Perfume Reviews

Reviews by HouseOfPhlegethon

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Total Reviews: 1035

Bowmakers by D.S. & Durga

Well, this certainly smells of the listed notes. Very artistic. Very real. Varnish, indeed. Brings forth memories of the observed endeavors of friends or relatives furniture-refurbishing projects. The top is very fizzy and kind of "carbonated", like rising bubbles of some dark elixir. The wood notes are very deep. There is a distant freshness, in the background.

The varnish vibe subsides a bit as the middle notes appear. It still remains effervescent and woody, with a bubbly addition of cypress. The resinous mood is calming, soothing. Cypress increases in time. The whole thing keeps its fresh, resinous, and woody allure throughout. The cedar smells "real". Later, a hint of earthy moss reveals itself, closer to the skin. Overall this is very well done and will make a marvelous scent for wood-lovers.
19th June, 2019

Vanderbilt by Gloria Vanderbilt

Found a bottle cheap, at the local flea market. Age, unknown... Light aldehydes. Sweet and green at the same time. Slightly bitter in the background. Orange blossom smells almost candied. This is a very "dated" fragrance, from the old days. I forgot I enjoyed it. I believe the pineapple is what is creating the sweet aspects.

It begins to have a slight powdery edge as the middle notes reveal. Iris hovers above the rest of the notes. The other flower notes come and go in subtle movements. Iris, is the star in the middle, and this definitely becomes even more powdery and dry as h*ll. I don't remember Vanderbilt being so pretty.

Vanilla and opoponax are the first base notes to appear. A lipstick accord begins to arise as musk rises up from beneath. Iris still lingers. It slowly begins to merge with the remaining base notes. The bottom end of this perfume is a light, creamy amber-ish scent. Not overly sweet - just enough. There is a bit of vetiver and animalic civet right on the skin hours later. Nice, for an oldie and a cheapie!
14th June, 2019 (last edited: 13th June, 2019)

Chloé (original) by Chloé

I've had the Lagerfeld version before. It was long ago. I don't remember how it smelled but, this is pretty and acceptable for my taste... Deep, dark, and heavy top notes. That is, as far deep as florals can go. The fruit is buried deep within. Honeysuckle, ylang ylang, and galbanum are the stand-out notes here on top. There is an almost boozy, cognac aspect.

The flowers in the heart are well-mixed. They are "dark" as well with no sugar thrown in for sweetness. They're raw. There is a rich, jammy-like-a-savory-jam vibe. Miss tuberose becomes dominate for the most part. Narcissus and carnation run a close second. This is an old-style floral with no modernity present. Tuberose continues its reign in to the base.

There is an addition of barnyard qualities, as a wet straw note and wet wood note appear. A light, wet earthiness comes into play. Musky, musk, too. I suppose one could wear this year round. I know I used to back in the late 80's - I didn't care about seasonal wearings then. This Chloe runs feminine without being overtly "girly".

A vague, mysterious, thick honey note appears on the skin hours later. It is almost "toasted" or browned somehow.
10th June, 2019 (last edited: 11th June, 2019)
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Tea Olive by Demeter Fragrance Library

Not what I expected or hoped for. I wanted more of an apricot smell. I get something musty, like an old moldy fruit, with hints of leather. More "tree" than "fruit". No. Just no.
10th June, 2019

Hypnôse by Lancôme

Passion flower is one of those strangely alluring notes to me. It's fruity and floral. It's stemmy and green. It seems other-worldly. The vanilla here is high-pitched for awhile, like a vanilla extract for baking. It remains thin for an hour or so. It eventually becomes very creamy. The jasmine sambac here is just beautiful. Hypnose is an instant favorite - it is a bit different from other "mainstream" fragrances. I get only tiny sparks of vetiver here and there. It merges well with everything.

This remains smooth and comforting for hours. The creaminess increases. I am reminded of a garden's flower notes carried on a breeze. The bottle design is great. Overall, a lovely creation by Thierry Wasser.
10th June, 2019

La Belle et l'Ocelot Eau de Parfum by Salvador Dali

Begins with an oriental floral accord. It is only vaguely bitter from the orange. It's almost soapy, with an occluded fizziness. The elemi doesn't overpower. This, is a chypre floral that can be worn in summer effortlessly, as it is never thick or heavy.

