Perfume Reviews

Reviews by landshark321

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Total Reviews: 708

Rich Leather by Zara

Zara Rich Leather is one of a handful of Aventus-like clones, the more notable being Vibrant Leather (EDT and now EDP). I was able to quickly try and buy a bottle of Rich Leather, though, and found it quite satisfying.

It's one of the better Aventus clones I've tried, adequately capturing the pineapple and woods of its inspiration. It's only bright at the very opening and then quickly dries down to the fruity, woody, musky, and rather sobering base.

Performance is about what I'd expect for the price. A skin scent within a couple hours but a pleasant, balanced one.

I believe its retail pricing in the US was $29.90 for 100ml EDP, which is as modest as any pricing I've seen for a decent Aventus clone.

7 out of 10
13th July, 2018

Sel Marin by Heeley

Heeley Sel Marin has a top-tier reputation among aquatic fragrances, so I'm glad to finally sample it (via a Luckyscent dabber, albeit). I gravitate toward heavier / cold weather fragrances so it's always a treat to try a new freshie.

As it's name suggests, it's salt water, mainly, with a few interesting hints added: seaweed, vetiver, birch, and lemon, each proving useful to add both variation and depth to the blend.

On my skin, Sel Marin comes off slightly minty, as well, not necessarily good or bad, but it makes the blend more nuanced.

I like salty aquatics like this. One that comes to mind is the rarely-discussed Nautica Oceans that rarely atomizes well but instead is launched in watery bursts and provides the simply scent of salty water but without the dirtiness of calone.

Sel Marin is more subtle, by comparison, but I have reservations about whether it's worth the $180 for 100ml retail pricing. As a premier aquatic offering, it could be worthwhile to anyone who loves it, but I have a difficult time regarding its performance as strong from a dabber, and if it requires a bunch of sprays to last, that could diminish its value.

At minimum, it's a very good entry that I'd like to wear some more, and clearly it was created with care, and is worthy of sampling by anyone, as it's a solid warm weather option.

7 out of 10
12th July, 2018

Limon de Cordoza by The Different Company

The Different Company Limon de Cordoza is centered around the eponymous note of lemon and other citrus, but touched with bits of mint, vetiver, gaiac, freesia, and neroli.

It's predictably fresh, overall quite light, and nuanced, sharpened by the mint and vetiver, specifically, which prevent the fragrance from drifting into "citrus-only" or "juicy, sweet citrus" territory.

It feels fresh but classy, exuberant but reserved, making for a versatile offering as far as gender and age.

Pricing of $125 for 100ml walks the line between being excessive for the lack of performance and just right for a perfume of fine quality and energy, and a rather useful warm weather option.

7 out of 10
11th July, 2018
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Unsettled by Bruno Fazzolari

Bruno Fazzolari Unsettled, while being an intriguing mix that doesn't seem to belong in any genre initially, is dominated by the black tea note that soothes and provides a cooling, semi-acidic, semi-fresh comfort.

Pineapple and bergamot add fresshness while clary sage provides just a hint of dirtiness, and the dry down of sandalwood, vanilla, and labdanum is a creamy pillow on which the rest lands in its base.

It's a fresher tea experience than Imaginary Authors O Unknown but not as fresh as, say, Creed Silver Mountain Water.

Performance is average, probably leaves a little to be desired for the price point ($110 for 30ml) but certainly lovers of this scent will find the performance sufficient. It's an interesting scent, but like Fontevraud, I'm not quite sure it's for me, personally.

7 out of 10
10th July, 2018

Fontevraud by Bruno Fazzolari

Bruno Fazzolari Fontevraud, his limited edition creation for Luckyscent's 15th anniversary, defies categorization. The note list is a curious mix: bergamot, guava, pear, rose, oakmoss, opoponax, patchouli, amber.

For me, the opening to first hour is sharper, characterized more by more oakmoss and patchouli with the bergamot, but the dry down thereafter is a fruity rose mix featuring the guava/pear combination, curious choices, neither of which are my favorite fruit by a long shot, but they work well together here. The result is a dry down that's very pleasant and waers well, particularly for those that the dig the fruity rose subgenre.

