Perfume Reviews

Reviews by rbaker

Total Reviews: 1993
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Eau de Magnolia by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

A touch of bergamot adds a touch of brightness, but this is a product whose name doors not belie is substance and content: the Magnolia is it. A typical, rich, fragrant magnolia, conjuring up childhood memories of the magnolia tree outside the window and its vibrant aroma in times of its blossoming.

On my skin the magnolia is persistently dominating the scene. There are some variations over time, touches of vetiver and some woodsy undercurrents towards the end, but always the Magnolia rules. Even in its dying moments the big M is ever-present.

I am getting moderate sillage, excellent projection and an impressive eleven hours of longevity on my skin, albeit fluctuating in intensity over the last hours.

Floral, magnolia splendor galore. At times a bit monochromatic but never intrusive or very sweet. Well crafted and made of good-quality ingredients. A paradigmatic magnolia creation. 3.5/5.
29th May, 2017
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Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Brightened up with a touch of bergamot, from the word "go" the star in the performance greets me: a beautiful tuberose, bright but intensive, rich but elegant, floral but not too sweet. This beauty hardly displays any waxiness. One of the most convincing tuberoses I have come across for a while.

The drydown gains added depth and a slightly creamy character with the addition of nice ylang-ylang undertone, soon a white floral mix gains prominence, with a jasmine that at times is bearing gently woodsy characteristics. It is, however, a lovely orange blossom that moves into foreground, but always combined with the starring tuberose, which remains prominent from beginning to the end, like an idée fixe in a work by Berlioz.

This remains the core blend in the base, with some perfunctory white musks adding - not very much noteworthy.

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

A delicious evening spring scent on account of supreme and brilliant tuberose and the very nice orange blossom - the rest is mere accompaniment only. 3.75/5.
28th May, 2017
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Emerald Dream by Estée Lauder

After a brief citrus-fruity-harsh chemical attack (contravening various international conventions) in the opening blast, I was fearing the worst. No need to worry though; it soon settled down to a pleasant and fresh grass-green impression, with touches of very fresh basil underneath the heath. Touches of a peach aroma were intermittently detectable in the background. Parts of the top notes reminded me of Geoffrey Beene's Bowling Green, just lacking the vibrancy of Beene's verdant creation.

In the drydown floral pieces were added to the olfactory mosaic: initially a fairly woodsy violet impression, then mimosa, whiffs of geranium, and a pleasant cyclamen to maintain a good balance.

The base turns increasingly woodsier, with the cypress gradually overwhelmed by the Kamani and whiffs of sandal; it is as if a hint of white blossoms is admixed. Delightful, and towards the end the fruitiness from the top notes as well as the green parts of the initial phase return to combine with the rest to a green-woodsy and slowly fading apotheosis. Memories of the Emerald Isle?

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent, and the longevity a superb twelve hours on my skin.

Apart from the first seconds, this is a a fresh daytime spring creation with a green-woodsy centre, executed very well and performing excellently. 3.5/5.
27th May, 2017
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Amber Mystique by Estée Lauder

From the very start I get the amber - rich, with a fresh touch but intense. There is an underlying berry-fruitiness supplying it with glimpses of brightness. An amber that is well executed.

The drydown adds a dark rose impression in the background, with a jasmine giving it a subtly green touch, but the amber remains proudly in the forefront. The floral notes are more frameworks than centrepieces.

The end of the heart notes sees the emergence of a darkish and slightly crisp patchouli. This blends in seamlessly with the other main player in the base, a typical oud impression. Whilst very stereotypical and at times a tad too generic, this oud is not bad on the whole and never too intrusive or cloying. Nonetheless, the amber stands firm in the centre of attention until the last gasp.

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

Maybe the amber is too dominant overall, but this wintery creation is overall a nice example of an amber-centric scent with an acceptable oud and with an amber that is an unusually skillful team player. 3.5/5.

26th May, 2017
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Pleasures Delight by Estée Lauder

The opening blast is an olfactory fruit platter: very berry-like, strawberry, some raspberry, and the slightly acidic undertone - this seems to be all I get from the pomegranates. Not bad, but not exciting.

The next phase is all-out floral, with preponderance of muguet and lily; soft and very restrainedly sweet. Pleasant.

