Perfume Reviews

Reviews by scentertainer

Total Reviews: 16

Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

Colonia is a perfume classic by an Italian niche house Acqua di Parma. There aren’t that many perfumes that have their own history and are part of perfume industry’s history. Acqua di Parma Colonia is one of those perfumes, ever since it was created in 1916 in a small factory of essential oils in old town of Parma. Very soon it became the status symbol of Hollywood, decadent and exuberating like Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby” who was played in the lastest film adaptation by Leonardo di Caprio, also a huge fan of Acqua di Parma perfumes. Its cult Hollywood status Colonia won by being a favorite of movie icons like Audrie Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant. In a way, Colonia was their perfume signature. They didn’t need a perfume that would shout from the top of its lungs that the star has entered the room. No. They needed a perfume that will emanate naturalness, luxury, success, charm, unpretentious seductive. All the things Acqua di Parma Colonia is – then, at the beginning of XX century and now, a century later. Because art, make no mistake about it – perfumes are art – is timeless.

Colonia’s perfume composition is simple. As all great men are simple, that goes in most cases the same with perfumes. It opens with lemon and orange notes, wrapped in aromatic herbs and mild floral tones. You always have to test Colonia on skin because the musk that lingers in the back blends beautifully with the velvety scent of skin. Classic simplicity but the effect is overwhelming and intoxicating.

Colonia takes us into another world that lingers inside us and if we are lucky, once a year, for 10 days we live in it. In the world od Mediterranean sea, when the blue of the sky in the cities is traded for the blue of the seacoast, in the place where ancient gods were born and died and human destinies were forged since the beginning of time. Modern man falls sick near the sea, Bela Hamvash said. Indeed, a modern man almost always gets sick when spending a few day at the coast. The name of the disease: boredom. Because the man loses the things that make his or her personality. Gets deprived of the city, phone, computer all the glittery and dazzling sensations. He gets face to face with himself. And what happened then isn’t life but being. The one who is truly capable of being with himself and within himself experiences a rebirth on the seaside and the one who doesn’t get sick of boredom and can’t wait to return to civilization.

Colonia has the same effect. The one who “caries the sea in him” will be reborn with this perfume. The dry and always hungry for sensations, intoxication and noise will find Colonia like the seaside, empty and dull. That man can’t be helped. The only therapy: burying your ego deep in the sand the moment you reach the sea and daily take of fish, olives and red wine in the shade of Mediterranean trees, looking at the sea. After ten days of intensive therapy, he can dig up his ego and return to the city and try on Acqua di Parma Colonia again – it has been the tester of naturalism and how we see ourselves for thousands of years. If the therapy worked, that man will not need the glittering sensations but will sail the world with class, every port will be his home and the name of the ship: Colonia.
22nd February, 2018

Samsara by Guerlain

Samsara is a perfume but also a turning point for French house Guerlain that marked a quiet but fateful transition from lonely perfume making in a private perfumist lab to unison cooperation with marketing and global markets experts in 1989. It all started in the 1980s when oriental perfumes dominated the market. Those were the times when perfume wasn't just a means of seduction but also a way to intoxicate senses with Opium, Poison and Obsession leading the way. This trio fantastico dominated the world market, North America especially and Guerlain’s efforts, despite genius creations like Nahema perfume, to conquer world market were in vain. Something had to be done.

Jean Paul Guerlain, the last pater familias of the Guerlain family said in one interview that he found the inspiration for Samsara perfume in a beloved English girl. He wanted to give her the perfume that would be hers only, that will embody her inner world and unique sensuality. Her favorite scent notes were jasmine and sandalwood and those notes are in the heart of Samsara. Each Guerlain’s perfume is a love poem to a woman and for the Lady of Samsara, Jean Paul Guerlain went all the way to India to find the best sandalwood and jasmine that was used exclusively in religious ceremonies. When he returned to Paris, he spent two years working intensively on a formula before Samsara saw the light of day.

Originally named Delicia, Samsara got its name in collaboration with Guerlain marketing team that wanted to give a perfume equivalent to the new spirituality and Orient fascinations of Parisians of those times. The name that marks the constant circle of life and death and the bottle of Chinese red decorated around the edges like a Khmer dancer were the ideal basis for a perfume based on the harmony of milky, creamy woody sandalwood and opulent jasmine, so characteristic of the mystical world of Asia.

