Fragrance Reviews from January 2009

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    nthny's avatar

    United States United States

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    Safran Troublant by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    This is a delightful little fragrance by Olivia Giacobetti. If you can imagine what saffron, rose, and vanilla blended in perfect harmony smells like, you can imagine the impression given by Safran Troublant. I ALMOST want to say I smell cinnamon as well... just the littlest tiniest hint which gives this a little tiny prickle in the nose, especially when I breathe warm air on it. The only problem I have with it is that I have to work very hard to smell it, even when I smell it up close. As the fragrance develops and as the star ingredients meld together, the floral nature subsides quite a bit and it becomes an extremely soft, gently spicy gourmand.

    11th January, 2009

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Rose de Nuit by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    On first application, I didn't use enough, and thus Rose de Nuit vanished in a matter of minutes on me. I'd normally give it up for lost, as I do some quick-fading fragrances, but recently, in the spirit of revisitation, I used up the rest of my sample on my wrist and chest.

    While the sillage is still delicate, this time the result was much more sustained and I got a chance to truly smell it. The longevity is actually not bad at all on this fragrance, averaging around eight hours with moderate sillage, and about twice that smelled near the skin.

    It is interesting to contrast this with Sa Majeste La Rose, Lutens' export rose offering. The two could not be more different in their treatment of the same note. Sa Majeste is naturalistic where De Nuit is abstract; fresh, cool and dewy where De Nuit is warm, dry and leathery. While I often can't figure out their reasoning, the choice of export for Sa Majeste and non-export for De Nuit makes a lot of sense. The former is so extroverted and immediately appealing; the latter is subtle, "difficult" and somewhat old-fashioned. They are polar opposites within the same note.

    Usually classified as a chypre, the bergamot is fairly mild if detectable to my nose in this fragrance, but burns off very quickly. Oak moss, however, practically co-stars with with rose and is noticeable from the top to the bottom of this fragrance, something I greatly appreciate.

    I have the most minuscule sample of vintage Mitsouko parfum that I put a drop of on the opposite wrist to compare Rose De Nuit with a classic chypre directly. The two are different in many ways, but they really do share a certain feel. It's a certain mellow, velvety smoothness that gives them a soft-focus touch.

    Through the heart, however, it's not a Guerlain I'm reminded of - it's a Caron. There's a touch of something smoky and leathery dancing around the mossy rose core; something reminiscent of Tabac Blond's leather note. There is also a hint of incense darkening the blend, making De Nuit's title somewhat more appropriate to my nose.

    The base, however, is lighter. Some of the heaviness subsides and honey unexpectedly emerges to give a cheerful touch to a rather brooding fragrance. By this point, though, De Nuit is quite delicate and soft.

    I still retain an impression that I would prefer this fragrance in a parfum format as I'd like it stronger and more concentrated. At the same time, I recognize the innate heaviness of this fragrance might make it overbearing if turned up to high volume.

    All in all, Rose De Nuit is quite interesting, but I don't love it. I deeply appreciate it on some level, and it's a fragrance I want to try and savor again, but I doubt I'll ever pick up a bottle.

    I feel every fragrance conjures up a personality, and Rose De Nuit comes across as a bit of an elderly high society lady wearing what was the height of fashion fifty years ago. More than a touch of Maleficent to Sa Majeste's Snow White, to be sure...

    11th January, 2009 (Last Edited: 06th July, 2009)

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    No. 19 by Chanel

    Chanel No.19 EDT

    No.19 starts with a very bitter galbanum note, backed by a fresh and green smelling iris root. I have always found very green fragrances to be a challenge, but No.19 is incredibly smooth. Even if galbanum is off-putting for some, it is used with such finesse here, that I feel compelled to keep sniffing. The galbanum fades relatively quickly on skin, and the beautiful iris root starts to take over. I also smell spicy florals, primarily rose but maybe also a touch of carnation. The floral notes are fresh and dewey, almost peach-like, but not overtly so. I love this stage, and I wish it lasted far longer. It is a tiny bit powdery, dry and sweet at the same time. Unlike other powdery scents which can venture in to baby product territory, the powder in No.19 stays fresh and crisp, with only a hint of sweetness to balance it. It never is cloying, and always seems "grown up".

