Perfume Reviews

Reviews by JackTwist

Total Reviews: 999

Happy To Be by Clinique

My former CEO used to drown herself in the original Happy, which I found to be quite pleasant, although a little bit would have gone further with her underlings. Some with allergies would suffer through board meetings, their eyes and noses throbbing.

I had thought this flanker might also be a floral bouquet, but it's quite different. It is a dry, very dry, and peppery scent, not at all feminine, but not really masculine either. It is entirely synthetic - I can detect no natural notes to isolate.

It's not bad, although it's not very good either, sort of a middle of the road modern scent, for those who want to wear something, but don't particularly want to smell like anything in particular.

Nothing to go out of your way for, but pleasant enough.
23rd May, 2016

Plumeria by TerraNova

I just received a bottle from a fresh batch of this essence and something must have gone wrong in the manufacturing.

I get a very rubbery, plastic scent, not the scent of the flower at all.
A major disappointment as this company's Pikake essence is fabulous and true to the flower.

A big thumbs down!
22nd May, 2016

Sa Majesté la Rose by Serge Lutens

Way Off Scenter tells us that this is a Bourbon rose. Although I do not specifically know that particular scent, I am aware of the difference between vintage rose scents (prior to the importation of the oriental "tea" roses into European horticulture) and those subsequent teas.

For me this is a green tea rose, too modern, too sharp, to be confused with the warm, intoxicating damasks etc. of classic rose cultivation. It reminds me very much of Guerlain's Nahema.

I don't get the honey, clove, wood, musk and lemon notes others find, just a linear green tea, a well done soliflore, but nothing one can't find far more cheaply than paying the Lutens price tag.
22nd May, 2016
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Santal Blanc by Serge Lutens

This begins for me as a fresh, minty blast, followed by a generic woody floral scent, that is common and unremarkable. Unlike most strong Lutens scents, this is extremely light.

I get none of the spice notes mentioned by others, and my nose is most susceptible to the use of both cumin and immortelle (fenugreek) in modern perfumery. Odd that so many did get these notes, but my nose cannot pick them up.

If there is iris here, it is almost imperceptible as well, but may be adding to the dry woody notes.

All in all, pleasant but entirely unremarkable.
21st May, 2016

Rousse by Serge Lutens

A dry, quiet combo of cinnamon, clove and cedar.

I get none of the other notes mentioned, no orange, no carrot seed or anise (as Turin observed), no amber or vanilla.

It's not loud as some reviewers found it, like cinnamon tea or candy, to my nose. It's quite linear and dry, also long-lasting. It stays close to the skin, which makes it inoffensive for office wear.

Its only drawback comes if worn in hot weather, as there is a non-washed, sweaty scent in heat that can have a cinnamon vibe, and this might get you disapproving looks in certain situations. As a winter scent it is unobtrusive and pleasant.

Decent but unremarkable.
20th May, 2016

Miel de Bois by Serge Lutens

Sweet honied florals with a splash of acrid woods in the background.

I don't get the urine effect, thankfully. Turin/Sanchez called this an animalic floral, which I don't get. I also do not think their one star was fair. This is certainly worth at least three stars.

It is simple, direct and linear to my nose. Just sweet, light honeyed florals. Nothing remarkable, but certainly wearable.

It oddly reminds me of generic floral bouquets of vintage perfumes over the previous century, the sort that never survived to be considered collectable, as they were pretty much alike and pleasantly forgettable.

19th May, 2016

Mandarine Mandarin by Serge Lutens

Sweet candied orange rind is all my nose can perceive from Mandarine Mandarin. There is a fizziness that is reminiscent of Lubin's Gin Fizz.

Immortelle is here but way in the background, peeping out occasionally, but remarkably not taking center stage as it usually does. I get no smoke or spices.

Sadly, it just smells "cheap," to me, synthetic. Like sniffing a shampoo that ended up at the local dollar store.

I will pass.
18th May, 2016

Louve by Serge Lutens

I was prepared for the worst. The combo of cherry, almond and vanilla had served two popular cosmetic items in the past. My mother and aunts always put on Jergen's hand lotion in the winter, which was very very strong. Likewise, in my youth, the Vidal Sassoon shampoo line reeked of it.

Louve begings strong, but calms down within minutes to become quite close to the skin. It has all the warm and reassuring vibes connected with these three gourmand scents, but in dry down more resembles a bowl of ice cream, combining cherry vanilla with pistachio.

It's a wearable gourmand as it is not in your face, not making you reek of the kitchen or the pantry. It is however rather simplistic, hence the neutral review. Nice, but not remarkable.
17th May, 2016

Fleurs de Citronnier by Serge Lutens

A beautful and restrained mix of white florals, sweet and feminine.

