Agent Provocateur by Agent Provocateur

This is definitely not a modern or trendy fragrance. But that’s part of its beauty if you ask me. To those who appreciate a wide range, this one harkens back to a time where chypres reigned supreme. Nowadays, the term chypre is thrown about Willy-nilly, and most of the time fails to convey what exactly a chypre is. Sure, a fragrance may fit within a standard definition of the word, but I believe that no, most modern fragrances dubbed chypres are done so erroneously. This one here, at least to my nose, captures the soul of a true chypre all whilst delivering a beautiful rose scent and a whole hell of a lot of femininity. If you only like gourmands and sticky sweet scents, you will abhor this. But if your appreciation of fragrance runs deep, this is a great one to be had for a song.

Gabrielle Essence by Chanel

Sandalwood and vanilla, with ylang, but very much in the style of Chanel. There’s a hint of the bright and juicy berries with citrus, but overall this feels like a very feminine woody and floral musk. The vanilla adds a sweetness, but no so much to distract from the other notes. The Tuberose, Jasmine, and orange blossom are quite tame, in fact, the fragrance in general is very tame. I think some may find it boring, but I do not. I find it very pretty and polite, but sometimes that’s what you want. It’s all very balanced.

Good Girl Blush by Carolina Herrera

To me, it bares very little resemblance to any of the current Good Girls, though there is a touch of that indecipherable mish mash that I think they all share. But I would say that this one is less sweet (but, still a sweet fragrance, just a touch less so than its predecessors). And this one is powdery. It starts off with a nice sweet citrusy blast and the peonies and roses on a backdrop of powdery vanilla quickly emerges as well. Then it stays pretty linear for it’s wear, and I’ve noticed that I sometimes think it’s worn off but then I’ll move a certain way or the wind will blow and I will smell it all over again. When this happens, it always stops me in my tracks as I think, wow, that’s so pretty. It does have a strangely addictive quality to me, which the original does as well. And those around me who smell it on me have remarked about how pretty it is too. It’s hard for me to tell how long it’s on because of its disappearing and reappearing act, but I’ve noticed that I’ve smelled it at least 6 hrs after application, and I have a feeling it lasts longer than that on me. I’m really glad to have this one, and I never expected to be a fan of the good girl line, but that is exactly what I have become.

Valentino Donna Born In Roma Intense by Valentino

Oh I like this sooooo much more than the original. It smells like a dark ambery and resinous sweet vanilla with a touch of jasmine, coconut and woods. The vanilla and amber aspects are definitely leading notes by a lot though, and everything else smells like a hint. It’s very smooth and long lasting.

Edit to add: wearing a new bottle, it seems a little different from when I used the store’s tester. The Jasmine is much stronger in my new bottle. It’s so strong that it has almost a Tuberose presence. It has an intoxicating and camphor type of scent. And then it’s complimented by a sweet vanilla. This fragrance has a very strong presence in every way. It’s floral, but sweet and warm, and non gourmand. Absolutely still love this one. Favorite of the line so far.

L'Interdit Intense by Givenchy

This was originally a blind buy by my mom, she didn’t like it, so I ended up with it. To her, it smelled heavily of licorice or anise. I’m assuming it’s the “black sesame”, but to my nose, it’s really a note that’s hovering somewhere between being nutty, and licorice. It’s not fully either one to me, but I do enjoy the hints it gives me in both of those directions. This flanker has the dna of the original (not the true original, but the one that came out in 2018 I think), but has added creaminess, and a quality that makes this one more of a night time choice. I really enjoy it a lot. I feel this way about the whole line that I’ve tried (l'interdit, rouge, and intense).

Mon Guerlain Bloom of Rose Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

My bottle has been in my possession for over a year, and in that time, my feelings towards this fragrance have completely evolved. It started out as a slight disappointment in the generic designer feel of it. You see, I purchased it for nearly 50% off, blindly, because I can rarely resist a sale like that. And back then, I felt it was very unremarkable. Not bad, just nothing to write home about.

Roses of the fresh variety, a touch of vanillic sweetness juxtaposed by some bright and sunny citrusy notes, and rounded out with a hint of lavender. With age, both the lavender and the vanilla have become more pronounced, but they still don’t overtake the delicate fresh rose. While my description of the scent has not changed (except for how it has naturally matured on its own), my feelings towards it most definitely have.

I do still think it lacks a little bit of je ne sais quoi… it could do with just a little bit of that guerlain magic. But I really do enjoy it. It is an excellent performer… don’t let edt worry you, this lasts a good 6 hrs at least and projects softly to a distance of about 3-4 ft… resulting in a very pretty scent bubble. It works in hot and humid weather as well as colder temperatures.

