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Highland Lilac of Rochester by Highland Lilac of Rochester

I ordered a sample of Highland Lilac of Rochester before lilac season so I could actually compare the two. I was surprised with the result, Highland Lilac of Rochester really does smell like fresh blooming lilacs!
11th June, 2011
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Eden by Cacharel

I wish I could give Eden a personal aesthetic review but I can’t, my body won’t let me!
So many tempting notes associated with Eden that I periodically try wearing it but alas it is always the same scenario, the immediate onslaught of clamminess and nausea. Eden could easily be an emetic for me as my body functions override my willful choices. I’ve obviously eaten something spoiled and to avoid food poisoning I need to purge the offending substance. I can’t help but laugh, at this point it’s comically ridiculous, I’ve been shut out from the garden of Eden.
09th June, 2011
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Cittá di Kyoto by Santa Maria Novella

Citta di Kyoto opens big with luscious iris and lotus, very fresh and light filled. Settling down quickly at the middle, CdK becomes a scent twin to vintage Halston. Unfortunately Citta di Kyoto evaporates to almost nothing by the bottom. I have both fragrances and so decadently layer the two together. It’s like adding an upper register to Halston and providing a lower registar to CdK….amazing!
27th May, 2011
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Montana Parfum de Peau by Montana

90’s edt version (I think- I don’t have the original box but my bottle is old and labeled made in France.)
+1 for Tott’s review, which is precise to my experience.

If you garden, you’ll recognize the tagete variety as “Orange Gem”.

Warning: For serious chypre lovers only, Parfum de Peau is a jolie laide.
20th May, 2011
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Tocade by Rochas

Candied citrus peel with geranium green edges
Cedar whispers
Plastic dolls
Magnolia creamsicle
Outdoor vendor roasting sugar coated nuts- wafting smokey vanilla
Powder, waxy rose
Pillowy musk
Proffered innocence

I feel so jaded smelling this perfume, like sniggering at Snow White.

20th March, 2011
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No Regrets by Alexandra de Markoff

No Regrets by Alexandra de Markoff is the booziest fruit, heady white floral fragrance I own. It lacks the classic chypre make-up but has enough citrus and oakmoss for it to almost cross over into that genre. The opening is rich, luscious, and syrupy remarkably from an eau de toilette. The osmanthus is very peachy and beautifully complimented by a green galbanum that is silky smooth without a hint of bitterness. The base, though lovely, is just too thin so the heart just continues to beat in a linear fashion without a final transformation and as a result the feeling of incompletion nags at my senses.
I still like this fragrance; nothing in it smells cheap or artificial. I have fun layering it with some of the “tougher” personalities on my shelf to great effect.

Neutral is what I’ll give this perfume but I truly enjoy what No Regrets has to offer especially in cold weather.

Web search for notes:
Top: mandarin orange, galbanum, osmanthus and ylang-ylang
Mid: tuberose, orange blossom, lily, gardenia, orris root and night blooming cereus
Base: tolu balsam, sandalwood, musk, oakmoss and vetiver
07th March, 2011
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Diorissimo by Christian Dior

Diorissimo (vintage parfum) is a sunshine buoy reached for when I need to smell the budding of new life. Fresh dewy Lily Of The Valley nestled in dawn’s spring green, unfettered top notes soaring with radiant clarity. Happiness and luminosity bursting forward for an hour or two and then they evanesce into what IS there is no bottom to tether the scent to the skin. Diorissimo is exultation; short lived but a glorious experience. I haven’t tried the newer formulations yet.

14th February, 2011
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BalMan by Pierre Balmain

The name “Balman” was a mistake, this scent is too unisex to have a gender attached to its identity.
Balman opens with clear cameos of eucalyptus, tangerine, lavender, and licorice, all fresh and uplifting. The heart, the real show here, is a perfect Mirabelle plum, barely sweetened with tonka and vanilla and spiced with cardamom. The bottom is lightly weighted with wood, moss, and musk. Stepping out into the heat of a summer night, I can see this becoming a heady fragrant bloom. Yeah...... .....that sounds good!

