Private Collection Jasmine White Moss is like Cristalle with fangs and talons. I found it very disappointing. There are two impressions I get from PCJWM, other than its being an obvious nod to Cristalle. One is the smell of acetone. You know, fingernail polish remover. The other impression I get is a good measure of helional, which here smells discordant. Helional, by the way, is the impression of aluminum tinged milk. If JWM doesn't contain helional, then it contains something very close to it. JWM is much too rough for my tastes. My advice is to go for Cristalle, the real deal.
Enlévement au Sérail (FK3) is one of the most stunning, elegant, drop-dead gorgeous scents to come down the pike in years. Huge shout-outs to Claude Marchal and Francis Kurkdjian for this beautiful creation. It is like a rich Baroque tapestry with opulent colors and textures. The opening reminds me of the original Rochas Femme, only cleaned up a bit. This is the indolic jasmine part, but this indolic jasmine doesn't have the diaper note that it does in some fragrances. Far from it. The other notes I smell are mandarin, some rose, very subtle and well done peach, and finally, a beautifully matched patchouli-sandalwood combination in the base notes. There's not a lot of gymnastic development to the fragrance, in my experience. After the opening, it's fairly linear. In addition, I find the lasting power to be quite good. Technicallly, Enlévement is classified as an oriental. It is, but it also dips its toes into the chypre area, so it makes the wearer smell as if she's maybe been more places and done more things than she really has. Regardless, it's one of those timeless scents that never smells dated but always smells feminine and totally unlike the scents the "whatev" generation seems to wear endlessly.
If Kay Francis, that wonderful but under-known and under-appreciated actress who hit her stride in the early '30s, were alive today, I hope she'd wear this fragrance. Her warm, sultry, brunette beauty would be a perfect match for Enlévement au Sérail.
The flanker craze has produced a mixed bag. Too often a flanker is as ridiculously bad as or is worse than the original. There are exceptions to many things in life, and Eau Première is one of those happy exceptions. Jacque Polge has once again proved his genius in navigating the ever demanding waters of perfumery. Eau Première is exceptionally wonderful. It has been many a year since I've worn a fragrance as consistently as I do this one. Eau Première is basically a lightened form of No 5. Instead of orange citrus in the opening notes, there's lemon. And it's a wonderfully soft and subtle lemon. No Lemon Pledge here. Quite the contrary. All the mink coat heft and heaviness of No 5 has been stripped away, and, yes, I'm a huge fan of No 5. Eau Première is still an aldehyde, but it's so friendly and ageless that many of those who can't tolerate No 5 have found a new friend. It's been a long time since a fragrance so versatile and easy, yet so elegant and glamorous, has captured my loyalty. When you wear Eau Première you can be confident that you smell terrific. I can't think of a "wrong" place to wear it.
As much as I tried, I simply cannot like this fragrance; therefore, I must respectfully disagree with all the glowing reviews PCTG garners. I've tried it numerous times, and each try is like wearing something radioactive with a ginormous half life. I even decanted some into a roller ball bottle so I could avoid spraying. No success there, either. Long story short---I hate it. I wish I didn't, but I do. I turn to Fracas when I want a good tuberose.
Miller Harris's Noix de Tubéreuse smells like a perfect combination of Fracas and L'Origan. The opening is tuberose and bubble gum, and then a few seconds later something like coconut emerges. I'm not a fan of super-sweetsie fragrances, but I don't find this stage offputting. It's fun, interesting, short lived and totally inoffensive. What emerges in the middle notes is something that smells very much like L'Origan. There's an oriental vibe here, a nice balance of what smells like heliotrope, a little powder, some violet-like notes, and a bit of amber. The ultimate drydown is basically more of the same. I have no idea what specific consumer MH had in mind for NdT, but I would recommend this for those who love the greats like Fracas and L'Origan, especially. NdT seems to be an homage to these classics. Sillage is subtle, much more so than Fracas.
