Osmanthus by Acqua di Parma

Understanding the house Aqua di Parma for what it is, I really do love Osmanthus. I've owned and loved Magnolia Nobile, as well as a few other Acqua di Parma fragrances, so I know this house's signature notes and I know what to expect. Typical for this "line" of perfumes, as well as most of the Aqua di Parma fragrances, Osmanthus does not disappoint because its notes are simple, high end, expertly executed and well defined.

Osmanthus is no exception with definable top notes that are citrusy & spritzy neroli and green mandarin orange. These opening notes beautifully blend with middle floral notes of peony, other gentle white florals & ambrette (musk mallow). Something that tickles the nose, which I assume is pink pepper makes an appearance. And all of these lovely fragrances & ingredients perfectly land with Osmanthus, more musk and slight patchouli.

Now, I'm reminded by some folks that this Osmanthus doesn't approach the fragrance of the real thing. And I'm not quite sure I've ever experienced fresh, true Osmanthus. But whatever it is, Osmanthus is a lovely, ethereal, soft & delightful perfume fragrance, surely not offensive in any way.

I would never define this fragrance as unisex, as it reads completely feminine to my tastes. Unfortunately like many Aqua di Parma perfumes, longevity isn't great at 3-4 hours, silage is moderate.

I love Osmanthus a whole lot. Just not sure if it is full bottle worthy ONLY because of the price point and because of my history with Aqua di Parma fragrances. Sometimes, I just need a brief departure.

In general, this perfume is a 9/10.

Vinegia 21 by The Merchant of Venice

I can only describe this fragrance in one word: PERFECTION

I am intrigued by this house, The Merchant of Venice. I searched and sampled several of the house's fragrances because so many of the blended notes intrigue me. And in each sample I've tried, the quality of the ingredients is undeniable. I was overly disappointed when Mystic Incense turned into a sickening & cloying gourmand of Carnival Caramel Corn on my skin. And I was disappointed once again when Vinegia smelled like any other department store, woody resinous fragrance currently on the market. But Vinegia 21...well it really approaches perfection.

There are TWO Vinegia fragrances, Vinegia and Vinegia 21. The two fragrances have very few similarities and should not be confused. I found Vinegia to be over-bearing and a rather un-extraordinary masculine take on wood, cedar, agar wood, castoreum and firs (forest) & greens.

As others have stated elsewhere, Vinegia 21 is the polar opposite version of Vinegia. While Vinegia is all I stated above with zero detectable incense, or smokey notes, Vinegia 21 gloriously opens with saffron, cinnamon, vanilla and praline. However within minutes, the sweeter notes kindly take a backseat to the smoothest and loveliest "smokey incense" notes of sandalwood, myrrh, agarwood (oud), patchouli, etc. And this is where the magic lies.

Morphing into a fragrance with slightly sweet, earthy and smoky notes (just enough sweet to take the edges off the masculine notes), Vinegia 21 is masterfully blended. There is not one single note that is cloying, overbearing, harsh, or offensive. All the notes & levels from opening, to mid, to base are smooth. Notes seamlessly and effortlessly rise and fall in perfect harmony with each other. The end sum of the notes is a lovely & unique fragrance.

Some folks have equated Vinegia 21 to Carolina Herrera Gold Incense. I agree there are many similarities between the two fragrances; however Gold Incense does not have the depth and nuances (IMHO) that Vinegia 21 possesses, nor does Gold Incense have any sweet notes to speak of. With that said, Herrera Gold Incense is also one of my current "Top 5" fragrances.

The praline and vanilla in Vinegia 21 are not overly gourmand. The woods and resins are never dirty, vulgar, or off-putting. The smokey-ashy notes are not of the acrid, campfire, or dirty ashtray type. Every note is simply divine. I imagine based on one's chemistry, various notes might play out louder than others. However on my skin, Vinegia 21 repeats as a delightful incense, patchouli, smoky and slightly sweet fragrance. Just lovely.

And while Vinegia 21 markets as unisex, I find this fragrance leans slightly feminine. Longevity is great at 8+ hours and silage is moderate.

