Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Ashleyland

Total Reviews: 25

Ambre Tigrť by Givenchy

An amazing multi-faceted amber! Which isn't as easy to come by as you might think. Amber is used as a throw around cheap base note in almost every mainstream release you can think of. It's most often times found cozied up right next to patchouli on a list of base notes, and the two have started to become interchangeable almost to the point of in-recognition in many fragrances.

The vanilla gives this sweetness, but it's not the herbal chocolate lended to amber by aforementioned patchouli. The labdanum gives it a resinous wood with the tease of a powdery accord (one of my favorite 'textures' in a fragrance for lack of a better term at this point in time) but not enough to lean into standard subpar oriental drydown. Granted, this is the loveliness of an oriental drydown without the few hours of fruity floral mess that a house like Givenchy might normally employ in a mainstream release. Ambre Tigre doesn't beat around the bush. Entirely linear, which means you'll know exactly how you feel about the scent almost as soon as it touches your skin.

Multiple short whiffs right on top of each other reveal a waxy, hidden incense. Like the sensation of blowing out the candles on a birthday cake and the smell that immediately follows, but it's gone in a flash.

I'm loving these fragrances with a stripped down note pyramid lately. It's easier to get an idea of what you're smelling and appreciate the scent for what it truly is, and not worry about getting only 3-4 of the 20+ notes promised in crazy marketing bubbles (sometimes not even the notes that sparked your interest in the first place!)

This is a delicious beast (Tiger, if we're being on the nose) and another one added to the list of future purchases for fall/winter. Sillage is great and longevity is as long as you want to go without showering it off. (for me around 8-10 hours after application)

If you've just about given up on 'amber' fragrances due to the lack of clarity and smelling like just another version of "_____", give Ambre Tigre a try.
06th March, 2019

Wild Pears by Montale

Before reading the notes list on this page (curious to know if those are accurate?) I got authentic CANNED pears in syrup. These are unmistakably pears but smell like they are drenched in sugar. This is what I expect to smell whenever other fragrances list pear as a top note but I've never been delivered such authenticity until now.

I'd say that this creation is on the verge of brilliance if it was by any other house, say Demeter. But coming from the supposed exoticly charged house of Montale that comes out with a new oud fragrance every week (or so it seems) and with the price tag that comes along with this fragrance, I'll have to confidently say it's a pass for me.

This scent does deliver on it's promise for the most part. I'd say the fact that they were able to create such a clear association to a specific fruit using everything BUT that note is pretty wild so I can see how the name fits. But the longer I smell this and see the notes a slight suggestion of 'banana' is coming to mind, so I better leave this review and be on my way.

This scent did spark a childlike joy within me so I will cherish and use my sample up happily. If you would like a straight up sweet pear smell I'd say look no further. I haven't found any other fragrance to come as close as this one did. Sillage and longevity were average, which again doesn't match up to this house's reputation for me and is another negative but if this were any cheaper (say under $50) I'd probably pick up a bottle just for layering purposes alone or use as a luxury body spray before bed.

06th March, 2019

Gucci Bloom by Gucci

I'm surprised that this has been the commercial success that it is, given its notes are often accused of making a perfume smell like an "old lady" (the words used by many people who are inexperienced in describing perfumes, not I). A few years back I myself didn't enjoy heavy white florals and thought that I loathed jasmine in perfumes. It turned out that I just wasn't smelling the right ones that were blended in a way that I could love. And once I did I began to appreciate white floral perfumes, which allows me to own and enjoy this one like I do today.

Because this is strictly floral and nothing but the floral, and they are some of the strongest heavy hitters in the floral perfume world (tuberose, jasmine, honeysuckle) it could have easily been too overwhelming, but Morillas has managed to blend and create a solid release under a mainstream name that showcases an under appreciated genre in designer scents, and do it in a classy way that is easy to understand by people of all ages. There will be some people who still do not "get" or like this scent, but I've seen a lot of people warm up to the idea of this release who might have been saying the same thing I did a few years ago (jasmine perfumes smell like p**p!) I've seen it on the dressing tables and Instagram pictures of many beauty influencers who's signature scents used to be Vera Wang Princess and Pink Sugar. This is quite a step in a direction of different and seemingly more mature. This perfume brings the hope that perfume houses might start creating and releasing a variety of scents in their showcase, rather than 94 of the same exact scent with a different colored bow on the bottle. (Now granted, they have released 2 flankers of this scent in particular already, but anything that is the antithesis of LVEB mean I'm not arguing.)

