Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Wingie

Total Reviews: 48

Vivacious by Hiram Green

After a lovely bright, fruity violet opening, carnation completely takes over and has a spicy, sweaty, musty aspect that for me is quite unpleasant. This one is a scrubber for me.

This is really not a violet perfume at all, it's all about carnation. False advertising.
06th October, 2020

Twilly d'Hermès by Hermès

The tuberose is quite fleeting, and replaced by a big lemon note. The fragrance doesn’t last very long on me.
06th October, 2020

FlowerbyKenzo by Kenzo

I first tried Kenzo Flower at Sephora over ten years ago when I was just starting to become seriously interested in perfume. I actually recoiled a bit because of how powdery it was. Now, I love soft powdery scents, thought back to my experience with Kenzo Flower over ten years ago, and sought it out. It can currently be found at discounters for a very reasonable price, is still available in 30ml, and who knows when it may be discontinued? It is 20 years old now, after all.

To me Flower is the quintessential baby powder scent. I get mostly powder and little else. No florals, little musk. Not too sweet. It's not a complicated scent, but it's a nice comfort scent on colder days.

EDIT: After several wearings, Flower seems to be a bit of a chameleon. Some days it smells soft and powdery, other days it smells more 'fresh and clean'. This adds to its complexity makes it more interesting.
25th September, 2020 (last edited: 01st October, 2020)
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She Was An Anomaly by Etat Libre d'Orange

Mostly Iris, Musk and Sandalwood. It's pretty straight forward and linear, and so light you can pretty much douse yourself in it. Functions well as a 'non-perfume'. A very safe fragrance for the office. Other than that it's pretty underwhelming. Not a bad fragrance, but a disappointment coming from ELDO.

I prefer Prada Infusion d'Iris, also by Daniela Andrier. I have to wonder why ELDO would commission in iris scent from Andrier when Infusion d'Iris has become such a cult classic. Comparisons are inevitable and I suspect many may prefer the Prada.
22nd September, 2020

Aura by Thierry Mugler

Mugler is a house I have pretty much totally neglected since I became seriously interested in perfume a little over 10 years ago, which I now realize was a dumb mistake. My avoidance has been largely due to my intense dislike of Angel, which is really not fair as I should have given the other fragrances from this house a shot.

I recently received an Aura sample with a fragrance purchase, and what an interesting fragrance. On first spray I found it very sweet and got that wintergreen/toothpaste note others have mentioned, but it quickly started to grow on me. I can’t deconstruct this fragrance note by note but it smells like a sweet green floral/oriental/fruity-floral fragrance. It sounds like a lot but it works, and my SO said it smells nice. I don’t have anything else that smells like this. Aura proves that thankfully there are still designer/mainstream fragrances being made that are interesting, innovative, and a bit strange.

I’ve also tried the EDT and Aura Sensuelle, but found them not nearly as interesting and unique as the original EDP. The original EDP is the only one worth owning IMO.
20th July, 2020 (last edited: 11th August, 2020)

Idylle by Guerlain

Idylle is a lovely little delicate floral, beautifully done, with no raspy notes or sharp edges. It’s better suited to summer and spring wear. I wish I discovered this ten years ago when I started becoming seriously interested in perfume and was still in my 20s. It feels like a younger fragrance, but it’s not like many mainstream releases today that are aimed at young women. It’s classy and sophisticated, and really can be pulled off by a woman of any age, though there’s definitely an innocence to it. This is a perfume that is easy to wear and will offend no one, and is perfect for an office environment. I’m tempted to buy a bottle since it can currently be found at discounters for so cheap, and soon will no longer be available anywhere in the cute gold teardrop-shaped bottle.

I sampled the EDP formulation in the original gold bottle - I would be worried about longevity with the EDT as the EDP has only moderate longevity.
05th July, 2020

Missoni (2006 version) by Missoni

I ordered a few carded samples of this off eBay about ten years ago after reading the review it got in the Guide. The chocolate note unfortunately ruins it for me.
05th July, 2020

Neroli 36 by Le Labo

Neroli 36 is a summer/beachy type scent, but the beachy effect is achieved by combining some pale, wan florals with a strong synthetic-smelling marine/aquatic/salty note that is somewhat harsh and really dumbs the fragrance down, causing it to lack any sophistication whatsoever. It smells like a dime store summer scent, yet is three times the price. This is one of several tropical/beachy type fragrances I test drove and the one I liked the least.
23rd June, 2020

Gucci Bloom by Gucci

The opening is lovely - a fresh, natural, somewhat sweet tuberose/jasmine accord, however I unfortunately don’t get anything close to the longevity others have gotten. This fragrance disappears entirely from my skin in about fifteen minutes.

