Reviews by blood-orange

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    blood-orange
    Australia Australia

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    Eaudemoiselle by Givenchy

    Eaudemoiselle is a rather basic fragrance. It's more modern than old-fashioned or vintage in my humble opinion.

    I was surprised to discover how fresh the scent is. I think I expected something richer and perhaps more floral. The scent strikes me as being a watery blend of rose, lemon, subtle herbs and musk.

    In my country, Eaudemoiselle appears to be a limited release, only being sold in the major capital cities. I don't see how this fragrance is better than other Givenchy releases. In fact I much prefer Ange ou Demon, Very Irresistible and Amarige over Eaudemoiselle.

    The release has come at a good time as Australia goes into the hot Summer months, which is the perfect weather to wear this fragrance. It's a rather polite and inoffensive scent, not being overly strong in terms of sillage, but having decent longevity.

    I'm slightly underwhelmed to be honest, even though I didn't have much in the way of expectations leading up to smelling it. It's delicacy has left me cold rather than impressed.

    There's an odd pear-like note that I keep smelling which is the only thing that intrigues me, to say the least. Because I can sense the pear and rose, I will compare this fragrance to Annick Goutal's Petite Cherie, even though the latter is much sharper and fruitier.

    Written: November 3, 2010.

    24th March, 2012

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    Armani Code / Black Code by Giorgio Armani

    The thing about Armani Code is that it's extremely sexy but rather difficult to describe. It's not spicy like most masculine scents, for example, YSL's Opium for Men or CK's Obsession for Men.

    In some ways it's a clean and soapy interpretation of a spicy scent with a touch of citrus and leather. There is such an aura of confidence and elegance surrounding this fragrance, making it rather formal in a way, like something you'd perhaps wear with a traditional tux.

    The olive blossom is a wonderfully unique additive to the composition, bringing with it an interesting saltiness which is quite alluring on the skin.

    There is a powdery like aspect to this fragrance that tends to develop more towards the drydown. Do not fear, it's a masculine powderiness, nothing like sweet, flowery baby powder or anything like that.

    Refined and somewhat formal, yet easily transferred into day-wear, Armani Code is probably one of the nicest Giorgio Armani scents I've tried. It's successful in being simplistic and not too over-the-top or too edgy. The longevity and the projection is good which is an added bonus of course. I recommend this fragrance for formal wear, cold weather and those fashion-conscious men.

    24th March, 2012

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    Armani Attitude by Giorgio Armani

    I'm rather surprised to notice that this fragrance originated from 2007, I had presumed it had been around a lot longer than that. It appears to be a very popular fragrance for men, displayed quite often in the big department stores.

    The scent itself is rather herbaceous and earthy. It has a real masculine vibe to it, that is incredibly sexy. Some reviewers are mentioning a chocolate accord, making it somewhat similar to Thierry Mugler B*Men. I can't say that I understand the gourmand reference. There is a subtle coffee note in the opening and the heart, but it is far from what I'd call foody.

    Armani Attitude is a rather refined fragrance, one that would suit a fashion conscious man in a suit. Not to mock the fragrance at all, but I don't sense a bad-boy with 'attitude' in this particular fragrance.

    I'm a little disappointed that since this fragrance was shaped like a cigarette lighter it didn't contain a note of tobacco, which I absolutely adore. I think the blend of tobacco with the coffee, citrus, lavender, patchouli and amber would have been divine.

    Overall, the scent is lasting, however towards the drydown the sillage becomes less and less, taking on a rather intimate approach. This bothered me slightly because I wanted this fragrance to exude more confidence and power. Another interesting quality I found, was that it oddly became sweeter as the fragrance progressed. Take that how you will.

    24th March, 2012

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    No. 22 by Chanel

    Chanel No.22 is much prettier and ten times sexier than Chanel No.5.

    No.5 is like sharp baby powder and old cosmetics, whereas No.22, although powdery as well, has a beautiful array of floral accords, smokey incense and bourbon vanilla.

    I can really smell the ylang ylang in this fragrance, along with the vanilla and the lily of the valley. These combined notes gives this scent a classically feminine appeal.

    It's a confident scent with a touch of youthfulness, particularly with the sweet nuances. I initially detested aldehydes when I was younger, however since reaching my 20's, powdery scents are classified by me as being sexy scents.

    Chanel No.22 is very white, but nowhere near being innocent. It brings to mind the feeling of being prim and proper but flirtatious at the same time.

    The powder in this fragrance is less alarming than some aldehydic fragrances I've tried. It has some similarities to the beautiful D&G Women (the one with the red cap), which I also adore.

