Something Smells Funny Here – Perfume Mini-Reviews Part 2

Since the first part of this kind of post had such a positive feedback, here is another installment. Six small non-reviews of things that did not make the cut, for various reasons…

Perles de Lalique: is a spicy rose that completely lacks the dark tones, it lacks punch and power, it is too lovely, there is not enough substance to take it seriously, but it is not an easy to love happy go lucky scent either, it tries too hard to be something it can never be, instead of building on what it has. This inner conflict does not last long, you decide whether that is a blessing or a curse.

Chanel Gardénia: the Eau de Toilette version is a part of Les Exclusifs (there is an extrait available too now, which I would love to smell. See this outstanding review by Elena of Perfume Shrine) So, Luca Turin stated: not Gardenia. That is undoubtedly true, but what else is it? A sweet-ish, pink-ish, vaguely floral-ish, indeterminate sugar water sounds probably a bit too harsh, but there are way to many -ishes in there for me to come up with something more friendly towards this unoriginal-ish scent.

Andrée Putman Preparation Parfumée: is a quite nice woody fragrance for about 50 seconds and only if you come really close. But if you miss that window of opportunity, all that remains is the idea of a good smell rather than a perfume, the barest whisper of the scent of a place rather than a person, a vague and very, very quiet place of peace, beautiful but totally lost in this world. Too ephemeral, too delicate too survive. An Olivia Giacobetti creation that is heartbreakingly tender but ultimately unsuitable for survival outside the bottle.

Dior La Collection Milly-La-Foret: it pains me to put this here, because I have a very soft spot for this fragrance. It is a soft, fruity-floral musk scent, that is as inoffensive as they come. Which brings us right down to the problem. A run-of-the-mill floral musk in soft pink (part of me loves just that!) that can be substituted with approximately 124 perfumes readily available just about everywhere for a fraction of the price, has no business to be a part of an exclusive, expensive and supposedly highly artistic and unique line up that represents the heritage of a major perfume house. Sorry, Milly we are not meant for one another. (Looking for a similar, but better executed and longer lasting version? – This is it!)

Amouage Opus V: Iris and Amouage – that should have been a devastating combination for me. Sadly, it is not. I get too much oud and too much bravado in the opening that does not hold what it promises, strangely Opus V diminishes on me over the course of its development, there is an odd vanishing act going on that I have not really figured out yet, but this does not occur every time, some days it just relentlessly goes on and on about oud, oud, oud, oud… I am not done with it yet, but for now it is in the back of the review circuit again. As a penalty for not fulfilling my wishes. 😉

Honorè des Pres Vamp à New York: I struggle with this, because I do not like tuberose, as I have stated often before. But I like the following: Ines, who sent me this, Olivia Giacobetti who created it, Love Coco, the sister scent in this line AND most importantly every other note in this perfume, but the tuberose. That is not exactly true, I like the treatment of the tuberose in this perfume very much, it is as good as tuberose gets for me, and that this is still not enough, irks me. But what can you do? Not everything is for everyone, and the human experience is fluid, so we never know how this particular relationship will turn out in the end. I might get to be a vamp one day.

Stay tuned for mainstream mini-reviews upcoming soon!

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32 Responses to Something Smells Funny Here – Perfume Mini-Reviews Part 2

  1. FearlessBG says:

    Birgit, even your ‘negative’ reviews are fun to read! I haven’t tried the scents mentioned in the post but I know what you mean about ‘exclusives’ that are just plain boring/far from creative. I guess Dior and the likes KNOW that there are people who will buy them no matter what, but it’s sad they don’t keep the mediocre stuff for another summer edition or what have you. It’s good to stay critical 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, Guus! 🙂
      Chanel Gardènia and Dior Milly la Foret feel like they have been included for rich women who want exclusivity, but do not care about perfume and just want to smell as inoffensive as possible.

  2. Ines sent me some Vamp a NY as well, and I loved it from the get-go. It’s an unfussy, happy scent for me with friendly sillage and more longevity than I expected. It is on the sweet side, though.

    I should have my sample of Opus V soon, and hearing you say how much oud you smell, I’m even more excited now. This may be a humdinger for me!

  3. Undina says:

    Now you’re talking! 😉

    I enjoyed reading your post. I will be trying Opus V (but only because it’s Amouage and I have a sample already) but the rest of the perfumes… I might try if any of them happen to come across me but I won’t be actively seeking them. Thank you.

  4. Ines says:

    I love your mini-reviews! Very fun reading. 🙂
    I noticed our perfume taste doesn’t overlap much – but I’m still hoping I’ll get you eventually on the tuberose wagon. 😉
    I definitely prefer Vamp to Love Coco, although Love Coco is great too. But tuberose just feels like it was a note made for me. I can’t get enough of it but I do try tempering that love when choosing perfume for work. I’m not sure if everyone would be appreciative of my love for it… 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Don’t give up on me yet, I have come to love many things, I didn’t think possible at first (and second and third, but eventually…). 🙂

      I am glad people like the mini-reviews, it’s fun writing them.

  5. annemariec says:

    Hi Olfactoria, I have not been able to keep up with your last few posts. you are just too quick for me, and I’ve been flat out at work and home in the last few days. (Even now one of the kids is nagging for the computer.) So I just want to say how much I enjoy your mini reviews. You pack so much into them, and you have a truly discerning taste, I think. Great stuff! I want to sit and read them properly soon.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Annemarie!
      I appreciate you taking the time and comment! Thank you! 🙂
      There are a few mini-review posts coming up (mainstream perfumes and summer scents), so I am glad you enjoy them.

