Perfume Reviews

Reviews by tonileefiore

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Total Reviews: 95

La Fumée Intense by Miller Harris

The review by "Suspended" completely & thoroughly sums up La Fumee Intense. Now that I own and I've worn both La Fumee Intense and La Fumee Original, I totally agree with Suspended's review.

Initially, I had an impossible time telling Miller Harris La Fumee Intense apart from La Fumee Original. But after wearing both for several days, I completely get it now. La Fumee Intense is very similar to Original with a few distinguishable and rather notable differences: less smokiness, less incense and the addition of lavender, vanilla & oud.

La Fumee Intense opens with an extremely intense, green & spicy accord. I assume the opening is cardamom, coriander, lavender and whatever else; whereas Original does not have such an opening. Throughout the wear, Intense evolves as a more floral, creamy developed version of Original, minus the immediate appearance of incense...again, lavender & vanilla (elemi) for certain.

So, floral & vanilla notes are very prominent during the mid-phase as well, lasting about 30 minutes in. The floral addition is actually quite nice; however the opening notes and floral accords DO tone down the incense that I love in La Fumee Original.

The immediate dry-down is where I am split. While MUCH more resinous, thick, syrupy, sweet, powdery and developed than Original, La Fumee Intense loses me a wee-bit with its woody, mid-to-base note (oud) and its syrupy, vanilla (elemi) & amber-ish early dry-down notes. All the notes comprising Intense do beautifully blend after an hour (or more) with intermittent wafting of spiciness, mild incense, amber and lavender. The beautiful interplay of spicy floral woody creamy notes makes La Fumee Intense very appealing. Intense is much more complex than La Fumee Original.

Yet, there is something unmistakably beautiful that I crave and adore in the simpler, cleaner and more linear smoky incense dry down of La Fumee Original (versus the dry down of Intense). Seems like the smokiness and incense of La Fumee Original are lost amongst the more varied and complex notes of Intense.

La Fumee Intense's longevity, performance, silage are all pretty fierce & favorable, as opposed to the closer-to-the body, shorter wearing performance of Original. If this helps, I find La Fumee Original a somewhat "easier," all day, every day wear; whereas due to its intensity and complexity, I might wear La Fumee Intense during the fall/winter months, at night, out for dinner, on a special occasion, etc.

In a very funny way, as Cook.bot noted, with the addition of spiciness, lavender, vanilla & oud, La Fumee Intense seems more suitable for men, whereas La Fumee Original seems more suitable for women. And yes, as this reviewer stated, "...the LATE dry down is quite beautiful and definitely worth the wait."

Either way, you cannot go wrong! Intense, or Original...I love them both!
12th October, 2019

Ecstasy by Tiziana Terenzi

As someone who owns and loves both Frederic Malle "Potrait of a Lady" and By Kilian "Incense Oud," TT's Ecstasy Perfume is reminiscent of both. Landing a bit less oily, resinous & heavy than Incense Oud, or POAL, if blindfolded I would have a difficult time differentiating between the above mentioned fragrances and TT's Ecstasy.

Opening with pleasant green notes of balsam, pine & spruce, the opening recedes rather quickly as beautiful notes of cool stone powder, incense & patchouli emerge. The mid-notes beautifully blend with the opening notes, as rose & violet floral notes waft and rise with a calming, gentle smokiness. While less incense intense and a bit smoother actually that Incense Oud (I imagine due to the absence of oud, real or otherwise), Ecstasy lands with a lovely sandalwood, amber, tonka and old wood base. The fragrance is creamy, smooth and very feminine. The dry down exhibits lots of incense, rose and wood...it's nice.

Not much more to say about this one. It is a beauty. I'd say silage is a bit less than By Kilian Incense Oud and definitely less so than POAL. Longevity is good. Value is extremely good given the high quality of this fragrance, especially when compared to the other main competitors.

If you are a fan of dark, heavy-ish, resinous, dramatic rose-incense-wood fragrances, I say go ahead and give Tiziana Terenzi "Ecstasy" a try.
11th October, 2019

parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Zagorsk by Comme des Garçons

I agree with others who state Zagorsk doesn't present as a "true" incense fragrance, certainly not the type most Westerners are accustomed to. This fragrance smells very herbal, almost harshly so (at least to my nose...certainly upon opening).

So, the opening notes are quite intense where I perceive lots of cedar, cypress, pine and some sharp berries. Zagorsk does open like many typical fougere fragrances with lots 'n lots of forest, greenery, fern & pine...small, faint elements of dry incense intermittently break through upon application and throughout the first 5 minutes or so.

Mid notes emerge within 5 minutes and absolutely morph with and change the original opening notes. I like the middle phase of this fragrance. Unlike the other CdG Incense Fragrances I've tried, (or smelled), little floral whisps of violet try breaking through the mass of pine and cedar throughout the middle phase of this fragrance. While extremely faint, the fragrant violet is a pleasant & balancing element and one of the more pleasing aspects of this fragrance, IMHO.

Finally, like many "incense" fragrances, Zagorsk settles at base with woody, birch, rather typical "wood" notes. Not at all resinous, like what one might come to expect with an incense fragrance, Zagorsk is a bit powdery and cloud like. As incense fragrances go, I think Zagorsk is a relatively "easy" fragrance to wear.

