Reading other reviews I am struck yet again how differently individuals experience the same fragrance, some loving it: some hating it.
I wanted to try IdN because I fell so completely in love with Chanel's 28 la Pausa even though it was quite fugitive on me, and thought that another iris (especially from a perfumer with a good reputation like James Heeley) might be equally gorgeous - and equally fugitive.
I tried IdN and was knocked endways by its power - yes, honestly; one spritz on the back of my hand seemed to fill the room and continued to do so for several hours. At first I couldn't smell much iris; plenty of violet, ambrette & carrot seed but the iris seemed a bit shy. Eventually I had one of those gosh-aren't-I-stupid moments - like when you spend hours looking for something and find it sitting on your desk all along, just where it should be - and realised that the iris had been there all along, quietly elegant and simply beautiful. A bit like Audrey Hepburn - sitting in the background of a scene and saying nothing, yet stealing the whole show.
Somehow whenever I'm out sampling fragrances I never seem to visit the Amouage counter - it could be because I have Gold and recognise it to be great without managing to love it that much. Today I decided that I really should make more of an effort.
Dia is good - but not great. It's light, pretty and very wearable, if this is one of Ellena's creations then he's done a reasonable (and very typical) job. Unfortunately I then went to the Chanel fragrance boutique (cruelly situated right next door to the Amouage counter) and sampled a few of the Exclusifs - no comparison, believe me.
Dia is OK, quite pretty, in fact - but why spend that sort of money on this sort of fragrance when there's infinitely more beautiful and beguiling stuff out there?
This fragrance is totally inoffensive - a fruity-floral where the fruit seems to be watermelon. There are some fragrances (Poison comes to mind) which are basically unwearable but one gets the impression that they might be nice enough if diluted 1:100 and worn by someone a mile away - they are not dull; they have character, even if it's a character that you don't really want to get to know.
It's easier to define Reflection by listing what it isn't. It isn't loud, ugly or odd, but neither is it beautiful, fascinating or quirky. In fact it would be suitable for any fairly pretty, nicely-brought-up girl with no character at all.
Very pretty & well-crafted but somehow fails to grab my attention.
It can't just be that it has less longevity than you would expect for the price - after all, I fell passionately in love with Chanel's 28 La Pausa and that doesn't last much longer - so maybe it's just a bit too well-behaved: it has no surprises.
It's pretty, but not beautiful. If you want a rose my advice would be to go for something a bit more grown-up.
This is another one of those fragrances that seems to be different every time I wear it. Is it the weather or just the mood I'm in? I can't say. I don't think this will ever be my No.1 can't-live-without-it fragrance but I like it a lot and was delighted to pick up a bottle at TK Max.
It starts off fresh and light, then after a few moments a deeper powdery note comes through and the two seem to oscillate - some days the freshness and fruit seem to predominate, sometimes the powdery note. I don't know whether this is a typical Gucci fragrance, it's the only Gucci I've got so I've got nothing to compare it to, but for me it makes that 'fresh out of the shower' feeling last all day.
It's a fresh daytime scent, unlikely to offend anyone sitting near you at the theatre or dining at the next table. For evening I prefer something a bit richer and more feminine but I'm very happy with my bargain buy for daytime wear and (if I come across another cheap, whether at TK Max or on the Net) I may indulge myself again.
Every time I wear one of the early classic Guerlain fragrances I am astonished by their beauty and complexity and to me Jicky is a prime example of Aimé Guerlain at his best.
I am astonished however that there is no mention of lavender in the top- or heart-notes, I get a rush of the lemon/bergamot as soon as I spray this and then a cool lavender note, drying down eventually to a warm old leather.
Like many of the great fragrances this is not for everyone - for example I myself have never warmed to Chanel#5 - but even if you don't like it you have to accept (as I do with Chanel's best-known fragrance) that it is a great work of art.
