Perfume Reviews

Reviews by hirch_duckfinder

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Total Reviews: 136

Baldessarini Del Mar Seychelles by Baldessarini

A superb fragrance. Marine and tobacco works brilliantly and gives the impression of a substantial man on holiday. The collar and tie are off, the sun is shining!
A very long musky/smooth/fresh dry down.
09th July, 2014

Gold Man by Amouage

I think the vintage version of this (it changed in 2007 or 2008 when they alterted the bottle) is the best men's fragrance ever formulated. It is a tour-de-force of classical perfumery; complex, rich, loaded with the very best ingredients and balanced to perfection by one of history's greatest noses. It has an outstanding jasmine dominated floral accord with aldehydes and beautiful frankincense, then there is iris and....well, everything else good. The concentraion is high and the projection and endurance are phenomenal.

No more feminine than a classic english masculine floral in my opinion, I would take this one to my desert island.

Glory.
04th April, 2012

Tuscany / Etruscan by Aramis

Exceptionally balanced herbal citrus accord with some beautiful lemon and bergamot top notes followed by a deep earthy patchouli warmed and sweetened with rose/geranium heart.
It is perfect because it is utterly focused and to the point, yet not too simple. It wears very easilly, lasts all day, lacks any offensive chemisty-set notes and is not overpowering.
Brilliant for casual or everyday formal.

03rd November, 2010
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Purple Water by Asprey

Cheap synthetic citrus/floral/musk/musk/musk.
25th September, 2010

Bleu de Chanel by Chanel

Maybe the fact that Chanel has released a scent like this marks the transition of aqautics into the classic catagory. It is a "blue" scent, an aquatic and it is EXTREMELY well done. The begamot note is really lovely and integrated exceptionally well into the "fresh/blue/aquatic" accord. The projection is just right for a masculine (i.e. quite restrained), the longevity is superb and it is super smooth. There are other aquatics which seem to have a similar smell but have you compared their rough chemicalness to this? Here the whole thing is moulded into a seamless slow evolution from fresh-citrus-melon-water to super smooth cedar, balsam and other wood.
They have managed to blend some natural smelling (and I pretty sure natural derived) notes into the fresh notes in a way which gives them a roundness and natural quality which is unmatched.
The king of the Blues (sorry B.B.)
04th September, 2010

Balsamo della Mecca/ Mecca Balsam by La Via del Profumo

First, I found the experience of sampling this from a swipe or from paper to be totally different from an actual wearing. In the wearing, the body heat (I assume) governs the development and many more subtleties are revealed to me. It seems somewhat linear on paper. Also I found the thinner distribution from a spray application helps to reveal this beauty. Just for clarity, it contains no Oud, I asked profumo.

It begins with a sweet labdanum infused with a resinous incense, not high pitched top-note frankincense oil but a woodier, deeper, slow burning note. Already there at the top is a little tuberose, just inside the balsams, giving just a touch of an animalic edge. Rather quickly, the sweetness, which briefly threatens to overwhelm, drops down and the hay-like, sunshine-and-raisins tobacco starts to emerge, giving structure and combining with tonka, to provide a significant dry, herbal aspect. After twenty minutes, or thereabouts, this is firmly established. Some smokiness is balanced by a little sweetness from rose, though the florals are very much background flavours here.

There is a great deal of subtle complexity, especially in the base with whiffs of smoke and dark resins. It is as if my spectrum has to reset a few octaves down from the usual citrus-floral-balsam/wood and zoom in on the beautiful natural aspects near the bottom. In some ways this reminds me more of wearing a nutural oud oil, or a pure vetiver, than a conventional Western perfume. Not that it smells of either of those in the least, but rather that there is a core, low pitched vibration which contains higher register subtleties within itself. This adds to the authenticity of the atmosphere it conjours.

Its persisitence is exceptional for an all natural perfume. Two sprays were detecable into the evening. The frankincense is ever present, like the murmur of many low voices. Alongside this are the woody resins and the coumarin and hay of tobacco and tonka, the florals a gentle decoration.

