Sigh....how I wish I could relate to the glorious experiences some of you have described. After several attempts to get Dia, I have to say that I just don't. I do get the references to Chanel No. 5, but to me, Dia is what's left of No.5 after you've stripped it of all the elements that make it posh and luxurious, leaving a shrill and quite linear detergent or dryer-sheet accord....and I don't get even the slightest impression of rose. Hmph! Truthfully, it's not that I think it stinks, or even find it bad, really, but it's just not the revelation I expected. And although pleasant in a detergenty-clean way, it doesn't even come close to moving me. It's not even as persistent as I expected it to be.
Although I can't imagine many people would blind-buy an Amouage, I guess it's worth repeating how important it is to sample first. And now that I have, rather than be envious of y'all, I'll try to be happy that I can cross another pricey perfume off my list ...but I really wanted to be in this club - maybe Dia Man will be more to my liking! :-)
22nd August, 2010 (last edited: 13th November, 2010)
Magnolia grandiflora is the State Flower of Louisiana, my home. It blossoms on one of the most beautiful trees I've ever set eyes on, in or out of bloom. The leaves are amazing, like rich buffed green leather lined with soft brown suede underneath. But the bloom is the star, dazzling in every respect - size, form, color, and a fragrance that could make you weep. I've loved it my whole life. It reminds me of home, and my mother. It's my avatar. Magnolia Nobile is that one - the newly blossomed and breathtaking magnolia grandiflora on the branch. Like you would expect from any good magnolia scent this is tender and creamy, but Magnolia Nobile adds a flourish of cheerful green that keeps it refreshing, and very authentic. It has a soft but beautiful sillage, and moderate longevity...but that's of little importance as I'd be thrilled to reapply. Utterly romantic, sweetly enchanting, and simply exquisite. I love a lot of fragrances, but Magnolia Nobile actually moves me. With this, I've finally found the perfect magnolia grandiflora, as close as I've smelled to the real thing.
I'm a convert. I initially wrote this off as the lovechild of Angel and Pink Sugar. I love Angel and I really like Pink Sugar, so I was more disappointed with Flowerbomb's lack of originality than the fragrance itself. But something prompted me to try it again, and now it's on my Wish List.
It starts off sweet but fresh, like cotton-candy and lemonade, and this is where I compare it to Pink Sugar. The citrus is bright and slightly tart, but soft...like creamy lemon curd, and I can already smell the jasmine coming through. I definitely get flowers, most noticeably the jasmine, but there are others shyly making an appearance every now and then - a bit of rose and something subtly spicy that could be freesia. It seems ambery and I agree with Aries81, it's very reminiscent of Alien due to the jasmine....so much so that I'm surprised it's not mentioned more frequently (but I don't, thankfully, get anything remotely resembling Tresor - I can't tolerate its musty/dusty peaches and roses accord.) I don't get a lot of burnt-sugar sweetness in Flowerbomb - no caramel, but something sweetly creamy/buttery/ambery and resinous. I've seen other sources list a sandalwood note, and I would agree with that. The patchouli is the clean kind - powdery and fresh. (Btw - I don't like Coco Mademoiselle. I certainly get the comparison but to my nose their similarities are very superficial and mostly about the patchouli. I don't get a nice jasmine from Coco Mad if any at all. Flowerbomb is all about the jasmine. And after getting to know it a bit better, I can't seem to find what I initially perceived as a similarity to Angel - that's just gone. It, too, was probably very superficially about the patchouli.)
This isn't an explosive or loud fragrance at all, so as others have noted, the name isn't particularly appropriate, even in its kitschy cutesy-ness....although the fragrance is a bit more casual and fun than formal or elegant, so I suppose the presentation isn't too bad. But presentation aside, the fragrance is the real story and I think it's wonderful - womanly and luxurious, sultry and sexy, smooth and luscious. I just love every element of it - from start to finish. And it finishes beautifully, and lingers for quite a while. I'm very pleased to see that V&R have several bath and body products in the line - I can only imagine how heavenly the Voluptuous Body Cream is.
I adore Insolence, and I'm referring to the much maligned edt (I've never smelled the edp.) I realize it can be brash and loud, but so can almost anything from Guerlain - you must apply judiciously! That said, Insolence is rich, sweet candied violets with roses and irises and tart, juicy berries over soft and creamy sandalwood, vanilla and musk. I wouldn't call it elegant - it's much more casual than that, flirty and fun...maybe a bit gaudy, but that's part of the fun...like donning a fuchsia feather boa at Mardi Gras, it's perfect in the right setting.
