I was in my late teens when this was launched, and though I loved it, I was in a monogamous relationshup with Mitsouko and it would take another 20 years before I bought a bottle for myself.
It starts with a rich burst of jammy purple fruits, with an undercurrent of something just a little seedy. There are flowers here; big, tropical, cartoon flowers, and a touch of something heady and intoxicating.
As it dries down, it morphs into a sexy-dirty musky amber, sitting very close to the skin.
Others hate this scent but I love it, and the longevity is fabulous, even in the EDT.
A gorgeous, sexy vanilla with just enough musk and amber to keep it entirely adult. I have this in the EDP, parfum and stardust body lotion, and it lasts wonderfully well. Also good for layering.
My other half was given a bottle of this by some well-meaning relative one Christmas. He never wore it, and I can understand why. This is old fashioned, in your face, slap it all over cologne. I dislike it intensely. He told me to get rid of it so I poured it down the kitchen sink in order to recycle the bottle. I can still smell it now, despite following it with a hefty dose of bleach.
Not my cup of tea at all.
I tried this from the solid perfume samples SL send out, and I did not like this one bit. I love Sa Majestie la Rose, which is just about the best rose perfume I have smelled, but this was like strong rose soap. Unlike Shycat I really love amber, but was hard pressed to find any here, so buried is it. Once it had dried down, it was cool and almost Bandit-like in character.
Not for me.
I love dark, earthy scents, and thought I would enjoy this one, but after a pleasing initial blast of patchouli and chocolate, that nasty camfor chimes in and ruins it. Camphor is used to repel insects, but it repels me too. Ended up scrubbing it off.
I wear Angel, but also prefer A*Men to this. This could well be superior to both were it not for the camphor not. Pity.
It was on my first visit to Les Senteurs that I met and fell in love with this beauty. I had never considered a leather scent before, but when James, the SA, said he thought I might like this, I wasn't going to argue. A wise man, is James. I expected something dry, old fashioned and a bit fusty, but REL is none of these things. It is warm, rich and well-rounded, with enough sweetness to take it out of the purely masculine bracket. My first Creed. My first leather.
Reader, I bought it.
After procuring a sample of this for my other half, I decided to test it for myself. I was highly relieved to find there were none of the nasty marine notes I so detest. VIW starts with a lovely zingy lime, with hint of very well blended coconut and a hint of spicy booze that reminds me of the Old Spice my dad used to wear when I was a child.
The longevity is excellent - I keep getting fragrant wafts of this where I applied it on my chest. A really good summer scent.
One of the luxe editions, Fire Wood kicks off with a huge burst of evergreen wood and a touch of woodsmoke. The smoke is pleasant, and not overwhelming as it sometimes is in fragrances like Fumerie Turque - Fire Wood is more like a camp fire in a pine forest.
As it dries down, the incense emerges and it begins to resemble, ever so slightly, Zagorsk.
Fire Wood is unisex, but has a strong masculine appeal. It lasts very well and has decent sillage. Although I don't think it's quite right for me, I do enjoy the smell. I wonder if Ms Luxe has ever thought of doing candles, because this would be superb!
Fig Wood starts out fresh, green and quite masculine. The fig is dry and tart - a fig that is approaching ripeness, rather than a jammy, sweet dried fig - though a hint of spice brings warmth. The Cedar comes through next, before Sandalwood emerges to gives a warm and almost musky wood base. Fig Wood is definitely unisex, slanting towards masculine, but is still accessible to women who favour something less sweet.
I will qualify this by saying my skin chemsitry tends to take the sweetness out of a lot of scents, so men may want to opt for a sample initially.
The longevity and sillage are terrific, though.
Classified by Ava Luxe as a gourmand oriental, White starts off with a whiff of what smells very much like cocoa butter. But, unlike any other gourmand I’ve tried, it morphs into a cool, almost aquatic scent, before finally revealing a gentle musky base. Like most scents, this has very little projection on me, even though today was a hot one. The overall impression is clean and slightly soapy – nice for daytime, but not really evening wear. I’ve become a big fan of Ava Luxe over the last couple of months, but White, though pleasant, isn’t really me.
