Perfume Reviews

Reviews by mumsy

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Total Reviews: 37
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L'Autre Oud by Lancôme

There is really nothing in here that is objectionable. It is very lovely. A fine oudh fragrance, resinous with lots of rich rose and a mossy, rich base. What's not to like about it? I only smelled it at the counter and on a paper strip. It lasts for a couple of weeks on the strip and is still going strong within a baggie. If I had untold money, then I would buy this like a shot, but it would have to fight harder for it's corner of my wallet with the myriad of oudy scents out there. I would say it could do no wrong but hasn't thrown itself into my arms either. I like it very much but I'm not in love. I would like to have a proper sample of this one. I could fall in love but need a longer courtship.
30th September, 2014
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Tralala by Penhaligon's

Important point to bear in mind is I was on the hoof when I tried this on skin and so couldn't write the notes until I found a cafe afterwards so may have missed out fully on some of the top note observations.

so.. Tralala ….

A massive and almost overpowering opening hit. Soft, sweet and powerful like the very finest vintage Laphroaig single malt whisky. Ooh la la indeed. A really fun and playful dance of the senses ensues almost as if one had drunk it instead of applied it. A whirlwind perceived as myrrh, bourbon, madagascan vanilla, something tea-ish like bergamot and spicy old fashioned flowers like carnations. Like reeling in the bar of a sumptuous Scottish ballroom bar whilst the colourful dresses and whirling dancers swirl around with their various perfumes just whisking past for a fleeting, tantalising whiff then gone again. Then various puddings laid on the side tables far on the other side.

The overwhelming roundness and fullness of this fragrance reminded me of the opulence of the perfumes made in the early 1800's where sumptuous ingredients were used freely. The ingredients that came to mind straight away were anise or liquorice (which actually might have been the booze) Carnation, Orris and Myrrh. There was a hint of a marzipan note with a tonka feel but it wasn't as sweet as tonka, possibly tolu balsam. There was a richness behind the flower reminding me of hippy perfumes mixed with eastern spice markets.

One could be alarmed with such a start, but this slowly calms to a serene and harmonious beauty. The softer sandalwood and quieter musks settle with the orris and incense notes to a sophisticated aura of loveliness. Elegant and harmonious enough to be worn by both sexes. The more complex threads in the blend become interwoven as one subtle fabric, freshly clean and yet warm and cozy. That was the interesting part because it did somehow maintain an airy breeze to counteract the initial richness.

It reminded me slightly, especially in the drydown to Amouage Gold, with its many subtle layers like a hareem of colours blending together but remaining separate.

On paper, it stays a fresh and airy woodsy thing. On the skin it dries down to a soft and gentle caress quite unlike its bawdy bar beginning. Soft cedars with refined vanilla and a powder orris touch with a comforting old fashioned feel. Kept well away from old lady fusty with this fascinating fresh aspect.

I would say this has the markings of a classic dispite all the ghastly visual evidence to the contrary.
Good for Penhaligons for daring to go outside their safety zone. Nice touch from the designers for their apparently considerable input. I'm in the front of the queue for my bottle and I very, very seldom feel like that about new perfumes. Thank you to the two lovely ladies for letting me try it on in the shop.

I feel a bit nervous reviewing something for the first round. I had no knowledge of any notes when I did, so all this is written in ignorance of the ingredients. It will be fascinating to see what you think.
24th April, 2014
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Romantina by Juliette Has a Gun

JULIETTE HAS A GUN - ROMANTINA
This range is not my normal cup of tea but I was strongly attracted to this light and playful, really quite floral fragrance. The iris and strong dark orange/woody (petitgrain maybe?)  reminded me of a pot pourri but spiced with ginger and herbs. Something really spicy like black pepper makes the whole composition contemporary instead of old fashioned. A strong woody patch base pins this down to earth. A fun and interesting clubbing fragrance for a modern type who likes their classic florals with a twist.

I've since read this is considered chypre-like. So no wonderI liked it, being a classic chypre fiend.
Tested on paper not skin.
11th April, 2014
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Dunard by Oliver & Co.

Tuberose is not an easy note to handle well, but this one has been treated with a more delicate mastery than many. There is a nuttier side to this which lessens the flower power from overload into interesting. There is no doubt this is a powerful floral, but with a fruity, nutty twist. The dry down gets softer and nuttier with the peach/ambroxan giving a traditional flower a more modern twist, so brave out the turbo charged start.

