L’Ambre des Merveilles / Hermes

3 Jan

Wow this is absolutely beautiful and warm like golden sugar. I’m surprised there are no comparisons to Kenzo L’Elephant minus the oriental spices associated with that fragrance: cardamom, cloves, cumin, caraway etc. L’Ambre is reminiscent of hot spicy chai with lots of cinnamon and vanilla powder; it feels so cozy and makes me want to crawl into bed and hibernate all winter lol.

The opening is bright amber with drops of sweet vanilla, this smells like a warm creamy dessert infused with toasted brown sugar and cinnamon spices. A boozy patchouli underlies this sugary accord, but it’s neither cold nor sharp. In fact the patchouli is subtle and mildly woodsy; it doesn’t come off as being too bitter or intrusive like most scents dominated with this note. Labdanum is discreetly mixed into the dry down to give a soft and airy fragrance that feels minimalistic and honest, like bright and transparent amber.

Although L’Ambre is distinctively a sweet scent, it’s certainly unconventional. Unlike most sugary perfumes this one doesn’t feel narcissistic (it doesn’t stand there screaming obnoxiously) neither does it seek attention in crude ways.  L’Ambre feels wholesome and modest, she’s sweet and inviting like apple pie, but still retains an aura of mystery. Men are drawn not only to her discreet nature but also her feminine charms; she inspires poetry in those lucky enough to fall in love with her.

Overall a magnificent perfume by Hermes, and one that feels perfect for those long winter months. L’Ambre is inoffensive while the longevity is quite good; it’s unisex though I associate this fragrance as strongly feminine. Highly recommended for those who enjoyed Kenzo L’Elephant but found the myriad of spices too strong and bitter; L’Ambre is perfect for gourmand lovers as well.


Longevity: 8/10  Sillage: 7/10

Fragrance Notes

Love by Kilian / Kilian

3 Jan

At $260 a bottle I expected something a little more unique and exceptional; the features of Love are quite peculiar: caramel, sugar and…civet. I would never have guessed “that poor cat” was part of this concoction because the scent smells primarily of synthetic bubble gum and marshmallows. I can definitely see the resemblance to D&G’s Pour Femme but unlike PF, Love is much more intense with a hint of skankiness–probably due to the combination of musk and civet.

The opening is like a rude outburst of caramel and pink sugar, I mean this is really really sweet. The liquid is an amber color that is as intense as its sillage, do NOT spray this on white clothing otherwise you’ll find yourself spending an afternoon scrubbing the stain off your garments.

Love is pretty linear with a few admittedly sensual phases of an animalic sort; the combination of musk and iris smells like powdered skin with civet being low-key, providing only a slight dirtiness to the undertone. I sense few florals as they seem to be the building blocks for the mostly sweet upper layers, a hint of pink pepper in the dry down and nothing more. Despite a mediocre sillage, this fragrance is quite enduring on my skin.

Love is pretty much pink bubble gum and caramel; it isn’t that complex or exceptional and smells incredibly mainstream. I feel one can easily substituted this scent for Pour Femme by Dolce & Gabbana or even Ulric de Varens’ Sublime; overall a decent Kilian creation but lacking in character.


Longevity: 9/10  Sillage: 7/10

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

La Nuit Tresor / Lancome

21 Dec

If you were to ask me which fragrance in my collection garners the most attention, it would be without a doubt: La Nuit Tresor. I’ve received compliments from everyone including my landlord, my husband, random strangers, and even the plumber! The opening is my favorite stage of La Nuit – multifaceted, distinctive and “expensive” smelling. It’s gourmand without smelling like a candy bomb.

Immediate impressions were a delicious blend of praline, chocolate, orchids, caramel and patchouli followed by a blast of litchi. There are definite shades of incense and coffee upon a bed of vanilla and licorice. I can also smell fresh strawberries melding within layers of sweet and delicious litchi, this is very sweet but thanks to the balance of incense and papyrus…it never becomes cloying on my skin. La Nuit is incredibly balanced in smoke and sweetness, I can never get bored of it.

The dry down is akin to sun drenched berries and night orchids wrapped in vanilla and chocolate. It’s incredibly elegant and addicting, I find myself saving this fragrance for very special occasions due to an irrational fear of someday becoming bored of it.

La Nuit Tresor was an unexpected love at first sniff but I must say the bottle accurately represents the nature of this perfume very well, it smells feminine, purple, mysterious and bewitching. One of my best purchases; here’s hoping that it will never be discontinued or reformulated.


Longevity: 8/10  Sillage: 9/10

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Classique EDT vs EDP / Jean Paul Gaultier

17 Dec

I’ve been holding off on reviewing Classique because I felt there weren’t enough words in the English language to describe my love for this perfume. First off, it smells incredibly vintage yet completely modern, I love how complex and sensual I feel when wearing this and the confidence it exudes is enough to make this a true aphrodisiac on me.

Classique is the most feminine scent I have ever smelled that doesn’t veer into the immature or girly territory. I imagine Grace Kelly sitting at night in her boudoir wearing a pink chiffon night gown; her hair is perfectly coifed and makeup is perfection. This is what I imagine her bedroom to smell like—a cloud of soft flowers and makeup powder.

