Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Kotori

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Total Reviews: 150
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Basil & Neroli by Jo Malone

[b]Basil & Neroli by Jo Malone[/b]
[b]Category:[/b] 2 Eau de Cologne type
[b]Rating[/b]: 5/5
[b]Longevity[/b]: 3/5

A green floral masquerading as an EDC. Love the snapped stems of the basil note. This Basil note is more assertive than the one in Lime, Basil & Mandarin. I really like the basil with the neroli; theyíre a great team! Neroli can get sickly sweet, but the basil keeps it in check. Despite it being technically a green floral, this has a lot of resemblance to 4711 and the like, minus the lemon introduction. This has possibilities.
12th January, 2020
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Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

[b]Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone[/b]
[b]Category:[/b] Hybrid of Category 2 and 3 (EDC/Bright Citrus)
[b]Rating[/b]: 3/5
[b]Longevity[/b]: 2/5

When I think of this house, I think of this fragrance, even though we own two Jo Malones at the Kotori household and neither are this. Itís been copied ad nauseum and turned into copycat candles and probably even something at Bath and Body Works. Iím very familiar; itís ubiquitous. I used to adore it back when I could have never justified its cost. Now Iím exploring it for real, since I always pass it by when Iím at a counter, looking for whatís new. I love the basil! I grow basil every summer and I put it in everything we eat during the hottest months. Itís cooling and fragrant, and the note here is obvious now that Iím looking for it. I used to think the basil made it masculine, but I am not getting that at all today. Unisex. It even sours the citrus notes enough to make them interesting. A fruity citrus with a basil underpinning that recalls the rosemary/cypress/geranium/etc. in an EDC, but is tongue in cheek about it. Unfortunately, itís quite fleeting, with the interesting bits being gone at around an hour. Note: may cause headache.
12th January, 2020
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4711 Echt KŲlnisch Wasser by 4711

[b]4711[/b]
[b]Category:[/b] 2 Eau de Cologne type
[b]Rating[/b]: 4/5
[b]Longevity[/b]: 1/5

This test is courtesy of my 12-year-oldís dabber bottle. Both of my kiddos love it. They love lemony stuff (Lemony Snicket included). This fragrance starts with a bright lemon blast which fades almost instantly to a soft neroli/herb base. Not much going on. Itís simple, refreshing, and classic. I wish the citrus lasted longer than 20 minutes! Undetectable within an hour.
12th January, 2020
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Hadrien Absolu by Annick Goutal

Tonight Iím doing a side by side comparison of:

[b]Annick Goutalís Eau díHadrien EDT[/b]
[b]Category:[/b] Hybrid of 2 and 3 (EDC/Bright Citrus)
[b]Rating[/b]: 4/5
[b]Longevity[/b]: need to test again

and

[b]Eau díHadrien EDP/Absolu[/b].
[b]Category:[/b] Hybrid of 2 and 3 (EDC/Bright Citrus)
[b]Rating[/b]: 5/5
[b]Longevity[/b]: need to test again


I have a story about this fragrance that is perhaps for another time, but perhaps relevant. On my honeymoon in Paris, I stayed at a hotel that used Eau díHadrien soap. While there I acquired a serious case of food poisoning that left me very dehydrated. During this time I attempted a bath, but had to get back out and leave the room because of the offensive floral soap. It made me sick just to be in the same room with it. Fast forward some years and imagine my surprise when I discover that Eau díHadrien is a lightweight, inoffensive lemon that after all these years I had misremembered (and misperceived while ill) as a foul floral.

I actually really enjoy this now. Definitely a contender. The EDT and EDP are very similar, but for an opaqueness in the EDP that isnít present in the EDT, plus a slight rotting citrus warmth from the EDP. Usually an EDT girl, Iím surprised to be preferring the EDP. Not sure itís really any stronger or longer-lasting, but itís definitely got a different texture.
12th January, 2020
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Eau de Cologne Impťriale by Guerlain

[b]Eau de Cologne Imperiale by Guerlain[/b]
[b]Category 2:[/b] Eau de Cologne type
[b]Rating: 5/5[/b]
[b]Longevity: 2/5[/b]

