Perfume Reviews

Reviews by ArcaBellitas

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Total Reviews: 29

Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge by Bulgari

My decant smelled of red licorice and berries in the vial.
I’m so glad I put it on though.
It starts with a sweetened berry candy scent, quickly developing into a medium depth pepper berry, fruit jam-citrus and fig. I get a rounded floral scent, nothing strong just notable. It’s rich and nutty as well, slightly tannic and a little sharp. Roiboos shines through with its branchy, grounded shrub scent-earthy and herbal. It’s an odd scent, and a little confounding as I can’t quite identify the appeal. Perhaps it’s that Roiboos isn’t tea at all, there’s absolutely no Camellia Sinensis present. Roiboos is an herbaceous plant that's brewed into a tisane. It’s quite a different flavor profile from tea. But, I like it, a lot.
03rd October, 2020

Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc by Bulgari

Peppery, white musk, woods, and delicate generic flowers. A fresh, piping cup of gently scented white tea. It is a little sweet, yet also dry. Clean and linear, it is definitely safe for work. Au Thé Vert is more enjoyable, in my opinion.
03rd October, 2020

Un Jardin sur la Lagune by Hermès

The artifice of synthetic aroma chemicals ruined this for me. It is reminiscent of baby powder, musk, and alcohol. It smells cheaply made and not at all fitting with the rest of the series. Even though each of the Jardin fragrances have their own nuances, there’s a common aroma that links all of the others together. Sur la Lagune is missing that quality.
I had dreams of a hidden lagoon, rivulets of crystalline droplets trickling down rugged, water slick rock formations. Pooling around lily pads, sea vegetables and grass, water flowers on bed of soft, fine sand and gnarled driftwood. And then I woke up.
03rd October, 2020
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Aqua Allegoria Limon Verde by Guerlain

A fresh, dripping glass of balanced lemonade. Crisp and bright citrusy juice and zest, not too sweet nor dry. Soft floral notes gently waft off the skin as they heat on the skin. It’s almost as if delicate flower petals were sprinkled over the surface of the ‘ade. Transparent, but not watered down. It lends itself to warmer weather as the freshness is cooling. Fig was not present, and it is a bit artificial smelling. Oddly, I felt nauseous when wearing so I won’t be getting a bottle for myself. Overall, it is lovely though.
03rd October, 2020

Aqua Allegoria Teazzurra by Guerlain

Going into sampling this fragrance, I was elevated to say the least. No exaggeration, I hyped myself up for this one. I keep searching for great tea fragrances.
I had daydreams of transparent, deliciously herbaceous tea with heaping citrus, light florals, and plenty of greenery.
Sadly, it was so incredibly synthetic and plastic like and the florals were so overpowering, I ended up with a big headache. It was a complete scrubber for me.
I couldn’t get far enough into the development to smell anything specific, except disappointment.
03rd October, 2020

Aqua Allegoria Bergamote Calabria by Guerlain

A sharpened, astringent grapefruit and woody musk. It remains the same throughout, no further development. It smells like a lot of other dry, masculine leaning fragrances. Cardamom is one of my favorite scents, and unfortunately, it didn’t show up. I don’t hate it, but it’s not for me.
03rd October, 2020

Eau Duelle Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

Booze laden vanilla, incense, and peppery cardamom swirl together in this warming scent. Curling puffs of pipe tobacco clouds envelop and tease the nose with smoky, grounded sweetness.

It’s a delicious olfactory experience. I personally appreciate it more as an ambient room spray rather than an EdP.
03rd October, 2020

La Tulipe by Byredo

I’ve said “smells like hand soap” so many times I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.
This really, really smells like a partly uncooked soap though! As in synthetic floral fragrance, partially saponified oil, and the nose crinkling sting of sodium or potassium hydroxide.
I only knew one note (supposed rhubarb) going into sampling. I searched the database of a fabulous fragrance decanter for rhubarb, this popped up. And, I smell no rhubarb. I’m guessing tulip as well as that is the titular note. I get a warmed up floral, very linear, and not much development. It is nice though and delicately fresh.
01st October, 2020