A roaring start for a newcomer to the scene. This is a punchy entry with supersmart packaging and a nice touch with the numbered bottles. There are some very beautiful candles to match too.
19th November, 2012
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Tigress by Fragrances of France

Faberge had some really nice frags amongst their range. Tigress was one of them. It had a funny caramelised note, almost boozy in its nature at the front, then sank into a musky animal. This was for naughty girls or good girls being bad. Lots of fun. Like a smutty vanilla. There was a spicy edge too almost like carnations. It wasn't my favourite though.
17th November, 2012
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Oud Luban by Aftelier

I cannot make my mind up about this one. I love the opening orange/oud/incense/earthy feel, but it isn't coming over on me as a whole perfume. It seems to be missing something. I think it would be good as a grounding agent for overtly floral perfumes. I love how it smells but it isn't complete for me as a scent on its own.

Her taming of the oud however is superb and that tips me the thumb up. It moves softly as a wild tamed animal by her honeyed and spicy side. Incense is swirling in gentle tendrils around her bare feet and ankles as they quietly pad along the moist earth in the heat of the shade. They sit together in the heat with her ruffling the nearly dried grasses.

The ingredient quality shines through but the oud doesn't quite have the teeth it used to have before it was tamed. It is still beautiful as a caged animal but I find myself yearning for the wilder side.
13th November, 2012
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Santal Blush by Tom Ford

Upon first application, there was a fleeting but strong smell of mysore sandalwood and I settled down, expecting to really enjoy this. However, it started as a soft, sweet, floral, spicy sandal, but gently dissolved into the most extraordinary plastic version of itself. I felt like a chemical hothouse. I managed it for about four hours. Every time I moved this plastic woodsy perfume followed me and I'm afraid it became a scrubber for me. It just proves you don't need a good perfume for sales, just some chemicals and a good handsome lead man for the advertising. I would expect much better than this from a high profile line. I hope Tom doesn't wear it himself.
09th July, 2012
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Shocking by Elsa Schiaparelli

I've been waiting to smell this for quite some time. I don't think I would wear this particularly as it is way too floral for my taste, but my goodness they knew how to pack a punch in those days. This bottle is a mini with the squared off white S in the pink square on the label. It's a powerful blast of sophisticated florals, rounded off with a honeyed note keeping the florals under a sweet control. Just as you think it is all getting just too much, the propolis side of the honey wins and herds all the florals to one side so that the chypre base and the woodsy musk can play.

I find with many of the scents from this period, they were not trying to be shy at their first dab. That was to be put on in the privacy of the private dressing room and the full monty enjoyed by the wearer. They then subdued themselves to time with the exit so that the then relatively tamed force of longevity remained with the wearer for the whole evening of dancing, to reappear later in bursts when the lady got flushed.

Mine is an old sample, and I may need to obtain a later one to compare. This one doesn't last as long as I would have expected.
14th March, 2012
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Prada Candy by Prada

I would never have even gone near this if I hadn't been buying a perfume for my daughter. I had gone to the Guerlain counter as any sensible mother would and we tried many. The lovely patient Guerlain lady asked her what smell she liked best and she said 'toffee'. The lovely SA then whisked off and bought her this one off another stand and it brought an immeadiate smile to the young daughters face. Caramelised toffee with vanilla musk and a dose of balsamic benzoin. I think I would rather eat it on ice cream myself, but certainly much less unpleasant than it sounds. It has a certain dryness, like a grown up sweetie more than a childlike one. More gourmand caramel with an orris feel. My young daughter absolutely loved it, so it does have a market.... I cannot give it a green as I couldn't possibly wear it, but it was fairly pleasant. I didn't hate it, and I expected to. It dries down to a really rather sophisticated dry burnt caramel orris musk.
07th January, 2012
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Cumming by Alan Cumming

I put this on as the first Mr Brosius scent I had ever tried. I had no idea what to expect but it is quite an extraordinary olfactory adventure. It seems the more you sniff, the more you get and the more the imagination can take hold.

I'm getting a big leather studded armchair, a leather briefcase, including the metallic clasps, a woolly jumper, paper that has been thumbed, there is a bit of fountain pen ink, a cigar that has been smoked but is out and the butt is in a far away ashtray, there is a current bun in the distance, a watered down peaty whisky. There is a peppery skin, very slightly sweaty in a nice way with a trace of that mornings gentlemans cologne left. I'm not getting any fireplace, only the cigar ashtray bit.

