Fragrance Reviews from June 2010

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    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Instant de Guerlain by Guerlain

    This morning after deciding to put on L'Instant after not having reached for it for over a year, I had an "ah ha!" moment. All this time I had a hard time getting a grasp on this scent. I like it but I could never figure it out. Some scents you understand immediately and some you can like, but they can continue to throw you off. Mitsouko and Bal a versailles are two others that do this to me. I would read other's reviews of L'instant to try to help me understand something about this scent and what came up a few times is that L'instant "doesn't seem like a Guerlain." Then this morning, I think I understood why: It may be a Guerlain, but to me it unfolds like an older Caron. If your used to figuring out any Guerlain scent based on Guerlain history and suddenly you get one that developes like a Caron that would throw you off balance a little. I like that this happened and I think that somewhere Maurice Roucel is winking. Those of you who have some of this, I would love for you to try it again thinking from a Caron point of view, so I can see if this is just my imagination, or not I like this and think it's underrated.

    21st June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

    A straight forward scent - a very lovely beginning though definitely more a man's scent - and as it says it is - lime basil and mandarin. I get mostly lime and basil - tart ,strong .It goes downhill on my skin and I still get little mandarin. A slight BO note seems to emerge and then I begin to feel claustrophobic. Not for me.

    21st June, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ô de Lancôme by Lancôme

    Given my latest kick for citrus, I retested this. It's citrus green mania and it's wonderful . Really bright citrus aromatic top . Then it becomes greener and greener on my skin with really just a little touch of sweet floral before it becomes woodier. Light character but seems tenacious .Well done fragrance and I would get a bottle if I were not in love with so many other similar citrus scents.

    21st June, 2010

    Un Belle Parfum's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Allure Eau de Parfum by Chanel

    Allure opens with a rather headache inducing screetch which thankfully settles into a pretty, warm concoction on my skin, lasting the better part of a day. The Jasmine and Rose are anchored down by Bourbon Vanilla was gives a slightly oriental feel. Overall, Allure smells very perfumey - it's certainly not a subtle scent and it does kind of scream 'Hello, I'm wearing perfume!!' which I don't mind, but other's might. Another issue I have (aside form the headache, but possibly related) is the fact that Allure EDP smells just a little synthetic on me, I guess this adds to the 'perfumy' element.

    The parfum is much smoother and easier to wear, it's elegant and more well-rounded. I would definitely purchase the parfum over the EDP with Allure.

    21st June, 2010

    Un Belle Parfum's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Chelsea Flowers by Bond No. 9

    Chelsea Flowers has a very timid, dewey quality that is so lacking in personality and interest that one might wonder if they've smelt anything at all.

    Chelsea Flowers’ bland mix of unidentifiable pale flowers is neither pretty nor dainty; it has a faint synthetic aroma that one would expect form a Glade plug-in. Perhaps I am being too harsh; Chelsea Flowers is certainly not hideous. It’s not offensive or intrusive, it’s simply...nothing.

    I guess for the atmospheric price point I expect a little more.

    21st June, 2010

    Un Belle Parfum's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Pure Turquoise by Ralph Lauren

    Pure Turquoise is a light blend of sweet florals and crisp greens with just a touch of aquatic in there. If I had to describe it in one word it would be 'Fresh' This fragrance has a very cooling, calming quality about it. PT opens with a leafy, green burst - there is a slightly astringent quality to the opening but this fades quickly and the beautiful lillies and their stalks take over. I love that in with the flowers you can smell the stalks, leaves and other green matter.

    As the fragrance dries down the greeness fades and we're left with subtle florals over a light wood base. There's amber and a very light patchouli to warm the fragrance with vanilla and rum adding a subtle richness.

    21st June, 2010

    Un Belle Parfum's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Nectarine Blossom & Honey by Jo Malone

    To my nose, this smells of spring mornings. Upon first spray the nectarine/peach note hits you with a juicy burst. When the sweetness begins to settle I sense subtle white flowers, like a transparent layer, gently muting the fruitness of the opening. It's not deep enough to be heady but gives that lovely floral touch.

    Then the honey comes into play, providing a deep golden glow. It stops the fragrance from being too airy and 'clean' smelling. Honey provides a gorgeous syrupy feel in a very small dose, it certainly grounds the perfume and the honey fruit lingers on the skin for a few hours.

