Generic Florals

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I can already go ahead and say that this will be an ever growing list lol. 

Most, if not all, of the perfumes listed here came as samples with purchases and I like to remember what I’ve tested and what I thought about what I’ve tested. But all of these I find pretty generic, abstract florals. Not mind blowing or really unique.

I’m not saying these are bad frags because they are not. Some of them are great. But in my opinion, they are still generic smelling, uninspired, completely forgettable, and I find that kinda boring. If you want more info on them though, I suggest Fragrantica😜.

Alphabetical by House/Designer/Brand:

~Avon “Femme”
~Balenciaga “Paris”
~Bottega Veneta “Knot”
~Caraven “Le Parfum”
~Creed “Spring Flowers”
~Donna Karen “Liquid Cashmere White”
~Guess “Guess Girl”
~John Varvatos “John Varvatos EdP”
~Marc Jacobs “Daisy”
~Stella McCartney “Stella”
~Tocca  “Cleopatra”

 

 

Alien Thierry Mugler

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Despite the name, this fragrance is anything but Alien to my nose. It’s a white floriental, mainly jasmine and amber with some woodsy undertones.

On initial spray, Alien is sharp and screechy but it’s pretty clean and a little soapy. It settles quickly into a sweet, creamy jasmine with hints of vanilla. The woodsy notes grounds it and keep it from becoming cloying but this was from a small sample with only a few spritz so it was not liberally applied. This could very easily turn sickly sweet if over applied. 

There is something in the heart that smells reminscent of grapes, but artificially flavored grapes, like grape candy, so even though there are only 3 listed notes there’s a lot more going on in reality.

This juice has some monster projection so go easy lol. The silliage is just incredible and it’s very long lasting!  It smells amazing on your clothes the next day too.

Of the 3 main players in the line Angel, Alien, and Womanity (not including any flankers), I think Alien is the easiest to wear and the most beautiful!  Angel tends to have a very dirty patchouli note that smells like bo on me, and while I love Womanity for it’s daring composition and salty natural scent, I only enjoy wearing it during the summer.  Also, many people claim Womanity to smell fishy on them, though I don’t experience that, thank god!

 Alien is a sweeter more versatile fragrance.  This can be worn day or night, year round, and as long as you don’t overspray, can be office friendly too. It also comes in an awsome bottle, like TM frags do, at an affordable price. This one is a winner all around.

Season: All

Top note: Jasmine

Heart note: Woods

Base note: Amber

La Petite Robe Noir Guerlain

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Boy this is one polarizing perfume!  Perfumistas either love it with a passion or hate it so much it makes their blood boil, but usually not because of how it smells, but rather, because of what it represents to them.

To many perfume enthusiasts, especially to the ones that have been in the game a long time, LPRN represents Guerlains sell-out from true artistry to mass marketing corporate greed. But that’s a whole different story you can read about here. I want to remain objective on this review.

LPRN is a fruity gourmand sugarbomb of a fragrance with prominent cherry and anise notes over vanilla and tonka.  It is housed in a pink  Mitsouko/L’ Huere Bleue bottle with a picture of a little black dress showing through the juice. 

There are tons of different dresses printed on the bottles and all have various flanker names but they are all the same juice. There are only five variations on the juice, true flankers, despite the multitude of various labels on the flacons. This review is only about the original juice.

LPRN opens with a burst of  bergamot, tart cherries and licorice.  Once the top dries, the bergamot fades and the cherry/licorice dominates the heart as the almond  begins to develop. It ends with a musky patchouli vanilla base and a prominent anise note.

This frag has a massive projection on my skin and lasts all day. It’s a pretty strong ‘fume overall, although it’s a bit sweet and the cherry/licorice notes can become cloying.

This perfume was made to appeal to the masses with its sugary “pinkness”, and by god it’s worked.  LPBR is one of the companies most successful fragrances ever and brought Guerlain to the mainstream world.

