Reviews by Shycat

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    Showing 1 to 30 of 31.

    Stephanie by Michael Storer

    OK. Here we go. I recall a year ago the discussion of what kind of gardenia was missing from the fragrance world. Oh, says me, the truer the better, fresh and green. I believe I also chirped in with excited anticipation when the word 'spicy' was tossed about. My God, I could barely contain myself, and eagerly ordered the three samples from this line, just to get my hands on Stephanie.

    What a brutal awakening. I didn't know what I was talking about! Stephanie is indeed the truest to blossom gardenia I have ever smelled, because I was soooo disappointed I called around to nurseries to find a blooming gardenia to visit. There's more similarity to tuberose than I recalled. Stephanie also captures a ephemeral freshness-- but it's barely discernable to my nose because of the chosen spice -- BLACK PEPPER!!! Once again, in stunned flabergasted-ness, I say BLACK PEPPER! Who in their right mind came up with this??? The unctuous, soap in the throat nature of tuberose is crossed here with dry black pepper -- just like the dusty top of an old red and white can of ground McCormick's. The combination causes a reflexive throat clearing in me, which unchecked by my genteel nature, would progress to harking. I try, but cannot block out images of old dusty pepper on a cake of cloying soap. It seems to be in my mouth. I'm gagging and scrubbing at the same time, thinking about all the colorful curses I should say to justify this apparent punishment.
    I gave it another try, but began the gagging immediately and I stomped off in frustration to scrub again--of course, this stuff won't scrub off and it lasts forever. I whimper fearfully now as I sidle by my Stephanie sample.

    It's totally unique. The quality is unmistakable. It's lasting. It makes a strong impression and is unforgettable. I refuse to give Stephanie a thumbs down because I see the same quality of genius here -- yeah, you heard here first, Michael Storer is a genius -- that knocked me to my knees in the sister scents Genvieve and Yvette. I tip my spritzers to you, dear Quarry, in respect and gratitude, for though our chemistry and noses are indeed polar opposites I'm delighted another appreciates exactly how special this line is.

    GO MICHAEL! Just when I thought nobody was ever going to make a new stunner-- here are three!

    :D Try it before you buy it. :D

    29th June, 2007


    Tiptoeing Through Chambers of the Moon by Pilar and Lucy

    I sample tested this fragrance. I got a sugary sweet vanilla, starts off with pikaki jasmine and settles to a totally non-indolic soft tuberose. It's nice, i can see that, but too too sweet, more that the lightest single spritz would surely be cloying.

    07th March, 2007


    Gothic I by Loree Rodkin

    I tested a sample of Gothic I against my similiar Jalaine's Patchouli. And they are similiar! Gothic I is a very smooth, lightly euchalyptic patchouli, gracefully married to a complex vanilla, just like J's P. Gothic I is rich, smooth, warm and enveloping. One drop will scent you for 10 hours, easily. It adds a warm cedar note, that take this blend to an earthier level than J's P (which manages to smell blossom fresh by comparison!) As the G. I cedar emerges, the euchalyptic note in the patchouli fades and I suppose this is the key difference between the two. Gothic I is stated a feminine fragrance, but is notably less fem than the Jalaine's, and I feel G. I is truly unisex.
    Sticker shock is a factor, as it's outrageously expensive at $14 dollars per ml and sold in 10ml roll-on. It's quite strong and very concentrated, though not more than Jalaine's which may be had in a 6ml refill bottle for $15.00/ml or kai which comes in a 3.75 ml roll-on at $12.00/ml. Is it worth it? If you love it, of course. I will stick with my Jalaine's!

    07th March, 2007


    Gardenia by Isabey

    This is another gardenia that uses actual gardenia extract instead of gardenia accord. Jalaine's is the other one I know of, but Isabey is nothing like Jalaine's! I don't think most people, maybe not even most basenoters, could name either one as a gardenia fragrance. I'm not sure there would even be another common guess.

    Isabey is traditional French perfume, unlike the uber green Jalaine. Isabey is soft, rich, and warm. There is a lusciously deep sweetness that balances the clear floral freshness of the extract. It's like hearing a piano chord, two hands across two octaves, smooth and satisfying.

    The floral notes is different from anything I can bring to mind. None of the supporting notes are identifiable to my poor nose, they blend with the extrait to be one. I tried to find the rose in Isabey and it seemed closer by far than any other floral, but, eh heh, without any rosiness. The floral note is of that character I think-- it's petalesque.

