Perfume Reviews

Reviews by anessa

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Total Reviews: 24

Lolita Lempicka L'Eau Jolie by Lolita Lempicka

While I admire the bottle of Lolita Lempicka fragrances (except for the Sweet-line), I must admit I could not be convinced by any of the LL fragrances I came to know, neither on myself nor on someone else, starting from the original. Be that as it may, I had some expectations for L'Eau Jolie because many people on a review website seemed to embrace this flanker as finally THE Lolita for those who couldn't get on well with the other standard versions. Perhaps I could count one such pretty apple to my possession at last?

Apparently it was not meant for me to own any of the magical apples. On my skin, I didn't get any of the notes listed, nor the ones that were mentioned by other reviewers. The citrus veers into the cleaning product territory, and otherwise it is like a nice albeit thin floral-fruity shampoo - something I personally do not have the need for.

It is spring-like, light, inoffensive, youthfully feminine (not girly in a candy way) and even innocent, as if the namesake heroine had been stripped off of all her premature traits and attempts on seduction and manipulation with her sexual appeal. The bottle colour in soft pink and naming does match up with the concept conjuring the untinted, healthy 'joy' of a preteen girl without all the dark facets that were well presented in the other versions.
Surely, I thought there was a delicate and powdery (unlisted) violet somewhere peeking out from time to time, reminding me of the original, and this certainly inherited the DNA as a proud but very different member out of the LL apple family. I could really see both the pros and cons for this flanker and its pitifully unthankful position - those that are avid fans of the usual LLs will certainly dismiss this as nothing they have been accustomed to, and for the rest, like me - it will depend on the chemistry and personal demand.

While this is surely nothing 'unique' in the world of perfumes and, as other people have pointed out, there are similar fragrances out there at a much lower pricepoint, I could understand why one of this kind among the other standard LLs was released: It could've (since it was discontinued) got fans outside the usual target group, and the passionate fan and apple collector would perhaps not hesitate to add this to the collection if only for the bottle...
For me, perhaps 15 years ago I wouldn't have withstood the temptation to keep it for the vessel's sake; but considering the amount of alternatives, it was not worth even on sale; and there'll be someone out there who'll be happy to actually both wear and enjoy it not only as a treasured object.
14th July, 2017 (last edited: 15th July, 2017)

Yardley London Daisy (formerly Royal English Daisy) by Yardley

Royal English Daisy is a somewhat quiet, neat fruity floral with green notes resembling freshly cut lawn, and a non shampoo-like, sweet and clean apple scent which disappears much too fast. The rose does not play a big role; the alleged hyacinth is the most prominent and lends a coolness to the whole fragrance, managing to smell natural and not 'perfume-y' like a cosmetic department.

With a name more of an imaginary concept, this fragrance indeed has an innocent, carefree nature like memories of making daisy chains. And yet, for all the seeming simplicity, this Eau has enough substance to be more than a mere body mist or cologne; in fact, the floral note with the greens is rather emphasised by the musk, showing a distinct sharpness which could cause headaches depending on one's sensitivity. The sweetness is also less of a light or fresh nature but rather persistent, so I would not call this a 'safe' blind purchase choice for those who are not fans of fruity fragrances or have issues with sharpness of green florals.
Contrary to the understated image, it projects well if sprayed on the upper parts, with a staying power of at least 4 hours on me.
As a very affordable fragrance with enough body as a perfume for warmer weather, I would recommend this to those who wish to smell sweet and clean in a non-complicated, natural way.

On a side note, I completely agree with the experience and sentiment of a reviewer who said she had based her unsuccessful blind purchase of this fragrance on glowing reviews - count me to those who were misguided by the unison of praises especially on another large 'review' website; my unfavourable (yet objectively and politely expressed) opinion there even got voted down by fans who apparently disliked my unpopular yet honest dissenting voice.
14th July, 2017

Cabotine Fleur d'Ivoire by Grès

The majority of reviewers elsewhere were agreeing that this Cabotine flanker was 'fresh and soft, tasty like a peach-yoghurt but too faint and too short-lived with no projection, a light fruity-floral for spring'. This gave me the impression that Fleur d'Ivoire was one of those 'pleasant but harmless' scents I could wear if I wanted to go safe and low-profile, the opposite of the original Cabotine EDT (which nonetheless is my favourite.)
After more than a year trying from the bottle I had blindly purchased, I came to the conclusion that either those reviewers had a very different physical condition than I, especially a much colder skin, or perhaps it was only briefly tested on paper - the affordability and reputation of Cabotine flankers in the world of fragrances may not receive as much attention or care as for a highly priced and desired new release by a major brand.
Whatever the case, Cabotine Fleur d'Ivoire on me is neither light, fresh nor subtle. This flanker does very well retain the original Cabotine's headiness and edge, and by no means is it low-profile or safe, contrary to the understated appearance with its translucent, airy bottle design and cap.

