DuskDusk's Perfume Reviews

02/22/2017
3 Awards
Caveau des Innocents is a multilayered hedonistic dream. The opening is all spiced, sugared, rum-soaked pear with a hint of sweet citrus. Anise, clove, and coffee rise up alongside golden resin, and over the next hour the boozy pear sinks into caramel, vanilla incense, and labdanum. While I don't love anise (and it is very strong here), it adds just enough astringency to stop the whole thing from becoming too sickly sweet, and it's actually a very nice accent. As it develops further, the tobacco joins in, rich and spiced, and then polished wood. Finally, several hours into wearing, opoponax rises up and envelops everything in its thick, dark, rich, resinous cloak until that's all I can smell.

There is no stage of this that I don't love. It is definitely a fall/winter evening kind of scent. It is not versatile, it is not conventional, and I once had someone tell me that I smell like weird root beer. But for someone of any gender who wants something dark, bold, and decadent, this is it. Sillage is fantastic for an oil, and longevity is very good (though I attribute some of that to the fact that opoponax never wants to leave my skin, ever).

One note: I do prefer this one fresh. That boozy sugared pear top note is one of my favorite aspects of this, and with aging (over a year) it becomes weaker, and the opoponax becomes much more aggressive than I would like. It is because of this that I am rating it an 9, and not a 10. But, as I noted above - opoponax really, really likes my skin, so this might not be as much of an issue for someone else.


02/22/2017
2 Awards
Unfortunately, the rose here does not behave on my skin at all. It is extremely sweet, tart, and powdery all at once, resulting in something that veers between crushed Sweetarts candy and soap in a way that just feels awkward. It is accompanied with something like patchouli, even though that isn't a listed note. It becomes increasingly smoky and incensey past an hour, which doesn't quite mesh well with this rose note, but after a few hours it is mostly labdanum and mildly smoky frankincense with barely a hint of rose. There is something spicy throughout that I can't quite place.

I gave my sample to a friend and unfortunately it was even worse on her, extremely soapy with a strange spiciness.

I do actually like this after a few hours, the sweet labdanum with the slight smokiness is very nice, but the first few hours are just jumbled. However, this isn't the first time rose has turned into Sweetarts on me and soap on my friend, so it might be a good unisex rose on someone else whose skin chemistry is more cooperative.


02/22/2017
1 Awards
Despite being simple, with only three notes, and relatively linear, I find this delightful. When it first goes on it's sharply artificial, but it quickly settles into a very realistic, juicy blackberry with fresh black tea and just a hint of soft sweet musk underneath. After a few hours it is very musky, and the berry becomes jammy, but I never get anything even remotely like incense, like the other reviewers did.

Very fruity and fresh, and amazing for summer. It isn't candy-sweet like so many fruity perfumes. I consider this a feminine, youthful scent, but it isn't juvenile at all. The sillage is decent, but it doesn't last very long, with just a fruity musky skin scent left after a few hours.


02/22/2017
1 Awards
Ardorem XXI is unexpectedly aquatic on my skin, in a similar way as Antares from the same house, but less overtly melon-y - perhaps the blue lotus is responsible. But rather than the aquatic note remaining dominant, the spices, incense, and sandalwood take over, even a hint of something leathery. Very complex - only 16 of the 21 notes (hence the name) are listed, and I definitely can't detect them all individually. The amber comes out quite a bit in late drydown, a drier type. Despite the heavier aspects of this scent, it remains fresh and fairly clean.

This is unisex, leaning quite masculine in drydown. It is fairly conventional without being bland, a good business or day-to-day scent that could last year-round, and it has mainstream appeal. Unfortunately, it's not unique enough to hold my interest or merit a rating above "on the good side of average," but if you don't like to push the envelope with your scent choices, it could be a good choice for you. Sillage is around average, but longevity is only around 6 hours.


02/22/2017
2 Awards
This is a creamy, spicy vanilla with a strong infusion of frankincense. Unlike many spicy scents, the spices here never get harsh - they just add warmth and dimension. The creamy, resinous quality is balanced with a soft, elegant powderiness, which also adds a feminine touch. Other than getting increasingly resinous and very subtly smoky, this is fairly linear, but not flat.

This is something of a sleeper scent for me. At first I liked it, but didn't think it was anything special. But with a bit of aging to bring out the depth in it, and a few more wears, I'm really liking it. It's a nice day-to-night scent with both elegance and mystery. When categorizing, I voted for a primarily female audience because it does strike me as more feminine, but it wouldn't be too challenging for a man to wear.


02/21/2017
3 Awards
Antares is an elegant yet youthful fragrance that seems to develop quite differently from person to person. On me, the water musk is very prominent, and gives the scent a melon-y aquatic feel from start to finish. There is some mandarin at first, and a complex herbal aspect with juniper, fir, and sage that persists throughout. I smell some woodiness and labdanum after a few hours, and a hint of floral, but overall it is very well-blended and difficult to identify individual notes. The overall impression is of a light, ethereal herbal-aquatic scent, fresh but not at all sharp or harsh.

As someone who isn't fond of aquatics, this isn't for me, but I can still appreciate that it is nicely composed, complex, and versatile. It doesn't bash you over the head with calone and call it a day, unlike many similar scents. It seems to be one of Alkemia's more popular perfumes, even enjoyed by people who don't like Alkemia overall, and it definitely has mainstream appeal. It is very unisex, but I think the ethereal quality makes it especially nice for less masculine types. Sillage and longevity are both decent for this kind of light scent, especially as a perfume oil.