I’m not sure Samsara is the right name for this perfume. I would suggest Salome. Biblical Salome, the girl of deadly beauty and diabolical sensuality over whom John the Baptist lost his head. Like Salome, the beauty of Samsara is cruel and uncompromised. Or so it seems at the beginning. The opening is sharp like the sword and citrusy, but one can feel the complex composition behind it. It resembles Opium by Yves Saint Laurent. Uncaged beauty. At times spicy, then fresh, then powdery floral, then soapy and woody. The only constant is this perfume is fun and unmatchable intrigue for the sense of smell. My nose can detect a certain chanelesque quality like Egoiste, Egoiste Platinum and Antheus because with these perfumes, more than any others, you can notice the unipolarity of a good taste that is not determined by sex, race or culture. Samsara smells good for anyone and dare I say on anyone. Just when you think this perfume gave all it could, there is a surprising transformaton into the choir of cherry, vanilla and woody notes that anticipates La Petit Robe Noire collections and fills you up with sinful self-indulgence. Who could judge egoism and self-love when they smell this good?

In time, Samsara was reformulated, just like any other perfume and was probably affected the most by the lack of sandalwood because almost 30 percent of the perfume is made out of this precious and sadly devastated material. Although, that shouldn't worry us because Guerlain always took care of the nature and the quality of the materials it put in their perfumes, so the heir of Jean Paul Guerlain, the phenomenal Thierry Wasser planted a sandalwood plantation in Shri Lanka making sure that one of Guerlain’s trademarks, the creamy sandalwood still runs in the bloodstream of all Guerlain classics.
07th November, 2017

Blanche by Byredo

Blanche is a perfume by a well known - as much as a niche brand can be - house Byredo. Founded by Ben Gorham, House of Byredo is trying through its ideology of minimalism to allow people to clear their scent wardrobe and gain a new scent perspective through simple and elemental, high-quality formulas.

Perfume creator said he tried to describe whiteness with this scent, being inspired by his wife Natasha that gave birth to their daughter. Skilfully using aldehyde and musk notes he wanted to show her pure and untainted nature. And I think he succeeded in it. He succeeded in something else too, something he may not have hoped for – and those are carelessness and innocence. Moments of tranquillity and serenity on one’s own.

Softly falling asleep smells like Blanche. A child’s laughter smells like Blanche. If I could reach out to the clouds, I am sure they would also smell like Blanche.

Fragrance notes are the least important in this perfume. It is the effect that matters. Its acting is directed towards our attention that turns inside. When we apply this perfume, we get away from the outside world and look deep inside ourselves, at the place which has been long forgotten and frequently dreamed of. That is the world of safety ruled by laughter and joy. We no longer seek them somewhere outside – we find them inside. In my opinion, that is the greatness of Blanche – it takes us like a sledge all the way down a snow-covered slope to our very selves. Scents have an amazing power which is completely incomprehensible at times but always magical. And Blanche is one of the most magical ones…

For me, Blanche is one of the most beautiful aldehydic perfumes. There are many aldehyde myths and disinformation in the perfume world. Many consider them an elixir of the perfume industry, an ingredient that gives champagne-like bubbles and freshness to the perfume and makes it lift up from the skin like the bubbles in the sprinkled water. First to ever use aldehyde is said to be Chanel no 5 (it was actually another perfume, a few years older). That is what gave Number 5 a scent of freshly washed linens compared to the warm, sensual, opulent floral and base notes.

There is more than one type of aldehyde. But when used in the perfume industry, it is generally the aldehydes with the large molecular mass that smell pleasant compared to those that smell very unpleasant (acetaldehyde). Chanel no5 is known for its bouquet of aldehydes C10, C11 and C12 while modern perfume compositions use also aldehydes C14 that smell like the peaches and C18 that smells like coconut. Perfumes that are great examples of aldehyde perfumes besides No5 and Blanche are: White Linen by Estee Lauder, Sicily by Dolce & Gabbana, L’Interdit by Givenchy, Madame Rochas by Rochas and many others.
04th November, 2017
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The Black Rose by Trussardi

The Black Rose appeared in perfume shops in 2017 and is refreshing in every way. For the past two months, I have been intensively sniffing through all perfume novelties and a bunch of (pointlessly) sweetened lemonades made me wonder…who turned the lights out in the perfume industry? The newest Trussardi showed me that things aren’t so black (no pun intended). It gave me hope because…even the smallest of lights can shine through the darkest of the dark.

Perfume composition The Black Rose is made out of Taif rose, an especially appealing type of Damascus rose (Rosa Damascena trigintipetala) Some say its origin is the Balkans and that the Turks took it with them during the 16th century to the Middle East. But if you ask growers on the fields of Shiraz or Kashan, they will tell you that its origin is mysterious India.