    Necatrine Blossom & Honey is certainly not a complex scent, so lovers of deep, mysterious scents might find that it reveals it's cards all too early. However; in those warmer months I find Nectarine Blossom & Honey almost joyous on my skin.

    21st June, 2010

    Un Belle Parfum's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Voile de Fleur by Tom Ford

    The first time I tried BOVdF I sprayed it into the crook of my elbow; the only piece of skin left after a mammoth perfuming testing expedition. I recoiled against its strange, thick creaminess which reminds me of melted ice cream. I immediately turned to another fragrance to get rid of the offensive smell from my nose. That night, some 8 hours later, I caught a faint whiff of something delicious. By that stage all the other perfumes I’d tested had faded to nothingness and only BOVdF remained. The following week I went back to test it again and had the same experience; immediately repulsed by the opening but totally enamoured with the dry down. On third testing I bought a bottle.

    Since that time I have learned to love the quirky facets of BOVdF; which seem to change with each wearing. BOVdF is heavy on the gardenia and honeysuckle; I find it to be very tuberose-eque although that is not listed in the notes. The combination of the potent white flowers makes for a heady concoction and the smell is thick and almost waxy. It’s like being surrounded by white flowers on a hot day; the smell is intoxicating and unescapable. BOVdF also lists warm milk and vanilla tears as notes; which I think is what creates the ‘ice cream’ note for me.

    21st June, 2010

    Un Belle Parfum's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Opal by Sonoma Scent Studio

    Opal is a cashmere wrap scent – it envelopes you in its cosy luxury, all soft and smooth. It’s warm yet at the same time sheer and lightly opulent, it will not over power or distract but rather add to the natural creaminess of one’s skin. Upon opening Opal is ever so slightly candied with the sweetness of vanilla and a very clean, sugared musk. It’s light, sheer and doesn’t venture into the cloying area thanks to some Bergamot which keeps this fragrance airy.

    After some time on the skin Opal begins to develop a lovely powdery quality as well as a sheer floral aspect, although no particular flowers are listed. There is also a sheer, very light Sandalwood in the base that adds a little depth to Opal and rounds of nicely this very comforting concoction.

    Opal is totally loveable, cosy and comforting. I think I have found a HG product in Opal, as I cannot think of a single occasion or situation where it isn’t appropriate. Opal may not ever be called innovated or daring, but it will draw those around in for a closer sniff.

    21st June, 2010

    Un Belle Parfum's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Vintage Rose by Sonoma Scent Studio

    Vintage Rose is an amazing boozy, plummy rose that has a definite wine quality to it. The SSS website describes it as ‘dusky’ and I think this perfectly describes this fragrance, it also has as slightly smokey, spicey haze which makes the whole effect heady and rich. I liken it to drinking a nice, rich glass of shiraz by a fireplace.

    This is most definitely a winter scent, with its warm sandalwood and cedar base. It clings to the skin for hours.

    21st June, 2010

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

    The notes are there alright, as earlier reviewers had pointed out. But they may play out a little differently on your skin. On mine, the amber and spiced tea take the backseats while incense and leather hog the centerstage right to the drydown. And rather surprisingly the boozy notes lasted far longer than I had expected.

    It felt a little underwhelming to be honest. Maybe I was expecting more opulence or decadence, and a little less restraint in the sillage. Don't get me wrong, AMBRE RUSSE is a fine scent. Ostensibly wearable by either gender. But it is more of a leather scent than it is of amber. If I'm looking for a fragrance with a more prominent amber note, I'd skip this.

    21st June, 2010

    D.Sprad's avatar

    United States United States

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    DKNY Men (New) by Donna Karan

    Nothing especially great here. Very, VERY refreshing opening that I do like - after wearing Angel Men by Thierry Mugler and Dirty English by Juicy Couture the previous two days, the already refreshing opening was just a reinvigorating force to my olfactory sense, and it was really quite nice. Violet's usually not a component I like too much, but it was decent (aka tolerable). Then it disappeared on my skin completely for a while... I was a bit shocked to see that after a mere 4 1/2 - 5 hours, it was gone... then, it came back... with a VENGEANCE. I was beginning to think the calone was just a fabrication of the previous reviewers minds, but there it was... and heavy, too, at the end. But, unlike the previous reviewers, it doesn't put me off quite as much. My pros: Nice opening, decent overall scent. My cons: Buckets of calone in the blend, just average and unexciting.

