Perfume Reviews

Reviews by purplebird7

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Total Reviews: 546

Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo

Circa 2016: Most department store fragrances are so "meh" nowadays that Jimmy Choo was the best one of late, and the only one that I liked on my recent foray. Ain't that sad? I'm a patch head, so I like Coco Mademoiselle and Angel, if that's any reference point. Jimmy Choo is fruity patchouli with creamy toffee. It is predominantly patchouli with a large dose of fruit not immediately recognizable (apple? pear? raspberry?) and a smooth, milky, sweet toffee. It shares the Angel DNA, but it's not as good. Perhaps it's most unique trait is a strong "fizzy" texture, which is probably achieved by some powerful aroma chemical that provides lift, loft, and pizzaz. Whatever it is, it gives this fragrance the type of ballistics that the pink chypre Narciso Rodriguez had -- that angular, woody sillage that enters the air around you. The effect is more incongruous with Jimmy Choo, though. It doesn't blend as well as it should. Angel is much better in its smoothness. I seem to remember that I liked Prada more. Ah well. Like I said, there's precious little new to love in the decade of the 2010s in department stores. At least this was interesting. I almost gave it a four because of my love for patchouli, but I quickly grow tired of the fizziness.
25th September, 2016

Patchouli by Mazzolari

Deceptively simple amber patchouli. This is a patchouli that is easy to love, even if you don't like that note. No harsh woodiness here; it is soft and round, wrapped in toffee and vanilla amber. The smooth creaminess smells like sun-warmed skin. Surprisingly good even on a hot day! Sillage is strong but soft, blending with the natural human aroma. The drydown is luxurious and sexy, both sweet and dirty, perhaps due to the animalic note of honey because no musk is listed. I like it. I like it a lot. Here is a scent I can live with, anytime.
21st September, 2016

Madison Avenue by Bond No. 9

This pleasant and wearable, springtime scent reminds me of Dolce & Gabana Light Blue with its sparkling apple and ambroxan mix, but it's more candy-like. In fact, it calls to mind the fragrance of those long, green sticks of Bub's Daddy Green Apple bubblegum that I used to chew in the 1970s. It's fun. It has the angular, expansive woodiness that made Narciso for Her so much fun to wear. I do still prefer the Narciso, though, with its decidedly pink chypre vibe and its softer peach and musk.
31st March, 2016
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Karma by Gorilla Perfume [Lush]

I love Lush Karma soap. (Reference point: Chandrika Ayurvedic soap is my favorite.) So I bought Karma perfume. However, the same aspect that makes the soap great also makes the perfume difficult to wear. It smells soapy. It projects aggressively. I can only begin to enjoy it after I've had a shower -- which is why the soap is perfect. Fizzy, tingly orange and lemon; bitter, crisp pine; sparkling wafts of aromatic lavender; and a dry cinnamon-ish patchouli base. The notes are all good. I'm just saying, they're much more enjoyable in a soap.
Incidentally, Lush fragrances are not all-natural. Despite the hippie-handmade image, they use substantial amounts of what they call "safe synthetics." In this one: citral and citronellol (think lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) geraniol (think geranium leaves) eugenol (think cinnamon, clove, bay, basil) and linalool (think lavender, rosewood). These chemicals enable the loooooonnnggg duration. The only essential oil in this formula that rivals their longevity is patchouli oil. The others are top and middle notes, which disappear while the chemicals keep kicking. No big deal, but the whole Gorilla Perfume line makes use of crude mixes of natural and synthetic that come across as homemade.
20th March, 2016

Rume by Slumberhouse

Prunes. Fruitcake. Mincemeat pie. Rum. Candied citrus peel. This registers as gourmand. Red wine note, or fermented grapes. Honeyed labdanum. I like it, but I'm not falling hard for it.
30th June, 2014

Sana by Slumberhouse

Lightly floral, salty, soapy, diffusive. As non-tactile as an electric current or ozone. This is a miss.
30th June, 2014

Sova by Slumberhouse

Heavy, syrupy. Molasses. Lots of hay absolute is in this -- and that is a complex aroma. Fermented tobacco. Animalic, fecal or leather notes. Brown and oozing. It's pleasant because I like the smell of hay in the sun, but it's difficult because hay absolute is denser and sweeter than hay in real life -- drying in the air. This is moist, raisin-like, concentrated scent. I give it points for boldness, creative kudos for working with hay absolute, one of the most distinctive aromas in the world.
30th June, 2014

