Sensei by Piotr Czarnecki Review

Sensei

Sensei by Piotr Czarnecki                                                3 x 33ml EDT/EDP/EXT for $160 USD at Luckyscent

Notes: Whiskey, coffee, tobacco, pepper, cinnamon, incense, myrrh, spicy accord, ambrette, labdanum, benzoin, amber and musk.

Czarnecki has created an interesting and unique perfume with three different concentrations; Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum and pure extract. Each one will have a slightly different smell with certain notes taking the lead. I’m trying a sample of the EDP.

Woah, the opening is powerful. It opens all myrrh, pepper and spices with a dash of dark whisky on me. It’s very dry, earthy and masculine. It has an almost leathery aspect. The tobacco and coffee (pure beans) then come into play which gives it a kind of wispy quality. Sometimes I get hints of clove and anise which I don’t particularly like. It’s warm, golden and slightly mysterious. It’s definitely Oriental but has a Gourmand aspect.

It smells like a well-dressed man who is just passing his middle-age and is smoking something strong whilst sitting on a bench surrounded by autumn leaves. This man is powerful, wealthy and knows what he wants. He’s probably a lawyer or an old-style gangsta or, yes, a professor. Strangely I get a Person of Interest or even James Bond vibe from it. I think Sensei is a good name for it.

It softens about half an hour in and edges more towards the gender-neutral line. It also gets sweeter (as opposed to the initial sour opening) with the cinnamon. I like it’s development as it dries down because it feels more like holding a hot beverage whilst sitting by a fire. It’s like a hot chocolate rum with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Amber shines through here.

It’s almost like this perfume has two distinctly different halves. I can see the second half on women but, like Spiritueuse Double Vanille, it feels slightly too old for me. After a couple of hours it becomes fainter and turns into a skin scent. I like it and might buy a bottle sometime. 7.5/10.

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Roses Elixir by Montale Review

Roses Elixir by Montale                                     100ml EDP for $160 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Rose, citrus, strawberries, jasmine, orange blossom, amber, musk and vanilla.

This opens as a bubbly citrus before smoothly fading into a soft rose aura backed by strawberry. It’s fresh, uplifting and carefree. Pink and feminine but not necessarily girly. I really like strawberry as a note and don’t think it’s used as much as it should be. The rose and strawberry combination makes it slightly jammy but it’s not really gourmand.

It’s undeniably happy and reminds me of Miss Dior Cherie in a way that I didn’t think possible. I love Miss Dior Cherie and was devastated when I heard it was discontinued so when I smelt this I knew that I simply had to buy a bottle. It has that same girly shopping champagne cheer to it. It’s adorable and fun. I think it’s softer than and not as ‘harsh’ as Miss Dior Cherie which I like – infact I think I like Rose’s Elixir more out of the two.

It’s very musky and light almost like a breeze. It’s a perfume you wear when dancing, drinking or picnicking with your friends. It feels like a spring perfume with flowers and bubbles around you. It feels almost like a guilty pleasure perfume that allows you to have fun and give into girly urges. It IS sweet (as I’m sure you were expecting) but not so much so and it loses it’s sweetness as it goes on. It gathers a sort of depth when it settles into it’s warm base of amber and vanilla. It’s slightly powdery and I get a lovely, particularly strong, amber. It has an almost Victorian lace feel.

I really like how Montale does the note of Rose and this feels like a distinctly them perfume. It reminds me slightly of their Intense Cafe of which I love. I find the sillage average but around the four hour mark it turns into a skin scent. 7.5 out of 10.

Edit: I bought a bottle of this and it’s much stronger and sweeter than the sample. It can almost be overwhelming at times. Because of this I’ve changed the mark from 8 to 7.5. It also lasts for aaaagees.

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Forever Red Vanilla Rum by Bath and Body Works Review

Forever Red Vanilla Rum by Bath & Body Works          10ml EDP for $12 NZD from trademe

Notes: Rum, vanilla, mandarin, jasmine, gardenia, black lily, black currant, musk, apricot and cashmere wood.

I simply had to get this scent because it’s called Vanilla Rum and was so cheap. It opens as dark and rum-like, it’s beautiful and sultry. An instant evening and candlelit dinner scent. I get hints of mandarin and black currant before it settles into it’s, slightly powdered, heart. I get some soft and subtle florals – gardenia with a hint of lily.

It is, however, the base of rum soaked vanilla and musky cashmere that really stands out. It’s a very me base and smells of class. It is slightly sweet but in a dark and boozy way.

It’s alluring, mysterious, graceful and sophisticated. It’s slightly spicy and rather deep. It’s got soft to medium body-hugging sillage and lasts about four hours. It’s a very, very good Bath & Body Works scent that I’m angling to buy more of when I’m out. 7/10.

Alchemic Muse Perfume Sample Review

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I bought a set of three (plus one free) 1ml perfume oil samples from AlchemicMuse on Etsy for $10 NZD. The full 5ml bottles are $15 NZD each.

Vanilla Oak: It opens as fresh and light with camphor and bergamot. A warm, woody and smoky vanilla backed by spices carries most of this perfume though. Like the rest of Alchemic Muse’s perfumes it smells natural however the notes aren’t as prominent – for example I don’t get much vanilla, it just feels well blended in. It’s a hazy perfume, presenting this ambery woody effect. It’s rather ethereal and of the fae world whilst being grounded and earthy at the same time. It might be weakest blend of the set and is a touch soapy. 6/10.

