Perfume Reviews

Reviews by bokaba

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Total Reviews: 243
bokaba Show all reviews
United States

Citrus Paradisi by Czech & Speake

I agree that Paradisi focuses on the sweaty, less than savory aspect of the grapefruit essential oil rather than its tart nature. C & S used top quality ingredients as usual and it certainly shows (rumored to have real oakmoss and ambergris). The opening is dirty the middle becomes leafy and green whilst the civet shows itself throughout most of the progression. Too dirty and uneventful for me. I like Creed's Orange Spice more fondly for this type of spicy/citrus/animalic "urinal cake" type scent. If it were me, I'd of chose bergamot and orange instead of or at least coupled with the grapefruit.
11th January, 2011
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Neroli by Profumum

The opening is wonderful with a whack of natural neroli oil very similar to the much lauded Czech & Speake. However, unfortunately, the neroli gives way to a soapy heart and somewhat animalic base. The base is a good contrast, but the soap is too strong. If only Profumum Roma had concentrated on natural oils instead of using artificial fixatives to boost it to an eau de parfum.
07th January, 2011
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Black Tie by Washington Tremlett

Washington Tremlett Black Tie takes its rightful place between the languid, powdery Victorian rose of Hammam Bouquet and the dark and medieval Templar incense of Czech & Speake no. 88. I find Black Tie much more relevant and wearable than the other two. The opening is a debonair citrus with a little spice and rose. The base dries down to a beautiful rose water accord with a natural musk possibly ambrette seed. This one is a winner.
01st January, 2011
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Gold Medal by Atkinsons

Gold Medal is certainly a step up from 4711, but does not meet the quality of other top market eaus such as Lorenzo Villoresi and Acqua di Parma, but at such a low price, who would expect it to? Probably not the same formula that won the Gold Medal, but still very nice. This is a no-nonsense type of cologne with an opening of bergamot and other citruses followed by neroli and orange blossom with a light musk base. A tad sweeter than say Roger & Gallet Extra Vieille, but very similar without the strong herbal qualities. Only available in Italy and to some extent in Britain, so buy some if you can before it is gone forever.
26th December, 2010
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Fleur d'Oranger by L'Artisan Parfumeur

The opening is a quite nice and natural orange blossom. Perhaps a sweet orange blossom since I like bitter blossom better. Too feminine for me to ever wear--clearly out of unisex territory for me. Like I say the opening is a natural blossom but it is mottled by a synthetic tuberose and some other white flowers. Not my thing. I'd try C & S Neroli first.
11th December, 2010
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Fleur d'Oranger 2007 by L'Artisan Parfumeur

The opening is a quite nice and natural orange blossom. Perhaps a sweet orange blossom since I like bitter blossom better. Too feminine for me to ever wear--clearly out of unisex territory for me. Like I say the opening is a natural blossom but it is mottled by a synthetic tuberose and some other white flowers. Not my thing. I'd try C & S Neroli first.
11th December, 2010
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Eau de Cologne by Penhaligon's

This was a good try to revive the traditional cologne genre in a modern, popular fragrance house. It's decent and not bad, but lacks a lot of the natural and historical import of many of the top performer's in the area. The opening is a bright lime very similar to their own Extract of Limes--and it is a tad powdery and then burns down to a laundry detergent type musk. Good compared to the like of Chanel and Asprey Purple Water. I would invest in Jean Marie Extra Vieille or one of the Guerlain eaux before shelling out the money for this one.
05th December, 2010
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Agua de Colonia Concentrada by Alvarez Gomez

Agua de Colonia Concentrada is by far the best Spanish traditional cologne I have yet to try (haven't try Myrugia yet though). AdC is far more burly and herbal and less flowery than its French, British, Italian, and German counterparts. The opening is a tart, realistic lemon supported by herbs, orange blossom, and probably a little musk. There is also a substantial whack of lavender and little rose to soften the edges. If you like citrus colognes, this is a must buy and it comes cheap in 700ml bottles, too!
04th December, 2010
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Sélection Verte by Creed

While I've heard there are different formulations afloat and that this has been discontinued, I've only tried the most recent formulation. I find Selection Verte to be exquisite in its type. It is what some call a deluxe cologne--built on the chassis of the traditional eau de cologne spruced up with mint, sweet pea, and the usual Creed ambergris, thought I don't really ever smell it. Very good, get a flacon while you still can.
29th November, 2010
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Orange Spice by Creed

