A little about me in general. I was raised mostly in Europe, educated partially in the United States, stopped counting all the places I lived in when I was 19 and hit over 21 different cities, and now reside in America. My life has been both Sisyphean and Kafkaesque, hence the blog name. I’m a former corporate litigator and lawyer who no longer practices (I hated the law!), a gourmet gourmand, a dog fanatic (especially if they are German shepherds), a history lover, a television junkie, a perfume addict, and a perfectionist who is passionately opinionated about most things. I’m never perfect, but I always try my best. I’m owned by “The Hairy German,” also known as “My Teutonic Overlord,” Zola, Émile Zola, or Zoli Zol. I reference him often on the blog as I am his most devoted slave.
Contact Information: If you wish to contact me, you can reach me at: AKafkaesqueLife@gmail.com. As a side note, the name of the blog is Kafkaesque and not “Kafkaesque Blog” or the old “A Kafkaesque Life.” Given the huge popularity of the term Kafkaesque and the abundance of Kafka fans on the internet as a whole, there weren’t a lot of options left when it came to choosing domain names. But the url address is not the blog name. I would be most grateful if you referred to both the blog (and also to me personally) simply as Kafkaesque. 🙂
Perfume Review Policy & Disclosure Notice: At this time, I pay for almost all perfumes or perfume samples myself. Like any sane person, I think it’s fun to receive new things to try out. However, my first obligation is to my readers, and I promise to always give my blunt, unadulterated opinion.
Sometimes, a company sends something for review, but my standard reviewing policy is that there is no guarantee of a good review, a bad review, or even a review at all. When I do end up reviewing one of those fragrances, I always include a disclosure in the post that the sample was sent by the company. I am never paid for a review and I never will be. Furthermore, in several of the instances where I have been sent perfumes by a company, the reviews have been far from positive. If you’re a company reading this, please be aware that I won’t give a glowing review simply because of a free sample, and that I’m a firm believer in the value of a negative review when it is warranted in my opinion. My first obligation is to be honest to those who read me for my opinion, and I write for the consumer, not the company.
My Taste in Perfume. I love spicy orientals, big white florals, chypres, ambers, patchoulis, vintage cologne, and a number of other genres of perfume. However, I am not a fan of “fresh, clean” scents that remind me of detergent or cleaning products. I prefer not to pay a fortune for a Pledge or Tide experience, and I can be quite indignant when perfume houses charge exorbitant prices for such fragrances. I also dislike sugar bombs, fruitchouli, and most fruit cocktail scents (though there have been a few, very rare exceptions). In addition, I have a sensitivity to aromachemicals when used in high quantities in a scent. I am not a fan of fragrances that contain a lot of ISO E Super, Amber Xtreme, Norlimbanol, Ambroxan, or similar power aromachemicals, and it’s not merely because they trigger a bad physical reaction.
Lastly, I have a huge problem with the reformulation and gutting of perfume scents, pursuant to the IFRA regulations implemented in 2010 which limits the percentage or amount of key essential oils and ingredients. So, from time to time, you’ll read about IFRA. (Probably more than you ever wanted to.) I’ll try not to have too many rants about it.
All the views in this blog are my utterly subjective opinion. In fact, perfume is — by its nature — a wholly subjective, personal experience that is dependent on an individual’s body chemistry. As a result, the outcomes can vary wildly. I can only give you the objective facts of what is listed in the fragrance notes, and then my own personal experience with it. If you’re looking for purely factual reviews, you won’t find them here. I have passionate opinions about everything; and, yes, sometimes I can be extremely harsh.
However, even when I hate something, you may want to try it out for yourself. In fact, I urge you always to try out a scent whose notes appeal to you. It may be very different on you than it is on me or others, especially as individual skin chemistry can make a huge difference. Perfume is meant to be a fun celebration, a mystery in every vial that can transport you to exotic lands and turn you into someone else, a potential party in every sniff, a transformative experience.
Some of my favorite fragrances are (or have been, in the case of discontinued scents): Roja Dove’s Roja Haute Luxe and Nuwa; Puredistance’s M; Amouage’s Tribute attar and Fate Woman; Papillon’s Salome and Anubis; Bogue’s MAAI; SHL 777’s O Hira and Black Gemstone; MDCI’s Chypre Palatin; Serge Lutens’ Fourreau Noir, De Profundis, Fille en Aiguilles, and Chergui; Chanel’s Coromandel; Dior’s Mitzah; YSL’s vintage Opium; Téo Cabanel’s Alahine; Neela Vermeire’s Trayee; MPG’s Ambre Precieux; LM Parfums’ Hard Leather and Sensual Orchid; Hiram Green’s Moon Bloom; Oriza L. Legrand’s Chypre Mousse; Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Absolue Pour Le Soir; YSL’s Champagne/Yvresse; Robert Piguet’s vintage Fracas; Guerlain’s vintage L’Heure Bleue and Shalimar; and Hermès’ vintage 24 Faubourg.
Honorable mention should go to: Serge Luten’s Cuir Mauresque; Andy Tauer’s Une Rose Chyprée; Amouage’s Jubilation XXV; vintage Bel Ami from Hermès; Chanel’s vintage Coco; Tom Ford’s Oud Wood, Tobacco Vanille, and Jasmine Rouge; Viktoria Minya’s Hedonist; Puredistance’s Opardu; Cartier’s vintage Le Baiser du Dragon; Rochas’ Femme; Parfumerie Generale’s Coze; and other numerous scents that I’ve undoubtedly overlooked. For several of those listed above, I’m referring solely to the vintage version.
For men’s colognes or aftershaves, I adore vintage version of the following: Habit Rouge, Antaeus, Kouros, Egoiste, Monsieur de Givenchy, and Karl Lagerfeld’s vintage Lagerfeld for Men (now renamed and reformulated into the terrible Karl Lagerfeld Classic). Honourable mentions: Dior’s (vintage) Fahrenheit, (vintage) Eau Sauvage, Chanel’s Pour Monsieur, Xeryus, and others that I’ve forgotten. This list is shorter because I don’t really classify fragrances by gender. For me, almost all scents are unisex; it all depends on an individual’s personal tastes and note preferences.
Commenting on the blog: I firmly believe that there is no “right or wrong,” no correct or incorrect, and no absolute truth when it comes to fragrances. Everything is subjective and personal. So, there is also no right or wrong in terms of perfume perspectives, and I love it when people share their thoughts on fragrances, even if they have a different opinion on a scent than I do. However, I will not abide by any comment that attacks me or readers of my blog with profane language, personal attacks, or personal insults. Such comments will not be approved, or will be deleted. In short, please play nicely and politely.
Well, that’s a little about me to start off with. Thank you for stopping by, and let’s smell some perfume!