L.T. Piver Heliotrope Blanc

L.T. Piver Heliotrope Blanc

Alright, are you thinking, what the heck is L.T. Piver? Because that’s what I was thinking the first time I saw it, haha. Well, turns out, L.T. Piver is a really old french perfume brand, like Guerlain old. Except, as a quick googling just told me Guerlain opened up in 1828 and L.T. Piver opened up their first shop in 1774, so they’re actually older. Except the brand wasn’t yet called that and… okay this is getting complicated. Look it up yourself if interested.

The reason you might not have heard of the brand yet is that to my knowledge you can only get their stuff in barber shops and retro style places. Or maybe it’s just me who was not in the know so far, anyway long intro but here’s the perfume of the day:

It’s Heliotrope Blanc EdT by L.T. Piver. It came out in 1850 and is still being produced although of course I can’t say if the formula is still the same. The packaging is all retro and stuff, looks really cute. Sadly I already managed to ruin the golden cap I think by getting perfume on it which kinda dissolved the golden paint??? The sprayer is a little bit difficult, it does spray in the direction you point it at but the spray that comes out is bigger than you’d except so I dripped perfume all over the place…

What does it smell like? Well, like Heliotrope, obviously. Heliotrope is called the vanilla flower and for good reason. It smells a lot like play doh. Luckily this perfume smells like that, but in a non artifical way? It smells like vanilla and almonds and sugar before you start baking.There may be cookies in the future but not yet. That’s what it smells like.

So, really good, but also one note. I like wearing it but I don’t feel the need to wear it two days in a row. Once every couple weeks is enough. The scent does not change while wearing it and it has surprisingly great wear time – I got ten hours on skin out of it. Probably because it’s mostly base note anyway (base notes are base notes because they last the longest so you smell them at the end).

In a nutshell: good quality perfume and lovely smell if non artificial play doh sounds like something you want. Terrible packaging though the sprayer releases too much and it drops down the bottle later on god I just picked it up to examine it and a drop fell onto my laptop no!

Some swiping later everything still seems to be working. If you’re not hearing from me next week, there was a problem after all.


YSL Mon Paris

YSL Mon Paris

This super cute bottle is YSL Mon Paris EdT, one of their newest fragrance releases. It was released in 2016. Perfumers are: Olivier Cresp, Harry Frémont, and Dora Baghriche-Arnaud.

Mon Paris is one of those perfumes inspired by LVEB. As such, my question is, who needs this? Don’t most perfume lovers who want one already own a LVEB clone or two? The bottle is really cute, though so maybe that’s the main draw.

In defense of Mon Paris I have to say it’s a bit lighter than LVEB. It starts with a chemical berry smell which gets overwhelmed by a bouquet of jasmine. There’s not as much jasmine as Alien has (but then, which perfume has) but I think jasmine haters won’t be fans of Mon Paris. Jasmine lovers on the other hand might like that this is jasmine without the ubiquitous orange blossom. The drydown is super generic and also weak. There’s a little bit of everything in it, but not enough to really pick anything out.

As such, the fragrance is okay, but the market is so saturated by chemical smelling sweet berry scents, some of which smell better than Mon Paris (many smell a lot worse, though) I have trouble being very enthusiastic about it. I’m waiting for the next perfumery trend. My verdict is that this is the perfect perfume for teenage girls (if they like that sort of thing) since it smells sweet and not as strong as LVEB and the bottle is very cute.

For a perfume that also sports sweet berry, but not so synthetic and more elegant, check out my review for Cartier La Panthere.

All Used Up August, September and October 2017

All Used Up August, September and October 2017

Wow, it’s been a while! Usually I try to get one of these posts up once a month or every other month, but whatever. It’s going to be a bit longer, then. Here’s the stuff I emptied in the last three months:

Benefit They’re Real mascara: this mini was part of a set and of course the mascara went way before the other products. At first I really liked the mascara and thought I’d buy a full size aferwards. I mean I still ike it but I have found other mascaras that work just as well so for now I won’t repurchase it. It gave my lashes length and volume and didn’t smear.

