Reviews by Grrlscout

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    Grrlscout
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    D&G La Lune 18 by Dolce & Gabbana

    This scent seems to veer between the cool melony scent (and imagery) of the top notes and the light muskiness of the base. Moonlight falling on carnal and innocent activities alike - this scent seems to follow that journey as well. Light and cool, at times gently floral, at times slighty musky. A bit remote or faint, but welcome when you notice it. It isn't overly sweet (that's left to Number 3, the empress and Number 10, the wheel of fortune), but if you want a clean, fresh and slightly cool fragrance, this is perfect for you.

    24 October, 2009

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    D&G L'Amoureaux 6 by Dolce & Gabbana

    The new D&G line is named for Tarot cards, and this one, The Lovers, is aptly named. There are male and female elements to the scent, and the scent itself seems to waffle between the two choices (male/female, spicy/floral, citrus/sweet) as it unfolds, taking the person wearing it along for the journey. On first application, it smells a bit masculine, a bit 4711-ish, but it then develops into something less masculine and more... in between. I really enjoyed wearing this, as every time I smelled my wrists, I smelled something different, at times the opposite of what I'd smelled before.

    24 October, 2009

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    Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger by Prada

    I didn't have much hope for this after the disappointment I had with the Iris infusion... but I was very pleasantly surprised! It smells like a wedding bouquet... fresh and floral, with the orange blossom solidly on top, and it lasts quite a while. If you want a simple, clean perfume that smells of exactly what's on the bottle, this is for you. Sometimes, simple is just what you're after!

    24 October, 2009

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    Infusion d'Iris by Prada

    Really disappointing! I love iris, but this particular scent comes on too strong in the beginning, as in sneezy strong, and doesn't stay for long. Probably my least favourite Prada scent to date.

    24 October, 2009

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    Ô de Lancôme by Lancôme

    The citrus and green are quite upfront at first, but they only stick around to support and lift the florals to a freshness. You won't smell like a rose, you'll just smell clean, scented and refreshing. It's similar to Eau de Rochas and to L'Eau de Bonheur in that it manages to be truly unisex in its freshness and depth. When it's hot and sticky, you can't go better than to wear this!

    17 October, 2009

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    Let it Rock by Vivienne Westwood

    Not sure why this perfume merits the highly negative first review. It's in the same family as Byzance or Cinnabar, but is far more day-friendly. I find the combination of freesia, rose and patchouli to be refreshing. It smells a bit like an English garden after a very heavy rain... the mud and earthyness mixed in with the lovely flowers breathing out in relief. Fantastic!

    16 October, 2009

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    Boudoir Sin Garden by Vivienne Westwood

    It's green in the bottle, but not incredibly green on the skin or in scent. If the creamy richness of Boudoir isn't your thing, you might want to give this a try. It's similar to the original Boudoir in is lush, confident femininity, but it's... hmm... a little bit more powdery and floral? Sin Garden is a good description of this. I enjoy this very much, but I must admit that I wear the original Boudoir more.

    16 October, 2009

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    Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

    I love Boudoir, and its gentler cousin Boudoir Sin Garden. I think the Vivienne Westwood fragrances are a lot like VW's designs... classic styling with elements that are wildly sexy and totally unique. You have to have curves to wear VW designs, as they require a lush feminine body to really shine. They're structured and sensual at the same time.

    This perfume is exactly the same way. Lushly feminine, bold but classic. Not terribly discreet or demure, but not cheap or loud. Just confident and sexy and strong and warm. You wouldn't wear this to a school play. You'd wear this to a date, or to a dinner party where you'd like to seduce the man across or next to you. It doesn't scream sex, but it is highly sensual.

    My skin emphasises sweet smells, and I've not had a problem with Boudoir being overly so. On me, it's floral, creamy and rich.

    16 October, 2009

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    Byzance by Rochas

    Byzance and Cinnabar used to be my perfumes of choice in my rocker girl days. It made me feel sexy and exotic, made a strong statement, and was unique. No one else wore this perfume... back in those days, lighter and fruitier scents were all the rage. It smelled good on my skin. I always had compliments on it. But then, my lifestyle changed, and I stopped wearing it.

    The other day, I got hold of a bottle of Byzance and decided to wear it out to a rock club. And it smelled just as good now as it did back then, even without the leather bike jacket!

