The elixir de parfum version of this fragrance sports an Ajax-y/Comet-y vibe laid over the same sort of patchouli-grounded base found in everything from Angel to Miss Dior Cherie to Coco Mad to You-name-it. Unlike these others, though, Comme un Evidence manages to avoid smelling like overripe fruits suffering from uncontrollable body odor issues. Where its abrasive-cleaner aspects come from (the notes listed on the Yves Rocher website are violet leaves, rose, lily of the valley, moss and patchouli) are a mystery, but at least they effectively balance the heated fetidness of the mix. This fragrance seemed vile to me at first and I aggressively layered it with other dissimilar scents, but now I've gotten used to it on its own and am coming around to liking it at least a little.
Can't decide whether I like this or not - it's a very different interpretation of amber with less resiny depth and warmth and more rich woods (kind of mahogany-like, in this case) than most ambers I've smelled. This is the "new" L'Occitane Amber, by the way, the reformulated one that says something like "Fleurs de Cistus" on it. It's more complex than the "old" L'Occitane Amber, which was a pretty straight-faced take on amber, warmish and powdery - but again, I'm not sure if this newfound complexity is a wholly welcome thing. As with the old-vs.-new L'Occitane vanilla (Vanille vs. the new Fleurs de Vanillier), I think the new versions of their old linear scents take some getting used to but do have some merit. I think I could possibly get used to this fragrance and potentially even come to like it, but getting over my initial ambivalent impression means I probably won't end up purchasing it anyway, so game over before it even starts.
There is nothing like Kingdom and really, I wouldn't trade it for any or all the niche scents, the impossible-to-finds, the rarest of essences out there. (My Kingdom for a horse, though? Maybe.) It's based on wood notes, has an opening spark of bergamot, a heart of rose and some spice - cumin, if I'm not mistaken - but has an indelible something that goes beyond a lineup of notes. It has a plush aspect that goes just over the edge of sexy into something else, an aspect that McQueen also explores in his fashion collections. Like other "pro-Kingdom" reviewers here, I'm basically glad it's loathed by so many, as that satisfies my against-the-tide nature all the better. Definitely a "mood" scent for me, though, and one that requires a certain type of attire, a certain destination and setting, a particular mindset; dressing in something sleek and going out to a dimly lit boite somewhere down on West Broadway is pretty much what a Kingdom moment's about for me. For such an occasion, absolutely nothing else will do.
Relief! Relief that I did not care for this fragrance as much as I thought I would - because I can't afford it anyway! The scent is built around tuberose - one that I found thin and watery without enough steaminess or depth. There are different takes on tuberose and if you're a fan of the Fracas prototype, I'm guessing this one in Shalini won't float your boat. Also, there is a very generous dose of tiare in this fragrance, and it somehow cheapens the overall composition a little bit. While I like tiare (if you're not familiar with it, check out the Comptoir Sud Pacifique version, which is also a sort of prototypical rendition), it can be overly aggressive and a bit too coconutty for some blends, and it definitely is here. Way into the drydown, the tiare and thin sweet tuberose begin to fade out into something a little more green, much softer, a little musky and nice but not remarkable. And it all really does fade in the course of several hours; I applied this to my skin very generously, at least 4-5 copious dabs from the stopper (the Lalique crystal "wing" stopper really is a work of art, I have to say) in one spot on my wrist, and the fragrance had vanished entirely without a trace three hours later.
Eau de freshly shampooed head - that's what I think of whenever I dab this on (I have the oil version) and take a nice, deep inhale. Of what I consider the "big three" musks, the ones you can find in every Duane Reade in NYC - Jovan Musk, Alyssa Ashley Musk and Coty Wild Musk - this one's the best of the bunch. The Ashley is perfectly nice but a tiny touch too aggressive, the Coty's too timid. The Jovan's just right, probably because there's nothing terribly musky about it other than its remarkable staying power. Wears beautifully alone or layered with any number of other types of fragrance, from mass to high-end "class."
A fragrance that's neither remarkable nor unlikeable. On the plus side, I give it points for smelling absolutely clean and true; not synthetic at all and very straight-dealing, crisp orange blossom balanced with a light honeysuckle. On the minus side, it fades to nothingness within five minutes. I enjoy the initial application but having to reapply it every twenty minutes gets a little bit ridiculous!
