Reviews by Agent Betty

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    Vie de Chateau by Parfums de Nicolaï

    Dry herby-leathery top notes burn off into buttery hay and tobacco notes. I do get an odd something that I was able to place as banana after another reviewer mentioned it. Vie de Chateau has a good longevity: I can catch whiffs of this on myself for hours after applying.

    27 May, 2010

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    Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf

    I was initially ambivilent about this frag, and rather rolled my eyes at the sugary fluffy opening notes (bergamot and tea, I think not) which in my opinion since Angel have been overdone, and are a tad childish.

    However, FB dries down to a lovely rosy patchouli that I am quite keen on, and because of this, find myself testing and re-testing it. It eases into something warm and comforting, yet sophisticated. The sillage is good but not offensive, and I think it can be worn day or night.

    20th May, 2010

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    Monyette Paris by Monyette Paris

    This is a big hot gardenia coconut embrace. I do get the "suntan oil" nuance, but unlike some people rather like that easy-going casual note. However, for that reason, Monyette may not work for you ladies looking for a more sophisticated office frag.

    I've been trying the perfume version, and it's very strong. I can smell one spritz for a good 5+ hours, which makes this rather economical splurge. I can imagine that an overapplication would not be fun, for the wearer or for the wearer's immediate neighbours.

    I'm look forward to trying its greener sister, Kai.

    20th May, 2010

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    10 Corso Como by 10 Corso Como

    I loved this, but then I can't get enough of sandalwood and rose whether they be alone, featured in other frags, or happily merged together.

    10 Corso Como didn't change too much on my skin after the first 20 mintues, just stayed a cuddly warm dry rosy sandalwood. However, the incense occasionally peeks out, as does the clean medicinal halo of what I guess is the agarwood.

    Lovely! But hard to find. Anyone know who carries this in Canada?

    19 May, 2010

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    Clean Ultimate by Clean

    Rather aggressive freshness! One may be inclined to wonder what this smell is trying to cover.

    Methinks you could get the same effect by using extra fabric softener in the laundry. I don't mind this frag, but my boyfriend detected something unpleasantly solvent in it. I'd recommend wearing it with caution -- many people have sensitivities to the smell of fabric softener. Anyway, ultimately, there's nothing too special about Clean Ultimate.

    19 May, 2010

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    Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

    After the metallic wood top notes burn off, I've got to say, this is the scent I wish I smelled like naturally. It's absolutely sunshine in a bottle.

    I love fig, but I have to say, I don't know if I smell too much of it in here. I get a bit of lavender and rosemary, something like fresh dry hay, and clean earthy warmness.

    Sadly, as other reviewers have mentioned, this wears so extremely close to the skin its nearly non-existent. Even if you spray it on hair and clothes, it wears away much too quickly. I'd love to know if anyone knows of any similar frags to this, or knows how to make scent linger. This is almost my HG. It really is incredible, while it lasts.

    19 May, 2010

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    Rush by Gucci

    This is definitely a one-dimensional frag: loud Gardenia, heavy musk and a dry patchouli dominate. I tried it at a tester counter while out at an appointment, seduced by Luca Turin's positive review. I initially liked Rush's creaminess, but as time wore on, it just got too sexy, too cloying. Obsession's younger bossier sister.

    This is a time and place scent. I think the time is 2am, and the place would be a high class meatmarket-type venue. I felt I had to scrub this off before going into the office, and I work in a very casual, open-minded environment.

    19 May, 2010

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    Eloge du Traitre by Etat Libre d'Orange

    This also reminded me of Yatagan at first, but Eloge du Traitre is fresher, cleaner, earthier. I love the way the jasmine plays with the leather. I get a bit of a sweet heady mint too, which gives the patchouli a sharp clean I really like.

    05 May, 2010

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    Juste un Rêve by Parfums de Nicolaï

    This started out on me green too, with rose and coconut. About 20 minutes later it turned into a lovely creamy floral, and I don't even really like florals (I got this in a sampler). It's got something of a Guerlain gourmand feel to it -- an exquisitely good thing as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, two hours later, it was completely gone.

    22 April, 2010

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    Mugler Cologne by Thierry Mugler

    This went on me slightly citrusy, but in half an hour mellowed into something clean and sexy yet inconspicuous. I have a bar of French soap someone brought from Europe for me that smells like this -- I wonder if it was the inspiration? Anyway, I was worried MC wouldn't last long, as it's an EDT cologne, but the lasting power was very good. I could even smell a trace of it after I had a shower. I think this is definitely something I'm going to want a FB of! It's fresh and sexy, like clean skin but better.