    The sillage and lasting power is commendable, as is its ability to work well with any kind of skin chemistry. I highly recommend this classic Chanel masterpiece.

    24th March, 2012

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    No. 18 by Chanel

    I do get the fruits in this composition, however they tend to be layered with spices and pepper. Chanel No.18 veers away from the typical fruity florals on the market, choosing to portray something a little less shampoo-like or juicy.

    I rather like this fragrance, and that's a huge thing for me to say seeming that I quite often dislike fruity florals, and dread Summer for that same reason. No.18 is different, perhaps even a little bit metallic.

    I swear that there is an apple note in there somewhere, however it's very subtle. There may even be cinnamon too, which reminds me of the scent of a freshly baked apple pie. However, this fragrance is nowhere near being a gourmand.

    Like the sales assistant noted, it's difficult to classify this fragrance and to pick out the individual notes. When I really stick my nose to my wrist, I get lemon, apple, bergamot, pepper, rose, ambrette seed, cinnamon, olives, musk and herbs.

    Thankfully this fragrance is rather subtle in a fresh, dry and green kind of a way. The lasting power is pretty good, however it tends to vanish every now and then, brought back to life by breathing hot air onto the spot where you sprayed it.

    In conclusion, Chanel No.18 is not my cup of tea, however it's a lovely, sophisticated and refined interpretation of a fruity floral that does tend to be drier than most.

    24th March, 2012

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    Cuir de Russie by Chanel

    I was preparing myself for a strong leather scent, bigger and bolder than what I've previously tried. I was amazed to discover that this is a feminine and soft leather, nothing like Bandit by Robert Piguet or Cabochard by Gres.

    This is leather with pretty floral and soapy nuances. I find nothing like what some have described; there's no animalistic qualities, (at least to my nose), no saltiness and no bitterness.

    It almost smells inky to my nose, like a room filled with regal, black leather armchairs, big red cedar tables and ink-wells, with a vase filled with jasmine, ylang ylang and rose sitting near a window overlooking a courtyard.

    I also don't get the masculine references, to me this particular scent is very feminine, pretty almost. I think it would work well in a casual atmosphere too.

    I recommend Cuir de Russie as a leather scent for beginners, the perfect subtle leather before the transition into the bigger, harsher and stronger leather scents. Strange as it may sound, this fragrance is more romantic than dominatrix in my opinion. If you want sexual, animalistic leather try the men's department or douse yourself in Bandit.

    Cuir de Russie has great lasting strength, however the sillage is extremely intimate and subtle, making it somewhat difficult to detect at times. All in all, a beautiful powdery and floral interpretation of a leather classic from Chanel.

    24th March, 2012

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    Bel Respiro by Chanel

    While all the Chanel Les Exclusifs fragrances are outstanding in their own unique way, I find Bel Respiro to be the least memorable.

    Perhaps it is the fact that green scents don't usually appeal to me, with Chanel No.19 being a scent that I truly despised and wished to forget. Bel Respiro although similar in style to No.19 is much nicer, more complex and a touch more floral.

    While crisp, dewy and green, Bel Respiro reminds me of the smell of a fernery after a heavy downpour of rain. It has a delightful sense of watery greeness and subtle herbs.

    There are some floral nuances throughout the composition that are more like wilted, soggy blooms rather than the bright, lively, overtly scented ones.

    The leather features quite prominently during the heart and towards the drydown, however I don't find this note as nauseating as the leather clashing with the green notes in Chanel No.19.

    Bel Respiro is the essence of Spring in a bottle, evoking the sense of a pretty sun-shower. Despite being marketed towards women, I find this fragrance equally wearable for men. The powdery aspect in the drydown is the only thing about Bel Respiro that I'd call feminine.

    It's a fairly polite scent, in other words not as bold and daring as let's say Coromandel, No.22 and 31 Rue Cambon. However, with that being said, I find it to be a nice additive to the green floral category, one that I can tolerate and enjoy.

    24th March, 2012

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    31 rue Cambon by Chanel

    Before I fell head-over-heels in love with 31 Rue Cambon, the Chanel sales assistant likened this fragrance to the scent of old bookshops and museums. At first my response was, "who would want to smell like that?" Well, let me tell you, smelling like ancient manuscripts has never been so appealing.

    The old, musty smell comes from the complex blend of dry, dusty woods, earthy patchouli and subtle, soapy iris. I cannot find a better way of describing this fragrance's beauty.

    Perhaps a year ago, when I was mostly into florals and gourmands, I may have passed this fragrance by, however making a discovery of the whole Les Exclusifs range has opened up a whole new world of fragrances for me.

