Cacharel Scarlett

Cacharel Scarlett happened upon my cluttered desk a while ago, it was a little sample knocking around from some of the circles I used to frequent back when perfumes were I hobby where I had time to indulge. I really miss it–the perfumes, I mean. So I gave Scarlett and a few others a whiff to see how things stacked up. And to dust off that long neglected notebook.



In Bottle: A light floral, a little pungent upon first whiff but I fear I may have smelled it a little “too hard”. Nothing really fancy about it yet.

Applied:  Bright and floral, a little juicy upon first application. There’s a sharp citrus to this at first that smells into a more rounded white florals style of scent. It’s very classically flowery and pleasant enough to wear. Scarlett isn’t really light, and nothing in it really reminds me of Scarlet O’Hara. But then, my vision of her doesn’t paint her in a dainty, floral at all and I expected something headier if it was to truly represent her. After a while of the white florals, the scent mellows into a mild warmed amber, honey and floral scent.

Extra: Scarlett was dedicated to the famous Scarletts in past and present including O’Hara and Johansson.

Design: I was actually surprised to see the bottle when I looked it up. It’s definitely not your typical curvy flacon and I actually kind of like it, though it clashes with my usual tastes. It’s different, and I guess that’s plenty to lend it credit to me.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Lemon, pear, jasmine, orange blossom, honeysuckle, amber, sandalwood, honey, white musk.

So I mentioned this didn’t really remind me of Scarlet O’Hara, it’s close and I understand where they’re trying to take it. To me, O’Hara is a heady, dark floral with a distinctive tuberose and a flash of something sharper and tangier like a cedar. I don’t know much about Johansson. In the end Scarlett is a nice, grown-up scent. It’s not groundbreaking enough to really set it apart from many of the other florals I’ve experienced, unfortunately.

Reviewed in This Post: Scarlett, 2015, Eau de Toilette.

Creed Sublime Vanille

I managed to stumble upon a very tiny sample of Creed Sublime Vanille thanks to a friend who asked me the other day when I’ll get my nose out work and into perfumes again. I didn’t realize what kind of treasure she had dropped into my lap until I did some research and promptly exclaimed, “What? Are you insane?”

Sublime Vanille

Sublime Vanille

In Bottle: A really, really light vanilla and some slight green notes that almost feel sour in the back of the throat.

Applied:  I really doubt my friend supplied me with a faulty sample and I fully believe the weakness of this sauce is due to Creed’s mixing. Or maybe it’s me. Whatever it is, I hardly get anything out of this. It smells of barely there vanilla and kind of leaves me wanting a lot more, especially after finding out its price tag ($710.00 on Creed’s website, if you were so inclined). I get a little hint of green sourness that I want to attribute to some kind of citrus. The two actually go pretty well together in the kind of way that you wouldn’t expect. Like those Terry’s chocolate orange things. Except unlike the chocolate oranges, this lacks in flavor, being kind of a weak throw type of scent. I feel like I need to line the inside of my nostrils in order to smell it. I can’t say that I am a fan.

Extra: Creed’s Sublime Vanille is a part of a collection of exclusives from the house. The flacons are beautiful and the price tag matches the aesthetic.

Design: Gorgeous design. I love the bottle, it looks nice and weighty and absurdly expensive. If someone were to break in one day, this would likely be the thing I’d hurl at them first–then I would regret it later. What? It’s $710 for stuff that barely smells like anything. I can be snarky.

Fragrance Family: Gourmand

Notes: Vanilla, tonka bean, orchid, musk, bergamot, lemon.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now, but I’m so much more cynical towards these pricey scents than I used to be. And perhaps the fact that this stuff costs so much that I expected so much more from it.

Reviewed in This Post: Sublime Vanille, 2014, Eau de Toilette.

Tauer Cologne du Maghreb

Has it really been that long? Was what I said when an email landed in my inbox the other day telling me this website had been updated and that I really ought to visit once in a while like a good daughter. Months ago, I received a very generous sample from Jeffrey Dame of Hypoluxe. When Cologne du Maghreb landed at my door, I said to myself, “Soon!” As months went by and more clients were piling work my way, soon became later and here we are. Cologne du Maghreb, lovely in most respects and while quite a bit later, better than never.

