Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Shycat

Total Reviews: 83
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Foxfire by Avon

I love it when I try some fragrance without much warning and without much hope. So it was with vintage Foxfire that I believe I ordered by accident or bundle or some such fragrant happenstance as I pursued Tasha.

I pondered throwing away a couple of bottles to ease my household panic during a cleaning binge. Eh, it's not in me to toss anything untried--damn, the stopper is hard to get out and I grumped that it would be that much easier to pitch.

It seemed to me to open crisp and mineral, a bit green. It sweetened and softened with a bit of rose and powder. Over animal armpit BO. Wicked strong stuff as well. I think, oh Lord, this is the kind of thing Basenotes people just rave about and isn't sold anymore. I don't know WHAT to think. It isn't "me." But should it be? Once in a while?

Powder seems to go into smokiness and I'm reminded of a signature of a dear member here "How do you know what a French whorehouse smells like?"

Surely it smells like Foxfire.
09th September, 2019
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Eau des Merveilles by Hermès

I suppose orange and cedar are not my favorite pairing. I've never cared for a cedar note. I find the vetiver to be dusty and the orange to be overwhelming and dry. I don't find the ambergris note.

I do experience a floral overtone but somehow this composition doesn't please me. An hour in I'm wondering how they got this effect and what synthetic chemicals are at play-- the orange is orange: it's not sour, but sweet. And yet dessicated, underpinned by something that tickles my gag reflex. Not fecal, not animalic, not civet.

As I type the above...I realize I'm back to hating peppered fruity florals. Oh my, this is giving me Stephanie flashbacks.

Edit written not 15 minutes later:

My dear son comes out of his room. Stops 12 away from me to stand longingly in front of the pantry--I've walked through the kitchen about 30 minutes ago but not so far as the pantry, about two hours after four small spritzes (context for sillage and longevity.) Spontaneously says:

"I like that perfume you have on."

This is the second complement I've ever gotten from him, the last when he was 10 years old for Blue Amber.

What's a mama to do....
29th August, 2019
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Nuit de Cellophane by Serge Lutens

First thought: Juicy Fruit gum. Later, soap.

I give it a neutral because I've always liked that gum.
23rd August, 2019
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15th March, 2019
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Brooklyn by Gallivant

This is a premature review. I should wear it a few times before I commit, at least through to the dry down once--but I'm not gonna. I have an idea this one gives it best punch in the heart because it's quite distinctive--a smoky, lightly sweet, slightly floral, powder. Very feminine, I find.

I see other comments about top notes but I didn't notice any top phase. It seems to me it shot right into the heart and has stayed there for an hour. I can't recall another fragrance that has so starkly combined incense and powder. It has an underlying dirtiness--from smoke and musk contrasting with a fresh sweet powder. I'm finding it very interesting--almost challenging, which I tell myself is absurd but I can't get away from the slight sense of strained contrast.

Interesting is good. Hence, thumbs up!
13th March, 2019
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Musc Intense by Nicolaï

Too sweet, too synthetic. Plastic undertone. Scrubbed.
21st January, 2019
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Pyromancy by Sixteen92

The listed notes don't prepare me for Pyromancy, which fact I find annoying.

Pryomancy strikes me as a rich, honey, gourmand leaning thing. The "embers" will be warm spices--cinnamon I'd say, is in there with the brightness of cardamom. The tea/tobacco accord blends to a sense of dark warmth.

Oud is an overstatement, and smoke is an overstatement. My impression is some softness suggesting amber, an indistinct wood, perhaps a touch of patchouli, and ambroxan.

I feel better about it all after I visit her site in a bit of pique to find her describe it as

"A warm and spicy cold weather atmospheric with gourmand nuances."
17th January, 2019
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Rose of No Man's Land by Byredo

The first time I wore this, I quite liked it. Definitely a clean, light, biting rose made for a man. It gave me some grapefruit thoughts, and mellowed out to pleasant pepper amber.

The second time around I was trying to analyze and it almost choked me. The opening pepper is quite strong to my nose, along with a green sensation of leaf. I never can get on board with pepper tied up to a well known floral. It always strikes me as unpleasantly dissonant, and this is no exception but not the worst I've ever smelled.

