Perfume Reviews

Reviews by kingofengland

Total Reviews: 116

Sables by Annick Goutal

Very 'French' mossy, tobacco-y mens fragrance with helichyrsum (everlasting) herb. It has an intriguing "burnt" or caramelised aspect, also recalling the smoothness of a scotch whisky (Islay single malt), and tonka bean absolute. I could imagine this coming from Robertet, the most famous of the Grasse supply houses. One of their long forgotten mens fragrances from the 1960's which they called "Vetuclub" (I don't know under what name it was ever marketed) had this same 'burnt sugar' note, which I thought was most peculiar at the time. Quite an evocative scent for me.
28th December, 2018

Hyde by Hiram Green

Very nice balance between the smoky birch tar and the sweeter balsamic notes. Brings to mind both Lapsang Souchong tea and Russisch Leder (Farina Gegenuber), a fragrance that I remember from the 1970's. However I prefer Hyde to the latter. This is a really good Russian Leather with great complexity of character and will no doubt get a following.
27th December, 2018 (last edited: 28th December, 2018)

Slowdive by Hiram Green

More like honey than honey itself, previous reviewers have taken the words out of my mouth on this one and not much more to add. Yes I can see the connection to Eau du Ciel and it also reminds me obliquely of Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet, (though that is not claimed to be a honey fragrance).
27th December, 2018
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Music For a While by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

This latest offering from Malle is an interesting combination of lavender and pineapple. The gourmand aspect like jam roly-poly has a Slumberhouse type richness (as in Sadanne) and the patchouli seems to blend in well. Overall deep, fresh, sweet effect similar to Trance and Rausch from Schwarzlose (see my reviews). I think the Malle perfume is more masculine than Trance however, which has a rosy aspect almost like Lauder's Pleasures. Music for a While reminds me obliquely of Champion, an old Dragoco composition from the 1960's, I suppose Symrise will have its formula in their archives somewhere.
08th December, 2018 (last edited: 30th December, 2018)

Monsieur. by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Leather/russian leather type, somewhat medicinal, reminds me of alliantone (Givaudan) - (not sure what happened to this material).
08th December, 2018

Eau de Magnolia by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Jasmin/celery jasmone/delphone. Very green aspect with the bitter metallic type of greenness as in PADMA, Green Ivy Givco, the green quality you get in air fresheners. Smells pleasant enough but I wouldn't pay a lot for it.
08th December, 2018

Cologne Indélébile by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Run-of-the mill old fashioned cologne with dominant neroli. Connotations of cheap hairsprays etc as noted by maillard below. Infinitely missable.
08th December, 2018

Marescialla by Santa Maria Novella

First, a fleeting impression which I can only describe as like petrol. This vanishes faster than a Harley Davidson on full throttle, leading to a rich spicy core of nutmeg and mace. There is a substantial chunk of carnation, giving a link to Shulton's "Old Spice". This is Old Spice, but not as we know it. A raw, untamed, uncensored version of the great men's classic.
12th September, 2018

Pomélo Paradis by Atelier Cologne

It's a sweet citrus, but more of a flavour than a fragrance. With a somewhat artificial quality, as Abbiss notes. Recalls Kia-Ora orange, fairground drinks, and iced lollipops.
05th September, 2018

Pampa Seca by Fueguia 1833

Refreshing fragrance, a variant on Pampa Humeda but the herbal aspect is more towards tomato leaf. I had hoped for a grassy-dry scent like the name suggests, but it is not really that, excellent fragrance nevertheless.
01st September, 2018

Halo Lunar by Fueguia 1833

woody amber composition similar to miel de boid (Lutens) and quite a few others
01st September, 2018

Cuba by Santa Maria Novella

Honeyed scent like the outside of a cigar, quite original and old fashioned. Cinnamon aspect like cinnamic alcohol, benzoin. Unlike Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille, the drydown won't leave you smelling like an ice cream.
29th August, 2018