Chanel Le Volume Rouge Noir: You will notice a trend here. Some people really hate these mascara wands made of plastic (or whatever it is) with short bristles and I really, really love them. I absolutely adored the Rouge Noir color, which sadly was a LE. The Le Volume doesn’t give length, but it does add a lot of volume. This has the effect that lashes droop a bit and won’t keep the curl. My lashes are naturally curly so it works out for me despite the weight. When the Le Volume is new it is very wet and will be a pain to use. I have found the key is to open it once and then put it in the drawer and forget about it. Several months later it will have the perfect consistency. And no, the mascara won’t go bad in the meantime (just don’t leave it lying about for years). Le Volume does not smear on me (once it had some time to dry) or crumble.

Two small masks: Balea Reparierende Maske and Balea Reinigende Maske. These are supposed to be one time masks, but there was so much product in them that I used each for four or five days. Or rather, nights, as these are leave-on masks. Hence the sleepy face. I liked both, they were refreshing (both have a gel texture) and they plumped up my skin quite a bit. The next day there were visibly less fine lines. I don’t think they did anything else though. The blue cleansing mask didn’t result in less gunk in my pores or anything. Still, I liked them. I’m not sure if they were LE, though as I haven’t seen them in stores anymore?

Ingredients for the green repairing mask.

Ingredients for the blue cleansing mask.

Nivea two phase eye makeup remover: It was okay. I had removers that got the makeup off faster than this one, but on the plus side it did not feel that oily and left not much residue on my eye. Might repurchase if I find nothing better.

La Roche Posay Toleriane cleansing milk: my go-to cleanser for makeup free skin. It does claim to be able to remove makup, but don’t fall for it! It’s terrible at removing makeup! It is okay for a normal gentle cleanse, though. I take a blob of this (it has sort of a weird texture) and rub it all over my face. Then I take it off again with a wet cotton pad. It could be taken off with a dry pad but that leaves on too much product for my taste. This cleanser will leave residue, though, even when removing it with water. This is supposed to happen! The cleansing milk leaves a film of moisturisation on the skin while removing the gunk and dirt. Thus, I can skip the regular moisturizer and go straight for sun protection.

Batiste Cherry dry shampoo: am still on my mission to try allll the dry shampoo scents. I like this one here a lot, it smells a bit like Guerlain LPRN… So far Batiste is the brand that gives my hair the most fluffing up, which is my main reason to use dry shampoo (my hair is very limp). Repurchase of this one is highly likely.

From left to right: Lush Lemony Flutter, Colab dry shampoo tropical and a sample of Cavalli perfume.

I don’t like the smell of Lemony Flutter at all, but I love what it does to my skin so I buy it from time to time despite the scent. But the scent is really something. I use Lemony Flutter on my hands, cuticles, feet and sometimes elbows. I put it wherever I need heavy duty cream. It leaves my hands a bit oily for a few minutes, but I think that’s worth it. I do wish they offered a different scent. For now, no repurchase.

Colab tropical has a faint coconutty scent. It smells good, but nowhere near as strong or good as ‘paradise’ from the same brand. It truly does not leave white residue, but it also gives me less fluff than Batiste. And it left my hair feeling a bit sticky. Sorry, Colab I love your scents, but I’ll rather deal with white residue than sticky hair. No repurchase.

Roberto Cavalli by Roberto Cavalli is a massive powdery orange blossom scent. I like it enough to use up the samples (this isn’t my first) but not enough to go for a bottle.

Piz Buin Allergy Lotion: Haha, can you see where the writing wore off? It didn’t survive the combination of heat and sticky hands. Okay I love the formula. It smells good, it protects really well and it does not give me angry, dry red spots on my skin (this happens a lot to me when using the wrong sun care). Thus I bought two more bottles long before I ran out of this one. Only after that I realized how terrible the packaging is! Once you used up the first half the product refuses to come out of the bottle. The opening is tiny, the lotion very thick and the bottle very sturdy and hard to squeeze. I hate it! So I will use up the bottles I stupidly already bought, but after that I’ll only consider this again if they change the packaging!

List of ingredients for Piz Buin.

This is almost the whole list as right now I realize I forgot to photograph a shower gel I used up. I’l put it in the next post. This brings us to the end of my empties for now. See you on the next one!

Cartier La Panthere

Cartier La Panthere

I just noticed someone landed on my blog by googling “(name of product) temptalia” and I’m like gosh I’m so sorry you wanted high quality comparison swatches and landed here instead. Oh dear.