I agree that Orange Spice is the older, more mild-mannered sibling of Kouros. OS opens with a blast of smooth yet somewhat synthetic mandarin type orange and is followed by neroli, aromatic spices like clove and cinammon, possibly civet, and dries down to the typical sweet-salty Creed ambergris accord. Longevity and sillage are good though I am used to traditional colognes. Great product from Creed's yesteryear. This is the ambiance of the Elizabethan era--the mixture of citrus, spice, and animalic accords before the Farina made the light citrus and floral cologne popular.
28th November, 2010
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Colonia Russa by Santa Maria Novella

CR opens with a blast of realistic citrus--orange, bergamot, lemon, and then light herbs and florals, but the entire time the dark leathery base is apparent. This is the coming together of east and west in 18th Century Europe. The bright citrus and florals of the Farinas meets the dark leather and incense of medieval Russia. A tad discordant like Peter the Great forcing the boyars to shave their beards and adopt western fashion lest they face the Tsar's wrath.
30th October, 2010
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Zagara by Santa Maria Novella

Zagara is from what I expected given its former reviews. SMN purports itself to make classic and traditional fragrances. Some of them such as SMN's signature scent supposedly made for Catherine di Medici is a good quality cologne in the traditional scent. Zagara opens with a blast of orange blossom and neroli that quickly turns synthetic and far too indolic for my tastes. Far too fresh and far too much of a designer fragrance to be considered a classic. CS Neroli and even Jo Malone Orange Blossom are much better choices.
26th June, 2010
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Etiquette Bleue by D'Orsay

The notes seem like they would form a classical composition: neroli, petitgrain, orange, lemon, musk...yet the balsam and probably moss add a chypre character that detracts from the beauty of the citrus and orange blossom. The citric accord is somewhat synthetic as well. The base is very powdery. Is this a traditional cologne? well, sort of.
30th March, 2010
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Purple Water by Asprey

One of decent nouveau type eau de colognes on the market. Once rare and expensive, it now is quite affordable for a full sized bottle. The opening is synthetic and dominated by the purple flower Freesia. The base is your basic laundry detergent.
22nd March, 2010
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Traditional Cologne by D.R. Harris & co.

As Odysseusm says this is a traditional refreshing citrus splash. The opening is a sweeter Portugal type orange with a little lemon zing. The orange is supported by neroli oil and orange blossom, which doe down to a simple and somewhat animalic musk. Very similar to Trumper's offering.
22nd March, 2010
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Acqua di Genova Colonia by Acqua di Genova

While I hesitate to give an purportedly traditional cologne a thumbs down, I found AdG to be far too floral, far too feminine, and far too loud to be considered in the vein of colognes as wonderful as Lorenzo Villoresi, Acqua di Parma, and Farina Gegenuber. The opening is a strong white floral backed up by a cloying musky powder.
02nd March, 2010
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Crown Imperial by Crown Perfumery

Crown Imperial is certainly a musty, musky, soapy, Victorian fragrance with a dark lemon opening quite bitter in fact.
26th January, 2010
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Eau de Hongrie by Fragonard

I was disappointed largely with Eau de Hongrie. Upon first application, it smelled strongly of a 1980s designer with Cool Water and Green Irish Tweed type notes. The floral heart and musky base was at least decent. I expected a light rosemary and citrus accord reminiscent of a classical eaux.
25th January, 2010
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Santa Maria Novella by Santa Maria Novella

Another excellent eau de cologne for any cologne enthusiast to add to his or her library. Opens with a tart and bright yet restrained bergamot that is both fresh and earthy--the smell of real peel. Then a floral heart of subtle white flowers and spices finishes off this eau. There is perhaps some musk or other fixative such as the indolic qualities of the flowers. I feel the flowers might be jasmine, carnation, white rose, orange blossom, and the spice is clove or clove blossom. Though I doubt the stories of its 16th Century origin with Catherin de Medici, Queen of France. Overall, very nice and natural smelling, but very expensive.
20th January, 2010 (last edited: 03rd November, 2010)
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Eau de Portugal by Geo F Trumper

A basic eau de cologne with sweet orange and musk. Nothing exciting here and not worth buying. I would suggest C&S Neroli instead.
14th January, 2010
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Eau de Cologne France / Eau France by Molinard

