Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Scent Detective

Total Reviews: 263

Replica Jazz Club by Martin Margiela

I agree with manicboy. This starts out okay, almost barbershop with rum, but it becomes a convoluted mess that just smells not good. It turned into a powdery old lady smell on me, and it was nuclear to boot. I washed it off twice and my wife was still complaining that it smelled terrible.
15th March, 2018

Red Tobacco by Mancera

Red Tobacco is quite enjoyable. It comes on strong, and stays strong on my skin for over 10 hours...longer on clothing. It does smell like cinnamon and tobacco. As mentioned there is a sweet fruit note in the opening as well. This fragrance is nuclear and should not be oversprayed, or you could choke someone out. I quite enjoy this one...
14th March, 2018

Eau Sacrée by Heeley

Eau Sacree is superb. I have come to recognize that frankincense and olibanum are at the top of my fragrance enjoyment list, and Eau Sacree has hit the perfect "sweet spot" for me. Obviously, it is not a sweet fragrance, I just mean it hits every possible mark of enjoyment for me from a fragrance. Resinous and woody just doesn't do this beautiful fragrance justice! I honestly love everything about it!!! The mixture of notes is blended perfectly, and I don't think I could enjoy another fragrance any more than I am this one. A must have for me!
11th March, 2018
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Esprit du Tigre / Spirit of the Tiger by Heeley

A beautiful clear and clean mintiness in the opening that transitions into an excellent clove and cinnamon. I got terrible longevity and sillage with the little dabber sample I've got. This is much nicer and more transparent than Tiger Balm and smells like a high quality, well blended fragrance, not like a cream based medicinal balm. I would wear this a lot if I can get better performance out of it with a full spray bottle. I loved it while it lasted!
09th March, 2018

Wild Fern by Geo F Trumper

Opening is excellent and smells very similar to English Fern by Penhaligons. The dry down however is different and much smoother in nature as opposed to sharp like the opening. I've heard some say this drys down into a shampoo smell, but I actually love this all the way through from start to finish. It does loose steam faster than I'd like it to, and when it gets into the dry down it is a very close skin scent, but it is wonderful! Definitely full bottle worthy in my book.
06th March, 2018

Pot Pourri by Santa Maria Novella

The flagship of the Santa Maria Novella line? That is what it seems. Pot Pourri is a brilliant combination of notes that appeals highly to my sensibilities. I smell spices, resins, and eucalyptus. I know there are many other notes, including some florals, but the blending is superb. This is a fragrance from another age, and is a definite step back in time. There is a medicinal quality, which lends to that old time feel. This is what I think Richard Collier would have bought in a shop to put on when he was trying to get himself put together to meet Elise McKenna when he traveled back to the past. An excellent fragrance that I will enjoy for many years to come. Thanks to Grungevig for his input on this fragrance and the Santa Maria Novella line. A great house with many gems.
04th March, 2018

Ummagumma by Bruno Fazzolari

Ummagumma is a triumph in my book. The sum of it's parts makes for a completely enjoyable fragrance experience.

The opening starts with the best chocolate cake, or cupcake note I've yet to encounter in perfumery. It's a rich and decadent chocolate note that smells as densely chocolate as a super dense piece of cake you buy at a fancy restaurant. You know the cake. One piece weighs about a pound and costs several pounds.

This chocolate fest transitions pretty quickly into a saffron note that is pretty prominent to my nose. This brings on an almost animalic quality to Ummagumma, but here's the triumph part for me. I actually enjoyed this and wasn't overwhelmed like I generally am with the super animalic, musk type fragrances that many love, but I just can't get into. Rather than smelling like I'm waiving a piece of chocolate cake under my nose while taking a tour of the mink farm, Ummagumma smells chocolatey, with a slight musky kick, but it's blended so amazingly well at just the right levels in my opinion. Ummagumma smells different from a distance than it does nose to wrist once the saffron kicks it up a few notches. The saffron is still present in the dry down, but it mellows as the sandalwood, cedar, frankincense and labdanum bring on some of my favorite notes. The blending of this fragrance and the overall composition is so impressive to me. I know I'm not an expert, but the more fragrances I wear, and the more I spend time with different fragrances, I feel like I'm at least getting a base line feel for some of the amazing perfumers and their creations. This is my first dive into the art of Bruno Fazzalori, and I've got to say that he has an amazing fragrance in Ummagumma. It's special from start to finish and I just want to congratulate him for such a fine work of art! Thank you Bruno!
03rd March, 2018

