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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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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