Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Sunnyfunny

Total Reviews: 53

Private Collection Amber Ylang-Ylang by Estée Lauder

I love when fume love at first sniff happens! I had trouble with amber as a note initially, as neither Amber Extreme nor Ambre Sultan were anything close to right. I've learned, after persevering with this note, that my amber needs to be tempered with sweet. And in this case, the one that works best on me is the classic trio of amber, vanilla, and sandalwood.
My skin will pull amber to the forefront in anything, and this fume is no exception. Amber Ylang-Ylang actually begins less sweet, with the ylang perfectly softening and making it a little bit creamy, but never dominating it. I now understand the warm comfort that amber so famously provides, and I want to go crawl under the sheets but for the fantastic sillage. AYY eventually mellows into that beautiful trio.
In short, this perfume is like wrapping yourself in a lovely warm sweater on a brisk, sunny winter morning.
07th June, 2010

Lahana by Avon

Lahana.... I loved this when I was 12. It conjured up romantic island fantasies in my young mind and I went through one bottle of fume and at least one of the body creme. It was discontinued like, less than two years after its intro. I recently found a full vintage bottle and it is just as I remember, even if my tastes are not quite the same.

Lahana begins a very sweet tropical floral, like flowers decaying on the vine on a hot, humid day. Totally heady and totally synthetic (not necessarily a bad thing, just a fact.) It gets sweeter and sweeter, entering candy territory, but somehow never loses that hot tropical island feel. It's a little too much for the heat, though, and I've since found a far superior tropical floral. But in the winter and early spring, when I'm playing around the house, Lahana is fun to wear and still makes me feel like I'm escaping to a tropical paradise.
07th June, 2010

L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

This is a review of L'Heure Bleue parfum.
I've heard that the fume world falls into two categories regarding this venerable fragrance-- you either prefer Mitsouko or L'Heure Bleue, and I prefer Mitsouko. Twice I tried to wear L'Heure Bleue. The second time sealed its fate. I tried to understand it, to get past the complete and utter shock of my first application, tried to at the very least perceive the intense emotional reactions so many have had while wearing this. But my skin won't allow it.

I do not wear this fragrance well. And that is an understatement. Its combination of notes translate into nothing more than a mismatched conglomeration of cheap, new-age bookstore incense. The first wear was confusing. The second wear was scrubbed off and the vial happily passed on.
05th June, 2010
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Lady Stetson by Stetson

I finally decided to try Lady Stetson, my curiosity on its resemblance to No. 22 finally getting the better of me. Well, I lovelovelove 22 edt, but that's not what LS is akin to-- it's the pure parfum. They share the same very powdery aldehyde opening, and also some of the same white flowers-- maybe gardenia? Different is the sweetness in Lady Stetson's opening, which reminds me a little of the peach in Petite Cherie. I prefer 22 edt to the parfum because of the superfluity of liturgical incense, making it easily the most beautiful thing I have yet sniffed. LS doesn't have any incense and therefore lacks the depth of either 22 formula, but it is still elegant and quite pretty.
14th January, 2010

Joy by Jean Patou

There's lots of jasmine in the opening of this one, ans ass it begins tosettle something a little bitter comes out. It dances with the jasmine, rarely taking the lead, often just on the precipice of perception, but always there. It is the complex flower that dominates, beautiful, sweet, and strong. Joy is beauty amidst darkness, and I'm reminded of where, how, and why this perfume came to be. I feel knowing its full story is integral to the full appreciation of Joy. I feel beautiful in this perfume.
02nd August, 2009

Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

This one is warmer and spicier than I remember, and deeper, too. I definitely get patchouli, more so than in Chance; and while Chance blooms in the heat, Coco Mlle. is a little stifling. In the end, it is a mildly sweet fruity floral, and my skin probably doesn't do it justice. It's too heavy for me to want to wear in the heat, and not dark or rich enough for me to place it with my cooler weather orientals.
02nd August, 2009

Un Jardin Après La Mousson by Hermès

Let me first say that I had an experience with this one today-- I smelled something unfamiliar and terribly lovely, only to happily realize, "Oh, that's me!" In the crook of my elbow, it has lasted a generous amount of time. I feel I could wear this anywhere this summer.

