Perfume Reviews

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Black Vetiver by Phaedon

I am missing the “black” part here, at any stage, but nonetheless... what a compelling smooth and modern vetiver this is. Along the line of Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver, but noticeably more quality to any extent for me: crisper, more natural, more vibrant, with a more “dimensional” texture, slightly rawer too (or, say, maybe just more “genuine-smelling”). A bit similar to Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s Racine as well, mostly for the citrus-vetiver combo, but somehow more transparent, slightly colder and overall more “minimalistic” than that – shortly, more contemporary. The evolution of Black Vetiver is quite simple, basically it starts off with an invigoratingly vivid splash of zesty lemon supported by an initially toned-down elegant accord of smooth, salty vetiver infused with something which smells like a sort of aldehydic musk to me; it’s very subtle, but it gives a peculiar texture to the woody base accord, making it smell as a sort of a greyish, breezy vetiver “mist” sprayed on dry concrete. Well, I’m making it sound more avantgarde than it is, but that’s more or less the effect I get here.

Once most of the greenish top notes of lemon fade away, it’s all about some really great, high quality, vibrant yet pleasantly civilized grassy-salty vetiver still surrounded by that breezy sort of dusty mist I mentioned above – and still lightly infused by some citrus nuances. But most of all it’s vetiver though, and it’s completely, indisputably pleasant as only good vetiver can be. It smells very natural, very woody and grassy-salty (no “inky” nonsense or whatever other ill synthetic rendition of it). And like good vetiver does, it smells also at once very elegant, yet terribly laid-back and easy to wear. As the drydown progresses, some more somber, smokier and slightly sweeter nuances arise, but at no point it will get too “black” – just a bit quieter and moodier, but with a palpable salty-breezy feel underneath. More than “black”, a “grey-yellow vetiver”.

That’s it, it may sound simple and it actually is, but it’s a pure, vibrant kind of simple, something more than pleasant to wear. Thank God none of Guillaume’s trademark mish-mash concepts are here, no weird mojitos and no chubby gourmands gone wrong. This doesn’t smell at all like one of his creations for me, and maybe that’s why it smells so nice. By far my favourite “modern” vetiver, a refined everyday gem and a perfect contemporary companion to the nicest old-school vetivers like Guerlain’s or Carven’s. Still quite overpriced but totally worthy if you can get some discount.

05th May, 2016

Jolie Fleur Rose by Tory Burch

Gorgeous, uncomplicated rose fragrance.
05th May, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Une Rose Vermeille by Tauer

The bergamot and lavender than take the centre stage in the opening are not bad, and soon the rose is indeed present - albeit not in the foreground but more as an accompaniment. This rose is restrained and of medium brightness, more discreet that overtly powerful.

In the drydown it is supported by a fruity berry impression, but at that stage these various components, albeit competently blended, are lacking a bit of richness and intensity; a veil of colourlessness seems the pre-vail.

Vanilla and a fairly generic woodsy note take over in the base, but there is also a synthetic ambergris that tries to balance the sweets, the latter being fairly restrained anyway. Whilst a sweet concoction, it is never cloying and not even very intensive.

The performance is characterised by moderate sillage, reasonable projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin, with the last three hours very close to my skin.

Although this spring scent is not bad, it lacks convincing richness, texture and quality of the ingredients to convince as a whole and to place it in the front line. 2.5/5
05th May, 2016
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janecc Show all reviews
United States

Ambercuir by Sultan Pasha

I'm a novice but--since there are no reviews I'll dive in to this extent: the scent is harmonized- no "fall off" point like there is with many other fragrances. It opens on my skin with incense (sandalwood?), something pleasantly sweet (beeswax?)-not cloying, Attractive. Intriguing. The incense element is perfect for me - my body chemistry amplifies incense notes and they can be too much - but not here.
05th May, 2016

Tuberose by L'Erbolario

An excellent but sadly discontinued floral bouquet from L'Erbolario with a rich and vibrant tuberose's dominant presence, overall surrounded by a general musky-fruity chic aura. Really sensual, feminine and inebriant scent. It seems to detect hints of neroli, rose (providing a touch of delicacy), ylang-ylang and a sort of peachy kind of well calibrated fruitiness as well. The comparison with Versace Blonde and Piguet Fracas is somewhat excessive but L'Erbolario Tuberose is surely a mature and solid take on the sensual floral theme. A pity it's out of market at moment.
05th May, 2016

