Candy / Prada

20 Dec

This is ultimately too sweet, too syrupy, and too “aged boudoir”—in that specific order. I thoroughly enjoyed (and even veered into loving) the dry down, but its opening is much like an indulged ballerina with candy bar in hand—careening at 75 miles per hour, spinning out of control until extreme physical exhaustion causes her to slump over—a mess of tulle, powder, and lace strewn about violently, a vestige of her hysterical episode.
This is not to say that Prada’s interpretation of plastic doll head is a bad one, in fact I can understand the mass appeal; the issue is with how this fragrance counteracts with my chemistry. It just won’t work, I feel like I should be getting a sugar high just wearing it.

Initial notes are a syrupy caramel followed by pink powder and musky vanilla. It then transitions into a potpourri of chemically induced candy and warm benzoin which smells very “matronly” to my nose, like an older woman who wears too much jewelry and applies her makeup with a spackle knife.

Some time later the scent becomes a bit more agreeable, the caramel is properly tamed and the powdery notes are free to reign with benzoin and vanilla hand in hand to celebrate the complete overthrowing of that wretched synthetic candy. This is the part which I have tried to love, but overall the journey has been marred with too many unfortunate memories.

I’ve had an unharmonious affair with Candy which—with the passage of time, has softened into an affable relationship at best. For some reason I have owned 5 bottles of this perfume in the past year, all were gifts of some sort, it’s like a cruel joke the world wants to impose upon me.  Either way I refuse this affair, there are other fish in the perfumed sea ♥.


Longevity: 7/10  Sillage: 7/10

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

Delicious Night / DKNY Donna Karan

15 Dec

A mysterious, sexy, purple perfume. Evidently the fallout from what appears to be a nuclear explosion of dark and intoxicating berries. Delicious Night almost feels like an oriental but it’s more blackberry wine and smoke; I bought this on a whim and am delighted by how safe and innocuous it smells, it’s certainly “dark” and alluring but not menacing in any way.

DN’s notes are straightforward and simple; this is a fragrance with all its features laid bare and palpable. The opening is rich with blackberries and ginger; it would have been very sweet if not for the advent of heavy incense that anchors these notes together. Patchouli and myrrh are slowly phased in but their presence is very subtle, I can smell orchids in the background and a little amber for warmth. I could definitely pick up vetivers in the dry down; it conjures feelings of dark and mysterious woods, almost like a magical forest. I absolutely love how balanced everything is, the incense and berries are almost intoxicating on my skin.

For some reason Delicious Night would be a great initiative into the world of orientals, it certainly veers into the mainstream but still retains enough individuality to feel unique. This fragrance smells private and enigmatic, like a dirty secret or naughty thought.

Overall I can easily say that Night is my favorite of the DKNY Delicious line, it’s incredibly purple and incredibly smoking hot.


Longevity: 6/10 Sillage: 7/10

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Hanae / Hanae Mori

13 Dec

Hanae is ambitious, girly, and inoffensive; nothing groundbreaking or original but simply sweet and pretty. This is a typical fruity scent done in a Bath & Body Works fashion, it literally smells like something I could buy for much cheaper at a drugstore but regardless, I find it rather whimsical.

I went from disliking gourmand fragrances to being quite neutral about it–to enjoying it immensely. The truth is I didn’t grow up in a baker’s household so the smell of cookies and candy won’t necessarily provoke the strong feelings I often associate as nostalgia. But I do find comfort in warmth, and Hanae tends to conjure a sense of affection and coziness which I accredit completely to the toffee and vanilla mix.

The main ingredients are a buttery accord consisting of toffee, strawberries, and vanilla. These are the top notes and they remain rather consistent on the dry down as well, I barely sense any apple and if there were it would be buried underneath the many layers of candy and sugar. I am relieved to find very subtle patchouli notes and the addition of black currant makes for a very “jam-my” dry down. Sillage is pretty low even after a rigorous application; longevity is decent (3-4 hours).

Hanae is typically linear and has zero complexity; it’s a standard fragrance for younger individuals, or for someone unfamiliar with perfumes. It’s also great if you were in the market for a basic scent that can be worn daily and has a zero chance of offending someone.


