I was disappointed in this fragrance when I sampled it recently. This style of fragrance is not original at all. People think just because it's a Les Exclusif de Chanel, and because it has a kick of Chanel's famous iris in it, that it's a work of art. But it is not a unique fragrance in any way, unfortunately. This reminded me so much of Clinique Happy, Lancome Miracle, and many other similar rosey-citrusy-fruity scents that have been done to death - but again, with that Chanel iris note setting it apart a tiny bit and attempting to take up the slack for a notable lack of originality. I absolutely would not buy this, when there are so many other similar smelling fragrances with the same basic effect. If I want a Les Exclusif that really breaks ground, I will go with Cuir de Russie parfum, and if I want a Chanel so beautiful that it makes me swoon, I'll spritz on some Chanel No. 19. Just my opinion.
This is a very transluscent, sheer, crystaline type of fragrance. There is noticeable rooty iris here, but it is dressed up with cold, aquatic, mandarin/fruity type notes, which manage to whisper rather than screech. The base is nearly identical to No. 5 Eau Premiere, with vanilla and other deeper notes. I find this fragrance very un-interesting, personally. It does not smell old fashioned, it smells modern - like something you might smell in present-day Sephora between the Prada and the Nanette Lepore.
This reminds me so much of Clinique Happy and a slew of other rose/peony dominated fruity-floral fragrances that were popular around the year 2000, give or take a few years. It features a rose/peony/floral accord that is lifted by undifferentiated fruity notes (whether these fruits are called lychee, grapefruit, mandarin, etc doesn't seem to matter - they seem to always smell the same in this style of fragrance). It's pleasant and I enjoyed this kind of scent when I was in my early 20s, back when they came out. But this style has been done to death. Not uniquely beautiful or original anymore, but certainly still pretty.
For me, Vol de Nuit is distinguished and made exciting by its juxtaposition of disparate notes. Chalky, bitter galbanum and sour citrus smoothly interpenetrate a subtly-orientalized, earthy accord of oakmoss, benzoin and vanilla. The perfume straddles the divide between oriental and chypre. Where orientals stand gooey-thick up to their knees in a tar-pit of rich, sweet, heavily ambered & balsamic winter-cozy accords, Vol de Nuit merely sticks a toe into this dark territory while keeping her other foot anchored in the lighter fields of chypre with its brown, autumnal, leaf-litter basenotes. Murmurings of vanilla and benzoin tease the primary woody-oakmoss structure, as together they trip through withered, flaxen fields. I get little to no florals, personally. But that's okay. This isn't that kind of a party.
The strength of the EDT is notoriously abysmal, but the vintage parfum is a bit more rich. This perfume vibrates with natural essences; the chlorine twang of modern synthetic fragrances is completely absent here. If one thinks this perfume lacks pizzazz or zing, it's only because that person was - most likely - weaned on modern chemicals substituting for quality essences. Vol de Nuit was the real deal, lovely quality stuff. I can't comment on the current parfum as I haven't tried it, but the vintage is exquisite work. A very calming and grounding fragrance.
I have this in Dark Blond. It works fine, I'm happy with the color and the texture, but the fact that it is so incredibly thin - it's about 1/3 the diameter of most automatic eye pencils - means that there is very little actual product inside the pencil tube. I end up using a couple millimeters every time I do my brows, which means this will only last me about a couple weeks or so. I find myself having to twist up more product constantly because each swipe across the brow uses up so much. At $7-8 per pencil, this can get really expensive. A fine pencil, but way overpriced for how little product you're actually getting here. They should have given you a couple more replacement sticks and made it so you can load them in yourself, like an automatic lead pencil that you use in school!
I sampled this today at the dept. store. It reminds me a lot of J'Adore with a similar rose/lily floral bouquet combined with wood and amber. It's not syrupy sweet like many scents are these days, it is soft, sophisticated, and well blended.
Fragrances -Comme des Garcons - Incense Series Avignon
hadas 8/8/2012 4:47:00 AM
I'm a fanatical lover of real frankincense. I love the lemony, piney smell of frankincense tears, I love burning it, steaming it, and sometimes even chewing it like gum. It has a distinctive and lovely scent. I disagree with reviewers who state that Avignon smells like frankincense because...well...it just doesn't. It certainly has some frankincense essential oil (which is a bit boring compared to the piney and almost urinaceaous smell of real frankincense tears), but it also has conspicuous ingredients like vanilla and myrrh and other things as well. It's a fine "incense" fragrance, where "incense" is a very general and broad term, but not really a fine frankincense fragrance, as there is so much else going on here that it's not indicative of what frankincense actually smells like. For that reason, it's just not up my alley. If you are a fan of this kind of incense fragrance, try Juozas Statkevicius perfume which smells somewhat similar. But if you love a truer frankincense, then try Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal.
