Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Red Theodora


Histoire d'Eau by Mauboussin

I really enjoy Histoire d'Eau. It is spicy, leathery and woody goodness!
12th December, 2014

Histoire d'Eau Topaze by Mauboussin

I was in love with Histoire d'Eau Topaze from first sniff. Spicy, leathery and to me a little woody. It is an olfactory treat!
12th December, 2014

Cabochard by Grès

Cabochard was another blind buy for me. Funny, though I've tried so many classics, I never tested this one. When the fragrance notes mention leather and oakmoss , my interest becomes peeked pretty quickly. I have a love affair with oakmoss that borders on the pathological. I'm am bereft that it is fading from current formulations.

Anyway, back to Cabochard. My first sniff was quite a little shocker. I wasn't prepared for such of hefty dose of greenery from the galbanum. Now, I have other scents with galbanum in them, but not that amount. After a little drydown the galbanum eased up and the leather and oakmoss came through.

Cabochard is a very green, dry, earthy and , yes, slightly bitter scent. In the end, that's sort of it's attraction I think. It doesn't smell like anything else that I know of and I like that!
12th December, 2014
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Tendre Madeleine by Laurence Dumont

I very seldom wear gourmands. Although many of my favorite perfumes are vanilla based. It seemed fun to me to smell like a cookie for Christmas. It is a lovely little fragrance. Good cinnamon and vanilla. It smells a little lemony at the top, even though the notes say bergamot. I now smell good enough for Marcel Proust to dip in tea!
12th December, 2014

Violette by L'Aromarine

I have been known to say "When in doubt, go French" - when it comes to perfumes. Even little known French perfumeries can put out some wonderful scents. L'Aromarine (Outremer) is exactly one such perfumery.

Violette is a simple and you may say old-fashioned violet soliflore. It also just the ticket as far as I am concerned. Violet bliss and I didn't have to spend a fortune for it, either!
12th December, 2014

Oxygène by Lanvin

I've been doing a lot of blind buying lately. Partly for financial reasons, partly for the thrill of the unknown. I wanted a light, fresh scent for summer time. That's exactly what I got in Oxygene. Thumbs up for this blind buy!
12th December, 2014

Sira des Indes by Jean Patou

I have read that 'Sira des Indes' was composed to mimic an Indian dessert. I bought it on a blind buy just because I got a kick from the idea of a banana note in a fragrance. I like this little dessert of a fragrance. Is it in my favorites category, no, but it's a pleasant scent. Vanilla, spices and a banana top note - it's fun!
12th December, 2014

Bijan Nude for Women by Bijan

Bijan nude, why haven't I tried you before this? Bijan perfumes have been around since my youth and I have never tried even one of them! My loss.
Thankfully, I decided to pick this up cheap on ebay. I figured if i didn't like it I could always give to one of my friends. My friend Hazel has built up quite a little scent wardrobe with fragrances I haven't liked, but she did.
Hazel won't be getting this one. It's a keeper.
It's a very cozy scent. Buttery and creamy from the white chocolate. Althougth it's not gourmand. Not overly sweet, just enough to be tantilizing. The sandalwood dry down lasts for a good long time. A very good buy indeed!
07th May, 2013

Ellen Tracy (new) by Ellen Tracy

I have never liked blind buys; but the price was so cheap on Ellen Tracy when I saw it on ebay; I had to buy it. I have one word to say: score!
It's very smooth. That's the first word that came to my mind as I sniffed it for the first time. Absolutely the right proportion of spice to floral. It has sillage, but not miles of it. I do wish it lasted a little longer on my skin. Lovely, none the less!
07th May, 2013

Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood

When it first came out I adored Boudoir. It's an all out, take no prisoners, sex bomb of a fragrance! Unfortunately time has caught up with me and I no longer can pull off wearing a sex bomb fragrance. To all of you who can go for it, because this scent is about as sexy as they come!
21st February, 2013

Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

I had a sample of Bal a Versailles years ago. It was the 1980's and I was in my youth. The popular fragrances of the period were Poison, Amarige, Arden's Red Door, etc. Great big florals and things of that ilk. Bal a Versailles was miles away from what all my friends were wearing. So of course I adored it. I never cared to follow trends. I like what i like. Unfortunately the sample bottle was all I could get my hands on at that time. When it was gone I sadly said good-bye to Bal a Versailles.

Other scents soon caught my attention and I forgot my love for Bal a Versailles. Now as I like to change scents monthly I was trying to think of something new for January. I like heavy scents for winter. In the cold of the Pacific Northwest my skin dries out and a light scent won't last.

After much searching and debating I happened across my old friend - Bal a Versailles. I remebered it's richness and sillage and also found the current reformulation is quite inexpensive. So I purchased a bottle. Now, not having smelled BaV in quite a while may be a blessing. I really only remember the barrest structure of the fragrance. But this new BaV does not disappoint me!