Absinth by Nasomatto

This smells really great! I'm not familiar with the drink Absinthe, so I don't know for sure how accurate this fragrance is, but I can definitely smell some likeness with L'Artisian Parfumers Fou d' Absinthe, especially in the opening. I will say that I believe this Nasomatto version of Absinthe smells even better than the LAP version however. This is nice and woodsy, and I love the woods! Absinth also has better longevity than Fou d' Absinthe on my skin, which matters to me. The dry down smells like vetiver...specifically like Chanel's Sycomore, with the Absinthe aura hanging about instead of any smokiness. This is just a very enjoyable wear from start to finish. Absinth costs over $6.00/mil US however, so it's definitely not cheap.
28th February, 2018

Rêve d'Ossian (new) by Oriza L. Legrand

Old smelling. Reve d' Ossian smells of old things...nasty old things, like the aldehydes are actually, "formaldehydes." This smells like it was produced somewhere between 1820 and 1840, then left to rot. In fact, Reve d' Ossian brought to mind Miss Havesham's wedding from Dicken's Great Expectations. I had great expectations for this fragrance, but they walked off and left me at the opening notes. Like Miss Havesham, RDO sat there going first stagnant, then fetid, then putrid and I was driven mad over time. A true stew of a missed opportunity. I guess I'll try it one more time to see if I'm being unfair, but at this point I'm not looking forward to it.
27th February, 2018

Patchouli by Santa Maria Novella

I smell turpentine with a herbaceous accord just behind it. There is an almost jamminess in the opening of SMN Patchouli, sort of like the jamminess of a bottle of jalapeño jam, only with patchouli. There is almost a sweetness to the turpentine vibe in the opening, but it only last for a short moment. I don't smell dirt as some have mentioned, but I do pick up the mustiness mentioned by others. I can see myself wearing this fragrance's right up my alley...very green! I've only got the dabber sample, so I can't speak for the performance when sprayed, but the longevity and sillage aren't super impressive from the dabbed on sample. I do appreciate what I am smelling however. Now, 3 hours later, I still love the very faint smell I'm picking up on my wrist. The turps smell is there, but has settled down and I'm getting a very enjoyable greenness. There is also the smell of unearthed roots. I still don't smell, "dirt" per se. The turps note is still there and I do smell a rooty, earthiness. The longer I wear this, the more I, "dig" it. :-)

The fragrances I've tried so far from Santa Maria Novella have all felt like they are from the past approximately, 1900 to 1910 or so. But, they have all been very accessible for me. They are excellent fragrances that I've absolutely loved so far! All very wearable for me, and very well blended and presented. Thumbs way up!

27th February, 2018

Marescialla by Santa Maria Novella

Opens with a slightly astringent edge that dies down very quickly, leaving a nice, spicy fume. Old world vibe that is throughly enjoyable "and" wearable. Some might disagree, but this is very easy for me to wear a fragrance like this. Marescialla turned into a skin scent on me with 6 sprays in about 4 hours. I reapplied in the afternoon and it stuck around for about another 4 hours. Another excellent SMN fragrance in my book!
27th February, 2018

Opoponax by Santa Maria Novella

Resinous, fresh, spicy, clean. An amazing fragrance in my opinion...just amazing. Opoponax feels natural, and real. I put this on, and felt like I "naturally" smelled really good.

Like I had stumbled upon something that occurred in nature and put it on my skin. A pocket of resin in a tree that I scooped out on my fingers and brought up to my nose, eyes widening and a smile spreading across my face. "This, this is what I want to smell like,"and I rubbed it on my chest, then my jaw line and wrists.

