Reviews by rbaker

    Showing 151 to 180 of 1123.

    Oud Cuir D'Arabie by Montale

    Yes, an opening of harsh nigh faecaloid freshly tanned leather, with lots of birchtar and heavy oud. In the drydown a touch of Latakia-style tobacco, but after a couple of hours much tamer and developing into pleasant lighter leather and a bit less original.

    A unique beginning. Good projection and sillage with about eight hours of longevity.

    A very interesting Montale. 3.75/5

    18th December, 2014


    Paradis Perdu by Frapin

    A very nice bergamot-citrus opening - with a good orange tinge- soon takes on a herbal side, with basil dominant on my skin but blending in with galbanum and other green notes. An overarching Vetiver is ever-present, an earthy root aroma of a dirty vetiver mixed with soil. Is the drydown mossy notes mixed with woods lead to a lovely finish.

    The phases are quite overlapping and well-blended without losing structure, and the resulting development is very appealing. Sillage and projection are good, and I get about five hours of longevity of my skin. 4/5.

    17th December, 2014


    Après L'ondée by Guerlain

    I tried the perfume first and then the EdT and I like both:

    On my skin the anise and the citrus component form a great and harmonious dyad, which very soon is transformed into a delicious floral drydown with jasmine and a light summery rose in the foreground. Later a very delightful hawthorn emerges, light and happy, like an even lighter and brighter version of Creed's Aubepine Acacia without the wood. In the base a touch of tonka is added, but this scent never develops any sweetness outside that of the natural fragrance of a wet field of lowers après l'ondée - rarely has such an evocative name be more suited to the fragrance it represents.

    Overall this is mainly a wonderfully composed and exquisitely blended floral scent, a whisper of natural elegance and floral beauty, and really nothing more that floral - that is enough for me. It is a fragile and ephemeral fragrance, with soft sillage and poor projection on me, and an overall longevity of three hours on my skin (perfume - an hour less for the EdT). The performance of this natural beauty is more that of an Eau de Cologne needed frequent reapplication; it is ideal where a discrete scent is required like the office.

    A simple, paradigmatic classical floral creation. 4.25/5.

    16th December, 2014


    Indiscret by Lucien Lelong

    The opening on my skin is a delicious mix of dried orange and galbanum, later brightened up a bit by some bergamot. The drydown is chracterised mainly by a dark velvety rose, with iris, a touch of geranium, ylang-ylang and jasmine in the background. Throughout this a dark, rich, waxy and resinous tone is penetrating this composition, and even when some dark-wood elements appear in the base, this waxiness still remains very evident. For the last couple of hours a pleasant powderiness gives it a traditional twist.

    The projection and sillage are very good, and I get a marvelous ten hours of longevity from it. This is a great dark fruity-floral classic. Traditional and modern, classic but bold. 4.5/5.

    15th December, 2014


    No. 88 by Czech & Speake

    Two components are dominant on my skin: a dark, harsh and earthy Vetiver root, and a deep, rich, dark Rose Otto. Darkness concentrated. Geranium provides for glimpses of light, akin to sun rays breaking through the small windows in an old Gothic church. Impressions of incense and of a medicinal licorice are added in the drydown, and the base develops sandal wood that has a waxy undertone. Darkness, Victorian, Edwardian formal assertiveness in a bottle. At times with edges, harshness, and composed of excellent raw material.

    Porformance is excellent, with great projection, strong sillage and about nine hours of longevity on my skin. A classic dark woody/floral creation. 4/5

    14th December, 2014


    Crêpe de Chine by Long Lost Perfume

    This is for the original vintage version, the perfume extraît and the Eau de Parfum:
    The perfect merger between traditional chypre and floral characters. Age has wearied the citrus notes but the Eau de Parfum especially has a fine bergamot in the opening. Whilst the classic carnation-jasmine dyad forms a floral backbone of the drydown, labdanum and yang-ylang add depth, and a dark rose is added on at times. From early on the green darkness of patchouli with a dark musk and a rich, gorgeous oakmoss lead to the Janus-like character of this sublime creation: chypre and floral, like a flower field in dark forest after the rain.

