Reviews by blood-orange

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    By Man by Dolce & Gabbana

    I happened to stumble randomly across this fragrance in my local department store. While it has indeed been discontinued, this particular store is still selling it.

    This fragrance, that I luckily had the opportunity to test, is quite amazing and unique. Perhaps it is its unique nature that caused this fragrance a lack of sales.

    By for Men is a combination of herbaceousness, pepper and nuts. The scent itself is rather bold, a big commander of presence.

    I found this perfume to be both sexy and soothing, particularly with the lavender note. In all honesty, I wore this fragrance on two occasions, and I concluded that this fragrance could be unisex.

    The tobacco and sandalwood in the drydown, ends By for Men with a deliciously rich smokiness which I really enjoyed. Every time I think of this fragrance's beauty it makes me quite angry to think that in the near future, this fragrance will be a distant memory.

    The longevity was very good and the sillage quite strong. The bottle design was also a hit with me. It's such a shame that Dolce & Gabbana didn't think this fragrance was worthy of remaining in their collection for the long-term. By for Men is refreshingly modern, and I feel that it deserves more praise than more recent releases like The One for Men and the Anthology series.

    NB. This review was written in late 2010. I believe this fragrance is no longer in stock at that particular store.

    01st March, 2012 (Last Edited: 05th June, 2012)


    Myrrhe Ardente by Annick Goutal

    What people find difficult to like, I usually enjoy, and vice-versa. Myrrhe Ardente, and the whole Les Orientalistes series in general, are extremely well-constructed, beautiful fragrances.

    I love rich, bold, resinous and smokey scents, so this fragrance is 'right up my alley'. Exotic is indeed what this fragrance is.

    If you love fragrances like Oud 27 by Le Labo, Chanel Coromandel, Tauer's perfumes and anything woodsy and masculine, Myrrhe Ardente could possibly suit you.

    Opening rather strongly, Myrrhe Ardente is a combination of dark woods, spicy incense and syrupy honey. I also get the reference being made in a few reviews to that slight booziness, a rum-like note that appears briefly in the heart.

    Due to this fragrance's subtle sweetness, I find myself desiring this fragrance quite often. It would make a perfect scent for a couple to share, depending upon the fact that his taste is similar to your own.

    While this fragrance is rough and foreign, it is incredibly sexy and alluring at the same time. Once the drydown has developed, I am often left in a peaceful state, shrouded in a smokey and sweet aroma, a little chocolatey and vanillary in certain moments.

    The price is a little disheartening, seeming that is nearly twice the price of other Annick Goutal fragrances. However, for this particular beauty I would shell out every, single penny to own even a drop of its exquisite juice.

    01st March, 2012


    Boss Woman by Hugo Boss

    I didn't expect much from this fragrance prior to testing it. I wanted to explore more from the Hugo Boss range, and I would have felt incomplete if I hadn't tried all that was there to offer.

    Boss Woman, while surprising at first, especially with it's delightfully sweet mango opening, turns out to be just as plain and boring as the bottle it comes in.

    This fragrance won't offend; it's office friendly, warm weather friendly and an obvious crowd pleaser. I've smelt so many similar fragrances in the last few years, that I seem to have this constant feeling of deja-vu.

    Boss Woman has become one of Hugo Boss' harder-to-find scents, and in some ways I wish that it was more readily available, so that I could see the disappearance of the disastrous Hugo XX instead.

    While nicely balanced between fruitiness and flowery accords, Boss Woman makes me think of shampoo and Summer. Clean and simple, is the nicest thing I can say.

    One thing that I do applaud is the fact that Boss Woman is barely synthetic. Although I love Deep Red, I do find its plasticine accord too much on certain days. Boss Woman is the first 'natural' scent by Hugo Boss that I've experienced, and for that I'm happy.

    The lasting power is pretty good, as is the sillage. Out of the many Summer scents I detest these days, Boss Woman is something I'd prefer to smell on many young girls this coming season, despite the fact that this isn't really my cup of tea.

    01st March, 2012


    Santos by Cartier

    I love the smell of the 80's. Back then, scents were loud, in-your-face and unique. Santos de Cartier is the best example of a raw, edgy, incredibly masculine scent from that time period.

    Compared to those more modern scents, some may think Santos de Cartier is too strong, too earthy and too different to be worn by anyone today. I tend to disagree.

    This fragrance hits you like a surprise punch in the face. For the first few seconds, it's bitter, green and herbaceous. As it settles, it begins to smell somewhat leathery and sweet. I find Santos de Cartier a stronger version of Chanel Antaeus.

