Fragrance Reviews from June 2009

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    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Une Zeste de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine

    A citrusy rose. Fresh, sheer, and youthful. Some reviewers mention tea, which may be what smooths out anything overly pungent from the zesty lemon and orange, and gives the rose a damp, dew-dappled quality. Definitely an excellent rose-based fragrance for a young person (you won't smell like grandma's soap!), but enjoyable as well for the more mature person who shies away from fruity florals.

    14 June, 2009

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    Kohdo Wood Collection: Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone

    I love it. This is a beautiful treatment of lily-- not honey-sweetened, not ripe and lush, but elevated to something bright, weightless and almost pungent by spicy ginger. I don't find amber to be much in evidence until well into the drydown, but it is quite exotic, especially when the incense comes forward. Yet, I wouldn't call this scent "dark." The incense isn't brooding, the lily not funereal. This to me is a beautful summer fragrance; serene and uplifting. It reminds me of visiting a Japanese garden on a warm afternoon, sitting in an azumaya shaded by surrounding cypress trees, watching the koi investigate brightly hued fallen leaves from Japanese maples floating on the surface of a sun-dappled pond.

    14 June, 2009

    Merlino's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Nahéma by Guerlain

    *This review is for current formulation extrait*

    Nahema is often referred to as Guerlain's big rose. Indeed, it currently is Guerlain's rose fragrance but there have been other such as Guerlarose (1930). It is also said not to contain any rose notes. I'm not sure, but it does contain damascones which supposedly support any true rose notes that are present.

    The damascones make for a very vibrant and slightly un-guerlainlike opening. They quickly settle on the skin however to give way to a restrained fruity note that is briefly reminiscent of Mitsouko and that gives off very little warmth. It actually reminds me more of cookie dough. In feeling, it also reminds me of Creed Virgin Island Water, which makes me think I finally 'got' the ylang-ylang note that's lurking in both frags.

    As the frag develops, more and more of the rose/peach qualities give way to the foody/woody base of this fragrance. The progression is very enjoyable and Nahema is the first to use the damascones but imho this fragrance has been somewhat rendered irrelevant to modern wearing due to other rose fragrance, most notably Une Rose by Frederic Malle, being much better. Still, thumbs up for a good fragrance and an distinctive piece of perfume history.

    14 June, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

    Hermes Eau D'Orange Verte

    There is nothing that goes with a hot summer day better than the right eau de cologne. A light composition full of bright citrus notes that feels like a lemonade for the skin. I usually want to douse myself in my favorites. I have come to find a few that are my stand bys and I try all the new attempts but the one I keep returning to is the creation of Francoise Caron in 1979 for Hermes, Eau D'Orange Verte. In 1979 it didn't begin its life as Eau D'Orange Verte it was originally named Eau de Cologne D'Hermes. I'm glad it went down to the Perfume Courthouse and changed its name because Eau de Orange Verte is exactly what is delivered when you spray this on. The top is the bright mix of orange bergamot and lemon and it is tart and sharp. The heart of this is the green/orange in the name as the orange accord deepens and is joined by a green accord that balances it beautifully. As the greenness recedes there is a very light floral accord that comes through before cedar brings things to a close. Eau D'Orange Verte is a traditional eau de cologne and is not meant to have much staying power or sillage, and it doesn't. On the other hand it is hard to overspray this so you can feel free to spray much more than you would with a regular eau de toilette. Eau D'Orange Verte is one of those scents that makes me look forward to a heat wave.

