Exciter76Exciter76's Perfume Reviews

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Exciter76 1 year ago 5

Honey As Found In Nature, Not The Supermarket
Fragrance aficionados have been mourning the discontinuation of this unusual honey scent, even without the benefit of trying it. They lament the inability to experience the sweetness of honey as found in our kitchen cabinets, held in a simple bottle which has the most adorable illustration. I was one of these people, desperately trying to get my hands on a bottle, scent unsniffed. I was among the lucky people, obtaining a bottle during one of Smell Bent’s Garage Sales. I can confidently say these mourners have every right to be upset. However, I don't think it is what they think it is.

Gimel a Break is NOT that sweet. The scent of honey is unmistakable but it is not the kind of honey you find in your pantry. This is a honeycomb scent. Obviously, there is honey but there’s also a nearby tree—possibly an orange tree, a large indolic jasmine bush, pollen and the herbal heft of patchouli standing in for fresh dirt. I was taken back to a spring afternoon at a farmer’s market on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. (Look up the campus—it is stunning.) GaB is springtime sunshine in a bottle but it is not a bear-shaped bottle of honey. Performance-wise, GaB lasts forever. It goes through some shifts, from top to bottom notes, but the changes are subtle, always grounded firmly in the earthy patchouli.

I debated whether or not to post a review of this since it is discontinued. I decided it is worth talking about. I also hope the indie team over at Smell Bent bring this gem back. The seekers of GaB are not misguided in wanting to try this but they should be forewarned: GaB isn’t a baklava sweet treat but a taste of barely sweetened nature.

Exciter76 2 years ago 5

Snickerdoodle/L de LL Clone
Long ago I blind purchased L de Lolita Lempicka. At first I disliked it because what I was expecting—something aquatic—and what I sprayed—a baked goods gourmand—were two entirely different things. It took a little time but I grew to love that quirky spiced cookie scent. Fast forward a few years to find me mourning my emptied bottle due to (a.) regular use and (b.) bad bottle design, which led to leakage. I was in the process of moving when I’d wrapped up my one-third full bottle and packed it away. When I unpacked I found the box it was packed in smelled delightful and my bottle was dry as a bone. I nearly cried and turned to the internet for solace. I was rudely surprised to find that quirky scent was discontinued. Alas, I was left to find a suitable replacement.

Tendre Madeleine is as close a clone to L de LL as I could find. This is as much a bakery treat as L de LL but it lacks some of the nuance that made L de LL a cult favorite. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I can attribute that nuanced next level element to the immortelle, but TM is definitely missing that indefinable something. Does that mean I don’t love TM? Absolutely not! I really get a kick out of wearing TM, with its snickerdoodle goodness, but that’s all it has to offer. L de LL never forgot it was a perfume; TM doesn’t seem so sure. But, given the prices for L de LL, TM satisfies my baked goods sweet tooth just fine.

Exciter76 3 years ago 3

Opening: 1980s toys | Drydown: Grown up fruitchouli
There is this crazy contradictory thing that happens here in the online perfume community: either people are seeking out artificially fruity scents that recall childhood relics or they’re seeking authenticity that places them squarely in the middle of a berry patch. It seems as if there is no one who enjoys both. I cannot accept that as truth as I enjoy both kinds of scents. Being a child of the 1980s I had a collection of Strawberry Shortcake dolls, fruit-scented erasers, scratch-and-sniff stickers and other doodads scented with plasticized fruits. Also, I love (real) fruit. I find the scent of the local farmers’ market absolutely intoxicating. Long story short? Both scent variations on fruit appeal to me.

I Love New York for Her is in the 1980s-scents-of-childhood-toys category. There is no denying the unmistakable scent of blueberries. The company claims the smell is that of blueberry muffins; I’m dubious to believe this. I can smell Strawberry Shortcake’s mate, Blueberry Muffin, but not actual blueberry muffins. Does this bother me? Not at all! I quite enjoy this, if I’m being honest. It is nostalgic and joyous. Is this unacceptable at its initial price point of $105 per 50ml? Maybe. As many online reviewers have commented the scent recalls other artificial fruity pop confections out there, namely Britney Spears’ Midnight Fantasy and Bath and Body Works’ Dark Kiss. However and most regrettably, those devolve on my skin in the most revolting way, recalling the scent of melted plastic and claustrophobia, given their cloying natures. ILNYfH does not become a synthetic and cloying mess on me. If anything, it dries down to a smooth and sophisticated fruitchouli, standing miles apart from the masses’ La Vie Est Belles and TM Angels. For me, it is worth the higher price point.

