Perfume Reviews

Reviews by adowds

Total Reviews: 52

Volupté by Oscar de la Renta

There's plenty of body to Volupte, it's sweet, rich and floral with incredible lasting power. Everything sits on a base of ambergris, though I'm certainly not fan it's accompanied by plenty of patchouli, so one gets the character of the amber but not the oftentimes nausating fecal note.

Volupte is indeed very nice and it carries a certain amount of feminine elegance and maturity.
27th October, 2009

Géranium pour Monsieur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

For the most part I feel it's menthol not mint that governs 'Geranium'. Now in thruth I can pick out a faint trace mint, but only occasionally. I do like this, it's fresh and simple but it's just not striking enough or long enough lasting to justify the price.
26th October, 2009

Ocean Lounge by Escada

Would be a perfect alternative to Vera Wang 'Princess'. This is a sugary-sweet berry fragrance that could only suit a little girl.
26th October, 2009
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Valentino Gold by Valentino

Sweet but not cloying, I quite like this, though not one I'd wear personally. Reminds me of Body Shop's White Musk but has a little more body and character. In addition I find ambergris in the base, thankfully the ambergris is there in only a small dose.
25th October, 2009

Carré d'As by Nicolaï

Not really one for me. Carre D'as has a delicate and gentle citrus top with an equally gentle drydown. The base though was a bit of a surprise, it's a lot softer that the individual elements would have you expecting.

Though this is my least favourite PdN it's perfectly acceptable, just nothing special!
21st October, 2009

Sacrebleu by Nicolaï

Just OK. Although it's sweet and faintly (femininely) floral there's enough jasmine here to make me feel that I could carry it off. To me Sacreblue smells like soapy jasmine bubblegum, not unlike many of the soap bars one can find in LUSH (handmade cosmetics chain store).
20th October, 2009 (last edited: 21st October, 2009)

Narziß by Dorissima

I actually find that Narziss opens a little fusty. I was immediately reminded of a bedroom in my Grandmothers house that hadn't been used in 20 years.... dusty and dry with a touch of camphor in the room. Narziss soon brightens, becoming a mix of pepper, vetiver and sweet flowers, though a little of that fustiness does persist. The mix of pepper and vetiver puts me in mind of Roger and Gallet's Vetyver. There's quite a lot going on here, I can't help but feeling that I've layered two very nice and gentle fragrances together.

Although it goes on a little nasty Narziss settles quickly into a very 'easy' and relaxing fragrance. This ranks alongside my R de Capucci as a fragrance that you can always fall back on if choosing a fragrance for the day is too difficult.
19th October, 2009 (last edited: 21st October, 2009)

M7 by Yves Saint Laurent

The stand-out note in the opening is the agar wood but the ambergris is definitely there in equal measure. The agar wood jars the nose more but it's the ambergris that provides the body of M7. There is a freshness given by the vetiver, and a spiciness that doesn't marry to the stated top notes (to my mind) with the agar wood bringing a woody and medicinal quality. The ambergris 'rounds' off the fragrance, providing the sweet smoothness (which some refer to as vanilla). The top notes are very nice and give extra character but sadly disappear off too quickly, rendering them ultimately unimportant.

The spiciness has all but gone after one hour leaving the musk, agar wood and ambergris blending well together. One moment I feel that I mostly get ambergris (which I loathe in isolation) the next the agar wood would become the more obvious. In the end it’s the always long-lived ambergris which remains the more powerful element and sees M7 out. Now ordinarily this would be intolerable for me but there is just enough trace amounts of musk and agar wood to keep it pleasant for me.

