Perfume Reviews

Reviews by schumi

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Total Reviews: 102

Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne

I find its construction a bit similar to Ormonde Jayne's Man, but this is less herbal, a bit sweeter and overall, better. Anyway, Ormonde Jayne is a niche brand and it is supposed to be very unusual, bold, innovative and different, but actually it's anything but. Their fragrances are awfully generic.
02nd October, 2008

Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne

A sour/spicy mix of woods and herbs. Bad from start to finish. And it also smells very, very generic...
02nd October, 2008

Yatagan by Caron

Now that's an awful scent! In fact, it's probably one of the worst I've ever tried. Too heavy, too woody, too sour. It could well be a signature fragrance for a sweaty and hairy truck driver or a boor, rough-voiced forester. Since I'm neither of those, needless to say I can't stand it.
02nd October, 2008
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Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

Now that's a great classic! It's in the same category as Antaeus, Chanel Pour Monsieur or Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme... it follows the same path as those, but I like this one better. It's cleaner, sweeter, softer and even classier! Not only that I think this is one of the best classics, but it's also one of the finest fragrances I've ever tried. Oh, and it's not dated at all, this is the timeless elegance that will never die. And also, it's very wearable... this is not an old gentlemen only cologne, but it's suitable for anyone who can respect and appreciate a such refined fragrance.

Simply wonderful!
30th September, 2008

L'Eau d'Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake

A classical citrus fragrance. Not better, nor worse than tens of other citrus colognes.
30th September, 2008

Chergui by Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens is one of the most highly acclaimed fashion houses, so obviously I had very high expectations from their fragrances. Chergui was my first experience with Lutens, but it wasn't as earthshaking as I was hoping. Certain notes remind me of Givenchy's Pi... very sweet and vanillic, but Chergui is richer and deeper. It's not a bad fragrance, for sure, but to me it seems more like a designer creation than one I would normally expect from Lutens, namely a complex, unusual niche fragrance.
29th September, 2008

Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur

It would be a tough challenge for anyone to make a fragrance worse than this. It smells dirty, repugnant, unfastidious, ungracious and it makes me sick. There's a total lack of sweetness, warmth and refinement that I find unbearable. I would have never expected such an unpolished and rude fragrance from L'Artisan. A total disappointment.
28th September, 2008

Tea for Two by L'Artisan Parfumeur

A lovely scent! I'm actually surprised that I like it so much, because I don't like tea nor do I like smoke. But, somehow, this manages to be one of the classiest, most suave, gentle and refined fragrances I've ever come across. I find it hard to describe this wonderful scent, it's almost an emotional experience that must be savoured by any fragrance lover.
27th September, 2008 (last edited: 29th September, 2008)

Black Aoud by Montale

I'm all about originality, unconventional and... strangeness. I admire unusual fragrances even if can't carry them off. But Black Aoud is just too much to take. It's way to medicinal, bitter and artificial. At the beginning, I tried it on my skin for a few times. I knew that the opening would be very hard to take, so I didn't care much about it... I was eagerly awaiting for the scent to develop into something rich, deep and warm... Hours after, nothing happened, it was just as medicinal and synthetic as it was at the beginning.
Then I read some absolutely hilarious opinions saying that one should wait up to 12 hours for the scent to start developing!!! What??? Are you kidding me? Why in the world would I want a fragrance to become pleasant only after 12 hours? I'll probably be back home, sleeping like a baby when it would presumably start evolving. So what's the point? When the fragrance should smell good it stinks, and when the day is over it (allegedly) smells nice. I guess I should spray it on the day before going out, just to be sure that it will smell good when it should. As far as I'm concerned, it may turn into gold after those 12 hours, I just don't care, it would matter anymore.
Anyway, as I never spend more than 24 hours without showering, I tried it on paper as I wanted to see if it really does develop after many, many hours. It didn't... So I'm really surprised why so many people like this linear, simple, superficial and artificial fragrance.
As for comparisons with Czech & Speake No.88, none of them is apt. No.88 is light years ahead of Black Aoud. While No.88 is a masterpiece and one of the most complex, multi-faced and sophisticated fragrances, Black Aoud is just linear, medicinal and harsh.
26th September, 2008

Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès

A refined citrusy-fruity fragrance which smells "expensive". I have troubles finding big differences between this and Terre d'Hermes, as they share the same notes and structure.
A nice, happy, feel-good scent, but not quite an earthshaker.
16th September, 2008

Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

It's pleasant alright... refreshing, uplifting, comfortable. But, just like most other citrus fragrances, it lacks complexity and most importantly, development and staying power. It's an easy, simple, plain fragrance that I would see myself wearing during tennis matches. I think it suits white, sporty outfits and should be worn with a relaxed, easy-going attitude.
Regarding the composition, it's simple and pretty well crafted. All I could smell was oranges and mint.
16th September, 2008