Hermèssence Rose Ikebana by Hermès

Tartly green, it is a lip smacking rhubarb and strawberry pie. In comes wistful and tender apothecary roses, gossamer wings flitting from bud to flower, honeyed sweetness balanced with a dry spray of citrus zest. A ping of veggie, hint of pepper berry spice, and damp woods keep it interesting.
A soft breeze lapping at dewy, sun burnished skin, cooling and calming. Meandering along a garden path near the sea and branching into an open air floral and farmer’s market lush with vegetation. It has a pleasant sweaty-ness about it, a damp skin scent. Reminding me, in a small way, of Bvlgari Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert. An aqueous rose I can wear without developing a headache. It is not mind blowing and is rather mellow, but I do very much enjoy! Longevity is around four hours. Sillage is close, yet somewhat noticeable.
01st October, 2020

Aura by Thierry Mugler

A feminine, verdant gourmand. Not a sweet bomb, but a gentle citrus simple syrup with tart rhubarb, and creamy vanilla. There’s a diaphanous powdery or chalkiness about it, not an unpleasant smell. The greenery (tiger liana) could have been stronger for my taste. It wears for about 6-8 hours (drying down to a vanilla-orange blossomy scent after about 3 hours). The sillage is moderate. It did give me a slight headache and a tinge of queasiness, as most fragrances with blossoms or floral notes do. But, there’s something alluring and mysterious enough about this scent for me to wear it again.
30th September, 2020

Midnight Leaf Tea by Jo Malone

Smoked vanilla, woods, and sticky resin. I do not get much in the way of tea, as with so many tea fragrances the note just doesn't pull through on my person. I do like this for a cooler weather, warmth providing, comforting scent. It's rounded and sweet, but too sugary. It's tinged with a bit of cream, calming the charred wood and deep resinous notes. I do not see myself purchasing a full bottle as it does bend synthetic, and the tea note would have to be more prevalent.

29th September, 2020

Aedes de Venustas (new) by Aedes de Venustas

Opens with spicy, tart fruit, vegetal greenery, and a delicate transparency. Unfortunately, it turned into a sour-bitter grapefruit and vetiver brew that so many masculine fragrances produce. It had great longevity though, I was catching wafts of vetiver into the next morning. Sillage was moderate.
I wanted to love this, but I don’t. The green, sharp fruity vegetable garden scent didn’t stay. I appreciate the artistry and creativity in the design of the fragrance. It simply didn’t work for me.
28th September, 2020

Honour Woman by Amouage

Thick diaphanous clouds of tuberose and mature florals mingle with sparkling, spicy carnations. AHW is a sophisticated, elegant experience.

Tart, peppery-sharp rhubarb was present in the opening. Alas, it melted away as it developed into a full-bodied, yet light and pleasing floral scent. There’re powdered leather and resinous incense in the base, rounding it out and grounding it down.
25th September, 2020
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Wild Strawberry & Parsley by Jo Malone

Verdant-fruity, light watery fragrance that leans heavily synthetic. It’s strawberry, drying fruit, and a heaping spoonful of musks. A delicate fruity-gourmand. It’s precious, that’s the first word that popped for me. An adorable little girl ensconced in a ruffled something or other bouncing around with her favorite stuffed toy, sticky jam laden fingers printing the fluffy plush. Faintly wafting clouds of sugary cotton candy.

The herby green spiciness of parsley and tomato leaf keep it slightly grounded, but they disappeared within five minutes or so. Realistic berry and herb garden notes and a bit of earth and dirt would have kicked this up a notch.

I do like it, but would rather have it as a hand soap or other such product. The sweetness is too much on my person.
25th September, 2020

Premier Figuier by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Musty, milky, and greenly vegetal-fruit on opening. It quickly developed into an artificial sandalwood fragrance, overpowering the verdant and jammy, deep fig. It’s still there, just muted next to some aged flowers and almond powder. If the titular note would stay present throughout and have a backbone, I’d like it more.

This has been lauded as one the most loved figgy fragrances...I’m simply not feeling the hype and will leave the superlatives to those who are in love. Longevity is so so, about 3 hours. Sillage was moderate.
24th September, 2020 (last edited: 25th September, 2020)

Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate by Hermès

Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate is a fragile, watery brew. What started with a fascinating spray of soured, fruity-vegetal rhubarb quickly dissipated. My initial reaction was positive, I was hopeful. It quickly turned into juicy red berries, sharp-dry grapefruit, nondescript florals, and buoyant musk. It’s youthful adolescence and synthetics turn this scent into another hand soap fragrance. I do not dislike it, but I would not buy a whole bottle.

