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.


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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.


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Simply Belle / Exceptional Parfums

3 Dec

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

2 Dec

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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Lady Million / Paco Rabanne

2 Dec

No offense to anyone who loves the perfume but this is an overpriced fragrance for a rather mediocre scent. I’m not suggesting that Lady Million smells awful—quite the contrary–but if you had told me this was a gas station original I would have agreed. Nonetheless this would be excellent if paired with a leather jacket and a gold sequined dress; but other than a swift kiss and a few empty promises, it’s a rather forgettable experience.

Honey and raspberry are one of my favorite combinations and this duo becomes the primary players of Lady Million; there’s a hint of jasmine and other white florals simmering below the surface along with warm amber and patchouli. This fragrance really does smell like something gold; it’s bright and optimistic yet a little linear. Nothing develops over time; you’re pretty much stuck with what you’ve got.

LM doesn’t smell sexy to me, it seems preppy and “dressed up”; like a good girl trying to be bad but really just doing it out of peer pressure. On the bright side, LM has great sillage and longevity; a few spritzes will probably last for an entire day.
Overall I’m not completely disappointed with this perfume; it just ends up in the back of my cabinet lost amongst other superior fragrances, spinning about woefully on its side–desperate for an opportunity to redeem itself. Luckily this gem is rather popular and if you find yourself not feeling like a million bucks, you can always swap it away.


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Ivoire / Pierre Balmain

1 Dec

I don’t think people give Ivoire much of a chance, indeed this fragrance goes on super sharp…but it mellows out to be exactly what was promised: clean white soap. The galbanum is perhaps a little too prominent throughout, but after a few hours it settles perfectly into the skin leaving a very sheer and creamy scent.

I was originally on the fence between Ivoire and Glow by JLO, both were exceptionally harsh in their opening but Glow came off being too synthetic and stayed that way for hours. Although I prefer the latter for its more floral character; Ivoire has better tenacity on the long run and is overall less offensive and pleasant in its performance.

This perfume really sets off after 45 minutes on my skin; it’s really quite strong in composition so longevity is of no concern. My end goal was to smell like fresh ivory soap that smells like clean skin after a bath, and although Ivoire achieves this somewhat—the heaviness of the vetiver might come off being a little damp/earthy for those who find such things unpleasant.

There is Iris immediately in the opening and it blossoms into galbanum and roses, it’s refreshing and very powdery, but overall clean and sharp. This shifts into a slightly clammy stage which is no doubt due to the vetiver and patchouli combined with ylang-ylang. It feels a little woody and ozonic at first, yet the heart of this fragrance is flowers and cream…the earthy base produces a warm and inviting skin scent. Beware though that sillage is enormous and the more you apply the worse that chemical scent will become. It’s really quite unbearable after 3 spritzes, and veers uncannily into bug spray territory.

Overall this is the closest I have ever found to a real “Dove” soap fragrance, there is always Nivea by Nivea, but that product is not available in the United States. Until I can find something better that fulfills my standards for French soap, Ivoire will have to do.


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Pink Sugar / Aquolina

1 Dec

Going by appearances Pink Sugar looks sadly garish with that weird metallic string thing that looks like a thong wrapped against a tacky frosted bottle. On the surface it seems rather tawdry, but this fragrance is absolutely anything but low quality. I personally would have never purchased this if it weren’t for a tester at Nordstrom’s.

Pink Sugar veers into familiar territory with its basic candy notes and warm vanilla, but what separates this fragrance from other generic perfumes is that it doesn’t try to be anything other than itself.  This isn’t a complex and expensive scent; it’s incredibly safe but also very fun, girly and uncomplicated.

I can definitely smell cotton candy as the primary note; it’s rather linear and doesn’t change very much. Caramel and vanilla are warm and syrupy; it feels like I am being wrapped in a yummy pink cloud! PS eventually phases into a cozy sweet scent that is almost cloying, I am reminded of warm toasted marshmallows and strawberry flavored lipstick.

There’s a heavy synthetic/chemical smell on the dry down but it’s quickly overshadowed by a musky powder, thankfully the result feels more womanly than girly. Longevity is spectacular on me, and sillage is just right.

Pink Sugar has found a niche in my morning rituals; I just adore it so much. This is something I can wear daily and in any condition; it’s inoffensive and frilly, surprisingly suitable for all ages and doesn’t settle into something too immature. For the price, quality, and longevity this is a wonderful and simple addition to my wardrobe.


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J`Adore / Dior

30 Nov

The queen of white florals in my opinion, it’s very clean, soapy, and elegant; J’adore happens to be the one fragrance in which my husband has constantly praised as “the pretty one”, in light of the fact that he is absolutely finicky about perfumes in general. Therefore I own many variations of this scent in abundance; when it comes to J’adore I would recommend buying the EDP because the sillage and longevity are quite extraordinary.

