A Stroll Around the Department Store – Mini Reviews

I sniffed my way through a bunch of new releases the other day and thought I’d share my impressions.

Caveat: these are no reviews, just my thoughts upon first smelling a perfume, we all know how that first impression can change. I tried those on my skin as well as paper.

Tom Ford Violet Blonde: Upon first impression this is the easiest to like Tom Ford (I’m only talking about the signature line, not the Private Blends). It is loud in typical Fordian fashion, but it is also very gentle. It smells of violets and soapy powder. Nice, full review to follow.

Balenciaga L’Essence: the allegedly more intense version of Balenciaga Paris, L’Essence is not intense in any way, shape, fashion of form. But it is lovely in a quiet, considerate way. It is more masculine leaning than the original, less sweetly-violet-y (a good thing in my book) and more woody. It is less prim than Balenciaga Paris, more relaxed and cooler (in attitude not smell). I like it better that the first one, the bottle is truly beautiful and an improvement as well, cap-wise.

Cartier Baiser Volé: A very fresh lily, stems and all. I did not follow the entire development of Baiser Volé, though I’m not sure whether I lost track of it somehow, or whether it just disappeared on me. Very green and light and fresh, probably great in spring, when I will revisit it for sure. Now I’m just not in the mood for it. (That is a fine example of how long it takes for some scents to be launched in good, old Vienna).

Parfums Chloé Love Chloé, Eau Intense: A (first) flanker of last year’s Love, Chloé, this is a darker juice in the same bottle, it smells different at first though. Not necessarily more intense in the sense of louder or stonger, Eau Intense is nice, but bores me to tears after about fifteen minutes. After unimpressive top notes, my interest is piqued by a lovely floral accord a few minutes in, but then it ends up just the same as Love, Chloé the First. Booooorrrrrrring.

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial: I tested this for the umpteenth time and I just can’t seem to make up my mind about it. I love the bottle, I don’t particularly mind the idea of a pink Shalimar or other flankers of the great legend, like Ode a la Vanille or Eau de Shalimar (*ducks for the stones and tomatoes flying*), but somehow it doesn’t grab me at all. I like it, it is pretty and it is recognizably Shalimar, but I am not exited, not moved, not anything. Unlike the real Shalimar, Parfum Initial leaves me cold. I’m not ready to stop testing either, though.

Guerlain Idylle Eau Sublime: Idylle Eau de Parfum is not very old yet, but there are already two flankers on the market. Idylle Duet and now Eau Sublime as well as an Eau de Toilette version. It seems this one is a fruiter variant, a light and dainty floral, nice but so utterly not what I am looking for right now (or ever). But what irks me once more, is this flanker overload, give people the time to attach themselves to Idylle! Or are we all so fickle, we can’t be trusted to love a perfume for more than six months? (Perfume-Maniacs excepted, of course!)

Chanel N°19 Poudré: I left the best for last… no, sorry, I’m joking. Sadly Poudré is not at all what I had hoped it would be. A tame opening that is still nice and which I could get on board with, but the disappearance or disintegration of the perfume after about fifteen minutes is not what I expected and not what should happen, I suppose. I tried to blame it on myself and my musk-molecule handicapped nose, but first of all, a perfume should be a bit more than big musks, and secondly, I have heard many tell the same story. So I would say stick with the original!!!

About Olfactoria

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21 Responses to A Stroll Around the Department Store – Mini Reviews

  1. vanessa says:

    Oh, I did enjoy getting your take on both the scents I have already tried and the ones I am curious about, such as the Tom Ford and Caveat. ; – ) ; – )

    Violet Blonde sounds well worth a sniff and I agree *100%* with your description of L’Essence – it was cooler, greener and sheerer, and I got none of the musky, violety powder in the original (which I also like). Love the bottle stopper too, though the cranial version is fun! L’Essence was also very inoffensive and generally “me”.

    I was impressed by Baiser Vole, being a lily lover, though several reviews speak of its structure falling apart, as you seem to have found with 19 Poudre, which I also liked a lot. I agree that BV doesn’t feel right for this weather, though. Then I didn’t care for the new Shalimar – couldn’t get past the shedloads of patchouli – or something fuzzy and wall-like.

  2. The Balenciagas really surprised me.

  3. Tara says:

    Yay mini reviews! Baiser Vole is nice but I would have liked a bit of rootiness along with the flower and stems. I tried L’Essence at the duty-free and was totally underwhelmed whereas I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the original. I heard good things about Love, Chloe but it did absolutely nothing for me so am not interested in a flanker. As for the Idylle flanker *yawns*.

    Something seems amiss about No. 19 Poudre if so many people can’t smell it after 15 minutes – you, me, Ines and the Non-Blonde to name but four.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is sad that the Chanel is like it is. It should be a complete stunner, just because it is a Chanel. But it has been a while we saw a complete stunner from that house. I guess Jersey won’t be it either…

  4. andrea says:

    Makes for very interesting reading, I look forward to a full review on TF if you are doing one? As always I love reading your opinions. I have avoided the Chloe perfume as I did not like the original, I tried No. 19 Poudre and remained impartial to it I already owned the original Balenciaga, I did like the new one but could not justify another bottle.

  5. I always enjoy reading little round-ups like this.

    I agree with you about the Idylle. (It isn’t out in the UK yet, but I got a chance to smell it in France.) I just take it as a sign that Guerlain are desperately trying to convince everyone that Idylle really, really is very successful indeed.

    And as for 19 Poudre… I must be the only person on whose skin it lasted. Go figure.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I hope Guerlain at least convince themselves… 😉

      Poudre – I remember your very favorable review, it is interesting how differently this is perceived throughout the perfume community.

  6. Eva S says:

    I like CBV, recently bought a FB at the airport when travelling, it’s a lily I can wear without migraine! I also like Shalimar PI but then I can’t wear the original. No 19 Poudre disappears on my skin after only a couple of minutes every time I’ve tested it, and the Idylle flanker I found somewhat boring.

  7. deeHowe says:

    Yay for mini reviews!


  8. masha7 says:

    Well now we’ve both taken the challenge! My first impressions are holding true, except, sorta kinda, for Pentachords White. How are you doing??

    • Olfactoria says:

      I have since fallen for Tom Fords Violet Blonde, other than that, my impressions still stand. Although I have to say I won’t bother with the Idylle flanker or the Chloé again…they’ll have to live with my damning verdict forever. 😉

  9. I quite liked Violet Blonde as a violet scent although I don’t think it brings anything new.

    With Chanel, you have to hand it to them: they have released the two fragrances of 2011 that everybody loves to badmouth, Bleu and No19 Poudré. No19 Poudré lasted on my skin and this is strange because I am anosmic to most musks (I am one of those people who say that Muscs koublai khan is a beautiful soft salty musk). But I think it was a big mistake using the number 19 for something that has nothing to do with the concept of the original.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is really strange. It looks like that Poudre stays on men’s skin and seems to vanish on women. That is just my impression of course. Your article about Poudre was very interesting and I think you are right regarding the reasoning of Chanel behind it.

  10. Pingback: Balenciaga L'Essence EDP Perfume Review | EauMG

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