Perfume Reviews

Reviews by rbaker

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Total Reviews: 2346
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Uomo by Salvatore Ferragamo

A sweet and thickly opening notes greets me and sets the stage for the future development: caramel, chocolate, freshly baked cakes and biscuits - all very rich, creamy and filled with vanilla custard.

The other side is a nonspecifically woodsy note, which, at times, sports whiffs of a musky component.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

Clearly a wither scent for colder days, this creation is predictable to a level that is tedious at times. The main drawback is the overly chemically synthetic nature of the ingredients and its poor structure. 2.5/5.
20th January, 2019
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Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

Rosemary, sage and touches of bergamot - can an opening be more classic? Rich, fresh-ish, herbal - delicious.

The same relational line continues in the drydown: lots of lavender, geranium with whiffs of basil thrown in. Sheer delight.

In the base, the oakmoss was the jewel of the original formulation: crisp, not very sharp and of intense richness. This all is counterbalanced by a restrained sweetness that is mainly owed to a honeyed tonka. In the most recent version the base is thinner, the oakmoss is just a shadow of its former self, and the whole appears anaemic compared to the older issues.

I get moderate sillage l, excellent projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

In its original version this autumnal beauty represents the classic fougère, in all its glorious beauty. The quality of the ingredients was sublime, and the blending exquisite. A bit brighter than dunhill blend 30. 4.25/5.

The most recent reformulation is a 3.5/5 - still respectable overall.
19th January, 2019
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Amo Ferragamo by Salvatore Ferragamo

The opening is fruity and boozy- redcurrant with whiffs of a very diluted Campari-rich Negroni, a bit bitter but a tad nonspecific in character. Sweeter than expected but not cloying.

The drydown combines an acceptable rendition of rhubarb with jasmine that is all right but nothing exciting. The base is the most mundane part, with its ordinary vanilla base and a somewhat bland woodsiness. The sweetness persists throughout, at times assuming a creamy character.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A scent for warmer autumn days, and the sweet and soft side and rather synthetic. 2.75/5.
18th January, 2019
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Signorina by Salvatore Ferragamo

A fruity top note - a bit like a blackcurrant with a leafy component - mixes with a very light touch of pepper in the initial moments.

The drydown turns completely floral, with jasmine and a white floral core - think muguet and peony - with a rather nondescript rose impression. The whole mix is soft and sweet.

The base is an even sweeter experience, with a creamy panacotta with a touch of almond/coconut and a good lashing of white musks towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring scent that has original touches, but lacks the level of quality of the ingredients to really raise it above the average. 2.75/5.
17th January, 2019
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Artemisia by Penhaligon's

The opening is a sweet, peachy, fruity blast that is counterbalanced to some extent by a green undertone.

In the drydown the core note arises: a vanilla that is not badly executed, but is nothing special either. A bunch of florals gradually grows in strength, spearheaded but a strong muguet impression and a good touch of violet. A fruity side comes and goes, as is a discrete impression of Chinese tea.

With time this composition turns increasingly powdery. This is not a traditional crusty boudoir-dowager powderiness, but a slimmer and more contemporaneous type.

The base attempts to add a woodsy undertone and an attempt at some oakmoss grounding, but not particularly successfully due to their overly generic character.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

Not without original ideas, this spring scent is lacking sone structure to convince, but its main drawback is the synthetic and often generic nature of its ingredients. 2.75/5.
16th January, 2019
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Equinox Bloom by Penhaligon's

A herbal-floral citrus opening greets me: bitter and acidic lemon, a slightly darker violet and a pleasant orange blossom develop sooner after the first blast.

The later drydown emohasises the floral component even stronger, with frangipani and jasmine most evident. Combined with this is a slightly smoky impression of black tea, which develop gradually but is strongest in the heart notes

The base is a bit sweeter, but just a bit, and a salty and slightly acerbic note balances out the sugary sweetness well.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A very interesting and quite original and complex spring composition that develops very interestingly. Not all ingredients are of great quality, but the result is quite enticing. 3.25/5
15th January, 2019
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Portraits : Monsieur Beauregard by Penhaligon's

The initial opening blast starts with some lemon, which very soon develops into a sweetish cinnamon impression. In the drydown a sandalwood arises, which is rather synthetic and not very enticing on my skin.

