Perfume Reviews

Reviews by babsbendix

Total Reviews: 123

Prada Candy Night by Prada

I find this one to be charming and a little quirky.

If your reference for a gourmand is Angel (I wear Muse on occasion) Candy Night is very, very airy and dry by comparison. I am taken with its melding of a modern sweet frag with the powdery iris and bitter herbal undertones my nose associates with an older Guerlain. It doesn’t smell LIKE a Guerlain, yet those notes are my hook into enjoying it as something a little novel and personal.

I am actually anosmic to the original Prada Candy apart from a pale memory of benzoin, so my experience is that the performance of Night is much better! Will last all day as a skin scent.
13th December, 2019

Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos

The note pyramid reads like the plot of a fantastic 1920s feminine - how far we have traveled from that aesthetic! And I got DRR from a discounter in the hopes that it would hold some bewitchment for me with all of that goodness in there.

And it does, an airy, powdery, slightly sweet birch tar goodness that adds to the ambiance in the desert. Maybe this is a strong and butch and wintry frag in some conditions, but in mine it performs like the EDT it says it is. I like it for its very softness, ironically! My vintage Habanita is a way bigger dark rebel rider.

22nd August, 2019

Alaïa by Azzedine Alaïa

I totally get the negative reviews, and I don’t even disagree with the points they make.

And this fragrance has captured the ambient scent of working in a high end department store in 1991, when Alaia dresses were a really big deal. I could not have told you which notes would create that effect, apart from maybe a strong aquatic note and leather. I get more violet than freesia from this, though freesia would be so in keeping with the early 90s idea - Antonia’s Flowers was so beloved.

The marketing materials I’ve heard about don’t seem to make any mention of this department store impression as part of the brief, so I don’t know that it’s intentional. But it IS uncanny.

I find the scent to be a sillage and longevity beast, which only goes to show that what we’re anosmic to isn’t universal; I can’t smell Prada Candy.

I would love this if it went more violet/mineral/suede and less aquatic on my skin. Or maybe aquatics are what my nose picks up most because I don’t much like them. Usually I spray a little in my leather bag instead of wearing it on my person, and will later notice an unusual and beautiful smell and forget for a minute that it’s Alaia.
07th May, 2019
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Bikini Questa Sera by Christian Louboutin

Really beautifully done, and I think my eyes probably rolled back in my head when I tested it!

While it’s not a tuberose soliflore, it gives an immediate impression of the living flower. If you focus in on it you notice that it’s more honeyed and less funky than the real flower, a prettified version of nature. Could be the same tuberose as in EL Tuberose Gardenia, actually - smells like it, and is STRONG like it. I read some reviews where people said it has no lasting power or sillage, though I find that I can clearly smell the one short spray on my arm from 12 hours ago.

Of course, one short spray of the EL makes me feel smothered - while I like it from a distance on others - so my tolerance is probably low. I’m just happy to have found a big, quality white flowers scent that fits into my lower-key style.

11th April, 2019

La Fumée Arabie by Miller Harris

I notice in the absence of much but sand and scrub and pines that I have come to wear La Fumee pretty much all of the time. For just like I wouldn’t wear my beloved Shalimar to a zen retreat, its excesses can seem gross and unconscious in the starkness of the desert, too.

I experience Arabie as largely the same as the classic La Fumee, but with some additional facets and texture and contrasts noted by others. I do think I prefer it if I could only have one, for it loses none of the subtlety and classical beauty of what came before.

The inclusion of vanilla doesn’t make it sweeter; if anything, it’s drier and less sweet than the original. But - this seems to be key - the vanilla note is real botanical vanilla, so its woody aspect amplifies the other woods instead of softening or sweetening them. Makes for a gorgeous and warm and discreet drydown that wouldn’t be out of place at a zen retreat.