    The support is classic and luscious, not perfumy at all, but not translulent either. I would believe anyone who said not one synthetic was used. The base pulls on musk the most, but again well blended with ambergris(I could not pick this note out) and touched with sandalwood. It is not listed as a note, but I get a tonka impression as well--that slight hint of softness before you can say slight powder and a comforting hint of vanilla.

    It must rank near the top for longevity, as I write this the next morning my skin still smells sweetly of tonka musk. That comes in at 16 hours.

    One day is not enough to appreciate the facets of Isabey. It's complicated, and I have the other 1/2 ml to try another day--perhaps I'd have more to say, but I have the urge to review it today.

    Isabey must be the defination of 'fine French perfume.'

    05th February, 2007


    Gardénia Passion by Annick Goutal

    I was just listing Gardenia Passion as fodder for a swap deal, and natch, I had to spritz this dismissed one another time to describe it. HUH? Wuh-wait a minute! I got a different impression altogether here in cold frosty weather. My kai summer obsession has been over for weeks, and now this one seems...well, great. I do get more of a tuberose feel than gardenia, but it's underpinned with a tart green citrus that has me hyperventilating I'm sniffing so much. And now, an hour or so later, I get the holy smokes [i]smoky[/i] note helg mentioned! Nice!

    Sucks in summer, but [i]ROCKS[/i] in winter!!!


    29th October, 2006


    Gardenia by Jalaine

    This is a very unusual, special, fragrance. I am in love with it! It may be a gardenia, or it may not be! It is pungently green, and softly sweet and a bit vanillic. The only other scent it reminds me is Diptyque Philosykos, but it's a feminine and floral kind of uber green. It doesn't last all day, as it dries down to a softly sweet, vanillic, musk. That 3 hour green note is enough to make it worthwhile.

    The bottle is a half of the purchase. It is a solid, heavy, chunk of cut crystal with a central well for the oil. The edges are beveled. The oil is potent and two drops constitutes a wearing. The stopper is another chunk of clear crystal. The photo doesn't do it justice, as it has a refractive coating which catches the light in an auroral manner so that it is a different color from different angles. Green and pink are replaced with apricot and cornflower which are replace with fuschia and blue. It unscrews from the metal neck and has a glass dabbing rod. They should sell refill oil!!! But my plan is to have this bottle and reuse it with any other oil I ever find that needs a home. My son covets it desparately !!!

    But enough about the bottle. I fell for the oil from a passed along sample in a plain little vial and ziplock bag. And I absolutely advise sampling before you buy it !!!

    02nd April, 2006


    Chinatown by Bond No. 9

    Whoa ho! I agree with these other reveiws but these are exactly the facets that have made me insane for this fragrance. It is sweet, creamy, coconutty, floral, with a hint of herbal spice that reminds me of my favorite Thai restaurant. No, it's not fresh, no it's not clean and soapy, yes it's got vanilla, and yes there is a bitter note twining in the dessert for contrast.
    I can't claim it's a masterpiece of development. It is what it is, full-on, full-blown, immediate gratification. It lasts forever so I get delayed gratification as well. I absolutely grunt with satisfaction when I catch my own sillage later in the day.
    So was it worth 110 dollars for my way cute 1.7 oz bottle? You betcha!!!!!

    19th March, 2006


    7 Sinful Scents: Excess by Gendarme

    Hmmm. Chocolate, patchouli, and vanilla--and jasmine, so it should be a bit different from all the Angels. But it still just strikes me as such a typical gourmand, and it's good for what it is, but it is just so predictable. The jasmine is buried in the stronger foody notes, and the spice and rum makes it seem quite masculine. Now, if I imagine smelling it on my date's neck at the movies--hey, that's a bit better. But only a bit. The patchouli is overwhelming, and over rich with vanilla.

    15th March, 2006


    7 Sinful Scents: Sloth by Gendarme

    Pleasant. I get a simple grapefruit impression, at odds with the name, that hangs in there for at least an hour. After that, I lose track of everything and sense a lightly citrus musk.

    15th March, 2006


    Pink Sugar by Aquolina

    Yes, cotton candy for sure. This scent is cotton candy at the cotton candy-making machine. There is a slight burnt sugar feel, and a synthetic hot plastic undertone. It's not cloying, but rather warmly and deeply sweet, and unobtrusive. That sounds awful as I read it back to myself, but actually I find it interesting and a nice balance to the sugar. I wouldn't confine it to summer, as a matter of fact, I think it might be better in fall.

