The Longest Perfume Review Ever  

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I've probably said it before, but I'll say it again: perfume is not one of my strong ones. Sure, I love testing different fragrances and wearing them even more so, but my knowledge of the fine art of perfume-sniffing (not to mention -making) is limited to the very basics, such as "Hmm, that's nice..." or "Yuck, I wouldn't be caught dead wearing this!!!".

I also know that the subject of different smells and scents and what appeals to whom is a very subjective one, with plenty of chances for misunderstanding or even offending the other person. Thus, I'd like to ask you to only read the following post at your own risk, lest you should 1.) find that I've slashed your favorite perfume and have the sudden urge to come after me with an axe and/or 2.) faint from the many different headache-inducing scents this post shall be loaded with. Have Advil at hand just for good measure. ;-)

All of the above means that the following content should not be taken seriously: I'm mostly just having fun here. :-)


So on Wednesday I visited Ázsia Center for the first time (a kind of mall full of Asian shops in Budapest) and dragged my mother with me who's been pining after this perfume ever since she smelled it once in a perfumery (into which I also had to drag her, by the way). My main (and admittedly only) goal was to pick up some samples of perfumes I've been dying to own for ages. I just cannot be bothered to buy the full-size versions, you see:

  • They're too expensive for a poor English-teacher like me.
  • An entire lifetime wouldn't be enough for me to use them up.
  • I'm usually fed up with any scent after finishing a 1.2 or 2 ml sample size, so why on Earth should I buy a whole of 50 or 100 mls?
  • I like small samples much more as I can carry them around in my bag.

Also, my best friend has some requests of her own, so I brought her some things too.

I was (and still am) quite curious about some famous scents though, so I headed to a particular shop (C+C Perfumery) I heard had a great selection of samples. I was not disappointed and I'm already planning to go back and get some more.

Izar © 2009


- Hermes -
Un Jardin Après La Mousson


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Fine, I admit: both Mum and I have been lusting after this perfume since we discovered it one day back in summer. I remember I loved the combination of watermelon and black pepper very much, and I still do. Those two and ginger are the most dominant in this fragrance, and while upon spraying it on it sort of makes me want to sneeze a bit, it soon dries down to a wonderfully fresh, green kind of smell with a hint of fruitiness in there somewhere. According to Hermès it's a unisex scent, and I can totally imagine this on a man too, as it's clean, spicy and natural with only a hint of watermelon, but even that is a sort of half-ripe, not-really-sweet watermelon which is not out of place on a man at all.

My greatest find and my favorite of the lot. :-)

- Hermes -
Un Jardin Sur Le Nil


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Another scent that can be worn by men and women alike, but I can't really imagine this on a woman to be quite honest. It's such a sharp scent, and my first thought when I smelled this was that this must be what mummies' armpits smell like. (A preposterous image, I know, but I couldn't help it.) Mum likes it though... I just hope she won't be using it very often.

- Givenchy -
Very Irresistible

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Yummy! Now that's more like it!

I used to have a sample size of this, but alas, I used it all up. Now how could that have happened?
Perhaps it was the fact that I have a softer-than-soft spot for rosy scents of any kind, and when they're infused with a hint of spice to boot (i.e.: star anise in this case), I can't help but stick to them until the bottle is empty.

Perhaps it lacks fruity elements and is instead enriched with patchouli, but I don't think I mind. I can do just fine without the sometimes overly feminine nature of sweet fruits, while I've been acquiring a taste for patchouli lately and really don't mind its presence in perfumes anymore.

- Chanel -
No. 5


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I'm wearing this one right now for testing purposes. It's been on me for approximately 6 hours but it hasn't changed that much along the way. It has kept it's characteristic aldehydic notes, only it's acquired a slightly sweet, powdery trait along the way.

Many winters ago I tested this in a perfumery and immediately thought "What all the fuss about? It smells like bug-repellent..."

Then a few years later a very kind saleswoman in her own cosmetics store made me try it once again and practically forbade me to sniff at my wrist for half an hour. I heeded her warning and after the 30 minutes were up I simply fell in love with aforementioned wrists and couldn't stop sniffing all day. That was in the summer of 2007.

Now this winter I have it again and I really have some mixed feelings about it. While it doesn't remind me of bug-repellent anymore, it also doesn't do anything for me right now, except remind me of the bathroom in my godmothers' summer cottage. She used to keep a few perfume bottles there and while I don't remember them anymore I'm quite certain she owned a bottle of this classic scent.

Who knows? Maybe I'll fall in love with this again in the summer...

