Lustre by Hiram Green

The rose is strong without being heavyweight, lifted just a touch by citrus that otherwise is not an attention grabber. There is a simultaneous dusty and airy quality to the rose thanks to frankincense, which becomes the prominent, calming note in the drydown. If you are familiar with the spacy feeling of unburned natural frankincense, which is not smoky or heavy at all, this is it. I can't identify orris on its own but it is probably doing some texture work here. An all-natural stunner I'll be wearing this fall.
May 10, 2021

Rose Magnetic by Essential Parfums

This is a really pleasant rose fragrance, quality at each stage of development, and a steal for the price! Well done. I like the contrast between the rose/lychee and the sharper aspects of the grapefruit and mint, settling into a blurred light velvet petal with just the lightest powder and vanilla facets. If I didn't already own Shanti Shanti by Miller et Bertaux for my rose fix, I would buy this. I still might get the 10mL mini.
Sep 15, 2018

Kalimantan by Chantecaille

This is a gorgeous full throated stunner for anyone who enjoys benzoin, patchouli, incense, and resins. It brings to mind several of my favorites in elements. Other folks mention the amber/benzoin note, which is definitely there. But on me the patchouli really sings and brings to mind April Aromatic's Bohemian Spice. And oh the labdanum!

I am surprised this brand doesn't get more talk on basenotes - this and Vetyver are lovely, and I imagine if you do florals the others in the line would be appealing too.
Jan 2, 2018

Fire from Heaven by CB I Hate Perfume

This one is misnamed and should have been called CB's "In The Library" because it has the faint, sweet in the way of paper pulp, and slightly dusty smell of old books. A big smoky incense it certainly is not, but if you approach it as a bookish smell it's a minor delight. (Do not get CB's actual "In The Library" unless you want to smell like the elderly librarian).
Apr 29, 2017

La Chance XVI by Madhat Scents

If you are familiar with Madhat you know his penchant for stark woodsy/earthy/smoky fragrances. This is a bit of a departure, but a great one! I consider it a "Madhat" take on a floral with lavender-ylang ylang-neroli kept bright with bergamot and lime, held to a woody backbone. Good option for floral phobes like me who still want to mix it up. Depending on the wear the vanilla almost has a curdled edge? Or perhaps that's the ambergris. Keeps things interesting either way.
Jan 8, 2017

Fire and Cream by Strange Invisible Perfumes

A raucous scent unlike anything I've ever smelled!

Opens with the "fire" - a dense, charred herbaceous blast that I would almost call a "vegetal leather." With time this is juxtaposed with a rich and heavy tuberose that doesn't register as a floral but serves as the "cream". I can't tell if the two are fighting or co-existing in tenuous harmony, but it certainly holds my attention. I think the orange, which is dark and backgrounded, works as a bridging agent to both connect the opposing forces and cut a bit of their severity. A light lavender helps retain an herbaceous feel once the cream sets in.

It's deep, it's strange, it's a touch sexy.

The notes list really doesn't explain what is going on here.
May 19, 2015

L'Orpheline by Serge Lutens

Cool, flinty incense and warm musk in a summersault tussle. I'm an introspective person who runs hot-cold, so the concept and execution resonate with me. Also an incense lover who's a sucker for anything incense + whatever bee I have in my bonnet (which with fall coming happens to be musk). Layers well with a few other scents that I love but that needed a dose of L'Orpheline to truly embrace me how I want to be held - fully, but without crushing my solitary spaces. Snapped up a full bottle as soon as it hit Lucky Scent!
Aug 20, 2014

Royal Water by Creed

Picked up a sample of this from a fragrance counter after smelling a freshly sprayed card. The top was striking and different, an aquatic take on aromatics with some citrus - caught my attention. Wearing it the next day, it morphed into a soggy washed out mess on my skin in the first 30 minutes. Made me imagine Oliver Creed as a Mean Girl, and "Royal Water" as his olfactory entry in the Burn Book under a picture of Kate Middleton.
Nov 21, 2013

Bowmakers by D.S. & Durga

I smell like an exquisite pencil right now. Nothing else going on, just the loveliest, classiest little pencil you ever did see. This may not suite everyone, but I'm digging it. It's such a nice crisp wood, wrapped in warm rich resin, I am daydreaming about what it would layer well with. And yet... nope, I think I'll stay a happy, finely lacquered pencil.

This is void of the "creamy" quality in other woody scents I've tried, and I like that change of pace. If you want to be fancy, try this and imagine sitting in a violinmaker's studio or among ornate woodwork in a classic library. Big thumbs up!

While it leans masculine, I think a woman could pull it off. I would likely maul any man who wore it, yum.
Nov 19, 2013

M2 Black March by CB I Hate Perfume

Impressive in realizing a concept. Not terrible wearable. Phase 1: wet soil. Phase 2: flowers poking through the earth. I don't like florals too much, but this gives me an idea - do I like dirt(y) florals? Yes, the world needs more dirt florals. Phase 3: a few hours in, the weakest state of the perfume, it's a watery, powdered shadow of itself. Sniffing my wrist is slightly unpleasant. Not a good look, but I doubt anyone else can smell it at this point.