Every year in April, Taif becomes pink. Over 2000 growers located in this heavenly sanctuary in Saudi Arabia, east of Mecca, get up at the crack of dawn before the sunrays grew too strong to damage essential oils and start picking Taif rose and bringing it to the nearby distilleries. The petals are placed in large copper bowls, water is being added and the process of retrieving rose oil and rose water can begin. The most quality oil is so expensive and the scent too strong and intoxicating that sometimes the price for one liter is tens of thousands of dollars. Those precious oils are sent to world market where perfume houses that put high-quality ingredients in their perfumes, like Chanel, Guerlain and in this case Trussardi, buy them and make alchemist potions that intoxicate our senses and spark our imagination.

The Black Rose is an unusual rose. The first thing that comes to mind when I smell this perfume is an exotic liqueur from Arabian nights that one drinks from the gold cups encrusted with rubies. Classical chypre base of patchouli and musk is enriched with amber and resin, connecting the East and the West through scent. The heady of Orient mixed with salty Mediterranean air. Fall is an ideal time for this perfume; it’s the time when the fullness of its ripe and juicy scent is in harmony with chilly air, yellow leaves and last days of sunshine. It is (rightly so) classified as unisex and hedonists of both sexes will know how to enjoy it. Men who loved Davidoff Zino will find a new favorite in this Trussardi, while the ladies whose trademark was Guerlain La Petit Robe Noire can add this rose to their perfume closet.
04th November, 2017

Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

Lime Basil & Mandarin is one of the most famous and popular perfumes by niche brand Jo Malone, known for its simple yet striking perfume creations that drew their inspiration from easy to wear, sent-bon perfume compositions like Guerlain’s Aqua Allegorria composition. Despite being based on two essential scent ingredients, the story doesn’t end there but evolves rapidly because Jo Malone perfumes give every scent its own spice and twist. Each of their limes is a special lime and each rose is a special rose and together they make fantastic, quality, characteristic perfumes.

Lime Basil & Mandarin opening is juicy, fresh with a sharp scent of lime that you can almost taste. Ideal for waking up in the mornings instead of a cup of coffee. A fresh blow to wake you up and shake up your senses. But as I said in the intro, each ingredient has a special addition, like a footnote. So in this case, lime has a mild floral subtone. After five minutes, juiciness is replaced by aromatic, mildly citrus chord boosted with pepper, spicy notes, and universal lovable tangerine is one step behind. Despite being categorized as eau de cologne, this perfume is surprisingly lasting and has a projection of its own. The aura of freshness, like grass and Mediterranean orchard after a spring rain, will follow you all day long but it won’t be heavy for another people's noses. That is why I believe this is an ideal perfume for everyday chores, but it is also ideal for men who want to smell fresh, but also sophisticated unlike most of the sports perfume that knows not how to get to the next level and be more refined.

Ladies, despite the fact that through history, mythology and tradition basil was connected with a male principle and some old Jewish tribes used is for strength and courage, while in Rome and India it was used against evil, allow me to rephrase one of the greatest thinkers of the XX century Bela Hamvas and say that there is no one who wouldn’t notice a lady drinking her afternoon tea shrouded with a cloud of basil. Be sure that by wearing this basil in Lime Basil & Mandarin, you will not only repel evil but if Santeria tradition is true, attract new love.
04th November, 2017

Acqua di Parma Colonia Mirra by Acqua di Parma

Mirra is a perfume from the latest line of Acqua di Parma brand called Ingredient collection. It was inspired by the aromas of the cities, counties, and countries such as Milano, Venice and Iran. Mirra found its inspiration in the sunsets in Muscat (Oman) where people put lamps filled with intense and vibrant resins such as benzoin and incense on their windows. Ever since the third century, merchant caravans transported spices and resins across the desert. From Muscat to Sheba, across the Jordan, they would come to the legendary Wise man road that led to Rome. There the Orient resin was much sought after and all the ceremonies were performed with the help of these mystical ingredients whose mystery is still unrevealed but remains at the border between science and magic.

Perfume composition of Mirra is classical oriental and like all oriental perfumes, it is based on the heavy dosage of scented resin, incense and amber with modifications in form of citrus, floral or woody note. Mirra was created on the unity of differences, like all the great perfumes like Guerlain Shalimar or Bvlgari Black. Only very skillful and experienced perfumer can manage to bring together very opposite scent notes so that their aromas slide into one another entwine and still remain noticeable and independent. Mirra is a union of citrus notes and orange flower on one side and benzoin, amber and patchouli on the other side, while in the heart of the perfume lays nutmeg.

