Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Squeezeweasel


Iris by Demeter Fragrance Library

Oh, this is a pity. Beautiful, well-blended, earthy, buttery orris with a soft edge of violet...but twenty minutes later, it's gone. It's not really usable as a personal fragrance because of this evanescence - I'm having to use it as a pillow spray. I would have given this a solid thumbs up if it had any lasting power at all; if you want a good iris that is this attractive *and* has longevity, buy The Different Company's Bois d'Iris instead.
11th July, 2007

Amber Absolute by Tom Ford

Beautiful - this is as close to a perfect amber as I've found. Amber Absolute is heavy on the labdanum and incense (an African incense, according to the lady at the counter), with a soft, but not powdery, vanillic base tying everything together. There's sandalwood in there along with some other resins I don't recognise, and it's soft and melting on the skin. There's also a feeling of delicious gummed paper (admit it; you love licking envelopes too!) and an echo of the caramel in Dzing! in the middle notes.

This on me is a wonderful 'skin' fragrance. It's expensive, but I'm hooked - I'm driving the 70 miles to buy a bottle as soon as my next paycheck comes in.
19th June, 2007

Attrape Coeur / Guet-Apens / Royal Extract by Guerlain

My bottle of Guet Apens, still in the cellophane, arrived today. I ordered it several weeks ago from Italy, and I had become resigned to its never turning up, so I was incredibly excited when it excited, in fact, that I couldn't bring myself to open it. I carried it around in my handbag all day, getting the great big blue box out every now and then to *look* at. Got back home an hour or so ago, and opened it! I shall sit here and wait for it to *do* things, and describe it every time it does something interesting over the next half hour.

First impressions: good lord, it's phenomenally good. It's a lot like the very best parts of both Apres l'Ondee and Mitsouko kind of remixed with a healthy dollop of creamy vanilla from Shalimar, made all the better in Guet Apens. Amazing creamy iris and a sweetly (important, this sweetness, because it goes all the way through the perfume) green violet over a big red basket of roses and peaches - the big, perfect white-fleshed kind of peach. I don't usually do peach, but this is glorious. It's much more recognisable as peach than the similar note in Mitsouko is - whether this is an accident of blending or a different chemical, I don't know. After a while it works its way into the background and lets the rose and sandalwood sing.

The sandalwood is in the bottom and a wonderfully vanillic cream. The sandalwood is, for me, the heaviest note in the drydown. There's an amber note in there too, but it feels almost like it's a trick of the peach and labdanum; it's like the two notes blended into a beautiful whole. The peach has turned ambery rather than juicy (about 20 minutes in at this point). It's so delicious I may accidentally eat my wrist if I stop paying attention. The iris, very upright and a little powdery, is still singing over the top like a very clearly sung musical note. It's very hard to say yet, but my experience of the EDPs of Mitsouko and Shalimar, which share some bottom notes with this, makes me think this will stick around, close to the skin, for a good long time.

I am completely in love. I think I'm going to get through this bottle *very* fast.
19th April, 2007
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Attar by Montale

Dry, dark and velvety-floral - on me the rose really pushes itself to the front, with a surprisingly dry sandalwood and, of course, that remarkable and almost medicinal oud. This feels quite linear to me - I think the ingredients list will be quite short - but the blending of these few notes is seamless. Fantastic sillage.
18th April, 2007

Kretek by Ava Luxe

Wow - I've not sampled anything this clovey before. I'm getting a very little raw tobacco (no smoky feeling) and a lot of slightly sharp clove, much like the white and red striped clove balls you can buy in very old-fashioned sweet shops. There is a lovely round amber note in the base, which counterpoints the surprisingly fresh, dry and spiky clove. Lasts well.

16th April, 2007

Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

Glorious. A warm, velvet-soft floral oriental, it's beautifully blended (this is one of the most successful uses of civet in the base of a perfume I've tried in ages - it's close to the skin and strongly seductive) and headily refined.
04th April, 2007

Royal Bain de Caron / Royal Bain de Champagne by Caron

Must come to the defence of one of my favourites here. It's a very beautiful floral oriental, with a gorgeous heart of lilac and rose, and a powdery ambergris and opoponax drydown. That powder is one of the things I love about it; it's soothing and comforting. It's a lovely perfume for early evening; there are no stocks in there, but the fragrance has the same ethereal sweet powder quality to it that night-scented stocks do.
26th August, 2006

Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I love this. It opens with hay and sawdust with an animalic note, like a bowl of old straw with a small, damp cat perched on top of it. Dry-down is a gorgeous, furry, leathery, grassy dryness. It's strangely wearable, and very beautiful.
16th June, 2006

Vetiver by Guerlain

A rootsy, earthy vetiver with a citrus breath of a topnote which mellows to soft, comfortable grasses. Glorious - my favourite vetiver.
14th January, 2006

Patchouly by Etro

A dark, earthy, sensuous patchouli - and it lasts for ages. Beautiful, almost sticky-smelling, resinous fragrance, and, strangely, doesn't make me think of hippies.
14th January, 2006

Fig Leaf by Demeter Fragrance Library

Like all the Demeter fragrances, this is very short-lived. It's not a very involved fig leaf - Diptyque's Philosykos is much more evocative - and there's a very strong note of coconut. It's still fun, and it's inexpensive - nice for summer on the patio with a cocktail.
14th January, 2006

Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

I love this - and I'm not even that keen on grapefruit. It somehow manages to avoid being astringent or sweetly fruity; it's darker in tone and somehow lighter in weight than any other grapefruit fragrance I've tried. I don't get any vanilla here - I do get the sulphur that Luca Turin mentions, and it's dangerously addictive. Nothing else smells like this. A real favourite for humid, sultry nights.
14th January, 2006

Bluebell by Penhaligon's

Wet and green - a whole-plant smell with the crushed leaves and stems as well as the flower. Very evocative, long-lasting and unusual.
14th January, 2006
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Les Météorites by Guerlain

A pretty and sugary-sweet, slightly powdery violet and iris accord. A youthful and extremely feminine fragrance - as pretty as they come.
14th January, 2006

Narcisse Noir by Caron

Lots and lots of civet in here, then glorious, big-bosomed clouds of neroli. It's evocative of an age, so unusual compared to modern perfumery, and its longevity is impressive.
12th January, 2006

Philosykos by Diptyque

I've never found a better fig than this. It's the whole tree, leaves, bark and all - evocative and gorgeous.
11th January, 2006

Dirt by Demeter Fragrance Library

Longevity is very disappointing, but this is such an accurate representation of wet earth that it remains one of my favourites. Surprisingly wearable.
11th January, 2006

Rose Absolue by Annick Goutal

I love this - with Serge Luytens' Sa Majeste La Rose, it's my favourite rose. Voluptuous, velvety and alive, it's a beautiful perfume.
11th January, 2006