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Champaca by Ormonde Jayne

A beautiful note, champaca, and I believe this fragrance does a fair job in bringing this forward. But I personally find this a little too sweet, a lit too straight-forward, and there for a little too simplistic. A pleasant wear that comes with a steep price.
11th December, 2014
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Juli by Erik Kormann

It opens with a very, very realistic grapefruit, then adds a touch of vetiver to start the turn green. Leafy green and still tart, this transitions eventually (hours later) into some slightly sharp wood (cedar most likely), still with a green tinge.
It somehow felt linear, but I think that is because it last so long that the transitions are subtle. Pleasant fragrance, but possibly not terribly exciting.
02nd September, 2014
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Sweet Absinthe by Ava Luxe

Sweet Absinthe is appropriately named here. Whether it hits the mark exactlly on absinthe, I am unsure about, but certainly the medicinal licorice reference is there. And this one is sweet, rather a bit much for my taste, but it is again true to it's namesake.

There is a nice creamy woodiness to the drydown, but for the most part this one is rather linear.

Not unpleasant, but a rather simple effort.
10th May, 2013
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Néroli by Annick Goutal

Over multiple wearings, I really kept going back and forth on this fragrance. There are aspects that I appreciate, but in the end, it had to get a neutral.

Neroli is never a sickly sweet and syrupy fragrance. It is bitter edged, even with a cool, green aspect that reminds me of flower shop flowers. The drydown is also not sweet, but rather a bitter woodiness, with the vanilla being similar to AG's own Vanile Exquisite. All of those aspects, I appreciated.

But the fragrance drifts off and losses it's focus mid way through. It is very soft, although I do get about 6 hours longevity from it. But for the lack of focus, it is not one that I could recommend. I still like C&S neroli.
29th April, 2013
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No. 23 by Ava Luxe

Sandalwood, breezy florals and a hint of bite from geranium. This is No. 23. Such a lovely, easy to wear fragrance, and one of my very favorite woodies. I have the EDP, but will get the oil also with my next order.

I highly perfer this one to Tam Dao. Tam Dao is sharp and harsh for the first half of it's duration, where No. 23 is cooler in feel while retaining a softness that is endearing.

11th April, 2013
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Rose Kashmirie by Les Parfums de Rosine

Blasting out of the gate with a big, dewy red rose, this one catches you a bit by surprise. There is a dash of citrus, but mostly the rose sets the stage for this fragrance. The saffron is introduced as a dusting, and I find it a wonderful compliment to the predominant rose that softens it and transitions it to the drydown. A soft vanilla over a background musk round this off.

Well blended and perfectly wearable, I find this a thumbs up, but will mention C&S Dark Rose as still my favorite in this category. The longevity is great, although after the initial blast this calms down to a somewhat close wearing rose centered floriental. Do give this a try if a saffron rose is what you are after. It is worthy of a test.

11th April, 2013
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La Perla Blue by La Perla

La Perla Blue is a quiet and carefree summer scent. I try not to hold against it the fact that it is blue, but instead just enjoy it for what it is - a soft floral over a slightly watery undercurrent.

It burst open with a zesty citrus tip, where I smell quite a bit of lemon, and moves into a smooth, pastel floral. I get a lot of violet, a maybe a bit of magnolia, but it is never sharp. All this plays out over a vague, watery aspect, a wet and cool humidity. It somewhat reminds me of Reflection Woman in that way, soft florals next to a wading pond or fountain. It closes with soft woods and a hint of patchouli.

A blue fragrance to enjoy if you are in the mood for a simple summer scent.
26th March, 2013
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Début by Delrae

Debut is a lily floral to my nose, but it opens with such a tart and green burst that it is almost offputting. It is very, very green. The florals are present almost from the start though, with the lily slowly gaining hold. Even as the lily continues to unfold, the fragrance stays green and tart.

The saving grace for me, although I love lily fragrances, is the emergence of a linden note. The linden seems to balance out the harshness of the green, and the thick, headiness of the lily. This blend sits for hours as a beautifully executed, soft, pillowy white floral blend. It finishes with soft woods and musk.

I would imagine that this Delrae has many fans, as it is certainly easy to wear, after the bitter opening, and also is very well executed. This one seems a little more subdued than several of the other Delrae fragrances that I have tried or own, but is not without it's substance.

