Perfume Reviews

Reviews by pinkfizzy

Total Reviews: 32

Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

I was excited to find this at a discount store, as I'd heard a lot about it. I love the bottle (the 30ml), although my mother said that it looks like a "very expensive vibrator" (thanks for that, ma). I had to wait to try it on until I got home because she's allergic to perfume. The first impression I had was of strong church incense, and the way it can permeate your clothes and hair. However, as it developed the spices and sweetness became more apparent. It's gorgeous, and not something I would expect to find at a department store these days-- to interesting. Since I have a (very) low tolerance for sweetness, the spicy-puddingyness of it was a bit overwhelming, so I layered it with Montale Original Aoud and wow, it really balanced it out.

Thoughtfully and elegantly composed. Now I just have to go back to that store and buy Theorema...
06th January, 2010

Cuir by Lancôme

I was going to order this online, but I found it at Winners today for $40! I love leathers, but I have a tendency to love the truly butch ones (Lonestar Memories, for instance), and since apparently I am a girl, people expect me to smell at least a bit girly. I know, I know, societally bound expectations of gender, etc, but most folks don't read smoke and hot leather as a "good" smell. And I take the bus a lot, and I feel like perfume has a bad rap. I don't want to inflict my weird tastes on a busful of strangers.

Anyway, Cuir de Lancome is a respectable lady of a leather fragrance. It opens citrussy but dry, then becomes powdery, like iris-scented talcum powder. I'm not a big fan of powdery scents, but this phase doesn't last long... although for a minute I wanted to scrub it off. But then it develops into a dry, yet sweet caramelly suede, with hints of bergamot and iris. The saffron is definitely present, and its bitterness reads as almost medicinal to me at first. However it soon blends beautifully with the leather.

This is definitely a retro smelling scent, and I can see why the re-issue didn't last long in department stores. To the very young it would most likely read as "mature". The original was developed in 1936 after all, and someone who wore it in the 30's would certainly be quite mature by now.

Although this is a outwardly a respectable lady of a leather, that doesn't mean it isn't sophisticated, intelligent and beautiful. The saffron, birch, patchouli and leather make it much more interesting and even twist subvert it's initially ladylike appearance a little by incorporating drier, more masculine notes into a Marlene Dietrich kind of whole. Perfectly made up, in heels, and a square shouldered pantsuit.
25th October, 2009

Malachite by Banana Republic

This smells very similar to Garnier Fructis shampoo, which has a nice tart fruity smell to it. The smell of GF shampoo is one of my favorite shampoo scents. But I do not want it in perfume form. Folks could do a lot worse, however. Most will probably find it inoffensive, yet pleasing. I like more of a challenge from my perfume.
23rd October, 2009
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cK one by Calvin Klein

Smells like pineapple juice and citrus dishsoap and cheap musks. Not my thing. And for a "light" scent, it's surprisingly tenacious, like L'Eau D'Issey. I could still smell it after a vigorous handwashing. I thought I would like this more, but it was actually kind of nauseating.
23rd October, 2009

Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens

I tried a sample of the reissued rectangular-bottle FdB and loved it insanely. I had to order the original in the brown translucent bottle (god I love that bottle, I dont find it dark and sinister at all, as esquirol does). Its fantastic! It starts out cedary and violety and suede-y and then turns to dried fruits and then to church incense like they had on special occaisions at the Anglican church when I was a child.

The ultimate autumn scent. Because I love woods and incense, I like to layer it with Gucci pour Homme, which brings out the dry cedary goodness.
23rd October, 2009

Shalimar by Guerlain

The first time I tried this, I was just getting into perfume and still getting my bearings. I found it much too powdery and feminine, and, I'm sorry to say, "grandmotherly". At the time I was wearing mainly Bulgari Black, which I still do, and had yet to get into florals or traditionally feminine compositions. I recently read a review of Black on Grain de Musc which called it "Shalimar for Replicants." So I went back to try Shalimar again, this time with a slightly more educated nose (and brain). They had the EdP at Sephora, which surprised me. I smelled it (after smelling a few dull new releases) and by George, I got it! It was gorgeous! I had them make up a little sample for me and have been wearing it for the past few days. The longevity is amazing, and the depth and richness of the composition are stunning. I definitely need some of this.

My boyfriend told me "Mmmm, you smell like cookies." :)

If you've tried it and been underwhelmed, try sniffing a few new releases and flankers, then try Shalimar EdP. It might just blow you away! And if you can find vintage, well, all the better I'm sure.

