PBullFriendPBullFriend's Perfume Reviews

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2 Awards
I bought this because it was inexpensive and claimed to have a blackcurrant note. After wearing it twice, I'm pretty sure that the blackcurrant is a myth. All I smell is a generic but not unpleasant vanilla, similar to that in many BBW scents. Early on, there's a strong generic alcohol note that doesn't smell at all like rum to me. Just another pointless scent - maybe BBW has to have a certain number of releases every year, so it makes a few up out of nowhere. Those who like an inexpensive "warm" vanilla-alcohol scent for winter should try Queen Latifah's Queen instead.

5 Awards
So gorgeous, clean, cooling, & calming! In summer, I sometimes just pour it on myself & splash it on my sheets. I've seen bottled waters that were more expensive than this! (On US eBay, it's usually around $11, shipping included, for the jumbo 10 ounce plastic bottle.) I hope that Puig never reformulates this - it's 75 years old but better at what it does than some colognes created this year. Bravo, Puig!

1 Awards
With listed notes of musk, orange, and cedar, I hoped that this might be a less-expensive version of Hermes Eau d'Orange Verte.

Instead, to my surprise, it turned out to be one of the many Light Blue types. My favorite scent in the Light Blue category is Moschino Cheap & Chic I Love Love, which adds interest to the wear-anywhere women's citrus scent category with a dollop of redcurrant. I'm not actually sure I could tell this from ILL if I were blindfolded. Its main difference is that, after an hour, I also get a soft hint of the vinyl note from Byblos Cielo. (Vinyl isn't listed in either scent, but my nose says it's there.)

So, there's nothing to dislike about Dream Island/Isle de Reve, and you may want to look into it if you can't find an affordable bottle of I Love Love.

1 Awards
The edt and the oil of this are extremely different. I gave this a high rating because I enjoy the oil so much.
I bought a decant of Onyx edt from the Surrender to Chance sample website. The edt took me to the bedroom of a teenage girl in the 1970s. (I have been to several such places - I think this was a composite of several rooms.) I smelled an open pack of cigarettes, a hint of coconut suntan lotion, some dust balls under the bed, and a hint of burned incense. (The girl probably lit some to hide her cigarette smoking.) It was a lovely bit of reminiscence and made me a bit wistful, but it wasn't especially how I wanted to smell. It had mostly disappeared in two hours.

The oil, though, brings back a carefree day at the beach in the 1970s, with Bain de Soleil orange gelee slathered on my warm skin. (This was in the days when suntan lotion didn't even contain SPF ratings!) Coconut and wood and sunshine - really delightful! Today, I put a dollop of it at the base of my throat before going to work and was still smiling at its sunshine smell when I left the office. It greatly brightened a cold, rainy day, and I think I'll be using it for that purpose throughout the winter. It's also quite a good value - Luckyscent carries a 1/8 oz perfume oil in a pretty little container for $45 USD, which ought to last any but the most extravagant applier a long time.

I enjoy many of the L'Erbolario scents and consider this company to be one of the really bargain perfume brands. Most of their scents are well worth seeking out despite their rarity in the US. I got a sample of Accordo Arancio at Surrender to Chance based on its lovely note listing.

For the first five minutes, it was a pretty citrus-green along the lines of Thymes Mandarin Coriander. After that, the ylang-ylang appeared and kept getting bigger and bigger. In less than half an hour, I could no longer stand it and had to scrub. I do have a very limited white flower tolerance, so white flower lovers may enjoy this more than I did.

Two of my favorite - and most-worn - scents are Origins Ginger Essence (still widely available in the US - $59 for 100 ml at Sephora) and Crabtree & Evelyn Sarawak (long-discontinued - about $100 for 100 ml on eBay). Both combine warm ginger and cool citrus in a beautifully balanced way that I find suitable for almost any time and almost any temperature. (Sarawak is a bit more complex, with notes of rice and ginseng easily detectable.) Compagnia delle Indie's Ginger Dust (Polvere di Zenzero) lists significantly more notes than the other two (10 to GE's 4 and Sarawak's 7), but it smells significantly less balanced and sophisticated than either of them. Ginger Dust also has extremely weak sillage. It's pure ginger, detectable only at 3" for an hour or so. It's cheaper than either of the others (when you can find it in the US), but isn't worth it if you have to pour it on constantly and don't enjoy as good a smell when you do.

1 Awards
When I first applied this scent, I found I could best describe its washed-out pleasantness in an equation:

(Preparation Parfumee - lily) = (expensive soap + hint of jasmine) = dove-grey textured silk on a tall, pale brunette

But things soon went downhill. In five minutes a chemical pall quickly descended on me, reminding me of the scent of nitrous oxide. This is the same nauseating experience I had with Calvin Klein Reveal, which I also reviewed here. The only listed note that the two have in common is pink pepper, and I'm doubting that's the problem. (The Parfumo database lists 1934 scents that contain it, including some I like very much, including Bottega Veneta, Chanel AHEB, Bulgari The' Rouge, and Marni.)

I should really get a set of aromachemicals most used in perfumes, so I can distinguish my ambroxan from my galaxolide. Meanwhile, I would suggest that there's a reason that no famous "nose" claimed responsibility for this scent. What a waste of a lovely bottle!

1 Awards
I hadn't heard of this scent before, but decants of it were on sale at Surrender to Chance, and I was already ordering some other decants. I like citrus and lavender in the summertime, and I hoped that the blueness of the juice was just a fun color that didn't indicate a particularly synthetic scent.

Alas, I don't think any citruses, nor a sprig of lavender, nor any type of flower has been near this scent. To call it a "generic vat juice" would be unfair to better versions of "generic vat juice." You know the little cardboard air fresheners, usually in the shape of a pine tree, that you can buy at the counter of the cheapest stores? I would rather rub one of those on myself than wear this scent again. After about 20 minutes, I gave up and scrubbed it off with generous dollops of vanilla salt scrub.

Sometimes, there's a reason why one hasn't heard of a particular scent....

2 Awards

Ao - Mikmoi

As a dyed-in-the-wool tuberose hater, I wouldn't have bought this generous sample of bright blue juice (it was part of a sample pack from Indiescents). The first two times I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised. With one very light spray, I got a very pleasant coconut-ginger with floral hints - like an amped-up Urban Rituelle Beachcomber or a beachy Cabotine de Gres. I was able to overlook the buttery tuberose scent because it was only part of the lovely beachiness of it all. If I had to buy a scent containing more than an iota of tuberose, this would be it.

Until today. Carelessly, I gave two good sprays. It was like melting a cup of tuberose-butter on my arm, drowning out the sprightly ginger and coconut. After about two hours, the tuberose finally died down to a dull roar. By then, this scent was on my "Never Try Again" list. Shower time!

(Note: I rated this higher than I personally feel because it's well-made and a lot of people don't share my tuberose hatred.)

1 Awards
I've pretty much given up on Givenchy at this point, with their dozens of flankers of scents that weren't that terrific in the original. I do like some of them a little bit, for when I'm in that rare mood for a fruity-floral synthetic scent. But this one. THIS one. A giant belch of chemical whatnot - perhaps it was what they had left in various flasks around the factory - assaulted my nose. I couldn't discern any particular notes, but the sillage was ENORMOUS. I began to sneeze, so I ran to the bathroom and covered that arm with a handful of vanilla salt scrub. A lot of scrubbing and a half-hour later, I can still detect a subdued chemical cloud on that arm, but a significantly less irritating one. I guess the good news is that, if you like this one, you won't have to apply much.

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