And I like this fragrance, I do. However, similar to all the CdG Incense Series fragrances I've smelled and/or sampled, Zagorsk is not something I would ever purchase, or wear on a regular basis. While on my skin, Zagorsk is the most femininely appealing, or "unisex" of all the CdG Incense fragrances, I still think Zagorsk (and all the Incense Series fragrances) is decidedly masculine.

While I love the CdG "Incense" concept and I appreciate many of the "Incense" fragrances and notes, none in this CdG series have worked for me. For me, every CdG incense fragrance I've tried has just been to "church-y" for my tastes and definitely way too masculine leaning.

And for the price point (and like the others Incense fragrances), Zagorsk has limited silage, limited longevity and minimal staying power on my skin. It's expensive stuff and I like it but it's just not my style.
11th October, 2019
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La Fumée Classic / La Fumée by Miller Harris

WoW...so I've been feeling "restless" again and decided to (try) expanding my "go-to" fragrance wardrobe. I love every note ingredient listed in this perfume. I usually prefer incense fragrances with somewhat of a floral, or rose overtone. La Fumee listed as a nearly "straight-up" incense fragrance. So, after reading many reviews and viewing YouTube videos, I thought I'd purchase a large sample, give this much noted fragrance a try.

I AM IN LOVE with this fragrance, I am. And while so different from my usual blends, La Fumee is eerily similar to the rose, oud, wood, resin, patchouli, sandalwood stuff that I love. This fragrance is absolutely beautiful. As a more "linear" fragrance than what I usually wear, I love the simplicity and purity of this fragrance a whole lot!

The opening is intoxicating with glorious incense notes followed by a rather intense smokiness, which I love! Throughout the opening, I couldn't refrain from smelling my inner wrists and forearms. I find La Fumee totally feminine when shortly after the opening notes, creamy, silky, velvety, smooth ethereal vanilla notes rise and interplay with the ongoing lovely incense & smokiness!

Dreamy and almost light (which I'm starting to prefer, given my fragrances tend to play heavy with resinous, rather oily notes), La Fumee cloaked me in a cloud of smoky, creamy, resinous, vanilla, woody incense. The fragrance places me in a near meditative, dream-like state...it really does!

Middle floral notes quickly emerge and once again mingle nicely with all the notes and scents in play. And while I would not consider this fragrance to be complex in nature, somehow all the notes blend together nicely and land in pleasant harmony.
I imagine there's elemi, sandalwood and other woodsy, resinous notes emerging, which contribute to the pleasant dry down and base.

I did not think silage was great but when I picked my husband up from work, he immediately commented on how I (and his truck) "smelled like incense." Interesting. Now, I timed all of this loveliness and I'd say the fragrance greatly diminished on my skin at approximately 3.5 to 4 hours. So, for me longevity is moderate, not great.

As another reviewer stated, "This truly is magical stuff."

Now, I hope I didn't make an egregious error, however after reading reviews forever and contemplating a full-bottle purchase, I did purchase a full bottle of La Fumee "Intense" earlier today. Apparently, a similar yet different animal, I hope I love "Intense" as much as I love "Classic". If not, I'll likely resell my purchase on eBay and purchase La Fumee Classic, which I truly adore.

I love this fragrance. I can see wearing it for quite some time to come.
10th October, 2019 (last edited: 12th October, 2019)

Rêve d'Ossian (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

Uggggghhhhhh...how anyone might compare this fragrance to church incense is beyond me!

This one actually made me nauseous. For a moment after skin application, I truly thought I would vomit.

Right out of the bottle, I knew this fragrance was not for me. The opening was so intense and offensive, to me it fringed on vulgar. Not sure if it was the pine, or elemi or whatever but I just could not get that initial opening blast off my skin/out of the air/out of my mind...awful.

With its overwhelming sour opening, I couldn't clearly discern middle, or base notes. Some incense perhaps, dark & dirty anamalic musk, ambergris, resin, skanky leather. Just one hot, stinky nasty mess.

After 45 minutes or so, nothing morphed, blended, or receded. I had to go to the sink and scrub...and scrub and scrub and scrub just to get the scent off my wrists & forearms...

Threw the remaining sample contents down the garbage disposal drain. Awful, just awful. Cannot imagine wearing this stink.
09th October, 2019

Rose 31 by Le Labo

Le Labo Rose 31 is a beautiful, alluring, ethereal fragrance for those of us who adore the contained fragrance notes. While marketed as unisex, to me Rose 31 leans feminine, which is something I look for whenever I attempt an oud fragrance, or a perfume with oud listed as an ingredient. Lovely, calming, embracing...I just love this fragrance.

So yes, Rose 31 opens with the expected blast of rose, sharp cumin and the usual spices...notes that give the perfume a very spicy, bitter introduction. But within 30-60 seconds, Rose 31 morphs with drier, more subtle rose, some cedar, a beautiful oud scent, etc. The dry-down is more lovely, grounded "old" ROSE...a rose fragrance like something you might expect if you pressed a rose between the pages of an old book, cedar, woodsy notes, musk...and ROSE.

The end result is lovely for me, as many rose-oud-musky-woodsy fragrances tend to remain too "fresh," or too "green" on me. Not this one. The interplay between the various notes makes this an interesting, non-linear, peaceful & soothing fragrance. As an aside LL Rose 31 is not at all powdery, which is another note I dislike in many rose, violet, iris, jasmine, or other floral fragrances.

So, Le Labo Rose 31 is "old rose world" without becoming too "old-lady"-ish, or victorian. I like this fragrance a lot. Just wish the fragrance had more staying power, especially at this price point.

