Fragrance Reviews from October 2005

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    Escape by Calvin Klein

    This scent is so repetitive and flat and boring the only thing I can compare it to is dancing in a rave to monotonous virtual rythms.
    You must be totally stoned or drunk to be able to even pretend you enjoy it.

    30th October, 2005

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    Parfum Sacré by Caron

    This perfume is full of surprises, very rich and multilayered!
    It's one of my favourite perfumes of all times.
    It starts off with what you may describe as a classical oriental:
    Olibanum (Frankincense), Myrrh, Cinnamon and Spices, with a dark, voluptuous dried rose as the main reconciler between all.
    This is not an overwhelmingly strong oriental, though; the overall feeling is soft, warm, sensual, very calming in fact.
    Just as you settled into this oriental dream and thought this is it- the rose decides to change her mind and become a young and fresh flower again!
    The green impression is achieved by the notes of orris root and violet leaf, added in just the right amount.
    This floral heart sings with a full spring-like glory for hours, and than comes the dry down:
    The orris root and violet notes decide to take over, and you may think for a while that there is no more rose... It is mainly a powdery, soft impression, with a tiny bit of vanilla to make it even smoother... And if you pay attention, yu will hear the rose still singing in there, very quite and blended in witht he rest of the notes, as if it is there just to give company to the orris notes...
    The dry down is interestingly combining the soft and violet-like, powdery aspect of the orris, as well as the woody, clean and somewhat fresh face it can put up.
    It has an amazing lasting power, without being even a little bit intrusive or overwhelmingly strong. It makes a statement without shouting it, and blends beautifully with your own personal scent.

    30th October, 2005

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    No. 5 by Chanel

    No. 5 has become an institution - and as such it is sometimes hard to actually enjoy it as a perfume.
    However, a close look at the genius construction of the Parfum Extrait reveals a harmony that deserves more attention besides being a classic or a trend setter.

    It is actually a work of art in the same way that Chanel’s fashion design has reached the heights of being an art form and at the same a concrete, useful piece of clothing.
    To prove so, one must re-think it without being bound to olfactory memories and collective subconscious schemes that evolved around this perfume in the last 8 decades or so of its existence (i.e. the first perfume-fashion association; confident business women in pinstripe suits, Marilyn Monroe’s bedtime fragrance, etc. etc.).

    A woman should wear No. 5 as if it was created for her alone, and she was the first woman on earth to wear it.

    No. 5 is a truly feminine perfume, and is not bound to anything else but pure feminine beauty. It contains flowers, but does not smell quite like a flower garden. I believe Ernest Beaux definitely fulfilled Chanel’s dream of creating a perfume that will help women to smell like themselves, not like a flowers.

    To my nose, No. 5 smells sweet and ambery, and is both sensual and seductive in a subtle and sophisticated way. The most dominant accord that comes forward on my particular skin is that of ylang ylang, amber and civet. It radiates a feminine warmth that when worn with confidence can be highly appreciated and enjoyed by both the woman who wears it and the people that are allowed to be close enough to smell her.


    Top: Aldehydes, Bergamot, Rosewood, Neroli
    Heart; Ylang ylang, Rose, Jasmine
    Base: Amber, Civet, Sandalwood, Vetiver

    30th October, 2005

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    No. 19 by Chanel

    In Eau de Toilette:
    Sheer and simplistic. Cool notes of iris and vetiver reign, topped with a sparkle of lemon and galbanum, and a heart of violet leaf. Cucumber-like. Clean. Understated. Yet not at all conforming. It's leaves crushed by a pedicured hand and is best worn with white shirt, jeans and pearls.

    In Eau de Parfum:
    The floral heart radiates a greater warmth, as the essences emanating from the petals of a rose under the heat of the sun. Violet and orris and leather add a distinct edge of powdery texture that suggests cleanliness nature that is tamed by man to be well-mannered, like trimmed grass and shaped green hedges.

    In Pure Parfum:
    Neither too floral nor too cool or aloof. This is the joy of vetiver complemented by the coolness and greenness of galbanum, orris, cucumber-like violet leaves, and a few crushed petals of rose and jasmine. Delectable and unforgettable in a quiet, lady-like manner.

    30th October, 2005 (Last Edited: 30th January, 2007)

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    Miss Dior Originale (previously Miss Dior) by Christian Dior

