Perfume Reviews

Reviews by rbaker

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Total Reviews: 1682
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Muschio Bianco / White Moss by Acca Kappa

The opening notes set the character of the whole experience: fresh, clean and bright: opening with bergamot and lemon, combined with a somewhat weaker juniper berry component. Whilst the citrus is nicely done, the juniper cannot be compared with the beauty in, for instance Creed's Baie de Genièvre.

The drydown is rather aldehydic, and in the base white musky emanates together with a gentle white musk on a woodsy background.

This is indeed a clean and elegant spring scent, that lacks any of the green-ness that characterises, for instance, Tom Ford's Moss Breches. It is clean elegance and restrained and subdued laundry-freshness it reminds me of Lanvin's Vetyver Blanc, although the latter is quite different in other aspects, and in Muschio Bianco I don't get the vetiver.

On my skin the sillage is soft, the projection a adequate and the longevity five hours.

Clean, fresh and restrained elegance: 3.25/5.
28th June, 2016
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Gentlemen Only Parisian Break by Givenchy

Givenchy Gentlemen Parisian Break starts with lemon and a minty note; a traditional dyad in summer scents. There is a green undertone that gradually grows stronger in the drydown, assuming an increasing herbal character of fresh sage. The base adds an ambroxan component that is fairly generic and unimpressive on my skin.

The sillage is moderate, he projection adequate and the longevity five hours on my skin.

A fresh product that at times suffers from a generic and overly synthetic character of the ingredients without making up for it by creativity. Still, quite a nice scent for hot climes. 2.75/5.
28th June, 2016
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Armani Code Ice by Giorgio Armani

The opening blast is a rather refreshing lemon-ginger dyad, with the lemon clearly dominant on my skin. The drydown sports a reasonable geranium, lavender, whiffs of iris and is overall on the more discrete side.

The base is rather nondescript, a woodsy impression that is rather generic.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good and the longevity six hours.

A summery scent with a nice opening and a disappointing base. Based on any part but the base it - just - scores in the positive realm, for, presuming it is meant to be refreshing in summer, it does its job. 3/5.
28th June, 2016
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Omnia Amethyste by Bulgari

It starts with a grapefruit-orange opening that has a slightly herb undertone that soon morphs into a floral drydown. I get heliotrope aromas with an iris undertone, and a rather generic rise-muguet impression later in the heart notes.

The base consists of a very generic woodsy notes with whiffs of a light synthetic muskiness.

The sillage is moderate, the projection adequate and the longevity five hours.

Not unpleasant as a spring scent but not more than that. 2.5/5.
28th June, 2016
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Acqua di Sicilia by Santa Maria Novella

The opening blast does its name justice: lemon, mandarin and a good lashing of bergamot are immediately present, and a touch later a nice petit grain comes to the fore.
Later in the drydown lavender and neroli continue the there of summery freshness.

In the base a somewhat faint cypress is added, following the traditional path of finishing a citrus-bars cologne a woodsy base.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and five hours of longevity, but it is very close to my skin for the last couple of hours.

A traditional summer citrus cologne, very well made out of high-quality ingredients. 3.5/5.
28th June, 2016
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Dark Rebel by John Varvatos

The opening blast immediately grabs my attention: a slightly boozy rum note is soon accompanied by a woodsy undertone, and a restrained black pepper that is clearly present but never takes over at any stage on my skin. This spiciness is excellently woven into the other notes in the opening and the early drydown, and in spite of the somewhat mundane components the result is quite unusual and not without originality.

Overall this results in an opening that has a creative touch - not a frequent occurrence unfortunately.

The base is not adding much, apart from a rather generic and synthetic tobacco impression. The base is the least enticing part in the development of this autumnal fragrance.

The sillage is strong, the projection very good and the longevity eight hours.

A bit on the synthetic side but overall worth trying. 3.25/5.
28th June, 2016
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Silent Grove by D.S. & Durga

The opening blast is fresh and summery, fairly bright but is not one of these ultra-fresh citrus scents like Eau d' Orange Verte from Hermès, Monsieur Balmain or Creed's Bois de Cédrat. The citrus is mainly lemon, but there is some petitgrain in the background. A woodsy component with a slightly minty undertone accompanies the citrus in top notes.