10th April, 2019

Champaca Absolute by Tom Ford

I think this is one that can give very different impressions based on proximity and climate. In Los Angeles I experienced it as very apricot/mango fruity and soft, in my mind a friendly pale orange scent. And back in the desert, it is a crazy dark purple fruit chypre that’s all sweet, juicy violets and boozy plum wine, all the time. It’s rather forbidding, though not quite off-putting. Once in a while I can smell it from a distance on myself and see how I got the soft, sweet fruity impression in a gentler climate.

But it does have fangs as a desert creature.

Some have commented that they get rose. It may be the same perfume-y retro chypre note I’m reading as plum wine as roses can go fruity.

Really reminds me of something I had a treasured sample of in the late 70s/early 80s, and it may be the violet/winey rose heart of Mary McFadden. In the early days of Ebay I tracked down a bottle of the McFadden to smell it again and was surprised that violets weren’t given as a note because ionones totally shaped the character of the wine-y rose heart.

I suspect if you gave Champaca Absolute a big dose of powder and a few tweaks you could get a gargantuan and awesome postmodern Loulou.

13th September, 2018

Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu by Bulgari

About 20 years ago Guerlain released a beautiful Aqua Allegoria, Lavande Velours, based around an accord of lavender and violet. I find The Bleu to be Bulgari’s take on the same general theme, which is a good one, and it is sleek and restrained where the Guerlain was more plush and euphoric, as you’d expect.

As much as this may seem to be an appealing hot weather frag, I find that it falls apart on a really hot day and leaves you with only a thin and persistent synthetic-smelling musk/iris drydown that’s not unlike Infusion D’Iris. That is the aspect I like least about The Bleu, so I wear it when it’s less than 90 degrees out in order to enjoy the other notes.

It opens with more (fresh) juicy ginger than I expected, and that, combined with the especially fine texture of the spray mist, make it a real pleasure to reapply often. And reapplication is necessary to get a full experience of it again after a couple of hours, though the drydown lasts, close to the skin, for the better part of the day.
13th August, 2018

Devin by Aramis

It was the 70s, and as young ballet dancers we mostly wore Eau de Love, Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose, Sweet Earth solid perfumes by Coty, Muguet (also by Coty) and Jovan Grass Oil, which I sure wish I had now.

At some point my friend Dorian got a bottle of Alliage, and then I got it, too, since it was supposed to be a "sport fragrance" - I remember a magazine ad with Karen Graham in a white tennis hat. The bitter green opening was different from anything I'd smelled, and I really loved it. But trying it a year or so ago in revisiting all things green, I still loved the bitter green, but not the drydown.

So I was excited to discover Devin.

This is a masculine?! Not to question anybody's masculinity, but it's got the greens from Alliage plus a sweet, resinous base - classic Lauder with components I recognize from Youth Dew - so I'm happy to claim it as one of my current favorites.

My mind drifted just now to Goutal's Eau de Camille, which had a similar green and leafy (privet) opening and evolved into a juxtaposition of green + sweet syringa and honeysuckle. Devin really IS butch compared to the ephemeral Goutal, yet I think my instant love for the Goutal when it came out was probably due in part to a subliminal association I made to my old friend Alliage. I don't really think of myself as much of a Lauder person, but as someone who grew up in the States as a card-carrying member of 20th Century mall culture, they actually played a big part in forming my taste in fragrance.

Devin's inexpensive, but it doesn't smell cheap, and the lasting power is like an EDP. So now I check out classic masculines based on this discovery - who knows what else I've been missing all these years?
09th August, 2018

Slowdive by Hiram Green

I am completely off my head for this one, to the point where I've been auctioning vintage Shalimar(!) in order to offset buying a full bottle.

I used to train with a natural perfumer and have a strong bias for fragrances with a high percentage of natural essences, though I don't think always think they're more interesting or compelling than what I can casually mix up at home. But Slowdive is special. Not only is it potent and lasting, but it's honey while also being the smell of the whole field the honey came from on a hot day. There's a lot of craft behind something that comes off this rustic, because it's actually painstakingly composed, but you just don't notice the work.

The treatment of neroli in it reminds me very much of the gentle neroli I loved so much in Goutal's Eau du Ciel, such an evocative scent in its own right. And overall it's rather in the same ballpark as D.S. & Durga's Isle Ryder, another one I've been circling. That one is also lovely, but the longevity just isn't there on me.