Verbena by Santa Maria Novella

A pleasant fresh lemon-verbena. I didn't need to read the ingredients list to pick out the ylang ylang which is quite to the forefront and contributes nicely to the freshness. Should be classed as unisex.
29th August, 2018
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Angéliques Sous La Pluie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Great fragrance if you like the herbal, slightly earthy smell of angelica roots oil. Close cousin to Frederick Malle's French Lover (Bois d'Orage) but cleaner. The drydown is linear and remains true to angelica whereas French Lover leaves a faint woody-amber residue.
09th August, 2018

South Bay by The Different Company

Very attractive grapefruit fragrance with a nice sandalwood shading. Unusually, the supplier is quoted - Symrise, which raises it several notches in my book.
08th August, 2018

Aqua Universalis by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Very pleasant laundry-fresh fragrance. It smells like a fabric conditioner or washing powder, but costs rather more. Ideally it could, as the name suggests, be sprayed liberally in linen cupboards and around the house, as well as for personal use.

I have purchased a sample or two as I like the fragrance, provided I ignore its slight resemblance to Cool Water Woman. Actually it is closer to Lily from Comme des Garcons.
06th August, 2018 (last edited: 07th January, 2019)

Opoponax by Santa Maria Novella

The odour of old paint, varnish and shellac. Rooms full of expensive furniture. Wonderful, and eminently wearable even if you are not a painter and decorator.

I refer however to the original SMN opoponax, a treasured sample of which I have from 2007. Disappointingly they have now reformulated it, keeping the name but the fragrance is a bland affair with little or no opoponax as far as I can tell. If you are after this sort of resinous odour you now have to go to something like Comme des Garcons Avignon or Laurel. These are however a pale shadow of the original SMN opoponax and I can only hope they bring it back, if it is still legal.
06th August, 2018 (last edited: 29th August, 2018)

parfums*PARFUMS Series 1 Leaves: Calamus by Comme des Garçons

Others have commented on the particular and distinctive type of greenness displayed by this perfume. I would add that it also has a 'plasterboard' note similar to what you notice in your house if the water tank has leaked. other fragrances with this plaster or stone effect include CdeG Concrete and an artisanal blend from the USA called Limestone.
05th August, 2018

Chypre Mousse (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

Very interesting, excellent strong characterful perfume. Mossy fruity green watery aromatic. Some kinship with Davidoff's Cool Water suggests the presence of myrcenyl acetate. You could also make a comparison with Penhaligon's English Fern, though both these masculine fragrances are usually classified as fougeres rather than chypres.
31st July, 2018 (last edited: 01st August, 2018)

Cédrat Intense by Nicolaï

Cedrat being the currently trendy form of lemon, many houses are offering fragrances under this title. This one smells typically French, could be part of a Dior collection. In fact it is in the same style as Eau Sauvage, so it is not especially original
30th July, 2018 (last edited: 02nd August, 2018)

Balle de Match / L'Eau de Sport by Nicolaï

First impression sniffed close up was diethyl ether for some strange reason - maybe traces of extraction solvent, took me back to med school days. But after that it developed to a nice grapefruit.
30th July, 2018

Cuir Cuba Intense by Nicolaï

Rather bitter or acrid type of perfume reminiscent perhaps of hot dry climates around the mediterranean. Dates, opoponax, labdanum etc. It is a well ploughed furrow for perfumers and is most familiar with blends such as, if I recall correctly Aromatics Elixir (Clinique).
30th July, 2018

Eau d'Été by Nicolaï

Pleasant fresh scent akin to various Eaux Fraiches by Kenzo.
30th July, 2018

Baladin by Nicolaï

A mild, subtle note with a vaguely woody character. What wood? I would have said teak and cedar, certainly not vetiver, and there is no obvious leather either, or any of the other listed notes. You could say that signifies expert blending, but the result is too nondescript for my taste.
30th July, 2018

L'Ile au Thé by Annick Goutal

It is easy to imagine oneself sipping an elegant cup of scented tea on some far-flung island, with this blend in the air. The mandarin note is evident even without reading the official description, together with neroli I would say. In one sense it is akin to a white flowers perfume based on jasmine (for example, Ysatis), like hundreds of others, but the freshness of tea and mountain air and no doubt a judicious amount of osmanthus gives it something special. A certain crispness reminds me of the effect you get with traces of aldehyde TMH or similar molecules.