Some have felt that M7 needs thirty minutes to tame before they believe they can face the world. Myself I like the opening most. M7 sits more in the realm of niche fragrances than designer, as rich and thick as Blue Amber or Chergui. I prefer M7 over the aforementioned, it has a less pronounced ambergris, a nutty character and swapping the ‘vanilla’ sweetness for a ‘cough syrup’ sweetness is just fine by me.
07th October, 2009

Acqua Viva by Profumum

Begins with a beautifully sharp and bright lemon blast, but very quickly something putrid and woody appears underneath. It was quite unbearable and I did feel a little nauseous. Each following five minutes I cautiously took a sniff and found that after 30 minutes the smell was gone leaving only the pleasant lemon and a little dry wood.

I’m not a big fan of Lemon fragrances, GFT is enough for me and Acqua Viva isn’t about to take it’s place.
05th October, 2009

Royal English Leather by Creed

In reading all the previous reviews I have picked out several words which are repeated throughout, rich, round, smooth, vanilla, dirty, creamy, sweet, caramel, vanilla, buttery and musky. 'everso' is the only one to pinpoint the main element of this fragrance, ambergris! Real English Leather is a fragrance that is given all the qualities mentioned in the first sentence, and therefore ALL it's direction, by the ambergris that is present in abundance. It is of course genius in its obviousness, a soft and fresh leather can be described as having same qualities but it would be impossible for the leather to retain these qualities in a bottle. Ambergris substitutes and does this with ease. The resemblance to "urinal cakes" is uncanny when smelling the nozzle of the bottle and the first blast to the skin, but it soon dies off for those that may be concerned, and me, I quite like it. What I’m not thrilled about is the fecal note that follows the urinal cakes exit. From the start REL contains a powdery note that is hard to place. It is not until the top and mid notes die off that it can be seen to resemble the magnesium smell of talcum powder.

I've given my thoughts already on ambergris in my review of Angelique Encens and won't repeat them here. I will say though that I can tolerate it in small doses to 'round' a fragrance and give a 'creamy' quality to a blend of other ingredients. Here in REL it sits heavily in the base and has more potency than the other elements, as a result it turns my stomach slightly. Other reviewers have also stated that REL tames and becomes soft, yes that's true, as all the other notes disappear one by one the ambergris is left standing to the bitter end.

Agreed it will read like I don’t like REL and it’s true that it’s just not for me. That said it is indeed gloriously unique and will make a bold statement for those that can stomach it and choose to wear it. It’s also genius how such a vivid and fresh leather fragrance can be created without necessarily including any leather.
04th October, 2009

Eucris by Geo F Trumper

I just can't fully warm to Eucris, it's just a little stale and dry for me. There is a short period mid-way through when a faint fruitiness and freshness come through; I just wish it was for longer. I'm not convinced about the presence of cumin that others can pick out, it's certainly not freshly ground cumin. The only thing it could be is packeted cumin that's well beyond its sell-by date.

Eucris feels incomplete, as if it's missing top and mid notes, I may try to layer with something like very light. I can see myself wearing this when the mood takes me so a negative would be inappropriate.
02nd October, 2009

L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer

A very peculiar opening indeed for this one. I can pick out vetiver, ambergris and in particular cedar, but I can't quite understand why the overall result is a damp rag that has become a little mildewy. No matter, as within 15 minutes L'Air du Desert Marocain has completely transformed and is radiating out the most wonderful dry cedar and incense aroma. The incense does catch the back of the throat a little but not so much as to be turned off it. That said there is no escaping the smell of the incense, I feel like I'm surrounded by a cloud of invisible smoke when wearing this. L'Air du Desert Marocain is also spicy but not fresh and vibrant spices. Instead the spices are stale and woody, like a bag of Garam Masala that's well beyond it's use-by date. The result in summation is a fragrance that smells ancient and mystical.
01st October, 2009

Angélique Encens by Creed

I have the same experience with Angélique Encens that 'the_good_life' has, really enjoying the first hour then finding the dry down increasingly hard work. I'm not going to give a run down of the fragrance as others have pretty much covered everything, rather I'd like to comment on the element that pretty much governs Angélique Encens, ambergris.

