Perfume Reviews

Reviews by clamnole

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Total Reviews: 366

Lonestar Memories by Tauer

Ridden hard, dusty, trail weathered leather with a large dose of clary sage, cinnamon and cistus. Lonestar Memories is the predecessor to Lonesome Rider. I recently sampled LR and found it easy wearing and smooth, LM is hard and weathered by comparison. It's a very interesting, well executed concept that Andy Tauer deftly employs in both scents and they both are equally derivative of the other. For me LM is just not anything I could wear often and I much prefer LR over it. Powerhouse sillage and longevity. I'll give it a neutral, probably deserving of better.
27th November, 2017

Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka by Hermès

For me, VT stands out slightly in a crowded field of creamy, modern vetivers that includes Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire, and Diptyque's Vetiveryo to name a few. In this vetiver genre the feature note's sharp or pungent edges are smoothed over by supporting notes. The perfumer's hand is what creates the fragrance's essence and Elena does a great work here. VT opens with a warm vetiver that is smoothed of it's bite by a pecan cream-tonka bean accord. From the start each note is present, but seem to be searching for their rightful balance with the sweetness at it's greatest height from the beginning. After about 30 minutes, the tone soon finds itself settling into a fantastically, smooth, creamy vetiver that has a touch of dry sweetness lingering beneath the heart. It's admittedly intoxicating, with light to average sillage, yet excellent longevity. Could easily be worn by either sex and would beautifully counter the more decisively masculine Bel Ami Vetiver in a Hermes wardrobe. A sure Thumbs Up for me, but I'm not certain if I prefer VT to one of the other similar fragrances in the field. Price is a bit beyond my typical budget, however it is one that I would wear often. I'll slowly work through my samples before buying.
25th November, 2017

Vetiver Dance by Tauer

Phew. I normally like vetiver fragrances, but Andy Tauer's Vetiver Dance has me rethinking my affection for this note. At first I thought I may have mistakenly put on the wrong sample and had to check the label to confirm I had indeed put on Vetiver Dance. This starts off very green and sour, with a bushel of horrid clary sage and funeral like lily notes. It's frighteningly old smelling, like a nursing home or funeral parlor old. Lily of the valley always makes me think of funerals. Unfortunately, the fragrance is also devoid of it's namesake vetiver as well. At least in the opening hour vetiver is absent, leaving you waiting for something better than clary sage and lily to develop. Slowly and eventually an adulterated vetiver does kick in, but it arrives too late for me and it's entirely infected with sour toned cistus and tonka bean. Vetiver is supposed to be a clean, uplifting note that is fresh and earthy. Vetiver Dance is really quite the opposite, even depressing by half. I hot showered it away at 2 hours then splashed myself liberally with Guerlain Vetiver to cheer me back up, as well as ward away the Grim Reaper, who I'm certain smells something like Vetiver Dance. A huge thumbs down.
23rd November, 2017
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Lonesome Rider by Tauer

A semi-sweet, yet dry, animalistic leather, iris, incense and vetiver that lays softly with a restrained application. The castoreum in the base makes this smell closer to newly tanned leather than the worn out seat of a tired Lonesome Rider, and that's probably a good thing. In fact LR reminds me of a leather that's been rubbed with linseed oil, or something of that nature. It's closer to the smell of a new saddle than a worn one IMO. The iris opens prominent then fades to the incense and leather, drifting in and out with a dry rose through middle background and giving way to a salty vetiver in the dry down. I personally think this is a very artistic fragrance, and trademark Andy Tauer. Good longevity, but I advise caution with the sprayer or it will overwhelm you and anyone close by. It's potent, high quality stuff. I really like this one a lot and could consider it bottle worthy. Thumbs high from me.
19th November, 2017

Furyo by Jacques Bogart

I remember really loving Furyo back when I was in college. I never owned it because I always felt the animalistic aspect would be off putting to females, yet friends owned it and would pull it off. I happened upon a open bottle in a discount store recently and it was like I was in 1989 again. However, aspects of the fragrance seemed quite different to my mature nose today. First, I recall a much greener scent, with a big bite of laurel in the center. I mostly get clove, cinnamon and perhaps a touch of jasmine flower, which is altogether lighter and smoother than what I can recall. Also the animalistic aspect is toned down and it seems to have a more common patchouli and amber base, which gives it far more balance than what I remember. I actually wouldn't be afraid to wear this today. I passed on the bottle in favor of some more modern scents that were available. Furyo really is still a great fragrance that for me is lost in time. I'm surely going Thumbs Up for it though.
17th November, 2017