Towards the base a vanilla sweetness is added to the cinnamon, and the whiffs of orris I get are only contributing minimally to the overall development of this creation.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

An autumnal scent that is quite creamy, but on me it is not heavy and quite on the less heavy side. Its synthetic nature is the main drawback here. 2.75/5.
13th January, 2019
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Portraits : Clandestine Clara by Penhaligon's

A vanilla-drenched opening with a distinct element of booziness greets me in the opening blast. It is not very dark and on the brighter side, as if a white rum had been added. The vanilla is not very intense and certainly never cloying on me.

The drydown adds a distinct cinnamon flavour and the base includes a soft white musk mix with touches of a light infection of patchouli. It is a restrained patchouli, with lacks any significant harshness and sharpness: this is no Purple Patchouli.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

Quite a pleasant scent for winter days, but a bit too generic and synthetic to win me over such as to give it a positive score. The weird background stories and descriptions of the portraits and persons related to the associated scents are very arbitrary and ineffable twaddle to me. 2.75/5.
11th January, 2019
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Portraits : Much Ado About The Duke by Penhaligon's

A slim and slightly herbal rose greets me - a rose with a touch of slight spiciness. Not a rich rose, more like a young rose before it fully opened up.

The drydown adds a slightly boozy undertone, and the base a nonspecific woodsiness with the occasional whiff of cedars. No real tannin here, but touches of a very soft and faint leather impression towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

An unobtrusive scent for cooler spring days with original touches, but overall a touch too bland to impress; only the rose is nicely done. 2.75/5.
10th January, 2019
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Portraits : The Bewitching Yasmine by Penhaligon's

The yasmine is combined with other notes from the start: some coffee/cocoa and a slightly peppery cardamom.

The drydown sweetens by adding a somewhat average tonka impression, and a nonspecific woodsy undertone comes and goes towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

The olfactory - not the pastiche-like stereotypical marketing and naming - concept is not badly designed, but this spring scent’s rather synthetic nature brings it down a few pegs to being quite average. 2.75/5.
07th January, 2019
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Portraits : The Uncompromising Sohan by Penhaligon's

An opening dominated by an oud note right from the start, a sharp oud that it dominate but not too shrill.

The drydown adds a dark vetiver. It is not an earthy version and remains very much in the background.

A rose impression is also present - one is tempted to add “naturally” given that we are awash with more recent rose+oud releases over last last few years.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

Another rose+oud scent suitable for autumn, not bad but rather synthetic and lacking imagination. 2.75/5.
06th January, 2019
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Portraits : The Ruthless Countess Dorothea by Penhaligon's

The opening bergamot note is not the usual bright and chirpy version, but more of the darker and mellowed side, albeit not without a certain attenuated freshness.

The drydown turns sweet, with a gingerbread impression being fattened up by an underlying cinnamon. Sweet but never cloying.

The base has a somewhat boozy aroma to it, but I cannot identify any convincing Sherry here. The softness brought into the game by the cashmeran adds depth and creaminess.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant autumnal creation that is not without originality in its design but too synthetic to truly entice. 2.75/5
05th January, 2019
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Portraits : Roaring Radcliff by Penhaligon's

The boozy opening had a bit of a whiff of dark rum, but only in a very nonspecific way. Soon the tobacco note comes to the fore, which is sweetened by a bland tonka-syrupy flavour - imagine the factory production at Mac Baren’s gone terribly wrong.

The spicy gingerbread - Christmas season! - is similarly unexciting, but conceptually it fits in with the rest of this mixture.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

This winter scent is based on a nice idea, but the ingredients are too synthetic and generic to convince. 2.75/5.

One wonders what the Portrait series thought up by the Barcelona-based family-owned fashion group Puig is trying to achieve, apart form presenting rather primitive caricatures of certain cliches. This is surprising, as Puig has s history of making better fragrances.
03rd January, 2019
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Portraits : The Revenge of Lady Blanche by Penhaligon's

This is a floral mix, with hyacinth, narcissus and whiffs of oleander determining the core character of the whole.

The drydown adds a slightly darker and deeper side, mainly due to an orris tone developing underneath the floral potpourri; touches of opoponax appear transiently too.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant scent for warmer autumn days, quite original in its comparable simplicity but marred by being overly synthetic at times. 2.75/5.
02nd January, 2019
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Portraits : The Tragedy of Lord George by Penhaligon's

The opening is boozy with a brandy impression that is quite brief and sharp, XO at best and pretty basic.

