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Aod by Lostmarc'h

Incredibly pleasant, envelopping, comforting, pleasing - excellent! The spirit of summer, the sea, an idle day on the beach, a light breeze of wind and sand. Doesn't last very long, though, because it is ultra-sublte, but worth having and the pleasure is immense while it lasts. Great!
8 out of 10 points on my personal scale
08th March, 2011

Dolce Riso by Calé

The fragrance opens with a burst of red apples - but I can also detect some sweet cherry-blossoms...very Japanse, so to speak - and very sweet and verrrry tender. When you think, "Wow, what a lovely start - how is this gonna go on?" you are soon breathing in the aroma of steamed thai-rice (NOT basmati-rice!) and after a couple of minutes, you are already led to the base which is not as soft as you might have expected. On the contrary, the base is harsh and I seem to detect some unpleasant screechy note in it. Thus this scent has a wonderful start, but a disappointing ending - and after 30 min you wonder where it's all gone... - you are left with nearly nothing at all - just a faint whisper of some woody base commonly used in male fragrances.
I like my rice-dishes much spicier and more substantial. This "Dolce riso" is not even suitable as a dessert ... it's a cute little appetizer which leaves you with an empty stomach.
4 out of 10 points on my personal scale.
04th March, 2011

L'Air de Rien by Miller Harris

Interestingly enough, I don't perceive this as a "dirty" or "skanky" scent... - but to me it is just what the name implies - RIEN. Nothing - more or less. It is VERY disappointing, given the commercial blurp on the sample telling me it is an "exquisite oriental with rich notes of French oakmoss, Tunesian neroli, sweet musk, amber and vanilla". I get a faint whisper of neroli on a blurred bed of musk coupled with a menthol-like, harsh top-note. Other reviewers talked about this scent in relation to sex - but does sex really smell like this?
Well, not in my experience. This is neither outstanding, nor shameless, but this has l'air de rien when I hoped it had l'air de tout.
3 of 10 points on my personal scale
09th February, 2011

Jubilee Bouquet by Penhaligon's


Review of the new 2010/2011 release
A new release of a classic scent launched for the first time in 1977. It's a greenish, herbal concoction with hardly any flowers and a wry dryness...so it's not a floral chypre in my books (it says so in the press material). This fragrance does not talk to me at all. I can't say that it is unpleasant, but it bears no element of surprise, no fascinating chord. It comes across like a well-established, decent toilet water for people who want to obey the code of conduct. Absolutely devoid of any erotic hues, this seems to be respectability in a bottle. It's prim and proper - and could easily pass as a scent created for Victorians...when it was dedicated to Elizabeth II.
I was extremely keen on trying this, butthis scent does not fill me with any enthusiasm at all.
3 out of 10 points on my personal scale
01st February, 2011

Vie de Chateau by Nicolaï

Vie de Chateau sits right between Eau Sauvage and Diorella. It is a lemony chypre with a herbal touch.
I love the wonderful start - exhilarating, fresh, simply wonderful, but the drydown is not 100% up my alley... might be due to the herbs used (tarragon, cistus). There's a faint hint of leather, too, but it remains in the background. Given the fact that this is an Eau fraiche, the lasting-power is good (about 3 hs). Not my favourite Patricia de Nicolai scent, but better than many others in the field.
7 out of 10 points on my personal scale.
28th January, 2011

Gocce di Napoleon by Morris

Extremely sharp and peppery opening - sneeze-inducing ( this hardly ever happens to me). Green and mossy tones in the heart, dries down to a classic male fougere-note.
Probably better on a man than on a woman, this highly original peppery start of the fragrance brought tears to my eyes - not because of its beauty, but because of the fact that it made me sneeze... - and - always makes me sneeze (on re-appliction... I gave it several tries on several days). "Tears of Napoleaon" taken literally - what else could you want?
26th January, 2011

JHL by Aramis

Reviewing the latest re-edition (2010):

Take Cinnabar, sake, shake shake, had a few drops of Youth Dew, shake again... and what you get is this fragrance - marketed for men. I'd like to meet a guy who can pull this one off... - personally, I wouldn't mind owning a bottle of this myself, because it is a bit spicier and darker than Cinnabar...- very attractive and cheaper than the female scent.
25th January, 2011

Muguet du Bonheur by Caron

Review of the current Extrait (Parfum) version:

This is a clear Lily of the Valley soliflor with an accent on green, fresh notes. After 5 minutes, the green, flowery part gives way to a rather unimpressive, well, call it - dull - drydown which is reminiscent of soap. I would not call this perfume sweet, I call it mono-linear, a very fleeting pleasure it is, too... since the good part, the top-notes, are gone in a short time. This reformulated version could be compared to the re-edited Vent Vert - once a landmark, now a poor skeleton, a eunuch. Why did I buy a bottle? Well, I collect perfume vessels ... and this one - a nearly 30 ml extrait bottle, simply looks wonderful. I'll decant the contents into an atomiser and diffuse it when I want to profit from the lovely spring-time opening. Probably I'll spray it on a tissue ... because the drydown would be too dire to endure on skin.
25th January, 2011

