Perfume Reviews

Reviews by teardrop

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Terracotta Le Parfum by Guerlain

This starts out with a bright bergamot top note, before settling into a warm, creamy, tropical blend of ylang ylang, tiare & jasmine, along with a little coconut. Slowly the florals fade until two hours in it's a sweet, creamy blend of coconut & vanilla. There's a touch of almond in the base, & it all lasts around six hours before fading out.
This is a high quality, beachy summer fragrance, reminiscent of scents like Agonist's Vanilla Marble & Nuxe Prodigieux Parfum. I would say if you have trouble getting hold of this limited edition, give the Nuxe a try.
08th July, 2015

Premier Figuier Extrême by L'Artisan Parfumeur

It's immediately apparent that this one is quite different from the original Premier Figuier. It's much woodier, & I could swear there's patchouli here, or perhaps massoia bark. In fact I detect strong similarities with Hermessence Santal Massoia. It's not at all cool or green, but peppery. It quickly settles close to the skin, slowly becoming more creamy & fruity, & ever so slightly smoky, until it reaches a creamy sweet phase around ninety minutes in that I really enjoy. From here it fades to a woody base with a trace of dry coconut, barely there after eight hours.
I find this more on the masculine side than the original, & although I enjoy the drydown, the opening phase isn't what I'm looking for in a fig fragrance.
08th July, 2015

Premier Figuier by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This has the same cool, leafy fig as Philosykos in the opening, but is somewhat less woody. It develops & fades more quickly too, becoming sweeter, creamier & fruitier within the hour, & reaching the coconutty stage around three hours in. It fades almost to nothing after five hours.
This is a lovely fragrance, but its lack of tenacity frustrates me, & for this reason I much prefer the Diptyque.
08th July, 2015
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Philosykos by Diptyque

This is a green, leafy, woody fig, that captures perfectly the feeling of dozing in the cool shade of a fig tree at siesta time on a hot summer's day in Greece. As it develops, it becomes more milky & fruity, but retains the woody vibe. Five hours in it's warmer, more sweet & creamy, then finally there's a faint coconut note, just as it fades to a skin scent after seven hours.
I think this scent is truly delightful, & I can't imagine anyone being offended by it.
08th July, 2015

Eau du Sud by Annick Goutal

In the opening, the most prominent note is lemon verbena, along with a non-tart grapefruit & minty herbs. After half an hour, this accord is joined by an impression of soft florals. From here, it slowly dries down to a base of crisp moss, with a faintly smoky edge, & still-detectable citrus notes. The projection is quite soft, & three hours in it fades to a skin scent, barely there after eight hours.
This is not a tenacious fragrance, but it is evocative of a thousand memories for me, conjuring as it does a Mediterranean hillside in the heat of summer, complete with the screech of cicadas filling the olive groves. For this reason, I cannot help but love it.
08th July, 2015

Cologne by Etat Libre d'Orange

This opens with a bright & fresh accord of orange blossom, bergamot & zesty citrus peel, that slowly softens into a creamy, floral, slightly woody heart. The mid phase suggests a creamy orange dessert, with just the right balance of sweet & tart. Later on it becomes more clean & crisp, before fading out after around six hours. A lovely & refreshing fragrance, with reasonable lasting power for a cologne.
08th July, 2015

Rien Intense Incense by Etat Libre d'Orange

I tried the original Rien quite a while back & thought it was great, but I used up the sample some time ago. Then recently a generous basenoter sent me another sample along with this one, & so I've been able to directly compare the two.
Initially, Rien seems rather more sheer & more peppery than I remember it, & I believe I read somewhere that it's been changed. Intense Incense, however, has much more of the ashy leather that I recall. I don't actually get a strong impression of incense from it, although there is a subtle smokiness in the heart. The leather here is much more rubbery, but after the first half-hour these actually smell a lot alike; Rien is more like its old self, & both are a warm, fuzzy, salty leather way into the drydown. I don't find Intense Incense to project any more strongly than Rien, & in fact I'd be hard pushed to say which is which in a blind test. To my nose, there's little noticeable difference between them!
07th July, 2015

Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris

This opens as a dry, sharply aromatic, antiseptic-smelling vetiver, & the "grass-topped sand dune" vibe suggests the presence of immortelle, although I don't actually smell it here. After an hour the vetiver fades, making way for a softer accord of salty florals. This accord reminds me a little of Lys Mediterranee, or perhaps Donna Karan Gold, without the amber. It lacks the quality or intensity of either of these however, & it fades to nothing in only three hours.
I'm not a lover of prominent vetiver notes, but that's not my only reason for giving this one a negative rating. There's the lack of projection, longevity or any kind of base. And it just doesn't seem very well-blended; it's like two different perfumes layered on top of one another, neither of which impress me.
07th July, 2015