Performance is solid, fitting for a year-round scent that has some bass to it in terms of the notes. Pricing is higher than BF's usual $110 for 30ml, instead boasting a $145 for 30ml, but that's expected of a limited edition, and frankly, like his other creations, Fontevraud is unique enough that it merits attention.

Thus far, Five and Ummagumma remain my favorites from his lineup and the only two that I've given serious consideration to buying full bottles of, but Fontevraud is near both of those. It's quirky to the point those looking for something new and unique should definitely check it out. I'm not sure it's quite right for me, personally, but I appreciate the art in it.

7 out of 10
09th July, 2018

Istanbul by Gallivant

Istanbul rounds out my sampling of the first six offerings from Gallivant Perfumes, and Istanbul is clearly the most cold-weather-friendly of the lot. Like Amsterdam, it's primarily resinous but also has sweet elements (vanilla, tonka) and a spicy mix of geranium, patchouli, lavender, and mostly regionally interestingly, cardamom. The result is a blend that's very agreeable and does not hit the extreme highs and lows of sweetness and spiciness; it flirts with being a gourmand while never quite being fully so. It also seems to be a nod to the currently-popular rose/oud combo fragrances without being on itself.

Surely the superlative performer of the line, Istanbul boasts strong projection with only a few weak squirts of the atomizer samples on each arm, and boasts superior longevity to pretty much the rest of the line, and certainly this adds to its value, making the $95 for 30ml pricing for a full bottle seem more palatable than it otherwise might.

For my money, on scent alone, Berlin remains my favorite of the line, but certainly, Istanbul is in the mix, and certainly is the winter choice.

7 out of 10
06th July, 2018

Amsterdam by Gallivant

For me, Gallivant Amsterdam is, most of all, resinous, followed by floral and spicy accords that accent the amber at the center. Sichuan pepper, saffron, rose, cedar, sandalwood, and musk all round out the experience, the pepper and saffron unsurprisingly taking lead. It hits the sweet spot between sweet and spicy, fresh and dense, summer and winter. A year-round winner, for sure. Undoubtedly it'll strike some as odd, but for those that have smelled niche stuff, this will feel familiar, not too daring, but pushing the envelope just enough to be interesting..

Amsterdam's performance is good, on par with most of the line and perhaps even slightly better than most, more suited for cold weather with a certain density, though not the density I'm accustomed to experiencing in amber-centric fragrances.

I quite like this one--still going with Berlin as my favorite, by Amsterdam is another solid offering from this line that merits smelling.

7 out of 10
05th July, 2018

Freeway by 4160 Tuesdays

In crafting 4160 Tuesdays Freeway, Sarah McCartney does something very special: she works in a generally sweet, creamy, pleasant formula and turns in partly dirty to create something brand new and nuanced.

The dominant aspect of the risk is the trifecta of orange blossom, vanilla, and petitgrain, and the former two are used to make up the near-entirety of two other compositions that I love, the more purely sweet Profumum Meringa and Lili Bermuda SunKiss. Certainly there are plenty other such examples, as well.

Freeway, however, takes a bit of a turn (pardon the pun) toward the boozy and the dirty, combining the abovementioned trio with, respectively, rum/brandy and tobacco/cannabis. It's this harmony between the mostly-sweet notes and the somewhat dirty notes that fosters a certain uniqueness that distinguishes Freeway from other sweet orange blossom scents. Sarah McCartney's mastery is best on display here as it is in Eau My Soul, finding the right combination of notes in proper proportions to create art.

Performance is strong and Freeway should prove a versatile offering, serving for me as a mostly-refreshing distraction on a hot summer day, though it's also bold, sweet, boozy, and dirty, so it really works year-round. Regardless of wearer or occasion, this is something I'd like to smell over and over again.

$110 for 50ml is more or less typical of her pricing, perhaps slightly higher than average for an EDP, but nevertheless worth every penny for a fan like me. Her best work to date (that I've tried) along with Eau My Soul.

9 out of 10
03rd July, 2018

London by Gallivant

London is another neat freshie from Gallivant, this time entailing a curious aquatic-like use of cucumber mixed with florals (violet, rose de mai), and a modestly-implemented base of orris, leather, and cedar. It shares in its siblings' accomplishments of blending interesting fresh accords with an interesting dry down. Each of Nick Steward's scents evolve fascinatingly, and London is no exception.

