Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Colin Maillard

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Total Reviews: 1254

Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Uhm... no for me. I get the musk (plus a sweet woody tonka accord) and sadly I get the "ravageur" completely. Frankly a bit too flashy and tacky. Gets better (i.e., calmer and more wearable) in the drydown.

6/10
19th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

L'Eau de Néroli by Diptyque

I am not a fan of "hesperidés" fragrances, and I am much picky with this class of scents - this is to say "perhaps this is not that bad as I depict it". I don't like them mostly because they all smell really close one to each other to me. This is not an exception. It's, well, citrus and orange and "freshness". Not bad and quite natural, I just don't see the specific reasons why someone should choose this one and not other ones (even by Diptyque as well).

6,5/10



19th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme by Guerlain

Pointless for me to review this in detail, that's basically why I never did it before (not that anyone should care). Just go to the nearest perfume shop and experience what is, hands down, one of the greatest masterpieces of contemporary masculine perfumery. What makes this a masterpiece instead of just a really good scent? Everything. It's like listening to Rachmaninov played by your local high school orchestra, then by the Berlin Philarmonic, everything contributes to create a unique, memorable experience - the quality of the instruments, the acoustic of the hall, and obviously the players and the director. L'Instant has them all: it's luminous, classy, versatile, distinctive, delightful to smell on yourself. One of those scents you don't need to be "in the mood for" wearing, 'cause it will smell amazing and work great every time. Total quality from any point of view. This, vintage M7, Dior Homme and Rush for Men basically compose the highest almighty Olympus of post-2000 scents. A perfect blind buy and blind gift to anyone.

10/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th May, 2015)
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Memoir Man by Amouage

One of the nicest frankincense openings on the market: bright, rich, deep, resinous, masterfully blended with bitter green leaves, citrus, something pungent and candied-fruity (like elemi), vetiver, sandalwood, and something on the base which reminds me of castoreum, although it may simply be the “side effect” of vanillin plus woods, leather and citrus notes. Genius touch of dark rose coming and going. A sophisticated hybrid halfway contemporary woody-incense scents like Gucci pour Homme I and resinous-brighter ones like Maria Candida Gentile Exultat, with discreet echoes of classic “barbershop” masculine colognes – mostly because of a soft, and kind of “dark” touch of earthy lavender. Utter pleasure: Memoir Man is a balsamic, refined and cozy gem, stylish and crowdpleasing without smelling dull, shallow or generic, at the same time showing a really peculiar a nondescript sort of “enigmatic” charm. Creative but totally safe, appealing and versatile. Perfect leathery-balsamic greenish drydown with a prominent vetiver-tobacco accord, mellow and again, totally classy, on darker balmy-mossy notes - keeping that abovementioned barbershop-fougère inspiration. Raw but civilized, shady and fascinating, and totally well made and solid... still unworthy the crazy price tag, but really nice.

7,5-8/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 04th February, 2015)

Black by Comme des Garçons

Black opens with a black pepper explosion on dark woods, a licorice note synthetic yet earthy and powerful, perhaps vetiver, a hint of sheer leather and a heavy dose of Iso E Super, really concentrated and dense, to recreate CdG's signature "urban incense" feel. A good scent indeed, not challenging and quite versatile, but with a bold personality – artificial, but in a creative way, as CdG (sometimes) managed to do so well. Black and martial, woody and smoky, gloomy and sophisticated but "safe" and trendy enough to gain a broad appeal. The futuristic black brother of Fumerie Turque (or... the son of Bois d'ascèse, with more nuances – and far more pepper, which is quite the main character for hours.). Well done, and honestly priced too.

