Womanity / Thierry Mugler

15 Oct

Womanity is one of those perfumes that you’ve never smelled before, and will probably never experience again. It’s comprised of two primary notes: Fig and caviar; and trust me friends the caviar is STRONG in this composition.

Together they are a perfect harmony of fruity, salty, and green. Frankly I am not a fan of opposing forces battling it out on my skin, but this is exactly what it sounds like…sweet and salty beach air. It reminds me of a long day surfing on a tropical island, with the sand in my hair and sea salt on my lips.   To me the fig and caviar becomes a bit too cloying after a few hours, it makes me nauseous and I only spritzed once on my wrist! I can’t imagine if someone were to layer this thing, they would smell like fish for the entirety of the day!

Womanity dries down to a weaker version of its former self, but it’s still strong enough that you will get an occasional whiff of it throughout the day. Unfortunately being Asian I can’t help but associate the caviar undertone with fish sauce (which bothers the hell out of me), I eat fish sauce almost every day but I certainly wouldn’t want to wear it!

Another observation is that this really does smell like the ocean in real life, not the aquatic version that’s been commercialized to death but the ACTUAL smell of the waves and tumultuous seas. I might even dare say that it’s also a little metallic, like those giant iron bolts or anchors attached to the side of the pier…rusted and tarnished from years of wind corrosion.
Honestly if you wanted to decant a day at the beach, this would be a great way to remember it. But frankly I associate those fond memories with suntan lotion and body creams not salted fish, this perfume is a unique experience but not something I would want to wear on a regular basis.


Fragrance Notes
Fig /Caviar /Fig Tree /Fig Leaf

Boudoir / Vivienne Westwood

12 Oct

Thanks to a very dear friend of mine I was able to test out this much sought after fragrance by Vivienne Westwood.  This is Boudoir, an homage to the classy woman’s sacred space- very intimate and private just like the lady herself.

Based on reviews I wasn’t expecting much, however on first spritz I was pleasantly surprised. I immediately sensed aldehydes and lots of it; there’s a waxy creamy scent that reminds me of vintage fragrances like the original Chanel No5 and Passion by Elizabeth Taylor.  I’m very surprised that there is no musk here- the dry down has a particular starkness that could be attributed to the patchouli and tobacco leaf. I also do not sense any “rose” or “hyacinth”, only wafts of carnation and sandalwood which blends beautifully with the cardamom!

I will go out on a limb and say this is almost medicinal in texture, it’s “heavy” and overwhelming- but not obnoxious. I feel something a little maternal about this perfume, and I am not a fan of that. It doesn’t feel “sexy” to me, personally I get a little bored waiting for Boudoir to moonlight into something else a little more exciting or even mysterious. In its current state there’s no “stimulation” of the senses, no touch of sensuality or intrigue. Just a lady’s chamber with too much old make up and the stench of sweaty bodies; it really does smell like a bedroom after sex which makes this fragrance an interesting one to add to your collection. Boudoir is a great experience for me, I feel strangely self-aware when I have it on- like suddenly I am more intimate with myself in a purely philosophical way. Definitely one of a kind, but not something I would go out of my way to re-purchase.

Top Notes

Aldehydes /Orange Blossom/ Marigold/ Hiacynth /Bergamot

Middle Notes

Coriander/ Carnation /Orris Root/ Jasmine/ Rose /Cardamom /Narcissus

Base Notes

Sandalwood /Patchouli /Cinnamon /Vanilla /Tobacco Leaf

Alien / Thierry Mugler

11 Oct

When I first started my venture into the world of perfumes, the name Thierry Mugler got thrown around so often that the words “Alien” and “Angel” were synonymous with “must have”. So of course I had to order one for myself just to see =P

Alien was my first experience with the design house and it doesn’t disappoint, this is white floral heaven! The initial blast of jasmine instantly captures my attention; the woody notes that follow gives a slight peppery undertone that I absolutely love. The amber prevents this fragrance from being too overly sweet and gives it a very warm balsamic dry down.  I sense a little incense as the day wears on but the sweet jasmine still dominates overall; it feels like an exotic wildflower from a hot and humid jungle located in some foreign land.