To bring it all back to what this scent smells like and not necessarily its role in the marketing and release world of designer fragrances- this is a pleasant and "crowd pleasing" white floral. Unless you really just do not like floral perfumes, this will not your ruffle feathers, but a test on skin is still recommended- no matter how tempting those influencer's dressing table pics with this bottle may be. On my skin, this does go a bit indolic in a way that if it were any stronger I would've recoiled away in disgust, but it is such a light touch to the lushness of these florals that I really do not mind. In fact, it adds a touch of intrigue to this scent that causes me to keep whiffing to see if that's really what I smell. I wind up huffing myself like a crazy person, before I decide on the fact that I find the scent oddly pleasing and comforting.

I've read a lot of reviews that suggest many people do not get this slightly animalic smell and instead have only found a basic nonoffensive white floral smell with a touch of greenness, so don't let this turn you off of testing. I'm used to my white florals always having a woody amber/vanilla base so it could just be that I am unfamiliar with the smell of a true floral fragrance completely exposed. If you are too, this is a really good place to start.

Sillage is actually really good with around 5-6 sprays I smell myself all day, which means this fragrance lasts all day. I sprayed mine last night and I'm smelling it well into the morning all around me. I'm not sure if this means anything, but my bottle's atomizer is very fine as well. When it sprays, I almost do not feel any liquid touching my skin, and I feared that my bottle may be defective. But the performance on my skin tells me that this bottle just has unique mechanisms that allow a less saturated application and more skin/clothing to be fragranced. This is probably why I experience such great performance and I'm greatly impressed by this as I have many perfume bottles, and I don't remember any of them having this feature.
05th March, 2019
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Want by Dsquared2

This is so sweet but there's a strong buttery note to it that puts me off. I want to love this and I have a slight suspicious that my remnants of this decant might have gone slightly off and that is why it smells so much like butter. When I first tested it I was enamored and don't remember that being there...

Regardless this has a creamy vanilla scent that I still think is very pleasant, butter and all. If this ever goes down to about $30 a bottle I'd pick it up but it's a little too risky at the price it's at currently.

The longer it sits on my skin the more I start liking that butter note. I may pick this up anyways in the fall if I haven't fell in love with anything else by then... I detect a slight floral and I'd normally be inclined to think heliotrope cause of the creamy gourmand aspects but I have a suspicious that this is a type of rose. It's a buttery sweet rose.

I probably seem like a spaz cause I'm typing this as I go, but after about an hour I've decided that this is a love and I Will be buying a bottle. It really grows on you.
04th March, 2019

S Eau Florale by Shakira

To be honest there isn't really anything special about this scent. I smelled it when it first came out and was blown away by how delicious I thought it was. I was much younger then and exclusively into candy sweet scents so that probably explains my fascination with this. I recently found a big bottle discounted for a price that was too good to pass so I picked it up.

Many years have gone by and my tastes have matured a little too much to love this scent like I once did. But I'm glad I made my teenage dreams come true at some point in life and own this scent. I'll be using it up without a problem and then move on to something nicer.

It smells like berry fruit punch with a lot of sugar. Nothing more to it. Not bad by any means but nothing of real substance that makes me want to take another sniff. I spray it on and think I smell nice enough to chill at home and go about my day without second guessing it.

Lasting power and sillage are not as good as I remember though. When I sprayed it that one time in the mall I remember it lasted the whole day and into the next morning before I showered. This one lasts about 3-4 hours with modest sillage. That might also be because I didn't realize this at the time of purchase, but my bottle is considered the "deluxe edition" and the bottle has shimmery liquid. Which may be impacting the scent's performance, given the glittery goop that is taking up perfume volume space in there. Had I known this I would've skipped that deal and held out for a regular bottle, as I have no desire to look like I've been playing in craft supplies or wearing something from Claire's. But I digress, this is still a good scent that I am happy to have in my collection, and I can't be mad at the price I paid.

I recommend this to people who enjoy young juvenile scents, or if you are a youngster yourself this is a good one to check out. Get the biggest bottle online for under $30 and skip the shimmer edition unless that's your thing.
04th March, 2019

Love, Chloť Eau Intense by Chloť

I just reviewed Chloe, Love (original) and since I owned this one previously, decided to drop in a write a quick review explaining the differences between the two.

I definitely prefer the original Love, but I could see where someone might like this one more. It definitely has a lot more going on in the notes, but I actually prefer the simplicity. Imagine original Love, or if you're unfamiliar with it, a smooth iris/orris powder. Add a heavy dash of heliotrope, amplify the talcum, and throw in some animalic musk (peru balm?) and you've got a skanked up version of Prada Infusion d'Iris. I remember this one being sweeter, but the powder was so much more intense and combined with that musk (gave a bit of a sweaty sensation), I just found it a bit too overwhelming. I was too intimidated to wear it out so it just sat in my collection unused. Even alone, I felt like the fragrance was wearing me and bossing me around, trying to convince me that I was some sexy vixen who needed to retire into my boudoir to entertain gentleman callers when I was just trying to relax in my sweatpants.

