SystemeDSystemeD's Perfume Reviews

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2 Awards
I've known about Silences for decades, but I had never actually tried it, so when I received a decant, I was quite curious.

Silences has a very green opening, and for a short while, it seemed like the entire fragrance would be all about bergamot and galbanum. But soon, I got hyacinth and a touch of muguet, and a very soapy scent -- you know, the triple-milled stuff in the fancy wrapper in the little dish in your great-aunt's bathroom. On me, that was the lengthiest stage of Silences: soap. Over the course of a few hours, the soap receded a bit, and hints of vetiver and moss arrived -- but they were still tinged with soap.

Overall -- too soapy for me!

4 Awards
Hasu-no-hana opens with bergamot, but then goes right to a clove-y carnation. (I see that carnation is not among the listed notes here, but I swear I am getting eugenol or something very like it.)

If I am very attentive and put my nose right up to my hand (where I applied the fragrance) I can just about identify ylang ylang, but I cannot parse out any other florals in the heart. I agree with Dr. Seid, that it is quite lovely.

Hasu-no-hana ends with patchouli and tonka. I've worn it all day today, and the base is now all cinnamon/clove/vanilla, which is how I usually perceive tonka.

Overall, it's a lovely soft chypre, quite elegant.

1 Awards
L'Orpheline opens with a brief shot of aldehydes, but then the strongest note by far is lavender. I get some musk up top, weaving in and out of the lavender.

The lavender continues for me throughout L'Orpheline. And soon, it is joined by a vanillic sweet hay, which tips me off to the distinct presence of coumarin. The silky woodiness of this fragrance also points directly to cashmeran.

At bottom, there is a touch of the same "cool" metallic frankincense note found in L'eau Froide, but it is warmed by the coumarin. The lavender never departs entirely, but L'Orpheline culminates in a big old-fashioned long-lasting musk that reminds me of the 1970s.

The musk ended up giving me a bit of a headache, so ultimately, L'Orpheline is not for me. But if you like a classic fougere, and if you're nostalgic for the seventies, then it might be for you.

I reached for my decant of Fleur de Carotte, a light and herbal refreshing scent, for what will be a hot and humid day.

The first spray is always a slightly citrusy rubbing alcohol to me, but that dissipates in a moment. What emerges is a fresh vegetal fragrance. I get mostly osmanthus, but it is spiked with a leafy herb (sometimes I get tarragon, sometimes I get tomato leaf), and kept interesting with the occasional appearance of a barely-there rose.

Fleur de Carotte won't stay for a long time, but another spritz is welcome, especially in the heat and humidity, so this little bottle will travel with me as I do my errands around the city today.

5 Awards

Life - Fresh

I was fully prepared to dislike this fragrance, on the basis of the stereotype of those fragrances that are marketed using a combination of these words: "transparent" "floral" "aquatic" "crystalline" "clean" "white musk." You know, laundry detergent.

But this is actually a powerhouse of a laundry detergent fragrance. Clean? Yes. Fresh? Aggressively so. It's like getting punched in the nose with fabric softener. But most shockingly, I like it!

Why? Because it is neither transparent nor evanescent. It projects, and it lasts. I see it as a very good choice for a hot summer day -- and it won't require constant reapplication.

This fragrance opens with a blast of citrus, and something green. I get mostly grapefruit, but in a few minutes, some aspects of orange and bergamot. Soon, a sweet floral emerges, very like lilac, but modulated by cucumber.

The green and citrus persist throughout, but the drydown is more herbaceous than the opening. Hours later, I get lemongrass.

Thanks, Fresh, for this aggressive, bracing wake-up call!

2 Awards
When I first sprayed Coccobello, I was reminded of a particular suntan lotion from many years ago. Coconut, and something slightly green.

And that is pretty much what Coccobello remained throughout -- a very linear coconut, with a touch of fresh greenness up front, and a touch of vanilla at bottom. But mostly coconut.

3 Awards
The listed notes of Blue Encens seem like a personal invitation just for me, and predictably, I enjoy this cardamom and incense blend. I just wish this had some sillage!

The cardamom and incense are practically seamless from the outset, and overall, this is a somewhat linear, very easy-to-wear fragrance. It is competently done, and quite nice to inhale. But honestly, this just wears too close to the skin for me.

Those of you who don't want your incense and cardamom fragrance to be too obtrusive might be extremely happy with this one.

3 Awards
This is an interestingly abstract floral underpinned by a recognizably-CdG incense base.

The "wisteria" here is like a faceted gem that includes lilac, freesia, and rose, but my floral impressions are just that -- impressions. The floral notes are not truly distinct, but instead, they come together in an abstraction of a clean, fresh flower that does not necessarily exist in any garden.

The incense base is typical of CdG, I think, but it also reminds me in its cold, mineral-like way of Lutens L'eau Froide.

Wisteria Hysteria wears close to the skin, and so would be a good choice for daytime or for the office.

4 Awards
There's a milkiness to this fragrance that I really did not expect. It opens with cardamom and almond, very milky and sweet. Then I get some iris, but not the clean, crisp iris one usually experiences -- instead, this one is creamy. This fragrance dries down to cedar, but with that persistent milkiness.

It seems that "white light" is almond milk in this interpretation.

8 Awards
I don't remember where, but I once read that Pierre Bourdon submitted one of the early drafts of Shiseido's Féminité du Bois (which he composed with Christopher Sheldrake) to Dior, and it resulted in Dolce Vita.

Whether true or not, it makes sense. The relationship between the two is clear. And though Dolce Vita is a bit more mainstream, and a bit, oh, I don't know, sunnier, I think it's brilliant, too.

Dolce Vita's luscious creaminess is a result of Bourdon's artful blend of spices, fruits and woods. While I do like the opening (a rosy florality is always noticeable to me on first application), what I really love is the rounded fruitiness of the peach/apricot heart, spiked with cinnamon and cardamom, that leads right into that deep, delicious woody base. Most everyone identifies sandalwood as the primary note there, but I smell cedar, and lots of it. (Perhaps it's that Australian sandalwood? I don't know.) So yes, it's quite cedary to me, but there's also a dollop of vanilla there, and some sweet heliotrope.

This is my very favorite from Dior, and I wear it quite regularly as a daytime scent. People smile at me on elevators when they detect it.

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