Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Nathan214

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UNTITLED #3 by Sarah Horowitz by UNTITLED

Untitled #3 is a very unique fragrance, with a distinctly animalic musk at the heart of it that you're either going to love or hate.

The opening is a pleasant yuzu-citrus followed by a fresh, green gardenia. About twenty to thirty minutes in, the musk starts to emerge and gives the fragrance a kind of sweaty, wet-hay vibe that lasts for several hours. The drydown is extraordinary -- a dry sandalwood and amber with a bit of salty coriander spice thrown in, and it just goes on and on and on. Well over ten hours later and I was still smelling it on my skin.

But sample before you purchase. The musky heart is not to everyone's liking (as you'll notice should you cruise by the reviews at Makeup Alley).
25th April, 2009

Ambra di Venezia by Montgomery Taylor

I find Ambra di Venezia to be a very soft, balanced work, expertly blending citrus oils, jasmine and sandalwood for a warm glow of a fragrance that lasts for a good 6-8 hours.

The narcissus at the opening smells very bright and fresh, then the scent evolves into a much more relaxed and smooth piece. I didn't get too much sweetness out of it at all, and think it's easily suitable for both men and women.

Note: I only have the perfume formulation. There's an EDP version available, as well, and I have not yet tested it for comparison's sake.
25th April, 2009

Bell'Antonio by Hilde Soliani Profumi

A very simple scent, though its simplicity is its strength rather than a weakness. No fruits or florals or powders, just tobacco smoke and a dark roasted, almost charred, coffee note.

I'm not sure why it's classified as a feminine fragrance here on Base Notes -- it's unisex at best, and would likely be considered too-masculine by a lot of women. I've heard people describe it as smelling like their grandfathers, and I have to admit that it does remind me quite a bit of how my own grandfather smelled -- smoke, ash and burnt coffee.

Despite trending somewhat dark, it's not heavy and/or overdone, and won't overpower a room when you walk in.
08th March, 2009
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Tobacco & Tulle by Soivohle (Liz Zorn)

Tobacco & Tulle is an expert blending of tobacco, tuberose, beach harvested ambergris, musk and oakmoss, exhibiting a dry tobacco and white floral heart followed by a golden, lightly toasted drydown. Longevity is excellent.

A really nice piece of work. I highly recommend it for both men and women.
03rd March, 2009

Italian Cypress by Tom Ford

Italian Cypress is a distinctive, woodsy scent that smells like the real cypress-wood deal, dry to the point of being austere, and tinged with smoke and a pleasantly salty musk.

And that's pretty much it. Italian Cypress isn't about stages of development or its many changing moods; it's about the sensation of crackling, dry wood from start to finish.

It definitely skews more masculine than the majority of the Private Blend series.
03rd March, 2009

Gaiac 10 by Le Labo

A minimalist wood fragrance. It's well done, but there's not a lot of oomph to it, though I think that's the point. Gaiac oil as a raw material has a smooth, flat character, and this is reflected in Gaiac 10.

Listed notes are: gaiac, cedar, musk and olibanum, so it smells a lot like your own skin, but as if sniffed through a filter of mild tree resins. Some people will find this fragrance extraordinary, while the majority will likely respond with indifference. Niche to the max.
18th December, 2008

Fiore d'Ambra by Profumum

While Fiore d'Ambra is not a fragrance I would personally wear, I found it restrained and nicely feminine -- nothing wild, experimental or unusual, but anyone lucky enough to lean in close will think you smell intoxicatingly lovely.

Starts off as a powdery soft, pleasantly sweet amber perfume and crosses the finish line as a smooth musk and woods fragrance shrouded in a lightly powdered veil. Wears close to the skin, yet lasts for a long time.
05th December, 2008

Ambre Fétiche by Annick Goutal

Ambre Fetiche is an amber that knows not to overdose on the vanilla syrup; instead, there's a liberal dollop of incense resins which lend it a Middle Eastern, spicy quality. A leathery (birch?) note enters the picture an hour or so into the thing, darkening the pitch and smoking up the joint while an earthy, powdered iris root blows kisses from off-stage.

My favorite of the Les Orientalistes series.
13th November, 2008

Tabac by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

Very nice tobacco fragrance that actually smells like tobacco -- dry, dusty, earthy, a little spicy. Exceptional craftsmanship. Dubrana doesn't over-sweeten it the way so many other perfumers do, and as a result, this is one of the best tobacco fragrances I've run across.

Dubrana is an all-natural perfumer, so his fragrances have a short to medium life span, and won't overpower a room (unless you dump an entire bottle of the stuff over your head).
02nd November, 2008

Vetiver Oriental by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

Starts off with that familiar metallic-grass scent of vetiver (plus the ice of iris), but layers of labdanum and amber lend warmth and sweetness. It turns woodsy and a little smoky over time, while the bitter cocoa in the base adds a nice touch of dust and earth.

