Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Hat and Beard

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Total Reviews: 32

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Bruno Jovanovic by IFF

This one opens with a prominent rose note alongside some musk. This rose is very soft and rounded out with an almost fuzzy type of quality to it as it begins to dry. At no point did I get any cognac, fur accord, or marine notes, but the dry down is a soft rosy musk that is actually very pleasant. This fragrance is linear, but a very nice interpretation of rose.
15th September, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Alexis Dadier by IFF

Wow. This one literally smells like I’m hovering my face over a fresh cup of milky, genmaicha tea right out of the gate. You definitely get a toasted rice accord that is very prominent as well as some deep green tea notes. All of this is somewhat sweetened with a milky almond, and as to begins to dry down an earthy, vegetal accord starts to show up and give the scent an umami/soup/broth type of quality. It’s at this stage that the toasted rice accord begins to take center stage and, for me, the scent becomes extremely off putting mixed with the veggie soupiness. It stays like this through the dry down. Out of all of the offerings in the set, this one has been the only one I’ve wanted to scrub off my body immediately. A definite pass for me.
15th September, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Jean-Christophe Herault by IFF

A boozy/whiskey opening here that comes with some delicious, sweet orange notes. The davana is definitely there and is giving the fragrance this sort of succulence that almost seems to make my mouth water, but this is not an overly sweet fragrance. As it dries the booziness starts to subside and eventually dies, but a powdery/muskiness comes out that really mixes quite nicely with the orange and davana. So far, this is one of the better ones in the set and would love to smell a fully flushed out version of it.
13th September, 2018
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Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Nelly Hachem-Ruiz by IFF

Opens with a waxy coconut that has very milky qualities to it. If you have ever smelled the coconut aroma chemical that’s available through the perfumers apprentice website it is very obviously used here. As it begins to dry down the the vanilla really starts to come out as well as a subtle, earthy patchouli and some sandalwood. The dry down is a vanilla sandalwood that reminds me of Bath & Body Works: Warm Vanilla Sugar that happens to have some coconut in it.
13th September, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Fanny Bal by IFF

Upon initial spray I get this big, bready accord that is full of cocoa and hazelnut. It is very sweet and the scent almost sticks in the back of your throat with this odd chalkiness. As it opens, it just continues to get sweeter and and the vanilla aspects start to show up, but that’s really about it with this fragrance. In the end you’re left with an amber-ish, benzoin/vanilla. That’s it. I mean I’m not opposed to gourmands, but I’d rather not smell like a chocolate/hazelnut babka...even though the one I immediately think of is the delicious offering that City Bakery makes with Nutella here in Manhattan. Now THAT is a must try!
13th September, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Julien Rasquinet by IFF

This opens huge with a boozy, resinous, and slightly sharp kick. Within the first few moments you get that wonderfully rubbery myrrh that starts to come through alongside an ashy/flinty accord, but sadly the fragrance takes this odd ketchup-like turn that is extremely off putting. At this stage the fragrance honesty smells like food or something...like A-1 brand steak sauce. It stays here for the majority of the fragrance and dries down into a rubbery/ashy myrrh. There were certain aspects I liked about this scent, but the ketchup stage was off putting at best.
13th September, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Domitille Michalon Bertier by IFF

Upon initial spray I get a very plasticky vibe with some creamy vanilla undertones. As it begins to open up I surprisingly start to get a sweet pineapple note (?!?) and the smallest amount of civet known to man. Completely inoffensive and if you didn’t know what civet actually smelled like, you could easily miss it here. It stays at this stage for a little while then dries down into a very sweet, creamy vanilla with just a hint of dry woods. Nothing groundbreaking.
11th September, 2018 (last edited: 04th October, 2018)

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Sophie Labbé by IFF

Opens with a huge citrus blast alongside a very green, cut-stem accord. There is a bit of spiciness coming from the ginger, but it’s very subtle. As it opens up the floral aspects begin to come out and a really soft musk starts to appear behind everything. This is probably the most interesting stage of the fragrance and I actually really enjoyed it up through this point, but the dry down ended up being a generic white musk that left me wanting more. Good fragrance overall.
11th September, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Anne Flipo by IFF