Mare by Slumberhouse

Nix. Ghastly. Melon. Apple. Over-ripe tropical fruits plus the same "spoiled" or moldy note that I disliked in Pear + Olive. Sweet and rotten aroma. Fermenting compost pile of fruit. Why does no one else mention fruit? It's a sweet-tart fruit like mango or berries. It's powerful and watery like Calone. It's a melange of tart fruits left in the sun too long. Other people are calling this green. My definition of green is galbanum, tomato leaf, violet leaf, shiso, green tea, grass, cilantro, and some of the mints. This does not say "leaves" to me. Where are people finding notes for this? Regardless; whatever it is, it's not to my liking.
30th June, 2014

Baque by Slumberhouse

This smells like part of Ore -- the hardwood mulch and resin that glows warmly-- without the edible caramel, chocolate, and booze. I find it soft and wearable. Fruit notes are faint, existing only as part of a flavored tobacco leaf. I'm pretty neutral on this, and I'd put it behind Ore, which takes a clear direction and has the feel of a "finished" product. I was surprised to find that Baque didn't predate Ore because it smells more like a prototype. Then again, deconstruction is an art form. So, think Ore-minus-gourmand, and you are well set to enjoy Baque.
30th June, 2014

Flou by Slumberhouse

Purple iris flowers. Plus gardenia, jasmine, and lily. This is a feminine perfume full of heavy, sweet, narcotic florals. It does not smell like natural absolutes in the least. Rather, it is a synthetic reconstruction of an arbor hanging with drooping flowers, the scent of them swells to bursting in the summer air. The powdery pollen is intense. A neat trick for florals, but too strong for me to wear.
30th June, 2014

Grev by Slumberhouse

Minty. Wintergreen. Cool spices. Grass. Clover. Sweet salve, like something in a tin to rub on your sore muscles. Refreshing and clean but ultimately more of an environmental scent and not a personal one to wear all day. This is lighter and more airy than the other Slumberhouse scents. It reminds me of aftershave. Pleasant but rather fleeting.
30th June, 2014

Zahd by Slumberhouse

Right away, I thought of something familiar -- a fruity, herbal drink named Zoco, a Spanish liquor made from sloe berries. It's red, and it tastes like herbal cherry medicine -- in a good way. I would gladly drink it instead of Nyquil when I have a cold and want to go to sleep with a smile on my face. Zahd is like that for me. It's a bittersweet, fruit cordial. It also smells salty, like a dry, red wine. The champaca absolute gives it a haylike scent that is outdoorsy and natural. The combination of notes is odd overall. I think I could get the same effect by dipping a cloth in wine and wearing it, exuding that fragrance as it evaporates, and it would cost far less.
30th June, 2014

Vikt by Slumberhouse

Ah, here's a challenging scent -- attractive, but over-the-top. Black licorice is one of my favorite flavors. I can eat a whole bag of it, which grosses out many people whom I know. The scent of this fragrance is big, sweet, round, pungent, and in-your-face. It says, "Licorice? Red or black?... Oh, you like red? Then BWA-HA-HA! Run for your life!" This is like dying of asphyxiation while smiling, with a plastic bag of black licorice clamped over one's head. It's like overdose-huffing on Kukaburra twists, licorice babies, licorice wheels, Haribo ribbons, and those Finnish squares that look like roof shingles. The whole black and syrupy concoction is dropped onto a slightly creamy base, which makes it opaque. I've enjoyed this one. Would I wear it? Probably not, but I appreciate it as an experience, so I give it a neutral.
30th June, 2014
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Ore by Slumberhouse

Yum. Butterscotch rum. Caramel chocolate. Whiskey. Tasty treat of gourmand goodness. My favorite part is the initial blast of booze, which sets it apart from other, tamer gourmand scents. The golden color matches the aroma exactly. This is something I could imagine drizzled over vanilla ice cream. It's rich and fatty, gooey and thick. I wish the booze lasted longer. After it recedes, which is sadly too soon, the wood resins impart a non-edible bitterness, the herbal notes give it a sharp edge that inhibits my appetite. It ends up smelling kind of like hardwood mulch with a bit of sweet leather. Overall, I'd say this is a "yes," initially, and a "maybe" later.
30th June, 2014

Pear + Olive by Slumberhouse

I think I object to the "olive" note in here. It's oily. I like the pear note, even though I'm not a fan of fruity fragrances. It's realistic, sweet, and candy-like. It's the olive that's bothering me. It's oily-rancid. It smells like a dishrag that has soured. It causes my stomach to roil. Okay, it's not overwhelming. I can handle it. There's so much of the pretty pear in here that I can block out the greasy odor. Surprisingly, I love olives and olive oil. I eat olive oil practically every day. I buy the best I can afford. That is why I can't call this an "olive" aroma. It's more like a fungus of some kind, sort of warm and dirty and growing. It's like when your clothes don't dry completely, but you have to wear them again. My apologies to those of you who find this delectable. Theoff-note spoiled note spoils it for me.
30th June, 2014