The later stages get richer, with vey agreeable caramel merging with ith a vanilla impression - creme caramel with vanilla ice cream and distinctly in the middle of gourmand territory. Rich, smooth creamy and sweet - but again just avoiding being overly cloying or sticky.

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

An olfactory opera in three sequential acts - fruity, floral and gourmand - this wintery scent is not badly done, but at the same time it feels a bit bog-standard too at times. The reason for this somewhat pedestrian impression lies in the rather generic nature of some of the floral notes, as well the at times overly synthetic character its ingredients. Just between mediocre and good on the whole, the very good performance gets it over the line to a positive score, if only just. 3/5.
25th May, 2017
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Cinnabar by Estée Lauder

Review of the original Eau de Parfum:

A peachy-peary fruity start is given a spiciness as if boiled in a spice soup for several hours. A cautious but definite addition of aldehydic undertones add some sparks such as to prevent is from being all too dark.

In the head notes sweetness arisies, a mix of a rich and scrumptious cinnamon that is never too thick or cloying. This is nicely combined with a rich ylang-ylang, and this dyadic partners work together exceedingly well. Jasmine - with a touch of verdant vibrations - is present too.

A pleasant tanginess leads into the base, and it turns out to be derived from clove with a well-placed component of some ambery orris. This turns into a gently crisp spiciness owing to an underlying layer of darkish patchouli. The ylang-ylang sweetness, however, stands its ground and is now fortified by a dense but not too heavy tonka impression.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a superb twelve hours of longevity on my skin.

A rich oriental and wintery creation, less heavy than Opium and never too overwhelming. This is well-blended out of ingredients of a very respectable quality. The aldehydic notes as well and the spicy-tangy aromas are incorporated in a very balanced fashion. At times it lacks vibrancy and can be a bit dull though. Overall 3.5/5.
24th May, 2017
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Beyond Paradise by Estée Lauder

Review of the Parfum:

The opening notes are a blend of bergamot, other citrus notes, a white floral components - mainly hyacinth and jasmine - and a green-grassy philodendron. The overall is an unusual and intriguingly verdant white floral mêlange that is very pleasant on my skin.

In the drydown the jasmine and the floral side gain in strength, and the lovely purity of these notes becomes increasingly clear. In a manner somewhat unusual for this house, considerable restraint is exercised in the application of aldehydes, and there is very little that is tantamount to annoyingly synthetic emanations. Soft but elegantly intensive, and very well executed.

The base continues these themes, but has little to add apart from somewhat nonspecific woodsy undertones. The floral notes are still present, and gradually this potpourri fades out very slowly, with the echoes of floral beauty on my skin the only remainders towards the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good, and the longevity is an excellent ten hours on my skin, with the last couple of hours being very close to my skin.

This spring creation - a scent nice in the evening as well during daytime - is interesting in concept, the ingredients are mostly of good quality and the smooth blending is superb. The first half combines carefully primed originality with high levels of craftsmanship, whilst the base drops in creativity but is still of very acceptable quality. The base is the least inspiring part.

Overall not extraordinary brilliant but very nice, quite original and rather convincing in design and implementation. 3.5/5.
23rd May, 2017
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Sensuous Nude by Estée Lauder

A fruity opening - sweetish - with a slightly orangey undertone dominates the top notes.

The drydown some adds two main streams of development: (1) a floral side, with muguet being quite strong, combined with a bit of jasmine and a somewhat bland rose impression. (2) A concurrently developing coconut aroma, that gradually gains in exposure and lasts deep into the later phases. Both work quite well together.

The base adds - what a surprise! - vanilla again, which is not really a stroke of originality, combined with slightly honeyed woodsy accompaniments that fade out towards the end.

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

The major creative achievement of the spring scent is the unusual use of the coconut. The major drawback is the regrettably generic nature of the rather synthetic ingredients.

Nude? Certainly bare of any natural goodness. 2.5/5.
22nd May, 2017
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Modern Muse Le Rouge by Estée Lauder

A loud, artificial candy-raspberry-cum-blackberry lolly impression greets me, and it is not of the very pleasant type. Very generic, very unimpressive.

The drydown, not unexpectedly, shifts to the floral range, and after expecting another onslaught of laboratory fumes I was pleasantly disappointed: whilst the rose I am getting is rather pale and anaemic, there is a triad of jasmine and magnolia, with whiffs of oleander on its tail, which are, whilst still somewhat generic, synthetic and pedestrian, much more convincing and lack the unbalanced features of the top notes.

