Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Suspended

Total Reviews: 24

Eau de Mandarine Ambrée by Hermès

I'm not sure why anyone would want to smell like orange jelly/jello. This is sweet and a little cloying, soapy and synthetic.

If you've ever eaten one of those sour tangerine Jelly Belly beans, then you've already experienced this fragrance.

I wouldn't say it was awful but it's not my idea of perfumery or even refreshing cologne. Think along the lines of a tacky car air freshener swinging from the rear view mirror of a taxi you wish you hadn't stepped into. Although this is fairly light in sillage and projection, I think it would be positively sickening in the heat.
10th June, 2017

Tindrer by Baruti

This opens with a cold blast of green, quite a floral green. It gives the sensation of pulling open a large freezer door, icy air hitting your nostrils as you reach for a verbena and violet ice lolly. I think it must be the buchu that gives it this cold, frosty, alpine characteristic; the cool bracing tickle of mint without being minty in odour.

There is also an unusual, slightly sweet, lactonic, grassy note that muzzles the violet and keeps the composition from becoming too blousy. It works well. Later, I detect a little sweet cumin but, like most Baruti’s, the whole composition is fairly linear. There aren’t any stages to speak of. I’m not even sure there’s a base. This doesn't stop it from being interesting, ethereal even; like vapours rising from the hood of your car on a scorching Summer's day, you can almost see this fragrance. It has an extra dimension that I'm not even sure how to describe.

Baruti’s output is unusual without being aloof. I can’t say I’ve ever encountered a bracing green floral like this before but the synthy pitch does remind me a little of Indigo’s floral notes.

Go easy on application as it’s pretty loud. I can still smell it on the back of my hand, albeit faintly, 14hrs later (one spray.)
22nd January, 2017

Encens Flamboyant by Annick Goutal

I purchased this for my wife and she isn't sure she likes it. She thinks it smells fumey, like petrol and rubber. I couldn't be happier that she finds it challenging, as now that I've reclaimed it I'm certain it's set to become a massive favourite of mine.

There is little I can add to the positive reviews of this fragrance. It is quite simply one of the best incense fragrances I have ever encountered. Smokey charcoal on a bed of mastic, sage and cardamom. It is sublime!

19th December, 2016
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Nobil Homo : Esperidi Water by The Merchant of Venice

Oh my word, this smells very much like a urinal cake; citrus/menthol/white flower disinfectant, used to mask other odours. Very, very chemical. Smells a little like that other chemical bug spray, Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver.

This makes me feel ill. Within minutes my head is sore.

Why would anyone want to smell like a public toilet?

09th December, 2016

L'Etrog Acqua by Arquiste

Smells very much like cake mix. A citrus/gourmand accord that you'd expect from making lemon drizzle cake. There's a warmth in the base that gives a gentle liquorice impression to the mix.

The citrus starts to fade and you get more of a medicinal lavender/myrtle ora with a flat orange/petitgrain soapy note hovering above. I find this aroma odd and it makes me feel a little queasy.

This just isn't very pleasant.
09th December, 2016

L'Humaniste by Frapin

Starts off with a familiar fresh gin accord that morphs in to a stale white pepper (I get white, not black, as listed in the notes.) The lemon and the peony are at odds with each other and the white pepper just adds a sort of back of the kitchen cupboard odour, old dusty spice rack aura. There’s nothing note worthy about L'Humaniste; It’s pale, placid and possibly, at most, pleasant.

Longevity was poor for an EDP, even tragic. After a little time, you just end up smelling like a used bathroom wipe (but far less scented) with a touch of Johnson’s baby powder.

I had been quite looking forward to trying this one but ultimately my enthusiasm was in vain. To me, this is dreck.
08th November, 2016

Embers by Rouge Bunny Rouge

A very nice incense. Took me straight back to church. I know that sounds like a cliché but so many incense fragrances have other notes that overpower or take the accord in other fantastic directions.