Un Jardin Apres La Mousson evokes just that-- a lush, wet garden. But it does so in the lightest, most transparent of manners! It opens smoothly aquatic, then delivers a peppery burst, settling down into a fresh, but never sharp, green with a soft, cool melon note dancing in the background. The pepperiness lingers, somehow cooling the fragrance, as if providing a reminder that there are still clouds overhead that could once again open up and drench the green at any time.
22nd April, 2009

Silver Rain by La Prairie

I don't get the name in conjunction with what Silver Rain actually smells like. It isn't evocative of anything fresh or sparkling. The fruit and the anise fight with each other, and the flowers linger, barely perceptible, in the background. I can see the anise and patchouli plausibly working (the transition from one to the other was the most seamless in this composition), but patch is a difficult note for me to begin with, and in the context of the rest of the perfume, it is dischordant. It all feels like a mishmash of notes, not in harmony with each least, not on my skin.
08th April, 2009

Red Door by Elizabeth Arden

Red Door behaves demurely on my skin, neither strong nor sickly. It reminds me of old candles-- the ones in the textured colored glass jars. I had one such candle in my room for a while growing up. I'm not sure where it came from or how old it was, but and its fragrance had *almost* faded, but there were light, perceptable white flowers and ever-present waxiness. So it is with Red Door. It is a bit of a nostalgic throwback, which probably wasn't its creators' intention. It's novel, to me, but not something I'll wear again.
08th April, 2009

Heaven by Gap

Heaven is a bouquet of clean, freshly picked white flowers tied together with a strip of blue gingham cloth. It is as lighthearted as a barefooted romp through an open field.

It is described as a pure white bouquet, headlined by jasmine, which I have come to learn I like very much. It stays true, but it doesn't last much over two hours. This isn't a huge issue, though, because refreshing with that opening blast is cool and lovely.
04th April, 2009

Pink Sugar by Aquolina

I dabbed on a little Pink Sugar before bed last night, thinking it would be a fun, sweet little scent to fall asleep to. And I was right! It isn't the sparkly, princess-y, completely over-the-top sugar bomb I expected. It is sweet, to be sure, but the bergamot 'grows it up' a bit. I love the idea of spritzing some Pink Sugar onto my pillowcase at night. It does conjure up fluffy pink images, but those of sliding out of some soft, fluffy slippers, into silky pjs, slipping under a plush comforter and sinking into a cool pillow.
A cheerful, happy winner in my book!
31st March, 2009

Mitsouko by Guerlain

I'd have never known there are peaches in Mitsouko if it weren't written in the notes and if that wasn't one of the reasons people like it so much. It is all oakmoss on me, very much like the Caron base, but richer and more sustaining. I love it because it is so deep without being overly formal or melancholy. It is beautiful, easy to wear and suits whatever mood I'm in.
28th March, 2009

Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens

My skin has a way of rendering Serge Lutens fragrances unspectacular at best.  And so, as I applied FdB this morning, it said something like "Oop-- this just turned into a Serge!  You lose!"  and proceeded to completely destroy this so highly praised fragrance.  I immediately got cumin.  Yes, cumin, and so unwilling was this cumin to share the stage of my inner wrist with its fellow accords that I was grateful for its complete lack of sillage.

I should say here that I am very much a fan of a 'clean' fragrance. Cumin at any point renders a fragrance unwearable to me, even if it is providing a bed for fragrant, sensuous flowers, as it does in Kingdom. For this particular fragrance to turn so sweaty on me was very surprising, especially since for its duration, that was all I got; singular cumin.

FdB stayed very close to my skin and then *poof* it was gone before the four hour mark by which I judge a fragrance as being worthy.
A little bummed and unsated, I reapplied when I got home, and this time it was a little bit very soft fruit and incense. That dirty little cumin note was still there, but had learned to share during the course of the day. My husband smelled pine tree hanging from a rear view mirror, the first time woods even entered the equation. And this time....the stuff didn't last an hour.
27th March, 2009
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Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan Parfumeur

The only things worse about this fragrance than its name are its sillage and longevity. Too bad, because it really is quite pretty.
I get a little mustiness at the very beginning, then it's very faint frankincence and myrrh which I have to strain to smell into its second hour.
25th March, 2009

Chergui by Serge Lutens

What a funny little fragrance this is.  It reminds me of the fair, whether it means to or not.  I don't know if it's that honey and hay imagery getting the best of my senses, but I am reminded of a hot summer day at a country carnival; clad in sandals and a sundress, walking atop asphalt and dirt strewn with hay.  Games surround, with their bright colors and flashing lights, the occasional bll ringing, indicating a winner; ferris wheel rising above the background, screams from the rollercoaster, and the smells of cotton candy and elephant ears made less sweet by bitter hot asphalt and the sharpness of stacked haybales.Chergui doesn't last long on me, five hours at best.  I did not wish it to come back.  It is fun enough, out of the ordinary, but for me, maybe a little too virtual reality.  It shares a note with Aomassai that is sharply medicinal and burns my nostrils.  Maybe it is the hay?  Chergui is sweeter through and through, though, which tempers the hay and makes it more wearable for me than Aomassai. 
20th March, 2009

