Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Larimar

Total Reviews: 82

Patou Pour Homme (new) by Jean Patou

A initial vibe of old times' masculine EdTs gives room to a sweet patchouli mainly. It is pleasant, but (too) little ambitious. Not worth the price tag!
05th April, 2014

Jasmin by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

I really don't get the negative reviews here. Ubuandibeme's review is really spot-on in my opinion, in particular when it comes to the sweet side of jasmine being rendered drier, slightly more frugal. Jasmin is all I want on a hot, sultry summer night out in the garden. It's heady, intoxicating and smells very natural, rather straight-up jasmine to me. Perfect! I have not smelled a better jasmine soliflore to be honest.
07th March, 2014

Laine de Verre by Serge Lutens

Screechy, sharp - simply not good! I had to wash it off.
07th March, 2014
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Séville à l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Orange blossom and benzoin as main stars never work in my opinion. It's too oppressive and sweet. Apart from this leitmotif, there is nothing extraordinary in this composition. I would have wished for much less sweetness, more incense, more smoke, more dirt. For heaven's sake, if I made love under an Andalusian orange tree, it involves sweat, dirt, smoke and heat. 'Uninspired' is the word that comes to my mind.
12th February, 2013

Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Interesting, intriguing concept (incencse with lily), but sugar overkill with white musk instead is all I get. What a sweet mess! If the sugary sweetness was to represent hell here...
12th February, 2013

Douce Amère by Serge Lutens

I can't believe it, but I must admit there was yet another love hiding among the old Export line-up for me. It must have always escaped my attention or was just in the process of disappearing as it is now a Paris Exclusive.
This is a soft-spoken, oriental, anisic, bittersweet vanilla goodness. I adore it. It is very comforting, soothing and can be a rather intriguing scent, too, depending on the situation. I find that sillage is not noticeably better with spraying vs. splashing. It will always remain a quiet but long lingering perfume on me.
I am so lucky I found some bottles of the old Export design at my local store as Douce Amere was not selling well at all here. The wax sample of the Paris Exclusive smells to my nose more of wormwood than anise, so I will have to test it on skin when I am in Paris in a couple of months.
A splendid fragrance, despite its odd position in the old Serge Lutens line-up, where, obviously, it was bound to fail (being too peculiar for a broader market). One of the best!
25th January, 2013 (last edited: 22nd February, 2013)

Tawaf by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Disgusting! My first thought was this smelled like a sink where chlorine was poured down to clean it up. Reading the notes list now, I have to say I love jasmine and opoponax in particular big time, but not that anything stood out to me. The drydown revealed an animalic base, the sweetish wee-wees civet base I so strongly dislike. I'll stick to the art of French Haute Parfumerie for as long as it survives.
19th December, 2012

Lasso by Jean Patou

This is a very Patou-ish perfume. I always feel the great, long discontinued house classics share 80 or more percent of their perfumed DNA, so knowing one or two is a bit like knowing them all. This is a bit exaggerated, of course. However, they all share a very unique and prominent soapiness. Here we have another variation on the vintage Mitsouko theme, of which the house has more on offer. The biggest achievement here in my opinion is the seamless incorporation of improper amounts of animalics which come across as totally well-behaved and 'nice 'n' sweet'. The base is very warm in feel, Patou-style chypre with some lovely leathery animalic facets. One of the best from the old house of Patou!
15th December, 2012

Nuit de Cellophane by Serge Lutens

True story!
Shortly after this came out, I went perfume sniffing for lunch break in downtown Vienna with a working colleague. We ended up with a sample of Nuit de Cellophane somehow. Back at the office, we both spritzed it on our wrists and nearly choked so offensive and loud it was. We had a good laugh and opened the windows, when she had the idea to keep the sample (I would have trashed it.) and use it as a 'weapon' when appropriate. I remember weeks later she had a meeting with a much hated superior and she later told me that she had spritzed all that was left (the majority) in the sample atomizer prior to the meeting and her 'poor victim' coughed and obviously felt uncomfortable the whole time. She was a real lady in appearance and gesture - she could do such a thing! :-)
03rd September, 2012