Okay, back to the real world. Seriously though, I'm thankful that Grungevig introduced me to it, and that SMN makes this wonderful fragrance. I will now enjoy it for as long as it is produced. Bravisimo!
24th February, 2018

L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

YSL L'Homme smells like a lot of other designer men's fragrances...but, I still like it. It's smooth and doesn't have a chemistry set edge to it. It feels like a good designer men's fragrance, not like it's the imitation of a good designer men's fragrance if that makes any sense. The tonka and violet are dominant notes in this frag in my opinion, and give this a decent barbershop vibe that I enjoy. It's got a slightly dirtier edge than some of my very favorite barbershop frags, possibly from the ginger note? I have a nice sample that should last me a while, but I would consider a full bottle depending on price.
25th January, 2018
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Beach Hut Man by Amouage

Mmm...this has the nicest fresh mint leaf opening I've found yet! It is crisp and beautiful...just like crushing the mint leaf under your nose! As time passes, Beach Hut Man takes on a sweet boozy aspect that smells nice. It has a touch of the "dryer sheet" synthetic aspect I find in Saville Row by Richard James, but I love SR, and I'm enjoying Beach Hut Man as well. About the name though...why Beach Hut Man? This smells nothing like any beach I've ever been on. What is does is bring another nice fresh fragrance on to my wish list. I'll be waiting until this comes down in price before purchasing though.
16th January, 2018

Replica At the Barber's by Martin Margiela

This is amazing! This smells EXACTLY like a trip to the barbershop smelled when I was a boy. I've been trying a lot of barbershop fragrances, and while my favorite one so far has been Invasion Barbare by Parfums MDCI, Replica at the Barber's by Martin Margiela smells the most like my barbershop experiences over the years. This is such an enjoyable fragrance experience for me. It's transported me back to my Dad taking me to the barbershop as a kid. I'm so grateful I tried this fragrance...two thumbs way up!
09th January, 2018

Tom Ford Noir Anthracite by Tom Ford

Updated Review:

Wore this again today, and it smells really nice. Very green, but with the mineralic edge of anthracite, which is very dense coal. I'd take this lump of coal in my sock every year if Santa chose to bring it to me! Afraid I'm going to need the full bottle treatment! This is a big thumbs up for me!

I like it. But, it's different than I was expecting. I had heard several people say this was a tribute to oakmoss, and if you liked the original Polo, you'd like TF Noir Anthracite. Well...this reminds me more of Bulgari Black than it does Polo. However, that is a first impression, and I need to wear Anthracite several more times before I get a good feel. I also need to revisit Bulgari Black, because it's been a while and I may be way off. TFNA does have a black charcoal vibe that reminded me of the rubber note of BB. I'm going to compare them because i know that there will probably be more differences than similarities.
07th January, 2018 (last edited: 13th January, 2018)

Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Sweet amber. Loud enough to attract amber lovers, well made enough to attract others who like a sweet gourmand accord. I'm not a lover of amber frags, but I'm working my way through the MFK line and want to try them all, so I wore this one today. There is an underlying woodiness that smells of Gaiac to me even though it's not in the listed notes. I don't mind this fragrance, as it's such a well made one, its just not my personal style.
06th January, 2018

masculin Pluriel by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

A very nice fougere that is well made.The leather note is a slightly different touch. I enjoyed wearing Masculin Pluriel today. I would like a bit more projection, but it's still quite nice. I'm working my way through the Francis Kudkjian line and have enjoyed the three I've tried so far. I don't think I would invest in a FB of Masculin Pluriel at this point, as I have several fougere's I enjoy wearing more, but it's not out of the question that I'll pick this up sometime. Francis Kurdkjian is a very talented perfumer.
05th January, 2018

Bois Lumiere by Anatole Lebreton

This just did not smell good on me. I got urinal cake and singed animalic for a horrid overall presence that was an immediate scrubber. I'm sure my initial impression isn't completely fair, and I'll try spending a little more time with it when I'm at home to see if I can find some better impressions, but I was at the office when I dabbed it on, and it instantly caused a negative reaction.
04th January, 2018

Mortel by Cire Trudon

Incredibly beautiful incense fragrance. Black Pepper shines in the beginning, but is blended in such a way that it doesn't dominate. The Olibanum and Myrrh are magnificently mixed with the Cedar and are the main parts of my enjoyment. There are spices as well, but Mortel is amazingly soft for an incense fragrance. Unfortunately, it is a little too soft. This would be 5 stars all the way if it wasn't for the weak longevity. I only have a dabber sample though, so perhaps it performs better when sprayed. Still, I love this one and really appreciate what CIre Trudon has done with the resinous goodness of Frankincense and Myrrh here...bravo!
03rd January, 2018