The initial spray gave me an extremely milky tonka with a subtle herbal edge. There is also clove in there and a mossiness starts to appear as it starts to dry down. Not really detecting any labdanum, but the milkiness persists and this wood shows up that I can’t quite put my finger on. I think I really would have enjoyed this one had it not been for that milky note that ends up sticking around entire duration of the fragrance, but other than that it’s a pretty decent, generic mossy wood.
11th September, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Caroline Dumur by IFF

This one opens big and peppery with some very light floral nuances and a heavy dose of cedary pencil shavings. I’d say that the floral notes don’t particularly stand out to me individually except for the iris upon initial spray, but the carnation accord that’s in here reminds me of the one that’s present in Aramis: Havana. Ever so slightly metallic, green, and very open/airy. As it dries down you start to get more of the ylang ylang, but it is fleeting at best and really seems like it exists only to add a slight amount of floral muskiness to the middle stages of the fragrance. The dry down to this one is a very open/airy, light green floral.
11th September, 2018

Speed Smelling 2017 Postmodern Collection : Juliette Karagueuzoglou by IFF

This one opens up with a sharp, subtly smokey frankincense with a very vague amber-ish accord that stays the entire length of the fragrance. I get a bit of powdery cocoa that almost hides in the background and occasionally pokes its head out, and the same goes for the sickly sweet coconut. It’s like the two alternate in appearance. This one projects too! I put one spray on and I could smell it radiating from my arm for hours. That being said I don’t know if that’s a good thing as this creation has an extremely synthetic feel to it and got so cloying it gave me a headache. A definite pass for me.
08th September, 2018

Figment Man by Amouage

Figment Man opens up huge and feral! Bright, fresh lemon. A throaty, spicy pepper. Deep animalic notes of earth and soil. I’d say that the ‘animal accord’ listed has a lot of civet in it with a muskiness that is slightly urinous in a very subdued, completely non-offensive way. As it dries you can begin to detect the subtlety sweet geranium come through along with some wet woods. The woody notes almost smell like old, dry, dead wood that has been dried and rehydrated multiple times over the years as it lay on the ground in someone’s flowerbed somewhere, and the labdanum present isn’t the sweet, gummy resin that’s secreted by our friend the rock rose plant, but is more like the cistus labdanum oil that’s made from the steam distilled leaves from the same plant. It’s a very bright/fizzy green, almost camphorous smell that’s robust and sharp. All of this excitement mixing together reminds me of gardening, fresh overturned earth, and being outside in the wet, springtime months. As it dries down further you lose the lemon and the pepper, but a smooth and smoky vetiver emerges in the background that sits beside that damp earthiness that stays present the entire duration of the fragrance. It has a vintage Kouros-like kick to it that’s definitely not typical of a lot of current fragrances on the market, and people that tend to like very robust animalics that long for vintage style fragrances, but are open to a modern twist, should definitely try this. I can see the comparison when people mention Zoologist: Bat, but the comparison is fleeting at best and can only be made because of the dampness of the earthen accord. Figment Man is far more complex and is more reminiscent of actual dirt/earth rather than the synthetic wet drywall-like note I got from Bat. I’ve also recently had the pleasure of getting to sample some beautiful mitti attar and I don’t know if that’s what Christopher Chong and Annick Menardo were going for, but I want to say that Figment Man is almost like an extremely amped up and more complex interpretation of something like that. This is a must try for anyone looking for realistic green earth scent, but be warned...this is definitely not for the faint of heart!
17th June, 2018 (last edited: 30th June, 2018)

Journeyman by Soivohle (Liz Zorn)

This opens smoky and spicy with a lot of pepper, cumin, and what I want to say is fenugreek tossed in for good measure. You also get a very big blast of buttery, rubbery myrrh with slightly boozy overtones. All of this is sitting on top of a deep and sweet incense/amber and dry wood/oud/leather base. As it opens up a bit more it begins to sweeten up ever so slightly with a the warm amber and vanilla notes becoming more prominent in the mix. The intense spice kick you initially get begins to subside and blend smoothly with the smoky leather and woods, but that being said, the cumin is very persistent and stays the entire duration of Journeyman. There’s also this subtle “burnt/scorched” accord that sits alongside everything that gives it this warmness that reminds me like what your clothing would smell like many days after sitting next to a campfire. This is a very natural and earthy fragrance that’s perfect for someone looking for something that’s intensely spicy with a smoky sweet vanilla/amber/resinous bass complete with dry wood and leather. It has decent projection at first, but becomes a skin scent with excellent longevity.
13th May, 2018
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Emir by Martine Micallef