Cologne du Maghreb

Cologne du Maghreb

In Bottle: Fresh, green woods. Crisp with a little bit of flowery water thrown in.

Applied:  Cologne du Maghreb is lighter than what I thought it would be. It went on like a silk scarf, gentle and breezy with a clean and fresh opening of citrus and green leaves. It’s reminiscent of a whiff citrus zest. As it ages, there’s a floral note in the background that plays second fiddle to a very pleasant woody spice. Something tells me there’s a cedar in here, but at least it’s well-behaved and being tempered by a mix of florals and spices. The fragrance ends on a cool, ambery, woodsy note and dwindles into a fine floral finish.

Extra: Cologne du Maghreb was designed by Andy Tauer, famed for many fragrances in the Tauer Perfumes brand.

Design: Simple bottle with a nice and modern feel. No frills or crazy shapes and colors here. Just simplicity that works for what it is.

Fragrance Family: Fresh Woodsy

Notes: Lemon, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, orange blossom, neroli, rose, cedar, labdanum, vetiver, amber.

I had forgotten how much joy I derived from fragrances and fragrance reviewing. And I have a maintenance email to thank for bringing me back, even if it is a somewhat brief reunion. Cologne du Maghreb is a perfectly nice fragrance, light and a bit on the tame side but it doesn’t disappoint if you’re looking for something to wear on a frequent basis.

Reviewed in This Post: Cologne du Maghreb, 2014, Eau de Parfum.

Hermes Un Jardin En Mediterranee

I’ll be the first to admit that I know nothing about the Mediterranean. I’ve never been, and won’t be for quite some time. Though from all that I’ve seen, heard, read and apparently, smelled, it is a lovely place. Hermes’ version of the Mediterranean, as they’ve declared, tries to capture the concept of the cool, watery, light aura.

Un Jardin En Mediterranee

Un Jardin En Mediterranee

In Bottle: Citrus, green and full with a light refreshing feel to it.

Applied:  Light citrus lots of juiciness in the opening and quite green and pleasant. I like how light handed, Un Jardin En Mediterranee starts off. It falls a little in the mid-stage, floating a floral my way very briefly before it settles into this thick cypress and cedar fragrance with a bit of green kick. This is a fragrance, I imagine wearing if I had an excess of flowing dresses and a beautiful garden behind my historical estate. As it is, wearing it while hunched over my work computer and contemplating its intricacies at a ridiculous hour makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Like this isn’t the fragrance for me. It smells pleasant enough. Light, green, citrus and cypress and the cedar isn’t too bothersome either. It just doesn’t seem like it meshes with me in general.

Extra: Developed by Jean Claude Ellena, Mediterranee is a part of a collection. Others in this collection include Un Jardin Sur Le Toit and Un Jardin Sur Le Nil.

Design: Lovely, simple Hermes design. I’m a sucker for the specific colors they chose to do this series in. Would look great lined up in a row.

Fragrance Family: Fresh Floral

Notes: Orange, lemon, bergamot, oleander, orange blossom, fig leaf, cypress, cedar, musk, juniper.

I got into gardening over the past year, having moved somewhere that experiences more months of non-winter than “two” and discovered how fascinating growing and tending to plantlife is. It’s a real shame that I apparently have a brown thumb and maybe that’s why Mediterranee makes me feel like a fraud :-D.

Reviewed in This Post: Un Jardin En Mediterranee, 2003, Eau de Parfum.

Hermes Bel Ami

I’ve been on a chypre bender lately, wanting something full-bodied and classic once again. Enter Hermes Bel Ami, which inspired an hour-long look at some new Hermes scarves.

Bel Ami

Bel Ami

In Bottle: Now, it should be noted that I have the newer formulation of Bel Ami, so this isn’t a true vintage chypre. It’s one of those “modern” deals. But Hermes did a good job with it, sweet, deep, masculine and woodsy.

