« Tabac Blond by Caron (1919) | Main | Wild Vintage Perfume Bottles: A Sampler »

March 09, 2010


Kristy Victoria

I sent you an email in response to the question you asked me, I hope you got it!


Got it, thanks!


I still haven't smelled Samsara, but I admit it's never really appealed to me.

The model is oddly inert, isn't she? (I like her eyebrows.)


Worst. Perfume. Ad. Ever. She looks like she's displaying an item on "The Price is Right" and would look right at home on QVC...


I envy you your collection of frankincense and sandalwood -- sounds like the perfect aids to sleep. Sorry to hear Samsara was such a disappointment. I recall hearing a lecture from Thich Naht Hahn where he gently mocked the name Samsara for a perfume, he had seen it in an airport from the corner of his eye...
Glad to see you back!


Polite? Samsara?

There must be a huge difference between dabbing on the parfum (I assume that's what your minature was?) and spraying the EDP. I had a bottle of the 90's vintage EDP and it was an olfactory hand grenade. One spritz on a curtain in my bedroom scented the house with synthetic sandalwood FUMES. I swapped it away not too long ago since I would never ever wear it out of the house, for fear of being banned from public places. :-)


You're not the first person to call me on using the word polite, moongrrl. I guess what I mean is...boring. :)


I actually agree with all you wrote about Samsara. But I must add there exists the other side of this perfume, the positive side. Ayala's review helped me to know how to like this perfume.

One day I sprayed on fabric a little of a Samsara extract I got on the internet, and that was utterly lovely.
Lovely don't seem to fit to Samsara, doesn't it ? Yeah, the EDT had some crude synthetic sides, and the EDP is even worse. One can feels that there is a talented use of powerfull jasmine and sandalwood, but spoiled by the rest of the composition, wich appeards like a boiling brew of dangerous synthetic.
In the extract form, it seems that were added enough naturals to calm down the raging hormone of the EDP. It's quitter than EDP, and can begin to pretend to be classy.
Up far on fabric, there is a good bergamot top note, and through the prism of this bergamot, everything that failed succeeds : the floral zisty bergamot, the exosticism of jasmin, sandalwood succed to induce serenity, and a touch of peach make it so sensuous. A warm seducing lulling feeling.
But up close, there is still this shattered-pottery smell of polysantol, and rubbery and plastic harshness.

Though I don't like its harshness, we must concede Samsara's success (to the point of being the second Guerlain's best seller after Shalimar) was due to this conspicuous silage, that please women of this era.
And I like the advertising. The image is all about texture, the red so red it seems creamy, the silky dress, the wood building. Maybe the woman was not chosen so attractive so that we focus about the atmosphere.


Julien, Thanks for your comment and your link to Ayala's post. I liked her analysis of the cyclical nature of the woods/florals/sweetness, the perfume analogy of the Buddhist cycle of Samsara. Perhaps I should give other formulations a chance (i.e. the extrait), because for me Samsara just didn't hang together. I want to smell the "touch of peach" you mention that makes the perfume sensuous. Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks for answering :)
I wore Samsara yesterday, to confound my remembrances to reality, this time I mostly caught the clove's stage (and not the bergamot), and I liked it.
Samsara belongs to this strange category of perfume I just like, but wear sometimes for a day long. It's strange, compared to the perfume I love but rarely wear because I'm never in the mood for. And those perfume impeccable from A to Z that don't move me.

If I should analyse, I would say Samsara have smells that are good for my mood.
I mostly know the opposition situation : "Une rose" and "Ubar" are perfumes I really like, but when I wear them, they erode my good mood, it's an involuntary physiological reaction, a compound in them set me in an irritated mood. It takes only 5mn for stimulation to leave its place to irritation. Scrubbers (and I bought the bottles ^_^!).


I am going to give Samsara another chance thanks to you, Julien. I had a feeling I might have been unfair. :)


I used to loathe Samsara to the point that it almost made me ill. Now I adore it. Go figure! I get jasmine and sandalwood and find it gorgeous. The key is in the application. The parfum (vintage pre 90s formula) dabbed on is divine and has little sillage, like velvet in a bottle. The vintage edt, lightly misted, also beautiful. The edp is just too electric for me.

I LOVE your site and read it constantly! xo


Hi Daly Beauty. Samsara is one that I need to try again. A few people protested my bad review, which makes me think that either we just have different taste, or I have to get another batch. Perhaps the parfum as you suggested. Thanks for visiting YP and I'm so glad you like reading it!


Samsara smells a lot like Tuscany to me. Anybody else get that?


Samsara is one of the Guerlain plume. Pitty that Jean Paul Guerlain lost his position regarding that perfume. To me it is similar to old Chanels...

david lincoln brooks

If I dare say it, i'd say give SAMSARA another chance. it grows on you, and one mustn't compare it to, say, SHALIMAR.

david lincoln brooks

With that listing of HEADnotes--- bergamot, lemon, green note, peach, tarragon---- you might almost think you were in for a 1950's Dior or Patou.

You might think I'm mad, but SAMSARA possess this subtle quality that smells like a woman's breath. (Good breath... it's kind of a "Mommy's breath" sort of smell) Like, the smell of saliva and teeth and breath mingled with lipstick. Indeed, it's this unusual quality, mingled of course with the jasmin and sandalwood, that makes SAMSARA interesting and acceptable to me...


Hi David Lincoln Brooks! A friend gave me an older formulation and it didn't smell anything like the one I reviewed over two years ago. I am definitely giving it another shot...


Apparently it's been reformulated. Back in the day, Samsara was my jam! I'd load myself up in that shiz and be jackin' to some Dee-Lite and C+C Music Factory up in da club and those were the DAYS! Oh, we had fun in our heavy sillage and bicycle shorts. You had to be there, co-mingling with the Amarige and the Ysatis and the Fendi like a big bazaar. This was Chicago, we would go from shopping on Michigan Ave to the clubs. What an era!

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Book

Order Here

Vintage Perfume Reviews