If I could put a face with Noix de Tubéreuse , it would be Jean Arthur, the great actress from the past. Like Arthur, NdT has an easy glamour and projects a good sense of humor. Each is a perfect fit for the other.
YSL's first fragrance release, Y is like many other classics in that the House which released it virtually ignores it. And what a shame, too. Y is a gorgeously wearable green-fruity chypre. It's all delightful greens and mosses with some subtle fruity top notes. The older I get, the more I gravitate towards the green chypres; I find them easy to wear on those days when my "ick" factor is rather high. I read on a blog that Tom Ford ordered the surgeon's knife to re-orch Y. I've never smelled the vintage juice, but the modern version is just fine. Top notes include greens, gardenia, peach and honeysuckle. Mid notes include rose, jasmine, orris, hyacinth and ylang-ylang, plus some well-mannered tuberose. Base notes include oakmoss, amber, patch, vetiver and styrax. Y is a true classic, as beautiful and timeless as a karyatid.
One of the great classics of all time, Miss Dior was a joint effort by Jean Carles (Tabu and Ma Griffe) and Paul Vacher (who worked on Arpege before Andre Fraysse finished it). Luca Turin has called the newer formulation of Miss Dior the Reader's Digest version. That may be, but even a Reader's Digest version, if done well, of Shakespeare will retain some of the beauty and vigor of the original. That applies to the newer Miss Dior. It's not as dark and daring as the original, and it's definitely more powdery. However, it is still a beauty. The vintage is easy to find on eBay and can be had for a reasonable price. Elegant and feminine, Miss Dior is very fine in its vintage form and still fine in its newer form.
25th October, 2006 (last edited: 02nd February, 2010)
Cristalle EdT is an easy to wear green-fruity chypre. It smells like a cross between Diorella and YSL's Y, though, unlike Diorella, it doesn't have the dark base notes. And it's also a bit fruitier than Y, especially in the top notes. Cristalle EdT is another masterpiece from the great Henri Robert, the nose who developed Muguet des Bois for Coty in the '40s and Chanel No 19 in the late '60s. Like many chypres, Cristalle is versatile enough to go from office to evening out, as long as the evening out isn't too formal. Sillage and lasting power are both good. Notes include bright greens, lemon, honeysuckle, rose, woods and moss. Cristalle is a sparkling, high energy chypre, as classy today as it was when introduced over 30 years ago. My only wish for Cristalle EdT is that Chanel would promote it; it deserves better than the slight attention it receives in the States.
One of the great greens and, sadly, almost unknown by the younger generation. Ma Griffe, released in 1946, was developed by the great Jean Carles, who collaborated with Paul Vacher on the formula for the beautifully classic Miss Dior. Carles is also the nose behind the much maligned but great Tabu. Ma Griffe opens with a rush of greens and aldehydes. It's a high energy opening and settles quickly as the florals and spices play off one another. The styrax and cinnamon in the base notes add a smartness and distinctiveness to the drydown. According to Jean Carles's son, it is possible that Jean Carles never smelled this great classic since he lost his sense of smell shortly after WW2. Ma Griffe is clever, smart, yet softly tailored. Great for office wear and also appropriate for evening as well. Lovers of Y, Cristalle, Caleche and Diorella should give Ma Griffe a try.
Another gorgeous entry in the Ma Collection from the House of Patou, L'Heure Attendue is stunning, and, with all due respect to the reviewer below, I do not find it to smell dated at all. Released in 1946 to celebrate the liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation, L'Heure Attendue is a wearable, surprisingly modern spicy-woodsy oriental composition. There are shades of Almeras's Chaldee in the heart, and the beginning is almost a foreshadowing of Kerleo's later 1000 (Mille). L'Heure Attendue is a fairly sober fragrance. It opens with some creamy florals and then smoothly develops into a spicy-woodsy drydown that is as wearable today as it would have been 60 years ago. Notes are listed below so I will not repeat them. L'Heure Attendue strikes me as the Youth Dew or Opium of the '40s. If you ever have an opportunity, try this one. It deserves to be loved and savored by another generation, but sadly has been discontinued.
