Perfume Reviews

Reviews by thekelleybelle

Total Reviews: 34

Ambre Royale by Ormonde Jayne

An understated Alien. Great if you love Alien but don't want to announce your presence with a megaphone. I'm disappointed, not because it smells bad (I like Alien on some days), but because I expected more dimension.
06th June, 2018

Peace, Love & Juicy Couture by Juicy Couture

The initial blast of lemon, hyacinth, and patchouli fades pretty quickly to a slightly lemony white floral skin scent with a little pinch of skank. I don't get any other fruit besides lemon.

This is nothing like other Juicy Couture fragrances. It's stinky green (in a good way), with just enough sweetness to make it palatable. If it were stronger, it would be a favorite. As it is, I'm content with my $19.99 3.4 oz. bottle from Marshall's, but I doubt I'll rebuy even at that price. Still, two thumbs up.
05th June, 2018

Ikat Jasmine by Aerin

More honeysuckle than Mediterranean Honeysuckle from the same house. I love it, but I also love honeysuckle. The longevity is disappointing for the price point, but still, it's nice. I'm starting to appreciate the simplicity and understated classiness of Aerin fragrances, but I still think they could stand to be a little cheaper (or at least a little more lasting).
03rd June, 2018
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Amber Musk by Aerin

I agree with Kotori: Amber Musk is pretty basic. I also find it extremely wearable. Great for spring and fall when I want to wear an amber scent but need something inoffensive and work-friendly. The rose is pleasant, the musk isn't overdone, and the amber is light like the first wisp of fireplace smoke caught in an early fall breeze. In a few months, only Ambre Sultan will do. But until then, Amber Musk is the perfect scent to transition from summer to fall.
03rd June, 2018

Clean Warm Cashmere by Clean

A poor man's Bal D'Afrique, and I don't mean that in a bad way. In fact, it's so similar that I can't imagine that it was merely a coincidence, and while that rubs me the wrong way, it smells so damn good that I can't resist. Its performance is less than stellar (much like its more expensive sister scent), but it gets a thumbs up from me because of its cheap price. On the one hand, I feel guilty for loving Warm Cashmere because it so boldly rips off one of the best in Byredo's line, but on the other hand, I smell amazing. C'est la vie.

Edit: This actually lasts much longer on me than Bal D'Afrique. It still becomes a skin scent after about 4 hours, but it was still (barely) detectable after 9. Considering that I got my 1 oz bottle (and I admit, an embarrassing number of backups) at Nordstrom Rack for $20 apiece, I don't mind reapplying. In fact, I look forward to it.
02nd June, 2018 (last edited: 09th June, 2018)

Joy Forever Eau de Parfum by Jean Patou

Joy Forever smells more like Burberry Body than Joy. I love Burberry Body (it may be on its way to becoming my signature daytime scent), so I don't really have a reason to buy something so similar and so much more expensive.

I can faintly smell the Joy DNA here (probably the peach), but this is not designed for fans of the original. It's a perfume for a modern young woman who values the name just as much as (and possibly more than) quality. À chacun son goût.
29th May, 2018

Alien Musc Mysterieux by Thierry Mugler

I really dig the addition of saffron and musk to the Alien DNA. The saffron isn't blended particularly well, but it doesn't feel like a mistake. Rather, it adds a level of interest that the original just doesn't have. It's almost as if it's been layered on top of the rest of the fragrance like icing on a cake.

This may actually be FB-worthy for me (whereas the original is not). The sillage and projection are less powerful than Alien, so I *might* even be able to get away with wearing this in the office without triggering any migraines.
27th May, 2018 (last edited: 03rd June, 2018)

Alien Oud Majestueux by Thierry Mugler

I detected the slightest hint of oud in the opening, and then I pretty much just smelled Alien. I appreciate the addition of saffron in Musc Mysterieux, but here I only get a nondescript, weak spiciness (Imagine how a dried, beige-colored pepper would taste). It sounds like others are having more luck with it, so it may be worth a try if you love the original.
27th May, 2018

Les Heures de Parfum - X L'Heure Folle by Cartier

X - L'Heure Folle, aka Fresh-Cut Flower Stems in a Vase Filled with Capri Sun. There are no base notes to be found, and I can't distinguish any individual fruity or floral notes--it's just messy and underwhelming.

Luckily, I'm wearing XII - L'Heure Mysterieuse on my other wrist, and XII gives Folle the base it needs to shine. After fully combining them on both wrists, the earthiness of Mysterieuse combines with the green freshness of Folle and even brings out a whisper-soft powdery violet while silencing the fruit juice completely (or my skin could have devoured the fruit. It's been known to happen). Now I just have to convince my husband to cede his sample of Mysterieuse (which smells addictingly smoky on his skin) so that I can finish off my vial of Folle. Ah, the joys of marriage.
21st May, 2018 (last edited: 09th June, 2018)

Les Heures de Parfum - XII L'Heure Mystérieuse by Cartier

This is a wonderful yet simple fragrace that completely husband's skin. On him, it's smoky like a campfire with just enough resin and jasmine to prevent a headache. On me, it opens with an enjoyable blend of patchouli and coriander and then quickly (within two minutes) collapses into a faint resin. Just resin.