Royal Bain de Caron / Royal Bain de Champagne by Caron

Can this house do no wrong?I'm not convinced this is supposed to be a skin fragrance, mostly due to reports of zero longevity.  Indeed, Royal Bain de Caron lasted all of 15 minutes on my skin.  But what a beautiful 15 minutes it was!  Sweet and floral, slightly powdery and spicy, with that delectable Caron signature.  I love the idea of a few drops of this in the bath water.
20th March, 2009

A*Men / Angel Men by Thierry Mugler

Patchouli? Where? I don't smell any patch. I didn't smell any chocolate in Borneo 1834. How funny.


Angel went terribly, horribly wrong on me but smells so intriguing in the vial that I kept trying to make it work. A*Men smells similar in the vial, but not in a good way, so I really wasn't excited to try it. Well, now that I've tried A*Men, I can safely pass on my Angel samp.
Angel is all red berries and bergamot on me, and A*Men is all chocolate. Of the perfumes I've tried stating chocolate as an accord, this is the only one that has delivered. It's fun, bittersweet, devils food cake chocolate, and I kind of like it! A*Men definitely won't go into my regular rotation, at least not any time soon, but I will hold on to this sample and wear it when I feel a chocolate craving coming on.
15th March, 2009

Deci Delà by Nina Ricci

Deci Dela shares a synthetic, high-end jelly candy quality that's present in another I've tried recently, Mukhallat, but without the exoticism, richness, and imagination. But those qualities don't appear to be the aim of this perfume, anyway.
DD opens with a blast of maraschino cherries. It then settles into some very clean flowers, surprising me by not being as sweet as the opening implies. The maraschino note comes creeping back in and holds steady for the next couple hours.
DD strikes me as a very young perfume, and reminds me of Shirley Temple singing "On the Good Ship Lollipop."
15th March, 2009

Mukhallat by Montale

I very much like and appreciate jenson's review because I can indeed see a different side of Mukhallat.
I don't like it on me. It is saccharine sweet and a bit medicinal. And after learning how to appreciate it, I don't think it's an easy one to wear. On someone exotic this could be a very intriguing scent...intriguing on a woman, but even more so on a man.
I give it one star for how it smells on me. But I give it a thumbs up for its possibilities, and how it has opened my mind.
14th March, 2009

Aomassaï 10 by Parfumerie Generale

My experience with this one is vastly different from those who describe Aomassai as sweet, warm, or inviting. I expected this to be like a richer, more nuanced Tutti Dolci Creme Brulee, and it was, for a couple minutes at the beginning. Then Aomassai became coolly medicinal, burning my nostrils like a camphor or a menthol. (Maybe that's the celery? or the woods? both?) This persisted for nine hours. Underneath that heavy, chilly blanket slept something vaguely resembling a gourmand. The idea of this one is intriguing, and it probably is, on someone who wears it well. But I don't wear it well.
14th March, 2009

Eau Neuve (original) by Lubin

This one opened up really sweet, a fruit note that didn't smell like lemon to me. Then it dries down into very soft, powdery lemons and the only real fault I can find with it is that it flits in and out of perceptibility.
14th March, 2009

Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens

A deceased and much missed uncle of mine was a monk in a Trappist monastery that made the richest, most decadent fruit and date cakes, with dark chocolate and soaked in rum. The opening of Borneo 1834 smells just like those cakes. Once the rum burns off I'm left with the duskiest, darkest patchouli and the driest cacao. The camphor is there, but it is light, giving Borneo a slight chill, as it should have.
It is a chameleon, this one. Some days the sillage is intense, as if the perfume has lifted completely off my skin and exists only in the air surrounding me. Other times it stays close, and rewards me with an occasional waft of semi-sweet patch and a dusting of that dry, bitter chocolate. It's not an easy one to wear. But when I decide to challenge my senses, Borneo draws me in, transports me, and makes others, even those I wear the most, pale in comparison. It is a most intriguing creature.
11th March, 2009 (last edited: 26th January, 2011)

