Perfume Reviews

Reviews by teardrop

Total Reviews: 643

Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Yes, this is a real, sweet, velvety, true rose right off the bat. For the first hour or so, it has a kind of old-fashioned feel, although l'm not sure what note produces that "slightly on the turn" scent that l sometimes get from vintage perfumes. After this, though, that feeling disappears, & the deep, dark, wine-like red rose comes through in full force. This rose is stunningly beautiful, swoonworthy & seductive, underscored by something slightly earthy & animalic. The base accord smells to me like ambergris, & it reminds me a little of the "Tauerade". lt also bears a similarity to the base of Goutal's Un Matin d'Orage, but overlaid with the rose instead of those dewy white flowers. l don't know what truffles smell like, so l can't say if l smell them here, but l'm guessing that the truffle note is what lends this rose its earthy darkness. The scent lasts a good fourteen hours on me, & the rose is there right to the end.
l will say again; Stunning. Beautiful. Swoonworthy. Seductive. An absolute must-try for rose lovers; l cannot imagine a better one than this.
04th April, 2014

L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

This smells exactly like Johnson's Baby Lotion to me, & for this reason l wasn't sure how l felt about it at first, but after a few wearings it has really grown on me.
l get the barest whiff of heliotrope in the initial phase, & then it's mainly a smooth, sweet, soft floral blend with a slightly cool, mineral feel. The floral notes are hard to pick out, but there's possibly some violet or iris in there, & the tiniest touch of powder. The overall effect is kind of "white with a hint of pink", like apple blossom in the snow. lt continues in fairly linear fashion, giving off nice little wafts every now & then, & lasting over twelve hours on me. There's a vanillary white musk in the base.
l expected more powder & almonds here, & also that it would feel more of a comfort scent. For me it's a little too cool, pretty & ethereal to make me feel comforted on a cold winter's day, but in early spring l have found it just perfect for wearing to work. lt has a clean & inoffensive prettiness that works really well in my hospital environment. Very nice.
04th April, 2014

Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal

This was another blind buy for me, having spotted a small bottle in TK Maxx, & having read a few positive reviews on various blogs. l'm not usually a lover of very green scents, but this one won me over. lt starts out with bright citrus notes of lemon & grapefruit, with a herbaceous edge. As it develops, l get a bunch of different impressions; there's the tomato/ tomato leaf, & perhaps a little blackcurrant bud. ln fact on my skin the heart is very similar to L'Ombre dans L'Eau, crossed with the lemongrass/ lime leaf/ coconut Thai curry vibe of Fils de Dieu. There's also some dry lavender & later on, a waft of incense. The projection is good & it all lasts a very respectable twelve hours on me. l don't really get the fig until way into the drydown, but when l do it's milky & delicious. These complex & varied impressions all somehow succeed in working together.
l think this fragrance would be perfect for cutting through heat & humidity, & l look forward very much to testing this out in the summer.
04th April, 2014
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Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal

l bought this bottle blind at a time when l was feeling the need for an incense fragrance, & spotted it in TK Maxx. lt took me a few wearings to really get into it. At first, l got mainly an overwhelming scent of burning incense, but over time it has revealed its other facets to me. The opening is bright, peppery & lemony, there's woods in the heart along with the incense, & at times in the base l detect something softly animalic.
This isn't the scent of a damp, musty old church; as others have said, it's more like a cosy log cabin in the woods with a wood fire burning. lts warming, dry feel is particularly comforting on a cold, wet day. Although it appears to settle quite close to the skin & loses the "burnt" vibe around three hours in, others can smell it on me many hours after application, & there's still faint traces on my skin after fourteen hours.
l can't compare this to the CdG series or the Montale as l haven't tried them, but it became a wardrobe staple for me this past winter, & l'm sure l'll have no trouble finishing the bottle. There may be nothing classically "feminine" about it, & for sure l do love my florals, but for me this burning incense is a satisfying wear nonetheless.
04th April, 2014

