Perfume Reviews

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Reserve for Men by Express

This review is for the current, clear formulation.

It opens fresh, clean and generic, very much like a dryer sheet. As it dries down, you start to get spices with a mixed drink. My first thought was almond like amaretto but turns out there is a brandy note listed. Seems like a perfect daytime, work scent. Perfect if you're just looking for a few hours worth of wear and modest projection.

Performance is average if not a little weak. 4-5 hours longevity and projection that creates a small scent bubble during those hours.
18th December, 2018
Shycat Show all reviews
United States

Fruits de Noël : Orange & Amande / Orange & Almond by Yves Rocher

Orange & Amande is a soft skin scent of sweet orange fruit with complementing almond and sugar, lightly touched with vanilla. There might possibly be a hint of warm amber or maybe a slight sprinkling of nutmeg.

It's pleasant, warm, and Christmas-y, but when I say soft skin scent I mean soft skin scent. I've sprayed it onto a blotter and almost threw it away as odorless. To get anything even at skin level requires a pretty good coating. This is likely a good level of fragrance at a family get together for a big holiday meal--no one will be disturbed by this fragrance on you, and yet for close hugs one wouldn't be scentless.
18th December, 2018
Shycat Show all reviews
United States

Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her Floral by Burberry

Poor Brit Rhythm. It's not what I want at the moment. Aside from practically gagging me in my fragile state, I can say that it opens with a blast of wet, indolic, jasmine/synthetic lilac. I feel sure the entire fragrance is synthetic, but the jasmine note seems more well orchestrated. If I had to guess, and of course I do have to guess since nobody's coughing up any actual perfumer's notes, I'd say the "lilac" note is just a whack of indoles.

I can't appreciate any top notes. It does settle shortly to a more pleasant accord. The amber does come up and offer some barely sweet barely powder balance. And I do like lilac.

Xeno suggested this from my sample wardrobe when I was on the yen for baby powder. It's soft, waxy/lightly indolic floral, softened with amber that only barely approaches powdery, not sweet, and clean, slightly soapy musk. All in all a scent I'd call "Good enough...but not really good." Perhaps if I hadn't spent so very much time bathed in Highland Lilac I'd cut this one some more slack, but my nose is tuned to what I *want* lilac to smell like.

I have a sneaking suspicion that "driftwood" equals norlimbanol, but I can't really get that sense in the heart. Have to say, no scratchiness. Whatever "driftwood" is in here is floating in lotus I suppose.

Also, if anybody wants to know (hint: you're about to find out) what rings the death knell of "garbage can for you, d*&$ sample" it's a soap note. I don't know how many different ways a perfume can slide into the soap note gravity well or which notes trigger that sensation in my personal brain, but I sure know it when I smell it.

By gum, this is masculine. I like it much better as long as I flip the gender marketing. For me to wear, it's a neutral. For a man--strange it is, my brain, for man that's comfortable in a velvet smoking jacket, I'll give it thumbs up.
17th December, 2018
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Bois de Rhodes by Creed

This is NOT a review but an actual impression from another individual back in 2003 who had the opportunity to try the fragrance. I felt it was important to preserve some sort of context about the fragrance as there is NO information this fragrance anywhere. Please disregard the 'Neutral' rating here.

Here it is and the link:

Anyone heard of Bois de Rhodes from Creed's vintage collection?

Me neither, until today. It kicks off sharp and sweet with grapefruit and mandarin. Fairly standard citrus, in other words, but very pleasant too.

These notes fade fast, even by citrus standards. What's left is a fresh, clean-smelling wood base, perhaps with a hint of mint and musk. Bois de Rhodes is a type of wood but I've never come across a fragrance with this wood as a note before. Seems a bit like cypress but with a touch of rubber or plastic. The mint also feels a little artificial.

Not unlike Selection Verte in the drydown. Also like Selection Verte, the Creed signature note which I dislike is thankfully not strongly in evidence.

Not really much to distinguish this from dozens of other citrus fragrances out there. It is pleasant enough but compared to Eau d'Hadrien, say, it is insipid and neutered. Compared to Eau d'Orange Verte, it smells slightly synthetic. Compared to Cologne Bigarade, it is one-dimensional.

