Reviews by pearlfingering

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    pearlfingering
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    Caprissimo by Carthusia

    There iis something very pleasant, musky yet clean about Caprissimo, which was originally a green chypre but is now a green floral aldehyde. It is powdery and reminiscent of violets and sorbet. The lemon leaf and myrrh accord fills your head and cools in the summer heat as effectively as a dip in the Mediterranean. Notes of osmanthus and blue jasmine are fruity, soft and indolic. It'is perfect for going out in the summer!

    10th June, 2011 (Last Edited: 01st June, 2012)

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    1000 by Jean Patou

    There is a shortage of sophisticated osmanthus perfumes. The soliflores are trendy now, but they always make the easy allusion to tea. 1000 is very oriental in the asian sense, even if it is a classical chypre. The song Hong Kong Garden by Siouxie and the Banshees comes to mind, Marie Antoinette soundtrack and everything. This is a dark, glamorous and exotic scent, certainly not accessible but pleasant. Although many people associate civet with old ladies, it is used exquisitely, giving this perfume great staying power and sillage. The osmanthus combined with the aldehydes and civet create a brandied peach accord. I really enjoy all the herbs in it, as well; cool, slightly medicinal with pronounced indoles.

    26 May, 2011

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    Vent Vert (original) by Pierre Balmain

    Vent Vert conjures spring, but not in the traditional sense of baby animals, bulb flowers and Easter parades. It is that small window of tolerable, damp chill before everyone carps about the heat incessantly. Therefore, Vent Vert is harsh like a cold rain blowing in your face. I smell old school lily of the valley bath cubes with a hefty dose of galbanum from the start. You can make out roses and lilac in the heart, but there is a skank note in it like pond sludge. The iconoclastic Germaine Cellier famously worked with chemical bases. This is meant to smell kinky. Ian Fleming loved this scent, and in Live and Let Die, voodoo queen Solitaire wore it. That makes perfect sense to me, because it is frigid, other worldly and clean. There is some nice civet in the base to off set this. It also smells really good in industrial areas, because you smell chemicals and cleaning products in it. There is rubber that reminds me of Bandit, which is the dominatrix, while Vent Vert is the naughty nurse.

    15 April, 2011

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    La Petite Robe Noire (original) by Guerlain

    Passing a cheerful goth girl on my way from the bank on a beautiful spring afternoon, I caught a whiff of this recent Guerlain perfume and was impressed. I was surprised it was Guerlain, actually. Many reviews say this was a Chanel rip off Maybe the marketing was, but I think Guerlain was going for more of a Wednesday Adams effect. My impression was this was a new Lolita Lempicka, because the herbal licorice gourmand trick is well done. La Petite Robe Noire lists lemon in the ingredients. I haven't smelled it sprayed, but that note is probably short-lived. Fresh, musky apples is what made me stop the girl wearing this. It was like some Hungarian peasant dance where the girl keeps an apple in under her arm and gives it to the boy she likes best, or like Snow White. Based on the bottle, this is what I expected the original Lolita Lempicka to smell like. But I guessed many of the notes correctly and should have known this was Guerlain: anise, damascones, heliotrope, musk and vanilla. It's a good fruity floral, but it's a tired genre.

    11th April, 2011

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    Better than Cool Water, but you pay for it.

    20th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 April, 2011)

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    Fleur de Narcisse by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Having read mixed reviews on this, I really like it. I have a wood-burning stove in my loft, so many people say I always smell like incense. Therefore, cool and aquatic scents don't work out on my skin that already smells buttery. Violet and narcissus are my two favorite flowers. This one smells great on me, and it has greater longevity than many L'Artisan perfumes. There is a leathery, sweaty smell, but it's gorgeous.

    23 February, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 April, 2011)

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    Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Remember when McDonald's did that McDLT? The hot stayed hot, and the cool stayed cool, both came in a cardboard box that you folded in half to assemble the sandwich? That's what Geranium Pour Monsieur does, which smells nothing like geraniums, btw, but gives a good impression. It is a comical sketch of masculinity, not for women at all. First you have an overpowering toothpaste smell, then a lemony green note appears, and then a licorice note that becomes very black, a smell like Jagermeister. It's a strong Good and Plenty smell that is supposed to be an aphrodisiac for the ladies. I enjoyed it, because it has cheerful associations. As that aspect fades, there is a Red Hot phase that gives way a strong cedar smell. The drydown lasts the longest, and it's pleasant. There is nothing offensive about this fragrance, because it seems obsessed with good hygiene. The name connotes an urbane gentleman, a metrosexual dandy. Monsieur certainly freshens up and fusses at his dressing table, but he's a man after all. More geranium would have been nice.