    There is a definite hint of vanilla and incense, particularly in the drydown, which makes this fragrance suitable for women to wear as well. Personally, I wouldn't feel ashamed to wear such a bold, manly scent like this one, and honestly, I'm fussy.

    The rich, dark woodsiness of this fragrance is divine. In lots of ways I'd rather a man smell like Santos de Cartier than those non-descript citrus aromatics that tend to flood the male market these days.

    The man that wears Santos de Cartier, is mature and sensible. Honestly, I can't imagine this being worn by or being bought by any young man. This fragrance is for real men.

    There's nothing to fear in terms of lasting strength and sillage. Santos de Cartier is quite possibly the powerhouse fragrance of the century. I highly recommend.

    01st March, 2012


    Boss Intense by Hugo Boss

    This is currently my bed-time scent. It's not something I'd probably wear out, however its clean woodsiness is very soothing on a cold Winter's night under the blankets.

    Boss Intense has an almost masculine feel to it. Not that it bothers me, I gender bend fragrances all the time. Some people refer to Boss Intense as being similar to Deep Red, also by Hugo Boss. I own both, and while I see the similarities, Deep Red is much sweeter and more tasty.

    Vanilla does feature in this fragrance, however it's not sugary or particularly feminine. This fragrance has an odd bite to it, being rather bold and resinous in a way.

    I feel powerful when I wear this fragrance, hence the reason why I recommend this fragrance for the tom-boys and those dominating types of women.

    Boss Intense was a gift given to me by a friend, and even though it doesn't strike me as something particularly me, I will use the bottle up until the last drop.

    This fragrance can be overpowering at times, and has a habit of sticking to fabric, especially my sheets. This fragrance really has to be applied lightly for it to be appreciated.

    01st March, 2012


    Belle de Nuit by Fragonard

    While I do find this fragrance pretty, it's a little too soapy for my liking. It smells like an expensive bar of old-fashioned, floral soap.

    The floral notes aren't as pronounced and as creamy as I would like them to be. The geranium tends to be quite prominent, adding a strange tartness to the scent.

    Initially Belle de Nuit smelt grassy on my skin, and a little sharp. I found some similarities between this fragrance and Pure by DKNY. However once the scent had developed into the heart, the florals became much more balanced, with a slightly rich and juicy plum note.

    In a warmer environment the gardenia, rose and violet really tend to shine, however in this cold weather in which I'm testing it now, Belle de Nuit smells literally like soap and musk. Due to this observation, Belle de Nuit is better suited to the delightful Spring weather.

    Belle de Nuit lacks sweetness and powdery-ness which is something you often expect with florals. It does however have a very 'perfume-y' feel to it.

    I'm young, and unfortunately I don't think that this perfume suits my age category. Belle de Nuit is more for a mature woman with a very clear approach to life. This fragrance is classic, a little old-fashioned and clean. Nothing in this composition hints at anything particularly sexy or daring.

    The lasting power is impressive and the sillage is delicate and intimate. This fragrance, although it is not really to my taste, is something that I can imagine a caring mother wearing. Belle de Nuit is a scent that I'd like to remember a role-model in my life smelling of.

    01st March, 2012


    Fahrenheit by Christian Dior

    Fahrenheit wasn't as sweet as I expected it to be. It is definitely masculine, I wore this fragrance for a whole day and it just didn't feel right on my skin.

    To my nose, Fahrenheit is a combination of watery woods and a touch of spice. The scent is quite recognizable, I have smelt this on strangers quite a few times in my life.

    Some mention a petrol type note, and while I can see what they mean, it isn't as strong as what some people make it out to be. Fahrenheit smells gutsy and daring in a way. I would most likely recommend this fragrance for older men. It doesn't radiate a sense of youth for me at all.

    The sillage of this particular fragrance is quite incredible, as is the lasting strength. I sprayed this fragrance once on my wrist, and for the next six hours, Fahrenheit enveloped me in a cloud of its scent.

    I personally don't find this fragrance sexy, however I do find it refreshingly masculine. Thankfully this fragrance goes on smooth rather than bold and/or cloying. I feel that this kind of fragrance would really suit those clean-cut, somewhat conservative and goal-orientated men.

    29th December, 2011


    Shanti Shanti by Miller et Bertaux

    Shanti Shanti, although not predominantly rose, is undeniably rosy and sweet. This fragrance tickles the senses, with it being somewhat exotic and unique.

    This tends to have a much drier rose note than what many people may be used to. In some ways it reminds me of potpourri. It has a slight dusty and spicy feel to it.

