Perfume Reviews

Reviews by teardrop

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Total Reviews: 629

Shalimar Ode à la Vanille : Sur la Route de Madagascar by Guerlain

The opening blast of bergamot is thankfully not as sharp as in the modern Shalimar EDP, & the scent quickly becomes a little leathery, with the richness of opoponax resin humming along beneath. Fifteen minutes in, the best part of this fragrance begins to show itself: a gorgeously satisfying, smoky, not-too-sweet vanilla, joined further on by a wisp of incense. It reminds me of the much-missed PDT version of Shalimar that I owned in the 90s, & I find myself huffing my arm in blissful longing. This stage lasts & projects for a good long while until, around four hours in, it all softens down into a woody vanilla base & becomes a skin scent. Seven hours in it's almost gone.
I could kick myself for waiting so long to try this one as it's so hard to find now. I can only keep praying to the Perfume Gods that it might return in some form, someday...
02nd December, 2016

Jasmal by Creed

Smelling this, all I can think of is vintage Diorissimo. Seriously, this is way more about lily of the valley than jasmine, to my nose. It's a little green, with just a touch of indole, becoming slightly creamy after the first couple of hours. At this point, it settles very close to the skin, & four hours in it's pretty much gone.
From reading other reviews here, I can see I'm not the only one having longevity issues with this one. It's very pretty, & I think it might be lovely in spring, but its lack of tenacity is disappointing. I much prefer its richer, more oriental sister, Jasmine Imperatrice Eugenie, & her delicious sandalwood drydown.
02nd December, 2016

Narcotic Flowers by 1000 Flowers

An animalic floral oriental with bergamot in the opening, peachy osmanthus, indolic jasmine, tuberose & a touch of green narcissus. After twenty minutes, I detect vanilla & a faint musty note which doesn't detract from the whole, but serves to add a hint of intrigue. Projection is good for the first hour, & then it quietens down considerably. Ninety minutes in, it's a creamy, fruity floral similar to Isabey's Lys Noir, but not as overwhelmingly sickly. The base is soft labdanum, woods & subtle spices, & four hours in all that's left is a trace of narcissus with vanilla. The whole lasts around six hours before fading out altogether.
I like this, but the performance is much weaker than I expected. I need to try it again on a warm spring day, in the hope that it'll bloom more for me then.
02nd December, 2016
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Mélodie de L'Amour by Parfums Dusita

For the first few minutes, this is a pollen-heavy bouquet of spring flowers, along with a hint of plastic. This bouquet is dominated by the type of indolic jasmine that's reminiscent of magic markers. I sense a gardenia note struggling to get through, but just when I've decided this is one of those gardenia perfumes that's not really gardenia, twenty minutes in she emerges in all her glory! Yes, creamy, true gardenia with a faintly vanillic undertone. There's a rubbery note here, too, but that lessens over the next hour, & the gardenia continues to occupy centre stage, until around four hours in. At this point I begin to get wafts of neroli, although it's not listed. Perhaps this is how my nose interprets the peach note, or there's orange blossom among the listed "white flowers". From here I detect no further change in its development, the projection goes from very good to low, & it begins to fade out after eleven hours.
Apart from the plastic note in the opening, this is a lovely floral that I would recommend for my fellow gardenia lovers to try. For myself, though, having tried the perfection that is Dame Perfumery's Soliflore Gardenia, it has a lot to live up to. And at this price point, I would hesitate to consider a purchase.
02nd December, 2016

Coco Coco by Coqui Coqui

Although the only note listed for this one is coconut, I have to say it does not scream "COCONUT!" to me. For me it's more of an airy, aquatic white floral with a hint of green. There is a coconut-like vibe, but it comes off as very light & synthetic. It's not the thick, sticky-sweet kind of coconut that I find so delicious, nor does it suggest suntan lotion or beach cocktails. It projects well for the first couple of hours, becoming sweeter & slightly rubbery, & then settles very close to the skin. After five hours it's completely gone.
I'm giving it a neutral rating because it might suit those who prefer their coconut on the subtle side, but this is not coconut as I know & love it, & after the first two hours, the performance is abysmal. Disappointing.
02nd December, 2016

Saggita by Electimuss

Built around the champaca flower, this fragrance is not dissimilar to Tom Ford's Champaca Absolute. It's a heady, "perfumey", warm floral, with a pronounced fruity aspect, similar to the apricot-like scent of osmanthus, & a subtle hint of spice. For the first two hours it's pretty powerful, & then it loses the fruitiness, settling slowly into a creamy, woody floral with perhaps a touch of incense, & fading out after seven hours.
I adore the scent of champaca, & this one is very nicely done, but I think Comme des Garcons' Champaca is more to my taste, being less fruity & more of a creamy white floral.
02nd December, 2016

Lys Noir (new) by Isabey

This opens with sharply peppery aldehydes, before a creamy, fruity floral accord comes to the fore. The most prominent floral here is lily; the promised narcissus sadly absent, to my nose. There's a light dusting of spices, & dark woods humming along beneath. One hour in, the fruity aspect becomes overwhelmingly, sickeningly, headache-inducingly sweet. Another hour later, thankfully this subsides, & what's left is a soft, buttery-creamy sandalwood. At this stage it becomes a skin scent, just about detectable after seven hours.
I tried this on a warm, humid day, & again in cooler, fresher weather, but the effect was the same. I can't quite bring myself to give it a negative rating, because the sandalwood at the end is quite delicious. But for me, it's not worth holding my breath through that sickening phase to get there.
02nd December, 2016

La Religieuse by Serge Lutens

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.
06th September, 2016

Divine by Divine

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!
06th September, 2016

Jasmin de Nuit by The Different Company

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?
06th September, 2016

La Collection Croisière : Jangala by Pierre Guillaume

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.
06th September, 2016

La Collection Croisière : Paris Seychelles by Pierre Guillaume

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.
06th September, 2016

Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford

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.
06th September, 2016
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Orchid Soleil by Tom Ford

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.
06th September, 2016

Sun by Jil Sander

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??
21st July, 2016

Love Coco by Honoré de Prés

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.
21st July, 2016

Ensoleille Moi by André Gas

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).
21st July, 2016

Soliflore Gardenia by Dame Perfumery

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!
21st July, 2016

Lady Day by Maria Candida Gentile

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.
21st July, 2016

Nani by Saffron James Parfums

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.
21st July, 2016

'Ume by Saffron James Parfums

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.
21st July, 2016

Fleur de Portofino by Tom Ford

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.
01st June, 2016

Orange Flowers by Montale

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.
01st June, 2016

Bespoke : Canyon Dreams by Keiko Mecheri

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.
01st June, 2016

Ostara by Penhaligon's

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.
01st June, 2016

Freak by Illamasqua

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.
01st June, 2016

Bulletproof No. 45 by Tokyo Milk

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!
01st June, 2016

Fleur de Liane by L'Artisan Parfumeur

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.
01st June, 2016

Caligna by L'Artisan Parfumeur

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.
01st June, 2016

La Chasse Aux Papillons by L'Artisan Parfumeur

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.
01st June, 2016