Reviews by teardrop

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    teardrop
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    Une Voix Noire by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    This one strikes me immediately as a darker version of Fracas, with a slightly unpleasant, petro-chemical opening. To me this is definitely tuberose, rather than gardenia, & l wonder if this is what Tubereuse Criminelle was supposed to smell like - l find that one far less potent than many other people seem to. Fifteen minutes in, the chemical note is overtaken by a boozy, stewed fruit-like sweetness, & the fragrance continues in this vein for several hours. l get the merest hint of smoky incense in the far drydown, but nowhere near as much as l'd hoped for. The projection is good, & it's still going softly after nine hours.
    For me this one is very disappointing, as l expected a smoky gardenia, but instead got a fruity, chemical tuberose. However if you love Tubereuse Criminelle but find it a little too subtle for you, this might be just what you need!

    04 April, 2014

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    Boutonnière No.7 by Arquiste

    This starts out as a crisp, green-white floral with a touch of citrus. A few minutes in, a big white floral accord emerges; there's definitely gardenia here, but also a little jasmine. For the first hour or two, it puts me in mind of a softer, more smooth-around-the-edges version of Jardenia or Tawaf, with a projection to rival both. After this, it becomes more of a warm & creamy, but clean gardenia, with none of the blue cheese or mushroom notes. The base is slightly mossy, & here it turns more green again, fading but still present after nine hours.
    There's no denying that this is a truly lovely gardenia fragrance. lt appears to be aimed at the masculine end of the market, but l find it absolutely feminine enough for me to wear. lt also reminds me, at a certain point in the drydown, of one of my very favourite spring florals, Un Matin d'Orage. l adore gardenia, & l'm very fussy about gardenia perfumes, having tried quite a few that missed the mark. This is one l would be delighted to find in my collection.

    04 April, 2014

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    Magical Moon by Hanae Mori

    This is a rich, opulent, full-bodied tropical oriental, in very much the same ballpark as Mahora. ln fact it's the only other fragrance in Mahora's ballpark, in my experience. l get tuberose, jasmine, coconut, vanilla, & a touch of fruity osmanthus, joined early on by creamy, lactonic woods, & later by a wisp of incense. lt's powerful, in an unapologetic, almost eighties fashion, for the first couple of hours. After this it becomes much softer, drying down to a base of clean musk & smooth sandalwood, fading after five hours.
    Despite its less than stellar longevity, this fragrance makes me smile. After trying a few lately that were really too subtle for me, this one almost made me laugh with joy for its lack of subtlety; this is perfume with a capital P!

    04 April, 2014

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    Beige by Chanel

    ln the vial, l get a strong whiff of springtime from the freesia note; on my skin, this is much less evident. After the aldehydes burn off, the fragrance settles into a very soft, white, slightly tropical floral. lt's hard to pick the floral notes apart, but if pressed, l'd say that the tropical feel must be coming from the frangipani note. l wait in anticipation for the hawthorn note that's meant to be here, as l love the smell of hawthorn or May blossom, as it's known in the English countryside. But to my disappointment that rich, earthy, animalic scent never appears. Neither does the honey note that many reviewers mention. lt all fades to a creamy, vanillic base, just detectable after eight hours.
    A pretty, but unexciting fragrance, with rather poor projection. lt's interesting though to see Chanel trying to do a tropical fragrance, & perhaps l might enjoy it more in warmer weather.

    04 April, 2014

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    White Shoulders by Elizabeth Arden

    This review is for the original Eau de Cologne by Evyan.

    The initial phase is an indolic jasmine & tuberose, very similar IMO to Crabtree & Evelyn's Gardenia; perhaps a touch more powdery. After thirty minutes, it settles into a prettier, but still sultry white floral, & in the heart l detect something like honeysuckle. The base is sweetly animalic, with musk, amber & a little sandalwood. lt's still going softly after nine hours.
    A likeable fragrance, not as innocent as it appears, but still a little too "pretty" in the drydown for my personal taste.

