Perfume Reviews

Reviews by Constantine

Total Reviews: 32

Musgo Real No. 2 Oak Moss by Claus Porto

This is exactly what is says on the bottle. Fresh and oak mossy.
Much nicer than the Classic cologne which is peppery patchouli and not what the equivalent shave cream smells like.
Of the two go for the OakMoss if you are looking for a fresh barber shop scent.
I have the Orange Amber shave cream coming in so lets see what that's like then may try the cologne.

Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 3/5
18th January, 2018

Musgo Real by Claus Porto

This is nothing like the shave cream which is barbershop fresh.
The cologne starts off nice and fresh and masculine but this rapidly fades and you are left with a peppery patchouli which is not what I expected at all. OK if you like that sort of thing but not OK according to what one expects from Musgo Real. My full bottle is going straight on ebay.

As an aside the Oak Moss cologne is much nicer. Stays fresh and Oakmossy, ie exactly what one expects from Musgo Real.

Projection from both is 3/5
Longevity from both is 3/5
18th January, 2018

L'Eau d'Hiver by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Cloying Iris powder. What a let down especially after the superb French Lover.
15th January, 2018
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Noir Epices by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

This fell out of Louis XIV powder case.
A real let down especially after the superb French Lover.
15th January, 2018

Enigma pour Homme by Roja Dove

This is a masterpiece. I had forgotten about this in my collection as my favourite special occasion cold weather /evening cologne is the unbeatable Amouage Journey Man but I thought I'd try this for a change. My wife loved it immediately. Prunes and armangac indeed that lasts all day with sterling projection. I could smell it on myself all day in a fairly linear fashion.She still prefers Amouage JM which is almost as intense less long lasting but more masculine. First impressions were a close call until she sniffed JM again on me.JM got the nod descisively.
Performance of Enigma alone brings this back to bearable value as a couple of sprays comfortably last all day.
I have tried the Parfum which is double the price yet more subtle . Less rich. Paradox.

Projection: 5/5
Longevity: 5/5
25th December, 2017

Dirty English by Juicy Couture

This is a double thumbs up considering the price.
Without the low price its a semi thumbs up.
This is a solid inoffensive office fragrance which will also work round the clock. Fresh and spicy but rather peppery for me after the opening.
Lasts a couple of hours only so take the bottle with you.
Well worth the money and one of the best budget fragrances I have smelled.
See also Chopard Noble Vetiver (and Noble Cedar) which you can find reduced going for a song!

Fragrance: 4/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 2/5
23rd December, 2017

Jungle pour Homme by Kenzo

This is a surprisingly nice fragrance from Kenzo. Although considering the price perhaps it should be.
It starts off as a tutti fruitti hit of lime. Rather feminine and off putting but this rapidly settles into a more smoky spicy yet paradoxically fresh aroma with the lime nestling coyly in its arms winking at you.
I am note sure what it is but there is something lacking. Either a lack of harmony or an innate cheapness of ingredients. It lacks class.
As it is inoffensive its a safe any time scent for the teens and twenties yet considering the price it is unlikely they are the target market.

Good try Kenzo.

Fragrance: 3/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
16th December, 2017

Cedrat Boise by Mancera

This is Mancera showing Creed how to do it as far as green woody fragrances are concerned Cedrat Boise is far superior to Aventus. Its more focused, cleaner, fresher, more of masculine edge to it, less 'damp and green'. The difference between walking in a fresh cool sunny meadow versus one that's just been rained in. Or a picture perfectly in focus showing that is what the scents meant to be versus someone who's gone to photoshop. And it's better value for money.
At the other extreme there is always Armaf Club de Nuit which is a budget incredibly accurate clone of Aventus. Mancera however is pure class.

Fragrance: 4/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
15th December, 2017

La Yuqawam pour Homme by Rasasi

I don't like smelling of leather but I almost find this a delight. Another reviewer described it as more like suede and I think I get it. There is a subtly and depth and almost a freshness. It is quite linear.
Certainly this is far superior to Tom Fords Tuscan Leather.

Fragrance: 4/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
14th December, 2017

Tuscan Leather by Tom Ford

This is a complete joke. If want to smell like leather buy Rasasi La Yuqawam which is more subtle and fresh (as much as any leather can be) and is almost a delight.
If you want to be ripped off with a lower quality fragrance then Tom Ford it is but rest assured no one who smells it will know. Maybe you want to feel you smell like the inside of a Veyron? After all art should be for you not the beholder. In this case Tom Ford's bank account.

Fragrance: 2/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 3/5
14th December, 2017

Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

Average Neroli fragrance but with a green vibe that makes it damp and annoying. Castle Forbes Special Reserve Neroli is much better and cheaper.
For the fashion victims only not the connoisseurs .