Véga by Guerlain

I fell hard for the re-issued VEGA when I smelled it at La Maison in Paris and bought it on the spot. I for myself don't see the often quoted similarity to Chanel No. 5 or Arpege either. Much more it is Vega's ylang-ylang predominance on my skin that reminds me of Chanel's Cuir de Russie Parfum or Bois des Iles. The aldehydes here are 'warm' vs. the 'cold' variety of so many Chanel's and Guerlain's own Liu (vintage extrait). Vega is certainly soapy (the aldehydes), but even on a skin that brings the soapiness to the foreground, it pulls back after about half an hour. The initial ylang-ylang 'blast' really leaves a leathery impression on my skin (it's been commented by others). Longevity for Vega is average at best. Sometimes I perceive the faint vanilla-ish smell for a long time and at times Vega seems to disappear before the Guerlinade takes over. Vega is fantastic, very classic and fits the 1930s smoky jazz club image just right...
21st June, 2012

Parure by Guerlain

I had read that Parure Extrait was starring a richer plum note than the EdT. However, I did not find this to be the case. Both my Extrait and the EdT are old stock (peachy color - not yellow) as Parure is said to be reformulated and thinned before its eventual discontinuation (it was only the EdT that survived longer). Having said that, I think the top notes of my Extrait are partly ruined (for the first 20 minutes), before a big dark rose takes over dramatically. Parure does remind me of the old vintage Nahema Extrait, which comes as no big surprise given the timing and the fact that Jean Paul Guerlain is both their creator. It is an absolutely stunning creation (it is so dark and brooding), so dense and complex smelling that I like to think of it as the 'Caron among the Guerlains'. I can see the often quoted reference of Parure being Mitsouko with plum instead of peach as well. However, I find Parure is much more a dark rose chypré than a fruity chypré.
A few additional observations:
- the 'leather note' is woven into the complex dark rose accord with oakmoss instead of an own note to my nose.
- it's been said but true that the EdT and Extrait do not differ greatly in the overall picture. The Extrait features a big dramatic rose, which the EdT lacks to a great extent. On the other hand, this makes the EdT even more obviously chypré in comparison, also dryer and slightly more frugal and hence more straight-forward chypré (if I make sense or express myself clearly enough).
- Longevity is very good, although this refers mainly to a naturally very long drawn oakmoss final. The progression time from top through Parure main heart accord is not even two hours (EdT) resp. three hours (Extrait), before the oakmoss drydown is the sole dominant player.
- Parure is impossibly vintage and dated smelling (it's well a compliment, but a fact, too) no matter how
well preserved or fresh your jus is. I think Parure is an absolute stunner when smelled outdoors - picture sunshine, fresh crisp spring air and the smell of nature's green returning after a long and harsh winter. Parure resembles both the dark and heavy side as well as the fresh, bright new life (the dark winter season finally making room for spring).
Parure is an absolute treasure, a gem of times bygone and a very typical Guerlain, too, although very complex and dense (which prompted my Caron comparison) as such! As a chypré, I might find Parure better contrasted and therefore more interesting and appealing than Mitsouko. Still, albeit a totally different fragrance in nature, my favorite Guerlain chypré is Sous le Vent.
A truly breathtaking perfume to experience!
08th March, 2012

Sous Le Vent by Guerlain

Why do I love Sous le Vent when I can't do most (vintage) green chyprés?
In a one-liner I would describe Sous le Vent as a powdery aromatic chypré.

The opening accord of Sous le Vent consisting of green notes (galbanum, citrus) and herbs, mostly
tarragon to my perception, creates a lime-like accord as drseid pointed out in his review, which is juicy, zesty like the lime in tropical longdrinks/cocktails.
Everything is gorgeously balanced in Sous le Vent, the refreshing, reviving aromatic citric opening accord (after all, according to history this was meant to refresh Josephine Baker after her legendary performances), the powdery woods and notes of undergrowth (official notes list) and last but not least a perfect chypré accord to my nose with a naughty hint well hidden underneath. I would expect this to bloom more in summer.
Sous le Vent is soon a skin scent, not at all surprisingly being a traditional chypré, but very longlived for an EdT with oakmoss fading out eventually.
I have found many different perfume associations for Sous le Vent. What came first to my mind is the green note in the heart that clearly reminded me of the green in the current Vol de Nuit Extrait. Diaghilev by Roja Dove (another superb contemporary chypré) makes an appearance once the woody facet is most prominent. Eau de Guerlain and its citric opening blast is not far either.
One last word about the concentration - I think the airy character, like a breeze, the refreshing quality is retained best in the EdT concentration, however much I like to wear extraits in general.
Sous le Vent is as per January 2012 still part of Guerlain's product range and not yet discontinued. However, I am not hopeful for this interesting and sophisticated composition's future. Get it NOW!
05th February, 2012

