Fragrance Reviews from July 2011

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    blood-orange's avatar

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    David Beckham Instinct Ice by Beckham

    I really liked the original Instinct although I found it a little sharp. Intense Instinct was dark, spicy, fruity and sexy, yet Instinct Ice is refreshing, light and comforting.

    I sprayed this on myself the other day, and let me tell you ladies, this can definitely be unisex.

    It opens rather citrusy with subtle pepper notes. Initially this fragrance does smell rather masculine and has many similarities to the original Instinct, just perhaps much fresher and lighter.

    After about an hour, the scent really softens with the birch, geranium and rosemary creating a lightly herbaceous and woodsy quality. The scent is still fresh however a somewhat milky sweetness, which turns very feminine on my skin, comes through. On a man's skin or another's chemistry this may or may not happen.

    The drydown is very smooth and peaceful, slightly woodsy and sweet from the tonka bean.

    Unfortunately the lasting strength is fairly disappointing, however male scents in general don't tend to last very long anyhow. I still recommend this fragrance despite the lasting strength being poor, to anyone of any age or gender.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Giorgio by Giorgio Beverly Hills

    I have spent almost two years trying to figure out what this perfume was called.

    Giorgio goes all the way back to my childhood. I vividly remember my neighbour coming over for coffee doused in this fragrance. Strangely enough, no matter how much she over-applied, I loved this fragrance.

    This is your typical, loud 80's fragrance. A little bit peachy, flowery, vanillary and incensey.

    I must add that Giorgio goes extremely well with cigarette smoke, the two work hand in hand. The woman that wears Giorgio, in my mind, is usually a heavy smoker, with red cheeks, purple painted nails and high heels. In other words, a sophisticated woman with attitude.

    Giorgio may be cheap, but the fragrance itself lasts for such a long time. The sillage, you can be certain of, will leave a memorable trail. Rather classic in a sense.

    For most people, Giorgio will be far too heavy, sweet and flowery, however in my humble opinion, it is more than tolerable, it's a memory and a classic olfactory experience.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Éclat d'Arpège by Lanvin

    Eclat d'Arpege is a really delicate fruity floral. I'm not usually a fruity floral girl, however I am impressed with this fragrance.

    A little crisp, but mostly soapy and clean, Eclat d'Arpege won't attack you with any sharp citrus notes. It is perfectly balanced with the fruits and flowers coming together in harmony.

    It is somewhat similar to D&G Light Blue, just without the strong lemon opening and the cedary, pencil shaving drydown. I prefer Eclat d'Arpege over Light Blue any day.

    The fragrance has a slight aquatic feel in the opening, however towards the drydown the powdery woodsy notes deplete this sense of watery freshness.

    Unfortunately this fragrance doesn't last very long, however I often find that this is the case with most fruity florals that are on the softer side. Despite the poor lasting strength I still recommend Eclat d'Arpege as a nice choice for Summer for those that want something simple and pretty.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Sculpture by Nikos

    Sculpture by Nikos is absolutely delightful. I'm a sucker for unique fragrances, and this fits the bill perfectly.

    On the skin it's rather sweet, but not cloyingly so. It smells very much like marshmallows and sugared milk. Light and fluffy.

    In the opening, freesia tends to be the most dominant note, with the lemon being rather candied in the background. The floral notes make their entrance rather early, dismissing the fruity notes altogether. Orchid, ylang-ylang, jasmine and lily of the valley together create a softly feminine fragrance. There is also a subtle grassy note that adds to this fragrance's uniqueness throughout the composition.

    The drydown is quite lovely and warm. The vanilla and musk are soothing, while the benzoin, tonka bean and cedar create a rich, almost resinous, woodsy quality.

    Personally I think that Sculpture could wear well all year round, in any season. I find it extremely pleasant when worn on a very cold day, such as today. I'll add that the lasting power and sillage are commendable.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Glam Princess by Vera Wang

    Personally I think that this particular fragrance is aimed towards the younger segment of the population. For a few days now I've observed the particular crowd of people that test this new fragrance and their reactions. A majority of the positive reactions have come from young school-girls with rather girly attributes.

    Girls like myself, heading towards the end of their teenage years and facing the beginning of their womanhood may not find this fragrance overly impressive.

