Perfume Reviews

Reviews by bonni

Total Reviews: 45

Samsara by Guerlain

I bought this perfume smell unsmelled so to speak, based on reviews and recommendations. This is a fairly risky thing to do, of course, and for a while I thought I'd made a big mistake, because at first, I just didn't like it at all.

The bottle sat in its box in my perfume drawer for months. I wore it once, didn't like it, and didn't wear it again. Then one day recently I was restless and wanted to wear something different and decided to try Samsara again.

Perhaps it's the time of the year (autumn, getting noticibly cooler). Perhaps it's just my sensibilities changing. Whatever it is, I quite like Samsara now.

I find this a very smooth, spicy, rich floriental, a bit old-fashioned, in a good sense, reminding me of some of the lush, heavy, silky perfumes of the past. It makes me think of boudoirs and elegant women with kohl eyeliner, and black and white glamour photography.

I must say, most of the jasmine seems to be lost on me. I can certainly smell many of the other notes, particularly the sandalwood and narcissus in the middle, and the tonka and iris in the base, but not the jasmine.

Another odd thing is that if I smell this in the bottle (just have a sniff around the spray nozzle, as you sometimes do when trying to decide what to wear), I really dislike this one, which may be why I resisted trying it again for so long. Once it's on my skin, it's quite delicious, though, so I'm glad I didn't give the bottle away (which I frequently do with perfumes that I just find I can't stand to wear).

After a rocky start, Samsara and I have found that we like each other, which is good. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many florientals in your collection. ;)
06th May, 2007

Gucci Eau de Parfum by Gucci

I'm not sure if I like this or not. It's a skillful blend, in my opinion, but it's a strange combination. The initial topnotes always remind me of amaretto, of all things, and then as it settles down, there's a distinct sweetness, but I'm always reminded of leather, as in, soft, new leather, like the inside of a new purse.

This fragrance is a bit exotic, a bit sweet, quite different, and although it's technically a floral, it has an oriental edge to it.

Overall, I'd say it's well-made and probably fabulous on the right person. I'm just not so sure I'm that person.

Interesting fragrance, in any event, well worth investigating.
06th December, 2006

Miss Dior Originale (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

I was strolling past the Dior counter in a department store, and as I had deliberately not worn fragrance that day, I was in the mood for testing. I had a bit of this, a bit of that, then I hit the Miss Dior and I was instantly transported to the past, and I looked up at the sales assistant with wonder in my eyes and said, "My grandmother wore this!" She smiled and nodded and said, "Yes, it's a classic." And it is, too.

This fragrance is spunky, sophisticated, surprisingly chic. It caused a sensation when it was released in 1947, and it's still sensational.
25th September, 2006
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Black Cashmere by Donna Karan

Sweet, woody, incense-y, and wonderfully spicy, with just a hint of soft sweetness. This is a sensational oriental, chic and modern. I don't know if this is yet considered a classic, but it certainly should be.
14th June, 2006

Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

I suspect it's mostly my own chemistry, which has a peculiar tendency to turn things very sweet, but on me Coco Mademoiselle is just sythetically syrupy and not very pleasant, particularly in the top notes, which remind me far too much of cough syrup. The middle notes are a little better, but still too sweet, and the base notes get very synthetic and fade into something flat, vaguely sweet, and generally unpleasant.

I wish I could find a Chanel perfume that I like and which smells good on me, but this isn't the one, unfortunately.
15th April, 2006

Dolce Vita by Christian Dior

I'm not a big fan of sweet fragrances. On me, they tend to become extremely sweet. I wasn't, therefore, expecting to like Dolce Vita, but I tried a sample on a whim and was very taken with it.

First, it's not too sweet, which is good. It's more of a soft, creamy sweet scent, rather than a candy-sweet scent. I'm not overly thrilled with the initial top notes, but once they settle down a bit, the perfume is very pleasant on me, very warm, inviting, and almost comforting.

I don't find it to be cloying, although I suspect it could be on a hot day or if applied a bit too enthusiastically.

It's nice to find sweet fragrances that I can wear, and it makes a welcome change from my usual florals and orientals. Glad I tried this one, and I don't at all regret buying a full bottle. I'm sure I'll be wearing this one with some regularity.
28th March, 2006

Curious by Britney Spears

Really surprised by this one. I absolutely detest Fantasy (cupcakes in a lolly shop, ugh), but this one is really very nice.

Lovely soft, sweet creamy florals and a note of Anjou pear, with a base of vanilla-musk. It's not too sweet, the florals are pretty and nicely balanced, and overall, I think it's a really well done perfume.

As for the bottle, I don't think they get much more fabulous than this.
27th March, 2006

Estée Super by Estée Lauder

My grandmother was a fan of Estee Lauder products and would buy me a big bottle of perfume every year for Christmas from the time I was in my middle teens. One year it was Estee, another it was White Linen, and so on. My mother would get Cinnabar or Youth Dew (and my grandmother wore Estee, herself).

