February 28, 2016

Cafe Parfum By Cofinluxe-An Opium Dupe?

Cafe Parfum 3oz Spray
If you love those spicy powerhouse orientals like Opium and Cinnabar, you may not like the spicy price tags that they come with. Sadly, some of our favorite perfumes are the most expensive. Even more frustrating is how many manufacturers these days are tampering with our signature scents by watering them down into mere shadows of their former selves. Enter the world of dupes.

When I first discovered that Cafe was a great dupe for Opium, I made a fast beeline to Amazon and bought a bottle. It was cheap. Very cheap. The reviews mentioning the spice and sandalwood notes had me waiting in anticipation. Could this really smell as awesome as Opium?

My First Impression Of The Bottle Design

When I first opened the box,  I was neutral about the packaging and bottle design. After checking it out, I found the glass portion of the bottle quite pretty. It has a raised, bumpy design that appears to be coffee beans ( or tiny horse shoes) sprinkled around some type of flower. The top part of the bottle seems to be a complete mismatch in quality to the bottom. It's almost cheesy it's so plastic.

The bottom of the bottle says Cafe Paris France. The entire bottle is shaped like a flattened bowling pin. It feels nice to hold in your hand, has a good weight and doesn't tip over.

Cafe Parfum Is Supposed  To Contain These Notes

  • Top Notes- Lime,verbena, rosemary
  • Middle Notes-Spices, rose
  • Base Notes-Vetiver, patchouli
I say supposed because I am hard pressed to locate many of these notes. Maybe I need a new nose.

Experiencing Cafe In Real Time

Okay, here we go. Let's take off the cap and do a sniff test.
  • First sniff results- Warm. Slightly sweet. Powdery spice.
  • Initial Spray-A beautiful blast of amber-dipped flowers that immediately disappears, I mean within seconds. Lime? No. Rosemary? I don't think so. If there is any Verbena, I didn't notice it.
  • After 15 Minutes-This is where the Opium reminder might come in to play. The spice notes are in full bloom here. Any Opium lover will find some similarities here. Cafe does fit in to the Oriental/ Spice family of perfumes.
  • One Hour Dry Down-Here comes the strange part. Cafe drys down on my skin to a pure amber-sandalwood combination, kind of like those oils you find at health food shops. The base notes are listed online as patchouli and vetiver. No and no. This is more ambery like Moonlight Path by Bath & Body Works.

What I Like About This Fragrance

One of the most positive aspects of Cafe is that it has taught me that fragrance notes are so complex that even one extra note will change a perfume's composition. Cafe is a cheap try out and wont break the bank if you want to compare it to Opium. It is still an okay Oriental scent that I spray on when I am in one of my sandalwood-amber moods.

What I Don't Care For

The biggest let down is that Cafe is supposed to be a parfum. From France. Shouldn't it last a bit longer? It becomes what I peeve about the most; a soft skin scent that nobody notices; including me. Of course, I can't expect Chanel quality from a perfume that costs less than $20.00 for 3oz.

My Recommendations 

 If you like warm, powdery spice scents, you will like Cafe Parfum. It really does become a soft, close-to-the-skin fragrance. Imagine baby powder with cloves and that about sums up the whole experience. Is it a good dupe for Opium?

Cafe is like Opium in spirit, but can never reach the richness of those gorgeous Opium notes. Like I said, Cafe is affordable enough to grab as a research scent. Go ahead and give it a try so you can understand why so many think it's a dupe for Opium.

February 13, 2016

Cabotine By Gres- Eau De Toilette Review

How lovely it is to spend part of a weekend morning reviewing one of the perfume classics; Cabotine by Gres. I can't recall exactly when or where I picked up my 1 oz. spray bottle, but it has had a home in my collection for a few seasons now. I became curious about Cabotine when I stumbled on reviews and the history of this particular fragrance.

Although I didn't discover it until 2013 or so, it has been on the market since 1990. I knew going in that this was some type of floral and that it has a cult following of women that absolutely love it. That, and the great price made me decide to go ahead and try it.

The Cabotine Perfume Bottle
Cabotine by Gres Eau de Toilette 1oz.
Cabotine by Gres-1oz. Eau de Toilette
Sadly, the picture I have posted here doesn't do the bottle much justice. With the leafy, broccoli-like cap and well-balanced body, the Cabotine bottle is pretty, pretty, pretty. The lettering on the bottle matches the green of the cap.

Cabotine Notes
Cabotine is listed as a Floral-Adelhyde scent that revolves around the very rare Ginger Lily flower. Other notes include:
  • Top Notes-Plum, pear, blackcurrant, coriander
  • Middle Notes-Ginger lily, rose, violet, tuberose
  • Base Notes-Musk, amber, vanilla, cedar wood

Spraying On Cabotine In Real Time 

  • The bottle cap sniff test- Soapy-fresh notes that smell like baby shampoo with a bit of musk added in; not the most thrilling sniff test in the world.
  • On First Spray-A gorgeous burst of rose, pear and plum notes. The first spray smells beautiful. I can really get the violets and the hyacinths too. Spring is in the air!
  • After 10 Minutes-At this stage, something sharp and bitter emerges. The tuberose? Perhaps that ginger lily? Here, the scent becomes weird to me. It reeks of sour flowers.
  • After 30 Minutes-I search desperately for any notes of musk, amber or cedar wood contained in the base notes. None. Vanilla? No. What I do get, however, is that original bottle cap smell of soap and shampoo. My wrist smells like carnation-scented Ivory liquid.
  • Complete Dry down-This is it. Cabotine smells like weak Yardley English Rose soap on me. Considering Cabotine means a dramatic, theatrical poser and ham, I am saddened by the undramatic qualities of smelling like soft floral soap.

What I Like About It
What I like is the adorable bottle. It could sit there for ages and just look pretty if I were to never use it again. The best thing that Cabotine has going for it is an affordable price point. This is not a wildly expensive perfume to buy.

Things I Don't Like
Other than the un-theatrical dry down, the bottle cap is a major dust magnet. All those nooks and crannies means a regular rinse under water, sometimes using an old toothbrush to make it shiny and clean again. Although the bottle cap is supposed to represent a flower, I still feel as though I am washing a broccoli top.

My Recommendations
Who do I think might like this fragrance? If you love those "clean" scents that remind you of fresh laundry and you happen to like multiple floral notes with a tad of sharpness, you might like this one. I am sure this is why so many women like it; it becomes a very soft, fresh-out-of-the-shower perfume that you could be okay wearing to work.

Cabotine by Gres Eau de Toilette