AnessaAnessa's Perfume Reviews

1 - 5 of 39
Anessa 9 months ago
6
Scent
8
Longevity
9
Sillage

Drowned in Sweetened Soap
The version of 5th Avenue I was introduced to for the first time was prior to the changes that many classic perfumes had apparently undergone without any announcements. I appreciated it as a more 'modern', casual approach to the conservative style. Fairly balanced so that none of the traits would be prevalent. Prim and proper, yet far from the stiffness of the governess' ironed collars. Unquestionably feminine in its nature, but not the voluptuous type calling for the bees. While centered on the floral, it would be neither romantic nor innocent. Down-to-earth and self-reliant although discreet and tactful; quite recognisable despite the lack of attempts at attention-seeking.
Basically, a mature, composed, clean floral with a grounding woody base. The bottle well-matched, its iconic status owed to its elegant simplicity. I would even go so far as to say that for me, this perfume would have represented the olfactory idea of the early "emancipated woman" (I will not pursue this point to stay on the subject).

Unfortunately, the last edition I acquired turned out to be a personal disappointment after being worn across the four seasons on different occasions. During the coldness of winter, the florals were buried under thick layers of white soap. Spring brought forth the lilac along with the linden blossom and aqueous magnolia. In the blazing summer heat, 5th Avenue proved its tenaciousness with a single application over several hours. There was an oily appearance of aldehydes and bar soap, and I suspected the Ylang-ylang as it might come across to me in this way if it worked unfavourably. However, it did not bother me as long as it was "clean". The powerful base finally broke out in autumn. The unfaltering mixture of musk with amber and vanilla weighed heavily in my lungs while the sharp flowers that popped their pointy heads throughout the stuffiness strained my nerves. The smell seemed faceless and at the same time persisted in being noticed. Kudos to its explosive projection: applying twice on the waist required opening windows, which I had never experienced before.

In conclusion, as much as the flowers may stand out in the pyramid, the base would be most prominent on my warm skin, limiting this fragrance to early spring or the sunny winter. Against my expectations, it was not versatile enough for this kind of perfume to be kept in my collection.
Another fragrance this reminds me of is Sparkling White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, even though the perceived similarity would be more in the type than the smell. If 5th Avenue were bar soap, SWD would be 'gorgeous' soap powder. Even if I had to dilute it in order to wear it comfortably, I would prefer SWD for being significantly less sweet and having a clearer aftertaste than Arden. Nevertheless, it should be noted that SWD's 'cleanness' is far from fresh, based on bitter neroli and a punch of ambered musk, and because of my personal association with facial or body cream, I cannot really imagine SWD worn other than in private scenes. As a member of the E. Taylor line, SWD possesses longevity and projection that would surpass 5th Avenue. Whether this tickles someone's interest or not, both fragrances may work better for those with lower body temperatures.
2 Replies

Anessa 19 months ago
6.5
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
8
Bottle

Not Lolita, for better or for worse
My admiration for the fragrances of this brand had always been rather limited to the visual aspects. Although I had the privilege of smelling the original EDP every week during my school days, it wasn't until a few years later, when I delved deeper into the hobby of fragrances, that I discovered the name of the classic.
Whoever had given it to my classmate, the otherworldly scent in a fairytale apple could have been tailor-made for the nymph she was.

My expectations of L'Eau Jolie were aroused by many reviews that seemed to welcome this flanker as the Lolita for those who unfortunately could not identify with nymphs and other mystical beings. Perhaps this was the chance for me to finally justify owning at least one of these beautiful objects?

Unfortunately, the fruit of joy turned out to be another fruit défendu. My nose perceives the citrus the most, which on my skin again borders on astringent cleansers. The pastel-coloured bouquet of delicate florals and the dewy fruit notes translate to me as a somewhat thin, watery, and slightly sweet, floral-fruity shampoo with longevity corresponding that of an EDT.

Without a doubt, the content of L'Eau Jolie is faithful to its presentation: a very spring-like, transparent, inoffensive, youthfully feminine fragrance without any sweet or remotely gourmand aspects; even an innocent aura, as if the eponymous heroine had been freed from all her premature qualities and attempts at seduction and manipulation with her sex appeal. Both the translucent pink glass and the naming really fit in well with the concept that evokes the untainted, healthy 'joy' of a girl of preteen age, without all the dark facets that were aptly portrayed in the other versions. ... And yet, a delicate and powdery (not listed) violet, which peeped out from time to time, reminded me of the original and proved the connection to Lolita Lempika: a mutation within the DNA - more Dolores than Lolita.

The phenomenon regarding the reception of this fragrance that I observed reminded me of "Peace, Love & Juicy Couture". It apparently failed because of the discrepancy between the expectations of the core fan group and actual deliverance.
A sudden, massive shift in fragrance type could have expanded the target group, while the passionate apple collector would have accepted anything, if only for the bottle. The enthusiastic fans of the 'traditional' LLs, however, seem to have dismissed it as something foreign and almost a betrayal - while the more neutral (and somewhat hopeful) other end of the spectrum, like me, could not be sufficiently convinced. This is even truer when one considers the price charged, which seems to be more based on the brand's name and value of the collectors' bottle - without meaning offense, I would personally think that there are numerous quite pleasant alternatives at a much lower price point.

