Today's reviews are tidbits; smells in passing; first impressions of a handful of perfume samples. The first is Diamonds by Emporio Armani. The sample card lists notes as raspberry, lychee, rose, patchouli and amber; all I can smell is raspberry tartlet and sugar. It's very, very sweet.
Next is Diesel's Fuel for Life; notes on the card are mandarine and patchouli; the notes I get are nail polish remover and a sharp men's cologne smell that is rather unpleasant. Speaking of the dreaded nail polish remover, that's about all I could smell when I tested Lanvin's Rumeur. Smelling it gave me an instant headache. I also smelled banana peels, of all things, and later I could pick out icy white florals in the drydown but only after wading through the wallop of that headache.
I tried Missoni's namesake perfume out of pure curiosity (their new one, not the original); the sales assistant at Saks gushed about the chocolate notes when it came out last year. It does indeed have chocolate, but it's so fake I can't take it seriously. It also smells too much like apples. Chocolate covered apples! If the Strawberry Shortcake dolls had a chocolate apple character (would its name be ... Chapple?), this is what it would smell like.
I was surprised that I liked Tom Ford's Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. While I can appreciate the chutzpah of the original Black Orchid, its dirty patchouli notes are simply too overpowering on me. The original reminds me of dirty fingernails; it's earthy, strong, bold and stomps all over me. Voile de Fleur, on the other hand, still has the patchouli, but it's softened by violet, anise and a slight jasmine. It's a clean patchouli, way more refined and soft. Its drydown worked nicely on me and became a pleasant, warm skin scent. If the original is a trashy, vampy party girl, Voile de Fleur is her older sister, way more stoic and refined ... but still wearing slinky lingerie under that cashmere twin set.