Perfume Reviews

Reviews by BayKAT

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Total Reviews: 186
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Tulipano Nero by I Profumi di Firenze

Notes found on web: Rose, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, bitter orange, mandarin, bergamot, vanilla orchid, myrrh and vetiver.

I'm giving this a thumbs up because its unique and well made, but personally I'd give it a neutral. There is something going on here that brings to mind the image of a chip in bone china. It's cutting that way, flawed.

That it wants to be a spicy floral is evident, and I'm surprised not to see ginger here. Not the spicy, burning ginger but the feisty kind you find along the waterfalls tucked away in Kauai's grand canyon.

I just want to fill in that chip, make the plate smooth again. The setting was so perfect that it stands out too strongly. And for a 'black' scent its much too 'white'. Take out that lily of the valley and give it something darker. And get thee to a nunnery, vetiver; this calls for something more sensuous. But still, i would recommend sampling.
16th January, 2012
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Alluring by Boadicea the Victorious

More and more I seem to be pulling my first impressions and replacing them. Alluring is still a nice fragrance, but what I pick up a month later is a 'pine' note.

'Precious woods' is listed, and it must include cedar and/or eucalyptus. I would give Alluring 5 stars if it came without this, because now I find it rattles the nose.

Dry down is dusty, as advertised. I think this wears better in humid weather (my first wearing was during the bay area's wet season). This setting amplifies the fruit, which I found so lucious.

Now I'm wearing it during our dry climate, and thus, it's more reedy. I like how some reviewers have brought up a 'vintage edge'. I agree, and I'm reminded of Sonoma Scent's Vintage Rose.

Do I still like Alluring? Yes, but it has slipped off my 'consider buying' list for now.

07th May, 2011
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Indiscret by Lucien Lelong

This is a scent I sampled blind, so I want to write up my impressions before I see the notes or read much more on it. My sample is from the late 60s.

I thought this was a citrus floral with an anemic base. No oakmoss, sandalwood, or amber to weight it down. Maybe a hint of a dry wood, but for the most part it is a soft white, springtime fresh, kelly green fragrance. Bergamot is present immediately, and I suspected a jasmine or lily influence. Since I had nothing else to go by, the rest of my impression was meditative:

This is a something I would reach for if I were anxious about something and needed to step back and view it in a more detached manner. At first I thought this was a happy scent, but then I changed my mind. This is a wise scent, and with wisdom comes serenity. The 'white' aspect I picked up on didn't feel right here, it brought a purity aspect that was out of touch. This is fresh scent that carries the promise of a new beginning, as long as you can accept that your ending was something to embrace and not to run from.

But certainly a spring time scent carrying the hope of rebirth. I would say this is a 'warm weather' scent or a 'cold weather', but a scent for a coastal climate (something in between)
10th April, 2011
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Audace by Rochas

With my initial sniff I thought "ooh, there is pine in this." And sure enough, there is. You'll detect it right away and it will last throughout.

On my second wearing, I"m getting more of a 'Ivoire de Balmain' smokiness that I didn't detect the first time, and I'd say I like it more now.

In all, this is more of a winter green than a springtime green chypre. I like it. The jury is out as to whether or not I"ll add it to my collection, but this is quite nice. The florals add a delicate touch, and the amber/patchouli is over shadowed by the evergreens. Audace is another scent that will leave you scratching your head and wondering what happened to the perfume industry.

Thumbs up!
13th March, 2011
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Nuit De Longchamp by Lubin

"All my writing is about the recognition that there is no single reality. But the beauty of it is that you nevertheless go on, walking towards utopia, which may not exist, on a bridge which might end before you reach the other side."
Marguerite Young

Nuit de Longchamps is one of those scents that you will never mistake for another. My mini is dark caramel in color wiht a black top, so I believe I own a vintage version.

It seems every time I wear this it wears differently; thus, my attraction to the above comment 'no single reality'. Sometimes it is a strong hairspray/aldehyde that makes me think 'oh oh', and sometimes it is a smooth, highly polished woody oriental. I want to point out the two balsam notes, so ask yourself how you've rated similar scents in the past (Ormond's Tolu Balsam, for example). The dry down is sweeter than the sandalwood/oakmoss would suggest.