This IS Sunday mass, but unlike Sunday mass, it’ not the least bit boring.

Definitely worthy of attention if you’re an incense lover.
05th November, 2016 (last edited: 10th November, 2016)

Boszporusz by Nishane

This was awful on my skin. One of the worst things I've smelled in ages.

A salty, metallic floral with a prominent 'wet dog' note. There's a strong iron note too, giving the impression of blood.

A true scrubber.


04th November, 2016

Signature Wild by Art de Parfum

The cardamom, orange blossom, amber and sandalwood combo is one we've seen many times before, most successfully in Le Male, which this smells very, very similar too. The only thing that marks them apart is a slightly medicinal/fruity accord which does nothing to better the composition. In fact, quite the opposite.

Sadly, this style of scent is now bog standard, especially for men's deodorants and liquid hand soaps.

Not really worth the time, money or attention.
04th November, 2016

Lentisque / Spanish Bush by Phaedon

Lentisque has a somewhat similar opening to Cendres de Thé; boozy, peppery and citric. Chemical, in a hairspray way. Once the fumes die down you’re left with a fragrance that resembles cedar cardboard but with a slight skin-baked-under-a-sun-bed aroma. Perhaps this is the part that is supposed to take us to the Mediterranean (instead of a dumpy sunbed shop.)

I wouldn’t call this fragrance green, resinous or bracing, which are three things I’d expect from a mastic (lentisque) based scent and, for an EdP, performance is abysmal. After a few hours the scent is nothing more than a faint, limp, sweet, rubbery vetiver.

Maybe my expectations were too high as I love mastic, cedar and vetiver but this fragrance is dull. I just don’t see the point.

Gimmegreen mentions Eau du Campagne which I adore! Go there if you want green.
02nd November, 2016

Cendres de Thé by Phaedon

Cheryl summed this fragrance up pretty perfectly for me.

Opens dry (black Tea), peppery, dusty, a little boozy, sharp and citric. The booziness is gone in seconds, then the woods and cardamom make themselves known. The pepperiness is light but very upfront like it’s resting on a sea of iso E. It makes my nostrils sting a little.

From the moment you spray this there are intervals when the scent seems hard to detect. Perhaps it is a reaction to that chemical pepperiness but it seems a little hard to pin down. Within five minutes you are left with a pleasant smelling peppery, musky, rose soap with a hint of chai, so sheer it is almost invisible. The cardamom lurks underneath smelling a bit dirty.

Ultimately, I find this pleasant but pointless. The longevity and projection are worse than Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling. I expected much more from a fragrance listing camphor and myrrh in it’s notes. A rejig could be fantastic. The potential is evident but unrealised.
02nd November, 2016

Indigo by Baruti

As this opens, I get a strong feeling of nostalgia and realise it takes me back to my youth having just purchased a big bag of floral gums, burying my nose in the bag and vacuuming in their wonderful synthetic, flowery aroma.

This opens big, fresh, floral, verging on air freshener (which is usually an instant no from me but there is something so clean and compelling here that I can’t help but enjoy it.) The hyacinth is beautiful and has none of the dirty notes you sometimes experience. I get a bit of an Ambre Solaire vibe too (the clear bottle with the oily brown liquid and bright orange lid from the 70/80’s.)

I get no mastic, frankincense or woods, which is a shame as these are notes I love. On my skin, it’s a hyper floral that finishes with a soft creamy note (possibly from the sandalwood.)

Performance is great, which you’d expect from an Extrait de Parfum. I sprayed this once and 30secs later my wife shouted from the floor above me “have you just sprayed something?” It’s powerful stuff!

Definitely not a fragrance I'd wear often as it's dizzyingly floral, but I enjoyed the ride and might want to experience it again in the future.
02nd November, 2016

Berlin im Winter by Baruti

Berlin Im Winter has a very heady opening of sweet coffee, lavender and berries. It all blends together to give the initial impression of a very strong liquorice with a candy sweetness that puts me inside a big bag of Liquorice Allsorts. It’s a heavy scent, packed full of calories, thick, resinous and molasses-like. To my nose, quite gourmand.