I recently found a bottle of older L'Aimant (dating probably from the '70s) for exactly .99 American cents. What a find. Did I snap it up? You better believe it! It is gorgeous and is like a combination of the original Arpege with a twist of L'Origan. It's a nice, soft aldehydic floral with a clean, ambery undertone. This L'Aimant is perfectly blended. I'd say it would be appropriate for any age woman. I will also say that I tried a sample once of the newer L'Aimant and didn't find it as enchanting as this older bottle. Coty has some of the deepest pockets in the beauty industry. They should pay more attention to the maintenance and even the re-introduction of some of their older fragrance repertoire. These timeless scents deserve better than what Coty is presently doing. Just my opinion, but there it is.
There are some fabulous scents in Jean Patou's, now defunct and rightly mourned, Ma Collection. However, I think that Colony may still be in production, but don't hold me to that. I saw on an American etailer that the parfum (new) is available, and the EdT is still easily found. Regardless, this is one sophisticated fragrance. The opening is pineapple and summery. But hang onto your hat. The next stage is Bandit meets Pineapple. If you're not a leather fan, this stage will be especially challenging. It's green and leathery, yet the pineapple is still there, keeping it all together. As this stage develops into the drydown, the spices emerge. Sillage is stunning, and as far as I'm concerned, the sillage could be bigger. The drydown reveals a spicy, chypre base. This is like an Agatha Christie novel set in French governed tropics. On the surface it seems to be all sunshine and light, but you quickly discover that there are some decidedly dark and dangerous undercurrents here, and they will not be ignored. Colony is not for the faint hearted. Some recommend it for autumn wear only, but I frankly think it's just fine all year long.
I give a resounding second to the reviews below. Cocktail is a sophisticated, elegant fragrance and is one of the esteemed Ma Collection fragrances from Jean Patou. Whenever the subject comes up of what to wear to dinner, the discussion often concludes with some demanding that no fragrance be worn at all, while die-hards will be hard pressed to do without their fragrance. Cocktail easily solves the problem. It is anything but overwhelming and stays close to the skin. I've been to events where the smell of Amarige or Cinnabar or Aromatics Elixir almost overshadowed everything else. These aren't terrible fragrances. Far from it. But their effect can be gigantic, especially in a setting where food is involved and especially if the wearers are anosmic to their own fragrance and spritz just a bit more than normal because it's an evening event. Enter Cocktail. This gem will never compete with the food on your plate or the liquid in your glass. In fact, it will complement both. Notes are already listed, so I won't repeat them. And, yes, there is some subtle and gorgeous amber in here. Perfect for sport or an evening out, Cocktail is a classic that deserves to be returned to Patou's regular line up. It's too good to be put out to pasture.
It's interesting to smell different interpretations of the tropics. Take, for instance, two opposite ends of that interpretation: Patou's Colony and Guy Laroche's Fidji. Both are well constructed, devastatingly gorgeous fragrances, yet are polar opposites. I'm not a huge fan of florals, especially fragrances that are straight up florals. But I make an exception for Fidji, and Fidji is a straight up floral. This is one beautiful fragrance. It's intoxicating without being overpowering. It's intensely feminine without being cloying. It's sweet without being syrupy. It has green notes, but they're subtle and well balanced. Lasting power is excellent. And what's more, it doesn't turn into something faunky on my skin. It reminds me of the smell experienced when one sticks one's nose into a tropical lily and inhales deeeply. I read somewhere that the formula of Fidji may have been changed recently. The mini I bought is probably the newer formula, if that rumor is true. Still, the fragrance is excellent and captures tropical paradise in a way the EL's Beyond Paradise misses. Fidji is a must try for floral lovers.