    I'm sure you can wear this perfume without a leather bike jacket and boots, but I think a strong, rock chick or goth queen attitude needs to come with it. It's feminine, spicy, strong and sexy. Not shy in the least, and ready for all comers. It lasts and lasts... I dabbed on a bit yesterday and it still is faintly on my pulse points.

    Not to get too overblown on the poetics, but the incensey spice and rose smell like you'd hope a gypsy fortuneteller might smell before she read your cards. It's what Carmen of the opera would wear. Not for the office, this perfume, and definitely not demure.

    13 October, 2009

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    Paul Smith Extreme Women by Paul Smith

    Nothing extreme about this perfume. It's clean, pleasant, and kind of like the olfactory version of magnolia white paint in a house. You need a bit of magnolia white in a house, but the whole thing painted in the colour would be a bit too dull without some sort of accent. This perfume is perfect background sort of scent when you need one. Floral without being too lush, musky without being too sexy, and mercifully, clean and only very slightly sweet.

    This and Bulgari for Women are my default office perfumes. I get a lot of compliments on Extreme Women... and I like it. I particularly find that this perfume is one of the few perfumes that I own that I know will not be too strong for me to wear around pregnant friends and coworkers (sharpened/altered sense of smell).

    13 October, 2009

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    FlowerbyKenzo by Kenzo

    I'm of two minds about this perfume, which seems to fit in with the split personality aspect of the perfume others have mentioned. It isn't horrible... it's quite pleasant at times. It's just that the violet in it smells of parma violets... there's a candylike aspect to the violet that can be a little bit cloying if the ambient temperature in the room or the season isn't quite right. That being said, Parma violets do smell nice... and the sweetness isn't overly pronounced. It's just that I would rather eat parma violets than wear them!

    13 October, 2009

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    Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

    Oh, how I love this scent. It's bold, it's sexy, it's unashamedly seductive. It lasts and lasts. You need a bit of attitude to wear this perfume. I used to wear this and Byzance in my rocker girl days, and this was always the more rock and roll of the two scents. Warm incensey, sandalwoody, patchouli, floral, WOW kind of scent. It makes a strong statement. I used to wear this with my boots and my black leather bike jacket, and a whole heap of rock chick attitude. I still wear it from time to time, even with more, er, classically elegant clothing. I only wear it when I'm going out, though... this is an evening and into the next morning sort of fragrance. Definitely not for the office or anyplace you want to blend in a bit, or to feel a bit demure. But when you want a scent that's strong, a bit flamboyant, feminine without a hint of sweetness or strong floral, this is your first choice.


    13 October, 2009

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    Bulgari pour Femme by Bulgari

    Roses, irises, jasmine and rose. Sparkling, clean and feminine - very civilised and ladylike perfume that's light and airy and clean without being citrusy or piney... and lasts! Similar to Flower by Kenzo, but more... adult? Elegant? The violet is present, but it's a fresh violet, not the sort of parma violets-y notes present in Fleur by Kenzo. Perfect for the office. This isn't a dramatic statement of a perfume, but it's one that I reach for when I want a feminine floral without cream or fruit or candy sweetness.

    13 October, 2009

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    Kohdo Wood Collection: Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone

    I agree with terrypitts and an_oud_girl - it's like finding flowers in a slightly autumnal forest. Terrific winter scent! I think it might be a tad too floral to be truly unisex. It's still on sale at Jo Malone shops in the UK, last time I checked.

    06 October, 2009

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    Insolence Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

    I think I know why they called this Insolence. Aside from the fruit meets flowers sort of appeal to the youth market, this perfume behaves like an insolent young adult. Not a rebellious teen, but a flippant college student working in retail over the summer holidays... maybe a little annoyed that she has to work at the crap job instead of backpacking around Europe or Thailand... she has to be polite and presentable enough to work, but it doesn't mean she can resist a dig or two. This isn't a perfume with ear lobe stretching rings and spiky hair. It isn't strong or opinionated or vibrant or unique enough to stand out from the crowd around it on its own merits, and you can't really admire or loathe it.

    Instead, it's a middling, pleasant scent with balanced florals... that like that flippant college student, occasionally snaps out with something a bit unwelcome or strange. You put the perfume on... and find that after the inital dry down, it actually intensifies to the point that you want to open a window and apologise to anyone in the room with you, in case it's too strong? Or that the florals then develop into something that's again, pleasant, but has a slightly unpleasant metallic undertone? Or that the raspberry can come on like overripe fruit at times? It behaves one way (pleasant floral) most of the time, but it has these... behaviour issues.

