Reviews by kastehelmi

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    Eau Belle by Azzaro

    Don't overspray this one! It's a delicate scent, but as fresh and light as it may be on the perfume spectrum, it still has a synthetic quality-that must be why it isn't very expensive. I love the top notes- but I also detect the soapy middle note tommy_girl mentioned. Overall a pleasant perfume for my first wear, I will update again later....

    Update: While I don't mind smelling a bit like soap with the right blend of sweet and/or fresh components, I hate how quickly the beautiful top notes decay into the sharp yuzu-bergamot soap scent. I think it smells better on me to other people, and I don't think it smells cheap, but this is my second bottle of perfume I bought thinking I would have a satisfying fresh choice of fragrance, only to have to continue my wild search.....

    22 March, 2011

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    Ellen Tracy (new) by Ellen Tracy

    On the clean and sweet side of the Oriental Woody genre, in my experience. I could imagine this perfume suiting a variety of women. It's feminine in a pretty and indistincy sort of way, not overly sweet...
    Raspberry in the base notes seems to keep it very girly, and it's something I rarely come across. When I wear this, I don't feel like I smell like flowers--which is both a good thing and a bad thing(a well-done natural floral fragrance is divine!) It's an acceptable woman's perfume, I couldn't imagine people holding their noses upon encountering a woman who wears this, but I wouldn't call it a sexy perfume...It doesn't strike me that way, but I have yet to hear male feedback on it....The description I've read about Ellen Tracy EDP as "almost preppy" seems fitting to me, and describes why I couldn't ever call a fragrance like this my signature scent, nor is it a must-have....

    22 March, 2011

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    Alien by Thierry Mugler

    I love jasmine, and this one is heavy jasmine. I am aware that not everyone likes jasmine, however. I can't make up my mind whether I like or dislike Alien...One minute I like its attitude and sultriness, the next I'm longing for a fresher scent. Perhaps I would like an EDT instead of EDP....and I might spray this on the inside of my calves instead of my neck...or try Alien lotion.

    In the end, I almost can't get enough of it. Sweet!

    Update: I've heard some people say this scent smells heavy like cigars or garbage (hahaha), but Alien requires some time and patience (and trust?) to sink into the skin-It becomes very sexy, and the scent is not floral or woody or spicy, or anything like I can describe-just very elegant, velvety, dark, warm and a bit cold at the same time. I am not a fan of Mugler, but this scent is high on my list of favorite designer fragrances(as opposed to niche, drugstore, artisan, etc....)!


    Update much later:
    I have to say this fragrance doesn't smell much like natural jasmine-I smell a unique amber note that I now refer to as the "Mugler amber"-it's a bit heavy, modern, and smells both hot and cold at the same time. I still think the opening isn't so much beautiful as strong and fascinating, while the dry down is pure femme fatale and just smells gorgeous on my skin. This is one of those perfumes that really smells "synthetic"-but great to me. I am not a fan of "synthetic" smells-but if you found this to be a scrubber, I think you should really let the top notes and aggression pass to smell the magic-not an easy perfume, but a beautiful one-that's how it deserves its name. That is also why I don't regularly wear it, though I will never swap my bottle.

    22 March, 2011

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    Angel by Thierry Mugler


    I like the smell on other people, sometimes, but PATCHOULI ALERT!
    If I apply it I will scrub my skin red to get it off--it's extreme.
    Somehow it smells like it is better-made than Angel Innocent, even if I can't wear Angel. I absolutely can't wear it, it took a few tries to realize I really, really don't like it.

    I share the opinion that the abusers of this fragrance give perfume-wearers a bad reputation. It's downright unjust!
    But those with the lightest hand simply like to have their cake and smell like it too...
    It's my mother's favorite perfume, so thank goodness I don't hate it. I don't smell it frequently either, women around here prefer Coco Mlle., Light Blue, J'adore, Juicy stuff and the likes....

    22 March, 2011

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    Magical Moon by Hanae Mori

    Awful.
    Very strong, heavy on the patchouli--the initial notes kill whatever good might come of it.This is one of those fragrances to avoid if you want to remain open to modern Oriental fragrances--or maybe it's just one I want to avoid just because I dislike it avidly.

    Update: It's actually not that bad--a little too sweet, well described as "Oriental Gourmand"--the dry-down is kind of nice, but this fragrance is a little bit too much of something...It's actually not so strong, but it's certainly not a delicate scent.
    Still a thumbs down, but at least it's not evil?

    22 March, 2011

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    Accenti by Gucci

    Accenti, I owe you the new level of wisdom I reached in my early perfume adventures!

    Accenti is fat orange roses, a sip of cognac chased by a taste of amber honey, sandalwood impregnated with peach nectar.....So much, and so much and so good! One of my favorite perfumes of all time--a loud floriental that is well-received, as long as gingerly applied. Always sensual, but fades from massive sillage to a supersweet fruity rose skin scent too quickly. If only it could be quieter to begin and end less muted!
    What a gorgeous fragrance to have been found on the mass market! I am not surprised it has been discontinued, but I am enraged about it! Gucci, your Guilty is a crime of a perfume, and not in a figurative way. Let Guilty free and fight for Accenti!