    I thought that Glam Princess was a little predictable. In my opinion it's your typical, overly sweetened fruity gourmand in a colourful yet childish bottle.

    The fruity notes are more like candy and gummi-bears rather than the actual representation of the real fruit. The heart of orchid and orange blossom was pleasant, however I felt as if someone had dribbled syrup all over the delicate bouquet, and the drydown in my opinion, was sweet, warm and woodsy, and far too similiar to the original Princess drydown.

    The scent is not boring, however it's not overly exciting either. To be honest I didn't expect much, so I'm not disappointed, I'm just frustrated in a sense that I can't find a Vera Wang fragrance that I actually like.

    Another unfortunate aspect of Glam Princess was its lack of lasting strength which was rather poor in regards to the high price tag which should suggest quality.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Pleasures Delight by Estée Lauder

    Estee Lauder and myself tend to have our ups and downs. I rather enjoy her older and more classic fragrances, however the more recent fragrances often get bad reviews from me.

    Pleasures Delight is one of her scents that I do like.

    This fragrance is very gourmand. It's mostly rich caramel, strawberry icecream, marshmallow, pulpy pomegranate and sugared rose petals.

    The scent in my opinion is a little strong and often headache inducing, especially if over-applied. Because of its thick and syrupy, candy-like structure, Pleasures Delight won't appeal to everyone. In some instances it reminds me of Fantasy by Britney Spears and Fancy by Jessica Simpson.

    When this fragrance was released there was a massive trend for sweet scents, however recently there has been more of a need for soapy and refreshing scents. So evidently this fragrance wouldn't be as popular as it may have been, however for those of you that do love gourmands, especially those with a strong caramel note, Pleasures Delight may indeed delight you.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Pure DKNY by Donna Karan

    Simplistic yet likable, Pure by DKNY will leave you feeling feminine, clean and pretty.

    Pure and 'white' is really what this fragrance conveys to me. It's a subtle blend of florals with only a slight touch of sweetness.

    There is something very soothing about this scent, however it may be difficult finding an occasion to wear it. For me, personally, it's extremely casual, like something you'd wear if you chose to spend the day at home.

    I can't pinpoint any particular notes in Pure by DKNY. They all seem to blend together nicely making an all-round, pleasant and clean floral blend.

    The lasting strength is so-so. Not particularly long-lasting but not fleeting either. I'd recommend Pure by DKNY as being a good choice for those women that dislike anything too strong or too 'perfumey'. This could be that perfect, gentle and inoffensive floral that they may have been searching for.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Parisienne by Yves Saint Laurent

    Parisienne is yet another quintessential rose fragrance on the market today.

    Unlike the original Paris by YSL, Parisienne is a much softer, more watery rose scent, excellent for wear in the warmer months.

    The red berries and blackberry in the top notes, really adds a lovely fruity touch to the already dominant rose note. It gives this fragrance a subtle tart-like finish.

    Parisienne is a modern take on a very popular scent; rose. In my opinion it is very chic and stylish. Kate Moss actually represents this fragrance well.

    I was a little surprised that this was in EDP concentration. The way it rested lightly upon my skin with such little sillage strength, made me swear it was an EDT.

    Like I previously mentioned, this is a very refreshing, watered-down rose scent with a slight greeness about it that makes for a very Summery and inoffensive fragrance.

    Casual yet classy, Parisienne will impress you with its simplicity rather than its uniqueness.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Arpège by Lanvin

    Arpege was an extremely surprising find for me.

    I dismissed it before trying it because I had assumed Arpege was your classic, sharp aldehydic fragrance that only suited the more mature consumers. How wrong could I be?

    This is no Chanel No.5. Arpege may be powdery and sophisticated, but it has such depth and elegance that somehow makes Arpege intriguingly sexy on the skin.

    As a young woman, not even 20 yet, Arpege doesn't make me feel old or predictable. In fact, I feel very comfortable wearing Arpege, sexy almost.

    It's mostly powdered jasmine, lily of the valley and ylang ylang to my nose, with a touch of spice. Very feminine and floral. I really cannot stop smelling my wrists with this one, which shows that aldehydic fragrances are really growing on me.