With notes of Oriental Spices, Amber, Sandalwood, Labdanum, Vanilla and Cashmere Musk, Vamp is a warm but sexy fragrance. It belongs to the same family as scents like Miller Harris' L'Air de Rien, though it has a little more spice and a little less musk than that fragrance. It goes on nicely and has good longevity but, on me, sits so close to the skin that I could barely smell it on myself. Admittedly even powerhouse fragrances like Poison sit close to my skin - I seem to be able to kill off any sillage a fragrance might produce - but Vamp is so quiet on me I have to literally bring my arm to my face to smell anything at all. Thus I think it's unlikely anyone else could smell it on me.
Overall, my opinion is favourable. This is a nice fragrance. However, I need something a little more powerful as my skin chemistry won't allow this gem to shine.
Although this flower is backed up by vanilla, sandalwood, white musk and gardenia, this is a pretty straightforward tuberose soliflore. It is not exactly a shy and retiring flower, but nor is it overly raucous. I don't get the rubbery autoshop smell that some people talk of in connectin with tuberose scents; instead it is all lush, tropical blooms. Some may prefer Ava Luxe's amber-based Tuberose Diabolique, but if you're after a more straightforward tuberose scent, this is worth trying.
This kicks off with a gorgeous, fruity blackberry - not a smidgeon of cat's pee - just lovely jammy goodness. The scent did not stay on my arms for long (I type on a laptop at work so scents tend to rub off) but remained on my chest all day. I did not get much musk from this, however, though it is a sensual fragrance.
The idea of clove cigarettes isn't that appealing to me, but as the sample came as a freebie I thought I'd give it a whirl.
It smells exactly as you'd expect: tobacco, and a lot of cloves. It's an almost medicinal smell, but there's a warmer, sweeter undertone as the amber kicks in, and it ends up smelling more like a big pomander.
It's not unpleasant but not really for me. I can see this would be appealing to a lot of men, but I'd rather wear Tabac Blond, or something like Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris.
Essentially, this delivers exactly what it promises. It's just not something I would choose to wear myself.
I'll concur with what Caltha says. It's an odd smell, woody but medicinal. Not pleasant, exactly, but would be great layered with something else. I tried it with a rose soliflore and it worked well.
It's potent stuff and long lasting - a good value oude, if that is what you are looking for.
A concoction of three types of amber and a splash of myrrh, Amber Essence is fairly straightforward. This is a good quality amber fragrance, and if you have a spot free in your wardrobe for such a thing, then look no further. Smooth, warm and mellow, Amber Essence can be worn on its own but would also be ideal for layering.
However, since I already have a stunning Amber in Ambre Sultan, I’ll be saving my cash for some of the other delicious Ava Luxe fragrances I’ve been testing.
This was a Holy Grail scent for me. I kept smelling it on people and wondering what that gorgeous potion was. Eventually I smelled it on a lady in the local newsagent and plucked up courage to ask her.
I immediately ordered some off the 'web.
Sadly, it proved to be a mistake. What had smelled so wonderful, warm, and rich on other people went all soapy on my skin. Even as it dried down, it retained a sharp, astringent quality that stung my nostrils.
I really just don't get on with aldehydes. I can't wear any Chanels either. It's a pity because on the right person, this is absolutely stunning.
I sniffed this for the first time today and instantly thought "Bandit". A green, leathery fragrance with a hint of something naughty. Nice! But as I already like and own Bandit, I won't be investing in this.
Opoponax Intense is primarily a wood scent, yet I get a strong leather vibe from this, probably because of the benzoin. It's smooth, warm, and redolent in balsamic sweetness. There are ambery and incense undertones. This is rich and opulent, and would good layered as well as on its own.
If this was a song, it would be Cococabana. It starts with a deliciously tropical blast of coconut and tropical flowers. I definitely smell gardenia. As this dries down, I get an impression of vanilla. It's soft and not overly sweet, with a touch of something musky at the base. It's like a holiday on my skin.
This starts off with a fruity blast that reminds me of the flavour of a fizzy red grape juice drink I had as a child, Shloer. It might remind Americans of grape jelly, which we don't get here in the UK, but which I've encountered on breakfast buffets at hotels in the States. Or perhaps grape bubblegum. It's nice though - sweet but not sugary. There's an undercurrant of woods an incense which is now starting to shine through, six hours after initial application. The fruitiness has softened slightly, but it's still very much in evidence. I like this very much. Another FBW? Oh so tempting!
Rasa starts off all roses on me. There is an undercurrent of musk, but nothing that I, a professed musk hater before I joined these boards, couldn't handle. The roses are sweet, fruity and opulent, but fade after a while, leaving behind a warm, "skin but better" scent.
