Opium Perfume by Yves Saint Laurent

July 31, 2009

Opium YSL

Opium is the ultimate oriental-spice classic. Launched in 1977, this fragrance was YSL‘s finest hour. It embodies what a true oriental fragrance should be – sensual, rich, warm and sophisticated.

A lot of people especially those who grew up during the Disco era, claim that Opium is “The Oriental Masterpiece” fragrance, unparalleled with its bold and spicy character.  The notes are so well-blended that you can’t single out one note from the other. And for those who appreciate its oft-complained headiness and old lady stigma, the opening is just the beginning.

According to a long-time Opium fragrance user, “Opium is overwhelming at first, then comforting and unforgettable. It shouts, shocks, then whispers and soothes. It is too complex to describe for the uninitiated.” To some, Opium may come off as obnoxious and devoid of the luxurious scent it claims.

Nowadays, people often choose the simplicity of light fragrances over the heavy, crowd-repelling perfumes. For the naysayers, Opium is likened to a perfume belonging to the past. It’s dated, too heavy and demands maturity on someone who wears it. Truth is, only those who can pull off a mature chemistry can don Opium with finesse.

Opium, no matter how vintage it is, is by far one of the stalwarts in the perfumery world. It’s one of the YSL classics that will never go out of style.


B*Men by Thierry Mugler

July 23, 2009

b men cologne

B*Men is a woody-oriental version of the earlier released masculine gourmand fragrance, A*Men. If A*Men is embellished with syrupy-sweet gourmand accords, B*Men mimics the same delicious notes but with emphasis on woods and spices. This fragrance creates a more wearable  scent, less sweet and more earthy. It’s the best candidate for warmer days .

If you take a closer look at the notes, you’ll get nuances of fruit notes and rhubarb at the top, sequioa and spice in the middle and amber and vetiver at the base. This slightly sweet juice has the same potency of the other Thierry Mugler fragrances. Projection is great. Longevity is superb. Sillage couldn’t have been better. Just a word of caution though, B*Men might be a watered-down version of A*Men but lightness doesn’t mean it fades out easily. Expect the scent to hold for hours.

Perfume reviews have been generally positive. Men who are hooked on gourmand scents just love the way how B*Men was concocted. According to one fan,”This starts rather deliciously confusing with a sour fruit/ peanut butter coconut smelling blast. I first wore this in the summer in Colorado, when it was rainy, cloudy, crisp, and cool one day, and hot and dry the next, I couldn’t help but feel that B*Men was the perfect scent for those days, because B*Men is a shape shifter of sorts. Hot weather will enhance the dry, dusty, red sand impression given by the amber and spices, while cool weather brings out the sensation I receive later on in its development of pine needles, wet leaves and wet earth, as if walking through a forest at dusk just after a cold rain storm. Infused into every step of B*Men’s development is a rich gourmand sweetness. This fragrance is not only fascinating, but delicious, warm, and comfortable.”

B*Men has a character of its own, distinct and comely, just like the other wonderful fragrances from Thierry Mugler.

Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme

July 20, 2009

dolce and gabbana pour hommeGreat citrus opening with a smooth finish of tobacco – a scent that’s unmistakably masculine. Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme is a true classic fragrance. It’s sweet toasty-tobacco at the top then evolves into a spicy-powdery dry down at the base. Some may find it slightly overpowering at first. Notice how it trails off into a wonderful, distinguished and sensual scent. This perfume is an absolute attraction. Longevity and sillage is simply superb.

This fragrance is one of the earlier releases from the Dolce & Gabbana perfume collection.  Labelled as a “common fragrance” as the scent is easily recognized from the crowd. However, there’s a distinct level of quality that permeates; it conjures up a more expensive appeal. The top notes is predominantly fruity:  bergamot, tangerine, orange and lemons; the middle brings forth a combination of freshness and intensity: lavender, cardamom and pepper; the base includes cedar, Tonka bean, sandalwood and musk.