Slightly sweet and very citrusy with the initial spray. Definitely get the grapefruit and the orange with a lot of patchouli and pepper as well. As is wears for a few moments, the geranium starts to come into play and really blends nicely with the smooth, slightly medicinal quality of the oud. The cedar isn’t really prominent in the least and I really don’t get any sage, but the geranium is very persistent. As it dries down the musk begins to show up, but in the end of the life of this very short-lived scent, you are sadly left with a slightly floral musk that doesn’t leave a lasting impression on me. It is a strong fragrance for the first hour or so, but it was surprising how quickly it became a skin scent and then disappeared into almost nothing.
03rd March, 2018 (last edited: 18th April, 2018)

Agarwood Noir by Amouroud

Starts off with a floral and animalic blast of jasmine and moss with a sweet apricot hovering over top. As soon as it opens up a bit, the rose and saffron begin to appear with the vanilla sitting gently underneath. Although the agarwood is definitely there straight from the initial spray, it stays subtly in the background as it begins to dry down and brings a nice woodiness thats combined with a very gentle vetiver and muted, sappy frankincense. The mossiness is still there too, but much like the agarwood, it subsides and really rounds out the loud florals that are experienced in the opening. There is also a slight pepperiness that is apparent, however I don’t really get much leather. If I had to say what it reminded me of in the dry down, it would be the smell of a very robust jasmin/rose incense stick before it is lit. Subtly sweet, floral, slightly musky, and woody. All in all it is a good fragrance.
02nd March, 2018

Obsessive Oudh by Al Haramain

Very natural oud that reminds me a lot of a Laotian oud oil I bought years ago. Opens with a barnyard/bleu cheese-esque oud with a sweet, gummy amber/musk that is rich with dried fruits....raisins, figs, etc. It gets smokier, leathery and richer as it dries down and loses the bleu cheese/barnyard to an extent, but the oud is definitely the star player the entire time. It has a great musty/dusty quality in the dry down as well. That being said, this is not an oud fragrance for those that prefer more tame, western style ouds. This is a feral beast!
21st December, 2017 (last edited: 12th February, 2018)

Lôence by Santi Burgas

It opens with a big, natural blast of patchouli and a nice blend of frankincense, cedar and some juniper. As it dries, the patchouli takes a bit more of a backseat to the sweet frankincense and "woods." This is nothing super complex, however it was exactly what I was looking for. It is awesome for what it is and I now happily have it in my collection.
11th April, 2017

Miss Betty Vair by Santi Burgas

A very "fresh" fig/vetiver that almost has a floral quality to that dries down to basically that and white musk. The musk (and overall fragrance) has a very laundry detergent/ dryer sheet feel to it.
11th April, 2017

Egnaro by Santi Burgas

This is straight up artificial civet, some anise/ginger that has an odd clove-like quality and sweet orange right out of the gate! The spices mix with the citrus over an extremely feral civet as it begins to dry down when the "sandalwood" comes into play. As it progresses the civet starts to subside and is replaced with some generic woods, however it is never completely gone. You really have to love civet and spicy, sweet orange to get into this one. The image it conjures is potentially what you'd be smelling if you were royalty in medieval times using a pomander to mask the smell of the peasants as you gave out alms. Not my thing.
11th April, 2017

Irish Leather by Memo

This one opens up with a juniper blast that almost reminds me of gin combined with some leather that is very reminiscent of leather upholstery in a brand new car. At this stage there is also this damp earthiness present that has a very 'green' feel to it that starts to dissipate as the fragrance dries down. In the middle stage you still get the earthiness, but it changes a bit to something with a bit more bite. I want to say cypriol/nagarmotha or even some norlimbanol possibly, but there is definitely a certain dryness that comes out. The dry down on this one is literally just that new car upholstery leather with juniper. The “bite” is gone. Don’t really get the vanilla or amber much. Maybe lingering slightly underneath the leather. Not a bad scent per se, but not something I could see myself buying either. Much better leathers out there.
11th April, 2017

