Reviews by Aiona

Aiona Show all reviews
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White Sea by Martine Micallef

This scent is discontinued. Just a warning, in case you don't like to try discontinued scents for fear of falling in love with something that will not be made ever again. (But then what's the use of ever falling in love, right?) But even if you like it, be aware it is somewhat similar to Creed's Love in Black. Why? It's got orris (iris root).

Unlike Love in Black, White Sea does not open like turpentine. In fact, with top notes listed as citrus, I don't smell the citrus, but I'm sampling a decant, so the top notes may have blown off. What I do smell is the dark, round nuttiness of orris root.

Longevity is pretty good. I sprayed this morning, one spray, and it's over 12 hours later and I can still smell it, although through most of the afternoon it was very patchouli. As it wears off, I can smell mostly amber and musk is the only thing lingering. Maybe a little nutmeg. :)

Does it remind me of the sea? Not really. But then, I haven't been to Russia's White Sea, which is supposedly this perfume's inspiration.
09th January, 2013
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Girlfriend by Justin Bieber

I know Bieber probably didn't actually *MAKE* this perfume, but I'm sure he had some say in the selection process. I gotta wonder who the perfumer was, because, just as his previous fragrance Someday, this one is also fruity! I sampled both of them, and I gotta say I prefer Girlfriend. Both are fruity, but this one is like *REALLY* fruity. I can't name individual notes, cuz I suck at that. But it's kinda watermelon-y, maybe strawberry, and grapefruit. It's not something I would wear to a picnic, as one would probably get swarmed by yellowjackets. But it's nice...

I tried Wonderstruck (from Taylor Swift) side by side with it, because the saleslady was so damn enthused about Wonderstruck. Both Wonderstruck and Girlfriend are fruity, but Wonderstruck has this underlying Christmas Mass-like incense-y vibe, like what I get from John Varvatos. I can't say I like the incense-y vibe with the fruit. But there's no accounting for taste, mine included. (As an aside, the saleslady mentioned Wonderstruck Enchanted is Wonderstruck plus vanilla, and she is right!)

The bottle for Girlfriend is kinda weird. I was curious what the purple grid on the bottom was for, and when the saleslady was trying to sell the gift set to me, I learned its purpose. It's so that it seats properly into the weird plastic squishy cage that it comes with. "It's like a Slinky," she said. And it is. Be forewarned, the two halves are joined with weak magnets inside of the rims. So do not pick it up by the top half, because you will end up paying for the glass counter beneath it, as I almost did!

Oh, and the spray nozzle sucks. One spray to the wrist resulted in a drenched arm.
05th December, 2012
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Twilight Woods for Men by Bath and Body Works

I tried Twilight Woods for Men, hoping it was more woody than the version marketed for women. It was. For 5 minutes. :) The opening is so nice and piney, a sharp contrast to the fruity-coconutty Twilight Woods for women. But that piney-ness is so short lived. The drydown, which happens fairly quickly, is kinda of peppery incensey. It reminded me of John Varvatos original, but when I compared the two side-by-side, there are some differences, which I am unable to explain in terms of notes.

Twilight Woods for Men is a hell of a lot woodier than the female version. They are entirely different scents, in my opinion. But Twilight Woods for Men is not as misnamed as fruit-bowl Twilight Woods for women.
26th February, 2012
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Someday by Justin Bieber

Out of curiosity, today I let a sales lady spray a card so I could sniff this creation by Honorine Blanc. I don't think she thought the look on my face meant I liked it, so she spritzed it on her arm instead to let me smell. Fruity. Not offensive. Eh. Rather generic. It smells a lot like one of the Curve flankers that I cannot name specifically because those did not leave a lasting impression on me either.

It's a young girl's perfume. No civet to offend. No musk to allure. No oak moss, or even fake oak moss, to add a touch of complexity. If it had any vanilla or tonka bean, as many of Britney Spears' 'fumes do, I might like it more.

The bottle has cute squishy vinyl flowers on top. (I squished them because I was curious.)

