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.

Psychedelic Love by Initio

Many moons ago, this didn’t click with me. Now though… I love it! There’s a whole lot of “what is that” mixed in with loads of heliotrope, and I just can’t get enough of it. It’s soft (as in textural, not quiet), sweet, feminine… but also boozy, confident, diabolical. Yum

Angélique Noire by Guerlain

This is not only one of my favorite vanilla fragrances, but it’s one of my top favorite fragrances in general. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a house that does vanilla better than Guerlain. So even if this one isn’t for you, I’m sure at least one is.

But here, the Angelica, which tempers the sweetness and offers a little bit of opposites within the composition, is really what stands out and makes this special to me.

Instead of being warm, like most vanilla fragrances I’ve encountered, this one is cool. It has a juicy quality to it from the pear, but the vanilla never goes into creamy territory for me.

It’s definitely sweet, and it projects as well… moderately, with a really good longevity. Basically, I’d say that the performance is really good, which for the price, it should be. It is.

For me, I find Angelique Noire to be captivating, mesmerizing, and just beautiful.

La Fleur Bouquet by Afnan

This review is going to be a little bit of a wild ride, so buckle up.

Let me start by saying that the perfumer, Quentin Bisch really pissed me off this year. Strange statement, I know. But you see, I had purchased PDM Delina Exclusif, and then much later… CH Very Good Girl. They were both composed by Quentin Bisch. And they smell the exact same. So much so that I don’t really reach for either because I am so angry that he literally made the same fragrance for two different houses, and one of those houses was grossly overpriced.

Then, after even more time had passed, I ended up sampling Ex Nihilo Fleur Narcotique, and I loved it, but I was immediately reminded of a certain style I was already familiar with. And sure enough, the perfumer behind Fleur Narcotique was yup, Quentin Bisch. He apparently has a style that he rarely strays from. It’s almost as if he knows how to do one thing. So he does it over and over again.

But if I’m being completely honest, Fleur Narcotique is miles better than Delina Exclusif and Very Good Girl. But I’m still angry about throwing money out the window between PDM and CH.

So, unfortunately for Ex Nihilo, I decided I wanted to buy a clone instead. And that’s where we are here. This is a clone. Cost is a fraction of what Ex Nihilo charges, presentation is quite impressive, especially considering the much lower price.

This does not smell like the aforementioned fragrances I spoke about (other than Fleur Narcotique which this is a spot on clone for), but you can definitely see the common thread. It’s like this composition is what inspired the others, however, if you ask me, he got it right the first time and should not have kept tinkering with it.

It’s tart, and sweet. Feminine and vibrant. Very enjoyable, and I’m very happy to have this and know I will wear it a lot more often than Delina Exclusif (which is honestly way too obnoxiously loud for me), and Very Good Girl.

I’m very pleased with the quality presentation from Afnan on this.

A La Folie by Mauboussin

This smells exactly like La Vie Est Belle Intensement, which I already own. I do enjoy the blast of sweetness and the powdery raspberry, but I don’t really have a desire to have this level of redundancy in my collection. I didn’t expect them to smell the same, but they absolutely do.

Lolita Lempicka Mon Premier Parfum by Lolita Lempicka

This was a gift this Christmas. To be honest, I never would have cast a glance towards this, and never had any desire to try this or really anything from the brand. But that of course changes when a loved one gifted it to me this holiday season.

If I were to describe what this makes me think of, it is like the shampoo that a fairy would use. It sounds ridiculous but it really does have this whimsical quality to it that is utterly adorable.

Unfortunately, it’s somewhat fleeting, but any time I want to feel like tinkerbell, there will be nothing I reach for over this. And apparently, at least some of the time, I do want to feel like tinkerbell.

Fracas by Robert Piguet

Tuberose is one of my favorite notes, and probably my number one floral note. So I think any self respecting Tuberose lover absolutely is called to own and know Fracas. To know her is to love her. Or fear her. I can’t help but to smile every time I smell Fracas… whether that’s a vintage bottle or a modern, really doesn’t make a huge difference to me. When I think that Germaine Cellier, a female perfumer, created this timeless classic, way back in 1948… my mind is just blown! Fracas makes me feel sexy, feminine, and a little bit raunchy in the most welcomed way. It’s like I have a secret that will make us both blush. But fracas is still polished enough to sneak her in to the fancy affairs. Which makes it even more devious. I don’t think I will ever stop singing the praises of Fracas.

Junoon Noir by Al Haramain

This is a spot on dupe for Xerjoff Dama Bianca, except I would definitely say that the longevity as well as the projection/sillage is much better with Junoon Noir. I find this to be high quality to my nose as far as dupes/clones go. It really does smell the exact same as Dama Bianca. And I do have a decant of the real thing, so proper comparisons were made.

If you haven’t tried either, this is a sweet, feminine, fruity vanilla musk. It’s so soft and demure, feels like miss congeniality in a bottle there is an uplifting brightness with the fruity notes, and the vanilla is soft and sweet but not creamy.