The drydown loses this freshness gradually, and a light note odd white tea, linden and a with floral undertone dominate the later stages. The base is the most nondescript part, but even then the white musky impression in the base is quite acceptable.

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

A discrete summery composition, this fragrance Is very pleasant and the quality of the mainly natural ingredients is convincing. It is a bit discrete and not very loud, so a great office scent that has a few creative touches too. 3/5.
23rd June, 2016
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Italian Citrus by D.S. & Durga

The opening blast is citrus-based, with a tart orange note with hints of lemon being modified by the chinotto impression such as to add some somber darkness that provides the top notes with an interesting twist. This is not a bright and fresh citrus, but a darker fresh-ish citrus combination.

In the drydown slightly herbal feelings are match with gently balsamic undertones, to which a ambery tone is added in the base. The balsamic side is gentle only, and the amber a bit dull. Whiffs of an earthy dustiness briefly shine through in the later phases.

The sillage is on the softer side and the projection initially good, but after the first hour or two it remains very close to my skin, and I have to dig my nose deep into it to notice the development of this scent. The total longevity is four hours.

This is a slightly unusual citrus fragrance, with the usual limits in performance that are typical for this genre. It is not without its creative touches, so I am scoring it at the lowest end of the positive range. 3/5.
22nd June, 2016
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Legacy by Cristiano Ronaldo

The start combines a pleasant bergamot with an equally pleasant lavender, with a somewhat nonspecific citrus undertone rounding off this agreeable opening.

The drydown combines a slightly metallic and distant woodsy impression with a number of floral notes; on my skin mainly iris, and a herbal notes that never developed fully; the floral side prevails into the base, where a soft and mild patchouli is added.

The sillage is moderate, the projection good and the longevity five hours.

Based on the input of a famous sports star, this spring-compatible creation does not reach the heights in quality and brilliance that his sporting career reached. It is not bad but fairly generic and overall average at best. 2.5/5.
21st June, 2016
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Artisan Blu by John Varvatos

Here the traditional bergamot-lavender dyad, a well-trusted combination, get a nice enhancement with an white-floral-cum-iris add-on and an additional herbal undertone.

The second stage is concoction of woodsy and patchouli notes of a somewhat dull and unexciting character.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good and the longevity six hours on my skin.

This scent, pleasant in spring, starts nicely but the rest is very ordinary and generic indeed. 2.75/5.
21st June, 2016
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Extreme Blue by Michael Kors

The usual bergamot-based opening blast has a hint if a spicy undertone, and added traces if cardamom give it a bit of an interesting twist.

In the drydown a not particularly convincing juniper note combines with nonspecific woodsy elements and a very generic ambery flavour that cannot really raise any particular attention.

I get moderate sillage, adequate to poor projection and four hours of longevity.

Very much like many other scents, this one has a freshish start good for spring; it is not badly done but fairly generic, very synthetic and nothing special or extremely good. 2.75/5.
21st June, 2016
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Love Me More by Victoria's Secret

From beginning to end this is a very sweet, at times very sickly sweet composition with a slight citrus element in the opening blast. A kind of hyper-candy but very, very synthetic - a laboratory product that feels like one every much.

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

Very generic, synthetic and pathetic - this is no secret even for Victoria.
19th June, 2016
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Mediterraneum by Versace

This opening blast is very well done; a mix of bergamot, orange and tarragon with an aldehydic undercurrent that holds them together very nicely. This is not a full-in-your-face opening blast; it is a tad muted but nonetheless a lovely summery mix of top notes.

The drydown continues the traditional pathway with the emergence a moderately sweet vanilla and never really moves into the foreground on my skin, and is complemented by the addition of a pleasant jasmine. This is mingled with a floral mélange of geranium band carnation, and this floral character defines the heart notes well.

Already gradually developing in the middle phase, woody and ambery styrax notes move into the fore in the base, and entail a shift into the darker and edgier sphere, underlines by a darker but not-too-harsh patchouli impression. At that stage it starts losing intensity and richness, and the base peters out slowly. Nonetheless, this base shift towards the darker region makes this an overall more somber creation; a characteristic it shares with Versus.