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Aqva Divina / Bvlgari

10 Dec

If you’re looking for a wearable salty aquatic, Aqva Divina is not a bad place to start. This doesn’t smell anything like Womanity but they seem to be beating along the same vein– in my opinion, Aqva feels less complex and not as aromatic or briny. The latter smells strongly of a tropical lagoon surrounded by fruit trees and white flowers; there is definitely a salty ocean air quality that I enjoy, but if you’re searching for a literal beach scent this might come off as a disappointment.

Divina is a sweet floral first and a marine fragrance second. Initial impressions are a heavy cloud of quince and magnolia with a bit of a honey phase in between; there is definitely salt and it smells wonderfully balanced without being pungent or linear. I sense little to no woods but the bergamot and quince is what makes this scent feel extremely tropical, it’s like a day on the beaches of Antigua surrounded by sparkling sands and fruit blossoms. Just like a vacation in a bottle!

Like most salty fragrances, Aqva is a safe blind purchase if you are specifically looking to smell like a tropical island; otherwise you’ll just enjoy it but will find that the perfume has very limited versatility. I live on the beach and still could not justify wearing this when fragrances like Sun di Gioia exists, and is far superior in quality and endurance.

In short: non-offensive, safe, non-versatile, tropical, fruity, and low sillage/longevity; a decent fragrance but ultimately inferior to other perfumes in the same category.

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Samsara / Guerlain

10 Dec

This perfume is wonderfully composed but ultimately disappointing; on the one hand I love that Samsara smells exactly like the inside of those Buddhist temples—or “wats”–in Thailand, yet I find the powdery notes to be extremely heady and cloying over time. I don’t quite dislike this scent, but I don’t love it either.

Samsara has a beautiful opening; it’s a serenade of sandalwood and ylang-ylang with soft phases of vanilla, tonka bean, and jasmine to underline this pretty little symphony.  I fell in love with how exotic and intoxicating those first few seconds were, unfortunately the experience was short-lived. That charming scent immediately transitions into a powdery peachy cloud of iris, musk, and a dusty rose that became extremely tedious over time. There is just too much sandalwood without something—like incense—to balance it out; the main floral is ylang-ylang and it feels too chalky, too dry, and too linear.

The only positive that kept Samsara from becoming overly repetitive was the slight presence of rose that peeks out from underneath the many layers of heavy powder. How I wish Samsara had a tiny bit of sweetness that isn’t an elderly rose! Perhaps I am just not a fan of that dreary ylang-ylang flower; I feel its presence is too oppressive and domineering like a heavy musty blanket.

Regardless of its shortcomings this is still a very nice fragrance; Samsara is distinctly Guerlain and I enjoy all their creations. However, despite all the glowing reviews this experience just doesn’t feel memorable to me.

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Dune / Dior

8 Dec

(This is a review of the vintage version of Dune by Dior.)

I have come to the conclusion that Dune is the haunting spirit of my youth. When I was a child my parents had a chauffeur who would escort me back and forth from school. The driver had these really long nails on his thumbs; they were yellow and cakey and I would always notice it whenever he reached over to fasten my seatbelt. His car REEKED of this scent; from the moment I caught whiff of it I am immediately flooded with memories of those creepy fingers.

Despite my negative association, this is still NOT a safe blind purchase–Dune feels inherently masculine to me. It smells very old school, like something that belongs in the eighties. The pencil shavings with spicy woods are quite heavy in concentration and I found the oakmoss and incense combo to be too intense on my skin. It’s strange but I detect no florals whatsoever, Dune is reminiscent of the sun setting over a vast and barren desert.

Top notes are rosewood, aldehydes, patchouli with heavy doses of amber. After a few minutes this transitions into a warm benzoin and sandalwood on a bed of oakmoss; I can sense damp and earthy undertones accommodating the dry down. I don’t know why but I find vintage chypres to smell mildly unpleasant, like Chinese herbs that are stored for way too long in a dank and moist environment.

This perfume made me realize how much I dislike lichen/mossy notes in a fragrance. I always end up smelling like a swamp frog, it’s just not my cup of tea.

Dune certainly smells like its generation: bold, complex, and brazenly confident. This is truly for those with an acquired taste, I wish I can say I like this perfume–but it is simply not for me.


