Smells like summer! This is a fun, sunny, lightly green & mostly "white flowers" fragrance. I enjoy it more that I thought I would as white flowers tend to bore me. Tahitian Gardenia never gets too prim or soapy, and is not sweet. It does have a very brief green-sap gardenia presence at the opening with some very light citrus - probably bergamot, maybe a dash of petitgrain, but it mostly burns down do a nice, linear, neutral jasmine - green - soft orange blossom thing with just a bit of LOTV. The drydown gets a bit of that generic fragrance musk, but overall it keeps its summery white flowers aroma for a long time. It is very similar to the Badgley Mischka Fleurs de Nuit and also the Calypso Christianne Celle Chevrefuille, both of which have a little more presence and complexity. The price is pretty unbeatable at $26 a bottle or less - a cheap and fun splurge. The solid perfume and body butter smell good too.
Rose Barbare is simply gorgeous. You can sense the nod to Guerlain's Nahema, but in a modern format with a dark velvet cloak of patchouli and mossy accords to coddle the honey-rose. It is definitely unisex. The Guerlain connection is obvious and respectable. B-u-u-u-u-t I smell something more close in style, wear, and overall smell to this dark rose: a VERY close association to the sadly discontinued L'Arte di Gucci. Yes, if you love L'Arte and lament is passing, or even if you have never smelled it/owned it and wished you had, Rose Barbare is your best option and it is glorious in it's own right. I am fortunate to have about 1 oz of L'Arte di Gucci edt and it is breathtakingly gorgeous. Rose Barbare instantly reminds me of the luscious, wet, "round", intense rose, and the sensual warm honey-patchouli base. The patchouli is completely similar, as are the use of other "dark" notes. There are occasional breaths of sweetness from Rose Barbare that are not in L'AdG, but they are absolutely sisters separated at birth. Rose Barbare wears very smooth, very radiant, very consistently with lots of beautiful velvety rose, lots of smooth patchouli and moss notes, all seemlessly blended. It is warm and sensuous, and almost as three dimensional as Nahema. But one look of Rose Barbare in the mirror shows L'Arte di Gucci's ghost staring right back. Try Rose Barbare-- it is a beautifully done, sensuous dark rose, but its clear resemblance to L'Arte di Gucci should be acknowledged.
I started wearing MB many years ago when it first came out and when I was living in Portland OR. The fragrance always makes me think of beautiful sunny PAC NW summers... MB is supremely wearable, sunny, happy "classic" style aldehyde floral with a wonderfully warm base. I do smell the connection to No 5 which does indeed seem uptight in comparison. And I love No 5 in perfume form, and also No 5 eau Premier. MB is kissing cousins to the relatively sunny and more floral No 5 eau Premier. MB is like No 5 took a villa in Italy for the summer, broke out the sundress, forgot the sunscreen, and ran around barefoot in an ancient garden.
The opening is a burst of sunny aldhydes, citrus, and bergamot. There is definitely a prominent herbal characteristic in the development which gives the fragrance an outdoorsy, natural feeling - probably the geranium, but I swear there is a dash of lavender in there too. The fragrance develops over many hours - it lasts forever - and the sillage is perfect. The dry down is a long slow descent into plush warm vanilla and woods and it really is great. The heart and base are so "dry" and well blended it is hard to pick apart - it just becomes radiant and warmer as time passes. MB is the perfect fragrance - it is wonderful and slightly different during each of its stages of development. It is definitely there and very cheery. It is a beautiful composition.
I highly recommend it to aldehyde lovers and lovers of classic style fragrances. It would be a great gateway aldehyde for those who have troubles with aldehydes in general and think they are too cold. MB shows how aldehydes can certainly be warm and amp up a fragrance. I liked it many years before I got over my fear of aldehydes, not realizing how aldehydic it was, and well before I discovered my love for No 5 parfum which just happened relatively recently for me. And the wonderful floral-herbal composition reminds me of some restrained, natural Goutals. If someone poured this into a Goutal bottle, no one would be surprised how beautiful it smells.