Despite its ubiquity, long-time Dolce & Gabbana perfume enthusiasts couldn’t help but favor its highly crafted accords, sillage and extraordinary longevity. One review from basenotes.com said,” The opening is a bit sharp and is both fresh and elegant, and it sets the stage for further excellence in this fragrance. The floral and spicy middle notes are of quality construction and possibly lacking a bit in masculinity. Smoothly blended but, as in the opening, with a bit of bite that keeps it interesting… The sharpness gives the zing—the sparkle to Dolce and Gabbana PH’s excellently balanced accords… Dolce and Gabbana has very good accords, good sillage, and excellent longevity…it is an excellent fragrance, and it deserves to be as popular as it is.

Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme is a “couldn’t go wrong perfume”. You can wear it in the office, evening affairs, warm or cool days. It’s very versatile and people around you will love it.  It’s timeless and truly captivating.

Lauren by Ralph Lauren

July 18, 2009

lauren perfume

Lauren was the first Ralph Lauren fragrance for women. It dates back to 1978 but still has not lost its romantic and elegant woman panache. Unlike its floral-based peers, Lauren’s unusual combination of old fashion florals creates a wondrous cloud of refreshing bouquet. Intoxicating and truly enchanting, this scent is certain to draw compliments. It’s classy and very un-unisex, a common theme on most fragrances today.

The notes are composed of marigold, rosewood, pineapple, rose, lilac, violet, jasmine and lily of the valley with cedarwood, vetiver and carnation. All ingredients speak femininity. It’s intense, timeless and simply incomparable to contemporary women’s fragrances. It belongs to the past. The scent evokes memories of old-fashioned charm. It’s reminiscent of one’s youth, the comforting and uncomplicated ambiance of the ’80s.

Over the years, Lauren Perfume has undergone tweaking and reformulating. For those who knew the perfume well, they can easily the discern the difference. Lauren now is more subdued, weaker than the original but still has that distinct classic Lauren style.

According to one perfume enthusiast from basenotes.com, “If I were sent away and told that I could bring only one fragrance, I would bring Lauren. It is timeless, both clean and fresh enough for day wear, and sensual enough for evening. It has excellent staying power and implores your nose to sniff deeper, taking in all the complexities and details not found in its peers.”

Another perfumista who prefers the original formulation over the new one says, “It is quite representive of the later 1970’s when designer fashion really took hold amongst the masses! To this day I enjoy revisiting this scent. It ‘wakes me up’ and refreshes! I also love the bottle! (I must add, the newer reformulated juice is nowhere near the quality of the original – snag a vintage bottle, if you can!)”

Lauren takes us back to the time when scents are gender descriptive. A feminine perfume projects femininity and a man’s perfume conveys virility.  If you want to savor the beauty of the earlier Ralph Lauren fragrances, you may want to start with the classics and see how it differs from the new fragrances today.

Contradiction Perfume for Women by Calvin Klein

July 16, 2009

contradiction perfume calvin kleinPicture this: lush floriental notes sprinkled with metallic nuances. At first instant, the impression is unabashedly feminine – dainty flowers beautifully arranged in a lovely bouquet.  After an hour or so, you begin to sense something edgy, the notes becomes more pronounced. Delicate and intense, how ironic could this fragrance be? In 1998, Calvin Klein introduced Contradiction Perfume for Women. It’s the scent of the woman who loves the city life. She’s trendy but can pull off a classic anytime.

This fragrance is composed of floral accords such as rose, peony, jasmine and lily of the valley. The middle combines eucalyptus, pear blossom, orchid and syringa. The base finishes it off with warm sandalwood and Tonka bean.

Not everybody appreciates Contradiction, it’s slightly fruity and sweet at first then develops into something steely and cool. The eucalyptus completely turned this fragrance into a total surprise. Powerful but quiet like a woman dressed in a business suit with a sexy lingerie underneath.

According to a Contradiction perfume fan from basenotes.com,” This scent is very sweet to me, and slightly fruity. I know not everybody likes this but I find it very appealing. It’s not cloying at all but it certainly feels sweet. I find the smell very soothing, and also refreshing. It’s the kind of scent I want to put on after taking a shower. On another note, the magnetic bottle is the coolest thing ever.” And another one from MakeupAlley says, “I’ve only ever had samples of this scent. Unlike most CK scents, this one is not very strong on me. It is a soft floriental that is the slightest bit powdery.”

Just like the other Calvin Klein fragrances, Contradiction is not the ubiquitous type of perfume. Not everybody can wear such contrasting notes. So, if this fragrance blends well with your chemistry, you’re a lucky gal.