I shall dissent on this one. This is a lemon candy powered eau de cologne at its finest or perhaps worst depending on how you look at it. The opening is a powdery lemonade with some synthetic herbs and that is about it. Unless you really need a big bottle of cologne for cheap, you could do better, much better. If one seeks a similar, but much better concoction, may I suggest Guerlain's Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat.
10th January, 2010
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Royal English Leather by Creed

ROYAL ENGLISH LEATHER

I understand that it may be difficult to enjoy Royal English Leather with current fashions in mind. To understand REL, one must travel back to the year of its creation—1781—imaging for but a moment what the world was like and most importantly, what the world valued in a perfume. Royal English Leather is patterned after the potion originally used to scent the gloves of King George III (I say patterned because no Creed fragrances really predate 1970 despite antiquated years of release). REL features notes that would have appealed tremendously to the Georgian aristocracy of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It not as much of a fragrance as it is an allegory. The opening is mandarin orange and bergamot, the heart of jasmine and ambergris, and a base of Mysore Sandalwood, oakmoss, and leather. Royal English Leather is a gem and should be applied sparingly as it is quite strong.
09th January, 2010 (last edited: 14th December, 2011)
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Neroli by Czech & Speake

This is a marvelous, natural, and extremely floral neroli spruced up by indoles and the exotic ylang. The opening boasts of pure orange with woody neroli. The heart is composed of a natural indolic orange blossom that mimics evening jasmine. Finally, the short-lived ylang accord appears and disappears. Wonderful, natural, and pricey.

EDIT: There is a synthetic off note that appears on heavy application that is somewhat rubbery/metallic. Still very good and one of the best pure nerolis available. No one is perfect not even Czech & Speake alas.
08th January, 2010 (last edited: 28th November, 2010)
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Antico Caruso by Profumum

Super sweet, super powdery, with fruits. That's about it. Floid makes a better Italian barbershop scent and it comes in a 400ml bottle. Nothing special and not worth the outrageous price.
08th January, 2010
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Néroli Sauvage by Creed

Creed's tried and failed eau de cologne type fragrance. Roger & Gallet has one so does Trumper, so why not Creed? At least some of their fragrances are remarkable (I'm talking to you Royal Scottish Lavender). I find the opening soapy and metallic reminiscent of some teenage aftershave lotion. The neroli finally emerges, but is weak and misplaced. Get Czech and Speake instead.
08th January, 2010
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Acqua Classica by Borsari

Classica smells too modern for my tastes. The opening is a fresh blast of herbs, spices, and the some leather. The leather does dry down nicely and exposes it true chypre character.
22nd December, 2009
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Eau de Cologne by Geo F Trumper

I think Trumper Eau de Cologne is the best eau de cologne available for a reasonable price on the market today. The opening is a bright, but debonair citrus with orange blossoms then a light floral heart with a little musk. Very natural smelling indeed. This is a bergamot driven cologne (not neroli like Roger & Gallet Extra Vieille and Eau du Coq). This strikes me as a slightly poorer quality version of vintage Faria Gegenueber, which sells at exorbitant prices.
20th December, 2009
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Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

Egoiste was not much better than I expected it to be or was it worse. With the exception of Pour Monsieur and Eau de Cologne, most Chanel scents for men have disappointed me thus far. Egoiste was no different although superior to Platinum Egoiste, which is a different story altogether. There is very little progression in Egoiste--it is a sweet fruity accord flanked by spices and some sandalwood. Not great at all.
11th December, 2009
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Caldey Island Lavender by Caldey Abbey Perfumes

I recently added Caldey's beautiful Lavender to my wardrobe. I had been working with some samples over the past several months and finally decided to purchase a bottle. To my nose Caldey emphasizes the softer more floral side of lavender using primarily lavender absolute along with other oils in a nearly all-natural composition and as such is fleeting. Caldey's lavender oils meet or exceed those in Royal Scottish Lavender and Caron PuH without any of the vanilla, woods, and ambergris. The lavender note here is crystal clear. The heart is a tad gamy and grassy perhaps owed to the use of hay absolute. The only draw back in the synthetic musk base but it does warm the composition to some degree and is immensly better than any of the laundry detergent musks used in mainstream perfumery today. Caldey Island Lavender is a remnant of 19th Century floral waters. At such an affordable price, it certainly worth a try!
07th December, 2009 (last edited: 11th June, 2011)
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United States

Aqua Velva New Musk by Williams

I take it this is the orange juice that is available at most drugstores and markets in the US and UK. Smells very similar to the original AV, but has some laundry detergent musk. I would go with Jovan or Kiehls.
06th December, 2009