UZdR is a sparkling rose & citrus scent. A little bit on the sweet side, but mostly effervescent and fun. The opening starts with a burst of lemon citrus, and eventually the lemon moves away to a calm background note - maybe a little sugary at this point as limoncello is sugary. The rose is present throughout the development - a soft light sweet rose - and is thoroughly delightful. A tea accord is definitely present in the middle of development and sticks around for the most part well into the drydown. The lasting power is about medium 2-3 hours, and it has light sillage. It is a joy to reapply, and it is one of those fragrances (as with an eau de cologne) when you can apply liberally and still enjoy - you won't bowl anyone over with Zeste de Rose. Just delightful. It is nice to wear a light citrus-floral that doesn't descend into the usual bag of tricks - no aromachem-musk drydown here.
Ninfeo Mio is everything I've ever looked for in a cologne/fougere or even a "green" floral, and I just adore green florals. It is another classic, naturalistic, understated masterpiece from Annick Goutal. It is just breathtaking, and I was all prepared to hate it since I normally think boxwood smells like cat pee, and it is present, but the entire composition is so well balanced and tempered, that the boxwood accord only plays one part in a symphony of naturalistic garden-like notes and accords.
The opening has a tart citrus cologne style opening that smells like a Goutal: Hadrien, Mandragore, Les Nuits d'Hadrien all have it, so you know you are smelling a Goutal right away. The use of petitgrain is especially refreshing for tying the lemon citrus to the other dry green woody notes taken from a dark green "ivy" like aroma and boxwood. Aftter the delightful citrus/cologne opening, the fragrance remains very well balanced between the dry green (ivy, boxwood), aromatic lavender, and wet milky accords (fig and musks). I swear there are even breaths of some orris, green violet leaf, and even orange blossom to round out the composition, adding a perpetual feeling of very fresh, dewy air. The lemon, lavender and galbanum all dance around each other in a swirl of very naturalistic aromatic accords, and all of them play equal parts which keep Ninfeo Mio from getting too much of any one. The galbanum is very well handled in Ninfeo Mio – it never brings that whallop of heavy green galbanum is normally used for. It just adds a feeling of everlasting, “fresh cut” green to the composition. Ninfeo Mio maintains a transparency and variety such as you would indeed smell if you were outside in a vast garden with many fresh, natural aromas. The light, transparent touches of florals here and there give Ninfeo Mio a sparkling attitude and keep the woods, lavender, galbanum, and fig from smelling heavy or linear. There are no cloyingly sweet or synthetic musks to content with – Ninfeo Mio is a true representation of nature. It is like taking a breath of fresh air in a large, old, dewy garden, just as the image of the marketing conjures. I highly recommend testing this. I can't really say what else it smells like as I've never smelled anything like it. However, the use of the dewy hay accord in Ninfeo Mio is similar to the same in Eau de Ciel which overall has the aroma of a fresh dewy aromatic meadow.
Smells to me a little bit of the creamy depth of Habanita (but no smoke), and a little bit of the sunny cheer of Jardin sur le Nil (but no citrus)... Vetiver always jumps right out at me, so Timbuktu is mostly very green vetiver to me with a nice dash of florals and woods to keep it from being boring. It is both sheer and deep at the same time with all the warmth brought on with the well balanced woods and incense. The vetiver is wonderfully done - the entire fragrance really lasts for many hours with medium warm sillage. The development gets a bit linear at the end, but still great. I think this could be worn all year round, and absolutely unisex. It smells fantastic!
06th January, 2010 (last edited: 26th March, 2010)
I am very impressed with the overall quality, structure and beauty of Coromandel. It is just stunning. I can see other's comparison to the original Prada for women, though Coromandel is much ligher on its toes and is a much softer, more elegant composition. The richness of the spices and patchouli is just simply perfection. Coromandel is dry and dusty, and yet warm and spicy at the same time. It never gets clausterphobic as other major patchouli fragrances. Definitely unisex, very classy and stunning, elegant yet cozy. It keeps good company with other major patchouli orientals such as Frederic Malle's Noir Epices, and indeed, the sheer shimmering frankincense and liquory body reminds me very much of Amouage Lyric for Women. It smells completely different, but it gives me the same vast, warm, aromatic and expansive feeling I get when I wear Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain. Definitely my favorite of all the Les Exclusifs. Definitely worth testing for patchouli lovers.
