Reviews by mals86

    mals86's avatar
    mals86
    United States United States

    Showing 1 to 15 of 15.
    rating


    Vanille Tonka by Nicolaï

    Oh, wow. Wow. WOW. I thought I might like this, based on the listed notes -- but I had no idea I'd like it this much! Lime, tangerine, and carnation kick this one off, with faint hints of vanilla. I do love spicy carnations, and VT certainly gives me spicy carnations, with just a hint of floral orange blossom. I'm not a big vanilla fan (if you're looking for something primarily vanilla, this is not for you), but tonka is a favorite note for me.

    I was also surprised at how unisex this fragrance seemed to me. Perhaps it's the lime and spice and frankincense, but I could certainly see a man wearing this. In fact, it reminds me vaguely of a male friend I haven't seen in years (who never wore fragrance per se, just aftershave). However, the hints of orange blossom and vanilla make it feminine enough for me.

    Vanille-Tonka goes on my wish list immediately!

    28 February, 2009

    rating


    Sweet Tea by Elizabeth W

    I've been looking for some time for a black tea scent, one that Just Smells Like Black Tea... and this is not it. I'm a Southern girl, and I grew up on sweet tea. My husband insists that we have sweet iced tea in the refrigerator at all times; I make a gallon of it every two or three days. So I was excited to find elizabethW's version available online. The customer service people there were kind enough to send me a free sample in the mail.

    This smells only vaguely of tea; it's more lemon and honey than anything else. It's light and refreshing, and I can certainly understand its popularity, particularly for a summer fragrance. However, I was touched to find that the scent reminds me very strongly of my grandmother -- who never, to my knowledge, wore any perfume that I can remember. She's 89 now and still avoids perfume in favor of lightly scented lemon soap. I may indulge in a travel-size bottle of this, if only to keep a reminder of Nell on my dresser.

    25 February, 2009

    rating


    Parfum Sacré by Caron

    Oh, I do love Parfum Sacre'. I just bought a full bottle, my 3rd since getting seriously interested in perfume (after Diorissimo and JM Vintage Gardenia).

    I picked up a sample of it because I was interested in the lemon and spices; I dabbed some on my wrists, and smelled... nothing. I dabbed a little more: still nothing. 2 hours later I could get only some faded rose essence and dust. Boooooring, I said. Scratch that one off the list. Later that day, I developed the mother of all winter colds, which persisted for the usual nasty two weeks.

    I tried PS again a month later, in some nasty rainy cold winter weather... and smelled citrus! spices! warm elegant rose! incense! Wow. So that was what I'd been missing the first time. I am not a big rose fan, so I was surprised at how much I love the rose in this. It's warm, sexy, and glowing, and the incense provides a depth and richness I've not smelled anywhere else.

    Husband loves it, which is a bonus.

    18 February, 2009

    rating


    Songes by Annick Goutal

    A beautiful Big White Floral, done well from start to finish. I haven't yet found a white floral I've despised. Make of that what you will, but I adore white florals and they seem to love me right back. And yes, it's sweet, but that is just the nature of with white florals. I enjoyed the focus on frangipani, with backup by jasmine, tuberose, and ylang. This is somewhat linear on me and smells much the same until it gets into the vanilla drydown, as which point it gets even sweeter on my skin. I would have liked to have had a little sandalwood added to the base to dry up some of the vanilla, but it's very good as it is, and truly a dreamy sort of fragrance. I probably won't be adding this to my wardrobe -- I'm saving up for that pricey bottle of Ormonde Jayne Frangipani -- but I'll drain my sample and enjoy it.

    11th February, 2009

    rating


    Pink by Victoria's Secret

    Although I've branched out a bit from Pink (my new faves being Chanel No. 19 and Bulgari Black), I still wear it. It's very appropriate for warm days, or during dreary cold weather when you are dreaming of summer. I don't give a flip that it was meant for someone in her twenties, and I'm well past that age -- I feel pretty when I'm wearing it, and it nearly always lightens my mood. Also, of all the scents in my wardrobe, it's my husband's favorite; he thinks it's sexy.

    The top notes are reminiscent of pink lemonade on the grass, and not necessarily the kind made from real lemons. However, I get freesia and peony very soon after the initial burst of "powdered pink lemonade," and this is probably my favorite part of the scent experience. The muguet note is barely there on my skin (a shame, because I love it), just a rounding out of the freshness of the other florals. Gradually this deepens to a lightly warm, woody drydown. Vanilla is listed, but it is very faint on me and I get mostly sandalwood and light musk, with a wash of the fading peony. A far better fragrance than the dreck VS is putting out these days...