I can't believe I'm down to my last fifth of an ounce or so of this fragrance and hadn't yet reviewed it. I'll be all out of it in a day or two and will miss it; it's a fantastic (what else?!) scent for hot weather, especially, as crisp and bracing as a few shots of tonic water poured over a huge glass of crushed ice and quartered lime. Where the jasmine - an almost always cloying and hot note - comes in in this relatively simple equation of jasmine, freesia, grapefruit and blackcurrant, I've never been able to figure. There's nothing sweet or even particularly "pretty" at all about Eau Fantasque (though I do get the astute Votivo reference made by another reviewer here; it's indeed similar to quite a few of Votivo's scents, which - with the exception of the famous Red Currant - all tend to smell alike to me.) It's just good, very clean fun. I will likely repurchase this sometime in the future, as I've really grown accustomed to it after having gone through a full 100 ml bottle.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles
AmandaMPC 5/3/2005 1:01:00 AM
The early Sixties was a good time for French fashion. (Then again, what HASN'T been a good time for French fashion?! With the possible exception of the "New Look" period if, like myself, you have a waistline highly averse to being heavily nipped in...) In 1961, Yves Saint Laurent - my favorite designer of all - was just starting to shift into high gear with the opening of his own couture house. And another French master - this one of fragrance rather than fashion - was about to introduce his newest creation, Bal a Versailles. This perfumer, Jean Desprez (who had a long career - his work spanned from 1939 to 1972) formulated Bal from more than 300(!) ingredients, with Italian bergamot, lemon, neroli, ylang ylang, cassie, jasmin, rose, opoponax, orris, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, mousse de chene, cistus and incense among the many, many notes. Now that's perfumery! To my simple nose, it's a beautifully delicate yet not exxageratedly refined fragrance, something so applicable to so many different moods and occasions that I could easily make it a "holy grail" scent if I were so inclined. The opening is primarily smoky incense to me, with perhaps a sidenote of citrus, and the drydown combines the best kind of light and powdery floral with a balsamic, ambery, vaguely spicy base. (I am referring to the EDT, BTW.) Regardless of your fragrance preferences, I wholeheartedly encourage at least trying this one if the occasion arises. It's a truly special classic and a tremendous tribute to the talents of Monsieur Desprez.
Fragrances -Molinard - Tendre Friandise(Sweet Candies)
AmandaMPC 4/18/2005 12:41:00 PM
Eaux de Jellybean is about the closest I can come to describing this. The opening notes are definitely pear-dominant to me, and I don't find that so great; pear in a fragrance comes across as oddly oily to me, and a little overripe. And then the candy phase - I definitely get that, but it's not super-sweet candy to me. More pastille-like, more the smell of jellybeans than, say, bubble gum or Lifesavers or butterscotch disks. I'm surprised that I don't love it more, to raving point (if I could, I'd rate it a 3.5 - 3.75.) I've been wondering about it for so long, but I'm a little disappointed. However, I am heartened by what my good friend Toni (araindrop) notes below, that she had far better results from the bottle than the sample vial. I'm going off the vial here too and am guessing that a full spray would give me a more accurate take on this promising-sounding scent.
Fragrances -L'Occitane - Eau des Vanilliers (The New Vanilla EDT)
AmandaMPC 4/18/2005 11:24:00 AM
I bought this for a number of reasons, none of which had to do with me really loving it for what it is, a light vanilla with pretty pronounced floral (of the ligher white variety IMO) overtones and honey undertones. But it's rapidly becoming my favorite vanilla, particularly for the spring and summer months. Make no mistake, I am a mega-fan of "food" type vanillas all the way; in the last four years I've churned through a dozen-plus Molinard Vanilles and various vanilla CSPs. But this one is quite irresistible. A white eyelet pinafore dress, a walk along a garden path, a flock of butterflies alighting from a grassy field - those are the things it evokes when I apply it.
