Perfume Reviews

Reviews by clamnole

Advertisement
Total Reviews: 317

Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens

I've liked everything I have tried from Serge Lutens, and FdO is another likeable fragrance in this line. Typically I find white floral scents to be too reminiscent of bath products or women's shampoo and FdO does ring that bell, but it's not intolerable in any way.

I don't get a sweaty blast of cumin as some reviews mention, but the opening 30 minutes are a medicinal like citrus and spice. It actually fits in to work with the rest of the fragrance evolution fairly well as the remainder of the scent is a jasmine, orange blossom and rose concoction that quickly conjured a luxury hotel spa or woman's bathroom. The jasmine seems to dominate the fragrance and it has a soapy clean aspect to it.

As with most unisex scents, the white floral and lack of wood notes make this one lean very feminine to my nose. I might like this as a bath fragrance for my wife, but it's too soft and flowery for me to want to wear out any time.

I'll give it a solid neutral rating.
31st May, 2017

L'Occitan by L'Occitane

A shower fresh fragrance that is mainly a lavender, with a light touch of clean woods and pepper. The pepper is very subdued and really just shapes the supporting wood notes. I don't get anything burnt in this and it's often a masculine shampoo type scent.

It's a bit old school lavender but with a modern twist. I like this for day and office wear as it's very clean, light and would appeal to most people. Great value with all L'Occitane products. An easy Thumbs Up.
27th May, 2017

Sicilian Mandarin by Ermenegildo Zegna

Zegna Essenza's effort at the classic Italian Eau de Cologne, and it's a very good one. Bright shiny Mandarin peel with a touch of green Bergamot, Pettigrain and a hint of Mint. It's an airy, light composition that leaves the wearer feeling clean and envigorated. The Mandarin side of this fragrance, fades slowly over the first 1-2 hours until it becomes a soft Lemon-wood concoction that stays on the skin for another hour or so. Sillage is also on the short side, so it's a good selection for office and summer time close quarters. Just be prepared to reapply for a longer wearing.

If you lack an Italian style EDC and can afford the Essenza line price, this is an excellent quality option. I personally prefer Italian Bergamot from Essenza over this, as it's a bit more creative IMO, but this is nice also. A Thumbs Up.
21st April, 2017
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Carven L'Eau Intense by Carven

A nice, natural smelling "Eau" from Carven. The opening notes of mint, grapefruit and birch are really nice. A very clean and green citrus accord that slowly fades away within the first hour. The remainder of the fragrance is a lavender and wood with a lilting ginger that reminds me of a French Provence hotel soap. Nice and clean, but lacking anything distinctive.

If you want fresh and clean, this is a good choice. You have to like mint though. Carven quality is excellent.
16th April, 2017

Italian Bergamot by Ermenegildo Zegna

Bright citrus, supported by spice and a woody green note, but unlike many citrus fragrances the top notes seem to hold and blend through the heart and base. I like the vetiver composition in this as it has adds a salty, clean element to the citrus. There's a similarity to AdP's Colonia Essenza in the drydown, but herb note is more towned down by the salty vetiver. Decent sillage and but only about 4hrs longevity.

I like Italian style Eau de Colognes and Italian Bergamot is an excellent rendition of a classic gentleman's scent.

A definite thumbs up.
08th April, 2017 (last edited: 29th April, 2017)

Aqua pour Homme Atlantique by Bulgari

Bulgari's Aqua line has, IMO pretty much played itself out. There really hasn't been anything innovative in the aquatic genre in years and the Atlantique version isn't anything original by a long shot. I will give credit to it not being as harsh or synthetic as most of it's line mates, but it's all been done before.

Atlantique to me smells very reminiscent of Nautica Voyage or perhaps a calmer Polo Blue, especially when you get the opening apple-pear like top notes. It's got a laundry fresh base with good longevity and average sillage. However, it's easily replaceable/interchangeable with a dozen other scents that sell for half the price. I'd pass on this one.
19th March, 2017

Narciso Rodriguez for Him Bleu Noir by Narciso Rodriguez

Reading the other reviews for Narciso Rodriguez's Bleu Noir I was expecting a citrus wood and vetiver reminiscent of TdH. Unfortunately for me this is just cardamom, cedar and a soft musk note. While I have always found TdH bright, this is rather dull with the only similarity to TdH being the pencil like cedar. It's borderline screechy with the musk probably pulling it out from something worse. The cardamom opening has a spice rack tone, but it fades away fast enough. Not a scrubber, but not one I would return to for any reason.
02nd February, 2017