Diaghilev by Roja Dove

This is hands down one of the very very best contemporary chyprés available! It's created by one of the greatest parfumeurs today that brought us Unspoken, another chypré from his initial trilogy, which is THE reference for an outstanding and unforgettable labdanum drydown. Diaghilev was created as a limited edition and is now (January 2012) available as a refill only from Roja Dove directly. I do hope this will be available in his regular line for good!
Thinking of another contemporary chypré that could rival Diaghilev's pole position, I would have to come up with Jean-Paul Guerlain's re-edition of Sous le Vent. If Mitsouko would want to compete here as well, she would have to come in the extrait form.
The more I have worn Diaghilev, the better I can see the link to Mitsouko. The lemon and orange accord is so fruity that it really does evoke Mitsouko's plush peach (in the extrait). The chypré accord is clearly influenced to my nose by a patchouli treated the way only Roja Dove seems to manage (I have noticed this before).
Sillage is good and comfortable initially and only gradually decreasing to classic chypré level (which is usually more of a skin scent) with very good longevity making this a daylong love affair.
It's been praised many times on the web, but let me assure you - it is true! Diaghilev is a superb fragrance. Lovers of (fruity) chyprés simply should not miss this one!
25th January, 2012
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Cuir Fétiche by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

I'm totally excited about Cuir Fetiche EdP! If this is meant to be a comeback for Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier - WELCOME BACK and Congratulations!
I tried it on a paper strip and my skin. I feel there are quite some elements this shares with Knize Ten - blended seaminglessly, more refined and more 'unisex' in its overall vibe. The heart clearly brings the leather and ylang-ylang to the center (think soft Knize Ten with Cuir de Russie Parfum). There's definitely an animalic hint lurking in the background, a naughty touch (ylang-ylang). The drydown is familiar MPG territory. The patchouli is still tolerable for me at this amount. Up close the musk in the drydown is of the synthetic kind I am not too fond of, if I focus on it specifically.
Leather is a note I have seen so many times claimed in a composition, yet so very rarely seen done right (a real leather note!) - Cuir Fetiche does it right - very right, in fact!
Do sample it and find out yourself! I think my vote for best release 2011 goes to MPG!
16th December, 2011

Scandal by Lanvin

Somehow I haven't dared to write a review for my holy grail LEATHER (a cuir-de-russie to be precise). This is Scandal for me, no doubt! It was also one of the very first vintage extraits I hoarded (they somehow seemed to float my way naturally as this is normally extremely hard to come by) and finally stayed after I had a fair part of my vintage stuff traded away again. Scandal is to stay... over the time, I managed to procure a really old, what looks like wartime 1930/40s 'economy' packaging bottle, still sealed and wrapped in its paper with very little evaporation as well as several tester bottles from a tester set for the Lanvin classics what could be 1950s (I'm guessing) and finally fairly new ones, possibly before its discontinuation in the late 1960s / early 1970s.
The WWII Scandal is extremely smoky and animalic leathery, yet smooth, rich and luxurious on skin. Cuir-de-russie leathers are sort of by definition skin scents. It clearly evokes images of smoky bars, fur coats, alcohol (liquors) and worn leather, heavily used leather seats etc. How you achieve smoothness, richness and glamour in this composition is probably the biggest asset of the old Scandal. Of course, an extrait this old will not or hardly present the floral notes as they were originally, no matter how well preserved it is (sealed, wrapped in original paper and very little evaporation).
Naturally, the newer Scandal is clearly more floral (jasmine is a big player). The smoothness and richness is present, it is just the overall vibe that is less butch, less animalic. My guess is that both factors come in here... age - the animalic components are enforced in the very old jus, but still, I think that the 1940s jus could be more 'scandalous' as life was simply dirtier and smellier in its time compared to the 1960/70s.
I think what distinguishes Scandal most from the vintage Cuir de Russie from Chanel is a certain 'warmth' and 'richness'. There is no other like Scandal and I will treasure it dearly...
14th December, 2011

