Fragrances -Les Parfums de Rosine - Zephir de Rose
UnBelleParfum 11/8/2011 6:22:00 AM
Upon opening Zephir de Rose is a little spicy, itís full of life and energy. The rose here is by no means old-fashioned, it has punch and personality. There is slightly herbaceous bite that comes from basil in the top notes, it creates a feeling of greenness and the fresh, outdoor air. Thereís something very cooling and almost mint-like about Zephir de Rose, I credit this to the inclusion of an 'anise' note. Donít be frightened of the anise, there is nothing licorice-y about Zephir de Rose. In fact this scent is so far from the sweet, stickiness of many other anise or licorice scents that you cannot even compare them. Here, the anise is much more crisp and dewy than you might expect. Rose and anise might seem to be an unlikely pair, as anise generally runs more to the gourmand style (such as in Lolita Lempicka) yet here the note is not as prominent. Truthfully, you might not even know exactly what was creating the chilly sensation without reading the notes. Francois Robert has created this captivating crispness, like a cool breeze working its way through a rose garden, in Zephir de Rose. Once the opening has worn off the initial spiciness that I detected has vanished, replaced by a plush red rose. It blooms on the skin and stays bright throughout the wear. Thatís one thing that I can say about the LPdR fragrances, the rose notes are always incredibly realistic and plush. The lasting power on Zephir de Rose is good, it stays richly on the skin for several hours. Eventually it takes on a slightly musky feel with just a hint of powder, but it retains its rosy glow until the very end. Another winner from LPdR
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Dawn Spencer Hurwitz "Route d'Iris"
UnBelleParfum 11/5/2011 8:08:00 AM
Route d'Iris, as much as the name will try to fool you, is just as much about violet as it is about iris. The combination of the two makes for a soft, powdery scent that's filled with longing and quiet beauty. In some reviews it's been compared to the long famous Guerlain Apres L'Ondee but I find Route d'Iris to be sweeter and simpler. It perhaps lacks some of the old world grace that Apres L'Ondee has, instead favouring the sweeter side of violets and iris. This scent is, however, a classy and well mannered scent - reminiscent of decades past. Orris root lends this perfume to the powdery side, giving it 'cosmetic' smell, like that of a luxurious powder puff. The base is a warm, comforting combination of musk, sandalwood and heliotrope which makes Route d'Iris pretty until the very last sniff. The cosy base feels in contrast with the cool violet/iris body but the transition is beautiful, like the opening of a shy flower. The last power is lacking somewhat, but this seems to be a fate to be suffered by most violet scents. What I love about their sheer, gauzy nature seems also to be their downfall in terms of longevity. None the less, this is a startlingly beautiful scent.
Sweet Gardenia is described on the DSH website as a thoroughly tropical interpretation of gardenia with island flowers and a hint of sensuality in its base notes. There's not a whole lot of development with this perfume oil; although I find this to be the case with many perfume oils. As the description suggests Sweet Gardenia is a very tropical fragrance; the gardenia is rich and heavy. You really can feel the dampness of tropical air filled with lush white blooms. There is the tiniest hint of coconut in this fragrance; it's barely detectable through the white flowers but there's just enough to hint at the idea of cocktails and suntan lotion. The gardenia is blended with tuberose; which also adds to the rich, velvety feel and density of this fragrance. It's certainly not a scent for someone who likes their flowers fresh and clean! Sweet Gardenia is a great balmy-evening perfume, when I fancy something a little sexy and decadent. As Sweet Gardenia winds down there is a sweet musky, honey scent that lingers like the warmth of a day gone by. It has an ultra-feminine yet carefree holiday feel to it; just what I need now that the summer holidays are approaching! DSH has created another evocative and sensual fragrance that makes me want to keep sniffing! The 1 Dram oil size might not sound like much but this little bottle will keep me going for some time as you only need a small amount to smell absolutely delicious!
