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Latest fragrance reviews

My mother gave me a gift certificate to The Perfumed Court for my birthday, and I've ordered and tested a whole bunch of little sample vials. My reviews, for posterity, with ratings on a scale of 5:

Caron Tabac Blond: 3 out of 5
I appreciate what Tabac Blond was trying to do, but on me it isn't working. It starts out fairly interesting, with a leathery herbal scent (I'm reminded of Guerlain Vetiver), but as it develops it just begins to smell...old. An old-style perfume, and also old like perfume that's been sitting around too long. Got that odd metallic tinge to it after a while, the type of scent that you *feel* high up in your nose rather than quite smelling it. All good signs that the chemistry doesn't mesh with mine.

Dolce & Gabbana The One: 3/5
Not offensive, and at one time I would have really liked it--namely, back in the day when I wore Exclamation or Navy, both of which resemble this scent, to my nose. Generically sweet, a little floral, no particular notes that jump out at me. *shrug* Nothing to write home about, at least not when mixed with my chemistry. I better go back to the greens and woods.

Le Labo Labdanum 18: 4/5
Warm and musky, sweet too. I get root beer in the early stages; and the drydown is particularly alluring, with pipe tobacco emerging. Quite pleasant and cozy, BUT where is the labdanum?? I adore the natural scent of rockrose, and that's what I was signing up for. I just don't find it here. Alas.

Fendi Asja: 4/5
It isn't quite for me, but if some coworker wore this regularly, I'd always be thinking, "She sure smells nice." I like the spice and the gentle musk; I think it'd be perfect for office or evening wear. I'm impressed with Fendi so far! Theorema was one of my favorites in past years...

Caron Yatagan: 3/5
This one walks the fine line between interestingly bold and off-puttingly strong. I get a lot of frankincense, pepper, and patchouli, all quite dry and spicy. Similar scents have worked well on me, but this one takes it a little too far. I don't want to wash it off my arm, but I also don't think I could carry it off. Would be interesting to sniff what a man's chemistry did to it.

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue: 3/5
It's okay...just not terribly interesting. A little too much like the unisex citrusy scents in recent years. Lemon at first, a citrus crispness lingering after, mingling with a touch of marine air and a general sweet quality, kind of like that of The One, for me. Wonder if D&G just starts with a basic fragrance mix that doesn't tend to blend well on my skin.

Gucci Envy: 3/5
I love greens usually, so I had to try this one out. It isn't bad--it kind of resembles L'Eau d'Issey, with that oceanic touch to it, but it's not quite as overpowering. Still, it *is* strong, and the green in it became, after a while, a sort of bitter and sharp green, not a lush green. (I'm a Chanel No. 19 worshipper; that's the kind of lush green I like.) Tone down that bitterness, ol' Envy, and we could be better friends.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Bois du Chocolat: 2/5
I adore chocolate, but chocolate scents keep failing to work for me. I like the early notes of this well enough, what with the sandalwood sweetness, but the drydown becomes fake and metallic on me. Note to self: eat chocolate, don't wear it.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Cafe Noir: 2/5
Hm, first Bois du Chocolat fails to work for me, and now Cafe Noir does too, though I love the smells of both chocolate and coffee, in the real world. (Who doesn't?) But this scent, after a spicy and interesting, if overpowering, beginning, soon turned into the kind of coffee that's been left in the pot all day and is starting to scorch. I actually get undertones of burning trash. Not great, needless to say. DSH must just not mesh with my chemistry.

Dior Diorissimo: 5/5
We have a winner! From the first moment of opening the vial, I thought, "Spring bouquet!" Hyacinth in particular, it seemed, or those narcissus blossoms that people grow indoors in late winter, though that's only because I'm not as familiar with lily of the valley in the natural world. But either way, this perfume does smell natural; it captures the beautiful feel of a fresh, dewy flower in spring. It makes me think of the softest, lightest cotton frocks (the word "dresses" would be too heavy for this scent). It's old-fashioned but young. It reminds me a bit of Clinique Happy, but without those meddlesome fruit notes. I tend to like more complex scents, ones with greens and spices and resins and hints of smoke, but I'm in love with this little handful of blossoms.



