Perfume Reviews

Reviews by foetidus

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Total Reviews: 2337

Perfume Calligraphy Rose by Aramis

Aramis’ Calligraphy Rose… interesting opening: part synthetic oud, part saffron, part mutated oregano, part floral-sweet honeysuckle… it would be intriguing if it lasted longer, but it’s gone quite quickly. The oud and saffron were merely the surface frosting over a somewhat dense heart platform of rose absolute, myrrh, Styrax, and a dark lavender. This opening / heart are very different from about everything else I’ve experienced in fragrances. There’s rose there, but it’s at all flowery – it’s a dark red, almost-visceral rose. The heart’s myrrh and Styrax each join in with their individual throaty, vibrations. And the lavender is medicinal. For its depth, this accord sits quietly on the skin. I find it a remarkable accord…

The base, dominated by labdanum and incense, quietly continues the primary rose accord; and the resinousness becomes more apparent. The base introduces a touch of truer sweetness with a diminutive dusty amber – but the accord does not come across on my skin as much as I would like. The base could stand to last a bit stronger, but it does hold as a skin scent for a decent length of time.
I really like Calligraphy Rose.
22nd December, 2016

Basenotes Kiss My Ass by O'Driù


Ditto on drseid’s excellent review. I smell the “heavy mix of culinary herbs and spices”: It reminds me of the discontinued L’Autre by Diptyque and Marrakech by Aesop. The herbs and spices in BKMA are surprisingly wearable because, although viscerally dark and complex, they do not send a strong or overpowering sillage after the first several minutes. The accord has excellent longevity. I don’t miss the absent basenotes… they don’t seem to be needed. Nice fragrance… Way too costly, though.
22nd December, 2016

Rendez-Vous by Atelier Cologne


Rendez-Vous delicately opens with a transparent bergamot / lemon-citrus with the lightest whisper of pink pepper… seriously light and fresh. Subsequently the fragrance moves to a floral accord dominated by osmanthus and iris – this heart accord is as transparent as the opening but holds for a longer time… about forty-fifty minutes. I don’t get the violet leaf note, and I’m grateful for that. The drydown is basically suede ameliorated by white musk.

It is difficult to find a vocabulary for this scent because all the descriptive elements center on the same motif: “light, soft, gentle, mild, transparent, delicate, whisper, suggestion …. the whole thesaurus” The scent itself is so… transparent yet graspable… that Rendez-Vous is a league of its own.
22nd December, 2016
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Habit Rouge Sport by Guerlain


Well, it is related to the renowned Habit Rouge. Habit Rouge Sport opens with a fresh green (bamboo) / citrus (bitter orange) / berry accord. The accord is light and clean and there’s enough of a light powder in the background to remind one of its paternal ancestry. There is also enough powder to challenge its label as a sport fragrance.

The heart note is listed as jasmine, and a clean and clear jasmine it is, as it mixes with the remnants of the opening. I think the fragrance loses a little strength with this floral aspect. Besides the slight loss of sillage, the almost-straight jasmine note again puts into question as to why this was labled as a sport fragrance.

The base is basically a wood accord of patchouli and lighter wood notes, joined with an light musk. Although the base strikes me as adequately masculine, I’m not sure that it works as a sport fragrance.

Habit Rouge Sport is an ok fragrance: It’s simple, nicely constructed, performs well, smells nice. Perhaps it’s too simple… as if it’s missing something. One of the things it’s missing is “sportyness,” but it certainly is an ok fragrance.
22nd December, 2016

Cold Silver by Benetton


My sample had leaked to the point where there were only a few drops left, but I think I have a fair idea of Cold Silver. It opens quite fresh dominated by the rather pleasant yuzu supported by cool spices –ginger. As a citrus accord it is pretty generic. The heart is more interesting with its dominant sage tinted with cardamom and driftwood notes: Reminds me a little of some of the wood fragrances by Dsquared2. The base is a letdown… the amber of the base does not present a very mineral edge to it and the mossy musk doesn’t add much. The base is a little too sweet for me.
22nd December, 2016

UDV Night by Ulric de Varens


Very sweet fragrance – the opening is pineapple and apple with a hint of cinnamon, and the accord comes across cleanly and attractively. The fruit notes are very well done – fairly realistic with good sillage . The accord even improves when the cedar and cinnamon from the heart show up… The heart is a rich, balanced wood / cinnamon / fruit accord: Quite enjoyable even but could stand a somewhat stronger sillage. The drydown loses a little of the sweetness and a lot of the punch of the two previous levels… it’s a basic “amberwood” drydown with a pleasant tinge of cinnamon… not high in sillage and rather normal in longevity.

