Perfume Reviews

Reviews by teardrop

Total Reviews: 643

Alien Eau Extraordinaire by Thierry Mugler

This is recognisably Alien, but much lighter, with a crisp & fruity opening, & creamy tiare in the heart.
l agree with Francop; this is perfect for summer daytime, & very work-appropriate, too.
14th October, 2014

Costume National 21 by Costume National

This is a dusty, powdery, peppery, sweet fragrance, & very autumnal in feel. Many reviews describe it as having a kind of creamy milk pudding vibe, but that's not what l get here. What l get is a sheer, woody patchouli in the opening, followed by a smooth heart rich with labdanum & tonka. A couple of hours in there's a touch of orange, & at this stage it reminds me a little of Anne Pliska. There's amber, sandalwood & moss in the base, & although it's not listed, l get a distinct whiff of tobacco. The moderate sillage lasts around five hours before fading close to the skin, & it's still there after twelve hours.
l find this one deliciously comforting, & look forward to using up my sample during the autumn days to come.
14th October, 2014

Rouge Avignon by Phaedon

This a dark, dusky rose, with woody, earthy nuances & a touch of red fruit. ln the opening l get a strong impression of patchouli, although it's not listed, & about an hour in there's a bread-like accord which l think is produced by the truffle note. From here it slowly sweetens to a creamy-ambery sandalwood base. The fragrance gives off nice wafts for most of its duration, before fading out after around seven hours.
l really enjoyed this one. lt's a delicious, almost-gourmand rose that never becomes too sweet or fruity, & feels very well-suited to sunny but slightly autumnal weather.
14th October, 2014
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Treazon by Ayala Moriel

This one opens with a strong hit of wintergreen, which is not at all bitter, but lends a darker edge to the narcotic tuberose, giving it a cool, dark-green feel, along with a hint of anise. There is an underlying sweetness & warmth, though, which gradually comes to the fore as a creamy, rich & complex floral accord. This hums along nicely for several hours, before collapsing into a soft pillow of vanillic benzoin, lightly spiced with cinnamon.
This is the longest-lasting of any that l've tried from this line, only fading after nine hours. This may be due to the inclusion of Africa stone or hyraceum, known to be a powerful fixative. lt's like a much richer, more filled-out & satisfying version of Tubereuse Criminelle, & it impressed me far more.
01st August, 2014

Set Sail St. Barts for Women by Tommy Bahama

The opening is a fizzy citrus, almost aldehydic in its sharpness, which comes into focus as a refreshing lemon-lime accord. lt's like Virgin lsland Water (a scent l own & love) without the coconut, & with a slightly more masculine feel. This accord lasts for a good three hours before quickly fading to a salty musk, rather like the scent of skin after a swim in the ocean. This is the epitome of cheap & cheerful, & l've really enjoyed wearing it as a pick-me-up on hot, sticky summer evenings.
01st August, 2014

Wet Garden by Demeter Fragrance Library

This opens with a sharp burst of aldehydes, underscored by a sweetish floral accord, mainly jasmine, to my nose. Five minutes in it turns vaguely aquatic, but rather than an impression of freshness as l expected, l get a strange sort of mustiness here. lt's as if some old plastic garden furniture, or maybe a paddling pool, has been left out in this wet garden a little too long. This impression is stronger when sniffing up close, but from a distance it's much less noticeable, & l do get wafts of damp flowers when l move. The base is softly powdery, fading out after around five hours.
l expected to love this one & am more than a little disappointed, but l guess l shouldn't be surprised that the true scent of a wet garden is so difficult to replicate. Perhaps if l layer it with Dirt it just might hit the spot...
01st August, 2014

Thunderstorm by Demeter Fragrance Library

This strikes me as mainly patchouli & woods, along with a kind of burning smell, not unlike Gorilla Perfumes' The Smell of Weather Turning. There is also a suggestion of wet concrete or asphalt. The feel here is very masculine, not terribly pleasant, & it projects very strongly. l suspect it also lasts several hours, but l showered it off after three.
lf this scent is in any way related to a thunderstorm, then for me it conveys the tension in the air before a storm, rather than the cathartic release brought on by the storm itself, when the heavens finally open. Perhaps it does progress to that stage eventually, & l ought to give it another try, when l feel able to brave that acrid first three hours once more.
01st August, 2014

