Lucien Lelong Indiscret

Indescret is one of those rare finds that a lovely friend supplied me with on one of her many sojourns into antiques markets, estate sales, flea markets, and all other manner of excellent places I wish I lived close enough to her to enjoy too. I’ll always be grateful when she finds a fragrance treasure and sends me even the smallest samples though!



In Bottle: Heady and bitter, highly floral and possessing of that classic perfume scent that’s always hard to describe and can only be smelled and experienced to understand.

Applied: Indiscret is very strong upon application. It fills my nose, floods into my sinus cavity and clears things out as it hits my brain screaming of a bitter green and sharp orange. It settles down after about an hour but don’t think Indiscret gets any more mellow, it’s a powerhouse, keeps going and evolving and growing stronger the longer you wear it. The woodsiness comes up a bit more, along with some faded floral notes, the most I get is a very rounded jasmine that adds a very nice touch to smooth out the scent. The whole thing smells classic and I wish I had the eloquence to describe that classic, vintage fragrance smell adequately because it’s a beautiful thing and all budding perfumistas or fragrance fan needs to smell and experience it at least once. Indiscret, or at least the version I have, seems to have taken on a musty lower note as it ages hours later. It has a bit of spiciness with that woodsy scent but at the same time, there’s something a bit funky about the dry down that puts me off a little, but doesn’t turn me away. Judging from the other reviewer reactions, I have a feeling my particular juice may have gone off a little, which is a shame since people seem to describe the final stage of Indiscret as a smooth, creamy woodsy spicy affair.

Extra: Indiscret was released in the mid-1930s to Lucien Lelong, a very fancy brand back in the day. Indiscret was discontinued at some point, but is still somewhat available via eBay and select vintage fragrance sellers.

Design: The bottles I see have lovely, classic sweeping feminine curves and a beautiful looking flacon. If I could get my hands on it, I totally would. There are other designs as well, ranging from simpler rectangular flacons to mini sizes to more modernized bottles with shiny metallic-looking caps.

Fragrance Family: Floral Woodsy

Notes: Mandarin, bergamot, jasmine, tuberose, orange flower, rose, ylang ylang, geranium, iris, galbanum, woods.

Like most fragrances my friend picks up from antique stores, I can’t fully classify the year of the bottle and can only guess. My only recommendation for this one is to look for it, the more vintage and pure the better the experience. It’s a beautiful, full-bodied, very long-lasting vintage beauty!

Reviewed in This Post: Indiscret, ~1940, Eau de Parfum.

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.

Biehl Parfumkunstwerke gs03

Another sampler from Jeffrey Dame at Hypoluxe. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting after gs02, though I was pleasantly surprised when I tried out gs03!



In Bottle: Nice, soft white florals with an layer of woods.

Applied: Slight citrus kick on spray but quick to dissipate as it’s replaced with a smooth white floral fragrance with an under layer of woods to back it up. The opening is fabulous. Very airy white florals, a slight spice to tie it together. It’s mid-stage is marked with a more prominent woodsy showing with those white florals layered on top. The dry down sees a smoother wood note, less florals and more soft warmth from a vetiver with a mild return of the citrus that disappeared in the top layer. This reminds me of laundry or very nice soap. And something in it also reminds me of something my mother used to wear. Nice, lovely and soft.

Extra: gs03 is a new launch from biehl parfumkunstwerke targeted both men and women. It was composed by by Geza Schoen, like gs02.

Design: A similar minimalist bottle design as gs02. Nothing flashy or outrageous. After having seen some of the latest celebuscent bottle designs, I appreciate simplicity like this a lot.

Fragrance Family: Floral Woodsy

Notes: Mandarin, orange blossom, neroli, pepper, juniper, rose, jasmine, iris, cedar, vetiver, castoreum, oakmoss, benzoin, tonka bean, musk.

Very nice, though a couple of times during the midstage I got a little worried about the cedar. That note doesn’t behave for me, but it did fine in gs03 as it was light and well done in this fragrance. Overall very nice and I prefer it over gs02 for its softness.

Reviewed in This Post: gs03, 2013, Eau de Parfum.

Lalique de Lalique

Lalique de Lalique was released in 1992 with a limited edition version released in 2012 that I can’t seem to find anywhere.

Lalique de Lalique

Lalique de Lalique

In Bottle: I get a sweet, creamy fruits with a pleasant soft and sweetness in the background with a layer of equally sweet florals.

