Perfume Reviews

Reviews by belleotero

Total Reviews: 14

Shanghai by Lenthéric

I think my bottle is quite old (pre-1934 relaunch?) though that is a guess based on the design of the box and bottle. I hope a better nose than I will review it!

After the opening aldehydes fade, I think I get rose, bergamot or neroli (which on me dominates a little too heavily at times), and later spices (cinnamon and/or clove). I believe the base is musk, but that's a hard note for me to detect.

I'm not sure I love it, but I do wear it in the right mood -- it's distinctive, quite different from anything else I own.
25th May, 2012

Indian Summer Cologne by Houbigant

I'm reviewing based on the remaining 1/4 of a 5.5 oz bottle of the cologne I picked up recently...

It's a beautiful, warm, close-wearing fragrance. Perhaps it has lost its top notes over time?

I get an opening aldehyde blast that evaporates almost instantly, leaving sweet spices with an underlying dry green(ish) note somewhat reminiscent of the tomato leaf note in AG Grand Amour ... possibly tobacco? I detect clove and cinnamon, a little honey, hazelnut, hay. There are no fresh floral notes, but sometimes it has a potpourri-like quality -- i.e. a dry, blended floral. It's so blended (perhaps due to age) that notes are quite hard to distinguish.

I really like this one; it reminds me a bit of SL Chergui, but spicier.
25th May, 2012

Rochas Femme (original) by Rochas

I'm uncertain just HOW vintage my little vintage bottle is ... no earlier than the 70's, for sure. I find this nice, but rather unexciting compared to other chypre loves. I don't get much green -- but lots of nice soft peach and peach skin, fruity in the classic rather than headache-inducing contemporary manner. A fairly gentle orange peel, intermittent soap. The fruit is long lasting & mostly pleasant, but sometimes blends with a sweet floral note in a way that reminds me of Tang drink crystals. (NOT overbearingly loudly or obviously, but that is the note.) Amber and musk dominate the underlayers for me, so it's quite smooth and round, rather subtle. It's warm and feminine, and distinctly calls to mind the generalized notion I had, during my 70s childhood, of 'what perfume smells like.' Perhaps that is why I find it just faintly generic -- or perhaps my body chemistry doesn't really do it justice. But I prefer something a bit more challenging in a chypre.
28th October, 2010
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Habanita by Molinard

Hm! This is highly unusual. Not very powdery on me at all, though there's something I would identify as dusty skin. Quite blended and smooth, not sweet, a bit distant or detached due to its faintly bitter edge (patchouli and tobacco? reminding me occasionally of black coffee) -- it seems like the opposite of gourmand to me, not mouthwatering.

The main thing that stands out is that it smells like nothing else. It's an entity unto itself. It seems neither masculine nor feminine ... it's just a scent that does not seem to reference the other scents in my vocabulary. So far, I don't quite LOVE it in the heady way I love, say, Cabochard, but I keep smelling it with total fascination.

I'm smelling a vintage parfum of (I think) the 70s or 80s.
28th October, 2010

Red Roses by Yardley

Fades toward powder very fast, but opens as a true, slightly dark rose scent, very very pretty. Worth picking up if it's cheap, because really lovely, but longevity is more or less absent, at least in the case of my vintage cologne. My other favourite rose soliflore, Santa Maria Novella, is a similar but even fresher rose, and lasts longer.
27th October, 2010

Zadig by Emilio Pucci

Yum. Warm, rich and gorgeous. Opening blast very reminiscent of AG Grand Amour, but drydown goes down another path toward Shalimar. An hour in, I get mainly honeyed jasmine with a non-gourmand vanilla-dominated underlay, animalic as others have said, which reminds me of PG Felanilla.