Jicky is unusual. We have forgotten (if we ever knew) that many fragrances of that period were unisex and we get confused by Jicky because it is always to be found with the feminines. Maybe this demarcation between masculine & feminine fragrances should go for good; I have worn Jicky & Mitsouko (another of Guerlain's unisex fragrances)happily for several years, also several of the modern unisex perfumes such as Bulgari Black and Armani Bois d Encens but am also happy wearing rich, sweet florals such as Nahéma and Bulgari pour Femme - the only rule of perfume-buying is try as much as you can and wear only fragrances you truly love.
Therefore to anyone who is put off by some of the less positive reviews I would say this: try Jicky; you may fall for it at first sniff, you may gradually become fascinated by its strangeness and complexity (as I did) or you may never be comfortable with it at all. Whichever way it gets you, you will have sampled something great.
What an extraordinary fragrance this is. You get a fresh (almost watermelon/maritime) top-note overlying an autumnal tang of wood smoke and creosote, which sounds like a total recipe for disaster but which somehow works quite well. If anything it makes me think of a wet October afternoon in the garden.
I’m not a huge fan of Lush – only a masochist could willingly go within half a mile of one of their stores – but I’m quite liking Tuca Tuca and may eventually find the weirdness of Breath of God attractive enough to add to my wardrobe. Rather than buying liquid samples of these two fragrances I’ve bought the solid perfume of each which, judging from other people’s comments, stays rather closer to the skin than the juice and has the double advantage of being a) inexpensive and b) non-spill.
Comparing this with Lonestar Memories, the other big smoky fragrance of recent years, I have tried for a long time to love LM but found the creosote/smoky note too intrusive to wear as a fragrance. So, to anyone else who likes Andy Tauer’s smoky-campfire masterwork but finds it a bit too much for them, I would say try Breath of God; you may even come to like it. However I’m surprised that it is rated as a feminine, whereas Tuca Tuca, from the same stable, is described as unisex. To me this is much more a masculine and TT is more feminine – could be something wrong with my sense of smell but that’s how they both strike me.
Although I quite like the smell I’m not sure (and apparently am not alone in this) that I would actually want to smell of it and think it may appeal more as a parfum d’ambience – Lush do make some of their fragrances as scented candles, if this is one of the range I might try it.
This is an outstandingly weird fragrance - worth trying (buy either the sample or the solid), but certainly not for everyone.
Lisawhip (Feb 09)says try well before you buy & do NOT give it as a gift - I agree absolutely.
Sorry folks, the more I tried this the less I liked it & eventually I ran it to earth - it smells of the stables; leather, hay, liniment and wet horse. It may suit some people but I'm afraid it's not for me.
15th November, 2010 (last edited: 27th January, 2011)
Having been a fan of Coco since it was first released I thought it may be interesting to try Cinnabar as it is very much in the same genre – spicy orientals – and l thought it might be a useful addition to my wardrobe. Most all the Lauder fragrances get good reviews and I have tried (and liked) Beyond Paradise so it was worth a gamble.
The similarity to Coco is actually remarkable – Cinnabar is deeper (darker) and the drydown is heavier with notes of patchouli (never one of my no.1 favourites) and quite a lot of vanilla, whereas Coco manages to be spicy with relatively little actual spice and more in the way of floral notes and is, to me, more attractive.
I was very grateful for the smelling-strip (because I had to share my train home with a man who had probably not had a shower since the Flood) but will remain faithful to Coco after all, however for anyone who finds Coco too light or not oriental-spicy enough Cinnabar is an attractive fragrance and may be worth a try.
I love the smell of lavender - in the garden I have loads of it growing & I often have lavender candles burning around the house, but as a personal fragrance lavender is the sort of thing I'll sometimes spritz myself with at bedtime but rarely want to use as a perfume during the day.
This lavender fragrance starts on me with a herby - almost basilic - air, unusual, but not unpleasant, however I have to be honest and say that I have been a fan of Caldey Island lavender for many years and I still believe that's the best you can get.
Buy Lavandula if you must, but once the green herby note has faded this remains a pretty average example of the genus and not to be compared with the Caldey Island version.
Many years ago on my way to school I used to walk past a garden with a huge Mock Orange (syringa) in the garden, when it was in bloom I loved it - so rich and sweet. Later (much later) I visited Morocco and was overwhelmed by the scent of orange blossom in the sunken gardens of the El Badi palace so I expected to love this.