16th December, 2009 (last edited: 26th March, 2010)
Noir Epices is spectacularly gorgeous. I rank it now waa-ay up on my list of HG's with Nahema, Lyric Woman, vintage Magie Noire, Mitsouko parfum, etc.... Noir Epices is simply elegant, sophisticated, rich, incredibly well done fragrance. It opens for me with very rich aldehydes, geranium, and honeyed rose notes. I don't get much of the orange... but then an amazing aroma of dense, rich spices -- especially the nutmeg and cinnamon -- partners up with the rose, buttery sandalwood, and patchouli drydown. It is amazing stuff. Definitely unisex. Noir Epices is tremendous for cool weather especially. Anyone who has enjoyed something like Chanel's Coco or even Rose en Noir by Miller Harris should try Noir Epices.
Mitsouko is stunning. I won't bother repeating what everyone else has already said. Please do yourself a favor and don't even bother to test the edt version which is kind of screechy and hard to take. Go right for the edp or the parfum extrait if you want to smell the most stunning, timeless, complex and yet simple fragrance that was ever created. It is soft, sophisticated, elegant and somehow natural - like soft leather and shimmering golden leaves in the fall. It took a while for me to go head over heels for Mitsouko, but it was worth the wait. I made the mistake of testing the edt first. Once I smelled the edp on my skin I was a goner.
Amazone is really classy stuff! It smells like Givenchy III, Chanel No 19, Chanel Pour Monsieur, Lancome's Climat, Guerlain's Chamade and PdN's Temps d'Une Fete all got together, decided to combine the best of all their parts, and this is the fantastic result: Green, smooth, utterly impeccable, classy floral/green-chypre. Amazone is absolutely unisex and one of those anytime, anyplace go-to "white shirt" fragrances. I especially like the earthy, almost smokey oakmoss and vetiver that grounds it more than its more ethereal & floral cousins. It has a late summer "meadow & dried leaves" accord that is fantastic. A must-try for green chypre lovers.
Theorema is the most chic, sophisticated, almost restrained and yet sensual oriental. It is a gorgeous composition of orange, vanilla, spices and woods. I primarily get the rich and warm woods on my skin paired with the lighter and slightly sweet orange-vanilla accord. The opening is lush and warm, and the dry down is very sensual and stays close to the skin. Theorema is a very confident, intelligent oriental, absolutely wonderful stuff that is just as fitting to the board room as an elegant black tie affair. It speaks to the person wearing it very much. I say "person" as I think that a man could easily wear Theorema too - it is so well blended, classy and warm. There is nothing showy about Theorema - it is very self-possessed. There is nothing silly about this composition. Find it where you can and wear it with lots of pleasure. Anyone who enjoys the boisterous Badgley Mischka, the exuberant Mauboussin, the sensual orange of Fath de Fath, the woody-vanilla Organza Indecence, or the extreme drydown of the sensual DK Chaos would enjoy Theorema from top to bottom.
The original rose fragrance to end all rose fragrances! Who didn't wear this in the 80s? It still holds its own as a respectable, very affordable, and very tenacious rose soliflore. It is one of the very few decent and fresh rose florals that can stand up to miserably hot and humid weather. Tea Rose has impressive staying power, and smells of a garden fresh hybrid tea rose with nice green notes. Tea Rose does not dry down to an annoying sweet or musk base as so many other rose blends do. There are no discernable spices or woods. It is just rose rose rose, and very linear. Tea Rose has massive sillage, so only a wee bit is necessary, and it lasts forever. One $13 bottle of this would last you the rest of your life! A classic fragrance bargain and a must try for major rose lovers.
A tremendously pleasant vanilla-fruit oriental that is light as gossamer but with a rich warm woodsy spicy base that never becomes cloying or too simple. Very very well done - more interesting than Givenchy Organza Indecence, and leagues lighter than the relatively heavy yet pleasant Badgley Mischka. If you enjoy rich vanillas but find even well done vanillas too boring and want something lighter than Badgley Mischka this one deserves serious attention. It is just a joy to wear, and could be worn all year round because of it's sheer nature. An excellent all around oriental.