02nd August, 2018

Déclaration by Cartier

I used to wear Eau D’Hermes, and Declaration reminds me of a fresher, brighter version of it. The dusty, dry spices and leather are all there, though it’s as if they serve to provide a backdrop for the silky and refined orange note, the same orange I couldn’t get enough of in Bulgari’s The Vert when it came out. There may be natural orange in here, too, but I’m picking up on a component with crazy radiance and longevity that has neither the bite nor the top-note-only volatility of natural orange oil. I first smelled this note in the Bulgari, so it makes me experience Declaration as being very much ot its time, though I wouldn’t call it dated - it’s far better than can be so easily dismissed.

Like my favorite classic colognes, I think Declaration smells less overtly masculine than it does overtly money! So elegant and interesting and masterful.

But keep in mind that I am sure not one to shy away from a good bone dry cumin note - I like L’Autre, too.
18th June, 2018

Eternity Intense by Calvin Klein

Given what some had said about this having iris and being weird for a Calvin Klein, I held hope that this was an austere, under-the-radar mass-market gem. Doesn't it seem as though this brand has a unique opportunity to offer something like that? I'm so ready for it, myself.

The opening did not disappoint - proper starchy, ballet-shoe-smelling orris. But in warm weather that was gone in 30 seconds and replaced by an apricot-fruity violet/iris accord under the shadow of a looming stormcloud of hot cardboard sugar (I refuse to call this effect vanilla).

The sugariness takes over, though compared to something like La Vie est Belle, it's a minimalist version with relatively a lot of fruity violet/iris. Its warm radiant sweetness was pleasant and longevity from just one spray was great at over six hours in the heat.

Looking for something austere I instead found it to be something that's a reserved kind of fun, maybe what would happen if Insolence were done in the Calvin Klein manner.
24th May, 2018

Calandre by Paco Rabanne

I specifically wanted to say nice things about the current formulation, having purchased it a couple of weeks ago and not worn anything else since.

I’ve enjoyed it as a palate cleanser - it has the appeal of a single clear, unaffected singing voice when there’s been too much bass and autotune. It has no sweetness, yet the florals come in and keep it from being too aloof. I’ve seen conflicting pyramids, though the flowers that come through on me after the opening rose are distinctly rose geranium, hyacinth, and a surprising and heartbreaking lilac.

I once had an older bottle of Calandre, and it was warmer and deeper. Yet I didn’t like it better, for I appreciate the delicacy and sparkle of the new one.
01st May, 2018

Angel Muse by Thierry Mugler

While smelling and performing like a lovely, quality perfume, it also smells rather like Nutella, meaning I no longer have to choose between the two.

Seriously good fragrance, though, just pure pleasure. Its evolution is seamless and warm, and its relatively calm drydown lets the smell of your skin come through, something I have not experienced with a Mugler before.
12th January, 2018
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Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss by Estée Lauder

Bonne Maman tart cherry preserves are my jam.

And what I find clever about Le Rouge Gloss is that the cherry pie filling and nostalgic iris-y face powder accords that get mentioned a lot are actually in support of the massive jammy rose I also enjoy in TF Noir de Noir and Aerin’s Evening Rose. So these elements may be trendy and something for the marketing, but someone really did work this out as a fragrance - it’s deliberate and of the quality you expect from this house.
Lasts for days.

I could have done without the faux chypre powerful patch edge, though I know everyone wants edge and vinyl smells and it’s just me not being modern with my thinking that naive and sweet are really lovely sometimes.
06th January, 2018

Peace, Love & Juicy Couture by Juicy Couture

The pyramid reads like my dream of a composition. While the resulting frag isn’t that, I do like it in cold weather; horrible and screeching in heat.

Years ago I wore Calyx and Metal, and PL&JC has a sharp, green vegetal edge like those. Actually, it’s pretty retro! Where I can tell it’s modern is the base - it softens some from its brash opening and fades into a pretty hyacinth and stemmy accord, and that’s about it.