    14 June, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Patou pour Homme (original) by Jean Patou

    Patou pour Homme

    Masterpiece, the word is thrown about quite a bit here on Basenotes. It is probably as subjective a term as it gets especially in realms of the senses. My check on what a masterpiece is came near the end of a two-week trip to Italy. We had been to Ravenna, Venice, and Florence; and on our last day had finally booked a ticket to the big art musesum in Florence, The Uffizi. We had been in a number of museums at this point and to say I was burnt-out on looking at paintings would be putting it mildly. I was walking into a gallery and going "pope, baby jesus, mary, medici, next!" Until I walked into one and went "pope, baby jesus, mar....oooh wait that's different". I'd walk up for a closer look and the artist would be Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, or Carvaggio. These pieces stood out. They had something extra or different. Sometimes a depth and sometimes a use of color that was clearly unique from the other well-executed paintings surrounding it. The point here is that when you encounter something different than the rest you immediately know it. So it is with Jean Kerleo's 1980 masterpiece Patou pour Homme. Patou pour Homme is easily one of the best scents I have ever worn on my skin. From the first time I wore it until this time there has never been a time where I haven't been blown away by its beauty. What makes it so special on me? This is that rarest of scents where I can pick out individual notes but it is the harmony with which they combine which makes this special. This is perfectly embodied in the opening of this scent. The beginning is an herbal medley of bergamot, sage, pepper, and tarragon which is quickly joined by lavender. When I first spray on Patou pour Homme the herbal character roars out of the gate but the lavender is right there to bring it under control and make this an accord that is spicy and floral without being identifiably one or the other. This is the rarest of scents in that it can take well-trodden notes and combine them in a new way to make me experience them differently. This happens in the heart. How many scents have vetiver, cedar and patchouli? How many scents would amp up the clean lines of cedar, combine it with vetiver to give it an edge, and add a little earthiness in patchouli? Probably the same number. In Patou pour Homme. Kerleo chooses to let the patchouli take the fore and uses the clean lines of cedar and vativer to constrain its usual expansive nature. This turns into a patchouli that is dry but not earthy. It becomes almost resinous, like incense and incredible, on me. The heart comes off like an incense accord but an incense I've never smelled in real life. This is the rarest of scents in that all that has come before sets you up for a knockout punch at the end. Kerleo was clearly going for a fougere feel and his base goes for that using oakmoss, sandalwood and labdanum. The labdanum comes first as it continues the resinous feel of the heart and allows the transition into the base. This base has one of the most arid sandalwoods I've tried and in conjunction with the labdanum and then the oakmoss this forms a woody mossy resinous accord that is gorgeous. It lasts and lasts and lasts on me. Patou pour Homme deserves to be in the Uffizi of perfume so a bored colognoisseur can walk in and go " aquatic, oriental, chypre....ooh that's different".

    14 June, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Le Baiser du Dragon by Cartier

    Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon

    You know how you buy a book for the cover? The paperback with spaceships in battle, swarthy lotharios, sandaled warriors with big...ahem..swords? Every once in awhile I try a scent because of the name. The nice thing about most scents is you get to try without buying, unlike the paperback that ends up half-finished collecting duston a bedside table. Le Baiser du Dragon was created in 2003 by Alberto Morillas, by some accounts it was supposed to be a feminine vetiver. If that was the goal he failed. Instead Sr. Morillas has created a powerful woody oriental which seems much more apt to be named after a dragon that any feminine vetiver could have been. The top is a beautiful syrupy almond accord paired with neroli. The lighter aspect of neroli balances out what could be a very heavy almond accord. There is a little bite of green in here as well which the note list would make me think is gardenia but this is a gardenia that never comes into full bloom on my skin. The heart is all clean cedar in its straight-edged glory. There is a little musk present to muss up the staid cedar but not enough to make it uncomfortable. The base of this is a really lovely patchouli and amber mix; as in the heart the amber is there just to keep the patchouli from being all that you smell. It is in the base that there is supposed to be some vetiver but I've worn this scent many times in many different temperatures and have yet to encounter this vetiver, perhaps the dragon ate it for lunch. I might have bought Le Baiser du Dragon for the title but unlike those dust gathering paperbacks I look forward to picking this one back up.

