Reviews by rbaker

    Showing 91 to 120 of 901.
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    Life Essence by Fendi

    The orange-bergamot citrus opening is pleasantly softened with coriander, and then a floral component, on me, mainly geranium with a bit of jasmine, softens it. A pleasant start, but soon it collapses and it remains an extremely faint skin scent that, however, is just noticeable for up to a respectable seven hours. The sandal notes that is added later on is not convincing and too generic, and the slightly spicy cedar isn't either. The idea is goods: a citrus-wood combination with an interesting twist, but the execution is suboptimal as far as my skin reaction is concerned.

    22 April, 2014

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    Incanto by Salvatore Ferragamo

    The plummy peach opening is associated with a gentle peppery background. In the more floral drydown I get mainly lily and jasmine, not sweet and fairly well balanced. There is a sandalwood in the base that is not really very convincing my skin, with a faint ambergris towards the end. Overall this is not bad, not too blatantly synthetic and the opening is quite nice. The middle and end phases, however are not developing well on me, with about four hours of longevity. In the end I remain impartial to this scent.

    22 April, 2014

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    Armani Eau de Nuit by Giorgio Armani

    A slightly spicy bergamot gives way to a blandly synthetic cardomon, which develops into an ultra-generic drydown of wood and vanilla. The longevity of about three hours is not impressive either. One would expect better from GA.

    21st April, 2014

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    Tokyo by Kenzo

    The initial citrus-ginger blast is nice, joined by green tea and mate, a sort of tea party. In the drydown a light pepper with a woodsy base are a bit too average, and it collapses to be very close to my skin after a couple of hours. Total longevity is about four hours. Not bad but nothing special.

    12 April, 2014

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    Les Nombres d'Or - Ambre by Mona di Orio

    Right from the start I get a delightful amber note with a benzoin component, rich and rounded but not too dark on my skin. A resinous balsamic note with cedar is added in the drydown without disturbing the roundedness of this composition. After about four hours of very good silage and projection it starts to fade, turning into a vanilla based but not too sweet powdery scent, which is quite fresh and contemporaneous. It comes and goes, at times seems to have disappeared just to rise again and so forth. The total longevity is a splendid twelve hours, although the last half of this time it is a powdery skin scent. A good and satisfying amber composition perfect for early autumn.

    11th April, 2014

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    Programme Homme by Lancôme

    The opening blast is a splendid rendering of a boozy citrus-basil burst that soon is joined by a divine lavender - traditional but oh so beautifully done! The traditional fougère theme continues with the habitual floral follow-on, here a delightful geranium, with a beautifully balanced oakmoss that is more on the dark and mellow side. Olibanum and labdanum make a herbal-green base note that tapers very gradually. Top-level quality ingredients are blended masterfully, with great silage and very good projection. A mega-astounding longevity monster that lasts fifteen hours on my skin in total! Absolutely amazing. Less dark than sagamore, a touch more elegant than dunhill's otherwise not dissimilar Blend 30, this is one of my autumn favourites.

    10th April, 2014

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    Cabaret Homme by Grès

    rosemary, pineapple, coriander, On me the opening blast is mainly made of juniper, coriander and bergamot. Berry nice and rounded, a green lavender-rosemary drydown follows. So far, so good. Alas then it collapses and remain very close to my skin after the first couple of hours, and the base - a mild amber with patchouli, a hint of moss, and vanilla - is too weak in silage and projection to really make an impression. This is why am reluctant to give this an overall positive score, although the first hour or so would deserve it. Overall longevity about three hours.

    09 April, 2014

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    Vendetta pour Homme by Valentino

    The verbena opening with clove and neroli is great - original based upon few notes that are combined in a masterly fashion. A classic lavender of benchmark quality adds to the impression of tradition with a twist. A beautiful start, which later develops a bayrhum-boozy quality that fits in very well. Whilst this scent turns softer in the drydown thanks to a floral turn, mainly geranium, and adds labdanum components, in the base this declares itself as a fougère: patchouli and moss notes - the latter less strong on my skin, with a touch of musk. The clove plays a leading rôle throughout all stages on me. This is beautifully balanced, well-rounded, crisp but not very bright and never harsh; this is no Gucci Nobile. At the same time it is more elegant than many other fougéres and a very complex composition - more complex than Z-14, and it is extremely well blended without losing its multifaceted structure. The quality of the ingredients is excellent, they have a traditional core with an unusual and exciting twist. On my skin it has very good silage and projection, with a superb longevity of nine hours. A top-class fougère with stamina, great in spring.

