Perfume Reviews

Reviews by HouseOfPhlegethon

Total Reviews: 905

Nahéma by Guerlain

This one, slipped by my radar for years. I finally got around to sampling it recently. There is a tiny, brief sweet note to start. I'm guessing it was peach. Then I smell some big, bold greenish notes. Tart. Galbanum and old rose are prominent. Nahema smells "older", like it could have been created in the 1920's.

Even more rose, in various flavors rises up. Rose, seems to be the star here... Other flowers appear, all mixed together. I do get an appearance of ylang ylang & jasmine, now and again. These "kitchen sink" perfumes still amaze me: so many ingredients / notes that, usually bump into each other like a crowd at a music concert. Once in awhile someone jumps into the air to be noticed, singled out.

The heart begins to reveal some slight skankiness to me, which I am betting ylang & jasmine are the culprits. The base is a mix of balsamic, woody, and resinous notes. They lay close to, and on the skin. Nothing too dark but, rather calming.
23rd March, 2019

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

This, is for a vintage, EDC version...

There is still some good citrus on top. Lots of lovely lemon. Basil and pimento are vibrant as well. Funny - if I'd blind-tested this, I'd recognize this as a Guerlain - it has that profile / signature.

The heart is a treat of evenly balanced flowers and woody-green things. Just enough cinnamon to give some heat. Carnation is well-behaved (for my nose). HR could easily be androgynous.

The base is a fine, mellow mix. Some green, old leather, a slight fizzy resinous feel. Overall, a sturdy great offering.
23rd March, 2019

Tsar by Van Cleef & Arpels

Strong, masculine top notes. Refreshing lavender and neroli. Somewhat bitter (as usual) bergamot. A hint of pepper, pops. Flowers add a touch of softness; eliminate what bitterness there was. Balsam slowly adds a hint of amber-related honeyness. Sandalwood, leather, and moss add their charms. Patchouli jumps in and stays awhile.

Overall this is a refreshing, classic, and clean fragrance. There really is nothing, not to love. Every note reveals and compliments the other.
23rd March, 2019
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

La Pausa / 28 La Pausa Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Iris. Powder. dusty. Old iris. New iris. Slightly earthy iris. It's iris - what more can be said. Yeah, it is pretty. After a bit, I smell something underneath. Vaguely like pear or some other fruit. It's faint. Cedar maybe? Confused...

This Chanel doesn't last long on me. It is gone too soon. Not very memorable either. Meh. I hate to have to give a neutral rating for a Chanel. I have other iris scents that give me more of a thrill.
23rd March, 2019

Musc for Her by Narciso Rodriguez

A sort of stale, citrus opening. Dirty, ambery musk. Honeyed vanilla and osmanthus, with its touch of apricot characteristics. Thin strands of vetiver and woods. MFH is odd, in a good way.

Eventually it seems that all the notes settle, marry. Musky? Most definitely. A sweetness like sugar hovers like a fog. On the skin, some green and fruit. I like this one - it has a bit "more" than some other NR scents I've had... After time, it all blurs into a mellow musk.
23rd March, 2019

Opoponax / Impérial Opoponax by Les Néréides

Candied orange peel with bergamot. It becomes sweeter, more syrupy. Sweet too, are the jasmine and hawthorn notes. Close to the skin there is woodiness, from sandalwood. It doesn't take long for the sweetness to change. Myrrh, vanilla, amber, and benzoin create a thicker texture. Lots of vanilla icing later. Nearly cloying. Not quite, for me.
23rd March, 2019

Seyrig by Bruno Fazzolari

The aldehydes here remind me of a blanket, in winter. A warm and fuzzy blanket pulled fresh from a clothes dryer. A cotton blanket. Why? Don't know. Perhaps the combo of aldehydes, rose, and ylang ylang do this. I get no mandarin at all unless it is part of the whole. I begin to smell lilac, faint lily of the valley. The latter of which is rather green. Perhaps too, the "blanket" smell comes from the lilac - syringe. (I'm over-analyzing.)

Then, I get strong iris; both the petal and the rooty types. Musk appears, clear and clean. Mossiness is slight. Seyrig is creative. It is sublime.