The base develops a slightly spicy undertone with an ambery side - this time there are ultra-generic notes - and a vanilla aroma that is agreeable but rather trite indeed.

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

A spring scent that alters between bluntly biochemical laboratory fakeness and phases of unexciting pleasantness. Be-muse-ingly unamusing but just acceptable. 2.25/5.
21st May, 2017
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Private Collection by Estée Lauder

Review of the Eau de Parfum

The opening begins with a white floral impression, a lovely hyacinth that is given additional fresh touches by a bright citrus undertone. There is a green, nigh grassy undertone present that enhances the feeling of an certain crispness.

Heading towards the drydown the emphasis shifts to the downwards floral side, adding jasmine, narcissus and transient whiffs of geranium in addtion to a very light touch of a restrained bright rose impression in the background. Later on a woodsy pine note is evident, a very dry and refinedly herbaceous pine without any sweetness, and quite different from the traditional Pino-Silvestre-style heavier pine compositions.

A very soft amber leads into the base notes, paired with a restrained mossy undertone, whose subtle tartness is not standing out - this is no Gucci Nobile - but blending in with the rest quite inconspicuously. At times the oak moss is possibly a bit too perfunctory. This is rounded off by a somewhat generic white muskiness - at times veering to a stronger gold musk character, which is thinly draped over the other notes like a gossamer veil without any civety components whatsoever on my skin. Echoes of the earlier floral potpourri follow on into the base, mixing with the rest superbly and harmoniously and forming a round, rich and sophisticated floral-chypre architecture that very gradually vanishes towards the end.

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

This is on the whole a beautiful creation for spring evenings; mature, confident, rich, and mostly composed of ingredients of the finest quality, supremely blended whilst maintaining excellent structure. One of Estée Lauder's best works. 4/5.
20th May, 2017
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Sensuous Noir by Estée Lauder

The floral-vs-spicy dichotomy defines the first half if this creation: a medium dark rose with a lighter touch at times, and a pleasant jasmine, and a peppery touch - just to add a bit of spice, but initially in the background.

The heart notes add an agreeable violet with whiffs of fruitiness, but with time the spicy elements move into the foreground- never heavy, rich or dark though, but gradually developing an ever so discreet balsamic touch.

The base grows sweeter, with a lightly ambery vanilla and sweet honey, but not actually stronger in intensity. Carried on a carpet of acceptably restrained benzoin, is vanishes gracefully towards the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent and the longevity nine ours on me.

A pleasant winter scent with a nicely balanced floral-spice theme, a bit generic at times, and with a base concept that is rather predictable, but overall nice work and well-blended. 3.25/5
19th May, 2017
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Azurée by Estée Lauder

Wow! The harshness of the initial aldehyde blast is nigh breathtaking and made me feel that this is quite umplesant, but soon the freshness of the bergamot becomes more evident and the top notes finish of much better.

The drydown - in a somewhat predictable pattern - enters a floral phase, with jasmin, not infrequently found in the heart notes of this house, and an unusually subdued ylang-ylang, which displays limited sweetness and is not the creamy and intensive variety, but is more of the lighter and slimmer type. Orris, cyclamen, and a crisp patchouli- both on the terse side - ensure that the tartness of the opening is not lost throughout the later phases of the development on this olfactory journey.

The base peters out in the aroma of a somewhat stolid white musk impression, a weak amber and a somewhat perfunctory oak moss, but - unlike in many other of Lauder's creations - remains on the hasher side, just the harsh side is attenuated with time.

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

A fresh, and times unpleasantly synthetic spring composition, which for long stretches is not bad and quite stimulating in its crispness. At times predictable and at times solidly executed, it is just between mediocre and positive in the score - the good performance carries the day here. 3/5.
18th May, 2017
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Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

The opening is a mix of white florals, mainly orange blossom and hyacinth, with a orangey/citrus vying with a rather generic bergmot for an accompanying role. There is an additional ozonic component in the background that expresses fruity-seashore characteristics whilst reeking of laboratory and syntheticness - or syntheticity, but not in Kant's sense. At this stage this is truly a cologne made of calones, and I can understand why some people hate it.