21st September, 2009

Euphoria by Calvin Klein

To replicate this fragrance at home: Take a bag of strawberry cotton candy, pour some hairspray into it, add a dash nutmeg, and a lit match. Enjoy the plasticky fumes. This is my experience of Euphoria. And it will... not... wash... off! Arrrrrgh.

I can also relate to Mellivora_capensis's description: "a latex condom filled with cough syrup held by two people, one whom is wearing Beautiful and the other is wearing Obsession". Sounds like a fun party!
20th September, 2009

Idole d'Armani by Giorgio Armani

Wow, not bad! I haven't liked any of the Armani fragrances I've smelled so far--Armani Mania and Code were fairly nauseating to me--but I'd actually wear this one. Online I've seen it described as a spicy floral, but I don't smell much spice in it, maybe a tiny bit of ginger in the drydown. The opening is too sweet for my tastes, sort of a candied pear and citrus. The standard rose and jasmine follow. The drydown is my favorite part. It's difficult to pick out individual notes here, but the whole is well-balanced and generally more interesting than most new releases I've smelled recently. It's a little like Michael by Michael Kors without the tuberose, which I also like, although both scents are sweeter than I usually go for. Nice work. It goes well with the Armani trashy-but-luxe brand image. (His women's clothes are generally expensive-call-girl wear. And I mean that in the best possible way.)

This will probably appeal to women looking to graduate to something a little classier than their fruity-vanilla ethylmaltol scents. I hope. I don't see how this scent could offend anyone. I like it, and I'd wear it if given it, but I wouldn't buy it.
17th September, 2009

Eau de Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

Dang, I also thought I was getting regular Grey Flannel. Ick. This stuff smells like a deodorant labelled Mountain Fresh. Or possibly cheap dryer sheets. Horrible.
16th September, 2009

Amarige by Givenchy

Okay, I really like this. When I first tried it, it reminded me of Carnal Flower. However when I tried them on side to side, I found that Amarige is quite different, a more rounded, rich floral without the eucalyptus or coconut of Carnal Flower. Although tuberose isn't listed in the notes, I'm pretty sure I smell it in there, but it's blended wonderfully with jasmine, mimosa, orange blossom and some peachy fruit notes that are more like osmanthus than actual fruit. The total effect is not one of sweetness, but of a voluptuous tropical floral. Wonderful. In fact, although I don't want to hurt Carnal Flower's feelings because I adore it, I think I like Amarige equally if not more.

After reading the Guide's harsh review of this, I'm a little hesitant to wear it out, as it is strong, but I'm going to start by dabbing and let it develop a little before getting on the bus or anything! I don't want to be that lady choking everyone with her fumes. (Turin did say that they "nearly gave it four stars" instead of one!) Frankly I prefer scent that actually keep me scented, rather than smelling good for an hour. I want my money's worth!
16th September, 2009

La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

The Night of the Man? Huh? I liked the original L'Homme, my roommate wore it and I was always stealing spritzes. It wasn't anything groundbreaking, just a good, well-crafted thing, citrussy and herby like many others of its time. Le Nuit de L'Homme doesn't have much in common with it, and the silly name doesn't go with it because there's nothing dark about it. To my taste, it's too sweet, the spices are too cloying and fake, and just all around bland and flat. But that guy in the ads, I'll give him a thumbs up.
15th September, 2009

J'Adore by Christian Dior

Citrussy peachy rose. I have a sample of EdP and it's so watery and weak I could have sworn it was cologne or EdT. I would have liked it more if they'd amped up the peach and rose a bit more and fleshed it out a bit. And it gave me a rash.

But it's not bad for a modern fruity floral. Much classier than most of them out there nowadays.
15th September, 2009

Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermès

I received a nice large sample of this and another Hermessence from a very nice SA fellow at the Hermes boutique, who didn't mind me and two other BaseNoters smelling every single fragrance in the store with no intention of buying. It was my favorite one, but upon trying it on my skin, five minutes later I smelled... absolutely nothing. I splashed on a bunch more, and five minutes later, more nothing. Clearly this is designed the so-called "Asian market", i.e. people who don't want anyone on their crowded Tokyo commute to be bothered by their odor. Or it's just that darn JC Ellena. Give me Dominique Ropion any day.