However, I layered this with another fragrance from this line that was even more disappointing on me: X - L'Heure Folles. The two combine beautifully and bring out the best in each other, though I'd never buy a full bottle of either.
21st May, 2018

Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

I'm new to the vast, magical world of fragrance, which means that I'm just now testing fragrances that others have known for years.

I recently sampled Wildfox's namesake perfume and fell in love with its licorice note. Strange, since I detest eating/drinking anything with licorice flavor and find the Wildfox brand supremely irritating. Seeking out other fragrances with licorice/absinth/anise notes, I discovered Lolita Lempicka.

The licorice in Wildfox is almost sparkling yet still smooth due to it's complementary honey note. Lolita Lempicka's licorice is smooth and mysterious, not quite dark, not too sweet, and completely irresistible. I should have been wearing this in 1998 when I first listened to Smashing Pumpkins' 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness' from beginning to end, lying on my bedroom floor with my eyes closed and burning incense despite (or, in all honesty, because of) my parents' strict no-incense rule. I was seven years late as a Smashing Pumpkins fan, and now I'm 21 years late as a Lolita Lempicka fan. Luckily, it's still pretty easy to find, and I look forward to adding this to my meager but growing collection.
20th May, 2018

Chloé Fleur de Parfum by Chloé

For a perfume with 'fleur' in its name, this is quite citrussy. The opening is a quite nice blast of lemon and verbena that never fades enough for the rose to really shine. The base notes are non-existent on my skin, so this remains a linear, lemony-rose scent that isn't unpleasant but isn't exactly pleasant, either. I imagine that this would be lovely with a sturdier cedar and rice powder base, so definitely give this a try to see if your skin has the magical chemistry to bring this to life.
20th May, 2018

Angel Muse by Thierry Mugler

This is a strange one. Not entirely unpleasant, but on my skin, the notes just don't blend. I smell something . . . yeasty, perhaps? I definitely get a sour grapefruit, a weirdly thin rose, and a rich gourmand base, but all of these elements seem to be trying to escape from one another rather than coming together to form a cohesive scent.

I honestly can't tell if it's the fragrance or my skin that throws the whole thing off balance. I'd be interested to smell this on someone whose chemistry works with it instead of against it.

Not surprisingly, the sillage and longevity are almost frighteningly powerful. Ain't that always the way.
10th May, 2018
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Bal d'Afrique by Byredo

There is absolutely nothing to dislike about Bal D'Afrique, with one exception. My skin eats it whole. I can pour gobs of it on my arms and chest and within 2 minutes, it's just a faint whisper of the magic everyone else experiences. After 30 minutes, it's all but gone. I give it a neutral rating because it truly smells wonderful, but the only magic I see on my skin is a disappearing act (sorry, I had to).

EDIT: I am currently wearing BR90: Pure White from Banana Republic's Icon Collection, and it is close to (but not quite) a dupe of Bal D'Afrique but with an added tea note and toned down florals. At $48/2.5 oz (I actually snagged my bottle for $24 at a Factory Store), it's worth a try if you like Bal D'Afrique and are looking for a budget-friendly option.

EDIT #2: Warm Cashmere by Clean is almost an EXACT dupe of Bal D'Afrique. I picked up a bottle at Nordstrom Rack for $20, and the performance is about the same on my skin (and at that price, I can afford to spray as much and as often as I want).
07th May, 2018 (last edited: 09th June, 2018)

Purple Reign by April Aromatics

According to my husband, this smells exactly like a urinal cake minus the urine. I honestly don't have anything else to say. At least this sample will feel right at home in my toilet.
07th May, 2018

Les Nombres d'Or : Violette Fumée by Mona di Orio

It was bound to happen eventually. I spilled over half of a Luckyscent sample vial (yikes!). Luckily, I spilled Violette Fumée on my arm and not my sofa, but had it spilled on my sofa, maybe it would have lasted longer.

The initial burst of citrus and lavender quickly calms into a fresh violet and lavender scent delicately mixed with the fresh green of violet leaves, the peatiness of oakmoss, and just a tinge of vetiver and sage. After about an hour, all that remains is a clean, mildly sweet skin scent.

At every stage, this is breathtakingly beautiful. At its best, it is reminiscent of fresh mountain air at dawn just as the sun begins to warm the ground. It beckons you to sniff a little closer, to breathe in a bit deeper. It honestly verges on a true work of art. I would buy a bottle in a heartbeat if it lasted longer, even though it's nothing like the richer scents I usually crave.

