This is so 80s, so big-hair, so sequins and stilettos. Sharing the same name as the Sharon Stone film, you should get an idea about what this juice is about. It screams sex. Not sexy sex...more like porn-star sex or fake boob sex or Kardashian sex. It is not subtle AT ALL. The sillage is monstrous, and the frag literally SCREAMS its orchid/wine/wood /plum composition at anyone within range.
This frag is synthetic and over-the-top. The packaging is boring (purple plastic tube-shaped bottle with silver accents), the name is kitsch, and the juice is far too obvious for me, but I can see where it would come in handy: at the opera, maybe, or to an adult-themed masquerade ball. When you want to be noticed, wear Basic Instinct. If you prefer a more subtle signature, avoid!
Oddly enough, I keep coming back to this one, to see if maybe this time I'll like it. I take off the translucent purple cap and Basic Instinct is about as subtle as Sharon Stone's interrogation scene in the movie of the same name. It's a blatant seduction. If that's your style, it will be amplified by this scent: the fragrance equivalent of a really randy cougar lady coming for you.
An understatedly gorgeous scent, Palas Atena's cinnamon note is what makes this perfume so intriguing and interesting. If I could compare this cinnamon note to anatomy, it is the psoas muscle, connecting heaven and earth (the upper body to the lower body). The cinnamon pulls the sweet top notes earthward while lifting the earthy patchouli, sandal and amber heavenward. Palas Atena constantly shifts between these realms...heaven and earth...with the cinnamon constantly adjusting to shifts in body chemistry (just as the psoas constantly adjusts to shifts in posture and locomotion). This is also a lasting scent of exceptionally high quality. A "natural perfumer" who makes everything in small batches using natural botanical essences, Ayala Moriel's skill (at crafting perfumes and sourcing ingredients) is on full display with this warm, rich, intriguing floral-oriental. I agree with Purplebird7 that this is almost a chypre: I believe it's the cinnamon that gives it that shimmering, shifting, mysterious quality.
Ambivalence. Depending on weather, body chemistry, and amount sprayed, Alien can be either delightfully floral, warm, and woody or overpoweringly vanillic, sweet and synthetic. Today it was the latter, and when it manifests like this on me, I really don't like it. On gentler days, Alien has a synthetic, metallic quality which can appear as gasoline, lighter fluid, or acetone. This adds an intriguing edge.
The opening is powerful, lasts for hours, and screams JASMINE! soaked in gasoline or acetone: a heavy floral cut with a dark industrial note. This makes Alien interesting but can also lead to headaches. A synthetic vanilla rises. This makes it a little...boring. Pretty, but boring. As the juice dries down, it becomes far tamer and less interesting: amber, wood, the Cashmeran accord. It's a nice floral-oriental, but it looses that weird quality that it has in the opening when all the notes are jumbling together like in a particle accelerator.
Overall, it's a very feminine, floral fragrance but doesn't align with the bottle or concept at all. Alien? How? If Dominique Ropion had been able to extend that synthetic quality throughout the scent's life, then yes, perhaps it would really smell like something alien...a strange creature from a planet covered in white flowers who has acetone for blood. That would create an interesting juxtaposition. But that quality fades rather quickly and we're left with a jasmine/wood/vanilla juice that smells like something a matronly 5th Avenue Lady Who Lunches would wear rather than something that might waft off an alien being. Too bad too, because I really wanted to love this one.
Long lasting, massive sillage (alien fumes!), headache inducing if over-applied, slightly opulent, very linear, feminine, ok for day but absolutely for night, and a bit boring.
EDP: rich, very spicy, and round. This is walking through a spice market with a bundle of lilies in your arms, on a temperate day, where large rugs woven of raw silk hang in the breeze. I don't detect any cucumber notes on dry down, perhaps because I tested the EDP instead of the EDT. The fragrance has monster sillage and is very loud in the first hour, but on my skin, settles down and becomes a skin scent after the very brash opening. The 2nd half of the frag is not as interesting as the opening. The lilies settle down and amber and spice remain, with just a floral whisper remaining.
