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

Angel Garden Of Stars / Thierry Mugler

23 Nov

There must be something wrong with me- I have never been a fan of Angel, in fact the only flanker I actually enjoyed was Angel Sucree, yet even then it was a passing interest. Garden of Stars is very similar to the original formulation, except the patchouli and roses seemed to have been injected with steroids.

This opens up with a blast of patchouli, followed by soft roses and a bitter chocolate. It starts off very sharp at first and intensely fruity- there is a cloying sweet note that makes me a little sick to my stomach. I had hoped something would eventually alleviate the heavy patchouli and pepper but I was disappointed to find that it didn’t change much throughout the day. I normally love patchouli fragrances but this one has been formulated with a heavy hand, it’s a little too “earthy” for me. Strangely I did not pick up any vanilla; hints of bergamot become more evident throughout the dry down. Sillage is heavy with this perfume, and longevity is pretty good (about 3-5 hours).

Overall I am not a fan of this line, I feel like Thierry Mugler makes some amazing power house fragrances, and they are all unique in their own way. But in my experience, most of his creations are either hit or miss. If you’re a major fan of the original Angel you’ll probably enjoy Garden of Stars; however if you hated the former, then its flanker is really nothing new.


Top Notes


Middle Notes


Base Notes

 

Eternity Moment / Calvin Klein

21 Nov

I was super excited to try Calvin Klein’s Eternity Moment since peony is one of my favorite florals and I have never smelled water lily in a fragrance before. That being said, this perfume is a major disappointment; it literally smells like the most generic drug store body spray you can imagine. It’s a brew of synthetic scents that leaves behind a very unpleasant odor of plastic and damp skin.

The initial spray smells heavily of alcohol, then immediately simmers down to a peony opening with litchi and a hint of jasmine. The water lily gives this fragrance a fresh and bright floral composition which helps to bury the scent of plastic that eventually overwhelms me anyway. The dry down consists of sandalwood and Guava, which creates a very unusual accord similar to fruit that’s been sitting in a smoky room for way too long. I don’t smell cashmere woods, though the musk is a bit overwhelming and strangely out of place in this composition. Sillage is moderate on me, and longevity is decent (3-4 hours).
I feel like Eternity Moment has way too much going on, the notes seem to clash against one another instead of flowing smoothly in unison. It tries to be woody, fruity, floral, and aquatic at the same time…but fails to master at any.  I’ve tried to wear this on my skin after a shower, before bed, during the day, at night; and I can’t seem to enjoy it. Overall this is a decent purchase for the price but it certainly is short of quality, you can buy a generic body spritzer for half the cost.


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Sensuous / Estée Lauder

15 Nov

Sensuous smells exactly like its namesake; this is one of those linear fragrances that don’t evolve very much but it smells so amazing that it doesn’t matter. This was close to becoming my signature scent, but I found it rather difficult to wear on a daily basis. It’s something that I reach for at night, after a hot shower…before bed, or for a quiet evening out with my husband.

Sensuous starts with a blast of sandalwood and cedar, these are the primary notes that can be picked out amongst the mellowing warmth of honey and amber. I sense a little pepper in between but it complements the woodiness of this fragrance so well that you can hardly separate the two. There is a bit of orange on the cool down which invokes a clean powdery feeling to the structure of this perfume. With the exception of ylang-ylang, I did not detect any florals.

I consider Sensuous to be one of my top five powdery fragrances, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before and I feel this is due to the unique nature of its ingredients. The honey and amber radiates with warmth and sensuality, it reminds me of silk sheets and vanilla body cream, very luxurious and decadent. At its heart this is a boozy powder with balsamic undertones and hints of warm incense.  It’s very feminine but not immature; this is unequivocally a woman’s fragrance.
Overall I am consistently enamored with Sensuous; as the seasons shift into December I find myself embracing it like a warm blanket before a roaring fire. I can imagine this to be a perfect companion for autumn and winter. Sillage and longevity are moderate, this is a skin scent meant to entice and seduce with ease; apparently it works…I am constantly under its spell!


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

Shalimar Parfum Initial L’Eau / Guerlain

4 Nov

A part of me regrets the day that I first laid eyes on Initial L’Eau; I was going through some difficult circumstances and was eagerly anticipating the experience of something new and exciting. To top it off I was enduring the final throes of a virus infection, so my mind wasn’t completely prepared for some of the more fastidious notes in this composition.