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Insolence Eau de Parfum / Guerlain

6 Dec

This is unmistakably a Guerlain creation as it possesses the same body and wholesomeness of L’Heure Bleue, whereas Bleue is tempered and full of integrity, Insolence is expressive and vibrant in personality. Although I can only resort to an opinion of indifference regarding the former, I actually “like” the latter despite my disinterest for such flamboyant fragrances. Nonetheless it is a rather unique twist on a powdery floral.

Insolence opens up as a very loud Skittles grape candy on my skin, mixed with that powdery DNA that is L’Heure Bleue. It’s ultimately a very beautiful violet once subsided to a manageable level; the appearance of Iris is pleasantly familiar, once again I am flooded with memories of Bleue. Except it isn’t her at all but the younger and perkier sibling outfitting a sweet purple dress and a basket of fresh berries; she is colorful in her mannerisms, yet is of noble appearance that never submits to cheap and lurid things.

The dry down is an aromatic tonka bean and sandalwood, with slight nuances to cedar wood.

Insolence smells…purple, perhaps a rude purple at first but eventually it mellows out into a delicate dreamy kind of purple; like a pastel garden on a Victorian summer purple. I can imagine pretty lace accents and wild violets blossoming into the world, rigorously demanding its presence to be acknowledged by those around.

It is of common opinion that this perfume is trashy or “dated”; it is neither of those for me. The violet notes are dreamy and elegant, perhaps a bit too syrupy at first, but never dull. Sillage and longevity are quite heavy.


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

L’Agent / Agent Provocateur

6 Dec

L’Agent  smells like male body odor and I love it!

You will either hate this fragrance or you will adore it, thankfully I belong in the latter group. This is very smoke and incense heavy, but it’s not the sweet aromatic incense you’re used to, this is a dry and smoldering smoke. L’Agent is nothing like the original Provocateurs, it’s bordering on harsh and masculine. Frankly it reminds me of Natori Natori (sans plum) and a weaker Opium mixed together.

You’ll be interested in knowing that this is not a sweet perfume; although there are mild floral accents, the primary players are incense, myrrh, sandalwood, and patchouli. Roses and tuberose are apparent but only through a veil of dark smoke and leather—amber adds a warm glow to what would have been a cold and haunting fragrance.

L’Agent smells like a bonfire on the beach; I wouldn’t categorize this as a girly scent, it smells gothic and bewitching. I love the way it transforms subtly on my skin, going from rich and smoky to dark and boozy. The dry down is strangely intoxicating, like flowers on a lake of petrol; it’s a little skanky reminiscent of male body odor.

I don’t know what Agent Provocateur puts into their perfumes but every one of their creations has been a love for me. L’Agent is undoubtedly my favorite of its flankers, I can’t get over how uniquely sadistic it smells, almost like a film noir. This won’t be considered a sex bomb by most people, but if flowers were evil little things with a penchant for torture and fatalism…it would moonlight as L’Agent.


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Silver Mountain Water / Creed

4 Dec

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Creed perfume, today seems like the perfect day for Silver Mountain Water. This is the first metallic fragrance that has generated a positive reaction from me. It’s cold and minty fresh, like a highland stream; I feel like I am lying next to river surrounded by white mountains, sipping iced tea with my face to the sky.  This is unisex for strong independent women and the fashion conscious men.

Progression is simple, starts off as a strong but invigorating green tea combined with black currant; middle notes emerge as a very refined white musk. The citrus base is neither bitter nor tart, in fact this is a balanced petitgrain and orange; it isn’t screechy, just subtle enough produce a clean herbal accord. Creed has a knack for tea scents; I have yet to find a company that can do herbal notes as well as the ones produced by this company.

SMW does not smell synthetic; it’s wholesome, invigorating, cold, and wonderfully aromatic. It’s neither feminine nor masculine; can be worn for all seasons and versatile enough for any occasion. The heart of this fragrance is white waters and enchanted woods. Notes of petitgrain and sandalwood counters the slight bitterness of galbanum, resulting in a dry down that is reminiscent of oud and green grass.

Silver Mountain Water is undoubtedly one of my favorites of the Creed line, any fragrance that can rustle the imagination is a win for me. SMW feels like a memoir of the snowcapped mountains, a scent of complete contentment free from responsibilities and the boundaries of life.


Top Notes


Middle Notes


Base Notes