    08 April, 2014

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    John Varvatos Rock Volume One by John Varvatos

    On my skin the opening is a rather generic vanilla-aldehyde-aquatic cocoction that is quite unusual but distinctly unexciting. On me it takes a while for the rose and coffee notes to develop, but especially the coffee impression is quite nice and adds some individuality to this scent. A bit of cinnamon-cardamom warmth joins in at base level, and towards the end glimpses of the aquatic notes re-appear. This scent is never too sweet and quite well balanced, but loses the somewhat dull generic undertones only at times. Still, not bad overall, with limited silage but good projection for the first few hours. The overall longevity is superb at nearly nine hours, albeit very close to my skin at the later stages. Good for spring.

    07 April, 2014

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    Oxygène Homme by Lanvin

    A pleasant opening where a nice citrus is combined with juniper berry, the latter being equally pleasant. Then cypress and a gently restrained coriander arrive in the drydown accompanied by a salty sea breeze impression , but apart from a whiff of a light musky base note there is only limited development on my skin. Good silage and projection for the first couple of hours, but then it collapses and remains very close to my skin, only be be perceived by very close sniffing for another seven hours. A total longevity of nine hours is tremendous for such a summery aquatic scent indeed. Overall, however, fairly standard and a tad unexciting and generic.

    06 April, 2014

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    Heir by Paris Hilton

    This is not an absolutely awful scent, but very dull. A very generic citrus opening leads to a synthetic fresh-floral concoction straight from the lab. Silage and projection are limited, but the projection is not bad: over four hours. The box and the bottle are minimalist-stylish though.

    05 April, 2014

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    Grès Monsieur by Grès

    A very pleasant opening, in which the cardamom, bergamot and lavender combine in quite a unique way, with a fresh-ish impression. The drydown warms up with a delightful cinnamon, but the base is a bit of a letdown on my skin, a bit nondescript. Still, overall a nice spring scent. Limited silage, decent projection and six hours of longevity. Borderline - just a positive score at a whisker.

    04 April, 2014

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    Very Irrésistible for Men by Givenchy

    This is a nice opening, a bit of grapefruit with a small amount of mint - nice. The drydown that follows raises the stakes and is a very well made mix of a lovely hazelnut and woodsy notes. Clearly synthetic but original and well blended - especially the hazel note is very convincing. Take this nigh-gourmand approach with good silage, very good projection and an excellent longevity of seven hours, and I see why this is a winner as a fragrance, in spite of the relatively few notes in this composition, as they are well done. Sometimes less is more indeed. Great for autumn.

    03 April, 2014

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    Very Irresistible for Men Fresh Attitude by Givenchy

    The grapefruit-mint opening is loaded towards the sweetish-grapefruit on my skin, but in spite of the evidently synthetic nature of these top notes the overall impression of the opening blast is not bad. Then it becomes rather dull, with a green-woodsy drydown that mixes the generic with the expected. Silage and projection are all right, and with nearly six on me the longevity is very respectable for this somewhat summery scent. I am not surprised is was discontinued after only a few years.

    02 April, 2014

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    Parure by Guerlain

    Combining an attenuated bergamot with a spicy prune makes for a very unique opening, which leads to a distinctly dark-floral drydown. A beautiful rose initially, and further into the middle notes a gorgeous jasmine appears - delicious. In the further development the standout is the lilac: at times harsh and nigh smoky, it mixes with spicy tones and moss to a leathery base of distinction, that in the base is complimented by an oak moss that is quite restrained on my skin. Absolute superb quality of ingredients, smoothly blended whilst maintaining great structure and development, with good silage and projection. I get six hours of longevity. One of the most creative classic Guerlain perfumes and an unusual chypre.

    01st April, 2014

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    Ode by Guerlain

    At the start I get a strong aldehyde blast that soon developed into a very nice jasmine impression. Soon the middle phase sets in with an amazingly rich, beautiful velvety dark rose, that is complemented
    with one of the most beautiful iris notes I can remember. The latter is becoming gradually dominant, with an aroma as if one is holding a bunch of the best iris in one's hand. At time the rose comes back into the foreground, with added rose leaf and stem impressions, alternating in the leading part with the super-iris - a spectacle of oscillating olfactory beauty and excitement. In the base sandalwood and, mainly, a lovely and well-balanced musk is added; he latter in the lead towards the end. The ingredients are of unsurpassed quality, the blending is sublime, silage and projection are very good and the longevity surpasses seven hours. An seminal rich floral masterpiece and one of my favourite Guerlains.