Honorine Blanc, according to Now Smell This, also made "Twilight Woods" by Bath and Body Works. And that one did not impress me either. She also made Beyonce's "Heat Rush" which I smelled recently. If these three are any indication, Honorine likes her fruit. A LOT. Does she do anything else besides fruit? I have to wonder.
04th December, 2011
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Anucci Man by Anucci

Anucci Man is marketed for men, but I do believe women may enjoy this as well. It's green and flowery, perhaps due to bergamot and jasmine. The lavender makes it smell very soapy. And I'm not sure what gives it a bit of a Bowling Green "grass clippings" smell -- perhaps the bergamot? It projects very well -- good sillage. And longevity? Well, I spritzed one time on my arm yesterday, and I still smell it on me nearly 24 hours later, although the sillage is much much less, practically nil, by 24 hours. No problem with longevity there, at least for me.

The drydown is mostly a musky amber, maybe a trace of jasmine and lavender still. It's almost like a very beautiful-smelling laundry detergent smell, similar to Jennifer Aniston (jasmine/musk/amber) but without the yucky lily smell that I dislike, and a HECK of a lot longer lasting. (Jennifer Aniston lasts a maximum 4.5 hours on my skin.)

If Jennifer Aniston is laundry detergent for Winston Smith, then Harrison Bergeron's laundry detergent of choice should have been Anucci Man.
04th December, 2011
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Queen by Queen Latifah

I love vanilla. Anything vanilla. I'll even like patchouli (my most hated note) if there's vanilla in with it. And Queen does that. Prada by Prada has the same vanilla/patchouli mix, and I like that too. Queen smells similar to Prada to my nose. Kind of an oriental vanilla with musk. Almost cotton-candy like, and so in that respect, if one does not like Pink Sugar by Aquolina, one will find the sweetness of Queen similarly annoying.

I love candy-like scents, however. So Queen gets a thumbs up from me. Of note, Pink Sugar is marketed as unisex; if that's the case, then Queen should be as well. But it isn't.
02nd December, 2011
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Jennifer Aniston / Lolavie by Jennifer Aniston

I think Jennifer Aniston by Jennifer Aniston is a lovely floral perfume -- a jasmine, lots of rose, and lily. I don't get the citrus. About 4.5 hours later, it's so very faint, but still there, and mostly jasmine at that point. Sillage is virtually nonexistent on this one. There are so many complaints about its poor longevity and sillage -- that is true. But keep in mind, low projection and its lovely floral smell mean that this would be the perfect scent for Winston Smith. I can see him surreptitiously pulling it out of his drawer in the Ministry of Truth, to give himself a warm reminder of flowers amidst the gloom of his workplace. Or even spritzing it secretively in that corner of his room, where the cameras don't reach, right before he updates his verboten journal. And no one would ever know, because he has no sillage.

There's no patchouli in this one. And I agree with someone else's review I read somewhere that I can't remember, that it smells kind of like a flavor of Tide brand laundry detergent.
11th September, 2011
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Dorian by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

I tried Dorian because it was one of the BPAL scents that people notoriously list as being sweet -- Dana O'Shee being among them. Compared to Dana O'Shee, Dorian is less sweet. It has a ton of vanilla, like Dana O'Shee. A TON. In fact, early on, that's mostly what I smell. But there's also a bit of a lemon twist in there. I get no "cinnamon red hots" from it, as I do with Dana O'Shee, and that actually makes it less sweet and more tolerable to me than Dana O'Shee. But definitely, if you do not like vanilla amplifed, this is not a good scent to try.

There's a touch of tea, which Barriel says she put in there. But really I mostly get vanilla. And a manly smell -- the fougere part, I suppose.

Unlike previous reviewers, I had no problems with longevity, with only two swipes of the imp wand. In fact, it was so oily (as all BPALs are oils, I assume) I had to smear it onto my other wrist to keep it from dripping onto my clothes! The scent was with me all day, but morphed throughout the day. Early on, mostly vanilla and tea and a VERY faint fougere-like scent -- herbal vegetal smell.