Iris and musk notes seem to last the longest, with hints of lilac.
23rd March, 2019

Ylang 49 by Le Labo

Piercing at first. Ylang & gardenia together, howl at me. Patchouli begins to scream to be heard. Then, something lightly sweet and smoky. Voices settle to a steady hum. Intriguing.

This is much more noisy close to my skin, as it settles. Sillage reveals a steady sweetness, a sugary-floral patchouli. There is more here - it's too mashed together to figure it out. Mostly my nose picks out the ylang ylang and patch. They seem to dominate. This fragrance seems disjointed. I like it anyway. Though I wouldn't buy a full bottle...
23rd March, 2019

Halston Woman Amber by Halston

Dark sweetness at first. The mandarin and current are an odd but, nice combo. The aldehydes aren't loud. The red current is a bit strong. Amber slowly moves in; not overly "sweet". Rose & tuberose bounce off of each other.

Amber increases after time, with a spicy edge. There is a very faint, almost chocolate smell, close to the skin. HWA starts out rather odd. Gets better as it wears.

The base is rather predictable - musky, pale suede, creamy wood. Overall, for a cheapie, it isn't bad. Good scent for second-shift.

A few hours later it becomes better - more smooth.
23rd March, 2019

Le Club de Balenciaga / Ho Hang Club by Balenciaga

This, is one of those great, late 80's scents. Masculine to the nth degree. Well made, well-blended. Smooth citrus. Calming herbs. Manly flowers - not cloying or wispy. Earth-like, olibanum & styrax give a low, resinous layer. Leather is cool and refined.

Earthiness increases over time. A smoke-like accord develops. Leather note increases. This, is a marvelous creation. 4 stars.
23rd March, 2019

Jour d'Hermès by Hermès

Tart citrus. Slightly aquatic, like rainwater. Strong green notes, as of stems or stalks. Sour florals. This is just too bitter, for my tastes.

The rankness calms down a bit later. It doesn't really do much else to offend me but, I can't state that I could ever like this scent. I get some burnt wood later - that's it.
23rd March, 2019

Terracotta Le Parfum by Guerlain

Bitterness. Coconut is light. Tiare flower is big. The heart flowers blend nicely. Hint of sugar. Somewhat dirty. Not an offensive skank-like dirtiness - just a little randiness. I seem to get more coconut, in the sillage. I can't state that TLP smells exactly of suntan lotion but, definitely something beachy or tropical in its character.

Ylang seems the stand-out note here which I thoroughly enjoy. Vanilla & musk don't get too rowdy here. They make their statement without clashing with the floral notes.
22nd March, 2019

La Petite Robe Noire Couture by Guerlain

Raspberry & rose are as one. Jammy sweet. Thick. Not overly sweet, to me. Tonka bean does not wait to be "heard". It locks arms with the top and middle notes. These notes create a dark sweetness, like burnt sugar, with a slight booze aspect. Close to the skin, an earthy greenness exists.

After time, I find this one reminds me of cherries soaked in some type of alcoholic beverage. Rum maybe? I don't find this too sweet, even now. This frag seems better suited for cooler months, in my opinion. Evening-wear, too.

Everything merges, mellows. Rose becomes a little sweeter after time, on my skin.
22nd March, 2019
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Tayyiba Attar by Amouage

Massive jasmine & ylang for starters. Huge, fragrant bouquet. Very realistic. Ten or so minutes later rose appears. It is close to the skin. Some wood notes are not far away. A touch of lilac hovers in the air.

There is a bit of spiciness that develops. Not strong - it's difficult to describe. It was fleeting, with its sweet, heat, and pungency. An almost lipstick accord develops. It layers with gentle musk, somewhat water-logged sandalwood, and crushed orange blossom. Overall, this is lovely in that it isn't over-bearing - it's gentle, settling near and on the skin mostly.
22nd March, 2019

Oil Fiction by Juliette Has a Gun

An impressive, well-blended start. Bold, rich, dark. I am immediately envisioning Film Noir actresses from the 1940's...

I get a hint of tuberose. It isn't strong. This frag releases tons of labdanum, patchouli, vanilla, and sandalwood, not waiting for the other notes to speak up. There is a frosty, iris cloud above. There is also something papery.

Oil Fiction is not like the other JHAG scents I've tried. This one, is exceptional. It's as though they used a different perfumer to create this. The amber-accord, from the darker notes, begins to sink to the bottom as iris increases its presence. The iris is not so much powdery as it is airy, if that makes any sense.