The drydown develops a babershop shaving soap impression that is quite traditional and neutral on me.

The base adds an ambroxan note that emanates a bearable ambery flavour, whilst the base adds a vanilla note that is pleasant, not overly sweet and never cloying.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

Suitable for autumn days, this creation is not without an original touch. It’s main drawback is the overly synthetic character of the ingredients that tends to dominate. 2.75/5.
30th December, 2018
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Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

Rarely has there been in my such a summery, fresh and uplifting citrus blast experience as the opening of Eau d'Orange Verte. Orange and lemon galore, with whiffs of mint at times. A very realistic bitter orange indeed.

The drydown is fruitier in nature, with unripe mango vying with hints of papaya and touches of starfruit for one's attention. a fresh green is in the background throughout.

The base displays a soft and bright patchouli note, a nonspecific woodsy tone and a perfunctory mossy impression towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and a 'short'evity of two hours on my skin.

A classic summer citrus Eau de Cologne, with the typically short longevity expected from such a citrus-based cologne. A bit simple at times, and the base is disappointingly bland for some stretches, but in spite of its the weaker base is it a great summer pick-me-up. 3.5/5.
28th December, 2018
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Portraits : Changing Constance by Penhaligon's

The opening notes are in the darker side, with back pepper and cardamom mixed with whiffs of spice. The drydown develops an impression of salted caramel that is done all right, but it lacks the vividness and intensity to entice, and thus misses that interplay between the two than makes this contrasting combination so interesting (Berthillon’s ice cream cones to mind!).

The base sports a tobacco note that is a bit too restrained to convince, and non-specific woodsy tones with a lashing of a nice tonka towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

An interesting autumn scent with original ideas, but overall lacking vividness and a tad too generic. 2.75/5.
27th December, 2018
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Portraits : Blazing Mister Sam by Penhaligon's

The gently spicy opening with cardamom dominations is a pleasant overture, enhanced by some gently peppery note and a touch of cumin.

The second part involves a woodsy note, mainly cedars, but without any pencils shavings on my skin.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A mildly spiced autumn scent for warmer days, a bit simple in structure and lacking complexity at times. 2.75/5.
24th December, 2018
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Beautiful Belle by Estée Lauder

The fruity opening - lychee with hints of snake skin fruit - is soon leading to florals being infused into the mix, mainly mimosa, gardenia, and a tuberose that is most prominent on me. This tuberose in quite bright and not of the waxy or heavy style.

Later on ambrox develops and gradually takes over, with a good lashing of white musks of middle-level sweetness towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

Pleasant, some nice ideas but a bit too generic to entice. 2.75/5.
23rd December, 2018 (last edited: 24th December, 2018)
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Portraits : The Coveted Duchess Rose by Penhaligon's

A pleasant mandarin at the start, straightforward and quite pleasant. The drydown developed a rose that is a agreeable, and a bit nonspecific and not very individual.

The base is a generic musc added in, and whiffs off woodsy undertones adding a bit more depth.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring scent that is not bad, but rather generic on the whole. 2.75/5.
10th December, 2018
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Jacinthe et Rose by E.Coudray

The floral opening - with the hyacinth being prominent indeed - is freshened up a bit by the influx of a lemony bigarade zestiness.

In the drydown the floral side wins out clearly, with jasmine, peony and touches of muguet resulting in a pleasant potpourri. This all is made smoother and creamier by an overlay of a pleasant ylang-ylang, and whilst being clearly on the sweet side of fragrances this mix is never too intrusive or cloying.

In the base a woodsy component is added, and the sweet character is deepened by an underlying carpet of a tonka impression.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A lovely spring scent for day and evening, it is not without an original touch, albeit lacking vividness at times. 3/5.
06th December, 2018
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Musc et Freesia by E.Coudray

A white mix greets me in the opening, embeeddd in lashings if aldehydes that instill some bright freshness.

The heart notes consist of a floral potpourri, with the freesia more in the background that the name of this creation suggests. Some muguet is present at times, while lily and a peony note are vying for attention.