I see this as Guerlains attempt to bring in a younger crowd and they were successful. But I pray that the younger crowed also becomes acquainted and falls in love with the houses classics as well, otherwise they will eventually be discontinued. 

If you love LPRN, then you should try L’Huere Bleue as well. Although they are very different, they share many of the same notes. L’ Bleue is not as sweet, but is a much more sophisticated fragrance, that will hopefully still be waiting on you when you’re ready to graduate to the next level 😊.

Season: Spring/Fall

Top notes: Bergamot, Almonds, Cherries, Red Berries

Heart notes: Rose, Tea, Taif Rose, Licorice

Base notes: Vanilla, Tonka, Patchouli, Anise, Iris

Cuir Amethyste Armani Prive

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Cuir Amethyste is the perfect name for this fragrance! It most certainly is all about leather and violets!  And this juice wears beautifully.

While most Prives in the black bottles tend to feel very heavy and oily, CA feels much lighter even though the leather note is fairly strong. After drydown I start to get quite a bit of benzoin and vanilla that really sweetens up the birch, while the violet wafts in and out. The whole composition really rounds out in the heart and smells creamy and smooth.

This frag is very unisex and refined. It’s also a very sophisticated scent yet maintains a bit of a rugged edge. A bit of a paradox, I know. It lasts a very long time too. The Prive line does have a reputation for excellent longetivity though.

The projection is decent. Not quite as much as, say Rose d’Arabie, but I think this frag is much more modest in comparison. CA leaves a sillage that is both soft and strong at the same time, which I feel is the entire essence of this fragrance.

Season: Spring/Fall

Top notes: Bergamot, Coriander, Rose

Heart notes: Patchouli, Violet, Birch

Base notes: Vanilla, Benzoin, Labdanum

Liquid Cashmere White Donna Karen

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This is a very generic, soapy smelling perfume. I swear I’ve smelled this before somewhere but I can’t pinpoint where. And while it IS a pretty fragrance, there is absolutely nothing special about it.  It smells like 100 other perfumes; completely uninspired and totally forgettable.

I suppose this would be a very safe office perfume. There’s nothing offensive about it. It’s a typical white floral over clean white musk, so the name is fitting at least.  Average projection, average longetivity, ok sillage. Just completely average and mediocre.

I can see younger ladies, early 20’s loving this frag, as it appears “grown up” and sophisticated. The minimalist white flacon with a luxurious name; “cashmere”.

It’s a graduation away from teeny bopper celebrity fumes and B&BW body sprays, but the juice could just as easily be in a pink Bieber bottle with a wearable gemstone ring cap 😑 lol.

Overall it’s not terrible but it’s not great either. It’s very ok and kind of boring to me. But I can see this as a young womans first step into “real”, grown up perfume.

Season: All

Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon

Heart notes: Osmanthus

Base notes: Vanilla, Musk

Liquid Cashmere Black Donna Karen

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I was expecting this to be a deeper version of LCW, as I received them as a sample duo, but alas, no.  These aren’t even remotely related. Where LCW is a white floral musk, LCB is a fruity floral gourmand.

It smells to me like Donna Karens perfumers were trying to rip off Le Petite Robe Noir as they smell enough alike with the cherry note that LPRN was the first thing that came to mind, but DK’s is watered down. It IS difficult to compete with and out-nose a Guerlain afterall lol.

Although fragrantica has praline listed as a note, I get none of it.  To me this just smells like merichino cherries in vanilla syrup and vanilla isn’t even listed as a note.

Overall, very unimpressive to say the least.  Another boring Donna Karen frag, and though it’s not uninspired, the inspiration is obviously trying to dupe another fragrance, so points off for unoriginality. Next…

Season: Winter/Fall

Top notes: Cherry

Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose

Base notes: Sandlewood, Patchouli, Praline

Top 10 of 2016

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This list is very subject to change lol. I’ve been collecting perfumes a few years now. But as we all have experienced, when something new and better comes along, it can really put things into perspective.