For someone who likes those types of scents, I think you'd be well off seeking out the Intense version of Chloe, Love. But I believe this one is also harder to come by. Sillage was very strong, almost seemed to burn my nose hairs if I sprayed too close to my sniffer. This was probably done intentionally because the scent begs to be worn down in lower regions of the body, which only adds fuel to the fire of my associations.

It's a neutral rating for me because I couldn't wear it, but it's not a bad scent at all, and if you like skanky musk/powder bombs, you'll probably love this one.
03rd March, 2019

Love, Chloť by Chloť

I just bought this and am wearing it today- I'm already in love! I used to own the intense version but that one has a very strong musk that makes it go a bit animalic. This is more delicate and clean, but make no mistake, it is not weak by any means. I get a very noticeable sillage and average longevity at around 6-7 hours.

This is a powdery iris that is blended so well that it almost smells like cream. I definitely detect the rice powder that gives it that milky sensation. The powder accord doesn't veer too synthetic and it doesn't smell like baby powder. This is a taclum scented perfume, not a perfume scented talcum if that makes sense. And it doesn't smell dated or like it could be out of place on anyone. This could be used by women (people) of all ages who just want a no nonsense pleasant powdery perfume.

This really reminds me very much of Prada Infusion d'Iris in the eau de toilette formulation (the one with the frosted glass bottle) but this one has better performance and the iris is less pronounced, but still detectable. I have, love, and need both in my collection. I consider Prada to be my Spring/Summer powder go-to, and this one could be suited for any time of the year.

I never know if this one is discontinued or not, I hear different things from different sources all the time, but I'd say regardless if you can find this at a reasonable price or even at retail, it's worth it. If you like Prada Infusion d'Iris or powdery scents in general, I highly recommend this. I do not however, recommend the Love Intense unless you like a bit of naughtiness in your scents.
03rd March, 2019

Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense by Chanel

I owned a decant of this but recently purchased the smallest bottle available because I tested this once or twice and told myself it was a nicer version of the original. After a fresh wearing I think Iíve changed my mind. I am someone who adores the original Coco Mademoiselle eau de parfum, and I enjoy the sporty citrus bite that one has in the top notes. I get three distinct tiers of scent and great sillage that lasts all day.

With this one I get a blast of amber and patchouli straight out the gate. Theyíve stripped away the citrus and I donít get a twang from the rose+jasmine combo that seems almost standard in Chanel Perfumes, and for that reason this almost seems like another houseís rendition of CM. You know what this reminds me of? Miss Dior (2011-2012) version. I still like this one but I really miss that fruity floral pinch that only Chanel seems to master evoking an air of sophistication out of.

Iím giving this the thumbs up rating because itís still a great fragrance by itself, but my personal preference is for the original. Many people seem to be turned off by the citrus bite in that one so if you find yourself wishing that regular CM dialed that back and skipped straight to its patchouli rich drydown, this one is the better choice for you. But because this one has patchouli from start to finish, if you are not crazy about that note you could get sick of this fragrance after a few hours.

Luckily for that reason this fragrance starts out with great projection and sillage, but slowly dwindles down with wear time. After a few hours I can only detect it when I wave my arms close to my nose (where I applied the fragrance). Total wear time was 8 hours with the last two being very close to the skin. On me the original actually performs about twice as strong as that so this is less impressive to me by comparison but itís nothing to snark at if youíre used to weaker scents.

Not my favorite but I can see why itís the preferred fragrance of the line by many people and could see this one doing much better in the current market with the multitude of other sweet patchouli bombs. Itís just missing that Ďsomethingí for me that I consider a Chanel fragrance signature if you will. And I couldnít specifically put my finger on what that signature is... but I know whatever it is is missing here and itís missed by me. I probably wonít repurchase once my tiny bottle is used up, but as long as they donít tamper any further with my EDP, Iíll keep buying and recommending that one.
02nd March, 2019

Twilight by Gorilla Perfume

I donít think I could do a better job at reviewing this than the person before me, that was incredibly thorough and a nice history lesson to put it all into context.

The only association my unsophisticated self could make was this reminded me of Johnsonís lavender baby lotion which I put on my baby so it is not only familiar itís a comforting scent. Lavender with a sweet buttery tonka bean note envelops me in a fresh yet cozy blanket of scent, nothing more and nothing less. I own the body spray and it is impressively potent.