Orange Bitters by Jo Malone

Aptly named fragrance from Jo Malone. Orange Bitters starts with a lush fragrant citrus that competes with a bitter version of the same citrus, with bitter citrus getting the dominant position. It's almost like the fragrance you would get from the leaves and stem of an orange tree. The scent develops minimally, with a hint of the amber and sandalwood coming through at the later stage. As with all Malone fragrances, it stays discreet for about four to five hours longevity. Reapply as necessary. Very nice, easily unisex and a good office professional choice. Thumbs up by me.
17th November, 2017

Pino Silvestre by Silvestre

Purchased Pino Silvestre in a bargain bin for $12 because I had never seen it before and I noticed that it is worn fairly frequently by several respected BN members. It's about what I expected for the money; a lemon, lavender and pine opening that's highly synthetic smelling and lasts no more than 5 minutes. The opening chemical concoction is then followed by a huge blast of untamed clove. While clove isn't listed in the scent pyramid, it's mostly all you get for the next hour. There's a faint pine like scent lingering in the background, but I was expecting more considering the bottle is a green pinecone. Late in the hour a cedar and musk faintly appears, and is probably the best stage, but it's barely above a skin scent. The whole thing is gone within 90 minutes. It's not terrible for $12, which is the main reason I'll give it a neutral. It screams 1950's lounge lizard. I'll probably just wear it whenever I'm in a kitschy mood.
15th November, 2017

Vetiver by Mazzolari

Mazzolari Vetiver is a clean dry take on vetiver that to my nose is nearly a patchouli scent. From the opening I got a heavy blast of patchouli, along with a sharp bergamot. The tobacco comes in later and provides a nice balance and softens the harder opening elements. Everything here strikes me as very dry and clean, with a barbershop nod, however I still see this as vetiver centric, just shaped differently. Opening sillage was fairly big, but after thirty minutes it calms down and stays very pleasant for the duration, which for me was a good five hours. While I like it, I have multiple vetivers I would prefer over Mazzolari. A solid thumbs up though.
11th November, 2017

Aoud Vanille by Mancera

Another very pleasant Aoud offering from Mancera. I immediately detect the oud note and the vanilla from the very beginning. The vanilla has an extract or bakery quality to it balanced out by the richness of oud. The floral notes emerge later in the development and really only support the oud and vanilla, perhaps keeping the composition fresh. I like this one a lot, but still probably prefer Sand Aoud for the more traditional derivative, but Aoud Vanille is a quite good modern design. I also think Sand Aoud is more versatile, while Aoud Vanille begs to be worn in cool weather. Excellent performance, and high quality ingredients, typical of Mancera. A thumbs up for me.
10th November, 2017

Sycomore Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Finally received a small sample of Chanel Sycomore from a friend. As a lover of vetiver and vetiver based fragrances I have been looking forward to finally smelling Sycomore. While I will very quickly admit that Sycomore is a great scent, I feel like I've smelled several very close versions of this fragrance before. Most notably in Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire and Dyptiques Vetvyerio. Sycomore has the same smooth, clean tone, with an almost nutty vetiver note. Creamy might be a way to describe it. The sample I received was the EDT yet to my nose, there isn't much of a smokey tone to this as many reviews describe. I also don't catch the comparison to Encre Noir, which to me is rootier and slightly bitter. Sycomore has a much woodier, velvet-like, vetiver tone. It's quite nice, with mild projection but excellent longevity. I'm going to compare the rest of my sample to my current vetivers to see if there's a place for it in my collection. Thumbs up.
07th November, 2017

Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone

Every year retailers put out Christmas decorations and merchandise earlier and earlier. Walking through the fragrance section at Saks the day after Halloween, I smelled this wonderful holiday smell as I noticed the store was already decorated for Christmas. The smell turned out to be a Jo Malone candle of Pomegranate Noir. Being curious I noticed the line included a PN fragrance, so I gave it a spray to the wrist. Right on queue, I got the same spiced fruit scent that I had detected in the shop candle. To describe the fragrance, it's simply a holiday spice fruit that isn't gourmand or overly sweet, so it's ultimately wearable. There's a little bit of wood and patchouli underneath, but it's fairly light. I could detect it close to my skin for about 4 hours. Nice, but not exactly my style, so a neutral and a pass for me.
07th November, 2017

