Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Kotori

Advertisement
Total Reviews: 126
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Jasmine Smoke by Heretic Parfums

Gorgeous. A high-quality jasmine meets tobacco leaf and smoke. The smoke is rich and vanilliac, like the smoke in Mona di Orio's Vanille. It doesn't actually smell like the tobacco smoke that inspired the fragrance, but for me that's a good thing. It's a riff on ELDO's Jasmin et Cigarette using a richer jasmine absolute and more natural ingredients.
04th November, 2018
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Sandalwood by Pacifica

This smells amazing— but there isn’t much sandalwood— mostly lemons and oranges. But I can’t resist a citrus with depth.
07th June, 2018
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Malibu Lemon Blossom by Pacifica

For the solid:

A very floral take on lemon blossom. Pretty faint in solid form. It has a bit of a rubbery note.
07th June, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Parfum d'Été by Kenzo

I’m reviewing the current version, as I haven’t smelled the original in twenty years.

Breezy and fresh in a very 90’s way, with Lily of the Valley playing the diva, and Hyacinth and Freesia singing backup, it’s in the same genre as Gucci Envy and Cristalle Eau Verte: a green floral revival. I tend to think of it as Diorissimo modulated for Generation X.
23rd April, 2018
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

FlowerbyKenzo Le Parfum by Kenzo

I’ve been on my second bottle of this for about 10 years. It’s got similar DNA to Flower the original, but a medicinal almond and opoponax take center stage. And it isn’t as powdery. It’s languid and resinous. Syrupy, even. But it’s more Robitussin than Log Cabin. I like wearing this one along with Flower as a base layer for it. It’s also cozy in the winter as a stand-alone.
23rd April, 2018
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Galop d'Hermès by Hermès

If you remember the fruity cocktails Escada used to produce in the early 2000's, the topnotes of quince in Galop may remind you of them. Surprisingly, Galop begins with a very fruity rose. I was expecting something akin to Bottega Veneta, and indeed lovers of that beauty will likely be drawn to Galop, but they are cousins rather than sisters.

The heart notes in Galop are another surprise because the suede is not what I know from Kelly Caleche, though presumably Kelly Caleche was an influence here. It's a suede more reminiscent of Cuir d'Ange, I suppose: soft and opaque. At this point the saffron note appears and it's a saffron that texturally resembles metal or concrete, causing an unsettling feeling of alienness.

Galop is tenacious enough to overtake your awareness if you are testing more than one fragrance, and on the blotter, it will not play well with others, causing all your other blotters to become infected by it.

A beautiful and gutsy opaque fruity suede rose that perhaps I, as one who typically does not wear rose, could wear.
31st December, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Feu Secret by Bruno Fazzolari

At first blush, it's a lot of Eucalyptus-- so much that my hand tingles where I have sprayed it.

But wait...

A few minutes in and it's the day after Christmas in my dad's log cabin, with the warm smells of last night's cooking, and the brisk breeze of the Illinois winter blowing in through the screen door he has left open to air the place out from last night's log fire. Cool and crisp and woody all at once. I can almost feel the breeze off the river.
23rd November, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Explosions d’Emotions : Amour Nocturne by L'Artisan Parfumeur

A decidedly unpleasant olfactory experience. My teeth hurt.
22nd October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Bois d'Iris by Van Cleef & Arpels

Smooth and cold. Imagine Bvlgari Black and L'Instant de Guerlain for women had a baby. The beginning is all about rubber and woods, and then it calms down to Iris and ambergris with a bit of cedar. There's also a bit of pepper, to my nose. Completely unisex. A gentle cool weather fragrance with a rich temperament and a classy vibe.
22nd October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain

Whoah! Aldehydes! Those are new for Shalimar. It takes me a minute or two to be able to recognize any Shalimar here. At first it's a sharp-sweet aldehydic floral and while I know there is likely bergamot, it's hard to detect. After a bit that tonka/leather/vanilla thing that is Shalimar's base arrives, and I can make the flanker connection. The citrus is brighter-- more like a tangerine note than the lemon/bergamot for which Shalimar is famous. The citrus I can detect is more reminiscent of the bright, aldehydic citrus in No. 5 L'Eau. Later, a heavy dose of white musk announces its presence loudly. Finally, a patchouli note sashays in and steals the spotlight.