There are several excellent cologne offerings from the house of Guerlain. This one is bracing with a tantalizing lemon opening that lasts only 5 to 10 minutes before fading into a warm, lemon-like herbal blend that reminds me a bit of lemon drops. I like the drydown, and it lasts for about 2 hours.
12th January, 2020
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Gucci Bloom Acqua di Fiori by Gucci

Gucci goes back to their roots with an opaque green floral with a white floral heart and a lot of personality, alla Gucci Envy. It is also cousins with Rush, given the tuberose heart that recalls Rushís lactonic gardenia. Itís been awhile since I could give my family and friends the name of a department store perfume they can purchase for me. After a decade of sheer laundry-scented gardenias and heavy ambroxan woods, this one is finally worthy of the Gucci portfolio. Bravo, Morillas!
06th January, 2020
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Pacific Lime by Atelier Cologne

Not my favorite of their offerings. Itís lovely, but it isnít lime. And it isnít astringent like some of my favorites: Bergamot Soleil and Cedrat Enivrant come to mind. After the first 5 minutes, itís almost a direct copy of Pulp by Byredo, and like that beauty, it smells more like Papaya than citrus. To its credit, Pacific Lime is more sheer than Pulp, and would wear more easily in the heat. But Pulp is Pulp, and it doesnít need a sequel.
06th January, 2020
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Joy by Christian Dior

No love lost here. Chance Eau Tendre meets Gabrielle. A bad Chanel.
09th August, 2019
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Vangelis by Sylvaine Delacourte

A vanilla with clove and bitter almond playing strong supporting roles. Thereís an obvious woody aromachemical in the opening of which Iím not fond. The dry down is Christmassy with clove, vanilla, and a dash of tangerine.
07th July, 2019
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Vahina by Sylvaine Delacourte

Fruity floral candy potpourri. Itchy and overwhelming like a makeup job done by a small child. Way too much dryer sheet musk, functional fragrance candy, and 1990ís air freshener.
07th July, 2019
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Un Jardin sur la Lagune by HermŤs

The woody aromachemicals have overtaken the garden.
26th May, 2019
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Soliflore Osmanthus by Dame Perfumery

This reminds me a great deal of a very early Victoriaís Secret bath product: Peach Hyacinth. They had it in bath gel, lotion, and splash (this was before body sprays). It was peachy in a fizzy, dry wayó not too sweet.

Osmanthus by Dame is mostly about peach, and I donít smell much in the way of flowers, though Iíve read that Osmanthus in nature is very peachlike. I canít, however, speak to the accuracy of the Osmanthus accord, having never smelled Osmanthus Absolute or an Osmanthus flower.

But itís very pretty and could conceivably remind one of a more natural, less plastic Gucci Rush, without the woody elements. It also reminds me somewhat of Badgley Mischka, though I find it more crystalline than that.

Note that for a soliflore perfume, it is not at all shy.
29th March, 2019
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Bouquet Massai by Parfumerie Generale

Bouquet Massai

A strong entry in the creamy florals category, with a heavy focus on magnolia and peony. There is a slight salted caramel note balancing the tartness of the peony. I really smell the tropical tolu and I get a mild sunscreen vibe from the fragrance as a result. It begins as a heady, creamy floral that causes an unfortunate frontal headache. It calms down after a minute. I detect a generous helping of a cedar synthetic along with the stated cashmeran. There is perhaps too much peony and tolu in here for what Iím looking for, but there certainly is a lot of magnolia. Elegant.
06th February, 2019
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Mito Eau de Parfum by Vero Profumo

Mito EDP opens with a lush Sicilian lemon, so juicy that you know with an ache that it will not last. And sure enough, in a few minutes, we have a pithy, mealy, squeezed out bit of lemon from the edge of the saucer. Here there begins an earthiness that is like the garden freshly turned, but you are not the gardener and are catching its scent from a distance. You are a passerby on a walk on a sunny day after a rain in a clay-laden place. Shortly you walk through an herb patch and accidentally crush some of it. Perhaps a bit of rosemary or thyme, too late in the orchestration to balance the lemon as in an eau de cologne. Soon as you resume your walk, there is the odor of something vaguely floral on the breeze, combining with a mineralic odor of rocky clay soil and a stronger tinge of herbs and greens. As you continue your stroll, you identify the floral odor: a Magnolia tree nearby has begun to bloom. You press your face into one of the lower blossoms, catching a whiff of its spicy pollen and waxy petals. The dusty trunk mixes in and there is still the herbal glossy greenness of the substantial leaves.

