Perfume Reviews

Reviews by NickZee

Total Reviews: 151

Endymion Concentré by Penhaligon's

Smells like Axe body spray. Penhaligons reached a summit with Sartorial, but now it seems it is coming back down the mountain.
06th April, 2017

Field Notes from Paris by Ineke

Primarily a sheer orange blossom and beeswax fragrance with lots of nuances that do well to live up to the imagery of Paris on a beautiful day. Intoxicating opening. Performance is acceptable - the pleasant main notes persist for a long time after all the clever supporting acts have gone home. There is a shampoo like quality in the drydown that orange blossom fragrances often teeter around, and that places it strictly in the casual wear category for me. Overall, really well done. Not quite on par as the signature orange blossom work of Francis Kurkdjian, but very good nonetheless. And for the price, well worth a purchase for me. Excellent value.
29th March, 2017

Emir by Martine Micallef

This is a stunning masculine with excellent performance. The note pyramid only tells part of the story because the oud has many facets: leathery, fruity, smoky, woody. It's a terrific representation of oud. There is an 80s powerhouse vibe in the background, which may be what Darvant refers to in his review below as the traditional patchouli/geranium blend. Emir also has a very nice orange/grapefruit opening. 5 stars.
28th March, 2017
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Coromandel by Chanel

I do like this but I dont get any patchouli in the EDP. Not a trace. And the famed "white chocolate" is surely a reference to a powdery accord of musk, orris root, heliotrope and other powdery nuances. There is some orange/tangerine in the opening. Elegant, feminine, classic, long-lasting. Would be incredible on my wife.
14th March, 2017

Incense Oud by Nicolaï

Develops into a never-ending citrussy olive oil accompanied by some sort of hairspray note in the deep drydown.

07th February, 2017

Oud Stars : Zanzibar by Xerjoff

This one falls short, beginning sweet and syrupy, then two minutes later a barnyard note comes forward dominated by hay, and an hour later it ends with basic dry woods. This last stage extends for several hours. Innovative in 2012, but times have moved passed this style. Would be best to discontinue this and leave the stars of the Oud stars line shine.
02nd February, 2017

Regent Leather by Thameen

Vanilla and jasmine, fighting to the death against a big dose of patchouli. There were no winners, least of all those seeking an automotive leather fragrance.
31st January, 2017

Oud Rose Intense by Fragrance Du Bois

My earliest flutter in the world of perfumery was the supermarket aisle when I would have been 14. I was drawn to the women's body sprays that my female cousin wore so well. They sold for the outrageous sum to me of $4 a bottle. It was 1996, dad was down on his luck in an economy just showing the first rays of hope after a brutal recession and I still had not got my first part-time job. One of those bottles was the purple version of Impulse. I Emptied half a dozen bottles over a year in high school.

And now Fragrance Du Bois does the same thing for $500 for 50ml. Granted the quality is better and I as glad for the reunion. Lots of geranium, followed by rose and some sandalwood and some sort of shampoo effect. No notable oud or Amber. I'm sure many people will get enjoyment out of this, but the full bottle price is too much for me.
30th January, 2017

Le Mâle Essence de Parfum by Jean Paul Gaultier

An excellent sweet take on leather that is accented by some sort of nice paper-money note. Opens with the designer-standard, pleasant lavender and cardamom but unlike many designers with that standard opening, the drydown continues to deliver.
22nd January, 2017

Issara by Parfums Dusita

A soft, coumarin laden, apologetic fougere in a delicate undersized 50ml bottle and priced to break the bank. Forget the slick pictures folks, this bottle is miniature, yet unlike Oudh Infini, the juice is not strong enough or daring enough to warrant the miniaturisation. This is a safe fragrance and one that can be worn with abandon, and that means that 50ml won't hang around for long. My recommendation is get yourself a sample, enjoy, and then proceed to the much more afforadable, engaging and imposing Masculin Pluriel.

This would be a thumbs up, but the packaging and pricing issues are too much to ignore.
21st January, 2017

Acqua di Giò pour Homme by Giorgio Armani

What a gorgeous fragrance this is, after all my forays into niche I can't say this wows me anymore but it does continue to please me.
20th January, 2017

Oudh Infini by Parfums Dusita

Overall I find this a beautiful oud, rose, jasmine, civet fragrance. Yes, jasmine isn't listed, but surely it is here? Maybe it's the orange blossom.

Worth the $$? I'm undecided - my bottle is second hand and substantially cheaper than new. I feel lucky to have come across it for what was around a 30% discount.