For those that are a little squeamish now would be a good time to stop reading.....

Created by the bile duct of sperm whales, ambergris is a waxy substance that helps the whale pass sharp bones of large sea creatures that it inadvertently ingests. How it is expelled is another matter. I apologise if this is more information than the reader needs but I feel that the back story to ambergris is important and why the idea of smelling it in it's pure form can be more than some can bear. Ambergris smells waxy, sweet, creamy, syrupy, slightly smoky and a little animalistic. With a little used in a blend ambergris can give a smooth and round finish, but here in Angélique Encens it is left alone and unadulterated. I find this smell nauseating in much the same way that hot fudge cake is if you have eaten way too much for main course, though the dessert has a more pleasant story to it's creation.

Angélique Encens is indeed a classic and unique blend, and with fantastic longevity and sillage, one could hardly not recommend that everyone try it out. 8.4 oz is just too much for anyone though, like Blue Amber by Montale a little goes a long, long way with this much ambergris present. The Neutral is only for my personal taste rather than the quality.
01st October, 2009
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Cologne by Roger & Gallet

For just shy on 3 hours this is one of my favourite summer fragrances. It's instantly pleasant on application, a light and not too tart citrus with a touch of fresh mint and sweet pea. But by the time it's been on for 3 hours a stale/musty note comes into play. That note lingers on until the very end. I would really have preferred Extra Vielle to remain fresh throughout but alas no. Thankfully the note isn't so strong as to ruin the fragrance for me.

I can't tell you for sure whether it's worth the upgrade but Selection Verte by Creed is everything that I would have hoped for in EV. Extra Vielle is on the better side of a neutral review but the fact that it's so easy to get it cheap just nudges it to a Thumbs Up
29th September, 2009

Monk by Michael Storer

EDP formulation.

Monk is an odd fragrance, I know I'm smelling cocoa butter but yet it doesn't conjure up feminine associations. Though the smokiness is difficult to discern there's just enough there to mould the cocoa butter in a masculine smell. Within an hour vanilla starts to dominate and I'm afraid vanilla is just not my thing.

When all is said and done my wife likes this, and because I don’t dislike it and as I'm a bit of a tart I'd wear this just to impress her. A 'Thumbs Up' but barely.
29th September, 2009

Wild Fern by Geo F Trumper

Fiercely bitter and unapologetically green, Wild Fern demands to be noticed. Unlike some others I don't get any sweetness or fragrant herbs, I also don't get the impression of the countryside (in the sense of rolling meadows). I know it sounds very specific but I have the image of being in a hillside forest that sees a lot of rainfall. Wild Fern also has quite a soapiness to it, and whilst it's densely green if I hold my nose close to my skin for long enough there is a freshness that comes through, not lemon but something equally bright and tart. So finally I have to say I like Wild Fern, I like it a lot.
29th September, 2009

Sélection Verte by Creed

Very, very nice. Selection Verte may not seem very original or unique but it is such a pleasant fragrance. On examination of all the previous reviews, non-'Thumbs Up' reviewers each have their different gripes, but I notice that none actually disliked the smell.... this is not a surprise. I myself have no problems with the longevity, 6 hours of soft citrus and fresh mint goodness.

I've had a bottle of 'Roger & Gallet - Extra Vielle' for quite some time now and it has been one of my favourite summer scents. The moment I tried Selection Verte recently I thought "My God this is identical to Extra Vielle". So the next day I decided to wear the two on either arm. Side by side the Creed is head and shoulders above the Extra Vielle, brighter, better longevity, cleaner and just plainly of a higher quality. The Creed remains bright and fresh throughout (with the help of the mint) whereas the Extra Vielle takes on a rather stale/musty direction 2 to 3 hours in. There is no denying the two are 90% the same, but with the Creed being 21 years the senior makes the EV into the blatant copy. Roger & Gallet's offering represents much better value for money though.
29th September, 2009

