April 21, 2014 | 979 users online

Fragrances - Frederic Malle - Portrait of a Lady



image 0

rated 3.8(22 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.8
  • 54% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.1
  • Price: $$$$

  • Ingredients
  • Write a Review
Pin It

rated 5 of 5 on 2/9/2014 12:52:00 PM More reviews by Reemyn

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

My first perfume review, well I'm not a perfume expert, never was and probably never will be, so sorry but I just have to write down my feelings.

I moved to my aunt's apartment in 2011, it's in a beautiful neighbourhood, on of the richest in this area.. It is close to work place and school so I don't really care about that this is the city where even old (but elegant) ladies drive Porshes and you can bump into football players in every corner. I don't really care about these stuffs..

This building is not as big as you would think (like skyscrapers in the US), so basically everybody knows everybody. She lived in the top floor, in a huge penthouse-like appartment.

She was my neighbour and friend but I feel like I never really knew her. She was 23. There were times I saw here every single day, and there were times I didn't see her for like weeks. I had no idea what she did/does for a living. I know one thing, she always looked exquisite,her style was impeccable, she was really beautiful, a class beauty I'd say, you could tell she likes fashion, but she was not that uber fashionista, she had her own style, sophisticated and glam but she was never too much, she simply looked effortlessly chic and RICH. She could have worn Zara or Forever21 or whatever fast fashion brand but she'll still look like an aristocrat.

Before we became friends I was always wondering how she is able to afford the living here (it's an European thing I suppose, we are guessing, making conspiracy theories, but we never really ask - "oh it would be so rude" as my mother would say LOL). She might have been a model, or a heiress, or a rich man's little bird kept in a cage... I don't know.

So one day I was really happy because I passed one of my important exams, and I bumped into her (she always took the stairs), she smiled, said hi, and something was smelling so good, normally I'm way too shy to ask anything from people, but as I mentioned I had a good day so I just complimented on her perfume. She accepted it with class and she invited me for tea. That was the first time I saw her apartment. It was beautiful. Not that pastel-mint-apricot-pink colored girly style that is so popular nowadays. It was mature, minimalist and luxuriously empty. So we had a tea, it was a French brand (she said she bought in Paris) I can't really remember the name of it, and I'm a coffee girl but boy it was the most luxurious tea I've had in my life. She showed me her outstanding perfume collection and of course I always liked perfumes but I never really knew a thing about them. Of course I had some perfumes (from Avon, Flowerbomb, Bright Crystal), but nothing really sophisticated... I mostly used perfumed deodorants before changed my cosmetics to organic ones. So notes, accords, niche perfumery - these things were new to me. New but really fascinating. She introduced me to fragrantica and basenotes, and some blogs, and gave me samples and showed me her favorites. Portrait of a Lady was one of them. That was the one I komplimented on. Beautiful, magical fragrance. Really suited her. Sensual but still a little distance keeper. You can never know what to expect. I was fascinated by her world and the fragances.

So there it began. We slowly became friends. We were really good friends until I went to the annual summer college camp. When I came back she moved out. She left without a word. I tried calling her but her number was no longer available. The apartment was empty for months. After that a couple moved in, but they rented the place through a real estate agency and they knew nothing about the owner.
I was, and still I'm really disappointed. I tried several ways to get in contact again with her without a success. I gave up. I won't forget her but I decided to stop being miserable.

But this weekend me and my BF(he lovees perfumes) were in Munich and went to a nice niche perfumery and they had the whole line of Frederic Malle. I tried Portrait of a Lady. And tried again. My BF really liked it on me and said he would buy me for Valentine's Day. But I don't know. I It reminds me of her. Her smile but the sadness behind it. Her unexplained disappearance. Our probably non-existent friendship. Portrait of a Lady is not my fragrance, that beautiful girl was not my friend, and I don't really have a misterious, glamorous life she had. I could wear Portrait of a Lady and pretend to be someone else but I just can't.