This fragrance is definitely intended for cooler weather. The opening burst with citrus and tart berry notes smells like a pastry with almonds and lemon-blackberry filling, certainly clean and delicious and almost addictive; at this point, it does have a calm yet transparent, luminous feel compared to heavier, denser fragrances. However, this stage, with an indeed refreshing peach and clean white flowers (jasmine and lotv most detectable) appearing, remains for more than a few seconds only when sprayed on a cotton pad; on skin, none of the peach nor flowers could be perceived, and the top notes vanished rather quickly, swallowed by the musk and tonkabeans covering everything.

On my skin but also from the nozzle, it radiates a vanilla-sweetened musky cloud with a distinct headiness which I can't identify, the jasmine, the almonds, the blackcurrant or altogether? Perhaps the salicylate amplifying the mix? It would be noticed instantly and would not be a safe choice for those sensitive to perfume-y scents. The sprayed spot shows an oily shine, so I assume this fragrance contains a higher percentage of perfume oil; at any rate, the 'Ivory Flower' shows a very persistent character, clinging to the wearer for several hours with noticeable projection and also leaving a recognisable trail.

This is a musky, subtly vanillic white floral for colder seasons and with good longevity and projection beyond the personal space. Another reviewer described this as a "better Burberry Brit" due to the almond and vanilla, but I cannot comment on it without having tested the Burberry. Like the Gold flanker, Fleur d'Ivoire does smell more expensive, an obvious French perfume, feminine in an elegant way - the creamy oriental base with sandalwood personally reminds of Samsara. An overlooked opportunity suited for people with generally colder skin.
13th July, 2017
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Ame Toscane by Isabel Derroisné

Recently I took the opportunity to revisit this fragrance I used to dislike in the past, also because of its predominantly positive reviews.
While sandalwood and vanilla provide a mellow base and the magnolia adds a watery effect, peach, iris and osmanthus are very prominent on my skin, creating a watercoloured painting in a warm, soft salmon pink shade with light hues of iris blue and pale yellow. For me, it resembles Yves Rocher Pêche de Provence EDT of Les Plaisirs Nature line, the peach note exactly the same as in Ame Toscane. It could be indeed called a 'sensual' floral fragrance with fruity touches, matching well with the bottle presenting the feminine body.

Personally, this fragrance contained far too many of my challenging notes - especially peach plays out artificially and osmanthus becomes thin and high-pitched, the freesia a potential headache.
While Ame Toscane has proved again that it is not for me, it could be quite pleasant for those who love the combination of peach and osmanthus with vanilla, and its surprisingly good longevity for a seemingly soft nature will be an added bonus. Due to its popularity, it has not been discontinued (for a change).
09th July, 2017 (last edited: 19th July, 2017)

Zen by Tan Giudicelli

A serene, pure floral with an ephemeral touch. Like a white flower floating in a pond of stone garden after the rain, the light mildy shining through the clouds. Also reminding of spring, might have been the violet and narcissus, I could not detect any notes separately.
Rather a small bouquet of flowers without any glamour to catch your attention, a simplistic beauty without being boring or flat nonetheless. Non sugared almonds, adding mildness and keeping the bouquet from becoming too stuffy or serious. I did not know the notes back then and never smelt out the green tea, but this explains the feeling of calmness it exuded.

My mother wore this back then on her stay in Japan (pure coincidence with the perfume's name), and wearing Zen was the only time many people there complimented her on her perfume, some even asking for the name. It's not very common to compliment on a complete stranger's fragrance there, so I attribute this to the magical appeal of this perfume.
Sadly discontinued and still highly sought after by its fans. Hoping to find a similar fragrance somewhere, sometime.
07th July, 2017 (last edited: 12th July, 2017)

Quelques Notes d'Amour l'Eau de Toilette by Yves Rocher

The Eau de Toilette version has nothing in common with the priorly released Eau de Parfum except for the rose theme. Whereas the EDP for me was a rather sweetish-sultry and heavy balsamic rose with peppery edges, the EDT is the complete opposite as a somewhat shy and harmless, inoffensive clean fruity-floral. The opening resembles a fresh brambleberry aroma which reminds me of the brambleberry-scented fancy shaped soaps with a natural sweetness of fruit which is very appealing to me. Unfortunately, the dry down turns into a slightly sour and soapy pink rose similar to "Rose Fraîche" EDT from the same brand albeit with a better longevity.