The Olive Branch by Gorilla Perfume

l was lucky enough to be sent a sample of this limited edition fragrance by a lovely basenoter, & how l wish l'd bought a bottle when it was still available. lt's so much more than the sum of its parts. There is citrus, mainly orange, but it's underscored by a darker, more complex smoky accord which is hard to identify; perhaps there's some labdanum or woods here, too. l've seen vine leaves mentioned on a notes list elsewhere. lt doesn't develop much, but the citrus notes fade after around four hours, leaving the soft smokiness to take centre stage. Projection & longevity are outstanding, from just one spray.
This is a beautiful & unusual fragrance, very cosy on a cold day, & if it became available again l would definitely buy it. Fortunately the shower gel is still around, & it is very true to the perfume, so go try it if you want to get a feel for how this smells.
04th April, 2014

Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford

The sweet, aldehydic floral opening quickly turns green & crisp, like a fresh spring morning, complete with hints of leaves & stems, earth & wood. After an hour, it settles into a cool, green, spring floral with a mentholated feel. There's magnolia in the heart, & a sweet benzoin in the base. The projection & longevity are slightly better here than in Jonquille de Nuit & Lys Fume.
This is by far my favourite of the three "twisted florals" that l tried, & the only one for me that truly delivers what it promised. Had l the funds, l would seriously consider getting a bottle.
30th March, 2014

Lys Fume by Tom Ford

This has a cool, fresh, almost minty opening; much less aldehydic than Jonquille de Nuit & Ombre de Hyacinth. There's a subtle hint of dirt, & l also get the plasticky note that others here have mentioned, as well as the "bad breath" type of indolic jasmine. Twenty minutes in a peppery lily emerges, but after an hour it all settles very close to the skin. There's a faint vanilla & a little ylang in the base, but l get no smoke or amber at all.
l'm giving this a neutral because l don't altogether dislike it, but l'm disappointed that it didn't deliver the hypnotic, smoky lily that l hoped for.
30th March, 2014

Jonquille de Nuit by Tom Ford

This has a sharp, aldehydic floral opening, brighter & slightly fruitier than Ombre de Hyacinth, & less green. As it settles, there's a definite lily note, along with a little powder & amber, & at this stage it smells exactly like Donna Karan Gold to me, far more so than Lys Fume does. ln the heart there's a hint of the "bad breath"-type of indolic jasmine, & later on there's vanilla in the base. After the first hour, it all fades very close to the skin, although it lasts several hours.
l'm giving this a neutral because although l don't hate it, l get pretty much the same scent, but done better, from my bottle of DK Gold. And it doesn't really suggest the wonderful scent of real daffodils to me, either.
30th March, 2014

Sahara Noir by Tom Ford

For me this is a fabulously loud, strong, woody incense all the way. The projection is enormous with just one spray, & it lasts over twelve hours on me. The quality of frankincense here is very similar to that used in lncense Extreme. lncense Extreme has a lot more subtlety & complexity going for it, but l can't help but love Sahara Noir for being so powerfully, unashamedly INCENSE, & l don't see any reason why a woman shouldn't feel amazing wearing it.
29th March, 2014

Santal Blush by Tom Ford

A buttery, creamy sandalwood, with a generous pinch of spice. ln fact there is a slight curry vibe here from the cumin & fenugreek, but this accord is not at all overwhelming or sweat-like; it merely serves to give some warmth & interest to the woody notes. The heart is powdery, sweet & yet savoury. l don't get any of the listed floral notes. ln the first hour the projection is good; l get pleasant wafts of fragrance each time l move. After this it settles closer, but the drydown is a persistent, drier mix of incense smoke, wood & a subtle, suede-like leather. Unlike some other reviewers, l find that this fragrance does develop, & l would say it is definitely unisex.
l could be seriously tempted to buy a bottle of this, but oh, the price!
29th March, 2014

Jasmin Rouge by Tom Ford

The opening has a bright, fresh & clean jasmine, joined within moments by the "magic marker" type of indole, & then a touch of spice & fruit. Ten minutes in, the jasmine becomes creamier, sweeter & woodier, & suddenly it reminds me very much of Givenchy's Organza, with its creamy, nutty, woody heart notes. From here it doesn't change much until the far drydown, when l detect whiffs of ylang, leather & ambergris in the base. Six hours in it's settled very close to the skin, but there's still faint traces fifteen hours after application.
l would describe this as a "warm" jasmine, very suited to the golden days of late summer & early autumn. A nice fragrance, but nowhere near special enough to justify the price, IMO. lf you love this one but find it beyond your means, l highly recommend Organza as a much cheaper alternative.
29th March, 2014

Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

A stupendously beautiful neroli perfume, this is indeed just like 4711, but with outstanding projection & longevity. lt also has a woodiness in the base that the other lacks, & it doesn't have that metallic quality that l get from scents like Profumum's Neroli. lt lasts a good ten hours on me; easily the longest-lasting citrus that l've tried. A perfectly refreshing summer scent, & one can't help but think of azure seas when gazing at that bottle.
29th March, 2014

Noa by Cacharel

Retro-style, soapy, powdery, laundry product-type smell. lt somehow suggests those wholesome housewives from fifties adverts. l don't often say this, but; yuck. l felt embarrassed wearing this when l tested it, thankfully it didn't last long.
29th March, 2014
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Tahitian Holiday by Avon

A cheap & cheerful tropical blend of coconut, vanilla & gardenia, this is fun, sweet & girly. lt's also very similar to B&BW's Tiare Flower, which l owned a bottle of before giving it away to a friend. lt's not at all complex or interesting & it doesn't last long, but it's perfect for taking on a beach holiday & spraying liberally, then ditching the bottle before your return home.
29th March, 2014

Fleurs de Gardenia (new) by Creed

A crisp, slightly green & soapy white floral, more muguet than gardenia to my nose. lt's very soft, & fades fast after around three hours. l never got a chance to try the older version, but this one was disappointing to me.
29th March, 2014

Fleur de Figuier by Roger & Gallet

This is more fruit than flower; a sweet, fruity fig, not as crisp, milky or woody as l'd like a fig fragrance to be. But it's pleasant enough, & lasts reasonably well.
29th March, 2014

Just Grapefruit by Arran Aromatics

This one does exactly what it says on the tin; it's a one-note perfume from beginning to end, but that note is a true, tart, almost bitter grapefruit, perfect as a pick-me-up on a sweltering, humid day. The projection is good for around three hours, but it's still there after six. This isn't something l'd wear as a perfume, but for medicinal purposes it's great for jolting you awake if you're feeling sluggish from the heat.
29th March, 2014

Datura Noir by Serge Lutens

The opening is very similar to that of MPG's Secrete Datura; tonka along with a white floral accord; but there's a fruity overtone to this one. l get hints of bitter almonds & a glimpse of tropical foliage, before the whole thing softens into a smooth, coconutty floral. l don't detect any further development, & l don't get the tuberose that many other reviewers mention. The projection is low, & it all fades after five hours.
This is a pleasantly beachy fragrance, but it doesn't suggest anything seductively poisonous to me, as one might expect from the name. For me, Secrete Datura captures that vibe far more successfully.
29th March, 2014

Honour Woman by Amouage

l was keen to see what this house could do with a white floral - one of my favourite genres - & intrigued having read that it was inspired by Puccini's Madame Butterfly.
ln the opening l get a fresh, cool, slightly tart note of rhubarb, supported by a white floral accord, & reminiscent of Byredo's beautiful La Tulipe. Sadly, this quickly fades, leaving a kind of musty lily, & no detectable tuberose, jasmine or gardenia, to my nose. Two hours in, there's a creamy, ambery sweetness, & then a subtle smidgeon of vetiver in the base. Seven hours in, it's almost gone.
This is not an altogether unpleasant scent, but l found it disappointing for its lack of depth, complexity & projection. After that lovely opening, it all falls rather flat & quiet, & does no justice at all to the beauty of white flowers. Certainly not worthy of the price, or, l would say, the name. lf you love the opening of this one, l highly recommend you try La Tulipe; it sustains its beauty for far longer, while being quite a bit cheaper.
29th March, 2014