At times it seems overly light. The fresh cut fern odor is lovely. And still, this all borders on being an oriental-style fragrance.

The flowers in the heart are delicate. It is as though they are soaking in a light, honeyed drink incorporated with carbonation. Fizzy, never bitter, naturally sweet.

The base moves into the heart in no time. Patchouli is soft. Benzoin too, is soft and equally balanced. I only get vague incense for awhile. Eventually the fougere / fresh fern accord diminishes as the base notes lean more towards an oriental vibe. The only complaint is, this frag only lasts four to six hours in the air - seven to eight, on the skin. Reapplication often is a must. Perhaps, the EDT formula might last longer (?).

It all mellows into a slightly sweet incense later, after all.

This is a strange perfume as it entails aspects of many types of fragrances. In that respect, it is all over the place. Gee! It's like a cat in the wild prowling all over its territory! Imagine that!
08th June, 2019 (last edited: 09th June, 2019)

Clove by Demeter Fragrance Library

Not overly strong. I expected it to be a powerhouse clove - it just isn't. I does however, smell realistic. No other frills here. It is spicy without burning one's nose. It has a slightly earthbound, woodiness underneath. I am reminded of baking or pickling things with my Mom, back in the day.

And, as usual - Demeter fragrances don't win any awards for longevity. I get about 3 to 4 hours.
08th June, 2019

Jessica McClintock by Jessica McClintock

I like this one, some days more than others... Bold, almost fruity, floral opening. A hint of bitterness. Some sharpness. Any sweetness from the fruit begins to phase out within moments. It becomes more aromatic. The green-ness becomes more apparent and gradually increases. It becomes then, somewhat indolic from ylang ylang and jasmine. Not too much to make this irritating or noxious Earthy and green LOTV appears. Then, a medium-weight, tea rose-like note joins in.

All fruitiness begins to become a memory as JM moves into pure floral mode. It shows its age - the 1980's. You either enjoy JM or you don't; for the most part, I do. It isn't mind-blowing but, it is a good, dumb-reach oldie for nostalgic cravings.

The flowers intensify with time. They have no sweetness to them, just garden-variety flower character.

Hours in, a bit of wood invades the garden motif. I'm reminded of old furniture - an almost old, oak smell. The "musk" is vague and is barely worth noting for now... I get about 6 to 7 hours wear for longevity - more, if generously sprayed.

Way later, this takes on a soapy, musk vibe.
08th June, 2019

Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan

Creamy. Floral sweet. Safe. Slight suede note, like new suede leather. The flowers are well-blended. They maintain a fuzzy sweetness for a long time.

The base notes are also well-mixed. They aren't overly dark or deeply mystifyingly oriental in the traditional sense. The cashmere wood overrides any "darkness" that could have been intended. This frag stays "safe" throughout its wear. It would make a good workday scent - not much more.
08th June, 2019

Baba Yaga by Sixteen92

A kind of smoky sweet to start. A sweet basil-like note, too, is in the forefront. It all feels like a mix of ceremonial elements used to dispel an entity of unknown intentions. It also feels autumnal. I can see why Claire keeps this in her permanent catalog of scents - It is very good.

Close to the skin there is a lovely, musty, damp earth accord. The whole thing almost has a head-shop smell and feel. It's more ethereal than just that. It's spooky. The more times I wear it, the more I fall in love.

The woody-sweetness lasts and lasts. The dragon's blood incense is pretty much the star here. It isn't bitter, like some can seem. Much later, I get a hint of vanilla candle wax aromas. Overall it is a smooth, nearly minimalist fragrance.
05th June, 2019

Mugler Cologne Take Me Out by Thierry Mugler

The orange blossom and shiso are fine. They smell great. Very refreshing and joyful. There is a green-ness here as well. It's a high, green grass in a field on a summer day feel. The brightness of the top notes end rather quickly though. This frag begins to resemble a sunscreen lotion. I'm not sure what the "P" note is here.

The notes become muddled and smothered in something like soap. It begins to fall apart for me and falls into something boring, mundane. I get a faint floral note in the background. There isn't enough of the floral note or anything else to hold my interest after an hour of wear. "Great coming out of the gate but, not much for stamina".
05th June, 2019

Y by Yves Saint Laurent

Fresh, semi-screeching opening. It's kind of an oily thing. For once, bergamot does Not annoy me. It's done well, here. The heart has a nice, herbal-flower thing going on. Nothing overwhelmingly brilliant here though. It's a rather predictable masculine frag... It's got an ocean vibe later - low tide accord. I also smell a bit of cedar and fir, like maybe trees on a hill near the sea, mingling with the ocean vibe.