The first rush is sweet honeyed fruit and flowers. Nothing bad about that. The thing I get is the sandalwood and patchouli here make a very smooth combination. I get a lot of the vanilla and the resins in the base, but absolutely no civet. So I have no idea what people who call BaV skanky are talking about. To me there is richness, lushness and pure elegance.

Althought I can't smell the civet in BaV I think my cat can, because she has started to lick my arm where I was testing the fragrance!
06th January, 2013

Habanita by Molinard

I almost never do a blind purchase. Let's face it, to buy a full bottle of fragrance that one has not sampled before hand is a crap shoot. And I am not a gambler. Until Habanita!
Yes, I took a wild plunge into the unknown and bought a bottle of the edt. Not expensive at all. Plus, all the notes are substances I like. Then I took my first whiff. Up rose a faint bit of peach and a whole lot of burning alcohol chemical odor. I was shocked, agast and nearly wheezing.
So why do I give Habanita a thumbs up? You may wonder. Well, after the nasty little alcoholic scent faded - which didn't take long. Out came the wonderful honeyed vanillic accord, tempered with a little sandalwood. Lovely dry-down. It deserves it's reputation as a classic. I just wonder if the edp would bypass the chemical part?
I think I will have to do more research.
10th November, 2012

Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange

Well, to begin with, this fragrance called Rien ( which of course means "nothing" in french) is as far from nothing as it's possible to get. Firstly, because it should be used sparingly to avoid the wrath of the fragrance sensitive. Secondly, because next to Mitsouko and Chanel's Cuir de Russie, this is one of the most beautiful scents I have ever worn. At the moment I have only a sample bottle, but I forsee a full-sized bottle in my future!
01st November, 2012
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Eau de Protection / Rossy de Palma by Etat Libre d'Orange

At first sniff I thought "oh no, another patchouli monster". I have sort of a love/hate relationship with patchouli. Perhaps it goes back to my High School years in the hippy haven the was and still is in large part my home town. Clouds of patchouli scented the corridors my High School. Put me off the stuff for a very long time. Only in recent years am I able to stand a certain amount.
Thankful, after my first sniff of Rossy de Palma the bulgarian rose came up to greet me. Then the spice and incense. Oh, what wonderful stuff!
So I am very happy to give Rossy a big thumbs up!
Thank you Etat Libre for making a patchouli fragrance that we, the patchouli sensitive, can appreciate.
19th October, 2012

Jicky by Guerlain

It's taken me quite a long time to work up the courage to sample Jicky. I don't know if all the talk of it being very "animalic" scared me or that I've heard over and over that it's more of a masculine than a feminine scent. Well, shame on me!
From the first blast of the topnotes - citrus and rosewood; I was enchanted! Although, most of the heart notes were lost to me, the leather and incense in the base came rushing up my nostrils and I was in love. Love at first smell!
No wonder the legend behind this fragrance is about a love affair. For now I am having a deep and passionate affair with Jicky!
18th October, 2012

La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme

White florals are usually not my cup of tea. Also, when I see jasmine and patchouli in the line up in the same frag; that's enough to scare me off right there.
Luckly I ignored my first instincts and got a sample of La Vie. I must say - pretty, very pretty. The fruitiness keeps the jasmine and the other florals from becoming too overpowering. The patchouli in the base is a just a whisper, which is wonderful. I cannot take massive amounts of patchouli. Here it is refined and combines so well with the total accord.
This is the first Lancome frag I have liked in a long while.
09th October, 2012

Miss Dior Originale (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

I have never smelled the vintage of Miss Dior, but it is on my "to do" list. I have the current EDT version. I find it good, especially the drydown.

I also find to be a prim and spinsterish scent. While I usually love old fashioned fragrances - and certainly ones with oakmoss, this one will never be a favorite.
22nd September, 2012

Dioressence by Christian Dior

I rarely enjoy dating myself. But, I will say I first was introduced to Dioressence in the 1970's when I was in my early twenties. My mother balked that it was too matronly for a young lady. I found it sophistocated and romantic, and still do!
22nd September, 2012

Diorella by Christian Dior

Diorella is confusing to me. When I look at the note composition it seems like a basic chypre structure. Citrus top, floral middle and woodsy, earthy base. For me the citrus top is the smell of citrus disinfectant. Not a lot of heart registers for me at all. But, that said, the drydown of the base is , well, rather glorious!
22nd September, 2012

Paris Amour by Bath and Body Works

So....What do you do when it's summertime and you need a new scent, but you don't have a lot of funds at your disposal? I bought Paris Amour!
Not the most sophisticated frag to pick - a little on the syrupy side.
I do really like the accord of the base notes though! And that is not a pun!
17th August, 2012

