Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Sniffmonkey

Total Reviews: 47

Artemisia by Penhaligon's

I get why some people say this is boring. But it's in the same way that a clear, blue sky is boring, i.e. calm and beautiful!
11th October, 2017

Le Monde est Beau by Kenzo

This is similar to Laura Biagiotti Roma, but greener and more citrussy (grapefruit), less vanillic. Another reviewer noted tomato leaf and I agree - in fact I think that is the distinguishing note in this fragrance. Definitely one for Spring and Summer. Longevity isn't brilliant but that tends to be the way with green/citrus scents. This is a pleasant, effervescent green floral scent.
29th March, 2017 (last edited: 12th April, 2017)

Ma Dame by Jean Paul Gaultier

ANISE. A whooping, acrid, intense anise. I am glad that many can enjoy this scent, but to avoid further casualties like me who read largely positive reviews and so bought blind..... this is the joint-worst scent I have ever smelt in my life (the other being Molinard's Un Air d'Habanita). I am sceptical of people who say this, but it really did make me feel nauseous, and my boyfriend and I had to open the windows of the car to gasp some fresh air. I am no fan of anise/licorice notes, but can tolerate them when softened and spiced or sweetened e.g. Vivienne Westwood's Let it Rock or Caron's Eau de Reglisse. But why is anice/licorice/tarragon not listed in the notes when it's what overwhelms the fragrance?! Any grenadine (which presumably inspired the gorgeous bottle colour) is throttled by the synthetic anise and a sort of noxious burnt plastic smell.
30th September, 2014
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Vanille & Narcisse by L'Occitane

I am currently addicted to this scent. and although it ain't cheap, I have two 75ml bottles because I know I will get through them all too soon. It's marvellous for Autumn.

I spritzed some on my arm in duty free last month and it didn't make much of an impression on me at all until...... I caught a whiff of the deliciously smoky-spicy drydown before going to bed that night! I thought the fragrance must have mingled with some other scent I'd sampled, and was determined to track down the origin of what I've seen described on another forum as a "smoky bacon and maple syrup" aroma. Sure enough Vanille & Narcisse was the culprit. So I quite understand if you're looking for a custard-creamy white floral vanilla and don't find that V&N fits the bill, but if like me you like spicy orientals that veer towards gourmand territory, like Bond No 9's Chinatown, and if you like smoky perfumes like Miller Harris' La Fumee, you might like this.
30th September, 2014

Rochas Femme (original) by Rochas

I splurged on a vintage bottle of edt. From the bottle it smells like the most heavenly balsamic fruity amber nectar. On spritizing, there's a tonne of cinnamon which rapidly morphs into an amalgam of aldehydes and sweaty crotch! The crotch (cumin?) remains, but is joined by what really does smell like plum. Not a deep, plum jam as I'd imagined, but a fresh, juicy plum, on a sandalwood platter. I'm surprised that the juiciness has survived, but also relieved. It's starting to smell like a fresher version on Feminite du Bois, now... Very interesting, and very glad I took a punt on this one! :-)
14th May, 2013

Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

Orange blossom, opoponax, and a whiff of plastic doll. I have to assume that my bottle is a modern formulation, so I detect no outrageous civet or bestial skank. There is, however, a whisper of the hay loft and the barnyard. This is lovely, when I am in the mood. I have to get past the Plastic doll note. This is a scent that I imagine Betty Draper wearing: it evokes, for her, a 1960's evocation of both the palace at Versailles where this princess would love to envisage herself in a scandalous assignation, and the stables where she enjoys flirting with young WASP heirs whilst working up a sweat during her horse riding lessons. Over-hyped, but a lovely study in opoponax.
03rd May, 2013

Lys Fume by Tom Ford

I was SO excited about this. I adore the scent of lilies, and the idea of a perfume that amps up the narcotic aspect of the flower and adds some sexy, smoky power to it was thrilling. Surely there was no way I could not like this, so (yet again) I bought unsniffed.

Well, this is a pretty, fairly linear lily soliflore. It's more high-pitched than I'd expected from a Tom Ford. But where is the FUME?!! I can detect no smoke, no tar, no spice... nothing to dirty it up at all. It's fine, but from this brand - the progenitor of Black Orchid, Tuscan Leather, even Tobacco Vanille - and for this amount of money, I expected something much more.

