Perfume Reviews

Reviews by freewheelingvagabond

Total Reviews: 144

Moschino Friends Men by Moschino

Generic fresh, fruity fragrance with some citrus notes of orange and an implied melon effect. Dries down to a synthetic woods base. It isn't sweet in particular, and has a hint of a sourness which is mercifully very restrained. It is very generic overall, and similar to many including Burberry Weekend for Men and CK One. However, it's an upgrade on the Burberry which comes across as harsher and screechier, but is less fun than the CK as it lacks One's androgynous appeal.

The mid phase does have a very vague metallic aspect.

Quite forgettable, but perhaps not the worst of its kind. Contrary to its target audience, I imagine this would work better on young girls.

24th April, 2017

Whisky Black by Evaflor

One of the first perfumes I ever purchased - almost a decade back. At that point of time, I had tried Armani Code and liked it a lot. However, being a student - I couldn't afford it. Whisky Black smelled good enough to my then-untrained nose, and for some reason it was to be a substitute for Code.

This started off with some generic fresh citrus notes including orange, before a rather faint and generic woody-patchouli kicked in after 30 minutes or so. The cash would always run out by the end of two hours.

The price was modest enough that I'd overlook all such shortcomings - then and today.

23rd April, 2017

Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

A random array of synthetic smelling 'fresh notes' desired to create an aftershave effect, but in reality ends up smelling like zombie juice. There is an initial burst of nondescript freshness before a luminous and chemical patchouli-incense takes over that's nearly nauseous. In fact, this is one of the very few perfumes I had to scrub off.

Sillage and duration are fair, but that rather adds to the misery. I imagine a more natural version of this (perhaps a little more diluted and airy to yield a crisp EdC effect) could be worthwhile. Just an astonishing abomination in its current self.

The bottle is cool.

23rd April, 2017
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Rose de Petra by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777

A superfluous and sub par rose offering - there is a dark, oriental aspect that is quickly lost. One can discern a hint of lychee, but it is not fully explored. Then comes forward a deep rose note that is supported by some spices, with cardamom being prominent. However, things soon come apart as the fragrance suddenly loses most of its body and presence to become a thin veil of a peppered rose.

The basic problem with these types of fragrances is a singular lack of complexity. There is not much abstraction, yet it isn't a soliflore. Lack of development is okay, but linearity has to be rewarded either by an accord that's either engaging or substantial - if not both. Else it becomes what it is here - front-loaded - a phenomenon all too commonplace and endemic in modern perfumery.

One positive aspect of Rose de Petra is that it avoids the tired oud and/or patchouli notes, but still briefly yields an oriental touch. However, this style of rose is much better experienced in many other rose fragrances, including Noir de Noir, Amouage Lyric, and Calligraphy Rose. Also, the ones marketed as 'oud's hardly have oud in most cases. Thus, there's no harm in exploring rose-ouds if one looks for a deep, dark rose while looking to avoid oud. If it has to be only about the rose - La Fille de Berlin and Eau de Protection are far more compelling alternatives.

Sillage is good initially before quickly dying down, and duration is around average.

21st April, 2017

Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

After having tried all of MFK Ouds barring Velvet Mood, Silk Mood comes across as the most easy to like. While the original Oud was severely underwhelming, the other three are well done and respectable compositions. Cashmere Mood is perhaps the most intriguing and intriguing, while Satin Mood disappointingly subsides into a boring amber-vanilla accord.

Silk Mood is perhaps the most conventional, with it being a straightforward rose-oud offering. The rose is lush, velvety, buttery and the oud is slightly medicinal but also very much on the subtle side. In fact, the oud is largely subdued and plays second fiddle to the rose. The texture of the rose is similar to the one in Noir de Noir, Ambre Nuit, or Lyric Man. There is no smokiness. There is a slightly green, austere nuance to the composition - perhaps from the papyrus and chamomile. There is considerable depth (mostly attributable to the ingredient quality), but not a great deal of complexity. I find it mostly linear on my skin, but there is actually a very slow transition as the rose eventually subsides over several hours. Sillage is moderate but persistent, and duration is excellent at over 7-8 hours.