Now the beginning oft the heart notes gives out another strongly synthetic burst, this times more on the aldehydic side, but later on this moves into the background, with the florals now taking over. Apart from a rather pleasant jasmine core, the gardenia, hyacinth and the occasional whiffs of muguet create an unexpected oasis of floral bouquets. They are underlined by a pleasantly executed honeysuckle that is not really extraordinary - this is no Creed Chèvrefeuille - but that provides a rather delightful grounding for the overlying potpourri. At this stage I appreciate its lovely moments and why to some people it is a beautiful creation.

The base sees a continuation of the honeysuckle, a change of the floral side to less hyacinth, the addition of a somewhat weak hibiscus, as well as the ascent of an amber impression that is quite soft and a tad insipid.

The performance is reasonable, with moderate sillage, very good projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring creation for cooler days that has its high and lows. Neither excellent nor truly awful, although in its worst moments it is quite bad, and in its best moments rather intriguing. Overall 2.75/5.

Beyond paradise there might be not only hell - maybe purgatory.
17th May, 2017
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White Linen by Estée Lauder

A freshish florally immersed aldehydic blast greet me with a bright "hello"! Associated with a pear-peachy fruitiness, a few early floral components soon develop: a soft ylang-ylang with a nice muguet impression - both smooth and both are pleasantly sweet.

The second phase completes the shift towards the floral: lilac and rose initially, later on also the aromas if orchids and a light jasmin. All these are nothing extraordinary, and quite agreeably executed.

The base brings another turn: a honeyed vanilla cinnamon sweetness pick up where the ylang-ylang left, with woodsy-ambery undertones providing a good counterbalance to the sweeter spots.

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

This is a pleasant spring day scent, although no match to the others of the triad is was released with. Some ingredients are well made, some are a tad too generic, but it is blended quite well and shows considerable variability throughout its development - this prevents too much boredom in this somewhat lighthearted and predictable composition. Given its performance is solid, this pushes it - just - across the line into positive territory. 3/5.
16th May, 2017
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Private Collection Amber Ylang-Ylang by Estée Lauder

There is definitely ylang-ylang present from the top notes on, but it is quite restrained, quite elegant and not of the rich and creamy variety. This ylang-ylang is therefore more in the background throughout the drydown, and it is overshadowed by the other components of this creation. Most notably, the amber arises and forms a leitmotif throught the whole developemnt of the fragrance.

The next important note is a pleasant rose, lovely but again not very intensive. A pleasant cinnamon develops too, quite prominent and present until the end.

The base adds a strong, smooth slightly incense-laden and creamy vanilla, and by combining with the cinnamon and the amber to a warm, pleasant and gently sweet triad it creates added depth. The ylang-ylang is long gone by now.

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

A lovely and smooth winter composition, a bit predictable and times but not without nice features. 3.25/5.
15th May, 2017
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Youth Dew by Estée Lauder

Review of the vintage formulation.

An explosion of rich, intense darkness characterises the opening blast: ripe orange flavour and a deep but soft, resinous spiciness appear in tune; and an overripe peachy undertone adds a fruity undertone. This spiciness is the result of a mix of clove and a gently balsamic overlay, nigh-camphorated but with an only minimally medicinal hint at times.

The concept reminds me a bit of Creed's Orange Spice, but the more clove-based and balsamic nature of the spiciness as well as the judicious addition of uplifting bergamot with a modicum of aldehyds distinguishes it favourably from the Creed: this original Youth Dew is the more complexly layered and construed product of the two.

Whilst the top notes a rich and dark, the drydown sees the lightening of the mood ito a brighter, very floral range. A bouquet of flowers emanates: a dark and velvety rose expresses reminiscences of the ealier moments, but the subsequently added carnation, and especially the orchid with a comparatively restrained ylang-ylang cast off the shadows and move towards a brighter momentum.

The base comes in two phases on my skin: initially a vanilla impression is added, and subsequently a soft and light patchouli with an ambery background note develop gradually. The floral heart notes, now attenuated considerably, are nonetheless still present, and towards the end they they merge with the slightly dusty amber to create light, feathery and bright whiffs of a slim, modern powderiness.

The sillage is moderate, he projection excellent, and the longevity a splendid thirteen hours.