Dunhill Edition by Dunhill

A great masterpiece. While I can't isolate clove, the overall effect of spices is very uplifting. Longevity is decent. 8 hours and then it is a skin scent. Development could have been better. Seems pretty linear which is not bad in this case as the fragrance is pretty amazing
04th May, 2016 (last edited: 05th May, 2016)

Gelsomino by Santa Maria Novella

I was in Rome for a few days in early April this year.I had promised my long-suffering husband that there would be no perfume. That we would be doing nothing for those four days but walking, eating long, uninterrupted lunches, drinking a cup of coffee without having to reheat it, and having real conversations for four days. I was looking forward to it. It was going to be a blast, you know? All that walking. All that conversing.

And yet, and yet…..perfume conspired to find me.

Did you know that the center of Rome smells like horses? And therefore, like jasmine?

Near the Spanish Steps, rows of mangy-looking beasts are lined up, waiting to drag hot and irritated tourists around the city. There they stand, in deep misery, flicking flies off their rumps with their tails and dumping great big piles of shit all over the cobblestones.

Get near them and the air positively throbs with the smell of hot horseflesh, the heavy miasma of sweated-in dander from their mane, and the inky, dark, quasi-indolic smell of their poo. Add to that the smell of worn leather from their harnesses, and you have a swirling, foetid maze of scent that is similar in many ways to the dirtier facets of a good Sambac jasmine.

Still, I hadn’t expected to find my perfectly horsey jasmine bliss in a bottle in the Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella.

I had conspired to “wander” casually by the Rome Santa Maria Novella location with my husband (having, of course, plotted my route via Google Maps several months in advance). “Oh look!” I exclaimed, as innocently as I could, “A cute little pharmacy! Let’s see if they have any Compeed.”

The Gelsomino was the one that grabbed me by the throat. I didn’t like it much at first, because it smelled like jasmine essential oils always smell to me - exuberant, fruity, and always (despite the price) slightly coarse or cheap. There were elements of grape jam, melting plastic, fuel fumes, purple bubblegum for kids - a full-throated, smeary Italian jasmine that’s all fur coat and no knickers.

My husband said it smelled like cheap soap, specifically the smell of jasmine soap that someone has used to try and cover up a bad smell in the bathroom.

But I was beginning to be intoxicated by its healthy vulgarity, its I-do-not-give-a-shit insouciance, so I drenched myself even further, giving myself a real whore’s bath right there in front of the slightly shocked Japanese girl whose job it was to carefully remove the bottles I requested to smell from the massive wooden armoire where they were stored.

Let me tell you, this is a perfume that comes into its own when you walk it around a hot city for six or seven hours. It was unseasonably hot in Rome – already 27, 28 degrees Celsius in early April. As the day wore on, I got progressively grimier, and so did Gelsomino. Now it smelled truly dirty, slightly sour, like human skin trapped under the sweaty plastic wristband on a cheap watch, or the scent of the leather strap on your handbag after it’s been rubbing against your bare shoulder bone on a hot summer’s day.

My husband sniffed it towards the end, and shook his head. It smells like hay and horse poo and leather now, doesn’t it, I marveled. No, he said, you are wrong. It smells like stale piss. Please don’t buy that one. Please.

The next day, when I bought it, I consoled my husband by telling him I had bought the smallest bottle possible. “Look,” I said, holding up the teeny tiny bottle for him to see, “Only 8ml.” Oh that’s ok then, said my husband, relieved and kind of proud I had taken his feelings into consideration.

(It was the super-powerful, super-long-lasting Triple Extract).
04th May, 2016

Salvador Dali pour Homme by Salvador Dali

This forms a strong accord, with complexity spilling out from the edges. Something prominent in the main accord is off for my tastes, but it has character.
04th May, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Phi - Une Rose de Kandahar by Tauer

Cinnamon with almond and a fruity background is what I get in the opening blast, exuding a pleasantly sweet warmth. The fruity side is a peachy apricot that is a bit blandly sitting there as a backdrop to the real action.

In the drydown finally the rose a-rose, pleasant again, of medium brightness but very much more a background feature than a full-fledged dominant rose, and I find it a bit flat on my skin.

