Perfume Reviews

Reviews by teardrop

Total Reviews: 643

Mutiny by Martin Margiela

This opens with a juicy citrus accord, resolving itself into bitter orange, before creamy orange blossom & a fruity tuberose come through in full force. Later I get a coconutty amber in the base, but not the listed oud or vanilla. The projection is good, & it all lasts around eight hours before fading.

I find nothing "mutinous" about this, except that some may find it a little cloying or "perfumey". I'm giving it a thumbs up because it has a lot of notes that I personally enjoy, but I much prefer Ropion's other creation, And the World is Yours, for my orange blossom fix. It's more radiant without being cloying, & doesn't have the overly sweet & fruity aspect that this has.
24th April, 2019

Laconia by Tom Daxon

For anyone who doesn't know, Laconia is a peninsula of the Peloponnese in southern Greece, & it's also the origin of the word "laconic". It's a place where I've spent a bit of time, being right next to the Mani peninsula, which I consider to be my second home. There was no question that I had to try this fragrance!
It opens with a bright & sunny burst of citrus, mostly lemon, & there's a cool, leafy quality beneath, perhaps from the water mint or violet leaf notes. It's zesty, but not sharp or bracing, & there's a salty element here, but it's not the calone type of marine scent. It's actually very natural-smelling, as if I just rubbed lemon juice & sea salt into my skin. Over the first half-hour, the citrus recedes slightly but remains present, along with a whisper of jasmine, then vetiver. Two hours in, green cardamom warms it up, & from here there's a growing undercurrent of earthy, mossy, sun-warmed soil & sage brush. The projection is strong for the first few minutes, & remains moderate to good for most of its duration. Six hours in, the freshness of the opening phase is only just fading, & it all becomes a skin scent after eight hours.
This one is easily unisex, with a similar feel to Goutal's Eau du Sud. I shall enjoy using up this sample when summer arrives.
24th April, 2019

Greek Keys by Sarah Baker Perfumes

This opens as a bracing citrus, with grapefruit, lemon & mandarin clearly discernible, a hint of floral hedione, & a whole heap of calone to give it that ocean breeze vibe. Herbal notes of rosemary & elemi appear, & one hour in the citrus fades, leaving that fresh, salty, almost sharp ocean breeze scented with herbs. After two hours it loses the sharpness, & the vetiver & mossy woods show through. Six hours in, there's coumarin in the base to complete the fougere-like picture. The projection is enormous, it lasts through a shower, & there are still traces of this on my skin after twenty four hours.
This is bright, sunny & refreshing, much like a Greek shoreline, & it reminds me somewhat of Tommy Bahama's Set Sail St Barts for Women. It's most definitely unisex, possibly a little too far to the masculine side for me, but I think it would cut through heat & humidity perfectly. I'll try it again in the summer to see how I feel about it then.
24th April, 2019
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Spring Jasmine by Shanghai Tang

This opens as a greenish jasmine with a touch of indole, along with a strong impression of what I perceive as lily of the valley. The projection is good, much better than most of the others in this line, until it all calms down & smooths out around two hours in. I don't sense much progression here, & I don't get the listed olibanum note at all. Four hours in it settles close to the skin, finally fading out after around ten hours.
To be honest this is nothing special, but it does what it says on the tin, & I can see myself enjoying it at work without offending anyone.
24th April, 2019

Rose Silk by Unknown

The opening smells only vaguely of rose, with a hint of red berries & a smooth white floral accord, supposedly magnolia. The "magnolia" quickly becomes dominant, drying down to laundry musk only two hours in, & after five hours it's barely there.
This one is the quietest that I tried from this line, & can best be described as flat, featureless & dull.
24th April, 2019

Orchid Bloom by Shanghai Tang

The top notes are listed as "red fruits", but I get a tart blackcurrant, with a sharpness that puts me in mind of those cheap men's sport scents from the seventies. This projects strongly (how typical for a note I detest!) for the first couple of hours, & then the fruit calms down, allowing the floral aspect to show itself. I don't know what a "velvet orchid" smells like, so I can't say how closely this resembles the real thing, but it comes over as a rather ordinary white flower accord. Four hours in it's much softer, & there's a laundry-type musk in the base, still going after fourteen hours.
This gets a thumbs down from me, not only because I dislike fruity florals, but also because it reeks of cheap synthetics poorly blended. Not recommended.
24th April, 2019

