Reviews by Bastetcat

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    Bastetcat
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    Nuit de Tubéreuse by L'Artisan Parfumeur


    I used to live in Florida. Anyone who's spent some time there might have been present during one of the major citrus flowerings.
    Certain months bring the celestial fragrance of the flowers wafting in the breeze. In its natural form, orange blossom is gorgeous. It's also very easy to ruin a frag with too much. Even worse, is one of those awful, nasty fake orange blossom fragrance that makes you instantly ill.
    The same is true for the tuberose flower. Heavy and sweet, it can easily overpower a scent, or be bloated to artificial proportions.
    Furthermore, tuberose is like a beautiful alcoholic. Off the booze, she's fun to be around, but let her too close to the liquor cabinet, and she'll start knocking over tables and starting brawls.
    Having said that, Nuit De Tubereuse is dominated by the scent. It smells true to the flower to me, although I've only smelled it in essential oil form. Tuberose has had a drink or two this Nuit, but she hasn't lost control...barely. She's getting loud, but she's still laughing and the life of the party. Her jokes are a little off-color, not to everyone's taste. It's getting a little warm, and the guests are sweating lightly under gaudy outfits. No one can take their eyes off of her.
    But if you're up to it, tuberose is throwing one hell of a party here.

    25th February, 2014

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    Belle d'Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

    I'm not sure it's fair to compare this to Opium, really. It's different enough to stand on its own imo. Not that it's a strong perfume, it's fairly delicate. Sweet but not sickly, with some nice spice undertones.
    I actually like it worn along with Opium.

    25th February, 2014

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    Honour Woman by Amouage

    Muddled mess of overly sweet white flowers. It's a bad tuberose ruining the mix here. Tuberose has to be kept on a leash.
    Imagine a drunken wedding guest knocking over the cake and trampling it into the decorations. Just a sweet mess everywhere.
    This is why we can't have nice things.

    25th February, 2014

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    Sira des Indes by Jean Patou

    I put off reviewing this frag for over a year...it is so magical I wanted to wax poetical as several of the earlier reviews did. I wanted to do it justice...but alas, my brain will not cooperate. So I will just muddle through with clumsy words.

    It's not entirely my fault. Describing Sira Des Indes with English is like trying to capture an ethereal mist with a bucket.

    The heart of Sira is the champaca flower. I'm surprised it's not listed here. I bought a bottle for a great price as a blind buy because of that. I had just visited a local nursery (I was in Florida at the time) that had several trees for sale, so I had the chance to smell this exotic beauty alive and on its tree. Essential oils and absolutes can only capture part of the fragrance of the flower. There are many subtle notes that get lost. In addition, in the native state, you also smell the leaves, the bark...maybe the souring odor of some dying blooms along with the fresh.

    Imagine walking into the jungles of India, where the Champaca tree comes from. Not all the way in, just a few steps. You are surrounded by blooming trees. Close your eyes and inhale everything. The ethereal fragrance of the tree surrounds you. It is alive and vibrating with lightness. You almost feel like you could float off the ground, just a little. But your feet remain planted in the ground of course. Your bare toes wiggle in the dirt and decomposing leaves and fallen blooms. It's an earthy smell, it's not unpleasant at all, and it's far below your head. It's supporting you. Beyond this grove of Champaca trees, there are some banana trees. You know they are there, and they belong in this jungle. They are not very close, so they don't distract you very much. The air is hot and humid, this is India. You are sweating in the heat. But you showered just before visiting the jungle. Taking another deep breath, you can smell some of your clean sweat on the moist breeze. You stand and breathe in this magical aroma for a timeless eternity...just as you get ready to leave, you also realize there is a Temple nearby, where sandalwood incense has been burning for hundreds of years, in honor of divine beings.

    Well, that was my experience, at any rate. :-)

    11th February, 2014

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    Enjoy by Jean Patou

    Poor red-headed stepchild! I think EnJoy is unfairly being rated against big sister Joy. I like it. It's very well blended and complex. More "modern", less "perfume-y" smelling than Joy. I find it sweet without being cloying at all. I definitely recommend you give it an honest try before dismissing it.

    The notes came out backwards on me. I smelled the floral heart notes first - but that may be because I adore rose and jasmine, and instinctively seek them out in any fragrance. The florals lasted about 45 minutes. Now, an hour later, I smell the top note fruits balanced on the patchouli/musk base. Florals mostly all gone. I get more of a "peach" smell than anything else. Otherwise, I can't really single out a particular fruit, but I don't find any "bananna" note at all. This is a good thing as far as I'm concerned as I was rather dreading that note. Hints of nice vanilla.

    I love a perfume that evolves well on me, and this is definitely one of them.

    This is my second try, and I'm hooked. While I like big sister better, EnJoy is lovely enough that I'm now looking to buy a bottle. 2 thumbs up!

    02nd August, 2009

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    Rare Gold by Avon

    I tried really hard to like this one; my favorite perfume of all time is the sister frag Rare Rubies. Alas for me, the sublime Rare Rubies was discontinued (and now sells for up to $80 a bottle on Ebay....get a clue Avon!) and this crap was kept. In tiny, tiny doses it is tolerable for me, but otherwise it is overwhelmingly sickly sweet. I was hoping for more orange blossom note, but can't honestly detect any. Then again, to be honest, I can't stand smelling this long enough to try and detect any notes. Yuck.