For sheer mastery, this is a 5 out of 5. But for performance, longevity, and sillage: 1 out of 5. Beauty really is fleeting.
04th May, 2018

Tangier Vanille by Aerin

This has quickly shot to the top of my favorites list. Every note shines on my skin and sticks around for hours and hours, and I only spray once on my neck and once on each wrist. The bergamot fades out after about 15 minutes but the rose blooms for at least 6 hours before dissipating. The base notes are strong from the first spray and can last well over 24 hours on my skin and days on my clothing. Tangier Vanille is without a doubt the best performer in the AERIN line, far outshining its sister Amber Musk in potency, longevity, and sillage (though Amber Musk is still a lovely scent).

The weather is already warm in Texas but I still can't stop wearing this! Maybe I'll put it away when we reach the 90-degree point. Maybe.
02nd May, 2018

Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

Ormonde Woman: practically perfect in every way.

I don't mean to trivialize a masterpiece with trite movie quotes, but I honestly have nothing else to offer. I have been completely swept off of my feet. None of my past or even current signature fragrances hold a candle to Ormonde Woman. This speaks to everything I have been and everything I want to be. My entire collection, modest as it is, pales in comparison. I can only hope Ormonde Jayne never stops making this because I will be needing it for the next 60 years, give or take.
30th April, 2018

Pulp by Byredo

Let me preface this by saying that I adore apple fragrances. My preferred summer scent is See by Chloé mostly because the apple note in See lasts for hours on my skin, even after the rest of the mix has all but disappeared.

Pulp has the same strong apple note as See and has been lingering on me for hours. Pulp's apple is fresher and juicer due to the supporting fruit notes at the top and in its heart (that blackcurrant! *swoon*), but that gorgeous apple...I just can't get enough. The sillage and longevity are top notch which makes this 100% FB-worthy for me (even at Byredo prices...ouch), especially considering that my skin eats most fruity scents for breakfast.

EDIT: Over the last few hours, as the scent slowly fades away, Pulp has been exceptionally clean-smelling. I'm not sure if it's just my skin, but it never turns to rotten fruit as others have experienced. If anything, I'm getting a little more green freshness (maybe this is the peach flower note?) and a teeny tiny bit of wood. Man, I can't wait to get a bottle of this.
29th April, 2018 (last edited: 30th April, 2018)

Bibliothèque by Byredo

I can do little more to add to Buzzlepuff's excellent overview of this scent, so I'll just reiterate that this is a lovely, approachable, unisex leather with just a hint of plum sweetness to smooth out what could have otherwise been rougher edges. Unfortunately, I'm testing it on my right wrist while simultaneously testing Pulp (also from Byredo) on my left wrist, and the fresh fruitiness of Pulp is completely overpowering the more subdued Bibliothèque. I plan on testing Bibliothèque alone at another time to give it the attention it deserves, but for now I'll just have to keep it a bit closer to my nose.

I put the same amount of each juice on my wrists, so I can safely say that Bibliothèque is closer to a skin scent on me than Pulp (my skin eats many scents, so take that for what it's worth). If Bibliothèque is a wise, classy grandparent enjoying some quiet time in the study, then Pulp is the rambunctious granddaughter who accidentally spills a Capri Sun on the authentic Persian rug. Luckily, she's adorable and no one seems to mind.
29th April, 2018

Violette In Love by Nicolaï

I get none of the fruit notes listed nor any coriander or pepper. On my skin, this is all iris and violet, soapy and powdery and pleasantly forgettable. I'm currently wearing Violette in Love on my left hand and Zoologist's Nightingale on my right. They share quite a few notes in common including a citrus top note, violet, iris, and pepper heart notes (though the pyramid for NG doesn't list iris, there is an unmistakable lipstick powderiness there), as well as a musk base. Nightingale is hands down the more complex, satisfying composition with much greater longevity on my skin, especially during the dry down which brings forth the smooth, satisfying base notes. It is also more expensive at $2.25/mL vs $1.6/mL for ViL, but I can see diehard violet/iris lovers appreciating the beauty of both scents more than this newbie.
22nd April, 2018 (last edited: 06th May, 2018)

Vio-Volta by D.S. & Durga

The first spritz of Vio-Volta brought with it the acrid smell of a green weed coated with Roundup right after it's been pulled from the soil. Not fresh garden soil, though, more like a dank, overly moist soil infected with bacteria. The dry down smells like what Frodo probably smelled like after he fell into the Dead Marshes, but after his clothes dried and stiffened.

Way too dirty for my taste but could work for either gender if this is your kind of thing.