I can see how some might regard the opening as more ozonic than aquatic--regardless, for me, it works well, and relatively quickly gives way to the floral heart and more serous base. Overall, an easy wear to make work year-round and for any wearer, quite agreeable.

Performance is decent but not outstanding (it dries down to a skin scent a bit more quickly and decisively than some of the others) so at $95 for 30ml, one needs to really connect with one in order to deem them full-bottle-worthy.

7 out of 10
28th June, 2018

Tel Aviv by Gallivant

Gallivant Tel Aviv is primarily a floral composition, but it's green, unisex, and robust. It's underscored by citruses, musk, and a soft benzoin/sandalwood pairing in the base. I regard it as unusually agreeable for a niche release, seemingly appropriate for anyone anytime, and while that might brand it less daring, I see it as a rare entry that's signature scent worth for men and women alike.

The white floral aspects (ylang ylang, jasmine) shine the most, but blackcurrant and citruses provide for a fun, bright, sweet opening that eventually paves the way for the a very agreeable dry down of musk, benzoin, and sandalwood.

Like Brooklyn, Tel Aviv's performance is very good for a freshie, though in fairness, one should almost expect that at its pricing of $95 for 30ml.

7 out of 10
26th June, 2018

Brooklyn by Gallivant

Brooklyn was my very first impression of Gallivant and so it seems appropriate to fully sample and review this one first.

Brooklyn is, at first, a strong citrus opening but the underlying, contrasting woody/powdery/musky element quickly creates a juxtaposition that conjures the idea of an urban garden, the concrete and brick of a city mixed with the plants that inhabit it. The duality of the sharpness of the citrus and orris and the relative mildness of the musk and resins keeps Brooklyn in balance, suspended between being a true summer freshie and something heavier and earthier.

Its performance is very good for a fragrance that has a lot of freshness. Even a most number of tiny squirts from a sample sprayer on each wrist yielded a significant scent could for a couple of hours and had above average longevity thereafter.

7 out of 10
25th June, 2018

Silk, Lace & Chocolate by 4160 Tuesdays

I confess I sampled 4160 Tuesdays Silk, Lace & Chocolate a few times casually before realizing it was right for me. A gourmand lover, I can be both easily receptive to and picky toward gourmand fragrances, and admittedly this one seems to have a bit of a mixed reception. Still, Sarah McCartney excels at gourmands (or at least semi-gourmands), and it's no surprise to me that she does well with this.

SLC involves a relatively simple blend of chocolate, strawberry, and bergamot. The first two are obvious and make up the bulk of what stands out, at least to me, a dessert duo that walks the line between refreshing and decadent. The bergamot, however, is perhaps the key ingredient, as it lifts up the blend from being a heavy gourmand to something more in the middle.

Certainly apt for cold weather but not so dense for a little warm weather to be prohibitive, SLC is a well-blended gourmand. It's in the usual price range for 4160 Tuesdays fragrances, $135 for 100ml and $90 for 50ml at Perfumology and Luckyscent in the US.


8 out of 10
22nd June, 2018

Sauvage by Christian Dior

I'm not sure I have much to add to the abundance of opinions on the original Dior Sauvage EDT of 2015, but I will mainly say that it's a pleasant offering that nonetheless doesn't wow me a ton, a "like" rather than a "love" but clearly a "like" rather than a feeling that it's mediocre.

An agreeable mix of bergamot, ambroxan, vetiver, lavender, and pepper, Sauvage nails the citrus opening to woody/earthy dry down quite effectively. It performs decently, boasting a strong projection for an hour before being fainter in its dry down for some hours thereafter.

To me, it's never great, but always good. It's just a tad overpriced via retail ($95 for 100ml, $77 for 50ml) but there are always deals to be had on secondary markets, Facebook groups, etc. where bottles or decants can be had for less. Still, I'm not inclined to track it down.

7 out of 10
21st June, 2018
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Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau is a bready, spicy, sweet gourmand that has vanillic overtones with bits of character via the licorice and apricot, though admittedly I don't detect much of either, specifically, and a milky transparency that makes it easy to wear. It's fun, comforting, and apt for cold-weather wearing despite not being dense, at least to me.