    Shanti Shanti sits on the skin rather lightly. Had this scent been stronger, I would have said that it would make a marvellous Winter scent, however with its subtlety, I'd also recommend it for Spring wear.

    In the heart, the notes like patchouli and intensified spices, become more apparent. Iris tends to soften the rose note a little, creating a powdery and feminine quality.

    This is a rose scent, far from those typically conservative, 'English Rose' type scents. Shanti Shanti, like its foreign and enticing name, speaks exoticism.

    This fragrance felt very velvety and rich on my skin, however the lasting power wasn't all that impressive, although I must admit that I wasn't disappointed either. I do really suggest this fragrance for those hardcore rose lovers that are searching for something that little bit adventurous.

    29th December, 2011


    Mogador by Keiko Mecheri

    I cannot believe there are no massive amount of reviews on this beautiful fragrance. Out of all the scents I've reviewed in the last few days, Mogador is most worthy of a hundred rave reviews.

    This fragrance was my first encounter with Keiko Mecheri's astounding fragrance line. It made perfect sense for me to try Mogador first due to my search for the perfect rose fragrance. Mogador certainly comes close.

    The scent is mostly rich, jammy roses with a touch of fruitiness. Mogador is smooth, feminine and powerful. An absolutely delicious rose blend.

    Particularly in the opening, Mogador smelt a little chocolatey, like chocolate smoothered Turkish Delight to be exact. I wanted to devour it and experience its taste as well as its scent.

    Red roses is what I perceive here. This isn't delicate pink, yellow or white roses, this is strong, tarty rose with an element of darkness. There are hints of spice every now and then, however it is not what carries this composition.

    Some other reviews I've read say that this fragrance becomes soapy and powdery in the drydown. I have to disagree, because this did not happen for me. It stays relatively concentrated throughout, a soliflore, a rich red rose until the very end.

    The lasting power is amazing, as can also be said of the sillage. I highly recommend to all rose lovers and niche enthusiasts.

    29th December, 2011


    Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    So many women rave about this particular fragrance on their men. They say it's sexy, spicy, exotic, attractive and desirable. I would have to agree.

    Opium for Men has some similarities to its female counterpart, Opium. They are both very strong scents, being very popular and in some ways, very 80's and 90's.

    The scent is very rich and quite spicy, but not in a nose-burning sense of the word. I probably wouldn't advise this fragrance as being office-appropriate, however when applied lightly it could be worn anywhere.

    Despite its obvious masculinity, I often feel daring enough to wear this fragrance for myself. I adore wearing Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford and Oud 27 by Le Labo, which are in some ways similar to this fragrance.

    The contrast between the heavy spices and the syrupy vanilla is absolutely amazing. I do believe it is this particular blend that drives the women crazy.

    The sillage and lasting power of Opium is something that almost blew me away. It's intense and powerful, shrouding the room with your presence. An absolutely outstanding fragrance that is still going strong almost 15 years after its release.

    29th December, 2011


    La Nuit de L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    La Nuit de l'Homme is very woodsy. You have been warned. Woodsy yet clean, this fragrance does have that undeniable classic charm to woo the ladies.

    I preferred this particular release over its original, L'Homme due to its darker nature. I like my men to smell mysterious, and this fragrance captures that essence well.

    La Nuit de l'Homme may be simplistic, but its basic composition works well. Opening with peppery woods and a boozy rum-like note, this fragrance screams masculinity. A touch of soapiness appears a few seconds into the heart which hints that its wearer, although dangerous, is classy and cool.

    Does this fragrance evoke a feeling of a night out on the town? I would say yes, however I'd also encourage those to wear it casually during Winter as well.

    05th December, 2011


    West Side by Bond No. 9

    I was introduced to this fragrance by a rather good-looking male sales assistant. He wasn't trying to sell it to me, he was just so very eager to show me what he personally wore.

    West Side struck me almost immediately as being rather strong, feminine in some ways with a note that resembled that raisin-type smell of tobacco. The scent when summed up in my own words, is tobacco-rose.

    This fragrance has a lovely richness to it, that does make it extremely wearable for both sexes. There is a definite sweetness in there somewhere, perhaps even a gourmand touch, yet not too sugary.

    This fragrance is very Wintery and warm, I couldn't possibly imagine anyone wearing it during the hotter months. The very alluring sales assistant informed me that he wore this fragrance whenever he went out, where many often asked what perfume he was wearing. It was not always a definite crowd-pleaser however it always had people intrigued.