    This wonderful and timeless Chypre is as smooth and as round as could be, so well orchestrated that the different notes blend in harmoniously and act together rather than compete with one another or "show off". It is young and sophisticated at the same time, therefore appealing to women of all ages that are seeking a classic, refined expression of their feminine self, without feeling overly girly...
    Though different olfactory stages and notes can be detected, they are not as pronounced or separated from one another. Rather, they lead to another with a harmonious continuation that makes the complete experience magical and seductive. Which is, after all, the secret for the charisma and sex-appeal of Chypres - the way they blend different notes without leaving too-obvious hints as for what they really are.
    You know the notes are in there, but you smell them all at once, singing in one beautiful accord!
    The top notes of galbanum, gardenia and citrus are accompanied by no other that the relatively harsh herbal notes of sage which surprisingly converts the top note accord into a peach-like fruitiness. The top notes appear fresh and soft simultaneously, and lift up the Chypre nuances of patchouli and labdanum from the base.
    Once the initial green frutiness has mellowed, Miss Dior reveals her round, feminine floral heart of jasmine, neroli and rose, completely balanced as no note is dominating the other.
    This all dries down to a base accord of a warm and somewhat wild Chypre accord: patchouli, oak moss, labdanum, and I suspect some civet notes which contributes to the roundedness and fullness that links the phases altogether. Some refined, subtle woody notes of vetiver and agarwood appear late on, adding a clean, somewhat “sour” nuance, neither making the composition dry or bitter by the half, nor taking away from it’s overall luscious femininity.
    The Parfum is a lot more fruity and round than the Eau de Toilette - the sharp (almost metallic lead-like) top notes are softened and smoothed to resemble somewhat the citrus and almost peach-like fruitiness found in the top notes of Diorella - a lighter Chypre from the same house.
    It is definitley a must for all Chypre fans!

    Top notes: Galbanum, Sage, Gardenia
    Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Neroli
    Base notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Labdanum

    30th October, 2005

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    Diorissimo by Christian Dior

    Diorissimo is the essence of spring, and as it’s creator has said,



    Diorissimo is a true masterpiece by Roudniska.
    It is the only Lily of the Valley scent that truly captures the scent of the flower without smelling overly synthetic and shallow. It has more depth to it than most florals have...
    Diorissimo is the essence of spring...
    It was designed to capture the essence of the Lily of the Valley blossoms as well as the forest where they grow... It creates an amazingly cheerful and positive, youthful aura when wearign it. I think it is a "good mood" fragrance!

    The notes in it are more complex than you would think.
    Top notes: Galbanum, Calyx
    Heart notes: Lily of the Valley, Boronia, Rose
    Base notes: Jasmine, Sandalwood, Civet

    In the EDT you will mainly smell the galbanum, boronia, lily of the valley and jasmine.
    The parfum has a more deep and less single-floral feel to it. The rose and jasmine are more dominant and the boronia works really well in accentuating thei green and fresh spring qualities.
    Also, I detected certain amount of oakmoss in the base. It is very very subtle - but I think it does what it needs to do. I used to like the EDT much better, abut now I prefer the parfum.

    Top notes: Green Glabanum notes
    Heart notes: Lilly of the Valley, Boronia, Calyx, Rose
    Base notes: Jasmine, Sandalwood, Civet

    30th October, 2005

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    Dior Addict by Christian Dior

    The whisper of a summer wind stirring the luscious treetop of an evergreen tropical tree. The large shiny healthy-green leaves gently murmur a tale of warm delight.

    Addict is a fragrance of abundance and is soothing, comforting and refreshing.
    It is deep and calming, indulgently rich with the fragrant gum resin of benzoin, which is the dominant note throughout the composition. It is creamy-vanilla like, but not in the gourmand context (though it is mouthwatering in many ways!).
    The benzoin is supported by some other woody and balsamic notes to give it its amazingly effective characteristics of a woody vanilla-scented refreshing perfume.

    Top notes of budha wood (a slightly smoky and more dry sandalwood-like wood) and subtle green-leafy notes; extremely subtle heart notes of rose and jasmine which later on develop into a luscious and irresistible creamy gardenia petals. The deepest root of this tropical tree is the benzoin accord, supported by vanilla and woody notes.
    Addict is rich, creamy, indulgent, and very refreshing.

    Whilst expecting Addict to be a dark, vamp fragrance, I found it to be completely harmless, and oddly fresh and vibrant and warm all at once. I do feel that there is something in the name though: the subteley of benzoin (which here is exemplified by synthetics to give it a more diffusive power - the actual benzoin has a very subtle scent that is hardly noticeable when other notes are added) - it just calls you for smelling it more, and more and more - and yet it never feels enough! The scent is deep and subtle,a and never quite overwhelming.
    I think it is a lovely perfume and should make a perfect scent for oriental lovers who are looking for something lighter but do not want to part with a sweet vanillic scent.It will make a perfect scent for summer and for daytime - and can be worn in any occasions. I doubt anybody will find this subtle seducer offensive or unwelcome.


    Top notes: Budha wood, Green leaves
    Heart notes: Rose, Gardenia
    Base notes: Benzoin, Vanilla, Woods

    30th October, 2005

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    Spring Flower by Creed


    If a spring of glacier water could be bottled in a perfume flacon - it would definitely smell like Spring Flower. It makes me wonder if “spring” refers to the season or to the body of water. I would say it could equally apply to both, with its fresh and simple happy early-bird attitude, as if nothing too exciting or dramatic needs to happen today to make your day complete. Fresh, optimistic and tranquil with no unnecessary ambition - this is what makes this wonderful array of subtle fruity and citrus notes, along with transparent florals, floating like water lilies above the glacial freshwater, and there is just a hint of sweetness at the base to keep the scent going, cool and fresh and lovely. The spring waters just keep flowing generously and vividly!

