Reviews by Un Belle Parfum

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    Un Belle Parfum
    Australia Australia

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    Amor Amor by Cacharel

    I wore this for far too long because it was purchased for me by my dear little sister, but in truth I detested wearing it. The opening is tart and sweet red berries, more candy like than anything like an actual piece of fruit. It stays sweet for the duration of it's development and eventually fades into a boring, generic musky vanilla.

    I find Amor Amor to be dull and even a little crass. It's not an offensive fragrance but it has no style, no flair and nothing at all to hold my attention for even a second. I eventually gave the bottle away as I needed to make space for other lovely scents and I couldn't bare the thought of this taking up precious space in my perfume storage.

    08 January, 2011

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    Charme by La Perla

    Unfortunately there isn't much to say about this dull, dreary little floral. There's the requisite mix of sweet red fruits in the opening, some pale jasmine in the middle and a vague vanilla musk dry down.

    Overall it's a very dull, boring fragrance that feels thrown together. It's clearly aimed at people who like scents such as Vera Wang Princess and any of the celebrity scents (ala Mariah Carey and Britney Spears) but want a more prestige lable and grown up-looking bottle. Don't be fooled, the juice is pretty much the same as something that you'll find in the celeb section of your department perfume department.

    08 January, 2011

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    Vintage Rose by Sonoma Scent Studio

    Vintage Rose is an amazing boozy, plummy rose that has a definite wine quality to it. The SSS website describes it as ‘dusky’ and I think this perfectly describes this fragrance, it also has as slightly smokey, spicey haze which makes the whole effect heady and rich. I liken it to drinking a nice, rich glass of shiraz by a fireplace.

    This is most definitely a winter scent, with its warm sandalwood and cedar base. It clings to the skin for hours.

    21st June, 2010

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    Opal by Sonoma Scent Studio

    Opal is a cashmere wrap scent – it envelopes you in its cosy luxury, all soft and smooth. It’s warm yet at the same time sheer and lightly opulent, it will not over power or distract but rather add to the natural creaminess of one’s skin. Upon opening Opal is ever so slightly candied with the sweetness of vanilla and a very clean, sugared musk. It’s light, sheer and doesn’t venture into the cloying area thanks to some Bergamot which keeps this fragrance airy.

    After some time on the skin Opal begins to develop a lovely powdery quality as well as a sheer floral aspect, although no particular flowers are listed. There is also a sheer, very light Sandalwood in the base that adds a little depth to Opal and rounds of nicely this very comforting concoction.

    Opal is totally loveable, cosy and comforting. I think I have found a HG product in Opal, as I cannot think of a single occasion or situation where it isn’t appropriate. Opal may not ever be called innovated or daring, but it will draw those around in for a closer sniff.

    21st June, 2010

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    Voile de Fleur by Tom Ford

    The first time I tried BOVdF I sprayed it into the crook of my elbow; the only piece of skin left after a mammoth perfuming testing expedition. I recoiled against its strange, thick creaminess which reminds me of melted ice cream. I immediately turned to another fragrance to get rid of the offensive smell from my nose. That night, some 8 hours later, I caught a faint whiff of something delicious. By that stage all the other perfumes I’d tested had faded to nothingness and only BOVdF remained. The following week I went back to test it again and had the same experience; immediately repulsed by the opening but totally enamoured with the dry down. On third testing I bought a bottle.

    Since that time I have learned to love the quirky facets of BOVdF; which seem to change with each wearing. BOVdF is heavy on the gardenia and honeysuckle; I find it to be very tuberose-eque although that is not listed in the notes. The combination of the potent white flowers makes for a heady concoction and the smell is thick and almost waxy. It’s like being surrounded by white flowers on a hot day; the smell is intoxicating and unescapable. BOVdF also lists warm milk and vanilla tears as notes; which I think is what creates the ‘ice cream’ note for me.

    21st June, 2010

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    Nectarine Blossom & Honey by Jo Malone

    To my nose, this smells of spring mornings. Upon first spray the nectarine/peach note hits you with a juicy burst. When the sweetness begins to settle I sense subtle white flowers, like a transparent layer, gently muting the fruitness of the opening. It's not deep enough to be heady but gives that lovely floral touch.

    Then the honey comes into play, providing a deep golden glow. It stops the fragrance from being too airy and 'clean' smelling. Honey provides a gorgeous syrupy feel in a very small dose, it certainly grounds the perfume and the honey fruit lingers on the skin for a few hours.

    Necatrine Blossom & Honey is certainly not a complex scent, so lovers of deep, mysterious scents might find that it reveals it's cards all too early. However; in those warmer months I find Nectarine Blossom & Honey almost joyous on my skin.