Some say it reminds them of Cristalle, one of my great loves. I have an 80s bottle of Cristalle that’s like the fragrance equivalent of a balsamic reduction after all this time. It has no sparkle as its top notes have long ago evaporated, though it’s a fascinating study in how complex and deep and warmly bitter the blend of base notes is - could swear there’s immortelle or even fenugreek!

Anyway, I’d wanted something to give that old juice some lift without significantly altering its profile, and a little PL&JC spritzed over it smells fantastic! One base-heavy and the other top, they align and complete each other and become a formidable dayglo green thing.

06th November, 2017

Animale by Animale Parfums

I didn't wear this one when it was first released, so I can't speak to how the current version may be different from the original one. (I'm assuming that it must have been reformulated over time for reasons of cost or ingredient restrictions, because it's heavy on mossy and woody notes.)

That said, whatever changes may have been made, they've done a great job of keeping it true to the spirit of 1987! I can't smell Animale outside of the heavy context I bring to it as someone who would have been wearing other chypres like J'ai Ose, Diva, Mary McFadden, and Jean Marc Sinan at the time of its launch. So it gives me a powerful nostalgic feeling just in being a chypre from the 80s. Yes, each of those is/was unique, yet the degree of difference between them now strikes me as being about as big as the one between Flowerbomb and La Vie Est Belle today.

The current Diva doesn't smell the same to me as it used to - the components smell cheaper and the rose isn't as glorious as it was. Animale is not that far removed from today's Diva. The emphasis is different, though - Diva is so much about the animalic honeyed rose, while Animale seems like it's going to be complicated when you first spray it, but is basically an animalic chypre accord in the end.

Conventional wisdom is usually to wear a powerhouse chypre like this only in cooler weather. But I find that they can be bitter and off-putting if they don't get a chance to open up and bloom on warm skin. The thing I love about chypres is actually what they do with your chemistry if they suit you. My issue with so many modern American (in particular) fem scents is that they have no intersection with how women actually smell, and seem to be an exercise in masking. I don't need to take on any societal shame, thanks. Plus, if I want to smell like something you plug into a wall, I'll put one of those things in my pocket and radiate "clean linen" or whatever all day. So I actually wear Animale in hot weather - I decant it so I can dab just a little bit - because "Animale" is more the truth of the situation than "Fantasy" when it's 115 out, and I'll own it.

Especially amazing frag when you consider that it's available for around $9.99 at discounters if you hit them on the right day.
22nd June, 2017

Rochas Femme (new) by Rochas

I used to own a bottle of the vintage parfum. While it hadn't gone bad, it was aged, and its topnotes were long gone. It was all oakmoss, dense leather and dry-as-a-bone stone fruit out the gate, and my closest reference was certainly Mitsouko, but Femme was more austere, and had virtually no sweetness.

I was prepared that the reformulated version could be so different or inferior that I'd be disappointed, but I like the EDP a lot. While I can tell that it's the same fragrance, it arrives at nearly the same chypre effect through different means - more mellow spice and labdanum instead of oakmoss (I have real oakmoss oil or extract - I forget its form - and it can smell dusty sweet and quite a lot like aged cinnamon bark. So I think my nose is filling in the blanks because oakmoss and cinnamon may share some chemistry.)

While still not a sweet fragrance, the newer EDP is sweeter than the vintage, and a degree or two closer to being an oriental. For something drier but in the same ballpark I'd look to Goutal's Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille, which I'm pretty sure is based on Femme.

10th May, 2017

Albert Nipon by Albert Nipon

I don't find this one spicy and woody until it dries down, and even then, it's by no stretch as spicy as something like Opium or Cinnabar, or as woody as, say, beloved Theorema. I have the EDT, and my closest reference is actually Mahora! It's big like that, and the "white floral" smells to me like the mellow, buttery, lovely tuberose in Mahora.

