2 stars: 62 posts

2 stars means “disappointing,” a perfume that falls short either in terms of its performance (how it lasts and develops on skin) or originality (how much does it add to what is already on the market).

Viktor & Rolf Bonbon : Perfume Review

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I divide the contemporary fragrance world into the children of Thierry Mugler Angel and the children of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue? Well, the Angel clan can welcome a new sibling, Viktor & Rolf Bonbon. A textbook gourmand, Bonbon is exclusively for the lovers of sweet. If you like your cotton candy with a dose of peach syrup, then you’re in  for a treat. If not, then you can count on a headache.

When Angel was launched in 1993, its caramel and vanilla overdose was so novel that it at once attracted and repelled. “It’s not a perfume, it’s a flavor blend,” said some perfumers. “Unsophisticated, vulgar, crude,” said others. But after a slow start, Angel proved that it had much more than sweetness and that it could create a new family of perfumes. Today, over-the-top vanilla and caramel are nothing new, and as Bonbon demonstrates, they make a commercial, easy to like scent. We’ve been well-trained by Angel.

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Caudalie Parfum Divin : Perfume Review

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“If you like Huile Divine, you should try Parfum Divin,” said the red lipsticked Caudalie sales associate at the local pharmacy, looking bored as she enumerated its features, carefully folding her manicured fingers one by one–trendy scent, big sillage and the fact that it smells exactly like the dry oil.

caudalie

Since Caudalie’s Huile Divine is easily as fragrant and tenacious as any perfume, I didn’t understand why the last point was a draw. Wouldn’t it make sense just to buy the dry oil and have not only the perfume but also a terrific skincare product? But what the beautiful Caudalie rep didn’t mention was that Parfum Divin follows the same idea of Nuxe’s Prodigieux, Le Parfum–take the aroma of the cult favorite dry oil and turn it into perfume.

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Serge Lutens Laine de Verre : Perfume Review

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Laine de Verre continues Serge Lutens’s quest of toying with the artificial and unexpected. The name in French means glass wool, which is a type of fiberglass used for insulation. It’s certainly not something one would anticipate inspiring a perfume, but it’s all the more reason for Serge Lutens to try. The fragrance, built around shimmering, cool notes, promised to be a shocking and unusual item.

laine de verre

“A domestic quarrel between my feminine and my masculine,” mentioned Lutens’s press release, once again living up to its reputation for an enigmatic turn of phrase. I usually aim for balance and harmony myself, but I was still game to experience any upheaval in a perfume bottle. There was none, but the opening of Laine de Verre was unexpectedly classical and clean.

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Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Limon Verde : Perfume Review

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You never know what you’ll get with Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria fragrances. Some of them are fascinating and quirky like Pamplelune and Herba Fresca and others are unexpectedly bland like Lemon Fresca and Tutti Kiwi.  Limon Verde, with its promise of the Brazilian drink, caipirinha, blended with creamy fig should have been squarely in the first camp, but in the end, it’s neither surprising nor interesting.

limon verde

The first sign of trouble with Limon Verde is its razor sharp green accent. It is there to shore up the lime, but I can’t shake off the paint thinner association that some intense leafy notes have. A delicious lime, zesty and bittersweet, stands no chance and surrenders.

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L’Artisan Parfumeur The pour un Ete : Perfume Review

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Andy dreams of finding a fragrance that smells of jasmine tea.  

In concept, L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Thé pour un Été sounds like the perfect perfume for a tea lover like myself. Created in 1995 by Olivia Giacobetti, Thé pour un Été is meant to evoke the experience of sipping an icy glass of jasmine tea on a hot day. Unfortunately, my experience of repeatedly trying this perfume has felt more like sweating it out in the sun, still waiting for that glass of iced tea to come my way.

the ete1

 

Soon after applying Thé pour un Été though, I am quickly reminded of its more interesting older cousin, Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert. Where Thé Vert seems fresh and original, I don’t find nearly as much creativity in Thé pour un Été, which embellishes a familiar green tea accord with citrus, gauzy jasmine, and crisp herbs.

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