Gorgeous and so unusual! Violets, orris, anise. Evokes a dusky purple for me ... soft, cool powdery plushness in the heart notes. Very lovely subtle base, slightly spicy.
Leather, supple and suave, captivatingly combined with musk and rose. Espionage possesses the subtle chic of classic perfumery but with the streamlined structure of modernity. Very sexy skin scent.
Smooth melange of white flowers on a woodsy resinous base; warm and bright.
Maroc pour Elle: I was a bit puzzled by it on first try, given that it had been described by Tauer and by reviewers as a rose scent, which to my nose it's not. The rose sweetens the JASMINE, citruses and cedar, leaving a very sultry, indolic impression ... nothing like what we think of when we think of rose. I get distinct cravings for this one, and when I wear it I can taste it not only on first application but for many hours. It serves a similar role for me as SL Fleurs d'Oranger, only Le Maroc is a bit more strange and exotic - and sometimes only that will do!
I think that our noses are not accustomed to such a heavy concentration of naturals as Andy uses. It takes a little getting used to, but what a beautiful education!
Similar to Parfum Sacre, with the dark rose riding over such a deep, smoky but transparent base, yet it remains recognizably rose .... it kept my nose interested for hours. I think this one could really grow on me! There's something so compelling in this ancient pairing; my favorite of the Montales I've tried thus far. It lasted about 4 hours; short for me - most things last 8-12 hours, which speaks to me of a high proportion of natural materials.
Brilliant dry lemon, lifted and sustained by aromatic cypress, sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, amber, white musk - heavenly hot summer evenings on the patio, trailing vines swaying in the desert wind! Adobe walls giving back the solar heat they've soaked in during the blazing hours. Lovely basenotes. No longevity problem with this citrus semi-oriental.
I love orange blossom, grew up in Orange County in the 50s and 60s when you could still catch a whiff of it in the air. This one struck me on first try as a very masculine fragrance - the woods and dry herbs came out strongly and it seemed very dry - but on second wearing I fell for it, and sensed its feminine side. It is very broadly composed around its orange flower heart. Unlike Serge Lutens' Fleurs d'Oranger which is so creamy and solid you can almost taste it, this one invites you to expand your lungs, extend your awareness over the entire pastoral landscape.
Distinctly green yet like no other, with its smoke and dense powdery notes. Hay drying in a remote meadow, hazy sunshine, insects buzzing. Unique and sublimely complex. One of my perennial top ten.
Beguiling sweetness, hay and honey, leather and flowers, perfectly androgynous. For a journey across golden amber landscapes. Chergui feels more like home, like my own skin and my interior life than anything I've ever known. It feels like the warmth of the fireside, walks in autumn fields, my love's embrace ... the sweet familiar scent of home after a long journey.
Very fruity; loads of citrus, lavender and spice gives this sandalwood a sweetness and old-world English gentleman's club period style. Fit for an afternoon under languid blades of an overhead fan somewhere in the colonies. Superior lasting power for a so-called cologne.
(Review for EdT only) Love the herbal top of this - lavender, rosemary, and I almost get sage... The sandalwood at the base is lovely. Very unisex, softly refreshing. An upstanding scent. Independent in feeling, like a chypre. Just a touch of vanilla in the base, not anything like overwhelming or even demonstrably sweet. The leather is grounding. I was looking forward to civet in this, but it escapes me.
Fleurs d'Oranger was an instant love for me, and it differs from most other orange blossom fragrances not only because of the inclusion of jasmine and tuberose, but because of its tang and spice! As in true syrupy juiciness that I can taste. It's sweet and sour and tropically floral - the antithesis of L'Artisan's interpretation of orange blossom, which is airy, ethereal, seraphic, but clean ... the Lutens variety is hotly sensual flowers with all their lovely evocative parts displayed!
I loved Douce Amère from our first encounter. Anise is not even a note that I'm especially fond of, but this scent has made me love it. Its strangeness is partly what makes it so compelling; the sweet anise against the dry herbal astringency of wormwood in the top notes, resting sweetly on a bed of cedar, vanilla and spice.
I'll speak mainly to Paris EdP, which I love; it was my wedding fragrance. It's a technicolor rose/violet multifloral bouquet, very brilliant, sweet, heady, super lush. The basenotes are not nearly as prominent as the floral heart. Very lasting, vivacious, and fun. Most other rose fragrancs seem straightforward and traditional in comparison.
Paris EdT is sheerer, pinker-toned, and some might call it powdery. This one is pretty, but not a standout.