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

Very nice on cooler summer days, and composed of high-quality ingredients without ever being too generic. 3.5/5.
15th June, 2016
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Eau Grise by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

A traditional opening of bergamot with lavender and lavender sees the top notes combining delightfully to a slightly fresh opening blast. In the drydown the addition of a soft but characterful patchouli continue the traditional pathway.

The base takes an ambery turn with a mildly musky touch, developing also a mild powderiness towards the end.

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

A classic traditional composition, whose main hallmark is the splendid quality of the mostly natural ingredients, as well as the excellence of his the ingredients are blended. A paradigmatic bergamot-lavender-amber scent. 3.75/5
14th June, 2016
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Cherry by Mary Greenwell

Lots of a rather synthetic, sweet and somewhat generic cherry note led to a drydown of white floral notes, with muguet and jasmin dominant but neither of the two convincingly executed. The base is vanilla, and not neither very intensive nor rich or nuanced as such. Towards the end a rather generic and standardised mix of mild while musk with a soft patchouli are added.

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

A spring scent that is not without some originality in the top notes, but otherwise is quite mediocre overall. 2.5/5.
10th June, 2016
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Fire by Mary Greenwell

The opening is a moderately spicy peppery citrus combination, with incense also present - an incense that is not very strong and that has very little of a balsamic or ceremonial character attached to it.

The subsequent floral drydown divulges mainly jasmine, tuberose and cardamom; some rose is also present. The base is the popular woodsy impression paired with a soft ambery patchouli - the usual base mote mix in many products these days.

The sillage is moderate, the projection good and the longevity is five hours.

An agreeable scent for for warmer winter days that is not bad but lacks colour and individuality to be a convincing spice-related fragrance. 2.75/5.
10th June, 2016
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Lemon by Mary Greenwell

That is the opening of a pleasant summer scent: lemon, orange and bergamot - not particularly adventurous but well executed. The drydown shifts the direction towards the floral, with narcissus, hyacinth and muguet evident on my skin. So far this is rather pleasant.

The base is less interesting and the usual rather generic ambery and woodsy vanilla mélange that is too bland to be regarded and of equal quality as the first stages of the development of this creation.

I get moderate sillage, adequate development and four hours of longevity on my skin.

A nice fresh start with a somewhat disappointing end, but as most of the time it is nicely done and only the end is less convincing, I am giving this a - just - positive score. 3/5
10th June, 2016
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Plum by Mary Greenwell

A sweetish, fruity start - a plum/blackcurrant impression indeed with a floral drydown. The latter sports rose, tuberose and jasmine as main components, and they are quite well done. That base adds a soft patchouli with somewhat nonspecific woodsy undertones.

The sillage is moderate, the projection adequate and the longevity is five hours on my skin.

Another fruity-floral spring concoction with some nice moments in the drydown when the - at times overly dominant - fruitiness rescinds but overall nothing exciting. 2.5/5.
10th June, 2016
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Tea Collection : Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone

The opening phase really has no tea in it. It is a fresh-ish bergamot start, but after a while I get a pleasant cucumber impression, bring back the experience of cucumber sandwiches. At times a slightly green impression is present that could be regarded as a very subtle rendering of some aspects of a very weakly brewed and somewhat generic rendering if a black tea note, but it is not a very convincing one, unlike the nice cucumber impression

The second stage is a somewhat sweet vanilla-honey note that again is not bad, but very much in the generic side, even somewhat bland.

I get soft sillage, limited projection and four hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant spring creation, not bad and designed for layering but not convincing even with this adjusted standard of expectation as to the quality of this scent. 2.75/5.
10th June, 2016
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Nashi Blossom by Jo Malone

A gentle citrus - lemon with hints of greenness are followed by a delicate while floral drydown that is underlines in the background by a somewhat nonspecific rose impression. The floral side is a In the base a pleasant and discreet white musk is the main component. The sweetness that arises in the drydown is very subtle- this is not s really sweet creation.

