Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Primrose

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Fils de Dieu du Riz et des Agrumes by Etat Libre d'Orange

This is a nice scent in many ways being a complex oriental with a light gourmand touch. Its shortcoming is the lack of longevity. I expect more from ELDO, and this was not the quality I have come to expect. I have other scents from the line that are much better than this.
18th March, 2015

La Religieuse by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

When I first tried La Religieuse, my first thought was, "Ceci n'est pas un Serge Lutens!" Truly! With all the advertising copy on nuns and black and white habits, I thought of a heavy dark incense and a strong white floral. This did not happen for me.

Instead, La Religieuse is a pleasant jasmine floral with touches of incense and civet. It wears close to the skin with average longevity. I love SL scents like Chergui, Cuir Mauresque and Sa Majeste La Rose, which are strong in character.

I will wear La Religiuese in the warmer months when lighter scents are called for. This scent is like the quiet of nuns in contemplation, and not like the loud and joyful choir.
11th March, 2015

Lady Gaga Fame by Lady Gaga

Fame is not as ground-breaking as I had hoped with its black colour and unique bottle. In the end, it's just a middle-of-the road gourmand scent that had now trickled its way down from Nordstrom to Walmart. The 50 ml bottle can now be bought on eBay for $8.00.

It's not a bad scent, but it's not anything that jumps out and demands a second wearing.

Lady Gaga's second endeavour with Eau de Gaga in 2014 was a much better fragrance.

Buy Fame it for the bottle.
22nd February, 2015
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Eau de Gaga by Lady Gaga

This scent was not heavily marketed in the United States at the launch.

Oddly, the contents in the bottle do not match the bottle. With the angular all-black bottle looks very By Killian or Chanel Coco Noir, so one expects a deep, dark scent loaded with incense, labdanum or patchouli.

Not so. This is a fresh citrus (lime) with a light undercoat of leather. After all, the "name" says it's an "eau." That said, the bottle should have been more indicative of a light, watery scent. Even the notes state a "sparkling water accord."

So much for the presentation and its disconnect.

The scent itself is pleasant. Light and inoffensive. Safe for work or any occasion. Not ground-breaking but worth a bottle if you enjoy the scent.
22nd February, 2015

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Musc Ravageur is a hate-it-or-love-it scent. For me, it's a love-it.

Skanky is very much a personal opinion.

The opening of lavender with cinnamon is wonderful and it heads towards its musky, vanilla/amber drydown. It shares kinship with Le Labo Labdanum 18 and also L de Lolita Lempicka (also created by Maurice Roucel) with its prominent use of cinnamon, musk, amber and vanilla.

The eau de parfum of MR is very strong, and there is also the body butter.

Get past the musky, dirty opening and enjoy the drydown.

21st February, 2015

Sous Le Vent by Guerlain

I tried the most recent version. I understand the vintage is the one worth having. Yes, it IS wonderful. It's like a sister to Guerlain's Derby.

I retried this, and found it was too fleeting to buy a bottle prior to its being discontinued. For that money, I'd rather have a bottle of Vol de Nuit, Shalimar or Jicky parfum.

My Derby will have a place in my collection.
13th June, 2014

Bullion by Byredo

This is a wonderfully blended leather and the leather stands out.

For the price, however, I would compare with PG Cuir d'Iris, which smells similar to my nose.
19th April, 2014

Fleurs d'Ombre Violette-Menthe by Jean-Charles Brosseau

Wonderful and fresh scent for a spring day! Spirit-lifting and cool, the mint and the violets, not too powdery, Violette-Mente an understated scent. Not a heavy scent, which is what you sometimes need.
14th March, 2014

Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

This is one of my go-to scents, and it sits out in the open with my regular rotation of scents. This is not a novelty for me. When I cannot decide on what I "feel" like wearing, I dab on some of this perfume. (I don't use the EDT.) It's green and fresh with the galbanum but warm with the vanilla notes in the drydown. There are also hints of something leathery. Very much a classic Guerlain, so if you prefer citruses and fruity florals, this may not be for you. This is truly a unisex, and it is warm and elegant.
01st December, 2013 (last edited: 26th March, 2015)

3 Cuir Ambre by Prada

Wonderful scent but not unique

Prada's No. 3 Cuir Ambre is a fantastic scent. Don't get me wrong.



