Perfume Reviews

Reviews by JackTwist

Total Reviews: 1078

Woodhue by Fragrances of France

A warm vanilla amber scent with a touch of spice.

This was my first adult scent, the iconic bottle with the wooden top.

The warm base of sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, myrhh, amber and civet support the vanilla and opoponax, allowing the floral notes of jasmine, ylang, orris, clove and violet to hover sweetly in the background.

One of the truly great unisex scents of its era and one of the great ambers of all time.
15th January, 2017

Eau de Lanvin by Lanvin

This is an inaccurate posting. Eau de Lanvin is not a scent in and of itself, but a new type of concentration, equivalent to today's edp.

As such, it is a very concentrated and long-lasting concentration, putting today's edps to shame.

It is so close to pure parfum in concentration, sillage and longevity, only the hours involved before it fades (6 to 8) identifies it from the pure parfum (12-24).
13th January, 2017

Une Ville, un Parfum : Shanghai by Guerlain

Sweet fig, patchouli, vanilla - these are my initial note impressions upon first application. This therefore places it in the category of "dark oriental" for me.

The patchouli is center stage, and the vanilla keeps it rounded and fragrant, so that it never becomes sharp or bitter. The two compliment each other nicely. The impression of minty fig keeps popping up and disappearing again, melding eventually with the two basenotes in a pleasant way.

This is a nice autumn scent with a bittersweet, melancholy, announcing the fast-approaching autumn, while still clinging to the brightness of summer.

A very nice scent indeed!
01st January, 2017
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Boxter for Men by Fragluxe

I was expecting the worst. I received a generous travel size bottle of Boxter Pour Homme (edt) as a freebie with another scent order I placed. With never having heard of it and its being in production for sixteen years with not a single Basenotes review, I was prepared to wash this off post sniff.

Actually, this is not half bad. A bright, citrusy, spicy men's sports fragrance that is well blended, smooth and not the least bit in your face. The musks and patchouli soften the dry down and blend with the sandalwood to turn it into a spicey woods.

Mellow and very wearable. Not great or significant by any means, but a great deal better than 90% of the men's sports fragrances on the market today and an interesting find.

Worth a sniff!
20th December, 2016

1000 by Jean Patou

Patou’s 1000 opens for me with a shimmering green rose (I am experiencing the edp) and as much as I have looked forward to Turin’s “dry chypre” and the primarily enthusiastic reviews of a great floral chypre from the 39 Basenoters who have contributed to this page, I get nothing like it.

If I didn’t know the source of my sample better, I would suspect I had been given an incorrect decant, but I know that’s not the case.

The rose does dry down nicely to a floral mélange similar to that one might encounter in a florist’s shop, but that’s it – basically for my nose a soliflore, not a chypre.

16th December, 2016

Gomma by Etro

What an odd name for such an exceptional work of art. Gomma is Italian for "rubber," but I smell no such comparison. It is, as other Basenoters have realized, very akin to the classic Knize Ten, but as Turin so aptly points out, it has more of a floral infusion, lifting it a notch into a new territory.

Turin also correctly summarizes it as a "sweet leather," but this is not the sweet of Chanel's Cuir de Russie or Lancome's Cuir, where the animalic notes can at times be so akin to the real thing that a slight bit of nausea can occur if inhaled repeatedly in the heat of summer.

It is superbly blended and balanced, one of the very finest combos of amber, jasmine and leather available. A welcome addition to the collection of any true lover of leather scents.
14th December, 2016

Heliotrope by Etro

Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue has maintained its originality almost without competition since its inception in the early years of the 20th century. I have only encountered two attempts to give it a run for its money: the now sadly discontinued Caron's Farnesiana; and Etro's Heliotrope.