This is a far less citric and astringent Shalimar, with the tonka and white noise turned up and the smoke, citrus, and rich vanilla turned down. It's not as dark, bright, or sweaty as Shalimar. I like this better than Shalimar Soufflé; it's not as thin. It's fine-tuned to attract the gourmand-loving 20- and 30-somethings to whom things like Black Opium were directed. It's lovely, and I think I'd like it a lot if I weren't expecting it to be Shalimar.
19th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Vanille Insensée by Atelier Cologne

Ahhh... it makes a lot of sense to know Ralf Schwieger created this one. The style reminds me of Fils de Dieu or the Merveilles line. "Insane Vanilla" is a vanilla-dominant cologne (as in eau de) with a contrasting orange peel note and some supporting jasmine, moss, and woods. The jasmine blends well and whispers softly, never once attempting to overthrow the vanilla. It is a cold vanilla, based on the pod, not the extractor any baked goods featuring it. In the sense of coldness and darkness, it resembles Eau Duelle EDT by Diptyque, though not in the actual notes (other than the pod-based vanilla). This is one of my favorite ever vanillas, which I've learned after a two-year long vanilla quest. Very intelligently composed and modern.
16th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Acqua Nobile Iris by Acqua di Parma

Hmm.... This is not iris. I'm not sure I ever located any Iris in several minutes of sniffing it on a test strip. And I know a thing or two about Iris, having visited an Iris garden in full bloom, having them planted in my yard, and having participated in the Iris Sample Pass recently. I've smelled the flowers, the butter, the tincture... and this is sadly not it. Whatever else it may be besides violetty I do not know or care as I was too busy trying to detect the phantom Iris, and too disappointed in not finding it to consider whether it is a pretty fragrance apart from that.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Selima by Bulgari

Saffron and rose has been done before, but there's a reason for that: it's a beautiful combination. My reference saffron/rose is Safron Troublant, and that one is milky and sweet with the rose playing counterpoint. This one has rose playing a duet with the saffron and the spices providing the supporting role. After smelling all day, my nose was fatigued, so I would like to get to know this one better.
09th October, 2017
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Calaluna by Bulgari

Cozy, milky, warm. A cardamom rice pudding made without eggs or an Indian spiced almond marzipan. It gives off a fuzzy aura like an angora sweater. I wouldn't buy this for myself, but I would gladly accept this low-calorie splurge as a gift.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Lilaia by Bulgari

A pure and lovely green floral. The greenness is a bit sharp at first, but wait a few minutes for the galbanum to wind down and the shy orange blossom to peek out. I was hesitant about wearing something with mate and mint in the notes, but I tried it on skin and the drydown on skin is gorgeous. It reminds me of other galbanum lovelies like No. 19 (minus the plushy Iris), Anne Klein (minus the brash tuberose) and Y. Classy and confident. I wish it didn't wear quite so close to the skin or fade so quickly. I got about two hours out of it. In its defense, it competed with sunscreen, an afternoon of Florida heat, and pouring rain before it finally gave up the ghost.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Noorah by Bulgari

Interesting and unusual (which is high praise from an avid Basenoter). It was in my top three favorites from this collection. I sniffed this on paper strips during a long sniffing day and would love to have some time with it. To my nose, the tobacco and Iris were prominent.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Zahira by Bulgari

Ylang ylang and cinnamon make a unique and interesting combination, and the cinnamon is done with a very light hand. I like ylang ylang a lot, and this is no exception, however there are loud aromachemical that spoil it for me and bring on a headache. For my money I'd prefer Ylang Astral for a solid ylang ylang fragrance.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Tygar by Bulgari

Very similar to many other things, such as Ambre Tigre by Givenchy. It lacks the thick resinousness of Ambre Sultan or Amber Absolute. It focuses too much on the Ambroxan I recognize from Sauvage. It is not smooth and gourmand like Ambre 114 or Ambre Narguile, and it lacks the intelligence of Amber Flash. There are more unique, witty, and attractive ambers for much less.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Maravilla by Bulgari