    21st June, 2010

    man114's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gravity by Coty

    Sweet. Seems strong. No longevity. Used to be cheap, now its not. I dosed myself up with this stuff before work today as I'm trying to thin out a few mostly empty bottles. Smells strong right out of the bottle. A couple hours later it is dead. Actually wasn't half as bad as I expected. Fairly pleasant after the initial blast wears off. A tad on the sweet side. After the initial blast its a tad fruity and just fades away.

    My biggest gripe is this stuff isn't cheap anymore. I seem to recall having paid $11 for the bottle back in the day. Now they're charging $20+ for the same size. I wouldn't mind spending $20 if there were some longevity. Thinking about it there are so many other fragrances in the drug store price range that last so much longer. Stetson, Jade East Musk (though its among the weaker it will at least still be there later in the day), Royal Copenhagen (strong enough to last two days even in it's watered down current version), honestly Pinaud Clubman had better longevity.

    Give it the price of the past and you have a decent buy. Give it the price of now it is overpriced for a cheapy synthetic fragrance. Overall it is unique in how it smells, just wish it lasted longer. Given the fact that everyone carries it, like Stetson, British Sterling, Old Spice, Brut etc, no one seems to wear it. I've only ever smelled it on one person before, and like Royal Copenhagen, this one I can spot a mile away.

    21st June, 2010

    BayKAT's avatar

    United States United States

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    Encens Chembur by Byredo

    Hmm... I'm surprised I don't see patchouli here, I thought I detected it. This has a high ringing medicinal finish that I usually attribute to patchouli.

    I' now wearing this for the second time, and enjoying it more than i did the first wearing (this usually happens when I find a scen that I like, as my brain has a better reference for it).

    Chembur opens very green, a light, almost watery green. I love this phase!!! As it dries down i would describe it as a citrus infused chypre and not as an oriental spicy, which is how it is marketed. I"m really questioning the ingredients listed, I don't smell the incense at all, nor the nutmeg/ginger. this is very firmly a green floral on me, and a darn good one at that.

    It probably comes down to chemistry wiht this one, but this is a very pretty, bitter crisp fragrance that is fantastic for summer time. This really works on me!

    21st June, 2010 (Last Edited: 04th July, 2010)

    lauraschoice's avatar

    United States United States

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    Alchimie by Rochas

    This goes on with a overly sweet, slightly metallic floral which settles into just overly sweet and highly forgettable. The only distinct thing about it is that it smells a little like Play Doh from my childhood memories. I'm serious.

    21st June, 2010

    lauraschoice's avatar

    United States United States

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    Délices de Cartier Eau Fruitée by Cartier

    I don't know which element of this perfumes top notes makes it smell like pencil shavings but, thankfully, it wears off soon enough. What's left is a nauseatingly sweet musk-ish scent that does not wear off soon enough.

    21st June, 2010

    philmcphe's avatar

    United States United States

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    Reflection Man by Amouage

    This is going to sound weird and maybe it's just my chemistry, but this really, really, smells like a corn tortilla to me. Bizarre.

    21st June, 2010

    fox41's avatar



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    Pi by Givenchy

    It smells like vanilla but more sweet.. it was over powering for my taste and way to strong. I thought i would like this but it did not happen. The dry down was not as bad but definitely the top notes are very strong with the vanilla scent.

    21st June, 2010

    FrouFrou's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tocade by Rochas

    I am afraid hat Tocade is one of the worst smells I ever had to endure, a wholly artificial, a plasticy, industrial waste smell (can't call it scent as it just makes me wither away)
    And very unfair, but I never even tried it on my skin. I can't: open a bottle and it will send me running!

    Frankly I am amazed so many people like it so much. I wanted to be fair in my review and tried to get a sample but the shop didn't have it on their shelves anymore.
    I am sorry for the people who love it, but a great relief for me, never having to smell it again!