Into the next day, I smelled a faint tobacco on my arm...

It put me a little in mind of a lutens without the monsterous sillage or synthetic notes.

This is a very special oriental which is built from the very best natural ingredients and works extrememly well. Everything it smells of is good to my nose and it mercifully lacks the harsh synthetics which so often ruin this genre for me. It is very wearable and an uplifting and pleasant companion for the day.

I will be wearing it often.
15th August, 2010

Cologne de l'Empereur by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

I was expecting something very dry and bitter but this begins suprisingly sweet. As the alcohol burns off there is a brief wonderful candied mixed up accord, mainly floral with a warm neroli, delicate rose and dry lavender all underlined with dusty animalic civet. As this settles after a minute or so, the bergamot rings out clear, more orange than bitter and quite green too. At this point Guerlain's Eau Du Coq springs to mind somewhat for its juxtaposition of the lavender and civet, though this is sweeter, warmer and friendlier. The bergamot coninues to blossom and is joined by a lovely citrus accord with I think contains cedrat and lime. There are sweetish green notes too.

There is now a period where I thought of Creed's Bois de Cedrat. I experience a sheerness and transparency here; it shares the liquid, almost thirst quenching quality of that fragrace. The palpable depth is provided by the fantastic base of civet and maybe a touch of sandalwood? It remains in this balance for quite some time, the citrus and florals fading into the base which endures for many hours. The Guerlainish civet-lavender remains a feature; later on it reminds me more of Mouchoir de Monsieur. The balance of floral notes smells almost plummy at times and really sets this apart.

The overall softness and roundness define this and separate it from those other Eaux and similar fragrances. The layering is suprisingly coherent to me and very well conceived giving me a fascinating insight into how a truly natural version of this, perhaps my favourite fragrance style, works. The citrus oils are not sharp or acidic and overall it suprised me how they blend in and even take more time to come to life that the florals.

The civet endures to keep this fresh and funky at the same time.

Longevity is excellent with the base accord, sillage is on the low side.
05th February, 2010

Incensi by Lorenzo Villoresi

Different from many other incense fragrances, this is not about top-note shimmering frankincense oil but instead a deep, resinous, woody accord of various balsams including frankincense, myrrh, benzoin and more.

Incensi opens with LV's signature rosewood/herbal top accord, supported by a little sweet ambery labdanum. Out of this a rich incense unfurls. The balance here is perfect, like a smokeless effect of the best burning brazier. It is powerful but not overwhelming like a middle-distance view of a large snow capped mountain.

Some spices add continuity through the heart but incensi is dominated top to bottom by resins and tree notes.

A very subtle and excellent creation, I find the incense is very prominent and potent. Refreshing, uplifting, balanced, grounding. This has it all.

I could wear it every day.

01st February, 2010

Booster by Lacoste

Kerleo has acheived wonders within the tight budget he clearly had to work to here. The top is a beautiful balance of not-beautiful notes: eucalyptus, menthol, perppermint. It is immediately striking as unusual, slightly medicinal, not pretty. Just the sort of thing I like.

The heart has a good, slightly anisic, herbal quality (perhaps a little basil) allied with some synthetic florals, mace and resinous notes.The base boasts a woody-citrus underlined by a very quiet uber smooth woody-amber. Each level seems to attain a complexity and depth which belies the materials; even the obviously chemical base hints at more expensive resins with little hints of this-and-that ghosting from earlier, especially earlier on before the well known cheap chemical woody-amber takes grip.

The fragrance is a short lived burst of uplifting notes and I believe it is designed as such. Sillage is initially medium to strong but drops off rapidly.

Overall, I find this very likable and a considerable acheivement. Its different and interesting and smells very good at times. Ultimately the quality of the materials means I won't wear it very often, however, there will be sockets in my life which only this will plug.
05th November, 2009

Incense Extrême by Tauer

This starts with a large whack of top quality frankincense; effervescent, menthol-like, penetrating, rich and sparkling. This is follwed by a very natural smelling cedarwood. The little iris then provides a link to blend seamlessly into the base of ambroxin which is a little sweet and a perfect balance to the fire-dry incense.