Never mind the rose: a vanilla wave is closing over my head, with tonka giving added depth, and together with the remaining cinnamon he smoothness of this combination dominantes the second half, and it makes for a lovely warming and comforting base, with hints of ambroxan, white musk and a somewhat perfunctory synthetic ambergris preventing too much sweetness; it is never cloying or overwhelming.

The performance is excellent with the moderate sillage, strong projection and a stupendous fourteen hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a very agreeable winter warmer, an olfactoric gluhwein so to speak, but the conundrum is: with the rose appearing so prominently in the name, is it acceptable to have this flower occupying such a relatively minor role in this composition. As I am mainly interested in the fragrance and not its name, I will not hold the name against it, but buyer beware: this is not a rose bomb. It is, however, not without its flaws, and sitting at the border between a neutral and a postitive score it is the convincing performance that pushes it across the line - just by the skin of its teeth. 3/5.

Gefühl ist alles - name ist Schall und Rauch.

Maybe there are not too many roses in Kandahar these days.
04th May, 2016

Black Soul Imperial by Ted Lapidus

Black Soul Imperial may sound like something Darth Vader might wear but it's good stuff. The resinous tolu could have lent a syrupy quality to the body, and teamed up with the mint it almost smells like bubble gum in a way, but the rich, arid coffee note flattens the whole thing out and really steams out the wrinkles. The coffee presence is so large (imagine a steroidal Polo Double Black) that I can't really think of what the original Black Soul would smell like, as it absolutely dominates the composition. It's like a catchy song about a really trite subject with a sick RAT pedal distortion on the guitar; you may claim you don't like it- until you're stuck at a stop light and you catch yourself singing along. Take the good with the bad and just go with it. This is rock and roll.
03rd May, 2016

TL pour Lui by Ted Lapidus

TL smells like a reduced-sugar marshmallow. It brings to mind Jil Sander's Background minus the rose and citrus, and is a very mellow, low hum of a scent, sturdy and reliable but rather quiet. While on paper it may sound similar to Le Male or Ghost Man, TL is much less dynamic with its top notes, and it comes out of the bottle fully formed, as it remains practically the same throughout its lifespan. In this regard I would also compare it to Matchabelli's Hero (with much less lavender). I do wish the mint presence was stronger here but at the same time I feel it was meant as a soft complement to the orange blossom. No towering genius here, just a carefree Spring day. My initial response was a neutral one but I have come to appreciate a release centered wholly on vanilla without being sweet.
03rd May, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

A clearly vertiver-dominated opening blast, intertwined with a peppery sidekick. The vetiver as such is fairly clean and bright, with only minimal rawness and earthiness on my skin, but the pepper casts a dark shadow over it. Additionally, very much from her start herbaceous undertones are present, at times verging on light hay note.

The vetiver dominates throughout so far deep into the drydown, although a whiff of white florals gives is a softer edge.

The base goes through a fairly nonspecific woodsy stage initially, but then vanilla and a slightly crispier cistus note merge into a dyad that is quite unusual and more interesting than I expected. There is an overly synthetic ambery/ambergris component mixed in that is suffocated by the cistus/vanilla dyad - maybe that is not such a bad thing; the ambery note works better in the background on my skin. The vetiver still breaks through at times, but eventually the dyad rules, only interrupted at by a slightly sweeter version of the herbal aroma from the beginning.

The performance is very good, with moderate sillage, excellent projection and eleven hours of longevity on my skin.

As a vetiver, a clean vetiver with a spice note on top, it is a passable creation, but the shenanigans around the vetiver sound rather haphazard and synthetically chaotic, but they work surprisingly well in accord.

Overall, although rather synthetic, this is an interesting rendering of a vetiver scent. 3/5.
03rd May, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Orange Star by Tauer

The is a citrus wind, blowing initially orangey and then mainly ripe grapefruit, a fizzy lemonade concoction that is quite pleasant. This is not a refreshing opening blast, more a gently glowing grapefruit-lolly style of considerable sweetness, but never cloying.

After the first couple of hours, heralded by a floral interlude, the second phase arrives: a somewhat pitiful attempt at a synthetic ambergris, clean, a bit bland and displaying nothing reminiscent of whale vomit - this sterilised ambergis for silk gloves. A fairly generic vanilla flavour combined with a similarly unexciting and dull bright patchouli does not improve matters. The base is a bit of a disappointment.

