Reviews by Aiona

    Aiona's avatar
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    Showing 61 to 90 of 111.

    Arôme 3 by D'Orsay

    This is so not a cool aquatic. It's got a sharp Vitalis-like opening, much like Etiquette Bleue (also by D'Orsay). Unlike Etiquette Bleue, it has a fruity kind of heart. Like Etiquette Bleue (and Penhaligon's English Fern, for comparison), it has a soapy, lavender drydown. It's easy to smell the lavender, even to my simpleton nose. It would smell nice on a guy, but it smells even nicer on me! English Fern has larger sillage, though. And as for longevity, after 12 hours it was pretty much gone without a trace.

    28th August, 2008


    Snake Oil by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    Snake Oil is a perfume oil, so it doesn't absorb right away, which could cause problems with clothing. It reminds me a lot of an essential oil shop I used to frequent. Heavy with deep spicy stuff. I can easily imagine a lot of free-spirit types happily wearing this, and maybe even mixing it up themselves. There's amber in here, but maybe champa too. And maybe lemon oil. Maybe some myrrh. It's rather overwhelming at first, and I feel I should be wearing a tie-dye, ankle-length skirt with Birkenstocks and my peace beads while shopping in an import store. But, then about an hour later, the amber comes out more and makes it less 60's-love-child and more just plain oriental. I like the drydown much better than that first hour of free love. And I like the vanilla, plenty of vanilla in the drydown. Unlike Coyote (another BPAL I've tried), the sillage on this is pretty intense. It's also got some major longevity. It's over 12 hours later, and I'm still giving off amber waves of vanilla! I'm not sure I get the association with Snake Oil, but it is a lovely scent.

    26th August, 2008


    Perceive by Avon

    Instant headache! :( It's a floral. Heavy floral, with something like gardenia in it. I usually wait a while and see if a fragrance changes, but in this case, it was a scrubber in under 10 minutes. I tried! But a pounding headache does not make for a good start of the day.

    23rd August, 2008


    Supermodel by Victoria's Secret

    Fermented fruit-y floral with a sandalwood base. It smells a lot like other Victoria's Secret perfumes to me. Particularly Rapture. On me, it's sour fruit. Perhaps it's wonderful on someone else.

    22nd August, 2008


    Messe de Minuit by Etro

    I was told that this has an incense note, and that is why people like it so much. My earlier experiences with incense have been with John Varvatos and Le Labo Rose 31, and I have to say that I prefer both of those over Messe de Minuit. There's some smell in Messe de Minuit that I don't like. Maybe patchouli? Maybe the combination of orange with incense? Or maybe the sample I tested has gone bad! Sillage is pretty much nil (which was good for me!). It's just not my kind of fragrance.

    20th August, 2008


    Sud Est by Romeo Gigli

    It smells a lot like Yatagan. So if one doesn't like that aromatic rosemary YOWR!! of Yatagan, one probably won't go for Sud Est. The drydown is more floral than Yatagan, however. 10 hours later, and I can still totally smell the jasmine, and I *love* it. 'Such a shame it's discontinued.

    19th August, 2008


    Le Dandy by D'Orsay

    At first it was all pineapple-y! But that only lasts seconds. Then it becomes a very sweet, vegetable (carrot?), rum, caramel scent. I'd almost liken it to a caramel sweetness. But again, that doesn't last long either! Maybe 3 hours of sweetness. Then it dries down to a musky, cinnamon-y smell, with a musky vanilla base that reminds me of Le Male. After the top-notes of pineapple subside, it's really a lot like Femme de Dandy (for women). Femme de Dandy is a bit more floral, whereas Le Dandy is definitely FOODY. It's a foody-fragrance. Yum!

    17th August, 2008


    Jolie Madame by Pierre Balmain

    What a sweet smell! I'm not big on florals, but this one is *not* a fruity-floral. It's just a floral to me. It opens much like Norell-and-other-70-like's fragrances (even though I see this one came out in 1953), with bergamot and something. . . maybe it's galbanum? So that first hour or so doesn't much distinguish itself from other perfumes. But after that hour, it becomes quite flowery, but not the irritating white flowers that I hate so much in heavy ones like Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera. It's some kind of light floral. Maybe lily of the valley? With something honeysuckle-like, but it can't be honeysuckle. Maybe it's the violet people mention in other reviews. In any case, I actually like it, which is rare for me (usually a floral hater). If I had to wear a floral, this might be one I would choose.