An almost faint reminder of tobacco teases me later on... Iris, begins to fall away, leaving the darker notes to carry on.
22nd March, 2019

Kingdom by Alexander McQueen

Flora-citrus with a slight sour accord at first. Cumin jumps in. There is wood playing underneath - one I don't recognize. Rose and jasmine aren't sweet. The jasmine has a slightly rotting odor.

Kingdom began strong on my skin, then quickly began to fade. I don't get any ginger at all. A boozy vanilla both hovers and sinks, at the same time.

Later, I seem to get more flower scent, than earlier. Woodiness hasn't faded; is laying low. I'm not in love with this one. It's just Okay, even as it turns all floral hours later.
19th March, 2019

Tabac Rouge / Turkish Blend by Phaedon

Soft, sweet top notes, that crescendo into a spice bomb. Nearly booze-like. Tobacco and incense remind me of blended myrrh and opoponax. I think the benzoin is playing with me. Musk, adds some sensuality. Cinnamon lasts and lasts. This, is a fine, dark & warm oriental. Easy and uncomplicated.
19th March, 2019

Aoud Heritage by Montale

Flash of sweet citrus at first. Bitter bergamot and greenish vetiver are next. It then becomes woody. There is a musty musk layer in between. I am reminded of some deep, dark soil, underneath the woody accord. Patchouli is strong. This fragrance has an evergreen tree vibe.

A.H. is fairly linear. It does not boast any mind-blowing creativity. I enjoy it for its deep-woods ambiance. Notes blur after time. Woodsy, still. The tiniest beach note, ocean note, occurs later.
19th March, 2019

Oud by Robert Piguet

Saffron-infused oud to start. Heavy, rich balsamic accord. Fir branches dragged indoors. Their odor blooms within the home's interior heat. Soily, earthy, buzzy styrax. Church incense.

Becomes somewhat sweet over time. Woods are resinous. Patchouli seems kind of boozy, alcoholic. It becomes a little skanky later. I smell a woodpile, of various species thrown together. It's kind of odd but, I like it. Patchouli gets even stronger later on. Lasts and lasts.
19th March, 2019

Mandarin, Neroli & Cedar by Dame Perfumery

Summery, fruit and herb opening. Juicy citrus. Hints of green. Not a cloying opening at all. The heart, is where it's at: smooth and even notes of neroli, LOTV, and orange blossom are divine, happily married. Not too sweet, not too bitter.

Then, the thrill is gone. It seems to fall away. Sure, the vetiver is good, in the base. Cedar and the other base notes are well-blended but, I became bored rather quickly. This is a "nice" fragrance... Violet, peeks out more, later on.
17th March, 2019

Battaniye by Pekji

Sweet smoke. Dark gothic floral note. Darker smoke. Deep, deep fall into an enveloping warmth. There is a tobacco vibe. There is a heavy suede vibe. Neither of those notes exist here - it is only a vibration. An animal lurks - dark and heavily fur-covered. A layer of sharp vetiver and sweet honeysuckle intertwined, are amongst this blanket of aromas. Earthy, terra firma! Campfire crackling. Fireplace logs hissing.

Battaniye is very dark for the first hour or so. When it gradually settles the warmth of amber and patchouli arise. They are sweet and calming. The honeysuckle too, begins to shine, adding its floral sweet as well.

This was intriguing for me, its list of notes - I knew I would love this. As a blind buy, I chose wisely. Its deep, warm, and progressively changing character is appealing. It may be too dark for some.
16th March, 2019

Mon Parfum Chéri, par Camille by Annick Goutal

Faint suede-like accord. Dark, woody patchouli vibe. Dusty iris. Violet is slightly green and powdery floral, at the same time. Annick Goutal fragrances and I rarely get along - this one, makes me smile.

Still has a suede smell later, mixed with powdery, purple flowers. Light. Delicate. Femme. A perfume for warmer months. I like how this one developed.
16th March, 2019

Musc Nomade by Annick Goutal

Light, airy fresh. Not what I was expecting. Faint flowers. Papery-wood accord. Clear musk. The flowers, don't seem to increase in "size". They remain distant. This plays out as a skin scent for me. I wanted more...
16th March, 2019

Mitzah by Christian Dior

My addiction - oriental styles. This would fit right in... Heavy spice. Moderate rose. Touch of cumin. Drape of honey. What's not to like? I think it's the smoky cumin that adds some interest. A teeny bit of bitterness, from the cumin also.