I get soft sillage, limited projection and three hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a very discreet spring scent that is, as is the norm for this now Estée-Lauder-owned House, evidently very fragile and weak on its own, but more designed for layering and fulfilling this function nicely. Still, the drydown and base are a bit too colourless to be convincing as a whole. 2.75/5.
10th June, 2016
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Solos: Coriander by D.S. & Durga

Coriander, herbs and a whiff of gentle spice - very natural and beautiful in the opening and the drydown. Warm and soft, but a bit too linear in the drydown.

Short-lived though: moderate sillage, adequate projection and three hours of longevity on my skin.

For the coriander fan in spring. 2.75/5.
02nd June, 2016
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Burning Barbershop by D.S. & Durga

The fiery opening blast caused a reflex reaction to grab my phone to dial the emergency number for the fire brigade: A very realistic note of burnt rubber mixed with the impression of barbecue smokiness. The first thirty minutes are very intensely smoky, but in the drydown this burnt component mellows gradually into a more restrained smokiness, mixed with glimpses of minty moments shining through the smoky haze.

Once mellowed, darker floral impressions with an earthy lavender are combined with a dark vanilla that is skillfully and respectfully interwoven with the other notes and never in the foreground nor intrusive or heavy. This unusually discrete use of vanilla has struck me as a special skill of this house on previous occasions when sampling their creations.

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

This smoke blast will wake you up on a winter morning, but when you arrive at work the metamorphosis into a wearable scent is complete. Well done, albeit a bit linear in the drydown and base. 3.25/5
01st June, 2016
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Poppy Rouge by D.S. & Durga

The opening with its whiff of freshness is overpowered by an aldehyde cloud, resulting in a somewhat unexciting generic opening phase. Soon thing improve though, and a pleasant basket of violet and other floral notes, especially immortelle, make the drydown an agreeable flowery mix, that is, surprisingly, never really very sweet.

The floral tune continues into the base, where a pleasant and soft civet is present, but the most interesting component towards is a rather sparingly applied vanilla. Vanilla is mostly applied as a thick and rich sweet power note, but here it is just sprinkled in and blends in very subtly. The last hours are so close to my skin that I have to dig my notes into the subcutaneous tissue to notice it, but the last phases have a lovely balsamic undertone with a very spurious powderiness.

The sillage is moderate, the projection initially good and then towards the end abysmal, and the total longevity about ten hours.

A mildly-sweet floral, and less sweet than, for instance, Dior Homme, with a disappointing start but then picking up, although not reaching above the ordinary overall. Still, nice in spring in the drydown particularly. 2.75/5.
31st May, 2016
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Boston Ivy by D.S. & Durga

After admission first few minutes, when a somewhat bland citrus impression hit my notes, the full gamut of the opening notes develops: a green, herbal and woody combination evolves, a successful mix that evokes the outdoors.

Later in the drydown the ivy note arrives, a note of green bushes and convincingly done. At times slightly spicy clover-laden moments come and go, citrusy whiffs of lime alternate with more ozonic impressions.

The drydown takes on earthier mossy characteristics, but the moss is not the real thing and fairly flat on my skin.

All this reminds me of the likes of Geoffrey Beene's Bowling Green or Crown Perfumery's Town and Country, but less refined and less intensive than especially the latter. Boston Ivy is less rich and more restrained.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and eight ours of longevity on my skin; after that the occasional transient glimpse of a slightly balsamic afterthought remains for another few hours but it is too close to my skin to be counted.

This is a nice spring scent, and whilst not without its weak points it is overall a successful realisation if what he name promises. The ingredients are mostly of respectable quality. 3.5/5.
30th May, 2016
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The Architects Club by Arquiste

The opening is a very nice citrus woodsy combination. This citrus is mainly orange with a good dash if lemon and more on the dark side, not al all refreshing but constituting a good accompaniment to the wood notes. The wood has a dried timer, a somewhat papery characteristic with touches of guaiacum and oak wood, and it all blends in very smoothly with the fruit side in the opening. A slightly boozy juniper accent is noticeable in the background.

In the drydown a medium-dark vanilla emerges, answeet that has definite presence but is not going it solo initially; but with time is moves into the foreground. That would not be bad thing as such, but the other notes are gradually fading away, and the vanilla remains, paired with a rather uninteresting ambroxan impression.

