Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Andre BH

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Total Reviews: 8

Mitsouko by Guerlain

I bought this blindly and the Eau de Toilette came in the mail a few days ago.

When I opened the gold box and took the elegant bottle out I was excited.

Then I sprayed it on me. It instantly reminded me of my late Aunt Serena who lived from 1921-2011. Which was both good and bad.

This scent is unlike anything I've ever liked. My first impression was that I hated it. My preferences are for notes such as opoponox, sandalwood, cedar, cypress, and bergamot. My favorite scents are Chanel Bois des Iles, Diptypque Tam Dao, Tom Ford Noir and Gucci II. I took a "risk" by purchasing Mitsouko.

The problem with me, personally, is that I was convinced this smelled like my late Aunt Serena. I loved her, but I did not want to smell like her. So I contacted her son and asked him if his mother ever wore Mitsouko.

His answer was related to something that will not sound at all politically correct but it is the truth.

Aunt Serena was married to Uncle Luke, who served in the US Army Infantry during WWII. He fought in the most brutal battles in the Pacific, both on Leyte Island and Okinawa against Japanese forces. He saw the worst of war. He hated the enemy.

So according to Serena and Luke's son Tom, his mom would NEVER wear any perfume that sounded Japanese. My apologies for having to communicate something which sounds prejudiced to modern ears. Yes it is, but it must be understood in connection to those who experienced WWII. There are still some old people who won't drive German cars, or people in China who cannot forgive Japan, or Japanese who cannot forgive the atomic bombs. We must all repair our bonds but we also must try and see how historic hates metastasized into wars.

So now I know my Aunt Serena never wore Mitsouko. And after learning of this, I reapplied the scent, forgot the association, and found that Mitsouko needs time to appreciate.

It is frankly old-fashioned, reminding me of opening up an old box of newspapers in an attic, smelling the inside of piano, entering an old house where a woman just dusted herself with powder and went into the kitchen and sliced up a peach.

The scent sticks and sticks and will not go away. It dries down into something perceptible and ruminative. It makes me think of the piano score from the Anastasia (1958) written by Alfred Newman and starring Ingrid Bergman.
21st October, 2017

Oyédo by Diptyque

I love the sandalwood scented Tam Dao, and when my bottle of it ran out, I thought I would purchase another Diptyque, Philosykos.
But I ended up purchasing Oyedo.

I live in a hot climate, in Southern California, and this time of year, it is still over 100F. Oyedo has a refreshing grapefruit and citrus scent with a perceptible bite of something herbal. It is a Mediterranean blend that brings forth images of citrus groves, cloudless blue skies, bright sunlight and hot, dry weather.

I haven't gotten a reaction from other people yet, but I suspect that this is not a sexy smell. It is a clean, bracing, fruity and androgynous creation that still has the unique oddity characteristic of Diptypque. Nothing from this fragrance house is ever expected or predictable.

Oyedo is in that eccentric tradition.
15th September, 2008

Ligea "La Sirena" by Carthusia

I just found this uni-sexual fragrance yesterday at Nordstroms. I was not in the market to buy any more colognes, but then the Carthusia bottles were sitting on their own shelf and I had to try them.

The bottle first got me. It is square with with a family crescent on the face and an old ornate font.

Then the smell...I instantly related to it. It reminded me somehow of Guerlain. It smelled 100 years old, with a scent of fine powder. Citrus, bergamot...it is both Mediterranean and aristocratic. Not sensual, or seductive, but subtle and elegant.

It is made in Capri, and it has a very Italian reserve and cleanliness to it, like a man who is just freshly shaved an puts on a well tailored white cotton shirt with perfectly pressed linen trousers. Or a woman of a certain age who has her hair tied back in a bun, and wears the finest cashmere cardigan and drinks limoncello on the veranda of the house overlooking the water.

It is an old European creation, even if it is relatively new. It bestows a quiet refinement and intelligence on the wearer that doesn't shout but is reassuring and wonderfully familiar.
01st May, 2007
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Olène by Diptyque

This scent was worn by the eccentric, androgynous and manipulative manager of the Polo Ralph Lauren store in NYC 15 years ago. Wherever he went, this red haired fop carried this smell all over the store. To smell it was to smell power, but power exercised to intimidate and belittle.

I agree that this smell is equally as feminine as masculine, but it is also obnoxiously assertive and stays in a room hours after the wearer has left it.
20th March, 2007

Tam Dao Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

I finally purchased this after smelling it at Barneys/Beverly Hills months ago.

One definitely enters the Far East in this scent. It is subtle, with the smell of just cut wood or perhaps burning wood. It is redolent of a tea house in Japan, bamboo, a rock garden.

Adjectives that come to mind: subtle, dry, woodsy, Asian, foresty, foggy.

Other reviewers have said it doesn't last. But after about six hours yesterday, I still smelled it. It is faint, but definitely present. This is a good thing. I hate colognes which stay on for days and never blend in or disappear.

I really enjoy this and have no regrets about purchasing it.
17th March, 2007

Magnetism for Men by Escada

I will give a completely unscientific, subjective review of this scent. To me it smells chiefly of a fine liquor not unlike Knob Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. There is a powdery scent and a sweet grapey smell and a pepper trail. Cedarwood and sandalwood lend a vaguely Oriental and erotic touch to the refined masculine quality.

I don't know what Schinus is or how it smells even though the formulation of Magnetism seems to be made up mostly of this ingredient.

A little of this goes a long way. I'd say just one spray on my neck does the trick.

It works well during the day, but I'd say it would excel at night worn by man in a dark gray flannel pinstripe suit with a crisp white shirt who is going out to dinner for business or with a date.
07th January, 2007

Amber & Lavender by Jo Malone

I find this almost too simple, direct and uniteresting. Two scents: amber and lavender. Clean and elegant. But there is no mystery, no sensuality, nothing unexpected. It has a purtitanical, hygenic, soapy smell.
06th December, 2006

Pi by Givenchy

I bought this on a gamble, at Costco, discounted, it was in a plastic box. I don't know what to make of it. The bottle is garish, almost vulgar. It looks very much something that would be on a 75 year old man's dressing table in Trump Tower.

I sprayed it on myself about 15 minutes ago. It's a hot day here in California, about 98 degrees. OK, I'm getting used to it now. There is a powdery scent, like those brushes they use at the barber after they cut your hair. It's sweet and and also piney. It smells clean after it stays on your skin awhile.

If I had been at a fragrance counter and purchased this properly, by sampling it first, maybe I wouldn't have bought it. But it has a way of growing on you, that I don't entirely detest, and I think there is some mystery and sensuality to the scent that might create some interesting reactions from other people.
29th September, 2006