Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Bavard

Total Reviews: 250

Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

Classic-smelling Guerlain with oak moss and vanilla. This is the edt version. I find it similar to Habit Rouge, but less herbal, and simpler, with more focus on vanilla, and more of a unified accord with wood and spices perhaps playing a role in shaping the character of the vanilla, giving it warmth.

The initial blast hints at more complexity, but it settles quickly, and feels light and restrained. It smells of delicious perfection.
27th June, 2017

Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain

Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic (2007) is a nearly there fragrance for me. I like it more than Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune (1999), and I can appreciate both of them for capturing moments, snapshots of what was happening in perfumery in their release years, and memorable moments for people wearing them, and for other people around them - but they lack the effortless grace I prefer in perfume. They're loud, bombastic even; especially Pamplelune.

This mandarin and basil version has the feel of an aquatic fragrance that I think captures the market trend of its time, and in keeping with that, has an unrelenting reliance on the bankable aroma chemicals that were making the rounds. These aquatic aroma chemicals are not necessarily a deal breaker, but they have to be handled with more care than they were here.

The opening salvo of this worked fairly well, and it was in thumbs up territory for the first few minutes before it became clear that things were not going to work between us.
26th June, 2017

Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune by Guerlain

This has some feminine charm that could be nice in passing, but it's harsh and overbearing to wear.
25th June, 2017
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Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain

Fantastic opening, a perfect citrus Eau de Cologne smell, counterbalanced by lack of longevity.
25th June, 2017

Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat by Guerlain

A sharp, vibrant lemon fragrance, classic and flawless smelling, ephemeral.
24th June, 2017

Tangerine Thyme by Providence Perfume Co.

This is a fun tangerine fragrance. The opening is in the refreshing Eau de Cologne style. I can believe neroli and frankincense among the listed notes. The initial citrus blast fades quickly, but some citrus remains in the heart.

The house style is unique compared to anything else I've tried, sort of a country-style perfume with earthy smells.
24th June, 2017

Rose Bohème by Providence Perfume Co.

This is an interesting perfume. I'm glad to see red tea listed as a note to help me understand what I'm smelling. Prior to that, "wet hay" was the closest I had come to identifying the smell. It also has a hint of spicy cinnamon, which must also come from the red tea. Thumbs up for originality.
23rd June, 2017

XJ 1861 Naxos by Xerjoff

This is an especially Xerjoff-smelling fragrance from Xerjoff: a wall of experimental-smelling billowing chemicals. The Xerjoff signature DNA is pushed beyond reasonable limits in this screamer.
23rd June, 2017

17/17 Damarose by Xerjoff

This doesn't smell too different from a mass marketed fragrance sold in the local mall, a Stella McCartney fragrance, for example, and although the ingredients don't smell precious or unique, this Xerjoff version of a fruity floral does smell well put together. I like the perfumer's work on this, Jacques Flori.

It smells like roses to me for a few minutes, and then it smells more like a rounded fruity floral, easy to where and enjoy, straight forward and unpretentious smelling.
22nd June, 2017

17/17 Richwood by Xerjoff

This smells like a sandalwood and vanilla fragrance somewhat in the style of Chanel Egoiste, especially after the Xerjoff signature notes burn off after about an hour. I like the wood used in this. It has a nice texture to my nose, slightly powdery in moments.
21st June, 2017

Virgin Island Water by Creed

A marginal thumbs up for this beach and lime-juice cocktail fragrance. If there were more competition for beach and lime-juice cocktail fragrances, it could be downgraded to a neutral, but there just aren't, in my experience.

This fragrance had complex development during my sampling, with a distinct opening of citrus, mostly lime, a mid of coconut-flavored sunscreen, and a base of pretty decent musky fixatives.

A couple others to try: for more on the refreshing cocktail theme: Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie; for more on the sunscreen theme: MiN New York Long Board.
21st June, 2017

Silver Mountain Water by Creed

The opening of this gives me an image of fruit and flowers past peak freshness, a half melon left in the refrigerator, and a vase of wilted flowers, petals falling. It transitions to a more unified accord that's less complex, and smells dominated by a men's grooming product aroma chemical, like something used in a deodorant stick. This smell turns increasingly inky. Deep into the base, a nice sandalwood note emerges.
19th June, 2017

Tardes by Carner Barcelona

Tardes has a harsh almond oil note that doesn't work well on my skin.
16th June, 2017
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Palo Santo by Carner Barcelona

I think the listed notes in Palo Santo (2015) of guaiac wood and cedar may be the dominant smell of this in the top, based on similar-smelling fragrances with those notes, such as Affinessence Cèdre-Iris (2015, which lists both) and Olympic Orchids woodcut (2014, which lists cedar).

This one also lists warm milk, which does seem to match.

The thought of giving this a thumbs up crossed my mind in the early mid, and into the base I started liking it and switched from neutral to thumbs up.
15th June, 2017

Monsieur Carven by Carven

The sample of Monsieur Carven I have is vintage goodness. It has a shaving cream smell to me, which I like. From the listed notes, cinnamon and moss sound right to me, although I hadn't placed cinnamon before reading the notes; it's subtly mixed in.
15th June, 2017

Costarela by Carner Barcelona

Ambroxan is listed as a base note, and that's what I think I'm smelling in this, and it smells harsh to me. I can't get past it to smell anything else. I just get a unified accord of what I think of as harsh ambroxan.
15th June, 2017

Habit Rouge Dress Code by Guerlain

The opening of this had promise, I thought, and it does smell like an interesting, modern version of Habit Rouge, but the oak moss replacement became cloying to me over the course of a wearing.
05th June, 2017