I used 1ml between my skin and shirt. On the skin it had little to no projection or longevity, fading into the ether in less than an hour. My shirt stayed scented with a crisp, one note, synthetic grapefruit blast. It wafted for about four hours.
23rd September, 2020

Tea for Two by L'Artisan Parfumeur

A stalwart-aged, bourbon soaked oak barrel scented with gently sweetened, heady vanillin and smoky-frothed black tea. Throw in some spicy clove (the actual notes are cinnamon and ginger) and TfT is born.

This fragrance screams fall and winter to me. I just want to cuddle up under silky-soft, heavy blankets to read and sip steaming mugs of tea. Which, as it so happens, is what I am currently doing as I write these thoughts.

Tea for Two has the warmth and smoky depth I wanted when I wore CBIHP Russian Caravan Tea.

My only real issue with TfT is that I personally want to smell more like tea and less like drowsy booze cocktails. Should I truly desire to waft booze all day, I'd be a bit upset. TfT dried down to a masala chai type scent before disappearing completely after only two-three hours. Sad for a fragrance this expensive. I’m hoping that it’s just me, and that others will get more longevity.
22nd September, 2020

Aqua Allegoria Anisia Bella by Guerlain

Opened with a mild, breezy spiced aniseed that sadly burnt off within seconds. A watery transparency is lovely and lends itself to a juicy citrus concoction. I get some bergamot and possibly orange. Some soft floral is present, I’m thinking Jasmine. I wanted some licorice and wood to come through, but alas, they did not.

As with many of the AA fragrances, it turned into a synthetic, sweet hand soap scent. If only the aniseed would last, or the licorice and wood had come through. Projection stays close to the skin as with all Aqua Allegoria scents; longevity is about 2 hours. I’d love some additional herbaceous-ness. It’s a cooling and fresh spring/summer scent.
14th September, 2020

Aqua Allegoria Passiflora by Guerlain

It has taken me three wears and a bit of pondering to get my mind wrapped around this scent.

It starts with a pungent blast of alcohol quickly moving to a passion fruit and light citrus scent. There are some gentle white floral notes present. It is a moderately sweet and synthetic hand soap fragrance. It lasted about two hours on me and stayed close to the skin. It lends itself to warmer weather and gives intermittent wafts of a nice clean and fresh scent.

Hermès' Un Jardin sur le Nil and en Méditerranée are favorites. As are a few of the Acqua di Parma Line and several of Atelier Cologne's scents. I thought the Aqua Allegoria line seemingly similar. However, almost all of the AA fragrances I’ve tried have not worked out for me. The ones I’ve sampled have all turned oddly synthetic and hand soapy, excepting Mandarin Basilic and Herba Fresca.

One Basenotes reviewer said she likes to use some of the AA scents as ambient room fragrances and/or linen sprays rather than wearing them. I like that idea, I think it ingenious if they're already within your collection. I just don’t see myself investing $45+ on something I’m not loving and that doesn’t carry much longevity.

I keep working my way through the line hoping more will work out. I have to ask myself, at what point do I throw in the towel?
14th September, 2020

Russian Caravan Tea by CB I Hate Perfume

The bright spot of this water perfume is the remembrance of visiting my cousins; watching and smelling as they prepared redolent “iced tea” from powdered concentrate. They loved it so much and I enjoyed watching them fill their huge, colorful plastic cups with freezing ice and tea.

This light, bright sparkler is perfect for those who love a crispy, and sticky-sugared lemon tea. It’s reminiscent of a sugary citrus, Earl Grey. And, I can definitely smell how this will be a great spring or summer scent on many people. I’ve read many reviews where wearers had pulled some smoke and spiciness from the scent; that sounded so lovely.

I’m not sure what it is about my body or my nose, but this did not work out for me. On me, it’s overly-sweet, soapy, and synthetic. It’s a watered down (in a good way), flowery, and honeyed light citrusy tea.
It quickly turned into fruity candy, and was reminiscent of that sweet lemony tea in the cooler case at a gas station snack stop. It left me with a slight headache.

