Perfume Reviews

Reviews by tymanski

Total Reviews: 67

Coven by Andrea Maack

coven is a superb abstract frag that says 'green' but forces one to reconsider what 'green' as a smell really means. it's damp but vibrant, woody but rather 'waterlogged' and weirdly resinous without any cliche ambery or liturgical references. rather than being a "millionth" iteration of whatever, coven is an fact quite original in approach for green and is one of maack's most appealing frags
13th May, 2018

Bois d'Iris by Van Cleef & Arpels

my old pal colin could have written my sense of this minor masterpiece word for word. except for the ending - i found fb at a fraction of retail, so just perfect. 'silver powder' indeed!
29th September, 2017

MEM by Bogue Profumo

MEM is a bold, positive and necessary progression for Bogue. the billowing layers of lavender manage to sidestep obvious fougere associations, which is no mean feat. MEM plunges into uncharted gourmand oriental while retaining a lurking civet card that only reveals itself in the long drydown, showing crucial restraint. this is an extremely complex and ever-shifting frag that will retain its interest for a long time. another home run but with a different bat from Signor Gardoni!
07th July, 2017
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Rêve Narcotique G2 by Sultan Pasha

G2 keeps Sultan on the wave he's been riding with his outstanding releases of the past year. It's essentially an iris-oriental that wears surprisingly light considering the depth of its composition. it first hits with a cacophony (symphony?) of florals, with rose, tuberose and jasmine jumping out and this miasma provide a good half hour of dizzying complexity. it then starts to settle down to reveal its 'true' character: deep, gorgeous orris butter suspended in what seems like layer after layer of resins: ambregris AND labdanum. somehow this not only 'works' but as i said it's pulled off with a light touch that makes G2 an easy wear. of course, this attar is far more complex than i can relay in a few words; but i've been wearing it in the heat, which contrary to seasonal dictates, accentuates the complexity without suffocating the wearer. some sweet smellin voodoo!
22nd July, 2016

Aurum d'Angkhor by Sultan Pasha

I'm fairly new to attars beyond my trusty amouage tribute but i scored a few of Sultan's at the behest of trusted friends and man it was impressive brace of blind buys! the pick of the lot, by far, was aurum. the complexity, richness, vivacity and utter quality is virtually beyond words. i have to agree with some hi-profile blogs that contend that this stuff is holy grail-superlative-best grade liquid. whether you dig bright florals, orientals, chypres or even colognes, aurum gives you a little (or a LOT) of something throughout its long, LONG, twisted journey to nirvana. i'll dispense with the notes, as i'd probably exceed the BN word limit and others have done it exhaustively already. it's very expensive per ml but if you want a sense of the history AND the future of perfumery in a wee lil bottle, give Sultan's magnum opus (his designation!) a try. masterpiece 10/10
10th April, 2016

Rien Intense Incense by Etat Libre d'Orange

rien really is the director's cut of the original; not merely 'more' of the same, but new contours and a BAM factor that sets up the rien-ish drydown of cyborg leathers and cgi resins. very potent but also exceedingly well-behaved. easily my fave eldo and a rare flanker that respects and develops the best elements of the original. excellent smouldering, dystopian frag...
07th April, 2016

Eau du Fier by Annick Goutal

this criminally discontinued masterpiece must be regarded as the antecedent to the 'smoky aromatic' micro genre of which lonestar memories, norne, black tourmaline, bois d'ascese, black gemstone etc etc belong to. this stuff is so alluring in its schizoid fresh citrus/burned-down-house duality and has never failed to satisfy on all levels. complexity, balance, assertiveness and refinement are all here, not to mention nuclear longevity but surprisingly discreet throw. i treasure my bottle and while i don't condone ebay gouging, i strongly recommend that if the above frags appeal to you, get this if given the opportunity.
21st February, 2016

Ruh by Pekji

ruh is the classic 'grower' - at first not really distinguished from the plethora of rose-spice-wood trendoids floatin round these days, but within a few short minutes you know something different is going on.... besides the full, tart rose of top quality, the saffron AND coffee take this on a detour far away from woodyville. repeated wearings really assert ruh's singular status, apart from the pack while remaining first and foremost an exceptionally wearable, warm quasi-gourmand rose oriental. great work!
06th February, 2016

Aomassaï 10 by Parfumerie Generale

i'll defer to the eloquent ClaireV's superior evocation & descriptive talents and simply concur with everything she says. another great shapeshifting non-edible gourmand from PG
17th January, 2016

Pétroleum by Histoires de Parfums

like a cdg version of 1740, there is still a good slug of immortelle and leather, but everything has been given a sort of astringent tar brush that actually energizes the composition. this stuff is strident and potent but remarkably wearable at the same time and is indeed the pick of the generally impressive editions rare trio. another impressive and groundbreaking creation by maestro ghislain. 8.5/10
03rd January, 2016

Asphalt Rainbow by Charenton Macerations

coming off the heels of ultra assertive christopher st, the wan post-industrial hum of AR is a delightful surprise. as deadidol infers, it could probably work as a top quality cdg, but i really sense a strong affinity with h&g clemency - holograph rose and urban nu-skank. so, a totally appropriate name and a entirely positive new addition to the hypermodern zone of my wardrobe
29th December, 2015