- Christian Dior -

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I need to quote Sephora here:

"Radiant, sensual, sophisticated, J'adore is a fragrance that celebrates the renaissance of extreme femininity and the power of spontaneous emotion with a brilliant bouquet of orchids, the velvet touch of Damascus plum, and the mellowness of amaranth wood."

Extremely feminine? Definitely, and so the first time I smelled this years ago I immediately knew it wasn't a fragrance for me: too feminine, too in-your-face, too fruity in an overwhelming sort of way. I washed Chanel 5 off about 30 minutes ago and put this on, and while it is definitely a very nice scent, I cannot imagine myself wearing this anytime soon. Since the moment I put it on I've been feeling a sort of dry, scratchy feeling in my throat, a sure sign of my whole olfactory system not liking this perfume.
(My Mum who loved it, however, so she got a 5 ml mini bottle.)

I can definitely understand why women and men alike are captured by this fragrance though: it radiates happiness in a sophisticated sort of way and embraces you like a purple cloud of plummyness. I also like that it doesn't turn sharp on me, but remains a fruity, plummy, rich kind of scent. Oh, and the bottle. Gotta love that bottle. :-)

(Why, oh why must I detest fruity scents??? Every research points to the fact that men like these kind of scents the best, and here I am, unwilling to hold out the carrot to them. Wait. Forget it. That's a vegetable... Peaches then! Yeah. Peaches...)

- Versace -
Bright Crystal


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Allow me to be trite for a moment: "My precioussssssssssssss..."

Sorry but I just had to. :-P

My recent addiction to the invigorating scent of grapefruit has led me to reach for my sample of Bright Crystal, which seemed to be a lovely blend of citrusy notes, only to find that it actually has nothing to do with citrus, much less grapefruit. Oh well... To me it still smells like a slightly bitter, juicy ball of grapefruit bursting with freshness and energy.

In the summer I loved this for its cooling and refreshing properties, and now that it's cold and cloudy all day and night I admire it for its ability to transport me back/forward into summer and bring me the promise of warmer days.

- Yves Saint Laurent -

My immediate reaction to this perfume was not that bad, although it did come across as strange and unusual. As it dried down it quickly developed a component I can only describe as something smelling like the pine-scented bubble-bath I used to have when I was about 4 or 5 years old. It's a fake pine smell and it's only half a surprise I should detect something like that in there, because even though pine doesn't appear among its notes, cedarwood and patchouli certainly do, and they must be the ones responsible for its woodiness. There's a hint of rose in there too, and while I have a hunch that ELLE won't be a favorite for me, I think it's a actually a very pretty and pleasant perfume, not to mention rather unique.

The One


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I'll be totally random here as I have no other way to describe this scent. When I close my eyes and just inhale it, it makes me think of:
  • gold
  • velvet
  • an ancient Ming vase
  • an expensive hotel's foyer
  • honey made of some exotic flower
  • a movie star in her thirties
  • a blend of slightly overheated sugar and musk

I guess if you take a look at the above list you'll conclude that 1.) I'm off my rockers and 2.) it's a rich, heavy, and sweet fragrance that brings lavish things to mind. (To my mind at least...) Now if you take a look at Sephora's assessment you'll see that I'm not very far from the truth, as it is a "golden" scent and a very fruity one at that.

It has plum in it just like J'adore, and indeed there's a certain likeness to Dior's creation in that it is a rich, deep kind of scent; you can almost cuddle up to it and feel as it pulls you into a welcoming embrace. You don't surrender though: there's something else in there that warns you not to. Something that lets everybody know that the wearer is a powerful person who should be treated with respect and approached with caution.

Weird. Kind of old lady-ish, but then again, perhaps not. Maybe it's just classic elegance and timelessness that comes through every time it hits my nose. It's nice (more than nice), but not me. It'll never be me. Or I'll never be it.

This one's going to my best friend, who adores it.

- Christian Dior -
Miss Dior Cherie

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Again, let's start with some associations:
  • giggles
  • bubblegum
  • cotton candy
  • cream-colored lace
  • oh yeah, and cherries too... :-)
Might come across as a frivolous scent, but I'm pretty convinced that even serious people need to have fun now and then, and Miss Dior Cherie is just the thing to make them lighten up and relax a bit. I also find that along with Cacharel's Amor Amor it puts me into a creative mood: some of the prettiest pieces of jewelry I've ever created were made under the influence of the above two fragrances.

