligently. I do not detect the heart notes at all, unfortunately as I love nutmeg and honey. There is a hint of amber in the deep dry down, but once again I mainly detect patchouli.

Performance is average for this Angel flanker. If you like Angel EdP or Angel EdT, then you would probably enjoy Le Lys. As usual for Mugler, the bottle is quite unique. I like the bottle and the pink colour of the perfume. However, I would not repurchase this fragrance because I already own both Angel EdP and EdT, and Angel body creme, which by the way smells even better than the EdP. If you have any of these last three in your collection, you really do not need Le Lys and would be better off with a totally different Mugler or a different perfume altogether.

I am giving this flanker a neutral because it really is too similar to the original Angel to warrant purchasing a full bottle of it. It is not at all a bad fragrance, but it offers nothing new and would not fill a gap in one's collection if one already owns Angel EdP or EdT.
11th April, 2017

Baiser Volé by Cartier

Top Notes: Lily, Citruses.

Heart Notes: Lily.

Base Notes: Lily, Green Notes.

I wanted to explore more white florals as of late, especially lily-centric white florals. I was keen to try Lutens Un Lys, but given Un Lys's $300 price point for a 75ml bell jar, I decided to begin my journey elsewhere, specifically with Cartier Baiser Volé and Guerlain Lys Soleia. This review is specifically for BV, but I do compare and contrast the two fragrances to point up how their differ from one another in the white floral genre.

On the whole, BV smells exactly like its notes pyramid. I detect more citruses in the top notes than I do lily, but the lily comes through more in the heart and the base notes where it becomes creamy and slightly sweet. BV is also quite fresh and green. It is the sort of fragrance that one could easily to one's office, to school, to church, to a nice luncheon. It could easily be worn day or night. My guess is that it wears better in the Spring and Summer, but I see no reason why it could not be worn year round.

BV is nice enough. I want to test it out of doors soon to see how it develops in the heat and humidity before I pass final judgment on it, but at the moment, it is not something I would ever repurchase unless subsequent wearings impress me more than the first two wearings. I absolutely love the bottle, though! It is difficult to describe, but the bottle feels rather heavy and quite posh in my hand, and the overall design has a fine aesthetic quality that I almost never find in other contemporary fragrances. It is difficult to spray, but I am not sure if that may be a flaw in the atomiser on my bottle or not.

I had roughly four hours longevity from it last evening. By that time it was fading pretty quickly, but my skin was quite cool. Perhaps I would have greater longevity if my skin were warmer. Anyway, at that point I applied the LS over it. (The first time I have ever layered fragrances.) I do not know if the layering of the two was responsible or not, but I could still smell the LS this morning whence I awoke.

Whilst I like BV well enough, I am much more enamoured of LS, but this does not surprise me because Guerlain rarely disappoints me. Honestly, some may mistake BV for an air freshener whilst others may mistake LS for a B&BW body spray except that LS smells like a higher quality fragrance, better ingredients and better blended. The ylang-ylang in it is delicious--sweet but not at all cloying. It is so well blended that I cannot disentangle the ylang-ylang and the lily notes. It is as though they are two sides of the same coin. It is definitely a lovely fragrance for the Spring and Summer. I think it would work the rest of the year as well. It does not smell the same as Terracotta Voile dé Été, but it is in the same "style" if that makes sense. Both have a light sweetness and warmth about them and project mildly in wafts. I like the bottle, too.

It has now been twelve hours since I applied LS over BV, and I can still smell LS on my skin albeit faintly. I did not expect performance as good as this, so I am pleasantly surprised. My white floral lily-centric fragrance journey will not end with BV or LS, but they have given me a great start. If you wish to explore lily-centric fragrances, and if enjoy a fresh, green fragrances, one that is crisp and cool as opposed to warm and sweetish, then BV is a good place to start. If you think you would enjoy a slightly more complex and sweeter fragrance, one warm and more sensual, then LS is a good place to start.

On the whole, BV mainly rates a basic thumbs up for delivering what it promises to deliver. LS gets a more enthusiastic thumbs up for not only delivering what it promises to deliver but also for being beautifully blended, warm, and sensual. At the end of the day, both have a place in one's wardrobe if one wishes diversity in her lily-centric fragrance section.
03rd April, 2017

Alameda by Robert Piguet

Top Notes: Bergamot, Lily.

Heart Notes: Rose, Orris.

Base Notes: Patchouli, Amber, Castoreum.

I always thought Alameda was one of the more interesting looking of the newer Piguet fragrances. I considered adding it to my collection for a long time, and I finally acquired a bottle of it recently. My instinct was one-hundred percent correct. This is a beautiful fragrance, and its performance is quite good.

Although I have only worn it twice thus far, I feel very comfortable in reviewing it. I detect the most deliciously warm amber in Alameda. This amber note has a truly "golden" quality about it. The patchouli beautifully and perfectly compliments the warm amber. Peeking out from behind this warm, golden amber and earthy patchouli are a beautiful, deep, lush rose and a sweetly, intoxicating lily. The combination of these notes is nothing short of spectacular. These are the notes that stand out for me in this fragrance.

Alameda's projection and sillage are moderate. Longevity is quite good. Each time I have worn it I applied it late in the evening after I bathed, and I could still detect it on my skin, albeit faintly, ten hours later. Alameda's performance is better than my Chanel Les Exclusifs, and it costs significantly less!

Alameda smells warm, rich, golden, and silky. It smells expensive and elegant, and I feel sexy wearing it. It is the sort of fragrance I associate with a sultry, sophisticated brunette. I think the right man could wear Alameda as easily as a woman, and although it could be worn year round, I think it will shine best in cool to cold weather because of its warm aura. I am undeniably smitten with Alameda! Two thumbs way up!!

Fragrance: 8.5/10

Projection: 8/10

Sillage: 8/10

Longevity: 8.5/10
19th March, 2017

Black Flower Mexican Vanilla by Dame Perfumery

Notes: Lemon, Grapefruit, Caramel, Nutmeg, Gardenia, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Musk, Tonka Bean, Vanilla.

Black Flower Mexican Vanilla is an addictive fragrance that verges on the border of gourmand but does not quite cross over into gourmand territory for me. It opens with strong citrus notes. The heart opens with a dark, deep, rich, smoky vanilla (think top quality fresh vanilla pod) and a sweet, creamy caramel. A strong, spicy nutmeg note livens up the vanilla and caramel. I also detect gardenia and tonka bean in the background. These notes persist into the deep drown down. This one is a real wrist sniffer, and I cannot help but suspect that it was inspired at least in part by Shalimar.

Performance is excellent. Projection and sillage are moderate, and longevity is outstanding. I applied it last night after I bathed, and I can still smell it, albeit lightly, on my wrists today at 4 p.m. BFMV feels warm and sensual, and I believe it could be worn by both women and men. I believe it is office friendly, and I cannot imagine anyone being offended by this smoky, spicy, rich and delicious conncoction. Bravo Dame Perfumery!

Fragrance: 6.5/10

Projection: 6/10

Sillage: 6.5/10

Longevity: 8.5/10
13th March, 2017