Maybe I may prefer it as a scented candle - a fragrance that you can walk away from when it gets too much, but, having sprayed my wrist an hour ago with a sample that one of the generous girls at Jo Malone gave me I spent the first 30 minutes fighting the urge to run & scrub it off. It's fading a little now and is a bit easier to live with, but I don't think it will ever become an essential part of my wardrobe - I suppose I'm just not a Jo Malone person (although I love the occasional soak in a solution of Red Roses bath oil - the perfect end to a long muddy winter walk).
Actually I rather resent the suggestion that one needs to shell out for two or more of anybody's fragrances in order to smell good. Chanel, Guerlain and many other perfume companies, large and small, reckon that they can make you feel chic, sensuous, businesslike, glamorous (delete as appropriate) with just one bottle of their better juices, so why do JM expect gullible members of the public to buy 2 or more of their fragrances at £34 a pop when you can get 75ml of Mitsouko edp for less than £45? Sorry folks, but I think this represents a triumph of marketing over commonsense.
The first thing that comes out from this is a big note of roses, but this is an incense, so (as you would expect) it's a rather stickier rose jam which then morphs to incense than the cool mossy effect that we get from other rose fragrances.
It is a well-crafted perfume, the quality (as one would expect ftom Tauer) is high, and the drydown is good, but I have to confess to not feeling completely comfortable with it.
When someone says that 'it doesn't agree with my skin' - as I sometimes do - I wonder if it's more a problem of perception, the way we smell things, than actual differences in chemistry, and that what we actually mean is that it's not a fragrance that we feel comfortable to live in.
I think I would like this on someone else, quite possibly to the point of thinking that I would like to smell like that, but if I did do so I suspect that I may regret my rash purchase. So 'modified rapture'; just don't make me wear it,
I first bought this about 7-8 years ago from Liberty's in London and was quite blown away by it - tremendous sandalwood and rich, spicy oudh, drying down to a sort of rosy incense - all in all, smooth, sophisticated and unusual.
Current bottle bought about 2008 and it's not quite the same. You still get the sandalwood/oudh and it still dries down quite elegantly but the quality has changed and I think it's in the sandalwood which comes over a bit stonger and somewhat harsh. It's still a very pleasant fragrance but not as beautiful as before and I'm not sure that I'm going to be in the market for another bottle.
I'll give it a thumbs-up - but only just.
Whenever I'm shopping I try to make time to try out at least one fragrance that LT & TS recommended, so last time it was the turn of Rive Gauche. I had had a friend many years ago who was a real RG addict, I quite liked it on her but never enough to abandon my long-term relationship with Coco, however now I realise that it's actually a bit silly to turn one's back on any perfume just because you've been conned into believing the fallacy that every woman should have a 'signature fragrance' I have become more polygamous (fragrance-wise at least) and life has become much more interesting.
End of sermon & back to Rive Gauche...
This was given 5* by The Guide... 'reference rose' they said...I love rose fragrances, or at least some of them (see what I said about Nahema) but I should have read the next bit more carefully because it then describes it as one of the best floral aldehydes of all time. I have a problem with aldehydes and think I must be hyperosmic to at least one of them as aldehydic fragrances have the same sort of effect upon me as chewing an ice-cube on a hot day; they give me an instant headache. Because of that it's probably not fair for me to do anything other than give it a neutral review, the metal atomizer is a brilliant idea and should be copied by more fragrance houses - just don't expect me to wear Rive Gauche itself.
Too sweet, too sickly, not interesting enough to put on your skin and a drydown that requires scouring powder and several hours scrubbing to remove.
Love the scented candle however.
I bought this fragrance in Australia and the impression it gives of hot, wide spaces and aromatic herbs & spices fits in well with the country of its origin - even though the spices etc. aren't actually Australian at all.