    14 June, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior

    Christian Dior Eau Noire

    In 2004 Christian Dior creative design head Hedi Slimane commissioned a trio of colognes for the Dior Homme line. They were Cologne Blanche, Bois D'Argent and Eau Noire. Eau Noire was designed by Francis Kurkdjian and was to be a scent, like Annick Goutal Sables, which used immortelle as the central core to build this cologne around. Immortelle has, to my nose, a powerful and distinct maple syrup accord and it can be that loud talker in the room that doesn't let another note get a word in to the conversation. That makes it a tricky note to work with as a perfumer and a tricky note to appreciate as a colognoisseur because if you don't like it its hard to get away from it. The top of this is immortelle barging into the room in all of its powerful glory but wisely M. Kurkdjian has chosen to allow clary sage to arrive at the olfactory party at the same time. I found this to be an interesting choice as it makes the immortelle feel more incense-like than sweet and it is a good partner to immortelle because it does accentuate a different facet of the dominant note. The shift into the heart comes as the sage moves over to a corner and lavender joins the conversation. In much the same way that sage accentuated the incense quality of immortelle, the floral lavender brings out the more floral quality of immortelle and makes this feel, almost, like a debate of equals. Finally the lavender is exhausted by the everlasting immortelle and in the base vanilla enters the fray and here allows immortelle to be what it is most commonly, the maple syrup sweet over some vanilla flavored pancakes. Here is where immortelle finally arrives at what we expect and immortelle finds a conversational partner that can hold its own against it. Many perfumers realize when you have a central note to be the center of conversation it is important to find partners that allow the listeners to appreciate different aspects of the thesis. M. Kurkdjian has done this in such a way that as you close the door on this olfactory party you don't even mind that the loud talker was in the room.

    14 June, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    A*Men Pure Coffee by Thierry Mugler

    Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Coffee

    Flankers have become the perfume equivalents of movie sequels. Just like movie sequels the more numbers that go behind the title the less original and interesting it usually is. There are exceptions to both rules Cartier Declaration and its flankers and The Godfather. What makes both of those cases stand out is the artists behind them chose to use the original as a stepping-off place to create again as opposed to an original to be copied. In 2008 Thierry Mugler decided to turn to Jacques Huclier who created the original A*Men, 12 years earlier, and Christine Nagel to create A*Men Pure Coffee. One of the consistent criticisms of A*Men as a scent is it is too overwhelming and the notes and accords are layered on with a too-heavy hand. While it is true that A*Men could never be considered a subtle scent I am not one who agrees with that criticism. I think A*Men was an attempt to take a number of very strong notes and try and make them into a balanced whole, which succeeds in my opinion. A*Men Pure Coffee seems to indicate that M. Huclier has heard that criticism and in Pure Coffee attempts to turn down the volume. The way he does this is to use coffee as an accentuating note which allows particularly the chocoalte present in A*Men to come forward. The top of this starts with a roasted bean flavor of coffee. This is different than the coffee present in the base of A*Men which is more of a brewed coffee accord. This accord is the smell you get after you've ground the bean. The astringent oil is present as well as the coffee aroma. I've always noticed the chocolate in A*Men but in Pure Coffee it seems like the chocolate has gone from milk chocolate to dark chocolate as the accord now comes in as almost bittersweet in character. Thie interplay of coffee and chocolate is what makes A*Men Pure Coffee different than A*Men. What makes it the same is the base as patchouli comes in followed by that brewed lighter coffee note present in the original. I will say that while the base is unmistakably A*Men it does seem more muted than in the original. A*Men Pure coffee has proven to be that rare brew that actually improves on the original.

    14 June, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Black Tie by Washington Tremlett

    Washington Tremlett Black Tie

    There are arguably more quality rose scents out there than any other note. Rose has certainly been one of the notes perfumers have used from almost the beginning. The British perfumer Washington Tremlett released Black Tie in 2007 and in many ways it feels like many other rose scents out there but yet somehow manages to feel unique. As I wear Black Tie I am reminded of many other scents I've tried. At the top Black Tie starts with a lovely saffron and sage accord. The saffron is reminiscent of both Czech & Speake Dark Rose and L'Artisan Safran Troublant. As this moves into the heart a rose geranium mix takes over. Again this reminds me of the other Czech & Speake, No. 88 as well as Domenico Caraceni 1913. The base is a mix of sandalwood, vanilla, musk, and patchouli but it comes off with a strong agarwood character to my nose and that makes Black Tie very reminiscent of many of the Montale Aoud scents. When a reviewer is mentioning other scents from other Houses one could take that as a sign that the scent being reviewed is maybe not so good or original. Actually the opposite is true. The fact that Black Tie calls to mind a number of scents that I like is a good thing. Black Tie has taken many of the things that work best in those scents and fused them all here into a beautiful whole. In many ways Black Tie sort of feels like a "greatest hits" musical compilation for my nose. One that I'll enjoy "listening" to over and over.

