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.

senseimansmokinghotbutteredrum

Advertisements

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.

Island Vanilla by Pacifica Review

010754_AIsland Vanilla by Pacifica                                  10ml Perfume Oil for $20 NZD

Notes: Jasmine, vanilla, tea, white honey and fruity notes.

This is a natural roll-on perfume oil that I got from Trademe. It glides on smoothly and smells, well, rather unusal. I get a vague floral note (which, thank goodness, isn’t jasmine to my nose) and a vague fruity note but it’s mostly honeyed vanilla. A subtle, soft and graceful scent like a breeze hovering over your skin.

The vanilla/honey combo is rather creamy and a tad sweet. It’s warm, islandy and oriental with a slight gourmand element. It’s young and happy. It’s the quiet girl in the popular group on the beach who’s just content to watch her friends antics and smile. It reminds me of summer and beach volleyball. As it dries down to it’s base I do get an almost green, tea aspect. It reminds me ever so slightly of Jua by Trilogy in the way that it handles a natural oil and that almost strange aspect. It’s a little too soft for me with weak sillage and lasts only a couple of hours. 5.5/10.

 

Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar by La Maison de la Vanille Review

16503Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar                                   100ml EDT for $60 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Vanilla, sandalwood, lavender, incense, vetiver, coriander, thyme, geranium and bergamot.

I brought the set of all 5 La Maison de la Vanille 15ml EDT’s for $50 on Luckyscent and it is, perhaps, one of my best buys. I thought that each perfume deserved their own review rather than a combined set one. I love this collection and think it is a must for vanilla-lovers.

Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar opens with a subtly refreshing and spicy combination of bergamot and lavender with a touch of coriander and thyme. The lavender smoothly transitions into a smoky vanilla, sandalwood and vetiver with a hint of geranium heart. The vetiver and geranium fade and my favourite combination of vanilla and sandalwood settles into a glorious base. It’s warm and cozy but also mysterious and misty. It’s slightly powdery, woody, soft and musky. It smells like dreams and adventures. It smells exotic but homely. It smells like markets and gardens. It reminds me of the song ‘Scarborough Fair.’ It smells Celtic. It smells magical.

I applaud this wonderfully blended perfume and must say that it’s one of my favourites. It’s rather sexy, both cool and warm as well as being gender-neutral. It’s slightly honeyed with a touch of floral sweetness. It’s mature and worldly and easily wearable. You could wear it anywhere and at any-time and it’s sooo affordable. It’s got medium sillage and lasts about 5 hours. I carry it with me in my purse and will by the 100ml FB when I run out. 7.5/10.

merida_brave_wig_by_alinechan-d5dn7mjSpices & Herbs

The Parlor Apothecary Victorian Spirit Review

il_fullxfull.345651974Victorian Spirit by The Parlor Apothecary   30ml EDT for $45 NZD from Etsy

Notes: Amber, Apricot and Vanilla.

It opens as sweet and sugary with apricot and vanilla. Apricot, along with strawberry and peach, is probably one of my favourite fruity notes if I had to choose. It pairs very well with vanilla, is soft and almost velvety. It’s youthful and happy but, surprisingly, not gourmand. As it dries down a lovely warm amber comes through. It actually does come across as Victorian-esque for some reason. It’s kind of woody in a mysterious fae glade way but also like reading on a window-seat in a grand library in Victorian-area clothing.

It’s got soft to medium sillage and lasts a couple of hours. Sometimes I get more out of it but other times it fades quite quickly. It’s almost more like a mist than and EDT. It’s got an absolutely gorgeous bottle which, to be honest, is part of the reason I bought it. Look at that gorgeous atomizer and golden delicacy – it looks lovely in my collection. I also really like the branding and collection of this perfumer. 7.5/10.

I also purchased a couple of samples and have short reviews on them below:

Antique Tonic is a tiny bit astringent for me with its lavender. I do like this, French I think, lavender though as it’s proper and almost dainty. It’s another lavender/vanilla combination which I like but already have lots of. Antique is a good name for it. 6.5/10.

Lingerie Mist is basically just sugar, brown, and vanilla but is very nice. There’s a little bit of amber in here too. It’s sweet, youthful and flirty. It reminds me of some Bath and Body Works scents. I did actually think of getting this but chose Victorian Spirit instead as I already have similar scents to Lingerie Mist. 7/10.

 large reading-nook-TH4

Alchemic Muse Perfume Sample Review

20141028_141356

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.

Continue reading

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.

woman-smoking-cigark8YXn