In other, also totally unrelated news I haven’t posted any nailpolish for weeks. That’s not because I didn’t use any nailpolish, but because I take those pictures on my phone and my phone hates my computer or the other way round, anway there are pics on instagram but otherwise I can’t currently access those pics… Sorry they’ll show up sometime, they always do.

Alright and now back to some actual quality content… sorta. It’s Friday you know that means Fragrance Review Day!

Just like Sisley, Cartier does some high quality GWPs. This is a mini of La Panthere EdP. The new one, obviously. La Panthere was released in 2014 and by now has collected some flankers to go with it, but this review is for the 2014 pillar. There was also a perfume in the eighties called Panthere, but it smelled completely different. Different bottle, too.

I’ve already reviewed the flanker La Panthere Legere here. Legere has a different notes list, but it does smell similar to La Panthere. Legere is lighter than this one and now that I’ve smelled both, I greatly prefer La Panthere EdP.

So at the very beginning it smells like roses and I’m like ‘why’, and ‘nooooo’. But then it changes and some sweet gardenia gets through. Yesss. I still should actually hate this, becuase it is a fruity floral and I’m so not a fan of those in general, but somehow La Panthere manages to not go the obnoxious fruity floral route and stays classy instead. As classy as you can be with a strawberry note I mean. I do think it’s dried strawberry I’m smelling here. Or maybe other dried red fruits. The gardenia and fruit stage lasts pretty long, five to six hours I’d say. The base is kinda meh, like a bit of musk and something else, but rather thin. At this point I’ll either get a shower or just reapply the perfume from my little purse spray here.

The nose of La Panthere is Mathilde Laurent, who does most of Cartier’s perfumes.

Try this if: you want to know how a not super cheap strawberry perfume could smell like. Because let’s be honest strawberry usually gets the short end of the quality stick in perfumery.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Mon Numero 10

L’Artisan Parfumeur Mon Numero 10

Mon Numero 10 EdP by L’Artisan Parfumeur comes from an originally limited edition and was included in the regular lineup in 2014. I still have the older, pre-black bottle era packaging.  The 30 ml size has the same cap as the bigger perfumes, making the bottle look even smaller. Perfumer is Bertrand Douchafour.

Personally I love it lots and lots and I’m honestly confused that I haven’t reviewed it before, since it was my second ever Artisan bottle??? It is a hefty dose of cinnamon with a bit of wood, lots of tonka and some unlit incense. You know, like, it’s not smoky but incensy, like how incense smells completely different once lit? It’s perfectly suited for cooler weather when you want something cozy, but not too cozy. The incense gives it character; this isn’t a fluffy cloud. I guess for some people the scent might fall apart as the ingredients differ a lot, but for me it just about works out as a whole.

The official notes list on the packaging says: “incense, cardamom, leather, tonka bean”.

Uh, okay? I’m not getting leather, not compared to my real leather paerfumes. Cardamom, sure why not. But I’m confused they don’t list any cinnamon as to my nose that’s really the major component? But who knows, maybe it’s my nose that’s out of alignment.

Try this if: well, if you can find it in the first place, but mostly if you’re looking for an unsweet cinnamon offering. I mean yes there’s plenty of tonka bean but it’s still less sweet than a Guerlain, for example.

L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse Ambre Pamplemousse Rose

L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse Ambre Pamplemousse Rose

So, for this Fragrance Friday I want to talk about the last L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse perfume I own.

It’s called Ambre Pamplemousse Rose and is, like the others called a “Cologne de Luxe” whatever that’s supposed to mean. It was also released in 2016. Specifically my bottle says 09/16 on it and I know I mentioned this already before but I love that you don’t have to decipher some codes to find out your production date. It also comes with the same no-nonsense design as the other bottles of this brand, which I love. Unlike the other two perfumes I reviewed this one isn’t as straight forward from the name. Cuir Iris was as promised a leather iris. This one on the other hand is so innocently named Ambre Pamplemousse Rose, but I find it neither an amber perfume nor a pink grapefruit.

It is, instead, a booze perfume.

I always loved the opening of Margiela’s Replica Jazz Club. The sweetness, the rum, the smoke. However I never bought it because it changed after ten minutes and I didn’t like the rest. Now I’m not saying this one here smells like Jazz Club, because it doesn’t but it basically smells like what I wanted from Jazz Club. And the smell of Ambre Pamplemousse Rose doesn’t change too much. The drydown differs from the fist two hours, yes, but it mostly stays the same perfume.