After sampling this fragrance on a few occasions, I bought my full bottle. The bottle of course is beautiful; however it's what's inside the bottle that truly delights. Not inexpensive @ approximately $245 USD plus/100 ml, I will be wearing Vinegia 21 for quite some time to come.

Incense Oud by Nicolaï

I fell in love with Incense Oud By Kilian several years back. Unfortunately, Kilian Incense Oud is out of production. I've searched to find another fragrance that approaches Kilian's unique and unforgettable fragrance. And while Nicolai Incense Oud is nice enough in its own right, it doesn't quite approach the richness, depth and complexity I enjoy in a fragrance like Kilian's Incense Oud.

So, Nicolai Incense Oud is a rather light (not ethereal by any means), almost ozonic, clean oud with smokiness (more so than incense) running throughout. The opening is almost light & fizzy, which are not descriptives I normally associate with an oud fragrance. Wood and smoky notes emerge that are (thankfully) not the heavy campfire, or ashtray like notes currently in vogue on the niche market. Soapy notes are not notes I detect, as Incense Oud remains as a rather linear, resinous, woody, slightly smoky fragrance. Unfortunately, I do not detect incense as much as I like but there is smoke, which I imagine is the cedar, amber & musk.

Given the list of notes, I would expect Incense Oud to be dirtier, earthier, more resinous. Not so on my skin. However, this is a nice enough smoky woody oud perfume with good silage and pretty good longevity.

Not unique, or exciting enough to be full bottle worthy for my tastes. For me, Nicolai Incense Oud is a pass.

Purple Haze by 19-69

Purple Haze was sampled in another attempt to change up my ordinary, go-to, everyday wardrobe fragrance. I love patchouli but only when it is well blended with florals and resins. I love oud and woods but they also must be blended. I prefer earthy, resinous, woody florals (especially well-done violet fragrances), incense-spicy fragrances with limited amber and other dark, deep, complex, bold notes. So based on all of this, Purple Haze seemed to meet the mark.

Not sure why cannabis note has become so popular; however any notes I detect with Purple Haze do not conjure up my memory of being around cannabis long long ago. Undoubtedly the fragrance opens with a blast of citrus-laden greens, fir & cypress. The opening almost smells barber-shop-y to my nose. Within minutes, a delicate violet floral note emerges, along with the slightest patchouli scent. Not dirty, dark or gothic, Purple Haze begins as a very green, woody, slightly resinous floral fragrance.

Mid-and base notes do little to alter or define this scent. Perhaps I get a small waft of vanilla, a bit of musk and some sandalwood (or wood) here and there. But by and large, Purple Haze remains light, rather hard to define and primarily on my skin, Purple Haze is a slightly ashy violet vanilla musk fragrance. As I search for unique, or defining notes, I strain to detect much beyond vanilla, musk & greens.

Purple Haze is not a 60's hippie fragrance, nor is it a fresh, young woody floral. While everything begins nicely, Purple Haze disappointments because with my chemistry, this fragrance lands as a rather bland, musky-vanilla fragrance, nothing more. In the end, most of Purple Haze's luster is gone.

Additionally, after the first 20 minutes or so, I have great difficulty detecting Purple Haze on my skin at all. After applying and reapplying the fragrance, I find myself frustratingly searching for ANY type of fragrance, or scent. Another reviewer described this fragrance as "muddled" and in many regards, muddled is a rather apt descriptive.

Silage is minimal, longevity is poor. After a promising opening, Purple Haze sadly disappoints. This is a nice enough fragrance but nothing I would wear on a daily basis. Overall, the fragrance is just too bland and generic for my tastes.

A Rose For... by Floris

I was offered a sample of this fragrance through a fragrance sampler site that I subscribed to. Was excited to try it and while not disappointed, FWIW there is nothing extremely unique or outstanding about A Rose For You by Floris.

As Kitty2Shoes stated, this is a very safe, slightly earth primary rose fragrance with a diminutive & small incense note in the background. The rose note in this fragrance is not an old, dried, or mature rose, nor is the rose young and dewy. And certainly, A Rose For You is not an earthy, gritty, dark rose fragrance either. To my nose, the rose notes in this fragrance smell fresh, similar to a rose that's been in a vase for a day, or two.

And that's about it. Very slightly salty, slightly aquatic. This scent sits quite close to the skin and longevity is good at about 6 hours.

