Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Bavard

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Total Reviews: 428

1826 Eugénie de Montijo by Histoires de Parfums

I would have guessed the notes for this included iris and leather, which they do not. Searching my memory and re-reading previous sampling notes, I think this effect is from the bergamot, white flowers (typically jasmine), and patchouli combination. It's a combination I like.

I think this would fit right in with my collection. It smells plenty masculine, despite the marketing. It has some vintage quality to the smell, which I think is still possible with good floral concentrates.
24th May, 2018 (last edited: 31st July, 2018)

1804 George Sand by Histoires de Parfums

This is an interesting, complex fragrance, bordering on bizarre. The main accord I'm getting from this is typical, classic masculine grooming product, an after shave type smell (which doesn't seem to match the listed notes), and just behind that is a contrasting sweetness that is almost too much and that threatens to ruin it.

The is interesting niche perfume: experimental, but wearable.

The sandalwood and/or patchouli in the background is nice. It smells like they got their hands on some good stuff. The sweet, fruity stuff, such as the pineapple note, is less refined, and smells gimmicky, but the elements that are good are so good, it mostly works.
24th May, 2018

1828 Jules Verne by Histoires de Parfums

I like this fairly well: it's nice and inoffensive, although maybe not very exciting. It's subtle and restrained (even elusive, as described below). During the opening, I can not get past the association with a chewing gum or bubble gum, a nice, agreeable gum, and that's not all I smell - there are more notes behind that - but the gum association is strong. At the same time, it's a natural-smelling fragrance, and easily wearable, completely polite and appropriate for any setting: office work, an interview, Thanksgiving dinner, a Christmas party.

It's listed (marketed) as masculine, and the pepper note helps make it more masculine, but I would have described it as unisex leaning feminine - it's so soft and round. It definitely strikes me as more feminine than masculine. I would like this on a woman.

So many fragrances use a cedar note that smells harsh and modern (trendy), but this lists cedar, and smells slightly woody, without a hint of chemical nightmare.

The incense in this case is frankincense rather than nag champa, and frankincense starts to dominate more as it develops, as frankincense typically (always?) does. Combined with how soft and round this is, and how agreeable the wood note is, the frankincense makes this a great scent for winter holidays.
22nd May, 2018 (last edited: 31st July, 2018)
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1725 Casanova by Histoires de Parfums

This is striking me as harsh, maybe from the licorice, star anise, and/or the almond. There are some competing notes in this that I like (lavender, sandalwood, vanilla, amber), but they're in the background behind the harshness.

I had been looking forward to trying this, but it's a letdown, more challenging than wearable.
22nd May, 2018

This Is Not A Blue Bottle by Histoires de Parfums

I could almost give this a neutral - maybe I'm feeling so let down because I like this house, but this is an annoying, synthetic and terribly modern smelling perfume, especially given the name of the house. Modern history, I guess.

The base is a typical, generic synthetic woody amber, and it's almost all I can smell from the opening. It's such a dominating smell, I get too discouraged to even think much about the other notes, and the way their literature describes them (electric orange, metallic geranium) is more telling than the listing here.
22nd May, 2018

Les Echappées - Shams Oud by Memo

This is a nice, smoky woods fragrance. It opens up and gets nicer after a few minutes. The spiciness is nice. The balance is good there. The sweetness is mostly good. It adds a softness, roundness, and wearability, but it feels like there could be a risk of slightly too much sweetness getting in the way of the smoky woods, whereas the spices definitely add to the character I like in this - think of cooking something spicy in a wood fired stove.

Eventually, the spicy, smoky woods burn off, and all that's left is a generic, disappointing, but not quite off-putting sweetness. It outstays its welcome, and becomes tiring, making the nice part a sadly distant memory, but I want to stick with a thumbs up, however marginal, to recognize the good moments from earlier on, some of which were really nice, and had me thinking this is something I could buy in a full bottle and wear routinely.
17th May, 2018 (last edited: 18th May, 2018)

Russian Leather by Memo

This is a fougere more than a leather fragrance, but I can imagine a hint of leather in the background. The lavandin (as it's called on the sample card) can be harsh, and there were moments I didn't like it and considered giving it a thumbs down, but I eventually appreciated it more for being a complex variation on a classic style.
16th May, 2018

Italian Leather by Memo

I was considering giving this a thumbs down, but the base was a sufficiently innocuous sweet vanilla for a neutral. Early on, the woods aroma chemical dominates (the one that reminds me of roasted peanut butter). It goes on to remind me of the typical Xerjoff smell that I don't like. It doesn't smell like a leather fragrance to me.
16th May, 2018

French Leather by Memo

I like the opening of French Leather, and I enjoy the first hour. The cedar note smells like a typical, harsh, synthetic woods used in mainstream fragrances, and it can be concerning during the early stages, but it's mostly balanced by the rose and by the suede accord. During the early phase, it's an interesting fragrance, and I get associations with clean skin that has just started to have the smell of sweet sweat.

