Perfume Reviews

Reviews by ayalasender

Total Reviews: 10

L'Eau d'Issey by Issey Miyake

LíEau díIssey is the ultimate perfume for those peculiar people who loathe perfume but still feel obligated to wear one, for reasons that are totally beyond my understanding.
The simple cone-shaped bottle, with its aluminum top, is a statue that will forever remain as a witness for the Ice-Age of perfume.
Designed to smell like water, líEau díIssey definitely achieves the goal of providing artificial tranquility for the masses.
Wearing líEau díIssey is like washing in a mildly diluted disinfectant and highly resembles the scent that refuses to leave your skin after swimming in a chlorine-drenched swimming-pool.
It starts with fresh-cut-grass notes derived from galbanum, which are equally compelling and repelling (like overly concentrated parsley), and leads to a light and subtle floral heart of rose supported by a minute amount of neroli and the suggestively honey-like sweetness of magnolia and linden blossom. Along with some virtual, computer-generated cool fresh-air like notes that are meant to create the impression of fresh, clean water, the floral accord achieves the impression that is widely known to this day as waterlillies and is marketed as ìfresh transparent floralî.
When the water finally dries down it is a dominant white musk that is quite sharp and resembles the scents used in some high quality bathtub cleaners, along with some overly processed, refined and distilled (or perhaps bleached?) cedar and sandalwood.
The EDT and the EDP, by the way, are much worse ñ has the very common synthetically-powdery light floral that I personally loathe and that líEau díIssey must have been the prototype and trendsetter for (and now took over about 50% of new perfume creations).
I would only recommend the Parfum, and in very light moderation. This stuff is much more powerful than what you would like to imagine, and can easily make you sick if overdosed.
Recommended for use when you seek a detached peace of mind, or as a relief for mental thirst for water-derived tranquility. Can be also used a substitute for a shower when necessaryÖ
To be worn when you do not want to wear perfume; before or after the swimming pool, or when you want to feel transparent and blend in the crowds.
11th March, 2005

Diorissimo by Christian Dior

Diorissimo is a true masterpiece by Roudniska.
It is the only Lily of the Valley scent that truly captures the scent of the flower without smelling overly synthetic and shallow. It has more depth to it than most florals have...
Diorissimo is the essence of spring...
It was designed to capture the essence of the Lily of the Valley blossoms as well as the forest where they grow... It creates an amazingly cheerful and positive, youthful aura when wearign it. I think it is a "good mood" fragrance!
The notes in it are more complex than you would think.
Top notes: Galbanum, Calyx
Heart notes: Lily of the Valley, Boronia, Rose
Base notes: Jasmine, Sandalwood, Civet
In the EDT you will mainly smell the galbanum, boronia, lily of the valley and jasmine.
The parfum has a more deep and less single-floral feel to it. The rose and jasmine are more dominant and the boronia works really well in accentuating thei green and fresh spring qualities.
Also, I detected certain amount of oakmoss in the base. It is very very subtle - but I think it does what it needs to do. I used to like the EDT much better, abut now I prefer the parfum.
Top notes: Green Glabanum notes
Heart notes: Lilly of the Valley, Boronia, Calyx, Rose
Base notes: Jasmine, Sandalwood, Civet
11th March, 2005

Miss Dior Originale (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

This wonderful and timeless Chypre is as smooth and as round as could be, so well orchestrated that the different notes blend in harmoniously and act together rather than compete with one another or "show off". It is young and sophisticated at the same time, therefore appealing to women of all ages that are seeking a classic, refined expression of their feminine self, without feeling overly girly...
Though different olfactory stages and notes can be detected, they are not as pronounced or separated from one another. Rather, they lead to another with a harmonious continuation that makes the complete experience magical and seductive. Which is, after all, the secret for the charisma and sex-appeal of Chypres ñ the way they blend different notes without leaving too-obvious hints as for what they really are.
You know the notes are in there, but you smell them all at once, singing in one beautiful accord!
The top notes of galbanum, gardenia and citrus are accompanied by no other that the relatively harsh herbal notes of sage which surprisingly converts the top note accord into a peach-like fruitiness. The top notes appear fresh and soft simultaneously, and lift up the Chypre nuances of patchouli and labdanum from the base.
Once the initial green frutiness has mellowed, Miss Dior reveals her round, feminine floral heart of jasmine, neroli and rose, completely balanced as no note is dominating the other.
This all dries down to a base accord of a warm and somewhat wild Chypre accord: patchouli, oak moss, labdanum, and I suspect some civet notes which contributes to the roundedness and fullness that links the phases altogether. Some refined, subtle woody notes of vetiver and agarwood appear late on, adding a clean, somewhat ìsourî nuance, neither making the composition dry or bitter by the half, nor taking away from itís overall luscious femininity.
The Parfum is a lot more fruity and round than the Eau de Toilette ñ the sharp (almost metallic lead-like) top notes are softened and smoothed to resemble somewhat the citrus and almost peach-like fruitiness found in the top notes of Diorella ñ a lighter Chypre from the same house.
It is definitley a must for all Chypre fans!
Top notes: Galbanum, Sage, Gardenia
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Neroli
Base notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Labdanum
11th March, 2005
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No. 5 by Chanel