While a commendable offering, it has a few shortcomings. Anyone looking for an oud or a rose-oud fragrance could be disappointed, as the oud is very underplayed. The non-rose components of this fragrance could have been further explored.

20th April, 2017

Ambre Nuit by Christian Dior

Ambre Nuit is a major disappointment, especially considering the standards of the Dior La Collection Privée.

Its best feature is the lushness of the rose, and how it is elegantly paired with labdanum and woods.

However, it also comes across as timid, insubstantial and indistinctive. Additionally, it is very soft (which is okay, but for this style I would prefer something with more presence), and is surprisingly thin and fleeting beyond the first couple of hours.

A rose of this style is much more well explored in Oud Ispahan and Noir de Noir.

19th April, 2017

Kiehl's Original Musk by Kiehl's

This is a great musk fragrance.

Clean, fresh, deep white musk - as it should be. Light years away from the nastiness of countless fragrances (cheap and expensive) with clinical laundry white musk bases.

Initially there's some white florals, and then comes a delightful musk-rose accord. The musk is in the foreground, the rose in the background. There's the faintest sweetness coming through courtesy of the tonka. That's more or less it, with little evolution.

Other musk fragrances it reminds me of are Clair de Musc, Musc Intense (Nicolai), and Villoresi Musk. However, for some reason the Kiehl's has a more effortless 'grab-n-go' appeal.

If you're looking for a tamed down version of Muscs Koublai Khan (one of my favourites) - this is it. There is a only the barest animalic hint - but only if one looks for it after a heavy application.

I have no issues with how it wears - close but good sillage, and excellent duration of at least six hours from a generous application.

Very good throughout the year, and simply delightful in the summers.

Very, very nice.

19th April, 2017

Tom Ford for Men by Tom Ford

A very lacklustre offering from Tom Ford. This is even more surprising considering that unlike the Private Blends, the Signature line is usually well thought out and carefully crafted.

Tom Ford for Men takes all the elements usually present in classic masculine compositions to create a dull fragrance. The main theme is citrus-tobacco-woods-amber with some mild spices, and a barely prominent ginger note. The structure is good, but it's unimaginative and restrained exactly at places where it didn't need to be. It has low key sillage and moderate longevity, but is quickly forgotten.

Off the top of my head, Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme (earlier versions) would be a much more compelling and worthwhile composition in this genre.

Tom Ford for Men would be the olfactory equivalent of a bland lunch at the new upstart restaurant in town with some random 'professionals' on a Tuesday afternoon.

Stick to Grey Vetiver. At least, I would.

19th April, 2017

Hermèssence Cuir d'Ange by Hermès

A light, subtle floral leather that is unusually cool.

The initial opening is tempered with mild spices and a leather accord that hints at high quality leather handbags. The floral notes bloom pretty soon as the fragrance starts to smell similar to some creams and body lotions. I also pick up a hint of suede. The typical airiness of Ellena's compositions is found here, and it is very Hermes. It is slightly radiant, and wears very lightly on skin. The mid phase is mostly the floral leather accord. It is followed by a similar soft and subtle dry down that is reminiscent of the earlier phases. The composition is linear to a certain extent, and has soft sillage and moderate duration on skin.

While I love the opening, it is thereafter too fleeting and rather unexciting. I prefer to go with Declaration or Eau d'Hermes when looking for a leather scent that is similarly bright, airy and radiant. Bel Ami Vetiver might also work as an alternative for some.

Overall it's quite a good composition. Definitely recommended if you are looking for a light, airy, summery leather fragrance and do not want anything striking. Definitely not a butch leather. Also, definitely would not work for those looking for something a little potent and tenacious.

3/5 (neutral)
19th April, 2017

Virgin Island Water by Creed

I approached, tried, tested, and wore Virgin Island Water in two different phases - once in 2015 summer, and once in 2017. In 2015 I had approached it with high expectations. In 2017 I did so with average expectations. The fragrance was underwhelming in 2015, and more so in 2017.

