Reviews by blood-orange

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    Black XS by Paco Rabanne

    "Knowing the desire of some women to wear men’s fragrances, it can be said that no woman would dare to wear Black XS despite its soft and warm woodsy notes and even sweet notes of the drydown", (taken from description above). Well if that's what you think, bring it!

    Before spritzing this fragrance on to a piece of card, the sales assistant informed me that Black XS had a prominent cherry accord making it very sweet. Although cherry is not listed in the notes, the sales assistant was right, there is a definite candied cherry and berry accord.

    Don't be persuaded by the marketing scheme, Black XS can be unisex. It's sweet in the way that Joop! Homme is sweet. The syrupy notes of cherry and lemon are rich and strong in a way that does suit a man's skin, however the middle and base notes that look threateningly masculine to the ordinary reader, is not so on the skin.

    The drydown is a mixture of slightly earthy patchouli and soft rosewood. It sits rather delicately on both my boyfriend's skin and my own. The scent actually loses most of its strength in the heart, where it tends to settle into a light, almost non-existant woodsiness.

    The scent lingers for a relatively long time, however the sillage is pretty weak. I wanted this fragrance to have just that tad more strength so it could really strike me with its loud, rock n' roll slash gothic undertones.

    04th September, 2011


    Iris 39 by Le Labo

    Iris has been a new-found obsession for me as of late. I'm currently on a mission to find the best iris scent for me to wear. As with most iris-based fragrances, they tend to be more suited to the warmer months and Iris 39 by Le Labo, is no exception.

    Iris 39 opens very fresh and light. There is a touch of greeness that gives this fragrance that natural feel. To my nose, Iris 39 is very close in scent to a bunch of freshly picked irises placed right under your nose in a perfectly arranged bouquet. There is also a very slight watery note which only adds to the freshness of this fragrance.

    Many reviewers speak of a prominent earthiness in Iris 39, which I never managed to detect. I found that once the iris and lime in the top notes had softened, the scent took on a rather soapy, clean-like quality.

    Still lovely, but more like iris-scented soap, Iris 39 lost all of its previous uniqueness. The fragrance also becomes very faint, almost non-existant to an extent.

    Iris 39 is lively, dewy and delicate, however the soapiness and then the poor lasting power deterred me from falling in love with this fragrance. Iris 39 has however encouraged me to try more from the Le Labo line. I am rather intrigued by their simplistic bottles and seemingly interesting interpretations of particular notes.

    Iris 39 is an iris perfume for those that seek a soft, green and refreshingly Summery blend. Also anyone that desires clean scents, I would recommend Iris 39 to you.

    04th September, 2011


    Bois des Îles by Chanel

    The Bois des Iles I am reviewing is from the Les Exclusifs line in the EDT concentration.

    In every article I've read on this particular fragrance, Bois des Iles is hailed as being the first woody fragrance ever created for women. While I do agree that Bois des Iles has some woodsy qualities, I'm more swayed into placing it into a floral category. A floral woody musk tends to be more true to describing the scent itself.

    Bois des Iles opens like a classic Chanel fragrance, soft aldehydes and sparkling, clean soap. For a while it smelt like a cross between Chanel No.5 EDT and Allure EDP. However, once settled on the skin, Bois des Iles becomes quite buttery and 'golden'.

    This fragrance smells expensive and unusual, despite its rather predictable composition. I honestly could not detect any hint of the peach or bergamot in the opening, so on my skin the florals tend to dominate.

    The heart consists of oily florals that smell rather like a floral-scented lotion on the skin, rather than a perfume. This interesting quality had me sniffing my wrists for hours trying to determine why the scent felt so buttery and soft.

    The rich, buttery florals do not dissipate from the skin throughout the whole composition. Even with the arrival of the sandalwood, vetiver, benzoin and musk, Bois des Iles has a very distinguishable smoothness.

    I do believe that Bois des Iles is a bit of an acquired taste. While I enjoyed wearing this fragrance and revelled in its amazing lasting strength, ultimately this fragrance just wasn't me. I found Bois des Iles to be a fragrance better suited to a pretty, rather conservative and tamed young lady which is far from my wild self.

    04th September, 2011


    Chic by Carolina Herrera

    I love my white florals, but only when they've been composed well, which is quite rare unfortunately.

    I really wanted Chic to be amazing. I wanted a creamy, modern white floral with a feminine touch. Unfortunately Chic didn't meet my expectations.

