Perfume Reviews

Reviews by SuzanneS

Total Reviews: 25

Diorama by Christian Dior

The modern version of Diorama. I expected some kind of thin,synthetic mess. Most classics are obliterated with regulations, profit margins and unskilled hands of a new perfumer. I am pleased to say I was wrong. The opening is a strong tarty bergamot with the bright yellow ylang. Jasmine follows up and asserts the floral identity. It was bright and of substance, and made this hardened vintage lover reminisce of other fragrances in the past that had similar openings. Truly a rare occurrence in these times. I had a moment where I thought I may have wondered into Niche territory.

The familiar jasmine and rose begin to take over with a caraway note as an undercurrent. Plum and peach add the fruity echo from its past and adds body and dimension to the composition. This leans more floral than fruity floral.

Please note as some of you reading this that its connection to Femme comes to mind..but its not full of cumin. The caraway hints at its past, but does not send it down that animalistic Femme path.

Patchouli & cedar anchor modern Dioramas base. Modern regulations take its toll on Diorama here in the base as well as a lack of the famous prunol additive from the vintage. No oakmoss or animalics to weigh it down. It can be a good thing as these types are seen as outdated or out of vogue. The cost is longevity. Its a well tailored fragrance and Im off to get a bottle for the days I want a vintage feel but not its weight.

In its class there is Femme, and Parfum de Therese. I feel this is a great middle option at its price point and design. It is interesting to note that Demachy studied under Roudnitska, so Demachy is a good candidate to keep Dioramas spirit intact. Works in Fall and spring. A little light for winter.
06th November, 2018

Karenina by Roja Dove

Karenina is gentle in spirit. Its a warm, soft floral. Karenina in my wearing is supported on a bed of alluring ylang ylang with frangipani, gardenia, and a well restrained carnation and cloves adding texture to the powdery violet that adds femininity to the fragrance. The warm base supported by vanilla, cedar and musk gives a plush dry down to a light tropical oriental floral. The green notes air out the rich story.

Karenina nods to the past while solidly blooming in the present. I think all grand fragrances do have a nod to the past of classic perfumery, or in this case a look into the flower train to Russia. I dont get a solid "vintage" feel as some of the usual "vintage" base notes are not present, and I believe it was carefully selected to keep the story well rooted in the present. Its a unique modern romantic fragrance. A delight to wear. Longevity very long lasting, Silage moderate to full depending on amount used.
EDIT: Now Discontinued.
02nd November, 2018

Diaghilev by Roja Dove

D is a summary of a genre that is long lost in modern perfumary. The epoch of the chypre genre was the animalic fruity floral with mossy leather nuances with some spice.
It opens with herbs and citrus much like the greats of yesteryear then opens up a mossy leathery heart with cumin, and fruit. The animalic ending makes this dirty and you are wearing contraband or something that the IFRA would have a heart attack over. Is it the greatest of all time? No. I will say I have worn the iconic vintage chypres of this genre. Diorama, Patou Lasso, Rochas Femme, Etc. However, If you do not/cant get these vintages..then yes Roja is a great piece.

This is made for a vintage enthusiasts or a well educated nose. This has substance. I find it closer to Femme than Mitsy.

It reminds us how great perfumery used to be.
02nd November, 2018
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Britannia by Roja Dove

Britannia is the whole world in a bottle.
It opens with a slight bitter citrus then the giant peach note takes over and toggles with a cocoa presence. A beautiful orris/ambergris combination surfaces and changes its nuances much like a well running swiss clock with a large list of notes and experiences dancing for attention. You want a chypre..its in here.. a dusting of a fruity sweet light gourmand? Its in here.. a powdery violet candy.. well you can have that too. Genius. Voluptuous, full figured fragrance in the best way. Opulent. Britannia.
02nd November, 2018

Musk Aoud by Roja Dove

Its a unique fragrance. Its superiority in blending so nothing distracts you from the velvety experience of juicy tart citrus opening with rose, leather, moss and a gentle warmth of nutmeg, musks, tonka,vanilla and oud keeping the base warm. Just richness for miles. Opulent.
02nd November, 2018

Tuberose by Roja Dove

Roja Tuberose extrait hits the mark of a well crafted elegant tuberose centered fragrance. Its lush, nothing jarring or out of place. Ive tried a tuberose fragrance at all the price points and this is the current winner without scouring the planet for vintage. Save your time, buy this instead. Quality Quality Quality. A love. Its well done and rivals the vintage Fracas extrait that was so sublime. Excellent!
Edit: Discontinued
02nd November, 2018

Scandal pour Femme by Roja Dove

I own both the extrait (Creation S) and The EDP versions.
My review is for the edp.