    04 April, 2014

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    Attrape Coeur / Guet-Apens by Guerlain

    The opening is fruity on my skin, but in a retro style, dominated by milky, peachy lactones. l can see the oft-mentioned resemblance to Mitsouko here, but this is warmer, friendlier, less aloof. lt quickly settles into a creamy floral accord, mainly violets to my nose, underscored by sandalwood & a little vanilla. After a couple of hours, there's a touch of ambergris & moss, but these notes are very subtle; the creamy florals & sweet sandalwood dominate right to the end. After four hours, the scent lies very close to the skin, & fades completely after eight hours.
    This is a very pretty fragrance, & much sweeter than l expected. For me it's kind of a more grown-up & sophisticated version of the fruity florals that are popular with very young girls these days. lt's charming & delightful, but it's not quite me.

    04 April, 2014

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    Véga by Guerlain

    This one opens with sparkling aldehydes, with only a vague hint of the "off" note that l sometimes get from them. They hover over an ethereal, bright & soapy floral accord, mainly ylang-ylang & jasmine, to my nose. There is a fleeting impression of indoles, before it all settles into a soft, creamy, tropical floral with a touch of vanilla. lt puts me in mind of a lighter, more luminous version of Mahora. Where Mahora is loud, proud & (some might say) a little vulgar though, this one is rather more elegant & aloof. As the scent progresses, l get whiffs of something very slightly salty, perhaps ambergris or maybe some moss. l also get something like old-fashioned face cream, & a light musk in the base. Four hours in, it settles very close to the skin, but doesn't fade completely until ten hours have passed.
    This is a very beautiful fragrance, but l have to say, l think Mahora is more my style. ;)

    04 April, 2014

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    Bois des Îles by Chanel

    This is a fragrance of creamy woods, from start to finish. ln the opening l get a slightly "off" note, which may just be the way my nose interprets the aldehydes. After half an hour, though, this note subsides, leaving a sublimely creamy, sweet sandalwood, with just a touch of spice. Any floral notes are extremely subtle here. There is a rather edible, biscuit-like accord in the base, & perhaps a whiff of incense. The whole thing is very soft, but lasts a good ten hours on me.
    l can see why this fragrance gets such high praise around here; it's possibly the loveliest, purest sandalwood l have smelled anywhere. What frustrates me is the lack of any real projection, even when spraying from an atomiser. Perhaps the parfum might satisfy me more, but at the moment l don't have the means to try it.

    04 April, 2014

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    Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio

    This is pretty much straight-up frankincense all the way. The opening has the lemony aspect very much to the fore, along with a woody note, but it settles quickly into a deep & contemplative incense with an ambery undertone, & stays there. Eight hours in it's very close to the skin, & there's something sweet in the base; not vanilla-sweet, but perhaps a hint of sweet tobacco.
    This one is certainly a quality incense, & definitely lives up to its name. As others have said though, it evokes the great outdoors rather than the inside of a church. This becomes apparent when comparing it side-by-side with lncense Extreme. ln comparison, IE is more ethereal, with a "cold flagstone" vibe, & more lemony. Next to it, IP is strikingly thicker, warmer, woodier, more ambery-sweet. ln their different ways, lMO, both have their place on the list of must-try incense fragrances.

    04 April, 2014

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    Tabac Aurea by Sonoma Scent Studio

    This is a straight-up, dry, unsmoked tobacco, with a leathery undertone. After an hour or so, it's a little softer & smokier, but there's no sweetness at all until around four hours in. Even then, the sweetness is very slight, & not at all powdery. Overall, a fairly linear tobacco fragrance, recommended if you're looking for a non-sweet version, & it lasts a good eleven hours on me. For myself, l would prefer a little more sweetness. l haven't yet tried Tobacco Vanille, but perhaps that will deliver more of what l'm looking for.

    04 April, 2014

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    Winter Woods by Sonoma Scent Studio

    At the outset, l am wondering if some of SSS's scents do indeed share a similar base, as this does smell quite a bit like Champagne de Bois in its buttery, ambery sweetness. As it develops though, this takes a much more woody path, the most prominent wood being pine, with a slightly burnt aspect. lt's resinous, but still sweet. Four or five hours in, there's a little vetiver, & later on a softly animalic base of castoreum along with labdanum. Nine hours in it's faded to a skin scent.
    This may not be a "wow" perfume, but it is a very pleasantly comforting scent, & aptly named. Alfarom's comparison to "your favourite brown cashmere sweater you use for winter walks" describes it perfectly.