    15th March, 2006


    Un Lys by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I like it very much. It's a very true to flower fragrance, and feels quite genteel. After five hours its leaves just a trace of vanilla musk. But it is pure true lily. I try to catch the lilac note others have mentioned but cannot find it, except to the extent that a lily smells like a lilac. This is not lily of the valley. This is an armful of oriental and asiatic lilies, with their six inch blossoms and deep throats warm from the sun. There is a sense of thick, waxy petals as well as sturdy green stems. The vanilla note is ever so slightly spicy. I can't call it sweet. I can't put my finger on why, but I think it doesn't call up spring but summer, and heat. There is also an airy feel, very fresh yet not cool or moist. It is refined. Not innocent, but well heeled. Pretty Woman at the polo match. Beautiful in silk and lip gloss. No stockings.

    10th March, 2006


    Kiehl's Original Musk by Kiehl's

    This is another truly lovely fragrance whose discovery I owe to basenoters before me! My only musk has been Jovan's White musk, which I like very much, but this one is so different, rosy, and delightful! I love the initial blast of rose and enjoy the orange blossom clean sensation that follows. Its earthy and smooth, I don't get the dirty vibe others mention, rather a clean if slightly warm animal sensation. I appreciate the total lack of powder, and the floral overnotes keep it just civilized enough for me to wear easily.

    07th March, 2006


    Mimosa Pour Moi by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    I love this scent for spring! I've not smelled the actual mimosa (or tilleuls-linden) but only perfumes. Indeed they share a common ground in my mind of delicate, fresh, airy, green. Mimosa pour moi is sweeter and smoother than my tilleul soliflore, touched ever so lightly with violet. I envision blossoms drifting on a sunny soft breeze.
    It has a natural feel to it that I adore, so that if I close my eyes, I could be walking along a tree-filled alley. Perhaps Mimosa, and I don't know! perhaps Linden but my easy breath and bouncy step are equally unconcerned!

    06th March, 2006


    7 Sinful Scents: Envious by Gendarme

    Enviuos opens with a burst of mandarin. This strikes me as a spicey masculine top, and had me thinking Oh dear! The mandarin fades in about 5-10 minutes as the light airy jasmine and the strong almond arise. I suppose about 30 minutes into it, I also get the cherry. It seems a bit sweet then, and edible. As it continues to dry down the sweetness subsides and for most of the fragrance I enjoyed a very,very light and soft jasmine almond.
    I give it a neutral because the top seems so masculine and the base so feminine, it's a tad confusing to my tiny brain. I suppose it would be appropriate for men who were jealous of women and women who were jealous of men!

    05th March, 2006


    Kai by Kai

    I find the Kai perfume oil to be a delightful, fresh, green gardenia scent. It's the only perfume oil I own. but I suppose I'll try more now. It manages to be smellable, with a bit of sillage at first, yet not cloying like almost every other gardenia I have ever tried. Then it sinks into my skin so softly. I don't think what a lovely fragrance, I think WOW my skin smells awesome! Perhaps because of the green notes, I don't get a perfumey note at all, just fresh, moist, and beautiful. I sniff my wrist throughout the day and the scent is always fresh and alive, as though I had the actual potted plant sitting on my desk, with blooms constantly producing fresh oils just for me! It makes me smile, and I can buy it in a tiny bottle and carry it in my pocket.
    What a concept!!!

    02nd March, 2006


    Chêne by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I just can't get past the mental picture of thick, rich, honeyed rum, funneled by some prankster into the classroom pencil trimmer. I mean, who's gonna clean up that mess??
    I can't give it a thumbs down, though. The sweet richness brings Fumerie Turque to mind, and I suspect part of my Meh factor is just that its not going to be Fumerie Turque! Chene is guite a bit more masculine IMO.

    01st March, 2006


    Vanille Peach by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    What you see is what you get, which isn't always the case with perfume pyramids. This opens with a true, look around, someone's eating a peach and I want a bite, peach note. It really is delightful, and warmed as it is by the ingredients for a cobbler, is a yum comfort scent. Its not too sweet, rather rich and deeply satisfying.
    This one could be good for my diet.

    27th February, 2006


    Matin Calin Sugar Milk / Lait Sucré by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    Wow, this is the best smelling stuff on earth! It's rich and creamy, deeply sweet and close to the skin.