Sunscreen -La Roche Posay - Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics SPF 50+ Lotion
hadas 7/17/2012 7:40:00 PM
This product used to be*amazing* when it was the PPD 28 version, but it has now been reformulated and this new version is horrible. I went through around 10 bottles of the old stuff and it was the most spreadable, smoothest Euro-sunscreen around - it never balled up at all during application or even came close to it. It was just very smooth. The new version is thick, yellow, and it balls up horribly while applying to the face, I'm guessing because Titanium Dioxide is the first ingredient after water on the ingredient list. I'm so disappointed. They reformulated LRP sunscreens to get rid of Parabens and cut down on chemical filters, but they made zero effort to replicate the consistency of the original and they compromised the cosmetic elegance of the original by adding too much TiO2. Impossible for me to apply the correct amount to my face because it just balls up and peels off. Very upsetting.... RIP Dermo-Peds. :-(
Sunscreen -La Roche Posay - Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics SPF60-PPD28
hadas 7/17/2012 7:36:00 PM
This product used to be*amazing* but it has been reformulated and the new version is horrible. I went through around 10 bottles of the old stuff and it was the most spreadable, smoothest Euro-sunscreen around - it never balled up at all during application or even came close to it. It was just very smooth. The new version is thick, yellow, and it pills up horribly while applying to the face. I'm so disappointed. They reformulated LRP sunscreens to get rid of Parabens, but they made zero effort to replicate the consistency of the original! Impossible for me to apply the correct amount to my face because it just balls up and peels off. Very upsetting. RIP Dermo-Peds. :-(
Fragrances -Shiseido - Zen eau de cologne (Classic)
hadas 7/5/2012 6:38:00 AM
In reading the reviews, it seems like quite a few people are saying that the original Zen Classic from the 60s and 70s was amazing, but the recent bottles of Zen Classic are horrible. Well that's a bit upsetting because I don't know when my bottle dates from! Do I have the good stuff or the bad? All I know is that I love it so incredibly much, it is exquisite. I have the 1.5 oz cologne pure mist spray. It is a natural spray so I'm sure it comes after the 70s. It smells so wonderful. The most beautiful harmony or orange blossom & rose hidden within dark confines of cedar, sandal, frankincense (I think), moss and amber. Warm, with occasional hints of very mild sweetness, its drydown calls to mind hot resinous wood glowing like an ember. I have also tried the "Spirit of Zen" EDP which is, in my opinion, just awful. I bought a small vial of this on Ebay. It smells like the bare bones of the scent but but is lacking that gorgeous, woody Zen spark. I say go for the vintage EDC or the pure perfume if you can find it. Zen Classic could eventually become my signature, the only scent that I allow to touch my skin. I find it *that* beautiful. The next time I'm at Macy's I will need to test their Zen Classic so I can decide if it truly has lost its timeless beauty or not.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Sonoma Scent Studio Opal
hadas 7/5/2012 6:21:00 AM
Update: Just wanted to let everyone know that Perfect Veil by Creative Scentualizations is pretty much a dead ringer for Opal. I think it may even have been the scent that inspired Opal. Same bergamot, musk, woods. Original Review: I am basing this review on the sample that I had, which came from 2006-2007. Sadly, the sample is empty now, all used up. It is very rare for me to use up a sample of anything, much less a full bottle, but I did use up Opal. In fact it's been used up for many years, but I can still remember how it smelled: just a hint of smooth, bitter, lemony citrus against a backdrop of very subtly sweet & woody musk. It was just perfect! And now it's unavailable. I'm kicking myself for not buying a bottle when I had the chance. Laurie, please bring it back. I've heard that one of the ingredients is no longer available, but...can't you get this ingredient from a different supplier? A lot of sad people are really missing this fragrance.
This is very similar to the original version of Aliage by Estee Lauder. Similar listed notes, and profoundly similar in scent. I don't really find it that impressive or compelling, and the prices it fetches nowadays are cuh-razy. Crazy!!
Reminds me very much of Giorgio. A loud, sweet, creamy 80s style white floral & amber that, again, reminded me a lot of Giorgio.
This review is for the reintroduced 2006 La Collection version. I just had to write a review in order to say: this perfume dries down to smell just like a pot of brewed Japanese green tea, like Sencha or Bancha or Gyokuro. I'm talking about the real green tea - not the mass market kind in tea bags, but the actual traditional looseleaf, richly green, spiky needles that are steeped for 3 minutes. This prepared green tea broth is known for smelling very vegetal and kelpy and Sikkim smells very similar to this, in my opinion. This is just my impression, please don't judge me, Sikkim lovers!
In 1994 I was still a teenager. Kurt Cobain had just died and everyone in my high school was reeling, and a few months later 'My So Called Life' appeared on television, giving voice to our deeply entrenched, '90s teen alterna-angst. As for me, I had never been much into perfume, had never even bought a bottle for myself. I remember flipping through a People magazine at home that year and seeing the Sunflowers ad; it also came with a small scent strip, which I opened and sniffed. Oh wow, this was unique! The scent blew my mind - the first scent to ever do so. It felt so fresh and lighthearted and joyful, and the ad copy reinforced that message. It was not marketed to teens, but to young mothers and contemporary women who found joy in nature, sunlight, and life's simple pleasures. I kept the scent strip for months and sniffed it all the time.
Well, for Christmas that year my father gave me a 1.7 oz bottle of Sunflowers. I loved it *so* much and I adored the sunniness of the box - the original double box which they haven't produced for a long time. My bottle of Sunflowers was my absolute favorite gift that Christmas, I cherished it deeply and wore it every day. And I would always just randomly pop the cap off the bottle and sniff it, just as a little pick me up throughout the day. There was nothing else I wanted to smell, and nothing more that I wanted to smell like. The smell is bright, lemony citrus, combined with aqueous melon/cucumber notes, undergirded by jasmine and rose. The fragrance took my breath away, it was considered very distinctive and beautiful at that time. My tastes have changed dramatically in 17 years...my favorite scents now are mostly vintage chypres made decades before i was born, like Mitsouko & Ma Griffe. Yet every Christmas - which was yesterday - I always develop a craving for Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden, because the smell takes me back to the utter joy and elation I felt to receive a bottle of it back on Christmas in '94.