As far as bready scents go, I'd say that Jeux de Peau is quite agreeable, a gourmand apt for even those that usually don't like gourmands, since the sandalwood, amber, and spices bring it more back to the middle, toward most perfume, rather than specifically the gourmand. It's not as dense and deliberately delectable as, say, 4160 Tuesdays Captured by Candlelight, the first and foremost logical comparison that came to mind.

Decently-performing and quite agreeable, its scent is matched only by its great price, a mere $53 for 50ml on FragranceNet. Certainly a bargain to be had, given its quality.

7 out of 10
19th June, 2018

Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens

I'm delighted to finally try out Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan since it has among the best reputations of the line, most notably as it compares to other amber fragrances in general, and Tom Ford Amber Absolute in particular, and I agree that the comparison is warranted.

It's an amber-dominant fragrance, as the name suggests, with heavy doses of incense and vanilla, and it's in this trinity that it's very similar to the 2015 rendition of Tom Ford Amber Absolute. Ambre Sultan also features the spicy, provocative bay leaf, some woods, and a handful of other minor players (florals, herbs per some note lists) that don't hold a candle to the benzoin-leaning amber dominance.

Given its composition, Ambre Sultan's performance is unsurprisingly very good. It boasts projection that's above average and longevity that's quite strong. At a discounted price (on FragranceNet) of $52 for 50ml, it's surely a bargain.

8 out of 10
18th June, 2018

I Love New York for Marriage Equality by Bond No. 9

Bond No. 9 I Love New York for Marriage Equality is, for me, primarily an amber scent, with plum adding to the sweeter side of amber, and ginger and nutmeg adding to the spicy, animalic side of amber,

It opens up sweeter, brighter with more of the plum taking center stage before the spicier, animalic elements open up in the dry down, and while I still find the dry down balance to be pleasant, I can see how, relative the opening, the dry down could turn some people off, hence the mixed reception the fragrance seems to have seen.

Still, it's a very good performer, quite versatile (cold-weather leaning but still year-round friendly, and of course, unisex), an interesting amber fragrance, and significantly discounted on FragranceNet, at $91 for 100ml / $63 for 50ml.

7 out of 10
15th June, 2018

La Nuit de L'Homme Frozen Cologne by Yves Saint Laurent

I don't consider myself much of a fan of the YSL L'Homme line, and while La Nuit in particular seems to be one of the most beloved designer men's fragrances of late, it's not so remarkable to me, though I find it very agreeable.

The Frozen Cologne flanker, however, is comparably agreeable but is more provocative. Frozen Cologne features a bit of a sharper, more citrus-laden opening, with the added "frozen cocktail accord" that I liken most to a margarita but with less bitterness from tequila. The dry down is a little sharper (pepper) and more powdery (tonka) than La Nuit, as well. Overall, Frozen Cologne is just a little more interesting than the comparatively very safe La Nuit.

Frozen Cologne's performance is solid for an "eau de cologne"-concentrated fragrance, as well, seemingly stronger than many EDTs out there, even with the note composition being relatively light-leaning, especially toward the top.

Still, for me, Frozen Cologne is more of a "like" than a "love" though I'm glad to have a bottle to use sparingly in light of its discontinued status.

7 out of 10
08th June, 2018

Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men by Giorgio Armani

Armani Diamonds for men (2008) is one of the less-discussed men's releases from the current century, and this is perhaps predcitable, as it's not a masculine powerhouse or significantly provocative.

It is, however, versatile, useful, fun, easy-to-wear, and arguably pretty inoffensive. As Jim Quantrell, in his YouTube review, suggests, it smells a bit of strawberries and cream, and this exists, to me, over a bed of a general cologne sort of smell, with citrus, pepper, woods, and cacao all mixed in together, the result being sweet and fun yet sort of cologne-like, much in the way that Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche is sort of like a "lemon cream pie mixed with Allure cologne DNA," though admittedly the Armani is not done as well as the Chanel.

Performance is unimpressive but average for a year-round EDT, moderate projection and longevity.

I'm not certain how pricey it was upon initial release, but it's currently an affordable-enough $53 for the larger size of 75ml on FragranceNet. Not a bad blind buy, overall, though I generally discourage the practice.