Iím wearing this on a chilly rainy day after a long morning at work and itís doing wonders for my stress levels!
02nd March, 2019

Couture Couture by Juicy Couture

I technically still own a bottle of this but it's currently occupying space in my bathroom medicine cabinet as an air freshener as I feel that's what it smells like. When I tested this in store a few years back it was an intoxicating smoky plum that filled the air around me, I took a card I sprayed home and it lasted for days. I couldn't stop thinking about it and eventually purchased a bottle at an online discounter in the middle of last year.

I believe without a doubt that this fragrance has been reformulated, as I believe most of Juicy Couture's entire fragrance line has, and it's quite obvious when you receive one of these newer formulations. They all have this cheap top-mid note of shrill honeysuckle room freshener that you would get at the grocery store for like $3, and only a whisper of what they once contained is detectable. Longevity and sillage are laughable, you'll be using quite a bit of your bottle just to get someone to notice the scent, even if that someone is yourself. I would spray 15-20 sprays on myself of this perfume in particular and 30 minutes later couldn't smell a thing.

I'm very disappointed but also wanted to warn people who might be looking to purchase this or any of Juicy Couture's older scents online: try to look for an older style bottle. I believe the newer one's have cheaper plastic embellishments as well and packaging has been cheapened down significantly. I especially do not recommend paying full price for any Juicy Couture scents and if finding older stock isn't easy enough, I'd just say skip them altogether.

Highly offended, not recommended.
27th February, 2019

L'Autre Oud by LancŰme

This is a review that is going to be entirely subjective and based off of personal preferences for Oud fragrances. I am someone who is just testing the waters of oud in fragrance, and Iím finding that they are very hit or miss on me. When the note is too prominent, it gets a little skanky on me like enjoying a warm cinnamon raisin bagel with honey after some promiscuous activity in the bedroom. (itís that last part that determines the fragrance unbearable for me) When itís toned down and OVERSHADOWED with other notes- particularly ones that are already used in western/european fragrances- such as rose, vanilla, patchouliÖ I feel safer, and that impression goes away.

*Disclaimer: after reading the notes list I realize that this scent has those notes I mentioned but they are definitely taking a back seat to the oud in this fragrance. I prefer when itís the other way around.

And donít get me wrong, Iím not saying that the more linear or less complicated compositions of Oud fragrances smell like they are of lesser quality; on the contrary. I think the other notes I mentioned previously probably cheapen up and do more to simplify the exotic mystery that an oud dominant fragrance can evoke. Itís just a personal insecurity, like I donít have the confidence to wear such a bold scent and feel like I am pretending to be something Iím not. There are many people who love and wear oud fragrances on a daily basis, and they donít have the same hurdles I feel I have to get over before I can appreciate a scent like this on my chemistry.

I do imagine that this scent on the right person is exquisite, for this release from Lancome smells of high quality and for the most part, intoxicating. Itís just the associations that I make that prevent me from comfortably rocking a scent this bold and non-traditionally western. If I smelled it on someone else I probably would feel a different way, and I recommend this fragrance to anyone that does appreciate a sweet honeyed oud fragrance. I think you will be quite pleased.

Longevity is good, (6-8 hours) with great projection. This was with me trying to get rid of it by scrubbing and layering other scents. That aside, Iím sure this fragrance preforms even better than I experienced.

Highly recommended, just not for me.
26th February, 2019

Chergui by Serge Lutens

Thereís probably nothing I could say about Chergui that hasnít already been said at this point, but my newer bottle of this perfume is still just as amazing as I expected based off of other peopleís experiences.

I get a smoky honey tobacco from start to finish. Itís quite linear on me but I happen to enjoy the scent from the initial application so I donít mind. Itís when the scent starts out a mess on me that I quickly lose my patience. This starts out beautiful and doesnít need to try too hard from there on. Itís totally unisex, I could see many different people enjoying this, the only prerequisite is that you enjoy tobacco in fragrances. The honey gives it that sweetness to balance with the smoky herbs, but itís not sickening and most importantly (to me), it doesnít go animalic.

It has some perseverance, longevity is great and it lasts on me all day (8+ hours). Projection/sillage is not as powerful as I thought it might be, but it is a modest amount of projection that will not offend anyone, which I actually am grateful for. Iíd rather a scent be closer to me than assault someone across the street, but this one is a happy medium of the two.

I must stress again that this scent could work for anyone of any age. I consider myself to be young(ish), and recently into niche fragrances and I didnít find this one to be too out of my comfort zone. Tobacco fragrances are really prominent in designer fragrance houses at the moment so this one wouldnít be too outrageous for anyone to test that is just coming from that background.