If there is patchouli in this, I didn't notice. Perhaps it becomes more obvious on skin. This is a bright, cheerful citrus without much else going on. The citrus notes are a mixture of different fruits and are not as juicy as those of Atelier Colognes or as pithy as those of Hermes. Pleasant but forgettable.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Gyan by Bulgari

A Marine Floriental? The oriental notes are dark and interesting, but this fragrance maintains sheerness through the use of some marine notes. The drydown on skin would probably bring out the incense and patchouli, which I imagine is really nice, though I didn't try it on mine. I think that if this were a mainstream release, it would be a best seller. And indeed the Bvlgari SA tells me this is the best selling men's fragrance of the line. It's got something in it for everyone, and it has a lot more going on in it than the stated notes. I feel that this is Bvlgari's answer to Bleu de Chanel: something clearly masculine and strong with a bit of an aquatic cleanness. I like it. My husband would love it. But for over $300, I think he could do better for less.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Ashlemah by Bulgari

Unexpectedly nice. Lavender is one of my favorite aroma therapy elements, but it is quite hit or miss for me in perfume. I love it in 1725 and Pour Une Homme by Caron and appreciate it in Jicky, but in most other fragrances it is loud and doesn't play well with others. This one is blended well. Bonus points for that. The heliotrope softens the lavender and binds it to the violet. Related by notes to greats like L'Heure Bleu and Apres L'Ondee, it executes a good concept well. It nevertheless fails to thrill me.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Gemme : Amarena by Bulgari

Fruity and juvenile. A cherry/rose/violet concoction made sheer and approachable through the use of laundry musk. Initially likeable, but instantly forgettable.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

FlowerbyKenzo L'Elixir by Kenzo

Gourmand Flower. I don't hate it, but it don't like it, either. It's like Flower with Craisins or cranberry jelly. It smells more like an unusual holiday candle than it does a beautiful personal fragrance. Pass.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

FlowerByKenzo Eau de Lumière by Kenzo

Bright and fruity, this is still a Flower flanker, but it represents a significant departure from the original Flower DNA. The fruit is mostly vague citrus, and I do not perceive it as the listed Bergamot. The jasmine also significantly changes the Flower character. This is pretty and summery, but it's like a lot of what's out there, unfortunately.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Chamade by Guerlain

Current version:

Really lovely. A golden, opaque aldeydic floral in the style of No. 5 or Liu with a good dose of ylang ylang and a classic persona. I feel this might be an ancestor of modern fragrances like J'Adore. When I smelled this I imagined times when everyone smelled this good. It wasn't one that I imminently need to have, but I enjoyed its polish nonetheless.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Chypre Caresse by Givenchy

Not a chypre. No oakmoss, first of all. But even as a modern chypre with patchouli, it falls short. It attempts to update the structure of lighter chypres like Diorella and Y, but adds too much vague citrus to the top, and the effect is thin. It does not have the requisite roundness to be considered a chypre, in my opinion.

But regardless of its category, this ditty did not particularly appeal to me. By the notes, I should love it, but I find it disappointing. It adds nothing new.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Ambre Tigré by Givenchy

An opaque and aggressive amber that is truly unisex. The labdanum note provides some complexity and an olfactory break from the heady amber.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Ylang Austral by Givenchy

A cheerful and clean ylang ylang soliflore. Simple and pretty.
09th October, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Jasmin Full by Montale

An ice water bucket to the senses-- this jasmine will wake you up before you're ready. It's lovely and loud and so jasminey that it's almost medicinal. Fruity and grapey and heady without being particularly creamy. The accents of orange flower raise the pitch and thin it out a bit. A licorice note provides structure after a few minutes. Love and Tears, Jasmin et Cigarette, Jasmin Rouge, and even Alien pale by comparison. The perfect jasmine for jasmine lovers. Layer it over aoud for drama.
30th September, 2017
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Tocade by Rochas

Spirited and fun and not at all shy. Tocade is for women who are young or in touch with their younger selves, and who carry a certain joie de vive.

The roses are clear in the top notes, but the vanilla sweeps in quickly and stays til the end. There is a hint of almond here, in the powderiness especially. This smells like plastic roses while also reminding me of a strawberry milkshake, but with more class than either.

So 90's and so full of pleasure.
29th September, 2017