    Despite the array of floral notes, which do seem rather feminine when observed in its scent pyramid, West Side is very bold and very different. The drydown has a very likable carmelised quality, rich and syrupy.

    Unfortunately this fragrance is not very long lasting, which was a shame because its sillage seemed to suggest otherwise.

    25th November, 2011


    L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

    This fragrance seems to get a multitude of rave reviews. Even Luca Turin, says that it is hard to find fault in this particular scent.

    When I first smelt L'Instant de Guerlain I was very impressed, I couldn't stop smelling it. My only gripe is that I cannot remember this fragrance at all. My mind practically records the way something smells like a text-book. I fear that this fragrance wasn't memorable enough for me.

    From what I jotted down on a piece of paper shortly after testing, I remarked at how woodsy and formal this fragrance seemed to be. It had a nice, almost refined approach that is always refreshing to find on a man.

    There's a touch of earthy vanilla in there somewhere, which is wafting up to my nose from the scented card, in which the scent has almost all but vanished. I didn't get any of the cocoa that some have mentioned here.

    This fragrance didn't last too well unfortunately. However others have found the complete opposite, so I may be re-visiting this fragrance again and quite possibly editing this review in the near future

    25th November, 2011


    Un Matin d'Orage Eau de Toilette by Annick Goutal

    Un Matin d'Orage is one of those really feminine and dewy white floral scents. It reminds me a little of Kai, however this fragrance is much lighter and more green.

    This fragrance is most likely going to appeal to those that enjoyed Songes and Le Jasmin. The dominant gardenia note, while crisp in the opening, especially when alongside the citrus, becomes creamier and buttery towards the heart.

    The gardenia and the other floral accords in this composition, smell very naturalistic. One can imagine an exact replicate of this scent in a luscious, Spring garden.

    Un Matin d'Orage can sometimes be a little too one-dimensional, especially since it doesn't develop too well. The lasting power is also very fleeting which is another slight disappointment.

    In the drydown, it becomes increasingly soapy. Not to an extent that it's unlikable, however it does resemble a somewhat generic bar of sweet gardenia soap.

    While I do honestly like this fragrance, I would have aimed to improve it by making it longer lasting and perhaps more green.

    25th November, 2011


    Ile d'Amour by Fragonard

    Ile d'Amour to me smells like a deliciously balanced combination of green apple and rose.

    There are of course other beautiful florals in this composition, however I sense that the rose features most prominently here.

    In a way, Ile d'Amour is aquatic, but only in a very subtle way. Although I'll admit that I found this fragrance quite linear at first, after multiple wears, Ile d'Amour is quite complex.

    Opening with a rather Summery bouquet of rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, osmanthus and sea salt, and an unlisted note, apple, there is something very intriguing about it as it settles on the skin.

    The sillage is quite strong in the beginning, and the overall scent somewhat tart-like and bold. Towards the heart, while still maintaining its freshness, it becomes a little softer, with the florals becoming a touch sweeter.

    The drydown is a beautiful, ambery powder with a slight hint of musk. The scent is that of an elegant lady, evoking images of both the seaside and picturesque, period-style mansions.

    It's not every day that I happen to find a fragrance with such an oceanic feel that doesn't come across as being synthetic or odd on my skin. Ile d'Amour reminds me of a much more floral and classic version of L'eau par Kenzo pour Femme.

    I originally believed that Ile d'Amour when translated meant island of love, which would have been quite a suitable name for this scent. Unfortunately I was incorrect and was informed that its actual translation was love letter.

    25th November, 2011


    Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal

    When it comes to vanilla-based fragrances, I'm used to those overly sweetened, synthetic, foody vanillas. Vanille Exquise is different.

    This fragrance smells like true vanilla essence, minus the sugar or the foody qualities. Vanille Exquise is not the edible kind. It is not a gourmand.

    Honestly, I was disappointed at first. I wanted lots of sweet vanilla and nutty almond, something that smelt like rich, luxurious vanilla ice-cream. What I got was a rather dry, concentrated and syrupy vanilla, with subtle spices and a powdery drydown.

    It took a while for me to appreciate this fragrance, but now that I have embraced it, I am starting to like it even more.

    Vanille Exquise is a nice change. This is vanilla for grown-ups, those with a more mature palate that leave all those teen vanillas behind in a blurry haze.

    This fragrance is very comforting, and surprisingly lasting. While it may not be a gourmand-lover's dream, for those that like natural, raw vanilla, this fragrance is a must-try.

    25th November, 2011


    Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal

    Ninfeo Mio, is quite possibly the most natural smelling scent I have managed to come across. The greeness that is experienced in this particular fragrance, smells like that of a thriving vegetable garden.