Let me address the animalics. Your view will vary depending on three things: 1) how accustomed you are to animalics 2) from what distance you smell this fragrance and 3) at what point in the development you sniff this fragrance. For me, half a spray behind each ear and two sprays to my lower chest has everything smelling beautifully balanced and at my preferred high volume. But if I lift my tshirt to take a whiff...well sure, it's a barnyard under there. Why do it though? Animalics do their magic from a distance.

The oud here is famously animalic, but to me it mainly serves to add tremendous volume to this fragrance. It doesn't have the much of the woody, smoky or medicinal qualities that oud/oud accords can often deliver in spades. Instead it makes the fragrance rise in seemingly thick waves.

A deceptively dark fragrance. One night I tried to add Frederic Malle's Monsieur thinking it might complement this beautiful fragrance, only to find that it shined like a bright beacon over Oudh Infini.

One facet, and only one facet because this fragrance has several, is the jasmin/sandalwood combination. The jasmin, or whatever is giving the jasmine effect, combines with the sandalwood to bring to mind the great french women's fragrances of the 80s. There is classic French perfumery under the oud/rose combo and it steers the whole thing ever so slightly to the feminine side of unisex. It shouldn't deter men from wearing it thigh, especially if you are on this site.

As an aside, I spritzed on an averagely good designer one night after wearing this in the day, and at that moment Oudh Inifini seemed to wink over at me and say "I'm worth it, hey?". Well I'm undecided, but maybe, just maybe.
19th January, 2017

Rose Oud by By Kilian

Possibly the most boring rose fragrance I have encountered. Armani's Calligraphy Rose for 5x the price.

I would make more effort with my review but at $570 Australian dollars for 50ml, I feel that it is By Kilian that needs to be trying harder.
13th January, 2017 (last edited: 18th February, 2017)
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Amber Gold by Ermenegildo Zegna

This fragrance is characterised by a bitter, petroleum-like incense note siting above lots of airy amber and unisex florals. As time goes buy, the incense slowly departs and the amber takes centre stage, eventually drying down to a bed of soft woods. The citruses, the florals, the animalics are all there making for a complex, luxurious fragrance with lots of danger along the way. Good performance as well.

I find the regular Zegna Essenze line thoroughly boring due to the short-lived and now outdated niche practice of stripping the complexity in favour of supposed quality. Here you get quality and complexity. So the Gold series seems to have turned a new leaf for Zegna. Big thumbs up for this one in particular.
09th January, 2017

Honey Oud by Floris

I get the honey at the start, then it settles into a smooth, high quality and polite oud-rose-amber combination. Nice stuff but i rate it neutral because a) it is unoriginal b) the opening 5 minutes is where all the impressive stuff happens and c) the longevity and projection are average at best.

If you are looking for something with a bit more theatrics and originality, Floris' own Leather Oud is far more worthy of a full bottle purchase.
07th January, 2017 (last edited: 08th January, 2017)

New York Oud by Bond No. 9

A feminine-leaning rose with a strong, nose tickling, medicinal accent that I guess is the oud. No animalics. Could easily pass for a Montale fragrance. A bit boring.
03rd January, 2017

Luna Rossa Extreme by Prada

3 sprays of this is enough to gently fill a room with incensy/woody/peppery/vanillic lavendar heaven. An above average designer, lives up to the extreme moniker as well.
29th December, 2016

Vert d'Encens by Tom Ford

Terrible heliotrope bomb, performance is spectacular but this is just unpleasant. Why is heliotrope so popular in 2016???
26th December, 2016

Fahrenheit Absolute by Christian Dior

A underappreciated gem they said. A tragedy that it has been discontinued they said. A couple of years back one enthusiastic YouTube reviewer (in this particular case this person is always a warning sign) insisted that his viewers buy 5 bottles and put them away for the day they would double in price. Well at the time of writing that day has yet to come but I concede, the prices are rising.

The fragrance heads at Dior certainly saw the writing on the wall for Fahrenheit Absolute. What had arguably been a daring and original composition in 2009 began to falter as the niche market gathered steam and continued delivering a lot of great compositions amongst the constant stream of generic muck. In comparison, Absolute suffered from a monotone drydown that is seemingly composed of an unlisted note or two, something like cherry and almond and syrupy-like. Whatever this drydown is, it is resinous and sweet in a way that almond notes often are. This failed to please me after a promising, complex opening in the first 45 minutes. That opening is full of clean fruity oud, a citrus note that resembles grapefruit, a dose of pink and black pepper and a bitter incense note. Yes, this all has little to do with the note pyramid, and if it does, the order seems wrong. Myrrh is a listed note, but it fails to turn up for work.