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 21st, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
An AWESOME coffee scent is Arcana's Caffeinated Death. It's a limited edition, but I think it comes out around this time of year each year...
Sep. 22nd, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
Huh, cool, never heard of that one. I'll see if I can track down a sample!
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
Interesting fragrances! I got Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue bakc when it was first popular, as a gift. The was the parfume version. I liked it a lot in the beginning...then I got kind of board with it.

I'd love to try the Dior Diorissimo. I've heard great things about that.

The other fragrences found great. My favorite is still Marc Jacobs classic.(perfume) Just love that. that was a birthday gift from my husband and I always wear it when we go out.
Sep. 22nd, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I'll have to add Marc Jacobs to my sample wish list. Gardenia, lily of the valley, cedar--all good notes. Thanks!
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
I can't thank you enough for recommending The Perfumed Court. I finally took the plunge and bought a beginner's sampler, since I know nothing about perfume, but really want to learn. Once I start getting a little more involved, I look forward to coming back through these reviews to help find new favorites.
Sep. 22nd, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
Hurray! They have very fast service. You should get your samples soon after ordering, and then you're off and running. I especially like that you can search by "note", so once you find certain smells you like (cedar, lilac, what have you), you can look up scents with that aspect.
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Very interesting! :-)
Sep. 22nd, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
Interesting reviews! My chocolate scents work well on me, so I'm quite happy about that. Only ones I have are BPAL though, but I don't imagine I'll be acquiring more any time soon, since I'll be heading off to Europe in a few short weeks (though quite a few of the ones I have are coming with me).
Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
BPAL has had some good chocolate scents, certainly better on me than the Dawn Spencer Hurwitz one here. They just haven't quite crossed the line into "must have". Enjoy sniffing new stuff in Europe!
Sep. 22nd, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
Dior Diorissimo is awesome. Everyone I know who has tried it loves it.

The D&G ones are personal favorites of mine simply because they really react well with my chemistry. A friend of mine tried both of the ones you noted and she said to me, "D&G just doesn't smell the same on me as it does on you." So, she gave them to me (hint, hint) [<--Joke]

I have yet to find a Caron one that works on me.

Another friend recently gave me a bunch of perfume her mother had given to her. It included Dior Poison which I really like and Gio di Gio Armani by Giorgio Armani--it simply STINKS of CAT URINE on me but is nice enough on other people. The other ones were the standard Calvin Klein affair... but free perfume is grand whatever it is. :)

Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
I'm kind of annoyed at finding Diorissimo at the start of autumn, since it's such a perfect spring/summer scent. Tough; I'll wear it anyway. :)

Hehe, I actually meant to add that I was willing to swap or give away the ones that didn't work as well on me. You're welcome to any of those that sound good! It's just as well that they don't all work on me, fun as that would be. The pocketbook couldn't take it.

I seem to remember liking a dupe of Poison way back when. I ought to sample the real thing.
Sep. 22nd, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
I'll make up a list of some I'd be willing to swap for the D&G if you would like.

My sister always gives me samples.
Sep. 24th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Sure! I also have Creed's Millesime Imperial, Caron's Tabac Blond, and Fresh's Sake as little vials I don't want to keep, if those sound at all interesting. :)
Sep. 22nd, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
I ran across this article today, and had to pass it on: http://www.moreintelligentlife.com/story/he-hates-perfume The company's website is here: http://www.cbihateperfume.com/

They are not inexpensive perfumes, however, as they start at $12 for a 2ml sample.
Sep. 22nd, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
I'm going to have to send that link to my hubby. Thanks. :)
Sep. 23rd, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
How interesting! I'd seen his stuff listed on The Perfumed Court, but had never tried any of it, and didn't realize he created many of the Demeter fragrances. No wonder his scents sound similar to those. Now I'm curious to sample one or two...
Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
Your review made me sneeze. And I think I'm breaking out in hives.
Sep. 23rd, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
Re: Achoo!
Apologies. *hands over a handkerchief and opens the window for fresh air*
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )