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.


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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.


 

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London for Men / Burberry

31 Oct

I have come to the conclusion that men’s fragrances can be much more complex and pleasing to the palate than the average woman’s winter lineup. My latest excursion with Burberry London has proven that perfumes are multifarious in nature, genderless and will appeal to practically anyone who can wear it with love and confidence. This is the perfect fall companion, much like a trench coat on a brisk Autumn day.

London opens up with strong cinnamon and tobacco notes; there is leather at the base and mild citrus to keep this feeling fresh. The bed of oak moss is what gives this perfume a very damp earthy scent that rounds out all the other notes. It smells like wet soil mixed with fresh lavender after a heavy rain. The cinnamon stays true through dry down along with a very surprising scent of roses, the tobacco is still there but it’s become softer and more sentimental. To me this is Thanksgiving in a bottle: warm, spicy, and reminds me of my grandfather’s library.

London is not a tough guy’s fragrance, in fact I feel this is more for the aristocratic gentleman; the kind who is a little old-school, has his head on straight, and doesn’t pussyfoot around the bedroom ;). He is strong willed and non-conventional, a straight shooter who is as likely to break your heart as he is to brighten your day with a soft kiss. On women this is strong, confident, and a slightly bitchy. I totally feel like I am channeling Lauren Bacall with a little whiskey and a cherry cigar. London fantastically transcends gender barriers and I love it.  ♥


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Middle Notes


 

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Rosabotanica / Balenciaga

31 Oct

I’m surprised mint was not listed as an ingredient on this; there certainly seems to be some kind of bitterness accompanying the rose and fig opening of this fragrance. Rosabotanica is a very green scent, I feel like I am standing in the middle of an English garden after a heavy spring shower, basking in the aroma of fresh flowers and wet grass. The dry down consists of cardamom, woods, and a very sheer rose. There is pepper throughout its life but I also sense a little saffron as well; grapefruit balances everything out to make this a very clean and energetic fragrance.

Rosabotanica isn’t particularly innovative; it’s a streamlined fragrance with a little twist. There’s something here that reminds me of Agent Provocateur, the rose is an Indian rose…not your conventional evening flower. I am absolutely in love with the dry down after about an hour, pink pepper balances so well with the florals that it’s a shame how soft the sillage is. It’s certainly a skin scent, with almost no projection and poor longevity.

Overall not exactly a game changer, but still very memorable and the bottle design is pretty enough to make it almost worthwhile.


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Poison / Dior

31 Oct

Poison is a power-house eighties perfume, and in my mind it conjures up images of giant shoulder pads and shiny purple spandex.  This is an extremely nostalgic experience; as a kid I’ve often associated these heavy fragrances with strong, powerful women who often wore grey business suits and had hair that was standing in place by large amounts of Aquanet. Poison often fell into the same territory as Passion by Elizabeth Taylor, and were usually worn by “scary” women who spoke too loudly and always had bright red lipstick to match their sharply painted fingernails.

Wearing any vintage perfume is going to be a blissful olfactory experience, good or bad…products back then were heavy and complex; there is no room for discretion and Poison is not meant for the timid at heart. We live in an age of prudent and linear fragrances; many are comfortable staying within the confines of those enclosed spaces.  A few will toe the line, but most will be repelled by the loudness and outrageous products that used to be the reigning kings and queens of the fragrance world. You may hate it- but you can’t deny that Poison and those of its kind have revolutionized the industry.

That being said, this fragrance has been horribly reformulated. Whatever happened to the intoxicating florals and strong (almost animalic) woodsy notes? This is truly a shadow of its former self- another unfortunate victim of the “dumbing down” of perfumes- it has been commercialized and no longer embodied the notorious character it once was.

The current poison opens up with a strong blast of plum and tuberose, it goes on thick and syrupy…and stays on for the entire duration of approximately 5-6 hours. I don’t sense a lot of changes in the dry down, but honey and amber makes a subtle appearance once the plum starts to soothe through to a manageable level. I am not a huge fan of tuberose but it is delicately masked by the heavy fruit and honey, I don’t sense smokiness but that is because the sweetness pretty much overwhelms any bitterness to this fragrance. Like other reviewers, I can’t easily pick out any of the base notes…it all seems to be a jubilee of different accords exploding in every direction all at once.

Overall Poison carries a sentimental vibe for those who have experienced the highs of its era, there’s a wistful ingenuity with these kinds of things. As time marches on all too swiftly and discarding its memories to the past; I suppose just the sense of being able to savor a piece of history (no matter how diluted) would be considered privilege enough.