I cannot decide if I like this enough to wear myself; the opening berry aroma is refreshing and deep, but later on, it morphs into a berry soap before settling down as rose soap, overall playing out a little artificial on my skin.
I would call this girlish yet not too playful and subtle enough for close quarters, an in-between of the cosmetical, pink rose of Moment de Bonheur EDT and the candy-like raspberry-rose of "Flower Party", with more stress on rose than the berries. If applied to the upper body, it will project enough to get noticed even if this will unlikely offend anyone.
06th July, 2017 (last edited: 12th July, 2017)

Still by Jennifer Lopez

The milky, viscous sweetness of rice wine
its fragrant steam floating over the cup
beckons to take a seat and listen

Sweet orange slices, placed with care
gently mirroring the sun from the plate

Damp flowers picked after the summer rain
Mrs Dalloway planning a party
her thoughts flow back to the orchards of her youth

Still life painted
timeless
blending Western colours with the East

I was introduced to Still not long ago, and for my love of both Earl Grey and the rice wine in taste and smell,ít stayed in my collection since then and I would miss this very much if it ever disappeared. I tried an unsuccessful 'haiku' instead of a review, because this fragrance to me is rather like a snapshot of a moment, triggers the mental cinema the instant I smell it.

It is a clean, composed, calming and, above all, quiet scent, the opposite of "dramatic" - the name and colour is very fitting. It has an introspective air, like listening to the silence. In its focusing and relaxing effects (at least on me), it could be seen as a milder equivalent to lavender. Still does not project much, but lingers on me for at least 8 hours; it just seems to love playing hide and seek.
The soapiness is certainly there, but not in the style of Glow, and the bergamot in the opening adds a certain piquancy which makes this a fine unisex fragrance and, together with the exotic rice wine-accord, it could appear less attractive for some people.
Regarding the sake (rice wine), it might be perceived stronger if either its smell is familiar to the wearer, or exactly the opposite as something 'strange'. No idea about the aromachemical formula, but rice wine definitely smells different from rice, the same as wine and grapes. I used to perceive mostly bergamot in the opening during colder seasons, which served as a gentle morning kick for me; now in summer, the boozy, sweet rice wine accompanied by subtlely tangy orange is like a treat for my nose and I'm really enjoying it. Still, and supposedly for the next long while.
05th July, 2017 (last edited: 15th July, 2017)

Cabotine Gold by Grès

Cabotine Gold is not glittering, but shimmering with an understated elegance, both in design and its content. The watery-sweet, honey-dewed melon at the beginning only shortly reminds of J'adore, before citrus turns on the lights and pink pepper adds the sparkles. The warm, almost effervescent scent evokes a certain feeling of festiveness - be it New Year's Eve or any other celebration which finds a certain excitement in the air, anticipating the unknown.
The similarity to Coco Mademoiselle with the citrusy-spicy patchouli is indeed undeniable; but Gold is much more subtle, without the claim for an oustanding statement. The white florals, matching with the gold and light beige theme, are tastefully placed in the background to add to the splendour; they do not show any clean/soapy nor sharp characteristics and harmonise well into the whole picture.

Had there not been the one note that often spoils it for me, I would've found another gem with Gold: Vetiver, rather temperamental on my skin, turns strong in its bitter facet ("shaving cream"), and together with amber, the pachouli and a sweetness either coming from tiare or the melon, it develops into a sweetened, spicy scent that I rather would smell on a man than on myself. Unfortunately, Gold remains this way all through the dry down, while maintaining a moderate sillage, before it departs with a tired sweetness after almost half a day.

While Gold did not work on my dry, hot and slightly acidic skin, it showed and retained its beauty throughout on someone else - and so, it will stay in my record, another well-done, sadly discontinued fragrance by the house of Grès. At this point, it can still be found for a very reasonable price online for anyone who wishes to try out.
05th July, 2017 (last edited: 11th July, 2017)

Siam Flamboyant by ID Perfumes

Siam Flamboyant smells exactly like the sum of its parts - a balsamic, creamy mixture of benzoin and pepper, heavy on the vanilla and brightened by citrus, with the frangipani peeping in briefly at the opening. Dry down is sultry, the combination of the heavy sweetness plus pepper and orange blossom somewhat show a dryness of sandy (sugar) texture, more than I could handle, almost scratching in my throat. After a few days of wearing led to headaches, I unfortunately had to give up on this otherwise attractive scent.