Strass by Luciano Soprani

An astonishing scent. Opens with a burst of citrus, then shows its heart of green jasmine and iris teamed up with cinnamon. Gives way to a cool and green base of cedar, benzoin and oakmoss. A green floral woody chypre which sits right between Miss Balmain and the latest La Prairie Life Threads Platinum. Elegant and long-lasting. Seems to be underrated. Fantastic alternative to Balmain or even Robert Piguet (think Visa or Baghari).
20th January, 2011

Naughty Alice by Vivienne Westwood

Not in the least naughty. A very shy, unspectacular vanilla-scent. Powdery, light. Poor staying-power. Another generic scent. Nowadays only the various perfume bottles help to tell the scents apart. I guess the big firms like Coty and l'Oréal spend more money on the design of the vessels than on the perfumes themselves. A very sad trend.
19th January, 2011

Cuir by Lancôme

Reminds me of J'ai osé by Guy Laroche without the oomph!
I used to LOVE such scents, but I find them dated and overpowering today. This is a fine leather fragrance, no doubt about that, longevity is excellent, too, but this perfume does nothing for me. When I wear it, I feel so much older than I am ... older, but not wiser or more relaxed. The perfume has a frumpy touch ... It was a blind buy I honestly regret.
03rd January, 2011

1873 by Histoires de Parfums

To me, the "worst" in line of a normally great range.
This does not smell like Colette and 1873, but like the latest by Dolce&Gabanna (see their "La Luna" scent).
A floral something with no refinement and no fun at all. Mainstream companies are just better at this kind of scent. If you're into such a fragrance, get a MODERN floral (see Gucci et.al.) - will also save you a lot of cash.
31st December, 2010

Musc Maori 04 by Parfumerie Generale

Chocolate is the key-word here - mentioned before.
The scent develops into a very thin, feeble musky whisper after five minutes. Luten's Borneo 1834 is a much better take at a chocolate fragrance ... just to cite a comparison. And why Maori? Where's the connection to New Zealand? I can't detect any. Patisserie 0815 would have been a more suitable name for this scent, which I find monothematic and dull.
31st December, 2010

George Sand by Les Parfums Historiques

Gorgeous, warm, spicy. High quality.
Smells like Scherrer 2 done with even more quality ingredients and feels deeply rooted in the fine history of la grande parfumerie francaise. If you are looking for an alternative to Scherrer 2 (or even to Coco by Chanel) - this one could be an ideal option.
31st December, 2010

Rêverie au Jardin by Tauer

Can't share much of the enthusiasm expressed in other reviews - although I would have loved to join in... since I am an ardent lover of lavender. This is a decent interpretation of lavender in midst of a field of greenery, but I had very high expectations - and Reverie au Jardin can't meet them. Maybe I'm anosmic to this scent? It's just soft, greenish and pale on my skin - nothing to write home about at all, unobtrusive.

31st December, 2010

Iperborea by Lorenzo Villoresi

Villoresi's 2010 contribution is a complex green floral starting with extremely soapy, greenish top-notes which give way to a dominant and rather screechy magnolia-jasmine accord. The first impression, especially the top-notes, did not appeal to me at all, the heart seemed very harsh and uninviting and in the end I recognized the familiar musky notes Villoresi used in his top-seller Teint de Neige (a scent which I love, btw). Iperborea seems like an attempt at recreating classics like Balmain's Ivoire or Scherrer I, but it is less remarkable and is not harmonious ... the name reminds me of the prefix hyper - Hyper- IPER. Everything seems a bit over the top and the scent does not possess the effortless elegance of the great iconic green florals, nor does it please the senses with a well-balanced cocktail of flowers. Staying-power is excellent, but the overall impression is not.
24th December, 2010

Eau Fraîche by Elizabeth Arden

This one was released in the 70's - and not in 1986 - I am 100% sure of this, because I wore it at school when I was 13 ... - and that was NOT in 1986.
It's a fresh Eau with a strong, very rustic lilly-of-the valley note. Very striking - and long-lasting for a so-called Eau fraiche. Memorable and original.
12th December, 2010

Opus I by Amouage

Cumin is a spice I can't stand, neither in my food nor in a scent, of course. Amouage Opus I is exquisite in the beginning, but morphs into a very obnoxious curry-like concoction after 20 min - at least on my skin. The fragrance lacks balance and beauty. There are so many scents which are not as expensive as Opus I - and smell so much better...
12th December, 2010

KL by Lagerfeld

The current bottle I purchased in 2009 seems to have undergone reformulation.
Top-notes are still there, the interesting mandarine burst giving way to the spicier parts of the fragrance - but a lot seems to be missing from the 80's original. Smelling this fragrance today and wearing it, too, feels uncomfortable and having finished the bottle some minutes ago, I see no need to replace it. Nevertheless, KL still smells much better than many of the recent trendy releases marketed as "sexy" or "seductive" (take the latest "Guilty" by Gucci as an example".)
10th December, 2010

