Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Bavard

Total Reviews: 435

Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Homme by Gucci

Borderline thumbs down. This isn't something I'd be excited to wear again, or to smell on someone else. There's something interesting about it that keeps it from a thumbs down, but I didn't find it pleasant. It smells like something that would be marketed as oud.
23rd June, 2018

Le Vetiver Itasca by Lubin

I like this more than Lubin's Le Vetiver Bluff, and find it at least on par with their regular Le Vetyver/Le Vetiver, although different.

Le Vetiver was more of a soapy vetiver. Le Vetiver Itasca is more complex, and smells part classic, part well done modern niche.

Having recently sampled Le Labo's Vetiver and Dior's Vetiver, I'm feeling like this one is my clear preference over those two.

Whereas I found Lubin's Le Vetiver similar to Guerlain Vetiver, Le Vetiver Itasca is more in the style of the Le Labo and the Dior.

The Elie Saab Vetiver is still my favorite of the ones I've sampled (including others such as Sycomore edt and edp, and Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire).

Le Vetiver Itasca has great development. It stays nice and interesting all day, completely wearable. The kind of thing that would be safe to wear in the office, but still interesting.
19th June, 2018

Vétiver by Christian Dior

A marginal thumbs up. I was disappointed in the opening, but it has developed nicely. The coffee seems to somewhat cancel out the brightness of the other notes. It might be something I enjoy more with additional wearings now that I know what to expect, but overall I'm torn between neutral and thumbs up.
09th June, 2018
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Traversée du Bosphore by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Traversée du Bosphore by L'Artisan Parfumeur reminds me very much of something I've worn before, which I'm fairly certain is Drole de Rose by L'Artisan Parfumeur. They even share a hint of an almond extract note, although it is a fairly minor note in the overall smell.

This is a sweet, powdery, vanilla floral, mostly rose.

I'll try to wear it side-by-side with Drole de Rose at some point and update.
07th June, 2018

Noir Patchouli by Histoires de Parfums

Noir Patchouli puts the historical feel in Histoires de Parfums. It smells mossy to me, so I'm surprised not to see moss listed among the notes. This smells unisex to me - I can clearly imagine it working for a man or a woman. It smells natural. There's a soapy aspect, and a dirty aspect. And sometimes florals peek through (maybe as part of the soapy aspect). It smells like a nice vintage perfume, light and wearable.
31st May, 2018

1969 Parfum de Révolte by Histoires de Parfums

This is one of the more exciting fragrances I've tried from Histoires de Parfums. It has a nice peach note.

I wouldn't expect everyone to like this. The opening feels like it could go either way. I had flashes of No. 19 edp (the powdery opening blast that can almost be too much), and 4160 Tuesdays, including ones I like such as What Katie Did on Friday Night.

I like how this develops. I'm not detecting overused ingredients (aroma chemicals), which I was getting in the base of 1899 Ernest Hemingway. This smells like a quality fragrance as it develops, tasty and alluring.
30th May, 2018

Ambre 114 by Histoires de Parfums

Marginal thumbs up for this. It's a fairly complex amber, at least in the top. I think the main thing I smell is benzoin, which is a typical main ingredient in perfumes marketed as amber, if I have that right. The tonka also smells strong, which I like. It gives it a powdery, nutty, cola flavor. I'm getting flashes of foods: a root beer float, boiled hot dogs.

This strikes me more as something to enjoy at home than something to wear going out. I get an association in the top with babies and even baby diapers - warm, clean diapers, like when you check if the baby is still dry and he or she is; the warm, sweet baby skin.

As it develops, it becomes less complex and more of a plain benzoin (sweet, ambery) fragrance.
30th May, 2018

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)

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)
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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

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