Applied: Chevrefeuille starts off with a rather strong fruit showing that mellows out fairly quickly into a stronger wave of florals with the sweet fruit opening still hanging on well into the mid-stage where the florals become a touch dusty like a wave of light powders. I get plenty of jasmine with a delightful introduction of clove that adds a bit of edibility to the fragrance as it rolls into the end where a vanilla musk and dusty sandalwood pick up the scent to carry it the rest of the way. The entire fragrance is very soft and easy to wear and very modern while at the same time having a classical edge.

Extra: Lalique de Lalique (or just Lalique) was released in 1992. A limited edition version of it bottled in a fancier way was released in 2012 as a part of its 20th anniversary. It’s nearly impossible to find the limited edition version anywhere as a result. Lalique is an old perfume house, their earliest fragrance dates back to 1931.

Design: Beautiful design, usually I don’t go for things quite as embellished as these bottles, but they are made in a way that makes them eye-catching and luxurious. The limited edition bottles are also very beautiful.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Pear, blackberry, iris, rose, jasmine, clove, cassis, sandalwood, vanilla, white musk.

I do really like Lalique de Lalique, though it’s not the kind of thing I would go out of my way to hunt down. The bottle, though, makes it really hard to resist.

Reviewed in This Post: Lalique de Lalique, 1999, Eau de Toilette.

Cartier Declaration for Men

Happy New Year! I am back with a Cartier. I was thinking of doing a more unique fragrance as the first for 2013, but after humming and hawing over what that fragrance may be, I decided a Jean-Claude Ellena designed Cartier would have to do. That Smell will be back to normal next week.

Declaration for Men

Declaration for Men

In Bottle: Citrus, sharp orange, no sweetness–but very bitter with an earthy quality and a spicy kick.

Applied: Bitter orange with a blend of birch in the background. I get some spices upfront too and an almost animalic quality that I’m assuming is coming from an ambery leather combination. There’s definitely something that smells a bit “off” about this, but it’s “off” on purpose, like Declaration is trying to tell me to like it or leave it. Anyway, as the scent ages, it gains more woodsiness, takes on a floral bouquet with warm leather and that constant off smell in the background as the spices roll in. It took a long time for Declaration to get anywhere, it has fantastic longevity and projection so if you want something that will stick around all day and don’t mind occasionally getting a whiff of faint uncleanliness then this might be up your alley. As the scent dries down, I get more spices, more vetiver and a smooth leather that rounds things out very nicely.

Extra: Declaration has quite the lengthy list of notes and the complexity it boasts is no surprise for how much stuff is jammed into it. It smells of sophistication and good taste, but at the same time, it warns the fainthearted off with what people call the “sweaty armpit” undercurrent that runs through this scent. Whatever it is, those who brave it might come to love it.

Design: Declaration has a nice enough look. Simple in general with a bit more attention paid to its cap. It’s easy to hold, pleasing to look at with no garish bone on its body.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spicy

Notes: Artemisia, caraway, coriander, birch, mandarin orange, bergamot, neroli, bitter orange, iris, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, juniper, orris root, jasmine, cardamom, leather, amber, tea, vetiver, oakmoss, cedar.

I don’t relish much on the off smell in this. If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll note that I tend massively toward the clean so Declaration was a bit of a surprise for me. I appreciate it on the complexity level, but I think I’ll pass.

Reviewed in This Post: Declaration for Men, 2012, Eau de Toilette.

Faberge Flambeau

Deb from Luvparfum kindly included a couple of decants when I purchased vintage Coty Chypre. One of those decants was Fabergé Flambeau. And as with most things that take me by surprise, my first impression was, “Fabergé made perfume?” The next impression was, “Wow!”

In Bottle: That “Wow” was to denote how very good this was. Green aldehydes and florals were my first impression.

Applied: I could smell the florals in this upon application. Flambeau opens with a green aldehyde, flowing into a beautiful jasmine mid-note that’s joined by a full-bodied and tempered rose. There are florals in here that I can’t pick out, but I don’t mind very much because it all blends together beautifully. Flambeau ages into a gorgeous lush mid-stage that exudes white flowers with slight hints of animalic musk. Nothing too wild on the animal side. It’s only a touch to give the fragrance even more complexity. As it dries down, I get less of the rose and more vetiver with a little hint of amber and bit of woodsiness that’s been soften with time.

Extra: Fabergé’s Flambeau was a little known fragrance initially released in 1955. It has since been discontinued and is quite a rarity. It’s really a shame since it’s such a beautiful scent from a long gone era of perfume. Fabergé had other vintage classics as well, including Woodhue, Tigress, Aphrodisia.

