Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Merlino

Total Reviews: 16

GrigioPerla Hedò by La Perla

Official notes:

top: Sicilian lemon, Calabrian bergamot, mandarin
heart: ginger, pepper, neroli
base: cedarwood, cashmere wood, ambery notes, musky notes

Roughly translated: A creamy Iso-E Super with a touch of fruit and neroli. Nothing you haven't smelled once or twice before!
13th November, 2009

Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior

Oh dear Lord, how exactly is this wearable? Annick Goutal Sables meets Bond No. 9 New Haarlem makes for top notes from H.E.L.L! Very, very loud and after the immortelle settles what remains is pleasant and clearly of high quality but comparatively weak. This is probably a love it or hate it frag, and this reviewer hates it. Only positive aspect of this I see is that it is a very avantgarde frag for a designer scent.
07th July, 2009

Nahéma by Guerlain

*This review is for current formulation extrait*

Nahema is often referred to as Guerlain's big rose. Indeed, it currently is Guerlain's rose fragrance but there have been other such as Guerlarose (1930). It is also said not to contain any rose notes. I'm not sure, but it does contain damascones which supposedly support any true rose notes that are present.

The damascones make for a very vibrant and slightly un-guerlainlike opening. They quickly settle on the skin however to give way to a restrained fruity note that is briefly reminiscent of Mitsouko and that gives off very little warmth. It actually reminds me more of cookie dough. In feeling, it also reminds me of Creed Virgin Island Water, which makes me think I finally 'got' the ylang-ylang note that's lurking in both frags.

As the frag develops, more and more of the rose/peach qualities give way to the foody/woody base of this fragrance. The progression is very enjoyable and Nahema is the first to use the damascones but imho this fragrance has been somewhat rendered irrelevant to modern wearing due to other rose fragrance, most notably Une Rose by Frederic Malle, being much better. Still, thumbs up for a good fragrance and an distinctive piece of perfume history.
14th June, 2009
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Vetiver by Guerlain

** This review is for the Vintage EDC **

Current formulation Vetiver EDT was one of the first fragrances I tried after discovering Basenotes. Not liking what I sniffed, I immediately dismissed it as smelly old man. Then my Guerlain craze and I was determined to try everything Guerlain. I don't know what happened, but when I tried it again I really, really liked it! So when a bottle of vintage EDC came up I decided to give it a try.

The fragrance opens with very nice and natural smelling top notes of citrus. I spilled some on my hands while decanting into an atomiser and it just smelled exactly like bergamot and lemon. Didn't quite pick up on the neroli though. The topnotes make way for the vetiver and tobacco, first fresh from the pepper then darker. Sadly, I don't get much wood although there's supposed to be cedar in. All the way through the fragrance there is a very green feeling which I attribute to the tonka bean.

Two things strike me about this version when compared to the current EDT. First off, it is somehow wetter and sweeter than the current version which is drier. This one also smells less of vetiver and more of moist tobacco. It's not better, just different. The other thing that strikes me is that seven hours into the fragrance I can still smell it on my skin which I think is incredible given that it's an EDC!

Vetiver, be it vintage or current, EDC or EDT, is an incredibly versatile scent which basically just works in any situation. The only thing is that the wearer has to somehow be adult enough to wear it since it's not suitable for adolescents.
21st May, 2009

Baldessarini Strictly Private by Baldessarini

I get a Gucci PH2 meets Guerlain Habit Rouge vibe, only of a lesser quality and with a screaming synthetic smelling amber/vanilla drydown. Not a scrubber but wouldn't wear even if received as a gift.
12th May, 2009

Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

A very good and realistically smelling incarnation of tuberose, for that I cannot give it any other than a thumbs up. Unfortunately tuberose is about all I smell and apparently I just don't care much for a tuberose soliflower fragrance.
22nd March, 2009

Ungaro pour L'Homme II by Ungaro

I got this one blind as part of a larger swap today. It opens just like everyone says: lots of citrus, lavender and civet. After a while it acquires a certain herbal dimension and I also detect a bit of incense. I've been wearing it for an hour or three now and the civet has subdued quite a bit to make room for a sweeter note, which almost smells like sweetened, milked up english breakfast tea.