The structure was clear each time around. A beautiful and natural lime opening with just a hint of booziness, that lasts all of 5 minutes, before giving way to a musky coconut dry down. There's no citrus, no florals, no woods, no spices, no booziness - just coconut and musk. Granted, the accord is still occasionally pretty, but it's neither innovative nor compelling. Additionally, it is extremely muted on skin beyond the first 30 minutes or so, and has a disappointing duration of a few hours - that, too, from a very generous application.

Granted, I only tried this in hot weather. However, that's supposedly the season for this coconut-lime fantasy. When the temperature is any lower, why would I even consider this frivolous persuasion - ahead of thousands of more worthwhile offerings including Creed's own Bois du Portugal and Green Irish Tweed?

19th April, 2017

Bang by Marc Jacobs

I don't see the point of this fragrance.

An ethereal burst of pepper followed by dry peppery woods. Extremely muted beyond the first half hour, and average duration. Moreover, this was released in 2010 when the peppery-woods genre was already well explored, and this brings nothing new to the table. One might consider Terre d'Hermes, Poivre Samarcande, Declaration, Honour Man, Comme des Garcons 2 Man, Tam Dao, Lalique White, and Wonderwood as more worthwhile alternatives. For pepper (forgetting the woods) one might consider Piper Nigrum or Noir Epices (and several others).

Gimmicky more than anything else.

19th April, 2017

Les Nombres d'Or : Cuir by Mona di Orio

This is a great scent. This is a great leather scent.

Cuir has a slight cardamom note, but is otherwise mostly a very leather fragrance with the addition of a tobacco note. The leather rich, dark, sensuous, but not overbearing. An approximation would be any old, even antique leather product such as a chair, or briefcase. There is a distinct smokiness from cade and birch initially which gradually subsides. The tobacco note is dry, ashy, - like cigarette ash, or an ashtray, and a hint at an opened pack of cigarettes. This linear leather-tobacco accord is the centrepiece of the composition. It is very original, very nice, and very compelling. I also find it evocative - when I was a child, this was the smell of many a gent, all smokers, who, wrapped in their shawls, would gather at little tea shops on winter evenings (pre global warming days when Calcutta had an authentic 'winter') to sip on steaming tea and discuss everything under the sun. Those days are gone, and that reference alone makes it rather worldly.

Sillage is somewhat subdued but still discernible and persistent, and duration is average at around 6-7 hours. Cuir has similarities with Patchouli 24 and Bois d'Ascese, but is less smoky than either and also surprisingly more natural smelling. It is not as impactful as either of those two, but a little persistence reveals that it is just as interesting and rewarding, and perhaps more memorable.


11th April, 2017

Boy Chanel by Chanel

This is a pass for me.

To me this is a soft, lavender dominated fragrance with a comforting dry down that's slightly soapy, slightly powdery, slightly musky and slightly woody. The materials are all good, and so is the balance - but where is the spark?

For what it is, this ground is covered much better by Le 3me Homme de Caron and Infusion d'Homme by Prada - at a fraction of its price.

It's nowhere near the standouts in this Chanel collection, including Sycomore, Coromandel, and 31 Rue Cambon.

I do not smell any fougere accord here. But if one's looking for fougeres, there are several options in nearly every style that are more interesting.

Finally, among lavender fragrances - it can't hold a candle to any of distinctive offerings, including Serge Lutens, Czech & Speake, and even Caron's Pour Un Homme and Le 3me Homme.

It is clear that with this fragrance Chanel wanted to minimise risk - for a line that is called 'Exclusifs'. After the beautiful Misia, this is rather underwhelming.

Projection is muted but faintly discernible, and duration is average to good at around six hours.

It is definitely nothing bad, and is decent, respectable, and safe for giving as a gift. However, it is pretty but not beautiful, and is not compelling at all - for me at least.