Gold Lily by Shanghai Tang

This opens with creamy lily, jasmine & a touch of spice. Something about this accord comes over as rather cloying, & I sense that in large doses it could be headache-inducing for some. Thankfully this effect dies down after five to ten minutes, leaving just the creamy lily along with a rubbery note. I've smelled this rubbery note before in the body cream version of Goutal's Un Matin d'Orage, & assumed it was due to the plastic packaging leaching chemicals into the contents - I believe it was fairly old product. But perhaps this rubberiness is a side effect of whatever materials were used to create the white floral notes here. Three hours in, the rubbery effect has faded, leaving the now very soft, yet crisp lily note, which continues to fade until eleven hours in it's almost gone.
This is not a love for me, in fact I don't think I even like it enough to wear for work. I'll stick to Donna Karan Gold for my lily fix, thanks.
24th April, 2019

Oriental Pearl by Shanghai Tang

All of the classic oriental notes of amber, benzoin, labdanum & patchouli are here. The amber is sweet but not gooey or dense, while the patchouli adds a slightly medicinal edge along with woods & a touch of smoke. It's a linear perfume with good projection for the first four hours or so, after which it settles quite close to the skin, fading out after around ten hours.
There's nothing groundbreaking here, but as a lover of ambery orientals, this is just the kind of warming & comforting scent that I enjoy on cold, wet days.
24th April, 2019

Soma by Ava Luxe

Perfume oil version:

This is a clean, faintly floral white musk with an airy feel. In the opening phase, there's a hint of a sheer, not dense amber, along with a very soft lavender note. I don't get the jasmine at all. As it develops over the first couple of hours, I get impressions of a marine accord, & then something mineralic. The projection is good, & it easily lasts all day.
I'd say this one is certainly unisex as well as "office appropriate", but sadly I find it rather bland & uninteresting. It's probably the most "mainstream" of the fragrances I've tried from this line.
05th April, 2019

Cashmere Musk by Ava Luxe

Perfume oil version:

This brings back strong memories of Avon's Soft Musk, from the eighties. It's got exactly that faintly floral baby powder scent, with just a tiny hint of a lover's skin. The projection is surprisingly big for an oil, & although there's no development, it has outstanding tenacity, lasting through a shower & still giving off gentle wafts after twenty-two hours!
I find this to be a very pleasurable, comforting & pampering scent, although with this kind of longevity it does require some commitment, & it could get a bit much on a warm day. I highly recommend it to any fans of the original Soft Musk out there.
05th April, 2019

Vanilla Musk by Ava Luxe

Perfume oil version:

A sweet, but not sickly-sweet, very natural-smelling vanilla, not unlike one or two vanilla "solinotes" that I remember from the nineties, & very similar indeed to Indult's Tihota. This is possibly a fraction less buttery or eggy, although I no longer have a sample of Tihota with which to directly compare it. And just as I didn't get the musk in Tihota, I don't get it here, either. Judging from comments I've read elsewhere, I am by no means the only one with this issue. The projection is low to medium, it settles very close to the skin after six hours, & there's just a trace remaining fifteen hours in.
I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a good quality, straight-up vanilla and/or a more reasonably priced version of Tihota. For me though, vanilla on its own quickly gets boring, & I prefer it blended with other notes to give it interest.
05th April, 2019

Love Tuberose by Amouage

A sweet, fresh & flowery tuberose, swiftly joined by jasmine in the opening. For the first few moments there's a touch of crispness, before milky lactones appear, turning to coconut cream over the first half-hour. Later on, I distinctly smell lily, & perhaps a little gardenia in the heart. Four hours in, the base of vanilla & sandalwood begins to show itself. The projection is very good for the initial two hours, then it settles closer to the skin, fading out after around twelve hours.
This one definitely reminds me of another perfume, & I think it's closest to Bruno Acampora's Blu, another tuberose with a pretty, gentle & dreamlike quality. There are no in-your-face indoles here, no sharp edges to spoil the scene. If you like your white florals soft & approachable, rather than big & bold, I recommend trying this.
05th April, 2019

The Actress by St Giles

Lemon & bitter orange combine with lily in the opening to produce a rich, orange blossom-like accord. This is sharpened-up with basil & tomato leaf, so that the whole effect is fresh, crisp & green with a creamy undertone. The green notes become sharper around thirty minutes in, before slowly taking a back seat. At the two hour mark, I get a whiff of woodsmoke, perhaps from the patchouli, followed by a dry vanilla, & another crisp, papery note rather like papyrus. Later still, I get a mineral note in the base, a little like wet stones. The projection is pretty big for the first couple of hours; six hours in it's faded considerably, but there are still traces after fourteen hours.
The notes list & the description make this sound like a thoroughly feminine, "glamourpuss"-type perfume, but I think a guy could easily pull it off. My skin does tend to amplify green notes, but these along with the smoky, papery & mineral notes prevent this one from smelling overly feminine. I'd say if you're a guy who likes florals, you might want to check this out, if you can ignore the name!