Now I'm torn between buying a full bottle of LL Rose 31 or Bella Freud 1971...

Le Labo Rose 31 is truly a unique and beautiful twist on the much tried, saturated rose fragrance perfume market!
03rd October, 2019 (last edited: 04th October, 2019)

L'Orpheline by Serge Lutens

I've never been a super-gigantic Serge Lutens fan; however, I do like a few of his fragrances and over the years, I've worn one, or two on a regular basis (Vetiver Oriental, Santal Blanc).

L'Orpheline leaves me feeling frustrated. No matter how much I apply, or how often I apply the fragrance, I can barely detect any discernible notes. Beyond "a watercolor painting" as one reviewer cited, this stuff reads more like "The Emperor's New Clothes."

Incense, patchouli and musk? Upon application, this fragrance emits the usual Lutens spicy, over-the-top "top" notes that quickly dissipate while one sneezes. The middle of L'Orpheline is frustrating, as I sniff and sniff and sniff and receive nothing but a powdery, musty odor. Fortunately the powdery and musty notes are too weak to make any difference and are barely detectable.

Within 20-30 minutes, L'Orpheline settles as a linear, muted, powdery bore with faint licorice notes.

Not for me and certainly not at the Lutens price-point.
02nd October, 2019

Rose Anonyme by Atelier Cologne

So, initially when I sniffed this cologne from the bottle, I liked it. And after initial application some 7 hours back, I sorta liked it. Here I am now, nearly 8 hours post-application and I'm starting to wonder if this fragrance will ever wear off, or dissipate.

Rose Anonyme starts off with a stinging, almost harsh opening of bergamot and ginger, the kind of opening that nearly makes one sneeze. That's okay 'cause within seconds, a beautiful, full, dark Turkish rose note appears, quickly joined by something I can only describe as herbal, woodsy, or balsamic...the oud?

Perhaps it is the emergent and ever-present olibanum and oud that do it; however after a while, I found this cologne to be nearly choking...almost cloying. Another reviewer mentioned "patchouli" as the note giving Rose Anonyme its "green" fragrance; and green fragrance notes are those of which I am not fond. However, in my life, I've never smelled patchouli to be quite so balsamic or "green." Seems like no matter how hard I tried, after some time all I could smell was balsam...probably oud.

Several hours in, I began smelling like the old, original green "Clairoil Herbal Essence Shampoo." Silage with Rose Anonyme is high, longevity is beyond...cannot imagine the extrait, which apparently packs even more of a punch than the cologne.

As an aside, I absolutely adore Frederic Malle "Portrait of a Lady." One reviewer experienced Rose Anonyme as a fragrance one might appreciate if they favor Portrait of a Lady. Sadly, this was not my experience with Rose Anonyme.

I like the Turkish rose notes in this cologne a lot. I just wish the Turkish rose, incense, patchouli and papyrus developed more thoroughly on me than the woodsy, earthy oud.

While nice enough, I'm afraid I'm giving this one a huge pass.
01st October, 2019

Gothic II by Loree Rodkin

I couldn't quite make my mind up about this fragrance after wearing it for a few days. I like it, I really do but I don't love it. Before writing this review, I tried my utmost to identify what exactly it is I favor, or not about this fragrance, Gothic II. After giving this a lot of thought, I still have difficulty clarifying & articulating my experience.

The stated notes are positively present with Gothic II. On me, this perfume opens with prominent notes of smooth, velvety, warm & boozy vanilla, along with a touch of weak patchouli. I detect boozy, bourbon vanilla and mild patchouli more than any other notes. Extremely linear, this perfume did not change or develop on my skin. Notes of bourbon vanilla interplaying with mild & pleasant notes of patchouli, back 'n forth, back 'n forth...that's it. At times, this fragrance smelled powdery & almost musty on my skin. Gothic II is a very linear, dry and extremely subtle fragrance. This fragrance plays very close to the body, very much what one might expect with a fragrance oil. Silage is negligible, staying power is poor. IMHO, I found this fragrance kinda boring.

As my time wearing this fragrance passed, I kept waiting for something spectacular to happen, which for me never occurred. As I tested/wore this, the fragrance quickly dissipated & floated away. For the brief time this perfume remained with me, whatever notes I detected seemed extremely restrained. While nice enough, this perfume did not "develop" enough for me. From start-to-finish, Gothic II seemed to fall flat.

I imagine if you are a patchouli & vanilla fan, if you enjoy the experience of a fragrance oil and if you like an extremely subtle fragrance that plays very close to the body, you will like Gothic II a lot. I guess I prefer fragrances that have more presence, a bit more of a boom.
01st October, 2019

La Religieuse by Serge Lutens

I recently tried La Religieuse in an attempt to expand my go-to wardrobe...guess I am feeling a bit bored, so I purchased several perfume samples.

My experience with La Religieuse is one of total disappointment! I anxiously awaited the arrival of this perfume and chose to wear it over the past few days. Not sure how & why the Serge Lutens PR folks are describing this (as they are) but I do not detect many (if any) of the listed notes...jasmine (yes, yes, yes) but civet, musk and incense? No way!

From opening to end, I sadly detected nothing but an over-powering almost synthetic jasmine note...that's about it. I waited throughout each day and from opening-to-dry down, I sadly could not detect any additional mid-or base notes. No complex, or variant notes of any kind...just jasmine.