UPDATE: I sampled this at Sephora and could smell it pretty much all day, so my first sample from eBay must have been off - or fake, which is hard to believe. In any case I am changing my review to give this a thumbs-up. The florals are a lot more lush as well. Nice quality white floral for a designer fragrance.
17th June, 2020 (last edited: 25th September, 2020)

Fire Island by Bond No. 9

This is one of the fragrances I test drove in the search for a great tropical/beachy scent to add to my collection. Unfortunately, it’s a no-go for me. I’m a bit disappointed as I expected a big tuberose note and really don’t get any tuberose. There is a faint neroli, but really all I get from this fragrance is the smell of salty skin. It’s not a bad fragrance for what it is, and it definitely conjures up images of the beach on a hot summer day. But I need something more in a beach scent - either more ylang ylang, more coconut, more of something to add a bit more complexity - I don’t want to just smell like salty skin.

Sillage is quite powerful - one squirt and my spouse smelled it on the other side of the room.
16th June, 2020

Balenciaga Paris by Balenciaga

While this fragrance is not groundbreaking, I do think it's generally quite underrated, particularly among violet fragrances. As a violet lover I have test-driven many violet perfumes in search of the perfect violet soliflore. Annick Goutal's La Violette was too sugary-sweet, L'Artisan's Verte Violette smelled like cucumber water, Nicolai's Violettes in Love sounded perfect, but had a sharp synthetic/chemical note that ruined it for me. Borsari's Violetta di Parma was nice, but lacked refinement and elegance and now seems hard to find. Serge Lutens Bois de Violette is wonderful, but there is too much cedar for it to be considered a violet soliflore. Enter Balenciaga Paris.

I luckily tried it at Sephora when it came out, otherwise I don't think this one would have turned up in my search for a violet-centred perfume I could love.

Balenciaga Paris is a seemingly simple perfume in that there is little else but violet that can be smelled, however if you are a violet lover, this perfume is unique because of what it is not. It is not a green earthy violet, nor is it a moody, dusty violet, nor is it a candied, sweet violet. It a light, almost sheer floral violet, slightly cool, with just a tinge of a metallic edge, surrounded by an ever so light musky, woody accord. It is minimalist in character and to call it 'violet musk' would not be inaccurate. It is both light and expansive; it is one of those fragrance that creates a soft aura around the wearer, and others will often smell it when you think it is not present. It is beautiful to wear in the spring.

So far I have not encountered a violet perfume that satisfies my basic violet itch as well as this one does. It is also approachable, easy to wear, office friendly, and while there's an elegance to it, it can also be worn with jeans and a t-shirt. It may be the perfect violet perfume.
08th June, 2020 (last edited: 16th June, 2020)

Hana Hiraku by Parfum Satori

Lovely natural melon-centred scent. The melon note is quite full and ripe, not sheer. Could be classified as a fruity-floral but not overly sweet or cloying and a step above most of the other fruity florals available currently. Would be very nice for spring and summer.
21st May, 2020

Totally White / 126 by Parle Moi de Parfum

Is it possible to do a lilac-centred fragrance without it smelling like air freshener?

If so, this isn't it. Almairac was likely going for a minimalist white t-shirt type scent, but to me it just smells like Febreeze, and is slightly headache-inducing.
21st May, 2020
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Hyouge / Oribe by Parfum Satori

Green flowers and grass with a wasabi note, which is not as weird or bad as that may sound. The wasabi gives it a slightly 'vegetal' smell. Great for spring and summer. I don't think I like it enough to buy a full bottle, but if I was gifted one I would happily wear it.
21st May, 2020

Jasmin Fauve by Ex Nihilo

Fruity floral with Jasmine. Quite sweet. Not very interesting or unique for the price. Exactly like something you'd pick up off the shelf at Sephora. It also disappeared completely after an hour. I think it would be crazy to spend $300 for this.
21st May, 2020

No. 19 Poudré by Chanel

Smells like a slightly greener version of Prada Infusion d’Iris. Sillage is a lot more powerful which many may want or expect as this is twice the price. One spritz on the wrist while my spouse was outside, and he could smell it as soon as he came into the house. Be careful wearing this one to work!
18th May, 2020

White Peacock Lily by D.S. & Durga

Agree with ParfumPorMoi that this is actually a jasmine-dominant fragrance. It opens with the most beautiful, natural and floral lily of the valley, but it sadly dissipates after a few seconds and jasmine then emerges. It is a jasmine note I have not quite encountered in a fragrance before - it is not fresh and floral, nor indolic or night blooming, nor clean and soapy. Instead the jasmine seems to be pitted against a dry, herbaceous background, and leans more unisex. It does get slightly soapier farther into the drydown, but longevity is good.

