Perfume Reviews

Reviews by rbaker

Advertisement
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Great Barrier Reef by Demeter Fragrance Library

The coral impression in the top notes is quite nice, although not really doing justice to the real thing, but it is pleasant, although on my skin the saltiness of the ocean breeze is quite discrete and soon dominated by a sweetish open-air candy-shop impression. These are the only two notes I am getting here.

Overall this is pleasant, but it lacks the interesting sea-fresh characteristics of the great sea or beach scents, like Bergamotto Marino, Erolfa or even the quirky Fire Island - unlike in the latter the added component is sweetish-synthetic and not very interesting.

As far as the performance is concerned, I get soft sillage, fairly weak projection and four hours of longevity. 2.5/5
24th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Mr. Bubble by Demeter Fragrance Library

A quite yummy banana flavour dominates the opening phase, with a fruity pear added to it; there is an underlying vanilla impression and more or less remains present throughout the whole development. In the drydown I mainly get some jasmine, nothing extraordinary but quite pleasant. In the base a somewhat generic rose gives way to a raspberry note later on; the latter being quite well executed.

Overall this is clearly a fun scent, synthetic but well designed and well made without being too biochemical and never unpleasantly sweet. The performance on my skin is excellent, with moderate sillage, excellent projection and a very good longevity of nine hours. The somewhat unusual combination of flavours and especially the good performance make me give it a positive score - but only just. 3/5
23rd August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Nuit de Noël by Caron

A vintage sample:
The top notes are delicious: jasmine and a balanced rose, with an overaching ylang ylang impression forming a great triad. A sweetness is present throughout the development of this scent, but is is never overly sweet, is never dominating and is never cloying.

In the drydown it leaves the floral side and a lovely and smooth sandal tone emerges, and later a wonderfully smoothly warm glowing amber takes the centre stage. It is here that the name makes sense; it is s bit like a winter day when passing the open door of a bakery, with warm air and the aroma of brioches in the air, with whiffs of spices added - a mild and gentle mossy note with olfactoric glimpses of cinnamon is present too.

The performance is outstanding, with moderate sillage, good projection and a sensational longevity of thirteen hours on my skin. This product is exceeding well blended of ingredients of the highest quality, and bears the hallmarks of a grand classic, a warm and comforting winter-cum-Noel scent without the usual festivity clichés. 4.5
22nd August, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Parfum Sacré by Caron

The vintage parfum extrait:
A stunning opening blast combining a delicious myrrh-herbal nite with lime, cardamom and a lovely tonka-gently sweet fresh green fruitiness galore and very well balanced.

The drydown turns towards the floral, mainly expressing a beautiful jasmine and a delightful rich but bright rose. Towards the base the rose takes on woodsy rose - stem characteristics, whilst still being carried by the superb underlying vanilla. The base is keeping up the the high standard that was established in the opening phase.

This is a gorgeous creation, well-structured whilst extremely well blended and with excellent performance: initially good then soft sillage, adequate projection but, above all, a stupendous longevity of over thirteen hours, the last ones albeit close to my skin.

A remarkablenarrating of grand quality, made of top - level ingredients. 4/5.
21st August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Cialenga by Balenciaga

The absolute peak delight when applying this scent is the phenomenally gorgeous opening blast: a mix of fresh berry fruitiness, green herbal notes and hints of vetiver - wonderful! In the drydown floral tendencies predominate, mainly iris and jasmine, but later on a very nice ylang-ylang that is given depth by an overarching clove impression. A velvety rich Bulgarian rose leads me to the last stages in the journey.

The base is quite different again, with the rose being complements by a smooth sandalwood and a gentle but rich patchouli providing a typical base for a chypre fragrance, an observation that is confirmed by the gradual rising of a fairly light and smooth oak moss in the background.

The performance is a bit patchy, with the initial moderate sillage and good projection being increasingly muted over time, and after the first couple of hours it is very close to my skin. Still, is is composed of ingredients of supreme natural quality, is blended extremely well without losing structure, and lasts seven hours in total on my skin.

In summary, a great vintage scent for spring. 3.75/5.
20th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Jolie Madame by Pierre Balmain

A vintage sample:

The opening notes form a rather unique combination, combining a lovely coriander with neroli and a boozy artemisia; a gentle spice in the backgound is provided by hints of cloves.

In the drydown this scent turns floral, with a waxy tuberose mingling with a lovely narcissus-jasmin duo that later on sees a violet impression added: a delightful, well-structured potpourri of garden fragrances.

