Fragrance Reviews from October 2005

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    Perfume_Addict's avatar

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    Delicious by Gale Hayman

    If you can't try this in parfum, don't bother, but in parfum it is subtle and divine. If it weren't discontinued, I might wear it every day.

    28 October, 2005

    Tovah's avatar

    United States United States

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    Chanel No. 5 is a fragrance every true perfume-lover owns (at least once in her lifetime) but many of us never wear it. I think it smells gorgeous and it evokes everything it claims to: independence, sensuality, femininity, class...diamond and minks...When I get a whiff of it on someone I think, "What a lovely smell," yet it's not a smell I really enjoy wearing. Once in a while I wear it when I'm desiring a "vintage style" mood, but it never feels like an extension of my personality.

    28 October, 2005

    Tovah's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chance by Chanel

    Chance is a beautiful fragrance that many perfect strangers have gone out of their way to compliment. Something about it just works on my skin like an embellishment to my personality. Chance is elegant and it has a brightness as well as a sultry spiciness. Maybe there are some similarites to Coco Mademoiselle, but, on me, Chance is more attractive and has a freshness that never gets too heavy. Coco Mademoiselle has a bourbon-and-chocolate feel that goes well with leather jackets and knee-high boots. Chance seems to go with everything, including a bikini, and the bottom line for me is it smells great.

    28 October, 2005

    Tovah's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior

    This is so beautiful and sensual. It's the gentle seduction of The Dark Lady of the Sonnets. Despite being a definite vanilla fragrance, it's unique and quite grown-up. Absolutely one of my favorites.

    28 October, 2005 (Last Edited: 18 February, 2006)

    Tovah's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hugo Deep Red by Hugo Boss

    Deep Red is very, very pretty but it doesn't react on me the way it's apparently supposed to. I've seen this compared to Hypnotic Poison and other deep, sexy vanilla fragrances, but on me Deep Red has a very citrus beginning and it dries down to a fruity floral with little sweetness. It seems to have the citrus rinds notes and it reminds me strongly of the original Poison. I like the fragrance for a pretty daytime, very wearable scent, but it doesn't suit romantic or emotional times that would be colored by a "deep red" mood.

    28 October, 2005

    USC2's avatar



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    Monsieur Musk by Dana

    I can’t say enough positives about Monsieur Musk. It is one of my favorite scents. The scent is a really nice clean synthetic herbal. Its scent reminds me a bit of Aramis and Dial soap. Monsieur Musk is extremely long lasting and doesn’t change for the worse after a few hours.

    28 October, 2005

    Aromantic1's avatar



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    Odeur 53 by Comme des Garçons

    It's odd, fresh, synthy, obscure, cleanish and subtle, but not necessarily indulging. Your brain searches for something tangible, but you get left with dry cleaning, plastic, ozone, vinyl, silicone and other industrial images of colorless sterility, like avant garde square, white, stark architecture. That's part of the originality of this scent, but makes it more art than cologne. In the end, you have to just smell it and decide if you like it, not try to locate notes you know work for you - theyre not there! If you would rather stroll in the forest, smell the rainbow of blossoms, grasses, green shrubs and moss, and come home to a warm home full of earthtones, books, paintings, pillows and wooden furniture, 53 is not for you. But if youre dressed up in the latest stylish trend, and headed for and afternoon at the Modern Art museum, get with it!, and douse yourself in Odeur's 53 synthetic ingredients.

    29 October, 2005

    Noseorgy's avatar



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    En Passant by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    An incredible delicate scent. The smell of a lilac is in itself a naturally delicate scent and seems to get lost easily amongst other scents. This scent captures that natural scent and allows you to wear it at will. If you are a guy and find yourself putting a little on your hand when you go to sleep, don't be hard on yourself, because you are not alone. Excellent scent for a woman who does not want to announce herself in an olfactory way, but to be found as if you happened across a hidden lilac tree in the springtime...and it's all for you.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Alexandra by Alexandra de Markoff

    A dark, sophisticated, luscious, creamy and elegant perfume smelling like a darker version of Paloma with more patchouli. Although often classified as an Oriental, I experience it more as a rich patchouli-laden ambery chypre. This is not a perfume to be worn in the spring and summer, but maybe to an evening at the opera in the fall and winter.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Ariane by Avon

    Ariane is one of my two favorite Avon perfumes, the other one being Emprise. The opening is soft and flowery, developing into a very rewarding spicy floral heart. They drydown is also soft, feminine, and powdery, and is long lasting. How nice that Avon brings this one back from time to time.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Prélude by Balenciaga

    Prelude enwraps one in an incredibly soft and elegant cloud of amber, without any of the harsh, metallic, or synthetic-edged notes which often spoil oriental and ambery perfumes for me. In some ways it is similar to Patou's Normandie and to Dioressence, another impossibly beautiful amber!