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

This creation for cooler spring or warmer autumn days is a divided scent as far as the overall impression is concerned: the first part is nice indeed, a citrus/woodsy combination with a twist. The second part is more linear and far less interesting. Overall this results in a neutral score, unless some extraordinary quality or performance elevates it into the next tier, but I cannot see any such redeeming grace, except for the fanatic vanilla lover who adores everything that includes vanilla. On the whole this just misses the mark. 2.75/5.
29th May, 2016
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Nanban by Arquiste

A black tea note in the opening blast sets the scene, with a spicy element in it that is soon softened by a fairly dark saffron. Early in the drydown a very good coffee impression a arises, a darkly roasted and rich coffee that gradually replaces the tea.

Later in the meddle notes an incense develops with some waxy styrax component present that fits in quite nicely, and at stages takes on a balsamic characteristic that is not very medicinal in nature on my skin.

The base has a somewhat dull sandalwood note mixed with a leather impression. Initially the leather is a bit weak, but with times it grows into a dark old country boot-like impression with hints of tannin and smokiness detectable at times.

As far as the performance is concerned, I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and nine hours of longevity.

This is a very pleasant, rich and deep winter scent, with tea, coffee and leathery notes providing a nice accompaniment to the open fire place in the lounge room. The quality of the ingredients is high, and they are well-blended. A traditional concept but executed with original touches. 3.5/5.
28th May, 2016
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L'Etrog Acqua by Arquiste

A run-of-the-mill general citrus - lemony impression - on the darker side and not really refreshing - with a dull herbal undertone is followed by a generic woodsy drydown with whiffs of an unexciting patchouli in the base.

This sounds trite? It is; very much a routine product that is generic with standard synthetic basic blending - pretty much an olfactoric non-event.

The sillage is moderate, the projection adequate and the longevity five hours on my skin.

Maybe for spring or not at all. The only good thing is the marketing - but can we wear that? 1.5/5
27th May, 2016
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Sir by D.S. & Durga

The opening hits the mark: a dark benzoin-underlined rose with a fairly traditional jasmine, initially brightened up by an again traditional bergamot-citrus background. Until now this clearly is derived from the opening concept of the classic Chypre.

On my skin the brighter parts are pushed back soon by the darker elements, with styrax-tilted resinous characteristics emerging in the drydown. This is enhanced by a deep and somber but fairly smooth patchouli impression with an incense twist to it and some labdanum - just a bit - towards the base stage.

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

A remarkably convincing traditional chypre initially, and staying in this tradition for the most part except the lack of a convincing oakmoss contribution, it is an autumnal creation of high natural ingredient quality and not without a contemporary twist. 3.5/5.
26th May, 2016
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Bubblegum Chic by Heeley

A heavy, sticky and gooey tuberose with lists of artificial waxiness combines with a sticky and heavy jasmine with a slightly minty undertone initially - yes, this is chewing-gum at its most mundane. Hints of a thick white musk with moments of a candy-like syrupy undertone develop later in the base, but the tuberose-jasmin prevails throughout.

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellence and the longevity ten hours - the last three or four closer to my skin.

A fun, trashy and fake concept that works well as such for a bit of a plasticine spring frolick - as a fragrance it is too synthetically linear to deserve a positive score. 2.5/5.
25th May, 2016
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Chypre Mousse (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

The opening is very unusual: a blend of green-like with a herbal, mainly sage undertone. This is blended with an oakmoss-like note. I say green-like and oakmoss-like, for it has a distinct synthetic streak, and smells unlike natural version of these notes. This all is combined with an overall, quite pleasant minty tone - and you get how unusual and interesting the opening phase is.

The drydown adds a good lashing of fern, and soon a mix of wet forest soil, rotting fungi and a rather generic vetiver - the latter providing a touch if freshness. This vetiver has no convincing earthiness attached to it, or if it has, it is drowned out by the rest.

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

This is quite an original idea, a laboratory impression of walking on wet soil outdoors in virtual reality; good for autumn days. The penetrant synthetic undertone that I get on my skin misses the mark, and the whole result is a rather pale image of what potentially might have been.

Imagine O'Driu would have taken on this idea....

2.75/5
24th May, 2016