I find this quite beautiful, floral without being over-poweringly so, sophisticated, elegant, and composed. The only disappointment is the rather linear dry down, which is probably due to my body chemistry: I seem to be able to tame even the most ferociously loud scents. Appropriate for a sophisticated, pulled-together woman. Fine as a day scent for office wear or night scent. Not "sexy" but very elegant.
Bizarre. Magnetic, but not sure if in a good way. Makes you lean in and smell, not because it's so alluring but because you wonder "what on God's green earth IS that?!" Extremely masculine. In this respect, I prefer it over all those wimpy aquatics and ozone scents, but I can't say B*Men actually smells good. I get spice and BO. I think the fruit and rhubarb plays like sour, slightly decomposed fruit. It's sharp, it's acrid, it makes you wrinkle your nose. This stuff is powerful. Outlasts scrubs, time, and possibly nuclear holocaust. A cool weather fragrance, I respect the noses for their outlandish composition and their defiance in the face of the aquatic army, but I am not sure I would want to snuggle up to B*Men. I am truly ambivalent. My nose does not like this, but my mind appreciates B*Men's in-your-face manliness and refusal to follow the aquatic/ozonic aesthetic.
I love Isabella Rossellini but I don't love her "Manifesto," despite the heart-felt copy that went along with my sample. Her manifesto is that the small, daily things are true luxuries: meals cooked at home with loved ones, fresh herbs in the garden outdoors. Despite this nice back-story, her scent wore very literally on me, and after application I felt like I had just spent an hour in the kitchen cooking. The basil and black pepper were powerful, and the base notes only seemed to elevate this kitchen scent into full-on funk. I was perplexed by this composition and rather glad when it was over. Lasting power was a few hours, but the opening and middle scenes really did smell like the after-effects of cooking a meal.
First received a sample of this in Sephora shortly after launch. It was May and I wore it to several parties and garnered a slew of compliments, from "wow, sexy!" to "hmmm what's that interesting scent?" L.A.M.B is rather unusual. It's synthetic, but not sneeze-inducing or plastic-y. Imagine a bowl of plastic fruit covered with a layer of dust, sitting in the window of some cute, kitschy, L.A. girl's apartment. She burns lots of musk and jasmine incense and probably has some macrame in her apartment but when she goes out at night, it's all sleekness and modernity. This scent is very modern, but thankfully goes against the grain of all the white florals and pink chypres by adding a little heft: the fruit is almost like spoiled fruit, just a bit beyond ripe, and that sour edge adds some interest. I like this juice for its unexpected quality: it certainly doesn't smell like anything else even though it is accessible. It's quite like Gwen Stefani herself, a woman who made a name for herself being that cute, alt-rocker LA girl who later became a sexy LA woman but kept that alt-rocker vibe about her and let other alt girls know it was ok to be yourself. I like this double-sidedness to the scent, and find it appropriate for daytime, weekends, after-work and even night if it is warm out. Spring/summer only though. I like the bottle design but agree the large bottle (which I own) is a bit of a paperweight.
Sillage is impressive but calms down after an hour or two. Wears a bit loudly for first few hours, and am finding by mid-afternoon, it has disappeared to my nose. Agree that the middle notes are the most boring and the drydown is best.
Synthetic, cloying, and wholly uninteresting, I'd heard about "the new Diesel that looks like a fist." I find the whole concept poorly executed, from package design (silly block fonts...looks like something a high schooler would make) to this rediculous fist to the scent therein, this is a mass market fragrance designed to appeal to meatheads and frat-boys and the girls who love them. I'm so disappointed my current favorite male wanted this; perhaps he hadn't had a chance to smell the watery, synthetic lemon and cedarwood blend before making that claim. The lemon and leather smell horribly synethetic and don't do each other any justice. Add in the amber base and you have a long-lasting plasticy scent with medium throw in an ugly bottle that should not be worn by anyone over 23. Horrid.
I think Habanita all comes down to the body chemistry. I do get the baby powder note, quite intensely for a rather long time, but when the drydown finally comes, Habanita turns into a complex little burner on me: smoky, tabacco-y, dark and sexy. The powdery note keeps this scent from becoming too dark, but this is one you have to be able to carry off, lest it carry you off.
Habanita is a woman with dark short hair, sitting alone at a mahogany bar, drinking a dry port, downwind from an elegant grey-haired man who's looking her over with while smoking a Cuban cigar. She notices him from her peripheral vision, but what she wants is not in sight...yet.