One of the most important parts in training young noses who which to become perfumer is learning on the great creations of old. Following their compositions, relations, use of ingredients, a young perfumer can learn more than from the books and can gain a sense of harmony, just like young musicians learn from famous composers. By adding or removing certain elements, they can make successful perfumes, just by watching old masters. That is the case with Mirra. If I had to describe this perfume in two words it would be male Shalimar. It has an almost identical scent, fragrance design, impression. Mirra is a perfume for men who cannot or will not admit they love Shalimar and would want to wear it but can’t because it is a female fragrance, despite the fact that oriental vanilla in Shalimar has not sex nor any other determinant. Shalimar was made in Paris but it was made for entire mankind. But if you need a confirmation of your masculinity from a perfume, then choose this oriental treat. It is ideal for fall and winter days when the relish and juice of amber are mixed with the mystic aura of benzoin and incense. That combination moved people 2500 years ago and will move them now.
04th November, 2017

Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme by Gucci

Guilty Absolute is the first male fragrance made in 2017 as a result of collaboration between Gucci’s new creative director Alessandro Michele and famous perfumer Alberto Morillas. The idea was to create a “new patchouli” that was very popular during the 1970s. Allessandro’s creative yearning is to give the old seventies chic a new, modern twist and Guilty Absolute is the scent equivalent to that fashion course. For this purpose, they used two synthetic leather-woody aroma chemicals called Woodleather and Goldenwood. Combined with extremely masculine vetiver and patchouli they made a perfume that according to them is an avant-garde creation for the men of the new era and a future classic.

The truth couldn’t be different. Guilty Absolute has nothing new to offer. It is not avant-garde. It is not modern. It is not revolutionary. It is not artistic. It is nothing. It doesn’t even smell nice, which is a perfume axiom. Basically, this is the case of classical perfume base, raw and plain. Perfumist layer perfume base with middle and upper notes, making scented harmony. In Gucci Guilty Absolute there is no harmony, just plain, unsullied perfume base that someone tried to sell as a perfume, something like Geza Schoen and Molecule 01. The only difference is that Geza watered down the essence of Iso e Super to the point it smells nice and pleasant. That is something people from Gucci did not dignify us with.

Gucci Guilty Absolute is a perfume equivalent to modern artistic gibberish when a painter instead of painting throws colors, brushes, and water together on the canvas and calls it art. It could be an end of an untalented artist but then critics appear, those that have art in their blood in the same amount as the anemic person has iron and who call this meaningless, pointless piece as avant-garde and revolutionary. The only revolution here is the evolution of stupidity beyond any measure. I’m just waiting for some perfume house to present something like Merda d’Artista by Piero Manzoni. I’d like to finish my review with two words: missed platform.
04th November, 2017

Pure XS by Paco Rabanne

Pure XS is the newest flanker of XS line of perfumes by Paco Rabanne that appeared in the perfume shops in 2017. The meaning of XS is, judging by the marketing campaign, excess - abundance, although having in mind what this perfume really gives, it’s more likely that XS stands for extra small and I don’t believe any guy would want to brag how he has XS. Joke aside, this is a decent perfume, surprisingly decent but…already seen and not once but twice this year. Yes ladies and gentleman, Anne Flipo manages to slip the same formula to yet another brand. This girl is on fire!

After Armani Stronger with YOU and Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Black, we got another, identical aromatic, spicy perfume - sweet, powdery and cinnamon like, like Christmas punch. It seems that Anne Flipo is Bata Zivojinovic of perfume industry. Like no move in SFRJ could go without Bata, so no perfume can go without Anne. Ok, I know there are “noses” that can be count on fingers of a hand (goddess Shiva, not Anne's) but still, did she have to put her fingers (Anne, not Shiva) in every one? Alas, since she did, let’s see what we’re dealing with.

If you don’t mind reading, although I am genuinely amused by meaningless PR articles like this one, just jump on the next paragraph. But if you are masochistic like me and love to read official perfume announcements that sound like they came straight out of a hertz novel, then welcome to PR hell. With Pure XS perfume, Paco Rabanne brand was challenged to give a sensation of a skin trembling with desire and burning with delight in olfactory expression. The idea of burning tremble leads its makers to two accord compositions that are at the same time contrast and harmony: like two bodies on opposite ends. This perfume ought to tackle every sense. The sense of scent comes first, of course but there I also the scent of taste and touch, like sense trap. Pure XS is trembling, magical and fresh oriental sent playing hot-cold, gentle-rough game. The two sensations on the very edge, contrasting, drawn to each other, resonating in each other. First comes the explosive freshness. During this foreplay, the senses go wild and the nerves vibrate with an overdose of sweet ginger. The next wave is carnal: green cream of vegetable juice and masculine incense. Another exaggeration and a double indecency: trembling sensuality. Cinnamon gives a piquant touch and makes your mouth water. Spicy sin! Followed by a great wave of power helped by refined vanilla enriched with an injection of skin, liqueur and musk. In the end it’s time to come down to earth and swim in the pulsating warmth of mirth sprinkled with sugar. The sense of overheated skin so we’d enter into a different, altered state of mind. And soon, pure lust to surrender to.