Solid like! Might not use it all up but I'll use it later in the winter a couple of times and decide whether or not to pass it on.
26th February, 2019

Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

This scent didnít work on me sadly. I did a side by side test of this against Chergui because I blind bought both of these several months back and wound up getting them mixed up on my arms and couldnít remember which one I liked and which one I didnít. I thought it was the other way around but this is the one that didnít work out. Which is sad because I normally think Tom Ford can do no wrong, and I donít believe that this scent was a flop, itís more than likely my skin chemistry. I smell a honey note like the one that is in Chergui but this one goes animalic and becomes a bit sour and dare I say the word, skanky. Thereís something about an animalic honey note that begins to smell a bit inappropriate on me like Iíve been involved in some activities that I shouldíve showered before leaving the house after doingÖ just a personal insecurity as Iíve seen many forums talking about these type of scents that people actually seek out. I donít have the confidence or preference to wear those type of scents so Iíll have to be passing this on.

I couldíve sworn I detected an oud/agar wood smell from this as well, but I donít see it listed in the notes. Perhaps itís amber combined with the sweaty honey? Iím not convinced. Tom Ford probably intentionally wanted to create the impression of Oud, he was one of the first mainstream designers to showcase the note in its fragrances and bring it into the mainstream market with his cologne M7 from YSL. This was probably his foray into releasing an Oud Scent to be worn by women, but like most of his scents this could easily pull unisex.

The longevity and sillage on this perfume are great, and despite me not liking this smell you canít fault it on performance if this scent does work on you. Lasts all day and projects strongly enough (enough to make me uncomfortable) and tenacious enough to last through several hand scrubbing attempts.
26th February, 2019
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Lost Cherry by Tom Ford

I am obsessed with this fragrance. I received it for Christmas and have already purchased a backup for myself, and if itís confirmed that this is in fact a limited edition Iíll be saving up to purchase a few more... Iíve honestly never smelled anything like this that moved me (or the money in my wallet) so strongly.

The scent is divinely delicious on me. Sweet cherry syrup that lasts for hours before the woody tonka drydown. I get a hint of almonds but theyíre toasted and glazed in the cherry sauce, which I would equate more to a sticky syrup than a boozy liquor, but I donít drink so maybe Iím just ignorant to how that would smell. Regardless this juice is intoxicating and the entire time itís on my skin Iím in love with how I smell.

The sillage is actually quite impressive but Tom Ford fragrances are always way ahead of the game in performance versus other designer fragrance lines for me. This is no exception and Iím actually shocked to hear that so many people had issues with this scent not lasting long enough or projecting, Iíd say this scent almost knocks me out at times itís just as strong as some of his other scents (I must stress again, on my skin). I never spray this on clothes, only on my skin, so Iím not sure if that would improve anything, because I donít need to. Thereís nothing about this fragrance I would change, except the price.

I highly recommend testing for yourself but I wouldnít suggest a blind buy even if youíre obsessed with Tom Ford fragrances like me because itís an awful lot of money to be out of if youíre expectations arenít met. Mine were exceeded and considering all the negative buzz this scent generated, I was pleasantly surprised.
23rd February, 2019

Saharienne by Yves Saint Laurent

This fragrance blew me away. It smells so unisex and mysterious I have no way of identifying any of the singular notes in this, they all just blend so seamlessly. Itís like a more masculine Dune, but like I was saying could be worn by anyone. Thereís a dry spice to it that makes it interesting yet it also smells refreshing in a way if that makes any sense. I can barely understand it myself but I just adored testing this I would so purchase a full bottle of this once I use up my vintage bottle of Dune as that one is getting harder to come by, and this one goes for a very reasonable price online.

Looking at the notes the only thing I can imagine standing out is the mandarin and maybe ginger. I also detect the pink pepper, not its berries. If you like dry spicy fragrances I recommend trying this, but not blind buying.

I must also mention that sillage is out of this world, one dab/drop on my skin from a vial and I could detect it for hours no matter what i was doing, it completely enveloped me in its scent. If you were to buy a bottle of this Iíd imagine it lasting for a very long time.
19th February, 2019

Magnifique by LancŰme

At first spray I thought we were going to have a lovely rose/oud combo on our hands, but it quickly transformed into a hawaiian fruit punchy rose. That fruitiness feels a little jarring to me so Iím going to wait a few minutes and see if it dies down.

Okay, 30 minutes in it doesnít seem like itís going to get any better. In fact, it is getting even more obnoxiously fruity and starting to smell like grape bubblegum.