    Spring Flower starts off with a blast of fresh, citrus-fruity notes of lemon, bergamot and peach. There is also a hint of herbal note, almost minty. It is charmingly refreshing and positive. The thing is, that this fresh beauty lasts for a long time!
    The heart and base notes still maintain this luscious fruitiness, along with delicate flowers that are neither heavy nor heady, but simply reminiscent of fresh, dew-laden blossom in an early spring morning. Though officially the notes are of jasmine and rose, to my nose it smells like waterlilies. Perhaps it is the combination of the rose and jasmine notes with the crisp apple and watery melon notes that create this light, bright and fluid impression.
    The feeling is of inviting cool spring water, so inviting you absolutely have to drink them!
    Later on notes of lilly of the valley and a citrus floral note emerges - it is not orange blossom, but actually smells a lot like lemon. Perhaps it is lemon blossom.
    The drydown is a tad powdery, with the lilly and melon notes lingering on a base of cedarwood and perhaps a hint of orris. It is only slightly powdery, but still has the fruity floral notes.

    Top notes: Peach, Lemon, Bergamot, and I suspect a hint of peppermint!
    Heart: Jasmine, Rose, Water lilies, Melon, Apple, Lilly of the Valley, Lemon Blossom
    Base: Cedarwood, orris, perhaps benzoin which adds a tad of sweetness without overpowering the top and heart notes, and very subtle musk, amber and vanilla notes.

    If any perfume should ever claim to be a truly fresh, transparent floral, Creed’s Spring Flower is the one, and it does it all the way!
    It is the one and only modern floral scent I tried so far that actually stands up to its top-notes premise:
    It is bright and fresh, and stays that way after interacting with my skin, without giving in to harsh, stingy powdery smelling chemicals that usually tickle my nose in a most annoying and disappointing way. That is what makes it so convincingly appealing. Spring Flower is like freshwater pearls - it is soft, bright and subtly feminine in a playful, young and modestly attractive way, and simply stays the same, no matter what the surroundings are... Now here is where I totally understand the attractiveness of fresh, light floral! And how sexy can that be!
    The lovely fruity, floral and watery notes linger and linger for long time, and stay fresh all the way!
    You don’t need any particular reason to put Spring Flower on - fresh morning feeling that can last all day. And can be reapplied at night for a nice romantic evening.

    30th October, 2005

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    Sicily by Dolce & Gabbana

    Well, beware - this is probably one of the most impulsive perfume reviews I ever wrote.I want to apologize in advance if I am going to say anything that is going to upset any potential Sicily followers. But keep in mind that I found myself oddly attracted to Sicily by the scent card alone, and can definitely see it’s charm. To be honest I find myself oddly attracted and repulsed by this relatively new launch from the renowned Italian fashion house.

    I liked the soft, fresh, soap like notes of the way it smelled on the card - interesting fresh aldehydic floral, I thought to myself. A lot more old fashioned than I thought is would be. (I suppose I was expecting another quickly-vanishing fruity floral loaded with synthetic citruses?).
    It brought some pleasant childhood memories perhaps attached to a type of soap we were using (thought I).
    It brought to mind wide marble patio, just washed and all sparkling clean, that moment when you sit down and rest after you cleaned it all up, and everything smells clean and fresh, and there are lemon trees and grapes in the garden. All the Mediterranean (or Sicilian) peaceful and simple beauty.

    Well, I tried it on today, and oh my god - and I am now seriously wondering if D&G didn’t make a marketing mistake and put the fragrance in the wrong bottle: it should have been packed as a liquid laundry detergent!
    I suspect that if it was a slightly lesser concentration (an EDT or EDC rather than an EDP), it may be a lot more pleasant: not only does it not vanish, it is so potently strong and cloying that I often felt like I may have swallowed soap throughout the first couple of hours of wearing it. It also brings to mind what is described as an old lady perfume (with no offense to anybody who considers herself old - it is not about the age as you know, what I mean to say is - the perfume your most un-favoured old aunt wore when she got all dressed up especially for you and all you could think when getting a hig and a kiss is WHY did she put all that powder on, and what IS this awfully strong smell?).

    To be honest, it is not unpleasant, it is just very potent. The notes are actually interesting and nice - lemon, bergamot, peach, some red fruity notes at the heart and perhaps some florals - but everything is extremely synthesized and loaded with aldehydes. And there is a LOT of heliotrope in the base (but really, if it the heliotrope you are looking for, you would be much better of enjoying your l’Heure Bleu!), along with musk and civet I suspect. The dry down is quite subtle and nice, close to the skin and not overwhelming enymore.
    A word of caution: If you spray it on your clothes by any chance, don’t expect the scent to ever change or disappear. Try not to do that, other wise the scent will linger on cloyingly. That will promote the effect of soap swallowing.