Mito is not a purely floral magnolia: it's magnolia as it smells not in a bowl of water, but still on a tree-- the dirt, the pollen, the leaves. It's a magnolia set in a well-maintained garden, verdant and stately. It isn't exactly the magnolia I know here in TN: it's spicier. It's a magnolia grown in a hotter, drier soil, so that it is less musty and more spicy than they can be here.

The drydown is spicy in the way of pollen and various tree barks, with the faint creamy waxiness of magnolia petals.

Taken as a whole, this work is so much richer than I thought a green perfume could be. A distinctive work, yet totally wearable.
06th February, 2019
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Magnolia Romana by Eau d'Italie

Herbaceous, herbal, greenish, and floral. It gets the magnolia tree smell really right. But Iím totally missing the rose-mint-citron-creme of the blossom. Nicely done and doesnít leave me scratching my head.
06th February, 2019
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Fleur de Lalita by Parfums Dusita

A bright, green, rubbery jasmine/tuberose with some strong bitter underpinnings that give it interest. The opening is fairly shrill, but for the musky woody base (ambrette). I know it says the top note is Magnolia, but at the opening the above is what I smell. Later a subtle rose/magnolia accord trills over a strong musk. The magnolia here is a magnolia accord I recognize from other compositions, where the magnolia is more symbolic than actual. Itís a pretty one, and itís really more about the blend than any specific flower. In some ways the floral blend reminds me of Joy, but Joy layered over ambrette and musk and woods.
06th February, 2019
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Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine by Grandiflora

Iíve been waiting forever to get a sample of this. Luckyscent was out of stock of them for months. When they emailed me last week to say they were back in stock, I was on it!

First there is a strong sour citrus/fruit accord that can be surprising if youíre not prepared (I wasnít). With no fresh magnolias in bloom to compare to, Iím going to have to go by recollection. From my remembrance of last yearís magnolias, this is very like the ones in full bloom that have been on the tree for a few days and while still firm and waxy, are browning around the edges in the sun. There is that aspect of rot that one finds in a gardenia a few days old, but this rot is not mushroom/cheese rot like gardenias, but lemons that have sat in the bottom of the refrigerator drawer for too long. Itís greenish and bright and sour and a bit spicy. The magnolia here is not a very creamy one, but there is a peppery bite like the magnolias here have. Itís not the rained-on, greenish, barely open ones that wet your nose when you smell them, but the wide open, pollen-dusted variety. There is probably just a touch too much lemon here and not quite enough creaminess/waxiness, and the floral accord here probably contains too much orange blossom. But really, this is pretty great!

As it starts to dry down, the sour accord and the orange blossom pipe down a bit and it feels more sheer and wearableó like something I might risk wearing to work. This has possibilities.
06th February, 2019
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Mito Voile d'Extrait by Vero Profumo

Mito Voile díExtrait

Snapped green sappy stems, geranium/carnation, peaches and cream, spice, wood, moss

This is a richer, less citric version of the one I originally tried, Mito EDP. It comes to the drydown more quickly, and has more creamy, spicy weight there. There is a bubblegum pink tuberose hiding in the background. This could stand in for Mitsouko for fans who want something a little different. But it would also attract fans of Cacharel Lou Lou.

I love it! But I donít think itís actually really a magnolia scent anymore. For that, Iíd need to stick with Mito EDP. Or, if money is no object, the extrait layered under the EDP!
06th February, 2019
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Rare Pearls by Avon

This one is probably frequently overlooked due to its provenance. And itís quite pretty. It has a realistic magnolia note which is somewhat sweet and creamy. Unfortunately, I believe I am hyperosmic to the white musk used in it, so that the white musk is felt for me at a very loud volume, like an analog tv tuned to the wrong station (static and noise) with the volume turned all the way up. Sadly, a headache-inducing scrubber.
06th February, 2019
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Tabac Vert by Rogue Perfumery