Of the three people I let sniff this, no-one liked it and one asserted “it smells like you’ve just opened a bag of liquorice allsorts”, so I wasn’t alone in my impression. Even still, I can’t say I dislike this fragrance, it’s just that it prominently contains a few things I don’t really enjoy; sweetness and coffee I’m not crazy about in fragrance (in a cup, absolutely!)

Longevity is good, as is sillage. I didn’t get much in the way of development; on my skin it stayed the same until it faded away many hours later.

I’m giving it a thumbs up for originality (I know of no other perfume I could compare it to) and although it’s not to my taste, it’s certainly not a bad fragrance.
02nd November, 2016
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Étui Noir by Miller Harris

An Étui is a small ornamental case for holding needles, cosmetics, and other articles. So we have a fragrance named after a small, black, precious box. Is it worthy of such a vessel? Quite possibly.

Étui Noir opens with a strong bergamot backed by a slightly waxy, pithy tangerine. There is a vague Angel vibe, all be it more linear, uncluttered and cleaner; in typical Miller Harris style. The Angel vibe passes quickly.

Next to show is the vetiver (Indonesian?) which has a woody/hay/tobacco like quality and blends harmoniously with the mildly soapy iris. The smoke gently wafts in as the incense makes itself known with a touch of pepper; this plays nicely against the iris. Then we get the leather, soft and seude like and a wonderful base for the incense and vetiver. By this stage it gives the impression of fresh tobacco and earl grey (the bergamot is surprisingly vibrant and long lasting.) I also detect red fruit with the tobacco, it's very familiar, quite possibly cherry (think YSL M7, CK Shock for him and Mugler A*Men Pure Havane.)

By the time the base notes have fully formed, this could be perceived as a more adult, classic, abstract version of A*Men Pure Havane. It has the right ingredients minus all the hyper-girly-powdery-cupcake-sweetness and the added bonus of understated elegance; the antithesis of Mugler.

I’m really enjoying it. It’s quite beautiful and the quantity of oils was very evident in the thick shine it left on the back of my hand. Miller Harris always seems a little late to the party. If they created these compositions before the competition, they might be seen as more ground breaking. That said, I like the obvious lift that’s given when quality ingredients are used and the superfluity of chemical heaviness is stripped away.

Late to the party, or not, this is a winner.
02nd November, 2016

Lumière Dorée by Miller Harris

Lumière Dorée (Golden Light) opens extremely citrus, bright and soapy; like a shrill version of Eau d’Hadrien. It does little else for it’s duration. For an EDP, it behaves more like a cologne.

The floral orange and petigrain combo treads a familiar path for Miller Harris and brings to mind elements of Citron Citron and Le Petit Grain. Like most of the orange blossom fragrances I've encountered it’s sharp, bitter, floral, soapy and slightly rubbery (I detect vetiver.) It’s definitely for Orange Blossom lovers but I’m not sure it brings anything new to the table. Actually, I'm certain it doesn't.

There’s a nice amber in the base but it’s so hard to pull from the soapiness that it feels abandoned, which is a shame as what the composition sorely needs is some depth.

This is a miss for me. I’m not a fan of it’s screeching sparsity. There are too many better Orange Blossom perfumes on the market already.
02nd November, 2016

Vetiver Insolent by Miller Harris

This is a classic winter vetiver and I love it.

Vetiver Insolent opens with a very strong whisky note which fades down to woodsy, smokey, fireside contentment. Like Guerlain's, the vetiver is a little rubbery but it blends beautifully with the pepper, whispering florals and light incense. It should be noted that the pepper is quite prominent, which normally I'm not a fan of, but it's so well balanced with the other notes that it gives the overall composition an immediate coruscating quality.