The performance is good though, with moderate sillage, good projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A synthetic scent for summer days that are not too hot, the passable first part is let down by the less-than-average second part. Sitting at the border between negative and neutral, the pleasant opening and decent performance get it over the line - just. 2/5.
03rd May, 2016
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Miyako by Auphorie

“One should always be drunk. That's all that matters...But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.”
--- Charles Baudelaire

Auphorie Miyako is another viable option. I will not – I’m not able – to vivisect Miyako, at least not given my (hopefully temporary) severely abbreviated faculties, but this stuff is absolutely narcotic. Dizzying, literally. This should come with a government warning label before it is visited on an innocent population, sapping IQs and compromising SAT scores.

The scent also gives the strange sensation of having a quasi-physical VOLUME. I get that feeling also from, for example, vintage L'Heure Bleue. If you understand that velvety nimbus-like physicality I am referring to in L'Heure Bleue, multiply it by about 1.75.

The complexity of Miyako is plain, but a subtle scent this is not. I frankly cannot imagine wearing it – if anything, its uberfeminine - nor can I imagine my wife wearing it. Who could? Perhaps Simonetta Vespucci in Botticell’s “Venus and Mars.” (And it would have precisely the effect on Mars as depicted in that picture.) Or maybe, in a more modern context, Marilyn Monroe in the film “Niagara” (1953) where she plays a woman deceiving her husband and wears (in the words of the original script) a red dress “cut so low you can see her knees.”

The fact is, one really cannot be this inebriated all day. But I am happy to own a full bottle and to let out the genie for an occasional enraptured sniff. Beverley Nichols, in his memoir, “Father Figure” (1972) writes of his first intoxication on Chartreuse: “I was exquisitely drunk… I leaned back and apostrophized the gleaming fluid in my glass.” That’s exactly what I’ll do with Miyako.
03rd May, 2016

Oud Bleu Intense by Fragrance Du Bois

The opening is intensely masculine and far too fruity-citrus, but once past this phase, the drydown is absolutely incredible and definitely worth waiting for. I am so thankful I went in on this split blindly!

While I do get a "sense" of oud, it definitely is not the barnyard I've experienced with some I've sampled. For me, the base is mostly a creamy amber/sandalwood. I have no idea if this is a true grey amber or if the sandalwood is a true mysore, but whatever it is, it works for me, and lasts about 8-10 hours.
03rd May, 2016

Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud is a romantic and saturnine "silent" musky oud's rendition with a central rose/patchouli saffrony accord and a general musky-honeyed silkiness surrounding all the elements. Super smooth chic velvet. This juice is never watery, wild, fizzy or provocative but exactly the opposite (smooth, hyper classy, velvety, silky, incensey-resinous and sophisticated). Yes, basically "barbaric" elements as oudh, patchouli, cedar and also saffron are (by a sleight of hand) in here alchemically combined in to an exquisite, finally honeyed and perfectly balanced piece of musky refinement. The final cedar is honeyed to die for. Not a complex or multifaceted fragrance but surely a dreamy graceful scent for us. A divinely soapy-languid "pure soul of oud".
02nd May, 2016

Armani Privé Oud Royal by Giorgio Armani

if you are looking for a true and simple "ode to oud" western-style fragrance, look no further than Oud Royal. it is very, very well done.

immediately upon spraying, another oud fragrance in my arsenal came to mind - Cashmere Oud by MFK.

Oud Royal is similar to Cashmere Oud primarily for the *type* of oud they both look to recreate - Laotian, and putting that note front and center. this variety is actually pretty rare in the "real" oud oil community, but the Laotian note seems to be the dominant one used by western fragrance manufacturers. possibly because it's the easiest to recreate chemically, but also because it seems to pair very well with other notes added to it. what is interesting is that although Cashmere Oud is marketed as "wearable, like a soft cashmere sweater", i would disagree. i think it is a roundhouse punch to the face of extremely potent and dense Laotian oud note wrapped up in little else. the sheer brazenness of its power and its simplicity makes it a work of art.