7 out of 10
06th June, 2018

Blond by Hendley Perfumes

The latest release from Hans Hendley at Hendley Perfumes is Blond, a nuanced mix of a few notes that I wouldn't prefer on their own but that Hans has nonetheless crafted into a very interesting perfume.

Big picture-wise, Blond has the aroma of a floral/leather/musk with some sweetness. The cantaloupe is the biggest standout note, followed by the suede, then musk, then the floral/powder trio of osmanthus/jasmine/iris and finally sandalwood as something that remains only in the background, it seems.

While most of the notes suggest a cold-weather fragrance, the creation is decidedly a year-round-pleasant option, with some power but still an overall balance of lightness and heaviness, somewhere distantly between an animalic leather fragrance and a freshie, the floral/leather mix being enhanced, frankly, by the use of the cantaloupe and musk.

At the line's standard pricing of $150 for 50ml, it's a fair price for niche craftmanship and a scent that franky is unlike anything I've smelled. Floral leathers are interesting, and one that I love that comes to is Coach Leatherware No. 1, but that's vastly different from Blond.

Blond is yet another creation by Hans that impresses me. I've been most blown away by Fume so far but frankly trying Blond inspires me to go back and retry his other works still in production--Rosenthal, Amora, and Mown.

Blond is certainly worth a try, even for those averse to leather or iris. It's just a subtle blend that produces a nice perfume, simply put.

7 out of 10
30th May, 2018

BR78 : Vintage Green by Banana Republic

Of the 5 releases in the Banana Republic Icon collection in 2017, Vintage Green was the only bottle I felt inclined to purchase, despite the collection in general being quite pleasant and a good value.

Its name is a bit misleading, "green" being included and the year (to which it is an homage) being 1978. It's not a powerhouse scent of yore, but rather, an invigorating, agreeable, and effectively-priced freshie. Mainly a mix of bergamot, musk, vetiver, cedar, and fig, Vintage Green hints a lot of the right spots, with a mix of citrus, florals, woods, and even a hint of sweetness from the fig that foster a balanced offering that's really a great match for daytime warm weather.

Despite an EDP concentration, Vintage Green does not boast projection or longevity that's beyond what I would expect for its price point ($48 for 75ml retail, sometimes reduced 40-50%). It's still a great deal for a fragrance that can be had for under $30 but it'd not one I would wear with the expectation it'll be more than a skin scent for more than 6 hours or will outlast extreme heat. Still, it's a nice option that I welcome in my collection, and it reminds me that I need to retry the other original other four, and I believe there's a new entry to the line, as well.

Overall, a highly-recommended try.

7 out of 10
29th May, 2018

SunKiss by Lili Bermuda

Lili Bermuda SunKiss is a lovely expression centered around the note of orange blossom. It opens with a bergamot/orange pairing, ever so slightly tart, but quickly dries down into a melange of orange blossom, vanilla, sandalwood, and musk.

I get a creamy, sweet orange blossom creation that feels floral but at the same time gourmand, analagous to an orange creamsicle. The musk and sandalwood really serve only to smooth over the dry down and level it out to a more familiar landing place. Otherwise, they're not significantly detectable.

Like many gourmands, its note breakdown is simple, but its composition is beautiful, making for an agreeable fragrance that can do wonders in warm weather but is robust enough to wear year-round. I find it a bit unfortunate that it's identified as a women's option only on the Lili Bermuda website, as its orange blossom and vanilla mixture seems apropos for any sex (and any age, for that matter), and I wouldn't describe SunKiss as particularly feminine.

I've only tried (so far) the EDT version, the concentration in which most Lili Bermuda fragrances are offered, and I can offer that its performance is excellent, both for the concentration and even more so the price ($95 for 100ml, $75 for 50ml). It projects for several hours and lasts several hours more, at least. The fragrance also comes in liquor perfume and solid perfume, as well.

I'm hard-pressed not to at least mention, given the sweetness and centrality of orange blossom, SunKiss' slight similarity to Profumum Meringa, but as Meringa is similarly quite a sweet orange blossom scent, SunKiss features more extremes in terms of the tartness and sweetness whereas Meringa is more centered and linear, which I do not regard as a bad thing, just different from SunKiss.

The achievement in SunKiss is excellent for price and might serve as a worth alternative to Meringa for those that cannot afford it. I'm certainly a big fan of Profumum Roma but it's only fair to sing the praises of an offering that's 40% of the price of the PR by volume, albeit not as concentrated.