I don't want to totally pan this fragrance because I'm sure it smells great on some people. But for me it had too much of a sweet "red fruit" fragrance like strong pomegranates, and unfortunately rather than being zesty, just smelled like nice air freshener. You can tell though that they used nice quality source materials. This must be delightful for some people, and I dare say even a good masculine for the right guy who could pull it off due to the unisex soap accord. I strongly advise to test first.
This smelled horrible to me - a sour mish-mash of coffee and spice cabinet. It could be that I am anosmic to a sweet musk (the vanilla musk?) in it that would smooth it out. I definitely recommend testing this one.
If I had never seen the bottle or read the marketing for this fragrance, this is what I would say about it: Black is L'Heure Bleue lacking the florals and moody romanticism, but with an obstinant, self-assured voice....BB reminds me very much of my favorite parts of L'Heure Bleue without all the tricky stuff that sometimes makes it hard to wear. I think that Black is definitely unisex and is a well done powdery tea fragrance with a sweet powdery amber and vanilla drydown. I smell something a little like anise in there too. And rather than tar or rubber, what I smell is like a dry spice that is heated up to the point of being on fire - just before it starts to burn - actually the smell of something just about to burn. I think that makes it a little sexy underneath all the simplicity of notes. It is not as aggressive as the marketing and packaging would have you imagine.
Love's Baby Soft is fun, simple, pretty and a big bargain. Anyone who doesn't see the beauty in this one has no sense of humor...When I was 10, LBS set me on the path to all my favorite powders that are leagues more sophisticated. LBS is great for what it is.
Cristalle eau Verte is an intensely soapy green floral that only magnifies it's presence with time. It is not as sophisticated as I would have expected from Chanel, and not as brilliant a re-working as the No 5 eau Premier. Cristalle eau Verte is not pleasant to wear - maybe it's just not for me. I'd take the original Cristalle (even with it's swampy leather drydown) over eau Verte any day because the original Cristalle has tons of personality and character, especially in the magnificent opening. Just skip it altogether and stock up on the original Cristalle or buy some vintage Chanel No 19 or Parfums de Nicolai Temps d'Une Fete instead.
This fragrance flattened out on me very quickly after an initial burst of bracing bergamot and citrus - it reminds me very much of Annick Goutal's Les Nuites d'Hadrien which I also had trouble wearing. The cedar is tricky on me. I recommend testing this one first....
I completely agree with Caltha's review - total headshop. Though for me it is not so unbearable -- it is rich and deep with an excellent jasmine in the middle. The rich heady jasmine reminds me very much of the jasmine in Annick Goutal's Songes even though in all other respects the fragrance is completely different. This fragrance is very well done for what it is and deserves to be tested - and it is nothing like L'Air which is breathtaking. Maroc has a place, like many, in my overall fragrance wardrobe as something I would wear once in a while for a particular mood. It has a lot of atmosphere and personality. Whereas the "heashop incense" is a thinner, cheaper version of exotic places, Maroc has a rich, deep, full aspect of all the roses, spices, jasmine, patchouli, etc., that makes me imagine I've just arrived at some old, closed up spice shop in Tunisia. I mostly smell dried roses, jasmine, and dark patchouli in the manner as Bal a Versailles but without the civet and other skanky notes. The jasmine in the heart notes is particularly beautiful, and the patchouli is dark in the dry down, but very pleasant compared to the cleaned up version of patchouli finding its way into many current fragrances. I give this a thumbs up though because it is well done for all of what otherwise is imitated in cheaper hippie products. It needs to be worn with confidence, and I say for a man who thinks he can wear Mitsouko, Voleur de Roses, Nahema, etc, go for it - a judiciously applied amount would be great on a man.
mb02 is a lovely, if not fleeting, floral that smells very much like equal parts Apres L'Ondee and YSL Paris, with a nice dash of crushed pepper. Definitely worth exploring.
hb01 opens with gorgeous floral accords, but is hindered by something a bit sour and "day old" in the middle and base notes, which must be cumin because sometimes I think it smells like leftover Mexican food. The dry down morphs the fragrance into something that smells like a men's fragrance...but still with that persistent sour note.
eo01 is a soft, lovely comfort scent that smells a lot like nutmeg and rice pudding. It is very pretty while it lasts, which isn't long.
