Perfume Reviews by sherapop

Nahéma Extrait by Guerlain

Guerlain NAHEMA is a truly unique creation. It actually reminds me of chewing on crayons for some reason. Not that I've ever chewed on crayons, but the texture feels the same to me as I imagine it would feel to chew on crayons. What is odd, however, is that instead of being put off by the slightly soft crayon wax, I actually love it!

In spite of all that has been written about the lack of any true rose in this composition, I myself do smell a dark red, very rich rose quality here. True, it is nothing like the rose notes of typical rose perfumes--whether soliflores or fruity florals. And I also prefer the quality of the rose note here to that of rose geranium, which often accompanies or substitutes for rose. What marks NAHEMA as distinct is that this "rose" is coated with wax: these "petals" are dense and thick and waiting to be shaved--or chewed.

Is NAHEMA the queen of all rose perfumes? I think that to make such a claim is to do a great disservice to this sui generis perfume, as it exhausts its own genre. It doesn't really make sense to compare this to anything else. It is what it is, and it's not what it's not. One thing is clear: it's definitely nothing like any other perfume known to me.

Twolf, thank you so much for introducing me to this beauty!
13th October 2011

Sous Le Vent by Guerlain

Guerlain SOUS LE VENT unfolds in two very distinct stages on my skin. The opening is a bright and cheery floral green with a perfect balance of lavender, tarragon and probably other green elements (such as basil). Gorgeous, but incredibly fleeting, I'm afraid.

The drydown of this perfume is standard old-school chypre fare. If there's no oakmoss in this reformulation, I cannot imagine what accounts for the textbook dark and dirty, somewhat musty quality which dominates everything else, wiping out the optimistic opening to produce a brooding, introspective chypre. The overall effect is more that of a dried floral chypre–though the lavender is no longer detectable to my nose in the drydown–than a fruity one.

Although I generally love complex and layered chypres, this one seems pretty one-dimensional and does not stand out from the crowd. The opening of SOUS LE VENT is clearly unisex, but the much lengthier drydown of this perfume smells like a fairly typical "old lady" chypre–not an insult, by any means, in my lexicon, just a description...
11th October 2011


Seveline - Vanille Chocolat / Vanilla Chocolate by Laurence Dumont

Oh my goodness: am I having an ANGEL flashback? (I always suspected that it was fat soluble...) No, in fact, I am wearing Laurence Dumont Les Senteurs Gourmandes VANILLE CHOCOLAT.

I tested a few of these Dumont perfumes a while back and was sufficiently pleased to end up acquiring a bottle of VANILLE VIOLETTE (not in the bn db), so I welcomed the receipt of a new sample which had been thrown in along with a recent online order. This house can perhaps be best summed up as "budget niche"–as oxymoronic as that may sound. The compositions are all very natural smelling, and I am sure that they use real flowers, where relevant (not in this case...). I have found all of the Dumont perfumes which I've sniffed rather simple, and this entire vanilla series is obviously geared toward lovers of all things gourmand, as the name clearly indicates: "Les Senteurs Gourmandes".

VANILLE CHOCOLAT really does open very similarly to the drydown of ANGEL, which surprised me since VANILLE VIOLETTE does not smell like ANGEL OF STARS VIOLETTE. However, VANILLE CHOCOLAT proceeds to transform into a somewhat strange, almost rubbery chocolate/myrrh-vanillla drydown, as though the chocolate were somehow petrified. This entry in the vanilla series is not nearly so sweet as the VANILLE VIOLETTE, which offers a double hit of sugar, given the naturally sweet quality of violets combined with the sweet vanilla (which to some would qualify as cloying!).

My impression is that people who like some of the better-made vanilla-oriental celebrity scents would like this line a lot. I definitely recommend this particular creation to those who appreciate (and even crave!) ANGEL. You know who you are: you avail yourselves of the "refill vats" at major department stores. (-:
10th October 2011

Attrape Coeur / Guet-Apens / Royal Extract by Guerlain

The liquid in my sample vial (whose provenance was ultimately a decanter, by way of a fellow fragrance traveler) of Guerlain ATTRAPE COEUR smells suspiciously familiar to the dregs in the bottom of my now nearly empty bottle of YSL YVRESSE, which is so old that it actually bears the original name of that perfume, CHAMPAGNE.

