Perfume Reviews

Reviews by L'Aventurier

Total Reviews: 98

Angéliques Sous La Pluie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Icy, cool, peppery, woody.

A gin and tonic on a rainy day.

A walk through a wet garden of geranium and angelica.

Cool morning mist in a cedar tree forest.


05th April, 2010

Oud Wood by Tom Ford

A fresh oud fragrance? Who would have thought?

Oud Wood by Tom Ford smells to me like a hybrid of a fresh fragrance like Bulgari pour Homme and some sort of peppery, oriental vanilla-sandalwood-oud fragrance. I don't really get any those raspberry notes that others have mentioned, but I do smell a huge dollop of some sort of unique musk cocktail that smells simultaneously like clean laundry, sweat and erhhh semen..... In fact, that's where I smell the similarities between Bulgari PH and Oud Wood.

Those who like M7 might also enjoy Oud Wood, however the two fragrances are worlds apart if you take away the synthetic oud note that they both share. While the price is definitely inflated (I don't smell any natural oud/agarwood), the final result is just right.


03rd December, 2009 (last edited: 10th July, 2010)

New-York by Nicolaï

A beautiful oriental fougere, with a classy, yet comforting and laid back vibe. There is no doubt in my mind that New York is a masterpiece, however I'm not compelled to wear it, as I associate the way it smells with older gentlemen of my youth, such as my grandfather. Thumbs way up nonetheless.

03rd December, 2009
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Midnight Oud by Juliette Has a Gun

Very similar in structure to Dark Rose and Black Aoud, however Midnight Oud is sweeter (there are slight strawberry overtones to the rose) and the dark, barnyard feel of the oud is lightened here, due to a cleverly placed accord of geranium. Midnight Oud is, in other words, a sweet rose fragrance with notes of cool and fresh geranium supported by patchouli and a modest oud note in the base. I do think this is the most wearable rose/oud fragrance released to date, but I also find it to be somewhat perfumey and a little feminine (although still unisex).

I like how the oud in Midnight Oud is only a supporting note (as opposed to being the medicinal and leathery star of the show like in most Montale fragrances). At the same time, I'm not blown away, as Midnight Oud has traded in a bit of its exoticism and spiritual edge in order to be more friendly to Western noses. At least the price is right, and the fragrance is very wearable and enjoyable. As for me, I still haven't found the rose/oud holy grail.

26th November, 2009

Dior Homme Sport (original) by Christian Dior

Smells nothing like the original Dior Homme and comes off rather synthetic and generic. By naming this fragrance after the original Dior Homme, Dior has not only disappointed fans of the original, but also let those down that expected a sport version of it.

In the end, it is however, enjoyable and fresh, with a prominent and stimulating ginger note. As it stands, I don't find DH Sport that compelling, but I haven't tried it in the summer, so I can't make any final remarks. Perhaps it truly shines in the summer. I shouldn't have posted this review without a few wearings throughout different weather, but as it stands, consider this a hesitant thumbs up for now.

23rd November, 2009 (last edited: 15th December, 2009)

L'Eau de Jatamansi by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Diamondflame nails this perfectly in his review, so I won't bother describing the scent. I will however detail my thoughts and experience with L'Eau de Jatamansi, among other all-natural fragrances.

Over the past year, I've spent a lot of time and money trying out different brands of "all-natural" and/or organic fragrances. After sampling from houses like Ayala Moriel,, Honore des Pres and Strange Invisible Perfumes, L'Eau de Jatamansi is hands down my favorite all-natural (let alone organic) fragrance. The ingredients are top notch, the blending is great and the longevity is impressively long for an all natural fragrance. It might be slightly bordering on the feminine side of things, but it's not difficult at all for a man to pull this off.

While I'm truly impressed with L'Eau de Jatamansi, it's not my favorite fragrance of all time, and so I only wear it every once in a while. On the other hand, it's hard to complain or find any faults in a fragrance like this, considering that the possibilities are somewhat limited when you're working with all natural ingredients. All in all, L'Eau de Jatamansi is an natural and organic masterpiece that stands up to rest of the bunch out there using ingredients made of who-knows-what from who-knows-where.


P.S. Equally impressive is L'Artisan Parfumeur's other all-natural and organic fragrance "Cote d'Amour," which smells like a seaside bouquet of florals.
23rd November, 2009

Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès

My favorite citrus scent, and I've tried them all. Orangey citrus over a mossy and leathery base. Smells old-school, but not dated or too animalic. Great quality ingredients and incredibly refreshing without being too transparent. The feel is just right - not too thin (doesn't feel like it's lacking something) and not too thick (doesn't feel heavy at all). On top of it all, it's a citrus scent with character, which is a rare feat.