I love the smell, but dang it, Ellena, the point of fragrance its that it is fragrant. This seems to be for people who enjoy buying and wearing things from Hermes but don't want to smell of anything. I prefer The Different Company's Osmanthus (also by JCE), which is quite similar and lasts longer, i.e. more than five minutes. And it's absolutely gorgeous, as this one would be if I could just remember whether I applied it or not.
06th September, 2009
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Rose Poivrée by The Different Company

Oh my goodness, I love this! In fact, when I first put it on from a new sample, I said "F**k yes!", loudly. I get a beautifully realistic fresh peppery rose. It dries down to a less spicy but still gorgeous rosiness. But not a polite rose, a rose with attitude. For lack of a better word, a rose with sass.

I certainly don't smell any cumin, melon, or dirty underwear. The longevity isn't what it could be, but I might have to buy a bottle anyway. I would never have thought that rose and pepper would go together so wonderfully!
28th August, 2009

Cinéma by Yves Saint Laurent

This is one of the few fruity florals I actually like. I mostly get notes of dried orange peel, mimosa, cyclamen/heliotrope, vanilla, and light amber and musk in the drydown. But then I'm not sure what almond blossom and amaryllis are like! Not much peony, which is a shame because I love peony and it's not a common note. I don't find Cinema particularly strong or long-lasting, but it might be a bit cloying on a very hot day.

It has the same sort of "inedible vanilla" that I smell in Kenzo Amour, so people who like Amour might enjoy this.
11th August, 2009

Halston Z-14 by Halston

An interesting idea, a sparkling spicy-herbs and lemon chypre. It feels like it could almost be a modern niche scent, given a bigger budget and careful attention. However, it has that old-school synthetic musk aroma that smells a little too much like BO (and worse) to me. Probably not a good fragrance in hot weather.

Although I like this fragrance in small amounts (one spray, allowed to develop), it is very strong and too much can give you that obnoxious guy-with-gold-chains-and-opennecked-shirt vibe, and it does smell very seventies to me, as several reviewers have mentioned. Sort of like something one of my chain-smoking uncles has been wearing for 30 years.

Sadly, this review may have been influenced by the fact that I got this for 9.99 at the supermarket. Oh no, I`m a snob! ;) It`s better than I expected it to be, and it could definitely work on the right person. But I can`t believe the Guide gave this the same rating as Carnal Flower! Well, it is original.

I love the Elsa Peretti bottle! I`m interested to see what the new 2007 Halston frags are like.
10th August, 2009

Kenzo Amour by Kenzo

Kenzo Amour is indeed very comforting. Im not usually a fan of gourmands, but the vanilla in this is subtle and the sweetness is balanced by the incense and woods. Ive had quite a few compliments on this, and I like to put some on before I go to bed, especially in the winter.

I have also layered it with Bulgari Black, to accentuate the vanilla-amber drydown of Black, and they were lovely together.
08th August, 2009

L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

Very nice! Ginger-citrus opening, a little vetiver and some violet-leaf of course, then a oriental amber drydown. My roommate used to wear this, and strangely enough, it was what got me interested in exploring mass-market scents. Just a really enjoyable smell, nothing particularly innovative, but I really like it, and I would consider buying it for myself. I have smelled Cool Water, but it although it didnt really stick in my memory, it was not much like LHomme, to me at least. Id recommend it for a guy of any age who doesnt care much about fragrance but wants to smell nice to people around him. It would make a good first fragrance for a young guy, but it would work for any age. Although older (retiree-age) guys usually have their mind made up about what they wear, and stick to it.
08th August, 2009

Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I thought I didn't like rose fragrances, although I love the smell of the flower, but this is the rose scent that converted me loving it. It smells, like the name says, of a fresh rose on the stem, not like rose oil, which is completely different, and which I'm not a fan of. This is stunning. I put it on the back of my hand so I can keep sniffing it subtly all day, which isn't as obvious as smelling my wrist constantly!

The opening is fresh, almost citrussy live rose, and as it develops it becomes earthier and deeper, like a rosebush in warm earth on a hot summer day.

My mother professes to "hate perfume" but when I wore this she said I smelled amazing. I think she just hates bad perfume!

