AnessaAnessa's Perfume Reviews

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My admiration for the fragrances of this brand had always been rather limited to the visual aspects. I did have the privilege to smell the original EDP on a weekly basis during my school days, but it was only several years later while stepping deeper into the fragrance hobby that I found out the name of the iconic classic.
Whoever had gifted it to her, the other-worldly scent in a fairytale apple could have been custom-made for the nymph she was.
My expectations were raised for L'Eau Jolie by many reviews which seemed to welcome this flanker as finally the Lolita for those who unfortunately could not identify themselves with nymphs and other mystical creatures. Perhaps this was the chance that I finally could justify owing at least one of these pretty objects...?

Alas, the fruit of joy turned out to be another fruit défendu. My nose picks up the citrus most strongly which once again turns astringent on my skin bordering on detergents. The pastel-coloured bouquet of dainty florals and the dewy fruit notes translates to me as a somewhat thin, watery, and slightly sweet floral-fruity shampoo with an EDT-appropriate longevity.
Undoubtedly, L'Eau Jolie's content is true to its presentation: A very spring-like, transparent, inoffensive, youthfully feminine fragrance without any candy- or remotely gourmand aspects; even exuding an innocent air as if the namesake heroine had been stripped off of all her premature traits and attempts on seduction and manipulation with her sex appeal. Both the translucent pink glass and the naming really go well with the concept conjuring the untinted, healthy 'joy' of a preteen girl devoid of all the dark facets that were aptly presented in the other versions. ... And yet, a delicate and powdery (unlisted) violet peeking out from time to time reminded me of the original, proving the Lolita Lempicka connection, a mutation within the DNA - rather Dolores than Lolita.

The phenomenon regarding the reception of this fragrance I observed reminded me of "Peace, Love & Juicy Couture". It apparently failed due to the discrepancy of the core fan group's expectations and actual deliverance.
A sudden, huge shift in the fragrance type could have expanded the target group, while the passionate apple collector would have accepted anything if only for the bottle. However, avid fans of the 'tranditional' LLs disappointedly seem to have dismissed it as something alien and almost feeling betrayed - whereas the more neutral (and somewhat hopeful) other end of the spectrum like myself could not be sufficiently convinced. This is even more so considering the charged price which appears to be rather based on the brand's name and collectors' bottle value - without meaning offence, I personally would think that fairly pleasant alternatives were numerously available at a much lower price point.

In my teens (and even early twens), I may not have withstood the temptation to keep this perfume for its visual attractivity... but as I definitely did not belong to the target group anymore, I passed it on to someone who would do it more justice and show appreciation by wearing it, instead of dragon-hoarding the glittering treasure.
Still, it is a real shame that I ended up with none of 'em beauties at all.

Originally written 17/9/2016

Secrets d'Essences Neroli is not only about the namesake note but also the various parts of the sweet and bitter orange tree. I am wondering if the latter fact could also be partly responsible for the distinct shifts in my perception of this perfume over a couple of years.
It was also among the fragrances to prove to me that circumstances like temperature did actually affect the development and perception almost beyond recognition.

When tried in the cooler season, I was instantly repelled by the bitterness of a sanitizer or sunscreen and looked in vain for anything remotely resembling nature, be it the orange or the flower. The next time when the temperatures had risen, the spray nozzle was already emanating a delicate orange scent. While the association of swimming pools owing to the white cleanness could not be denied, there was a hint of something nostalgic I could not put my finger on, connected to my grandmother in my childhood - a ladylike composure without going the direction of soapy stuffiness, a soothing breath of air 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 regarded as 'too sweet' as stated by some reviewers.

I was enlightened on this matter when the orange blossom finally showed itself after two years. The fresh, almost tangy breeze had morphed to a sweetened muskiness, the translucent whiteness had turned to a muted 'matte' - exactly corresponding to the transition of the bottle from opaque white top to clear glass lower part (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 boundary to become too bothersome or annoying.

I would not withhold SE Neroli from any gender; if worn in appropriate doses, it could please as a sweeter and less fresh alternative to the classic Eau de Cologne with surprising tenacity.
The brand seems to have changed the package, replacing the thread attachment with a print - it is unclear if the scent itself was subject to changes. There also are rumours about discontinuation. Should this take place, the brand will certainly miss a unique scent among their perfume range.

Originally written 7/8/2015

Lemon, lemon and more lemon - I almost wondered if that was all and whether I really wished to smell like a walking lemon juicer. Those first minutes past, the sweeter, fruity notes emerged to prove me wrong in my apprehension, and finally settled to a slightly sugared, ice-cooled green tea with a hint of grapefruit zest.
At this point, I am fully aware that except for the green tea, none of the notes I mention are officially part of the composition. Hence, I'm merely describing my impression of this fragrance.
A great summer scent, indeed, for its fresh kick-off and a better projection than the usual Eau de Cologne. With a more liberal application, one might be wrapped in a citrus cloud.