    The merger of the two worlds is of perfect balance, with the perfume extraît bringing out the chypre a bit more, but my extraît is probably the older of the two. The quality of the ingredients is unsurpassed. As far as the performance in concerned, I get strong sillage, great projection and a longevity of eight hours in the EdP; and three more hours in the perfume, which is overall stronger and a bit darker.

    A grand classic and the perfect, paradigmatic dark chypre-floral scent. 4.75/5.

    13th December, 2014


    Honour Man by Amouage

    A bright pepper opens the show, soon joined by a fresh vetiver-based accord that counterbalances the spice well. The spicy pathway is further elaborated by a frankincense-led drydown, in which a floral note
    - geranium provides softness that sees a light patchouli form a crisper counterpoint. White musk and wood impressions are coming out in the base, but the latter are quite uninspired in spite of the very good quality of the blending and of the ingredients.

    Overall the opening phase is nice, but the base not really that noteworthy. The performance delivers moderate sillage, very good projection and five hours of longevity on my skin. Not bad, but not one of Amouage's great scents in my books. 2.5/5

    12th December, 2014


    Fate Woman by Amouage

    The top notes's blending is sheer perfection, with the way cinnamon, bergamot, labdanum and pepper harmonise with each other. In the drydown an unusually bright frankincense is added, with a floral note in the background - mainly a very well done narcissus. After four hours a leather-vanilla base evolves, and for the last four hours I get a powdery phase, very traditional and bright.

    In spite of all the spice this is a fragrance that is bright - think warmer autumn days - and never intrusive - very office-worthy. The sillage and projection are very good, and I get a longevity of over ten hours. An original, less heavy Amouage that is definitely worth trying. 3.5/5

    11th December, 2014


    Eau de Cologne by Penhaligon's

    On my skin I mainly get a lovely fresh summery lemon-bergamot blast with orange and later some Neroli; the main event is essentially over after about 20 minutes, not unexpected in such a classic Cologne and not dissimilar from other similar scents, including Hermes' Eau d'Orange Vert, but Penhaligon's is much more traditional. I get a faint tail of a powdery note for another couple of hours, albeit very close to my skin.

    The sillage is soft after the opening blast as is the initially good projection diminishing after the first quarter of an hour.

    A very traditional citrus summer Eau de Cologne with the obvious need for frequent reapplication as is typical for this genre; simpler than many of its counterparts but it is doing the job. Just barely making it to getting a positive score.

    10th December, 2014


    Chakra I Motivation by Aveda

    Wow - this is a coriander-white-peppery spicy opening blast extraordinaire, nigh overwhelming but later calming down with added dark moist roses added. The sandalwood in the base is quite convincing, but the reformulation made the base more generic feat. Nonetheless, it is well done. The sillage and projection are excellent, and I get over six hours of longevity. For the spice lover who values simple quality. 3.5/5

    09th December, 2014


    Fleurs de Gardenia (news) by Creed

    The new version:
    The dominating impression throughout is indeed that on a gardenia-based composition, although it has a fruity component initially. The drydown remains distinctly floral, and apart from gardenia I get mainly lily-of-the-valley, a light whiff off rose and some jasmine. The base is woody in a somewhat unspecific way with hints of a soft patchouli. Although floral in its core, on my skin this is not a sweet scent, unlike, for instance, Robert Piguet's recent Gardenia.

    The performance is good, with adequate silage, reasonable projection and six hours of longevity on my skin. Whilst not not particularly original, it is well-blended of good-quality ingredients and thus just makes it to a positive score. 3/5.

    08th December, 2014


    Gardénia by Robert Piguet

    There is no beating around the bush here: Gardenia announces itself as the predominant note from beginning to the end. A floral ylang-ylang component leads to the drydown, where a lovely vanilla is added, that is sweet but pleasantly so and never overwhelmingly so. Wood notes are added towards the end, which remains bit unspecific but blend in quite well overall. Not very complicated but well done.