I agree that this is more of a 'mature' scent. If you bid for it on ebay you won't be competing with any of the younguns, that's for sure. Certianly for your own private utopian use.

I like it, and place it in my 'quirky gems' category.
20th February, 2011
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Fidji by Guy Laroche

If you want to play with Fidji, you can not piddle around. Go straight to vintage parfum or EDC. Even vintage EDT is good, but modern EDT is a waste.

I think this bubbled up to my top three favorite, because I find myself wearing it three times a week. I'm lucky to wear one of my scents three times a month. I have two full vintage EDC bottles, so can happily coast along for a while.

There really isn't much to say about this besides 'it's one of the best perfumes ever made'. I love Sandalwood, and a green floral with sandalwood makes me melt.

I won't go on any further, however, since the vintage bottles are hard to come by.
23rd January, 2011
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Hiris by Hermès

This scent is just OK with me, which is surprising because I loved the new SL Bois de Soie, and I really loved James Heeley's Iris de Nuit. This more closely resembles Iris de Nuit, but is sweeter and heavier, so much so that it tips into the 'not so great' category with me.

There is a facet to this scent that sinks like a rock on my chemistry - it feels off and discordant. I think I would like it more if Cedar was swapped out for Oak Moss, and the honey note exchanged for something dryer . I can usually spot Giacobetti's touch, but not here. I feel like the business team asked her to go against her good sense and add something 'commercial' to this.

Hiris just doens't stand out in the crowded genre.
06th January, 2011
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Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I'm really, really loving this. But I am a huge fan of Caron's Pour Une femme Parfum, and this is very similar. Both are an incense rose fragrances with a patchouli/amber/mush dry down; and both are too beautiful too describe.

I was so so about the opening, which only lasts a few minutes. It then jumped into a green rose on me, similar to a 60's themed chartreause color. As it transitions to the drydown I get an increasing incense note with a creeping sweetness. OK, I"ve only worn it for four hours now, but as long as the benzoin is held at bay I'll be very happy.

I have to say this will probably go down as one of my favorite perfumes ever, although it is so similar to Une Femme Parfum that I may not need to buy it.
14th December, 2010
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Ritz by Charles of the Ritz

OK, I like this scent and I'm goign to give it a good review, but gosh darn, I can't get the song 'Puttin' on the Ritz' out of my head long enough to enjoy it.

This is a 'coppery' scent with a lot of air. It's not too sweet, and not too heavy. It walks that thin line of harmony between a glorious woody base and gentle, earthy florals.

This doesn't change much of me, it basically is the same scent for a solid 4 hours. the drydown becomes more magical, morphing into something that is pure class.

I like this, but it's discontinued so probably hard to find. This is yet another fragrance that I"m scratching my head over; why did this one go by the wayside and other remained on the road? Who knows, but I highly recommend sampling this, it's very lovely.
10th December, 2010
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Odalisque by Nicolaï

I read (on other sites) that many get a lily of the valley dry down with this. So, I did a side-by-side comparison to Caron's Muguet de Bonheur. And, no. Muguet is buttery yellow and fresh, and Odalisque is a screechy weed. Many have mentioned that this has been reformulated, which has to be a shame for it's original admirers.

On another note, does the title make anyone want to yodel? Come on: "High on a hill was a lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo."

As I went about my evening this played in the background of my cluttered mind. Soon it became: "Loud was the voice of the lonely goatherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl- lay ee PEW!"

That was my hint that it was time to wash. I'm not used to panning a Nicolai scent, but this is really harsh on me. No matter how long I waited, or how hard I tried, I could not get the faintest smell of sweet jasmine. It was just goatherd poo, all night long.
08th December, 2010
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Chaldée (original) by Jean Patou

I wasn't expecting to like this, so I put it on and went about my evening; getting caught up in packing for a big trip.

The whole time I've been returning to my wrist for a sniff, trying to recall which Caron I put on. This has a soaring, floral midphase that never gets too loud, and is joined with an ambery base that is oooh... so very sensuous.

Chaldee is a bullseye for me, and I think anyone who likes a good amber scent would want to try this. Yes, it lists hyacinth in the opening, but I do not get any 'green' from this scent.