Scent Intense by Costume National

This is a dark, dense, woody amber with very low projection and, for me, very little interest. There are subdued hints of fruit & patchouli for the first half-hour, but after this it fades fast & in very linear fashion, barely there after five hours. I don't detect any floral notes at all.
I expected something much more special or unique here, but I'm sorry to say I simply found it dull.
07th July, 2015

Ambre 114 by Histoires de Parfums

This amber is rich, sweet & slightly boozy, but not at all heavy or dense. I cannot pick out the herbs or spices individually here, but they serve to give interest & edge to the opening. During the first hour I get little whiffs of rose, geranium, woods & patchouli, before it all settles into a smoky, yet still sweet & deliciously comforting amber. The projection is low, but seven hours in it's still going as a skin scent.
I wouldn't call this an outstanding amber fragrance, as there are several others that I prefer, but it's very good & deserves to be included on any amber lover's try list.
07th July, 2015

Mauboussin by Mauboussin

This opens with ripe, plummy, autumnal fruits underpinned with amber. And also, for a few disconcerting minutes, I get the distinctively sweet-tart, piquant scent of Branston pickle! Two hours in, the fruits fade, leaving a woody, creamy, soft amber, & five hours in all that's left is a faint vanilla base.
Fruity scents are not really my thing, & although I quite like the drydown of this one, it didn't especially grab me. I will try it again when autumn comes though, as I think it might work better for me then.
08th May, 2015

Romantina by Juliette Has a Gun

This has a fresh, soapy, aldehydic opening, giving way to a pretty, spring-like floral accord. I get a little orange blossom, but to my nose it's mainly lilac, along with something creamy & pollen-heavy, akin to lilies or perhaps gardenia. The patchouli here is very muted, only peeping out shyly from beneath the florals every so often. From here there's no real progression; it simply fades over the course of around five hours, then it's pretty much gone.
From the twee name I expected an equally twee fruity-floral aimed at the youth market, but I was pleasantly surprised to find such a lovely spring floral fragrance here. It's somewhat lacking in projection & longevity, but nice nonetheless.
08th May, 2015

Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has a Gun

This opens with a big, red rose, almost immediately engulfed by an equally big dose of patchouli, of the old-school hippie variety - no bad thing, in my book. Over the next couple of hours, the patchouli fades & the scent slowly sweetens, revealing a wine-dark rose in the heart, underpinned by woods & a faint vanilla. Eleven hours in, the base of woody, vanilla-musk is still going softly.
This is not a very unique or complex fragrance, but it appeals to the hippie chick in me, & I find it a pleasant wear for an autumnal day.
08th May, 2015
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Bombay Bling by Neela Vermeire

The opening is strongly fruity & aldehydic. The volume decreases quickly, but the scent takes a little while to change. First the subtle spices creep in, then hints of jasmine & tuberose, before it settles into a heart of smooth, creamy fruit yoghurt, reminiscent of Calvin Klein's Euphoria. Later on, there's woods, vanilla & moist tobacco in the base.
I don't really do fruity, & so this isn't something I'd buy, but as fruity scents go, this is of better quality than most. It's sweet & cheerful, but has a bit of depth, & I rather enjoyed that yoghurty mid phase.
08th May, 2015

Enchant by JoAnne Bassett

In the vial, this perfume oil smells quite medicinal, herbal & aromatic, probably from the agarwood & basil listed among the notes. After hitting the skin, it's much more richly floral, with champaca the most prominent note, & a little dirt from the ambrette seed. It's warm & peppery, but with a bracing edge from the lavender & galbanum, & there's an earthy patchouli providing some darkness beneath it all. The projection is strong for the first hour, & then it doesn't so much fade as melt softly into the skin. There's a creamy sweetness from the vanilla, & amber & woods adding depth to the base. In the final phase I detect incense smoke, & something animalic, almost leathery. After six hours it appears to be almost gone, but there are still traces left after eleven.
This is a complex & many-faceted composition, which I suspect will reveal different aspects on repeated wearings, & in different seasons. I look forward to exploring it further.
08th May, 2015