So, while nice enough, A Rose For You by Flores is not a fragrance I would wear on any regular basis. The current niche market is flooded with incense-rose fragrances. IMHO, there is nothing outstanding, special, or unique about this perfume.

A pretty scent that's just above average.

Bruma by Cire Trudon

I recently came upon Cire Trudon perfumes and decided to try a few. I faithfully follow The Perfume Guy on YouTube and he raved about several of the newest fragrances. I respect Jonathan's opinion, so I was excited to try Bruma. After purchasing a few generous samples of different Trudon perfumes, here's my review of Bruma.

Bruma is a truly beautiful perfume that opens with a distinct spicy peppery blast. Within a few minutes, gorgeous faint floral notes of iris, violet, lavender and peony emerge in an ethereal powdery cloud. Within 15 minutes, lovely, warm tonka blends with the steady but faint floral notes. Not as animalic or smoky as I hoped, the entire fragrance opens and blends in a seamless and overall pleasant manner.

Undoubtedly, the ingredients and notes are super-high quality. Nothing approaches artificial, cloying or synthetic in any way. This perfume is a lovely, mature and quality wear. And FWIW, Bruma is an extremely feminine potion.

My problem with the perfume is entirely the silage and longevity. I sprayed a rather generous sample on my skin several days in a row. Each day, I had an impossible time smelling, or noticing the fragrance. On me, Bruma wore so light, I could hardly tell I had freshly applied the perfume. And overall, I found longevity low, lasting perhaps 3 hours on my skin.

Bruma is a lovely, beautiful fragrance. Bruma is ethereal, feminine and light. Yet with all its positives, I don't think I could justify buying Bruma at its current price point. For me, Bruma lacks a real "presence" because from start-to-finish, I could barely detect I was wearing any fragrance...and neither could the few people around me.

I'll give Bruma a few more tries. I guess I prefer my fragrances to be a bit bolder and present...not LOUD but definitely in the room and worthy of the asking price. And given the hefty tag on so many of this recent "niche" perfumes including the Cire Trudon perfumes, I'm not sure Bruma is full bottle worthy.

Witchy Woo by Vyrao

So, I'm not quite sure what to make of this fragrance. There are times I wear it and I love it...there are other times I wear it and it just sorta falls flat.

Yes, Witchy Woo has a LOT going on. The first time I smelled this fragrance, I was in love. I purchased a full bottle and about 3/4 through, I'm not so sure this is the fragrance for me.

WW definitely starts with orris & rose...perhaps some other light florals. There is smoke, some incense notes and I suppose a bit of patchouli. There are spicy notes including saffron, pepper...perhaps other spices I cannot identify. At times it appears that all is well and WW blends endlessly and simply smells divine. There are other occasions when I spray this perfume and I can barely smell it on myself, others around cannot smell it either. During these moments, I may catch the occasional whiff of orris, or musk.

Witch Woo is a VERY dry, smoky (but not bleak, or gray) fragrance that continually morphs & changes. Yes, at times it seems almost fizzy and bubblegum-ish on my skin; at other times it seems ethereal, serene and austere. I wouldn't consider this a romantic perfume, nor is it mysterious. In many ways, it just a very odd concoction that seems to continuously change.

And with all this said, longevity isn't great, nor is throw & silage. This is not an inexpensive perfume, so there is that factor when considering Witch Woo as a "regular" or daily wear. To me, Witch Woo leans feminine. Cannot imagine a man wearing this. And FWIW, I don't think I'd like smelling this on a man.

Silage is changeable but overall, not great. And given the price point and the sum of the ingredients, I believe longevity is quite poor.

Overall, this is a very nice fragrance. But TBH, I cannot imagine who might want to wear this on any regular basis. The performance and notes are not consistent enough to wear this perfume with confidence.

Likable enough but definitely not for everyone, I'd caution against a blind-buy. Try a relatively LARGE sample first, so you can see how WW performs on your skin.

Encens Suave by Matière Première

This is actually a very wearable and enjoyable fragrance. At first, I just didn't get all the talk about the prominent notes. However, after wearing Encens Suave a few times, I definitely understand.