    Thankfully, this fragrance works well with my chemistry, hence the reason why it made it to my wishlist. Every few seconds I manage to discover something new about this fragrance. One second it smells nutty the next it's smokey and woodsy. There's a touch of pepper in there too, maybe even incense, amber and spices.

    I am hopelessly devoted to this fragrance, just like when I discovered Coromandel, it was instantaneous love. I don't admire 31 Rue Cambon because it's sexy (although it is in a nerdy librarian way), bold or feminine, I love it because it's like nothing I've ever experienced before.

    Unlike most reviewers of this particular fragrance, I didn't have an issue with its longevity. It lasted perfectly well on my skin, it almost pained me to wash it off in the shower the next morning.

    Mellow, soothing and dry, there is no doubt in my mind that this fragrance will be gracing my collection come next Winter.

    24th March, 2012

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    Gardénia by Chanel

    Gardenia by Chanel, is certainly a lovely, well-composed white floral, however for such a high price tag I can think of many fragrances that smell just like it but for cheaper.

    While pretty, refreshing, delicate and luscious, I can't say that this fragrance is purely gardenia, even though the note is certainly present. The tuberose and jasmine tend to counteract with the gardenia making the scent more of a white floral rather than a soliflore.

    Apparently Coco Chanel wanted this fragrance to be created to represent the closest thing to her favourite flower, the Camellia, which unfortunately doesn't have a scent, so Gardenia was supposedly the next best thing.

    It has a somewhat dewy feel, that is highlighted more in the heart where the white florals take on a more green approach. Chanel Gardenia isn't as creamy as some gardenia based fragrances I've tried, however I'm glad that it isn't as predictable.

    In the drydown I get a lot of white musk and a subtle hint of orange blossom. This particular scent likes to cling to your skin and clothes for hours, lasting well into the next day.

    Personally, as much as I enjoy white florals, I find them too innocent and feminine most days. I am a 'girly girl' don't get me wrong, but I tend to wear perfumes that have a little bit of a bite to them. Chanel Gardenia just feels too refined for my tastes, like a lady sipping on a chai latte with a string of pearls about her neck.

    Like all the fragrances in the Les Exclusifs line, the lasting power is amazing, as is the sillage. I honestly prefer Kai for a more tropical gardenia scent and Annick Goutal's Gardenia Passion for a rich gardenia and tuberose blend, however I haven't written off Chanel's Gardenia altogether. For those white floral fanatics that seek something softer than your average powerhouse floral, look no further. If you can work your way around the expensive price tag, by all means, Chanel Gardenia is a lovely choice.

    24th March, 2012

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    Halle by Halle Berry

    I had heard so much about this fragrance prior to testing it, and I must say that I expected it to be less sweet and perhaps more floral. For some reason I thought it might be similar to Dior's Dune.

    Halle, although nice, is my least favourite from her releases. I don't follow her as an actress, however I admire her intelligence and talent. I never mock celebrity scents, as being an actress myself, if I reached celebrity stardom then I wouldn't hestitate to release a fragrance myself.

    Like I mentioned before, it's a little sweeter than I would have liked. I wanted beachy but Halle gave me syrupy pear, exotic flowers and sugary vanilla, which smelt more like a juicy dessert more than anything.

    The fruity pear, bergamot and fig tend to overshadow the florals in this composition, with a strange warmth and with a touch of spice. It smells like a far distant cousin of Just Me by Paris Hilton, just that little bit peppery. What bothers me is that sweet shampoo like note that comes and goes.

    Towards the drydown, Halle becomes increasingly musky, which is either a turn on or a turn off depending on the person. Personally, I don't feel as if the musk blends too well with the other notes.

    On a happier note, Halle has good sillage and excellent lasting strength, lasting days on clothes and at least a whole day on the skin. At least that's one thumbs up from me.

    All in all, it's not bad, but it's not as impressive as everyone makes it out to be in my humble opinion.

    24th March, 2012

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    Silver Shadow by Davidoff

    I didn't expect much from Silver Shadow. I thought since it's discontinued in most countries and is becoming harder and harder to find, that it would be nothing special. Well, I was wrong.

    Silver Shadow is a delicious interpretation of orange and woods. It's nicely subtle with an addictive drydown of amber and resins.

    Silver Shadow is what I envision a ruggedly masculine man to smell like. The scent comes across as being natural and soothing, as well as incredibly sensual. It's like a 'come hither' without the gesture from the man himself.

    I have no idea how I happened to stumble upon this fragrance nor why I felt compelled to try it, all I know is that I'm glad that I did.