    30th October, 2005

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    L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

    L’Heure Bleu is another true masterpiece by Jacques Guerlain. I see it as standing hand-in-hand with its sisters Mitsouko and Vol de Nuit. There is certain quality that underlines those three masterpieces and makes them even more than an amazingly beautiful perfume to wear - but truly a work of art.

    L’Heure Bleu is sophisticated, dramatic, and yet has a unique melodramatic peacefulness that definitely does not lack reflective, philosophical melancholy.
    When you realize, once the last dusky lights are giving themselves away to the first stars, how beautiful the day was, and how wonderful the dark blue night is, and the world is so vast and immeasurable and so full of beauty that it may even make you want to cry.
    This moment of beauty is so eternal that it makes you feel your mortality in a painful way. But yet, you are content with yourself and your life that you know if it will be taken from you that moment, you will feel complete and in perfect harmony with the universe.
    You breathe in the silent fresh air of your warm, spring garden. The night blooming jasmine is so beautiful and intoxicating. The grass that has been just watered, full of murmurs and insects’ summer-songs. The orange blossom flowers are just folding themselves for a long, peaceful night sleep. You pick a late blooming rose, a deep, velvety-purple rose, her petals already soft after warming up in the sun for a couple of days. You hold the rose and fondle the petals and hold them against your cheeks and sense the warm scent of a mature rose releasing the peak of her last fragrance into the night air...And it is all part of you now, there is no need to hold on to it.

    Those beautiful, magical notes interweave with each other so gently that it is hard to tell one from the other. Together they create one impression that in my visual mind reminds me of a very earthy brown colour, though somewhat rich and copper like. I simply cannot see a deep blue when smelling l’Heure Bleu, though the different notes on their own make sense and tell the story of this time of the day:
    There are the subtle citrus and anise top notes that are there to accentuate the soft florals, including violet flowers, and link them to the even deeper base notes.
    The root of the composition, apparent from first application, is a soft and bittersweet heliotrope, combined with tonka bean that accentuates the softness, yet also possesses the bitter-almond-like undertones. Vanilla and orris root are also present, to support the overall powderiness and soft, mature and philosophical nature of this marvelous perfume.

    The drydown is somewhat more smooth and ambery (though it is hard to see l’Heure Bleu as an oriental per se -it has such a unique individuality and perhaps deserves not to be categorized at all.Just like Vol de Nuit and Mitsouko - they don’t quite “fall” into categories I am afraid.)- The drydown is a bit less powdery, with a more vanilla accentuated note. It also has some woody notes in the drydown - I suspect vetiver, but cannot quite pin point it. I will not be surprised to find some oakmoss in it either, though not in a chypre context but an oriental context, and perhaps some underlining spices that are subtle and are not meant to be recognized but rather create a warm undernote to support the rest of the scene.

    There is something in it that totally reminds me, surprisingly, of Mitsouko - the fruitiness that is quite dry, bittersweet (dry peach like notes in Mitsouko, and the cherry-like notes in l’Heure Bleu); and a certain dark woodiness at the base that is interesting, mysterious, hard to grasp - but once you get it you are totally captivated!
    The fruitiness of l’Heure Bleu lasts much longer though - as it originates in the heliotrope base notes, rather than the peach top notes in Mitsouko (that most people find they fade just a bit too quickly after been exposed.).

    Top notes: Bergamot, aniseed
    Heart notes: Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Rose, Violet, Carnation, Orris root
    Base notes: Heliotrope, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Vetiver, Woods, Spices

    30th October, 2005

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    Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

    When the bottle just opens it’s mouth it shouts: Freedom!

    Green galbanum, sage and bergamot are hinting to the Chypre quality of this marvelous perfume. It is going to be a super-multilayered adventure that requires patience and faith.

    The green rush fades rather quickly, smoothing itself gradually into an almost powdery combination of jonquil and cedarwood, mellowed and warmed by powdery musk and the Guerlainade - orris root, tonka bean and vanilla. That is what makes the narcissus notes not so heady and overwhelming (reassuringly, this perfume is neither too floral nor overly sweet, especially for the sophisticated and adventurous woman!) - Vol de Nuit is truly a perfume of refinement and an understated, passionate approach to life. In my mind it symbolizes independence and individuality in it’s most truthful meaning - facing adversity all by yourself, and yet remembering who you are.

    The smooth, somewhat powdery heart gradually evolves into a more sophisticated Woody-Chypre accord, based on Labdanum and Oakmoss and a noble Agarwood note that lends a somewhat sweet, somewhat sour undertone that is not unlike Mitsouko’s vetiver-agarwood base, but is richer and sweeter.

    Than there is the next phase of heart notes - which is definitely the inspiration for Chant d’Aromes in my opinion, as it smells exactly like this lovely, cheerful and spring-like perfume: the fresh white florals (honeysuckly, gardenia, narcissus) over a woody-light musky-chypre base, floral and deeply wamr at once, fresh and young and at the same time thoughtful and deep.