    Although not listed here, there is a very strong lemon note throughout the composition that tends to smoother the jasmine, tuberose, freesia and vanilla.

    The opening is very sharp, acidic and almost plasticy. When it dries down it is nothing spectacular. A simple, rather generic white floral in my opinion, with a strange, lemon detergent finish.

    Some may love this scent, however I have experienced better white florals which have marred Chic by Carolina Herrera for me. Unfortunately I find this fragrance cheap and predictable.

    The lasting power is so-so. In terms of sillage, it is very strong for the first few hours, however shortly after the scent is barely detectable. Chic just didn't live up to my special expectations.

    04th September, 2011


    A*Men / Angel Men by Thierry Mugler

    A*Men is the male equivalent of Angel, to put it bluntly. It has all that chocolatey goodness with a touch more richness to give it that masculine touch.

    If Angel is milk chocolate, A*Men is dark, bitter chocolate. I dare say that I prefer A*Men over the very controversial and very popular Angel.

    Despite the fact that this fragrance has been emulated many times, for example, Very Irresistible for Men by Givenchy, this is a truly unforgettable scent.

    A*Men is somewhat linear. Throughout most of its wear it smells like a perfect blend of golden syrup, dark chocolate, coffee, musty patchouli, lavender and rich amber.

    Only in the drydown does it change ever so slightly into a musky, chocolate powder type scent.

    A*Men intrigued me with its darkness and rich chocolatey notes which you don't expect to smell on a man. All men seem to wear these days are those predictable fresh and citrusy scents. It was nice to smell A*Men for a change.

    If you're looking for a stronger, more classic version of A*Men, I do recommend the classic Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels. It has that strong chocolate note without the sweetness.

    Talking about strength, A*Men lasts for a very long time. The sillage is also phenomenal, very strong, so beware. I wouldn't be game enough to wear this in Summer, but for Winter, despite its popularity, it is a wonderfully unique and sensual choice. I urge the ladies not to dismiss wearing this fragrance either. Do not let the name fool you into thinking it is just for men.

    04th September, 2011


    Laguna by Salvador Dali

    Here I was, expecting your typical watery, sugary and somewhat sharp fruity floral before I even gave Laguna a chance.

    I had concluded that I was going to hate it, eventually writing a review expressing my disappointment in such a fragrance carrying a legendary artist's name. How wrong could I be?

    Salvador Dali's Laguna, is fresh, beachy and, (wait for it...), a spicy oriental. Despite the fruity and citrusy opening; cinnamon, galbanum, Italian iris and rosewood compliment the scent.

    This fragrance's composition has been so well blended. I would expect this kind of calibre from a niche scent, not an inexpensive, mainstream brand.

    In some ways Laguna is confusing to my senses. It's warm yet Summery, richly spiced yet fresh. The only way I can describe it; it's a beachy, slightly aqautic and fruitier version of Balmain's Ambre Gris.

    Unusual and very appealing, Laguna has me pretty much lost for words. Towards the drydown, Laguna loses much of its citrusy notes and becomes quite floral, musky and woodsy.

    The coconut alongside the earthy patchouli and cedar, is amazing. It has an almost rich, delicious creaminess that is both exotic and charming.

    I must add that the lasting power and sillage are very impressive. I'm so glad to have found this little treasure. I once detested Summer due to the lack of fruity florals that suited me. Finally I don't have to worry any longer.

    04th September, 2011


    Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar by La Maison de la Vanille

    Finalising the series from La Maison de la Vanille, Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar concludes my testing.

    Unlike the other fragrances in this series, I really felt the citrusy bergamot in this one. For a good hour or so, this was vanilla and bergamot with a subtle hint of coriander.

    While still sweet and vanillary, the additional citrus and spice gave this fragrance a rather exotic charm and a delightful richness.

    I feel that Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar is the most unisex of the series. The rounded spiciness and smokiness of the vanilla could wear well on a man in my opinion.

    Towards the drydown the incense note can be truly felt alongside the vanilla, which is now darker and slightly chocolatey. This is also vanilla in a natural, dry-like finish, rather than being syrupy or creamy.

    The lasting power, as with all the other fragrances in this series, is unbelievably good. The sillage is also commendable.

    It is hard not to like such a fragrance as Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar. The scent is both soothing, warm and snuggly. All in all, this fragrance is sensual and charming.

    04th September, 2011


    Narciso Rodriguez for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

    Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDP, is quite possibly one of the muskiest perfumes I've ever experienced.