Insolence is a va-va-voom, modern pin-up girl type of fragrance. I think of it as the cheeky kid sister of Lipstick Rose...but Insolence has on sticky pink berry-scented lip gloss instead of lipstick. I think it's luscious, sexy, youthful and very pretty, and it's one of the few fragrances my fiance actually requests that I wear. I realize that it's not for everyone, so I feel super lucky that it is for me! I even love the pretty pink bottle.
Safran Troublant seems so shy and tender at the start that I almost had it written off as pale and bland, but I gave it just a moment longer to warm up on my skin and I'm glad I did. It's very simple and straightforward - roses, saffron, vanilla, and sandalwood, but the blend is magical. This is an enormously comforting scent - cozy and delicious but not overly sweet, slightly exotic and mysterious but not weird or funky. The rose I smell is pink and perfect. And I love the silky, smooth sandalwood. The vanilla (never my favorite note) adds just enough creaminess to the saffron to keep the whole concoction from smelling like an entree...but I never mind smelling a bit like dessert!
It must be the rose and sandalwood, but I find ST to be reminiscent of Ivoire de Balmain in the dry-down...but it's not green like Ivoire, and it's not nearly as dense. I can see enjoying ST in warmer months while I find Ivoire more suitable for cool weather.
I think this might be the first fragrance from Olivia Giacobetti that I ever sampled, but from what I had read I expected no projection and no longevity. Well, I'm thrilled to report that the sillage is very nice, and it lasts much longer (4-5 hours) than I expected. Safran Troublant is wonderful! I feel quite posh wearing this subtle but sublime fragrance.
I'd read enough about Shaal Nur to know not to judge it by the somewhat harsh (and to my nose very masculine) citrus/herbal topnotes, and they faded pretty quickly anyway. Next up was a beautiful version of vintage Emeraude, but with the addition of some really nice incense making the composition a bit more exotic than Emeraude. I don't detect any of the herbal notes once the initial blast fades, and the spices are very soft. The vanilla is detectable but not obvious which is fine with me. It's clearly very well blended - I have a difficult time focusing on any one note for more than a moment. Overall, I'd call Shaal Nur a comfort scent, soft and warm and cuddly, but it's quite sultry....like black cashmere.
It feels intimate to me, and it wears very close to the skin. I'm okay with that, but it fades much too quickly. I get woods and vetiver at one stage, and it reminds me of Chanel's Sycomore...that's a very good thing, but the longevity is so disappointing. It's only seems to last about an hour on me.
I really like Shaal Nur. I find it very beautiful and alluring and even a bit mysterious. Despite it's fleeting nature, I give it a thumbs up.
I'm really surprised I don't love this one - you all make it sound so beautiful and interesting! I want to smell the Hedychium coronarium too, darn it all! It's probably the tangerine (although that sounds innocuous enough) that's giving me the distinct impression of sinewy vines with malignant chartreuse flowers, all iridescent and waxy, dripping with oily venomous nectar. The top notes are very high-pitched, and although I can detect the honeysuckle that rtamara describes, it's continually choked off under those nasty looking vines. No ginger-lily, no cardamom, no honey, no sandalwood - just the poison. It smells like it would glow in the dark.
Besides all that, the lasting power was abysmal on my skin - less than an hour after after applying it was completely gone (...the food was terrible, and the portions were so small!)
I bought a bottle of this for myself when I was 13, and I've had a bottle of it ever since (it wouldn't have been easy - I think it was discontinued in the early 80s - but I got lucky and stocked up when I came across it much later in an old drugstore.) Calvin Klein is a gorgeous, radiant and warm rose chypre that reminds me a bit of Diva but less darkly herbaceous, or perhaps a spicier and mossier Detchema. I can also smell some resemblance to Gucci No. 1, another aldehydic, mossy, carnationy rose ...and maybe Safari as well (all favorites of mine.) I wouldn't describe it as girly or flirty - it's womanly and elegant, tailored enough for the office and sexy enough for a romantic evening.
The first few moments are all about green aldehydes, then the rose becomes more evident. Although the rose is dominant to my nose, it's definitely more chypre in character rather than a full-blown floral. Like many 70s chypres, it's very complex and full of well-blended notes, and I have a hard time picking out a lot of them - peach? Gardenia and raspberry? I'll just say that everything that's in it is doing a wonderful job.
I'm sincerely shocked that this isn't more frequently mentioned - it just seems too beautiful to be so obscure. And it makes me wonder what could have taken its place, because anyone who loves these classic 70s chypres would surely have something like this in their wardrobe. I'm quite smitten with many of the newer spicy or dirty rose "chypres" (Agent Provocateur, Rossy de Palma) but I've yet to find one that can replace the original Calvin Klein in the glossy burgundy box.
31st October, 2009 (last edited: 09th August, 2011)