11th April, 2017
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Geranium Odorata by Diptyque

This is a pretty scent. Any aromatic, citric, or herbal aspect vanishes seconds after application. The geranium comes through which is green, slightly rosy, and - only initially - ever so slightly peppery. This is followed by a dry down of geranium-tonka accord with a hint of sweetness, slight soapiness, and a white musk aspect.

It's not as natural smelling as it could've been given its genre and style. This would make a great gents' shaving range if they could make it more natural, aromatic and make shaving cream/soap, oil, and after-shave.

The finish smells like a Histoires des Parfums fragrance that I can't quite put my finger on - possibly, 1899 Hemingway.

For a fresh geranium I suggest Geranium pour Monsieur, and among the Diptyque colognes I recommend the beautiful Eau Rose or the excellent L'eau de Tarocco.

10th April, 2017

Oud Satin Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A rose-oud fragrance that is not a rose-oud, but more about amber and vanilla. The initial violet is brisk and quickly leads to the oud and the rose - which have received the MFK treatment, and are tempered. Nonetheless this accord is quite compelling and feels plush and rich. However, this accord barely survives for about 2-3 hours before a giant halo of sweet amber and vanilla takes over and dominates the composition till the end. There is a very nice diffused sillage, and duration is excellent at more than eight hours.

While this one is a good composition, eventually it's an amber/vanilla in my books and not an oud or a rose composition. And, within the class of amber/vanilla it's a solid composition, but nowhere near the crème de la crème when it comes to amber or vanilla compositions.

Therefore, more of a filler in a line called the Oud series.

09th April, 2017 (last edited: 20th April, 2017)

Dior Homme Cologne (2013) by Christian Dior

Dior Homme Cologne (2013) is a simple cologne composition based on bergamot, grapefruit blossom and musk. The opening is a fresh and zesty bergamot, with the grapefruit blossom note soon coming into the mix. The fragrance develops a musky aura on skin in about 30 minutes and dies on skin in about two to three hours.

The issue is we are led to believe it's an eau de toilette, but essentially it's in eau de cologne strength. This means there are many such fragrances on the market, and many of them are more worthwhile. While it is well-crafted, it is nowhere near as delicious and natural smelling as something like Cologne Sologne or Mugler Cologne or Hermes Eau de Orange Verte (or the concentree version). Neither is it avant-garde like Eau de Gentiane Blanche, for example.

Moreover the musky base of this fragrance is rather feeble, and doesn't seem to be of the same quality as its top notes. On bad days the base smells like the neighbourhood laundromat.

A top note con job? Easily, just a 'filler' in the Dior Homme line.

Cologne Sologne, Mugler Cologne and any of the colognes from Hermes (besides many others) are much better alternatives.

09th April, 2017

Sung Homme by Alfred Sung

The good news is that Sung Homme literally smells like Irish Spring soap. As a lover of soapy scents, Sung Homme is clean, masculine and has a very prominent soapy accord over a fougere structure. A simple classic fragrance done right.

The bad news is that it has a harsh metallic element that is abrasive. I personally cannot wear this fragrance because of this sharpness. I do not know whether this roughness is a feature of the composition itself or due to the ingredient quality. While a more refined version would have been much appreciated, I have to look elsewhere given its current incarnation.

If one loves masculine soapiness and can deal with a bit crudeness, look no further. Adequate sillage and tenacity.

Excellent idea, perhaps good enough execution, but surely not good enough ingredients.

2.5/5 (neutral)
09th April, 2017

Tobacco Rose by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

A bone-dry rose composition with tobacco elements. The rose is dark, sparse, and luscious at times. I get a prominent hay note that lends a dry, dusty tobacco impression - somewhere between a green tobacco leaf and brown pipe tobacco. This is similar to the hay accord in Chergui, but starker. There is a discernible oakmoss note that sets in from around the mid phase, and persists - maintaining the dry, green, and slightly bitter aspect of the composition. The base is mossy, sparse, with remnants of the rose, and the tobacco impression.