    Notes of toffee milk, sugar candy, vanilla pod, and sandalwood combine to make a scent that bottles the comfort and love of every cake beater my grandmother ever gave me to lick.

    Sorry for such a short review, but I have to get on Ebay immediately and get a bottle NOW.

    26th February, 2006


    Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I am astonished by the schizophrenic multiple personalities of this undoubted masterpiece. I don't like it, but I am wowed by it.

    I applied it lightly, and it opened quietly with an elusive citrus floating above a sweet apricot. The rose is merely hinted. Shortly afterward a soapy feel emerges as the beeswax and jasmine add dimension. Quite pleasant, if a bit sweetly soapy, for the first hour.
    Going into the second hour my attention had wandered somewhat, until I started to get alarming animalic, wine-y whiffs of something. I can only desribe it as the drunken, sour smell of pain and regret the morning after a binge, presumably waking up in a cell. Now, I don't drink myself, and this has never actually happened to me. But whatever! I had a srong desire to escape, and would have scrubbed if I hadn't been planning this review. Again, this is mixed with apricot, rose, and old soap insufficient to mask sour sweat. I suppose is an amber musk phase. I don't like amber so take that into consideration.
    Now, just when my head was starting to hurt, and I thought perhaps I needed a Rolaid, the scent started to...dehydrate. This indeed was going to be a relief, I thought. BUT NO! This has got to be the chypre accord. It's not just dry, not the simple potpourri I had read of elsewhere. It's dessicated. I'm talking mummy in the Egyptian desert. It seems that a long sniff might damage the mucosa of my nose, and I flinch to smell it.

    Impressive. Kind of like a Stephen King film.

    25th February, 2006


    Bluebell by Penhaligon's

    Yes, it does make me smile! Over and over again through out the day.
    top: galbanum

    middle: cyclamen, muguet, jasmine, rose

    base: clove, cinnamin

    I hestitate to include the notes, but they are on the Pennhaligon's web page. It really brings nothing to mind except kneeling in the cool springtime to catch a whiff of the first bulbs of spring. The fresh greenness is uplifting and though there isn't a hyacinth note listed, that's exactly, and I mean Exactly, what it smells like...

    29th January, 2006


    Velvet Rope by Apothia

    top: grapefruit, juniper berry

    mid: green rose, jasmine absolute, cypress leaves

    base: vanilla absolute, white musk, patchouli, (one place also mentioned tobacco)

    This fragrance strikes me as a choker and a scrubber. The grapefruit top clashes with the vanilla right away, like lemon juice curdles milk. The florals are not noticable. The evergreen notes continue after the grapefruit fades to clash with the base throughout the miserable drydown. I guess this is the effect they were after, how could it be an accident??
    It is not sweet, not warm. But I can't say its dry and cool, either. Wet and sour, stale cigarette butt sums it up on my skin. Just the most horrible thing I've tested in the last year.
    It's unisex, so I tried to cut it some slack and imagine it on a sexy, hip guy and it didn't help it. Eventually I tried to fantasize I was seated next to Johnny Depp, I still cringed. OMFG, my fantasy said, Johnny stinks bad.

    26th January, 2006


    100% Love by S-Perfume

    I really wanted to like this one, because I love roses and I love chocolate. And Luca Turin said good things. But I just CAN'T. The opening rose and chocolate is interesting but doesn't meld as easily as rose and almond. The rose turns powdery and over sweet, and the chocolate feels off to me instead of yummy. I keep telling myself it should smell good, but it has activated some sense sour spoilage I can't get past.

    26th January, 2006


    Park Avenue by Bond No. 9

    Somehow the sum of the parts is less than one would hope. I experience an ascetically sweet,lemon heavy tea fragrance. It is also slightly floral, a bit soapy and then a bit powdery. It was a disappointment to me, as is Bond #9 as a whole so far. The notes seem a bit jarring to me, and almost seem to jar one another as if accidentally trapped on a broken elevator. Each one is inconvienanced and wishing to be on its way to more congenial company.

    03rd January, 2006


    Nahéma by Guerlain

    Nahema is the most incredible delight! Fuller note description-

    Hyacinth, ylang ylang

    Rose, peach

    Vanilla, tonka bean, balsam

    The rose does predominate, but shares a lot of spotlight with peach and hyacinth. No one could ever dismiss this rich beauty as "another rose
    fragrance." There's just too much going on.

