Ashleyland

Shalimar Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

Shalimar is a fragrance that takes some time to understand. Whether it be due to the decades of historical context buried beneath a century long recipe and subtle reforms, something about her smells otherworldly and for lack of a better term “a tale as old as time”. Shalimar smells like it comes out of a different time period. It can be a little abrasive to youngsters fresh off the Marc Jacobs Daisy train and for those with naive noses, downright offensive. But as you age and your perfume tastes evolve, you slowly start to come around to the idea that Shalimar has her place in your perfume wardrobe. Maybe you’ve even tried her so many times that her oppoponax and leather-heavy vanilla whiffs begin to take on a nostalgia of their own as the moments you’ve tried her over and over again are imprinted on the scent and in your memory. She begins to become familiar, welcoming even. This isn’t a fragrance you wear to a job interview, most wouldn’t have the gall to wear her on a first date or as a wedding scent, or to hold a newborn baby, but there are moments where Shalimar has her place. You’ll spray her and wonder how you could’ve ever hated her and wrinkled your nose all those years ago. Nothing else in your wardrobe may smell like her (or maybe you’ve succumbed to a full blown obsession and bought a whole slew of smell alikes inspired by the legend herself) and nothing else could take her place. She’ll stay there the rest of your lives together, she’ll more than likely outlive you. She’s intertwined in the memories and and legacies of countless women before you, and women who will go on after you. I cannot think of a fragrance more deserving of the phrase “Timeless classic” than Shalimar.

The Eau de Toilette rendition is a bit easier on the psyche than Parfum concentrations. It’s a bit of a subtle sensuality, a self-contained confidence that purrs rather than roar. More powdery and less potent on the leather. Think balsamic and less animalic. The vanilla is toned down proportionately as well to lead to a smoother dry down that maintains its integrity. It never becomes too sickening but a slight sweetness is always there. I never get the citrus in these pillar renditions as I’ve been spoiled by the subsequent flankers that focus more on that aspect of Shalimar, but I’m sure they’re beautiful and present for many wearers as an energizing welcome upon first spray.

If you were ever wondering to yourself “What is that one perfume that every avid collector must own?” It’s Shalimar. If you don’t fall in love at first meet, tuck her away and give her sometime. She’s a slow burn but once the fire of understanding is lit for your love, nothing can ever put it out.
Nov 29, 2020


Black Afgano by Nasomatto

I tested this today and just had to leave a review. When I first applied this it reminded me of something I’d smelled before. Make that two things: Chergui by Serge Lutens and Sahara Noir by Tom Ford. In the TF I got too strong of an Oud note that was sour. In Chergui I get a sweet honeyed tobacco but after a while it becomes too much... Black Afgano is a better combination of the two.

I get a rich Oud + Tobacco smoke with a honey sweetness. The Oud grounds it and gives it a woody affect. The tobacco is sweet and smoky. If never becomes too sour but it also keeps the sweetness from becoming too overbearing. I get no cannabis or hash or whatever note that is that makes people go crazy on their drug experience anecdotal rambling but I must admit my knowledge of said paraphernalia is limited at best. I can recognize the smell of “weed smoke” but I don’t find it pleasant at all and this scent I do. The way it pulls on me, I don’t think anyone would think I was smoking the green stuff but they would probably think I’d been smoking something akin to a sweet cigar.

The projection on this brings to mind a word I see so often in the fragrance community that makes me physically cringe, but if ever a fragrance deserved the title it’s this and that is: Beast Mode. A swipe of this to the skin caused knock out sillage, and I gotta say I’ve had this on a little more than 8 hours, maybe going on 9, and it hasn’t budged. It’s dried down to a sweet lingering smoke, almost like what you’d smell at a bonfire but still undeniably present. I’d say this could have at least another 8 hours left in it. And that’s with a dabber mind you. I’m actually worried what an entire spray might do.

I kept trying to convince myself that since I have and really like Chergui (which I kept because I had nothing like it) I could wait to use that up before purchasing this... but it could be years before that bottle is finished and this is soooo much better to me, it’s a masterpiece of its kind and why should I settle? Oh who am I kidding. I need this, and I won’t be satisfied until I get more of it.
Apr 19, 2019


Pur Désir de Lys by Yves Rocher

I drained a decant of this before seeking a full bottle. Once I received said bottle I realized the juice was beginning to turn as this had a strong celery note on top of the lily. Realizing that I could do only two things: power through the bottle as a bed time spray or throw it out I chose the first one. And I’m so glad I did!