I would be curious to hear from Shalimar fans on this one; I'm not saying it is similar, but the drydown experience is the same (very comforting and you will detect the vanilla.)
08th December, 2010
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Jean-Louis Scherrer by Jean-Louis Scherrer

You can’t sniff JLS without getting slapped in the face by the 80s glory note. My mind took it a step further and added a soundtrack: the Dallas theme song, season 3. JLS shouldn’t be introduced without it; this is Sue Ellen’s signature scent, no questions asked.

But my, what a big girl scent this is. My version is vintage, but I’m not sure of the year. I immediately detected the green notes (hyacinth), and a luscious, full bosomed base. I can’t imagine wearing this scent for fun. This must be worn with a purpose. Preferably one that comes with high heels, a short skirt, a tight fitting top and a top shelf martini. I will be setting this sample aside for those nights when I’m heading to the City for cocktails and a show. It’s just loud enough to get you noticed, and just refined enough to keep the other patrons guessing what you’re up to.

Good stuff, but like the show, the earlier versions are better.
08th December, 2010
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Crêpe de Chine by Long Lost Perfume

(Original review, not Long Lost's version)

I"m at a loss why this went out of production, but it did, so there you are. With today's restrictions it wouldn't have fared well anyway, so it's probably best that it went in peace.

But I would put this on the short list of 'top 25 best perfumes of all time'. In 1925 Guerlain released 'shalimar', and we can only wonder how the these two compared in their original glory.

Chene is basically a pitch perfect green chypre. It is so vibrant and rich. The aldehydes are kept at bay, thankfully, and the florals are very discreet.

This scent smells like life to me, as if a bolt of electricity was buzzing about your person. They just don't make 'em like this anymore. Please, please let this oakmoss crap be a replay of the Coca-Cola disaster; and soon we'll get a big apology from the industry when the old formulas are restored and the term 'classic' is slapped across all bottles.

Try Chene if you can.
08th December, 2010
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Coeur de Parfum / Parfum Rare by Jacomo

I always get nervous when I peruse a scent's notes and see my favorites, as I do here. My fear is that it will turn into a stinker, and the disappointment would be too great.

But no disappointment with Parfum Rare. What a surprising find this is! I've never heard of Jacomo until it came by way of a swap

Parfum rare jumps right into its stride with me, not changing much over the entire wearing. So what does it smell like?

A promiscuous worker bee.

This is a warm, golden fragrance dusted with a buzz of spice. It has a strong powdery vibe that reminds me of bee pollen (that golden yellow dust that is heavy and sweet). This powder note is a smidge stronger than I would like, and is the only aspect that gives me pause to buy.

You may want to try this if you are a fan of Organza Indecence, Parfum Sacre, or general Amber scents. This is a sunset fragrance, warm, red, and breath taking. I'll play with my sample over a few weeks and see if my opinion changes at all.
08th December, 2010
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Lily & Spice by Penhaligon's

This is one of those 'truth in advertising' scents. Lily and Spice? Yep, that's what you'll get.

Before writing this review I read the entertaining ad copy. Let me share some highlights: 'carnally spiced', 'thick, hedonistic blooms' and accords that 'plunge into dark spices'. My my, pass me a fan and call me blushed.

Now here's what you'll really get: a white floral. And spices? They make a flaccid appearance, yes. Blooms? Sure, but they are so well behaved you could take them to a church social and let them sell cakes.

Oh, and plunges? Only into mediocrity.

I can't say this is a stinker, however. I liked it for a sample run, but I"ll probably pass it along. The dry down 'edges out', becoming less white and more soul, which is nice.

But hey- if anyone is looking for a tantalizing swapping experience that will leave you gasping for more, let me know.
08th December, 2010
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Ivoire (original) by Pierre Balmain

(Vintag's EDT)
I've worn my sample over a 2 months period, which is easy to do since a little goes a long way. When i first started wearing it I experienced predominantly a dry, green chypre heavy in vetiver and oakmoss. I loved it!!! Now that I"m getting used to the scent I'm picking up more aldehydes, and this is when the scent wanes on me.