The Perfumed Court says:
Top Notes: Aldehydes, Bergamot, orange, peach, coriander
Heart Notes: Clove, rose , honey, Jasmine, orris, ylang ylang
Base notes: Vetiver, benzoin, Patchouli, cinnamon, vanilla, tolu, Tibetan musk, & amber.
27th October, 2010

Scandal by Lanvin

Wow. All leather, all the time. Serious leather. There are other notes, beautifully described already by other and better noses, but on my skin this wears as much more intensely leathery than anything else I've tried, from Lancome Cuir (new) to Chanel CdR. It's a gorgeous one, longlasting and smooth, but my personal preference is for something with more floral and green in the mix.
21st October, 2010

Tweed by Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics

Vintage cologne -- This is a go-to work scent for me. It isn't as complex and rich-verging-on-heady as some other, somewhat similar vintage green chypres (much less going on than in Cabochard for example) and I find it somewhat soapy, though pleasantly so -- it makes me think of French-milled soaps, slightly creamy but quite dry and herbal, not sweet at all on my skin, nor floral, save for a bit of lavender ... and possibly something quite clear and sweet that wafts in and out -- this is so delicate I can't quite pick it out. It's a very wearable and ultimately somewhat delicate scent ... drydown lasts all day on me but is very very faint after a couple of hours. Quite nice!
21st October, 2010

Ma Griffe (original) by Carven

Perhaps it's the old vintage bottle, but this, in EdC strength, is not really green on me at all. I get a fleshy, almost meaty floral that is somehow fruity in its sweetness -- I think this is the ylang ylang -- not a fruit note per se. There is some powder too. A bit of cinnamon? It reminds me of Opium, in fact, but much less complex -- I sometimes layer it with Opium EdT. I tend to get tired of the fleshy-floral stage, which is somewhat insistent on me ... I love the soft, longlasting vanillic drydown.
21st October, 2010

So de la Renta by Oscar de la Renta

yech! scrubber. Granted, I can't stand fruity florals of the generic mid-90's variety, but still, the motor oil accord that arose after about three minutes might be enough to put anyone off. Smells like every other department store fragrance of the 90's, sharply floral, induced an instant headache, and persists after serious scrubbing and an attempt to cover it with Jolie Madame. Will try to out-shout it with Samsara next ...
19th June, 2010

Coco by Chanel

Lovely. Vintage (not too old - 90's?) EdP wears close to the body, dominated by a dried rose petal note which is slightly powdery & smoothed by underlying vanilla/tonka. I'd have to love rose more to wear it regularly -- on a friend of mine, though, it's barely floral - oriental resin/wood/spice notes predominate, beautifully.
11th June, 2010

Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

Holy mother of god, this is amazing. And it's just the edt! - the most delicate spritz of which is enough. It's unbelievably sumptuous, rich and complex, & it smells very old-school to me, like a vintage Guerlain. When I was a teenager my mother wore this for a while, but I didn't like it then, either on her or me. I suspect it's not just my taste but my body chemistry that's changed (back then Samsara was my oh-god-what-are-you-wearing-that's-divine! scent, but it no longer works on me). I get a fair bit of bergamot and orange peel in the top, which is beautifully blended with the rest of the perfume; then intense amber and myrrh together with something else that's faintly sweaty (celery/cumin?) at certain moments, but works, together with a blended floral (I can't pick out jasmine or any of the other notes mentioned); and a very dry vanilla something like Shalimar's plus what I could swear is sandalwood though it isn't listed as a note. I haven't even gotten to the drydown yet because I've been compulsively re-spraying it to smell on myself every evening since I got it (too strong for work) -- it is just to die for.
10th June, 2010

Cuir by Lancôme

Damn. I bought this unsniffed, based on my obsession with leather, widespread positive opinion, and a great price on beautyencounter. But I can't bear most fruit notes, and on me the heart of this fragrance is dominated by something that comes off aquatic and melony. Perhaps this is the saffron? - a note with which I am unfamiliar (on its own) but which I suspect doesn't work on me based on my bad chemistry with various Montales. If I bury my nose against my wrist I get a preview of the drydown leather-amber, which is warm and sumptuous. But, for hours, the watery honeydew melon pervades the sillage and won't leave me alone; it ends up smelling cheap and fake. I think this is a chemistry issue, so I'm giving it a neutral.
05th June, 2010
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Sortilège by Long Lost Perfume

This is for the vintage parfum de toilette: I'm surprised how lovely I find this. Toasted caramel, powdered sugar, blended sweet flowers that are refined rather than heady, and an amber-vanilla accord that reminds me of Santa Maria Novella Calicantus, but more delicate and feminine. Every so often I get an unfortunate waft of nail polish remover ... I suppose this is the vintage aldehydes. But the overall effect is very pretty, warm and soft.
05th June, 2010