Fragrance Reviews from December 2008

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    fountaingirl's avatar



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    Nirmala by Molinard

    Lovely lovely scent. I should preface by saying that I have a tricky chemistry, my skin does *horrid* things with overly strong, glaring fruit notes. Many of the modern "fruity florals" turn to bug spray, cough syrup, or earwax on me. I avoid the entire f-f section generally but got a sample of Nirmala and tried it before reading the notes.

    Happy accident, that! Otherwise I might never have discovered this. Nirmala is simply sublime, the fruits are so well blended that it is a golden, hushed resonance rather than an in-your-face ZOMG SWEET. Please do not confuse it with the modern concoctions that too often smell like perfume sprayed over kool-aid. If you think you hate fruity florals, give Nirmala a try anyway. The fruits and creamy florals are anchored with the wood which keeps Nirmala from getting sticky sweet or cloying. This is what most of today's fruity florals wish they could be.

    18th December, 2008

    Lily from the Forest's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Very Irrésistible by Givenchy

    I actually like this even though, this may not be something for me. (I don't like most flowery perfumes)

    At first Givenchy Very Irresistible is a bit heady, but then the flower slowly makes place for the fresh-warm anise smell. I know no fragrance like it, it just keeps getting fresher and fresher while still delicious. I can see this as a Unisex scent. Its surprising and it sort of makes me happy.

    Really worth a try!

    18th December, 2008

    Lily from the Forest's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Trésor (new) by Lancôme

    Hm, I expected more of this. When sniffing Tresor it smells like soft petals, apricot and, unfortunatelly, hairspray.

    The first two are great, very nicely done, but I can't shake the hairspray smell. At first I thought it was the alcohol, but after an hour I still smell the hairspray. The Elnett extra strong lack kind. I won't be wearing this.

    18th December, 2008

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Canali Men by Canali

    I am an ardent admirer of the menswear that Canali produce, so I tested this with high expectations. Sadly,it never quite scaled the heights that I had hoped. The top note is warm and pleasant, but it quickly sits back and admires it's work. If it had kicked on and produced a warm and vibrant fragrance I would have been satisfied, but it seems as if Canali have taken the safe route. This is so similar to a mass of fragrances on the market, it scarcely warrants a place in the shops. If they had marketed it under the name "6/10" it would have been kinder to the potential buyer. The whole package from box, bottle and fragrance is boring. It is inoffensive enough, but you would not want to get stuck in a lift with it.

    18th December, 2008

    esquirol's avatar



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    Par Amour by Clarins

    It reminds me very much of Cinéma by YSL. I smell a powdery flowery note after 10 minutes, very round and cosy warm, but banal somewhat, and definitely clean. Very probably easy to wear.
    The rose accord is gentle and conciliatory, and I don't know if I like this or not.

    18th December, 2008

    gypsumoon's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fancy by Jessica Simpson

    I love it. I've been blending my own essential oils (jasmine, sandalwood, rose, in that order) for the past few years. Fancy makes me even happier - just a delightful scent. Not cloying, not overpowering - lovely.

    18th December, 2008

    mskty369's avatar

    United States United States

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    Happy Heart by Clinique

    I fell in love with this scent at first smell. It has such a sweet and almost comforting smell to it. I have had it for four years now and it's still smelling as sweet as ever. It's not too overbearing, just sweet, simple, and flirty. A great fragrance for a woman of any age.

    18th December, 2008

    gisette27's avatar

    United States United States

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    Agent Provocateur by Agent Provocateur

    Too many things to say about this, my favorite. It smells old and new. and makes me think of adult women I knew as a child. When I wear it I feel like 100% woman..modern woman. The main thing it brings to mind is old makeup, like crumbled facepower or aged lipsticks. It wears very well. It's like it has all the good of the heavy, powdery fragrances and none of the bad.

    18th December, 2008

    gisette27's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tabu by Dana

    Ok. I love the 'old lady' fragrances and this one definitely attracts me. But, what is with the color?! I think if it was not so orange I would feel better about it. This takes me back to the beauty aisle of the neighboor hood drugstore in the 70's. The scent doesn't last long enough on me, either.

    18th December, 2008

    gisette27's avatar

    United States United States

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    Knowing by Estée Lauder

    I bought this becasue one of the reviewers of Agent Provocateur said it was similar to Knowing. She actually said it was a poor imitation of Knowing. Well, AP is one of my all time favorites. I love frangrances people describe as 'old lady' or 'old prostitute', but Knowing is not doing it for me. I feel like it almost has me, but there is something pungent and heavy wearing me down in this fragrance. AP gives me what I love in fragrance (confidence and sexuality) without the headache. I do think Knowing is becoming softer as it fades, but the headache is still going strong. I will stick with Agent Provocateur. I am neutral. I think I like it almost...but it isn't for me.