Only one to buy if you are a Creed obsessive or if you want a summer citrus that smells like plenty of other citrus fragrances out there but hardly anyone else will have heard of.
17th December, 2018

Aromatics in Black by Clinique

Tested it just on the paper unfortunately. Anyway, if you are nostalgic of classic "White/Musky/Aldehyidic" scents a la Cacharel LouLou, Anais Anais, Biagiotti Roma, vintage D&G Pour Femme, Parah or Dior Addict, Aromatics In Black could bè a more simplistic and actual choice on the theme. Somewhat nothing in common with the giant of its colossal "burning" ancestor (the immortal Aromatics Elixir). Osmanthus, may be freesia, sambac jasmine and cool talky muskiness provide a languid essence rich of "robotic" metropolitan elusiveness. Despite the resinous benzoinic structure and the dark oriental intriguing soul, Aromatics in Black possesses a touch of the talky chyprey diaphane radiancy of left back powdery beasts a la E. Coudray Amber et Vanille or Grossmith Phul-Nana. More over, In Black is anyway a contemporary olfactory twist and you can catch a minty-frosty (vaguely anisic, cool, intoxicating and slightly lipstick) modern vibration connecting this juice to modern glamour-chic renouned creations a la Alien, Ange ou Demon, Very Irresistibile or stuff like those. Urban and wintery this is a juice for a modern dark lady of the "pop/funky" shimmering megalopololi's night out.
16th December, 2018 (last edited: 17th December, 2018)

Terre d'Hermès Eau Intense Vétiver by Hermès

Same old story, overly woody, synth and "pencil shavings" under my profane nose, an overly strong woody/gassy/peppery twist over the original Terre d'Herme's perfect formula. Along its short evolution Eau Intense Vetiver seems to wave between a whichever woody dry Montale, CdG Wonderwood (dry wet woodiness), modern pencil shavings stuffs (a la Carbone de Balmain, CdG Black, Gucci Pour Homme I, Autoportrait by Olfactive Studio etc), the original well calibrated formula and overly woody synth generic current woody/peppery/leathery aromas a la Fan di Fendi Pour Homme, several Armani or tons of stuffs in the same league. Do you want a real crack on the rough woody agrestic theme? I definitely recommend the superb Etro Vetiver. Not for me.
16th December, 2018 (last edited: 17th December, 2018)

Cologne Intense Collection : Myrrh & Tonka by Jo Malone London

Myrrh & Tonka starts off like a mixed drink (amaretto sour) and finishes like a dusty-vanilla coke. I would call this a gourmand because it's very edible from start to finish.

Performance is okay with soft projection that occasionally makes it way to your nose without burying your face in your skin. Longevity is average, lasting on your skin 4-5 hours.
16th December, 2018

Mojave Ghost by Byredo

Perfume for people who don't wear perfume. Or better put perfume for people who wants to smell like they have something on. Had to spray a lot of this juice on in order for my husband to smell it on me. Took over 30 minutes of wearing before my body heat allow me to actually smell the perfume and it smelled like I used a different bar of soap to wash, I had to really press my nose into my skin to get anything. Spraying on a paper strip only allowed a slight floral-fruity bit to be noticed.

I'm surprised this particular perfume has a cult-like following on the Instagram boards. It's like an expensive nothing-burger, perhaps I don't get the 'in joke' with this perfume.
16th December, 2018

Black Gold by Mancera

Smooth, flowery-oud which gives it a dirty earthiness but there's plenty of spice and sweetness to even things out, making this a very enjoyable, modern and balanced fragrance. I also get a minty coolness that I wasn't expecting. Not the usual rose-oud combo, much more subdued and "western-acceptable".

Feels more appropriate for fall/winter and dressier occasions but it's not that heavy and could be quite versatile.

