Posts Tagged ‘Female’

A Scent by Issey Miyake Review

September 20, 2009

A Scent by Issey Miyake is the latest feminine launch from Issey Miyake, whose last main successful fragrance launched 17 years ago. Over on the ‘A Scent’ website, you can watch a video interview with Daphné Bugey, who mentions that she chose to use a ‘forgotten’ ingredient, that has been extracted with a new modern technique.

a scentA Scent opens with a light citrus note, possibly from the listed Verbena, and a whole lot of green. Green has been a theme of this years feminine launches, with Cristalle Eau Verte and Versace Versense, as well as Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau, and Bvlgari Green Jade all spearheading the trend throughout the year.
Galbanum quickly takes the lead and heads centre stage. This Galbanum is dry, soft, slightly moss like and grassy. The inclusion of Galbanum in a fragrance is very interesting as it seemed to have fallen out of favour with the perfume buying public, and although mentioned in many notes pyramids recently it hasn’t really been as potent as here. Good examples of Galbanum in fragrance are Chanel’s No19, Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit and Estée Lauder’s Private Collection.
Although not particularly harsh, it is softened by light floral accents, with super clean Jasmine beside the Galbanum. There isn’t much of a drydown to speak of, but the fragrance is transparent throughout and not as thick as many green scents have been. A Scent is very different to what the perfume market is used to (fruity-floral) and has been very polarising with customers. Maybe Issey Miyake will be at the front of the new trend in fragrance, as he was with L’Eau D’Issey.

Top: Verbena, Fresh Notes
Middle: Galbanum, Hyacinth
Base: Jasmine, Woods

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Prada Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger Review

July 14, 2009

Prada have been incredibly successful (and deservedly so) with Amber and Prada Man, then more recently with Infusion d’Iris and Infusion d’Homme. I’ve enjoyed all of their releases thus far, and was excited when I heard about the summer flanker for the infusion range, Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger. I was hoping for a lightweight Neroli for summertime. But it seems they spent the money on the packaging, and not the juice, which is not a surprise considering the way the industry works. Prada have had a huge let down in the first of their series of ‘ephemeral infusions’ based on their Exclusive boutique range.

Infusion de Fleur d'OrangerIdFdO opens with Neroli, the kind I recognise from Gaultier’s terrifyingly potent Fleur du Male. And just as soon as you catch that, it whizzes past your nose and is replaced with a light, powdery Tuberose with hints of white florals, presumably from the Jasmine and Orange Blossom, but none of it has any presence, skank or body, it’s just “there”.
And before you know it, that’s gone too. And you are left with a cheap smelling linen water. It’s slightly musky and powdery too, which must be the Serenolide – a Givaudan molecule described as “an elegant white musk with sweet fruity connotations providing warm and soft velvety notes that blend well with all kinds of trendy fruity accords”. The longevity is exceedingly poor, at probably 2 hours tops. Frankly, I’d expect to find this fragrance in Asda’s own brand ironing water, not a fine fragrance.

Top: Mandarin, Neroli
Middle: Orange Blossom, Tuberose, Jasmine
Base: Serenolide, Powdery Notes

Lancome Hypnose Senses Review

June 24, 2009

Hypnose Senses launches here in the UK next week. It is the first flanker to Hypnose, which originally launched in 2005, and is intended to be a “playful sensual fragrance to be worn as a second skin”. Aimed at the younger consumer, the Floral Chypre takes the current trends for Pink Peppercorns and Osmanthus and runs with it. I haven’t smelled the original Hypnose, so can’t comment in regards to a comparison with it.

Hypnose SensesSenses opens with a Peppery, Lemony Rose and some sweetness from Vanilla, as well as a powderiness mixed with the citrus.
As it progresses to the heart, the pepper falls away and is replaced with the sweet (and oily) floral Osmanthus note, which is very light, nowhere near as potent to me as that of Flora by Gucci, and is really overtaken by the Rose. To me, it’s a Rose-potent version of YSL Elle. The Rose is a combination of Tea Rose and Lemony Geranium – the Rose I’m used to smelling on the breeze from the neighbours garden. Benzoin is also apparent, but it’s transparent and not really a standout note. You have to really sniff to pick it up.
The drydown is a super clean Patchouli (no earth or dirt, thank you very much) with the salty Musk-Amber that I recognise as the base in YSL’s Elle and Stella. Many of the recent launches from the L’Oreal owned brands have this note now. Senses isn’t particularly powerful after the somewhat shortlived heart – I guess this could be what Lancome mean by “second skin”. The overall picture is a very soft, very girly fragrance, that smells like a higher quality version of Ghost Cherish – but no good for guys.