In 1996 the now deceased Edmond Roudnitska remarked that Vol de Nuit, one of Jacques Guerlain's masterpieces, had not received the attention or appreciation it deserved, either from the public or from Guerlain itself. That is assuredly even truer now, for one is hard pressed to find Vol de Nuit at your typical local department store counter (this is true in America; the situation abroad is hopefully more promising for VdN). And what a shame that is, too. The House promotes neither Vol de Nuit nor Apres L'Ondee these days, yet those are two of the most haunting and timeless fragrances from the old line Guerlains. As far as VdN goes---I enjoy equally the EdT and the extrait de parfum. Both are fairly easy to find online, thankfully. It is almost a seamless fragrance, progressing from one stage to the next in subtle ways and leaves a lovely ambery drydown. Lovers of Patou's Normandie or even Dior's Miss Dior (vintage, especially) should give Vol de Nuit a try. I think it would be superb on a man, because, let's be honest here, Vol de Nuit skirts the masculine. I don't mean that it's double fisted, barrel-chested masculine. No. I mean that Vol de Nuit isn't particularly sweet, and the oakmoss and amber and hint of leather would be perfectly at home on a man. Those who have tried Vol de Nuit in the past and disliked it really should try it again at some point. It's a true masterpiece of art and will continue to be heralded as one of Jacques Guerlain's timeless works of perfumery.
This review refers to the original formula: Of all the dept store designer brands, I think YSL comes up with the most innovative scents and bottle designs. This was especially true when YSL himself was at the helm----think Y, Rive Gauche, Opium, Paris. Released in 1971, Rive Gauche is a marvel to behold. An absolute masterpiece of silvery coolness; it's a paradox of the strong mingled with the tender. However, I will tell you that after you spritz it on, don't even bother to smell it until an hour passes. It's even better after 2 hours pass; the metallic clink you smell immediately upon application is not indicative of the drydown. Not one bit. RG is what I call a glamour-hyde, like Arpege, Chant d'Aromes, Chanel No 5, or Worth's Dans la Nuit. If you like the elegance of the floral aldehydes, you may very well fall hard for Rive Gauche. This is one of the few scents I own that garners me compliments from strangers. Five stars. Addendum: don't hold me to this, but I'm almost positive that the original formula (you can still find it online) has YSL's name at the bottom of the bottle, whereas the newer formulation has his name in the middle.
Jean Patou's Normandie (1935) strikes me as a beautiful medium somewhere between Guerlain's Vol de Nuit (1933) and Arpege de Lanvin (1927). One of my friends swears by Normandie as an autumn and winter fragrance. Frankly, I like it in the warmer months as well. If you have any desire to own this lovely, get it now while there are still a few bottles available online. Part of the esteemed Patou Ma Collection reprisals, Normandie is classified as an oriental-ambery type. The carnation, jasmine and rose are all in the forefront, while the back notes consist of amber, vanilla and woods. This is a lady-like and restrained fragrance, not one which races ahead of you into the room. No, this one floats in with you, enveloping you in a sillage of sophistication and restraint. Normandie is powdery in the final act, but not in the way that, say, Rive Gauche is powdery. It's powdery more in the line of Vol de Nuit or even Caron's En Avion. Normandie is as fashionable today as it was decades ago when it was released to celebrate the maiden voyage of the transatlantic liner of the same name. If anyone from Patou is reading this, please, please return Normandie to your regular line-up. It deserves no less than to be placed in the same category as Joy and 1000.