Id have to say this is the most dreamy modern romantic white floral melange in our time. This is an always appropriate white floral thats polished and can reach for everyday without it being too much. Not sure what to wear? Scandal. Its much more versatile than one may think. This is not anything like fracas ..this is much more romantic and refined.This white floral does not roar. So if you are looking for a screaming white floral presence..look elsewhere. His Tuberose is closer to Fracas..this is closer to JDB but much more ladylike.. Just...lovely.

I do not get into MSRP/Pricing as I feel that is relative/subjective.
02nd November, 2018

Enslaved by Roja Dove

It fit me like a fine leather glove. Some reviewers claim Habanita as an inspiration. Meh..somewhat. It isnt that cut and dried. I have the vintage Habanita extrait and edt and this, if I had to say its relation to it is a fine tuned habanita or animalic chypre. I got a big rose backed up by classic geranium with a growly sweet animalic powdery musk.Theres a sweet orange blossom leather from the labdanum that reminds me of Cuir Mauresque. Im in heaven. Completely underrated in the line and Roja fine tunes older ideas..usually for the better.
02nd November, 2018

Enigma pour Femme / Creation-E pour Femme by Roja Dove

Creation E. I lucked out and got one of the first versions. My bottle is loaded with spicy orris, musk, ambergris...really expensive stuff. You can just smell the luxury rolling off this. Powdery heliotrope, rose, peach and geranium to lend a spicy green bitter nuance. Jasmine faintly dances under the orris and thick ylang. vanilla, sandalwood starts to smooth it all down in the end. If you know fine materials in fragrances, this is exemplary quality. I spray my teddy bear with it for sweet dreams

If youd like a lighter alternative with a similar feel try Joy Forever edp by Patou.
02nd November, 2018

Danger pour Femme by Roja Dove

Its called Danger as it is to your pocketbook.
There are shades of Samsara, but I will go on to say..if you found Samsara too harsh, scratchy this is much smoother and gentle. So if you liked the genre of Samsara with more floral..its going to work for you. Its more complex, as it should be for the price point. Sillage is good, not monstrous and lasts. I find it delightful and easy to wear.
02nd November, 2018

Beguiled by Roja Dove

It is Beguiling.

Its clean on one hand yet something turns your head with the animalic/musk dirty presence..its isnt offensive in the least, more intriguing how he made a clean scent so... naughty.
02nd November, 2018

Innuendo by Roja Dove

The opening is a fresh zesty lemon verbena/and sunny citrus. Its found in traditionally masculine fragrances. ( an echo of 70s vibe) Its a interesting opening for a woman's fragrance playing with the unisex vibe. A non traditional opening for womens fragrances.

Sometimes I really wish Roja had an editor that was a woman to help feminize his pour femme offerings. They all have a masculine tinge to them. Not that theres anything wrong with it as unisex means more sales, but I would appreciate something that hones in on the true curves of the feminine mystique.

I would put this on in the morning for a wakeup and get down to business scent. A well done fresh floral for your wardrobe. The heart opens with a jammy rose, a custardy vanilla ylang ylang countered with a beautiful patchouli.

Cute powdery violets lend a femininity and the jasmine tempers the rose. Theres a soapiness and a white musk element that keeps this fresh in tone. Its evolution really reminds me of old Hollywood actresses that spent their leisure time at Hearst Castle playing tennis. The old actresses would always put on their fragrance first out of the bath assuring the heart to drydown which was the most spectacular part of the perfume was on display. Then they would continue with their beauty routine.

I would say this is a modern classic. It does change in a sweeping dramatic fashion, like theres 3 acts to the story. Ive never smelled anything quite like it.
1.7oz parfum -"Creation-I" Reviewed
02nd November, 2018

Sheherazade by Jean Desprez

I found and wore one bottle in the 80s. It was beautiful. It haunted me for years. Sheherazade was reformulated in 1983 off of the original 1939 version. It was short lived --discontinued late 80s.

