Psychedelique by Jovoy Perfume Review

PsychédéliquePsychedelique by Jovoy                                         100ml EDP for $180 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Citrus, rose, geranium, amber, patchouli, cistus labdanum, vanilla and musk.

It opens with a blast of patchouli (it is rather strong) that quickly turns into a warm and sweet, but also bitter, gooey syrup. It has dark, earthy and smoky elements. There’s a dash of citrus, very subtle, and a powdery rose that keeps the perfume surprisingly light. I’m sure the musk has something to do with this too. It’s a musky, a surprisingly dirty but light musk, rose. There’s a pull towards the light and a push towards the dark. It’s rather dusty, almost wispy and dainty.

There’s a soft amber, honey and vanilla underbelly that I love. This base grows stronger as time progresses but it’s basically there from the start. I’ve found patchouli makes an effective pairing with these notes in my experience. It’s surprisingly yummy in an aesthetic, but not foody, way. I’m hesitant to call it gourmand but definitely oriental. I don’t want to eat it but I want to eat it. It’s sexy. If I smell it up close for too long, however, it gives me a headache. Patchouli often does this for me.

There’s an old-school element to it. It smells expensive. I don’t really think the name suits it for it represents as different class of people. I read someone calling it “opulent” which is a good word for it. There’s also boozy and woody elements which reminds me of libraries or gentlemen’s clubs.  It’s warm and cosy. However, surprisingly, although this perfume is gender fluid I’m leaning more towards feminine. It has an old and wise feel to it like Sensei but is more like a well-to-do elderly female Victorian librarian with dark secrets.

After a couple of hours I have one of two experiences with this perfume 1) it turns into a soapy, powdery, old-lady rose scent on me which I don’t particularly like or 2) it’s a subtle smoky vanilla amber which I like and reminds me of the dry-down of Memoirs of a Trespasser. I think this is the labdanum having its say and making it go one of two directions. The patchouli is a lot quieter at this point but I can definitely still smell it there. It’s also a skin-scent with little throw by now but if smelled up-close is still rather strong.

I recommend this for anyone who likes patchouli, amber and vanilla combos like I do. I would like it more if it wasn’t soapy/powdery at times. I’m going to give this a 7.5/10.

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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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White Musk Smoky Rose by The Body Shop Review

White Musk Smoky Rose by The Body Shop 30ml EDT for $35 NZD

Notes: Bergamot, pink pepper and black currant, tobacco blossom, black rose, orange blossom, immortelle, olibanum and white musk.

I bought this for a friend of mine but thought I should review it first. Upon first spray, after the alcohol settles, it reminds me of something sweet and mysterious from the nineties that I can’t place. I get black current and rose enhanced by pink pepper as well as something close to caramel toffee.

It’s a little bit smoky (tobacco blossom and olibanum) which, along with the rose, makes me think masquerade. It creates a dry-ice enigmatic fog kind of smoky atmosphere as opposed to heady incense one. It’s slightly resinous and spicy which blends perfectly with it’s sweeter aspects. It is indeed plum in colour and rather airy.

The rose, berry and musk are the stars. It’s soft and graceful but not really dark and intoxicating. It’s somewhat charming and illusive with a dash of sultry. It’s lingers and trails. It’s quite warm and cosy but clean as well. At times it has a slightly soapy aspect. It becomes almost powdery and vanillic when it dries down. The musk shines as the base and whispers throughout the composition. It has low to medium sillage but after an hour or so hours it settles into a skin-scent and lasts for about 4 hours. I might have to buy a bottle of this for myself. 7/10.

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Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain Review

Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain           75ml EDP for $350 NZD from Nordstrom

Notes: Top notes are pink pepper, bergamot and incense; middle notes are ylang-ylang, cedar, bulgarian rose and jasmine; base notes are benzoin and vanilla.

Since Vanilla is my favourite note I simply had to get my hands on Guerlain’s rare, expensive and worshiped SDV. I normally buy my samples from Luckyscent but since they don’t stock SDV I bought a 3ml vial from The Perfumed Court.