TBH, this fragrance is WAY better than The Merchant of Venice Mystic Incense, to which it's compared. Any incense, or smokiness in Mystic Incense is totally lost by cloying and sickeningly sweet caramel & sugar notes. But Encens Suave is different in that the smoky, incense & sweet notes (definitely coffee and vanilla) seem to nicely blend & mesh. One note never chokes out, or rises above another. Everything seems to effortlessly blend and join together.

After the fragrance settles a bit on my skin, I definitely detect the smoky notes, the vanilla coffee notes and the pencil shaving notes...quite an interesting combination.

I just wish projection & longevity were greater. Definitely a great unisex fragrance.

I like it a lot but I'm not sure it is full bottle worthy for my tastes.

Mystic Incense by The Merchant of Venice

I am repetitive but I dislike being the first to review a fragrance especially when the review is less than favorable. I had very high hopes for Mystic Incense after reading stellar reviews on other websites & forums. Went out on a limb and did a blind-buy, full bottle. For me, this was a foolish & costly mistake.

I love incense forward fragrances but only when they are well-blended with additional notes that smooth out and take the edges off deeply resinous church-y elements. While I adore the fragrance of the straight frankincense & myrrh that Roman Catholic and Orthodox priests burn in a censer at funerals, I don't want to walk around smelling like that. Fans of incense blended fragrances know that blends with sweet notes can lean gourmand; blends with floral notes can smell like cheap bathroom potpourri.

Unfortunately, on my skin Mystic Incense is a complete colossal fail. The opening blast of beautiful, deep smoky and heady incense (frankincense, myrrh) is immediately overpowered by thick, sticky, syrupy, cloyingly sweet caramel. I mean carnival popcorn caramel. Like thick, nearly burnt, salty caramel.

I tried wearing this fragrance several times. Each time I applied the perfume, I had to scrub it off because the caramel, vanilla & cocoa notes literally gave me a headache and made me feel nauseous.

The high quality of the ingredients is evident and the offerings by this house seem promising. But there is no way I would consider this a well-balanced, "slightly sweet" incense fragrance. TBH, this fragrance wears straight gourmand with the occasional waft of smoke.

Longevity is high, silage is moderate.

Sadly, Mystic Incense is a definite no-go for me. Now I'm saddled with a full bottle.

Herrera Confidential : Gold Incense by Carolina Herrera

I dislike being among the first to review a fragrance. However, it is easier when the fragrance is lovely. Upon applying Gold Incense, I IMMEDIATELY noted similarities between this perfume and By Kilian "Incense Oud." Initially, I was super-excited because to date, Incense Oud has been out of production for at least a couple of years.

IMO, Gold Incense is VERY similar to Incense Oud, with perhaps a few minor exceptions. So, take a look at the notes profile for each fragrance:

By Kilian Incense Oud:
Top Notes: cardamom, pink pepper, Turkish rose, geranium, grapefruit
Heart Notes: cedarwood, patchouli, Indian papyrus
Base Notes: incense oil, incense absolute, sandalwood, oakmoss, cistus labdanum, musks

Carolina Herrera Gold Incense:
Top Notes: bergamot, cinnamon, Angelica seed, marigold
Heart Notes: cedar, labdanum
Base Notes incense, vanilla caviar, sandalwood

So, yes Incense Oud may be somewhat more complex, more floral, dirtier, bolder and overall "fuller" than Gold Incense. However, Gold Incense is intoxicating in its own right.

Gold incense is exotic with an initial, full blast of cinnamon & smooth (not fizzy) citrus. Within minutes, IG develops a beautiful smoky & slightly resinous incense note that seamlessly meshes with emerging sandalwood. While not as deeply resinous, or dirty as By Kilian Incense Oud, Gold Incense develops a beautiful dry-down with smooth incense, light vanilla, effortless florals and more sandalwood...I also detect amber.

As incense fragrances go, Gold Incense is quite wearable because it doesn't approach the linear levels of "church incense" type fragrances, say Comme des Garcons Incense Series. Yes, the churchiness (think frankincense, myrrh, some woods & green) is present but any one of those notes blend well with other emerging notes. TBH, about 5-10 minutes in, the incense note is temporarily shrouded by emerging middle & base notes.