UDV Night is a pleasant fragrance… It presents itself as more natural than many of the massively synthetic fragrances of its price point… Very good buy.
21st December, 2016

Only The Brave by Diesel


Only the Brave is generically and derivatively blah. It seems to have been created by throwing together most of the latest faddish notes that have caught on from the wannabe best sellers of late. Only the Brave boasts ozonics, labdanum, violet leaf, Styrax, and leather in addition to the very traditional citrus, rosemary and amber. It has a harsh opening, a cleansing-product middle phase and a mismatched chemical base. It performs adequately in sillage and longevity. It’s overpriced compared to several better designer best-sellers available. One can do much better for less money.
21st December, 2016

Sacred Wood by By Kilian

Like others of the fragrances of by Kilian, Sacred Wood seems to be an exercise in creating almost painful beauty. Sacred Wood is beautiful. It is as good a sandalwood presentation as I’ve experienced in the years since true mysore sandalwood has become unavailable. It feels like sandalwood even if it doesn’t exactly smell like the sandalwood of yesteryear.. This wood scdent is accented by a a delicious carrot note, some elemi, and a restrained cedar. Oddly enough I don’t smell the cumin. I don’t really get the steaming milk accord, although it is probably that which provides the opening’s smoothness and the eerie / airy / resinous ambiance of the fragrance’s first several minutes. Sacred Wood is short lived as a sillage producer, but holds beautifully as an ethereal skin scent. Painfully beautiful while it lasts.
21st December, 2016

Perry Ellis Night by Perry Ellis


Lots of citrus. Night opens with a full, broad citrus accord. The accord is not light and sharp as citrus often is, its depth as an accord is aided is by the geranium and cedar. The accord is better than I expected… non-screechy and more natural than synthetic smelling. Good heart accord. As the fragrance moves to the base, it becomes more generic with its rather anemic and amber-ish, mossy-ish musk. The base accord is not clear and precise; in addition, it could improve in longevity. Not bad.

21st December, 2016

Armani Code Profumo by Giorgio Armani

The mandarin / apple / cardamom opening comes across to me as synthetic, and, this being an Armani fragrance, I find that quite normal. And this synthetic opening is also rather enjoyable, which is also my usual experience with Armani fragrances. Armani advertises Code Profumo as “the new intensity” and I completely agree… Black Code was too memorably weak for me and this one is anything but subtle. Profumo is synthetic, sweet, and anonymously scented; it delivers a definite sillage; and it exhibits a decent longevity. I don’t think of this as floral or fruity or spicy… this is again one of those conglomerate, aromatized- cardboard scents that I would say have reached their popularity peak about ten - fifteen years ago but are now a bit passé. But it’s nice… If you enjoy this kind of fragrance, you could do worse.
19th December, 2016 (last edited: 08th August, 2017)

Perry Ellis Aqua by Perry Ellis


One of the most generic aquatics I’ve encountered - but in a competent way. As aquatics go, but it is certainly not offensive or disagreeable, and it performance is quite good. It’s just so absolutely generic! There doesn’t seem to be any change from opening through the heart notes – it’s aquatically linear. The base changes by picking up some amber and wood notes: The marine notes are still quite dominant and the fragrance has managed to develop a little more character. I think that an extreme version a would improve its ability to impact and impress.

