Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Kaern

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Eau des Sens by Diptyque

This sounds smug but I don't remember even purchasing this but there it was boxed up in one of my drawers.

It reminds me of an old style fougere fashioned around orange blossom.

It has a fresh and crisp barbershop pulse to it and lasts a whole day.

Not the most complex of fragrances but a mighty fine wear and I will be wearing this a lot.
06th February, 2019
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Midnight Saffron by Tom Daxon

Oh my -- how wonderful is this

One of the nicest 'lavenders' I have come across and it has a terrific long lasting ending with facets of curry and a sweetish amber.

If you are missing Eau Noire (and I am) a better replacement would be hard to find
04th February, 2019
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Amber Teutonic by D.S. & Durga

I don't understand the note pyramid at all -- it bears no resemblance to the fragrance, which smells of amber, a slight hint of lemongrass and a big shot of coconut.

Oddly, it is also quite sweet and simultaneously fresh.

The performance is outstanding and I like the smell very much.
14th January, 2019
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Collection 34 : 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

The perfect fragrance for Winter imo.

A very lush thick and spicy gourmand (almost) that lasts for ever.

The creamy sandalwood in the base is just sublime.

Pricey but ultimately worth it
07th January, 2019
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White Lies by Agonist

Apparently, this is fast gaining some sort of cult status amongst 'niche' lovers, male and female. It is turning into Agonist's 'Aventus'.

The notes do have a feminine look about them and it does smell that way in the beginning.

Keep with it though and it turns unisex mainly due to the glorious, frosty sharpness and lucidity that emanates from it.

Oh, it smells fantastic also.
22nd October, 2018
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Carboneum by Aether Parfums

An unusual House based in Paris that have created fragrances based around one note so far.

Via 4 ingredients, Carboneum represents Neoprene which is a synthetic rubber and indeed it does smell of a light (not burnt) rubber, together with a sort of suede sweetness.

It actually smells wonderful imo and lasts a full day.

This House is worth checking out.
22nd October, 2018
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Noble XXI Art Deco Vanilla Orchid by Clive Christian

There are 2 sets of 2 -- either Art Deco or Art Nouveau. I think this forms part of the Art Deco duo with Cypress.

I don't think the women have fared as well as the men with this one. I don't think it is unisex.

For me, it smells mainly of 'white' flowers with the vanilla quite muted.

It lasts well and is obviously a 'quality' product but it just seems a bit flat to me.
03rd October, 2018
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V for Men by Clive Christian

Ultra peppery to start with but after about 30 minutes, it fades and the extraordinary frankincense takes over -- think the original Jubilation XXV.

Lasts for ages and is beautiful.
02nd October, 2018
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Noble XXI Art Deco Cypress by Clive Christian

This must qualify as the archetypal woody fragrance that practically knocks all others out of the ballpark.

After a gorgeous herby and citrus start, the heart and drydown just take my breath away.

You would think the combination of amber, cedar and cypress, could be a little 'hard', but it is oh so mellow.

A ridiculously fine male fragrance. You can almost forgive the equally ridiculous price.
01st October, 2018
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Shooting Stars : Uden by Xerjoff

Truly wonderful fragrance that manages to use very distinctive notes of rum, rose, vanilla and sandalwood and blend them perfectly -- after a surprisingly fresh start.

The protracted top to bottom changes are the sign of an exceptional fragrance and, for me, is the fundamental difference between a niche House like Xerjoff and the majority of designer 'cash cows'.
01st October, 2018
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Join The Club : 40 Knots by Xerjoff

About as far removed from an 'aquatic' you can get imo -- it's much more complicated.

It's salty and citrusy to start with and indeed it does 'fizz'

It ends up like a serene piece of driftwood floating in the Aegean doused by a most beautiful spice.
01st October, 2018
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1978 Les Bains Douches by Les Bains Guerbois

An oriental powdery floral?. Sort of -- in the beginning.

Ends up a smokey, boozy amber softened by heliotrope.

Easy for a man. Lasts for ever. Another hit for Duchaufour
01st October, 2018
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Alien Man by Thierry Mugler

I imagine Bowie smelling of this in The Man Who Fell To Earth.

A leather floral? -- plus some crazy smelling amber in the base.

It has facets of Alien Woman all over it also.

I love it but have yet to wear it in public.
02nd August, 2018
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Fate Man by Amouage

Cumin and Everlasting Flower -- hard to tone that accord down and Fate Man just lashes it up.

I find it totally unbalanced and difficult to wear.
30th July, 2018
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Epic Woman by Amouage

Apart from Honour I reckon all Amouage fragrances are unisex and Epic rams that theory home and for me is much nicer to wear than the masculine version.

Spicy fruit dipped in brine with a hefty dose of frankincense in the base, topped with double cream. I was of a mind to actually eat it. Sounds a little claustrophobic but is surprisingly 'airy'.

30th July, 2018
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Sunshine Woman by Amouage

Totally unisex imo and much more interesting than the male version. Ok, it's a sweet vanilla floral, but for me, it has some bite and character in the base with an almond, patch and tobacco mixture pushing through and lifting the whole fragrance to a new level.

It costs not far south of £300, which is ridiculous, but it sure smells good to me.
30th July, 2018
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Beach Hut Man by Amouage

I am not over keen on green fragrances or ones that contain a hefty dose of galbanum but Beach Hut is just so wonderful. I don't see it as particularly 'summery' though -- it's very dry, green, salty and mossy but fails to be austere at all due, I think, to a lovely floral/incense note in the base. There are distinct notes of 'Viking' throughout to imo. Projection is off the scale -- it pervades vast areas.
Just glorious to wear.
30th July, 2018
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Luna Rossa Black by Prada

Similar imo to PAH Intense.

There seems to be a slightly generic smell to all these 'Black' fragrances.

A sort of fruity, darkish wood with hints of tobacco. This one also has a marzipan note.

Alien Man isn't far behind either.

Nevertheless, I like it as I do Alien.
29th May, 2018 (last edited: 01st June, 2018)
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Replica Dancing On the Moon by Martin Margiela

This works for me.

Muted tropical flowers + a wet mineral hiss that includes a slight urinous note.

Sublime sexiness.

Not sure why these offshoots are practically double the price of the regulars in the range though.

Why no bottle cap?
08th March, 2018
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Polo Supreme Cashmere by Ralph Lauren

This is the guy who knocked out Eternity and Euphoria so wasn't expecting greatness.

Rich, smooth -- no discernible incense in the heart or base. Basically I get silky woods.

Very versatile and smells good -- lasts for ever and reasonably priced.

Imo, better than the leather version, which smells strangely sometimes of sweet tobacco.
08th March, 2018
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Viking by Creed

50 ml horrid bottle and packaging -- at least shrinkwrap it, c'mon -- for this price!

I like the juice though -- it has a piquancy to it -- there is definitely mint and spices and I like the rather contrasting more sedate and mature drydown -- I don't find it overly 'fresh'.

Thumbs up for the juice!
29th January, 2018
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Bois Doré by Van Cleef & Arpels

This perfumer's products have been a mixed bag to say the least -- he seems to have reserved his best for Diptyque.

Bois Dore is a very simple blend of woods and vanilla/Tonka bean but smells divine from top to bottom
29th January, 2018
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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