Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Colin Maillard

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Total Reviews: 1254

L'Intrigante by D'Orsay

Graceful and lively opening of rose and a powdery, aromatic and bright floral note which I am given to know it's camelia, green notes, opoponax/resins, vanillin, citrus (a nice orange note, so more sweet and mellow, with neroli and orange blossoms). The base is a sweet-fruity musky accord similar to galaxolide, so quite a round, warm, almost slightly creamy embrace, with a pleasant fresh green note, a fruity touch and a realistic mellow suede note. Aldehydes also, perhaps. This is like one of those super cheap, still decently-crafted bijoux: it's not gold, neither silver, but still it sparkles and shines and it will do its job for a night's out. A silky, elegant, graceful, bit of a bath-soapy poudrée scent. Safe, with enough persistence and a good projection. Simple and decent!

6/10
26th April, 2014

Kiki Voile d'Extrait by Vero Profumo

In Italy we have a saying which in English may translate into "bite off more than one can chew". It quite fits this scent, which is interesting for its concept, but just too dissonant and developed in a way I personally do not enjoy. Basically the idea is to create an evolution which goes from a vanilla/opoponax, citrus, geranium and something juicy and almost sticky I don't get entirely (the passion fruit, I guess) to a more dry, earthy and shady "feminine fougère" drydown. All materials are great and natural – Vero Kern is one of the best when it comes to this. The fact is that it's all just "wrong" at several points from the very beginning. The very first opening accord is already a "no" for me, as I find the juxtaposition of sweet notes (vanillin, opoponax, white flowers) with citrus, pungent spices and ginger a bit messy and confusing. This quickly evolves in fact into a discomforting gingerbread smell I like even less. Furthermore, also the passion fruit note (which has quite a prominent position) is... weird, sticky, warm – somehow warm like an almost-rotting fruit. Besides, there is also a linalool "floor cleaner/insecticide" note which smells quite out of place, just wandering around like a cat bugging you while you're fixing something. After a while it all gets slightly more rubbery, still with a mentholated feel (geranium) and a bold accord or dusty, caramelised notes with patchouli and woods – which basically, from times of times, delivers an unpleasant soup smell. If my review may appear a bit messy, it's partially due to my lack of writing skills, but trust me: also the scent is messy too. Finally the very last drydown is nice, and in fact it has a fougère feel: it just is not worthy the hour of olfactory cacophonies it costed you. Still giving a barely positive rating since the materials themselves smell great, and I get the "good creative intentions" behind this. Besides I also admit I've often issues in appreciating this kind of "non-common" scents, so perhaps this is a great scent and I'm just unable to "get" it.

6/10
26th April, 2014

Vétiver by Annick Goutal

Raw, earthy, harsh, green, pungent opening, really powerful and savage, with salty notes (not caloney: I mean really salty) and almost rusty, a bundle of vetiver roots under the rain. Humid and woody. Aromatic base of cedar or other similar woods, and a really subtle hint of a dusty, cozy aromatic tobacco/incense note which will eventually "come in shape" better later on. The prominent, breathtaking note is however vetiver – in a way you just don't find anymore these days. A herbaceous, majestic, rooty, earthy vetiver, with a pungent and strong heart, a lot of natural facets, almost a "veg" counterpart to animalic notes. Moreover the "wet bundle" of vetiver dries and you eventually feel a spicy-cloves-linalool accord emerging, which changes a bit the scenario introducing a camphor-medicinal feel – still much woody and earthy. The drydown shows a deep basenote which is almost like leather although I believe it's only a really dry tobacco note. A great peculiar vetiver, erratic, unpredictable and moody like an unstable cloudy day at the seaside – sometimes gloomy, somethimes soothing.

8/10
26th April, 2014
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Les Notes Gourmandes : Héliotrope / Do Ré by Réminiscence

Bold sweet-bozy opening which smells exactly like the boozier adult version of the cough syrup I used to take when I was the child. Fava tonka, almond, vanilla – kind of "Amaretto di Saronno" feel, which in turn is basically Baiser du dragon by Cartier. All wrapped in cheap candy shower soap. Dull choco-patchouli drydown. Next!

