Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Colin Maillard

Total Reviews: 1254

Rose Poivrée by The Different Company

A peculiar green rose, much "poivrée" infact. The accord involving cumin and rose is quite interesting and well-developed, as you get a simple (almost raw), dry, sparkling and dynamic rose note. A bit balsamic too. As many other TDC scents, however, it should need a "power boost", as it's a bit too much pale and light to me.

05th April, 2014

Intense Cafe by Montale

Sweetish, artificial, musky, kind of nauseating opening, a bit similar to Mugler's Angel. I detect some whiskey notes, and no coffee at all, at any point. It evolves then in a more pleasant flower accord with a light gloomy and dry base, which recalls oud although I don't see it in the notes listed. After just a bit more than one hour, I get a debris of oud-like smell on dark vanilla. Globally I get the intense, I don't get the café, and it's another "no" for Montale to me.

04th April, 2014 (last edited: 14th June, 2014)

L'Enfant Terrible by Jovoy

Terrifically identical carbon-copy of Feminité du Bois (later version), perhaps a microscopic tad more woody and balsamic and less flowery, but perhaps that's just me try to find some differences. It would have been a good scent if it was the first, but sadly...

7/10 for the scent itself
2/10 for the fact it's a copy
04th April, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)
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Mitsouko Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

Splendid, invigorating, evocative, balsamic, flower, baroque.. a celestial symphony. One of the best fragrances ever made – easily in the top three at least. And speaking as a man, one of the fragrances I enjoy wearing the most. As far as I know, it's also one of the few scents that have not been "mutilated" with bad reformulations... the EDP is still pretty good.

04th April, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Shalimar Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

Rich, somptuous, baroque chypre masterpiece. There's pretty everything in it, a comprehensive symphony or perfumery basics. Splendid talcum-powdered drydown, gentle as a lady asleep. Not much to chat about this!

04th April, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens

I recall Turin's review about this fragrance, and being a fan of traditional coffee making, I must disagree with the "coffee roasting" note he smells here. I don't get it. I get coffee, but not that much and surely not "roasty". All I smell is a bold, kind of soothing and powdery scent of tanning cream, just less creamy and more flowery, but definitely a seaside madeleine (not in the "iodine" sense; more "lying on the beach"). The main structure here is fairly complex and interesting, as I get both a flower and aerial accord blended with a more dense, edible accord of liquorice, coffee, and vanilla. Beautiful, delicate, elegant sandy drydown.

04th April, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Monocle Scent One: Hinoki by Comme des Garçons

Bold balsamic and woody-incense accord, animated by a massive and invigorating presence of raw, quite realistic cedar wood. I smell a hint of fresh tobacco leaves as well at some point, even if they're not in the composition. Fairly similar to Sugi, a bit light and quickly-to-vanish, nice ash-y drydown.

04th April, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

parfums*PARFUMS Series 2 Red: Carnation by Comme des Garçons

A powerful and instant madeleine that threw me back in the huge gardening shops and greenhouses I used to spend my boring sundays in as a child with my parents (not much to do in the North-Italian countryside... and they used to like gardening). Absolutely simple, accurate, organic and natural scent, highly wearable, spicy and slightly peppery - a blasting flower heart let alone, free to express all its powerful, straightfoward concision. Highly wearable, totally unisex, as odd it may seem also much contemporary and distinctive.

26th March, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Patchouli Leaves by Montale

A decent patchouli featuring Montale's signature dull and unsubstantial plasticity: nuances ranging from rubbery, balsamic, dusty to salty and nutty, a woody base powdered with vanillin and that's it. You can hardly make a "soliflore" of patchouli smell bad, and in fact Patchouli Leaves it's not bad: if you like the note, patchouli smells always good, and here it is all about that – a full, dry patchouli. Nonetheless, "not smelling wrong" is obviously not enough to stand out from the crowd or however, does not turn into smelling good or great: and in fact, this is quite dull – decent, but dull. Not because of the fact it's basically a mono-note scent, but because of its quality – it's synthetic, pale, plain and mute like a school exercise. I would personally place this next to other low-quality patchouli's like Reminescence and that market segment, miles below the great ones like Etro and the very good ones like Patchouli Nobile. I'd define it unassuming and unpretentious, if it wasn't for the annoying and unjustified "niche look" (and pricing) of Montale.