Habanita makes you wait for it, and you will be rewarded.
Jolie Madame smells so retro. That makes it even more modern because it doesn't smell like it's "trying" to be retro. This is just an older formula that is as relevant as ever today (especially as we drown in white florals and "pink chypres").
A cloud of violet sashays in happily, her skirt hem fluttering as she strides along in t-strap heels of the softest bone-colored leather. Her hair is styled just so. She's so cool, so flirty, so adorable, you just want to touch her, but her elegance and restraint remind you to treat her with respect. You want to do things for her. You want her to be around you always. She's just so darned wonderful, isn't she special? Oh how smitten you are!
The leather comes in later, much later, after the soft violet has worked a full day and lulled you into daydreams of early evening picnics of wine and cheese on gingham spreads. Then that leather...oh, she was hiding that provocative streak all along! It's dusk now and your picnic has suddenly gotten a little more animated (but it's never declasse...).
You fall asleep drunk off wine and beauty, wilted violets all around you, nuzzling a warm leather glove like a baby's blanket.
Absolutely fabulous, and smells like nothing else out there! Cuba starts and stays a rich tobacco scent. The first hour or two, Cuba is fresh, moist tobacco, fontal leaf to be exact, with the smell of damp cool earth and rain clinging to the leaves. As the scent wears on, something bizarre happens: it tranforms completely, leaving behind the amazingly realistic live tobacco leaf scent for something far more complex and interesting.
The geranium and ginger in the midnotes makes this scent sing. The sweetness of the geranium combined with the piquancy of the ginger elevate the scent into something organic and aggressively plant-like. It smells like being thrown into a pit of semi-decomposing leaves and flowers, mostly geraniums, with maybe a few musty rose petals and the odd lime blossom thrown in the mix.
The resiny base is genius and makes this scent hold for hours, continously developing. Tendrils of the early earthiness and sharp citrus peek out here and there, and Cuba keeps on going, a full day of scent, from sunrise to sunset. The day starts out in a lime orchard, damp, wet, musty, dirty. You work in that orchard, arranging velvety geraniums under the hot sun, petting a musk deer that passes by and gently places a rose at your feet, while occasional rain showers pass by, moistening your sun-warmed skin. That is Cuba.
Rather linear, this potent gardenia/honeysuckle scent is very feminine and incredibly long-lasting. Vaguely reminiscent of Guerlain Mahora's treatment of fragipani + tuberose, Marc Jacobs has a similarly heady quality, best for summer evenings or, alternatively, cold winter nights wearing a sexy black cashmere sweater.
This scent is elegant without being stuffy, casual without being informal, and applicable for work, weekends, and as a daily scent. It is powerful, so apply with caution. The first 10 minutes are fumey, but after settling down, Marc Jacobs is a respectable take on the white/tropical floral theme. An amber base keeps things from getting too flamboyant, and appears more as the fragrance dries down.
My BF gave me this frag for Christmas and I try to wear it because I love him so, but I just...can't. I really hate this fragrance, from the juvenile purple juice to the girly heart-shaped bottle to the absolutely vile crown top (that doubles as, oh dear!, a ring). I hate everything this fragrance stands for: the dumbing down of fragrance; the cult of celebrity (this fragrance is the olfactory equivalent of Paris Hilton); obsession with youth; focus group-created product.
This fragrance is an adolescent's fantasy of what it is to be a "Princes" (grown women should never refer to themselves as "princess"!), and that is ALL it should ever be worn on. A grown woman should NOT smell like "pink frosting accord" whatever in God's green earth that is. Besides being cloying, totally synthetic, and having the lifespan of an AIDS-afflicted fruit fly, Princess has monster sillage for about the first ten minutes, causing anyone in range to sneeze or get watery eyes.
Vera Wang, who before I regarded as a talented, if conservative, designer of wedding dresses and red carpet gowns, has fallen to the bottom of my respect ladder with this insipid offering. It is an insult to any mature woman's intelligence to think that the same woman making heavenly wedding gowns would put out this Lolita of a scent. Or maybe, actually, that's the point.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered this was created by Francis Kurkdijan, the nose behind my (almost HG) beloved Gaultier 2!
