Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Wingie

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Total Reviews: 32

White Peacock Lily by D.S. & Durga

Agree with ParfumPorMoi that this is actually a jasmine-dominant fragrance. It opens with the most beautiful, natural and floral lily of the valley, but it sadly dissipates after a few seconds and jasmine then emerges. It is a jasmine note I have not quite encountered in a fragrance before - it is not fresh and floral, nor indolic or night blooming, nor clean and soapy. Instead the jasmine seems to be pitted against a dry, herbaceous background, and leans more unisex. It does get slightly soapier farther into the drydown, but longevity is good.

If this sounds like your thing, then do give it a try. It is a competent enough fragrance, however to me it was a disappointment because it is not a lily fragrance.
11th December, 2019

Kiss Me Intense by Nicolaï

I loved Patricia de Nicolai's Kiss Me Tender the moment I first smelled it from a sample vial, but sadly wasn't able to purchase a bottle before it was discontinued. Thankfully, I detect little difference between that fragrance and it's re-issue, Kiss Me Intense.

Kiss Me Intense is to me is one of the best heliotrope fragrances available today, and one of the best gourmands. The original Kiss Me Tender came out in 2010, before houses like A Lab on Fire started up and became known for their sweet gourmand fragrances such as What We Do in Paris is Secret. Patricia de Nicolai's creation IMO was/is superior to Dominique Ropion's. The scent is said to be inspired by candy and has a marshmallow, marzipane-like feel, however the florals keep it from becoming too sweet. The clove and cinnamon are not detectable to my nose. The heliotrope is lovely and avoids the baby-diapers smell that I've encountered in some other heliotrope fragrances.

It works well as a comfort scent, and is definitely better suited to colder weather. I can't imagine wearing it on warm days. It is also strong stuff, and a little goes a long way. I have the 30ml bottle and I expect it will last me the rest of my life.
30th November, 2019

Vol de Nuit Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

I think this would be very sexy on a man.
24th November, 2019
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Ça Sent Beau by Kenzo

Ca Sent Beau may be the most challenging fragrance I own. I consider it a fruity-floral, but to simply label it as such is much too reductive. It is a real chameleon of a fragrance with several different facets, all sharing the same space, yet they never crowd each other - rather the effect feels strangely organized, methodical, and deliberate. There's sometimes a sharp amber that wafts in and out; at other times there are fougere aspects. I don't love the Amber when I smell it, but then it's gone. The fruity-floral aspect smells great.

It is not the easiest perfume to wear, but has been good for days when I want a more challenging fragrance.
21st November, 2019

Essence No. 1 : Rose by Elie Saab

It has the most delicious edible opening - a sweet syrupy rose. Sadly this only lasts a few minutes and it then settles down into a quiet powdered rose skin scent with only a hint of the sweetness remaining, and there are few changes after that. Why why why can't the opening last longer?
16th November, 2019

Dragonfly by Zoologist Perfumes

This was my first experience with Zoologist and I am also a heliotrope lover, so I was looking forward to trying this and had high expectations based on all the buzz this house was getting.

I hated it upon first sniff and didn't understand the positive reviews. I actually had to wash it off and this doesn't happen often. When the 2018 Guide came out and Sanchez likened it to baby powder and disposable diapers I felt relieved and that I wasn't crazy. I agree with her impressions completely and think it smells like a diaper-y mess, which is what happens when you aren't skilled with heliotrope or don't use enough restraint with it.

My experience with Dragonfly unfortunately caused me to lose interest in this house for a while. However, now that the 2018 Guide is out and Hummingbird and Nightingale were rated 4 stars, I will thankfully be giving this house another try and testing those out.
16th November, 2019

Bohèmes by Keiko Mecheri

Even though there is no heliotrope listed in the notes, this almost smells almost like a heliotrope soliflore, if such a thing exists. It has a soft, powdery, pastry-like smell, and stays that way throughout its development with not much changes. It is not sweet and and easily unisex. Heliotrope can smell like a baby-diaper mess when not done well or with enough restraint - thankfully this fragrance avoids that. However the longevity is also terrible. Within half an hour it was a skin scent. At $250 a bottle I have to say this is ultimately is a rip-off. It's just not complex or long-lasting enough to justify the price, and is unfortunately an example of a house riding the wave of 'Niche' with no real inventiveness.
16th November, 2019

Essence No. 2 : Gardenia by Elie Saab

What a lovely gardenia!