Update: Many months later I've revisited this and appreciate the delicate beauty of the fragrance. I did before think it smelled like a pretty standard, but nice, vanilla comfort fragrance. That is before I began to realize that most pretty vanilla fragrances mostly smell like very nice candles or cake batter, even the well done Organza Indecence. eo01 actually has many more nuances to it, and to my nose, maintains a nice dry powdery aspect that keeps it from being too cloying or foody. After falling hard these last few months for fragrances like AT L'Air du Desert Marocain and Mauboussin, even PdN Sacrebleue (without the florals), I can see that I totally underestimated eo01. It even reminds me very subltly of the discontinued L'Artisan Orchide Blanche, but not so rich or sweet, as eo01 has a bit of that very sophisticated and lovely "vanilla orchid" powderiness of OB, without the cold and heavy "cream". Lovers of OB should sample eo01 as it may satisfy that lovely sophisticated vanilla scent. I highly recommend this to vanilla lovers (even those like me who are generally bored by vanillas) who want something with a bit of subtle complexity, but something that wears more like gossamer than thick wool or cake batter.
I would have given this 5 stars, but for lasting power, so I just give 4 stars.
13th May, 2009 (last edited: 14th October, 2009)
A nice, well done light spices and sweet vanilla fragrance...like other nice, well done light spices and sweet vanilla fragrances.
This fragrance is magnificent, but not always easier to wear. The structure is opulent, rich, and very sophisticated -- a less is more approach is good. The opening florals are very dense and almost make you want to run away from it, but the drydown is magnificent, rich, warm and ambery. It is absolutely worth the wait, and it lasts forever. I highly recommend everyone test this at least once to know what a stunning composition it is. And while it doesn't smell anything alike these others, it is of the same dense, classic orientals as Boucheron Femme, Coco Chanel, and the original Salvador Dali fragrance.
This is a very nice and pretty orange blossom fragrance - light, a wee bit sweet, with a hint of fresh flowers and limoncello like accords, with a light vanilla base. A very nice floral orange blossom for the price point. Not as rich as something like Dilmun and not as traditional and soapy as Nocturnes. A modern feminine orange blossom that is very enjoyable to wear, and does indeed smell like fresh orange blossoms without any actual madarin or orange juice accords to deepen it. It's a real mood lifter too. I highly recommend it for those seeking orange blossoms that don't veer into the direction of colognes.
Very rich and dry with just a hint of "aged wood" to it. It maintains a dry raspy quality and performs beautifully with excellent sillage and drydown. It is a bit linear, as one expects from an essence that may be blended. However, woods always do well with development on the skin, and that can vary from person to person. It does well on its own, and would make an outstanding masculine - it's absolutely unisex. I recommend testing first.
Wild Lavender is an excellent, naturalistic lavender. It has good lasting strength. It falls more into the bracing category than the comforting category (in which Annick Goutal's eau de Lavande is more appropriate). It is indeed a bit wild - you can almost smell the fresh wind whipped air when you put it on. But it is not harsh or difficult to wear. A must try for lavender lovers.
The opening of Iris Poudre is one of the most beautiful fragrance openings ever - the powdery iris is just magnificent. However, after a bit there is an abrupt switch to the vanillic middle and base notes, which become less impressive, and a bit "cool" in tone. It is by no means awful, and is still a very beautiful fragrance, but the drydown leaves me a little disenchanted. Iris Poudre is like a gorgeous woman who looks amazing and comes on with huge amounts of charm, only to turn out to actually be kind of regular once you get to know her. I still think it is one of the better examples of this style and is a very worthwhile addition to anyone's fragrance wardrobe.
A very pretty, rich, warm vanilla with some spices and orange notes. If you can still find it, I recommend it for warm vanilla and spice lovers. It is nothing extraordinary, but it seems very modern considering when it was originally developed.