    I must add that I am so much in love with this fragrance that I have ordered a mini straight away. However something tells me that a full bottle will be sitting on my dresser very soon.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    First by Van Cleef & Arpels

    First by Van Cleef & Arpels, is in my opinion very classy and timeless. It is perhaps a little too old for me, but in regards to the future and much older me, I will be re-visiting First.

    There is an obvious powdery aspect to First, rather aldehydic and along the lines of another Chanel No.5. However, the powder is not all that sharp. It tends to be quite soft and elegant.

    Towards the drydown I detected an odd yet beautiful sweetness, which I now relate to the honey and vanilla notes. This subtle sweetness when blended with the delicate white florals, smells absolutely divine.

    The powdery-ness does diminish ever so slightly when settled on the skin, making way for a more soapy finish. First to my nose, smells like an old-fashioned bathroom complete with scented soaps and floral-printed shower curtains. Strangely quaint, yet very likable and familiar.

    One thing that we must acknowledge is the fact that this fragrance has lasted for over 30 years in the industry and has been crafted by the very talented Jean-Claude Ellena. I'd recommend this fragrance to anyone that loves powdery, clean or classic scents along the lines of Sicily by Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel No.5 or Lanvin's Arpege. The quintessential fragrance for a true lady.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Fuel For Life pour Homme by Diesel

    I did not like the female version of this fragrance in the slightest, so I was actually interested to see whether or not this fragrance would once again disappoint me.

    Well, Diesel Fuel for Life Homme, is better than the female version. Five million times better.

    I couldn't believe what I was smelling. This fragrance is deliciously seductive and masculine.

    It opens with a subtle hint of grapefruit and rich, sweet, licoricey anise. It's like a more woodsy, more masculine version of Lolita Lempicka, just minus the vanilla.

    I'll agree with the previous reviewers that state that this fragrance can be worn by either sex. I'm a very girly-girl and I'm really enjoying gender-bending this fragrance.

    The deep woodsy aspect blended with the almost tart raspberry, anise, spicy notes and heliotrope, gives this fragrance an earthy-like finish, very unique and distinguishable.

    Diesel Fuel for Life Homme, smells sexy on a man and daring on a woman. The lasting strength is fantastic and the sillage rather strong. In fact, it can be quite overwhelming if over-applied.

    It's a pity that I hadn't discovered this fragrance until now. I have missed out on many a chance to douse past boyfriends in this wonderful scent.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Omnia Crystalline by Bulgari

    This fragrance for me was very different after I spent the day smelling many fragrances that were partcularly 'perfumey'. Omnia Crystalline is more watery than anything. It's refreshing, light and oceanic.

    I'll start by saying that floral aquatics don't suit my skin chemistry nor my personality, but with that being said, I can appreciate them and in some instances, I do rather like them.

    I'm on the fence in regards to Omnia Crystalline. It opened nicely on my skin with a delicious pear note and watery lotus, however the tea note is particularly strong which doesn't agree with my nose.

    Throughout the transformation on the skin, Omnia Crystalline becomes ever so slightly soapy and clean. I must admit that if this fragrance was overwhelming or heavy I'd probably detest it, but in this case, seeming that it is so delicate and light, it is very pleasant.

    The lasting strength is pretty good, excellent for such a light scent. The warm weather I've heard really brings out the beauty of this fragrance. I'll be interested to see how it fairs in Summer at the end of this year.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile by Acqua di Parma

    I was beyond excited to try this fragrance. I almost dreamt about it.

    Magnolia Nobile does indeed start out citrusy and alcoholic, however the more it settles on the skin the better it becomes.

    The magnolia is obviously a dominant note in this composition, however the lemony finish tends to override it ever so slightly. I was disappointed that the rose and jasmine were not as prominent. The woodsy notes tend to be the main focus in the heart and drydown.

    I was honestly enjoying this delightful, Summery take on magnolia until it suddenly transformed into a big, strong, bathroom air-freshner type scent. Please don't get me wrong, it's not terrible, it's just not to my personal tastes.

    The scent is very feminine, just not very young or lively. For such an expensive price tag and a niche label, I really did expect something a little better, perhaps more floral and rich.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Chocolovers by Aquolina

    This fragrance is for the true gourmand lovers.

    This is chocolate at its best. Rich, velvety and delicious. A melt in your mouth kind of chocolate.