Jersey Eau de Toilette by Chanel

This is a total goof-up on skin, but smelled deceptively 'right' or promising on paper. A sickly sweet and disgusting lavender (I like lavender done right.)! On the bonus side, this can quickly be washed off as longevity is very modest as with most Les Exclusifs. DEFINITELY try on your skin before you buy!
12th December, 2011

French Cancan by Caron

I have read that this was discontinued and re-introduced again about ten years ago. I don't find Cancan to be a hugely original perfume in today's formulation. To my nose this comes across as a mix of Pois de Senteur (the talced floral accord with a clearly detectable muguet) and Alpona. Sillage is rather strong initially and it smells undoubtedly very 'Caron' to me. What bothers me in its base is most likely the violet and I am almost certain what is patchouli here. It's more wearable than Alpona for my taste, but it is not original. Most of all, it is nowhere near the class and finesse of Pois de Senteur.
24th November, 2011

Rubj Parfum Extrait by Vero Profumo

Rubj Extrait:
Maybe I could say I like this best or find it most enjoyable to wear myself from the Vero Kern trio (Extraits). The mentholated cool vibe along with the tuberose and orange blossom (these two are most prominent to my nose) together with a 'clean aura', as Sugandaraja has referred to it so well, make for tricky territory in my book. The orange blossom by times feels waxy, almost artificial and body product associations are nearly inevitable for me. I think this is the best balanced composition of the trio, but would have wished for a more interesting base bringing a bit of a turn to the whole story. Nice, but not enough at this steep price!
22nd November, 2011

Kiki Parfum Extrait by Vero Profumo

Kiki Extrait:
The mentholated house note is present in all Vero Kern compositions. Here the sweet lavender comes out of the gate and is cloying and slightly disgusting straight away. The balance does not change through its moderate progression time. For a sweet gourmandish lavender, see Serge Lutens' Fourreau Noir, which is far better and again, more balanced. This is not terrible, but not enjoyable either.
22nd November, 2011

Onda Parfum Extrait by Vero Profumo

Onda Extrait:
I admit the opening is great, the treatment of vetiver most likely splendid and nearly unrivalled, but still, I have a few reservations to make. The mentholated character is getting slightly annoying for my own taste as it does not go away, neither does the smokiness (yes, log fire in a cabin is a very apt association) and neither does the composition 'mellow out' in the drydown. Surprisingly, I find Onda more related to Guerlain's Cuir de Russie (than Djedi), when I had a chance to experience this from a sample that seems fantastically preserved given the jus' age. Cuir de Russie however made immediately clear to me that Onda lacks some counter-balance in its composition... basenotes that gradually introduce themselves and mellow the fragrance for instance. Overall, I am lukewarm. I can see its qualities and achievements, but feel the compositions lacks balance and 'charm'. Maybe too much of a study instead of a perfume to enjoy and allure?
22nd November, 2011

Crescendo by Lanvin

Don't expect to find another gem of Lanvin's great classics here! It is clearly detectable that it does not share the splendid (animalic) Lanvin base of the 1920/30s classics. It is carnation all through, which eventually is surprisingly short-lived. In a nutshell, it is nothing special... carnation has been done better (e.g. Caron). Do not make a huge effort hunting it down!
20th October, 2011

Cuir by Lancôme

It escapes me totally what makes this worth the hype it gets here. This is neither a refined notes blend to create a leather scent, nor is it particularly good for what it could be on its own. Sharp, cheap smelling and soon disgusting to live with!
20th October, 2011