    The drydown echoes the earlier impression of the heart accord: woody and musky, with some ambery-vanilla sweetness in the tradition of Guerlain (Which somewhat reminds me of Shalimar - only that Shalimar is a perfume worn to seduce, where as in Vol de Nuit the seduction is more natural and sublte, and almost unintentional - you wear it first of all for yourself - and than come all the other side-effects...).
    Like Shalimar, the Vol de Nuit drydown is somewhat resembling a natural skin scent (which is my personal weakness...).

    In my mind, Vol de Nuit is associated with the heroic women of the WWII era, namely my dearest grandmother (Vol de Nuit was the romantic gift my beloved grandfather has given her after taking her to the Guerlain boutique in Champs Elysee where she received a personal fragrance consultation). I also associate it (I admit it - a lot of elements in the movie reminded me of “The Little Prince” by the same author of “Vol de Nuit”) - the airplane crashing in the desert) the desert-dwelling British heroine from “The English Patient” (Was her name Katherine?).

    Vol de Nuit is rich, complex, mysterious. A perfume that needs to be worn with dignity and self-worth, you can either make it your own, or wonder for years trying to convince it to be worn by you.

    Top notes; Galbanum, Bergamot, Sage
    Heart notes: Jonquil, Jasmine, Orris Root, Cedarwood, Musk
    Base notes: Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Oakmoos, Cedarwood, Agarwood, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Vetiver

    Keep in mind that Vol de Nuit stand hand-in-hand with the great Jacques Guerlain creations - l’Heure Bleu and Mitsouko. It can be interpreted in many ways, and has layers upon layers of connotations and essentially it’s own vocabulary. I believe there is always something new to find about it, so don’t be surprised to find me writing another perfume review of it tomorrow that will be quite different.
    I remembered it as much darker and floral than it is today. And the EDT I found to be a lot more similar to Shalimar in the drydown note which is musky-vanilla.

    30th October, 2005

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    Chant D’Arômes by Guerlain

    This early and somewhat innocent creation of Jean-Paul Guerlain, Chant d’Aromes interestingly echoes the masterpiece by Jacques Guerlain - Vol de Nuit.

    Chant d’Aromes is a delicate floral with subtle, woody-chypre undertones.
    Noticeably, Chant d’Aromes has a uniform impression that is carried out throughout the different phases (that is not at all to say that it is a linear fragrance) - the beautiful floral heart notes are apparent from the first stage of the perfume, and gradually mellow down and lead into the more woody, mossy notes.

    It immediately reminds me of spring, and of delicate, miniature and frilly garden blossoms - white and cream coloured, primarily honeysuckle, supported by fresh, morning-dew blossoms of gardenia and jasmine - (not the heavy, intoxicating night blooming white blossoms with the tropical fruitiness). The top notes of mandarin, bergamot and peach are only there for a few moments, to introduce the luscious, dew-laden floralness, and disappear with no trace.

    This beautiful floral heart gradually reveals some more warmth, just like a fresh garden gradually warmed up by the gentle rays of sun.
    To its delicate sweetness there is now some added powderiness, from orris root and the unfolding cedarwood base notes.
    It gradually deepens, with a velvety touch of oakmoss, and very minute amount of vetiver, that is light but adds a tiny bit of warm woodiness, along with transparent musk and frankincense notes, and a hint of the almond-like Guerlinade tonka bean accord.

    The EDT is true to the parfum, but requires many reapplications. The parfum is not much heavier, just slightly richer and most significantly - has a more satisfactory staying power.

    Top notes: Peach, Bergamot, Mandarin
    Heart notes: Gardenia, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Orris root
    Base notes: Cedarwood, Musk, Oakmoss, Frankincense, Vetiver, Tonka bean

    30th October, 2005

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    Samsara by Guerlain

    Without going too much into the meaning of the name, I would just hint that the sound of it is actually much more attractive than the actual meaning. Perhaps Guerlain overlooked some of the deeper meaning of the name while making their decisions, but nevertheless, this is a beautiful perfume, that have become a modern classic, and is perhaps one of the best creations of Jean-Paul Guerlain, in my opinion. Perhaps the one scent that he will be most significally remembered for.

    Perhaps the one thing that characterizes Samsara most of all is its homogenous scent, without being flat or one-dimensional. The theme of Sandalwood-Jasmine accord pervades throughout the composition, but at every stage it has a different nuance to it, which adds interest and depth. In that sense, Samsara is at once simple (a-la the modern linear scents), and complex (because, thanks god, it is NOT linear!).

    Samsara is constituted of three major themes: Woody notes (mostly sandalwood), White Florals, and culinary sweetness.

    Sweet and fresh fruity top notes of peach and bergamot engages you to explore the creamy, fruity-floral ylang ylang notes. That brings you to the heart of Samsara - a few different types of Indian jasmine (grandiflorum and sambac), with a hint of Orris root in the classical tradition of Guerlain.

    The base is dominated by a rich, vanilla-infused woody note of fine Mysore Sandalwood and is further rounded by the warmth of Atlas Cedarwood.

