AwesomenessAwesomeness' Perfume Reviews

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4 Awards
I missed the old Oleg Cassini. The square frosted bottle, it's mauve color with gold detail. A time gone by.

The old stuff, the good stuff, from 1978 is in the mold of others released by top American designers of the time, such as Halston, Vanderbilt, & Blass.

Unfortunately, I've yet to find a bottle that has kept over time. A sniff of a time in American pop culture, forever lost.


6 Awards
Many of the low sugar vanillas are simply too masculine for me to pull off. For instance, take any of the unisex Serge Lutens or Tom Fords that are vanilla-based -- Not only are they awful on me, but they are despised by those around me. However, I still love the dry & dark character of many of those fragrances.

Thank goodness for Vanille Absolument. For a gal who tends to favor feminine and sweet vanillas, Vanille Absolument is very wearable, even if it is not an edible cookie. I still get that dry & dark characteristic that I love, plus the tobacco is fairly prominent in the heart. In addition, there is a wee bit of spice, a tinge of floral and some rum on top - all of these accords make it an interesting and complex vanilla scent to wear.

In the heart, Vanille Absolument is a cigar - a vanilla-tinged one, but still a cigar, from the leaf wrapper to the moist tobacco to the smoke as it burns, this is cigar and a likable one at that. As a former cigarette smoker and an occasional cigar smoker, Vanille Absolument has me jonesing for more. However, it's not so overwhelming that I will jump off the wagon, so I think non-smokers and former smokers still might be OK with it.

When dry, Vanille Absolument is a vanilla skin scent on me. The balsam, tonka bean, and benzoin, coupled with the vanilla, make it noticable but soft. Overall, Vanille Absolument works with my girlie-girl chemistry, instead of against it like many of the Lutens and Fords.

Vanille Absolument is a dark, oriental vanilla. Unlike my experience with most vanillas marked unisex, this one truly is. I highly recommend it for sampling by cookie eaters, vanilla lovers ... and smokers.

3 Awards
I have had Geranium Bourbon on my wishlist for some time since sampling. I loved it then, and I hoped to acquire a bottle at some point. When I came across a 5g fragrance balm, I decided that was my entry into acquiring the scent. The joy of getting that purchase immediately turned into regret.

The balm itself carries an overwhelming petrochemical smell. The item says it does not contain petrochemicals. Perhaps that is true, but that is not what it smells like. It's possible that the balm's plastic packaging is the problem, or the reaction of the balm with the package. Nevertheless, the plastic packaging is a problem anyway, as it is poorly manufactured and articulated, with rough edges at the cap and thread. Who wants to run their fingers over that?

Completely unwearable and unusable. I simply can't recommend.

3 Awards
This floral is reported to have been inspired by Greta Garbo. I imagine that the current formula is only a figment of its past self. Although marked EdP, it wears more like an EdT or a better EdC. Nevertheless, it's easy to wear and lasts 3-4 hours on me.

Tanglewood is a classic floral - it's warm and slightly earthy & woody, nice for warmer days in autumn. As a classic fragrance, there is nothing earth-shattering or spectacular about this floral. I really wanted something to stand out to me, perhaps the mum on top, or the heliotrope in the heart, or the cinnamon and nutmeg in the base. Instead, it's simply .... pleasant. It may have been ground-breaking at one time but now it is in well-trodden territory.

The Perfume Project and Parfums Raffy both report that Crown was revived in the 1990s and re-produced some of Crown's most popular scents. Apparently Tanglewood was one of them. Eventually, Clive Christian purchased Crown, launched his own scents, and then stopped producing the Crown brand. These newer reproductions of Crown scents were dumped in the marketplace, and full bottles now run about $20 online.

Nevertheless, it's good for a cheap thrill but I'm afraid not much else, unless you are into owning a bit of history.

4 Awards
I love the concept of Pioggia Salata -- dewy rain and salty air. It starts off soft, moist and a bit salty. I would have bought a full bottle if Pioggia Salata stayed a linear fragrance, if only for a few hours. If only ...

As Pioggia Salata dries, the lily develops to dominate the scent. Unfortunately, this white floral accord simply ruins it for me. I'm sensitive to some white floral accords and this is certainly one of them. Moreover, what started as a truly unisex fragrance actually becomes a full-force feminine white floral in the heart.

When dry, the fragrance has a green, watery quality that borders on vegetal. It's lovely but the strong white florals are still there, albeit in a supporting role. Although marked EdP, it wears more like a dried down cologne.

Pioggia Salata could have been stellar but ends up average.

3 Awards
Because I am enamored with Chloe Love and Eau de Fleurs Capucine, I am making my way through Chloe fragrance line. Next up ... Eau de Fleurs Lavande.

The opening is nice but a bit over-powering and artificial. Eau de Fleurs Lavande is not the masculine lavender that I feared, the masculine lavender which is common in fragrances such as Roger & Gallet Lavande Royale. However, Eau de Fleurs Lavande isn't overtly feminine or floral either. Instead, it has a neutered characteristic that is consistent with Yankee Candle room sprays & BBW air fresheners.

As it dries, Chloe Lavande melts with my skin and becomes a soapy, clean scent. It has a slight sweetness to it, and I sense vanilla and sandalwood although neither are listed. I get a bit of violet, some green and citrus, also the musk in the base. However, the clean, soapy aspect defines the scent, not the lavender accord & supporting notes. Someone looking for fragrance like a lavender flower may be disappointed with Eau de Fleurs Lavande. In that case, I'd instead recommend an aromatic lavender oil, or exploring a soliflore such as Demeter Natural Lavendar which is vintaged by harvest year.

