DarkMatterDarkMatter's Perfume Reviews

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DarkMatter 8 years ago 6
9
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle

Dark and Soapy
I would never have put those two adjectives together before smelling Black XS Potion Pour Elle. But this is a perfume that is most definitely both dark and soapy. Now, I like both types, especially dark, deep mysterious fragrances. Initially upon application the Bacarra or "black" rose is most evident, with a slight sharp hint of grapefruit. I needn't have worried that the grapefruit might "lighten" this perfume into a summery category. The grapefruit is very slight and only seems to prevent this from becoming too sweet or floral. Black XS Potion is beautifully blended, this is what I originally imaged the L'Excès should have been: Dark, sensuous, the scent of a femme fatale. But I found the original and L'Excès both to be too sickly sweet to be truly "dark".

However, THIS is what I have been waiting for from Paco Rabanne. It is as if they realised that there was something that they missed from the "Black XS" and have concocted the perfect "potion" in POTION! I am a huge fan of the gorgeous black sandalwood from which the soapy note emanates. It is a refreshing change to discover a dark perfume that doesn't rely on berries or patchouli. I honestly cannot fault this. If one loves dark perfumes, black roses, soapy notes and has a gothic penchant, then adoration will soon follow. Beware, this is STRONG! Not much is required, it will go a long, long way. I am now going to stock up on lots of back-up bottles as this is a limited edition (as all great perfumes seems to be these days!)

Black XS Potion Pour Elle is a pagan goddess dressed in layers of black gossamer with alabaster skin, red lips and big mahogany eyes. Her dark silken hair whips around her like a cloak carrying the fragrance of her many magickal potions on the breeze.
1 Reply

DarkMatter 8 years ago 4
3
Scent
10
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
5
Bottle

Discordant Notes...
I was intrigued to try this fragrance for several reasons. Firstly, I love vanilla, freesia and lychee. I imagined the beauty that these three notes brought together would create. Secondly, Korres market their products as being natural and vegan. There is a long list of types of usual chemicals that they state are not in their fragrances. Now in itself this isn't necessary a new concept, but with so many ingredients being slowly whittled away from the perfume industry I wanted to see what else there was and whether it matched in quality. Finally, it was very reasonably priced. I received a full 50ml bottle via next day delivery from Amazon Prime for only £22! Win!

Upon first application I find myself rather confused. The vanilla, freesia and lychee are all equally evident and seem to vie with one another for dominance. It creates for an uncomfortable medley of notes and it actually makes my stomach feel uneasy. I've heard people mention unease when it comes to other perfumes before, but I've never experienced it. For me perfumes have always fallen into three categories, I love it, it's mediocre, or I dislike it intensely. But at this point I am really not sure where to place VANILLA/FREESIA/LYCHEE. I try not to sniff the perfume as I let it settle to the dry-down. But I keep getting whiffs of it and what really strikes me is that even though this is marketed as a "natural" product, the lychee smells extremely synthetic. I understand that lychee cannot be distilled, therefore all of the lychee notes that we experience are artificial, however, I am very surprised to come across something that smells so obviously synthetic in a purported "natural" product.

I have often stated that I'm no expert and am just an enthusiastic collector. However, Korres have raised a thorny question within my brain that needs to be answered so I did a little reading. It didn't take much to find the answers I was looking for. Neither freesia nor vanilla are natural within the perfume world. Every perfume uses a synthetic version. In the case of vanilla it is because it is far too expensive to use the real thing and would not be financially viable. As far as I can find out, freesia cannot be distilled (but I would be fascinated to know why as I couldn't find this information). So once again this note is usually created via a combination of synthetic and natural ingredients (such as noted by Luca Turin in the fragrance Antonia's Flowers which was 90% linalool and 10% violet notes).

This interesting little bottle has cause for celebration. It has made me think. It has made me research (a little) and it has piqued my curiosity. But alas, it has done this for all the wrong reasons. I wish it was because I wanted to find out how something could smell so amazing. But, my interest has be piqued as to how a "natural" product can smell so terribly synthetic.

It is several hours since I applied the perfume and it has settled down to a peppery/sweet vanilla that has a slight "hairspray" quality to it. It's not very pleasant and not what I expected at all. I usually find that so-called "natural" fragrances are beautiful, yet short lived and I need to reapply constantly. With VANILLA/FREESIA/LYCHEE this is not the case. I have had the perfume on for approximately six hours and it is still pungent.