    21st June, 2010

    FrouFrou's avatar

    United States United States

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    Noa Perle by Cacharel

    Nice, warm, flowery, doesn't last very long on my skin. Not very exciting but a nice scent. I was given a large bottle of this and I wear it for normal daytime activities. I get compliments on this scent. However, it doesn't thrill my heart like a really good perfume should.
    I like the bead (It's so clearly plastic I cannot get myself to call it a ''pearl'') in the bottle.
    Because it's a nice inoffensive scent, and because of the compliments, I will give it a thumbs up, but I wouldn't bother to buy it for myself, I prefer something more exciting.

    21st June, 2010

    fox41's avatar



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    Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc by Bulgari

    It is definitely a unisex smell but a more toward a guy scent because of the musk smell. it smells great though but i do not know how to explain it. It is very light and good for summer but noticeable when you walk into a small room. I would say the longevity is about 5 hours give or take. Great smell you should at least try this out sometime.

    21st June, 2010 (Last Edited: 14th January, 2011)

    fox41's avatar



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    L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

    The first cologne i bought and i must say its pretty nice. The opening is a strong perfume smell but in about an hour it smells amazing. The ginger and Tonka Bean give it a sweet smell almost like vanilla but not quite. This duration of this cologne is great at least 7 hours. It is not the most unique cologne but it a great starter or everyday cologne.

    21st June, 2010 (Last Edited: 14th January, 2011)

    CoL's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Purplelight by Salvador Dali

    Screaming white floral, very very feminine so not to my tastes. Not a fan of screaming white florals at all I'm afraid.

    22nd June, 2010

    cheryl's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Alyssa Ashley Musk by Alyssa Ashley

    Just what everyone else is saying: A simple light skin scent that is a slightly floral very clean white musk. Innocent. A summer day in a bottle. A cheap thrill but not a necessity.

    22nd June, 2010

    chayaruchama's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bois et Musc by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    The 1992 version was an altogether different beast...
    A velvety purring cedar base, but not overwhelmingly so.
    It had a subtlety that drew you in, and was unlike anything that had come before.

    22nd June, 2010

    Sugandaraja's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Vanille Extreme by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    Mostly a very loud, very synthetic smelling vanilla note. It becomes a little more creamy in the drydown, but that may just be it fading slightly, as all in all it smells like artificial vanilla extract amped up to the nth degree. No nuances here.

    It's certainly very "extreme", but is it any good? No, not even a little, especially given that there are plenty of high quality vanillas on the market.

    22nd June, 2010

    Doctor Mod's avatar

    United States United States

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    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

    I appreciate all the praise other posters have heaped upon L`Air du Desert Marocain, and, in theory (based on the notes and my penchant for spicy oriental fragrances), I should love it, too. But my experience has been "WHERE'S THE FIRE?"

    I used a sample vial one morning last winter before running out to do some errands. The opening was a flare of spice and smoke, enough to burn one's eyes. But fine--it cooled down rather quickly to the point that I hardly noticed it. About ten to fifteen minutes later, though, I thought something electrical was burning in my condo or an adjoining one. (During winter in New York such things are all too frequent.) In the midst of inspecting the kitchen, I realized the smell was coming from ME--it was this fragrance. False alarm.

    I went out into the bitterly cold weather to do my errands, barely smelling the fragrance under a heavy coat. I forgot all about it. Then, about an hour later, while I was driving, I started to smell smoke, spice--and meat(?!?) Surely no one in their right mind would be grilling outdoors in this weather (but then I'm not sure everyone in my neighborhood is in their right mind). Then, once again, I realized the source.

    I'm sure this smells wonderful on many individuals, but on me it comes across as "Opium Barbeque."

    Fortunately, it didn't stay around for too long.

    22nd June, 2010

    Doctor Mod's avatar

    United States United States

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    Love by By Kilian

    Several years ago, there was a song that I would hear on the radio much too often, something to the effect of "I smell sex and candy," sung in a lascivious, breathless voice--like a dirty old man pursuing underage girls. Beware of strange men with candy--or so my mother repeatedly told me years ago. (And so I always have.)

