Delicious Night / DKNY Donna Karan

Delicious Night / DKNY Donna Karan

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

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Hanae / Hanae Mori

Hanae / Hanae Mori

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.


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Aqva Divina / Bvlgari

Aqva Divina / Bvlgari

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.

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Samsara / Guerlain

Samsara / Guerlain

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.

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Dune / Dior

Dune / Dior

(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.


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Insolence Eau de Parfum / Guerlain

Insolence Eau de Parfum / Guerlain

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.


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L’Agent / Agent Provocateur

L’Agent / Agent Provocateur

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.


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Silver Mountain Water / Creed

Silver Mountain Water / Creed

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.


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Simply Belle / Exceptional Parfums

Simply Belle / Exceptional Parfums

This perfume is gorgeous! I’ve been searching for a body lotion scent for ages and I think I might have found it. Simply Belle smells heavenly without being too sharp on my skin; this is reminiscent of warm ivory soap and powdery cream. I was surprised to find this little gem in an innocuous tester that came with one of my purchases. This is a love for me, I wear this after every shower and I feel instantly happy. It’s always the little things =].
SB starts off very green with a burst of violet leaf and lily-of-the-valley, within seconds it is phased out by fresh peaches and white jasmine. The water lily notes combined with warm benzoin vanilla are so creamy and delicious; I have never smelled a cleaner and more indulgent vanilla, I love it.  Heliotrope softly accents a very mild citrus, and the musk is concocted so wonderfully. Combined it smells like clean soapy skin that’s been deeply moisturized and swathed with the most decadent of body creams.

Unfortunately, the bad news sets in within half an hour. SB is terrible on longevity; I get that it’s supposed to be a “skin scent” but this is awfully stingy for such a beautiful fragrance!

Overall an ideal Dove soap imitation; I also want to add that this smells incredibly close to Glow by JLO minus the hideous screech of synthetic roses that plague the opening of that fragrance. Minus the endurance, Simply Belle is fairly sweet and wholesome; it’s a great soapy alternative for those in search of the perfect clean scent.


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Gold Sugar / Aquolina

Gold Sugar / Aquolina

This starts off as a chemically induced orange that became a little too cloying for me. I am a fan of the original Pink Sugar and although that one is also synthetic, it was heavily obscured by the caramel and vanilla. Gold Sugar is a victim to what is usually common amongst cheap citrus based fragrances; it smells a little like Lysol.

The effect is not immediately noticeable; in fact I had to really look for it (I’m so picky!). Gold sugar is still a decent fragrance, and for the price this is worth a second glance.

I bought this flanker based on the notes; I mean crème brulee is my favorite dessert so how could I pass? GS smells like delicious cream and egg tart, the coconut sets a tropical tone that feels a little beachy.  The main components are pretty simple; it’s basically custard, cream, and coconut with a tart base. It’s linear and can become a little boring.

I don’t dislike Gold Sugar, it’s just generic gourmand. If you’re interested in something basic and nice, I think this fragrance might temporarily fulfill your cravings.


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