Reviews by Jean Patou Fan

    Showing 31 to 60 of 66.
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    Vent Vert (original) by Pierre Balmain

    One of my friends used to wear the EDT version of Vent Vert during the 60s; on her it smelled very similar to Blue Grass, which I loved.

    I didn't smell Vent Vert again until the early 80s when I bought a bottle of Parfum. I think this must have been old stock: I have never smelled anything so awful! Rather than being the grassy fragrance my friend wore, it smelled like the water peas had been boiled in. It actually made me reach!

    I am assuming that this bottle had gone off, and that it is not how the Parfum was supposed to smell. However, on this experience I can only give it a thumbs down.

    29 March, 2010

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    Opium pour Homme Eau de Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent

    I loved Opium pour Homme EDP when it first came out in the mid 90s; the idea of an EDP for men was something very different, as was the fragrance itself. I also loved the elegant dark blue reflillable spray.

    Opium Pour Homme EDP is a rich, clovey, spicy, sweet Oriental (a lot sweeter than ladies Opium); the EDT version, while obviously being the same fragrance is definitely not as rich. Other than being an Oriental, I don't see it as having any similarity to the original Opium for ladies.


    Much as I loved this fragrance when it was brand new, I feel it has not dated well at all. I find that when I wear it I am aware of it every time I breathe in, which I really don't like, much as I like strong, heavy scents. I'm not going to give the EDP a tumbs down (which I will give the EDT version) as occasionally I'll smell it on someone else, and it will be quite pleasant.

    After the release of Opium Pour Homme, several other houses produced fragrances which were very similar, including Gucci Envy for Men and Lagerfeld Jako.

    28 March, 2010

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    Nina (original) by Nina Ricci

    I thought Nina was a very forgettable and non-descript white, slightly aldehydic floral, very similar to fragrances such as Gianfranco Ferre. When it was released I remember getting quite a few free samples of this fragrance, and try as I might, I really couldn't see anything deeper in it.

    Fleur de Fleurs had been taken off general sale in the UK just before Nina was released; for me the former was a far more beautiful and distinctive fragrance.

    28 March, 2010

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    KL by Lagerfeld

    As has already been said, KL is virtually identical to Opium (I always thought a little less sweet). It's difficult to say any more about it, as if you know Opium, you'll know KL. The beautiful fan-shaped Parfum bottle was most original thing about KL.

    I'm always amazed when a manufacturer will produce a perfume so similar to another already on the market. For that reason I am neutral about KL - it's not the sort of fragrance I wear now, but during the 80s and early 90s, I would never have considered buying it, but bought Opium regularly.

    28 March, 2010

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    Gianfranco Ferré by Gianfranco Ferré

    I remember Gianfranco Ferre when it was released: I thought the Parfum bottle was so beautiful; unfortunately I found the fragrance itself rather non-descript:

    The fragrance is a rather bland, light, white floral; not a family of fragrances which really "does it for me" anyway; no particular notes stand out, but I'd say there is possibly a touch of violet.

    Gianfranco Ferre is definitely not an unpleasant fragrance, just rather bland, and in no way can be compared to white florals such as Coeur Joie. It is the sort of fragrance I would wear to work, (where I wouldn't wear one of my favourites, and associate it with work ever after), though I would be very unlikely to buy it.

    28 March, 2010

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    Dolce Vita by Christian Dior

    Dior used to make some of the most beautiful fragrances: Diorama, Diorling, Diorella, Eau Fraiche etc; even Poison was a showstopper in it's day. Unfortunately I really can't think of anything positive to say about Dolce Vita. It's an aggressive, nondescript sweet floral, more reminescent of air freshener than haute perfumery. Allure smells very similar on me.

    28 March, 2010

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    Poison by Christian Dior

    THE 80s "power perfume", which pefectly matched those shoulder pads and hair spray! Poison was released to coincide with Dior's "Les Excentriques" make up collection.