Top: Mandarin, Pink Peppercorns, Honey
Middle: Osmanthus, Rose
Base: Patchouli, Cistus Labdanum, Benzoin, Tonka Bean, Vanilla

Thierry Mugler Alien Review

June 17, 2009

Alien, released in 2005, was Thierry Mugler’s first mainstream Feminine launch that wasn’t related to Angel. It is intended to smell familiar but strange and foreign hence, Alien. The first thing that captured me about it was the stunning purple bottle, the second thing was the scent itself.

alienAn almost harsh opening blasts out of the nozzle. Huge, bright and radiant – it is simultaneously dry and woodsy, dirty and animalic (from the Jasmine), and bright and luscious. It also smells somewhat hot and fluorescent.
After about a half hour on the skin, it transforms into a soft Jasmine petal, pretty, delicate, and surprising – especially when compared to the blatant harsh top notes.
It settles down to an Ambery warmth, retaining the soft “wood” note (which smells woody, but is quite clearly synthetic – this is Cashmeran, IFF’s woody, musky and spicy aromachemical), with a quitened Jasmine and slightly salty feeling musk. The topnotes can scare many away from Alien, but she’s so soft and warm once you get to know her that you can’t help but fall in love with her. It is so unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before and is most definitely a ‘future-scent’.

Top: Sambac Jasmine
Middle: Cashmeran, Solar Note
Base: White Amber

Cristalle Eau Verte Review

May 13, 2009

Cristalle Eau Verte is Chanel’s latest offering, and is a modernized update of the 1974 classic created by Henri Robert. It is designed as a luminously fresh fragrance, and is meant to evoke “the exhilaration of refreshing summer rain at the close of a gorgeous sunny day”. I’m not sure that it smells particularly of rain or summery. Many other reviews have cited that it doesn’t seem at all related to the original fragrance – and I can only agree. The EdT is very mossy. The EdP is thick and heady. Eau Verte is light and breezy.

cristallThe opening is a bright, bitter and sweet Lime, much like Guerlain Homme, with a shot of Anise, which is present for mere seconds and creates a more bitter tone for the duration. Up top is also a high dose of Citronella, which adds to the freshness. It feels incredibly green, and the Lime plays on this.
In my opinion, it is somewhat similar to Chance Eau Fraiche, and is also similar in style to the recent J’Adore L’eau, with it’s combination of creamy Magnolia and citrus notes, and Versace’s Versense, which feels green and has a potent Citronella note too.
The heart hides a light white-floral mixture of Jasmine, which has a little bit of skank, and is hard to smell behind the verdant greenery. There is also some kind of effect that reminds me of the darkness in Gucci by Gucci.
The drydown is a skin-soft, very light and creamy Jasmine, lacking any punch or much of a trail, but it’s very pleasant and it seems like Chanel are onto a winner. The scent is completely genderless, and unless you are put off by floral notes it is completely wearable by a guy.

Top: Lemon, Bergamot
Middle: Magnolia, Neroli
Base: Jasmine, Musky-Iris Accord

La Nuit De L’Homme and Elle Shocking Reviews

April 6, 2009

La Nuit De L’Homme is Yves Saint Laurent’s newest masculine, a permanent flanker to L’Homme. It is supposed to be a more seductive version of the original, and was created by the same perfumers. I must applaud YSL for naming Coumarin as one of the notes, at least the fragrance companies are getting braver by naming aromachemicals – Coumarin is the molecule that ‘smells’ from Tonka, and is usually synthesised in a lab.

lanuit1At first spray, you can tell it’s still related to L’Homme, with its light Orange note. It’s much more powdery, sweet and warm from the off.
The heart is soft Chocolate with a lightly spiced Cardamom, with a Lavender note somewhere in the mix, and a mishmash of floral notes – nothing leaps out, but they are present, as is a Cedar note.
The drydown is a cold metallic Iris-like dryness, with the strong powdery hay-like Tonka note and a Violet leaf smell which seems to be in everything lately.
It’s good altogether, but I won’t be investing in a bottle simply because I already have Dior Homme for the same purpose as La Nuit, and although La Nuit is louder and attention grabbing, Dior Homme is subtle and more refined.

