Just want to start by saying the longer reviews prior to me seem suspect - as if they were written by someone who got paid to do an endorsement. Seriously - who writes reviews that long? If they didn't get paid they are totally bonkers.
At any rate, I ordered the Madagascar Orchid based on the description on Lisa Hoffman's website. It sounded like a perfume I would like. I gravitate towards florals and warm / sweet smells.
This perfume is very "soapy" smelling. It's not a bad thing, it's just that I'd like to smell a little more like perfume and less like soap. It is very crisp and a little woodsy (not overwhelmingly woodsy but it's in there - and I don't like woodsy smells).
It is nice that there are 4 variations as the smells are different for morning, daytime, evening and night. If you don't like one so much, you can switch out and use another.
Just a note that you can order the refill bottles and it is much cheaper than ordering the original 4-bottle set with pouch. If you don't care about the pouch (I don't) - you will save money by just getting the refill set. It comes in a nice box so you can still carry the bottles around.
I really like the packaging design of the bottles. You roll the perfume on versus spraying it so you don't waste a lot of the spray and it doesn't get in your carpet. You can also put little dabs exactly where you want them.
I got 2 free sample bottles of perfume with my Madagascar Orchid purchase - one was Tuscan Fig and the other Tuscan Neuroli (probably spelled that wrong). I much prefer these two over the Madagascar Orchid. The Tuscan scents are much more what I was looking for in terms of being soft, warm, sweet smells.
I'd suggest before anyone buy the Madagascar Orchid - or any other scent - they email or call Lisa Hoffman co. to get sample bottles to ensure you'll like the scent before getting stuck with 4 bottles of something you don't really like.
The name “Madagascar” brings to mind notes such as ylang ylang, geranium and vanilla (the only real orchid used in perfumery). And so, I was expecting vanilla from Lisa Hoffman's Madagascar Orchid. Instead, I got lilac.
Nestled in a pebbled-green, soft leather travel pouch were four little roll-on bottles with a golden cap. The “Variations” took me by surprise when each one of the four bottles turned out to contain a different scent – each one a variation on the theme, made to fit a certain moment during the day: morning, daytime, evening and bedtime. Interesting concept, with some practical implications: The nose does get tired if you wear the exact same fragrance all day, and the olfactory bulb does goes through different degrees of sensitivity throughout the day. It is also particularly fun for perfumistas, who enjoy exercising their refined sense of smell by comparing the subtleties between each variation. And lastly, it is definitely much cleverer than the flankers we see popping out only several months after the “original” scent comes out (usually it won’t be original at all).
The morning variation would be light and not overpowering, as to not overwhelm you before you had your coffee; the daytime variation seems quite strong, and I have a feeling it is going to come handy as a pick-me-up scent when the energy goes down in the afternoon; the evening is the most sultry and rich of the four; and lastly the bedtime variation is soft and a little powdery, to help you wind-down and drift into sleep.
The Madagascar Orchid Morning variation is quite soapy, but also dewy and a little crisp, like what you’d smell on a cluster of lilacs early in the morning, with hints of crushed green leaves in the garden.
The Daytime variation is a little more full-bodied, but still within the fresh light floral realm. The lilac note in here is quite pronounced but with a bit of powder and sweet notes as a backdrop. It took me a while to figure it out, but it really did remind me of the lilac-scented deodorant I got when traveling in Quebec 12 years ago, which brought me some fond memories.
The Bedtime variation is more delicate but my least favourite. It’s not as floral, and a even more powdery than the previous two. I think I can smell lavender in there.
The Evening variation is distinctively different, with warm, sweet notes of incense crawling from beneath. It was the first one I gravitated towards, and it’s the only one in the collection that really could remind me of an exotic orchid. It does not have much of the lilac as in the other ones, but instead, has a scent reminiscent of the East Indian “Night Queen” perfume, and with trails of sweet incense smoke swirling around it.
Personally, I enjoyed the Evening variation more then the rest, which is not surprising at all considering that I usually gravitate towards the heavier scents. The contrast between the smoky incense and the heady flowers is mediated by a tad of sweetness (perhaps vanilla) yet never sugary sweet. Like I said the other day – it makes for a perfect fall floral scent.
Orchids are usually "fantasy florals" - a composition made of several different notes (natural and/or synthetic). Sometimes they are completely "made up" from the perfumer's imaginations; other times they are captured using headspace technique from exotic orchids in faraway lands. In other words - what perfumers call "orchid" could smell like anything or like nothing else. This particular orchid perfume is both exotic and intoxicating and whether it smells like a particular orchid or like something familiar from my daily life is not important; but the fact that it creates the sensation of a fragrant blooming orchid.
The "official" notes for the Madagascar Orchid collection are: sheer jasmine, ylang dew, mimosa mood, and pink peony. Another interesting thing to note is the medium for this collection: the base for these roll-on perfumes is made of a mixture of nut and seed oils such as sesame seed oil, rice bran oil, macademia nut oil, brazil nut oil, acai pulp oil, jojoba esters, squalane oil and vitamin E.
The Variations series come in a leather wallet, or you can get a refill. You can purchase them directly from the Lisa Hoffman website, and also enjoy the following discounts offered to SmellyBlog readers:
Effective until October 15th: enter LHB4DC to receive a 35% discount on all orders.
And until the end of the month (October 31st), SmellyBlog readers can enjoy a 15% discount on all Lisa Hoffman products with the coupon code SMELLYBLOG.
