Latest batch of perfumes I tested:
Calvin Klein ‘One’ — 2 (90s unisex classic)
Citrus-y… at first I wasn’t sure, but realized after a while that I liked this perfume. It stayed tangy all day, though in a seductive way. Mum said it was ‘intriguing’, and that she got me Calvin Klein once, but I don’t remember. (Scratches head).
Calvin Klein ‘Secret Obsession’ — 1
This was on special offer in Superdrug but I didn’t like it much when I first put it on, so I didn’t buy it. As time went on, though, I realized I liked it quite a lot… it made me think of a dark, damp, magical forest with deep, jewel-green moss. At night, when there was just a trace of it left, it went somewhat ‘soapy’ on me. If I owned a bottle of it I could always put more on and override that. I can imagine curling up with it in a warm nest, the way I did with Euphoria; I felt the same way about Calvin Klein ‘One’. I wasn’t sure about Secret Obsession at start and at end, so it fell a spot in my perfume list. But I looked in Superdrug again the next day, and it was sold out. (The other perfume on special offer, Elizabeth Arden ‘Red Door’, had hardly been touched. I didn’t try it; I sniffed the bottle and hadn’t liked it for whatever reason). The last thing I noticed about Secret Obsession is that it’s so long-lasting that when I washed it off the next morning, it was still there!
Estee Lauder ‘Beautiful’ – 1
Nice and flowery. Fresh and feminine. Friendly. Liked it. Mum said she didn’t like it, but I had just made her smell Cacharel’s ‘Eden’, which was on the same hand, and she was still scowling… I only put ‘Beautiful’ this far down the list because it’s pricier than the perfumes just above (Monsoon, Delirium etc), and if I was on the hunt for another perfume to buy, those would come first. Probably.
White Satin — 2
I received the White Satin body spray as a gift from Mum. I’ve had it in my collection since before I started all this ‘perfume testing’ malarkey, but it seems only fair to include it in my reviews. It’s a pleasant flowery perfume, innocent and old-fashioned in nature. It makes you think of a dressing table covered with cylinders of lipstick, canisters of hairspray and a heavy cut glass ‘puff powder’ thing. And yourself, wondering if Granny will catch you roaming her bedroom (which is off limits to little children). I don’t put any of this in a dismissive way; it’s a pleasant body spray; the aroma is slightly powdery but with a sweet floral note coming through.
Burberry ‘Weekend’ – 2
Sharp and lemony… it was quite refreshing. Mum liked it but I wouldn’t bother with it, unless it grew on me later. Could well do… in which case I’ll plump out this review!
Ghost — 1
Another vanilla-y perfume… it was OK, but I’m not all that into the vanilla scents. Mum didn’t like it, and though I thought it was all right, I wouldn’t buy it for myself.
Christian Dior ‘Miss Dior’ — 1 (0.5 each from Mum and me)
Whoo, expensive. £57 for the bottle I was looking at. I wouldn’t even dream of paying that, but it’s one of those key perfumes everyone’s heard of… my grandmother wore it. When I tried it, it reminded me of Ma Griffe. Mum said it was OK but she didn’t recognize it as Miss Dior. She says there’s something missing and it’s not the same. I read reviews on it earlier; it has been reformulated, possibly to remove or replace ingredients that couldn’t be used any more, but I don’t know the story. I didn’t dislike it, would be prepared to take it at face value, and was grateful that it didn’t give me a headache the way some perfumes do. It was the best of the three Christian Dior perfumes I’ve tried so far, but alien to me. For the rest of the night I kept thinking there was someone else in the room wearing this perfume, and that it had nothing to do with me…
Intimately Beckham — 1
Had this on the other wrist, and it was completely overshadowed by the Miss Dior, but that wasn’t its own fault. I quite liked it and was glad it didn’t give me a headache either, but I can’t imagine myself owning a pink perfume with a footballer’s name on it. Football and I don’t go. Setting that aside, it was a quiet, pretty, feminine fragrance without being too wild or cloying. Mum gave it the thumbs down before even learning what it was, but I’ll give it a thumbs up.
Elizabeth Arden ‘Green Tea Revitalize’ – 1.5 (1 from Mum, 0.5 from me)
A bit sharp and edgy for me, but it was OK at first. As the day wore on, it smelled more and more acridly of tea, and that didn’t really please me! I felt I might as well put real tea on as get the perfume.
Bodyshop ‘Japanese Cherry Blossom’ Eau de Toilette — 0
A bit on the sugary sweet side for me. Looking forward to trying the other Bodyshop offerings, though. I was in there looking for rose-scented hand cream, but couldn’t see any.
Dolce & Gabbana ‘Light Blue’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Reminded me strongly of another perfume… it bothered me all day, as it was a perfume I knew well, and its name kept bubbling up then wafting off again. I nearly choked when I finally realized I was thinking of ‘Miranda’ by Ricardo… I got 100 ml of it for £1 from Pound Mania. Reasonably pleasant, and of course the Light Blue was of better quality (didn’t degenerate into a soap-bubbly aura) but when you look at the price, I would go for Miranda any day.
Kylie Minogue ‘Showtime’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Quite a strong aroma… not unpleasant, but rather like cough drops. I don’t say that to be mean, as it’s not a bad perfume overall. Perhaps it doesn’t suit my skin-type well.
Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’ — 0
Soft and dull, faded quite fast; had no presence. I’ve read reviews on various perfumes by people saying “the such and such notes weren’t obvious on me,” or “it faded faster on me than on other people,” so maybe that’s what happened here. Leaves quite a pleasant powdery trace at the end.
Lancome ‘Magnifique — 0
On me it smelled like rubber at first… improved eventually, but only in its final stages.
Calvin Klein ‘Crave’ — 0
Apparently discontinued… and for men. ☺
I tried this on the other wrist the same day I tried Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’… I met up with Mum later and she enquired “so, have you had your perfume fix for today?” and I said “it wasn’t much of a fix!” Both perfumes were disappointing. At first spritz, I thought ‘Crave’ was nice and fresh, but it slumped quite rapidly, and turned out to have a hard note not dissimilar to the one in Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’. Fortunately it was relatively faint.
Cacharel ‘Eden’ — minus 2
The only reason I didn’t sink this right to the bottom of my list is that it wasn’t one of the ones I had an allergic reaction to. All the ones below it gave me a headache or made me feel ill. Eden made me think of some oily mechanical rubbery thing in a DIY, smelling strongly of plastic tarpaulins and shut-up-dusty-shop. It took over, unfortunately.
Yardley ‘English Rose’ — 2
This perfume is just lovely, and I didn’t ‘test’ it as such, as I already had it and had forgotten! It was still in the box, therefore quite fresh. It has a lovely Turkish Delight bloom to it. Mum probably smells ‘flowers’ rather than ‘Turkish Delight’ (as I found out when we were discussing J Lo Glow) but she says Yardley’s English Rose is one of her favourite perfumes. She was delighted when I gave it to her, as it turned out I was reacting quite badly to that as well… sore, red eyes and headache. About two or three times after washing it off, I came and sat here at my desk where it must have rubbed off from my wrists, and got sore eyes again. That’s finally stopped happening… but it strikes me it would be a good deterrent for when I’m spending too much time at the computer! Just stroke a little Yardley’s English Rose round the edges of everything, and market it as Stop Diddums. That’s the only reason I gave it such a low placing. I shouldn’t have given it a score of 2, but I liked it and was sorry to see it go. Am now looking for a Diddums-friendly rose perfume to replace it. Once I got a lovely, strong, long-lasting rose hand cream from a National Trust shop, so that might be the next place to look.
Sarah Jessica Parker ‘Lovely’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
Pleasant perfume; not outstanding for me… it gave me a headache. Reading the reviews, ‘Lovely’ takes one or two people that way. Mum just said “hm, mm,” as though to say, “quite nice. I wouldn’t rush to the till with it.” I read that S.J.P. wanted an understated perfume that wouldn’t scream that she was in the room, so I guess it did that quite well. Unfortunately it tried to drive me out of the room and upstairs to bed (with a cloth over my eyes).
I’ve updated my full list of tested perfumes (below). The ones reviewed above are in bold. As mentioned before in my blog, it’s only my personal list; these scents could come across completely differently on someone else.
From places 1 to 13… I would buy. (Have you noticed the number has increased from 9 to 13? That’s the whole problem with playing this particular game, but I suppose it’s good that I would only buy 4 out of the 18 I’ve reviewed this time… and I already own one of them!)
The 11th perfume (Monsoon) was completely sold out last time I passed that spot in Boots. All to be found there is a sad (but smug) little tester bottle.
1. Calvin Klein ‘Euphoria’ — 2
2. Jennifer Lopez ‘Live’ — 2
3. Jennifer Lopez ‘Glow’ — 2
4. Paloma Picasso — 2
5. Cacharel ‘Noa’ — 2
6. Calvin Klein ‘One’ — 2
7. Marc Jacob’s ‘Daisy’ — 2
8. Calvin Klein ‘Secret Obsession’ — 1
9. Britney Spears ‘Curious’ — 2
10. Mango ‘Delirium’ — 2
11. Monsoon ‘Monsoon’ — 1
12. Estee Lauder ‘Beautiful’ — 1
13. White Satin — 2
14. Burberry ‘Weekend’ — 2
15. Ghost — 1
16. Christian Dior ‘Miss Dior’ — 1 (0.5 each from Mum and me)
17. Intimately Beckham — 1
18. Elizabeth Arden ‘Green Tea Revitalize’ — 1.5 (1 from Mum, 0.5 from me)
19. Bodyshop ‘Japanese Cherry Blossom’ Eau de Toilette — 0
20. Katie Price ‘Besotted’ — 0
21. Ricardo ‘Miranda’ — 1
22. Dolce & Gabbana ‘Light Blue’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
23. Kylie Minogue ‘Showtime’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
24. Hugo Boss ‘Deep Red’ — 0
25. Lancome ‘Magnifique’ — 0
26. Calvin Klein ‘Crave’ — 0
27. Givenchy ‘Amarige’ — 0.5
28. Police ‘Wings’ — 1.5
29. Vera Wang ‘Princess’ — 0
30. Christian Dior ‘J’Adore’ — 0
31. Dolce & Gabbana ‘The One’ — 0
32. Britney Spears ‘Fantasy’ — 0
33. Cacharel ‘Eden’ — minus 2
34. Yardley ‘English Rose’ — 2
35. Sarah Jessica Parker ‘Lovely’ — 1 (0.5 from each of us)
36. Cacharel ‘Anais Anais’ — 1
37. Christian Dior ‘Pure Poison’ — 0