Jeke by Slumberhouse

Nopity, nope-nope. Ack. This is a smoke monster. Whoee. Lapsing Souchong tea disgusts me. I hated it the first time I drank it, and it never grew on me, contrary to the assertions of the salesperson. Jeke has a bitter, burning aroma. I don't tolerate this fragrance at all. When I was young and poor, my husband and I lived next door to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Plant, and the smell of vulcanizing rubber was as nice as this, which is to say, not good. My nose is wrinkled. I'm frowning. I love benzoin, but its sweetness is totally flattened in a full-Nelson facebuster by Mr. Smoke. The tobacco note fails to help. I love unburned tobacco, like the kind in Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, but this one is streaming out of the mouth of a cigar smoker. Oh, Lord. I wouldn't even like this on a man. Sorry, Jeke fans. By the way, this fragrance is sold out on the Slumberhouse e-boutique. I guess lots of people like it. C'est la vie. It takes all kinds of people to make up this interesting society in which we live.
30th June, 2014

Norne by Slumberhouse

This is the Slumberhouse I most wanted to try, based on the notes. I'm an evergreen freak, especially pine, fir, and spruce. This perfume smells like a walk out in the forest. Fabulous. I could wear this easily. To me, it smells primarily of balsam fir absolute. I'm not getting any smoky notes -- no burned smell, no remnants of a fire -- even though I'm sensitive to those, and I dislike them. So, this is surprisingly easy on my nose. Rather, it's more like frankincense.

It is strong, though. I didn't even do a full spray, and it's still enough. The initial hit of broken branches, sap, and crushed needles is heavenly. It smells like a long-lost, pine bubble bath that I used as a child -- a dark green liquid in a bottle that foamed in the tub and filled the entire bathroom with the scent of a Colorado mountain in the summer. (Alas, it disappeared like many of wonderful products.)

After more than an hour, Norne still smells great, but a soapy-musky base is becoming prominent. This doesn't put me off, though. (After all, my first pine-y love was a bubble bath.) Green notes are hard to retain. Norne does an admirable job of staying true to its intent, holding onto the original essence as long as possible. I am enjoying this immensely.

My biggest reservation about buying a bottle, actually more than the 100ml $300 price, is that I have read the essential oil safety books by Martin Watt and Robert Tisserand, and I wonder if this beautiful juice has more of the terpene-rich natural substances than are recommended in order to avoid sensitizing the wearer. I'd hate to develop an allergy to my favorite trees. The fragrance, itself, is dark green and sticky just like the absolute. Just so you know. IFRA be damned here.
30th June, 2014

Siskiyou by Juniper Ridge

More of a fragrant experience than a perfume. Upon application, this green liquid flashes into the air like the burst of aroma from a bruised branch of an evergreen tree. The ingredients are listed as "distilled from plants, conifers, bark, moss, mushrooms, and other things found hiking in the Oregon backcountry." The notes listed are: warm ginger, spicy Cedar, driftwood, citrus, and deep conifer forest. (Apparently, the perfumer found that a bit of non-native support was needed, since ginger and citrus are not normally found in the woods of Oregon.) In all, it smells fresh, aromatic, camphoraceous, turpinoid, woody, non-sweet, wild, and outdoorsy. After the initial rush, it tones down quickly to a whisper after the initial rush. I like the concept, I like the aroma. It would make a great bath fragrance. I think it needs to wear better on skin. I'd like my house to smell like this all the time.
03rd May, 2014

Tulipano Nero by I Profumi di Firenze

Retro fragrance, dark and sultry like the old Chypres, resinous and spicy, with florals that growl rather than flutter. The dominant note to my nose is myrrh, warm, weird, and evocatively nostalgic. If I were pressed to identify a floral, it would be a cool, spring bulb flower. If you still have an old bottle of Norell or you love Knowing and perfumes of that ilk, than you owe it to yourself to sniff out this modern version of the same type of fragrance. Pretty amazing, but not for the department store crowd.
01st May, 2014

Eau Duelle by Diptyque

A clean, fresh vanilla done in the transparent style of Diptyque. Vanilla is a difficult scent to make transparent, too. It requires skill to open up its dense, sweetness. Diptyque accomplishes this with the beautiful snap of fresh juniper, woody pepper, and airy frankincense. The combination commands you to inhale deeply. It smells like a gin and tonic with a dollop of vanilla extract. Sillage is tricky: it comes and goes, it's not creamy and filling like vanilla, but clear and wafting like wet, crushed pine needles. Looking for a different take on vanilla? This is it. Unique and fascinating.
23rd April, 2014