Now - I like the individual high quality components of Mahora. It's a Guerlain, after all, even if it's a suffocating disaster of a composition. Albert Nipon is better as a whole, more modulated and less of a behemoth, and with that floral butteriness and deep, smoldering base, it's just bewitching in small doses. It's certainly potent, even as an EDT, yet it melts into skin chemistry and has the softness of a vintage chypre as it dries down. I'm not sure I would have identified it as an 80s frag, or even as a floral oriental, because it just doesn't fit that neatly into one genre, much like Vol de Nuit doesn't.

I've never seen it listed anywhere, though I also get a fruit note used like the peach in Mitsouko or plum in old Rochas Femme. Not at all a fruity scent in today's terms, I recognize the fruit rounding its personality and bridging its divergent accords, a trick in the background.

Really nicely done, and not at all out of place in my wardrobe of old musty, weird, and powdery classics.

13th April, 2017

Arpège by Lanvin

I found some vintage Arpege extrait, and I would describe it as a softer, rounder, less concentrated version of Ubar. Ubar contains modern components that allow its individual notes to really pop and sparkle and be more articulated than those in an aged vintage fragrance, yet the scent profiles of these two are very, very similar - dominant sandalwood; civet; similar mixed floral heart with discernible lily of the valley. The top notes and aldehydes in my bottle of Arpege have long dissipated, so all I can know of it is a bit of its heart and a lot of its base, which doesn't have the mossiness of a chypre, nor the sweetness of an oriental, and is an elegant animalic woody thing at this point. It's unisex and smells quite of its time in much the way that Vol de Nuit does.

I've always found Ubar to be stunning in both senses of the word. I've kept a leaky sample in a drawer because it makes my office smell nice, but the fact that one drop left in a five-year old carded sample contained in a closed drawer scents my whole office, well...that's a more potent fragrance than I can wear on my person. That said, I've come to have a whole new context and excitement for it through getting to know vintage Arpege, because I can better see what Amouage were trying to do, and they really nailed the classic style in a way that doesn't smell dated, just timeless.
16th February, 2017

J'Adore Voile de Parfum by Christian Dior

First impression was that it's a clean jasmine "department store" floral, really normal. It's for sure not as shrieky as the pillar fragrance in its current formulation, though it's not, to my nose, a soft and powdery iris thing, either. I actually experience it as being super strong, and I'm pretty sure everyone can smell it - not that intimate, even if it's trying to give than impression; it lasts more than eight hours on me. I get a beautiful sweet rose in the very opening that's gone much pretty much instantly, and then it's all clean green jasmine and a great creamy musk. For hours.

The musk in the Narciso line doesn't work on me, so this has been my answer to a ladylike flowery musk thing that smells really good a couple of feet away - I think it's best from that distance. It doesn't have the peaches of The One, though it shares with that D&G a creaminess + persistent green (maybe headache-inducing) freshness all the way through.

22nd November, 2016

Ballade Verte by Manuel Canovas

Ballade Verte is rose chypre-ish, though it's not quite as angular and challenging as it develops as the 80s fragrances it reminds me of. As I first tried it I thought, This is what I can wear when I'm wishing I could experience Scherrer 2 the way I did when it came out. Because as much as I love the memory of Scherrer 2, smelling it now, there's no way.

I've seen the rose in Ballade Verte described as Moroccan, though it smells like an eglantine rose, the ones that grow wild. I might just be smelling rose + violet, because there's a little of that, too. But if you like wild rose, it's not that easy to find in fragrance, and this is a great facsimile of it, front and center.

Potent and great longevity, so go easy.
17th November, 2016

Encens Liquide by Memoire Liquide

I do like this one, though I find it to be more of an accord than a composition. It's an EDP that has a musky, close-wearing personality like an oil, and good, linear longevity like an oil, too.

It's pretty sweet, not caramel-sweet, but amber-sweet. While the incense note is there, and it's true, this is not a dry incense fragrance, but more of a musky amber fragrance with a Japanese incense note. Probably I would be mad for it if it had a little bitter/earthy/smoky counterpoint; black tea and sake are both listed as notes, but I perceive neither. I wouldn't reach for it in warm weather, though it's one of my favorites for a cool evening or rainy day.

