Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Oaksbluff

Total Reviews: 49

Gli Odori by Odori

Fans of Eau d'Hermes need to sample this.

It's like the country cousin to the Hermes; dirtier, more raw, and dare I say at times a bit more skanky than its urbane relation.
13th September, 2011

Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

Truth in advertising award for this one.

Starts out with a lovely jasmine, not terribly indolic to my nose, instead very clean and feminine. Cigarette comes on not as heavy-handed as I'd like. If it did, I'd buy this in a rapid hearbeat. Another reviewer likens this phase to hay, and I'll agree with that. It's more a light roller tobacco than a Marlboro. At this stage, I'd be inclined to say that I want for more skank, but that's not what this scent is about. Rather it is a tightly refined study in contrasts, closer to the center of opposites than at polar ends.

Overall, another winner from ELDO. It stays pretty linear, but hey, with these two stars, that's the reason you're wearing it.
19th January, 2011

Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger by Prada

Not bad, overall.

Immediately, the opening shared by the other Prada "Infusions"-- here one of fizzy and dry citrus, makes this seem a perfume variation on Mandarine Orange Seltzer. Not a bad thing, in my book.

That does persist for an heroic time, I'd say close to an hour. Again, not bad. The dry down period is lovely and persistent, and even in cold weather, this one lasted several hours. Better than not bad.

Is it complex? no. Challenging? nope. Offensive? Hardly. Is it a straightforward orange blossom scent that could be had inexpensively? yes, ma'am. Personally, I own several neroli/ orange blossom scents, and I adore them all. Yet, I do see this as a solid contender in those ranks, if for no other reason than it sticks around long after those other scents have disappeared completely.
12th December, 2010
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Coney Island by Bond No. 9

A ghastly combination of cheap lemon bound to megawattage calone with an interminable half-life, underpinned by a saccharine sweetness. My personal definition of hell would reek of this.

Cinnamon? Chocolate? Only in the perfumer's prospectus.

Fortunately, I have seldom encountered a scent as hateful as this.
30th October, 2009

Gucci pour Homme by Gucci

Iso E Super, lightly sweetened.

On a positive note, it is a bit more deftly blended than other contemporary trumpets of IES.

21st October, 2009

Index Bergamot Citrus by Fresh

Implementing the Sanchez Turin Binomial Expression: citronella candle.

While this could be good for someone who fetishizes summer evening backyard bug warfare, I will pass, thank you.

18th September, 2009

Myrrhe Ardente by Annick Goutal

I know that comparing one scent to another can raise complications, especially since you've obviously come here not knowing one... maybe never smelled the other?

With that in mind, I steer myself directly to that definition by comparison. Myrrhe Ardente = Armani Prive Ambre Soie. Were you one of the fortunate to score a refill bottle of the latter on the cheap? Good. Save the money from a potential Myrrhe Ardente purchase and buy something else.

Admittedly, the Goutal ramps up an aldehydic opening... fashioning a simulacrum of increased resinous. For all the world, though, it just makes it more Root Beer-y. Unlike on others, it lasts A LONG TIME on me, several hours, and for all of that time rather linear-- not a bad thing. Sometimes you don't want your scent shape-shifting.

This glib review might make it sound as though I dislike MA. Not the case. There's a call for it in the completist's wardrobe.

Overall, I'll give it a thumb's up, as I'm rather in a good mood this morning, and also as I bought my bottle on the cheap. It doesn't suck, it just doesn't really wow me. Call me high-maintenance, but if I were to shell out big dollar on a bottle of perfume, I kinda want to be wowed. Isn't that what the beauty industry should provide for us?
07th September, 2009

JF by Floris

I, for one, do not share the hate.

"Bathroom cleaner" is indeed a description I'll toss with abandon at the meaningless horde of scents smoke'd and mirror'd onto us innocent fragrance consumers.

But no so, JF.

It does have some similarities to the Creed and Davidoff, sure. But Floris just does what they do so damned well, I find it hard to make comparisons when one of the choices is so clearly superior.

Where JF really gets me hooked is about 30 minutes in to its evolution. The citrus opening lingers, like the vibrations from a tuning fork, but that Floris undercoat really nails it. Wood and moss heaven. There's a strange waft of clean garden dirt to me. The image drifts to the Devonshire Mitford, smart tweed with soil clinging to her elbows after a morning in the garden.