Hanae Mori (new / Butterfly) by Hanae Mori

This one is okay.  I was pleasantly surprised, as I don't like Hanae Mori on a blotter and I don't like it on the gal at work who wears too much on occasion.  Whatever it is that makes it smell like vanilla is smooth, easier on my nose than the sharp vanilla in Dior Addict. Its light, tropical fruits are blended in a way that makes it a little more sophisticated than the dessert scents it seems to want to be grouped with. It is a little bit refined despite itself. Hanae Mori is definitely at its best when applied sparingly. It is still just too sweet for me, though.
11th March, 2009

Mania (original) by Giorgio Armani

This one seems pretty enough, but has NO sillage and NO lasting power on me. I wish I had takemyhusbandplz's experience of incense, spice, and woods, but I didn't. The citrusy top notes were the strongest. It wears like soft, watered down rose and vanilla on me. I couldn't discern much else because it was so weak.
10th March, 2009

Tocade by Rochas

I like and agree with Tvlampboy's review! There's not much else I can add.
As far as gourmands go, this is the most elegant one I've yet tried.
It's very sweet burnt sugar and that lovely, musky rose that's a little bit creamy. Four hours in, it becomes powdery and on the verge of being too sweet but *something* keeps it from becoming so, and that is also what makes this fragrance interesting and outside the norm.
I would totally pay $25 for this!
05th March, 2009

Magnifique by Lancôme

The first thing I thought of whe I smelled this was 'Hey, this smells like Tresor!' Maybe a little sweeter, and less musky. Mind you, I haven't worn Tresor for years, but Magnifique smells similar to my memory.
The saffron top note is my favorite part, and it doesn't last near long enough. Then it becomes really, really sweet berries. I don't think it's horrible, either-- it's just not something I'd ever wear again.
04th March, 2009

Allure Sensuelle by Chanel

I got the bergamot right out of the vial. Then Allure Sensuelle morphed from something I wasn't to ointerested in to something really full and warm. Its name is fitting, as it smells creamy, soft, and sensual, both in the harmony of its drydown and in the exact combination of its notes. Maybe it's all in that 'sensual note' (whatever that is.)
I got mild vanilla at what I thought was the end, and I was a little disappointed in the longevity. It didn't end there after all, though. There is a quiet spot right after the flowers and the vanilla, which gently ushers in the spicy and somewhat surprising amber, patch, and frankincense. The flowers and vanilla are my favorite part.
If I was going to wear a perfume for others, if I wanted something safe with which I might fetch compliments, I'd choose Allure Sensuelle. It is easy on the nose.
04th March, 2009

Maja by Myrurgia

This is a review of Maja lotion. Having never smelled the original formulation, I think this Maja is just fine! It is spicy, floral, and a little bit soapy, in good harmony. I don't know that I would ever wear the perfume, but this lotion is one of the best perfumed creams I've ever used, especially for the price. No complaints here!
28th February, 2009

Petite Chérie by Annick Goutal

The opening blast was turpentine-y to me, too, but it doesn't last.  It's gone as soon as it dries, within seconds.  Then it's soft, sparkling peaches, and very faint rose, and...cumin?  I got a faint but detectable, and unfortunate, cumin note when I sniffed my wrist.  That, too, disappears, within half an hour, and it is all soft peach with what I take to be light grass taming it and keeping it from becoming too sweet.   It's really light and upon reading that it is a scent meant for children, I understand it better.  All in all, it wears fairly well on me and its lightness and lightheartedness is a surprisingly pleasant repast from my regular rotation.
27th February, 2009

Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé by Hermès

I read somewhere that Ambre Narguile is an amber for amber haters. I've tried three amber scents now and I have to say that it's true, in my case. It is sweet. It smells like gingerbread, honey, pumpkin pie spices, all things warm and delicious about fall. The amber keeps me from wanting to classify it as a gourmand because it contributes something that makes it not quite edible.

And about that amber....It mingles just beautifully with the sweetness and the spices, a seamless ensemble where you are just enough aware of its biggest star. There were no longevity problems here, either. Lucky me, no? Its phases are distinct and each one quieter than the one before, winding down from the business of a sunny autumn day into a relaxing evening eating something delicious and drinking something warm, to falling into softly perfumed sheets into a peaceful slumber. This last phase was surprising and delightful-- soft flowers gently wrapped in the delicate creaminess of the amber. That, I think, is what separates this amber from others that I've tried-- the soft creaminess from something I had since known to be spicy and sharp.
Ambre Narguile is just beautiful.
17th February, 2009