About 4 hours later, my sillage was predominantly sandalwood. A very sweet sandalwood.

And much much much later on in the day, like 8 hours later, I could finally smell a bit of white musk -- and only after the vanilla died down!

As for how this relates to Dorian Gray -- well, if one lives forever, one can indulge in these excesses -- vanilla = food; sandalwood = environment; musk = sex. But, again, who wants to live forever? I like this scent very much, but sometimes I like to wear something dark and death-like. This scent is totally sweet. There's not a bit of dryness in it. If you like sweet scents, this is definitely one you might try.

There's no patchouli. Definitely.
04th August, 2011
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Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Well, anyway, Kouros definitely opens with a very sharp poo scent. It smells like civet. And I was all prepared to say, "Nope. I am scrubbing now!" But, curiosity killed the civet. So I kept on, and 30 minutes later, it doesn't smell like poop anymore. No, it now smells like bathroom lemony stuff, plus some really abhorrent oily stuff -- similar to what I remember I disliked about Macassar. But, I am so kiasu, I just had to keep wearing it, and strangely, after about an hour, it calms down into something both weirdly stanky oily and weirdly aquatic. A little powdery even. (Perhaps that's amber?) Sillage is good (if you like this sort of thing). The only other scent I know that changes this way is CDG 2 Red: Sequoia -- dirty sweaty laundry, turned into clean laundry after several hours.

And, y'know, how some people say Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather smells like cocaine? And I'm like, "Eh?" because I cannot relate. Well, some people say Kouros smells like a certain body part, and I'm not even gonna go there, because only certain people know that kind of information, and how can I possibly admit to knowing that? Katie Puckrik's description of "a sudsed-up inner thigh" comes close, but even she is being modest.

It really is not as horrible as I thought it would be. I didn't scrub. Escada Sentiment made me scrub, but Kouros was not an instant killer for me. I agree with some of the positive reviewers here that it's not a scent for everyone. It can have strong associations. Definitely try before buying. However, if one is looking for a scent that is completely unlike anything being sold at Abercrombie and Fitch or Bath & Body Works, Kouros may work for one. I am thinking it's thought of as "old" despite its name being "youth" because it is of a class of perfumes that is not generally made anymore.

Longevity is good. 'Only need a very little bit to last a very long while.
31st July, 2011
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Princess by Vera Wang

I put off trying this one because of its name. But it's really not bad. I sampled it from a manufacturer's carded atomizer. It's fruity to me. Kinda aquatic, melony. Pleasant. It's not something that would cause me nightmares. I like it. I don't really smell any chocolate, but maybe that's because after I sprayed it, I just kinda forgot about it being there, unless I happened to wave my hand in front of my face. Pleasant. But not something that would cause me to chase someone down the mall to ask them what their scent is. Maybe in another 30 years, people will look on this scent as a "classic" and vintage bottles will be hunted for ungodly amounts of money. But somehow I just don't think so.
30th July, 2011
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Bare Skin by Lesley Blodgett Perfume Diaries

Y'know, *some* "skin scents" are soapy. Examples are Gendarme, Mugler Cologne, and the like. I don't know why Leslie Blodgett named this one "bare skin" because it smells like no bare skin I've ever smelled. It's not soapy at all. If it smelled like bare skin, maybe it's a scent of someone who has just freshly washed with Chinese sandalwood soap, because *THAT* is what I smell. A delicious sandalwood.

And licorice. Licorice and sandalwood. The anise must be what is imparting the medicinal licorice-like scent. It's yummy! (I find Dr. Pepper and root beer flavors yummy. If you don't like Dr. Pepper, you probably won't find this note appealing.) But it's not like skin. I saw some other reviews on other websites, saying that this is a beach-y scent. Eh? This is an oriental. Sandalwood.

(If one wants to try a beach-y scent by Blodgett, try Santa Barbara, which is somewhat aquatic and completely different from Bare Skin. Her Golden Light is a nice light floral.)