Eau de Fleurs Lavande is marked EdP & wears like an EdP but has the presence of a dried down cologne. Lavande actually passed the overnight test. The next morning the scent was barely on my skin as a whisper, but as my skin warmed and as I moved about, I could smell Lavende wafting up from where it was applied. So, Lavande -- especially when over-sprayed -- has longevity; it just doesn't have a lot of sillage.

Chloe Lavande strikes me as a skin scent. The color of the juice is a barely there beige, which seems quite appropriate for the fragrance. I think it would work well for the office or for bedtime. It also would work well on those days when, for whatever reason, you just don't want to smell like much of anything.

Chloe Lavande is a fragrance that fits within the American aesthetic of squeaky clean skin and freshly laundered clothes. If I didn't know any better, I would have guessed that the juice in this vial was B. Clean Relax by Benetton, although the Chloe is better quality and more complex.

5 Awards
Although I like, really really like, Insolence EDP, it's not something I would wear in public. To me, it's got a metallic sheen akin to Gucci Rush or Rochas Tocade. Those fragrances really are pseudo acid trips, more than anything else - 2 parts experience and 1 part fragrance.

Yet, I still wanted something like Insolence EDP. The EDT? Well, no. Insolence EDT is too trashy, wanna be flashy. Too thin and too sweet for an adult. Along comes My Insolence to the rescue. No, it's not like her big, bada$$ sister in EDP, but the structure of the fragrance is similar and there are a few shared notes. So in a sense, I do have my Insolence.

However, if truth be told, My Insolence is more like 2 other Guerlains than its namesake. My Insolence sits somewhere between Guerlain L'Instant and La Petite Robe Noire 2012. If you like one or the other of these, I imagine that you would like My Insolence as well.

My Insolence dries down to a warm, powdery vanilla. In addition to the listed notes, I get some benzoin resin and a green balsam at dry down, or perhaps that's the tonka bean and a green patchouli. In any regard, this is not like most vanillas, because My Insolence remains light and bright enough to be worn almost any season, day or night. Yes it's complex enough to please the perfume hobbyist.

If you're into warm, powdery vanillas and don't mind some berries in syrup on top, I'd suggest putting My Insolence on your test list. I'm glad it made it to mine. While you're at it, try the namesake Insolence edt and Insolence edp.

3 Awards
Miss Rocaille is a cheap yet good fragrance, and perhaps a safe blind buy if you like green scents dominated by white florals. In spite of the packaging, bottle and color, this is not a girlie-girlie fragrance. No siree bob. It's green, green, green and quite possibly unisex.

I love the opening of this scent, which is very margarita-like on me. I pick out some salt, a lime-like citrus, plus something a bit alcoholic. I love this, and quite frankly it beats Bond's Coney Island opening hands-down, largely because the margarita is not tinged with tropical fruit. At this opening stage, Miss Rocaille is quite lovely and very unique. If only the fragrance was linear and worn like this from end-to-end ....

As Miss Rocaille moves to a dry down, it can become a bit sour on my skin and the LOV amps to a high pitch. Not a fan of this stage, but those who love white florals would probably dig it. However, for the opening experience, I think Miss Rocaille is a best buy at the current price. For those who love how this fragrance evolves, it's a must-buy.

Many compare Miss Rocaille to Manifesto by Isabella Rossellini. I understand the comparison but there is a better one: Miss Rocaille is in the same olfactory ballpark as Elizabeth Arden's Beauty. Like Arden's Beauty, Miss Rocaille is a green white floral with a salty under current. Moreover, like Arden Beauty, Miss Rocaille has that "scent of a woman" thang going on, and many men totally dig & get this. Because the ingredients and experience of the Caron is far superior to the Arden, I can recommend Miss Rocaille as a safe blind buy.

4 Awards
Haute Couture is a unique offering from Hanae Mori. It's a chrysanthemum fragrance. The EdT is dry & green with spiced florals. Some fruit is present, perhaps green apple, but it is not dominant.

The EdT (pink lady) is the driest of the concentrations. The EdP (blue lady) and Parfum (red lady) are nice but can be distinguished from the EdT. The EdP is a dried flower potpourri and the parfum is sweet fruits and florals. Of them, I think the EdT is the winner, largely because a chrysanthemum fragrance is unique and the price point is to die-for.

Even though my tastes have changed since I first discovered Haute Couture, I still appreciate this scent and have found nothing else quite like it. The only downside for me - once & awhile, it can seem a bit sour on my skin. For a fragrance that is under $20, I forgive it.

8 Awards
I've been so impressed with Love Chloe that I decided to start trying other contemporaries from Chloe. Eau de Fleurs Capucine has been on my watch list for a very, very long time. Finally I landed a bottle, and it doesn't disappoint.

Let's first start with the bottle. A-May-Zing. The bottle is substantial and beautiful in its simplicity, and it also appears to reference Chanel. No surprise, the juice inside also references Chanel - Cristalle and No. 19.

It opens with lemon (not lime as listed in top notes). It is a persistent and evolving lemon - about three hours on me. Sometimes Eau de Fleurs Capucine feels like a cologne, and I suspect this is why: The lemon mixes with herbs & neroli on top, and then the lemon mixes with delicate white florals and rose in the heart. After the 3-4 hour mark, Eau de Fleurs Capucine devolves to a generic cotton woody musk. Oh, this could have been so fabulous, but no worries, I'll just spray more. ;)

Despite the lemon, Eau de Fleurs Capucine is a green fragrance. Unlike the green-referenced ice queens from Chanel, the Chloe is neither pretentious nor demanding. Instead, Eau de Fleurs Capucine is easy-going and carefree. This is a fragrance appropriate for summer, but it's also one to dig out on a gray & rainy late fall day. Also, one many men easily could wear.

Next up - the rest of the Eau de Fleurs series. But I have a strong feeling that I found the winner.

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