Top notes: aldehydes, orange, chamomile, blackcurrant, bergamot, geranium, pepper berries, nutmeg, cloves and rosewood
Middle notes: mimosa, coriander, tarragon, daisy, lily of the valley, hyacinth, gardenia, rose, orange blossom, carnation, ylang-ylang, jasmine, orris and cassis
Base notes: patchouli, wormwood, labdanum, tonka, incense, leather, civet, ambergris, pine nuts, vanilla, sandalwood, musk, vetiver, oakmoss, opoponax and benzoin

Its softer and has less of an edge than the family member Bal a Versailles. Its very feminine where Bal can lean unisex. I recently obtained a rare PDT 3.3 tall splash bottle fairly intact. Top notes of the pepper berries and rosewood grab your attention until the warm deep base begins to warm the scent with the powdery vanillic opopponax enveloping the heart notes. It is a full, complex kitchen sink fragrance like Bal a Versailles. Opulent, plush and gorgeous. It is one of those rare perfumes that star Chypre and twist into Oriental in the mid -drydown.

Im glad to meet her again. Sheherazade also layers well with Bal Cologne.
03rd March, 2017
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20 Carats by Dana

Dana 20 Carats vintage cologne splash.

A beautiful citrus with feminine whiskey cherry tobacco opening. Tobacco these days is so masculine. Here it definitely has a foreign feminine floral edge. This is a fragrance for a DAME!

An opulent release to help soothe the women coming out of the austerity of the great depression and WWII. I can see its cache in the swinging 60s, but 20Carats belongs back in the 40s. Its well put together, structured and quality. Today, if you bottled it differently, it would be an exotic niche.

Top notes: bergamot, cherry, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and aldehydes

Middle notes: heliotrope, carnation, rose, jasmine, lavender, herbs, fern, myrrh, frankincense

Base notes: sandalwood, ambergris, oakmoss, tonka, musk, balsam, tobacco, patchouli, vanilla, benzoin and vetiver

Just to note for collectors/time travelers : There is a lotion that was made in mexico with a white bakelite cap. It is very smooth and mild. The cologne made in the USA is stronger with the silver cap. Both have gold flakes in the formulation. Later editions (1980s) do not have the gold leaf.

It was marketed as a female fourgere. Beautiful for tobacco lovers
28th February, 2017

Salome by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

Damn IFRA to hell. I love this idea behind Salome and its well done considering the restraints of the regulations and aroma chemicals of today that make it impossible to put out a great animalic fragrance, forcing perfumers to rely on a heavy dose of cumin to make anything smell like something naughty. It was first done in re-formulated Rochas Femme, and done well but paled to the first formula, and even Lutens MKK and his love of cumin in his cannon of fragrances. So what we are left with is a holographic idea of sexy rather than the real deal. God bless the creator of Salome that came up and executed this idea with her hands handcuffed by these agencies. This was magic to pull off what she did.

The opening is rather intriguing with a blast of jasmine and cumin, and once it settles down into the heart she is very wearable but there is always a certain level of irritation with the animalics chosen but its no where near the level of Bogue Maai. Its easily forgiven here with a creative licence of the perfumer. I feel this would be devastating on a man rather than a woman, but feel both sexes can wear this well as a modern animalic. The best part is the drydown. Worth a sample and try.
14th February, 2017

Galaad by Lubin

Ancient ingredients of perfumery mixed together into a classy, gorgeous scent. A little leather, little naughty and opulently refined. This is gorgeous with my chemistry. It isnt going to hit you over the head with its obviousness or overt raunch like a Salome, but this is sophisticated sexy. A signature scent and love. A++. An ancient blessing in a bottle. Great on a womans chemistry.
14th February, 2017

Balahé by Léonard

Daniel Moliere, who is also responsible for Eau de Givenchy, Fleur D'Interdit, Givenchy Insense, CSP Eau de Naphe, LaRoche's Clandestine, and Jacomo's Paradox is the mastermind behind Balahe.

It has withstood the test of time as it is a softer presentation than the note pyramid suggests. At the time it was not a iconic powerhouse of the day like Poison or Opium which reveled in an overdose of their identifying notes, but a niche like quality that was so well blended with its complexity, it never became vulgar or too much. Balahe was the quiet man-slayer wrapped up in a feminine powdery, vanillic, opulent floral.

The clary sage, coriander, anaise, civet purr and aldehydes open Balahe, it comes off foreign as a good oriental reminds you of far away places never seen but dreamed of in the night. The plums, pineapple and fruits sweeten Balahe counterbalanced by the mandarin and bergamot citrus.

The magic happens when the heart opens up and the flood of orchids, tuberose and rose are supported by a soft richness of ylang, orris and iris to keep this extravagant, plush and soft upon the fruits receding in the background. Balahe finishes in a powdery vanillic sandalwood, sweet opopponax and animalic warm civet, yet the civet doesnt purrs seductively.Its best with the cooler temperatures but can perform well in the warmer days of spring. A gem of luxury housed in a black mysterious bottle and red silk Japanese cord holds the stopper intact. Masterful composition and blending by Moliere.