I personally don’t get a lot of pink grapefruit here, except maybe it’s actually the candied zest I smell here? And all throughout a good dose of alcohol. Not the sharp bite of it that you get in the start Clandestine Clara and not the sweet rum of Jazz Club either. It combines with the candied fruit instead creating a smell a bit like a Rusty Nail?

The dry down is a bit tamer, but still recognizable. The official notes list is a bit more elaborate than my rambling so here it is:

rum, natural frosty lemon, pink grapefruit

rose, violet, white woods (cedar, cypriol, vetiver and elemi)

sandalwood, everlasting flower, golden ambergris

I’m not sure if the golden ambergris isn’t a translation mistake from the french, which says “ambre dore”. Amber and ambergris are different things, but they sound so similar that you can never be quite sure what is meant. On the other hand, they way it smells, there could be ambergris (or rather ambroxan) in it so who knows.

Anyway, this one here smells special and different and not like all the other mainstream stuff. It’s totally worth a try and is the most surprising out of all the Atelier scents I tried. Even more surprising is that it smells so good and different and everything at this price – last time I saw it at a perfumery it cost less than € 20 for 100 ml.

This is also the most long lasting of the three I tried I got a solid six to seven hours, although it was mostly close to the skin. Luckily in this case as I don’t want other people to think I’m drinking…

Sisley Izia

Sisley Izia

Izia EdP by Sisley is a new perfume released in 2017. The noses are Isabelle d’Ornano and Amandine Clerc-Marie.

I got a lovely luxury mini as a GWP. What I love about this mini is that it came with a sprayer. A mini with a sprayer is just infinitely more useful than a tiny bottle mini without a sprayer. But I digress.

Izia is a rose perfume and I am a certified rose hater. So please keep that in mind. I do own some full bottles with roses in, but mostly those barely smell like roses anymore. I have the woodsy, the green, the dry and very dark roses. The Morticia Adams roses, so to speak. Izia is none of that. Izia is the ray of sunshine rose. It’s bright and lovely and tame and entirely too un-goth for me. Izia is that pretty girl from the Munsters, what was her name? Marilyn? However, at least it’s not soapy at all. Soapy roses are the worst.

Izia starts with sparkling citrus and then you get the rose, like a huge yellow thing? And that’s it. I mean I’m sure there’s some other notes in it but I don’t smell them. The rose gets quieter after a couple hours, but overall this perfume is pretty long lasting. I got six hours for sure.

Now I’d never get a full bottle of this but I do have to admit it’s well made and if you like bright roses, this should be worth a try. Spray it and be the lovely Marilyn Munster. She may be ugly but her heart is in the right place. 😉

Meanwhile, I think an Addams Family rewatch is in order.

L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse Cuir Iris

L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse Cuir Iris

Today I have another one from L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse to show. At least this time the perfume name is not that long: it’s Cuir Iris.

I love the no nonsense design and the descriptive name. You get what you’re promised: leather and iris. The leather starts out pretty harsh but it’s mostly in the opening. Then the perfume softens up over time ending in very soft vanilla and musk. There’s surely some stuff in between but I’m not good enough to pick it out individually. The official notes list on the packaging says:

top notes: pink peppercorn, balsam of peru, mugwort

middle notes: lily of the valley, iris, cedar

base notes: leather, vanilla, tobacco, musks

I guess I’m getting some of the tobacco and cedar, but that’s just because I read the list.

Overall a lovely perfume, because it is just leathery enough to be interesting but not too much. It gets pretty cuddly later on. Lasting time is about four hours, but after all it’s only a cologne.

A lovely perfume for people who want something a little bit different and not spend an arm and a leg. Sadly, Cuir Iris is not available everywhere. Often stores that do carry the brand only have the orange blossom and the amber one. I’m still trying to get my grabby hands on Bois de Cedre Petit Grain, but no luck so far. 😦 Of the brand’s five perfumes I own three, this one, the orange blossom and the amber (review upcoming). The fifth one is a rose perfume which I intend to skip as I’m not a fan of roses. But I do want the Bois blabla one. If only the names were a bit shorter. I wrote it down for the SA when I asked for it and she was like “which part is the perfume name” and I was like “all of it” and she was like “oh my”.