7,5-8/10

Update: just for the record, this grew incredibly on me to the point I finally bought it (I don't buy new scents so often). It has the same genius, versatile uniqueness of masterpieces like Yohji Homme - it smells so simple, so synthetic, yet so unique and addictive. I'd rate it 9/10 now!
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 26th September, 2014)

TL pour Lui by Ted Lapidus

A synthetic office scent which oddly reminds me of some traits of Nemo by Cacharel, of which it smells like a more masculine and "ordinary" version (and incomparably less complex and fascinating). Citrus, bergamot, neroli, patchouli, a woody base with cedar and sandalwood, then perhaps tonka or vanilla, white musks, lavender and amber. A contemporary, young sweet cologne, without any dry/earthy trait – more on the soft, clean and mellow side. Quite close to Le Male at many stages. Not bad, surely not great either – but I guess it's good for the price.

6/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 28th June, 2014)

Daim Blond by Serge Lutens

Perfumes do have a really powerful and strong "madeleine" function. I smelled this 7 or 8 years ago for the first time, loved it, wrote the name down to buy it one day. Never bought it and never smelled it again for years. Now I received a sample today, sprayed it on my wrist, and I felt instantly thrown in the perfume shop I used to visit to try scents back then. I even recall the shape, the feeling, the logo of the mouillette I took home with me. A great, cozy, elegant scent I love so bad: fruity, soft, musky, powdery and flowery leather at its best. Short projection and light sillage (as most of Lutens scents on my skin).

9/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 30th April, 2014)

1899 Ernest Hemingway by Histoires de Parfums

Rich and sophisticated spicy scent. Unusually soft, mellow, warm and sweet (perhaps a little too sweet for my tastes - kind of a cloying musky feel I do not really like) while maintaining a spicy, crisp, fresh and sparkling personality. Still... something's missing, or instead something's too much. Don't know - something's wrong, not "that" wrong but still a bit out of place.

7/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)

Jubilation XXV by Amouage

A jubilation indeed! Rich, balsamic, fruity, floral, masculine, dense, spicy... bittersweet tasty berries, foggy mist, honey, resins. Boozy vanilla drydown. A real circus of notes and accords, perfectly-balanced in a light-and-shadey, crisp and elegant scent, more consistent than one may think judging from the complex composition. Somptuous and sensual Oriental decadence at its best. Moderate projection and great persistency.

8/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)

Philosykos Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Genius fragrance. A hyperrealistic, natural, genuine take on fig leaves, extraordinarily simple and clear. Among the nicest green/natural scents I have ever tried - and specifically, best fig take I've ever tried so far.

8/10

13th February, 2014 (last edited: 12th April, 2014)

Santal Noble by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

"The" santal scent par excellence for me. And one of the best masculines (although much unisex) ever made. Unmistakable, uncompromising, quintessential perfection. Cozy and elegant, soft and deep. The only "weakness" you may find is that, as Turin correctly suggests in his guide, Mysore sandalwood has quite a more complex and multi-faceted smell, which you don't smell here (although it is not true that it is "unobtainable"). But you know what... who cares? None said this should have been an essay on Mysore sandalwood. This is a beautiful and timeless take on sandalwood theme and it's gorgeous just as it is.

9/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 10th April, 2014)

Nightscape by Ulrich Lang

Fruity and floral start, a darker patchouli heart with a drip of sweet amber and honey, a really dry, somber smoke drydown. The trait d'union from beginning to end is a subtle silky floral note - brighter first, then sweeter, then darker. Basically an olfactive depiction of a day from dawn till sunset. Overall clean and contemporary, with that "safe-for-office" attitude - nothing raw here. Nicely balanced, nicely composed, nice evolution.

7/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

L'Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque

Clean, floral, fresh, rich and soft aromatic citrus. Splendid natural scent. Overhelming crisp edible freshness - don't wear it if you are thirsty!

8/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)
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Lyric Man by Amouage

One of the best rose-based unisex scents I have ever tried. What I like here the most is the fact that rose is perfectly blended in a joyful, savoury, dynamic, kaleidoscopic symphony of citrus notes, spices, subtle sweet notes, and resinous woods, which perfectly interact with "Her Majesty"... like placing her in a hall of mirrors, each one with its shape and colour, reflecting and emphasizing her multiple faces. A superb fragrance perfectly suitable for men and women, woody and foggy enough for him, sweet, cozy and bright enough for her.

