Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Iseult

Total Reviews: 7

Parisienne by Yves Saint Laurent

There are two things I hate in frangrance: rose and vanilla. Rose reminds me of old handkerchiefs that belong to old ladies attending Sunday mass. Vanilla reminds me of cookies. And cake.

Parisienne is a rose composition, but a blah! one. Unremarkable in every respect. Too much focus group testing, and an appeal to the lowest common denominator?

As well, there must be something about bases used by YSL, because they all burn off very quickly. And, on me, they turn rancid. Was it something I said?

06th November, 2011

Covet Sarah Jessica Parker by Sarah Jessica Parker

Tried this at the perfume counter several times before I bought a bottle. This one really grew on me.It took me a while to get the chocolate in the blend, but now I totally get it. Chocolate and green is a good idea.

Now, I think this is one of those fragrances that doesn't get enough credit.

The main problem with this one on me: no silage! They need to work on that. Too bad, but all I get from this fragrance is about 1 hour and then it's gone.

28th November, 2010

Quorum by Antonio Puig

The perfume Gods were smiling on me today: I got a 100 ml. bottle of this brew on sale at a ridiculously low price!

All I can say is: "Yes, yes, yes, YES!!!!" I felt like Sally Albright in the famous Carnegie deli scene in the film "When Harry Met Sally."

Takes no prisoners--you got that right. This reminds me of Un Homme, by Charles Jourdan (now discontinued), this was also another 80s fragrance, poo-poohed by many. What was so bad about the 80s--some of us lived through them? Un Homme is available on eBay by those entrepreneurs who are looking to increase their retirement fund....

If I ever meet a guy wearing this, I'll probably follow him home. Meantime, I'm going to wear this to Board meetings. Lookout, world!

07th August, 2010
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White Linen by Estée Lauder

I, too, got free samples of this stuff in the mid 1980s. This is the single most HORRID fragrance on the market today. It is hard to believe that the same people who brought us Youth Dew and Beautiful came up with this nasty brew!

WHAT were they thinking?

On me, this smells like Dettol (a disinfectant) and vinegar. It doen't even TURN rancid on me ... it STARTS out rancid. This is like sliding down a 40-foot razor blade into a pool of iodine. It hurts to even REMEMBER how this stuff smells. This is the olfactory equivalent of Howard Stern: offensive all the time, with no depth or nuance.

And here is the really weird thing: the citrus, orris, cedar, amber, and sandal are all notes I love. They are totally masked by those disgusting aldehydes.

Clearly, another example of a good idea, badly executed. The name is wonderful, though, conjuring up fresh and crisp laundry hanging on the line, or a newly-pressed white shirt on your skin in the heat of the afternoon.

Estee Lauder should take a crack at re-formulating this. White Linen needs softness and depth. With so many fragrances that are "dumbed down" or reformulated due to expensive or unavailable materials, this one urgenly needs a makeover. There's no where to go but up for this sad orphan in the Estee Lauder line.
18th July, 2010

Diorella by Christian Dior

If I were to be stranded on a desert island with only one scent, Diorella would be it. Whatever Dior paid Edmond Roudnitska, it wasn't nearly enough. The man is a GENIUS.

I'm on my third bottle; it will always be in my collection.

For me, Diorella is the perfume that perfected the olfactory category of floral-chypre that led to a bunch of wanna-bees. Even copy cats within Dior's own line: Doiressence (which I have owned and used up a very long time ago--not that memorable) and Diorissimo (which I have also owned--nothing special). Another copy-cat is Lancome's "O." I bought one bottle of that, used it up, and didn't think it was worth buying again.

Nothing equals Diorella. For me, this is Dior's "Chanel Number 5."

The lemon, melon, and oakmoss really stand out on my skin. Mercifully, the vanilla is so well blended that I cannot detect it at all (vanilla should be reserved for ice cream, fine Hungarian tortes, and Christmas cookies). It's green without going rancid. And it has huge staying power; I can get 5 to 6 hours from the EDT.

I get itchy for spring after long Canadian winters, and by late March, I'm reaching for the Diorella bottle which is like a breath of spring itself.

Of all the reviews I've read, the best single word that sums up Diorella is: "bohemian." It makes me want to go to Paris and stroll around with a baguette under one arm and a bottle of red wine in the other, while wearing a ballet-length circle skirt, a white peasant blouse, and strappy Roman sandals.

I wear this when I want to signal to the world: "Don't mess with me. You won't win."

It's a shame that Dior doesn't spend any money marketing older scents in its collection, that could be introduced to at least two generations of new consumers that continue to buy stuff named after actresses and pop music divas. Yikes!

16th July, 2010

My Passion - Hommage à Marlene Dietrich by Grès

I bought this one on the strength of the house Gres. According to the marketing literature, My Passion was composed to awake and accentuate the 'vamp' in each woman. OK, the drumroll....

TOP NOTES: Apple, Cinnamon, Lily of the Valley
MIDDLE NOTES: Orange Blossom
BASE NOTES: Amber, Vanilla, Musk

On me, this smells like dirty fruit, burnt brown sugar, and tobacco. It settles down after an hour and the amber and musk come through. Overall, this fails to deliver. Great idea, but bad execution.

My Passion, My Life, and My Dream are three perfumes from a collection launched in 2007 by the house of Gres in honour of Marlene Dietrich, one of the women that Madame Gres used to design for.

Interestingly, Marlene's favourite perfumes Bandit (woody-mossy, 1944) and Fracas (tuberose, 1948) both by Robert Piguet) and Joy (Jean Patou, 1930), according to scents NOT for the faint of heart. They take no prisoners! That's the Marlene I remember, because this sure is NOT it.
14th July, 2010

Poupée by Rochas

This is an anomaly in the Rochas line which is famous for "heavy, serious scents," no?

Poupee is a light, pure flowery scent. The orange blossom and jasmine are great, but the real kicker is the pineapple. I don't know of other scents with pineapple; it really works here. This fragrance makes me laugh!

I feel like wearing a dress with big polka dots, matching hat, and black patent mary-janes while wearing this. This is the belle of the ball's younger sister, who can hold her own and doesn't feel the need to wear the obligatory lampshade at 4 am to make the evening memorable. That would be crass. Definitely a fragrance for the young, but sophisticated. This is innocence with attittude.

One of the few flowery scents that does not turn on me (many do) or have that nasty baby powder dry-down. The other florals in my collection are: First, Nina Ricci, and Fidji. That's it for florals. I am not a big fan of this group, but I like Poupee a lot. Best for the summer, though.

Tigger, of Winnie the Pooh fame, said it best: "Bouncy, flouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun."

14th July, 2010