    I tried Poison for the first time the day Harrods had it in; it was a truly unbeliveable fragrance! An extremely strong and heavy amber-chypre, with notes I had never smelled before, or since; it was almost unearthly. I immediately bought a 50ml Esprit De Parfum bottle in an octagonal casket, which I was told was exclusive to Harrods in the UK). The Espirit De Parfum was also available in a 30ml bottle; I think several sizes of EDT were made. The EDT was not nearly as rich, and was quite a lot lighter. For those finding even the EDT too heavy, an Eau De Cologne version was released for a while.

    Poison's popularity seemed to grow instantly, and suddenly everyone (even those who wouldn't normally buy an expensive fragrance) was wearing it (those who weren't seemed to be wearing Paris); it was instantly recognisable, and left trails after the wearer. It was the flamboyance of the mid 80s, perfectly captured in a bottle! It was impossible to pick-up a magazine that didn't contain an advert for Poison.

    After about a year of Poison being released, I'm sure the formula was altered: it remained just as strong, though it seemed fruiter and not as rich as it had. I knew quite a few people who also thought the fragrance had changed. I didn't buy Poison again after this, as I didn't like it as much as I had. As Poison's popularity grew a number of cheap copies appeared in pharmacies and hypermakets, with very similar bottles, and names like Cobra, and Venom.

    The fall came very suddenly: I think people must just have got tired of Poison, as it could be smelled everywhere; by 1989, it was rare to smell Poison, and Dior did not seem to be advertising it very often.

    Poison really has not aged well: it was perfect for it's time, but that has passed. I rarely smell it on anyone today, though when I do it brings back great memories of the 80s. However it is not a fragrance I would ever buy again. About a year ago I was talking to the Dior Consultant in my local department store, and was told that the Espirit de Parfum has been discontinued altogether, leaving two sizes of the EDT as a reminder of what this most recognisable of perfumes once was.

    28 March, 2010

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    Diorella by Christian Dior

    Diorella is a beautiful fragrance: citrus notes blend with jasmine and subtle spice to produce a light and sparkling perfume, perfect for warm weather (though I used to wear the Parfum all year round).

    Diorella is quite similar to Chanel's Cristalle. Also similar is Dior's Eau Fraiche, which smells like a mixture of Diorella and Eau Sauvage.

    The Parfum, Esprit de Parfum and bath products have all sadly been discontinued (this seems particularly ironic when you look at the instantly forgettable perfumes Dior is now making).


    28 March, 2010

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    Fleur de Rocaille by Caron

    I love Caron perfumes: Fleur de Rocaille is an exception. I bought a bottle in error for my mother, about 15 years ago, thinking it was the Fleurs de Rocaille that she was very fond of in the 1960s. (I am surprised that Caron produce two such different fragrances with such similar names!).

    Fleur de Rocaille is a floral perfume: rose, with possibly jasmine and violet dominates the fragrance, in an unpleasant, sweet, and rather sickly accord. I wonder if this was intended to be Caron's version of sweet florals like Paris; on me it is not dissimilar to fragrances like Allure or Dolce Vita.

    I'm afraid I really can't find anything positive to say about this fragrance. Don't make the same Fleurs/Fleur mistake I did when buying.

    28 March, 2010

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    Nocturnes by Caron

    I loved Nocturnes during the 80s, and wore it for several years. Everything about it spelled contempoary elegance; from the colourful modern art picture on the packaging to the beautiful black Parfum bottle. I remember that Nocturnes was available in an amazing Baccarat crystal bottle with lions on it's sides, exclusively from Harrods during the 80s; unfortunately I was never rich enough to afford one.

    Nocturnes was a beautful and well balanced fragrance: slightly sweet, with floral (orange blossom being most noticable), subtle spice notes, tempered by subtle aldehyde.