If this sounds like your thing, then do give it a try. It is a competent enough fragrance, however to me it was a disappointment because it is not a lily fragrance.
11th December, 2019

Kiss Me Intense by Nicolaï

I loved Patricia de Nicolai's Kiss Me Tender the moment I first smelled it from a sample vial, but sadly wasn't able to purchase a bottle before it was discontinued. Thankfully, I detect little difference between that fragrance and it's re-issue, Kiss Me Intense.

I can completely understand why this fragrance might send some others running the other way. If you do not like sweet bubble-gum gourmands, stay clear of this one.

To me, Kiss Me Intense is one of the best heliotrope fragrances available today, and one of the best gourmands. The original Kiss Me Tender came out in 2010, before houses like A Lab on Fire started up and became known for their sweet gourmand fragrances such as What We Do in Paris is Secret. Patricia de Nicolai's creation IMO was/is superior to Dominique Ropion's. The scent is said to be inspired by candy and has a marshmallow, marzipane-like feel, however the clove and cinnamon keep it from becoming too sweet and cloying. The heliotrope is lovely and avoids the baby-diapers smell that I've encountered in some other heliotrope fragrances.

It works well as a comfort scent, and is definitely better suited to colder weather. If I didn’t live in a city that gets some of the coldest winters on the planet, I don’t know if this fragrance would hold the same appeal. I can't imagine wearing it on warm days. It is also strong stuff, and a little goes a long way. I have the 30ml bottle and I expect it will last me the rest of my life.
30th November, 2019 (last edited: 29th September, 2020)

Vol de Nuit Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

I think this would be very sexy on a man.
24th November, 2019

Ça Sent Beau by Kenzo

Ca Sent Beau may be the most challenging fragrance I own. I consider it a fruity-floral, but to simply label it as such is much too reductive. It is a real chameleon of a fragrance with several different facets, all sharing the same space, yet they never crowd each other - rather the effect feels strangely organized, methodical, and deliberate. There's sometimes a sharp amber that wafts in and out; at other times there are fougere aspects. I don't love the Amber when I smell it, but then it's gone. The fruity-floral aspect smells great.

It is not the easiest perfume to wear, but has been good for days when I want a more challenging fragrance.
21st November, 2019

Essence No. 1 : Rose by Elie Saab

It has the most delicious edible opening - a sweet syrupy rose. Sadly this only lasts a few minutes and it then settles down into a quiet powdered rose skin scent with only a hint of the sweetness remaining, and there are few changes after that. Why why why can't the opening last longer?
16th November, 2019

Dragonfly by Zoologist Perfumes

This was my first experience with Zoologist and I am also a heliotrope lover, so I was looking forward to trying this and had high expectations based on all the buzz this house was getting.

I hated it upon first sniff and didn't understand the positive reviews. I actually had to wash it off and this doesn't happen often. When the 2018 Guide came out and Sanchez likened it to baby powder and disposable diapers I felt relieved and that I wasn't crazy. I agree with her impressions completely and think it smells like a diaper-y mess, which is what happens when you aren't skilled with heliotrope or don't use enough restraint with it.

My experience with Dragonfly unfortunately caused me to lose interest in this house for a while. However, now that the 2018 Guide is out and Hummingbird and Nightingale were rated 4 stars, I will thankfully be giving this house another try and testing those out.
16th November, 2019

Bohèmes by Keiko Mecheri

Even though there is no heliotrope listed in the notes, this almost smells almost like a heliotrope soliflore, if such a thing exists. It has a soft, powdery, pastry-like smell, and stays that way throughout its development with not much changes. It is not sweet and and easily unisex. Heliotrope can smell like a baby-diaper mess when not done well or with enough restraint - thankfully this fragrance avoids that. However the longevity is also terrible. Within half an hour it was a skin scent. At $250 a bottle I have to say this is ultimately is a rip-off. It's just not complex or long-lasting enough to justify the price, and is unfortunately an example of a house riding the wave of 'Niche' with no real inventiveness.
16th November, 2019

Essence No. 2 : Gardenia by Elie Saab

What a lovely gardenia!