I think LT said of the Armani Bois d'Encens (which I also have) that he finds incense to be a sort of moving target; I know what he means and agree with him. Mystra is definitely one of those and is rather like walking through the perfume or spice souk - different scents waft up as you walk past, never quite the same but always interesting. The longevity is certainly not as long as one would like but it does come in a natty rollerball bottle, perfect for pockets or handbags, so you can top-up as often as you want - just don't do it in the middle of a crowd as the top note is pretty powerful.
This is good, but (like any fragrance) may not necessarily ring your bell. I'm quite enjoying it but it hasn't gripped me the way that Bois d'Encens has, after a long time thinking whether I could afford that one I succumbed and now could not bear to be without it. This is a great fragrance in its own way, I accept that other people might want to re-write this review and transpose the names, but Mystra is not cheap and I personally will be spending my money in future on the Armani, when I can afford it.
I took my courage in both hands a few days ago and actually braved the fearsome atmosphere of a 'Lush' store - honestly, how they expect anyone to be able to smell their fragrances under those conditions I shall never know, but good reviews of some of the Gorilla line persuaded me to make the attempt. When they start stocking 'Breath of God' I may even manage to screw up my courage, stick some cotton-wool up my nose, and go in and buy some to try it. How do these people expect potential buyers to make an informed choice? It's like trying to listen to music with a pneumatic drill in one ear.
However...I was aware that the chance of my being able to smell anything much with the assorted odours of the rest of the stuff they sell assaulting my nostrils was slight, but I was willing to try. Unfortunately I was unable to stop the assistant waving a smelling-strip laden with Karma under my nose (BIG mistake - I'm not a patchouli-lover) after which I could hardly smell anything. I didn't bother with Vanilliary or Imogen Rose as I already have Tocade, Missoni & Nahema but as the solids are relatively cheap I decided that even with my sense of smell totally anaesthetised I'd try one & picked upon Tuca Tuca.
I'm no expert at identifying the different notes of a fragrance so can only say that this struck me (once I got it home and was able to try it out in a relatively clean atmosphere) as being quite spicy at first, drying down quite quickly to a vanilla/sandalwood note which isn't particularly powerful - at least to me. It's early days so I'm still pretty much at the 'tester' stage - yesterday I was just waving the stick under my nose from time to time, today I'm trying it on skin - but I think at the moment I quite like it, in fact it's growing on me.
Thumbs up for the fragrance - a big thumbs down for the Lush experience.
I remember this one - I managed to get hold of one of the last few bottles from the Chanel boutique on Bond Street. It was not so much a floral as a walk though a garden - I could smell rose and jasmine and something green, with a gentle woody note somewhere in the drydown - but nothing overwhelming.
As I said I was walking through this garden, smelling the flowers on each side as I passed, but _not_ burying my nose in a boquet. This was quite gentle; beautifully constructed and (if only Chanel would re-issue it, perhaps as part of their boutique range) I would want to have it back in my wardrobe.
What does anyone want from a fragrance? Il doit, avant tout, sentir bon - that's the first thing. It must be interesting, well-constructed, have something to say from headnote to drydown, all that, but beyond that point there are no rules. Anyone can have in their wardrobe fragrances that are light, rich, citrussy, floral, chypre, incense - any of those (preferably not all at once). It is, dare I say, a bit boring to stick to just one fragrance and the fragrance that you will wear at any one time will depend upon how you feel, what you will be doing, the weather - loads of different things. When I wore Une Fleur I felt beautiful: it provided uplift to my spirit. I could do with more of that.
This used to be amazing - it's still good, but not what it was.
The violet is still quite powerful but the leather/chypre balance is lacking and the whole thing is somehow not quite as interesting as it was. This was the first fragrance that my husband ever bought me so It'll always have a place in my wardrobe but I wish - how I wish - that it would be re-formulated back to something nearer what it was X years ago.
Why does that never happen, by the way? I know it may well be impossible to produce an exact re-creation of a former Great but a good-quality reproduction shouldn't be impossible - come on guys, try harder!