Unisex, and layers well.

17th November, 2016

Fancy Love by Jessica Simpson

From my perspective, Fancy Love stands apart from other inexpensive mass market and celebrity scents for its restraint, lack of sugar, and fizzy aldehydic edge.

While it often gets compared to Burberry Women, I associate it with D&G's The One because both can ultimately be reduced to (tart) peaches and cream. But while The One has a persistent tart, green, and fresh quality that partners its potent, oily musk all the way through, I find that Fancy Love dries down softer and airier than its tart peach opening, and has a character more like an aldehydic floral than a warm floriental - I don't consider it to be a warm scent

Initially I thought that its longevity wasn't so good, though I was wrong. Its longevity is stupid (especially on clothing) but it wears pretty closely.

02nd November, 2016

Angel : Liqueur de Parfum by Thierry Mugler

This is NAUGHTY!

It's got a really pronounced animalic honey/beeswax note. But that seems to have taken the place of some of the patchouli, and I find this version to be smoother and more...intimate isn't exactly the word, but it's lower key. Certainly it smells like a perfume, and basically like Angel, but the honey note gives it a skanky, worn-in feeling that I realize my favorites like Shalimar Ode a la Vanille and Tom Ford's Noir Pour Femme also have. These are perfumes that don't care if I like them, while the original Angel is trying HARD.

The feeling of nonchalance is something I usually associate with the great ones from Guerlain and Chanel. It's like a magic French trick - how can something as drop-dead elegant as No. 5 Eau Premiere or the old Cristalle (or an ancient Hermes bag) just work its way into basically any situation and always be right? But these things just ARE. I think the magic runs deep into the culture, and you can't put it on like an affectation, though you CAN wear the perfume. And I do.

This flanker isn't elegant like that, but it's sure delicious. The pineapple isn't to be feared - it's caramelized, like in pineapple upside down cake, and works with the warmth of the other notes rather than going all tart froot.

Lasts forever, and the fun part is that once it settles in, it smells like you put it on the day before and had a late night.

27th October, 2016

No. 5 Eau Première by Chanel

When the original version had just come out, I actually stopped a young woman in the street to find out what she was wearing - in her wake was the most airy, delicate, magical, unidentifiable floral, and I was confused when she said it was No. 5. I eventually figured out that it was a new release and tried it on myself, though it wasn't as fabulous on me, so I moved on.

I tried Eau Premiere again today, while trying the new L'Eau, and I didn't think that much of it while I was in the air-conditioned store. But about a half-hour later I was back out in the blazing, gritty heat, and it came wafting up to my nose like fairy dust and brought a gentle, civilizing tone to my hectic afternoon.

I came home with a big bottle!
30th September, 2016

I Am Juicy Couture by Juicy Couture

If you've not had a positive experience with a sweet, fruity pop culture frag, move along - there's nothing new for you here!

And I can enjoy some super sweet and even trashy frags, so I always try the Juicys. While I've never worn any of them much, the one I always liked best was Couture Couture, which seems to be the most unpopular with the youth market for being too sweet in a floral way - not sure we've reached the limits of too sweet in a caramel way yet, because STILL they keep coming.

And I genuinely wish I Am Juicy Couture would be the last of this ilk. It's basically a one frag synopsis of Juicy's greatest hits and of the last 10 years in sweet/fruity/floral/gourmand mass perfumery, and now that it's been offered, the only other route to rework this theme would be to deconstruct it, for you're not going to get one that's "better" than I Am Juicy Couture. It has a softness and warmth to it on skin, and is an actual composition that evolves and wears like the EDP it is.

Couture Couture is a bit static to me - so awfully much of that sweet grape-y white floral accord and not much else, which is why I never fully embraced it. I Am Juicy Couture has a similarly sweet white floral heart, but the passionfruit cuts it, and the base, while alluding to Viva La Juicy's caramel and wood, is a more classic (you could say generic) amber thing. Thankfully, it doesn't have the tart fruit/patchouli tension I just loathe about Angel, Viva La Juicy, and Pink Sugar.