The heady beauty of tuberose, neroli and lemon blossom swirl about, defining spring morning, and are ably supported by musk in the dry down. There is a dry note that keeps the sweetness from becoming cloying.

Others here have noted how different this is from the usual Lutens composition combo of fruits, florals and oriental notes. It is very refreshing. It could certainly be worn by a man, but probably not in a public setting.

Along with Lutens' Fleurs d'Oranger, created a decade earlier, the pair make a welcome addition to the genre of subtle white florals. Both are extremely well done.
16th May, 2016

Dolce Vita by Christian Dior

A dry floral-fruity chypre, subtle and warm.

This is to my mind quite unisex, easily worn by both men and women, but only on a personal and intimate level. I agree with another Basenoter that this not suitable for the work place.

A much more successful version of Lutens' Feminite du Bois, created by the same perfumer (Pierre Bourdon), than the original or any of its flankers within the Lutens line.

A rarity in this modern world of thin scents, this is a fine throw back to a past world of rich, warm perfectly blended perfumes, more reminiscent of the 1940s than 1995, the year of its birth.

One of Dior's finest scents and very affordable.
14th May, 2016

Pikake by TerraNova

WOW! A superb soliflore parfum that is extremely true to the flower and extremely concentrated. Unbelievable for under $20 the .4 ounce.

Although Pikake is identified with Hawaii and other South Seas Islands, it is actually from India, spread in trade to Asia and the South Atlantic, eventually to the South Pacific. It is also known in the perfume world as Jasmin Sambac.

A few dabs of this and you will project to the next county, so use sparingly - as such, it is an incredible value.

Initial scent is a very strong banana-like Ylang Ylang vibe, quieting down to the soft jasmine-like accord that is the signature of this beautiful flower after an hour. Then you can go about in polite society.

If you love jasmine, you owe it to yourself to experience this powerful and incredibly rich white floral. Thank you, Terra Nova!
13th May, 2016

Datura Noir by Serge Lutens

Such a jumble of notes - floral, fruit, nut - and yet no one note overcomes the others. It is certainly well balanced in that respect.
The heart notes, as read, when combined under a different hand, might halt an army miles distant. Here they smoothly work in harmony to produce a light, feminine floral, warmed by the vanilla-like properties of heliotrope, tonka, musk, and vanilla itself.

The "tropical" is suggested, rather than part of the actual composition. All that said, the scent itself does not impress me. I get the effect of an attempt at creating a L'Heure Bleue with modern combinations of oils that doesn't quite come together.

It is certainly not bad, nor loud, nor "trashy," as Lutens described it, but it is too quiet to be lauded. Very nice, pleasant, but unremarkable.
13th May, 2016

Daim Blond by Serge Lutens

Lutens is responsible for the best iris suede on the market, his Iris Silver Mist. Daim Blond (Golden Suede) is a much quieter take on this suede note. More center stage is the dried apricot/peach vibe with the suede quietly in the back ground.

It is one of the lightest of the Lutens scents (at this point I have reviewed exactly half of the 62 listed on Basenotes), almost undetectable on my skin despite many applications. I find it to be too subtle for my enjoyment. Had the oils been denser, I might have enjoyed this more.

As it is, it is a pleasant light peach/apricot suede, neither bad nor outstanding.
12th May, 2016
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Clair de Musc by Serge Lutens

A very light vanilla-like white musk. The neroli helps give it a powdery orange vibe, much like Piguet's Baghari, but so little is used, it is more of a suggestion than a fact.

Others have noted its resemblance to the popularly priced Jovan Musk and I heartily concur.

This is a musk for those who want to smell of something, but don't wish to draw attention. It is soft and powdery and of no great complexity.

As others have mentioned on these pages, the price tag for something so simply compounded is a deterrent.
11th May, 2016

Chypre Rouge by Serge Lutens

Overwhelmingly immortelle infused, sweet gourmand concoction. Odd that the note tree does not include the most prominent note, but I find that often in these review pages.

Chypre Rouge brings to mind butter and maple syrup just poured over morning waffles. The bitter thyme and pine were brief and continued to lurk in the background. It settles down on my skin quite quickly and is then just linear immortelle.

Turin didn't like it, giving it two stars and dubbing it "immortelle disaster." Well, it boils down to whether or not you like the smell of immortelle, which is identical to fenugreek, prominent in Indian spice combinations. Once you include it, it overwhelms the other notes, so if it is present at all, it is sure to dominate.

There seem to be loads of immortelle fragrances out there, beginning with Sables and Eau Noire through Parfums d'Empire's Fougere Bengale and even Lutens' own mis-named Santal de Mysore. This is no better nor worse than any of the others. A decent take on the spice, perhaps more expensive than it needs to be.
10th May, 2016

Philtre d'Amour by Guerlain

An initial burst of anise quickly subsides into a strong and sweet lemon, which settles down onto a subdued orange supported by dry patchouli. As Turin's three star review suggested, it would make a great masculine. He does however call it a floral citrus, but I really can't make out the single floral note, jasmine. Turin states there is ylang yang and muguet here, but they do not appear in the note tree, nor does my nose make them out.