Perry Ellis’s Aqua is unexciting, but I must say, it is certainly NOT a bad aquatic or a bad fragrance: It’s not a calone ogre, and it is a very safe choice for someone interested in getting “an aquatic fragrance.” It performs very nicely.
19th December, 2016

Boston Ivy by D.S. & Durga


I don’t know what the Boston ivy plant smells like, but if it smells like this opening, it smells darn good. The opening is a deep, rich green – neither creamy-green nor sharp-green as many of the fragrance-greens smell. Good sillage… I’m voting thumbs-up on the opening of Boston Ivy…

The heart accord settles down to a softer green – identified as English ivy and clover – and it has a definite salty tinge to it. It’s a pleasant green note, but it’s a bit weak in my opinion… it certainly doesn’t deliver like the opening level did.

The base is a real let-down: I get a soft mossy accord which gives off a background green resin (the galbanum?). I don’t get an Earth-note, and the intensity of the base is so low that I get only a skin scent – very little sillage. I’m afraid that this is another fragrance that starts strong but weakens too much. Too bad… it opened as one of the best greens I’ve smelled.
19th December, 2016

Scuderia Ferrari Racing Red by Ferrari

Subdued and laid-back opening… actually it is quite a treat in these days of screechy synthetics. This opening IS a bit synthetic but in a neutral, unoffending way: it’s made up of a grey pepper and a easy-to- take green artemisia. The heart gets a little dicier with the introduction of clary sage and lavender – two fragrance notes that require better-grade components. In this case they are second or third level and they are removed from being of the best quality. Still, the heart, like the opening, is lower key in aroma and non-screechy in impact.

Now the base… here is where Racing Red really peters out. It’s that all-too-familiar cardboard smell done with a weak cedar / leather interpretation. I couldn’t possibly find this base offensive – it just doesn’t deliver enough heft for that…

On my skin the performance of Racing Red is quite poor: It boasts weak sillage and poor longevity. But at least it isn’t one of those synthetic monstrosities that are so prevalent in many automobile versions. I haven’t had the slightest urge to wash it off my skin.
19th December, 2016
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Boss Sport by Hugo Boss

This may not be the right spot for this review: This is a review of the current Hugo Boss (Bottled) Sport in the white bottle.

The pyramid lists four notes: grapefruit, lavender, cardamom, and vetiver. Bottled Sport opens with the grapefruit accord that fairly fresh but partly carrying the lavender from the heart which interferes with the cleanliness of the the opening grapefruit by giving it a synthetic tinge. As the grapefruit note wears off, the lavender / cardamom takes full control of the fragrance and the synthetics are now in full control; the cardamom doesn’t help the situation. The vetiver of the base is quite weak and performs more as a skin scent – this is not bad because the vetiver is as bad as the other notes in the Bottled Sport. I’ve wondered why they included “Bottled” on the label of Bottled Sport: This is anything but the sport version of Boss Bottled… Boss Bottled was about the only Fragrance from Boss that I liked. This one’s a loser.
19th December, 2016

Allure Homme Sport Eau Extrême by Chanel


I wasn’t a fan of Allure Homme Sport, but I find this Eau Extreme version to be more palatable. I agree that it hardly seems like a sports fragrance… the dominance of clary sage / sandalwood in the opening distances it from the sports category. Also, this opening, with the help of mint, suggests to me that this fragrance wasn’t meant for the younger fragrance wearer.

The remainder of the fragrance is uncomplicated… it is a straightforward but quite competent white musk, tonka and cedar accord… This accord is pleasantly edgeless and merely… suggestive… of a sports fragrance in tenor and strength (I think it should be a bit fresher).

Not an inspired fragrance, but it exhibits Chanel quality and Chanel class. I think the “sport” label suggests something that the fragrance doesn’t really deliver, but then truth in naming has never been a strong element of the fragrance business. I believe that Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme will rightfully have its devotees. For me, a somewhat hesitant thumbs-up.
19th December, 2016

Wanted by Azzaro


I have a difficult time describing Azzaro’s Wanted because it is so unadorned and anonymous. It opens with a lemon and ginger combination that is quite void of anything that makes it interesting or special… but it’s okay in a kind of shoulder-shrug way. The cardamom and cade oil of the middle level keeps the mediocrity going – the cardamom is presented in a way that makes it almost unnoticeable… but it’s still definitely okay. I don’t know what cade oil smells like and if I’m smelling it now, I still don’t know what it smells like. The base continues the mediocrity of the preceding levels by being barely noticeable… I wouldn’t have paid attention to it if I hadn’t been purposely trying to find a description for it. It has a shoulder-shrug vetiver along with a tonka that provides little sweetness to the vetiver.