What I did wrong was take this on vacation to the jungle. I wore it one day, and I didn't use much, with intent of blocking out the gas fumes from the public bus. Well, during that bus ride I noticed the man next to me turn away and cough a few times. Oh-oh. That's when I realized how loud the aldehydes really were, and the green raspy note has a harshness that had never stood out as much as it did on that bus. All this in backdrop to the pristine air of the jungle (once the bus reached its destination), and the hammer of doom had fallen.

This is a perfume that I like, but have come to realize that it will not stand the test of time with me. This is one that is better left to perusing over the years, as the first impression is really, really positive. But like a bad house guest, the more time you spend with it the more you realize how many crumbs it leaves on the floor. In general I have a hard time wearing aldehydes, and htis is the bulk of my complaint.
04th December, 2010
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Parfum de Peau by Montana

I have a hard time reviewing a perfume I can't pronounce, but since my SO is one foot away I insisted he say this for me(he's French). The conversation went like this: (me) Pew? (him) Peau. (me) Pew. (him) Peau! (me) Peeuuuw (him) PEAU!

Whatever. Here is what I think of parfum de Pew. It opens harsh, so wait it out a bit. The top notes fade away after 20 minutes, and at this point the fragrance smells 'wet' to me. So, soggy, heavy florals with a hint of incense.

During the middle phase the incense becomes more prominent and the wetness fades away. I like this phase best; the florals and basenotes are really rich. It creates a wonderful halo that is perfect for a cold night. I can't comment on sillage because i can never guess that, but this seems average- not too strong, not too weak.

Despite the name I wouldn't call this a stinker. Like other reviewers, I wouldn't call this a leather either; to me it is more of a floral oriental. For it's price range it is certainly one of the better fragrances.
01st December, 2010
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Attrape Coeur / Guet-Apens / Royal Extract by Guerlain

When I sampled this a year ago I was looking for a reason not to buy another Guerlain, but wanted to circle back to it now.

Guet Apens is a purple fragrance with a lot of ‘glass’. Upon the opening I want to compare it to Apres L’ondee, but this is not a wet, springtime fragrance. It is a windy, late fall fragrance; something you would wear as you walked through the open prairie as the first brisk breezes of winter were whistling down your neck.

The mood of this fragrance is introspective to me; something I would wear if I needed to be alone and contemplate something. A solitary wind-swept note.

This time of year I place it ahead of L’heure Bleue, and behind Apres L’ondee. I wouldn’t compare it to Mitsouko at all, as it is a dry, floral oriental and not a fat, luscious chypre.

Certainly one of the better fragrances to ever come from Guerlain
04th November, 2010
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Vanille Intense by Nicolaï

I ordered a sample because I'm a fan of both the house and vanilla. My first impression was 'burnt sugar-butter in the frying pan'.

After it developed I realized that the alcohol note is dominant and that I should have passed.

Here's how this wears on me: picture a group of revelers throwing back one hard liquor shot after the other. They are in a hot and humid tropical setting, and as the sun rises in the sky their sweat rolls off their back and pools under their arm pits. Their liver shudders at the onslaught and tries frantically to clean it out of the body, mainly through the skin. Now their sweat is mixed with the faint sweetness of liver processed sugar toxins. Oh yummy.

This just stinks stank stunk on me. But I've since showered so I'm feeling better now. Can't speak for the revelers, however
03rd November, 2010
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Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

A week ago I visited a friend in Chicago, and she took me to a performance of the top 10 winners of a summer reality show.

Now I don't have a TV, and had vaguely heard of the show. When it started each of the ten acts was flashed across the big sreen, but one performer in particular caused the crowd to go nuts.

Let's just say that when you have no preparation for Prince Poppycock, your mouth hits the floor and you jump out of your seat for a standing ovation along with everyone else.

Likewise, Bal a Versailles is best approached wiht no preconceived notions. I think it's image gets in its way, and if you didn't know any better you'd say to yourself, "My, what a lovely, soft powdery floral."

This scent is oddly addictive. When i stick my nose in it I get this strange spice note that is course and off putting, but when I smell the sillage It's so unusual I can't 'sniff away.'