    14 June, 2009

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    Erolfa by Creed

    A huge aquatic fan to begin, and one more reason to be at the end. Citrusy and intentionally lightweight. Quality casual scent. very well balanced and nose-friendly and doesn't at all feel "niche" in a good and acceptable sense. Some designers may have covered aquatics very well, but creed does no less in Erolfa. It may not be economically sensible for those looking for something of extreme uniqueness but definitely worthy of the thumbs up.

    14 June, 2009 (Last Edited: 19 June, 2009)

    MFJ's avatar



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    Original Santal by Creed

    If anything, this is a rather toothless sandalwood fragrance. It opens with a candied berry accord (one that is similar to that in Paco Rabanne XS Pour homme), that is supported slightly by a cooling (almost minty) aromatic lavender accord (I don't get the raw/herbal kind in this though). The sweetness pretty much wraps up everything and you get traces of the Tonka and vanilla in the dry down. Wait, where's the sandalwood?

    I've regretted a few Creed purchases, this is one of them.

    14 June, 2009 (Last Edited: 16 March, 2010)

    Nukapai's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    eo03 by Biehl Parfumkunstwerke

    Slightly odd, fairly pleasant, very nostalgic. A little bit of a sour/pencil shavings note in the beginning - that vanishes quickly - the rest is pleasantly reminiscent of 80s hair mousse. Drydown feels soft, musky, fruity and a tad metallic. Subtle with midling longevity. I quite like this, but it doesn't make your socks swivel.

    14 June, 2009

    Apicius's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Vetiver Dance by Tauer

    This vetiver starts just as any citrusy take on vetiver, but soon some woody notes emerge. There is a kind of bitter incensy note in all Tauer perfumes (which I do not like in particular) that also plays a part in here. So, it is definately Tauer.

    The Lily of the valley stays in the background but attenuates the rather harsh and grassy vetiver note.

    I am always curious about vetivers that contain other aspects such as floral notes as a counterpart. But I have to admit, this one does not impress me much.

    14 June, 2009

    Elzéard's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Déclaration by Cartier

    This will never touch my body again. The first spray smells of mandarins and unwashed armpits, then after 30 minutes settles down to just unwashed armpits with the slightest hint of something fresh lingering on, and then long into the dry down smells like B.O. and barbecued beef flavoured crisps. I wore this to work, and thanked the heavens that this one particular girl was not working on that day. This made me smell dirty, and not in the good way like kouros or certain musc scents can make you smell. This was just unpleasant, like i'd tried to cover up an already existing bad smell with a really cheap smell. It lasted the full 8 hours of my shift, and the First thing I did on arriving home was shower.

    14 June, 2009

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    Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

    An ultimate classic masculine scent. If you want to smell like berries and flowers, this isn't for you. APH is very spicy and sharp. Incredibly long lasting (24 hrs on me) and screams MAN. This exudes pure confidence and presence. It's for the dude who means straight up business and gets to the point with no BS. A carrier of real power and nobleness. Not something to get for a teenager or the college punk. This is a mans cologne.

    You can usually find this at Marshalls or TJMAXX for real cheap and a little goes a very long way. One or two sprays max and you are set.

    Love this stuff.

    14 June, 2009

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    Rochas Man by Rochas

    Easy to find cheap and by a long run the most sexy gourmand I have ever smelt. It's like a mix of Axe Kilo body spray and A*Men Angel, only less annoying. Some people compare this to Body Kouros, but I don't smell any similarities besides the fact that both are gourmand scents. This is much softer than BK and easier to accept.

    Aside from my initial impression of the bottle, the design has grown on me and I I the bottle is cool looking and well constructed. The illustration is like a car light when flipped side ways looking at the flat side. Great bottle and quality sprayer.