    I tried Nocturnes for the first time since the 80s a few years ago, and was very disappointed: the fragrance had changed drastically: it was far less sweet, and not nearly as full bodied; it was like Y, with added chypre. In fact, if I hadn't known what I was trying, I would not have recognised it as Nocturnes. At the same time I discovered that the beautiful original packaging, the parfum, and the wonderful bath products have all been discontinued - it has quite saddened me.

    I am very unlikely to buy Nocturnes again; the fragrance has drasically changed since I last wore it in the 80s. It is by no means an unpleasant fragrance, but very different from the one I remember.

    28 March, 2010

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    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

    I used to like Kouros very much. I think it is a variation of the classic fougere male fragrance, with added citrus and animalic notes. In the 80s I thought it was very elegant, and more daring than classics like Chanel Pour Monsieur or Guerlain's Vetiver. It had an almost hormonal attraction.

    Whether my tastes have changed, or whether the formula has altered I don't know, but I'm really not a Kouros fan anymore. Now it seems to be have far more citrus notes than it used to, less fougere, and an underlying cat urine note, which gets stronger the longer it's worn.

    I don't really want to give Kouros a thumbs down, as I have very fond memories of what it used to be; however, it's not one I will ever buy again, nor would be likely to recommend

    26 March, 2010

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    Diva by Ungaro

    Diva is a fruity chypre fragrance, very similar to a number of others released in the mid 80s, such as Montana, Worth's Dans La Nuit, Balenciaga's Rumba, Paco Rabanne's La Nuit and Rochas' Byzance.

    It's not my type of perfume, (and I don't think the fruity chypres are elegant in the way floral chypres like Miss Dior are), but lovers of this family will love Diva. I'm not giving Diva a thumbs down, as it is in no way an unpleasant fragrance - just not my type.

    26 March, 2010

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    La Nuit by Paco Rabanne

    A fruity chypre perfume, typical of the mid 80s, and very similar to Balenciaga's Rumba, Worth's Dans La Nuit, Montana, and Ungaro's Diva.

    La Nuit is slightly more floral than the others I've listed, with some definite rose notes.

    I'm really not a fan of this family of fragrances, and would never buy La Nuit, but I'm sure it would develop into something much nicer on some.

    26 March, 2010

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    Trésor (new) by Lancôme

    I really dislike Tresor - it has sweet peachy notes, violety florals, sandalwood, and an ingredient I have no idea what it is, but one that makes it very sickly and unpleasant. It makes me want to constantly sneeze, if not feel slightly sick.

    Tresor reminds me of the early 90s, when you couldn't go into a department store without being able to smell it in the air, or being offered testers of it. I didn't like it then, and I don't think it has aged well. Not one I would ever buy or recommend.

    26 March, 2010

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    L'Instant de Guerlain by Guerlain

    I was very disappointed with L'Instant: it didn't develop on me at all, and from the moment I put it had a rather sickly and non-descript vanilla smell; not anything like the vanilla of Shalimar, but more like creme patissiere.

    L'Instant left me cold, and I would have expected something altogether better from Guerlain

    26 March, 2010

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    Samsara by Guerlain

    For me Samsara is where Guerlain started losing the plot and gave into commercialism. I know that Samsara is loved by many, and probably brought Guerlain to the attention of people who had never even heard of the company, but it leaves me cold.

    Samsara is a relatively light oriental, with notes of insence, sandalwood and various spices. I really think smells cheap and nasty - both on myself and on everyones else I have smelled wearing it; I have honestly smelled more classy fragrances from Avon.

    26 March, 2010

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    Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

    I love oriental fragrances, especially of this era, but Cinnabar is one of very few exceptions: it smells like a cheap Opium rip-off. Much sweeter than Opium and quite sick-making.

    26 March, 2010

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    Diorling by Christian Dior

    Diorling is/was absolutely wonderful, and kicks the current rubbish that Dior is churning out into oblivion!

    I used to buy Diorling from the Dior boutique in Paris (where it was available until a few years ago) every time I went to Paris, and can't believe that this Great perfume has now gone. Imagine a more powdery version of Miss Dior, with less chypre, strong leather notes, and a heavy woody spice background; it was perfect!