13 out of 15 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 10/29/2013 10:17:00 AM More reviews by poppycherry

Age: 44-55 Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

THE SELLER AT AEDES DE VENUSTA WAS SO EAGER TIO GET THIS TO ME, ITS HIS FAVOURITE HE GENERALLY HAS GREAT TASTE AND KNOWS WHAT IM LOOKING FOR AND KNOWS MY BASE PERFUME IS FRACAS SO I LIKE LOUD, ( GOLD BY AMOUAGE IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY BUT I LOVE IT) i find it dainty nothing like any of the other desrctippiosnat all i dont find the slightest thing "hippy: about it, its veryu "ladylike" if you will, and it takes a lot of suirts for me as my skin eats perfume fast, i find it sexy like a third date sexy.... but not a first this is not the first impression id want anyone to have of me, its t5oo shy and retiring the rose is sweet but not cloying and its very nice i wont buy it again but itll probably last for a year or so as its just not really me. now if i could only remember that gingerbread serge lutens name i loved that sample....

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 10/3/2013 2:39:00 PM More reviews by ninanina

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

The opening of POAL is lovely, it goes down hill for me quickly and I am left with rose and benzoin...not a terrific combo. By the time I got home I had to scrub it off. This happened with Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille also....I'm sticking with Dior Addict, it never changes, comes through as a sexy vanilla and that's all I am really seeking. Nice try Malle but this was NOT a home run for me.

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/12/2013 4:35:00 PM More reviews by muxu11

Age: 19-24 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

this is my favorite perfume i have ever smelled, and i smelled a lot of perfumes from expensive to affordable. this is indeed a strong perfume that caught me off guard at first and was absolutely turned away by it. than for some reason i tested it again and slowly it grew on me more and more, til i couldn't deny that i have found a scent that i love so much, i have yet to find something else to top it.
it is not light or cheery, it is deep, dark and warm. it smells strongly of rose but not cloying of floral. when i smell this perfume i feel instantly comforted.
i also find the ingredients of this perfume top notch (of course it better be for the price i am paying), for such a strong perfume i found no trace of it stinging or burning my nose upon spraying. the aroma is full bodied and complex.
i use about 3-4 sprays on my skin as my skin dont tend to hold scents well, so it isnt too full on when i wear it. i wear it so i can smell it and have a sense of comfort where ever i am and whatever i am doing.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 6/9/2013 11:11:00 PM More reviews by CobraRose

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

An intense scent I have intense and conflicting feelings about. I am in love with roses. Maybe it's because my mother pointed out that they start blooming around my birthday, but rose is my most-beloved fragrance note. My husband dislikes it, and prefers patchouli, woodsy, and incense scents. I also love the Frederic Malle line--the concept, the artistry, even the packaging. So, when daydreaming about my perfect scent, I would picture an incensey rose by Frederic Malle. But why would he produce one? He already had two rose perfumes in his line. So when I first read about Portrait of a Lady, the hair on my arms stood up. (You know you're a perfume nerd if...) It was like an answered prayer.

I didn't much care for PoaL the first time I tried it (see my snippily-dismissive review under Wyrmiax). The fruit and spices seemed to clash with the rose, and reminded me of potpourri. But I couldn't give up on it. And when I tried it again, it compelled me. It was everything I'd been longing for--all my perfume-loving life, it seemed.

So what's my problem? Malle says each of his perfumes is produced at its "optimum concentration." And PoaL is parfum strength, and a *strong* parfum at that. It's not extroverted or cloying--it's reserved to the point of being brooding, and dry for a rose fragrance. But it has such massive presence that it makes me self-conscious, especially since my workplace has a no-sillage policy. ("If others can smell your perfume, it is not acceptable.") My husband said, "You shouldn't wear that in a car with someone," even though he likes the scent. (And I never thought he'd enjoy a rose fragrance!) So the perfume I've waited all my life to find is a perfume for a life I don't have, it seems. I swapped away the bottle I'd bought, but I can't bring myself to get rid of my sample. I take it out and sniff it frequently, and occasionally apply just a couple drops.