8/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Bois de Violette by Serge Lutens

Celestial, classy, aerial. Powdery and bright, with a delicate and elegant structure of violet petals on woods. Overall, I get an unexplicable sense of "blue" colour here - try it wearing blue garments and you'll get what I mean! Quite close on skin but really persistent.

8/10
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Ambre 114 by Histoires de Parfums

Soapy, bright, balsamic amber. More resinous, sweet and soothing comparing to other amber fragrances, less rich and exotic. Not among the best ones, but still pretty good. Beautiful dark drydown, despite being quite much subtle.

7/10.
13th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Sugi by Comme des Garçons

Frosty, green & black geometric scent. Extremely aromatic and linear, balsamic at some point, really elegant and definitely, in a word, "contemporary" in its visual, architectural meaning (I keep recalling those concrete post-modern houses in the middle of natural nowhere - which is exactly how this smells to me). Incredibly simple yet much evocative. A microscopic hint of insecticide at some point, which however is acceptable given the "chemical", industrial feeling of this scent. And, highly "wearable" and safe - surely not "daring". Superb fragrance!

8/10
31st January, 2014 (last edited: 06th May, 2014)

Blue Encens by Comme des Garçons

A citrusy-cardamom accord at first, a fresh - almost cold - start, progressively warmed up by incense and amber. A bit aquatic at first, then warmer and spicy. Dry and smoky drydown, still with a hint of balsamic ozonic freshness. Globally it smells to me as a more interesting, variable, colourful take on classic eau de cologne theme.

7,5/10
31st January, 2014 (last edited: 16th April, 2014)

L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Strong anisic start to my nose, which quickly evolves into a soft, sweet, clean and soapy jasmin-honey-musk accord. Frankly, more "Eau de Printemps" to me! Powdery, delicate but persistent drydown.

6,5/10
31st January, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Blue Santal by Comme des Garçons

Soft, mellow, cozy balsamic scent. Fresh and dry at some point, but still floating on a warm - soapy, sweet woods warm - base. Frankly a bit negligeable for my tastes, but I admit it's balanced and well-made. As I am testing it with Odeur 53 on my other wrist, I agree there is a connection between the two - as Alfarom user suggests below.

7/10
31st January, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Odeur 53 by Comme des Garçons

Synthetic, minimal, linear, "white", basically the theoretical absence of a perfume. But still, one of the most evocative scents I have ever tried. The first minutes made me feel like sitting in a 24h/24 automatic laundry, a delicate, synthetic, freezing and floral white blend of steel and soap. Then it progressively "humanizes" as it penetrates skin, fading into an ozonic, invigorating, really (really!) light and almost unperceivable but incredibly persistent iodine note of clean skin drying after a bath in Mediterranean sea (apologies for the cliché). I would not wear it - and in fact I don't - but it's still interesting to smell from times to times.

8/10
31st January, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Blue Cedrat by Comme des Garçons

A splash into a savoury, sour, Mediterranean freshly-cut pimiento. Bitter and sweet. I know this is not in the composition but still, I clearly detected this at the very first smell. Definitely a peculiar... "red", tasty, rich citrus accord, different from the usual "yellow-green" sporty accord most citrus/lemon scents tend to stick. Natural grandeur with a hint of gourmand (but I admit it's lunchtime, maybe my impression is partially due to that). Perfect and somehow unexpected - but still, really natural and consistent - woody and cozy drydown, which weirdly reminds me a bit of that super-cheap ("cheap" in terms of price, not quality) cologne by Canali, "Canali Style".