    17th August, 2008


    Unforgivable Woman by Sean John

    I think this is the only fragrance I've tried that had cleanly separated phases. It was bizarre. At first spray, it was all alcohol-y. And then, for 30 minutes, it smelled only of pears. Just pears! Like some pear glycerin soap that I bought from Victoria's Secret once.

    Then after 30 minutes, abruptly, the pears were gone. Not even a hint. Then it became a fruity-flowery-sandalwood scent. There was something gourmand about it that I couldn't put my finger on. And even something aromatic, like sage (even though I don't see it listed in the notes above). How it managed to be simultaneously fruity, florally, aromatic, and gourmand, I dunno.

    Then four hours later, HORRORS! It became straight patchouli. The sandalwood was gone. The pears were long gone. Geh! Mercifully, it didn't last very long. After about 2 hours, the patchouli was gone too.

    That middle part was pretty nice. If that part had stuck around longer I would have liked this one much more.

    15th August, 2008


    Sugar Cookie by Demeter Fragrance Library

    It definitely smells like sugar cookies, but not the way I make mine. Everyone has their own recipe for sugar cookies. Demeter makes theirs with ginger and cardamom and a little lemon zest, in addition to the requisite vanilla. I agree with previous reviewers that it's not a burnt cookie smell. It's definitely a citrusy fresh cookie smell. It's an alcohol 'fume, not an oil, so there's a bit of sharpness at first, which I didn't like. As someone mentioned, sometimes I just want to smell cookies, but I don't want to smell *LIKE* one. This perfume fits the bill.

    08th August, 2008


    Prada (new) by Prada

    There's patchouli in here? If so, I may have to rethink the idea that I hate patchouli. Seriously though, I don't smell the patchouli at all. My first thought was, "Vanilla! and Citrus!" Husband's first thought, which he said out loud, was, "You smell like a State Fair!" I had to ask, "How so?" Not in the cow patties, and rancid-oil-barrel-trash-cans way, but in the, "It smells like cotton candy!" way. It makes me think of Pink Sugar by Aquolina -- another vanilla oriental. But I gave away my bottle, so I can't directly compare them. In any case, if one doesn't like vanilla, this would probably be one to avoid.

    31st July, 2008


    Aqua Colonia Du Soleil by Florascent

    I was told that fragrances by Florascent "come and go." But this pretty much stayed the same all day for me. It started out like dried orange peel and wormwood or rosemary or sage (like what I think I smell in Yatagan). And it ended with dried orange peel and wormwood or rosemary or sage. It's a very aromatic scent, with a little bit of citrus.

    26th July, 2008


    Odeur 53 by Comme des Garçons

    To me, this smelled like honeysuckle oh so briefly, then that was gone in seconds, to be replaced by pond algae mixed with milk. That lasted for about an hour and a half, and then became a light herbal green drydown that was actually quite nice and lasted all day. Not a lot of sillage on me. Strange stuff.

    26th July, 2008


    Omnia by Bulgari

    At first spray, it's almost like one of those lemony wipes that used to come with one's Kentucky Fried Chicken. But that disappears fast. Afterwards, it's all freshly-cut cedarwood with cardamom. Maybe a little cinnamon, and a little citrus too. Most mostly cedar cedar cedar. Like walking into a cedar lined closet, while holding a sachet of cardamom and other spices. Some sandalwood too. I don't smell any white chocolate, or at least not any white chocolate I've ever eaten. Sillage is not large, but not small either. I *like* it! This is not a fruity floral. It's just a nice woody scent that has lasted over 6 hours on me today.

    26th July, 2008


    Tiptoeing Through Chambers of the Moon by Pilar and Lucy

    I tried this today from a sample. It was definitely a perfume oil, with no alcohol to sting my nose. Even so, at first whiff, I thought, NO WAY! It was ylang-ylang in coconut oil or gardenia, much like what I get from Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera. But I braved it out, and 3 hours later, the ylang-ylang had faded considerably, and it had changed into a gourmand like scent. Granted, my nose may have been confused by my orange-scented 50 spf sunblock, and maybe some lingering Odeur #53 on my pullover sleeve, but I don't think so. In any case, the drydown was far more acceptable to me (a hater of ylang-ylang), and I would have liked it much more had it lasted longer than 6 hours.