I absolutely LOVE a lovely jasmine fragrance that is complex, moody, dark, dirty, earthy...a jasmine scent balanced by other notes that is complex & mysterious. I adore Jasmine Imperiatrice Eugenie by Creed, which is a beautiful, mysterious & complicated fragrance. But La Religieuse is ho-hum, nondescript and actually boring.

If you seek a jasmine fragrance that is unique & hypnotic (almost dark), please try Creed's Jasmine Imperiatrice Eugenie...a much nicer fragrance, in my opinion...jasmine fragrance, that is.

And if you are like me, La Religieuse will disappoint as an "incense" fragrance. Very little incense, no smokiness, zero earthiness/civet, etc of any kind.
27th September, 2019

Gold Incense by Mancera

I decided to purchase several new samples from the various on-line sites because I've grown a bit bored with my usual go-to fragrances...needing a change.

I do favor specific scents and fragrances, those with incense notes, patchouli, rose, oud, smoke, florals, etc. I applied Mancera Gold Incense with excitement and moderate expectations. For me, this fragrance is a total disappointment.

While nice enough I suppose, I agree with others about the absence of incense, or smokiness of any kind. I agree with "smokywhiteowl" about the presence of vanilla, musk, some patchouli...that's about it.

The opening is quite intense and peppery. Fortunately, the opening notes last for 15 seconds. Afterward, IMHO this fragrance smells like "just about any old mainstream fragrance with said notes that can easily be found at Ulta, or any department store fragrance counter."

Longevity is poor, silage is poor. A very ho-hum fragrance that will surely appeal to the masses. Quiet, safe, ordinary and basic.
27th September, 2019

Thirty-three by Ex Idolo

Not a whole lot to say, or add to what has already been said. Another rose 'n oud fragrance in an increasingly crowded category.

This one is inky, dark, rather resinous with more oud than rose. Not overly outstanding.

Projection is fine and longevity is good. agree with many of the other reviewers. This is reminiscent of Montale Black Aoud. It has a more Inky Aoud smell than Black Aoud, and a less quality rose. Great projection, great longevity.
27th September, 2019

Frankincense - Myrrh - Rose Maroc by Regina Harris

Not sure what all the buzz is about. Sticky, resinous mixture that fringes on boring. Primarily frankincense with very little rose, or anything else, for that matter.

I recognize I am not a fan of resinous, close-to-the body oils. Staying power is nil, silage is zero. Any fragrance seems to fade within 30 minutes, or so. While I suppose there is a bit of a "more authentic, pure oil fragrance" to this dark mixture, it still smells like "suburban mall kiosk" oil that has lost pungency. Fragrance seems to hit a wall. After a few minutes, I could barely detect any scent.

You would think at this price point, there might be something utterly pleasurable, or unique about this oil.

This is a total pass.
24th September, 2019
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Samharam by Arte Profumi

No need to poetically wax about this one. Very beautiful perfume straight-up loaded with frankincense & myrrh. A smoky, linear beauty. Peppery opening with an instantaneous dry down to lovely, church-y incense, frankincense and myrrh. More myrrh than frankincense.

Deeper and more authentic than many of the others in this incense category. Has a more genuine linear dry-down than say, Etro "Messe de Minuit." Perfect.
24th September, 2019

L'Eau Gothique by Reims Parfums

Hey... I am by no means a Jovoy Parfums fancier and I am pretty particular about the perfume I purchase and wear. So, Reims Parfums (for Jovoy) is a new and young brand created by Jean Philippe Vidal, theater actor and lover of perfumes. With Bertrand Duchaufour, Vidal introduces three new parfums: L’Eau des Sacres, L’Eau Gothique and L’Eau de Reims.

I usually lean towards my preferred fragrance notes; I adore ethereal, not overly-churchy, slightly woodsy, patchouli, rose, etc INCENSE fragrances. I heard about Reims new L'Eau Gothique, so I purchased a sample and gave it a try.

WOW and LOVE are all I can say! Undoubtedly for me, this new Reims fragrance is beyond worthy of a full bottle purchase. Yes, I have totally fallen in love with L'Eau Gothique and will soon be purchasing my first full bottle!

The Reims website says...with L'Eau Gothique, "Duchaufour revisits his earlier masterpiece Avignon but captures the splendor of High Mass incense by way of an altogether warmer, spicier, and woodier route, effectively giving the scent a ‘human’ tone that’s missing in the Comme des Garcons scent." And while I'm not able to completely recall my experience with Avignon (I wasn't a fan), I am beyond certain this fragrance is much warmer and woodsier, less harsh and rough, friendlier, more appealing and much more wearable than Avignon (or practically all of the Commes des Garcons Parfum Series 3 fragrances).

L'Eau Gothique definitely opens with a whack of bergamot, coriander & spice...I imagine for some this could be sneeze inducing! However within minutes, frankincense notes pleasantly emerge...primarily resinous balsam & pine...quickly blending with the coriander & citrus opening. Shortly thereafter, beautiful & fragrant floral notes break through and seamlessly blend with the spicier and more balsamic opening notes. Twenty-to-thirty minutes in, this fragrance pleasantly expands even further introducing smooth & gentle patchouli incense notes. With this, the balsamic scent fades backstage only intermittently appearing throughout the next several hours. Overall, the coriander and citrus are gone.