Projection is good and longevity is very good, lasting 8+ hours.
16th December, 2018

Black by Kenneth Cole

Oh Kenneth Cole, you are so 2000's it hurts, but I love you for it. That initial 2002-2006 run will always live in infamy as a time of chemical-induced tackiness which is the utter bane of existence for more "scrupled" male fragrance connoisseurs, but if you were a teen or in your early 20's as I was when these ozonic bombs first dropped, Kenneth Cole was your nightlife in a bottle. Unlike others in this segment, Kenneth Cole wasn't afraid to get loud, boisterous, and merge contrasting values into a single scent to up the ante. The original Kenneth Cole New York Men (2002) was a radioactive grapefruit and musk bomb that basically lead the charge after Calvin Klein's "a bit too much" Crave (2002) stayed by the wayside (a reminder that pandering gets you nowhere with the Y2K youth). Kenneth Cole would quickly jump ship like Michael Kors did away from Givenchy into more lucrative arrangements with Parlux, denying parent company LVMH the kickback from their growing prestige, so the original pair of fragrances from the house Cole built would be allowed to sell out then be discontinued, but the replacement banger was already lined up. Kenneth Cole Black (2003) was a less pretentious fragrance from a presentation standpoint, with a traditional glass bottle and script across the front in place of the technological all-plastic hockey puck marvel of the first release. The smell was actually more jarring and bombastic than what Kenneth Cole New York Men had mustered, and mixed a divergent group of top notes with a mostly-synthetic base that tried to replicate the ambergris floral affairs of Creed but on a dollar store budget with a healthy helping of olfactive LSD to make you "understand" what was going on. Young guys ate it up, as the riotous opening and sheer dry down managed to communicate "let's party" and "I have a stable job" all in the same sentence, as Kenneth Cole was Macy's tier at best, but by decade's end would be the darling of Walmart and Targets everywhere. I admit that it holds a special place for me, but objectively speaking, Kenneth Cole Black is the best of the worst genre to emerge in the last 3 decades, for what it's worth.

Kenneth Cole Black opens with a rush of tart ozone and mandarin, spicy ginger, and cool mint. Cole calls the mint note "watermint" but I have no idea what the eggheads were thinking with that name so let's just call it normal mint and be done with it. Cool mint, warm spice, and a very-2000's ozonic citrus note present a love-or-hate accord that I feel most had to "be there" to really appreciate. Kenneth Cole fragrances are about as generational as old Halston ones are for the guys who loved them. For everyone else, this is an exercise in confusing abstraction that might prove interesting enough for a deeper look and a full-bottle purchase at some point for the stalwart or morbidly curious. The heart gets even more contrived with some generic white florals dressed up as a "lotus flower" note, with "cedar leaves", nutmeg, and vetiver posing as "incense smoke". Kenneth Cole must have been stealing ideas from Calvin Klein's fantasy fragrance notes playbook with this one, but it ends well enough with musk, violet, a suede leather note, and an early form of synthetic ambergris from ambroxide that's saltier and earthier -ironically closer to real ambergris- than modern ambroxan. We get a cacophony in the beginning, then dusty and arid floral bouquets over phoney ambergris and musk in the base, going from night club to drawing room in 60 seconds. There's comparisons all over the map for the drydown from Dior Fahrenheit (1988) to something like Creed Millésime Impérial (1995). Granted, Kenneth Cole Black has the sophistication of neither, but it is far more energetic, exciting, and successful in channeling that spontaneous youth feeling while retaining some class, at least the youth of the new millennium thirsty for distinction beyond the drab 90's or overbearing 80's. Wear time is sadly pretty short at about 6 hours, and sillage is pretty moderate, but something like this can be re-applied without much trouble since it has become dirt-cheap in the years since it's unveiling. I'd recommend Kenneth Cole Black if you want something that can serve in all but the coldest weather, and pull all sorts of duty outside maybe the office space, and at it's most primitive, Black is a synthetic dandy floral lead with conflicting hot and cold elements. This is a pretty wild ride but not for somebody looking for natural fragrances with a lot of note separation.