It’s not a masterpiece. But it’s very pretty. Very versatile. Very safe. I guess that’s what most people have a problem with. And even I did in the early days of owning a bottle. But I can tell you this, despite knowing that maybe it is a little on the safe side, I still reach for it, and when I wear it I never wish it was something else. I enjoy the wafts that I catch from myself throughout the day. I only gave this 3 stars on here, but that’s only because half and quarter stars aren’t supported. I’d probably give it 3.75 in actuality.

Tease Sugar Fleur by Victoria's Secret

Various negatives can be said for sure… smells like a body spray, and performs like one too… but one thing I can’t take away from it… it smells so good. It’s sweet and sugary, which can be deduced from its name. But it has this extremely pleasing tart and juicy quality to it as well. This and the Créme Cloud flanker of Tease are both insanely enjoyable. They aren’t works of art, they aren’t innovative… but they sure do smell good.

Maroussia by Slava Zaitsev

This just hits me in all the retro loving feels. It smells like it’s from the 80s or early 90s (and it is), and I love that. This starts off soapy and a little animalic, but that softens rather quickly and it turns into an elegant, powdery and spicey well I don’t know what. It smells like there is a lot going on, but in a good way. Spices, flowers, woods and maybe musks. Definitely aldehydes… they’ve gotta be in here. I don’t know, all I can say is that it’s a pleasure and a joy to wear and lasts a really long time.

Classique Eau de Toilette / Jean Paul Gaultier Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier

I just adore this so much. The orange blossom shines and there’s a nice sweet powdery aspect as well. It is strong in presence but not overbearing. It isn’t as loud or room filling as I was warned it would be, but it’s definitely noticeable, and one that I would not want to overspray. But the scent bubble it creates around me is so warm and inviting, and keeps a smile on my face all day. This is my favorite version I’ve tried of the classiques. Sometimes the first really is the best.

Byzance (2019) by Rochas

The new Byzance has virtually nothing to do with the original version, except maybe a similar looking, and striking bottle design.

On me this fragrance is a powdery vanilla, with a similar vibe as Dior addict. I do not mean that they smell the same… at all. They don’t, they just sort of transport you to the same place.

There is a depth to this vanilla scent, it doesn’t ever get too sweet, and there is a lovely masculine edge in the dry down. Enough to make this feel like a unisex offering in this day and age. It’s this dry, airy quality in the background that makes me feel this.

I like this very much, it’s warm and classy, and a little bit on the different side for today’s fragrances. But unfortunately, I’m pretty sure this will alienate all the fans of the original, as it’s just simply not that. And entirely different fragrance, for an entirely different audience. And I’m not sure that the awesome looking bottle will be enough to attract the horde of vanilla lovers away from the perfume counters. So sadly, I think this will go largely unnoticed, but it’s lovely if you want an interesting vanilla that leans more dry than sweet.

Classique Essence de Parfum by Jean Paul Gaultier

This one blew my mind. It’s one of those that come along and you just cannot fathom people not liking it. At least lovers of modern perfumery anyway. It is the perfect candied orange blossom scent. It has depth and intrigue with the ginger, and that delectable femininity with the creamy vanilla. It has a certain similarity with a lot of orange blossom forward floral gourmands, but this one takes the cake. Pun intended. A travesty that it’s discontinued, I shall meter out tiny rations over the course of my life and pray that the company comes to their senses and brings this beauty back. The world deserves to know her.

Classique Eau de Parfum by Jean Paul Gaultier

This was a little bit of a mistake for me, but we shall call it a happy one. I got confused by the crazy amount of different bottle and thought I was buying the edt, but nope. Oops. I adore this though. I get a strong powdery vanilla scent that’s a delight to wear and lasts many hours… as all my fragrances from JPG do. I do love it, so I’m very much not disappointed by my mistake.

Paloma Picasso / Mon Parfum by Paloma Picasso

Okay, I officially feel like I was born in the wrong decade. Sure, I like and enjoy… even love some modern fragrances. But when something from the past resonates with me, it just hits different, and strikes up a feeling that is so strong within me that I cannot even believe something this amazing… this beautiful… exists. I mean that’s somewhat hyperbole, but this is absolutely remarkable. And sexy! It’s weird for me to describe a fragrance as sexy, but that’s truly what comes to mind. It feels feminine, and raw, and a little bit raunchy in a very good way. This is not prim and proper, or demure. It’s dripping and oozing sensuality and seduction.