This scent will take you to a small Scottish village in the autumn, when log and peat fires fill the air, and you're off to the local for a fine malt.

The only downside is longevity. I get about 2-3 hours. I'm not too saddened by this prospect as I'm happy to reapply and start the journey all over.
15th October, 2016

Encre Noire pour Elle by Lalique

Not unpleasant, but certainly nothing new. Think along the lines of Grès' Cabotine, which it shares more than a few notes with, but doesn't better (in fact, quite the opposite.) It's the sort of smell you've come to expect from hairspray and even has the same shrill alcoholic opening.

I can't help but feel this was a real wasted opportunity. Had they tried to create something, at least, as equally interesting as the Pour Homme, they could have had another winner. As it stands, this is a lame horse that should be put out of it's misery.
20th August, 2016

La Fumée Intense by Miller Harris

This is glorious!

Stays true to the original but with added depth and magic. I find a lot of the Miller Harris line pleasant, a little linear and fleeting but this smells more like a proper perfume, with projection and longevity.

I love La Fumée, but I love this more. The way the cardamom, coriander seed and chamomile come together is just stunning. Each is so clearly definable and yet they meld together in this smoky, spicy, fizzing, radiant concoction. I have no idea how they managed to give this fragrance such an effervescent energy, but boy does it work!

For me, the original is evocative of burning hymn books and cigars. It has a slightly austere quality, almost medicinal in it's opening, like a spiritual cleansing. This is completely missing from the Intense version. The smokey incense notes have been toned down a little and the opening is instantly warm and inviting. Top and heart notes stick about for a long time and the spice is still detectable in the final stages, where the usual ambery, vanillic comfort zone kicks in.

This is worthy of the price tag and is quite possibly Miller Harris' greatest achievement. For me, it's certainly the best of the La Fumée flankers (though I've yet to try Alexandrie.)

I have found a new love.
18th May, 2016

La Fumée Arabie by Miller Harris

As a lover of La Fumee, I was very keen to try these flankers.

Arabie is pretty solid. It tones down the burning church aspect of the original and adds some extra spice. The opening is very reminiscent of Fueille de Tabac and I suspect this is nothing more than a slight fusion of the two (not a bad thing as they are my two most used Miller Harris scents.) It's a lovely scent but I find it doesn't stick about long. The base notes seem even weaker than the original.

Having tried four of the flankers, I'm left with the overall sensation that they're just a tad redundant. They don't really differ enough from the original to surprise and delight and I'm not sure they merit their hefty price tag. In fact, they don't, and this is only underscored by the fact that the original La Fumee has been put in the same gold topped/labelled bottle and a whopping £60 extra added to its price tag. Silly!

It's definitely different enough from the original to merit trying but if you own La Fumee and Feuille de Tabac already, it's probably not worthy of a purchase (unless you find it discounted.) If you don't own Le Fumee, go for the Intense version as it's the best of the flankers. The composition is a better, more rounded, sparkling, fizzing version of the original and lasts a hell of a lot longer on the skin.
18th May, 2016

Floriental by Comme des Garçons

Given Comme des Garcons generally androgynous output, I have no idea why this composition has been categorised as feminine.

Oddly, I find this fragrance fairly dull but slightly intriguing. In the air, this is a light, fizzy, gingery plum stuck in a lump of Playdoh that somehow manages to give the illusion of a cold, soapy, mentholated rose. When I sniff closely I get hints of Gucci Envy drowned in peppery exhaust fumes and burnt rubber. This is when my head starts to explode and my sinuses feel like they're going to kill themselves. There's no joy to be had up close.

If Sharpie made scented markers the red one would smell like this and I would use it to draw a picture of a big tub of Swarfega, as this is what the dry down gives you.

I feel Comme des Garcons are now hitting pointless fanboy cash-in territory.
13th April, 2016

Monsieur Balmain (new) by Pierre Balmain

This is an amazingly zesty fizzing verbena bomb!