    This is the farthest one can get from transparent
    without screaming oriental. The dry down is warm
    and rich and sexy in a Matahara kind of way. Tonka bean gives a soft, powdery hint. The balsam in the base maintains a bit of edge, so even if the eyes are half closed this one is ready
    to strike.

    27th December, 2005


    Elisabethan Rose by Penhaligon's

    Delightful! IMO this is the fresh, white rose younger sister of velvet,dark red Fleur de la Rose by Creed. It's tender and shy where FDLR is mature and strong, however it's not really a delicate fragrance. They share a dry, full bodied presence, one demure the other almost brazen by comparison. This scent is very long lasting, as it remained overnight after an afternoon application--16 hours! It was still true. TRULY smells like a white rose plucked in the cool dawn. There are no notes accenting this rose, competing with it, or otherwise impeding it in any way. It is not powdery at all. It is not sweet. It is just a perfect, fresh, white rose.

    12th December, 2005


    Love In White by Creed

    My decant of Love in White arrived and I do like it. It is light and delicate, in a sharp kind of way. It brings to mind a Japanese flower arrangement, where a few blossoms accent a small, bare branch. I feel a sense of restraint, a mininalist elegance.
    Orange zest gives a unisex impression to the opening, very crisp. The rice is a woody note that is sweetened and softened only some by the jasmine and rose. If it were a bit less delicate. a tad less soprano this one would unisex throughout. I prefer a more floral scent for the most part, but LIW makes a relaxing change, a withdrawal from excess that is quite calming.

    10th December, 2005


    Casmir by Chopard

    I'm wearing this for the first time today, so perhaps a review is premature, but I can't resist. This is an interesting fragrance. I agree it's a quality scent. I think it's the geranium that makes it special, giving a persistant green impression throughout. It's a green floriental, light, tropical and warm. Very distinctive and lasting. For me, in the mood for warm vanilla, I would still choose Hypnotic Poison at this point, but the coconut makes this such a Christmas scent to me (think coconut cake, and Christmas greenery) I'm thinking that will change come December.

    30th November, 2005


    Soul by Curve for Women by Liz Claiborne

    Soft forals are my favorite family and this one is OK. It is sweet, wet lily. I was disressed when I got it as a gift because it reminded me of Lucky You. On a wrist to wrist they still bring the same feel to me, but Soul is less soapy and less powdery and sweeter. I don't think I'll ever wear it because it's still got that highschool hospital candystriper vibe, but for an actual highschool hospital candystriper it could be OK. I guess.

    17th November, 2005


    Baby Phat Goddess by Kimora Lee Simmons

    Well, it's bad. If it actually was soap, it would be bad soap. I think "lye" is an unlisted note. However, I think the bottle will look sweet on my little blonde niece's dresser. And if she and her friends ever spray it, say on their Barbies, I don't think my sister will be very mad at me. But she might be...

    17th November, 2005


    Rose Essentielle by Bulgari

    Nice! Let's just get this out in the open--I like pleasant soft frangrances and I love roses. I went out tonight to try Stella but I was a bit put off by the zesty lemonade opening. I mean, I like zesty lemonade,too, but I wanted rose. Eeeeenyway, that's why I gave this a try. I want rose and I want it now! And I got it. I was trying to close my eyes like I do and hear those notes but my mind was pretty happy suddenly and just said "Oh...oh...oh!
    But I was cautious. I've been reading this site for a couple of months so I didn't want to fall for dimestore rosewater, or God forbid wear something musty. This is clean and bright, a tiny bit green, a tiny bit honey, a teeny tiny bit spicey, and supported by moist earth of the kind that begs a gardener to plant an actual rose bush. Without gloves. It's a soft embrace, but at the 3 hour mark still so...oh...oh...pleasant. The jasmine becomes detectable, and I swear a soft tea undertone( I didn't expect to have to look so hard for it ). The sweet earth comes up, the light powder is just, well, nice. At 5 hours I still smile and think "ummm". I just love it. It's going to be hard to wear anything else for a while. Nose education: pink prelude rose, blackberry, violet leaves, living mimosa, jasmine sambac, patchouli, gaiacwood. So, fellow classmates, evidently the tea undertone is only from the blackberry and the green pungency from the violet leaves ( I was really going to be embarrassed if it was lemon, although the headspace tech "living" mimosa--translate: this mimosa was never, ever acually alive--involves citronchemicals). It works for me.

    10th November, 2005

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