Reviews by ponderous

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    ponderous
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    Mangiami Dopo Teatro by Hilde Soliani Profumi

    Mangiami Dopo Teatro is candy-like canteloupe, pure and simple. It's youthful and linear and horribly over-priced for what it is, which is a glorified fruity body spray that wouldn't smell out of place in Bath & Body Works. Its longevity is excellent. I can't see myself repurchasing it, but I'll enjoy my bottle while it lasts because it makes me happy on lazy summer days.

    30th June, 2010

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    Joop! Homme by Joop!

    I'd never purchased cologne for my father before, but when I was a teenager in the 1990s I smelled something fantastic while passing by the men's fragrance counter in a department store. I walked all around the fragrance counter and sniffed everything until I finally discovered that the smell was coming from the Joop! bottle (pronounced "yope," the salesperson hastened to inform me). It reminded me of a nice fabric softener. I bought a bottle for him, he loved it, and I'll always associate the scent with him now. He only applied the tiniest spray, though. I can imagine that more would be way too sweet and overpowering.

    02 June, 2009

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    Tabu by Dana

    My advice concerning Tabu is to skip the modern drugstore spray cologne version and hunt down a bottle of the pure parfum (preferably vintage) on eBay. It's frequently available for next to nothing, and a drop of the parfum is heavenly on a cool day. It rivals any modern high-end fragrances in terms of beauty, complexity and longevity. Tabu has gotten a bad reputation because of over-appliers. Frankly, I can't imagine spraying any concentration of the stuff on myself. A tiny dab is enough. Fans of Chergui, Shalimar, Angelique Encens, Fifi Chachnil, Tabac Blond and other heavy-hitting sexy orientals should give this one a chance.

    06 May, 2009

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    Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I love tuberose...but not when it's mixed with Denorex coal tar shampoo. I even waved my wrist under my husband's nose to make sure I wasn't imagining the coal tar, and he confirmed my reaction. I don't want someone to catch a whiff of my expensive perfume and assume that I have a severe dandruff problem!! It's too bad, because the scent of tuberose that shines through the Denorex is quite pretty. Definitely one of the more interesting fragrances out there.

    20th October, 2005

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    La Haie Fleurie du Hameau by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    La Haie Fleurie du Hameau is a luscious, intoxicating jasmine fragrance with honeysuckle and narcissus notes giving it a sweet, clean edge. It's very similar to Serge Luten's A La Nuit. I'd have a hard time justifying the purchase of both since they're so much alike and so expensive, but if I ever won the lottery I would have a bottle of each on my dresser.

    20th October, 2005

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    Benetroessere Relent by Etro

    Relent begins as Love's Baby Soft for grownups, but quickly dries down to a lovely warm amber scent that calls to mind classics like En Avion or Vol de Nuit. It's not as complex as these older fragrances, but it's a nice affordable substitute. Be patient with Relent and give it some time on your skin - it's worth the wait!

    20th October, 2005

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    Benetroessere Raving by Etro

    When I was a little girl, my mother would give me warm salt water to gargle when I had a sore throat. Raving smells like iodized salt mixed with tap water, plus a tiny bit of something sickeningly sweet. Really and truly, this is one of the worst fragrances I've ever inhaled.

    20th October, 2005

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    Aqua Allegoria Lavande Velours by Guerlain

    I'm not a big fan of lavender, so I had a feeling I wouldn't like this but I decided to try it anyway in the hopes that Guerlain had combined it into something palatable. Nope. It doesn't even smell much like lavender to me...it actually reminds me more of Off Bug Repellant than anything else.

    20th October, 2005

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    Sun by Jil Sander

    Sun is a wonderfully clean, completely unoffensive scent. Great for summer! It's very similar to Joop for Men but with a little more spicyness. I'm not sure if this is marketed as a unisex fragrance or not, but I could definitely imagine a man wearing Sun.