Baccarat Rouge 540 Extrait by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Smells amazing. There is a definite almond accord in the opening. Has a sweeter overall aspect than the EDP, as well as more projection and longevity. I'll need to spend more time with it. I love the sweetness and the ambergris dry down. Incredibly well blended and completely refined, Baccarat Rouge is a wonderful journey. I do prefer the EDP however because of it's Fir Balsam presence in the dry down. BR540 Extrait is a wonderful fragrance as well however!
31st December, 2017 (last edited: 02nd January, 2018)

Grimoire by Anatole Lebreton

Finally got around to wearing my sample of Grimoire. This is right up my alley. The opening has a citrus smell that reminds me more of petit grain than it does of the listed bergamot. This citrus aspect is short lived, and is only on the fringes of the opening, as the lavender and basil are also present. In fact, I'm wondering if the basil mixed with the bergamot is what's making me think petit grain. As it dries down, it becomes more and more the tome of spells pages that the name implies. It actually smells very much like the pages of a book that has been stored with some nice incense. I actually like this fragrance a lot so far, based on my first wear. This is definitely bottle worthy in my "book." :-)
28th December, 2017

Invasion Barbare / SB by MDCI

Man...I love this one...perhaps even more than Le Barbier De Tangier! There is a moment in the mid opening where the cardamon might be a bit too hot, but it's fleeting, and the overall wear is special in my opinion. This is beautifully blended, and I must have some! Such a wonderful fougere that unfortunately drifts away long before I want it to. It hangs in there as a skin scent, but I wish it had a bit more sillage. This is a 9.9 out of 10 for me. Huge love for Invasion Barbare!
24th December, 2017

Cedrat Boise by Mancera

Cedrat Boise smells synthetic to me. Sometimes that's not a bad thing, but in the case of Cedrat Boise, it's distracting to me. I couldn't disagree more with the thought that this smells like Aventus. It's nothing like Aventus to me. In fact, this isn't even in the same time continuum as far as enjoyment goes with Aventus, at least for me. Cedrat Boise's wood notes smell more like Cashmeran than cedar or sandalwood to me. The citrus also smells like white musk with hints of citrus. I do get a dash of jasmine in the opening. Wish I could smell the blackcurrant, but the dry down is all about synthetic woods to my nose. I love my new bottle of Red Tobacco by Mancera, but Cedrat Boise is a miss for me.
19th December, 2017

Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Mmm... Baccarat Rouge 540 is fabulous. It is crisp and clean and lasts longer than you do. The burnt sugar accord is very prominent and reminds me of Josh Meyer/Imaginary Authors Saint Julep without the mint, just a little in the opening. Baccarat Rouge however feels and smells nicer in my opinion. I'm also reminded of another fragrance as BR 540 dries down, and that's Slumberhouse's Sadanne. There's something that smells similar to me. Baccarat Rouge 540 is much more subtle than Sadanne, but there is something similar to my nose anyway. I believe it may be the coniferous Fir Balsam note, as Sadanne definitely has the sweet aspect like BR540, with a coniferous aspect as well in it's dry down. Baccarat Rouge is smooth and feels incredibly well blended. I'm thoroughly enjoying this in such a way that I know I'm going to want a full bottle. The burnt sugar is lightly tinged with a floral softness that never becomes overbearing. It's a perfect balance between the sugar, florals, citrus, aroma chemicals, cedar and fir balsam as far as I can tell. It is quite linear, but increases in conifer and decreases just a bit in sweetness as it lasts and lasts, causing you to smell like a much classier dude than you really are. This one hits all the marks for me. It will be in my wardrobe eventually.
17th December, 2017 (last edited: 02nd January, 2018)

Le Barbier de Tangier by MDCI

My very favorite barbershop fragrance so far. This opens with some sharpness, but it's more along the lines of a brisk splash and slap across the face freshness than it is an uncomfortable sharpness. This is what I was hoping Cologne 352 would be like, but Cologne 352's sharpness was like a cut from the razor rather than a nice brisk splash of freshness. Le Barbier de Tangier is just excellent in my opinion. It is too expensive, but I don't find it to be an Aventus Flanker as I've heard it called before. It stands on it's own, "accord." :-)