  6. Marla says:

    Perles de Lalique got a lot of wear from many women, mostly older, in Bavaria for the few years after it came out. I smelled it “around” particularly in winter. I ended up, through a long story, with a bottle of my own. I liked it but then found I never actually wore it very often. Mostly I’d spray it on my winter coat, or a scarf, and catch a whiff now and then. It’s loaded with Iso E Super, which I find overwhelming up close, but nice at a distance. The “Vamp” can have a scorched toast with chili-powder effect, is that what you got? Others get buttered root beer, it seems to wear differently on everyone!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I tend to not like perfumes with lots of Iso E Super, it makes me nauseous and uncomfortable.

      Toast with chili-powder? Wow, can’t say I smelled that! 😀 For me it is probably more of the latter although I’ll have to go back and look for food associations. 😉 Tuberose only very seldom appeals to me, mostly I just think, Gah! Tuberose! and run…

      • Marla says:

        I think I’m the only one who smells like toasted chili powder when I wear Vamp, but quite a few people have confirmed the effect, I swear I’m not making it up! I have some tuberose attar from India and it has that toast vibe, no chili, though. Tuberose attar and absolute really don’t smell floral to me at all, it’s more of a savory gourmand/woody odor.

        • Olfactoria says:

          How interesting! Tuberose does not smell particularly floral to me either, which is kind of the problem. I get such a meary, thick, rubbery smell. Trying to detatch myself from personal likes and dislikes for the sake of an open mind is very hard when it comes to this note.

          • Marla says:

            I agree! There are only 2 tuberose scents I wear- Vamp, because it’s so unique, and the attar, co-distilled with vetiver, which is warm and comforting. Other than that, tuberose perfumes kind of gross me out!

          • Olfactoria says:

            I am glad I am not the only one! 🙂

  7. angie Cox says:

    Birgit Cheap Smells just got Flora Bella in again.

  8. deeHowe says:

    Mini reviews are fun! I was surprised to find Opus V here, but with the oud note, maybe I shouldn’t be! I’ve got a sample of it coming my way, and, like Carrie, am really looking forward to the oud 🙂

    Chanel Gardenia sounds just awful… Ari reviewed it this week, and her take is hilariously brutal— between the two of you, I think I’ll stay well away, LOL!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I was surprised too, having to put Opus V here, but I just don’t like that oudy scream, so relentless…
      Nothing lost by staying away from Gardenia.

    • vanessa says:

      I found Gardenia disappointing, in all the ways you describe! I will keep my nose peeled for Perles de Lalique in Bavaria next time I am there at the correct time of year, though its usage may have peaked from what Marla was saying!

  9. Tara says:

    Yes! More mini reviews!

    Totally agree with your thoughts on the ones I’ve tried. It’s such as shame they messed up Gardenia considering it’s one of Ernest Beaux’s creations from the 20s. I can’t believe it’s wasn’t wonderful once. Milly La Floret is nice and it is pretty, but that’s not what you want from “La Collection Couturier”. You want to be knocked over the head with wonder – at least I do! Opus V simply isn’t me. Neither, I imagine, is Vamp a New York and your thoughts confirm this.

    Can’t wait for the mainstream and summer scent mini reviews!

    • Olfactoria says:

      We are totally on the same page here. You are right, we should be hit over the head with wonder in a highly exclusive (and expensive, not to forget) collection.

  10. Tarleisio says:

    Scorched toast with chili powder??? Well, I’ll be…B, gotta say it, I love these mini reviews, too. I was wondering why I was the only one who didn’t much care for Vamp à NY, but now I know…it was that scorched toast thing…Although I do love tuberose, and even the rubbery gasoline aspects of it, too! (viz…Tubèreuse Criminelle…so fantastically wrong, it’s right!)

    I might possibly be the only one in creation who loves Love Les Carottes, but that’s another story…Chanel Gardenia…no, not even for Chanel. I never met a Lalique I liked. And so it goes…But those Opuses, now…you know what happens with me and Amouage! Strange and wondrous things…;-) And I have two more bubbling on that radar…;-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      I still have not smelled Carottes, but somehow I think I would like it too. 🙂

      Did you try Opus V already? What do you think?

      • Tarleisio says:

        Not any of the Opus line (would that be ‘opera’, I wonder?? 😉 ) yet, and I’m almost afraid to – you know how I feel about iris…and then when you mentioned oud, it—gave me pause for thought! You know, the moment when you go…hmmmmmm…;-)

  11. Jane says:

    Lol I love Chanel Gardenia. It is NOT supposed to smell like a Gardenia btw. I had the most incredible session with a Chanel perfume expert at one of two exquisite Chanel Perfume bars in Canada- we chatted for hours. I got to sniff samples of Chanel’s raw materials and seriously considered how quickly I could grab them and run….lol. Anyways, Gardenia is Latin for “garden” and that is what the word is meant to imply in this perfume. I am constantly amazed that no perfume reviewer knows this? I have tried the extrait and it is divine. On my wish list for sure.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for clearing up the Gardenia confusion. I really did not know that, but I wonder why Chanel keeps that information so secret…
      When I wrote that mini-review i was thinking about you and hoped you wouldn’t hate me! 😉

      I’d love to smell the extrait, I believe it is much better than the EdT.

  12. Pingback: Surrogate Spring – Review: Chanel Les Exclusifs Gardénia | Olfactoria's Travels

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