If there was anything to criticise about, it would be the colour of the bottle.
Apparently, each limited edition bottle was designed to match the theme of underwater worlds, and Eau Pure was dedicated to the Arctic Ocean. In my eyes, regarding the visual part, the concept was successfully realised. The aquamarine blue in combination with the metallic parts evokes 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 devoid of any sharpness - more of a friendly, mild yellowish green.
Logically, it should be equally obvious: Squeeze a bright lemon in the icy waters bottle and there you have it. Just too bad that the desired colour is already being occupied by Eau Soleil which was released 8 years later. Nonetheless, enjoy your summer with the freshness of sweet green tea from the depth of the Arctic waters.

Originally written 7/20/2015

Contrary to the impression by the notes and the visual message, this is not a 'summer' fragrance. The citrus here is not cologne-like zesty nor refreshing, but more subdued and warmed in an 'autumnal' way, a little reminding of 4711's "Mandarine & Cardamom". The floral aspects are not really strong to me, and if any, it is the clean, white smell of bar soaps. An herbal earthiness adds a somewhat medicinal, almost antiseptic touch. I would place this fragrance into the category of unaggressively clean unisex fragrances, and 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 do well for daily use in closed environments. While staying close to the skin, it reminds the wearer quietly of its presence from time to time for half a day. The lack of characteristics like freshness or airiness required for hot weather makes this a better fragrance for cooler seasons, more so since the heat would flatten the delicate facets and emphasise the laundry musk.
The overall 'matte' feeling of this perfume is aptly presented by the frosted bottle as well as by the appropriate name recalling the gentle glow from within that are so specific to the pearls.

For the majority of people, White Pearl must have appeared too modest, too reserved; much to my regret, this flanker was discontinued, while the less unique original is still being produced. A pity for this down-to-earth, neat composition that still managed to be distinct from washing liquids unlike many higher priced designer offerings - a rare, small pearl in the vast ocean of ostentatious fragrances.

07/21/2018 least for this fragrance.

The first time, my expectation of a crisp and dewy rose was instantly betrayed by a non-natural, high-pitched, headache-inducing strong peony which went through a phase of astringent bathroom air-freshener and settled to a soapy and salty musky dry down.

However, when I tried it again after a couple of years, Rose Fraîche surprised me with fresh yet delicate pink petals I could have covered myself with. What had happened to my nose? Anyway, I was happy to use it from spring to early summer as my morning refreshing cologne and never tiring of it.

And then, all of a sudden, it shifted again. After I had even secured some backups, I noticed that it smelt very much the same as in the beginning, or even worse - fruit and citrus translating as a sticky sweet-sourness usurping the much appreciated fresh rose. Combined with the bitterness of woods, it created such an unpleasant, artificially sour staleness on my skin like that of a spoilt canned grapefruit to the extent causing nausea. The fragrance had not even turned since a new bottle had the same effect on me.

Whichever factors were at play for this drastic change in perception - as much as I can tell from the time I actually had liked it, I do agree that Rose Fraîche delivers a fresh, pink rose much closer to peony. It has been likened to The Body Shop's Atlas Mountain Rose and Paul Smith; while I cannot comment on the latter, I do find the citrusy opening of Atlas Mountain Rose the only similarity to Rose Fraîche. The Body Shop version is more rounded and sweet in the base without any bitter sourness.

Even with a lower projection and shorter longevity, I prefer the other rose version. Apparently, the mix of fruit and wood did not work for me.

If you're curious about the smell inside this unique bottle, but do not have an easy access to it, I would recommend trying Jeanne Arthes "Sultane".
This, in accordance with the more 'sensual' shape compared to the fancy bottle of Sultane, is like its mature (or, advanced) version - muskier and with an oily undertone. Both fragrances sharing similar notes, the only difference to me is the weight or density. In addition, the peach in Sultane has a stronger tea-like nuance, and the whole composition remains lighter than the Tuscan Soul which seems to be melancholically inclined - a sultry, peachy floriental suited for cooler seasons.

Someone who generally favours the 'warm, sensual, cosy' type of fragrances (and peach flavouring in particular) might be able to appreciate this more. While I for my part could not wear it in either variation, the peculiar headpiece continues to intrigue me still - reminding of a sauna turban, glass noodles or water being poured out from an urn.

Edited to add: As the latest pyramid by Dr.Ricaud reveals, my nose had not been wrong about Âme Toscane's proximity to Arthes' Sultane - the top and base notes are identical, the heart has a similar set of peach and a white floral (jasmine/freesia), leaving the 'Tuscan iris' as the distinctive note. A heads-up for the fans of the uniquely shaped bottle: It has now been given up in favour of the unifying trend.

