Perfume Reviews

Reviews by thekelleybelle

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Total Reviews: 54

Iris Rebelle by Atelier Cologne

The iris/neroli/musk combo here smells to me like envelope adhesive. Funny, I get the same thing from O, Unknown! by Imaginary Authors. It could just be an issue with my skin + orris, but either way, it sets my teeth on edge.
05th August, 2018

Waterlily Sun by Aerin

This is a watery bore. Sour citrus + synthetic green notes on a shaky base of synthetic musk. Sticks around for about 60-90 minutes. If it were a Jo Malone, it might be called "Lime & Pond Water." Almost offensive in its banality.

Save your money and buy Versace Versense or Atelier Cologne's Cédrat Enivrant. Even Target's Water Lily by Good Chemistry is better than this.
04th August, 2018

Vanitas by Versace

Wonderful for summer, Vanitas EdP is simple but not at all boring. The strong lime top note mellows pretty quickly and blends with a perfectly balanced tiare and freesia heart. The cedar and tonka are whisper-light, providing enough ground for Vanitas to bloom.

At first, I thought it might be redundant to own a bottle of Vanitas when I already own Terracotta Le Parfum, but they are different enough that I definitely plan to pick up a bottle. Terracotta has a warm, musky sunscreen vibe while Vanitas' white flowers lightly flutter across the skin. Terracotta is a tan woman in a bikini on the beach, and Vanitas is her sister who prefers a white sundress, wide-brimmed hat, and a seat on the patio under an umbrella.

Vanitas EdT is also quite nice. Rose petals, osmanthus, and tea replace the lime and tonka, making the EdT more of a tea rose a la (new) Chloe EdP.
28th July, 2018
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Burberry Body Tender by Burberry

This is okay. Pleasant, safe, and better than many in the fruity-floral category. The wormwood gives it an edge, but Burberry Body EdP is so much better than Body Tender that I don't see the need for this in my collection.

For a brighter version of this, try Brit Sheer. For a better version of Brit Sheer, try Dahlia & Vines by Nest or Nirvana White by Elizabeth and James.
24th July, 2018

Terracotta Le Parfum by Guerlain

Quite simply the best beachy summer fragrance I've ever worn. It's similar to EL's Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche Skinscent but with better projection and longevity and (presumably) higher quality ingredients. Despite its name, Terracotta Le Parfum is an EdT and performs as such, about 6 hours from start to finish and a skin scent for the final 2-3 hours depending on your skin. Gorgeous.
23rd July, 2018

Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo

I find this to be similar to (and superior to) Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf. It's less cloying and sickly sweet than FB, but I think this is a classic case of "pick your poison." I prefer fruity-gourmand notes to sugary-gourmand notes by a mile, so I'm not automatically turned off by fruitchoulis. Jimmy Choo is a perfectly acceptable fruitchouli with a juicy pear opening that melds nicely with the not-too-sweet toffee/patchouli base. I wouldn't buy a full bottle, but I'll definitely use up my entire sample (which is more than I can say for my 3ml sample of FB).
14th July, 2018

Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana

I picked up a 1oz bottle of Dolce for a steal, and I'm not disappointed. It is what it is. It shares the same place in my collection as Versace Versense, just without the citrus. There is a note in the background of Dolce that's addictive and keeps it from getting boring, but I can't quite place it. It might actually be the combo of cashmeran and musk, neither of which have worked on my skin very well in the past. If my hunch is right, then I'm one of the lucky ones whose skin works with Dolce and keeps it from getting synthetic or screechy.

Overall, this is a watery, feathery-light, slightly creamy white floral that I will enjoy for the summer but may not repurchase. Definitely worth a try if you find it at a discount. I never would have paid full price.
06th July, 2018

Ralph Lauren Woman by Ralph Lauren

I instantly fell in love with this. The fruity top notes shine at first and then recede over the first 30 minutes. Then, tuberose and orange blossom come forward, well-blended and creamy, alongside a lovely and tenacious hazelnut. The scent is pretty much linear for the remainder of its lifespan (7-8 hours), though the flowers fade slowly until only the pleasant base of hazelnut and woods remains as a skin scent.

Essentially, Ralph Lauren Woman is a semi-gourmand white floral like tons of others out there, but something about it just speaks to me in a way that others from Mugler, Victoria's Secret, Juicy Couture, Lancôme, et al. have not. I already have a full bottle, of course.
03rd July, 2018

Nirvana Rose by Elizabeth and James

On me, this is a photorealistic rose, from the petals to the leaves to the stem to the water in the vase to the slight rot that sets in about a day after the stems have been cut. I was taken aback when I first tried it because I honestly expected something more recognizeably synthetic. I'm still blown away.

I'm sampling Clinique Aromatics in White on my other arm, and it is a wonderful rose/patchouli fragrance, but I can clearly distinguish the patchouli and its rose is much drier.

Both are designer offerings that far surpassed my expectations, and I could see myself owning and enjoying them both. Bravo, Olsen twins. Bravo.
24th June, 2018

BR83: Leather Reserve by Banana Republic

A bit masculine for my taste, but it's a lovely, light, smooth suede/leather fragrance. The citrus fizzles out quickly, but the woody notes are there to stay throughout the dry down. Definitely bring a decant with you because this will be gone in 3-4 hours.

Not at all ground-breaking, but it's pleasant and totally worth it for the price.
23rd June, 2018

BR06: Black Platinum by Banana Republic

Bvlgari Black watered down for summer in the best possible way. They both have a prominent leather note, but the pepperiness of Black Platinum is much airier than the strong tea note in Black. BP manages to be watery, airy, and substantial all at the same time.