Divine Folie, another beauty by Henri Almeras, who also brought us Joy and Normandie, is part of the Ma Collection reprisals. There are still a scant few full bottles online. Released in 1933, Divine Folie was formulated to accessorize the white satin and silk evening gowns Patou was designing to counterbalance the little black cocktail dresses of Chanel, yet it is versatile enough for day wear as well. Divine Folie is in many ways a more floral precursor of Normandie, released two years later. DF is well mannered and feminine with notes of neroli and ylang-ylang balanced with jasmine, iris and rose. I also smell carnation and amber. And now and then I smell a note which is vaguely reminiscent of leather. It's almost as if a svelte, Patou-clad femme has just opened her leather handbag from which she is retrieving her driving gloves, and she's wearing a carnation in her lapel. Like Normandie, Divine Folie is subtle and warm and is very wearable. It does not scream "vintage" in any way, nor is it a heavy aldehyde like Chanel 22 or Chanel 5, both beauties, but both admittedly heavy fragrances. How sad that Patou's Ma Collection has been discontinued. The gorgeous fragrances in the Collection deserve to be enjoyed by yet another generation.
I wore Hope for a few years in the '80s and loved it, then put it aside. Recently I discovered the Frances Denney web site and ordered a .25oz bottle of the Hope parfum. Am I ever pleased. What a beauty. It starts out as a classic aldehydic floral, but the drydown is what makes Hope a real winner. The geranium settles in with the base notes and becomes dark and clove/carnation-like, a deeply attractive skin liquor. After an hour or two, Hope becomes a perfect bouquet of classic flowers balanced on a dark, sensually spicy backdrop. Notes include jasmin, Bulgarian rose, Algerian geranium, allspice berries (Pimenta dioica) and other spices. In many ways, Hope is like a tamer version of Caron's Coup de Fouet, which is also on my favorites list. I'm delighted that Hope once again has a prominent place in my fragrance repertoire after a 20+ year absence.
Whatever I add to the comments already made in praise of Chanel N°19 will seem like a cliché. I will say, however, how perfect a scent this fragrance is. There have been maybe a baker's dozen, maybe more, wondrously perfect fragrances released over the past 150 years. It might be fun to have a round table with perfume experts and noses to discuss everyone's opinion as to what these might or might not be. I would assuredly put Chanel N°19 on that list. It has been ages (okay, it's been 20+ years) since I smelled the EdT, so my views on N°19 are based on the EdP, which is supposed to be closer to the parfum version than the EdT. On the other hand, I know there are those who swear equally by the EdT. Chanel N°19 is green, it's grassy, it's woodsy, it's classy, it's restrained, it's alluring, it's mysterious, it's perfect. I can see this going straight from daywear into the evening. This is the polar opposite of the loud sweet florals like Giorgio and like the cloying water babies that are all over the market today. The EdP is getting more difficult to find. My hope is that Chanel will keep it around. N°19 deserves a prominent place in the marketplace for generations to come.
I'm a woman, and I love Old Spice. Sure, I love it on you men, but I'm talking about how it smells ON ME! The only reason more women don't keep a bottle of this fabulous jus in their wardrobe is simply because it's always marketed for men. But if you're an oriental-spicy loving woman, and, especially if you're a woman who loves, say, the old Caron urn fragrances, you will love to wear Old Spice. Within ten minutes of application, Old Spice smells like the drydown of something between Ernest Daltroff's (Caron) En Avion and his French Cancan. I'm perfectly serious. The florals appear after a while, and the woodsy backdrop is a perfect balance to the delicate spices. It's sheer sophistication. And for the price. . .well, you'll smell like a million bucks, only you'll have spent about seven. You'll think you just exited one of those famously chic Parisian perfume boutiques. No kidding.
Patou's 1000 is a floral that isn't a floral. It's really a chypre in disguise as a floral. I find it to be creamy, suave and downright elegant. I don't get the "old lady" smell. And, frankly, if an old lady smells like this, she must have good taste and wisdom, which is what you might expect from someone with a crown of gray. There's rose here, but it's muted. There's osmanthus and a bit of peach. Some oakmoss, too. Everything is so well blended and seamless, it's hard to distinguish one particular note from another. This has become, next to Arpege, my very favorite. If you didn't like it in the past, maybe you should revisit it and see if your perception of 1000 has changed.