    Sometimes you wear a cologne just because the ladies love it, even though you hate it and the feeling it gives you when you wear it. This one I love wearing and the ladies it on me.

    Longevity is all freaking day and into the next. That's 3 sprays total.

    Do NOT trust the smell of this on a scent strip. It should be applied to skin to be given a fair assessment.

    I will be buying this one again for sure.

    14 June, 2009

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    Joop! Jump Electric Heat by Joop!

    This is IMO most certainly better than the Go Electric Heat 2009. While that one induces mind splitting headaches, the Jump Electric Heat is much softer and approachable. This is a warm scent that can be applied liberally. It's that soft. I can smell patchouli more than anything in here.

    Longevity is about 5 to 6 hours on me when applied to bare skin on chest, neck, and both wrists.

    After a few days I returned this frag because I didn't like it enough to keep it. Nonetheless, it wasn't bad. My lady liked it.

    14 June, 2009

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    Joop! Go Electric Heat by Joop!

    A BIG NO THANK YOU ON THIS ONE.

    To be fair I test drove this one twice and both times ended in the most unbearable headaches. Their is SOMETHING in this that permeates my head like a knife.

    The scent is creamy but sharp. IMO it's very boring and nothing new to shout about. I say save your money and get something better. Not to mention the two gay guys on the front getting it on. Tacky.

    14 June, 2009

    artemesia's avatar

    United States United States

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    212 Sexy Man by Carolina Herrera

    What a deceiving fragrance on my skin... At first I liked and so did my friend and then when the alcohol evaporated, about a minute or two later, I got a revolting fecal note rotting below an offensively synthetic top accord. I scrubbed this one off to death and still something lingered, and I must admit more than an hour after scrubbing it off, what was left was very nice but still uninteresting. It must just not like me because that fecal note/ body oder not screams from my skin.

    14 June, 2009

    terrypitts's avatar

    United States United States

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    Héritage by Guerlain

    Wonderful, subtle, elusive blend. Perhaps the lavender peeks out among the rest, but I find it hard to isolate all of the notes that others find here. And for that reason it stays mysterious.

    14 June, 2009

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    Nautica Competition (original) by Nautica

    I use to own this cologne in high school and it smelled great. I recently purchased the same thing on ebay and i can see where all the bad reviews are coming from. I assure you that you are not smelling the 'real' scent of the original nautica competition. The one i bought off of ebay smelled very rancid at first spray. I believe this is because it is just past its shelf life. But how this stuff is suppose to smell is if you rub the rancid stuff on your arms and rub them together its that scent times 10. Rubing it together for me seems to get rid of the rancid smell.

    14 June, 2009

    dw1243's avatar

    United States United States

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    Halston 1-12 by Halston

    This particular cologne is very strongly green, and not in a good "rainy day" moss kind of smell, or even fresh green along the lines of Cool Water and the such. No, 1-12 smells of musty old moss ala Grey Flannel. I happen to be one of the people that thinks Flannel can only be worn by 90 year olds and and could be more aptly named " Essential Oil of Oakmoss". At least 1-12 has a little more to it then Flannel, that said I still find this to be an utterly repulsive frag. I had high expectations for this fragrance considering I adore its counterpart Z-14. The only good thing about this is that now that its discontinued it can be found on the racks of Marshalls for 10 bucks.

    14 June, 2009

    pansylady's avatar

    United States United States

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    Crystal Aura by Avon

    I like Crystal Aura- I smell lilies and berries

    14 June, 2009

    CanwllCorfe's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bulgari Black by Bulgari

    For something I was sure I'd like I was quite underwhelmed. I rarely like any cologne's top notes (I'm very finicky) but this was an exception! Very delicate and simple, it was just what I was looking for. Unfortunately nothing else really came about.. it was really disappointing. It didn't go anywhere or do anything surprising it was all really washed out. I'll give it a neutral because it does smell good, but there's no surprises or originality

