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.

Dita Von Teese Erotique

Got a request to do a review of this one. It took me a few months to track down a sample of it, half because it was curiously hidden away at department stores where I am and half because I felt another mention of celebuscents within months of each other was a bit over the top.



In Bottle: Leather and smoke with a bath of wood.

Applied:  Erotique reminds me of the word “blunt”, the adjective. It comes in with leather and gives you the dyed soaking version of just that. It smells of smoke instead of incense. The smoked leather is warm, if you need something to remind you of heat in the dead of winter, I think Erotique might help. It reminds me more of a fireplace than leather at times, and at other times it’s overwhelmingly warm leather. I guess the imagery I get from this is less erotic and more comfy. Like taking a nap on a leather sofa in front of a wood burning fireplace. There are other elements of this that come and go, in less noticeable amounts than the leather and wood. There’s not too much else I notice aside from a kick of spice here and there, but what is there is a pleasant enough journey for me.

Extra: Erotique was released in 2013. Dita Von Teese, I had to look up, and discovered she was at one time the wife of Marilyn Manson whose musical stylings confused and frightened an eight year old version of me back in the 90s.

Design: For a fragrance like this, I found the bottle to be a strange juxtaposition. Its shape and color and styling would make me think “sweet and fruity!” rather than warm leathery woods. The cap is also a bit overdone, but I’d be hard pressed to say the bottle didn’t look nice. I just don’t think it looks appropriate.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Leather

Notes: Rose, incense, leather, pepper, coriander, sandalwood, guaiac wood, cedar, musk.

Maybe it was because I had to take it easy on the fragrances for about a month, or maybe it was ten to twenty fragrances I had tested before I got this one–in a period of about three to four days but by the time I was done with Erotique, I had a pretty awesome fragrance headache. No idea where that came from, the last headache I got was years ago (from perfume anyway). I really don’t think it had anything to do with Erotique, but rather my brain telling me to ease myself back into perfumery. Regardless, Erotique is actually one of the few celebuscents that does something remotely different from everything else. If you must get yourself a celebuscent, try Erotique.

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

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Grand Cuir was another inclusion in the March 2014, Olfactif package. Its copy tells me to expect a leather, smooth and unique. Dove right in.

Grand Cuir

Grand Cuir

In Bottle: Fresh, smooth and animalic upon first sniff. Heavy like a classic fragrance but lacking that “aged” feel you’d get from a vintage.

Applied:  I get an initial burst of freshness upon initial application. Woodsy and leathery with a lick of herbal. Grand Cuir is a chameleon, it changes before I can put a finger on what I expect it’s trying to smell like. There’s a note of stickiness to it as well, like an animal creeping around in the woods. I think that ultimately is how I’d describe this, something primal creeping around in some glorious woods. There’s a note of a flower bed, a hint of clean, and a dusting of leather. Grand Cuir fades down to a clean, light scent at the end. Complex with a good bit of throw and longevity, Grand Cuir is interesting at the very least. Not my kind of thing, but it’s something to consider if you want a smooth leather.

Extra: Grand Cuir was a more recent launch in 2013 and designed by Hugh Spencer. There’s also a rather interesting interview with Jeffry Dame about Parfums Retro you should check out.

Design: Very simple bottle, somewhat retro in design as well so I’d have to say they hit the visuals right on the mark. Good and clean, nothing garish. Well done bottle and design overall.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Leather

Notes: Labdanum, birch tar, clary sage, orange flower, lavender, carnation, rose, violet, geranium, cinnamon, tarragon, pine, moss, sandalwood, rosewood, patchouli, musk.

No vanilla in this, but I don’t think it really needs it. At least, I got no vanilla. I was perfectly happy with the cute soda-like opening and the mellow, relaxing florals in the middle. The woods note in this is fantastic too. You can get your hands on Parfums Retro’s Grand Cuir from Olfactif.

Reviewed in This Post: Grand Cuir, 2013, 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.

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.

Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin

Getting stuffed up and being unable to smell any fragrances due to allergies is no fun. And during that time, I kept trying to get fleeting sniffs of La Fille de Berlin in the hopes that my sense of smell had come back. Finally, I can say today that I can–indeed–smell with no allergy yuckiness getting in the way.

La Fille de Berlin

La Fille de Berlin

In Bottle: Peppery, dusty rose with a hint of dirt, like someone dropped a bouquet of very aromatic roses in a mud puddle.

Applied: I know the above description doesn’t make it sound too great, but it’s actually a rather fascinating experience. I get a lot of pepper from this and rose tends to amplify in my nose anyway. So La Fille de Berlin feels like two strong notes or rose and pepper battling it out with each other and I have to say, I think the rose is winning. The scent changes very little from my first impression of it, to the midstage where as I wait a while and start to pay attention to it, the musk or as I like to call it, “that muddy smell” comes up a bit more. La Fille de Berlin is certainly an interesting trip, I was delighted when my sense of smell started to clear past the rose and I could get a bit of something else, but I wouldn’t say this fragrance appealed to me.

Extra: La Fille de Berlin was released in 2013, and translated into English means, “The Girl from Berlin”.

Design: Designed similarly to most other Serge Lutens bottles, the packaging is beautiful, simple and elegant. I have always been a fan of the Serge Lutens’ packaging looks.

Fragrance Family: Floral

Notes: Rose, violet, pepper, musk.

The rose and peppery kick aren’t really what I’m after so I feel fairly neutral to this in that I don’t love it or dislike it. I had been intrigued by mostly the name without having read about any of its notes.

Reviewed in This Post: La Fille de Berlin, 2013, Eau de Parfum.

Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Enchanted

I didn’t happen upon Wonderstruck Enchanted by accident. It was actually somewhat pushed on me by a well-meaning sales associate who said it would suit me.

Wonderstruck Enchanted. In case you weren't tired of looking at Taylor Swift yet. I am.

Wonderstruck Enchanted. In case you weren’t tired of looking at Taylor Swift yet. I am.

In Bottle: I was underwhelmed when I smelled it prior to application. It had the hallmarks of faux vanilla and too sweet berries.

Applied: Well-meaning sales associate tells me Wonderstruck Enchanged was new, smelled fresh, clean, sweet and that it would suit me quite well. I was a little perturbed by that assessment, but figured I would try it anyway. Upon application, the sweetness and faux vanilla make themselves known right away. It’s not outright plastic-smelling but it isn’t natural. The sweetness is dialed way up in this to the point where my teeth felt like they needed to be drilled and filled in. And by the time I had walked away from the fragrance counter, gone home, went for a jog, showered then sat around for a few hours–I could still smell the sweetness on me. It clings like a powerhouse. Wonderstruck Enchanted isn’t special or unique. To me, it’s like a pile of berry candies coated with a vanilla air freshener. It’s just unappealing and kind of a mess. And unfortunately for it, it’s strength and longevity make it last an absurd amount of time. It wasn’t until I woke up the next morning did I finally rid myself of the cloying sweetness.

Extra: Wonderstruck Enchanted is obviously the flanker for the original Wonderstruck. It was released in 2012, and I really wish they had taken some time to think about it a little bit more because the fragrance manages to be both uninspired and messy.

Design: Similar shape to the original Wonderstruck. It’s red this time instead of just purple and features some slightly different charms around the neck of the bottle. I like the ornate cap, but that’s really about all I can say for it because every other design detail is clearly aimed at a younger audience.

Fragrance Family: Fruity

Notes: Passionfruit, berries, poppy, freesia, peony, champaca, sugar, musk, woods, vanilla.

Well, there you go. A few months go by and I get this urge to write about a celebuscent and Wonderstruck Enchanted just had to be it. It really wasn’t anything special and I found it mildly annoying that Taylor Swift was every where I looked. But hey, at least it wasn’t Lady Gaga again.

Reviewed in This Post: Wonderstruck Enchanted, 2012, Eau de Parfum.

Thierry Mugler A*Men

Lots of thanks to Undina from Undina’s Looking Glass for the sample of this fragrance. A*Men has been one of those scents that I kept hearing about but never got around to trying.



In Bottle: Sweet and a bit dusty, I get a lot of woods out of this but at the same time, I’m smelling the gourmand too.

Applied: Sweet upon application, lavender with a bit of milk and honey and lots of caramel. The fragrance introduces its woodsier side rather earlier as I get patchouli mixed with cedar that blends in with the caramel and milky notes. The mid-stage is marked with a noticeable addition of spices and woods, I swear I can smell cinnamon as the fragrance gets a bit more coffee like with this dusty coating of woods following it. The dry down is warm with a sandalwood base and a sweet toffee-like backdrop. I’ve seen people absolutely love A*Men and other people who can’t stand it. I was all ready for a gourmand but I was more surprised by the prominence of the woods in this. It makes the fragrance more oriental in style with a creamy, sweet caramel scent accented with a lot of woodsiness.

Extra: A*Men was introduced in 1996 and comes in two bottle styles. One metallic bottle and a rubber bottle.

Design: I’ve never been much of a fan of Thierry Mugler’s bottle designs. I often found them too chunk or too alien-looking and I can’t say I really like the bottle designs for A*Men either. It just doesn’t strike a chord with my sensibilities.

Fragrance Family: Gourmand Oriental Woodsy

Notes: Coriander, lavender, fruits, spices, mint, bergamot, honey, jasmine, milk, caramel, lily of the valley, cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, tonka, amber, musk, benzoin, coffee, vanilla.

I don’t think I’m that big of a fan of A*Men. I wasn’t sure whether or not I liked the gourmand bits of it, or the oriental bits, or the woodsy bits. It just all melded together into one big “blah” for me, though it does have really fantastic longevity.

Reviewed in This Post: A*Men, 2012, 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.

M. Micallef Royal Vintage

I was delighted when Royal Vintage showed up on my doorstep one day. I had fallen in love with the offerings from the house of M. Micallef and was looking forward to testing out a masculine fragrance from their line.

Royal Vintage

Royal Vintage

In Bottle: Soft and woodsy, a nice tempered cypress with a touch of rich leather.

Applied: A whiff if bergamot up front that quickly gives way to a very nice, very green cypress scent. The cypress works wonders for this fragrance, it’s evenly applied it doesn’t blast up your nose or make itself too obvious. It just simply smells right with the right level of projection and power. The leather rolls in during the mid-stage as well, lending the fragrance an added level of complexity. Royal Vintage smells masculine, green, fresh and sophisticated. It relies on woodsy and that beautiful supple leather to make its point instead of the majority of mainstream men’s fragrances that rely too much on aqua. The dry down for Royal Vintage sees the leather fade away a bit with the cypress still going strong with a bit of earthiness from the patchouli carrying the fragrance the rest of the way.

Extra: Royal Vintage is a new release for January 2013 and is part of the Exclusif Collection. It should be available at retailers including on LuckyScent, Parfum1, and Parfumerie Nasreen. Royal Vintage is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for $185USD.

Design: Designed in a similar fashion as M. Micallef’s other offerings such as Emir and Style. The bottle is nice, organic, and simple with enough embellishments to hint at a luxury while imparting a sense of artfulness. Overall, nice bottle design. Looks great on display too.

Fragrance Family: Earthy woodsy

Notes: Pink berries, bergamot, cypress, leather, patchouli, musk.

I really liked Royal Vintage for many reasons. Probably the two major reasons is that it lacks in the two ingredients that tend to ruin men’s fragrances for me: aqua and cedar. The cypress does a much better job as a base wood note and the lack of aqua let me enjoy the rich, full leather note.

Reviewed in This Post: Royal Vintage, 2013, Eau de Parfum.

Disclaimer: The fragrance 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.

Thanks to Micallef for giving me the opportunity to try this fragrance and Jeffrey Dame at Hypoluxe for forwarding on the sample.