Coromandel Eau de Toilette by Chanel

An old school aldehydic, amber and vanilla. Coromandel opens like many Chanel women's fragrances with a strong blast of aldehydes that are likely driven by the benozin. Fortunately, it's short lasted, and the drydown is all amber, vanilla and an undertone of woods. I like that the fragrance is relatively tame as amber and vanilla can turn sour, but it's nothing that strikes my nose as anything special. It could easily be unisex as I don't find much about the scent to be decidedly feminine. Light sillage but decent longevity. An unenthusiastic neutral from me.
07th November, 2017

1725 Casanova by Histoires de Parfums

I have a hard time rating 1725, because I don't hate it, but I don't really like it much either. After a common enough citrus opening a lavender, licorice and star anise accord builds up an interesting expectation, then it all falls apart into a vanilla and amber bomb. It goes too sweet for my tastes and the soft sandalwood and cedar in the base give a uncomfortable powdery tone to the heart. I like the almond note, but can't tolerate the powder feel I get from this. Chanel Egoiste has some of this same effect for me. It's not so much the scent as the "feel" of the fragrance. Like something you want to shrug off. I don't love it, but don't hate it. But sure I'm not going to wear this again.
03rd November, 2017
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Vetyverio Eau de Parfum by Diptyque

I love vetiver, and have tried many variants of the note across many houses. Vetiveryo EDP may have the best opening and first impression of any vetiver fragrance I've experienced. The opening is sweet mandarin and tart grapefruit blended with the salty, grassy vetiver note. It's very clean and natural smelling and probably bottle worthy just based on the first 30 minutes alone. As the citrus fades the vetiver seems to bring forth the heart accord of rose and geranium, sweetened by a touch of sugary ylang ylang. I detected hints of cedar and musk underneath the vetiver which makes it seem slightly drier in the later stages, but it remains vetiver centric. As with nearly all Diptyque scents, Vetiveryo is a unisex fragrance and seems to split that line perfectly to me. It's modern, clean, fresh and easy wearing. My wife would wear this one without reserve. Moderate sillage and longevity, even though it's an EDP, but I find vetiver scents' performance varies widely depending on temperature and humidity. I like it a lot and it's definitely worth checking out if you like vetiver. Thumbs up.
01st November, 2017

Tabac Rouge / Turkish Blend by Phaedon

Received a free sample with a purchase. This is definitely not my kind of fragrance as it's heavy tobacco, spice and benozin. The opening is a hot honey, ginger and cinnamon, but then a cigar humidor tobacco and incense kicks in and for me ruins what could have been. I don't think it's so much the tobacco but the musk and benozin base. Benozin reminds me of cough drops and gives a metallic, medicinal tone that I don't care for. I would have preferred something sweet, and I don't really see a comparison to Tobacco Vanille. At times it reminds me of Amouage Memoir Man, in that it's so heavy and sour it becomes a challenge to wear. I will say I like the tobacco note here, as it reminds me of a high end cigar humidor, with a rich deep somewhat woody undertone. As nice as the tobacco is, overall Tabac Rouge is just too heavy for me to wear comfortably, but it could be pleasant for a tobacco lover. Masculine and great performance, but just a neutral for me.
29th October, 2017

Fat Electrician by Etat Libre d'Orange

Some reviews refer to Fat Electrician as a "dirty vetiver", but I don't really get much vetiver in this at all, especially in the early stages. The opening is almost an exact vanilla extract scent to my wnose. Probably a combination of the vanilla, chestnut and myrrh, and really is the most interesting part of the fragrance. The opening slowly warms into a spiced myrrh-vanilla with some supporting hints of vetiver, but never anything pure or dirty. I didn't get much development beyond that and to me it's rather pedestrian, with average sillage and longevity. Easily unisex, but strictly a casual fragrance from my perspective. Boring is the best I can do to describe my overall impression. Nothing I'd like to wear or own. For a spiced vanilla I like the smoother Eau Duelle by Diptyque or the more interesting Tobacco Vanilla by Tom Ford.
28th October, 2017

Douro Eau de Portugal / Lords by Penhaligon's

Douro is another nice scent from Penhaligons that unfortunately has terrible performance. The opening smells very similar to Caron's Pour un Homme without the later's prominent vanilla note. It's a tart, aromatic citrus and lavender accord that has a retro feel to it. The opening, while nice, doesn't last more than 30 minutes, then fades to a scent very similar to the dry down stage in Sartorial. On me, Douro was a skin scent after an hour, and gone completely at 3 hours. Penhaligons has some terrific scents but many simply don't offer great performance. Sartorial, Endymion and Bayolea are in my rotation because they are unique, smell great and offer adequate performance. Since is fairly similar to Sartorial, and I own and love wearing Caron PuH, Douro for me is pointless. I'll give it a neutral for the pleasant fragrance in the short time it lasted.
27th October, 2017

