Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Colin Maillard

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Total Reviews: 1254

L'Homme de Coeur by Divine

One of my first blind buys when I was "entering" the niche world, I bought this when Divine was a newcomer in the market. I never regretted that purchase – this and "L'homme sage" are still among my favourite masculines ever. A really peculiar and consistent take on iris, which does not smell like anything else, in a totally good way. The main accord is a grey, fresh, balsamic, blend of iris and juniper with bright sweet floral notes, however really "dense" and harmonic, on a light musky base. Spring-y and light, an aerial linear freshness – not creamy, neither powdery. A solid, dark but really subtle base of ambergris and musks (I honestly do not get any vetiver). Stunningly balanced and distinctive, really beautiful and worth the purchase. Persistence is a bit short, but you would not expect a monster longevity given the ingredients.

8,5/10
13th April, 2014

Osmanthus Interdite by Parfum d'Empire

Fresh, crisp, dense, white floral opening, evolving then in a round, fruity and uplifting tea-floral scent on Parfum d'Empire signature creamy-musky hay note. Beautiful evolution ending in a Daim Blond-like accord of delicate, floral fruity notes on suede leather. Osmanthus is often quickly referred as "tea" (as I just did above) while it has a much more powerful, deep, pungent fruity tone. Here it is not as bold as in other scents where it has a more prominent role (e.g. Osmanthus by The Different Company), but still you can easily feel its unique vibe – which is not only merely "tea" - perfectly and beautifully blended in a richer Oriental concoction, where all ingredients enhance and interact with the different facets of osmanthus, and it kind of disappears playing hide and seek: it is still there, but fragmented and multiplied like in a hall of mirrors. If you are familiar with Parfum d'Empire this is another peculiar, but still highly "recognizable" work in their own unique style – which I love. The projection is discreet and the persistence is light but long-lasting. I have heard that starting from Sept. 2014, besides the new packaging, they will also provide fragrances in a new more dense concentration - hopefully the more "delicate" ones like this or Equistrius will benefit from that.

8/10
13th April, 2014

Orange Star by Tauer

Tauer's Eau d'epices with a sprinkle of Fanta - not much else to say, if you are familiar with that (both Fanta and Ed'E). A bit messy.

5/10
13th April, 2014
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Patchouli Nobile by Nobile 1942

Splendid natural scent, with an uncompromisingly dark, earthy and raw opening based on a really balanced, clear, simple and powerful accord of high-quality patchouli and oak moss. Oak moss is used quite often in perfumery, but you rarely smell it "as it should" with a more prominent role, either because of quality or concentration (it is often replaced by evernyl, which smells more like a plain "idea" of oakmoss' drydown purified from its initial barn-like smell): here however it is just superb - the darker, feral, herbal, barn-like note enhancing the wilder side of patchouli. A powerful, archaic feel of wet hay, resins, dark aromatic woods - an abandoned stable, again. At the same time, despite the overall "gloominess" and meditative mood, it is highly wearable, discreet and elegant - the Italian heritage at its best: top quality natural materials, understated elegance, a touch of relax, and a touch of decadence.

7,5-8/10
12th April, 2014 (last edited: 01st February, 2015)

Ambre Précieux by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Somptuos, decadent, perfectly-executed sweet and warm amber fragrance. To me there's three scents on the market that compose the perfect "Amber Triad": Ambre Sultan, which enhances the animalic, medicinal, earthy and dry side of the amber accord; Ambre Russe, which plays with its baroque, boozy and libertine side; and Ambre Precieux, which just takes the classic signature warm coziness of amber and glorifies that majestic, silky powdery sweetness that other fragrances tend to hold back. Another timeless piece from MPeG - just like Santal Noble for sandalwood.

9/10
12th April, 2014 (last edited: 20th April, 2014)

Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain

A timeless sensual twist on the "eau de cologne" theme. A salty diagonal accord which goes from Guerlain's animalic richness (Jicky) to still safe citrus-lavender-vanille cologne territories, suddendly falling down a weird purgatorium of patchouli, warm resins, luring spices, narcotic jasmine and gorgeously deep oak moss notes. Finally re-emerging in a clean, safe, elegant and soothing eau de cologne - like nothing happened. The libertine, morbid, filthy, dandy lascivious brother of an eau de cologne. Superb!