    The performance is very respectable with quite strong sillage, good projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin. This is Robert Piguet's latest release and it is a very nice one, and one of the most convincing gardenia-centered releases for a while. 4/5

    07th December, 2014


    Metalys / Metallica by Guerlain

    Yes,apart form the occasional whiff of a wet, old, metal vibe of an old Penny, vanilla and carnation are the core of this creation, never too sweet, with the carnation rising after the first hour. Ylang-ylang gives a bit of another note to it, and other floral notes and added to it, especially a very nice iris. The base is made up of the carnation with a nice, rich tonka giving depth and merging into a very pleasant traditional but quite youthful powdery note.

    What really strikes me ti firstly the excellent quality of the ingredients, and secondly the exquisit blending. And, the famous Guerlinade vibe is also present.

    The performance is very good, with very good projection, moderate sillage and a superb longevity of ten hours on my skin. 4.5/5

    To me this is maybe the last typical Guerlain scent, created by the last active master perfumer of the Guerlain family, and the end of this grand tradition before the mass corporation took over completely.

    The last of the Guerlains.

    05th December, 2014


    Djedi by Guerlain

    The fresher top notes are almost certainly gone in my vintage sample, so on me the opening is a dyad of civet and rose. The civet is soft, rounded and dark, natural and with a touch of sweetness that seamlessly blends with the dark sweetness of the Windsor-style rose in the background. The drydown presents with a harsher birch tar note, reminiscent of Creed's Cuir de Russie but now lacking its fresher components. A raw, dark-earthy Molinard-style raw vetiver then comes to the fore, which later on merges with a dark ands surprisingly soft patchouli. The overall tone is brooding and dark - age probably emphasises these elements.

    Now to the base, where I initially get a brighter leather note - a bit like fresh chamois gloves, which later takes on a dark and honeyed character of old Veldtshoen that have been waxed recently. This honey is quite persistent throughout the base, where a sombre musk appears that is beautifully complimented by a gorgeously natural and archetypical oak moss as backbone of this phase.

    The performance is magnificent: moderate sillage with good projection, and a sheer amazing longevity of thirteen hours on my skin, albeit for the last four hours very close to my skin.

    Apparently Jacques Guerlain was inspired by Egypt when he created Djedi. Whilst, of course, no fragrance can even dream to do justice to one of the greatest cultures in human history, this fragrance is one of the great oriental leather chypres of the last hundred years.

    02nd December, 2014


    Ivoire (original) by Pierre Balmain

    Ivoire vintage:
    The herbal opening is mixed with galbanum and bergamot to deliver a clean, green start that is powered by an aldehyde boost. It then turns purely floral, with hyacinth, carnation and lily-of-the-valley dominating on my skin, with an orris impression giving depth. This phase is not bright but a touch somber and pensive. Wood, mainly sandal on me and some moss are added in the base. The three phases develop nicely, with the prime quality of the natural ingredients being very impressive. Good sillage, limited projection and a great longevity of nine hours. A fine scent: 4.5/5

    01st December, 2014


    Scandal by Lanvin

    Given the age of the vintage perfume sample it was no surprise that very little citrus was left in the opening phase. The leather was the main player; a rich, smooth darkish and sumptuous leather, with a rich rose note underneath. Civet with moss and a touch of vanilla - without being really sweet
    - were added in the base, with the leather remaining the main player throughout. Amazing quality of natural ingredients, and the touch of benzoin towards the end fits in nicely. Flattened by age but still impressive, with adequate sillage and projection and six hours of longevity on my skin. 4.5/5.