    21st June, 2010

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    Pure Turquoise by Ralph Lauren

    Pure Turquoise is a light blend of sweet florals and crisp greens with just a touch of aquatic in there. If I had to describe it in one word it would be 'Fresh' This fragrance has a very cooling, calming quality about it. PT opens with a leafy, green burst - there is a slightly astringent quality to the opening but this fades quickly and the beautiful lillies and their stalks take over. I love that in with the flowers you can smell the stalks, leaves and other green matter.

    As the fragrance dries down the greeness fades and we're left with subtle florals over a light wood base. There's amber and a very light patchouli to warm the fragrance with vanilla and rum adding a subtle richness.

    21st June, 2010

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    Chelsea Flowers by Bond No. 9

    Chelsea Flowers has a very timid, dewey quality that is so lacking in personality and interest that one might wonder if they've smelt anything at all.

    Chelsea Flowers’ bland mix of unidentifiable pale flowers is neither pretty nor dainty; it has a faint synthetic aroma that one would expect form a Glade plug-in. Perhaps I am being too harsh; Chelsea Flowers is certainly not hideous. It’s not offensive or intrusive, it’s simply...nothing.

    I guess for the atmospheric price point I expect a little more.

    21st June, 2010

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    Allure Eau de Parfum by Chanel

    Allure opens with a rather headache inducing screetch which thankfully settles into a pretty, warm concoction on my skin, lasting the better part of a day. The Jasmine and Rose are anchored down by Bourbon Vanilla was gives a slightly oriental feel. Overall, Allure smells very perfumey - it's certainly not a subtle scent and it does kind of scream 'Hello, I'm wearing perfume!!' which I don't mind, but other's might. Another issue I have (aside form the headache, but possibly related) is the fact that Allure EDP smells just a little synthetic on me, I guess this adds to the 'perfumy' element.

    The parfum is much smoother and easier to wear, it's elegant and more well-rounded. I would definitely purchase the parfum over the EDP with Allure.

    21st June, 2010

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    Juicy Couture by Juicy Couture

    Upon first spray Juicy Couture is fruity and bright, I get a strong melon and mandarin scent which quickly softens into a fresh aquatic floral. After a very quick dalliance with water and some very subtle greenery; Tuberose enters. It's ever so slightly heady, but just a touch adds some romance this fragrance. The Tuberose in Juicy Couture is light and sheer, not overwhelming. Juicy Couture begins to warm on the skin in the later stages, caramalising and turning into a whispery gourmand. This is the point where I really enjoy Juicy Couture. The Crème Brulee and Vanilla notes are comforting and sweet, but they don’t cross the line into cloying. As the fragrance fades it leaves a lovely floral and powdered trail, overall it's quite delicate in the outbound stages.

    Overall the thing to remember about Juicy Couture is that it’s not necessarily something that needs to be taken too seriously. If you’re looking for high glamor branding, ground breaking fragrance design or a sophisticated scent you’re barking up the wrong tree. If you’re looking for something fun, happy and easy to wear then Juicy Couture might be the one for you.

    15 January, 2010

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    Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

    Upon first spray Lovely smells more woody and herbal than you might guess looking at the beautiful pink packaging it comes in. The top notes create a fresh, slightly spicy scent and there is very little sweetness in the top layer. However, it doesn't take long for the citrus notes to fade and for the woods to really show through. Cedar and Patchouli offer a light warmth to Lovely, while Amber and Musk in the base notes create a 'powdery' scent which I find to be very comforting.

    Lovely is beautiful and easy to wear, while it's not an overly complex or striking scent it's perfect for daytime or quiet nights spent cuddling on the couch. It stays fairly close to the skin and the musky notes cling for a few hours. I don't find it's a perfume that others will comment on but it's one that makes me feel warm, safe and happy. I also think that Lovely has a timeless quality about it, there is a slightly old word gracefulness about it yet Lovely doesn't smell dated - it is a fragrance that will surpass trends. For a celebrity fragrance, a genre which can garner much cynicism and criticism, I think it holds it's own very well.

    15 January, 2010

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    Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

    Coco Mlle's top notes are listed as Orange, Bergamot and Grapefruit. I mostly get a mixture of sweet orange and orange peel, with a nice dose of bergamot. The grapefruit is soft and subtle in this opening, it's just detectable and provides a very soft tartness. At this point Coco Mlle is slightly fruity but not venturing into the candy-sweet fruity floral category. As the citrus begins to fade Coco Mlle becomes floral and perfume-y. It's not the sort of fragrance one wears if you want to smell natural, it definitely has a perfume-y almost cosmetic-y scent. The middle notes are listed as Litchi, Rose and Italian Jasmine but I can't say that I smell any of this in particular. I do detect a faint rose quality but only if I'm trying hard. Otherwise it smells like a mixture of different flowers with a slight powdery quality.

    The dry down in Coco Mlle is lovely, very soft and musky. The listed notes are Indonesian Patchouli, Haitian Vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla and White Musk. My skin really throws the vanilla and musk in this section of the fragrance, it's soft, powdery and gentle. I really like this part of Coco Mlle but I can't say that I find it highly unique. So I guess the golden question is 'do I like Coco Mlle?' Yes, but would I spring for a full size bottle? No.