Simply Belle by Exceptional

A watery, soapy fragrance. It reminds me somewhat of liquid soap from a dispenser. It's cloying in moments, especially in the opening and mid, but becomes more agreeable over time.
03rd June, 2017 (last edited: 07th June, 2017)

Stella by Stella McCartney

The opening of this is an easy-to-like designer rose and peony perfume. After a couple hours, some of the floral goodness can still be smelled up close, but the projecting elements of the perfume are less interesting and enjoyable than the opening, even cloying.
03rd June, 2017

Collection Notes de Fond : Patchouli-Oud by Affinessence

From the initial four fragrances from this house, in the Notes de Fond (Base Notes) collection, this one stands out as unique compared to the other three. This one has a more complex, natural smell. It's less sweet, viscous, and heavy. It seems to project more than the other three. It reminds me of the smell of black tea.
03rd June, 2017

Collection Notes de Fond : Vanille-Benjoin by Affinessence

I don't really like this one. It does smell consistent with the house style based on having sampled Santal-Basmati and Cedre-Iris: on the sweet, heavy side. (Resinous, deep, and dense sound right).

The opening was off-putting for me. I'm not smelling vanilla as much as something else, presumably benzoin. The harshness of the opening dissipates with time, as it develops on skin. To my nose, it doesn't feel like much creative energy went into making this.

Over time, this becomes more palatable, earning a neutral.
02nd June, 2017

Collection Notes de Fond : Cèdre-Iris by Affinessence

The opening of this is somewhat similar to Olympic Orchids Woodcut to my nose. It starts with a similar wood note that reminds me of dark roasted peanut butter. The iris (orris root) note helps take it in a different direction, and over time the orris root takes over. It's an interesting, modern-smelling, heavy fragrance, but does not work for my tastes.
01st June, 2017

Collection Notes de Fond : Santal-Basmati by Affinessence

The opening of Santal-Basmati was disappointing, a big sweet blast of typical modern-smelling perfume. The idea of this line is to focus on base notes, which could help explain the jarring opening. Within a few minutes, it settled into a sweet, woody fragrance with some complexity competing with the sweetness, showing promising development.

I couldn't really pick up on a rice note. There is a touch of interesting complexity as the sweetness dissipates, but I would have guessed it came from the wood note itself.

For how disappointing the opening was, it settled into a surprisingly agreeable skin scent: warm and round as advertised. The listed note of cashmeran is mostly what I get from this fragrance, more so than sandalwood or basmati rice. I like cashmeran (so-called blond woods) fairly well, and they've tried to add something to make it more interesting, but there's only so much that can be done, seemingly, with a cashmeran-centered fragrance.
31st May, 2017

Sartoriale by Pal Zileri

This strikes me as artificial-smelling and a tad harsh. If feels like an effort to recreate the feel of a 1980s fragrance along the lines Davidoff Zino, which is noble pursuit, but it doesn't quite come together for me.

I think the note I'm picking up would be the one listed as cashmere wood.
28th May, 2017

POP by Stella McCartney

I like this. It smells like a modern, sweet floral without the harsh aroma chemicals I detect in some new releases. I'm surprised a fruit note isn't listed, or maybe candied violets. Tuberose and sandalwood are not the main notes I think I'm smelling. It may lack the character of natural ingredients to keep it interesting long-term, but for a modern perfume, it smells well done to me. It opens with a nice accord that never breaks down, is fairly linear, and has great longevity.
27th May, 2017

Agent Provocateur by Agent Provocateur

This is a complex fragrance. The initial blast is slightly alarming, with what feels like an off note, especially compared to what someone might expect from the pink bottle, but as it settles, it's gripping and addictive. The flowers are competing with gamy notes, mostly saffron I gather, and the flowers in this are likely on the gamy side themselves.

It settles into the main accord within a few minutes, and it's strong and intriguing enough to create a mild physiological euphoria.
25th May, 2017

Drôle de Rose by L'Artisan Parfumeur

This is an agreeable, powdery, floral perfume. The opening reminds me of a clean baby, fresh from the bath with warm skin projecting baby bath products. As it develops, the powder fades, and it becomes a more mature floral with the listed notes of rose, iris, and violet seeming plausible, especially violet, giving it a sweet, floral complexity. I've also seen almond and honey listed, which could be adding the edible-smelling aspect. Almond is tricky to pull off, and can go badly. Here, it could be the almond making this a little edgy in the development.
22nd May, 2017

Joy by Jean Patou

The Patou fragrances I've tried, Pour Homme, Pour Homme Prive, Eau de Patou, 1000, and Joy, have been fantastic. Joy is a big floral with plenty of character. I think it comes from a combination of the flower concentrates and a dash of animalics. I'm sampling from a pre-2000 version, I believe.

Looking at the listed notes, peach, jasmine, tuberose, musk, and civet sound right to me.
21st May, 2017

The One for Men Eau de Parfum by Dolce & Gabbana

I find something in the formula of Dolce and Gabbana The One for Men, edt and edp, especially interesting, mostly in the top, but the bases are duds.

The edt may have more promise in the top, but more disappointment in the base. The edp seemed quieter in the top, but stayed interesting longer into the development. Overall, I think the edp improves on the edt. Something in the base of the edt seemed more objectionable.
20th May, 2017

Polo Blue Eau de Parfum by Ralph Lauren

To me, Polo Blue edt and now Polo Blue edp smell like what I think of as hedione, an interesting synthetic ingredient that can grow tiresome, and I was tired of it before I tested Polo Blue edp. It has come across of harsh and unpleasant, and difficult to wash off.
20th May, 2017