    30th November, 2014


    Musk by Etro

    Fresh verbena with some bergamot, pleasantly fresh, turning floral in the drydown, mainly lily-of-the-valley on my skin. Then wood notes develop, and the white musk takes over that gives this scent its name. The white musk is light and summery. Overall a nice scent, but a tad unoriginal and at times even a bit generic. Adequate sillage and projection with four hours longevity on my skin. Not one of Etro's finest but pleasant. 2.5/5

    23rd November, 2014


    Epic Man by Amouage

    The opening blast is sheer brilliance, mixing frankincense, cumin, pepper and nutmeg, with hints of saffron. A berry note with myrtle provide counterbalancing fresh notes. Intensive but not intrusive, rich but elegance. It is amazingly well blended without losing structure. A floral impression, mainly geranium, makes for a softening in the drydown, whilst a high-quality oud - preceding the current craze - musk, leather and a nice sandalwood give a twist and added depth to the base notes. Whilst the start is the unrivaled peak of this development, it retains the top quality and masterly balance throughout.

    The performance is convincing: very good sillage and projection, with a superb longevity of eleven hours on my skin. Top-quality natural ingredients abound. A bit less powerful that the towering Interlude Man, less overpowering and hence more wearable during daytime and in the office in cold climes. A great scent. 4.5/5

    16th November, 2014 (Last Edited: 17th November, 2014)


    Polo Explorer by Ralph Lauren

    Orange and Bergamot to kick it off, subduedly fresh and pleasant. Fairly soon a coriander arrives that is a tad flat and unexciting on my skin. Woodsy notes arrive in the base and a light insipid amber towards the end - all a bit too generic and synthetically-predictable to really make an impression. With adequate sillage, fair projection and nearly five hours of longevity, this scent does not reach beyond pleasant mediocrity. Overall just soso.

    05th November, 2014


    Sultan Safran / Safranier by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

    The saffron is indeed dominant throughout, initially mixed with an unripe green orange note. Floral notes, mainly jasmine-based, are more dominant in the middle phase, although on my skin the saffron still goes on quite strongly. Woodsy and darkish musk notes are present in the drydown, but on me this is in general a scent that is more on the brighter side. Whilst the opening is quite a nice mix, the rest is generic and mediocre. Moderate sillage, adequate projection and four hours longevity - overall middle-of-the-range in my books. 2/5.

    01st November, 2014


    Romance Silver Men by Ralph Lauren

    A mandarin opening with fruity grape and woodsy element is quite interesting; it lasts on my skin for about an hour. It is followed by a drydown that qualifies as disappointing at the best: a synthetic violet with very generic wood and musk notes - dull at best. After the beginning this is quite forgettable. Poor silage, limited projection and four hours of longevity - overall mediacre and unexciting.

    31st October, 2014


    Extreme Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren

    When I experience the opening blast on my skin, there is a predominance of mint, coriander and juniper. The latter is not of very high quality - this is no Baie de Genievre - but the combination is not without originality, especially when bergamot is added a bit later on. The drydown mixed mid-strong peppery notes with green herbal impressions, whilst towards the base phase woody notes are added, especially a touch of cedarwood. In the last hour a fairly unobtrusive gentle incense raises its head, but this is never in the foreground on me.
    Whilst his not a spectacular composition, it is overall less generic and predictable than many other scents of the same house, although they clearly made better Polos. I get moderate sillage, adequate albeit not very prominent projection, with nearly seven hours of longevity; the performance is not bad then. This scent is good for spring, and hovering between neutral and positive in its score; eventually I give is a positive score - just. 3/5.

    30th October, 2014


    Sentiment for Men by Escada

    On my skin I get a very pleasant opening. The top notes include a mandarin-like citrus with a lemon twist, together with a fruity undertone that includes hints of lychee. The drydown is composed around light pepper notes that strike me as somewhat generic, and the base notes shift toward woodsy impressions, at times even whiffs of pencil shavings. Overall a good opening that leads to a mediocre drydown and an acceptable finish. Soft sillage, limited projection and five hours of longevity. I am adding all this up to deliver a neutral score, trending towards the positive though. 2.5/5.