Sillage is weak-to-average and so is longevity. In the entire run of the fragrance there is nothing I find wrong with it and also nothing special. I would guess that what is WANTED in this fragrance is a personality.
19th December, 2016

Florabellio by Diptyque


This doesn’t seem like a Diptyque fragrance… it isn’t like anything from them that I’ve tried before. Florabellio is very sweet, a bit metallic, and it exhibits a marine note that is new to my experience with Diptyque. The marine note introduces a synthetic, plastic feeling that I might expect from something from Calvin Kline or Hugo Boss, but this fragrance is too… “big”… for either of those. I guess the “big” is floral, and according to the scent pyramid, that would be apple blossom and osmanthus – I don’t smell either one individually because there’s too much weirdness (sea fennel & marine note) connected those flower aromas.

The scent settles down during its heart stage and for its base, when it becomes quite diminutive while its florals are being intermingled by a coffee note. I enjoy this base accord much more than the big opening accord, but the base is too subtle. In all, I think that Diptyque could have done better than this.
19th December, 2016

Plum Japonais by Tom Ford


In spite of its solidity of structure, Plum Japonais gives the impression of being delicate and even subdued. The combination of plum, saffron, and cinnamon in the opening is eminently sniffable. I have debated with myself as to whether or not I should call it “gourmand”… If it is gourmand, it’s not sticky sweet kind; rather, it’s more like a restrained but very sweet floral note, probably it’s the plum blossom at the heart that makes it so strongly floral. On my first couple of testings I thought the immortelle to be judiciously restrained. With subsequent testings, the immortelle came though quite well… and a beautiful presentation of immortelle it is – it counterbalances the plummy sweetness successfully. The base continues the sweetness with its vanilla and amber, and adds a bit of oud to the accord, but I agree that the oud should exhibit more presence in order to balance the continuing sweetness of the fragrance.

At times in the opening and into the heart, the plum / immortelle accord achieves an almost painful beauty. But as soon as the immortelle fades, the plum delivery no longer holds the interest it once had, and the base, though pleasant, just doesn’t continue the excellence that preceded it. I think that the decline of the drydown might not have happened if the oud had just a touch stronger presence in the base.
19th December, 2016

Amazingreen by Comme des Garçons

Quite a unusual fragrance even for Comme des Garçons. The “green” part of Amazingreen’s name is certainly appropriate for a time, but I’m not convinced of the “Amazing” part. The green of the opening and heart seems a bit off to me because, instead of being the usual sharp or fresh green, it is an unexciting, dull green with a milky sap and coriander seed tinge. It becomes a little sharper with the introduction of a green pepper note. I don’t get any more green type notes because the fragrance very quickly loses strength. After about forty-five minutes, the weak green dominance is barely there and there’s a soft mineral somewhat smoky note left over – the gunpowder accord, I suppose… it’s quite weak to my nose… I wish it were stronger…

I don’t find the “green” of this fragrance as enjoyable as the greens I’ve experienced in several other green scents – including a few other Comme des Garçons’ scents. I find the sillage and longevity rather weak. I just don’t get anything amazing out of Amazingreen.
19th December, 2016

Bois Blonds by Atelier Cologne

Peppery / (generically) citric opening… pleasant, non-edgy… with very good longevity for a citrus opening. The movement to the middle notes is subtle and difficult to pinpoint because the middle bears many similarities to the opening: The middle’s citrusy orange flower / petitgrain is combined with a soft, gently resinous incense… an accord quite reminiscent of the opening.

The middle notes also exhibit a good longevity. The movement to the base is not so much subtle as it is drawn out and non-climactic. It’s a mild light wood and musk with enough vetiver to echo again the components of the opening and heart.