Infini (below) finds a similarity to the mens fragrance Duel, an interesting observation though Duel is much less floral. Though positioned as a feminine fragrance L'ile au The could easily be unisex.

Regarding the general presentation I preferred the old 'doorknob' gold caps to the present simplified design. There is a quote from Annick Goutal on the side of the box: "J'ai nomme parfum le reve qui me porte". Which even my schoolboy French tells me means something like "I call perfume the dream which transports me". But they have translated it as "perfume is the music of my dream", a bit less accurate. Hardly of major importance to be fair, except this product is supposed to embody perfection.
28th July, 2018 (last edited: 28th November, 2018)

Bois d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal

Fruity, lemony, with the slightly anisic shading (basil?) also found in Eau Hadrien.

The perfume somewhat recalls YSL's Yvresse, and more particularly a mens fragrance of the 1960's and 70's called West, a spicier companion to Faberge's Brut.

Ivy is given as the heart note, however there is no natural extract of ivy that I know of, and the fragrance is not green in any sense.

Drydown results in a spicy and balsamic vanilla / benzoin odour, plus a touch of evernia type moss (oakmoss substitute).

An appealing fragrance overall, especially the main body notes.
20th July, 2018 (last edited: 11th September, 2018)

Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne

Good fresh unisex fragrance. There are some pungent basil-like notes similar to those found in Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca and Humiecki's Eau Radieuse. But whereas in the Guerlain perfume they are overpowering, here they are much more restrained. Overall a nice fragrance, especially if you like oranges
08th July, 2018

Limestone by Thorn & Bloom

Attractive perfume which does somehow manage to evoke the scent of damp limestone in an original way, especially in the topnotes. Normally you might need a touch of geosmin or a specialised type of ambergris to achieve that effect, but I can't smell those materials here. Very good.
21st May, 2018

The Big Bad Cedar by Atkinsons

Atkinsons new crop of heritage fragrances are by and large a disappointment, being mainly a competition as to who can come up with the silliest names, the scents being instantly forgettable.

This elegant woody note seems to have got in by accident. I can't say I'm keen on the pink colour which looks artificial, as it is. But the fragrance is nice. In the direction of teak I would say, also recalling Cedarome, for those familiar with that Firmenich speciality. A clean rosy-woody smell in the same bracket as Kyoto from Comme des Garcons. With perhaps a passing nod to the classic Cedar Wood from Goya, of 50 years ago.
21st January, 2018 (last edited: 22nd January, 2018)

French Lover / Bois d'Orage by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Most people seem to be agreed that French Lover is a misleading epiphet for this creation, and the alternative name of Bois d'Orage or Stormwood suits it much better.

It's a nice angelica roots note. If you don't know what angelica roots oil smells like, you do now. There is a rank "methylated spirits" aspect, which may be what Katie Puckrik was referring to when she described her association to her father in his dirty overalls. Luca Turin describes a similar impression. Whether the perfume actually contains pyridine seems unlikely, but it certainly smells like it does.

All the same, Bois d'Orage - I can't think of it as French Lover - is a great fragrance, dry, daring, and different. It has more character than its close cousin, Angeliques sous la Pluie, and I like that one well enough, but Bourdon's creation just caps it.

The drydown is a woody-amber odour characteristic of materials (timberol, karanal, amber xtreme etc) which are as powerful as they are ubiquitous. This warm and pungent smell with its slightly sweaty aspect may underlie Bourdon's comment that he was aiming for a fragrance which acts as a skin enhancer, amplifying the natural odour of manliness.

Here, at last, may be our French Lover. The dosage is restrained, which is fortunate since these materials are very tenacious and in regular use will accumulate on clothing.

20th January, 2018 (last edited: 08th August, 2018)