Oud Royal, however, is the real cashmere sweater of the two. striking but gentle, true but forgiving. the synthetic Laotian oud note can have a fierce petroleum streak to it, but Evelyn Boulanger has made certain to take that edge off. perhaps it's the saffron or the dab of vanilla. perhaps it's the perfect plank of sandalwood the whole fragrance is served on. but the sillage is much better on Oud Royal than Cashmere Oud. more inviting, warmer, more seductive. something you want to be around and enjoy, not just appreciate hanging on the wall.

I am also a saffron lover and the saffron note here is exquisite. others have mentioned rose but i am not picking up on much rose in this scent at all. to me (also an unabashed rose lover), this is actually a positive. it is far too easy to pair oud to dense rose and call it a day. but when you can make dry, woody fragrance that brings out the very best of what oud is about, and at the same time making it as wearable as your favorite t-shirt, then you have done something special.

if i had my druthers, i'd make this scent a liiiiiittle more potent. not much, just a tad. mainly because it's such a beautiful fragrance, i want more people to experience it from afar! the longevity is okay but not great. the Armani website classifies this as an "intense eau de parfum". i think they are stretching the truth there a bit.

a safe blind buy for oud lovers. and a wonderful introductory oud fragrance to those just discovering oud's magic. in fact, if i had to pick one western oud fragrance to show a newbie to see if they like the genre or not, this might very well be it.

02nd May, 2016

Bang by Marc Jacobs

Similar to Sentiment by Escada or maybe its Terra D'Hermes... either way it doesn't last very long... Maybe 60 to 90 minutes then its gone... Very disappointing. What scent you do get is very nice.
02nd May, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Pentachord Auburn by Tauer

Fruity with a cinnamon note, sandalwood in the drydown. All the components try to be discretely pleasant, but are pale and, I am afraid, plainly and synthetically dull. Not only discrete but weak.

Poor sillage, limited projection and six hours of longevity - even the performance is underwhelming.

No redeeming feature apart from the fact that it is neither nauseating nor sickening or cloying or overwhelming and has no trendy oud in it. 1.5/5.
02nd May, 2016

Dubai Ruby by Bond No. 9

Dubai Ruby is a unisex sensual fragrance housed in a beautiful gold & red star shaped bottle; very nice indeed!

It evokes a blend of East meets West on a hot summer night; I would swear there is a blend of gardenia/tuberose & rose in the heart similar to B9; again very beautifully done.

I have sampled it a few times and am finding the longevity a little bit shorter than most Bonds; was it meant to be worn in Hot Dubai weather?
I shall carry on using my sample until I understand the fragrance a bit better.

I wonder if a Tola oil might become available in the future for cooler weather use to ensure usual Bond longevity.

Thumbs up!
02nd May, 2016

Calycanthus Brumae by Acqua di Stresa

Acqua di Stresa Calycanthus Brumae is aromatic and piquant (extremely peppery and cardamomish), gingery and mildly spicy (cloves and nutmeg??), silent and mystic, humid and susurrant, cottony and breezy. Supremely musky, vaguely minty-waxy, deeply spicy-vegetal, floral (in a sort of softly honeyed way) and delicately laundry (spicy/soapy laundriness). It ideally evokes nostalgic afternoons along a mountainous lake's shore with the vision of a little picturesque town rooted gracefully bottom up a promontory. Arcane as the memory of disappeared toiletries of your childhood. This juice speaks about wet rural dawns and old cottages surrounded by nature. The scent opens kind of soapy-anisic-spicy (vaguely victorian, with hints of pepper, ginger, green notes and aromatic spices) and unveils a perfect final cocktail of aqueous frankincense, aromatic floral notes (camphoraceous Calycanthus), secret roots, woods and musks. Dry down is a cottony whisper of pure nostalgia. A pity for the faint duration on my skin. Synth but not too much. A poetic little shadowy juice for struggling souls.
01st May, 2016 (last edited: 02nd May, 2016)

Alien Essence Absolue by Thierry Mugler

I am a true Alien Fangirl and own just about every version except the leather one. This is my favorite to wear in an everyday manner. It's not as brash as the original, the edges are softened; this alien has learned some Earth manners. It's a beautiful, glowing, ambered version of Alien. Love love love, even though it's not as peculiar as the mothership.
01st May, 2016