It certainly is a rose, but I can get completely caught up trying to decide if that aromatic bite is lavender or some other aromatic that just feels like lavender. I see the raspberry blossom listed above but I just get aromatic sharpness without berry or fruit.

There is a clean, lightly soapy undertone to this rose. Laundry musk, I'd say. By two hours, it's down to a very nice powdery amber and if there's papyrus in here you couldn't prove it by me. The pepper really hangs in there.
04th January, 2019
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Powder Flowers by Montale

Powder Flowers is an unfortunate pairing to my nose. There is a lightly sweet floral accord and softness from tonka that seems quite nice. There is another note that dominates my experience of the top and heart--it strikes me as strident, sharp, and urinous. I suppose this is Atlas Cedar. Truly an unhappy couple--feminine powder and old urine.

I thought about scrubbing but I just pulled down my sleeves and went for the ride. Kinda forgot about it until I kept get unpleasant whiffs of something...was it hairspray? Was it nasty scented deodorant? Honestly and for true, I caught this stink about half dozen times and dismissed it before I thought...omg, this is Powder Flowers in dry down.

So bad I decided to review and comment--and then laughed when I saw "the nose knows" wrote about a gentle whiff of bug spray in the dry down. If I could give it two thumbs down, I would.
18th December, 2018
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Fruits de Noël : Orange & Amande / Orange & Almond by Yves Rocher

Orange & Amande is a soft skin scent of sweet orange fruit with complementing almond and sugar, lightly touched with vanilla. There might possibly be a hint of warm amber or maybe a slight sprinkling of nutmeg.

It's pleasant, warm, and Christmas-y, but when I say soft skin scent I mean soft skin scent. I've sprayed it onto a blotter and almost threw it away as odorless. To get anything even at skin level requires a pretty good coating. This is likely a good level of fragrance at a family get together for a big holiday meal--no one will be disturbed by this fragrance on you, and yet for close hugs one wouldn't be scentless.
18th December, 2018
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Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her Floral by Burberry

Poor Brit Rhythm. It's not what I want at the moment. Aside from practically gagging me in my fragile state, I can say that it opens with a blast of wet, indolic, jasmine/synthetic lilac. I feel sure the entire fragrance is synthetic, but the jasmine note seems more well orchestrated. If I had to guess, and of course I do have to guess since nobody's coughing up any actual perfumer's notes, I'd say the "lilac" note is just a whack of indoles.

I can't appreciate any top notes. It does settle shortly to a more pleasant accord. The amber does come up and offer some barely sweet barely powder balance. And I do like lilac.

Xeno suggested this from my sample wardrobe when I was on the yen for baby powder. It's soft, waxy/lightly indolic floral, softened with amber that only barely approaches powdery, not sweet, and clean, slightly soapy musk. All in all a scent I'd call "Good enough...but not really good." Perhaps if I hadn't spent so very much time bathed in Highland Lilac I'd cut this one some more slack, but my nose is tuned to what I *want* lilac to smell like.

I have a sneaking suspicion that "driftwood" equals norlimbanol, but I can't really get that sense in the heart. Have to say, no scratchiness. Whatever "driftwood" is in here is floating in lotus I suppose.

Also, if anybody wants to know (hint: you're about to find out) what rings the death knell of "garbage can for you, d*&$ sample" it's a soap note. I don't know how many different ways a perfume can slide into the soap note gravity well or which notes trigger that sensation in my personal brain, but I sure know it when I smell it.

By gum, this is masculine. I like it much better as long as I flip the gender marketing. For me to wear, it's a neutral. For a man--strange it is, my brain, for man that's comfortable in a velvet smoking jacket, I'll give it thumbs up.
17th December, 2018
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Psychedelic Love by Initio

I'm fresh from a blind pass and one of the things I realized is that heliotrope is a mystery to me. Psychedelic Love is helping me over that little stumbling block.

My first impression was sweet gourmand. I feel the rose, but I thought the scent dominated by a caramel vanilla with a lifting benzoin type of penetrating freshness.