7,5/10
31st January, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)

Comme des Garçons 2 Man by Comme des Garçons

Finally I must agree with the “similarity” considerations about this fragrance. In fact, I am impressed of how easily Comme des Garçons can stand next to Gucci pour Homme I, to the point it may work amazingly well as a replacement for it. It does not smell like a ripoff or an inferior version of it; just like a similar fragrance, maybe a bit fresher and “younger”, maybe slightly (really slightly!) cheaper, but definitely playing similar chords, still with its own defined personality and creativity. A win-win, basically: good enough to replace it, unique enough to stand next to it – and obviously, nice enough anyway if you don’t care about Gucci pour Homme I.

2 Man opens with a really catchy fresh accord of transparent incense-infused woods, a fascinating, weightless touch of “gassy” aldehydes providing a grey whiff of metallic-industrial feel, and a sort of herbal-citrus top accord which smells zesty and fresh, but also with a sort of dark bitter core, which reminds me a bit of the smell of olive tree leaves, perfectly paired with a minty-balsamic note. Leather isn’t really there at first for me, but it soon pops out – an unremarkable synthetic note as in any cheap leather fragrance, but it works here to provide a generic dark shade of dryness on the very base. A bunch of spices enhance the tart nose-tinglingness of the blend. There’s something warm and sweet too, which I thought may be amber but I don’t see it listed - however I do get some really subtle resinous-boozy warmth contrasting with the general (and bolder) breezy-cold atmosphere of this fragrance.

The evolution is sadly not that interesting though, as most of the notes quickly vanish or tone down, and 2 Man soon turns into a really conventional, almost disappointingly flat vetiver scent with a hint of synthetic herbal leather (weird enough, a hint of powdery violet pops out, and 2 Man comes unexpectedly closer and closer to Jil Sander Man by Wasser & Menardo). Still nice though, I just wished some of the initial “magic” lasted a bit more.

Anyway, all considered, I would recommend this. it’s reasonably priced, exceedingly wearable and mass-appealing, basically (just to throw in another reference) halfway Dsquared Potion and the abovementioned Gucci pour Homme I, with a leathery-herbal vetiver drydown; less herbal-ambery than the first one, less sophisticated than Gucci, and more “avantgarde” than both while keeping it perfectly safe and crowdpleasing. The drydown is a bit boring, but you can’t have them all sometimes. As soon as they’ll discontinue it, it will likely become a holy grail just as the Gucci anyway. Chapeau to Comme des Garçons for having been able to bring some skills out of Mark Buxton.

7,5-8/10
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 28th October, 2015)

Yuzu Fou by Parfum d'Empire

Parfum d'Empire's take on the fresh, summer, bittersweet lime/citrus "eau de cologne" theme. The citrus-yuzu accord is green, vibrant, pungent and earthy, with a pleasant aftertaste of vegetable garden - wet grass and crunchy branches under your feet. The base accord is, again, Corticchiato's signature powdery/chypre blend of mossy notes, hay, white musks with a slight feel of amber and anise, and even perhaps a microscopic hint of vetiver – or however, a similar wet aromatic woods note. And I love to smell this signature accord in pretty much every piece of their line, it's not about being boring or repetitive: it's a stylistic recurrence, it's more about finding a subtle "something" you realise it's always there. I personally like that cozy feeling, it's like coming back home. And I admire Corticchiato's talent in using this without making his scents smell all the same – they have each one its specific personality, and this is just a signature, an inspiration, a common ground, perfectly balanced in a way that it's distinctive, but also unobtrusive. However, aside from that, Yuzu Fou is for me one of the less appealing among Parfum d'Empire line; the earthy/powdery counterpart is nice, round and warm, but apart from that, there's not much else – it's a well-executed, but quite ordinary, bittersweet green leafy/citrus scent. If you are a fan of Parfum d'Empire than you may want this instead of others (as I would do, if I'll ever start using citrus/fresh fragrances), but otherwise, I'm afraid there's no particular reasons to choose this one instead of other "summer scents".