I’m lucky that once I primed my juice via several wearings the fragrance smells good as new. There is a greenness still but the integrity of the lily is still there and the vanilla has re-emerged. It took getting through about 10% of the bottle for it to smell this good again but it was a fair price to pay versus throwing the whole thing out. And I have a feeling losing another 10% will make it even better. The juice on the bottom is probably best kept and what was sitting on top began to turn.

Regardless of all that, I didn’t entirely hate the fragrance the way it was, celery note and all. I don’t have many green fragrances in my wardrobe and the lily note was still detectable so it was nice and refreshing. I like that the vanilla note is now noticeable too though as I’m a sucker for sweetness. I’d say the strongest note is now lily, then green notes (this may be musk?) and a sheer vanilla last. I am loving this once again and so happy I gave it a chance!

I would recommend this scent if it was still being made, but unfortunately it’s discontinued and either hard to find, or occasionally pops up for a bargain... and this is probably due to the fact that it has turned. If you find yourself in this predicament I’d say don’t lose hope, try to get rid of about 5-10ml via using it as a room spray or layering with a more pleasant scent until it becomes bearable. There might still be some liquid worth saving at the bottom.

Test if available but purchase at your own risk. Would love to find a green lily scent as pure and refreshing as this someday. Until then I’ll cherish my newly revived bottle.
Apr 17, 2019


Black Vanilla by Mancera

I’m beginning to think that Mancera might be my winning house over Montale, which has been a reoccurring disappointment with every scent I test. The past three Mancera scents I’ve tested have become outright loves and straight to the want list and this is no exception. (Funnily enough, all three of those scents had ‘vanilla’ in the title!)

Black Vanilla is the most decadent bowl of vanilla pudding/ice cream that smells good enough to dip your spoon into. It’s so thick and rich yet absolutely deletable. I catch occasional whiffs of peach, more like a candied peach ring type of smell but it fades in and out and the most noticeable thing to me is the smooth creamy vanilla. I could imagine a coconut note being present but it’s not what comes to mind. No florals to speak about on my skin. And there’s no need for any. This stuff is good enough to eat (if it wasn’t toxic for you)

And speaking of toxic, this scent performs almost to the level of seeming dangerous. Without a doubt this filled the entire room, with one dab to my wrist I seemed to become completely saturated with this scent and could almost imagine it dripping down my entire body and onto everything I touched. Longevity was about 12 hours of this level projection alone, with at least 6-8 more hours being a lighter skin scent. Which may be due to the fact that I was rolling around in my sleep and perhaps transferred some of the scent away. If sleep had not come between us I might have lost my mind to a sugar craving.

This stuff is no joke and for only the biggest gourmand enthusiasts. Be prepared for a long ride with this scent and if you don’t like excessively sweet stay far away, you’ve been warned! Until I own more of this beauty I think I’ll be haunted or endlessly plagued with cravings, so a purchase by the end of the year is crucial. I’m so impressed with this house/line!
Apr 17, 2019


Bibliothèque by Byredo

The only thing I can smell in this is the overly sweet syrupy peach + plum and vanilla. This smells like a whole lot of perfumes I’ve smelled before, all mainstream designer. LVEB, Marc Jacobs Decadence, My Burberry Black, Dahlia Divin... the list goes on. It carries a sweet syrupy note that all of those have and it does so at a much higher price point. I would make a trip to your local Ulta/Sephora and ask to smell their top 5 “sexy night time” fragrances and I guarantee you’ll get something that smells pretty much identical to this. I get no leather or florals. Stewed peaches in simple syrup. That’s all the potential this reaches on me. I wouldn’t recommend this and I’d never desire to wear it. Just thought I would warn someone who hears the hype train surrounding this brand.

There are many scents from this house that have been accused of smelling exactly like some other mainstream designer releases. I’m beginning to think the perfumer or owner of this house is running a sham and intentionally ripping off customers who buy into the trendy minimalist aesthetic of their packaging/marketing.

May test something else from them in the future but I have no motivation or desire to do so.
Apr 15, 2019


Magie Noire by Lancôme

I never would've imagined falling in love with this scent, but that's exactly what happened. I received a sample of this and randomly selected it out of my "mountain" and had no idea what to expect because I hadn't looked at reviews or notes or anything, I just knew that this was a vintage scent and had no idea of if mine was the older formulation or not.

