Acqua di Parma Profumo

First released in the 1930s, Acqua di Parma Profumo for Women was re-released in 2000 after a reformulation. The chypre vintage shares very little to its re-released version aside from the name.



In Bottle: Mild, slight sharp citrus on the opening with a heady floral background.

Applied: Aside from a slight citrus bite at the beginning, this fragrance goes on thick with the florals. I’ve never tried the original, so I didn’t expect very much in the way of chypres. Still, this newer iteration is a pleasant enough composition. Heavy on the florals, almost smothering me in a jasmine and rose composition. The dry down is an earthier floral with a couple of dust bunnies flying around (it reminded me of how dust smells, is that weird? Am I weird? I must be). Profumo smells like it’s trying hard to be sophisticated and live up its original version, but the smothering floral angle didn’t capture my interest and at times it came on a bit too strong. A nice fragrance to test out to see how it works on you.

Extra: The original vintage’s chypre build has piqued my interest and maybe I was a little biased because, oh, I love those chypres. I had gotten this one before reading up on vintage vs. reformulation. Someday, I’ll find a reformulation that I like more than the original. It’s going to have to be something rather drastic.

Design: Fairly simple design, a little outdated to me with the banding on the bottle. Reminds me a bit of the 70s or 80s. Otherwise, nice bottle.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Citrus, rose, jasmine, iris, ylang-ylang, woods.

Profumo can be purchased at major stores online and offline. Sephora, for example, carries it for $228.00USD. With that price tag, I’d rather snatch up something else I like a bit more. Didn’t work out this time, but I’d definitely smell the vintage if I could get my hands on it.

Reviewed in This Post: Acqua di Parma Profumo, ~2000, Eau de Parfum.

Calypso St Barth Bellini

I love a good fruity floral sometimes. A well composed one that has all the hallmarks of a fruity floral fragrance without being way too popular or way too complex.



In Bottle: Fresh, clean and fruity. It’s sweet, but doesn’t overdo it on the sugar.

Applied: Bellini opens with a lush tropical scent that embodies the idea of a bellini cocktail. It’s lush, it’s juicy and very fruity. It reminds me of summer in the middle of November and has this hint of faux coconut and pineapple that does that, “Summer! The beach! Tropical paradise!” Chant to me. There’s a lighter layer of florals that rolls in after the first stage and settles into this gentle, refreshing midstage that makes me feel like I just stepped out of the shower to a waiting cocktail in the midst of a tropical island. The dry down is a clean sandalwood and white musk with a hint of cool amber.

Extra: I feel a little like I missed the summertime and these days I’m playing catch-up with Bellini here. Maybe some day I’ll actually vacation on a tropical island and I’d be tempted to wear this. Bellini is quite the embodiment of a tropical vacation.

Design: The cap is a bit uninspired, but the fragrance is what it is. The packaging for the bottle itself is quite minimalist, with a bell-shaped bottle, featuring the house name and fragrance name on it. The cap is your standard tall, gold metal. The box, on the other hand, has a rather cute bow adorning it. Something about me and bows, I suppose. Overall, not bad, not very exciting but it does the trick.

Fragrance Family:  Fruity Floral

Notes: Citrus, peach, coconut, pineapple, , frangipani, freesia, jasmine, orange flower, amber, musk, sandalwood.

Bellini is neither interesting or exciting. It is very safe, and it’s one of the better composed fruity floral fragrances out there. I quite like it. And if you like it too, but can’t see yourself wearing it, it comes in a candle form.

Reviewed in This Post: Bellini, 2012, Eau de Toilette.

Coach Poppy Flower

Coach Poppy Flower is a flanker to Poppy. It’s supposed to put a more floral spin on the original fragrance. Not sure what else they want out of the original Poppy because that one was fairly floral to me. Ah well, we’ll see.

Poppy Flower

Poppy Flower

In Bottle: Fresh, juicy flowers with a lot of water lily representation.

