I had to try this for myself, despite the number of reviews panning it, because the notes list made it sound right up my street. Alas, I should have heeded the reviews, & left it at that. It's all true: the "incompleteness" of the jasmine note, the similarity to a hundred department store fragrances and/or functional products, the general synthetic, "plasticky" feel, the almost total absence of incense or animalics. A shockingly disappointing excuse for a Lutens.
It opens with a flat, fruity jasmine, joined fifteen minutes in by a kind of grey, dusty-peppery note which I assume is supposed to be incense, but it's faint. One hour in, something resembling musk begins to warm & soften it, & there's a vaguely aquatic note in the heart, before it settles into a musky floral base five hours in. This stage is pleasant but generic, & nothing more. It's still going softly seven hours in, when I head for the shower so I can forget this experience & apply something more interesting.
This is a real old-school perfume in the French style, with oakmoss apparent right from the start. Unfortunately for me it's a style that doesn't do too well on my skin, coming off as musty, dated & slightly off. For the first half hour it's hard to pick out any other notes, but then slowly a warm, creamy sandalwood emerges, along with a touch of indolic jasmine & tuberose, although the floral notes don't stick around for long. The sandalwood sweetens the moss, eventually melding with vanilla in the base over around six hours.
I respect these "grand dame" type of fragrances, but I find them muddy, too "well-blended", if you will. I would have preferred the white flowers to stand out more strongly, but the base notes seem to overpower them. Perhaps it's my skin, which often seems to amplify notes like moss, vetiver & galbanum, & I'm not a fan of green notes in general. But if you love this style, this is surely one to try!
This review is for the older formula.
This jasmine is warm, indolic & spiced with cinnamon & anise. I don't get the listed citrus notes at all. It's animalic in a soft, furry way; nothing too filthy or offensive here. A whiff of patchouli brings an earthiness to the mix, & later there's a grassy note in the heart. It doesn't change much in the drydown, fading to a skin scent five hours in, & almost gone after eight. Another reviewer compared it with Musc Ravageur, & I can see the resemblance, except of course for the added jasmine. I would class this as a jasmine-based floriental, rather than a white floral in the usual sense.
I did notice that when I first wiped the dabber on my arm, the spices were more pronounced, the animalic side less so. But after decanting & spraying, these impressions were reversed. I wonder if this, as well as the reformulation, accounts for the differing impressions one reads of this perfume?
Hoping for a lush & steamy tropical jungle suffused with the scent of moist earth, here I find a light, leafy, slightly fruity aromatic, with a quite synthetic feel, & an "off" note lurking beneath. A few minutes in, the ginger note appears & steadily strengthens, until in the heart the scent morphs into a lightly spiced woody masculine. There are hints of sandalwood, but it's not creamy or coconutty, to my nose. Further on, there's something vaguely biscuit-like, & a touch of incense in the base, before it begins to fade out around six hours in.
An odd fragrance, this. Not altogether unpleasant, but with two distinct & very different phases, the opening giving no hint of what comes later. The second phase strikes me as rather autumnal in feel, & I might enjoy it more when the weather cools. For now though, the search for the perfect "moist earth" scent continues, with Black March in the lead, & Demeter's Dirt close behind.
The list of tropical, beachy notes for this one made me sure I'd love it, but I should have heeded the reviews here. Every single one of them is negative, with good reason. It really is truly horrifying: synthetic, sickly & saccharine. It opens with a marine accord (listed as "warm sand") that smells ok from a distance, but up close the plumeria note lends it a vaguely fruity, almost nauseating edge that just doesn't fit. As the scent progresses, there's a faint hint of spices, then ginger lily & a grassy note. Ninety minutes in it finally becomes more creamy & coconutty, but remains very artificial-smelling & sickly-sweet throughout. I totally get the other reviewers' associations with functional fragrances. It settles very close around four hours in, & it's fading out at the seven-hour mark when I decide to apply something else.
A huge disappointment this, coming as it does from the same nose that created scents like L'Ombre Fauve. How could this have happened?? Monsieur Guillame should be thoroughly ashamed of this travesty, & discontinue it forthwith.
This has a woody citrus opening with a diffusive "solar" feel, & distant echoes of Bronze Goddess. Thirty minutes in, it becomes much more milky & fruity, resembling a coconut & tiare shower cream by Imperial Leather that I've been using over the summer. Then, at the two-hour stage, I can clearly smell a scrumptious pistachio note; a delight as it is so unusual in a perfume. The performance here is almost identical to that of Orchid Soleil, i.e. it becomes a skin scent five hours in, but lasts over twelve. And similarly, I enjoy the drydown but cannot justify the price of a bottle.