Fragrance: 2/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 3/5
14th December, 2017

Escada pour Homme Light Silver Edition by Escada

This is nice enough after a very promising beginning.
I get exactly the same opening as above. Grapefruit apple mint. Refreshing not overpowering. Then in the blink of an eye the freshness recedes last thing to go being the apple to be replaced by violet and patchouli hence slightly cloying. Not for me but would make a safe work fragrance and perhaps be nicer with different skin chemistry.
Its not cheap!

Fragrance: 3/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 2/5
13th December, 2017

Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo

An average greeny woody male fragrance.
Not that nice but also inoffensive. Perhaps may have a result with the right skin chemistry.
The patchouli and geranium wafting around in the background undoes it for me.

Fragrance: 3/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
12th December, 2017
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Zegna Intenso by Ermenegildo Zegna

Average citrus opening slightly effeminate mixed with pepper which then becomes the main note. Pepper , pepper, more pepper, gets up your nose pepper.
Zegna think they can sell this like this and justify it with the moniker 'Intense?' Why not just sell essence of chilli or garlic? The idea is to create a fragrance. Not just reproduce one acrid ingredient.

Fragrance: 1/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
12th December, 2017

Erolfa by Creed

This is a peppery yet effeminate aquatic. A confused transgender as such it could still justify itself on quality alone depending on taste but it's not even a particularly nice smell.
For me who is looking for masculine or worst a great unisex that has good skin chemistry with me this is a complete waste of time and money.
Far superior to this in every way is Heeley's Sel Marine which is nice enough although its Yuzu is even better. The ultimate is Profumum Aqua Di Sale if you want this sort of thing.

Fragrance: 2/5
Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 3/5 -wish it were less.

12th December, 2017

Néroli Sauvage by Creed

Succinctly put, this is better than Hermes Tres Fraiche.
It is lighter, sharper, more masculine, classier. But much much more expensive.
There is a powdery smokiness flitting around like a shadow so it never diminishes the freshness that distinguishes it from the unisex doldrums so many fragrances flirt with nowadays, another symptom of the corrosion of political correctness on our society or is it just economics and volume selling?
This is a real pleasure.
I have been trying to resist this but Creed now have two in my top 5. This and Viking (although with Viking you have to give it at least 30 minutes to settle down-if Creed tamed that they would have an all time great on their hands).
Important Safety Tip: This is not comparable in any way to Creed's Erolfa which scores 2/5 in my review.

Fragrance: 5/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 3/5
08th December, 2017 (last edited: 12th December, 2017)

Voyage by Nautica

This was recommended to me as outstanding value for money.
It's cheap inoffensive synthetic apple.
Nice enough but obviously fiscally challenged . A perfect teenager unisex fragrance. I can see why the girls would like it on their guys but liking it is not the same as being intrigued or attracted. Be careful of the dreaded friend zone !
08th December, 2017

Santalum by Profumum

I don't like sandalwood but I am always interested in trying the very best of something, the pinnacle, the trend setting archetype of excellence.
Reading the reviews, this appeared worth a try.
It is.
Subtle, smoky, classy, masculine, hint of pepper or some spice but at its centre nestling in amongst the wonderful presentation is of course , inescapably : Sandalwood,
Dress it up any which way you like it , that's what it is.

Fragrance: 5/5 (I appreciate excellence in any endeavour)
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
08th December, 2017

Acqua Viva by Profumum

This is disappointing especially in light of its very promising beginning.
First 15 minutes is a spicy citrusy lemony fresh masculine smell. A very classy all season wear anywhere fragrance.
Very quickly it dries down to a generic damp grass with a component reminiscent of vetiver. Wishy washy. Perhaps it is the reaction this has with my skin type as a lot of the reviews praise this and it was recommended to me by one of our fellow senior basenoters as the archetypal citrusy fragrance.
By far the best of this type of fragrance is Guerlain's L'eau Boissee.
It is not only much better in every sense but also cheaper. I almost bought a bottle but that wishy washy component is still there as well.

If Profumum was not so expensive it would be a neutral . Considering the price thumbs down, don't waste your time and money.
08th December, 2017

Acqua di Sale by Profumum

This is an outstanding aquatic.
You can smell the sea salt and the sand on warm yet fresh ocean breaze.. Perhaps because the aquatic is so realistic you even get fleeting glimpses of fish scales but look again and they're gone. Preferably so.
After half an hour this settles down to the exact skin smell you get when you have been for a swim and then sunbathed on the beach reading books and sipping ice cold drinks with a hint of mint thrown in.
A masterpiece.
Would I wear this? No. This is not a picture I want to smell of even though it is beautifully done. Maybe for a confident beautiful athletic woman but even then there are better pictures she could paint.
Heeley's Sel Marine is not a patch on this although it is more wearable. Still not for me though. It is irrelevant in the shadow of its cousin Heeley's excellent Yuzu.

