BronxBeauty's Perfume Reviews
Femme Fatale Wannabe
I am usually a fan of Lauder perfumes but I found this flanker pretty disappointing. It purports to be a night-time, Francified version of the jasmine champagne fizz of Modern Muse (not my style but a respectable composition). Instead, it's a tired and overly synthetic one-trick pony -- a not-very accomplished example of the hoary tactic of adding some red notes to make your fume "hot." Maybe this will become the new scent of the junior prom -- who knows? Not for adults.
In 2009, when this fume came out, Penhaligon's tarted up the release with the idea that Amaranthine smelled like the inside of a woman's thigh...I believe Duchaufour was quoted to that effect. That was a tease to create a frisson of excitement, but it's not entirely baseless. The lactonic notes of the composition could be construed to connote female secretions, although the jasmine is a bit too clean to suggest a woman's crack. (More indoles please!) Not a bad perfume, although not a great one. For jasmine, i much prefer Samsara or VCA's Mumure.
Roucel's Ode to Joy
This was the perfume that put Maurice Roucel on the map -- a dark floral chypre that Luca Turin identifies as an homage to "the world's most expensive perfume." I first encountered it (in the perfume concentration) in Paris in the early 1980s on the dressing table of slightly bohemian but still impeccably turned out Frenchwoman. Then I thought it was the most lovely perfume I'd ever smelled, better than the No. 5 with which I'd grown up. Poor K has grown tatty over the years and reformulations; how the beautiful have fallen.
Long discontinued, this beautiful, fresh-smelling white-flower fragrance never goes over the top like some of the genre. Honeysuckle is not mentioned in the notes here but that's the general impression; guess it's the combo of orange blossom with lily of the valley. Great Serge Mansau bottle. Can still be found cheaply in minis on auction sites.
Must, Booze and Moss
Laura Ashley's Dilys reminds me of the slivovitz my Polish-born grandmother used to make with beach plums, sugar and vodka: a homespun concoction with a decadent edge. Grandma's purple home brew tasted rich, packed a punch and drove a wicked hangover. (Fermented in a big jar, it required you to strain out the maggots before drinking.) Dilys, by the firm that smothered the 1980s in motherly chintz, starts out in the potpourri vein and then (probably thanks to the oakmoss) takes a darker, boozy turn: Yankee Candle meets Blue Velvet. If you're into chypres it's definitely worth a try.