The base adds white musks mainly, with the occasional woodsy touch appearing towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

An agreeable and sweetish spring scent that is not bad, but appears not structured enough to allow the components to develop convincingly. 2.75/5.
05th December, 2018
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Ambre et Vanille by E.Coudray

An orangey opening blast, freshened up with lashings of bergamot and made smoother and creamer by an ylang-ylang that is quite pleasant. Soon a light amber arises that adds further depth. This combination of fresh and smooth sets the tone for most of the further development that I encountered in this case.

In the heart notes the fresh side is represented by a citrus/heliotrope impression, with the amber lingering on very notably. The smoother shows up as a cinnamon note, which contains whiffs of almonds at times. This vanilla increases in prominence over time, accentuated by a soft but bright patchouli.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

An autumn scent for warmer days that is maybe not very creative, but smooth and rich, and never too thick and cloying owing to the fresher touches that introduce some balance into the whole. 3.25/5.
04th December, 2018
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Rose Tubéreuse by E.Coudray

An orangey opening with a strongly fruity undertone, mainly rhubarb, but freshened up by lashings of bergamot.

The tuberose arises in the drydown, and it is a lighter version, neither waxy nor too distinct.

In the base a vanilla impression moves into the foreground, with touches of benzoin and whiffs of white musk.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring scent that is not without original touches, but a tad too synthetic and also too generic at times. 2.75/5.
03rd December, 2018
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Verbena & Lavender de Provence by Crabtree & Evelyn

That opening blast in indeed - verbena and lavender. So what - another lavender fragrance? Yes, but this opening convinces by the solid quality of the verbena, but the lavender is done especially well and has a pleasant natural character.

The drydown adds a woodsy note, citric touches, and in the base a moderately sweet vanilla emerges too. Whiffs of white musks are the harbingers of the final phase of the development of this creation.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

The top notes in this summery scent are truly delightful, whilst the rest is a bit less vibrant and less convincing. Still - a good result. 3.25/5.
29th November, 2018
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Petitgrain Tonic by Malin + Goetz

A refreshing combination of petitgrain - lots of it- with lemon, bergamot and neroli: an ultra classic summer blast, but with elegance and a relaxed energy.

The drydown adds floral notes, and with lavender again a classic ingredient, but orris and cardamom add a spicier undertone.

Vanilla and white musk turn the base notes towards a sweeter realm, but the overall freshness is maintained, albeit somewhat attenuated, until the end.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin - respectable for such a summery creation.

Summer in a bottle. 3.5/5.
27th November, 2018
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Paula by Paula Cahen d’Anvers

The refreshing bergamot in the initial blast is given a slightly boozy twist with the artemisia. Soon a Cantaloupe aroma add a fruity side, and the three work together very well.

Later on a woodsy tone leads into the base, where a nice vanilla impression adds depth and further restrained sweetness.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant spring scent also suitable for cooler summer days. 3/5.
25th October, 2018
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Luz by Paula Cahen d’Anvers

The fresh citrus blast at the start - lemon and orange mainly - is softened by a fruity sideline, with strawberries the main component. It not a very ripe strawberry and of a restrained sweetness.

The drydown turns floral and a bit less bright, with a pleasant rose - reminiscent of the Bulgarian variety - combining with jasmin to form a nice addition to the citric-fruity side.

The base adds a cedar note with those white musks this house does quite well.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A nice spring and summer scent. 3/5.
24th October, 2018
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Luna by Paula Cahen d’Anvers

A white floral opening is evident, mainly orange blossom with a touch of muguet, rounded of pleasantly by an osmanthus impresssion.

The drydown develops a woodsy core, with touches of a mild ambery notes that lacks any smokiness.

Towards the end white musks appear and gradually move into the foreground before petering out towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant daytime spring scent, discreet, not very original but composed well. 3/5.
23rd October, 2018
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Carita by Carita

This is a floral creation from the beginning: jasmine is in the foreground, initially freshened up by a good splash of bergamot and other heliotrope sparks.

In the drydown, a rose impression develops that is on the light-hearted side, with iris continuing the lighter feel, whilst a slightly more pensive iris hints at a more somber side. The sweetness is very balanced so far.

The base turns into sweeter directions, courtesy of a tonka note that is touched up with white musks. Still, this is never a cloying affair.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant spring scent, not very original but crafted carefully and with skill. 3/5.
18th October, 2018