Blask by Humiecki & Graef

My wife refers to Blask as ‘the candy perfume’ when I wear it and it does indeed go on sweet, very sweet in fact, but doesn’t ever cloy. It’s a sweetness that comes from beyond honey, vanilla, benzoin or patchouli, as in The Classics. It’s a sweetness that feels organic and seems to float despite its saccharine intensity. The closest reference I can muster to describe this intense sweetness is a very well-aged sauternes desert wine from the Bordeaux region. But that’s a white wine, not red as stated in the official description. But it’s a sweetness that is affable and warm even on a cloudy, cold Dutch morning. That alone makes it worth wearing at least once. The rest of the scent makes it truly compelling.

I don’t know about the reference to oud because I simply don’t smell any. Nor any By Kilian style oud accord sans oud. Maybe it’s a silent partner that has presence rather than visibility. But I do get wood, but not sure if it’s walnut; could be, could be oak, definitely not the cedar that is seemingly ubiquitous these days. It is a warm, sensuous wood that perfectly integrates with the odeur de sauternes. As time passes, the intense sweetness gives way not just to wood, but to a slight acidic sharpness, as you might encounter as the sauternes is being prepared for bottling at its must stage - yes, alfarom's reference is hard to shake! Wow, the net effect is to make this combination quite bright. After 15 minutes on skin, Blask is so bright it feels and smells like it is actually glowing! mahhhvelous stuff
08th December, 2015

Sarrasins by Serge Lutens

Lutens had previously released A La Nuit, which exhibited the fresh, sparkling, green-tinged aspect of jasmine. The result was a quite feminine, easier, green-tinged daytime frag with fairly mass appeal. I could never wear that. Sarrasins is the slightly feral, growling, clearly unisex Lutens jasmine that says “danger but it’s safe”, kinda like a scary ride or a bungee jump. The indoles can smell just a touch fecal to some, while the osmanthus is brilliantly rendered to affect a rather skanky leathery accord after about 30 minutes. But never at any time does Sarrasins come off as anything but extremely elegant and deeply sensual, even sexy. And man o man, does the heat of summer accentuate these aspects. my grail jasmine in the deep purple shawl....
28th November, 2015
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Salome by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

yabadabadoo! salome is an outstanding contribution to classic perfumery, reminding me a LOT of roudnitska's skanky groundbreaker, vintage la femme. i even get a whiff of vintage miss dior, though salome is less tamed, and carries itself with a lotta 'tude. sure enough, the best features from anubis - crushingly indolic jasmine and that fab gasoline accord - are present but ms. moores has clearly upped her game - "lurid floral musk" (deadidol) - and is certainly one of the hot new noses to look out for. i'd love her to take on a hot-blooded old skool chypre! 8/10
05th November, 2015

Clemency by Humiecki & Graef

clemency is an unassuming metallic rose with a cyborg/holograph personality, cute but utterly asexual. i sorta get the lactic tonality at times but i feel more in common with cdg edp 2011's industrial-floral synthesis than anything else, though at much lower volume. it's no masterpiece but nicely rounds off the palette of offerings from this great line.
22nd October, 2015

Gianfranco Ferré for Man by Gianfranco Ferré

all these effusive and positive reviews! can't say i'm surprised. i will simply concur with all those who place this at the top of the 80s designers, and absolutely amongst the finest fougeres ever. but you gotta find the clear brown glass vintage stuff; the newish is ok, but neutered. 10/10
06th October, 2015

Gershwin by Maria Candida Gentile

gershwin is a wonderful wee divertimento for a whimsical sunny day in any season. a whole basket of every citrus fruits all dolled up with mcg's special flava of incense is a concept that is surprisingly rare. 'of course' it has discreet projection and wussy longevity but it is such an unfailingly positive and lovingly crafted perfume, these performance issues are irrelevant to me. that's what 100ml bottles are for. uplifting stuff!
03rd October, 2015

Garuda by Jul et Mad

garuda might be the biggest (pleasant) surprise of the year. i've been consistently underwhelmed by jul et mad, so you can understand my shock when this bolted out of the bottle with real conviction. suffice it to say that this is a boozy-saffron-oud of genuinely rare quality, balance and effervescence. it goes through a good three stages of development in its impressive skin life of at least 8 hours, all of them rich in mystery and satisfying comfort. this is the amouage/jerkoff masterpiece they could never quite get around to creating. probably the most successful blind buy i've ever had ...