EDIT: After testing Mona di Oro's Violette Fumée, I think Vio Volta is basically a rancid, almost metallic VF. Worth trying if you appreciate a challenge, but you've been warned!
22nd April, 2018 (last edited: 05th May, 2018)

Nightingale by Zoologist Perfumes

Nightingale smells just like my grandmother's bathroom, but not in a bad way. Rose-scented loose powder applied with a luxuriously soft puff, lavender hand cream that resembled baby powder after it dried down, a vague camphoraceous smell likely from one or two of the many creams and ointments crowding the countertop--I smell all of this and more. My Mema was an immigrant from Japan, so while I don't recall ever smelling plum blossoms at her house in Northern California, getting a whiff of it here adds to the nostalgia and emotion of an already powerful scent-memory.

To be honest, I won't purchase a bottle of this. But I have no doubt that I'll use up my sample on lazy days at home, just so I can spend a little more time with that amazing woman.
22nd April, 2018

Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme by Gucci

I grabbed a sample of this for my husband at Sephora based on these reviews, and boy did we recoil when that first spray slapped us both across the face. However, after about two minutes, I couldn't stop sniffing his arm. I've actually been grabbing him by the elbow when he walks by just so I can take in a long, deep breath of this magical elixir.

This is all leather, an oiled saddle in a hay-filled stable on the High Plains with the distant scent of a Texas campfire fueled by freshly hewn cypress, cedar, and oak wafting in on the breeze at twilight. I am utterly transported to Palo Duro Canyon on cool autumn nights or to a log cabin in southern Colorado before the first snow has fallen. How warm, how rugged, how incredibly intoxicating this scent is. Certainly not one for the faint-hearted.

My husband can carry this in the city as well as I imagine my grandfather could have in his heyday as a rancher and town doctor in West Texas. It becomes a close-to-the-skin scent on my husband after about an hour, but it holds its character for the long haul (it's showing no sign of weakness yet, and we're on hour 6). It's shockingly wearable, distinctly masculine - full bottle AND backup bottle-worthy.
22nd April, 2018

Burberry for Women by Burberry

There is really nothing I can say that hasn't been said already. I agree with other reviewers who have called this particular Burberry offering pleasant, comforting, warm, boring, and entirely forgettable. It's been a few years since I've worn this, and I'd like to give it another try. I'm not above boring.

EDIT: After a few weeks on this site, I realize that I've been a Michael Almairec fan for years and didn't even know it. I'll definitely give this another go.
18th April, 2018

See by Chloé

I just love this stuff. The vanilla never overpowers and mixes seamlessly with the jasmine and apple blossoms. It's simple and fresh and powdery and just a tiny bit mysterious, and my skin just loves it. My skin may love it too much, though, as it only lasts about 60-90 minutes before I need to reapply. Still, a great spring/summer scent that can be found at discount retailers for a relatively affordable price. Stays just close enough to the skin for work, but sillage and longevity are buildable if you can find the lotion and/or body wash.
18th April, 2018

Ocean Dream by Designer Parfums

To be honest, I cannot recall the smell of this. I bought a bottle in middle school with my allowance money because I was ob-SESSED with the ocean. My grandmother lived in Monterey Bay and I just knew I was going to move in with her, go to college in Santa Cruz, and become a marine biologist. I pounced on anything ocean- or beach-related, from scented candles to trinkets wrapped in rope at Hobby Lobby to cassette tapes of whale sounds to this magical sea juice.

I imagine it smelled lovely, but I hesitate to smell it again. Sometimes reality just doesn't stack up.
18th April, 2018

Om by Gap

Not only was I in high school in the late 90's when literally every girl I knew owned a bottle of Dream or Heaven or Om, I Gap. Needless to say, these scents got really old really, REALLY fast.

I have to say, of the three, Om is the only one that spoke to me. I already knew I was (or wanted to be) a different kind of girl, one who shopped at flea markets (incense) and listened to Black Flag (umm, cannabis) and hung out with stinky punk squatters (err, "musk"). The irony of working at Gap while exploring that particular piece of my identity is not lost on me, but hey, Om fit right in.
18th April, 2018

Dream by Gap

Not only was I in high school in the late 90's when literally every girl I knew owned a bottle of Dream or Heaven or Om, I Gap. Needless to say, these scents got really old really, REALLY fast. Maybe that's why I chose VS scents in my teens--my taste wasn't any better than other girls' my age; I just picked a different mass-market poison.

Grab a bottle for memory's sake, but maybe not for the sake of anything else.

18th April, 2018

Heaven by Gap

Not only was I in high school in the late 90's when literally every girl I knew owned a bottle of Dream or Heaven or Om, I Gap. Needless to say, these scents got really old really, REALLY fast. Maybe that's why I chose VS scents in my teens--my taste wasn't any better than other girls' my age; I just picked a different mass-market poison.

Literally, instead of Gap's Heaven, I wore VS' Heavenly. Oh, to be young and feel love's keen sting. *shrug*
18th April, 2018