Design: I haven’t held or seen an actual bottle of Flambeau, but going by the photos, the parfum vial is a beautiful elegant glass piece encased in a golden shell with lovely markings on it. Very reminiscent of luxury from the 50s.

Fragrance Family: Classic Floral

Notes: Aldehydes, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, iris, ambergris, vetiver, sandalwood, musk.

I’m only guessing with those notes. Anyway, if you want to score yourself a bottle of Flambeau, Deb from LuvParfum might have one in stock along with some of Fabergé’s other classics. This includes a gorgeous Woodhue perfume whistle. If not, you might get lucky on eBay.

Reviewed in This Post: Flambeau, ~1960, ???.

Miss Dior

Miss Dior, unlike her younger sister (Miss Dior Cherie), is a smart, sophisticated woman who enjoys the finer things in life but doesn’t let it get to her head. She’s humble and complex with a classical charm that Miss Dior Cherie can never beat.

Miss Dior

Miss Dior

In Bottle: Green with a prominent aldehyde quality to it and a dusting of florals.

Applied: Sharp green aldehydes that are a bit of a sting on the old nostrils. Miss Dior goes on strong and powerful, hits you with a wave of classical perfume and reminds you of what a real chypre ought to smell like. Nothing like the lilting chypres of today that have been toned down and have lost their oak moss. Miss Dior is the full force of chypres upon application. As the fragrance ages, she smooths out a bit taking on a powdery quality to me with a warm sensuality that works in the complexity of the fragrance. It’s hard to describe complex fragrances for me because breaking them down into components and saying, “I smell this and now I smell this” would ruin the experience. Instead let me just say that Miss Dior smells like a vintage with an aldehyde and floral mid-stage prominent in neroli and jasmine and is every bit the chypre that she’s supposed to be. The fragrance dries down into a lovely rich flowers, forest and buttery leather scent that makes me want to stick my nose to my wrists and deeply inhale.

Extra: Miss Dior was released in the late 1940s and was composed by Jean Carles and Paul Vacher. Like most (if not all) classics that have survived till today, Miss Dior has been reformulated. The version I’m reviewing in this post is reportedly from sometime in the 1970s. I have not tried the more readily available, “Miss Dior Originale” yet, but I do have a sample of that so I will be trying it eventually.

Design: Miss Dior seems to do everything better than Miss Dior Cherie. The bottle has a classic look, but one that will never go out of style. While it’s a familiar shape to Miss Dior Cherie, Miss Dior’s more grown-up style and beautiful textured glass sets it a class above its younger counterpart. Miss Dior doesn’t need a bow on its neck to exude femininity, basically.

Fragrance Family: Chypre

Notes: Aldehydes, gardenia, galbanum, clary sage, bergamot, carnation, iris, jasmine, neroli, lily of the valley, rose, narcissus, labdanum, leather, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, oak moss, vetiver.

It probably sounds like I’m ragging on Miss Dior Cherie a lot in this post, and I am. It’s not that Miss Dior Cherie doesn’t accomplish good things as a modern gourmand that appeals to younger women, it’s just that Miss Dior–who sometimes gets confused with her younger counterpart–gets a lot of bad press from people who accidentally picked her up thinking she’ll smell anything like the candy-like Miss Dior Cherie. Then come the proclamations that Miss Dior “smells like old lady”, and that’s just unfortunate.

Reviewed in This Post: Miss Dior, ~1970, Eau de Toilette.

Balmain La Mome

Ambre Gris by Balmain was one of the first perfumes I ever reviewed for this blog. Back then I was still in my “Oh gosh! Fruits and flowers are so good!” phase. I’ve since grown a bit in terms of taste (or at least I like to think I did) and while I still love my flowers, my clean smells, and my fruits I’ve also warmed to Ambre Gris enough to be excited about La Mome rolling out of my sampler box for a try.

La Mome

La Mome

In Bottle: Roses, violets and an undercurrent of amber.

Applied: A flash of sweet raspberry that opens the fragrance under a fruity, sweet pretense. The rose is quick to fall in and I’m glad for that because I think I’ve had my fill of raspberry for a while. The rose has a lovely soft and classic affect mixing beautifully with an amber note that sweetens and warms the fragrance. I get violets the longer I wear this, giving the fragrance a bit of dusty appeal like I’m wearing a fine fragrance and just dusted myself down with some violet powder. This reminds me of fancy windows for some reason. Windows with intricate little patterns in the glass. Windows that lead to an exquisite sitting room. It’s deceptively simple because this is a much more complex scent than the seemingly easygoing violet, rose and amber mixture.