Jardin du Nil by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

My favorite MPG fragrance! The whole composition (in particular the rose geranium in this 'unclean' surroundings does it) smells sort of vintage to me. I absolutely agree with my fellow reviewers about the 'dirty' vibe. It is a haunting, dark (in mood) and daring perfume that contradicts the 'cleanliness frenzy' today. Fantastic!
My review is for a vintage bottle (3 oz.), so I can't comment whether the current is still the same.
13th October, 2011

Impact Pour un Homme by Caron

If you like Pour Un Homme and its slightly caramelized lavender drydown you are spot-on here... I have planned to wear this in combination with the regular splash EdT to amp the quiet drydown a bit up. It certainly will do the job. Exactly the same drydown, but fuller yet elegantly redux like an extrait should wear! A fantastic addition to the great classic!
13th September, 2011

Tubéreuse by Caron

I agree very much with cutypi by saying Caron's Tubereuse was like Haute Couture! I think this is very true for its style and mood.
Sugandaraja has done a formidable review on this, so I only add a few impressions.
Tubereuse starts off like a fresh, green, almost slightly mentholated and redux tuberose. This is perfectly alright for me, who has troubles with tuberose as a note that usually is in your face, so to say.
I absolutely love the slightly smoky, musky facet that is noticeable from one hour into your wearing onwards. There is only a hint of the buttery aspect of tuberose in this Richard Fraysse creation. If violet leaf is in here for the sharper edges, I can't detect it and it is used extremely cleverly. My guess is that geranium is a significant helper here, which would help to explain the fresh, almost mentholated edge mentioned before. Sillage is rather redux after 2-3 hours leaving a very discreet fresh but not cold vibe. I think Tubereuse is one of the creations with the most masterfully achieved balance between obvious contradictory notes. The result is a highly sophisticated, elegant and stylish (haute couture) fragrance that is further proof of Fraysse's good work at Caron.
11th September, 2011

Tabu by Dana

Tabu, vintage extrait (came in 1/4 oz. screw top bottle, lovely presentation, no 

This puts a bright smile on my face! So, picture this scene:

Woman in her early 40s, truly a full-blooded woman with all the right curves and sex-appeal, has 
lived the highs and lows of love and sex life, always taken good care of her appearance, facial 
skin and expression are soft. She's got taste - not the big splendor or the maxime in elegance, 
but it fits her, her personality and her budget. Now, she is to meet a young man in his end 20s, handsome, thin guy, the type of worrier and thinker, maybe with little experience in his life so far.
They meet and he gets intoxicated by her very present perfume, sweet, alluring, haunting, sexy 
and slightly dirty. Most important, it fits her style and is in harmony with her gesture and expression. The intentions are clear... 
When you wear Tabu in its vintage extrait form, I think the message is rather 'agressively sexy'... 
let's have a little talk, we both have our wit and brains, but sleep with me afterwards. 
The talking continues, laughing together and she knows very well to play the right cards at the right moment - seduction by a full-blooded woman! A thin line towards ridicule, if not played masterfully by the right woman. 
The evening turns to night and her perfume is getting sweeter, honeyed and slightly spicy. The looks thrown to each other get deeper, playful and the aura around the two is heated, the outside world fades and their looks focus on each other's eyes, attention turns to alertness and every move and facial muscle contracting is noticed. 
No more words need to be spoken and the rest if the story is up to your imagination...  
That's Tabu!
Its effect is masterful and timeless, an indepth analysis otiose! 
03rd September, 2011

Or et Noir by Caron

Another great Caron classic that gets very little attention! The comparison with Malle's Une Rose is valid and definitely recommendable to explore for yourself. I find that Or et Noir is superior, a more harmonious and better balanced composition that excels, like a grand extrait should, in the base. Or et Noir opens with big sillage with a very authentic deep velvety red rose. 1-2 hours into the wearing I can more clearly detect (rose) geranium as a note. From a confectionary point of view, I agree it gradually develops from yummy Turkish delight (don't be afraid, it is not too sweet!) to the most equisite marron glacé, which is an absolutely delicious shift. 2-3 hours into the wearing the sillage is comfortable and more redux compared to the opening. Surprisingly, longevity is fine, but not exceptional like N'aimez que moi's (which remains discreet throughout its development).
Or et Noir is rumored to be discontinued in the nearer future, which is neither confirmed nor denied by Caron at the moment (August 2011). I would strongly recommend to sample this in connection with N'aimez que moi as both play on different facets individually but remaining strongly related. Rose, another fountain extrait, IMO the least interesting of the three, is discontinued now, but some bottles are still available in Paris.
Or et Noir makes a superb, classy and grand evening wear and would be an incredible loss if lost
eventually. This is IMO the queen of rose parfums, which has obviously fallen out of favor in recent years with ever changing preferences on the market. Get it while you can!
28th August, 2011

