Fragrance Reviews from August 2006

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    No. 19 by Chanel

    Very fresh and green at first, a beautifully complex scent. I have heard some people describe it as cold, not sexy, a power-fragrance, something one would use to intimidate in a corporate setting ... Never! It is elegant, yes, but never off-putting. A very alive and intriguing scent. It does express a distinct intelligence, and if that turns you off, so might this fragrance! Iris, leaves, wood, leather. Dappled sun and shade, early summer in a northern country.

    01st August, 2006

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    caribou55313
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    China Rose by Floris

    On me, China Rose is more of an oriental with a rose theme ... very round musky basenotes with a smooth dark rose overlay. Apparently skin type matters a lot with this one, though - someone else mentioned it was just incredibly sweet on her.

    On me, some rose scents are too crisp for my taste (Creed FdTRB, Rosa Magnifica) and never meld with my skin. The other rose I love a lot is Serge Lutens Sa Majeste la Rose, which is similarly laden with basenotes.

    01st August, 2006

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    caribou55313
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    Mitsouko by Guerlain

    A bewitching one - takes a while to get to know her, to get her comfortable with you - or vice versa - but so worth the effort. The EdT has a light spaciousness; in the EdP formulation there is more emphasis on the peach notes; in the parfum, the oakmoss is deep, heavenly, nearly leathery. There is a sense of mystery in this one, an elusive quality that impels you further into the woods after something of rare beauty. The strength and integrity of the oakmoss, the beguiling softness of peach and the may rose heart - perfectly balanced.

    01st August, 2006

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    L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain

    L'Heure Bleue is exquisitely composed, heartbreakingly beautiful. When I first encountered it, my hasty impression was that it was pure sugar on my skin, candied violets and who knows what... But I am so glad I came back for another trial. A silvery blue/sage green/violet & rosy bouquet of flowers and herbs for the first hour or so, then the base of sandal, cedar, vetiver, vanilla begins to be felt, but this never develops into anything approaching earthy. The entire impression is ethereal, a poignantly beautiful dream. The parfum has more dominant basenotes and is more sensual, less powdery-sweet.

    01st August, 2006

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    Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

    A complex, dry, mildly spicy floral oriental, initially similar in sophistication and delicacy to the top notes of L'Heure Bleue. About two hours in, she shows her very creamy and powdery floral heart, then a drydown reminiscent of Habanita, minus the smokiness, and with a more prominent orange blossom. In another half hour, and the scent diverges a bit from Habanita - less smooth sweet tobacco leaves, vanilla and leather, more amber-floral, with a haunting nag champa note. Divine: Habanita's upper crust cousin!

    01st August, 2006

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    Habanita by Molinard

    One of my all-time favorite scents; so seamless, deep, sweet and smoky, round and rich, incredibly lasting in EDT. A drop on each wrist is enough for 12 hours. I get sweet tobacco from this, and fruit in Habanita - not fresh tangy juice but something very mellow and sweet, similar in character - but not scent - to the subtle sweetness of sundried tomatoes or dried apricots. Leather, amber, vanilla, musk, so smoothly blended that none of these notes announce themselves. There are no edges on this one, just an irresistable comfort and seduction.

    01st August, 2006

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    Ambre by Molinard

    A very soft and mildly sweet vanillic amber, easy to wear even in the heat. Not very strong or lasting, but not terribly costly either.

    01st August, 2006

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    Sa Majesté la Rose by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I have had a difficult time wearing rose; it seems to wear me most of the time, and to seem too much like a single, literal flower, not evocative of an interesting emotion or scene. Also many rose perfumes are too cool, crisp or patchouli-laden for me, giving them an edge that prevents them from melting into my skin. They smell like a florist shop, when I'd rather evoke a boudoir, or a windswept heath.

    This one is different - it yields to the heat of my body and becomes part of my sensual landscape, and I feel this is due to the broadly chosen sweet, herbal, spicy and woody notes that ornament the rose. Notes from Bela's notepad on MUA, with thanks: "white rose, camomile, lichee, geranium, Moroccan rose, gaïac wood, clove, white honey, vanilla." The rich, round sweetness of this rose I can almost taste.