With a name like Tabac Vert, I expect a plant still in the ground, not this delicious pipe tobacco in a paneled man cave. Rich, sweet, with amber and maybe sandalwood. There is also a powdery underbelly that suggests face powder. The waft is rather fruity. As it dries down, there is less tabac and more face powder. For some reason the whole experience makes me think of sitting in a speakeasy; makes me feel rich and famous, going incognito.
06th February, 2019
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Chypre-Siam by Rogue Perfumery

Caveat: what Iím smelling here is not matching the pyramid for the most part:

Gorgeous! Violets and labdanum and Iris. I think we have moss in this, too! Iím so excited. Later I think there is Eugenol and we have this soft spiciness that reminds me of Pour Monsieur EDP. It settles to sort of a love child of Misia and Mitsouko for awhile. Later candied violets dominate with some woody undertones. Then jasmine. The drydown is smooth and lovely and well-blended, and gives modern classics like 31 Rue Cambon a run for their money.
06th February, 2019
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Mousse Illuminee by Rogue Perfumery

The opening reminds me of, I think, Swing by Fragonard. You have the leather note I know from Azuree by Estťe Lauder, a dry cracking leather accord, similar to Bandit but without the sinew. There is also some amber and spice, as well as... is this oakmoss? Oakmoss!!! It settles down to some leather and powder. Later on there is a bright apricot heart that surprises. Then a subtle jasmine combined with some herbaceous notes. Eventually I smell no leather, but plenty of moss and jasmine. Rich, full, velvety.
06th February, 2019
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Le Canotier by Rogue Perfumery


Melon Vetiver. A lot of very sweet melon. A little bit of dry Vetiver. Citrus. Sandalwood? Tobacco. Otherwise herbaceous. Iím not sure what to make of this one. Kind of reminds me of Kenneth Cole Signature, With oakmoss. Mr. Kotori likes it. I think itís giving me a headache. But either way, I keep picturing a business man in a trench and hat.
06th February, 2019
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Derviche by Rogue Perfumery

Derviche opens as a blast of grape koolaid-style jasmine with touches of cherry Ludenís drops and a drop of almond extract. Itís slightly mentholated like fruit-flavored gum made by a company that specializes in mint gum. It smells ďredĒ in the same way that Sarassins smells ďpurple.Ē Eventually the red jasmine koolaid dies down enough to recognize that the cherry note is a pipe tobacco note. Itís at this point that the fragrance and I can get on on friendlier terms. Definitely tobacco and jasmine with some spicy amber providing the supports. The total effect is a bit like Dr. Pepper.

Two hours later, this shape shifter is all Ambre Narguile! What a surprise. I actually kind of love this.
06th February, 2019
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Champs Lunaires by Rogue Perfumery

Champs Lunaires

Killer tuberoseó if you love big, opaque tuberose fragrances that have persistent sillage and imbibe the linens within a few yards of you with the rich scent, then this is for you. There is a studied balance between the umami aspect and the soaring high-pitch aspect of the tuberose. Smelling this makes me suddenly realize that Fracas must have been reformulated (IFRA?) in recent years, because the tuberose here is closer to my memory of Fracas than the current Fracas I tried last year. I say that because both this and earlier versions of Fracas gave me the same screeching headache on contact. I unfortunately shouldnít have put this on; I couldnít get it off. I will say that if this kind of white floral is your cuppa, you will love this, but please go easy on the application.
06th February, 2019
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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
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Sandalwood by Pacifica

This smells amazingó but there isnít much sandalwoodó mostly lemons and oranges. But I canít resist a citrus with depth.
07th June, 2018
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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
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Parfum d'…tť by Kenzo

Iím reviewing the current version, as I havenít smelled the original in twenty years.

Breezy and fresh in a very 90ís way, with Lily of the Valley playing the diva, and Hyacinth and Freesia singing backup, itís 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
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FlowerbyKenzo Le Parfum by Kenzo

Iíve been on my second bottle of this for about 10 years. Itís got similar DNA to Flower the original, but a medicinal almond and opoponax take center stage. And it isnít as powdery. Itís languid and resinous. Syrupy, even. But itís more Robitussin than Log Cabin. I like wearing this one along with Flower as a base layer for it. Itís also cozy in the winter as a stand-alone.
23rd April, 2018