    If you don't like particularly earthy or bitter green scents, Ninfeo Mio probably won't delight you. I honestly couldn't imagine myself wearing such a scent, however I am very drawn to Ninfeo Mio. I find it very appealing and in some ways, pretty.

    The citrus opening is more tart than sharp and sour. I initially detected a tomato-like note hidden in the composition, that made me think of freshly cut vegetables.

    Lavender is what tends to give Ninfeo Mio that unisex and aromatic touch in the heart. The whole composition is quite astounding in the way that it's dry rather than wet.

    In the drydown I swear that I can smell smokey incense. It has a very exotic/garden temple feel to it. Every now and then I have to remind myself that Ninfeo Mio is a perfume and not just my natural surroundings.

    The lasting power is amazing and the sillage rather commendable. Because this fragrance is so unusual, I don't believe that everyone is expected to like it. Ninfeo Mio, is in my opinion, is an excellent example of a green, herbaceous scent done to perfection.

    25th November, 2011


    Ce Soir Ou Jamais by Annick Goutal

    I had read somewhere that Ce Soir ou Jamais was one of the late Annick Goutal's favourite fragrances. I find all of her scents to be lovely creations, however if I were to choose my favourite rose from her collection, I'd also say Ce Soir ou Jamais.

    Rose may be this fragrance's most dominant note, however the additional frangipani, jasmine and musk add extra colour and complexity to something that could be straight-up, pretty, pink roses.

    Had I smelt this particular scent a few years ago, I may not have appreciated it. It was on my twentieth birthday that the allure of a owning a rose scent really grabbed my attention. For those that associate rose to that of an old lady, which I once did, needs to open their eyes and experience something as beautiful as Ce Soir ou Jamais.

    The delicious rose note in this fragrance is almost dewy, being fresh and exotic in a very appealing sense. It is a tad 'antique inspired', however it does not seem so rich and ancient like it's big sister, Rose Absolue.

    Ce Soir ou Jamais has a rather youthful impression, which I feel is brought about by subtle fruity notes, like pear, that tends to linger softly in the heart. This fragrance is a little bit like Quel Amour!, yet perhaps not as Spring-like and fresh.

    I read a beautiful article on the Perfume-Smellin' Things blog, that portrayed Ce Soir ou Jamais as being in 3-D. I have to agree that this fragrance has the ability to bring a rose note to life.

    I have only experienced this fragrance in the EDT concentration, and from that I would say that the lasting power is quite good and the sillage light yet detectable. As in regards to the EDP version, I have noticed that some feel it too wine-like, quite intense and boozy. For a delicate rose like I have described I'd probably lean more towards buying the EDT.

    25th November, 2011


    Acqua di Parma Colonia by Acqua di Parma

    Here I was, expecting a typical citrus-based, predominantly lemon scent - something along the lines of Eau d'Hadrien or 4711 eau de cologne. Colonia may open with all the pizzazz of bright lemon and all its crispness, but within the development of this scent, Colonia becomes very complex and indeed very pleasing to the nose.

    Despite a classic approach, Colonia can be perceived as modern. Unisex this fragrance is indeed; it is neither too feminine nor too masculine. For that reason, this perfume is great for a couple to share during the warmer months.

    When first applied, Colonia with its obvious lemon note, sparkles for the first few minutes. What I love so much about this fragrance is that the citrus is not sharp or masculine. I would describe the citrusy top notes as being rather smooth.

    The moment the heart began to develop, I was quite astounded as to how powdery and floral the scent became. The rose note is glorious, with the lavender providing a relaxing yet silky feel.

    It's more towards the drydown where this fragrance begins to smell faintly like old-fashioned, expensive soap. It's a mixture of rose-scented talcum powder and lavender soap with a touch of bright citrus.

    The contrast between sparkly citrus and powdery florals is to die for, (at least in my humble opinion). The lasting power is quite incredible and the sillage, although not all that strong, certainly has a distinctive presence.

    I find it very hard not to like this fragrance. I would go so far as to hold this fragrance in such high-esteem alongside Iris Nobile, also by Acqua di Parma, which is another love of mine.

    25th November, 2011


    L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    From what I've heard and observed, L'Homme has many female fans. I'm a definite fan, L'Homme makes a lovely, refreshingly spicy scent, with all the allure and appeal that makes it decidingly popular.

    Woodsy, spicy and crisp sums up the whole composition in three simple words. This fragrance seems to suit any man of any age, regardless of the occasion or personality. Versatile enough to be worn casually, classically or to a strict suit and tie event.