This beautiful fragrance is subtle, soothing, calming and warm. Musky, resinous, slightly balsamic & woodsy notes re-emerge and mingle with lovely florals & patchouli throughout the wear. At times, the dry-down is slightly powdery, yet not overwhelmingly so (like what one might encounter with many Serge Lutens perfumes). L'Eau Gothique is a beautiful, non-mainstream, highly wearable fragrance. And while this fragrance is not overly complex, it certainly is not simple, linear, or boring. I would say L'Eau Gothique is definitely a "niche" fragrance and not one for the masses.

On me, L'Eau Gothique seemed almost meditative. Silage was mild-to-moderate and longevity was moderate-to-good. I doubt you will smell anything even close to this fragrance at your local department store perfume counter...no way.

And at approximately $180 for a 100 ml bottle, L'Eau Gothique is a bargain. If you are a lover of gentle, feminine leaning, patchouli, frankincense, floral incense fragrances, please go ahead and give L'Eau Gothique a try! I do not think you will be disappointed.
24th September, 2019

1970 by Bella Freud

So, Bella Freud 1970 is the embodiment of just about EVERYTHING and every fragrance note I love in a perfume. For certain, 1970 is a feminine, gorgeous and ethereal fragrance with definite rose, saffron, sandalwood and musk notes. My signature fragrances are things like Kilian "Incense Oud," Frederic Malle "Portrait of a Lady," or "Musc Ravageur" and Chanel "Coromandel." I adore fragrances that are complex with combinations of patchouli, rose, musk, oud, INCENSE, woods, some resin, florals, etc, etc, etc.

Bella Freud 1970 is ALL of the above, yet presents in a lovely light, airy, ethereal & gentle way. After a few minutes, the gorgeous opening of ROSE, saffron and slight musk beautifully morphs with frankincense, myrrh, some patchouli, woods, resins, etc...AHHHHHH, INCENSE! The brief dry down is an exquisite blend of all the aforementioned notes with rose, patchouli and sandalwood dominating. Bella Freud 1970 is truly a very dreamy, feminine & beautiful fragrance.

Upon application, I was in love. I felt although softer and different, this fragrance was oddly similar to my "signature" scents and in many ways, much more wearable. In many regards, this fragrance felt more "wearable" as a summer and daily wear scent because of the fragrance's light, wafting & ethereal nature. My above Kilian, Chanel and Malle fragrances can occasionally feel over-powering and heavy.

Perhaps my sample was a "dud." However, problem is after 15-20 minutes or so, sadly the fragrance notes just dropped on me...dead...gone. My husband entered the house shortly after application and I asked him to come near me, asked if he could smell anything. After whiffing, husband clearly stated, "NO...not really."

So, disappointment set in. And at this price-point and with this price tag, I clearly expected more longevity and silage from Bella Freud 1970. On me, the most pleasant aspect of the fragrance was the first 5-15 minutes following application.

Four Star rating is due to the lack of silage and longevity, nothing more.

I'll rethink purchasing a full bottle because I do love the fragrance. However, at nearly $150.00 for 1.7 ounces, I think sadly, this may be a pass (unless I can purchase it affordably and reapply it every hour, throughout the day-smile).
20th September, 2019

Oud Palao by Diptyque

So, I recently tried this fragrance after purchasing a small sample. With the exception of Kilian's "Incense Oud," I imagine I am still on-the-fence about oud fragrances. With that said, I decided to give Oud Palao a try. For me, this fragrance is just a big fat "NO!"

Seems as though every time I try a Diptyque fragrance, it is a no...a strike out. For me oud fragrances seem to be "hit-or-miss." After applying just a wee-bit of this fragrance on my inner wrists and neck, I was afraid to leave the house. One of my cats, who was sitting with me at the time of application, thought this perfume was cat repellant (like Boundary Cat Repellant Spray). My cat, Crush took off running and gagging. I mean, apply, gag, streak...Crush was gone.

Yes, Oud Palao opens with an EXTREME scent of bakhoor oud. I guess I wasn't quite ready for the application, so the fragrance nearly choked me. I found the opening note to be rough, harsh and extremely intense.

After an eternity, I can say that for me, all I continued smelling was rough, thick, resinous, dirty oud. Disappointingly, the patchouli never made an appearance. Thick, dense, overpowering and nearly cloying oud is what I encountered for a few hours.

Finally, after a short scrub, I applied Kilian Incense Oud to the same areas I'd applied the Diptyque. For certain, the rose, patchouli and additional notes in Kilian calmed the Diptyque Oud Palao down. Finally, I felt it was safe to leave the house.

For me, this is a total fail.
20th September, 2019

Patchouli Impérial by Christian Dior

So, every once-in-a-while, I go through phases whereby I wish to expand my go-to fragrances. Patchouli, rose, oud, incense, musk, jasmine, smoky, etc blends (unisex or leaning towards the feminine side) are what I crave. I read some stellar reviews about this fragrance, so I decided to purchase a sample.

As others have stated, this fragrance performs exactly as promised. For me, it is a fairly linear, straight-forward, clean, more "green versus dark" patchouli fragrance that lays against a gently composed sandalwood back-drop. Period.

No hippie-level noted here...not dirty, not earthy, not grungy, IMHO. I dislike "hippie" patchouli smelling stuff...you know the oily, resinous, dark, heavy, heady, boozy, dreary stuff...yuck. However, I do prefer patchouli fragrances that are a bit more complex, & moody than Patchouli Imperial. For me, Patchouli Imperial is a bit too fresh, chipper, clean & bright...not exactly what I look for in a patchouli fragrance.