Rain by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is a calone-like aquatic, slightly salty, & rather reminiscent of Calvin Klein's Escape. There is something quite dark-green, like vetiver, underpinning it. lt is very quiet, & fades to nothing after only ninety minutes.
l guess interpretations of rain can vary enormously, as it is not the rain that has a scent, so much as the things being rained on. l'm not sure of the setting for this one, but it's not the intoxicating garden-after-the-rain scent that l was hoping for.
01st August, 2014

Dirt by Demeter Fragrance Library

This is indeed that unique & distinctive scent given off when the first drops of rain hit topsoil after a long dry spell. lt's earthy, yet fresh due to a touch of ozone, with hints of minty leaves & fruit. The fresher aspects fade after an hour or so, but it lingers as an earthy skin scent for a surprising eight hours, giving off nice little wafts, & ending in a faintly floral base.
Perhaps because l do a lot of gardening, this scent made me feel happy, as l do when l'm actually digging around in the dirt. lt truly lives up to its name, & is by far my favourite of the Demeters that l've tried. lt's very cleverly put together, quite complex, & much longer-lasting than Demeter's scents are reputed to be.
01st August, 2014

Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse

For the first hour, l get green, oily pear, quite fresh in a shampoo-like way, but also oddly sickly. At this stage it turns my stomach slightly, until the note of massoia bark begins to emerge, & it all becomes more bearable. The massoia lends a pleasant woodiness to the heart, with its suggestion of coconut shell, not flesh, & its touch of milky fig. Some time later there's a little ambery sweetness, & twelve hours in, the base of crisp, dry woods is still going.
l have to admit that l really don't like pear, the fruit or the scent, but l was hoping that the rumoured coconut note & the promised olive note would combine to make this one worth a try. Sadly, there was no trace of the juicy, salty olives l longed for, & not enough coconut to offset that nauseating opening.
01st August, 2014

Shanghai Lily by Tom Ford

From the outset, this is a very muted fragrance; l have to put my nose right up to my arm to even smell the top notes, & l agree with the reviews that use the word "ephemeral" to describe it. l get a woody floral accord, joined after a while by a little smoke, some vanilla, & later vetiver. l get very little in the way of floral notes, except for maybe some rose, until around four hours in when a salty lily finally appears, along with a wisp of incense. All that's left after five hours is a trace of woods, before it fades out altogether. Nothing resinous or animalic here.
This one held so much promise for me, but it was so frustratingly faint on my skin that it was like straining to identify a tune being played on a distant radio. lf the volume were cranked way up, l would probably enjoy it a lot more.
01st August, 2014

Les Nombres d'Or : Violette Fumée by Mona di Orio

For the first hour on my skin, this is bitter, acrid & earthy, & hits the back of my throat like the eye drops l was given as a child after eye surgery. Not one of my most pleasant childhood memories. Gradually l pick out notes of lavender, vetiver, leather & most prominently, a dark tobacco, not the sweet cherry kind. The whole strikes me as very masculine, & it's not until two hours in that l get a hint of violet, but it's far more the leaf than the sweet bloom that l smell. Very slowly it dries down to a more palatable base of vetiver with a lemony frankincense, still going faintly after nine hours.
l was attracted to this by reviews describing it as a "smoky violet", but it did not live up to my expectations. l got nothing in the way of violet flowers, & instead of a soft wisp of smoke, l got something very unpleasantly acrid & dark. The base is much more bearable, but it takes a long time to get there. lt's a long time since l tested Black Violet, but l remember that one as being far more wearable for me.
01st August, 2014

Nuit Andalouse by MDCI

My impression of the opening is of white flowers, mainly jasmine & tuberose, along with peachy lactones & a hint of green, perhaps moss. ln the heart there's a lot of ylang-ylang, which is very diffusive & creates a lovely trail. l find that sniffed up close, there is no gardenia here, but at a distance the sillage does produce an impression of soft, creamy gardenias. The overall feel here is dreamy & romantic, & it strikes me that this would make a gorgeous wedding perfume. As it dries down, vanilla & white musk make an appearance, & what remains in the final phase is a wonderfully milky sandalwood. lt all lasts a respectable eight hours before fading.
l'm rather impressed with this one, for its shape-shifting properties, that beautiful trail, & most of all the fact that it not only has a discernable & lasting base, (unlike many other new releases these days) but that base is a really decent quality sandalwood, the like of which l've only experienced in Bois des lsles & vintage Samsara. A wonderful surprise!
01st August, 2014
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Gardez-Moi by Jovoy