Applied: Sweet upon application with a nice bergamot and lemon opening. The spiciness is only a hint in this fragrance. What I’m getting the most out of it is a deep, rich leather scent with a hint of animal and a big dose of earthiness from the orris. There’s a pleasant touch of cedar in the background that doesn’t overwhelm but is in there enough to give the fragrance a hint of woodsiness. The herbal notes probably lend a tempering effect to this fragrance as it’s more of a blast of leather than anything else. I can see where the chypre construction in this lies and it’s fabulous, but it isn’t quite what I’m looking for. Still a really great, strong, masculine scent with a very interesting composition and a great sense of projection.

Extra: Bel Ami was released in 1986 and has, unfortunately, been reformulated a few times, I suspect. Still, it smells pretty good for having been tinkered with over the years.

Design: Bottled simply, and somewhat reminiscent of some other Hermes bottles. Looks classical and functions pretty well. No one is going to immediately notice this bottle, but it’s a joy to look at it nonetheless.

Fragrance Family: Chypre

Notes: Mandarin, sage, bergamot, lemon, cardamom, patchouli, orris, carnation, basil, jasmine, cedar, leather, coconut, vanilla, oakmoss, vetiver, styrax, amber.

So Bel Ami isn’t really my thing. I don’t go crazy much for this much leather as it tends to smell too bold for me. But it is still a very well constructed fragrance.

Reviewed in This Post: Bel Ami, ~2000, Eau de Toilette.

Floris Santal

Santal, like with most men’s fragrance samplers, fell into my lap through some exchanges or trades. Its little glass vial sat pretty much untouched since I received it due to its unspectacular name. But like books, you really shouldn’t judge a fragrance by its cover–sometimes.



In Bottle: Soft gentle spice with a sandalwood heart.

Applied: Bergamot with a lemony friend in the opening. The spices roll in quickly, but very elegantly. It’s a gentle spice, like a nice little dusting of cardamom and nutmeg and clove on top of your cup of tea or coffee. It smells light, doesn’t come on too strong and imparts this sense of confidence without being loud and obnoxious about it. This smells like a refined gentleman with a nice sandalwood upon entering the latter midstage. The dry down is marked with a warm, light spice and heavier dose of woods. Santal is not young smelling. It’s not the aqua deluge of modern mens fragrance. It smells more classical and has a nice, subdued sophistication to it.

Extra: Santal was released in 2002 and is still available today in an EDT concentration, bar of soap, aftershave, shower gel, or shaving balm.

Design: Looks nice enough. The Floris label is really the focal point of this design with a nice classical air about it. The bottle itself is unassuming with an easy to hold design and subdued but mildly flashy gold detailing.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spicy

Notes: Bergamot, pepper, cardamom, grass, lemon, nutmeg, clove, lavender, amber, cedar, sandalwood, olibanum, vetiver, vanilla, musk.

Some scents never cease to surprise me. I ended up liking Santal quite a bit.

Reviewed in This Post: Santal, 2011, Eau de Toilette.

AdP Colonia Assoluta In Villa

In Villa

In Villa

Up today is another decant from Steve at The Scented Hound (thank you). I really have no method to my madness, so I decided upon Colonia Assoluta In Villa because it was the closest one.

In Bottle: Green citrus, I get a lot of lime and bergamot, with a big dose of woodsy notes.

Applied: Lime and bergamot on opening, reminds me of greenness and it only gets more green when the cypress quickly rolls in. When I looked up the notes for this Acqua di Parma wants to tell me they used cedar. Now, I’m not a great nose when it comes to well-behaved cedar because it’s always going funky on my skin. If this is cedar, then it’s behaving really well. The citrus is quick to dissolve, leaving cedar holding the bag until a clean waft of florals rolls in during the midstage with the very barest touch of spice. The scent gets decidedly less floral near the end where the green cedar continues to carry it forward with a touch of warmth from a very faint amber note. The fragrance reminds me a lot of an adorable little cottage I saw once. It was–funny enough–in the middle of a city, but the owner had enough land that despite metropolitan life going on around him, he managed to have a beautifully done wooded area surrounding his property. It looked like a page out of a storybook and In Villa reminds me of that.

Extra: Colonia Assoluta In Villa was released in 2009 by Acqua di Parma.