As far as the notes go, I definitely smell hyacinth and rose, along with civet, a touch of green galbanum, and honey. Everything else is present but not as forward. And I can’t pick them out without seeing the notes. The longevity is amazing, and the sillage is a touch softer than the smelling directly on the skin, which has a tiny bit of a sharp quality, but not on a negative way.

I don’t normally like civet. And hyacinth, though I do like it, is usually presented in a very prom and proper and sort of uptight way. This is not uptight.

Samsara Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

I have never tried the original red bottles, the version I’m reviewing is the Bee bottle. And for reference, the edp that I’ve tried so far was also the bee bottle. I will compare this to the edp, so just know, I’ve only tried the bee bottles.

This is simply magic. Magic, and beauty, and intrigue, and feminine softness. Might very well be the greatest love I’ve ever had in fragrance form. I will say that the sweetness and overall presence is a little bit dialed down in the edt, making this slightly lighter and airier than its edp counterpart. Other than that, the scent is the same.

I connect with this fragrance, on an emotional level. There have been very few fragrances that I can say that about. But if I were to have a signature scent, this, or the edp would be likely contenders. I am so head over heels in love with this sweet (but not nearly as sweet as today’s perfumes), classy, extremely feminine beauty.

This lasts a good 7-8 hrs on me, which I didn’t expect to be the case. And it projects for about 2-2.5 hrs. Quite impressed with the quality of this edt. Once I receive the edp, I will probably reserve the edt for hotter days where the edp feels just a bit too much.

Absolutely one of my greatest loves. I don’t even have the right words to convey just how special this scent is to me.

Samsara Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

I believe that the decant I have is from the EDP Bee bottle, just in case that makes a difference.

The very moment I tried it, I had an emotional connection to this scent. It is magnificent, and breathtakingly beautiful. I shudder to think what the vintage may have smelled like if I find this iteration so unapologetically perfect.

It very much smells like it came from the 80s/90s era of perfumery, and I think that I do have a fondness for scents from that time period. Even though I was quite young at that time, there is definitely a sense of familiarity, as well as an identifying fingerprint… when you smell scents from those times, you just know it. I know I do. When something from the 80s or 90s is sweet, it’s not in the same way that fragrances are sweet today. And almost everything from back then performed incredibly well, but it wasn’t like the performers of today that come off as attention seeking.

But I digress. Samsara, is absolutely one of the most beautiful scents I have ever come across. If I was someone who wore the same perfume everyday, I could easily adopt samsara as my signature. It’s so incredibly gorgeous, that it actually makes me question my large collection. I really only should have perfumes that make me feel the way that this does, but it’s not everyday that you find something that sweeps you off your feet like this. Would my appreciation for it be less if I wore it everyday? Would it become commonplace in my eyes?

I can’t really begin to describe what notes I smell. Sandalwood, sure… and the rest is simply magic. It has a beautiful powdery feel, that makes me feel light as air. I feel like this must be what heaven smells like. It smells like kindness, love, peace, comfort, generosity, intelligence. It smells otherworldly and I cannot say anything else about it.

No. 5 L'Eau by Chanel

I am often torn on which modern No°5 I enjoy more… Eau Premiere created by father Jacques Polge, or this one… L’eau created by son Olivier Polge. They really do both bring a modernized take to one of the most classic and recognizable fragrances ever created. And L’eau, feels like the most stripped down and minimalistic version. But in no way do I mean that as a negative. I think this fragrance is insanely gorgeous, and just so easy to wear and love. It’s light and effortless. Aldehydes are presented in a way that I think could make them trendy again. The aldehydes, the citrus, the clean florals and woody notes… this is just perfection.

Irresistible by Givenchy

This does have a little bit of that generic designer- dime a dozen- essence to it that many of us are familiar with. It can kind of remind me of La Vie Est Belle, and Sì, and probably a few others too. But despite this, when I wear it, both myself and those around me get these magical wafts that catch us off guard. It’s almost impossible to resist saying “ooohhh”. And it’s not constant, so it’s not annoying or exhausting.

Beyond all of that, I would say that this smells like a candied pear with rose petals. Pink ones. It has a brightness to it that goes well with the sugary sweetness. And the Iris and musk give it a bit of that powdery clean freshness , but I wouldn’t say this one smells like a soap or shampoo. It has seasonal versatility, but does feel a little more suited to be a daytime scent to me. It gives “pretty girl” vibes for sure. And someone who is fashionable, but not too trendy or edgy.