Overall not so much “alien” but definitely an “oriental” vibe, a great day time scent and very safe for the office environment; the sillage is crazy strong – I can smell the fumes all day long. Longevity is quite moderate, and it’s interesting enough that you’ll never find yourself getting sick of it.

Plus the bottle is absolutely amazing; I feel like an Alien Goddess reaching for my daily dose of fuel before declaring massive war on an extraterrestrial neighbor!


Top Notes
Middle Notes
Base Notes


Tobacco Vanille / Tom Ford

29 Sep

I think my senses just died and went to heaven; this perfume is exactly its namesake but oh so multifaceted and sophisticated. If you’re a book lover longing for a scent evocative of vintage bookstores with vanilla lattes, and old papyrus, this fragrance is the one for you.

It’s a little smoky, a bit sweet, and full of worldliness.
The vanilla and tobacco notes are composed so perfectly that it’s almost poetic. Soft, rigid, feminine, masculine; it’s a secret affair between two diverse personalities, willing to overcome all hardships to embrace love and devotion. That may have been hundreds of years ago, but the heart still beats passionately.

Sillage is heavy and long lasting on my skin, the tobacco is noticeably stronger when heat is involved but then is quickly subdued by the feminine touches of vanilla. And by the way this is high quality vanilla (neither synthetic nor candy sweet), rich but not overpowering.  The tobacco is also gracefully crafted without being over-pungent.

This is one of my favorite fragrances from Tom Ford; second only to Café Rose…they are dissimilar but beats along the same vein. Having experienced this, makes you never want to go back to a world without it.


Top Notes

Tobacco/ Spices

Middle Notes

Tonka Bean /Tobacco blossom /Vanilla /Cacao

Base Notes

Dried Fruit/ Woods

Donna / Valentino

29 Sep

This fragrance by Valentino reminds me so much of Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier, except that Donna has no spice notes (its starkness derives from the patchouli) and smells like a combination of expensive lipstick and cosmetic powder.  In fact, this perfume smells exactly like my makeup bag; the rose and iris make for such an amazing composition, I can smell a hint of leather which carries this fragrance into something sensual and womanly.

I remember I was at Bloomingdale’s testing hundreds of fragrances before encountering Donna, I sniffed everything from Chanel to Prada to Burberry…but the moment I sprayed this on my wrist, I knew it was love. The floral here is timid and elegant, not something booming or sugary; it has a softer presence that doesn’t demand your attention but piques your curiosity. Its powdery composition is overindulgent but never tiresome, just waves of floral virtuousness that keeps you begging for more.

This is the essence of modest femininity and subdued sensuality in a bottle, and it is sure to stay on your mind all day long.


Top Notes
Middle Notes
Rose/ Iris
Base Notes
Patchouli /Suede/ Vanilla

Café Rose / Tom Ford

29 Sep

Oh my, this perfume is a coffee lover’s paradise! I‘m not usually into gourmand scents (Thierry Mugler’s Angel for example), but today I surrendered my inhibitions to this gorgeous love potion called Café Rose. For me this fragrance captures the true essence of an Italian coffee bar along the canals of Venice. First impressions are of a rich Mediterranean espresso, combined with luxurious rose…then drying down into a powdery coco.

The combination of elegant floral with grounded coffee beans does for me what chocolate and strawberries could not; it made me feel cozy, comforted, happy, and adventurous. I’m not sure how Tom Ford does it, but there is a feeling of European coffee shops during the fall, with sparkling lights, cobblestone streets and fresh roses blossoming into the night.

Overall a delicious concoction in an innocuous little bottle.


Top Notes
Coffee/ Pepper /Rose
Middle Notes
Base Notes
Amber/ Sandalwood /Patchouli

Velvet Orchid / Tom Ford

28 Sep

I tried to love Velvet Orchid, I really did…in fact I go back and forth with decanters of this fragrance in order to understand its massive popularity, but no matter what I can’t appreciate its rebellious nature.  Tom Ford perfumes are finicky in my opinion; you will either love it or you will hate it. I don’t feel Velvet Orchid in particular is a “people pleaser” scent; it’s more of a personal preference thing. It’s too defiant and unruly for my taste; too dark and disloyal …which isn’t my personality at all.