If there is patchouli in here (as listed in the notes above), I don't really smell it much. If someone is looking for a licorice/sandalwood scent that isn't barfingly heavy on the patchouli (as Angel or L by Lolita Lempicka are), this might be one to try.
02nd April, 2011 (last edited: 17th September, 2011)
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Midnight Poison by Christian Dior

If one doesn't like patchouli, one probably won't like this one.

Although the word "poison" is in its name, it smells like "medicine" to me -- a smell from a Chinese herbal medicine shop in southern Thailand.

Shiftybat is correct. I do smell lemon/bergamot-y smell in the opening, mixed with patchouli. Then a bit later, rose with patchouli, with a little bit of mandarin/orange. It does smell like it's trying to be a gourmand patchoul. It's not like Angel, though. (I actually like Angel in small doses, despite the patchouli. And I am not a patchouli lover.)

But it's just rose and patchouli, for over 8.5 hours. Gah!

About 8.5 hours later, I finally start smelling the amber and a bit of vanilla/tonka bean which is lovely. Buy why endure 8.5 hours of patchouli to get to amber and vanilla? I won't again.
26th March, 2011
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Diamonds & Sapphires by Elizabeth Taylor

I remember trying all three of the series -- Diamonds with Rubies, Diamonds with Emeralds, and Diamonds with Sapphires. However, Diamonds with Sapphires was my favorite of the three. Rubies was unmemorable to me. Emeralds smelled like baby oil/bath beads -- oily and heavy -- a character I detest. But Diamonds with Sapphires smelled "fresh" and almost aquatic.

Unfortunately, this review is only from memory, as I haven't sampled this scent in years. As it's discontinued, I don't know if any vintage bottles left may have turned bad. (Can something be considered "vintage" if it's only been < 20 years since it's been made?)
26th March, 2011
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Le Roi Santal by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

Not very much projection on this one. I sampled from a vial, and I don't know if that's why. Sillage increased as I wore it, however. Initially, I was disappointed with sillage, but throughout the day, I caught gentle whiffs of it, whenever I moved my arm. I like that. :)

Le Roi Santal - "the sandalwood man." Yep. That is indeed what it is. Sandalwood. I don't really smell much else. I love this scent. I've sampled different sandalwood essential oils, some from dubious sources, and for me to say that this smells like sandalwood oil would not be completely accurate. Why? Because there are dry sandalwoods, and there are beautiful sweet almost candy-like ones. I love the sweet ones, and this is one of them. I'd compare it to Diptyque's Tam Dao, more than I would other sandalwood scents like MPG's Santal Noble, in that it's just plain ole sandalwood. Really not much else.

I love it.
23rd March, 2011
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Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris

Oh my! I love this scent! The opening was kinda earthy. My first thought was, "leaves!" My next thought was "basil leaves!" Kinda spicey opening, yummy! I do not see basil in its notes, though.

Then maybe an hour later, I sniffed my wrist again. (Sillage wasn't great on me.) Huh? I did not put Montana Parfum d'Homme (red box) on today! Nor Aramis Havana, for that matter! How odd!

It's that same sweet compelling smell I get from my two favorites. Is it the tobacco? The tonka bean? The Cuban cascarilla oil? (What the heck does that smell like anyway?) Or the pimento berries?

Dunno. But, I love this scent, in the same way I love MPdH (red box) and Havana. Sillage is not as powerful as Montana (red box) or Havana. Longevity is not bad. It's 6 hours later, and I still smell its drydown.

Montana Parfum d'Homme (red box): my favorite scent + pine
Havana: my favorite scent + intensely oily opening
Feuille de Tabac: my favorite scent + a bit of basil in the opening

12th March, 2011
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Black Diamond by Canali

I'd have to agree with Mario_Justiniani. Its name really doesn't describe what it smells like. "Acqua of Assorted Melons with Subdued Spices" really does sound about right. It's a foody perfume to me. Lemon & spices in the opening (the lemon smell being the bergamot, I guess). Drydown is very foody. It's not particularly soapy. Spices and fruit. Maybe a leathery-like smell.