This autumnal evening vintage scent, a dark, thick and viscous oily juice, is of wonderful richness, complexity and with a neverending development of permutations and variations. The contemporaneous version, whilst still very respectable, is not of the same high standard. The vintage formulation is masterfully blended whilst maintaining excellent structure, and is constituted of ingredients of superb quality.

Whilst this is at times a bit heavy and can be a touch overbearing, and is probably not everyone's cup of tea - that's the colour of the juice anyway - and whilst one should definitely try this product before one buys it, this is indubitably one of Estée Lauder's finest creations. 4.25/5.
14th May, 2017
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Armani Privé Ombre & Lumière by Giorgio Armani

The opening commences with a jasmine impression that is very convincing in its intensity and composition. Touches of bergamot brighten it up, whilst a bit later it is associated with whiffs of woodsy undertones.

The drydown adds distincty floral ideas, with hints of gardenia soon being overcome by a dominant freesia note. This all mixes with the jasmin very convincingly.

Towards the base the woodsy side is more evident again, with a darkish muskiness being combined with an ambery undertone. The base lacks a bit of the dynamism of the previous phases and is a bit static at times.

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

This spring scent for cooler evenings is not very complex in concept, but a real gem in its masterful execution. The quality of most of the ingredients is very high, and the whole is blended beautifully without losing structure. Armani's Privé series is touted as top of the range of this house, and in Ombre & Lumière at least one can see why. 4/5.
13th May, 2017
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Pavillion by Estée Lauder

Review of the Vintage Parfum:

A beautifullly enchanting jasmin greets me at the opening gate to this olfactory experience, intense and rich, but counterbalanced by the brightness of a skillfully placed liberal dose of aldehydes. A delicious dyad of top notes.

The heart notes added on in the drydown are a most and foremost dryish, slightly green-tinged violet. Added on is a lovely orange blosom with the occasional whiff of hyacinth. This is a floral mix of intense, elegant richness.

Towards the base the floral side is retreating gradually, and an amber impression develops; a fairy light amd smooth amber, with traces of the aldehydes turning up again here and there. Moments of minute powdery touches are present towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a splendid longevity of eleven hours on my skin - apt for a perfume.

The beauty of this gorgeous spring creation is based in the top quality of the ingredients, the judicious application of the well-balanced aldehydes and the superb blending. In spite of its comparable simplicty this is one of Estee Lauder's finest.
12th May, 2017
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Bronze Goddess Capri by Estée Lauder

Fruity berries - blackcurrant mainly - with a mandarin/lime citrus mix - one would possibly expect a fresh, sunny and sprite result with this combination of top notes. In reality, the citrus is rather subdued and restrained, and has a veil of a shadow cast over it. Still, pleasant it is nonetheless.

The heart notes take quite a while to come off the ground, but once they take off they develop into a delightful floral potpourri, with peony in the foreground, with a gentle jasmine, a character-laden muguet and whiffs of oleander forming a well-blended quartet of blossoming beauty. This is the highlight of the whole development.

The base is a bit of a letdown, and the vanilla is its main constituent without being really of an exciting quality. There is an ambery and white-musky backdrop evident that is undesirably generic in nature.

The main problem with this restrainedly summery creation is its very soft sillage and limited projection: at times I have to bury my nose deep in the subcutaneous tissue to catch a whiff of it. Still, as this product is labeled an Eau fraîche, which to me denotes more of an Eau de Cologne than anything more concentrated, the name is not really misleading and a cologne-like fleetingness is not unexpected. Therefore, I am not holding the overall quite poor performance against it, especially as the longevity is an unexpectedly acceptable seven hours on my skin.

Pleasant on cooler summer days, a bit dull at times - especially in the base - and necessitating very liberal application. 3/5.
11th May, 2017
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Armani Code Profumo by Giorgio Armani

A citrus fruit bowl - very much a laboratory fruit concoction - constitutes the top notes, a citrus that is not refreshing but expresses a sweet ripeness.

The drydown veers towarda the white floral for a while; on my skin the lavender - a rather bland version - stands out in the foreground as the development progresses with time.

The base focuses on one constituent: vanilla. Again: laboratory fruitiness, a dense, intense, relentless vanilla that sees this one through right to the end.

The performance is formidable: moderate sillage, excellent projection and a superb fourteen hours of longevity on my skin.