An exceptionally well made fragrance from very good ingredients, totally free from irritating synthy woody-amber accords. Simple and effective - just how I like them. Diffusiveness is perfect, longevity satisfactory with a good application. Highly recommended.
29th June, 2009

Erolfa by Creed

It starts with a salty oceanic accord and quickly descends into a somewhat cheap smelling, rather poorly balanced mixture of musky, citrus and synthetic woody notes. With a bit of curdling ozonic still on top. And some plastic. Quite frankly, its a bit nasty. Especially if I think about it.

So why do I love it?

I really don't know. I find it compelling. I like the aquatic note. It does smell a bit like the beach. There is something frivolous and throwaway about it which conjours a carefree feeling. I just do.
21st June, 2009

Chillum by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Chillum

Tabarome Millesime eat your heart out.
As written on the profumo.it website, this was created as a bespoke fragrance and is built from three ingredients, Ginger, Tobacco, Sandalwood.
It opens with lots of ginger. Very nice, fresh, green smelling rather than spicy ginger. It smells like the aroma when grating the root into food. Just where it would feel sharp and spicy, at the back of the nose when you breathe in deep and long sits the tobacco note. As the shimmer of the ginger drops down a little, this tobacco comes forward leaving a period of ginger flavoured tobacco, or is it the other way around? The ginger accents the green leafy aspect of the tobacco and the tobacco darkens and warms the spice. This is not a huge tobacco note but a slightly shyer one. Quite soon, the sandalwood comes through into the heart adding a third factor to the balance. It is a slightly vetivery smelling wood to me which keeps the green aspects alive.
Then the drydown - a very nice balance held together by the santal at centre stage with the other players interacting above.
The overall effect is a smoky green, without ever smelling burnt. I can see where the name came from.
Sillage is quite low with this one and longevity medium; the sandalwood remaining after the other notes have drifted away.

This is considerably less complex than the others from this house I have tried thus far though the notes themselves are quite rich and and the balance delicate.
16th June, 2009

Cuba Express by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Cuba Express

Begins with a strident blast of sweet rum, dry cocoa, something peppery and a distant orange, I think also some frankincense. Next I get a mocha effect with a gentle sticky coffee and dusty cocoa coming to the fore. As the tobacco creeps in underneath there is, I think, some spicy bay oil giving reference to the traditional bay rum formula. What a tobacco note! - deep rich powerful and horsey! At once herbal and animalic. Now it settles with the tobacco up front and the spices giving a physical depth, as if I can smell into my arm. Then cloak and dagger games with coffee, spicy notes, rum all spinkled with light, warm cocoa. It is vivid, like a 3D film. Eventually the tobacco and spice seem to burn off a little uncovering a slightly vanillic, mild coffee, residual rum with just a hint of tobacco.

A wonderful journey! I particularly like the way the cocoa lies very lightly on top throughout. None of the supporting notes are loud, in fact none of the notes at all. The balance is evolving and always interesting.

The sillage is pretty good for an all natural perfume and the endurance good.

Oh yes.
16th June, 2009
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Rose des Bois by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Rose des Bois:
A gentle rose combined with a very green woody aspect (some rose petitgrain?) and maybe something animalic (which drops off quickly) followed by a tea-like aspect with or of the rose note. There is another floral too, I think? A spot of jasmine? Anyway, it is beautiful. All this is supported by an everlasting base of sublime vanilla with a little sandalwood and a touch of something else a little acerbic or skanky, maybe blackcurrant or that floral I can't place, I'm not sure. The base accord reminds me of a classic guerlainade made with the best possible materials. The vanilla and wood holding the soft aspect of the rose is just exquisite. It is a little rich but not sweet and a touch thorny without being sharp.