Bois Blonds is fresh, clean, subtle, enjoyable, and maybe even classy. It’s composed of quality components and has good movements and delivery. I’m not particularly interested in this light-wood / citrus category, and it doesn't ring any bells for me, but Bois Blonds is a quality fragrance.
19th December, 2016

Swiss Army Mountain Water by Victorinox

One of the better Swiss Army fragrances I’ve experienced. Mountain Water is quite linear and uncomplicatedly constructed, and it performs well sillage-wise and longevity-wise. It’s quite synthetic… but it manages to produce a rather interestingly aroma.: I enjoy the rock lichen note; and the herbs – especially the mint – form a pleasant complement to the lichens which provides an enjoyable coolness to the fragrance.

I agree that it is not really a unique fragrance, but it does create a competently fresh feeling without relying on some ubiquitous aquatic accord.

19th December, 2016

Purr by Katy Perry


Fruity opening… not bad at all… the peachy, apple-y sweetness is given a clean depth with the bamboo note. Purr is sweet and feminine but doesn’t go completely overboard with either of those qualites. The fruity sweetness holds for a longer time than the balancing greenness of the bamboo, which loses its projection much sooner than the fruit notes do. This shifts the balanced opening into a drugstore-cheap generic fruitiness, the quality of which you can find in a couple hundred cheap fragrances.
It takes a long time for the opening to give way to the floral heart notes… or maybe it just seems long. The jasmine / rose dominant heart becomes a relief from the fruity-sweet opening, mainly because the florals cut into the sweetness and broaden the whole heart accord. Softly-projecting, feminine, youthful… nice, even if it’s quite generic.

The base comes across as a musky vanilla… I keep looking for sandalwood but I’m not finding it. This base retains most of the sweetness of the early accords but it has lost most of the projection, giving Purr an under-performing presence with its base. On the basis of its aroma, I would be neutral about this fragrance… it’s pleasant, it’s generic, it’s not synthetic or screechy. Its chief problem is its loss of projection in the heart and base, as well as its insufficient longevity, which makes it not a winner as far as I’m concerned.
19th December, 2016

David Yurman Eau de Parfum by David Yurman


An unusual green opening… a tiny bit of synthetic mandarin and an interesting cassis note. This green accord is not at all sharp as green often is; but then again it is not a rich, broad-spectrum green either. This is an iffy green mandarin haloed by a synthetically aromatic cassis note. I don’t find it off-putting but I don’t think I would like to smell it over a very long period of time.

With the heart note’s floral accord, the fragrance takes a turn further away from my preferences. My problem with it is the water lily note… which I often dislike. My reaction to the note in this fragrance is especially strong. To my nose the water lily overwhelms the rose and peony to the point where I find the heart accord disagreeable.

I waited a long time for the base to show itself, but when it came, all I could smell was musk… If the base has a wood note, you can’t prove it by me. And I can’t determine patchouli, either. To me the base is an annoying combination of musk and water lily… The annoyance is persistent… the water lily ambiance hangs on for hours and hours.

I was interested in the other reviewers’ mentioning that this was an expensive fragrance a few years ago. I checked on the current price and find that the cost has gone down considerably. .. but not nearly as much as it should have.
19th December, 2016

Idylle by Guerlain

Floral opening for a floral fragrance... First the freesia takes prominence to my nose – it’s a soft freesia note… less sharp than most freesias and more complex than the freesias that I’m used to because of the softening effects of lily of the valley and jasmine – quite white floral. This floral opening lasts for an impressive length and I quite enjoy it more than most freesia accords I’ve encountered. I’m afraid I don’t feel that the accord is very natural, but I do enjoy it.

When the rose enters, it, too, comes on softly, and lasts well. A little cooler than the opening freesia, the rose seems to flow naturally from the opening accord. The rose note is not a grabber, but it is adequately competent as rose notes go.

The base retains the fragrance’s strong-but-descrete floral character combined with a subtle white musk… if there’s patchouli present, I don’t smell it. The base is even softer than the prier levels. Idylle is a pleasant, softly feminine sort of fragrance – one that would serve beautifully as a background rather than an attention-getter. Cleanly structured, beautifully performing in its subtlety and longevity.