In my teenage years (and even in my early twenties), I might not have resisted the temptation to keep this perfume because of its visual appeal... but since I was definitely no longer in the target group, I gave it to someone who would do it more justice and show appreciation by wearing it instead of dragon-hoarding the glittering treasure.
Still, it's a shame that none of the beauties were meant for me in the end.

Originally written 17/9/2016

Anessa 19 months ago
6.5
Scent
7
Longevity
7
Sillage

Milky White
Secrets d'Essences Neroli is not only about the eponymous note, but also about the different parts of the sweet and bitter orange tree. I wonder if the latter fact could be partly responsible for the significant changes in my perception of this perfume over the years.
It was also one of the fragrances to prove to me that circumstances such as temperature can indeed influence the development and perception almost beyond recognition.

When tried in the cooler season, I was immediately repelled by the bitterness of a disinfectant or sunscreen and searched in vain for something that even remotely resembled nature, be it the orange or the flower. The next time when the temperature rose, the spray nozzle was already emitting a delicate orange scent. While the association of swimming pools was undeniable because of the white cleanness, there was a hint of something nostalgic that I could not put my finger on and that was associated with my grandmother in my childhood - a ladylike composure without going in the direction of soapy stiffness, a soothing breeze in the humid heat... it may have been a whiff of 4711 caught on a midsummer's day. At this stage, I could not imagine how this fragrance could ever be considered 'too sweet' by some reviewers.

I was enlightened on this matter when the orange blossom finally appeared after two years. The fresh, almost tangy breeze had turned into a sweetish muskiness, the translucent white had become a muted 'matte' - just like the bottle's transition from opaque white at the top to clear glass at the bottom (a coincidence?). For some horrifying moments, I even felt a slight resemblance to the orange lollipop of Le Couvent des Minimes' Eau Aimable, which I cannot smell without a headache. In the end, however, SE Neroli, with its orange milkiness, remained on the safe side without crossing the sugar line to become too bothersome.

I wouldn't withhold SE Neroli from any gender; if worn in appropriate doses, it could be enjoyed as a sweeter and less fresh alternative to the classic Eau de Cologne, with surprising longevity.
The brand seems to have changed the packaging by replacing the thread attachment with an imprint. It is unclear if the scent itself has undergone any changes. There are also rumours that production has been discontinued. Should this happen, the brand will certainly miss a unique fragrance in its perfume range.

Originally written 7/8/2015
Edited to add: As of autumn 2019, the whole Secrets d'Essences line was discontinued.

Anessa 19 months ago
6.5
Scent
7
Sillage
6
Bottle

Light Green
Lemon, lemon, and even more lemon - I almost wondered if that was it and if I really wanted to smell like a walking lemon squeezer. After the first few minutes, the sweeter, fruity notes emerged which proved me wrong, and finally settled to a slightly sugared, iced green tea with a hint of grapefruit peel.
At this point I am fully aware that, apart from green tea, none of the notes I mention are officially part of the composition. Therefore, I am merely describing my impression of this fragrance.
A great summer scent indeed, for its fresh startf and a better projection than the usual eau de cologne. With a more generous application, one could be wrapped in a citrus cloud.

If there was one thing to criticise, it would be the colour of the bottle.
Apparently, each bottle was designed to fit the theme of underwater worlds, and Eau Pure was dedicated to the Arctic Ocean. In my eyes, the concept was successfully implemented in terms of the visual part. The aquamarine blue in combination with the metallic parts reminds of cold cleanness with an even antiseptic touch. While 'clean' certainly resonates with the 'pure' in the name, I would have preferred a less icy representation of the scent itself with its sparkling citrus without any sharpness - more of a friendly, mild yellow-green.

Logically, it should be equally obvious: squeeze a bright lemon into the iced water bottle and you have the result. It'S just a pity that the desired colour is already occupied by Eau Soleil which was released 8 years later. Nevertheless, enjoy your summer with the freshness of sweet green tea from the depth of the arctic waters.

Originally written 7/20/2015

Anessa 2 years ago
8
Scent
7
Longevity
6
Sillage
8
Bottle

The allure of the pearl
Contrary to the impression by the notes and the visual message, this is not a 'summer scent'. The citrus here is neither cologne-like zesty nor refreshing, but rather subdued and warmed up in an 'autumnal' way, a little reminiscent of 4711's "Mandarine & Kardamom". The floral aspects are not really strong to me, and if anything, it's the clean, white smell of bar soap. An earthy herbal note adds a somewhat medicinal, almost antiseptic quality. I would put this fragrance in the category of unaggressively clean unisex fragrances, and the reviews by both men and women seem to confirm my sentiment.

White Pearl is indeed a soft fragrance that would not bother anyone and would be well suited for daily use indoors. While it stays close to the skin, it quietly reminds the wearer of its presence from time to time for half a day. The lack of freshness or airiness required in hot weather makes this fragrance more suitable for cooler seasons, especially as the heat would flatten the delicate facets and emphasise the laundry musk.
The perfume's overall 'matte' feeling is aptly presented by the frosted bottle and the matching name, which both recall the gentle glow from within that is so specific to the pearls.

To most people, White Pearl must have seemed too modest, too reserved; to my great regret, this flanker was discontinued while the less unique original is still being produced. A pity for this down-to-earth, neat composition, which, unlike many higher-pirced designer offerings, still managed to be distinguishable from detergents - a rare, small pearl in the vast ocean of ostentatious fragrances.

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