This fragrance, to me, seems to be in the same vein as Jacomo Silences Purple (which is said to resemble Dior Addict). While sharing the heady white floral-citrus-vanilla combination, Siam Flamboyant is much sweeter, lacks the smoky darkness of Silences Purple and its unisex edge due to vetiver, and therefore could be called a tamer, more harmless, daylight version with a more gourmand feeling.

If you are looking for a fragrance which recalls an exotic dessert made of vanilla and oranges mixed in perhaps steamy rice pudding covered in powdered sugar, and if orange blossom and benzoin are your favourites and keywords like 'peppery, balsamic and vanillic' sound good to you , this one might be worth trying.
The initial intensity faded away after an hour to a skin-close sweetness remaining for 3-4 hours, the bright creaminess better unfolding in heat.
05th July, 2017

Un Matin dans la Roseraie by Jeanne en Provence

The first moments smell of dewy rose petals and leaves after a morning shower, before quickly overtaken by watery, green facet of chamomile, peppered and garnished with angelica and clean lily-of-the-valley, conjuring a slightly soapy, herbaceous, cool dampness. The EDP stays without losing its strength, enveloping me with a clean and cooling waft for around 4-5 hours - even in the humid warmth, I could smell myself radiating an aura of 'just-showered' freshness like a protective shield.
Despite the black currant listed, I can't sense any fruit nor even a hint of sweetness. There is no warmth nor anything remotely 'sensual' in this fragrance, so, instead of the idealised romantic expectation the Victorian-esque package and the utterly feminine pretty bottle might raise, you will find a composed primness also endorsed in that era.

Some people have compared this to Lancome's Miracle, but having never tried it, I cannot attest it myself.
I had tested this fragrance through autumn to summer and discovered that personally, wearing in hot weather and in open air was the best condition to enjoy this fragrance, since pepper seems to bother me too much when smelt too close, and the 'shower-freshness' felt a little out of place in cooler weather.
However, as always, these are not meant as 'prescriptions' for how and when to wear, but only records of my own experience.

As a rose-themed fragrance with rose only in a minor role, it might be a good option for someone looking for a foremost clean, green and herbaceous white floral for warmer weather, offering a very decent longevity and projection and with a hint of rose that, for a change, does not owe its freshness to citrus.
04th July, 2017 (last edited: 18th July, 2017)

Cerisier en Fleurs by Yves Rocher

I cannot compare this Yves Rocher version with other fragrances on the same theme since I haven't smelt any. I love the cherry blossom in their manifold variations in life and as a motif and its symbolism, but to me, they never possessed a distinct scent.
This EDT, along with Thé Vert, is my favourite among the Un Matin-line, Green Tea being the morning refreshing kick, and this sweet treat for the night; it has got a sweetness resembling almond-pastry a little, and together with its delicate and intimate air, I do not feel like wearing it during day time.

Personally, the scent reminds me very much of the 'sakura-mochi', rice cake with bean paste wrapped in cherry leaves. It is coloured rose and smells of the cherry leaves which have a mild, nutty sweet aroma.
For my part, I would name this EDT "Yozakura", Night Cherry blossom, the name for the scenery of cherry blossoms in the darkness - imagine a cool night's walk under romantically lit up cherry trees, and the 'ohanami' ('flower-watching') sittings under those trees in the dream-like atmosphere, the rose-white flowers otherworldly radiant in its haunting beauty against the midnight black sky, the magic often mirrored in its splendour in nearby waters.

A rather personal and private fragrance to be enjoyed by myself .
04th July, 2017 (last edited: 05th July, 2017)

Thé Vert by Yves Rocher

This review is for the The Vert Eau de Toilette from the Un Matin au Jardin-line, launched in 2015.

This indeed is a very simplistic but pleasant green tea scent with added citrus notes for motivating freshness. Elsewhere, some people are comparing this to Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, but to my nose, they are definitely different, starting from the obvious absence of mint which gives its distinctive cooling effect and the opening sharpness in Arden's version. The lack of any spices and herbs makes this a much lighter and milder green tea alternative, leaning a little on the feminine side due to its less (aggressively) sporty but calmer tone.

To me, Thé Vert appears a little fruity like green tea mixed with verbena, reminding strongly of the dry down of Biotherm Eau Pure. It opens with very tasty and crisp citrusy notes perfect for summer, and with just the tiniest powdery hint for cleanness, it stays as a deliciously flavoured, ice-cooled green tea. On my skin, longevity is surprisingly good for an EDT of this house, on texture I can smell it the next day. As an uncomplicated, linear fragrance, the price, often at 50%, makes it more of an affordable pleasure.