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Beach by Bobbi Brown

    A light floral described on its label as possessing the following notes: sand jasmine (what is this?), sea spray, mandarin, jasmine, and orange blossom.

    When I wear this, I think of vacations in Florida in the 1960s, when the highways there were lined with 1 story motels and tacky (but fun) souvenir shops full of things made from seashells and straw hats. And of course, I think of the famous large billboard ads for Coppertone! Of all the beachy scents I've smelled, this one evokes the most nostalgia, for some reason.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Vôtre by Charles Jourdan

    Votre is a classically beautiful scent in the French tradition. It sparkles its way through topnotes and heart notes, then settles down intoa light lovely sillage. Think of First, then lighten it up a little, reduce some brashness, and you might have something close to Votre. Sure wish I had a bottle of the pure perfume!

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Très Jourdan by Charles Jourdan

    This fruity floral is unpleasantly similar to so many other fragrances of its day, such as Oui-Non, Tresor, Volupte, and Zoa, all of which contain peach and apricot topnotes, rich floral hearts, and basenotes featuring cedar and musk over a layer of ambered vanilla. Much as I ldislike the scent of Tres Jourdan, I find the packaging and bottle design stunningly beautiful! It's a perfume I bought solely for the bottle and never intend to wear!

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Givenchy III by Givenchy

    Givenchy III is one of the rare green chypre or green floral scents still obtainable today. The heart is generously floral, although it remains tailored and elegant, making it suitable for daytime office wear AND for evening occasions. I consider the basenote of this perfume one of the most purely beautiful bases ever created.

    I might have missed out on this one altogether, had it not been for the consistent recommendations I received on this perfume from saleswomen familiar with hundreds of perfumes. It's one for a connoisseur/se, and has a tendency to grow on one over time.

    It has that rare and, to me, thrilling, combination of stimulating crispness wedded to searing heat.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Alix by Grès

    A light fruity floral somewhat similar to Carven's Guirlandes, another perfume introduced in 1982. The top has a bit of appealing greenness, but eventually the dry smoky basenotes reminded me too much of Cabochard, which is not one of my favorites, despite its classic status!

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Cocktail by Jean Patou

    Wafting along with the piquancy of a martini, Cocktail refreshes and sparkles without being really very sweet, or fruity, or very floral, for that matter. I believe there may be a lavender note in here contributing to the dry effect of Cocktail, which makes it so especially unique.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Normandie by Jean Patou

    A wonderful, soft, ambery oriental which is usually paired in my own mind with Balenciaga's Prelude. Both of these have wonderful amber accords, although Normandie is a bit less sweet than Prelude, and may have a bit more of an incense note. This is wonderful in cool weather: distinguished and soothing.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Bakir by Long Lost Perfume

    I bought my lovely, blue and brown decorated spray bottle of Bakir in my last year of college, when it was undoubtedly way too sophisticated for me!

    The scent is extremely unique, very intriguing, with a special spicy greenish-resinous piquancy which makes it different than the usual oriental fragrance. There is something about it which makes me think of Christmas, although I couldn't put my finger on it. I now have a bottle made by Long Lost Perfume Company, and it's very very close to the original. Although I love this, I seldom wear it. It can be overpowering if not carefully applied, and is best suited to a grand occasion, and a very bold personality.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Blue Carnation by Roger & Gallet

    This is, in my opinion, the most beautiful version of the soliflore carnation perfume ever made. It is silky and smooth, the spiciness of the carnation softened with the sweetness of vanilla and powdery notes. Bellodgia is much more complex, and I'm not including it as a carnation soliflore. Blue Carnation is smoother than and slightly sweeter than Floris' Malmaison.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Sourire by Shiseido

    Sourire is one of my more successful attempts to purchase a perfume without testing it first. It is one of many Shiseido perfumes sold only in the Asian market, perhaps even only within Japan. I read its description in the H & R Fragrance Guide, and determined to see if Shiseido would sell me a bottle directly. A very polite representative from Shiseido in Japan responded to my email request, and shipped me a bottle of Sourire. To my great enjoyment, it turned out to be a lovely, very feminine and graceful scent. The opening notes are sprightly, and the floral heart exudes some spiciness contributed by the carnation note. The drydown is truly feminine and powdery.