Applied: Sadly I’m smelling predominantly water lily from the starting point. I get a bit of citrus and the other sweet fruity things in this, but I suppose this is how you can go about making an already floral fragrance even more floral. The water lily gives me a bit of a headache as it seems particularly potent in this fragrance. The rest of the florals are giving up a good fight to help overwhelm or tame the water lily but I think that initial whiff blasted whatever chance the rest of the notes in this had for me. I really just get a lot of water lily with a little bit of jasmine and rose layered in there for good measure. As the fragrance ages, the peony comes up a bit more and given my previous association with peony, I don’t think that’s a good thing. Poppy Flower smells watery to me, kind of like a flower water mix and it isn’t very good, but it’s not horrendous. I wouldn’t venture to say this is okay, it’s just not too bad.

Extra: Coach Poppy Flower is marketed as fashionable, chic, and flirty. I have to admit, that despite being bombarded by marketing that claims something is flirty, I have yet to truly understand what that means in a marketing perspective and the word has been thrown about so much that it’s lost all meaning to me. What I do know about flirtiness is that I get nothing of the sort from Poppy Flower.

Design: Similar shape and style to that of Poppy, only it’s interpreted as purple and silver this time. I still don’t like the bottle, but the handwritten affect they used on the packaging is still fitting and aesthetically pleasing in its own way.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Citrus, black currant, raspberry, litchi, apricot, ivy, water lily, rose, jasmine, peony, sandalwood, musk, amber.

Coach Poppy Flower is available in EDP format and also comes in a body lotion if that kind of thing floats your boat. Me, I’m not personally a fan of this fragrance and actually prefer Poppy.

Reviewed in This Post: Poppy Flower,  2011, Eau de Parfum.

Balenciaga Cialenga

I hate it when I reach for a sampler, smell something, decide that I love it then find out that it was discontinued or is now incredibly rare. In Cialenga’s case, it was discontinued and now only exists on eBay. Thankfully, the prices aren’t sky high. Unfortunately, supplies will run out sooner or later. It’s such a shame for a fragrance so classically beautiful.



In Bottle: Smells rather familiar, like an aldehydes based fragrance but softer. I get the crisp green citrus and the floral notes, most notably ylang-ylang, rose, and lily.

Applied: Crispy green opening with some aldehydes rolling in. The aldehyde element isn’t too strong in Cialenga. It adds rather than dominates as it tends to do. The fragrance ages very gracefully into a midstage marked with a prominent rose, ylang-ylang, and lily bouquet that has elements of the powdery, soapy aldehyde composition. The clove mixes in this general area too giving it a bit of spiciness to work with. The fragrance then starts to age into its dry down with a bit of woodsy earthiness coming through and a marked green richness with a hint of powder and spice.

Extra: Cialenga, if you get a whiff of this stuff is a really well-balanced and very well composed fragrance that harkened from a time when classical perfumery was still somewhat celebrated. It was released in 1973 by perfumer, Jacques Jantzen.

Design: Cialenga’s design reminds me of the 70s but also seems to borrow some design elements from the 1920s or 30s. Something about it is is very Art Deco. Maybe it’s the straight lines. Whatever it is, the design itself is a bit aged but then again, the fragrance is discontinued. It’s not something I’d like aesthetically but it is lovely in a very vintage way.

Fragrance Family: Chypre

Notes: Citrus, black currant, green notes, iris, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, lily, clove, vetiver, sandalwood, oak moss, patchouli, cedar.

I can only presume this stuff was taken off the market for its oak moss content. A real shame because Cialenga is a very approachable aldehyde. I can see it as the aldehyde primer for someone uncertain or afraid of the note.

Reviewed in This Post: Cialenga, ~1980, Eau de Toilette.

Lancome Hypnose

Lancôme does rather well with his mostly grown up fragrance line toting woodsy florals and orientals. I’m starting to warm up to them a bit more and Hypnôse does a good job of swaying me more toward the Lancôme side of things.



In Bottle: Citrus and clean mixed with a fruity sweet scent blended rather well into a bouquet of florals to form a pretty well-balanced fragrance.

Applied: Despite its sparse official notes list, there’s more to Hypnôse than meets the nose. I get a pretty obvious citrus note up top before something fruity rolls into the fragrance. Hypnôse is a very sweet fragrance and I actually really like it’s extremely sweet personality as the fragrance edges into the midstage where I swear I smell anise in this even though it’s not on the list of notes the anise serves to sweeten up the fragrance a bit more, giving it a licorice-like quality as it blends in with a creamed rose and jasmine bouquet making the fragrance smell a bit like a grown-up version of a fruity floral fragrance thanks to the anise. The scent then hits the drydown smelling a bit woodsy and earthy with a vetiver and vanilla base.