Overall, it feels safe and secure, making me have a desire to snuggle up to this comfy person. It is an incredibly evocative smell and it reminds me of the older men in my family although not as an equal, more like an enveloping sort of smell, such as a child would perceive on a grandfathers knee.

I would value this as an olfactory painting rather than as a perfume. I liked the journey and didn't want it to stop. It almost made one sad as it dried down, like a fading memory. Mr Brosius, thank you for this little trip to the past.
03rd November, 2011
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Écouté-Moi by Molinard

Hear me indeed. What an apt name for it. It comes screeching out of the bottle as a blast of floral jasminey ylangy bergamotty orangy fruity sweetish synthetic muddle with no particular point, and settles down to a gently clean laundered version of the same that goes on for a long powdery time. It gets a bit more ambery towards the end, but I nearly didn't have the patience to wait. If a skin pulled out floral notes well, then it may work and smell 'fresh spring and clean laundry' which I would imagine was the point of this perfume, but my skin doesn't. Not for me.
13th October, 2011
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Happy Heart by Clinique

A good fragrance choice for a young girl who has no perfume direction yet. I didn't mind it but it was unremarkable on me. I'm giving it a thumbs up only because it is a nice change from a boring floral. The crispy cucumber freshness with the carroty note was different at least. I found it smelled more like a good laundry detergent on my skin than a perfume. I wouldn't wear this myself but I can see it could be nice on others. Not my thing.
02nd October, 2011
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Gold Woman by Amouage

I have just bought Amouage Gold and i think it is a beautiful and classic perfume, ranking perfectly happily alongside Chanel 5. It has the powdery floral start with the creamy rich undertones of precious resins and woods. There is no sharpness on my skin. It certainly doesn't stand out, but I don't expect it was meant to. It is opulent and quietly beautiful. I can see a rich sultans wife wearing this, wafting sarees of beautiful colours in the noon heat.
23rd September, 2011
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Eau de Gucci by Gucci

I love this. I agree that it smells really, really familiar, like an auntie smell of long ago. It has that comforting feminine smell of a confident grown up woman who is happy in herself without being brash. The lilac sings, gently lifting over the powdery floral base then the sandalwood settles down to hum quietly all day. I would choose this when I couldn't choose.
23rd September, 2011
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Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal

I'm transported to Greece and I've just broken a branch off a fig tree. Heat, sun and green figgy notes. Delicious and evocative of a garden abroad.
11th September, 2011
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Graffiti by Roberto Capucci

A honeyed jumble of notes for the start. My mini sample has green chypre qualities but at one point in the middle there seems to be a sharp patchouli note arguing with a floral violetty note. It settles down to a honeyed tonka-ish amber.
03rd September, 2011
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Tocade by Rochas

Wierd on me. The notes this says it contains just do not appear on my skin. It's like a childs cough medicine at first, almost a hint of liquorice with fruit. Then like a new plastic doll, one of those with vanilla in the plastic. Then it just smells like a plastic bag for a while, then morphs into something like slightly unwashed cheesy feet. I think one of the oddest smells to call a perfume. I would like to smell this on someone else whom it suits. I didn't get a single waft of any flowers from this on me. Seriously strange.
03rd September, 2011
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Ambre Gris by Pierre Balmain

I'm really sad about this one. I have many Balmain that I adore and thought this would better the best. I've been waiting and waiting for a bottle for ages. I've finally got it and..... oh dear... I shouldn't have expected so much. It's missed the mark entirely in my humble opinion.
The opening was much sweeter than I was expecting it to be. It has a citrus/pepper note that seemed very air freshener-esque like one of those little trees hanging in the car. This developed into a greeny galbanum, herbesque note. I say esques because they don't seem quite true to the things they feel like they smell like. Then the whole thing mellows and morphs into an overpowering false powdery amberish note, that to me bears no resemblance at all to ambergris or even amber. I think it smells like a reed diffuser air freshener bought from an incense shop. I feel the whole thing smells totally artificial and I would be surprised if there was anything natural at all in this. I would love to stand corrected.
It dries down to something pleasant enough if you like gentle ambery powdery things. I just expected too much with that name from that maker.
12th July, 2011
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Cabochard by Grès

I used to wear the old Cabochard, so I bought a bottle recently just for old times sake and to see what they had done to it. I'm a die hard fan of the old version, but yes, sometimes it could be very uncompromising as an old dame of its type. The tobacco and leather could sometimes get quite harsh and a bit fag/old ashtray. This one is more linear, but I think actually more wearable because it has been lightened up. I'm not normally a fan of any reformulations, but in this case I quite like this one. Even enough to write a review.