9/10

12th April, 2014 (last edited: 20th April, 2014)

Orange Aoud by Montale

A drop of norlimban... ehm, "oud", into a Fanta bottle. Pleasant opening with a flowery, sweet and delicate orange blossom note, a bit spicy too, you feel this may turn decent, and here we are with the same boring norlimban...ehm, "oud" accord with its pathetic, horrible burnt-rubber drydown. Montale is starting to become the parody of himself.

4/10
12th April, 2014 (last edited: 19th April, 2014)

Lalique pour Homme Lion / Lalique pour Homme by Lalique

Pleasant, fresh, clean soapy opening, with an accord of iris, citrus and lavender, so basically a traditional eau de cologne theme on musky, soft aromatic woods notes. As minutes go by you smell more clearly the amber notes underneath. I barely get any patchouli (which however, when you eventually get it, is too dry and earthy for this) and the sandalore is a bit dull and weak. After a while you get a weird faux suede note, which is somehow between pleasant and cloying. Frankly it smells a bit messy to me, as if it aimed at being some sort of "contemporary" scent mixing different themes to please as many as possible – the eau de cologne, the iris, the suede scent... and overall if you do not care about details, it probably does accomplish its mission in fact, as it is a quite safe "office crowdpleaser" – "without praise or blame", as the saying goes.

5/10
12th April, 2014 (last edited: 19th April, 2014)

Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

A fresh summer basket of green herbs and sour, sparkling citruses. Also a hint of bittersweet, lightly-spiced and freshly-cut vegetables (carrot, tomato). It quickly softens and sweetens down on flower petals – with a very nice and well-designed evolution. Pleasant and nice (it's Ellena, after all!), but overall somehow... "academic", somehow lacking in soul and personality. Bit of a Nuit etoilée by Goutal also, without all that oniric, aerial, dreamy fairytale complexity. Close projection and short life (couple of hours on my skin). For summer's nights out.

7/10
12th April, 2014

Oyédo by Diptyque

Citral and linalool, basically your dishwasher's liquid. Bit of a fail for me.

5/10
12th April, 2014

Ofrésia by Diptyque

A honest, really simple but high-quality green take on fresia and peppery spices. Bright, refreshing and hearty like a walk in a flower shop. A well-made basic for all flower lovers.

7,5/10
12th April, 2014

Figues et Garçons by Nez à Nez

This fragrance should be supposed to be based on a fig-flowers accord on musks and light aromatic woods. The opening is bright and light, with green notes around a fig heart, diluted (and kind of disappearing) in an overal pleasant smell of clean wet clothes hanging outside in a sunny garden. Then it goes a bit more fruity while keeping it soapy and velvety. On skin I detect a more pungent pear-like opening. Now, if this may sound beautiful to you, add a massive dose of linalol or galaxolide or other synthetics that provide that pleasant – but clearly artificial and a bit cloying - "clean clothes"/"clean house" feel. That is how this *actually* smells – as others have already noted. Plenty of better fig scents around – Diptyque's Phylosikos is quite unbeatable to this.

5,5/10
12th April, 2014

Osmanthus by The Different Company

Delicate but still consistent, honest and clear take on osmanthus, quite linear and pleasant. Perfect for spring. It is also finally the first TDC fragrance I smell which *does* have a clear and defined smell and you can actually wear it for a while before it is vanished. Usually their scents are so light I can barely detect them. This is not exactly a "powerhouse" and does last shortly but it's decent. Bit of a synthetic feel but the osmanthus absolute itself weirdly has it at some points, so not a "con" here. I still prefer Osmanthus Interdite by Parfum d'Empire on this theme, which develops the osmanthus in a more complex and interesting way - here on the other side you can actually smell it a bit more simply and clearly.