Apercu is assuredly an underknown and therefore underappreciated classic from Houbigant. Apercu was first released about 80 years ago, and whether or not it was reformulated when it was reintroduced in 2000 is anyone's guess. My guess is that yes, it was reformulated to some extent. This is a chypre floral. Very easy to wear for a chypre. If you find Mitsouko a bit strange for your tastes (for the record, I don't, but many do) but are interested in chypres, this is one to try. It's similar to Jean Patou's 1000 but without that questionable (nasty?) undertone, and it's not as powerful as Clinique's Aromatics Elixir, another chypre floral. Apercu begins with shades of florals (rose, jasmine and a muted, well-behaved tuberose) and spices (oakmoss, sandalwood, patchouli, clove, cassis) and then mellows to a classic chypre heart. The drydown's end is once again that florally spice. Just beautiful. You can often find the pure parfum on eBay for a reasonable price. I was fortunate enough to snag an 8ml bottle for under $12.00, shipping included. Can't beat that. The EdP is also beautiful, which is good to know in case you can't get your hands on the parfum. Bravo, Houbigant, for another classic. I hope this one is around for a long time. It deserves to be.
Angelique Encens on me smells the way a big black panther would smell as it cools down from a long and sweaty chase. To me, AE is the quintessential le parfum fourrure, but not in a nice way. When I first smelled AE, my initial reaction was, “this is very mannish.” My second thought was, “this is very cattish.” My third thought was, “this is like getting an old fur coat out of mothballs.” So I was wryly amused when I was informed that Creed had developed this for Marlene Dietrich back in the ‘30s. Well, that would explain my first two reactions.!! There’s something repulsive about the way AE melds with my chemistry. It’s so repulsive I’m constantly smelling my wrists to figure out what in the world this note is that I find so off-putting. Is it ambergris? Whatever it is, it’s certainly compelling and repelling simultaneously. I will admit that at the end, hours and hours later, there is a faint trail of pure musk oil left behind. I actually like that part, but it takes too doggoned long to get there. Angelic incense, eh? Surely not the incense of heavenly seraphim or cherubim. Maybe the incense of those “other” angels, like the ones in Tartarus?
To my nose, Climat is a fairly uneventful and unimpressive aldehyde. It seems to have been constructed without using much imagination. I smell it now and then on a lady at church; it’s okay on her, I suppose. I have a mini of Climat in my own fragrance collection; when I first applied the fragrance, it brought me back to when I was an adolescent and would receive for Christmas one of those fragrance collections from the Sears or JC Penney Christmas catalogs. Anyone else remember those from years back? Those catalogs would offer a collection of mini perfumes, and I don’t recall these collections being terribly expensive, either. They were fun, too. But anyway, Climat reminds me of a fairly nondescript aldehydic fragrance which was in one of those collections. This isn’t a terrible fragrance, but it’s not particularly enticing to me, either. There are better, less nose-grabbing aldhydes out there. Climat is missing something. It needs a little oomph, like when your food needs to be seasoned. . . . Pass the salt.
Quelques Fleurs is a lovely, soft floral from Houbigant. Demi-Jour, also from Houbigant, is very reminiscent of QF and is my favorite of the two, though QF is very nice in its own right. My box of Quelques Fleurs says L’Original on it; however, I’m sure the juice has been reformulated since its first release in 1912 and its re-introduction in 1987. What sets Quelques Fleurs apart from many of the florals on today’s market is that the green note floats in the foreground without being obnoxious and without being overbearing; the way the green is formulated here, it keeps the whole juice light and cheery, not heavy or cloying. Another difference from all the cookie cutter floral frags is that QF comes without that heavy peach Jell-O note or heavy watery freesia note I smell in all too many fragrances. The drydown of Quelques Fleurs is softly musky with a nice touch of amber. On my skin, QF can become a bit brassy towards the end, but on others it stays very soft and enticing. A nice classic for any floral lover’s perfume collection and easily worn by a 12 year old or a 112 year old. This one beautifully bridges the generation gap.