10th March, 2014 (last edited: 23rd August, 2014)

Blu Mediterraneo Tuscan Cypress / Cipresso di Toscana by Acqua di Parma

Clean and gentle fresh cologne. A bit anonymous - and frankly also a bit "toilet freshener" - but you may take it as "understated". Totally un-worthy the price tag.

10th March, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)

Amber & Spices by Montale

And again that rotting corpse blasting opening. Which then evolves in a slightly medicinal accord. Globally a bit creepy but fascinating. At least that kept Montale away from oud for a while. An intense scent, not my cup of tea but fairly (fairly) well-made.

10th March, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)

Rose Oud by By Kilian

Not bad, sweet rose on a vague dry somber oud base. Quite light and not much persistent. Frankly forgettable.

10th March, 2014 (last edited: 12th April, 2014)

Sandalo e The by Bois 1920

Pleasant, light, really elegant and understated. A nice, delicate, sweet and bright accord of citrus and woods on a powdery base, which slowly gets drier and darker still keeping it light (I know it is apparently contradictory, but still...). If you want to keep the Florentine reference: a sunny spring afternoon in a Florentine garden. Fairly overpriced and really close to skin, though.

10th March, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)
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Vetiver Ambrato by Bois 1920

Really nice on paper, as it carries Bois 1920's signature freshness and elegance, with a gentle and powdery note of vetiver blending with the sweet richness of amber, but... all that vanishes on skin. This is just beyond subtle, more closer to pure absence. I barely smell the opening. Which is sad because on paper it smells heavenly, bright, coloured, delicate and natural. However if you like "close-to-skin" scents, this may work.


10th March, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Sel Marin by Heeley

Superb. I always hate (I really mean it: hate) "salty", "sea", "iodine" fragrances. Most of the times it's either a blast of calone, or you end up in smelling like a fisherman. This instead is just perfect, brilliant. Elegant, light, clear, transparent and linear as you can expect from Heeley. I like the fact it takes a boring and overrated accord (the salty/iodine note) and takes it, like... "indoor", like watching the sea from a window, so there is a diagonal accord of leather and "cold" green notes that somehow makes the scent less close to a predictable "natural" world, making it smell more like if you are sitting on a white, comfortable, cozy sofa, wearing a crisp clean shirt, just looking at the sea, windows open. An intriguing texture of "indoor" artificial soapy cleanliness with natural organic sea notes. Well done!

08th March, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens

Rich, invigorating, sweet peculiar balsamic/spicy/woody scent. Ambery, round and colourful. May get a bit boring after a while, but still it has a nice personality.

06th March, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Laine de Verre by Serge Lutens

I would not say this is horrible, it is just different. The name fits it perfectly, it's transparent, cold, much metallic. Some "minimal" non-perfume like Odeur 53 or other concept fragrances. I bet that if Comme des Garçons, A lab on fire, Nu_Be, Nasomatto or other "avantgarde" brands made this everyone would have gone mad.

04th March, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Cuir Ottoman by Parfum d'Empire

Another win from Parfum d'Empire. Here the name and the composition say it all, so there is not much need to "explain" this - you can expect an Oriental leather/tea scent (the leather is more on the suede side, super soft and hyperrealistic) with a stunning, uplifting opening of round, tasty, talcum-suede sweet base notes, gentle and velvety floral notes (iris), some of Parfum d'Empire's signature notes (notably an earthy oak moss/hay/anise-like accord) and a dusty, golden, warm amber base, which slowly, perfectly blends with leather fading into an evelasting bitter leather drydown. Now if you know vintage Bel Ami, Cuir Ottoman smells a bit like a contemporary, more "transparent", glossy version of it, referencing quite clearly its structure. Sadly, the main problem of Cuir Ottoman, as much as I would really love to love this, it that it is too light for me shortly after the opening, leaving me with a (really) subtle ambery-safraleine accord lasting for hours. Still the first phases are always breathtaking and worth the wear.

