Slowdive by Hiram Green

This is just pure honey on me, with a faint sort of dry, grassy note, which I’m guessing is the tobacco blossom and that funny sort of musty, waxy, sweet note you get from beeswax candles. I like the smell of honey, but after a while, I found the solid honey note a but much. It’s nice, but doesn’t blow me away. Longevity wasn’t brilliant – around four hours. Glad I got to try it though, and for the honey lovers out there, I reckon you'd be happy with this.
Apr 1, 2018

Oil Fiction by Juliette Has a Gun

There is something very 80’s about this scent, which I really like – maybe it takes me back to my mis-spent youth ;) Iris, saffron, vanilla and ylang-ylang are the most prominent notes on me. It’s very pretty, but the longevity on me is terrible – barely four hours, which is a shame. I like it, but for the cost, I want a bit more bang for my buck. Still going to order the discovery set though, as I really want to explore more from this house!
Apr 1, 2018

Phul-Nana by Grossmith

Oh. My. God. Where has this been all my life?!? This is simply exquisite. I got this as a free sample with purchase and I’m so glad they included it. Powdery, musky, sweet, delicate – I have not been able to stop smelling this since I dabbed some on from my sample bottle, and am now trying to find where I can get a bigger sample from, or even a full bottle. Orange, ylang-ylang, geranium and tuberose are there right off the bat, then after about half an hour the vanilla and sandalwood start coming through, with a lovely sweet woody warmth from the cedar and opoponax. For some reason, I keep picturing a beautiful vintage wedding dress; it’s satin, with a delicate lace trim around the décolletage – the lace is a soft cream colour and highlights the smooth, pale skin of the wearer’s neck and shoulders, and a lace handkerchief which carries this scent is tucked into the bodice of the dress. I love the history behind this scent, and the fact that they have been able to re-create it is amazing. Longevity is good – I got a solid six hours from a couple of dabs from my little sample bottle. Which I’ll be hoarding until I can get my mitts on some more of this stunning juice. Big love for this one, and it’s definitely on my need-to-have-this list. Gorgeous.
Apr 1, 2018

Lys Noir (new) by Isabey

Considering pepper is the top note in this, it took a while for it to show up on me – a good hour, and only very faintly. What I get the most of is the heliotrope and lily, which are quite lovely. Longevity is pretty good – I got around eight hours, so big props for that. It’s a pretty scent, but doesn’t blow me away.
Mar 31, 2018

Le Parfum Denis Durand by Micallef

I received a free sample of this with a recent purchase, and I was excited to try it, because I'd heard a lot about Micallef. This just plain did not work on me – I really don't know what it is about the notes in this, but after ten minutes – which I spent hoping that it would morph into something (anything) else – I had to scrub it off. And scrub. And scrub. There was something very dusty about it that just hit the back of my nose in a really irritating way. It took three goes with a flannel, warm water and soap to get rid of it, so I did have to give it four stars for longevity for sheer bloody persistence. It’s a shame, because on paper, the notes all look lovely, especially the citrus notes, and there’s nothing in there that I’ve had that reaction to before. I was actually expecting a heavy vetiver note, because that often turns to pure dust on me, but it’s not listed in the notes. Perhaps it’s the cinnamon? I do love the bottle though – it’s so cute with its sexy black lace dress and sweet little bow.
Mar 30, 2018

Harem Rose by Fort and Manlé

Beautiful. A soft, musky, dusty rose, underlain with a slight woody note and a touch of incense. It’s not your usual rose scent, not by a long shot. This is not a young, fresh rose – it’s a deeper, darker, more mysterious rose scent. I don’t picture red roses with this – I see fat, fully blown dusky pink roses in a beaten silver rose bowl. Got a compliment on this from a lady in the shop earlier today. Definitely full-bottle worthy.
Mar 17, 2018

Charlatan by Fort and Manlé

This is wonderful. I don’t get much chocolate from this, but I do get sweet musky rose, juicy pear, a beautiful sandalwood and an absolutely stunning amber. Longevity is amazing – one spray from my sample bottle this morning, and eight hours later I could still smell it, and it still smelt as great as it did when it first went on. This is a scent you just want to nuzzle into – lovely, cosy, warm and so delicious. I haven’t been able to stop sniffing this all day. A winner for sure.
Mar 17, 2018

