Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Kaern

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Total Reviews: 618
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Dryad by Papillon Artisan Perfumes

The opening of Dryad is matched and surpassed only by the drydown which is beautiful and long lasting.

There are chypre elements to this fragrance but there are floral, spicy whispers to.

I am not a galbanum fan but the accord in the base of that note and moss is offset by the addition of benzoin which sweetens and softens these green elements and is a work of genius.

This will be one of my top five scents of 2017 without a doubt.
27th July, 2017
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L'Eau by Tauer

I'm disappointed with L'Eau.

The opening is gorgeous and bodes well but I feel that the progression to what is a fairly standard ambergris and musk finish via a fairly tame iris note is a bit predictable and slightly reminiscent of other Tauer drydowns.

I can't call this fragrance 'fresh' except for the top - I actually find it a little flat.

Having said that, I'd be happy to wear it occasionally -- I suppose my expectations were too high.
27th July, 2017
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Black Peppercorn by Molton Brown

Another beautiful fragrance from Molton Brown. A startling nose bending opening of peppers and citrus and then the blending of the coriander with the pepper is very smooth and impressive. It doesn't smell very 'mossy' as stated, in the base to be fair, but the ambergris note is noticeable (MB spell it Amber Gris - bless them).

The duration is astonishing and all for under £40. Very fine and totally refreshing.
31st May, 2017
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Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate by Hermès

I loved the sharp citrus/rhubarb opening, but it fades quite quickly to a floral musk with just hints of rhubarb and one that for me would suit a mature woman.
31st May, 2017
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Le Jardin de Monsieur Li by Hermès

For me this is the least 'chemical' of the 'Jardin' range and smells great. Very green to start and a touch vegetal in the heart, but possesses a lovely fruity floral accord midway through the drydown -- kumquat?. A definite purchase
31st May, 2017
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Ex Voto by WienerBlut

All sounds very austere and gothic, ashes of olibanum, frankincense, chamomile but ends up being surprisingly warm and friendly. For me it is an incense, peppers and wood combo that has a nice long drydown. It is a little shy though so I have to spray accordingly. This Vienna house have plenty more in their rather nice range now.
16th May, 2017
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Legacy by Cristiano Ronaldo

Horrible, screechy, fresh, generic fruity apple lavender and vetiver concoction mixed in a huge vat for all lazy perfumers to swill from.

Glad to see it in the bargain bins already though.
14th March, 2017
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Royal Oud by Creed

The opening feels like you have been bashed over the head with a cedar tree and then woken up with some peppers.

I can't detect any 'oud' per se -- it's a very dry 'woody' with hints of green and spices.

It's like the opposite to Guerlain's Santal Royal, which is all about oud.

Royal Oud must vie for 'best in woody genre' in the world.

Trust me -- you are going to feel good wearing this
13th March, 2017
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Join The Club : 1862 by Xerjoff

There was no way I was at the Polo Charity Event where Xerjoff had a concession and (apparently) handed this fragrance to British royalty who were present.

It had slipped under my radar though to test.

It's pretty brilliant -- spicy and sweet with a 'leathery' type drydown. I'd be surprised if benzoin doesn't play a part later on either.

The performance is unbelievable -- 3 or 4 sprays gets you 24 hours.

This would be another to add for smelling 'rich'.
13th March, 2017
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Eau Noble by Le Galion

I don't get any of the heart notes - this is not herby or floral at all in my book.

There are oranges and lemons, oakmoss and a lovely woody musk.

I was testing several fragrances along my arm and this shone out like a beacon.

Truly beautiful
31st January, 2017
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Eau Imaginaire : Île Pourpre by Les Liquides Imaginaires

The 'pyramid' looks frightening but really this is a more deeper, richer version of Dom Rosa from the same House -- substituting a fruity red wine for that one's 'champagne' notes.

A wonderful restrained woody accord [with hints of a sweet curry] permeate the base, which lasts for ages - on me anyway.

Expensive but wonderful-- especially for winter.
10th January, 2017
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Wanted by Azzaro

Is this supposed to be a 'flanker'? It has slight elements of the original but is basically an x-ray of it. Uninspired, lazy and pointless.

