Perfume Reviews

Reviews by yellowtone

Advertisement
Total Reviews: 38

Dilettante by Hiram Green

My my, Mr. Green has a way with flowers!

Just like his Moon Bloom is my favorite tuberose, Dilettante is the very best orange blossom I have ever smelled. It is, to my nose, perfection.

It smells like an orange grove at sunset; the green of leaves, the bitterness of bark, soft flower petals, a hint of citrusy tartness, the oiliness of rinds, the honeyd wax of a bee hive in the trees, it is all there, drenched in an golden orange light. It is saturated, yet light, and very uplifting.

Wearing this reminds me that life is beautiful.

I tremble at the thought of what this perfumer could do with other flowers, let's say rose, or jasmine...
14th October, 2018

Moon Bloom by Hiram Green

This is my perfect tuberose. Full stop. I ordered a sample to round out a sample deal, not expecting much at all, and was completely bowled over by this scent. I am not a tuberose or white floral fan in general, but this fragrance has converted me.

It goes on VERY strong, which had me scared for just a few seconds, but the scent is so good that it actually becomes a plus. This is definitely a tuberose-centric perfume, and the flower is presented in all its heady, indolic, tropical glory. There is a touch of pissiness (in a good way), and a touch of humid swampiness (again, in a good way). It has tropical sweetness that reminds me of coconut, but it's certainly not of the sickly sweet, synthetic variety, and it blends perfectly with a golden ylang note to play a supporting role to the glorious tuberose. There is also some green in this scent, which intensifies the lush, tropical forest impression Moon Bloom conjures up.

Despite its potent opening, Moon Bloom is not a loud or overbearing scent at all. It wears quite linear, which I don't mind at all, and it's very, very long lasting.

The first few times I tried this it was still freezing cold and wearing this instantly transported me to a hot, humid summer nights. I can't wait to try this in the summer heat, I expect it will be fantastic.
14th April, 2018

La Chasse Aux Papillons by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This is a lovely, delicate entryway white floral; the perfect gateway drug for someone like me who had a Big White Floral scare early on in their fragrance career. FYI: I've gotten over my white floral phobia fast, and am now completely ok with the original offender; Carnal Flower.

Back to La Chasse aux Papillons: It is the tenderest tuberose paired with perfectly pitched orange blossom (not too sweet, not too soapy); dewy, fresh and airy without ever being pedestrian or overly clean. I have a linden plant at home, and although I don't think its blossoms smell like much (maybe linden tree blossom has more of a smell?) but this fragrance does remind me of those beautiful linden leaves, which have the most delicate, translucent yet bright spring-green hue.

Wearing this makes me very happy today.
14th April, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Sex and the Sea by Francesca Bianchi

Oh dear, this was the big fail that I didn't see coming. I ordered samples of all Francesca's fragrances after reading glowing reviews of her latest scent, Under my skin here on basenotes. I was expecting good things.

What I got was a thick, intrusive wall of something indescribably off-putting. My brain seems unable to break down what's going on because all my instincts screamed "abort mission!" whenever I put my nose to my wrist. At times I got whiffs of things that, in and of themselves, are inoffensive or even pleasant: coconutty sun tan lotion, something sandalwoody, something fruity, something salty, but the sum of these parts repulsed me in a way no other scent I've tried so far ever has, including my nemesis Angel with it's putrefied dishrag accord.

I agree with gimmegreen's description of the scent's clagginess; it has an unpleasantly thick, oily texture that becomes more and more prominent over time. I had a spray of Angel's Dust on my other wrist when testing this, and even though it's less offensive, it has a similarly off-putting dry down. I think may be a house style.

What I can say in its favor is that this fragrance is unique; I truly know nothing else that smells like this. It is also very long lasting; 1 spray to the wrist lasted all day, and resisted several attempts to wash it off. The remnants of it even managed to overpower my liberal application of Azuree.