Top Notes

Coriander/  Plum/  Wild berries / Anise / Rosewood

Middle Notes

Carnation / Jasmine /Orange Blossom/ Tuberose/ Opoponax/ Cinnamon/ Incense /Rose / Honey

Base Notes

Vetiver /Musk /Sandalwood /Cedar /Amber/ Vanilla/ Heliotrope

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

Classique Intense / Jean Paul Gaultier

30 Oct

To be honest I am not a huge fan of gourmand scents. Had I known the notes in Intense would have combined to produce the sickeningly sweet accord of caramel, I would probably never have blind swapped for it. Either way, initial impressions are a cloying candy fragrance despite what the notes indicate.

Pomegranate is listed as a top note yet I can barely smell it, I also do not pick up any rose in this…however the vanilla and tiare flower are very enhanced by its patchouli neighbor. Which consequently creates a very thick syrupy caramel scent that dominates everything else, this doesn’t smell fruity or floral on my skin; in fact I am getting Prada Candy vibes. The dry down is non spectacular; it remains the ghost of its former self, very reminiscent of suntan lotion. I do feel the tiare flowers give this a very creamy texture, which warms the overall base of this perfume and makes it a great addition for those cold autumn months.

I am not sure why Jean Paul Gaultier claimed to have kept 40% of the original Classique formulation while adding 60% of the newer creations; I own Classique and this is nothing like it. In fact I feel as though Intense should have been in a class of its own. Aside from the bottle design, this shares no similarity to the original.

Overall I feel this would be a great addition if you’re really into gourmand and super intense sugary fragrances, but if you are against the smell of suntan lotion and caramel, test this first before buying.


 

Top Notes

Pomegranate / Tiare Flower

 

Middle Notes

Orange Blossom  /Jasmine/ Rose

 

Base Notes

Patchouli/  Vanilla

Nebras / Al-Rehab

29 Oct

I was only exposed to the house of Al-Rehab through a dear friend who gifted me this bottle of Nebras; this was one of my first introductions into oud…and now I am totally hooked! I learned immediately why this company has such a stellar reputation, their oils are incredibly potent…one application was enough to leave me a little dizzy. This thing will singe your nostrils!

Upon first application, I am hit with a blast of citrus, followed by patchouli, orange blossom, rosewood, cedar chips and sandalwood. This is balsamic heaven with heavy incense notes and lots of oriental flowers; initial lemon notes were reminiscent of cleaning products but the floral follows up quite nicely. I don’t get “soapiness” that other reviewers have mentioned, this is pure resinous smoky rose/carnation, totally relaxing and meditative.

Nebras reminds me of that “New Age” shop smell that tend to dominate various parts of San Francisco: warm, comforting, and very cozy.  The sillage and longevity are enormous, in fact once in India I witnessed shop owners hanging their clothes on wooden door frames…while burning incense below so it would infuse into the fabric. This is what I feel like is happening when rubbing Nebras into my clothes; it saturates and stays there for weeks!

This is my first experience with the Saudi Arabian fragrance line, and I love it. I can’t believe how potent their perfumes are for such a bargain price, really makes you wonder about all those watered down reformulations from big house names. Overall a real bargain!

Poudree / Narciso Rodriguez

15 Oct

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of powdery fragrances, and Poudree performs exactly how I would imagine a feminine pink musky perfume to smell like. This opens up with a powerfully intoxicating blend of jasmine and roses; it’s powdery and clean without being too dusty or “mature”.

At its heart Poudree smells a little like Victorian deodorant, the woody notes elevate the roses so that it isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. This is a much more feminine sister to Narciso Rodriguez’s Narciso, whereas Narciso is more of the down to earth child…Poudree is sassier, flirtier, and is coming to terms with her own sexuality.

This is still a very tame fragrance in my opinion, it isn’t sexy – but a little more timid, almost virginal if that is even possible to describe such a scent. The vetiver and orange blossom gives this perfume an almost “spicy incense” note but it’s very faint; the patchouli isn’t overwhelming here but rather plays its part subtly in the background.

Poudree is more of a “skin” scent, the sillage is rather poor but longevity is pretty good. I feel like it’s better as a “before bed time” fragrance, when you’re cuddling with your significant other and they can smell this on your body. It’s clean and musky but in a natural way, this doesn’t feel synthetic at all.

The dry down is a bit of a disappointment, there is a distinct note of something resembling play-doh which sometimes happen when the rose and musk doesn’t blend very nicely with my body chemistry. Of course this isn’t something that can be helped as everybody’s skin is different.

Overall another great multifaceted concoction from the house of Narciso Rodriguez, if you love powdery fragrances you should definitely give this a try.


Top Notes

Rose /Jasmine /Orange Blossom

Middle Notes

Musk

Base Notes

Vetiver /Cedar /Coumarin/ Patchouli