Thick, somewhat gunky stewed peaches and parched vetiver? Hmmm... this seems very similar to the result which I might expect to derive from attempting a reduction of MITSOUKO over the stove. The flowers are really all stuck together in an amorphous blob in this composition. Eventually the drydown smells more like MITSOUKO than YVRESSE, but I never detect a single isolable flower petal anywhere: rose, violet, and iris are nowhere here to be sniffed. I do believe that my sample may simply be old.

I never had a chance to try the 1999 launch of "this" perfume, GUET-APENS, but I am curious as to why it should have been totally renamed if in fact there was no significant reformulation for the 2005 launch of ATTRAPE COEUR. I also wonder why two extra perfumers should be given credit for a perfume originally composed by Mathilde Laurent, if in fact the two creations are really one and the same.
10th October 2011

Lalique Le Parfum by Lalique

Some people hope to live long enough to witness the abolition of capital punishment and a moratorium finally placed on the highly objectionable practice of summary execution of suspects by Predator drone. Others hope fervently for the discontinuation of Lalique LE PARFUM.

Well no one claim that "The Guide" has decreased global sales of perfume, at least if I'm any indication of its marketing effects. I purchased a 100ml bottle of Lalique LE PARFUM, scent unsniffed, on the strength solely of the invective heaped upon it in "The Guide." What, I thought to myself, could possibly inspire such an outpouring of vitriol? Honestly, I was very excited to find out how and why someone could actually detest a perfume as much as I detest Predator drones.

I have to say that, having now worn LE PARFUM a few times, I find myself disappointed and a tad bit confused. This perfume is so utterly inoffensive and eminently wearable in social gatherings: a light floriental with a touch of strangely minty pepper. This is not all that sweet, not very loud, not very anything at all. Now I am seriously wondering whether the anger directed at this composition might be displaced leftover emotions from AMARIGE, also created by Dominique Ropion.

I understand how someone who dislikes the overall composition of AMARIGE might develop a downright aversion to that perfume: it's true, the stuff is so strong that it rivals only the nuclear garlic imported from China which I procure from my local purveyor of produce. That (pre-peeled) garlic is so frighteningly potent that its "parfum" actually penetrates not only the plastic container in which it is housed, but also three layers of extra plastic bags! Same story for AMARIGE. I myself happen to like AMARIGE, so it's actually good news to me (and countless others) that a tiny bottle–even a mini!–can suffice for one's entire perfumed life. But I at least can understand how someone who does not like AMARIGE to begin with might have developed a decidedly violent aversion to that über-powerful perfume.

Lalique LE PARFUM, however, displays none of the objectionable longevity and sillage of AMARIGE, and the notes seem perfectly harmonic, if unextraordinary, to me. I wouldn't say that this is a great perfume, but it's certainly wearable and has now joined the ranks of the many bottles which I can reach for mindlessly as I rush out the front door–without needing to assess the possibility of offending people in my environs when I wear it. (LT apparently no longer lives in Somerville...)
9th October 2011

Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain

Straight out of the vial, while still wet on my skin, Guerlain SPIRITUEUSE DOUBLE VANILLE smells exactly like vanilla extract. High-quality bourbon vanilla extract, but vanilla extract all the same. A few seconds later, a dark and dirty demeanor shows its face–so dark that I thought ever-so briefly that it might be leather, but it appears to have been frankincense. The next somewhat surprising development is the emergence of something sour and unpleasant. I do not know what accounts for it, but it definitely disrupts my positive experience of this perfume for a couple of minutes. After that, all of the excitement dies down, and I find myself wondering whether this was really launched by Guerlain–until I remember that Guerlain is not Guerlain anymore.

