Perfume Reviews

Reviews by kingofengland

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Total Reviews: 109

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
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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

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. It should, as the name suggests, be sprayed liberally in linen cupboards and around the house, as well as for personal use. The only problem with that is the price, unless money is no object. Even then, it doesn't seem right to pay that sort of cash for a washing powder fragrance.
06th August, 2018 (last edited: 12th September, 2018)

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)
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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 specialities.

Infini (below) finds a similarity to the mens fragrance Duel, and I agree though Duel is much less floral. Though positioned as a feminine fragrance L'ile au The could easily be unisex.
28th July, 2018 (last edited: 30th July, 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)

4711 Ice Green by 4711

Very easy to use, splash on anywhere anytime for quick refreshment and no aftersmell. Product description mentions various improbable ingredients like peach and plum, but the dominant note is menthol. In the background is citrus/ cologne, with a note like agrumen aldehyde light.
11th January, 2018

Blue Cedrat by Comme des Garçons

My immediate impression was blackcurrant bud, and more particularly a well known cassis base. Also galbex maybe, you can achieve something very similar with that in combination with cedar and fresh elements. Regarding the angelica root and other things quoted, apart from the cedar I can't find them so I have to take their word for it. I'm surprised it doesn't feature cedrat as well as cedar, as that's the name of the fragrance. A nice fresh accord but I wouldn't buy it as I could make something similar fairly easily.
07th January, 2018

Hermèssence Muguet Porcelain by Hermès

Smelled without the label, you would probably think this was a fairly bog standard lily of the valley, the formulation of which has been perfected by various companies. For something more original and distinctly greener you have to go to Tauer's Carillon pour un Ange, for example.

Knowing the pedigree however, it would be churlish not to admit that this is about as impeccable as you can get in terms of the traditional and well loved scent, and you can be sure there has been no skimping in terms of quality of ingredients.The lilac aspect which forms part of the lily of the valley complex is clearly evident.
05th January, 2018 (last edited: 07th January, 2018)

Monocle Scent Two: Laurel by Comme des Garçons

Very dry, green woody herbal-resinous. Like opoponax, raw galbanum and especially lentisque. A natural scent with plenty of character, and a bitter, slightly medicinal edge. It is not entirely new though, I seem to remember a perfume from about 15 years ago called Sous le Buis which was rather similar.

Although someone pointed out that the laurel is the bay tree, there is nothing of bay leaf or bay rum in this fragrance, so I am not sure what the laurel ingredient actually refers to. In terms of its general tonality it fits in with the heavier end of the CdG incense spectrum, Avignon and Jaisalmer. Like them, it can suggest woodworking environments and old furniture.

The drydown is attractively peppery, with a cedar and thuja wood nuance, and this scent has strong masculine appeal, especially perhaps those who enjoy travel around the mediterranean area.
04th January, 2018 (last edited: 10th January, 2018)

Concrete by Comme des Garçons

"Sandalwood is shattered...a radically new scent emerging from its fractured form". That's the hype. I suppose it means some different type of sandalwood material has been used to create a special effect.

The fragrance does project some novel features, a sort of dry plaster aspect alongside the sweet sandalwood character. With some imagination, wet concrete may come to mind.

So although at first I dismissed this as another variant of Guerlain's Samsara, I have rather come to like it and agree it has a degree of originality as befits the C de G label.

For an alternative rendering of the odour of concrete and stone, you can to go to an American artisan perfume called Limestone, which is also pretty good.
03rd January, 2018 (last edited: 04th August, 2018)

Mon Numéro 9 by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Despite some reviewers dismissing this product as boring, I do actually rather like it. In part this is because it stirs memories of various well respected French fragrances of years ago, such as Gres, Blu Max by Perlier (a mens fragrance from the 1970's), among others.
The airiness and light rosy background is similar in tone to Villoresi's Aura Maris, another of my favourites. There is an attractive crisp freshness in the topnotes, with the coriander coming through, and a piquant, almost metallic edge.
It also briefly reminded me of Clive Christian 1872, the astronomically priced perfume of which I have only ever been able to afford a sample.
The fragrance provides a discreetly fresh background without becoming intrusive or interfering too much with other fragrances or flavours you might be trying. The dryout leaves a pleasant muskiness
Finally, the seven sided flacon with weighted polished gold closure sets it off very well, a pity one has to throw this away when empty. A refillable version like the Different Company do would be very welcome.
26th December, 2017 (last edited: 31st December, 2017)

Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

A classic, very much of the 1950's, recalling Shulton's Old Spice and with a definite nod to Chanel No.5 in the aldehydic topnotes. One of the most successful German brands and a great piece of heritage.
17th November, 2017 (last edited: 30th March, 2018)