The patchouli and incense seem a good quality. They aren't super-hippie, head types. Then you've got your sturdy, steadfast friend labdanum, with its smiles of musky, resinous hugs. A thin line of vanilla rounds out the whole affair.

The sillage is marvelous with Mitzah. It's all vanilla-ambery goodness. Mitzah increases its charms as it wears on. I'm happy I finally dug out my sample. It was worth trying. I'm not however, going to invest in another oriental. Once again, folks have gone ape-sh*t asking ridiculously high prices for a discontinued, well-done fragrance.
15th March, 2019

Shanghai Lily by Tom Ford

Sweet, jammy on top. Moves into a spiced mode. Then it shifts into floral gear. Jasmine, tuberose, and lily show me their charms first. Clove is sprinkled over top. A little violet face peers up at me, winking.

The flowers begin to blur together after time. A small amount of bitterness appears. The base notes are honey-like, a light greenness, faint wood, and a tad animalic. The base deepens a bit as it wears on. It resembles a sweet amber. Overall this is a lovely floriental. It has a vanilla-lily thing going on, interspersed with the amberish base. I like this one.
13th March, 2019

#1 Notes of Sauvignon Blanc by Kelly & Jones

Crisp, clear citrus. It has a vague chemical, window cleaner smell. Brief, at least. Floral & fruity next. A big, green woody, fresh cut, branch accord. I haven't sniffed any white wines in years, so I can't state that it smells of it. Slight booze? Yes.

Later, I get a sort of apple brandy vibe. Still, many floral notes, too. I get a hint of sweetness close to the skin. I believe the starfruit has finally kicked in. This is an interesting fragrance. Rather artsy. It is a fine use of apple as a note.
13th March, 2019

Shaal Nur by Etro

Citrus briefly. Spiced wood. This has an eastern hemisphere atmosphere. It is somewhat tangy. Has some herbal aromas blended with mild flower. Not an overly loud fragrance - it seems to keep a mellow character.

It smells of perfumed wood after time. A feminine incense, slightly girl. The notes all become one big, super-blend. The base is a dreamlike oriental - again, notes well-mixed. No one note seems to stand out during my whole wearing. Nothing really stands out for me. This is just a "nice" fragrance overall.
13th March, 2019

Rose Absolue by Annick Goutal

As the name implies... There are various layers of rose. Most are too bitter for me. Sharp. Some greenish. There is even a dusky, old rose here. I love rose perfumes. However, for me, they must have other notes present. This is just too pure a rose perfume. This IS a good quality rose perfume. Don't get me wrong. I give it three stars because eventually, I do get some powdery, relaxed rose notes.
10th March, 2019

Santal Carmin by Atelier Cologne

Sweet, citrus top. Candy sweet. Calms down quickly. Pretty, little saffron note. Light, fresh wood moves in. Cloudy musk. Mellow movement. The saffron and woodiness here are actually a good mix. This is a somewhat surprise considering how this all began.

A thin papery, old paper vibe, emerges. Not old and moldy paper - just antiqued. It mixes with cedar, like from an old Lane chest. Subtle vanilla moves in, mixing with the woods. Still some saffron hanging around. Whole thing ends up being semi-sweet later. Wood and vanilla linger on and on.
10th March, 2019

Noble XX Art Nouveau Water Lily by Clive Christian

Perfume-y aldehydes with a green leaf motif. Fresh. Lovely flowers in the heart, with water lily taking the lead. Eventually tuberose begins to take over. It is a rather sheer, nearly greenish note. A rooty iris note shows itself.

Later, all the florals tame, and you get a wallop of fizzy patchouli. Some sharp vetiver, too. A spoonful of slight animal musk.

This CC is an oddball but pleasant enough fragrance. The notes all seem rather disconnected at times. They don't seem smooth. Seem clunky at times.

Hours later lily sticks around and stays on the skin. I confess that this is probably the best water lily perfume I've ever tried. That is, once all the notes get themselves in order, stay focused.
10th March, 2019