After a fresh opening it takes on an almost salty/beachy character. I can't wait to wear this during the summer!

Gardenia lovers really should give this one a try - the price is very reasonable too at the discounters.
16th November, 2019

What We Do In Paris Is Secret by A Lab on Fire

What We Do in Paris is Secret is a very 'thick' gourmand perfume; it is probably the 'thickest' perfume I've ever worn. The thickness almost feels palpable and I feel like I'm enveloped in a dense cloud when wearing this. It also opens insanely sweet, however the sweetness thankfully settles down after a few minutes and gives way to the heliotrope, which as others have said, has a pastry-like smell. I love heliotrope but feel this is a bit much. It feels like the perfume is wearing me. I think it's a good fragrance though so giving a thumbs up.

If you want a less sweet and gourmand version, try Messy Sexy Just Rolled out of Bed, formerly known as Mon Musc a Moi, also composed by Ropion.
16th November, 2019

Eau Duelle Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

This is probably my most favorite fragrance of all time, and I have likely smelled hundreds in the last ten years.

I'm a vanilla lover, and while test-driving a bunch of other vanilla bomb fragrances, my first impression of Eau Duelle was that it was simply a 'nice vanilla' that was easier to wear than many of the others. It wasn't until I went through three decants that I realized it was perfect. I now like it even more than the cult classic Tihota, which I also own and paid a lot more for. I live in Canada where it's cold half of the year, and this is the fragrance I reach for more than any other on cooler days.

It's a classic and just smells great without any pretensions. A dry vanilla surrounded by cold spices and frankincense, which are subtle and just give the vanilla some character. The vanilla smells wonderful without being gourmand or sweet, and I can't get enough of the smell when I wear it. I own the EDT, and have never tried the EDP because the EDT just seems perfect.
15th November, 2019

Bubblegum Chic by Heeley

I love this.

A big, loud, brash jasmine, fused together with tuberose in the beginning so strongly that the two combine to create their own abstract accord, which indeed smells like bubblegum. The tuberose starts slowly exiting the picture, leaving a 'fruity' jasmine which lasts far into the drydown.

This to me is actually a more cheerful, whimsical version of Serge Lutens Sarrasins. It's great fun - really, a novelty perfume - and I would love to own it, but don't know that I would have enough occasions to wear it to justify having a full bottle, especially as it is an extrait with a price tag to match. Like Sarrasins and many other Lutens, this is not a perfume you could wear just anywhere.
01st November, 2019

Mélodie de L'Amour by Parfums Dusita

A very soft, gentle, airy and pretty white floral. I felt the gardenia came across the strongest but there are other white florals blended in. I was expecting more tuberose since the 2018 Guide called this a gentler Fracas. For me the fragrance this resembles most is Estee Lauder's Tuberose Gardenia, however the latter is much more powerful in both its projection and longevity.

I sampled this from a sample vial and it was extremely delicate and ethereal - I could barely smell it at first but it seemed to strengthen a bit as it developed. It may be one of those fragrances that melds with the wearer and creates a soft aura around them, almost giving the impression that they aren't wearing a fragrance and just naturally smell great. I'm interested to know what it would be like sprayed from a full bottle, however not interested enough to pay $350US to find out.
01st November, 2019

Mon musc à moi by A Lab on Fire

A non-sweet vanilla enveloped in a big woody-powdery, dry musky accord, somewhat aloof. There is also a subtle nutty or almond-like note. The fragrance is neither warm nor cold, with the vanilla note similar to that in Diptyque Eau Duelle. I can smell a similarity to What We Do In Paris Is Secret but it is not sweet, yet has significant heft and sillage, and is easily unisex. It's quite nice, and better suited I think to cooler weather.
22nd November, 2017 (last edited: 17th October, 2019)
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Replica Beach Walk by Martin Margiela

I actually really like this - it's an uncomplicated but well-done, true to its name beach scent, though I sampled it at the wrong time of year. I prefer it over Bobbi Brown Beach. The only caveat is that it was listed as a "top-seller" at Sephora, and I don't want to smell like the masses.
22nd November, 2017

Manakara by Indult

Opens with an over the top sticky, boozy, syrupy stewed fruits and liqueur note, which fades immediately to a bare-bones whisper of a fragrance that hints of rose with a bruised-fruit smell and a touch of smoke. Within seconds of applying it, I can no longer smell it unless I press my nose against my wrist. It's both structurally unbalanced and compositionally lacking, despite the top notch ingredients I'm sure were used.