    Coco Mlle does smell youthful and pretty, but it also smells to me like a young woman who has not quite come into her own sense of style. It's a little too 'pleasing' and dainty, it wants to be sophisticated but I think Coco Mlle is lacking in direction. In a lot of reviews I have read of this fragrance there seems to be a common theme of people claiming it smells 'synthetic' on them and I do experience this to a small degree also.

    15 January, 2010

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    Missoni Acqua by Missoni

    The opening is bright and fresh, with the Bergamot creating a slightly sharp herbaceous aroma. The grapefruit is actual very subtle, unusual since it often over powers the other notes in fragrance. In Acqua it provides balance and sweetness to an otherwise herbal opening. There is a faint whiff of melon, I smell something akin to Honeydew. Soon after the opening Acqua cools down to an oceanic floral where fresh freesia meets something green and blue. It might sound silly to compare a scent with colour but Acqua really does live up to it's name by transporting the wearer to a cool, Mediterranean resort. When I wear Acqua I can almost feel the coolness of mosaic tiles beneath my feet and smell the salty air breeze of the ocean at a distance. There is a mingling of soft flowers and water but all the time Acqua remains refreshing and relaxed. It is certainly a weekend perfume for me and a perfect choice for hot days.

    My issue with Acqua is the staying power, or complete lack thereof. It disappears faster than a glass of chilled water on a scorching day. If you want to dabble with Acqua you need to be prepared to re-spray several times throughout the day. Since those hot days back i November Missoni has been a frequent feature in my life. I wore it last week and was stopped by two ladies who wanted to know what my perfume was, so Acqua's silage is better than might be expected. For a perfume that I had such low expectations of' I am actually very happy that I have it in my collection now.

    20th December, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 January, 2010)

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    Murmure by Van Cleef & Arpels

    Strangely enough I didn’t actually like Murmure the first time I wore it. I bought the bottle ‘blind’ (without testing the fragrance first) while I was going through my crazy ‘must acquire every perfume ever made’ phase; shortly after I discovered my love for fragrance. I loved Van Cleef & Arpel’s First so much that I thought Murmure would be in the same vein. I was very wrong, hence my initial disappointment.

    Murmure smells modern to me, completely contrary to the old-world glamour of First. Like the sound of a murmur it hums quietly but powerfully through it’s stages. Upon first spray there is a strange herbal blast, slightly medicinal and my curiosity is piqued. I can’t say that I particularly like the opening, but it’s a little foreign and intriguing. As Murmure develops I detect cedar and vanilla. The base is soft, stays close to the skin and has a beautiful warmth. The vanilla is woven nicely with the cedar and rosewood to create a comforting scent without any food-like vanilla connotations.

    Overall Murmure is beautifully crafted and softly glamorous. I must also mention the bottle, which I think is stunning and perfectly representative of the scent. The top of the bottle looks very much like a sculptural interpretation of the opening of a lily flower, a strip of gold runs down the bottle and has the name embossed along it. It’s a picture of modern beauty, much life the fragrance itself.

    20th December, 2009

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    Escale à Portofino by Christian Dior

    I received a bottle of Escale a Portofino for my birthday as a gift from my mother who knows how much I love Dior perfumes. This fragrance opens with a strong, crisp shot of lemon, Sicilian Lemon according to the Dior website. It's refreshing and effervescent, just the thing I will be looking for when summer comes along. However, lemon fragrances can be difficult in that for many people they smell akin to dishwashing liquids. Escale a Portofino balances lemon with almond, creating just enough of a contrast to prevent the opening from being too tarte or detergent-y.

    However, the almond isn't creamy or food-y, it sits behind the lemon providing balance with it's bitter scent. Cedarwood warms up Escale a Portofino after some of the lemon fades, and provides for a slightly masculine feel. Although it is classed as a feminine fragrance I think that this would be wonderful on a man, however it's certainly not too masculine for a 'girlie' women to wear - it's perfectly unisex. It's chic, un-cluttered and carefree like a simple piece of quality jewellery, it makes a statement but does so in a off-hand way. Escale a Portofino will not wear you, it stays close to the skin and softly fades away rather than screetching to a halt.

    In the last instances of this fragrance there is a softness, with only a hint of the citrus remaining. By this stage there is a slightly musky scent lingering on the skin only only a faint memory of the lemon. I think part of my attraction to this perfume comes from a treasured family image. In the hot, hot days of our temperamental Australian summers I would often sit outside in the shade with my father and drink lemon water to keep cool. The scent of the lemons and their juice mixed with ice cubes and the faint, woody smell of my fathers aftershave mingled are somewhat similar to Escale a Portofino. I know when those hot, dry days come (although it's hard to imagine now) an uplifting fragrance such as this will be my saviour

    07 September, 2009 (Last Edited: 20th December, 2009)

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