This spring composition is a laboratory chemist's delight. Intense - a Profumo indeed - exceedingly synthetic, very linear and ultra-generic. It is ok if that is the sort of fragrance you enjoy. Otherwise there is probably more natural raw material in the average lollipop. 2/5.
10th May, 2017
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Armani Privé Sable Fumé by Giorgio Armani

The iris in the top note is of the gentle kind, soft and a bit withdrawn. The smoky incense that developes soon, becoming stronger and is bound to overwhelm the floral entrée - but no, it does not, what a surprise! This delicate interlacing between restrained frankincense-smokiness and the floral counterpart is an example of masterfully balanced blending.

With time the iris recedes though, and the incense - varyingly endowed with benzocin, ambery and woodsy moments, is thr centrepiece of the rest if the development here.

I get soft sillage - unless applies very liberally - with adequate projection, and an unexpectedly excellent longevity of ten hours on my skin.

A lovely high-quality creation for warmer early autumn evenings, its perfomance is a bit of a drawback as is its comparable linearity; but the execution of the concept is, in all simplicity, quite compelling. 3.5/5
09th May, 2017
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Armani Privé Figuier Eden by Giorgio Armani

The opening is delicious: a very nice green fig, wth ust a dash if sweetness, and freshened up by bergamot with orange and a minimally spicy undertone. It is composed in a thoughtful and carefully balanced manner.

The drydown and an accord of tea - I get a mix if green and a weak black tea, accentuated y a slightly peachy fruitiness - not a fat and ripe fruitiness, but more on the elegant and crisper side.

A woody undertone leads into the base notes, where a well-crafted iris constitutes the central component on ny skin. An ambery backgound, a smooth and soft amber, merges with the woods and adds additional depth. All these fade gradually towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a splendid twelve hours of longevity on my skin

With all the marketing of the Privé series as particularly exalted in quality and creative in concept, Figuier Eden seems to actually fit the bill. This is a lovely spring acent, well blended out of above-average quality ingredients whilst maintaining good structure. One of the more impressive Armanis amongst their releases over the last few years. 3.75/5.
08th May, 2017
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Prada Candy Florale by Prada

He lemony candy opening blast is a bit basic a d mot too bad. The drydown with its honeyed sweetness, on the other hand, is a very nonspecific benzoin-musky mixture, which gradually sheds the fruitiness if the beginning.

Moderate sillage, good projection six hours of longevity on my skin.

Synthetic, chemical but less intrusive and less extemely sweet than some other candy scents. 2.75/5.
07th May, 2017
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CK All by Calvin Klein

A blast of orange-manarin citrus freshness start the top notes, and this is not a sweet and ripe citrus that I get, but more crisp and fresh. Quite nice.

The drydown adds floral notes, with a lily impression the most evident on my skin. It is quite pedestrian and lacks any interesting characteristics, which, at least to some extent, the beginning displays.

The base evolves into a fruity melange, with rhubarb and a very industrial white musky undertone in the foreground.

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

Overall rather generic and synthetic, but the beginning stands out as a pleasant summery start. The top notes push from the neutral into the - just - positive category by the skin of its teeth.
06th May, 2017
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Bracken Woman by Amouage

The top notes have to major components on my skin: firstly, a nice, pleasant mixed wildberry-fruitiness and has a nice sweetness with it, and, secondly, a fresh, green fern impression that is expressing the aroma of fields of fern rather well. A delightful opening.

The heart notes are clearly in the floral realm, with lily and narcissus evident, but the latter is a bit attenuated and uneventful; the lily develops better on me. What is an intersting turn at this stage is a well-expressed chamomile tea background, which provides an interesting and original twist in the transition to the base notes.

Towards the end a soft and generic leather develops, and there is little convincing smokiness here; maybe it is a leather in a no-smoking area.

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

Pleasant is autumn, this creation is interesting and well-made, albeit a tad generic at times, with the base being quite dull. 3.5/5.

29th April, 2017
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Bracken Man by Amouage

The opening is given a nice freshness with lemon and bergamot, and a deeper and spicier compoenets owing to nutmeg, clove and whiffs of pepper. Freshness mixed with an unobtrusive spiciness. Pleasant.

The drydown starts with nice touches of a cinnomon that is only minimally sweetened, and later on it adds a floral component, with a somewhat generic and sterile lavender impression mixing with a geranium that is not really a bright geranium, but a more darker version of this floral note.