Even though starting out with promise, eventually Tobacco Rose is too much of a disappointment. It comes across as lacking in dimension, thin from the mid phase onwards, and surprisingly anaemic. The dry, dusty rose is reminiscent of Hammam Bouquet, but Tobacco Rose is not powdery. There is not a not of abstraction, but the rose and hay/tobacco accords could have been more well explored. The fragrance has a nice and subtle green-earthy element, but it's rather fleeting and not fully formed. Additionally, it is extremely muted on skin, and is hard to trace beyond five hours or so.

08th April, 2017

Al Oudh by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Al Oudh

Al Oudh is a spicy, musky, warm oriental fragrance. Despite the name there's no oud - at least oud oil. It might give the merest hint of oud wood - however that's by a long stretch.

Al Oudh is primarily an assortment of spices over a musky base with woody notes, and with a slight edginess. Cumin is the leading spice, together with cinnamon and cardamom. This is amply supported by a musky accord of civet, castoreum, and honey. The florals are there in the background, with rose being discernible. This lends a good balance to the composition.

At first there is a striking accord driven by cumin, and supported by animalic notes of civet and castoreum. The honey immediately comes through. Once this calms down, one can pick out the floral elements. The final dry down is more musky, with hints of wood, and a balanced spicy sweetness. The fragrance is not too dry, and only very slightly smoky initially. There are leathery (mid phase) and resinous (dry down) elements in the composition, but to me musk is the dominant theme.

This would be in the same group of fragrances as Absolue Pour Le Soir, Salome, MAAI, Kouros, and by a stretch Arabie (because of the warm spices).

Sillage is average, and longevity is good at around 8 hours on skin (based on a generous application). The other notable point is that despite the notes and the structure, this is more of a middleweight composition. This makes it an ideal everyday scent, more so in cooler weather. The great aspect of Al Oudh is the harmony and balance, and how the different elements interact without dominating one another - typical of Duchafour's compositions, though the interplay is not as dynamic as in, say, Dzongkha. This only adds to the abstraction of the composition.

06th April, 2017

Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

A disappointing jasmine fragrance.

There is a jasmine note that's fleetingly lush in the beginning. There's absolutely no tobacco note of any kind to my nose. Once the jasmine dies down beyond the mid phase, one is left with a musky floral dry down that's rather commonplace. Sillage is somewhat thin, and duration is underwhelming on skin at around 5 hours. The only reason it gets a neutral is because it's rather charming for the first hour.

For this to be Jasmin et Cigarette, one has to liberally douse oneself in it - AND smoke a couple before or after.

04th April, 2017

Oud Cashmere Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

The good news: This is an actual substantive oud fragrance, unlike the original MFK Oud.

The bad news (at least for me): This doesn't pass the Guy Robert smell test.

Right upon the initial burst I detect a hint of saffron that gives way to an oud accord that is slightly medicinal. The labdanum is discernible, and there are hints of some vanillic elements. The fragrance is somewhat linear, and any transformation is extremely slow as it wears like a proper EdP. After a long, drawn out mid phase, the base has clearer hints of benzoin. There is hardly any sweetness - at any stage. Projection is about average, and duration is excellent at more than eight hours on skin.

Eventually Cashmere Oud is a very worthwhile composition. Anyone looking for an oud fragrance without rose and sweetness may find it of interest. The neutral rating is reflective more of personal taste than anything else.

This one, with the combination of notes and the level of execution - had my name written all over it. For some strange, unfathomable reason I'm unable to fall for it.

Edit: After a revisit, I'm convinced that the reason it doesn't appeal to me is because it is too polished. The combination of notes has been given MFK's signature polish and finishing - and in this case it doesn't work for me. I would have preferred something a little more rugged. I suspect that also explains the Guy Robert test results.