Yet, as some people have called this being too flowery or powdery, it does have this note for sure and might trigger headaches depending on the condition; thus, I would not recommend a blind buy, or only if you don't have any issues with powdery white florals. Counting this to my 'regular staple', I had used up almost two bottles over a couple of years, before my nose started to react to exactly this lemony-powdery facet and I had to stop wearing.
On a side note, the shower gel does smell like sweetened green tea as well - mild and tasty, even if the scent only lasts until you step out of the shower.

Overall, a nice citrusy-flowery albeit less cooling alternative to minty green teas.
04th July, 2017

Monoï Eau des Vahinés by Yves Rocher

I quite like the scent of the dry oil from this Monoi line, but it doesn't stay long on my skin, so I decided to try out the Eau de Toilette version, hoping I could combine the oil and perfume in order to enjoy the beautiful fragrance a little longer.

Unfortunately, the EDT was a letdown, contrary to the majority of good feedback. Tiare, ylang-ylang, vanilla and coconut are the listed notes, but I mainly get a screechy coconut smell, a synthetic one unlike the almost fruity, soft kind of Yves Rocher's Coconut EDT. Along with this, there is a harsh note I can't define, perhaps vanilla/ylang-ylang gone wrong. It didn't smell like suntan lotion on me, nor like the dry oil which has a very rich, sweet and flowery aroma - instead, it had something shrill and thin at the same time. It goes without saying that the alcohol-based EDT would smell less 'full' than the oil; still, I suppose it lacks a solid base to my nose. After about 10 minutes, it left a faint trace with reminiscence to the body oil, but then, I could also just apply the dry oil.

I was hoping to get a creamy and full-bodied, summer fragrance, so am disappointed with the EDT overall. It might work on a person with the right 'skin chemistry', and for the low price point when on sale, it would be a great bargain.
04th July, 2017
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Fifth Avenue Nights by Elizabeth Arden

Some fragrances don't suit your taste, style nor chemistry, but you can still appreciate it has to offer, and 5th Avenue Nights was such one for me. A blind purchase based on a few less reliable 'reviews' elsewhere, it was different from anything I had chosen as my personal fragrance till now and required some time to get used to, but within a year, my nose and I had become accustomed to it and even like it.

At initial spray, I was hit by a strangely plastic smell, followed by sour citrus which stood out on the creamy, milky background, not as smooth as I had expected from the feedbacks. Fortunately, the plastic smell subsided after the first minutes, leaving it all for the vanilla, musk and white chocolate to create a heady, lemony milk (almost butter) cream scent with sprinkled coconut flakes - coconut isn't listed, but there is some fatty tone underneath the vanilla sweetness like that of coconut fruit.

However, despite such edible notes, this is not a 'gourmand' fragrance, and those looking for such would be disappointed: It is a musky, clean white floral (taken from the original 5th Avenue) with a twist of fluffy, creamy vanilla, never losing a certain edge, be it by cyclamen which isn't my favourite and tends to be perceived stronger.

Although discontinued, this is a nice everyday fragrance while it still is around, an affordable, non-stuffy casual floral with good longevity of over 8 hours on my skin, and longer on my clothes.

On a side note, the 'modern' type of musky cleanness in this fragrance for me does really recall some shopping tours in polished, perfectly air-conditioned department stores - so, while the 'Nights' part of its naming may not be fitting, the 'city flair'-allusion is met indeed.
02nd July, 2017 (last edited: 07th July, 2017)

Sanderling by Yves de Sistelle

Ths perfume seems to be rated high across the review boards, and rightly so. Considering the price for the large bottle, often paired with the matching body lotion, it offers decent quality both in scent and longevity, with moderate projection of an arm's length for the first hours.
As for the bottle, the massive glass container is adorned by an impressive (plastic) cap resembling somewhat the top of a shrine; it does take up a bit of space between your other slimmer bottles.

The scent is a little spicy, slightly watery, vaguely sweet floral, very office-safe and light, that I could imagine best suited for the transitional seasons, when there is some crispness in the air under a mild sun. It's also one of those more skin-dependent fragrances, and on me, the sour and bitter notes become too strong and do not harmonise with the woods and vanilla. The main issue I have here is the overall felt 'transparence'—despite the woods listed, it does not serve enough as a sufficient base for me to balance out the heady notes.