An odd name for what is essentially an eau de cologne based on orange and lemon. "Love Potion" as a coined phrase hints at the exotic, the rich, the layered. I would have expected an oriental or at least a chypre. Where do these houses come up with the names for their products? Do they reach into a hat?

The end product is nice, subdued, quiet. The dry down comes quickly and it wears close to the skin - a dry, woody citrus with a hint of anise. Pleasant without being remarkable or exciting.
09th May, 2016

Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens

I agree with the Basenoters thus far that this does not smell like Mysore Sandalwood at all, so why the name?

I agree with Caltha that this should rightfully be described as a gourmand. Turin's three star review mentions caramel, coconut and rum. I am reminded of a gourmet candle I recently smelled in a local shop, described as Bombay Bazaar.

For me it is a rich, creamy immortelle and curry blend with a bit of cedar in the background. A highly original, successful and delightful gourmand, so why not name it appropriately and be proud?

This is one I would never wear as I don't like to smell like food, but I would highly recommend it for anyone into gourmand, warm and/or spicy scents.
08th May, 2016

Un Lys by Serge Lutens

The take on this scent is confusing. Early reviewers mention lilac. Turin in his three star review mentions jasmine, muguet and vanilla, but no lily at all. After all "Lys" is "Lily" in french. Why should such a scent not smell like lily - seems an exercise in idiocy to me.

Well, upon trying it, I must agree with later reviewers here that what I am smelling is a synthetic take on the waxy, rich, deep and langorous lily accord. It smells like no real lily I've ever encountered, and my garden has held many species from the orient. Nor does it smell like the ubiquitous white, so-called "Easter" Lily.

For me it is a failed attempt to replicate the "effect" of lily. It fails because it lacks opulence, depth and volume. There is a dry, menthol-like note that emerges early on, more the scent of a dying than a living specimen.

True lily for me is only found in the sadly discontinued Penhaligon's Lily and Spice. Lutens' attempt lacks interest for me. Not a terrible scent, just uninteresting, rather a bore really.
07th May, 2016

Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens

The idea of supporting white florals with cumin is not new. It goes back as far as Molyneux's 1962 Fete. Here, however, the trademark concentration of oils for which Lutens is known, kicks this up many notches.

Strong tuberose combines with the green jasmine of their soliflore, A La Nuit. The green note is helped by white rose. The neroli itself sweetens the background rather than being center stage as the name of the scent would suggest.

Citrus peel, cumin and nutmeg provide the dark, spicy warmth. Supposedly hibiscus seeds also play a part, but since their scent is unknown to me, I can't locate them.

A strong mixture of white and green florals supported by earthy spices - my summary of the experience. I find it superbly done and one of Lutens' very best creations.
06th May, 2016

Encens et Lavande by Serge Lutens

Strong, true lavender opening, followed by an ever-softening progression, which with the absence of vanilla or coumarin never achieves the powdery effects lavender scents mostly aim for.

The incense eventually surfaces for the dry down, but the lavender never leaves. They simply fade away together.

A scent combination that is not terribly inspired to my way of thinking, since both the lavender and frankincense are both similar in their densities. There is no contrast, no cleverness in combining materials in a new way, no real invention.

Another of the Lutens that does not justify its price tag, by pairing a few simple ingredients, the result of which neither inspires nor impresses.

I'll pass.
05th May, 2016

Un Bois de Sépia by Serge Lutens

Turin's 2 star evaluation of this Bois flanker in the Lutens line, "dumb-witted sports fragrance," hits the nail on the head.

Harsh and sweet at the same time, Un Bois Sepia does resemble a 1980s men's "powerhouse" scent, generic, common, unpleasant, and copied ad nauseum hundreds if not thousands of times by niche houses in the decades since.

Uninspired to say the least, one wonders why the Lutens house launched this. Most probably as another reviewer suggests to round out the Bois line by concentrating on the base notes only of the original, Feminite du Bois.

It's harmless, I suppose, but at Lutens' selling price, rather a joke on the fragrance-buying public, unsuspecting and trustful as we can be.
04th May, 2016

Bois de Violette by Serge Lutens

This one is a puzzlement for me. I love violet, but prefer the natural, powdery scent. I am not a lover of the sweetened, candied violet so prevalent in perfumes intended solely for women.

At first I got a burst of acrid cedar and pungent cumin. After five minutes the violet began to emerge, but this violet is neither dry and powdery, nor is it sweet. It's there, but so shyly so, I can hardly detect it. The woods move to the background and I am left with a non-descript weak sweetness that is not redolent of violet.