Anyway, I wore Estee regularly throughout my teens and well into my twenties, not only because I always had some on hand, but also because I genuinely liked it. After my grandmother died, I stopped wearing all but the least expensive perfumes for a long time (mostly due to lack of funds!), but now I'm collecting perfumes again and have recently revisited this once-beloved fragrance of mine.

I find that it opens with a very strong blast of florals and, I rather suspect, aldehydes (my husband didn't like the in-your-face florals much), but that settles down into a very nicely balanced, full-blown, smooth floral. It seems to be quite linear now that I try it again (something I wouldn't have noticed in my teens, heh). The only real changes I've noted are the notes fading (as top notes do).

Revisiting this fragrance is like reuniting with a long lost beloved friend. This is entirely emotional on my part, as it reminds me very much of my grandmother, but emotions aside, the fragrance is extremely nice, very classy, definitely classic.

Some folks, I'm sure, would call this an "old lady" perfume, and I can see that it certainly could be if applied a bit too liberally, but if you like a nice, strong, well-balanced full-on floral with unique and distinct character, definitely check this out.

Oh, and don't let the name "cologne" fool you. This fragrance has extremely good staying power, no matter what they're calling the dilution (I understand that many American perfumes such as this have very strong fixitives in the base in order to make them last a very long time; I don't know if that's the case with this, but it definitely LASTS).
23rd March, 2006

Sparkling White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor

I was extremely surprised by this fragrance. It's really very pretty, surprisingly fresh, and the citrus (neroli) top notes are delicious.

It's nicely balanced and very, very feminine and pretty. It's a little strong, so it should probably be applied with a light hand, but I really like it and find it very elegant.
21st March, 2006

Bulgari pour Femme by Bulgari

Delicious fragrance. Very different sort of lush floral, really has a unique character.

I own a lot of floral fragrances and it takes a really special one to make me consider adding a new floral to my collection, but by gosh, I think this might just be one that I'm going to have to acquire.

Gorgeous perfume, clean, fresh, really interesting, and not a "like all the others" scent. Fantastic.
21st March, 2006

Aqua Allegoria Lavande Velours by Guerlain

This is a most extraordinary fragrance. It's surprisingly complex in development, going from a bright initial blast of lavender through the lavender and woody notes like a beautiful tune. On my skin it's very slightly spicy. Absolutely delicious, what a shame they've discontinued it!
20th March, 2006

Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

Unfortunately, my personal chemistry makes sweet fragrances go VERY sweet (with a few exceptions). I cannot wear Chopard Wish at all, I've never tried Angel (because I know for sure I won't be able to wear it), and, to be honest, I don't really like sweet fragrances all that much (again, with a few exceptions).

This one, though, is actually kind of nice. The opening is a bit too sweet for me, but it doesn't take long before it settles in and the anise/licorice really kicks in with a nice spicy sort of sweet instead of just the sugary/syrupy sweet that I so dislike.

I love the licorice/anise note(s). I think that's what gives this fragrance depth and character, and it's what kept me from dismissing it as yet another sweety-sweet candy sugar fragrance.

As the fragrance developed, I really got to where I liked it, which is a bit shocking as it is quite sweet and outside my usual perfume style. It really becomes quite delicious as it goes on.

I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'll buy this in a full bottle. I may have to test it a couple more times to decide. But in any event, I don't hate it, and I'm actually pretty impressed with the depth and character, which is saying a lot from me, who generally hates sweet perfumes.
20th March, 2006

Romance by Ralph Lauren

It's not pink, but the box is. This seems to be one of the first of the many "pink floral" fragrances that came out on the market around the same time.

It's a pleasant fragrance, light, a bit sweet, definitely very floral. Nothing really distinguishes it for me, though. "Nice but nothing special" is how I'd characterise this one.
19th March, 2006
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White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor

I was very surprised by this. I was really expecting to dislike it, or at least be neutral toward it, but I found it to be very pleasant, indeed.

It does start off very "loudly" with a big blast of floral, whew! But that settles in pretty quickly to the very nice heart notes, which are sweet but not terribly so. There doesn't appear to be a gardenia note in this, but the middle notes do remind me of gardenias, maybe they "evoke" the scent of a gardenia more than smell like it? In any case, it's a nice bouquet to my nose and with my chemistry.

This is a fragrance that I can't imagine too many young women wearing, and even a somwehat older woman (35+ I'd say) probably should apply with caution (as has been noted by another reviewer) because I think a little too much of this would be a lot too much.