The impression for me of all three is that of a pastry shop in high gear with the scents of almond and vanilla creams and honeyed glazes, a mix of almond, heliotrope, vanilla, mimosa and honey itself. This is what you get with Etro's Heliotrope. It's delicious. It may not be as expertly blended as LHB, but it is a wonderful gourmand in and of itself, making use of high quality materials, and beautifully bottled and packaged.

A winner in my book from Etro, whose concentrations of oils more closely resemble those of an edp than the labels of edc and edt they advertise. In other words, a little goes a long way.
13th December, 2016

Casamorati 1888 Dama Bianca by Xerjoff

The very first impression is that of yet another Angel flanker, but that impression disappears quickly, leaving the scent of minty vanilla. I don't know where the mint impression comes from, but the iris certainly gives it a cold, crisp aura as well. The fate of the other notes listed is lost to me.

It's pretty strong and linear with no perceived development, and I wonder when it would be appropriate to wear it with its cold, distancing personality. I imagine it might be more a wearer's scent than one intended for those around one and that in the heat of summer, the coolness of its personality might help moderate the high temperatures.

Perfectly decent, but I can't get excited over it, plus the price tag places it way out of the league of most scent purchasers.
13th December, 2016

17/17 Damarose by Xerjoff

A bright transparent rose, lifted in the first impression by sweet freesia and sparkling lemon, immediately makes itself known. The patchouli, amber and musk support it without drawing attention to themselves. The rose, ever so slightly green, remains dead center.

I get no development, but what is there is certainly true to its name.
I was somewhat leery of trying this house, due to its over production, seemingly glutting the market, but the initial impression with Damarose, is that at least it seems quality materials are being utilized.

There are rose soliflores out there just as fine to be had for way less money, so I can only give this a neutral review, when considering the world of fragrance, though on its own it's decent and lovely.
12th December, 2016

Burberry for Men (Version #2) by Burberry

Confusing list here on Basenotes. The BFM dated 1995 should rightly have in parentheses (Version #3), as there is an original from 1981 and this version #2, from 1992, which I am reviewing.

I assume that Turin's two star review ("herbaceous chemical") referred to the original 1981 release, but there is no way to know which of the three he was reviewing.

#2 is a lavender fougere, bright and bracing, with a skanky note (others have referred to possible civet). Lots of notes have been suggested in these reviews in addition to these two notes: amber, juniper, pepper, pine, amber, mint, artemesia, galbanum, carnation, etc. Quite possible - this melange. However, for my nose the lavender and civet are most prominent.

This is a typical men's scent from the powerhouse era (1980-1995), and I can see it as a popular choice for an after shave purchased for pennies from one's local drug store. It is not to my nose extraordinary in any way, just a decent scent for men. The brightness quickly fades, leaving a sharp, somewhat unpleasant dry down. Not entierely bad, but definitely not for me.
10th December, 2016

Ubar Woman by Amouage

This is a review of the re-issue. I have no experience of what the vintage must have been like, but this re-issue will do very nicely, thank you.

This is class and sophistication in a bottle, the 1940s/1950s woman with the fur coat, who just stepped into the warmth of the foyer from the winter cold. Sandalwood and amber (the real McCoys, not the synthetics) immediately greet one, followed by a green, yet voluptuous tuberose, a slightly buttery ylang, and a touch of civet and patchouli. The whole thing blends and merges within minutes. There are hints of that red lipstick kept in the warmth of her handbag.

Best lightly applied. Great for formal wear - opera, theatre, concert. Terrific.
08th December, 2016

Cuir Tabac by David Jourquin

An initial blast of sharp oud and turpentine. I imagine I am smelling the patchouli, which is unrefined and extremely bitter.

Lavender and musk emerge gasping from the boiling pot, struggling to rise up out of the murk.

They all seem to be swirling about now, looking desperately for the tobacco that is supposedly somewhere about, but dismally failing to locate it. Cheaply thrown together melange of oils.