Now, let’s see what Pure XS is really like. Sweet but not too sweet. Powdery but not like the bottom of a woman’s bag. Oriental spicy but not Grand Bazaar on Saturday morning. First impression is that it has all the stuff the bestselling and the most popular perfumes of recent years have. Made to be likable. Guys who chose this perfume will no doubt get a compliment or two that they smell nice. But I am afraid that is all they’ll get for this perfume. You will not sweep anyone of their feet. No one will remember you by this scent. If your aim is an Oscar for supporting role and a safe place in friend zone than by all means, wear Paco Rabanne Pure XS.
04th November, 2017

Cabochard by Grès

Cabochard is a perfume classic made for talented and mysterious Madam Gres by Bernard Chant, the maker of famous perfumes such as Aramis by Aramis or Aromatics Elixir by Clinique. Inspired by her journey to India and her stubbornness, the perfume got its name - “headstrong”. It appeared on the market in 1959. In a time when lifestyle magazines were launched and the main question before every night out was: what perfume to give to your loved one? Middle-class men and women began working on their scent wardrobes and the perfume finally got the place it deserves, not only as a means to smell nice, but also a way to express personal style and identity.

When I talk about perfumes I often talk about character. That particularity is seen in fragrance notes from top to bottom and it clearly states who it is with every minute or hour on the skin. I’ll say it right now, Cabochard has character. And lots of it. Actually, to say that Cabochard has character is like you said the sky is blue, and the best cake in the world is cheesecake. That is a given. It was built like that, from the very beginning. Cabochard's basis is the classic chypre base of oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver, and musk. Then come floral essences of jasmine and rose, enriched by upper notes of green galbanum, juicy ylang-ylang. But above it all is the leather. That dark, dominant, animalistic leather that harmonizes other notes and enthralls them the to its will. The beauty terrifying and seductive at the same time. I immediately thought of Galadriel from Lord of the Rings saying “In place of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen! Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me, and despair!” But the magic of Cabochard comes with a price. When you get used to chypre leather perfumes, you will never wear anything else. All other perfumes will lose its appeal.

The perfumerists of that time loved to experiment with isobutyl quinoline, the scent note of skin. Their experiments gave us top perfumes like Bandit by Piguer or Cabochard. When I have isobutyl quinoline on one tester and Cabochard on the other I realize how magical the perfumist job is. Yes, I feel isobutyl quinoline in the perfume but there it has a completely new character. Soft, rounded, almost eatable. Like cocoa - creamy and a bit spicy. Different from Bandit. Different compared to anything else. Its own and stubborn. Completely Cabochard. So, don’t let the trend of fancy perfumes that offer nothing and want everything get to you. Defend your right to top quality stubbornly. When novelties disappoint you, you’ll always have perfume classics like Cabochard to return to and who will never fail you. The only question is….will you fail them?
04th November, 2017

Gucci Bloom by Gucci

Bloom is the newest perfume by Gucci brand that appeared in 2017. New creative director Alessandro Michele and famous “nose” Alberto Morillas decided to freshen up Gucci’s perfume collection with two unusual editions, for the brand but also for entire designer line. They’ve made a bigger step with male perfume (if you can call it like that because the basic assumption is that to smell good) Gucci Guilty Absolute, and then with retro Bloom perfume,

Gucci Bloom has a soliflore composition that, as the name says, consists of only one flower, in this case, tuberose. Of course, in reality perfumes don’t have only one ingredient and in soliflore’s case, it’s the question of mixing the scent notes in a way that only one stands out. In Gucci Bloom fragrance tuberose is backed by jasmine and Rangoon Creeper ivy or Chinese honeysuckle (Combretum Indicum) that was allegedly never used in perfume industry. This interesting flower is growing in tropical areas of Vietnam, Burma, and Thailand and with its opulent scent and color that changes daily from white to pink and finally red, it attracts both insects and people.

Tuberose’s characteristic is its peculiar, heavy scent that people either love or loathe. That highly polarizing effect doesn’t stop with tuberose scent note since Gucci Bloom soliflore composition also divides people, like a jingle that we hear on the radio that we either hum or it annoys us every time we hear it. My first reaction to Gucci Bloom was negative, an overdose of floral juices that immediately prompted a desire for something fresh and green, like cis-3-hexyl or triplal which is odd since creative director Alessandro Michele said that he “wanted a scent that will transport you immediately to a garden full of flowers and greens.” But it went into my nose, ear, mind…Now I’m glad I gave it another chance because I believe it is one of the better novelties this fall.