8 out of 10
24th May, 2018

Mary Celestia by Lili Bermuda

The backstory on Mary Celestia is interesting and certainly a worthy read on the Lili Bermuda website and news articles.

Certainly the "eau de cologne" concept that was about as popular in the nineteenth century as it remains today is explored in Mary Celestia, a freshie rooted in familiar citrus notes, which serve in a rather brief hour-long opening that soon dries down, with a hint of rose, into a bed of amber, and more interestingly, rosewood. The rosewood is the wildcard in Mary Celestia, the note that gives the whole mix some character and in which the fragrance really resides mostly for the latter part of its life. The rosewood/amber leaves a sweet and even slightly spicy residue following the freshness at the opening, and it's pleasant and unusual in this respect.

Now it's fair to point out that it's, at best, a moderate performer, but probably a pretty good performer when consideration its composition, as fragrances like it tend to be rather fleeting. The rosewood/amber combination lingers around for several hours, though.

Performance notwithstanding, Mary Celestia is one of my favorite freshies. It's also the fragrance whose story drew me to the house somewhat.

I highly recommend trying this one out, even to indulge your curiosity, if you have any for it.

8 out of 10
23rd May, 2018

Fucking Fabulous by Tom Ford

Certainly the name alone gave it plenty of attention around the time of its release, but upon finally smelling in the fall and acquiring it later, Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous is truly a provocative scent, a most unusual combination that is nonetheless blended well enough to sell it as something off the beaten path.

The rather dominant, sharp/sweet blend of tonka and almond is modified by a touch of leather, relatively dirty and almost spicy clary sage, and a hint of orris, keeping some powderiness beyond the tonka and almond alone.

Performance is good, certainly not in the vicinity of the beasts of the Private Blend line but nonetheless strong on projection for a few hours before mellowing out but still overall having very good longevity on skin.

In summary, I regard Fucking Fabulous as quirky and unique. There's nothing quite like it in the Private Blend collection, and I cannot think of another fragrance that it mimics. I frankly would recommend it more than others to be sampled first prior to buying since, given its idiosyncrasies, I feel I hardly do it justice by trying to explain the notes.

At the higher Tom Ford Private Blend price point of $310 for 50ml, this is a tough sell, but surely there are deals to be had on the side, and arguably the retail price seemed more satiable when this fragrance was advertised as a boutique-only limited edition.

8 out of 10
22nd May, 2018

Bleu de Chanel Parfum by Chanel

I'd seen enough reviews about Bleu de Chanel Parfum prior to sampling my decant today that I'd had a lot of expectations of the release.

It's predictably darker, denser, and less fresh than the EDP, which itself is all of those relative to the EDT.

I'd hoped that the Parfum would be a more interesting realize of the basso of the EDT and EDP but ultimately, while being a very nice scent, still, it lacks the life of the EDT or even the EDP.

Overall, though, it's a nice fragrance, worth trying, since it may be more fulfilling to some than the EDP, but for me, the EDT remains the best version of the line.

7 out of 10
22nd May, 2018

El Born by Carner Barcelona

El Born is seemingly the most currently-discussed fragrance from the Carner Barcelona line-up, and since it's framed in many circles as being vanilla-centric, it's no surprise that it would make the rounds.

I agree that vanilla is main player, if I had to choose one, but for me there's a lot more going in El Born, which has a resinous, spicy, floral, and perhaps even citrus side. I get hints of the benzoin, balsam, and jasmine, and perhaps the musk, but the citrus is totally lost in me in opening, so on my skin it comes subtly.

Longevity is very good but projection is not impressive for the cold-weather-leaning nature of the fragrance. Still, it's certainly good enough as far as performance.

Overall it's lovely and provocative--resinous, spicy, slightly floral/woody. I quite enjoy it, and need to sample it more, but tentatively the only thing about I don't like is the retail pricing ($180 for 100ml, $120 for 50ml on Twisted Lily and other US sources), though I'm told there are much better deals to be found.

El Born is a very promising, interesting spin on an otherwise somewhat redundant vanilla genre.