Roses et Reines could be summed up with two songs for me: The Disney happy ending fairy tales for girls who dream of being princesses, incorporating the idea that girls are made of sugar and spice (and pink and ribbons and 'everything nice'), and the other Russian variation which counts flowers and marmalade among further 'ingredients' of a girl.

The roses in full bloom only lasted for the first few minutes, before handing over the scepter to the berry pot that dominated until the end and leaving me somewhat feel betrayed (as in, 'Et tu, L'Occitane!'); even more when it developed an unexpectedly persistent projection for the next couple of hours, disturbing my mind with its sugared fruity stickiness.
There is another fragrance named "Spirit of Wild Roses" by Spirit, sold at drugstores for a fraction of L'Occitane's cost, and it resembles this perfume with its pink-coloured, rose-flavoured jam-like sweetness.

For my part, I wished the opening would have remained longer. As it is, I had not expected this kind of contemporary, musky sugariness from this brand and found it wanting either of a natural freshness or more depth, especially based on its name and the association. I imagine this fragrance pleasing the fans of sweetened roses and 'pink' fragrances in general.

It's been too many years since my last visit to the eponymous city to draw any comparisons. However, I could tell without a doubt that to me, this is a quieter, more rounded Jacomo Silences Purple which is said to resemble Dior Addict (pre-reformulation).
Un Jardin à Paris begins in the same vein as Boucheron's Place Vendôme Eau de Toilette with a delicate blend of citrus and white florals (perhaps it's not a coincidence, after all?) Whereas the square is filled with romantic rose-coloured bushes under a pale blue sky and eventually turns powder-sugary and musky, the garden, probably with lanterns lit at the creeping dawn, emanates an exotic bright yellow scent of Ylang-ylang and creamy sandalwood with just a hint of vanilla.
As much as this might be stereotyping, I would say that - in terms of the Western zodiac signs - Place Vendôme EDT for me has the characteristics ascribed to the 'air' group (or Gemini, to be precise) with its fizziness, and Un Jardin, despite much more toned down than Silences Purple, recalls the 'earth' group (mostly Taurus) with its somewhat weighty, 'down-to-earth' sensuality.

With this being said, the florals grew a little too loud at some point that I already saw headache signs blinking. Furthermore, not only its tenacity of half a day but also the projection in the first 2-3 hours could challenge your nose in case of a generous application, relying on the innocently pale colour of the liquid. The scent seemed to develop better on the warmer skin because on my 'colder' wrist, the stress was on artificial citrus notes with little depth. Overall, I find Un Jardin clearly an autumn to winter scent, possibly not quite matching the expectations stirred by the name and its design - or perhaps it was just me who had associated springtime fresh flowers and not an exotic summer night, without looking at the notes.

If it were for me, Madame's love must've been on first sight in spring and unfortunately, a short-lived one.
From the opening with peony to the citrusy dry down, the fragrance remained light and transparent like the colour of the liquid with a slightly fruity aftertaste of peach which is absorbed by flowery notes. The whole feels rather wan and thin as if the base or the centerpiece was lacking, and soon after the pleasant beginning, osmanthus paired with citrus notes grew stronger as a diluted sourness - the same development as in Lanvin Me L'Eau or Lempicka L'Eau Jolie.

I cannot tell about its similarity to Gucci Floral EdT without having tried the latter. However, both the bottle and the white box with its ornamental floral borders show a clear connection to the "source of inspiration", and the first smell immediately seemed familiar to me.
This is a quiet and spring-like light floral along the lines of the above-mentioned fragrances with the prominent notes of peony, osmanthus and citrus, suited for any situation that requires a subtle scent, with a longevity more of an EdT. Even though it turned sour on me, Madame in Love definitely counts to those I would choose over others by this brand.

I had sporadically worn Sport over a few years before finally passing it on (and I regret not having shot a usable picture while it was still in my possession). Pour Elle is kept in the same colours with a similarly mirroring metallic cap like the men's version. Instead of a square, the bottle shape for the women's was round and flat, pleasantly compact, cool and smooth to hold in your hand with its matte glass surface, giving it a natural touch.´

The scent was a combination of concentrated berries and cold-showered, clean white florals. While musk certainly provided good longevity of more than half a day with a light application, it also amplified an edge which always started bothering me after the quite enjoyable beginning. I assume it was caused by the mix of musk, heady florals and the tartness of the fruit.

The influences of advertising aside, the scent to me did evoke the colour of a cool blue; the fruity casualness was kept 'mature' with the florals, and the otherwise quite unisex, woody-musky base matching the 'sport'- theme was countered by the bittersweetness of the fruit, more like the pip and skin than the pulp.
Overall, I would've called this the 'Sailaway'-version of Tommy Girl, with similarities not in the scent but the type; its persistence, together with the washed (but not bleached)-effect, would have made this a good choice for long walks along the windy coastline or a day out on the deck.

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