Eau de Patou (original) by Jean Patou

Brings together two of my favourite fragrances, Eau Sauvage and Dunhill for Men. Eau de Patou though has no Vetiver, minimal pepperiness, is much brighter, and for sure has more bitterness. This is a unisex and universal fragrance. It may be a bit too bright for some men so I think it might be a perfect candidate for a little bit of layering. Given its superb longevity Eau de Patou is a keeper in my books.
28th September, 2009

Li Altarelli by Stéphanie de Saint-Aignan

I dislike the opening, smells a bit like fenugreek coming through, giving a woody and airy quality to the accord. But that same woodiness also makes the fragrance smell a little stale. The occasional faint whiff of a very natural and soft lemon comes through. The Lemon seems to be there throughout, though it is quite weak and very much in the background.

Li Altarelli has some of the feeling and comparable sillage to both Creed's Erolfa and Himalaya. Having the airiness and saltiness of Erolfa and some of the dry, woodiness of Himalaya. In the end I was quite surprised by Li Altarelli, I believed that it was so weak early on that it could only have a short life. Instead 6 hours after application has outlasted both the Creed's I mentioned (and tested alongside). I can't wholeheartedly give this a 'Thumbs Up' as I really disliked the staleness of the first hour, but a 'Neutral' seems unfair as it really becomes excellent (and to my mind better than Erolfa) afterwards. For now I'll settle on a 'Thumbs Up'.
27th September, 2009

parfums*PARFUMS series 8 Energy C: Lime by Comme des Garçons

This is 'Series8 Energy C: Lemon' with the lemon swapped for lime, I prefer this one.

Opens quite calmly with clean and soft lime. Never becoming tart Energy C: Lime is a pleasant lime fragrance that I’d be more than happy to smell on others. Winds down a little bit better that the 'Lemon' version, becoming a mix of citrus and fragrant woods.

Due to it’s decent longevity and straight up simplicity it’s on the better side of a neutral review.
27th September, 2009

Balle de Match / L'Eau de Sport by Nicolaï

Quite a peculiar fragrance this, going by the notes it doesn't seem to be the sum of its parts. The Grapefruit is the most obvious element in the mix but it's neither zesty nor acidic, rather it has the same soft and sweet feel of a galia melon. I suspect it’s the juniper berries that gives Balle de Match its soft and fruity quality. There is also just the trace of incense in the blend but oddly enough it's not smoky. And though not stated, ‘pink’ pepper keeps the fragrance on the bright side whilst providing just a little spiciness.

Zztopp has done a great job below in trying to describe quite a unique fragrance, though I’m sure he’d agree this is one you need to try for yourself to truly get a hold on it. Very, very nice.
27th September, 2009

Atao by Lostmarc'h

First of all this is not a feminine fragrance, if anything it's masculine, and less likely a unisex leaning towards masculine.

This is nearly a cut and paste of Comme des Garcons - Series 8 Energy C Lemon. Opens quite calmly with clean and soft lemon. Over the next two hours fragrant wood and a trace of spiciness appear and they remain until the end along with the lemon. Never becoming tart Atao is a pleasant lemon fragrance that I’d be more than happy to smell on others but not myself. Nice but very boring.
26th September, 2009

L'Altra Follia di Aquarama by Riva

Opens very obviously smelling of tobacco leaves. It is green, bitter and a little musty. Like Rivarama there is liquorice here, but this isn't a sweet liquorice. On paper one would assume that the liquorice is coming from the star anise, but I just don't get any of the feel of star anise, mainly it's mentholated property. To me there is no star anise here at all but there is liquorice extract. There is certainly a little pepperiness to L'Altra but it's so faint that it could be the cumin, cinnamon or the rose pepper causing it. I imagine I'll never find the source of the pepperiness as I dislike L'Altra and can't see it crossing my path again. Lasts for a reasonable 4-5 hours pretty much as it starts out as a leafy, musty, liquorice with a little pepper. To me this stuff is just a mess.
26th September, 2009

