Fragrance Reviews from August 2008

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    Dior Addict by Christian Dior

    It's powdery, sweet and warm, with a hint of dirt and nail polish remover. Quite attractive, quite sexy, but it smells a little musty - let's see, say you sprayed on a beautiful amber floral, did your nails - and then went out for the evening. When you got back home after the night, your skin, hair and clothes would still be strongly perfumed. You take your clothes off, don't have a shower and collapse into bed. When you wake up the next morning, your clothes and your hair would smell of Dior Addict.

    03 August, 2008

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    Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan

    This smells like it sounds - like someone spray-painted a classic cashmere jumper on you.

    That'd probably feel quite comfortable to the wearer (and certainly, this is a comfort-blanket kind of scent). I'm not convinced it's a perfume worth waxing lyrical about though. This is one of the weaker scents by the Donna Karan label, in more ways than one.

    03 August, 2008

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    Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden

    My grandmother used to wear it - and I'm afraid this is where this perfume belongs - in the past. I don't think it has weathered well and now sits rather uncomfortably next to the modern array of scents on offer.

    Blue grass is almost suffocatingly powdery and aldehydic. It's also floral and herbal, but those qualities are drowned out. There's a story that Arden used to spray this on her beloved horses and that does sound rather believable.

    Whoever said this smells like Shalimar hasn't tried this, or Shalimar. The two scents are not even slightly alike.

    03 August, 2008

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    5th Avenue by Elizabeth Arden

    This is something floral and mainstream to wear for work, say. It's not a fragrance that makes one ooooh and aaah about its artistry, but it's very wearable and men seem to compliment you too, which isn't a bad thing I suppose!

    03 August, 2008

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    Beautiful by Estée Lauder

    Too much of everything; too sweet and too heady, this is a no-no for me. Tuberose is one of those funny notes - it can be the very thing that draws me to a fragrance, or the very thing that makes me gag a little. In the case of Beautiful, it's the latter. I'm not sure what tips the balance over (perhaps it's the fruity elements?), but something really really does. I've sniffed this perfume on others and have appreciated it, but I really can't stand it on my skin.

    This, to me, is in the same category with the "Tiffany" signature scent, so those of you that can't get enough of Beautiful might also enjoy Tiffany.

    03 August, 2008

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    Fendi (original) by Fendi

    The Fendi sisters described their signature fragrance as "what an expensive fur coat would smell like". Not a line used in today's marketing, I'm sure - but it is accurate as a brief; Fendi smells very warm, very furry, very expensive and very dated.

    03 August, 2008

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    Asja by Fendi

    Incense spilled on an old, alcohol-stained Indian rug. I really feel they went wrong with this one, but, as always, perfume is so subjective.

    03 August, 2008

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    Amarige by Givenchy

    I really don't know how to rate this. It's another scent that has firmly been fixed to a specific era for me and it won't budge.

    Amarige is very, very sweet, extremely feminine and playful. It will leave a lasting impression, that's for sure! It might be a lovely perfume for a younger girl (one of the first proper perfumes, perhaps?).

    03 August, 2008

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    Cabotine by Grès

    This just hates me. It goes very chemical-y and unpleasant half way through and there are no redeeming features to rescue it later. The opening is invitingly green and fruity, but it's all downhill from there.

    03 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 17 June, 2009)

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    24, Faubourg by Hermès

    Style-in a bottle for fans of floral orientals. Very wearable, feminine without being overtly sexual, neck-nuzzling without being too "boudoir". The only problem with this is that it may not suit those under 20, but that's just a hunch. Depends on the person!

    03 August, 2008

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    Mimosa Pour Moi by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Very pretty Mimosa - also quite accurate (compared to the Mimosa absolute oil I have; the opening is almost identical). So, successful as a single flower scent, but perhaps a little too simple. I like Kenzo Summer better, so will stick with that one for my Mimosa fix.

    03 August, 2008

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    Arpège by Lanvin

    Arpège is all about the base and it's hard to even think of it as having any floral elements whatsoever. That's what happens on my skin anyway. It smells expensive, stylish, but also a little overpowering, so go sparingly on this one.

    By the way, when Arpège was launched, it WAS expensive. I can't believe it is thought of as anything even close to a "drugstore" scent! Consider yourself lucky if you can get this as a bargain.

    03 August, 2008

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    Ginger Essence by Origins

    Ginger ale with lemonade and a helping of fizzy cola bottles on the side. Some days this feels like too much to take in and some days the space-dust like buzzing of this fragrance is just right. Prepare to be refreshed! I'd avoid it on headache-y days; it's too sweet for those and if you're looking for a more true Ginger scent without all the faff, go for the original Ginger perfume by Lush instead (Origins version came after).

    03 August, 2008

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    Alchimie by Rochas

    Well... it's liquorice! If you love sweet scents and liquorice this will be your dream come true. (My husband loves it, but I can't wear it. It's just too sweet for me. Alas).

    03 August, 2008

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    Salvador Dali by Salvador Dali

    One of the reasons I've always had a bottle of this in my fragrance wardrobe from since it was launched (not the same bottle, obviously), is that no other perfume smells like Salvador Dali. This is an exotic, complex scent that can have the danger of wearing the wearer if not careful, but when used sparingly it develops into an exquisite oriental shawl that keeps you warm and makes you feel sultry regardless of the situation.