The bottle is like a revolver's loading chamber -- brilliant! Shame the juice doesn't match it.
10th January, 2017
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Floriental by Comme des Garçons

Stewed fruit, incense, peppers and what seems like the hibiscus/rose accord from Costume National's Scent Intense. I don't get much 'woods' at all.

Totally wearable by a man in my view -- the longevity is excellent, but it is a little loud. Still, I like it very much.

I'm a little worried that CdG fragrances are all beginning to smell a bit 'samey' though.
10th January, 2017
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Bulgari Man in Black by Bulgari

The only thing that separates this fragrance from a niche one is the bottle design, sprayer and packaging -- it's all a bit naff and cheap. Not a deal breaker for me though.

I love this juice even though it doesn't break into any new territories.

In fact, the note pyramid is faintly ridiculous in my opinion or else I have become anosmic to rum and iris suddenly.

What I do get is a big kick of cardamom and a sort of wet tobacco (the best for smell) before it settles down to a really lovely accord of amber, benzoin and vanilla.

Still receiving lovely wafts after 9 hours now.
05th January, 2017
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Ombú by Altaia

You know when expectations are not that high. Pink Peppers and Sage to open, didn't sound that innovative -- neither did the whole pyramid actually, but wow what a fragrance.

This is a spin-off line from the couple behind the Eau D'Italie range and this particular fragrance is dedicated to the husband (Sebastian) from his wife.

The sage opens up the peppers into a sort of grand green landscape followed by a gorgeous cedar note.

The base obviously veers towards an oriental and is lovely.

The fragrance as a whole seems lovingly made with an emphasis on softness, which makes sense giving the background.

A simple, stunning masculine that I can't see tiring of anytime soon.
16th December, 2016
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Baptême du Feu by Serge Lutens

These type of fragrances I find hard to describe.

Dark red juice containing facets of boiled fruit sweets, cinnamon, ginger all enveloped in a cold, icy dryness.

You can never accuse Serge Lutens of being bland.

I think I love it.
08th November, 2016
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Helmut Lang Eau de Cologne by Helmut Lang

I think this must be the reformulated version.

It reminds me very much of Gold Musk by Santa Maria Novella, as the overriding impression is of an expensive soap you may find in a five star hotel.

The main problem is the longevity though -- I reckon 3 hours at the most and at the current price-point that's just not good enough.
08th November, 2016
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The Fragrance Journals : 1962 by Floris

I thought I was going to like 1976 the best for several reasons and it is a nice fougere type fragrance.

But, wow, 1962 just blew me away.

Not because it is different or shocking, but more because it is a throwback to masculine type chypres that seem to be out of fashion nowadays.

1962 reminds me of a hybrid of Pour Monsieur, Tuscany Uomo, Lauder for Men, Dunhill fragrances (when they were good) and even Derby in one bottle.

I would forget the top notes - 1962 is basically a mossy, woody, herby fragrance with hints of citrusy sharpness.

The performance is terrific (it is an EDP)and the drydown seems endless.

Maybe a little formal and definitely not aimed at the youth market -- 1962 is a perfect (and serious) 'gentleman's' fragrance that smells just fabulous. A bit pricy though.
31st October, 2016
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Tobacco Absolute by Molton Brown

A truly beautiful tobacco accord achieved by simply mixing the tobacco note with leather and woods while maintaining a sort of transparency -- it never feels heavy. The top notes are so fleeting, I can't describe them especially any hints of grapefruit.

The fragrance performs well for me in all aspects and all for under £40. I would rather have 4 bottles of this than 75ml of Tabarome and most other niche 'tobacco' fragrances actually.
20th October, 2016
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Cédrat Enivrant by Atelier Cologne

One of the most wonderful citric openings ever -- a lime and bergamot accord to die for.

It is an out-and-out 'citrus' fragrance imo with just small nods to herbs and woods later on. I don't get any spicy aspects.

Great sillage and longevity. There is no downside.
20th October, 2016
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Prada L'Homme by Prada

Well, Prada seem to have run out of ideas and are chasing a winning formula only.