Pretty much the only scent I know of that works perfectly in any temperature, while excelling in hot and humid climates. While the tart citrus burns off pretty fast, you're left with an orangey leather moss (chypre) drydown that lasts quite a while.

23rd November, 2009

Bulgari pour Homme Extreme by Bulgari

Bulgari PH Extreme is the fragrant equivalent of blasting classical music on huge speakers at a deafening volume. It just doesn't work and loses all it's charm. While I absolutely love the original Bulgari PH, the Extreme version just came off too loud, synthetic and uncomfortable for me. The main difference between the two is that the Extreme employs a nice grapefruit opening that the original does not have, all the while overdosing on all the harsh ingredients of the original and none of the soft, musky ones. Instead of being zen and understated, Bulgari PH Extreme is chemically and.... well, too extreme.

23rd November, 2009 (last edited: 15th December, 2009)

Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka

Can't remember what the specific notes in this are, but a friend of mine wears it and it smells nice on her. Lolita Lempicka's caveats, however, are that it smells rather cheap and synthetic. It's really easy to overdose on this, meaning a few sprays too much can turn into headaches and complaints from those around you. Nice enough, but if you must wear something heavy, sexy and modern, I'd rather smell something a little more classy like Chance by Chanel.

23rd November, 2009

Mitsouko by Guerlain

Utterly hideous and beautiful at the same time, Mitsouko is probably among the 10 best fragrances ever created on the planet, and I'm basing that opinion on the reformulated versions - I can only imagine what vintage Mitsouko smells like.

The scent can be described as having peach skin overtones rounded out by a spicy, powdery, mossy, green, hay-like base. Somehow the peach is not sweet at all, however it is slightly juicy and mouth watering. The most surprising thing about Mitsouko is that it's easily unisex, if not somewhat butch with its animalic chypre undertones. One of the only fragrances out there that actually embodies an authentic oriental/Japanese vibe, while still maintaining that romantic French touch that is so characteristic of classic Guerlain's.

While Mitsouko is a wonderful work of art, it is, however, quite dated and not easy to pull off for younger generations. On the other hand, anyone with a nose for beauty will enjoy smelling Mitsouko, even if they don't want to smell like it.

Mitsouko is more than a masterpiece - it's perfume history in a bottle.

23rd November, 2009

Ultraviolet for Him / Ultraviolet Man by Paco Rabanne

I've never worn Ultraviolet myself, but a good friend of mine has been wearing it for years. It's a very strange fragrance, and it's unique in the best way. It's such a unique fragrance that I'm not even sure what the notes are - the best I can describe it is "sweet and musky, with a salty ambergris drydown." While the drydown is ambergris heavy, it doesn't smell like the drydown of a modern Creed fragrance. Rather, the ambergris is salty and slightly bitter, with a powdery facet to it and very, very diffusive. Ultraviolet has this amazing quality where it just surrounds the wearer, creating an aura of sweet musk without overpowering. I agree with the people who say it's very synthetic, but I can't say that's a bad thing. It might not smell natural, but I've never found it to be cloying, cheap or annoying.

While I can't really describe the way it smells, I can say that I love it, as many others do too.

20th November, 2009

Blu Mediterraneo Capri Orange / Arancia Di Capri by Acqua di Parma

Beautiful citrus-orange opening that dries down into sweet orange life savers. It never goes into the candy zone, and the other herbal and musk notes save it from being too sweet, but I'm still not sold on it. While the opening is promising, I'm just a little disappointed by the dry-down. Nice, but not one of my favorites from the line.

Longevity is short, but sillage is good while it lasts.

19th November, 2009

Blu Mediterraneo Tuscan Cypress / Cipresso di Toscana by Acqua di Parma

Weeeeyyyooo this is refreshing! The opening is a beautiful, natural blast of eucalyptus and rosemary, while the heart is a powdery yet not-too-thick lavender. Deep in the basenotes is crisp and woody cypress. Like a dip into ice cold water at the top of a coniferous mountain. I haven't tried this in the summer heat, but I can see the lavender *perhaps becoming a little too powdery on days with high temperature and humidity. I'll update my review when the summer comes along.

19th November, 2009
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C16 by Indult

Slightly rubbery, slightly indolic, slightly skanky and somehow slightly clean. While the fragrance C16 is named after a certain musk molecule with 16 carbon atom bonds, there's no doubt in my mind that this is in fact a musk cocktail, and not simply the musk molecule "C16." To my surprise and delight, the fragrance progresses from one musk to another in an olfactory slide show, starting with a bit of skank similar to the musk in Kiehl's Original Musk and eventually drying down to a clean white musk similar to Les Nez's L'Antimatiere.

I didn't find C16 to be a light fragrance, but it's definitely not oppressive either. While the way it smells isn't particularly unique overall, the way it progresses throughout the day is quite genius. It's a little bit of everything all blended to perfection. While I have to admit that C16 somehow never "wowed" me, it did slowly seduce me. I think that's the point.