I found myself chasing after my own scent trail, for no other than reason than morbid curiosity. There's just nothing like this out there. My version is from the 70's era, and I appreciate it more than the EDC I tried last year. It's smoother and more refined.

A standing ovation for Bal A Versailles!
31st October, 2010
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Memoir Woman by Amouage


Memoir Woman opens with the mall effect: an opening blast that would surely catch your attention if you were zipping through the bottles on the counter. Love it!

Moving on... middle phase. This played like a visit to In and Out (this is a burger and fry franchise for all you non-Californians) When it was 'In', I got lovely incense and dry spices, which I give thumbs up to. When it was 'Out', I got...wet leather boots. Not so good.

Dry down- cheers for longevity, which I haven't had much luck with from this house. My closing comments are that this is a nice fragrance, just one that is missing something. A strong base. Compare this to vintage Cabochard, or any other leather heavy weight, and you'll see what I mean. There is something 'light' and 'watery' about this. Chypres are my genre, and I take them very seriously (as I tend to buy them). Here I want more- there just isn't enough contrast or anchor.

I agree with Hilliare that this is one of the better offerings from this house, but still not enough to get me to jump in.
29th October, 2010
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Eau d'Épices by Tauer

So, I'll be very curious to see how this one is received, because I like it (and haven't liked much else from this house). For once I am pleasantly surprised.

This opens as is- so if you like dry spice notes you'll certainly like this. What I'm love best is the middle phase, which is a warm floral with a delicate kick. The incense works well here, and keeps the other notes from gettign too loud. I can't recommend sticking your nose against your wrist, however, because if you do you'll get a blast of cardboard. This works best as a subtle halo about your person (so use sparingly)

I'd say this is different than most of his creations, becaues it seems less harsh to me. I feel like Andy was in his happy space when he put this one together.

If I were to buy a Tauer this would be it
28th October, 2010
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Memoir Man by Amouage

So, after reading Mimi's review, I see I"m not alone on this: I like Amouage's male fragrances but NOT their women's.

On my chemistry Memoir Man jumps right to the tobacco note, which is wrapped in incense. I get no florals, no herbs, no greenery.

Thank you Amoauge for that. I love this, wow! Yes it is masculine, but it doesn't wear like a traditional cologne; it is very edgy and 'black'.

If I sat across from a blind date and he smelled of Memoir man here is what I would think:

He is probably an intellectual, has a strong moral character, leans towards liberal ideals, can find beauty in any form.

So while I like this, I will say that on me it didn't last long; and would probably need a heavier hand when applying.
11th October, 2010
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L'Air de Rien by Miller Harris

I kept my sample and came back to it after a month. This isn't a bad scent, it's just one that isn't my genre. I prefer this scent as a wafting halo; I don't want it right under my nose all day, but catching whiffs of it is nice

This is a white, poofy, powdery fragrance; I think of it as an 80's prom dress. I think I would like it more if it had a darker base, but thta probably wasn't the mood the artist was trying to evoke.

What makes it hard for me to appreciate this is heavy sweet note. You could almost spread L'air on a piece of toast and eat it; it's that strong.

I'm sure this has it's fans, it will certainly not offend anyone should you choose to wear it.
09th October, 2010 (last edited: 10th December, 2010)
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Kiki Parfum Extrait by Vero Profumo

I received this as part of my Lucky Scent Fall sampler pack; along with the other three new EDPs. This one was the least appeling to me, as this is not my genre.

I approach Caramel and Lavender the same way I approach liver and onions. Blech. That said, the opening was surprisingly tolerable. what I appreciated was the faint citrus notes, which carried through the middle section. This phase was enjoyable even, and I began to think Kiki might not be all that bad.

But at the 1 hour mark the sweet, cloying caramel kicked in. This is when i reached for a new shirt. This is just not a note I can wear. I mainly got the sample pack for Onda and Rubj, which are more my style.
06th October, 2010 (last edited: 09th October, 2010)
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Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens

Bas de Soie was one of ten samples I recently recieved, and immediately jumped out as a potential favorite.

"Smooth as marble!" I told myself. I know this is described in blogs as 'cold and metallic,' and I"m not going to disagree with that, but it is also so much more: perfection.