Design: I actually really like the bottle for In Villa, it’s elegant and simple. Modern with a little bit of classic flair so that it doesn’t look outdated. I think what sells this bottle for me (in terms of aesthetics) is that it has a balloon pump, which gives it a classic charm. Though as Steve noted, the balloon pump adds an element of beauty to the bottle, but it’s not great when you go to use it. From my experience with balloon pumps, I can eagerly agree.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy

Notes: Lemon, lime, bergamot, cardamom, chili pepper, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, cedar, white musk, amber.

I was really happy with how well the cedar in this worked on me, but aside from the surprising mild cedar, there’s not a whole lot going on with In Villa. It’s pretty enough, but it’s not my kind of thing. But if it is your kind of thing, you can buy a whopping 200ml of this stuff. That’s a lot of In Villa!

Reviewed in This Post: Colonia Assoluta In Villa, 2012, Eau de Cologne.

M. Micallef Vanille Marine

I’m delighted to be wearing a vanilla fragrance on any day. As much as I love Jasmine and honey, the vanillas keep me coming back. Up today is M. Micallef‘s Vanille Marine, a pretty aquatic with a bite of citrus and a smooth vanilla personality. 

In Bottle: Sharp citrus and marine with a tempering of flowering vanilla. It’s quite an interesting mix of sharp and soft that forms to make a fairly nice fragrance.

Applied: I get an initial spear of citrus and sharp marine notes. It makes the scent smell quite strong and reminds me a lot of soap. While the opening might be harsh, Vanille Marine settles down quickly into a softer interpretation lending much of this progression to the florals and that awesome vanilla. I had my reservations about an aquatic vanilla fragrance. I hadn’t tried any before that I thought worked out very well, but Vanille Marine makes the concept very appealing. There’s a clean edge to this from the marine that mixes well with the soft floral vanilla. It makes me think of delicate vanilla flowers floating in the ocean. This is clean, fresh and warm all at the same time as you settle into its mid-stage. Where Vanille Marine gets really good is near the end where the marine notes have time to settle into the skin and work with the vanilla to give off this beautiful smooth vanilla and aqua fragrance.

Extra: M. Micallef’s vanilla collection showcases the many faces that vanilla can take. I’m extremely happy that fragrance houses are using vanilla in different ways than the standard recipe of throwing it into a gourmand or spraying it all over the base notes of some fruit floral and hoping for the best. I never thought an aquatic vanilla could work out this well, and I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Design: Vanille Marine is packaged and presented in much the same way as Vanille Orient. I’m still not a big fan of the aesthetics and think Micallef’s other work is more attractive. Still, the bottles and the design are nice interpretations of fun, natural and organic aesthetic.

Fragrance Family: Sweet Aquatic

Notes: Lemon, blackcurrant, marine, vanilla, white florals, benzoin, musk, woods.

I though Vanille Orient would be my favorite from this batch of vanillas, but I’m thinking Vanille Marine might have it beat. I’ve smelled a lot of good oriental vanillas and while Vanille Orient is up there on the list, Vanille Marine was a pleasant surprise.

Reviewed in This Post: Vanille Marine, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance sampler spray reviewed in this post was provided to me for free for the purposes of review. In no other way am I receiving pay or compensation for this review. This review was written based upon my personal experiences and opinions of the product.

Miller Harris Citron Citron

The first time I tried Citron Citron was during a rainy trip to Vancouver in autumn 2011 with my friend–then a travel agent. We had managed to book a very nice room in a very nice hotel close to the two places I had to visit. It was one of the best “not really” vacations I ever had. In the hotel bathroom were one shampoo, one conditioner, two bars of soap, and one sample tube of Miller Harris’ Citron Citron.

Citron Citron

Citron Citron

In Bottle: Green, fresh very much a citrus scent with a hint of mossiness and woods layered in the background.