    The delicious spiciness was what immediately intrigued me when I first smelt L'Homme. I was not surprised when the sales assistant piped in with such praise with how popular this fragrance is as a present for lovers, family and friends.

    I can distinguish an odd, tasty orange note, that seems to be neither the lemon nor the bergamot. Personally, this is what I feel makes this fragrance so amazing. I could smell this fragrance forever, just cuddle up to its wearer and relish in its woodsiness and deliciousness.

    Some mention an aquatic type quality, and I slightly agree, even though its not so noticeable that it drives the scent. I'm not so certain as to what makes this fragrance so sexy, but there is no contention as to its obvious sexual appeal.

    The sillage and lasting power is excellent, lasting for what seems like forever and a day. There is absolutely nothing else to say. I highly recommend.

    25th November, 2011


    Live Jazz by Yves Saint Laurent

    Afraafra was correct in his assumption, not everyone will like this fragrance. To be honest, I was turned off it at first. It seemed too sharp, too citrusy, too synthetic. It does improve as it settles, however the initial scent may have you running for the scrubbing brush.

    When I say too citrusy, that's not just me complaining because citrus is not my thing. The lemon and grapefruit tend to clash, creating a strange, sour sharpness that is more headache-inducing than refreshing.

    The mint is more like toothpaste than the fresh, green kind. The top notes, to my nose, just seem all wrong.

    The scent does improve thankfully with the introduction of the slightly spicy rhubarb and coriander. Live Jazz actually begins to smell somewhat delicious and starts to hint at an element of freshness, possibly even sexiness.

    The base is rather smooth, nutty and woodsy. I unfortunately didn't get much in the way of the vanilla, which was something I was looking forward to.

    Live Jazz has me changing my opinions every few seconds. One moment it will make my nose wrinkle with its acidity, the next minute it intrigues me. Personally, I probably wouldn't like a significant other of mine to wear this, seeming that it is so strong and so sharp. For some it may be their holy grail.

    Live Jazz does have a touch of classiness, however its ruthlessness happens to suggest otherwise at times. My only tip would be to apply sparingly, in fear of people dropping like flies in their millions.

    19th November, 2011


    Rose Absolue by Annick Goutal

    In the boutique where I managed to track down this fragrance, the tester bottle was hidden away due to many instances of thievery, with this fragrance being the most desirable to steal.

    The sales assistant refused to spray this on a card or on my skin, and argued that Rose Absolue is best experienced when sprayed directly into the cap.

    From what I can recall, which is not as vivid as other scents that I often review, was a rather strong, rich concoction of various roses.

    The concentration of this fragrance is close to rose-scented oil. In some instances the amount of roses in this fragrance can seem like way too much. The name pretty much sums up this fragrance. If you don't like rose, don't bother trying Rose Absolue.

    I can only imagine that this fragrance would feel like velvet on the skin. There's something so very majestic about it. Rose Absolue smells like royalty and the upper class.

    Many mention the old-fashioned appeal of this fragrance, which I'm a huge fan of. That quaint, antique style is what makes me love Annick Goutal's scents in the first place.

    Every single, unique and exotic rose blends together so naturally. In all honesty I love my rose scents when blended with other notes, like Rose Barbare with its honey and spices or Quel Amour! with its mint and peony. However Rose Absolue is beautiful in all its singularity.

    Due to Rose Absolue's richness, I would recommend this fragrance for Winter wear or even romantic occasions. For a fresher, more Spring-like rose, Quel Amour! or Ce Soir ou Jamais are nice alternatives.

    19th November, 2011


    Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

    Unlike other reviewers here on this page, I didn't get much in the way of citrus in Eau de Sud, despite it being a citrus aromatic.

    I find Eau de Sud perhaps more herbaceous and soapy. Almost peppery, especially in the opening.

    I like the fresh characteristic of this fragrance, however I find it a little too sharp at times. I'm not really a citrusy or soapy person, so this fragrance isn't really my cup of tea. But for the sake of it being a fragrance from my most loved perfume house, I'd say it is one of the best.

    It's lightly feminine on the skin which is something I absolutely adore. For that fact alone, I agree that Eau de Sud would make a lovely choice for those particularly humid days.

    Robin on her blog, Now Smell This, mentioned an interesting smokiness, being quite distinctive, which emerged quite prominently in the drydown. Although I had not noticed this initially, once reading her statements and returning to this fragrance, I must agree. The smokiness disrupts the soapy sharpness, which ultimately smoothed out the scent considerably.