Perhaps I should give this scent a second try, but I don't think I'm brave enough to do it. My aversion to this scent is so strong that I now dread retesting the two remaining samples I have of this house, even though I already tried them briefly earlier this week and didn't hate them. Oh well, you win some you lose some, and I'm sure there will be people who appreciate this scent more than I did.
11th February, 2018

No. 18 Eau de Toilette by Chanel

There's nothing that smells like No. 18, except, weirdly enough, Egoiste. It took me ages to make the connection, but once I did, it was unmistakable. It's the rose that does it, and it took No. 18 for me to recognize the rose in Egoiste. Strange how Chanels are all interrelated in such surprising ways.

To me, No. 18 is Egoiste with the spices swapped for herbal teas and the sandalwood for heaps of ambrette. It has a Scandinavian feel to it; all clean minimalism and cool, muted colors, but it also registers as organic and wholesome due to its carroty health store notes.

It's a very calming, clear headed scent to wear, and one that has been slowly growing on me.
02nd February, 2018

Samsara by Guerlain

I have a weird thing with sandalwood fragrances: when I spray them on a card, I smell no sandalwood at all. This is the reason it took me over a year to try Samsara, because on the tester strip it smelled very unappealing.

However, trying it on skin is a completely different story! It's a gorgeous, creamy, sweet sandalwood; unapologetic, sexy, and bordering on garish, for a Guerlain.

The current EdT gives me the most pencil-shaving-sandalwood, which I love, but the base is too vanillic and plastic-ey. The current day EdP is massive in projection and sillage, almost too much for me. The vintage EdP is the baby bear of Samsaras for me; rounder and slightly more chic, and the sandalwood in this reminds me a bit of Bois des Iles.

The only thing that's missing is the lovely pencil-shaving note from the EdT, so I'm going to experiment with layering this with Diptique's Tam Dao, which has that in spades.

It's the loudest, least subtle fragrance I own, but I absolutely love it.
19th November, 2017

Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger

The moment I put this on my skin I am transported back in time, to my last years in high school. It doesn't remind me of anyone specific, but rather brings to mind a certain type of girl I went to school with. Pretty, well mannered, glossy haired girls, dressed in crisp white shirts, lamb wool sweaters, and trendy jeans. They got decent grades, were popular with a certain type of boy, and never skipped class. They traveled in cliques and wore tinted lip balm. They may have played field hockey. I guess there was nothing to actively dislike about them, other than their complete lack of distinctiveness. We attended the same school, but lived in parallel universes. Wearing this scent feels wrong, like I've skipped back in time and morphed into one of them briefly.

Other than the associations, it's a pleasant fruity floral; clean, sparkling, up. I don't get much tea out of it.
18th November, 2017

31 rue Cambon Eau de Toilette by Chanel

This one is special, and it has taken me quite some time to put my thoughts on it into words.

I first encountered this as a sample I received with the purchase of a bottle of Cuir de Russie, which I fell madly in love with. On first smell, 31 Rue Cambon didn't wow me. I seem to remember finding it pleasant, but a tad "generic perfumey". I kept going back to the sample though, and that one sample led to a 10 ml decant, a 50 ml decant, all the way to a 200 ml bottle.

I would describe it as a very plush, iris-patchouli; soft in texture, but quite assertive in presence. Due to the luxurious Chanel treatment these main ingredients seem grounded, rather than earthy. It certainly registers as a chypre to me, but a warm one, if that makes sense, probably due to the vanilla. It also has a very classical vibe.

This is a scent that speaks to me on an emotional level. It has a warm, personal intimacy that I find hard to describe. The best way I know how is to liken it to holding a t shirt that has just been taken off by the man I love; the warmth and scent of his skin still clinging to the soft fabric.

It has been slowly creeping up the ranks of my most beloved scents ever. It is also the only scent that I have experienced an irrational fear of running out of, which is why I have snatched up a 200 ml EdT bottle before even smelling the EdP reformulation.