This scent has very low projection after the initial few seconds but endures extraordinarilly well as a skin scent.
16th June, 2009

Frutti Paradisi by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Frutti Paradisi

This one is a little abstract. It is centred on Osmanthus flower with jasmine, vanilla, blackcurrant. Profumo writes that it can smell different every day and I can see what he means because this is an impressionistic perfume (unlike others of his where I can relate the ingredients very directly to the smell/intended effect). Green fresh aspects of citrus with some indolic qualities from the florals combine to create illusions of tropical fruits. I can get the sweet aspect of pineapple, the fresh/deep combination of mango, something of the floral quality of pawpaw. The vanilla provides softness, jasmine and blackcurrant the organic, vegetal, even almost-animalic quality and the osmanthus a general vegetal, fruity floral flavour tying it all together. It is not overly sweet, has a subdued freshness and a very unusual natural accord. There is a light feeling of resinous wood underneath and maybe a drop of cocoa too (or maybe that is part of the osmanthus?).

If this perfume starts with a little emulsion, it burns away into clarity. I prefer it when the osmanthus drops away leaving the blackcurrant more vivid. It is lucid and drinkable, quiet and yet present, slightly acidic in a very friendly way, a tiny touch warmly urinous. I could imagine this smelling very sexy on a woman in a warm climate....

Frutti Paradisi does not possess a big colourful fruitiness like the synthetic fruity perfumes but rather pastel shades, and because of the abstraction I lose these somewhat as I deconstruct.

Projection is low and longevity medium. I find the base quite interesting and beautiful though I need to sniff from very close to get the detail. It is not something I would feel moved to wear myself, but it may just hit the spot for some.
16th June, 2009

Chocolate Amber by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Chocolate Amber

Which really doesn't sound like my style of perfume - and it isn't; though it almost gets there on quality alone. As usual - well made from excellent materials.

It begins with a clear melange of dry cocoa with vanillic amber. Smells like the best quality of dark chocolate without the sugar, could be edible but for the amber which is transparent, resinous and very coherent. After a few minutes I get just a hint of something vegetal underneath. Now..it will surely be linear...these accords will just fade gradually away. No, it develops, dries down to chocolate snow - the pure white vanilla is fluffed up by the tonka and the chocolate melts in infusing the whole affair as a dry powder. Eventually, the chocolate gets more distant and the vanilla light and smooth; tonka with its more earthy inedible quality dominates. There are other things in the base - sandalwood I think, maybe some moss?

Its is interesting to me how the natural amber accord starts so true but breaks down and develops, unlike in other perfumes where it is so often stoically linear.


Sillage is on the low side. Longevity is very good for the far drydown - and it goes back to smelling a bit more chocolatey. Very nice, a little like the drydown of L'Instant Homme EDP with the santal and cocoa (but more natural of course)
16th June, 2009

Tabac by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Tabac

Starts with a slightly boozy blast of tobacco, like an islay malt, smokey and resinous with echoes of hay. For a short while the tobacco remains centre and top until it settles down and it drops into a strong structure with the warm tobacco at the low register, some lovely fluid labdanum, sweet tonka and beautiful vanilla sitting in layers. There is clary sage too, seamlessly integrated as flavouring. The drydown is absolutely my favourite tobacco accord of all time. The balance is wonderful, the tobacco is present but not too sharp or musty, not sour and thin or thick and overwhelming but with body and lightness at the same time. The other notes are carefully built around to pull out aspects of its complex smell.

This has instantly become my favourite tobacco scent and one of my favourite perfumes of all. If you like tobacco at all, you must try this.

While the opening is quite masculine, I think the drydown is very wearable by a woman who likes tobacco.

I am not sure if it is the natural materials, the composition or both, but there is something in these profumo perfumes which gives me the impression of 3D, its almost like I can see the layers of the structure, distinct but in balance and with clear air between them.
16th June, 2009

St Johns Bay Rum by West Indies Bay Company

Wonderful, incredibly natural smelling Bay Rum which is not too intense. Sits beautifully on skin, fresh, spicy and masculine.
Highly recommended.