    21st July, 2008


    UNTITLED #2 by Tristan Brando by UNTITLED

    Top notes of Pineapple Sno-Cone! Yum! I think this is a perfume oil, because it didn't absorb right away (which meant I had to wait before putting on my blouse!). Also, I didn't really get any blast of alcohol on application. If one likes candy-sweet scents, Tristan Brando's Untitled #2 would be a good choice to try.

    After 3 hours, the pineapple is almost gone, leaving a vanilla-amber-musk scent that totally reminds me of Must de Cartier. Yumminess lasted a total of 18 hours. Sillage was minimal. It stayed close to the skin, but it sure stayed a long time!

    21st July, 2008 (Last Edited: 23rd July, 2008)


    La Rose de Rosine by Les Parfums de Rosine

    Boozy! It smells like the now discontinued Dilys by Laura Ashley. Fermented fruit and flowers. Ketone-like. Perhaps my sample went bad. Sillage was not great. Lasting power was pretty good. I didn't smell as much like rose as I'd have expected from the name. Compared to Tea Rose, the rose was pretty subdued. At least it didn't give me a headache, as Tea Rose does.

    20th July, 2008


    Tea Rose by Perfumer's Workshop

    I can't remember how I acquired two mini bottles of this stuff, but they've sat in my cabinet forever (okay, more like 13 years) because every time I try it, it gives me a raging headache.

    I was inspired to pull them out again, because someone gave me some rose essential oil, and I wanted to compare the two. The essential oil was mixed with some other ingredients, like patchouli, which gave it a darker character. In comparison, Tea Rose is a beautiful, bright, green rose -- smells freshly picked. However, it's so fresh-smelling, it has to be artificial!

    Longevity is incredible. Sillage was also great. And unfortunately, it gave me a headache again, just as before. It's beautiful, but I can't wear it.

    20th July, 2008


    Le Baiser du Dragon by Cartier

    In theory, I should like this. In practice, I don't. Although I love amaretto scents, there was just too much patchouli for me to truly appreciate the other notes. I tend to not like scents with patchouli, as it reminds me of a medicine my paternal grandmother used to use. Also, after living in Berkeley for 5 years with the scent of patchouli everywhere, I got really tired of it.

    For those who love patchouli, this may be a great fragrance to try. After about 4 hours, on me, the patchouli is still detectable up close, but in the sillage, it's more of an amber-vanilla-like scent. It didn't last very long on myself. Whereas most fragrances, I can still detect a whiff on my skin or maybe clothes at the end of the day, after 9 hours Le Baiser du Dragon was pretty much undetectable on me.

    18th July, 2008


    parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Sequoia by Comme des Garçons

    What an unusual perfume! At first, it's all cedar. But not just any cedar, it's cedar that's damp and almost rotting. Other reviewers have mentioned "vinegar" and "sweat." And it does smell very much like. . . sweat. It makes me think of lactic acid. Incomplete glycolysis. And perhaps that's what gives it the sweaty gym clothes smell. There's also patchouli in the opening. Ugh. I don't like patchouli. And a fecal-like smell. Could that be the oud?

    I really didn't think I could brave this one out, but luckily, its sillage is next to nil. It's not a sillage monster on me. Even though I could smell the fecal smell up close, no one else could. I'm sure of that.

    What's interesting is that by 4 hours later, all those sweaty, smelly gym clothes are gone, and someone has laundered them in a really nice-smelling detergent. How did it do that? Amazing! And this nice, clean scent lasted all day, and well into the next morning -- a good 20 hours.

    18th July, 2008


    Coyote by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

    This is the first BPAL fragrance I've ever sampled, so I don't know if they're all oils, but that was what struck me about this one. It's viscous, and there's no alcohol on opening. So, I'm guessing this is a perfume oil. The lack of the alcohol means it doesn't have that stinging opening that so many perfumes have. However, it also means it leaves a little oily sheen on my skin before it gets absorbed, which could be a problem for some clothes fabrics.