Classique Intense by Jean Paul Gaultier

This is wonderful stuff with a sly sense of humor. On first quick sniff, it seems to be another fruity floral like so many other mass markets mehs. But it has quite a few twists and turns that make it fun and quirky. Kurkdjian has a couple such perfumes- Ma Dame is another one with a good sense of fun. Classique Intense has a true solar radiance that is very cheering and energizing. Fruity florals are NOT my thing, but Francis has beguiled me with this one! Great bottle, too!
01st May, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

The two main phases are obvious: the leathery-smoky opening, combining a deep and slightly harsh leather with a smoky, campfire-cum-barbecue impression. Which on my skin is never overly intrusive or unpleasant. Rich - yes, intensive - yes, deep - yes, but all well combined.

The leather is quite dark, and a bit like an old leather coat, with hardly any gasoline not present - this is much less bold, raw and gutsy than Knize Ten; it is deeper and darker than Cuiron and also than the Cuir of the Nombre d'Or series.

A green, slightly herbal and slightly floral transition leads to the second phase, which sees a fairly dark vanilla together with a Taueresque sweetly-spicy incense impression; a synthetic sandal wood together with the spice keep the sweetness in check; this composition is never overly sweet, sickly or cloying; the balance is quite impressive.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a great eleven hours of longevity.

The wintery fragrance displays many of the features characteristics for many of Tauer's products. Very pleasant and blended very well, overall very nice. 3.25/5.
01st May, 2016
surge Show all reviews
United States

Jimmy Choo Man by Jimmy Choo

I actually like this one better than Sauvage, but not as good as BdC.
The reason why I prefer this is, firstly, it can be had for not that much money in comparison to the others (except A&F Fierce but IMHO that scent barely wearable), and secondly, it's light, but in a good way. I don't mean that the projection and longevity are bad -- that's not what I mean...I mean that, usually, these types of scents often give me a headache, but Jimmy Choo man, for whatever reason, does not. Not original at all, but not a bad scent. It's generally pleasant and it's not a stench bomb like BdC. Definitely office wear approved, just don't go wild...1-2 sprays, that's it.
01st May, 2016
surge Show all reviews
United States

Sauvage by Christian Dior

This is not as bad as everyone says it is, but you have to consider this line's heritage...This scent is a far cry from the greatness of Dior Homme, Fahrenheit, and Dior Homme Intense & Parfum. It's not very original, they didn't even give it an original name, but maybe they did that on purpose now that I think about it.
Sauvage can be easily mistaken for Jimmy Choo Man, or the original, Bleu De Chanel. It's probably going to be a huge win for the people who usually don't pay too much attention to their fragrances and just want the latest and greatest...But for real fragrance heads like myself, this is definitely a PASS.
Not only do I not consider it to be a good buy but these types of scents don't play well with my nose. Even BdC, if sprayed too much, gives me a mild headache. This one was getting me there with just three sprays when I tried it at Macy's.
But hey if you're in high school or early 20s and want a date fragrance or something to wear "in da clubz" -- this is it. Go for it, and enjoy!
I'm giving it a neutral rating, as a human being, but as a "fragrance snob" -- of course it gets THREE thumbs down :)
01st May, 2016