    11th February, 2009

    rating


    Velvet Tuberose by Bath and Body Works

    This is the scent that pushed me into perfume-chasing, so I have to give it a thumbs up. After decades of drugstore fragrances (I've never even smelled Amarige!), I popped into BBW during a sale to stock up on my favorite mood-booster, the Aromatherapy Orange-Ginger, and buy my sister's fave Aromatherapy Lavender & Vanilla for her birthday. Out of curiosity, I picked up every new fragrance to sniff. The Velvet Tuberose grabbed me by the front of my blouse and propelled me to the counter. (I had to circle back to get the Aromatherapy stuff.)

    I get plenty of tuberose -- albeit a very well-behaved one, no Fracas here ** -- and orchid, with a deep underpinning of amber and cashmeran "wood" tones. On me it seems somewhat linear, in that I get tuberose-and-orchid-and-amber-and-wood all at once, with no discernible phases. I love this. It's a comfort scent for me, in cold weather, and I enjoy the way it lasts on me. Friends who hug me comment that I smell nice, and my daughter, who despises the way it smells in the bottle, says that it's far nicer on my skin.

    ** I LIKE Fracas. It's a classic, and I'm not putting this on the same level -- but I didn't know about Fracas last fall when I bought my 50 ml bottle of VT for about $19.

    04 February, 2009

    rating


    Red Carnation / Oeillet Rouge by Ava Luxe

    I wanted so much to like this one. I adore the true, spicy garden carnation scent, which is totally unlike the anemic florist-variety carnation. In my quest for a carnation perfume, I tested Ava Luxe, Comme des Garcons Series 2: Red - Carnation, and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Oeillets Rouges, having already tried Caron Bellodgia and found it too musty, too generic floral, for me. Fragonard Billet Doux was nice, but blander than I liked.

    Alas. On me, from the very first minute, this was a soapy, bitter mess. Under the bitterness, I can pick up a vague hint of clove. I had to scrub it off. Bleah.

    CdG was nice to start, but developed a hint of the same soapy bitterness 20 minutes in. My favorite of the bunch is the DSH, although I haven't tried the JAR Golconda or the Santa Maria Novella Garofano.


    04 February, 2009

    rating


    Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

    This perfume is the single cause of my patchouli-phobia. Seriously. It gives me nightmares.

    As a pre-teen, I went on a rare jaunt to the movies with friends one night, and had the terrible misfortune to sit behind a woman who seemed to have bathed in this stuff. I had to excuse myself to the theater lobby in order to keep my stomach contents where they ought to be. Even now, years later, a whiff of this turns my stomach.

    Odd: when I smell this, I barely notice the spices and florals. They're there, but they are so overshadowed by the patchouli that they are merely the lovely background against which the patchouli screams at the top of its voice. I adore spices, even clove, and I absolutely adore carnations, so it's a shame I hardly smell them at all in this skanky patchouli-fest.

    30th January, 2009

    rating


    Bulgari pour Femme by Bulgari

    Given the list of notes, I thought I'd adore this one. It is quite pleasant in the topnote phase, although a little subdued. As it moves into the heart phase (rose, jasmine, violet), I pick up an unpleasantly musty, stale, powdery scent that lingers for about an hour and then fades as the fragrance heads into drydown. This is probably the violet. This is not for me -- it reminds me of the drugstore scents my grandmother bought in the 40's and was still insisting were "perfectly good!' in the late 90's, although the liquid had turned dark brown. Bleah.

    Except for the mustiness, which may just be my skin chemistry, it's quite pleasant. Feminine, floral, not too sweet.

    30th January, 2009

    rating


    Petite Chérie by Annick Goutal

    Like some other reviewers, I immediately got a hit of something like "fizzy peach/pear liqueur," more pear than peach, which I found refreshing and quite summery. I don't get the cut-grass note, but rather something pleasantly astringent, like gin. (Actually, I'm now rather inspired to make a mixed drink of peach schnapps, Poire William, gin, and seltzer... must try that sometime when the weather's hot...) It then moved into a delicious-smelling, warm, fresh blend of peach and rose, which l enjoyed for about an hour before the scent gradually trailed off into faint whispers of rose. Doesn't last long, but the comfort factor is enormous.

    I bought this for my 13-year-old daughter to try, but on her the opening notes are turpentiny rather than fruity. "What does this smell like?" I asked her after spritzing her wrist, fully expecting her to get the same notes I got. "Paint," she said. Paint?! Then I sniffed her wrist. Yup. On her, it's paint thinner which moves into a gentle rose.

    It's pretty pricey for something that I only find sweet and comforting. I'll use up my sample, and then drink my "Little Darling" mixed drink while smelling garden roses. Ahhh. Much the same effect, far cheaper.