    I had read reviews on that this one smells like desert soil and grass. I definitely don't get any soil out of it. Instead, it smells like a perfume oil mixture I had made for myself once. The components of mine were champa and amber, with a base of peru balsam. I added a touch of anise oil as well. Coyote smells almost exactly like that mixture, but with sandalwood as part of the base also. There's something else in it that reminds me of old teak furniture, or the old, damp teak in some sailboats. But desert soil? No.

    The anise makes it just a little gourmand, and yummy (I like licorice), and it makes me want to try other BPAL fragrances.

    11th July, 2008


    White Aoud by Montale

    White Aoud is only the second oud-containing fragrance I've ever tried (my first being Black Aoud also by Montale). It has the same oud-y opening as Black Aoud which smells plasticky, like spoiled uni sushi, but mixed with flowers I couldn't name, whereas Black Aoud does have roses. Unlike Black Aoud, however, the oud doesn't stick around. It pretty much goes away after about 2 hours, on my skin, anyway. What is left is a tame and lovely sandalwood, vanilla, amber, and jasmine fragrance that lasts and lasts.

    I thought it might compare with Kenzo Amour (another vanilla scent), but Kenzo Amour is more flowery and almost citrusy, with a baby-oil like smell that White Aoud doesn't have. In comparison, another vanilla-jasmine scent Hypnotic Poison is heavier on the jasmine-vanilla-almond combo whereas White Aoud is predominantly sandalwood-vanilla-amber with a bit of jasmine.

    09th July, 2008


    Must de Cartier by Cartier

    Edit July 23, 2011: I've since learned that there are about 4 different formulations of Must de Cartier: 1) The original EdT which came out in 1981 2) The parfum which also came out in 1981 3) The reformulated EdT which came out in 1996 and lastly 4) the newest reformulated EdT which came out in 2005. HEAVENS! When one looks at all the reviews, it's hard to know which version people are talking about!! *I* don't even know which one I'm talking about, because I sampled from a carded manufacturer's sample, which is not dated, but simply has "Must de Cartier Eau de Toilette" on it. Supposedly the parfum is a completely different smell than the 1981 EdT -- which is all I can gather from the numerous reviews around the net. Many people seem to hate the 1996 EdT -- including Luca Turin. And lastly, the 2005 version of the EdT. Confused? Yeah, so am I.

    Original review on July 4, 2008: To put it politely, this is a perfume that most people would probably consider to be for "a sophisticated woman." It is not girly, by any means. I'm so bad at naming notes, but when I tested this, I got a clear set of associations. The opening notes remind me much of Halston Couture, which I know has a sharp opening due to citrus. After about 4 to 5 hours, it smells very much like a Baskin Robbins that we used to visit every Sunday after Mass. I can't tell if it's because there maybe was a woman who wore Must de Cartier and worked in that particular establishment, or whether it's the vanilla that I'm smelling in the heart. Then after about 9 hours, it lays into this sultry scent that for all the world reminds me of the time I discovered my uncle's Ginger Lynn video, which he had left on the VCR during the time he briefly lived with us. That must be the 1980's musk, I guess.

    04th July, 2008 (Last Edited: 24th July, 2011)


    English Fern by Penhaligon's

    Wow! I like it! Soapy! It reminds me a lot of Creed's Original Vetiver, with the Ivory soap smell. However, whereas Original Vetiver soapy smell is [cedar + ginger], English Fern's soapy smell seems to come from the lavender mixed with something else. . . maybe geranium? It also doesn't have the lemongrass smell that I get from Original Vetiver. I like it a lot, and one spray has lasted a good 12 hours on my skin. I don't smell the patchouli that foetidus smells, and thankfully so, because I tend to not like patchouli.

    03rd July, 2008


    Tam Dao by Diptyque

    When I first put this on my arm, I couldn't place what that top note was. After maybe two minutes, it hit me -- it smelled like dill! Freshly-pulled dill right out of the garden. What an odd note to put in a perfume! But that dill only lasted less than 3 minutes if even that, and then it kind of faded into a cedar scent which lasted maybe 5-10 minutes. And then, it seemed to disappear entirely, but every now and then I could smell sandalwood. However, if I sniffed my arm, it disappeared. I could only smell it if I was just going about doing my thing, but the scent of sandalwood surrounded me like a subtle cloud. *THIS* is the sandalwood that I think of when I hear "sandalwood." My mother had a sandalwood necklace, which maybe was artificially scented, I'm not sure. But for years it gave off this wonderful aroma, which made her closet smell marvelous. She told me it was sandalwood, and ever since then, the scent of that necklace is to what I compare all sandalwood oils. My mother informs me that the necklace's scent has faded with time (it's been over 20 years), but I need not mourn, because if I want to enjoy that scent again, I know I can find it in Tam Dao.