P.S. I wore this recently for a day outside gardening, & it harmonised perfectly with the scents of flowers, leaves, earth & damp paving. No evening wear required to enjoy this one!
05th April, 2019
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Indochine 25 by Parfumerie Generale

I agree that this is a darker, more masculine-leaning version of Cadjmere 18. The same peppery woods are here, but they have a much darker, more intense feel. Alongside the woods there's a dominant note of cardamom, as well as a kind of dark-green, boozy note. Another reviewer mentions absinthe, & that describes this very well. Three hours in, it settles much closer to the skin, but doesn't even begin to sweeten until around the five-hour mark. Even then, I do not get the honey note at all, just a whiff of benzoin in the base, & it's all pretty much gone after six hours.
For myself I much prefer Cadjmere, as it has more of the not-quite-gourmand sweetness & the lightly spiced sandalwood that I enjoy. But if you're looking for a less sweet, more masculine version, this is the one to try. There are longevity issues here though, so frequent reapplications may be necessary.
05th April, 2019

And The World Is Yours by A Lab on Fire

A gorgeous, opulent & very diffusive orange blossom scent, which smells immediately familiar to me. I cannot put my finger on why, until I remember reading that some reviewers find this to be in the same ball park as Alien, another of Ropion's creations. Yes, this is like Alien, but done with orange blossom, instead of jasmine. Others have compared it to Seville a l'Aube (which I also own & love), but this is texturally different: it's more rounded, smooth & warm, without that fresh, almost sharp edge that Seville has. There is sweetness here as it dries down, provided by notes of honey, heliotrope & tonka, but it's not a heavy, syrupy sweetness as found in Lutens' Fleur d'Oranger. Instead, the heart is beautifully balanced by neroli, which prevents the sweetness from overwhelming the orange blossom in its starring role. There's no further development, but one spray of this extrait is still going softly after eleven hours.
I have no regrets whatever on this blind buy, I just wish the bottle came with a cap. I hope it doesn't evaporate, because I wouldn't want to have to use up something this special too quickly.
07th December, 2018

Mx. by Eris Parfums

This opens with peppery incense & woods, quickly joined by the sweeter note of benzoin. lt's very soft, & as it dries down it becomes slightly smoky & powdery, with a salty, savoury note in the heart. I get no ginger, only the merest hint of castoreum, & five hours in it's barely there.
IsoESuperman's review is spot on: this is definitely unisex & pleasant, but it's nothing new, & the best that can be said is that it's inoffensive & subtle enough to be work-appropriate. The same accord has been done much better in fragrances like Labdanum 18 & Bois d'Armenie.
06th December, 2018

Ma Bête by Eris Parfums

The aldehydes in the opening are strong, giving this one a very retro, almost "turned" feel, & lasting around forty-five minutes before settling down. From the outset though, the animalic notes are easily apparent, most likely civet & costus, but this beast is a rather tame one, with moderate projection. Two hours in, an indolic jasmine turns the heart of this fragrance into a nicely balanced animalic oriental, & five hours in, I detect a smooth sandalwood in the base. At this stage it reminds me of Creed's Jasmine Imperatrice Eugenie, & it all hums along nicely for a good fourteen hours before fading.
Once the aldehydes dissipate, I quite enjoy this, but that opening is a deal breaker for me, disliking aldehydes as I do. I would go for the Creed over this one every time.
05th December, 2018

50ml D'Ambiguite by Marlou

Wow, this is one animalic powerhouse! Just a few tiny dabs produce a massive wall of castoreum & costus, with its characteristic scent of unwashed hair & animal fur. I catch a fleeting whiff of ylang in the first few moments, but otherwise this is a linear fragrance, & takes over three hours to calm down into a softer, fuzzier, slightly powdery & more friendly beast. It continues to announce its presence with wafts of filth for many more hours though, & there's still traces left after thirteen hours.
I see from pictures that the bottle (quite rightly) carries a warning label: "Handle with care, may cause intense emotions". They're not kidding! I suspect though that these emotions may prove to be entirely negative where polite society is concerned. I've tried many animalic fragrances, but the only one to rival this in terms of filth was Papillon's Salome, which also proved too much for me. You have been warned: if you hate costus, steer clear, but if you're a fan of Salome, I urge you to try this!
05th December, 2018

