This is bottled decadence! I urge more women to try it because it is also extremely wearable. Not that I disagree with previous reviewers, but I think the brilliance of Ambre Russe is it's perfectly balanced simplicity: tea, alcohol and leather. The spice and amber are there, but they don't barge in and take over the show as it were.
Have you ever imagined yourself a 19th Century society beauty sprawled on a chaise longue with a dashing cavalry Officer at your side? If so, then please try this!!
I really am a passionate admirer of Parfum d'Empire. Eau Suave is the one that I always brand the most boring and then I try it again and remember how lovely it is, and also quite strange. It's interesting, because on me the opening is quite dry and lavendery, and then I get the full bodied floral hit, then a fruity end. It all seems to match though. How does it do that?!
Ok, this is how you get (visual) perfume heaven: go to Fortnum's, head for the beauty department (heaven in itself) set up camp in front of the Teo Cabanel display - then worship! You don't even need to sample this stuff - just gaze at it longingly.
What does it smell like? Honestly, I don't even have an exact memory - I know I preferred it to Julia. It's vintage, a bit woody, a bit oriental, floral spicy - I'm sure it is created to make you feel like the most expensive jolie Madame in Paris!
do people really wear this?! Aldehydic beyound belief - one sniff and I was reeling. When it comes to French vintage aldehydes I reckon Chanel 5 (EDT) is a more enjoyable wear.
Admittedly, I was first attracted to this perfume because of the bottle and name, but this is very pretty and feminine. Apparently it's supposed to delicately evoke Spring flowers with may rose, jasmine and hawthorn - I can imagine happily wearing this during Spring and Summer.
It kind of reminds me of Guerlain's Champs Elysees, without the sickly, slightly tacky frutiness that I think lets Champs down.
Whilst Josephine is sweet, feminine and straightforward, there is a definite elegance to it. If you usually find pretty florals a bit sickly then I recommend trying this.
This is my dream scent: figgy without being predictably green, nutty, woody, with a kind of oriental saltiness (I can see why the previous review likens it to a church). Unusual and evocative.
One downside: every time I try a spray of this scent I turn into an automated sneezing machine - with a headache. Very frustrating, because when it lingers on the sleeve of my sweater it smells so wonderful the day after i've tried it!
So I will persevere with the sneezing/thumping headaches because I want to purchase a bottle for autumn/winter.
I saw a bottle of this on the shelf in Les Senteurs and was immediately intrigued - it looked so utterly evocative of a certain era - all silk stockings and cami-knickers. An Evelyn Waugh heroine for sure. As I recall it smells quite sweet and cakey, but not nastily so. Only drawback for me is the price - which seems a bit inflated.
I tried some of this and gagged in horror. I then thrust my wrist under the nose of a Korean friend - 'What is it! What is it!' she screamed in distress. But then it dried and I found my self continually sniffing with something like pleasure. It reminds me of the taste of tea, rather than the smell of tea, with a touch of smokiness, if that makes sense. And there is nothing i like better than a strong cup of tea and a sticky bun on a cold day - a regular occurrence in the UK. Which makes me think that I should really invest in a bottle of this. The perfect accompaniment for cosy days.
Herba Fresca will always be dear to me - I bought a bottle when it first launched. It is grassy, although it doesn't smell exactly like grass - if I wanted to smell like grass then I would role in a field. Rather Herba Fresca is like a really well made Mojito: piquant, crisp, minty, with just the right amount of crunchy sugar and a joyful kick of alcohol.
I can also back up the general view that it attracts lots of nice compliments.
It just smells really good without being boring or pedestrian.
My middle name is Lillian, so i'm always keen to try a lily scent. I sprayed some of this on my wrist, sniffed: nothing. I waited for the dry-down, walked out of the shop and had another sniff: nothing. I walked down the street for a while and had yet another sniff - this time I could faintly smell something: a very pure, green, lily of the valley smell. It was charming and delicious and reminded me of the flower AND its natural surroundings: rivers, streams and a cool wooded glade. Lovely in fact - just very, VERY faint.
I will try it again, but I am still bemused by the weak strength of this scent.
I had some time to kill before a play so I went perfume browsing and tried Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare. I took my seat in the theatre, up in the gods next to a youngish couple. The lights lowered, the play started and a delicious smell wafted up with tantalising irregularity. At the interval the girl made her boyfriend swap seats so she was sitting next to me - coincidence!?!
OK, maybe I'm reading into the situation, but my point is this: as well as being the perfect tea rose scent, it is also absurdly, edibly sensual.
In fact, if I had the good fortune to own a bottle I don't think I could wear it that often. It isn't that it's too heady or overpowering, it's just that I felt I couldn't quite carry it off - it is just so very voluptuous. It's a magnificent, heaving bosom of a scent, but unfortunately I am not that kind of woman!
I so want to love Miss Balmain - the bottle, the design, the name, the history - all make me think of Lesley Caron in An American in Paris. However, I have to agree that it is rather flat. There is also something strange about it that makes me think that i'm smelling something unidentifiably bad - this effect doesn't hit you in the face, it's too bland for that, but it's definitely there, lurking uneasily at the bottom of the scent.