Some are comparing this to 28 La Pausa and Chanel 19; for me no to both.On my skin this is more energetic, pure and intense. Strong iris (which smells like a snapped green bean) is usually too much for me, but when blended with hyacinth (which I love in Chamade), it's plain pretty.

(Fragrantica is leaving out galbanum, musk and spicy notes, which are also included.)

You'll also detect 'hard minerals' here, so yes, that would be the metallic aspect. To me this is an 'active scent', makes you want to move, be creative, smile.

This will absolutely come down to chemistry. The type of folks who might like this probably have some hard core greens on their shelf. This is not a dark floral mix at all, it is cutting and brisk. On me it is a perfect match, and is what I might order if I ever paid for a private scent.
05th October, 2010 (last edited: 09th October, 2010)
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Bois de Paradis by Delrae

I"m going to go in the opposite direction on this one: I give thumbs down to the opening, but thumbs up to the drydown.

This opens VERY gourmand on me, which I just can't do. let me try and explain how this wears on me:

When I was in college, my room mate's boyfriend came over one night with some friends and alcohol. I was sitting in the living room having a beer, and they were in the kitchen making something to eat. An orange glow lit up the wall. To my horror I saw that Mr. Idiot was making himself some pan fried everclear.

Burnt, stinky sugar from a dirty frying pan. That is how I wear gourmands. But moving on...

Bois dries out to a lovely, raspy woody scent (If you've tried Sublime Balkiss you'll recognize the blueberry note). I need an hour and a half to sing this scent's praise, so do give it that long before making up your mind. This starts as a stinker, but ends up as an exquisite, fragrant woody. This is the only Delrae scent that I could see myself buying, although I would still like the opening toned down a notch.
05th October, 2010
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Epic Woman by Amouage

You know, I keep trying this line to see what they'll do next but my patience is running a little thin.

This fragrance is a disaster of epic proportions. Bottom line: they issued it before it was finished. Mixing oud and incense can be OK, but it needs to be smooth, and here it is not.

How much not? Picture this scene: It's late at night and you're sitting comfortably in your lay-z-boy, preparing to watch a rerun of Happy Days. The show opens with the Fonz walking into the cafe, with his black leather jacket, tight blue jeans, and slicked backed hair. "Heyyy" he says, and every one claps. 'How cool is that!' we all think. This is how Oud and incense are supposed to wear.

Now assume that the network has fallen on hard times, and can't afford Henry Winkler's salary. So they swap him out for Pee Wee Herman. Not as polished. Not as cool. Not as good.

I think Amoauge needs to slow it down for a while and rethink their strategy; putting out one stinker after the other isn't going to build a long term fan base.
04th October, 2010
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Coeur de Vétiver Sacré by L'Artisan Parfumeur

One thing I like just as much as perfumery is an authentic tea shop. Tea shops where everything is sold loose leaf, and you have a hundred canisters to chose from. Black teas are my favorite to smell (although I can only drink green or herbal)

The reason I'm liking this scent so well is because it reminds me of fresh, black tea with fruit accents (dates, mostly). Oh yum!!! Straight up fruit can get too cloying, but with black tea as an anchor this turns into pure decadence.

So, the opening gets a thumbs up from me. The drydown is OK, but there is something discordant here. As the black tea fades away I"m getting something 'clangy' and irritating, as if I pulled my nose from the tea bag and took a whiff of the backroom where everything lay scattered about and thrown together.

If I could get the opening throughout this would be a perfect scent.
02nd October, 2010
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Balle de Match / L'Eau de Sport by Nicolaï

I know this is a man's fragrance but I like this house and wanted to try it.

BdM smells 'pale yellow'. I usually get images with scents, and the one that sprung to mind with this one was a middled aged blond haired man (in his 50s) wearing a pale yellow sweater at a baseball game; eating a twinkie and drinking an Indian pale ale. Yellow.

it's interesting, this isn't a bad scent at all, it's quite nice actually. But when I think of my SO wearing it I feel agitated. Balle de Match does not sing 'I'm too sexy' in any note. So, while my nose thinks 'this is OK', my emotions think 'certainly not.'

Such is the fun of perfumery.

02nd October, 2010