Perfume Reviews

Reviews by SenseOfTheAbsurd

Total Reviews: 34

Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain

I don't get mandarin, I don't get basil, I don't get anything pleasant, it's like a really harsh bleach product for cleaning floors.
10th November, 2019

Eau de Mandarine Ambrée by Hermès

Unashamedly love this. Hits a nice balance between real mandarin and that insanely delicious artificial orange flavouring that's used in sweets, and sometimes a trashy and uplifting fruit hit is just what you want.
19th October, 2019

L'Interdit (2018 version) by Givenchy

Just annoyed the perfume counter lady by turning up my nose at it with extreme prejudice. From the big tank of generic cheap pink Angel-spawn. Zero relation to original l'Interdit, and I've checked this against my vintage pure parfum.
18th October, 2019
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Poivre by Caron

Whenever I wear this outside the house, there are remarks about how something smells like dentists. I really enjoy it, though.
19th July, 2018

Eau de Givenchy (original) by Givenchy

I've worn this for about 25 years now, and it just makes me happy.
30th November, 2017

L'Homme Idéal Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

Very, very unpleasant. Like some horrible poisonous concoction of gummy bears and bleach.

And it isn't toxic and vile in a simple straightforward way, but in distinct phases. Nostril-searing disinfectant, followed by a sickening and cloying child-with-flu-vomited-up-their-cherry-cough-mixture stage, followed by an almost bearable stage when it's almost gone. The cough-mixture vomit stage kept reviving for the rest of the day.
17th February, 2017 (last edited: 18th February, 2017)

Cabotine by Grès

Evil in a bottle. The notes look non-threatening, but don't be fooled. It's a trap. It's like an icepick in the eye followed by slow poisoning.
03rd January, 2017

No. 5 by Chanel

For about 20 years I occasionally sprayed some of this from a tester, and what I got was somewhere between 'bottom of the fridge' and 'nothing', and I thought of it as actively unpleasant. What was wrong with me? It's glorious, but for some reason it never clicked for me until last year, when it sneaked up on me and showed its true beautiful nature. Now, almost without me realising, it's my second-most-worn, after my great love, Mitsouko.
01st October, 2016

Diorissimo Eau de Toilette by Christian Dior

The boyfriend says that this smells like Raid bug spray, and complains whenever I wear it.

Clearly he's crazy and his nose is defective, because it's a beautiful crisp, clear, sharp, slightly prim floral.
19th September, 2016

La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

What the hell, Guerlain?

Like they literally want me to drink the Kool-Aid.

Still wear it out of a kind of sick fascination when I know I'll be showering soon.
21st May, 2016

Cologne du 68 by Guerlain

Boneless. Pleasant-ish, but dull. Nothing interesting enough to dislike.

Why why why can't Guerlain come out with something that a) isn't a sweet, bland yawnfest; and b)is widely available.

Edit, months later: This stuff is growing on me, to the point I've upgraded from neutral to thumbs up. Very pleasant trans-seasonal no-brainer, and more interesting than I originally registered.
19th March, 2016 (last edited: 18th June, 2017)

Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana

Essence of meh. Half-arsed slightly rancid citrus over equally half-arsed woody amber-ish base. Best I can say for it was that it was gone in half an hour.
04th December, 2015
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Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain

Shalimar with all the good bits taken out, leaving nothing but overly-sweet fluff. OK for bed, but if I wore it out of the house would feel totally uncomfortable, like a grown woman wearing a puff-sleeve pink party frock and sucking a lollipop.
03rd December, 2015 (last edited: 10th December, 2015)

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

A good spiced herbal citrus cologne with decent longevity. Nothing earth-shattering, and could live without it in the collection, but very enjoyable.
20th November, 2015

Aqua Allegoria Flora Rosa by Guerlain

Adequate and pleasant enough, but essentially dull and characterless.

Perfume equivalent of generic supermarket cake.
02nd November, 2015

Jovan Musk for Men by Jovan

This must have been better back in the day.

The current version hit me with an intense High School flashback. Not the good kind with clean-yet-lusty teenage boys, but the sickening kind with dingy post-PE changing rooms, baby-powdered hot crotch, peeling off sweaty sports bras and a cloying toxic fog of Impulse 'Merely Musk' body spray. Horrible.
31st October, 2015

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Deliciously sweet and spicy animal filth. I love snuggling down into this, despite being of the lady persuasion. Boyfriend hasn't yet complained about me going to bed smelling like Bigfoot's personal gentlemen's area or a public loo after a cottaging frenzy. Not that I would listen if he did.