    The overall impression is sweet, woody, and subtly floral. It is an ideal for floriental fans, and is excellent for almost all seasons. I find the EDT nicer, where as the Parfum is a bit overly sweet, and for some unknown reason smells more synthetic and somewhat rubbery. The woody-powdery notes are more accentuated in the EDT.

    Top notes: Peach, Citrus, Ylang Ylang
    Heart notes: Jasmine Sambac, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Orris root
    Base notes: Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Amber, Atlas Cedarwood

    30th October, 2005

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    Jean Paul Gaultier Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier

    The pink torso-like bottle with frosted glass suggestive of a corset is quite a good hint for what to expect from JPG EdT: Jean Paul Gautier’s first scent is a sexy, girly scent that is at the same time very easy to wear, soft and enveloping.
    Starts off with almost candy-sweet ruch of slightly citrusy top notes, sweetened by the vanilla note that underlines the entire fragrance, and slightly warmed and spiced-up with ginger and star anise.
    The heart is rounded and soft, ultra-feminine but not overly floral: to the rose, jasmine, ylang ylang floral sweetness there is an added freshness from the somewhat lighter (though still round and rich) orange blossom absolute. Orris root adds a soft, powdery nuance.
    The base is a somwheat powdery vanilla, but basically is vanilla. It is lovely, fun to wear and playful - without being cheap or shallow. And I feel it is absolutely French in the most flirty and sensual way. It is a perfect mood up-lifter and an excellent way to indulge yourself in a flattering but not over-the-top manner. I would say it is best to be worn with pink satin lingerie, but that is just an association - in fact you could wear it anywhere anytime and it will always be apporpriate.

    Top notes: Ginger, Star Anise, Mandarin
    Heart notes: Ornage Blossom Absolute, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang
    Base notes: Vanilla, Amber, Orris root

    30th October, 2005

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    Habanita by Molinard

    Habanita brings to mind lonely adventures, and radiates a definite confidence of a man aware of his weaknesses and knowing well how to hide them.
    In a far away country, away from his beloved family, and doing everything to make sure they are safe and constantly prove to them that they are loved.
    He is keeping a secret, no, many secrets, and the weight is heavy on his shoulders. Yet he shows generosity and is kind to all as much as he can when given the opportunity.

    If I could assign any character to this perfume, it would be Alec Lymas, the hero in The Spy who Came in From The Cold. If he ever bothered to put on any perfume before spending hours waiting and smoking packs of cigarettes for his agents to pass the walls separating between Eastern and Western Europe in the long and cold years post World War II - I am sure it would have smelled like Habanita.

    Whether if you are a man or a woman, Habanita possesses all the warmth and comfort you need, and can make you feel extremely confident in every possible way.
    It’s daring combination of notes makes it extremely masculine and appealing to women at the same time. It is bold and softly enveloping, professional and shamelessly sensual, cool or calculated and warm and passionate all at once!

    Though it was designed for women, I find it to be an ideal scent for men (I am definitely going to convince my partner to wear it with me!). For both men and women to wear Habanita would mean being seductive in a dangerous way (and by that I mean an interesting combination of passion and aloofness that perhaps most of us find oddly attractive), sensual and adventurous, mysterious and assertive.
    If this is what you are looking for - go for it!

    Sniffing it from the bottle, the Habanita top notes are fresh and subtle - a rush of masculine woody notes of mastic (a gum from a Mediterranean bush), juniper berry and cedarwood are accompanied by a generous amount of bergamot, which is citrusy but not in the fruity or eau de cologne sense of citrus - a more refined, green and slightly floral note derived from the bergamot bitter non-edible oranges. This is accentuated by a hint of lavender, which is very subtle and soft, and radiates a certain warmth that is typical to Fougere compositions. Here it is just hinting an adventurous attitude.There is also some leathery, almost smoky note that instantly reminds you of pipe smoke.

    The heart note is not quite the main theme in Habanita, but rather assists in bridging between the lighter and somewhat sharper top notes and the dark leather-tobacco base.
    The heart has mainly jasmine and rose, which do not make the composition floral in any way. Again, they are there only for harmonizing the blend. There is quite a bit of heliotrope, which has a rich and somewhat powdery vanilla-like aroma, and a bit later you may notice some fruitiness that is quite reminiscent of peach.

    The base for Habanita in this case is actually the core and the true heart of the perfume.
    A rich tobacco accord, very much like fine Cuban cigar - enriched with full bodied layers of tonka bean and vanilla is the absolute essence of Habanita. It is deepened by a lovely amber, and just hints of oakmoss, musk and perhaps a very tiny amount of vetiver.
    The drydown, though still quite the sweet cigar and amber scent, has some chypre and woody qualities to it.

    The total impression of Habanita is that of a subtle, skin-reminiscent scent. The kind of fragrance that if worn properly may be soon identified by your surrounding as your own natural scent. In that sense it works similarly to Shalimar on my skin, only it is a bit more balanced as the ambery-vanilla sweetness is there only to balance the bitterness of the leather and tobacco notes (and is no the main theme that some find is overly done in Shalimar).