10th February, 2011 (last edited: 18th May, 2011)
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Quartz by Molyneux

My perfume bottle, simply labeled “Quartz”, is a juicy chypre, a variation in the genre of Chanel’s Cristalle which debuted 3 years earlier in 1974. Cristalle is a more angled citrus floral green chypre while Quartz is a more rounded floral melon citrus green chypre. I find the iris becomes stronger in the heart giving Quartz a soapy clean quality without becoming strident. Hillaire astutely points out the relationship to Le Parfum de Therese by Edmond Roudnitska for Malle. Testing them side by side I definitely agree they share many qualities and notes but Therese, a stunner, is much smoother, richer, rounder, and rosier than Quartz; a womanly siren versus an ingénue. If I lived in a warmer climate, I’d stock up on Quartz.
29th January, 2011
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Fleur Oriental by Miller Harris

Fleur Oriental is an easy to wear powdery floral oriental perfect for daytime or the office. The opening is pretty but not moving. It’s the dry down that peaks my interest, I can smell the barest bones of L’Air de Rien in here. When I want an oriental (and sometimes I really do) I’ll reach for the TNT, a micro droplet of Chanel Coco parfum. My sample of Fleur Oriental merely stokes my appetite for a full bottle of L’Air de Rien.
29th January, 2011
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Outrageous! by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle


Aldehydic citrus linseed oil blast settling into an orange floor wax wood purr with a stack of warm cotton laundry is Outrageous.
I’m not in love with the Cool Water opening but I do like the minty orange wood base.

Sophia Grojsman, in my mind, is the PEACH/orange/apricot perfumer. She has created a lot of perfumes and these notes play in the majority of her work. Grojsman aims for your whole heart and that usually includes a big dose of aldehydes and a musk/ amber base combo that just doesn't work for me.
I admire Sophia Grojsman but this is only one of a few I could wear from her many classics.
30th April, 2010 (last edited: 13th May, 2011)
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Purplelight by Salvador Dali

Purplelight by uber talented Francis Kurkdjian for Salvador Dali is
a linear fresh milky green lilac/subtle cherry musk, naturally occurring only in cyberspace. Purplelight is artifice that fails to conjure up any of the real magic of blooming lilacs.

My rating: low neutral for the floral milky green sap smell which I do like.

Note: If you want natural spring lilacs, fork over your money for En Passant by Malle.


15th April, 2010 (last edited: 13th May, 2011)
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Voile de Fleur by Tom Ford

Narcotic cream with spice. Voile de Fleur blooms in the heat and can cut the cold.
Heady tropical accord-coconut, pineapple, gardenia
Fracas lineage.
14th April, 2010
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Black by Bulgari

When I love something I usually know immediately, but Bvlgari Black is an exception. I bought a bottle based on high praise and an inexpensive bottom line and was a bit disappointed initially and thought about other fragrances I could have bought instead. After about 5 different applications the doors opened and the magic started, something I was sure wouldn’t happen. BB is a great leather fragrance, I find it fully fleshed yet it’s still transparent giving it a modern edge. I definitely dig the dirt, tar, gasoline, burned rubber and greasy grime, liberated from the garage floor, accord. The floral note lurks in the shadows of a rooty vetiver and vanilla combo and a bit of powder softens the mix. Keeper.
14th April, 2010
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Jasmal by Creed

Jasmine blooms in my greenhouse, the tender white blossoms emit intoxicating sublime ether. Jasmal creates the same aura of pure jasmine at the opening followed and supported by a gorgeous green galbanum, bergamot, and the haunting sweetness of ambergris. I wish the magic lasted a little longer.
31st March, 2010
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Noir Epices by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Noir Epices is a spicy orange aldehyde comparable in stature to Chanel No.5’s powdered rose aldehyde or Piguet Baghari’s oriental aldehyde. A thumbs up for construction even though the aldehyde level makes it unwearable for me.
30th March, 2010
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Par Amour by Clarins

The more I wear this rose the more I love it! Par Amour is a spicy woody full bodied bottom weighted rose. It starts with a bursting black currant top note, vanilla, pepper, and spice without a cloying sweetness. The heart is a bucket full of blooming roses coming to rest on lots of wood, benzoin and spice. I consider it a comfort scent and often wear it to bed, an affordable luxury. Sometimes I layer Par Amour with other scents to add a rose accent or to boost a thin bottom for another scent. Par Amour isn’t my top rose but she is my dependable hardest working rose and earns her place, thumbs up!!!
26th March, 2010
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Beloved by Prince Matchabelli

My Beloved is old, a “cologne perfumee.” The curious will be disappointed at the flat muddled opening. A strong clear jasmine appears out of the wreckage dragging behind itself a slightly musty rose. The Beloved drydown, a floral woody animalic spice purr, is definitely related to La Nuit by Paco Rabanne but I prefer the latter with more bergamot and overall clarity. I’m giving this a high neutral for the great jasmine and the woody civet? base that you sometimes find in these inexpensive mature gals.
26th March, 2010
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Crescendo by Lanvin