I've never been quite sure about Jo Malone fragrances - I can appreciate Lime, Basil & Mandarin whilst not wanting to wear it myself, whilst Red Roses would be a wonderful parfum d'ambience (pity they don't do a candle yet) so I wandered into one of her shops to try a few of the others,
PN was recommended by a friend so I started there. The shops themselves are a hedonistic delight; cool clean decor, elegant packaging, and always a lovely scented candle in the background - mmm, maybe that's not such a bright idea when you're trying to choose a fragrance - however PN wasn't bad, so I put a spritz of that on one wrist and another of French Lime Blossom on the other and carried on down Bond St.
Half an hour later PN was doing OK, a bit fruity & not as elegant as I had expected from the description but I was willing to give it a B+, probably not for me but I didn't think I would give it a thumbs-down. By the end of the afternoon I was desperate to get back home & have a shower.
This is probably the ideal perfume if you need to diet (it certainly put me off my food) or need to keep the rest of the world at bay. The drydown is superb (if you really want to smell like that) but the sour, overripe fruity, sweaty smell was definitely the stuff of dreams - remember some of your dreams?
04th August, 2010 (last edited: 01st October, 2010)
My mother was a great fan of No.5 (also Mitsouko and Joy), but although I grew to love the others I have never been comfortable with No.5, it may be a masterpiece & one of the Greatest Fragrances of All Time but it will never be part of my wardrobe.
I have always found the brilliance and strength of the aldehydes like an 'icepick between the eyes', as Luca Turin said of some fragrance he didn't like. Maybe I'm hyperosmic to aldehydes, as I react in a similar way to other fragrances that have a high aldehyde content (I even find the top note of 31 Rue Cambon a bit headache-inducing, although the drydown is fine) but whatever the reason this one is not for me.
I love Tocade so tried (and loved) Missoni, feeling at this point I was on a roll & anything Maurice Roucel created would be my sort of thing in a big way I hunted this one out and tried it - oh dear, NOT for me.
At first sniff this is a beautiful fragrance and on smelling it I know exactly what Ellena means by a skin perfume. I also think I know what he means by a perfume that becomes a part of you rather than one that you wear. However that's not what I want and the logic might equally apply to my buying myself a beautiful designer outfit - and only wearing it in the privacy of my own home.
There is balance in all things. At one end of the spectrum there are beautiful (but rather too discrete) beauties like this, at the other fabulous fortissimo creations like Poison but I think that there will be relatively few people who will want to be either so loud or so quiet in the perfumes they choose to wear - I certainly want to be able to enjoy my fragrances and this is so vanishingly quiet that two minutes after I've sprayed it it has practically disappeared. It makes me think of those clever individuals who create beautiful sculptures out if a grain of rice, it's amazingly clever but I think I'm missing the point, and at about £150 a bottle (I bought it quite a long time ago and can't remember exactly how much it cost) I want something that lasts.
I can't give it a thumbs-down as it really is a beautiful fragrance but the only way to enjoy it is to spray it on every ten minutes because that's as long as it lasts.
I know what LT meant when he said that by naming Mitsouko as the one he would take with him if he had to flee to Mars for tax reasons he was rrunning the risk of being thought a bit obvious.
After all it's so well known as one of the Greats, a classic that is still there in the top 10 ever despite the arrival (and departure) of several thousand perfumes that would have liked to claim its crown. Therefore when anyone like me, who is never going to be described as particularly knowledgeable about scents, says that it is a staple that she could not live without, she runs the immediate risk of being suspected of an inability to think for herself.
There's no law that says that the whole world should love a perfume, even if it's regarded by many as a masterpiece but sometimes the majority are right. When this happens you're not necessarily just following the herd OK, maybe some are, but I have been fighting the bewitchment of Mitsouko for years and have had to admit that it's got to me - it is a great fragrance and I love it.
I bought this blind having read LT's review in The Guide, being of the opinion that even if it was as naff as it's name I could afford to bin it if I didn't like it. No problem - it's a lovely fresh optimistic fragrance, suitable for any age-group, and I love it.