After the wearing I have reason to believe that it is the reformulated version and here is why: It's considered a chypre and heavy on the animalics/oakmoss. On my skin it's a lovely soapy floral. It's like rive gauche with it's heady green roses but take away the aldehydes. I get a hint of sweetness but I'd never have guessed honey. It's way too subtle, like the natural sweetness of flowers. They lie on a bed of woods, no green oakmoss. I would've guessed sandalwood or cedar as there's a touch of creaminess in there and nothing sharp about it. I didn't really get much of a development from top to bottom notes, and that could mean that it's either a vintage with it's top notes evaporated or that it's the newer formulation that they simplified to make it mass pleasing.

Either way, it manages to be wearable with a vintage charm. Old school but not so much that I wouldn't wear it in modern times, but I might feel a bit self conscious wearing it out in public. I would be paranoid that someone else would think I smell too "mature" or dated. This is a scent I would wear for myself cozied up at home maybe a hot cup of tea or coffee and a mystery book. It might be dark and storming outside. For some reason for a scent that is so pleasant and sweet (feeling) this evokes a dark nature. Like a beautiful rose bush deep in the forest where beasts and monsters might be lurking. Like the temptation that led Aurora to prick her finger on the spinning wheel.

This scent is so pure and precious yet contains an elusive darkness that calls to me. This scent doesn't feel as though it's entirely meant for me and yet I know that I will yearn for and seek her out anyways. Maybe when I am older and wiser, and "riper" if you will, the scent may feel more like it belongs on my skin. But regardless I would still like to seek a small bottle to own in the meantime, brought out and worn on special and specific occasions. Whether I wear it or it wears me...

I might need to seek a newer bottle in store (though I can't imagine where they would stock this over the 500 LVEB flankers) to compare and see if this matches my sample. If not, I will start hunting for a vintage bottle reasonably priced. Hoping the oakmoss isn't a standout in either; The one I have is perfect as it is.
Apr 10, 2019


Chocolate Greedy by Montale

I blind bought this and now I'm kicking myself for doing that. One, because no Montale I have tested to date has wowed me enough to own, and two because not only did this scent prove my previous point, it smells exactly like a fragrance that I already own. That I paid less than a 10th of what this costs. I still enjoy this scent but knowing the other scent in my wardrobe smells pretty much identical, and almost a bit better, I can't imagine choosing this one over it.

The scent I'm talking about is Al-Rehab Choco Musk. This one smells exactly like it. To me they both smell like pure chocolate sauce, with a hint of a metallic note, like you could be making brownies in a metal mixing bowl. Many people complain about that in the Al Rehab and say it's because of how cheap it is, it must be in the low quality of the scent. But I have to say that in this Montale that metallic note is actually stronger on me. There is almost as much emphasis on the metal as there is the chocolate. That may be their take on some "dried fruits" or whatever but it's undeniably taking away from the rich sweetness of the chocolate and somehow makes it less decadent.

And where the Al-Rehab has at least 12 hours of longevity and insane projection, with only 1 drop to the wrist filling an entire room, this one doesn't match up to that. It's good performance don't get me wrong, with at least 8 hours of longevity and great sillage, but it's no one drop wonder...

I just can't justify having this one over the Choco Musk, to me it is a better scent across the board and with an unmatchable price. I also find it annoying that Montale lists a bunch of notes that you clearly do not smell and leaves out any mention of chocolate despite including it in the title. It's like they're trying too hard to be ironic without stating the obvious, which could be misleading for some people who might take a notes list for a fragrance too literally. I don't and still find it aggravating. Like I said, it seems as though they're trying to make it seem as though they are creating a specific scent without mentioning the note in their pyamid list so it seems more impressive. It's not, and this house has done very little, if any, to impress me on anything.

I was stupid enough to blind buy this because it came up for a crazy good deal and I believe it's one of the brand's most notorious and highly rated scents. But I can't really find anything redeemable in this so it might be time for me to throw in the towel and give up on this house. There might be one or two more that I'll test but I'm not going out of my way and I certainly won't be buying any more (not a single drop) of their fragrances until they prove to me otherwise.
Apr 10, 2019


Choco Musk by Al Rehab

I thought it was about time I leave a review for this little beauty. I have the 6ml oil. I usually wait until the end of my review to talk about preformance but I think it needs to be said up front that this is a powerhouse BEAST of a scent. With one or two (if I'm feeling daring) drops to the wrist- I literally just tap the ball once onto my skin- this scent will fill a room. It will last for hours, until I rub or scrub it all off of my wrist. If I put it behind my ears or hair, it will last until the next day. It never loses it's strength and for an oil it has better preformance than over 90% of other perfumes I've tested in the eau de parfum concentration.