    31st March, 2014

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    Oeillet 000 by Guerlain

    A stunning, rich and velvety carnation rules in a practically soliflorous manner for the first hours. Then floral stems and green leaves are added, as if walking across a bed of carnations in autumn. Towards the end, a touch of ambery honey with a very restrained vanilla makes the based just a touch sweeter.  Outstanding quality of its ingredients, wonderfully blended. Very good silage and projection with nine hours of longevity. One of Guerlain's floral masterpieces that is eminently wearable now.

    30th March, 2014

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    Fleur de Feu by Guerlain

    Review of the vintage Perfume:
    The opening is one of Guerlain's greatest: a rich, red, deep carnation, like emanating from one's button hole, with touches of aldehydes, ylang-ylang and a Guerlinesque background adding the odd fiery sparkle. This carnation is less of a soliflore than the one in the same house's Oeillet OOO triple perfume but more faceted in nature. The drydown adds some iris, with later jasmine enforcing the floral nature of this scent. In the base I get a discrete amber-cinnamon note that is given further depth by an unobtrusive vanilla with a touch of sweetness. In spite of the post-war frugalness the ingredients are of sensational quality and wonderfully blended. Very good silage with excellent projection and a superb longevity of nearly ten hours. Another all-time great of Guerlain.

    29 March, 2014

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    Sous Le Vent by Guerlain

    Lavender and tarragon are the opening notes, with a very attenuated citrus-bergamot-style add-on. The drydown is fresh and green without being grassy, with a smidgeon of sage before jasmine and then carnation emerge; the latter provides a beautiful centrepiece of the middle phase. Later I get a bit of iris, with wood, whiffs of amber and a light musk and minimal powderiness at the very end. Beautifully made and blended of ingredients of supreme quality. Adequate silage and longevity with eight hours of longevity. One of the great Guerlains.
    This review is of the vintage perfume.

    26 March, 2014

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    Rue De La Paix by Guerlain

    The opening is not a blast, more a gentle crescendo of white florals, possibly violet and lily-of-the valley, with a mildly peachy undertone. In the drydown a darker rose appears, whilst in the drydown an amber with a nigh-honeyed undertone is dominant, with a touch of a white musk note and a very subtle pleasantly powdery finish. At times a brief flare of a gorgeously pure bergamot occurs, adding moments of brightness. Extraordinarily well blended of highest-quality ingredients. Limited silage and projection though, but an excellent longevity of ten hours overall. Beautiful and very versatile.
    This review is for the vintage perfume.

    25 March, 2014

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    Chamade by Guerlain

    This review is for the vintage perfume:
    The opening is simple but brilliant: hyacinth, one of the best, together with a very special jasmine, forms a wonderfully rich and intense initial impression. Absolutely gorgeous. In the dry down galbanum and ylang-ylang add to the floral character, enhanced by a fruity undertone. Gradually a vanilla of unsurpassed quality gradually grows in prominence, peaking in the early base where a soft woodsy note is added that has whiffs of hazel and of sandal passing by. At times I get a soft amber aroma. Eventually, the vanilla, never too sweet, is gradually fading out, accompanied by a soft and gentle powdery note in the background. The ingredients are of astounding quality, beautifully smoothly blended without losing structure, and of velvety richness and great purity, especially in the top notes. Good silage and projection with ten hours of longevity. One of the house's masterpieces.

    24 March, 2014

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    Extract of Patchouli by Guerlain

    The opening, after a brief flickering of a hint of hesperidic freshness, is the most wonderful patchouli. Rich, smooth, soft, without any harshness and roughness, rich, deep and glowing. A mildly sweetish undertone derived from vanilla is evident. The initial freshness is most likely attenuated with age, as such notes often do not survive time well - my sample must have been many decades old. Nonetheless it is obvious that the quality of the ingredients is incredibly outstanding, and the blending sublime. Age might also have affected longevity, which with five hours was below expectation for a perfume, but silage and projection were initially good. A benchmark and a great experience.