    01st August, 2006

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    Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

    Rive Gauche my signature scent for the longest time in my twenties and early thirties. Huge lift from those aldehydes! Loved the galbanum-moss-vetiver accord of brilliant green, and that floral heart. I was disappointed by the new versions released a couple of years ago, though the Intense is closer to the original - compared to the 70s version it's more synthetic, sharper, shallower. The new "regular" EDT is altogether too pale and wishy-washy to bear much resemblance to the original. If you have a chance at the original on ebay, take it!

    01st August, 2006

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    Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

    I'll speak mainly to Paris EdP, which I love; it was my wedding fragrance. It's a technicolor rose/violet multifloral bouquet, very brilliant, sweet, heady, super lush. The basenotes are not nearly as prominent as the floral heart. Very lasting, vivacious, and fun. Most other rose fragrancs seem straightforward and traditional in comparison.

    Paris EdT is sheerer, pinker-toned, and some might call it powdery. This one is pretty, but not a standout.

    01st August, 2006

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    Douce Amère by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I loved Douce Amère from our first encounter. Anise is not even a note that I'm especially fond of, but this scent has made me love it. Its strangeness is partly what makes it so compelling; the sweet anise against the dry herbal astringency of wormwood in the top notes, resting sweetly on a bed of cedar, vanilla and spice.

    01st August, 2006

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    Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Fleurs d'Oranger was an instant love for me, and it differs from most other orange blossom fragrances not only because of the inclusion of jasmine and tuberose, but because of its tang and spice! As in true syrupy juiciness that I can taste. It's sweet and sour and tropically floral - the antithesis of L'Artisan's interpretation of orange blossom, which is airy, ethereal, seraphic, but clean ... the Lutens variety is hotly sensual flowers with all their lovely evocative parts displayed!

    01st August, 2006

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    Jicky by Guerlain

    (Review for EdT only) Love the herbal top of this - lavender, rosemary, and I almost get sage... The sandalwood at the base is lovely. Very unisex, softly refreshing. An upstanding scent. Independent in feeling, like a chypre. Just a touch of vanilla in the base, not anything like overwhelming or even demonstrably sweet. The leather is grounding. I was looking forward to civet in this, but it escapes me.

    01st August, 2006

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    Sandalwood Cologne by Geo F Trumper

    Very fruity; loads of citrus, lavender and spice gives this sandalwood a sweetness and old-world English gentleman's club period style. Fit for an afternoon under languid blades of an overhead fan somewhere in the colonies. Superior lasting power for a so-called cologne.

    01st August, 2006

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    Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Beguiling sweetness, hay and honey, leather and flowers, perfectly androgynous. For a journey across golden amber landscapes. Chergui feels more like home, like my own skin and my interior life than anything I've ever known. It feels like the warmth of the fireside, walks in autumn fields, my love's embrace ... the sweet familiar scent of home after a long journey.

    01st August, 2006

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    Yerbamate by Lorenzo Villoresi

    Distinctly green yet like no other, with its smoke and dense powdery notes. Hay drying in a remote meadow, hazy sunshine, insects buzzing. Unique and sublimely complex. One of my perennial top ten.

    01st August, 2006

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    Dilmun by Lorenzo Villoresi

    I love orange blossom, grew up in Orange County in the 50s and 60s when you could still catch a whiff of it in the air. This one struck me on first try as a very masculine fragrance - the woods and dry herbs came out strongly and it seemed very dry - but on second wearing I fell for it, and sensed its feminine side. It is very broadly composed around its orange flower heart. Unlike Serge Lutens' Fleurs d'Oranger which is so creamy and solid you can almost taste it, this one invites you to expand your lungs, extend your awareness over the entire pastoral landscape.

    01st August, 2006

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    Les Nuits d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

    Brilliant dry lemon, lifted and sustained by aromatic cypress, sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, amber, white musk - heavenly hot summer evenings on the patio, trailing vines swaying in the desert wind! Adobe walls giving back the solar heat they've soaked in during the blazing hours. Lovely basenotes. No longevity problem with this citrus semi-oriental.

    01st August, 2006

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    Aoud Damascus by Montale

    Similar to Parfum Sacre, with the dark rose riding over such a deep, smoky but transparent base, yet it remains recognizably rose .... it kept my nose interested for hours. I think this one could really grow on me! There's something so compelling in this ancient pairing; my favorite of the Montales I've tried thus far. It lasted about 4 hours; short for me - most things last 8-12 hours, which speaks to me of a high proportion of natural materials.