What on Earth type of rose note is this supposed to be? It doesnít smell like any flower Iíve encountered. And there doesnít seem to be any spicy/woody notes either. Maybe the sample was off? But usually when a sample goes off, it gets more sour/astringent, not syrupy sweetÖ

I give up. I donít recommend seeking out this discontinued scent anyways unless youíve already tried and love it. I canít imagine this was a best seller for Lancome and so it was inevitably let go. Sillage and longevity are nothing to write home about, average 4-6 hours with arm length projection. Lancome can and has done better.
19th February, 2019

Belle d'Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

With all the interesting notes that are listed for this fragrance combined with the stunning packaging and color of the flacon, I imagined this fragrance would be a smashing success on me and I would need to scour the internet for a bottle shortly after... instead I found myself puzzled and disappointed by what I smelled.

Immediately when I applied the perfume I was assaulted by a chemical note that tickled my nose but I pulled away and allowed the scent to settle on my skin for a few more minutes before I made my judgements. 10-15 minutes of wear I leaned in to smell again, and I smelled a bathroom cleaner on freshly cleaned tile/toilet. Not pleasant, obviously, so I decided to wait a bit longer.

At least an hour into the test, I realized that the scent wasn't getting any better. The only changes to the scent were that it seemed more soapy with a bit of fruit (was that grape?) but nothing smoky, woodsy, or spicy like I envisioned considering the reputation of original Opium.

It never developed any further than that on me, and I was a little disappointed but decided to come on here and read the notes to see if I'd just hallucinated when I saw all the notes that originally peaked my interest: maybe I was confusing this with original Opium? No, I hadn't. It was all there, with the one note that I think is the main culprit behind all my struggles. PEACH. Peach and it's sister, apricot, are quickly becoming my biggest arch nemesis in perfume. Something about that note no matter who uses it turns whatever I'm testing into the most boring, cheapest quality smelling fragrance. It overpowers and distorts everything it's combined with and completely ruins my experience.

So I think it's safe to say that we can chalk this up to a bad body chemistry experience and maybe don't let it deter you from seeking this out unless you have the same aversion to peach notes like I do. Just keep in mind that the top notes definitely make their appearance known and aren't just afterthoughts to the intriguing base like they can sometimes be. You will get a lot of fruity florals before you get to the base, if you ever do...

Performance was irrelevant to me, but it has average sillage and longevity for a mainstream designer house, and especially for YSL fragrances in particular, which I find aren't anything to write home about in most cases. It's not worth your time in my humble opinion but if you do obtain a sample or choose to seek this one out, you were warned: it will probably not live up to your expectations.
18th February, 2019

Jasmin Rouge by Tom Ford

Tom Fordís Jasmin Rouge is the perfect example of how to do a fleshy white floral without going into the indole territory (which tends to smell like excrement of various kinds on me.) Iíve heard that Muglerís Alien is the scent that many women choose to wear clubbing. Jasmin Rouge is the scent they would choose to wear once that phase in their life has passed, theyíve married a rich man and now attend classy dinner parties on the weekends. Thereís a hint at that sexy carnal smell but itís now smoothed down and refined, much like the woman I envision to wear this scent.

Thereís of course the obvious jasmine note front and center in this fragrance but I feel that it must be paired with some other white floral note that gives it a delicate side I rarely see in jasmine fragrances, especially when the note is allowed so much of the spotlight without much to challenge it. Maybe itís lily? Or a neutered tuberose/gardenia, but definitely not enough to overpower the integrity of the jasmine. Thereís also a creamy note like vanilla but again not enough to drench the florals in a vat of sugary sweetness. I would imagine the ratio of florals to the vanilla or sweet note to be at least 3:1.

I donít get the thing from this fragrance that would make me think that this invokes anything related to ďrougeĒ besides maybe finding this scent to be appropriate for a red carpet walk. I think that it could be worn anytime of the year, if applied sparingly in the heat and more generously in the cooler temperatures. I also could imagine this being the signature scent of someone who loves white floral perfumes.

Itís not the most unique scent, but itís one of the better done renditions of this combination of aromas and one of my favorite creamy white floral + vanilla scents that Iíve smelled. This is what I hoped that Guerlainís Terracotta would smell like on me, but that one gave me the indolic jasmine for a bit longer than I could comfortably stand. This one gives me wearable beauty from the very start, and Iím in love from the moment it hits my skin until the end of the day when itís barely detectable.