Spiced Green Tea is a quintessential fall/winter scent. It is less tea and more spice, and while not sweet, gives off the aroma of mulling wine or mulling cider. There is cinnamon, hearty clove, and black pepper, softened and embraced by the smoothness of the tea (which isn't green in character but more like the smooth spicyness of say, Tea for Two or Bvlgari The Blanc).
As this scent dries down, the piquant spice qualities become softer and softer until the tea note stands on its own. Not the longest lasting scent (it adheres better to clothing than skin), it's nonetheless a pleasure to wear for its uniqueness amongst tea scents (sharpness enveloped and eventually tamed). Its rather linear progression is a plus if you want a little more longevity out of notoriously fleeting tea notes. Available for next to nothing on eBay, it's a nice tea addition at half the price of L'Artisan or Bvlgari.
I think this would be a sleeper hit on a hot summer night where I'd imagine the heat would steep this scent and give it longevity and sillage, just like my other favorite Kurkdijan Gaultier 2, which becomes a lithe sexy beast in the heat.
I'm a big CdG fan, but this one falls flat for me. I'm willing to try again, but I found it rather derivative, both of other CdG scents, and other lines' creations as well. I got a very synthetic opening, which wouldn't surprise me from the house that made "Tar," "Garage," and a line inspired by sherbert.
CdG2 Man is very masculine, I'll give it that, but it's an arid, dry, creepy masculinity, not a welcoming virile masculinity like Chanel's Antaeus. I get an imagine of a somewhat sickly (menthol, benzoin) man who's got a latex fetish (that weird rubber note that Dzing! also carries), sweating it out during a session in his basement (dust, mold).
I have little experience with Creeds so I'm willing to accept that my nose hasn't acclimated to this house's perculiarities. That said, however, I was nonplussed by GIT. It came across as so polite, so safe, so...boring. I had almost no reaction to it other than to find it completely and utterly inoffensive.
The "green" I got was like fresh green twigs and smoke. Or peatmoss being burned in a furnace on a foggy cold Sunday morning. The images I got from the scent were far more evocative than the actual scent itself. I think GIT must be the ultimately safety scent, perfect for business, meeting the parents, funerals, and weddings.
One of the manliest scents I've ever smelled, Greyland starts with a strong opening of cumin, cedar, and leather. The cumin is very pronounced in the first phase of this scent, and at times is so pungent it reminds me of a Pakistani cab stand at shift change: full of hairy, sweaty men eating hot, spicy food.
There is a dry, stone-like quality to Greyland that is distantly related to the mossy, somber crypt walls of Passage d'Infer and a leather that, if you look for it, jumps out from the roar and can take the stage just as powerfully as the cumin. Powerfully long lasting (on me; there seems to be quite a variety of opinion on longevity), Greyland even survived a scrub-off with passionfruit scented soap.
I love men's scents but this one is way too Man for me. This is a true he-man scent: wood, spice, lots of leather, and good old sweaty cumin. You better be able to own this one if you wear it: not for the meek.
Animale just suits me, and I am complimented everytime I wear it (probably more so than with any other scent). This is a multi-faceted, interesting, arresting scent that is absolutely sexy and very hard to ignore. The oakmoss base anchors this chypre and gives it a powerful elegance that lifts it out of the typical heady oriental category and helps it stand on its own eccentric feet.
Animale is redolent: while sillage is good but not monstrous, Animale sort of "pulses." It works beautifully with body chemistry and creates more of an aura, an enveloping cocoon of scent, rather
than a wake.
The florals in Animale are heady, musky flowers like ylang ylang, rose, and jasmine. The animalic notes (civet & musk) keep these rich florals reigned in, and the oakmoss adds a multi-facetedness and depth that is irresistible to me.
Animale will never leave my wardrobe. I think it's under-rated and, while slightly retro, a relevant and eccentric scent. You can not be ignored while wearing Animale. It is a scent that, if it works for your chemistry, will ellicit memories from those around you: each and every time I've worn it, people have told me that I remind them of something, and out pops a memory from their childhood. Animale almost works as a conversation piece for me, but I love it in its own right for its eccentric, sexy, sensual, and provocative nature.
