Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Miss_Madeleine

Total Reviews: 12

Niki de Saint Phalle by Niki de Saint Phalle

Mid-1980's, I was a redhead, drove a red Karmann Ghia, and wore a chunky, over-sized, teal colored sweater and would douse myself in Niki de Saint Phalle. Thing is, I still like it. I rediscovered it in my hidden away stash recently and have now brought it front and center. It IS chypre (and I am such a sucker for chypres) but, my friends, it is the carnation which does it for me: warm & spicy yet still a floral somehow. I get the orris root (slight) and the citrus (faint) & the oak moss & patchouli but it is the carnation which is its heart and soul. Read a comparison between Niki de St. Phalle & Chanel 19 (another favorite dear to my heart) but I don't get it: This is sultry & full without 19's graceful dry down. Here the carnation silage remains pronounced and its longevity is - ah, I now recall my youthful hesitation- impressive. This scent demands commitment & confidence, traits I could not claim as a young redhead who drove a red Karmann Ghia.
30th October, 2013

Belle du Soir by Le Labo

Whatever it was I smelled at the top repulsed me. P-U. So I did not buy it. One hour later, then 2, then 4 hours later, it became a lovely, subtle chypre. I got a mellow sandalwood, not much patchouli, and, yes, I smelled oak moss, too. Will get this next visit to Anthropologie.
03rd September, 2012

Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I so admire other reviewers' ability to decipher all the notes and nuances of this very fun perfume. I had been experimenting with vetiver when I happened upon L'Artisan's Vetiver. I was so excited by this: All the fun notes, the sparkle, the genius of good perfumery. I had sampled Timbuktu but decided to stick to Vetiver for the time being. Eventually I did purchase it. In Paris. The woman sold me the larger bottle instead of the smaller one I asked for (not a mistake, I'm sure) and tried to make amends by showering me with samples of . . . Timbuktu.

Picture this: A lovely hotel room on the corner of the top floor with a small balcony for a very affordable rate (and no I'm not telling you where). You've purchased the last English copy of a book you love and cannot get in the US, sitting in a cafe on a cool but sunny day, and life is sublime. This is the perfume which brings me the most compliments. And I smile to remember my first experience with it.

I am fascinated by the notes because, for me, not one of them asserts itself too prominently. They are balanced and evoke color and cheeriness and sophistication all at the same time. I would liken it to a Chagall. This perfume does not take itself too seriously but it has substance and quality to not be dismissed either.

As for being showered with samples: They're all gone and I am on my third bottle of Timbuktu.
29th August, 2012 (last edited: 02nd September, 2012)
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Sa Majesté la Rose by Serge Lutens

I was looking for a perfume which spoke luscious red roses to me and this is it. For me, this is not an interesting perfume with lots of different layers and definitive moments: It is rose upon rose upon rose. Could be cloying and overwhelming if over-used but plays well with others and used lightly (one spritz to the neck and I feel loved all day) is a lovely, womanly fragrance. Not for a sweet young thing, but for a fully bloomed woman. I also note faint apple in it which serves only to offer the deep rose a little effervescence. Longevity is as excellent as I would expect from Lutens. A classic in my wardrobe.
29th August, 2012 (last edited: 02nd September, 2012)

Ancient Attar Pure-Fume Spirit Spray by Aveda

Nothing exotic or evocative for me here. Smells like really good black licorice supported by a bit of amber in the dry down. Sillage is more interesting but longevity not so impressive.
29th August, 2012

Rose 31 by Le Labo

I fell in love with this at Liberty London before reading any reviews (probably a good idea anyway), so was surprised to read it's considered a men's fragrance as I think it's one of the most feminine scents I own. Okay, MY interpretation of feminine (not a fan of florals). The longevity is impressive and the rose lingers throughout the dry down even as the incense base announces itself. I get bergamot as a top note which dissipates gently while allowing the rose and incense forth-is that frankincense? I find the whole fragrance experience quite mystical really, conjuring the sense of an ancient stone church with the door open to luscious Spring afternoon. I am on my second bottle and that's a strong vote of approval from me. I am heading to London again as I am starting to run low and I remember liking Le Labo's London exclusive, Poivre 23, as well.

27th August, 2012 (last edited: 02nd September, 2012)

Calyx by Prescriptives

Love it in the bottle but makes me feel like a giant grapefruit.
17th April, 2006

April Violets by Yardley

Sickly sweet, gooey even. Reminds me of cotton candy. But . . . but it was my first frangrance and I was thrilled with it. I won't have it in my home but can never resist a whiff when I see it in the store.
10th April, 2006

Coriandre Eau de Toilette by Jean Couturier

Very green and yet quite sophisticated with bottom notes of moss - some spice? An acquired taste, I think, for its uniqueness and sillage. Use wisely.
10th April, 2006

Tatiana by Diane Von Furstenberg

Probably too floral for me these days, I wore this in my early 20's - ah, the tapered jeans, Cherokee platforms and white smocks. It was a good look. I digress, this perfume is memorable for me as it's the only scent I've worn which caused complete strangers - always men - to stop me in the street, in the shops, at work, to ask what I was wearing and to tell me how much they liked it. I wonder if it would have the same effect today . . .
10th April, 2006

Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

I really like the story about the night janitor pouring the leftovers into a vat except in my version, his creation turned out far better than anything Ms Lauder has come up with. Ah, yes, the musky, patchouli-y [sic], mishmash of aldehydes. Yes, hippies and, for me, a bracing fall day, bright and nippy and a brand new favorite-shade-of-blue scarf keeping my neck warm.

Miss Madeleine
10th April, 2006

Cristalle Eau de Toilette by Chanel

I, too, began wearing this while in my 20's and through 25+ years of fragrance addiction it remains my ultimate favorite.

I can credit Cristalle with what little fragrance knowledge I have. Sephora in Paris listed its notes. I had never seen that done before and from that I came to understand what I like: Chyphre, vetiver. I experiment with those, have my torrid affairs with them and always, always, return to my beloved Cristalle.
10th April, 2006