Perfume Reviews

Reviews by AlatarielUK

Total Reviews: 21

Sable & Soleil by Phaedon

For me this is a floral suntan beach scent with a hint of salt. It opens with a burst of bright lemon and white florals, then settles into gentle, clean, tropical flowers: ylang ylang, Tiare, jasmine. There's a gentle coconut a hint of the lemon with a little bit of aquatic salt and white musk peeking through.

It is the idealized smell of suntan lotion and a cheerful white floral perfume for a day on the beach, with some tiare oil and salt in your hair. It's perfectly pleasant, and might be the perfect form of summer escapism if you want to pretend you're heading for a chilled night out after a day on the beach, surrounded by night blooming flowers.

It dries down to white musks with a hint of tonka/vanilla sweetness and maybe a tiny bit of sandalwood. On me, it stays close to the skin even in summer heat, and settles into the drydown skinscent after a couple of hours.
12th August, 2020

California Chocolate by Olympic Orchids

It smells like orange and chocolate, just like it promises. For me it is less orange blossom and more juicy orange fruit, like a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice and a mug of cocoa next to each other, the peel and the cocoa giving that slight bitterness in the background. It is well made, and a pleasant, comforting smell, just not something I'd choose to wear, I think. I am considering putting a bit of orange oil in my next cup of cocoa, though.
22nd July, 2020

Chêne by Serge Lutens

Chene was one of the first Lutens fragrances I encountered, way back in 2006 ish, via a book of wax samples that the brand posted to me. I bought a bell jar, and have been wearing it intermittently ever since. Its a warm round scent of freshly cut wood, starting off a little bit green and sappy, then gently shading sweeter, with a bit of smoke, imortelle, rum and pepper as it develops. On me, it is pretty linear, and smells like the perfect imaginary evening in front of a crackling log fire, next to a basket of freshly cut wood, maybe with a drink in hand. I find it a great autumn winter comfort scent. It stays pretty close to the skin, but lasts the whole day. My bell jar finally ran out this year, so I bought one of the 100ml black bottle. Given some of the changes to the Lutens line, I was a bit worried it wouldn't live up to the vintage version. Comparing them, one on each wrist, the new one has more alcohol and greenness on the top, which burns off quickly. The older version settle down a bit quicker, I think because the top notes aren't quite there anymore. Then they both settle into woody-sweet-smokey goodness and stay there - after 20 minutes or so there is no discernible difference.
07th July, 2020
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Unnamed by Byredo

The gin top notes of this are almost aquatic, with juniper and some fizz, which I guess are aldehydes. After 15 minutes or so it settles down into powdery iris and violet, like face powder and posh handbag, before slowly fading into a green slightly acrid base. It is pleasant and inoffensive and feels to me like bottega veneta's less interesting, poorer cousin.
19th August, 2018

Au Coeur du Desért by Tauer

I put a sample of this on one wrist and spray from my bottle of LADDM on the other arm to compare. ACDD has less citrus/incense/spices up top, going on very complex, lots of woods, amber, patchouli and maybe a bit of iris. It is very rounded and smooth and deep, with constantly changing facets. As it settles after a couple of hours, it forms a warm, morphing mix of amber and woods with a bit more incense or cedar showing up after a few hours. It's still in evidence the next morning post-shower, long after LADDM has faded. All in all, it is a beautiful variation on LADDM. I would guess it has more longevity and less projection - it feels more intimate with less of that sense of wide open spaces I get from LADDM.
02nd August, 2018

Twilly d'Hermès by Hermès

Soapy ginger with some spices and a bit of hay and tobacco initially. Then something worryingly fresh, bordering on marine that thankfully disappears again. Stays fresh and floral, the tuberose surprisingly light and citric, a bit like l'artisan's nuit de tubereuse with less mango and pepper. Sticks around for quite a while fading into a generic floral musc.
29th July, 2018

Narciso Eau de Toilette by Narciso Rodriguez

Floral, pretty, little bit of white musk. Quite radiant. Beter than most department store fragrances and unlikely to offend anyone, but nothing special.
29th July, 2018

Narciso by Narciso Rodriguez

This is the platonic ideal of a modern office perfume. It is all about the seamless texture of florals, powder and musk. It is very radiant and quite warm, with none of the notes being overly obvious. Very smooth and long lasting.
29th July, 2018

Alaïa by Azzedine Alaïa

Smells like flying business class: generic spa toiletries, a bit of leather car interior, metallic recycled air and a bit of musk. It's uncanny as a scent memory but not a perfume I want to wear.
29th July, 2018

Plein - Jeu III-V by Sauf

Soapy, clean incense with soapy clean jasmine. Perfectly pleasant, but not as soaringly light and churchy as Avignon or Heely's cardinal. For me it is a less interesting version of L'artsan's Passage D'enfer with jasmine instead of lilies.
28th July, 2018