Tea Collection : Earl Grey & Cucumber by Jo Malone

A nice fragrance with two complimentary notes and some light support of vanilla is pleasant enough for the short time it lasts. Earl Grey tea has a very distinctive fragrance note and that seems to carry the scent as I found the opening bergamot and cucumber to be fleeting at best. The latter stages are entirely Earl Grey and vanilla. Nice, but nothing I want to wear. The sillage and longevity is very low power as well, so nothing to recommend.
24th October, 2017

Blackberry & Bay by Jo Malone

A rather sweet berry-tropical fragrance that is desperately meek, but might suit a certain individual who wants discretion in a scent. The opening is a sugary blackberry and grapefruit, immediately underpinned by a balanced bay note. I guess that's where I'm getting the tropical vibe, but it's really not so complex. The juicy fruit opening settles quickly and your left with a restrained bay and dry wood accord for about 3 hrs along with a lingering sweetness. It would make a nice vacation scent, along the lines of a very tame EROLFA. Mostly a miss for me.
24th October, 2017

LP No.9 for Men by Penhaligon's

LP#9 opens with a bergamot, pepper and spice that sets the stage for a somewhat generic feeling oriental. The heart is a indistinct floral combined with warm spices over an amber and wood base. It's a nice fragrance that lays soft on your skin for an oriental and doesn't have huge sillage. One could get carried away with the sprayer and not need to worry about heading out into a crowd. I got 5-6 hours of longevity but at a personal space projection level. I like this because nothing is too heavy and it all seems to hold well together. Not bottle worthy for me, but if you want a warm oriental that won't become cloying, LP#9 is a very nice option.
23rd October, 2017

Interlude Man by Amouage

Wow. You're either going to fall in love with Interlude or you're going to hate it. It's got some odd notes that seem to be battling it out with the traditional Amouage formula. The opening was absolutely dreadful, with a strong oregano paired with bergamot that is shortly beaten back by a loud and sour amber. The middle incense is overwhelmed by opoponax and cistus which all lay on top of a dirty patchouli-oud base. I kept waiting for Interlude to settle into something enjoyable but it never happened. Add that to beastly projection and calendar like longevity and you've got your money's worth. Not something I'll ever wear, so it's a thumbs down here.
19th October, 2017

Dark Aoud by Montale

Dark Aoud is actually the first Montale Aoud fragrance that I've found pleasant from the very opening. The screechy trademark Montale synthetic aoud is still present but I also get a raw leather note and a creamy sandalwood. I'm not sure if there's vetiver in this, but I do sense a dry element in the later stages which is likely more a iso-e-super effect than vetiver. It's typical Montale; brashly conceived with a bombastic sillage and longevity. What redeems Dark Aoud is the scent is highly masculine and the combination of aoud, leather and sandalwood is intoxicating, albeit a synthetic, lab originated attraction. Let's face it, real sandalwood just isn't going to be noticeable 10 hours later. Love Montale for what they are, don't worry over what they aren't. Not my favorite from Montale but not bad either.
15th October, 2017

Wood Sage & Sea Salt by Jo Malone

Wood Sage & Sea Salt is a pleasant scent from Jo Malone that should really be thought of as a layering base for one of their other fruity or spice fragrances. What you read is what you get. It has a soft wood (cedar perhaps?) and a light, breezy salt accord. On it's own it dissipates too quickly, but paired with another JM fragrance it creates olfactory heaven. My personal favorite is to layer it with Blackberry & Bay, or Earl Grey & Cucumber. Oddly amazing that it works, pairs itself divinely.

I have to give it a Neutral on it's own, but a Thumbs Up as a layering base.
13th October, 2017

Cologne Intense Collection : Oud & Bergamot by Jo Malone

A truly excellent fragrance. Oud & Bergamot has a bright citrus or bergamot opening that's very authentic without any sourness or sharp synthetics. A soft oud note warms forward and blends with the bergamot to become the mainstay accord for the duration of the scent. It seems that JM fragrances' performance varies by fragrance and wearer. While none of the JM line are designed to be sillage monsters, O&B remained discreetly evident for about 4 hours, which is what one should expect from an EDC. Reapply as necessary.

