Yves Saint Laurent Caban

Long time, no see, YSL. Mostly on my part. I’m looking into Caban today after I caught sight of it and fell in love with the bottle and minimalist aesthetic.



In Bottle: Sweet, rosy and deep like a sugared rose swimming in vanilla and a pinch of spiciness.

Applied:  Caban is more gourmand than I expected from it. Upon initial application, it has a very distinctive sweet tooth with a spicy kick added in. Immediately I smell vanilla, and a toffee-like sweetness that pervades the entire experience. Caban mellows into a middle with an added rose note and a mellowing woodsy scent. The spice is persistent and the rose and heavy sweetness tends to fade overtime, and in the end, it’s spices in the end with a very pleasant touch of sweet to carry out the scent.

Extra: I know next to nothing about fashion these days. So I only know that Caban is a relatively recent release from Yves Saint Laurent. It is one of five members of the new YSL Le Vestiaire des Parfums collection.

Design: I love the bottle, it reminds me of the classically simple but eminently luxurious minimalist aesthetic.

Fragrance Family: Gourmand Floral

Notes: Caramel, vanilla, pepper, rose, sandalwood, tonka bean.

This is a beautifully done and elegant gourmand floral. One that would actually be a lovely Valentine’s Day gift to a fragrance-lover with a sweet tooth. Presently, Caban can be purchased at Bergdorf Goodman. It runs for $250USD.

Reviewed in This Post: Caban, 2015, Eau de Parfum.

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.

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.

Ineke Sweet William

I was wowed into trying Sweet William from seeing its packaging. There are two things I can’t resist (okay, there’s actually  a lot of things I can resist, but these are the two I can think of right now) 1) perfume, 2) books. You slap those two things together and you might as well just take my money right now.

Sweet William

Sweet William

In Bottle: Sweet William opens with a sweet and spicy peach with a smooth application of clove.

Applied: The fragrance goes on so light and sweet and pretty that I feel like putting on a flowery dress and frolicking in some random fields. The peach is so uncandy-like (thank goodness!) that it almost verges on a spicy orange opening. Sweet William is girly with a dose of spice to make sure it’s not all silliness and has a little bit of sophistication as well. The mid-stage is a sweet carnation with a soft beautifully done sandalwood and vanilla waft. Its dry down marks no sharp notes, no stray and misused cedar or patchouli at all. It’s a lovely, soft, warm spicy woods. Just lovely!

Extra: Sweet William by Ineke is a part of a limited edition collection of scents called Floral Curiosities. The packaging is adorable, and I was delighted to find that the sampler collection comes in what appears to be a book.

Design: The bottle itself is fairly similar to other Ineke 75mls, packaged in a lovely box and looking very nice. I have to shamefully admit that I would rather get the travel spray just because it’s packaged in another adorable book box. I’m a little obsessed with this packaging, you see.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spicy Floral

Notes: Peach, cinnamon, clove, carnation, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, vanilla.

At the time of this writing, I haven’t yet tried the other fragrances that come with the sampler (I highly recommend giving this a try, especially if you’re looking for something outside of the standard department store fare for someone extra special), but I’m already delighted enough with Sweet William that I wonder what the others will be like. If nothing else, the beautifully done Sweet William has my vote.

Reviewed in This Post: Sweet William, 2013, Eau de Parfum.

Tom Ford Tobacco Oud

When Tom Ford dropped a tobacco oud fragrance, I dug it, having decided that I had enough of my clean, light fragrances and was going to go for something dark.

Tobacco Oud

Tobacco Oud

In Bottle: Resinous and spice with a woody opening with a heady alcohol waft that opens rather powerfully.

Applied: Like I said above, the initial application is very strong and heady. It smells of sweet resins, woods and spice. It makes me think of whiskey and while I’d like to get the tobacco oud, the strength of the other notes in the opening doesn’t quite allow for that. And as it turns out, tobacco oud is somewhat lacking in oud. It actually smells quite smooth, like a very good resin but is it a good oud? I can’t, personally, detect any of that. I get more spicy ambers than anything else and upon dry down I get the sandalwood and a very nice smokiness but still not all that much oud unless the amber I keep smelling is supposed to be a stand in for that. Tobacco Oud is actually not bad–actually, bad is probably not one of the words I’d use for this. I quite like it. I like the amber, I like the smoky incense, I even like the big, powerful opening. It’s got a nice, strong initial presence a good middle ground personality and a pretty delightful dry down with the smoky sandalwood with that touch of amber. But it wasn’t the dark, powerful scent that I was expecting and hoping for.

Extra: Tobacco Oud was released in 2013. Interestingly enough and maybe I was a little swayed by the notes list was that it lists whiskey as one of the ingredients. Fascinating addition, though I never cared much for whiskey myself. I’m more a rum kind of gal.

Design: Fairly similar design to many other Tom Ford fragrances out there. Nice shape, very classic. Easy to own and display if you’re into that kind of thing. Not too special or flashy or different from other Tom Fords. Good and reliable are probably two words I’d use for this design.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy Spice

Notes: Oud, tobacco, sandalwood, patchouli, spices, whiskey.

So now I know that Tobacco Oud is probably not the kick I wanted out of a fragrance. Any recommendations for some really dark and smoky ouds? I have a hankering for one.

Reviewed in This Post: Tobacco Oud, 2013, Eau de Parfum.

Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy la Fleur

Maybe I’m not being fair. Or maybe I felt like I’ve been spoiling myself with niche and independent fragrances lately, but I went on a department store perfume bender and have a book full of notes that I have only just now gotten around to starting. There’s still more niche to come, but these mass market scents seem fun to me–some less fun than others.

Viva la Juicy la Fleur

Viva la Juicy la Fleur

In Bottle: A big pile of sugar and flowers. Smells a lot like the original, with a weird cloying burnt sugar smell that I didn’t get from the original.

Applied: So Viva la Juicy la Fleur is one of those less fun fragrances I mentioned above. In the past, I’ve been pleasantly surprised and amused by a lot of mass market offerings, but this one hits the ordinary right on the head. The original Viva La Juicy, I had to give props to. Despite myself, I actually liked it on occasion. Granted, I was younger then and had more opportunities to wear hot pink. I’m not sure the original would strike my fancy as much these days, because la Fleur isn’t doing anything for me. If you thought Viva la Juicy was just too strong and didn’t have enough of that burnt sugar smell, then la Fleur might be worth it. For me, the original was better, but these two smell very similar. Same sugary candy opening, same sweet florals, same hint of fruits throughout, and same achingly sweet persona. This is the smell teen girls in high schools and colleges might like and wear. It would only smell ridiculous on me now.

Extra: I still pull out the original Viva la Juicy now and then, take off the cap, spray and smell and then promptly go to wash it off. I really outgrew the fragrance and making it lighter didn’t make it any more grown up.

Design: Someone refreshed design. I had thought the original Viva la Juicy was absurdly girly, but apparently all they had to do to top it off was slap some graphical flowers on the bottle, use a cheaper bow, throw in a script typeface and here we are. Not ugly. The form actually still looks nice. It is just very, very girly.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Orange, berries, water lily, honeysuckle, gardenia, jasmine, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood.

Couldn’t remember the last time I had smelled a generic fruity floral like this. It was actually somewhat nostalgic. Long story short, though, don’t buy this if you have and like the original Viva La Juicy. Unless you just want something weaker and sweeter.

Reviewed in This Post: Viva la Juicy la Fleur, 2012, Eau de Toilette.

M. Micallef Aoud

M. Micallef’s Aoud is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and I got a hold of a little deluxe sample courtesy of Jeffrey Dame from Hypoluxe.



In Bottle: Fresh, woodsy with a little bit of sweetness. Masculine, but not so overtop masculine that a woman wouldn’t enjoy wearing this.

Applied: The aoud lends a very nice, mellow and well-rounded golden type of scent to the fragrance and it’s the aoud that really carries the rest of the scent. Layered beneath the aoud is a fabulous spicy incense that drifts around the heart notes in delicate little veils of lightness. At the bottom is a soft patchouli and a sweet coat of honey. I think what really ultimately what makes Micallef’s Aoud so awesome, it’s the fact that it’s a masculine scent but it doesn’t throw it in your face. It’s slow, complex and subtle but extremely effective and completely wearable.

Extra: Aoud was originally released in 2003 and is described as a masculine oriental woodsy fragrance.

Design: Aoud’s bottling harkens to a bit more familiar territory with me as its style is what I saw first years ago from Micallef and it’s what I identify their packaging with the post. It’s a lovely circle bottle with a touch of modern and plenty of style.

Fragrance Family: Oriental Woodsy

Notes: Rose, aoud, sandalwood, cinnamon, saffron, clove, patchouli.

I really quite like Aoud, and I’ve had a few that were quite strong and quite classical and Micallef’s Aoud hits that sweet spot with me where I can enjoy a strong note, but would really like it toned down sometimes.

Reviewed in This Post: Aoud, 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.

Dior Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita is a vibrant little number that I kind of wish I had more of. It’s bright, peppy and classical all at the same time.

Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita

In Bottle: Sweet, almost pastry-like with a strong peach/apricot and cardamom showing initially.

Applied: Dolce Vita goes on reminding me of a peach pastry. It’s got to be the–well–peach, and the spices that make me think of the jammy fruit filling in a danish. The pastry feel doesn’t last for too long before I get a hit of sandalwood with a pretty strong sweetness. Dolce Vita is sugar and woods with a tablespoon of cinnamon sprinkled over it. The sandalwood is quick to settle down but the sweet cinnamon fruity floral thing has bigger plans and sticks around on the fragrance for quite some time. Dolce Vita has good staying power on me, I barely noticed when it slipped from its sweet fruity floral middle and nestled between a nice tame cedar and a soft, lilting sweet vanilla base.

Extra: Dolce Vita was released in 1994 and was composed by Pierre Bourdon of Cool Water fame.

Design: I really like the bottle. It looks like it came from an earlier time than the 90s and it has a nice feel to it too. It’s a good looking piece that has 90s elements to it, but at times can feel like it came from an earlier era. Hard to describe, but overall, I like it.

Fragrance Family: Oriental

Notes: Grapefruit, bergamot, lily, peach, rose, cardamom, cinnamon, apricot, magnolia, heliotrope, rosewood, sandalwood, cedar, coconut, vanilla.

I had to take a couple of tries to figure out if I truly liked Dolce Vita or if it was just a fad I was going through. I do really like it, it’s nice and well-composed and thankfully still available to boot.

Reviewed in This Post: Dolce Vita, ~2004, Eau de Toilette.