The opening is exuberant, very diffusive, green & wet in feel, with a fruity jasmine & a touch of tuberose. After around twenty minutes, the fruitiness fades & a soft gardenia peeks through, along with a subtly peppery lily & a herbal undercurrent. From here it all settles close to the skin, with just a hint of woody-vanilla sweetness in the base.
l really enjoyed the heart phase of this one, but the opening was just a little too fruity for me, & the base did not provide enough strength & support to keep it all going beyond five hours, when there was not a trace of it left on my skin. At this price point l expect far better longevity, & so in the end l'm relieved not to love it.
01st August, 2014

White Fire by Tiziana Terenzi

Right from the opening, this is a smooth white floral with no sharp edges to be found. The initial phase has an almost minty coolness, while the heart is soft & creamy. Apparently the white floral accord here is mostly composed of jasmine, but l get a distinct impression of gardenia, & l agree with Foustie's review that mentions lily & lilac. lt reminds me most of all of VC&A's Gardenia Petale, but where that fragrance has a moist, humid feel, this one is much more dry. The projection is quite low, & it dries down to a white musk after around four hours.
The overall impression here is soft, dreamy & romantic. lt's a gorgeous gardenia fragrance, but l must admit to a smidgeon of disappointment with this one. l expected more of a "white floral bomb", (the stuff my dreams are made of) but this is rather quiet & lacking in longevity for me, & l generally prefer my white florals more dense & indolic. You could say that White Fire left me cold, but l'm giving it a positive rating because it is really a lovely scent, it just needs to pack more of a punch for me to love it.
01st August, 2014

Wit by Delrae

Wit opens with a bright & lemony floral accord, both sweet & tart, with a cool, leafy feel. As it settles into the heart, l detect a clean jasmine, chilly narcissus & lightly powdery mimosa. After ninety minutes, there's a soft, smooth vanilla ice-cream note in the base. Three hours in it settles very close to the skin, & fades out after around seven hours.
l had to try this one, as l loved the scent of a daphne bush that grew in the garden of the last house l lived in. l can't say for certain whether this fragrance captures that scent, as l don't have any around to smell, but l'd say the opening is fairly close. This impression only lasts around fifteen minutes, but as a whole this is a very lovely & pretty spring fragrance.
01st August, 2014

25:43 by Gorilla Perfume

This one kicks off with a huge accord of lime & lemongrass, which is somehow sticky & yet sour/tart, not sweet at all, & certainly not subtle. lt's around forty-five minutes before this becomes bearable, when the accord is joined by something distinctly resinous to my nose; possibly labdanum or opoponax. ln fact, the heart of this fragrance is a dead ringer for Les Nereides' lmperial Opoponax, with lime & lemongrass substituting the bergamot. Some time later it finally sweetens as the tonka becomes detectable, but it never becomes overly sweet. lt all fades out after seven or eight hours.
25:43 isn't what l expected at all. lt's an odd union of opposites; bright, tropical fruits which belong to the summer, & oriental, resinous notes which belong in a winter fragrance, at least for me. At first l had no idea when l would wear it, but after some experimentation l've found that it works best on an evening that starts out warm, then cools right down as the hours pass. l still don't love it, but Mr teardrop seems to like it, so l'll wear it occasionally just for him, & perhaps it'll grow on me. This was an online blind buy after all, as l couldn't find a sample or a tester anywhere.
31st July, 2014

Coccobello by Heeley

The opening is leafy-green, with clean woods, mainly cedar, & just a trace of dry coconut. lt's more the scent of a coconut shell than of the sweet flesh. lt reminds me a lot of Santal Massoia or a lighter Santal 33. There's also a faint salty-marine accord a few minutes in. After half an hour, it becomes warmer, softer & creamier, although the gardenia note is not prominent. Here it suggests the skin-after-a-day-at-the-beach vibe of Bronze Goddess. The projection is moderate, & it's still going softly after seven hours, with a touch of vanilla sweetening the base.
l like Coccobello. lt's not a juicy tropical cocktail a la Virgin lsland Water, (which l own & love) or an overly-sweet gourmand-type coconut. lt doesn't even smell that much like suntan lotion. But it's a very nice, sophisticated, woody-creamy scent that l think would work equally well on guys or girls.
31st July, 2014