Honey Aoud by Montale

A gourmand scent from the house of Montale. It's trademark Montale with a brash opening of amber, vanilla and a floral honey. For me the amber is too strong in this one, and it bullies the other notes to the point I wanted to scrub it off. Almost as dominant as the amber notes in Blue Amber, which I have never really liked. I would have preferred a gourmand honey, oud and floral, which IMO would have fit better in the house tradition. I can only give this one a neutral rating.
04th January, 2017

Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

LNpH is the second fragrance I have sampled from MFK, and like Masculine Pluriel, it's immediately going on my wish list and is a certain future purchase.

The note pyramid says "spiced rose" but it ought to say "sweet" or "candied" as the rose note has a significant amount of sugary aspect, especially in the first hour. I was worried that this one was going to come off a little feminine, but I believe it is perfectly masculine. In fact, LNpH may be one of the nicest wearing masculine florals I have experienced. As it dries the patchouli begins to come forward, but it remains rose centric with no dirty or harsh elements. There's some other obscure spices in support, but all are smooth and clean feeling.

Although an EDP the sillage is relatively tame but the longevity is excellent, going well into the evening from three sprays. A good all season fragrance, with the rose note being very versatile. I can see wearing this to the office often.

Big thumbs up for this one.
28th December, 2016

The Scent of Peace by Bond No. 9

My 17 year old daughter just picked this up at a discount online. At first I agreed with the critics, and just thought this was another middling effort from a house that is trademark middling, but after smelling this around the house and on my daughter, this is actually a very nice teenage fragrance. It's light, slightly aquatic, fruity-floral is a good contrast to the Mugler Angel, Alien and other "heavy" scents girls her age seem to enjoy.

I'm giving Scent of Peace a Thumbs Up.
20th December, 2016

Astor Place by Bond No. 9

Middle of the road type floral fragrance. Soft, slightly fresh, but ultimately boring. There's just nothing to stand out or distinguish this in any way. The most interesting thing about Astor Place could be the bottle. At Bond prices, it's not going to happen.

Be more creatve! Thumbs down.
20th December, 2016

New York Musk by Bond No. 9

Very sharp floral opening that fades quickly to a modern light musk. This isn't what I think of or even remotely reference when it comes to a musk fragrance. Nothing animalistic in this at all. Almost smells like soap and has a feminine powder tone. I like the overall composition and wouldn't mind this on a young lady, but not anything I would wear. Lasts forever. Neutral for me.
20th December, 2016

Godolphin by Parfums de Marly

Godolphin is a very authentic smelling leather fragrance with a touch of floral that stays fairly linear for an eternity. I really like this combination of notes in a leather fragrance as it's just enough of a floral accord that it doesn't have you thinking of boots or handbags. Very masculine combination that could be overpowering if applied heavy.

I also believe there are many excellent options for the money in this genre and prefer the more floral Knize Ten, or the berry combination AdP, but if you don't own a leather scent Godolphin is a very high quality option. The bottle is built like an anvil as well, and looks and feels great in your hand. A definite Thumbs Up for me.
27th November, 2016
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

L'Envol by Cartier

While I'm certainly not in love with L'Envol, I will give it credit for originality. This is a light scent, almost like it's not really there, but faintly present, like it lingers from the very opening. This had to be produced in EDP strength for that reason alone.

I get honey, musk and wood, just as described. Faint though, but surprisingly decent longevity. Not sure how or where I would wear this, and I like a specific utility in my scents, so a pass for me, but giving it thumbs up as it is unique.
26th November, 2016

Dunhill Icon by Dunhill

A pretty common, yet classic theme that's just really well done. Icon opens with a nice neroli and bergamot accord that slowly shapes by Black pepper and petigrain, but it's soft and without the bite that I usually associate with pepper and pet I grain. A nice soft vetiver and wood base supports and there are hints of lavender, iris and juniper floating in the background. It's a fairly light fragrance that is best suited for day wear, but could be worn both casually or in a professional setting. Good versatility. What fragrances used to be. Subtle and correct, but not rich enough to be elegant.

Bottle is pretty substantial as well. I'd buy this one. Thumbs up.
26th November, 2016

Vert d'Encens by Tom Ford

Vert d'Encens continues the march towards androgyny for the TF line and adds to the pile of marginal overpriced unisex scents in the marketplace. The whole Vert series falls horribly flat for me, with all of the offerings opening with a strong greenhouse like rot element. While it's short lived, it's completely without merit and has little to pair with the rest of the fragrance. Unfortunately, TF isn't the only line following the unharmonious pairing trend.