    Jean Patou's Caline (now also sadly gone) was very similar to Diorling, but a little lighter.

    26 March, 2010

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    Eau Fraîche by Christian Dior

    I love Eau Fraiche! It smells like an elegant mixture of Diorella and Eau Sauvage. Citrus notes (mainly lemon, though there is definitely orange in there too) dominate the fragrance, though subtle jasmine notes are there too against a very slightly spicy background. Though it isn't doesn't strike me as being particularly sweet, I once tried a testers of Eau Fraiche on one wrist and Diorella on the other, andI was amazed how dry Diorella was in comparison.

    I have just seen on the Dior website that Eau Fraciche has been re-released. I'm hoping that it has not been changed.

    26 March, 2010

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    Rumba by Ted Lapidus

    Rumba is a fruity chypre perfume, very similar to a number of others of the same era; the mid 80s re-release of Worth's Dans La Nuit, Montana, Paco Rabanne's La Nuit, and Ungaro's Diva.

    This type of fragrance just doesn't "do it" for me, though that's just me, and nothing against the fragrance itself.

    26 March, 2010

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    Revolution à Versailles by Jean Desprez

    I remember trying Revolution a Versailles for the first time, and being so disappointed; I have always loved Bal a Versailles, and had been expecting Revolution to be equally elegant, distinguished and unique. Unfortunately I found it to be a very familiar and nondescript white floral, with just a touch of adehyde, along the lines of Gianfranco Ferre or the original version of Nina. Not in any way unplesant, but nothing special, in complete contrast to Bal a Versailles. I tried Revolution several times over the next few years to see if I'd missed something the first time, but never found anything more.

    I'm not giving Revolution a thumbs down because I did not dislike it; I would describe it as a pleasant but non descript. I can't see lovers of Bal a Versailles falling for Revolution.

    25 March, 2010

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    Fleur de Fleurs by Nina Ricci

    Fleur de Fleurs and Eau de Fleurs are different strengths of the same fragrance; therefore my review for both is almost identical.

    I used to wear both regularly, and could see no difference between the two, apart from the strength. I first bought Eau de Fleurs in the mid 80s when a local department store had a promotion on it and L'air Du Temps; they had sold out of L'air Du Temps (which I had already tried and liked), so I bought the Eau de Fleurs instead. It quickly became one of my all time favourites, even though I don't usually go for light, white floral secents. I much prefer it to L'air Du Temps, which I find quite bland in comparison.

    The fragrance has very subtle citrus and spice notes against a sumptuous background of creamy white and pink florals; I'd say there's apple blossom note in there. It is light and pretty, without being oversweet.

    I'm really not sure if Eau and Fleur de Fleurs are still in production - they're certainly not shown on the Nina Ricci website at the moment, and it's been quite a few years since I've seen it on sale.

    23 March, 2010

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    Eau de Fleurs by Nina Ricci

    Eau de Fleurs is simply the EDT version of Fleur de Fleurs (EDP) I used to wear both regularly, and could see no difference between the two, apart from the strength. I first Eau de Fleurs in the mid 80s when a local department store had a promotion on it and L'air Du Temps; they had sold out of L'aid Du Temps (which I had already tried and liked), so I bought the Eau de Fleurs instead. It quickly became one of my all time favourites, even though I don't usually go for light, white floral secents. I much prefer it to L'air Du Temps, which I find quite bland in comparison.

    The fragrance has very subtle citrus and spice notes against a sumptuous background of creamy white and pink florals; I'd say there's apple blossom note in there. It is light and pretty, without being oversweet.

    I'm really not sure if Eau and Fleur de Fleurs are still in production - they're certainly not shown on the Nina Ricci website at the moment, and it's been quite a few years since I've seen it on sale. I'd love to try it again

    23 March, 2010

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    Quadrille by Balenciaga

    I love Quadrille! It has a bygone elegance, but is far from old fashioned.

