Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Rick58 & Beth62

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Total Reviews: 37

Archives 69 by Etat Libre d'Orange

Singing in two-part harmony with Clockwork Alice - hard pass. If the fragrance is Tokyo then the camphor note is Godzilla.

* Fist bump to any 70ís kid who laughed at my corny Blue ÷yster Cult joke/earworm.
18th April, 2021

Fat Electrician by Etat Libre d'Orange

Iím a vetiver lover. Iím also a vanilla lover. I thought the notes list sounded like that old Reeseís Peanut Butter Cup ad from the 1970ís - Hey! You got chocolate in my peanut butter! Vanilla and vetiver - what could possibly go wrong? Everything. They both get a failing grade from the teacher in the box reading, "Gets along and plays well with others." When the vetiver is loudest, the vanilla is there, in the background smelling vaguely of sweetness on the edge of decay. When the vanilla tries to assert itself, the vetiver drags it into a damp, dark basement, turns off the light and slams the door at the top of the stairs.

Now, if youíll excuse me, Iím going to make sure my bottles of Guerlain SDV and Chanel Sycomore are on different shelves before someone gets hurt.
18th April, 2021

Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

Dirty ashtray. Iíll keep a sample of this on hand to remind myself of what I smelled like back in the 1980ís when I smoked.
18th April, 2021
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Cologne by Etat Libre d'Orange

Iím with Rogalal on this one. Itís got lemon, but not a true lemon, itís Lemon Pledge. Itís got pine, but itís Pine-Sol pine. And a strange undercurrent of sweetness thatís really unpleasant, IMHO. Hard pass.
18th April, 2021

Tom of Finland by Etat Libre d'Orange

Not at all what I expected. I deliberately tested this on paper before I allowed myself a peek at the notes list. Knowing LaaksonenĎs art, I suppose I was ready for something blatant and provocative, even exaggerated.

Itís... nice. Too nice. This one gets filed under, ďDamned by faint praise."
18th April, 2021

Saint Julep by Imaginary Authors

Testing this fragrance left me with a short story of my own.

Imagine youíre working in your yard on a warm day. Someone in your household sees you laboring and brings you a tall icy glass of 7-Up, garnished with a sprig of mint. The initial sip is cold, fizzy and refreshing, and you smell the mint sprig nuzzling your nostril as you swallow. Before you can set the glass down, all thatís left on your tongue is white sugar accompanied by a vague sense of unease in your tummy as it tags bottom, but you were too thirsty to care. Back to work. 90 minutes later, you lay down the weed whacker and you spy the half-empty glass on table. As you bring the glass to your mouth, it registers in your brain that the ice is gone, and along with it that delicious cold smell. The top layer is just water and below that the mint sprig fell in and sunk to the bottom of the glass, trapped by swirls of refined white sugar syrup.
17th April, 2021

Roses on Ice by By Kilian

Since this fragrance qualifies as an 'aquatic' I suspect there won't be a ton of love for this one. As someone who's not fond of florals, I struggle to find summertime scents that have any staying power - longevity is just not a reasonable ask from most citrusy summertime colognes, Eau de Patou being my favorite in that genre.

I am not getting a lot of gin from this one, but that might be due to the fact I've never been much of a drinker and NEVER choose gin when I do imbibe. The juniper berry isn't very prominent (I used the juniper bush in my front yard as a reference) and in the end, it's roses and cucumber with a hint of lime. I realize this review sounds as if I'm damning it with faint praise, but I honestly do like this combination. I have one other cucumber-centric fragrance (Rara Avis by Alkemia, a cucumber/lavender/ozone accord) and I love that one, as well. In short, this fragrance meets my expectations for a lovely, light warm-weather scent with a modern twist and decent performance.
03rd April, 2021

Angelsí Share by By Kilian

Angels' Share is a beautifully balanced fragrance. The cognac is present without giving a boozy, party vibe. The cinnamon is warm and woody, not candied, and gorgeous against the oak and cognac. The vanilla is slightly sweet and a touch smoky, and provides a stable anchor for the oak. Moderate projection, and the longevity is exactly what you'd expect from the published notes, 6-8 hours. This reads very unisex to me, doesn't lean either direction. This is definitely one that benefits from a chest spray, allowing it to radiate from your body warmth.
30th March, 2021 (last edited: 05th April, 2021)

Sweetly Known by Kerosene

The cardamom is very photo-realistic and instantly recognizable to anyone with a penchant for baking. It's nicely supported by the vanilla/cocoa/caramel notes. I'm unable to tease out the musk, but that might be by design as a foundational element, much like the posts in your basement or cellar. It holds up the house but it's not for show.

Update - tested sample twice, liked it a lot. Bought a FB from Kerosene's website. What a difference spraying makes - I'm my own little cloud of cardamom, cocoa and vanilla. There's definitely another spice in there, I just can't quite put my finger on it. Possibly a touch of clove? I'll figure it out eventually.