I'm reviewing the Japanese Agarwood fragrance and the reviewer below is SPOT ON. There is no earthly way to describe this fragrance as it is out of this world Fantastic! It's my fragrance fix and it just makes me happy smelling it. It has a very clean yet rich and complex smell. It gives you a similar feeling like when you are walking in the woods after a good rain....you know that l mean...you just take the deepest breath you can because it is so clean, refreshing and revitalizing. It's not the kind of clean smell that some "clean linen" type fragrances claim to be. This is truly a refreshing sent without being citrus-y or clean linen-y.This is a fragrance you MUST try. Order a sample and you'll be hooked www.lisahoffmanskincare.com. You can also call the Lisa Hoffman counter at Bergdorf Goodman (NYC) and they'll mail you one gratis.
INTRODUCTION: This is a review for two perfumes and a complete spa & bath line. I have simply fallen in love with these two perfumes from Lisa Hoffman called Variations available in Madagascar Orchid and Japanese Agarwood. I recently obtained these two perfumes and I can still smell the enduring Madagascar Orchid scent, I certainly can’t stop thinking about it, and yes how to get more.Same with the agarwood it is very hypotic as well. The Japanese Agarwood, I am simply mad over and must have one of the two perfumes on at all times. I reached for a jacket yesterday and this fresh and clean but never soapy smell rushed to envelop me. All I can say is that these scents are so feminine and entrancing, I simply MUST wear them. Sniffers beware you are going to want one or both of these variations.
PS: I have already bought more, back-ups in both scents, that is how highly I feel about them.
THE CONCEPT: The perfume comes with an interesting concept “Variations”. It comes in 4 vials which are specific blends designed for different times of day (morning, daytime, evening and bedtime) for your sensitive nose and daily needs. It came packaged in a lovely sage green leather wallet that is very soft and elegant. The blends are very close and the concept is to use a specific blend for the time of day and/or your different moods. I personally really love the morning in the morning, daytime at any time, the evening is a little sexier and bedtime has a light soft & tranquil smell. Importantly, there are no conflicts between the specific blends as they all have the same base scent but with subtle changes, e.g. tweaked “variations” on the same scent.
Madagascar Orchid: This is a gorgeous scent, in a floral and this seems to me the more feminine and sexy of the two scents. It smells like a light tuberose and reminds of lily, not lily of the valley, but a large bold lily. I also sniff jasmine and it is very fresh and yet deep. My nose is not good enough to tell if it is all white flowers used, you will have to smell it for yourself as it is simply so new. The only other perfume that smells close is L’Artisan’s “Indiana Tuberose” and maybe a touch of “Joy”.Meaning good Jasmine!
Japanese Agarwood: Now the surprise, Japanese Agarwood which could not smell more different and it simply blew me out of the water. This is completely different than any perfume you have ever smelled, so it is very hard to review as it has no comparison. I cannot put into words the smell of Japanese Agarwood. It really clears your head, but is not a cough drop smell yet in the beginning a zing is clearly there. It weaves a spell this one does, I cannot get enough of it. If the Madagascar Orchid is sensual, beautiful and very and very female, I dare say Agarwood is a perfume a man would love, just like the girl next door. Fresh, friendly, happy, energetic and yet Zen like. I have never been to a Japanese garden but I can imagine it might smell like this. i did not twig to this one first ,being i love florals i picked the Ordhid. Oh but her perfumes to not let you forget them, it haunted it me so .These are not srtong fumes but oh so hypnotic ,I have not had tis happen to me before, It is like a craving , to smell it again & again. My Husband now lets me have the shower first as I make the room smell so good for him to use next. * & me LOL
THE PRODUCT LINE: The perfume as previously mentioned comes in an elegant leather wallet with 4 roll-on vials that each about lipstick size for around $150. You can also purchase refills for $90 without leather case, but you simply must treat yourself to one wallet set at least. The carry case or wallet is a treat in itself; it is gorgeous, with a little spot for your money or credit card and most importantly your perfumes.
Importantly there is also whole spa line to use with it, which is divine. My skin was never softer than after just one use of these products. The bath line is scented with the Madagascar Orchid and is amazing. The shower line is scented with the Japanese Agarwood and is energizing. Layering is a big part concept, you are left with a light feminine scent with very little sillage, but an oh so dreamy feeling of a relaxing bath with scents from the rain forest which is where the ingredients for these products originate.
Check out the web site (www.lisahoffmanskincare.com). These two perfumes are available with the complimentary spa shower and bath items, but more are on the way as I hear it. All of these products are of such high quality, and in scents never before experienced they are a real pleasure to use. Lisa Hoffman did try to think of everything. I do however have one wish, some shampoo & conditioner to go with it all. Samples are readily available and you can buy small kits (not really so small) for the complete line.
Final Thoughts: Lisa Hoffman may not have a background in perfume, but she has the good taste to recognize a wonderful smell, and to develop a comprehensive line of high quality perfumes and spa products. This is one talented woman. I for one, am so glad she pushed ahead to introduce the spa line for bath & shower to compliment these amazing perfumes. Whichever one you pick of these two stunning scents, you will not be disappointed. If just for the fact Lisa is all about quality .It is said you cannot buy Class but we may have something that can with her products = PURE Class all the way ,now that is something that has been lacking in the perfumes of today . I would so enjoy meeting her as I can envison a wonderful chat we could have & on what else..Perfumes