Pure / DKNY Donna Karan

24 Nov

This fragrance is absolutely lovely; simple and clean yet never boring or dull. Pure reminds me of country linen and white floral bouquets, it’s beautiful and understated. The sandalwood tones are my favorite, so light and airy- makes me feel meditative and peaceful when I catch whiffs of it throughout the day.

Pure is minimalistic (sillage is very light and personal), and the bottle accurately reflects this wholesome nature. I get moments of clarity when wearing this; soft vanilla undertones feel so graceful and serene! Lotus notes are beautifully formulated along with a very creamy jasmine; this opens up to a powdery floral with soft amber that invokes feelings of warmth- like sunshine on white petals. My favorite part is the advent of sandalwood to this gorgeous dry down, it is so smooth and so tempered that I can totally imagine myself in a Buddhist temple with doors and windows wide open, allowing the tepid breeze and hints of incense to overcome me. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the freesia sneaks in and elevates this fragrance into white floral heaven.

Pure feels absolutely ageless- because life after all is about the journey, and this perfume has the capacity to bring patience and appreciation to my otherwise hectic existence. This is a wonderful example of simplicity without compromise, and is as close to my definition of aromatherapy as one can get. Pure is easily coveted among my top ten favorite vanillas and an extremely safe blind buy.


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Sublime / Ulric de Varens

23 Nov

This is a quick review of Ulric de Varens; this is a fantastic fragrance that smells almost identical to Pour Femme by Dolce and Gabbana. I literally could not tell the difference testing them side by side at first; Pour Femme feels a little more sugary and wholesome but UdV is softer and not as intense. The only difference I’ve perceived between these two were the missing raspberry notes in UdV, but this is a very subtle nuance and it’s hardly worth mentioning. The important variables are the marshmallow and vanilla creaminess that imparts a feeling of warmth and comfort every time I wear Pour Femme, and that reminiscence is evenly matched by its replica. This is an uncomplicated love affair between fluffy candy and silky cream, total gourmand bliss!

The downside to Ulric De Varens is clearly the projection and longevity, it’s almost nonexistent. This would be better categorized as a body mist rather than a perfume, I could literally bathe in it and the fragrance would evaporate an hour later. On a positive note this bottle is relatively cheap and easily obtainable, so you can reapply obsessively throughout the day. Overall a great budget alternative if you’re absolutely fanatical about marshmallow fragrances like I am!


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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!


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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.


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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.


 

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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. ♥


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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.


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