Flowerhead by Byredo

This opens with a bright, effervescent, slightly fruity jasmine, quickly joined by a rather shrill tuberose. I don't detect any rose at all. There's a grassy accord in the heart, but otherwise there's not much development until the ambergris base begins to show itself, around six hours in. Ten hours in it's still going softly.
I really love the name of this one, & I expected something far more exotic, given that it was apparently inspired by the elaborate floral headdresses worn by Hindu brides, but the scent is just ok to me. I can think of many jasmine and/or tuberose fragrances that I've enjoyed much more.
08th May, 2015

Kerbside Violet by Gorilla Perfume [Lush]

This is sweet old-fashioned Parma violets with an urban edge. Sniffed from a distance, it's a sweet, green, floral violet perfume. Sniffed up close, there are elements of tarmac or asphalt, a hint of burning rubber tyres in the heart, & a little of the doughy note that I smelled in Dans Tes Bras. The projection is good for a couple of hours before settling closer to the skin, & it's still going softly after seven hours.
I'm still undecided about this one. It may be just a little too edgy for my taste, but if you're all for bringing a good old-fashioned violet scent up to date for the twenty-first century, there's a good chance you'll enjoy this.
07th May, 2015

Rose Cut by Ann Gerard

Sadly, on my skin this is a hot mess of synthetic rose, strong patchouli, pepper & something syrupy-sweet, combining to form a headache-inducing, monster-fruitchouli-from-hell with huge sillage & longevity. It does quieten down after a couple of hours, & eventually dries down to a tolerable amber base with a hint of tea, but it was a struggle resisting the urge to scrub long before this. I see that other reviewers love this, but personally I cannot recommend it, & will not be subjecting my nose to it again. Ever.
07th May, 2015

Vanilla Marble by Agonist

This is a rich, tropical vanilla with lots of depth. The scents of almond macaroons, milky white florals, tiare & fig combine to produce a delectable & mouthwatering confection evocative of exotic islands like Tahiti, at least in my imagination. lt dries down to a sweet, woody coconut base over the course of around eight hours. As a lover of tropical scents, this one is right up my street!
01st April, 2015

Parfum Sacré by Caron

This is a warm, comforting oriental, with woody patchouli in the opening, underpinned by a soft amber, & a light dose of pepper that weaves in & out through the entire duration. The heart is powdery, with the retro feel of a rosy cosmetic face powder, fading to a floral musk, & ending in a puff of powdery pepper thirteen hours later. The projection is low, but it's such a fluffy cloud of a fragrance that its intimacy only adds to its charms. Very nice.
01st April, 2015

Messe de Minuit by Etro

ln the opening l get a dense accord of bittersweet candied citrus peel with spices, soon joined by dark woods & patchouli. Over the next couple of hours, a thick, labdanum-rich amber comes to the fore, dominating the rest of the drydown, & reminding me of heavy, sweet ambers like Anne Pliska or Ambre Precieux. Projection is low, but it's still going thirteen hours in.
l am sure this is the most recent formulation, but l still expected to find something of the meditative, damp, cold stone vibe that l've read about, or at least some incense. This, however, is a warm, rich winter scent rather evocative of Christmas, & nicely done.
01st April, 2015

Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal

l get a soapy, fizzy, aldehydic opening that tickles my nose & makes me sneeze. As it settles, l detect a powdery, fuzzy floral note, more akin to mimosa than iris. Gradually, however, the iris comes through, & a couple of hours in the raspberry note adds a little tartness without giving the scent an overly fruity feel. l don't get ylang or jasmine here, & there's no discernable base. The projection is medium, & it fades out around seven hours in.
l'm not an iris afficianado, but l find this one to be a bright, cheerful spring floral, in a similar vein to Byredo's La Tulipe, although they don't smell the same. For me though, La Tulipe is the more beautiful of the two.
01st April, 2015

Mademoiselle Piguet by Robert Piguet

This is a very pretty & fresh orange blossom fragrance, opening with a whoosh of aldehydes. A vanillic sweetness weaves in & out through the duration, but never overwhelms the floral notes. Around thirty minutes in there's a hint of the metallic note that l sometimes get from neroli, but fortunately it doesn't stick around for long. A fairly linear progression with low to moderate projection, it's still going softly after twelve hours.
lnnocent & naive in feel, this would make a nice, easy to wear spring/summer fragrance, for those times when nothing but simple prettiness will do.
01st April, 2015