Sweet Morphine by Ex Nihilo

This is quite beautiful – such a delicate, soft, feminine floral. It’s not in the least heavy or cloying – it’s a lovey, light scent perfect for any weather. Longevity is pretty good – I put on a dab this morning from the little sample bottle I received and seven hours on I can still smell it. This has gone straight to the top of my wishlist – class in a bottle. Absolutely gorgeous!
Jan 8, 2018

Musc Tonkin by Parfum d'Empire

Warm, sweet musk, powder, a smidgeon of orange, a dab of jasmine, a little bit of furry animalic wildness, a touch of sweat – this is a beautiful, complex fragrance. I bought a full bottle based on the sample I received, which I’d loved. And on first spray from the bottle, I was horrified. What the hell have I done, I wondered, feeling quite sick that I had wasted my money. Then I realised that it was probably fighting with the perfume I’d put on earlier in the morning. The next day, a fresh spray on clean skin – what a difference! This beauty does not play second fiddle, but I could see her sharing body space with, say, Salome – a spritz of one on one arm, a spritz of the other on the other arm – or perhaps a spicy vanilla. She is quite beautiful enough on her own though, that’s for sure. Love.
Jan 5, 2018

Bohemia by One Seed

I received my sample pack of One Seed scents yesterday, and even though was already wearing perfume, I couldn’t resist trying Bohemia – I’m a sucker for chocolate scents. When it first went on, I got an initial blast of orange chocolate, like a freshly opened Terry’s Chocolate Orange, with a hint of chocolate cherry liqueur. Then the rose and pink grapefruit popped out. The blood orange note is quite sweet, especially combined with the apricot and rose, so until you know how your skin handles it, I’d advise applying lightly and seeing how it develops. The chocolate note disappeared on me quite fast, but that’s ok – the rose in this is beautiful and makes up for it. Looking forward to trying the rest of the samples, and for $49 (plus postage) for seven generous 2.5ml spray bottles it’s great value. Definitely no armpit or pee smell to be found here.
Jan 5, 2018

Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

When I first put this on, I was trying to work out what this particular note was that was teasing my nose. Then I looked at the notes and realized what it was: vodka, with a herby note. I got to sample a beautiful gin on Christmas Eve – it’s a deep petrol blue in the bottle and in the glass, but when a tiny splash of soda water is added, it turns a gorgeous violet colour. This reminds me of that – the alcoholic tang of the gin but with a yummy fresh herbal/floral note. It’s warm and smoky thanks to the amber and incense and leather, but the spices lift it and give it a lovely kick. Sadly, longevity isn’t great, on me at least – barely two hours. Glad I got to try it though. While it lasts, it's lovely.
Jan 3, 2018

Les Nombres d'Or : Vanille by Mona di Orio

This is not your typical sweet vanilla scent, not by a long shot. It’s a boozy, spicy rich vanilla with a good dose of smokiness thrown in – it’s like a grown-up, over 18 vanilla. A vanilla with its kick-arse boots on – leather ones – instead of its nice 'lady' shoes. I like it.
Jan 2, 2018

Tango by Masque

Glorious. Rich spice, warm wood, boozy amber, with a stunning rose that mingles deliciously with the tonka bean and benzoin. Seven hours in and it settled into a gorgeous, powdery rose with delicate wafts of vanilla. Prompted another unsolicited “Wow, you smell nice!” from my husband. Definite, definite love – oh how I want this! Full-bottle worthy for sure.
Jan 1, 2018

Ore by Slumberhouse

When I first put this on, I got such a strong boozy whiff – Brandy? Whiskey? – that I was surprised to find, when I checked the notes for this, that it was neither, and that in fact there is no booze at all in this. It settled rapidly though, and then I got lovely warm woody spice. There is something that makes me think of hippie shops – you know the ones, the shops that sell incense, ‘decorative’ pipes (bongs), crystals, essential oils etc. And lest you think I’m being mean, I’m not – I love hippie shops. I love the smells, the funky jewellery, the clothes, all of it – I find them relaxing places to hang out, and that’s how this perfume makes me feel. Relaxed and calm and chilled. I guess it depends on your skin chemistry – a lot of the reviews I've read seem to get a lot of chocolate from this. An hour in, I was still getting mostly the wood and balsam, with just the faintest hint of chocolate, with a lick of heat from the pepper and a touch of something herby and fresh and green, which I guess was from the clary sage. I like it though – it’s a beauty, and the longevity is brilliant – 10 hours later I could still smell it.
Dec 31, 2017