4/10
26th April, 2014

Vetiver Oriental by Serge Lutens

Green, earthy, gentle opening of vetiver and (light) oak moss, with a delicate floral side (iris) and a vibrant accord of vanillin, ginger, cinnamon. A pleasant sprinkle of citrus, sweet and graceful like neroli or bergamot – nothing pungent or too fresh. Soft, mellow aromatic woods dusted with cocoa beans, not as bold as in Borneo, more a sweet/powdery touch. A slight rubbery feel, I guess it's the dryness of guaiac and vetiver. Some metallic feel but perhaps it's due to vetiver as well, since sometimes it has it a bit (please appreciate the efforts I make for not naming any aromachem). A nice and peculiar scent, quite elegant, more delicate and "toned down" than most of other classic Lutens' scents but still with his signature oriental multifaceted personality. As minutes pass the iris/musks/woody accord emerges and defines better, quite soft and almost creamy on a dry, pungent, dusty and quite dark base. Solid, shady but also safely "unoffensive" and simple, almost a bit dull – even if pleasant, nice and elegant. The drydown is nice as well, dusty, cozy, lively. If you like this "concept", to me is developed far better in Parfum d'Empire's Equistrius – however here you feel more "distance" between the lightness of iris and the base, while in Equistrius it is all more blended together (and well, there's lots more). Close projection but persistence is good. It does not even compare to the best scents by Lutens, but neither to the worst ones – it's nice, not worth the full price, but grab it if you find a bargain.

6,5-7/10
26th April, 2014

Coquelicot by Il Profumo

A gallon of aromachemicals among which, probably, at least calone, melonal and galaxolide, thrown in this with the same grace a cleaner man would use when throwing away the bucket of dirty water after having cleaned an entire floor. Basically a fruity shampoo, just less creamy and sweet, and more transparent, with a bitter green/herbaceous feel and a refreshing vibe. Also a salty/metallic vibe due to some other aromachemicals I don't spot exactly. After a while you get a round and mellow ambery base still with a green leafy note and a light patchouli note. Close to skin. Dull!

4/10
26th April, 2014

Eau de Gloire by Parfum d'Empire

Eau de Gloire is a flawless, vibrant harmony of anise, liquorice, patchouli and suede, with juicy bergamot and citrus notes, a lively floral/herbal country breeze, some spicy juniper-like touch which revives and "dynamises" the blend. All shaped in Parfum d'Empire's warm, cozy, mossy/musky signature "roundness". After a while the immortelle note blossoms and you can feel it better, rich and vibrant. Then again another smooth transition towards a green, cozy, and again really pleasant drydown - a bit suede and leathery, a bit earthy, a bit balsamic and herbal with a genius refreshing tea note, and the dusty sweetness of anise and liquorice. A brilliant scent for sure: all is bright, clear, smooth, with a careful and talented composition. Just a tad plain and (negatively) synthetic here and there, but still great to wear. Basically a Mediterranean eau de cologne with an oriental, baroque touch, an earthy shady feel and a really elegant, discreet, fresh but dense fougère heart. Worth a try for sure.

7,5-8/10
25th April, 2014 (last edited: 09th November, 2014)

Chamarré by Mona di Orio

Intriguing. Violet-iris opening, lavender and vetiver notes (it's not listed, but Mona di Orio once said she loved vetiver so much she put it in every scent she made... and in fact, I can feel it's there), opoponax-vanillin notes. Simple, yet great. Powdery and sweet, but not in a sticky neither a gourmand meaning – rather silky, talcum, powdery, thanks to aldehydes (which give a dry, metallic, aerial shape) and cashmeran (again, not listed, but it's there, a palpable, silky, mellow, acceptably synthetic woody feel at the very base). A white-rose opaline scent, the smell of a neoclassic statue, luminous and decadent, and so nicely powdery – almost chalky. The rose is there, although much restrained, just a drop of colour. After a while it gets slightly breezy and balsamic, a lively breathe of air on this beautiful dusty white statue. Quite unique in its own way, poetic and deep, and much delicate... actually maybe too much, hence my relatively low rating: it took me quite a hard time to get "into" this scent. Close to skin and really light, but decently persistent.