Rose by Caron

Get me right here... this smells good, of quality and worthy of Caron and its fountain extraits. I am also sorry when a classic that has been around for decades is bound to disappear eventually. Yes, Rose is according to the Paris, Boutique Montaigne discontinued. It was also removed from their website. I know that they still have some bottles at the Montaigne Boutique (August 2011), if you want to stock up on it.
I think this is not unique and outstanding enough next to N'aimez que moi or Or et Noir. Losing rose means to lose components that are there in both the other fountain extraits. Rose is fairly pretty and and next to Acaciosa one of the fountain extraits for girlies at heart.
20th August, 2011

Acaciosa by Caron

I agree with so many things said here by the previous reviewers. First of all, I can smell the pineapple clearly as a note at times. To my perception, Acaciosa is mostly that special candied jasmine that many have described as Caron's type of jasmine (contrary to indolic... I'm more on the dirty side with my taste) with pineapple and maybe the ylang-ylang being a big helper here as well.
I agree very much with BayKAT with regard to the mood. This is bright, sweet, fruity... like an escape to a tropical island. It lifts your mood and is simply fun to wear.
I also agree with Mimi Gardenia and I can see that Joy vibe in Acaciosa as well.
In a nutshell, Acaciosa is a high quality fountain extrait from Caron, linear in progression, very fruity, bright, very sweet (too much for myself), thick ( yes, honeyed, is a good word here, too.).
The drydown, some hours into your wearing, reveals what Acaciosa was meant to be... a variation of the preceding Pois de Senteur Chez Moi. They even shared the bottle design in their original presentation.
Maybe spot-on for a grey, wet and cold winter day, where nothing seems more tempting than a tropical island and exotic drinks served under a palm tree. Order a Piña Colada and dab yourself with Acaciosa!
18th August, 2011

Pois de Senteur de Chez Moi by Caron

I think it would be easy to dimiss this as a sweet, musty floral and move on for mainly two reasons.
1. Pois de Senteur, a fountain extrait from the Caron boutique, is one of the densest, most complex fragrances or floral accords that I know. I can't help but being reminded in its opening distantly to Ubar. One reason for sure being the lily-the-valley note that is not too unprominent here. I think I would best describe it as 'talced florals' for the first three hours. I agree it has moderate sillage, but, however, this can be misleading as I find it projects quite a bit - not by loudness but a rather unique 'opaque' (yes, that's the dense feel I mean) and penetrating smell, softly and nicely but steadily. I could see this fill a room very quietly and gradually and nobody could actually pin it down and say 'who's wearing this nice perfume here?'.
BayKAT is very right here by mentioning the three hours' mark. In fact, it morphs into something extremely intoxicating, not too sweet, with the florals becoming slightly honeyed, with a generous help of an accord that surprised me was not opoponax (it's not in the notes list). I'm hard-pressed to say it comes across as almost a 'floriental' and resinous.
Pois de Senteur is extremely long lasting and can easily hit the 24 hours mark on my skin, which is not famous for giving too much grip for perfume in general.
This is a very beautiful experience, very unique in the world of perfumery, easy to wear with 'unisex' sweetness for the lovers of powdery florals that do not shout, because they are smelled through a layer of talc. There is something very true about the Caron admirers saying the Ernest Daltroff creations are ina league of their own, even among the Carons themselves.
Pois de Senteur is a vintage-feel masterpiece that is unrivalled in what it achieves and a very old-world extrait with an extremely slow development curve. Take your time and enjoy its subtle shifts! Apply enough extrait and dab instead of spray, which is an advice I stick to for all classic Caron fountain extraits. Celestial!
18th August, 2011