UPDATE: I started thinking, When did I get so timid? I used to wear Azuree and Poison! I think my problem with PoaL is that it's a fragrance I feel I have to live up to. It reminds me of my youthful ambitions, and makes me uncomfortable that I haven't realized them. But it inspires me, so who knows what might happen? I also thought of my mother, who lost her sense of smell in her 70's. So I think it's time I claimed this scent as my own. A bottle is on its way.

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/31/2013 8:48:00 AM More reviews by cocorocha

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown


a shortes review ever- this smells like a love child of Lalique's Perles du Lalique(spicy,peppery rose) and PdE's Wazamba with it's bonfire, pine ,camphoric feeling...
a wonderful perfume, totally colliding with it's name....

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 1/14/2013 9:03:00 PM More reviews by rpolisk

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Many of the reviews have this one right on target: dusty rose, lots of berries up front, patchouli but not head-shop product. Second every reviewer on MUA urging great restraint when spritzing. This is a room-clearer. I find that I rarely want to reach for POAL. When I do, the temperature outside has to be less than 50 F, and I spritz one small spritz in the small of my back. This allows me to enjoy warm gusts of a lovely dusty rose scent, while allowing others to breathe.
I'm a huge fan of Dominique Ropion and truly appreciate the cerebral beauties of his creations, especially for FM, but this one is difficult to love. One reviewer below called this perfume "oriental" and I agree. Being of North African descent, and as such am dark and of a definite physical "type" (no one's ever been confused as to whether I came from Scandinavia), I tend to shy away from perfumes that bring to mind a certain, shall we say, overexuberant use of gold everything and smothering fragrances a la Opium (the original). It just feels like too much of a cliche for me. POAL walks a fine line between brooding, dark, sensuality I love, and a certain brassiness I'd like to stay away from. I keep thinking I might grow into this one. I returned a full bottle which was first given to me by my lovely husband, but eventually bought some travel atomizers. I can't say this is a true love, and Le Labo's rose 31 is much more to my taste, or even Christian Dior Ambre Nuit, but I'm glad I have the travel mini's.

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 11/30/2012 10:12:00 AM More reviews by Fiammetta

Age: 30-35 Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is it, I've found THE rose fragrance I never knew I was looking for. It's a rose that is spicy and dark, and with it comes fruity berries and soft musk, and the little bit of woody patchouli to give it weight. Beautiful, expensive, with a sillage of about arm's length, and about 12 hours wear, for me. Don't overspray. I don't think I want to be without this fragrance, ever.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 5/18/2012 6:09:00 PM More reviews by tecumsum

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Dark, Warm Hair: Black, Kinky, Coarse Eyes: Brown

What a shock! I have always absolutely hated rose scented fragrances. This one has wholeheartedly won me over. It is an intense rose fragrance that doesn't smell like somebody's grandmother. Long lasting. Wonderful whiff of fresh berries add to the allure of this fragrance. The body creme is just to die for because it is sinfully rich and fragranced with that wonderful Turkish rose scent. In fact, the body butter is so fragrantly concentrated that you really don't need to combine it with the edp. OMG, this could end up being my holy grail!! Sophisticated and so decadent. Expensive is an understatement. Body butter retails for $200; fragrance even more.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 1/15/2012 4:34:00 PM More reviews by Nosina

Age: 44-55 Skin: Sensitive, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

My skin usually "eats" fragances. This one is very special. I get the initial whow effect with a single spritz, then a very dry skelettal rose with a dark patchouli dress that vanishes from sight after one hour. Suddenly several hours later the scent comes back as if suddenly amplified by a microphone. The on and off effect last for more than 12hours and is remarkable as you get a slighty different face of the scent at each return . My pullover smelled for another 24h. However be aware of the "initial overdose" and never spray it in an oriental manner, all family members cried "mammy you drank yourself in perfume?" To try at home only.

Is this review helpful? Yes No