Friday, 29 January 2016

Perfume Mini-Reviews From Twitter - October to December 2015 [part 2]

Here's part 2 of my latest compendium of Twitter mini-reviews. Please note that, this time around, we've got a part 3; it'll be published soon.

Shalimar Cologne from Guerlain (Thierry Wasser; 2015)* 
Legendary animalic amber, freshened up - and made more populist? - with sweet citrus notes. Attractive. Fleeting.

Foudre from Parfumerie Générale (Pierre Guillaume; 2015)*
Fascinating, more-ish blend of green-marine notes & electric, inky metallics. Compelling, sci-fi Dune. Must try!

Amber Empire from Atkinsons (Maurice Roucel; 2015)*
We don't need another amber, but when it balances dryness and sweetness as well as this one, we mustn't complain.

La Vie Est Belle from Lancôme (Dominique Ropion, Anne Flipo & Olivier Polge; 2012)*
Sugar sugar sugar. Yes, I suppose there are some florals in there too, but they're drowned in sweetness. Ghastly.

La Vie Est Belle Intense from Lancôme (Dominique Ropion & Anne Flipo; 2015)*
More sugar. Probably based on the premise that if you can't eat the stuff, you should bathe in it.

Encre Noire À L'Extrême from Lalique (Nathalie Lorson; 2015)
Not exactly 'extreme'; just different. Musk-vetivert of the original is joined by incense. Fiery stuff!

Aqua Vitae Forte from Maison Francis Kurkdjian (Francis Kurkdjian; 2015)*
I thought the whole point of the original was its silence, so I confess I don't get the need for this. However, if you feel the allusive, whisper-powerful woody floral could have done with a boost, then check this out. I'm not convinced.

Black Opium eau de toilette from Yves Saint Laurent (2015)*
The horrific fruity-coffee combo is made even more moronic & depressing. Somewhere, poor Monsieur Laurent is weeping.

Donna from Valentino (Antoine Maisondieu & Sonia Constant; 2015)*
The powdery-floral accord is familiar, but the relatively restrained execution makes a welcome change. Delicate. Elegant.

Uomo from Valentino (Olivier Polge; 2015)*
My word! A mainstream masculine that DOESN'T overdose synth sandalwoods. Shades of Dior Homme in the iris-choc vibe.

Kinski from Kinski / Escentric Molecules (Geza Schoen; 2011)*
Mono-dimensional, rather shallow leathery vetivert. Nowhere near as complex or dangerous as the figure after whom it's named.

Féerie Rubis from Van Cleef & Arpels (Antoine Maisondieu; 2015)*
Familiar berry/currant cliches, but made more palatable with a dry cedar note. Seriously cute bottle!

Salomé from Papillon (Liz Moores; 2015)*
Earthy, wicked brew of every sinfully leathery material you could imagine. Too heavy on cumin, but that's the point I guess.

Tobacco Absolute from Molton Brown (2015)*
Thin, dank woodiness - with vague spice - settles on crass, overly-synthetic drydown. Zero personality.

Missoni from Missoni (Quentin Bisch; 2015)*
Yet another sugar-loaded mainstream confection, made relatively palatable with bright citruses and smooth amber base.

Jasmin-Immortelle-Neroli from L'Occitane (2015)*
Undemanding, translucent citrus-floral, with suggestion of savouriness. Very safe. Very L'Occitane.

Pamplemousse-Rhubarbe from L'Occitane (2015)*
Effective grapefruit note, whose tart smoke-sulphur aspects segue into a clean vetivert. Well-executed.

Vikt from Slumberhouse (Josh Lobb; 2009)**
Not unlike walking past a shawarma stand: meaty, spicy, heated. Bit of a morass, but worth peering into.

Mon Musc À Moi from A Lab On Fire (Dominique Ropion; 2015)**
Sugar, sugar, sugar and musks. In other words, someone's trying to do a 'niche' version of La Vie Est Belle. [NB: That 'someone' may well be Dominique Ropion; he co-authored La Vie Est Belle.]

Marrakech Intense from Aesop (Barnabé Fillion; 2014)*
The original's well-loved cardamom and clove combo just got heavier. Commendable for its avoidance of silly frills.

Dark Rebel from John Varvatos (Rodrigo Flores-Roux; 2015)*
Entry-level tobacco-leather scent, with boozy spice facets. Ideal for those who haven't tried bolder niche fare.


* sample provided by the brand
** sample obtained by the author


  1. Thanks for the great review!

    I had only tried La Religieuse a few weeks ago, and I don't know much about Serge Lutens or any other niche perfumes in general since I'm pretty new to pretty much all of them.

    I normally don't fall for perfume in purple. I found most of them are too heavy on the sweet notes. But for the benefit of doubts, I give it a try. At first, I found it was very pleasant, white floral soapy scents. Nothing really stands out, right?

    However, after a couple of minutes, I was hooked. Somehow it felt like a perfume was made for me! And I wasn't sure why I felt this way till I read this article. Because I am currently in the exact stage of my life - "...La Religieuse begins to venture into the world with a tiny bit more confidence. It's still hesitant, likely to curl its petals into a ball at the first sign of danger, but it also allows itself to succumb to the enticements of optimism: somewhere, at the edge of its virtuous garden lies an open meadow, filled with the sins and purities of a world beyond a picket fence....a heart hoping to find the courage to leave childhood behind..."

    That is me! Every word is so true although I have never realised any if it!

    A few words regarding my personal preferences, I have always enjoyed clean, fresh spicy, white floral, musky scents for as long as I can remember. And I found the current trending of gourmand scents to be Insufferable (Lancome's bestseller, you know what I'm talking about, luckily I don't go clubbing). Therefore, I have made up my mind of searching for an (or as many as I can) scents that's NOT SWEET at all, and also suitable for Tropical Climate as I am currently living in Queensland, we have approximately six months of summer.

    Anyway, now I hate this gourmand trend with passion, and I'm still pretty new to perfume in general (I have only bought my first perfume about seven years ago, so far I have ten designer fragrances and intend to reduce my collection to only 3-5, only buy ones I truly love). So do you have any suggestions in regards to my future relation to perfume?

    Thanks again for the great review!

    1. Christina, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts.

      I would say you need to try as many things as possible. You'll soon work out exactly what you do and don't like.

      Enjoy exploring!


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