7/10
11th April, 2014 (last edited: 12th April, 2014)
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Séville à l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Full, rich, round, cloying accord of waxy resinous vanilla in Duchaufour's opulent gourmand style. Which here is however not really played well for me, I find the composition more close to a nauseating mess wth a weird evolution – and personally I totally miss like half of the ingredients which are supposed to be here. I don't know where lies the problem exactly (a gallon of benzoin?) but I surely do not like this – but I guess that if you are into Duchaufour's style, than on the contrary you may like it.

5/10
11th April, 2014 (last edited: 12th April, 2014)

Fahrenheit 32 by Christian Dior

Metallic aldehydes opening with a vague echo of ambers and tropical fruits on vanilla, overal sweet and pleasant but also kind of cloying due to its pronounced synthetic feel. After a while you get a mentholated note, still on a soft vanilla base, and still with a disturbing "artificial" flavour. I get a tiny hint of rubbery vetiver on the very base, but it is quite subtle and a bit unpleasant - kind of a dry and "burnt-rubber" note similar to palisander synthetic oil. Although I do not agree with his rating, mr. Turin suggested on his guide a really nice and evocative description about this (something about a pale sky filmed with gradient filters that make it appear darker than it is).

6/10
10th April, 2014

Beyond Paradise for Men by Estée Lauder

Strong synthetic hedione-helional-calone opening, which is supposed to be a plastic and somehow disturbing artificial representation of some refreshing/tropical/acquatic accord of melon, white flowers and some herbs (it quite smells of basil to me). Basically some ozonic deodorant with a strong metallic/synthetic feel. It may have been a little "new sensation" back then, but I honestly find it terrible - better say, "wearable" as any supermarket deodorant. I also find it fairly similar to Odeur 53 - which instead is more delicate and pleasant, and above all, it "declares" being some avant-garde minimal synthetic experiment. Not saying it's better (it is, by the way) but at least there is no "beyond paradise"/"cheap travel agency poster" marketing bullsh*t there.

5/10
10th April, 2014

Fumerie Turque by Serge Lutens

As for many other Lutens', the name fits the scent quite good. A beautiful, dusty, balsamic and spicy opening of tobacco leaves, smooth leather and vanilla, honey notes, a rose heart which eventually becomes more dense and brighter, and as OdilonRedon perfectly suggests on Basenotes, a "caramelized amber" note on delicate, but still dry patchouli leaves. Polar opposites melt, balsamic heights and gloomy bitter earthy shadows just become one. A woody, smoky tiny old boutique stuffed with herbs and spices – a Lutensian cliché, well developed here as well. What I enjoy the most is the palpable, material dustiness, a hyeratic soul which is at the same time delicate and elegant, with a subtle but beautiful floral-fruity personality. A lot of facets and shades covered in smoke, like looking a mosaic-like coloured glass in an Oriental herbal/chemist laboratory. The smoke eventually vanishes and you get a soothing, calm, relaxing drydown of vanilla, honey, light suede leather and silky tobacco notes, still much dusty, velvety, slightly earthy. It is a really evocative scent, with a great balance of notes. But... all that is also a bit "pale" and light - it feels like they've missed the Volume button. If you do not pay utter attention, the first impression you may get is just of a "decent sweet-floral-dusty-silky-tobacco skin-scent": all the notes are there, you just have to make quite an effort to feel them. I bet an extrait of this would be a masterpiece. For the moment, this is just great, this close to magnificent.

9/10
08th April, 2014 (last edited: 25th August, 2014)

Vétiver Extraordinaire by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

The least extraordinary thing you may think of. Iso E, hediones and ionones, a synthetic inflatable costume in which Ropion dropped a microscopic drop of that "vetiver oil" they ridicolously claim having used "large amounts" of. And basically here's again that same nauseating plastic smell of wet paint of all these grotesque "new vetivers". If you like vetiver do yourself a favour and grab a Guerlain's. Outrageously priced.

P.S.: I am not sure about that, but chances are I smelled a recent reformulation.