    22 March, 2011

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    Calycanthus by Acca Kappa

    I offer a 3-part review of Calycanthus (a night-blooming jasmine soliflore by soap/perfume company Acca Kappa):

    Part 1: This is the most feminine and delicate fragrance I've smelled yet-absolutely beautiful, floral without being sharp, heavy or dusty.Sweet, like eating carambola rather than a mango.


    Part 1( aftermath) My (now ex-) boyfriend says its smell reminds him of disinfectant.
    I have never disagreed more about a scent with him that about this one. I can see that there is a strength about it, and a very floral fragrance is not for everyone or every day, but I still have to have this one!

    Part 2: I really want to try Glicine...I no longer like this one because it is too sharp.....

    OK, Part2!:I found a bargain bottle, I'm going to have it again soon-yes!!!

    It's an unusual fragrance-and it has the touch of sharpness and soapiness that most florals will have-but it's unforgettable and it wears so beautifully during the spring and summer!
    So I've learned my lesson: If your boyfriend doesn't like your favorite perfume, drop the guy, not the fragrance.

    (Well-this isn't my absolute favorite, but it is a beauty-Let's hope my nouveau beau (who has better tastes) will enjoy it as much as I do....)

    Part 3: Nice honeyed floral, sharp, doesn't blend completely with the skin, doesn't sit quite right. Lovely in a way, but very hard to wear--consistently disappointing, while still somehow attractive to me. I would have never bought it, if I had been discriminating enough in the first place.

    22 March, 2011

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    Alliage by Estée Lauder

    I still haven't smelled many Chypre fragrances, so I don't know whether I am a fan of the Chypre category. In any case, I have tried Aliage a few times, and I love it! When you first spray it on it is almost offensive in its strength, but it softens almost immediately. The dry-down is really earthy and feminine in a timeless and elegant way, rather than a classicly cloying way, which is a decidedly rare find among the hundreds of fragrances I have sprayed myself with. Those who describe the fragrance as irritating or overly strong do have a point, as much as I love it. But I think this fragrance softens so much that it shouldn't send anyone into a sneezing fit. I highly recommend it! (vintage formula)

    22 March, 2011

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    Amor Amor by Cacharel

    Molto dolce!!! I love Amor Amor, I don't care what anybody says! Even after "developing my nose" smelling niche and vintage masterpieces, I hang onto my cute little bottle and wear this at least once a month (frequent for someone who samples and changes frequently...)

    I smell a soft (and generic) white floral note, blood orange and creamy vanilla, all fresh on my skin with a hint of richness that could be coconut water and coconut cream...what is it? I don't smell coconut...it's all the vanilla perhaps.
    It's an insult to Amor Amor to compare it to anything by Juicy Couture, I find the whole Juicy line unwearable( loud, sweet, obnoxious). I am not a huge floral fruity fan, I love natural citrus essences, and natural-smelling niches for the most part.

    Amor Amor isn't a statement maker, but it gets me tons of compliments, and just smells good to me! It smells young and maybe not so smart, but it doesn't smell cheap (or at least not too cheap!) Great for what it is!

    21st March, 2011

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    Natsumi by Annayaké


    I thought I loved cedar, but this makes me feel otherwise.What smells wonderful in a sauna doesn't necessarily sing on my skin.

    This is one of those fragrances that I was excited to try, liked one aspect about it, without paying enough critical attention to decide whether it's really great for me or not. The strong peach, the unusual watermelon note, and the the lily of the valley all left me excited enough to think I liked it, even while the sharpness was putting me off.

    This light wood-the sharpness of freshly cut cedar, the feel of sticking your nose in it, is not for everybody. In any case, it's not for me. I don't like the usual sharpness of straightforward florals, whatever makes this so stingingly sharp doesn't work for me, but this is still an interesting composition, worthy of trying once, a refreshing sharpness. On somebody else, this might smell *elegant* and fresh, but I am not sure whether it would be equally sharp-smelling from a distance.

    21st March, 2011

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    Dolce Vita by Christian Dior

    Sweet--indeed sweet, but in a drier floral-reminiscent way. I think it would be a nice fragrance to wear in cold weather, to remind one of warmer flower-filled days-not woody on my skin, too sparkly sweet to make me think of woods, or smell outstandingly woody. I don't love it, but I like it, and I can't imagine it offending anyone.

    It's one of those beautifully balanced fragrances, absolutely unremarkable on my skin, but pleasant. The right day could bring out Dolce Vita, the right day could give its not- light-but-not-heavy sweetness some kind of depth and allure, but I never had that day. This is not what I imagine when I hear the term "la dolce vita", although it is definitely la dolce vita di qualcuna.