Y is acceptable as a mainstream offering for the average Joe. It isn't anything I'd buy for me or as a gift for my husband. YSL can do better, I think.

Not very long for wear, on my skin either, I'm afraid.
02nd June, 2019

Peony by Demeter Fragrance Library

This, is fairly light - as though the peony's scent is carried on a breeze. It isn't "directly" obvious. I get a nutty undertone here; it is almost earthy, later. I expected this, to be ultra strong, like in other scents I've smelled with peony. I am rather disappointed... The whole thing is completely gone in four hours.
02nd June, 2019
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Shalimar Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

I've owned EDP, pure perfume, eau de cologne (in the round watch, medallion-looking bottle) and now edt. The only difference I've found with this formula is it seems to last a bit longer on my skin, than the edp. Parfum of course, lasts much longer. The edt seems a bit "thinner". Other than that, it's the same to my nose. Perhaps a touch more vanilla and balsamic "flavor" here. In my opinion, Any version, is worth having, if you're a Shalimar fan...
02nd June, 2019

Samsara Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

I hadn't realized the EDT version had been added to the directory... My review is the same, as in the EDP listing. My mom owned edp and that was what I fell in love with - I frankly could not / cannot tell much of a difference between the versions. I recommend either. If you enjoy creamy wood with lots of Tonka, orris, and musk, then this is for you. Period.
31st May, 2019

Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A very light fragrance, to start. It's more like a whisper. The most noticeable notes are saffron and marigold. It's a lovely combo. Then, only the lightest hint of jasmine.

This frag stays light. The middle is a cross between vague, outdoorsy, country aromas and a delicate flower vibe... It then turns almost sickeningly sweet but, still light and airy. It's like burnt sugar and burned leaves... Is this supposed to be so vague and "airy"? It's like the mysterious, floor-level mist that surrounds and partly obscures, the nefarious eggs, in the movie Alien. It's there - then it moves as I move.

The burnt sugar / leaf thing settles down and I'm left smelling sweet, wooden piles of woodchips. The scent is still light, hazy, hovering. A slight balsamic buzz occurs, too. It's a ghost of a fragrance... It lasts only four hours, too.
28th May, 2019

Scent of Oger by Creed

Bergamot and mint, with juicy grapefruit, and a lemony goodness. I think of hard candies; the little fruit-shaped ones I'd buy in round tins, years ago. Good, sour notes. The mint quickly disappeared, then revealed itself again moments later, along with an herbal touch. The mint gets muted but, is still detectable. I smell some sage underneath. The mint becomes replaced with vetiver and a powdered combo of iris and rose. Citrus all fades away. So far, this reminds me of something from long ago...

There is something else here that's rather dry. It's papery, or like a thin, light wood accord. Perhaps a light cedar or sandalwood... I get an oakmoss-like thing, too. Greenish, earthy, with vetiver still hovering about. Very pleasant smelling. I am still stumped by something here. It's an old-fashioned, powdery floral note that vaguely reminds me of heliotrope. Perhaps fern or wisteria. Overall this is delightful. Alas, elusive, too. More wears, and I might have even fallen in love...
25th May, 2019

Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

A very vague ashtray smell. It's a sterling silver ashtray, with a few butts in it. I prefer a different type of tobacco accord - more of a pipe tobacco accord or even cigar, at times. This, is definitely cigarette tobacco. Still, this frag has a rather "clean" smell so far. Borders on boring. This, is more of an arty perfume.

The old hay note is strong then, more or less smells like wet straw to me. The apricot smells like it fell on the ground and someone stepped on it, adding a dirt note. Jasmine waves come around now and then but, more like in the background.

This fragrance is ultra light to me, even with generous sprays. It does become a little better, more interesting after time. Tonka, cedar, amber, and musk supersede the ashtray and trodden fruit aromas. JEC is okay, so-so. It's a different take on the tobacco-centric perfume. Not fun enough for me though.
24th May, 2019

Pasha Edition Noire by Cartier

I smell greenish lavender and geranium leaves. Sour bergamot and hints of grapefruit. It's all somewhat harsh. I get a weird synth-green vibe overall. This is way too masculine for me to wear. It isn't particularly enjoyable. My husband finds it annoying as well. The first 15 or so minutes aren't good... The harshness begins to settle with a small dose of amber smoothing things out. It adds a touch of sugar. I also get a bit of nuttiness from somewhere. The cedar smells like a log, recently tossed onto a fire.