The neutral rating is for the harsh opening that, to me, continues on into the heart, leaving this fairly difficult for me to wear. Just my taste though.
24th March, 2013
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Rose 31 by Le Labo

Rose 31 is a transparent rose sitting over a foundation of soft incense and a rather large dose of cumin, but it still continues to be light and airy. The base of spice and wood is rather long lasting. This is not a fragrance that I enjoy wearing, but I find no fault with the execution.

It should be a try for anyone on a rose/incense search, as it offers a slightly different take on these classic notes. It is contemporary and relevant.
24th March, 2013
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Jasmin 17 by Le Labo

With a delicate presentation of a potentially bombastic note, Le Labo has created a lovely jasmine fragrance. Albeit via an orange blossum route I suppose.

After an initial burst of sweetness and headiness from a wonder orange blossum note, this one shifts gears and softens up. There is jasmine, but it is delicate, and I do not detect indoles to any significant extent. It is almost the fragrance akin to the taste of jasmine tea, gentle and subtle but present.

The drydown is close wearing, continuing the soft and gentle approach. Wisps of vanilla and musk, warm smelling.

A lovely jasmine fragrance if you like soft and pretty florals.
21st March, 2013
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Evelyn by Crabtree & Evelyn

Evelyn opens with a cool green vibe, a spring garden at first light. Then blooms the freshest of pink roses - hyper realistic. And pretty much there it sits. A clean musk fills in the gaps, but soft and creamy pink rose throughout is the jest of this one.

If simple and well done pink rose is what you are after, then by all means give this one a try. I, personally, did not find nuances that kept my interest.
28th February, 2013
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Come La Luna by Bois 1920

After an initial blast with a brash citrus note, this did calm down a bit, but I often do not care for such an unbalanced opening.

But it improves.....
The key to this fragrance, for me, is the coriander. It balances the pepper citrus with warmth, and sharpens the patch/amber of the base. It is just on the edge of SPICE!, but not overt. It is smooth jazz spice. Sitting at work, I kept thinking "this is a little too much for work - too dirty", but yet, I like it.

There is a lightness and brightness to this one also that I appreciate. It hovers just on the edge of night wear (the spice), but fine for day also. It does not feel too heavy for summer, but certainly fine in colder weather. Nice enough fragrance, but these are pricey.
25th February, 2013
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L'Eau d'Ambre Extrême / Ambre Extrême by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This is a polite, well behaved amber fragrance, with an old fashioned, almost powdery feel throughout. The patch adds a dusty quality to the opening, with the amber retaining a resinous quality. It never goes too sweet, even though there is a heavy dose of vanilla in the base, keeping the composition powdery throughout.
This is fairly straightforward, almost simple, but if you enjoy these notes, there is not much to go wrong. Some will find it too simple for their taste I am sure, but I find it lovely.
25th February, 2013
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Vetiver Oriental by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

This is a vetiver that anyone could sink their teeth into, even for those, like myself, who struggle with a strong presence of that note.

There is a smooth, distinct presence of vetiver, but it acts as subtle base for sharp wood and sweet amber to play off of. In fact, I find two distinct phases of vetiver - the first is slightly smoky and green, intertwined with a sharp guaic note. The second is a wood based sweet amber oriental, with vetiver still present, but clearly in the backdrop. There is a lovely powdery iris sprinkled over a cocoa to form an impression of dark, bitter chocolate, but I don't find this obvious at all, more an impression.

I find this imminently wearable, and I love the use of interesting notes in a rather tried and true formula. Oriental it is, but with a twist. It manages to stay somewhat fresh throughout, even with the sweet and powdery base.

Very well done, albeit possibly not the truest vetiver for vetiver lovers. But for me, it is perfect!
05th January, 2013
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Bottega Veneta by Bottega Veneta

Smooth is the word that comes foremost to my mind regarding this floral suede fragrance. Each element and phase easily transitions and blends into the next, and the final product is a lovely, albeit close wearing, experience.

Apricot scented suede with creamy jasmine is the predominate smell, but running through the composition is a plum note. This is one element that I found slightly distracting, although it does nothing to change my opinion of the fragrance. The drydown uses dusty patchouli in a similar fashion as Chanel's 31 rue Cambon to elicit the chypre effect, although I slightly prefer the Chanel rendition of this new world chypre drydown.

