Top Rated Reviews of the last 7 Days

Polyanthes 4 days ago
4 Awards
A lovely, intelligent and contemplative portrait of iris. ...
Iris veritable by Sharini Parfums Naturels is an intelligent, contemplative and extraordinarily accurate portrait of Iris with very little sweetness. It is a sophisticated, vegetal and earthy floral oriental.

Straight off the top; green, vegetal, dry, woody, full and rich. You think you are getting everything at once, but hold on, this is going to develop beautifully…

Earthy, the base is apparent immediately. Soft, grounded and classic smelling. There is something a little dark and bitter in there too.
I remember the first time I stuck my nose into a real iris, I was a little shocked, repelled even. There is something moody and melancholic about the smell of iris, it comes across as sophisticated and utterly aloof. But here in this perfume is the relationship I should have had with Iris. Here she is a little melancholic and aloof yes, but take some time to get to know her and oh, how lovely she is, addictive, your best friend when you need someone serious and deeply thoughtful that you can trust to be honest in the most beautiful way. You'll probably find her in the library or sitting somewhere quiet and contemplative with a good book That’s not to say that she can’t get a little wild and free in large, gorgeous doses!
Veritable: from the old French. Verite, meaning true. Genuine, actual.
This really does smell like iris, if not like iris then truly like iris should smell.

This perfume has very little sweetness to it, in fact it’s a little vegetal in the best possible way, perhaps the carrot accentuates this aspect. It does get just a tiny bit sweeter as you wear it, I suspect that is the bright, creamy ylang and vanilla under the slightly powdery, woodsy florals (the cedar and gaiac wood are noticeable here too). But mostly it just smells like a gorgeous, deep, pungent, earthy iris, moist and dry at the same time.

In my experience, these perfumes take a little time and patience to get to know well (so interesting and something I appreciate greatly in natural perfumery), and if you are dedicated they will befriend you, they will unfurl and glow for you.

I just can’t forget this beauty. When I am not wearing any perfume (and sometimes when I am wearing something different) I get fleeting memories of how this smells, imaginary wafts, and I begin to crave it again.

I’m blown away by how lovely these Sharini masterpieces are. Nicolas Jennings is a true artist in my opinion, with a clear understanding of classic perfumery and a very particular and sensitive relationship with his materials. A must try if you are interested in natural perfumery but also if you are not.

Iris veritable lasts five hours plus on my skin (depending on how wild I am with the spray nozzle), longer on clothing.
Sillage is moderate.
If you are a man who likes iris, this is definitely one to try.

2 Replies

Polyanthes 4 days ago
4 Awards
A rum cocktail followed by a large slice of fluffy, vanilla tuberose cake. ...
Initially I get something a bit aquatic tropical fruity, perhaps some lychee mixed with the very sweet rum like note. Then it gets a little heavier with a sweet, fun tuberose and loads of vanilla. Perfectly pleasant, popular but natural smelling, young, easy to wear. It reminds me of Miller Harris Tuberosa, but softer, sweeter and minus the musk. My teenage daughters liked this and they are tough customers, so this is likely to be a people pleaser. Probably not for me but it's lovely and if you are looking for a sweet, heavy on the vanilla tuberose, then this is definitely worth a try.
Sillage and longevity are good, impressive for an all natural, must be those resins.

Polyanthes 4 days ago
4 Awards
Excellent pick-me-up mood enhancer. ...
An almost edible patchouili, therapeutic and comforting. A bit boozy with some good bourbon whisky. Plenty of warm, earthy and ambery patchouli sweetened up with fine vanilla. Seems like it also has some tonka in it to me.
I really like this and it’s got quite a lot of body at first, it feels like it should be strong and long lasting and it 'almost' gets all gorgeous and chewy, I wish it did. Unfortunately the sillage and longevity are moderate at best. After the initial delicious blast it fades to a skin scent rapidly and is almost gone within three hours. If it was a bit stronger it would be a big love for me - a gourmand patchouli, yes please! - Still, it does smell great and I spritz away liberally when I’m at home and have it at hand to reapply regularly.
I think I will try layering it over something resinous to see if I can make it stick for longer. Excellent as a quick pick me up mood enhancer.

