Perfume Review: My notes vs. Their notes

perfume review

I accumulate a lot of perfume samples, because that’s what happens when you shop makeup and girly things. So I decided I’d do a blog post of the first five samples I grabbed from the box (yes, I have a sample box), reviewing them the way one would wine. Only, I know nothing about perfume terminology (or wine terminology for that matter) so my impressions won’t be conventional.

And, as with wine tasting, I’ll provide you with my notes, as well as the real notes from the actual companies.

Still, I hope you’ll find this perfume review post useful – I had a lot of fun with it, and can’t wait to do another!

Hanae Mori: Butterfly

Hanae Mori Butterfly Review

From the website:

The fragrance is a rare blend of berries and flowers, with a distinctive tone of strawberries and almond, giving an impression of vanilla. The bottle’s top is distinctly made from glass, a first for any fragrance. The top represents the beauty and delicate shape of a butterfly with folded wings.

Strawberries, Bilberries, Black Currant, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Sandalwood, Almond, Praline.

Spontaneous. Modern. Festive.

My notes:

The smell right off the bat is sweet but not cloying; buttery but not heavy. Normally I really hate sweet-scented perfume because they remind me of 14 year old girls who lay it on too thick, but there’s something about this that’s cute without being young and tacky. It’s soft and very feminine, and the smell has this airbrushed effect, like looking at the world through rose-filtered glasses. It’s dreamy and ethereal, in that pleasant way you get when it’s a pretty sunny day and you’re sitting in the grass with your love.

Wasn’t expecting to love this one, but I do. 5/5

Dolce & Gabbana: Light blue

light blue perfume review

From the website:

A stunning perfume, overwhelming and irresistible like the joy of living. The scent is surprisingly colored with the liveliness of Sicilian citron, the happiness of Granny Smith apple, and the spontaneity of bluebells. Feminine and resolute notes are expressed with the intensity of jasmine, the freshness of bamboo, and the charm of white rose. The deep and true base embodies the character of cedarwood, the fullness of amber, and the embrace of musk.

Sicilian Citron, Bluebell, Granny Smith Apple, Jasmine Sambac, Bamboo, White Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Musk.

Deep and true.

My notes:

Light blue is accurately named. The initial smell is one of clean, like being freshly showered. To me it’s androgynous, not particularly feminine. The scent is smooth and transparent like glass and has a vaguely athletic correlation in my mind, like this fragrance matches the personality of an active, no-frills, no-nonsense woman. Since that woman isn’t me I can’t call this a favorite, but it’s not unpleasant. I’m neutral on this one – I’ve worn it a few times with contentment, but don’t reach for it often.


Tokyomilk/dark: Tainted Love

tainted love perfume review

From the website:

This fragrance revels in the complexities of love, with warm notes of dark vanilla bean, sensuous sandalwood, provocative spices, and an unexpected kiss of sweet orchid. Dare to pair this fragrance with an exotic floral for a sweet and sultry scent.

Part of the TokyoMilk Dark Femme Fatal Collection, the classic cut-glass bottle with iconic imagery and a gunmetal cap will add a luxurious, enticing flair to your boudoir.

Dark Vanilla Bean, Sparkling Citrus, Orchid, White Tea, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean.

Inquisitive. Dramatic. Darling.

My notes:

Tokyomilk fragrances always remind me of food, without actually ever smelling like food. Maybe it’s because the word “milk” is in the brand name, or maybe it’s because I love to eat.

The immediate image that pops into my mind upon smelling this is one of romantic intrigue. Pink and black, it’s bold and mysterious, it’s eating chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream at midnight in a little black dress.

I don’t reach for this one much, but I should. It’s sweet and feminine, dark and pretty. And yes, it always reminds me of food.


Elizabeth Arden: Untold

untold perfume review

From the website:

Whether it’s dreams she has yet to share, secrets she has yet to reveal, or ambitions she has yet to declare, Untold was designed to embody the many facets of the modern woman. With sparkling and fruity top notes, a radiant floral heart and a mysterious and addictive warmth, this fragrance captures all that a woman is.

•Top Notes: The fragrance opens with the bold vibrancy of pink pepper combined with the freshness of a burst of juicy blackcurrant and luscious Raspberry.

•Mid Notes: The Gardenia, lush Peony and velvety Jasmine form a unique, floral impression that is a statement of modern femininity.

•Base Notes: Whispers of rich Patchouli Heart LMR and creamy Sandalwood are wrapped in sensual Musk to create a seductive veil of irresistible warmth.

My notes:

The instant effect is bright; piercing like sunlight, like sharp gold. The undertone is that familiar “perfume” hit that reminds me of old ladies – which I’m not a big fan of (go figure). It’s kind of that chemical, battery acid scent that reminds me of chewing on a penny (which I haven’t done, but I can imagine). I love the foreground; not a fan of the background. The foreground is lovely – sweet and charming and sophisticated.


Ralph Lauren: Romance

ralph laurence romance review

From the website:

Ralph Lauren Romance. The women’s fragrance that evokes the timeless essence of falling in love. Discover the sensual essence of velvety woods, extravagant florals, and seductive musk.

Sungoddess Rose, Marigold, Ginger, Chamomile Oil, Yellow Freesia, White Violet, Lotus Flower, Day Lily, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Musk.

A timeless scent for all seasons.

My notes:

I think of alcoholic flowers right away, like being drunk in a garden. It’s a very high-pitched perfume (as a musician I feel comfortable drawing that analogy) with not a lot of bass. It’s sun and it’s citrus and it’s girl. As I’m thinking of ways to describe it, conjuring images of bright orange tangerines and girls in clean dresses, I keep going back for a whiff again and again, liking it more each time – maybe it is getting me drunk. It’s pleasant as a summer breeze. As someone who isn’t a fan of floral, I’m thoroughly charmed.



I hope you enjoyed this perfume review post – like I mentioned earlier, it was great fun to hang out in my room, taking notes and letting my imagination get carried away by the fragrances. 🙂


  • The Nerdy Me

    Really enjoyed this post! I never get those perfume adverts and scents they claim it has. This was fun, love to read more of these 🙂

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • Allysia K

      Yeah, generally I don’t either. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not a connoisseur, or because they’re just making stuff up, ha ha.

  • Kiss & Make-up

    How fun, what a cool little experiment, this comparison between what they say and you smell.

    • Allysia K

      It was fun! 🙂