Rive Gauche my signature scent for the longest time in my twenties and early thirties. Huge lift from those aldehydes! Loved the galbanum-moss-vetiver accord of brilliant green, and that floral heart. I was disappointed by the new versions released a couple of years ago, though the Intense is closer to the original - compared to the 70s version it's more synthetic, sharper, shallower. The new "regular" EDT is altogether too pale and wishy-washy to bear much resemblance to the original. If you have a chance at the original on ebay, take it!
I have had a difficult time wearing rose; it seems to wear me most of the time, and to seem too much like a single, literal flower, not evocative of an interesting emotion or scene. Also many rose perfumes are too cool, crisp or patchouli-laden for me, giving them an edge that prevents them from melting into my skin. They smell like a florist shop, when I'd rather evoke a boudoir, or a windswept heath.
This one is different - it yields to the heat of my body and becomes part of my sensual landscape, and I feel this is due to the broadly chosen sweet, herbal, spicy and woody notes that ornament the rose. Notes from Bela's notepad on MUA, with thanks: "white rose, camomile, lichee, geranium, Moroccan rose, gaïac wood, clove, white honey, vanilla." The rich, round sweetness of this rose I can almost taste.
A very soft and mildly sweet vanillic amber, easy to wear even in the heat. Not very strong or lasting, but not terribly costly either.
One of my all-time favorite scents; so seamless, deep, sweet and smoky, round and rich, incredibly lasting in EDT. A drop on each wrist is enough for 12 hours. I get sweet tobacco from this, and fruit in Habanita - not fresh tangy juice but something very mellow and sweet, similar in character - but not scent - to the subtle sweetness of sundried tomatoes or dried apricots. Leather, amber, vanilla, musk, so smoothly blended that none of these notes announce themselves. There are no edges on this one, just an irresistable comfort and seduction.
A complex, dry, mildly spicy floral oriental, initially similar in sophistication and delicacy to the top notes of L'Heure Bleue. About two hours in, she shows her very creamy and powdery floral heart, then a drydown reminiscent of Habanita, minus the smokiness, and with a more prominent orange blossom. In another half hour, and the scent diverges a bit from Habanita - less smooth sweet tobacco leaves, vanilla and leather, more amber-floral, with a haunting nag champa note. Divine: Habanita's upper crust cousin!
L'Heure Bleue is exquisitely composed, heartbreakingly beautiful. When I first encountered it, my hasty impression was that it was pure sugar on my skin, candied violets and who knows what... But I am so glad I came back for another trial. A silvery blue/sage green/violet & rosy bouquet of flowers and herbs for the first hour or so, then the base of sandal, cedar, vetiver, vanilla begins to be felt, but this never develops into anything approaching earthy. The entire impression is ethereal, a poignantly beautiful dream. The parfum has more dominant basenotes and is more sensual, less powdery-sweet.
A bewitching one - takes a while to get to know her, to get her comfortable with you - or vice versa - but so worth the effort. The EdT has a light spaciousness; in the EdP formulation there is more emphasis on the peach notes; in the parfum, the oakmoss is deep, heavenly, nearly leathery. There is a sense of mystery in this one, an elusive quality that impels you further into the woods after something of rare beauty. The strength and integrity of the oakmoss, the beguiling softness of peach and the may rose heart - perfectly balanced.
On me, China Rose is more of an oriental with a rose theme ... very round musky basenotes with a smooth dark rose overlay. Apparently skin type matters a lot with this one, though - someone else mentioned it was just incredibly sweet on her.
On me, some rose scents are too crisp for my taste (Creed FdTRB, Rosa Magnifica) and never meld with my skin. The other rose I love a lot is Serge Lutens Sa Majeste la Rose, which is similarly laden with basenotes.
Very fresh and green at first, a beautifully complex scent. I have heard some people describe it as cold, not sexy, a power-fragrance, something one would use to intimidate in a corporate setting ... Never! It is elegant, yes, but never off-putting. A very alive and intriguing scent. It does express a distinct intelligence, and if that turns you off, so might this fragrance! Iris, leaves, wood, leather. Dappled sun and shade, early summer in a northern country.
Very sheer, very modern, highly synthetic - not my kind of thing at all, but very much of its time ... designed to offend no one, but I'd rather not smell it myself.
Pleasant, not too pungent, very wearable.
Very sunny fruity juicy floral - nice, rather intense, and without the melon-plum-blackcurrent bud notes that can bother me in fruity scents.
Aptly named, except for the fact that it is more amber than musk! this is ravishing, bold, sensual with woods and spices galore. Very full-bodied, cozy, sexy, stirs the imagination.
This. Is. Glorious. Very refined, powdery, unsweet woodsy iris, with some sharp aldehydic topnotes. Feels like the very heart of what I love in Chanel No. 19. Austere, brilliant, meditative. Not sensual in the least, but gravely beautiful. Puts me in mind of Kristin Scott Thomas in Angels & Insects.