Vermeil for Men by Vermeil

Vermeil definitely falls into the “powerhouse” category without question! Upon initial spray I get a deep and animalistic oakmoss kick alongside a sweet, almost boozy black currant. I can see where one may say that this is similar to Salvador Dali Pour Homme in it’s animalic nature, but Vermeil is much sweeter and I can only make that connection in the opening…and it is fleeting at best. The Dali Pour Homme is much more dry to me and has this sort of fermented quality to it. I definitely smell the carnation and a tiny bit of galbanum in the florals present here, and although I don’t really pick up on much patchouli or citrus independently at this stage, I can only assume that they are helping to create the freshly-opened-pack-of-cigarettes accord I notice in the middle stages of this fragrance. The carnation note really supports the ‘cigarette tobacco’ feel honestly. The tobacco accord is another characteristic that is lost in the dry down and in the end you are left with a slightly musky, wood/cedar with a bit of oakmoss and a light patchouli. Although this ended up not really being my type of fragrance as it was bit too “heady” for me in the opening and middle stages, it is a great option for someone looking for an affordable powerhouse that has an animalic/oakmoss kick! The longevity on this one is powerful as well and it definitely projects, so be careful upon application.
09th April, 2017

Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

Dominant raspberry and slightly smokey leather that dries down so sweet that it hurts.
04th July, 2014 (last edited: 05th July, 2014)

Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

Opens up extremely smoky/slightly boozy with a whisper of cinnamon that has an almost burned paper characteristic to it. As it moves on, the amber and oakmoss become a bit more prevalent and start to add a slightly sweet soapiness. All of the time it never loses a bit of the ash-like quality that it opens up with. A few hours in it loses some of the smoke, but a very dry wood emerges and mixes great with the touch of oakmoss from before. Thankfully it loses the soapy quality that appears in the early stages of “development" as it can be a bit overbearing. In the end you are left with an extremely dry wood/moss/smoke scent with the slightest amount of powdery/ambery sweetness to round it off. Sillage is moderate and longevity is excellent.
03rd July, 2014 (last edited: 20th July, 2014)

Black Amber by Agonist

This is an interesting take on an amber based scent. The whole scent isn’t overtly sweet and cloying like most ambers, but instead it has an subtle ozonic/marine quality to it. It opens up a tad on the cherry cough syrup side, but thankfully that aspect goes away rather quickly. The sweetness settles down into a wonderful dry, ashy vanilla that’s as if you’re smelling a piece of vanilla amber resin as the wind blew across a smoldering fire next to the ocean. It’s a dry and subtly sweet vanilla amber with a peppery/earthy backbone that stays at about arms length for sillage and also has good longevity.
03rd July, 2014

Dark Aoud by Montale

The opening is a blast of that signature Montale medicinal oud along with a sharp sandalwood note that accompanies it. No it isn’t close in comparison to a legitimate aquilaria crassna oil, but if that’s what you’re looking for you’ve come to the wrong place. I have really grown to appreciate a synthetic oud over the years and Dark Aoud is a good example of a synthetic done well. It is a very “wearable” oud that doesn’t have any of the more barnyard/fecal qualities that are out there. Most importantly it is not jam packed full of floral notes that are in a milieu of oud based fragrances on the market. As it dries down it seems to take on an almost petroleum-like quality as black pepper and a subtle vetiver barely mix in with the oud and santal. There is also an airy openness that is present that I can put my finger on, but really seems to open the scent up into a wonderful, “heady” experience. Excellenct sillage and longevity.
03rd July, 2014

Private Label by Jovoy

What a deep, rich fragrance. It opens up with a bitter blast of vetiver, some patchouli and green notes. This is a nice dry patchouli that doesn’t have that “hippy” smell that is often associated with it, but rather one that adds to the dirt/earthiness of the overall scent. As another reviewer said, I get a distinct oud note that is present throughout the duration, but is tamed down significantly by a buttery sandalwood that emerges as the fragrance begins to dry down. Over time the leather and papyrus notes come out to really give the fragrance an incredible “old leather-bound book” feel that pairs wonderfully with the now smoky vetiver and sandalwood. Excellent sillage and longevity.
03rd July, 2014

Full Incense by Montale

A very sweet, bright, almost sharp frankincense scent. The frankincense note that it opens up with has a very dominant orange quality to it. Similar to CdG: Avignon in the sense that they both share that same bright, citrusy note, but they differ because ‘Full Incense’ lacks the smoky backbone that is prevalent in ‘Avignon.’ As it dries down it stays pretty much as it was when you first sprayed it except it gets even sweeter the longer it sits on your skin. Almost candy-like. It's an extremely linear fragrance, but it is executed very well if you are looking for that catholic church/frankincense vibe without the smoke. It’s almost as if they captured the smell of a newly built catholic church that uses frankincense air freshener in their ceremonies rather than lighting up the old incense censer. Sillage and longevity are both great
03rd July, 2014