    This fragrance tends to be warm, subtly sweet, feminine, clean, and of course, musky. For some, Narciso Rodriguez for Her is animalistic and sexy. In my opinion, this fragrance is musky in a clean and old-fashioned sense. Don't get me wrong, this is not a scent just for 'old ladies'. It just doesn't scream 'sex' to me.

    Occasionally I am anosmic to musk, so there are some moments when I can't smell Narciso Rodriguez. Every now and then I catch a subtle whiff of this scent which is certainly pleasant, but not to my personal tastes.

    This fragrance smells dusty on my skin. It makes me think of a dark, crowded attic that hasn't seen the light in years. This relation is possibly due to my connection of musk to closed-up, suffocating, deserted houses.

    This fragrance is not all bad, it's just disappointing due to all the hype. I don't sense many floral notes in the composition unfortunately. It's mostly musky woods to my nose.

    Even in the EDP concentration, the sillage and lasting strength are rather average. I can understand Narciso Rodriguez for Her and its appeal, however I believe it is very much an acquired taste, that I don't have.

    04th September, 2011


    FlowerbyKenzo Oriental by Kenzo

    Kenzo Flower Oriental is very similar to the original Kenzo Flower, with the only difference being its spicy additives.

    Opening quite strongly and indeed sharply, Kenzo Flower Oriental wasn't overly pleasant on the skin in the first five minutes of wearing it. It took a while for the scent to settle.

    When settled, this fragrance became powdery, but not in a baby powder or a soft, flowery talcum powder way. Kenzo Flower Oriental smells like dirty powder. That's right, a powdery scent with an undeniable strangeness.

    The smokey spiciness doesn't sit too well with me. It smells a little too synthetic for my liking. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big spicy, incense lover, but this fragrance just doesn't cut it for me.

    The lasting power is very good. It lasted on me well into the night. The sillage is also very strong, so please spray lightly.

    04th September, 2011


    Vanille Noire du Mexique by La Maison de la Vanille

    Despite the fact that both this fragrance and Vanille Givree des Antilles, by the same house smell very similar, this is another vanilla scent well done.

    Vanille Noire du Mexique is a very rich and concentrated vanilla. The vanilla is complimented by a delicious, chocolatey rose, which reminds me slightly of a more tamed version of Angel Rose from the Garden of Stars collection by Thierry Mugler.

    This fragrance has an interesting mix of both sweet notes and spices. The patchouli, opoponax and bergamot are important in the way they keep this fragrance from becoming too sweet or too generic.

    For some reason, Vanille Noire du Mexique makes me think of Winter and mugs of white hot chocolate, my new favourite beverage. The way in which this fragrance sits on the skin is both velvety and luscious.

    I'd sum up this fragrance as being a rich vanilla with a touch of mystery. The sillage is strong with this one, so I'd spray lightly. This fragrance is yet another thumbs up for La Maison de la Vanille.

    04th September, 2011


    Essence by Narciso Rodriguez

    I'm not usually one for soapy, clean fragrances, however Essence by Narciso Rodriguez is more than just pleasant, it's lovely.

    One reviewer termed this fragrance the 'laundry queen'. While the scent does remind me of crisp, white linen, this scent is not overly sharp, laundry detergent or anything like nose-burning soap.

    The floral notes are what balances out this fragrance. The rose and iris notes take on an almost powdery quality which compliments the rich, soapy scent well. Essence is very pure in a way. Innocent, delicate and refreshing.

    There is a tiny touch of sweetness towards the drydown which reminds me that Essence is more than just clean sheets swaying in the breeze. This fragrance although not overly complex, is enough to capture me with its musky charm.

    The lasting power is very good and the sillage rather average, but certainly not soft, it has a presence. I find this fragrance far more superior than Narciso Rodriguez for Her, which I found disappointing to say the least.

    04th September, 2011


    Joy by Jean Patou

    It was Joy by Jean Patou's allure and greatness that urged me to accept a very generous sample from Catbiscuit when it was so kindly offered to me. Being the scent of choice for almost 80 years to various celebrities and members of the royal family, Queen Elizabeth II herself, I was expecting to be blown away by this fragrance's luxuriousness.

    The first time this fragrance touched my skin, let's just say it was a nightmare. Could I honestly smell a child's bedroom after they had wet the bed? I was absolutely horrified to say the least. After a few minutes, Joy dried down to something very metallic and harsh on my skin, like rusted metal or the scent of steel wool rusting ever so slowly on the side of the kitchen sink. It then rounded off into a hay stack type smell. Very country, but nothing like the described notes.