I'm not really sure how or why anyone would find this composition similar to TF TOBACCO VANILLE, which opens with far more richness and depth to my nose, and eventually dries down to a primarily raw pipe tobacco perfume. SPIRITUEUSE DOUBLE VANILLE focuses much more, in contrast and as advertised, on vanilla. The drydown is nice enough (the sourness of the midstage has largely subsided), leaving me with the overall, lasting impression that this is a fairly respectable niche vanilla, albeit nothing to get too excited about. Consequently, I'll not be competing for the no doubt limited number of bottles of this perfume in existence. Enjoy!
9th October 2011

24, Faubourg Eau de Parfum by Hermès

There's certainly no dearth of perfumes claiming to convey glamour, but in their pyrite trappings, the vast majority of them offer nothing more than bling. With 24 FAUBOURG, in contrast, Hermès has managed to capture the real thing: 24 carat gold. This gorgeous, resplendent, and even transcendent perfume has few rivals in the history of perfumery, and perhaps none since the dawn of the twenty-first century of flanker madness and watery wares.

Like others, I was surprised to find that this magnificent creation was launched in 1995, rather than circa CHANEL NO. 5 or one of the (early) great Guerlain perfumes. The quality and the richness of the notes here are as I've come to expect from Hermès, but what really makes the difference, I think, is some kind of divine inspiration–this is not just another hack job but a work of art. 24 FAUBOURG offers perhaps the best recent example of the radical distinction between mere fragrances and perfume.

Just as there is a *huge* difference between music and "music", as insufferably insolent as that may sound to nonmusicians, there is a world of difference between a lush, complex, shimmering perfume, such as 24 FAUBOURG, and basically 99% of everything else that goes by the name. Big, billowy white flowers drenched in honey and supported by unabashedly perfumic components–synthetic, yes, but nothing like the chemical soup which aims to mimic the effect as cheaply as possible–this is a perfume which rivals CHANEL NO 5 and FRACAS in, yes, their pretention, but also their beauty.

Bravo Maurice Roucel!!!!!
8th October 2011

Arabie by Serge Lutens

"This smells familiar" was the first phrase out of my mouth upon applying Serge Lutens ARABIE. Then it only remained to determine what, precisely, I was reminded of by this intoxicating–or is it suffocating?–perfume. With the help of the many able reviewers below, I have deduced that ARABIE approximates a collision of my grandmother's brandy-soaked dark fruitcake (not the wimpy light kind, but the one that is black as night, filled with raisins and dates and pecans and candied maraschino cherries and citrus rind, and so drenched in brandy that you could actually catch a buzz from eating a slice) and morrocan couscous with a very strong curry piled up on top. Or perhaps my grandmother, her sight failing as she grew older, reached for the cumin instead of the cinnamon as she prepared her cake?

What an odd assortment of rich and dark notes! But is it perfume? I think that, in the end, the combination of the dark, boozy fruits and the cumin-rich curry just puts me over the top. Similar to the way I'd feel if I feasted on a huge curry dinner and then my host insisted that I eat a fat slab of fruitcake before permitting me to leave. As the flavors mingle in my aching stomach, I begin to feel like a pot of chutney simmering on the stove, thick gurgling bubbles fighting their way slowly to the surface before popping. My speech begins to slur. My head is spinning, and it seems that I might actually hurl. There is simply too much going on in this kaleidoscopic culinary composition. In a word: No. De trop!

If ever there were a "try before you buy", ARABIE would be that. Does cumin mingle well with your skin? Spritz on this powerful potion and observe your friends' behavior. Do they appear to be sitting farther away from you than usual?
7th October 2011

Datura Noir by Serge Lutens

Tuberose is tricky. In Serge Lutens DATURA NOIR, it is very, very thick, in large part, I believe, due to the marked coconut note. Coconut is also tricky, and tends to overwhelm in more than minuscule doses. To my nose, this combination of tuberose and coconut is simply too heavy-handed. I love the tuberose in FRACAS and CARNAL FLOWER, but combined with the coconut cream in this composition, it seems dense and impenetrable, like a blob of, well, yes, I hate to admit it: suntan lotion!