Une Voix Noire by Serge Lutens

This one strikes me immediately as a darker version of Fracas, with a slightly unpleasant, petro-chemical opening. To me this is definitely tuberose, rather than gardenia, & l wonder if this is what Tubereuse Criminelle was supposed to smell like - l find that one far less potent than many other people seem to. Fifteen minutes in, the chemical note is overtaken by a boozy, stewed fruit-like sweetness, & the fragrance continues in this vein for several hours. l get the merest hint of smoky incense in the far drydown, but nowhere near as much as l'd hoped for. The projection is good, & it's still going softly after nine hours.
For me this one is very disappointing, as l expected a smoky gardenia, but instead got a fruity, chemical tuberose. However if you love Tubereuse Criminelle but find it a little too subtle for you, this might be just what you need!
04th April, 2014

Boutonnière No.7 by Arquiste

This starts out as a crisp, green-white floral with a touch of citrus. A few minutes in, a big white floral accord emerges; there's definitely gardenia here, but also a little jasmine. For the first hour or two, it puts me in mind of a softer, more smooth-around-the-edges version of Jardenia or Tawaf, with a projection to rival both. After this, it becomes more of a warm & creamy, but clean gardenia, with none of the blue cheese or mushroom notes. The base is slightly mossy, & here it turns more green again, fading but still present after nine hours.
There's no denying that this is a truly lovely gardenia fragrance. lt appears to be aimed at the masculine end of the market, but l find it absolutely feminine enough for me to wear. lt also reminds me, at a certain point in the drydown, of one of my very favourite spring florals, Un Matin d'Orage. l adore gardenia, & l'm very fussy about gardenia perfumes, having tried quite a few that missed the mark. This is one l would be delighted to find in my collection.
04th April, 2014

Magical Moon by Hanae Mori

This is a rich, opulent, full-bodied tropical oriental, in very much the same ballpark as Mahora. ln fact it's the only other fragrance in Mahora's ballpark, in my experience. l get tuberose, jasmine, coconut, vanilla, & a touch of fruity osmanthus, joined early on by creamy, lactonic woods, & later by a wisp of incense. lt's powerful, in an unapologetic, almost eighties fashion, for the first couple of hours. After this it becomes much softer, drying down to a base of clean musk & smooth sandalwood, fading after five hours.
Despite its less than stellar longevity, this fragrance makes me smile. After trying a few lately that were really too subtle for me, this one almost made me laugh with joy for its lack of subtlety; this is perfume with a capital P!
04th April, 2014

Beige Eau de Toilette by Chanel

ln the vial, l get a strong whiff of springtime from the freesia note; on my skin, this is much less evident. After the aldehydes burn off, the fragrance settles into a very soft, white, slightly tropical floral. lt's hard to pick the floral notes apart, but if pressed, l'd say that the tropical feel must be coming from the frangipani note. l wait in anticipation for the hawthorn note that's meant to be here, as l love the smell of hawthorn or May blossom, as it's known in the English countryside. But to my disappointment that rich, earthy, animalic scent never appears. Neither does the honey note that many reviewers mention. lt all fades to a creamy, vanillic base, just detectable after eight hours.
A pretty, but unexciting fragrance, with rather poor projection. lt's interesting though to see Chanel trying to do a tropical fragrance, & perhaps l might enjoy it more in warmer weather.
04th April, 2014

White Shoulders by Elizabeth Arden

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

The initial phase is an indolic jasmine & tuberose, very similar IMO to Crabtree & Evelyn's Gardenia; perhaps a touch more powdery. After thirty minutes, it settles into a prettier, but still sultry white floral, & in the heart l detect something like honeysuckle. The base is sweetly animalic, with musk, amber & a little sandalwood. lt's still going softly after nine hours.
A likeable fragrance, not as innocent as it appears, but still a little too "pretty" in the drydown for my personal taste.
04th April, 2014

Attrape Coeur / Guet-Apens / Royal Extract by Guerlain

The opening is fruity on my skin, but in a retro style, dominated by milky, peachy lactones. l can see the oft-mentioned resemblance to Mitsouko here, but this is warmer, friendlier, less aloof. lt quickly settles into a creamy floral accord, mainly violets to my nose, underscored by sandalwood & a little vanilla. After a couple of hours, there's a touch of ambergris & moss, but these notes are very subtle; the creamy florals & sweet sandalwood dominate right to the end. After four hours, the scent lies very close to the skin, & fades completely after eight hours.
This is a very pretty fragrance, & much sweeter than l expected. For me it's kind of a more grown-up & sophisticated version of the fruity florals that are popular with very young girls these days. lt's charming & delightful, but it's not quite me.
04th April, 2014