The scent is pure chocolate. It has what I detect as a slight metallic tang, like the metal mixing bowl you might be whipping your chocolate confection in. For others, it is a biscuit smell and I can see that while I'm reading it. When I'm not it just translates to metal mixing bowl or whisk, dripping with warm chocolate. This is the yummiest scent I own. The compliments and attention I get when I wear this are unmeasurable. Everyone thinks I smell like chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, anything with chocolate I've been pleasantly accused of, and I have to tell them it's just a chocolate oil, much to their shock. Most people are convinced I am carrying around some sort of dessert in my purse. That's a testament to how potent and yet realistic this scent is.

With a price that I can't believe and yet I feel blessed that I am able to easily spend to afford such a luxury. I am tickled by how inexpensive this scent is for the quality you get. I would recommend this scent to anyone seeking a chocolate scent, a gourmand scent, a sweet scent, or just anyone in general. For people who recommend or seek out perfumes costing exponentially more than this I ask why? Give this one a chance first, and test them side by side to see which one you think it worth it's asking price. I know which one I'm sticking with.

Two big thumbs up, I'd grow an extra to give it three if it was humanly possible. This is absolutely amazing. Please test it out. If you don't like it I'm sure there will be someone in your life more than willing to take it off your hands, just make sure you instruct them this is not ingestible!
Apr 10, 2019


Journey Woman by Amouage

I’ve finally found one! A peach/apricot fragrance that smells exquisite. Teamed with honey & osmanthus, this smells a bit similar to this house’s Sunshine, but this is more fruity.

I’m in love with a $200+ perfume that smells
like peaches & cream/honey and I am not ashamed to admit it! This is absolutely amazing, there’s a depth to it that I can’t find in any designer or cheapie frags I own that showcase such notes. I can’t get over how good this smells. I wanna take a nap in a hammock in the sunshine surrounded by this fragrance but I might wake up surrounded by bees... and their knees, ha!

Sillage and longevity are amazing with this one, with all the Amouage fragrances I’ve tested I can say you honestly are getting what you pay for not only with the well executed note pyramids that smell of high quality ingredients, but killer performance as well.

One last thing: is this discontinued? I couldn’t find it on most retail sites that sell Amouage, only grey market discounters... if it is, it’d be a real shame and I’ll need to purchase a FB immediately before it goes away. I could honestly see myself wearing this all year, including the hot weather that’s about to be here any day now. Maybe applied lighter in the summer and saved for the more fancy occasions, but I’m worth it and this fragrance brings me actual joy from smelling It.

Mar 27, 2019


Eaudemoiselle Absolu d'Oranger by Givenchy

I really liked this fragrance and wanted to love it; it was almost borderline, but waiting until the drydown decided the fate of this fragrance and that it’s not for me. Which sucks because at first I was confident I was in love with this and would be adding it to my want list.

The top is amazing, I get a creamy vanilla and orange blossom mixed with the tonka bean. It was a totally unique combination. Normally I don’t like how orange blossom smells on me by I was hooked. Waited a while and this sadly started to develop a weird animalic note, like animal fur mixed with that creamy vanilla which started to turn into a melted milkshake. The tonka bean faded after the top which was weird, usually it sticks around on me until the end. Animalic notes are usually the result of jasmine or Oud on me and this has one of those and whatever “precious woods” are so I’m pinning it on these suspects as to why this fragrance goes sour on me.

Not that I needed to add anymore fragrances to my mile long want list, but orange blossom is such a tricky note and this one almost worked. For some reason when I find I have trouble with a note, it just makes me that much more desperate to find a fragrance where it works on me, because most of the time I find there’s always an exception out there. And I make it my mission to find the one that works. Pathetic, probably. I’ll keep looking.

For someone who likes orange blossom fragrances this will probably be a hit, I recommend testing if you can find it. Sillage and longevity were really good too.
Mar 27, 2019


Emporio Armani Because It's You by Giorgio Armani

When I tested this in the winter I thought it was a yummy juicy scent. Now that the weather is warming up here a bit, I find the notes to be a bit more bland and watered down. The neroli and musk are more prominent whereas in cooler weather I detected the raspberry and vanilla very noticeably. The performance is also less impressive in this higher temp. sillage is much closer to the skin and longevity is average. I found it twice as strong and that it wafted nicely around me during cooler weather especially on a sweater.

My nose might just be getting a bit exhausted of all the scents I've tested with raspberry lately. It seems to be the fruit of choice lately in almost every designer release and while I used to think it was sweet and refreshing I'm now starting to find it a bit overdone and adding less flair to the scent than I once thought. This was definitely better a few months ago than when I tested it today. I'll probably put it away in my cold weather fragrance drawer and pull it out again in the fall.