And as others have also stated, while this fragrance is attractive and appealing, it also seems to go "dull," or "dead" after a while. On me after an hour or so, the fragrance just "dropped."

I say for the "general masses," Patchouli Imperial is extremely wearable. I prefer the above mentioned notes combined in a more complex way, a way that packs more of a punch. For me, I prefer patchouli blended fragrances that are a bit more "niche-y."

Patchouli Imperial is a great choice for someone who opts to wear a reserved, refined & tamed patchouli fragrance.

Nice enough...just not for me!
20th September, 2019

Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

I do not consider myself a parfum expert; however, I know what I like and that which I dislike. I am always reluctant to leave such a negative review 'cause I do not wish to offend. But there are enough positives on this fragrance...so here it is:

In one word: Blecccchhhhh!

Bought this with a few other incense, patchouli, woodsy, rose, floral, etc samples. Was recently re-introduced to Le Labo after staying at a hotel that supplied us with Rose 21 items. So, among Rose 21, I figured I'd sample a few other coveted Le Labo fragrances...

On me, on my husband and on the dog (who gagged), this fragrance was absolutely awful...like horrible awful. Burnt motor-oil, hot rubber, smokey ash, dead body...smells like the bottom of an ashtray that someone spit in...just horrible. Cannot imagine walking around smelling like this!

Sadly, the sample is in the trash, never to be inhaled by any of us again...ever...just awful IMHO!
04th July, 2017

Coromandel Eau de Toilette by Chanel

WoW...that's all I can say when I wear this perfume...and that seems to be what others around me say, as well. On one of the first days I wore this perfume, I had about 12 strangers or acquaintances come up to me and say "what are you wearing...you smell incredible!"

I was turned on to Coromandel when someone told me it might be a more affordable alternative to "Portrait of a Lady" or "Musc Ravageur" both by Frederic Malle. Does it smell similar to either...yes! Is it an affordable alternative to either...sadly, no!

It's the jasmine that captures my nose (I adore Creed's Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie) but this is "thick" or heavy jasmine, which at times smells almost like rose. I'm sure the introduction of patchouli is what makes this stuff smell so "heady" to me...not hippy dirty like heady...heady in a good way! The overall blend and balance between all the glorious notes is what makes this fragrance work so well, IMHO. And (fortunately) on my skin, I do not detect many gourmand notes (chocolate?) at all...don't even wish to think about it...the chocolate that is...a bit of vanilla in the dry-down is there for sure!

To me, at no time does one singular note seem to over-take or overwhelm the fragrance (okay...perhaps the patchouli does try from time-to-time). However overall, this fragrance is a wonderful balance of all the main notes, beginning to end.

And YES...this stuff is costly but longevity is great, silage is (obviously) superior and the overall experience is lovely.

I love this fragrance and I've taken to wearing it 3-4 days a week.
03rd July, 2017

Myrrhe Ardente by Annick Goutal

Ugggghhhhh...almost a scrubber. Whoever categorized this as an Incense Fragrance when packaging a recent sampler of "Incense Fragrances" that I ordered really missed the mark.

Perhaps if the anticipated myrrh was center stage, well then...incense perhaps. But OMG...what IS this? Root beer...I wish. Myrrh...none to speak of (not to my nose).

Only scents I detect are a sour benzoin and Gaiac wood. On me, this fragrance smells like I am camping in the woods for days (un-bathed) when I finally trip over a discarded rubber tire and a wood log, promptly falling face first into the ivy and dirt ground underneath me.

Awful. Fortunate for me (and those around me), the fragrance has little longevity and therefore, didn't linger.
10th May, 2016

Eau Lente by Diptyque

Oh no...just not for me. Received this fragrance in a recent sampler of Incense Fragrances. Incense? Perhaps I'm missing something but this fragrance has little to do with incense, IMHO.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves...not in a good way. Smells like Glade Air Freshener, yes the cinnamon type.

Thankfully, it all fades away within 45-60 minutes. Uggggh. Not sure who would want to walk around smelling like this.
10th May, 2016

parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Kyoto by Comme des Garçons

Wasn't initially certain about this one upon receiving it in a sampler pack of "Incense Fragrances." To me, Kyoto wears more like a straight Oriental Floral versus an Incense fragrance. Despite not being what I expected and as time wore on, I grew to adore this scent.

It's funny 'cause upon application, I essentially smell nothing, really...blank space...it's odd. Within a few minutes, a blanket of pine forest grassy green takes over, which isn't at all my thing. Soon afterward, a combination of resins, amber, vanilla, some smoke, woody teak, etc rises...but not a lot of incense. Frankly, the wafts of smokiness managing to rise are almost offensive...ashtray like.

But the hours and hours of dry-down are my favorite development. On me, Kyoto morphs into the sweetest, subtlest resinous woody floral one might imagine. The fragrance is almost ethereal and meditative. Wafts of amber, teak, sandalwood combined with everlasting flower play for hours...some patchouli. Truly the beautifully balanced sum or combination of the parts is what works for me.

Not yet certain but this may be full-bottle worthy at a cost of approximately $95 for 50 mls (1.6 ozs).