Still, a nice fragrance and I'll certainly be wearing it again. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a reasonably sophsticated floral bouquet perfume. It's well worth trying.
17th March, 2006

Passion by Elizabeth Taylor

I hated this in the bottle. I thought, "UGH, there's NO WAY I can wear that!" but then, wanting to be fair, I put a bit on my wrists to let it develop.

The immediate top notes are pretty "whiffy" (as my husband would say), but that settled down fairly quickly into a rather pleasant old-fashioned Oriental that reminds me very much of incense. As the fragrance develops, I'm finding that I do, indeed, like it.

It does smell like something you'd expect Elizabeth Taylor to wear. It's grand, a bit "big" (it was introduced in the 80s, after all, when big hair, big shoulders, big earrings, and big fragrances were in fashion), a little old-fashioned, but surprisingly chic. I think some would call this an "old lady" scent, and I can see why they would, but I'm finding it to be quite enjoyable, particularly as the top notes fade and the somewhat more floral heart notes start to become evident.

It's not a particularly original fragrance, and there are better Orientals, but this is a fragrance I happened to have (got it as a mini in a gift pack with some other Elizabeth Taylor fragrances) and it's probably something I'll wear now and then when I'm feeling in the mood for something a bit spicy and mysterious and out of my ordinary fragrance style.

I'm giving it a neutral because it's not very original (in my opinion) and it's not something I'd buy again, but it is a nicely made fragrance that I will wear (at least until the bottle I have is gone).
14th March, 2006

Still by Jennifer Lopez

Nice. Not remarkable, not fantastic, but a nice, sweetish floral. Nothing about it makes me want to own it, but I can see that some folks would quite like it. It's pleasant enough. Perhaps on some women it's fabulous (perhaps on JLo, herself, who know?)
13th March, 2006

Kiehl's Original Musk by Kiehl's

This is a very beautifully designed musk which starts out strong and then develops into a nice, lingering, creamy, soft, sensual scent. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes musk-based fragrances, as this is a really good one.
12th March, 2006

Givenchy pour Homme by Givenchy

Husband tried this one on a whim as we passed through the perfume section of a big department store.

It's nice. The citrus opening notes are extremely pleasant but all too fleeting, and after that it turns into a light, boring, smells-like-everyone type of fragrance.

It's okay, but only okay. We'll pass.
12th March, 2006

Mayotte / Mahora by Guerlain

What a shame this has been discontinued (I sincerely hope that the rumours that it will be brought back are true!).

I love this, although it's a "treat" fragrance for me, not one I wear regularly. I find it exotic, extremely sensual, and I love the tropical fruit notes (which is strange, because I'm not all that into fruity stuff).

It's very, very different from the fragrances I normally wear (mostly full-on florals), and I'm not the biggest fan of orientals, but this is one oriental I can love.
11th March, 2006

Very Irrésistible by Givenchy

Extremely well named. I got this as a free sample with another perfume order (picked it because I just happened to like the name) and found it to be fabulous.

It reminds me a fair bit of Tresor at the start (Tresor is my all-time favorite perfume, so this is good), and the works into a really nice spicy heart. The whole thing is very nicely constructed, very lush notes. I think it definitely lives up to its name.
11th March, 2006

Pour Un Homme by Caron

I ordered this for myself purely on recommendations. I was looking for a nice lavender-based fragrance and several people recommended this. Since I'm not afraid to "switch sides", I gave it a try.

Well, it's nice on me. I like it. The lavender-citrus opening notes are a little powerful on me, but that settles down and it becomes a nice, soft, clean soapy kind of fragrance.

And then I wanted to see what happened when my husband wore it, how it worked on him and with his skin and his chemistry and... WOW. I'm actually kind of shocked as to how VERY good it smells on him. Something about his chemistry really works with this and it's just fantastic.

The lavender, which was a too strong on me, is, on him, strong but light and fresh, and the development into the vanilla is just delicious. I would never have thought of him as a bloke who could wear vanilla comfortably, but in this fragrance, it really works.

I don't think I'll be wearing this one that much in the future, because I fully expect to enjoy it on him, instead! Fabulous!
10th March, 2006

Spiced Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden

On me, this is spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. It's a soft, very slightly sweet, warm spicy concoction, and it does, indeed, remind me very much of spiced tea. I get the best results when wearing in accompaniment with the Spiced Green Tea scented lotion.

It's a shame this has been discontinued. It can still be found at some online stores, so if you like it (or want to try it), grab some now while it's still there.
10th March, 2006

Pleasures by Estée Lauder

Big floral fan here, so this one appeals to my sensibilities. I find it very pleasant, and I love the lilac note in this. The fragrance isn't a huge "wow" for me, but it's a nicely balanced floral with a good bouquet that I can appreciate when I'm in the mood for lilacs. It's a good all-purpose floral fragrance, suitable for all sorts of people in all sorts of situations.
07th March, 2006

Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills

My grandmother, a fan of perfumes, started wearing this in the early-mid 80s. Now whenever I smell it, I'm reminded of her. The scent therefore has pleasant associations for me, but I normally don't wear it, myself.