All in all, a beautiful effort and fragrance that should please many. It certainly did me!
14th October, 2012
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L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I'll confess two things. Number one, I don't care for heliotropin as a note. And number two, I cannot get over the impression of Johnson's Baby Oil that I find in this fragrance. The two combined are reasons for me to ponder what this is all about...but I cannot say that it does not smell good. And I cannot say it does not give a comforting, calming aura that it was most likely meant to portray.

But...it smells like Johnson's Baby Oil. So a neutral, even though I do think that it is the world's best rendition of Johnson's Baby Oil. It is beautiful and very, very well blended. A structure that holds true to it's notes - soft, delicate, airy and gentle. This is the skin scent of all skin scents, like a baby's head in a way. A baby's head with Johnson's Baby Oil applied to it.

28th September, 2012
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Dior Homme by Christian Dior

I absolutely adore this fragrance, and truely believe it is class in a bottle - for anyone's use.

The velvet touch of iris powder used to softly blanket the usual masculine lavender, soft spice and leather - genious. This is pale silk in a bottle. The blend surrounds you in an aura of calm, it is just that beautiful. I rather believe it is better to just let the fragrance shift and blend, no need to dissect the notes. There is no lipstick - only silky powder over lavender, spice and leather. Just enjoy it!

This is a 5 star fragrance to me, and a tribute to perfumery even if it does not suit you personally. A must sniff for everyone.
14th September, 2012
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Cristalle Eau Verte by Chanel

This is an easy to wear, heat beater of a fragrance, that is done is typical Chanel style. They seem to be able to take even the most simple fragrance, and somehow make it classy.

Tart and bright effervescent citrus is cooling and soothing, with lemon being the main star. The florals are diluted and soft, but not without thought and merit - it is a clean jasmine and maybe a faint magnolia (which uses a hint of the opening lemon as part of it's charm) that form the core of this fragrance.

It does not last that long on me, about 4 -5 hours, but it does it's job beautifully. This could easily be a summer staple for anyone.
13th September, 2012
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Eau de Star by Thierry Mugler

For all the things that shouldn't work, I really didn't mind this one at all. The watermelon bubble gum smell didn't even give rise to much other than a wry smile. And that is just about where I place this one - a fun take on Angel's patchouli bomb!!

Yes, there is an aquatic vibe to this (it's summer and picnics and watermelon after all!!!), and that thins this one down a bit, but it was not really a fresh feel. This is still a substantial fragrance - I could smell it on my clothes for a week.

Fun enough.
24th August, 2012
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Shiloh by Hors Là Monde

For me, the overall impression of this fragrance was of soft, powdery rose and sharp cedar. The foundation of this faint powder and dainty, almost green, rose is always contrasted by a sharp wood (or in the case of the opening, by a sparking and sharp lemon citrus blast).

This contrast is continued in the base, where powder gives way to dusty patchouli and warmed with soft vanilla. Insence is used as the contrast there, to offset the rounded soft notes with an edge.

Sharp vs. dainty, all the way through. I loved the blending of this fragrance. I'm not a rose and wood fan, but I apploud the deft use of these individual notes to compose a lovely fragrance.

It is light, never heavy, and interesting.
24th August, 2012
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Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake

I'm giving this a thumbs up for being good smelling, but I have to point you towards MdM's review - this one is BIG! I don't particularily care for lavender frags, so I dabbed far from nose, throat, chest even. Wrist was close enough - this will clear a room sprayed with abandon, I would imagine.

But, it does smell good. The hint of mint offers a dry lavender opening. The mossy, almost creamy finale blends very well with the fading lavender. This is all about lavender.

So if lavender is your thing, give it a try. But be careful!

20th August, 2012
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Mimosaïque by Nicolaï

Oh, this one has such potential, but just does not deliver in the long run.
It opens with an airy, faintly fruity floral, and it is ever so slightly powdery. But the whole experience is one of a greenish skin scent - not tart and not overdone. But also, not really establishing itself.
There is iris in here, contributing to the hint of powder and also controlling the white floral aspect to keep it in line.
This does not last long, and is not throwing all these lovely notes out there. But it does what it does very well. Reapply at will and you will find a very nice perfume. It has it's charms, even if spoken quietly and softly.
09th August, 2012
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Racquets Formula by Penhaligon's

Racquets Formula is possibly the perfect "sport" fragrance out there, as it holds it's head high and keeps the standards up front and honest.