BP also reminds me a bit of Prada L'Homme, not because they smell exactly alike (not even close), but because they give off a similar laid-back vibe. Black Platinum is more traditionally unisex than the Prada, but I enjoy them both. Longevity is average and projection is minimal, but I still love it (and its price).
23rd June, 2018

Linen Vetiver by Banana Republic

Fresh, clean, and green with a bit of laundry musk alongside the vetiver in the base. It definitely wears better in the heat as it disappears on me in a cold office environment. My husband runs warm, and this lasts much better on him, close to 7 hours. I prefer Vintage Green on my skin.
23rd June, 2018

Cypress Cedar by Banana Republic

Terre d'Hermès Pure Parfum on a budget. Absolutely addictive, with excellent sillage and longevity. I can't keep my nose away from my arm.
23rd June, 2018
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Neroli Woods by Banana Republic

Neroli Portofino Acqua on a budget. A hair less woodsy than the Tom Ford, but still quite smooth and lovely. Easily unisex, much like its big brother.
23rd June, 2018

Burberry Body by Burberry

Burberry Body is an utter delight. In fact, it may be on its way to becoming my signature daytime scent.

This hit the market two years prior to Joy Forever, and they are so similar that one could easily be mistaken as a flanker of the other. In JF, the galbanum keeps the peach from getting overly ripe and really holds the composition together. In BB, the wormwood takes on that same role.

BB sparkles from the first spray and takes it's sweet time to fizzle down to its mid and base notes after about 3 hours (Redneck Perfumisto's "spicy sparks" is quite an apt description). A magic wand, indeed.

EDIT: I have samples of both the EdT and the EdP, and the EdP is where the magic is. The EdT has an added apple note that somehow takes away the sparkle (even though I usually appreciate a good apple note).

EDIT #2: Apparently I had a sample of the EdP Intense, so THAT is where the magic is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I have a bottle of the Intense version on the way and will use my last edit to let you know if the magic is lost. If you don't hear back from me, that's a good sign.
22nd June, 2018 (last edited: 01st August, 2018)

Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf

Underwhelming, nondescript flowers and vanilla that somehow manage to be both extraordinarily heavy and extremely light. I received 3mls of this as a free deluxe sample at Sephora and planned to give it away. However, it worked okay when combined with a simple, fresh green scent (I chose Verde by Nest). I might try mixing it with a strong, dry wood next (maybe Cypress Cedar from Banana Republic's Icon Collection).

Overall, I can't give it a full thumbs down just because it's boring to me. I can easily understand its mass market appeal. I see this shining on the right person in the right setting (I imagine a high school girl who never wears makeup or perfume dressing up for her first prom), and I'm a full believer of 'to each his (or her) own.'
17th June, 2018

Sexy Ruby by Michael Kors

Pleasantly forgettable. It would benefit from a stronger base, perhaps some type of wood or maybe even patchouli could take this up a notch to pleasantly inoffensive. It's basically a grown up, more expensive version of Dot by Marc Jacobs.
16th June, 2018

Dot by Marc Jacobs

Take one package of Capri Sun and dilute it in 5 gallons of water. Dump it on your head. Dot by Marc Jacobs.
16th June, 2018

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

I must be completely anosmic to the musk in Lovely, which coincidentally is its main note. I smell a faint lavender and a weak laundry-esque note (probably from one of the synthetic musks I can smell). No citrus. No florals. No earthiness. No woods. No amber. Certainly no 'apple martini' note.

I had my first allergic skin reaction to a perfume recently, B. by Balenciaga in fact, that may be due to a bit of the juice hitting a fresh cut on my arm. I put a small drop of B. on my skin just to spot test it. I have Lovely on both of my wrists. Guess which one I can smell?

I give this a neutral rating just because I may be missing something that just isn't registering to my nose. But really? One drop of B. versus 3 sprays of Lovely on each wrist? I can't be missing THAT much. *shrug*
13th June, 2018 (last edited: 14th July, 2018)

Alien Eau Extraordinaire by Thierry Mugler

I've finally come to realize that I'm just not a Mugler woman.*

Alien and Angel and their flankers just haven't appealed to me, though I keep trying. When I first sprayed my sample of Eau Extraordinaire, I thought, "I've found it! THIS is the Alien flanker that will work for me!" The combo of tiare, bergamot, neroli and amber is lovely yet restrained in a way that most Mugler's aren't (for me that's a bonus).

It really does work for me, but only for about 2 hours. I appreciate the modest sillage, but I expected better longevity from a Mugler. I will happily use up the rest of my sample, but this isn't FB-worthy for me.

*I smelled Aura on a test strip recently, and it may be the one! Maybe?
13th June, 2018

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

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.

EDIT: I feel that I should also add that Amber Musk has abysmal longevity. Expect the top notes to last about 30 minutes. You'll definitely need to respray. Then respray. Then respray. Then decide to wear something different after lunch. I still like it, but it's not at all FB-worthy.
03rd June, 2018 (last edited: 04th August, 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

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.

EDIT: While I still consider Joy Forever and Burberry Body as close relatives, JF has won me over. I think it's the combination of galbanum, marigold, and peach paired with a wee bit of orange flower that make this one stand out. I get the smallest shadow of Joy imaginable, but I can see the family resemblance. The herbal edge of galbanum keeps the peach from getting overly ripe and holds the composition together until the base takes over after about 4 hours. It never gets too sweet and it certainly never becomes cloying. I will be needing much more of this.
29th May, 2018 (last edited: 22nd June, 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 complements...my 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