    17th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 08th February, 2014)

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    Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf

    WOW! That was my first reaction to this beauty. Instant love at first sniff! Very sweet, but somehow Flowerbomb pulls off the sweetness without being cloying. The delicate floral notes wrap around the sweetness to produce a smooth creaminess that is pure decadence. Intoxicating! Reactions from female friends are somewhat "meh", but my male friends practically started drooling on me!
    I cannot detect the bergamot note at all. In fact, I am skeptical that it's really there at all! Bergamot seems to astringent to mix with the other notes here. A light tea moving rapidly to light jasmine is what I get. The middle notes last the longest on me; I only get the faintest notes of rose. Truthfully, there doesn't seem to be any drydown; like Ultraviolet (another winner for me) Flowerbomb has a very quick opening followed by hours of an unchanging middle.
    I also do not detect any patchouli, in fact was surprised to see it listed as a note. I suspect a light hand was used with the patchouli, and it is probably that note that keeps the sweetness in check. Not super long lasting on me, but with my chemistry that is typical (only about 4-5 hours at best).
    All thumbs up for me!

    17th July, 2009

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    Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

    I tried hard to like this, I really did. The exotic ingredients and complexity fascinated me. Unfortunately, my first test gave me an instant headache and nausea, a reaction I rarely get from scents. My husband also detested it. Sickly sweet with an unpleasant spice note. I cannot detect any particular notes as I can't smell it long enough to try. :(
    Here's proof of my honest attempt to like it: despite my very strongly negative first reaction, I just tried it again. I do believe different times of the day and different moods affect one's chemistry. It was worse the second time around. The barest spritz on my wrist sent me to the bathroom immediately to scrub it off, something I've never done before! I have now scrubbed my wrist raw, applied rubbing alcohol and it's still making me sick to my stomach. 2 thumbs down on this one!

    17th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 04th August, 2009)

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    Rare Rubies by Avon

    This has got to be my favorite fragrance of all time. This was the fragrance that introduced me the idea of "notes" in a perfume. It's also the first perfume I bought blind, based purely on those notes. Since I had such luck that first time, I'm afraid I became influenced to continue that risky behavior!

    The first time I tried it, I was transported straight to a velvet and silk room in my mind. Warm, sensual dark jasmine-y, with a musky sandalwood base. Complex and spicy. I wear it during the day, but I am a bold person. Not for the timid. I have yet to find anything truly close to it in smell, although I find Guerlain's Samsara is similar in "mood" to this.

    I get a LOT of compliments on this from both genders when I wear it. Currently am hoarding my last few drops as the price has become exorbitant and it's getting hard to find. To any Avon reps reading this: Please bring this back!

    17th July, 2009

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    Ultraviolet by Paco Rabanne

    Absolutely lovely. I bought it on a whim based on the description here and couldn't be happier. There's a brief spicy opening, followed by hours of sweetness that's not a bit cloying or overpowering. I couldn't really make out much of a difference between the middle and end notes. On me, they blend together. The staying power was truly impressive; I could still smell it just a bit after 13 hours - no perfume has ever lasted longer than 4-6 hours on me! I can't truly identify any particular note. As has been stated before the fragrance is somewhat artificial. To me this makes it truly unique, but at the expense of being able to describe it. Then again, mine is not the most experienced nose out there, so maybe I'm just ignorant. Actually, I'd love to know if there's another frag that smells similar - maybe someone here can enlighten me.
    Regardless, I just love Ultraviolet! All thumbs up for this one!


    10th July, 2009

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    Angel by Thierry Mugler

    I've always loved scent and perfume, but am new to details of perfumery (e.g. I only recently learned the difference between an "eau de toillette" and "eau de parfum" Go ahead and laugh! LOL ).

    I''d been seeing references to Angel on my soaping forums...folks raving about it. So I decided I had to try it. (more specifically, I wanted to sample the original before buying a dupe for soap scenting!).

    I think I was expecting a light floral, something "ethereal" with the name "Angel". So my first whiff of this notorious brew was quite shocking. Shocking along the lines of getting a sip of coffee when you thought you were going to taste apple juice. It's not that coffee is bad, but your taste buds weren't prepared. Neither was my nose. I pulled back in shock, much to the amusement of the store clerk I'm sure. Then I went back. And back again. Wow! I took home a paper strip and couldn't stop sniffing it all day. My husband, who is NOT into scents (especially patchouli) also liked it. I went back and sprayed a sample directly on my skin to try that.

    The first thing my nose detects is "spice". I'm really surprised by all the negative comments that complain the scent is "sickly sweet" because I don't get any sweetness at all. Ah, the idiosyncrasies of nature. Interestingly, my patient husband agrees. "That's not sweet at all!" he exclaimed. The initial spice burst wore off within about 15-20 minutes. Then I got some chocolate, not a milk chocolate but a dark one. About a half hour after that the patchouli came through. This is not a "dirty hippy" patchouli, but an elegant restrained patchouli. I am reminded of the difference I smell between my dark copper-distilled patchouli EO and a "green" CO2 extract patchouli I have. Now, after a good hour, I finally get a touch (a light touch!) of sweetness with the patchouli.

    It's worn mostly off now, about 6 hours after spraying it on me, which is pretty long lasting for me (my skin eats most fragrances and makeups). I love it, and I will be using the dupe (very close!) in my soap line!

    06th February, 2009

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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000