This perfume line is still very new, having launched in 2016 and I do hope they’ll get more easily available instead of sinking into oblivion because they produce quality stuff imho.

Armani Code Satin

Armani Code Satin

I guess I reviewed lots of niche stuff lately. Let’s take a look at a mainstream fave of mine:

This is Armani Code Satin EdP. Satin is a flanker to Code. There’s a new flanker every year, you can ususally tell them apart by color. Satin is red, the usual Code is blue. Satin was released 2015 and is still available.

I also like the normal Code, but I only own a bottle of Satin. Code and most of its flankers are what a good mainstream perfume should be imho: a bit sweet, good sillage, long lasting. Code Satin is interesting enough because it has ginger in the top note which gives it some zing along with the ubiquitous orange blossom/jasmine combination. Now I personally like this combo, but your mileage may vary. It is not a massive orange blossom or jasmine bomb like some Elie Saabs, for example.

There’s not a whole lot of a journey to this perfume. The heart and base set in almost immediately and the perfume sometimes wafts more ginger/orange (head), sometimes more flowers (heart) and sometimes more patchouli or sweets (base). It does get more quiet over time, but the sillage is still strong. This is the kind of perfume that fills the floor if you let it.

I like it because it is so sweet and cozy, but not screechy, not too oppressive (jasmine can do this sometimes), also not too powdery. It’s not one I could wear everyday but luckily I don’t have to. And I find myself reaching for it more often than I expected, especially when it’s rainy and I don’t feel like wearing spicy orientals.

Verdict: 100% worth a try (unless you hate vanilla or praline notes)

Boucheron Jaipur Bracelet

Boucheron Jaipur Bracelet

Jaipur Bracelet EdP (released 2012) is a flanker to Boucheron‘s Jaipur (released 1994). I’ve never smelled the pillar so I can’t tell you how close those two really are. Bracelet is still being sold, but I’m not sure if Jaipur is still being produced. The nose for bracelet is Carlos Benaim.

I dedicate this review to the south half of our planet, since this perfume is sort of a spring perfume and we’re heading into fall up here. XD Bracelet is a bright, happy flowers thing and turns into a cream perfume later on. It hits right home with me because I love those orange blossom/sun cream combinations (like Yves Rocher Neroli).

Now, the notes list contains neither orange blossom nor creamy notes, which is weird because the start is a dead ringer for Pure Poison, a jasmine-neroli-gardenia-bomb. Bracelet is fresher and less jasmine but the connection is there.

The notes for bracelet include neither neroli, nor orange blossom, nor gardenia or jasmine. It says Hyacinth, Lily of the valley, iris and cypress. This makes it sound fresher and greener than it is, in my opinion. Before I looked up the notes I was so sure I’d find orange blossom/neroli. Although I guess when I look for it I do get some Lily of the Valley…

The flower phase doesn’t last very long, sadly. Maybe half an hour. The cream note gets stronger and stronger until the whole thing ends up smeling like very good and expensive skin care. For comparison, Pure Poison lasts much longer in the sweet flower phase.

The cream phase does last several hours but very close to the skin. This is my experience with it. A friend says that she finds Bracelet to be very heavy and strong. So it’s pretty subjective (however I am not entirely sure she meant Bracelet instead of Jaipur which sounds like a heavy oriental compared to this light flower).

verdict: lovely if you find Pure Poison too strong.

Guerlain Black Perfecto by La Petite Robe Noire

Guerlain Black Perfecto by La Petite Robe Noire

As promised on monday, here’s a review of Guerlain‘s latest mainstream release: Black Perfecto by La Petite Robe Noire EdP Florale. As usual with LPRN flankers it’s quite a mouthful. It comes in the typical Guerlain spade bottle (again, that shape up there is not an “upside down heart” it’s clearly a spade!) but all black this time.

So Black Perfecto is this year’s flanker for LPRN (pillar). Allow me to link to my previous reviews: LPRN EdT (2012), LPRN Couture (2014), Ma Robe Petales (2015, green), Ma Robe Sous Le Vent (2016, blue). I think I got most of the flankers covered. However, the pillar is more complicated than that.

The first version of LPRN was released in 2009. The bottle wasn’t pink, more greyish and the dress was long. This scent was discontinued. In 2011 they released the first flanker, named Modele 2. This perfume was also discontinued and later renamed Mademoiselle Guerlain, which is now sold in the bee bottle. And finally in 2012 they released the LPRN which is still available today in EdP, EdT, Extrait, Hair Mist etc.