Since I purchased a small bottle, I'll still probably wind up using this up even if I just layer it on top of everything until it's gone, but it's unfortunate that I hadn't tested it more than once before making an impulse purchase. I've got to stop doing that and make myself use up the entire sample first, maybe testing over the course of several months before I make my final decision...
Mar 25, 2019


Dolce Garden by Dolce & Gabbana

This is a very sweet tropical floral fragrance but I believe that this is overall a bit generic and misleading. First of all, there’s nothing about this that would allude to any kind of garden. The only floral note I can distinguish is Ylang Ylang, but it’s been dipped in honey and sugar. I don’t get any almond, and I’ve always believed Ylang Ylang perfumes smell a bit coconutty anyways so I guess you could say this is a coconut vanilla floral. I see that frangipani is the listed floral, but I am getting the signature creamy milkshake vibe off of this I always get in ylang ylang perfumes. No other florals like magnolia or neroli, and no woodiness either.

This is heavily dense and sweet. The vanilla is a bit overkill if I’m honest, they could’ve stuck with the creamy floral notes and amped up the sandalwood to add some depth. This is a pleasant scent and would work for anyone with a sweet tooth in their perfume tastes.

I found it to be quite potent too for the duration of its wear time. Above average sillage on me but with only moderate longevity of about 5-6
hours. This is still better than the other ‘dolce’ fragrances in this line, but it really has nothing in common with those anyway besides the bottle template. I wouldn’t recommend this over other tropical florals but I can see this being well liked by many. Pretty but not unique enough for me and dare I say, a bit too sweet.
Mar 24, 2019


Jasmins Marzipane by Lancôme

I was extremely disappointed in this fragrance. After testing lavandes Trianon I was misled into thinking this was an entire line of gourmand florals, but with the name marzipane in the title alone there were some preset expectations for this to smell sweet. Unfortunately what little there is to this scent is barely sweet and barely anything. Allow me to further elaborate.

When I first applied this to my inner wrist I could barely smell anything, a wisp or a floral perhaps but it was so weak that I applied another swipe in the same spot on my wrist. And then again. Until my wrist was glistening wet from the perfume. I was shocked that even with such a generous application I could still barely smell anything. What I did smell was a medicinal to the point of being sterile “jasmine” with not even an ounce of personality. This jasmine is so weak and watered down, it’s been stripped of any character and depth that is so vital to its charm. I stress again that this smells sterile to the extreme that I feel as though this reminds me of a hand soap which may be placed in a hospital bathroom that a nurse might use.

There is the tiniest detection of sweetness. I’d pinpoint it to be the almond wood, as even this sweet note is so diluted and bane that it must be shrouded by some sort of natural barrier like tree bark that’s severely masking its true scent profile. Reading the notes list makes me almost want to laugh out loud...

Where does Lancôme get off listing an entire pyramid of notes slapping some hand soap grade level dilution of a fragrance in a bottle and having the nerve to call this “exclusive” and charge the money they do for this scent. It’s highway robbery! It’s a disgrace and totally out of character considering how many of their nonexclusive fragrances have insanely good projection and complex note compositions that actually deliver.

What shocked me the most is how different this is to Lavandes Trianon in almost every aspect of perfume there could be. That one is sweet aromatic yet complex, this is boring and linear. LT is noticeable and performs well, this is so wimpy and weak I feel sorry for my wrist having to put up with such a mediocre perfume.

And one might hope that a scent with such a horrible start might end on a slightly better note: this one does not. The longer it sat on my skin, the more I got the impression of a lightly soiled baby diaper or fragranced panty liner. I’ve smelled some horrible and offensive scents but this almost filled me with rage.

Much to my relief this scent easily scrubs away, which is exactly what I did. Longevity must not be too bad, but sillage is ridiculous for how much I had to apply and still barely notice it unless I stuck my nose against my skin. I would never recommend this scent to anyone, and this might even make my top 10 list for the worst fragrances I’ve ever tested. LOATHE ENTIRELY!!!
Mar 24, 2019


Lady Million by Paco Rabanne

This started out absolutely delicious! There was a juicy raspberry note with sweet oozing honey. After it sits on the skin for a while, the fruity top fades and the honey seems to have dripped off of my skin and left a very generic soapy floral. This is the work of the orange flower (orange blossom by any other name) which always becomes such a bore on my skin and smells like watered down vegetables.