Despite its popularity, this is a very generic fragrance. There was no love affair for me, no deep infatuation; in fact our relationship seems to be quite proper and amiable thank you. I wear this to please others; when I am quite tired of being agreeable and just let my body roam about at parties, dragging along like a sack of meal. This is the “safe” scent, the “can I please go home and fling my bra across the room” fragrance. It’s forever genteel, and I’ve so often find myself becoming quite bored with its monotony.

A reviewer said this smells like a Stepford Wives perfume and I completely agree, it’s trophy wife in a bottle.

Either way this is my favorite jasmine, but it’s not a complete jasmine as pear and melon notes are quite evident in the opening. Lily of the valley and peaches are mellowed in the background as roses and magnolia blossom into being, citrus notes are subtle but it keeps this scent very clean and fresh in the dry down. This is an almost tropical fragrance, it reminds me of Hawaii during the spring; all that is lacking is a little coconut and benzoin to give this a beachy vibe.

Overall not a love, but still a beautiful scent meant to be a crowd pleaser. I feel J’adore would be the perfect gift for someone unfamiliar with perfumes in general, and are looking for something appropriate for all occasions. It’s a safe blind buy with strong sillage and longevity (if your version is the EDP) and is quite beautiful despite its rather bland and linear personality.


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Gucci / Gucci

29 Nov

I must admit, this is my favorite patchouli fragrance ever. It’s most impressive because I usually dislike strong honey notes, but this scent is refreshingly bold and complex. Gucci Gucci is certainly not mainstream and that in itself is a plus– there is a dark sense of refinement about this fragrance– I feel like I am transported through time and finding myself on a date with the Great Gatsby himself. It feels very much like a vintage piece but the tropical notes suggests a modern flair.

I tended to hate patchouli as a main component in most perfumes, as it tends to give a very dirty earthy vibe which reminds me too much of wet foliage for some reason. Even when blended with fruits or florals, it’s easy to become completely overwhelmed by the herbal-ness quality that I’ve often find myself a little queasy.

This is not the case with Gucci, as that “wet plant” quality seems to have been noticeably curbed, the patch here feels lush and opulent.  It maintains a dark and boozy personality throughout; while the honey adds to the warmth of this fragrance, the patchouli stays cold and mysterious. Guava and pear top notes are subtle and are quietly overshadowed by the tiare flower which gives this fragrance a very tropical floral accord. Sillage and longevity are very good on me and I absolutely love the dry down, it smells like wealth, power, and seduction…this is confidence in a bottle.

Gucci feels very mature to me, and I don’t mean age…I mean sophistication, class, and elegance. It’s beautiful but I can’t imagine everyone loving it the same. I maintain that certain fragrances will choose its wearer and not the other way around; this is unfortunately the case with Gucci. If you can find a love for refined patchouli and honey, this is a great and nostalgic adventure. Worthy of a test but not a safe blind purchase.


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Natori / Natori

26 Nov

I unexpectedly came into possession of this fragrance thanks to a blind swap I did about 2 months ago. I immediately bought an entire bottle after testing it on myself, and oh my gosh this is the sweetest salted plum scent that I have ever experienced. It literally smells like the plum sodas I had as a kid in Hong Kong; it’s opulent and gourmand, extremely feminine while maintaining a sense of complexity and wholesomeness.

Natori feels mysterious in every way; it’s a seductively dark and smoky cocktail. I am not usually a fan of plum notes but this deeply multifarious in nature; the amber is warm and inviting, the roses do not play center stage but provides a floral edge that underlies the plum very well.  My favorite part about this dry down is the ylang-ylang, musk, and patchouli combo; it brings out a kind of earthiness that is reminiscent of Chinese tea shops. But this isn’t to say that Natori is completely oriental, it’s actually quite versatile, the aldehydes are heavy hitters but somehow this doesn’t come off as being overpowering.  Natori feels very vintage, I am much more infatuated with this one than I am of Opium- and no this doesn’t really smell like Opium at all- they’re both gorgeous but Natori is definitely more wearable. Plus the bottle is beautifully crafted, the lid is heavy like a stone; it feels oddly reassuring.

The only drawback is the sillage/longevity, what a major disappointment! This essentially becomes a skin scent after merely an hour, which is a shame because Natori feels like it was crafted as a statement piece. I can’t help but feel powerful and formidable while wearing it, but alas my spirits are short lived; this beauty was probably another unfortunate victim of reformulation. Overall an elegant evening perfume that is both mature and feminine; a worthy purchase despite its minor shortcomings.


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