    In regards to longevity, it's certainly not as lasting as some fragrances on the market, however the lasting power is decent, at least in my opinion. It's an intimate scent, romantic in a sense as the fragrance hasn't a strong projection.

    I'm not surprised to see Francis Kurkdjian as the man behind this composition. I find him to be a very talented perfumer, one that I greatly admire and respect.

    As the fragrance develops, it does have a somewhat powdery edge, however I wouldn't call it feminine, although I don't shy from classifying it in my own terms as a unisex fragrance. I think Silver Shadow is a real head-turner with a lot of admirable qualities.

    24th March, 2012

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    Guilty by Gucci

    Although I hate to say it, I find this fragrance one of the most overrated and over-promoted perfume releases of this year. To be honest, not many of Gucci's female fragrances have managed to impress me, (with Envy Me 2 being the only exception). I had some hope for Guilty, however I find it very bland.

    I have no doubt that it will sell well, especially over this Christmas period, but it doesn't strike me as something that those 'naughty girls' or those particularly daring would choose to wear.

    To my nose it's mostly sparkling fruits with a touch of spicy pink pepper. It has a pineapple juice quality that turns me off a little, although it's not acidic like pineapple in fragrances often are.

    It's pleasant enough, yet incredibly boring, leaving me longing for something with much more depth. Where is that beautiful, earthy and green patchouli note that I so constantly crave in scents these days? There is so much missing from Guilty's composition.

    It took me a while to be able to smell this fragrance seeming that it opens so subtly on the skin. It doesn't have much in the way of sillage I'm afraid, nor is the lasting power that of an impressive nature.

    The name and the shiny gold bottle just doesn't seem befitting to this scent. It's misleading in the way it has been marketed as something elegant and formal, when it is in fact rather casual. It reminds me a little of Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle EDT.

    There's not much else I can possibly add to this review. I'm disappointed and truly underwhelmed. It's predictable but pleasant nonetheless.

    24th March, 2012

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    Kim Kardashian by Kim Kardashian

    Fracas holds the crown for the most delectable white floral, and while Kim Kardashian doesn't rival her, this fragrance has managed to succeed in being far more than just pleasant.

    This fragrance does have striking similarities to Michael by Michael Kors and Kai, in that watery gardenia and tuberose aspect. Surprisingly, this fragrance has also managed to create a sense of cosy creaminess and subtle hints of sweetness without being nauseatingly so.

    While fairly linear throughout, I must admit that this fragrance has been composed well. I'm rather liking the fact that this fragrance will most likely appeal to a more mature crowd, rather than the majority of her teen followers.

    I'm not a fan of Kim Kardashian, nor do I know much about her, but a ten year old girl sitting behind me on a train, obviously looked up to her as her idol by hearing the way she talked about her. A fashion idol perhaps, but I certainly hope she hasn't seen her infamous porn video.

    With that being said, this fragrance doesn't smell cheap, tacky or even remotely like that of a porn-star. Perhaps if this fragrance drops in price, I may buy myself a bottle.

    The lasting power and sillage are excellent, certainly surprising to say the least. I'm overly impressed.

    24th March, 2012

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    Givenchy Play by Givenchy

    This fragrance is the kind of citrus that I like on a man.

    The mandarin, bergamot, grapefruit and bitter orange work in perfect unison with one another. The opening is crisp and energising rather than sharp or headache-inducing like most citrus-based scents are for me.

    Despite the fact that Play is fairly unoriginal, it is extremely inticing. I must admit that I don't like the bottle design. It's strange like a remote or something, clunky and looks cheaply made, however the fragrance makes up for the odd marketing.

    The pepper and the coffee in the heart does not feature as strongly as I expected they would, however because this fragrance is primarily a Summer scent, the strength of these notes would have inbalanced the liveliness and crispness of the scent.

    Like many have mentioned before me, the lasting power is unfortunately quite poor which is a little disappointing seeming that this is one of the nicest male releases this year.

    I did however get the chance to experience the drydown before it faded far too quickly, which was an earthy and masculine blend of vetiver and patchouli.

    24th March, 2012

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    Notre Flore Neroli by L'Occitane

    I made a mistake by applying this fragrance far too heavily as I made my way past the L'Occitane counter on my way to a date after a long day at University.

    Despite the fact that I was shrouded in this fragrance everywhere I went, it was a pleasant scent, a somewhat sexy and confident fragrance.

    I'd describe the notes as being like syrupy orange juice with thick, heady vanilla and spicy resins. It's an exotic scent, like what I'd imagine Italy and a majority of Europe to smell like, as odd as that sounds.