    04 April, 2014

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    Une Fleur de Cassie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    My first reaction on applying this was; "Wow! Big, animalic, leathery floral!" The cumin gives the opening a wonderfully dirty undertone, without being at all offensive. After an hour or two, it all quietens down into a soft, creamy-powdery mimosa with a touch of peppery violets. The base is suede-like in texture, with a hint of musk. The overall impression is of a golden-yellow colour, with little patches of purple from the violets; the colour of spring.
    When l first tried this in cold weather, it seemed a very quiet fragrance after that first couple of hours. But on warmer days it really blooms, & it lasts over ten hours on me. Wonderful.

    04 April, 2014

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    Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Yes, this is a real, sweet, velvety, true rose right off the bat. For the first hour or so, it has a kind of old-fashioned feel, although l'm not sure what note produces that "slightly on the turn" scent that l sometimes get from vintage perfumes. After this, though, that feeling disappears, & the deep, dark, wine-like red rose comes through in full force. This rose is stunningly beautiful, swoonworthy & seductive, underscored by something slightly earthy & animalic. The base accord smells to me like ambergris, & it reminds me a little of the "Tauerade". lt also bears a similarity to the base of Goutal's Un Matin d'Orage, but overlaid with the rose instead of those dewy white flowers. l don't know what truffles smell like, so l can't say if l smell them here, but l'm guessing that the truffle note is what lends this rose its earthy darkness. The scent lasts a good fourteen hours on me, & the rose is there right to the end.
    l will say again; Stunning. Beautiful. Swoonworthy. Seductive. An absolute must-try for rose lovers; l cannot imagine a better one than this.

    04 April, 2014

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    L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    This smells exactly like Johnson's Baby Lotion to me, & for this reason l wasn't sure how l felt about it at first, but after a few wearings it has really grown on me.
    l get the barest whiff of heliotrope in the initial phase, & then it's mainly a smooth, sweet, soft floral blend with a slightly cool, mineral feel. The floral notes are hard to pick out, but there's possibly some violet or iris in there, & the tiniest touch of powder. The overall effect is kind of "white with a hint of pink", like apple blossom in the snow. lt continues in fairly linear fashion, giving off nice little wafts every now & then, & lasting over twelve hours on me. There's a vanillary white musk in the base.
    l expected more powder & almonds here, & also that it would feel more of a comfort scent. For me it's a little too cool, pretty & ethereal to make me feel comforted on a cold winter's day, but in early spring l have found it just perfect for wearing to work. lt has a clean & inoffensive prettiness that works really well in my hospital environment. Very nice.

    04 April, 2014

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    Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal

    This was another blind buy for me, having spotted a small bottle in TK Maxx, & having read a few positive reviews on various blogs. l'm not usually a lover of very green scents, but this one won me over. lt starts out with bright citrus notes of lemon & grapefruit, with a herbaceous edge. As it develops, l get a bunch of different impressions; there's the tomato/ tomato leaf, & perhaps a little blackcurrant bud. ln fact on my skin the heart is very similar to L'Ombre dans L'Eau, crossed with the lemongrass/ lime leaf/ coconut Thai curry vibe of Fils de Dieu. There's also some dry lavender & later on, a waft of incense. The projection is good & it all lasts a very respectable twelve hours on me. l don't really get the fig until way into the drydown, but when l do it's milky & delicious. These complex & varied impressions all somehow succeed in working together.
    l think this fragrance would be perfect for cutting through heat & humidity, & l look forward very much to testing this out in the summer.