Still, today I put some on (borrowed from my mother-in-law, for whom I bought the fragrance) and I'm finding it quite pleasant just on its own merit.

I haven't got a list of the notes and I'm too lazy to go and find them, but the top notes struck me as fruity and floral, and then it settled into a floral heart that seems to be jasmine-based. Basenotes are floral but a bit muskier, perhaps with some sandalwood in there. Very nice, I must say.

Giorgio smells so very 80s to me now, I just keep thinking big shoulders, big hair, big earrings... And this is a big fragrance to go with all of that. It can be extremely strong, so apply with caution. It does seem to stand the test of time, at least to my nose. I might just have to wear this one a bit more often now that I'm experiencing it again. It's quite nice.
03rd March, 2006

Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

Well, I happen to really like honeysuckle and jasmine, so this fragrance really works for me. It develops beautifully on me, and the honeysuckle note that I like so much lasts pretty much throughout.

I used to wear a lot of Estee Lauder, particularly White Linen (but also Estee and Beautiful), but I got out of the habit and when I went back, I found them to be a bit too heavy and not really to my taste any more for whatever reason. This fragrance, however, has brought me back into Estee's loving arms again. I do like this one (and I admit that I even quite like the bottle which is, yes, corny and a bit silly, but why do perfume bottles have to be serious, anyway?)
03rd March, 2006

White Linen by Estée Lauder

I used to wear this quite a lot, and I always got compliments when I did. Nice, crisp, balanced, well-constructed, feminine fragrance, this one.

Haven't worn it in a long time, because my tastes and preferences changed, but I might resurrect it soon. I've got a mini bottle of it in my perfume drawer, and who knows? My fondness for this fragrance may be rekindled (sometimes you do go back to an old love, even after a breakup because you drifted apart...)
03rd March, 2006

Youth Dew by Estée Lauder

I've tried to like this, but I just can't. It's ugly (I know, that's shallow of me, but it's brown, and it gives new meaning to the concept of "toilet water"), it's far too strong and much too... much.

I do find Estee Lauder fragrances to be fairly hit or miss, and this is one I'm happy to miss!
03rd March, 2006

Wish by Chopard

Tried this one because I got it in a package of mini perfumes. I would never have bought it on my own, mostly because the smell in the bottle is absolutely not to my taste at ALL.

The top notes are exceptionally sweet, very fruity, a bit like berries in syrup but (as someone else has noted) something like cough syrup.

The middle notes seem very.... bland to me. It's not a bland perfume, but the middle notes are very ordinary and almost predictible. I almost wish there was something a bit more spicy there, anything other than "more sweet stuff", and I've noticing that as the top notes ease off, there's a very, VERY sweet edge that smells for all the world like fairy floss (cotton candy).

The base notes are also sweet, the toffee fragrance is quite noticible on me, but at least the base isn't quite as sweet as the rest of the concoction (still too sweet, though).

Basically, this fragrace seems to be a sweet course for appetisers, a sweet course for main, and a sweet course for dessert, with no break at all in the sticky sweet, almost sugary confection notes.

If you actually like sweet on sweet on sweet, you may like this (there's no accounting for taste, including mine), but I'm glad I didn't buy this in a bigger bottle, and I'm going to have to see about offloading the bottle I do have onto someone who can appreciate it. I'm never going to wear this one again, I can guarantee it. Definitely NOT to my taste at ALL.
02nd March, 2006

Fantasy by Britney Spears

If you want to smell like spun sugar in a candy shop, this is the fragrance for you. I've tried it a couple of times now and I must say, I absolutely detest it. Absolutely awful. Yuck.

I will say, though, that the bottle is very cool and extremely interesting. Nice bottle, shame about the fragrance....
28th February, 2006

Diorissimo by Christian Dior

I love this when I'm in a particular mood. I love Lily of the Valley, and I love Lilac (I'm sure there's a lilac note in here somewhere), and I'm generally a very big fan of florals in general. This fragrance is fresh with a casual bouquet, and reminds me of a spring garden, which I think was the intent. It's very 1950s, very French, very floral.

My husband, for what it's worth, really doesn't like this fragrance. He says it smells to him like it would give you hay fever and attract bees, that is, he finds it to be too floral, the bouquet too fresh (he does like florals, but not this one). I don't let his opinion stop me from wearing it, of course (although if we're going out or going to spend the day together, I do wear something other than this one).

I recommend trying before you buy, and do get a good armful of it and give it time to develop, as some of the heart and end notes are very pleasant (perhaps more than the top notes for some people). I'm not sure it would suit everyone (or even most everyone; I'm not even convinced it suits me, but I like the smell enough to wear it anyway).
27th February, 2006