Reviews by rbaker

    Showing 121 to 150 of 917.
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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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    Only The Brave Tattoo by Diesel

    This is much better than the original. A darker, slightly spicy herbal opening; still lots of benzoin but a wood and tobbacco note in the drydown leads into a patchouli base, and the latter is quite nice. Still quite synthetic but less in-your-face, and more convincing as a fun scent. Good silage/projection and a longevity of about six hours.

    20th March, 2014

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    Only The Brave by Diesel

    Frty and generic scent, synthetic and on my skin really very dull. Mandarin lolly top nose lead into styrax and lots on benzoin. The assigment of a chemistry class project. The decent longevity of five hours is a drawback in this case.

    20th March, 2014

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    Black XS by Paco Rabanne

    A fresh start with citrus fruitiness developing in a generic sweetish drydown and then into a nondescript woodsy base. Not really bad but uninspired and dull. Silage and projection are good though, and I get five hours of longevity.

    20th March, 2014

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    Azzaro Club Men by Azzaro

    The opening with lime/papaya would be nice if it was not so blatantly synthetic-generic, but the drydown is nice with wet hemp and a slight sweetish note. The base is woodsy with a white musk and a whiff of fruitiness on my skin. Not bad but too generic, with good silage and projection though. I get a longevity of five hours.

    20th March, 2014

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    Antidote by Viktor & Rolf

    The opening blast of bergamot, citrus and minty freshness is very pleasant indeed, bit only a prelude to its further development. Cardamom leads to the emergence of a nutmeg note in the drydown, which combines with lavender and withe violet and lavender giving it a more floral character. After about five hours the base entails quite a change, with more wood - cedar and sandal - and a spicy note that owes its existence to a musk-patchouli combination. Towards the end I get cistus and tonka, the latter just enough to add a mild and pleasant sweetness that never clamours to be in the foreground. On my skin there is no harshness, just touches of freshness and then well-blended smoothness and warmth. The odd synthetic whiff passes by, but it never turns generic or boring. Well made, interesting and, although not truly a sommer scent, otherwise very versatile. The first phase clearly is fresher, whilst the later phases are increasingly rounded, softer and comforting. Good silage and very good projection, with an excellent longevity of over eight hours on my skin. From the spicebombers another explosively good earlier creation.

    20th March, 2014

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    Philtre d'Amour by Guerlain

    Bergamot, verbena, lemon, neroli, later petitgrain - all the usual suspects of a bright summer scent. Later it takes a slightly floral-green turn thanks to myrtle and jasmine notes - but the citrus core never goes away. A light and discrete patchouli is added in the base without changing the overall impression. High-quality ingredients that are well blended give good silage and projection; and, unusual for this type of fragrance, the longevity is a good five hours. Bring on summer! A classic.

    19 March, 2014

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    Bell'Antonio by Hilde Soliani Profumi

    A stunning combination of roasted coffee and pipe tobacco - not really sweet on my skin initially and tremendously convincing. In spite of the classic combination this does not really seem old-fashioned but quite contemporary. After a while the tobacco rescinds a bit and the coffee is in the foreground, but later the coffee becomes sweeter and the pipe tobacco is stronger again, and sweeter too, with touches of vanilla and spice. Very good silage and projection, and a superb longevity of ten hours. Superb and great in winter.

    18 March, 2014

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    Eau des Îles by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

    The opening is remarkable: smoky, toasted Robusta coffee beans, just delicious. After three hours a floral note emerges, with ylang-ylang, white lily and galbanum - a very nice play with contrasts. After about six hours a vetiver with a raisinous wood note plays with transient appearances of a moss note in a nigh-chypre fashion, just to return to a smoky wood note and back in cycles, with even a hint of birch on my skin. This is very well blended of high-quality ingredients, with good silage and projection. Longevity-wise this is in me a stupendous monster, lasting around seventeen hours. A creative, brilliant creation; superb for autumn.

    17 March, 2014

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    Cooper Square by Bond No. 9

    On my skin the top notes are a pleasant mix of juniper berry and lavender with a boozy vibe. In the drydown very light myrrh, wood, a jasmine-like floral and a gentle patchouli are emerging, always light and never intrusive or harsh. Equally restrained is the white musk and the woodsy impression in the base, where a touch of vetiver adds some freshness; I get the juniper note virtually throughout as part of the fabric if this scent. At times I cannot help getting a bit if a generic designer scent feel, especially in the second part of its life on my skin, which prevents me from giving it a positive score. Whilst this is not a particularly remarkable scent, it is versatile and not heavy - good in spring. Silage and projection are good, and I get a very good longevity of seven hours.

    16 March, 2014

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    Frank No. 2 by Frank Los Angeles

    The opening is dominated by bergamot and lavender and would be traditional if not a boozy brandy note with coriander would give it a richer and smoother character. The drydown adds a light coffee-latte aroma that is complemented by a plum note, adding a fruity nigh-gourmand impression temporarily. Wood and a light white musk emanate in the base. A somewhat unusual, creative composition of good quality ingredients and very well blended whist keeping sufficient structure to express some development on my skin. As far as performance is concerned, I am getting two distinct phases: the first three hours, which include the top and the begin if the middle notes; here silage and projection are very good. Later only it recedes and remains very close to my skin, with an overall longevity of nine hours.
    This is an unusually versatile fragrance; apart from real heat and very cold days it would be a good scent for most weathers and temperatures and for all seasons. The very restrained second parts makes it also a good office scent. Frankly speaking: very good!

    15 March, 2014

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    Balafre Vert by Lancôme

    The opening is sensational: fresh grass with lavender, a bit of clary sage and a boozy note. Then a wood note, pine notably is added. After an hour, however, it collapses to be very close to my skin, mainly with a residual pine/mossy impression. This collapse is the main drawback, albeit potentially advantageous when using it as a work scent. I get a total longevity of four hours. Great in spring. And those superb top notes!

    14 March, 2014 (Last Edited: 23 April, 2014)

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    Just Cavalli Blue by Roberto Cavalli

    Lychee, bergamot and a smidgeon of mint creates a somewhat pleasant opening, with a light white musk in the base. Far too generic and too unexciting - middle-of-the-road. Respectable longevity of five hours though.

    13 March, 2014

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    Figaro Lanvin by Lanvin

    The opening with vetiver and lavender is very traditional and well executed, with a somewhat boozy component. The middle notes start with hints of clary sage and then very green, grassy and herbal notes, with in the later stages elements of cardamom and cinnamon making appearances. In the base woodsy notes, including cedar, are present. Its simplicity hides the supreme beauty and richness of each stage, the glowing warmth of the middle phase, the amazing quality of the ingredients and how very well and smoothly it is blended without losing structure. Good silage and projection, with a monster longevity of up to twelve hours. A wonderful autumnal scent, one of Lanvin's finest.

    13 March, 2014

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    Porsche Design Essence by Porsche

    The cold, frozen berry-vibe opening is bearable, but then a synthetic concoction becomes evident that is as confused as it is dull. On the base a generic wood is added. Generic with a longevity if four hours - mediocre: this is no Carrera of perfumes.

    13 March, 2014

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