Shaghaf Oud by Swiss Arabian Perfumery

This is a very strong fragrance! If you enjoy that at least every now and then, this is definitely worthy of your attention. The most prominent notes to my nose are oud, saffron, and rose. The oud is more of a Smokey/incense type, and it does not smell barnyard to me at all. The rose is more of a sugared rose type of vibe. The praline sorta wraps around everything with a sweetness, which softens the sharp edges of the oud. If a fragrance was a texture, this is velvet. Soft, dense, and opulent, but a little jagged when you rub against the grain. If you’re new to oud and/or middle eastern fragrances, this is a great place to start. Incredible longevity, and ample projection/sillage. Definitely don’t overspray.

Nebras by Lattafa

Perfect clone for Billie Eilish 1st fragrance. But this lasts much longer, and projects nicely too. Not obnoxiously, but present.

The scent to my nose is predominantly vanilla accented with some berry notes, Amber, an hint of chocolate and amber, and laying on a bed of fluffy and slightly powdery musk. The feel is warm, and sweet.

Lasts about 8+ hrs, and I’d say the bottle is more appealing than the eilish bottle as well. But that’s subjective.

Bodacious by Boadicea the Victorious

Bodacious is a beautiful cherry almond boozy fragrance. The dark cherry and almond share the stage equally and warm cognac supports their starring role. It’s a warm gourmand that intoxicates and pleases the senses. Probably the best cherry fragrance I have ever tried.

Casablanca by Swiss Arabian Perfumery

When you first spray this, it smells a bit harsh and like a mish mash of sweet notes and potent chemicals. But that calms down quickly, and as the bottle ages, it calms down even further. A few seconds after you spray, right when you could be thinking that you may have made a mistake, the clouds part and the sun shines down. Well, okay, that’s a bit overkill, but you do start to smell the actual intended scent, and realize that it is something you like. Well, if carmelized fruits sound appealing to you that is.

The first few minutes is caramel with juicy fruits. It’s not a strong apple or grape scent, but it does have a slightly juicy feel to it. This isn’t a dense fragrance like shaghaf oud, it has a much lighter feel to it while still being very sweet. After those initial juicy moments, patchouli stats to emerge. It’s a clean patchouli, very mint-like without the cooling sensation. And then the fragrance seems to have a lot more balance. It does retain the caramel and fruits, but more in the sillage than when you smell your skin directly. The sillage is strong, but not overbearing. And because this isn’t a dense fragrance, it does feel like it has more versatility. The longevity is very good, and I think that’s been true for everything I have tried from this brand so far.

Overall, I like it. Even crave it sometimes. But I can’t go so far as to say it’s a love, but it’s a definite solid happy like!

Oud Mood Eau de Parfum by Lattafa

My oh my oh my… this is quite the exquisite little thing isn’t it. It’s spicey, and Smokey, and rosey… and just the right amount of sweet. Makes me feel like salma Hayek in desperado… or at least what I imagine she would choose to smell like.

Resist sniffing until the alcohol evaporates because that is quite strong with this one. That doesn’t normally bother me but this one is really intense for like the first 10-15 seconds. After that though… I just love it! Definitely not too similar to shaghaf oud, you can safely own both as they have entirely different take on similar notes. This one is my preference if I had to choose between them.

Khamrah by Lattafa

Whoever added this fragrance to the database, seriously did it dirty. Even on the direct Lattafa website, the note breakdown is listed and the one here doesn’t even touch upon the beauty that’s within this fragrance.

So, here’s the notes listed on the Lattafa website:
Top: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Nutmeg
Heart: Dates Accord, Lily Of The Valley, Praline, Tuberose
Base: Roasted Tonka, Benzoin Laos, Myrrh, Akigalawood, Vanilla, Amber Wood

And to address the elephant in the room, this smells nothing like Kilian’s Angel Share. In my opinion, Khamrah is far better… and I also think you can own both without redundancy.

The most pronounced notes that come through to my nose are cinnamon, dates, praline, Tuberose, vanilla, and woody notes with a hint of incense. There’s this ever so slight tropical floral flare… probably from the Tuberose, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was also a teensy hint of coconut that’s remained unlisted. It does not smell like a vacation, it just gives little hints here and there.

It’s a lot, but it’s beautiful. Like outrageously so. It is sweet, and it definitely has a middle eastern flair, so I think you have to enjoy that… but if you do, I think you will adore this. It’s just beyond delectable to me. Gourmand, absolutely. Complex, yes. Mesmerizing… without a doubt.

I feel like the bottle design was more of a smart move to capitalize on the popularity of kilians and find buyers who were looking for a clone… but completely hooked them once they tried it. This fragrance definitely stands on its own and is not trying to be a knockoff in anything but the bottle design. And it makes sense because I feel like anyone who enjoys angels share would likely also enjoy this. Thank you Lattafa, you gave us so much more than the world bargained for.

I don’t think I will ever stop singing the praises of this fragrance. It’s unbelievably gorgeous. A showstopper. And affordable to boot.

Gris Charnel by BDK Parfums

I had thought that I reviewed this a long time ago, and I was thinking it was time for an update. But apparently this is my first review.