Top: Cardamom, Bergamot, Floral Notes
Middle: Cedar, Lavender, Aromatic Notes
Base: Vetiver, Coumarin

Elle shocking is the third flanker for Elle. The previous were Elle Intense and Elle Eau Fraiche, last years summer edition. It is an Eau de Toilette concentration and is lighter than the original Eau de Parfum.

ellesThe opening is a light Citrus (must be the Mandarin) and potent berries smell (must be the Raspberry), quite sweet in comparison to the original.
The heart note of Peony is still present, giving it a semi-masculine quality, but it’s much less intense, as you’d expect.
The drydown of inky and slightly sour Vetiver note and Patchouli has been toned down. I can’t help but be reminded of Stella McCartney’s Stella and In Two fragrances when I smell Elle. “shocking” is not remotely shocking, instead a better behaved version of the original fragrance. They are certainly rushing out flankers to Elle, and the fragrance will be entirely exhausted of any possible flankers soon.

Top: Mandarin, Ginger, Peony
Middle: Freesia, Jasmine, Raspberry
Base: Musks, Patchouli, Cedar

Ma Dame and Ma Dame Eau Fraiche Reviews

March 26, 2009

Jean-Paul Gaultier’s scents are incredibly popular. Le Male and Classique have been in top 10 sellers for as long as I remember, and I’ve never liked either of them. Fragile used to make me smile, after a long time of getting used to it. Fleur du Male was far too potent for me. Ma Dame, however, is completely different from the others. I liked it instantly. It’s cheer-up-juice. I got 2 days of it rammed into my nose at my pre-christmas training, and could probably identify it anywhere in a 1 mile radius.

madameMa Dame begins with Orange and Pomegranate. It’s fizzy for a few seconds, and then a Bubblegum (which smells like the 2p Anglo Bubbly bubblegum I used to buy as a kid from the newsagent) and Aniseed Ball note, with a plastic and neon-bright feeling. There is a powdery note, not Iris, but maybe like Heliotrope, with a bitter sweet Raspberry, which is similar to the raspberry note in Diesel Fuel for Life Men, and Rosewater.
A Cedar note in the heart is thick smelling with the Grenadine so there is still some sweetness. It smells like Grenadine syrup on it’s own, without being diluted with lemonade or water. Also, a dusty vanilla note adds more sweetness, and is reminiscent of Hypnotic Poison, but fruitier.
The drydown is a soft musk note, not in any way sharp or grating like I find many musks, with much of the citrus sweetness still going on. There is no reason a man couldn’t wear this.

Top: Orange Zest, Grenadine
Middle: Fresh Rose, Floral Notes
Base: Musk, Cedar

madameefMa Dame’s summer flanker, Eau Fraiche, is a stripped down version of the original. It’s a lighter concentration.
Fizzes straight out of the bottle like Orangeade, the citrus note is impressive and very well done. Instead of ice cubes in this drink, we have Rose petals, shimmering with Grapefruit juice. The fizz subsides after a few minutes. It quickly turns to roses with a splash of syrupy pomegranate and a hint of musk.
It’s a summer cocktail drink, without any alcohol, and much softer than many summer editions – the newest Escada edition terrifies your nose into submission with the smell of a hundred bottles of children’s sugary strawberry paracetamol.
The drydown is a fizzy Cedar, very similar to Armani Diamonds for Men, alongside the sweet Grenadine. It also brings to mind Versace Men Eau Fraiche. The only fault is that the lower concentration results in poor longevity – so spray it on clothing.

Top: Orange Zest, Pink Grapefruit, Raspberry
Middle: Ultra Fresh Rose, Grenadine
Base: Cedar, Musk

Miss Dior Review

March 7, 2009

It’s the first Saturday of the month, which means it’s Sniff ‘n’ Speak day at Basenotes. March is the month of the Chypre, and Miss Dior is an absolute classic of the genre.

missdiorShe opens with a simultaneously sharp and bitter floral note, as well as something boozy, reminiscent of bay rum to me. It’s loud, but in no way harsh. But whats surprising about Miss Dior is that it comes across as more unisex to me, maybe not so much of the “Miss”.
The heart is powdery, warm, ambery Labdanum with the Oakmoss playing a huge role, with it’s ‘fairytale’ smoky quality. The florals feel scorched and burned, but also dried out and similar to a pot pourri. None of the floral notes are particularly prominent.
The drydown is dry smoky Oakmoss and green Patchouli, with a soft Leather and Vanilla in the background, as well as a downright dirty and almost fecal Jasmine. It’s difficult to imagine this on a “Miss” though, she’d probably be buying “Miss Dior Cherie”.