Speaking of, longevity and sillage are good by Tom Ford standards, but not his best, especially considering that it is a private blend and you are paying more for it than his mainstream releases. But youíre paying for the obvious quality of ingredients here with an acceptable amount of mileage and for that reason I would say it is worth it. After retesting my sample, this goes to the very top of my list for Tom Ford perfume purchases. Yes, I have an entire list just for Tom Ford fragrances ... what can I say, I'm obsessed!
18th February, 2019

Prada Candy by Prada

I like how this fragrance lives up to what I expected when smelling something named "candy" but it's not so literal of an interpretation that a single note is all that you get. (like Pink Sugar). I detect the caramel most strongly but there is a nice addition of benzoin which gives it the powdery dry down. The musk is blended so seamlessly that it doesn't even seem to stand out but it just adds something to the composition that keeps the saccharine sweetness at bay, as benzoin is also a resin sweetness that can make something smell a little like powdery maple syrup if overdone. Musk and benzoin together make a low key powder + woods combo which added to the caramel makes it more interesting and still recognizably sweet, but with a little something extra.

It is somewhat linear in terms of development, but the scent is never overpowering or "too much" at any stage of wear so I do not mind. Sillage is more close to the skin for me, and that is probably due to the musk, but sometimes I like keeping my fragrance close to me and more intimate, which is what someone who considers gourmand/sweet scents a "guilty pleasure" might be happy to hear. This one will give whisps of a sweet scent trail but it doesn't just stick to you in a heavy cloud which allows you to not constantly smell yourself and get tired of the scent. Longevity is all day for me, 6-8 hours, which is about what I would expect from a standard designer scent release. I usually only apply about 2-3 sprays.

I can't remember if this is an Eau de Parfum of Eau de Toilette and my bottle is not close by to check but regardless I think this is a nice quality scent for someone who likes sweet scents but wants a little more depth to it than just straight vanilla extract or burnt sugar. I've never regretted applying this once it's on, and also is very easy to layer with.

I recommend anyone to test this scent on their skin but it won't be for everyone. It's a very middle of the road sweet scent so if you find youself on the extreme ends of the spectrum in your gourmand obsession or you just don't like sweet scents at all, you will not enjoy this one. If you can appreciate sweet scents with more going on beneath the surface, give it a try.
17th February, 2019

Mon Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

I must admit that this scent isn't what I expected but I still like what was presented. A completely linear scent on me from start to finish, it smells like a cold can of pineapple juice freshly opened. It's too sweet and syrupy to be freshly squeezed, this has some artificial sweeteners in the mix, but it doesn't make it any less pleasant. For some reason I'm getting a cold sensation, I don't know what causes that but it will probably mean this will be a summer/spring time reach for me.

When I saw all the berry notes I did anticipate a predominate fruitiness which is what I have been craving at the moment but this smells like a different fruit that I am not disappointed in as I actually really love pineapple, both in food and fragrance form. I don't get any patchouli but that's not a bad thing for me either.

Sillage and longevity are good for YSL standards I find a lot of their fragrances to have underwhelming performance but this one stands out as being a more powerful fragrance in their lineup. I can see a lot people who enjoy some of their more unique and old school fragrances would probably be less than impressed by this new offering but I like this scent for what it is. I may pick up a small bottle when the weather warms up or if I can find a cheap designer dupe, may be inclined to purchase that instead and stick it in my fridge.

Now that I remember, this reminds me a lot of DKNY My NY. It also has raspberry/patchouli as a listed note, but the patchouli is more detectable on dry down with that fragrance for it is not as linear, and it also does not have the cooling sensation that this one has on my skin that is making it more intriguing. I have My NY but could still justify purchasing this one too for that reason alone.

16th February, 2019

Midnight Poison by Christian Dior

Where has this intoxicating fragrance been all my life, and why did it take me so long to find it? And now once I've finally found it, why is it practically extinct? Whose abomination of an idea was it to discontinue this beauty?

I had a fraction of a sample vial of this lying around and never gave it so much as a glance until now because I was under the impression that this was identical to the Elle fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent. That one and me did not get along at all, with it smelling like rusty pennies and thorny roses on me (emphasis more on the pointy thorns than the billowy flowers). I assumed that Midnight Poison would react the same so I never wanted to waste the few drops on my skin and instead banished it to sit in my partially 'used' sample pile. I don't know what posessed me to reach my hand randomly into that pile today and pick this other than I was in the mood for something different than my monthly rotation and wanted a distraction. What a wonderful decision that was! The differences between these two scents on my skin by the way are as night and day.

Midnight Poison is creamy roses shrouded behind soft blankety velvet curtains of patchouli and amber. I thought I detected amber without reading the notes first as it began to take on a chocolate accord now and again. It never completely overtakes the rose and instead just wraps itself and dances around the lovely bouquet. The roses still have their stems and leaves in tact, with just a wisp of green earthy notes, these were freshly plucked off the bush after being freshly watered by rain and maybe a bit of soil from the ground has made it's way onto the flowers a bit. The soil and green notes must be patchouli, with a more vulnerable/sheepish side to it that I've never seen. This patchouli has been tamed where in most compositions it runs wild and overpowers everything in sight.