18th November, 2017

Oudh Infini by Parfums Dusita

Wow, this is a statement fragrance! It's a reference oud rose for me, and one of the most interesting things I've tried so far. Recently I got to sample some real oud oils, and I would be very surprised if Oudh Infini doesn't contain some of the real deal.

Like others have noted, there's a serious barnyard note here straight off the bat. To me, it's a goat dung/skin/cheese type of a funk; deep and slightly strawlike and not for the faint of heart. The opening is really quite unique, and almost un-perfumelike. It takes at least an hour to settle, and during that hour the volume of the rose is turned up slowly. The rose is red and surprisingly fresh at the same time, but it never becomes dominant.

What surprised me about this fragrance is an intensely dry, woody/papery note. It's so parched that it reminds me of desserts and blistering sun, and it keeps the goat dung element just about wearable for me (wet dung would be too gross). This dry note reminds me of one of the Guerlain Les Deserts d'Orient scents, all 3 of which I once tried on blotters, which I then put in a notebook. That notebook now has this amazing dry smell, and I need to figure out at some point which of those 3 fragrances is responsible for it. But I digress.

I like to wear this fragrance as an experience, but I'm not sure I would feel comfortable wearing it around other people in the first few hours.
10th November, 2017

Poison by Christian Dior

Poison is not my jam: it's thick, sweet, spicy, but most of all: heavy. The flowers are heady and heavy, the spices are suspended in a thick ooze of amber, the vanilla is rich and heavy, there's a slightly tart, plummy note, but even that is heavy. The whole fragrance is like someone playing a piece of music hitting every note with the same ferocious intensity; monotonically overwhelming. It does have a gothic appeal though, so I do get why some people may love it, but I'll happily leave it to them to pull this off.
03rd November, 2017

Angel by Thierry Mugler

Angel came out around the time I decided that Chanel no. 5 was the one for me, so I pretty much hated this on principle. Testing it on my skin today, it seems I was right: I really do hate it. It's incredibly loud, incredibly sweet, and there is a funk in there that sets my teeth on edge. Now, mind you, I normally like a bit of funk: Salome's cuminey underpants? Count me in! The barnyard "butt" accord in Inverno Russo? Bring it on! But this I can't handle at all. It's like the smell of a wet, dirty dishrag that you pick up after it's been festering in the sun all day; a slightly rotting, sour smell that clings to your hands long after you've flung the filthy thing far away from you. The saccharine sweetness on top has the same effect as air freshener sprayed in a public bathroom; it only seems to enhance the stench. I do get why this was groundbreaking and all, and it's certainly not boring, so it has that going for it, but I'm honestly surprised this was such a commercial hit. I find it very unpleasant.
03rd November, 2017

Gold Man by Amouage

I only read the reviews for this one after testing it, and they had me laughing out loud; so many of you poor boys were horrified and insulted by this fragrance! I kind of understand the shocked reactions, but I definitely don't agree.

So on to the scent: The resemblance to Gold woman (which I own and love) is clear from the get go. There's a similarity in the bright, floral opening, which is dominated by a strong lily of the valley note. However, there's also a darker undertone present that I don't get in Gold woman: incense and civet are lurking around the corner.

The combined effect is properly stunning and for me both familiar and unfamiliar, which keeps me on my toes. Going forward, the scent seems to have two faces, alternating between Gold man: the floral-powdery-soapy-with-an-incense-twist-twin-of-Gold-woman, and Gold man: a reincarnation of a deeply animalic vintage floral.

The former is quite comfortable and familiar to me, while latter is a remarkable experience. In those moments I feel like I'm wearing something of bygone days that should come in a tiny crystal bottle with a hefty IFRA warning. It's probably the civet, which can't possibly be the real thing, but it's extremely convincing. It actually smells a little like Bal a Versailles, but with a more exotic undertone due to the strong incense base.

I think this stage especially fantastic, and it makes me want to try all the animalic vintage florals. My credit card is crying foul already.