My initial impressions are ginger, star anise, vanilla, orange blossom, and lots of cinnamon. The ginger and cinnamon notes came on strong at first but mellows out beautifully as traces of orchid and iris slowly creeps its way into being, there are roses too but not an extravagant one yet rather subtle and quite shy. Sandalwood frolics lazily under the shade of sweet plum and citrus. Amber notes at its heart wraps everything together like an intimate embrace.

The opening is a spicy oriental but the dry down is creamy vanilla powder, like a cloud of pink lipstick. The sillage is enormous and very noticeable; its longevity lasts for days on the EDT—even when sprayed on clothes!

Classique is undoubtedly my favorite powdery scent; for me this perfume practically defines the difference between a masterpiece product and a decently composed fragrance. There is nothing jarring or sharp or undecidedly vulgar about this scent, it’s extremely feminine and sensual without ever being lurid. I’ve often seen this recommended as a beginner’s fragrance but I feel it is extremely polished for all noses, certainly a creation worthy of its reputation.


Longevity: 9/10  Sillage:9/10

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes


Edit: I wanted to do a short addendum for the EDP version of Classique, as it is almost certainly different from the EDT and worth noting. The “lace” version is creamier and more vanilla focused, and is indeed concocted with a lighter hand than its predecessor. Opening notes consists of a boozy vanilla, orchids, and rum phases which then passes into a rosy amber-y dry down that is largely florals and sandalwood. This is a dreamier version of Classique; though it more resembles the modest cousin than a direct sibling, the EDP is still very lovely if not bit more mainstream.  Personally I am not a huge fan of the lace version simply because it just isn’t the same beauty that I’ve fallen for, the lacking of spices and ginger has turned her into a common–but noble flower.

Classique eventually fades into a cloud of tonka bean, sandalwood, and boozy vanilla. Nothing extravagant, just powdery and feminine.

Despite constant trials with either one, the EDP is NOT stronger than the EDT in this case. I have had many outings with both relatives applied within the crevices of both arms, and have constantly monitored their progress throughout the day. It seems that the original not only outlasts its rival, but also dominates in terms of projection.

Frankly I enjoy Classique in all its variations, but the primary is certainly my favorite. This EDP is just too basic for me and frankly I can find better vanilla primaries than what it provides; the market is saturated with fragrances composing of the same features that the lace version tries to push. However I would suggest trying both as they often appeal to different senses.


Longevity: 8/10  Sillage: 8/10

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Jungle L’Elephant / Kenzo

3 Nov

Oh my goodness I feel like I’ve just fallen into the Christmas bin at the local department store. I’ve only managed one spray of L’Elephant before realizing how incredibly potent this fragrance is, seriously I can probably substitute my entire cabinet of seasonings with just this one bottle haha.  Kenzo’s Jungle feels like a holiday greeting card magically decanted into a perfume, if you were interested in the essence of Christmas then this fragrance has it in strides.

The opening to L’Elephant is an olfactory overload of cloves, cardamom, cumin, and caraway. It’s super strong; I can imagine this being a total nightmare for anyone with a slightly sensitive nose so you might want to exercise a little caution when wearing this around strangers. The top notes overwhelm every other ingredient so that I couldn’t pick out much else besides spices; it wasn’t until the dry down could I manage to distinguish bits of mango, ylang-ylang, and heliotrope. The best part doesn’t arrive until about 2 hours later when everything mellows out into a creamy vanilla base with hints of licorice and cumin. It smells like eggnog to me, maybe even a masala chai tea.

I would recommend anyone to try L’Elephant before buying; this is definitely not a safe impulse purchase. Yes it encapsulates the most joyous parts of the year, and for me it brings memories of Christmas comfort and lots of warm memories.  Overall highly recommended, this is one of those perfumes that will bring the holidays to your doorstep.


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

 

Classique Intense / Jean Paul Gaultier

30 Oct

To be honest I am not a huge fan of gourmand scents. Had I known the notes in Intense would have combined to produce the sickeningly sweet accord of caramel, I would probably never have blind swapped for it. Either way, initial impressions are a cloying candy fragrance despite what the notes indicate.

Pomegranate is listed as a top note yet I can barely smell it, I also do not pick up any rose in this…however the vanilla and tiare flower are very enhanced by its patchouli neighbor. Which consequently creates a very thick syrupy caramel scent that dominates everything else, this doesn’t smell fruity or floral on my skin; in fact I am getting Prada Candy vibes. The dry down is non spectacular; it remains the ghost of its former self, very reminiscent of suntan lotion. I do feel the tiare flowers give this a very creamy texture, which warms the overall base of this perfume and makes it a great addition for those cold autumn months.

I am not sure why Jean Paul Gaultier claimed to have kept 40% of the original Classique formulation while adding 60% of the newer creations; I own Classique and this is nothing like it. In fact I feel as though Intense should have been in a class of its own. Aside from the bottle design, this shares no similarity to the original.