It's really a shame because the first impression was promising and I felt excited, until those edges started to bother me after a while. After regularly wearing this for a couple of months and testing it over a year under different conditions, I had to pass it on.
Despite its affordability, I would recommend testing first, especially if your skin tends to turn up citrusy or green notes. Otherwise, if sweet notes get amped up on you, you could find a versatile fragrance with decent longevity of half a day, for the price of a couple Latte drinks.
23rd June, 2017 (last edited: 04th July, 2017)

Sparkling White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor

Sparkling White Diamonds is another fragrance where I seem to be in the minority with my experience.
It was repeatedly called "soft", "sparkling" and "fresh", with romantic associations ranging from Elsa of Disney's Frozen, to snow angels and ice queens which added to my curiosity.

Coming straight to the point, this perfume did not have any 'soft' nor 'fresh' characteristics to my understanding of these words, opening with a bitter-sweet sourness like that of a dried tangerine peel, paired with a rather sharp white floral on a heavy, sweetened base and strong musk. I had expected to feel some kind of breezy coolness, based on some reviews and also suggested by the name and its beautiful design.

While the "cold" aspect might be there, it is a static one, mostly recalling powder soap with no air stirring. Instead of the anticipated refreshing, sparkling creaminess, my nose was pricked with sharp icicles which remained without any smoothness till the dry down.

Every time wearing this (even with a light hand), in the open air or at home, the potency of the mix of bitter citrus, florals and musky heavy amber irritated me so much that I could not concentrate on my tasks: I felt as if I was constantly forced to put my nose into a freshly opened box of facial towlettes.
Since the faint remnant on my pyjama smelt clean and much more pleasant the next morning, I think I might've enjoyed this more if it was less intense.

This being a very strong, clean and sweet ambery floral perfume with good affordability and longevity of a whole day, I recommend testing first if you are not accustomed to some headstrong powderiness.
23rd June, 2017 (last edited: 04th July, 2017)

Attimo L'Eau Florale by Salvatore Ferragamo

L'Attimo Eau Florale was described by many reviewers as a fresh and light springtime fragrance and a fairly safe choice for a blind purchase.

For me, this opened with an interesting and summery mix of frangipani and only slightly watery fruits by Nashi pear, with a remote similarity to Cabotine Rose. However, the bright floral notes combined with the distinct note of kumquat lack in smoothness, and since it does not change much until dry down, I am left wanting for more lightness or softness. If 'freshness' could also be of a more aggressive nature, this would be it. Accordingly, it projects well with an arm's length and lasts for half a day.
In short, I would not recommend this as a safe blind purchase candidate for those who are looking for a more 'rounded' fragrance without any edges.

In a way, L'Eau Florale reminded me of Burberry Body - I imagine both more as ambience or amenity fragrances, used in lush hotel bathrooms with modern and feminine interiors. Since I found out later on that the matching shower gel and body lotion is offered as an "ideal enhancement for your luxurious bath time", I think my association wasn't completely amiss. I am sure that, while I couldn't wear the EDT comfortably, I'd love to use the bath products.
23rd June, 2017 (last edited: 03rd July, 2017)

Place Vendôme by Boucheron

The review is for Place Vendome EDT.

Yuzu always makes me fall in love at first sniff with a perfume. Osmanthus, on the other hand, as much as I appreciate the natural smell, is a tricky note in perfumes for me, like freesia. So, it wasn't perhaps really surprising that my affair with Boucheron Place Vendome EDT remained a short one: Fell in love with the slightly sugar-coated yuzu opening, the floral bouquet très chic and very French, so dreamily romantic and delicate--not only peony and rose, but jasmine and osmanthus altogether seem to have been gently dusted with a rose-coloured powder. A more eloquent person would paint the imagery this perfume evokes in richer words than myself, so I will not attempt further.
For a while, I was floating on the luminous, rosy cloud of sweet powder--and fell down when the musk began to grow larger and larger, covering the light and taking out the air, heavily laden with the powdery sweetness now threatening to cause headaches. And of course, osmanthus had emerged, adding a high-pitched tone to the overall fizziness in the base which I suspect to be Iso E Super, judging from its nose-tickling quality. It is categorised as "a woody citrus floral" on the Boucheron website, and I seem not to be the only one being reminded of Light Blue, also because of the basenote.

It remains a very chic and feminine fragrance, like a pair of intricate silver studs with rose quartz, requiring a certain fashion and occasion to be worn with; whatever the base components are, they lend this perfume a very bright 'fizz' and effervescence despite its warm and earthy powderiness, making this an adequate choice for young ladies who wish to smell mature and elegant and yet, retain a certain youthfulness.