Also - The Bay Rum with lime - also really good, a perfect combination, blended perfectly.
07th April, 2009

Bay Rum by Taylor of Old Bond Street

Quite a poor, cheap bay rum. The bay note itself is okay but it is packaged up in a rather unsubtle, drugstore aftershave accord and lots of castor oil.
Get the Trumpers Bay Rum, its beautiful stuff.
21st March, 2009

Wellington Cologne by Geo F Trumper

This starts with the most wonderful, sharp and very natural smelling lemon note and it is apparent that this is the granddaddy of GFT. The unusual (even slightly odd?) but really rather good complex accord which sits just under this holding it up smells of citrus including a touch of lovely bergamot, some bitter orange, a sharp, bright style neroli, other darker florals and a musk which seems particularly well blended here with some rosemary which continues the sharp acidity of the top. I detect a little drop of the "milky" floral aldehyde which trumpers seem to use frequently and froms a little of their signature (as well as the heart of the wierd Milk of Flowers). Maybe a little of the blackcurrant similar to eucris too, or a little mint and a touch of cypres or pine.

A deep, rich complex accord which morphs slowly bringing different aspects to the fore.
21st March, 2009

Bois d'Ombrie by Eau d'Italie

I took a tiny swipe from a sample vial 16 hours ago. One bath, one shower and a night in bed later and this is still pumping out unwelcome sillage. The smokey woody aroma chemical is so strong that I cannot even imagine enjoying the lack of craft and subtlety in the selection of materials and composition.

Utterly without merit for me, it seems to have little complexity of evolution, little reference to naturalness in composition and be intensely synthetic in its smell.

To me, this belongs with the lowest level of cheap modern fragrances and indicates the depths the so-called niche brands can stoop to under the cloak of a fancy box and a high price.


10th March, 2009

Bois de Santal by Creed

A wonderful sandalwood creation, somewhat akin to Chanel's Bois Des Iles in its warm sandalwoody creaminess, it is a simple construction of quality notes.

It opens with an old fashioned sour lemon and green petitgrain and drops into a aldehyde and sandalwood accord which lasts the remainder of its journey. I agree with my esteemed colleague zztop that this does contain a little indian sandalwood oil, but in my opinion only a touch of the real deal while the rest of the accord is a superb construction from other elements, maybe some other real sandalwood from other parts of the world, some other woods and some synthetics. The ghost of the lemon note with aldehydes adds some of the milky sourness which is an integral part of natural mysore oil, the smoothness is all there and the dry woody drydown too.

Still a very good perfume, and the best composed sandalwood perfume I know after Bois Des Iles (though I haven't smelled a recent version of that, maybe it has suffered a similar fate?), this must have been outstanding when availability meant it could contain a big quantity of real mysore oil.

Highly recommended, one of the few sandalwoods out there which is still worth the name, it is made from excellent materials which are used in a straightforward way.
13th January, 2009 (last edited: 20th August, 2014)

Legno di Nave / Seawood by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

This is a review of the pure perfume oil.

A deep, complex woody fragrance with vetiver, spices and sandalwood all infused with the fascinating and slightly bizzare sweet/savoury multi faceted scent of ambergris. It captures the idea of aged wood from a ship perfectly, spices from the cargo absorbed in small quantity but deeply inside the timbers and the distinct smell of the sea in the amber. This is the smell of the sea as life-soup not the platonic ideal of oceanic scents provided by modern synthetics.

It is dark and mid-base note dominated and somewhat serious in its outlook.

The quality of the ingredients and strength of the composition shines through. There is a focus and coherence in this which is very compelling; it has deep roots and is born of conviction.