So in conclusion: this is probably not for everyone, but do try it, it's quite the experience. It's also very potent, so handle with care!
19th October, 2017

Noir de Noir by Tom Ford

This was one of the first scents I bought after discovering basenotes about a year ago. It's been shelved for the summer months, and since my tastes have been rapidly evolving due to testing many different things, I was wondering if I'd still like this when I got it back out last week.

The answer is yes. I think this is beautiful, and I love wearing it in cold and rainy fall weather. It's a dark, velvety rose; a deep dusky purple with bright burgundy edges. I don't get the chocolate reference as much as others seem to do, but the vanilla is clearly there. It's not too sweet, and together with the patchouli and dusty saffron it creates an earthy backdrop for the rich rose.

I've smelled quite a few fragrances that are similar to this (Juliette has a gun's Lady Vengeance being the most obvious smell-alike), but I always prefer Noir de Noir.
08th September, 2017
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Musc Impérial by Atelier Cologne

Oh my, we have a scrubber! This doesn't happen to me very often, but this I have had to wash off about an hour after applying it.

Despite its name, Musc Imperial does not smell of musk to me, or maybe I never got to that part. It opened with a milky-fruity accord that reminds me of a virgin version of a tropical cocktail. After reading the notes, its probably the fig that's giving me this impression. Fig, especially when it's the creamy kind like in Philosykos, often gives me a pineapple and coconut association, and I usually like it. Here, however, it's become both sickly and watery, like someone attempting to make a Pina Colada with coconut flavored water and pineapple syrup rather than with the real deal.

This unfortunate fruity accord is made unbearable by something I would describe as an aquatic woody impression (think cheap mens' body spray) that increases in strength as time goes by. This squeaky clean accord merges with the faux cocktail and becomes a nausea inducing mess on my skin. I actually started to feel a bit queasy, so I tried to wash it off but it's quite persistent.

I layered a good spritz of Chanel Sycomore (blasphemy!) over it, which seems to mask the unpleasant olfactory remnants somewhat. Phew.

Compared to the rest of the Atelier Cologne's I've tried this is a big dud.
20th August, 2017

Blood Oranges by Shay & Blue

I'be had every intention of finding a fresh, zingy citrus scent this summer, but I somehow keep buying other things. In this case it's at least a citrus, so I'm counting it as half a win.

Anyway, Blood Oranges is not a particularly fresh citrus, but rather a warm, woody, radiant citrus. It opens with a burst of something that reminds me of fresh orange juice mixed with lime juice to give it kick, with a good dose of oily zest in there as well. I think the oiliness of this citrus accord gives it its longevity, which really is quite impressive. The natural smelling orange is set over a slightly synthetic wood, and the two notes compliment each other beautifully.

I personally don't get much of the leather others describe, but on the whole the woodiness does lean towards the masculine. The citrus and the subtle sweetness in the basenotes brings it back to unisex though.

It's one of the few citrus scents I know that seems perfect for fall/winter, which is why I think it deserves a place in my wardrobe.
18th August, 2017

Geste by Humiecki & Graef

This is an odd duck.

I get pine tree sap, bitter and resinous, over sweet amber and powdery violets. The pine note is quite promising, conjuring up brief flashes of summer in the south of France, pine trees around a lake in the high Alps, sunshine and the sound of crickets. However, the other notes don't seem to play well with this note, so the illusion never fully forms.

I keep smelling it, hoping it develops into something interesting, but it doesn't really go anywhere.

My rules for thumbs up, down or a neutral review are simple: if I never want to wear it again, it get's a thumbs down. If I want to finish the sample, but would not be tempted to buy more, it's a neutral. If I want to own the fragrance, it gets a thumbs up. This one sits between negative an neutral, but i'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

09th July, 2017

Aimez-Moi by Caron

Nope. I smell candy, and that's never a good thing in my book.

In this case, it's the sweet-tart smell of hard candy with a soft chewy center. It's quite purple smelling, which I at first associated with grapes, but I guess it's actually violet. Because of the tart notes I don't dislike it as much as I do most candy fragrances, but I still won't wear it again if I can help it.
09th July, 2017

Kiss Me Tender by Nicolaï

This smells like candy.