If you pick this perfume be careful because with Gucci Bloom it’s all about the art of applying the fragrance. Too little will cause nausea, to much a headache. If you put it in the too warm room you will smell like the inside of flower ship and in too cold room, it will smell like an ice cream which best to date has expired. But with the right temperature and in right conditions…you will smell heavenly. I would suggest you use it only during long walks when the temperature is between 10 to 25 C.

The way the perfume was presented is surprising. “Garden as beautiful as women: with many colors, wild, different, full of everything. Gucci Bloom embodies this garden to attract you to a place that no longer exists.” But there is no garden. It’s about one flower, tuberose. Not only that entire Gucci Bloom is focused on it but also the entire perfume industry as it is the most expensive ingredient in the world, destined by a subtle and refined method of enfleurage. It you like tuberose and perfumes like Dyptique Do Son or Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, be sure to try Gucci Bloom next time you visit your favorite perfume shop.
04th November, 2017

Dahlia Divin Nude by Givenchy

Nude is the newest flanker by Dahlia Divin sub-line of Dahlia perfume line by famous haute couture House of Givenchy. Is your head spinning? Mine too. In a hurry to keep up with the competition, smart heads of Givenchy launched yet another perfume that promises it will unite with your skin, enhance its natural and personal scent trail, make it great and sensual…STOP! The only thing this perfume promises and I would add guarantees is that if you wear it no one, not even your lawfully bound partner will not want to be NUDE with you.

Dahlia Divin Nude has a very linear scent that is reminiscent of cheap body milk. In a world where we can smell of anything (including cat fur, check out Demeter Kitten Fur), I refuse to accept the fact that someone paid 100 Euros to smell like “2 for 1 for 199 rsd by the end of the month” body lotion.

I am trying to imagine a creative process behind this perfume. Where to start? Why not from what every perfume has: musk, jasmine…but what to add…why not fruits, they are so trendy now. A touch of aldehyde C-14, then some C-18, no, wait, a bit more C-14, and some more C-18…In reality, that process looked like this: A dude in a suit walked in Firmenich, asked for something fruity, saw SER128533865XX and bought it for 100k. Thank you and goodbye. He gets back into his car, goes to Givenchy, enters the marketing department, throws the sample on the table and says: You have 48 hours to come up with an idea how to sell this bollocks (pardon my French, just quoting the Dude). Marketing brains start to work and already you can see the shape of a model bathing in sunlight, softly whispering “Only for fashionable women who know what they want.” In a nutshell.
04th November, 2017

Good Girl by Carolina Herrera

Good Girl is one of the most popular, bestselling perfumes by Carolina Herrera that appeared in perfume shops exactly a year ago, in September 2016. Under the slogan “It’s good to be bad” and ironically called “Good Girl” it indiscreetly sends us a message whom it is meant for. And judging by the perfume sellers, it certainly found its target group.

Good Girl smells like the girl who stole your boyfriend, synthetic, cheap and empty. Bleached blond hair, neon pink shirt, leopard print tights and hairy boots. He is with her not because she is better than you but because she does things other girls won’t (this is, of course, an allegory description of the perfume). It shouldn’t worry you because if he was stupid enough to get mixed up with her, he’ll end up sticky, smelling of cheap nail polish and vanilla cocoa latte frappuccino, with a hell of a migraine.

Everything about this perfume is pure kitsch (which can be funny, except when it’s not). From the bottle shaped like a stiletto to the perfume composition made for blogger obsessed with the Body Shop. Coffee, cocoa, almond, vanilla, white flowers…notes that are promising but in reality smell like a spilled coffee from Starbucks, sticky on the table occupied by other people before you.

My first impression was that Good Girl is an ok perfume, nothing new and definitely not matching the description and marketing campaign. But after it refused to get off my wrist day and night, I was forced to wash it away. Kitsch can be fun but in small dosages. In bigger it brings nightmares. Just listen to the words of Carolina Herrera: “It’s good to be bad”…if you really want to be a bad girl, stay clear of the Good Girl and choose a kinky vanilla of Bvlgari Black.
04th November, 2017

Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

Ambre Russe is a perfume of (sadly) unknown niche house Parfum d’Empire. Its founder and “main nose” of the brand is Marc Antoine Corticchiato, perfumer dedicated to the extraction of scented oils from natural materials. Aside from growing raw materials on Madagascar and creating inspiring and descriptive perfumes, he is also a lecturer at prestigious Ecole Internationale de Parfumerie de Versailles (ISIPCA).