13th January, 2009

Chergui by Serge Lutens

Superb top accord, lovely bergamot and green notes but really quite subtle compared to the big amber which is present here right from the start. The heart is immensly rich with deep, complex dry hay and sweet blonde tobacco, a touch of florals and powdery iris. However, it is the base which dominates; so much so that I have to be concentrating to really notice the other factors (and I do wonder if anyone smelling it on me is likey to be concentrating that hard). A wonderful honeyed amber with a touch of fuzzy musk glues the whole thing together and the other accords can seem like token decorations of this at times.

At any rate Chergui (like many SL fragrances) has a very unified overal effect without a crisp deliniation between top, heart and base. The blending is sublime. It ends up with a strange combination of animalic hay and tobacco and naive sweet honey and amber, with a little savoury spice.

The projection is controlled and the longevity high.

I would prefer this in a lower concentration; I think it would make a better masculine as an EDT, but is very wearable in small doses as it is.
10th January, 2009

Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake

Wonderfully medicinal, deep lavender and moss. Initially it smells almost too acerbic but soon settles into a very grounding combination of blue woody freshness from lavender and animalic forest green from the oakmoss. Lavender used this way can sometimes retreat into a thin top-middle register but this remains quite broad, the accord filling a wide spectrum.

Plenty of reference to other C&S - the house notes are here.

This endures very well for a fragrance like this, and projects with a light presence. If you like these old fashioned lavenders for gentlemen, this must surely be one of the finest examples.
10th January, 2009

Bay Rum by Geo F Trumper

This is, to me, the finest, definitive, classic Bay Rum. It exudes the medicinal smell which defines barber shop to me; cloves, and a wonderful, smooth, linear bay rum accord. The whole thing is just so simple, so coherent, so natural smelling that it has charmed me utterly.

It is clove heavy, in the English style, so best avoided if you have trouble with that spice. If like me, you like your cloves, then I think you need to buy some.

22nd December, 2008

Dunhill Edition by Dunhill

Wonderfully constructed classic fragrance for men. This one should really be worn as aftershave on the face with EDT to back it up. Tradition reigns here with lavender, bergamot, cloves and that special fresh citric note which hails from a time when fragrances had to blend with tobacco smoke. It is difficult to believe that this was formulated in 1984 rather than 1934.

Discrete and compelling at the same time, the balance is utterly perfect and the far drydown reaveals an unexpected animalic twist which deepens the mix with a touch of dirt.

Perhaps the last of the great 20th century men's fragrances.
10th December, 2008

Vétiver by Annick Goutal

Rather a nice Javanese vetiver note, with all the round sweetness that entails, some nice backnose citrus and a rather odd salty aquatic undertone. This "seaweed" accord seems to me to be made from a combination of salty iodine and an ozonic note. The ozonic/vetiver is a strange combination which Vetiver Extrodinaire by Malle has realised rather better with its monstrous vetiver note and supporting cast including a much more subdued ozonic, though the vetiver here is more wearable in a conventional sense.

Quite compelling in a strange way but I can't help feeling it would have been better if the sea had been avoided altogether and the lovely sweet/savoury Vetiver allowed to shine unaccompanied.
09th December, 2008

Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens

No real top notes as such, just a big, fine flavoured amber. Very nice but not very detailed. My favourite part is a couple of hours in when the green bay cuts the amber for a very pleasing accord.
I think Turin is right on target with the comment that this is for people who prefer folk-naivité to Shalimar, this is not a multi layered complex balance but is made up from a single dominant accord which forms 90% of the scent throughout and the other 10% evolves.
It smells good.
06th December, 2008

Astor by Geo F Trumper

A little old style citrus, aldehydic florals, pine and lots of moss on top of the smooth creamy sandalwood accord which trumpers uses in so many of their colognes. In the heart there is a carraway effect, I suspect from an aldehyde.

This does remind of Eucris at times, though it is less complex, more friendly and a little more restrained. The acrerbic green qualities are certainly present; the tamed animalic quality of the moss is like a softly spoken, well dressed gentleman who is incongruously deadly with his rapier if roused by injustice.

Very fine indeed.
21st November, 2008