The base notes again take another turn into a different direction: a gentle, beautiful bright leather impression, reminding me of Kölnisch Juchten, combined with cedarwood, a sweet pipe tobacco note and gently overarching mossy components. The base, which lasts several hours, at times emanates a velvety honeyed impression that is as classic as it is delicious.

Overall this a a supremely developing and always interesting creation, extremely well blended and made of top-quality ingredients. I get soft sillage, decent projection and an overall longevity of seven hours. Good for spring or autumn throughout the day or in the evening. A classic. 4/5.
19th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Narcisse Noir by Caron

A vintage sample:
The opening introduces the narcissus very early on my skin, underpinned by a gently woven carpet of white florals, which are difficult to discern in detail. In the drydown, however, a lovely jasmines comes to the fore, and these impression more or less define the first half of this scent's development.

In the later stage a shift firm the bright floral towards the darker side occurs, with a sinister rose and wood notes heralding this change. Then an animalic note arises and gradually takes over, a civet-rich but more somber than sinister note that is never really heavy on my skin. In the end the now somewhat attenuated civet remains as the main player, mellowed by a ligh powdery background, albeit very close to my skin at that stage, and slowly fades out over that last half of this fragrance's life span.

The quality of the ingredients is without reproach, and the blending supreme. A floral turning animalic - great. The performance is good with only soft sillage, but adequate projection and an excellent longevity of eight hours. Lovely with a creative twist. 3.5/5
18th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Fleeting Moment / Fuite des Heures by Balenciaga

This is Balenciaga's second fragrance creation after the seminal Le Dix. The opening is an absolute stunner: green herbal notes, with a good lashing of thyme, combines with fresh green notes and a whiff of bergamot combine to an opening blast of distinction, that in its tail gives rise to an anise that has whiffs of cardamom added. Soon a classic dyad of violet and jasmine emerges, and the heart notes develop into a floral potpourri that is well balanced and very delightful.

In the base I find a predominance of a light and bright amber, which is accompanied by a nonspecific woodsy component, and in the last phases white musk makes and appearance on my skin.

There is one downside to this delight: the suboptimal performance, even when it is applied rather lavishly. Initially stronger, the sillage is only soft after the first couple of hours, and similarly I get decent projection at the beginning, but then it is very close to my skin. The total longevity is six hours, but the last couple of hours mainly consist of whiffs of the Amber notes with a light powderiness slowly fading out at the end.

Overall this is a great fragrance that is well blended and made of prime quality ingredients, and the limited performance might be du to the fact that my vintage sample is old an tired. Whilst I in principle do not up-score fatigued vintage samples that might have been better in the past - I always score the here and now - in case of doubt I give the better score in general, out of respect to the professionals who created a fragrance. Fuite des Heures lies just between positive and neutral (due to the poor performance), so I give is a positive score - just. 3/5
17th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau de Cartier : Essence d'Orange by Cartier

The orange - comparatively ripe and sweet - is the dominant base note, followed by a bergamot that is quite nice. The basenotes consists of a floral potpourri, mainly white florals, with a sweet fruity undertone - this is the least satisfactory phase of this scent.

The orange follows through on my skin, right up to the base notes, which have as core the woodsy-musk-patchouli triad that is so frequently found. The wood is, surprisingly discernible, a cedar that is actually quite well developing on my skin.

Whilst a touch artificial at time, and sweet overall, this is not bad at all. performance on me is good, with moderate sillage, decent projection and six hours of longevity - that includes the persistent citrus core.

Overall just reaching into the positive domain - 3/5 by the skin of its teeth.
16th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Quadrille by Balenciaga

The vintage parfum:

The top notes consist of a delicious melange of rich, ripe and fruity plum/pear/peach notes, which have some citrus freshness infused such as to display great balance. The more I get down the drydown phase, the more I appreciate a lovely jasmine that at times sees cinnamon and cardamom impression added such as to give it a spicy and at times darker edge.

The base switches gear into a lovely bright amber, that is characterised by a light, elegant powdery background, upon which a white musk is added towards the end. This all is supremely well blended out of ingredients of the highest quality.

The performance is very respectable with moderate sillage, decent projection and eight hours of longevity: on my skin at the end of the base phase it gradually peters out, with the slightly bright soapy powderiness fading out as the swan song of this venerable creation.

