SweetgrassSweetgrass' Perfume Reviews

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Sweetgrass 7 years ago 6
7
Scent

Rosy floral in the YR style
Yves Rocher is a brand traditionally known for their semi-serious, cheaply priced or at least affordable perfumes and body products, and it seems things are still as they were back in the 90s when little packages with green print came in the post every once in a while, and our grandmothers and mother had to be serious about keeping us off the contents before they had had the chance to salvage whatever it is they wanted. Sample sachets and minis usually ended up with us. Few of those old lines remain, but e.g. Mûre Sauvage is just like the blackberry-scented stuff we had in the 90s, and I am very glad for my shower gel and small EdT from the current collection.

Anyway. I have never been one for the more grown-up YR perfumes because I find that they are too often steeped in rose, which I usually don’t tolerate at large doses. Sniffing Quelques Notes d’Amour in the shop, I just wrote it off as another soapy rose from YR and got my Mûre Sauvages and Pêche Jaunes and left.
The SA, however, did include a sample sachet of Quelques Notes because it is a new release, and I am fortunate that she did! It is actually a far less soapy and rosy perfume than I initally thought, and the top and heart notes resemble the current big brand perfumes with clean accords of bergamot, berries and some cleaned-up white flowers, I wanna say tuberose but I can’t be sure. It smells good in the inoffensive manner of contemporary mainstream perfumery.

This is still a rose perfume at its heart, though, and as the top and heart notes fade away you are left with a musky base of rose. Which for me screams soap, in a bad way. It is not the most long-lasting and the rose-musky base turns pungent when I sweat, which is not good, but then wearing perfume to strenuous physical exercise is not my top priority anyway.

I tend not to buy perfumes if I do not like the heart and base notes, but I may make an exception because YR sells minis and other small sizes of their perfumes for pocket change. And this is, after all, more than just rose — maybe it could be my gateway perfume into rosy scents. The dude seems to love rose at least, so I might just keep this one around for when I feel like treating him to something delicious.

Sweetgrass 7 years ago 3
8
Scent

N°5's bubblier granddaughter
I have been meaning to review this one in English for a while now, and now that the weather is warm enough to try floral-aldehydic fragrances and I have been on a N°5 binge, the time seems ripe for it.

First off, the aldehydes are far lighter, more modern -- and more fleeting -- than in Eau Première's esteemed foremother. The opening lacks the bug spray accord (aldehydes spiked with intense bergamot) that can be so off-putting to delicate contemporary noses in the original N°5 and many others, and instead comes off as non-aquatic fresh floral that soon gives way to the classical jasmine-rose combo. Those two flowers seem to me to be a cornerstone of modern Western perfumery, and for good reason -- there is nothing quite as heady yet bubbly and classy as jasmine and rose blended well together. While it can feel a bit soapy especially when transitioning from top notes to the heart, it's a very, very classy kind of soapy.

The base lacks the plump oriental amber that makes the original so intoxicating, but the vanillic-woody sweetness is there, shining a golden undertone throughout the duration of this perfume. The developmental stages seem more distinct to me in Eau Première than the original N°5, which is a near-seamless floriental joy ride, and for some reason EP lasts longer on my skin, too. It's a great, classy light floral quasi-oriental, a sharper, more contemporary Atkins diet version of the plush original; nothing off the beaten path, but I would say a definite failsafe for most people looking for something elegant and unobtrusive to wear or give as gift. I for one would be only happy to receive a bottle.

Sweetgrass 8 years ago 1
7
Scent

Sweet, spicy eau
It's still not the season for this kind of perfume (it has been snowing today), but I defied the climate and decided to give this a spin after a long while...

I got my sample from LuckyScent, and decanters are pretty much the only way to go for samples it seems since PdN do not have a sampling program of their own. That’s the kind of thing that just makes me sad with smaller, less known brands and houses, because while most people in Western countries can get a sniff of Shalimar or any one of the latest designer frags in pretty much any department store this side of the Ural, the niche houses need other ways to make their products known. Having a sampling program is one of the more efficient ones.

Anyway. What is NOT saddening is the scent itself. In l’Eau à la Folie, the citric top notes give off a more green and bright rather than citric impression, and before the perfume has really had time to open up I did wonder if it’s yet another citrusy-herbal take on the cologne structure. As the topmost top notes dissipate, it becomes apparent that it is not. The perfume takes on a fuller, more aromatic and herbal character and sweetens up a little with slightly honeyed (but not cloying!) touch while retaining some of its opening tartness. It is pretty linear from that on, and snuggles closer to the skin as time goes by (it was pretty much gone from my skin after 6 hours), but it is still a worthwhile perfume.

I am not sure if this is full-bottle worthy for me at this time, but it is one of the more enjoyable new perfumes I’ve tried recently and it's surprising how the fruity, berry notes come together and give off a more aromatic and herbal air rather than fruit and berry. Do put it on your to try list! It is absolutely delightful and has undone some of the trauma I’ve suffered through sniffing too many so-called eaux that resemble bug spray more than any living thing. If I tried assigning gender to this one, I’d fail miserably. So yeah. Try it!

Sweetgrass 8 years ago 2
6
Scent

Sticky sweet
House Guerlain is known for several enduring perfume classics and masterpieces, and it's no wonder perfume lovers often scoff at the Aqua Allegoria line. More often than not, the AA releases have not managed to live up to the house legacy of utter sophistication, consisting instead of several "nice" edts.

Flora Nymphea is, for me, one of those "nice" scents that would make a worthy addition to any other perfume house's range, but for Guerlain, it falls short. It is a good sweet floral scent for anybody who is craving summer in a bottle -- this isn't the crisp dewiness of late spring/early summer, this is high summer at its peak when all the flowerbeds are filled with bugs and flowers begin to wither. The dominant feature of Flora Nymphea is straight-up honeyed linden blossom (not on the note list, but definitely what I smell). Whatever "green notes" or "citric notes" there are are overpowered by the sweet floral bouquet. The drydown comes pretty quickly with musky woods that lend the fragrance a soapy character towards the end -- not a bad thing, though!

However nice it is, it isn't really in my taste, but lovers of sweet florals and honey take note. This is discontinued, but pretty well available through online discounters, often for very cheap.

Sweetgrass 8 years ago 6
9
Scent

The essence of chic, or the chypre that wasn't
I had read some reviews a while back describing this as one of the more "mature" Chanel perfumes, and like Dulcemio, I can recognize the classic touches in 31RC. I just fell in love instantly with it, even with all its kinda-dated sophistication and aldehydes (I'm sure they're there, but for some reason just not listed in the notes).

31RC lacks the oakmoss required of a true chypre, but Jacques Polge does a really good job in evoking the character of chypre even without it. Along with the oakmoss, it lacks the piercing sharpness, but it does pack a punch of its own -- for some reason, it just hits some receptors in my head really hard and make me love it even more for it. I thought I could never love a classic floral, but I do love this one, and 31 rue Cambon has definitely opened my nose to appreciate some other classic perfumes I thought I would hate.

This is definitely one of those perfumes you really have to test before buying, because I can see it is somewhat polarizing -- however for me, it is totally worth the full-bottle even at the Les Exclusifs prices. I am seriously considering going for the big flask.
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