    It has beautiful plum and peach notes against a background of chypre and subtle spice. There's a definite smokiness too.

    I have seen Quadrille advertised as a summer fragrance, but the smoky notes make me think of Autumn (which is when I wear it every year). I think Quadrille has a more casual elegance than the formal Le Dix, but it's suitable for day or evening wear. It seems that the Parfum has been discontinued, which is such a pity. One of the all time Great perfumes

    23 March, 2010

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    Alien by Thierry Mugler

    I have mixed feelings about Alien; it really is a lovely fragrance (particularly in the richer Parfum version). It turns into a sweet vanilla-jasmine scent on me, which is very familiar, and not entirely unique. There are green and spice notes in there too, but they are faint. The EDP tends to get a vanilla ice cream note after a few hours, which is a little sickly. For me it isn't a particularly sophisticated perfume, and a little too "edible", though I have smelled it on other people, and it has developed into something much deeper altogether.

    The real downside, is that Alien is incredibly strong; annoyingly so (traditionally strong fragrances such as Narcisse Noir or even Poison pale into insignificance here!)! Even the smallest squirt of EDP or dab of Parfum is evident on my wrist 2 days and 3 baths later! If Alien floats your boat, I'm sure you won't mind this, but I found it quite annoying, especially when I wanted to wear a different perfume the following day. It definitely isn't a fragrance I would want to wear day after day; a tester once or twice a year is enough for me.

    11th March, 2010

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    Albert Nipon by Albert Nipon

    I originally tried Albert Nipon in the early 80s, when it was brand new into Harrods. I have only tried the Parfum version of ths fragrance, and it really is quite a remarkable one! From the elegant packaging to the beautful bow topped bottle, which reminds me of the original Chloe parfum bottle.

    On me the perfume turns into a beautiful powdery mixture of Opium, Cinnabar and Jicky, with a very subtle chypre note thrown in. After about an hour of being worn, the perfume develops a note which reminds me of Coromandel, though it is not sickly like it.

    It's such a pity that this perfume has apparently been discontinued, though the EDT is still being sold online (albiet in a much plainer bottle than the original, which was similar to the Parfum).

    Fans of sweet oriental perfums will love this one

    05 March, 2010 (Last Edited: 29 December, 2010)

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    No. 18 by Chanel

    For me No18 is the star of the Exclusifs, and a very unusual one at that. Chanel state that No18 expresses sparkling diamonds in a fragrance, and I can really see what they mean. It opens with a note not dissimilar to No19, which is immediately followed by a sharp and slightly sour green ambrette note. The ambrette continues, and is later joined by light floral notes. For a relatively light fragrance, No18 lasts and lasts on me.

    I don't think No18 will be as popular as some of the other Exclusifs, but it has already become one of my all-time favourites.

    05 March, 2010

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    Coromandel by Chanel

    One of the Exclusifs I was really looking forward to, but for me Coromandel turned out to be an absolute disaster! On me, it turned into an incredibly sweet and sickly, cheap-smelling chocolate-toffee mess, which with no exageration, made me heave (the original parfum version of Vent Vert is the only other fragrance to have done that to me!).

    From some of the reviews here, it would seem Coromandel reacts quite strangely on me, and I'd like to smell it on someone else to see if I get what other reviewers see in it. I would definitely recommend potential buyers to try Coromandel first, in case this does the same thing on them.

    05 March, 2010

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    Salvador Dali by Salvador Dali

    I love this perfume: on me it turns into a slightly sweet slightly oriental, with subtle spicy and floral notes. It is very similar to the floral Chanel No22. Well worth trying

    05 March, 2010

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    Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

    This is a very unpleasant overly sweet ozonic fragrance, which is very similar to the orginal Iceberg Twice for women. Once you have smelled it, it is instantly recognisable if someone is wearing it. Sweet, unpleasant and cheap smelling.

    05 March, 2010

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