19th December, 2016

Ed Hardy Born Wild For Men by Ed Hardy [Christian Audigier]


Born Wild is synthetic but pleasant. The orange and apple in the opening is tempered nicely by the cardamom note. It’s fruity and lively… nicely quirky. Not loud or obnoxious, either; a fruity aroma that hangs around for the run of the fragrance and in the heart notes the fruit delivery is tempered by the soft neutral jasmine and pink peppercorn –quite nice. I doubt that there’s much sandalwood in the base because the base seems simply a softer continuation of the opening’s and heart’s fruitiness – only with less delivery.

Seems like a good fragrance for a young person on a budget – one could do much worse.
19th December, 2016

Idole Eau de Parfum by Lubin


Excellent opening… bitter orange, rum, and visceral spices: it’s a serious and dark accord, but it is certainly not as aggressive as its darkness would indicate. Assisting with the openings seriousness are the heart’s wood and incense which are already forming a firm platform of serious richness. This platform is a tempered by a judicious hint of natural sweetness in the heart brought about by a sugar cane note.

The base doubles-down in richness with labdanum, leather, and sandalwood. I for one am pleased that the impact of the leather is softer in this EDP than it was in the original Idole – the low impact of the leather as well as the subtle richness of the whole fragrance makes Idole de Lubin EDP a definite candidate for purchase for me.
19th December, 2016

Parlez-moi d'Amour by John Galliano


Certainly very sweet and fruity… floral, sweet and fruity… carried to the extreme. Because of the extreme sweetness, it’s difficult for me to identify the particular fruit note so the specifics of the accord come across to me as generically anonymous – it could be berry, but it could be melon, or it could be peach or nectarine. Same for the florals – they could be jasmine or rose or orange blossom… Whatever… I can’t tell. Parlez-moi d’Amour is excessively sweet, generically fruity, and anonymously floral. I personally prefer a lot more subtlety, refinement, originality, and definition… and a lot less “sweet.”
19th December, 2016

Eau de Monsieur by Annick Goutal

At first sniff Eau de Monsieur could easily be taken as a traditional cologne. A clean, clear citrus combined with a slightly resinous green accord opens the fragrance. But quite quickly I pick up the oakmoss note and this removes the scent from the traditional cologne category. This fragrance shows its age: it is a traditional chypre and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Eau de Monsieur is done well enough that it holds its own among today’s fragrances. Its clean, enjoyable opening its delicate and deft implementation of oakmoss in the heart accord; and its elegant drydown of sandalwood and amber all hold up well against today’s other fragrance offerings. A thoroughly pleasant and well-made fragrance, especially for those not put off by its lack of synthetic ambiance and its use of oakmoss.
19th December, 2016

Hugo Element by Hugo Boss

When I saw the simple, direct pyramid, I thought “Hugo Boss couldn’t possibly screw this one up: an uncomplicated list of uncomplicated notes that usually work successfully for me...” Well I was wrong. The mistake I made was paying attention to the list of ingredients. The scent pyramid is meaningless… what should say is “calone.” Aquatics scents seem to depend on calone, but the better aquatics dress up the calone with a few notes to make the calone less sterile and generic… more palatable and interesting. Hugo Element completely fails its delivery of a good, interesting aquatic.
19th December, 2016

Dior Homme Cologne (2013) by Christian Dior


In the last three days the three scents I reviewed were disgusting scrubbers. Dior Homme Cologne has its turn now – and it is the opposite experience. This is a déjà vu experience… I felt the same kind of pleasure when I reviewed the original Dior Homme over ten years ago.

The clarity and simplicity of Dior Homme Cologne is outstanding. The bergamot/ grapefruit opening is delicately blended well with with a mineralizing and cooling cardamom. I love this opening /heart accord and it lasts for a very respectable amount of time. After two or three hours, the musk from the base has taken control of progression and has waned to the intensity of a skin scent. To me the musk is a kind of let-down… but mainly because I enjoyed the original accord so much. All things considered, Dior Homme Cologne might is one the best colognes I’ve smelled in years.

19th December, 2016