But at one sniff, I had smelled this before. Serge Lutens' Cuir Mauresque. Cuir Ambre is far too similar to Cuir Mauresque. And Cuir Mauresque is much cheaper and also good with projection and longevity.



Try both and decide which one you like better. The Lutens are eau de parfums, and are sold in 50 ml and the bell bottle, while the Cuir Ambre is a parfum and is sold in 30 ml.

Pros: Longevity
Cons: Too much like another scent
10th October, 2013 (last edited: 28th March, 2014)

L'Ambre des Merveilles by Hermès

Too little sillage and longevity

A wonderful flanker to Eau des Merveilles, a light amber mix, slightly gourmand, but far too fleeting and with poor sillage. I expected more in an EDP. If you enjoy it, go for it, but testing first is a must; do not buy on first sniff.

In a side-by-side comparison with Hermes Ambre Narguile, an EDT, did much better. Almost the same scent as L'Ambre des Merveilles, but with a little more spice and much better longevity and sillage. Four hours later into the comparison, the L'Ambre is hardly there while the Ambre Narguile is very much present and enjoyable.

My personal recommendation is to spend the extra money and buy a bottle of Ambre Narguile. It's worth the extra money.

Pros: Wonderful scent
Cons: Too light and fleeting

11th June, 2013

Bronze Goddess Eau Fraîche Skinscent by Estée Lauder

A fresh citrus/coconut/amber scent that screams, "Suntan oil." Great scent to enjoy and not "haute parfumerie," but just for fun. Merits a full bottle as this is a light eau de toilette. Try using the skin oil and layer to make it last longer. Longevity of this eau fraiche is not a plus.

This is a fresh addition to any collection. Truly a "beach in a bottle." It makes a good unisex for men who like a gourmand summer scent.

EDIT: Starting in 2014, this comes in a body cream. This has the most longevity out of all of the ancillary products.
14th April, 2013 (last edited: 23rd April, 2015)

Orangers en Fleurs by Houbigant

This is indeed a cousin of Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger without the strong cumin. It is a lovely orange blossom with florals and greens. Nutmeg provides the subtle spice.

If you love orange blossom, this is a must-try.

Not as powerful in longevity and sillage as the SL, this is a bit more than moderate.

Hopefully this means that Houbigant, a company with REAL historical roots dating back to the 18th century, will be coming back into the fragrance market with interesting scents.

At $180 for 100ml, this is a luxury item. The bottle is made to look like antique crystal, yet sadly the cap over the spray nozzle is made of plastic. Not impressed. I would have thought it should be glass at this price. The foil label on the bottle makes references to the bottles from the 1920s and 1930s, and had hoped Houbigant would have at least a glass cap to take the luxe reference even further.

Even the mainstream Chanels (in the iconic square bottles) have glass caps; the No. 19 Eau Poudree has a cap of frosted glass.

All in all, the scent is elegant and even unisex for those who enjoy orange blossom.

13th March, 2013
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Loukhoum by Keiko Mecheri

I make a good attempt to like this, but in the end it did not work for me.

The sweet opening was pleasant enough with the almonds kicking in.

I will stick to my L'Artisan Traversee du Bosphore for my fix of Turkish Delight.
06th December, 2012

Knize Ten by Knize

Truly a love-it-or-hate-it scent.

This is a floral leather with "rubber/tar" undertones, but I get mostly flowers and leather. I don't get the tobacco others mention. I find this most closely resembles Cuir Mauresque by Serge Lutens with its fruity floral leather and "neoprene" vibe.

Good longevity and good sillage.

Like all scents, a sampling is in order is you are interested in leather scents, but I enjoy Knize Ten.
16th November, 2012

Angel by Thierry Mugler

I did not "get" Angel at first sniff and I had to give it many wearings. What a fragrance! Certainly unique and mature, and far from the candy/fruity scents now so popular.