    Notre Flore Neroli is definitely a Winter scent, I can't imagine it being worn in any other season. Because this fragrance isn't on the quieter side of things like most of L'Occitane's fragrances are, I can see why people might be deterred by it. I'm not a huge fan of L'Occitane, however the Notre Flore range has really impressed me.

    24th March, 2012

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    Vintage Muse by Kate Moss

    Vintage Muse is very likable, and dare I say, sexy. Kate Moss hasn't disappointed me yet with her perfume releases. She continues to create unique, well-priced and wearable fragrances for everyone to enjoy.

    Grabbing my attention upon first sniff, it was quite humourous how many people approached the fragrance counter in the store I was in after they caught a whiff of this interesting scent.

    I'd describe Vintage Muse as being a dark, spicy and sensual musky scent. It's not overly gourmand, however hints of delectable chocolate, rhubarb and plum emerge every now and then.

    This fragrance relies on its rather smooth blend of rich florals and spicy musk. It's thankfully not as sweet as I expected it to be, nor as musky and fresh as the original Vintage.

    Vintage Muse has some similarities to Velvet Hour, although they are completely different scents. The whole mood and concept is what I find familiar.

    I was seriously considering adding this to my wishlist, however unfortunately the longevity is poor. This is Vintage Muse's only downfall in my opinion. At such a reasonable price ($30 AUD for 50ml), perhaps re-applying isn't too much of a bother, but it would be nice if it did last just that little bit longer.

    24th March, 2012

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    Reveal by Halle Berry

    I can't say that I particularly like this fragrance, however as a celebrity scent, I must admit that it is one of the best.

    The melon note tends to dominate in this fragrance, with a slightly watery and sweet quality. I can also detect the frangipani, mimose, peach and musk.

    The scent is refreshingly mature, a much more sophisticated offering when compared to her previous scents, Halle and Pure Orchid.

    To be honest, I expected something a little more elegant, like the advert suggests. Possibly even sexy. It's unfortunately quite bland and at certain times too musky and sweet.

    Reveal is pleasant enough, but it doesn't delve deep enough to impress me. It has a somewhat intimate quality, with the sillage being quite soft, whereas the lasting power is rather incredible, lasting well over eight hours.

    I would have liked the frangipani and cashmere wood to be more prominent, creating a slight exotic feel that I think this fragrance may have been trying to achieve, but on a subtle level.

    Although it's an average scent, it does tend to grow on you, so don't dismiss it straight away. I'm rather surprised that its release has not been pushed as much as her previous releases.

    24th March, 2012

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    Gucci by Gucci Sport Pour Homme by Gucci

    Many find this fragrance bland, boring and unoriginal, a scent that didn't live up to the expectations set by the original Gucci by Gucci pour Homme. I don't agree. I find Gucci by Gucci Sport a deliciously refreshing scent, perfect for hot Summer days and sporty activities.

    This fragrance opens with a watery burst of fizzy grapefruit, mint and greenery. It reminds me slightly of cooling cucumber, however it may be the cypress that makes me feel this way.

    The sillage is moderate, so it doesn't overpower. It just lingers softly on the skin, catching whiffs of it here and there.

    I like the sporty concept, although for some I know, they find it too predictable and overdone. Let's just say that I live with a man that frequents the gym quite regularly, and when he wears heavy deoderants or colognes it makes him smell absolutely repulsive. However lighter scents, like Cool Water by Davidoff, Hei by Alfred Sung and fragrances like this one, last the duration of the workout and don't clash with a male's natural perspiration.

    The cardamon, ambrette seeds and patchouli gives this fragrance a wonderfully grounded earthiness. However for those that detest patchouli, I guarantee that in this fragrance it does not dominate. The scent remains fresh and light throughout the composition.

    Gucci by Gucci Sport keeps growing on me. Its clean, menthol-like scent, makes me long for the hot weather and hot men. Cheeky I know, it's the fragrance doing the talking, not me I swear.

    24th March, 2012

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    Spellbound by Estée Lauder

    Spellbound has managed to transcend past the boundaries of being too much. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd call something too floral or too complex, however that day has come.

    It's not repulsive, but it's not something that I can smell for more than a few seconds without feeling a headache coming on.

    Some love this fragrance for its spicy and powdery carnation note, however I much prefer Billet Doux by Fragonard for my spicy carnation fix.

    In a way I find this fragrance far too aggressive, particularly with the sweetness which smells like golden syrup smoothering a bunch of loud flowers. Don't get me wrong, I love big, bold scents. Classics like Must de Cartier, Arpege, Youth-Dew and Miss Dior are right up my alley. However, I get the opinion that Spellbound is trying too hard to be a big, bold floral scent, reminiscent of the florals from the 80's.