Cedar and amber take over almost completely, making this a tad more enjoyable. Still, I can't get past the beginning to warrant a thumbs up, for this. PEN is just not for me.
23rd May, 2019

Al Wisam Day by Rasasi

Very fine, well done mix, of bergamot, lavender, and geranium. I'm not a huge fan of these notes. Here, they are perfect. It's a masculine floral vibe to be sure. I find I enjoy wearing it even so. I have never smelled Silver Mountain Water, as it is frequently referenced here so, I cannot compare. I may now have to sample SMW in the future.

This scent continues to express a fresh, clear accord. It's cool. Rose is a bit muffled for me. The sage, sandalwood, and cedar are desert-like, herbal-infusion gone wild. Woody but, not too obvious. Top and middle notes merged into one beautifully fine fragrance. The clear coolness lasts long. A green leafy accord persists.

A buzzy oud eventually evolves. Amber and musk aren't sweet. There is a wet mossy feel as well... Green vibe lasts and lasts. A great experience.
22nd May, 2019

Onda Voile d'Extrait by Vero Profumo

Smoldering, deep dark top notes. Nearly earthy - no, it is rather earthy, with citruses that seem as thought they were steeped, rinds and all, in some sort of dark, brewing liquid. The ginger, coriander, and basil are thrown in for good measure. They add a mulled spice accord and slight herbal taste, as well.

Honeyed flowers move in, after about ten or so minutes. Iris is present but, vague for me at times. Ylang ylang is much stronger in presence.

The base is a fine blend. All earthy, slightly smoky with its sandalwood and patchouli. Musk isn't too obvious at first. Vetiver bourbon holds its own - it might be the biggest player, in the base.

Honestly, this fragrance tends to sit closer to my skin. Not a lot of air-time. Every layer is beautifully done. It is definitely worth a try.. Develops into a straight-up amber bomb later on, with more animal muskiness escalating, creating a sensual experience.

3 and a half stars.
20th May, 2019

Harâm / Farah by Brécourt

A fine, oriental-style opening. A dark cinnamon-styrax combination. Cool, breezy, slightly thick. It really "feels" like a cool wind of aroma in the beginning.

The middle notes are honey sweetened. A gourmand-like blend with honey-coated dates that is truly pleasing. Cedar isn't overdone. Just a hint of sueded leather.... The notes seem to thin out after a bit of time. Top and middle notes merge into one.

The base is sweet and remains so. Tonka is strong. The remaining notes merge, mix, and mingle creating a typical, lovely, oriental base.

Patchouli, Tonka, and benzoin increase hours later, on the skin, and create an amber-like accord. Sweetness deepens and darkens. Long-lasting fragrance. Overall, a wonderful use of dates, in a perfume.
19th May, 2019

Vert d'Encens by Tom Ford

Sugary sweet, resin straight away. An almost cherry pipe tobacco accord for a few moments. Then a strong heliotrope, deeply floral smell. It begins to move into a powdery feel. Dry. Fir balsam follows and that, seems oddly powdery as well.

The sugary spell continues for awhile. It lightens up a bit, as incense lurks in the background. Fir weaves in and out, along with some other woody note.

Fir balsam slowly begins to increase through the sugary cloud as the base evolves. Heliotrope begins to finally fade slowly into the background... I think Encens Sucre would have been a better name, as this is very much "sweet" to my nose and on my skin. I rather enjoy it though. I'll give it four stars.
18th May, 2019

Irene Neuwirth for Barney's New York by Barney's New York

Begins as a watery floral. The neroli is distant at first. There is kind of an ocean breeze feeling which isn't too strong or noxious. There is nothing sugary about the flowers in the middle. They have a fresh, garden bloom feel. Orange blossom and jasmine wave back and forth in an imaginary breeze, taking turns revealing their aromas. The ocean breeze feeling dissipates, in the mean time. Rose, is in the distance, sitting closer to the skin.