The fragrance does calm with time and late in the drydown becomes a mildly pleasant balsam and sweet incense that is faintly reminiscent of Italian Cypress, although quite neutered.

Nothing special here.
16th November, 2016

Minotaure by Paloma Picasso

Purchased at a discount online for only $20. I had read that this was a once great 90's fragrance, only to suffer from a reformulation change in the modern era. For the price I thought I would give it a try.

While never having smelled the original, the current version scent isn't bad at all. Very citrus-lavender opening, with hints of vanilla, leather and sandalwood underneath. I don't really detect much geranium or jasmine, but there is a little sweetness and gourmand like spice mixed into the middle. After about an hour it's mostly a vanilla, wood and spice skin scent.

It's a very nice scent, but doesn't give you much more than 2-3 hours of fragrance. I recommend a travel atomizer, so you can recharge as necessary.

I'll wear it this fall to dinner and a evening out, but can't see many other opportunities for it. If you can get it at a discount, it is very nice to wear while it's limited for wear.
07th October, 2016

Sartorial by Penhaligon's

A worthy fragrance at last from the house that seems to me to enjoy developing "subtle" gentlemanly scents. While by no means a sillage powerhouse, Sartorial does break the Englishman boundaries a little. It's an excellent, and somewhat complex take on a traditional lavender over oakmoss, but there's an interesting supporting cast of wood, spice and green elements. Very clean smell, without a soap or chemical imbalance.

I like where the designer went here, and would wear this in cool weather, as it's sophisticated enough for formal attire and clean enough to be office safe. Looking for a sample and would likely purchase a bottle. Thumbs up.
09th September, 2016

Blenheim Bouquet by Penhaligon's

Blenheim Bouquet isn't a bad fragrance, and might be a great option if you work in a confined space or just don't want to project a scent.

My issue is that the pleasant smelling top notes fade away too quickly and your left with a clean laundry scent that stays on the skin.

I prefer the much richer, better performing AdP product in this genre.
09th September, 2016

Javanese Patchouli by Ermenegildo Zegna

A woody, dry, clean patchouli. Zegna's Essenze line is very impressive and Javanese Patchouli may be the best of the lot. The patch is unmistakable, but it's fresher and more modern paired with the sweet tone of bergamot and a touch of pink pepper dancing through the background.

This could be the quintessential, modern, businessman's scent. A modern day "Madmen" fragrance. Successful in that cunning, slightly perverse kind of way. A definite confidence maker IMO.

Thumbs up and a must have.
01st September, 2016

Néroli Sauvage by Creed

Tried NS finally on a weekend trip to the Bahamas. I've always sort of avoided NS because when I've smelled it in shops it didn't strike me as either original or unique. After wearing, my opinion hasn't changed.

NS is pretty much the scent of a springtime orange blossom. It's citrus, floral, woody and maybe even slightly aquatic. Initial projection is good, but within 20 minutes, it's gone and your left with floral-woodsy skin scent.

There's lots of better alternatives in this crowded genre and they won't hit you up for Creed prices. Check out L'Occitane's Eau de Cedrat. It's very similar, better performance and a fraction of the price.

Neutral at best.
28th August, 2016

Eau Libre by Brécourt

Minty green aquatic that reminds me of mouthwash. It's not terrible, but it's very straightforward and generic smelling. A resurrection of a 90's era CK scent. Minty clean. Not worth the price. A decent choice for the man who really doesn't care.
17th August, 2016

Eau de Cade by L'Occitane

One of the very best juniper fragrances on the market today, IMHO.

I am a fan of juniper. Especially juniper wood notes, which unfortunately seem forgotten in modern perfumery, but were quite abundantly used in many discontinued fragrances. I have often wondered if this is due to changes in tastes, or if juniper is perhaps one of those notes that is difficult to pair and/or sustain in a fragrance. I lack the knowledge to say, but can attest that most juniper fragrances do seem to have difficulty in sustaining the note for any significant length of time. What makes Eau de Cade different, is in the construction of complimentary notes that help to sustain the fragrance's juniper tone. L'Occitane uses a natural cedar wood, iris and pepper that pairs cleanly with the juniper wood and holds the fragrance together without any toxic use of a synthetic or Iso E Super support.