Why the history lesson? Some people still mourn the loss of the first LRPN, the 2009 one. And as Black Perfecto was released some say that this is pretty close to the old LPRN. So just in case you are looking for such a scent, go check Black Perfecto out. Me, I only know the 2012 version so I cannot say if it’s true.

Anyways, the perfumer for this version is Thierry Wasser. Perfumer for the 2009 LPRN was Delphine Jelk. Also the officially listed notes are completely different.

Black Perfecto is supposedly a rose perfume with leather notes. Honestly I’m not getting much leather, not like what you get from proper leather perfumes. What I smell is a very, very dark and not so sweet cherry. And then a candied rose. Something light that could be almond – there’s certainly something in it that makes it a sweet floral. But it’s nowhere near as sweet as what is currently sold in mainstream perfume. If the original LPRN smelled like this I can see why they discontinued it – for a mainstream hit you need more. That of course doesn’t make Black Perfecto a bad perfume. One might even argue it makes it a better perfume. But I doubt it’s going to be a major hit. Apart from not being so sweet (imo good, ymmv) it also doesn’t last long at all. I kept reapplying almost every hour. I went through my samples at lightning speed. It becomes a skin scent very fast. It does linger veeery light throughout the day. It does a lot better on fabric.

My verdict: nice, but I don’t feel the need to own a bottle or even a decant. But I’m not really in the market for a cherry perfume anway. I own a full bottle of Lolita Lempicka Sweet, which is all the cherry goodness I need. If I had to get a full bottle of any LPRN it would probably be the 2012 version. My second favorite is last year’s flanker, the blue ‘intense’ one.

Test Black Perfecto if: you miss the 2009 one or you want a cherry/rose scent that is not so overwhelming and sweet.

Summer Sale Haul

Summer Sale Haul

So, this is what I picked up in the summer sales that were going on in August. Most of that is actually freebies, though.

Starting from the top, that’s a sample of a YSL foundation. Sadly it came in the color 04 and so I can’t test it, sorry, guys. Then there’s a MAC lipstick. It’s Silver Spoon, which I already reviewed here. Underneath the Zoeva palette Rodeo Belle. Atop of the palette is the Chanel lipstick in Ultraberry, review coming up on wednesday. Then the MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish Soft Frost, which I’ve been wanting ever since it came out and it was always sold out. Finally mine. Then another Chanel lipstick, Beige Doré.

The lower row is mostly smaples/freebies. The new Armani scent Because It’s You, which I’m not sure I’ll review – I hate it from the first sniff. Then the MAC CC Cream in Illuminate, a staple of mine. The new Elie Saab scent Girl Of Now, just as terrible as the Armani one. Then Kenzo Flower Lumiere, which I haven’t tested yet. I have quite a few untested Kenzos, maybe I should make a series… Then Guerlain Black Perfecto, review coming up on Friday. Last is some shower gel by Baldessarini. Not sure yet if I’ll keep it or pass it on.

So that’s my end of summer haul and a look at some things that will come up in future reviews robably. Any requests for perfume reviews?

L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse: Fleur d’Oranger Baie Rose

L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse: Fleur d’Oranger Baie Rose

Ah well, that was a handful of a title, eh?

Are you sitting here thinking ‘what the heck is L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse’? That’s okay. The brand is, well, pretty new. They have existed since 2016 and I think they didn’t start producing until the second half of the year. But it’s totally a brand you should watch out for. In Austria some of their perfumes (sadly not all) can be found at Marionnaud’s. I’m not sure where else you can get them.

This is a 100 ml bottle of L’Atelier des Bois de Grasse Fleur d’Oranger Baie Rose Cologne de Luxe.

I super, super love the no-nonsense bottle design. I also like that they clearly print the production date onto the bottom the packaging. No need to learn the cryptic language of batch codes! It simply says 09/16, end of story. I also like the price, it’s less than 20 € for 100 ml.

What I don’t like so much is the ridiculously long name? Couldn’t come up with something shorter, snappier?

Okay so much for the surrounding stuff, on to the perfume. It’s clearly an orange blossom/neroli cologne. I love those, and FOBR is among my favorites. It’s a cologne, but the lasting time is better than most colognes. Aka instead of lasting for half an hour, you get about three to four hours on skin.