    I was game enough to test again, however this time on a piece of card, rather than on my skin. I now understand why so many like this fragrance. Joy is rich and floral, (as you would expect from 10600 flowers and dozens of roses in the composition). I'll agree that the scent is mature, but certainly not old lady.

    The opening is a strong dose of powdered roses. Very much like the classic English Rose scented talcum powder by Yardley. Tuberose and jasmine do feature quite a bit, however the rose and aldehydes like to dominate the composition.

    Joy is very extravagant to my nose. I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing this unless I was surrounded by gold and red velvet fashioned chairs and wearing a heavily jewelled crown on my head. This is indeed a fragrance fit for a queen, but not really suited to a plain, old, Aussie girl like myself.

    In terms of sillage, Joy is a big one. More than 3 sprays and I think everyone in a close vicinity would be gasping for air. Take that as a warning. Joy isn't a scent to mess with. This is a straight-up conservative floral with a touch of royalty.

    27th August, 2011 (Last Edited: 06th February, 2012)


    Cabochard by Grès

    I would never have imagined in a hundred years that I would enjoy leather-based scents. The thought of leather makes me cringe, however when I come to smelling leather scents, I am suitably impressed.

    Cabochard, along with Bandit by Robert Piguet, are the essential, classic leather fragrances. From this fragrance I get a lot of dry, smokey and powdery leather and woods.

    There are many floral notes in this composition that keeps Cabochard from becoming too masculine. The way that this fragrance has been presented, makes me think of a strong, independant woman that appears tough on the outside but is loving and feminine on the inside.

    Cabochard summed up in my own words is a sexy scent with attitude. Interestingly I was nearly going to say that Cabochard smelt like an elegant, black leather handbag. It just so happens that after leaving the perfume store, a few doors down I walked past a store that sold handbags and as I walked past I inhaled the aroma of leather. In no way does Cabochard prove similar to that shiny, brand new, leathery smell we all know and love.

    I'm not sure as to how much this fragrance differs from its pre-formulated, vintage self, however the Cabochard as it is now is very wearable and certainly unique.

    27th August, 2011


    Stephanotis by Floris

    I was having a discussion with a friend of mine a few months ago on the topic of wedding fragrances. Despite her love for citrus aromatics, she vowed to wear a big white floral scent as her choice on her big day.

    I thought about this some more and concluded that I too felt that the essential wedding day scent would be flowery, strong and innocent. Stephanotis as I read somewhere was a popular choice for these particular events, so I was eager to discover what made this fragrance symbolise such a holy unity between two people.

    Stephanotis opens as a potent white floral. Strong and alcoholic for at least the first five minutes or so, I had my doubts of ever liking it.

    When settled, Stephanotis is buttery jasmine and soapy lily of the valley. I can see why women think 'wedding' when they smell Stephanotis. It's feminine and beautiful with that somewhat innocent touch.

    Some may relate the scent to a grandmother or an old-fashioned garden, however I see luxourious soaps and an image of the 1900's.

    This fragrance unfortunately doesn't last too well, with the fragrance almost completely vanished after four hours on the skin.

    I was surprised to see that this fragrance was produced in 1786, however it is believable to an extent. Stephanotis has that good, old-fashioned floral appeal.

    27th August, 2011


    Coromandel by Chanel

    It was Katie Puckrik who had me wanting to try this fragrance. After watching her perfume collection videos on YouTube and hearing all about her love for incense-based scents, Chanel's Coromandel went straight to the top of my 'for test' list.

    It took a while for me to discover my love for Coromandel. When first applied to the skin, it seemed to be very masculine and indeed very strong. The incense note was barely evident for the first ten minutes.

    When I re-visited Coromandel, it reminded me of a stronger, more lasting and much more complex version of Allure Sensuelle.

    After leaving the Chanel boutique I was quite certain that Chanel's Beige was my pick, however as I walked on through the crowd of people at the mall, I was enchanted by a deliciously smokey scent drifting up and around my nose.

    Once settled into the heart, the magic of Coromandel can be truly felt. This is less sophisticated than other Chanel's I've tried. Coromandel makes me feel like a bad-girl; a little daring, merciless and wild.

    Coromandel is earthy patchouli, rich ambery incense, exotic spices, syrupy vanilla and dusty woods. I would be game enough to call this fragrance sexy.