    04 April, 2014

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    Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal

    l bought this bottle blind at a time when l was feeling the need for an incense fragrance, & spotted it in TK Maxx. lt took me a few wearings to really get into it. At first, l got mainly an overwhelming scent of burning incense, but over time it has revealed its other facets to me. The opening is bright, peppery & lemony, there's woods in the heart along with the incense, & at times in the base l detect something softly animalic.
    This isn't the scent of a damp, musty old church; as others have said, it's more like a cosy log cabin in the woods with a wood fire burning. lts warming, dry feel is particularly comforting on a cold, wet day. Although it appears to settle quite close to the skin & loses the "burnt" vibe around three hours in, others can smell it on me many hours after application, & there's still faint traces on my skin after fourteen hours.
    l can't compare this to the CdG series or the Montale as l haven't tried them, but it became a wardrobe staple for me this past winter, & l'm sure l'll have no trouble finishing the bottle. There may be nothing classically "feminine" about it, & for sure l do love my florals, but for me this burning incense is a satisfying wear nonetheless.

    04 April, 2014

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    The Olive Branch by Gorilla Perfume

    l was lucky enough to be sent a sample of this limited edition fragrance by a lovely basenoter, & how l wish l'd bought a bottle when it was still available. lt's so much more than the sum of its parts. There is citrus, mainly orange, but it's underscored by a darker, more complex smoky accord which is hard to identify; perhaps there's some labdanum or woods here, too. l've seen vine leaves mentioned on a notes list elsewhere. lt doesn't develop much, but the citrus notes fade after around four hours, leaving the soft smokiness to take centre stage. Projection & longevity are outstanding, from just one spray.
    This is a beautiful & unusual fragrance, very cosy on a cold day, & if it became available again l would definitely buy it. Fortunately the shower gel is still around, & it is very true to the perfume, so go try it if you want to get a feel for how this smells.

    04 April, 2014

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    Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford

    The sweet, aldehydic floral opening quickly turns green & crisp, like a fresh spring morning, complete with hints of leaves & stems, earth & wood. After an hour, it settles into a cool, green, spring floral with a mentholated feel. There's magnolia in the heart, & a sweet benzoin in the base. The projection & longevity are slightly better here than in Jonquille de Nuit & Lys Fume.
    This is by far my favourite of the three "twisted florals" that l tried, & the only one for me that truly delivers what it promised. Had l the funds, l would seriously consider getting a bottle.

    30th March, 2014

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    Lys Fume by Tom Ford

    This has a cool, fresh, almost minty opening; much less aldehydic than Jonquille de Nuit & Ombre de Hyacinth. There's a subtle hint of dirt, & l also get the plasticky note that others here have mentioned, as well as the "bad breath" type of indolic jasmine. Twenty minutes in a peppery lily emerges, but after an hour it all settles very close to the skin. There's a faint vanilla & a little ylang in the base, but l get no smoke or amber at all.
    l'm giving this a neutral because l don't altogether dislike it, but l'm disappointed that it didn't deliver the hypnotic, smoky lily that l hoped for.

    30th March, 2014

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    Jonquille de Nuit by Tom Ford

    This has a sharp, aldehydic floral opening, brighter & slightly fruitier than Ombre de Hyacinth, & less green. As it settles, there's a definite lily note, along with a little powder & amber, & at this stage it smells exactly like Donna Karan Gold to me, far more so than Lys Fume does. ln the heart there's a hint of the "bad breath"-type of indolic jasmine, & later on there's vanilla in the base. After the first hour, it all fades very close to the skin, although it lasts several hours.
    l'm giving this a neutral because although l don't hate it, l get pretty much the same scent, but done better, from my bottle of DK Gold. And it doesn't really suggest the wonderful scent of real daffodils to me, either.

    30th March, 2014

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    Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

    For me this is a fabulously loud, strong, woody incense all the way. The projection is enormous with just one spray, & it lasts over twelve hours on me. The quality of frankincense here is very similar to that used in lncense Extreme. lncense Extreme has a lot more subtlety & complexity going for it, but l can't help but love Sahara Noir for being so powerfully, unashamedly INCENSE, & l don't see any reason why a woman shouldn't feel amazing wearing it.