Krumkake: I had the most incredible experience with this perfume. I got this as a free sample but it’s not listed anywhere on the shop so I was excited to guess what notes this had. Straight from the bottle I recognized the scent from my childhood but it took me a moment to remember what it was. I remembered I used to make this ‘thing’ (I momentarily forgot the name) with sugar and golden syrup in a pot so I googled it and, lo and behold, it’s HOKEY POKEY of course!! It smells warm, extremely sugary and dripping in honey with hints caramel and toffee.

On my skin it’s a bit different with spices like cinnamon and as it dried down it strayed away from  hokey pokey so I googled what Krumkake was. It turns out it’s a Norwegian Waffle Cookie (YES THIS EXISTS) which makes complete sense. It’s 100% gourmand, rich and very sweet – probably a little bit too much for me but it’s incredibly fun. The cinnamon gets stronger as the perfume goes on and it’s somewhat off-putting as I don’t actually like cinnamon. It also reminds me of chai blends due to the cinnamon which, as I said, I don’t like. It’s not something I would wear but I like smelling it. This smells so real that I think someone is baking in the kitchen. Incredible sillage and longevity. 7.5/10.

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Vanilla Lace by Victoria’s Secret Review

Vanilla Lace by Victoria’s Secret                                   250ml Mist for $18 NZD on TradeMe

Notes: Vanilla and musk.

I got this at the same time I got Warm Vanilla Sugar from TradeMe since Victoria’s Secret isn’t stocked in New Zealand. I bought it because I’d heard it was similar to Tihota but much cheaper. On first spray it’s alcoholic and chemical but after a minute it settles down into a fresh and airy vanilla ice-cream musk. There’s a slight caramel (maybe even burnt-caramel) vibe with a tiny bit of smoke. It’s mostly vanilla with some musk though. It’s yummy but not too sweet. It’s warm, cosy and happy.

Apparently it’s infused with Aloe Vera and Chamomile which I can actually get and adds to the comfortable vibe. After it dries down it smells rather quality for what it is. It’s mostly a skin scent but lasts a decent hour or two which is good for a mist. It comes back in whispers too – especially if you spray a lot. And that’s the best part about it. You can be heavy-handed with it as there’s lots of it and it’s cheap. You can spray it around your house, on your sheets and all over your clothes. It encircles you in a positive vanilla mist. With Tihota you have to use little cautiously but with Vanilla Lace you can go wild.

I’ve been wearing Tihota a lot more since I’m buying a FB soon (yay) and, although these are somewhat similar, I’ve been noticing their significant differences. I’m doing a side-by-side comparison now. Tihota is much much much better. It’s sweeter and richer but also darker and deeper. It’s purer, has more substance and is more refined with extraordinarily high quality ingredients. I give Vanilla Lace 8/10 but I love and crave Tihota much more.

1270 by Frapin Review

1270 by Frapin                                                                      100ml EDP for $175 USD from LuckyScent

Notes: Dried orange, hazelnut, resins, dried plums, cocoa, tonka and coffee in top notes. The heart encompasses vine blossom, linden tree, pepper and spices. The base brings us precious wood, Guaiac wood, white honey and vanilla.

1270 was the year that Frapin family founded their brand and I’ve heard a lot about this famous niche perfume so thought I should try it. This is basically a solely pineapple scent for me. It’s strange that pineapple isn’t a listed note but it’s widely accepted as one by the community and is one of the main notes according to Fragrantica. It’s light, refreshing and uplifting.

Other fruity aspects come into it and, although the fruity notes are listed as dried, smell wet and fresh. It has some cologne and booze aspects to it. It smells like something a rich person, of any gender, would wear on a cruise ship through exotic islands whilst drinking a cocktail on a hammock. As it dries down it becomes darker with a touch of cocoa, coffee, pepper and spices. At this point it leans a tad more masculine.

It walks a fine line between sweet and sour. It’s classy and well blended. An hour or so further into the dry down it becomes woody and honeyed with the pineapple still being king. I get very little, if any, vanilla. It’s a very fascinating soft fruity oriental gourmand.

At times 1270 actually begins to make my stomach curl – the scent becomes off-putting to me for some reason. Sillage is very soft and it only lasts a few hours on me because of how soft it is – it vanishes quickly. Considering I don’t like pineapple or too fruity scents this isn’t for me. 5/10.

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Warm Vanilla Sugar by Bath and Body Works Review

242_2_Bath_And_Body_Works_Fragrance_Mist_-_Warm_Vanilla_Sugar_-_ReisegroesseWarm Vanilla Sugar by Bath & Body Works                                   88ml Mist for $12 NZD on TradeMe

Notes: Top notes are floral notes and vanilla; middle notes are coconut, vanilla and rice; base notes are sandalwood, musk, vanilla and heliotrope.

I was looking for a plastic-bottle travel perfume spray that I could carry around in my purse when I found Warm Vanilla Sugar. I think everyone should have at least one top-up spray on them if they need a freshen up, are sweaty or to cover up an environmental smell. Bath & Body Works isn’t stocked in New Zealand so a TradeMe seller had imported them.

On initial spray it’s very alcoholic and sweet. I can smell some sort of subtle floral accord and, later, heliotrope but it’s mostly a warm vanillaic and sugary coconut and rice mix. It’s rather unique and complex for a B&B mist due to the rice. It can smell a little strange – the coconut rice is what does it. It’s a cozy oriental gourmand for lazy days at home. It’s light, soft and musky. I only get some sandalwood well into the dry-down.

The notes kind of all blend together as is with cheap interpretations and I don’t find the vanilla true but it’s nice nonetheless. It has medium sillage for the first half hour before turning into a skin scent and lasts a couple of hours which is good for a mist. It has a slight plasticy aspect but, for what it is and the price, it’s a very good buy. The bottle is pretty. 6.5/10.