Sådanne by Slumberhouse

A big glistening pot of fruity, boozy, strawberry jam sitting on an old wooden table, polished to perfection, that’s been set for afternoon tea – nice china, those cute little spoons to serve the jam with, and an antique bowl filled with fat, fully blown roses. All of those different smells hovering in the air, which is stirred gently by the overhead fan. I get plum for some reason, even though it’s not listed in the notes, and a soft, almost baby powderish note, before the woody note comes through with the teeniest, tiniest smidgen of soap. I rather like it, but don’t know if it’s one I could wear very often – that strawberry note is pretty full on which makes it very jammy and sweet. Not sure how many blokes would wear it though – to me, this definitely falls way more on the girlie side of unisex scents. I think I’ll re-visit this little sweetie in the cooler months – it does smell lovely, but it’s hot and sticky and horribly humid today and it feels a bit much in this sort of weather. Still, I am enjoying this – it’s a fun, happy, carefree scent.
Dec 30, 2017

Pacific Rock Moss by Goldfield & Banks

The first sniff of this and I was transported to the seaside; standing on the cliffs, looking out over the ocean, with all its different blues and greens, watching the waves rolling in, with a delicious breeze bringing the scent of the ocean to me. The lemon and sage give this a fresh, bracing feel. This is a perfect scent for a sticky, humid day like today - if I can't be at the beach on my clifftop, then this is the next best thing. Prompted an unsolicited “oh, you smell nice!” from my husband. Lovely.
Dec 17, 2017

Eva Kant by O'Driù

This smells very medicinal and feels a bit sharp when it first goes on. It settles quickly though, and then I get a lovely, spicy, creamy, woody vanilla. It’s a complex mix, but the notes all work very well together. This is the second O’Driu scent I’ve tried (I have added Pathetique to my stable) and I rather like it. I’m not into assigning a scent to a particular season, but this is another one I could see working better in the cooler months. It’s 30 degrees (Celsius) today and very humid (and therefore very sticky and gross), and although I’m really enjoying the way this has unfolded, it feels a bit heavy for a day like today. Will definitely re-visit this little beauty when summer is over and the cooler weather kicks in. But I’m already thinking full-bottle at some stage.
Dec 3, 2017

Dryad by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

Dryad: in Greek mythology, female tree nymphs or tree spirits who watch over forests and groves. They are more often shown as beautiful young maidens, who inhabit and, sometimes, personify features of mother nature herself, such as trees (Dryad), water (Naiad) and mountains (Oread). This makes me think of green and growing things; gracefully twisting vines and soft, velvety, bright green moss surrounding a crystal clear pond in the middle of a deep and ancient forest. The Dryad, clad in her beautiful woodland garments, is perched in one of the trees, keeping watch over her domain. This is what I imagine a Dryad would smell like should you encounter one; she carries with her all of the lovely, fresh scents of nature, with something a little wild thrown into the mix. It’s quite lovely and I think it would work super well on the blokes. This is the second Papillon scent I’ve tried (I now own the absolutely divine Salome). Very happy with this one – definitely full-bottle worthy.
Oct 27, 2017

Chocolat by Il Profumo

I was really excited to try this, but I don’t get much chocolate from it at all. I get a soft, lightly spicy fruity vanilla blend, which pretty much disappeared after a couple of hours. However! I’m going to ask my husband to play scent guinea-pig (again – he’s such a love that way! :))) – there’s something about the spiciness in this that I suspect would rock on the blokes. If you’re a fan of Amour de Cacao, Chocolate Greedy, Serendipitous, Mat Chocolat, Al Rehab Choco Musk (all of which I have in my stable, apart from the hopefully-soon-to-be-added Chocolate Greedy) then yes, you’re in for a bit of a disappointment as this is not what I would call a true chocolate scent; the other ones definitely deliver much more bang for the buck that way (the Al Rehab especially so given its lasting power and crazy good price). This one is nice, but if you’re after a good, solid hit of chocolate, definitely try before you buy.
Oct 26, 2017