    I find some similarities between this fragrance and Chanel's Cristalle, although they are not complete replicates.

    The lasting power of Eau de Sud, in the eau de toilette concentration is pretty weak unfortunately. This is also one of Annick Goutal's lighter fragrances that don't depend upon the wonderful sillage to create a beautiful aura. Eau de Sud is a fragrance for those that enjoy their soft, clean and crisp scents.

    14th November, 2011


    Billet Doux by Fragonard

    Carnation is a note that often gets blended in with other notes so that it tends to slip under the radar. In the case of Billet Doux, carnation really shines. So much so that I have a new-found love for the flower.

    I disagree with those that find this fragrance plain, Billet Doux for me is very memorable. It strikes me as something very different, unique even.

    Other than the dominant carnation, subtle spices and sweet citruses make up the composition. On my skin in particular, Billet Doux smells clean, like old-fashioned soap and cedar chests. It is a lot prettier than what I describe of course.

    Being mostly soapy powder with hints of citrus, spices and woods now and then, Billet Doux is a fragrance that I believed I could only dream about. Unfortunately my skin, although it does agree with this fragrance, makes the cedar note strong, and in some ways, quite masculine.

    The sweetness is not done justice on my skin, however when I've smelt this fragrance on others, Billet Doux is beyond amazing.

    Fragonard's fragrances are quite distinctive and original. They also have a classic type feel that is highlighted by their beautiful, 19th century inspired bottles. Such a fragrance as Billet Doux seems fit for a Queen.

    The lasting power is wonderfully good, as is the sillage which is neither overpowering or whimsically soft. I am thankful of the sales assistant that so kindly gave me many samples of this beautiful fragrance.

    14th November, 2011


    Blu Mediterraneo Sicilian Almond / Mandorlo di Sicilia by Acqua di Parma

    I must say that this was a delightful surprise. I did not expect this fragrance to be so sweet and feminine.

    Blu Mediterraneo Mandorlo di Sicilia has barely any citrus in it at all, which makes it so different to the other fragrances in this series. Bergamot is the only citric note present and that in itself has been smothered in icing sugar.

    The top notes are absolutely beautiful, smelling almost like roasted marshmallows. The frangipani, almond and liquoricey anise establish this fragrance as a gourmand from the very moment it touches the skin.

    The introduction of the coffee note in the heart, while it does create an interesting warmth, remains light and Summery in a way that is very likable. Remaining sweet and fluffy all the way through, Mandorlo di Sicilia is exquisitely strange, finishing with a sugary soapiness in the drydown.

    The sweetness will honestly not appeal to everyone, particularly the citrus lovers who expected yet another citrusy winner from this series. I prefer the change and I like that its sweetness is light and weather appropriate.

    I give this fragrance a huge round of an applause for managing to shock me, because it doesn't happen very often. I'd love for it to be Summer already so I can enjoy this fragrance to the extreme.

    The sillage and lasting strength is very good, unlike Arancia di Capri and Fico di Amalfi whose fragrance diminished on my skin in as little as a few hours.

    For those that love sugary gourmands and want something a little less cloying for Summer, please give Mandorlo di Sicilia the best chance possible.

    14th November, 2011


    Blu Mediterraneo Capri Orange / Arancia Di Capri by Acqua di Parma

    Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri, like many others in this line, has captured the exotic Summery-ness of far-away lands through the use of citrus and oceanic undertones.

    While I do like this fragrance, the continuous use of citrus in so-called essential Summer scents does get boring at times.

    Opening with sour lemon, juicy orange and sharp grapefruit, Arancia di Capri has that all-too-familiar acidic juice smell, that while refreshing, never seems to interest me.

    The citrusy quality is a definite mood-lifter, however it often brings me down due to its inability to agree with my skin chemistry. Arancia di Capri unfortunately was not made for me. I have similar issues with Fico di Amalfi, D&G Light Blue and Annick Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien.

    On any other person I would probably like this fragrance, especially if the orange decides to dominate over the sharp grapefruit note. I didn't pick up the caramel on my skin, however once again it may shine on another's chemistry.

    I wanted this fragrance to develop some more, yet unfortunately the lasting power was quite weak. I have noticed that many others experience the same problem.

    It may be a unisex scent, but I see it as more of a feminine fragrance due to its slight sugary-ness. On the right person, in the most idealistic Summer weather, preferably humid, Arancia di Capri is most recommended.

    14th November, 2011


    Émilie by Fragonard

    I have only just introduced myself to Fragonard, and from what I have experienced so far, this brand caters to all the needs of a true floral lover.