    29 March, 2014

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    Santal Blush by Tom Ford

    A buttery, creamy sandalwood, with a generous pinch of spice. ln fact there is a slight curry vibe here from the cumin & fenugreek, but this accord is not at all overwhelming or sweat-like; it merely serves to give some warmth & interest to the woody notes. The heart is powdery, sweet & yet savoury. l don't get any of the listed floral notes. ln the first hour the projection is good; l get pleasant wafts of fragrance each time l move. After this it settles closer, but the drydown is a persistent, drier mix of incense smoke, wood & a subtle, suede-like leather. Unlike some other reviewers, l find that this fragrance does develop, & l would say it is definitely unisex.
    l could be seriously tempted to buy a bottle of this, but oh, the price!

    29 March, 2014

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    Jasmin Rouge by Tom Ford

    The opening has a bright, fresh & clean jasmine, joined within moments by the "magic marker" type of indole, & then a touch of spice & fruit. Ten minutes in, the jasmine becomes creamier, sweeter & woodier, & suddenly it reminds me very much of Givenchy's Organza, with its creamy, nutty, woody heart notes. From here it doesn't change much until the far drydown, when l detect whiffs of ylang, leather & ambergris in the base. Six hours in it's settled very close to the skin, but there's still faint traces fifteen hours after application.
    l would describe this as a "warm" jasmine, very suited to the golden days of late summer & early autumn. A nice fragrance, but nowhere near special enough to justify the price, IMO. lf you love this one but find it beyond your means, l highly recommend Organza as a much cheaper alternative.

    29 March, 2014

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    Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

    A stupendously beautiful neroli perfume, this is indeed just like 4711, but with outstanding projection & longevity. lt also has a woodiness in the base that the other lacks, & it doesn't have that metallic quality that l get from scents like Profumum's Neroli. lt lasts a good ten hours on me; easily the longest-lasting citrus that l've tried. A perfectly refreshing summer scent, & one can't help but think of azure seas when gazing at that bottle.

    29 March, 2014

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    Noa by Cacharel

    Retro-style, soapy, powdery, laundry product-type smell. lt somehow suggests those wholesome housewives from fifties adverts. l don't often say this, but; yuck. l felt embarrassed wearing this when l tested it, thankfully it didn't last long.

    29 March, 2014

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    Tahitian Holiday by Avon

    A cheap & cheerful tropical blend of coconut, vanilla & gardenia, this is fun, sweet & girly. lt's also very similar to B&BW's Tiare Flower, which l owned a bottle of before giving it away to a friend. lt's not at all complex or interesting & it doesn't last long, but it's perfect for taking on a beach holiday & spraying liberally, then ditching the bottle before your return home.

    29 March, 2014

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    Fleurs de Gardenia (news) by Creed

    A crisp, slightly green & soapy white floral, more muguet than gardenia to my nose. lt's very soft, & fades fast after around three hours. l never got a chance to try the older version, but this one was disappointing to me.

    29 March, 2014

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    Fleur de Figuier by Roger & Gallet

    This is more fruit than flower; a sweet, fruity fig, not as crisp, milky or woody as l'd like a fig fragrance to be. But it's pleasant enough, & lasts reasonably well.

    29 March, 2014

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    Just Grapefruit by Arran Aromatics

    This one does exactly what it says on the tin; it's a one-note perfume from beginning to end, but that note is a true, tart, almost bitter grapefruit, perfect as a pick-me-up on a sweltering, humid day. The projection is good for around three hours, but it's still there after six. This isn't something l'd wear as a perfume, but for medicinal purposes it's great for jolting you awake if you're feeling sluggish from the heat.

    29 March, 2014

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    Datura Noir by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    The opening is very similar to that of MPG's Secrete Datura; tonka along with a white floral accord; but there's a fruity overtone to this one. l get hints of bitter almonds & a glimpse of tropical foliage, before the whole thing softens into a smooth, coconutty floral. l don't detect any further development, & l don't get the tuberose that many other reviewers mention. The projection is low, & it all fades after five hours.
    This is a pleasantly beachy fragrance, but it doesn't suggest anything seductively poisonous to me, as one might expect from the name. For me, Secrete Datura captures that vibe far more successfully.

    29 March, 2014

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