Truth or Dare / Madonna

23 Nov

I won’t lie, for a department store fragrance Truth or Dare is surprisingly high end; I’m usually not a big fan of white florals but when done correctly it conjures up feelings of simplicity and tranquility.  This is surprisingly elegant, with a smooth composition that effortlessly flows within its own rhythm. It feels clean and fresh while maintaining a feminine presence; this is what a white dress smells like in my imagination.

ToD is a minimalist fragrance, the notes are fairly straightforward and you can pretty much pick out each floral in this composition. My initial reaction was a pleasant surprise at the balance of tuberose and gardenia; it is neither pungent nor too sharp but blended just perfectly to produce a scent of fresh white blossoms. Jasmine becomes more prominent during the dry down, with a hint of benzoin and amber to give this bouquet a warm sunny disposition. Sillage is moderate with good longevity (3-5 hours).

ToD feels extremely optimistic; I can honestly say that this perfume has the ability to brighten up my day every time I wear it. Even though this is a very basic fragrance, its simplicity is neither a shortcoming nor a limitation. This is a great introduction to white florals and a safe blind buy in my opinion.


Top Notes


Middle Notes

Base Notes

Lolita Lempicka / Lolita Lempicka

3 Nov

Lolita Lempicka is mysterious and a little melancholic, it’s seductive and magical like a dark forest filled with the most enchanting creatures. This perfume is alluring and sensual but also feels a little virginal and innocent. This is a fairy tale romance, one that feels like a dream within a dream.

Opening notes are heavy with creamy licorice and spicy anise; violet is the most apparent floral in the primary stages and blends beautifully with the vanilla and cherry. I love tonka bean combined with licorice and praline notes as it gives this fragrance that uniquely “magical” essence that I can’t find in any other perfume. The best part comes after half an hour, the spiciness soothes down to a more subtle level with vanilla being the primary player, you can finally sense a little iris, musk and vetiver; combined they make a gorgeous powdery dry down. Unfortunately longevity is moderate and sillage is not very good. If you over apply however, I find that the heavy licorice and spices will make you mildly nauseous.

I absolutely adore Lolita, there is definitely a mystical/fantasy vibe to this fragrance. Although there are mature elements I cannot see myself wearing this seriously; it feels like something a Disney princess would wear and that is just not me. The most I’ll get from Lolita will be nostalgic longings for my childhood watching cartoons while waiting for my parents to pick me up from school, other than that it really doesn’t suit my personality. Overall a great scent for those seeking an escape from an ordinary world. ♥


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Michael Kors / Michael Kors

31 Oct

I originally was going to wear Michael Kors for an evening out with friends, until I accidently spilled a 1.5 oz bottle on my dress. Even after a change of clothing, the perfume remains cloyingly against my skin and there it stayed haunting me throughout the day.
This fragrance to me is reminiscent of over-ripened fruit, too domineering without much restraint. The tuberose and lily are excessively pungent and concocted with a heavy hand; together they completely drown out all other notes, except maybe the osmanthus. This comes off very screechy on my skin, and makes me feel a little nauseated after a few hours.  For a white floral Michael Kors is unusually heavy and peppery; I detect no incense- just raw and creamy flowers.

The dry down smells like synthetic banana candy, like the ones you buy in those quarter machines, it’s sickeningly sweet and feels extremely processed. The projection is huge, with decent longevity; you will have to apply with a soft hand because the tuberose can easily overwhelm and become a bit unsettling after an hour.

Perhaps I am a little biased because I dislike tuberose in general, but they have never agreed with me. This is one of those fragrances that will never see the light of day in my wardrobe. Overall a great bargain if you’re a white floral lover but avoid if you can’t handle heavy scents.


 

Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Stella / Tocca

30 Oct

This is my first experience with blood orange, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how comforting this is to my senses. Immediate first impressions are of an aquatic nature; there’s definitely a note reminiscent of cool and refreshing waters, immediately followed by orange citrus…the floral notes (lilies and freesia) kick in to prevent this pairing from becoming too sharp/sour. After five minutes the dry down beckons with drifts of sandalwood, oranges and orchid…very clean and fresh. I am not usually a fan of citrus/bright accords but this one is soft enough that it doesn’t appear overly synthetic.

My only issue with Stella is that it is a bit too “safe”; although the makeup is unique, it doesn’t provide much pizazz other than the first 15 minutes of fizzy orange soda goodness.  I feel like there is so much potential here, yet it falls flat much too soon with its most promising aspects fading away too quickly. I felt like Stella could have done well with a bit of vitality to her, perhaps more potency…it feels watered down, special qualities withering away like forgotten memories. Longevity is almost non-existent, departing almost as fast as it arrived. Sillage is very soft, no projection for such a unique personality.