One of the things I particularly like with Parfum d’Empire is the way they use natural materials. Although it is well known that synthetic aromachemicals are considered the skeleton of the perfumes while natural ones are the “meat,” the skill and knowledge of MA Corticchiato give the impression that every perfume is 100% natural. Although that is not possible or appealing to anyone, except maybe an isolated bunch of hippies drenched in patchouli, MA knows his stuff. The doom of most niche perfumer is for them to sometimes fool around. But not our hero. He knows his goal and that is creating perfumes inspired by the scents of great empires through history. And he’s doing a hell of a good job at it!

Just like the name says, Ambre Russe is an ode to amber. This is the most sensual, most eatable, most erotic amber there, and certainly my favorite. One can say it is hyperthrophied but I think is just apostrophized. The expansive sensuality of amber in Ambre Russe would be too much, over the top if you want, it the amber wasn’t given the soul in form of frankincense. Passion without the spirit is empty, like perfumes a la Scandal by Jean Paul Gaultier or Aoud by Roja Dove. But you don’t have to worry about that with Ambre Russe. The combination of leather, Russian tea, spices and amber…this divine, sensual amber will not leave a void but will intoxicate the senses and seduce the mind. Another advantage of this perfume is its paradigm linearity that could teach a lesson or two (or thousands) to many. What you sense at the beginning is what you will smell the entire day…Yes, its longevity is extraordinary. The perfume lingers and lingers even when all Duracell batteries, guaranas and African plums in the world give in. And the satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. The reason for low birth rate in this country in my oppinion is not the bad economic situation but because they are not importing Ambre Russe anymore.
04th November, 2017
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Gabrielle by Chanel

Gabrielle is the newest Chanel perfume, released in September 2017. It’s an “abstract” floral perfume, inspired by four flowers - jasmine, ylang ylang, orange blossom and tuberose. In a recognizable, square Chanel bottle, polished to perfection, 4 sides capture the dance of golden and silver light that shroud the tube of the diffuser. Sylvie Legastelois designed the bottle while the famous Olivier Polge made the perfume. It is meant for the brave and rebellious women (as written by cowardly and meak fashion and lifestyle magazines). Since when did brave and rebellious women read that kind of magazines? They go to the perfume shop, try what they want and buy only the scent that captures their character, goal and vision.

Gabriella ella ella e e e, under my umbrella ella a…these fancy things, will never come in between, you’re part of my entity, here for eternity. This retelling of Rihanna’s song shows my passion, respect and admiration for the woman who’s been, for an entire century, an inspiration for books, movies, composers. The more I read about perfumes the more I grow attached to the House of Chanel, and especially its founder, famous Coco and the real person behind the well known name…Gabrielle. I’ve read so many books and articles that I feel like I know her intimately. So this review is dedicated to her personally.

In an interview a few years back, Karl Lagerfeld said that he thinks that if Coco was alive today she would hate what he did with the brand. Note: Lagerfeld is fashion designer for the House of Chanel. I’m not sure he is right about that because to this day, Chanel amazes me with its newest fashion pieces I see on the Internet. But I am positive that she would have hated what Olivier Polge did with their newest perfume Gabrielle.

The official inspiration for the perfume was “Coco before Chanel”. Talented, rebellious, creative, stubborn and persistent Gabrielle was the inspiration. The girl that embodied male energy and female sensuality. The girl that dreamt of making a perfume that not only smelled new and nice but also pushed the boundaries of social and cultural taboos. That was both fashion and philosophical statement. She managed just that with her famous Chanel no 5 - more on it another time...

Long awaited perfume Gabrielle, which was surrounded by a veil of mystery, pompous announcements, skilled marketing tricks and campaigns, is a bitter disappointment. Kristen Stewart is a terrible choice, an actress famous for her meak role in Twilight series, so lost in time and space she is the furthest possible character from Gabrielle Coco Chanel. If she was alive today, Kristen would be the last person Coco would choose to advertise her new perfume.