What is it really? You can read the notes above as well as I. It's heliotrope, and it's a big whack of heliotrope. Sugared almond vanilla, with rose and myrrh for balance. There's sandalwood in here, and perhaps that's where I'm getting the creaminess. I'm sure sandalwood is really in here, as well as some unlisted aromachemicals that give the sense of lifting freshness--needed, here, to avoid collapse of some heavy note. No perfume pyramid would lie to us!
04th December, 2018
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Ferré for Men by Gianfranco Ferré

I've not been writing reviews on the exploration of the masculine side of fragrances. I don't have enough experience to offer anything meaningful, and most of these feel utterly alien compared to anything I'd wear myself. I really have to mind warp myself in evaluating them from either a man's perspective, or keeping in mind what I'd like to smell on a man.

That ends with Ferre. As soon as it hit my wrist, I thought, hey, deodorant. I can promise you, neither I nor any man in my life *ever* wore a scented deodorant. My ability to actually analyze a fragrance remains abysmal with Ferre--oh, I can get a top note, and I can get a basenote or two. Heartnotes seem to escape me utterly.

What doesn't escape me with Ferre, and what's never happened to me before (never is a big word and I mean it,) it the way Ferre makes me flinch when I sniff it up close--not from a particular displeasure, but from a tiny needle that hits my sensitive upper nose. I can fatigue this need to sneeze, and concentrate on the fragrance for a deeper sniff, and it makes me cough.

So something no bueno.

I'm wondering if this the "scratchy" synthetic sandalwood I've read of, or a particularly piercing lavender over a particularly soapy vetiver, not ignoring synthetic oakmoss which is never a note I enjoy.

It's an easy decision to leave the close sniffing out as the fragrance progresses, and I go forward in a realistic manner of catching whiffs through the day.

Whiffs that always say "Hey. More than deodorant--this is deodorant on armpit." Floral vetiver AND musk. Fresh AND...well, not dirty per se, but sour and piercing, with a bit of a lye/caustic feel.

LOL! I started this review with a neutral thumb--reading back my own impressions, how can I let that stand? Thumbs down from this woman.
01st December, 2018
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Black Sugar by Sixteen92

It pains me to give Black Sugar a neutral thumb, but it's just too modern/masculine for me. GAH! That such words would ever come from my mouth.

The top note is distinctly plastic and off-putting to me. It doesn't take long for a smoky sweet vanilla to overcome that impression, but then I have to deal with the mineral bite of the dirt note. At some point, this fragrance was fabulous to me, about the time I think I detect berry, but then later during the dry down and there's a sense of fresh granite or possibly some metal. Never my favorite note anywhere, it seems to dominate the >4hours drydown and last entirely too long, IMO.

Altogether too masculine and unusual for me to settle down and enjoy, this one hits the ziplock bag.
14th November, 2018
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Moonwind by Avon

I had this fragrance as a child, in the petite kitty bottle as a gift from my beloved grandmother. I recently wore the scent again from that same bottle, carefully kept by my mother.

It was still half full, and although I recalled the bottle and name with love and nostalgia, all that emotion was for the people involved. Moonwind is something I recognize now as a hell of chypre, which is my least favorite genre.

I'm reading these other reviews and thinking I'm insane. Moonwind for me opened dirty, sweaty. Startlingly so. It found some balance with some lavender AND bitter citrus up top, which got sucked into sexy with a dry rose/floral note underpinned by too much oakmoss and a dose of slightly powdery amber. I know the soapy smell of vetiver, and I wasn't looking for it (at my mother's there is no internet and sketchy cell signal--I was blind)and I didn't notice it.

I just put on a little dab to one wrist and the projection reached my nose with no problem, as though I were wearing a parfum from today. It also lasted for a good six hours, subsiding into a pleasant mossy/amber/powdery skin scent that I could sniff right up until the next hot shower.

I was disappointed. I felt sad to write this review--right up until just two minutes ago. I was washed over with a strange and intense desire to get my hands on my kitty bottle. OUT of my mother's curio cabinet and into MINE.

I need to wear Moonwind again. And, I realize, AGAIN.
11th November, 2018
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Natura Fabularis : 18 Glacialis Terra by L'Artisan Parfumeur

And this is where noses diverge. I think Glacialis Terra kicks a$$--but I didn't choose dollar signs to sanitize my words because they looked like an appropriate letter. At least, not only. This limited edition is sold only in a 75ml size for $210.