    18th December, 2008

    gisette27's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

    I would bathe in it. I have to wrestle it way from my 9 year old daughter. Her attraction is 'it smells like mommy'. Mine is 'it smells like me in heaven'. I adore the subtle strength of the scent. It melts into a constant warmth and stays around for a long time. Sometimes I turn over in my sleep and get a huge whiff of it from the bottle on my dresser.....the most comforting, lovely smell ever.

    18th December, 2008

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Original Vetiver by Creed

    This is a beautiful, perky and cheerful vetiver. The bottle has a green tint, and the scent seems green to me as well, a kind of leafy-green opening closely aligned with a hint of crisp ginger spice. I love vetiver scents and this is very good. The vetiver is green and fresh with a slight soapy aspect, and it is framed by light wood notes. It is not complex, and I can see a slight similarity to Mugler Cologne. I think the vetiver here is more pronounced than in the Mugler, and the Mugler has more soft musk in the drydown.

    18th December, 2008 (Last Edited: 29th September, 2014)

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Aoud by Montale

    Simply a great red rose oud fragrance. The oud is pronounced at first with strong medicinal twang that is balanced nicely by rich red roses. The patchouli and frankincense becomes more noticeable in the drydown and adds to the boldness of the overall mix. There is a sexual richness to this formula that is undeniable. The rose/frankincense mix is so bold that it works great to layer this with other incense or earthy green scents because black aoud holds up so well with other notes. Reminds me of the Tom Petty refrain " won't back down. . . . I'll stand my ground". Black aoud is no shrinking violet. I would not wear this in a stuffy atmosphere where it might bloom and overtake the room because it has that kind of power. But, used sparingly under the shirt it is a very energizing dark rose presence that will last all day and into the night. It is almost hypnotic in its appeal. The best Montale aoud rose in my opninion. I give it three thumbs up.

    19th December, 2008

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain

    Deep deep vanilla warmth. So deep it almost goes below the register to fully comprehend the warmth of the vanilla note on first sniff. Hovering over the top is an aura of warm tobacco. The two scents work wonderfully together. Is it rich pipe tobacco surrounded by a vanilla blanket or a vanilla heart note with a tobacco personality all around? It is very nice either way.

    19th December, 2008

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Tie by Washington Tremlett

    Black Tie is a very refined masculine rose fragrance with bold saffron and an earthy wood undercurrent behind the geranium rose heart. You can also smell the green stems with the roses here as well with galbanum peaking through. Maybe the best overall rose fragrance mix for men I've tried. When it comes right down to selecting a rose fragrance I find myself reaching for this one most often due to its easy to enjoy attitude. It will never offend and it seduces with gentleness and well tended composition. It is warm and bold but doesn't push the boundaries like Black Aoud does. It maintains a rose presence without aggressive spicey incense notes of Rose 31. It is earthy but not too earthy like Paestum Rose can be. It is just right. Very proper and buttoned up masculine roses in a garden setting. Three thumbs up!

    19th December, 2008

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Golden Aoud by Montale

    A very nice oud rose scent. Unlike Black Aoud, Golden Aoud is a gentler rose fragrance balanced out by quite a variety of other notes with a result of making it rounder, softer, more balanced yet still very masculine. The mix of notes is saffron, bulgarian rose, geranium, oud, leather, patchouli and cedar. The blending is well balanced enough so that with the saffron there is indeed a congenial "golden" quality to the fragrance. The most prominent overall note is the medicinal oud with a slight leathery twinge to it. The patchouli is very lightly applied - almost unnoticeable, while the saffron and geranium are quite quite prominent. An excellent choice for warm geranium rose oud fragrance but to avoid the patchouli darkness of black aoud. An excelent fragrance of compromises. I give it one thumb up! Enjoyable.

    19th December, 2008

    Joe_Frances's avatar

    United States United States

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    Peau d'Espagne by Santa Maria Novella

    A number of good scent companies make something called: "Spanish Leather" but in comparison, they are pale pastels compared to this gutsy leather concoction from Santa Maria Novella. The leather accord is not masked, spiced or sweetened. It is presented here as a straightforward smooth leather smell that is strong and almost gets into your throat. I have no earthly idea what makes this "Spanish", per se, but it is most assuredly quality saddle leather with all its sonorous richness. Yes, I meant sonorous rather than olfactory richness. The one magical thing about this is that it makes me think very directly of the sound saddle leather makes when it is moved or twisted-- that pulling skin sound of leather. No other leather fragrance actually makes me think of the experience with leather itself, except this one. Not for the faint of heart, but for the few who really want leather polite saddle soap.

    19th December, 2008

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Rose Absolue by Yves Rocher

    Excellent. This is not an attempt at infusing some avant-garde concept into a rose perfume, but no more and no less than an extremely well-executed traditional, oriental-style, spicy-warm rose. It has a very restrained citrus elements in the top and a disinct cinnamon note, which I happen to like a lot. The soft rose focuses on blossom-notes, there is only little green and no damp earthiness here, and that meshes nicely with a warm vanillic base, which is saved from tooth-aching sweetness by a dose of patchouli. The quality shines through in that this perfume lacks the sickly sweetness, infantile fruitiness and sledghehammer artificiality that characterize so many contemporary florals and I therefore find this eminently wearable for anybody with good taste, regardless of gender. I couldn't think of a better introduction to haute parfumerie on a small budget. On a side-note I find it quite different from Flechier's Une Rose for Malle, which is much greener, ethereal and slightly urinous.