    01st August, 2006

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    Le Maroc pour Elle by Tauer

    Maroc pour Elle: I was a bit puzzled by it on first try, given that it had been described by Tauer and by reviewers as a rose scent, which to my nose it's not. The rose sweetens the JASMINE, citruses and cedar, leaving a very sultry, indolic impression ... nothing like what we think of when we think of rose. I get distinct cravings for this one, and when I wear it I can taste it not only on first application but for many hours. It serves a similar role for me as SL Fleurs d'Oranger, only Le Maroc is a bit more strange and exotic - and sometimes only that will do!

    I think that our noses are not accustomed to such a heavy concentration of naturals as Andy uses. It takes a little getting used to, but what a beautiful education!

    01st August, 2006

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    Fete d'Hiver by Ayala Moriel

    Smooth melange of white flowers on a woodsy resinous base; warm and bright.

    01st August, 2006

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    Espionage by Ayala Moriel

    Leather, supple and suave, captivatingly combined with musk and rose. Espionage possesses the subtle chic of classic perfumery but with the streamlined structure of modernity. Very sexy skin scent.

    01st August, 2006

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    Indigo by Ayala Moriel

    Gorgeous and so unusual! Violets, orris, anise. Evokes a dusky purple for me ... soft, cool powdery plushness in the heart notes. Very lovely subtle base, slightly spicy.

    01st August, 2006

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    Café-Café Puro by Cofinluxe

    Is it really labeled for women?
    It's very much a masculine scent to me, at least at first sniff, the juice comes off as a rather harsh citrusy, creamy but strong, brown liquid that makes me wanna think twice before putting it on. The drydown is better than the top notes, the sillage is better than most of the cafe scents from this line and the longevity is good. Not the best but not bad either. And as most cafe scents here, it doesn't really smell like coffe, there is a hint of it on the drydown but hardly enough for a scents to be called "café".

    01st August, 2006

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    L'Eau par Kenzo by Kenzo

    I thought i was not gonna like it but i was very surprised.
    Soft, delicate, low sillage, long lasting and fresh at the same time, this one is even elegant and i can see a young, classy girl wearing this unobtrusive, light flowery ,clean scent.

    01st August, 2006

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    OP Juice for Women by Ocean Pacific

    Who came up with this piece of trash? Perfumer's member card withdrawn!
    NO no and no!

    01st August, 2006

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    OP Blend for Women by Ocean Pacific

    I can forget about the travesty that was OP juice for women now...this one is not half bad, it's very sweet and caramely, the respberry orchid here is very present and it's comforting as is the cucumber on the top notes, as are the rest of the flowers. If you like deep, sweet, fruity scents that can work under heat, this one's for you!

    01st August, 2006

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    Cold by Benetton

    I guess i'm the only one that will give this one a thumbs down. I'll explain: it's fresh enough yes, but at what cost? The citrus at the top notes seem a bit awkward at first spray , why? because you just can tell it's a simple and very unrefined scent, the citruces here are not high quality. It's more of a pick me up spray this one. But if i'll go for low sillage, not very longlasting, better citrus, i'll go over at some of the guerlains or even the 5-minute-and-reapply 4711 or even benetton's very own B-Clean Energy. The greens are somehwat of a copy of other scents that treated and respected the middle notes. Here, they come off as rather misplaced and they tumble down the drydown. Not for me... there are hundreds of better scents in this category out there. Where is the sensibility? the delicacy?

    01st August, 2006

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    Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne

    I was just so bored with this one, i didn't like it but i felt more pity than disgust.
    I'll give this one away, i still have one...yeah i bought it blind!

    01st August, 2006

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    Eau de Cartier by Cartier

    This is a very goo scent, it clings to your scent in the sense that even if you shower, you can still get a whiff off of this one. The greens come forward on the top notes to stay with us and it may feel rather lineal but i prefer this in place of a scent that has green that turn sour. Clean , refined,gentle and yes, has a unique smell, this one is a keeper! Good sillage as well.

    01st August, 2006

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