I discovered the existence of fragrance “user reviews” which I had no idea existed. Yes, I was that ignorant. Thank you, Internet. I read some of these at Fragrantica.com and Basenotes.net and soon realised that perfumes have a dedicated and erudite user community who are prepared to go into great detail about what they think of the product but also what memories it evokes. It was a lot more fun than reading user reviews for electronic goods.
Glitteralex found a vintage bottle FOREVER KRYSTLE, "I fear the bergamot note has lost some of its freshness," she said. And then, "After a few seconds of the 'alcohol' note, a heart of plasticky vanilla rose atop a synthetic resin comes through. The musk makes an appearance after about 15 minutes. I do not see vanilla in the notes, but I am sure it is there. The scent is fairly simple, and linear in nature. Not a complex or symphonic perf."
Sandy gave FOREVER KRYSTLE a thumbs up, despite saying, "When this was first launched a friend recommended it to me. It was a blinding headache at first sniff. If I can remember anything past the memory of the pain and nausea it was a floral scent, not really bad." In fact a number of fragrances were reviewed as headache-inducing. .
Using Forbes' best-seller list as a guide, I got the skinny on some of the more contemporary perfumes. Sarah Jessica Parker's NYC was well-reviewed for its smell but panned for its packaging. Psychogirl wasn't happy with it. "I don't mind a bit of tacky and fun, but this is just poorly printed and assembled. It's hard to believe that SJP would have approved of this. I actually think the parade of SJP Perfumes have called into question her integrity."
Further up the best-selling ladder was Beyonce with HEAT. This was mostly well-received but naturally I couldn't ignore Perfumaholic's passionate review, "It smells horrible on me, and I found myself trying to scrub it off my arm THREE times to no avail. Heat has become one of my least favorite fragrances because of the overpowering peach and floral notes trying to murder each other."
And at the top of the list was the grande dame of all celeb fragrances - Elizabeth Taylor's WHITE DIAMONDS. Many of the reviewers reported using it as girls when it first came out in 1991 or remembering it as the perfume their mother or grandmother wore.
RTGiggles wasn't impressed, "I can't stand this stuff! It strikes me as a 'trampy biker wanna be classy' scent. Gives you a headache like a dang hangover with no buzz." But Darvant loved it, White Diamonds is decadent in a tender and romantic way. The initial blast of vintage neroli, poutpourri citrus, dreaming rose, ethereal violet, sensual jasmine, silent lily, proud narcissus and delicate white flowers introduces the deliberately retro feel of this wonderful scent."
I feel encouraged to expand the scope of my own user reviews in other areas. I recently purchased a Timex wrist watch through E-Bay. It has a top note of distant buyer’s remorse and a base note of everlasting cheapness.
Check out the 1987 television commercial that pushed FOREVER KRYSTLE's male counterpart CARRINGTON. For those of you who never experienced the DYNASTY phenomenon, THIS is Linda Evans as Krystle Carrington and John Forsythe plays Blake Carrington.