    Emilie may not be unique, yet this fragrance is extremely likable. Predictable in its composition, the floral notes come together to create something very pretty and feminine on the skin.

    A little sweet, but mostly natural, Emilie could be categorized as a romantic scent. Rose and violet tend to dominate this composition with a slight powdery-ness.

    There are many colourful aspects of this scent, however at times it can be too 'perfumey' and a little too loud. For the first few minutes after applying Emilie, the intial outburst is quite alcoholic. This may not be the case with the parfum version, but just as a fore-warning, the eau de toilette goes on very strong.

    Emilie is quite a characteristic scent, almost like a refined, exquisite lady, possibly a French one, with elegance and style. The amber in the base notes begin to hint at her being a little naughty at times, perhaps rebellious and eager to break any constraints.

    My only gripe with this fragrance is its lack of originality. I didn't expect to be blown away, however I needed that little something that made me draw in my breath.

    14th November, 2011


    Y by Yves Saint Laurent

    Y may just be one of YSL's most underappreciated fragrances yet. Being overshadowed by all the glitz and glamour that YSL seems to represent today, this bottle is often lost among the sparkly Parisienne or the candy pink Baby Doll.

    This fragrance is a classic, especially in the way that it doesn't have to be loud or ground-breaking to be so loved.

    When I first smelt Y the word 'clean' came to mind. I wanted to say soapy and fresh, however Y isn't either of those things. It's clean in a very natural and simplistic sense of the word, like something that becomes you, rather than announcing to the world that it's a perfume.

    It isn't heavy and it isn't offensive. Y is classy and sophisticated but also versatile enough to be casual and alluring.

    It's green and woodsy with a somewhat powdery quality. It doesn't feel dated and I would not have guessed that this fragrance originated from the 1960's. Although not particularly outstanding, the scent itself is quite addictive. It was something that I had to smell over and over again just to embrace its beauty.

    I must add that this fragrance isn't as dry as some chypres, it has a delicate moistness, possibly caused by the rich green notes and the earthy, wet patchouli note. The fragrance also tends to smell a little musty.

    The aura of Y is incredible. It conjures up thoughts of cleanliness, fresh bouquets of flowers and soft, burning incense. Perhaps slightly 'churchey' and refined in its manner.

    I could talk about this fragrance all day, as there are many levels to be experienced here. Y is one of those fragrances that leave a profoundly good impression despite its subtlety.

    14th November, 2011


    Love by Nina by Nina Ricci

    Love by Nina is like a big, tooth-decaying toffee apple. A Granny Smith apple smothered in all things sweet and girly.

    The original Nina, the 2006 version, although sweet, is not as sweet as this fragrance. Love by Nina has a Summery element, making it very fresh and light.

    I would most likely say that Love by Nina is aimed towards the younger consumers, particularly when observing the child-like prettiness of the bottle and packaging. I'm in my early 20's, and while I feel as if this fragrance may be too young for me, I'd probably wear it every now and then in the warmer months.

    The scent is delicate and inoffensive. It's not as sharp as other apple inspired fragrances like DKNY Be Delicious.

    In the opening, Love by Nina is quite delicious and edible, however once settled, the scent deepens a little, beginning to smell like an apple with a bite out of it which begins to brown slightly. It has a tarty, shampoo-like finish, which is still pleasant yet not as appealing as its top notes.

    Due to its composition, particularly when the frangipani and apple blend together, Love by Nina smells tropical and a little coconutty. I would highly recommend this fragrance to those that love subtle Summery scents with juicy apple notes.

    14th November, 2011


    Halle Pure Orchid by Halle Berry

    Halle Berry's fragrances tend to stand out from the rest of the celebrity scents due to one key element; simplicity. Both of her fragrances are successful because of their likability and their basic style.

    Pure Orchid is a pretty, somewhat sweet, 'purple' floral. The sweetness in this fragrance is tolerable. It is neither candied nor syrupy, just natural and subtle.

    To be honest the unique notes like cactus, papaya, anise and sequoia don't feature all too prominently. There is nothing particularly ground-breaking about this fragrance. In some ways, you swear that you've smelt it before. However, with that being said, had this fragrance been too strange it may not have appealed to many.

    Pretty like a princess is what I feel when I wear Pure Orchid. Both men and women alike enjoy this, and I must add that anyone of any age could wear this.

    The sillage is quite intimate, however the lasting power is commendable. It has a girlish softness that really impresses me. To be honest I would not have expected such a delicate and simplistic fragrance like this to have emerged from Coty with a celebrity name stamped on it.

    14th November, 2011

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