If you like your citrus sharp and tart, this is for you. I found it had fairly good longevity for a citrus scent, at such an inexpensive price, you can afford to reapply every couple of hours anyway.

Tiny let-down...the packaging is fairly cheap looking, especially compared to the vintage. No biggie!

* Idiotically I missed the massive ginger note in this. It wasn't until I was grating some that my brain switched on and I thought "Monsieur Balmain!" The ginger in this is as big as the verbena. Wonderful!
29th October, 2012 (last edited: 03rd November, 2012)

Fico d'India by Ortigia

This scent is made using a giant cactus with bright orange flowers, indigenous to Sicily, and opens with the strong smell of freshly cut stems that have been frozen in ice; green, cold, cedary and ever so slightly citric with a hint of flora. Interestingly, and equally, I get a dry, minutely sweet, smokey tobacco note alongside the greenery that creates a wonderfully unusual partnership.

The dry down softens the top notes and introduces a whispering creamy vanilla to warm things up a little, and maybe, just maybe, a tiny hint of banana leaf.

It may just be my chemistry but after an hour or two I'd say this fragrance becomes gourmand. The cool greenery has all but gone and you're left with something that smells like a good quality vanilla ice-cream with a hint of coconut. There's still a hint of powdery flora, too, never soapy. I'm not a fan of vanilla or gourmands in general, but I really like what this becomes.

To me, this is a scent that was made with summer in mind and is perfectly unisex. Depending on the weather, I find the green elements can stick around a lot longer. The coconut accord comes and goes, sometimes it never appears, other times I get a huge burst of suncream. What ever Fico decides to disclose, never disappoints.

All in all, an unusual scent that gets a lot of compliments. I love it!
20th September, 2012 (last edited: 28th October, 2016)

Black Jade by Lubin

Ignoring the Marie Antoinette back story that everyone seemed so up in arms about and concentrating just on the quality of the fragrance, I love this! Upon smelling, I was immediately taken back to the now discontinued Libertine by Vivienne Westwood, also a green chypre, but make no mistake, this is far more refined. Beautifully blended, it has none of Libertine's somewhat shrill opening. It is smooth from start to finish. I consider this to be Libertine in its 40's, gone is the rebellion of youth, the middle finger is delicately clasped, the lady has emerged elegant, noble, smelling great and far cleverer at hiding her disdain for convention.

Having read many reviews focusing on the back story and stating that it isn't possible that a fragrance like this would exist in Marie-Antoinette's time, I find it odd that Libertine was supposed to be an olfactory expression of the socialite 'Libertines' of the 17th century and the two ended up smelling so similar. Anyway, I digress.

Worthy of its price tag. Find it, try it, buy it!
20th September, 2012 (last edited: 05th October, 2012)

Ambra Nera by Ortigia

Compared to the other Ortigia fragrances, the moment you spray this you know it has a complexity that is slightly lacking in the other Eau de Toilettes/Colognes/Parfums in the range. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy most of them, but this is so much darker than the others. This is winter by an open fire with warm whiskey.

It opens with a head swirling mixture of pipe smoke, black pepper, aniseed, cardamom and spicy bourbon, and is almost too much for the nose to take in.

After 15mins an amazing balmy, almost balsamic accord takes over. Everything harmoniously softens, the smoke clears and the amber resins and woods appear with just enough vanilla to warm up the spice notes which remain. By this point, I can't stop sniffing myself and get an overwhelming sense of comfort from it.

A perfect amber that lasts (I applied mine 10hrs ago and it's still there.)

*On a side-note, every once in a while, depending on the weather, this can start off a little unpleasant on me. It opens smelling bitter, 70's and very manly. This passes after 5/10mins but is always an unwelcome surprise given that it normally opens so enjoyably. Might be best to try this one before buying.
20th September, 2012