No. 5 has become an institution ñ and as such it is sometimes hard to actually enjoy it as a perfume.
However, a close look at the genius construction of the Parfum Extrait reveals a harmony that deserves more attention besides being a classic or a trend setter.
It is actually a work of art in the same way that Chanelís fashion design has reached the heights of being an art form and at the same a concrete, useful piece of clothing.
To prove so, one must re-think it without being bound to olfactory memories and collective subconscious schemes that evolved around this perfume in the last 8 decades or so of its existence (i.e. the first perfume-fashion association; confident business women in pinstripe suits, Marilyn Monroeís bedtime fragrance, etc. etc.).
A woman should wear No. 5 as if it was created for her alone, and she was the first woman on earth to wear it.
No. 5 is a truly feminine perfume, and is not bound to anything else but pure feminine beauty. It contains flowers, but does not smell quite like a flower garden. I believe Ernest Beaux definitely fulfilled Chanelís dream of creating a perfume that will help women to smell like themselves, not like a flowers.
To my nose, No. 5 smells sweet and ambery, and is both sensual and seductive in a subtle and sophisticated way. The most dominant accord that comes forward on my particular skin is that of ylang ylang, amber and civet. It radiates a feminine warmth that when worn with confidence can be highly appreciated and enjoyed by both the woman who wears it and the people that are allowed to be close enough to smell herÖ
Top: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Rosewood, Neroli
Heart; Ylang ylang, Rose, Jasmine
Base: Amber, Civet, Sandalwood, Vetiver
11th March, 2005

Ta'If by Ormonde Jayne

A beautiful, beautiful perfume!
Desert roses surrounded by dry dates and spicy saffron.
It is sensual yet subtle, captivating and refined.
The drydown is powdery-vanilla, and surprisingly reminiscent of Tocade!
It can be an interesting and refreshing alternative for Parfum Sacre in that it is a sexy, spicy-powdery rose with a sweet base.
It simply makes me feel special when I wear it - as Parfum Sacre does to me.
Harmonious and balanced, like a desert wind approaching the sea at sunset. This perfume gives a feeling of golden rays gently touching your face just before the sun goes down, with wind kissing it with dusty spices.
Top notes: Orange blossom, pink peer, saffron, dates, white peach
Heart notes: Taíif roses, freesia, lily of the valley, jasmine
Base notes: Amber, Tonka Bean, Musk, Vanilla Absolute
10th March, 2005

Chant D'Arômes by Guerlain

This early and somewhat innocent creation of Jean-Paul Guerlain, Chant díAromes interestingly echoes the masterpiece by Jacques Guerlain ñ Vol de Nuit.
Chant díAromes is a delicate floral with subtle, woody-chypre undertones.
Noticeably, Chant díAromes has a uniform impression that is carried out throughout the different phases (that is not at all to say that it is a linear fragrance) ñ the beautiful floral heart notes are apparent from the first stage of the perfume, and gradually mellow down and lead into the more woody, mossy notes.
It immediately reminds me of spring, and of delicate, miniature and frilly garden blossoms - white and cream coloured, primarily honeysuckle, supported by fresh, morning-dew blossoms of gardenia and jasmine ñ (not the heavy, intoxicating night blooming white blossoms with the tropical fruitiness). The top notes of mandarin, bergamot and peach are only there for a few moments, to introduce the luscious, dew-laden floralness, and disappear with no traceÖ
This beautiful floral heart gradually reveals some more warmth, just like a fresh garden gradually warmed up by the gentle rays of sun.
To its delicate sweetness there is now some added powderiness, from orris root and the unfolding cedarwood base notes.
It gradually deepens, with a velvety touch of oakmoss, and very minute amount of vetiver, that is light but adds a tiny bit of warm woodiness, along with transparent musk and frankincense notes, and a hint of the almond-like Guerlinade tonka bean accord.
The EDT is true to the parfum, but requires many reapplications. The parfum is not much heavier, just slightly richer and most significantly ñ has a more satisfactory staying power.
Top notes: Peach, Bergamot, Mandarin
Heart notes: Gardenia, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Orris root
Base notes: Cedarwood, Musk, Oakmoss, Frankincense, Vetiver, Tonka bean
10th March, 2005

Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

When the bottle just opens itís mouth it shouts: Freedom!
Green galbanum, sage and bergamot are hinting to the Chypre quality of this marvelous perfume. It is going to be a super-multilayered adventure that requires patience and faithÖ
The green rush fades rather quickly, smoothing itself gradually into an almost powdery combination of jonquil and cedarwood, mellowed and warmed by powdery musk and the Guerlainade ñ orris root, tonka bean and vanilla. That is what makes the narcissus notes not so heady and overwhelming (reassuringly, this perfume is neither too floral nor overly sweet, especially for the sophisticated and adventurous woman!) ñ Vol de Nuit is truly a perfume of refinement and an understated, passionate approach to life. In my mind it symbolizes independence and individuality in itís most truthful meaning ñ facing adversity all by yourself, and yet remembering who you are.
The smooth, somewhat powdery heart gradually evolves into a more sophisticated Woody-Chypre accord, based on Labdanum and Oakmoss and a noble Agarwood note that lends a somewhat sweet, somewhat sour undertone that is not unlike Mitsoukoís vetiver-agarwood base, but is richer and sweeter.
Than there is the next phase of heart notes ñ which is definitely the inspiration for Chant díAromes in my opinion, as it smells exactly like this lovely, cheerful and spring-like perfume: the fresh white florals (honeysuckly, gardenia, narcissus) over a woody-light musky-chypre base, floral and deeply wamr at once, fresh and young and at the same time thoughtful and deep.
The drydown echoes the earlier impression of the heart accord: woody and musky, with some ambery-vanilla sweetness in the tradition of Guerlain (Which somewhat reminds me of Shalimar - only that Shalimar is a perfume worn to seduce, where as in Vol de Nuit the seduction is more natural and sublte, and almost unintentional - you wear it first of all for yourself - and than come all the other side-effects...).
Like Shalimar, the Vol de Nuit drydown is somewhat resembling a natural skin scent (which is my personal weakness...).
In my mind, Vol de Nuit is associated with the heroic women of the WWII era, namely my dearest grandmother (I already told you about my fascination with the story of how Vol de Nuit becamse her signature perfume). I also associate it (I admit it ñ a lot of elements in the movie reminded me of ìThe Little Princeî by the same author of ìVOl de Nuitî ñ the airplane crashing in the desert) the desert-dwelling British heroine from ìThe English Patientî (Was her name Katherine?).
Vol de Nuit is rich, complex, mysteriousÖ A perfume that needs to be worn with dignity and self-worth, you can either make it your own, or wonder for years trying to convince it to wear youÖ
Top notes; Galbanum, Bergamot, Sage
Heart notes: Jonquil, Jasmine, Orris Root, Cedarwood, Musk
Base notes: Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Oakmoos, Cedarwood, Agarwood, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Vetiver
Keep in mind that Vol de Nuit stand hand-in-hand with the great Jacques Guerlain creations ñ líHeure Bleu and Mitsouko. It can be interpreted in many ways, and has layers upon layers of connotations and essentially itís own vocabularyÖ I believe there is always something new to find about it, so donít be surprised to find me writing another perfume review of it tomorrow that will be quite differentÖ
I remembered it as much darker and floral than it is today. And the EDT I found to be a lot more similar to Shalimar in the drydown note which is musky-vanilla.
10th March, 2005