This one is very different from both Velvet Orchid & Black Orchid. I've seen it described as a "tuberose bomb", but I don't get tuberose here at all. For me it's mainly lily & vanilla, & it's very soft; nowhere near as loud as Black Orchid. A few moments in, the pink pepper & patchouli produce a little spice, making it just as suitable for the cooler months as for the summer, I think. It doesn't come over as particularly "beachy" for me. Thirty minutes in, the "chestnut cream" accord has begun to develop, & at the two-hour stage I get delicious wafts of creamy nuttiness. There's no further development, & five hours in it's just a skin scent, although I can still detect it after thirteen hours.
I enjoy the drydown of this one, & I'd really love to see that gorgeous rose gold bottle next to my bottles of Black Orchid & Velvet Orchid, but I'd need it to project a lot more to justify buying it.
This starts off bright & effervescent, with a fruity element more akin to sherbet powder than juice or pulp. After a few minutes, it settles into a warm, milky, fruity floral, mostly lily, although it is hard to distinguish notes here. There's also something vaguely leathery lurking beneath, but it's not a heavy, tanned leather, more the scent of warm human skin. Three hours in there's a vanilla sweetness, & twelve hours in it's still humming away softly, with a soapy feel to the base.
Another reviewer describes this most aptly as a cross between expensive soap & posh suntan lotion. It's beachy, but sophisticated; no coconut & nothing overtly tropical here. It's simply a lovely, classy but casual scent which I think would work well for any relaxed occasion in warm weather. It also reminds me strongly of something else, especially in the opening. Perhaps a body product I've used or a place I've been, maybe even a Lush shop??
The manufacturer's sample I have is labelled as Love Coconut by Honore des Pres.
I expected a sweet, moist, luscious coconut, but this is dry & desiccated, along the lines of Heeley's Coccobello without the woody notes. Some reviews mention a Thai curry vibe, & the notes list does include coriander leaves (cilantro), but I don't get that here. I'm not sure how old my sample is as it was sent by a basenotes buddy, but as it's supposedly "all natural", it may have faded over time. It's very soft & although I get a little vanilla in the base, it barely lasts five hours on me.
I'm glad I got to try this as I couldn't find a sample anywhere online, but it is not the coconut of my dreams by a long way.
Apparently Andre Gas is a jewellery designer operating out of Saint Tropez, & this fragrance was created for him by Mathilde Laurent to evoke the sun-drenched, beachside lifestyle of the locale; the name, roughly translated, meaning "sun me up".
The scent is a sunny, sweet tropical floral. There's a little bergamot to brighten the opening, & then warm, milky tiare with vanilla, & an airy, beachy marine note. Slowly it dries down to creamy, coconutty base. It's similar in feel to Bronze Goddess, but softer & less woody, & longer-lasting at almost eleven hours duration.
I highly recommend this one to lovers of beachy, tropical scents, & although seemingly hard to find, I see it is available from Beautyhabit (not affiliated).
This review is for the oil version.
This is one of those extremely rare & beautiful things: a true, buttery, real gardenia scent! On first applying this, I get a faint note of wax crayons, but only when sniffing up close, & not for long. This may be due to the carrier oil, & personally I don't mind it, as it brings back happy childhood memories. Sniffing from a distance, all I smell is gardenia, & nothing else! The projection is good for the first three hours, & then it fades to a soft skin scent with just a hint of a grassy note.
I might just have to purchase this one, being a gardenia lover & very fussy about perfumes that attempt to replicate them. When I find one that succeeds, I have to have it!
This review is for the extrait.
This is supposed to be gardenia, but honestly, all I smell is mouthwash & lilies. It becomes more creamy & floral three hours in, but otherwise there's no development here. The projection is moderate, & it fades fast after around five hours.
Meh. In my view, this is not a worthy tribute to the awesome Ms Holliday.
This review is for the oil version.
This opens as a white floral, mainly indolic jasmine, with a distinctly barnyard feel. Over the first hour, mimosa, lily & ylang ylang come through, & later on there's a creamy-sweet frangipani. The projection is low as you might expect from an oil, & it lasts around five hours before fading.
Despite its less than stellar performance, I really enjoy the scent of this animalic, tropical floral, & I think it might be great in the EDP.
This review is for the oil version.
This smells like jasmine in the vial, turning on skin to a soft white ginger with waterlily & yuzu fruit. The listed gardenia note comes off as a ghostly white floral presence in the background, & the base is creamy with a slight grassy-green note, more like a subtle vetiver than the listed oakmoss. The projection is low as you might expect from an oil, & it lasts around five hours before fading.
I don't dislike this, but it's way too quiet for me, & not the lush & heady floral I was hoping for.