The problem with many fragrances is that they are difficult to find in a shop for the purpose of trying before you buy - you can get them easily enough on the whole over the Net, but if you're going to be spending £30+ it's a lot of money down the drain if you decide it's not for you. In an ideal world you should be able to get a sample of any fragrance for a pound or two, but I haven't managed to find a decant service in the UK and stores generally only have samples of the latest fragrance and are amazingly mean about giving them away...I wonder where all the testers on eBay come from?
However, back to Missoni. I finally ran it to earth and took a smelling strip away with me to see whether I would be able to live with it. It didn't take me long to decide: you can smell the family relationship to Tocade (also by Maurice Roucel), it has a similar (but slightly toasted) vanilla note which in this incarnation does come over as chocolate, morphing into an iridescent floral - sometimes soft & rosy, sometimes fresh.
Of course by the time I had decided to splash out (sorry about the pun) and treat myself to a bottle the shop no longer stocked it so I had to go on the Net, but like Luca Turin I too will make sure I've got enough for a lifetime. By the way I agree completely with Xmen - where are all the rest of the Basenotes community? They should be here, singing the praises of this bewitching fragrance.
27th May, 2010 (last edited: 23rd August, 2010)
Gorgeous - clean, fresh & irresistable. Like pre-dawn in the Alpes Maritimes this cools you with citrus and herbs and makes you ready to face the day with energy.
I don't really want to be knocked out by any fragrance for the whole day - I might want a change as the day goes on, I will certainly want to wear something different in the evening. In my experience no EdT lasts particularly well (some are better than others in that respect) and part of the beauty of any Eau de Cologne is its ephemeral nature - like those few moments before the heat of the sun starts to scorch the freshness from the world - but you can buy an atomizer pretty cheaply and spritz from time to time, knowing that you're not going to deliver a knock-out blow to the noses of colleagues or passers-by but rather treat them (and yourself) to something fresh and beautiful.
My mother was a great fan of Mitsouko and must have grieved over my taste when I was a feckless teenager with a distressing tendency to buy the latest from Avon, so it must have been a great relief to her when I discovered Nahema. I can still remember it as a sort of Damascene Conversion - it came billowing out of the tester with roses so rich that I could almost feel the petals, deep, dark and velvety, but with them peach, spice, and vanilla. The first time you try this you get whisked away on the Golden Journey to Samarkand (which is probably the best way to go there - after Nahema the real thing would probably be a huge let-down).
This isn't a fragrance for wearing into the office - at least not if you expect to get any work done - but it is a fragrance for the evening, or for days when you need to be reassured that your life has some beauty in it.
I have tried more fragrances than I can remember & bought more than I can really afford, but when I was standing by the Guerlain counter one bitter day not long after my mother died - thinking of her and how she loved fine fragrances, and remembering the day she said 'Try this one, darling, it's new - you may like it.' I decided to try it again. It had been a long time; I had worn Mitsouko myself, also Jicky; I was quite a fan of Joy and had fallen in love with Tocade - but when I sprayed Nahema again it was like coming home.
I don't just love Nahema for the memories, although those are pretty powerful; this is simply one of the most beautiful and complete fragrances ever - lovely in every aspect.
Pity those who lack the soul to appreciate anything better than the latest celebrity rubbish..
After going into Selfridges for about the tenth time just to get my fix of Bois d'Encens I have had to admit that I really do love this one & must add it to my wardrobe. I've had it a couple of weeks now & find that it actually lasts quite well compared to most modern designer fragrances - not as good as classics like Mitsouko or Coco, but considerably better that Osmanthe Yunnan.
All in all - recommended if you're looking for an incense.
27th February, 2010 (last edited: 04th August, 2010)
Those who love this really, really love it.
Weird or what?
I didn't think I liked the smell of rubber, it made my head spin, but I couldn't get away from this fragrance - at first I regretted buying it, was sure that I'd never wear it & even contemplated putting the stuff on ebay so that strange people who like strange fragrances could take it off my hands, but then decided to give it a second try - and a third - and I had to admit I was hooked.
It takes a while for the excessive burnt-tyre effect to fade (it never goes completely) and then I'm into the smoky, musky vanilla accord with a side order of hot rubber which somehow I love.
Damn the stuff: it's bewitched me.