    07 February, 2011

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    Le De by Givenchy

    For someone who bragged about using the Rothschild's bathroom, Luca Turin's snobbery failed him when he reviewed Le De, which is a reference to the particle of nobility in Hubert de Givenchy's name. He might not like classic florals, but the astronomical sums fetched by vintage Couer Joie on eBay means many women do! For the record, Bette Davis didn't wear butch leather fragrances, but this gorgeous romantic masterpiece. Turin was right that there are "scads of raspy indole," so the critic's instincts aren't so off here. But rather than a very soft mattress, the effect here is more like the sparkling bubbles in a luxurious bath. Another comment pointed out the astringency of violets, and that is correct. Every ingredient here is perfectly in place and effected in aquarelle touches, like an Impressionist painting or the way set designers construct backdrops with several sheer panels and colored gels over the lights behind them. The reissue, like many Givenchy perfumes, is perfect.

    19 January, 2011 (Last Edited: 04 February, 2011)

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    Le Temps d'Une Fête by Nicolaï

    This is my signature scent. I love narcissus in a perfume, and Chamade didn't quite do it for me, as lovely as it is. The Guerlain base is too sweet for my taste. There is the bitter galbanum up front that I loved in the original Vent Vert and Deneuve. But the labyrinthine complexity of this scent with seemingly no beginning or end is the mark of a truly great perfume and an unforgettable party.

    11th January, 2011

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    White Ginger by Royal Hawaiian Perfumes

    This is a fun little eau de cologne for the summertime that I use to refresh my white floral perfume. It has a nice cooling effect and a lovely spicy scent that is like tuberose and Florida water. My bottle came from eBay in a darling green and white box with a pink plastic lei inside, and I adore the stuff!

    11th January, 2011

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    Datura Noir by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This would be great for a Brazillian beauty with a naughty streak. It will invite intense admiration from the opposite sex, if not outright groping. It smells more like Spring Break than Salem witches or pychotropic shamans, which is why I didn't buy it. The tuberose and heliotrope are prominent. To my nose, latex condoms, rum and cokes and sex-stained bed sheets. To really pull this off, wear it with white eyelet lace, or people will just assume you don't shower after lovemaking.

    29 December, 2010

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    Miss Dior Chérie (original) by Christian Dior

    There is an old movie with Tony Randall and Debbie Reynolds called The Mating Game. In the film, Tony Randall is the most promising "bird dog" at the IRS sent to investigate an ornery family who refuse to deal in cash and only barter. Debbie Reynolds is their wild, cheerful, tomboyish teenage daughter who pistol whips the neighborhood boys and rides her horses hell for leather. Of course, it is love at first sight for Tony Randall, especially when the family gets him drunk on good bourbon and sends in Debbie Reynolds, wearing a charming pink dress that accentuates her tiny waist (she was down to 90 pounds in this movie following her famous divorce from Eddie Fisher) and a French perfume of her mother's called "Orgy" (pronounced hilariously with a hard G.) In my mind, Miss Dior Cherie smells like this. Rambunctious, yet ladylike. Chic and unpretentious. Innocent, yet wise because she was brought up well. Kindhearted and mischievous. Like Tony Randall, you might wonder why you like it so much and suspect you've lost your mind. It's pure Frankenberry at first. But it is a well done fruity chypre. If it helps you any, Christina Applegate and Dolly Parton are fans.

    27 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 07 January, 2011)

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    Tiempe Passate by Antonia's Flowers

    This is a simple, pleasant fragrance from a niche perfumer who enjoys great popularity in New York. The rose is barely distinguishable; the top notes are fleeting. It is a safe choice for the office or humid summer months. Because of the old-fashioned name, this perfume reminds me of when Al Pacino was married for a minute in Godfather II to Appolonia. Though Antonia Ballenca had her grandparents in mind when she created this, it is more the scent of a summer fling... a chaste one.

    26 December, 2010

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    Love in Black by Creed

    Top: Wildflowers, Violet
    Middle: Iris, Virginia Cedar, Clove
    Base: Blackcurrants, Rose, Musk

    This is a well-done attempt at a modern fragrance by Creed. You have to try it on your skin to get it. On paper, it smells like Sweet Tarts. On your skin, it evolves beautifully through all three phases. The wildflowers and violet do give off a slight petro smell, which is nice for those who prefer edgy niche scents. The iris and violets are perfectly paired, imparting a smart gourmand effect when the heart notes emerge. The cedar keeps the iris from becoming too doughy, but creates a damp earth Chanel 19 kind of vibe with the violet leaf. In the end, the rose is subdued, while the musk is sexy. With the blackcurrent leaves, I'm reminded of Lutens SMSR and Dipthyque's L'Ombre Dans L'Eau. This fragrance is resilient, structured and elegant, worthy of the Creed label.

    19 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 26 December, 2010)

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    Acier Aluminium by Creed

    AA came out in 1973, and I am going to agree that I can see the point of many posters who were time-warped to porn staches and bathroom sex. I think it depends on your skin's chemistry how the civet and leather takes to you. This is a dramatic fragrance very much in keeping with the time it was created. Think Marlon Brando in Last Tango In Paris saying, "Bring me the butter."