    I am sure No.19 has been reformulated, but the EDT does contain real oakmoss as the label indicates. In the drydown, the oakmoss comes forward, adding more of a mossy powder quality. Unexpectedly, I also smell a touch of vanilla or maybe a sweet resin or light, sweet musk. The florals are mostly faded at this point, so the vanilla/resin adds a bit of wetness and sweetness to the ultra-dry oakmoss. A tiny bit of wood is present, but extremely subtle--I think this wood note may help keep the earthy dryness and echoes the galbanum bitterness into the base.

    I always thought No.19 was a better warm weather scent, but I actually prefer it now in the cooler weather. As an EDT, it develops mercilessly fast, but settles into a beautiful and refined base. No.19 on the whole is one of those fragrances that seems simple in its complexity--it has fullness, depth and balance all through the development, and never leaves me wanting. Even so, I rarely seem to reach for it. Despite its fresh and green quality, something about No.19 seems ultra-feminine and intimate. I completely disagree with notions that this is a cold, distant or "business-like" fragrance. To me it evokes the sweet calmness and serenity of nature on a perfect day.

    11th January, 2009

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tweed by Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics

    Lentheric Tweed (vintage)

    My vintage bottle of Tweed does not state the concentration. However, it is a splash bottle, so I suspect it is an EDC or EDT. I transferred some into an atomizer to test it, and on first spray I smelled a quick blast of bergamot. I suspect that some of the top notes have gone off due to age, because the fragrance shortly entered an unpleasant (but thankfully short-lived) "cat pee" stage. On the other hand, the notes of the reformulation state that Tweed has lavender, and I can see the resemblance of this somewhat ammoniac note with lavender essential oils I have smelled. It does smell herbal and a tiny bit floral, perhaps lily-of-the-valley or a similar light and fresh floral note.

    Tweed is without a doubt a green chypre. Even the floral accord smells almost vegetal. The top notes fade incredibly quickly--so quickly that I had to spray some on a tissue to get a better idea of what was going on. On skin, after the bright floral and citrus dissipates, Tweed settles quite squarely into a lovely oakmoss base. It is a bit sweet with soft powder and dry moss. It is possible there is also some iris here, as there is a sort of dry and subtly sweet floral quality to it. However, oakmoss is definitely the main attraction, and all the other notes seem to fade into the background. In the drydown I also smell what seems to be some kind of resin, perhaps benzoin. It has a slightly sweaty smell to it, but it eventually fades. Benzoin could also account for the slight sweetness in the base. The deep drydown is all powdery, mossy oakmoss. It is a shame that this fragrance races through the development, however, I can't complain about the oakmoss ending. Smelling true oakmoss is a pleasure, especially at a time when many chypre fragrances suffer from reformulation to reduce or eliminate the oakmoss.

    I give a neutral rating only because of the off top notes in the vintage juice.

    11th January, 2009

    moltening's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    Chêne by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I wanted to like this, and I do.. but...

    I just goes on oaky, smoky, and dry.. then that's it. However, by far, this is probably the most authentic conjuration of oak, but it just lacks the magic and charm I wanted it to have.

    Altogether, will still buy if I see a reasonably priced bottle of it on the swap and sale boards.

    11th January, 2009

    moltening's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    Narciso Rodriguez for Him by Narciso Rodriguez

    I spy. I spy a wet dog rolling on the cement. It gets a lil too playful and gets nauseous. Then it vomits out the leaves and sweets it ate earlier for afternoon tea.

    Actually, it's not that bad. Just not for me at all.