Domenico Caraceni 1913 by Domenico Caraceni

What an impressive fragrance, but what really impresses me is the number of stunning reviews of 1913 here on BNs. Seldom have I seen so many reviews of this standard for one fragrance. Could it be that 1913 is so special as to bring out the best in the reviewers? I think so. What can I say that hasn't been already, well not much new really, only that in the first hour I believe I can pick out elderflower.... I can also offer glowing praise though. 1913 is wonderful and is on my 'Wishlist'.
26th September, 2009

Yuzu Ab Irato 09 by Parfumerie Generale

Starting with an instant blast of sharp and zesty citrus fruit. At first I thought lemon zest, then grapefruit zest, then orange zest... let's just leave it a citrus zest. Yuzu, Ab Irato nearly has the character of a Penhaligon but ultimately falls some way short. There is something of an accord happening here as I struggle to pick out any more than pine from the mix. Although it's certainly complex it does feel a little too generic. As I said, snub this and sample some Penhaligons.
26th September, 2009

Anvers by Ulrich Lang

Very unusual indeed, sweet, flowery, smoky, leafy, musty and fresh all at the same time. I don't get a second hand smoke (in the air) smell but I do get the smell of a smoker that has finished their cigarette and is now chewing sage and mint gum.

At the moment I feel it's just not for me, but it is interesting enough that I'll definitely give it a try again in 6 months. I'll say neutral for now.
26th September, 2009

Eau Neuve (original) by Lubin

2007 Re-issue

Opens with a clean and not tart lemon and chamomile blending. There's also something from the Chinese kitchen coming through but I just can't place it. Soon lavender appears and a growing similarity to Blenheim Bouquet becomes clear. Like with most lemon fragrances the lemon can't stand up too long and within 3 hours I'm left struggling to pick out the lemon underneath the light lavender and fragrant wood.

There is something important to note here and it's that I've never come across chamomile in a fragrance before. When I smell it here, paired with lemon, it surprises me that the pairing is not more common, it really seems like a natural choice. But really that's by the by in this case as ultimately this novelty can't raise my interest in this rather boring lemon fragrance.
26th September, 2009

Cologne Cédrat by Nicolaï

This cedrat doesn't distinguish itself too much from common lemons. Less tart and softer than most lemon fragrances it's certainly more to my liking. But with such a short life, and the only a faint trace of pepper and bergamot to add character this is not something I'd ever consider buying. Although Cedrat is nice enough 'Bois de Cedrat' renders this fragrance obsolete.
25th September, 2009

Aromatic Lime by Montale

I quite like the sparkly opening, a different take on citrus. Citrus that's light on citric, it has more of an apple or pear feel to it than lime. Nice light woody feel to it throughout. Though I enjoy Aromatic Lime it's a little weak in the sillage department and it's price guarantees a non-purchase. Lasts most of the day but too close to my skin for anyone else to know I'm wearing it.

25th September, 2009

Rivarama by Riva

Top Notes - Lemon, aquatic notes
Mid Notes - Juniper Berries, Black Olive, spicy Herbs
Base Notes - Cedar wood, Patchouli, White Musk

Summery, sweet and fresh, Rivarama is quite a pleasant smell. It’s certainly not masculine, rather it’s a unisex fragrance that’s a little in the feminine side. The main thing that sticks in my mind is fruity liquorice and coconut sweets (candy).

Looking at the notes is a bit of a puzzle if I compare them to what I smell. The blending is balanced enough to make picking out the individual notes difficult. I suppose the ‘spicy herbs’ may contain basil in order to supply the liquorice, I can also pick out the white musk. Longevity isn’t bad at 5 hours, and it doesn’t project too much. Although I wouldn't wear Rivarama I still like it, too sweet for me.
21st September, 2009