The citrus here, mainly lemon & orange, is not the super-juicy, zesty kind, but more of an impression of citrus. It's soft & subdued, sweetening slightly over the first couple of hours, but otherwise this is a linear fragrance on my skin. I don't smell any of the honey or osmanthus here, & it fades fast six hours in.
From the notes list, I expected something much more rich, sweet & succulent. But this, although pretty, is disappointingly thin, & simply not worth the price.
This orange blossom has a bright & citrussy opening, quickly joined by warm woods & creamy ylang ylang. The overall effect is heady & tropical, with the powerful projection this house is known for. In the heart it becomes more honeyed, but I don't think it's too sweet for a man to wear. It keeps that bright edge of neroli throughout, although it's smooth, never sharp, & I swear I smell oud here although it's not listed. Slowly it mellows to a soft, beachy skin scent around seven hours in, & thirteen hours in it's still detectable.
I really enjoyed this one, & I recommend it for all lovers of orange blossom to try, especially if you also enjoy tropical scents, as I do.
A warm, woody oriental with hints of bergamot, a subdued patchouli & a dusty rose. The opening seems strangely thin, but after twenty minutes it fills out & develops into a soft but richly powdery oriental. There's a saltiness in the heart, & it all dries down into a sweetish, musky-woody base five hours in. After this it quickly fades to a skin scent, but is still just detectable after twelve hours.
For me this would work well as an autumn scent, but in a similar vein I find Miller Harris' Fleur Oriental far more tenacious & satisfying.
A burst of sunshine tinged with green; that's my impression of this one for most of its duration. There's so much in here: sticky buds, tart fruit, citrus juice & petals, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, & I enjoy it more sniffed from a distance than closely analysed. It's slightly sharp, leafy, fruity & floral all at the same time, & doesn't change much in the drydown, except for the addition of woods after an hour or so. There's also an added sweetness to the floral notes later on, when the bitter edge dies down. The projection is low, & seven hours in it's almost gone.
After blind-buying this & wearing it several times, I'm still not convinced that it's for me, as green notes aren't really my thing. There is something compelling about it though, & if you're looking for a bracing green floral for spring, this might be perfect for you. But get it quick as it's already being heavily discounted, & showing signs of being discontinued.
A fleshy, slightly savoury floriental, with oodles of tropical fruit & rotting jungle vegetation. The datura is there adding a little creaminess, & there's a faint hint of oud. I'm making it sound more interesting than it is, though. Like many of the reviewers, from reading the notes I expected an awesomely dark, gothic floral, but this is actually rather tame, very quiet, lacking in development & pretty much gone after four hours.
I haven't seen anyone else mention this, but this one reminds me so strongly of Lutens' Chergui that it's crazy! I don't get any of the listed tea or coconut notes; instead I get Chergui's sweetly honeyed hay & cherry pipe tobacco, layered over a base of warm, milky woods, with the lightest whiff of smoke. It's softer than Chergui, & settles very close to the skin after two hours, but it's so reasonably priced that I'd be happy to reapply as needed.
I think it's gorgeous, & I understand it also comes in the form of a soap & a moisturiser. There may well be a bottle of this in my future!
A humid, green aquatic with a leafy note akin to papyrus. I've never been to the jungle, but this does conjure up images of steaming, tropical vegetation, rather than being the calone-heavy, marine type of aquatic. There's a touch of creamy magnolia for the first hour, & then it slowly dries down to a green-woody base. Lush & diffusive in the beginning, it fades very close to the skin four hours in, & there's a whiff of oakmoss to round it off.
This one isn't really my style, being rather too green for my tastes, but I think it would work well on a hot, humid day, & is far more pleasant than the swamp monster that is Cacharel's Eden.
The herbal, piney scent of a Mediterranean hillside, with fig & a touch of citrus. The "jasmine marmalade accord" lends it a golden intensity, without making it obviously floral, & I think it's easily unisex. It has a similar feel to Goutal's Eau du Sud, although this one is greener, a little darker, & less citrussy. It also reminds me of Sisley's underrated Eau d'Ikar, almost certainly because of the mastic note. Two hours in, it softens considerably, & after five hours it's barely there, but this is another one that I'd happily reapply.
I think it would be wonderful in summer, & if I didn't already own a bottle of Eau du Sud, I might consider purchasing this one.
This is a soft & pretty white floral with orange blossom, a muted tuberose & a touch of green from linden. It stays close to the skin, but gives off lovely little wafts. As it dries down, it smells by turns soapy, creamy, beachy & sweet. Five hours in it's almost gone, but I think it's delightful, & am happy to reapply; the matching body lotion that came with my bottle helps to give it more heft.