Bond No. 9 has its die-hard fans and its detractors. For the longest time I was one of those detractors. I’ve since found loves within the house but still feel at times they offer pretentiousness in a bottle. This is one of those times where they do not take themselves too seriously but also do not insult the customer with short-lived novelty and no substance. It’s a pity they did not feel it was worth keeping around.

Exciter76 4 years ago 4

Aldehydes and Oakmoss remix for the modern age
It’s easy—and lazy—to conflate old age with vintage when it comes to perfumes. What one person calls 'granny-ish' another person considers 'modern vintage'. Perfumes containing aldehydes are especially held culpable for being 'old lady-ish', as if being an old lady is a bad thing! I’m not particularly fond of aldehydes but I can appreciate them in a perfume, such as Chanel No. 5. Every once and again there’s an aldehyde perfume that knocks me on my rear and changes my perspective. Madison Soiree is just such a perfume, my modern vintage.

I can break down notes, I suppose: ALDEHYDES and OAKMOSS in all caps, white florals, and unabashed soapiness. Being a Bond No. 9 perfume, the longevity of this scent is stellar. Two sprays in the morning remain with me well into the wee hours of the night. The scent itself is reminiscent of other scents that have come before, namely Climat and Madame Rochas. That’s not to say MS is a doppelganger of Climat or Madame Rochas, at least as my memory serves, but they share familial ties of classic aldehydic florals. Is it worth its asking price? Yes and no; the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” comes to mind but I’m also reminded of other outstanding scents that are a fraction of the price. (I found my bottle at a local discounter so it was worth the deeply discounted price; would I have paid full price? No.) Suffice it to say, this is gorgeous and long-lasting but it’s not exactly groundbreaking or genre-defying.

Forgive me, but I’m drawn to analogous situations and events when it comes to perfumes, especially one like this. Several years ago I went to see my friend’s psychobilly band play one night in Hollywood. Stepping in the venue was like taking a trip through time—everyone in attendance was dressed in the hippest threads of the 1950s. Ladies wore elaborately patterned frocks with petticoats and men wore rolled-up drainpipe jeans and pompadours. Madison Soiree reminds me of that particular night, when twenty- and thirty-somethings dressed as their grandparents did long ago but looked au courant. This feels at once vintage and on trend.
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Exciter76 4 years ago 6

Old Books and Green Vanillas
Jessica Simpson defied expectation with her celebuscent, Fancy Nights. Not that I see her donning a lab coat and protective goggles while comparing methods of oakmoss extraction. Maybe this did, in fact, take place. I highly doubt it but one never knows. Oh, but to take a whiff of this beauty, one has to wonder if maybe she could hold a discussion about such things.

A reviewer below mentioned the smell of books. I love this because it smells like an old opened book. There’s a little dust, an underlying mustiness, and an unusual inky element. Above all, there is the smell of paper. I am no expert but I’ll venture to guess it is due to the papyrus note. The patchouli is a bit dirty but like those found in head shops. It is very verdant here, like reading books in a forest. Longevity is superb, and though I find it is linear it is surprisingly complex, too.

I must confess: I hated this the first few times I tried it. I was reminded of a pine-scented household cleanser. I think this initial reaction was due to the fact I’d grown accustomed to celebrity scents smelling of candy floss and sugar cubes. This defies any and all expectation of what a celebuscent is and could be. Yes, this is sweet but it isn’t gourmand. FN is a very green vanilla—my favorite genre of fragrance—and it is totally inedible. For what it is, FN is very daring and worthy of commendation. Perfume aficionados should try this once, then two more times before either completely dismissing it or falling hopelessly in love.
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