A grand but not pompous, perfectly balanced fragrance of great expression; ideal for spirng and warmer, sunny autumn days or evenings. Noblesse with elegant restraint. A classic. 4/5
15th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Fleurs de Rocaille by Caron

A slightly sweet, nicely glowing jasmine is the core top note - and top in quality it is indeed, with a hint of gentle sweetness. This as well as the drydown is chracterised by an overarching abundance of aldehydes, giving is a crisp side. In the base a sandal appears, and I also get a honeyed creamy impression that at times takes on ambery characteristics.

All this is beautifully blended of ingredients of highest quality. I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and six hours of longevity. Strangely though, after six hours a slightly powdery resurgence of the honeyed amber provides pleasant transient reminiscences, which last another five hours, albeit extremely close to my skin. And have to apply it very liberally, otherwise it last less long.

A classic of simple structure but of the highest quality. 3.5/5
14th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Le Dix by Balenciaga

A peachy, warm, very aldehydic opening beautifully balanced with a gently citric lemon and a fresh bergamot - gorgeous is the opening indeed. A hint of spice - coriander mainly with orris - is added and leads over to a floral drydown of rare beauty, where lily takes the centre stage, with a rich, velvety rose - Bulgarian comes to mind - combining sensationally with a superb jasmine. Around this time a pleasant elegant powderiness emerges that is never dusted or dull, but provides the dance of fragrance notes with a suitable stage to shine.

The base, so often a letdown, keeps up the same stupendous level of quality, with a natural sandalwood balancing beautifully with a fairly light and bright vetiver, a rich slightly musky vanilla, and a truly convincing great Amber note - glorious!

The performance is excellent: I get good sillage, nice projection and over twelve hours of longevity - fading out gently in very discretely powdery ambery-vanilla delight. Very good for my old vintage sample.

A grand classic and a great masterpiece of the house of Balenciaga. 4.25/5


13th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Eau de Cartier by Cartier

The name includes the connotation that this is a fresher scent, which is true, but it is more that than. The yuzu in the opening blast is very nicely done, which sets it apart form more standard citrus openings, and a pleasant bergamot does the rest in the initial phase. The heart notes consist of a floral-green pot potpourri, which herbal undertones being combined with a traditional lavender.

The base becomes a bit deeper, with a white musk on the lighter side being given a darker notes with a balanced patchouli; whiffs of cedar are noteable too at times and not too generic on my skin.

Overall pleasant and balanced, developing quite nicely and well blended. I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin. Not without a touch of originality and well made. A positive score - just. 3/5
12th August, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Baiser Volé Lys Rose by Cartier

As the name correctly indicates, rose is quite prominent in this scent: it is a fairly light, bright synthetic rose. Lily and hints of jasmine are the other componenents I get in the drydown, and the base develops a rather generic tonka impression.

Overall an all right spring composition, but a bit too generic on my skin to make a lasting impression. I get moderate sillage, adequate longevity and five hours of longevity on my skin. 2/5
11th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Baiser Volé by Cartier

A nondescript synthetic citrus note is about as dull and predictable as a scent can begin with. Then underlying green notes rise, followed by the emergence of the main player, a reasonable lily that a times gains in richness and depth and then is quite attractive. The base is as generic as the start.

I am getting soft sillage, but when I sampled the concentrated version the sillage was at least moderate and better than the Eau de Toilette that In sampled initially. The projection is all right, and the longevity is about four hours, but again the concentrée version lasted another hour.
Overall 2/5
09th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

La Panthère Eau de Parfum Légère by Cartier

The opening is quite different from the original Panthère, replacing the apple note with orange-dominant citrus blend. I get a less aldehydic backgound here. Like in the original I get some gardenia in the drydown, bu in Eau Legère I get some additional fairly nice jasmine component with whiffs of labdanum. The base of EL is a bit sweeter, mainly due to vanilla, but not overly so, and no musk on my skin. It is overall a bit more complex than the original.

True to its name the sillage is softer, the projection a bit less and the longevity is only four hours. Pleasant but nothing great. 2.5/5

09th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Extract of Limes by Penhaligon's

The opening is gorgeous: a convincingly zestful lime&lemon blast that is fine and elegant in nature, and is soon enhanced by a stunning underlying classic petit grain. Later on a well-balanced neroli takes over and gradually becomes the dominant force in the fragrance. I do not get a separate additional base note phase in this one.