    29th October, 2014


    Le Beau Male by Jean Paul Gaultier

    The minty-lavender opening blast is paired with a slightly boozy note and is actually quite pleasant on my skin - a positive opening gambit that, unfortunately, is not followed up on the same level of originality. The herbal drydown and the musky-vanilla base are not only lightweight, but also fairly generic and - on me - frankly fairly bland. Not bad, but in spite of the promising opening overall quite mediocre. Soft sillage, fair projection and four hours of longevity.

    25th October, 2014


    Queens by Bond No. 9

    A berry note - I get hints of blackcurrant and blackberry mixed with cardamom - forms a delicious and quite original core of the opening phase. The drydown turns distinctly floral, on my skin dominated by a gentle and well-integrated tuberose, with touch of osmanthus added. The base notes are different again, based on wood notes - mainly sandal with a hint of cedar on me - with a pleasant light amber note emerging towards the end. These three phases - berry->floral->woodsy amber - make for good development in this scent that is never boring. Sillage is moderate, projection is good, and the longevity a very good seven hours. Great spring scent, and one of Bond No.9's most original compositions. 4/5.

    25th October, 2014


    Gant Liquid by Gant USA

    The opening blast is a delightful summer delight, combining a fruity-melon-aquatic character with invigorating freshness. Alas this wonderful experience lasts five minutes at the longest on my skin, giving way to a somewhat generic woodsy drydown that later on sees white musk, a touch of vanilla and light patchouli notes added. Whilst not at all bad, the later phases do not reach the night standard set by the opening notes. Nonetheless, with soft sillage, decent projection and a very good longevity of seven hours this constitutes a good summer scent for not-too-hot days. 3/5. The bottle design is stunning.

    25th October, 2014


    Chinatown by Bond No. 9

    On my skin this is mainly a floral composition, with a white floral opening, and a floral drydown with mainly gardenia and peony on me, The base had wood notes added, mainly cedar on me, and a mix of cardamom and vanilla. I find this to be well blended, with a predominantly floral character throughout, with a pleasant sweetness that mellows over time. Adequate sillage, good projection and a longevity of five hours, combined with the high quality of the ingredients results in a positive score. Great in spring. 3/5.

    25th October, 2014


    G2 by Gant USA

    The opening has a pleasant, peachy-fruity character that is actually quite pleasant, albeit nothing special. In the drydown a berry-garden note appears, with a blackcurrant-raspberry-blueberry mix dominating; later a somewhat generic-woodsy base develops that sees occasional hints of cinnamon appearing here and there. Decent sillage, good projection and a total longevity of four hours on my skin. Overall a bit average but not too synthetic, and just making it into positive score territory - 3/5. Good in spring and autumn.

    22nd October, 2014


    Monogram by Ralph Lauren

    The opening combines a transient citrus welcome with a jasmine-iris component that is very delightful. In the drydown a well-rounded spicy touch is added, with whiffs of herbal green tones developing with just a hint of lavender. Then we are are getting down to the core of the matter: a distinctive but not-too-harsh patchouli combines with an oakmoss of beautiful clarity: fresh with a touch of bite, but counterbalanced by delicious smoothness. This is first-class oakmoss, revealing this scent as a fougère of great standing. In the base a touch of amber is added, with leather and wood notes, the latter mainly cedar with a touch of pine. This superb balance of the fresh fougère character and sheer elegance is very impressive and not commonly found. The performance is outstanding: good silage, very good projection and an incredible longevity of sixteen hours on my skin, fading very slowly. Definitely a child of it's time, but what a wonderful child! One of my favourite fougères, and one of RL's finest.

    14th October, 2014


    Chance by Chanel

    The opening is a pleasant mix of vetiver and jasmine, albeit very synthetic. The drydown is even more generic, ending in a soft base of patchouli and musk - now frankly bland. I get moderate sillage, the projection is limited, and the longevity about for hours. Middle-of-the-road - no doubt very successful.

    11th October, 2014

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