O&B strangely reminds me of a uptown Chicago tailor that my grandfather used to be personal friends with. He used to take me as a kid to his shop where they would custom make suits, shirts, belts and shoes. This was late 1960's, but the shop had this incredible gentlemanly scent that I hadn't thought of for 50+ years until smelling Oud & Bergamot. I bought a bottle right away.
13th October, 2017

Bogart pour Homme by Jacques Bogart

BpH - purchased blind online for $16, due to all the positive reviews. Gotta say, this is an amazing bargain. Bergamot and lavender opening provides the cherry-tobacco tone other reviews mention, but actually I don't detect anything here that really feels like that, although I'm not familiar with pipe tobacco. I would liken the scent to more of a fruit liquor, with a holiday sweetness. There is a floral undertone but nothing prominent or feminine. The base notes are rich patchouli, tonka and vanilla. Really well blended so that it all stays together for 8+ hours in terrific harmony. A good holiday season fragrance that isn't too winter heavy. Obviously at this price the scent is out of market favor, because nothing really comes across as cheap synthetics and the performance is excellent. Really a great budget purchase that I'll happily wear often. An easy thumbs up.
06th October, 2017

White Aoud by Montale

White Aoud is the sixth Montale Aoud fragrance that I've sampled and I would place it on the "more agreeable" end of the spectrum. The loud medicinal oud Montale employs is tempered by a decidedly feminine jasmine with underlying hints of vanilla and amber. It's a very pleasant scent once you get past the first half hour of "screeching out of the bottle" olfactory assault that is trademark Montale. As it settles into the heart of the fragrance, a soft dusty saffron and rose comes forward and pairs effortlessly with the rising vanilla and amber. The duration is incredible and it never really changes beyond the first hour.

I found White Aoud to be a sweeter Montale Aoud offering and much more powdery dry down. For some reason I don't find it as synthetic as other reviews, but I agree with ClaireV that there is a Victorian style rosewater tone in this that is somewhat addictive. It's too elderly and feminine sweet for me, but pleasant to the nose none the less. I'll give it a thumbs up, but will pass on wearing it again or purchasing a bottle.
05th October, 2017

Royal Water by Creed

Royal Water is another of the fresh Creed fragrances and probably the one that is least heralded. The scent falls between several other Creed productions and is by far the most synthetic toned fragrance of the line. While I don't think Creed has gone with faux notes in RW, the opening combination of citrus and mint do give it a plasticized nature. It's very reminiscent of a Bond No9 aquatic fragrance, that while good quality, just seems like the designer spilled a note in that doesn't belong. In RW it's the peppermint and perhaps the basil that clash with the traditional Italian EdC formula. The fragrance does have better than average sillage and longevity, but it just doesn't work for me, especially considering that Creed has multiple true gems that fill this space far better. An indifferent Neutral for me.
28th September, 2017

Oud Wood by Tom Ford

Oud Wood seems to be TF's modern take on the semi-traditional oud fragrance. It opens with a cherry like rosewood and spice which conjured my toddler aged chest cold cough syrup that I dreaded to swallow. Fortunately this quickly fades and develops into the heavenly oud-tonka-amber accord that my experience associates with an oud fragrance. The rose note lingers in the background, but the heart of the fragrance centers on a rich earthy oud, sweetened with tonka and smoothed out by amber and vanilla. There's a slight gourmand tone in the nature of a winter fireplace toddy, yet it never fully turns into a malty coffee liquor, although the pairing would be quite enjoyable. Excellent sillage and longevity from two sprays. My wrist was under nose all day, so oddly difficult to wear in the office. The wife loved it, so an excellent choice for a evening out with close physical contact in mind.

Thumbs way up here.
28th September, 2017

Pasha Edition Noire by Cartier

A softer, more wearable version of the original. The sharp edges and sometimes screechy citrus and lavender in the original are toned down with amber. I like the original Pasha, but it can be untameable on the wrong day. Noir is it's laid-back cousin, who really doesn't care what your situation or body heat may turn into. It can behave. Thumbs up.
18th September, 2017

Tom Ford Noir Anthracite by Tom Ford

Really a rather decent fragrance that ought to have a sizeable market appeal as there aren't many new releases from mainstream designers with any edge. If nothing else, Anthracite has a bit of bombast in at least the first hour. The feature to my nose is in the spices. I get a strong cinnamon, pepper and maybe even a touch of asphalt (I know that's not a spice). Slightly reminiscent of original Polo Green, back when Polo Green was still produced as a wearable fragrance. I also caught later similarities to Italian Cypress in the dry down, yet in a sharper mode. It seems to be a great effort to create something in a nostalgic style, rather than a derivative of the original Noir. Perhaps I'm just getting old. I'll acknowledge the effort with a thumbs up.
18th September, 2017