Notes from the official site:
Top: Yuzu, Osmanthus, Peony
Middle: Iris, Rose Essence, Jasmine Petals
Base: Cedarwood, White Musk
23rd April, 2017 (last edited: 13th June, 2017)

Les Belles de Ricci - Amour d'Amandier / Almond Amour by Nina Ricci

Notes from a vendor site: Almond flowers, kiwi pulp, almond fruit, heliotrope, frangipani flower, fresh almond paste, sandalwood, vanilla, white musk

Semi-gourmand, watery almonds with a citric edge. No idea where this 'watery' effect comes from, be it the "white musk" or the white florals--the opening contains a washed-out, sweet almond note, supported by light and indistinct white florals. The vanilla is kept subtle. This is a linear fragrance lasting around 3-4 hours with noticeable projection and could be one of those inoffensive spring fragrances with vanilla and nutty nuances. However, there is a prominent tart citrus note, its sharpness intensified by the edgy marzipan,and after a while, the persistent spike of sourness sticking out of the vague sweetness started to get on my nerves.
A nice idea gone wrong to my nose.
On a positive note, this fragrance is fairly recognisable. Someone apparently took a liberal splash on a midsummer's day and I instantly recognised this perfume by its trail in a split second, after more than 15 years. And I personally didn't find it alluring on someone else, so it seems to be a matter of taste and less about 'skin-chemistry' regarding this one.
For those who are familiar with the (discontinued) bath product "Almonds of California" by Yves Rocher, its scent is quite close to this EDT (without the somewhat disturbing tartness).
29th March, 2017 (last edited: 03rd May, 2017)

Moment de Bonheur L'Eau by Yves Rocher

Moment de Bonheur EDT is very different from the priorly released EDP - in fact, they only share the name and a 'rose' note, and even the rose is not the same. Whereas the rose in the EDP was a clean yet patchouli-sweetened, velvety, realistic one, the rose of the EDT is of an abstract nature; musky, cool and cosmetical, it rather resembles another perfume of the brand, Comme Une Evidence, created by the same perfumer. Lacking the weight of patchouli as well as the violet leaves, lily-of-the-valley and rhubarb combined with a heavy dose of musk which lend CUE its sharp and distinct character (with a higher headache risk), I would even call MdB EDT its defanged, lighter version.

Contrary to the blurb and the impression given by the "green apple" note, it does not smell fresh at all - to my nose, it's cleary in the "perfume department" category rather than an outdoor garden. The apple note does only appear for the first few seconds as if in excuse for being listed and the bottle coloured green.
With a soft projection and a longevity for around 3-4 hours, this might be a lighter CUE alternative for warmer seasons and overall, a compromise for someone who wants to smell discreetly 'perfumed' without stepping too much over the perfume-threshold.

Notes: Centifolia rose from Grasse, green apples, Virginia cedar.

PS. The photo here shows the EDP version. The EDT has a light-green bottle, as if to allude to the cameo 'green apple' note.
28th March, 2017 (last edited: 14th July, 2017)

Truth or Dare by Madonna

after all the reviews, I had expected a 'tuberose-bomb' with Truth or Dare, but it turned out too sweet for my taste.
The first moment is really the best of this perfume for me - a dash of bright white florals, smelling expensive, promising something exquisite. But the base of amber, vanilla and benzoin are just too powerful building a thick sugary sweetness against which the florals don't stand a chance. It stepped into the 'candy'-territory for me, too much so to convey elegance: Personally, I am reminded of the smell of the golden-brown and translucent 'bekkoh-ame' of my childhood, 'Tortoise-shell Candy', melted sugar in heated water without any further addition of fat, formed into fancy shapes.

So far, I haven't seen anyone mention it, so it may be not considered important, but nonetheless: The fluid is tinted and left a dark-orange shade stain (the colour of ToD Naked) for several days on the tester strip - therefore, it might be good to avoid contact with white clothes, even if it should be washed out easily, unlike the fragrance itself which lasts for days with one spray.