Good Girl Gone Bad by By Kilian

Although, like many others, l am not enamoured with the name, it was the mention of "toxic narcissus" in the notes listed on Perfume Shrine that gave me the urge to try this one.
l get just a touch of aldehyde in the opening, along with an intense floral accord; mainly jasmine, to my nose. There is a tropical feel to this accord, & l swear l detect quite a bit of coconut here. The projection is pretty powerful on my skin, & as it warms, the osmanthus lends a fruity edge, which is not too jammy or cloying. The tuberose is there also, but is not at all dominant. l don't get any rose, or even narcissus, but no matter, this is a honeyed, full-bodied & voluptuous floral, with a subtle woodiness from the cedar. After a couple of hours, it all dries down into a creamy, sweet, honeyed, ambery floral, that reminds me a little of Mahora. lt's still projecting softly after ten hours.
This one has been knocked quite a bit for being a little too much of the "good girl" & not enough of the "bad". And l agree; there's certainly nothing dirty or animalic here. For a taste of what it should have smelled like, go try Lush's vastly cheaper Sikkim Girls. That said, l enjoyed wearing this, & felt incredibly womanly & feminine in it, so it can't be all bad! l probably wouldn't spend the money required to buy it, though.
29th March, 2014

Geste by Humiecki & Graef

Lovely Violets, But...

This has a quite lovely opening of fresh, lightly powdery, woody violets, quickly joined by a slightly salty note reminiscent of a softer Dans Tes Bras. Then ten minutes in, l get a note l can only describe as "lightly used ladies underthings". This is not a "dirty" note exactly, more the scent of underwear which has been worn for just an hour or two after bathing. Not altogether unpleasant, but an unmistakeable scent nonetheless! l'm guessing this arises from whatever variety of musk is being used here, but l have never detected this disconcerting note in a perfume before. From here, the fragrance does not develop any further, & stays close to the skin, but it lasts a very respectable ten hours before fading.

l really love the opening of this one, but "that" note would prevent me from ever wearing it in public; way too embarrassing!
07th June, 2013 (last edited: 21st April, 2014)

Invasion Barbare / SB by MDCI

Review by teardrop

ln the opening l get citrus, lavender, &, l could swear, cocoa. As the fragrance evolves, it becomes more woody, peppery & herbal, with a steadily strengthening note of patchouli. Reading the notes back, l see that cardamom & ginger are listed, & although l can't pick them out individually here, l can see how they combine to produce a spicy, yet fresh accord in the heart. And the idea of an "oriental fougere" suddenly makes sense to me. After thirty minutes or so, the whole thing morphs again into a wonderfully smoky, powdery, rich vanilla along with musk, & the patchouli which remains for the duration. l think this fragrance would easily last eight to ten hours, if not longer.

A really interesting fragrance, which l feel would require several wearings to understand the genius of its execution. To combine impressions of freshness with warmth, & lightness with weight in this way, without any sense of imbalance or incongruity, seems to me extraordinarily clever. l think it would be wearable for any occasion in any season; it simply smells "good". And although many reviewers describe it as being very masculine, l see no reason at all why a woman could not wear this.

07th June, 2013

L'Ombre dans L'Eau Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

An English Summer Garden.

This does indeed start off intensely green, vegetal & almost sharp. l get mainly blackcurrant buds & leaves along with grapefruit to begin with, but the tomato leaf is certainly there. After an hour or so, as this accord begins to fade, a subdued, dark rose appears. This rose seems to peer out from the deep, damp shade of this summer garden, while the blackcurrant bushes & tomato vines take the full heat & dryness of the sun. After six hours, the tomato leaf dominates, but it's not quite the smell of my grandfather's greenhouse, which is what l'd hoped for. l think it needs less blackcurrant & more earth to evoke that special scent from my childhood.

An incredibly realistic evocation of how an English garden really smells on a hot summer's day, this is far from my usual summer wardrobe of tropical florals & big white floral fragrances. l'm not sure it's quite "me" therefore, but it's certainly interesting, clever & very long lasting at over twelve hours.

07th June, 2013

Sikkim Girls by Gorilla Perfume


This opens with a pretty jasmine & tuberose accord familiar from many other white florals l've tried, but then... as it warms on the skin, it becomes ferociously animalic & dirty, thanks to a huge dose of indole from the frangipani. This is a real old-school floriental with a naughty side, in an eighties powerhouse style, with projection to match! From here it very slowly calms down, & sweetens slightly around four hours in, still just there after six hours.

l am mightily impressed with the audacity of this one. For a high street store to be selling something this far removed from the current mainstream takes a lot of confidence, & a heck of a load of cheek. l love them for it!