The mint-meets-spice overtones laid upon a scary sharp orange note are enough to make or break you in the opening moments, and from there it descends into a nightmare future mockery of old-world styles that is neither very "black" nor particularly masculine. The early 2000's were also the era of the "metrosexual", or more succinctly, the heterosexual male borrowing style and mannerisms facetiously from the gay community, so Kenneth Cole Black's equally-facetious style fits in with that mindset perfectly. Kenneth Cole Black miraculously became the best-seller and endured well enough for the house to continue making sharp citric wonderbombs throughout the 2000's, including the aquatic Kenneth Cole Reaction (2004), the rebooted eponymous fragrance of Kenneth Cole Signature (2005), and Kenneth Cole RSVP (2006), which would see woodsy semi-oriental tones mixed in to soften things up. Much after that, Kenneth Cole left loudness behind and fell in line with other mid-tier designers, dooming itself to being mediocre clearance rack fodder. Even Axe tried copying this with their Axe lab (2008) release, the first legitimate eau de toilette from them that was essentially a rounder/muskier version of Kenneth Cole Black. Competent designer favorite Harry Freemont and the one-hit-wonder Sabine de Tscharner would epitomize loud and tacky Kenneth Cole style with this scent (but without the house grapefruit top of others), and Kenneth Cole Vintage Black (2010) was offered up for folks wanting to graduate into a more discreet scent with the same dynamics. Ozonics were the most groan-worthy thing to emerge from the late 90's and early 2000's, but I'd take them over most of the sweet boring Iso E super cashmere wood juices of 2005-2010, until the richer ambroxan citruses took over thanks to Chanel. Kenneth Cole even brought Harry Freemont back to make a non-ozonic updated version of Kenneth Cole Black with Black Bold (2016), proving that the core itself was solid enough to stand without its most-controversial elements. This isn't for everyone, but should be easy enough to sample, as Testers still haunt stores like Ulta. For fans of flamboyant, attention-seeking nightlife scents that don't feel very "dudebro" and aren't very sweet, Kenneth Cole Black might be a nice cheap option. If you're going to have only one example of this contrived period in perfume history, Kenneth Cole Black is for you. Thumbs up, but try before buying!
16th December, 2018

Bentley for Men Absolute by Bentley

yes it is a Bently does Gucci Pour Homme (GPH) scent. Not quite as nice as the Gucci pour Homme, but similar enough. Good price for a nice knock off. A litle lacking in brightness compared to GPH, but still with the cedar wood and spiciness.
16th December, 2018

O, Unknown! by Imaginary Authors

The latest release from Imaginary Authors is difficult for me to taxonomize. O, Unknown! certainly lives up to its name. It's mysterious, and generally speaking, unlike most perfume that I've smelled.

Its principal notes are tea, orris, and mixed woods of balsam and sandalwood, along with a mystery note that I'm clearly not in tune with.

I don't know much about different types of teas, but the tea in this fragrance is well-blended with the orris, not standing out much on its own but at the same time subduing the orris enough so that the fragrance doesn't come off too powdery. The woody undertones certainly create a smoother dry down than the more tea-heavy opening, at least it comes off to my nose.

There's a chalky, play doh-like sense in which the fragrance feels like a familiar material, not really synthetic but not too natural, at the same time.

I wouldn't expect to like this much from the note breakdown as tea and orris don't thrill me generally, but I surprisingly quite like it.

It's one of the most daring Imaginary Authors scents that Josh has ever released, in my opinion, perhaps only second to Bull's Blood in terms of audacity, though obviously Bull's Blood creates more of a literal and figurative stink to it, whereas O, Unknown! is almost inarguably smoother and easier to wear.

I find it fascinating that two people already find this similar to Cape Heartache, as I don't really get that similarity, given the absence of strawberry and pine, what stand out most prominently for me in Cape Heartache.

This is a nice new entry from the house I always look forward to seeing the next iteration from, and O, Unknown doesn't disappoint.

7 out of 10
16th December, 2018

Amanece la bella Cibeles by Loewe

Feminine fragrance right from the start; very fruity & rosy for the first hour; then the miracle turns into a musky sweet comforting never ending dry down which is truly delicious and unisex.

Very nice indeed...
16th December, 2018
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Bambú by Adolfo Dominguez

I can barely smell this after 10 minutes. Maybe my nose, but hardly any scent right after spraying it.