The connection to the original Fahrenheit is typical for Fahrenheit flanker, the two are more like cousins than siblings, and it cannot be otherwise because the original is so perfect that anything smelling too much like it can only be inferior.

Performance is strong, and the first 45 minutes justify a sample. But leave those full bottles to flounder on eBay unless you are a Fahrenheit die-hard, because that drydown stands little chance of enticing you back more than a handful of times.

As a final note, there is a similarity to YSL's original M7. The shy use of oud, the cherry accents, they both have much in common and both suffered the same fate.
20th December, 2016

Silver Mountain Water by Creed

Pleasant but unremarkable for someone like myself who prefers rich woody ambers, tobaccos and leathers. Your view will vary if you like fresh scents and have a nuanced nose that can appreaciate the subtleti s of silver mountain water. This seems much like a traditional cologne but enhanced by a light touch of tea and blackcurrant. Neroli is seemingly avoided in an effort to break the link to its cologne backbone. This is something I consider worthy of a decant but not a full bottle. My wife does love it though, so that tips it over to a thumbs up.
18th December, 2016

Leather Oud by Christian Dior

Just received a 7ml mini after having earlier tried a 3ml sample 2 years ago. There definitely has been a reformulation to my nose. The earlier sample was classy but ultimately went too far into barnyard territory. It is thankfully still recognisable as the same gorgeous scent without the strong animalics, probably for the best. It can now come out to a formal setting, transitioning through different facets of oud, from sweet to leathery to charred and woody and back to soft sweetness. I would actually wear this in the morning to work, Cuir Cannage in the evening at home, that's a beautiful day right there.
09th December, 2016

Portraits : The Tragedy of Lord George by Penhaligon's

"Middle note - shaving soap". Lol. Spend $370 Australian dollars to smell like a $5 can of shaving soap. Virtually any powdery discount bucket fragrance could make a claim of having a shaving soap note.

When you charge in this bracket, when you play on this stage, you better be prepared for scrutiny.

The bottles do look and feel great. But the rich-coloured juice misleads because inside is a bright designer juice that isn't even close to Penhaligon's other great men's fragrances like Sartorial, Endymion and Opus. The main note listed on fragrantica is Amber, but it is in fact ambroxan, the synthetic ambergris that plagues designers at the moment. Secondly, there is no brandy, not in the sense of some of the stunning boozy fragrances on the niche market today. If there is any brandy here, I cannot detect it. This is a standard designer-level woody lavender thing with ambroxan screaming on the side and making it all very light and bright. Everyone involved on this project, save the bottle cap, needs to hang their head in shame for bottling a crass designer fragrance that would ordinarily be a bad buy at $100 but then trying to sell it for $370.

Btw, the rest of the range fares no better really. The only saving grace is that these are limited additions, but even then, there are plans under way to keep releasing new fragrances in this line.
01st December, 2016

Egypt by Eight & Bob

Eight & Bob's Egypt should have been called "Monte Carlo" to reflect how ostentatious it is. This is what a flashy guy wears when he is going to lunch on a yacht anchored in the Riviera. It smells like a very high grade designer with an incredible spicy cardamom opening leading quickly into heavy lavender and nutmeg heart (needs 20 mins to breathe) that sits over an ambery/vanillic/soft woods base. The presentation here is top notch. From box, to bottle to cap to label, everything has been carefully thought out and has a great feel. As many people have noted, this scent has nothing to do with Egypt as its typically imagined. There's no dry sandy notes or lingering spicy notes (or pyramids). Just images of clean shaven men with popped collars, hair product, over-sized watches, and sand shoes worn without socks, hence the image of Monte Carlo. Maybe those men are Egyptian, spending their new-world wealth in style? Projection and longevity both excellent.
28th November, 2016

Tom Ford Extreme by Tom Ford

Tom Ford, I have only a faint idea of his role in fashion, but I know very well that he is a gift he is to perfumery. His oversight of the collection that bears his name has presented us with now dozens of first grade perfumes, many completely original, others classical in style but built with a lot of care and high quality ingredients. If I had to limit myself to one collection, or if a rich friend wanted a recommendation, the Tom Ford line would be my pick without a shadow of a doubt, with the MFK line a distant second.

And this Extreme edition in the regular line is signature worthy for the accomplished businessman, an opulent yet conservative blend that is true to the note pyramid. Dark dried fruits over a collection of my favorite masculine notes with rum thrown it. There was always a danger that the notes would deliver something too dense, to heavy. Certainly the opening is just that. But there is enough counterbalance to open up the heavy, sweet and boozy notes after 45 minutes.

