Reviews by pussinboots

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    pussinboots
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    Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

    Grown men, please wear this in summer. It's to die for. I most sincerely cannot think of a sexier men's cologne. I immediately get a vision of a square-jawed, mature man (30s, minimum) - tan and fit, wearing a gorgeously disheveled white collared shirt by the sea. Possibly sailing. Shorts and bare feet. It just screams, "HANDSOME!" And also polished, but not too polished. Relaxed and confident. Perfect.

    Don Draper would have worn this.

    Heck, I may have to start wearing it myself in the "borrowed from the boyfriend" manner.

    11th July, 2012

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    Amaranthine by Penhaligon's

    Green/white floral and jungle green. Tropical over-ripeness and sweat. The opening makes my mind shout "Heart of Darkness" while picturing some place hot, green and lush - the Amazon, Thailand, Hawaii. A dark and tangled rainforest with white flowers blooming within. Under and over and through it all is the spicy tang of sweat - like the fetchingly soaked cotton shirt of our heroine as she pushes her way through the forbidding foliage. There is the anticipation of a mysterious encounter. A fine tension, as Off-scenter so aptly noted. This is not something I can personally imagine wearing - but it's a remarkably evocative and well-crafted scent.

    03 November, 2011

    rating


    Hanae Mori (new / Butterfly) by Hanae Mori

    Ah, Hanae Mori Butterfly. I'll just admit up front that this was my signature perfume for almost 10 years. I like the EDP or Parfum best - not the EDT. I began wearing it in 1997 or 98, as a 23 year old girl in San Francisco. I carried a Hello Kitty wallet, worked in the videogame industry, dressed in girly little dresses & big motorcycle boots, had a short choppy red haircut and wore butterfly clips in my hair. This scent was PERFECT for me then - it evoked the Japanese-pop-culture-inflected gamine thing I was going for at the time. Now, as a late 30s wife and mother with a more classic style - I feel that I have thoroughly outgrown it - but I still find it charming and adorable.

    As for what it smells like - this is a fruity oriental that is quite gourmand in character. Totally girlish and even childlike - and yet somehow it manages to be charming, comforting and a little sensual instead of trashy. (At least I think so - Katie Puckrick calls it "stripper perfume!") It was designed in 1995, when Angel was everywhere and everyone was playing catch up - and it's definitely a sweet, sweet, SWEET gourmand scent that is a distant cousin of perfumes like Angel and (groan, yes, it's true) Pink Sugar - while not smelling exactly like them.

    This is essentially a strawberry-almond perfume. The base almond is so sweet that it becomes like marzipan or an almond-paste filled croissant. There is a buttery quality like baked goods. Together, this all gives an impression that's very similar to vanilla bakery + red fruit.

    If you have ever been in a Japanese bakery that specializes in French pastry - and they have some of these in San Francisco's Japantown - it smells LIKE THAT.

    The opening is HARSH - it has been compared to windex and hairspray by other reviewers, and I don't think they're wrong. It smells synthetic and tart to the point of being astringent. Yuck. Mercifully, this wears off quickly - especially in the EDP and Parfum concentrations, which are far smoother than the EDT and much superior, in my opinion. Top notes are red fruits - raspberry and red currant to begin with - and finally evolving into a strawberry. There's a blended floral heart - I can't put my finger on precisely what - but I think there's a rose that melds with the strawberry, then you get that sweet almond and a slightly woody base.

    I find men love this stuff - my husband said I smelled like a "vanilla cookie" when we were young and dating, and a gay male friend once exclaimed "you smell like vanilla witchcraft!" when he went in for a hug. I have had men AND women stop me on the street to ask me what I'm wearing because they want to buy it. So it's got good sillage. It's also incredibly long-lasting - it really does go ALL DAY. So best to go light on the spray.

    All in all, a lovely fragrance - but definitely cutesy. This is what Hello Kitty might wear on a date! Charming as all get out - but I think my days of wearing it are sadly over.

    17 October, 2011

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I so wanted to like this. But Chergui opens loudly on my skin with a harsh blast of green that, combined with the tobacco, smells exactly like a menthol. Yikes! (And what *is* that?)

    In this stage - it reminds me of an old gentleman with his pipe, right down to the foot liniment. That's not a bad thing - but it's not something I want to smell like, either.

    Fortunately, this passes after about an hour. What remains is a sweet, dry pipe tobacco laced with honey and hay. Very pleasant.

    If I could get the tobacco without the hour-long menthol, it'd be a thumbs up. But sadly after several tries I can't.

    10/11/11
    Fall is coming on again, and so many people rec Chergui, I thought this was worth a re-sampling. No menthol blast this time! Instead, I get what so many others describe - candied incense syrup + a very handsome pipe tobacco and a leather base. It really is lovely, but too heavy and thick for me. Also a touch too masculine for my tastes.

    03 November, 2010 (Last Edited: 11th October, 2011)

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    Ael-Mat by Lostmarc'h

    First whiff: A bright, sparkling juniper - fresh and citrusy - that is quite reminiscent of the ocean's spray.

    This passes quickly, and jasmine comes in - white, soft and sweet. This is a gentle jasmine - the kind you might find growing on a fence near the sea. Definitely not the sexy, voluptuous night-blooming sort.

    Anchoring it all is just a hint of musk - but to my nose it has a slightly soapy note. On the dry down, this scent reminds me of the delicate, perfectly shaped little white seashell soaps my mother would keep in a basket for company. (That sounds almost like an insult - but it's not. I coveted those soaps as a girl.)

    Ael-Mat is an innocent, pure little white-green floral fragrance. Spritely, in fact. It reminds me of early spring - March and April. It's charming and child-like, without being childish. An adolescent could wear this easily, but then - so could anyone.

    The name means "guardian angel" in Breton - and it's appropriate. Ael-Mat smells clean, pure, sweet and fresh. You could wear it with a white dress for a walk on the dunes in the morning.

    03 November, 2010

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    Poivre by Caron

    Cloves! Clove gum, clove cigarettes (though there's no smoke in this scent), and yes - red hots as other reviewers have said. And the peppery floral note of carnation, too. Poivre opens with a spicy, peppery bang - a big red-gold wallop of scent, very vintage and lush in character.

    For all its brass and trumpets at the start, Poivre's dry down is very mellow, warm and familiar. Soothing, even. Makes me think of cinnamon sticks (and again, cloves) in a kitchen spice cabinet.

    It strikes me as quite unisex, and I think a man could wear it easily.

    Neutral rating simply because it's not something I think I would reach to wear again. But if you are looking for cloves, pepper and spice in a fragrance - this fits the bill.

    Hanunani - thanks to you for sending me a decant to try!

    03 November, 2010

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    Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris

    I was looking for a perfume that smelled of the Northern California coast, and thanks to Hanunani's generosity I've found one. Fleurs de sel smells very much like the dry, golden aromatic hills on the coast - with just a tang of salt in the air.

    Fleurs de sel is not an exact match to California's coastal hills - there are other elements here. What I notice most of all in this perfume is the presence of Vetiver. An aromatic, herbaceous, dry, golden Vetiver. Plus salt. Personally, I'm not a nut for Vetiver - but if it's your thing - give this a try.

    Overall, this perfume strikes me as extremely GOLDEN and DRY - it also conveys a sense of strength or power (not in being overbearing, but in its character). Often, when wearing it - I am struck by the image of a lion. All the dry, golden yellow tones of the savannah, and of the lion's coat and mane.

    02 November, 2010 (Last Edited: 18 July, 2012)

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