    Chocolovers sits smoothly on the skin, almost like a creamy hot chocolate, thick and luxurious. The chocolate and hazelnut notes tend to dominate the most, however a sweet candy-like lemon note sets off this fragrance with a citrusy touch.

    I love this fragrance for Winter wear. It brings a sensual, foody touch to the cold night air. My friend who loves such rich chocolatey scents like Thierry Mugler's Angel, absolutely loves this kind of fragrance. As said in her words, "I want to eat it".

    I dare say this is one of the sexiest, richest gourmands you'll possibly ever experience.

    05 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Very Hollywood by Michael Kors

    I'm not actually certain as to why so many people dislike this fragrance. To my nose, Very Hollywood is a glamourous, feminine and delicate white floral.

    There is a slight tropical element to this fragrance, possibly due to the jammy raspberry note. This fragrance is a little similar to Marc Jacobs for women, especially in regards to the strong gardenia note.

    I like the creaminess that this fragrance conveys. To me this scent is smooth and divine. Its milky-creamy aspect makes this a perfect choice for white floral lovers.

    I do think that this fragrance is indeed very Hollywood. Both the scent and the bottle feels very chic and extravagant.

    The lasting power is amazing, lasting well into the next day. I'm impressed with this latest creation from Michael Kors.

    05 July, 2011

    hollycat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Hypnôse by Lancôme

    A generous SA gave me a big sample of this scent at Macys. I wore it yesterday and as soon as it hit my wrist I thought... Guy magnet. It was so pretty. Almost too pretty. In its initial application it was a delicate unusual vanilla but not too sweet. I thought I would need to have a bottle. Then the unfortunate happened. It turned sweeter and sweeter to the point of nausea. I hate orientals that are heavy handed with vanilla and sweet things. In fact I detest them. I couldnt wait to shower so I could ease my senses with something more dry and close to nature. My beloved Prada Infusion D'Iris.

    But I will say that it could just be my chemistry. This may smell great on others. I have noticed that there is some similarity between Hypnose and Ange or Demon by Givenchy. But Ange or Demon is much more sophisticated and mysterious and doesnt have that overbearing sweetness.

    05 July, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Silver Rain by La Prairie

    l tried this scent for two reasons; 1. l had heard it was similar to the original Monsoon, & 2. the teardrop-shaped bottle! lt had to be for me, right? Wrong!! This was an overwhelmingly, nauseatingly fruity mess on me, so much so that l had to scrub it off almost immediately. No drydown is worth getting through that horrible opening phase for.
    Like others here, l cannot understand how this got it's name, or who would shell out the big bucks for such a cheap-smelling fragrance. And it's NOTHING like original Monsoon, it's completely different. Very disappointing.

    05 July, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Midnight Rain by La Prairie

    When l tried Silver Rain in a store & hated it, the SA suggested l might prefer this one. ln a way she was right, as l simply found this to be a lighter version of Silver Rain, & therefore slightly less offensive. But only just.

    05 July, 2011

    Mrs H's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Moroccan Mint Tea by Ava Luxe

    Uncomplicated and gorgeous- a clean and linear scent which I found perfect during a summer pregnancy when I couldn't handle anything 'complex'

    05 July, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Black Violet by Tom Ford

    l find this to be a very dark fragrance; very woody, with (l swear) a lot of oudh, & something wickedly sweet deep in it's heart. For me this smells much more "masculine" than Black Orchid, & therefore it's not for me, but l respect it for it's depth & tenacity nonetheless. l would love to smell this on a guy.

    05 July, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Champs-Elysées by Guerlain

    l think l need to try this one again, because while l didn't hate it, it just didn't move me either. The positive reviews here make it sound so pretty, cheerful & Spring-like; for me it was a rather nondescript floral. l was hoping for the honeyed sweetness of buddleia (also known as the "butterfly bush") & almond blossom, but sadly these notes did not stand out for me. Ah well, l have a lot of other florals that l like much better.

    05 July, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Féerie by Van Cleef & Arpels

    l admit l was seduced into trying this by both the name & the beautiful bottle, but at the price l was almost relieved not to like it! This smells overwhelmingly of blackcurrants & little else to me; how l wish that violet was the dominant note instead. Somehow l thought that an expensive fragrance named after a fairy would have a delicate, shimmering, limpid floral quality, not smell like a cheap & generic fruity-floral. Disappointing.