I admit that it is not for everyone.

This patchouli gourmand is powerful and there is nothing young and flirty about it. It can easily be worn as a unisex with its chocolate patchouli with caramel and vanilla.

For those turned off to Angel, I recommend giving this one time and several wearings before writing it off.
09th November, 2012 (last edited: 11th November, 2012)

Tom Ford Noir by Tom Ford

I so wanted to love this new scent but was disappointed.

Nice? Yes. But it did not grab me like his Tobacco Vanille or Tuscan Leather, or even Neroli Portofino. I was not grabbed at the top notes and lost interest. I would stick to my Black Orchid, which interested me in the top notes and let me explore all the way down to the base.

In all, a rather average offering despite the enchanting name. The word "noir" seems all the rage now.
09th November, 2012

Boucheron by Boucheron

Boucheron is a must for lovers of modern French perfumery. I has a lush and classical feel in the warmth and the rich florals of orange blossom and tuberose. "The Guide" rates this highly yet infers it is a bit obnoxious, describing being near someone wearing Boucheron is like being photographed next to a colossal marble foot as big as a car, but I disagree.
I prefer the Boucheron in the EDP. It is indeed powerful, but it is glamourous and attracting notice. This is not for a wallflower. Apply to suit your skin and the weather and you won't knock anyone out. Instead, enjoy this opulent fragrance.
28th October, 2012

Mayfair by D.R. Harris & co.

This is an overlooked fragrance in the D.R. Harris line. Admittedly, it's not for everyone as it is very strong, floral and musky.

One might consider this a classic scent since you won't compare it to a modern aquatic. It is warm and pleasant.

Very strong, so use a light touch.
18th July, 2012

Eau de Cologne à la Reine des Fleurs by Piver

Very much an eau de Cologne in the manner of Farina.

it is light and refreshing, and as OdysseusM observes, a bit more herbal than citrus.

Timeless and unisex, a great value for an eau de Cologne. I would even go so far to say on a par with Guerlain's venerable Eau Imperiale.
05th June, 2012

Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne

The iris might be a misnomer, but this scent is wonderful. There are other florals, but iris is not predominating.

The floral and resins blend nicely in the basenotes. The fleeting tops note, for me, give a whiff of leather, which is very pleasant.

This lasts for hours, but agree with Sugandaraja that is is not sillage-heavy.
09th March, 2012

Sampaquita by Ormonde Jayne

I agree with Mimi Gardenia, Off-Scenter and parfumeuse Ayala about the common feel of this scent.

There is nothing inherently wrong with it. It is very pleasant in the top notes. Nothing extraordinary, just pleasant.

There are others in the Ormonde Jayne line worth a full bottle.
09th March, 2012

Bottega Veneta by Bottega Veneta

EDIT: 14/04/12

I have found that Bottega Veneta is a different spin on a floral leather scent. I actually enjoy this now! (My older review is below.)

This had already been done by Armani Prive with their Cuir Amethyste.

The floral patchouli with leather is too similar to be considered a unique creation. (The Bottega Veneta has jasmine while the Armani has more violet.)

Too similar to make an additional purchase if you have the Cuir Amethyste.



28th February, 2012 (last edited: 14th April, 2012)

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

I so wanted to love Tobacco Vanille, as I enjoy sweet tobacco scents. It goes on as a warm, sweet tobacco and vanilla--what is on on the tin is in the contents.

In the end, on me, I got mostly a warm amber and vanilla with less of the tobacco.

I give this a thumbs up if you like more vanilla than tobacco, as some do.

I adore the Tuscan Leather in this line, but will find my sweet tobacco elsewhere in other scents:

By Killian Back to Black
Costamor Tabacca
Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

EDIT: I also bought Tobacco Vanille to add to my tobacco lineup
05th February, 2012 (last edited: 20th March, 2012)

Back to Black by By Kilian

I wanted an unsparked pipe tobacco scent--one without the ashtray note and Back to Black fills the bill.