4/10
08th April, 2014 (last edited: 14th June, 2014)

Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens

An Oriental fairy tale goddess in the shape of a miracle tree producing the most heavenly fruits, flowers and scents in the whole land. Another splendid aromatic gem by Lutens: cedar, sandalwood and ginger - you can easily smell them individually - coloured in a round, sweet, sparkling and passionate accord of flowers – the violet, the rose, the orange blossoms, together with a refreshing harmony of fruits. Still between the aromatic woods and the uplifting fruity-flower notes there's room for Lutens's signature round oriental resinous sweetness, you can really feel the honey drops and the benzoin, like a warm circle embracing a basket of woods, fruits and flowers. Lutens at his best, effortlessly holding together another splendid, kaleidoscopic, multidimensional Oriental arcadia. Shiseido vintage version is a bit more round, rich and dense than current Lutens' version – I don't smell much more else to be honest (not a fan of that "it's reformulated = it's cr*p" mantra), so if you are not a collector, the current version is good enough.

P.S.: yes, I know - apparently, 43% Iso E. But still...

8,5/10
08th April, 2014 (last edited: 14th June, 2014)

Caoba by Fueguia

A nice organic opening of natural, earthy, straightforward salty patchouli on sandy, soothing cocoa powder – which practically smells like an accord of patchouli and vanilla. Pungent green notes floating around. Ambroxan base, which feels a bit synthetic (let's be generous and stay poetic: “medicinal”, with a balsamic feel), then dries down becoming more bitter – still sweetened and rounded by the cocoa note. If I had to imagine this visually it would be an abandoned wooden antique closet buried at the feet of a cocoa tree, somewhere in the deep forest of one of those tiny wooded islands in the middle of the ocean. The projection is quite light and close - overall a bit "restrained" and pulled-back. Otherwise it's good.

7,5/10
08th April, 2014 (last edited: 21st April, 2014)

Voyage d'Hermès by Hermès

Pungent balsamic herbal opening quickly evolving in a softer cozy cashmere-like accord comprising rose and musks, refreshened by a coming-and-going lemon note. Basically a decent contemporary eau de cologne. It "smells good", it is a safe and pleasant crowdpleaser wearable by anyone – the perfect Christmas gift, a tad more distinctive comparing to other more generic and common fragrances. But still it is really not worth the cost for me, for both ingredients and composition, and because it is rather plain and a bit static – that type of mass-market fragrance designed to hit customers with a perfectly-formed scent guaranteed to last - identical to itself - for hours.

6/10
08th April, 2014 (last edited: 19th April, 2014)

Jicky Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

A perfect, timeless blend of herbal notes with a darker slightly animalic soul on a soothing, cozy powdery vanillin bed. Basically the ultimate cathedral of fougères. It's useless for me to list all the notes you smell as - like for many well-crafted scents that use good ingredients and a good composition - they are all there, you can smell them apart one by one. And still the result is a harmonic, perfect, superb, unique symphony. Neatly composed like a good handmade seven-folds tie, which stands perfectly plain and compact down your neck but you can easily feel all the folds just rubbing it between your fingers.

9/10
08th April, 2014

Cuir Velours by Naomi Goodsir

Halfway between Daim Blond and Cuir Ottoman, a delicate but bold floral suede accord, less fruity and rich than Daim Blond (globally less "oriental", I'd say), rather tending to a sharper, more Western and contemporary approach to suede scents like in Tuscan Leather – kind of a highstreet shoes shop feel, clean, soft and cozy. Persistent talcum-sweet drydown like in the abovementioned suede-based scents. It is good, even really good, but at the same time it's just that I don't feel anything in here that would make me add this to my collection – since it already includes Daim and Cuir and they both "give" me that, plus a lot more each.