Contrary to the statement of some misleading 'reviewers' on another website (who obviously have not tested it), I do not find this to be a 'pure, innocent, virgin-like, young bride fragrance', but a very strong and assertive perfume that requires a certain personaity to be worn - nothing for shy, sensitive or dreamy girls. I could imagine this well on a strong-willed, practical woman with a self-confident attitude and fearless manners who loves grand gestures...pretty much something Madonna would wear herself, in my opinion.
28th March, 2017 (last edited: 12th July, 2017)

Vanille Noire by Yves Rocher

It seems I belong to the minority who is not able to appreciate this perfume. Never mind. On the sample tissue, it smelt very smoky and pure vanillin sweet; not a mellow, golden vanilla I know from other vanillic fragrances, but heady and strong. Since I forgot how crashed vanilla beans smelt, I can't compare it to the natural ingredient--it rather reminded me of vanillin for bakery, also of a teacher who used to smoke vanilla tobacco which always announced his coming and leaving from several metres away and put me in a Christmas-y mood.

A skin-test, however, revealed a very distinctive and persistent note verging on sweat, turning the vanilla somewhat 'dirty'; tonkabeans and musk combined with vanilla sometimes cause that 'sweaty' effect to my nose. This 'dirty' vanilla resembles another expensive perfume I came to smell often, but it's not of Shalimar or Addict-type, both being rich and mellow vanilla (even if completely synthetic opposed to VN) without this unnerving undertone. I didn't discern any flowers nor citrus, although they might have added to the (pardon!) 'shrewd', buttery perfume-y vanilla-effect.

As a conclusion, I'm afraid I won't ever become friends with this perfume, because I rather prefer a more simple rendition of 'vanilla' such as in the body lotion by the same brand, which just smells joyful, tasty and straightforward without any uncomfortable suggestiveness like in Vanille Noir (of which the 'Noir' might well be a hint to this shady facet.)

I strongly recommend testing before buying, this certainly won't be to everyone's liking.
28th March, 2017 (last edited: 30th May, 2017)

FlowerParty by Yves Rocher

Rosy-fruity, girly scent. Body Shop childhood memories: Glass jars of fancy-shaped scented soaps and colourful bath gel balls on the shelves, the equivalent of a candy shop for non-sweet-fraction children like me. The whole shop smelling like Flowerparty, the mix of fruity, sweet and flowery soap emanating from those jars. Sweetness coming from fruit, most strongly lychee, with a slight hint of pink-coloured rose. It dries down to candies on my skin, but mostly, I am reminded of a shower gel named 'raspberry-rose'.

For those who'd expect something floral by the rather misleading name of this fragrance, this contains nothing 'flowery' but the modern kind processed into bodycare products.
The original ad featuring a young girl in a floral-print hat, holding a flower stem between her lips, does really depict this fragrance, with the stress on 'party': Lots of floral print sun-dresses floating above the lawn and merry hours until the lights are lit, while sipping sweet, dark-red fruit punch from sweating tumblers.
28th March, 2017 (last edited: 23rd April, 2017)

Green Tea Camellia by Elizabeth Arden

I couldn't get past the citrusy-minty opening of the original Green Tea, but this flanker made me curious about the "camellia" note. While I can't recall its natural smell, Camellia's protagonist resembles the scent of the hair treatment oil--a little bitter, green, smoky, leaning on the masculine side.
GT Camellia opens with a mix of non-sweet fruit (with a tiny hint of juicy citrus without any sourness) and spices, followed soon by watery white florals which only lend a clean but not soapy touch and remain in the background. The spices provide a very nice cooling sensation, more subtle and gentle in their refreshing effect than mint which, as in the opening of the original, could often appear menthol-like and too harsh for my liking. Once the initial spicy edges had subdued, Camellia became skin-close and stayed for more than 12 hours on my rather dry skin, with its optimistic remnants.

Although my expectation based on the ads and description ("inspired by the Asian feeling of peace and tranquility") was not met, this is nonetheless very enjoyable in a more sportive, extroverted way with the sensation of relaxing in the open air, in the cooling white shades at the poolside under the clear blue sky. Overall, I find this a nostalgic scent, like an homage to the 90s--a mix of Kenzo L'Eau Par Kenzo pour Homme and Eau Belle d'Azzaro which I both used to wear and enjoy.

The tea note was non-existent to me--but then, I am accustomed to really strong green tea scents, so my nose is probably insensitive to smaller amounts (same with the non-existent "coffee" note in Black Opium); hence, I wouldn't have recognised this as a Green Tea flanker at all (but then again, I don't really smell "green tea" in the original neither...). Camellia is less citric than the original, more aquatic, fruity, spicy, just a little flowery, and (on my skin) even more unisex. It has been discontinued, but for the low price, well worth a try if you are looking for a non-sweet, aquatic, pleasantly cooling floral fragrance suitable for summer and humid heat.
10th December, 2016 (last edited: 18th April, 2017)