My objection to this scent is not grounded in a general abhorrence of tropical tuberose compositions. Believe it or not, I number among the tiny faction of true believers in and fervent devotees of Guerlain MAHORA. Why do I regard MAHORA as a masterpiece (Guerlain's final chef-d'oeuvre, may that once illustrious house rest in peace...) and DATURA NOIR as something of a flop? Perhaps it is the sheer weight of the later which drags it down, preventing any significant development on my skin. MAHORA, in contrast, unfurls in delightful layers over the course of its trajectory from opening to drydown. I truly love MAHORA (which many people detest), and yet I would never wear DATURA NOIR, even if I had a bottle lying around.

I have seen no comparisons by anyone of DATURA NOIR to MAHORA but would be very interested to know what those who adore DATURA NOIR think of the Guerlain perfume (launched in 2000, one year before SL DN...). My suspicion is that anyone who loves DATURA NOIR would also love MAHORA, though I obviously serve as a refutation of the converse claim! (-: And it seems pretty clear to me that anyone who hates MAHORA is unlikely to think highly of DATURA NOIR.

The moral of this story: no one who lacks infinite liquid assets should buy niche perfume scent unsniffed!
6th October 2011

Black Sea by Micallef

My first foray through the house of Micallef has been a felicitous one! BLACK SEA is a real beauty to my nose. Although at the very opening I thought that this might be a run-of-the-mill sandalwood/cinnamon oriental, as the perfume developed, and the saffron emerged to play a central role, I became more and more smitten with this scent, which definitely seems unisex to me.

The blend is perfect, with none of the notes overwhelming the others but saffron always shining through. I do not find the clove at all loud, and I am hypersensitve to clove, so that means something... In the end, I have to say that this is one of the better saffron orientals I've sniffed, and I do recommend it to anyone who loves saffron as a note in woody oriental perfumes. I do not think that this is the most revolutionary or original composition, but the drydown is just great! Excellent longevity, too.
5th October 2011

Burberry the Beat by Burberry

I love Dominique Ropion, but I tend to find his group collaborations less compelling than his solo work, much of which is masterful. Same for Béatrice Piquet, may she rest in peace. I definitely do not want to suggest that in Burberry THE BEAT there were too many cooks in the kitchen–this is certainly not an unwearable mess! But I do think that this composition falls squarely into a currently crowded category of the grand olfactory map. Among other close neighbors are Calvin Klein BEAUTY and DKNY PURE.

THE BEAT is a clean musk composition with some florality and spice (cardamom) but not enough to really mark itself off as very distinct from the many other perfumes with similar compositions (albeit variations in the small details...). Another problem that I have with THE BEAT is my bête noire of dilution. I have used about half my roller ball cylinder (which I however have sprayed on, since I think that I get a better sense of a perfume through that means of application) in only two wearings. I generally dislike roller balls–with their childproof safety features making it impossible to overapply–but in this case all of the effort is for naught. Detach the roller and pour this liquid all over yourself: you will still not be over-perfumed. So, yes, the sillage is low and the longevity poor.

All of that said, I'm sure that THE BEAT would work for those looking for inoffensive clean musk compositions with a slightly oriental quality. Although this fragrance is a tad bit sweet, some guys may like it as well.
3rd October 2011

Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs

Been there, done that. Yes, DAISY EAU SO FRESH is a fruity-floral composition featuring random "constructed" fruits and "abstract" floral notes embedded in a clean musk base. Neither new nor abhorrent. A bit on the sweet side, but fine for what it is. I find the drydown a bit sticky, but this might work for some among those who favor fruity-floral frags.

The first clue that this creation was going to be nothing that would earn a permanent trace in my olfactory memory bank was of course the bottle! All these bells and whistles: what could they really mean? I gather that these malleable plastic cut-out flowers are rather popular right now? I've seen them not only chez Marc Jacobs (LOLA) but also Bond no 9 (MADISON SQUARE PARK). I believe that the Bond cap is touted as a free bracelet. Whatever.