I'd compare it to Carven Homme, except I gave my sample away. There's no honey note in Black Diamond, which is something I do get from Carven Homme.

It's been 7 hours since I applied Black Diamond, and it's still putting forth a little bit of sillage. I like it. Would I buy it? Probably not. If I did buy something like this, I'd probably do Carven Homme instead, even though Carven Homme has patchouli, and I don't detect any patchouli in Black Diamond. Why would I choose something with patchouli (a note I usually detest) over something that doesn't have it? Well, perhaps Carven Homme has a little more projection. I have to really sniff my arm to know I'm wearing Black Diamond at 7 hours. Carven Homme was projecting, even at 10 hours.
09th March, 2011
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Dana O'Shee by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

I agree with foetidus' review, that the opening is a little sharp. Almost fruity, but a little bit of cinnamon red-hots. I agree with raindragon's review too! I realize that the "cinnamon red-hots" smell is very similar to Etro Heliotrope -- which is said to smell like almonds. It doesn't really smell like bitter almond oil to me. But it does smell nice. I do like sweet scents, but yes, this one may be a little *too* sweet for me. Vanilla. Heliotrope. And maybe a little lemon in the opening.

It's a perfume oil, as are the other BPAL scents I've tried. So beware of accidentally getting it on delicate fabrics.
06th March, 2011
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Twilight Woods by Bath and Body Works

March 5, 2011: Twilight Woods? I think this one is seriously misnamed. The notes given by Bath and Body Works are "apricots, cypress, berries, and exotic woods." Apricots. Yes. Berries. Yes. Cypress? Where?! Exotic woods? Maybe some sandalwood, if I imagine reallllllly hard.

If I had blind sniffed this, I would have named it "Fruit Basket." But Woods? Eh. If you're a woods lover, this one will not meet expectations.

If you're a marketer trying to capitalize on the _Twilight_ sensation, then perhaps it's not misnamed at all.

Edit February 23, 2012: My previous review was for the lotion. I re-tried Twilight Woods today, using the new body mist that they're heavily promoting. It still really doesn't smell of "woods" to me, and I still think this scent is seriously misnamed. This time around, the fruitiness was not so overpoweringly annoying. The mist really is much lighter in scent than the lotion. I also stopped thinking about the stupid name, and hoping for woods, and realized there was coconut in here, which I do like. 4 hours later, there is definitely a musk. Overall, it's not a bad scent. Misnamed. But not a bad scent. The body mist is much more tolerable to me than the lotion, as the "fruit" smell is far lighter than the coconut and vanilla. I still don't really get the sandalwood. The body mist I would name "*Tropical* Fruit Basket."
05th March, 2011 (last edited: 24th February, 2012)
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Genviève by Michael Storer

I tried Genvieve from a sample vial with just three little dabs with the wand that comes with the sample vial top. Three little swipes. What power there is in three little swipes! This stuff has "Sillage" with a capital S. I'd hate to see what havoc I'd have wreaked on the town if I'd have used an atomizer sample.

Michael Storer labels Genvieve with a little red sticker label. Later after I sampled this fragrance, I realized that the red suits this fragrance. Its spicy opening and sandalwood drydown really do seem "red" to me.

I did not like Genvieve's opening. Spicy. Oily. Heavy. It seemed like another boring floral for women. But wait!

Maybe 3 hours later, what is that smell? Why heavens, it's me! Every time I move my arm, I am surrounded by a cloud of Genvieve. The oily has given way to a smooth fruity spicy floral. I normally don't like florals, but Genvieve is not like other florals. Maybe it's the smooth sandalwood drydown that calms the florals and fruity boozy notes down. Maybe it's the civet that makes it a rather sophisticated (some may read this as "old") scent.

There aren't many florals I like, but I now count Genvieve as one of them. And purplebird is right, the wearing gets better.