I love a licorice/anise note and I'm in a vetiver phase. Cue me up for a blind buy, and color me happy. I can tell you what I think is here.

Fennel, immortelle, the wheat note from Bois Farine, vetiver, then some more vetiver (unless that's wormwoord) and more than one musk--a touch of ambroxan and something dirty. Cedar.

Immortelle is a note I'm barely exploring, and it bears repeating the obvious--I may be wrong. Like a new word added to the vocabulary, suddenly one can hear it spoken everywhere. I didn't care for Clive Christian Immortelle, as it struck me as too camphorous and medicinal, too toxic. Whatever I'm finding here seems the same kind of thing, and yet handled differently and toned to suit me.

It does wear close to the skin, but it's a potent shot up top and if it leapt off my wrist it would singe my sinuses. And I would like it.
03rd November, 2018
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White Musk by Montale

This is a long time favorite of mine, one of the first Montales I sniffed and bought. I will always love it for the pleasant memories it evokes, having worn it often when my boys were young and sweet. I think I'm wearing it today because I have at my beck and call no less that three men, out slaving in my yard to collect the leaves. Door to door entrepreneurs at 9 years old is a thing to encourage, I feel--outside, playing and working together, exercising, making money. Good and more good.

White musk as an accord, I've read, would likely be a combination of macrocyclic aromachemicals, combined with linear aromachemical musk added to hit all the people who can be anosmic to the macrocyclics--half of us, supposedly.

Montale's White Musk goes on softly for me--it's a soft, clean scent that wears a bit close to the skin, but for me that's no problem. I like it that way. On days like today when I'm really in the mood, I can overcome any softness by spraying on an even dozen blasts. Softness and sillage issues become understandably moot although I wouldn't advise going out in public afterward.

It's key to my love here that I don't translate things into the soap impression others speak about. I perceive a sweet, floral accent over a clean musk with a trace of powder. As far as I can tell, it lasts forever because, like a Tootsie-Roll pop, I never get to the end of it before crunch time (shower.)
03rd November, 2018
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Really Most Sincerely Dead by Sixteen92

Bread and honey! From the first second, it's about a honey that manages, somehow, to be lifted without becoming overly sweet. The bread note is fleeting. Tart fruity--apple-- undertones and hints of booze offer a contrast and balance, keep the honey thin, and the overall impression pleasant.

As time passes--say 30-45 minutes, the honey subsides to let the coconut/licorice be prominent. It becomes a more complex fragrance, with the coconut having a toasted nature and the licorice supporting and rounding it out.

01st November, 2018 (last edited: 05th November, 2018)
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Coco Coco by Coqui Coqui

I'm unsure exactly how I feel about this one, but I did enjoy it. I want to smell it again. That must mean thumbs up.

The green note is prominant--and it's not a galbanum type of green. It's a bright green with a metallic edge that I really should hate and yet somehow do not hate.

The coconut is not sweet, but more realistic, just cracked, actual coconut. There is definitely an underlying synthetic/rubber note that I really should hate and yet somehow do not hate.

Obviously there's more going on here than the listed note of "coconut."

It's not a stretch for me to throw the metallic note toward the wall of ocean breeze and make it stick--iodine. I never get the harsh metallic bite of some fragrances that bring blood or rust to mind.

I agree there is an airiness, but there's no cool aquatic note--no fake freshness here. I don't get much, if any, progression. It has good projection at first, and settles in a respectable two hours to a pleasant skin scent--dry coconut and hot sand.

This fragrance works. It just needs a man to wear it.
29th October, 2018
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Iris Macchiato by Auphorie

I've always had a lowest category fragrance I called insta-scrubs. Iris Macchiato gives fresh meaning to that term. I've never experienced a scent that made me inwardly scream "GET IT OFF! GET IT OOOOOOOFFFFFFF!" in its very first second. I was frantic, in full panic mode. I grabbed my manicure bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a cotton ball to wipe at it because my back is hurt and the sink seemed too far away. I went through six well soaked cotton balls and then looked at them lying on my table and thought "I have to rid of these things."

But how? Bury them in the yard? Not with a hurt back and in the dark. Throw them in the kitchen trash? That wouldn't do any good...I'd just have a stinky kitchen. Throw them outside on the deck? Could work, but the smell of putrid meat, blood, and vomit might attract a possum.