For me this one smells primarily of lilac, although most of the reviews describe it as linden. I've smelled linden in perfumes before, notably in Tauer's Zeta & DelRae's Debut, but those smelled much more sharply green than this. This is soft, pretty & almost creamy at times, with just a vague hint of sugared almonds. I do get the much-mentioned feel of freshly-washed laundry though, & although that might be a deal-breaker for many, for me this makes it a perfect go-to work scent for a lovely spring day. It's linear, but the projection & longevity are excellent on me.
In the vial I smell violets, but on skin, sadly I don't get them at all. The first twenty minutes is dominated by a sharp patchouli, with an almost creosote-like feel. After this, the patchouli softens & is joined by an aquatic note. Two hours in, there's a faint sweetness, but still no florals, & another hour later all I smell is laundry musk. Six hours in it's pretty much gone.
This is not the intoxicating scent of Parma violets & wet earth after a rain shower that I was hoping for, & the projection & longevity are abysmal. Very disappointing.
In the vial, the smell conjures a vivid image of dark, soaking-wet soil along with jonquil or narcissus. On skin, it's less vivid, but still incredibly evocative to someone like me who loves gardening, especially during those early spring days after being cooped up all winter. One hour in it warms slightly, & the floral notes become more prominent, but otherwise this is a linear fragrance, & that earthy accord remains all the way through. The projection is low, & the texture of this "water perfume" is oddly oily, but it lasts well.
Comparing this with Demeter's Dirt, I'd say this one is similar, but wetter in feel. Whereas in Dirt the soil is enjoying the first drops of rain after a long dry spell, here the soil has been deeply soaked over the course of a cold, wet winter, & is only just beginning to warm with the spring. Both are brilliant, & recommended if you crave that earthy, outdoor smell we gardeners love.
A sweet, jammy, Turkish Delight of a rose, this smells very much like Lush's cult limited edition Rose Jam shower gel, laid over an ambery, woody base. I get this effect much more clearly by sniffing my arm from a foot or more away, though. Sniffing up close, for the first three hours, I get a kind of "off" note; perhaps this is the saffron and/or the myrrh, as I'm still not sure what these smell like. After this, it softens into a fuzzy, musky rose, & six hours in I get a little incense in the base. Eight hours in it's still going as a skin scent.
All in all, very nice, if not hugely long-lasting, & if you love Rose Jam, you have to try this.
In the beginning, this is pure vanilla extract on me, & three sprays on my arm gives it a powerful projection, which lasts all day. Sniffed up close, during the first few minutes I get a strange, very faint vinegary note, although this quickly disappears. What follows is a smooth, creamy, very natural-smelling vanilla; nothing artificially sweet or saccharine here. I don't smell the musk, but I do get a lightly toasted tonka bean. Kafkaesque describes this as like a buttery, eggy cake batter, & I have to agree. This makes it sound cloyingly sweet, but really it is not. It's still detectable an outstanding eighteen hours after application.
Part of me thinks that this is really too simple & linear to be worth the price or the rave reviews. On the other hand, it really is a wonderful vanilla of great quality, & I doubt it would be easy to find one this good on the cheap. If you love pure vanilla, this may well be your Holy Grail; sampling it should at least be mandatory.
A delicate, milky, almondy, slightly vegetal rose, with a whisper of violet, this is a very pretty fragrance. If it were a colour it would be the pale pink of sugared almonds. Two hours in, the rose is sweeter & almost edible, like a rose-scented sugar icing. Another three hours later, it has more of a fruity, jammy quality, before sinking into a warm & smooth vanilla base, & fading to a skin scent. Twelve hours in it's just detectable.
Considering the lengthy notes list for this one, it comes off as quite a sweet & simple fragrance, but its subtle delicacy prevents it from straying into cloyingly sweet territory. Nice, if possibly a little too subtle for my taste.
This opens spicy with ginger, elemi, clove & cardamom, but there's a strange coolness here. As the initial phase progresses, there's incense & oud, which gives it that "band-aid" vibe when sniffed up close, & lends a masculine feel. One hour in, these notes are joined by creamy sandalwood, & then a slight fruitiness, but not sweetness. I don't get the listed "ganja effects", which disappoints me as I've never smelled this in a fragrance. After three hours, the spicy notes fade & the base of amber & oakmoss kicks in. There is something in this final phase that I smell in both Une Rose & Un Matin d'Orage, that I've never been able to identify, & these are three completely different fragrances, with very different notes lists. Ten hours in I detect the ghostly presence of the spices again, just as it's fading.
An interesting & quite complex fragrance, this isn't really my style, although I did enjoy the excellent quality of the sandalwood in this one. And after the first three hours, the lack of any further development means that for me, it's just not interesting enough for the price.