Longevity is incredible. It's over 9 hours later, and I'm still swimming in a cloud of Genvieve. Three little dabs, folks.
22nd February, 2011
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Stephanie by Michael Storer

I had just about given up on Storer fragrances, having tried Kadota (Ugh! Rotting vegetation? If that is fig, I may never eat a fig again. Strangely I do *like* figs, but not Kadota), Djin, and Monk (oily opening which I dislike, but wonderful creamy vanilla sandalwood amber drydown).

I tried Stephanie thinking I'd dislike it. Named after a woman, surely it's another boring floral.

Whoa! No, it's cedar! :) Cedar and flowers. What's this talk about 'gardenia' in the other reviews? I dunno. I smell cedar. Ah! I love cedar. Creamy cedar and some kind of floral scent, but mainly cedar.

I tried this at the same time as Genvieve, and for some reason the sillage on Stephanie is not as much as that of Genvieve. I wish Stephanie were a little more assertive, but I do love her! Longevity is good. It's over 9 hours later, and I can still catch a whiff of cedar and sandalwood. But sillage is virtually nil, by this point.

I'd give it 5 out of 5 stars if it had more sillage. Wearing this perfume, I'd want to be a walking cedar closet, and I'd want everyone to know it. As it is, I must give it 4 stars.
22nd February, 2011
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Jasmin Impératrice Eugénie by Creed

At the risk of angering Creed fans, I must say that this perfume smells a very lot like Ciara by Revlon. It's heavy, and amber and vanilla. One only needs a very little bit, because sillage is intense, and longevity is too. If you don't like vanilla, you definitely won't like this one. It's very vanilla-sweet, and amber heavy, hence the Ciara sillage. The jasmine gives it a Hypnotic Poison-like feel up close, though. I personally like it very much, but it takes a special someone to wear it -- just as Ciara does.

And that person unfortunately is not me.
14th February, 2011
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Carven Homme (original) by Carven

I like the top notes. It's what makes it so appealing. It smells like honey to me. Maybe that's the tarragon that I'm smelling? It's the drydown that becomes less appealing to me because it's a patchouli scent -- a note I'm not fond of. Some compare it to Zino by Davidoff, but if Zino is patchouli dry, then Carven is patchouli blush. I like it better than Zino because the amber and vanilla sweeten the patchouli. It's almost Angel-like, really. I'd have to compare them side by side to see. I saw some compare it to L'Instant by Guerlain, and I guess I see the similarities. Gourmand patchouli. A little incense in the drydown. Beware of falling in love with this one, because it is discontinued, although many compare it to Gucci Envy. I sampled Envy a long time ago, and I don't remember liking it as much as I do this one. But that was years ago, and maybe my tastes have changed.
13th February, 2011
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Nahéma by Guerlain

I'm just not a Guerlain fan. I have tried and tried to appreciate some of their classics and even some of the newer ones like Insolence. But the only one I truly love is Nahema. It's rose and . . . wheat germ! I do get the geranium, wood, vanilla, peach, and rose, as "bearinheart" said in one review. And the drydown has more sandalwood coming out. It's just yummy to me, and I didn't have to try hard to love it. I like fragrances that don't make me work too hard to appreciate them. No patchouli in this one. And that helps me like it as well.
12th February, 2011
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Vanisia by Creed

I'd have to agree with AzulitaSola on this one. It does have a similarity with Tabu, I guess, in that, if you do not like Tabu, you probably won't like this one either. Opening notes are very strong and heavy and oily -- hardly any vanilla going on there. It calms down, and one can smell the vanilla more after about an hour, but still oily and heavy. It's got a "powdery" feel, similar to Tabu. And after sniffing closer, I can swear there is some kind of animalic in it -- maybe civet -- which makes it smell just ever so faintly vaguely poopy.