This is a delicious, refined and elegant summer citrus-neroli scent. With these types of lime-citrus composition noone can expect a great performance du to the inherently short-lived nature of natural citrus oils notes, but I an pleasantly surprised here: whilst sillage is only soft and projection quite all right only, the initial impression lasts two hours on me, with the later neroli-centred phase gradually wanes over another four: this gives an overall longevity of six hours, which is splendid for a lime-based composition in my skin - albeit the last two hours being very close to my skin.

The ingredients are of a very high quality and well -blended, and although very simple and traditional in its components it is extremely well executed. A delightful summer joy. 4/5

08th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Molecule 03 by Escentric Molecules

Now this house has been famous for its über-synthetic minimalist concept, but so far - I haven't yet tried Kinski - none of their hyper-sexy products really convinced me. Until I samplesd M3.

Proudly synthetically mimicking a pungent, harsh, dirty-earthy laboratory vetiver-mimicker - and in this it had quite some character - generic it is not. In the opening refreshing, later on the sharper notes become more prominent. A good one for a colder, stormy spring day off work. Less exciting than many less synthetic vetivers, it compares to the latter like an unfinished Mondrian compares to a Turner landscape.

This the is the evidence that Escentric Molecules can produce a convincing scent, and their creative concept, which initially produced more public-relation-stunt quips than exciting scents, can yield a nice fragrance. I get soft sillage, reasonable projection and four hours of longevity. 3/5

Quite unusual. Try before you buy.
07th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Escentric 03 by Escentric Molecules

A fresh lemony start with a spicy undertone a bit later make for a pleasant, albeit not particularly inspired opening phase. Later a pleasant jasmine emerges, and a woodsy spicy drydown leads into a musky-woodsy base, like the base notes of many other contemporary perfume products. Overall definitely pleasant, very synthetic, a tad uninspired but very wearable if one does not want to wear anything exciting or interesting.

Whilst then not particularly interesting as scent, there is a nigh ozonic freshness palpable at times that is quite attractive. I get poor sillage, very limited projection and four hours of longevity on my skin. Alas it really does not take off on my skin in a way that would warrant and unequivocally positive endorsement, so it just missed out. 2.5/5.
06th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Molecule 02 by Escentric Molecules

faint, fizzy woodsy scent, that is airy and on my skin comes and goes. At its best it is pleasant, but at times very difficult to appreciate at all. Overall a bit thin, undistinct but pleasant. Ambroxan at its best, warm but uninspiring and a tad boring.

This is a useful scent for blending, although even then a bit unexciting. I get poor sillage, limited projection but overall four hours of longevity; longer on my clothes. 2.5/5
05th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Escentric 02 by Escentric Molecules

Ambroxan, muscone and hedione, the product of a chemistry class camouflaging as faint anaemic echoes of ambergris, a light musk and shadows of pseudo-jasmine. Very close to my skin, with poor sillage, faint projection and three forgettable hours of shortevity. Boring...z...z....z...
04th August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules

A gently sweetish biochemistry-laboratory generic wood impression, very close to my skin, with soft sillage and two hours of longevity. A very interesting concept, but alas I am smelling scents, not concepts. And as scent it is not good enough.
03rd August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Escentric 01 by Escentric Molecules

A carpet of sunthetic-dull Iso E permeates this products, and off and on I get pleasant woodsy notes with a gently peppery hint. Very minimalist but not particularly exciting, as it remains quite dull on my skin.

The sillage is poor, the projection weak and the longevity is three hours on me. Nice, but not more. 2.5/5
02nd August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

XIX March by Tiziana Terenzi

On my skin this is a perfume that develops from light to heavier over time. It opens with a bright minty orange notes that combines with a second prong of notes encompassing a herbal-vegetal mix. Fruit and Veg - how healthy. Soon a spicy cinnamon component arises, whiffs of clove emerge, and later in the drydown traditional floral elements are evident, mainly jasmine and lavender. Overall an unusal mix, like wandering trough a succession of citrus groves, herb gardens and flower fields. Nice.