This is nice, and undoubtedly sexy. My initial impression was that I liked Rasa very much, but wished it was a little stronger. However, I actually think I may be anosomic to certain musks as, five hours after application, I got only a faint whiff of musk, whereas my colleague practically recoiled when I asked her to sniff my wrist and said it was really strong!
I will have to try the X-treme version!
I am an avid tea drinker. I drink black tea with (skimmed milk) – gallons of the stuff. At work, I drink green tea in the mornings and white tea (usually a cinnamon flavoured variety) in the afternoons.
This does [i]not[/i] smell like tea to me.
I’ve tried L’Artisan Tea for Two and it was exactly like drinking a cup of Earl Grey. Not so this. White Tea, to me, smells like soap. From that perspective, it fulfils the clean/fresh category admirably. It just doesn’t fulfill the tea category very well.
I was hoping that the soapiness would wear off after initial application and let the other notes shine through, but it merely becomes a softer soap.
In its favour, it is long lasting, though it stays close to the skin. The scent, however, just does not work for me.
Chypres have always intrigued me. After all, my first adult perfume, Mitsouko, is a chypre. I had high hopes for Film Noir - the name itself is so evocative. A rainy city at 2am; a lone musician practising his saxophone in a seedy motel room lit only by the flickering neon sign across the way.
What I got instead was...hospitals? The initial blast was distinctily medicinal; not so much film noir as ER. Perhaps it was the spruce, but that medicinal smell dominated on my skin. After several hours it softened slightly and became a little more mellow, with a hint of something dirty (but in a good way). However, it never really developed the ambery glow I get with chypres like Mitsouko or Aromatics Elixir, and whilst I found it interesting, I found it difficult to like.
Having just recovered from an allergic reaction to a spicy perfume, I only dabbed a little Shisha on at first. I did not get much in the way of tobacco from this, nor smoke. The initial blast was very sweet and pungent, but settled down very quickly to a warm, spicy amber with a hint of wood. However, it faded quite quickly and I reapplied a couple of times over the course of the day.
The next application started more like boozy fruitcake. I got dried fruit, honey and alcohol. It is a little reminiscent of a Lutens though nowhere near as in your face as something like Arabie. Whereas Arabie is very tenacious in its spiciness, Shisha softens quickly and becomes more mellow in character.
This is a pleasant fragrance though it doesn't stand out as anything particularly special.
This kicks off with an amazing blast of coffee - it reminds me of liquer coffee or Tia Maria. A hint of lavendar appears soon after but emphasises rather than detracts from the gourmand quality. As it develops, the coffee becomes less pronounced and a chocolatey wood arrives on the scene. There's a hint of something musty, but it's smoky and earthy rather than skanky.
Of all the coffee-based scents I've sniffed, this is by far and away the most satisfying. Full bottle worthy? I can't say that I'm not tempted!
I was lucky enough to receive Gardenia Musk as a free sample, because I certainly wouldn't have chosen it myself. I'm neither a particularly floral person, and my ability to tolerate certain musks would have made me think twice about choosing a musk-based scent. However, this turned out to be delightful!
Being a Londoner, I am not that familiar with this lovely, tropical flower, but now that I've smelled this, I want to be! The musk is very understated, allowing the gardenia to take centre stage. It is a scent that smells both clean and opulent - my colleague complemented me on it saying this is what laundry would smell like if you had it done at Harrods!
Having used up the entire tester in one day, I am now left sadly sniffing an empty vial, and thinking seriously about investing in a bottle.
Well done, Serena - this is a winner!
It smells like a large, iced vanilla latte.
"Not perfumey enough for me, I'd want to eat it," my colleague said, but if you love gourmands, this is a good one.
As Kate says, this is still available - I got mine from scendmescent.com
To me, this smells exactly like a nice hot cup of Earl Grey. I'm not sure I'd want to wear it, but does what it does extraordinarily well.
I wanted to like this, I really did. The bottle is gorgeous and I was so intrigued by the reviews that I felt I needed to try it.
I tested it twice on tester strips and both times, got lemons. Lemons! Where was the cumin? Where was the raw, earthy, spicy smell of unwashed bodies so many people had commented on?
I went back today and tested it on my arm. Still lemons. Then, after a few hour, faint, slightly musty lemons.
I have to say I'm disappointed. I don't understand why I'm not smelling the other notes. Too bad.