Fragrance: 5/5
Projection: 3-4/5
Longevity: 4/5
08th December, 2017

Opus 1870 by Penhaligon's

A definite thumbs down.
A fellow basenoter commented on the Heeley Yuzu thread that this is easily a flyer and should satisfy any Yuzu cravings.
There is a slightly fresh citrusy opening but from then on its a sickly dry powdery barbershoppy Lemon rose with hint of Yuzu straight up the nose -that would be the pepper- annoyance.
Heeley's Yuzu outclasses it by a country mile and achieves its goal of being fresh and enjoyable metromasculine justifying its place above Heeley's similar product Sel Marine.

Phew. Washed it off.
But if you like dry powdery barber shop smells fair enough.

Fragrance: 2.5/5
Projection: 3.5/5
Longevity: 3.5/5
06th December, 2017

Journey Man by Amouage

If all colognes were this good then all women would be Gal Gadot or Catherine Deneuve. In other words an unspeakably beautiful, masculine fragrance as much as they are themselves feminine ideals, sophisticated, subtle- depending on how they are dressed or here how much you spray, sexy, glamorous well travelled.
This is fairly linear, with a wonderful rich depth, a warm masculine spiciness. It does indeed reflect the old merchant's spice route but there is nothing old about it.
I have not smelt this on anyone else and everyone loves this on me. An instant compliment getter but only if you chose to let them get close enough.
I never advertise anyone's site but I will point people to the best deal on the market from Notino for their 100ml bottle.
This is my stand out favourite fragrance for special occasions.
It may be a bit too rich and spicy as a daily office fragrance but that's a personal decision although it does leave room for a more playful stablemate such as Heeley's excellent Yuzu which I have just bought a full bottle of or for the outstanding dry fresh French Lover by Frederick Malle.

If you were a car man the above three could perhaps be the equivalent of a Maclarren 720S, a Mercedes E63AMG 4WD , and Golf R.

Fragrance: 5/5
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
06th December, 2017

Pure XS by Paco Rabanne

I am undecided on whether to give this three or four stars.
A bit too much Vanilla in the first 15 minutes. The vanilla stays there providing a buffered entry zone into the smoky spicy woody dry down and is there to lighten it up and give it some extra interest to prevent it being too unidimensional but fails as it is the wrong ingredient, and ultimately the sharpness ends up causing olfactory fatigue.
This answers my opening dilemma. Nice but I would not wear it so 3 stars. Shame. PR almost nailed it but its a wistful 'also ran'.
I absolutely get Philistine's comment about incense fragrances. My absolute ideal is Eau du Tigre which mixes citrus with incense to perfection for 15 minutes then you are left in Church for the remainder. We need something where the citrus does not burn off.

Fragrance: 3/5 It could have been so much better
Projection: 4/5
Longevity: 4/5
04th December, 2017

Layton by Parfums de Marly

This is a pleasant inoffensive combination of apple, violet, sandalwood with a hint of pepper. It is fairly linear after a slightly sugary fruity opening. The sweetness is immediately a warning sign. The sweetness settles yet remains as an undertone. I am sweet enough already. Nothing to dislike but then that's not the point of wearing a fragrance. It has to be pleasing, intriguing, elegant, classy in other words convey some pleasure to the senses that raises primarily your dopamine and hopefully those around you. It is a shame as this almost gets it right. There is a freshness and bite simmering in the midrange but that sweetness and slight cloyiness handcuffs it to the 'also ran'. There is a great masculine scent hiding there.
This was recommended to me as the best example from this fragrance house by someone who regretted buying a full bottle of Pegassus and put in straight on ebay. His recommendation was clearly based on this being less awful than Pegassus.
A neutral from me.

Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 5/5 (seems to be a consensus)
29th November, 2017 (last edited: 30th November, 2017)

Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

This is truly awful although perhaps I am biased as it reminds me disconcertingly so of how the elderly cleaning lady smelt who used to swirl around the house noisily with the vacuum cleaner when I was a child.
Cheap perfume and bleach. Phew. She herself was a kind cheerful soul so its not by negative association. This is just dreadful but look at the ingredients. Patchouli and mugwort or whatever the spices added to the Rose...And to think you pay a premium for this.
Cheap 80s perfume and bleach. Enough said.