I sealed them inside a ziplock freezer bag, and as I type I am wondering...

What am I going to do with this ziplock bag??? Bury it in the back yard? Not with a hurt back...
27th October, 2018
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Rose Rebelle Respawn by A Lab on Fire

This one is a chocolate rose to me. It's very slightly powdery, and I do so agree with minimal projection. I don't get any soap in the rose note, just a fair mix of carnation. Perhaps there was a bit of distraction with manicure concentration, but that says a lot--I applied the entire sample vial to skin and sat to file, push cuticles, etc.

I completely forgot I had a new fragrance on my wrists. Whoops. That's a bad sign. Putting my nose to skin it's quite nice--rose, carnation, dry cocoa, and a bit of warmth -- incense. I guess I missed the mint while I was accessing the evenness of my squovals.

It's all nice enough if you'd like a sheer skin scent and have excess cash you like to get rid of. Perhaps four hundred quarters in the bottom of your purse.
24th October, 2018
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Lilac by Demeter Fragrance Library

Sadly, I find this to be extremely harsh and synthetic. It will dry down and occasionally give a whiff of something that might be lilac-esque if smelled from a distance. It's not worth any money at all. I bought it blind long ago, and now find it's not worth the two square inches it occupies in my cabinet. Mine just hit the trash.
12th October, 2018
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Necromancy by Sixteen92

Sixteen92 website lists "funeral flowers" in the notes for this one.

That means carnation.

Necromancy gives up it's carnation up top and immediately, but instead of trying to brighten and lift that note, cf. PdN Sacrebleu, this variation lets it sink into a darker environ. A sweeter place, and nope, there's no extra air. The carnation rides lightly after about an hour to the deeper base of sweetly warm and sensual incense and benzoin. The oud is not forward even after a couple hours. I don't find anything clean or fresh, and neither do I find anything that challenges my olfactory moral compass.

This turns out to be an easy wearing comfort scent, softly sweet, warm and inviting. I find it to lean to feminine or a particularly smooth masculinity. Proof that true evil is the ultimate seducer?
08th October, 2018
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Ruby by Bruno Acampora

The extrait opens for me in a blast of sour cherry mocha, but it settles in the ten requisite minutes to pure dark chocolate sans coffee, tonka bean, brown sugar, and bourbon rose. There is a lifting berry vibe, but what berry? Your guess is as good as mine--probably better--but it's this aspect that seems to be driving my pleasure.

There is the slightest dusting of powder for softness. And musk. There is the warm, enveloping, gutteral musk of Acampora fame.

At 45 minutes, the sugar has retreated. The booze? I think it's still here, faintly, and this is the heart. Pretty steady. The sour note seems to swell and retreat repeatedly. Either that, or I get used to it, get distracted, and come back to it with fresh senses.

At 3 hours, I try to analyze where things are. I think it's gone a more floral and I'd believe you if you told me there was orris here, and violet. It is settling closer to my skin.

I'd believe you if said there's some cinnamon here. The vanilla has become an undertone. Cocoa is ever present--and for the first time I think of it as cocoa--dry, without a creamy component. Without sugar.

I can't stay up to see the end of it. 6 hours and it seems firmly in a fluctuating state of perpetual balance, swaying between floral gourmand and gourmand floral. I'm realizing just now that it's not a dirty musk after all, simply not a clean musk.

I must end this review frustrated by my foolishness in putting on a new fragrance for my evening scent. Bed calls me, the sunrise threatens me, but Ruby...she comforts me. I'm happy to curl up with her company, and I look forward to waking.

Edit to add: Be warned. Apply with care.

I'm at 14 hours and this is not quite a skin scent yet. The floral quality has passed, but I still am pleasantly scented with chocolate and fruity musk--I woke up and the dry cocoa phase had passed.

I'm wondering if I've gained weight from it. -_-
06th October, 2018
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Love Tuberose by Amouage

Love Tuberose is one of my happiest blind buys. It's too sweet (in the fabulous top at least) to be for everybody--which makes it good for me.