7,5/10
25th April, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Phileas by Nina Ricci

Juniper, aldehydes, balsamic notes, pine needles, pungent dry green notes, a peculiar salty and almost metallic base, leather, geranium. Spicy old crackling leather, squeaky gears, antique herbs with a woody/rusty feel. The mossy/balsamic note is beautiful, fresh, not sticky neither resinous at all – rather vibrant, windy, dry. The base is unique as well, a sort of soapy feel but not in the usual "somptous iris chypre" meaning – more of a domestic, dry soap, for instance the Marseille soap or other cleaners. Then it emerges a gorgeous leather note with liquorice, patchouli and roasted coffe notes – again all really dry, earthy and straightforward. Earthy and herbal in a totally unique way, with a salty/rusty feel which is just perfect – and also, the perfect olfactory depiction of the cultural reference for this (a fictional Victorian explorer: herbs, leather, rust, it's all there). Not even that complex, just unique and one of a kind. Absolutely worth the purchase – which I am given to understand may be challenging: I keep my bottle safe - and really elegant.

8,5-9/10
25th April, 2014

Moschino pour Homme by Moschino

A majestic, monolithic marvel of iris and leather with a stunning depth and range of facets, from animalic to herbal. Incredible quality – both of materials and composition. The opening is just breathtaking: powerful, fresh and juicy, dry and animalic, with a dark, dense vetiver heart, floral notes, a waxy, decadent iris side which evolves in the best way I've ever smelled. Bergamot, lavender and balsamic notes – its classic "eau de cologne" side – beautifully blend with a balsamic/mossy breeze and a dry, rich, dusty, materic leather note, really vibrant and multifaceted. By far one of the most pleasant leathers I've ever tried... and we're talking about real, crisp leather, so forget nowadays' overpriced safraleine-based crap leathers which smell like burnt tires (Cuir Garamante and the like, anyone?). A sort of mediterranean, shady, hyeratic fougère with two major, incredible-quality main characters – leather and iris. The drydown lets the duo emerge even better, all the side/head notes gently vanish until you get this endless, perfect accord, which lasts for hours, with a gentle hint of talcum. Also, after a while the drydown gets unexpectedly slightly similar to Heeley's Cuir Pleine Fleur – just a bit more vast, dry, dense, less floral and transparent. Astonishing quality. Also really contemporary and wearable, I know sometimes the terms "1990s" and "fougère" may let you think of "old" stuff... this instead has a linear and vibrant personality which looks perfectly "fit" and modern.

10/10
25th April, 2014

Private Label by Jovoy

Finally a good – even great – Jovoy. All the scents I have tried from this house until now were just "ok", all with a "good" quality and a shy personality. This instead takes a step forward and just makes its statement - with a lot to say. The opening is unique and much interesting and captivating: fruity and sweet, but also boozy and dark, pungent, balsamic, sticky and oily like warm thick asphalt. It made me suddendly think of the cover of the album "Crazy Love" by Mj Cole, where you see this champagne bottle with thick sticky dark asphalt pouring out of it. Quite the same initial feeling here. A sort of archaic, alchemic syrup, with a black, beautiful, liquid and almost rancid note that floats in the very deep of it. Vetiver and patcholi are there, liquified and rounded, rubbery, sticky, sensual, balsamic, moreover you get them more dry and earthy. It all slowly dries down becoming more smoky and leathery with a more bold waxy/rubbery vetiver note – always much dark and morbid without being cloying, meditative, really thick and beautiful. The drydown is surprisingly more "open" and aerial, silky and dusty, with a vanillin note and the balsamic accord which gets almost mentholated and refreshing. Close to some Liquides Imaginaires at some point. Really unique, but also safe to wear. Great persistence and projection.

8/10
24th April, 2014 (last edited: 25th April, 2014)

Noir Gabardine by LM Parfums

Jesus this is gross. It starts like a 90's sporty "eau de cologne" mixed with a Daim Blond like suede accord. Vaguely salty and a bit synthetic. Then it suddendly pops out a spooky leather-vanillic accord which is just... wrong, halfway between gingerbread and burnt soup. Try to imagine a dry, dark, burnt-rubber leather (safraleine) note mixed with a milky rancid vanillin note. Then this sickening accord fades away again and you're back on the sporty cologne side. Totally disturbing – not in a cool way.