This is a beautiful fragrance, I predicted it to smell exactly like how the bottle appears, and it does! This feels very vintage, feminine, and sensual in a pure and wholesome way. My only complaint is that the citrus notes are a bit overpowering; the initial spray was a blast of bergamot, iris and tonka bean. Then the vanilla and neroli pulls through and becomes the primary structure in which the grapefruit and orange notes build upon. Overall it’s a harmonious blend of fruits and florals, with just a tad of bitterness to capture your attention. Unlike other reviewers, I find the sillage to be pretty strong.

At first I thought the merging of powder and citrus to be such a strange combination but it works well together in L’Eau; you will feel as though you’ve been wrapped within pink clouds and bright sunlight. The dry down is very clean and optimistic; vanilla soothes much of the starkness and gives this fragrance a very delicate, feminine personality.

I see now that I haven’t fully realized my appreciation for Initial L’Eau, due to my having attached this fragrance with some bad memories. Unfortunately that is part of the journey with all fragrances; I’m hoping that I can one day revisit this unique perfume with perhaps a better frame of mind.


Top Notes

Middle Notes


Base Notes

L’Heure Bleue / Guerlain

3 Nov

I really tried to love L’heure Bleue, but somehow I can’t. There is something very animalic about this fragrance that reminds me of “skin” and play-doh; I love powdery scents but this one feels multifarious in nature.

Let’s start with expectations; everyone hails L’heure Bleue (or “the bluish hour”) to be a dualistic perfume, vital and important for its era. A hallmark to its kind, words such as sadness, loneliness, weariness and even hopefulness were used to describe this Guerlain creation.

I am a huge fan of this house and all of their innovations, but this is the only one which I’ve never understood, perhaps the issue is me; perhaps my nose isn’t refined enough…or that maybe I’ve lacked imagination. Either way, Bleue failed to extricate the feelings of despair and tragedy that I anticipated (for that I convey my desires to Mitsouko, the sibling to L’Heure Bleue).

Bleue smells like a romantic night, it’s intimate and slightly vulnerable, like a whispered secret between two lovers.  The scent is mysteriously carnal and smells of desire; I get the slight impression of seeing myself buried within a woman’s warm powdered bosom.

There are lots of irises in the opening, along with a musky carnation. Vanilla is very apparent throughout its life, but no doubt it is in accordance with the heliotrope that creates this very unpleasant doughy fragrance that makes me sick to my stomach. I’m not sure why but the Benzoin and cloves add on a very medicinal texture that also makes this rather unpleasant. I sense very little rose and citrus, ylang-ylang and tonka bean become a little more apparent in the dry down.

Even though I cannot truly appreciate the extent of its brilliance, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate its innovation. This is a high class fragrance, though wrought with unpleasantness (to me), I can easily see why this became such a masterpiece. Longevity is pretty good, though this quickly becomes a skin scent after an hour. Either way this is not a safe blind buy; but considering that Bleue is slowly disappearing off the market, it might be worth it to purchase anyway.


 

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

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

 

Paris / Yves Saint Laurent

2 Nov

Paris is a musky rose that is both glamorous and old fashioned- in the best sense of the word. This feels like a vintage rose, the kind of flower you associate whilst growing up surrounded by sophisticated and charming women. This isn’t a mainstream floral, you won’t find the sweet innocent sexy girl in this one; Paris is meant for the regal woman. It took many tries before I got used to it but once the scene was set, there was no turning back. I felt so glamourous with Paris, so chic and classy while channeling the Hollywood Diva from within.

I own the EDP version and it is very floral heavy, you can sense every single flower that went into the making of this perfume. Rose is clearly the primary player here, along with heaping violets, and hyacinth. Iris, orris root, and musk combined with oakmoss turns this into a heavy powdery base, which becomes more prominent with the dry down. I pick up an earthy almost musty note somewhere between the viscous florals; it is very prominent and reminds me of a woman’s boudoir- full of makeup powder and lacey undergarments.

When I first encountered Paris I was instantly reminded of L’Heure Bleue by Guerlain, in fact this would have strong similarities to Bleue if it weren’t for the roses!  Paris feels like a Victorian gal’s fragrance: sensual but not overtly sexy, mature but never pretentious, witty and always impeccably coifed. She’s an aristocratic lady, who always gets what she wants.

That being said I wouldn’t apply too liberally, this perfume can easily become migraine-inducing and the muskiness becomes way too much for my nose. Projection is incredible, one spray lasts for hours and the fumes kept coming even after I showered. Longevity on my skin is so extensive that I lost count. Let’s just say that it will last you until the next day. Overall a very wonderful fragrance that is unconventionally stylish and timelessly sophisticated.


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