18th November, 2009 (last edited: 10th July, 2010)

Enlévement au Sérail / FK3 by MDCI

A beautiful and simultaneously ugly (ie. jolie-laide) fruity chypre in the mold of Mitsouko, but more complex. Very reminiscent of the vintage Guerlains and a worthy homage to Mitsouko.

I haven't given this a proper wearing yet, but will edit my review once I have done so.

18th November, 2009

Ambre Topkapi / PB by MDCI

A translucent and fluid amber, heavy on ambergris with smoke, spices and a juicy apple note that almost goes under the radar. No powder or heavy amber here - just smokey yet transparent amber. A little bit generic in style, but a great fragrance overall; if you don't expect an amber fragrance, you'll appreciate it more. The ingredients are rather synthetic for such an expensive fragrance, but Pierre Bourdon has succeeded in combining them in a way that gives Ambre Topkapi the feel of an aged scotch whiskey. A fragrance for a cultured and experienced man who has seen it all.

18th November, 2009

Cologne pour le Matin by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Fresh oranges and lemon over an airy lavender and orange flower, supported by a powdery musk reminiscent of bed sheets. The smell of a loved one who wakes up after an afternoon nap. Soft and soothing, yet refreshing.

17th November, 2009

Cologne pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

I liken Cologne pour le Soir to the smell of slightly honeyed skin on someone who has been burning frankincense and drinking red wine. Dark and gothic, yet also comforting and stimulating. My favorite of the line so far.

17th November, 2009

Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

If you've ever sniffed Narciso Rodriguez for Women, loved it, and wished there was a male equivalent, here it is. Lumiere Noire is a rose and patchouli mix with a touch of cinnamon and cumin over a base of clean egyptian-style musk. The texture is thick, yet smooth and airy. Despite what you would expect, the blending is seamless and the aura is clean and sensual. It's most definitely unisex, but not necessarily feminine. Great stuff.

17th November, 2009 (last edited: 10th July, 2010)

Aqua Universalis by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

To my nose, this scent should primarily be used as a laundry detergent and linen spray, however it also works remarkably well as an EdT. Lemon, lily of the valley, ylang ylang (?) and a touch of iris over very light woods and musk. Quite simply the most natural-smelling laundry detergent in existence. Clean, crisp and breezy.

17th November, 2009

L'Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque

L'Eau de Tarocco is a beautiful, natural and refreshing citrus scent, but the musk in the base is too synthetic, clashing with the natural vibe. In essence, it feels like two different fragrances: a natural one over a synthetic one. I like musk of all kinds, but the musk cocktail here rubs me the wrong way. Whatever the musk in the base is, it's more or less the same musk cocktail used in Geranium pour Homme. Not for me, this one.

17th November, 2009

Moon Garden by Strange Invisible Perfumes

Yep, gasoline and paint thinner, but in the worst way (I actually like the smell of gasoline). I think I'll pass on this one.

17th November, 2009

Derring-Do for Men by Ineke

To my nose, this is the best of the Ineke line, and still, not even that great. I found it be pretty sharp and synthetic, just like the rest of the fragrances from this house. A shame, since I love the marketing and bottles. Even the customer service is great - I just don't like the fragrances.

17th November, 2009

Messe de Minuit by Etro

I genuinely like the smell of this - it's got this dusty, orange and frankincense thing going on. But like others have mentioned, this just doesn't smell healthy to me. I don't want to smell like Messe de Minuit, nor I do feel good when I wear it. On the other hand, Etro's other fragrance, Shaalnur, is uplifting and enjoyable.


P.S. If you like the idea of orange and frankincense, I whole heartily recommend Holy Water by (AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo), which smells a whole lot like Messe de Minuit, but a whole lot better. Now that's an uplifting, crisp and consciousness altering fragrance.
17th November, 2009

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Tobacco, black tea and vanilla. That's about it.

While I loved it at first sniff, Tobacco Vanille now makes me yawn of boredom due to it's linear (and lack of) evolution. I also hate the synthetic black tea note in it - I find myself getting annoyed of smelling the exact same thing for hours on end - like a song that was good at first, but once you hear it on the radio for the 5th time in an hour you're fed up of it. Not much else to say here, but that TV is also overpriced and smells a bit like a candle. Sorry guys, I'm just not feeling this one.

I much prefer Guerlain's Spiritueuse Double Vanille - now that's a fragrance with quality, evolution and great blending. Even though there's no tobacco in SDV, it still reminds me of vanilla pipe tobacco and gets top honors for being my favorite pipe-tobacco-style fragrance. SDV is less sweet than TV and it's not even close to being as cloying or annoying as Tobacco Vanille.