I am not a fan of vanilla based fragrances and fortunately, Gold Incense never smells sickly, cloying or bakery sweet on my skin. In MANY incense forward perfumes I've tried, where balance of the smokiness and churchiness of the incense is attempted with sweet notes, the fragrance turns gourmand and cloying...sometimes to the point of nausea. Oftentimes, in an effort to smooth out deeply resinous notes, a perfumer washes out those notes with sweetness (or in some cases, florals...usually rose). Not so with this fragrance!

Gold Incense is beautiful, it truly is. I definitely see this fragrance as unisex, yet it actually leans feminine IMHO. Longevity is pretty good at 6+ hours, silage is moderate.

And I should be ecstatic that I can walk around smelling this spectacular-smile since Incense Oud is unfindable. But it seems after wearing Gold Incense for a few days, I may have moved beyond this type of fragrance. I still adore incense forward fragrances when they are blended well with other interesting notes. But at the price point of Carolina Herrera Gold Incense, I'm not yet ready to purchase a full bottle.

For fans of Nasomatto Black Afgano, Tiziana Terenzi Gold Rose Oud, The Merchant of Venice Vinegia, Tom Ford Women's Oud Wood and to a lesser degree, Chanel Coromandel, Gold Incense is DEFINITELY worth a blind buy! This perfume is awesome.

Mandala by Masque

I waited forever to purchase a sizable sample of this fragrance, so I could wear it & experience it before deciding if it is FBW. I had extremely high expectations for this perfume after a few reviews sighted it as a "must have" incense fragrance. I'm unsure if my lofty hopes have let me down, or if it is the fragrance itself. Unfortunately for me, Mandala turned out to be one big "meh."

While I enjoyed the initial frankincense and (I suppose) Angelica opening, the hope ended there as Mandala quickly settled into nothing more than a huge, harsh, spice bomb of cardamom, nutmeg, clove and cypher green. I wish this fragrance unveiled more smoky, traditional "incense" notes but sadly, it did not. A few hours in, my nose still feels bothered by creamy, spicy almost "gourmand" notes. I detect wafts of booziness (amber) but sadly, that's about it.

Longevity is good and on me, Mandala wears as a close skin scent with mild & minimal silage.

Nice enough I suppose but as a daily wear & total love, this is sadly a strong pass.

Chypre Mousse (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

Oh, I so wanted to love one of the many unique fragrances from this wonderful house, Oriza L Legrand. So try as I may, for me the majority of the fragrances are (for whatever reasons) hard passes.

I've searched for a very unique fragrance now for quite some time. I've tried departing from my normal oud-incense-rose-patchouli-earthy-woody-musky-smoky vibe but it's hard to rediscover something I truly love.

And at the risk of offending others, on me Chypre Mousse smells exactly like an unemptied Port-A-Potty on a construction site, or an unclean airport urinal, complete with a nasty deodorizer pod in it...I kid you not.

Pine-Sol, Tidy-Bowl's ammonia, moth balls, urine, mold.

Just awful. Actually gave me a colossal headache. Had to scrub.


Incense Water by Sana Jardin

I have recently discovered Sana Jardin perfumes. I really like Tiger By Her Side, so I bought a sampler and a few other vials/samples of SJ's recent offerings.

I suppose while nice enough for some, Incense Water is just a no-go for my tastes. Primarily because there are innumerable Rose & Musk & Incense-y fragrances flooding the marketplace, I simply cannot hold Incense Water above all the others. To me, there is nothing superior, or outstanding about this fragrance.

Incense Water is a very understated, slightly powdery, almost girly fragrance that opens with an EXTREMELY aquatic, dewy green, fresh, ultra-young, watery rose note. To me, this fragrance is rose, rose and more rose. Within 5 minutes or so, slightly sour musk notes appear...nothing more, nothing less.

Incense water is a very "safe" scent that wears extremely close to the skin. Longevity is 2-3 hrs, silage is minimal, if existent at all. For complex & unique incense fragrance lovers like me, Incense Water is a major disappointment.

For my money and my preferences, I'll stay with Andy Tauer "Incense Rose," or something along the lines of Tauer's fragrance. This Sana Jardin fragrance is just not my style.