As for the scent itself, let me paraphrase a well documented quarrel between two local celebrities and say that Gabrielle is a big, beautiful NOTHING. There are no better words to describe this perfume…beautiful nothing…orange blossom, jasmine, a bit of tuberose…for a woman that inspired an entire century, this is painfully simple, prosaic and unoriginal. I need to apologize to Gabrielle Coco Chanel through this text. She did NOT deserve this. This is NOT a monument to a person’s life and work. This is a mockery. I will paraphrase Karl Lagerfeld: If Coco was alive she would have hated it. And indeed, if Coco was alive she would have hated the new Gabrielle. Sadly she is not but the memory of her is whiten all of us. So in the name of us, I can say freely: We hate the new Gabrielle.
04th November, 2017

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

Lovely is the first perfume by the mega-popular star of Sex and the City, whose name has been in the fashion and beauty magazines for 20 years - Sarah Jessica Parker. In collaboration with the house of Coty, Sarah launched her first perfume in 2005 and despite a negative opinion about celebrity perfumes, it was almost instantly at the top of the best quality perfume creations of the 21st century. Lovely inspired many, from well-known perfume reviewer Chandler Burr who dedicated an entire book to Lovely, called „The Perfect Scent: A year inside the Perfume industry“ to other people, like myself, to think about what makes one perfume lovely.

Loveliness. We all know what it is. We’ve seen it in romantic movies, read about it in tales of well known epic love stories and maybe even noticed it in the way rose petals sway when the wind blows. Do we know, however, anyone who possesses loveliness in their behaviour? Maybe some little girl, not yet corrupted by the world, a woman who never ever believed that being a woman is something lesser, even the elderly man, who cherishes this world in his kind and loving way, smiling, knowing that time could not touch him. Loveliness is timeless, and whispers to us through children’s laughter, feathery clouds…and Lovely.

This perfume gives us a lesson on loveliness. Its presence is modest and subtle. It’s delightful, but doesn’t bind us, it let us freely enjoy its scented notes.

Lovely is simple, but mysteriously unfathomable. Musk and lavender speak clearly with just a hint of mandarin and bergamot. It calms us down but does not allow us to fall asleep, because loveliness itself is located between dreamy sweetness and radiant energy. It allows you to be charming and gentle, characteristics that only a strong individual can allow himself to be like that. Large and sturdy oak a storm can break, but a gentle and flexible cane is left unharmed by the wind. Therefore start your day with a smile on your face and a few sprays of Lovely and show the world that you can win by being graceful.

Lovely is the ideal scent for spring, for during the day and carrying on into the evening. The price is not high and is ideal as a gift for someone’s first as well as their last perfume because loveliness is timeless.

It is designed for all women, from 7 to 107 years and occasionally some men who are so strong and unaffected by stereotypes that they are willing to show their gentler side. Although it is designed for women, scented oils from which Lovely is made of develops fantastically on men's skin. Whoever chooses this fragrance has my respect, because... you need to be really strong and tough to be lovely.
04th November, 2017

Shalimar Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

Shalimar is one of the most famous perfumes of French house Guerlain and one of my all time favorites. If you want to be clinical about it, the perfume was created in 1925 by Jacques Guerlain, in time when the “scent of Orient” began spreading through Western Europe. It touched everything, from fashion, art, music…to perfumes. Jacques Guerlain was experimenting with a brand new substance, synthetic vanilla (etylvanilin) and mixed it with different perfume basis. He was happy with the results but when he mixed vanilla and Jicky…magic happened. The spirit of Shalimar was freed from the bottle.

Perfume and its name haven’t stopped intriguing our senses and imagination; its effect breaks social taboos. Respectable ladies of the time shouldn’t consummate cigarettes, dance tango… and wear Shalimar. They of course did all that in secrecy. There isn’t a force strong enough to stop the passion and erotic yearning for life embodied in Shalimar, whose name in Sanskrit means “temple of love.” Legendary garden where Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal celebrated their love. After Mumtaz’s death, inconsolable emperor built Taj Mahal in honor of his favorite wife. Like Taj Mahal, Shalimar is a monument and part of perfume history. It is the first oriental perfume history knows. But that is not the most important thing…because the story of Shalimar has no beginning or end. It is a story of the essence of human desire, the sweet moments of bliss unknown to history but older than time.

It could have been created in ancient Egypt where its lush, intoxicating nature would spark forbidden love between Cleopatra and Marc Antony. Homeland of Shalimar could have been mysterious and magical Arabia because it told more than 1001 tales. I can easily imagine Madame Pompadour wearing it and knocking the entire Louis XV’s court of their feet with her beauty, charm and seductive silage. I can even see, with my inner vision, a beautiful creature inhabiting Earth thousands of years from now, smelling like Shalimar and through synthetic explosion in its highly developed brain soaking freely all the beauty of being on this planet and tasting its sensual fruits skillfully captured in a small bottle of perfume. As poet John Keats said: “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever, Its loveliness increases, it will never pass into nothingness.” If that is the case, isn’t it beautiful?
15th October, 2017 (last edited: 16th October, 2017)