Of course, being a woman I've never been anywhere near a urinal cake, so that association is lost on me. Just in case, have not yet had the balls to wear this in my otherwise all-male office.
30th October, 2015 (last edited: 31st December, 2016)

Vent Vert (new) by Pierre Balmain

Referring to the current version with a lid like a tacky silver golf-ball, not the sublime original.

Vile and atrocious.

Have had more pleasant things squirted at me from dispensers in public toilets. Would rather stick needles in my eyes than wear this again.

Will use up mini of beautiful original and accept that it's dead.
30th October, 2015

Habanita by Molinard

Why on earth don't I wear this more often? On me, more leather and spice than powder and vanilla. Shalimar but more so. EdT lasts more than 12 hours, and the dry-down is delicious. Outwardly I may be a nondescript middle-aged woman in 2015, but in my inner perfume-influenced fantasy life I'm a vampy speakeasy femme fatale with furs and a long cigarette holder.
29th October, 2015

Niki de Saint Phalle by Niki de Saint Phalle

Chanel No 19 when she lets down her hair from the tight bun, takes off her glasses, kicks off the boardroom bitch stilettos, has a shot of liqueur and dances wildly.
26th October, 2015

Angel by Thierry Mugler

Got a sample vial for reasons of sick curiosity.

Roughly the same experience as when a cat gorges itself on cupcakes and Cadbury Caramello then horks it all up on your pillow.
25th October, 2015

Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

Perfection. Everything is juuuuussst riiiight. Nothing too sharp, or too floral, too sweet, or too strong, or too thin. Everything in balance, including a subtle skin/musk effect. Always appropriate and comfortable, transcends sex and age.

The soap is wonderful too.
25th October, 2015

Séville à l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Quite sweet, which is usually something I'd avoid, but in this case it's a naturalistic-smelling sweet of citrus with honey, amber and florals, rather than the synthetic gummi bears and candyfloss dissolved in shampoo sweet that's in all the pink celebuscents.

Always amazed not to be swarmed by bees when wearing it.
25th October, 2015

Y by Yves Saint Laurent

Hot weather staple. When I wear this, it's like a phantom Mitsouko for those tiresome months when it's too hot to wear Mitsouko, even though I really, really want to. After a few hours, when the green opening notes of galbanum and honeysuckle have died down a little, and the peach, florals and chypre base are coming through, I'll get a waft that my brain interprets as Mitsy EdT from a distance.
24th October, 2015

Exceptional Because You Are for Men by Exceptional

What the hell is this? Unwanted free sample. Poor thing was sharing a box with Mouchoir de Monsieur, which was even more cruel.

It might squeak in as mediocre if it was shampoo, but no real reason for this to exist. There must be a warehouse-full at FragranceNet, and putting it in every package is cheaper than a dumpster.
23rd October, 2015

Jicky Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

Pure sensual pleasure, like burying your nose in the fur of a cat which has been sleeping in a sunny herb garden,and inhaling. Lavender, herbs, vanilla, and comforting animal musk and warmth.

14th October, 2015

Chypre Mousse (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

Weird as hell and difficult to wear, but gets the thumbs up for its intriguing strangeness. Testing with a friend, we nicknamed it 'Fairy Rohypnol', as in magical creatures knock you out with a potion of random hallucinogens and freshly-ripped-from-the-soil herbs, do unspeakable things with your unconscious body, then leave you to come round, disoriented and dirty, on the forest floor under a rotting log.
19th August, 2015

Pour Un Homme by Caron

Gentle, soft, comforting, and about as macho as a lace suspender belt. For sheer sensual pleasure and snuffling my arm like a pig after truffles, I prefer Jicky. But for something light and soothing to snuggle into at night, this is lovely, and the vanilla still lingers in the morning.
02nd August, 2015

Eau Sauvage Parfum (original) by Christian Dior

Accidentally bought this meaning to get classic Eau Sauvage, but clicked the wrong button. Tried it anyway, at height of summer. Big mistake. Huge. That first impression was that it was smothering and opaque, too strong, too sweet.

Tried it again now that the weather's cold, and love it. Will be wearing it a lot this winter. I'm no expert, but see this as a stripped-down classic chypre, with the progression of bitter herbal/citrus, sweet resinous, deep earthiness.

In the heat this is a getitoffgetitoffgetitoff crawl-out-of-my-skin scrubber, but in winter, an entirely different beast.

01st August, 2015