StellaDiverF 6 days ago
3 Awards
Mitsouko in Iris Kimono
I was able to test L'Iris de Fath on paper and on skin during the 2018 Esxence show. I haven't had the opportunity to smell vintage original Iris Gris, nor the reconstructed version of Osmothèque. So I can only assess this fragrance on its own merit.

On paper, the majestic orris root immediately took my breath away: the almost buttery milkiness, the violet-tinted woody backbone, the slightly carrot-like rooty undertone, all the fascinating features of iris raw materials are here, satisfyingly rich without feeling weighed down by itself. The peach was initially quite shy, like the first sunshine at dawn barely through the substantial cloud of iris. When much later on, the dried peach-like, decadent and mature fruitiness finally gains the upper hand, the lactonic aspect of the peach makes a natural transition to the creamy iris. An intriguing bitterness also hides within, recalling both the peach pit and the rootiness of iris.

Whereas it's already fairly enchanting on paper, L'Iris de Fath really blooms on the skin. While the exquisite orris still leads the way during the opening, the peach comes through much earlier with its succlulent fruity sweet-tartness. This immediately creates a contrast between the plush, almost unctuous orris and the lively, glowing peach, and renders the fragrance a somewhat 3D effect compared to its performance on paper.

Then, at around 30 minute mark, something unexpected (to me) happens: a vivid oakmoss starts to spread underneath the peach-iris and eventually becomes an equal player starting from the 1 hour mark. At this point, it actually smells to me like a technicolor Mitsouko with a big dollop of luxurious orris! I say technicolor, because the 90s EDT, 2014 EDP and 2015/2016 EDT versions of Mitsouko all smell more or less sepia to me, with the dried peach barely illuminates the dry, slightly leathery and faintly mossy base like candlelight reflecting on a sepia-toned vintage photo. But in L'Iris de Fath, the peach is more exuberant and luscious, while the oakmoss is greener and more lush, as if the saturation parametre is dialed up in this picture. A soft veil of powdery spicy carnation gently hovers upon the mossy base, like a distant echo of 1940s when this flower was in its prime in perfumery.

The moss retreats to the background about 4 hours in. It now essentially provides a velvety, plush texture to the tender duo of peach and orris. L'Iris de Fath then remains this silken, cozy yet elegant skin scent of peach and iris till the end. The sillage is mostly close to my skin, while the total longevity is around 8 hours.

Personally speaking, I'm very fond of L'Iris de Fath. The bright, colourful peach and the sumptuously buttery orris make an enticing contrast yet are still harmoniously, seamlessly blended together. The coral glow of peach shines upon the thick, almost grey cloud of orris, yet when the peachy light and the orris cloud expand towards the horizon, the edge is blurred into gorgeous sunset afterglow. Numerous references from vintage perfumes can be picked out in L'Iris de Fath, from the peach-mossy Mitsouko association, the powdery kiss of carnation to the overall elegant and abstract style of classic perfumery. However, the fragrance itself ultimately feels contemporary, even timeless, partly because latest releases seem to favour buttery orris than metallic, rooty or starchy types of iris, partly thanks to it using modern raw materials, but most importantly, I think it retains the kind of harmonious beauty with a broad appeal that has the potential to transcend time.

When compared to other iris or iris-peach fragrances, I also find L'Iris de Fath quite unique. Iris Silver Mist exaggerates the rooty, carrot-like aspect (which I dig), while Xerjoff Irisss skews a bit powdery violet lipstick-like after its initial creamy opening, but L'Iris de Fath really puts forward the buttery texture of iris without forgetting its woody and rooty undertone. When set side by side with Sultan Pasha Irisoir and DSH Scent of Hope, the biggest difference that I perceive is the mossy base and the subtle carnation touch in L'Iris de Fath. Regarding the peach-iris duo itself, I find that Scent of Hope has a more dominant peach and Irisoir has more emphasis on the woody iris (I enjoy both too), whereas L'Iris de Fath has a more balanced peach-iris and is more buttery in comparison.