Fragrances -Dawn Spencer Hurwitz - La Rose Fleurette
UnBelleParfum 11/4/2011 8:21:00 AM
This rose is sweet, fresh and young smelling - like a bud that has just bloomed, where the petals are still full and silky. It opens with a fresh, watery tea note and then blooms into a garland of roses. As La Rose Fleurette winds down there is a wonderful base exuding golden warmth in the form of honey and heliotrope; which gives the most delightful powdery almond smell. The honey is rich and sweet but doesn't completely take over from the roses; it's floral til the very end. Perfection.
Initially there is some peppered rose with liqueur-like feel which comes on a little sharp, however the composition quickly softens into a dusty, darkened rose with a healthy coating of golden honey. It feels utterly feminine to me, yet I imagine it would smell simply wonderful on a man confident enough to wear it. Whilst rose plays a main feature in this fragrance I wouldn't classify it as a floral perfume. The honeyed warmth and gentle spices lend a more oriental feel to Cologne Pour Le Soir and as it develops there is a woody vanilla that adds to the cosy, softness. Given Francis Kurkdjian has labeled this a cologne, I was expecting something lighter and more transparent. There is nothing sheer about Cologne Pour Le Soir, it envelopes you from the start and is warm til the very end. While I thoroughly enjoy wearing my sample of Cologne Pour Le Soir, I don't feel there is a place for a full bottle in my collection given the price and the fact that I already have scents that fulfill this warm, cosy aesthetic (Balmain Amber Gris being my primary option.)
As soon as you spray this fragrance you can smell the full, rich, velvety scent of a red rose with droplets of dew still clinging to it's plush petals. It's what I would hope to smell if I buried my nose into an actual rose, a kind of simple beauty that takes your breath away. There is a tiny hint of crispness, almost mint-like in its gentle chill, that makes me think of the early parts of spring when the shade is still damp and cool. This lifts Red Roses and prevents it from being too heady and lush, this is definitely a sheer spring-time scent! Beyond this there is little development for Red Roses, which is unsurprising as many soliflores, however lovely, are simplistic in nature. Unfortunately, as with many of the Jo Malone scents, longevity is an issue and Red Roses fades to a pale, musky rose all too quickly. Being a cologne, I'm not surprised by it's lack of tenacity however I would have preferred it to stay at least a few hours in that rich, lush section. I prefer Red Roses layered over a rose-based body lotion for a little extra mileage, this also helps with the silage as that too is somewhat minimal.
There's nothing eerie about this light and fluffy vanilla-cream scent. It's pretty but not wildly unique, as I guess is often my expectation form BPAL scents. There's a hint of burned, caramelised sugar laying at the bottom of this sweet, desert-like scent that adds a hint of warmth. Boo seems inspired by the candied-treats of the modern Halloween tradition rather than the darker historical past. It feels milky and lolly-like, a cute and fun scent but not something I would ever really wear myself. It feels a little juvenile to be honest. Nice, but not enough for me to purchase.
Fragrances -Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Queen Of Hearts
UnBelleParfum 10/30/2011 8:16:00 AM
Queen of Hearts bursts forth with a medicinal cherry opening, it's tart, sweet and reminds me of childhood medicine. There's nothing candy-like about this opening, the cherry feels almost astringent. In true BPAL fashion it's a little quirky and unexpected, although it feels very red which is fitting for it's inspiration. Soon after, however, Queen of Hearts fades into a softer white floral. There is a soft and almost powdery lily scent that accompanies the cherry as it fades. Strangely the lily is soft and gentle, perhaps not befitting of a Queen that screams 'Off with her head!' By the mid-stages this perfume is a bouquet of sweet lilies, all elegance and regal poise. I don't really see the connection between the inspiration and the scent, however that doesn't stop me enjoying Queen of Hearts. As a small complaint I must point out that the lasting power isn't fantastic on this one, however it's pretty until the very end where is remains as a musky skin-scent with just a hint of white flowers.
