Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Bavard

Total Reviews: 385

Hermessence Iris Ukiyoé by Hermès

This smells like orange peels and florals. It starts light and fresh smelling, like a refreshing cologne to wear in summer. As it develops, it blooms into a bigger floral. The smell doesn't quite work for me. It smells interesting and challenging more than it smells nice.

It's a memorable smell, and I've smelled shampoos over the years that are similar. I wouldn't mind being around the smell from other people wearing it, but I'm neutral about wearing it myself. There's something slightly off, perhaps just related to my own points of reference, or perhaps with the oranges.

This reminds me of the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria fragrances: it lasts forever.
13th July, 2017

Dzongkha by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Dzongkha opens as a somber leather fragrance with vetiver. The heart, after a couple hours, is greener, like the smell of the bitter juice from breaking open fresh plant stems. It continues to develop and smell better: six hours in, it's a nice, dark, warm, powdery skin scent.
12th July, 2017

Iris Ganache by Guerlain

From the listed notes, I think I'm picking up iris (orris root), something sweet such as white chocolate, with vanilla, and something edgy such as musky patchouli. I get an association with cola and, more fleetingly, wet hay.

I get associations with Dior Homme Intense, Coromandel, Shalimar Sur la Route du Mexique, and Musc Ravageur, and it falls in the middle of these, as listed, in order of preference.

It's sweet, but not overly, and complex. It delivers on its name: it smells like iris (orris root) and pastry cream.
12th July, 2017
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Terre de L'Encens by Cloon Keen Atelier

Terre de L'Encens is nice, but not very exciting, for my tastes. It's a great fragrance for someone who wants a light frankincense. It has nice development, and some of the best moments come a couple hours after application, when it turns somewhat soapy.
11th July, 2017

Gris Clair by Serge Lutens

Gris Clair has an interesting opening, and smells a little like the fumes coming off a skillet warming up on the stove, or the smoke from a candle, but it peters out into a grainy, unappealing scent in about an hour. It continues to fall apart and becomes borderline offensive and possibly headache inducing around the two-hour mark.
11th July, 2017

Cologne Intense Collection : Orris & Sandalwood by Jo Malone

The woods base used in this is popular at the moment, but it doesn't hold up well to multiple wearings, in my experience. It doesn't smell any better at a distance than it does close up while wearing it, and I'm assuming it's a fad that will inevitably fade; the kind of thing that's fun for a while, like a catchy pop song.

The way the woods base is used here is nice, with a powdery iris (orris root), but the woods base is the dominant smell to my nose.
10th July, 2017

Iris 39 by Le Labo

Le Labo Iris 39 is an excitng, innovative-smelling perfume. I like it. It smells like heavenly wet hay to me, with iris (orris root), and soapy undertones. I want to wear it in large doses as a conversation starter.

Something in this is taking me back to my last trip to Las Vegas, where perfume is in the air, and piped through the vents. This would be an excellent option for scenting a building.

As it develops, it becomes less earthy and more cosmetic-iris smelling, but still wet, even refreshing.
10th July, 2017

Lolita Lempicka The Midnight Fragrance 2013 / L'Eau de Minuit by Lolita Lempicka

This contains something that's too harsh for me. It's especially prominent in the initial spray, and it dies down from there, but doesn't go away. On top of this harsh, almost health-threatening base, are some nice notes.

My ex-wife had the original of this, and I liked it on her. When she had finished it, and I suggested she might re-up, she shrugged it off as one she hadn't really been excited about. The moral of the story is that it might smell better at a distance than it does for the wearer. Wearing it feels like a trial.
06th July, 2017

Grand Amour by Annick Goutal

This is a big, bright lily fragrance that dries down to a sweet rose! The base has a faint touch of clean, dry laundry, but it's mostly dominated by floral concentrates. This is something I could appreciate having a full bottle of, similar to the other Goutal fragrances I've tried. The house style suits me.

Update: Eventually, the laundry musks (is that right term?) take over, but they're inoffensive. It's better than lacking longevity, and the florals hold on for a long time - 8 to 10 hours or so - and develop interestingly. As far as synthetic-smelling all-day longevity bases go, I can't recall one better than this.
06th July, 2017

Poison by Christian Dior

The opening of Poison was challenging for me, and seemed more feminine than unisex, but within an hour it settled into an agreeable dryer sheet smell.
04th July, 2017

Silences by Jacomo

I like this, especially in the mid. To me, it's somewhat similar to Piguet Bandit, and it doesn't smell green to me. I would call it dark gray. It opens with the gravitas I associate with releases from around its time, 1978. The flowers are only playing a minor, supporting role; only sometimes peaking through.

The listed base notes of moss, cedar wood, sandalwood, and musk are believable, but there's something surprisingly dark in the versions used here.

The moments during the mid when the sweet florals escape from the dark moss are wonderful. The predominant smell of an impenetrable wall of dark, woody moss is also nice, although as it develops into the base, which lasts all day, it can feel drab in the projection, although still fairly interesting on the skin.
02nd July, 2017 (last edited: 03rd July, 2017)

Baghari by Robert Piguet

This smells like aldehydes and jasmine, so it is somewhat similar to Chanel No. 5, but easy enough to tell apart. Baghari takes the aldehyde effect even further, like a viola or a flute being played more loudly, but equally well.

There's a fruit note setting this apart. It's fairly well buried under the powdery floral smell, but it's the note to smell for to know it's a Piguet and not a Chanel. From ClaireV's review below, this fruit note is reportedly orange peel, and I could agree with that, although it's quite subtle, and creamy; not sharp like a typical orange zest. As for a man pulling it off, I smell no problem, especially one who likes aldehydic, sweet, powdery florals.

Baghari is slightly alarming in the initial few seconds, but quickly becomes convincingly delicious.
01st July, 2017

Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain

This is an impressive, complex perfume, that does seem to rely on synthetic aroma chemicals that give it a dryer sheet aspect after some development, but it has on overall complexity and attraction that I like. It takes me vividly back to childhood from around the time it was released.
30th June, 2017
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Chant D'Arômes by Guerlain

This is a lovely smelling perfume that reminds me of elegant women from when I was a kid growing up in the '70s and '80s. Unsurprisingly, the listed notes include some greatest hits: honeysuckle, jasmine, sandalwood, oak moss, and vanilla. In 2017, I find it unisex.
29th June, 2017

Après L'ondée by Guerlain

I like iris (iris root, orris root), which is one of two main components I get from Apres L'Ondee. The other is a sharp, astringent smell, like a skin-drying soap. It works for me.

Instead of a post-rain smell, I get a post-cleaning smell, and a persistent image of perfectly clean ivory white dishes, still warm in the drying rack.
28th June, 2017 (last edited: 30th June, 2017)

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

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 wear and enjoy, straight forward and unpretentious smelling.
22nd June, 2017 (last edited: 21st July, 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

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