    22 March, 2014

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    Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa Oud Concentrée by Acqua di Parma

    The combination of citrus and oud is an interesting on one and quite original. The oud is here, however, not the usual earthy agarwood note, it is pretty good but thinner and probably meant not to overwhelm the citrus; unfortunately that gives it less depth and richness. Additionally, for most of the drydown the coriander is too predominant and the blending is not very smoothly and harmoniously done such as to give the oud a better role. All this is not really a big problem, but there is little development on my skin; silage and projection are quite good though, and the longevity is very good at over seven hours. Clearly an oud cologne combines notes that are quite contradictory - bright citrus with darker oud wood, and that is difficult to pull off. Compared to those masterpieces that did achieve this marriage of contradictions - see Creed's unrivalled citrus-leather dyad in Cuir de Russie - this really is a half-cooked dish. One point for trying though.

    21st March, 2014

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    Oud Alif by Shay & Blue

    Oudmania galore: Another one! The opening is very nice, good creamy oud that is quite typical, and not too synthetic. There is a chocolate note in the drydown that is on the spicier side - although others around me get more of it that I actually do - and the base is a nice, dark patchouli that has a bit of sharpness but not too much. Good silage and projection for about for hours, and then it retreats to remain close to my skin and becomes a lot flatter. It is not bad at all, but the second phase is not really very remarkable: I am hovering between neutral and positive on this one - with the good longevity of six hours I will give it a borderline positive. There are more exciting ouds, but this is not bad.

    21st March, 2014

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    Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile by Acqua di Parma

    The opening is really good: orange, a white light pepper note and a strong tuberose, with a very nice jasmine developing. Then, after about two hours, it collapses on my skin to a shadow of its former glory: a nondescript musk-woodsy base that it quite uninspiring, in spite of an uninspiring floral background. Initially silage and longevity are good, and the total longevity is over five hours on me

    21st March, 2014

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    Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile by Acqua di Parma

    There are a number of floral fragrances of this house that are fairly formulaic in the composition and not really top in their ingredients and authenticity of their notes, but this one is not one of them. Sure, the magnolia is not all-natural top quality, but very good, and blends well with the whole structure of their scent. The magnolia arises after the orange, the bergamot and the jasmine are notable, and dominates deeply into the drydown The vanilla that later arrives is not really sweet on my skin, not cloying and blends in well. Added florals, mainly some rose and a gentle, softer patchouli round it off. Not the greatest of scents, but well blended, with very good silage and projection, and six hours of longevity on me. A soft but firm, rich and deep floral, enchanting but not soppy.

    21st March, 2014

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    Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile Sublime by Acqua di Parma

    Blond woods, Cedar, Acacia, Birch, Patchouli, Musk
    A pleasant orange opening with ylang-ylang, and I get more jasmine than in the original, and a touch of a very faint rose. Again the iris is in the background. It is a bit less sweet on my skin, and the base notes' wood notes are lighter; it is not that sweet on my skin. Silage and projection are not good, more on the restrained side, but, interestingly, the longevity is superior at about six hours, albeit weaker. Less formulaic, I prefer it to the original Iris nobile, but still too stereotypical without convincing by sheer quality and creativity. And there are better Iris scents available - where was my Le Labo again?.

    21st March, 2014

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    Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma

    An opening that is fairly typical bergamot, orange and star anise, with lots of aldehydes. Ylang-ylang is prominent together with a sweetish vanilla in the drydown, and on my skin the iris is pretty much drowned out by the other notes. Overall not bad; it is dense, rich and intense, but a fairly formulaic scent following a trodden path. Decent silage and projection with three hours of longevity on me.

    21st March, 2014

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    Miracle Homme L'Aquatonic by Lancôme

    The mixed green-citrus opening is very nice, very Lancôme, soon to enter a green-herbal, slightly grassy and sweetish drydown. A light woodsy note with a touch of fruitiness then develops, with a very light vetiver undertone. Green, fresh, slightly sweet and more on the elegant side - but not aquatic. At times reminiscences of Ô de Lancôme are notable, but the base is a touch richer and has more wood notes, and is overall not as light as Ô is on my skin. Whilst it is not an extraordinary creation, it is definitely well-balanced and well-blended green-fresh spring scent. Decent silage and projection with five hours of longevity.

    21st March, 2014

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    Paloma Picasso / Mon Parfum by Paloma Picasso

    A great opening of lemon mixed with a delightful hyacinth, quite unique. A floral drydown with a rose and coriander that is nice, but the base in truly simple but good - honey sweetness mixes with an edgier patchouli spiciness. Remembering the original, my latest sample is flatter and less deep and less rich - the newer version gets the neutral score. Good silage and projection with five hours of longevity. For elegant evenings.

    20th March, 2014

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