Extra: A little bit of research yielded an explanation for the naming convention of this fragrance. La Mome means “The Kid” which is a dedication to Edit Piaf.

Design: I love the design of this bottle. Balmain does very well with its packaging. The juice, the color of the juice, down to the materials and the style of the bottle, and the weight of the whole thing are meticulous. I love everything about it, up to and including the little tassels.

Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental

Notes: Pink pepper, raspberry, freesia, rose, violet, myrrh, iris, opoponax, amber, musk.

Sometime I should sit down and take a good sidelong stare at how my tastes in fragrance have changed over the past two years. I went from a pretty uneducated lover of fruity florals to a pretty uneducated lover of everything else too. I never would have thought a little hobby blog could take me this far.

Reviewed in This Post: La Mome, 2008, Eau de Parfum.

Paris Hilton Passport Tokyo

As I’m looking at the couple of drops I have of this thing, I’m currently contemplating the amazing fact I just read on Perfume Posse. Paris Hilton–she of the Reality TV, zany antics, and Hilton Empire stardom–has sold $1.5 Billiondollars of perfume. That makes me just a little bit sad.

Passport Tokyo

Passport Tokyo

In Bottle: Light and citrus with a  bit of cedar and a little touch of sweet flowers. Whoo hoo.

Applied: Forgive my lack of enthusiasm for this one. I’m still reeling (two days after the fact) over the sum of money Hilton’s made on stuff like this. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but in the same vein, it’s not good either. In fact, it’s only not bad because it strikes a dull chord in my nose and tells me it’s all right, but if I want to be wooed and I’m not already swooning then I ought to get out of its way. Passport Tokyo’s mild and sheer citrus layer is joined by a sweet apple-like scent that blends into a really limp sweet floral woodsy fragrance that smells like it’s been diluted a couple of times. On the one hand, I’m glad the cedar isn’t assaulting my nostrils. On the other hand, I’m really disappointed by how toothless this is. Don’t let the repetition of the word ‘sweet’ fool you into thinking this is going to give you amazing amounts of sweetness. The whole affair is really light and mild.

Extra: Passport Tokyo was released in 2010 as a part of the Passport series of fragrances. The other two in this line were Paris and South Beach.

Design: Kind of garish and seems to be marketed at a much younger crowd. The bottle is clearly not aiming for luxury, but rather for fun. However, I just don’t think an EDT should ever look like that as it’s much more of a body spray packaging choice than something for an actual perfume.

Fragrance Family: Citrus Floral

Notes: Lemon, apple, frangipani, orange flower, jasmine, iris, sandalwood, cedar,musk.

Passport Tokyo’s a bit forgettable and I wouldn’t even really recommend it to anyone interested in a light citrus scent. It just smells watered down. And, come on! $1.5 Billion! Sorry, still can’t get over that.

Reviewed in This Post: Passport Tokyo, 2010, Eau de Toilette.

Etro Heliotrope

Etro’s Heliotrope is one of the more unique florals I’ve encountered and makes me question why it took me so long to try an Etro fragrance to begin with.



In Bottle: Rich vanilla and florals. I want to think that heliotrope is the prominent flower, but I’m actually getting more ylang-ylang.

Applied: A bit of almond and powdery heliotrope to start off the scent followed by a mellowing vanilla note that sweetens the fragrance a bit. I get the florals rather quickly, and for some reason ylang-ylang is quite prominent for me. Etro’s Heliotrope smells of powdered vanilla and ylang-ylang. It reminds me of vintage things and powder puffs with delicately scented blooms sitting in a pot of earth nearby. The florals smell natural, the vanilla adds a touch of oriental and smooths the fragrance. It’s overall a very pleasant experience.

Extra: Heliotrope is actually a fairly old release from Etro, having been released in 1989. It certainly explains the different approach to composition.

Design: Bottled rather simply, but still elegantly in a glass bottle with a nicely designed silver cap. It looks luxurious without being over the top and feels great to hold.

Fragrance Family: Oriental Floral

Notes: Bergamot, orange blossom, petitgrain, almond, iris, jasmine, heliotrope, rose, ylang-ylang, balsam, tonka, musk.

Etro is a great niche house with a fairly good representation of fragrances. You can find their stuff on StrawberryNET.

Reviewed in This Post: Heliotrope, 2000, Eau de Toilette.