The official list of notes printed on the packaging is: mandarin, bergamot, ginger, fig, orange blossom, elemi, petitgrain, musc, incense, ambergris, cedar.

I simplified that, the notes have some marketing speech terms attached, often ‘natural’. Now while that’s their prerogative, it also says ‘natural musks’. I sure as heck hope it’s not natural musk, there’s a good reason musks are being synthesized! It could of course mean that it’s made from a flower instead of deer, but sheesh. Be careful what you put on your natural perfume claims.

Okay, apart from that it smells really good, but I can’t really pick those notes out. It smells like a well rounded orange blossom cologne, no more, no less.

Great recommendation for the orange blossom/neroli lover.

4711 Remix Cologne

4711 Remix Cologne

4711 are celebrating 225 years of Echt Kölnisch Wasser. This inspired them to do an Anniversary Edition for their famous cologne. It’s called Remix Cologne EdC and was released this spring/summer as a limited edition. As the name implies this is not just the old juice in a pretty bottle, it’s a remixed version. Perfumers are Alexandra Kalle and Vincent Schaller.

Remix Cologne is fresher and less herbal than the original cologne. It’s a wonderful neroli cologne with lots of citrus fruit in the opening. Very fresh, very yummy.

This is a typical cologne – as in, it doesn’t last all that long. An hour, maybe two. It’s a quick refreshment that doesn’t bother you all day long. If you’re looking for a long lasting version of this, check out Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino.

A note on the (very pretty) packaging: the cap may look like a screw cap, but it’s not. Just pull it upwards after breaking the sticker seal by screwing sideways. I like that the sticker that connects the bottle with the cap broke so neatly you can barely see the tear.

I greatly recommend this for every neroli cologne lover and those that want to tap their toes into the genre.

Penhaligon’s Portraits Clandestine Clara

Penhaligon’s Portraits Clandestine Clara

How to make Penhaligon’s Portraits – Clandestine Clara: take Guerlain’s Shalimar, but remove all the flowers and citrus and add in a good dose of cinammon and patchouli instead. Done. Clandestine Clara basically skips all the opening nonsense and goes right to the heavy base instead. It’s boozy, ambery vanilla. Very yummy. Nothing screechy to distract from the base.

Clandestine Clara was released this year, 2017. The nose is Sophie Labbé.

Now, because the Portraits perfume line is brand new and kinda funny here’s the story stuff they made up for it: every portrait perfume presents a fictional person. Our patriarch is Lord George, his wife is Lady Blanche (Harry Potter fans think Narcissa Malfoy). Their marriage is not the best, in fact, she wants to poison him. Their daughter is the Duchess Rose, who married the Duke to get out of the house and live a better life. Somehow she missed a spot check and didn’t realize before the marriage the Duke is GAY, GAY, GAY. So she’s got to get her fun elsewhere. She probably inherited that from her father. Clara is Lord Gerge’s lover, his dirty little secret. Or not so secret, I mean the Lady does want to kill him, there’s gotta be a reason for that. George and Clara have a son, Radcliffe. He’s a total womanizer, too.

There are more perfumes by now, but that’ the basic set up. It’s a little wink-wink-nudge-nudge story of a patriachal aristocratic family that’s all about keeping up appearances (and failing).

The bottles are unusual for Penhaligon’s as they don’t have the ribbon, they have huge golden animal heads instead. I like Lord George’s the best, it’s a stag. So it’s all cute and pretty and good smelling, but the price point is € 225, which is a bit more than I’d be willing to spend on a cute perfume currently. I mean Clandestine Clara smells really good, but for that price I could get myself several bottles of Shalimar…

Tom Ford Black Orchid EdP

Tom Ford Black Orchid EdP

Well here goes nothing: This is my bottle of Tom Ford Black Orchid EdP. You probably heard of this perfume before. It was released in 2006, more than ten years ago. Omg, what! Time flies. In 2015 they released the matching EdT (same bottle but all black). At this point I’d like to thank the SA, who, when I said I wanted to buy the EdT told me: “You’ll want the EdP, trust me.” She was right. The EdT only lasted half the amount of time that the EdP did.

Black Orchid EdP is a room-filing sillage monster and lasts ten hours on me. Luckily most of coworkers seem to be anosmic to any and all perfumes.