Extra: Hypnôse, in addition to being a fragrance, is also a mascara produced by Lancôme. And, if you really loved the fragrance, it comes in a handy set with lotion and shower gel for you to enjoy all day.

Design: Hypnôse is bottled in a twisted blue glass cylinder. The design itself isn’t something I’m wild about but it’s functional for what it is, looks all right and is easy enough to hold. In the end the aesthetics aren’t my cup of tea but it’s a well-designed bottle that while I don’t like personally, I can still appreciate it for its simplicity and twisted (hah!) take on the classic rectangular bottle.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Citrus, passion flower, rose, jasmine, anise, vetiver, vanilla.

It should be noted the above notes list is not official and is an amalgamation of the official list and what other notes I think I’m smelling in the fragrance.

Reviewed in This Post: Hypnôse, 2009, Eau de Parfum.

Calvin Klein Eternity

Eternity is one of those classic smelling Calvin Klein fragrances with a ton of ingredients that kind of sends em off into ‘meh’ territory for some reason.



In Bottle: Spicy carnation with rose and lily notes there’s a hint of citrus up top with a bit of earthiness too.

Applied: Citrus opener that follows with a sharp green and clean note that fades away rather quickly to reveal very spicy carnation with a bit of sage and a lily and rose flowery midstage. This stuff smells like a spicy flower bouquet and if you let it keep aging on your skin, you’ll be treated to a woodsier interpretation near the end that falls into a warm spicy and earth fragrance that finishes itself off with a faded carnation note.

Extra: Eternity was composed by Sophia Grojsman who also did fragrance such as White Linen for Estee Lauder and Lancome’s Tresor.

Design: Eternity is bottled rather simply in a tasteful shape and with subdued design elements. It’s a rectangular glass bottle with a metal topper. Very nicely done, Calvin Klein. But then again, CK has always been pretty good about its bottle designs. Kudos.

Fragrance Family: Spicy Floral

Notes: Citrus, mandarin, green notes, freesia, sage, lily, carnation, violet, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, marigold, narcissus, heliotrope, sandalwood, musk, amber, patchouli.

I’m not wild about this fragrance for some reason. Maybe it’s because I used to smell this a lot when I was around this one woman who swore by her Eternity and wouldn’t wear anything else. It’s been almost a decade since I was around her but maybe that’s why I feel like Eternity just isn’t exciting to me. You smell a perfume for a certain amount of time and it just ceases to be amazing, I suppose.

Reviewed in This Post: Eternity, 2002, Eau de Parfum.

Jennifer Aniston Lolavie

Jennifer Aniston’s perfume has been received with what I think is an odd sort of popularity in the fragrance world. Why am I perplexed? Well, it’s not that the stuff doesn’t smell good. It’s not even because I think it’s generic. It’s just that I had no idea Jennifer Aniston was still a very popular celebrity. Granted, the last time I watched a movie, a television show, or paid any attention to celebrities was about ten years ago.



In Bottle: Clean and soft floral with a kick of citrus at the top and a bunch of white musk.

Applied: Citrus opens up Lolavie and quickly makes way for the scrubbed clean florals. The scent is very light and refreshing. I can definitely see this being worn in the spring when the flowers have just started to come up. There’s no–or very little–sweetness to this thankfully as the predominant floral note seems to be lily according to my nose. There’s very little in the way of interesting progression as its dry down, I’ve noted, smells like sandalwood and white musk. All in all lolavie doesn’t leave a huge impression on me. It’s clean, it’s light, it’s fresh and it’s definitely a floral. Outside of those very basic facts there just isn’t a lot to comment on. Her longevity stinks due to how light she is but if you’ve been searching for a light, easy, floral perfume then Lolavie is a very good choice.

Extra: Lolavie was Jennifer Aniston’s first fragrance release and I think she’s been trying to table a deal to make another one. Before this fragrance was even released there was a bunch of media buzz about how Aniston didn’t want a normal celebrity perfume and that she wanted something daring and new and different. I will hand it to her that Lolavie is different from the sugar piles of other celebuscents. But it’s not daring or new and hardly different if you compare it to mainstream offerings. It’s a good attempt though and Aniston manages to avoid the Britney Spears segment of celebuscents and is so far cruising along with Sarah Jessica Parker.