It's a perfect Saturday night scent, to wear with a short dress and strappy sandals, to a nightclub, to a party, to a dark and moody bar, or to seduce someone. I also wear it sometimes (in a more moderate application) to sex up a rainy weekend afternoon. It's versatile, but never a wallflower.
A big thumbs up.
I plan on getting this for the springtime. It's a lovely, sparkling scent that, to me, is a dead ringer for a mojito. The citrus top notes are fresh and effervescent without being too sweet. The mid notes off lotus flower and freesia settle the soprano of the top notes down ever so slightly and the tonka/sandalwood base (I do not detect much amber) give this refreshing scent rather unexpected longevity. I expect in warmer weather the longevity and projection to be even better than it was in winter, when I tested it. A great vacation scent!
Perhaps never have I experienced a scent that has a drydown so incredibly different from the topnotes. The top is all warm yellow citrus, lovely, sparkly, and bright. Within about 20 minutes, the drydown takes over leaving almost nothing of the citris top (citrus notes are notoriously volatile). Too bad, as I would LOVE to have this scent last for longer, especially for spring/summer months. It's a nice scent, but I think the drydown is a bit too masculine for my taste. Granted, it's a men's scent, so I'd imagine for a guy it's just right.
Beautiful topnotes, fleeting, followed by very different and mild drydown. A basic musk comes in after the gloriously lemony/bergamot-y top.
This opens with a very sharp lavender, which gives way quickly to a synthetic-smelling middle and base of powdery vanilla and musk. Powerful sillage and not of the good kind either.
Perhaps it's the beeswax absolute that makes this scent so marvelously creamy. Talisman has the perfect balance of sweetness: it's got a melt-on-your-skin quality thatn is so attractive, I feel feminine and tender when wearing this.
The warmth of the scent is addictive. In addition to the beeswax, it has notes of rum, lychee, and jasmin in a base of beeswax, patchouli (very subtly done), and sandalwood.
This fragrance is suitable for office wear, as it's not in-your-face or overly potent. It's got a calming, warm aura, is approachable, and simply lovely. This could also be worn on the weekend or just loafing around in bed.
The beeswax base is one of the most interesting things I've ever encountered. It gives the perfume a stickiness to the skin without being cloying to the nostrils; it extends the life of the scent while giving it an undeniably warm quality. Well done!
Interesting. My experience was totally unlike robyogi's. On me, Cuir Ottoman is redolent smoky styrax (I thought castoreum at first), gasoline, and leather. It smells like hot asphalt being laid down by hot sweaty workmen in leather coveralls. Not to say this is a bad scent ;)
The day after, on my jacket, this scent had shown a shimmer of sweetness, but during its long wear on my skin, it was all dark, sticky tar and leather, with nothing sweet about it at all. Was quite interesting on a cold winter night.
Surprised its listed as a women's scent. To me this is about as unisex as you can get.
Created by Max Gavarry, the same nose who created Prada, D&G Pour Femme and Pour Homme and several others, I don't understand why this lovely perfume was ever discontinued.
This perfume smells rich, opulent, elegant, and glamorous. The middle note of cloves is unusual in a perfume of this construction, and sets the fragrace apart while at the same time, making it approachable, comfortable.
This is perfume for a woman who is resplendent in her femininity, but a homebody at heart: sexy and friendly; light-hearted yet sophisticated. The dualities this fragrance suggests are perfectly captured in its name. This is perfume for a woman-girl, or a women who never loses her youthful spirit. She wears the trappings of a grown-up, the heels, the couture gowns, the reserved behavior at the balls and parties, but she's not above banter, some witty words, perhaps even something just so slightly off-color. She will take a dare and have you wondering "did she really just say that?"
The oakmoss gives this perfume the unmistakable aura of luxury, and it also helps to adhere this fragrance to the skin. Long-lasting, moderate (just perfect) sillage, and exquisitely constructed, L'Insolent is a pleasure to wear. I wish it hadn't been discontinued. I will seek to always have a bottle of this in my collection. It's timeless.
Interesting that this frag would be called Rosewood as the official notes (according to bananarepublic.com) are champagne bergamot, white amber, and white tea.