The handwritten and personally addressed note from John Pegg that accompanied my bottle was a very nice touch. <3
04th February, 2021 (last edited: 17th February, 2021)

Unknown Pleasures by Kerosene

I agree with the previous reviewers on all points. My only addition would be that the drydown is so close to both Xerjoff Lira and Ex Idolo Love & Crime that if you own either of those, this would be redundant. Especially in light of the fact that the opening is quite brief, and it's the drydown you'll be living with for 90% of the development arc.
04th February, 2021

Canfield Cedar by Kerosene

It's true to its name - cedar, and not much else. Several wearings and Iíve been totally unsuccessful in picking up any of the supporting players.
03rd December, 2020 (last edited: 05th December, 2020)

Bee by Zoologist Perfumes

Reading reviews of Bee, both here and the other site which shall remain nameless, the only thing thatís consistent is how wildly inconsistent everyoneís impressions are.

First off, Zoologist Perfume sprayers are the very best Iíve seen. A micro-fine mist that lasts long enough to cover you, throat to bellybutton with a single push, as if it were under pressure.

Iím happily getting all the notes, I love them all. Beautifully distinctive. A few other reviews hint around the edges of a referenced accord with genteel phrases like "not quite anamalic, but......" Or, "I *think thereís a hint of cat pee in there?í

Iím going to come right out and say it. Clean ladybits.
23rd October, 2020 (last edited: 24th October, 2020)

Love & Crime by Ex Idolo

I love gourmands, so this is right up my alley. This would not appeal to anyone who is wishy-washy or fence sits on the subject of sweet perfumes. I find the citrus/sweet/floral balances in equal measure, the cocoa only comes forward once the mandarin orange top note blows off. I like it, but Iím a vanilla fan and I enjoy floral vanilla fragrances. This is very similar to Xerjoff Casamoratti Lira. I bought both at Lucky Scent, Lira 30ml is $105, Love & Crime 30 ml is $120, so they are in the same price range. Iím going to test them side-by-side tomorrow, but my first instinct tells me if you have one, having both would be redundant.

Iíll edit this review if I find that last supposition untrue.
14th October, 2020
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Fidelis by Histoires de Parfums

It appears Iíll be the only nay vote. Iím not getting any distinct notes, only the aftermath of a house fire - smoldering upholstery, hot electrical wiring and incinerated fiberglass insulation. I experienced the same visceral reaction to Purple Love Smoke by Soivohle.
11th September, 2020

Les Exceptions : Ambre Redoutable by Thierry Mugler

Pedestrian. I donít dislike it. I am, however, bored by it. Love or hate a fragrance, be confused or bewildered - all legitimate reactions. But a yawn is just not acceptable.
Starts out just amber with a touch of violet and runs linear. First hint of woods peeks out at ~2 hour mark. Thatís it. Nothing more.
28th August, 2020

Cuir de Russie Eau de Parfum by Chanel

Iím on a big leather bender these days. This leather is soft and lovely. The qualities of the ylang + jasmine + aldehyde blend in this reminds me very much of how Patou balanced on the same tightrope with Joy. Not that the two frags smell at all alike. They donít. But they certainly share a sensibility. Just a hint of anamalic Iíd characterize as kitty pee, but Iím a city girl - I wouldnít know barnyard if it bit me.
11th August, 2020

1889 Moulin Rouge by Histoires de Parfums

Many thumbs up for this blind buy (thank you, ClaireV, AKA Priscilla Queen of the Desert). ClaireVís review is spot-on so all I will do is give it a hearty second, and say I really enjoy this gem. Who knew old lost lipstick could smell so fun?
30th July, 2020

Levant by Ormonde Jayne

After a neutral paper test, I gave this a proper wearing today. I found the opening unpleasant and damp-smelling. Iím struggling to rectify the short notes list comprised of 4 florals with the wet, sour and vaguely citrus experience this scent delivers on my skin. I like a good challenge as much as any BNíer but Iím having a difficult time grasping the creatorís intent.
30th July, 2020

Contre Bombarde 32 by Sauf

Deeply reminiscent of the wooden pews of an old church, warmed by centuries of butts. Slightly papery, but the dryness balances wonderfully with the judicious use of vanilla.

I really like this....

Edit: Tried this on Rick today. Stunning. He smells hymnals, incense and church pew wood.
21st July, 2020 (last edited: 16th August, 2020)

Black Flower Mexican Vanilla by Dame Perfumery

Black Flower Mexican Vanilla is absolutely gorgeous. The vanilla is paired beautifully with the florals and the hint of nutmeg is lovely. The sandalwood and patchouli provide a beautiful backdrop. A stunning vanilla without slipping into sweet. I'm not picking up the citrus, and that's ok - I have Shalimar for that. I was looking for a slightly-floral vanilla and I've found it.