If only my skin amplified the honey for longer, or any of the patchouli (which I get none of). I really love the opening of this, it had me thinking I must have a bottle of this! Glad I waited an hour or two to find that this is a very generic soapy floral in disguise.

This scent does not deserve its packaging. Not even the opening I thought wow what’s this sweet girly little thing doing in a bottle like that? Then on the dry down I was thinking “who are you and what have you done with my lady million?” This scent totally transforms into a scent that smells like a cheap gift set you’d get as a present for Christmas or your birthday ( the ones that have like 12 different products all in the same generic scent and a few spa tools)

Maybe it stays pretty or smells better on someone else’s chemistry. And that gorgeous opening alone prevents me from giving this a thumbs down but I can confidently say I will not be seeking any more of this. Glad I got to try the iconic gold nugget scent but there’s nothing golden about this for me.

Sillage and longevity are actually pretty good by mainstream designer perfume standards. I got really good sillage during the top notes, then average once it dries down until I can barely detect it after around 6-7 hours later. This is nothing out of the park but it’s also not bad by today’s standards: is it just me or do they keep making fragrances weaker every year?
Mar 24, 2019


No. 22 Eau de Parfum by Chanel

This starts out beautiful on me I smell the bright aldehydes and the creamy ylang. Then all of a sudden the jasmine starts to unfold and becomes intensely indolic, and this winds up smelling like a creamy floral covered in urine.

I'm pretty sad about this because I thought I would really love this but sometimes jasmine can be a miss on me, and this was one of those times. If you don't have that problem I recommend testing because this still has the class of a signature Chanel fragrance, I can almost reach it but my chemistry messes it all up.

Longevity is good with average sillage. It's not as strong as I would hope for this price point on a supposed Eau de Parfum, but it's not bad either.
Mar 20, 2019


Rose 31 by Le Labo

I'm not denying that this is a fascinating rose unlike any I've smelled before. It's full of exotic spices and woods, never goes too powdery or sharp like some rose orientals wind up becoming. This is incredibly well done and unique, certainly worth it's price tag, for those who do not have a very specific scent association like I do.

I'll just briefly mention it so you understand why this fragrance and I will not be able to rendezvous again. When I was a girl, I had a babysitter who would take me to school and would also bring a few other girls to school. We would stop by their house and sometimes they wouldn't be ready so we'd have to go in and help them. There were four of them, so as you'd imagine the house was in total chaos. They had 2-3 chihuahua dogs and had a tendency to leave 'puppy pads' out everywhere. There house had the smell of this perfume. That's not to insult this fragrance, on the contrary I'm looking back now and I'm impressed that there house actually probably didn't smell that bad. I never thought their house smelled disgusting or anything, just that it was always a mess and I didn't understand why I myself had to help someone else's kids get ready myself when I was the same age as them and needed to get to school. But now I'm rambling, so I'll close...

It amazes me that some fragrances can take you back to a specific time or memory like this. I never experienced it before when I used to hear other people talking about it I thought they were just being overly fanatical or trying to sound more intelligent about fragrance, but now I totally get what they're saying. I can't explain it but I know it's true, and sadly in this case it's making this fragrance undesirable for me.

I still recommend this as a must try for anyone who likes rose fragrances and wants to venture into the niche realm. This is one of the most interesting ones I've smelled to date. I really do appreciate the craft and beauty of this, it's just my brain that can't love this one.

Sillage and longevity were good, but not amazing. Around 6-7 hours with average sillage on me.
Mar 20, 2019


Scandal by Jean Paul Gaultier

This was a blind buy that came out surprisingly like I expected. I hoped for a sweet honey, and that's exactly what I got. This is sweet syrupy honey to the max and I don't really get any of the other listed notes, I would've imagined vanilla to be in the base as this is so sweet. Luckily this doesn't go animalic one bit so I'm happy that this works on me. I don't have anything else to add on the notes or the smell except that this is incredibly sweet and if you are expecting the citrus or patchouli maybe to test this one on you first cause I didn't get anything else besides the honey, honey ;)

Also when I was first reading about this scent I noticed words like "bomb" were being thrown around frequently which led me to believe that this would be a powerful, heavy hitting scent. It surprised me that about 5 hours in (maybe even sooner) I could barely detect this scent on my wrists. Sillage was also just average on me it never got very strong or overbearing like I thought it might. Of course this was with only 2 sprays so I might try my normal application next time to see how it goes (I usually apply around 6 sprays).