Oud For Greatness by Initio

I like complex fragrances that surprise when I wear them but I don't like to purchase a fragrance based on listed notes, only to search long & hard for those notes.

Oud For Greatness is straight-up "as stated." Not much complexity, no real surprises. On my skin it's the opening, initial, middle and landing notes, all as listed.

OFG opens with a brief but definite spice blast, which I suppose is saffron & nutmeg. And yes, there is lavender in the opening...lots and lots of lavender, which I have grown to detest in fragrances. Within minutes, a definite oud, or very sour woody note appears and seems to briefly overtake the opening notes. And I very briefly detect ultra-faint patchouli, which almost immediately disperses. But for quite sometime, I detect sour oud, wet wood and lavender.

Within 20-30 minutes on my skin, leather and rubber notes emerge that remind me of so many other similar fragrances I simply do not enjoy. Leather, rubber, oily resins. Some mention ambroxan, others mention ambergris...for me it's just a no.

An exceptionally masculine fragrance, I cannot imagine why a woman would want to walk around smelling like this. OFG is a powerful fragrance with forever staying power and extreme silage.

I may give MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 a try, as others have compared that fragrance to a kinder, gentler, more feminine Initio OFG.

One last OFG's asking price, I would strongly recommend a sample try. IMHO, this is definitely not a blind buy.

Incense Extrême by Tauer

After looking forward to trying this fragrance for quite some time, this is sadly a strong "NO" for me.

I love Tauer fragrances, especially Incense Rose, so I hoped Incense Extreme would be another winner. When sprayed, I get extremely strong, almost overpowering ambergris that frequently morphs with an accord reminiscent of rubber, or burnt tar. I smell little else and certainly only a faint incense scent that seems immediately overpowered by a scent suggestive of motor oil.

Looking at the notes, I'm not sure what I am smelling but a something appears that is quite offensive to my nose and body. Cannot seem to get beyond the thick, oily, tar-like, rubbery nature of this scent. Off-putting, frankly.

Leans very masculine to me. Longevity is 3-4 hours and silage is mild.

Not something I would ever want to wear. Couldn't imagine walking around smelling like this. Seems offensive.

Black Afgano by Nasomatto

Waited quite some time to purchase and try this much hyped extrait. Was hoping it might be the Holy Grail for me. Sadly, I am once again disappointed.

Not sure what I'm missing but one word sums up Black Afgano for me and that word is FLAT.

The opening is bitter, dark and ashy (not incense) but with balsamic green something going on that did not appeal to me at all. Perhaps the green is the cannabis?? After reading so many reviews about the uniqueness and pungency of this fragrance, I had braced myself for something powerful. So, perhaps my expectations were set too high. But for me Black Afgano felt abrupt and dead...seems like nothing happened, or nothing ever developed on my skin.

Dull, listless, flat. Seemed like I was trying to sniff something great from the other side of a brick wall.

Definitely nondescript and truly not to my liking. This is a strong pass.

Disappointing to say the least.

Patchouly by Etro

Patchouli lovers rejoice! Etro Patchouly begins and ends as one great big patchouli bomb on my skin. It's what I might characterize as a green patchouli with a few woody notes. However, my nose detects zero additional scents.

Lush Karma with some Clairol Herbal Green Essence Shampoo mixed in. Too 60's-ish for me with little complexity. Okay for some, I suppose. Leans masculine. Definitely not for me.

Delina Exclusif by Parfums de Marly

I am searching once again for perhaps a new "signature" fragrance. After lots of hype about Delina EDP and Delina Exclusif, I decided to give both fragrances a try.

Thankfully there is NO tart, vegetal, fruity opening blast with the Exclusif, something I dislike with Delina EDP. And with that said, I detect pear, vanilla, cream, powdery-notes and enormous rose upon applying Delina Exclusif.

So, on me this settles as a VERY powdery, creamy rose fragrance with vanilla & dense amber landing notes. I once again detect zero incense, little woody oud...nothing reminiscent of such notes.

Sigh...a nice enough fragrance, yet another disappointment. I really enjoy resinous, incense-y, woody fragrances with some feminine floral touches. While nice enough, I regret having purchased a full bottle of Delina Exclusif hoping it would lean towards its oriental, woody, incense-y description.