I was hoping for a steamy, thick, frothy malted black tea. Wanting a gently smoked Assam, pu’erh, oolong, or lapsing shouchong. It has absolutely no haze. Nor is there a “hint of shelves of old books.” No depth or darkness, no curling up by an outdoor fire pit to warm your bones on a chilly night, relaxing into a piping rich brew of black Indian tea.
14th September, 2020

Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

Winding down a coastal cobbled street, taking in the sea air brimming with freshness and salinity. A cool breeze lightly lapping across dampened skin, wafting the scent of wood and leaves mingling with jammy and dry powdery fig leaves and fruit. Not completely sweet, nor dry. Rather, it is somewhere in-between.

It’s really a lovely and refreshing, soft watery fragrance. For the most part, it stays close to the skin and lasts around five hours or so. Every so often, someone else will catch a lilting flick and comment, “You smell good.” It’s unobtrusive and one of my favorite scents.
10th September, 2020

Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

A leisurely stroll along the water. An abundance of fresh citrus provides a welcome coolness-like a refreshing breeze on a balmy Summer’s day.
A great fragrance for anytime, but I especially love it in the heat. Never cloying or sweet, sur le Nil has long been one of my absolute favorite fragrances. Having walked away from traditional fragrances for several years, I wanted to revisit a sample before purchasing a full bottle. I’m so glad I did!

It immediately swept me up in a lolling swell of light, dry juicy greenery and mysterious blossomy waterside. I’m guessing the mysterious quality comes from the frankincense in the base.

The full power of the scent never lasts beyond three to four hours on me, but every once and a while I will catch a whisper of lotus, tart fruit, and wood toward the end of the day. On me, sur le Nil’s sillage is close to the skin, which is nice for me since I wear fragrance to refresh, relax, and let my mind linger on thoughts evoked by the scent.

Although my nose can pick out certain notes, I try not to get bogged down by feeling like I “should” smell this or that. Rather, I focus more on the way the fragrance smells on me and how it makes me feel when wearing. One of my absolute favorite aspects of fragrance is how they differ based on the wearer. What smells like trash on me may smell delicious on someone else and vice versa.
10th September, 2020

Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert by Bulgari

A clean refresher on a warm day. Tea fragrances are some of my favorite treasures to hunt! I have sampled many tea fragrances and end up being disappointed by the tea notes. They almost always get buried by the accompanying notes. Not so with au The Vert. The fresh, very light, earthiness of the camellia sinensis plant is present all the way through this fragrance. Crisp citrus, gentle spices and florals, breezy woods, and aqueous scents play important supporting rolls in stirring up this cooling scent.

It lasts around 4-5 hours on me, with watery and verdancy in the dry down. It evokes a slight damp skin scent. Much like stepping outside on a particularly humid and sticky day. Not at all grossly unpleasant or sweaty smelling, rather it lends itself to tempering those hot climates. Or maybe to be worn in cold weather to remind one of heated days ahead. Either way, I do enjoy this fragrance.
10th September, 2020

Nu Green by Honoré de Prés

Nu Green starts with a sticky-syrup bang of tangy citrus soda; somehow managing to produce a fizzy tingle in my nose. There’s something else present as well, maybe sweet mint? It’s no matter though, that nostalgic remembrance of childhood disappears almost immediately...gone in 5-10 seconds. It is replaced with damp dirt, composted greens and burnt leaves-the dirty part of gardening. The soil under your nails and stains on your knees. I love it!

What I really do not love is that the entire scent is gone in less than 20 minutes. No longevity, no sillage. I had to keep my nose pressed against my skin to get a whisper. I’m so disappointed. This is the first time I’ve encountering a fragrance evoking the outdoors in that way...without smelling fake or synthetic.

At that price point, l want it to give me at least a few hours before burning off into the ether.
10th September, 2020

Aqua Allegoria Mentafollia by Guerlain

I remember this one now. I sampled it a few years back before eschewing anything other than essential oils. I'm glad to be back to all types of fragrance.

Mentafollia is another scent I really wanted to love, but didn’t work out. On my body, it pulls decidedly masculine. Not enough fresh garden mint scent. No herbaceous-ness softly melding with light florals. It turns into a watered down aqueous scent with hints of ozone. It is faintly reminiscent of B&BW Eucalyptus Spearmint-one of my least favorite, synthetic chemical scents. Cedar and grapefruit lightly remain. None of the natural dry sweetness remains, and the mint all but floats off in a diaphanous cloud.
09th September, 2020

Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

Gentle spiciness and definitely unisex, there is something softly creamy or powdery present. Grapefruit zest is strong, no sweetness from the flesh itself but there is a fleeting and wispy jammy note in the dry down. Softly herbaceous, slightly green and soapy.