If you desire a super sweet linear honey with good but not overwhelming longevity and sillage, look no further than this. I can't help but wonder if there are maybe some cheaper alternatives to this kind of scent in the drugstore/celebrity fragrance world, but I'm happy with this for the time being. My 50ml should last me quite a while with all my other scents and I'll happily move on once it's done.

Mar 19, 2019


Bonbon by Viktor & Rolf

I bought this on a whim because I was craving a super sweet caramel. I barely even glanced at the notes list because I've seen so many reviews for this fragrance over the years on Youtube and various perfume discussions so I just "knew" that it would be a success and I didn't even feel the need to brush up on anything before purchasing a small bottle.

I kind of wish that I'd read more into it before purchasing because this really didn't satisfy my cravings in the way I had hoped, but it's still a pretty, sweet fragrance. I definitely get the caramel prominently but it's mixed with a very fruity smell. I would've guessed coconut- it's very coconutty on my skin. I now see that peach is a listed note, which luckily doesn't ruin this fragrance for me like it does in many designer fragrances, but it must be why I am getting this strange fruity smell with the caramel. It almost puts me off of this but then I smell the caramel and I tell myself that it's good enough to keep on... for now.

It's not my favorite caramel smell and I remembered in the middle of my insane craving binge that I do have a caramel scent that I like better than this (Viva La Juicy Gold) which also has fruity notes but in there it isn't right in the forefront with the caramel like it is in BonBon.

Since mine is the small bottle it's nothing to get too worked up about and worry about selling it off or giving it away, I'll keep this adorable bottle and spray it frequently (perhaps with my better caramel scents) to get rid of it, keep the cute little bow and never worry with repurchasing again. I wouldn't be recommending this to anyone asking for a prominent caramel scent like I've annoyingly seen on almost every single post where someone asks, but maybe it's different on other people who particularly do not have an aversion to peach. Again, it's not that bad in here but it's also not very great either. I'm slightly on the fence still so I'm giving this a neutral, but it will probably never become an absolute dislike either.

Longevity is moderate around 4-6 hours, but the sillage was actually surprisingly really good. It projected about the same amount of strength for the entire wear time, which isn't very common and is better than I expected, so there's another positive for this fragrance. It's nothing to scoff at, especially for someone who's looking for a sweet girly scent anyways, but I think there are better ones out there and probably for a more reasonable price, albeit it'd be hard to turn down the fabulous bottle!
Mar 19, 2019


Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana

A little while back I thought I was infatuated with this scent. It turns out it was just a pleasant like, testing it today I realize I have no desire to purchase a bottle of this. I certainly like the smell and wouldn’t turn down a free bottle but it’s nothing special. To me this smells like a very pretty shampoo. I’d enjoy for my hair to smell like this but I do not need a perfume that smells like this.

If you are in the market for a fresh girly smelling perfume this is a good one and I’d recommend it to a young girl getting into perfumes. The scent is non-offensive but nice and the bottle is charming in a sophisticated way not a tacky hot pink with rhinestones femininity.

Longevity and sillage are not the best, but again for a young girl who doesn’t own perfumes or is used to body splashes this won’t be much of a disappointment. For someone like me who already has a selection of fresh floral scents to choose from, some of which last all day, I can’t justify buying this, although something in me tells me I need to anyways... (probably that cute bottle, it’s hard to resist!)

I feel indifferent about this scent overall but it’s still a very nice one and I don’t want to deter other people from testing it so I’m leaving a positive review instead of a neutral.
Mar 18, 2019


Burberry Brit Sheer by Burberry

I used to enjoy this and thought I wanted a full bottle but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not necessary and the scent isn’t that great overall. I love the initial blast of citrus and lychee when it’s first sprayed. It’s a zingy sweet smell that cheers me right up. Then I forget about the scent for a little while (about 30 minutes to and hour) and all of a sudden there’s this cheap pencil shavings note that comes through. It must be pink pepper or some cheap cedar note because it makes the entire thing smell very synthetic and cheap like a calgon body mist I used to own. If it weren’t for that note I’d probably buy this and wear it quite often in the heat. I can’t get over that pencil shaving note it’s not something I care for so therefore this scent is not for me.

Longevity and sillage aren’t very good either very close to skin projection and 3 hours tops. I don’t know if my sample is from the reformulation or not but I won’t be looking for any more to find out.
Mar 18, 2019


Floral Curiosities : Poet's Jasmine by Ineke

I found this perfume online for an amazing deal- too good to pass up- so I decided to blind buy. After testing and wearing I think this perfume is not really suited for my chemistry but I’ll keep it and perhaps layer it to find a good combo for this.