Applied: Lemon and lime instantly make themselves known rather loudly upon application. This is followed by a strong orange presence that helps blend with the green herbs and crisp scent. Citron Citron has a bit of sweetness to it, making the citrus notes a bit candy-like. I’m no fan of Dolce and Gabanna’s Light Blue–one of the more popular citrus-based scents due to its reliance on the strong cedar note. But Citron Citron is an easier beast to get along with. Its cedar is tamed, behaving and blending in well with the others. The fragrance dries down rather quickly and I get more of the mint note as it ages with a spicy kick near the end that adds a bit of depth to the green freshness of this fragrance. Citron Citron does not last long. Its very composition with its emphasis on citrus is a dead giveaway to its short wear life. I neither think it’s a particularly good or unique fragrance, but it is great at a citrus-based perfume and (I think) definitely much better than Light Blue.

Extra: Citron Citron was developed by Lyn Harris and released in 2000.

Design: I really like Miller Harris’ bottle design. Nice clean lines, nice clean shape. Very simple but elegantly done. The bottle escapes “painfully simple” by having that pretty line art that I’m a huge fan of.

Fragrance Family: Citrus Aromatic

Notes: Lemon, orange, lime, mint, basil, moss, cedarwood, cardamom.

Citron Citron isn’t a remarkable fragrance in any way. I vastly prefer it over Light Blue, but Light Blue has it beat in terms of wear length. Citron Citron is a good memory jogger and it was for the good memories that I got my hands on it again where I’d otherwise pass it over. It reminds me of Vancouver, highrises, the Pacific ocean and a couple of metropolitan rainy days in one of Canada’s most beautiful cities. Thanks for the good memories, Vancouver.

Reviewed in This Post: Citron Citron, 2011, Eau de Toilette.

Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme

A friend of mine raves about L’Homme and how much he loves it and gets compliments whenever he wears it. I have to admit that hype kind of puts a damper on things for me. Hype it just enough and I’ll be interested. Hype it a bit too much and I find myself avoiding it.



In Bottle: Bam. Familiar. Familiar in a rather good way. Takes it back to my early childhood where I remember lights, noises and of course the smell.

Applied: Citrus with a tempering ginger note a hint of sweet florals and woods. All of the notes are very well blended. I definitely get the citrus first, but then it molds together into a nice even fragrance that hits a memory nerve. The scent has a nice mild spiciness to it with an underlayer of woods with an inoffensive cedar note that provides a base for the sweet floral notes that are really the stars here. L’Homme is rather soft and yielding. It’s like the whole fragrance is composed of very delicate amounts of ingredients. And it really shows because L’Homme is a quick fader and is gone within a manner of a few hours. The smell takes me back to my childhood, reminds me of one of the houses I lived in as a toddler. It’s hot days, street noise, and the ever-present banging of Vietnam’s less than safe metalworking shops. I think L’Homme is taking me back because it smells like a laundry soap my mother used on our clothes back then and we always ended up smelling like it. In either case, my association with L’Homme makes me instantly like it. On a more objective note, it is a good fragrance. If it didn’t jive any memories in me, I would say there’s nothing too particularly special about it except for the fact that it’s a fairly well blended scent that’s accessible and easy to pull off.

Extra: L’Homme was released in 2006 and has a mixed reception. Some love it, some hate it. Most think it’s a pretty easy going fragrance that will work for the office.

Design: L’Homme’s bottle is really recognizable for me. Mainly because I see it everywhere I go. It’s one of those standard fragrances that isn’t very difficult to find and up until now, I never had the urge to actually walk up to it and spray some on because it was so unassuming a bottle. It’s simple, compact and would blend right in with the rest of your bottles.

Fragrance Family: Floral Woodsy

Notes: Ginger, bergamot, lemon, basil, ozone, pepper, spices, violet leaf, tonka bean, vetiver, cedar.

L’Homme does run a bit more sweet than most fragrances marketed to men. But it’s one of those scents that skirts the unisex to masculine line. So if you wanted a full on “man fragrance” then maybe this isn’t for you. L’Homme also doesn’t have the greatest longevity. What it does do well is provide a nice, inoffensive, easy to wear clean and floral scent. So I do so happen to like L’Homme–mostly because it reminded me of something good. Or at least, something familiar. Odd thing to do for a fragrance that was released long after I had those memories. But then, that’s what makes scents and memories fascinating.

Reviewed in This Post: L’Homme, 2011, Eau de Toilette.