    11th January, 2009

    moltening's avatar

    Thailand Thailand

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    Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain

    Deep boozy vanilla that doesn't disappoint. Lasts forever and envelopes the wearer.

    Believe the hype.

    11th January, 2009

    lizzie_j's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ormonde Woman by Ormonde Jayne

    A perfume of contradictions! Is it transparent, or completely and mysteriously opaque? Is it familiar and comforting or strange and unique? Yes. and Yes.
    It is transparent, a la Ellena, with a fresh herbal/piney layer, but look (sniff) closer and that surface clarity reveals the dark, enticing undercurrent of a sweet and mysterious floral oriental. Similarly, though I feel the fragrance is familiar, it is more the familiarity of a recurring dream, or a distant pleasant memory. Not comforting, but not unsettling either. It is both provocative and calming. A masterpiece of perfumery IMHO. Get thee a sample, and try it for yourself!

    11th January, 2009

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

    first of all...i get no leather from this weird concoction. secondly, i find this to be a low-budget version of an already low-tier fragrance known as Ambre Sultan. That stuff is bad.....and this is its imitation. Overblown spices, curry, and amber create a similar spectrum to Ambre Sultan-----only a little saltier and cheaper smelling. FAIL!

    11th January, 2009

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Aventure by Il Profumo

    boooooooooring. nothing really interesting going on here...i've tried this 3 or 4 times...and every time i sit and wonder "why do people make such boring rubbish fragrances?"

    11th January, 2009

    everso's avatar

    United States United States

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    Duro by Nasomatto

    this is not a very original scent, it sort of combines several 'masculine' stereotypes taken from older woods and leather scents----and hurls them into an attractive, gimmick ridden package which oozes cool. it's got a cool name, in a cool bottle, with an interesting image--------and the scent is pretty decent. an upper scale middle-of-the-road leather and tar scent with some nice woods goin on. not really saviour material, but not boring either. also not worth $150 for 30ml. cut the price in half and i'd buy a bottle.

    11th January, 2009

    Goldaline's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser by 4711

    A truly great and refreshing scent, lovely when sprayed cold straight from the fridge on a hot day. I agree that it doesn't last long, but it's light enough to be reapplied frequently.

    It's easily as nice as the pricier Guerlain eaux, suits both men and women, has an uplifitng effect on mood, and is suitable for all ages. No wonder it has stood the test of time!

    11th January, 2009

    Goldaline's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    I live in England and this scent is nowhere to be seen in this country. Every department store claims it's been discontinued, but it hasn't according to basenotes.

    Several years ago, I bought the body lotion and just wore that. It was enough: my body warmed the lotion and I was enveloped in the scent all day.

    I find this scent to be very comforting and quite sexy. I like the vanilla, which is not overdone, the spice, and the smokiness. It's very unique. The sales assistant who first sold it to me said that it was created to capture the smell of the streets of New York. I never found out whether or not that was true, but as someone who just loves New York City, it sure did help to sell it to me.

    I'd love to repurchase this fragrance, either in the spritz form or the body lotion form, and wish I could find it in the UK.

    11th January, 2009

    Goldaline's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Eau des Merveilles by Hermès

    I don't like the mild and faintly sweet fruity dry down of this fragrance: last time I sprayed this on the back of my hand, every sniff reminded me of my late grandmother's rice pudding, complete with vanilla and cinamon pods. Go figure! But thankfully, the smell didn't last long and had very little sillage.

    It's a pity this scent is so underwhelming, as the bottle and the advertising campaign are magnificent.

    11th January, 2009

    analavande's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cuba Orange by Cuba Paris

    I purchased Cuba Black, Cuba Brown, Cuba Gray, Cuba Red, Cuba Blue, Cuba Gold and Cuba Orange for my teenage son. Of course, I had to sample them before gifting them to him.
    Now, I am pretty tolerant of most fragrances but, Cuba Orange -I had to throw away. It is awful, obnoxious, relentless, plastic sickening orange. I tested it three or four times but, found no redeeming qualities. I even decided against using it as a garage air freshener. I hope I have not offended anyone.