I would love to have an endless supply of this juice to splash on and spray on. A nice shower gel based on this fragrance would also receive a warm welcome in my wardrobe. A big thumbs up for Le Barbier de Tangier for me. It's now near the top of my want list!
11th December, 2017

Spring Flower by Creed

I bought this fragrance for my wife last year. She doesn't wear it often, but when she does I think she smells amazing. She likes very light fragrances, and almost applies them using mis-direction resulting in them becoming more of a room spray fragrance in her hands than a personal fragrance. But, when she wears Spring Flower, it has enough presence and longevity that I can smell it on her, and it really is lovely. I don't share the dislike some have for this fragrance and think Olivier Creed created a very nice sweet floral with a light hint of melon. A thumbs up in my opinion.
11th December, 2017

Jacarandá by Fueguia

I find the notes listing here on BaseNotes for Jacaranda interesting. Bergamot, Patchouli, Cedar, Moss. I find it interesting because the notes listed for Jacaranda on the Fueguia 1833 website lists the notes as, Rosewood, Mahogany, and Spruce, which seems more in line with what I experienced in wearing this fragrance. I wonder if there was a reformulation or something? Anyway, this is a nice woody, aromatic with some excellent wood notes.

It starts out with a strong varnished woods presence. It is quite potent, but has been thoroughly enjoyable to me. There is a sweetness along with the varnished wood notes in the opening that makes it different than the varnished smells of D.S. & Durga's Bowmakers. Jacaranda has strong projection for the first few hours. My wife and I went to a basketball game this evening, and she complained that my fragrance was too strong. I disagreed with that assessment, as it smelled wonderful, but she said it had a sweet note she didn't appreciate and it was too strong. I didn't find it too strong, however, I did apply from my sample quite liberally, so perhaps it's best to sample this one in smaller doses than I did tonight. The opening is nice, but the dry down is what I enjoyed the most. It becomes quite coniferous in the dry down and the spruce really ahh..."spruces" thing up quite a bit! It is really nice for someone who loves coniferous notes and me! I was pleasantly surprised by that wonderful dry down. Now I've found another coniferous fragrance that's on my list of must haves! It's so exciting!

07th December, 2017

Atlantic Ambergris by Areej le Doré

This is much different than I expected. The opening is unusual. It reminds me of the smell of saddle soap on leather when as a boy I used to saddle soap my dad's saddles. He was a true cowboy and took good care of his tack. When I smelled the opening of Atlantic Ambergris, it brought images of those days spent with my dad many years ago. I don't smell any pine at all, which was slightly disappointing, but I do love the smell of the opening for the reasons stated. After about 30 minutes this began to take on a more transparent note that feels breezy...not as smooth and round as the saddle soapy leather aspect of the initial opening. I also noticed a slight salty vibe, but it's very subtle. I wondered if this might be the presence of the white ambergris, but since I have no point of reference, I'm not sure. The clove aspect also started to arrive, and I love clove, so I enjoyed that as well. I'm quite surprised by how subdued Atlantic Ambergris is. In fact, it had calmed down so much at the 2 hour mark that it became a little too calm. All of the other Areej le Dore fragrances I've tried have nuclear projection, so I was expecting at least some of that from AA, but it's not the case. I do quite like this fragrance. I would have to say it is my favorite so far from Areej le Dore. I know many fans of this line aren't sure how they feel about Atlantic Ambergris, but for me, it's the most wearable of all their fragrances I've tried. I'm sure this has to do with the fact that I'm used to smells that have a western world culture aesthetic to them, whereas others enjoy the eastern world culture aesthetic. I quite enjoyed wearing this fragrance. My one critic is it's poor longevity. Perhaps it's just my skin and others get better performance while wearing AA. I'd like to hear if others who have worn it are getting better results with it's staying power. Even with all that said though, this is a thumbs up for me.
06th December, 2017

Asagiri by Fueguia 1833

I'm neutral over Asagiri by Fueguia 1833. The opening was my favorite part. I smelled a nice wood note that I'm assuming was the Sugi wood. Other than that, this smells quite a bit like Profumum's Victrix, which is a fresh water green smell to me. I prefer Victrix however. Asagiri has a floral presence whereas Victrix has a dry aspect that I prefer along with the sharp greenness. Victrix also costs less than Asagiri, so there is that as well.
05th December, 2017