On me, it’s definitely pulling the bitterness and acidity of the zest almost as if pith made its way into the mix. And a minute whiff of astringency and urine. The real disappointment comes from a synthetic chemical scent. For a fragrance that's all about water and nature, I expect more.

While not a completely unpleasant wear, it’s not my favorite way to spend the day. Luckily, it doesn’t last all day on me, it has a staying power of about three hours. What’s left in the very end are cleaned up, vanilla hippy vibes. A bit droll in the end.
09th September, 2020

Koala by Zoologist Perfumes

What I was hoping for was the sharpened astringent of eucalyptus or citrus and honey-menthol laden pastilles. The promise of greenery and a languorous walk through a eucalyptus grove. Wanting for the crunch of leaves and dirt beneath my feet, and the breezy aroma of verdancy. Searching for dampened animal pelt soaked with solar warmth from the amber, sandalwood and creamy vanilla-sunlight glinting between the branches, and rich earthy mists of black tea.

Sadly, on my body, it was a clingy scrubber that while definitely unisex, pulled strongly to the masculine. It’s more like cruising a tract house lined street with the window down-eucalyptus trees in the median, sipping on a vanilla chai latte, catching whispers of car air freshener and the lingering scent of incense pouring out of a parish after mass. Although I did get hints of musk, it was more of a snuggly hug than an animalic befitting the Koala. It pulled cloyingly boozy with a touch of sweetened gourmand, and something slightly soapy in the sillage. While none of that is necessarily bad, that drive through the burbs does sound relaxing, this fragrance was a let down for me. A classic case of expectation vs. reality.

Eucalyptus is a hard note to balance. I want the nose to pull Eucalyptus-real leaves, bark, and tree branches. Unfortunately, most Eucalyptus fragrances I’ve experienced smell of B&BW Eucalyptus Spearmint-an overly strong, fake plant, masculine cologne scent. It could be the chemical reaction that happens when it is combined with mints and menthol. I’m not sure, but it is not pleasing, to me.

Given that scent is personal and often recalls memory, I guess what I’m looking for is the scent of fresh, astringent, somewhat medicinal trees of my childhood. Running through the neighborhood only to stumble upon a small “forest” of smelly goodness. Singing, resting, and using my imagination under the cloak of their cooling shade. A coastal breeze gently brushing my overheated skin. That’s what I’m looking for. And that’s what I get when I smell real trees and unmixed essential oils. Too bad those volatile oils burn off so quickly.

I want to love this fragrance. The notes and scent story won me over. The reviews were promising. I know this fragrance will work for many people, but unfortunately, it was a no go for me.
08th September, 2020

Un Jardin Sur Le Toit by Hermès

Opens with a sharp blast of tart, juicy green apples and pears sprinkled with a little sweetness. It quickly transitions, leaving a fruit forward, aqueous scent with more than a bit of dryness in the base. Gentle florals and green grass are present, just enough to give a whisper of garden breeze. There is a plant based papery note, adding to the dryness. Overall, I really like this scent…I wish I could fall in love. I love the dryness, papery-ness, the grassy-green goodness. Sadly, my body pulls the sweet and floral scents forward and they overtake the deliciousness in the dry down. I want them to balance or at least tip, ever so slightly, to the drier, grassy-green notes. It has decent staying power, four-five hours. The sillage is light to moderate.
08th September, 2020

Amazone (new) by Hermès

Hermès Amazone EdT

What a strange fragrance!

When I took the initial whiff from the sample bottle, I was smacked by Dr. Pepper-spicy and syrupy. I almost did not put it on. In fact, it took me two weeks and a few more sniffs of the decant to finally put it on. Although the florals overtook the scent for me, I’m glad I finally decided to give it a go.

It started with a blast of smoky church incense and far off spices with powdered fruity-florals approaching. Something a little naughty, dirty was sneaking up in the back. As the scent dried down, all the alluring smokiness and incense-like notes disappeared as they were overtaken by sweetened red fruits and powdery, aged florals. There’s a softened green quality running throughout and mild spiciness lingers. Sadly, not enough to counteract the floral notes (on me).

This is another example of a fragrance where I got caught up in the romance of the scent story, only to be let down as the concoction mingled with my body chemistry. I’d like to smell it on someone else because I have a feeling that it would be delicious on another.
07th September, 2020