Paris*LA by A Lab on Fire

Looking at the notes for this, I was a tad surprised. I’ve not come across a coca cola note in perfume before, and I was curious to try it. Straight up I get the lime and the ginger, bright and zingy and fresh. After a few minutes, that settles and I get soft wafts of thyme and, yes, the macarons, which is where I’m guessing is where the almondy note is coming from. After an hour or so, I get the cola and musk. This is such an unusual combination, but it really works – I like it, a lot. I’ve sampled a few scents from A Lab on Fire, and I’ve got to say, I’m becoming a fan. I could easily go a full bottle of this.
Oct 22, 2017

Ambre by Réminiscence

This is my third Reminiscence fragrance and I’ve got to say I’m fast becoming a fan of theirs. It took me a couple of goes before I really got this, because for some reason I was expecting it to be a bit spicier. I was quite startled at how sweet this seemed when it first went on, but it settled quickly. It’s quite lovely; it feels warm and soft and so very comforting. I don’t get much of the clove at all in this, but I do get a lot of powder. Longevity is great – I get a good seven to eight hours out of this.
Oct 22, 2017

Insulo by Jeroboam

This is lovely. Three simple notes, but balanced and blended so beautifully that no one note shouts over the top of the other. Creamy vanilla, soft jasmine and delicate musk, all playing nicely together. It was quite sweet when it first went on, but that settled after a few minutes, and then I was sitting in a lovely soft cloud of musky, flowery vanilla. Chocolate isn’t listed as a note, but I also got wafts of chocolate. Longevity is pretty damn good – I got a good eight hours out of it. I think a lot of blokes might find this too sweet, but then again, I guess it would depend on the skin chemistry. It’s a super pretty scent, and I have a full bottle winging it's way to me as I type this. Very definite thumbs up!
Oct 17, 2017

Tihota by Indult

This smells similar to Love, Hope, Denim, and Serendipitous, and also Amour De Cacao. I like it, a lot, but it’s quite pricey, and for way less money there are other vanilla scents out there that would probably satisfy even the most ardent vanilla fiend (see above). Reminiscence Vanille also is lovely – to me, that is more of a true vanilla scent. That said, I’ve enjoyed my little sample of this very much – it’s a lovely, creamy vanilla, but then I do like the gourmandy type scents. The longevity is amazing: I could still smell this after ten hours, so I have to give it big props for that. I doubt I’d spring for a full bottle though – there is just not enough about this that is different enough from my other vanilla scents to justify spending that much money. At this stage at least ;) But if you have a spare $200 kicking around and nothing better to spend it on, and you don’t have any good vanilla scents hanging out in your perfume wardrobe, I say go for it – you won’t be disappointed.
Oct 6, 2017

Black Phantom "Memento Mori" by By Kilian

I have a thing for the chocolatey/vanilla/gourmandy scents, but this is nothing like any of the ones I’ve tried or have in my perfume stable. On application it’s difficult to pick any one note out, however, after around 20 minutes the individual notes start to peek out, if somewhat timidly – almond, coffee, sandalwood. After an hour or so, the chocolate started to appear, but very faintly, and I got a soft, toasty, biscuity type smell, and spice. There’s also a faint dusty note too, not sure why. A few people have posted here that they smell vetiver in this, and to (or perhaps I should say ‘on’?) me that often smells dusty. This is my first go of a Kilian scent, and I was excited to try it. I like it, a lot. It’s one of those scents that you think has disappeared, but then you get lovely, albeit very faint, wafts of it. It seems to be more of a skin scent though. The staying power is astonishing – I got a good 10 hours out of this. Considering the price though (eye-watering) I’d want a lot more oomph – all of those notes should be delicious, but they’re all so faint that I have to hold my wrist up to my nose to get anything. To be fair, it could just be my skin chemistry. And what there is, is lovely, but for the same money you could easily pick up (as I already had) at least two oriental vanilla/chocolate scents, with similar notes, with way better projection. Unless you have boatloads of cash burning a hole in your pocket, definitely try before you buy.
Oct 6, 2017

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