Its beautiful. I keep lucking out and getting the huge 6.8oz bottles for next to nothing..Universe is telling me something about this fragrance....
13th February, 2017

Vicky Tiel Originale by Vicky Tiel

Vintage review .25 parfum spray (1990) release

Its a well dressed floral with a sharp opening. The mignonette and the citrus gives it a sharp introduction.Hyacinth,Jasmine, Heliotrope and tuberose in the heart, with a amber musk drydown.

This is in the vein of YSL Y, vivre, etc..the green hyacinth dominates so make sure you enjoy Hyacinth. It reminds me when moms got dressed up to go to dinner, has a night on the town after they kissed you and put you to bed. Mature in nature.

Its a good fragrance but so many better in this genre. Its a good buy but YSL Y did it much better in my opinion.
21st January, 2017

Pretexte by Lanvin

With Vintage Lanvins, Extrait is generally your best bet.

Eau Prextexte is a delicate floral-leather.

Top notes: aldehydes, bergamot and narcissus
Heart notes: hay, rose, carnation, hawthorn, opoponax and iris
Base notes: leather, castoreum, patchouli, rosewood, ambergris, sandalwood, tonka, vetiver, civet, oakmoss

The ambergris in the base has aged so smooth to the point it makes it hard to delineate the notes. The leather quickly shows herself in my bottle and its one of the softest best done leathers Ive run accross. Dont let the list of the base notes fool you. They behave very well and expertly blended.

This is not powerhouse, but a throw backs to a toilette and lightness of fragrance. If you want a more pronounced experience, get the extrait.

13th January, 2017

En Avion by Caron

En Avion Vintage Parfum

First applied, it reminded me of Vintage Piguet's Visa. Caron's En Avion came first.

Rich, dense floral, neroli, carnation spicyness, a lilt of leather and honeyed lilac...and a nod of animalic touch to set off the florals. Feminine, sexy in the vein of such vintage classics such as My Sin extrait as well. The depth is as rich as the ocean and the world opulent for these times comes to mind.

Modern sensibilities may have trouble with it, but if you are a vintage Caron fan this is lovely.
02nd January, 2017

Bulgari Aqua Divina by Bulgari

Growing up and spending a lot of time at the ocean during summers and winters you get a good handle of what the beach emanates as its fragrance.

This is a misty evening at sundown and the salty spray surrounds you. Its light, with distinctive presence like the sea air. I was delighted and transported back to the shores of my childhood, in a modern chic way with nostalgia. It works on me. Surprised. Its a sentimental charmer for me...and I agree..a Mermaid would smell like this...
23rd December, 2016

1932 Eau de Toilette by Chanel

1932 is stone cold elegance like a diamond.

This is so cold, it makes Guerlains Parure look like an earth mother. She's elegant, beautiful and unobtainable. The aldehyde opening is there to ward off the masses that love their La Vie En Belle. Chanel 22 seems like a warm crackling fireplace compared to this one. Imagine a grand open ballroom with shiny marble and crystal chandeliers. Thats 1932.

The heart opens up freshly beautiful with some spice. The base begins to warm her up but there is a very ice cold duality to 1932. Elegant ice queen in public, and after a few drinks loosens up a bit but she's still distant and in control. If waterford crystal had a smell, this be it. Silage is low, understated, rich elegance. Not for everyone. Drydown reminds me of Shalimar PI. More you spray longer it lasts. Recommend skin and clothing like a scarf. EDT version reviewed.
23rd December, 2016

Coco by Chanel

Vintage COCO (84) EDP.
COCO is the goldilocks "just right" of Orientals. Old luxury is a slightly understated, quality experience. That embodies COCO.

In its historical genre there's Opium (77), Cinnabar (78), Diva(83), Teatro Alla Scalla (85), Incognito (92).

Review for Vintage COCO EDP

COCO is the most balanced in the genre. There isn't a main ingredient you can point to and say "thats what dominates in COCO." That is its true strength. She is all her own done in Chanel style. You can see echoes of Diva and Opium within her DNA, yet balanced and refined for the Chanel house.