I think Black Orchid is the kind of perfume you can only hate or love. It’s a cacophony of notes. I can barely tell any specific note apart from the rest. It is too much at once. And that was also what led me to love it. You can find lots of easy sweet perfumes that don’t overwhelm you. But one that is “ride or die” yet still smells amazing? Yes, please.

I won’t even bother putting down any notes for it. It’s in the broad strokes of an “oriental flower” in the same way that a puddle and the ocean are both bodies of water. There’s some fruit in it, some flower, a lot of base notes. When the massive opening mellows down, you get some lovely pralines with sandalwood and patch.

Very much worth testing, even if you may end up hating it. At least let the opening run its course until you reach the base before you make up your mind.

Perfumer is David Apel.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Al Oudh

L’Artisan Parfumeur Al Oudh

Boah, people say. What is that stink?

Firstly, that’s L’Artisan Parfumeur Al Oudh, and secondly it smells awesome, I say.

No, okay Oud is an acquired taste, maybe, and Al Oudh doesn’t pull it’s punches. Those in the niche perfume fandom, on the other hand, are already all over the oud hype. Yawn, how boring, they say. As usual, it’s a thing of perspective.

Al Oudh was released in 2009, eight years ago, sorta at the start of the oud trend in niche perfumery. Perfumer is Bertrand Douchafour.

This time the notes list on the packaging is in french only so I don’t understand much. Oudh, boise, epice, cuire, it says.

So my nose gets oud and leather and also a healthy dose of dates. Spices, maybe and I’m really not sure of the rest. I think it’s a mixture of a lot of things but I can’t pick them out.

Overall Al Oudh is pretty strong and just weird for the non-oud initiated. But I’ve worn it to work and nobody complained, so (they might not have realized it was perfume). The strong phase goes on for about four to five hours. The dry down is much gentler, more sandalwood, maybe or some other woods.

Personally I really like it for when I feel like oud. I have not felt the need to own any other oud (because lets face it, they’re not different enough). Also had I smelled this one before I smelled Guerlain Santal Royal I would have been a lot less forgiving for Santal Royal. Al Oudh is coherent. Santal Royal is a mess compared to it.

As usual I have the old bottle but I think the juices are unchanged.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

So my perfume review process works something like this: I’ll wear a new perfume on and off when I feel like it and when I think I’m ready to review it I’ll be wearing it everyday until the review is done.

I was ready to review Nuit de Tubereuse EdP (L’Artisan Parfumeur) weeks ago. I’ve been wearing it everyday for three weeks. XD Mostly because of my heatwave induced blogging pause but also because I like it so much.

As always, I have the old bottle design. The liquid is light grey, the sticker and outer packaging are pink.

Weren’t you a Tuberose phobic, you might ask. Yes, I was. And still many a famous tuberose is too heavy for me. I didn’t even dare test Nuit de Tubereuse until I read a review which critisized it for not being a tuberose perfume. Oh, I thought? Why is it called Nuit de Tubereuse, then? Looks like this was created under a different working title, but then they had to change the name in a hurry for legal reasons (I assume the working title was used by a diff brand). So, hey, worth a sniff for the tuberose phobic.

First impression is very green but in a flowery way, not a herbal or foresty way. Then flowers, lovely flowers. And yes, here comes the dreaded tuberose; why were people complaining for a lack of tuberose? There’s plenty, at least enough to be smelling it through the whole time it lasts (about six hours). But – it’s not cloying or oppressing. I like this tuberose, which pairs an intense flower with light greenery.

The official note list printed on the packaging reads: pink pepper, tuberose, green mango, woods.

Now, that’s a pretty short list and I bet my collection there’s more flowers in it. Surely some orange blossom + rose, not sure about jasmin or ylang ylang. I have no real clue what green mango smells like, only that it’s also a note in Timbuktu, which smells nothing like Nuit de Tubereuse. XD There are probably some types of amber and musk (what perfume doesn’t contain musk?) in the dry down. I don’t think it smells particularly woody at all.

But it smells good, so good. It smells like the first rain after a heat wave – or is that just because we are having rain right now, haha. But I bought this bottle almost a year ago (time flies) and it works all year round. I am now officially no tuberosophobic anymore. 😉

Nuit de Tubereuse was released in 2010, perfumer is Bertrand Douchafour.