After a fresh opening it takes on an almost salty/beachy character. I can't wait to wear this during the summer!

Gardenia lovers really should give this one a try - the price is very reasonable too at the discounters.
16th November, 2019

What We Do In Paris Is Secret by A Lab on Fire

What We Do in Paris is Secret is a very 'thick' gourmand perfume; it is probably the 'thickest' perfume I've ever worn. The thickness almost feels palpable and I feel like I'm enveloped in a dense cloud when wearing this. It also opens insanely sweet, however the sweetness thankfully settles down after a few minutes and gives way to the heliotrope, which as others have said, has a pastry-like smell. I love heliotrope but feel this is a bit much. It feels like the perfume is wearing me. I think it's a good fragrance though so giving a thumbs up.

If you want a less sweet and gourmand version, try Messy Sexy Just Rolled out of Bed, formerly known as Mon Musc a Moi, also composed by Ropion.
16th November, 2019

Eau Duelle Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

This is probably my most favorite fragrance of all time, and I have likely smelled hundreds in the last ten years.

I'm a vanilla lover, and while test-driving a bunch of other vanilla bomb fragrances, my first impression of Eau Duelle was that it was simply a 'nice vanilla' that was easier to wear than many of the others. It wasn't until I went through three decants that I realized it was perfect. I now like it even more than the cult classic Tihota, which I also own and paid a lot more for. I live in Canada where it's cold half of the year, and this is the fragrance I reach for more than any other on cooler days.

It's a classic and just smells great without any pretensions. A dry vanilla surrounded by cold spices and frankincense, which are subtle and just give the vanilla some character. The vanilla smells wonderful without being gourmand or sweet, and I can't get enough of the smell when I wear it. I own the EDT, and have never tried the EDP because the EDT just seems perfect.
15th November, 2019

Bubblegum Chic by Heeley

I love this.

A big, loud, brash jasmine, fused together with tuberose in the beginning so strongly that the two combine to create their own abstract accord, which indeed smells like bubblegum. The tuberose starts slowly exiting the picture, leaving a 'fruity' jasmine which lasts far into the drydown.

This to me is actually a more cheerful, whimsical version of Serge Lutens Sarrasins. It's great fun - really, a novelty perfume - and I would love to own it, but don't know that I would have enough occasions to wear it to justify having a full bottle, especially as it is an extrait with a price tag to match. Like Sarrasins and many other Lutens, this is not a perfume you could wear just anywhere.
01st November, 2019

Mélodie de L'Amour by Parfums Dusita

A very soft, gentle, airy and pretty white floral. I felt the gardenia came across the strongest but there are other white florals blended in. I was expecting more tuberose since the 2018 Guide called this a gentler Fracas. For me the fragrance this resembles most is Estee Lauder's Tuberose Gardenia, however the latter is much more powerful in both its projection and longevity.

I sampled this from a sample vial and it was extremely delicate and ethereal - I could barely smell it at first but it seemed to strengthen a bit as it developed. It may be one of those fragrances that melds with the wearer and creates a soft aura around them, almost giving the impression that they aren't wearing a fragrance and just naturally smell great. I'm interested to know what it would be like sprayed from a full bottle, however not interested enough to pay $350US to find out.
01st November, 2019

Mon musc à moi by A Lab on Fire

A non-sweet vanilla enveloped in a big woody-powdery, dry musky accord, somewhat aloof. There is also a subtle nutty or almond-like note. The fragrance is neither warm nor cold, with the vanilla note similar to that in Diptyque Eau Duelle. I can smell a similarity to What We Do In Paris Is Secret but it is not sweet, yet has significant heft and sillage, and is easily unisex. It's quite nice, and better suited I think to cooler weather.
22nd November, 2017 (last edited: 17th October, 2019)

Replica Beach Walk by Martin Margiela

I actually really like this - it's an uncomplicated but well-done, true to its name beach scent, though I sampled it at the wrong time of year. I prefer it over Bobbi Brown Beach. The only caveat is that it was listed as a "top-seller" at Sephora, and I don't want to smell like the masses.
22nd November, 2017