Mitsouko by Guerlain

Mitsouko Eau de Toilette:
Dry, delicate and refined.
Starts very fresh and tangy, a hint of citrus. Then, the pure and refined rose-jasmine accord shines in and is beautiful and enigmatic.
The classical Eastern Vetiver and Agarwood dominate the base, accentuated with a clean and dry patchouli, and there is just a hint of oakmoss and a warm, animalic labdanum note at the base. The warmer notes of the base grow on you bit by bit, but always stay very mellow, as the centre of the stage is that enigmatic, sweet&sour Japanese Agarwood, and the dry or moist vetiver root. The drydown posseses only a hint of the ambery-vanilla Guerlinade accord, and is mostly a classical, well-refined woody Chypre.
It makes you feel like you are floating in air and at the same time is very grounded. Itís like forgetting yourself while playing classical music (probably from the romantic period ñ Tchaikovskyís Seasons comes to mind..), being reminded that you are still in the room by the scent of the old wooden piano...
I find the EDT very refreshing and light, and perhaps will have a better diffusive power in the summer. I also think it will smell lovely on a man. Mitsouko has a very natural scent and creates an aura of enigmatic serenity.
Mitsouko Eau de Parfum:
Starting up with rich citrus accord that is strongly backed up with the enigmatic vetiver and agarwood Mitsouko theme.
The overall impression is a clean, yet rich and intense scent, somewhat powdery, with lavender and orris notes.
This fades quickly, to be taken over by an interesting bitter peach-like note, which brings to mind the feeling you get when you crack the peach core, and the little bitter almond flavour emerges along with the dry woody aroma of the seed, and blends in with the pink sweetness of the not-yet-so-ripe (but full of aroma) fruit!
The texture overall is that of an under-ripe peach skin, very velvety but somewhat shivering to your touchÖ But you touch it anyways to feel the Summer arrivingÖ
But also of the dried peach, wich posesses a rich and somewhat bitter aroma, and is not as sweet as the fresh fruit.
These notes are enticing, full-bodied and very refined. Definitley not for everyoneís taste, and they take a while to get accustomed to and be fully enjoyed and appreciated. This unique and lovely peach accord is subtly backed up by the notes that make Mitsouko the wonderful Chypre it is:
Vetiver, Sandalwood, and a very modest (just the right amount) of patchouli to make the scent warm but not heavy. These notes politely invite themselves in, to accompany this interesting gathering of notes that are both Eastern and WesternÖ
The notes intermingle with each other so harmoniously and so beautifully that by this time it is hard to tell one from the other for a whileÖ You just give yourself up to fully enjoy the experience and the big mystery behind itÖ
It brings to mind a wild desert windÖ And at the same time acts in a most refined and cultural manner.
It is luscious and almost convinces you that it is delicious and fruityÖ But does not rise up your appetite at all.
Itís a perfume for the sake of perfume, not worn for any other reason but to appreciate this original orchestration of counterpoint and intermingling resonances.
Full of mystery and subtle nuances, it is a perfume to meditate uponÖ
The rose and jasmine accord at the heart is now much more subtle, and is immensely deepened by a higher amount of the woody vetiver and agarwood, and dry allspice and some other earthy spices that remain a mystery... Once the intense and overwhelmingly mysterious overture is over, the curtain lifts and reveal the mystery that intensified the experience so far: woody base of vetiver and agarwood accompanied by no other than the musky spice of sweat-like-smelling cumin seed!
These will gradually make some room to the base of oakmoss, patchouli and labdanum, but will still dominate Mitsouko. This drydown is essentially similar to that of the EDT, only that it is a bit rounder and creats a more soft and pervasive aura which is more musky and earthy (where as the EDT is a lot less pronounced and is fresher all the way through), and after a while turns into a more pronounced jasmine-vetiver accord.
Mitsouko Parfum Extrait:
The mere act of opening the brown illustrated case where the lovely art nuveau flacon resides is an experience on its ownÖ
It brings you back to times and places long forgottenÖ It is just like pulling out an old violin out of its case, to play the most sentimental Sonata (in the romantic, passionate and most realy meaning of the word). The flacon itself, with its stylized, curled stopper, brings to mind a string instrumentÖ
As for the scent ñ it is close to that image so much, that I will now be sahmelessly repeating the matphor of the Mitsouko fragrance to that of an old wooden instrumentÖThere is something fascinating about it, almost like time that stoppedÖ like visiting an old museum-house and hearing the voices of history whispering from the wallsÖ
The brown colours of the packaging definitley represent the scent very well. It forever remains earthy, woody, and very brown in tones.
I find the final drydown of the parfum very similar to that of the EDP: dry and fresh and woody, and once you get really close to it, there is an interesting grassy resonance of jasmine and vetiver.
Mitsouko speaks in a silent and subtle langauge, that cannot be heard by all. I feel it represents a persona of restrained passion and always keeps certain distance ñ as if not willing to fully reveal itself even when intimately worn as a ParfumÖ
It is not a knock-off, super-soft or even in the least sexy or seductive, as you may expect from such a concentration.
I find it very hard to grasp. Itís a fragrance that needs to be worn in very specific moods, when you can totally tune into it. Even than I always feel like there is a lot I do not understand about it.
Overall, I find the EDP to be the softest and most interesting of all the Mitsouko variations, especially I enjoyed the surprising cumin note! It makes it warmer and more sensual than the other variations.
10th March, 2005