Not worth the purchase price of $23 for 4oz with 30% off coupon.
16th December, 2018

Deneuve by Catherine Deneuve

Why was it discontinued? I loved this Fragrance so much it was my favorite of all time. Would always buy a bottle when ran out. If I had known ahead of time they were to discontinue I would have bought a case of it. Wish I could find something in similar smell, but no luck so far.
16th December, 2018

Berlin by Gallivant

Sweet & sour notes on top. The clementine is a nice change of pace. Pepper pops. Tea in the heart, is not strong - it's gentle. More spicy tart pepper. Vetiver rises up from the base notes. It's vibrant. The usual woody, somewhat bitter cedar note - again. Light and fluffy patchouli. Frankly I find nothing extraordinary here except that clementine. It's a non-offensive, workplace option. oh, I forgot; lemon seems to come and go here, too. I like lemon.

3 satisfactory stars.
16th December, 2018

Putain des Palaces by Etat Libre d'Orange

4.5 stars... Rose & violet right from the start. Instantly smells like a powdery scent. Face powder, indeed. I get only a hint of leather and orange, in the heart. Amber makes itself known. The violet stays strong. Later it kind of resembles freshly made paper.

I'm a sucker for these powdery scents. I'd collect them all, if I could.
16th December, 2018

Moonlight in Heaven by By Kilian

Creamy citrus opening. A bit soapy. Light. My skin really absorbs this perfume, for some reason. Perhaps too much. Heart notes remind me of a tropical-flavored, rice pudding. a jasmine note, quickly follows. The jasmine sambac dominates the heart. Only a faint Tonka do I smell, in the base. Rather tame for my taste.

Meh, 2 stars.
16th December, 2018

Ummagumma by Bruno Fazzolari

4 stars... Right away I can smell the chocolate, leather, labdanum, and saffron; these are what stand out. This is a heavy blend of "stuff". A colder weather scent. Dried tobacco note is "just right". Sandalwood, cedar (always that damn cedar), Tonka, and vanilla rise to the occasion with a dark, smoldering boozy sweet. Carnation and suede-leather under it all. A quite lovely, unisex "oriental". It's not quite several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a pict but, it's close.
16th December, 2018

Tyrannosaurus Rex by Zoologist Perfumes

Leather slapped my face right from the start. Big smoky, burnt, ashen black pepper, cool fir, leafy laurel - what the hell? This is awesome for a first impression. I immediately envision the scene in the first Jurassic Park movie wear the lawyer in the shit-house becomes a "big reptile, lizard" snack.

Bold intense champaca, osmanthus, mixed petals of flowers, and I get a smoky tobacco accord, in the heart, as this shifts gears. A brief, ghostly note reminds me of turpentine. Rose - a manly rose, stands out. Big cade note I noticed awhile ago, begins to waft again as the heart settles down.

The base reveals more of that leather - old, cracked leather. Smoldering resins, cedarwood, sandalwood, animal note - all here. A somewhat gothic, dark-style incense. Leather stays for hours as does some boozy sweet stuff. What a ride! Gotta get me more.

5 dino-egg sized stars.
16th December, 2018

L'Eau by Diptyque

2 stars... Smells like vodka at first. An odd mix of cinnamon, geranium, and sandalwood makes my nose curl and my eyes cross. Nope, I don't believe I like this too well. Add some rotting rose, some stale clove. Nope, no better. It begins to adopt a spicy, almost curry food accord.

All the noise fades away to reveal a beautiful, almost powdery rose in the base which redeems this fragrance. However, I wouldn't wear this again or buy it, just to wait, for that rose.
16th December, 2018

Agua de Coimbra by Myrurgia

Fresh, floral-green men's fragrance from Myrurgia.

Notes for this scent include:
Top - clove, tarragon, carraway
Heart - lavender, cucumber, osmanthus
Base - sandalwood, narcissus, phlox, margarita

The spice mix here is rather striking; they get things started with their herbal-sweaty quality. Soon, this meshes with the fresh cucumber and osmanthus flower, ending with woody tangy notes in the base.

It has a vibe very similar to L'Instant de Guerlain, with that powdery-sweet-spicy quality. Phlox adds a nectar-sweet touch that is pleasant to behold! And margarita is more of a sour-ish accord that partly balances things out.