    30th June, 2008


    Helmut Lang Eau de Cologne by Helmut Lang

    For the first few minutes, it was overwhelmingly masculine. I don't know what it was. Vetiver? Ginger? Really sharp and earthy. If someone had been in the garden, digging in moist black dirt, about 6 inches down, they could have pulled me out of the ground. I smelled like a root vegetable.

    But after maybe an hour or even less, those top notes were completely gone, and all I was left with was a faint smell of flowers and amber. Foetidus does list flowers in his review, so maybe I was smelling jasmine.

    Not a lot of sillage, just a lovely drydown smell. Almost feminine. I like the dry down much better than the root vegetable part. I wish I could name the notes better, but I can definitely say what Helmut Lang is *not*.

    Helmut Lang is definitely not a cool aquatic. And it is not a sillage monster.

    Edit: My mistake. . . My review is for Cuiron pour Homme by Helmut Lang! Not Helmut Lang by Helmut Lang.

    30th June, 2008


    Femme de Dandy by D'Orsay

    At first I thought this was a floral perfume. But after the alcohol blew off, I realized, no, it's a FOODY perfume! Top notes of cinnamon. And an hour later, still lots of cinnamon and amber. Much much later, it was cinnamon milk. Very delicious! I sprayed it on at 19:10 and I could still smell cinnamon milk 5.5 hours later. I have been told that the perfumer behind it is Francis Kurkdjian -- the creator of Le Male -- but I don't know if that is true. It does seem, however, that both Le Male and D'Orsay's Femme de Dandy have the same musky vanilla smell on drydown.

    19th June, 2008


    Rose 31 by Le Labo

    I'm a relative newcomer to niche scents, so my opinions of this fragrance may change, as this is one of the first niche scents I ever got a chance to smell. When I first tried it, I didn't expect to like it. I didn't consider myself a fan of roses. However, I enjoy the rose that I experience in Rose 31, well through the top notes and into the heart. The rose is not a fresh rose. It's a dry, metallic rose mixed with cedar, and some incense-like smell, which I can only guess is the oud or guaiac wood. It also smells so very feminine to me! So I was surprised to find out that it's marketed for men. I was also extremely bummed when I found out how much it cost, because it is rare for me to find a floral that I like. I agree with some of the other reviewers that it has a metallic smell. It also has a "doughy" smell, as Vibert mentions. It has so much doughiness, that when I first smelled it, I wanted to call it a "chewy rose." I like it very much, and it has changed my opinion about rose scents.

    03rd June, 2008 (Last Edited: 20th July, 2008)


    Island Vibe by Avon

    Melon notes. It's a fruity floral. My first impression on sniffing the nozzle is that it smells like a sweeter version of a soapy bubble-blower mixture. After about an hour on my arm, it smelled very much like Paris Hilton's Paris Hilton. Kind of a flowery, fruity, aquatic kind of smell.

    20th May, 2008


    Design by Paul Sebastian

    Last weekend, I was in the backyard weeding and trimming invasive trumpet vines, when caught a whiff of some flowery scent. It smelled like "Design" by Paul Sebastian. I thought it was most unusual, because our yard is pretty darn big, and our nearest neighbor is quite far. Who was wearing "Design" in my yard??? It was just me and the dogs. Well, I was hauling the trimmings out to the the bin in the back alley, and I saw these beautiful yellow flowers. I sniffed them, and it was "Design." I was shocked, so when my neighbor came out to throw his trash away, I asked him what this plant was. He said, "It's Spanish Broom." "Design" smells like Spanish Broom to me.

    The first time I smelled "Design" was on a coworker who had come into the cold room to return the centrifuge rotor. She was a young woman, about mid 20's, and this was the 1990's. So I don't associate "Design" with old women, as some other reviewers do. It smelled lovely on her! But when I bought some for myself, it really did not smell the same on me at all. It smelled awful. So, I never wear it.

    14th May, 2008

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