    Somebody once described this scent as one of the "boring sweets" (if you said this, let me know, identify yourself!) I agree with this statement, although it is classy, and it really stands out for a boring sweet--compared to most everything on the market today, it is superb!

    Actually, it's kind of more interesting in warm weather, since it seems like a safer kind of fragrance-a gentle Oriental, not Floriental, not Oriental Woody, and none of the strength, but definitely not hollow. I only owned a bottle for a while, but I wouldn't mind having it again!

    21st March, 2011

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    Teatro Alla Scala by Krizia

    Dusty and luxe log cabin-smelling classic! A night at the opera, or a resinous powerhouse on the prairie--your call! That cabin is no longer occupied, and Teatro Alla Scala is no longer available.

    21st March, 2011

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    Hugo Deep Red by Hugo Boss

    I thought I liked it when I smelled it at the department store, but it's far too synthetic/"perfumy" for me...If it smelled fresher and had a more natural, softer dry-down, I think I would really like it.
    Anybody have any suggestions for a scent that has a kind of sweetness like this, but a more green, fresh smell?

    I can see how many women would like this, but it really doesn't work for me.


    Update: I wore it again today, because even though I detect a synthetic quality to this fragrance, it doesn't feel sharp or soapy. I really appreciated this today because the fruit shines through and the fragance doesn't devolve into a boringly pure vanilla-type deal. I think this doesn't last terribly long, and it seems to be very low-sillage.

    Update again:Black currant, vanilla, boring...fail.

    21st March, 2011

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    Sicily by Dolce & Gabbana

    Sicily was a blind buy that ended with my first ever swap!
    Does D&G Sicily smell like Sicilia? I don't think so, though I've never been there.
    Smells like powdery banana soap, with a mass of aldehydic waxy warmth on top. One time I wore this and enjoyed it at the very end, but every time I have applied this I have wanted to scrub this off, interesting as it is. Perhaps an acquired taste for some, but if you aren't expecting powdery banana soap, it could be terrifying. Not bad, but not for everyone, definitely not for me.

    21st March, 2011

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    Opium by Yves Saint Laurent

    Old review:
    love it, it embodies my idea of what an "oriental" fragrance should smell like...Rich, sophisticated, sexy...Even if it is "mature" I don't think it's "old-lady" at all! I smell the sandalwood, and amber, two notes I really love. But it's balanced, and I see the long list of notes give it that distinct body that makes it so I can't smell the individual notes so much. I agree that it is a stronger scent-I receive compliments whenever I wear it, but I know when I've applied too much, and I would worry about suffocating people when I dance close-embrace tango if I laid it on too heavy. Nevertheless, one of my favorite scents ever.

    Can no longer wear it (I love subtlety!!), but it is a carnation-patchouli must-try classic!

    21st March, 2011

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    Poême by Lancôme

    One of my beloved and flamboyant girlfriends wears this..I love the complexity of it, it smells delicious, and there is a hint of incense, but it is very sweet, bold, strong and thick, so I wouldn't wear it.

    21st March, 2011

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    cK one by Calvin Klein

    You may have smelled it a million times, but I ask myself anyway:"Why is CK One such a lovely fragrance?"
    It's simple, clean and fresh, which stands out among the sea of fragrances that could be well-described as heavy oriental woodsy, revised chypre,aldehyde-filled "aquatic", floral fruity with cookie accords, floral detergents and fleeting citrus juices...I like that it smells great on both my boyfriend and I. It's not made to seduce and create a feminine allure, so the initial bergamot burst and any other following masculine touch shouldn't be too bothersome when you consider the sexiness of appearing almost freshly-showered clean. Synthetic, but smells great!

    21st March, 2011

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    Dalimix by Salvador Dali

    I have never been as disappointed by a perfume as by this one. It promises an interesting scent with such an unique bottle, but it smells bitter, sharp, and I had to scrub it off my wrist-it must have staying power, because I had to use a lot of soap.

    21st March, 2011

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    Cabotine by Grès

    One of the worst fragrances I ever tried-tile cleaner from top to bottom-revolting. The bottle is very attractive, reaaaaalll pity! I am not sure if this could smell better on anyone, but I'm very curious about whether skin chemistry could make this fragrance any less toxic, maybe....

    10th May, 2010

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    Royal Muska by Martine Micallef

    CLEAN MUSK! Royal musk? No, it's "I just washed your highness" musk. Agreeable smell, soft, whitish, yes: soapy. Having smelled musks with more personality, I can say that the bottle is quite beatiful, but I can't imagine spending more than $30 on a it-and I probably wouldn't spring for it if I found it for such a good price. Forget it! I would give this a thumbs down, but it really doesn't smell <i>bad</i>.

    One of the best musks I can think of is White Musk by Al Nayyfat, sold through Zahra's boutique-it's $85 for a tola of oil, thus I have no more than a tiny sample-but it's clean and has personality-dare I say it has a scent-and it's not disappointingly soapy like this.

    28 February, 2010

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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000