DAISY EAU SO FRESH *might* be a bit better than DAISY. Unfortunately, I just can't remember! My favorite Marc Jacobs perfumes remain: MARC JACOBS, BLUSH, and ESSENCE, all of which I do heartily recommend.
2nd October 2011

Patchouli Noir / Patchouly Noir by Il Profumo

Il Profumo PATCHOULI NOIR is my first experience with this house, and I have to say that I am impressed. This composition is truly beautiful and remarkably well-balanced, avoiding all of the excesses that so often mar patchouli perfumes. Yes, the patchouli is detectable from start to finish. No, it is not overwhelming. Yes, the noir element is important. No, it does not drown out the patchouli.

There is a touch but only a touch of dirtiness here, and the golden, only slightly sweet drydown is simply a dream come true. I would describe the overall effect as similar to a smooth layer of very lightly sweetened caramel. It's as though the texture of caramel were captured but with only a fraction of the sugar.

I've had the pleasure of wearing PATCHOULI NOIR twice now, and I can honestly say that I love it!
2nd October 2011

Gucci Guilty by Gucci

GUILTY? How about BORING? Having sprayed myself with my entire sample vial, I feel prepared to assert that the only thing Gucci is guilty of in this case is massive dilution. This liquid is so flimsy, vague, and insubstantial that it smells like a hundred other recent light floriental launches. All that glitters is not gold, and all that is "gold" does not glitter.

For a lilac perfume with something to say, I recommend Ineke AFTER MY OWN HEART.
1st October 2011

Eau de Réglisse by Caron

I recently tested Hermès Hermessence BRIN DE REGLISSE, next to which Caron EAU DE REGLISSE seems *very* light on the licorice. This composition reminds me much more of the Lolita Lempicka limited edition EAU DU DESIR. I know, I know, obscurum per obscurius...

So what's it all about? A very lemony herbal cologne with a underlying light layer of licorice in an oriental base which becomes sweeter in the drydown--must be the vanilla, though this does not smell very vanilla-y, in the end. EAU DE REGLISSE is definitely more sweet than EAU DU DESIR, which is a super-refreshing herbal-lemon cologne.

I like EAU DE REGLISSE, but for what it is, I do think that EAU DU DESIR is quite a bit better, and if I were looking for all black licorice almost all the time (with a touch of lavender...) I'd go for BRIN DE REGLISSE.
30th September 2011

Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé by Hermès

This is my second felicitous testing encounter with AMBRE NARGUILE (made possible by generous basenoter Twolf), and my enthusiasm has not abated in the least. I was struck by the Tom Fordesque quality of this composition back when I first wore it, and I feel the same way today. Thick, golden, and viscous, this sort of elixir is right up my alley! The labdanum and benzoin lusciousness of this composition pull me right in. Is it too sweet, as some maintain? Well, not to me. Maybe I've sniffed too many celebrity orientals of late?

AMBRE NARGUILE is not the spiciest amber perfume around, and I do not believe that it contains or claims to contain ambergris--again, this is labdanum amber, not the petrified concretions expelled from the intestines of sperm whales (which in any case figures is very few perfumes today, as far as I know...). But this is a shimmering layer of gold! It's clearly time that I acquired at least a purse spray of this wonderful composition. Great longevity and detectable but not obnoxious projection.

So, you see, J.C.: I really have nothing against you at all! It's just that I'd rather wear perfume than meditate in your gardens.
29th September 2011

Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

My first experience with UN JARDIN EN MEDITERRANEE was sufficiently positive to motivate me to acquire a purse spray (15ml). Since then I have to confess that I have not reached for this fragrance often. There is something about the opening which reminds me of a cross between WOMANITY and PLEASURES, both of which become annoying to me after a short while. Figs, peppery florals, and a vaguely wet quality conspire to reproduce something along those lines, at least for a short time.

I don't think that this composition is really annoying, but its first stage reminds me of an amalgam of two rather annoying fragrances, so I'm not all that enthusiastic about it. (Could be Pavlovian, I suppose.) Fortunately, the cedar and cypress take over shortly thereafter, at which point I really warm up to the fragrance as a whole. Still, I don't really like being reminded of WOMANITY and PLEASURES every time I spray this on.

