Perfume Reviews

Reviews by kumquat

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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
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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. While poisonous additives are added to the US imports and cheaper, harsher alcohol is used. 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

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 Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

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
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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

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

Geranium Bourbon by Miller Harris

This is a stunner. Too good, so of course, it is discontinued. The cassis or black currant is prominent as is the lemon-tinged geranium. A rosy glow is cast overall. Bright and uplifting, I'm so happy I have a bottle of this classic in my wardrobe. A floral for those who don't like sweet, gooey florals. This one is greener, more tangy.
22nd March, 2014

Invitation by Jean Patou

I believe this was the first in the 'Ma' Patou series. It seemed to me it should be his finest effort and so, though I could find no information on it, I bought it blind. I was not disappointed. (This is for the re issued parfum from the 1980's) It seems to be a tangerine or mandarine based chypre. The notes are lost to history. I detect bergamot, jasmine, labdanum, Oppoanax, Vetiver, oak moss, musk, vanilla, styrax, citrus notes; either mandarine or tangerine, carnation. The overall effect is a creamy and golden chypre with a musky vanilla finish. Elegant, warm and sassy.
21st March, 2014

Violette a Sydney by Laura Tonatto

This is the same as 'Eleanora Dusé'. It is a cool, candied blue-violet scent. So exquisite, it will make you cry. This is in the same style as 'Aprés L'Ondée'. The Iris is the floral type, not the root. The cedar gives it a slightly sweet woody tone. Heartbreaking! It is light in silage, but fun to reapply.
11th March, 2014

Vetiver by Mazzolari

Floral, grassy sandalwood. Has a soapy warm, golden appeal. Chypre-like. Unisex. So fresh and Spring-friendly. It makes you think of Spring or feel like you are sitting out on the patio. Lasts a long time and mellows nicely, too.
11th March, 2014

Eleonora Duse by Laura Tonatto

I loved this cool, violet scent so much I was heart-broken when I found it was a Special Limited Edition. Not to worry. They have re-issued it and are calling it 'Violette a Sydney'. I bought some and am quite sure it is the same juice. I have only been able, so far, to locate it on the Tonatto website, though. Sadly, as it is quite expensive. It is a glorious, blue-violet, though. Highly recommended.
11th March, 2014

Panthère de Cartier by Cartier

A juicy, dark tuberose. Not to be missed. Now, sadly discontinued. The parfum is definitely the way to go. If florals are not your thing, you won't dig this, but if you like an old-school, bosomy grown-up, out on the town, furs and high heels glamour scent, then, Hubba Hubba! This will make your heart race.
18th February, 2014

Oh, ooOoh ...oh by Miller et Bertaux

Harsh, grass-like substance. It must be the juniper that is dominant here. I really don't enjoy this in the least. A scrubber!
17th February, 2014

Delicious Closet Queen by Etat Libre d'Orange

This is a delightful surprise. Maybe it's the violet leaf accord, but I'm instantly drawn in and held by a soft, fruity leather. I don't have a distinct memory of the notes, but I found it charming, like playing outside in the wet grass of the summer nights.
13th February, 2014

Début by Delrae

I find this to be a fairly successful rendering of Lilly-of-the-valley. It is pleasantly sweet and green to my nose. It reminds me of springtime and great silage for such a delicate scent. Rather remarkable.
26th January, 2014

Rosae Mundi by Profumum

This is surprising as it contains mainly woods, spice and Vetiver, yet the opening is so much like a fresh jam or plum. And not overly-candied, either, this is a true rosy-chypre. I never thought I'd be saying that, but there it is. There is cedar, vetiver, and patchouli along with an exquisite tea rose. It has an overall greenish-floral vibe that is unusual in a rose scent. To my nose, roses tend to smell artificial and forced. Whereas this one feels fresh. As you may have guessed, I'm very impressed by this one. Worth a try.
17th January, 2014

Tulipano Nero by I Profumi di Firenze

Notes found on web: Rose, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, bitter orange, mandarin, bergamot, vanilla orchid, myrrh and vetiver.

I liked this well enough to buy it. A dark rose and Vetiver tapestry effect cleverly interwoven with other favorite notes of mine. Especially bitter orange, mandarine, myrrh, ylang ylang and bergamot. I find this dark and spicy. Aptly named. Great silage, too. No complaints.
03rd January, 2014

London Blooms Collection : White Lilac & Rhubarb by Jo Malone

I found the rhubarb note (at least I assume that's what it was) very distracting. It has a dull musty quality. Very vegetal, almost like something decomposing. I'm so glad I didn't buy this blind. The other thing I didn't care for was the opening which reminded me of toilet paper in the days before unscented was the norm.
20th September, 2012

Un Matin d'Orage Eau de Toilette by Annick Goutal

This is the most realistic gardenia scent I have ever encountered. A dry, gentle lightly powdery green gardenia that instantly takes me to a greenhouse or steamy tropical setting. It is supposed to be about a Japanese garden after a storm. I wouldn't know about that. I don't think they are big on gardenias. Bonsai trees, evergreens & sculptural elements as I understand. Nevertheless, it is a gorgeous hothouse experience and I have never enjoyed a gardenia scent before this. In fact, I usually avoid them. They are always too synthetic, overbearing & sweet for me. If you love the real thing, heightened with some dry powder for longevity, this is quite lovely. Perfect for spring. A good wedding scent, too.
27th January, 2011

Jubilation 25 by Amouage

Amazing throwback to chypres the way they used to be made. It must be the tarragon, something that is not in many frags I have tried. It imparts a golden rich herbal quality along with the usual suspects of floral & spices, I have absolutely no complaints. This is heady stuff and just gorgeous. I notice there is a reference here to L'Heure Bleu, but this is misleading as there is no heliotrope. And Jubilation is not sweet or even very floral. This is closer to a mossy chypre such as Balenciaga's Cialenga or vintage 'Cabochard' - just to compare, not exact you understand, but more in that vein, I feel. This is really pretty if you like a skin /herbal scent with golden highlights... that's the feeling it gives me when I put it on.
27th March, 2009