3/10
24th April, 2014 (last edited: 25th April, 2014)

Opus III by Amouage

Powerful opening, a violet that smells like iris, a mimosa as powerful as a tuberose, other (nice) flowers I don't get clearly. A classic, honest, well-executed floral chypre with a mimosa heart, an earthy and aromatic base of cedar and dry woods (that, weirdly, vanish quickly), softened by a gentle and pleasant vanillin-tonka note with a resinous touch. Green and balsamic feel coming and going. As I said, a classic, initially kaleidoscopic and opulent composition which just "switches volume off" too soon. In fact, its promising, musky, baroque, decadent, soapy, shady and bold chypre-poudrée personality evolves really quickly – or better say, tones down, losing much of its vitality, and what you get sooner than you expected is an elegant, pleasant but fairly dull and sleepy floral-talcum poudrée blend still with a persistent (evolving into "annoying") tonka note. And at this point you're probably already regretting the crazy price you paid for this. Decent.

6/10
24th April, 2014 (last edited: 25th April, 2014)
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Rubj Voile d'Extrait by Vero Profumo

Superb scent. A splendid, beautiful and dense opening, a bucket of tuberose and jasmine, some juicy fresh bittersweet citrus slices and leaves, a soft, rich, mellow, dusty, slightly aromatic and cozy base of vanilla and musky notes. Bold, aerial, lively, opulent, vibrant flowers blowing in a balsamic breeze – the pulsating heart of this amazing scent. All is so simple yet so rich, unique and cozy you can not come back to smell this and hope it will never end. This is like one of those late-spring "perfect evenings" that could last forever. After a while it emerges more clearly a mossy/balsamic side with a slight aldehydes feel. The quality and the craft are so stunning that this scent literally blossoms up and captivates you in a heavenly, impredictable, wavy cloud of nuances and faces. Again: perfect. The persistence could be slightly better, but apart from that, just beyond irresistible.

9/10
24th April, 2014

Salvador Dali pour Homme by Salvador Dali

A haunting, claustrophobic genius fragrance which smells like nothing else. And makes nowadays' "gloomy" and dark animalic scents smell like candies. Not to stick to clichés due to the signature on the box, but the first minutes are actually a great surrealist olfactory journey in a weird, ghastly, bizarre world made of rancid fruits, carcasses, thick petrol, narcotic herbs, black rubbery sticky smoke. You really feel yourself stuck in a locked closet submerged by any kind of curiosités. And above all, or below all, a really elegant, timeless, subtle but bold fougère accord with a prominent smoke/black woods accord, which is just lying there, far and silent – an old man looking at you crawling in this gloomy, cadaveric circus of notes. Maybe Dalì himself, that is fun to see this that way. An amazingly evocative and morbid scent in which I can barely detect a couple of the notes which are supposed to be there – pure alchemic transformation into a unique, straightforward, undiscernible liquid. It takes a bit of time to love this potion, but when you start doing it, it's just one of the most unique and captivating fragrances ever made. And most important, back on Earth... a bit challenging but not as much it may seem (just a tad too rubbery after a while - better in cold days I guess).

8,5/10
24th April, 2014

Alamut by Lorenzo Villoresi

Powerful classic chypre, deep, spicy and animalic, soapy and baroque, wich rich floral notes – tuberose, rose, narcissus: an overhelming, sensual, majestic triade. Halfway between the classic Chanel's like Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie, and the more contemporary Amouage's or other opulent Oriental florals, just less thick and dense, more simple, with a more essential and mediterranean twist. Earthy, mossy and moderately dark base of patchouli and vanilla, with soft musks and a dusty sweet feel. Everything sounds loud and clear, all materials smell high quality and the composition is just perfect to make each of them work at its best – both alone and in the blend. More restrained and discreet than it may seem from the composition: the opening is powerful, but it soon calms down. It becomes a mellow, soapy, floral, dark and elegant leather chypre, with spicy notes. Really well-balanced, refined, pleasant and versatile.

8/10
24th April, 2014

Mon Parfum Chéri, par Camille by Annick Goutal

I am a big fan of Annick Goutal although I have not tried or used many scents from this house, but this was just unexpected – still a gorgeous scent, perhaps the best among her range, but completely different from what I was used to until today. Except "Vetiver", which was so dry, sour and earthy I could barely wear it in winter, most of Goutal's scent were the most impressionist, oniric, delicate and fairytale side of my collection... until today. I would have never imagined Goutal could come out with such a thick, dense, dark, earthy scent. Strong, narcotic floral opening – tuberose? Narcissus? - iris, vanilla, some ambery warm, leather, tobacco, vetiver, cloves... guess what? None of that is actually there. Just iris, patchouli and a couple of notes. I never smelled such a complex and multifaceted scent which turns out to be composed of literally three or four components. No magic here (perhaps) – just an impressive quality, so high it brings the materials to life. The patchouli is leafy, earthy, vibrant, if you take it alone it's on its turn full of shades – dry, leathery, animalic, dusty, mossy, tobacco-ish. The iris is just gorgeous: an "old aunt lipstick" touch, shady, spicy, powdery, and the most natural, rich and dense I've ever tried. Overall it's an earth chypre, dusty and gloomy, with a prominent, monolithic iris note, dark and vibrant as a forest at night, so natural you feel it living and breathing. The drydow is calmer, still a marvellous iris in a sort of restrained, dry, dark, decadent earthy chypre accord with a palpable bitter dry base really close to leather, although there isn't. The name sounds quite a joke – nothing "petit" for no "chérie" here. Superb!