    14 June, 2009

    Carl Kolchak's avatar

    United States United States

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    Quorum by Antonio Puig

    Okay. Finally got around to buying this legend. As a disclaimer of some bias - I am very partial to Puig, I find this house to be historically significant in several ways - not the least of which is value for your consumer dollar. I had read the intensely polarizing reviews here and found both arguments to be true. Which is to say - at first I was thinking insect repellent or lighter fluid or perhaps a combination of both. One gentlemen here at BN said that it was a Latin Polo Green, very true! But, annoyingly so! I mean it was an intense first twenty minutes with two sprays around the throat/collar area. Ah, but then something magical (and endemic to Puig in many ways) began to happen. It really did begin to mellow and become (as my dear friend commented) "comforting." The reviews of Quorum are hilarious to read - one person commented that this would be Dirty Harry's cologne - and I find that to be pretty spot on. This is a brave scent, but I dig it. The drydown is lengthy and rewarding and I am now wondering what Quorum Silver is all about. The reviews at BN are positive! At any rate, if you're a confident man - a spray of this after a shower will no doubt give you a powerful day!

    14 June, 2009

    volley2's avatar

    China China

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma

    I could simply put that scent is elegant and rich! A fragrance for a man who is sophisticated.

    14 June, 2009 (Last Edited: 29 July, 2009)

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    Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana

    This cologne is great if you want to smell like you just took a 3 hour shower in the sewers on Delhi and then dried yourself off with a towel full of feces.
    Not to be harsh, but this scent is the biggest disaster to hit the shelves in the last 50 years. It smells similar to defecating in a jar and then letting it sit in the sun for a few years and adding windex or pine-sol to try and give a "fresh" lemon smell. The combination is perfect for giving your friends a permanent migraine and ruining their day/night.
    Other than that, it's a great scent and works well as long as you don't go within a 5km radius of anyone.

    14 June, 2009

    Libbybrown's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gravel for Men by Gravel

    My husband to be loves it and I would love to find it for him for Fathers day can anybody give me a number so I can order the stuff .Please PleasePlease. Thanking you in advance

    14 June, 2009

    Quarry's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eleftorea by Bourbon French Parfums

    Eleftorea is a memento of a trip to New Orleans. (The Bourbon French and Hové shops on Royal Street in the French Quarter are so visually stimulating, you'll nearly forget you're there for the perfumes.)

    Eleftorea (e-lef-tor-EE-ah), as I recall, is the middle name of a woman related to BF's history. It's described as "a fruity blend with hints of bergamot, grapefruit & kiwi." My first impression was that it had a lemon/lemon blossom quality. I find it somewhat tart, but not sharp, if you can imagine that apparent contradiction. The like-scented body powder is fabulous.

    The most accurate description I have for Eleftorea is: O DE LANCOME WITH BETTER STAYING POWER. Coupling the perfume with the body powder will further the presence of this mild, impossible-to-offend scent.

    If I fail to wear this often, it's because it is so polite, it doesn't have a lot of attitude, and I enjoy how my other frags build on my moods and cravings. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    15 June, 2009

    ubuandibeme's avatar

    United States United States

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    Donna Karan Essence: Jasmine by Donna Karan

    FYI, I am the number one fan of A La Nuit by Lutens, which is my 'gold standard/benchmark' jasmine frag for all others to be held against for comparison. With THAT being said, you must know that Donna Karan Essence: Jasmine has brought me to my knees! JASMINE! Non-embellished, raw and real as I've ever smelled, which is how I like to smell this flower. A perfect replication of nature! As I smell both jasmines, side by side, the Lutens' top notes seem acetone heavy, and need some time to settle. A La Nuit also possesses a touch of green and is far more fresh than indolic, with longevity & sillage to spare. DK Essence Jasmine is still fresh, but not so green, and the indolic properties of the natural flower are far more evident. I've been using the DK Jasmine body lotion along with the edt spray and have no trouble whatsoever with longevity or sillage. (BTW, the lotion is high quality and true to the scent as well!) Now I have two 'gold standard' jasmines! The downside to this perfect jasmine by DK is the high price and low availability...but this is one flower essence I'm willing to hunt down & empty my wallet for! Highly recommended.

    15 June, 2009

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