Libre Eau de Toilette by Yves Saint Laurent

This is truly my favorite of all the Libre versions (as of Jan 2023 at least, who knows what the future holds). I find that all of them have a great deal of similarity with eachother, to the point that I don’t feel the need to collect them all and you probably shouldn’t either. I can’t tell you what to do, but I feel it would bring redundancy times 4.

But the change that this one took on, was a somewhat lighter and fresher approach. It still has the lavender and vanilla, but it has a brightness and vibrancy with the tea and citrus notes. It does not feel heavy or syrupy on me the way the others tend to. Yet at the same time, it also feels like it has versatility to work in any season, and any event, day or night. The longevity is great… so if “edt” makes you worry about that, don’t. Lasts a god 5-6 hours on me and projects moderately, but in a soft and light way, never heavy or choking. It’s really is just beautiful, and I wish I had tried this one before I bought the intense version which is just too much for me.

La Vie est Belle Éclat by Lancôme

This is honestly my favorite flanker (that I’ve tried… there are so many!) of La Vie Est Belle. It is also the furthest removed that I’ve tried, to the point where I think this could have been a new pillar. It’s very orange and orange blossom forward for like the first 20 minutes or so, then that toned down a little and the jasmine comes forward in the dry down. There is also a hint of rose throughout, though it’s just a whisper. And the base has a woody quality. I don’t think I would have immediately thought of sandalwood though, as it’s a little cedary to my nose. This perfume is sweet, like the original, but it doesn’t have the same vibe as the original. It’s more of a sweet fruity floral with woody notes.

I love it. It puts a smile on my face every sniff. And it also performs the way we expect a flanker of La vie Est Belle to perform.

Eternal Oud by Lattafa

A deep and ambery/resinous fragrance rounded out with sweet vanilla and Tonka. I can smell the plum, and a hint of the bitter grapefruit, but I do not get any heliotrope from this. I think the oud note is adding a Smokey quality, but it does not smell dirty at all.

I perceive this as a masculine leaning unisex fragrance. But not so masculine that I’m hesitant to wear it. It also comes off to me as a special occasion fragrance, it has an elegance to it that makes it feel fitting for events with a dress code, and especially well suited for evening. It does not smell seductive or flirty, but definitely an attractive scent.

Musky Garden by Mancera

I honestly feel like the reviewer below me received a sample of the wrong fragrance. It’s could not be further from what I smell. There is nothing burning, no tobacco, it’s highly feminine, and it doesn’t smell woody in the slightest. The only thing I agree with is that it has a slightly muddled feel to it.

What I think this smells like, if you took Coco Mademoiselle and mixed it with Valentino Donna Born In Roma Yellow Dream. I even tested this theory, and I was correct, that’s exactly what this smells like.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the coco Mademoiselle scent, because who isn’t, but I’ll describe the valentino because that’s not as widely known. A citrusy and rosy musk. The musk is synthetic but clean and fluffy.

The musk in this is very similar, and I think that might be off putting to some, but it’s not for me. I like this because it’s pretty close to Coco Mad, but different enough that you don’t feel like you’re wearing something that everyone has used and/or smelled. And it also lasts longer.

Cherry Oud by Guerlain

I’m a huge fan of middle eastern perfumery scent profiles. And I’m a huge fan of guerlain. I had originally thought that the combination of the two here would create something magical. But instead, I got something that I could have easily purchased from lattafa for $20-30. I’m not knocking lattafa, I like them. But what I’m saying is that Guerlain did not bring the special with this. It smells good, and I’d wear it, but there’s no way I would pay $360 for this. Makes me kinda sad too because I thought this would be a sure thing for me.

Ange ou Démon by Givenchy

I love the saffron and the peppery lily. A beautiful contrast to the vanilla and Tonka. Slightly sweet and nurturingly powdery. This is one of my favorites. It haunts me like a dream.

Flowerbomb Nectar by Viktor & Rolf

I am well over 12, and I enjoy this. I only say that because the previous reviewer put an age limit on enjoying this fragrance, and I personally think that anyone at any age could like this. You do need to enjoy sweet scents. But if you do, what you have here is a long lasting, fruity sweet floral gourmand. The florals are a bit muted compared to the sweet notes, but there’s something about this that holds my attention. There is a note present that I can detect really only when I smell my skin at application sites. I think it’s what they were aiming for it to be gunpowder… and I’d say that it’s more gunpowder adjacent. It’s not quite what gunpowder smells like though. At least not to me, or maybe the fruity sweet notes are throwing it off. Either way, it’s still interesting in an otherwise fairly generic scent profile.

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