Thus, I think that JF would work very well on the fairer sex, also. Perhaps the upper class male really is just effete.

Longevity? well... what do you think? It's a citrus fragrance, but I do get a full morning or afternoon of British civility from it.

Overall, another winner from Floris.
07th September, 2009

YSL pour Homme Haute Concentration by Yves Saint Laurent

thyme, man sweat, and lemons.

sort of the olfactory equivalent of that photo of Yves in the nude... classy somehow in his nudity. Ah, to be French in the 1970s. I'm not sure this bookish yours truly could ever pull it off.
16th July, 2009

Noël au Balcon by Etat Libre d'Orange

A gourmand for those who might otherwise be wary of the genre.

Very wearable, without the fear of smelling like a marzipan factory outcast.

One thing I'll say about ELDO as a house, they don't mince words with their fragrance notes. For a perfumer whose adverts could otherwise fall a bit into frippery, their listed accords are pretty spot on.

Try this one, if you get a chance, although it by no means falls into groundbreaking territory. I'm hard pressed to think of a scent-twin, but I know I've smelled something like it before, many times. What I will say is that this EdP has insane longevity, and after wearing it to bed last night, I awoke to a scent so sublime, that my first memory of this day was a smile on my face. Not bad for something in a bottle!
26th February, 2009

Rive Gauche pour Homme Intense by Yves Saint Laurent

I just did a side by side (well, hand by hand) comparison of Rive Gauche PH and the Intense version. Results?

The original projects better, the intense has more patchouli, and actually has less duration. Becomes a warmish skin scent. And that, folks, is about it in the way of difference on me.

Call RGPH Intense one for the completists.

Sideways thumb for a "meh," but I love the original, otherwise I'd give it a thumb down for taking up space.
21st February, 2009

Fumidus by Profumum

to say that I had high expectations for this scent is my understatement of the new year.

Yes, the opening is smoky boozy peaty. Laphroaig it ain't (I'm a fan) although I must admit that I've been tempted to dab an Islay malt at my pulse points more than once.

However, and this is most shocking, I was sitting at my desk tonight thinking, "did I put Encre Noir on earlier? I don't think so."

Yes, folks, that is correct. Fumidus smells pitch perfect like Encre Noir after about 45 minutes.

Save yourself the ducats on this Profumum, buy the Encre Noir instead along with a bottle of 18yo Ardbeg, and you'll still have scratch left over.

The sideways thumb because I'm P.O.'d that my hopes were dashed, but also because I'd be ticked if I shelled out Profumum caliber coin and it matched my 65 dollar EdT.

12th January, 2009

Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens

Iris, most elegant, wearing evening clothing of the finest cut and material, hands scented with cinnamon, kneels in the garden, where black damp earth and soil-flecked carrots rub together upon her.
Sublime. A must try. The smell of twilight.
08th January, 2009
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Thundra by Profumum

I wish this didn't morph into the patchouli base so quickly. If the top notes stayed around a bit longer, I'd easily splash out the $250 odd for this scent. Easily. The mint and mushroom smoky mustiness is really pretty damned cool. I find this easily wearable. But that lasts all of about 20-30 minutes and then its a nice enough, but let's face it, pretty straightforward patch.

However, at these prices, I'm not all that jazzed for a bit of interesting smoke and mirrors that's all front-loaded.
05th January, 2009

Un Bois de Sépia by Serge Lutens

It's interesting to see the date of creation on this scent, as there seem to be a few imitators out there in the intervening years. Off the top of my head I can only think of "Wood & Spices" by Montale, but I know I've encountered this construction elsewhere.

That said, all imitators are indeed just that: pretenders to this scent. Blending is deft; while this is not necessarily groundbreaking, it is a fine cinnamon'd wood/ bark perfume. Not too sweet, very wearable. I'd buy it if I had the chance.
04th January, 2009

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

If you give this scent only 2 minutes before moving on to the next tester, you will be given the intense redolence of Slim Jims.