Design: The one bone I have to pick with Lolavie is its packaging. The bottle is incredibly unwieldy. I have no idea why they designed the thing to be so big and–well, it’s just big and clunky. It’s a lovely shape. It’s an interesting twist on the standard classic perfume bottle look. But why does the thing have to be so enormous? The size of the bottle makes it difficult to hold and spray and is just unnecessary. Another thing that makes me cringe about the packaging is the typeface they chose. Reminds me a little too much of Times New Roman. Times being the typeface people associate with textbooks, technical manuals, and book reports they were forced to write in school. None of these things paints a particularly fascinating image of the scent within. Other than that, it’s a lovely simple design.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Citrus, rose, jasmine, violet, lily, musk, amber, sandalwood.

I modified the description of the notes list a little because I thought calling a blended citrus accord a “citrus grove accord” was pretty ridiculous wordage. Unless I’m to believe they crammed the citrus, the trees, the dirt, and farm tools into that accord I think calling it just a plain old ‘citrus accord’ is the way to go. What is it with these celebrity releases that they have to come up with the most bizarre ways to describe their notes? Do consumers really buy a perfume because they think they’re getting the smell of an entire citrus grove? No wonder perfume is so misunderstood and confusing. There’s so little consistency in the marketing.

Reviewed in This Post: Lolavie, 2011, Eau de Parfum.

Thierry Mugler Womanity

I put off reviewing Womanity for a while so I could get used to her and how she smells and hopefully come to understand where it is she’s coming from and she’s still confusing the living daylights out of me.



In Bottle: Okay, this is just going to sound silly but I’m going to come out and say it because it’s the honest truth. Womanity reminds me of lobster. A big old dish of lobster with that slightly salty, slightly fishy, slightly sweet and buttery smell to it. There. My opinion is out. It’s lobster.

Applied: I’m hit with a strange mixture of woods and spices with a mingling hint of sweetness all layered over this tangible saltiness in the fragrance. It’s strange because you can almost taste the salt. The caviar might be what I’m attributing to the saltiness in this and I think it might be messing with my image of the fragrance because, once again, Womanity makes me think of lobster. There’s a slight fishiness to the fragrance upon first application that does eventually go away as you continue to wear it. The fragrance digs into this sweeter and fresher territory as it ages into a lovely mixture of scent that I can only describe as clean and briny. I know how bizarre my description of Womanity is right now. I’m all sorts of confused at this point which is when Womanity heads into its base with a slight amp to its spiciness to add to that clean brine smell. If I had to make this as simple as possible, I’d say the opening is salty and reminds me of lobster. The midstage is a fresh and slightly salty fragrance with a hint of spice settled with a sweet figgy note. The base is spice, fading fig and brine. It’s weird, but it doesn’t smell bad. I wouldn’t stretch it and say I like how it smells either. It’s certainly unique but I don’t know if I could wear it.

Extra: So Womanity’s given me a run for my money. I still don’t know if I could classify it as okay, all I know is that I appreciate it’s bizarreness but I wouldn’t wear it as a fragrance. It’s fun just to sniff now and then though, just to give my mind something to think about.

Design: I do like the design. It reminds me a bit of punk rock meets cyberpunk meets Barbie. The pink juice is clearly the Barbie part. One of the better designed Thierry Mugler bottles, in my opinion. I love just holding this thing too. It’s like holding a weird alien artifact. The bottle has a nice weight to it. I love the feel of it and the sprayer is fantastic.

Fragrance Family: Fresh

Notes: Citrus, caviar, fig, woods.

Am I the only one who doesn’t like the smell that money leaves in my hand after I’ve handled a bunch of coins but I always end up going back and smelling it just for the sole purpose of confusing myself and reaffirming my dislike for how it smells? It kind of feels like that with Womanity. In that I’m pretty sure I don’t like how it smells but I keep going back and smelling it anyway.

Reviewed in This Post: Womanity, 2010, Eau de Parfum.