Still available at decent prices online. Worth a decant.
16th December, 2018

Sarah Good by Sixteen92

A starchy bread note. A screech of something sharp, patchouli-like. Damp. Ancient crumbs. Bread note lasts long. A high-pitched floral note appears. Sweet orange - yes. Something smoky and something amber-like. A little too much bread thing for me, overall. A smolder of sugar, long on the skin. Can't quite get into this one.

2.5 stars.
16th December, 2018

Field Notes from Paris by Ineke

Sour, bitter, green top. Slight lemony feel. Tiny spark of spice. Sharp blend.

Bitterness begins to subside in the heart. Becomes cool, almost medicinal. Middle is well-mixed. Fresh! Patchouli is a bit more pronounced than the other notes as it wears on.

The base notes are well-blended, too. Still fresh and green; now with an added sweetness. I can pick out cedar, amber, and vanilla. This to me, is one of the better Ineke offerings.

3.5 stars.
16th December, 2018

Velvet Haze by Byredo

Mmmm! Top notes have me interested - ambrette seed and coconut water. Perfume-y yet like a refreshing beverage of some sort. Kind of like a fine, expensive candle fragrance, too.

The heart and base though, seem to be altogether different. The patchouli is invisible to me. Cocoa note & musk have a gourmand flavor. The cocoa isn't sweet; it's not quite bitter either. There is a strange, vague note that reminds me of gardenia, as it rests on my skin a long while.

3 stars.
16th December, 2018

Next Limits by Myrurgia

I remember Next Limits as having a tart, active-lifestyle quality to it - like your typical "sport" scent flankers that have littered market.

Next Limits has the requisite citrus mixed with smoothening lavender and woods, with a touch of spices adding a nice underlying aromatic touch. It has a powdery finish that I really enjoy.

16th December, 2018

Remarkable People by Etat Libre d'Orange

Not bad at all with a fruity opening that gives way to some peppery notes that I can only smell away from skin. That combo is very nice as it has some pleasing fruit notes that can be a little hollow but also some good depth and fullness from the heavier pepper notes which are almost like a clean musk.

I think this straddles unisex nicely, could be worn by either sex without issue.

Good projection out of the gates but really start to fade after a couple hours.
15th December, 2018 (last edited: 16th December, 2018)

Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

A flat-out classic. A verified and sworn in member of the men’s fragrance hall of fame pantheon. Along with Fahrenheit, Rive Gauche, Terre d’Hermes, and Dior Homme, there is Egoiste. Without a doubt this is one of the best smelling, most refined and elegant woody orientals for men. It is eons beyond anything you typically find on mall fragrance counters today and hearkens back to a time when creativity and distinction meant something. It’s hard for newbies who’ve come up in the 2000’s to get this one and love it at first sniff. They don’t understand it. It has smells and an aura that houses are no longer producing. That’s okay. It took me about 8 years to come back to this, and today I can fully recognize it for the marvel that it is. But 10 years ago, when all I wore and owned was a bottle of Lacoste Essential and AdG, Egoiste beat the crap out of me. I was way out of my league and I wasn’t ready for it. I thought I was slick writing it off as “weird” and “old fashioned.” I was an idiot, naive with crude and limited taste. Few fragrances truly deserve to be called a masterpiece, Egoiste is one of them.
15th December, 2018

Replica Lipstick On by Martin Margiela

Powdery, chalky heliotrope & iris. Pale, sweet orange blossom. It certainly smells like fine lipstick to me.

Sweet Tonka and rich bourbon vanilla. The lipstick accord does not last. Still, there is a slight starchy, dry note underneath, in the heart. Lipstick accord rises again after time. Patchouli is in here somewhere - it is elusive enough that I cannot deem it a strong note. I swear at times I can smell a sparkle of cinnamon. The vanilla here, lingers on and on. Overall, I really enjoy this one.
15th December, 2018

True Lust - Rayon Violet de Ses Yeux by Etat Libre d'Orange

Nice rum and coconut in the opening but then the drydown is dominated by what smells dirty like cumin (not listed, might be the animalic notes) and powdery florals. Feminine for sure.

Projection and longevity are average.
15th December, 2018