    19th December, 2008

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Dragon by Parfums Raffy

    How do I put this politely? It smells like a cheap drugstore scent from the 70s that's been standing on a shelf without a box in bright daylight for way too long. I'm not making this up either. It comes rather close to an ancient bottle of Mülhens Men's Classic I have lying around here. Spineless and thin, it yet manages to be sharp and irritating because synthetic loose ends are not properly tucked away. A complete aesthetic and technical failure. OK, not so polite after all, but please consider I inhaled this.

    19th December, 2008

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Mogul by Parfums Raffy

    Headache-inducing synthetic brew thrown together with all the care of a Jackson Pollock. Say no to action-perfumery! Jasmin should sue for having been put in that note pyramid against its will and I would rather be thrown into a vat of Iso E Super than having to wear this sinus-searing concoction for more than thirty seconds. If you want a decently made version of this, just go for mat;very male or B* Men. Parfums Raffy seriously needs to refocus on selling other people's perfumes.

    19th December, 2008

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Yuzu Ab Irato 09 by Parfumerie Generale

    I cannot really make up my mind whether this is a refreshingly sharp, tart, bitter mix of citrus peel and herbs, or whether it's too herbally bitter, verging on sour and stale, with a too aggressive, cleaning-fluid citrus top. Quite traditionally masculine, I'd say, more like a classic citrusy/aromatic cologne than a modern super-fresh, fleeting, citrusy/green/aquatic thing. I think I kind of like the dry and bitter herbs (thyme and myrtle), they remind me a bit of Fleurs de sel, only the refreshing accord is citrus instead of salt. What I don't like is the, mercifully faint, minty topnote. Citrus + mint = yuck!

    19th December, 2008

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Cuir Venenum 03 by Parfumerie Generale

    Cuir venenum starts awful: sweet and sour like rottening meat. Or rather like rottening tropical fruits with a smoky leather undertone. Or even just sickly sour-sweet candy sticking to soft suede. It softens a bit, stays sweet and sour but in a smoother and less sickly fashion. I give it a neutral thumb because the suede-like leather note buried beneath all the fruit/candy notes is quite lovely. The scent has some things in common with both Daim blond (the soft suede note, being a sweet and "feminine" leather scent rather than a raw and "masculine" one) and Cuir mauresque (the orange blossom overpowering the leather, the sweetness again). I think I'll keep my sample because once it has settled down I find it quite original and appealing (the sweet-and-sour-ness mouthwateringly fruity rather than sickening) but the thought of having to share an elevator with someone over-applying this concoction - oh, dear God!

    19th December, 2008

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Guerlain by Guerlain

    A polite, inoffensive fragrance that was really created for tasteful, late 19th century dandies. (Don't expect sillage or longevity -- this is an EDC deluxe.) Wonderful construction here, but about as useful as teats on a boar hog unless you just really want to splash on some EDC in the summertime.

    19th December, 2008

    TaoLady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fleur de Figuier by Molinard

    Ooooh, Talieseki, thanks so much for that information. I adore this fig (I am a fig fiend - have about a half a dozen of them) It is at once pungent - green and lightly, sweetly rounded - and bracing, and the essence (for me) of fig. For someone for whom Phylosikos doesn't work and whose fave until now has been Premiere Figuiere that is really saying something.

    Could smell great on the right guy, but you fig-loving ladies should give it a try too!!

    19th December, 2008

    distortech's avatar

    United States United States

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    Chant D’Arômes by Guerlain

    Whereas it is nice floral that goes on strong at the start, it fades to nothing Very, VERY quickly. What gets me is the base - it is soooo very unremarkable, which is absolutely shocking to me as I am a HUGE Guerlain fan. All I can say is that it is a major disappointment.

    19th December, 2008

    distortech's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain

    Lovely. I love to layer the EDT with Jicky EDP. Still, by itself, a masterpiece.

    19th December, 2008

    distortech's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aqua Allegoria Ylang & Vanille by Guerlain

    I love it, absolutey love it. For all the things alot of people mention that they do not like about it - I think it makes it all the more spectacular. Simple and great.

    19th December, 2008

    distortech's avatar

    United States United States

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    Champs-Elysées by Guerlain

    Not the best one this house has made, but still good. A little goes a very long way.

    19th December, 2008

    distortech's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cool Water by Davidoff

    No matter what, this is always going to be a favourite of the masses for a very long time. Well done.

    19th December, 2008

    distortech's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cristobal pour Homme by Balenciaga

    This one has really grown on me. It certainly has a character all of it's own that is both sexy and sophisticated without be overindulgent or annoying. Very nice.

    Recommended.

    19th December, 2008

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