Fragrances -The Body Shop - Amorito Eau de Toilette [DISCONTINUED]
AmandaMPC 4/13/2005 7:15:00 PM
Nice - in the same general vein as Serendipitous, but a far superior rendition of powdery chocolate (vs. the buttery type particular to CSP) thanks to a compelling vanilla undertone. In fact, my impression of this when freshly sprayed is vanilla extract melding into hot cocoa. The price is right; the packaging leaves something to be desired, as I prefer my bottles to come in boxes (I'm anal that way) and also to have a bit more heft to them. This one is small and in danger of slipping from my grip on one of my clutzy days. In any case, I will be trotting back to the Body Shop to repurchase, and for me, that's saying quite a bit. It's been a long while since I've worn anything from The Body Shop; geez, it's been a long while since I'd even been IN The Body Shop prior to buying Amorito. As a "teen" (gag)/young adult of the 80s, TBS is inextricably linked in my head with old-school Bennetton shaker knits, (Wham-inspired) t-shirts emblazoned with commands to "Go For It," endless cans of Clairol hair mousse employed to get create severely scrunched and crunchy hairstyles and other such resplendent images from that time gone by. Despite the years that have passed since then, The Body Shop seems to me to stayed remarkably true to its original image. I, on the other hand, have not - and considering the various leading fashion/beauty statements of the era, all I can say is thank God for that.
Okay, for me this is a very Eighties power-suited big-shoulder-pad-wearing fragrance - precisely because that is when and under which circumstances I first wore it. It was my "signature" job-hunting scent when I first hit the Big Apple and so I will forever associate it with a certain blue silk suit (eeeyuck, that thing was ugly in retrospect), as well as with tramping up and down Fifth Avenue and repeatedly passing the still relatively new and "cool" (now grotesquely gaudy to the Nth degree - will they EVER redecorate that gilded-out lobby?) Trump Tower building. As far as the scent itself goes, in its mid-to-late Eighties heyday I recall finding it rather refreshing - almost soapy and clean in a way - as compared to the Poisons, Giorgios, Reds and Red Doors of the world. Now, it just makes me sick. More sickly-sweet and acridly sharp public restroom cleaning solution than soap. I suspect it's something about the combination of the sandalwood - a note which is very pronounced here, and one that can make me a bit nauseated in too strong a concentration - with the equally heavy doses of tuberose and Turkish rose. Those are some heavy-hitting notes; just one of them alone would have sufficed IMO. The reason I am giving it three stars, however, rather than fewer, is because I've discovered that this can become a wearable and even somewhat lovely scent if sweetened. I have layered it with L'Occitane Vanilla, which I'm coming to think of as my "taming" scent (I combine it with Addict, another fragrance I cannot wear alone, to achieve the same effect)and it's much nicer. For a spell, anyway; the L'Occitane is light as vanillas go, so I think if I want to wear this more regularly I'll need a higher-octane vanilla along the lines of a Molinard or CSP.
I'm trying not to be overly judgmental because I'm just working from a test spritzing here, but I get definite "hot patchouli stink" from this scent, I am very sorry to say. Thing is, I love patchouli - the pure stuff, which I find dry and herbal and not at all stanky - and I also love one of the more infamous body-odor-esque (yet not on me) scents of all time, Kingdom. But as with Angel and Guerlain Pampelune, this fragrance makes me feel that I have been forgetting to apply deoderant every day since 9th grade. And I don't care for that feeling. Beyond that, the Coco Mlle. resembles a very toned-down version of Fendi - something I like but can't quite pull off - to me.
I find this a very heavy scent, heavy in rich red fruits and heavy sandalwood in its base. It's like wearing an extremely weighty full-length cape or cloak of the most plush, dense red velvet; luxuriant but close to smothering after a while. One small spray of this suffices for the entire day, and even that is too much for me now. I have to layer this with something more vanilla or ambery to find it bearable. Surprisingly, I get the most favorable comments from random men on this one, and have no idea why.
I find this scent divine. For anyone who recalls the "old" CSP version of Coeur de Vahine - formerly known as Les Enfants du Soleil - this is that times ten. Sweet, sweet orange and sweet vanilla, with an undercurrent of something vaguely tropical. No creaminess, no smokiness, just sweetness with a pronounced zing from the citrus, almost like the zest of an orange rind. The only objectionable aspect of this - the fragrance and accompanying body lotion - is the price, which I think is a little out of whack, at least at Whole Body/Whole Foods. I was halfway to the register with the lotion today when I stopped and made myself put it back on the shelf; $17 was a little much IMO.