P.S. l'm sampling Good Girl Gone Bad by By Kilian today, & l can't help thinking; "Sikkim Girls is what Good Girl.. should have smelled like".

07th June, 2013

Furze by Gorilla Perfume

Green Coconut & Vanilla.

This is an unusual greenish, fig-like coconut, eventually drying down to a soft vanilla. Projection is low, & it lasts around six hours before fading.

lt's a nice, kind of tropical beachy scent, but l can't help thinking this would be more suited to a body product than a perfume.

07th June, 2013

Dolce Acqua by Profumum

Almonds & Vanilla.

This is predominantly an almond scent, from top to bottom. l get a whiff of plasticine (not playdoh!) in the opening phase, & a tonka note that strengthens over the course of the drydown, joined by a woody vanilla in the base. lt's a little like Montale's Sweet Oriental Dream without the rose, & with much less complexity. lt's not at all powdery, & would probably appeal to both sexes. The projection is moderate, fading after around six hours.

A pleasant enough scent, worth trying if you love almondy-vanilla fragrances, but for me this isn't special enough to justify the price.

07th June, 2013

Eccelso by Profumum

Leather in Disguise.

ln the opening l get a whiff of smoke, a very light touch of bergamot, a little spice & wood, & hints of patchouli & labdanum beneath. Then ten minutes in, l get a distinctly animalic leather note. This is not mentioned in the notes lists l've seen, nor in any of the few reviews l've come across, but on my skin the heart of this fragrance is a smoky, powdery, soft leather, & really a most enjoyable surprise. l don't get the listed magnolia note, except as a mere suggestion of floral creaminess, which is gone almost as soon as l detect it. From this point it slowly dries down to a mossy ambergris base, still projecting softly after five hours.

For me this is primarily a comforting & very nice quality leather fragrance, & although it's listed here as a masculine, l would say ladies can easily wear it too.

07th June, 2013

Núvol di Llimona / Lemon Cloud by Roca Perfums

Lemon Meringue Without the Pie.

This opens with a lovely, juicy lemon note, with a sugary undercurrent. Over the first twenty minutes, the lemon fades, & a very authentic meringue accord comes to the fore. One hour in, the lily of the valley note lends a white floral aspect, & in the drydown l detect neroli, a clean white musk & a not-too-sweet vanilla. The projection is low, but it's still detectable on my skin after ten hours.

This doesn't quite have the lemon meringue pie vibe l was hoping for, as the pastry is missing, but if you're looking for a light gourmand suitable for warmer weather, you could do a lot worse than this.

07th June, 2013

Séville à l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Orange Groves Under a Clear Blue Sky.

l had to try this one after reading Denyse Beaulieu's wonderfully entertaining book "The Perfume Lover", which describes in delicious detail the story behind it & its creation by Bertrand Duchaufour.

The opening is a fresh blast of petitgrain, candied orange blossom & waxy zest, quickly joined by a subtle lavender note. Shortly after, there's an undercurrent of something deeper, resinous & mineral-like. Another reviewer mentioned a "wet stone" note, which describes it very well. From here the scent stays fairly linear for several hours on me, slowly sweetened up by a vanillic benzoin in the base. The incense note is very faint, but the creamy blossoms are still present nine hours in as it's fading.

An interesting & rather lovely spring/summer scent, this does not have the syrupy sweetness of Lutens' Fleur d'Oranger, nor does it emphasise the metallic facets of orange blossom, as in Profumum's Neroli, for example. lt may not conjure up images of sex as many seem to have expected, but for me this does not matter. lt does conjure up the beauty & romance of real orange groves under a clear blue sky, & that in itself is reason enough for me to wear & love it.

07th June, 2013

La Tulipe by Byredo

A Beautiful Evocation of Spring.

For a fleeting moment in the opening, the rhubarb note is very prominent, but then it calms down & combines with the freesia note to form a greenish, cool & fresh floral accord. Although it's not exactly natural-smelling, this accord actually produces a rather clever & beautiful abstract idea of a bunch of spring flowers. The fragrance is linear, but very diffusive, & lasts a good seven hours before fading.

This is not a challenging fragrance, but is most enjoyable as a thing of simple beauty, & sometimes that's all one needs to put a smile on one's face.

07th June, 2013