When I smelled it today, I realized I've been in my spot in L.A. for exactly 10 years this month. The original Juicy frag was in the air everyplace at the beginning of that 10 years, so it's a nostalgic smell for me even though I never wore it. I designate I Am Juicy Couture as the bookend on this particular period of my life - in a certain way, very over it and tired. Both me and the frag.

11th September, 2016 (last edited: 10th September, 2016)

Cologne du 68 by Guerlain

While deeply, intimately familiar with the women's Guerlains, I am less so with the men's.

And perhaps partly for that reason, if compelled at gunpoint to guess if this were a Guerlain or a Goutal, I would have bet my life that it were a Goutal and now be dead! I have not smelled Les Nuits D'Hadrien in a while, but that's what this reminds me of, Goutal's singular take on citrus in Hadrien or Eau du Sud layered over some vanilla and amber and noticeable immortelle, not Guerlinade. It does have a particular silky smooth character that only Guerlain manages to get, so maybe Goutal as calibrated by Guerlain.

Lovely and versatile, though on me it doesn't read as 68 notes complex.
24th August, 2016

Eternity Summer 2016 by Calvin Klein

There was a fragrance I had in high school, circa 1982, that was mostly a really juicy and tart green accord, and I wore it all summer during my ill-fated first love. His name was Greg, and he was a surfer with blond hair and a 1965 Mustang.

I've often wondered what that fragrance was, and I can only assume it was by Coty, Revlon, or Jovan. It would have been something from Thrifty or Woolworth; I'm ruling out something from Love, because the bottle was rectangular. The cap was tan plastic, I think. So 70s.

Anyway, the Universe always speaks to me directly through things I find in thrift and discount stores that are a response to something I've been pondering, or missing. I saw that Eternity Summer 2016 has a frangipani note, so I picked it up as a blind buy at a discounter being as frangipani is my favorite floral if I had to pick just one.

And I honestly can't smell any frangipani in this year's Eternity Summer, which is a disappointment. But the surprise is that what they're calling "palm leaf" is the same green accord from that elusive drug store fragrance I wore in high school. The frag, on me, is that accord plus the very Calvin Klein musk.

It isn't very interesting. But I enjoy it as a very personal cosmic wink.
08th August, 2016

True Love by Elizabeth Arden

I don't know what's going on with this one in terms of the formulation, whether the EDT I picked up recently at a discounter is the same juice others are reviewing.

But what I have has nothing to do with jasmine and lotus, and reads as a Sophia Grojsman peach/apricot and rose. It goes through a lot of "green" and lily of the valley in the early stages of its development, and that's the phase I like least - it's got that American good girl thing you get with others from around that time, like Jessica McClintock.

Though the heart - I kid you not - is like Nahema rendered a tiny, impoverished infant in its hyacinth-ish green/peach/rose character. I find Nahema to be the olfactory equivalent of being in the Mojave without sunglasses - so powerful and bright and of a certain high frequency that it produces a LITERALLY stunning feeling in my head. I can't wear it because it hurts, though I'm drawn to it on a primal level, just like I'm drawn to the Sun.

So True Love speaks to me, because it's the amount of that particular green/peach/rose accord that I can personally take, and it's ridiculously inexpensive. Of course the quality isn't as high as a Guerlain - please don't think I'm saying it's a substitute - but I respect the craft behind it and think it's really good for an offering at the low end of the market.
28th July, 2016

Nefertiti by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

I tried this one early yesterday evening, and could still smell it when I woke up this morning.

The list of notes says that it's iris and sandalwood, though on my skin it read as VIOLET, maybe even ULTRAVIOLET.

At the time I applied it I liked it but felt it was so potent and so floral it wasn't "me". But that didn't stop me from sniffing my wrist every few minutes, and when that happens, I know it means that a frag may eventually be coming home with me.

Black Phoenix scents are kind of insidious that way.
01st July, 2016