Eau de Cade is very much a natural outdoor fragrance that could be worn year round. It won't last an entire work day, but works perfectly well for casual weekend wear, dinner dates and seasonal social functions. Definitely a thumbs up.

08th July, 2016

Eau de Cedrat by L'Occitane

I find I like everything I try from L'Occitane, and really was impressed from the first spray with Eau de Cedrat. Cedrat is a lemon-bergamot fruit that is an interesting yet short lived opening note. The quickly fading lemon tone, pairs with a clean cedar and cashmere woods to create an extremely unique and refreshing scent. EdC offers a clean wardrobe cedar, a sweet, soft cashmere and a hint of Mediterranean citrus that's old school masculine, but also modern and bright. EdC reminds me of a sweeter citron version of Spice & Wood from Creed, but certainly different enough, that the comparison is only a fair similarity.

Good longevity, average sillage and a great price. Superior quality for the money. A worthy Thumbs Up for me.
08th July, 2016

Tobacco Nuit by Atelier Cologne

Tobacco, tonka bean and patchouli is what I get from start to finish. The tobacco and patchouli here are fresh, dirty and field ripe. Nothing smoke or headshop though. Oddly, I was expecting the scent to trend toward TF's Tobacco Vanilla, but Tobacco Nuit falls closer to Tom Ford Extreme, just without the syrup-sweet overtone.

Like all Atelier fragrances, this is really nicely balanced with a ever so slight gourmand touch. Good longevity and sillage from two sprays. I could enjoy wearing Tobacco Nuit while sipping an espresso by the pool, as easily as with a glass of good port in front of the evening fireplace.

Thumbs up.
21st May, 2016 (last edited: 16th August, 2016)

Blu Mediterraneo Sicilian Almond / Mandorlo di Sicilia by Acqua di Parma

You have to like gourmand fragrances to enjoy AdP MSA. I only occasionally like this type scent, because they tend to give me a headache after a couple hours wear.

AdP MSA is mostly almond and vanilla, with a hints of rum and a slight citrus zest. If it were a cake, I'd gladly tuck into a large slice. However, there's just enough of a rum or liquor note to make me think of an amaretto coffee with a shot and ton of creme. If you're into the gourmands, you'll like it. If not, pass it by. Neutral for me.
08th May, 2016

Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens

5 O'Clock Gingembre is a sweetened patchouli with notes of chocolate, cinnamon, tea and of course, ginger. It's a bit gourmand, but not to any extreme. Easily unisex, good sillage and longevity and surprisingly versatile enough to be worn to the office. This simply is a truly pleasing fragrance. Thumbs up again for Lutens.
19th March, 2016

Vétiver Fatal by Atelier Cologne

Vetiver Fatal is a vetiver based fragrance, rather than a pure vetiver scent. Opens with plum and violet notes over a vetiver and cedar base. The plum and violet stay prominent throughout and the fragrance develops only minimally. Seems sophisticated and refined and really is unlike any other fragrance I'm familiar with. Even if you own several vetiver scents, VF is unique enough to fit your collection. Very nice to wear, and offers great versatility in all but the most formal of occasions. Easily unisex with average sillage, but excellent longevity.
18th March, 2016

A*Men Pure Tonka by Thierry Mugler

Pure Tonka smells to me exactly like a carnival concessionaire with a strong chocolate, caramel and burnt sugar tone. It's hyper sweet and perhaps the most gourmand of the line. While I find these fragrances interesting, I just don't want to wear most of them (Coffee and Malt being the exception), and the whole line seems over played to me. If you're a gourmand fan, or just like the "Pure" line, Tonka will appeal to you.
18th March, 2016

Sel de Vetiver by The Different Company

Vetiver and grapefruit opening that immediately reminds me of Terre d'Hermes. As the grapefruit wears off, the vetiver begins to develop towards a peppery grassy note, with a bit of citrus sweetness, ala Guerlain. However, Sel de Vetiver takes it's own direction from here, with iris, geranium and sea salt blending through the grassy familiar notes, making for a very unique and distinguished vetiver fragrance. The iris is prominent, but not in a Dior fashion. It lays beneath the vetiver, yet is enough to get your attention. I don't find this as salty or oceanic as say Sel Marin, just more of a twist on a common theme.

Office safe, unisex, average sillage and longevity. I like this and appreciate the appeal, but not sure if I will put it on my wish list. Reminds me of several scents I already own. Excellent none the less. Thumbs up.

15th March, 2016