Her spices are never overdone, her fruits are luscious, the rose is a beautiful feminine addition. Its as beautiful as an Oriental can get. She will be loved because there isnt a part of her that stands out too much, or not liked for not having a distinct identity and perspective. Perfect example of a well crafted, strong, classy, non offensive benchmark in perfumery. The only reservation I have is when hunting the vintage, in my experience the strength fades overtime.
23rd December, 2016

Miss Arpels by Van Cleef & Arpels

Miss Arpel 1.0 bottle edt glass swirl bottle

When I smell Miss Arpel or something like its green opening- I smile. In its fragrances were the hallmarks of a youthful consumer. Springtime, fresh, lively with some florals. Tendre poison, although a powerhouse went green and marketed itself as a lighter version of Poison, finds itself in this genre as well as Miss Arpel, Jolie Madame, Ma Griffe, Crystalle Edp.

Green, little herbal and bitter with a clean lemon uplifts the spirits and adds a clean character. Natural smelling perfume. The florals rise from the green as if they are starting to bloom from the green ground. I do not get much fruit except for the watery green melon and no peach so dont think this is a tresor type scent it leans much more green than that-more closer to Y by YSL.

Its a different, classy affordable green floral. Ellena has restrained the oakmoss to its valuable use to enhance the fragrance rather than dominate it. Its classic, elegant and great daytime scent.
19th December, 2016

Jardanel by Jean Desprez

JARDANEL - Jean Desprez
EDC SPLASH Bottle (same EDC bottle as Bal)

There is not a lot of information readily available on Jardanel. It had a very early release (1939) only to be re released in 1944 and then in 1973 when production stopped because of the cost.

Now if that doesnt intrigue someone to go find a bottle to see what the fuss was about..Im not sure what would.

Top nots are Aldehydes, Bergamot, Fruity notes, Neroli, and Lemon
Heart Notes are Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Carnation, Orchid, Rose, and Ylang Ylang
Base Notes are Benzoin, Musk, Sandalwood, Tolu balsam, Vanilla, Frankincense, Civet, and Cistus

In 1973, the chypre perfume Jardanel was relaunched in a limited edition, with labels suggestive of the Edwardian period, as the basic formula was originally created in 1917, by Jean Desprez, but not launched until 1939.

Its composition may not have been fully developed the first time around and was probably improved upon over the years until Jean, true to his stubborn nature, felt he had gotten it right. The perfume had notes of citrus leather, myrrh, Peru balsam, vetiver and oak moss. Jardanel was soon discontinued after the 1970s relaunch, because the cost of reproduction was too exorbitant.

I have gathered is that it is an aldehyde citrus leather opening. Yes a citrus leather. It moves onto a beautiful floral heart reminiscent of Guerlains Parure floral heart. Jardanel was released in 1973, Parure in 1976. Only, Jardanel isnt as stodgy and icy as Parure. Jardanel has a comfortable warmth about her, and her notes do change depending on the conditions.

Its oakmoss component supports it but does not veer into the forefront like it did in Parure edt or lets say, Nuit de Noel by Caron. Now why am I bringing up Caron NDN?

DeLaire's Mousse de Saxe base that was famous for giving Caron fragrances their signature dry down is also found in Jardanel. It seems Jardanel by Jean Desprez could have been the forerunner to Nuit de Noel, since it was developed in 1917 but not released for the first time until 1939. NDN by Caron was released in 1922. Which came first? I cant sleuth it out but it does answer why both have the same Mousse de Saxe base...even for a fragrance that seemed to be released in the 70s. I wore vintage NDN and Jardenel and NDN shares the same notes as Jardanel, but Jardanel adds a stunning citrus leather and animalic mousse de saxe drydown with the tolu woods leading the way.

(side note: Shalimar like the above reviewer mentioned a likeness in the dry down as the vintage Shalimars also had DeLaires Mousse de Saxe base)

Im sure there are much much more going on here, and to be more cost prohibitive than making Bal a Versailles, that had the reputation of superseding JOY as the most expensive perfume in the world, it roughly gives you the idea of Jardanel.

Jardanel on her own reads like her sibling Bal a Versailles. There is the depth and richness in her character, only as one commented stated above in his review, there's a green outside theme moving through it rather than the grand dark oriental musk masquerade of decadence in Bal.

Its silage is moderate in the EDC and the longevity on me lasted a good 12 hrs into 24 with it eventually "wearing off" rather than just disappearing. Clothing retains the drydown until you wash it. She is a soft powerhouse. Id love to try the PDT or Parfum to see if Desprez layered this creation like he intended Bal to be worn in all concentrations at once. But alas, Jardanel had a limited release and not too many are out there...but Desprez's forgotten green gem is just as beautiful as her famous relative Bal a Versailles in her own way.

12th December, 2016 (last edited: 19th December, 2016)