When I first sprayed it on my skin, I got a true jasmine note. Then a very bitter scent started to unfold and overpower the jasmine. It smelled citrusy like lemon rind/zest, very bitter and acidic with no sweetness. The jasmine smelled a bit muted and it’s sweetness was gone too like flowers who have been sitting in a vase for several days and might have started to decompose. It almost smelled a bit like bad breath to me. This phase was very unpleasant and I thought this might need to be a gift to someone else who likes a nonsweet jasmine...

This phase lasted about 30-45 minutes before it reached a more pleasant drydown. Now the jasmine has gotten sweeter and seems rejuvenated. There are some sweet woods and a powdery feel. But this scent is still far from great. It’s a tad boring. I didn’t get any of the spices like star anise or cardamom. The notes used smell very generic like cheap diluted essential oils you might get at the grocery store. Lasting power and sillage leave much to be desired. As the drydown approaches I have to bury my nose to my wrist to smell anything.

From a niche house I’d expect more but considering what I paid and the scent overall I am not upset about this not lasting. I think I will try layering as I mentioned previously. I think with a sweeter oriental scent this might really come alive. But by itself it’s a bitter flat and underwhelming little thing.
Mar 12, 2019


Rain & Angelica by Jo Malone London

A very pretty yet distinct thought provoking fragrance: when I smell this I am transported to a field of tall grass and flowers in the rain. The “wet” sensation of this perfume is unmistakable. One might confuse it for a soap used to freshly shower with or clean shampooed hair but it smells as if you could still be IN the shower. It’s crazy but intoxicating and I find myself excited to put this on more than any of my other “fresh” scents. I didn’t think I could pull off green scents but they’re starting to become one of my beloved groups in my fragrance collection. Especially this time of the year something about fresh greens and florals is just so satisfying.

I know this scent is hard to find so I might not ever be able to repurchase if I use what I have up, but I think this combo of notes (Angelica + Rain/water) could probably be done by other houses as well and I’m excited to look further into them.

Longevity and sillage are not spectacular but I don’t really need them to nor expect them to be. As fleeing as the sensation and smells of an abated storm is in nature, so is the preformance of this perfume. It sticks around long enough to please the wearer and strangers that come close enough for a few hours, then modestly drifts away. It doesn’t need to show off or impress anyone but I imagine that someone would get quite a few compliments while wearing it out because it’s just naturally beautiful.

If I were to smell this on someone (guy or girl) I would probably be overcome with the strong urge to just lay my head on their shoulder or bury my face in their hair. It’s that subtly inviting, like looking up at the clouds from a fluffy patch of grass and the sun shining down, but in perfume meets skin format. Amazing.
Mar 11, 2019


Wild Rose Oud by Mancera

I think I’m anosmic to the musk used in this fragrance and it’s pretty heavy because I can barely smell anything.

If I lean in really close to my wrist (almost close enough for my nose to touch) I can smell a rose with the faintest hint of Oud that pairs so well with a fruity rose but it’s so weak and light.

It’s interesting that both Montale and Mancera are houses that have a reputation for making powerhouse fragrances but with most that I’ve tested I can either barely detect them or they have average performance at best (around 3-4 hours). I wonder if this musk is something they use in all their fragrances as a base which is making me anosmic...

For this reason I give it a neutral like, and cannot recommend seeking this fragrance out. There are much better Rose + Oud combos out there in my opinion.
Mar 9, 2019


Portraits : The Tragedy of Lord George by Penhaligon's

With this one I get tonka bean and lots of it. I could’ve sworn I detected the herbal signature of lavender in here as well but maybe that’s the shaving soap? I’ve never used any so I’m not familiar with the associations to that and what scent it even has. I do unmistakably smell lavender in this undeniable fougere accord. I also smelled a cooking spice when I first applied it, cinnamon or nutmeg, like holiday baking... but that has gone away. Maybe it was the brandy? Does brandy have a spicy cinnamon smell? Again I wouldn’t know.

I love this fragrance regardless and don’t care that it’s marketed to men I’ll wear it alongside all my other delicious lavender + tonka combos. This one smells so well done, like Tom Ford’s F. Fabulous without the leather and green notes.

Sillage and longevity are a-maz-ing. I am almost overpowered by myself with just a little dab to the wrist (singular wrist) but it’s divine so I’ll live with myself for the next several hours; this stuff is pretty tenacious. Longevity is 3 hours so far and still going just as strong, but I have a feeling this one is gonna last all day.
Mar 9, 2019

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