    11th January, 2009

    soirdelune's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Sous Le Vent by Guerlain

    Am in [B]Sous Le Vent[/B], and I love, love, love it. A gorgeous citrus-green, at first very much in the manner of a funky O de Lancome, with oodles of grass, moss and verdure -- all the things I love to roll in! I tend to struggle with older Guerlains, but this is an utterly effortless wear. I'd even go so far as to say that it appears to lack the requisite [I]guerlinade[/I] -- there's not a trace of vanilla, as far as I can establish, and I thank heaven for this small mercy. My only grumble -- and, sadly, it's a serious one -- is that longevity is short, which I find unusual for a Guerlain. It disappeared on me in an hour or so.

    11th January, 2009

    Seremela's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    LouLou by Cacharel

    Loulou is my first love.

    I was given a bottle of this wonderful potion for my birthday in 1988 and fell in love with it immediately.
    Great sillage and lasts up to 16 hours on my skin.

    It is quite sharp and strong when first sprayed, but when it settles it is very warm and sexy.
    when I wear this I always get people asking me what I am wearing....especially men......and I will quite often wear it for that purpose !!! Lol.

    The base notes of Vanilla, Sandalwood and Incense are a perfect blend and project very well from my skin.

    I have a quite extensive wardrobe of fragrances and Loulou will always be among them.

    Is that you Loulou?........ Oui Ces't moi........

    11th January, 2009

    Seremela's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    LouLou Blue by Cacharel

    Loulou Blue is lovely.

    Although the bottle is the same as the original Loulou , the fragrance is quite different.

    Very faintly you can smell similar notes to the original but this is much lighter, powdery ,flowery sweet .Warm, oriental, alluring ,sexy.

    I would call Loulou blue a soft oriental, I think the original Loulou (my first and most favourite perfume)is classified as this but all who know her will say there is nothing soft about her at all, more a bold and dramatic perfume.

    So then this one, Loulou blue, is her sweet soft little sister.

    The original Loulou lasts 12 to 16 hours on my skin and has wonderful sillage, and as you would expect from Loulou Blue being an EDT it sadly does not last as long , it settles quite fast on the skin, lasts about 4 to 6 hours with a little bit of sillage - enough to get a comment or two.

    If you are a lover of Cacharel Fragrances you will not be disappointed !!!!

    Overall a fantastic choice , definitely bottle worthy if you like powdery perfumes, but be quick as it has long been discontinued but there are still a few websites who stock it....for now.

    11th January, 2009

    Seremela's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Time for Peace for Her by Kenzo

    I had wanted a bottle of this for the longest time.......the only one I could find was going to cost me AUD$300+ !!!!!!
    Then someone here in OZ listed one on ebay and I scored it for AUD$26 !!!! with postage !!!!

    And OH MY !!! I am not disappointed this perfume is so fresh- yet so sexy......and warm. My Boyfriend loves this perfume, I have probably 200+ fragrances in my wardrobe and doesn't know one from another but every time I wear this hes comes in close for a snuggle!!! and it lasts quite well, 6 to 8 hours on my skin.

    A shame it was a limited edition - definitely bottle worthy- if you can find it.....GET IT !!!!!

    Double thumbs up !!!!!!!

    11th January, 2009

    DawnLady's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Clair de Musc by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    I tried this in a perfume shop, and thought it was so lovely that I ordered a full bottle. When the bottle arrived, though, I was disappointed. It smells of musc - strong musc - and not really anything else. I think that when I tried it in the shop I must have been wearing something else, or tried some other sample, that added to this, making is seem so nice and interesting. Now, though, I realise that it is not as good as the tender, delicate Musc Bleu by Il Profumo, and doesn't even come close to the absolutely gorgeous Royal Muska by M Micallef (why isn't this one on Basenotes?), and I regret buying in such haste. On the plus side, you only need a small amount and it does last well.