    Some people mention chocolate as a note not listed here, and on second thoughts, there is a rather chocolatey accord hidden in there somewhere. However, don't expect Coromandel to be anything like Thierry Mugler's Angel.

    The lasting strength is amazing. I had my wrist stuck to my nose until almost 3am. I think Coromandel excited me so much that I couldn't sleep.

    27th August, 2011


    Beige by Chanel

    Beige, supposedly was Coco Chanel's favourite colour in which she used as her theme to decorate her apartments. This fragrance was created to reflect her style and elegance.

    Like the colour, Chanel's Beige is simplistic yet classy. This fragrance is quite possibly the least offensive in the Exclusifs series.

    I liked this fragrance straight away. It struck me as a pleasantly sweetened floral with a slight shampoo-type quality. It smelt expensive yet it wasn't particularly unique.

    On my skin, Beige became me. It suited my chemistry well and the honey note really had its chance to shine. The frangipani note is what gives this fragrance that clean and slightly tropical smell, however the freesia and honey balances the scent out nicely.

    The scent lasted on my skin right up until the wee hours of the morning, which was very impressive and certainly complimentary to the rather high price tag. While I certainly enjoyed wearing Beige I couldn't help feeling as if it was too subdued for my tastes.

    Beige has an intimate feel, with the sillage being rather weak despite its lasting strength. This fragrance screams 'inoffensive office scent'. Seeming that I don't work in an office or a crowded environment, louder fragrance are more to my taste.

    All in all, Chanel's Beige compliments the skin. It almost seeps into the pores creating a very natural, very 'you' type smell. Despite its basic nature, Beige is an extremely pretty and sophisticated fragrance.

    27th August, 2011


    Sycomore (new) by Chanel

    I absolutely adore rich, woodsy, smokey scents, especially those with tobacco as its most dominant note. Chanel's Sycomore fits this description, however in my opinion, this fragrance is far more masculine than feminine. I'm usually accustomed to gender-bending scents and I often wear fragrances marketed towards men, however Sycomore is far too masculine for me to even touch and the funny thing is, Sycomore is a female fragrance.

    Despite the initial surprise, Sycomore is rather enticing. The fragrance opens quite strong, with the vetiver and tobacco notes making a rather loud entrance. Once settled on the skin, the sandalwood and cypress blends in with the tobacco and vetiver creating an interesting dryness.

    Every time I brought my wrist to my nose I detected a powdery woods note, rather like the scent of fresh saw-dust. I was very relieved to see aldehydes as a listed note here, which proved that I had not been misled into making up ingredients.

    Smokey, and in some ways, bitter, Sycomore reminds me of a recently burnt Australian bushland after a rainstorm. It is the scent of a scorching hot Summer, however I can't say that I'd wear this anytime other than Winter.

    There are many words to describe Sycomore; dry, smokey, salty, earthy, masculine, nutty, dark, classy and balanced are only just the beginning. On each individual, Sycomore seems to differ. On a man, I'm certain that this fragrance would shine. I'll just put it out there that Chanel's Sycomore is and should be unisex.

    27th August, 2011


    28 La Pausa by Chanel

    I've recently been fascinated by iris scents; most notably Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma and Iris 39 by Le Labo. My mother had received a bunch of flowers after a performance (she's an actress), and for days the room in which she'd placed the beautifully arranged iris and lily bouquet, smelt divine.

    Chanel's 28 La Pausa is close to that scent, but not close enough.

    28 La Pausa opens rather fresh. The prominent iris note is green and natural. I do believe that the iris note in this fragrance is the actual essential oil, rather than a synthetic take on iris.

    Citrus notes compliment the iris towards the heart, however when settled, 28 La Pausa transforms into a smooth, soapy scent. The soapiness, although feminine and pretty, resembles other iris-based scents on the market, most notably, Acqua di Parma's Iris Nobile EDT.

    The woodsy drydown only furthers my comparison to the above fragrance. I do believe vetiver may be a missing note in 28 La Pausa. It has this wonderful bitter and earthy quality that really compliments the iris.

    There is a great sense of simplistic subtlety to be found in this scent. It doesn't scream, "look at me!" or anything overtly sexy, however it succeeds in being soft and inoffensive. The scent lasted well on my skin, so I won't agree with the other reviewers who experienced poor lasting strength. The scent is delightfully refreshing and clean smelling. I'd most likely wear 28 La Pausa during Spring, when the weather is particularly beautiful and the world is lively.