I’m always trying out new perfumes because, well, I love perfume plus I like to have exposure “outside of the box”.  In the process, I’ve noticed my tastes changing and my nose evolving.  

So far these are my top 10 favorite perfumes at this point in my perfumista “career”.  I really wish I had done this before to see how I change, but oh well, better late than never.

It would take something extremely special, a perfume with a serious “wow” factor to knock anyone of these out of their places.  So, without further ado and in no particular order:

1. Iris Poudre
2. Like This
3. Encens Mythique
4. Chanel No 22
5. L ‘Heure Bleue
6. Vol de Nuit Evasion/Attrape Coeur
7. Lipstick Rose
8. Carnal Flower
9. Gypsy Water
10. Mon Precieux Nectar

Top 10 of 2017

Carnel Flower Frederic Malle

nd.1024Carnel Flower is widely regarded as a very sexy, powerhouse of a fragrance, regardless of its name.  It’s become a cult favorite, in the ranks with Fracas, and infamous at that. People tend to love it or hate it.

CF reads as a fairly linear, tuberose soliflore perfume.  Even though it has a few crazy notes in the composition like eucalyptus and coconut, these notes merely serve the tuberose in order to give it that true-to-life, green tuberose, scent.

Though I have yet to smell a live tuberose in person, I have smelled tuberose absolute, as well as many perfumes showcasing the flower but it is definitely on my to-do list. I’m sure I will have to come back with edits and updates once I do.  
 
This is some potent perfume and can easily become cloying if oversprayed. A light hand is required on application or you might just choke a few people out.

It has tremendous projection, heavy sillage, and lasts a very long time. It apparently has the highest concentration of tuberose absolute of any fragrance on the market and the price definitely reflects just that. It’s one of the most expensive in the FM line.

CF boldly sits in my top 10 favorite fragrances, though I only dare wear it on certain occasions and mostly evenings. It’s a very seductive perfume and blooms beautifully in warm weather. 

I recently acquired a small decant of vintage Fracas and just had to compare the two side by side, as Fracas was Queen of the Tuberose for many years. However, CF made Fracas seem almost like a body spray, even though Fracas is quite strong. CF is just that much stronger. CF is a bit more medicinal with the eucalyptus where Fracas is a bit more rounded and creamy. But CF was still going very strong long after Fracas had dried and died away and is the big winner, hands down, in my book.

Season: Spring/Summer

Notes: Bergamot, Tuberose, Eucalyptus, Coconut, Melon, Orange Blosson, Ylang, Musk, Jasmine

Chypre Coty (1917 formula)

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First of all, I am very lucky to have been able to test this legendary fragrance in the first place.  This frag, especially the earlier stuff, is getting ever more rare and hard to find with each passing year.  The version I got a sample of is apparently from 1925 or at least that’s what’s printed on the card that came with the sample that I bought from PK Perfumes.  The card also has a picture of the bottle. As you can see, I only bought half a milliliter as it is pretty pricey juice at $24 US for just a few drops.

20160327_224744-1For being roughly 91 years old, the juice really seems to be in incredible shape.  Chypres are known for aging well though. But I have tested vintages half that age that were very “off” so this has obviously been stored properly and very well taken care of. Afterall, a lot can happen in 91 years lol.

Upon application, the dark juice is rather flat in the top notes but that was something I was expecting. Bergamot, and citrus in general, tend to be the first thing to go in perfumes. It breaks down faster and also evaporates faster. Even now, getting longevity with citruses remains a challenge to perfumers, but I digress.

The top is very heavy with oakmoss and rather tart and sour to my nose. But I wait and give it more time to dry before going back in for another sniff.