Perfumista Avenue by Bond No. 9

This is just another oud rose scent, released late in the game after Montale and others have (over)done the genre ad nauseam (and better). It has a harsh, synthetic woody base with some bitter, leather-like notes, hosting a big, dark, spicy-fruity rose. The fragrance projects like an anti-aircraft missile. It's soapy and masculine. This release is aimed at younger women who have never had the pleasure of encountering an Arabian oud-rose fragrance before. If you have the ways and means, delve into Amouage or Montale for your oud-rose fix, please. This one's just a pretender.
17th March, 2014

Aldehyde 44 by Le Labo

Weird. Like Chanel No. 5 minus everything but the waxy, soapy, fizzy, sweet part on a razor-sharp, clean musk. An interesting experience, but not what I want to smell like!
09th March, 2014

Neroli 36 by Le Labo

This is a pleasant, fruity, mildly floral scent that side-steps around the woodiness of neroli and the assiduously avoids the narcotic heaviness of florals. It hints of jasmine --without the indoles -- and orange blossom -- without the hairy, animalic beastliness of orange blossom. There's a heavy dose of Calone making it fresh as an ocean breeze. Its better and far more interesting than most mainstream fruity florals, but I like the animalic qualities of jasmine and orange blossom and the woodiness of neroli too much to give them up.
09th March, 2014

Bergamote 22 by Le Labo

I like this. It's a woody citrus scent. The opening is too astringent, but it settles nicely into a grapefruit-bergamot combination on top of a diffusive, clean pepper-cedar and remarkably mild, grassy vetiver. All of this lies atop an airy musk. Bergamote 22 has a healthy dose of dryness and just enough sweetness to merit the comment, "Hey, this is pretty!" It's unisex, outdoorsy, summery, clear and transparent. The composition is sophisticated enough to put it above mainstream citrus fragrances. Give it a try, stick out the first minute of searing astringency, and be rewarded with a worthwhile woody citrus fragrance.
09th March, 2014

Jasmal by Creed

Jasmine fragrance typical of Creed florals in its transparence; it is strong but clear. Jasmal has a load of green leafiness, thanks to galbanum in the formula. There is also a pronounced honey note, as if it were able to draw bees to its nectar. The difference between this and pure jasmine absolute is that Jasmal has removed a great deal of the fruit-candy aroma that is naturally present in the absolute. Jasmal is actually more sheer.
(No to be confused with Jasmine Imperatrice Eugenie, which has lots of vanilla and is creamy, making it less typical of Creed florals in general, and more oriental in nature.)
07th March, 2014

Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

More of a ginger than a tobacco fragrance, Tabarome is extremely bracing and fresh, with the leafy sweetness of tobacco taking a back seat. Definitely a guy fragrance, in the mode of an entire genre of masculine scents. I detect something melon-ish and aquatic here, although it is not listed. The word "watery" comes to mind. It's typical gents fare, nothing groundbreaking.
07th March, 2014

Irisia by Creed

Amazing, old-school scent. Like finding a bottle of of Halston at an antique store, a fragrance full of forbidden ingredients. This is a perfume that is not afraid to smell like a perfume; it iis a composition in the classic style. This smells a bit like a drier, wiser version of Knowing, or a more feminine Yatagan. It smells like it has real oakmoss. It's no longer listed on the Creed website, although it is still available online. Unisex, too.
06th March, 2014 (last edited: 07th March, 2014)

Aubépine-Acacia by Creed

Interesting, unique, juxtaposition of bitter-salty over sweet. This fragrance features hawthorne, and it is a beauty. Too bad I can't find it on the Creed website; it must be discontinued. Rich, deep, fascinating. Smells expensive and three-dimensional. Beautiful for men or women -- although I bet it was made for men exclusively back in 1968. So sad that it's not listed anymore.
06th March, 2014

Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare by Creed

I get this confused with Fleurs de Bulgarie, which I like better. This one, Thé Rose Bulgarie, is a realistic, very green, tea rose includes just the right amount of fruitiness and spiciness to keep it interesting and move it a step above simple floral imitation. This is too airy for me, an earthy fragrance lover, and too simplistic.
06th March, 2014

Spring Flower by Creed

There's a watery, bitter fruit in this, like melon plus grapefruit rind or the bitter peel of an unripe Red Delicious apple. Don't like it. Creed does better florals. Try others.
06th March, 2014