I remember wanting to like this so badly, and not. I think maybe it was coming across as rubbery to me or something. But I held on to my sample, and every now and then, I would test it again.

One day, it just clicked. I was no longer getting anything unpleasant about it. Just a smooth, and amazingly beautiful fragrance.

For me, this is probably my favorite composition featuring a prominent cardamom note. In fact, it’s also my favorite example of a tea note… and pretty darn up there for the sandalwood as well.

The overall effect of this fragrance is a warm and comforting spicy chai. It dances between creamy and slightly powdery. But this isn’t the lactonic kind of creamy. Gosh it’s just so stunning.

For me, this one is among the special favorites in my collection. Now that I appreciate it, I appreciate it more and more each day. I don’t have anything else even remotely close to this.

Gris Charnel is gorgeous.

Yara by Lattafa

I have heard this fragrance compared to two others… on I have not smelled, and one I own.

1.) Poison Girl- I have never tried this so I have no idea if it’s close or not.

2.) Montblanc Signature- I own this one and I can say confidently that Yara is not a dupe. Montblanc Signature smells nice at first, but there is something within the lactonic composition that makes me feel nauseous. Yara has no such effect on me.

So with that out of the way, I will get into Yara, on its own merits. The bottle is hideous, tacky, and cheap… both in look and feel.

The juice though… lovely! This is sweet, creamy, and gourmand. It does have a nutty almond presence, and the the fruity notes add a level of juiciness, though I can say that this fragrance does not have a tropical feel. It does remind me a little bit of Hypnotic Poison… but nowhere near enough for me to say that it’s an attempted dupe of that.

The longevity is fantastic… easily lasting an entire work day, and enough projection and sillage that I had people asking me all day what I was wearing. I don’t wear fragrance for compliments, but it was hard not to notice the increased conversations this started.

This is wonderful, and quite inexpensive. If you like sweet, creamy, or nutty gourmands… definitely give this a go.

Vanilla Royale Sugared Patchouli 64 by Kayali

Okay, so my bottle just arrived and I immediately put it on. So this is really just a first impression of the scent itself since I obviously cannot speak to how it develops or wears over the course of the day. I’ve been wearing it for maybe 20 minutes or so. And here is how I perceive the scent on my own skin. Purchased when it was released yesterday Nov 16, 2022… delivered today.

The most prominent note to my nose is absolutely patchouli. I don’t think I have ever encountered another fragrance with a patchouli note this strong. It’s doesn’t smell like head shop patchouli, in fact, it smells almost mint-like. There is no blast of cool that mint would give, but it definitely smells as if mint and patchouli are in the same family. I’m not sure if they are or not. So it doesn’t smell dirty, but more on the aromatic side of things.

The next accord that my nose is picking up is Créme Brûlée. It definitely leans more custard to my nose than a regular vanilla. There is a soft and subtle underlying creaminess that I can pick up on.

And the third and final note that I can definitely perceive is rum. There is a sweet boozy quality but it is more in the background than the first two notes/accords I mentioned. It adds a warmth and slightly jagged interest.

Maybe a tiny hint of brown sugar as well, but I don’t know if I would have guessed that without knowing it.

Overall, the fragrance is not overly gourmand to my nose, but it is rich, and decadent. It feels like a fall and winter fragrance to me. And it’s also an unexpected scent profile. Unique is a hard word for me to use, but I do feel it leans that way. I definitely have never smelled another designer fragrance with a similar scent profile. I will say, that if you struggle with patchouli, this would probably not be for you. Definitely test first. I also would say that if you’re expecting a strong vanilla, you might be slightly disappointed. Vanilla is there, but patchouli is the star here. At least to my nose. Fresh out of the box, on day one. All of this could change over time, but I hope that this is helpful if you are curious.

I do think it would layer nicely with vanilla 28 if you wanted to bring out more vanilla.

Personally, I’m kinda digging it. I don’t think I ever smelled a patchouli this strong that didn’t smell like a headshop or dirty. This is neither of those.

I’m wearing two sprays and I can tell it does have at least arms length projection, but I’m alone, so I don’t know if it’s more than that. I will have to update this later to include longevity and such, and I will probably make an update further down the road if the vanilla develops more over time.

EDIT TO ADD UPDATE 12/12/2022:
As the age of the bottle is increasing, the Créme brûlée vanilla is becoming more prominent. It’s still a patchouli dominant fragrance, and gorgeous too, if I say so. But as the creaminess is becoming more and more pronounced, my addiction to this bottle is increasing. Honestly, I feel like people are really missing out on Kayali and not taking them seriously because the sister of the owner is Huda beauty… Kayali, I feel, can really stand on their own.

02/27/2023: Edit to add another update because this fragrance really morphs in the bottle over time. I am absolutely head over heels for this. The vanilla has a creamy effect but the earthy patchouli and incensey oud, balance the sweetness and really make this stand out as the most badass vanilla fragrance I’ve ever come across. This is really amazing. On a technical scale alone, this might be the best the house has to offer so far. Still not my personal favorite of the house but it’s top 2 for sure!

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