Projection: 3/5
Longevity: 4/5
29th November, 2017

Note de Yuzu by Heeley

This is a delightful Yuzu fragrance and is better than my past favourite Yuzu: Loewe 7 Natural but of course it is more expensive. It is fresher and more pure and for the first hour gives you the impression you are smelling the zest. Truly refreshing. There is an overlap with Sel Marine but this is more fruity. Obviously. I could never really warm to Sel Marine. It is nice but does nothing exceptionally well. It projects well and lasts 3-4 hours. A pleasant fragranced tissue wipe smell from a 5 star spa. Due to its purity and freshness this is head and shoulders above Sel Marine. But. Its still citrus and I have a problem with primarily citrus scents unless there is some clever mid and base manning it up because these fragrances even if they are marketed as masculine are really unisex (here they directly market it as unisex) and in our age of political correctness would more justifiably be worn by the fairer sex. Fragrance houses may view it as justifiable economics to appeal to the increasing number of Bottega Veneta purses but this ruins it for the traditionalists who just like being uncomplicated males (and who have difficulty finding new masculine colognes as a result) and tradition is the backbone of any society and institution.

4.5/5 as a Yuzu fragrance. Fresh , zesty yet subtle. The best Heeley cologne I have smelt. Projection 3.5/5 Longevity 3/5
29th November, 2017

Viking by Creed

This is a real missed opportunity by Creed unfortunately an indication of their arrogance. The reasons are : This could be one the best ever fresh masculine scents. Citrus does not really make something fresh. Who wants to go around smelling of oranges (albeit rotten with Hermes) or lemons or even the latest fad Yuzu (btw if you like Yuzu then Loewe 7 Natural is one of the best and cheapest). In hot weather citrus just does not cut it, is not imaginative and makes it obvious what you are trying to do. Most citrus scents are really unisex even they are sold as masculine. No mistaking Creed Viking as unisex that's for sure. It is not citrus despite the ingredient list. But it is challenging. When you first spray it on it is fresh but at the same time very discordant. I am not sure what it is. Perhaps the lemon and pink pepper? Nobody who has smelt this on me likes it at all. This does fade over time but still remains there. After half an hour if you don't get too close you can minimise the discord and just enjoy this wonderful masculine freshness maybe due to the vetiver peppermint and pepper which everyone loves on me. Why on earth Creed could not have done the obvious and just produced this wonderful smell. Why do they think we need to suffer for their art? Are we not the customers? This is the olfactory equivalent of Chris Bangle who ruined BMW with those awful challenging shapes unfortunately neutering excellent cars.

I have bought a much larger decant trying to see if I can get used to it but I have found my current favourite of fresh masculine fragrances: Frederick Malle French Lover. A terrible name for a truely outstanding fragrance. Masculine and fresh. And unique. Done.

Projection is moderate
Longevity is moderate to good.

3/5. Could have been a masterpiece. True greatness O Creed Nose starts from humility with self awareness of how good you are and a desire to serve your customers not to mold your customers to your whims.
28th November, 2017

Elements of Man : Passion by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is exactly what it says on the tin.
Rum, Cognac and incense is what comes across with a very boozy opening. Incense becomes more prominent in the mix as time goes on becoming slightly smoky.
If you like this kind of thing then this really is an excellent version.
Powerful opening becoming more subtle and restrained yet keeping all the important elements as well as maturing.
Incidentally I don't. Anything concentrating on booze and incense is a bit too two dimensional for me. Perhaps add in some citrus such as grapefruit to make it more usable. I have been looking for a citrusy incense but all the good ones only open as such leaving an increasingly heavy ecclesiastic incense in the air which is what I want to avoid by combining with citrus. So still looking.

Sillage and longevity excellent.
27th November, 2017

Elements of Man : Strength by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is not for me. It smells of vanilla and amber but with a note of discord thrown in. Zegna may be trying to take a leaf out the Ancient Greek architects who believed that slightly asymmetry made things more interesting to the eye but to me that discord is essence of toilet cleaner.
It is some achievement as vanilla and amber are not listed in the ingredients but that's what I smelt. I can see the relation to Oud and Tobacco though. If you like Amber then Roja Amber is outstanding. I don't, its not clean and masculine enough for me.
It lasted overnight so I could smell it every time I wiped my brow during my early morning gym session.

27th November, 2017

Elements of Man : Integrity by Ermenegildo Zegna

This is not bad at all but it does come across as a slightly dated powerhouse at least it would be but its just been reined back in slightly to to avoid that label.
This is spicy smoky from the start, so much so that I coughed when I first sprayed it on. The impression of the smell is also faithful to the ingredients unlike other members of the Elements of Man. Within minutes things settled down quickly into a much tamer version of the opening but still with the pepper 'pop'.
I like this a lot but I would not wear it as I don't like to be challenged by what I wear. A smell has to be pleasing and draw you in, not pleasing but tiring of your olfactory senses on continued exposure.
Probably a good boardroom smell for ageing power brokers. Certainly if I smelt it on a junior I would wonder who they thought they were. So careful with this one.
This projects well but after an hour it had faded leaving smoky wisps of bitter pepper rearing its head every so often making me wince.

3/5. A missed opportunity. Too liberal with the pepper in so much as it lasts.
27th November, 2017