28th February, 2014 (last edited: 09th November, 2014)

L'Eau d'Ambre Extrême / Ambre Extrême by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Lovely amber scent. Boozy and floral, soothing and rich in talcum sweetness. But still it smells a bit toned down, still missing something to make it stand next to other amber milestones - L'Artisan's signature paleness, most probably.

28th February, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)

Mito Eau de Parfum by Vero Profumo

Beautiful green fresh floral scent. Not much else to say, it is a classic flower blast for floral scents' lovers. Otherwise, even if it is top-quality and perfectly made, it may sound boring, as it does not shout and has not a complex structure or a complex "narration" around it. Perfect on a man too. From one of the very few remaining real "artisans" in contemporary perfumery.


28th February, 2014 (last edited: 12th April, 2014)

Cedrat Boise by Mancera

Nice esperidé-woody warm scent with a hint of sweet, a bit similar to L'instant pour homme by Guerlain (just less sweet). Well executed but negligeable.

28th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Bull's Blood by Imaginary Authors

Nice and light "dark rose" scent. The opening is strong and beautiful, then it tones a tad down quite quickly, like when you switch on your stereo at a too-much-high volume and you suddendly lower it. It actually smells like blood from times to times (can not confirm if actual "bull's" blood as I never even saw a bull in the first place), but it is overally quite safe and "wearable". Also even if it does not contain oud, if you are into that kind of scents you may like this as well.


28th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Fougère Bengale by Parfum d'Empire

Fougère Bengale opens with a nice, rich, powerful, kind of dark and almost intoxicating blend of spicy-resinous notes, almost boozy initially, a tad sticky and cleverly mixing an Oriental feel of candied-spicy sumptuosity with a Mediterranean herbal inspiration – which is possibly the nicest trademark of Corticchiato’s style, I personally think he’s particularly good in “revisiting” the classic French opulence with a shady Mediterranean feel. At the very heart of Fougère Bengale lies a powerful, incredibly aromatic, thick and warm herbal-tobacco accord comprising nuances of hay, licorice, aniseed. A light floral breeze provides the right amount of liveliness and “fresh air”, together with a sweet and graceful tea note (perfectly melting with licorice) and a subtle yet detectable mint-balsamic feel. Fantastic drydown rich in tobacco and, again, sweet-balsamic nuances of licorice and aniseed, just more woodier, overall quite dark but still with a touch of floral grace. I feel the tribute to fougères too, although this is not a fougère at all and has quite nothing to do with traditional fougères – I only think it’s more a matter of small subtle echoes (tobacco, woods, lavender, herbs...). Evidently close to some Lutens works as well, like other scents by Parfum d’Empire, but somehow more austere, more green, and also more simple. Honestly I don’t think the materials are that great here (just a feel), but Fougère Bengale is overall surely pleasant, refined, rich and sophisticated with its peculiar sort of Mediterranean “gloominesss”. A bit linear, but you won’t get tired of smelling it.

25th February, 2014 (last edited: 27th December, 2014)

Ambre Russe by Parfum d'Empire

One of my favourite fragrances from one of my favourite houses. Peculiar, golden boozy-tea take on amber, perfectly "russian" in fact, as you can clearly smell the alcohol, the tobacco, the leather, the tea leaves (well of course I am referring to Russian traditional stereotypes). Corticchiato's signature base accord of hay and musks is here too - so it definitely "smells Parfum d'Empire" - in a totally good way. Superb composition, as it is rich and tasty but really simple and balanced. For me, in my amber chart, an "ex-aequo" winner with Ambre Sultan and Ambre Precieux - the golden triad of ambers. Beautiful, refined, long-lasting licorice and amber drydown. Definitely worth a try, or if you are an amber lover, even a blind buy!