However, LM is a payoff of patience. What unfolds from this opening is a combination of woods, smoke, tar... all highly wearable. Andy Tauer is one of the best creators of scents that unfold in a circular way; they begin, they evolve, but throughout the development of the frangrances (often a very long time) there is a constant self-referencing to notes along the way. An olfactory equivalent of wandering in a labyrinth.

Personally, I find this far more wearable than many of the other uber-man scents out there. No, LM is not balanced in its yin and yang, but that is not the point. This is an exquisite evocation of the American West from an outsider who trained his eye and distilled the essence of his ideas into perfume. Not for everyone, but then again, that's often the case with great works of art.
03rd January, 2009

Serge Noire by Serge Lutens

Yeah, I get the clove cigarette vibe.
For too long, though, this just smells like cheap cinnamon incense.
I had high hopes for you, SN!
02nd January, 2009

Nicolaï pour Homme by Nicolaï

Indeed, a damned fine fragrance.
Starts out with a beautifully bright lemon/ citrus... but quickly morphs into a citrus/ lavender warmth.
As the esteemed tvlampboy calls this a more friendly Gris Clair, I rather find this to be Caron's le 3Man perfected. While there is a certain discordance to the Caron (which may be its charm), PdN does this scent with such grace and suave handling of materials, it's as though Michelangelo came upon a da Vinci, altered it ever so slightly, and made a genius reflection upon a work of genius.
02nd January, 2009

Garrigue by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

excitedly sniffing my wrist as I booted up the laptop, I was all set to drop the bombshell that this was a stepchild of Green Irish Tweed. Well, the inimitable Vibert got there first. And I'm behind his review all the way.
However, dirtier though it may be, it lacks the longevity of the Creed kin. Also, topnotes are similar, but it's development isn't as aldehyde-y as the Creed, and for that I'm happy. An image comes to mind of the faceless drones in Pink Floyd's "The Wall." They might look slightly different, but it's really more of the same.
So, overall, it's not bad, but in my opinion, it's just banal. With that assessment, it should be said that I have higher standards for the "niche" offerings than their mass-market kith.
Thus, with some trepidation for coat-tailing on a master, I give this a neutral. Come on MPG, I love your line. You can do better than this.
16th November, 2008

Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens

The prior reviews are pretty damned good. I don't really disagree with any of them. There are times I think this smells like cheap sh*t and then there are times I'm captivated. So, why add my two cents? Well, I get a bit of an orange-y Eau d'Hermes vibe from it. So, if you're a fan of that, give this a chance.
Personally it teters a bit too much towards the feminine, but I do so love orange blossom I'm willing to overlook it.
I'm hardly an acolyte of the Lutens & Sheldrake sweetshop, but this gets a positive vote from me. If I just wrote this exact same review but was in a bit of a crappier mood, it would have been sideways.
14th November, 2008

A Taste of Heaven by By Kilian

A taste of Heaven? More like a taste of toothpaste.
Very good use of lavender, though. I'll give it that.
13th November, 2008

Gucci pour Homme II by Gucci

A very respectable tea fragrance; to my nose, far more wearable than "Tea For Two." I find it rather unusual for a designer scent, and the blue color is altogether deceptive for first impressions.
Longevity is not a problem at all; put it on this morning around 9am, and at 2pm we're still up and running.
Give it a go, I'd say, but be prepared for lashings of tea and a gingery accord.
13th November, 2008

Jardin de Kérylos 16 by Parfumerie Generale

One of the finest figs I've come across. JdK has a very VERY green fig accord which teters on the smell of a freshly-picked peach, fuzz warmed in the sun. While this may suggest a foody resonance, it is not gourmand in any way. There is just the faintest glimmer of something animalic as it quickly begins its descent from the lofty and fruited heights.

As Vibert says, it doesn't last; but I am of a mind on scents such as this-- so beautiful, so evanescent; catching a fleeting glimpse of a satyr dancing in the sun dappled wood, the image remains etched in the mind as something beautiful, remembered. As I sit at the desk in the shortened days of November, this scent conjures a golden sunlight, and vistas through the trees of a warm oceanic coast. I'll tell you what: anything bottled that can do this is aces in my opinion.
10th November, 2008

L'Eau de Neroli by Diptyque

As if Diptyque could make something lousy. As if.