    30th January, 2009

    rating


    Daisy by Marc Jacobs

    Recently I spent an afternoon at the perfume counter at Macy's, looking for a new perfume. At 41, I've long outgrown my drugstore scents, but only recently has my income allowed me to try higher-end stuff... and my beloved bottle of Victoria's Secret Pink (please, keep your groans to yourself!) is now relegated to a Spritz-the-Pillow Bedtime Comfort Scent. I re-tried all the classics and classic wanna-bes on hand there: Chanel No. 5, so great on my mom, goes sour on me. Shalimar, waaaaay too much patchouli and makes me nauseous (although it's great on my friend). Miss Dior Cherie, sweet enough to decay the teeth at twenty paces. Lovely, Deseo, anything by Liz Taylor: Bleah, patchouli. I sniffed those new fruity-sugary concoctions, too: Pink Sugar, Be Delicious. Ick. Then the SA sprayed some Daisy, and my immediate thought was, "It's so PRETTY!"

    I get no strawberry from the top, just citrus and fresh green notes. It moves quickly into gardenia, which I love, and fresh jasmine, sprinkled with faint powdery violet, and the basenotes of woody musk (the vanilla is almost silent on me) linger with echoes of gardenia. Lasts about 5+ hrs on me, with a moderate spritz. It's not a developing, complex fragrance. It's just, well, pretty. It's great on days when I want to think about summer. I'm betting it will be light enough to wear in hot weather, too.

    28 January, 2009

    rating


    Quelques Fleurs Royale by Houbigant

    I obtained two 2-ml sample vials of this, and was all set to enjoy them. I tried a light application one evening and found the fresh citrusy opening pleasant (I get no currant notes), and the heart elegantly floral and feminine in that "French Perfume" sort of way. I dabbed some on the next morning before heading to work, and although I was wearing ponte' knit trousers and a sweater, felt as chic and elegant as a French woman in a chignon, a fitted suit and stilettos, tapping down l'avenue.

    And then the indoles hit me. As I was pulling into the parking lot at work, it was suddenly as if this elegant French woman had taken off the silk thong panties she'd been wearing for a week and hung them from my rear view mirror! Ack! I rushed right into the bathroom and used the grit soap to wash my wrists. That calmed it down enough for me to tolerate.

    Later, the drydown became the most exquisitely enjoyable I have ever experienced. Orris, amber, wood, and musk: sooooo wonderful. I didn't want to stop sniffing my wrists. However, I'm not sure I can endure the indolic jasmine heart just to reach the drydown, so I won't be purchasing this.

    28 January, 2009

    rating


    Fracas by Robert Piguet

    I love tuberose... I love big white florals... I wanted to love Fracas... but it scares me. I applied with a very light touch, which was probably a good thing: I got big Maria Callas diva tuberose, and very little else.

    Someone mentioned that the character of Fracas changes with the weather, and that may be a factor in my experience. It's cold and damp now, and I keep my house at 67 F in the winter. Perhaps if it were warmer, I'd get more of the other notes. I get very little citrus/herbal green notes in the beginning; the tuberose seems to appear right away and drown out everything else. The drydown got so quiet on me that it just about disappeared. (Maybe I shouldn't be so faint-hearted about application?) I will keep my sample and will try it from time to time in different weather. THis is a classic and should be appreciated -- I'll keep working on it.

    28 January, 2009

    rating


    Michael Kors / Michael by Michael Kors

    I just love this one. I tend to spray lightly (I have the mini bottle, and have just ordered a large one -- I have a feeling I'm going to spending lots of time in this), and found that the sillage is moderate, just the way I like it, on me. It wafts when I walk, but it doesn't enter the room before I do.

    I get mandarin and freesia first, and then the incense kicks in with warm spice. Just a bit later I get the tuberose, and the peony. The tuberose is certainly the star, but it's not a big screaming Fracas-type tuberose. The peony is cool and dry, probably the effect of the arum lily and orris, and not a fresh green peony. From here to the end, I get spicy florals, supported by warm woods. I adore it. It may be too heavy for warm weather, but it's cold, wet January now, and I plan to wear this a great deal.

    28 January, 2009

    rating


    Marc Jacobs Essence by Marc Jacobs

    I love gardenia, and I really wanted to love my sample of Essence. But I don't. The notes sound soooo lovely: citrus, gardenia, other white flowers, sandalwood and musk... but all I get, from the first minute through the time it fades, is gardenia. Nothin' but gardenia. All gardenia, all the time. This reminds me of Coty Sand and Sable's more elegant sister... but I already own SaS, and it cost $5, and I don't need another gardenia fragrance. I won't be buying it.

    28 January, 2009

    Showing 1 to 15 of 15.