Magot by Etro

I guess people in the famous Parisian café´"Aux deux magots" would think you'd just poured the WC-desinfectant over yourself if you entered the place smelling of this incredibly screechy, dismal creation by Etro. There's so much unpleasantness in this one contained for me that I'd rather not go on writingabout it. Suppose you're ready to spend loads of cash on a scent which is worse than most of the average drugstore perfumes (say "Kate Moss" or "Halle Berry") - then MAGOT is the one for you.
07th December, 2010

Jailia by Profumi di Pantelleria

A brilliant alternative to people who want "Angel" with a bit more of a refined attitude.
Top-notes are fruity and indredibly lush...to me, it's like a can of over-ripe, yellow peaches and mangoes in heavy syrup. I don't know which of the fragrances came first, Angel or Jailia, but the latter seems to be made of superior ingredients and doesn't have any of the harsh, chemical notes to it which I don't like in Angel. Nevertheless, I don't find this fragrance very innovative and the genre itself is not my cup of tea either.
05th December, 2010

parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk by Comme des Garçons

Maybe this is no scent for people who've never actually been to a Russian church... to a place like Zagorsk (nowadways called Jewgenij Possad again) or a fairy-tale town like Suzdal....-
but if you want to travel to such a place... scentwise... try Zagorsk in a bottle. It is a theme-fragrance, probably inappropriate for daily use, use in offices and banks...but in the privacy of your home, in winter, it can work marvels. It's extremely atmospheric and heart-moving, especially when you long for the medidative, sheltering feeling only a Russian church can provide you with (And normally, I claim to be an atheist...). Well, I know this is highly subjective stuff I'm writing here, but on the other hand, olfactory experience is totally subjective. One of the fragrances I don't want to live without.
04th December, 2010 (last edited: 05th December, 2010)

A Mi Aire by Loewe

Nondescript aquatic fresh-floral.
04th December, 2010

Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

A very conventional, yet pleasant scent. When the first greeish iris-blast is over, the heart is quite smooth and not very "interesting" in terms of "innovative", let alone creative. In so far, the name "Silk stocking" is appropriate. Like others here before, I'm also reminded of Chanel No. 19, but the legendary No. 19 is much harsher. Sillage of Bas de Soie is mediocre, you have to reapply after 3 hs. My husband gave me a bottle of this for Christmas and having worn this now for a couple of times, it turns out to be a wonderful "all-rounder", very good for day-time and work.
03rd December, 2010 (last edited: 03rd January, 2011)

Eau du Soir by Sisley

Unpleasant, loud, coarse. I've been disliking it for ages and hissed a sigh of relief when I found out that there are other people out there who hate it, too.
It's the kind of "posh perfume" in a beautiful bottle shop-assistants love to promote when they come to realize that you are mad about scents...
08th October, 2010

Nuda by Il Profumo

Nuda is a musky skin-scent, the idea - of course - is old-fashioned, but the construction of this fragrance is innovative. A fresh, hay-like top-note mixed with musky and powdery overtones. The result of this construction is a quiet and discreet perfume which mingles with your own body-odour producing a very natural effect. I find it totally "harmless" and devoid of the sexual connotations intended by its name and the blurp of the press-material ("natural pheromones" "seduction"). A rather unobtrusive musk - can be worn anytime/anywhere. It is really pleasant and I even consider buying a second bottle of it.
01st October, 2010

Bakir by Long Lost Perfume

A weird, outstandingly "brutal" scent. I find it utterly unpleasant. There's some pungent, awful note in it which bites my nose. Could imagine this on a man, but would not want to smell it on a woman, because it is coarse and the drydown reminds me of cod-liver oil. Vile!
21st September, 2010 (last edited: 08th October, 2010)

Peau de Pêche by Keiko Mecheri

The ideal peach fragrance. Natural, transparant, fresh. A good peach is hard to find -so don't look any further - get Peau de Peche. Fantastic staying-power, too.
11th September, 2010

Acqua di Parma Profumo by Acqua di Parma

The 2008 version which I bought today is wonderful...I had been looking for a fragrance which could be worn as an alternative to Misouko - and this is the one. Very soft, a chypre in cosy colours, no harsh notes, just a lovely, envelopping veil of easy plushness. Profumo is neither loud nor ultra-innovative. I fell in love with it and think it is very versatile and elegant. My husband is delighted with it, too.
11th September, 2010

Sublime by Jean Patou

Now somewhat reformulated, but still very elegant and easy to wear with a lday-like feel. A very "perfume-y" perfume, yet nothing I could fall in love with, because it is too well-behaved and somewhat conventional. Reminds me of the good old days when true ladies used to wear classy scents like Arpege and Chanel 22 ... - it is a fragrance nobody could object to - but it is - at least in its new, reformulated form, a trifle more faceless than it used to be. Nevertheless a much better choice than the loud, cloying novel mass-market perfumes (take the latest Thierry Mugler "Womanity" as an example).
29th August, 2010