    My husband gave me a bottle of this for Christmas 2005, and will occasionally pout that I don't wear the perfume he bought me. When I relent and wear this, he tells me that he hates it (particularly the fruit and the metallic undertone). I've had to apologise to coworkers and my driving instructor when I've worn this perfume to give it another chance. Not because it stinks, but because it's just too much at times. It's the only perfume I own that gets this response! Even so, I'm neutral about it. My skin emphasises fruit in any perfume, so that's a given. The metallic notes are a mystery. But overall, it's pleasant, but occasionally problematic.

    06 October, 2009

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    Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone

    The only fruity fragrance I can wear without smelling like a farmer's market stall gone wrong. Aside from the quality of any Jo Malone fragrance, it has to be the combination of the peppers and pomegranate with the other spicy elements. It manages to smell sweet, clean, earthy, spicy, warm and just... delicious... without smelling over the top gourmand. Lovely!

    06 October, 2009

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    Mon Coeur by Fragonard

    I really love this perfume. It's one of the most balanced white florals I've encountered in a while, without being overblown. Given the ingredients (tuberose, jasmin, orange blossoms, etc) it could be overpowering. Instead, no one flower overwhelms the other... each has its slight turn at the forefront, like an ensemble of dancers. It smells like putting your face in a bouquet of fresh flowers from the farmers market. Clean, floral, rounded, fresh, delicious and feminine. I agree with lefay's assessment that it is like a less operatic version of Fracas.

    06 October, 2009

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    Mûre et Musc by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Did they reformulate this? A friend's aunt used to wear this back in the 80's... the "jam" smell seemed to be more balanced with the white musk back then, and the scent seemed... deeper? Richer? Maybe it's my memory playing tricks on me, but the last time I smelled Mure et Musc at the L'artisan shop, it smelled more like overripe fruit than jam. It made me think of a perfumey version of Lip Smackers lip gloss (my 70's roots are showing!)

    If you're looking for a clean fruit/warm combo in a scent with a bit of sophistication, give Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir a go, and give this one a miss.

    06 October, 2009

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    L'Eau du Bonheur by Fragonard

    For many perfumers, citrus = clean. My skin tends to emphasise any element of sweetness or fruit, which means that many perfumes with citrus notes develop into on my skin into a smell like a sack of overripe fruit left in a hot car. L'Eau de Bonheur is one of the very few "clean" scents that I can wear without the fruit going too far. The citrus is balanced with mint as well as cedar than citrus, though this comes through more in the middle notes. It's clean and crisp without being overly cold. Putting it on is like that first breath of cold air when you step outside on a winter's morning, but dries down into a nice hot cup of delicious herbals and slight florals, like a warming tisane. I save this scent for hot, muggy days, or on audit or observation days. (days I'll need to be physically close to another person in a close space with often limited air flow) It never fails to get compliments.

    Side note: I originally bought this for my husband, and the cedar/mint/herbs were a bit too much for him. He's a sandalwood/musk/spice sort of guy. He likes the scent, but now he can't get it away from me!

    06 October, 2009

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    Kingdom by Alexander McQueen

    I love this perfume! And yes, it does smell of sex in a way. In the way of an earthy, long afternoon romp with a long term lover, not in a cheap drunken fumble with a one-night stand. It has a warm, animal smell. If you find the idea of that to be uncomfortable, this perfume isn't for you.

    That being said, it's civilised enough for me to wear to work, though applied with a very light touch. For all the chat about sensual perfume, I find "sensual" means the warmth of ambergris, or something slightly gourmand. The cumin in this perfume smells earthy and spicy and warm. For someone like me, whose skin develops any sweetness in a scent to occasionally cloying levels, a perfume like Kingdom is a godsend. It's warm without making me smell like gingerbread, strong without being overwhelming. I find that I reach for Kingdom when I've been spending a lot of time in suits, after I've had a long stretch of meetings or audits or situations that require me to wear something pretty but a bit sexless. The spicy, sensual, warm animalness of the scent reminds me I'm a woman under that suit, that I'm an animal as well as a brain.

    I wear this year round, again with a light touch, but I prefer it in autumn or winter.

    06 October, 2009

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