Very creative, balanced and wearable for pretty much any occasion. I don't ordinarily trumpet praise for Lutens (so many other people already do), but this is a terrific piece of work and is well worth checking out.
30th October, 2008

Private Collection - L'Ombre Fauve by Parfumerie Generale

Amber, musk, woods, incense and patchouli . . . what's not to like? A warm, comforting scent that's exotic, spicy and semi-sweet. It's also quite potent, so a little goes a long way. If you're a fan of rich, deep fragrances, then you should give L'Ombre Fauve a try.
23rd October, 2008

Bolt of Lightning by JAR

Opens up with a seriously foul, rotting vegetation note, but after twenty minutes transforms into one of the most beautiful fragrances I've ever smelled -- an airy, fresh, lightly green and subtly sweet concoction, like warm sunshine on wet roses, thanks to a golden, shimmery musk shot through the heart of it. A creative and intelligent piece of work. The price may stink, but the perfume itself is awesome.
22nd August, 2008

Monocle Scent One: Hinoki by Comme des Garçons

I'm going to be the odd man out here and say that, to me, Hinoki is not soothing, satisfying, transcendent or ethereal, but instead smells like some juvenile delinquent kicked over a gallon of paint-thinner in the Zen garden. Turpentine? Camphor? No thanks. Comme des Garcons often has a terrific sense of humor in the creation of fragrances (the Synthetic Series is fantastic), but this just smells like a cruel joke, and I could not scrub it off fast enough. Do not inflict this toxic concoction upon the ones you love.
22nd May, 2008
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parfums*PARFUMS Luxe: Patchouli by Comme des Garçons

This is a Comme des Garcons patchouli, so it's going to hit you over the head just like everything else Comme des Garcons produces. I'm not certain I've ever smelled a CdG that wasn't singularly insistent in its own way. That said, I love this patchouli. It's richly layered, smooth, warm and a little bit sweet -- and it lasts all day! There's not a bit of the old hippie-dippie quality here, just blatant pandering to the upmarket crowd, and that's not a bad thing. I tried it once and ordered a bottle the next day. I had to have it.
22nd May, 2008 (last edited: 03rd July, 2008)

Silver Bond / Andy Warhol Silver Factory by Bond No. 9

Silver Factory opens with a brief tin-can twang, perhaps in homage to Warhol's Soup Can success, after which it veers smoothly into incense/patchouli territory, powder-puff clutched firmly in hand, seeming for all the world like Marie Antoinette slumming it with a bunch of starving artists in Brooklyn -- a little hippie-dippie, a lot of flower-power pretty. If you're into sandalwood/incense fragrances with some cool florals tossed into the mix, this would be near impossible for you to dislike.
22nd May, 2008

Matthew Williamson - The Collection: Warm Sand by Matthew Williamson

A light, smooth sandalwood is predominant, with a high floral note strategically placed far enough back that it doesn't overwhelm the composition. There's nothing groundbreaking or earthshattering about Warm Sand, but it's soft, pleasant and easy to wear, a genuine accomplishment on its own terms. It also has the added plus of being an incense fragrance that's light enough for consistent summer use.
22nd May, 2008

parfums*PARFUMS Series 6 Synthetic: Tar by Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garcons Tar comes out of the bottle like the idea of oil-slicked, gasoline-soaked asphalt on a blazing summer day. This is exactly the fragrance you wear to an ex-boyfriend's wedding, or to the In-Laws' house at Christmas. Dark, filthy gruel for the soul. Is to Chanel No. 5 what industrial-strength triple selective herbicide is to your unborn children. Too bad they don't sell this stuff by the gallon, though, as that first heady blast of oil and asphalt disappears in the rear view mirror far too quickly. Oddly sweet and tame at the finish.
22nd May, 2008

L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

I originally disliked what I considered an overpowering cedar note in L'air du Desert Marocain, but after testing numerous times and learning to cautiously apply, I was gradually won over and consider this worthy of all the glowing reviews it gets. Definitely my favorite Tauer creation.
06th May, 2008 (last edited: 04th July, 2011)

Moschino Funny! by Moschino

I gave a bottle of this to a friend of mine, and she was thrilled. She said it was fresh and lively, and that it made her feel like the air around her sparkled. She said it's not sexy or intimidating, but bright and vivacious, instead -- a kind of "Let's kick up our heels and I promise I won't flirt with your husband" scent. It starts off a little soapy, but quickly brightens into citrus and light pepper, then mellows out into a warm, welcoming note. She said it smelled like youth and invigorated her day. She also said the bottle is totally adorable, and whoever designed it was a genius.
02nd May, 2008

A*Men Pure Coffee by Thierry Mugler

I'm a hands-down fan of this fragrance. I've never tried out the original Angel Men, so can't compare the two, but this Pure Coffee version is like distilled joy in a bottle.

It starts off with a whiff of dry woodsmoke, but then immediately stampedes into rich burnt coffee and vanilla interwoven with various notes of chocolate, from bitter to dark to sweetly milky. It fades in and out all day. I'll be typing on my laptop and suddenly the most wonderful aromas of burnt sugar, espresso and steamed milk will waft into my senses and I'll think, "Hey -- what smells so good? Oh, it's ME!"

It's nowhere near being green, or animalic, or anything resembling a traditional masculine. It's a rich gourmand scent that's like taking a blowtorch to a bucket of dark creme de cacao, and it's probably one of the few fragrances you could actually wear to a restaurant without disturbing the surrounding diners.
28th April, 2008