Love it, it's mine, all mine! Mwhahahahah!!! ^_^

- Lolita Lempicka -

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My best friend is so lucky: she can wear fragrances like this and pull it off. It smells just right on her: the cinnamon, the woody notes and the musk all come through. On me, however, it's a very one dimensional scent that can be summed up in two words: sugar overdose. It reminds me of Aquolina's Pink Sugar and I wonder why I didn't end up swinging upside down on the chandelier with a big grin on my face singing some annoying never-ending song... Okay, perhaps because I'm not 5 anymore and I've never had hyperactive tendencies, though I wouldn't have been surprised to see this smell create them in me anyway.

The cinnamon was so alluring, but I'm afraid this perfume and I can never be... So, does anyone know of a wearable fragrance with cinnamon in it?

- Thierry Mugler -


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And finally, a perfume that seems to divide women and bring out strong emotions from us all. People either love it or hate it, there's no middle-of-the-road here.

According to Sephora, this was the fragrance that set oriental gourmands off, and while I generally tend to love everything in this category, upon first try this one had me exclaim "What the heck?!?! Burnt pine and rotting pineapples?!?!?!" and use quite a few expletives while running to the bathroom to wash the whole thing off.

Next day I decided not to do the exact same thing I dislike about others after all: I gave it another chance and sprayed it on again around noon. A few minutes went by (excruciatingly slowly) and most of the exclamation marks disappeared from above my head. Whew. After a good half an hour I began to smell something much more akin to chocolate, but the predominant note on my skin over the course of several hours turned out to be musk. It was quite pleasant actually, and by the time 6 PM rolled around it was a musky, soapy, warm and clean kind of smell with hints of sweetness here and there.

I think I can safely say that Angel is the weirdest perfume I've ever come across in my life, but I'm willing to experiment with it further, because there's something about it that doesn't allow me to just write it off as another 300 HUF that went down the drain. My ultimate goal is to make it smell the way its box does, just on my skin: a mix of cocoa, baby-powder and flowers.

A word of warning though to anybody who's planning to try it for the first time:
This is a very concentrated perfume and should be used very, I repeat very sparingly: I used half a drop and it was still overpowering in the beginning. Also, it might not be the best idea to just spray it on in a department store and then throw a hissyfit. Get a sample, take it home, be prepared to gag when you first put it on, but persevere and you'll find it's not as bad as it initially seemed to be. It's a fragrance that is unique in its own way and should be treated as such: it can either function as a perfectly legal biological weapon, or you can tame it and make it become your best friend. Your choice.


Stuff I'm planning to get next time:
  • Burberry Brit
  • Chanel Chance
  • Thierry Mugler Alien
  • Guerlain Insolence (just to be able to use it again: it invokes some very nice memories)
  • Clinique Simply
  • Armani City Glam

Whew! That was a lot of typing... :-)

I'll probably spark some controversy with my subjective little reviews above, so now I'd like to hear your opinion on these fragrances. If you've smelled, tried, or ever owned any of them, please do share your two cents with the rest of us.

Take care!

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 31, 2009 and is filed under , , , , , , , , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .

14 megjegyzés

Sweetie, how are things? Hope great.
I bet very very very very cold *smile*

This is a great review, girl!!!!
Now I'm so in love with the Bvlgari Jasmin Noir *blushing*

So are your parents ok? Hope so.

Lovely, take care and all thebest



SEEKER!!! :-D *hug*

Yup, it's freezing here. (Okay, it's not, but it sure feels like it... :)

Thanks, actually I've been thinking about taking a sniff of Jasmin Noir as you seemed so taken with it. It can only be yummy.

Yeah, Mum and Dad are doing okay, and fervently wishing for spring to come too.

Thanks for dropping by, take care!


Hey lovely!

How are things? Great long review of perfumes. I have to agree with you about the D&G one and I want to sniff the one from Versace. Sounds yummy :)

xo Grayburn

Hey Izar dear

How are you? Lovely review. I totally love J'adore and Versace. Chanel No 5 surprisingly, it's not a favourite with guys. But my female friends they all think I smell heavenly :) Strange, seriously. But I guess it's true, guys really dig these fruity flowery scents

By the way, I have a triple award for you. Head on to my blog and check it out :) You so deserve it!!

Hey Izar! Hope you had a good Valentine's Day and a great weekend!

xo Grayburn


Hi! Yeah, it was great: I finally had a chance to relax a bit after a very hectic week. I don't have a boyfriend though so it was nothing special from that respect, but I did meet up with some amazing gals from my fave Hungarian cosmetics thread on Sunday and had a lot of fun chatting, drinking coffee and eating cakes, so it was okay. :)

How about you?