    I have tried for the last few hours to find something about this fragrance that I like, but I am failing miserably. Perhaps I could say that the lasting power is impressive, and the sillage quite powerful.

    If I had to pin-point exactly what it is that turns me off this fragrance, I'd probably blame the peach and apricot notes. It's the same nauseating, syrupy peachiness that I experienced in another powerhouse, Tresor by Lancome.

    Regardless of my dislike for this fragrance, I have seen many buying this fragrance over Estee Lauder counters in recent years. I don't dispute that there are lovers of Spellbound out there. I just hope that they wear this fragrance sparingly.

    24th March, 2012

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    Sensuous Noir by Estée Lauder

    I am gradually becoming obsessed with this fragrance. It is the first time I've found myself fond of a new release in a relatively long time.

    Sensuous Noir is as the name implies; sensual and dark. It has such a beautiful aura, being smooth, slightly smokey and quite earthy.

    I love patchouli in my fragrances, however for some, Sensuous Noir could be your worst nightmare. The earthy patchouli is quite dominant along with the pepper, spices, woods, pine and vanilla.

    I am struck by how unique this fragrance is, I never would have expected it to be this amazing. Towards the drydown this fragrance becomes quite 'incensey', resembling the scent of those small stores which sell everything from tie-dye dresses, dragon pendants, witchcraft books and exotic incense.

    I like the somewhat gothic undertones in this fragrance, although I am everything opposite to being a goth. Dark, smokey fragrances, like Sensuous Noir intrigue me and make me feel incredibly sexy, yet approachable.

    Sensuous Noir's lasting power is fairly good, as is the sillage while not overpowering, can certainly be noticed. It's a pity that my country is now going into Summer. I would have loved to wear this in the chilly Winter weather we have here.

    24th March, 2012

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    Knowing by Estée Lauder

    My face is often the look of utter disgust when it comes to sampling Estee Lauder fragrances, with a few exceptions, one being Knowing.

    I didn't think I would like this fragrances. Chypres are often too dry or too dusty for me, however Knowing is extremely pleasant. I get mostly powdered roses, earthy patchouli and spices. Together they make a rather sensual blend.

    The scent in itself is quite potent, so it is best approached with a light hand. In small doses this fragrance is breath-taking in a womanly, confident and grandiose way.

    Towards the drydown, this fragrance loses some of its powderiness, becoming woodsier and drier which gives it further definition. The lasting strength is very good, lasting in terms of days even after a few showers. Miss Dior is a little similar if I had to compare Knowing to anything.

    There is something about the rose in this fragrance which becomes quite captivating. I'm not usually a rose person, even though I tend to own many rose-based samples these days. But if I were to suggest an interesting dry and powdery rose, somewhat like pot-pourri, I would definitely recommend Knowing.

    24th March, 2012

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    Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

    Cinnabar is one of those strong, bold and spicy orientals that emerged along with YSL's Opium and Chanel's Coco way back in the 80's. At the time they were all the rage, however these days they've fallen out of fashion and tend to get labelled as 'old lady' scents.

    I have a great appreciation for these sillage monsters. They may have been made long before I was born, however I find them incredibly hypnotising.

    Cinnabar at first spray is incredibly strong, like a fierce punch to the face. I thought my nose was going to fall off as I felt my eyes water with its strength.

    As the scent settled, I began to find the resemblance to Opium. I expected this fragrance to have a stronger cinnamon note, however I do believe Cinnabar was named after a mercury ore, so perhaps it is not supposed to be primarily cinnamon.

    The scent is very complex and rich, which is both a pleasing and disappointing quality in my opinion. In a way there is too much going on in this fragrance's composition with particular notes clashing with one another. For this reason, I tend to prefer Youth-Dew over Cinnabar as my spicy oriental choice.

    Cinnabar has a rather exotic charm, it's what I imagine an ancient Chinese temple to smell like. The touch of incense in the base, gives Cinnabar that slightly religious feel.

    While I would never term a fragrance 'old lady', I must say that Cinnabar is for a more mature crowd. I just can't imagine a woman under the age of 30 wearing this, especially since soft ambers and fruity florals dominate this age group these days.

    24th March, 2012

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    Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

    Estee Lauder may offend me sometimes with her female scents, however in the case of her masculine fragrances, like Beyond Paradise for Men, she has me overwhelmed with shock and joy.