Ten thumbs up!
31st July, 2009

She Wood by Dsquared2

Meh. With a name like that, I was hoping it might smell like... wood. It smells to me like lemon soda and amber, kind of in a fizzy way. The drydown is light and sweet. Boring, inoffensive and wood-free. I might have liked it better if it been named more accurately, Ambre Petillante perhaps (Fizzy Amber). For a feminine wood, I like Sensuous for a light rendition, or Feminite du Bois if you want real cedar and true gorgeousness.
25th July, 2009

Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

The topnotes were gorgeous, and I nearly bought it, but, sensibly, I sprayed it on my skin so it could develop. Thank god! I loved the lemony-herby beginning, but I have to agree with another commenter that the only thing the drydown reminds me of is... poop. Definite scrubber! Maybe it's my skin, or my tastes, though usually I go for more classic fragrances. But I couldn't stand this! I got Dune instead, it's wonderful!
17th July, 2009

Dune by Christian Dior

I don't find this to be "bleakly beautiful" at all! I find it to be a warm, woody oriental, sweet but not cloying or syrupy, spicy but not overwhelming. Wonderful! I was surprised to find it at Shopper's Drug Mart (I guess they're a Christian Dior-approved vendor!) ;)

Warning: quite strong, don't overdo it!
17th July, 2009

Fete d'Hiver by Ayala Moriel

This is discontinued? I just got a sample of Fete d'Hiver and one of Bois d'Hiver and they seem quite different to me... BdH is much more woody and dry, and less rich and sweet (although FdH is not particularly sweet). Anyway, I love Fete d'Hiver! I couldn't figure out what was in it just from smelling it, since it is very well blended,and was surprised to find that it's a rose and incense scent, since I usually don't care for rose. I entered a draw to win a travel roll-on of this when I met Ayala and I won, yay, lucky me! It's my favorite of the ones I've sampled so far, and the longevity and coherence are quite good for a natural perfume.
14th July, 2009

White Potion by Ayala Moriel

Dang! I loved this in the bottle, fabulous ylang-ylang and tuberose. But it changes completely on my skin and all I can smell are the coconut and tonka bean, way too sweet for my tastes. I think I'll try it in my essential oil burner or maybe a drop on a lkight bulb (yes, I know they can erxplode... from experience!).

Maybe I was expecting the wrong thing... I just used up my sample of Carnal Flower... sigh.
14th July, 2009

Yasmin by Ayala Moriel

This is lovely! I love jasmine and have been looking for soliflore. I was turned off jasmine for a while after a mediocre experience with Shopper's Drug Mart "essential oil" (I was young and broke.) I liked Montale's Jasmin Full but it's a bit too strong and harsh to my nose, almost chemical. Yasmin is more rounded and well-balanced. However, since it's a natural scent, it needs to be reapplied or it vanishes, but I'd rather reapply than have it linger and get sick of it, as I do with the Montale.
14th July, 2009

Cèdre by Serge Lutens

Honestly, I expected to love this. I tried to love this. But when I smelled it I thought for a minute that the samples had got mixed up... it reminded me of nothing more than BUBBLEGUM MOUTHWASH. What the heck? It's so sweet! When I was a kid I would brush my teeth with cinnamon toothpaste and then use bubblegum mouthwash and my breath smelled like this.

Mr. Lutens, I know you can do cedar, Feminite du Bois is amazing. I love you Serge, but if I didn't know better I would have thought this was the latest celebrity fragrance, maybe a Britney Spears or similar. Maybe it's because I wasn't expecting sweet. I was expecting cedar!

09th July, 2009

Jasmin Full by Montale

I found this to be a fairly realistic and simple jasmine, almost too straightforward and strong at first, but smoothing out to a rich drydown. If you want a good jasmine soliflore, this could be for you. But be patient, give it a few minutes to settle down.
06th July, 2009

Comme des Garçons 2 by Comme des Garçons

I didn't find this overwhelming at all, on the contrary. Though I do have a sample that only allows for dabbing, maybe spraying it makes a difference. In high school I took a Japanese calligraphy class where we had to grind the sumi ink by hand and it smelled just like this,a beautiful inky incense. I love it!
06th July, 2009

Sacrebleu by Nicolaï

Argh! I loved this, but it reminded me of something I couldn't quite name... I wish I hadn't read the review that says it smells like children's Motrin, cause that's it! Well, it's still gorgeous, but just too syrupy sweet for my tastes.
06th July, 2009

Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I love this! Cool flowery incense, but not like Easter mass, more like... burning a single stick/cone of incense burning in a large clean light room with a small perfect flower arrangement in the corner.

I had expected much more hellish, i.e. smoky I suppose from the name but apparently it's just the name of the street the company is based on. Gorgeous! If I had the money to throw around I would buy a big bottle of it, and layer it with things, and spray it on my clean laundry.
26th June, 2009