Back to Black is a moderately sweet pipe tobacco scent with an almost fruity edge.

Not as "pipey" or smoky as the wonderful Fumerie Turque, but more on the candified side.

Good sillage and longevity. I recommend this scent.

Because of the price, this is a sample-first fragrance.

07th October, 2011

Sweet Redemption by By Kilian

Wow! This finale for Kilian is a wonderful finish for his Oeuvre Noire collection.

I first lost my heart to his Back to Black, a rich pipe tobacco vanilla scent.

The top notes start of fresh and citrusy, but then the middle starts to emerge as the most breath-taking orange blossom scent I have experienced since Narcisse Noire extrait. The resins of myrrh and frankincense (olibanum) provide the ecclesiastical notes to "redeem" the wearer, of which sins, you need not disclose! (Only you and your confessor will know!)

I was vageuly reminded of Hermes 24, Faubourg EDP, but the Redemption is less floral and bright, and richer and warmer. (Mind you, I sometimes prefer the more floral scents.)

Finally, the rich, warm basenotes have vanilla and benzoin predominating.

Long-lasting and with good sillage. Worth the price, as are many of Kilian's offerings.
07th October, 2011

La Petite Robe Noire 2 / Mademoiselle Guerlain by Guerlain

Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire scents launched with condemnation and scorn, but I wish to defend these scents. Guerlain purists turned up their noses--literally--criticising everything from the bottle to scent itself.

The LPRN 1 of 2009 was a rose/licorice sweet scent and was a big seller in the U.S.

The LPRN 2 was released two years later. It is a sweetish scent, but more floral and citrusy to my nose. Much less candied than the first version.

The top notes are a bright orange blossom with fresh green, not the usual gourmand. The mid-notes are the guimauve scents of vanilla-like sweetness and the bottom notes are delicate leather and musk.

The official notes for LPRN 2 are: bergamot, lemon, galbanum, iris, orange blossom, marshmallow, white leather and musk.

This scent is a must-try as I think it's a scent you either love or despise.
21st June, 2011

Boxeuses by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

I sampled Boxeuses ("female boxers" in French) expecting to be "knocked out" with a potent mix of plum and leather. In the end, it did not deliver and I saved myself the expense of a full bottle.

From the top notes down, I found the scent to be average. Nothing jumped out at me at all. A gentle touch of leather and some mild florals and woody notes. The leather had the "industrial" feel of chemicals and rubber that I get in the SL Cuir Mauresque, which I enjoy a great deal. I did not get the urge to put my nose to my wrist for another sniff, the real test as to whether I am charmed with a fragrance or not.

For me, this is not SL's best effort. Some say it's a repeat of Daim Blond.

For a truly potent take on plum and leather, I recommend Histoires de Parfums 1889 Moulin Rouge. Rich and mildly sweet from the beginning, the 1889 has great sillage and longevity and will garner compliments.
18th June, 2011

Midnight in Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels

I was intrigued by the leather accord noted. For me, the accord did not make itself known in a dramatic way.

When I tried Midnight in Paris, I reacted to the warmth of the scent. At first, I was vaguely reminded of Balmain Ambre Gris. As the drydown progressed, I kept getting impressions of spice here and there, perhaps the sharpness of the rosemary.

All in all, like Foetidus, I was not impressed. Others may beg to differ, but I would not buy a full bottle.

Pleased, yes, but not one I will buy.

EDIT: I did buy the EDT of this at a discount. Will use it as a summer scent.
19th May, 2011 (last edited: 20th July, 2012)

24, Faubourg by Hermès

An early love affair with orange blossom! 24, Faubourg is my elegant reach-for scent up there with Boucheron EDP.

I enjoy both the 24, Faubourg EDT and the EDP. I have not tried the perfume.

The warm orange blossom and jasmine, mingled with the ambery/vanilla drydown is always classy. It has presence and sillage, and people will notice.

This is not likely to be a scent worn by many. It is unique and distinctive.

19th May, 2011