    Top notes: Mastic, Cedarwood, Lavender, Bergamot, a hint of Juniper berry, Leather notes
    Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Peach, Heliotrope
    Base notes: Vanilla, Tobacco, Tonka Bean, Amber, Oakmoss, Musk, Opoponax, Vetiver.

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

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    Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Dzing! is a deceptive perfume. Said to be inspired by the Circus world, it brings to mind a circle of fire and some delightful scents of smoke, burnt cotton-candy. It has an entrance of an outrageous acrobat, with colourful leather and feathers outfit, escaping from the tigress that jumps into the fire ring!

    It is colourful, spicy, and a lot of fun!
    If you like the ambivalent sweetness of leather and smoke, and enjoy having a bit of masculine kick in your “drink” than Dzing! has quite the right zesty touch.
    With top notes that are deceivingly floral - rose and orris, with a touch of smoky cade; heart notes that are spicy and warm (mainly cinnamon and styrax) and a base that is equally sweet and smoky as a result of mingling sweet gum of benzoin and peru balsam along with castoreum, birch tar and perhaps some tobacco.

    Top notes: Cade (Leather notes), Rose, orris,
    Heart notes: Styrax, cinnamon
    Base notes: Balck tea, benzoin, Peru balsam, Leather notes (castoreum and birch tar)

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris

    This is a BEAUTIFUL tobacco fragrance. Leathery and dry, yes earthy, warm and softly enveloping.
    It is like cuddling with my perfect man. A scent that is natural, fresh and non-obtrusive and with the exact amount of character to make it sexy and irresistibly attractive.
    If you can’t get your man to wear it for you, just wear it yourself!

    What starts as a medicinal, somewhat harsh drink - reminiscent of Absinthe - extremely masculine and sharp-edged - dries down to a seductive earthy sweetness. Warm, enveloping and sophisticated, Fuilles de Tabac is the emblem of what leathery-tobacco scents should be:
    Daring, sensitive, and seductive in a reassuring confident manner.

    Notes: Pimento berry, cascarilla bark, pine, sage, tobacco, patchouli and tonka bean.

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

    This is quite a surprise. It starts off with a foresty black hemlock note (which is also apparent in the masculine version of the scent). However, this is no usual woody scent. In fact, it is a mysterious and subtle violet scent!
    The violets here are very dark, as if hidden in the shades of the forest. The final drydown is quite sweet - almost like an oriental.
    An interesting and versatile fragrance that can be very individual when it finds its match!

    Top notes: Cardamom, Coriander, Grass Oil
    Heart notes: Black Hemlock, Violet, Jasmine Absolute
    Base notes: Vetiver, Cedar Wood, Amber, Sandalwood

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

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    Frangipani Absolute by Ormonde Jayne

    A light and much less creamy interpretation of the magical tropical paradise flower.
    Starts with a breath of citrus and with linden blossom which quickly gives away to the green-waxy scent of the pure frangipani absolute. It does have some hints of the fresh flower - but they are quite subtle.
    There are some water lilies at the heart which makes it light and modern as well as jasmine which adds some richness and depth - but it never quite gets very creamy. It is rather a light and quite heady floral - but the type of heady floral that those who are scared of heady florals will like or at least be able to tolerate (like me...).
    Definitely worth a try!
    I think it will be especially great for the summer - a light floral that is interesting and not cloying.

    Top notes: Linden Blossom, Magnolia Flower, Lime Peel
    Heart notes: White Frangipani Absolute, Jasmine, Rose absolute, Tuberose absolute,
    Water Lily, Plum, Green Orchid oil
    Base notes: Camber, Musk, Cedar, French Vanilla absolute

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

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    Osmanthus by Ormonde Jayne

    Definitely the most boring and insignificant of the collection.
    It is a citrus woody with hints of florals that are hard to detect. I cannot find the osmanthus notes there at all but than again it could be my body chemistry playing tricks on me.
    It is very similar to the Creeds in my opinion - something metallic in there. The base is woods with light musk.
    My favourite part of the perfume is the beginning -though I wished the Pomelo note was more true to the real fruit. I found this one quite anemic in comparison to the rest of the Ormonde Jayne line.

    Top notes: Pomelo, Davana, Pimento
    Heart notes: Osmanthus absolute, Water Lily, Jasmine Sambac
    Base notes: Cedar Wood, Labdanum Resin, Musk, Vetiver

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

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    Tolu by Ormonde Jayne

    Rich, deep, resinous ambery scent.
    Starts with an extreme dominance of Tolu (which at first may make you think there is nothing else there). To those who are not familiar with the scent - it is a dark, thick balsam that smells like a combination of vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. It is very warm and sweet, and thicker than molasses!
    The tolu is accompanied by some herbal notes that are very subtle (the notes state juniper), and than transforms into a total-ambery experience, honeyed with broom at full bloom - yellow, luscious and sweet to the last breath.
    It is perhaps one of the more pleasant amber perfumes I ever smelled - without being boring, overly sweet or overwhelming (=nauseous). May be a good alternative for those who find Ambre Sultan too masculine. However, I did find it a bit linear after the initial top notes have faded away. My most favourite part of it was the broom-like top notes which reminded me of a certain broom-related thorny bush that blooms in spring and intoxicates the air with it’s heady and narcotic and slightly honeyed fragrance.