The first fragrance by Francis Kurkdjian I am dissapointed by. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually.

22nd November, 2017

Panthea by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777

I ordered a sample of this from Luckyscent after reading their description of it and thinking this might be a lovely iris for cooler weather.

Imagine my surprise when I sampled it and found it to smell like a lovely spring green floral, reminding me immediately in fact of Parfums de Nicolai Temps d'Une Fete. Don't ask me how Panthea smells similar to a green floral like Temps d'Une Fete since the list of notes is completely different. I have sampled them together however and the similarity is definitely there, at least for me. Panthea is slightly more plush with a hint of powder, yet still very fresh, and airy enough to wear in warmer weather. It is definitely iris-dominant. Temps d'Une Fete smelled sharper on my skin.

Another basenoter had a similar experience with Mortal Skin, where the fragrance smelled nothing like the note pyramid. Panthea is definitely a well-made fragrance, beautiful in fact, and Stephen Humbert Lucas clearly has some skill, but I don't know how he achieved the smell he achieved here with the ingredients that are listed. He might be the master of abstraction.

Try Panthea and see for yourself...
21st November, 2017

Made in Heaven by A Lab on Fire

A strong, sweet gourmand that indeed smells like Capn' Crunch cereal, which some other reviewers and bloggers online have already identified.

It was too thick and cloying for me. Be warned that this is a big, heady, thick gourmand, even more so than some of the house's other offerings, like What We Do in Paris is Secret. I love a good gourmand but after wearing this for a while it just became too much and was nausea-inducing.
21st November, 2017

Figue en Fleur by Andrée Putman

Quite lovely - I am surprised no one has reviewed this yet, since fig-based fragrances don't come around very often, and Diptyque Philosykos has gained its own dedicated following as the reference fig in perfumery since it was released in the 1990s. Figue en Fleur starts out with a fresh fig like Diptyque Philosykos, but dries down more floral with its edges softly rounded out, and no woods, yet is still approachable enough to be worn casually, and is easily unisex. It is also longer-lasting than Philosykos EDT.

A winner if you like fig-based fragrances. I had Philosykos on my wishlist but am now going to purchase this instead. I think it actually has Philosykos beat. As a bonus, it is also available in 30ml.
21st November, 2017

Femme de Dandy by D'Orsay

I got a sample of this in London a few years ago. I don't remember the opening but it quite quickly develops into a warm cinnamon milk accord, lightly spiced and comforting but not foody - similar to the warm gingerbread dry down of Bois Des Iles. The previous reviewer Alityke was very accurate in calling it a 'luxurious fur coat' of a fragrance.

I didn't find out until later that this fragrance was done by Francis Kurkdjian. So far, every thing I've smelled that was made by him has in my opinion been respectfully done, even if it isn't something I would personally wear myself.
28th September, 2017

Sweet Redemption, the end by By Kilian

Candyfloss Orange Blossom.

Really, it's just a copy of L'Artisan's Vanilia - there is the same massive overdose of ethylmaltol (candyfloss), and side by side the two smell sufficiently similar on drydown, with the Sweet Redemption simply replacing the Vanilla in Vanilia with Orange Blossom. Sweet Redemption, unsurprisingly, also smells like much higher quality materials were used.

If that sounds good to you, or if you are lamenting the discontinuation of L'Artisan Vanilia, which hasn't been around for a while now, you can pick up a bottle of this at a pretty hefty price.
27th September, 2017

Dulcis in Fundo by Profumum

Rich, Orange Creamsicle in a Bottle

I tried this as I'm a vanilla lover... it smells very literally of a delicious, rich orange creamsicle pop. Very foody. The vanilla can't really be picked out on its own but melds with the orange to create the creamsicle effect, which is quite linear for a good while. Then deep into the drydown, when on its last legs before petering out, it takes a turn toward the very sweet. Smells high quality and like it's made from top-notch and expensive ingredients - I love smelling it as it is mouthwatering, but I do not have a strong desire to walk around smelling this literally of an orange creamsicle pop. Which is somewhat of a relief, as it's $240 a bottle. Lovers of gourmands may want to give this a try though.

Givenchy's Organza Indecence is also an orange-vanilla composition, but not as foody as this.