Overall a pleasant fragrance, but its charm is much too fleeting to be fully appreciated.


 

Top Notes

Blood Orange  /Bitter Orange / Watery Notes

Middle Notes

Freesia/ Lily / Orchid

Base Notes

Sandalwood / Musk

Indian Night Jasmine / The Body Shop

30 Oct

This is absolutely the most perfect night jasmine I have ever smelled: clean, mysterious, simple yet multifaceted. This is a gorgeous floral bouquet of endless beauty; as intoxicating as it is alluring, a conjuring of all the most beautiful flowers in their best evening dress.

Notes are simple: Jasmine on top, followed by sandalwood, orange blossom, and violets to round out the base. Every ingredient plays its part like an ode to the night; the sandalwood is the vital player here -transforming this fragrance into a balsamic blend of spicy oriental goodness. I get vibes of Thierry Mugler’s Alien but this is a much tamer, more sophisticated relative. Whereas Alien is loud and sassy, INJ is timid, mysterious and extremely charismatic; I didn’t know jasmine can be this pretty, silly me!

Overall I feel Indian Night Jasmine would be a perfect rainy day fragrance: the creamy and spicy notes seem to play very well against humidity, which helps to bring out the white florals in this perfume. The only downside to this is the longevity, which only lasts a little over an hour on my skin; sillage is also very poor, making this a great body mist after a night shower.  A great beginner oriental.


 

Fragrance Notes

Jasmine/ Orange Blossom/ Violet Leaf / Sandalwood

Boudoir / Vivienne Westwood

12 Oct

Thanks to a very dear friend of mine I was able to test out this much sought after fragrance by Vivienne Westwood.  This is Boudoir, an homage to the classy woman’s sacred space- very intimate and private just like the lady herself.

Based on reviews I wasn’t expecting much, however on first spritz I was pleasantly surprised. I immediately sensed aldehydes and lots of it; there’s a waxy creamy scent that reminds me of vintage fragrances like the original Chanel No5 and Passion by Elizabeth Taylor.  I’m very surprised that there is no musk here- the dry down has a particular starkness that could be attributed to the patchouli and tobacco leaf. I also do not sense any “rose” or “hyacinth”, only wafts of carnation and sandalwood which blends beautifully with the cardamom!

I will go out on a limb and say this is almost medicinal in texture, it’s “heavy” and overwhelming- but not obnoxious. I feel something a little maternal about this perfume, and I am not a fan of that. It doesn’t feel “sexy” to me, personally I get a little bored waiting for Boudoir to moonlight into something else a little more exciting or even mysterious. In its current state there’s no “stimulation” of the senses, no touch of sensuality or intrigue. Just a lady’s chamber with too much old make up and the stench of sweaty bodies; it really does smell like a bedroom after sex which makes this fragrance an interesting one to add to your collection. Boudoir is a great experience for me, I feel strangely self-aware when I have it on- like suddenly I am more intimate with myself in a purely philosophical way. Definitely one of a kind, but not something I would go out of my way to re-purchase.



Top Notes

Aldehydes /Orange Blossom/ Marigold/ Hiacynth /Bergamot

Middle Notes

Coriander/ Carnation /Orris Root/ Jasmine/ Rose /Cardamom /Narcissus

Base Notes

Sandalwood /Patchouli /Cinnamon /Vanilla /Tobacco Leaf

Cool Water / Davidoff

27 Sep

Ever since its debut in 1996, Cool Water has been the bestselling aquatic for both men and women looking for a fresh melon, sea water, and ocean breeze fragrance.

I used to wear this all the time in college, but truthfully I started hating it after two weeks. It’s too synthetic for my taste. The instant bloom of melon and currant goes on strong…then fades into a combination of strange artificial fruitiness. This is as much aquifer as watermelon jolly ranchers actually taste watermelon.

I do agree with clean and fresh, but for me it is too sweet…the dry down is very unpleasant and overly soapy, like cheap bug spray.  Overall this is great for  those in love with fresh scents, but judging by the 10 year old bottle still sitting in my drawer…I probably won’t be using it again any time soon.


Top Notes
Pineapple/ Quince/ Black Currant/ Lily/ Melon/ Lemon/ Lotus /Calone

Middle Notes
Honey /Hawthorn/ Jasmine/ Water Lily/ Lily-of-the-Valley /Lotus /Rose

Base Notes
Blackberry/ Violet / sandalwood / Musk /Raspberry /Vanilla /Peach /Vetiver