    10th April, 2010

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    Néonatura - Cocoon by Yves Rocher

    Dislike! I bought this one blind because I was sure I'd like it. I love incense, woody-spice, tobacco, and everything that was supposed to be in Cocoon, but it really only got dollar store incense. It was strongly synthetic smelling, but I couldn't even smell it on myself after ten minutes. A friend could, though, and she gave it a thumbs-down too. Pity I bought a FB. It's true what they say: Try before you buy!

    09 April, 2010

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    Felanilla 21 by Parfumerie Generale

    I'm getting the vanilla and banana, but no iris. I think I heard there was hay in this, but I don't get that. The vanilla goes a bit rummy on me, not in a terribly offensive way, but not really the overall scent I was hoping for. It's nice, and I'm glad I got a sample of it, but won't need a FB.

    07 April, 2010

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    Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

    Beachy, fruity. I get a nice touch of lime, but too much of an overly-sweet pineapple in there for me. Would be nice on a young metrosexual man, I think (I'm a grown-up woman).

    07 April, 2010

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    Gris Clair by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I'm sure I look like an idiot when I wear this, with my wrists pressed up against my face and a big dopey grin on my face. I can't help it. It's so darn fresh and warm and comforting. For me, it's the olfactory equivalent of that baking bread smell.

    Big lavender, and sweet woodsy smoke.

    07 April, 2010

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Chergui is simply incredible. I'm a relatively new perfumista - if I'm even allowed to call myself that yet - but have been learning a lot. Until a few months ago I didn't even know who Serge Lutens was! And it just kills me that I walked by the Paris store dozens of times in 2007. Gah!

    Anyway, for years, I'd been half-heartedly trying to replace a discontinued HG fragrance (Organza Indecence; I'd probably outgrown it anyway), randomly sniffing bottles at Sephora, and by sheer lucky chance stumbled across Chergui. They don't even carry this at most Sephoras -- it really was my lucky day. Though my wallet may digress.

    It's a fantastic mash-up of hay and spice, leather and sunshine; it makes me feel interesting and mysterious every time I wear it. I absolutely adore it. I want to eat it for breakfast. I want to bathe in it. It's art.

    07 April, 2010

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    Yatagan by Caron

    What a weird interesting blend! I've been wearing it for about two hours, and I'm getting a lot of celery and leather. Really neat stuff. I may have spritzed it on overly cautiously, though, as I'm not getting enough of the scent as I'd like. I'm going to have to try this one again.

    07 April, 2010

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    Shalimar by Guerlain

    This is just a gorgeous sweet, smoky, warm fragrance. I wear it often. I only wish it lasted longer -- maybe four hours on me.

    07 April, 2010

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    Givenchy III by Givenchy

    I loved the first brief top notes of this, all aldehyde and bubbling freshness. It reminded me of Chanel 5. After a few minutes, though, I get a dirty-sweet aggressive flower, that I'm not sure I like. I do get bergamot, but not enough for my liking. Poor longevity on me.

    I tried the re-issue, which the salesgirl insisted was the same as the original EDP, but I don't believe her. They changed the Indecence with the Mythic re-release too.

    07 April, 2010

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    Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

    A bit manly on me; I'm surprised to see a few comments that this is "definitely a woman's frag". I find it dry, cinnamon-y, smoky, woody, with a bit of new band-aid. I like it, but think I'll like it better in the fall.

    07 April, 2010

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    My body chemistry has changed a lot. This used to smell shrill and sour to me, but I tried it a few weeks ago, and my head almost exploded trying to comprehend its beauty. Fresh, effervescent, a sun-bleached clean. I'm still getting over how good this stuff is. I get the "classic" thing now, oh yes.

    I see a few reviews complaining that the fragrance is such an institution that it wears them, and I can see that point of view. But Chanel 5, baby, you can wear me anytime.

    07 April, 2010

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    Tabac Blond by Caron

    Luca Turin calls Tabac Blond “dykey and angular and dark and totally unpresentable," and though I'm not any of those things, I agree with the statement. I wear this when I want to feel sexy and tough and confident. I wish it weren't so gosh-darned expensive! I'd really like to wear it more often. It's liquid courage without the hangover. Wears close on me, with massive sillage. Love this stuff.

    07 April, 2010

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    Narcisse Noir by Caron

    I was excited to try this, but sadly, it brought my bile up. It was thick with indoles, sickly sweet, and so over-bearing that I had to hold my wrist away from myself until I could wash it off. And I barely put half-a spritz on! This stuff is strong, strong, strong.

    07 April, 2010

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