    29 October, 2005

    paloma54's avatar



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    Cuir / Cuir de Russie by Piver

    Although I'm not really fond of leathery scents on my own skin, I have a high regard for Chanel's Cuir de Russie. I don't wear it, but I can imagine wearing it! I'd say Piver's version is quite a bit more masculine than Chanel's and it would surprise me if there were any women who really wanted to wear this one. I'm embarassed to admit, I bought it for the bottle and the label, which always reminds me of Stravinsky's Petrouchka ballet.

    29 October, 2005

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    Eau de Santal by Floris

    Santal is a very pleasant scent, fresh and woody. The lavender and the citrus notes dominate the opening whereas a light and ephemeral grass-leaves accord develops surrounded by an aura of light woods that takes the scene very promptly (10 minutes or so) and remains there for something tike 5 hours or so. It's a nice scent though I don't detect any sandalwood on it. Could be cedar, cypress or the like.

    29 October, 2005

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    Sandalwood by Floris

    Sandalwood is a very refined and subtle sandalwood scent much in the line of Diptyque Tam Dao. I find it very wearable and at the same time warm and fresh (sic)... It is not sharp or edgy; it feels kind of "beveled" under the action of the other ingredients, specially the amber and the jasmine. Very good longevity.

    29 October, 2005

    seccho's avatar

    United States United States

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    Old Spice by Procter & Gamble

    One could do worse I suppose...

    Well, I'm 27 and live with my mom (hey, post-college life hasn't turned out exactly as I'd planned...laugh and you get a smacking!), and there's been a bottle of Old Spice in our upstairs bathroom since I was an early teen. I'm sure I got it as some lame C-mas gift. Anyway, for whatever reason, tonight I decided to wipe off the dusty bottle and apply some of the juice that had been gestating within to a strip of paper. And...well, you could do worse...haha. It's not great, by any stretch of the imagination. I would prefer it over nothing I own. But, it's not exactly the joke it's made out to be, either.

    29 October, 2005

    ArgaWarga's avatar



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    Black XS by Paco Rabanne

    I'd never wear it, way too much like strawberry Jolly Ranchers, but it's not anything vile. Just way too sweet for my taste; I'll take the original XS, thank you.

    30th October, 2005

    Aromantic1's avatar



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    parfums*PARFUMS Series 1 Leaves: Tea by Comme des Garçons

    Perfectly dreadful. There are many other tea based scents out there that are far more true to the wonderful camellia sinensis plant. Here, Rei has let the leaf smoke too long, even absorb tar, then covered up the mistake with rose petals. Good high grade tea is sweet and best left green, or only slightly fermented into oolong perfection. Sometimes nothing other than a good pine root smoked Lapsang Souchong will do, but it should never taste like vinyl or old wood. For Kawakubo's masterwork, dont sit and sip flavored tea - focus your attention on Ouarzazate instead.

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Kingdom by Alexander McQueen

    You simply cannot apply this perfume without noticing the vessel that contains it.
    It radiates a Goth passion, a combination of lust and cruelness: the metal rounded quarter of an egg shaped lead coloured metal in contrast to the blood-red transparent glass within which beats the heart of a contemporary classic. (Which without hardly any doubt Kingdom is working it’s way up to - due to packaging or scent - but only time will say).

    It think this perfume, whether if you like it or not, speaks for the technological-oriented era, when emotions are deeply repressed and condensed into shapes and sometimes find their way out in a quite grotesque fashion.

    The juice itself is controversial: starts off as equally animalic and fresh: the cumin theme is immediately recognizable in the top notes, and is accompanied by mild green notes of bergamot and galbanum. The cumin fades to the background quickly, to make room for the light floral heart of soft rose and the green, citrus floralness of Neroli.

    The pure Neroli cleanliness hints us to track down the base notes:
    Sandalwood notes from the base notes become apparent fairly quickly and are quite fresh, rather than incense like. It almost radiates a masculine freshness, and is very natural.
    Gradually the whole concoction warms up and a vanilla-amber note emerges, though very subtle. Not quite the sugared gourmand type vanilla, but a perfume-oriented one. The cumin note is now very delicate, and is in the background simply to add a sensuous, animal roundness to the composition.

    After the huge expectations set out by the packaging and the advertising campaign, I must admit I expected this perfume to be a lot more intense and sultry. Yes, the cumin hints that, but overall I found Kingdom to be a rather clean, almost a single-note sandalwood fragrance. I find it to be a lot more masculine than feminine, and I think it will work really well with some masculine sweat.
    I am curious to learn how the parfum smells like - I would hope somewhat darker and deeper, more outstandingly erotic.
    I personally perceive this fragrance as much more suitable for men and would not be surprised if a masculine body chemistry will create some wonderful transformations to it.
    In that case, the nymph-like women from Kingdom’s ad campaign will have the role of seduction to the potential wearer, rather than setting up an example to live up to.