Surprisingly, I like this fragrance a lot. In many ways, CdG Kyoto reminiscently reminds me of Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental, a fragrance I loved 'til it was discontinued (may be in reproduction).
10th May, 2016

Evening Rose by Aerin

Aerin Evening Rose...someone directed me to Aerin Fragrances because I recently decided I LOVE rose fragrance when well-blended or grounded with darker scents and notes. Unlike it's relative "Rose De Grasse," which is actually a quite nice, linear rose soliflore, Evening Rose is extremely different from almost anything I've ever tried but a fragrance I do not like at all.

Evening Rose opens with a definite blast of discernible jammy blackberry booze...sweet blackberry cognac, as listed in opening notes. Like Rose De Grasse, Evening Rose is not a complex fragrance but a very straightforward EDP with clearly identifiable phases and notes.

The mid phase is rose, rose and more rose; however this fragrance is not harsh, loud or shrill in any way, as many rose fragrances tend to be. If anything, this fragrance smells "absent" because I can hardly detect I am wearing it and neither can anyone around me.

Honestly, I find the mid-notes of Bulgarian rose (or any rose for that matter) hard to detect. And when I do sense wafts of rose, I smell older, weak and rather nondescript blossoms that frankly, smell past their prime.

And I love incense fragrance when well-blended with other notes. But sadly, I detect no incense or smoke in the dry-down (hours following the initial application). To me, Evening Rose wilts into a barely detectable, powdery & (slightly) sour floral-musk fragrance of "I cannot tell what it is I am wearing and what I do detect is not pleasant." Close to the skin, the scent is unbearable...a scrubber! I finally decided to wash off the scent because I feared I was about to become ill.

Silage is poor; longevity is fair. Was hoping this might be an affordable alternative to my other beloved fragrances, something I could enjoy and afford to wear every day...

On a bright note, while waiting for this generous sample of Evening Rose to arrive, I decidedly purchased 100 ml bottle of Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady-YES!

While I like Rose De Grasse, this is a pass. Evening Rose is totally forgettable and I am extremely disappointed.
26th March, 2015

Rose de Grasse by Aerin

I have never been a huge fan of singular rose fragrances because on me, they all seem to morph into cheap department store scents. And while Rose de Grasse is primarily a soliflore, this is a very beautiful perfume.

As others have reviewed on various websites, Aerin Rose de Grasse is very unique when compared to other rose scented perfumes. Opening notes are very appealing with fresh green, slightly watery (but not aquatic, not salty) and light ethereal rose notes. The opening is quite linear with lots of green, fresh rose.

Shortly after application, a full rose note is dominant. Not your usual synthetic, harsh, overpowering or shrill rose note equated with most rose fragrances, the mid-note of Rose de Grasse is mature, smooth, velvety and kind.

The dry down finishes with a dominant rose note that only slightly recedes to reveal musk and very faint amber (thankfully). Silage is great and longevity is superb, too.

Rose de Grasse is a lovely fragrance, particularly for those who love rose scents. Definitely worth a try!
23rd March, 2015 (last edited: 24th March, 2015)

Aoud Damascus by Montale

Thought I would try another Montale fragrance, as I am in search of an affordable, resinous, "dark rose" (with oud, which I like a lot but not as a stand-alone note) fragrance. I guess I am missing something because I do not get what all the excitement is with Montale fragrances but this is just another "no-go" or "meh" for me.

I agree with RennGrrl that Aoud Damascus is a relatively common woodsy-rose-oud fragrance and rather "old school" in nature with a "been there, done that" character.

This is my fourth Montale try and like the others, I found the opening notes extremely harsh, almost aldehydic and very synthetic in nature. Overwhelming rose notes (which are alright 'cause this IS a rose fragrance) blast onto the skin with no mercy upon application. Montale fragrances actually hurt my nose. With lots 'n lots of rose, frankincense and spicy notes do try emerging. The entire potion is quickly grounded by a resinous wood. That's about it. After 90 minutes or so, it was all over...done.

Expecting great silage and incredible longevity, I experienced adequate silage but poor longevity. Also similar to RennGrrl's experience, the entire concoction landed as a powdery, rather linear, cloying rose fragrance that ended quickly.

Perhaps it is just my chemistry but Montale fragrances and I do not seem to get along. This is a pass.
20th March, 2015 (last edited: 20th September, 2019)

Black Aoud by Montale

So...this is my fourth Montale experience and I hate to buck the trend but I just do not get it. I really want to LOVE one of Montale's offerings because I am searching hard for an affordable dark rose fragrance. And I like oud when blended (not as a solo note). Unfortunately, this fragrance is a major no-go for me.

In one word, this fragrance seemed "messy" when applied. Like others, I was curious about Montale's "ouds" and I hoped to experience a few fragrances...try to understand the hype. Like ALL the Montale fragrances I try, the opening of Black Aoud smells like an aldehydic, alcoholic, almost medicinal concoction that literally hurts my nose. Sensing a headache, I feel confused & dizzy...almost sick. I can barely tolerate the development of this fragrance on my skin because for nearly 30 minutes, Black Aoud is all over the place but consistently harsh harsh harsh...LOUD and almost vulgar.

After 20-30 minutes, I detect a bit of rose and BOAT LOADS of patchouli (which I really dislike as a primary note). As others have noted, Black Aoud is a loud, over-whelming, synthetic rose-oud fragrance that is not dark, rich, complex or mysterious. Resinous patchouli...that's about it. Pretty linear in the end with little development and no complexity.

But unlike the other Montale fragrances I tried, the longevity on Black Aoud is strong and silage is pretty high. Hate to say this but I had to scrub, eventually shower and wash all my clothing. And still, this fragrance persisted.