Now that it's dried down a bit it reminds me a lot of Mouchoir de Monsieur by Guerlain which I also own. So I proceeded to spray on some MdM and it finally dawned on me just how skanky that last one is. U2 is like MdM made sweeter, more accessible and generally more likeable.
16th March, 2009

Vanille 44 by Le Labo

Most straightforward and boring vanilla scent I've ever experienced. This one can't hold a vanilla scented candle to the greatness that is Spiritueuse Double Vanille. And did I mention it's $500? Were they freaking stoned when they thought that up???
07th February, 2009

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

I finally got around to buying this fragrance on which I had my eyes for quite a while! This is a perfume that is so harmoniously blended that it's very difficult to put a finger on which notes are in it. I don´t consider this a typical ´French´ perfume either, although the house is French and Ellena was obviously born into a family of French perfumers.

Other than experiencing a clear and haylike opening, I'm left with describing the awesome experience that comes with this cute and to my nose very romantic scent. I say it's cute because it's nothing like an in your face sillage monster. Rather, it's a skin scent that I picture wearing sitting in front of a fireplace with my girl next to me drinking a glass of wine while it´s snowing outside. It´s an eau chaude in that the mere wearing of this perfume warms my heart, not because the scent itself smells ´warm´. I don´t think I know of any other fragrance that has this strong an effect on me and for that I thank Mr. Ellena from the bottom of my heart.
24th December, 2008

Route du Vétiver by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

Route du Vetiver starts very rooty on me, not very pleasant though. After that it smells woody and smokey but like a Dutch sausage called 'rookworst' at the same time.

I'm not a fan of vetiver therefore I'm definitely not a fan of this creation by MPG. Having said that, I can understand that this is original (it's unlike anything I've ever smelled). Thumbs down for wearability, thumbs up for quality and originality. Add the two and you get a neutral rating.
03rd August, 2008

Chêne by Serge Lutens

While I generally love the SL exclusifs (export line not so much), this one reeks of Fahrenheit and is altogether very unpleasant. Thumbs way down.
24th July, 2008

Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens

MKK by Serge Lutens is the most interesting fragrance I own. It may have some people running for the nearest exit but it pushes all of my buttons in exactly the right way. Believe it or not, for me this is a comfort scent that, while animalic and dirty, doesn't really make me think of sex all that much. Actually, it reminds me more of being around wild animals in Africa than of doing the wild thing.

On my skin MKK is basically as animalic as it gets. I've had friends try it and on them it was much calmer and more floral. I don't get much of the rose that's supposed to be in it. The only thing that makes me believe it's in there is the dry character of the heart notes. I would have liked a more prominent rose note but alas, my skin won't allow it. What I do get is cumin and musk all the way, and being a BIG fan of both I love this one.

I've just done a side-by-side MKK versus MR so I felt like it was about time to write a review. It's striking how tame MR is compared to MKK. I have them on the back of my hands right now and I have to do my best to smell MR because MKK is so strong by comparison. I do think these two fragrances somewhat belong to the same category but MR is much more overtly sexy while MKK just is. I could see myself owning both at some point in time. However, if I had to choose I'd take MKK over MR any day.
13th July, 2008

White Aoud by Montale

I like this aoud scent by Montale but I'd describe it as Black Aoud minus its top notes. Pretty but much less challenging and interesting than its black counterpart. The upside of this is that you can wear on those days that you feel like wearing dark vanillic rose with a twist but black aoud is just too much.
26th June, 2008
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Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa by Acqua di Parma

To my nose AdP CI is a very musty, leather dominated scent. I literally detect no citrus and the cedar is very dark and unpleasant, not like the gorgeous cedar in for example Bois du Portugal. I cannot fathom why they would call this a cologne.
27th May, 2008

Original Santal by Creed

Like eric, I feel I need to defend "my fragrance" a little. While not being a true Sandalwood like Santal de Mysore it think it is a very nice fragrance with a good development and a good, youthful direction for Creed. It starts out sweet but fresh at the same time due to the juniper berry. After a while the woody elements kick in but they're never dominant. The tonka bean and vanilla form a very powerful yet seductive base.

I consider this fragrance very casual, for clubbing or for hanging around with friends. Would probably not appreciate my dinner partner wearing this.
09th April, 2008

Envy for Men by Gucci

Had a first full day wearing today. I really like woody oriental scents and I liked Envy. Contrary to what others have stated this fragrance had excellent sillage on me and I can still easily smell it on my arm 10 hours after application. But: I can't help being reminded of Bois du Portugal which I think is a better fragrance.

I give Envy a thumbs up for what it is, a good fragrance at a very affordable price. I won't be buying a bottle, though.
05th April, 2008