I could continue to ramble on and wax poetic on this fragrance for the rest of the day but I'll try to contain myself. In all honesty, this is one of the sexiest rose fragrances I've ever smelled. Just a few years ago, I thought I couldn't wear rose fragrances, that they were all too sharp and dusty. Then I stumbled upon Givenchy Very Irresisitible and for the first time, roses were sweet and fresh and youthful. And I didn't think it could get any better than that. But VI does not hold a candle to this dame. And were it not discontinued I would be buying a bottle as we speak instead of writing this long review to make up for my sadness that there is no way of ever obtaining any more of it, at least in it's original glory.

I suppose I'll hold out for the day that Dior relaunches it and doesn't totally butcher the scent in the process, or I'll try to find another dupe that makes me feel somewhat less restless. I almost regret that I used the last of my sample to discover a divine perfume that I'll never have again, but as the saying goes "tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
16th February, 2019

Elixirs of Nature : Swietenia by Body Shop

This smells like flowers dipped in honey. I get the orange blossom most prominently which I would normally detest in a fragrance, but in here combined with the density of the sweet notes it seems more grounded and I really enjoy it. I must stress again that it is a sweet floral but not to the point of being overbearing. Considering what I paid for this at Marshall's, it performs very well with moderate projection and better longevity.

There isn't much more to say on this little beauty, except that it's mostly linear and if you don't like how it smells in the bottle it isn't going to change much on the skin. And considering that the two most prominent notes are orange blossom and honey, I begin to wonder if this was meant to be a dupe for Elie Saab... (haven't tested to confirm).

If you like honey and florals, you really can't go wrong with this inexpensive pick me up.
16th February, 2019

Pink Sugar by Aquolina

My bottle of this scent is almost 5 years old, and seems to have gotten better with age. When I first bought this perfume I couldn't smell anything besides burning licorice/sugar. It was super strong and I got so many compliments but I just never loved the scent on me. Now that I am at the bottom of my bottle (and the liquid has gone from clear to yellow to almost orange) the scent has started to change. Rather than notes going off, it seems to have developed more complexity. I now get the red fruits and berries, and a more creamy rather than burnt smell. Longevity and sillage do not seem to have suffered a bit. It is the strangest yet pleasantly surprising thing to happen in my collection. I didn't think I would repurchase and if I did, I wanted to buy a tiny bottle. Now I think I might purchase the largest size again and get a start on the aging process without having to worry about it going "off".

If you're curious about trying this scent and you are into very sweet smells, you owe it to yourself to buy this at least once, and it's so affordable if you do! I bought mine for half the price it goes for in retail, and I've seen it for even less. (more like a quarter!) There's a ton of body products available which I might be tempted to look into next.

06th February, 2019

Dubai Gold by Bond No. 9

I thought this fragrance would be a love as many others are from this house for me, and the notes sounded absolutely stunning. Unfortunately there is something in here that punches my nose in a sharp manner, and causes a urinous quality to radiate from my skin. If I hadn't seen the notes I would've blamed jasmine because that note can sometimes go a little animalic. Since it's not here I'm puzzled about what could be causing that smell but it may just be the blend overall. I can detect the saffron after a while, but that pee smell never leaves. Something in this is not working with my body chemistry.

A positive for someone who doesn't have this issue with the scent would be that it has good sillage. It is not a good thing for me though. I won't hold it against you, Bond.
06th February, 2019

Vanille Extasy by Montale

This is supposed to have lots of interesting notes in it such as ylang ylang and mahogany and even jasmine, with the obvious emphasis on vanilla. The only note I truly smell is a cheap apricot (also listed). Almost no vanilla to speak of, and what is there is not the kind of vanilla I'd expect from a high quality niche house. It smelled like one of the cheap fragrances I wore in high school. It smells like something Bath & Body Works would release as a limited edition. Sillage and longevity were decent but not as intense as I'd expected, and fortunately for myself I was able to forget I was even wearing it after a few hours.

Scent is subjective and I understand that what smells cheap on me might not smell like that on someone else but I was taken aback at how generic this smelled, and when I remember how much this house charges for it's fragrances I was actually almost a little offended. Now I've heard lots of great things about the house of Montale, but after this release I'm a little disappointed. I have a few more samples from them but my patience is already wearing thin.

I'm giving this a neutral rating overall because although I'm extremely disappointed by the quality of the scent, it doesn't smell bad. But I would never recommend this to anyone. For a scent that's similar to this, but in my opinion a little better at a much lower price, I would recommend Coty Exclamation. That's right, Coty. Make a trip to your closest drugstore and save yourself at least $150 bucks (USD)

06th February, 2019