Last year I had to have carnations. It was a madness really, a carnation bender. I picked up a partial bottle of Crescendo Extrait on Ebay and I huffed. Actually, sniffing this bottle is probably better than wearing it. Garden fresh spicy dianthus hovering just at the bottle opening, it really scratches an itch. Applied it is glorious for about two minutes. First I get piquant carnations with clove and a nutty roasted almond amber base. Next, the iris shoves to the front briefly with a little bit of soap. For a moment, there is a slight skunk like marigolds or maybe something urinous like a wet diaper but it fades quickly. The creamy amber dry down is lightly powdery with gentle incense (styrax?) clinging to the skin. The transformation is lovely but over so fast! Who knows how my bottle has fared over the years, maybe all the oomph has gone. If it lasted it would be a thumbs up!
The Perfumed Court lists the notes as: iris, carnation, hyacinth, amber, incense, & spice.
04th March, 2010
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Blue Amber by Montale

Spices and sweet amber in a soft baby powder cloud projecting a rosy citrus blush and an undercurrent of patchouli, Blue Amber hovers over the skin like rain evaporating on warm pavement. The effect for me is one of soothing familiar comfort without excitement. I’d definitely buy a bottle but other fragrances keep bumping the list.
03rd March, 2010
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Benghal by Lancôme

Benghal is a feminine sheer spicy fruity floral and a perfect veil for summer heat. I adore this fragrance and I wish Lancôme would make this a permanent seasonal re-issue. Benghal opens with an intense but translucent aroma of ginger, red berries, peachy osmanthus, and jammy apricot with a creamy sandalwood base emerging later. It’s easy to imagine a warm wind blowing across a sunlit shimmering beach while sipping a fruity tropical drink in an exotic locale while wearing Benghal. This eau de toilette has only average staying power and I could easily see finishing a bottle over the summer (hint Lancôme).
A web search credits Benghal to Christine Nagel, love her!!!!
02nd March, 2010
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Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

Yum! Human musk with sexual associations, burned cotton/linen, fertile earth, dry leaves, beeswax and smokey vanilla. Primal, alive, must have always!!!
02nd March, 2010 (last edited: 03rd March, 2010)
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A Scent by Issey Miyake

A Scent is not a masterpiece but I like it the same way I like potato chips.
Chips= Starch+Fat+Salt I like these together.
A Scent=Lemon + Galbanum +Hyacinth+ Cedar I like these together. Yeah, this rendition has rough edges, best not to sniff too closely while it opens or you’ll get floor cleaner but it’s perfect for a sweaty job in the summer sun. I’d only buy at a substantial discount to avoid resentment.
12th February, 2010
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Cristalle Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Cristalle EDT was love at first smell back in the early 80’s. I’ve been through many 100ml bottles which are hard to come by these days. The juice has paled literally along the way but my flaming desire for this scent has not. Check the other reviews for eloquent note descriptions, they are well done. I love Cristalle because she loves me so fiercely that I am unfailingly ignited with passion anew with every spray. "I am my beloved, and his desire is toward me.—Song of Solomon 7:10" expresses it much better than I could.
12th February, 2010
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Rykiel Woman by Sonia Rykiel

Rykiel Woman starts out as a floral fruity leather very similar to Cuir de Lancome (2007). I was surprised and checked the notes, nope not the same but they sure present like close cousins. Rykiel Woman than morphs into a drydown related to Lorenzo Villoresi’s Musk. I’d summarize RW as a powdered violet musk with a hint of dry leather and LV’s Musk as a powdered rose musk with a hint of sweet vanilla. I like all three.
11th February, 2010 (last edited: 12th February, 2010)
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Terre de Sarment by Frapin

Putting on Terre de Sarment is like taking a shower and lathering head to toe with an expensive hand-milled soap with ingredients that smell like the jet-set. I love the fresh florals and the wonderfully weighted spice bottom but that soap (aldehydes?) stays up in my face aggressively. If you love the Chanel classics this perfume will be a fresh update to old favorites, if soap notes don't work for you (no matter how expensive or well made) stay clear.
31st October, 2009 (last edited: 10th February, 2010)
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Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger

I get an instant headache smelling this perfume. I do have a problem with fatty aldehydes, so many of the great classics I can't wear (I try over and over). I was very surprised to have this immediate strong reaction without any aldehydes listed in the notes. I was expecting happy fresh flowers with sweet fruits and I got a blinding frying pan to the head.
I'm positive it is heaven for most people but if you are in the minority it's brutal.
01st July, 2009 (last edited: 09th February, 2010)
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Starring by Avon

I won a couple of minis on Ebay as part of a lot auction. The only information I could find from web searches was from the web site Perfume Intelligence. I didn’t find the fragrance quite as intriguing as the description. It starts with a peach-like high note (could be the “orchid” listed with PI) , citrus, and mild aldehydes which try to lift it off the ground but it only lasts for a minute than proceeds to fall flat on a barely there base of a little amber and vanilla. There is no depth, it does not evolve, the show is over quickly.
01st July, 2009