Patou pour Homme (original) by Jean Patou

I think Patou pour Homme is slightly overrated here at Basenotes, but that doesn't mean it's not a great fragrance. I don't find the opening as loud and herbaceous as others, on the contrary, I think PPH is one of the few fragrances that seem to be very smooth from start to finish. I love its slightly "oily" character, noticeable especially in the opening, which is probably responsible for its smoothness and which also gives it an expensive, sophisticated feeling. What I like a bit less is the smoky, incense-like note which may add masculinity to the fragrance, but it diminishes its luxurious aura. The drydown is truly a high-class smell: woody, smooth, rich, refined, intellectual, stylish, elegant and again, expensive.
Overall, PPH is a wonderful experience, one you may not discover in many other fragrances. One of the very few scents that come close to perfection, yet they don't really achieve it.
13th September, 2008

Ungaro pour L'Homme II by Ungaro

I have mixed feelings about Ungaro II... On one hand it has a wonderful citrus opening, which gives it a clean and soapy character. With such a beautiful start, one can expect nothing but a magical follow-up. But I was left a bit disappointed. I was expecting a much more radical development, I would have definitely wanted it to become smoother and warmer. A slight incense note becomes noticeable after about an hour, which is not necessarily bad, but it represents the end of the clean, soapy smell that I loved at the beginning. Hence, Ungaro II becomes heavier and even dirtier. What follows seems to be a rugged blend of raw ingredients, lacking the polish that I would expect from such a fragrance.
All in all, a good fragrance, very formal, classy and elegant, but which leaves the impression of a great potential not being entirely put to value.
06th September, 2008
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No. 88 by Czech & Speake

Art & emotion … this is what No.88 is all about!

A GOTHIC and DIABOLIC cologne - undoubtedly a perfect signature fragrance for DRACULA.

The almost unanimous opinion is that No.88 is a monumental fragrance. I was awe-struck by its grandiose status, so I timidly opened the door to its world… It was a transcendental experience that changed me forever… The emotional abyss sucked me in instantly and I woke up in a Gothic universe. I was overwhelmed by the gloomy atmosphere of a haunted castle, bathed in the blue light of a full midnight moon. Dark roses, funereally strewn all over the place, are accompanied with excerpts from Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream Soundtrack gravely resounding in the background. Here, a Gothic girl is lonely mourning the spiritual desert of the outer world in what seems to be the last ritual of an aggrieved soul... A warm and hallucinatory dizziness enshrouds her, as she hopelessly commits herself to the bloody count… It all seemed like a dream… Only the smell of roses remained as a memory of her sacrifice…

At the same time, it is THE ABSOLUTE ELEGANCE, THE SCENT OF THE KINGS! (which is only natural for a fragrance created following an original Elizabethan recipe)… A magical duality!

No.88... a nonpareil... a unique monument in the world of perfumery...

30th August, 2008 (last edited: 16th October, 2008)

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

How wrong I was when I wrote my initial revew of Givenchy Gentleman! It takes a while to get acquainted with it and that can only be a good thing. It means it's not just another "pour homme" fragrance. And boy are you in for a special treat once this baby develops.

It's incredibly pungent and spicy in the opening, and many people might not be willing to pass this stage. I was one of those people, but now I find the opening absolutely gorgeous and unique. The cinnamon is strong, really strong, and it envelops the less pungent tarragon in a waltz of spices that punches and then lifts you. The fact that there are absolutely no citruses in the opening of this fragrance is a bold move, and I much prefer this type of unique, strange opening to pretty much any citrus-based opening.

After such a loud opening, you'd maybe expect a bold follow up, but what follows is velvet, the finest velvet you've ever imagined. The vetiver is incredibly warm, while the patchoulli brings an elegant and sophisticated touch.

As for the leathery base... oh, that leathery base... That, my friends, is pure poetry. It is what dreams are made of, it is a song for the soul. A sublime ending for a grandiose fragrance.

Givenchy Gentleman is now in my top 5 favourite fragrances, and that after I hated it for years. I guess only something really special could create such mixed feelings as time goes by.
13th August, 2008 (last edited: 10th September, 2012)

Sira des Indes by Jean Patou

It's a very fruity and flowery fragrance. The woman who wears it is young, optimistic, enthusiastic, joyful, energetic and dynamic. Yet she's sensitive and delicate. It's also a bit reminiscent of a candy shop, but that re-enforces the idea that this is appropriate for a young person. It's not bad, but a fragrance with such a wonderful name should have been more oriental, sensual and mysterious.
13th August, 2008

Individuel by Montblanc

Very nice. It's fruity, cheerful and bright, great for a young and enthusiastic person. It might tend to be a little bit sweet and reminiscent of a candy shop, but still, a pleasant scent.
13th August, 2008

D&G Masculine by Dolce & Gabbana

Top notes: lemon
Mid notes: lemon
Base notes: lemon
I've said it all.
13th August, 2008

Joy by Jean Patou

I had much higher expectations from "the most expensive fragrance in the world". To me it doesn't seem to be dated at all, it's really a timeless perfume. It's fruity, flowery and cheerful. The woman who wears it is optimistic, happy and enthusiastic. It's not bad, but I expected it to be a much more sophisticated and elegant fragrance. Maybe if I hadn't known it was classified as one of the greatest fragrances of all time, I would have rated it as positive. Maybe my expectations were too high...
13th August, 2008