EDIT: I have since given my bottle away, and acquired a bottle of Tom Ford's Shanghai Lily instead. It's more like what I had in mind.
01st May, 2013 (last edited: 27th January, 2016)

eo01 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke

As SirSlarty says, the opening smells like a pretty generic womens perfume, and I wasn't much interested. However, as the morning wore on the scent developed into a quite delicious fruity (orange and pineapple) woody, with touches of caramel and vanilla. I often can't abide scents that contain orange, as they can evoke a sickly, artificial orange-candy note, but this is lovely. I bought a full bottle of Mont Blanc's Presence d'une Femme based on favourable reviews, and eo01 is actually how I'd hoped Presence d'une Femme would smell: quiet, feminine, sweet, a woody fruity-floral for grown-ups!

29th April, 2013 (last edited: 03rd May, 2013)

Présence d'une Femme by Montblanc

Smells like a low-cal energy drink.
28th April, 2013

Enlévement au Sérail / FK3 by MDCI

Yep, a glorious old-school peachy chypre. I also found it reminiscent of Mitsouko, or Patou's Que Sais-je. I will enjoy my sample, but won't however be 'investing' in a full bottle.
27th April, 2013

mb02 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke

Smells like Black Forest gateau, with kirsch. Nice! Faintly reminiscent of Penhaligon's Cornubia, which I already own, or I would consider seeking out a full bottle of this.
26th April, 2013 (last edited: 03rd May, 2013)

Début by Delrae

Opens as a promising indolic white floral but quickly develops into the scent of pub toilets. But I agree with JaimeB that linden is a key player in this, and it's a tricky note to pull off. I think I prefer Andy Tauer's Zeta for a linden-centric perfume but will do a sniff-test and report back!
26th April, 2013

Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris

Wow. This is full-on, savoury, sun-baked salt, on a soft vetiver base. How did she do that?! I can't in all honesty pick out the other notes except maybe the narcissus - it's very well balanced. I agree that this brings to mind tequila salt at the start. I was concerned that this was a scent that I would appreciate for its uniqueness but not actually enjoy wearing. Do I really want to smell like a salt marsh? The answer is, surprisingly, YES! This is a beautiful, earthy, unisex scent.

EDIT: Although I was impressed by this scent I found I couldn't enjoy wearing it - just too salty. I gave it to my dad, and it smells like a lovely, dry vetiver on him. Much better as a masculine, from my experience.
25th April, 2013 (last edited: 11th September, 2014)
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Coriandre Eau de Toilette by Jean Couturier

DRY, like Campari. A bracing, soapy, thin and fairly linear scent. The coriander is more dried coriander seeds than the fresh green leaves, although overall this is the definition of a dry, green scent (but note I have never smelt Vent Vert...). There are better chypres than this out there, but I am glad I have this in my collection. It's a fine scent for daytime, whether for work or weekends when you want to feel brisk and no nonsense.
06th April, 2013 (last edited: 20th November, 2013)

Lalique Le Parfum by Lalique

Interesting. Starts out with a minty-basil note, then the sweet and heavy vanilla-balsam notes kick in. I agree that there's a distinct nutty-biscotti note to this, too: so much so that it calls to mind Parfumerie Generale's Praline de Santal, which I find too dry and cloying. Fortunately for me the nutty note is tempered by the florals, which are subtle but just present enough to lift this out of gourmand territory. The bottle and packaging as a whole is very nicely done, too. Am pleased with this bosomy oriental.
11th March, 2013

Lily & Spice by Penhaligon's

I just love and adore this, plain and simple. I can't analyse it or proselytise about it, it just had me at 'hello'. I hate the idea of having to state which scent I'd save in a fire, or take to a desert island with me, but this would probably be it. It's as though I didn't choose it - it chose me. I think it's been discontinued!! :-(
17th February, 2013

Fidji by Guy Laroche

This really took me back to my childhood in the '70's - I don't think my mum wore it, it must just have been very popular in general. It calls to mind the scent of lipstick and face powder and is comforting to me. I agree with other reviewers who mention L'Air du Temps - this is a similarly romantic, powdery floral. It's quite dense - a little bosomy and suffocating, in the way that hyacinths and oriental lilies and paperwhites can be. I enjoy this, but need to use a light hand when applying it.
16th February, 2013

Salvador Dali by Salvador Dali

This review is for the deep brown juice in the clear, frosted lips bottle.