Nasty, bitter thing!!
07th December, 2016

Tabac Rouge / Turkish Blend by Phaedon

Mint and honey - an immediate blast, morphing with a light tobacco background. There's not enough tobacco here to justify the use of it in the name of the scent. Where's the Rouge part? That would have suggested a rose somewhere in the back ground. Or at least a pink carnation?

How can such a dominant note of mint not be in the note tree at all?
The impression here is of mint jelly and honey on toast.

Definitely a gourmand for me and not that attractive. Neither Tabac nor Rouge in my book.
06th December, 2016
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Bois d'Ombrie by Eau d'Italie

Although my partner has gone into raptures over this scent (he rarely cares for anything I review), I hate it. All I get is nasty, bitter oud, a scent I loathe.

He gets iris and the smoky scent of Islay Scotch - as the leather enters, he gets a soft scent of lemon rind, bitter, sparkling, so that the smoke and the iris fade to the background, while leather and lemon dance in the foreground. (His words.)

I must admit that on his skin it comes together nicely, far nicer than on mine. Still there's that bitter oud note that makes it intolerable for me. Such irony, finally he finds something he wants to bathe in and I can't stand it.

C'est la vie!
05th December, 2016

Les Nuits d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

As with the original Eau d'Hadrien, 22 years earlier than Nuits, this is a citrus based on orange and tangerine, with lemon supporting. This is for me an equally well done "evening" version, with sweet support from amber and musk, and grounding with patchouli and cumin. The other notes listed do not reach my nose.

The original Eau has been one of my five favorite citrus scents for many years now. The Nuits joins it as a darker, quieter version. Very well done.

Turin calls it "orange fennel" (reminded of a salad he constructs) and gives it only three stars. I would say it deserves at least four.
04th December, 2016

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

All I get is a generic oceanic woody, like thousands of other drug store scents over the past twenty years. I feel like the boy who pointed out the emperor was wearing no clothes.

Turin called it a "bergamot violet," although there seems to be no violet in it. I do get the lemony bergamot, but none of the spices, no anise, no ginger. The iris, mint and pepper are simply not there.

Overall effect is that of a poor and dismal, vastly unattractive concoction. I am amazed that so many reviewers sense so many things in it that I do not, especially those who give it a positive review.

Definitely a sniff first, don't blind buy scent.
03rd December, 2016

Duel by Annick Goutal

First my nose picks up the bitter dry orange-infused petitgrain mixed with an equally dry iris root. I like the darkness and the dryness.

Then the tea notes come in to moderate the effect with a slight bit of sweetness. This comes over a very subdued light leather scent.

The overall effect is quite refined, restrained and subtle. A dry summer cologne of tea and leather. The idea is a welcome one. Goutal seems to be using quality materials here. The effect is quite light and lasts only as long as your typical eau de cologne. I also think a stronger edp version would be welcome for colder weather.

I probably woudn't buy a bottle, but I do like it.
02nd December, 2016

Le Maroc pour Elle by Tauer

Complex, deep and above all, exquisitely balanced floral oriental. Turin's three stars do it an injustice. This is a four star, at the very least. The impression for me is of jasmine, sandalwood (the real thing), amber, rose, plum, and (as everyone here notes), the sweet smell of head shop incense sticks.

It would certainly be attractive for women (this was Tauer's first scent and was initially labelled just Le Maroc) but why add the "pour Elle?" Leave the name alone and promote a unisex attraction to it, thus potentially doubling your sales. There is nothing remotely nailing it as too feminine for a man to wear.

I would recommend it also to those into vintage scents from the 1930s and 1940s. Especially those attracted to floral chypres. A great modern floral oriental.
01st December, 2016

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

The reactions and responses for this scent are fascinating in and of themselves. I am a great fan of tobacco scents, my favorite still being the very first (R&G's 1911 Cigalia), but also love Tabac Blond (both vintage and re-formulation), Gauloise and DSH's Prophecy.