    27th August, 2011


    Vanille Fleuri de Tahiti by La Maison de la Vanille

    I didn't like this one as easily as I liked Vanille Givree de Antilles and Vanille Divine des Tropiques, however I'll admit that this fragrance does grow on you.

    This fragrance opens very strongly and very sweetly. The scent reminds me of raspberry jellies. I'm actually surprised that raspberry isn't listed as a note here. I also smell marshmallows.

    This is all about fruits and vanilla. If you don't like sugary gourmands, stay clear of this one. I don't get a whole lot of florals in this fragrance, to my nose I detect vanilla, bergamot, ylang-ylang, some berry notes and a subtle, smokey incense lingering in the base.

    Vanille Fleurie de Tahiti doesn't evolve much throughout its composition. It lacks complexity, however this doesn't bother me so much. The fragrance is unique in a way. The sweet vanilla and fruits smell very much like an expensive and tasty dessert served at a high end restaurant.

    The scent is very lasting. I had a shower a few hours after applying, and after all the soap and scrubbing, the scent is still there. Not that I mind though.

    27th August, 2011


    Vanille Divine des Tropiques by La Maison de la Vanille

    Vanille Divine des Tropiques, meaning divine vanilla from the tropics, is what this fragrance is all about.

    Think of a tropical destination, complete with sparkling blue oceans and big, lush palm trees, and you have this scent in mind.

    Vanille Divine des Tropiques opens with sweet, powdery vanilla and freshly picked bananas. I could liken this fragrance to banana splits with sweetened cream and a sprinkle of malt, however this fragrance doesn't strike me as being gourmand.

    The scent is enticing yet difficult to wear. For those that love and wear Sicily by Dolce & Gabbana, this is a softer, less sharp and more vanillary version.

    Summer or Winter, wear it in whatever season suits you. Vanille Divine des Tropiques makes me happy in the way that it brings me back to the days when I was a child feasting on sweets and all things light and sugary.

    There are subtle hints of pretty white florals throughout the composition, however the strong banana and vanilla notes stay with me until the very moment the scent disappears.

    Don't expect strong vanilla, because the sillage of this fragrance isn't particularly strong. The lasting power is very good however, lasting well over 6 hours on my skin.

    27th August, 2011


    Byzance by Rochas

    Byzance is almost the perfect olfactory equivalent to Byzantium, a poem by William Butler Yeats.

    It captures the essence of a long lost city, ancient and artistic. Byzance opens with heady florals, exotic spices, zesty lemon and powdery aldehydes. This opening is very strong, very 80's and very me.

    Towards the heart, particularly with the entrance of the white florals, Byzance reminds me somewhat of Passion by Annick Goutal. Byzance is however, more powdery and more lemony.

    As the heart settles, the florals, most notably the jasmine, become cleaner and slightly soapy. Due to this fragrance's ever-changing nature, I'd say that Byzance is quite complex.

    This fragrance is very feminine, without a doubt. However, with that being said, this fragrance is womanly in an old-fashioned, bouquet of flowers, cooking spice and church incense sort of way. Byzance is essentially the scent of a woman from the ancient times - perhaps even the fragrance of Cleopatra herself, if I let myself dream so.

    It is a pity that this fragrance is becoming increasingly harder to find these days. I will be truly disappointed if Rochas decide to pull this fragrance from the market.

    27th August, 2011


    Vanille Givree des Antilles by La Maison de la Vanille

    Despite the fact that Vanille Givree de Antilles does smell a little similar to Angel, I wouldn't agree that people who bitterly dislike the latter will run screaming from this pretty little scent.

    I'll start off by saying that Vanille Givree de Antilles, while indefinitely an Angel dupe when smelt from the bottle, is much softer and more vanillary on the skin.

    It opens strongly, almost masculine, however once settled, this scent is warm and cuddly. Incredibly mysterious and sexy, this is vanilla minus the candy-like sweetness. The vanilla is sweet, but naturally so.

    I can almost sense vanilla icecream here. The vanilla, tonka bean, tuberose and aromatic lavender make for a very delicious, almost foody scent.

    The sillage of this fragrance is rather intimate, however it lasts really well. I have recently used up all of my Angel perfume, which I previously wore as my bed time scent. Vanille Givree de Antilles could be a good replacement, however it is much too good to be just worn to bed. I intend to wear this fragrance a lot.

    27th August, 2011


    VIP by Usher

    For a celebrity scent, Usher VIP is pretty impressive.

    Usher's first releases, both for men and women, were either mediocre or shockingly bad, however this fragrance has managed to fall into a pleasant and likable category.