After an hour or so (maybe less), the cedar note takes over, and it's not much fun. Eventually, some hours later, rose emerges as the main note, a greenish rose, and it's an interesting finish.
16th May, 2018

Miss Dior Le Parfum by Christian Dior

This reminds me of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme. I love vintage Miss Dior (now referred to as Miss Dior Originale), and I can be skeptical of post-oak moss driven modern perfumery, but this perfume works for me. It smells modern, it smells like something that can be bought in a mall, which it is, it smells more synthetic than natural, and it smells great: a strong, long-lasting modern patchouli.

Update: This has started smelling like tobacco to me, in a good way.
15th May, 2018 (last edited: 11th September, 2018)

Blend 30 by Dunhill

Blend 30 doesn't quite work for me, and this neutral is more likely to lean thumbs down than thumbs up. It does smell like Patou Pour Homme in the opening, which is the best part, but then it smells like a poor version of Patou Pour Homme, and then not at all like it, and instead smells greenish, in a way I never liked, and that smells forced and artificial. Coinciding with this off-putting green note, it smells like a cinnamon roll, which is a combination that doesn't work for me; like a tainted cinnamon roll.
15th May, 2018

Le Vetyver by Lubin

The sample I have is labeled Le Vetiver, spelled with an "i." It's nice, and far nicer, for my tastes, than Lubin's Le Vetiver Bluff. Whereas Bluff smells like off-the-shelf aroma chemicals, not the worst ones, but not the most interesting, this vetiver smells more natural, interesting, and nuanced; a mix of soap and a nice summer day; fairly similar to Guerlain Vetiver.
14th May, 2018

Le Vetiver Bluff by Lubin

This is not especially interesting to me. It's not objectionable, exactly, but it's modern smelling and underwhelming, lacking the beauty and nuance of naturalness that I like, especially in a vetiver fragrance.
14th May, 2018
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Wild Collection : Wild Leather by Mancera

Almost a thumbs up for this. There are some synthetic-smelling woods in the opening that stop short of being screechy, and allow it to be an ok smoky, leather, patchouli fragrance. The patchouli and woods are done with a kind of tea vibe, similar to Affinessence Patchouli-Oud.

It smells like frankincense in the base, although I don't see it listed.

Ultimately, I don't think this is something I would wear.
10th May, 2018 (last edited: 11th May, 2018)

Aoud S by Mancera

I like bugsyiii's review on this below. I come close to appreciating the fragrance as he describes, and I followed his tip to be patient, but it still doesn't quite click with me, and I haven't bonded with anything from this house yet.

This is an interesting, soapy, floral, woody, spicy, leathery fragrance with the thick, oily texture that I also got from Mancera Aoud Violet. Ultimately, though, it is just slightly cloying for me.

I can imagine appreciating it on someone else. On me, it's a little too much (too brash) floral leather.
09th May, 2018

Aoud Violet by Mancera

This smells so familiar - it took me a while to place it, but the main aroma chemical I'm detecting from this is the one I detect from D&G La Force 11 (2009) by Dolce & Gabbana.

It's an ok fragrance. The opening has a thick, oily texture. It smells nothing like oud or even fake oud. Amber is a listed note - it doesn't smell like amber. The other listed notes seem plausible.

This is a curious cross of smelling like an expensive niche fragrance, which it is, and a grocery-store distributed aftershave.
07th May, 2018 (last edited: 08th May, 2018)

Jasmin 17 by Le Labo

Jasmin 17 is another thumbs up from Le Labo, but maybe not too exciting. I agree that it might smell more like orange blossom than jasmine. I probably like this more than the leather (Cuir 28) and the vetiver (Vetiver 46), but not as much as the iris (Iris 39) or the ylang-ylang (Ylang 49).

Le Labo manages to smell modern without being too overbearing with aroma chemicals. This is a nice, simple, modern-smelling, wearable fragrance.
07th May, 2018

Vetiver 46 by Le Labo

Similar to the leather from Le Labo, this vetiver just does enough for a thumbs up, while still being somewhat disappointing. I recently tried the vetiver from the Elie Saab Essences collection, and that one hit the spot. Le Labo does its own thing in a way that's interesting, without always hitting the heights. This is a darker, brooding vetiver.
05th May, 2018

Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette by Chanel

I've gone back and forth on Bleu de Chanel edt. I liked it enough to buy a 50-ml bottle, but then I often felt conflicted. I would often enjoy the opening, but felt like it turned harshly synthetic during the development.

Today I've had a full wearing that I enjoyed. At its best, for me, it's a well-done Platinum Egoiste flanker, more modern, sweeter, less sharp.

I detect the listed peppermint note, connected with the sweetness. I rarely get the grapefruit note, but I love it when I do. I don't really get incense (neither nag champa nor frankincense). When it works, the woods stay integrated (well blended!), but when it doesn't work, they smell harsh and artificial.
05th May, 2018

Cuir 28 by Le Labo

I could almost give this a neutral instead of a thumbs up if I were letting myself be influenced by the hopes I have for this house, and the prices they charge. I want their fragrances to be outstanding, comparable to releases from the 1980s.