7/10
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 09th November, 2014)

Cuir Cordoba by Keiko Mecheri

Cuir Cordoba is an impressively identical rip-off of Lutens' Daim Blond, just with a bit more benzoin and less fruity, but it basically smells like a slight reformulation of that. I don't want to sound offensive, but... why did Mecheri even bother?

8/10 if Daim Blond did not exist
4/10 if it did (and it does, so...)
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 20th July, 2014)

Équipage by Hermès

Citrus, cloves, tobacco, vetiver, spices and leather. An austere, noble, terribly pleasant and versatile milestone in masculine perfumery - and more broadly, a pillar of masculine class. Hundreds of reviews about this one, nothing more to add about it. Superb!

10/10

(vintage version)
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 23rd June, 2014)

Carbon [6C] by Nu_Be

The opening comprises a rich, syrupy and dense cedar-sandalwood accord, ginger, white musks, violet notes, a good bunch of pepper, and a solid base of resins. Clear and bold, a Lutensian tribute just more dry, linear, simple and austere, but the use of woods, spices and resins clearly "points" there – the first scents that suddenly came to mind are Feminité du Bois, Bois de Violette and Five o'clock au gingembre. The difference is just a bolder and more synthetic presence of cedar and olibanum, delivering (again) the "pencil sharpener" effect – which makes this quite similar (again, like Oxygen) to Carbone by Balmain. On the drydown it also emerges a subtle balsamic breeze. Spicy, peppery, pleasant, stuffed with artificial "clean" roundness, and as almost any other nu_be, not the most original scent around – 4 or 5 scents came instantly to mind within minutes from the application. The evolution is close to zero, you basically get this sandalwood-cedar-ginger accord for hours. A decently pleasant déjà-vu.

5,5-6/10
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 15th June, 2014)

Eau Duelle Eau de Toilette by Diptyque

Surprisingly well balanced juniper and vanillin accord. Light, cozy and delicate, a bit sweet and almost fruity at the very start, but with a dry and somber drydown. Spicy notes of cloves (eugenol) and a slight violet/white musks side. I also smell the ambroxan note quite clearly, while I totally miss the saffron note here. Really close projection (on my skin, it's one of those fragrances I really have to inhale my whole wrist to smell) and moderate longevity.

7/10
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 04th June, 2014)

Cozé 02 by Parfumerie Generale

The opening is really nice and recognisable, a pleasant and dusty cigarette/ashtray smell with a green/earthy twist of patchouli and vetiver and, I guess, tobacco leaves, cumin, perhaps saffron, pepper, frankincense, ambroxan and some subtle and soft leather-animalic notes, all gently sweetened by a base of vanilla and aromatic woods (I bet cashmeran, with its signature "silky-woody-aromatic-soft vip lounge cozyness"). After a while this comes slightly closer to Knize Ten, although more like a kid dressed like Batman taking a picture with Adam West on set; same tobacco-leather earthy and dusty concept, just more linear, transparent, contemporary (i.e.: duller). I also detect some nice liquorice/coffee notes which enrich and "round" the blend. Then again the initial cigarette feel tones down and gets sweeter and softer, gently turning into a green-ambery old leather fougère feel, so basically still that same Knize Ten realm, just more sweet and "contemporary". Finally the drydown (quite light and short-lasting) gets a silky patchouli-incense feel, less leathery than before, still pleasant and unoffensive. Must say that it's a nice scent overall, it sounds a bit "empty" and synthetic to many extents, but it basically smells like a modern, fresher and more appealing (to a broader audience, I mean) version of an old fougère, which I am given to understand many silly young perfumistas would find "old-fashioned". So it's cute, and personally I'd even wear it sometimes if I found a bargain bottle, but other than that I personally wouldn't know what to do with this.

6,5-7/10
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 07th May, 2014)

Immortal Beloved by YS Uzac

Lurking, somptous, inebriating floral scent on a whiskey foggy base. Really rich but perfectly balanced, you can easily smell each component apart. A bit... conservative perhaps, but great!

8/10
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 19th April, 2014)