    Usher VIP is very unisex in my opinion. It has many feminine qualities, particularly the rich, caramel-like sweetness that makes this fragrance so distinguishable.

    The citruses in the opening are rather non-naturalistic. They tend to be sugared and syrupy. This fragrance settles on the skin very creamy-like and delicate. While masculine in some sense, I know that many of the buyers of this fragrance are women.

    The spice, although present, is not all that strong. This fragrance consists mostly of sweet, powdery woods on a vanillary base.

    The sillage is very intimate and the lasting power, although not bad, is fairly average. In my opinion, Usher VIP is reminiscent of those female fragrances that lean towards the masculine side. So ladies don't be afraid to try this one for yourself.

    27th August, 2011


    SJP NYC by Sarah Jessica Parker

    SJP NYC, what can I say? You are sickeningly sweet like so many fragrances on the market today.

    I've likened this fragrance to Ralph Wild by Ralph Lauren and Showtime by Kylie Minogue. If those fragrances are your thing, go check this fragrance out and skip this review, if you dislike sweet, candy-like fragrances, keep reading.

    Sarah Jessica Parker is said to be one of those celebrities that know their fragrances. Loving everything from Clean to Penhaligons and Comme Des Garcons, you'd assume this woman has style. Her first three offerings; Lovely, Covet and Covet Bloom, had proven her good taste. However from the Lovely Collection and onwards, I don't believe she has managed to have her say.

    SJP NYC is sugary strawberry syrup drizzled over vanilla icecream. I have no clue why they called this fragrance New York City. I haven't been there of course, however I don't believe it smells like a candy store. DKNY for Women is a much more realistic interpretation of NYC's wet cement and smog.

    This fragrance is something that I can enjoy on a blotter or from the bottle, however on the skin it disturbs me. I'm not old, I'm 20, and even still the scent is far too childish for me. I feel like I should be wearing a puffy pink dress with a big bow at the back and glittered butterflies in my hair.

    On a positive note, SJP NYC lasts forever. The sillage is excellent too. It's a pity that this fragrance is so one-dimensional. Had this fragrance developed more, it may have had a chance with me. I also agree with the other reviewers here, the bottle design is indeed very tacky and cheap-looking.

    15th August, 2011


    Burberry Sport for Women by Burberry

    I actually don't like this, at all. Burberry is my favourite fragrance house, however with this new release I am rather underwhelmed.

    It smells synthetic to my nose, a little rubbery like the bottle it comes in. True that it smells like D&G Light Blue, which I don't care for, however, (I can't believe I'm saying this), I'd choose Light Blue over Burberry Sport.

    Salty plastic is all I can smell in the opening. The mandarin orange barely features in my opinion.

    The scent tends to become more aquatic as it develops into the heart. The honeysuckle and Carribean magnolia aren't as floral as I had expected. They seem to be un-naturally sweet.

    Musk overwhelms me into the drydown. There's too much of it for my personal tastes. Burberry Sport ended on a headache for me unfortunately.

    The lasting power is incredibly good, as most Burberry scents are. I am extremely disappointed however that I have come across a Burberry fragrance that I don't enjoy, which was something I thought was never possible until today.

    15th August, 2011


    Pink Happiness by Revlon

    Pink Happiness is a little more complex than most of Revlon's creations. It still has that ultra-feminine, easily likable, clean floral quality, however in this case it stands out from the rest.

    This fragrance is sweet, but not too sweet. The citruses in the opening are candied yet resinous, and the pepper balances out the scent with an interesting spiciness.

    The heart consists of a rather predictable yet lovely floral bouquet of jasmine, ylang-ylang and lily of the valley. A scent you could imagine a princess wearing. Soft, delicate and pretty.

    There is a distinguishable sense of girly-ness and innocence behind this fragrance. For that reason alone, I would recommend this fragrance to a younger crowd.

    The drydown is particularly pretty with sweet musks, vanilla and amber, and a touch of magical woods. I am pleased to say that the drydown lasts a long while, with the lasting strength and sillage being very satisfactory.

    There are some similarities between Pink Happiness and Fire & Ice, another Revlon fragrance I adore. Revlon has proven to do very well in creating sweet florals or sweet orientals that are inoffensive and likable, yet inexpensive at the same time, which is an obvious bonus.

    07th August, 2011


    Love Her Madly by Revlon

    Revlon's Love Her Madly is a very popular fragrance here in Australia. It is inexpensive yet likable.