    11th January, 2009

    jabberwukie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fiery Curry by Demeter Fragrance Library

    To me, this doesn't smell like curry at all. It does however smell like RC cola.
    Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just not curry.

    11th January, 2009

    Game's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ambre Précieux by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    I absolutely love this fragrance! A slightly sweet, rich, and balance amber with a touch of spiciness and vanilla. Beautifully composed and high quality.

    11th January, 2009

    Angeldust's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Green Irish Tweed by Creed

    _SUCH_
    (^ And I really can't put enough emphasis on that)
    An amazing scent.

    Its just beautiful- fresh, vibrant, sexy, powerful and masculine... yet refined too. This is the full package in terms of the scent.

    HOWEVER, longevity is... well actually the simple word longevity is an overstatement- 4 hours max. and considering the price, its a tough call.

    Still, thumbs up for the great smell!

    11th January, 2009

    fountaingirl's avatar



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    Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan

    I don't think this is one of the 'greats,' but it is definitely a warm, slightly spicy, powdery scent that is enjoyable. I am fine with the one-dimensionality of it, to me this is the fragrance equivalent of mac & cheese. It's not gourmet or impressive, but for what it is it is very good and sometimes you are in the mood and that is what you want. Worthy of being in the wardrobe.

    11th January, 2009

    fountaingirl's avatar



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    Eau de Gucci by Gucci

    A very soft, gentle, yummy and so slightly honeyed skin scent. Perfect when you just want to smell beautiful in an unobtrusvie way. Sillage is almost nonesistent, very inoffensive.

    11th January, 2009

    fountaingirl's avatar



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    Arabie by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Oh horrible horrible stuff on my skin. My chemistry is all wrong for this and turns it into a scrubber! The opening is MARZIPAN LIKE WHOA! and something sharp that stabs the sinuses, and from there is gets sweeter and sweeter until it hits unbearable screaming sugar and honey overload. I can only handle ten to fifteen minutes of it before it has to go.

    11th January, 2009

    abc1234's avatar

    United States United States

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    Knize Ten by Knize

    Very sharp, fresh Synthetic Leather, not real leather, smell. Yeah it's pleather! Like the fake leather in cheap cars. No class, no sophistication, not pleasant. Pass.

    11th January, 2009

    abc1234's avatar

    United States United States

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    Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    After one spray on my wrist, I smell ZOO. Yes, the place with all kinds of animals, you know. Most zoos have flowers planted along side of walkways as well. It is dirty and gross. The animal smell is so realistic so vivid. Can't stand it.

    But I guess this is the thing with niche fragrance, the worse they are, more popular they become. I bet average Joe can not appreciate such "high class" smell ;-)

    11th January, 2009

    MDHiggins's avatar



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    Light Blue Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

    I really think everyone gives this frag a bad score simply because it's a fresh/aquatic that smells like a lot of other things. One should judge a frag on it's own merits and not whether or not you like this particular type or whether it smells like other frags.

    The thing with "cologne people" is that they all have this deep-seeded desire to fill the room with an eye watering, nose scratching, sneezing, musky, mossy, mildewy, thick-arm-pit-sludge reminiscent of grandpa coming in after a long day down at the shop. Everything remotely (dare I say) "trendy" and "fresh" automatically sucks because it's probably worn by a guy who has an attractive women under 130lbs. on his arm..., how dare he...., *gasp*

    The fact remains..., if you're 25-35 and looking for something that modern and youngish women will smile at..., this watery start, light woodsy finish is a good pick.

    11th January, 2009

    Paramour's avatar



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    Farouche by Nina Ricci

    Extremely linear, non-dimensional soapy, old generic floral fragrance. Devoid of any character or personality.

    11th January, 2009

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