    20th October, 2005

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    Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

    This is a very odd term to apply to a fragrance, but I think of Vol de Nuit as a protandrous sequential hermaphrodite, or an organism that changes from male to female. When first applied, Vol de Nuit is a masculine cologne, somewhat old-fashioned but with that distinctive Guerlain je ne sais quoi. I feel a bit self-conscious wearing it, like I've become Diane Keaton looking goofy in a tuxedo. After a couple of hours, though, it morphs into a lovely feminine powdery fragrance, also somewhat old-fashioned but with that unique, romantic Guerlain flavor. Perhaps the duality of the fragrance is meant to represent the brave pilot and the woman praying for his return? I probably won't ever purchase Vol de Nuit because I prefer Apres l'Ondee, but I love the history behind the name, and the bottle is a work of art.

    20th October, 2005

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    Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan

    My husband bought this for me on a trip to NY thinking that I had mentioned liking it, when actually I was talking about Chopard's Casmir. He got bonus points for trying, though! Cashmere Mist is definitely what I would categorize as a fall/winter fragrance - it's too heavy for warmer months. A tiny drop of the perfume on each wrist is enough to last all day. It's a strong, comforting, somewhat complex scent without much sweetness. As the name implies, the scent is vaguely reminiscent of a soft, elegant wool sweater with a hint of powder. I wasn't a big fan at first, but then I found myself coming back to the bottle again and again. P.S. I'm looking for the glass lid to the .5 oz pure perfume bottle, so if you have a spare lying around, please let me know!

    20th October, 2005

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    Casmir by Chopard

    Casmir is one of the most delightfully complex vanilla-based fragrances I've ever found. This is not CSP! It's a little heavier than I normally prefer, and I definitely think of it as a winter fragrance, but if you're looking for something oriental and mysterious, this is it. Out of all the fragrances I've ever worn, Casmir is far and away the one that's gotten me the most compliments. When I first discovered Casmir during high school back in the 90s, even my dad commented on how great it smelled...and for him to notice anything scent- or beauty-related is an absolute miracle, so it must be pretty good! It's one of those rare perfumes that stops strangers dead in their tracks - all the women will want to know what you're wearing, and all the men will tell you how nice you smell :) The Taj Mahal-inspired bottle is beautiful, too.

    20th October, 2005

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    Coco by Chanel

    I really, REALLY enjoy Coco's sweet, woody vanilla drydown. It's probably not something I would wear everyday, but this is definitely a fragrance I'd reach for before a special event or going out for a nice evening. Too bad my husband doesn't like it. Normally that would stop me from buying a fragrance since I don't like to torture the poor guy, but now that it's fall I find myself really craving a bottle, so he's going to have to deal with it this time:)


    20th October, 2005

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    Very strong and almost bitter (a little like hospital disinfectant) for the first hour or so, but then it dries down to a wonderful clean, soapy vanilla scent. Shockingly, even my husband who hates Coco likes this. If you can get past the initial unpleasant blast, the fragrance becomes quite nice.

    20th October, 2005

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    En Avion by Caron

    Old classic perfumes and old classic movies share a lot in common, I think. Sometimes I'll watch an old movie, a classic title from the 1930's or 1940's, and find myself distracted from the plot by the dated acting style. It's not that the acting is bad, but it's much closer to dramatic stage acting than what we typically see when we go to the movies today, and as a result often seems a little silly and overblown when watching it through modern eyes. Every once in a while, however, a movie comes along that transcends its release date. Think Casablanca or Miracle on 34th Street. Well, fragrances are the same way in my mind. There are many older fragrances that, while I can appreciate the artistry of their composition, I find their scent to be too dated to wear today. And then occasionally (oh happy day!) I discover one that transcends its age and era. That's what En Avion is for me. It's an old classic that doesn't smell dated or overblown to a modern nose, unlike many of its fragrance peers. It's just a beautiful, luxurious, feminine work of art.

    20th October, 2005

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    Bulgari Petits et Mamans by Bulgari

    Very light and baby-powderish with a hint of florals. Cute! It reminds me of a more expensive version of philosophy's Baby Grace, with slightly better lasting power on my skin despite its lack of alcohol. If you have small children, you could probably get about the same effect by sharing their baby shampoo and lotion.

    20th October, 2005

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