I'll wear this perfume 'til it's gone but I would never own it again. And I do not think I would wear this fragrance on any regular basis.

Delina by Parfums de Marly

After reading great reviews and from time-to-time finding myself on a journey for a new "signature" or daily fragrance, I decided to give Delina EDP and Selina Exclusif a try. I will review Delina Exclusif in a little bit.

I am still on the fence about this one and overall, I like it but I do not love it. The intense initial rhubarb, lychee and bergamot blast is something folks seem to love or hate. For me, the intense vegetal & fruity opening, which seems to last forever and a day, is one aspect I do NOT love.

The intense tartness and sharpness to the perfume's opening almost give me a headache. Additionally, the intensity and "uniqueness" of the opening note(s) remind be a lot of the numerous fruity, creamy, cotton-candy fragrances presently on the market. Seems there are numerous fragrances like Delina EDP that deliver this overly-intense "unique" initial blast in a quest to give the fragrance a young & "edgy" vibe. It feels like the opening notes of Delina EDP are just trying a bit too hard to be relevant and "hip."

I struggle to smell rose, incense, or musk but floral mid-notes do emerge, along with milky, creamy somewhat vanilla notes. Finally after an hour or so, Delina EDP settles as nothing more than a floral, somewhat milky vanilla fragrance with CONTINUAL wafts of rhubarb, lychee, bergamot...vegetal & fruity notes.

I would like some incense, wood, musk and other like notes to rise and somehow ground/balance this fragrance. But on my skin, these notes never appear. Silage is moderate, longevity is long. This is a nice enough fragrance I suppose but definitely not for me and surely not full-bottle worthy at such a high price-point.

All stars and thumbs up but not a fragrance I would buy and wear on a regular basis.

Celestial Patchouli by Sana Jardin

I own Sana Jardin "Tiger By Her Side" and I like it a whole lot. I enjoy patchouli fragrances only when they are NOT straight-up, intense, hippie offerings but beautiful, dry patchouli balanced with floral, incense and other notes. And while Celestial Patchouli is not your typical, linear patchouli fragrance, there is still something quite off-putting about it (to my nose).

It's interesting how HouseOfPhlegethon (whose opinions I respect a whole lot) and I can have such opposite experiences with this fragrance. But with that said, fragrance is so very personal and subjective, right?

Celestial Patchouli opens with intensely pungent, spicy notes of coriander and cinnamon, notes that simply do not appeal to me. So, I find the opening notes harsh, unpleasant and irritating to my nose. And unfortunately, the opening notes seem to wear and reappear throughout my experience with this fragrance.

Things only seem to get worse when intensely thick, boozy, syrupy & cloying gourmand mid-notes appear, notes that nearly make me nauseous. I imagine osmanthus, iris & orris are making an appearance but WOW! Did someone say, "Spice & Floral Souk deep in the Marrakesh Medina?"

And I adore woody, earthy & musk-y dry-downs; however with my chemistry, anything approaching this fails to appear. To my nose, the dry down produces zero cedar, or sandalwood but a reproduction and continuation of overpowering, thick, boozy, candied sweets. In the end, CP lands as a very SWEET fragrance with weak patchouli and an occasional waft of leather...wait...leather? Where the heck did that come from??

And finally, in my opinion CP lacks harmony because the fragrance never blends, or pulls together in any meaningful, memorable, or enjoyable way. For me, the fragrance never flows. Silage is mild, longevity is average.

For now, this is a pretty strong pass.

Encens et Lavande by Serge Lutens

Well, another rather straight-forward and simplistic fragrance...just as the name suggests and the notes indicate.

Lavender and incense...a wee bit of berry.

This is a nice enough fragrance I suppose, if you are a powdery lavender lover.

Upon first spray and application, I get Glade Lavender Bathroom Spray. The opening is shrill, a bit synthetic to my nose and overwhelmingly lavender. Within a few minutes, a dusty, rather weak incense note tries emerging but IMHO, does so with limited success.

The dry down is a powdery, bathroom-y smelling lavender fragrance...almost reminds me of potpourri, or better yet lavender powder baby wipes...plastic container note included.

This scent would be an okay blind buy for most lavender fiends...cannot imagine a man wearing this because it smells extremely feminine to my nose.