Véga by Guerlain

This one opens with sparkling aldehydes, with only a vague hint of the "off" note that l sometimes get from them. They hover over an ethereal, bright & soapy floral accord, mainly ylang-ylang & jasmine, to my nose. There is a fleeting impression of indoles, before it all settles into a soft, creamy, tropical floral with a touch of vanilla. lt puts me in mind of a lighter, more luminous version of Mahora. Where Mahora is loud, proud & (some might say) a little vulgar though, this one is rather more elegant & aloof. As the scent progresses, l get whiffs of something very slightly salty, perhaps ambergris or maybe some moss. l also get something like old-fashioned face cream, & a light musk in the base. Four hours in, it settles very close to the skin, but doesn't fade completely until ten hours have passed.
This is a very beautiful fragrance, but l have to say, l think Mahora is more my style. ;)
04th April, 2014

Bois des Îles Parfum by Chanel

This is a fragrance of creamy woods, from start to finish. ln the opening l get a slightly "off" note, which may just be the way my nose interprets the aldehydes. After half an hour, though, this note subsides, leaving a sublimely creamy, sweet sandalwood, with just a touch of spice. Any floral notes are extremely subtle here. There is a rather edible, biscuit-like accord in the base, & perhaps a whiff of incense. The whole thing is very soft, but lasts a good ten hours on me.
l can see why this fragrance gets such high praise around here; it's possibly the loveliest, purest sandalwood l have smelled anywhere. What frustrates me is the lack of any real projection, even when spraying from an atomiser. Perhaps the parfum might satisfy me more, but at the moment l don't have the means to try it.
04th April, 2014

Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio

This is pretty much straight-up frankincense all the way. The opening has the lemony aspect very much to the fore, along with a woody note, but it settles quickly into a deep & contemplative incense with an ambery undertone, & stays there. Eight hours in it's very close to the skin, & there's something sweet in the base; not vanilla-sweet, but perhaps a hint of sweet tobacco.
This one is certainly a quality incense, & definitely lives up to its name. As others have said though, it evokes the great outdoors rather than the inside of a church. This becomes apparent when comparing it side-by-side with lncense Extreme. ln comparison, IE is more ethereal, with a "cold flagstone" vibe, & more lemony. Next to it, IP is strikingly thicker, warmer, woodier, more ambery-sweet. ln their different ways, lMO, both have their place on the list of must-try incense fragrances.
04th April, 2014

Tabac Aurea by Sonoma Scent Studio

This is a straight-up, dry, unsmoked tobacco, with a leathery undertone. After an hour or so, it's a little softer & smokier, but there's no sweetness at all until around four hours in. Even then, the sweetness is very slight, & not at all powdery. Overall, a fairly linear tobacco fragrance, recommended if you're looking for a non-sweet version, & it lasts a good eleven hours on me. For myself, l would prefer a little more sweetness. l haven't yet tried Tobacco Vanille, but perhaps that will deliver more of what l'm looking for.
04th April, 2014

Winter Woods by Sonoma Scent Studio

At the outset, l am wondering if some of SSS's scents do indeed share a similar base, as this does smell quite a bit like Champagne de Bois in its buttery, ambery sweetness. As it develops though, this takes a much more woody path, the most prominent wood being pine, with a slightly burnt aspect. lt's resinous, but still sweet. Four or five hours in, there's a little vetiver, & later on a softly animalic base of castoreum along with labdanum. Nine hours in it's faded to a skin scent.
This may not be a "wow" perfume, but it is a very pleasantly comforting scent, & aptly named. Alfarom's comparison to "your favourite brown cashmere sweater you use for winter walks" describes it perfectly.
04th April, 2014

Une Fleur de Cassie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

My first reaction on applying this was; "Wow! Big, animalic, leathery floral!" The cumin gives the opening a wonderfully dirty undertone, without being at all offensive. After an hour or two, it all quietens down into a soft, creamy-powdery mimosa with a touch of peppery violets. The base is suede-like in texture, with a hint of musk. The overall impression is of a golden-yellow colour, with little patches of purple from the violets; the colour of spring.
When l first tried this in cold weather, it seemed a very quiet fragrance after that first couple of hours. But on warmer days it really blooms, & it lasts over ten hours on me. Wonderful.
04th April, 2014