I had this one pinned as a vanilla oriental. But it's not a vanilla oriental like Pink Sugar. No no, this is an "older" kind of vanilla -- one that Paris Hilton or Katy Perry wouldn't be caught dead selling if they still wanted to be considered "cool" by the hoards. Vanisia is definitely not a vanilla for those who prefer candy-floss vanillas.

Sillage is moderate on me. It's not nuclear, which is nice. But it's no wallflower either.
12th February, 2011
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Love in Black by Creed

"Holey moley! It's turpentine!" was my initial reaction upon applying this to my wrist. But, as with many fragrances, I've learned to give top notes a little time. 30 minutes later, I wasn't too afraid of my wrist, and sniffed again. Turpentine was gone, and was replaced by a strange nutty oily smell, similar to the nutty smell I get from Guerlain's Mitsouko. I'm guessing that is the orris root that I am smelling. I shall have to go back to Mitsouko and see if it's the same.

That nutty smell persisted for a quite a while, along with an oily floral smell, and some kind of white musk which was nice. That nutty oily smell though was quite strong, and that is the predominant sillage. Sillage was pretty intense, as well. Longevity was very good (if you like this sort of scent) -- still there almost 24 hours later. Euurrggh. Time for a shower.

The white musk makes this one tolerable for me. Very unique scent with an odd mobile development. I would know this one again in a heartbeat, if I smelled it on someone else.
12th February, 2011
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Gendarme by Gendarme

Soapy! My first thought with the opening notes were, "Hey, this kinda smells like the old Clairol Herbal Essence Shampoo!" (not the kind that is promoted in those fake orgasm advertisements, but the original 1970's formulation) I always wondered what was in that shampoo that made it smell so good.

As of this review, the notes listed are "Citrus, Verbena, Jasmine, Thyme, Leather." I don't smell leather in here. But after those top notes blow off (rather quickly, like within less than 30 minutes), it simply smells soapy.

Soapy along the lines of Penhaligon's English Fern, or Mugler Cologne, as some other reviewers have mentioned. Maybe some slight differences. I don't know if it's soapy because of the lavender or something else. I don't see lavender listed as a note.

Longevity? Not so good. I can barely smell it 4 hours later. Only if I sniff up close to my arm. So maybe longevity is not so bad, but sillage is virtually nil. In the Basenotes forums, there is reference to an EdP formulation which supposedly has better longevity and sillage.

I like it. But I heard it's mucho expensive (I am trying a sample gifted to me.), so is it worth the price compared to cheaper soapy scents? Maybe not.

10th February, 2011
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Rose Poivrée by The Different Company

I'm pretty sure I tried the reformulated (less civet) version of Rose Poivree. I had just tried Fredrick Malle's Une Rose, the day before I tried Rose Poivree, so Une Rose was still ringing in my olfactory bulbs (massive sillage). So keep in mind, my comparison.

Rose Poivree seemed less in-your-face as Une Rose. Sharp roses in the opening, and then it calmed down to a cumin and rose scent. Much like Rose 31 by Le Labo, but minus the incense/cedar/doughy smell. It's a nice quiet scent (compared to Une Rose). The cumin didn't smell weird. I don't smell the pepper, that is in its name. Just cumin and roses, and a sweet creamy drydown.

Longevity was not great on me. I sprayed it on in the morning, and by lunch hour, I'd almost forgotten it was there, it was so light. Either that, or I suffered from olfactory fatigue. However, there are some other rose scents that seem to last forever on me (Une Rose, Rose 31, to name a few).

Edit: Someone informed me that Rose Poivree has not been reformulated. In that case, I really don't get a lot of civet out of it. :)
09th February, 2011 (last edited: 26th March, 2011)
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Une Rose by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

It just figures! Both Une Rose and my favorite perfume (Montana Parfum d'Homme) are made by the same perfumer -- Eduoard Flechier. Both of these perfumes share a particular characteristic -- nuclear sillage and massive longevity.

But their notes differ.