Vintage Bloom by Jessica Simpson

I try not to be snobby about fragrances, I really do! I give what I like to call "massmarket fodder" a try from time to time. Some are surprisingly good, others are about as expected.
Unfortunately, I put Vintage Bloom in the "expected" pile. I find it cloying and very shampooy smelling.
Oh well, I gave it a shot!
17th August, 2012

Boss Orange by Hugo Boss

I just was given a sample of Boss Orange and all I can say is - I would rather eat an orange creamsicle than wear one!
04th August, 2012

Persian Rose by Pacifica

Persian Rose was recommended to me because I said I wanted a BOLD rose fragrance. I should have probably worded my request in a better way. Persian Rose goes way beyond bold into the MASSIVE range. I can't handle massive roses.

That said, the rose extrait used in this fragrance is very realistic. If you want to smell like several dozen roses all at the same time! Plus, I could not for the life of me smell any violet. I love violet and can usually detect even a small amount in a fragrance. Where oh where is the violet! The myrrh is very nice with the rose, but I just wish this fragrance was toned down a little. I like a rose that speaks clearly, but doesn't shout at me!
17th July, 2012

Courtesan by Worth

I started a thread on the female fragrance disscussion forum - " any thoughts on Courtesan by Worth". Well, my sample has arrived.

Now, here are MY thoughts on Courtesan. Firstly, I'm wondering why Worth decided to call such a timid fragrance Courtesan. I've always thought of courtesan as bold, sexy, fantastically beautiful women desired by every man who sees them. That certainly isn't represented by this scent.

Neither is the word "gourmand", although the notes should lead in that direction.

All in all, I find this fragrance just confusing. I'm not saying it's a bad scent, but it's taken me many squirts to get any kind of reading on it. What I get mainly is a slightly syrupy, fruity cocoa butter smell with a little musk and amber in the drydown. Quite pleasant, but not outstanding.
16th July, 2012

Liaisons Dangereuses by By Kilian

In "Perfumes - The Guide" Luca Turin describes Liaisons Dangereues as smelling like rose jam. I say a more confectionary rose. Anyway, the conbination of plum, rose, coconut and cinnamon smell absolutely delicious to me. While I have only a sample now, a larger bottle will be mine!
11th July, 2012

1889 Moulin Rouge by Histoires de Parfums

When I first dabbed my sample on my wrist I was immediately mystified. I could of sworn that I have smelt this somewhere before. This is , however, my very first sample of 1889 Moulin Rouge. So how could this be? After a half hour of sniffing and musing, it finally came to me. The top note smells (to my nose at least) like Red by Gorgio Beverly Hills. Very weird!

I like the drydown much better! Still, I am somewhat disappointed on the whole.
11th July, 2012

Yardley London Diamond / Royal Diamond by Yardley

I debated a very long time whether to give Royal Diamond a thumbs up or a neutral. Now just because I chose neutral doesn't mean I don't like it.
Royal Diamond is a nice fragrance. Not a great fragrance, or an outstanding fragrance - but a nice fragrance. It's a soft floral, with nothing offensive about it. It's just that it doesn't have any wow factor.
It is , however, smooth and well-balanced . Light enough for spring or summer wear and might make a fine little pick-me-up fragrance in the colder months, when one wants a small reminder of warm weather and flowers.
Royal Diamond is a well-mannered scent, it certainly won't offend anyone in church. That alone should be enough for the Queen to give it her stamp of approval.
10th July, 2012

Trésor (new) by Lancôme

A friend just gave a sample of the "new" Tresor. Now I have sampled the "old" Tresor many years ago and I have to say I was not so thrilled with it then. This new stuff, yes, I call it stuff - absolutely horrible!

Starts out with sickenly sweet fruity accord and a relentless rose in the top that immediately bothers the heck out me. I like rose scents. I love Nahema, Tocade, Drole de Rose, and the Perfumers Workshop Tea Rose. The rose in this frag makes me ill!
Now that said, the dry down is somewhat better. I think it's the amber in the base that saves it. Not enough for me to like the thing, but I dislike the base notes much less than the top.
All in all, this is a big thumbs down from me. I must now go wash my arm so my stomach will stop lurking!
29th June, 2012

8e Jour by Yves Rocher

Oh, how I loved this scent. I purchased many bottles through Yves Rocher mail order. 8e Jour as I remember it was a sort of "quiet" spicy fragrance, not like Cinnabar or Opium. They were "loud" spicy fragrances and they had their place. I liked the subdued spice of 8e Jour. I do miss it.
21st June, 2012

Violetta di Parma by Borsari

I love a big, bold old fashioned violet. And Violetta di Parma is certainly that. To me it's a violet solifore because I really don't get any other notes off of it. That's fine though, I do really love violet.
16th March, 2012