Thr base turns spicier again, thanks to a fairly crisp patchouli mixed with the cedar again. There is an added darker musk evident towards the end, but it is very tame without any truly faecaloid component.

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

As previously commented upon, by its components this spring creation mimics a traditional fougère with some interesting additional twists. As a fougère is lacks important components - there is no genuine oak moss here, and some phases are a tad generic in nature, but overall this is a well-crafted sanitised attempted chypre with some interesting twists. 3.5/5.
29th April, 2017
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Armani Privé Sable Or by Giorgio Armani

The first few hours are floral in nature, nearly completely dominated by a rich and complex iris impression. It is smooth, rich and develops smoky undertones. In the drydown touches of a herbal spiciness are added - an interesting opening phase.

The second part sees the earlier notes dwindle, apart from whiffs of smokiness that linger for a while longer. The core of the socond phase are benzoin and vanilla. At first I get the benzoin to an extent that it raised fears in me that it would take over recklessly, but then the vanilla came to the fore, and its dominant role relegated the benzoin into an accompaniment that accentuates rather than overwhelms the vanilla. Whiffs of woodsy connotations are present at times.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a magnificent thirteen hours of longevity on my skin.

This pleasant wintery scent, in the second stage rightfully descibed as nigh-gourmand by Lovescully, is a bit unimaginative in the second half, although the quality of the ingredients is quite respectable. The performance is excellent. Overall nothing brilliant, but nice. 3.25/5.
26th April, 2017
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Gucci Première by Gucci

Review of the Eau de Parfum:

Asomewhat attenuated bergamot with a fruity undertone gives way to a white flowery impression, which develop into the central accord of this composition's heart notes.

Later on the fruitiness morphs into a white musk component, an in the base this impression lingers towards the end.

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

Looking and this sping scent, the opening notes are quite clear, but very, very generic. The later stages are very synthetic too, equally generic and, additionally, quite bland and weak on my skin, never developing fully to an extent that results in a convincing or even a mediocre overall impression. 1.75/5.
25th April, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Romance by Ralph Lauren

A sweetish and fruity concoction, mainly lychee and a mild ginder accent, which in the drydown shifts to become mainly a floral composition.

The floral impressions in the heart notes are mainly freesia, lotus and violet, the latter being dominant on my skin and the most convincing detail in this mix

The base is a soft patchouli mixed with a woodsy undertone; all this is topped off by white musks. The middle phase and the base are very lackluster and thin on my skin.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and an excellent eight hours of longevity on my skin.

A spring scent that is very synthetic most if the time, and, apart form the violet contribution, overly generic. It performs quite well though, but overall is really not even mediocre. 1.75/5.
24th April, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom

Black Label by Mayfair

A Review of the Original Vintage Version made by Yardley:

An opening blast of awesome quality: bergamot, lots of beautiful, orange, a touch of lemon, and some verbena in the background: a paradigmatic chypre opening if there ever was one; crisp and refreshing a Cologne this one truly is!

The drydown develops a gorgeous lavender note, as if freshly picked in the garden, intense, very - typical. This lavender is very close in quality to my benchmark lavender, which is Old English Lavender from the same house. Clary sage, geranium and a woodsy-herbal undertone follow the traditional route in a thoroughly convincing manner.

The base adds a - slightly earthy - vetiver, and, besides a gently crisp patchouli, also employs a lovely oakmoss; but it does that very sparingly. Whilst many oakmoss-based fragrances derive their allure from the full-throttle release of its mossy-spicy sharpness in an unfettered manner, here the oakmoss is applied in a nigh-homeopathic dose like seasoning in an already rich and tasty dish.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection, and a stupendous longevity on twelve hours on my skin - an utterly incredible performance that is unbelievable for a humbly labeled "Cologne."

This spring cent for warmer days is a seminal chypre, less harsh than many contemporaries due judiciously sparing application of the oakmoss and the comparative smoothness of the patchouli. I personally and subjectively would have preferred a bit more prominence of the oakmoss, but its sparing use in this composition results in an objectively convincing result nonetheless.

The high natural quality of the ingredients is beyond doubt, as is the perfect blending. Direct, unfussy, upright and supremely crafted in the traditional way - a very fine example of British Perfumery. 4.25/5.
23rd April, 2017