04th April, 2017

Cuir Pleine Fleur / Fine Leather by Heeley

This is a cool floral fragrance with leathery nuances. The leather note is mostly in the beginning and the mid phase. In the beginning there is a prominent violet leaf note that is combined with a clean, suede-like leather note. This is not far off from Fahrenheit territory; however, the difference is here the leather is cool, subtle, and has none of the petroleum/gasoline association. Any birch tar used has been dialed back significantly. The mimosa is discernible in the mid-phase as the leathery aspect slightly recedes. A note of freshly cut grass comes to the fore. Thereafter the fragrance is subdued and linear on my skin with a dry down that is slightly woody, green, and has the merest hints of the violet leaf and leather accord.

Overall this is a noteworthy composition. Irrespective of the similarities with Fahrenheit, it is also much different. The main point of departure is the cool aloofness, and how the conventional leather-woods aspect is placed in a floral context in an innovative way. The principal drawback is that the fragrance appears too thin beyond the mid phase. Even though it is an EdP, it wears much more like an average EdT. It is severely muted beyond the first hour, and duration is average at around 5-6 hours. A more robust composition with a greater concentration of oils, and more attention to the base would have been most welcome.

Recommended to anyone looking for a fine (mild/subtle/discreet) floral leather which is cool rather than warm, where the floral aspect doesn't dominate the composition, and one that's rather fleeting. It is both chic and hip, discreet, office-friendly, and inoffensive - like most of the Heeley range.

04th April, 2017

Armani Privé Rose d'Arabie by Giorgio Armani

Initially there is a brief burst of saffron. The rose then comes to the fore, together with a tempered accord of patchouli, oud, and amber. The amber is the dominant note in this accord, and only the barest smidgen of oud and patchouli are discernible. The rose note is bright and vivacious, but then fades away in the mid phase as the ambery-woody elements take centrestage. Unfortunately from this point onwards Rose d'Arabie becomes a snoozefest.

Rose d'Arabie eventually comes across as underwhelming and disappointing because of its shortcomings. In a crowded genre, Rose d'Arabie is nowhere near other rose-patchouli and rose-oud compositions such as Black Aoud, Portrait of a Lady, and Thirty-Three. Among similar fragrances, Noir de Noir or even Montale's Intense Cafe is a more worthwhile alternative.

Sillage is initially good before becoming subdued around the mid phase, and duration is average.

28th March, 2017

Elements by Hugo Boss

This is a orange dominated youthful fragrance. The plum note in question is hardly there, as I detect some juniper berries. None of the listed herbs are to be discerned. The composition has a warm-fresh modern oriental vibe with a restrained woody sweetness in the base. The mid phase is the most inviting when the orange subsides a bit, the plum-like fruitiness comes to the fore, and is supported by a hint of sandalwood. The dry down is sparse, with the sweet woody accord persisting together with the orange-plum pairing in the background.

On my skin sillage is initially good but dies down quickly, and duration is average. Based on its overall structure and composition, it brings to mind Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme, Individuel, and Original Santal.

There's no particular reason to seek out this one given the alternatives (especially the Chanel), unless one wishes to wallow in nostalgia.

27th March, 2017

Rose Flash by Tauerville

Rose Flash starts off with an accord of jammy rose and never stops, or changes much. I detect some violets, some fruity notes, a bit of sweetness, and an impression of an amber note lurking in the background. However, the jammy rose accord remains the centrepiece, and everything else floats in or out. It is very linear and persistent. On my skin it exhibits good sillage, and good duration, too.

Despite admiring the composition it is hard for me to personally enjoy it. While I love roses, the jammy character combined with the fair degree of sweetness push Rose Flash too much towards an edible rose jam rather than a personal fragrance. This is the sole reason that prevents me from a thumbs up.

If you're looking for a jammy rose on the fresh side, this one would be a strong contender.

3/5 (neutral)
25th March, 2017

Back to Black by By Kilian

Back to Black is another one of those modern 'tobacco' fragrances inspired in one way or the other by Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille. The note of tobacco here smells very similar to that in the Tom Ford: spicy, hints of dried cherry, and more close to pipe tobacco than anything else. This is fused with a sweetness that comes from the honey. The initial burst is spicy with the tobacco dominating, but the sweetness emerges shortly thereafter. This accord doesn't change, and continues to persist till the dry-down. There's also a distinct lack of dynamics. The sweetness is very prominent but not overwhelming. Sillage on skin appears to be appreciable, and duration at least 5-6 hours.