Beauty Tyrant:
Thank you so much for the award! That was very sweet of you.
I have so many awards to give out to people, but I wanted to do it in a special way, so it takes (way too much) time for me to get ready and finally do it...

I guess Chanel 5 reminds guys of their grandmas which is not the effect us women want to go for... :-)


Hi Izar!

Greetings from Krémmárka! ;)
About the perfums: I love Bright Crystal but mostly in summer - I tried it a few weeks ago, and it seemed to me that it had a bitter "after-scent" (I don't know if such a word actually exists but I think you get my meaning ;))
Angel....OMG! I got one from my brother (he meant it well) but I can't stand it. It's very-very sweet and really strong - you can't wash it off, no matter, how much you try.
My favourite scents is CK: Euphoria Blossom - a floral scent, light but very feminine. ;)Have you ever tried it?

OMG, Ladybird!!! *hug*

It's so good to finally see you here! ^_^

Yeah, I can imagine BC would be too sharp in winter; I admit that I had some qualms about it too, but in the end it didn't turn bitter on my skin.

Haha, I remember you voicing your dislike of Angel during the "topiktali". :-) Angel is weird, and after experimenting with it for a few times I've finally concluded that it's not worth the effort. I much prefer YR's Neonatura Cocoon on my skin to this. There just doesn't exist a drop that's small enough to be considered safe from this perfume... I don't mind sweet, but I definitely do mind those headache-inducing notes that this scent starts off with.

Hmmm, I'm beginning to like florals (YSL's ELLE is half-floral I think, and I've been wearing it non-stop for a while now), so I'll definitely check Euphoria Blossom out. If I like it I'll get a sample of it when we visit Ázsia center on the 28th with the girls. It'd be so nice if you could come, but I know you have to study. Hey, mabe we can go together some other time!

By the way, what other scents do you like? I might just draw some inspiration from your list: I'm still looking for my signature scent or at least trying to dwelve into the world of perfumes a bit more.

Girl, I'm so happy to see you here! :)

Take care,

Well....right now i am sitting here, instead of studying - but what can I say? Your blog is more interesting than my books! :)
Yesterday i tried Angel again - not the perfume because it was really waaay too much but the lotion (I got several mini handcreams and lotion in the same scent - of course :)) and this way it isn't that coyingly sweet. But it still won't be my favourite scent.
Other than Euphoria Blossom, I like Gucci: Envy me (but usually in the summer - it's sweet but floral as well, and very light), Hugo Boss Woman and XX (perfect for working), CK: In 2 U, Bulgari:Omnia Crystalline and sometimes, in the hottest summer day, Moschino: Funny. Normally there is too much citrus in it but on such days it's perfect.

Before I forget: have a nice trip on the 28th! :)
And after my exam I am ready to go everywhere! ;)

Hi there Ladybird!

Aww, shucks, thanks. :-D

I really think a body lotion or even a shower gel/cream would be enough to apply this scent; there's actually no need for the perfume itself. I mean, with a shower gel one's body is coated in the fragrance, but probably a much more subtle version of it, something that quickly dries down into that powdery-musky scent it became on me in the end.
I'd probably like it if I could just apply a small enough drop, but alas, I haven't managed to yet. :)

I just have to check out the fragrances you listed here, they sound awesome. Bvlgari has been on my list for a while and Envy Me also sounds like something I would probably like. Thanks for the tips!

Now I'm really looking forward to the 28th, but when you're done with your exam, we should definitely go somewhere together. Even Ázsia, if you want: I certainly won't mind going back again, even if I don't buy anything. (Which, knowing myself as well as I do, is highly unlikely :).

As an English teacher and a cosmetics and perfume addict myself, I definetly understand why you would think some of the brands are too expensive... Personaly I buy perfumes online from a website I just discovered I hope there's no problem with giving the link, but if you venture into the shop you will see that the perfumes are a lot cheaper. Just give it a go. You won't regret it! ... I surely don't! ;)

Versace Bright Crystal is one of my favorite perfumes too. Here are some other, perhaps you will like them too: Femme by Hugo Boss, Premier Jour by Nina Ricci (i like almost everything from Nina Ricci), one of my new discoveries is Chanel Chance eau fraiche, i think it smelles so much better then the simple Chanel Chance.

Hi Janis!

I haven't tried the ones you mentioned yet, but I'll have to give Chanel Chance eau Fraiche a chance (terrible pun, I know): Chance is so cloying on me and it'd be great to find something that's similar but different at the same time. :-)

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