P.S. my review is based on the EDP. The EDT version keeps the same structure, but with an (unexplicably?) much bolder, drier and masculine personality, the iris is more prominent and powerful, and you basically get no other fruity/floral notes.

9/10
23rd April, 2014 (last edited: 10th May, 2014)

Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi

Explosive opening, a bomb of spices, flavours and herbs, mainly cloves, pepper, cinnamon and cumin. Still not in a traditional Oriental meaning – this is more in a dry, organic sense, like opening a bag of spices walking in a vegetable garden. There is a base of green aromatic herbs which actually makes me feel like wandering my dad's garden – oregano and fennels, he has them both (actually this scents reminds me of my father for some more intimate reasons I still can not get). As a counterpart, a pungent, bitter lemon/lime note, which to be honest does not much "fit" in there (pungent on pungent, kind of cloying). As minutes pass you feel a warmer, softer base emerging, mostly comprising a sweet balsamic-resinous accord and amber. The most prominent smell for the whole cycle will however remain the accord of cloves (eugenol), lemon, cinnamon and pepper. You also feel a mentholated/balsamic vibe emerging, which gradually makes the whole scent more and more closer to a medicinal/herbal feel, which is how it ends – I mean that the drydown is in fact undoubtably medicinal, as in Diptyque's Eau Lente or Esprit du Tigre by Heeley. Cloves, balsamic notes, a debris of pepper, dry vetiver and dry resins again. Which in turn gradually developes a kind of gingerbread note. Overall is a peculiar, powerful, challenging scent, with a really complex texture and and elusive personality; all is vibrant, naturally "alive" and dynamic, but still it is also a bit messy for me. There is some accords just layering on others and that creates weird, cloying and noisy superimpositions. Surely unique and interesting to smell, but really challenging to wear – if you manage to do it, it can probably turn into either a disaster or a total win. Strong projection and persistence.

7/10
23rd April, 2014 (last edited: 25th April, 2014)

Barry Lyndon by Maria Candida Gentile

Spectacular opening, romantic and lively like an impressionist painting. Top-quality lavender and vetiver, great soft artemisia notes, on a warm and cozy but still delicate and subtle amber-vanillic base. Really bright and crisp. Fresh citrus-peppery notes with just a feel of mentholated earthy liquorice, blended with a spicy-camphor accord, both subtle and aerial. Then a great, vibrant, dense leather note emerges - quite a unique leather note, really "alive" and soft, peculiar and seldom. Sadly it does not last much long. On the drydown, it is in fact so delicate it's almost absent. The drydown tends more on the balsamic and dried-flowers side, with something close to Mitsouko, and again a persistent camphor note (which to be honest gets a bit boring after a while). Then after a while, a twist again, the leather note comes over again with a vanillic aroma. Great persistence. A tiny couple of "no" in an otherwise gorgeous scent!

8/10
23rd April, 2014

Aziyadé by Parfum d'Empire

Fruity, exotic, edible opening of sweet orange hardcandy, with a round, resinous caramel base. Sweet, but very balanced and dry – no "liquid", cloying milky sweetness. The main note is a juicy, dense, spicy fruity-floral note, like in Lutens' Arabie but less opulent, more balanced, still rich but not "that" rich and syrupy. Gradually a beautiful woody/balsamic accord with fir balsam and tobacco notes comes up, you also feel the spicy note and a patchouli vibe. All works with flawless harmony like a well-executed opera concert, all components are alive, dynamic, bright and vibrant. The tobacco note is subtle and silky, dusty and powdery like pipe tobacco, really elegant and discreet, keeping the scent earthy together with patchouli. The fruity-floral accord never fades out completely, so the composition is constantly freshened with this uplifting springy feel, keeping it lively and juicy without becoming syrupy or sticky (which is good). Must admit I personally like this, although I am not a fan of this type of spicy-resinous-candied notes, but the composition here is just brilliant; the only "cons" are the fact that the drydown is quite subtle, light and a bit generic on the synthetic side (but pleasant, and persistent), and that of course you have to "really like" the resinous-fruity-balsamic accord, otherwise it can become boring and cloying quite quickly.