    Top notes: Juniper Berry, Orange Blossom, Clary Sage, Broom
    Heart notes: Orchid, Moroccan Rose, Muguet
    Base: Tolu Balsam, Tonka Bean, Golden Frankincense, Amber

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

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    Champaca by Ormonde Jayne

    The exotic, tea-like champaca notes remain true to the original throughout the composition. Accompanied by basmati rice, the champaca-basmati-tea accord is prominent throughout the fragrance evolution.
    It starts off with a hint of fruity citrus freshness that is backed up strongly by the champaca and basmati notes. These are warm, enveloping and comforting (just like a bowl of whole-grain basmati rice in a beautiful and fragrant Zen-inspired restaurant).
    It is a gourmand scent (the basmati and green tea notes are very apparent!), but in a sophisticated way which makes it smell actually woody. It reminds one of the beauty of mundane aromatics and pours a different light on them...

    Top notes: Neroli, Pink Pepper, Bamboo
    Heart notes: Champaca, Freesia absolute, Basmati Rice
    Base notes: Myrrh, Green Tea, Musk

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Sampaquita by Ormonde Jayne

    This exotic name is no more than the Philippine name for Jasmine Sambac. Here is it accompanied with lychee and grass oil top notes, which makes it sweet and almost cloying and backed up with patchouli the result is quite reminiscent of the hippie era...
    This opening accord (sambac, lychee, grass oil, patchouli) is actually quite pleasant on its own and is awfully familiar - however soon a superficial water lily note interferes and makes the scent somewhat irritating for me.
    Definitely an interesting scent to try - but I don't find myself reaching for the sample very often. Also, once I apply it I usually want to switch to something else pretty fast.
    I love the name of that perfume - it sound romantic, exotic, mysterious and sweet.

    Top notes: Lychee, Grass Oil, Bergamot, Magnolia
    Heart notes: Sampaquita Absolute (Jasmine Sambac), Freesia, Muguet, Rose, Water Lily
    Base notes: Musk, Vetiver, Moss, Ambrette Seed, Pathchouli

    30th October, 2005

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    Canada Canada

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    Ta'If by Ormonde Jayne

    Desert roses surrounded by dry dates and spicy saffron.
    It is sensual yet subtle, captivating and refined.
    The drydown is powdery-vanilla, and surprisingly reminiscent of Tocade!
    It can be an interesting and refreshing alternative for Parfum Sacre in that it is a sexy, spicy-powdery rose with a sweet base.
    It simply makes me feel special when I wear it - as Parfum Sacre does to me.
    Harmonious and balanced, like a desert wind approaching the sea at sunset. This perfume gives a feeling of golden rays gently touching your face just before the sun goes down, with wind kissing it with dusty spices.

    Top notes: Orange blossom, pink peer, saffron, dates, white peach
    Heart notes: Ta’if roses, freesia, lily of the valley, jasmine
    Base notes: Amber, Tonka Bean, Musk, Vanilla Absolute

    30th October, 2005

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

    I haven't quite tried this for a very long period of time. It starts off coniferous - with the black hemlock as in Ormonde (for women), but than dries down to a tolu balsam base note or something similar to Dior Addict.
    I didn't find it particularly interesting - but I didn't give it enough chance. I will need to come back later and review it again.
    My boyfriend wasn't impressed with it either.

    30th October, 2005

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    Bois Farine by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Chick-O-Sticks, a peanuty, coconutty candy that was an early favorite of mine. The opening of Bois Farine reminds me exactly of chick-o-sticks. It evolves from there to a woodier, drier scent but that foody quality persists. It's one of the strongest memory associations I get from any perfume. The scent moves persistently toward sandalwood as it evolves. I'll echo others and reiterate that this one is very original.

    30th October, 2005

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    Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

    Deceptive - it really smells like a MANS COLOGNE from the 70's, which of course it is. But how brilliantly does it make that statement? I reach for this over and over. My Ur-scent.

    30th October, 2005

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    Fuel for Men / DK Men by Donna Karan

    I discovered this one too late. The opening hint of petrol is brilliant - like in SMN Nostalgia it adds a surprising jolt that works brilliantly. Leather, tobacco and fruit notes blend to make a scent that's rich, warm and masculine. I need to find a bottle!

    30th October, 2005

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    Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

    When I first wore this scent I got orange and vanilla, like in fifty-fifty bar. Now I get booze and lavender and sandalwood. Either way, this is a rich, warm beautiful oriental.

    30th October, 2005

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    Le Dandy by D'Orsay

    Boozy tobacco and spices with a powdery wood base. It reminds me of Egoiste transported to a speakeasy.

    30th October, 2005

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