    Floral this fragrance certainly is. It tends to be soft and warm with a slight hint of powdery-ness. Love Her Madly does smell of roses, however these are powdery pink roses, rather like rose-scented talcum powder.

    The mandarin orange stands out for me in the top notes, and quite obviously the rose note dominates the heart. Lilac and ylang-ylang are subtle additives that provide a very feministic floral quality.

    I quite like the drydown which consists of musky sandalwood and vanilla. The musk in Love Her Madly is definitely not an understatement, it is indeed very musky, dusty in a sense.

    I find this rose fragrance suitable for anyone above the age of twenty. It has a soapy and powdery quality that makes it that little old-fashioned and quaint. I like classic, almost ancient type smells, so this fragrance suits me well.

    The lasting power is fairly average and the sillage is intimate rather than loud. Love Her Madly is for any lover of rose. And a cheap alternative at that.

    07th August, 2011


    Bulgari pour Homme Soir by Bulgari

    Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir smells wonderful on a man, yet not so wonderful on myself. Understandable seeming that this fragrance is marketed towards men, however I can't help having that desire to gender-bend scents.

    On my boyfriend this fragrance is slightly citrusy and fresh. The tea note really stands out, however it smells exotic and in some ways sexy.

    On my skin, Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir smells very earthy and vegetal. Strange and dirty in a sense. Not feminine at all.

    It is interesting how much the male chemistry differs from a female's. Like I mentioned before, this fragrance transforms into something lovely, refreshing and likable on my boyfriend. Truly remarkable.

    The lasting power and sillage strength is very good, better than the average scent. While I do prefer Bvlgari's BLV pour Homme over Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir, just because it has more character, I wouldn't call this fragrance bland.

    The fragrance is certainly not dark, however the colour black does convey this fragrance well, in a simplistic and classy sense. My own father enjoyed this fragrance and he barely likes anything scented, so that should give you a rough idea of how pleasant this fragrance really is.

    07th August, 2011


    Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc by Bulgari

    This fragrance is really lovely and fresh. It's Summery and pretty without being overloaded by citrus notes.

    My skin really soaks up these kinds of scents. Eau Parfumee au The Blanc sits on my skin like a lightly scented lotion, creamy and polite. It's very inoffensive and as I imagine, wonderful in the warmer weather.

    Many say that this fragrance is soapy, and I somewhat agree, however I think it smells more like an expensive, soft, floral-scented shower cream. I also sense a creaminess that reminds me of icecream, however vanilla isn't presented here.

    On my skin, Eau Parfumee au The Blanc is extremely feminine, however I would like to see how this fragrance wears on a man's skin. I do believe it has the opportunity to be masculine.

    The muskiness in the drydown is very nice and subtle. I urge those that are afraid of a strong tea note or pepper note to not give this fragrance a miss. Those notes don't tend to dominate.

    I'm not surprised to hear that Bvlgari has produced a shampoo and conditioner range using this scent. The scent is truly delightful. The lasting strength is good for a cologne concentration, and the sillage is fairly intimate. Overall a lovely unisex fragrance for the individual that doesn't like anything too 'perfumey' or strong

    07th August, 2011


    VV by Roberto Verino

    VV is a lovely Summery scent that in my opinion tends to be more citrusy than green.

    The hotter weather does accentuate a grassy-like note, however the lime, apple and grapefruit notes tend to be the standouts here.

    VV smells very juicy on the skin. Hidden underneath the citrus lies an almost aquatic type note which I can't quite put my finger on. Due to this likable combination, VV makes me think of pool parties on scorching hot days.

    Seeming that I'm testing this fragrance in the middle of Winter, the scent makes me long for Summer and the chance to sunbake on the beach.

    Unfortunately, like many citrus-based fragrances do, VV doesn't work well on my skin. While still pleasant, the notes become much sharper and sour in a sense. When VV doesn't work with your chemistry it loses all of its appeal. The sweetness and the liveliness no longer feature.

    The ginger in the heart, is more like fizzy ginger beer. Very sparkling and refreshing. It is a shame however that the jasmine can't be detected. I would have liked to see how the floral notes combine with the ginger and citrus.

    The drydown is mostly soft musk. In a sense, this fragrance could be marketed as being unisex. I can certainly imagine a man wearing this fragrance with ease.

    In regards to lasting power and sillage, they are both extremely good. I had actually never heard of Roberto Verino until now, so it has been good to expose myself to a new and quality brand.

    07th August, 2011

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