I have several oak trees growing in my backyard that are covered thick in oakmoss. The branches hang out over the swimming pool that we keep very lightly chlorinated. Occasionally a small branch will break off into the pool, saturating the oakmoss with water.  I try to collect those little branches to scrape off and save the wet, spongy oakmoss whenever I see a good piece floating. Oakmoss is much too leathery to remove from the branches when dry. But I love the way it smells naturally, even though I’m not a huge chypre enthusiast.  It’s sweet and earthy. Like walking through a damp humid forest that has a thick canopy.  Oakmoss is a lichen though, which is a type of fungus, so while it’s sweet and earthy, there is still a very slight truffle/mushroomy smell to it.   

My initial impression of Coty Chypre was of Mitsouko, only less sweet. Way less sweet. Ok minus the sweet altogether lol. Coty is much colder and more savory to my nose than Mitsy but they still smell very similar nonetheless.

After the juice dries and starts to settle, I can faintly smell the hint of rose, which was surprising because rose doesn’t typically age well at all.  I can also smell iris, patchouli, and carnation along with the oakmoss. 

The oakmoss stays prominant all the way through and after about 4 hours on the skin, the heart begins to dry away and the musky base is left. It’s a little bit smokey and slightly animalic.

I test it again, reapplying a dab to the back of my hand, only this time I dab my vintage Mitsouko extrait on the other hand to compare. I let them dry before sniffing.

In comparing the two side by side, Mitsouko is much sweeter, creamier, warmer, and rounder. The Coty smells a bit bitter in comparison, cold, and aloof. Mitsy also smells a little boozy next to Coty but Mitsy does contain peach and is a chypre fruity.

The influence is obvious though. Coty is definitely the stoic, austere parent and Mistouko, the carefree, adventerous child.

Personally, I think Mitsouko was an improvement, but that’s a story for another day lol.

Overall, I’m very glad I got to try this historical perfume. And even more so that I got to compare it side by side with Mitsouko as they are both legendary perfumes. 

I highly recommend trying it out for yourself if you ever get the opportunity. Though neither Coty Chypre nor Mitsouko are perfumes I would generally wear casually in my day to day, there’s no denying their influence on modern perfumery and for that I have great respect for these trailblazers.

I am not only a fraghead, I am also a history buff and exploring old perfumes is really a very special treat for me. Two of my favorite things collide in Vintage perfumes.  So for me this whole experience was a history lesson; a fragrant little glimpse into another time. Many thanks to Paul Kiler of PK Perfumes for giving me the opportunity to try this! ❤

Season: All

Top notes: Bergamot, Orange, African Orange Flower, Amalfi Lemon

Heart notes: Carnation, Rose, Ylang, Jasmine, Lilac, Iris

Base notes: Incense, Musk, Civet, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Styrax

Gypsy Water Byredo

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Gypsy water was an instant favorite for me. I first heard of it through Fragrantica, reading through all of the rave reviews and I HAD to try it.

There isn’t a Barneys in the city I live in but I frequently travel to Las Vegas with my husband, so I had to wait a few months until our next trip to try it out but it was so worth it!

On my skin, Gypsy Water reads as a very gourmand, creamy but tart, lemon merangue pie.  And it’s delicious! It’s a bit sweet but not overly so and never becomes cloying to me.
 
The most prominant notes I get are fresh lemon, sweetened vanilla, and sandlewood with hints of pine, juniper, and smokey incense. This frag is extremely unisex.

This is one of my most favorite summer scents and falls into my all time top ten.  It isn’t a very complex fragrance and stays fairly linear on me, but it just feels so good to wear this perfume. It’s very clean and refreshing but not in a soapy way.  The freshness mostly comes from the lemon and pine.

This doesn’t have a huge projection but leaves a wonderful sillage and lasts about 8 hours for me.  It’s a very uplifting fragrance and feels like a bright, sunny, perfect summer day!

Season: Spring/Summer

Top notes: Bergamot, Pepper, Lemon, Juniper

Heart notes: Incense, Pine, Orris root

Base notes: Sandlewood, Vanilla, Amber