Another Angel wannabe. Blah blah blah. When I first sniffed Plush, it was from the sample vial I received with an order (of L’Heure Bleue, BTW----how ironic to pair these two scents) from a wonderful perfume e-tailer. Honestly, at first whiff Plush seemed to be pretty good. Then my opinion changed as I applied some to my wrist and let it do its thing. Oh, Plush isn’t terrible. If you like the extreme gourmands, you’ll probably like it. It’s not as potent as Angel, but it does have that big patchouli note in the drydown, so if you’re a patch-hag, you may like Plush. I don’t smell the chocolate puddin’ in Plush like I do in Angel, but there’s lots of honey, fruits, caramel and vanilla. Maybe some licorice. It’s very sweet, almost too sweet. I’d call it Angel-Lite. Not terrible, not great, but that’s only because I’m not a huge fan of the extreme gourmand frags. Fans of Angel and possibly Lolita Lempicka might enjoy a spritz or two of Plush.
Le Dix is a beautiful, powdery, classic floral-aldehyde; superior in the pure parfum. Not as good in the EDT. The pure parfum goes on smooth and is a comfy-cozy, luxurious fragrance. The EDT tends to be metallic on my skin; the drydown of the EDT is okay, but that luxuriousness is muted by a metallic tang. I have only seen this online, but it’s not too difficult to find. The lemon and bergamot in the opening notes are balanced with peach, coriander, and that classical aldhehydic ping. The blend is done so seamlessly with Le Dix that I have a hard time distinguishing a particular note in the opening. The middle notes are lilac, iris, rose, jasmine, and lily of the valley, while the base notes are vetiver, sandalwood, musk, amber, benzoin, tonka bean, and balsam. The drydown is a nice vanillic-ambery one, very feminine, very sophisticated. Very grandmotherly, but in the nicest way, of course. Le Dix (French for "the ten")gets its name from the Balenciaga salon which was situated at No. 10, avenue Georges V in Paris. No relation to Chanel No 5.
I'm so glad two other reviewers have added their thoughts here about the original My Sin from Lanvin and not the duplicate from LongLostPerfume. Since I can't edit my comments below, I'll add them here. Let me first clarify that my review below was for LLP's dupe and not Lanvin's original. Since I wrote that review, I have had opportunity to try the original My Sin extrait. I agree completely with the reviewer below who said that the dupe pales in comparison to the original. The dupe can be harsh and rather dry, but the original is really a soft floral with a bit of an edge to it. I know that some claim LLP's dupe is right on, but I disagree with that now since I've tried the original myself. LLP has some great dupes, but their My Sin is not as true to the original as it could be.
10th August, 2005 (last edited: 20th October, 2006)
I have seen on other fragrance boards that Roma has been discontinued; however, I have not been able to verify that from a reliable source. Roma is a classically constructed vanillic oriental-ambery fragrance, similar to Shalimar, but with a good helping of mint in the opening. Be prepared for that big poof of mint when you first apply Roma. It’s there, it’s unmistakable, and it’s big. Takes a while for the mint to calm down, but when it does the drydown is pretty nice. Roma is still readily available online and is usually to be found for a good price. Roma is redolent of sunny days along the Tiber, crowds gathered around the Colosseum, and a brisk walk to the Pantheon. My only criticism (besides the mint) is that I’d have liked Roma to have more of a chiaroscuro feel to it; this is modern Rome bristling with its native Italians and all the colorfully clad, excited touristas. I’d like to smell something that combined the aura of ancient and modern Rome. Something with a dark note that represented, say, the Subura with its dangers and oddities. Don’t remember the Subura? Get out yer copy of Juvenal’s Satires, blow off the dust, and read what I mean. Still, Roma is very nice, very classic, especially in the way it dries down. Let’s hope Roma is alive and well after all and that the rumor of it being axed is wrong. If you like Shalimar, I think you’d like Roma, too. Roma aeterna vivit.