While Back to Black is respectable, it comes across as too flat and one-dimensional. Even within that, the accord is neither ingenuous nor compelling. Santa Maria Novella's Acqua di Cuba offers a far more interesting, dynamic and satisfying composition among tobacco-honey concoctions, as does Pure Havane.

25th March, 2017

Tuberose Flash by Tauerville

Tuberose Flash is the first tuberose fragrance I do not like. It is very briefly citric, before revealing the tuberose component which is slightly buttery and fairly rich, but also fruity, a little jammy, and a little sweet. There's a strong peach-like note that develops parallel to the tuberose. This soon turns to a somewhat putrefying fruity-floral accord on my skin. This phase lasts considerably long before it calms down a little and there is a vague benzoin note that comes through. While this is a decent composition, the decaying fruity floral aspect is hard to overlook. Though I should disclose that I'm not big on fruity notes and perfumes.

I love Fracas, Tubereuse Criminelle, and Carnal Flower. Compared to those Tuberose Flash doesn't have any dark aspect, is not epic in scale, has been lightened up (but not weak or thin), and has had a chunk of fruit added to it. Sillage was decent, and good duration.

While this is clearly not for me, it might still be worthwhile to try if one is looking for a fruity tuberose.


22nd March, 2017

Straight to Heaven by By Kilian

Dull generic modern masculine watery patchouli fragrance with an added note of rum up top that is very hollow. Smells less like any rum, and more like rubbing alcohol with a hint of rum. There's another synthetic note I can't quite put my finger on, that reminds me of Aventus. I suspect it's the synthetic wood notes.

Also, this lasts hardly an hour, which is outrageous. So there you have it: ultra expensive, smells mediocre, and vanishes before you're ready to put on your shoes. Sounds awesome?

Straight to heaven, eh? More like straight to nothingness, and as pretentious as they come.

19th March, 2017

Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens

The opening of Borneo 1834 is most compelling. A wonderful semi-gourmand accord of patchouli and cocoa with sublime balance. The gourmand element aspect is perfectly abstract as it should be. This is followed by a camphoraceous phase that finally leads to the dusty, dry patchouli base that is cosy, and hints at the cocoa. There is no earthiness/dirt/head shop vibe, and hardly any tinge of green in the composition.

The problem with Borneo 1834 is that it dies down quickly, and is severely muted beyond the first hour, even though duration is acceptable. One star is deducted for this shortcoming. My experience is based on the old style 'Paris house logo' 50 ml export bottle. I'm not aware whether this drawback has been addressed in any later version.

13th March, 2017

Patchouli by Molinard

This is a middleweight patchouli fragrance. There is a citrus aroma initially (mostly orange), followed by a patchouli dominated fragrance with green elements. The patchouli note is clean, transparent, but a trifle hefty. There's nothing smoky or edgy or animalic in here. This patchouli accord endures till the end, where one finds some amber-y elements and a hint of sweetness. The sillage is moderate at first before being quite muted (especially considering the category), and duration is around six to seven hours - based on about 10 sprays from a sample (emptied out approx. close to 1 ml of it).

The best aspect of this one is good balance between the different elements, and how it distinguishes itself from patchouli EO because of the unmistakable note of citrus initially. Quite unisex IMO. It loses me after the first two hours as it becomes too sparse for my tastes, and the base is reasonably straightforward and disengaging. Worth trying, but far from the bee's knees - easy to wear and easy to forget. Relative to other popular patchouli fragrances, perhaps closest to Zegna's Javanese Patchouli (though still much different).

3/5 (neutral)

P.S. After a brief and brisk online investigation it appears that this particular fragrance I had a sample of happens to be the one that comes in the hideous purple bottle.
11th March, 2017