    Top notes: Cumin, Galbanum, Bergamot
    Heart notes: Rose, Neroli, Jasmine
    Base notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Vent Vert (new) by Pierre Balmain

    Vent Vert is a perfume with one clear statement: Green!

    The experience starts with a heady breeze of green notes: freshly cut grass, clary sage and galbanum, and a slight suggestion of patchouli. This definite green statement pervades throughout all stages of the olfactory evolution of this magnificent perfume, which has become, with no doubt, the symbol and example for anything green thanks to its youthful, spring-like and independent nature.

    Once the initially sharp green blow has made it’s statement, it allows other notes to accompany this spring experience: a surprising accord of
    peach and gardenia is the bridge from the top notes to the more floral hear notes:
    Green Rose, lilly of the valley and fresh Jasmines float amongst the greenery, as well as orange blossom absolute, with its fresh and fuity refined-citrus nuance.
    These floral notes are here to beautify and accentuate the herbal notes of clary sage and galbanum, the theme that will stay with us till the very last dryout stages, when spring has become more warm, and will accept more blooming flowers.
    The overall bouquet can very much be likened to the lilly of the valley flower, both in scent and appearance: the little white flowers reveal themselves gently through the wide, elegant green leaves.

    This herbal-green-floral bouquet is supported by base notes that are not any less green: green oakmoss, vetiver (a woody-earthy-green root of a tropical grass), and sandalwood.
    The basenotes are dominated by the woody notes of sandalwood and vetiver. But still, it acts only as a garden-bed for the green accord of clary sage and galbanum which leads the theme of Vent Vert.

    And than come the drydown stage, which combines the elements of all stages:
    A softer note that is mainly a result of the melting down of galbanum, green jasmine, ornage blossom, orris (that can reveal it’s delicate, woody-powedry softness once the sharper edge has evaporated..) and the woody sandalwood-vetiver accord, all clean and green and fresh, but just softly fading away, with the promise of warmer days and more blossoms to come.

    Vent Vert is green all the way. Keeping in mind that it was the trend-setter for Floral Green perfume, in an era when femininity was associated with much more floral and heavy notes, Vent Vert was revolutionary is the way it used green herbal notes as the theme, and the florals were merely supporting the green ones. I simply can’t thnk of any other perfume that does it better!
    Vent Vert is fresh without being citrusy, green without being herbal and medicinal, and has those whispering powdery notes without making it melancholy or sentimental. It is simply pure happiness, vivacity and youthfulness in a bottle!


    Top:
    Fresh cut grass
    Green Rose
    (Clary sage)
    Galbanum
    Patchouli
    Peach
    Gardenia

    Heart:
    Rose
    Jasmine
    Clary sage
    Lilly of the Valley
    Orris root

    Base:
    Vetiver
    Sandalwood
    Clary sage

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Obsession by Calvin Klein

    In the midst of an artificial perfume collection, dominated by computer generated fragrances, Calvin Klein’s Obsession stands out, being a modern Oriental that is surprisingly charming. Obsession appeals to the young generation of impulsive, simplicity-seeking youth as well as “grown ups” with style that haven’t yet completely repressed their sensuality for the sake of synthetic class.

    It’s intense appeal is derived from an interesting approach combining heavy and rich natural essences such as oakmoss and frankincense, with an added touch of modern sparkle that is almost deceivingly perceived as fresh and “light” by distracted, uneducated noses.

    It starts with quite a blast of summer-like sparkle of tangerines and mandarins, beautifully melted into an ice-cream like note of intensely artificial vanilla.
    This accord is sweet and fresh at once, almost like a creamsickle.

    The heart, though floral, still possesses the charming contrast of sweet floral notes with some tanginess: heady jasmine mellowed and balanced by the citrus-invoking floral note of Orange Blossom absolute. It is backed up by a warm accord of light sandalwood.

    The base contains an interesting dosage of oakmoss that is dry and synthetically modified, to create an almost spicy impression reminiscent of allspice berry and of cyclamen.
    It is accompanied by frankincense and is heavily backed up with notes of vanilla and fresh-smelling, radiant amber, which will end up dominating the dry down without compromise.

    Obsession is fun to wear, and is quite versatile. Though classified as an oriental, it has certain quality to it that makes it suitable to wear also in more casual settings, and in mild and even warm weather.


    Top notes: Mandarin, Tangerines
    Heart notes: Orange blossom, Jasmine, Sandalwood
    Base notes: Vanilla, Amber, Frankincense, Oakmoss

    30th October, 2005

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