This is Dior Homme minus the 'lipsticky' element.

Just reinforces the idea that these Designer Houses have of male fragrance buyers, i.e. that we are all mindless sheep.

This deserves to 'tank'
20th October, 2016
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L'Envol by Cartier

Claire has really nailed this one and for me too I tested it after a period of trying a host of 'masculines' niche and designer in Harrods which all failed to move me (was probably retrying most of them to be honest)

I was told beforehand that it contained violet-leaf and I feared the worst but that note blended with whatever does produce a strong tobacco feel. It reminded me a bit of the Lalique L'Homme.....?, which I also like.

It's the addition of the honey note that sets it apart though and takes it to another level -- it works like a dream.

What a scent for winter!

I have the 50ml version as it avoids the tricksy bottle cap mechanism.
27th September, 2016
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Replica By the Fireplace by Martin Margiela

What a wonderful scent for winter. I was expecting a very smoky accord, but the smokiness is very restrained. It's an all enveloping boozy, nutty, herby wood for the most part but with a warm balsamic sweetness (it works) in the base.

A cosy 'snuggle up' drydown that lasts for ages.

Seems to have gone unnoticed here but is well worth checking out imo.
19th September, 2016
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Boy Chanel by Chanel

I'm sort of underwhelmed (lots of pre-hype)but on the other hand, pleased. Definitely from the fougere family, BC contains a very nice lavender accord containing lemon and a musky vanilla. That's about it for me though -- I'm afraid I can't perceive any discernible almond aroma (wish I could)which heliotropin should emit.

It's a 'steady eddie' uncomplicated type of fragrance (you will need to go niche for any different nowadays it seems)but it's a very pleasant and long lasting wear.

Not as innovative or clever as Rive Gauche and at double the price (for 75ml) it seems to be not a sensible investment. I'll be purchasing though -- on balance it's worth having both.
25th August, 2016
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Vetiver Insolent by Miller Harris

The only insolence seems to be the complete avoidance of the 'heart' notes. Opens up airy, spicy and green but then dives straight into the base, which I rather like as it consists of a very long lasting mossy wood with very little hint of Tonka [as listed] to my nose.
23rd August, 2016
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Sunshine Man by Amouage

Yuck!

Smells like vanilla ice cream. This could be nice as in Dries Van Noten as that has a discernible base of wood, whereas in Sunshine Man the accord just sort of 'hangs there' and in time becomes a bit sickly.

Another fragrance ruined by an overload of Tonka.
23rd August, 2016
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Gris Montaigne by Christian Dior

Someone has nailed it -- a 'grey chypre' easily worn by a man. The opening is a little feminine being a stunning citric and jasmine mix.

Peculiarly, it is also one of those fragrances ( like Sel de Vetiver) that drift in and out and where the projection is much stronger than you are personally experiencing.

The drydown is both sweet and mossy. Wearing in the Autumn would be a dream.
Quite beautiful.
08th August, 2016
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Bayolea by Penhaligon's

Very traditional masculine 'mossy'.

Instead of reviving English Fern to it's former status, a new fragrance was born, basically tidying EF up and adding some pepper.

Not for baseball cap wearers.

It's ok, if a little dull.
25th July, 2016
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Lothair by Penhaligon's

Odd sort of contradictory fragrance from Penhaligon's, i.e. there seems to be a lot going on, subtle changes, etc but ultimately, not a lot happens.

It's basically a milky spicy fig with fougere pretensions -- I actually find it slightly sweet and feminine in parts.

I do like the smell though and it is a stayer.
25th July, 2016
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Nobil Homo : Esperidi Water by The Merchant of Venice

Odd marketing (or stereotypical) for this Italian House -- 5 big blueish bottles for the men and about 20-30 small red bottles for the ladies although I was told they were unisex.

Hmmm -- water in the name? Needn't worry, this is a stonking, piercing, gorgeous citrus that lasts a long while and chooses a nice musk to achieve that.

Very influenced by Hermes' Merveilles and EDVC imo (no bad thing).
25th July, 2016