This is a beautifully-woven fragrance.

Thank you ClaireV - you're my heroine!
07th July, 2020 (last edited: 08th July, 2020)

Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

Thereís a blatant dirty note in this - Iím surprised itís not mentioned more. The first time I tested this on skin, I even went to my kitchen spice rack in the hopes I could identify this almost-but-not-quite sweaty smell. No dice - thyme smells totally different. Iím not able to discern any raspberry (or any other fruity note), no jasmine, either. As it dries down, it becomes very petrochemical and finally I get a clear peek at the leather. The black leather is hard, nothing soft or suede-like (I ride a Harley, and my black leather reference is the smell of my riding chaps). The gasoline smell eventually slides away to leave leather standing alone. Iíve tried this several times now and the conclusion Iíve arrived at is the drydown (just ok, not great) isnít worth what I have to endure to get there.
28th June, 2020

Mťharťes by L'Erbolario

What a lovely cheapie! Iím tickled pink when fragrances deliver beyond their price tag.

Iíll let this one stand on its own, waving off the MR comparisons and say that the warm spicy-sweet nature of this little figgy/nutty/cinnamon gem make it an easy one for me to love. Generally, I find top notes something that must be endured, rarely enjoyed. I am one of those perfume lovers that lives for the dry down. On me, this is very linear, it seems to launch straight into the end game and I love it for that.
11th June, 2020

Santal de Kandy by Boucheron

Lovely! I prefer fragrances that put woods or spices in the drivers seat and let the florals ride shotgun. To me, this is a beautiful sandalwood-first scent. The jasmine doesnít completely drown the violet, which is a pleasant surprise. Iím not picking up the black pepper but thatís no disappointment. Thereís no disappointment anywhere. The cedar is very laid back and blends well with the sandalwood after a few hours.

And glory hallelujah, I finally found a fragrance that my skin doesnít devour in 2 hours or less. Iím very tickled by this one.
27th May, 2020

Twelve Keys by Soivohle (Liz Zorn)

This is..... interesting. Iím getting lavender and a bit of clover right off, and maybe the star anise? This is very difficult to tease apart. The wood accord seems tightly bound to another note I canít identify, to a very chilly effect. Towards the end, the sparest hint benzoin that never develops.

This is a challenging fragrance that is fun on paper.
26th May, 2020

Cabotine by GrŤs

On my skin, the projection of this stuff is positively nuclear, I canít decide if I like it or hate it, itís too loud to hear anything clearly.

But.... on my husband itís not loud or screeching, something is blending into a note thatís reminiscent of lily of the valley cold process soap. A neutral rating seems fair, I suspect this fragrance performs very differently on different skin types so Iím keeping an open mind on this cheapie.
27th March, 2020

With Love by Guerlain

I never met a Guerlain I didn't like, so this was a safe blind buy for me.
Not quite what I am accustomed to but a lovely scent none the less. I like rose, and looking at this pyramid, I have NO idea where the rose is coming from but it is most definitely there. This is a soft, airy, feminine fragrance, perfect for springtime.
26th March, 2020

Velvet Noir by Oscar de la Renta

I have never met an Oscar De La Renta I liked enough to consider wearing, but I was initially surprised by this one. My first test strip held onto a cold, airy note, which led me to a skin test. Unfortunately, that lovely chilly note disappeared almost immediately on my skin. Iím rarely attracted to top notes, and I generally view them as sort of a loss leader.

The drydown is a little staid, nothing brave or original. The middle is comprised of a generic pseudo-rose/amber, vaguely sweet. The rose drops off and little snippets of musk and wood are apparent in the empty spaces and provides just a hint of warmth.

Given the price point, I could recommend this to someone whoís not interested in sharp, edgy or challenging. I think the fragrance would have appealed to me more if it maintained the cooler elements it began with, giving it some consistency across time. If I had to place it into a slice of daily life, Iíd say itís a scent that pairs well with jeans and comfortable flat shoes while running errands.
22nd March, 2020

Gold Sugar by Aquolina

To say itís sweet is painfully obvious, but once it mellowed I could smell each of the notes. They donít blend, rather each stand motionless, side by side in an odd, orderly fashion. I think coconut is the only note in here I donít like, or maybe psychologically I keep expecting an almond that never materializes.
21st March, 2020

Idylle Duet Jasmin-Lilas / Idylle Love Blossom by Guerlain

Lovely...... A very true and faithful lilac scent and it has enough depth to keep it from being too bouncy. I wore it today for the first official day of spring.
21st March, 2020

Vanille Ambre by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

I am a vanilla lover in all its forms - sweetened, unsweetened, paired with woods, spices, fruits and flowers - I love them all. Almost. Unfortunately, I find this fragrance very chemical, very unnatural-smelling. This doesn't smell like any real vanilla to my nose.
19th March, 2020