15th October, 2009 (last edited: 30th November, 2009)

Honoré's Trip by Honoré de Prés

Yuck. I got a tangerine and lemon opening with a touch of red peppers and rubbing alcohol. It's sad, but Honore's Trip is seriously so light that the alcohol overpowers the fragrance itself. A total ripoff and a joke of a fragrance. The only fragrance I've come across that literally lasted less than 20 minutes on my skin.

I want to give this a neutral because I appreciate the fact that this is organic and all-natural, but I can't. Although it has potential to be a good fragrance, they totally copped out on the percentage of essential oils here, especially with the price they're charging for a bottle. It smells like 0.1% oils and 99.9% alcohol and therefore it's totally not worth trying.

08th October, 2009 (last edited: 30th November, 2009)

Invasion Barbare / SB by MDCI

A fresh fragrance that opens with notes of non-citrusy grapefruit, violets and cardamom. As it dries down, a barbershop heart of powdery lavender emerges (similar to Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier), supported by ginger and cedar over some clean vanilla-musk. Deep into the drydown is a Jicky-like leather (most likely castoreum and a touch of civet) that almost goes under the radar. The best way I can describe Invasion Barbare is that it's a fresh-oriental lavender fougere with a musky leather base.

Although this fragrance is anything but barbaric, I imagine the name is a double entendre, referencing both its clean barbershop (ie. "barbare" shop) lavender and animalic barbarian base of leather. Overall, it's a classy smell, yet it's also relaxing and emits positive vibes, making me feel cool, calm, and collected. If I hadn't found this in my quest for my holy grail, I might have lost hope somewhere along the way. This is one of the few fragrances out there that is good enough to be a Guerlain, and modern enough to not smell like grandpa.

A modern masterpiece.

24th September, 2009 (last edited: 30th November, 2009)

L'Antimatière by LesNez

While many will complain that this is "rain water, a pretentious piece of crap or the emperor's new clothes," I can only say one thing about L'Antimatiere: You smell it or you don't.

When I first tried it, it was during hay fever season, and so I smelled next to nothing. Come the end of fall, I went for a jog and cleared my sinuses, then took another stab at L'Antimatiere. Lo and behold, it was super potent, with an overload of white musk, the *slightest, almost unnoticeable touch of something salty and animalic (I'm guessing this is the ambergris) and a touch of vetiver in the top notes. It's no surprise that L'Antimatiere is hard to smell, as the molecules must be enormous, granted how musky it is (musk molecules tend to be big). You really need to have your sinuses clear if you want to smell it in all its glory. Otherwise, L'Antimatiere tends to pop in and out of consciousness, sometimes only becoming noticeable when you're not paying attention. Not only is it hard to smell unless you're allergy-free, but olfactory habituation tends to occur remarkably fast with L'Antimatiere as well.

I definitely do not find it light, and I can also vouch for 48+ hour longevity. I remember taking a shower two days later and suddenly being overcome with a cloud of white musk. Somehow it manages to pop out again when your body heats up.

I can't say I didn't enjoy L'Antimatiere, but for someone who doesn't like white musk, it just didn't cut it for me. I do however think it's a great piece of art, and definitely smells like the olfactory equivalent of invisible ink. It also layers remarkably well with Mitsouko (as Isabelle Doyen has been known to do herself), however Mitsouko EdP is already perfect in my mind, and doesn't require any tampering, however tempting it may be.

18th September, 2009 (last edited: 30th November, 2009)

Lyric Man by Amouage

A muted rose fragrance that feels very clean, in the same kind of clean style as Gendarme. Overall, Lyric Man is like a soapy, very soft rose supported by very light spices and frankincense. Very fresh, clean and ethereal, while still maintaining a bit of musky sweetness.There's no way this could ever offend anyone, and that's a great feat for a rose fragrance. It's surprisingly unisex and even has a very fresh note that you could describe as something akin to cucumber-musk.

Everything here is impeccably balanced and the quality is very high - there's not a hint of anything that smells "obviously" synthetic or unpleasant. My only peeve is that it's slightly boring and lacks a bit of "kick" or "life," if you will. I'm very impressed with Amouage's releases these days and this is another one to add to the list of good ones.

15th September, 2009

Legno di Nave / Seawood by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo

This doesn't smell like the sea per se, but more like an old spice-drenched and mossy bucket of water and sea weed from the sea. As Hirch put it, this is life-soup. I don't particularly ever want to wear it, but I love to sniff the vial, as it transports me to a mossy dock of decaying planks of wood, sea weed, spices and other organic matter from the sea. Very unique and quite frankly almost off-putting and ugly, but it still manages to come off smooth due to Profumo's blending skills. Supposedly the newer batches of Sea Wood no longer have ambergris in them, but I doubt it will make much of a difference as this stuff already feels so alive.

15th September, 2009