DarkMatterDarkMatter's Perfume Reviews

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DarkMatter 8 years ago 6
10
Scent

Only the Best are Discontinued!
Time and time again it seems that the best and most unusual perfumes are discontinued. Birmane is a case in point. I do agree with a lot of what Scentimental said in his review, but cannot see Birmane as "bland".

Upon first application Birmane is a fruity/herbal mixture. I know that herbs aren't listed per se, but there is a very medicinal quality along with the pineapple and bergamot which are obvious initially. Quite quickly this medicinal note smooths into the most wonderful rosewood that I have ever come across in a perfume. Birmane manages to be both sweet and dry. The rosewood smells just like those beautifully carved wooden Indian boxes that abound in exotic shops. The initial fruitiness is replaced with a smooth cocoon-like embrace of heliotrope, musk and tonka bean. The beauty of Birmane is more apparent in the colder months. Wear it with a cashmere sweater and snuggle into its downy softness. Birmane is comfort food for the olfactory senses. It is complex, cozy and smooth.

Reclining upon a pile of luxurious cushions is a beautiful and voluptuous matriarch. Allow her to take you into her embrace and sooth away the creases on your brow as she holds you against her ample bosom.

EDIT: I note that here it says that Birmane is still in production. I am under the impression that it has been discontinued as it is impossible to purchase. But perhaps I am mistaken. I hope I am!
1 Reply

DarkMatter 8 years ago 1
4
Scent

Odd...
I have to admit that Noir Freesia & Honey has me very confused. I'm not sure why this is named "Noir". There really isn't anything dark about it. It seems more suitable to the daytime that the dark of night. I had high hopes for this as I love freesia and honey and really wanted a lovely floral with sweet honey highlights.

It is an extremely linear fragrance. Upon first application I smelt nectarines. I didn't get any sense of freesia or honey. This smells fruity, exactly like a nectarine. But, even though I love eating nectarines, this wasn't very pleasant for me. I think it is because it gave me the impression of a warm, squishy nectarine that was overripe, not a fresh, firm fruit. I waited for it to drydown and hoped that I would get something more from it but, unfortunately, I didn't. It remained the same and just got fainter after about 4 hours when I had to wash it off as I'd truly had enough.

I hate writing a negative review and would say that it may well be lovely on some, but perhaps my chemistry didn't agree with it. This is discontinued, however, if you get the opportunity to buy it definitely try before you commit to it.

DarkMatter 8 years ago 7
8
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
10
Bottle

In Praise of Classics
I am torn with Ivoire (2012). On one hand I love it, on another I feel betrayed that it's not the complex genius that is the original Ivoire. I had to take a step back and try it twice prior to writing this review. I needed to see the new version through modern eyes and not with nostalgic eyes. I love the original Ivoire and it is truly a timeless classic, but there are the ingredients in it that either cannot be used in modern perfumery or that will soon have the death knell sounded on their use. Also, tastes have changed over the years and a lot of the old chypres have fallen out of favour, unfortunately, with the buying public. So I tried to forget it's namesake as I tried this new version.

This is, honestly, a gorgeous fragrance. Taken on it's own, without reference to the past, it is a masterpiece in my opinion. It bows in hommage to it's namesake and there is no mistaking it's heritage, but it is a very modern take on a exemplary chypre: smooth, soapy, woody. This makes me feel as if I have washed with expensive soap, the way I used to before shower gels took over the world. It's clean and comforting, very elegant and distinctive. Initially, it is quite green with the mandarin and violet leaf very evident. It is exactly like taking a violet leaf and crushing it in one's hand and smelling the almost cold, green woody aroma. After a while the scent warms and the rose and iris appear along with the undertone of cedar and vetiver. I cannot make out the patchouli in this perfume, nor the vanilla, but it is so well blended that it is difficult to make out any one note as a non-professional. However, this isn't a problem as the fragrance dances on the senses and makes one fall in love quite easily. Several hours later it is still very evident, but the cedar is the strongest note and it is at it's woodiest at this point.

In a far off land there is a temple dedicated to Ivoire de Balmain. The original perfume in a flacon of pure diamond sits atop a granite altar as a precious goddess to be worshipped. Prostrate at the base of this altar is a young, strong woman in linen and leather paying obeisance to the goddess who breathed life into her.

DarkMatter 8 years ago 4
8
Scent
7.5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle

A Fantastic Fantasy
I was rather dreading trying this after my bad experience with Midnight Fantasy and the cherryade. However, I needn't have worried. To start with, as with all of the bottles in the "Fantasy" range, this one is very pretty and feels well constructed and not cheap.

I applied one spray to my arm as I was seriously worried about sweet overload due to the reported Neapolitan ice-cream note in Hidden Fantasy. However, this is a seriously beautiful fragrance. The orange and grapefruit stop this from ever being too sweet. Initially there is sour grapefruit but within a short space of time (approximately 15 minutes), this has calmed and melded with the orange and the sweet vanilla ice-cream. Hidden Fantasy is neither too sweet, nor overpowering. I can just about make out the lily, and the sandalwood grounds this fragrance particularly well. I am very impressed with this as I know that Rodrigo Flores-Roux was also the nose behind Hilary Duff's With Love, which I find very mediocre.

Hidden Fantasy is a beautiful young woman attending her first masked ball. She looks young, fresh and excited, then she dons the requisite mask replete with jewels and feathers. In the twinkle of an eye she becomes the mysterious one that all eyes will follow that evening.
1 Reply

DarkMatter 8 years ago 3
4
Scent

Headache Inducing Cherryade
Midnight Fantasy was recommended to me as something I might enjoy with my recent foray into gourmand-land. I was hoping that the plum would be more evident than the cherry as I find cherry rather cloying in perfumes. Ironically, I love eating cherries and love the taste. Unfortunately for me, Midnight Fantasy starts with an unbelievably sweet/sour cherry note. It reminds me of cheap fizzy cherryade, which is the one cherry consumable that I can't stand. It may be that it's because both the cherryade and Midnight Fantasy rely on a totally synthetic cherry smell. My daughter, who is a young teenager found the smell overwhelming as well and used the word "pungent" to describe it.

I only applied one spray of Midnight Fantasy and although it made me feel queasy, in the interests of this review, I left it on my skin to dry down and develop. I didn't smell it for about two hours to ensure that it had settled down. After this time, I am pleased to report that the horrible synthetic cherry has all but disappeared leaving a slightly sweet plum and raspberry note supported by a soft amber undertone. I have to say I can't get any vanilla from this or any of the florals that are supposed to inhabit this potent liquid.

I have been wearing it how for several hours and can say that it is very pleasant at this stage. I really wish that the cherry had been left out of it all together. It would have been a beautiful dark fruity compote suitable for the evening without that dratted note. But I won't be wearing it again, I can't suffer through the initial couple of hours and it literally caused me to have a headache which, to my knowledge, has never happened with any other perfumes (even ones I dislike intensely). On the plus side, the bottle is so cute, I will happily spend lots of time taking atmospheric photos of it.

Midnight Fantasy is a bratty teenager eating sour cherry candy and drinking cherryade whilst flipping the adults the finger.

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