I shan't be wearing this perfume again as it is very disturbing both artistically and intellectually. I am very disappointed and am not encouraged to try other products by Korres. At the moment I smell like a scoop of peppery vanilla ice-cream and it's highly unpleasant. The discordant nature of the notes hasn't left me and I shall be having a shower now and applying something more relaxing afterward to calm my jumbled thoughts.

VANILLA/FREESIA/LYCHEE is a hyperactive toddler with ice-cream smeared around their mouth and grubby hands from playing in the dirt.

DarkMatter 8 years ago 5
8
Scent
7.5
Longevity
5
Sillage
2.5
Bottle

The Real Deal...
Licenced by the Royal Horticultural Society, Bronnley have produced a line of perfumes and toiletries based around traditional English flowers. I have a soft spot for sweet peas as my mother grew them in our garden when I was a child. Their sweet and slightly green fragrance have always brought back good memories of playing in the garden when young.

This is an inexpensive perfume and comes in a large 100ml bottle. However, don't be fooled that it is lacking in quality. From the moment it is applied, this beautiful soliflore surrounds one in a cloud of sweet peas as if fresh in a garden. I can almost touch the velvet petals and see the green tendrils curling around playfully. It remains the same through to the dry down for approximately 4-5 hours. Bronnley have avoided the temptation to add musk or woods to this and have kept it true to the pretty cottage garden flower of which it bears the name.

This is perfect for a lazy summer's day, relaxing in the warmth as one reclines upon the picnic rug after an alfresco repast. If you like sweet pea and/or solifores, I highly recommend trying this. I shall be getting hold of some of the others in the range to see if they live up to the same high standard.

DarkMatter 8 years ago 4
3
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
2.5
Bottle

Dirty Lily!
I really wanted to like this '80s gem. I love powerhouse perfumes from that era, it reminds me of my teen years when I worse far too much perfume, hairspray and had gargantuan shoulder-pads!

Knowing that it was going to be a big fragrance I only applied one modest spray so that I could see how I liked it. I could always apply more later right? I was so sure that I would love it. The notes looked so right and there was nothing that jumped out at me from the list that scared me off.

I also wish I could give you a list of the different florals as they developed, as they played with each other. I can't, I'm very sorry. Initially I smelt lily of the valley. Now I love lily of the valley, in it's fresh soapy incarnation but here it was downright indolic, dirty and grimy, slightly urinous. I couldn't tell if it was the lily or another note that was giving this impression because on my skin Sung is a very linear perfume. The notes didn't develop, change or sparkle. The dirty lily just clung to my skin for the better part of 7 hours until it became more powdery, but still very dirty.

I want to appreciate it, but I can't. Sung seems so very dated. Perhaps if I still had huge hair and matching shoulder-pads, I would feel at home with it. Perhaps the original formulation back when it was released was more complex? I don't know. But for now, I safely assert to anyone who has the curiosity to try it, get hold of a sample before you buy to make sure it really is you.

DarkMatter 8 years ago 4
9
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
10
Bottle

Complex, Modern, Classic
I have had The Iceberg Fragrance for a couple of years now and used to wear it a lot, but as it goes with us collectors, I wore other perfumes more often and this got neglected. It really is very worthy of a review so today I am wearing it so that I can write this.

The Iceberg Fragrance opens with pepper, which isn't my favourite as a prominent note, but here it is the pink variety which is slightly smoother, so I forgive Iceberg. Quite rapidly the pepper is joined by the coriander and bergamot. It is very strange because coriander is a note I have tried to avoid, yet here it, along with the bergamot, just serves to round out the pepper and prevent it from becoming overpoweringly harsh. I have to admit, I can't smell any of the pear.

As it develops the top notes blend into the background just adding depth and this becomes savoury, creamy, yet vaguely floral. I agree with the other reviewers that this is a non-sweet gourmand fragrance. I really don't get along with sweet gourmand perfumes at all, so am very surprised that with the creamy pistachio ice-cream, vanilla and peppery notes that I like this. But the combination of all of the ingredients together make a beautifully blended, complex scent that is very modern, yet achieves that which very few perfumes in recent years have been able to do: this is a classic perfume. It is reminiscent of the greats, not that it smells similar, but that it relies on the synthesis of many ingredients to make one unique scent. It is a good thing that that no one note is dominant. It is a good thing that what makes this so unique is hard to pin down. This is what makes me want to wear it more and appreciate it.

In essence The Iceberg Fragrance is strong, modern woman who is fun, intelligent and elegant.

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