Vetiver by Guerlain

Another classical uber-green fragrance. The opening is pretty sharp and herbaceous, but then it softens down and becomes a bit smoother (but just a bit). This is a big minus for me, as I don’t necessarily like these sharp, untamed fragrances. Another huge minus is that I don’t think it has anything really special, anything unique, anything unusual. It follows a recipe that has been proved to be safe. Apparently, people like this kind of fragrances, so why change anything? Don’t take any chances, don’t try anything new… I don’t like this approach. But, considering the year in which this fragrance was launched, I guess I could agree that this may be the “original recipe”.
Undoubtedly, Vetiver has some very good parts too… it’s definitely a high quality and elegant fragrance. It goes perfectly with a crisp suit and tie. It’s a dandy, for sure.
11th August, 2008 (last edited: 08th November, 2009)

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

Designed for a rebels & mavericks. Very red, especially during the mid-notes. Also goes well with a red convertible on the streets of L.A. The drydown gets a bit greener, but remains smooth and pleasant. A macho scent, for sure.
11th August, 2008

Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

I have a problem with classic scents, in general. To me, they all seem to follow a recipe that has been proved to be safe. No major innovation, nothing really new, nothing original or earthshaking. I have to admit though, that they smell pretty good. But again, it's a recipe, and when it comes to fragrances, I don't find this approach very salutary.
Eau Sauvage... another classic scent, but a very good one. It starts off very loud, very sharp (too sharp IMO)... it's like blades going through your nose. But once you get pass the first minute or two, it becomes bearable. The citrus notes are on the center stage, so the fragrance remains fresh and invigorating even after about an hour. Then it gets a bit warmer and smoother... now it really becomes great. The drydown is somewhat similar to Armani pour Homme: elegant, comfortable, with warm citrus giving it a classy allure.
11th August, 2008

Black Sun by Salvador Dali

I was expecting much more form Black Sun... The name seemed to describe a very different fragrance: dark, funeral, introspective. Instead, I get a rather generic scent, a bit similar to Armani Code. Not as complex as I would have wanted it to be, not as dark as it should have been.
10th August, 2008

Cool Water by Davidoff

Indeed very similar to Green Irish Tweed. Although I think it's not as complex and smooth as the later, I do find Cool Water a surprisingly high quality scent. I'm a big fan of sandalwood and CW really has one of the best usages of this. Very well balanced, very fresh (it lacks a bit of warmth, though), this is worth every single penny. It's very elegant and classy, a true gentleman's cologne.
10th August, 2008

Présence by Montblanc

A surprisingly nice fragrance! A very light, sweet and spicy scent that proves to be wearable and comfortable. It reminds me of Boucheron's Jaipur, but this has some slightly green notes during the drydown, which make it fresher and easier to wear, but ultimately less complex and less interesting than Jaipur. Appropriate for daytime use, it is definitely worth at least giving it a try.
31st July, 2008

Herrera for Men by Carolina Herrera

Nice... Very slightly resembling Boucheron's Jaipur (although it's far from the refinement of the latter), this is a comfortable fragrance that proves to be very easy to wear. It's a sweet and light scent that seems to be a safe choice almost anytime. Not necessarily an impressive perfume, but a pretty enjoyable scent. Worth a try.
31st July, 2008

Azzaro pour Homme by Azzaro

Not much to add here... A classical fougere that possesses a timeless beauty which ought not be ignored. The mid notes are very green and invigorating, but maybe a bit too green for my taste. The base notes however, are much better. The drydown reminds me of Van Cleef & Arpels' Tsar: herbal, lively and rather cool. It's also a very elegant fragrance... I can't imagine wearing it with anything but a suit and a tie. Although not in the same category with legends as Armani pour Homme, Green Irish Tweed and other great fragrances of the 80's, Azzaro is a perfume that definitely should be discovered by many.
31st July, 2008

Zegna Intenso by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is 100% Armani Code with a different name and a different bottle. I can't imagine how Zegna would have no remorse knowing they copied Code from start to finish. And this is not their only plagiarism... Zegna Extreme is a direct copy of Terre d'Hermes.
25th July, 2008

Allure Homme by Chanel

To me it seems like a mainstream fragrance rather than a refined Chanel. It's not repugnant, but not great either... I would expect more from Chanel. I also think it's a pretty sporty scent, so I don't see why Chanel felt like they should have another sporty version of this one. It's nice to wear on daytime, but I don't think that many would turn their heads when you'll pass them.
25th July, 2008

Calvin Klein Man by Calvin Klein

Just another green fragrance... Nothing original, nothing refined, very mainstream... Horrible! I can't imagine how a fashion label would create such a dull and common fragrance. It has absolutely nothing special, nothing you could enjoy. It's surely one of the worst perfumes I've ever encountered.
24th July, 2008