Larmes du Désert by Atelier Des Ors

A bright, aromatic opening with lemony frankincense & coniferous woods is soon joined by ambery, resinous notes. I agree with other reviewers that this has an agreeable warmth to it that's lacking in some of the darker or more austere incense fragrances out there. And unlike those, I think this one would be easily wearable in warm weather. Over the first couple of hours, it smooths out & sweetens a little as the benzoin becomes more prominent, & it settles into a comforting, fuzzy golden aura. The projection is not massive, but the fragrance makes its presence felt in a most enjoyable yet undemanding manner. Nine hours in it fades closer to the skin, but lasts an outstanding twenty-two hours on me.
A very nicely balanced incense, this one, & easily unisex. Perhaps if they left out the gold flecks & made it more affordable, it might even have been bottle-worthy.
05th December, 2018

Baghari by Robert Piguet

The whoosh of aldehydes & bergamot in the opening give this a very old-fashioned, retro, almost "turned" feel. After ten minutes though, this impression gives way to the scent of dried orange peel that ClaireV mentions in her review. There are flowers here, but deep in the mix & not readily identifiable to me, obscured as they are by the orangey, ambery tone of the heart. I would say that iris is probably the only floral I can smell for sure here. Over the first hour, it becomes faintly powdery, reminding me of other powdery orientals like Stoned or Fleur Oriental. Three hours in, the florals have faded, leaving a musky, ambery base which resolves itself into the skin-like, intimate scents of costus & castoreum. The initially powerful projection has become correspondingly intimate too, although it continues quietly for over twelve hours.
I'm not fond of the opening, but I found the drydown of this one rather enjoyable, & I think it works well as a warming & enveloping scent for autumn/winter.
05th December, 2018

Adjatay Cuir Narcotique by The Different Company

This is a fine quality, clean leather with none of the butch or "meaty" associations that sometimes accompany this note. Here it's blended with ylang ylang & tuberose, while papyrus lends a crispness to the mix, preventing it from becoming overly sweet or heady. Over the first two hours, the leather fades, leaving a deliciously buttery white & yellow floral accord. Five hours in, there's a mineral note that reminds me of Goutal's Un Matin d'Orage. I've smelled this in a few other fragrances as well, & I've yet to figure out what it is, but I like it! I don't get anything remotely animalic in the base, just smooth, creamy sandalwood. The projection is good, & it all lasts around seven hours before fading.
From the notes list, I expected something a little filthier than this. But no matter; it's a very elegant & beautiful tropical floral leather that makes its presence felt to just the right degree, without ever becoming cloying. Very nicely done.
05th December, 2018

Nu Eau de Toilette by Yves Saint Laurent

This goes on rather herbal & peppery, with top notes of bergamot & coriander, & a slightly "turned" aspect, possibly due to the age of the sample. It quickly turns very soft & powdery, & I agree with another reviewer who compared it to Parfum Sacre. Thirty minutes in, the orchid note comes through, & after ninety minutes this is joined by a sweetish incense. Four hours in, the base is soft, powdery incense & warm, ambery woods, wearing very close to the skin. Six hours in it's almost completely faded out.
From what I've read, this one is smoother & more "feminine" than the EDP, with the incense & pepper toned down. I've been unable to find a sample of the EDP anywhere, but I think I might prefer it. I like the EDT, but it's just a little too subtle & short-lived for my taste.
05th December, 2018

Armani Privé Rouge Malachite by Giorgio Armani

Most of the reviews mention a dominant tuberose here, but I don't get that at all. What I do get is a classically ambery floriental similar in style to YSL's Cinema, but like their Supreme Bouquet, this is strikingly similar to Alien Essence Absolue. Once I make this association, I don't notice anything except the same blend of heliotrope, jasmine & amber. Three hours in this accord fades close to the skin, but there are still traces after thirteen hours, & I get the odd whiff of soapy laundry musk many hours later.
This simply makes me realise what a great fragrance Essence Absolue is, & that there's no need to go chasing after very expensive fragrances that smell pretty much the same.
05th December, 2018

Armani Privé Vert Malachite by Giorgio Armani

I get just a hint of citrus in the opening before a big, buttery white floral accord emerges. For me this is dominated by a rubbery tuberose, & underpinned by a kind of mineral note reminiscent of the one in Goutal's Un Matin d'Orage. The fragrance quickly sweetens, & a little later I'm reminded of Madonna's Truth or Dare, another (much cheaper!) sweetened-up white floral. I'm not sure why this is labelled "Vert" as it's not particularly green to my nose. It fades in linear fashion, leaving a nice trail of sillage as I move around, & six hours in there's a soft, sweet, milky base full of lactones.
I enjoyed this one, but this is another of those occasions when I'm relieved to find that there are less expensive perfumes available that do the same job just as well.
05th December, 2018