Overall I feel this would be a great addition if you’re really into gourmand and super intense sugary fragrances, but if you are against the smell of suntan lotion and caramel, test this first before buying.


 

Top Notes

Pomegranate / Tiare Flower

 

Middle Notes

Orange Blossom  /Jasmine/ Rose

 

Base Notes

Patchouli/  Vanilla

Good Girl Gone Bad / Kilian

13 Oct

This is such a strange fragrance that I find myself at a loss for words. For starters this doesn’t smell like a “bad girl” scent (quite the contrary), it’s boldly abhorrent and awkwardly feminine at the same time. The best way I can explain it is to imagine someone cooking curry while standing next to a large bouquet of roses. I know this smell because I’ve lived in India for a short time and this reminds me of every restaurant in New Delhi that I’ve stepped foot into.

The tuberose note is reminiscent of salted meat and heavy cream, especially the moment when ghee (clarified butter) mixes with pork; it’s gourmand in the most unconventional way. A strange combination that is both attractive and repulsive to me. It’s like stepping into an Indian household after the owner had already prepared dinner and is now spraying air freshener to get rid of the scent.
I pick up a lot of Jasmine and amber on the dry down, the osmanthus is very creamy and clean (smells like lotion) but I can still smell the meat! I don’t know why I am just not a fan of tuberose, the idea of cured pork mixed with white florals and spicy woods is offsetting to my nose. This is an unexpectedly gritty fragrance dressed up in a white dress; it’s definitely unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

Frankly I can understand the appeal with this brand and I can respect anyone who loves it, but unfortunately for me the tuberose made this perfume an unforgivable experience.


 

Top Notes
Jasmine /Osmanthus / Rose

Middle Notes
Tuberose / Narcissus

Base Notes
Amber /Cedar

Daisy Dream / Marc Jacobs

1 Oct

I wasn’t a fan of the original Daisy but its flanker Daisy Dream is so fresh and pretty in a bottle. The sillage and longevity is close to nonexistent- evaporating within minutes on your skin- but for its brief encounter Dream gives a memorable performance, very girly, floral and youthful.

It was also my first experience with litchi and wisteria, and I must say that I love it! When wearing this I imagine little girls picking wild flowers in a meadow…with garlands in their hair and pretty little white dresses.

This fruity cocktail starts off with a mist of blackberry and grapefruit, followed by a sweetness of wisteria and litchi. I didn’t detect the jasmine until the dry down; coconut and woods were not apparent.

If Daisy was considered sunshine in a bottle, then its sister Dream would be clouds decanted. Overall a very happy green scent, great for the spring or summer; this fragrance has potential for the office woman, but considering its markup and low sillage…you would better suited with something of more value.


 

Top Notes
Blackberry /Grapefruit /Pear
 
Middle Notes
Wisteria /Jasmine /Litchi
 
Base Notes
Woods/ Musk/ Coconut

 

Fancy Nights / Jessica Simpson

29 Sep

Let me disclose that I am not a fan of celebrity fragrances, not that there is anything wrong with them in particular… I just never found myself committing to a perfume designed by a famous person. That being said, Fancy Nights came highly recommended so I figured I would order a small bottle from Amazon.

Let me just say that I am SO glad I didn’t spend full retail on the EDP, I wanted to feel this fragrance started off with very good intentions: a magical forest, dead leaves, the scent of dark and mysterious woods and a slight whiff of vanilla in the air. Unfortunately what I got was burnt leather, patchouli, incense, underlined with something very uncomfortable (licorice?). The combination was so overwhelming that my husband actually grabbed the bottle and hid it haha!

I actually applaud Jessica Simpson for an extremely uncharacteristic fragrance (as most celebrities go for the usual candy/floral/citrus combinations that are plaguing the market); I felt she at least tried to be creative. But this just doesn’t work on me; as for the moment I am unsure of what to do with an entire bottle of Fancy Nights, it sure seems to work on being a husband repellant haha.

The good news is that if you really want to know what naked patchouli smells like, grab a sampler of this bottle…it will blow you away ;).


 

Top Notes

Bergamot /Papyrus

 

Middle Notes

Jasmine/ Patchouli

 

Base Notes

Sandalwood /Oakmoss / Amber / Vanilla

Tresor Midnight Rose / Lancome

27 Sep

The bottle that launched my obsession with perfumes.

If my marriage was a fragrance it would be Tresor Midnight Rose by Lancome, a gorgeous blend of Raspberry, vanilla, and cedar woods.

It was love at first scent; Tresor is darkly seductive yet still manages to maintain its femininity and innocence. This is a passionate and secretive rose; strong and unbroken.

Imagine a secret garden with dark purple roses blossoming into the night; it is fresh…spicy…and intoxicating. Yet something beyond the trees stirs like a lingering beast. It’s bewitching.

The dry down is like a pile of dead flowers; the sillage is quite strong…and long lasting. This will forever be my signature scent, it reminds me so much of my husband: Mysterious, complex, lovely.


Top Notes
Rose, Raspberry

Middle Notes
Jasmine, Peony, Cassia, Pink Pepper

Base Notes
Musk, Cedar, Vanilla