    I'd buried that creepy melody somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought, but it all came back to me while I tested Love: Don't Be Shy. In fact, it was the first thing that registered in my mind. Sickening sweet and skanky--a sex-and-candy fragrance for all the Lolitas out there. Indeed, it smells like root bear and ultra-sugary candy, thick and syrupy, with an overload of truly dirty musk and vanilla. I'm vaguely reminded of Vivienne Westwood Boudoir, which has a similar sort of unhygienic vibe.

    I've tested it twice now and it's on my skin as I write. I can smell neroli and some other overbearing floral notes (marinated in some soft drink), but I really can't say that any particular note stands out for me. But then again, it's so unbearable that I can't bring myself to lift my wrist to my nose to sort out the notes as it's giving me a ferocious headache. I must wash it off. NOW.

    For the record, it has monster sillage from only a tiny sample. It seems as if it will last forever. Anyone who wears this will undoubtedly be noticed. Love: Don't Be Shy? No one who's shy should come anywhere near this.

    I am sorry to say that, aside from several of Vivienne Westwood's productions, this is one of the most repugnant fragrances I've ever smelled. I would rather be saturated with Lanvin Rumeur--or CB I Hate Perfume Black March--than wear this.
    Love: Don't Be Shy is the fourth By Killian fragrance I've tested. One has been fabulous enough for me to desire a full bottle (Back to Black) and another to make me consider that possibility (Cruel Intentions). A third (Liaisons Dangereuses) left me feeling indifferent. So it isn't as if I didn't give it a fair chance.

    Now, bring on the soap and water, as I have to face the public today!


    22nd June, 2010

    Doctor Mod's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cruel Intentions by By Kilian

    There is more to Cruel Intentions than the notes listed above. According to LuckyScent, the full list of notes is: Bergamot calabria oil, orange blossom oil, violet accord, centifolia rose absolute, agarwood, Indian papyrus oil, gaiacwood oil, Haiti vetiver oil, sandalwood, styrax absolute, castoreum absolute, vanilla absolute, musk--quite a plethora of exotic and expensive ingredients.

    My first impression of this scent was that of a typical woody oriental--with a bit of barbershop thrown in. Nothing remotely "cruel" about it. The citrus notes glow briefly. This fragrance, though, is anything but linear, and its first shift was to something a bit "dirty" (as others have noted) yet not quite absolutely skanky. This phase passes quickly, as the fragrance evolves into a voluptuous, creamy melange with the woods dominating the florals. Although I was underwhelmed at first sniff, by this point I was becoming quite intrigued. There is something in the blend--not just one particular note but rather the blend as an entity unto itself--that reminds me of classic French haute parfumerie. It is not so much that it reminds me of this Caron or that Guerlain--for it certainly doesn't--but rather that it possesses a sensuality and something close to grandiosity that evokes the perfumes of yesteryear.

    It would have been wonderful if its longevity were a bit more potent. The sillage was impressive (but not overbearing) for about three hours on me, after which there was a significant decrease. It has nonetheless stayed with me for nearly seven hours now, more than a mere skin scent but very subtle.

    It is not the masterpiece that Back to Black is. But, then again, to improve on that fragrance would be a most difficult task. Cruel Intentions is much more subtle. Through most of the time that I've worn it this evening, I continued to tell myself that it's lovely, but not worth $200+. But now I'm so enthralled with it and so sorry to sense it fading that I'm beginning to think that it just might be.

    That it has made me love it and made me feel (on some slightly insane level) that I can't live without it--well, perhaps that was the Cruel Intention after all.

    22nd June, 2010

    Nostalgie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Paradis by Biotherm

    Never say never.
    Fruity and fruity floral fragrances don' work for me.
    Freesia, red fruits and berries are on the the top of my short list of no-no notes.
    As a result, I did not seek this one out. But when I restocked my supply of Biotherm skin products, I selected Eau de Paradis as my free sample.

    I am surprisingly drawn to this fresh, juicy, slightly (just slightly) sweet fragrance.--the way I'm drawn to crispy, dry French rosés in the summer. Maybe it is the weather (95 degrees F and humid ); I've been splashing from my sample bottle each morning and my FB is in the mail.

    Not at all heavy, the EDT wears more like a body spray.

    If you like refreshing , fruity blends (and even if you don't) give it a try. The sample bottle is generous, and the FB price is right.

    22nd June, 2010

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