On the issue of longevity, what is clear is the regular 4 sprays that so many on Basenotes are fond of (in case they are identified as a fragrance wearer in a public space) will not cut it here. The reason is that the sprayer on this bottle delivers a 3rd of the volume of most sprays. So yes, you need 3 spritzes on the same spot to achieve a proper single spray. That skin scent that lingers will now project enough for this to be an excellent personal fragrance. Then you can sit back and enjoy this incredible fragrance's development.
22nd November, 2016

Stash by Sarah Jessica Parker

Interesting development on me, when in close contact with Stash I enjoyed the journey but the smell along the journey was not nice enough to be people-pleasing and its groundbreaking combination of notes for the mass market was a bit crude. On my wife it smelled downright unpleasant as I got distant whiffs.

I get the grapefruit and sage (no pepper) in the opening, very masculine in the first two minutes. Then the ginger lily arrives to swing the gender characteristics, adding a floral and green element that segways into the pistachio note and grassy vetiver. The woods make themselves known from the beginning, but they don't get the show to themselves for some 20 minutes. And I mean A LOT of woods. An hour later the olibanum is noticeable and gradually it all gets smokier and smokier.

The development is excellent but ultimately it feels crude and unpleasant. I don't buy that the crudeness "is the point". It feels compromised to sell at the remarkably low price of $29-$49 in Australia.

I'm torn on my final rating, but it's development for the price makes it worth a sniff in case this is your thing.

Another thing I will note is that there was a boiled cabbage note as I opened the box which I linked to the scent itself. It makes itself known again on the tip when you lift the cap after a day or two from the last application.
31st October, 2016 (last edited: 22nd January, 2017)

Krizia Uomo by Krizia

Tried the current version recently and found it to be very green and woody, but of very low quality. Seriously guys, you get what you pay for with this one.
26th October, 2016

Fou d'Absinthe by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Fou d'absinthe is an aromatic pine patchouli fragrance with links to the past (think of Polo) but cleaned, polished, house trained and taught new tricks to appeal to both sexes in the modern age.

For me, it works best for office wear. In the outdoors, bars or restaurants it can sometimes go undetected apart from the underlying medicinal quality, which has nothing to offer in the absence of the other notes. And at home in the evening it is always struggling to overcome the smells of dinner being cooked up. In the office its softness is welcome, and it's gorgeous details are on display to entertain the wearer without spreading too far beyond.

The brilliant opening blast of top notes gets me up and going in the morning and by the time I'm at work it's developed into a beautiful pine and woods fragrance softened by nutmeg and given a medicinal edge by the interplay of ginger and a touch of clove. As noted before, this medicinal backbone stands alone when the fragrance is competing with other smells in the air or the elements, whether it be passing traffic, the wind, the smells of alcohol at bars, etc, etc. But when all the notes are allowed the space set off the olfactory senses, it is this medicinal edge that gives the fragrance its trademark depth.

03rd October, 2016

L'Homme Ultime by Yves Saint Laurent

Rose, green apple and ginger sitting on a thick bed of dusty cedar. I adore this. The sillage is all Rose, apple and ginger while the dusty cedar hovers above the skin with a transition point between, giving the fragrance the depth that we all look for but rarely find in this part of the designer segment.

Thankfully the longevity and projection are also very good, getting me through a 3 hour shopping trip and still spilling all its goodies now that I am home sitting on the couch with a cold beverage.

02nd October, 2016

Armani Eau de Nuit Oud by Giorgio Armani

I get a very nice opening, with fresh and spicy notes accompanying the synthetic oud. But after 10 minutes all that's left is a generic and cheap-smelling floral, woody, tonka base.

At half the price I would still rank this a thumbs down. For the actual price, each sold bottle is a crime scene.

The bottle looks rather poor in real life with its gold-plated plastic trimmings. For the price I would have expected metal trimmings, but alas, the plastic acts as a good warning about the juice inside.
28th September, 2016

Tabaróme Millésime by Creed

The tobacco note here is that of the fresh leaf as opposed to the standard box of cigarettes or cigars or any ashy note. It is still recognisable but this is a wetter, greener smell, slightly camophorous and sour. Ginger is largely responsible for this tobacco impression, but some people might sense the ginger so strongly that they then describe Tabarome as a ginger-dominated fragrance. Whether you perceive the ginger directly or accept the perfumer's effort at creating the impression of tobacco, it's very nice but very serious and slightly sour. The green tobacco accord is strong in the opening together with a stunning bergamot. At this point in time, my wife is swooning. But the bergamot goes within 10 minutes and the tobacco note is only there for a couple of hours. After that it becomes a woody skin scent before petering out prematurely at about the 3.5 hour mark.

Very close to a thumbs up, but for the price I would have liked greater longevity.

27th September, 2016