Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Loro

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Total Reviews: 17
Loro Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vaniglia del Madagascar by I Profumi di Firenze

I get two scents here:

Imagine walking into a kitchen filled with the most glorious, naturalistic vanilla aroma - a pile of fresh pods on the table, just split open, the promise of sweet delights to come, heady, rich and inviting. A rare, true vanilla.

And in the corner, someone is filling a bowl with hot water, the heat releasing fumes from a sharp, synthetic-floral harsh white cleaning fluid, the kind that really gets the back of your throat.

So try as you might, you can't really enjoy the full wonder of the vanilla, because there is this irritation in the background. Or forefront, actually.

A missed opportunity - such a shame.
10th November, 2015
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Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

An autumn favourite, that always brings a smile to my face.

I don't really get the circus reference - but then I have never been to a circus. What I do get here is a wonderful smokiness, reminiscent (for UK readers) of the chill, damp air of bonfire night and the magic of fireworks crackling in the skies, and toffee apples on sticks and kids' eyes lighting up as the colours fizz and pop above.

Leather, for me, is secondary - it is there if I look for it but not dominant. I feel there might be iris somewhere too, but maybe I'm getting carried away with my November associations....

I love Dzing! because it doesn't really remind me of any other fragrance (although I kind of get the Fahrenheit comparison, now it's been pointed out).

It is interesting and clever and lasts a good 6-7 hours on my skin.
29th October, 2015
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Private Collection by Estée Lauder

I adore this.

It paints a picture - high-end American suburb in the 60s, glamorous woman awaiting her husband's return. She's in the kitchen, cocktail dress and heels, freshly showered and soapy clean, door ajar and a light breeze bringing in the scent of freshly mown grass and mimosa. Lingering in the kitchen is the aroma of baking, not sweet but buttery and warm. Something with almonds.

I have not the faintest idea why the notes listed above should combine to conjour this image (although no doubt I've been influenced many years of Estée Lauder marketing campaigns) but they do and it's fabulous. And there IS an underlying warmth that throws the greenness into relief and adds body and depth.

Longevity is decent at 5-6 hours, and the first two hours are sublime.
27th October, 2015
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La Petite Robe Noire 2012 by Guerlain

Review for the EDP version.

I have come to appreciate this for what it is - the perfume equivalent of exactly what it proclaims to be: a little black dress. Easy to wear, flattering to most (I have had a compliment when wearing it, and that NEVER happens) and the perfect thing to throw on when you're pushed for time and want something you know you won't regret later.

On my skin the predominant notes are black cherry, almond and vanilla, in good balance. Unlike many similar fragrances, the cherry doesn't fade completely after half an hour, leaving only a sweet gourmand base. In the case of LPRN it remains in the foreground adding lift to the composition, which never becomes cloying. And longevity is excellent - it remains a comforting, if quiet, presence throughout the day. Does it ask the questions and have the gravitas of the classic Guerlains? No, but that's not the point - it's just a well-crafted, well-balanced everyday perfume for a decent price, and sometimes that's what you want.
05th January, 2015
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Signorina by Salvatore Ferragamo

Lovely light, pretty fragrance for days when you want something effortless and undemanding. Starts bright floral, with the peony in evidence, then dries down to a sweet-ish creamy base (the pannacotta, I suppose), tinged with patchouli.
Not the most complicated perfume in the world, but well done nevertheless and somehow very Italian.
Only problem for me - and reason I wouldn't buy - is that within 30 mins pretty much everything but the creamy base has disappeared and it's a very faint skin scent at best. Nice while it lasts though.
04th January, 2015
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La Panthère by Cartier

I had high hopes of this, having read several positive reviews, but I'm afraid it was a huge letdown.

Very harsh and strident in the opening - somehow bitter without any softening edges or aromatic notes. Then synthetic and plasticky in the drydown, recalling ammonia. Maybe my nose isn't getting the notes correctly, but to me this fragrance seems to lack a heart - there is no wamth or joy to it.
31st December, 2014
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Vanille Insensée by Atelier Cologne

Metallic vanilla?

Opens with a musky citrus, which smells quite synthetic, although the vanilla is present from the start. After around 30 minutes I get a really weird metallic smell, which persists throughout although becomes less noticeable with time.

Every now and again I get a delicious wisp of vanilla, but on the whole the sillage isn't great on me and it feels like I'm sniffing vanilla through a veil. I don't get the jasmine at all, but rather a clean, musky drydown that seems a little at odds with the promised vanilla.

Might be good for those who want a dryer, lighter vanilla, but this is not potent or rich enough for me. Hats off to Atelier Cologne for selling 7.5 ml samples, however!
08th February, 2014
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Sucre d'Ebène by Huitième Art

I have no idea whether, technically, this is a good or bad perfume. What I can say, most definitely, is that it is not one I will be trying again. The clue is in the title, I know, but this is so overwhelmingly, cloyingly sweet that I could barely stand 20 mins before having to try and scrub it off.

Sweet in the way that something rotting is sweet, with the witch hazel adding a weird, plastic note. Headache inducing in the extreme, I simply do not want to smell of this.
11th January, 2014
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Fendi (original) / Fendi Donna by Fendi

Why oh why did they discontinue this?!