I must say that I am fascinated by the range of receptions to this composition. The people who dislike it appear to detest it! I certainly don't find it unwearable and vile (as do some) but neither do I consider it a "must have," as do its ardent fans. I won't be acquiring a larger bottle of this creation, as I'll probably never deplete my small supply. For those looking for advice, there's no point in attempting to navigate all of these conflicting evaluations, since this one clearly manifests itself differently on different wearers: do try before you buy!
28th September 2011

Un Jardin Après La Mousson by Hermès

I've never regarded UN JARDIN APRES LA MOUSSON as very melony at all, certainly not compared to Hilde Soliani DOPO TEATRO MANGIAMI, which is all melon all the time. Although there is a detectable melon-like quality in the opening of this J.-C. Ellena Hermès jardin composition, the peppery vetiver swiftly takes over and dominates the composition, which to my nose is quite dry for most of its life–in contrast to what I would have expected to smell dans un jardin après La Mousson.

I am somewhat amazed at the manifest detestation of this composition by so many reviewers, which leads me to believe, yet again, that how these relatively simple notes work together and express themselves varies quite a bit from wearer to wearer. Melon notes obviously amplify radically on some people's but not others' skin. Another possibility is that the melon note was so off-putting to some reviewers that they could not stomach a full wear and so never made it to the dry down. Others report having experienced melon from start to finish, so that note must be particularly salient on their skin. Many people have complained about what they take to be the “synthetic” melon note, but my understanding is that all fruit notes in perfumes are synthetic, so I guess that the substantive criticism is more that this one does not smell like fresh or real melon to them. I've smelled some pretty awful melon renditions myself, and comparatively speaking, this one smells pretty good to me–but it is rather evanescent.

That said, although I find it wearable and even somewhat pleasant under certain weather conditions, I cannot get very excited about this entry in the Hermès line-up. It certainly fits right in with the minimalist jardin series. In the end, when all is said and sniffed, I myself am more of a big luscious complex perfumey (à la 24 FAUBOURG, CALECHE, ELIXIR de MERVEILLES, etc.) kind of gal.
28th September 2011

Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

In UN JARDIN SUR LE NIL, the opening salvo of salty green shredded mango is rather bitter and nearly sour enough to qualify as a pickle. But that impression fortunately subsides quickly, at which point a strong steamed rice-like note takes over this composition, along with what smells to me like green tea. Conclusion: this smells more like it came from Japan than the shores of the Nile to me.

In waves, the quasi-rice note smells sometimes to me like rice cakes or even vaguely of popcorn! In fact, now that I think about it, there is an almost genmaicha tea scent here–albeit slightly too bitter. Well, I guess that I'm an outlier on this one. I do believe that this member of the Jardin series is more original than either MEDITERRANEE or MOUSSON, but its eccentricity is not enough to overcome the sour quality which would definitely prevent me from wearing this as anything but a novelty scent.

On to the latest minimalist creation by J.-C. Ellena, who appears to have a serious cult following, judging by some of the positive reviews!

28th September 2011

Un Jardin Sur Le Toit by Hermès

Hmmm... Isn't UN JARDIN SUR LE TOIT basically a fruity-floral fragrance with a blast of green up top? The fruit scent here is similar to that of standing at the kitchen sink and peeling apples and pears and the other components of a fruit salad before running the peels and cores and rinds, now turning slightly brown, through the garbage disposal. So that's my take on the "compost" note, I guess.

If I try very, very hard to find subtlety and profundity in this fruity-floral fragrance, then perhaps I shall. But would I ever put that much effort into this sort of composition, were I not indoctrinated by the teachings of the cult of Ellena, according to which he is a genius and/or a saint? Honestly, I predict that the evaluations of this fragrance will be much, much higher than they would be if it were tested blind. Just a hunch...

