Perfume Reviews by sherapop

A Contre-Jour by Galimard

Galimard A CONTRE-JOUR is a classic (as odd as that may sound) shampoo-conditioner frag. Squeaky clean with a somewhat less clean, floral drydown, A CONTRE-JOUR numbers among the ranks of the zillion of other compositions in this class, the vast majority of which are used to scent hair products. With startling frequency, these creations are being poured into perfume bottles and sold at huge mark-ups by nearly every perfume house. It's rather amazing, actually, that people are willing to pay perfume prices–even niche prices!–to spray on their bodies scents that already waft off their hair whenever they emerge from the shower or bath.

That said, for some reason Galimard, a house which remarkably pre-dates the French revolution, does not charge niche prices for its wares, so this might be a good place to acquire your coveted shampoo-conditioner frags!
2nd July 2011

Le Feu d'Issey by Issey Miyake

I am happy finally to have had the opportunity to try Isaac Miyake LE FEU D'ISSEY, and now I know why it was discontinued. The problem is that during the first few, crucial–at the counter and deciding whether to buy–moments, this composition smells not at all unlike mildewy, rotting wet wood. After several minutes it becomes clear that this is a deep and dark absinthe/wormwood creation, with a lot of appeal for those who appreciate woody oriental perfumes with a masculine bent. But the opening is such a turn-off during those “decision-making” minutes that I definitely understand why many potential buyers would have been dissuaded from giving this worthy creation its full due–or a second sniff.

Once the fragrance has fully developed, it is a big, beautiful, dark woody perfume with a somewhat overwhelming sillage, given how out of the ordinary the scent itself is. I would compare the overall effect to that of freshly cut mahogany chips soaked in absinthe and then set out under the hot sun to dry (so that the alcohol all evaporates away). The longevity is impressive. The sheer eccentricity of this composition probably explains its discontinuation as well, since it really smells nothing like the standard categories of feminine perfumes. I would not be at all surprised if some women who purchased FEU D'ISSEY scent unsniffed–or received it as a gift–ended up passing it on to their husband. That's how masculine this so-called feminine composition is. Without having read the entry in The Guide, I am surmising that this one got rave reviews, since LT (a man) happens to favor perfumes with a masculine edge–imagine that!
1st July 2011


Benetroessere Relent by Etro

After opening with a marked albeit short-lived citrus demeanor, Etro RELENT becomes essentially a floral woody musk fragrance. Through the middle stage, there is a touch of a tarrish note which seems similar to the one found in the drydown of LOLITA LEMPICKA, but for the most part the musk dominates. Eventually, in the drydown, RELENT manifests a slightly ambery quality, but it is quite subtle, so I wouldn't call this an amber or oriental perfume by any stretch of the imagination.

The florals in this composition are rather, as they say, “abstract,” meaning not easy to discern much less identify. Everything is so finely blended together by the end that RELENT becomes virtually a skin scent. I would recommend this composition to people who really love musk, since that's the star of the show. There are some brief appearances of other detectable components, but they are all rather short-lived. The musk, in contrast, abides on and on, becoming lightly tinged with amber in the drydown...
1st July 2011

10 Corso Como by 10 Corso Como

CORSO COMO 10 occupies the same olfactory neighborhood as FEU D'ISSEY, but is said to be for men not women (QED). The story here is strong spicy woodiness. The source of the spice is incense/oud and the dominant wood is sandalwood. The overall feeling is very warm and powerful, as this eau de parfum has real heft with fairly big sillage. CC 10 is a good example of a wrist sniffer that is not at all sweet. The composition really has an addictive quality such that I find my nose naturally drawn to me wrists despite the cloud of sillage. This is a substantive woody oriental that I'd love to add to my collection for cold weather wear. Indisputably unisex, CC 10 would work for anyone who likes FEU D'ISSEY, and also some who do not, since the troubling wet-woody opening is nowhere to be found here. No, not at all.
1st July 2011

Gocce di Napoleon by Morris

GOCCE DI NAPOLEON does not, as its name might suggest, smell like pure, uncut testosterone but is instead a unique floriental perfume with initially dominant notes of hyacinth and rhubarb–or reasonable facsimiles! There is definitely a strong hyacinth scent and a rhubarbish green yet ever so tangy and crunchy quality in the opening of this composition–whatever may really account for these scents, I like them a lot. GdiN becomes more oriental and dark in the drydown, with diminished florality and the emergence of what appears to be pepper and possibly a touch of leather along with some sort of dark wood.

What I do not find here at all is anything at all very sweet: and no vanilla, in particular. Although the opening seems somewhat feminine to me, the drydown becomes far more masculine, as though Napoleon arrived home after one of his military adventures to usurp Josephine of her domestic authority. The servants suddenly turn all of their attention to the little emperor, ignoring the fair lady of the house. I like both the Josephine and the Napoleon phases of GOCCI DI NAPOLEON and would happily wear this perfume, if I had a bottle.
1st July 2011

Sergio Tacchini Donna by Sergio Tacchini

To my nose, Sergio Tacchini DONNA is a pleasant dried-floral composition with a typically Italian feeling similar to what I've encountered from the house of Lancetti. I've noticed that the solvents used in certain Italian perfumes have a specific quality that makes these perfumes seem rather similar to one another whatever the particular floral notes may be. In this composition I believe that some greener elements such as hyacinth are present, in addition to a bouquet of other low-key, dried flowers. DONNA is the first perfume that I've sniffed from the house of Sergio Tacchini, and I like it enough to want to explore their other offerings further, although I cannot say that DONNA really blows me away.
1st July 2011