First impressions are of a smoky tobacco with rum and something extremely unpleasant. Which I later found out was suede, for some reason my nose only picks up the suede and that turned me off immensely.  I also sense no hits of orchid…it’s just leather and smoke combined to give a very awful burning smell.

Velvet Orchid is an olfactory power house for me, but it is also obnoxiously loud, which is why I cannot love it. If you are interested in bold and nonconformist scents, this one takes the cake. If you are a sweets and florals person with very little desire for something adventurous, I would steer clear of this wild flower.


Top Notes
Bergamot/ Mandarin Orange/ Rum/ Honey
Middle Notes
Jasmine/ Rose/ Orchid/ Orange Blossom /Magnolia /Hyacinth /Narcissus /Heliotrope
Base Notes
Balsam/ Labdanum /Sandalwood /Myrrh/ Suede /Vanilla

Romance / Ralph Lauren

27 Sep

I remember the first time I encountered Romance; I was working at a coffee shop in downtown Harrisburg, I was in my early twenties…extremely impressionable and hopelessly romantic.  One summer day a woman walked in wearing this lovely fragrance. I was so captivated by her perfume that my immediate words were: “Whatever you’re wearing, it smells amazing!”

Completely baffled by the outburst, she actually laughed and told me it was Ralph Lauren’s most popular summer line. From that day forward I would always associate new love with its name.

Romance is the scent I associate with new beginnings: that feeling of blossoming infatuation and warm affections. It is young, bright and full of hopeful ambitions.

I do not find this fragrance to be sensual or even sexy; in fact I find it to be of happy spirits and puppy dog love. It’s a flower bomb, with top notes chamomile, freesia, and rose…the ginger and lemon makes it very fresh and suitable for the summer. Overall very romantic and joyful, for the lover at heart =P

Top Notes
Ginger/ Chamomile /Lemon/ Freesia/ Rose
Middle Notes
Lily/ Carnation/ Violet/ Lotus
Base Notes
Patchouli/ Oakmoss/ Musk

Cannibale / Serge Lutens

27 Sep

Memoirs of the human devourer.

There is something unsettling about this fragrance:  the combination of rotting fruit with vintage flowers. It is both gourmand and repulsive; it’s weird, intriguing, but overall not something I’d want to associate with for too long. There are hints of mild spice and incense with a large dollop of myrrh and night orchids.

First spray is generic Tom Ford-esque…something, and then it fades away into a dark cold attic smell. It’s not attractive, it’s just creepy.

This is a great scent for virtuous thieves and noble trespassers, or for those who want to appear like one haha. It’s a malicious scent, for the dark and brooding man.

Never again.


Fragrance Notes
Rose/ Lemon/ Cloves/ Patchouli/ Labdanum/ Amber/ Ambergris/ Frankincense/ Leather / Smoke/ Myrrh/ Tonka Beans

Fiori / Vince Camuto

27 Sep

I received this fragrance as a gift from my parents a few months ago. At first I was a little nervous; I’m not usually a fan of sugary gourmand scents, but luckily Fiori was more floral than candy.

Fiori (which means wild flower in Italian) came on instantly like a bouquet of iris and champagne.  Little research uncovered the top notes were actually pink grapefruit, nectarine and sparkling wine, with Iris at its heart.

Although I was surprisingly pleased by its orientation, ultimately I felt the scent was too “young” on me. Much like Marc Jacob’s “Daisy”, I felt the formulation was meant for teenage girls (with pink tulle skirts and crowns of flowers) fresh-faced and tanned from the summer sun.

Sillage was moderate, with moderate longevity of approximately 3 hours.

Top Notes
Nectarine/ Grapefruit/ Bellini

Middle Notes
Iris/ Freesia/ Jasmine

Base Notes

Sandalwood/ Cedar/ Musk/ Amber