This one is not so outstanding, but it's ok. For a modern, woody leather, it does what I might expect.

Le Labo, though, which is my favorite house to sample when I'm in Barneys, has fallen behind 4160 Tuesdays and Etat Libre d'Orange in my niche houses of interest. Those houses are better able to create moments to rival the glory of the 1980s and earlier. Le Labo does ok, passably competent, within the post-2010 context.
03rd May, 2018

Maharanih Intense by Nicolaï

This is another great fragrance from Nicolai, interesting and balanced, wearable and memorable, an alluring smell. Looking at the notes, sandalwood and civet seem to describe what I'm smelling. It's slightly gamy in a way that could almost be too challenging. On the right person it could be stunning.

This definitely has a vintage quality, the gravitas of quality ingredients.
23rd April, 2018

Patchouli Intense / Patchouli Homme by Nicolaï

This is good. It gives me a memory of being in France. It works as a masculine fragrance, as labeled. It would make a virile aftershave. Maybe I've encountered someone in France wearing this. This definitely smells like being in France: in someone's house, in a car.

This came in a sample pack with some Etat Libre d'Orange samples, including Je Suis un Homme, which I preferred to this for being more wearable in my style.

This one, Nicolai Patchouli Homme, is strong, and makes a statement. It smells of essential oils, thick and concentrated. I could imagine it being too much for some people to feel comfortable trying to pull off. I could also imagine people being elated to have a bottle of this, and feeling extreme confidence and mood elevation wearing it. Because of my associations with the smell, it feels like a better fit for someone over 40, even a woman. It's so evocative.

I could imagine someone who wears Yatagan liking this. There's something similar in the boldness, bordering on brash, this one even more so, perhaps.
22nd April, 2018

Baladin by Nicolaï

I'm less excited for this Nicolai fragrance than I have been about the last couple I tried, Odalisque and Musc Intense, especially Odalisque.

This is interesting. It's interesting to see leather listed as a note. I'm not thinking of a better way to describe it - upholstery, maybe, some newly-manufactured product - and a box of crayons. I get visions of an elementary school with recent refurbishments.
20th April, 2018

Musc Intense by Nicolaï

This house makes some nice perfume. I do smell pear. It's blended into a classic-smelling accord, quite delicious and alluring.

After pear, which is almost a boozy, eau de vie (clear brandy)-type pear, sandalwood seems to be the most assertive of the listed notes.
20th April, 2018

Odalisque by Nicolaï

This stuff is heavenly. It has a beautifully classic, musky floral smell. It reminds me a bit of Armani by Giorgio Armani (1982). It has a wonderful pepper-type note. I agree with the reviews below that mention a resemblance to Patou 1000, and that describe it as a leather fragrance.
17th April, 2018 (last edited: 18th April, 2018)

Archives 69 by Etat Libre d'Orange

This is another interesting fragrance from Etat Libre d'Orange. To me, it has a definite indie feel that's attractive and captivating.

It has fruits, and not just any fruits but bright, sweet berries, yet weaves them into a masculine-smelling fragrance, presumably from the use of patchouli. (Update: wearing it a second time, it smells like frankincense is part of the masculine anchoring.)

This house reminds me of 4160 Tuesdays as a house that can experiment with something well off the beaten path and make it a wearable success.
16th April, 2018 (last edited: 25th April, 2018)

Rien Intense Incense by Etat Libre d'Orange

This is a big, bold fragrance. The top is too edgy for me. I could maybe grow into it.

After it develops for an hour or so, the harshness fades, and it's a more wearable, straightforward frankincense fragrance. This phase lasts so long, I'm giving this a thumbs up.
09th April, 2018

Eloge du Traitre by Etat Libre d'Orange

This is another fragrance from Etat Libre d'Orange, like Je Suis Un Homme, that smells like it could have been released 20 years earlier, which is intended as a big compliment. This smells like a nice, alternative version of Caron Yatagan, although it smells less like rosemary, and more like cocoa butter.
08th April, 2018

Je Suis Un Homme by Etat Libre d'Orange

This reminds me of original version Bel Ami, in a good way, and I love Bel Ami.

I have a crush on this. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about it, and almost half the reviews are neutral - a good one for "most underrated" threads.

This and original Bel Ami have an oily, warm, leather smell, plus citrus. This smells delicious, flawless, interesting, great for the office, great for a date; great for wearing daily.
07th April, 2018 (last edited: 09th May, 2018)

Jasmin et Cigarette by Etat Libre d'Orange

An interesting, challenging fragrance. The jasmine note is nice. Some other notes (tobacco, hay) add dissonance, but it still feels wearable, just.

As it develops, it becomes a more and more wearable floral, losing some of the quirkiness that was borderline too much in the opening.
07th April, 2018 (last edited: 08th April, 2018)