6/10
06th April, 2014 (last edited: 20th January, 2015)

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

It does what it says, the main accord is a silky and sweet tobacco aroma (the "humid tobacco leaves out of the bag" type of tobacco note) blended with a round, rich, terribly good and still not that sweet vanilla note. Smooth and colourful base of spices and dried fruits, with hints of cumin and saffron. And something balsamic which provides a pleasant sort of fresh-anisic feel. Overall it recalls the safe coziness and the unisex elegance of those narrow flavoured cigarillos (that ironically, come always in vanilla flavour among others) which are usually bought either by ladies or young smokers who want to appear cool and "manly", but still can not yet physically stand the effort and show the self-consciousness to smoke a real cigar. And that's precisely how this scent works too: it is soft and elegant, in a really safe-for-everywhere way, but also restrained and somehow tamed down, with a somehow shallow personality, and all materials are bounded in a sort of soothing anonymity - clean and sharp as a posh shop. Now, despite it may seem so, this feature (I mean the fact it's a bit shallow) is actually not completely negative, as at the same time Tobacco Vanille smells undoubtedly classy and much good: it's sweet and Oriental, but dusty and smoky enough not to end up smelling nauseating. Think of something halfway some Lutens' spicy-candied scents, Boucheron Jaipur Homme and some more "manly" tobacco scents. A bit boring and uncreative, probably, but solid and versatile for sure - too costly for what it's worth, but nice.

7/10
06th April, 2014 (last edited: 13th December, 2014)

Ambre Premier by Jovoy

Sweet, fresh, clean and pleasant amber opening with a sprinkle of refreshing citruses – my first thought was: nice, kudos for the attempt of making a "spring-summer" amber. Vanillin-rose base with powdery cocoa accents - the sweet side of patchouli, enhanced by vanillin. Spicy echoes. Close projection. And... I don't know, something "wrong", some plain clean synthetic feel I don't get and I don't like. Smells like the dull and untalented sister of Ambre Precieux. It is safe and wearable at also fairly pleasant, but still it does not smell right to me. Really short persistency, I could barely write my review and it's gone already (got Ambre Fetiche on my other wrist and still there burning and flaming!). Overall a bit better than other Jovoy's, but still I am afraid another "meh..." to me for this house.

6/10
06th April, 2014 (last edited: 12th April, 2014)

Les Jeux sont Faits by Jovoy

Jovoy never "got" me much, meaning that I am usually not a fan of their scents - they're not bad, they're kind of good, kind of "meh!". However this is the best I have tried so far, so there's still a hope. Dark and bitter like a rum-stained wet ashtray, you can easily spot all the "bolder" notes (cumin, tobacco, labdanum, patchouli, the alcoholic accord), which are well balanced and work together like a well-oiled engine. The accord is exactly how you may imagine it. The dried fruits base is there as well, an echo of bittersweet dead fruits and petals, bit far but still clear. As minutes pass also the gin note emerges, while the overall blend becomes more and more balsamic opening up to a more uplifting ambiance. Fairly gloomy, organic and nocturnal. Still some "meh..." at some point, but that's me acting picky - it's quite a good fragrance.

7,5/10
06th April, 2014

Eau Neuve (original) by Lubin

Sparkling citrus floral scent, lively and spicy withouth being too heavy or tacky. Also quite peppery also even if there's not pepper. Nothing impressive, but witty!

6,5/10
06th April, 2014

Nuit Etoilée by Annick Goutal

One of my favourite Goutals ever. An impressionist, poetic, water-coloured fairytale around a green, pungent, fruity balsamic accord. A sprinkle of orange and freshly-cut lime on a herbal accord, an invigorating Alice potion that walks you to a dreamy suspended garden. Fairly close to Mandragore and Songes, carrying Goutal's signature delicate, gentle and almost oniric powdery sweetness – a personality which I love, and which is still totally unique. The drydown is subtle but persistent, elegant and manly, with a vague and really light echo of liquorice. The night is over. An underrated superb fragrance.

8,5-9/10
05th April, 2014 (last edited: 04th August, 2014)

Godolphin by Parfums de Marly

Parfums de Marly do Tuscan Leather. Next!

4/10
05th April, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Eaux Sanguines : Bello Rabelo by Les Liquides Imaginaires

A dark, rich, round, gloomy, dense and bloody voluptuous blend of dried fruits and wine notes, on a base of edible, tasty and smokey accord of cistus, immortelle and vanilla - which basically gives you liquorice. Foggy drydown with echoes of liquorice and must. Highty evocative and perfectly made, still I am not sure if I would wear this. Perfect evolution and everlasting persistence.

7,5/10
05th April, 2014