25th February, 2014 (last edited: 18th October, 2014)

Wazamba by Parfum d'Empire

Balsamic, resinous opoponax with a sticky, pungent heart (fir balsam) and a powerful herbal/medicinal accord like in Lutens' Ambre Sultan, just sweeter and more resinous. Pungent camphor note of eugenol/cloves and spices on the base – mostly cinnamon. Kind of a metallic aldehydes feel, which increases the "medicinal" feel. Again on the border between Parfum d'Empire and Lutens, here the composition is just less multi-faceted, more simple, still baroque and exotic with a narcotic feel – just different, more round, shaped, tightly-textured. The evolution is slow and moderate: it loses a bit of the caramelised stickiness of the beginning (just a tiny bit...) and it gets more green/balsamic of dry pine cones, still with a sweet-earthy licorice base, but it still remains much "compact" and straightforward. Good projection and long persistence – again, as for a couple of other Parfum d'Empire (well, and other dozens of scents): "cloying alert", be sure you like this and are comfortable with the idea of smelling pretty much like this for hours. Overall this is perhaps my least favourite from this house, quality is top-notch and the composition is perfect – its is just not my cup of tea, bit too "sticky".

25th February, 2014 (last edited: 22nd April, 2014)

New-York by Nicolaï

Perfect composition, no need to write anything more. Can fit anyone, everywhere, still without being plain. Really elegant and classy. Totally '80s also - not a hairy powerhouse, more like a wealthy young WASP signature scent. Still cool.

25th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)

Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

A genius fragrance, and a fairly challenging one to my nose. I hated it at first, then I happened to quite like it, suddendly I got it and I completely love it. First fragrance in months I actually ran to buy at the shop instead of waiting ages to get a bargain (I'm a proletarian, can't really help it). It starts like a terrific realistic "campfire" scent, really clear and perfectly composed. Literally the smell of a piece of wood on fire with nothing "poetic" or aromatic: real wood burning in the backyard. But, as minutes pass, it slowly blossoms to open up a dark, warm, balsamic and aromatic heart, ending in a terrific, superb, elegant drydown which lasts for hours. Stunning quality, great composition. Fun enough, perfect for all climates: I just wore it in spring-y, hot Milan the other day, and I got a terrific, uplifting balsamic scent with no "smoky gloominess". A realy interesting evolution somehow close to a "ritual", like the evolution of incense - you need to burn woods before reaching the inner heart of the aroma. Brilliant.

25th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)

Métaboles by YS Uzac

I own a bottle of Geranium pour Monsieur by Malle and I am quite "used" to it, given the review I read about Metaboles and the composition, I was afraid it was much similar to it. But still I was thrilled. Well, it isn't *that* similar. This is more rich, full, soft, aromatic, almost wine-y from times to times. Malle's scent is much more martial and linear - grey on green; this is more grey on burgundy. The drydown also shows an unexpected, really light iodine touch that really completes the natural mood of this scent - which actually, yes, smells also more "natural" that GpM.
Of course the mint-geranium accord makes it really close to Malle's fragrance, so I'd not say it's totally "something else". But nonetheless this is an interesting different twist that takes it far enough from Malle, letting it stand alone with its own identity (to be honest I may come to like this more: it has a nicer progression).

19th February, 2014 (last edited: 19th April, 2014)

Gris Clair by Serge Lutens

It's nice, but it's lavender. I mean plain, clean, pleasant, a bit plastic linalool. You can get the same job done by any supermarket scent. If you are into lavender there's plenty of better scents - Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake for instance.

19th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

Beautiful, complex and quite unique scent. It changes and shows you different facets according to the strenght you inspire it with; you smell the somber smoke-leather accord, but if you smell more carefully and invigoratingly, here you notice a fresh floral/earthy flash (the geranium). Signature Tauerade base and a load of spices. One of the "deepest" scents I have ever tried, and I mean physically deep - a genius structure which runs on two axes, the horizontal progression *and* the vertical depth. Really brilliant, and still quite safe and wearable. Massive projection and persistency as many other Tauer's.

19th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)