The base is, alas, less interesting and more pedestrian: woodsy and musky components, the usual culprits. The base is the weak point of this composition.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and six hours of longevity. Overall 2.5/5.
01st August, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Gold Rose Oudh by Tiziana Terenzi

On my skin oud and patchouli are the two dominant players that constitute the dual leitmotif defining this scent and remaining present throughout its whole development. Initially bergamot is added, but it can only provide a bit of initial freshness amongst the two main players. The patchouli is a top-of-the-range, dark, brooding yet well defined patchouli, with a stem-like wood impression and a fairly harsh peppery spiciness, reminding me at some stage of Tom Ford's purple patchouli - just with less violet character. The oud is also dark, deep, rich and so convincing that I wonder whether a touch of the natural stuff might have been added, although given cost and rarity as well as the unholy obsession with laboratory synthesis amongst today's perfume producers that is hardly ever done these days. One lives in hope! The oud is very convincing and of prime quality.

In the drydown a rich, velvety and softly dark Bulgarian rose arises, the third of the main actors on this olfactory can stage. A very good and convincing rose this is indeed.

The drydown keeps up the high standard that is present so far. An ambery impression that is unlike the usual synthetic thin versions of it, and a sandalwood note provide the foundation of the base, with a dark and spicy musk continuing the theme form the beginning. Touches of honeyed and tonka sweetness round off this olfactoric magical tour.

Performance is nigh stellar: strong sillage, great projection and ten hours of longevity on my skin.

The house of Tiziana Terenzi is truly focusedly niche, but this is the first of their fragrances that I sampled that bears hallmarks of convincing stature: high-quality ingredients, very well blended whilst maintaining structure, and one of the few oud product in that recent deluge that is worth taking seriously. 3.5/5

31st July, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Ecstasy by Tiziana Terenzi

This is a scent that starts out with a nice pine note that has a dusty-balsamic undertone on my skin, and soon add a few floral components. In this drydown I get a spicy impression that mainly seems to be carried by a patchouli that is neither dark nor lightweight; a balanced patchouli without excessive sharpness. Another distinct feature is a pleasant and quite natural violet is a hint of a dark rose.

Following a not uncommon pattern, the base notes are the most base-ic: woodsy, in a nigh-generic way with a fairly pedestrian vanilla - that is a disappointing end.

On me the performance is middle-of-the-road: moderate sillage, adequate projection and six hours of longevity: neither bad nor excellent - as is the overall impression this opus of niche perfumery has on me. 2.5/5
30th July, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

White Fire by Tiziana Terenzi

On my skin the ozonic-fresh opening has a herbal undertone, which makes for an interestingly refreshing mix of top notes. Then the piece de resistance in the scent makes an appearance: a nice, pleasant jasmine; not a pretty one but a heavier, woody and soapy variety that is different from many of those soft-light varieties.

The base notes, I must say, drop down in creativity considerable, with the standard troika of woodsy, ambery and musky notes is customary regularity; they are if less impressive quality and quite thin on me.

As far as longevity goes, I get soft sillage, less than impressive projection; it is close to my skin but the longevity is a very good seven hours. The bottle design is lovely.

It is always exciting to see a small, outsider niche house taking on the biochemical mass-laboratory-based profit-obsessed mega-corporations by being novel, different and exciting, but overall this creation does not hit the top mark. Very promising, though.
29th July, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Very Sexy Attraction by Victoria's Secret

In this scent on me the first impression is that of sweet cherries, which later on turn into a more floral theme: I get lily and hints of orchids. All this is clearly synthetic, but not all bad; it is neither overwhelming nor totally cloying, and for those cherry-lovers looking for a spring scent it might be worth a try.

As das as the performance is concerned, I get moderate sillage, good projection and four hours of longevity. Overall in the middle range.
28th July, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Vaniglia, Bourbon & Mandarino / Vanilla, Bourbon & Mandarin of Sicily by Antica Farmacista

Now this is perfumer's minimalism at work: mandarin ice cream enhanced by a very good and quite natural vanilla - a delicious summer scent. Rich, creamy, not too sweet and never cloying, and a boozy undertone adds substance. Whilst the sillage is moderate and the projection good, I only get four hours of longevity on my skin - but a delightful four hours. Sometimes less is more: 3/5.
27th July, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

L'Extrait Classique X by Jean Paul Gaultier

A rose opening blended quite nicely with an orange note that enhance the brighter yet quite intensive nature of the roe core. He drydown turns a touch darker with a tuberose that is more on the lightweight side, and dominates until in the base a tonka emerges. The tonka is rich and not too sweet, but a bit predictable and unexciting.

This is definite one of the more substantial scents of this house, rich, more intense than others but in the end end it lacks a bit of creativity. I get strong sillage, very good projection and six hours
of longevity on my skin. Nice for cooler spring days. 2.5/5
26th July, 2015