Perfume Reviews

Reviews by kumquat

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Total Reviews: 75

Djedi by Guerlain

Notes- bergamot, aldehyde, lily of the valley, rose, jasmine, orris, vetiver, civet, musk, oakmoss, amber , Black amber

This review is for the 1996 reissue. While it has been criticized for its lack of civit, I have added a drop of civit / 5 ml of juice (parfum) with excellent results. It is chiefly a sweet hay scent. The civit brings forward the vetiver and adds a leathery, earthy creaminess. Meanwhile the floral undertones weave a subtle web throughout. This is heady, amber with a leather finish. After it has mellowed there is a cement note that pervades. Cool and stony, almost yeasty, like baking bread in an ancient stone kitchen.

Deep, dark and haunting. The rose and Vetiver cling for hours. Overall, a golden sensation, like autumn.
06th June, 2016

Oxiana by Profumum

A most intriguing scent due to the intense myrrh note. I'm reminded of "golden, magical mushrooms". Musky and earthy, this one has the scent of the forest floor and the fairies that flit among the flowers. I wish more people would try this and weigh in with their opinion. I, personally enjoy this dusky, off-beat scent very much but you must try it for yourself. It's all about the myrrh.
25th April, 2016

Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

Plastic and potentially poisonous paradox. The main notes that grab at the throat appear to be the artificial orchid and honeysuckle, both of which are deal-breakers for me as they are rarely appealing in a scent. Here they are used in a heavy-handed way in combination with many other artificial-smelling notes. The grapefruit note is especially sour. "Eden Mist Accord"? I shudder to think what chemical concoction that represents. All in all; a dizzying swirl of sweet and sour.

LT doesn't state whether he tested the EDT or the supposedly superior EDP. One can only surmise it was the EDP because the glowing review in 'The Guide' makes no sense otherwise. Why the company has discontinued the EDP and now only offers the inferior EDT is another mystery. Although, apparently the EDP is out there on the Internet. This one (EDT) was a scrubber for me. It's the sort of perfume that gives perfume a bad reputation. Whatever you do, don't wear it to dinner. An appetite killer.
13th April, 2016
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Aleksandr by Arquiste

Neroli leading into fresh, greenish leather. Cozy and great for the gentleman.
22nd March, 2016

Divin'enfant by Etat Libre d'Orange

Sweet Amber and musk. To be honest, I mistook the orange blossom for heliotrope. There is a sweetness in the opening that mimics heliotrope. Then it settles down to a soft amber. Not amazing but not unlikable.
22nd March, 2016

Les Indes Galantes by MDCI

Although there is no amber listed, that is the overall effect of this satisfying scent. Fairly linear, it begins in the almond range but moves into benzoin/Labdanum territory where it stays and gives a steady, if orangey impression of amber. This is laced with sweet spices also which puts it in the oriental category. Rich and sultry.
22nd March, 2016

Black III by AJ Arabia

A respectable green chypre that has a distinctive 'barbershop aspect'. It comes on strong and minty but mossy, then the vanilla comes in. I'm enjoying this for its green/woodiness and I think I'd enjoy it on a man. It's just a little too masculine for me, however. It's the sandalwood here that I'm picking up on, I realized. This is a very good sandalwood but that's what gives it that barbershop effect.
21st March, 2016 (last edited: 20th March, 2016)

Black I by AJ Arabia

I liked this quite a lot. Must have been the cedar and whatever spices- possibly Labdanum are there. My only concern was a distinct lack of throw. I could only smell it by putting my nose directly on the sample area. Otherwise, a very pleasant, even sassy, spicy scent. And very expensive for such little silage (in a parfum, yet).
20th March, 2016

Orientalissimo / Attar Maulana by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

This heady oriental floral features rose, jasmine, tuberose, castoreum, styrax, leather and vanilla. The tuberose is prominent and sweet underscored by the animalic castoreum and the amber/woody styrax. The layers of rose and jasmine are woven throughout adding a depth to the "oriental" effect. While this is listed as unisex, it definitely leans floral and feminine unless you have a tolerance for rich, sweet flowery scents, this may not be your thing. It must be the "attar" that makes this scent especially powerful compared to many other of these Profumo offerings which tend to have gentle, close-to-the-skin silage. This one is tenacious and bossy, so be prepared.
29th January, 2016

Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills

Everything but the kitchen sink (florals). The kicker being massive ylang-ylang and gardenia heightened with sandalwood and vanilla, also overloaded. Big hair and shoulder pads are a must. Famous for making small spaces intolerable. Perfumes like this give perfume a bad reputation.
22nd October, 2015

Iris 39 by Le Labo

A pleasantly "dusty" Iris that has an enveloping effect. The opening is somewhat dry and sharp, sort of aldehydic. If you have the oil version this is not evident- just creamy Iris, musk and violet. All in all, an iris of top quality. Subtle, regal- not to be missed.
23rd September, 2015

1872 for Women by Clive Christian

At first there is a strong soapy scent mixed with what smells like vetiver, though none is listed.
Per The Perfumed Court, here are CC 1872's notes: bergamot, tangerine, lemon, pineapple jasmine, lily of the valley, rose de mai, jasmine, orchid, cedarwood, sandalwood and patchouli.

Sourness pervades, followed 30 min later by a distinct whiff of Rose de Mai. This is the highlight of the all too brief perfume. After an hour I couldn't smell anything at all, save for a smidgen of pineapple.
18th September, 2015

Jil Sander No. 4 by Jil Sander

A dark, sweet, amber oriental floral. It opens with powerful sweet blast of tuberose. Within 20-30 minutes the scent gains depth as rose and Jasmine step up. This is a glorious old-style big-shoulder pad scent from the 1990's. A great example of its kind and still very pleasant, not nasty. Well-blended.
15th September, 2015
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Vol d'Hirondelle by LM Parfums

Light, lovely lemon. So this is what Hesperide is all about! I also get the Jasmine, mandarine, vetiver and musk. This is so light but snappy and crisp. Really almost a 'solar' quality, if that makes sense. I am reminded of Hermes- Eau de Merveilles. This has real potential as a keeper. I think a bigger spray might be required as silage is light.
09th September, 2015

Montforte 2 by Mazzolari

Light, fresh, sparkling and feminine floral. The orange and Jasmine combine perfectly to create a tangy, slightly sweet aura. Not powdery. I'm surprised there are no aldehydes listed as the effect is effervescent. Reccomended.
04th September, 2015

Noir de Noir by Tom Ford

Notes: saffron, truffle, crocus, rose, patchouli, tree moss, oud, vanilla. While this scent goes through a strident, awkward stage to start (saffron?) it shortly mellows to a woody rose that is hard to beat. The vanilla is so soft here and is beautifully blended with the patchouli that it gives an almost gourmand sensation with spices. Really charming. Good silage.
16th July, 2015

Madame Carven by Carven

Dark, earthy, old-school chypre. This must have castoreum and oak moss a plenty. It is not for the faint of heart. It does have that big-shoulder-pad vibe. A 'bosomy' floral with chutzpah, leather and that glorious old-fashioned glow.
12th June, 2015

Murasaki by Shiseido

The version I have is mainly galbanum and Lilly-of-the-valley. A spicy, green chypre. You just don't find these anymore. Light and spring-like even though it is tenacious and has great silage for an EDT.
17th February, 2015

Costa Mediterranea by I Profumi di Firenze

A great traditional fresh 'cologne' for those who possibly are disappointed in the re-formulation of 'Acqua di Colonia Asoluta'. I very much like the bergamot and Sicilian Lemon combination here. Tangy, tart and dry Vetiver. Great for a man in summer. What's not to like?
26th August, 2014

French Cancan by Caron

I must preface this review with a caveat; there are two versions of this juice. An American import and one made in France for sale only in Europe. I first sampled the American version in New York around 2006. It smelled like a strong amber and dead flowers. Then a year or so later, I discovered that only potable alcohol was used in European perfume- due to antiquated laws reaching back to Prohibition Era. US imports use cheaper, harsher denatured alcohol.This may sometimes affect the smell of the perfume. I got the idea to order 'French CanCan' based solely on the notes. I felt that it might be better than the sample I had had in New York.