Une Rose has a harsh opening -- I almost figured it for Tea Rose by the Perfumer's Workshop (which I hate). And it was this sharp rose top note that I disliked a lot. But, one hour later, I could smell incense. Roses and incense. And as it progresses, the incense comes out more and more. Longevity was incredible. Some of it got sprayed on my wool sweater by accident, and I hung it up in my closet after the end of the day. Two days later, my closet still smelled completely of Une Rose -- not the incense part, just the roses smell. Apparently it took the heat from my wrist to get the incense to come wafting out.

I agree with Endless79's review, in that Une Rose is a "bright" rose and remains so, for the 24 hours it continues to give off fumes, whereas Guerlain's Nahema has a more creamy mellow drydown.

I've only tried two perfumes by Flechier, but if these two are any indication, Flechier likes to do things big and long.
09th February, 2011 (last edited: 12th February, 2011)
Aiona Show all reviews
United States

Havana by Aramis

The only reason I tried Havana by Aramis is because so many people on Basenotes' forums compared it Montana Parfum d'Homme (red box, not blue box). And they are right. They are very similar.

I haven't ever smelled "tobacco" note on its own, so I don't know if that's what they both have in common. I can only really name their differences.

Opening: Montana has a very distinct lemony opening (is that called hesperidic?). Havana definitely lacks that strong lemony opening. In fact it's Havana's opening notes that bother me -- heavy oily. Both have massive projection. Honestly, nearly nuclear!

About 4 hours later: They dry down very similarly. After the lemony top notes disappear, Montana virtually smells identical to Havana. But, see, I love to sniff my arm, and the steam I exhale reactivates the pine-y lemon-y smell of Montana, but it doesn't do that with Havana. Havana remains solid, oily, dark and whatever that is. Maybe it's the tobacco. Both have major sillage, but I would say Havana projects just a tad bit more. When I wear them both on separate arms, Havana shoves Montana out of the way!

12 hours later: Havana is still there. Montana is faint compared to him. This is where my love for both of them switches over. Havana becomes creamy in the evening. Creamy sandalwood and that other dark smell (tobacco??). It's just creamy cinnamon love. Montana remains a pine-y smell, but you know how sometimes strong pine resin has an almost urinous smell? When they're side by side, that's how it compares out. I do love this creamy drydown of Havana -- how can I say no to cinnamon? 'Just it takes so darn long to get there!

Longevity: Havana seems to outlive Montana. I have a suspicion that the nasty oily scent that it has in the beginning is the basenote that helps it last so long, and helps it to maintain that creaminess for over 14 hours and counting.

I really must put a comment here about Havana's bottle. I both hate it and love it. A beautiful matte blue glass! The top is matte black. It's just beautiful. And the matte glass feels almost like cool skin in your hand. But, it's shaped like a *bleep* *bleep* exclamation mark, meaning it's incredibly top heavy and unstable -- sorta like Omnia bottles by Bulgari. Pretty to look at, but not practical on your dresser!
04th February, 2011
Aiona Show all reviews
United States

Joséphine by Rancé 1795

There are two entries for Josephine by Rance, in the Basenotes directory. I'm guessing one is for the original Josephine that was made for Napoleon's lover. Heavens if anyone is still alive to review the original fragrance! My review is for the latest one that was put out 200 years later.

It's a floral perfume, with a nice sandalwood base. My intitial impression on first spray is that it's fruity, though. Not sure why. But maybe it's the violet leaf, which similar to Penhaligon's Violetta, reminds me of Thompson green seedless grapes. That is short-lived though. It does settle down into a kind of floral scent, and I guess that's the rose that I am smelling there. It does have a note that I don't care for, and it's probably the hyacinth. Hyacinth and ylang smell really oily and heavy to me, and I tend to avoid scents with those notes.

After about an hour or so, the base really does come out -- a sandalwood and maybe amber? Maybe a touch of vanilla?

Sillage is so-so. It's not like Angel, that's for sure. Longevity is good. It's been over 12 hours since I spritzed (one spritz, even) and I still smell the sandalwood base and some amber-like smell.
02nd February, 2011