    This fragrance is refreshing, sexy and unique. It's a touch synthetic like Beyond Paradise for Women, however it's not reminiscent of rotting flowers and a chemistry lab like its female counterpart was.

    Beyond Paradise for Men relies on its distinctive fruity notes and exotic floral combination. It brings to mind everything that's Summery; beach, hot sun, cool drinks etc. Strangely enough, despite its rather feminine composition, this fragrance is very manly. However I wouldn't rule out this fragrance for women altogether as I find the scent rather unisex.

    Luca Turin raves over this fragrance, describing it as being very colourful and complex. I somewhat agree, even though I do still prefer dark, woodsy and spicy scents on a man.

    I thought of my boy the moment I sprayed this fragrance onto a piece of card, which unnerved me a little. For this reason alone, I feel that this fragrance would probably suit his relaxed, somewhat clueless sense of style and humour. Beyond Paradise for Men speaks character, liveliness and youthfulness.

    In some ways it strikes me as being a little aquatic, but not in a dominating and suffocating sense of the word. It sits on the skin smoothly and lasts quite well, with the sillage being rather impressive. I highly recommend.

    24th March, 2012

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    Escale à Pondichéry by Christian Dior

    I have only recently become a tea drinker, and during this period of change, I've begun to enjoy the scent of tea in fragrances.

    Escale a Pondichery, while not as strong as Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Rouge, is highlighted and softened by delicious citrus notes and jasmine.

    I'm so glad that this fragrance is not harsh. The thought of tea and lemon made me cringe at first, but this blend is nothing to fear. It's so pleasant and refreshing that I could picture myself wearing this. In fact, one of my favourite Summer scents last year was Moschino Funny! which is slightly similar in terms of a tea note blended with citrus and floral notes.

    This is a very sophisticated scent, with a suprisingly moderate amount of sillage and great lasting strength. The lady with the sun hat in the advertisement sums up this fragrance perfectly. It's Summery, crisp and classy.

    It sparkles with vitality and youthfulness, however this fragrance is not for little girls. It is a pity that this fragrance is becoming harder and harder to find over the last few months.

    24th March, 2012

    rating


    Pleasures Bloom by Estée Lauder

    This fragrance is a little similar to the original Pleasures, however it is a tad fruitier and not as soapy.

    Opening with lively fruits and citrus, Pleasures Bloom is perfect for those hot Summer days. Pretty and feminine, this fragrance is relatively strong like most Estee Lauder scents are.

    Despite my respect for the brand, Estee Lauder's scents have something about them that grates on my nerves. Although I find most of their fragrances pleasant enough, they smell 'plasticky' to me. Pleasures Bloom is guilty of this strange synthetic note that allows me detect an Estee Lauder scent from miles away.

    Disregarding my dislike of the way in which Estee Lauder's fragrances are constructed, this is a very pleasant balance of fruits and flowers. In terms of packaging, I've always liked the bottle design for the Pleasures bottles, however the strange fabric flower around the neck of the bottle is just odd and looks cheaply made.

    My guess is that this fragrance is intended to appeal to a younger generation as well as the established Pleasures fans. In my opinion, Pleasures Bloom caters to both.

    The lasting power and the sillage are both excellent, as can be expected from this brand. If you had no problems with the way Pleasures smelt, you may possibly enjoy this newer, fruitier creation.

    24th March, 2012

    rating


    Missoni Acqua by Missoni

    I'm not big on aquatics. They often strike me as being too artificial, salty or headache-inducing. Missoni Acqua, while still not my cup of tea, is one of the nicest aquatics I've managed to try.

    Opening with some pleasantly refreshing citrus and melon notes, Missoni Acqua has quite a tranquil, beachy feel to it. The floral heart, while somewhat synthetic, managed to impress me with a soapiness that I rather enjoyed.

    I like the Summery feel that is portrayed in this fragrance. I'm just heading into Summer now and it makes me so excited for beach season, sun hats and pina coladas.

    Watery and fresh, while Missoni Acqua is not particularly complex, the simplicity works. There is a sense of cleanliness, but it's not too dominating like some aquatic scents tend to be. I liked that this fragrance focused more on the fruity aspect rather than the synthetic, oceanic quality.

    It was funny how the bottle design made me think of a swimming pool, so everytime I smelt this fragrance, for some strange reason I was surprised to discover that it didn't smell like chlorine.

    Some mention a pinch of sweetness in Missoni Acqua, however I disagree, the natural, juicy melon note is what gives this fragrance that quality. The lasting power is so-so, however I consider that a pleasing aspect seeming that in hot weather it's nice to refresh yourself with a few spritzes here and there.