Tobacco Vanille begins for me with a burst of clove and mint, without a hint of tobacco. Slowly the tobacco leaf note sneaks into the picture, almost as an embarrassed late comer. The humidor effect seems genuine. The gourmand effect of the vanilla, cocoa and tonka bean take over eventually and dominate.

I am wearing this in winter. It does not over power me. It is a perfectly pleasant scent and I like it very much. As with all Tom Ford, Roja Dove, and By Kilian scents, the price tag does me in, so I will not be purchasing it. If you can afford it, go for it.
30th November, 2016

Black Violet by Tom Ford

I don't find anything sweet or candied in this scent at all. Rather I get a subtle green mossy woody accord that is pleasant, but not in any way remarkable or outstanding. If there are violets here, my nose is missing them.

Turin goes on for almost a page in is tome, providing an interesting essay on the structure of true perfumes, but tells us little about the scent itself and no notes are provided on this Basenotes page. Therefore, it is difficult to discuss any of the ingredients.

If there is violet here, it is violet leaf, to my nose, not the flower. Perfectly pleasant, but not worth the price.
29th November, 2016

Vanille Tonka by Nicolaï

I wanted to try this scent after reading Turin's review (though only three stars), likening it to Vol de Nuit, the sandalwood, amber, vanilla Guerlain classic. The reality is for me dissimilar.

The note tree would indicate sparkling citrus, sweet floral, spice and warm base. I get frankincense, vanilla and a bit of pepper, nothing else. I am a fan of both carnation and cinnamon in perfume, so know what to expect. Sadly, they never come to the surface for me.

It is pleasant, but has little strength, fading within half an hour despite multiple applications. Disappointing.
28th November, 2016

Acqua di Parma Profumo by Acqua di Parma

Tremendous class, sophistication and style are embodied in this marvelous scent. It is one of those very rare scents one comes across only a few times in one's life: totally original and so well balanced/blended that no one note or notes stand out.

I am able to detect - or get the impression of - civet, rose, bergamot, carnation and cinnamon. A bed of soft florals wafts through the experience. This is what I would have expected Audrey Hepburn to favor, as it sums up for me her on screen personality - poised, elegant and refined.

The subtle carnation note brings to mind Guerlain's Sous Le Vent, created for the unique personality of Josephine Baker.

Quite pricey, but worth every penny.
26th October, 2016

Volupté by Oscar de la Renta

To my nose and on my skin this begins harshly with a dry and acrid note. This may be the tagete - why bother, I ask.

It quickly settles down to a heart of a slightly sweet and heady white floral melange, which smells to me very synthetic, a bit plastic. The vanilla and sandalwood notes that support it do nothing to efface this effect.

Not awful, but not entirely pleasant. I sampled the pure vintage parfum. I note the edt goes for pennies, so the quality of the oils used cannot be very great.

Pleasant enough for a drug store quality fragrance.
06th October, 2016

Bleu Impériale by Cherigan

I have been unable to find any descriptions of the actual scent itself anywhere on the web. Even photos of the bottle are incredibly rare.

My impression is that of a rich, warm, dark vanilla. A soft, voluptuous cedar or sandalwood note is here as well. Very round, very balanced. A touch of orris and violet tend to give it a leather accord, but this is scented leather, just as a further impression might be that of a scented fur coat. This latter vibe I often get from chypres of the 1930s and 1940s.

I have no knowledge of the relevance of the name of the scent. Perhaps it refers to something in Havana culture, easily referenced by the original perfumer's dual locations in both Paris and Cuba.

It is certainly a treaure, a great warm chypre. Thanks to a fellow Basenoter who gifted me with a pure parfum sample.
28th September, 2016

Elle Elle by Lucien Lelong

Lucien Lelong's Elle Elle is described as an animalic chypre. A small sample of the pure parfum was an unexpected gift from a fellow Basenotes reviewer.

There is a rich red rose at the center. It is deep and heavy. On my partner (but not on me) the rose is supported by amber and civet, giving the impression of a rich, well worn leather jacket or fabric.