However, as much as I enjoy L'Iris de Fath, I have to admit that its 1470 euros/30 ml price is indeed a very steep one. Reading the interview conducted by Fragrantica, it seems to me that its pricing and limited distribution are at least partly a deliberate choice to keep it rare. While I certainly would like that it fit into my range of budget, based on what I smelt, it has a certain level of quality and artistry that I personally don't feel shocked if people are willing to pay for it. After all, it's a purely subjective issue depending on one's taste, value and personal circumstances. That being said, with 150 bottles produced per year and at this price, to sample it would probably require much effort and money, and along with it, an extremely high expectation which will be very difficult to live up to, like any legendary unicorn in perfumery. However, if you're prepared on this front, I personally would definitely recommend giving L'Iris de Fath a try, especially if you happen to be around the boutique where it will be available.

Damascena 6 days ago
3 Awards
A Lynchian rose
Ferme tes Yeux is eerily morbid to the point of decay; and as it flirts with death it has all the tools ready for skilled disection by the deranged surgeon. Its state is pre rigor mortis as it, paradoxically, has lost little of its ambery and spicy warmth and very strong animalics still animate it - yet it is as evil as it is cultured. Ferme tes Yeux sits there on your skin grinning like the Cheshire Cat as you, the hapless wearer, resort to scrubbing and anxious frequent re-smelling to try to see whether the decomposing blemish is already hidden for good from your grotesquely posh and awkwardly stiff aunties and uncles ("and stay dead!") who have already orderly gathered round the table for afternoon tea.

Ferme tes Yeux is the scent of the starless night in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive with all its paranoia testing the boundaries of the humanly psychologically bearable.

Ferme tes Yeux has been reformulated and is currently in maceration; it will be available again for purchase this Spring. This is the most certain one can be about anything JAR does and FtY is the first scent that Joel has ever bothered to bring back once it had sold out. Well, it’s his personal favourite of the range so I don’t blame him.

Polyanthes 4 days ago
3 Awards
An ancient temple space. ...
For me this is a very beautiful frankincense perfume with spices and ylang ylang.

It doesn't smell like church incense to me, it brings to mind a more ancient temple space (in Egypt or perhaps 'India' ;-) the resins the women there would have burned, the flowers they would have placed on the altar and also the anointed smell of their own warm, spicy skin.

There is heat in here from the cardamon and coriander but also a rich and soft creaminess which must come from the blend of exotic florals and sandalwood.
It's a gorgeous, opulent, ambered perfume with good longevity evoking feelings of strength and centredness.

I would like to own all of Marina's perfumes, every one of them is extremely lovely and it's obvious that they are made with exceptional materials. Sigh... so many beautiful perfumes, I cannot posses them all.

Marina Barcenilla is based in the UK but her perfumes are also available in the US from Ave Parfum.

2 Replies

Polyanthes 4 days ago
3 Awards
A lab grown tuberose. ...
I know I'm in the minority here and I'm not expecting positive ratings ;-) but this is my honest review after two thorough testings in different temperatures allowing the perfume to run its full course. I thought (I hope) a contrasting experience might be useful.

Frederic Malle Carnal flower opens with an amazing blast of flower shop, as in, I've suddenly shrunk, I'm very small and standing amongst a giant bunch of eucalyptus stems. It's wow, but it lasts less than five minutes.
Judging from the notes I should love CF, but this perfume quickly gets very harsh on me and doesn't stop. It's going for the whole plant with green bits included, I get that, but it's just so fresh and clean and metallic and it's screeching synthetics at me and catching in my mouth. How can this be when the sales pitch is that it "contains the highest amount of natural tuberose in the perfume industry" ? Are they really talking about the 'whole' perfume industry? Perhaps it's the salicylates that are bothering me, although I usually quite enjoy them.

I'm beginning to think that this cool, clean treatment of tuberose does not work with my skin chemistry as I have a similar problem with Narcotic Venus and Do Son. I'm a tuberose lover and have owned pure tuberose enfleurage and several different tuberose absolutes. I've never before had chemistry clashes like this with any perfumes with a high content of quality natural materials.
I'm not saying this doesn't smell like tuberose, it definitely does, an ultra-mod, sharp, melony tuberose with all the warm, voluptuous plumpness sucked out of it in a vampiric way, and it's strong, almost headache inducing. It's photorealistic, but it's an image of isolated tuberose in a lab under artificial light. This is just so cold and, well, unfriendly. This perfume refuses to get real or intimate with me, it wont merge with my skin at any point in the dry down. It remains sitting like a slice of cool just above my skin, pretending to look the other way while it pokes me annoyingly trying to get attention, faking aloofness for the duration. There is something that seems unkind and bitter here and it's getting in my mouth so much that I feel it is trying to force-feed me. But I'm not swallowing it, no sireee... No way.
Even the soft musky remnants left at the end of its life are detached, cool and clinically clean.
All the notes listed are detectable but seem to have a harsh edge. Sadly for me it's not edgy in the good way.
The sillage is pretty hefty and it is uncomfortably tenacious on my skin.
This one really doesn't like me, and the feeling's mutual.