16th July, 2015

Immortal Beloved by YS Uzac

i really think this is a super-refined take on the 1740 formula and as such, is preferable. while there is little discernible immortelle (maybe odd given the name), it is replaced by a great plummy note and adds richness to a dry tobacco & cognac base. very cozy & comfortable for winter
12th January, 2015

Fumidus by Profumum

fumidus is about so much more than smoke! wonderful earthy vetiver performs a languid pas a deux with malt whisky and the smokey embers of a dyings birch fire. this is by far the most interesting of the entire PR line and is the only one i currently own (i did buy arso but it was too 'wussy' to rate as a smoke frag; just boring cedar mostly, so it got sold. bois d'ascese has replaced that niche in my wardrobe much better....). fumidus is quite linear but the proportions change, leaving the wearer with a gorgeous maltbarrelwoodsmoke vetiver to contemplate the cosmos. i respectfully and firmly assert fumidus as a top masculine, second only (imo) in that category to vintage guerlain. if you wish sycomore had more hair on its chest, try this out ;)
10th January, 2015

Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

finally, and at long long last, my holy grail smoke! yay!!! it's perfect: strident and unambiguously smokey, but with depth and complexity without ever deviating from that core, central aspect. it doesn't relay on birch tar or phenols to ramp up the smoke but what seems like a more organic wood-based accord (how that's put together here, i don't have a clue, perhaps styrax, opopanax, myrrh, actually i don't want to overthink this one). it doesn't develop appreciably but does soften into a gorgeous denoument of shimmery resins that mirrors the last coals of a fire gone out. did i mention it was just perfect?
07th January, 2015

Les Nombres d'Or : Vetyver by Mona di Orio

a fantastic take on vetiver that is among my favourites. it stands in a class all its own; a vetiver that is feels 'wet' but is not at all sweet. it is succulent, rich, sparkly without being sharp & citric. it is an inspired take on how to do vetiver on a different path. great longevity with a development that gets drier...... love it!
21st November, 2014 (last edited: 12th January, 2015)

Liqueur Charnelle by Huitième Art

I really wanted to like this, but as in many of his main PG line and the rest of his Huitieme Art line I find that Pierre Guillaume falls short of his stated objective. In this case he is trying to achieve the essence of cognac. In fact he is channeling the ghost of Luten's Filles en Aiguilles but without the wonderful pines & delightful frankincense that elevates the sweet fruity base. This is rather lumpen in its linearity and generic, somewhat woody (Iso E?) sweetness. Last year's Monsieur was also a big generic yawn. He also does the rather pedestrian Phaedon line, leading me to think that he needs to develop far fewer frags and focus on SAYING something..... nice bottle though!
11th November, 2014

Or du Sérail by Naomi Goodsir

i really like this one, not quite as much as bois d'ascese (which is more challenging and generally impressive) but enough to buy it. i really don't get'coconut' at all, but a wonderfully balanced tobacco/booze/woods richness that never cloys or flatlines. duchaufour has stretched a bit outside his incensey comfort zone yet OdS bears his trademark heavy/sheer effect, which over the course of a good 8 hour lifespan stays incredible cozy, vibrant and just perfect for this season (fall!). at times this smells very close to something slumberhouse might do if Josh Lobb went a little more 'commercial' with something like Baque or Sova. tobacco scents rarely work on me (duchaufour's havana vanille also does though) but this excellent frag really connects to my nose. yummy!
27th October, 2014

MAAI by Bogue Profumo

i feel that this has one foot firmly in the past while confidently charting what future chypres might smell like, ifra restrictions be damned. this is literally a ferocious chypre with deepest moss, shimmering citrus and a feral leather accord that eventually morphs into a very animalic (pee) zone based on hyrax, which i find works beautifully here (and better-refined than in masque montecristo, for example). it lasts a solid 10 hours and goes through an astounding cycle of development, including an indolic floral rose/jasmine core that soon melts into ripe fruit. wow....a modern masterpiece! kudos to a genuine gentleman of class and creativity - antonio gardoni
14th October, 2014

Ambra Nobile by Nobile 1942

Love the unique take on labdanum-based amber. quite fresh that dries down to a suede-effect that stays very comfortable and cozy. top quality stuff for not a lot of cash - bellissimo!
11th October, 2014 (last edited: 20th January, 2015)

Sballo by Bruno Acampora

this is fantastic. i immediately thought of bernard chant's classic aramis 900. sballo is more complex and deeper than just another rose chypre and as darvant hints, sballo steers towards the oriental with spices and later woods & very dry patchouli. i recently discovered acampora (sballo, jasmin, iranzol) and must say there is an impressive classicism in his work that i really appreciate.
31st August, 2014

Zahd by Slumberhouse

after wearing a few times, i've really come to appreciate zahd for what it is: a deep, dark futuristic chypre. the triamber is brilliantly used (and you need to apply a fair bit for its relative sharpness to recede a bit) and serves as foundation to the cocao , cranberry & champaca. its drawback is indeed its 'wearabilty', but that's ok too. i don't wear a lot of pregoni out of the house either. josh has created a variation on his ore theme, adding lots of lower strings and a fine brass section. i'm glad i jumped at the chance to get this; if nothing else it is quite unique and masterfully executed. chapeau!
30th August, 2014

Homage Attar by Amouage

astonishingly good scent. bought it blind and am so pleased it even surpassed my expectations. deep, deep tair rose supported by top notch incense and what seems to be neroli of the highest possible quality. wow!
15th July, 2014

Shagya by Parfums de Marly

an outstanding summer-grade oud! cedar offsets the oud and bright vetiver gives it a freshness that really works. longevity is disappointing for an edp but i got this for a great price so i spray with abandon.
14th July, 2014