This is a wonderful deep, rich, balsamic-animalic scent that smells vintage - as in 1900-1940. Calls to mind Toujours Moi, Youth Dew, Kiehl's Musk, and there's even a faint resemblance to My Sin. I think Dali, and his surrealist-couturier friend Elsa Schiaparelli, would approve :-)
14th February, 2013

Incense Rosé by Tauer

Full-on, medicinal-smelling frankincense with a teeny bit of rose. It reminds me of Penhaligon's Elixir which I gave to a friend as I can't shake the feeling I'm being de-loused or something when I wear a frankincence that's as strong as is it in these two scents. I think I could make a facsimile of this at home by simply adding a few drops of frankincense essential oil and a drop of rose to my bath. Not for me at all.
22nd October, 2012

Gaïac by Martine Micallef

Gorgeous - a slightly spicy, warm, smooth woody scent with plenty of vanilla. This is definitely unisex, and I wouldn't have been surprised had it been marketed as a feminine fragrance. The jasmine gives it just a little lift and extra interest. Very, very good.
16th October, 2012

Carillon pour un Ange by Tauer

First impressions: This does not smell like lily of the valley/muguet. It's a powdery linden/mimosa-like scent with a dusting of pollen. A little like a modern take on Caron's Farnesiana I like it, but it would be a scent I'd wear for my own pleasure on introspective days when I want a comforting, sentimental scent. I wouldn't want to waft this around on a crowded train, as the pollen/honey aspect has the teeniest urinic aspect, as does Lutens' Miel de Bois.
10th October, 2012

Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal

This starts like a rich vanilla ice cream with a hint of coconut ice. It's a little too cloying for me at this stage. It dries to a woodier vanilla which I like very much, but it wears too close to the skin for me to be tempted to buy a full bottle.
09th October, 2012

Vaniglia del Madagascar by Farmacia SS. Annunziata

Heavenly. The lemon in this is subtle and comes across as a little wisp of incense on a sumptuous vanilla. I disliked vanilla for a long time after memories of a cheap Body Shop version when I was in my teens, but now that Autumn 2012 has hit its stride I've found myself craving a good vanilla perfume. This is my "chosen one" having sampled about 10 different vanillas from LuckyScent (Vanille Insensee, Vanille Absolument, Vanille Exquise, Vanille Marine, Fleur de Comores, Les Nombres D'Or Vanille, Silk, etc. etc.) A full bottle is on its way to me as I write. I'm going to try layering it with an incense like Encens Flamboyant. Can't wait :-)
06th October, 2012

What We Do In Paris Is Secret by A Lab on Fire

Lovely floral gourmand scent, which is a more understated variation on Loukhoum by Keiko Mecheri - more cakey, less rosy. The name of this fragrance is cleverly evocative. But (and I never comment on this) I'm disappointed with the staying power. For this kind of money, I expect a fragrance to last.
05th October, 2012 (last edited: 09th October, 2012)

Amour de Cacao by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

I own Serendipitous but actually prefer this - it's more cocoa less candy floss than Serendipitous. A straightforward chocolate gourmand. Does what it says on the tin.
04th October, 2012

Soavissima by Profumum

YEP, I agree with the previous two commenters: this begins lke a posh herbal shampoo and dries to powdered Barbie doll. Doesn't have much projection. I've nothing against sweet, powdery scents, but this would not be my fragrance of choice in that genre.
04th October, 2012

Loukhoum by Keiko Mecheri

Didn't like this at all when I first tried it, but now on a cold Autumn day I have really enjoyed its soft, sweet, comforting quality. This is a scent I would wear for me rather than to please others - it's a soft rose with icing sugar and vanilla, and a slightly musty effect which I guess is the hawthorn? It's in the same powdery-gourmand vein as pc02, but this is less 'high pitched' and more introspective. It won't be everyone's cup of chai, but my opinion of it has changed dramatically. I suppose you've just got to be in the right mood!
03rd October, 2012 (last edited: 08th April, 2013)

1873 Colette by Histoires de Parfums

Luckyscent describe this as light white flowers and citrus, lemon tart and meringue. On my skin this smells sour and really unpleasant.
03rd October, 2012

Eau de Santal by Floris

Too masculine for me to wear, but I love this on my boyfriend: a classic pairing of vanilla and lavender, a male version of Patou's classic feminine, Moment Supreme.
01st October, 2012

Vanille Absolument / Havana Vanille by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Simply do not understand this - it smells like stale water that's had mouldy cardboard sitting in it. Really unpleasant on my skin. Zero stars.
28th September, 2012 (last edited: 10th October, 2012)