7/10
22nd April, 2014 (last edited: 09th November, 2014)

Blu Mediterraneo Bergamotto di Calabria by Acqua di Parma

Pleasant, powerful opening, not much deep neither rich (we're in quite a chemical realm here, forget the "Bergamot of Calabria" – more "Autan insecticide" - maybe purchased in Calabria, that's fine). Classic summer cologne base of delicate flowers, ginger, aromatic woods. After a while you get the vetiver note better. Mellow soft musky feel. Must say it is barely pleasant, and plus, it "tones down" in a matter of minutes, becoming a subtle, close-to-skin floral/talcum scent with fresh notes and a slight aromatic vetiver feel. Basically a decent, super safe and quite elegant "eau de cologne" like plenty of others. Strictly for "parvenus". Short persistence.

6/10
22nd April, 2014

Eau des Merveilles by Hermès

Citrus, vanilla, violet, sandal wood, a lavender accord, some metallic aldehydes feel, nice fruity notes (a hint of freshly-cut pimiento) and quite a recognisable load of Iso E Super plus hedione. Which smell great – I'm a big fan. A bit later you get more clearly the amber-vetiver base. I don't get the balsamic aroma which should be there, actually the more minutes pass the more I get only the aromachems and the other notes vanish – what you get then for hours is a salty, pleasant, synthetic "good feeling", like a cozy, clean, opalescent airport lounge where *someone* with a good scent and just a hint of sweat has just left leaving you there alone (hedione and Iso E - if you know Odeur 53, that's it, and I quite like that kind of subtle, weird salty/woody/milky accord). Unisex, slightly floral, slightly salty-skin, pleasant and with a hell of persistence. More "eau" than "merveille", but still nice - more "avantgarde" than it may look like.

7/10
21st April, 2014

Mitzah by Christian Dior

Honey (a ton, but not too sweet, more on the earthy side), spices, patchouli – a nice, bold, really spicy, vaguely resinous but at the same time, dusty and dry opening. Kind of "roasted caramel" vibe. Also with a strong herbal/medicinal balsamic feel. I get an amber accord even if it's not listed. Then it slowly evolves into an incense accord with a rose heart and honey, with just a touch of vibrant green notes (bitter like an olive from times to times). Must admit I quite like the "blend" overall, all is well made, well developed, with good materials which smell just as they should. Not exactly anything "distinctive", but sometimes fragrances are good just being "good" even if they don't have much of a personality (like this one). The spicy drydown reminds me of Eau Noire. Perhaps the best among the exclusive line.

7,5-8/10
21st April, 2014

Magnolia Nobile by Acqua di Parma

A simple and bright accord of citrus, white flowers and aromatic woods, with a talcum/soapy feel and a sweet musky base (I don't want to sound repetitive and use that "sweet soft musky shampoo base" aromachemical name again...). It gets slightly mentholated after a while. Pale and suave like a Victorian girl. The floral notes are there, but they are developed in a way I do not enjoy much - somehow plain, restrained and innocuous. It's like watching a photoshooting on a travels' magazine: still good, but you crave for "the real feel". Clean and pleasant, but to me, a bit dull.

6/10
21st April, 2014

1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums

Bold, rich, dense accord of dusty leathers and vibrant, carnal immortelle, with a silky vanilla and aromatic woods base and an earthy patchouli heart, initially with also a boozy "hit". Really compact and quite complex, perhaps "rounded" and packed so tightly with some artificial escamotage that make it sound a bit "too rich" and at the same a bit plastic (like fake buildings in movie sets – and by the way, a signature trait of Histoires de Parfums to me). As minutes pass it kind of comes close to a simpler, more straightforward and more shouty version of Fumerie Turque, with an interesting kind of rancid fruits/flowers twist. Overall a nice gloomy and smoky leather scent with a pungent decadent boozy-floral personality. Monster persistence and bold projection, which can be a pro or a con depending on how much you like this – it is nice at first, but has not much of an evolution, so get ready to smell that same concoction for hours ("cloying alert").