8 out of 10
18th May, 2018

Devotion by House of Matriarch

Like Orca, Devotion is another (yet earlier) great resinous creation from House of Matriach, seemingly very apt at putting out balsamic offerings.

Devotion is resin-dominant, for sure, the note listing including amber, incense, myrrh, and opoponax, with touches of leather, spices, and vanilla.

So it leans toward the sweet rather than animalic side of resinous but there are still animalic hints amidst what is generally a dark, smoky, ambery mix. There's also a vaguely floral characteristic to it that I can't quite put my finger on, but I sometimes get that out of opoponax specifically.

Devotion is overall excellent, but the downside is the price, which, for HOM, can sometimes be quite high--in this case, $330 for 50ml, $120 for 15ml, or even $13 for a 1ml sample. Still, I'd recommend fans of resinous fragrances track this one down to at least try it.

8 out of 10
17th May, 2018

Vani Choc by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Hilde Soliani Vani Choc, despite its name, does not actually involve chocolate, but does feature a heavy dose of the eponymous vanilla, mixed with almond, sandalwood, and citrus.

The citrus is rather overt in the opening few hours before fading away almost entirely. Almond and sandalwood are in the mix from the start but come to the forefront later in the dry down. And predictably, vanilla is the key player throughout.

It's certainly not as nutty as Orgasmo but comparably nutty to Sweet Home, so in that respect it's a good fragrance for one who like a a bit of nuts.

Performance is strong and it's agreeable and cold-weather-leaning like most of her (seemingly entirely) gourmand offerings. Pricing is the standard $160 for 100ml at Luckyscent. This wouldn't make it into my top list for the brand, as I'd lean toward Sweet Home over it, but I imagine some might prefer it to Sweet Home.

7 out of 10
16th May, 2018

Una Tira l Altra by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Hilde Soliani Una Tira L'Altra is centered around a singular cherry note, capturing both the sweet and tart aspects of the fruit and landing the saturation somewhere between a fresh cherry and cherry wine, the result being a realistic cherry but slightly denser than the experience of real fruit. It has the brightness of a light cherry but twinges of darkness of a black cherry, as well. It definitely feels like an ensemble of the various elements that I regard as part of the cherry, the wine being perhaps the most interesting twist.

This is surely my favorite fruity entry from Hilde Soliani to date, and its simplicity is matched by its elegance.

Performance is very good, consistent with the better entries of the line. The pricing is, like the rest of the line, $160 for 100ml, and it is available at Luckyscent exclusively in the US, to my knowledge.

8 out of 10
15th May, 2018

Sweet Home by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Hilde Soliani Sweet Home is, as usual, a simple mix, but delicately and delectably balanced. Only chestnut, sugar, and vanilla are listed in the note breakdown, and this seems to correlate well with the experience. It's not as wholly nutty as the almond/amaretto creation Orgasmo, nor is it an expression of pure sugar or vanilla, but rather, somewhere in between, and in that respect, I could see it appealing to those that wanted something sweeter out of Orgasmo.

For me, as most might agree, Sweet Home is still very sweet, giving off the aroma of mixed sugared nuts being sold by a street vendor. It's not a burnt smell, though, but maybe just a "slightly browned sugar" smell--perhaps a fine distinction.

Sweet Home performs well on my skin, giving off a significant aroma with only few dabs of a .7ml sample vial from Luckyscent, where the fragrance is sold for $160 for 100ml, the same standard pricing as the rest of the line.

Much like Orgasmo, I'm inclined to track this one down. And as with Buonissimo, gourmand lovers should check this one out.

8 out of 10
14th May, 2018

Orgasmo by Hilde Soliani Profumi

Despite its provocative name, Hilde Soliani Orgasmo is a rather straightforward blend of almond and amaretto, catering to both gourmand and liqueur lovers.

I'm personally a fan of amaretto in particular (in addition to sweet gourmands, generally), so Orgasmo is a welcome fragrance to me. It captures much of the sweetness of amaretto but it does not have its boozy bite, so as with most successful boozy interpretations, this is well-done. It's creamy and indulges the dessert-lover while being loyal to the nutty liqueur that is its inspiration.

Performance is strong and the pricing is the standard $160 for 100ml via Luckyscent, wholly reasonable for a niche quality fragrance that lasts well and pleases.

8 out of 10
10th May, 2018