Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Kotori

Advertisement
Total Reviews: 139
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

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 I’m looking for, but there certainly is a lot of magnolia. Elegant.
06th February, 2019
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

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
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Magnolia Romana by Eau d'Italie

Herbaceous, herbal, greenish, and floral. It gets the magnolia tree smell really right. But I’m totally missing the rose-mint-citron-creme of the blossom. Nicely done and doesn’t leave me scratching my head.
06th February, 2019
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Kotori Show all reviews
United States

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. It’s a pretty one, and it’s 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
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine by Grandiflora

I’ve 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 you’re not prepared (I wasn’t). With no fresh magnolias in bloom to compare to, I’m going to have to go by recollection. From my remembrance of last year’s 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. It’s 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. It’s 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 wearable— like something I might risk wearing to work. This has possibilities.
06th February, 2019
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Mito Voile d'Extrait by Vero Profumo

Mito Voile d’Extrait

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 don’t think it’s actually really a magnolia scent anymore. For that, I’d need to stick with Mito EDP. Or, if money is no object, the extrait layered under the EDP!
06th February, 2019
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Rare Pearls by Avon

This one is probably frequently overlooked due to its provenance. And it’s 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
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

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
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Chypre-Siam by Rogue Perfumery

Caveat: what I’m 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! I’m 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
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

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 Estée 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
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Le Canotier by Rogue Perfumery


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

Derviche by Rogue Perfumery

Derviche opens as a blast of grape koolaid-style jasmine with touches of cherry Luden’s drops and a drop of almond extract. It’s slightly mentholated like fruit-flavored gum made by a company that specializes in mint gum. It smells “red” in the same way that Sarassins smells “purple.” Eventually the red jasmine koolaid dies down enough to recognize that the cherry note is a pipe tobacco note. It’s 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
Kotori Show all reviews
United States

Champs Lunaires by Rogue Perfumery

Champs Lunaires

Killer tuberose— 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 shouldn’t have put this on; I couldn’t 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
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

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
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
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