A greenish coconut comes forward. It borders on being milky... It begins to take on a suntan oil accord, with vanilla and musk as additions to the mix. From beach to garden, to beach, again - I'm not surprised, with the notes listed. I just didn't expect such a smooth, transitional fragrance. Nicely done!

17th May, 2019

Amyris Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Pale citrus with leafy-green tendencies that are bright, bordering on sheer. It begins to turn bitter. Elemi is herbal-like and it is also woody. AF moves into an old-style, men's cologne accord... This observation changes within fifteen minutes. I get a creamed, fruit vibe in the background. A mild, starchy, iris-root like note moves into focus. AF falls away from being masculine to moving towards feminine. Vetiver blends in to the iris creating an outdoorsy smell.

The vetiver-iris thing increases its pleasure factor. A little addition of woody oud adds extra zing.

An interesting composition overall... Turns a tad more green later.
17th May, 2019

Carré Blanc by The Zoo

Bitter, ultra green leafy blast. Sour grapefruit. Fresh chopped rhubarb. A slight metallic note. Urine-tinged, barnyard hay - the dregs that fell out of the trough, onto the ground. Some sort of piercing wood odors. The smell of freshly snapped thin branches from a tree. A smell I remember from my youth, crawling around underneath sumac bushes - strange.

The grapefruit note gets stronger. The hay note becomes cleaner. Birch. I smell birch. The high-pitched green notes stick around, hovering over the birch note. Eventually I get a little orris- iris feel, close to the skin.

This has half-decent sillage; lasts about 7 hours.
16th May, 2019

Pathetique by O'Driù

A mixed sweetness at first. A mysterious sweet. There is a vague waxiness. An old, earthy soil note underneath - must be the truffle. I get a holiday candle accord. A great, expensive candle smell. The sweetness morphs into a delightful incense smell. Mimosa is present. It is a happy note. It's smile inducing. Nothing pathetic, here.

This continually moves in a positive direction. That waxiness begins to verge towards a starch accord. This fragrance seems to become daintier as it moves on. Sweetness changes, moves into a light honey. Pathetique seems to take on an ethereal floral feel. I thought I'd get more of a woodsy-forest flavor, but I do not.

In fresh air, outdoors, I get more hints of earth and juniper. I smell vanilla throughout, even though it isn't listed as a note... A sweet, woody aroma lingers on for hours. Nice!
15th May, 2019

Club Design by The Zoo

New leather. Ever-so-slightly skanky musk. A bright incense-y cedar & sandalwood. I smell a bit of sweet, fruit... Then, I get a lot of dusty, powderiness; perhaps from the flowers. To be honest, it sort of reminds me of Louis, by the same house, in some ways.

The styrax here is good. I like how it mixes with the leather, cedar, and mimosa. It somehow, they somehow, enhance the leather. For me, the leather is the star here... This eventually seems to grow a little sweeter after time. I enjoy this one, a lot. I feel the leather is great here... Lasts about seven hours.
14th May, 2019

Aoud Amber Rose by Montale

Intensive blend, here. Very sour. Urine-soaked wood notes of agarwood and cedar. Grapefruit lurks around, in and out, and underneath for a spell. Rose increases, mixes in more, instead of having its own singular moment. It seems sharp, like Tea Rose by Perfumer's Workshop. A large cumin note moves in, dominates, even though it isn't listed as a note. It is loud, seering.

The urine-soaked wood, rose, and cumin accords are very long-lasting. They stick to the skin like adhesive tape gum that won't rub off. Although at times, rose, seems to hover more, in the air.

At about the six to seven hour mark, a kinder, gentler cedar remains. This Montale, is a bit too obnoxious for me.
13th May, 2019

Chemical Bonding by Ineke

Sharp, chemical-smelling citrus, that falls away rather quickly. There is a brief, cold tea smell. Then, blackberry kicks in. The top notes appeared, one, after the other. A sharp peony note with an almost rose tinge comes next. Blackberry settles into the background. Peony is steady for awhile. A fresh, light green vetiver emerges. It mixes with peony rather well; not too floral, not too green. They take the "edges" off of each other.

Vetiver eventually takes over, drowning all evidence of peony. A bright, non-sweet amber and a light, nearly dry musk finish this off. The whole thing drifts away after four hours. Despite longevity issues, this is one of the nicer Ineke perfumes.
13th May, 2019