Having now strolled through all of the gardens, I can confidently reaffirm that I appreciate this minimalist "haiku" or atmospheric perfume concept more as a theory than in practice. I truly love this house, and applaud their recent victory against the forces of hegemony, but the members of the Jardin series, while perfectly fine for what they are, do not hold a candle to some of the resplendent Hermès masterpieces so dear to me.
28th September 2011

Teatro Olfattivo di Parma : Stecca by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Hilde Soliani Profumi STECCA would be a must-have perfume–if only I were a caterpillar. Seriously, I'm a bit baffled as to why anyone of non-caterpillar origins would want to smell as though he or she spent the day picking tomatoes.

I've tried a few other perfumes with tomato leaf as a note: Annick Goutal PASSION and FOLAVRIL and Emilio Pucci SOLE 149. Unlike those complex compositions, STECCA uses tomato leaf not as one among a number of mutually complementary notes, but as the focal–and seemingly the only–note. Okay, so maybe that was a novel idea–who would have thought?

Then again, I do believe that this Big New Idea derives directly from Demeter. In fact, now that I think about it, tomato leaf may well already be on Demeter's either actual or prospective list of smells to re-create in spritz-on form. But even evaluated on its own terms, as a part of the Teatro series, STECCA fails, since the tomatoes which disgruntled audience members might have thrown at the actors on stage would have smelled like tomatoes, not green leaves and vines.

Needless to say, I'm unimpressed.
25th September 2011

Teatro Olfattivo di Parma : Mangiami Dopo Teatro by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Melon is a notoriously difficult note for me, so I have to give Hilde Soliani some credit for reproducing a faithful rendition of this fruit with MANGIAMI DOPO TEATRO. This fresh and juicy melon seems to be a honeydew-cantaloupe hybrid, but it is very natural smelling from start to finish. Unlike some of the melon-centric perfumes I've sniffed, this one does not rot and begin to attract flies or serve as an effective emetic.

Another one-note wonder, this member of the TEATRO series would have perhaps been livened up with a thin slice of prosciutto, but the real question is: how does this melon hang with SIPARIO (curtain)? According to some reviewers, SIPARIO is a piña colada facsimile. According to my nose, SIPARIO includes two distinct stages: tart dextrose candy à la Pixie Stix followed by an abrupt switch to a strong coconut-based suntan lotion scent. But even if I concede the piña colada, I don't see how it is supposed to mesh with the melon.

Oh well.
25th September 2011

Teatro Olfattivo di Parma : Vecchi Rossetti by Hilde Soliani Profumi

I was immediately struck by the similarity of Hilde Soliani Profumi VECCHI ROSSETTI to Bvlgari's first fragrance, POUR FEMME, created by Sophia Grojsman back in 1994. The key links are the violets and the roses, but there is also a glamorous–even theatrical–quality to both of these resinous perfumes. In a side-by-side comparison, I find that BVLGARI POUR FEMME is richer and more complex to my nose–which makes a lot of sense given the vast range of notes present in that composition, as compared to the modest number included in VECCHI ROSSETTI.

So I guess that Sophia Grojsman has outshined the competition once again. I'm not one to charge perfumers with plagiarism, and I certainly don't think that a niche perfumer such as Hilde Soliani would consciously copy a famous perfume and then charge more for the so-called knock-off than the original costs, but I do think that Sophia Grojsman has managed to stake so many claims to so many clearly identifiable segments of the grand olfactory map that she represents a force to be reckoned with! She seems to possess a particular form of perfumic genius which is able to identify uncharted territory and make it her own in an iconic perfume against which all others in the same neighborhood (but created later on down the line) are bound to be invariably measured.
25th September 2011

Teatro Olfattivo di Parma : Bell'Antonio by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Interesting. BELL'ANTONIO seems obviously masculine to me and offers a scent not unlike that which I imagine would be produced by a bit of pipe tobacco mingling with lint in the pocket of an old abandoned cardigan sweater. Like I said: interesting.

I would not want to wear this composition myself, but it might have real appeal for the guys out there who love a wide range of tobacco fragrances. This one is slightly dirty in a dusty (linty!) way.
25th September 2011