Contre Bombarde 32 by Sauf

Burnt amber, elemi and frankincense. Oddly goumand for an incense. It smelt like burnt caramel and chicken stock cubes for a while, with an odd celery salt note that might be from the juniper. It isn't unpleasant, just smells too much like my kitchen cupboard for me to want to wear it.
28th July, 2018

Eau Sacrée by Heeley

This is a beautiful uplifting incense scent. Lots of frankincense, with spices (sage and cardamom I think) and something gently warm underneath that might be woods or amber. One tiny spray from a sample on my wrist lasted hours and wafted up gently. To me it feels a bit deeper than Cardinal, with less sparkly aldehydes and more spice and woods, and even a little bit of sweetness from the myrrh. It is serenity in a bottle.
19th July, 2018

Infusion d'Iris by Prada

This is one of the scents I wear when I need something I always enjoy and that works for any weather and any occasion. It starts out with a bright, juicy burst of lemony-orange citrus (the notes say mandarin), then there are wafts of orange blossom, incense and dry cedar, underpinned by a sheer powdery iris. It is very radiant, but not loud, like a veil of scent. On me it lasts all day, but fades in an out so you catch whiffs of it periodically, but if you sniff your wrist it feels very soft and close to the skin. It dries down to a soft woody skin scent. Love it.
03rd July, 2018
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Pomelo by Jo Loves...

For a few minutes this smells like a beautiful, tropical grapefruit. Then it morphs into a standard laundry-clean white musk with a hint of what might be a very light suede. Then it disappears completely after a couple of hours. Would be lovely if those top notes lasted.
28th June, 2018

Caldey Island Lavender by Caldey Abbey Perfumes

This smells like a natural, herbal lavender, with that slightly musty anisic edge that stops it smelling too artificial. Then it turns into a generic slightly sour soapy musk. This is a recent sample so I suspect it has been reformulated since the review in the guide.
26th June, 2018

Cardinal by Heeley

This is a very clean incense - there's a lot of aldehydes and frankincense. It reminds me a bit of EL White Linen crossed with CdG Avignon. It is very bright and light, longlasting and linear. It stays quite close to the skin.
15th June, 2018

Lonesome Rider by Tauer

For me this is a beautiful plush iris, rose and leather fragrance with a hint of smoke. There is a bit of initial citrus-spice when it is first applied, which with the sweet-ish iris and leather makes the scent feel a little bit non-edible gourmand for the first 15-20 minutes. After that, it settles down into a floral, leather scent with a bit of smoke, musk and smooth wood. And stays like that for hours - it lasts all day and nearly into the next morning on me. It also projects quite strongly so one spray is quite enough to last all day.
15th June, 2018

Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez

This is for the current EdP. For me this is mostly old-school powder and florals with something skanky and animalic lurking in the base. The sweet, powdery start reminds me a bit of L'Heure Bleue, then the rose and iris show up with a bit of that face-powder/vintage lipstick vibe, but with a bit of tropical, indolic floral thrown in. Some aspect of the flowers almost seem dried to me - shades of potpourri, but with a rose-creamy scent underneath, along with that animalic musk. As it dries down, the powder fades and it settles into a rose-floral, sandlewood, musk that I quite enjoy, but not enough to deal with all the powder and potpourri up top.
15th June, 2018

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

This opens with a blast of leather-smoke-carnation and just a hint of TCP/Root beer. There's a bit of spice and sweetness there, but mostly it all about the leather-y smoke. It last forever (12 hours +) on me, and doesn't change much - the smoke fades a bit and the sweet amber/tonka in the base becomes more prominent. It smells like a bonfire and an old leather jacket, with a bit of warm sweetness underneath. Beautiful in small doses. I've tried sniffing it with Lutens A La Nuit on the other arm to bring out the jasmine (when I was at home alone to avoid suffocating anyone...) and there are some floral elements, but they're quite dry and muted, even when you're looking for them.
15th June, 2018

Coven by Andrea Maack

Well, this was interesting. It smelled like crushed ivy leaves to me and not much else, and showed very little development. I once did some conservation volunteering where we were ripping ivy off trees in the rain and it smelled like that day - a bit of wet dirt and wood, but mostly an intense, cold, dark, green slightly poisonous smell.
15th June, 2018

Celtic Fire by Union

So when this arrived, I opened the envelope at the office and started smelling like I'd spilt a bottle of whiskey. This sample was the culprit, and it had only leaked a tiny bit. When sprayed to sample properly it was very, very big. It starts off with a lot of smoke and peat, again reminiscent of Scotch (Laphroig, maybe?), then something shrub-ish, woody and a bit like conifer wood - not as bright and lemony as pine, more fir and balsamic like. There was something salty under there, and even a bit yeasty (which might explain marmite being listed in the notes). The initial blast of peat calmed down a bit and it settled into a tarry/leathery-woody scent a bit closer to skin. It is less sweet and leathery than lonestar memories. While interesting, if I smelt it on someone I'd think they'd been on a whiskey bender and had some marmite toast for breakfast. And maybe lived in a forest.
15th June, 2018