Harrods Oud Patchouli by Bond No. 9

I want to put it out there that I love agarwood and I also like patchouli as well, and that this review does not in any way reflect their entire catalog, but this has got to be some of the worst smelling stuff out there. I went into Bond No. 9 in New York really excited to have an olfactory spree as I was not entirely familiar with the brand and was surprised at all of the oud options they had. This was the first one the service woman sprayed on my arm. At first you get a slightly sweet, dirty, musky oud. The oud they use has some of the more fecal qualities you can sometimes get from Cambodian agarwood (I’m assuming its usage here) so this one may not for those who don’t like a more “rural” smell in a fragrance. As the evening went on things took a turn for the worse as this started to smell more and more like body odor. Just to make sure it wasn't just me, my friend who had accompanied me there was (forced into) smelling my arm every time I did. I would assume that these more "human" aspects here are coming from the leather that is mentioned in the notes list as well as the earthy myrrh, but both can’t be detected individually. By the end of the evening my arm smelled as if I had aggressively rubbed it under someone’s funky armpit that for whatever reason had sprayed it with Aquanet hairspray. The silage on this one is thankfully low and the longevity is mediocre. Sorry Bond No. 9.
21st July, 2012

Tam Dao Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Being one who likes to create custom incense blends, Tam Dao reminds me of something that I have come across before in the incense world. I have some Indian sandalwood chips that I burn on white bamboo charcoal and Tam Dao smells exactly like the split second when the sandalwood hits the hot charcoal. I say "split second" because anything longer than that means the incense would start to smell much smokier. Even though dry, there isn't a whole lot of smoke in Tam Dao. There is, however, an even mix of cedar wood as well as some sweet amber muskiness that come out more as the fragrance sits on your skin. There is also mention of rosewood, cypress and myrtle in the notes list, but they are not noticeable to me.

I really like Tam Dao and proudly have it in my collection, but one could criticize that it is a very linear fragrance and doesn't have the best longevity. Don't get me wrong here as it is very well executed in it's linearity and smells very warm and inviting, but too many excessive sprays bring about an almost offensive anise-like note. If you are looking for a nice, soft, incense-like sandalwood that stays close to your skin then Tam Dao is the way to go.
21st July, 2012

1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums

What a deep and intriguing fragrance. I may be going out on a limb here, but after having the chance to test all of the 'Histories' line I feel this is one of the better ones they offer. All of the 'Histories' line are very deep/full/rich fragrances, but 1740 just struck the right chord for me; probably because I'm a sucker for leather, labdanum, and smoke. The subtleties of this fragrance have far more to offer than that, but on my skin those are the predominant notes that last the entire time the fragrance does. As a few have said already it opens up extremely boozy along with a wonderfully sweet labdanum and a tiny bit of cardamom. Almost immediately the smokiness (it's a woody smoke and probably is coming from the cedar) slowly starts to creep in along with a tiny bit of leather. I'd like to mention that I have let many people try 1740 and this stage seems to be completely different on everyone. On my skin the smokiness comes to the forefront and is combined with an extremely deep, warm, and visceral note that I can't seem to put my finger on. It's almost sexual and keeps bringing me back to the arm I sprayed it on time and time again; taking a deeper whiff every time. On others the smoky/visceral qualities don't take charge. Instead they sit quietly in the background as leather note starts to mix in. I can safely say that I'm glad that doesn't happen with me, as that is my favorite part of this fragrance. As time goes on the boozy quality dissipates, but the smoke, labdanum, and leather (along with that visceral note) hold strong. After the hours and hours this fragrance lasts it seems to take on a subtle, almost "womens boudoir-esque" quality as it begins to fade. Meaning that it almost smells as if you walked up to someone’s vanity and had a look around at all of the different types of makeup and perfume that were there. When I say this I mean it in the most positive and subtle way possible, as this is not a feminine fragrance.

Overall I really like this one, but will say that it is not one I wear all of the time and usually reserve for special occasions or nights on the town. Silage and longevity are great with 1740 and one spray goes quite a long way.
21st July, 2012