The house of Montale and I do not get along. This is another definite pass.
20th March, 2015

Les Nombres d'Or : Violette Fumée by Mona di Orio

Soooooo...not quite sure about this one & the jury (the one in my mind) is still out! But the fragrance DID grow on me after a few days. Still, I'm giving it a "THUMBS UP" after wearing it.

The opening of this fragrance is a bitter, sour, earthy citrus-fruit approach that is akin to an orange peel thrown on a dirt pile. Bergamot-yes. Oak-moss-definitely! Opening notes are quite sour and acrid...not the best, frankly.

Eventually, mid-notes develop that (for me) are not quite lavender but GRAPE. At one point, I detect notes mimicking Stewart's Grape Soda in the most definite way!!! Eeeeeeew, I thought. Definitely detecting notes of leather, some tobacco...but dry, old grape SODA!

After an hour or more and with continued development, violet notes emerge but not in the way I hoped for or imagined. Not dreamy, dark, Gothic, mysterious or complex, this fragrance dries in a rather linear, faint, dusty violet manner.

The fragrance definitely lands with slightly acrid, somewhat (very faint) citrus-y violet notes. What's interesting though is a smoky, gray cloak that embodies the violet fragrance, toning it down and balancing the violet out in the nicest way. Also, for a rather "linear" dry-down, this fragrance is "still" complex and quite lovely, actually.

This is NOT a sharp, potent, shrill or pitch-y violet fragrance. In general, this is a very subtle, gentle wear. I applied a LOT to detect any fragrance, which isn't a good thing. And with all this said, silage is low and longevity isn't great. And the price? YIKES!

Guess I was expecting more of a flowery incense fragrance, which this is not. Smoke-yes. Violets-yes. Cashmere-yes. Incense-no. But please note: this is NOT our grandmother's violet perfume! This is different & unique! It's the reason I love niche fragrances!!!

Reminds me of a cloudy, gray day. Don't think I will be purchasing a full bottle of this at the going retail price of (what???) $350.00/3.3 ml.
19th March, 2015

Incense Rosé by Tauer

This fragrance is the real deal and IMHO, the reason why niche perfumes & their designers/creators are so special (way beyond commercially prepared & marketed mainstream fragrances). This is a very unique, special & beautiful fragrance. In general, I like this fragrance a whole lot!

I eagerly awaited a rather large sample of Tauer Incense Rose and applied it on a few consecutive days. I did this after (sadly) experiencing a few Montale fragrances. The opening is quite strong and to my nose smelled like fizzy wet earth, dewy grass and citrus. Upon application, I detected lots and lots of bergamot, clementine & orange that was well blended with fresh green grasses (definitely vetiver), earth and a little bit of spice (cardamom).

The opening quickly morphed and the well-blended fresh, dirty-green, citrus fragrance developed into a barely detectable mustiness, which I imagine was the beginning of the oud & cedar notes. Quite resinous, this was not my favorite part of the development; however continually changing, the fragrance continued to amaze.

It takes a while and (for me), it was difficult to detect; however after 45-60 minutes (or more), the musty-woody almost moldy aroma receded into the background giving way to one of the most gorgeous antique, dark, dewy, dirty rose incense fragrances I have ever experienced.

On my skin, the dry-down and basenotes remained pretty constant with wood, patchouli, frankincense, resin and rose notes. The darkness prevailed, which I liked a lot. For several hours, I detected faint but pleasant wafts of creamy & subdued patchouli, frankincense, cedar-wood & spicy dark rose...all perfectly blended and balanced, practically harmonious. Fortunately on my skin, any ambergris or amber that is present never choked out the other fabulous notes.

Unlike many other reviewers, Tauer Incense Rose played very close to my skin with minimal silage. Of course, longevity was great.

Without doubt this is a gorgeous fragrance that is never vulgar or cloying. Not certain yet if this suits me (or my pocket book) but I really do like Tauer Incense Rose a whole lot.

In conclusion, I too will say this is NOT a fragrance that is suitable for everyone! Give it a try because it definitely is worthy!
18th March, 2015

La Liturgie des Heures by Jovoy

Ugggghhhh...I do not want to go against the grain here. And I love my fellow Basenoters, I really do. I especially love reading Darvant & Colin Maillard's reviews (and others). But I gotta go along with my buddy, Odysseusm on this one. Awful! And after my FOURTH Jovoy try...I'm done.

Perhaps my nostrils are cluttered with my last (latest) Jovoy (Psychedelique) try prior to La Liturgie but I am detecting AMBER...again! C'mon Jovoy! Because of the quality ingredients evident in Jovoy fragrances AND the staying power (longevity), I REALLY want to love ONE of this house's fragrances; however, I'm done.

Well, if it's all "in my head," than it's all in my head; but I swear this fragrance opened with notes of sweet, cloying AMBER and if not, definitely some sickly sweet, granulated something...some sweet gourmand note, perhaps. Trying to push through the opening, I felt dizzy with confusing mixed notes of God knows what...incense, myrrh, smoke, berries, jam, jelly, fruit-cake. I don't get it. I literally felt nauseated and as if I was developing a colossal headache.

After several hours, I couldn't bear it anymore, so I had to scrub...and scrub and scrub and scrub.

And of course...like all Jovoy fragrances...I could not get this one off. Finally washed all clothing and took a shower.

I'm done trying Jovoy fragrances :0(
15th March, 2015 (last edited: 09th October, 2019)