It opens with a blast of lightly indolic tuberose followed in just about one minute with a soprano sweet jasmine buoyed up by a jet spray of sugar. My first wearing it made me blink a couple times and pull my head back--but now I know what's coming and I wish I could stand under a fountain of the stuff. It really only takes about ten minutes to fall earthward, apparently splashing over a single vanilla pod on the way down, landing in airy rivulets of merging narcotic white to form a thick and cohesive coating.

As it progresses, I appreciate the creamy smoothness. The jasmine relaxes while the tuberose thins. I get a very gently supportive undertone of vanilla. Zero powder. No sense of wood. Not a heavy cream, but perhaps half and half--worth noting here that sugar comes first and alone, with the cream arriving shortly after. I am simultaneously relieved and disappointed. It's over an hour into this fragrance and I only now feel I'm in the heart of it. It maintains some sense I can only describe as adequate oxygen--I never feel suffocated. There is never any sense, at all, of anything clinging to the back of my throat, no sensation of soap. At all.

But it still says tuberose. Clearly. How is this possible?

It's lasting a very long time, maintaining the balanced heart with fainter beats. I regret my need for sleep, to miss the ending. On waking, the skin scent lingering is still a faintly sweet vanilla.

The name has more meaning to me now. I had taken it as an invitation, finally, "to love" tuberose but now I feel it's the closing of a letter--

Dear Shy,

Here is the best version of myself, custom tailored to match your sensibilities. Please forgive all the gagging failures.


05th October, 2018 (last edited: 06th October, 2018)
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Scent And Chemistry Kiss My Ass by O'Driù

Hmmmm. Sweet pipe tobacco, booze, dirty leather. Wait! no leather. It's hot mulled spices, no that's not it. Herbal. Yes, aromatic. Nah. Not herbal, I was wrong. Wood in the base...hint of vanilla or just a trace of tonka? Call it amber. Rum soaked cedar. Hot spices. Musk. Oh yes, amber. I sense some softening.

See, I have no idea what I'm smelling. The surprising thing for me is that I'm so happily continuing to sniff my wrist, waiting for some epiphany of certainty. Eyes closed, I stifle a brief urge to bite.

I'm still nobody's idea of a sensitive or educated nose, but for me, there is trust in these visceral impressions. Thumbs up.
05th October, 2018
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05th October, 2018
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Black Vanilla by Mancera

Name it watery weak vanilla so people know what they are getting into.

I can tell it's watery fruit with an unidentifiable floral vibe for the first few minutes. Then it does morph into a well blended smudge of something very delicate--a hint of tart fruit, a hint of petal, a hint of clean musk almost imperceptibly warmed by a trace of vanilla.

I'd say it's almost a fragrance.
01st October, 2018
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Good Girl by Carolina Herrera

I think this is a fine fragrance, and I like the bottle.

I don't always wear my black satin corset. Those days I'm craving a good spanking of vanilla heat, I can reach for vintage Hypnotic Poison. I get the comparisons, but Good Girl is no slouch.

Crap. Even as I type this, the realization sinks in that a full stiletto is in my future.

What's not to like? That some vintage fragrance is a bit stronger? A bit more herbal/spice up top so yes, a bit more complex? That's pretty weak criticism if you ask me. If we need to limit our wardrobes to straight 5/5/5 vintage bestest ever, then I'm out.

I bought a 10ml roller blind from a Sephora sale with zero knowledge of the scent or others' opinions. I was not disappointed. I find this to be aptly named--a warm and lovely jasmine vanilla with a good amount of snuggly base support.

For the days I wear my white satin corset.
01st October, 2018
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Salt Caramel by Shay & Blue

My eyes widened and my mouth fell open. My chest tightened and I sat up straight. I believe on second sniff my back may have arched just a bit.

Salt Caramel is some new order of magnitude for my gourmand collection, outside of my experience in rich, buttery, toasty, sweet. There is a contrast note that offers an olfactory post to lean against if one's knees start to buckle. Shay and Blue says it's salt? It's salt! Whatever they say is good enough for me.

Time passes and the composition becomes more focused. The liquid caramel flows away slowly to leave a more elegant clarified vanilla toffee. It seems one could snap off a bit, hold it up to the light, and put it on the tongue.

At this point, I'm only wondering about expedited shipping.

30th September, 2018