Sweet, sugary, factory produced candy with mountains of artificial flavourings. It reminds me of banana candy. Those small yellow banana's with that weird foamy, chewy texture, somewhere between hard and soft, the residu of which sticks to your teeth like it's nobody's business. I never liked banana flavoured things anyway. I don't want to eat this, I don't want to smell this, and I certainly don't want to smell like this.

The dry down gets a little better: a sweet vanilla and white flowers combo that reminds me of the dry down of Tom Ford Orchid Soleil. It doesn't save this fragrance though.

Scents like this annoy me.
09th July, 2017

Cardinal by Heeley

Cleanliness is next to godliness.

An early afternoon in a southern European country. You see a young man, not quite a cardinal yet (a priest perhaps?), walk through the dark halls of an abbey's courtyard, the cold stone floors smoothed with time. Fresh-faced, his white collar starched, a stack of books under his arm, absorbed in thought. Sunlight streams in from between the pillars, catching specs of dust in its golden beams. A still and peaceful scene.

Just when you are tempted to look away, the young priest breaks into a skip.
09th July, 2017

Private Collection - L'Ombre Fauve by Parfumerie Generale

This scent was recommended to me in a thread about animalics, where I stated that one of my life goals is to find a fragrance that smells like the fur of my cat.

I find this scent doesn't literally capture what I was after, but it does so in spirit. First off, it's one of the first scents that really reads as seriously animalic to me, and I like it. It's not a dirty kind of animalic, but, like other reviewers have mentioned, it's intimate. The animalics remind me of my childhood somehow. I can't actively remember, but I feel like I must have been exposed to a few ladies who wore the big eighties powerhouses in my time. It gives me a pleasant sense of nostalgia.

Other than an animalic this is predominantly a vanilla scent to me. The vanilla is warm and deep, powdery and fuzzy, and it lingers on the skin for days.

I can go on about the notes, but let's not get bogged down in the details; this is first and foremost an emotional scent, which brings things back to my cat and his fur. One of life's greatest delights is burying my nose in his belly when he's sleeping with a conviction that seems exclusive to cats. This scent captures some of that bliss, wrapping me in a soft warm blanket of loveliness.

I don't particularly like vanilla scents, especially not in summer, but this is perfect.



07th July, 2017

Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

My second favorite of the Jardin line.

It smells of figs and foliage, which immediately conjures up a vision of a Mediterranean garden baking in the afternoon sun. There's a bit of peppery bitterness that's very pleasant against the sweetness of the fig. I don't get much citrus.

The main issue I have with this fragrance is that it doesn't last on my skin, which is a problem I have with all the Jardins. I would, therefore, prefer Philosykos if I wanted a figs-in-a-garden type scent because it has a similar effect on me and it lasts much longer.

*edit: I changed my mind, drastically! I now actually like this scent better than Philosykos, because the greenness is much more pronounces in the Hermes offering, and the fig is not as milky/creamy, which suits me better. Weirdly enough, the more I keep trying it the longer it seems to last too, so good news all around.
17th June, 2017 (last edited: 21st August, 2017)

Gold Woman by Amouage

Gorgeous!

Based on the reviews and my life long love for Chanel no. 5 I was expecting to like this, and boy, do I!

It's a big, sophisticated, unapologetically glamorous super floral that envelops me in a golden cloud wherever I go. Some people describe it as very formal; a scent to wear when wrapped in furs on the way to the opera, but I can wear this anywhere, even when in tattered jeans and a t-shirt while doing the weekly grocery run. It provides instant fabulousness to the mundane, but it also has a bright, energetic, exuberant side that keeps to from going too serious for me.

For those who complain that modern day formulations lack strength, give this a try. 3 sprays will radiate a good few meters all day long. I can still smell it on a dress I've worn days ago when I enter my closet.

This has signature scent potential.