    03 August, 2008

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    Laguna by Salvador Dali

    This is the closest I've come to finding a love for an aquatic fragrance (and that's cheating because really, Laguna is more of a translucent powdery, fruity floral). Great for summer months, but best used sparingly. There is an interesting dry edge to this scent, which balances the composition nicely, but may be the source of polarised opinions. Or maybe it's the powdery iris?

    03 August, 2008

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    Action Donna by Trussardi

    This was a very pretty floral chypre - quite sweet, but wearable. Great for summer, fairly young and feminine and much more memorable than many of the current equivalent mainstream fragrances. The bottle was HIDEOUS and I suspect that this perfume could have done better with a different design.

    03 August, 2008

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    Champs-Elysées by Guerlain

    Bubbling, sweet opening, then... very, very average, TOO sweet and stuck-in-the-back-of-your-throat cloying floral - and although it's definitely a Guerlain, it's my least favourite. The scent lasts for ages too, which is unfortunate if you don't like it.

    (By the way, the original scent and current one are completely different fragrances and should probably have a separate listings).

    03 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 17 June, 2009)

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    Cristalle Eau de Parfum by Chanel

    I'm in the "this turns my stomach" -camp for Cristalle; unfortunately. It's a perfume I wish I could like and wear, but Cristalle is absolutely not for me - both the EDT and EDP smell very bad on me and right from the opening, the scent is too pungent, synthetic and yet somehow hollow.

    03 August, 2008

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    Allure Eau de Parfum by Chanel

    This is possibly the most sophisticated and stealthily sexy perfume I have ever had the pleasure of wearing. Allure could not be more appropriately named.

    The scent is a silky, or maybe chiffon-like veil over your skin until it finally melts in and becomes part of you. Very successful way of creating a modern perfume in the school of "it is something you smell of" (rather than old school "it is something you wear"). And despite being so modern, it smells like an instant classic.

    Layering produces very good results with Allure - the rich body cream is to die for.

    03 August, 2008

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    Chakra VI Intuition by Aveda

    All these Aveda "purefume" Chakra scents were simple, aromatherapy-like and beautiful. I'm gutted they were discontinued. Intuition was sweet, intense and comforting and lasted fairly unchanged for about 3-4 hours.

    03 August, 2008

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    Diesel Plus Plus by Diesel

    You know those foam mushrooms in pick n' mix? Dip some in herbs and chemicals, squeeze out the essence and you've got Diesel Plus Plus. Kind of interesting if that's your sort of thing, but I don't like the end result.

    03 August, 2008

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    Eau Dynamisante by Clarins

    Very kind on the wearer; very simple cologne - absolutely lovely when the weather is unbearably hot, humid or otherwise drowsy. Great to take on holiday, great when sprayed on ankles and back of the neck after walking around all day (or flying).

    Nothing extraordinary, but easier to get on with then some other colognes, I think. This will never make me feel nauseated, in fact, it can do the opposite and combat queasy feelings.

    I would always like to have some around, but would not put this in the category of "perfume" at all.

    03 August, 2008

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    Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Oh wow! This really does smell like animal bedding and cotton candy. I don't know how I am supposed to react to this - the "zoo"-like smells are so obvious from the first spray. It also smells a little bit like the fur of your pet cat after it's been lounging in the sun for a few ours. All very interesting, but not something I would spray on myself. A little too reminiscent of other kinds of "sprays".

    Another in the series of olfactory explorations that works as a story incredibly well, but - for me anyway - completely fails as a perfume.

    03 August, 2008

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    Ginger by Gorilla Perfume

    Very true, long-lasting, well balanced dry ginger - excellent for days when sweet candy scents won't do, or for when travel or stress have got the better of you. I like to take the dusting powder or lotion with me on trips away; they are grounding and calming somehow.

    (P.S. this is available again through Lush Retro in UK at least).

    03 August, 2008

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    DKNY Be Delicious by Donna Karan

    I don't like the melon/fruity combination at all and combined with the synthetic-smelling apple, I'm left with an impression of a bucket of apple peels and hollowed out melon skins doused in some kind of cleaning product. Not good. I'm sure this will suit many people, but it fails to entice me.

    03 August, 2008

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    Fleurs de Citronnier by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    The opening is very pretty, bright, green citrus floral. The good trip ends there. I'm SO disappointed - this turns to pure honey on my skin far too quickly (and I can't help but think "honey and lemon flu medicine", sadly). Oh well, at least there's one Serge Lutens I don't have to lust after!

    03 August, 2008

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    Amazing Grace by Philosophy

    This is another perfume in the series of... not-quite-perfume - that's how it feels. If you fancy wearing a "pleasant smell", this one's for you. There are plenty of stunning, complex perfumes around, but sometimes if we're not feeling very well, or we need to go to a job interview, or somewhere formal, perhaps, there's room for a bit of Amazing Grace. It's a good staple, but not poetry in a bottle either.

    03 August, 2008

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    B Scent by B Never Too Busy Be Beautiful

    Lemon and fennel! This is a really unique perfume - not the smoothest around (it has some distinct stages, at least on my skin) - but very inspiring and exciting to wear. The opening is a burst of citrus and grapefruit really zings out at this stage, after which the scent turns quite sweet and aromatic. I like it a lot, but it's not an "easy" scent (never seem to get compliments wearing it).

    03 August, 2008

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    Cocktail by B Never Too Busy Be Beautiful

    This is sophisticated, a little fruity, like a perfumed fruit punch - the name cocktail is apt. There are traces of face powder and lipstick, I swear - it's as if you're sipping something frivolous and alcoholic when putting your make-up on before going out.

    03 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 17 June, 2009)

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