In a word, stunning. Too bad this is out of production.

Note: Lelong's website and one other that lists all the Lelong scents by date gives a release date of 1948, while Basenotes and the Perfume Encyclopedia date it from 1937.
27th September, 2016

Gelsomini di Capri by Carthusia

I am reviewing a parfum sample, which begins with a strong blast of pure jasmine (Lutens' A La Nuit strength). This is almost immediately softened by the banana note of ylang ylang. The neroli further strengthens the almost overwhelming sweetness of the jasmine.

Clove enters to begin grounding it, along with a slightly minty green scent (the geranium I assume). It sort of deflates before my nose, like a great baloon of scent quieting down. The greenness of the jasmine gives it a slightly skanky quality at this point.

Supposedly there are rose, vanilla, cedar, and beeswax at work here as well, but my nose does not detect them.

If you love jasmine-dominant scents, you'll love this. It is stunningly strong, but too sweet and feminine for my tastes.
07th September, 2016

Capri Forget Me Not by Carthusia

According to Carthusia's web site, there are 15 ingredients, involving citrus, florals, fruits, spices and herbs:

Lemon, Orange, Mandarin, Lime, Buchu
Violet, Cyclamen, Jasmine, Hyacinth
Davana, Peach, Fig, Mint, Eucalyptus, Vanilla

Initially there is a sharp, fresh blast of Fig and Mint, the latter predominant. The luscious Peach surfaces, supported by Vanilla. None of the citrus or floral notes reach my nose, but it matters not, as these four notes suffice, blending into a unique and beautiful summer scent, uplifting and refreshing.

It is quite unlike Carthusia's other fig scent, IO, which is a simple combination of fig and green tea, equally memorable.

I like both these fig scents very much and prefer them to Premier Figuier. Both of Carthusia's figs are fresh and summery, highly recommended.
05th September, 2016

Carthusia Uomo by Carthusia

Luca Turin gives this only one star and dismisses it as a "citrus woody." I would not be that severe, but it is dismissible.

I get only one of the notes put out by both Carthusia's web site (Cashmere -what does that smell like?, Kelp, Citrus, Cedarwood) and other Basenoters in these reviews (Rosewood, Raspberry, Leather).

On my skin to my nose it begins as a very light cumin, followed by an equally light and pleasant musk - and that's it. No development, no other notes. A light and refreshing summer splash of no distinction. I would expect to find this in a drug store selling for $10 per 100 ml.

As such, it only gets a neutral rating from me. Pleasant, but simplistic and unremarkable.
04th September, 2016

Carthusia Lady by Carthusia

Supposedly 80 floral oils were used in the creation of this scent. Here's where publicity intended to impress actually accomplishes the opposite.

If true it is a total waste of oils, since the nose can only identify up to a dozen at a time, and that's for the very best "noses" in the profession. That many oils would cancel each other out for about 90% of the volume. Perhaps Carthusia was attempting to stretch the floral genre as far as it might go, in Proustian style.

At first I get a slightly mentholated green rose, Nahema reminiscent. I wait patiently. Ten minutes later, no change. Fifteen minutes and the menthol has receded, but the green rose is still there, dead center. Nothing else. Then a bit of soft jasmine enters the arena. Ah, vanilla. A balance of all three. That's as far as it goes.

So, nice, harmless, but hardly innovative or unique.
31st August, 2016

Corallium by Carthusia

This strikes me as being a very woody, slightly herbal, scent. There is a bitterness underlying it, very Oud-like, whch I find unpleasant.

The bay and sage are bitter and the patchouli, cedar and myrrh do little to warm or round out this bitterness. I can find no reference on line as to what sedum smells like.

On my partner there is a lightness, a floral quality, but not on my skin. Even with that lighter, floral aspect, the scent is not especially good, simply an average wood scent.

Nothing special here.
30th August, 2016