This one is all soapy, slightly powdery and is somewhat formal smelling. But it retains a freshness throughout. The citrus opening is dusted with lavender, and smells clean and cool. There is a spiciness from the geranium that adds a punch to this. It is wonderful and refreshing.

The transition to midnotes is smooth, as a powdery aspect comes in, but it is not feminine powdery, just something to add interest. A green mustiness creeps in, mossy but still spicy. This is the wonderful vetiver and incense combo that blends all of this together. Fantastic drydown!

Classic, Penhaligon in nature (meaning it will not punch you in the face - this is not boxing sport!). A great sport fragrance that adds interest all the way through.

Unisex, leaning masculine. But I would wear this and not blink an eye :)
09th August, 2012
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Iris Ganache by Guerlain

This falls into the gourmand arena, but is never too sweet to have anyone shy away from it. Cool iris meets semi sweet notes. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon along the way, which is a note I enjoy if not overwhelming, and then a continuing warmth of some vanilla. This is what you get.

A very pleasant ride and it smells good. A thumbs up for this one even though I prefer something like Bois Farine for a gourmand iris, or even something like SL Douce Amere (which is not iris dominant) for my cool vs. warm gourmand fix.

Try it out if this type of fragrance suits you. But at this price point, I will not personally reach further.
20th April, 2012
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Hermèssence Santal Massoïa by Hermès

This one is a very fitting addition to the Hermessence line. It is interesting, quirky but in a subtle way that I find very endearing. And I'm always a sucker for creamy, semi sweet wood fragrances. And I don't mind a hint of coconut drizzled over soft figs. So this is right up my alley.

If you don't go looking for a sandalwood hammer, you might find this one sneaks up on you too.

Easy thumbs up, and one of the better Hermessence fragrances in my opinion.

19th April, 2012
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Iris Noir Secrets d'Essences by Yves Rocher

I have to agree with others that don't find much iris in this Iris Noir, maybe just a hint of powder in the heart. But, instead, it's a happy, fruity and sweet little thing. The sweetness of berries, at first just a tad tart, carries almost throughout, where the sweetness of tonka takes over.

Neither are objectionable, maybe just not what I was expecting. This one is easy to wear, but you must enjoy sweet fragrances. It veered just a tad too far for me personally, but that's just a matter of each to their own taste.
23rd March, 2012
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Bois d'Iris by The Different Company

This one will probably split the camp of iris lovers out there. It is simple and subtle, yet distinctive and capable of hitting multiple marks.

I would sum it up as an iris cedar combo, and that would be true enough, but would be missing some of the finer elements of this fragrance.

The balance between doughy iris and sharp vetiver is a fun one, leaving a hint of powder, yet a feeling of coolness also. The cedar note floats in and out throughout this fragrance, used to sharpen or used to flesh out various aspects of the floral background. There is violet in here, and some musk - both used as fillers, akin enough to the iris to blend everything even further.

This one is a nice compromise if you find Iris Silver Mist just TOO cold to wear. Bois d'Iris is cool, yet not aloof. I find it a very nice iris fragrance.
29th February, 2012
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Felanilla 21 by Parfumerie Generale

This is an interesting vanilla, all smoky and non-sweet. It opens with a blast of beautiful saffron, giving it a medicinal touch. But then, even more special, smooth orris moves in a provides a creamy texture to offset the sharpness of the saffron. Even the banana wood works perfectly here.

Let this one sit with you for a while. Let is show it's stuff. This is wonderful, playful take on vanilla. Purr is right!

23rd February, 2012
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Indochine 25 by Parfumerie Generale

This one has a similar "feeling" as Cadjmere, only less tropical. This is a dryer version of the semi-gourmand style of fragrance that PG is known for.

The benzion and honey could have made this too sweet, but it is saved by a drying pepper note, almost creating a sweetened incense feel. The woody bark also factors considerably in keeping the sweetness in check. The overall effect is not too dry or sharp, not too sweet and very pleasant.

I find this very enjoyable.
22nd February, 2012 (last edited: 04th June, 2012)
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Bois et Fruits by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

Bois et Fruits certainly bears resemblance to Mother Bois, Feminite du Bois - mostly in the familiar cedar note blend. But where I find FdB's plum note to be over ripe but juicy, the fruits in Bois et Fruits seem dusty and dry, flat and stale. This is certainly not a knock on this fragrance, but it did not meet my expectations, and I would not enjoy wearing this dry, muddled fruit over a pleasant cedar note on too many days.
13th February, 2012