1 Reply

Polyanthes 4 days ago
3 Awards
Shoulder pads and a steely determination. ...
From the website "the fragrance is the result of a quest for the overwhelming addictive intensity of female sexual power."

I have to admit I'm discombobulated by the contrast between the name and claim of this perfume and what I'm smelling on my skin. I know I have a genuine sample, so what is going on?
Perhaps this 'cool and clean' treatment of tuberose does not like my skin chemistry because I have a similar problem with Carnal Flower. They are both just plain mean to me.
Narcotic Venus smells to me like the flowers (there are a lot of them and they are STRONG) are laundry fresh from a hefty measure of Persil Automatic and sprayed with extremely clean smelling white musk, heavily masking any yummy natural skin smells rather than joining them. How is that sexy?
I'm no stranger to tuberose but I like mine warmer, more friendly and intimate, with a bit of a growl.

I'm not writing this just for the purpose of slating the perfume, I'm so happy if you have found a beautiful tuberose for yourself. But I wanted to add a contrasting review as most of them here seem to be very positive. I think potential buyers of NV might find it helpful to know that this perfume doesn't work for some of us.

NV - Very strong, assertive, clean and fresh. Professional tuberose. Shoulder-pads and a steely determination that can power-play all day. Try before you buy.

Polyanthes 4 days ago
3 Awards
Bright and fruity tuberose. ...
Miller Harris Tuberosa is a sweet, bright and rosy, fruity tuberose. I think my expectations were a bit high given the packaging, descriptions and price.
I'm an admirer of Lyn Harris and a handful of her creations have made their way onto my 'like' and 'love' shelves, but I don't find this one very captivating.
I should mention that I'm a bit of a tough customer and I'm always on the lookout for my perfect fit tuberose perfume. This is not it.
It's apparent that Tuberosa is very well made and it smells natural. It opens in a popular, bright and fruity style and stays that way for several hours. Mandarin, rose and ylang ylang are detectable although masterfully blended with the tuberose. I'm not getting much indole, a light touch of camphor perhaps. And there's nothing animalic, carnal or erotic here as far as I'm concerned.
During the softer musky far dry down, if I sniff very hard I think I can smell an opulent, plump and lovely soapy non-sweet real tuberose flower, but then it's gone. Oh, if only I could have that gorgeous, fleeting smell from beginning to end!
Ah well, never mind.
Sillage is radiant for a good couple of hours. Longevity, up to nine hours.
This is a quality composition that smells very natural, so, if you like your tuberose happy, sweet and fruity then it's definitely worth a try.

Polyanthes 42 hours ago
3 Awards
The stuff that perfumed dreams are made of. ...
Upon spraying I smell rose, myrrh and beeswax, deep and sweet with a little fresh, green twang from the petitgrain and citrus. As it warms on my skin the cinnamon and a little cardamon show themselves along with more resins and creamy sandalwood - everything starts to warm up and becomes richer - oh yes, the richness in this perfume is gorgeous, it’s intoxicating. I’m carried away into my own imagined realms of history; the silk roads and spice routes, European castles with exquisite gardens. Avicenna Myrrha Mystica speaks to me of Medieval courtly opulence, beauty, splendour and warmth. Who would smell like this - a Lady in fine velvet, with a benevolent smile, much loved by her courtiers. She is being serenaded by the sweetest troubadours in the land and the warm evening breeze carries the scent of roses from the gardens. They are subtle but deep, red velvety roses couched amongst rich balsamic incense resins and dusted with exotic spices.
This is the stuff that perfumed dreams are made of and I really want it in my collection.