    19 December, 2010

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    Chloé (original) by Chloé

    When I open the tiny bottle of Chloe on my dresser, a little genie comes out, but she is like Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream. This perfume has real power from its nude, exuberant honeyed sweet entrance to its romantic and spicy heart to the drydown with its never-ending tuberose. This is carnal, but I get a soapiness from the carnation and a good romp in the forest from the oakmoss. The original Chloe is a favorite floriental that anticipated the 80s by a few years. The drydown is powdery and baby shampoo smelling.

    18 October, 2010 (Last Edited: 21st April, 2011)

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    Schizm by Ayala Moriel

    The name is misleading. There is no contradiction or struggle here. This nouveau chypre hits the ground running with a burst of pepper. It is oriental in the sense that gunpowder tea is. Cepes play up the indolic tuberose, so you have a sexy, gourmand floral for the autumn.

    10th October, 2010 (Last Edited: 26 December, 2010)

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    Charisma by Ayala Moriel

    Osmanthus is one of my favorite scents that I associate with soap, but it is wonderful in the heart here with green tea. The jasmine sambac just sings with the attar kewda, a combination I enjoyed in her fragrance Gigi. With a grapefruit and spearmint opening, you have a tart blast of freshness. It is youthful, dewy and cheerful. But this is where it starts getting interesting. The powdery drydown with ambrette and tonka bean reminds me of lipstick and a prom night corsage with baby's breath. This scent is velvety after a dazzling entrance, elegant, flirty and chic. At the very end, there is tarragon and honey.

    09 October, 2010

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    Rainforest by Ayala Moriel

    This is a very sexy fragrance on a man who prefers the more traditional colognes but is looking to try something new. Reading these notes and going by the name alone, one would expect something cool and refreshing. The opening notes with take you by surprise, and odysseusm gives a good account of this reaction. Yes, the opening is green, but there is a good dose of bergamot and ginger. You smell hay immediately with these top notes, and it is a bold, warm scent rather like a steamy cup of earl grey tea, but in a pine forest. The green coniferous notes are vital and powerful with the bergamot and citrus opening. Violet leaf lends a sparkling note to the heart, which is romantic florals but always true to the overall evergreen theme. This scent is original, tasteful and adventurous, a rather sporty chypre. The drydown is pleasant and calm.

    08 October, 2010

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    Palas Atena by Ayala Moriel

    Many of my favorite scents are here, and this perfume conveys the strength that you would expect from the Greek goddess of war and wisdom. Palas Atena opens with a medicinal note that reminds me of an ointment for scrapes and burns my grandparents kept on hand called "black salve" or pine tar. Not at all unpleasant but surprising nonetheless. As the scent unfolds, the warming cinnamon still stands out. There is something earthy and soft like a smoldering campfire. The orange and champaca have real staying power. The base notes are beautifully subtle. It's an intriguing oriental and wonderful for autumn wear.

    08 October, 2010

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    Royal Scottish Lavender by Creed

    This is one of my go to fragrances that I wear often, especially in the spring during the day. Like Scotttish cashmere, I find this fragrance comfortable in damp, chilly weather. As someone pointed out earlier, there is a stale tobacco scent here that shows up as the heart opens, and I think it's the bergamot fading as the clove and lavender appear. The citrus opening is so sharp, it almost makes me sneeze, and the heart is a bit soapy. I don't get too much vanilla in the dry down, and thank heavens, because it is my least favorite scent. RSL is like your Sunday best clothes packed for a weekend in the country. It is rugged, outdoorsy, prim and yet boisterous, like a good house party. When I want to make it a little more feminine, I add a little orange blossom like Ayala Moriel's Zohar, which is as short-lived and simple as this Creed scent.

    28 August, 2010

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    Fleur de Liane by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    L'Artisan's new perfume Fleur de Liane is supposed to be a Panamanian rain forest. It reminds me of my mother grwing up (VitaBath and calendula shampoo.) There was an oil drum outside to catch rainwater with ferns and moss growing around it along the base of the house. Then I get an unripe peeled banana first and just quickly, there is a cantaloupe smell, the "aquatic note" in the perfume. Lily of the valley and marigold, and I definitely get the fern and moss, even a bit of aloe vera gel.

    08 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 27 December, 2010)

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    Garden of Hespera by MOR Cosmetics

    This is a wonderful summer fragrance that takes me back to my early 20s. I have never found a fig perfume that sits right with me. I used to wear Demeter's "Fig Leaf" coming back from the beach. But once fig scents saturated the market, they lost connotations of freedom and youth to me. Until this scent. The official notes are cedar, oak moss, cypress, cyclamen, heliotrope and laurel leaf. It's not the bracing citrus of the hesperide category; neither is it a super fruity scent. It is rather like a Philosykos for the youth market.

    08 December, 2008 (Last Edited: 27 December, 2010)

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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000