I was rather surprised at how this was made different than many of the neroli scents out there. Yet the top notes (which are really the only thing that carry, to my nose) smell of neroli, a tart orange, and the scent of a lime just squeezed into a cocktail-- how an errant blast from the bit of fruit wafts across one's nose. Ever so slightly dirty under all of this... yet a soapy dirty: the hottie gardener after having worked the herb parterre now in the outdoor shower using madame's luxe Italian products.

Longevity is, predictably, dim. But then, one shouldn't expect it to last. The gardener hangs up the tools, the cedar planks on the shower dry, and night falls, leading one to slip into something else
04th November, 2008

Prelude to Love by By Kilian

Ivory soapy neroli with a soupcon of cinnamon redhots (presumably the ginger).

For an EdP, this ain't the strongest, but that's fine. Other BK scents sorta freak me out, there's a weird accord that is evocative of hospitals; not, however, here. PtL...i is rather nice, in a demure way, like a scrubbed debutante at a summer soiree, a towhead cousin of a Lutens, a vision in pale gingham with sunburn straplines on the shoulders.

I encourage others to try it, if not to splash out for the full BK packaging exquiseria. I would walk on my knees for neroli, so I may be biased.
03rd November, 2008

Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal

rich stuff here: obviously constructed with good raw materials (and at this price I'd expect nothing less), but feels uninspired somehow, and soul-less. The hit of frankincense is good, and lovers of that resin should try it.
For me, the frankincense is a tad too sweet. Perhaps this is flamboyant?
Overall, not one of my favorite incense creations. Definitely worth a try, but in these echelons, I want to be wowed, not left wanting. Longevity is decent-- couple hours of solid scent, after which this just becomes a resiny memory, giving the impression that there once was something there.
I'll give it a positive rating, as it is a good scent, just not terribly groundbreaking nor astounding. In fact, I think there is a 10 dollar dram of frankincense essential oil by some hippie company, sold at Whole Foods. Smells an awful lot like that.
25th October, 2008

Gomma by Etro

nice enough: a sweet leather in the classical vein. I don't particularly get the "burnt rubber" note, although I wish I did... would probably make this a bit more exceptional if so.
There's a development into a talcum powder register which becomes progressively candy-ish, like a cinnamon boiled sweet rolled around in violet dusting powder. I'd prefer the leather stick around longer, myself.
A friend who is particularly sensitive to my scent "proclivities" asked if I was wearing that old lady Chanel (Cuir de Russie), although I find that to be the observation of someone less inclined to seek out nuance than a basenoter. Although if one is a fan of that jus, give Gomma a whirl. A bit less to splash out for than some of the other leathers in the stock shelves.
If the thumb could go in the direction of 3 o'clock, I'd give it that. It's a decent scent. The sweetness doesn't do it for me though.
22nd October, 2008

Yuzu Ab Irato 09 by Parfumerie Generale

Pledge mixed with Pine Sol. Mercifully, does not last long.
21st September, 2008

Castile by Penhaligon's

A wonderful neroli offering, and I completely agree that it is also somewhat reminiscent of Aqua di Parma Colonia. Very streamlined in its blend, other notes sluiced together to make a very classy and clean fragrance.
Longevity is not bad, I'd say the neroli top notes last between one hour and two on me, upon which time a light musky wood base carries the scent to completion.
Overall, worth every penny, and if it ever leaves my top ten, it is only whim and circumstance which keeps it away for long.
21st September, 2008

Rive Gauche pour Homme Light by Yves Saint Laurent

another vote here for the "pro" Rive Gauche pour Homme Light. I own and love all incarnations of the RVPH, and each one lends something unique to the roster.
RGPHL has a nice watery citrus in the beginning stages; interesting for me as I almost universally detest aquatics, but this is done with such sublety in a way that indeed complements the citrus note. Right in the wings is the RGPH smell of barbershop, or shaving cream, or... well, you know what I mean.
Although this is considered "light" longevity is still pretty good, lasting at least four hours on me, with the finish... or what remains, a nice amber accord.
I'm all for it! Once again, proof that YSL puts out solid fragrances, even when they are flankers.
19th September, 2008