Warm, spicy ginger and mulled wine - a good, old school, BIG winter fragrance, which exudes confidence and class. I'm eking the final inch out of my bottle from the late 80s... sigh.
10th January, 2014
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Sienne L'Hiver by Eau d'Italie

I completely get the Dzongkha reference - the opening is very similar. Both have the odd effect (in common also with Magie Noire) of making me feel...not hungry exactly, but quite literally 'un buco allo stomaco'. Weird. Anyway, that aside, I find the development of this to be too vegetal for my tastes. Clever, yes, but not really what I want to smell of - chilli peppers, a slight smokiness, a touch of truffle perhaps - it's all great, but not for me (although possibly quite true to its name).

I also find it to be quite linear: after the opening blast dies down and the body of the scent comes through, it doesn't really go any further - 5 hours in and it's exactly the same as it started.

Great longevity though.
10th January, 2014
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Byzance by Rochas

One of my all time favourite winter fragrances - I love this!

Yes, it is soapy and lemony at first blast, but then a much more complex woody/musky note creeps in, which turns it into something far more interesting. The overall impression is of soft incense and candles burning in a dark church, right down to a hint of molten wax in the drydown. Softness, warmth, comfort, it's the perfume equivalent of sitting in front of a log fire on a cold day. I haven't seen this on sale in ages and do hope they haven't stopped making it!
03rd January, 2014
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Gold Woman by Amouage

What a disappointment! I had read the reviews and was looking forward to sampling this, but when the time came it was an overwhelming letdown. To me this is just a decent-ish generic floral, in the vein of No. 5 or Joy, but with none of the panache or loveliness of either. Not bad, certainly, but with so few distinguishing features that I find it hard to know what to say other than firstly it didn't trouble me for long (longevity was about 90 mins on my skin) and secondly, price, hype, emperor's new clothes etc almost led me to give this a negative review, but actually that would have been unfair.

Pros: not unpleasant.
Cons: poor longevity, price.
02nd January, 2014
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Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

One of my all time favourites - I find this almost indescribably lovely, but so hard to define. I would definitely have classed it as a chypre myself - it has a dry, elegance that to my nose says more chypre than oriental - but it is such a beautiful combination of notes that it's hard to say which are prevalent. Either way, this is the perfume I find myself drawn to when in need of comfort, the one whose lid I open before going to bed at night, just for a reassuring sniff. And the loveliest bottle (the perfume) on my dresser.

As an aside - I don't find this a million miles away from my 20 year old Miss Dior. Purer, richer, deeper, better crafted - but certainly somehow related.
06th February, 2009
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Loro Show all reviews
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L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

A difficult one to write, this - I really want to like this fragrance but try as I might I can't get on with it. It's the first 90 minutes or so that trouble me, and I'm with Dawn Lady's comments that if you were feeling remotely nauseous or head-achey you'd be well-advised to steer clear. I've come to the conclusion it's the aniseed top-note I react badly to, as I feel exactly the same about Apres L'Ondee, which shares this opening note. To my nose it mutates into a powerful disinfectant smell - Dettol-like - which lasts way too long for comfort and yes, brings to mind old people's homes, hospitals and a raft of other things I really don't want to be reminded of. Such a shame, because a couple of hours later on the skin it softens down to a lovely powdery, floral vanilla (hence the neutral rather than thumbs down review) - although I notice that on clothes the top-note remains loud and proud. Maybe it's a problem with the EdP - I'm going to try and sample the Parfum before giving up on it entirely.
02nd February, 2009
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Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

First up I should confess that with the odd exception (Lys Mediterranee comes to mind) I am not a fan of full-blown florals, so clearly this was never going to be the scent for me.... but I find this almost unbearably strident, especially in the first half-hour - tropically bright with potent melon overtones. An hour later and the jasmine and honeysuckle start to come through (although still with a hint of melon) but there onwards I find it strangely linear and flat - nothing draws me to keep smelling at my wrist. It reminds me of one of those huge cocktails, complete with paper umbrella and plastic flower, that a girl in the Eighties would have sipped by the pool - sweeter than she'd bargained for and probably destined to bring on a headache. Having read the other reviews, I'd be interested to smell this on someone else - maybe I'm one of the unlucky ones this simply doesn't suit!

OK - I have done a complete about-turn on this one! Having smelled a lady wearing something absolutely wonderful, I plucked up the courage to ask what it was and - yes, it was Beyond Paradise! Tried it again myself as a result, and it was a revelation - a beautiful heady floral summer powerhouse, in an entirely good way. I'm not sure whether my tastes have changed so radically in the intervening few years, or whether I sampled from a dud bottle first time round, but either way I now love and own a bottle. Just goes to show, things are always worth a revisit....
18th January, 2009 (last edited: 04th January, 2015)
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Tocade by Rochas

I am not usually a fan of rose as a dominant note in perfume so was not expecting to fall for this in a big way, but fall I have. It opens with a citrus (bergamot?) sparkle that gives a lightness of touch and ensure there is none of the head-achey heaviness I can frequently perceive in rose fragrances. When the rose does start to come through it is tempered by a lovely, milky warmth from the vanilla, which adds softness without any hint of sweetness. A perfect winter comfort perfume, which for some reason I 'see' as the palest, marshmallow pink.
18th January, 2009
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Grapefruit by Jo Malone

Definitely a summer fragrance for me, and yes, I get the soap too, but love the freshness of this and the way it dries down woody, with no sweetness. Pretty good longevity on me - stays tangy for a couple of hours or so. I admit that after a couple of sniffs I get generic citrus, rather than pure grapefruit, but still find it pleasantly zingy. A great fallback light summer fragrance, for those occasions when you don't necessarily want to make too much effort or impression!
17th January, 2009