It's like a very recognisable cousin and still deserves to be in the same family with some merit to it. The lack of ooomph within hasn't made it a nasty perfume, just a much paler self. I'm wearing it anyway.... and i'm pleased I bought it. It's dry and sultry still.
12th July, 2011
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Moss Breches by Tom Ford

I haven't smelled Tom Ford perfumes before and I had high hopes indeed. I obviously shouldn't have started with this one... The sticky, mossy, honey opening makes me feel like I am actually experiencing genuine perfume nausea. The spice is dominating everything that should be nice on my skin at the start. After the stickiness subsides, the fruitier notes emerge and I can see the old spice similarity. It does improve marginally towards the end. My overall feeling is of a mismatched jumble of clashing notes. It is possibly one of the few perfumes that has actually turned my stomach and I have to wash it off. It gets a prize for that. I can't take any more of it.
07th June, 2011
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Civet by Houbigant

This review is for the oil, and it is one of the most mysterious and fascinating scents of all time. The smell envelopes you like the catty part of Jasmine sambac, oh so gently, but then the shy animal emerges and takes hold of you and won't let you go. It is flowers, fur and nuzzled warmth, all rolled into one. A comfortable smell like no other. This one is animal and sexy and gentle all at the same time. They don't make them like this any more.

I used to wear the Ambergris in this series long ago. That has the same fascination in a different way.
07th June, 2011
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Orla Kiely by Orla Kiely

Downright wierd at first. Like a fragrant sheep. I didn't get on with this at the start. It wasn't exactly horrible, just really, really odd. It starts a bit like Elizabeth Arden Green tea, then it's as if you were wearing a wet jumper with the conditioner left on it, eating strawberries and cream, whilst sat on a damp haybale watching sheep trails. It then trails off into something completely different, rather nice and comfy, as if you've gone indoors to the nice warm farmhouse where some spicy vanilla cakes are being made, and made yourself a cup of ovaltine whilst snuggling into an old, and nice musty sofa.
Not unpleasant, just very strange. It's like a perfume with two stories inside.
03rd October, 2010
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C'est La Fête Patchouli by Christian Lacroix

I love Patchouli so I was hoping for great things here... sadly not. It certainly stays true to a real patchouli that I remember from the 70's. It has the right sort of harsh note, but this one is softened by fruity smells, and I'm not a fan of smelling like a fruit salad. My skin isn't picking up on the florals much. I would have liked some more woodsy tones to balance the fruits. It is zany which I would expect from Lacroix, but a wear with indifference on me.
14th September, 2010
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The Smell of Freedom by Gorilla Perfume

This is very strong. This is a quite nice citrusy, sandalwood, indian soap sort of smell in a perfume.
12th August, 2010
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Imogen Rose by Gorilla Perfume

Another very strong one. An extremely powerful Rose Absolute with musky, slightly spicy notes.
12th August, 2010
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Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

A quiet blossom, soft and pure then goes muskyish. I quite liked this one but it didn't last long enough. Not much after just half an hour. I would have liked this to be more forceful than it is. I wanted more of it, but I would wear this on a hot day.
12th August, 2010
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Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

Creamy suede with a hint of tobacco appearing in a seamless gentle way. A real manly smell. I see a charming handsome mediterranean man in a dapper casual suit. He walks past you and you catch a whiff. It makes you want more, maybe a little snuffle behind his ears. The tobacco element develops further but never too strong. It fades gently like the memory of a good evening. The man goes to bed, all bathed, clean and smelling faintly of vanilla with some incense burning in a far away room..... Absolute winner for me. I would like my man to smell of this.
12th August, 2010
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Lavender and Italian Lemon by Potter & Moore

A lovely and uncomplicated cologne. Made with good quality ingredients and it shows. A beautiful blend for a summer day.
11th August, 2010
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Roses et Chocolat by Ayala Moriel

Lovely gentle composition. Just as described but using a lovely rose actually.
09th August, 2010
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Spectacular by Joan Collins

Mine is a mini and therefore a little stale. It has a predictable strong first hit of sweetish muddled florals (that may be the stale aspect), but rapidly settles down to a pleasant but unremarkable, very mild amber floral fading to a powder. As if the notes have been put in to please everyone. Nothing to like or dislike.
16th June, 2010