Love Shot by Ex Nihilo

Ex Nihilo Love Shot is a pleasant surprise for me. I have to admit that its name was initially kind of misleading about the orientation of my expectations since I was frankly expecting something less complex, less elegant, probably more experimental, fruity and abrasive. On the contrary Love Shot is far more classic in style and articulated than it seemed. First of all this is a feminine juice in my humble opinion, a really elegant french modern floral-chypre with a classic musky-spicy background conjuring holy classics from Ungaro, Cartier, Van Cleef&Arpels, Fendi, Ysl or Estee Lauder. The aroma is multifaceted, bright, spacious, musky/floral, fruity, woody, herbal, spicy, sophisticated and hyper elegant like a classic piece of french traditional perfumery. The kind of woman jumping on mind is sensual, dynamic and always maniacal in "fresh chic loveliness". There must be included far more notes beyond the listed raspberries, musk and lether imo. The latter is like a silky twist surrounding all the elements by a smooth final velvety embrace. It seems to detect hesperides, spices, aldehydes, florals (violet, rose, sambac jasmine, osmanthus?), patchouli, balsamic elements, vanilla and may be sandalwood, anyway I suppose the performer Nathalie Gracia-Cetto is surely "filled with" classic french tradition but at same time witting about secrets of modern neo-classic perfumery represented by creations a la Chanel Mademoiselle Coco but also Thierry Mugler Angel, Lumiere Noir Femme and further (minimalistic musky complexity). Actually, depite its classic background it is undeniable Love Shot is a modern chypre with a musky super smooth (and cleaner) final twist (a la Kurkdjian) that is glamour-chic, clean and fresh all at once. Love Shot combines gracefully a traditional spicy/woody/vegetal chypre tradition with fresh muskiness, colourful fruitiness (a well calibrated red-berrish presence) and fluidy spiciness, overall enveloped by a silky-chic modern musky/leathery touch. Yes, should probably be appropriate to say "minimalistic but not simplistic". The outcome is like a new age Ysl Paris, something surely "cleaner" but yet balanced, structured, hyper parisian, spacious and elegant. A great neo-classic for a modern "power-lady" projected towards future but even aware about that insuperable french tradition that is the holy repertory of the elegance's history.
30th April, 2016 (last edited: 02nd May, 2016)

Honey Oud by Floris

I love this fragrance. It has good longevity without being cloying or overpowering. The honey is intense, with a softer finish from the oud. Just beautiful.
30th April, 2016

Twilight Woods by Bath and Body Works

The first thing to say about this fragrance is that its name is totally misleading. I find nothing "dark" or "shadowy" about this fragrance, and I find no "woods" whatsoever in this fragrance.

This review is for the body spray layered with the shower gel and body creme/lotion.

The listed Notes are as follow:

Top Notes: Mandarin Orange, Coconut, Wild Berries.

Heart Notes: Honeysuckle, Freesia, Frangipani, Mimosa, and Apricot.

Base Notes: Musk, Vanilla, Orris Root, Agar Wood, and Woodsy Notes.

Of the listed notes, I definitely perceive coconut, honeysuckle, (dark) berries, a bit of mimosa, and a bit of apricot. In the deep dry down, I get hints of musk and vanilla but no woods. I am unfamiliar with agar wood (oud), so I cannot say if I can smell it or not, but I would say I do not feel as though I can perceive any "woodsy" notes in Twilight Woods.

Twilight Woods is a nice fragrance. It sweet and fruity in a nice way. It is not cloying or syrupy. The scent is cuddly, and I think it is a fragrance that can easily be worn year round. It is not amongst my top three B&BW's fragrances, but I do like it quite well, and I find that on certain days and for certain circumstances, it is highly apropos. Anyone who likes coconut, honeysuckle, and dark berries would probably like Twilight Woods. It borders on the gourmand but never becomes so "foodie" to my nose that it feels edible.

Any time I purchase from B&BWs, I purchase the complete set of a fragrance, i.e. body spray with matching shower gel, body creme, and lotion. (I also purchase the EdT's on my three favourites: Sensual Amber; Cashmere Glow; and, Dark Kiss.)

Layering the shower gel and body creme/lotion with the body spray easily gives me 12 to 14 hours longevity which is better than my significantly more expensive fragrances including my Guerlains, Diors, and Chanels. If your skin and scalp lean toward the oily end of the spectrum, try using the shower gels as shampoos. The oil in your scalp will really lock in the fragrance and add to your overall fragrance projection, sillage, and longevity.

Overall Fragrance: 7/10

Projection: 9/10 for the first hour lessening somewhat thereafter.

Sillage: 91/0 for the first hour and lessening somewhat thereafter.

Longevity: 10/10 if layered with matching products; otherwise, 7/10 if liberally applied, which is still pretty darn good for a body spray.

Please just remember that Twilight Woods does not smell "woody," at least not to my nose.
30th April, 2016

Midnight Oud by Juliette Has a Gun

On me it opens very strongly with the rose, which fades down directly from the skin after only about five minutes but remains in the sillage. The strength and slight initial "rottenness" of the rose note reminds me a little of Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet.

After about 30 minutes it settles into something much quieter and more harmonious, oud and restrained patchouli. A little sweet with something I can't quite identify. It continues in the same way, getting woody as it finishes.

Good sillage, long-lasting (about five hours on my skin), and pleasant enough but I'm left feeling a little "so what?"
30th April, 2016