Upon reading this description I mentally dismissed Ghoulish; why? Because it features my fragrance nemesis: Coconut. Coconut and I DO NOT get along the majority of the time, I find it sickly, over-powering and often cheap smelling. In Ghoulish, however, coconut has met it's match! Heady almond steals the show with it's sweet friend cherry. The coconut is there but it's subtle, quite and subdued. It's like drinking amaretto from a crystal liquor glass and nibbling on a cherry-topped coconut macaroon, it's sweet and desert-like but in a more sophisticated way than you'd expect. Ghoulish is lovely...unexpectedly so
Fragrances -Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Come to Me
UnBelleParfum 10/30/2011 8:13:00 AM
Come to Me is a gentle, powdery scent reminiscent of old French milled soaps. It has a wonderfully soapy cleanness to it without bringing to mind detergent or laundry powder - it doesn't smell artificial like detergent does. It has an almost baby powder feel but there are faint, pale pink roses in the back ground. At times you can barely smell it but every so often your nose will catch but the faintest glimpse of rosewater and luxuriously perfumed soap. It's the scent of 'just showered' and a fresh yet ever so fancy skin-scent. I makes me feel soft and dainty, ultra-feminine yet not sexy as the BPAL description implies; in fact I feel the BPAL description is completely at odds with the actual scent as it has the opposte effect for me. It's almost innocent smelling, I guess because of the child-like connection to baby powder. However; it's beautiful and almost ethereal in it's development. It's a very faint scent on me and staying power isn't all that great, however I have managed to fall completely in love with it with Come to Me and I think this may just be worth of a full bottle.
Magie was originally released in 1950 and this wonderful reissue is a full-bodied amber floral with all the richness and beauty I would expect from the 50s era. At first there is a tart greeness that feels sharp and assertive, however this quickly mellows and Magie morphs into a rich, warm floral with a generous helping of jasmine and amber. There is a smooth, liquid sweetness to Magie which comes from the amber note and it warms beautifully on the skin, particularly in the cold weather. There is a soft, powdery overtone to this fragrance which adds to its vintage feel. The official notes list violet and while I canít say that I smell violets specifically, Magie does have that dusty, cosmetic feel that old world violets provide. Beyond this point Magie stays fairly constant, only becoming slightly more musky as it dries down.
Vanilla Musk (I have this in the oil concentration) is an example of a quality vanilla fragrance; itís rich, sweet and creamy like a scoop of high-quality vanilla bean ice cream. It has that wonderful desert-like sweetness without feel overly sugary or cloying. It also lacks the thin, artificial Ďscreechí of many cheap vanilla scents. The musk is definitely a secondary element in this fragrance, vanilla takes all the attention. The baby-soft layer of powdery musk compliments the vanilla heart and together they make for a perfect pair. Thereís little development with this scent, it opens and closes with the same notes lingering on the skin until itís barely more than a sweet, musky whisper. A perfect scent for cuddling on the couch during a cold winterís night, thereís something sexy about Vanilla Musk in a cashmere cardigan and bare feet kind of way. Itís relaxed, yet sensual and I couldnít imagine ever tiring of this wonderful perfume.
Donna Karan Cashmere Mist EDT is my go-to for these moments, itís the perfume equivalent of a fluffy white robe straight from the tumble dryer. There is little more than a super soft vanilla and musk combination layered over a base of pale woods with just the barest hint of white flowers (lily of the valley and jasmine.) Simplicity is the key to this scent and the combination of these notes gives the illusion of lightly powdered skin, freshly washed and dried, ready to be touched. Itís sensual without being overtly sexy and yet simple without being boring.
The opening is a burst of sweet, juicy florals in all the head-spinning glory that Iíve come to love from 80s perfumes. There is a solid mix of jasmine and tuberose that easily fills the room and a heft dose of Ylang-ylang that gives Passion an unmistakable warmth. Amongst the sweetness of the white florals there is a bitter, prickly green note. The AG website lists tomato leaves as the green note and I can almost immediate sense this rough, herbal note amongst the flowers. Rather than feeling out-of-place this note perfectly balances the opulence of the jasmine and tuberose, giving it a much-needed roughness. Passion mellows into a very soft, sweet floral with the barest hint of vanilla in the dry down. This shift is seamless and itís almost as though Passion melds with the skin and becomes a part of it.