Top: Gardenia, Galbanum, Bergamot, Clary Sage
Middle: Jasmine, Narcissus, Neroli, Rose
Base: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Labdanum, Sandalwood

YSL Elle and Elle Intense Reviews

February 1, 2009

Yves Saint Laurent is a house that offers many fantastic, interesting scents. When I first started selling perfume, I picked up the bottle of Nu and didn’t know what to make of it, but I liked something about it. Paris, the Rose-bouquet, is one of my favourite florals, Baby Doll, with it’s shot of Grenadine (which is wonderful with soda water, by the way) I think is the perfect sweet scent for young girls. And Cinéma should live on as a masterpiece. So, in anticipation of the upcoming male release ‘L’homme de la Nuit’, I take a look at the most recent feminines from the house.

I remember the first moment I sampled YSL’s Elle, before it’s release, at a training course. The colour of the bottle was the first thing to draw me in. The fuschia skyscraper hypnotized me. I sprayed it and was surprised, I wasn’t expecting it at all. What I was expecting was another sugary sweet floral. What I found instead was a bright burst of sweet Berries and fruits, with a masculine edge – Patchouli is evident right from the opening, as in Midnight Poison and Prada Amber.
ellePatchouli and Pink Pepper are prevalent in the heart. This is softened by a loud floral note, which smells similar to Stella in Two Peony. I feel that big Peony note in these two fragrances feels incredibly masculine, and as such this scent must be worn with great confidence. YSL himself was famous for putting women in a tuxedo, and I think that this is the scent equivalent. If you are looking for a peony that is girly, go for Yardley’s Peony, which is peony with musk.
The Vetiver and Patchouli drydown isn’t a million miles away from Stella, with the same odd combination of saltiness and Amber.

Top: Citron, Peony, Lychee
Middle: Pink Pepper, Rose, Freesia
Base: Patchouli, Vetiver, Ambrette

elleintenseElle Intense is recognizably related to the original, with the Berries and Patchouli hanging around. However, it’s significantly darker and dirtier. It’s great when flankers feel related to the original release, unlike Miss Dior and Miss Dior Cherie, which are polar opposites, and Euphoria Man against Euphoria Man Intense, which smell like completely different scents.
What makes Elle Intense different is a glorious smoky Incense and Ink note, that reminds me of Comme des Garcons 2. The Ink/cense note is all over the fragrance after the Raspberry note in the head evaporates.
The drydown is salty, rooty Vetiver with Ink, and an almost Banana-y note.

Top: Raspberry, Lychee
Middle: Pink Pepper, Iris, Jasmine
Base: Benzoin, Patchouli, Amber

Joop! Thrill Reviews

January 29, 2009

I can’t say I’ve ever truly liked a Joop! fragrance for myself. Joop! Homme is far too commonplace for me, every other guy seems to have a bottle, and I find it pretty offensive – most guys that wear it overapply it, making the whole thing too much. Jump and Go are just more of the same ‘fresh’. However, I wasn’t going to rule out new scents before sniffing them. According to the press machine, “the scents aim to capture the excitement of an urban adventure by night”.

thrillmThe masculine smells like a combination of Gaultier’s Le Male and the original Joop! Homme. This is not difficult for me to imagine at all, the Perfumer must have been on a bus journey into Bristol town centre on a Saturday night. Those are both of the scents of an “urban” night out, and the mens room in a club will nearly always have a cloud of both by the doorway.
Thrill opens with an incredibly harsh Lavender note, which feels very cold. Also, there is a fermented Apple note in the top. It progresses to Lavender and Geranium with watery floral notes trying to break through, and feels very much like Le Male at this point of the fragrance.
The Vanilla and Amber sweetness of Joop! Homme becomes more pronounced towards the drydown – which is mostly a heavy sweet Vanilla on top of a Musky Wood note.

Top: Bergamot, Crisp Apple, Frozen Lavender
Middle: Cedarwood, Geranium
Base: Amber, Sandalwood, Vanilla

thrillfThe feminine opens with a burst of sweet but light Fruits. A bright Peach note is apparent and takes over the fragrance for a short while. There is something dark about the fragrance at this point too, so it doesn’t smell entirely girly and innocent, but is still very pretty.
The heart smells like Iris flowers, in a similar way to Bvlgari’s Omnia Amethyste. Very slightly Violet-y and powdery with a small floral bouquet supporting the Peach and Iris. The Peach note remains present throughout the heart, but before the Vanilla drydown appears there is a distracting acidic note.
It dries into a sugary sweet Vanilla and Musky Wood note, similar to the masculine but much softer.

Top: Bergamot, Dewy Leaves, Peach Juice
Middle: Iris, Lily of the Valley
Base: Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood

I prefer the feminine over the masculine, mostly because of the associations with Le Male and Joop! Homme, but also because the feminine is really quite pretty