Leva by O'Driù

The opening phase is strongly lemongrass, part sweet (thanks to the vanilla) but also part sour. The sourness is more obvious when sniffed up close, & l find l prefer to sniff it from a distance, which isn't hard as the projection is pretty impressive. At a distance l detect a pleasantly woody, smoky, incensy vibe, & l quite enjoy this stage. After thirty minutes, however, this is overtaken by an accord of immortelle (although it's not listed) & spices, which is what remains right to the very end for me. lt's rich, full & syrupy, & although l don't altogether dislike immortelle, after a few hours it becomes decidedly dull, & it's still going twelve hours in. l also smelled immortelle in Ladamo when l tried it, so l guess it makes sense that its more feminine counterpart should have it too, but this kind of kills it for me.
01st April, 2015

Relique d'Amour (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

This opens with the scent of pine woods, giving way after ten minutes to a quite beautiful & realistic lily note; creamy, heady, lightly peppery & green. l wish this phase lasted longer, but after two hours it fades into a backdrop of cool, very subdued incense. There's very little projection at this stage, & after only four to five hours the scent is completely gone.
l'm giving this a neutral rating because although l do like it, l found it disappointing in comparison with Passage d'Enfer, which does pretty much the same thing only better. Although the lily note in this one is lovely, the incense is nowhere near as satisfying, the performance is poor, & it just didn't move me in the same way.
01st April, 2015

Passage d'Enfer by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This one is quite a surprise. Having expected something funereal, or, from the name alone, something like burning sulphur, l find it's a rather fresh & beautiful breath of spring. The incense has a shimmering quality, with a pronounced green floral note running through it, more like lily of the valley than lillies, to my nose. l get a strong impression of green shoots peeking through the cold, wet earth, & l even smell the stone slabs forming a path between the flower beds. lt's soft & quite linear, with just a hint of musk in the base, & lasts around nine hours before fading.
Delicate & quite lovely, for me this would make the perfect incense for the transition from winter to spring.
01st April, 2015

Journey Woman by Amouage

There aren't many non-citrus fruity notes that l enjoy, but the golden, apricot-like note of osmanthus is an exception. Here it serves to enhance what for me is mainly a tobacco fragrance, laced with mimosa & spiced with nutmeg. ln the heart there's a honeyed sweetness to the tobacco, suede-like in texture, that reminds me more than a little of Chergui. The fragrance doesn't so much project as surround me with a fuzzy, golden haze, giving off divine little wafts as l move. lt's quite intoxicating, but not at all overpowering. There isn't much progression, except for a suggestion of vanilla, & a soft musk deep in the drydown eight hours later. A beautiful fragrance of exceptional quality, it's perfect on a sunny autumn day.
31st March, 2015 (last edited: 10th April, 2015)

Calling All Angels by April Aromatics

On first hitting the skin, this strikes me as a thick, sweet, spicy, ambery incense, with perhaps some cinnamon or nutmeg lending it a kind of Christmassy feel. The sweetness & spices pass quickly however, & it settles into a dense, woody incense reminiscent of Sahara Noir or lncense Pure. After an hour or two, l detect a hint of burnt caramel, & from here it slowly fades to a plush, suede-like base of incense, benzoin & tonka bean. lt all lasts a decent twelve hours. An impressive incense with a definite progression, this has just enough sweetness to prevent it from feeling too austere or liturgical.
31st March, 2015

Private Collection - L'Ombre Fauve by Parfumerie Generale

ln the beginning this is a thick, non-sweet amber with a very vintage-style, slightly musty feel. The projection is impressive. l detect some patchouli in there which never overwhelms, & possibly some labdanum. Over the first hour the fragrance becomes woodier, & then later on it's more of a powdery, sweet amber with a decidedly animalic musk adding depth & interest. lt lasts well, only just beginning to fade after the eight hour mark.
This is a warm, furry, soft & fuzzy blanket of a fragrance, that feels deliciously cosy on a cold winter's day. lt's dirty, but more sensual than shocking, & l absolutely adore it.
31st March, 2015

Cuiron by Helmut Lang

This review is for the reissue.

The opening is light, transparent, only vaguely citrussy with perhaps some aldehydes. To begin with, the leather is on the "faux" side, conjuring the smell of a new car with vinyl seats, & a cheap lemon-scented air freshener dangling from the rear view mirror. Some people love the smell of a new car; l personally hate it. After fifteen minutes or so, it all smooths out into a more realistic but soft, subtle, suede-like leather, with a faint touch of incense. After four hours, it's faded to a rather clean & nondescript base, & overall it lasts eight or nine hours before disappearing.
For me the middle phase of this one is a fairly acceptable rendition of leather, but it's too cold & distant, lacking any kind of warmth or charm. lt's also one-dimensional & rather dull. l prefer my leathers far more complex & animalic than this, but if you shy away from anything too dirty or complicated, this could be just the leather for you!
31st March, 2015