Tom Ford Black Orchid

Black Orchid’s one of the more popular of Tom Ford’s line. It’s a luscious, heady floral that’s billed as an oriental chypre. I see the oriental but I don’t understand where the chypre is supposed to come into play.

Black Orchid

In Bottle: Rich, heady and very strong. If you’re going to whiff up some of this stuff do it slowly and sparingly. It is strong and it will smell very creamy with a heady powdery jasmine and orchid scent. But taking a huge whiff of this kind of destroys its beauty because all you’re getting is a noseful of overwhelming smells.

Applied: Black Orchid goes much better on the skin and even then it should be used in small, exquisite little dabs. This fragrance is not light and it is not meek. It’s loud and full and unashamed of what it is. The first thing I get is this creamy white floral feel then a rolling in of the jasmine and orchid for a lush bouquet of florals that mingles with this powdery cocoa note that also introduces a bit of sweetness. As you continue to wear Black Orchid the rush of powerful fragrances tempers out a little bit, letting me detect a bit of smoky-spiciness. So Black Orchid’s mid-stage is a sweet and spicy floral powder with a layer of cream and a dusting of cocoa. I love its complexity and I love the drydown of dry, sweet woods and sweet amberous vanilla.

Extra: There’s been some rumors that Black Orchid was one of Michael Jackson’s favorite perfumes. While I know admittedly little about the late King of Pop, I do have to say that MJ had good taste in perfume.

Design: Tom Ford’s fragrances are bottled rather similarly, they can be white or black and are often in the shape shown above. The bottles have a very nice weight to them and they also have a simple, but luxurious, look to them. I like it!

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Jasmine, black truffle, ylang-ylang, black currant, citrus, orchid, patchouli, sandalwood, dark chocolate, incense, amber, vetiver, vanilla, balsam.

While Black Orchid’s heady, creamy, powdery florals isn’t my cup of tea it is a very nice and very complex fragrance that I can see would work rather well for special occasions.

Reviewed in This Post: Black Orchid, 2006, Eau de Parfum.

Prada Infusion de Vetiver

Infusion de Vetiver is the latest in Prada’s infusion line of fragrances where two of my favorites (Infusion d’Iris and Infusion d’Homme) come from. The line itself is focused on simple formulas based upon one or two concepts, such as tuberose in Infusion de Tubereuse .

Infusion de Vetiver

In Bottle: Very light sweet vetiver with a bit of bitterness from the citrus top note.

Applied: The initial citrus opening is expected in most modern perfume, it’s quick to dissipate leaving you with the vetiver to contend with. This is like vetiver light, sweet, hay-like, a little bit grassy and there’s a hint of pepper lingering around in the background and layered over it all is this herb-like scent I can’t convince myself to stop smelling because it’s not helping the bland situation at all. As Infusion de Vetiver ages into its end stage. Yes, you read that right, it’s in end stage mode already. The fragrance goes into this sheer, barely there sweet vetiver sort of thing that doesn’t do the scent much justice before it drops off completely. The entire episode was in and out in about an hour. In terms of overall smell, the opening was all right, the mid-stage was pretty on par with the opening, and the end stage was a barely there ghost of what a fragrance like this could be. I just don’t see the point of this, it’s light, it’s easy to wear, yes, but it’s nothing interesting.

Extra: So here we are with Infusion de Vetiver. While I enjoyed two of Prada’s Infusions line, they at least had something of a personality and were more interesting than this. Iris had that nice powdery, bitterness to it. D’Homme reminded me of my childhood. Vetiver just smells like sweet wet herbal hay.

Design: Infusion de Vetiver is a limited edition with its designs that are more in line with Infusion de Tubereuse. There’s interesting shapes on the box and bottle cap, done in light green, dark grey, and black this time instead of purple. The bottle shape is the same as the other Infusions so if you were trying to collect them all, you will have a nice uniform set.

Fragrance Family: Aromatic

Notes: Citrus, tarragon, ginger, vetiver, white musk, pepper.

Once again, another fragrance I don’t see the point of. This time from a fragrance house that hasn’t been doing too badly with its offerings. Only, I don’t think it was a good idea for Prada to tackle vetiver. Especially not when so many other houses have done tons of vetiver scents in far better ways.

Reviewed in This Post: Infusion de Vetiver, 2010, Eau de Toilette.