Edit: I've managed to find a bottle of this for about a third of the retail price. Good times!
17th June, 2017 (last edited: 28th June, 2017)

L'Ombre dans L'Eau Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Ehrm, no. Just no. This is unwearable for me.

It opens up very very green, a bitter, wry vegetal green. Green scents are something I'm just getting used to, and this fragrance is too challenging for me. I'd need something fresh or acidic to be able to tolerate this kind of green, like Sisley Eau de Campagne which is just on the threshold of what I can manage. Instead, I get a candy sweet rose, and it just clashes with the greenness like it's nobody's business. The two components then proceed to fight for hours, rolling on the floor snarling and snapping at each other like angry dogs.

It's certainly not boring, but it's definitely not for me.
17th June, 2017

Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate by Hermès

This is a great, slightly syrupy rendition of rhubarb with a bright lemon twist. I absentmindedly sprayed it in a card while in the shop, and was completely surprised by how rhubarb-y it was. The scent seemed quite familiar, and I quickly realised it smells a bit like a brighter, more acidic version of YSL Babydoll, sans the grapefruit, roses, and other flowers that scents has. The Hermes scent is much less pink and girly, but still quite fruity for a scent marketed as masculine.

I loved the rhubarb note so much that I asked for a sample, thinking I might be interested in this as a more grown up version of Babydoll, but unfortunately it does not last at all on my skin; after half an hour the rhubarb completely disappears. I won't be investing in a full bottle, but I'm happy to finish the sample.
17th June, 2017

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li by Hermès

I recently sampled the entire Jardin range, and this is my favourite.

It's a very vegetal fragrance, and quite abstract. I can't really make out any individual notes, but it strongly reminds me of lush, wet, green things. It also smells of skin that's been baking in the sun; a warm-but-fresh salty ozonic scent that immediately puts me in a good mood.

Together, the notes transport me to a perfect lazy afternoon on a warm summer's day. Lounging around in the back garden, laying in the shade of a tree next to the pond, reading a book, taking a nap, and doing absolutely nothing useful.

The only issue I have with this is that it doesn't last at all on my skin, but the effect it gives is so lovely that I may be tempted to buy a bottle and bring it with me everywhere I go. A perfect summer scent.
17th June, 2017

Salt Caramel by Shay & Blue

Salted caramel is possibly my favorite flavor in the world, so when I saw this fragrance existed I knew I had to try it. That being said: I really don't like gourmand fragrances, nor anything overly sweet (tobacco vanilla had me running for the hills, for instance), so I was about 90% sure that this would be completely unwearable.

Surprisingly, it is, and it isn't.

Like others have said, this fragrance offers a ridiculously accurate interpretation of salted caramel; thick, oozing, buttery, deep golden brown goodness. It's caramel taken right to the edge of bitterness, with a hefty dose of salt that just keeps the rich sweetness from teetering over the nauseating edge. The salt is really what makes this fragrance; I've never smelled a salt note like this before.

Real salted caramel is so glorious that I tend to dip my spoon in for "tasting" a few too many times when making it, but I've learned that more is not more with this stuff. The same is true for this fragrance. It's quite potent, so don't overspray, or you'll run the risk of feeling queasy all day.

After an hour or so the straight up foodiness turns a little more perfume like. There's a hint of sandalwood underneath the luxurious layer of liquid gold, but I also seem to detect something floral that reminds me of Tom Ford's Orchid scents. There are no florals in the note pyramid, so perhaps I'm imagining things, or the vanilla is playing tricks on me.

So, could I wear this? Technically yes. The photorealistic caramel makes me smile, and, when applied judiciously, it's not too overwhelmingly sweet. Would I wear this? Probably not very often. It's so realistic that it doesn't quite feel like a fragrance, and I would probably be a bit self-conscious wearing this around other people. However, I plan on trying to layer this with something dry and smokey (a sort of campfire-caramel experience), which could make this more wearable for me.

If you love caramel, or if gourmands are your jam, this is certainly worth a try!