I first tested this perfume right after several others, and found solace in its earthy, decidedly anti-perfume nature. Testing it alone for a whole day, I concluded it was a nice escape but not a place I want to stay in. Interested to try CB's other offerings with dirt notes to see which does the dirt floral best.
Nov 19, 2013

Eau des Baux by L'Occitane

Imagine a toasted and nutty graham cracker. I get honied grains, toasted nuts, and vanilla-not-vanilla (it's more a well smoked tonka bean). Creamy. Nicely made, especially for the price. A woman could pull it off, though it's too sweet for me in spite of the smoke and wood. After a few hours it's an animal cracker sitting on my arm. Not bad.
Nov 19, 2013

Ti Amo : Il Tuo Tulipano by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Strong impression of girly shampoo, nothing interesting going on here. The market saturation of products like Fructis, Herbal Essences, and Bath & Body Works probably make it impossible to open with passionfruit and avoid this association. Later some soft flowers poke through the fruit and we move to a fine lady's hairspray. Still boring but it's an improvement. Certainly not my style. Really though, I am not going to like a fruity floral unless it has something unconventional going on and this does not.
Nov 7, 2013

Fou d'Absinthe by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Lady on the lookout for a good absinthe fragrance with depth and darkness. L'Artisan brings the boots lacking in Nasomatto's take on the drink (which has a little mischief but is a lightweight). The opening is great, I get wormwood, anise, conifers. Then quickly after some warmer spices, which must be the nutmeg and ginger that another reviewer aptly called a touch of eggnog. It's very well made, but it also casts an overall sheen of "nice men's aftershave or cologne". And while I happily venture into the realm of men's fragrance, I can't pull this off. Though I'll give it a positive review as a men's fragrance. Quite respectable longevity and sillage.
Nov 6, 2013

Solos: Coriander by D.S. & Durga

Fantastic. Tangy and green out of the bottle, a little kick of pepper, a lovely ode to coriander. It's a great note and under used in the industry so I am delighted to see it take center stage. My nose is untrained but I sense a little field of vetiver grass in the background.

Uplifting, sharp and clear, yet grounded. Uncomplicated. If, like me, you are a woman skeptical of big florals, fruits, and all things sweet, and want something green and natural, you must try this! One of my all time favorites so far.
Nov 4, 2013

Royal Water by Creed

Dull, wateryThe first burst of scent was intriguing - citrus, baking spice, and fresh water. I took home a sample and wore it later in the evening. Within 15 minutes it was a bland watery mess with hits of deodorant. It's like Oliver Creed turned his Mean Girls burn book entry for Kate Middleton into a fragrance.
Oct 24, 2013

Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca by Guerlain

eeep, dish liquidI was sure I'd love this one but alas, it hits my nose with too much of a soapy/dish liquid vibe. Will try again when spring returns in case my nose has evolved in this direction by then, but it's a no-go now.
Oct 19, 2013

Wild Fig & Cassis by Jo Malone London

Fizzy green figPerfume-baby-nose here: I've tried Diptyque and Heeley fig offerings, and both turned my stomach with this heavy fruit. One day I might be able to swing it but not yet. Until then there's Wild Fig & Cassis - a lighter, fizzier, greener fig. Kinda dig it.
Oct 19, 2013

In The Library by CB I Hate Perfume

Missing booksThis is a library - if you happen to be sitting next to a powdery sweet old woman who keeps reading over your shoulder. Like others, I want more book/paper/leather/wood smells. Sampled this while on the hunt for a graduation gift for a newly minted librarian but ugh, she would hate this, as did I.
Oct 16, 2013

Absinth by Nasomatto

Light take on absintheI was expecting a little more depth and darkness, but to my nose this was a lighter, refreshing, and just slightly sweet take on its theme. The herbal edge only suggests mischief - no hysteria or madness here. Very pleasant, but surprisingly fleeting for a pricey EdP. Good for a wet fall, but would need a heavier base and a touch of darkness for winter. Also, this is easily unisex.
Oct 16, 2013

Une Ville, un Parfum : Moscow by Guerlain

Fruity MessDon't bother to try if the absinthe and pine notes caught your eye in the description, because they aren't there. It's a heavy aged fruit scent with nothing particularly wintery or Russian about it. I agree with the review by odysseusm completely here.
Oct 16, 2013

Vent Vert (new) by Pierre Balmain

Dated?(Actually a review of the 1999 formulation): On the hunt for a great green fragrance, this one was recommended as a classic of the genre. But I didn't like it! Too floral for me, and something here feels dated. With a better nose I could describe exactly why/where this "old fashioned" feeling is coming from. It might be the heavy powder scent that seems to hang over it like a muff. C'est la vie.
Oct 12, 2013

Mistral Patchouli by Atelier Cologne

A little off the topPicked up a sample based on a recommendation that this is "patchouli minus the hippie". I really enjoyed the kick of what must be the pomelo and pepper out of the bottle, and its contrast with the middle and base. Thought the anise was too strong in the turn from top into middle notes - if not for this I would purchase a bottle. Long lasting on the tail end, I was still sneaking smells of the warm base on my wrist after work was over. If anyone knows of similar scents with a little less licorice please let me know, could be a winner with winter coming...
Oct 11, 2013

Oyédo by Diptyque

School lunchWe've got a $90 pack of fruit snacks on our hands folks. People keep mentioning the thyme that shows up at the end of the party - this sounds worthwhile. I wish I could get past the flashbacks of middle school lunch dessert to make it there. Nope nope nope.Pros: good memoriesCons: I can get the same memories for $3.00 in the snack aisle @ Kroger"
Oct 4, 2013

Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone London

Powdered TeaMy first fragrance. Loved it at the time of purchase because it struck me as crisp and fresh, unlike all the floral and fruity fare. But having better explored green and herbaceous scents and coming back, I can hardly stand the powdery sweetness and bad vanilla tripping all over the other notes.Pros: yummy earl grey openingCons: powdery sweet"
Oct 1, 2013

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