It opens as a benziony and woody bergamot with a touch of pink pepper. It reminds me of the opening of Mona di Orio’s Vanille. It’s bit too mature for me (as I’m 22) with a tad too much benzoin. Up close it’s really intense but from a distance I get wafts of this gorgeous vanilla. A kind of creamy vanilla ice-cream but it’s more liquid than solid – like a high-end vanilla beverage flavoring. I would like a perfume based on that vanilla because, sadly, this isn’t really it. This is too elusive; it dances around the vanilla but doesn’t truly embrace it. I can’t really tell where the fragrance is coming from despite knowing it’s my arm as it halos.

This is mainly a smoky-woody-incensy-ambery-benziony-tobacco scent with wisps of vanilla. I don’t find it sweet or boozy. It also reminds me slightly of Serge Luten’s Un Bois Vanille which was honey/beeswax, liquorice and benzoin on me and I didn’t like it. Whilst there’s some sort of deeply woody aspect to this I don’t get cedar. I don’t get any florals – I was hoping for rose.

SDV smells like the kind of stuff millionaires wear in their luxury houses on the top of snowfield-hills with glass walls for views whilst smoking a cigar with a sexy woman in their arms. Or, more like, it’s rubbed off onto this woman as it does have hints of that feminine vanilla. She has a fur wrap, dark red nail polish and a glass of expensive liquor.

A few hours in it does get more vanillic and weaker. It becomes softer, more feminine and almost powdery. It feels shier now. It brings to mind images of an exclusive club in a library. It’s warm and cozy. At times I almost want to lick my arm as it’s yummy but it’s still not what I imagined it to be. From the bottle it smells like a gorgeously boozy vanilla essence with a tinge of benzioned cedar. That’s how I thought it would be on my skin but it’s not.

The fleeting whispers of vanilla I get it are nice but it’s not enough. In-fact I don’t actually know if vanilla is an active ingredient or if some ingredients are trying to emulate it. It just doesn’t feel real enough to me. I have a love-hate relationships with this perfume. Sometimes I think it smells gorgeous but other times it makes my stomach curl. I can’t justify buying a (RARE AND EXPENSIVE) full bottle and maybe when I’m older I’ll like it more. 7/10.

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Les Nombres d`Or Vanille by Mona di Orio Review

Les Nombres d’Or Vanille by Mona di Orio                 100ml EDP for $230 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Top notes are petitgrain, clove, rum and bitter orange; middle notes are vetiver, sandalwood, guaiac wood and ylang-ylang; base notes are amber, tonka bean, vanille, tolu balsam, leather and musk.

This opens on me as very woody with an emphasis on clove and bitter orange. After about half an hour in it settles into a rum dipped sandalwood and guaiac wood perfume with a hint of tonka bean. I think it’s the vetiver which is giving it an almost fresh and sharp grassy wood scent.

I finally get something resembling Vanilla about an hour in with the amber – it’s subtle and blended with the woods. The noticeable hints of tolu balsam and leather blend with the perfume perfectly. It reminds me ever so slightly of Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors but more expensive and executed differently. Memoirs has a lighter smoked wood campfire feel whilst this is deeper, woodier and smells like being trapped in a sauna-room or cargo-hold for too long.

I think this is indeed artfully blended and well worth it’s popularity but it’s slightly too masculine and woody for me. It’s dark and deep. Bitter and smoky. There is a rich story in this, a cargo hold of a merchant ship on the high seas. Pirates and cigars sitting on barrels drinking rum.

I’m currently reading a book called S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst and this perfume reminds me of it and what I imagine the Ship of Theseus to smell like. I was expecting to love this but it doesn’t really suit me – I think I’d like it on a guy. I like the story Mona’s Vanille tells, sniffing it like a decoration – a ship in a glass bottle if you will, but it’s not something I’d actively wear. 7.5/10.