Nothing out-of-the-ordinary, or unusual about this. It's okay but I would never own it, buy it or wear it on a regular basis.

Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

Just as others have stated. Just as the scent name states...

For me, this about sums it up: An ashtray filled with ashes & cigarette butts parked aside a vase filled with fresh jasmine. Now, I love the smell of jasmine. And I actually like the sulfur smell one might detect when someone first lights a fresh cigarette...first puff kinda stuff.

But this fragrance smells dirty & stale to my nose...almost as if someone wore grandma perfume and sat in a smoke-filled club for hours and hours and hours.

An interesting scent but definitely not for me.

Magnetic Blend 8 by Initio

OMG...are you kidding me? Frankincense and musk! Where? I am so interested to see others' reviews on this fragrance. For me, this is a hard straight OH HELL NO!

Who on God's green earth would wish to walk around smelling like this? Upon application, I smelled like I poured a heavy douse of spent motor oil and WD40 that had been stored in an old metal tin can all over my body and clothing. I literally smelled like the cement floor of a backyard mechanic's garage who has stuff totally strewn about...spent motor oil & lubricating fluids, metal tools & greasy tool boxes, piles of old worn tires...thus the image Magnetic Blend 8 evoked in my head.

And I couldn't get the scent off. I rarely scrub but I thought I was going to vomit from the never ending oily, gasoline-y, rubber-y smells. Cannot imagine anyone wanting to wear this but definitely not a woman, although the fragrance is marketed as unisex.

Blecch. Not at all for me. Cannot even imagine...

Purple Mantra by Room 1015

Not thrilled to be the first person reviewing this fragrance because I am by no stretch a perfume aficionada. But I want to be helpful to others who might be contemplating this scent, so here we go.

Purple Mantra was purchased after a scent note site matched me to the fragrance. Originally and upon first application, I fell in love with this fragrance, I really did. I thought, "Well, this scent match thing is too good to be true because I love this fragrance and it Is so me!" I applied Purple Mantra when my husband was present and we both loved the beautiful harmony and blend of ALL the notes...the lavender, floral, incense, earthy, spicy, musky notes...all seemed blended in perfect harmony. So, initially for me, the fragrance approached olfactory perfection. Like Heaven.

On me first try, Purple Mantra opened with an amazing burst of lavender and other lovely, delicate florals...definitely freesia. Not overly sweet or funerary, the uprising of florals (while ethereal) seemed to waft perfectly. Then, within 10-15 minutes, middle and base nots of smoky incense (primarily myrrh), musk and a wee-bit of spice appeared and blended in a seamless way with the original envelope of florals. And while this fragrance landed as a primarily smoky, musky & incense laden scent, I found it to be magical...a true keeper.

Sadly, not sure what went wrong but with subsequent applications, I cannot as easily (if at all) detect that original fleeting, wafting, ethereal floral bouquet I originally noted. And I'm not sure what has gone wrong. Do not know if it is my chemistry, or my lofty expectations. However, it seems like whenever I apply Purple Mantra lately, the lovely envelope of florals and lavender is gone and the perfume quickly morphs into an almost dirty, over-bearing, ashy incense fragrance.

I will still give Purple Mantra a 4-star rating and a huge thumbs-up because I believe it is a beautiful & unique fragrance. Sadly, I've not been able to recapture the mystery, or magic of that very first application. I wish the florals and lavender emerged more prominently and the ashy, smoky incense either balanced better, or took a waaaaaay in the back "back seat." Unfortunately on me, the SMOKINESS of this fragrance overtakes all. At times, the incense note is singularly unbearable and definitely overpowering for my taste. One night when I applied Purple Mantra after a shower and turned in for the night, the extreme ashy, smoky notes nearly made me nauseous.

Purple Mantra IS definitely an incense forward fragrance (like church incense) and it is defined and marketed as such. I think Purple Mantra leans masculine but that's just because of how it morphs on me. So, think Messe de Minuit by Etro with a wee-bit of lavender throw in...

Sadly, I thought Purple Mantra might become my new signature fragrance and I was prepared to immediately purchase a full bottle. But now I'm not so sure.

Interested to see other reviews on this one.

Latest Threads

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...