Pros: Rich, foody, and delicious
Cons: Do you really want to smell this literally of orange creamsicle?"

12th October, 2013

Vanille Absolu by Montale

Sublime Vanilla With Not Much Else

I sampled this last fall with a handful of other vanilla scents when I was looking for a very vanilla-centered fragrance for my collection for fall and winter. I put it on after dinner, and initially thought "Whoa, that is a vanilla bomb of a fragrance", but then unabashedly wore it every day until the sample was gone; it was a guilty pleasure, like candy or chocolate; but not as sweet as some other vanilla bomb fragrances, with just a touch of smoke and woods to balance it. It is perfect.

Pros: Hello, VANILLA!; Reasonably priced
Cons: Don't like the opaque bottle - can't see how much perfume is left."

23rd August, 2013

J'Adore by Christian Dior

This review is for the original formulation, sold in 1999. There is a difference!

The original version, sold in 1999, is very good; a classic for its era, which was largely an era of fruity-florals. The J'Adore that is being sold in stores today is crap. Pure crap. I think the distinguishment between the two needs to be made because there are reviews of what seem to be the current version saying it smells like house cleaner, shampoo, soap, etc, which is true. J'Adore has been reformulated - more than once I believe - with detrimental results.

But the original formulation is good, one of the best fruity-florals to come out of the 1990s. It can still be found on ebay, the box shows the Christian Dior label in a purple circle instead of a gold one. It is on my wishlist as a collector's item because I know one day it will no longer be available. Samples of the older version can also be found at Surrender to Chance.

Even if you smell the current version and like it, I encourage you to seek out the original version. To me there is no point owning the current stuff when the real McCoy can still be had and is miles better.

Pros: A classic; one of the best in the fruity-floral category.
Cons: The original formula can only be found today on ebay."

23rd August, 2013

Infusion d'Iris Eau de Parfum Absolue by Prada

Gorgeous. I actually smell iris in this, which I didn't in the original, and it's rounded out by madagascar vanilla, orange blossom, and tonka bean. This is how the first Infusion d'Iris should have smelled, IMO.

I wish it lasted just a tad longer, but the fact that it is being touted as a limited edition will likely be enough for me to buy a bottle.
12th November, 2012 (last edited: 21st January, 2013)

De Bachmakov by The Different Company

I had high expectations of this after reading all the positive reviews on blogs, but was very dissapointed. I think it smells like lemon Pine Sol.

At least I saved myself the $160 it costs for a full bottle.
12th November, 2012

Archives 69 by Etat Libre d'Orange

The pink berries and pepper are mostly what I can pick out from this. To me it has a smell reminiscent of the old individually-wrapped Bazooka Joe bubble gum, but not sugared, adolescent, or gimmicky in any way. It's sophisticated, delicious and fun. Longevity is so-so.
21st October, 2012

La Violette by Annick Goutal

Too much sugar in this for me. I would classify it as a fruity floral, but unlike other fruity florals, the violet adds a certain shyness or innocence. Reminds me of a little girl with a sugared lollipop.
28th April, 2010

Heure Exquise by Annick Goutal

Heure Exquise is perfect if you like Chanel No.19's composition, but find it as a fragrance to be too haughty, cold, or "mean". Heure Exquise shares the same galbanum-iris accord as No.19, but is slightly warmer and more romantic. I think it's exquisite, and a must-try for anyone who loves iris, or green fragrances in general.
28th April, 2010

Angel by Thierry Mugler

Never thought I would like this scent - or rather, never thought it was for me. It sounded just too gourmand, heavy and foody for my liking, not to mention it's thought of as a 'loud' fragrance (referencing Luca Turin), and one of the first fragrances I ever owned was another 'loud' fragrance that I was never able to pull off, Gucci Rush.

A salesperson offered me a sample, and I do like it. I find it rich, but not heavy (unlike Organza Indecence), and I feel more comfortable wearing it than I thought I would. When I first spray it on I can't stop smelling my wrist. For me the best part is the early stages though, with all its rich delicious gourmand notes. Then Angel dries down to a dry masculine patchouli base on me, and it was this stage that elicited a comment from my mother that I smelled vaguely of an old man.
14th December, 2009

Classique Eau de Toilette / Jean Paul Gaultier Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier

Way too powdery and sweet. I definitely could't take very much of this. I would have to wear it only occasionally.
08th December, 2009