Supreme Bouquet by Yves Saint Laurent

This opens as a big, sweet, heady, tropical white floral with powerful projection. It's mostly ylang ylang, supported by tuberose, jasmine & a hint of coconut. All notes that I adore, & at this stage the name seems wholly appropriate. Thirty minutes in, however, it changes, becoming a deadringer for Alien Essence Absolue, another of Ropion's creations, & one that I've already owned & loved. It's got that same almondy, marzipan-like combo of heliotrope & amber. Steadily the florals recede, & three hours in the marzipan accord has taken over completely. Six hours in it's faded to a soft skin scent.
I was wowed by the opening, but I must admit to being rather relieved that it turned out so similar so something that is already familiar, & costs a lot less. If you like the sound of this one, I'd say save your money & try Essence Absolue instead.
05th December, 2018

OSA by Note di Profumum

Lovers of ylang ylang take note, because this one is a real beauty. It does for ylang what Carnal Flower did for tuberose: sets it in a starring role, shining brightly in a constellation of notes that support it without ever detracting from it. For the first thirty minutes, the lemongrass adds a spicy citrus edge, before stepping aside to reveal a really beautiful ylang with the same "florist's fridge" feel that Carnal Flower is so famous for. It's like being adorned with fresh, living petals that have a coolness to them; they never become cloying or overwhelming even on a hot, humid day. Eight hours in, the flowers are joined by a vaguely earthy, mineral note like wet stones, & thirteen hours in the scent is only just beginning to fade.
I'm giving this one five stars, because not only does it smell amazing, but it projects & lasts like a dream. Highly recommended!
05th December, 2018

Sunny Side Up by Juliette Has a Gun

This goes on very much like Bronze Goddess: a blast of cedar with a fresh, slightly citrussy aspect. Over the first twenty minutes it becomes smoother, warmer, more of a buttery-creamy sandalwood. At this point it reminds me of House of Matriarch's Coco Blanc. A little further in I smell something rubber-like, until around the three-hour mark it's dried down to a soft coconut with vanilla & sun-warmed skin. After five hours the projection is very low, but there are still traces after nine hours.
I would recommend this to any lovers of Coco Blanc looking for a cheaper alternative, although you might need to douse yourself in it to get the same effect.
05th December, 2018

Forbidden by House of Matriarch

I get a fleeting impression of earthy florals in the opening, swiftly overtaken by the woody patchouli accord that seems to be ubiquitous in this house's perfumes. In this one it seems more subdued though, & there's a hint of menthol or camphor here, too. Thirty minutes in, it settles into a crisp, dry white floral with green, woody & slightly animalic aspects. I have difficulty picking out the tuberose from among the other notes. After ninety minutes, it's warmer & earthier with oakmoss & amber, & later there's a touch of green leaves in the base. Five hours in it's very soft, & nine hours in it's barely there.
I don't dislike this, but it doesn't really appeal to my tastes, either. It probably would appeal to fans of floral woody chypres, & I see it has inspired some tremendous reviews here.
13th June, 2018

Toukka Ta Tao by House of Matriarch

This opens with a brief whiff of cedar, before the "house signature" patchouli-creosote accord takes over. This is underpinned by something green & vegetal, perhaps the listed kava kava, a root whose name apparently means "bitter". This lasts around thirty minutes before morphing into a beachy floral with tropical fruits & coconut milk. The listed fruit notes are lychee, mango & lilikoi (another name for yellow passion fruit), but two hours in as the woods recede & the ylang-ylang becomes more prominent, what I get here is a banana daquiri. Five hours in, the base is an more ambery, oriental, sandalwood accord, with maybe a hint of oud. Projection is on the low side, & it all fades out after around nine hours.
I've rarely experienced a perfume that changes so dramatically between the opening phase & the drydown. It's like two completely different fragrances; one dark, woody & green, the other sweet, fruity & tropical. It's strange & perplexing, & I'm not sure if I enjoy either phase, but it's certainly an interesting ride.
13th June, 2018

L'Arrivée by House of Matriarch

In the opening I get a strong impression of woody patchouli, which seems to be a signature accord for this house. Within five minutes, however, it gives way to an indolic jasmine underpinned with woods. Twenty minutes in, it smells very similar to the honeyed, ambery jasmine of Moon Breath by Ayala Moriel, one that I already own & love. From here it doesn't progress much, apart from a slightly animalic note in the base. But it projects well, & lasts a good fourteen hours before fading.
I've only tried a handful from this house, but this is my favourite so far. A purchase would seem unnecessary though, as I already have Moon Breath.
13th June, 2018