    24th March, 2012

    rating


    Iris by Donna Karan

    I love the smell of iris in nature, however in fragrances, while appealing, they just don't seem to live up to the natural flower. Iris fragrances are often too powdery, too green, too creamy or just a floral mess. My favourite iris scent so far is Heure Exquise by Annick Goutal, however I've always been open to finding another iris love.

    Donna Karan's Iris tries to be as natural as possible, choosing to avoid the powderiness and the buttery qualities found in most iris perfumes. I find it quite dewy and refreshing, perhaps a diluted version of the actual flower.

    In the top notes, the soft and green iris note was quite delightful, however the more it developed, I began to detect a slight soapiness that turned me off it a little. Once it reached the drydown I was disappointed with how mediocre this fragrance was.

    While certainly wearable and pretty, Iris leaves much to be desired. Layering is a possibility, however I have to be honest and admit that I can't imagine iris blending easily with just anything. Experimentation would be in order to achieve something magical.

    Because this fragrance is so simple, it does come across as being quite cold and a little transparent, especially with the lasting power being so weak. Like Robin said on the Now Smell This blog, "if you’re after impressive sillage or lasting power, you’re bound to be disappointed".

    Give it a chance and it may grow on you, however it won't impress straight away. Iris is not something you'll dislike, because it is extremely pleasant and predominantly floral and Spring-like, however for those, like me, that seek something unique and mind-blowing, Donna Karan's Iris is just not the one to blow you away.

    23rd March, 2012

    rating


    Donna Karan Essence: Wenge by Donna Karan

    From what I can tell, Essence Wenge is the big favourite from this series. I can certainly see why.

    This is a lovely interpretation of wenge, an African wood. It comes across as a beautiful, soft and creamy blend of sandalwood, spices and soothing vanilla.

    I do believe that the whole series is intended to be unisex, so I'm a little unsure as to why it is listed as a feminine scent here.

    This fragrance reminded me of Woodhue by Ava Luxe in some ways. They are both delicate woody scents with a subtle, sweet creaminess and a hint of smoke. Some people vehemently state that Essence Wenge is very much like a softer Black Cashmere, however I find this fragrance less dark and more vanillary.

    I have also heard people likening this fragrance to being gourmand, mostly vanilla and hot chocolate. I get dusty woods, a hint of smoky incense and the slightest touch of vanilla. As strange as it may sound, Essence Wenge, for me, is a refreshing woodsy scent.

    The lasting power is fairly good and the same could be said for the sillage. I haven't had the chance to layer this fragrance with anything as of yet, but I am eager to.

    23rd March, 2012

    rating


    Donna Karan Essence: Labdanum by Donna Karan

    I'm not too familiar with particular resins and their scents, so discovering Donna Karan's Essence collection has managed to broaden my horizons in terms of recognizing certain notes.

    Essence Labdanum is quite an interesting and simplistic fragrance. I would define this fragrance as being very unisex and rich. It has a lovely, smooth and spicy leather quality with a subtle touch of sweetness.

    Ambery in nature, Essence Labdanum, (while very linear), is beautiful when layered with other amber-based scents or anything really. On its own it smells woody and leathery, however when blended Essence Labdanum has an interesting smoky incense quality that comes to the fore.

    This fragrance tends to remind me of the Middle East, somewhere exotic and culturally rich. The lasting power is not bad, lasting at least six hours, and longer when layered. The sillage is only moderate however.

    I do believe this same fragrance was released in a body lotion and a candle, which intrigues me greatly. Having a home that smells like this beautiful fragrance would be breath-taking.

    23rd March, 2012

    rating


    Donna Karan Essence: Jasmine by Donna Karan

    Donna Karan, as I believe, created the Essence range so that they could be layered with either one another or with another scent, like Jo Malone.

    This single note blend of jasmine is both refreshing and inspiring. This is jasmine conveyed as naturally as possible, without the creaminess or the sweetness that is often added to it.

    Slightly green in its representation, Essence Jasmine is a fragrance I would certainly like to layer with many of my favourite fragrances to give them a more Spring-like, fresh floral feel.

    Jasmine is one of the world's most beloved flowers, having a scent recognizable by many. This fragrance has captured the beautiful, feminine and classic characteristics of the flower itself.

    My only gripe with this whole range in general is the price, which is somewhat ridiculous for such a simplistic, and may I say, basic scent.

    Some may tip out their wallets to wear such a naturalistic jasmine scent, however in the case of buying it solely for layering, it somehow defeats the purpose. The somewhat poor longevity also comes as a disappointment.

    23rd March, 2012

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