I was not disappointed! The French version is a creamy and rich floral in which each note seems to jump forward. Amber and sandalwood support rose, violet, Lily-of-the-valley and jasmine- and all nearly simultaneously. I used to think there was heliotrope here but it's not listed. This is just a glorious floral that's not too sweet. It's dignified, yet joyful. The oak moss is still lovely, too even with every body breathing down their necks- this is still a chypre. As you can tell, I'm a fan of the Parisian juice- parfum. I guess the overall effect is spicy- carnation like, but it's more violet and jasmine, too. And rose- don't forget the rose! I feel dizzy.
30th June, 2014 (last edited: 13th October, 2015)

Labdanum 18 / Ciste 18 by Le Labo

Warm, woody spicy at first. I admit, I don't know laudanum from olibanum. This smells quite linear to me. Sadly, within an hour it turns to Play Dough on me. I guess I can live without it although it starts out nice enough.
24th June, 2014

Guerlinade by Guerlain

A light, yet insistent rendition of lilac. I am reminded of Parure without the headiness. This is like a quiet veil. As beautiful and similar to any lilac I have yet to try. Just about perfect. Airy, possibly powdery but not baby powder, this is the real deal. A true soliflore of distinction. Even slightly green and citrus which prevents it from being too sweet to my nose. Sadly, this is discontinued and rare as hen's teeth. Rich and delightful as the name implies.
20th June, 2014

Wit by Delrae

Charming jasmine and mimosa come forward tempered by the green Mandarine and lemon opening. Fresh, white floral- dignified but playful. I usually don't care for mimosa but here it takes it up a notch to a slightly edgier space. Without it, it would be a little too creamy and predictable. This is definitely sweet, but not powdery. Tangy and vanilla musk keep the whole composition precise and spring-like.
26th May, 2014

Bois Oriental by Serge Lutens

A sensuous, boozy tapestry. Great silage and tenacity. Overall woody (cedar) and gourmand vanilla dominate although the violet and peach are cleverly blended to add a juicy, fruity aspect. This gets under the skin and in the sinuses like no other scent I know. Notes are; violet, peach, plum, rose, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, musk, Atlas cedarwood, and vanilla. It is available from Les Salons du Palais Royal. Woods and vodka- what more can I say?
18th May, 2014

Cuir Beluga by Guerlain

I'm surprised there are few mentions of the heliotrope here. I get a strong wave at the start and amber as well. This feels like a safer version of L'Heure Bleue. Which could come in handy since LHB can get a bit intense for the uninitiated and is difficult to wear when you're out and about. There is definitely vanilla, too. The mandarine I'll take on faith, since I can't pick it out. But over the course of the fragrance the heliotrope and amber amplify and combine in a symphonic orgy. It is a joy!
05th May, 2014

Véga by Guerlain

Well-made and elegant, this one is just not my style. Possibly the cassia note is the deal-breaker. There is an overall powdery accord (rose and ylang-ylang) that just overwhelms me. This is way too "perfumey" for me. I need something less frilly, more tweedy. Bring back 'Sous les Vent'!
03rd May, 2014

Savoir by Ajne

Green, rich and mossy chypre. Why this one has remained under the radar is anybody's guess. I adore mine!
24th April, 2014

Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Rose (absolue) stronger, evidently, plus pepper, Aoud and a powerful blast of patchouli, isn't sitting well with me. It has an oddly camphourous effect overall. I wonder if this is better suited for male chemistry. It just isn't working with mine and I keep getting soapy wafts along with peppery roses. A headache and a scrubber.
20th April, 2014

Signature Collection : Nuit Noire by Mona di Orio

Contrary to popular belief, there is no civit in this perfume. There is a sweetened leather with orange up top. Very creamy and dark. You can definitely get tuberose along with amber here. I find it comforting and luxurious. Too bad Turin only tested on paper strips. This one needs to warm up and meld with the human skin. Glad I bought a back-up.
12th April, 2014

Ambra by Etro

Smooth, vanillic, golden; this is my holy grail amber. I searched through countless ambers and found it. I have an old, vintage bottle which is very intense and superb. Just beautiful.
29th March, 2014