    05 July, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Aqua Allegoria Tiaré-Mimosa by Guerlain

    This is more mimosa than tiare for me, unfortunately. On my skin the mimosa dominates, & makes the opening much too green & sickly for my taste. The tiare comes through in the heart & it improves in the drydown, but not enough to capture me. l don't really think these notes blend well together; mimosa is cool & moist, tiare much warmer & creamier. l love tiare, & have a few other fragrances already that do it much better for me, so l'll pass on this one.

    05 July, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Naughty Alice by Vivienne Westwood

    Nothing naughty about this; just another forgettable, fruity-musky floral. "Carnal violet" sounds great; sadly l didn't get any kind of violet here. Decent longevity, but otherwise, meh.

    05 July, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    Dior Addict by Christian Dior

    "Wickedly delicious", indeed! This is a big, gorgeous wallop of rich, smokey vanilla & amber, kind of like the drydown of Obsession without those overwhelmingly spicy top notes. lt's dark & sexy, yet comforting, with fantastic projection & longevity. l tried this at the airport before a 4-hour flight, & was more than a little concerned that it might be bothering my fellow passengers. Just one spray created huge sillage, & was still going strong long after we landed! For me this would be a perfect winter scent, & not for enclosed spaces. l would seriously consider a bottle of this...

    05 July, 2011

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    Sandalo by Lorenzo Villoresi

    SANDALO opens in the typically aromatic Villoresi style, with lavender adding more than a hint of soapiness to the citric facets. A shade of roundness from the rose is all I got but what seems pervasive right into the dry down is a dry, somewhat synthetic wood that does not smell much like any sandalwood I have previously encountered. Perhaps it's just my skin but sillage is weak and lasting power is no better. I'm afraid this one fails to hang around long enough to hold my attention, much less impress. Not a bad skin scent though if that's your thing.

    Notes:
    rosewood, lavender, petitgrain, orange, lemon, labdanum, Bulgarian rose, neroli, sandalwood, vetiver, amber, opoponax, oakmoss.

    05 July, 2011

    Postumo's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Ambre Noir by Sonoma Scent Studio

    Dark, deep and rich unsweet amber fragrance. Well, it's not that much amber, it develops and changes during it's lifespan, which is quite long. It's complex and you'll need time to find the "amber" theme.
    Diamondflame's description is spot on IMO.

    05 July, 2011

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sartorial by Penhaligon's

    This is a perfectly decent chypre, not a fougere. It is quite tweedy, very crisp, the oakmoss and lavender blend very nicely. One thing they have avoided here is not to overdo it and assault you with overly strong green notes, which usually turn me off to this type of cologne. It reminded me most of Caswell Massey's Greenbriar - a classic for its type but to the nose as the Caswell version is.

    Certainly for this type of cologne it is long lasting, true to its note family and long lasting. A winner in my book.

    05 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 13 July, 2011)

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gardenia by Penhaligon's

    This is a wonderfully "light" take on the classic scent - the delicate notes of jasmine support the hint of gardenia at the start and it floats along happily light as the rest of the supporting notes evolve.

    The closest thing I can suggest that does for the lightness of jasmine as this does for gardenia is Serge Lutens A La Nuit. It is as if a blossom has just opened. Most gardenia colognes go for the effect of full heady bloom and can be overpowering, even nauseating in their heaviness. Not so this happy creation by Penhaligon's.

    Very much welcome.

    05 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 13 July, 2011)

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau de Cologne by Penhaligon's

    I get a strong splash of mandarin, then it quickly fades to a very light citrus, then to nothing. I compared it to both 4711 (1792) and Trumper's Eau de Cologne. Trumper's has a slight edge over 4711, in that it seems to have a bit of rose in there that gives it that extra boost of sophistication and Trumper's lasts longer than either 1792 or Penhaligon's (1927).

    One has to ask oneself why pay $130 for a bottle of Penhaligon's when one can get a finer version from Trumper for $90 and double the amount of 4711 for $50.

    I can't comprehend why Penhaligon's revived this one. It's "okay" but its competitors have it beat by a mile in terms of longetivity and price.

    05 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 13 July, 2011)

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