14th February, 2017 (last edited: 15th February, 2017)

Blacks Club Leather by Shay & Blue

This fragrance is indeed like sinking into a big, comfortable club chair. Well-aged leather with a beautiful patina, and smooth, polished woods under your fingers. A drink in hand; something strong and no-nonsense, flavored with a piece of orange rind. The place is pleasantly crowded and buzzing with good energy, good conversation, and good music. The big fireplace bathes the room in its warm glow and casts a subtle veil of smoke.

I've recently spent a wonderful night in a place like this; a well-hidden speakeasy that served killer cocktails in a stylish, old school setting. The beauty of it was that it was cool and exclusive while still being relaxed and not overly pretentious. This fragrance takes me right back to that bar and I like it.

I like it so much that I bought a full 100 ml bottle, and that in a time where I've decided to only buy small decants of new fragrances from now because my collection is growing so rapidly.

The opening is quite strong, and the fragrance lasts a good six hours on me. After the first hour or so, it becomes softer and more mellow, making me feel like taking my heels off and curling up in that big leather chair. I feel right at home here.



14th February, 2017 (last edited: 15th February, 2017)

1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums

I was having high hopes for this one, but, unfortunately, it's not for me.

Straight from the first spray there is a strange and overpowering note that really doesn't sit well with me. It's probably the immortelle, and to me it smells like a high school science experiment gone wrong. When I was about 13 we had to heat up sugar in science class (I have no idea why) to the point where it melted, but the whole class decided to take it a few steps further. At first, the classroom smelled nice and caramelly, but that soon changed when we all burned our sugar to a tarry black crisp.

That's the association I have with this extremely dominant note, and I can't take it. It's a shame because the rest of the notes are quite lovely and right up my street: leather, boozy fruit, some honeyed spices (clove, most noticeably), some seriously funky animalics, what's not to love?

It almost works when I spray it very lightly onto a spot I can't get my nose directly on, like the back of my neck, but it will probably never be a fragrance I'll reach for.

28th January, 2017

Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I was looking for a fresh, green rose, which this definitely is not, but I've quickly become addicted to this unique scent.

To me, it smells like a rich, slightly tart, spicy rose syrup, with a firm, edgy hit of sharp ginger. There's no ginger in the notes, so it's probably a combination of red fruit and other spices that gives me this impression. Over time, the scent develops a more loukoum like character, with a dense, but transparent, jelly-like consistency. Throughout its development, this scent manages to perfectly balance acidity, sweetness, and sharpness. To me, it's a very edible rose, which is quite extraordinary because rose is a difficult flavor to successfully pull off in food.

Half a sample in, I strongly feel like I don't want to live without it. Its longevity is unbelievable, and one of the best things about this scent is that its character remains fully intact over time. Smelling it on my clothing the second day it's almost as strong, vibrant and sparkling as when I first sprayed it on.

It's prohibitively expensive, but well worth the money.
25th January, 2017

Chance Eau Vive by Chanel

I always dismissed the Chance line as the most generic, inoffensive-but-slightly-bland, forgettable of the Chanel sisters.

The regular Chance is still not my cup of tea, but I can say that the Eau Vive flanker is a genuine surprise to me. It's very fresh, clean (although my husband gets a sweaty note from it) bright scent that seems especially good for summer, but that I also reach for in these colder days whenever I want a break from my heavier, sweeter and spicier perfumes.

And what a nice break it turns out to be! On me, it's a succulent, green grapefruit with some jasmine on a soft musky base. The grapefruit is not sweet, not too tart, not too bitter, and it really, really sings.

The best way I can describe this fragrance is that it reminds me of a tall, cold glass of water with wedges of citrus and slices of cucumber floating around in it (you know, the kind they serve in a carafe in a fancy spa), and it has a wet, thirst quenching quality about it that is just so moreish.

I've about 6 samples of this fragrance which will probably get me through winter, but come spring, I'm pretty sure I'll go back for a full bottle.
02nd November, 2016