7/10
21st April, 2014

Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

Aldehydes, vanilla, rose, jasmin, ylang, something fresh and green, opoponax, lemons, soft musks. If even I could detect these barely smelling the opening for some minutes, it means this scent is really simple and balanced, and all components are there under your nose – which is something I always enjoy, no matter the quality of such components (to this extent). A pleasant "reading" for a clear, simple, delicate fragrance. A refreshing apple flavour (probably a side effect of aldehydes and flowers) and a sweet, fruity, cozy soft galaxolide base which smells of mellow musks. A chemical galore, of course: perfectly shaped and "rounded" around the composition which smells exactly the same for hours, with a great projection. But you know what? It does not compare to Coco, but it's not bad at all.

7/10
20th April, 2014 (last edited: 21st April, 2014)

A Scent by Issey Miyake

Fresh, greengrass, somehow ozonic pungent opening (they say verbena, I'd say citral and calone), some white floral notes with light and slightly milky musks, a hint of sparkling ginger, some bittersweet fruity accents – almost pimiento-like. Light vetiver base. After a while it pops out a weird camphor-rubbery feel. Overall a cold, static, metallic, linear, artificial scent – sadly, not in an "avant-garde" meaning (forget CdG, Escentric or nu_be or other brands like these), rather a scent which wants to look pleasantly green and safe with just a hint of a – safe, again - "minimal look". Where "minimal" then turns into "anonym". Trendy and uninspired.

5/10
20th April, 2014

Onda Parfum Extrait by Vero Profumo

Brown, woody, humid antique-furniture vibes. Peculiar, gloomy and masculine, with a really dry, pungent and earthy feel. Pretty much no counterparts or dissonances - no room for refreshing or sweetening notes, or other classic accords and escamotages. You can smell great, high-quality vetiver and ambergris, with a persistent spicy-sparkling ginger-nutmeg accord. All is quite simple and straightforward, in a minimal and linear style and a great consonance of notes. Honestly I do not feel anything challenging here - or, better say: surely challenging to wear, as for many contemporary fragrances that tend to push forward the boundaries of perfumery - so quite on the thin line between a more abstract "smell" and a traditionally-structured perfume... but still, itself, it is surprisingly linear and simple. Beautiful and bright drydown comprising a (dried) orris note, a hint of patchouli, and slight debris of dried fruits and flowers. A bit cloying honestly, and also, a bit boring after a while – but that is my inner taste speaking: personally not my cup of tea, but a great execution with great quality materials.

8/10
19th April, 2014 (last edited: 22nd April, 2014)

Eau Mohéli by Diptyque

Fresh, green, floral-fruity opening, with bold peppery notes and a sweet, resinous but still discreet base – light, silky benzoin. The ginger-ylang accord is sparkling and pungent, and that is pretty much the main thing you get – you will like it at first, but as soon as you realise that is what you are going to get for hours... it gets a bit boring. After a while you also get some slight, weird camphor/metallic feel at the very base, I guess some "rounding" fixative unexpectedly popping out. Nice, organic notes of earthty patchouli & vetiver – good vetiver. Mellow musks. Overall this fragrance is green and fresh, but with an interesting sort of narcotic, soothing and meditative feel – even if there is no notes usually associated with this (e.g., incense or "heavy" flowers like narcissus or tuberose). Slight sharp red-bitter fruity notes. Fairly evocative and pleasant, but as I said above... a bit boring after a while. Quite powerful; I could smell this under my sweater. Long-lasting persistence.

7/10
19th April, 2014

Youth Dew by Estée Lauder

The lady from Shangai. A feminine powerhouse, resinous, spicy, with pungent clove notes, luscious intoxicating flower accords of rose and narcissus. Dark, sensual base of patchouli, amber, vetiver. Deeply balsamic, even with a hint of menthol if you inspire it with strength. Slightly cloying camphor feel – the aldehydes. Exotic, shady, dense, animalic, even slightly indolic at first. Even its appearance is just great – brown, sticky, dense like a narcotic liquor. After a while it naturally sweetens and lightens a bit, and you get the same scent just brighter with a more aromatic/poudrée/vanillin feel. Not for everyone – and perhaps, even if still gorgeous, just a bit outdated.

8/10
19th April, 2014