Spring Flower by Creed

If a spring of glacier water could be bottled in a perfume flacon ñ it would definitely smell like Spring Flower. It makes me wonder if ìspringî refers to the season or to the body of waterÖ I would say it could equally apply to both, with its fresh and simple happy early-bird attitude, as if nothing too exciting or dramatic needs to happen today to make your day complete. Fresh, optimistic and tranquil with no unnecessary ambition ñ this is what makes this wonderful array of subtle fruity and citrus notes, along with transparent florals, floating like water lilies above the glacial freshwater, and there is just a hint of sweetness at the base to keep the scent going, cool and fresh and lovely. The spring waters just keep flowing generously and vividly!
Spring Flower starts off with a blast of fresh, citrus-fruity notes of lemon, bergamot and peach. There is also a hint of herbal note, almost minty. It is charmingly refreshing and positive. The thing is, that this fresh beauty lasts for a long time!
The heart and base notes still maintain this luscious fruitiness, along with delicate flowers that are neither heavy nor heady, but simply reminiscent of fresh, dew-laden blossom in an early spring morning. Though officially the notes are of jasmine and rose, to my nose it smells like waterlilies. Perhaps it is the combination of the rose and jasmine notes with the crisp apple and watery melon notes that create this light, bright and fluid impression.
The feeling is of inviting cool spring water, so inviting you absolutely have to drink them!
Later on notes of lilly of the valley and a citrus floral note emerges ñ it is not orange blossom, but actually smells a lot like lemonÖ Perhaps it is lemon blossomÖ
The drydown is a tad powdery, with the lilly and melon notes lingering on a base of cedarwood and perhaps a hint of orris. It is only slightly powdery, but still has the fruity floral notes.
Top notes: Peach, Lemon, Bergamot, and I suspect a hint of peppermint!
Heart: Jasmine, Rose, Water lilies, Melon, Apple, Lilly of the Valley, Lemon Blossom
Base: Cedarwood, orris, perhaps benzoin which adds a tad of sweetness without overpowering the top and heart notes, and very subtle musk, amber and vanilla notes.
If any perfume should ever claim to be a truly fresh, transparent floral, Creedís Spring Flower is the one, and it does it all the way!
It is the one and only modern floral scent I tried so far that actually stands up to its top-notes premise:
It is bright and fresh, and stays that way after interacting with my skin, without giving in to harsh, stingy powdery smelling chemicals that usually tickle my nose in a most annoying and disappointing way. That is what makes it so convincingly appealing. Spring Flower is like freshwater pearls ñ it is soft, bright and subtly feminine in a playful, young and modestly attractive way, and simply stays the same, no matter what the surroundings are... Now here is where I totally understand the attractiveness of fresh, light floral! And how sexy can that be!
The lovely fruity, floral and watery notes linger and linger for long time, and stay fresh all the way!
You donít need any particular reason to put Spring Flower on ñ fresh morning feeling that can last all dayÖ And can be reapplied at night for a nice romantic evening.
10th March, 2005

Parfum Sacré by Caron

This perfume is full of surprises, very rich and multilayered!
It starts off with what you may describe as a classical oriental:
Olibanum (Frankincense), Myrrh, Cinnamon and Spices, with a dark, voluptuous dried rose as the main reconciler between all.
This is not an overwhelmingly strong oriental, though; the overall feeling is soft, warm, sensual, very calming in fact.
Just as you settled into this oriental dream and thought this is it- the rose decides to change her mind and become a young and fresh flower again!
The green impression is achieved by the notes of orris root and violet leaf, added in just the right amount.
This floral heart sings with a full spring-like glory for hours, and than comes the dry down:
The orris root and violet notes decide to take over, and you may think for a while that there is no more rose... It is mainly a powdery, soft impression, with a tiny bit of vanilla to make it even smoother... And if you pay attention, yu will hear the rose still singing in there, very quite and blended in witht he rest of the notes, as if it is there just to give company to the orris notes...
The dry down is interestingly combining the soft and violet-like, powdery aspect of the orris, as well as the woody, clean and somewhat fresh face it can put up.
It has an amazing lasting power, without being even a little bit intrusive or overwhelmingly strong. It makes a statement without shouting it, and blends beautifully with your own personal scent.
10th March, 2005