I will stick with my two favorite violets, the vintage Trumper Ajaccio Violet and Balenciaga's Le Dix.
28th April, 2016

Bois Oriental by Serge Lutens

This is more wood than spice to my nose. The amber and vanilla dominate and tone down the cedar. I don't get any of the fruit or floral notes either.

It comes across as a simplistic wood scent, pleasant but unremarkable. It is very light to the point of almost non-existance. I have found this with the other Bois flankers of this line (Bois et Fruits, Bois et Musc), Lutens using less oil concentration than in other fragrances (I have sampled half of the house's output at this point).

Definitely not worth the price.
27th April, 2016

Bois et Musc by Serge Lutens

A very pleasant cinnamon cedar oriental, much sweeter than their Bois et Fruits and less incense oriented than same.

As I could not detect any fruit in the Bois et Fruits, I cannot detect any musk in the Bois et Musc. Go figure!

Still, these two quality flankers to the 1992 original composition, Feminite du Bois, are worthy. They do share an odd trait in common, the lack of sillage and longetivity, two trade marks for this house that usually make a SL purchase worth the price - it will last longer as it takes less application to achieve a strong effect.

Not at all bad, but a stronger concentration of oils is needed to justify the price.

26th April, 2016

Bois et Fruits by Serge Lutens

A sweet, luxuriant oriental, combining notes of cedarwood, sandalwood, cinnamon and myrrh - to my nose, anyway.

I don't detect any fruits, dry or otherwise. Turin calls it a "plummy wood," but my nose can not agree.

What I can agree with is the oft mentioned (in these reviews) trait of poor longetivity and intensity. Lutens is known for strong concentration of oils and long-lasting fragrances. This misses the mark on both counts.

It's a superb oriental, but don't blink or you'll miss it.
25th April, 2016

Climat by Lancôme

This is a review for the vintage parfum. I have not sampled the current re-issue.

This immediately reminded me of the rich, textured floral chypres of Lanvin. It is very old school, right out of the 1940s, and is to my nose truly superb. The exact floral oils used here are hard to detect as the balance and blending are stunningly achieved.

It is very creamy with a sandalwood and vanilla base that lovingly supports the florals.

Quite an achievement. I'll be looking for a bottle on Ebay or amongst the private collectors/purveyors I know.

24th April, 2016

Tubéreuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens

A refreshing blast of wintergreen - those pink Canada mints we seniors used to eat as children. Slowly the tuberose emerges from the minty mist, but it is a subdued tuberose, a quiet tuberose, although up to now I hadn't thought that was possible. The jasmine seems to restrain the beast and rein it in.

It floats over musk and vanilla with a hint of nutmeg for the remainder of the dry down. Although Turin found this to be the Ethel Merman of scents, I do not. I love tuberose and find this to be refreshingly tame, one a guy could actually get away with wearing in public.

A surprise for me and a welcome one.
12th April, 2016

Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens

Dark, rich, dusty combo of patchouli and cocoa. There is a sense also of freshly cut saw mill sawdust. There is also the sense of dry pipe tobaco. Very earthy and very subtle.

An excellent masculine. Some reviewers compare it to Coromandel, but I find it to be superior to that Chanel. Turin notes that silks from the orient used to be wrapped in patchouli leaves to repel insects and that this is how the West discovered the scent, which penetrated the fabric.

That said, I would imagine Borneo 1834 could successfully be sprayed on scarves, sweaters and other clothing with success, as well as on our persons.

Warm and comforting - one of Serge Lutens' best.
11th April, 2016

X for Women by Clive Christian

A peachy woody (read reedy) ephemeral scent that disappears soon after you apply.

In other words, a joke. One that won over Turin with his four stars.

A real rip-off in big letters with Madison Square Garden lights. Emperor's Slightly Hand -Me Down Clothes.

Longetivity: 5 seconds. Sillage: 000000.1 %

Seriously, this is "trash" with a capital "T."
10th April, 2016

Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens

At first I thought, yet another Angel rip-off. Yes, it is, but without the complexity and multi-note development of that classic gourmand. This is a flavored coffee scent - caramel, vanilla to be exact. It's also the scent of candles one finds at Christmas in department stores.

Turin finds amber and rose here, which are not in the note tree. He is most reminded of a coffee shop, while Lucky Scent's blurb likens it to roasted marshmallows at a camp fire.

I am not impressed. It smells like those nasty candles, quite plainly, cheap. There is a vast audience for this type of vanilla scent, so it obviously sells well. I don't get the woods, coconut or licorice.

Strength and longetivity are gargantuan, as are most Lutens, so be prepared to smell like a candle until your wicks are burnt low.
10th April, 2016