Rosewood does have a distinctly rosey scent, and a woody one as well, however, it's rather linear and not that exciting. Opens and stays floral for the majority of the frag's lifecycle, until it dries down into white tea with what I'd guess is patchouli anchoring it. It reminds me a bit of tea rose, and the heady, thick tea rose of Perfumer's Workshop. The scent is not unpleasant, but it's no jaw-dropper either.
This is the dirtiest patchouli I've ever smelled. Patchouli's not exactly the cleanest scent, but this is like patchouli encrusted in wet dirt. There's some smokiness here that's present right from first application, and to me the sandalwood smells more "woody" than "sandalwood" to me. Although I'm not a huge fan of patchouli, this one scores points for being different than most. This potent scent clings to the skin. Nuetral because it's not for me, but I can respect it standing apart from a typical patchouli. Longevity is outstanding. I woke up with this still going rather strong on my wrists.
This is the second Ormonde Jayne fragrance I've tested and they both have very poor longevity on me. Ta'if sounds great on paper, but worn it smells exactly like Cacharel's Amor Amor. It's a very "red" scent: the roses are honeyed up with the addition of dates; the spicy pink pepper and saffron top notes hint at something mysterious, lasting, and complex. Too bad that doesn't pan out.
Ta'if leaves as quickly as it comes in. It's a pretty scent, great for an evening out (or in: it's not that formal) and probably best in fall, although I could hear it on a cool spring evening as well as applied lightly on a summer day. I just wish it were more interesting.
The ylang-ylang top note is strong in this one. This scent plays out mostly floral on me, without the dark or spicy
nuances others mention. I don't find this a "dark" scent at all. It dries down close to the skin; the sillage on this one isn't very high and its longevity is average at best. I detect a white tea note, which isn't mentioned in the structure. Sandalwood and frankinscene are supporting players in the this production, and they speak their best lines at the end of the show, when the ylang has long left the stage (but the ylang hangs around for quite a
while, so you won't get to Frank and Sandal until the very last act). However, the structured way the perfume unfolds is the only thing theatrical about it. Naming after the fallen angel strikes me as inaccurate: Lucifer No. 3 is hardly ominous, scary, grotesque, vile, evil, dangerous, craven, fallen, or any of the other ideas associated with the dark one.
I could imagine this scent for a weekend evening at home, a dinner party or a more intimate occasion. The first notes of this scent stimulate and welcome, then as it dries down, it becomes a skin scent, and plays best in close encounters. This is also a nice spring rainy day scent, where I could imagine it being brought out by the humidity and wetness of the rain. Rather than a dark scent, this one might tip towards melancholy, but that kind of melancholy that the best optimists have, when once again, their sensitive hearts have been dashed by believing too much in something that didn't pay off.
I like this scent, but wouldn't pay the high price for it as there are other frags that I think are more distinctive. It's a fine scent, but underwhelming and not particularly unique, therefore, I can only give it a nuetral review.
This singular note Frankincense lasted all of 30 minutes on me with practically zero sillage. I suppose it is best qualified as a skin scent, as you'd have to practically have your nose in my neck to get any hint of this very lightweight frag.
The Frankincense is nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. If you want to wear a very light Frankincense in a warm climate, this could be a contender, but I'm sure there are much better. Not offensive, but gets a thumbs down because it's just so underwhelming.
It seems YR is re-releasing or re-marketing this fragrance. Its nearly lime green color makes one think of an green scent, but the florals in this one are very strong. I would have preferred a bit more roundedness in this scent, as it is quite overwhelmingly floral, and very angular at that. There is little subtlety to this one.
Neblina is suprisingly heavy upon first application, almost overwhelmingly so (getting slapped in the face by a bunch of stargazer lillies). The top notes disappeared almost instantly and I was left with orchid stuck to my nasal passages. The only reason I purchased this fragrance is because I received a tester and liked the drydown.
It settles down nicely and has a warm woody thing with a hint of the flowers from the beginning. Due to the dominance and loudness of the floral notes, Neblina (which means "fog" in Spanish) smells a bit like rolling around in a pile of wood chips and slightly rotten orchids on the damp floor of a rainforest. But imagine how you might smell two hours after rolling around in said pile: probably not too bad, and certainly rather interesting.
I doubt I would by this again, but for the price, it was a fine one-time purchase.